Friday, January 30, 2009

Beach Toes

I do realize that no one really cares to see pictures of my feet.....but I just thought the beach toes were to cute not to share. :) One of the perks of living here is that manicures and pedicures are very inexpensive. Today, one of our local friends had a lady come to her house and give us some pampering for our trip to the beach! How fun!! So, I now have palm trees on my toes.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Whew....long week

Whew it has been a week! I have had 3 tests and I still have one more tomorrow. Yuck! I do feel like we are learning a ton so that is good. It is nice to see some real progress. Our teachers are really great. This week in our grammar class we even started learning some Bible stories in Spanish. Tonight my homework is to write 10 sentences telling the story of Zacheus. It goes something like Spanish of course.
Zach is short.
Jesus is walking.
Zach climbs a tree.
Zach sees Jesus.
You get the idea.....I am thinking I could teach 1 year olds in Sunday school! :)
We are getting out of the city this weekend for the first time since we arrived in Costa Rica. We are headed to the beach!!! We are so excited and hope to be able to post some amazing pictures when we return. We are being told it will be more beautiful than we can even imagine. I am ready to relax and enjoy!
Oh one more thing....this morning one of my fellow students brought a tarantula to show and share at school. What a blessing. :( He had caught it last night in his house. If you never hear from me again, you will know I had a similar experience. Whatever.

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Monday, January 26, 2009


Well, not really but I know someone who is. :) As most of you know my bestest friend Bethany is always up to some wild,crazy and fun adventure. This time I got to join her! The magazine First for Women did an article about her chocolate and our friendship for their February issue. Back in September we had a photo shoot and now you can see it. It is on your local magazine shelf now so if you have a couple of bucks to spare grab one and enjoy a great read!

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

McSaturday Fun!

This morning Tim took the kids on a McAdventure! A few miles from our home there is a HUGE McDonalds and I do mean HUGE! It is the nicest and largest McDonalds we have ever seen. Which is rather odd considering all....inside they even have a McCafe where you can order special coffee drinks and dessert. Anyway, this morning Tim gathered the kids and they went to spend some time playing as a treat. And yes, those of you who are wondering, he picked up a newspaper on the way and they spent several hours there. :) Thought you would enjoy seeing some Mcfun!

By the way, all over our town there are these huge potholes in the sidewalks and streets. They would certainly not pass code in the good ole USA! Thus far we have not heard of any children dissapearing but as you can see it could certainly happen!:(

One more thing, these are are cute neighbor boys who are over playing our Wii. They only speak a tiny bit of English and combined with our tiny bit of Spanish it makes for lots laughter. We have found out that they do speak Chinese, Spanish and Taiwanese! Noah has really enjoyed playing soccer with Mark and Ricky so we decided to have them over for some Wii action. They were so excited to come over and play! They had heard of a Wii but had never played one before.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grocery Shopping

Once a week I walk to the local supermarket and get our groceries. Each time I take my handy shopping cart and come home with it full. It is about a 10 minute walk to the store. Most things are available at the Jumbo which is where I shop. It takes me a LONG time at the store because I have to look up lots of words in my dictionary but I usually end up with something close to what I was trying to get. :) There are even a few American made groceries but they are VERY expensive so we just try the local stuff. For example a small can of cream of chicken soup is $4! We are learning how to substitute local options for things that we like from home. I did splurge this week on some good ole Oreos. Some things are just worth the money!
I also go to the fruit and vegetable market each Saturday to get the fresh grown produce. I have to say it is some of the best fruit I have ever had.
Happy grocery shopping!

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

Hello from warm and sunny Costa Rica. From the sounds of it, most of you are not warm at all these days. :(
We have had a fun weekend. Saturday morning we went to the fruit and vegetable market to stock up for the week. I have decided this is one of my favorite parts of the week! They have the BEST fresh fruit. This week we got some pineapple, strawberries, apples, bananas and fresh blackberries. Yummy! After the market we went with some of our fellow language students to downtown San Jose. It is very much like the downtown of any big city, in Spanish of course. :) There are vendors on the streets and lots of stores to check out. We found a great open air market and had lots of fun checking out all of the local products. We ate at a local restaurant and headed home before dark. This morning we went to the Primero Iglesia Bautista to worship. We really enjoyed our time there. As soon as we got there we saw a small bus filled with lots of children pull into the church. We learned that these beautiful children were from an orphanage that is close by and each Sunday the church picks them up for the service. I am continually amazed by the warmth and generosity of the Costa Rican people who by our American standards, have very little to give. We played with the kids and I resisted the urge to bring all of them home to live with us. :) They had a great praise and worship band and the people were very kind.
This afternoon the boys enjoyed some football on TV (with Spanish broadcasters of course) and I ran a few errands around town. We have enjoyed our weekend and are hearing up to head back to class bright and early tomorrow.
I promise that I am going to get pictures of the house up this week. Till then........

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My favorite person in Costa Rica

My new favorite word in the Spanish language is Empliada. An Empliada is a house helper. It is the norm for many families in Costa Rica, especially ones with 4 children :) to have house help. Our school has a service that helped matched our family with a suitable house helper. Senorita Regina began her work with us on Monday. I am so excited!!! She cooks, does the laundry and cleans the house. Basically whatever we need her to do. She will also be a great asset in my language learning as I will have to learn to communicate with her in Spanish. We went grocery shopping which was quite an experience! Since she will be making us Costa Rican meals I wanted to make sure she had the right ingredients. I followed her around while she bought a bunch of food that I do not know how to cook. So far, her meals have been very yummy. Tonight she even made spaghetti just like home! It will be a huge blessing to have this extra help and free me up to focus my language learning.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Spanish 101

Well, we made it through the first day. Wow, it has been a long time since I have been in school. My brain is tired! I have 2 hours of grammar, an hour of phonics and one hour of conversation each day. I had homework in all three classes today. Great way to start the year! I am just determined to stay on top of it and get this Spanish thing down well. It is also my personal goal to make better grades than Tim. Good motivation!!

They offer after school sports programs for the kids here. Today Gracie Lynn is starting a gymnastics class. Tomorrow Noah is going to join the soccer team. Trinity has decided to participate in a play that they are going to have here on campus. Sweet Eden is happy to just stay home.

Oh by the way,while we were shopping around town this weekend we noticed lots of stores had naked mannequins. I asked around today and it seems that if you are having a HALF price sale you advertise it by having naked mannequins in the window. You would think they would at least have them HALF dressed. Let´s just say there are a lot of sales going on in Costa Rica right now. Great for family outings.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

One Week!

We have made it through our first week in beautiful Costa Rica! I can hardly believe it has only been one week, it seems like it was months ago that we got off the airplane and drove to our new home!
We have spent some time shopping this weekend and have made our house look more like a home. It feels more like ours now and we are getting used to the tiny little space. I told Tim that I can cope better with the tiny, run down part when it is cute. :)
This morning Gracie Lynn and I went to the local farmers market. They have one each Saturday. We got lots of fruit and veggies and had some fresh squeezed orange juice. I have decided it is a good idea to go shopping with cute blond headed kids when in Costa Rica. The vendors loved Gracie Lynn and gave her lots of free goodies along the way!
Tim and I got our class schedules and begin language school on Monday morning. We are ready to get started. The kids have had a great week at school. They have already made some friends and look forward to going each day. There are some other missionary kids on our street and they have been a HUGE blessing for the kids. They have really enjoyed hanging out and playing with them.
We are heading to church in the mountains tomorrow. San Jose sits in a valley and is surrounded by beautiful mountains. We heard about a church up there that has some fun kids programs going on so we are going to check it out. We plan to visit around several places before we settle in for the next year.
On a very exciting note we are being told that our internet will be installed this week. We are looking forward to being connected to the world again!

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Earthquake Alert!! AGAIN!!!!!!!

We were not sure if you would hear on the news about our earthquake today but just in case, we wanted you to know that all was well. Yes, you read that right, we had another quake today. This one was a 6.5 and to be honest it was pretty frightening! We got pretty nervous when the local people were stressing! Our phone service was out for awhile but other than that we did not have any damage. Let's pray that is the last movement of earth we feel for a while!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Earthquake Alert!!

Guess what! We experienced our first earthquake here in Costa Rica! We were sitting in an orientation session today when suddenly everything begin to shake and rumble. They told us that there are over 150 earthquakes per month here! Who knew?? Apperanlty you do not feel most of them but we sure felt the one today!
The week has continued to go well. Each day we are feeling more and more at home here. We all attend class on the same campus so each morning we walk to school together. There are little bakeries on most of the street corners so this morning, we stopped and bought a huge fresh cinnamon roll. Yummy! I can see how this could easily become a bad habit! The Tico's (that is what you call a Costa Rican) eat fresh bread with every meal so you just stop in and get your loaf. On the way home from school we got some fresh bread to go with dinner.
Today Tim, Eden and I got out of school a couple hours before the others so we headed off to check out the community. We managed to meet several shop owners who graciously helped us with our Spanish. The people here are SO NICE AND FRIENDLY! They are very gracious and love to just stand around with you and talk. Tim is in heaven. :) We also managed to order a snack and some fruit...all in Spanish. We are making progress a little bit at a time. We are anxious for our classes to start so we can pick up the pace.
I better wrap it up for comes an ice cream man on his bicycle. I bet the street will be filled with kids in a matter of seconds. :)

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Culture Shock

The last few days have been challenging but we are beginning to see a glimmer of light at the end of our culture shock tunnel. We have now been in the country for 4 days and each day we are feeling more and more settled. Our home is unpacked and we are slowly getting organized. The kids have done remarkably well and they are very excited about school tomorrow. They have orientation tomorrow and their actual classes start on Wednesday. Tim and I spent some time at their school today and met their teachers. I was SO IMPRESSED with the staff and their approach to this time of transition for our kids. I think they are going to be challenged academically and learn a lot about the culture. Eden's entire class will be in Spanish so that is an interesting twist. We will just have to wait and see how that goes. She has been very reserved and quiet the past few days which we expected with the change. Please say a little extra prayer for her. The older three will have English academic classes and Spanish in all of their electives like art, music and PE. Tim and I will be in orientation the rest of this week and our Spanish classes will begin on Monday.

Not that this will be a big shock to anyone but my husband has already managed to get on local TV. Tim and Noah went to the bull fight yesterday afternoon and today when we were out someone told him that they saw him cheering on the TV. Apparently they were filming at the bullfight. The bullfight is going to require an entire post in itself so I will tell Tim he needs to get that done.

Thank you to all of you have been praying for us each and every day. Keep those prayers coming! We still are not able to access the Internet from our home so I have not been able to return emails but I promise I am reading them and will look forward to being in touch soon. One of our neighbors let's us borrow their wireless but I have to sit on the street corner to access it. Not ideal for long lengths of time but I try to download email once a day.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

We made it!!!

We are here and alive. I am not sure we are much more than that at this point. :)

Our airport experience in Tallahassee was somewhat like a nightmare but we made it. Our flight was late but smooth. We got into San Jose with all of our luggage. Nothing short of a mircale I assure you. They took us to our home and we went to bed. At that point we were exhasuted and overwhelmed so rather than have total melt down, we slept. :) We got a great nights rest and are busy today trying to get settled.

Here are some of our initial thoughts of Costa Rica:

It is colorful here. The flowers and the building are all bright and beautiful.

750 square feet is small. Very small. :)

On the streets here they drive, ride bikes, walk, sell fruit and veggies. I mean all on the same street. A little crazy.

The weather is perfect.

They like fireworks a lot. At some point last night I awoke wondering if we were living in a war zone. The neighbors say this is the norm.

There are a million more things to tell you but I am on the neighbors computer so I am going to wrap up for now.

Oh by the way, a very nice man knocked on our gate this morning asking if we would like to buy some fresh chickens from the back of his car trunk. We passed. :)

Please continue to pray for us. We are hanging in there but feeling pretty overwhelmed which is normal I am sure. More soon.

Friday, January 2, 2009

It is a new year......

and we are starting it off with a bang! After spending two magical days at Disney and gathering all of our belongings we are off to Costa Rica! We have to be at the airport at 3:30 AM so we are pulling an all nighter. :)

We will not have Internet for a couple of weeks so that means that we will not have phone service either since our vonage phone runs through the computer. We will not have cell service in Costa Rica. We are hoping we can find an Internet cafe from time to time to update you and let you know we are safe.

Thank you for praying for us over the next few days as we arrive and try to get settled into our new home. We are all anxious, excited, scared, worn out and about every other emotion that you can name at this point. :)

Bon Voyage!

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