Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tidbits of Randomness

Our first full day at this house Olivia said, "If it were modest, I would take my clothes off because I am so hot."

Leia did just that...naked Jay Bird in her undies.

When we were at Myra's Sunday, Carson was running around talking to everyone and then finally looked at me with his crooked smile and said, "I keep talking to everyone but no one will answer me."  I kept telling him they didn't understand anything he was saying because they speak Spanish.

The kids were fascinated with the "soapy" water running down the sides of the streets.  We have had to really explain, "DO NOT SPLASH" in any water you see in town!!!! I will let you read between the lines on this one ; )


We have this one particular taxi driver who is an independent driver and is cheaper than the red taxis around town.  So, we have been calling him when we need a ride.  One of the windows in the back is missing the handle to roll it down.  Today we called him to pick us up in Price Smart (Same as Sam's) and on the way back to the house the driver picks up the handle out of his console and asks David if Olivia would like to roll down the window.  She was ecstatic to have the wind blowing in.  Her face was priceless.

I don't know if you can classify this as funny or not...Taxi drivers are Kamikaze car pilots.

Funny when you are the not the only one who thinks Costa Rican cheese is rancid.  Just know that if you visit, your visit will not be complete without Costa Rican Queso!  While in Price Smart another couple, I think they were Canadian or American, is on the aisle with the cheese,
Man states, "Look there is some cheddar cheese."
Woman states, "You better make sure that is imported cheese.  Look to see where it is made."
I must have giggled out loud because the lady smiled at me and said, "You don't want cheese that is made here."  My reply, "Oh I know. I have had the experience."

Leia loves apples.  She must have been so hungry this afternoon because she ate the entire apple, including the core...only thing left were the seeds on the floor...sigh.

Very strange teaching your children that they no longer flush their toilet paper, they throw it in the trash can beside the toilet....yep, you don't flush toilet paper here or you will clog up the system.  All sewage goes to the rivers, so don't get in the water unless you are upstream.

Toilet paper is scented here....for a good reason.

I think on Mondays I will do a Missing Monday.  Since I didn't do it this Monday, I will add it in here today.  I can't decide if I miss a car or A/C more.  I will let you know later when I decide.  It is quite an event to go anywhere with 4 children using public transportation.  It took most of the day to go to Price Smart.

I am pretty sure the kids and I did the happy dance a few times in Price Smart.  We were so excited to see American items there.  They have Miracle Whip!!!!!!!!  Mom, they have tons of Hellman's mayo, and I thought I was going to be forced to convert.  But it is not so, I bought some Miracle Whip today.

The picture says it all!!  We bought a fan!!
Sad that it cost twice as much here as home,
but worth every penny!

We get to have turkey sandwiches tonight.  Everyone is super excited about this, because the "lunch meat" we had seen thus far was very much mystery looking bologna meat, but we found American lunch meat at price Smart and it wasn't through the roof expensive.  And we have miracle whip to go with!!  And American Cheddar cheese...that one was a splurge.
Here are some pictures of our hodge podge supper last night.  We all had something different.  

The opinion of his meal is pretty clear.

To walk out to a view like this every morning is a once in a lifetime experience.  The beauty of this country and the kindness of the people is just breathtaking.  God made an amazing artful masterpiece here.  Pictures cannot even begin to captivate the magnificent beauty.  

Who would have ever thought I would be texting to someone in Spanish?  Myra was texting me last night in Spanish and I had to reply in Spanish.  Good practice.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blessed Day

David arranged a Lord's Day service time with Myra over the phone Friday afternoon and it was scheduled for 1:00pm in the afternoon.  Bus routes and taxis were figured out and we headed out Sunday morning to Atenas from the house we are staying.

Note:  We were all clean and smelled good before we left.  
I can't say the same of our return home....poor taxi driver.

 We went to Kay's (a Gringo eatery and hangout) for breakfast.  Yes, we feasted big.  Told the kids to eat lots because we didn't know what the rest of the day would hold and there is no where to get anything to eat out where Myra lives other than a little store with chips and a few other junk food items.  We have been going to Kay's a couple times each time we have visited the last couple years.  It is the closest American fix, both socially and cuisine wise.  You can order food in English and converse in English, a plus when your brain is tired from computing another language.  Although, only a few days here with my kids and I am automatically wanting to holler Spanish commands, such as, "Vamos...Vienne Aqui...Alto!"  I'll let you figure those out if you don't recognize those.  A must with my kiddos.  Olivia has already picked up those phrases.
We weren't at Kay's ten minutes and our kids had already acquired fast friends.  We ate, they played, they read books, and just simply had good old fashioned leisurely chats.

 Mrs. Eroca reading books to the kids.
Kay's has books that you can check out and take home.

Mr. Marc and Leia discussing the characters in
the novel she chose : )

From Kay's we headed into town on foot to the bus stop.  By the way, Leia always has to go to the bathroom at the most inopportune times in the worse possible places : )  We were not expecting to run into Myra, but she was at the bus stop waiting to head back home.  During our wait for the bus to arrive the kids enjoyed some grape soda.

 Isn't he a gentleman sharing his soda...

Olivia is aspiring to be a photographer...not too bad.

This was the kids first bus ride.  A nice lady on the bus gave them a bag of cheetos (not "Cheetos," but the Latino version...I can't describe the smell.  Let's just say David and I passed and happily let the kids have them).  As you can tell from the pictures below Leia is soaking wet to the bone, with SWEAT.  She was tired and passed out.  The bumpy and hot ride lulled her right to sleep.

Picture says it all, "HOT!"

When we got off the bus in Altos de Naranjo Daddy treated the kids to a cold sweet treat.  I know, don't judge me I am filling my kids with lots of sweets, but you got to do what you gotta do sometimes ; )  I normally do not allow this many sweets, I promise.

He was instructed to at least not drip it
on his shoes....at least he is trying.

We made it down the mountain to Myra's, it feels like a mountain when you are hauling a load.  This time I packed in my 2 1/2 year child with a daypack instead of my 25lb backpacking pack.  The pack is much lighter than child and daypack.  She has going to have to work on her stamina and work those little legs.  "Ahhhh...." is what we all said when we arrived in Altos de Naranjo, we are now united with close friends and much cooler temps with a breeze.  

Visiting before services.  
From left: Soveyda (not sure of spelling), Eric (her husband), 
David, Sochi, Myra, Deiybe

We visited for a bit and then started the service.  Logan and Carson were a little shy with the Spanish singing service, but Leia and Olivia chimed right in.  Myra's family expressed the desire to learn more church songs.  We look forward to that.  David found a great place online that has videos of Spanish church songs, and they are pretty awesome and will be a great tool for us as well to learn more songs.  

After the service the kids played for a couple hours.  They kept telling us how much fun they were having and asking when were they going to get to go back to Myra's house and play.  I am sure anytime David is headed that direction at least one of the kids will go with him for a playdate with the others.  It was such a joy for David and I to see our children enjoy playing with Myra's children.  They have been such troopers the past few days and this was just so good for them to be able to run and play with others.  

From Left:  Erica (Eric and Solveda's daughter, 
Carson, Leia, Logan, Olivia, & Sochi)

Leia is already working her magic.  Solveda did not want her to leave.  She sat with her all during the service.  She has made friends with everyone she smiles at (we knew she would).  

Logan was so happy to play ball!!

Don't they look like they could be sisters??
Erica is 3.  

She was getting all kinds of goodies.

The last bus on Sunday out of Altos is at 1:30, so we called a taxi to come take us back to Atenas.  While we were waiting in the street we met a very sweet couple, Carlos and Eida, who are expecting their first child.  They said they wanted to invite us to their home for a meal sometime soon, so we exchanged contact info and will wait for the invitation.  We have had Bible studies with her parents on previous trips.

Who needs carseats when you are packed in 
like sardines??
I normally sit in the back with the 4 kiddos,
but my husband graciously let me sit in the 
front since I had a light colored dress on and the kids 
legs and feet are caked with red mud.

I normally will not make posts this long or everyday, but I don't have as much to do right now since I can't do laundry, cook much but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and aren't unpacking yet.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012


It is definitely going to take us some time to acclimate to our new environment.  The house we are staying in is at a much lower elevation than where we are normally at when we have traveled to Costa Rica.  Even though it is only about 15 minutes from where we are normally are, it is a huge difference.  Add that in with peeps who are used to air conditioning and that = CRANKINESS.  I will say, it is 2:00pm here and we are on the downhill slide now.  There is a wonderful breeze coming through since it started raining about 45 minutes ago, and it is WONDERFUL!!!  One of the 2 houses we looked at yesterday is at a much higher elevation and was designed with no air conditioning in mind; still waiting to hear from the realtor.

So hot she was just in her undies : )

Our only supply of toys...but they are making it.

When it was so hot this morning I got the laptop out with the bright idea they could watch pbskids.org or stream something from Hulu, well not so.  Since our IP address has changed on our laptops we pretty much can't stream anything.  They have been having to take turns with the Ipad and the 5 toys that we have, well that and chasing iguanas.  

The kids have been chasing 3 iguanas.

Mammaw you would be proud of her singing.  
We tried to catch it on video, but she stopped when 
she saw us.  She was singing at the top of her lungs.

He is concentrating very hard.  Not a 
complaint from him at all today.

After lunch Leia was begging for a bath.  She was so hot I just gave her a cool bath, and she just kept smiling and saying, "Ahhhhhhhh."  Silly girl refused to put clothes on after her bath and just kept telling me, "Diaper, no clothes for nap."  Little stinker is sprawled out in her diaper on top of the covers snoozing.

This evening we are going to walk down the road to the little store and see if we can't get some sweet cold sodas for the kids.  Even with the crankiness today they are being troopers.  Have to remind myself they are only 7, 5, 4, & 2.  

David working on his lesson for tomorrow in his 
Costa Rican office.  He has a beautiful view in front of him.

David spoke with Myra, who we normally stay with when we are here, and we are to have services at her house at 1:00 tomorrow.  We will take a taxi into Atenas, then a bus to Altos de Naranjo.  The last bus from Altos leaves at 1:30, so we will take a taxi back from her house back to where we are staying.  It has been almost 3 months since they have had someone here with them.  They are very excited.  Can't wait for the kids to get to play and meet again.    

Too hot for makeup and hair fixing.  Just as we are : )


Friday, June 22, 2012

All In A Day

Well we are a little worn from travel.  If you have been following me on facebook then you know our travel day yesterday was quite eventful.  But, oh so thankful that we made it safely.  And all 14 pieces of luggage made it too!!!!!!!  I mean it wouldn't be an adventure without a story.  Long story put short, our dog did not get to come with us despite all the appropriate paperwork that had been completed and we had 2 carry on suitcases that a lady made us check pushing our checked baggage to over the limit by 2 pieces.  That cost a whopping $300 for those pieces.  If I hadn't dissolved into a bucket full of tears at this point maybe I could have coherently told her that I saw several other passengers for that same flight with the exact same piece of carry-on luggage.  Oh well, what do you do?

1st day in Costa Rica

We headed out this morning to Kay's, a wonderful restaurant for Gringos.  She makes some amazing biscuits and sausage gravy.  Olivia and Logan remember eating there last year and were looking so forward to it (especially since we didn't have supper last night).  By the time we got through customs and got our baggage last night and made it into Atenas it was after 9:00 and everything was closed.  No Kay's this morning.  She was there but no cooking because they were replacing something in her kitchen.  So, plan B, our next favorite breakfast place in Atenas.  Fueled the kids up with good food.

Olivia and I headed to the bank while David and the other three kids headed to the park.  Can I say Olivia and I got the better end of the deal, well at least we think so.  We didn't mind the 45 minute wait to exchange money because there was air conditioning.  Yes, I admit, I am spoiled and really enjoy the air conditioning.

Next order of business was getting me a cell phone that works in Costa Rica.  We have had one for a while and just recharge minutes on it.  It is a process here to get a cell phone.  You buy it at one place and go to another place to purchase minutes.  We now have two working cell phones.  Yay!

Can I just say my kids have been fabulous and such troopers.  So, reward was ice cream!!!!  Funny how both Olivia and Logan knew exactly where the ice cream place was geographically located in this town.  They both remembered from there trip here last summer.

The house that we rented is out much farther than we thought.  There are no buses that come out this far and a taxi ride into town and back is $12.  Since David will most likely be traveling everyday we need to find something that is much closer to town.  So, next on the list today was searching for somewhere else to live.  We knew we were going to be doing this anyways just thought it would be next week before we started looking.  We looked at the only 2 houses that are available.  Realtor is negotiating with the owner and will hopefully let us know something tomorrow.  

Made a quick grocery stop to get us through tomorrow and then headed back to the house.  The kids' little legs were so tired from all the walking all over town.  They were just plum worn out.  They were so tired they couldn't hardly hold their heads up when we Skyped with grandparents.

Please continue to pray for us and our children.  They are all going through so many changes in their little lives that they just don't know what to think.  We have moved them away from everything they have ever known, walked their little legs off and they looked like this by 7:30.