Saturday, February 28, 2009


It is so hard to believe that five years ago tonight we were having a wedding! It was snowing like crazy in Flagstaff and we were wondering where the heck my future son-in-law was at! At the moment we had no clue that in four short months he would be deported to Hondurus and a very long and trying nightmare would begin for their small family.

He was deported for missing a trial hearing with INS at their office when he first came into the country five years earlier. My daughter had just found out she was pg and they had been married for four months when he got picked up. All the myths you hear about well if they are married, or if they have kids, or if they have been productive citizens for five years, none of that mattered.

Because he had a false social sec card to pay taxes, yes to pay taxes, he has a lifetime ban from the U.S. They can never live in the U.S ever again. They have gone through all the paperwork and lots of money only to be denied again and again. Very difficult.

The good news is they now have two lovely children, good jobs and a wonderful life here in Costa Rica. And you know what? They don't deport people here who have families :) You can check out her blog at If anyone has questions about deportation they are the people to ask about it.

Friday, February 27, 2009


O.K. I do draw the line with politics. That line is when they put Obama on during Biggest Loser! What the heck is that about? Then all the cheering and stopping, they could have finished that scenerio in about 15 minutes if they had cut the drama. Do they think we are stupid enough to think that something emotional like that will make us feel better? Do they really think that the warm fuzzies are going to erase all the fear and hopelessness people are feeling? It makes me angry that they think we are so dense.
Maybe it it just me because being in Costa Rica I am watching this all unfold like a bad dream. I try to only watch the news once a week to make sure you all over there are still kicking. But really I just get angry when I think that little pep rally really is supposed to make people feel better. We were cracking up to be honest with you.
I believe I have two jobless boys in the U.S. and I can assure they are not reassured by the pep rally. The following quotes summarize my feelings. I found them on a blog that I really like and she finds all kinds of cool stuff over there. Looks like Thomas Jefferson had been there and done that and knew where we were headed.

1.. When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. Thomas Jefferson
2.. The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Thomas Jefferson
3.. It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world. Thomas Jefferson
4.. I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. Thomas Jefferson
5.. My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
6.. No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson
7.. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. Thomas Jefferson
8.. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
9. To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. Thomas Jefferson
10. Thomas Jefferson said in 1802: 'I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.'

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. "-Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Something really funny has happened in our family. I know they say that guys marry someone like their mothers, and girls marry someone like their dads. Well I did not marry anyone like my dad because I did not know my day, he died when I was very young. But I have definately seen similarities in my daughter-in-law and myself as well as my son-in-law and my husband.

Now for the really weird thing. My daughter is seeing a boy who is just like her brother. I mean he looks like him, talks like him, and is even born the same year as him, making him a horse. We keep teasing her that she is trying to replace her brother, who she complained about bitterly because he teased her so unmercifully.

I guess genetics are pretty darn strong. You know the saying the apple does not fall far from the tree? I think that means you can only change yourself or those you are attracted to so much. They also say that you marry someone you live six blocks away from. That makes sense since you really dont meet too many people out of that area.

So now we are trying to remind my 15 year old about all these things and more. The real problem is this kid is truly nice. He went through his party phase young and does not drink, smoke or take drugs. He treats her with respect and even gets along with the old man. That is the scary part.

My hubby invited him to go fishing with he and my son-in-law. Now that is too far! He just seems to get along so well with the family that I have to be careful that she does not get too serious with him at such a young age. I got married at 17 and take my word for it, it aint easy!

We even had her teach a FHE lesson out of her Standards for Youth pamphlet and had him read the page on dating and relationships. I know that is a little bold of us, but in my experience as parents we have to be bold. The really good part is he does not speak English so I can tell her things when he is sitting right there that I would not normally say. Like go change your shorts those are too short and so on.

It is always a bit tricky in these turbulant years, but at least we are not too busy that we cannot keep a very close eye on things. The joys of being the second to the youngest. Either you are being watched very closely or completely ignored, which she does not get the leisure of right now! Maybe someday we will be too busy making millions, but for now we get to keep a very good eye, or in my husbands case four eyes on her and the boyfriend.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The name of the phone monopoly here is ICE. They are in the process of getting broken up but in the meantime we have to go through them for everything. Today our internet went down. It has been very windy and sometimes the lines get knocked out. In fact they have already fixed it once. So it has blown away again.

My daughters boyfriend was over so I was going to have him call them to put in a work order. Low and behold a ICE truck pulled up a couple of doors from us to work on a line. So we ran out to ask them to look at our lines and fix our internet. He said no can do. You have to call in a work order and wait your turn.

He did come in the house to take a look. Of course then he wanted to know who hooked up our internet. I wanted to tell him, but dont have enough words in my spanish vocab. that we had a friend do it because they had screwed it up. Probably good thing I did not have the words ha?

Anyhow hopefully soon we will get reconnected with the world as we know it. In the meantime guess I will get some cleaning done and maybe even get my classes organized. It is sure amazing how connected you get to the internet. We have only had our connection for a few months but I sure hate coming to the internet cafe. Plus it is up to three hundren colones, or better known as fifty cents an hour. Plus I have trouble typing on these computers as they put all the exclamations different places, so you just don{t get any!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Have you ever noticed that God works through other people? That just when you think nobody understands you, you are reminded of His love for you from other people?

I had a particularly difficult weekend for a variety of reasons the biggest one being I had way too much time to think and surf prison blogs and forums! That is just like picking a scab and should be very much discouraged for people who are trying to be positive. It is just like a bad car wreck, you just keep checking out stories that make you feel better about your own story, but pretty soon you are crying for other moms going through the same thing, no fun!

Add to that the whole hormonal upheavel of pre-menopause, there Mom I finally admitted it :), and you have a bad case of the blues.

This morning one of our students showed up with flowers from his home stay mom. She and I are friends with a very limited vocab between us, but none the less friends. She had sent me this beautiful boquet.

A couple of hours later the mail man came with not one card but two from my best friend Karen in the U.S. Me and Karen go back to the age of 3 if you can believe it. She is in the process of coming to visit and was telling how excited she was and that if I ever needed anyone to talk to she is there. Isn't that cool? I just cried to think that God loved me so much to send me friends like this that listen to Him and watch over little ole' me!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I just love it when we meet people and I try to figure out the reason for meeting that particular person. This happened to us a few weeks ago. My daughter and her hubby had left our house late one night to get the bus for home with the babies. They were waiting and waiting. There was one other girl at the bus stop who looked Chinese. Rebekah asked her if she was Chinese and found out she spoke English. They hit it off well and have been talking and visiting since then.

Tonight they invited her family over when we were there. It was so wonderful to see this girl, who by the way is Taiwanese not Chinese, hit if off with our daughter. We are always concerned that she will not feel like there is anyone else in the world who looks like her. Now that she is becoming aware of the fact that she looks different it was great to see her connect with someone who looks like her.

We took a great picture of Maleah sitting with her family looking much more like them than she does like us! Now that I have spent a couple of years being a minority myself I can certainly relate to the great feeling when I see another blue eyed person walking around. Kind of takes the heat off, if you know what I mean.

Next week we will be going to their house for sushi, I will make sure to take lots of pictures and include them.

Friday, February 20, 2009


My hubby and I went and talked to our new "boss-man" at the Canadian school where we will be teaching English for a few hours a week. It looks like a great program and I am excited to help out at a place that really cares about the students. We taught at one last year that was ridiculous. They did not give a heck about the students, who were paying good money by Costa Rica standards, and just strung them along.

We got so frustrated last year that we finally gave up on them and walked away. It was hard to do because we really did like and enjoy the students. They are very respectful and polite. They think you are really smart and call you prof. It was pretty funny.

So now we are running and teaching our massage school, Ricks internet business, me and Rebekahs blooming businesses, and teaching English. It sure is a good thing we retired early and moved to Costa Rica! I'm just joking, the most we ever work in a given week would still be about 12 hours each, with all the jobs combined! A great way to live.

Now that we have survived the first week of kinder, are half way through our massage session, and got new jobs all in one week I think we need to head for the beach for some recovery time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


This recipe sounded good to me so it is for dinner. I think I have mentioned before, but it bears mentioning again, how absolutely wonderful the chicken is in Costa Rica. We have some clients that own a chicken farm in Georgia and say the chicken here is better than even theirs!
Spark People sends great recipes like this all of the time as well as exercises, they are an awesome site if you are looking for a little motivation, or just need some cool recipes that are on the leaner side.
Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken Serves:8
Serving Size:
One chicken part with sauce
Removing the chicken fat and skin and adding no salt to the tasty sauce makes this chicken favorite heart-healthy.
INGREDIENTS3 lb. chicken parts (breast, drumstick, and thigh), skin and fat removed
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoon vinegar
3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon brown sugar
black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 cup chicken stock or broth, fat skimmed from top
1. Place chicken in a 13x9x2" pan.
Arrange onions over the top.
2. Mix together vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, pepper, hot pepper flakes, chili powder, and stock.
3. Pour over the chicken and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until done, basting occasionally.
Calories: 177.2
Fat: 4.6 g
Carbohydrates: 23.3 g
Protein: 11.2 g

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I think I may have failed the parent test for good this time! It began by being late for my daughters first day of school. Yesterday I almost forgot to pick her up on time! For some reason I got it in my mind that she got done a half hour later than she did. About ten minutes until three it hit me that she gets done at three not three thirty. I ran all the way to the school and made it in time to pick her up without a glich.

Today takes the cake though. She is in the fuscia class. That means that they have to buy two folders, with pinchers in the right side,a small notebook and wrap them in fuscia wrapping paper
then laminate them.

Now take a look at these folders and tell me you really thought my five year did them! I would think that too if I had not been on the other end of trying to wrap a freakin folder in wrapping paper, and laminating it! Have you ever messed with that stuff? They love it here and put it on everything.

So now everyday when my daughter comes home from school she brings her notebook with any notes or reminders from school glued into the pages. Then mom gets to spend about an hour figuring out what it says and fullfilling the assignment.

By the way if you are thinking it is just a language barrier, I did see two parents folders "rejected" today! I am obviously not the only learning impaired parent there, just the oldest and only one with blue eyes. I am not even kidding about that part either.
The cutest part of it was when I was getting Maleahs birth certificate to take for copies at school. She said "oh mom don't tell them I'm Cheena!" I guess she has not looked in the mirror for a while :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I finally found out what the contestants eat on the "Biggest Loser". It isn't too much, but it is adequate. They are required to cook all of their own food. The kitchen has no white flour, sugar, or butter. Well that would about kill me right there.

The article says what I have always told my kids and clients, do not eat out! You can make any meal you can eat out soooo much healthier and with about half the fat. When my oldest son got married to his wife they were both working and quickly fell into the fast food habit. He weighed about 175 when they got married and got up to about 250!

Once he cuts out the fast food and starts cooking it makes an awfully big difference. He is now under 200 for the first time in about 8 years. My hubby and I have never been big eating out people, that is our only saving grace I am sure.

Not to brag but no one cooks as good or better than I do. That is the thinking with the biggest loser, if they learn to cook their own food they will not eat out. It just tastes sooo much better homecooked. The article is here in case you are interested.

Published: February 3, 2009
NOTHING is off-limits on “The Biggest Loser,” the reality show that pits morbidly obese people against one another to see who can lose weight the fastest and win the $250,000 prize.

Contestants endure tearful, grueling workouts and submit to public weigh-ins wearing only bike shorts (and for the women, sports bras). They cry. They vomit. They backstab.

The one thing they almost never do on camera is eat.

“The food that you’re used to, you can’t have, and the food you can have, you do not want,” said Vicky Vilcan, a 5-foot-6-inch finalist from Houma, La., who weighed 246 pounds at the beginning of the last season. Now at 145 pounds, she eats broccoli and spinach but says she was “repulsed” by most vegetables when she was on the show. “I wouldn’t eat a string bean that wasn’t smothered in bacon and onions.”

Watch an episode of “The Biggest Loser,” now in its seventh season on NBC, and see the pitfalls of the American diet written extra-large: cheap, high-calorie snacks everywhere, days spent in cars and cubicles and a near disappearance of home cooking.

The contestants are avatars for every slothful viewer on the sofa, waging the epic battle between willpower and waffle fries. While exercising 6 to 10 hours a day and fighting off the doughnuts and pizza that diabolical producers put in their paths may be difficult, the biggest challenge, and the one that will determine whether they remain thinner, is to permanently change their relationship with food.

First, they literally redevelop the sense of taste. “The food that got them to this point is salty, sweet, fatty, crunchy,” said Bob Harper, a trainer on the show since the first season in 2004, describing the fast food and snacks that are the steady diet of most contestants. “They lose their taste buds, they lose their hunger cues and they want what they want when they want it.”

Second, they learn fundamental cooking skills that they — like many Americans — have lost, or never had.

“Most of them do not have the basic ability to cook a meal at home and very little understanding of how much fat and salt is in restaurant food,” said Cheryl Forberg, the show’s nutritionist, “even on the supposedly healthy part of the menu.” While the show has been criticized as presenting a dangerous and unsustainable level of weight loss, recipes from it are sensible enough and have been collected in two cookbooks. Given the program’s popularity, it’s not surprising that both are in the top 10 on the Amazon best-seller list for cookbooks. Together, “The Biggest Loser Cookbook” and “The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook” have sold more than two million copies.

Contestants climb a steep and brutal learning curve in the kitchen, since they have to do all their own cooking.

“There’s no chef whipping up spa cuisine,” Ed Brantley, a contestant from last season, said glumly.

While on their “ranch” — a luxurious house outside Malibu, Calif., — in the four months of taping, contestants are given a calorie budget, recipes and a list of forbidden foods: no white flour, white sugar, butter, or anything that contains them. From there, they have to learn to feed themselves.

“It wasn’t pretty,” said Mr. Brantley’s wife, Heba Salama, who began the show as the heaviest woman ever to compete, at 294 pounds. “The kitchen was full of weird ingredients like quinoa and kale. It was the blind leading the blind.”

On a recent episode, the guest chef, Curtis Stone, gently guided Dave Lee, a 23-year-old contestant in Raleigh, N.C., who weighed 396 pounds when filming began, into the produce section of a supermarket. “I don’t see a lot of things that look familiar here,” Mr. Lee said. He cautiously accepted a taste of cilantro and brightened when he was able to identify it as “something in salsa.”

“This,” Mr. Stone said, handing Mr. Lee a spice rack, “is going to save your life.”

Even if home cooking is of the fried-chicken-and-mashed-potatoes variety, it rarely produces extreme obesity, said Barry Popkin, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Almost any kind of cooking you can produce in a kitchen is healthier than fast food.” The decline of home cooking worldwide, he said, is an underlying cause of obesity

“People are eating more, and more often,” Dr. Popkin said. “And the foods that they are consuming almost always replace meals cooked in a kitchen and eaten at a table.” It is difficult to quantify a decline in cooking skills, but many studies show that time in the kitchen has declined steeply since 1965, when American women spent a weekly average of 13 hours cooking. Last month the government of Britain, where obesity is spreading rapidly, passed a law requiring all secondary-school students to attend cooking classes.

Today, women in the United States report spending an average of 30 minutes a day preparing meals. The percentage of women who are overweight has risen to about 65 percent from about 30 percent in the 1960s. Cooking and eating well is much harder than just eating less, “Biggest Loser” contestants said.

“The first two weeks, you’re throwing up so much from working out, you’re so tired, the last thing you want to do is eat,” said Mr. Brantley, a chef in Raleigh, who in the last season lost 139 pounds (more than 40 percent of his body weight).

Next, Ms. Salama said, you become ravenous. “You want to eat everything you see,” she said.
But soon, food becomes the devil they love to control. Every contestant is required to eat a minimum number of calories each day and is supposed to keep a daily food journal to prove it. But many of them actually eat less.

“It gets so you crave that feeling of going to bed with hunger pains in your stomach,” said Erik Chopin, a Long Island deli owner who won the show in 2006, going to 193 pounds from 407. Mr. Chopin said the absence of the foods he loves helped. “It’s not like you can go in the kitchen and make yourself a bacon, egg and cheese on a roll,” he said. “More oatmeal wasn’t very tempting.”
The 24-hour surveillance helped, too. “You’re accountable to your team, you’re accountable to your trainer and you’re accountable to the American people for what you eat,” Mr. Chopin said. “How stupid would you feel to sit there stuffing your face on national television?”

Most contestants say it is surprisingly easy to resist food in the throes of competition. “You learn to get over being hungry, like you get over the pain of the workouts,” Ms. Salama said. “The first temptation, it’s very hard to think clearly when you smell all that sugar, but you learn that you can say no.”

During scheduled “temptations,” contestants are bribed to eat junk food with prizes like cash and calls home, sometimes while locked in a dark room with mountains of candy. “We want to simulate the real world in there,” said Dave Broome, a co-creator of the show. “At home, there’s a McDonald’s on every corner, there’s a birthday cake at the office every afternoon, there are friends who will encourage them to eat.”

When the contestants return home to live like the rest of us, without personal trainers and cash prizes, how do they adjust to eating in the real world? Like Oprah Winfrey, who recently acknowledged that she once again weighs more than 200 pounds, the contestants say that the slide backward can be slow, but for some of them it may be inevitable.

Although Mr. Chopin sold his deli after his victory (“I was worried that the quality control alone would make me fat”), he has gained back more than 100 pounds. Most contestants say they did not expect to maintain their entire weight loss once at home. Many have gained back 50 pounds or more, some have continued to drop and all say they have abandoned the fasting, asparagus binges (asparagus, a mild diuretic, temporarily reduces weight) and all-coffee strategies they used while on the show.

What lessons can be learned from the blood, sweat and tears that pour freely on the ranch? Simple: count your calories, exercise and learn to cook.

“Twenty minutes in the kitchen will save you three hours on the StairMaster” said Devin Alexander, a chef in Los Angeles who developed the recipes for the cookbooks. “You can’t trust restaurant food to be low fat.”

Mr. Brantley says that after six days of salad, grilled chicken and air-popped popcorn, he allows himself one day to eat real ice cream, blue-cheese dressing and other foods he loves.

“There’s no such thing as low-fat foie gras,” he said.


Ever have one of those days? I mean one of those, those days? Well this is one of them and I am trying really hard to be really positive. Thinking happy thoughts, "Biggest Loser" is on tonight, Maleah got to school on time today (helps when it is the 12:30 day), Rick is recovering from his stomach flu, Micah has not called with bad news, his lawyer has not called with any bad news, I had a great run in the warm sunshine, I found my lost bank card, I remembered all the muscles I was teaching in the kines class this morning.

Yeah it is a good day after all. Maleah was ready for school an hour before it was time to go. She finally agreed to let Hannah pick her up after school so I could go for a "talk" with a guy who needs English teachers. I love teaching and we are already half way done with our massage class, so looking for something to keep me busy.

Rebekah and I are also working hard on getting our "No Excuses" program going. Lots of research and leg work to get ourselves organized. Thank goodness this one does not entail doing another web, or blog site! Just lots of fun motivating people to take care of their one and only precious body they will ever, ever have. Doesn't that sound fun!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel is a book of the strength of people. It also makes you wonder how they can compare the current economic conditions to the great depression. Quotes from the book like the following are truly motivational for me, and hopefully for you.

“I was relieved when the Crash came. I was released…I became me, I became alive. Other people didn’t see it that way. They were throwing themselves out of windows. Someone who lost money found that his life was gone. When I lost my possessions, I found my creativity…

We thought American business was the Rock of Gibraltar. We were the prosperous nation, and nothing could stop us now…There was a feeling of continuity. If you made it, it was there forever. Suddenly the big dream exploded. The impact was unbelievable.”

“Here were all these people living in old, rusted-out car bodies. I mean that was their home. There were people living in shacks made of orange crates. One family with a whole lot of kids were living in a piano box. This wasn’t just a little section, this was maybe ten-miles wide and ten-miles long. People were living in whatever they could junk together.”


Well we were a half hour late for the first day of school. Good thing we live in Costa Rica and they were just getting started! I did miss hearing them call her name so had to find her name on a list. Thank goodness her teacher speaks some spanish, that helped a lot.

The best part was she got the exact schedule I wanted her to get. Mon. Wed. and Fri. from seven until ten thirty. Tues. and Thurs. twelve thirty until four. That works out very well for us as if we want to head to the beach we leave on Friday after school.

The picture of her school class is actually two classes that meet in the same classroom. Hence the two schedules. I think I can handle her being gone three and a half hours a day. So far she hates school. They did not even write and cut or glue! Imagine that the first day and nothing fun. Plus she opened her bowl and spilled strawberry juice all over her dress. When she came out she looked a tad bit worse for the wear.

Good thing it was only one hour today! I only cried once when she came out of the classroom. She just looked so small and lost. I guess we will both survive.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Sound fun? I think it would be a blast. I got the idea from a show I watched about a couple of ladies that have coupon parties. They just charge a flat rate and help you learn to save money with coupons. Cool. Anyway since I love parties so darn much I thought how about a PHAT party? We could take measurements, weight, fat measurements and work out a fitness and nutrition program for the participants.

It would be great because people could share what has and has not worked for them. We could teach them the correct ways to workout and how to check heart rate. We could even have drawings for cool prizes, like t-shirts, cookbooks, and exercise mats. Yeah I think it sounds fun, gotta hit my buisness buddy with the idea, but I think she will love it.

We both love helping people get and maintain a healthy weight, as well as just plain ole having fun getting into shape and staying there. The more I think about it the more I like it.


Happy Valentines day from Costa Rica! I thought these roses were beautiful, of course I think all flowers are beautiful, but these are especially beautiful. I think Valentines Day may hold the record around here for the most miscommunications.

My five year old was telling me yesterday all about how we were going to go out for dinner on Valentines. I told her just me and daddy were going out to dinner. She said "yeah but it is dia de amor, on the t.v. they show them going out to dinner". I explained that mommys and daddies and boyfriend and girlfriends go out to dinner. Kids just get little gifts and exchange gifts. She was bummed out for a little while but got over it when her big sister gave her a box of chocolates.

My 15 yr old did not say anything to her boy friend because she did not want him to feel bad about not having any money. So the past couple of days neither one of them said anything. Today they were talking on the phone and my daughter heard his mother say something in the background. He mumbled to Hannah, "feliz dia". Hannah said "que?" He mumbled it again and she just laughed.

Then the best one is my husband. I ordered him Godiva chocolates a couple of weeks ago. Well the problem with ordering from Aerocasillas is the fact they go through your package and write on the ticket what it is! So much for that surprise. He was still happy though and that is what matters.

I wish the best day ever to all and hope you get to enjoy it with someone you love. As my son in jail says, "I have to spend the day with dudes, dudes I don't even like !"

Friday, February 13, 2009


I have decided it will be easier to combine my blogs and just do longer posts, maybe two a day. One with news and one with workouts and health tips. I love to help people with health and wellness, that is kind of my job, so I will continue to do that. It is just that you can only manage so many blogs and still read them.

Micahs blog takes a lot of time and I have been trying to get his poetry book done. It is going to be good, and Jesse is working on illustrations for the book. Jesse of course wants me to send him the transcript so he will know best how to illustrate it.

My daughter spent the morning yesterday at the U.S embassy being verbally abused. Here we are U.S. citizens and she was going down to file his birth abroad papers so that she could get a passport for her baby boy. For some reason the people working in the embassy decided they would target her for the all day wait game.

She finally went to the counter to ask what the problem was. They told her she did not have enough proof that she had spent at least five years in the U.S. Isn't that idiotic! She had her high school diploma, her marriage certificate, and the babies birth certificate. So now they want pictures of her pg. and medical records and her transcripts from high school! They tried to speak spanish to her, I think just to check it out. She just looked at them and said please speak english!

Of course the person helping her could not speak english or spanish so she was in tears by the time she left. We will definately be writing some letters on this issue. If you can't be treated like a human there where the heck are you going to be treated like a human?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I have been reading articles and blogs about the economy in the U.S. I understand it is quite bad and people are feeling a lot of fear and trepidation about the future. Not feeling secure is not a good feeling, but who ever told people that they needed a 401K, or a mortage, or even a job to feel secure?

It looks like the American people have been sold a bill of goods. Do you realize that 60% of every dollar you make goes to the government for taxes? Now they have passed a stimulus package, the second one to date, that will give you back a little bit of your money. Aren't they nice?

The bad part is they forgot to tell you they borrowed the money from your future income to give you this little bit back, oops! Why are more Americans not outraged by this? Because they are too busy feeling fear. If your generous benefactors can keep you in fear, they will avoid you thinking about the situation and getting angry.

I wrote an article for ezines about five things moms could do to help out in this time of economic upheavel. I still say that we can raise babies and children much cheaper than we believe we can. The first five years my husband and I were married we made under ten thousand dollars a year. Was it tough? Heck yeah!

The good part was we learned how to live on a lot less than we would ever make. We did not have a credit card. We bought nothing on credit. We used cloth diapers, only nursed, and cooked everything from scratch. It was not always easy, but we were actually able to save money at that time.

Our children are all very good at living on next to nothing. When we get together we all want beans, rice, and good old fashioned real food. Actually I thought I was good until I met my son in law. He could squeeze a dollar so hard he could squeeze poop out of the eagle!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


After complaining about how kids could get so fat while the parents were on watch I found this article on Spark People. It has some great advice and what your children really need. When my son was running cross country and he was 15 years old and 6'7", we figured his caloric needs at 4,000 calories a day. That was a lot of peanut butter and honey sandwiches! He even took weight gainer to no avial, still lost weight. He only weighed 160 lbs! I guess too big is not always the problem!

Blueprint for a Healthy Diet
The food pyramid is still the best blueprint for building a balanced diet. At, you can obtain a personalized nutrition plan for each member of the family. A healthy diet will help your children build bodies that go the distance. Here is what they need most each day.

Food Group
Serving Size
# of Servings
A Serving Looks Like...
Grains bread, cereal, rice, pasta*Go for whole grains at least 1/2 of the time.
- 1 slice bread- 1 oz cereal- 1/2 cup pasta, rice, grits, hot cereal- 1/2 English muffin, bun, bagel- 1 tortilla- 1 small muffin
Kids 6-126-9 servingsTeen Girls6-9 servingsTeen Boys9-11 servings
1/2 cup = tennis ball1 oz. = a large fist
- 1/2 cup juice- 1/2 cup cooked - 1 cup raw, leafy
Kids 6-123-4 servingsTeen Girls3-4 servingsTeen Boys4-5 servings
1/2 cup = tennis ball1 cup = a large fist
- 1/2 cup juice- 1 medium fruit- 1 cup berries- 1/2 cup canned - 1/2 grapefruit- 1/4 cantaloupe- 1/4 cup dried
Kids 6-122-3 servingsTeen Girls2-3 servingsTeen Boys3-4 servings
1/4 cup = golf ball1/2 cup = tennis ball1 cup = a large fist
Dairy Products
- 1 cup milk- 1 cup yogurt- 1 oz cheese- 1/2 cup cottage cheese, pudding, frozen yogurt
Kids 6-122-3 servingsTeen Girls3+ servingsTeen Boys3+ servings
1 oz cheese = 4 dice
Meats & Beans
- 2-3 oz cooked, lean meat or fish- 2 tbsp peanut butter- 1 egg- 1/4 cup nuts, seeds- 1/2 cup cooked peas or beans
Kids 6-122-2.5 servingsTeen Girls2-2.5 servingsTeen Boys2-3 servings
3 oz meat = deck of cards2 tbsp = ping pong ball1/4 cup = golf ball1/2 cup = tennis ball

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Four days until Valentines day and I am fresh out of ideas! I think you just run out of ideas after so many years and I am racking my brain for something fun and romantic for the evening. There are some memorable ones we have had.

I can remember one year we went out for dessert with some friends and then hiking on Fatmans Loop in Flagstaff. There was a blanket of snow on the ground and a full moon. It was beautiful and not even too cold.

Last year we went out for a movie at the mall and then for Italian food downtown Heredia. I think we will not go out to eat this year. I really cook better than any of the restaraunts around here and don't feel like waiting in line in San Jose.

Maybe I will think on the lines of something besides food! Now that is a novel thought, focus on something besides food. Is there any other way to celebrate than without food?

Monday, February 9, 2009


These are the cards I mailed out to our lucky family members for Valentines day this week! I have to put in a plug for premium postcards. It is awesome that I can make cards and send them all over the world, for a really good price. I think the cards I made like the above were about two bucks. The best part is that since they mail from the U.S. they get there in just a few days.

No this is not a plug for the good old PO, we have left that far behind us. Different life for a different time. It is interesting to see the cuts the Po is making in light of the economic crisis. I'm sure that with Rick having over 20 years in it would have taken awhile to trickle down to him, but it would get there for sure.

The biggest hit we would have taken if we were still in our old lives, would have been to my business. Most of my beloved clients were in the housing industry in some form or other. I wish all the best and send really good juju vibes to my predecessor all the time. But I do realize that at times massage may seem like a luxury. Let me see do we eat this week or do I go get a massage, let me think about it.

This is a good time to know massage and practise on each other. I say that very tongue in cheek because we have three freakin massage therapists in this house and I can't get anyone to work on my poor sore legs!

By the way the message the kids are sending in case you missed it Eye, Love, You!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Thursday we had record low temperatures in Costa Rica. It was down in the fifties, and not sure with windchill. They really don't usually measure that, as it is not usually so low. Now I know to most people that does not sound too low, but if you live in a house like this one, wouldn't that feel pretty darn cold to you?

The real problem has been with the people who lost their homes during the earthquake and are living in tents. They had to relocate them to empty warehouses during the cold front. It is scheduled to be done by tomorrow, but it sure has wreaked havoc for sure.

Of course along with the cold front was a hurricane on the Carribean side. They got slammed with flooding in Limon and one picture showed a bus that got washed right off the road. It sure seems Costa Rica has had its share of natural disaters this year.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Ok. so it is big, I said it would be! I have lots of vision and sure ain't gettin any younger. I had fun making it and hope to reap some benefits from making it. I figure if I only get one of the things I have on it it was well worth the hour or two that it took to make it. I am actually taking action on the bike picture this weekend. On my way to the bike shop to see about trading out big red for a smaller bike, cool!

I have had some time to think more about the lecture yesterday. Which by the way I owe my hubby a big thank you as he bought the ticket for me for my Valentines present, pretty sweet ha?

One thing that I could relate to that was said was the fact that if you have goals, that you are truly passionate about, the only limits to achieving these goals are in your own mind. That puts a lot of explanation for the success of a vision board. With the board you are actually able to see what it is you want and that makes it just a little closer to you and more attainable.

The thing to remember is that if someone else has it, why shouldn't you have it also? What is preventing you from having any and everything you want in life? If Nick can have anything he wants in life, with no arms or legs what excuse do we have for not getting everything out of life that we desire?

On my list of 100 I wanted to visit an island with my family. We have been to Hawaii twice with our family and now live in Costa Rica, which is close enough to an island for me. So you might want to be careful what you ask for you may just get it. "You better be sure you want the consequences of what you want."

I definately challenge everyone to try the vision board, what can it hurt?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I have had all day to digest and ponder the amazing and inspirational speech I witnessed this morning in San Jose. I really don't know how to talk or tell about it because it was so powerful and overwhelming at the same time.
Sorry the picture did not turn out better, but the lighting was awful so I had to time it during a break, or wait in a line for an hour after to get in a hug and a picture.
If I have ever used the excuse that I do not speak spanish to do anything here in Costa Rica, I need to repent and get on the ball. He did not speak spanish but had an interperter that did great. I'm sure it is hard to work up all that emotion and then wait for your turn to speak, but he did a great job.
In a nutshell Nick was born with no arms or legs. Two little feet, one bigger than the other that he calls his "chicken drumstick!" He calls it that because occasionally his dog tries to get it and he has to whack him with it.
If any of my kids ever makes an excuse for anything at all, I will trump that right down! There are no excuses for anything in this life! If Micah can write a book and blog while he is in jail, we know anything can be done!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Sunday afternoon I got a forward of a youtube video of this guy named Nick Vujicic. It was sent from a friend in AZ that knew I would love it. I watched it with my daughters and of course I cried and they laughed. I swear I never used to cry this much, age I guess.

Last night my hubby opened his Costa Rica newspaper, which he buys to practise his Spanish and low and behold who is in the paper? Nick Vujicic ! I have learned there is no such thing as serendipity, or any coincidinces, so figured I was supposed to go see him speak.

Turns out he will be in San Jose tomorrow morning. He gets done about the time it will be time for me to teach, so it worked out perfect. I do have to give up my morning run, but hopefully the weather will clear by tomorrow so I can get it in then.

The weather has not been cooperating with us the last couple of days. It was very cold and rainy and drizzly all day. Hoping this cold front will be done and blow through quickly. Our poor students and clients today were real troopers, cold troopers, but troopers none the less.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


The more things change the more they stay the same. Isn't that the truth? We have lived in Costa Rica for two and a half years now. We love it here and really enjoy the scenery and the weather. Of course there are things we do not enjoy, but all in all we are old enough to realize things don't really change just because you move.

Yesterday my daughter was at the park down the street with her boy-friend. We don't call him a boyfriend because she is only 15 and that is not allowed. So we just call him her boy-friend. At any rate they were down there watching the kids play and taking her dog for a walk.

He has been having trouble with an ex-girlfriend since he started hanging out with the gringa, or my daughter. A bit of a jealousy issue. So her new boyfriend comes up and starts beating up on this kid. My daughter did not know what to do and just grabbed his arm and tried to get him to leave the park.

As they were leaving the kid came charging at them from the left side. The deal is my daughter can't see out of her left eye, her boy-friend luckily caught what was comming and shoved her out of the way. He got thrown into the gate of the park and the guy pulled the gauges out of his ear and pulled his sweatshirt off of him. Thank goodness the park supervisor was on the ball and had called the police. They came and got his shirt back and told the other guy to leave him alone.

My daughter was really cute. She brought him home and got him two Aleves and some ice and of course lots of sympathy. Of course for her it brought back lots of bad memories about her brother and I was surprised how affected she was. The good part was she begged him to let it go and not retaliate. I guess she has learned something from the older brothers.

Another good thing is she knows it does not just happen in Costa Rica!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Does it look like he is working to you? I don't think so either, looks more like playing to me. Usually he has on the headphones jammin down, then I know he's not working.

This is why he loves working from home though seriously. He works a couple of hours, goes walk downtown for treats with the baby, or just hanging around.

Does it look like she is workin to you? Laptop on the lap, texting someone and listening to the music, ok I can't really see how this is doing school work at all.

She argues that texting is working on spanish, which it is, and chatting with gringo friends is working on her spelling. O.K.

Does it look like she is working? I guess playing Purble Place and listening to Bob Dylan can count for something, just can't figure out what.

I guess the fact that she can bring up Limewire and her games and play by herself at the age of 5 is something in itself.

Computer is definately the wave of the here and now and she has an edge on that for sure.