Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hello...hello....hello...

Is anyone still there?

I'm going to write like there is actually someone who will be reading this after 3 months without a post. I'm good at pretending, always have been. You should try it. It gets you through a lot of tough moments unscathed.
"No my child is NOT flinging himself all over the grocery store floor, SCREAMING at the top of his lungs for candy. Nope, just not happening!"

Here are our beloved blue bins, ready for another adventure. Can you see how used they've gotten in our year in Costa Rica? They were the BEST thing I brought besides my "familia".


Here we are in our van taxi at 3:30 am getting packed up to head to the airport. Look how wide awake our little Paige is. I love it!


This is quite blurred but worth posting for me. A picture of our little family together before we separated for a month and a half. At this point Wes was getting pretty sad to have us all leave. I, being the all attentive wife, didn't even notice that he was smiling through his tears. I was thinking..."5 kids, one adult, 2 flights...can I do it?"
That's why I love this man. He loves his family.

The sun rose as we were getting ready to board our plane. Our two little tikes were so excited to get on the flight.

Aiden sitting as a "big boy" during our first flight. The kids were great travelers.

We have been busy with getting settled into U.S. life. We've had Paige's birthday (Christmas in June), beach days, pool parties, FREE summer movies, lots of family time and for me, COUPON shopping! I heart coupons.
Wes has arrived and we are a happy family once again. We are holding our life in Costa Rica as a training for the rest of our lives.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just a Nice Day Today...

I finally convinced the kids to go on a walking tour of our little city here. Up until now, I got the "I don't want to's" for whatever {lame} reason they came up with.
But today...they all agreed. I think the idea that we are REALLY leaving is sinking into their minds.
I took this shot just around the corner from our home as we headed out.
We spent about half an hour with them coordinating the photographers angles and shots. Every once in awhile I give up that power and let them go at it.
Every city in Costa Rica has a church...with a park and ours is no exception. We just hung out...ate some ice cream and watched the birds.

I just snapped this shot of one of the many streets here. I remember when we first arrived...I felt uncomfortable walking down the roads here. The sidewalks are crumbled cement and dangerous. It's a marvel that women here can traverse it in HIGH HEELS. Just amazing.
Now I feel comfort in the old homes and businesses, small sidewalks and interesting sinkholes.

I wouldn't let my kids go home until we found this wall. I LOVE IT! We pass it every Sunday on our way to church. The colors are so vivid and the message is great. I crack up when I see the barbed wire scrolling over the top. That just comes with the territory.

Better get to bed...I leave in 6 hours to pick up mi amigas.

Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I woke up this morning...

and realized I have 2 more days to finish up last minute packing before my "girlfriends" arrive. I like to complete work under pressure. Two things I love...change and a challenge! Maybe reasons to why Costa Rica worked for me.

It's interesting though...kind of like the end of a pregnancy where you are so tired of being pregnant that you don't care how the baby is going to come out!! That's where I am here...since I got back from my trip to the states...our hot water heater went out. We went 2 weeks without a hot shower or bath.

Now all our water is out. It's been over 24 hours without water. Oh the fun that entails. Of course in between these loses we've had electricity, Internet and phone outages. It's just time. Time to get this baby out however hard it may be! :D

Thought you'd like some pictures of dinner by candlelight thanks to one of our many power outages.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuscan Summer Chicken...


I made this for the first time last week. Oh my!!! Delish.

Tuscan Summer Chicken
25 min
Makes:
4 servings
What You Need

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup pesto
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup KRAFT Finely Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend
Make It

HEAT large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cover skillet with lid. Cook 5 to 7 min. on each side or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF). Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.
REDUCE heat to medium. Add cream cheese, water, pesto and tomatoes to skillet. Cook, uncovered, 2 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
RETURN chicken to skillet. Cook and stir 1 min. or until chicken is coated and heated through. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

As you can tell...this recipe is from Kraft. Oh so good. OF COURSE....I did things a little differently. :D

I used low fat cream cheese, I didn't use shredded cheese at all...it's too expensive here and I used shredded chicken...much cheaper than chicken breast. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Have You Found this Yet?

A new internet LDS radio has been launched. Click here to get it. Also...when you arrive on this site you can download scripture stories for children on your IPOD. Or just listen through itunes. Can I just say that the LDS church is so COOL!!! :D

Enjoy!

Check Out this Great Article...

on Touch at

www.simplekids.net.

The site is a branch of my favorite site www.simplemom.net.

Love it!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

40% off at Borders...


in stores Monday only !

Get your coupon here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

These are Few of my Favorite Things...

"Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes..." Sorry...need to get that out of my head.

Give me another minute...

There...I'm good.

As you know I've put together a package of my favorite things here. Lorena...(who will won the opportunity to be the recipient of these treasures) offered me the chance to put her gifts on the blog before I send the package out.

Since the first batch of pictures came out blurry. Yeah...I'm a professional photographer but this little camera takes some getting used to.

I'm going to take a new set. Also I haven't been worried about getting the package in the mail here. I'm having my girlfriends take it back with them to mail. It will get to her much sooner.

Are you curious to see what she's getting?

Here goes...

Alright...I'm too lazy tonight to retake the pictures...you are going to have to pretend they are clear and beautiful.

Here is my "clear" photo of Dulce de Leche". They use it on everything sweet here. You will find it in chocolate cakes, tres leche, and as a doughnut topping. I love it heated and poured on ice cream. But the main reason I put it in the package is because of the handy, dandy opening. Love it! Twist off and enjoy.
This is dish washing "paste". It is made for cold water since most homes/shacks here don't have hot water. My favorite detail is that since it is a paste...the kids don't go through it as fast as they do the liquid stuff.
Yumm. It's amazing these have survived. They are the best "galleta" {Cookie} They are a butter shortbread cookie and I love to crumble them up and use as a pie crust. Most snacks here are individually packaged...not as a single serving package...but because once they are opened they become soggy with all the water in the air.
Now I know that you can get these in the states...but they are very popular here. I've seen them scattered on top of birthday, cupcakes and handed out as a afternoon snack. The individual colors actually taste different.

A surfboard key chain will make it to Lorena's home because that was our favorite activity here. Even my little guy headed out with the instructor to surf (when he was just 3).
Oh my vanilla. This secret weapon has benefited many a recipe of mine. If you haven't had vanilla from South or Central America...you are really missing out!
This is a little coconut shell purse...with a few colones inside. They are HUGE compared to U.S. coins.
Awww. This is better than dry Ranch dressing. Mix this up with 8 oz of sour cream and yummmy!! The difference is it has more cilantro inside. I heart cilantro.
You have to have a Costa Rica gecko magnet. In Costa Rica you hope a gecko family takes up residence in your home. They eat mosquitoes. Bon appetite!

In Honor of Nik and Emily...

who are to arrive for a GRAND tour of Costa Rica in 1 week from today.

I found this article entitled:

10 terrific reasons to take a Costa Rica vacation

Tired of the humdrum? Need to get away and relax? I have just the place for you. Costa Rica. Here are 10 terrific reasons to take a Costa Rica vacation.

1. You’ll find great airfares and travel bargains to Costa Rica right now. They did that!

2. There are 780 miles of pristine coastline with hundreds of great Costa Rica beaches. Uncrowded beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Definitely going to see some of this.

3. Like nature? Imagine a tiny little country with more species of butterflies than on the entire African continent and almost as many different species of birds as in the entire continent of Europe. Many of you will recall the picture I have of Paige with that orange butterfly on her head.

4. It boasts a park on its Osa Peninsula which National Geographic calls the most biologically intense place on the planet. In fact, tiny Costa Rica has nearly one-fifth of all the species of plants and animals in the world. Imagine that! Did you get that??? That is amazing!

5. Costa Rica has more than 100 volcanoes, including some that still erupt and others where you can literally walk into. There is even one where on a clear day you will be able see the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans at the same time. We won't be seeing these...I've gone 3 times before and NEVER saw the top.

6. Thousands of Americans travel to Costa Rica for cosmetic surgery, dental, or other medical care because the quality of care is world-class but often only about a one-third of the price in the States.

We will include this in our next visit. :D

7. Some folks come to take Spanish lessons in schools that also teach them how to surf! Or yoga. Or sexy latin dancing. Or all of the above. I won't be able to provide any Spanish lessons...but snorkeling is on the list.

8. How about fantastic weather year-round? If you get too warm, drive a few miles into the lush mountains. Swim in warm waters every day of the year. Beautiful weather!!!

9. Like a good fish story? I do. This will not be the story about the one that got away. Bring your camera or video camera. You will have proof! You can fish every day of the year for an unimaginable variety of fish. The Caribbean is filled with huge tarpon. Sailfish and marlin (I hooked a 450 pound, 13 marlin recently) are common. Not to mention whales and sea turtles. I get sea sick...sorry.

10. Costa Rica is just a short flight away”or take a cruise. Hop on a plane or luxury liner, leave your worries behind and prepare to meet some of the nicest folks anywhere. You will make new friends. Lots of them. Let's see...your flight is only 6 hours, right?

And, for being a good sport, I have your first Spanish lesson as a bonus. Remember the words Pura Vida! It means the great life and you will hear and use it every day. Pura Vida (pronounced...poo-da vee-da) Practice that one now. You have to know it to get off the airplane!

See you soon!!


I'm on the 7 day countdown until they arrive (at 5 am mind you). Good thing I love them! :D

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Now the Video...

video

The strange noise you hear is the rain pouring down incredibly hard.

Random photo's and Video...

Did I mention I LOVE having a small camera? Since the beginning of my photography career I've only known the huge photography devices. This little guy is amazing and CHEAP. Love it.

I never thought I could find the perfect place to live as far as weather goes. Well I've discovered it here in Heredia. Gorgeous mornings mixed with blue sky, birds in song and a slight breeze. Then late afternoon thunderstorms and showers.

Just perfect for me.

Yesterday the kids brought up this to me.
Breakfast at the computer. How lovely is that? I think it's better to get this on a random day than even on Mother's Day. I sure wasn't expecting it.
This is Dallin, Paige and Troy in front of our house here. Notice the BARS that decorate and protect every house. The top room window displays amazing views of the city lights. About once a month we get our own firework presentation. This is my sweet girl soaked to the bone after a nice run in the rain.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

More of the Contrasts Here...

Things have been quite exciting here since I returned home to the land of paradise. It seems like I was gone so long that it took about 20 minutes for my youngest to warm up to me.

Ouch!

In case you haven't heard...the munchkins and I (all 5 of them) are headed back to Southern California in a few weeks. Just a 2 month pit stop before we arrive in Colorado.

YAHOOOOOOO!!!

Opps, did that escape my throat??? Sorry...our condo has been out of HOT water since I got back. And did I mention the cable has been out for 4 weeks. We don't watch very much T.V. but I love using it as an incentive. With all the kid's channels in Spanish...I can also chalk it up as a language class, right?

I do have mixed feelings on the subject of leaving of course. I know we will never have this opportunity again. I love what this country has done for us as a family, as an American of the United States and as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. Boy are we blessed.

When I was back in the states a few weeks ago...I just knew it was time. I sat in a public library and I think I cooed out loud!

No really! I did.

The idea of city sports and public school will send me into a frenzy of giggles.

Hee, hee.

Hee, hee....hee, hee!

See...

I want all that again and I want my kids to have that and it is time. For every time there is a season, right? This season is over...no regrets but looking forward to our next season.

Changing the subject now...
The beginning of this week I watched my little (adorable) nephew while his mom had some important work to do. I got to watch him at her hotel. It was amazingly fantastic!

Here is my sweet girl on the private stairs that lead to our suite.
The pool surrounded by Tarzan vines. You can't tell from the picture but a river runs under the pool.
This is the restaurant of course.
Out our balcony view of the city.
Corridor through the hotel.
Had to throw this cute one in. I love these chairs.
This mini pool was in our room...
in it's own room of course. Nice. I think my sweetie and I need to try out this hotel by ourselves.

In case you were wondering it's new and called The Beacon. (in Escuzu)