Saturday, January 31, 2009

15 KIDS!!!!!

I am amazed at the mother that just gave birth to 8 babies. I guess she already had 6, all without a hubby, just a donor. Wow, what is she some kind of masochist? I am amazed and a little confused. Lots of people are questioning the doc who fertilized her with so many eggs, what the heck was that guy thinking? Have people lost all brain function or something?

I don't really question the mom, hey I love babies too. The only reason we don't have more is because the old man said enough, uncle, I give! Otherwise I would have had at least 10. Here is the difference though, I have a hubby and a way to support my children.

I think when docs start playing Gods we are going to have some problems. Here is a perfect example. Was it really ethical what he did? What kind of burden is society going to have to bear for his ethics, or lack of such? Like I said I am all for having babies, as long as they can be cared for, preferably by a mother, father and job.

When we teach our massage school classes we are required to teach at least 8 hours of ethics. I think they have much more lax requirements for med school.

Friday, January 30, 2009


My daughter and I were talking the other day about how much Costa Rica has become like the U.S. This came out last night and it is amazing to see the similarities with Costa Rica and the U.S in these proposals. Makes sense huh, spend more money to get out of debt. Here again the weird thinking happening. I guess it comes from using monopoly money for too long!

Here is the Óscar Arias 29-point stimulus/rescue proposal
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is what President Óscar Arias proposed or included in his Thursday speech:

1. Authorize a 15-percent increase in non-contributive pensions, that is pensions that were not paid for by the recipient's work history. This is the fourth such increase during the Arias administration.

2. Provide weekend food for children and their families: Some 16,326 students in 37 cantons will receive vouchers exchangeable at local markets for about 70 percent of the nutritional needs for a family of four for the next three months. Arias will try to budget a similar program for 2009.

3. Provide an increase in the Avancemos program, a payment plan for school children, to include 150,000 youngsters, 28,000 more than now.

4. Write off debt for 2,100 families in the national housing program who have low incomes.

5. Increase borrowing limits by 335,000 colons ($605) so that each low-income family that seeks a housing loan will get about 5 million colons (about $9,070).

6. Lower the interest rate in state banks by 2 percent for housing loans up to 50 million colons (about $90,000).

7. Request the Authoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos to change its procedures so that decreases in the price of fuel are quickly reflected in the fares.

8. Seek passage of a law that would require employers to cut the hours of all their workers instead of firing some.

9. Promote work by Internet in the private sector with the hope that each workplace will save 100,000 colons ($180) a month in costs associated with employees being in the workplace.

10. Seek approval from the Asamblea Legislativa of a bill that would allow employers to have flexibility in work hours, such as in setting up a four-day work week. This plan has been in the hopper for years but is opposed by employee unions. Major companies, like Intel, strongly support the idea.

11. Provide scholarships for displaced workers with the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje so workers can learn a new trade.

12. Create a program to instill the business culture among young people under the sponsorship of the Ministerio de Trabajo.

13. Request the national student loan agency, Comisión Nacional de Préstamos para Educación, to put a moratorium on student loans and to give a six-month amnesty for borrowers who have lost their jobs.

14. Increase from three months to six months the period in which a discharged worker is covered by the Caja
Costarricense de Seguro Social, which includes the national medical plan.

15. Create an educational trust for the construction of schools. This appears to be a form of bond issue so that schools can be built now and payment made later. The price tag is 29 billion colons, about $52 million.

16. Construction of all the public works budgeted for the various ministries. This includes road work, housing, airports, health clinics and other public projects.

17. Seek the approval of an $850 million loan for highways, aid to municipalities and the metropolitan trains and public transport.

18. Seek approval of a $500 million loan to strengthen the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the electrical generating and telecom company that used to be a government monopoly.

19. Seek approval of an $80 million loan to revitalize the Puerto de Limón and the adjacent community. This already has been announced.

20. Provide technical support to the municipalities to help them spend some 26 billion colons ($50 million) on infrastructure. This includes planning, engineering and assistance in letting contracts.

21. Strengthen the Banca para Desarrollo with an infusion of 222 billion colons ($400 million). The goal is to make financing available for small and medium businesses.

22. Promote the Plan Nacional de Alimentos so that food that is necessary for the residents of the country is produced by the nation's farmers.

23. Seek a reduction of 2 percent in the interest charged to small and medium business creditors by the state banks.

24. Seek a reduction of interest from 1 to 2.5 percent by cooperative lending institutions.

25. Issue a presidential decree to accelerate the depreciation schedule of capital goods held by businesses so that there is a reduction in their income tax, thanks to higher write offs.

26. Require the state to pay for goods and services within 30 days so that small and medium businesses do not have to wait for long periods for their payments.

27. Provide $117.5 million to state banks to increase their liquidity. This already has been approved.

28. Support a law that would allow state banks to lend in subordinate positions and establish the way such loans are figured for the banks' balance sheets. This is now not allowed, but private banks can do so.

29. Ask the Asamblea Legislativa to approve a $500 million loan from the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo for the Banco Central de Costa Rica so that the bank can finance activities like exportation. The development bank already has approved the loan, but local approval is needed.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I usually try and not get involved in poitics, as it makes me mad and upset. I have to say that I can not stay quiet any longer, I am too mad. Because I live in a different country I did not vote as I thought I should not inflict anyone on you all that I was not willing to deal with myself. Not that it would have made any difference from the looks of things.

What in any persons mind would make them think that they could save the economy by spending more money? My five year could figure out that does not work and all she knows about math is how to add and subtract. As I have mentioned before we had our economic meltdown about two years before the rest of the world. We figured out that we could not spend, save or even pray our way out of it. We sold everything and left the country to try and regroup and refresh.

Now looking at the U.S. it is like watching a bad car wreck. Like I really don't want to look and check out the latest bad news, but I can't resist checking the news. I talk to my kids in the U.S. daily, but they do not want to talk about the economy. My three boys all have jobs and plan on holding on to them for dear life. Two of them had quit jobs a few months ago, once they found these ones they decided they would not be quitting any jobs for awhile.

I guess the good news is one of my sons is guarenteed three hots and a cot for the next couple of years. Of course there are other worries for him, another post for another day.

Rest assured that there are lots of expats all over the world watching and praying for all the folks on the front lines of the battle happening over there.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This lovely, very talented student took and passed her first massage test today, Swedish! She did awesome and I think this shot portrays her concentration very well. I especially like the pic of our little mascot in the background, he never lets her out of his sight.

When I think back on my massage tests I can certainly relate to the nerves and plain ole concentration it takes to do all these body things at the same time. It takes a lot in the begining to think about your body mechanics, your lotion or oil usage, making sure the client is warm enough and comfortable, and making sure you don't do or say anything stupid. It can be very overwhelming to begin with.

I did two massages this week and it is kind of like riding a bike at this stage in the game. I do believe I could do it with my eyes closed for sure. You just might want to make sure you wear underwear though if I do it this way so I don't flash you to the whole world :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I have to give a shout out to my senior gaupo, or when I am angry senior viejo, (all depends on the mood of course) and tell him HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

We will go shop this afternoon to pick out his book. He loves books as evidenced by the books and bookshelves all over our house. We have three bookshelves, overflowing I might add. I belive he has already talked to my son-in-law about a new one.

It's a good thing books are so expensive here or we would probably have even more.


"Increased study of science and nature, especially in the very young, has proven in studies extremely beneficial for cognitive functioning, reduced symptoms of A D D and increased self-discipline and emotionsl well being. (Chesapeake Bay Foundation)

"Almost 50% of children age 8-16 watch 3-5 hrs of T.V a day. These kids who watch the most hours of T.V. have the highest incidence of obesity. (word on health, "Childhood obesity on the Rise" Torgan Carol )

These are getting to be pretty tough odds for us parent to beat! I believe the key to keeping our kids healthy and happy is to teach them healthy lifestyles. It is pretty simple actually, be an example and be fun! I say this as I pass out doughnuts to my kids and class for Ricks birthday.

As I was saying it is not really that difficult. Seeing as we do not have a car we have to walk everywhere, or take taxis or busses. So if you get to jonesin for a hamburger you have to really work for that dude. We would take the bus downtown. Then walk the half mile to the McDonalds. Then we would eat and walk back up the big hill to catch a bus or taxi home.

Of course there is the delivery guy. My husband does not like him because the food gets cold before he gets up the mountain on his scooter. It looks like we will just have to make our own burgers, and enjoy being healthier because of it.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Can you tell who has the chopsticks in the genes? Isn't it amazing, we don't eat with chopsticks at home, but when Maleah gets a pair she eats like an old pro with them. Breyssi on the other hand has a bit of a struggle with them. She barely eats with a fork though so not a problem. We enjoyed celebrating New Years at our favorite Chinese restaurant Tin Ho, in downtown San Jose, it was great as always and surprisingly not busy at all.

This year will be the year of the Ox, oh yeah! Obama is not the only Ox around you know. There a few more of us worker Oxes around trying to keep the world alive and kicking. It looks to be a good year for the Ox in general, and especially financially woo hoo! Thousands of years of Chinese astrology can't be too wrong can it?

We do want to wish one and all a great Chinese New Year and best wishes for a good hard working Ox year to all. You know hard work is like the trade mark of the Ox which would explain why Obama keeps suggesting all of us should just work a little harder :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I'm still not sure if camp was fun or not, have not really gotten a straight answer. I do know she was very proud of the fact that she did not shower for three days! That is for sure a record and hopefully one she will not repeat for awhile.

When I went to camp at her age I worked very hard. We had a whole list of skills we had to learn, especially in regards to first aid. I can remember memorizing tons of stuff for first aid tests we had to take and pass or we would not advance to the next year.

I guess one group of girls went home after the first night because they were convinced they had hypothermia. It was 40 degrees! They are a little pampered here admittedly. You do have to remember it is summer so that was a little unexpected as well as unwelcome.

He dad had a great surprise waiting for her when she got home, a Michael Phelps calandar! She has been bugging him for one since the olympics so he surprised her with one. Her sister was very happy to see her. Every day she asked how many more days until her sister was going to be home? I can only hope it was a character building experience and that she will be a better person because of it.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Ever had one of "those days?" Today was definately one of those days for me. I was totally looking forward to doing a long run with my daughter and woke up really early, not being able to go back to sleep aaugh!

Finally got to her house and she took me on the long run from you know where. We went over hill an dale, "oh yeah mom, I forgot there were so many hills".

She does like to school me once in awhile when I get too cocky or something. Just likes to put me in my old place and make sure I know who is the younger of us. It was actually fun, except for the getting lost part! A really beautiful Costa Rica day which was great, at least it was not raining also.

I spent the day out after waiting by the phone all day yesterday for word from my sons lawyer. We have been awaiting word from the prosecuters office for almost a month and in the mean time my son has decided he wants to go to trial. I guess we had best buckle our seat belts and get ready for another ride.

I am just very thankful for being able to talk to him often and keep up with him. I sent him a card yesterday with the above pic of his little sister. Those are his favorites pics, the ones with his sisters. The Post office has a place you can go to create a letter, or card with your own pictures, and write it up, and they deliver it. It is awesome I can write to him once a week and he will actually get it in about three days. Now isn't that a miracle? I love technology!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


We just finished our second week of massage classes. I am so pleased with our students, they look awesome and I think we have the makings of more awesome massage therapists! The best part is we have worked with a couple of the students to personalize the program for them. That is what we specialize in, personalized programs.

The first student that studied with us did so in Arizona before we even left. He was headed to Myopractic school and need some massage training before he could go on to specialize. The next student we had was on her way to Naturapathic training and we put together her required massage classes for her to certify her with her school in New Zealand. She is still in the process of taking classes from us every year to keep up.

Our next student needed a program that we could put together for her and work around her work schedule at the beach, two hours from us. That was about the same time the governing board decided that we could provide half of the hours online. So we were able to do her book work online and she would come for three days at a time for her massage hands on work.

We thought this class would be a normal class. No way. It turns out one of the student has had advanced studies in Anatomy and Physiology so we have allowed him to turn up on Monday and get his assignments and come back on Friday for his test. Of course he still has to come in the afternoon for his massage classes and to work his time in the clinic.

I guess that is the beauty of being flexible and willing to work with the students, which we do pride ourselves on :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


O.K. I call uncle! We are freezing out here. Our school room has been so cold the past two days we had to wear sweaters. That really is rough. Today we moved up closer to the office so that it would be warmer. We even had to get the table warmer out for petes sake. The person on the table was toasty warm, the one giving was the one freezing. I told them they are now prepared to work at any race or event.

We have decided to open a new camp starting this summer. It will be a weight loss camp for kids. My daughter is really excited. Both of my daughters lost lots of weight when we moved here to Costa Rica so now are excited to share that with others. You can read more about it on our hotmomsrus-health site.

We will have a three day weekend this week as Hannah is preparing for girls camp tomorrow. She will be gone three days and is not at all excited. The only part she is excited about is the fact that the boys are already there and will be there for games and fun all day tomorrow and will be staying for a dance in the evening.

The whole camping thing kind of escaped her. Our other kids loved camping and have fond, if somewhat humorous memories of our many campouts. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger was kind of our motto when it came to our campouts and hikes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


When we travelled to China to adopt our daughter we had watermelon at every meal! We saw trucks of watermelon all over the country. They served it with breakfast, lunch and dinner actually it was always the dessert.

For the first year or so all our daughter would eat was fruit and yogurt and formula. She has branched out now and eats noodles and chicken, but that is about all she has added to her choices.

Here the watermelon is great year around and she continues to love the stuff. She and her dad will eat it at least once a day. We order it from our organic fruit guy and it is soooo sweet and juicy.

Just one of the things I am thankful for living in Costa Rica! Fresh organic fruit in season all year around, yummy!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Today is a national holiday for all the U.S. We thought of taking the day off but decided it would be hard to rationalize. Rick worked for the Post Office for so long it is hard to recondition our thinking to the fact that we do not get at least one day off a month!

We took this picture when we went to visit our son in Oct. so you can ignore the Sheriffs Office logo in the background :) It just goes to show how patriotic we are as a family.

There seems to be a myth around these days that expats are a bit soured so to speak on the U.S. That really is not true. In fact I have met more true patriots here than I usually meet in my travels in the U.S.. We have a big 4th of July celebration that is very well attended. They have the marines come from the Embassy to do the flag raising and it makes us all teary eyed.

As we all look forward to the inaugaration tomorrow of a new President our prayers are with him. I really don't care what color he is, or anything else about him for that matter. What I care about is will he get our country out of the mess it is in? All I can hope for is if we all pray and send really good juju vibes to him maybe he can do something to improve the situation.

I love America and we spend much of our time there still, even though we live here in Costa Rica most of the time. We have kids and grandkids there and would love to see things go easier for them. In the present situation we despair of our children ever even buying a house or being able to put our grandkids in college.

One thing that Obama says that I really like is that only sacrifice and hard work are going to get us out of the present situation. What I really hope for is that it is not only the working class he is talking to but the country total!

Just my dos colones from an expat that truly loves America!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I have been reading a little about the laws of attraction. The thing I like best so far is the idea of making a vision board. That would be a poster with all the things you would like to accomplish, or attain in life. I think I will have to use a whole wall of the house for mine because I have lots of ideas for mine.

The good thing is that my husband is a Fung Shui guy and can tell me exactly where on the poster to put everything to get the best bang for my buck, or success for my pic. I am already gathering pics and ideas of things that I want to have on my board.

Most of the ideas I have taken off my list of 100. This would be akin to a "bucket list". All the things I want to do, be, and have from my life. I made one about 10 years ago and am still whittling, changing and rearranging that one.

After making a new one, combined with my old one I will take as much off of there as I can to fit onto my board. Like I said before my biggest problem is that I want sooo much out of life. I had my "near death" experience when I was 32 and have been going pretty much full steam since then to check things off my list.

Come to think of it maybe I better slow down. What happens when the list is done?

Friday, January 16, 2009


If the world were a village of only 100 people, there would be:
60 Asians
14 Africans
12 Europeans
8 people from Central and South America, Mexico and Caribbean,
5 from the USA and Canada, and
1 person from Australia or New Zealand
The people of the village would have considerable difficulty communicating:
14 people would speak Mandarin
8 people would speak Hindu/Urdu
8 would speak English
7 would speak Spanish
4 would speak Russian and
4 would speak Arabic
In the village there would be:
33 Christians
22 Muslims
15 Hindus
14 Nonreligious, Agnostics or Atheists
6 Buddhists and
10 people to represent Sixty remaining world religions
In this 100-person community:
80 would live in substandard housing
67 adults live in the village; half of them would be illiterate
50 would suffer from malnutrition
33 would not have access to clean, safe drinking water
24 people would not have any electricity
Of the 76 that do have electricity, most would use it for light at nighttime only
In the village would be 42 radios, 24 televisions, 14 telephones and 7 computers
(and some villagers would represent owning multiple of each one)
7 people would own an automobile (again, some of these people represent owning more than one)
5 people would posses 32% of the entire village’s wealth, and these would all be from the United States
The poorest 1/3 of the people would receive only 3% of the income of the village
The following is also something to ponder:
If you woke up this morning healthy, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week
If you never experienced the danger of battle, the fear and loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pain of starvation, you are better off than 500 million people in the world
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are more comfortable than 75% of the people in the world
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among he top 8% of the world’s wealthy
If you can read this, you are more blessed than over 2 Billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, it becomes both evident and vital that education, acceptance and compassion are essential for the progress for humankind.

This article was on "Loose Change it is always good for this kind of info. It sure makes me appreciate what I have for sure.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


The weather here has been really cold for us at this time of year. It is becoming a hardship for all the homeless people from the earthquake and it looks like we are not done with the earthquakes and maybe the volcano. I still don't know what my deal is with living on volcanos. We are about 20 miles as the crow flies or I should say as the lave flows, from Poas volcano.

Five more earthquakes hit Costa Rica last night and in the early morning hours. All occurred in the same general area as the massive 6.2 last Thursday. The biggest was 4.3, not a biggie, but enough to strike great fear into the people of that already badly affected area.

Poas Volcano
If that were not enough, the Poas volcano had a small eruption this morning. Thursday’s earthquake was centered only a few miles from the volcano, normally dormant. Should Poas become active once more, the implications are truly scary for the thousands who live nearby.

The town of Cinchona de Sarapiquí, Heredia has apparently simply been removed from the map of Costa Rica. The La Paz waterfalls are totally rearranged. Also gone is the San Rafael waterfall.

The river Sarapiqui has been badly damaged and is running thick with mud and dead fish. This too was a very popular attraction for those tourists who wanted some great white water rafting.

The Environment
A disaster in and of itself. The damage done to the environment in the affected area is enormous and affects not only the wildlife and the natural beauty of the area, it will have a profound affect on eco-tourism.

The earthquake has altered the biological corridor San Juan-La Selva, placing important wildlife at risk. This includes mammals, birds and reptiles. Creatures such as jaguars, lapas, tapir and monkeys are just some of the animals that will feel the effect of the earthquake.
Giselle Monge, director of the School of Environmental Sciences, National University, feels that it will take at least a decade to recover the original ecological balance in the area around Vara Blanca Poás and other sites belonging to San Juan-La Selva biological corridor. A biological corridor is a geographic area that ensures the maintenance of species diversity and ecological and evolutionary processes, facilitating conservation. The collapse of the mountain certainly caused total destruction of the habitat for some species. The Biological Corridor San Juan-La Selva is known for its large quantity of almond trees which provide habitat for the Great Green Macaw. The extensive wetlands are also considered critical to the survival of the manatee.
With the arrival of the rainy season around May-June, the now unprotected mountainsides will collapse. Soil will become saturated and unstable.

Experts are also predicting a change in the flow of rivers which certainly will affect the habitat of some species of reptiles, animals and plants growing alongside the rivers.

And although I know this pales compared to the rest, the Angel (foods) factory near La Paz has been nearly destroyed affecting a lot of workers. It also points out that even though many people survived, there is no work in the area.

Latest Numbers:
16 dead
22 missing
1,058 people in CAJA hospitals
128,135 directly affected
2,300 homeless
100 injured
Estimated damage: $100 million

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This is just a shout out to my younger bro. I have not experienced divorce, but want to offer him my support and love at this time in his life. It is weird that I still turn into the protective big sister when something happens to my bros.

He is awesome and I know he is tough and will handle the next few months like a trooper. After seeing him in a bike race you would see what I mean about tough.

This guy is so cool. He put himself through med school 10 years ago and is just the best pediatrition in all of Texas. In the meantime he was also an awesome bike racer and now he has graduated into car racer.

Not to mention he is just a darn nice guy and is very generous. Thanks to him and his impecible taste in clothes all his younger and one older brother dress darn nice. When we all get together they all joke that they look like they walked out of his closet! He's also just a blast to hang out with and keeps us all crackin up with his stories.

Families are great and I am sure thankful for 7 brothers and 1 sister that support and hang in there with me through my trials. I know when I need it they are always there for me. One of my brothers is a pilot and last week gave up a buddy pass so my hubby could go to a conference he really wanted to go to in LA. But he did not stop there, he put him up at his house when he did not catch his flight not only going but coming back. It was so cool of him.

Last May my pilot bro donated another pass so that I could attend the graduation of another bro from med school. The above bro hooded him and it was so cool to be there with my bros. We were all there except one younger and my sister.
There are lots of hats to wear daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandma. I would have to say that sister is one of the best and I am very thankful to be one!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I love teaching! When we are preparing and waiting for a class to begin I forget how much fun it is going to be once we actually get going and get in the classroom. I use the word classroom loosely as our class is in our old garden room and is super cool. The fact is once I get those students there who are eager to learn about massage and health and helping people I just eat it up.

Our students this class are a lot of fun and very serious about mastering the art and science of massage. They were both homeschoolers and seem to have a lot of fun learning and studying. It brings back memories of when I was in massage school.

It was 12 years ago when I went to massage school, and I was scared to death. I had been a sahm for 15 years and this was the first time actually in my life I had been away to school. I got married when I was 17 so that explains why I never went away.

The massage school I attended was a one hour drive away so I was gone from seven until four thirty every day. I missed my kids terribly and had a very hard time getting used to being gone all day. The good part was I loved massage and thouroughly enjoyed learning about the body and ways that I could help people.

We are really stressing with our students now business tactics. With the economy the way it is we see the need for them to finish school with business skills under their belts. I learned about business the hard way, from the bottem up. I hope to share my experience with our students so that they do not have to re invent the wheel. It will be a great 12 weeks and I just hope they have as much fun and learn as much as we do!

Monday, January 12, 2009


You know how they try to tell you that myth that you will forget the pains of childbirth? We all know it is a myth, we just choose to go through it again. At any rate if it was true than it should also be true that we forget the joys of teenagers.

As my teen quickly approaches 15 this month I am starting to sweat and get the shivers. I think of all the experiences I have had with my 15 year olds and I think I do not want to do this again. Is there any way I can opt out of this phase? Maybe just put her in a barrel and feed her through a hole in the side, then let her out when she turns 18. That was Mark Twains idea by the way not mine!

My most vivid memory of 15 was with the above charmingly handsome big brother. Favorite brother by the way. It did not start out that way though. He was always the one that said he should have been an only child. Come to think of it that is what all 7 of them have thought.

When I decided I wanted another baby and adoption was the only option for us he threw a real hissy fit. He refused to even talk about it. Well it came time for the social worker to come over to the house and do the home study. If any of you have had that pleasure you can relate to the stress involved.

I asked Jake nicely to please put down his mohawk and tell the lady when she asked that yes he wanted a little sister. I have to say he drove a very hard bargain. One skateboard later he was very proudly saying that yes he wanted a baby sister.

When we returned home from China he would not even look at her or have anything to do with her, for about three days that is. About the third day we went to Taco Bell for some food. We were standing in line and I had to pay. I told Jake to hold the baby while I paid, he held her out in front of him like she was the baby from Monsters Inc. and went to sit down.

After I sat down she was standing by me holding on. He leaned over and said boo! to her very loudly. She did not even bat and eye and turned back to him and said boo! just as loud. He grabbed her up in his arms and is her favorite brother to this day. They were pretty much inseperable when we lived close. She still composes great letters to him and talks to him on the phone about 3 times a week.

I guess looking back on that story I can take courage and know that this too shall pass and after a few years we will be friends and be able to laugh about all the memories we are making. That is what life is all about after all.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


We got our new student settled in and hopefully he is loving Costa Rica. I spent the morning taking him around San Rafael to see the town and learn his way around. Since we really don't spend that much time in town it was kind of good to get out and rediscover some places I had not been for awhile.

He got really lucky and is staying with our homestay coordinator. She is an awesome cook, and just fun person. I did warn him that he would probably gain weight living with her. He got in last night and she had all his laundry done by this morning and made him a great breakfast.

Our classes begin Monday and he and our other student are very excited. It took Hannah a few days to decide she really wanted to attend massage school, but I think once she thought about the money she could make it convinced her to go for it. She told our other student today that she plans on financing her professional singing career startup fees with massage. That is thinkin.

My co director will miss the first day of class, but I'm sure he is enjoying his time in the U.S. We miss him and look forward to seeing him in a few days. So far he has managed to hire out about half of his teaching time, so I have a feeling he is planning on replacing himself as teacher.

It is all good, and the weather is beautiful so we are ready to go into summer here. Now if the wind would just die down I would be ecstatic.

Friday, January 9, 2009


One of my favorite action movies is "Transporter". That guy is so hot and he did an awesome job in the fight scenes. Anyway the reason it comes to mind is because I have done a really bad job of transporting people the past couple of days.

Yesterday I had the idea to have Rick get a buddy pass from my brother the pilot so that he could go to a seminar for his business, Liberty League. I felt bad that he has ended up spending about 20 hrs. in airports the past two days.

The best part of course was the earthquake while being at the airport, but that just kind of broke up the monotony for him. I still thought it would of been great since he was at the counter being told he could not get a seat when it hit if he had acted like he was putting a voodoo spell on them or something, would of been a scream.

At any rate after two days he is half way there and if he makes it will be late for his seminar. Oh well live an learn. In the meantime I am trying to get our student here from Guatamala. He has been there studying spanish and was bussing it here for classes to begin on Monday. When I talked to him I asked him to tell the bus driver to drop him off at the airport instead of taking him all the way into the city.

He told the bus driver that as they left Nicaragua and the bus driver dropped him in Liberia, which is about 4 hrs. from us. In all fairness there is a small airport there also. He called us and said he was there and would take a taxi to the school. We told him yeah for 200.00 he would. About 8 hours later he finally arrived on what he called the slowest bus on the planet. Poor guy!

Needless to say I have been fired as the transporter and we will just hire my son-in-law to do this job. He is the hero who went and fetched everyone anyway.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Well we were sure rockin' and rollin' today! We had an earthquake that registered 6.2 on the richter scale. It was freakin scary for sure. Me and the girls were all in my bedroom, they were looking at a music video on the laptop while I was in the bathroom dying my hair. For some reason really weird things always happen while I am dying my hair. Last time I dyed the power went off and I ended up rinsing with cold water, brrrr!

We grabbed the little girls and ducked into the doorways. After a couple of minutes I remembered my son in law out on the porch cutting wood for a bookshelf. Thank goodness he was not sawing at the moment that it hit. He said the neighbor came out of his house freaking out.

We turned on the news and watched them dealing with the after shocks. They were trying to be really cool and finally the guy just got up and left the set. It was pretty funny. My husband was checking in at the airport and complete bedlum broke out there. They all started screaming and running. The airport security were just trying to calm everyone down. Rick was just watching it all and was amazed how much people freaked out. It was his first earthquake and I think he was getting into it!

At any rate we did get on the internet and research what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. We will be ready for the next one. We had one yesterday that not as big and then this big one today, hope it does not get bigger tomorrow. They did determine the epicenter was 6k from the volcano up the hill from us, cool really cool.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? (Mary Oliver)

This quote really gets me motivated and thinking about my life. Am I really doing what I want to do? Am I really "singing the song" I was sent here to sing? Maybe it is just my age, or maybe it is just hormones talking but these are definately questions that bear asking.

Two years ago when we cut the ties and went out on our own we felt very powerful and alive. I think it was a case of ignorance was bliss or something like that. After the realities began settling in about advertisement costs, the economy tumbling, etc. with owning your own business it was a little harder to feel quite so powerful and alive.

Lots of times in the last two years there has actually been sheer terror. When you have been employed by the government for 30 years and go out on your own there is the feeling of free falling. When you live in the States you can always rely on unemployment, the soup kitchen, or last resort door keeper at Walmart.

Living in Central America has forced us to really be creative and call on our talents and skills and even develop some new ones. When we started our massage school I did not know the first thing about computers, that one has come a very long way. We have also had to learn to deal with all sorts of people from different of walks of life all over the world.

Looking back on it as we begin our first multi student class this Monday I have to ask myself, would I do it all again? You better believe it because I fully plan to slide in laughing and screaming, " wow what a ride" when it is all over!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Have you ever heard the expression "be careful what you ask for?" When we chose to unschool we actually made the decision to teach our children to think and decide what they were interested in and felt was important to them. Right now Hannah my 15 year old is at a jewelry making class in downtown Heredia with her friend. She will be starting massage school on Monday. She has also decided to attend the beauty school in town when she finishes massage school.

In order to as she puts it "not look retarded" she works on math and language every day. She does enjoy the math and endures the language. She has never been a big reader like my other children were and still are, but she does a lot of reading on the computer.

When we were homeschooling our older children I was pretty uptight about them getting the three R's and making sure they were up to par with their peers. That was futile as well as silly. They all went to high school and college way ahead, no thanks to all my worries and nagging.

I have also seen this with my son-in-law. He completed the sixth grade living in Hondurus and went on to a tech school to learn how to make shoes. When he was 17 he walked to the U.S. and worked and lived there for five years. He worked as a roofer, cook, sheet rocker, painter, and repairman. He was deported four months after he and my daughter were married and has become a woodworker. He makes beautiful woodwork and loves to read.

About six months ago he decided to return to school and finish high school. They started him by having him go back to seventh grade and memorize his times tables. That took about one day. All the stuff we spend years trying to teach our kids he has learned in about six months.

After watching this I have decided no more worrying for me. They will learn when they are ready and in the meantime they have room in their heads for thinking about things and learning to try and make sense of the world as it is. I think that is more than most people even attempt to do these days.

Monday, January 5, 2009


If you say this is one incredibly good lookin guy I would have to agree with you. If you said he is one incredibly talented artist, in spite of the photographer, I would again have to agree with you. When he was 5 years old Jesse started violin lessons. Twelve years later he used his violin to get a scholarship for college, went for two years and decided art is what he wants to do with his life.

In high school he attended a art charter school and got really good. He was able to design the year book for two years for that school and one other cover for another local high school. He has finally framed and started showing his art work.

On Friday night he was one of the featured artists at the Flagstaff art walk. He had his art work at the Blackhound Gallery in downtown Flagstaff. The best part is he sold two drawings and got orders for two more! When we talked to him Saturday and found out the good news he was at the grocery store! What they say about poor artists is true right now, but watch out he is going to be hot real soon.

He does great potraits also and if anyone is interested just send me a message and I will get him to show you some of his work. This pic is just one we have hung up, but he has a few more and is spending more time on portraits. Pura Vida!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Today is my daughter Rebekahs' 25 birthday! It was fun and we had a great day celebrating. We took the girlies to the pool for the day, then it was out for ice-cream, then it was home to make her favorite dinner, salmon patties, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie for dessert.

It is hard for me to believe that 25 years have raced by so quickly. I was telling Rebekah while we were at the pool that the day was very similar on the day she was born. She was born in Wahiawa Hawaii, so the weather was pretty much like it was here in Costa Rica today. About 80 degrees with a slight breeze and beautiful.

Rebekah was one month early so she was only five pounds when she was born. She also was born with her thumb in her mouth! It took us about 10 years to pry that thing out of her mouth and that would explain why she is wearing braces now at 25.

I have to brag about her a little bit since it is her special day. She has always been very quiet and mellow. She is a super hard worker and a great mommy. I am very proud of the mom and woman and hotmom she has grown up to be. I am thankful for her and that we are best friends, running partners and partners in most crimes. She told me when we made our resolutions this year that like alcoholics that avoid friends that influence them to drink we influence each other to eat and should really not hang out if we really want to get skinny!

Forget that I will take the extra 10 lbs. and a great friend to hang out with. Happy Birthday Rebekah!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Sometimes you have to work really hard to get that front row seat on the fireworks! Maleah climbed to the top of the lattices to get a great view of the fireworks on New Years Eve. She had a blast but was very disappointed in Breyssi who slept through them. That was amazing since Maleah was screaming for her to wake up and see the fireworks. It was a great party and of course I won at Scrabble, so that made it even better. I got to talk to all of my boys and party with my girls. We ate great food, and played games and watched the ball fall in NY and then watched the wild firework show here. I hope everyone enjoyed their New Years and that you are all looking forward as much as we are to a very exciting and prosperous New Year. Pura Vida.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I thought this was a good topic to talk about when making our New Years Resolutions. I realized many years ago actually, that I always had the same goals. Why every year did I need to have the same resolutions and I was never getting anywhere?

Once I have learned more about the "law of attraction" I have realized why I keep making these goals over and over. It is because I keep making the same mistakes over and over. A good example of this is the weight loss dilema. How many of us have just wanted to lose that extra 10 lbs. for years now?

In finally comprehending the law of attraction I realized what I was actually doing was attracting that 10 lbs. back every year. That which we think about is what we get. I was thinking about the 10 lbs. not being skinny.

This year is different. I have pictures of what I want to look like, and will not concentrate on the don't haves or don't wants, only the wants and haves. In other words put it all in a positive sentence. I will spend one hour a day working on reading with Maleah. Rather than I will not send Maleah to school not knowing how to read in english. Does that make sense?

I will talk more tomorrow about how to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. That was a hard one for me to comprehend until I read a great analogy about it. Take care and rewrite those goals on a positive note. Pura Vida and Happy New Year.