Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Funday

You know you're getting used to Costa Rican earthquakes when you hear things going bump in the night and assume it's the cat/giant rat (you choose, since it's still unknown and my sanity hinges on it being a cat) in the kitchen.

(Did I tell you about the apple pie remnants and bread crumbs that were discovered with accompanying giant holes in the food stuffs' protective wrapping? Oh and how about the guard dog, aka Lucy the Shih Tzu *cough, cough* who slept through two nights of invasion by whatever LARGE animal made those holes?)

But wait, the kitchen window had been closed, so the darn menace must now be bouncing off the window pane instead of sleuthing through the unscreened window.

You sleepily urge your now-roused husband to use his bedside piece of bamboo to go do his manly duty, which of course has to do with defending the home-front with said bamboo. You hear the unlocking and unfastening of every lock and slide on your well-barricaded back door, and then silence...

Brave husband returns, having found nothing, and chalking it up to "the big one that got away". Husband snuggles back into bed, only to hear a similar ruckus, this time with something falling into the kitchen sink.

Repeat process, including the bajillion unlocking and unfastenings, and again hubby comes up empty handed.

The next morning you receive the following email from your husband and feel a bit like your children may be in harm's way:
"By the way that was an earthquake last night at 2:30pm...not a cat running
into the window like we thought. :-)"
I mean, other parents actually woke their sleeping child to evacuate their home. Zack heard as much in the office this morning. Us, we were busy defending the house from "invaders" while our home's foundation was being shaken. If that's not bad enough, further evidence from an 11-year-old confirms your doubtful suspicions regarding your children's well-being, "Oh yeah mom, I remember waking up and my bunk bed was swaying back and forth".

Heh, they say, all's well that ends well?

And I'll keep you posted on the nighttime kitchen sleuth. That should be another fun tale!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I find myself sitting outside at Lighthouse Acadamy, a private Christian school in Guachipelin, where the kids, despite being homeschooled, have been welcomed into the after school clubs. In the field below me I can see Brody and Ashlyn giving their all in a game of baseball In the room down the hall to my right sits Garrett, in the chess club. Immediately before me is the basketball club, with balls dribbling and drills occurring at regular intervals.

And I just realized.

I just realized that I am the only Gringa sitting here. Around me, are only beautifully-locked heads of black and dark brown. Around me is skin much darker than mine. Around me I hear nothing but Spanish. And...I don't feel an iota uncomfortable!

I pray the same for Garrett, Brody, and Ashlyn. These kinds of setting can be intimidating, honestly. It is, however, in these very settings that we have the opportunity to experience the fact that His grace is enough. When we feel like the minority, when the Spanish becomes overwhelming, when we realize that we're "out of our element", it is His grace that whispers, "Trust me, you're right where I have you and there's no better place to be"!

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oh, the Paradox!

Yep, i feel as though this sunset photo (taken from our backyard) sums up our life here in Costa Rica:

I give you "Beauty and Razor Wire",

And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Stuff that Childhood is Made of

Rainy season dugout bamboo canoe races!

YouTube Video

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

A gift of the unusual type

Have we told you about our new neighbors?

Have we mentioned the way they've opened their arms to us though we are some of the very few non-family members on our block? Have we told you how Gabi and her husband walk with us as we exercise, patiently talking with us in their native tongues, truly giving us a glimpse into their hearts and lives? How about how Raul graciously weed-whacked our entire yard so that Zack didn't have to continue tediously chopping away at the edging with his machete?

Then today, a neighbor brought us a truly Tico gift we'd never received and may never receive again: Guaba.

Want to know how it tastes? Come and visit and we'll treat you to a taste first-hand. Till then check out this link for some very interesting insight into this highly unusual fruit:

And till you taste the guaba in person, know that the only thing sweeter than the fruit, itself, is the feeling of being welcomed into the culture of our new home!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On Being Called to Motherhood

It's not always pretty, in fact often times it's not.
I'll never gain fame or fortune.
A lot of days I fall into bed exhausted.
The words "instant results" are not a part of my vocabulary.
There are still days I don't shower.
Fear and worry have been known to take up residence in my heart.
And yet, the blessings are numerous.
I'd choose to do it all over again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's the simple things

I'm so, very thankful for those moments when my life is focused to a pin point and I can see with clarity those things that are of true value. Today I had one such moment. It was simple. And was it ever beautiful!

Brody and Ashlyn were sharing a snack and conversation on the patio of our new-to-us house in Atenas. The sunlight had that filmy, dream-like quality in which is etched memories of childhood summers. And then Brody's still-boyish, yet too-close-to-manhood-for-this-momma, voice could be heard saying to Ashlyn,

"Mom should open a restaurant. Mmmmmmmm. This is why dad married a Wyoming Woman!"

And the "this" that garnered such praise? T'was nothing other than popcorn.

What a gift, this thing called motherhood. Oh to be so highly esteemed in my son's eyes! Thank you, Lord, for the simply beautiful!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Playing in the gutter: Sanitary?

That's questionable.

Playing in the gutter: Worth it?


You can imagine that in a country where going shoe-less is believed to cause sickness, our kids caused quite a stir this afternoon!

The grass and concrete, above, are a dam the kids constructed (with neighbor kids as fellow technicians) to stop a water leak that has been in existence for at least 3 weeks. And yes, it's a clean water leak ! :)

And a random San Jose, Costa Rica fact:
In the above photo, between Garrett and Ashlyn, see that gaping hole without a grate? Those are drains to the sewer, which are lovingly dubbed "Gringo traps". Let's just say that these "traps" tend to catch Gringos (us) unaware from time to time. We've heard of people in falling chest deep!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

A Bigger World

The Boy and The Starfish

One day, an old man was walking along the beach in the early morning and noticed the tide had washed thousands of starfish up on the shore. Up ahead in the distance he spotted a boy who appeared to be gathering up the starfish, and one by one tossing them back into the ocean.
He approached the boy and asked him why he spent so much energy doing what seemed to be a waste of time.

The boy replied, "If these starfish are left out here like this they will bake in the sun, and by this afternoon they will all be dead."

The old man gazed out as far as he could see and responded, "But, there must be hundreds of miles of beach and thousands of starfish. You can't possibly rescue all of them. What difference is throwing a few back going to make anyway?"

The boy then held up the starfish he had in his hand and replied, "It's sure going to make a lot of difference to this one!"
- Author unknown

Behind the beauty and allure that is such a vibrant and wonderful part of Costa Rica lies something sinister that's worth thinking on:

Did you know that the sex trade is rampant here in Costa Rica, specifically in San Jose? Not only is it rampant, it's also legal. Take a drive to the Children's Museum here in the capital city of Costa Rica, and you find yourself in the direct vicinity of the red light district, complete with brothels advertising their trade (trust me, trying to explain to your kids why they have to close their eyes as they near the CHILDREN'S museum is not easy task, but I diverge).

Even more disturbing? Costa Rica is known as a tourist hot spot for sex with underage girls as well. Sick, right? Have I gotten your attention?

Those facts, in and among themselves, are enough to call me to action even thought they are just a scratching-of-the-surface regarding this issue.But then...then there was a book. Little did I know that being loaned to me, by a fellow missionary/language school student, was a stack of bound pages that would impact me in such a profound manner. To say that I will never be the same is an understatement!

(Image courtesy of

While not a book written from a Christian perspective, this is a well-researched, personal account from a married, journalist couple who have travelled the world researching the various forms of oppression women suffer across the globe.

Now, before you think I've gone all "Women's Lib" on you, let me say this is nothing of the sort. The atrocities against women, many in developing countries, outlined in this book are staggering, compelling, and the sort of thing that has not only opened my eyes, but has also grabbed me by the shirt-collar and given me a firm shake.

I challenge you to join me in reading this book (I'm half-way though it currently). Be forewarned, this is not an easy read. You. will. be. horrified! And not only do I ask you to join me in reading it but, please, join me in asking God what he would have me (us) do, if anything.

Zack, the kids, and I are privileged to be here to serve the Lord with eMi, and we'll do so with our best, as unto Him. That said, I'm facing the possibility of having some time on my hands while the kids are in school and Zack is serving in the eMi office. Maybe the Lord has something in store for me in terms of this very subject? I know that there's more than chance involved with the timing of this book in my life.
Stay tuned!