Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Angel Eyes

She was the first to call me "mommy," the first set of angel eyes that were mine.  She is growing up too fast.  It seems like just yesterday I was holding the tiniest 5 pounds and 5 ounces.  Eight years have transpired at lightening speed, and almost half of her time at home is gone (she can stay with me longer if she likes, but they all seem so ready to flee the nest).

John 16:21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

"Angel Eyes"

Thank you Lord for these "Angel Eyes."

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Difference

Through tear-filled eyes you hear the words, "Nobody wanted us."  Left at a young age, not the only child, but one of 4, and the oldest only 15 years old and the youngest 3 years old.  Their father left them years before for someone other than them and their mother.  Years later, their mother abandons them.  None of their family would take them in.  They had no one to care for them, no one to provide for them.

They were born into turmoil and extreme poverty.  A world where life was already very hard, and it just  got even harder.  When they became abandoned, their grandmother offered to take their older brother but none of the other siblings.  They went into government custody and remained there for four years until their mother decided to resurface.  They lived in a system with so many other orphans and abandoned children, where the common thought is, "I was not wanted.  I am not wanted.  I am not loved."

This is not a Costa Rica epidemic, it is a worldwide epidemic.  It is an epedemic of people not having the knowledge of what a true father is, and most of all who our heavenly father is.  It is an epedemic of people never learning what love is and how to love.  These children knew their father left them long ago, made another life for himself that excluded them from his heart and his life altogether, and the only thing they had left was their mother.  Left with nothing and in government custody, they call their father, begging for him to get them out.  He appeared for a few visits, but left them there.  Four years, these children were left in an orphanage, until their mother came back.  They left the orphanage and returned back to a place where there mother still couldn't provide and care for them.

These people are no different than you and I .  I was born in the United States of America.  I was born in a land where education is everyone's opportunity, where those who have nothing can obtain food stamps, women can feed their children with WIC, provide their children with free medical care, receive unemployment checks for a time until they can find a job, and so many more benefits that it is really just embarrassing when you think about the extreme suffering in the rest of the world.  I lived in a place where even if I couldn't find the job of my dreams to provide all the comforts and necessities to my family, I could have flipped burgers making minimum wage to provide them with food and shelter.   I could make minimum wage and obtain a higher salary than most people in the world and buy goods that are at a much lower price and more readily available than anywhere in the world.   I was born with parents who loved me, cared for me, and provided above and beyond what I ever needed.

The difference is millions of children in the world are born in a place where their life seems impossible to change.  They live in circumstances, that just aren't realistic to residents of the United States.  They live in places where they cannot continue their education enough to even read.  They live in a place, some with parents, some without, and they all think "no one wants me."

And the biggest difference is so many don't know God, they don't know Jesus, and they don't know His love.  How do you imagine a heavenly Father who is so awesome when all you have ever seen is the polar opposite of what God is?  And how will they ever know, if we do not "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation" Mark 16:15.  How will they ever know what LOVE is and that,  "God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" 1 John 4:16 if we are not teaching and being a light to the world?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What Do You Think?

Here is the new blog...that I think I originally said would be done by January.  Better late, than never.  If you are looking for a blog designer please check out AlwaysInBluhm.  Theresa was awesome to work with and so patient with me!!  Wonderful experience.

I now have navigation links at the top.  The most important one that I want you to know about is the Prayer Board.  I will update it every Sunday afternoon with current prayer requests.  If there is anything you would like to be added to it, please send me an email {I even have a fancy little button for that}.  There is nothing more wonderful than being a witness to the power of prayer.  I will keep it updated with answers too!!

Have a beautiful Lord's Day tomorrow!  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

From All of Us

We are so thankful to everyone who has supported us this past year and currently.  Without the help of many, the work here would not be where it is.  Your prayers and words of encouragement help carry us through the work here.  This is the Lord's work that has so many people involved to make it possible, for people here to be made aware of the Gospel and the opportunity to choose to obey the Gospel.

Each one of us in our family wanted to thank everyone for being a part of this work.  It is a family conversation so often of how thankful we are for the support that we have to be able to physically be here.  We are so thankful for the prayers that help us through the trying days and rejoice with us in the happiest days.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ran Out By Raccoons

While Mom and Dad were visiting us in December we took a couple days to drive around some, sight see, and a trip isn't complete to Costa Rica without a day at the beach.  We have tried to visit different beaches each time, kind of easy to do when there are so many.  So many people kept telling us that we had to visit Manuel Antonio.  So, David did a little map searching, we talked to some more people and it sounded great.

Manuel Antonio is a national park here in Costa Rica and is a tourist destination.  It is about 2 1/2 hours from where we live.  We were told to arrive there by 10 so that when we entered the park we could see the monkeys.  We managed to arrive on time and headed into the park.  Mind you, we have 4 kids, lunch, beach gear, and a 3 year old who wanted to be carried.  You hike through the park to get to the beach and throughout the hike you are supposed to be able to see lots of monkeys, sloths, bugs, raccoons, and probably a million different kinds of snakes if I had to guess.  It is a cleared path, but you are literally in the middle of the jungle where jungle meets beach and along the way a pond of saltwater crocodiles.

We made our way through the park and to the beach and didn't see but one baby sloth.  I would have never seen it if someone else had not pointed it out.  There were no monkeys eating or wandering around.  Huge bummer to the kids.  Logan was expecting to see another Vomit Inducing Monkey who ate his puke over and over.  So, yes, he was rather disappointed.  


With a view like this, who could be upset about no monkeys hanging from a tree.  I am pretty sure you can tell from the photos there weren't any huge disappointments.

{there was absolutely no shade at the this beach...
unless you were going to hang out with the 
families of raccoons}

She would rather play in the sand and haul water
to where she is playing than get in the water.

Starting the foundation of their 

Do I need any words for this?

{just wanted to throw a picture in of 
my handsome hubby}

The kids lasted about 4 minutes building the 
sandcastle.  This was as much of a masterpiece
as David and I could do.

People had mentioned that there were raccoons near the beach, but they failed to mention that they are very aggressive, persistent, and tons of them.  We made our way across the beach, staking out a spot to set up all the gear and make peanut butter sandwiches.  We saw people shooing raccoons away from their stuff, so we thought we would just get closer to the water, out in the beating sun, and slather sunscreen on constantly.  Well, that game plan didn't work.  David got the beach mat laid out, my hands are still full of things, Dad sets one bag down...and BINGO for the raccoon.  He is trying to get in the two bags that have been set down.  Well, he succeeded with the bag with our bread for lunch.  So, we had enough bread for the kids to have half sandwiches and I think a couple of adults had a few crumbs of bread with spoonfuls of peanut butter and jelly.  If that wasn't enough, they still kept trying to get in our things.  There were not just a few of them, there were families of them everywhere and into everyone's things.  They eventually ran us off the beach.


Funny thing is we left the beach, walked out of the park, sat in a flat bottom boat amongst crocodiles.  I literally sat in a boat that moved 2 feet, from one sandy area to another sandy area, so that I would not have to walk through "croc water," and I paid to do this.  I thought they were going to paddle me around to the road where I needed to get out, but nope, we just moved two feet and we were done...I had to walk the rest of the way hauling a 3 year old and beach gear.  I laugh now....I didn't then : ).  We all get loaded into the car and then see where we came out of the park there is a public beach (free, with exception of $2 parking) that looks great, close to the road for easy access and what do you know...we walked through the entire park and no monkeys only to see one walking around outside the park at the street!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Home Again

And yet I disappeared again.  I tell you time is something that I just do not have in excess these days.  After I am done schooling 3 kids and keeping a 3 year old entertained, I am fried at the end of the day...and the laundry doesn't hang and fold itself {where is the laundry fairy when you need her?}.

All of you who follow me I think know that we visited the states back in February and March.  The kids and I ended up leaving a week earlier that we had previously planned to help Brittany {my sister in law} with the kiddos while she got some much needed rest from being so sick.  So, that left me away from my hubby for 26 days.  Let's just say that my mental state was deteriorating greatly by day 10 from withdrawals....oh, how I love him so.  Let me just say he is most definitely my other half, and I am not complete without him {as it should be}.

The trip was great.  Lots of time with friends and family, although never enough.  I had lots to do on the agenda.  Lots of shoes to buy, clothes for David and I, and the list of "unfindables" here in Costa Rica.  The kids had a blast and were so happy to see everyone and relax without school for 6 weeks {I think I was more excited about the break than they were.  And they were elated}.  We had lots of Chick Fil A runs, Larry's Pizza, Whole Hog, and Mexican food {the really spicy, get a kick kind}.  I managed to even survive the trip into the land of endless food by losing a few pounds...SHOCK!  I think the trick was I stopped drinking sodas, diet and regular, all together.  That was wonderful, then we flew, landed in 90 degree weather, and well, my body is still adjusting back to the heat and is holding onto 5 pounds of water.  The kind of water that makes my toes look like sausage links.  You know I am not exaggerating when your husband says to you, "You know I think I am bloated and retaining fluid too."  Yeah, I laughed really loud and hard at that one.  You don't expect to hear those words out of a man's mouth.  But it is true.

While back in the states, David and I took advantage of sitters and sent a couple days in Little Rock with no kiddos.  Wonderful and too terribly short, especially since we had lots of shopping to get done. Takes a really long time to shop for shoes for 6 people...especially when you refuse to pay full price and have to go to tons of stores to find clearance in everyone's size.  Bingo though, I find some great deals.

And someone celebrated their 5th birthday while we were there.  Complete with the standard homemade breakfast donuts, Wendy's {his lunch choice} and turkey legs.  I think he enjoyed himself.  All the kids came home with all kinds of loot.  Their backpacks were full.  They had saved their birthday money and went toy shopping while we were there.

Lots of people kept saying to me that it would be hard for me to return back to Costa Rica and that we wouldn't want to come back.  All wrong.  While we thoroughly enjoyed our time back to our first home {and will always call it home}, we came back to our new home.  While saying goodbye to family and friends will never be easy, returning "home" was easier this time.  It was much easier this time knowing that we had a "home" waiting for us, people who were waiting for our return, and a life that is now our home.  While the conveniences of the states was very enjoyable, it was nice to get back to the "Pura Vida" lifestyle that is less chaotic.  While life with 4 kids is always chaotic, we are less chaotic here.  Life is laid back and structure and agendas are never followed.  You get used to this, and I can say that David and I were missing tranquility that life here and the journey we are on has brought us.  We love it!

I will try my best to keep this more up to date and bring you into the life here in Costa Rica.  

We returned home to the van starting sometimes and sometimes not.  Thankfully it went to the shop for a few days and after fixing multiple things {I think we have just about rebuilt it since we bought it.  All that is left is transmission and engine I do believe....} it is in working order.  Jorge, brother from church, informed us Thursday afternoon that he received a letter from his employer stating that he was going to be laid off.  He was lowest on seniority and they let 2 shifts go because of budget and decreased work load at this time of year.  David is planning to take him Tuesday to look for more work.  Please remember him and your family in your prayers as he begins the job hunt again.  He was previously not working for 6 months of the past year due to a knee injury and necessary surgery.  When he returned back to his job he was no longer in the same position that he had left and the job become very hard on him.  He then looked for another job, received one, and was only there a few months, and then received this letter this week.  This is a huge burden for him to find a job.  He needs our prayers for peace and God's plan during this time.  

All that said, we are home again!  And it feels like home more and more everyday {helps that I brought a few things that I kept from the attic for my walls and mom made me some curtains}.