Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Elliot's 4th B-Day!

I must have done a really awesome job with the Rainbow theme for her 3rd birthday, because this year Elliot wanted a rainbow theme again.  That, or she was so sick with Hand Foot Mouth the year before, that she thought to really enjoy the skittle cluttered cake she would need another go.  There were no skittles to be found for the cake, but I got creative and she still had a rainbow.  We filled the gym room with tons of balloons and had pizza and lots of rainbow fruit.  It was just what she wanted.  Did I mention we planned it the day before?  Glad I have friends that like spontanaity!  Happy 4 my big girl Elliot!

Monday, October 1, 2012


I feel like Tom and I have worked really hard since we arrived in Costa Rica. We have put in more than three years doing 'whatever it takes' to make our life here. Sometimes things have been pretty rough and sometimes life's been a beach. So much has lined up for us now; Tom has a dream job, I have a gym in the house, the kids are finally at La Paz, we live in a great neighborhood in a " big girl" house. So, it's interesting that as I enjoy these life events and comforts I also face some of my greatest personal challenges. On this particular day I was feeling like a bit of a hopeless mess. At dinner Tom looked up and pointed at one of the most beautiful and pronounced rainbows I have seen in a long time. We snapped photos of the image but a camera cannot capture the more impressive feeling it left in my mind and heart. I'm sure a lot of God's children needed to see the rainbow that day, and I was one of them. I felt a warmth of love and hope as I recalled my Bishop from back in my college days reminding me that after the storms of life come our personal rainbows. It has become one of my life's major slogans. In many ways Tom and I are experiencing great satisfaction for all of our previous efforts, but for the matters that were pressing on my heart the rainbow gave me a renewed strength and determination. I feel very grateful that my God writes these little messages of love on the canvas of life he created for me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Day of School at La Paz

Elliot's first day of preschool! Brody heading to Mr. Dodges 4th grade class and Brooklyn heading into 2nd with Geneva and Sara team teaching. First day they focused on Peace Practices, get to know you, and schedules.

Elliot was so nervous when we walked in and some of the preschoolers were crying. She was like, " what is this place where all the kids are crying?". She wanted to be with the big kids who seemed much happier to be there! As soon as she found Ayla she was fine. They held hands and looked on like dear in headlights, it was quite the sight!
Brooklyn was greeted by her close friends and felt really happy. She said the best part so far was the dry wick athletic uniforms were so comfortable!
Brody was excited to start class with mr. Dodge, supposedly the world's best teacher. He has to make all new friends, but the task doesn't seem to phase him.
When we came home Elliot passed out in dead man's pose on her bed. She never naps , but it was quite a day!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

7th House the Charm!

" I felt like this day would never come," and "it doesn't feel real!" are just a couple of phrases I heard in my house this week. We moved into a neighborhood we have wanted to be in for a year or two now. Surrounded by friends, great location to beach/La Paz Community School/ stores, paved road for bike riding, and really safe. This morning when I walked my dogs I even saw dogs on leashes!!! Our pool is huge, and the very best part; I get to put an indoor gym into the remodeled garage! Lots of excitement around these parts. The move came just in time for the start of the new school year. Surrounded by our friends, the school, the beach, feeling like the 7th might be a charm.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Great Mother's Day!

One of the benefits of being an American mother living in Costa Rica is we get to celebrate Mother's Day twice a year. Mother's day in Costa Rica and throughout central America is August 15th. The first few years we lived here Tom didn't really catch on, ya know, we always thought it might be our last year here and two holidays for moms isn't really over doing it. In order to be excessive with this matter one would have to demand a day of appreciation once a week. But this year when the American Mother's day rolled around Tom said,"We live in Costa Rica and we will celebrate the Costa Rican Mother's day." He thought he was off the hook, until yesterday !! It was funny because when I brought it up he tried to tell me we only celebrate the American holiday, I almost got ripped off! In the end he came through , and I think it was one of my favorite Mother's days ever!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Oreo Loves the Beach

I don't normally take Oreo with me to the beach, it's just too much to handle with the kids, the stray dog gangs, and the occasional wedding. This week, since Owen is in town and I had the extra hands, we took him along. It was tons of fund to ride our bikes up and down the hard packed wet sand and have Oreo chase us. At one point he just stared very royally out to the sea, with his tongue hanging into the breeze like a dog with it's head out the car window. Reflecting on the times when the beach was an expensive adventure and not just jaunt down the street . So grateful !

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rainy Days of Summer

Our summer vacation feels a little backward here.  When the traveling is over, we flee indoors to rest and listen to the rain.  It's dark by 6pm (as usual) but it feels even darker when we skype our family back in Utah at 9pm and they are all still out on the trampoline!  Of course, we get to do the "nanny nanny boo boo" in December when we spend our Christmas vacation sailing and picnicking sea side.

One plus side to the rainy season is our rainy day walks.  We need something to break up the long days when we our out of school and most of our friends are out of town.  Nothing like puddles and a red umbrella to brighten the mood!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Random but Good

Elliot has paid enough attention when others write her name that she knew there was an e and an o in it. She also got pretty good at drawing . Besides our attempt at a Waldorf preschool that went awry, she has had no preschool. She is such a clever funny girl!!!

Our favorite place to go when we're bored is Bahia del Sol. We always get a smoothie and swim. Even if it's just for an hour or two, it's a nice quick walk over and a way to break up these long summer days.

Elliot and Brooklyn climbed into bed with me and fell back asleep this morning. They are very, very close sleepers! As far as sleeping with them goes, it nears torture, but when you put the two of them together thy are cozy and cute!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Shoes on the Go

If you need a pair of shoes, just honk . Faster than Zappos! Always something fun to see around here...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Different Kind of Panache

Our friend James A. Berry wrote this hilarious e-mail to us last night after we enjoyed and evening with them:

So...Brooklyn and I went through Reid's entire wardrobe looking for an acceptable pj ensemble for Ellie. Most were received with a 'talk to the hand' wave off. (insane amount of panache BTW) Others with a 'are you kidding?' look. Finally Brooklyn was able to convince her sister that THIS wonderful combo was where it is at! And why you must wonder? Because it matched...

Matching outfit...Pretty much the last thing I was thinking would be the tipping point.

Good times tonight Burtons...we must roast wieners again together sometime.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Panache

This Wednesday we had some random holiday that proceeds Easter in such an awkward spot. What can you do with a free day in the middle of the week? Can't go on a weekend trip, can't even go on a long day trip, because there is still school on Thursday and who wants kids completely wiped out? No where to shop, no movies to go to. Of course there is ALWAYS the beach, or a local beach club, but the kids weren't feeling it. We did the beach every day for the entire previous week. We could clean? No, we did enough of that yucky stuff the week of Easter when Reyna was off. "Well", I sat around thinking, "what to do, what to do?" I called my good friend Alex to see what she was up to. She announced they were going out on The Panache, a great catamaran that leaves out of the harbor 3 minutes from my house. I called and they had the extra space. Wahooooo! I can't think of a better way to spend a Wednesday, plus kids sail free!

Just Relaxing as we set off out of the harbor.

Our good friends Jon and Alex who had the great idea!
They have 3 girls all of whom are adored by my children. We have known these guys for less than a year, but it feels like we've known them for ages. Lovin' us some Zepedas!

Then we found the perfect spot for a little dip. Alex loves the water as much as I love the sun. If there is water around, she'll be in it!

We all did a little snorkeling and swam.

Arms up!

Then we dried off and ate some yummy fajitas and bottomless glasses of Fresca!

Sun starts to set as we sail towards home.

The trampoline up front doubles as a great spot for the kids to rough house. Tom came up with some pretty 'safe' games. (In my opinion tripping and boats don't really go together...)

The sun had set but the cloud was reflecting the colors and the light from the sun. I wish I had something better than the Olympus Stylus to capture the moment. It'll have to go on my Christmas wish list. (hint, hint Tom)

The Zepedas all call Elliot a blueberry, because she loves wearing blue and purple and she's just so round and delicious!

Heading in for shore. What a wonderful Wednesday!