Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hymns here in Costa Rica...

don't have the same, well, how do I say this? They sound horrible! There is no other way to say it. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe the translation of the song has something to do with it. My sweetheart thinks it's because pianos are non existent in the homes here. Bless their hearts, these sweet people try so hard to sing. In fact our little branch of 35 can out sing the entire Woodcrest ward any Sunday. That is, if you are grading the (noise) volume of the hymn not the quality. It can be quite uncomfortable to sit through sacrament meeting depending upon who we sit in front of. (Bless their hearts, again)
However there are two songs that they sing impeccably well and with such vigor and truth.
The first, "I am A Child of God". When we sing this song, the previously screeching voices now stay with the intended notes. It is just beautiful.
Last Sunday we were practicing for the up coming primary program and the kids sang, "We Thank The Oh God for a Prophet" and I will admit, here and now but never again, I got a little emotional.
This little group of 11 kids (but with 8 actually singing) can compete with the Woodcrest and Orangecrest Wards combined. They really pay attention to the words and are thankful for the blessing of having a prophet here to guide us. These little ones sing that song like it's their high school's fight song, sung before a rival football game!

It gives me chills.
The gospel might be new here, but they get it. They are thankful for the blessing of having a prophet, and they know they are a child of God.

So tomorrow and Sunday, and anytime I hear either of these songs, I will sing a little louder and prouder because I Am a Child of God and Thankful for a Prophet.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Coming Home...

This is what my carry on looked like. I had to get all three kid's home school textbooks back here to CR. With over 190 pounds of books to bring home, this is how I did it. After I met my 50 pound allotment for my 2 check in "blue bins", I packed my carry-on like this. Even though you are only allowed 40 pound for your carry ons, I know they don't check the weight. I figured as long as I kept my facial expression from showing how much exertion it took to move this baby, I would be o.k. You should have seen my humongous purse. It alone weighed 50 lbs, and with the textbook suitcase I was wheeling 120 pounds through the airports. I almost made it too, until the last flight home, I met the steward in the isle as "he" asked, "Mam, can I help you with these?"



" NO!"

I then dropped my bags and ran for safety!!!! I almost got away then...

Just kidding, I spilt the beans about my secret and said he could only help me if he didn't report me to the female stewardess who tend to be a little more strict when it comes to rules. You know, like female cops.
{Rosie, sorry about the stewardess comment. :) } He was pretty cool about it. I'm glad I didn't run.

I should have pictures of family soon, I didn't bring a camera so I need to get them emailed to me. I'm warning you I don't have very many!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Finally, an Upbeat Post...

I was just going through my last few posts and hope that I wasn't a downer to those of you looking for inspiration in your life. I hope you don't think I hate home schooling or Costa Rica. I only highly detest home schooling and if it wasn't so soakingly humid here in gorgeous Costa Rica, I would never leave.

Oh, but there are the crazy roads, almost non existent police force, trash, sewers dumped into the streams leading to oceans, expensive "lame" private schools (in our area), attending church in the vomit commit, expensive food, the language barrier and did I mention the humidity???

O.K. there I go again. Sorry. I actually do enjoy it here. It is crazy beautiful! Costa Rica had changed our family for the better. We depend on each other more. I never, ever need to apply lotion. I'm tan even with level 45 sun block constantly applied. I have grown closer to Rusti, my husband's sister. I appreciate when we have electricity and water. (One or both utilities tend to turn off at the most inopportune times down here.) I don't feel ready to hipper ventilate without a dishwasher anymore. Let's see what else can I contribute to our life here in CR? I am more pliable when it comes to the molding that tags along with trials.

We have learned the art of "moving a little slower” and are taking the time to reprioritize and restructure our lives. My "from scratch" repertoire of recipes has grown by leaps and bounds. We are immersing ourselves into a foreign culture. The beautiful Spanish language is seeping into my children's craniums, while my brain is still fighting the absorption.

We are loving the people here.

As I was blog hopping, I found a talk given by a post missionary's mission president. Did you catch all that? The title was, "What I hated I, Learned to Love through Obedience." He gave the example of mowing lawns for money when he was young. Hated it at first. Now he loves to mow his lawn.

This can apply to certain principles of the gospel or commandments. Through obedience, a love will develop. I remember learning to love to pay tithing as a young teen. (although it took me quite a few years)

You hear of missionaries having a difficult time with a new culture and people, but then through "obedience" they come home loving the people. I have never "hated" it here, but I can say my heart is softening. I love these sweet children I get to play with on Sunday at church.

I love the two women that I work with. The three of us run the entire primary; we are the teachers, presidency, secretary and nursery leaders. They are amazing and have yet to ridicule me for my Spanish shortcomings. (Yet!) For these things I am blessed beyond measure. Let me keep my eyes (and heart) focused on the true blessings of life (health and love) and not on the minor struggles that like to pop up in our view to ruin our vision.

Come On In...

Ive redecorated? Did you notice?

Right now it's the only thing for me to "redecorate" so please be patient. I do like change. {Obviously Shawna, that's why you moved your family to Costa Rica!} In our homes in the states I often rearranged the furniture when there was nothing left to paint, hang or fluff. So here I have fluffed the blog. I'm not sure if I like it. I enjoy clean and simple lines, this might be too crazy for me. Please let me know if it has caused any drowsiness or headaches.

Have you also noticed I haven't posted recent pictures in awhile? Well, you are right. I have misplaced my camera battery charger and therefore I am unable to upload pictures. Yeah, a photographer without a camera. So funny!

I've been buying time by sneaking in pictures of the Relief Society logo, a clip art school bus and I've even gone as far as to throw in a corn dog shot. Please forgive me. But now I am out of ideas. So just so you have something to look at I'm including this {old} picture of my guy Dallin and his little brother Aiden comparing muscles.
Isn't it cute? (opps! can't say that! It will embarrass them.) I mean, "don't they look strong?"

Having 4 boys around, someone is always competing in a flexing competition. Little guy Aiden makes me stand up and measure how high up he comes to me. Right now he is just under my belly button. We do this right of passage at least 5 times a day. He usually says, "See mom I can do it, I'm bigger now!"

What's a mom to do with that?

Of course I let him bring in the two HUGE jars of jelly that I know he will drop and create a sticky disaster all over my floor which will then attach to my shoes {and everyone else's} no matter how many times I scrub the tile!!!!

I can't help it though. Of course I let him do it! Because what if he senses I don't believe in him?

Mom's should believe in their kids as long as they can. That's my plan.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Conference is Finally Here...

I love conference!! I love cuddling with my loved ones as the words from the apostles and our prophet drench me with wisdom . The trick is getting the wisdom to absorb! (I also giggle when I think of not having to travel in the vomit comet to church) What a glorious day!

For my non-LDS friends: twice a year we have a world wide conference where we hear addresses from our leaders that are broadcast all over the world. Most cable and satellite networks pick up the channel so many families choose to stay home and watch on t.v.

We have the tradition of staying in our p.j.'s for the morning meetings. I make a HUGE breakfast to emulate the spiritual feast we are about to receive. I don't know if the kids understand the correlation, but they sure look forward to conference weekend. In fact if you are walking by our home, chances are you will hear, "Yippe!", and "Allright!" being sung from our rooftops! We love conference weekend!

Here is a the conference packet for kids that gets passed around this time of year. My sister-in-law Jenny sent it to me. Enjoy!

Oh, and home school ended today, with every one's "semi" neat papers on my (kitchen counter) desk by noon! Wow!!! This is why I'm on a high today!!! Again please disregard the post written in desperation a few days ago. :) Someone must have hijacked my computer and wrote those things!

Women Unite...

I just finished re-watching the Women's General Conference Addresses. I just have to say Elder Uchtdorf “ROCKS”! That was meant in the most spiritual and reverent way possible. Ladies, if you missed his talk Saturday evening you really did miss out.
You can go here to get it.

For those of you who aren't LDS, we have a conference once a year, usually the last Saturday in September, just to spiritually lift the women of the world.

Of course Sis. Beck and her counselors gave inspiring addresses also. Don't skip theirs on your way to President Uchtdorf's.

So here goes. He mentioned how we women tend to create wonderful things yet we apologize for them. I.E., dinners that aren't perfect, children that aren't perfect, invitations for Relief Society events that weren't perfect. He mentioned that sometimes "undervaluing our abilities we focus on what is lacking rather than on what we have accomplished." Sometimes these traits can lead to depression and exhaustion.

He also mentioned that one of Heavenly Father's greatest joys can be found in creating and compassion. We should enjoy creating and not just "recreating" but growing gardens, creating meals, creating laughter. Anything that we make from an idea and bring it to life is good.

O.K. that is my teaser. Check it out if you haven't already. Your day will go better with this knowledge under your belt. (Maybe I should have re-watched this before home school yesterday.)

O.K. one more quote,
"In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance!"

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Survived!!!

We started school promptly at 9 am, stopped at noon for an hour lunch break and my last "student" finally finished her school assignments at 5:15 pm. I'm proud to announce we all survived.

I'm sure by the end of the week, I will have all school assignments completed and neatly on my organized desk (the kitchen counter) by 11:30 am. We will then proceed with lunch and finish just in time to march my perfectly groomed children out the door for an educational field trip.

that comment was entered by my oldest, Troy. I'm afraid he might be more accurate than me. But I do have high hopes.

You know what's so funny to me? Every home schooling site I go to the women says something to the effect of the following, "I home school, not because I want to shelter my kids or they aren't able to keep up in the public school system. I home school because I love to have them around me "all the time"."

Now I love my kids, deeply. I am a fun mom and enjoy playing and getting dirty, but I do need my space! I really want to contact these women and see if they really mean that statement or if they feel pressured in the home schooling arena to make that statement. It has to be the latter.

This Is How I Feel Right Now!!!!

I am in H-E double hockey sticks!!! Why didn't someone stop me when I mentioned that I was going to home school 3 kids, one with severe ADHD while watching and entertaining 2 little ones. Why, why why!?!?!?!

It is not going well. We started at 9 am and it's now 11:20 and only one of my kids has made it past the first subject, Math.

Did I mention little Landon just threw our brand new wii across the tile floor to it's death? Now it won't turn on.

I should never write when I'm at the depths of despair as I am now, I just realized I hadn't done a post for today. I need to hear that things will get better, right? anyone there?

***It's now 12:20 pm and we've had lunch. Paige has now realized I'm not kidding and she will be doing schoolwork at 3 am if she needs to!!! Things are going much better. Thank heavens!!!! Please disregard the above post, let's both pretend I didn't write it. O.K. ? (Until tomorrow when it all starts over again!)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Corn Dogs from the Fair...

Last night I was trying to stretch our dinner dollar and I made these. Oh, boy were they yummy!!!! Not low fat by any means, but yummy. I used fat free turkey dogs, which helped a little. I also used low-fat margarine instead of butter. And I didn't use the 2 tbsn of bacon grease either, I mean are you serious!!! I used 2 tbsn of oil and added some flavored salt. But with the frying, there was nothing I could do there. They were such a hit with my kids and honey I thought I'd pass the recipe along to you. I didn't have popsicle sticks so I just stuck a metal skewer in them to dip in the batter, than slid them off into the oil.

I hope you enjoy.

I don't know why but all of a sudden the link isn't working. Go to and look up "a plus fair corn dogs", they are easy and yummy!