Saturday, April 25, 2009

Interview with Dallin...

Me: Dallin, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you like Costa Rica?

Dallin: Probably a 9.

Me: What adventure was most fun for you?

Dallin: Zip Lining. No, no, no, no...the flood!

Me: What is your least favorite thing about Costa Rica?

Dallin: They don't sell DS chargers here.

Me: If you could change 1 thing about Costa Rica what would it be?

Dallin: That there would be a Best Buy store here.

Me: If you could change 1 thing about the states what would it be?

Dalliin: That they would have Platanos. (chips made from plantains)

Me: What is your favorite food here?

Dallin: Plantanos and gallo pinto (rice and black bean dish served with sour cream)

Me: What adventure do you wish you'd have done here?

Dallin: I wish I had taken surfing lessons for more than just 2 months.

Me: How would you finish this sentence..."Dear Costa Rica,
Thank you for...

Dallin: all the paradise and at least TRYING to fix the roads.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Our Arrival..

I didn't realize how miserable we all looked when we first arrived.
From start to finish it took about 20 hours of travel time to get to our new headquarters.

Paige was STARVING and the last 30 minutes of our trip she spent making sure we all knew it! Of course she didn't want any food I had packed.
It's interesting that everyone looks so tired and sad... I remember feelings of utter bliss to have survived the 3 am layover in Miami with a 3 and 2 year old.

We Are FEELING the Love...

thanks for all the comments everyone! Yippe.

I just have to tell you about last night.

Remember my husband is out of the country...did I mention that? Probably not...just in case some crazy person was following my blog. Anywho...the kids have been as sweet as ever, NOT! You know how it is when the man of the house is gone...they just seem to push things a little more. Or maybe you don't.

So it's been a long 2 weeks for me.

Last night somehow all 5 of them are striving to find a way to sleep in my room. Remember, Wes and I only have a full mattress. {Or did I forget to mention that too?}

So after much discussion {argument} we settled who would sleep where. One of my sons was quite scared after watching ghost whisperer. {I would love to tell you it was my oldest, but that would be just mean, so I won't} After such a long week with him....I just had to tease him about being terrified. Being the oldest of just comes naturally! {I'm quite talented at it too}

I didn't realize that I had freaked him out pretty bad. Paige then suggested we sing a primary song to help him. Next thing I know we are all singing those comforting phrases that teach and calm us.

Even my 10 year old who doesn't like to sing was chirping along.

It was just one of those GREAT mommy moments.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Interview with Paige...

I sat down and interviewed my little angel and here is what she had to say.


Me: Paige I'm going to ask you some questions about Costa Rica, o.k.?

Paige: Why?

Me: To put on the blog celebrating our 1 year anniversary week!

Paige: {said while beautifully mastering a front flip on my newly made bed} alright, shoot!

Me: Paige, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you like Costa Rica?

Paige: 1 trillion, million, billion!

Me: {taking mental note to go over some points in math} Alright, good!
What adventure was most fun for you?

Paige: Being baptized in the ocean and having my grandpa Krepps there.

Me: What is your least favorite thing about Costa Rica?

Paige: When we were flooded and also how everywhere you turn it's GREEN!

Me: {that's a negative?}
If you could change 1 thing about Costa Rica what would it be?

Paige: That people litter.

Me: {Me too!}
If you could change 1 thing about the states what would it be?

Paige: Drugs.

Me: What is your favorite food here?

Paige: Arroz con camaron {rice with shrimp} and mangos. Not together though...separate.

Me:What adventure do you wish you'd have done here?

Paige: zip lining, quad tours and lived in a mansion.

Me: {yeah a mansion would be nice}
How would you finish this sentence..."Dear Costa Rica,
Thank you for...

Paige: being helpful, adventurous and beautiful. Thank you for existing!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Wooohoooo!  We've made it!  

When we left for this adventure I told Wes that I would stay at least 3 months but no longer than a year!

Look at tomorrow I'll have "gone the extra mile" by staying 1 year and 1 day!!!

I've got kids climbing all over me screaming for breakfast, "How rude!"

I'll continue my post after they are filling their tummies.  But, we have a contest!!!

Anyone who comments on a post from NOW until Saturday will be entered into our contest.  You can only be entered once per post.  We love comments and the well is usually dry here so of course our contest is going to be used to pull a comment or two out of you.  Hee, hee!

The prize, you are wondering???

I can't tell you.  

O.K. I'll tell you a little bit.  It will be a package sent to your home with a FAVORITE item from Costa Rica from EACH of our 7 family members.

You can bet I'll be sending over our PERFECT vanilla.  Yumm!  And of course I'm going to have to throw in the best seasoning packet I get here. Oh just delish!!

I know the boys and my honey will have something cool to send too, but you should be worried about what my sweet little girl will send.  

Be very afraid!  (I'm probably teasing here...I have no idea what she'll decide to send.)

So as we create a box for you with our favorite Costa Rican treasures...I'll also have my kids on as guest speakers to tattle more on our experience here.

We'd LOVE to have you join us!

Tootles!!!  See you later this afternoon.

What should we do to CELEBRATE!?!?!?  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shawna's Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies...

So tomorrow is our 1 year anniversary of our life here in beautiful, crazy, full of trials and blessings, Costa Rica.

I can't believe it. An entire year? Are you sure?

Then again I think..."It's only been a YEAR?!?!?! Are you sure?!??!"

I would love to post a traditional Costa Rican recipe today. I have 1 that I love made with Chiotte. (I've spelled that all wrong I know) It's made with that funny green squash that looks like a crinkly grandma face. Well I love the dish but my kids do not, so I'm not going to waste your time and post it. Even though it would make for a great post.

In it's place I'm going to post the recipe that made us feel like a family even venturing through this strange land.

It's my FAMOUS {in my own mind} Chocolate Chip Cookies.
This recipe means so much to me. If you can bare with me, I'll explain. If not, just skip down to the end of this post and get the recipe.

My mother, whom I adore, always made the PERFECT Chocolate chip cookies. They were thick and chunky. The kind that you would love to sink your teeth into just out of the oven. The kind that made us pass on cookies that others made because we had already had the best!

They were that good.

My mom used this talent to start a tradition in our family when my oldest was young. On New Years day she would come over and teach her grandchildren to make her cookies. They had so much fun making more of a mess than cookies. It was a moment in time when, as a mother, you watch your mother let your kids get away with things you were never aloud to!! I LOVED it!

Now my mother has returned to her Father in Heaven. She left 3 years ago. I, of course miss her so and even now as I type this the lump in my throat grows and I'm typing through my tears.


I have tried to duplicate her recipe and it's a hit and miss. Mostly miss. Even when I follow her directions EXACTLY!

So I have worked hard to create this recipe that works for me 99.9% of the time. It is a great hit everywhere I take them. One of my traditions with my kids is that if it rains they get homemade chocolate chip cookies. When they are at school and it rains...they love to look forward to coming home to gooey cookies. So fun!

In California it wasn't too difficult to follow through on this...but Costa Rica has dropped more rain from it's sky in one week then we got all year. This tradition of home baked cookies has brought our family closer together. It was one of the few things that we brought with us from the states. Living here has raised my gratitude level for family traditions. You can bring them with you no matter where your family beds down at night.

So here it is.

Shawna’s Best, Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
¾ cup butter (NOT softened)
1 egg yolk
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 ¾ cups milk chocolate chips

1. preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in dry ingredients until just blended by hand {very important you do this by hand}. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Scoop cookie dough with a large cookie scoop and place 3 inches apart.
4. Bake for 15-17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
5. Enjoy!!!

I scoop these with a large cookie scoop. I also double the recipe. ☺

Another trick I LOVE...
Double or triple your batch, then scoop the cookies and place them in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Then when you are in the mood...put out exactly how many you need. Pop them into the oven and are the homemaking QUEEN!

You can also FREEZE the cookie. Then set it out on the counter for a few minutes to thaw just a tad. It's like eating cookie dough and a cookie. The best of both worlds.

You aren't left with tons of dough/cookies to temp you!! And your kids and SWEETHEART want to kiss the ground you walk on. Win win situation.
I have to give mi amiga Christine B. credit for this. Good job Christine! High five!

{Dang-it, now that High-Five kid's show is stuck in my head!! Oh well, better just go with it.}

Contest tomorrow!! See you then!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Deals From TARGET...

the happiest place on earth!

I used to LOVE walking into Target when we lived in the states. The yummy smell of popcorn and my favorite color, red, everywhere.

Did you know that companies pay for fragrances that smells like popcorn so they can fan them at you when you walk in the door? Yep, studies show that customers spend more when they smell popcorn.

There have been times I've smelled the popcorn and looked over to find the cute popcorn bin EMPTY.

Right now when you spend $50 you get FREE SHIPPING. Sweet.

But I have something better. Enter this code { TCPTSTFS } and you will get $5.00 off of your purchase of at least $50.

So I ordered 3 separate orders of $50 and got FREE shipping and $5 off each one.

Hey, don't laugh...every bit helps.

Plus everything I ordered was in the CLEARANCE section. I bought Paige a full pj set for $3.90 and shoes for $4.90. The girls clearance was amazing. Check the 75% off first.

Shoes are so expensive here and they don't last more than a month. I bought all the boys can bet a picture will be coming soon.

Think about can shop from home and you won't be tempted by the dollar bins. Nice.

Sale ends on the 24th so hurry!