Los Gringos Locos

Life in Mexico with Four Kids, Missionary Work, Homeschool, Travel, ADHD, and a Brain Injury. Every Day is a Little Loco!

About Me

Once upon a time there was a girl. She loved adventure, animals, water, and taking pictures. You could find her playing in Lake Michigan, building a snowman, or counting the stars in the Northern sky and wondering what was up there. She was a tomboy who liked to play dress up. She had a huge smile and a big birthmark on her neck. She could be perfectly happy with her dog, in the woods, all by herself. She wanted to get married, have kids, and see the world. She never thought her dream was out of reach.

I live in Mexico. My husband retired here at age 34. “That’s too young!” “How did he do that?” “You moved to Mexico with four kids?” Yes we did. It has been one of the best decisions we have ever made.

Our journey to Mexico started with a traumatic brain injury, followed by years of seizures, blackouts, memory loss, hospitals, doctors, therapists, medication, and two 911 calls. We had to accept health limitations, give up our company shares in a family business, declare bankruptcy, apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, and eventually foreclose on our home.

I say our journey started with Brad’s brain injury because if it wasn’t for that one event we wouldn’t be here. Does that make it okay? No. I would much rather have a healthy husband. However, I believe when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade.

That is what we did. We sold our belongings, said goodbye to the people we love, and moved 36 hours away to South Mexico.

We rent, and we do not own the newest and best toys. Brad’s health is better. Our kids are homeschooling and learning Spanish. We spend more quality time together as a family, in our Bible ministry or traveling Latin America.

That little intro story is my story. This whole blog is about me, (and my nutty family). Who cares, right? If you are reading this, then maybe you care. Maybe you want an adventure, need inspiration for your dreams, or you might just like travel and photography. Whatever it is you are searching for maybe my story can help you find it. Stick around and we will figure it out together.

Sometimes dreams come true in ways you would never imagine. I cry. I complain. I get depressed. Then… I pick myself up, dust myself off, and I keep going. I chose to smile when it rains. I chose to live instead of regret. I chose to be happy. – Tina – Contact me via email at [email protected]


Ernspiker Family 2014

  1. Reply

    Love you Tina!! I’m happy for your family!
    I remember good times with you growing up. I remember you and Josh and I used to say something about walmart.. was it:
    Keeping it real at Walmart? Lol

      • Tina
      • December 4, 2014

      Thanks Lindsay! Sorry I didn’t respond sooner :-( Yes, we had tons of fun together as kids ;-) Keeping it real at Walmart!

    • alma causey
    • April 8, 2016


    Hope you are doing well. I stumbled upon your blog when I was searching for medical and health related topics and found your blog post about “Top Reasons for Stress That Harm Mental Health”. I have to agree to the fact that quality of content on your blog is awesome.

    I am also a blogger who usually write about health related topics and I am currently compiling a post about “5 facts and figure about dementia”. I thought it would be great if I could share it with your audience as you have the similar kind of audience available on your blog.

    Please let me know if this sound interesting to you and I will send you my post for review purpose.

    Looking forward to hear from you!

    Alma Causey

  2. Reply

    I apologize for leaving this as a blog post…but I didn’t see another avenue to make this inquiry.

    I have a website and blog in Mexico (Mazatlan) and am writing a post about renting less than a year but over a month to learn if you like an area before moving to Mexico.

    One of the suggestions I have made in the past, based on my own experience, is to hire a “concierge” to check out a place prior to committing any money. Here is my post about it http://www.ventanasmexico.com/news-1/2016/6/20/0473klj4cqu5tiopmdbi1etsa59yrv

    In this new post, I would like to list one person as a “concierge” (preferably someone with an online presence) for each popular expat area. Having the name of someone I could hire to do something like check out an apartment for me or get some other question answered when I couldn’t be there myself, has made my life much less stressful in Mexico

    I know having even one relationship in any new town can make a world of difference. I don’t know if you’d even ever be contacted. It just seems like a helpful thing to do.
    Sooo…I was wondering if you or anyone you know might be interested. My skype is Kerry.baker68. [email protected]

    • Reply

      Thank you Kerry! Sounds interesting. I am on vacation in Guadalajara but I will be in touch ASAP, possibly next week :-)

  3. Reply

    Hey Tina. I love your spirit. In reply to a previous post we are in the Riviera Maya (Cancun to Playa del Carmen) and can preview locations for visitors. We rent a studio apt here too.
    Tina, thanks for your strength and endurance. You are an example.
    Our Portuguese pre group is taking shape.
    Come and visit the Caribbean some day!

    • Reply

      I would love to come visit you guys! If we travel that direction again I will definitely let you know so we can get together :-)

    • Amanda Booth
    • January 16, 2017

    My family and I, are moving to Mexico in June. My husband is from Mexico, but the boys and I don’t speak Spanish. I’m worried about how schooling will go. I would love to know more about possibly homeschooling my boys. They will be going into 2nd grade and kindergarten this coming school year. I’m afraid public school would be too difficult for them. We will be living in the state of, Veracruz, but in a small mountain town, Las Lomas.

    • Reply

      I would try Time4Learning. We are using it for Sawyer now. He is doing the prek classes. It is simple and keeps good records when they start kindergarten. We tried Sawyer in public school and it didn’t work for us. Read that post here. I understand your concerns and wish you well on this adventure!

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Tina Marie Ernspiker

Photographer / Writer

Our family of six, (plus two cats and one dog), live abroad in Mexico. We homeschool, travel, and perform missionary work all while managing ADHD, (Mommy has it too), and a brain injury.

We live a life of adventures, big and small, and hopefully, our lives will relate and appeal to families around the world with similar obstacles and goals.

Our primary objective is to raise happy and responsible children who love our Creator while teaching them the whole world is their home.

Welcome to our life in Mexico, a lifestyle and photography blog, Tina :-)


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