Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Best Pizza in Costa Rica!



Shortly after moving to Costa Rica, we found an amazing pizza restaurant close to our home. We all agreed that it was the best pizza we had every eaten! So, we began going to Paulista's Pizza every Sunday after church. We told all of of friends about it too. The owner and the employees of Paulista's soon became friends. We began hanging out with them outside of the restaurant. They helped us with language and culture.
Each time we went to Paulista's we ordered the same thing. However, the pizza that Tim wanted was not on the menu. So, they made a special pizza for him and joked about naming it the Timoteo pizza. Timoteo is the Spanish word for Timothy.
Christmas eve we went to eat at our favorite pizza place. The owner and the employees presented Tim with a gift. It was a new menu for the upcoming year. On the new menu was a new pizza. The TIMOTEO pizza! As you can imagine, Tim was very excited as well as honored.
So, come down to Costa Rica and enjoy some of the best pizza in the world with us!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Two graduates and a hospital patient

Let's talk about the good news first. Tim and I have officially graduated from language school! Amazing! After a year of full time school and homework, we have now completed our language requirements. It feels so good to look back at how far we have come. God has been so faithful to equip us for what He has called us to do. We can speak in Spanish! Wow, who would have thought!

So, now the more challenging news. Several weeks ago, I had a bone biopsy to remove some cysts that were found in the lower part of my leg. The surgery seemed simple enough. However, a few days after the surgery it became apparent that something was not right with my leg. I spent 6 nights in the hospital trying to get a handle on what was going on. At this point it has been determined that I have significant nerve damage. This is proving to be a challenging situation in many ways. Our new life consists of me going to physical therapy every day. Also, I have to use a wheelchair any time lots of walking is involved. Since we do not have a car and walk everywhere we go, the wheelchair is getting used frequently. The doctors feel that the damage is reversible. I am working really hard in therapy to do my part. We have been told that we have a long road ahead of us, so we are trying to take one day at a time. We appreciate your prayers so much!

I will end on a positive note. :) God has a way of making lemonade when you feel like you have been handed lemons! While I was in the hospital my mom was able to come to Costa Rica and spend time with me. It was so nice to have her here. She stayed with me at the hospital, and helped me get all set up at home once I was dismissed. It was a special treat to have this time with her. The timing of this situation could not be better. If it had to happen, this is the perfect time. Our schooling is complete and we have a few weeks off before we begin our ministry work. Truly, looking back at the past few weeks, I see God's hand in so many things. I am so thankful that none of this is a shock to Him! Daily I am trying to remember that He has a plan and a purpose for all of this.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Different Kind of Christmas


Christmas is my favorite time of the year. This Christmas is going to be different than any other. This will be the first Christmas in my entire life that I have not been with my mother and brother. So as you might imagine, this Christmas is going to be difficult in many ways. However, I am determined to be proactive and make this Christmas special in different ways! So, let me share with you something our family is excited about this Christmas season.

This year, we are participating in Advent Conspiracy, a global challenge to return Christmas to it's original purpose. We're committed to worship fully, spend less, give more and love all this Christmas season in the hopes that we can help change the world by focusing less on the stuff of Christmas and more on the spirit of Christmas. We'll still celebrate in many of the same ways we always do, but we've also chosen, this month, to be more purposeful about using the blessings God has given us to make a practical and eternal difference in the lives of others. We'll be making personal "sacrifices" so that we can give to those who need and don't just want.

Take a look for yourself. I think you will be challenged.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from Costa Rica!


Happy Thanksgiving! We hope that your Thanksgiving is full of lots of turkey, family, and friends! There are so many things that we are thankful for this year. Tonight we went around the room sharing the things that we are most thankful for. We thought we would share some of our thoughts with you.

Tim is thankful that he can speak Spanish. When we arrived in Costa Rica 11 months ago, not one person in our family knew any Spanish at all! Wow, we have all come a long way!

Trinity shared that she was thankful for her youth group here in Costa Rica. There is a missionary family here who provides a fun and enriching youth group each Saturday night. Trinity even gets to sing in the praise team with some of the other kids. She really looks forward to this time each week.

Noah is thankful that there are sports all over the world. He has really enjoyed playing lots of soccer here in Costa Rica. It is a great way to make friends in the neighborhood too.

Gracie Lynn says she is thankful for her house in Costa Rica. As I might have mentioned before, it is pretty tight quarters around here. She reminded us tonight that each morning as we walk to school, we see several people who are sleeping in the streets. We are blessed.

Eden is thankful for her cars. Yes, my sweet little girl spends several hours each day playing with her cars. :)

Finally, I am thankful for my sweet family. This year has been wonderful and challenging at the same time. I have had to be a student, wife, and mommy. Many times I have not felt like I have done any of them well. At the end of the day though, I think we are all ok. :) We have shared both good and tough times as a family, and we are stronger because of it.
Enjoy this special time of Thanksgiving. Remember all of the many ways God has blessed you and yours this season.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Father/Son Weekend


Hi everyone! This is Noah. This weekend my Dad and I went to the mountains here in Costa Rica. We went on a Father/Son retreat. It was really fun! It was COLD in the mountains! They built a fire every night so that we could stay warm. There were lots of things that I liked to do there. They had obstacle courses that Dad and I did together. My favorite thing we did together was have special time where Dad and I read our Bible together. He taught me some good stuff about how important it is to be a person of good character. Then we carved a special stick together so that we can keep it forever and remember the weekend. Here is a picture of all of the guys who went on the weekend. There were some other missionaries and lots of Costa Rican people too.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

FALL FUN!

We are enjoying the Fall season around here. Well, actually that is a lie. Costa Rica does not have a Fall season. So, we are pretending. :) We have enjoyed painting pumpkins. Oh that is lie too. I mean we have enjoyed painting coconuts. You have to work with what you have! Ok, I am finished telling fibs now. :)
We have actually been enjoying a little bit of cooler weather, which is kind of fun. The kids were able to dress up for a little Fall party at school. We ended up with Tinkerbell, an Emerald Fairy, a Dallas Cowboy football player and a Micheal Jackson look alike. Tons of fun! We even got together with a few friends for a little Fall party. See, I told you we were enjoying the Fall season! Even if we do have to improvise a little bit.
Enjoy the pictures of our FALL FUN!


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Sunday, October 18, 2009

.....and we have another birthday to celebrate!


We have had a week of celebrations around here! Just a few days after we acquired a teenager, we also acquired a 9 your old girl! Yep, Gracie Lynn is 9 years old! We had a fun day celebrating with her. My friend Janna made a special cake and let me help decorate it. :) We took it to surprise G.L. at school with a little party. She was also surprised when she got a brand new bike! Tim and I took her out Friday night for a "date". She is such a precious little girl. She is so happy and carefree.



We are looking forward to a change of pace this week at school. Each semester the school offers a Spiritual Emphasis week for the students. They bring in a special speaker to teach and encourage us each day in chapel. They have another service each evening. There is also a team coming in to do a VBS program with the kids each night. They are really looking forward to that. The extra fun part is that in order to take advantage of the week, the school does not give us homework or tests. Yea! Extra time in the Word and less homework. Who could ask for more!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where has my little girl gone?




Trinity~ I will never forget the day that you were born. I was so happy and so scared! I cannot believe that today, you are a teenager! It was just yesterday that we were trying to figure out how to raise such a strong willed little girl. :) I have to say that I think all of our hard work and meetings with the "rod" payed off! You are such an amazing young lady. We are so proud of the young lady you have become. Thank you for always being so attentive to who God wants you to be. You are such a brave and strong young woman. One of our favorite things to do is listen to you sing and play the guitar. You are so talented, and we love watching you use the gifts that God has given you. Thank you for being true to who you are. What a blessing you are to us! We love you so much. Mommy and Daddy


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

37 things to be thankful for......

In celebration of my 37th birthday. I decided to sit down and reflect on 37 things that I am thankful for this year. Now let me say as a disclaimer, that I am grateful for many more than 37 things. These are just the first 37 that came to mind. This year has been full of challenge and change. So, enjoy a little peak at my thankfulness this year. By the way, these are not in any order of importance. :)

1. Tim~ Who makes me laugh every day and makes it home no matter where we are
2. Chocolate~ edible proof that God loves me
3. FBC Thomasville~ We have such an amazing home church who pray for us and loves on us so well
4. Facebook~ you can laugh, but this has truly been a lifeline for me to still know what is going on in the world of people I miss
5. Family~We have many great family members who believe in us, pray for us and cheer us on
6. Mom~ I am so blessed to have a mom who is also a dear dear friend
7. Grace and Mercy~ I need them both every day
8. Great girlfriends~ Trelle, Chris, Kathryn, Jami, Stephanie M., Tammy, Donna, Laura and a bunch more but I am out of room....life is sweeter because of you
8. Music~ makes my life complete
9. Stephanie S.~ Who lets me glimpse a little bit of myself a few years back, and lets me share what I have learned along the way
10. Words~ I love them. I love to read them and speak them
11. Grandma~ My Grandma went to see Jesus this year. Her life and legacy helped make me who I am
12. Bethany~ Who has been my BFF since I was 6 years old. What a rare gift. She knows it all and loves me more because of it
13. Fresh fruits and veggies~ I promise that they taste better in Costa Rica than any other place in the world
14. Lori~ Who's strength and courage leave me speechless
15. Giving to the local church~ Your generous gifts allow us to do what God has called us to do
16. Trinity~ Who I love watching God form and use in amazing ways
17. Gracie Lynn~ Who just makes me smile and reminds me the world is a happy place
18. Noah~ Who adores me just the way I always hoped my son would
19. Eden~ Who simply, by the perfectness of God, has made our family whole and complete
20. Coffee~ I am so glad I taught myself to like you
21. Leigh~ Who has spent the last year to far from my physical presence but still just as close to my heart
22. Adam and Jessica~ Who have shared this road with us from the beginning and who understand
23. Health~ No amount of money can buy it
24. Sherry~ Who I talk to way to infrequently but with whom I can always pick up right where we left off
25. Adam~ Who lets me think out out loud and challenges my thoughts
26. Allyson~ Whose constant thoughtful encouragement speaks hope into my world
27. Vonage, internet and all forms of electronic communication~ These things have been a blessing and allow me to reach those I love and miss
28. Janna~ Who has traveled this crazy new road with me, held my hand and reminded me that it is worth it when it did not feel like it
29. New friends~ I have met the most amazing families in my journey this year, it is an honor to serve with them
30. Jesus~ Who has given me more than I ever deserved
31. Sunshine~ makes me happy
32. Ryan and Wednesday~ Who I know would do anything for me and give me anything I might ever need
33. Tresa~ Who knows me really well and let's me be real
34. Kellie~ Who makes me laugh and has cheered me on with her prayers and support
35. Paulista's Pizza~ A place that I look forward to going to each week for the best pizza ever and great friendships too
36. The Spirit of the Costa Rican people~ Their kindness and patience with my language and cultural learning are humbling
37. 37 years of life. The good and the bad. All of it together has led me to this place.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

An update from down south


Time for an update from down south. School continues to go along well. Tim and I have a little less than three months of school left. We both feel really good about our Spanish progress. It is amazing to think how far we have come in the past 8 months with our language! The kids are all doing great and enjoying school as well as friends in the neighborhood. All in all, life is grand.
We were able to meet this past week with our supervisor from Panama. It was a great meeting and we walked away with a clear vision of what we will be doing in Panama. We are growing more and more excited about getting there. If things go as planned, we will be able to move to Panama in late April or early May. Please pray with us that God will already begin working in the hearts of the community that we will be living with in Panama.
I will leave you with a picture which does not really do justice to actually seeing it in person! I have never seen a rainbow like this!! It was a perfect circle right around the sun. How creative is God! :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dia de Independencia

This week Costa Rica celebrated it's Independence Day. We have had lots of fun joining in on all of the festivities with friends and neighbors. Costa Ricans celebrate with parades. They wear typical Costa Rican clothing, and enjoy concerts and cultural shows. School children participate in the parades by marching in bands, or by carrying “Faroles”. These are homemade paper lanterns. Their designs sit on top of or hang from a wooden stick with candles inside to light the way. It is a tradition for the children to make their own lanterns in patriotic colors. They are often in the form of a house, animal, or other creative representations of national symbols. Of course, the Louderback kids had a great time making their creations! Well, all but Noah that is, he decided he was to cool for such. :) All in all, it has been a fun few days. Patriotism is a beautiful thing, no matter what the country.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A New Pet? :)



When Tim, Eden and I came home for lunch yesterday, there was a friend waiting for us on our front door! Isn't he cute! We thought about keeping him for a pet, but he really wanted to be free to roam the neighborhood. :) There is never a dull moment in Costa Rica!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Surf's Up! Catch Up!

We have had quite the adventerous two weeks off from school! First, my mom came for her first visit to Costa Rica. We had SO MUCH fun. It was so great to have her here! We went to a beautiful resort for a few days and saw more wildlife up close than I ever imagined possible. At one point we were counting, and had over 20 different kinds of animals that we had come in contact with on our trip. The monkeys at breakfast had to have been the highlight. Now that I think about it, there are to many highlights to even list! Mom was able to stay for a week. So after we spent some time at the resort, she also got to hang out with us at our home and see our new world. It truly was a great family time together.














After mom went home, we spent a few days on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica in a small beach village. While it was not anything close to "resort" like, it was lots of fun and we had a blast! Again, the scenery here was amazingly beautiful and we saw tons of wild life. Our good friend Janna, who is here in school with us, joined us for our trip. We also got to hang out with a mutual friend of ours that we trained with in Virginia. Stacy is currently in a small village in Mexico. She had the opportunity to come and visit with us for a few days. We all had a great time relaxing and catching up.

Now that we are refreshed and relaxed, we are looking forward to starting our last semester of language school. The kids go back to school this week also, so we are going to get back in to school routine. Please pray with us that God would give us endurance and perseverance as we get back to language learning.



Thursday, August 13, 2009

Goodbyes


For the past 8 months, I have been in class each and every day with two wonderful ladies. Katie, Amanda, and I have shared victories, defeats, laughed, and cried together while trying to adjust to a new culture and learn this thing called Spanish. We all came to Costa Rica at the same time and not one of us could speak more than a few words in Spanish. Actually, a few words might be exaggerating, more like one or two. :) Our language school is made up of families from a large number of mission agencies. All three of us work for different agencies, but we share the same goal. We have all left the comforts of the world we knew and have been obedient to the call that God has for our families. It has not always been easy, but I am blessed to have shared this time with these new friends. They have made learning Spanish so much more fun. I am going to miss them so much! Katie and her family will leave this week to go to Nicaragua. Amanda and her crew will head out to Columbia.
Tim and I are in school for a full year. We are going to enjoy a two week break, and then hit the books for one more semester of Spanish.
The missionary life is full of goodbyes. Amazing people come into your life for seasons of time and then, they are gone. While it is sad, it is also amazingly cool to see how God is working in the lives of so many people all over the world.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

The only thing constant is change......

When we arrived in Costa Rica we planned to be here for one year studying Spanish and then to head to Panama to begin our work there in December 2009. Well, small detour in plans. You all know how much I just love changes to plans. :)
Several weeks ago, Tim and I were asked to pray about serving on a new team in Panama City. After praying and talking with the kids we decided to accept the new position. So far so good. Just a change in jobs....at least we are headed to the same country. Eventually.
As part of our training for the new team, we will remain here in Costa Rica until June of 2010. That is six months longer than we were anticipating but there are some great perks to our extended stay! The kids will be able to complete an entire year of school at Sojourn Academy. They have attended this school since we arrived and have all really had a great experience. Instead of having to leave mid way through the year, they will get to finish up the whole school year and move in the summer time. They are very excited about that. :) Tim and I will still complete our language schooling in December and we will participate in hands on training from January through June. The great part is that the two families who we will work alongside in Panama will also be in Costa Rica and train with us. We are very excited to go through the training and the move to Panama as a team. If you have time you can visit the Cawthon family over at their blog. They are one of the families that we will be working with. Derek and Audrey are the other team members but they do not have a blog. So, you will have to take my word that they are cool, fun folks. :)
So, here we are. Here we will be until June. Costa Rica is a beautiful country and we are excited to be able to enjoy it a little longer than anticipated.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Missing Music

One of the things I miss most about living in the States is music! I know that with the Internet I have access to lots of music but I just never seem to have the time to browse new artists like I used to. Way to much homework for that. I feel like I am missing some good new stuff out there! So friends, share!!! Please comment and let me know what you are listening to these days. Is there a new album that you would highly recommend. I have my Itunes up and ready, so let me know what I need to purchase!

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Fun!

Sweet friends.
Breathtaking beauty.
Precious memories.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Meet our new friends!


Meet our new friends and ministry partners..... Kenny and Cheryl Morris.


The IMB is having some meetings in Costa Rica this week so many people have traveled in from surrounding countries. Today for lunch we hosted a couple who we currently live in Panama! It was so great to meet them and hear about the work they are doing there. It makes us even more excited to get this language learned so we can get to Panama and get to work! They shared some specific prayer requests for the work in Panama.

Join us in praying for:
* San Juan: this is a new community of 1200 homes near Panama City where we will begin our initial work with the people. Currently there are no evangelical churches in the area.
* Pray for continued growth and healthy relationships between the missionaries and the Panamanian convention
* Pray for national leaders to rise and up and take on leadership roles within the work

Thank you for praying with us. It is exciting to get a glimpse of what God is doing in Panama and know that in a few short months we will be able to join Him and the Morris family there. :)

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Honeymoon is over.....


I think the honeymoon is over. I feel certain that this is a normal part of the process of adjusting to our new life but the past few weeks have been pretty interesting. School is much harder the second trimester and many days I feel like I do not have time to let all the information sink in before we are on to a new topic. Someone likened it to taking a drink from a fire hydrant. I think that sums it up pretty well.
We were able to spend some wonderful time with some familiar faces who were here doing some mission work last week. Latrelle and Jacob Cone, Jerry and Jacob Spencer and Brother Jerry Spencer spent a week ministering in Costa Rica. We were able to spend some time with them and were both encouraged and convicted. Listening to Brother Jerry share about his vision for his future was a great reminder that we are not in this place for us. We are here because God has called us to take the news of His salvation to Spanish speaking people. It is easy to lose sight of that when you sit in a classroom 5 days a week! I feel a renewed sense of purpose and am praying that I will remember that in the hard times.
The kids have one more week of regular school and then they will be out for the Summer. Since Tim and I will still be in school, they will be attending Summer programs at the school. It looks like they will be having lots of fun! They are excited that they will get a break from homework. :)
Thank you for praying for us. We feel your prayers!!

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Our 6th Grade Graduate


This week we were able to celebrate with Trinity as she graduated from the 6th grade. In the culture of Costa Rica, this is a monumental event. We took Trinity out for a fun dinner, just the three of us. Mom, Dad and Trinity. It was great one on one time, which is sometimes difficult to come by with 4 kids. :) Anyway, as we were sitting at dinner talking, I realized once again what a remarkable young lady Trinity has become. We are so proud of her.

Trinity~ I know that this 6th grade year has been different than you might have imagined or even wished for yourself. However, we are so proud of how you have trusted us as your parents and more importantly God, to direct your path. Thank you for being so strong and brave. You are an amazing young women and it is an honor to be your parents. We love watching God grow you into just what He wants you to be. Congratulations on all of your hard work.
Philippians 1:6 (The Message)3-6Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Eden Bethany Jing!


Our baby turns 5 today! It really is hard to believe that she is 5 years old! Oh, I wish I could just freeze her! She is soooooo sweet and we enjoy her so much! I am so thankful that God blessed us with such a gift. I was thinking this past week about how amazing God is to have brought her to our family. There were so many pieces that had to fit together just perfectly for her to be ours! As we celebrate Eden's birthday, I always find myself thinking about the woman on the other side of the world whose DNA my daughter carries. We are grateful beyond words for her choice to give her life. I pray that on this day she is filled with peace and somehow knows that the child she carried is so well loved and cherished.
Happy Birthday Sweet Girl! We love you!






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Monday, May 18, 2009

White Water Rafting in Costa Rica

We have made it through the first two weeks of our second semester of school. For some reason I had it in my head that it would get easier as we went along. Why do I do that to myself??? I am very excited about the amount of language that I am going to be learning this semester, but I am fighting not to feel overwhelmed by the work load!

The rainy season has begun here in Costa Rica. So far, it has not been to bad but from what we hear we might need a boat before it is all over. It does provide many challenging opportunities since we walk everywhere we go. It also provides us with lots of BUGS!! As I type this, we are watching a lizard chase bugs around our house and eat them. Seriously, ya'll don't know what you are missing! :)

So, that is all from me for now but I am handing over the keyboard to Tim.....

White-water rafting just over 18 miles down one of the top five rivers to raft in the entire world, per National Geographic, has to be the high-light of my experiences here in Costa Rica. I take that back! Having "two of my closest friends" raft alongside me during the white-water adventure has been my most exciting time here. Earlier this month, my friends Dan and Chris arrived into Costa Rica from our hometown of Thomasville, GA. What a fabulous few days that we experienced together! Take a moment to enjoy the slideshow of our white-water excursion. They were class four rapids, and we loved every minute of them! Post a comment and share your thoughts with me if you have a moment! Enjoy! Tim

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Friendly Faces in Costa Rica



We have been blessed to enjoy some friendly faces here in Costa Rica in recent days! First off, Ya Ya (Tresa) came and spent a week hanging with us in Costa Rica. We had tons of fun showing her our life here and traveling to Monteverde to visit for a few days. It is a beautiful area with lots of greenery and flowers. The favorites in Monteverde were the butterflies and the frogs. Tresa was a bit disappointed that we did not see any monkeys but we told her that meant she had to come back for another visit! Tresa is now back home and missing us, her daily fresh fruit juice and yummy Costa Rican cinnamon bread!
We were also able to visit with David and Latrelle. They were in Costa Rica on a mission trip and stopped by one evening last week. As you can imagine getting Tim and David in the same room produced lots of laughs! It was so good to see them and spend some time catching up. We are so excited about the work they are doing with their mission. They will be heading back our way in June. :)
Finally, for Tim's 40th birthday 2 of his buddies planned a trip to visit him. Dan and Chris arrived a few days ago and the 3 amigos have been living large ever since! As you can imagine they have been full of adventure. Early this morning they headed to the river for a day of white water rafting. I can not wait to hear all about it. I am sure they will have lots to share!
It has been a sweet time for us to be able to see so many friendly faces from home. We have enjoyed visiting and sharing our life with them. So, if you are in the mood for a warm tropical vacation......feel free to head our way!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Catching up and remembering my Grandma

I should warn you that this is going to be a long post. I have to apologize to all 3 of my readers :) for my lack of posting. As you will see there has been lots going on.
As I write this post I am sitting in the Denver airport waiting to fly home to Costa Rica. Last week my sweet Grandma went to be with Jesus and I was able to fly home and spend some precious time with my mom and family as we celebrated her life. More on that in a moment......
Tim and I have finished our first trimester of language school and we have passed with flying colors! I will tell you there were times that I wondered! We had our first language evaluation with the International Mission Board. We are expected to be at a certain level by the end of our year in Costa Rica. Well, we were both beyond pleased with our rating as it was higher than we had anticipated. It feels good to know we are on the right track! We are on a two week break from school and look forward to doing some traveling. Our friend Tresa is flying into San Jose tomorrow and we are headed to the Cloud Forest for a few days. I will be sure and post some good pictures!
I want to close with some personal thoughts about my Grandma. I have been able to reflect the past few days on all the wonderful memories I have of her. My brother and I talked about how much fun we used to have as little children hanging out at Grandma's house, drinking coke on crushed ice and eating strawberries. Perhaps, the most precious memories I have are when I was older and becoming a young adult. I remember so many times sitting in my Grandma's living room. She would sit in her rocking chair and I would sit on the sofa. I would talk. I would share my frustrations and thoughts on the world. I would ask questions about why things were the way they were. She would listen. She would always offer some wise thoughts on my situation. Somehow, she would always make it seem better. She would always point me to Jesus. Looking back I see how she was pouring her wisdom into my life. Not in an abrupt forceful way, just in her quiet strong way. I was to young to really appreciate it then, but it is sure priceless to me now. She was one of the finest woman that I have ever known and so much of how I think and who I am came from her pouring herself into me.
Please pray especially for my mom and her sister as they grieve the loss of their precious mom. She truly was a remarkable woman and I am blessed to have called her Grandma.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Circus, Coloring Easter Eggs, American Idol on the Wii and other random thoughts....

We have been out of school since Wednesday. We have really enjoyed a much needed break from learning and had some great family time!
Grandma sent us American Idol for the Wii and we have been having some serious get down music contests around here! I think the kids have played it at least 10 hours each day! I am sure the neighbors are enjoying our loud American music. Paybacks for all of their parties....
We went on an outing to the Circus. It was AMAZING! In fact, the kids rated it up there with Disney World. Impressive huh. :) I was not sure what to expect but it really was cool. It was not an animal circus but more of an acrobatic, magical show. The music and the costumes were outstanding. It was a great night!
Our town is basically shut down for the Passion Week celebration they call Semana Santa. There are no buses or taxis running and all of the stores are closed. Since we are pretty much home bound, we decided to have an Easter party with some of our new friends. Meet the Gillen family. They are headed to the Dominican Republic after their year of language school. (You will see them in the picture video) We cooked a good ole American meal and colored Easter eggs. We also made Easter Story cookies which if all goes well will look like an empty tomb in the morning when we get them out of the oven. It was a great day!
So, I made a little slideshow of the past few days. Enjoy a little peak at our world.
Happy Easter, He is Risen!
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Easter in Costa Rica
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Our "Fools" Star




We have had a great weekend enjoying our actress in her first big school play! Trinity did such a great job and we were so proud of her! The cast has been working faithfully for the past two months and it really paid off. They all did such a great job. It was a Neil Simon play called "Fools" and it was hysterical! The whole town was cursed with ignorance and the new teacher in town was trying to take the curse away. Good times. Anyway, the whole event has been so good for Trinity. She has made some great friends and gotten a chance to do the thing she loves to do. :) Enjoy the pictures.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I am cranky.

So, I have been a little cranky this week. I have pondered the reasons for this and cannot really attribute it to one particular thing. I guess there are lots of little things that have all snowballed. I miss my friends a lot. I miss seeing and talking to people that really know me. I miss sharing life with them. Thank goodness for internet and for Vonage (when they work) but it is just not the same as being there. Not to mention that there are just not enough hours in the day to keep in touch like I want to. Since we have to walk everywhere, things just take about 10 times longer than they used to. As I have reminded myself at least a million times the past few months, this is a new normal and I have to adjust to it. It takes time. I have to tell you that I do not like it some days....at all.
Last week I spent a morning at home instead of going to school. I had been sick all weekend and wanted to make sure that I was better before heading back. I loved being at home so much! I really miss being at home and being able to just take care of my family and my home. I am SO grateful to have Regina to help me since there is no way that I could go to school and take care of the house and family. However, I don't want some one else to be doing these things! I want to do them. Ugh, I really do not feel a strong bonding in my heart with going to school full time. Again, don't get me wrong, I am so blessed to be able to attend such a great school and I know that this place is where God has me at this time. I am just saying again....I don't always like it.
So, thanks for letting me be real and honest tonight. I will try to be in a better mood next time I blog. :)

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Grand News from Gracie Lynn

From a young age, my two older children always asked questions about God and how He worked. You know the kind of questions that you want as a parent, so that you can seize the opportunity to teach them about letting Him be the Lord of their lives. Not Gracie Lynn. This free spirited, carefree child of mine never came to me with these types of things. Honestly, I assumed she did not think much about the matter. She is just that kind of kid. Nothing to deep but sweet and happy all the time. :) So, I had been having an ongoing conversation with God about how much I really wanted Him to be talking to her sweet little heart and drawing her to Himself. I had also mentioned to Him several times that I really saw no evidence that this was taking place. :) Will I ever learn? Tuesday night she called us into her room and told us that she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart. Out of the blue, no questions for mom and dad. Just a decision. We asked her several questions to establish her understanding of the matter and then we listened to our sweet daughter pray and ask Jesus to live in her heart. It was a precious time as the whole family celebrated with her.
Then I took a few moments to think about how amazing God is. He was working all the time. Just like I asked Him to. Just like He said He would. I did not see evidence therefore, I decided He was not doing His job. Life lesson #billion and something..... God is working. Even when I can not see it with my human eyes. He is working.

Gracie Lynn made an art piece this week to show how her heart used to look before she asked Jesus to live in it and what her heart looks like now. :)

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Living Large at 40!!



Today, my wonderful hubby is 40 years old! Time flies when you are having fun! Happy Birthday babe. I would not trade life with you for anything in the world! Thanks for being the best husband and daddy that we could ever ask for.
We love you!

One of our friends from school made this fun shirt so that Tim could celebrate his big day in style :) Thanks Michael!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Don't forget to wear your green!


My little leprechauns had a welcome reprieve from school uniforms today and got to wear their GREEN!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Beautiful Faces

A few weeks ago, the opportunity to begin a Bible Study with young pregnant girls and new moms literally fell into my lap. I must say that I am very unprepared and inadequate at this point to attempt this, but I know that it is where God is leading. Our first meeting was this afternoon. We had 9 girls attend! 2 of them brought their young children. I am so excited about what God is doing in this place! I was able to share my testimony in Spanish (of course I had good notes) and visit with the girls. The girls were all so patient with our poor Spanish. They really seemed to enjoy visiting and talking with us. I am more motivated than ever before to learn Spanish quickly! The other leaders are Janna, Dodie, and Teresa. Please pray for us on Tuesdays as we work with these young girls. Here are the beautiful faces of the girls.


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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tim's Trashy Ministry

For the most part, Costa Rica is a beautiful country. However, there seems to be an issue with trash. People just throw their wrappers, cups, you name it on the ground. It is actually kind of nuts! One of the first weeks that we were here, Tim decided that he was going to clean up our street. He got the kids to join in (actually I don't think he gave them a choice) and they began cleaning the trash off the street one afternoon each week. They spend 20 minutes or so and collect tons of trash each time! Well, last week I looked out and there is my family along with several of our local neighbors who have come out to help them! I guess they decided if you can't beat 'em, join them. So, now it has become a tradition on our street. The weekly neighborhood trash pick up, led by Mr. Tim, the trash man.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ronald visits Costa Rica


Tim surprised Gracie Lynn and Eden today with a trip to McDonald's to meet the Costa Rican Ronald! He said they were the only Gringo's(that is what they call white people here) there and it was tons of fun! The girls were full of stories and of course had a great time with their crazy daddy.
We are heading to the beach for a three day weekend first thing in the morning. From time to time our school offers vacation get aways where they plan the entire event and you are just along for the ride. I am all about a vacation where I do not have to plan and think after a week of Spanish. We are really looking forward to some rest and relaxation on the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Pancake Day!


That's right! It's Pancake Day! Many of you are aware that I
was born, raised, and lived more than 25 years in Liberal, Kansas!
Each year there is a friendly little competition between Liberal,
Kansas and Olney, England. The ladies run down the streets of each
town flipping pancakes in a race against one another. This tradition
has been going on for more than 60 years now. It is still the only
race of its kind on the planet. Sweet action! Though, Pancake Day
itself is celebrated around the world. Check out "Pancake Day" on
Google if you would like to see an international perspective of the
day.
So, enjoy a pancake or two today. I sure will be! What better
way to "live large", right? If you have an IHOP restaurant near you,
that would be a great place to enjoy a free stack of pancakes. They
hook every customer up with a free stack every year! Moreover, check
out Pancake Day to see all of the activities going on in
Liberal, Kansas today and across the pond!
Thanks for your prayers each day! We are having lots of
opportunities to share about Jesus!
Tim

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jungle Friends


We had the most wonderful surprise this weekend. Our jungle friends, Adam and Jessica came for a visit. I say it was a surprise because I thought they were coming in March and they had planned on coming this weekend and our communication was totally off. Jessica and I decided that this is what happens when two women whose brains are tired from Spanish learning try to make plans. Nonetheless, it was a WONDERFUL weekend! We did so many fun things. We shopped, visited several parks, cooked some yummy food. Adam lived in Costa Rica as a kid (actually just a few blocks from where we are now) so he taught us lots of new things about living in Costa Rica. It was great to be able to spend time with them and laugh together. Adam is fluent in Spanish so I have to tell you that was nice too. A little less work than our normal weekends.
We trained with Adam and Jess in Virginia and now they are in Guatemala for a few months before heading to the Amazon jungle of Peru. You can check out all of their wild and crazy adventures at Jungle Book

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