Monday, July 27, 2009

Friends for Dinner

Our Little Church Building

Our Friends - William and Kenya

We are enjoying making friends here in Costa Rica. We invited William and Kenya over for dinner on Sunday, and they graciously accepted our invitation. We had a lovely time. Most conversation was in Spanish, but Kenya speaks English fluently and so we were also able to enjoy conversation. They love to work out, and so Kenya had lots of questions about form and what exercises were best for her. Tom went and worked out with them this morning, so soon he will be as buff as William :)
I am studying very hard, every day. I make more progress with my Spanish on Sundays than any other day. Yo estudio para dos horas todos los dias. Yo aprendo mucho! Yo necesito practicar mas. Manana! Hasta Luego mi amigos y amigas :)

First Day of School - EDUCARTE

Uniforms - they tried to make them uni-sex, but ????

Brooklyn's class combined with another class for 30 min. of English Lessons

Educarte Campus

First Day of School! Uniforms, a swimming pool, an outdoor lunchroom, and Spanish are just a few of the many things my children will experience at Educarte, a primary private school here in Costa Rica. Although Brody’s shorts are something from the Stockton to Malone early days, we are glad to be saving time on laundry. Hopefully his legs will get a little, much needed, sunshine. Children from all over the world, attend here. Italy, Argentina, Germany, U.S., Costa Rica, Venezuela, and France, are just a few of the many countries represented. Classes are taught in half Spanish and half English, and most children can understand Spanish entirely within 3 months of attending. I am so excited for Brody and Brooklyn, and secretly wish I could sit in on all of their classes! Swimming lessons are part of the curriculum and take place every Monday. SWEET! Supplies are a little scant, nothing like what we have access to here in the states. My mom would be delighted with all the wall space and empty shelves! When Bob and Debbie come to visit, we will be needing them to bring a suitcase full of supplies for the new first grade teacher…. When we came down here for Tom to work on his Master’s Degree, we were counting on a lot of volunteer experience, and just praying he could find a job. Well, Educarte is not only the new home for our children, but it is also Tom’s new place of employment!!! They have hired him to teach 1st grade English. :) Last night, when he was preparing for his lesson, we were doing a run through on the corn starch experiment. (If you have never done it you are in for quite a treat! Just put 2 cups corn starch with 1 cup water, mix and play! It is a really neat experiment.) He was a joyful kid, and I knew that my oldschool hubby was back, just like our college days. Days filled with learning and fun, and hard work, (if you were around for the UPS era you know what I mean,) when he was most happy and energetic and made a room light up. From experience some of us may question Tom's abillity to teach - Lindsay with snowboarding, and me with Spanish - rest assured his impatience is limited to the two of us. :) He was born to teach, and his enthusiasm has a real effect on people. One of the owners and director of the school said to me, “I knew I wanted him to work here right when I met him!” I am so happy that he gets the opportunity to do what makes him happy. We are truly blessed. As for me, 7:30 am to 2:00 pm with an empty house? I have Elle all to myself, and although she might miss the noisy mornings, I am really looking forward to having quiet time to focus on our business back at home. There is a lot to do, and this will be the first time EVER that I will have silence when I sit down at the computer or take a business phone call. Hooray! Not to mention, I’m sure I will make it out to the pool for a little R & R :) I also got a job at the gym, teaching spinning and beginning Yoga. One of the teachers is leaving October 1st, and my timing could not have been better. I will start when she leaves. Instructors make $10/hour, which is still more than my hubby makes, so I will have to get some P.T. clients to make ends really meet. We are all praying for a successful fall at HAF.
Overall, I know that God is directing our path here, just as He did at home. I see His hand in all things, and I hope that we can repay our debt by serving others. There is a lot of opportunity down here, and I hope we can make some sort of a positive difference. Thanks for all the support back home, we miss you and we couldn’t have done it without you! Happy 24th y'all!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Catarata (Waterfall)

This is the first of many waterfalls we plan to visit in Costa Rica. If you are planning to visit us, you will definately enjoy the experience of swimming under this waterfall. It is beautiful, free, close, has an easy approach, and has an awesome sandy could spend the whole day here! We can't wait to share it with all of you :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Playa Grande, is the beach directly to the North of Tamarindo. It has a bigger wave than Tamarindo, so naturally Tom had to get on it. It was a wonderful beach for the kids to play on. They ran up and down the beach collecting sea shells, and only stopped to eat muffins and apples. Elle takes naps quite nicely on the beach with the soothing sounds of the ocean. Tom and I both thought we got stung by Jelly Fish, but they were actually tiny bites of the Sea Lice. Invisible little buggers that bite you, it burns like the dickens, but fades quickly. A small sacrifice to enjoy the natural beauties of this Country!






Saturday, July 11, 2009


Tom went to the San Jose, Costa Rica Temple this morning with 16 other members of the Santa Cruz Branch. They met at the Santa Cruz Meetinghouse at 4am, which meant that Tom had to leave our home at 3am! That is some dedication for you. Next time I complain about having to go to an early meeting, well....'early' has a new meaning for me now. The people here are pretty awesome, and Tom seems to be feeling right at home in the mission field. In the two weeks we've been here he's attended the Temple, offered to go on splits and volunteered to teach English classes with the missionairies, not to mention we showed up for church when the ocean was calling :) I think he is trying to get called to the available position of Branch President! All joking aside, it is a unique experience to live somewhere where just getting to church requires a sacrafice on the part of the members. I will try not to take it for granted any more.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I was leaving the room with Elle and said out loud, "I think it's time to get ready for night-night," and Elle said, "Goodnight" and waved enthusiastically. The kids and I were very taken aback, and made her do it about 100 times before we got out the camera. This was about 1/2 the enthusiasm that she put into the first couple of "goodnights," but still a good show. We have been doing it since she was born, as my parents can verify, but didn't really realize she was taking it all in! :)

Rain "Showers"

We left for a nice afternoon walk in moderate sunshine, stopped to get a picture by the monkey trees, had a lovely drink of coconut milk and mango/strawberry smoothie, and then headed for home. We got caught in a big rain "shower", truly....if I had only had my shampoo and conditioner!

Brody - Mr. Outgoing

Brody makes friends with everyone in two seconds flat, language barrier no problem. Got to love Mr. Outgoing :)


We love to enjoy the treats of Costa Rica. Coconut water and smoothies being our favorite so far!

Sunday Church

I will post pics next week of our cute, little church, but today I forgot my camera. Our tiny building had only 4 parking spaces, and when we pulled up late (because it was nearly an hour drive), the chapel doors were open, so EVERYONE could see us piling out of the car. We had to walk through chapel where Sunday School was going to get our kids to "primary". Their Jr. Primary officially doubling in size with our appearance. Brody looked up at me through watery eyes and said, "mom this can't be my class!" I sat with them for a few moments while they listened to their lesson in Spanish, but when the teacher got out the leggos, my kids hit the floor with the other two children to communicate in the univeral language of "play time." Brody doesn't get the privledge of leggos in our ward at home, teachers have far to many resources to let the 7 year olds play during class time. Tom and I then joined the Sunday school class where they were discussing how to stay active and committed to the gospel. They currently have no branch President, and so the Missionairies are busy filling in those shoes. The ward has approximately 500 hundred members, but only 40 or so are active...including the primary! We then split up for Preisthood and Relief Society, the men and young men going outside and the Relief Society meeting once again in the chapel. Every time there is a new meeting, we all picked up our chairs and kind of switched directions to mix things up a little. There were 4 other member women in relief society, including the teacher. Plus there was myself and another visitor, so 6 of us in total. I of course only understood a little, but I did understand the topic of 'testimony' that we were discussing. I was greatful they asked me to get up and share mine. The primary all combined for the second half so that they would have some voices for music time. I could hear there spanish voices throughout my class, wondering how Brody and Brooklyn were enjoying the experience. It was difficult for any of us to sing on key, seeing as there was no piano, but there was a tape player they used to sing along to during sacrament. It was so meek, and the people were soooo humble, not even knowing what they are missing. I was reflecting on the huge ammont of people, our soft seats and bright lighting, our organ AND pianos, the Bishop's office, and classrooms, and parking lot.....Tom was LOVING it! He signed up for ward Temple day on Saturday, (meaning he will leave our house at 3am to be at the church by 4am, the time they leave for the Temple), and offered to go on splits with missionaries. I was out of my comfort zone for sure and it was wonderful! It was a little scary, and lonely, and I couldn't understand, but everyone was absolutely amazing and lovely with kisses and handshakes and smiles. The Lord's spirit was prescent and the people were etified by it, including myself. Can't wait to go back next week!!!!!

Brush with Death

Elle's stroller went for a ride the other day, the driver was Brooklyn....and she doesn't have a license to drive! Off the steps, over the 5 ft. ledge and onto her face she went. She was buckled in which saved her life, and angels were watching over her moderately safe landing, compared to what could have been. A bloody, fat lip is all she ended up with...and a mother half scared out of her mind!

Friday, July 3, 2009

First Beach Day

Here is a play by play of Elle's introduction to sand.....

I thought she would just have a mouthful and decide it was awful, but she enjoyed it so much she just kept trying to eat it. Maybe she will discover a new kind of cleanse....