Monday, August 31, 2009


For thirty years we have set apart Monday evenings for a family evening. It has always been interesting, and sometimes a little sketchy. Lots of times ended in tears and yelling, but just as many ended in good feelings. Actually more have ended good than bad.

The baby loves Monday evenings. She looks forward all week to the night when she can be in charge of something. This week she helped me put together a game to play and she will tell a story. She has been so excited.

The one wish I have is that in bad or trying times my children can look back and have a good memory or two to get them through.

The other night I was talking to my 21 yr old about us going out to eat. I asked him if he remembered us ever eating out. He said no only on trips or special occasions. Of course he had to sum it up. We ate at Taco Bell and were allowed one thing from the dollar menu. And then we all shared a drink! Sadly the truth.

I have always been against refined processed food and spending money on it. This would account for the limits. That and the fact that feeding seven kids can get a little pricey. Who am I kidding it is very pricey. But we do know how to make really good healthy burritos at home and anything they can cook I can cook better.

I have been learning about GMO foods and we are going to be eating lots of fruits and vegees and homemade stuff. Of course we already do because it is just better than the food here in Costa Rica.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I have to say that most of our experiences with taxi drivers have been very positive here. In fact we have quite a few funny "pick-up" stories about taxi drivers. One time when we were in Nicaragua a cute young guy gave us a good deal on the long ride to the beach town of San Jaun del Sur. We got in the car, the girls in the back and hubby in the front. As soon as we got in he adjusted his mirrors so that he could see the gorgeous teenager in his rearview mirror the whole two hours there. But he did make one stop in town to buy a new cd, an English love song cd! It was freakin' hilarious.

The other funny one was when the old toothless guy picked us up. I was in the backseat this time and he kept looking in the rearview at me. He asked my daughter how long we had lived in Costa Rica and how our Spanish was. He told her that if her Mama had a Tico boyfriend she would learn Spanish really quickly. I may not speak good Spanish, but I understand it, hello! As he kept talking and looking I asked my daughter if we should get out of the car. She said "no I think I'm good, but you may want to get out anytime now." Funny.

Tonight we went to the mall to meet the tall one and have some ice cream. We got in the taxi van to head home. Now we all take taxis together all the time. They do sometimes tell us no if there are all five of us, insisting they only take four at a time. In that case we usually just find another driver who will take us. We thought good tonight because we got the taxi van. A little more expensive because of the extra gas, but no hassles. Boy were we wrong. He started in right away talking to my daughters boyfriend about how they charge more when there are more than four people. Lie number one. Then he kept talking about it all the way up to the house. The meter read 1900 when we got home. Tall one went to hand him a 2000 bill and he said no it was 2800, because of the extra person. We said no we only pay what is on the meter. He started giving us crap and hubby came out of the house, that was when he sped off and threw the 2000 out the window, cool free ride!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


When Rick and I got married we had three cakes. The first cake was of course our wedding cake. My seminary teacher's wife made it for us for a gift. The second cake was a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for the hubby. The third cake was a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. That would be my favorite cake. When we were stationed in Hawaii I made carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting to sell at the local health food store, they were a hit of course.

Today was my son-in-laws birthday. I was so happy that he requested carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Not only do I love that, but my daughter luckily followed in my footsteps and makes one mean carrot cake. It was delicious and I fear I am quickly putting back on the hard lost pounds.

Why is it that it takes so darn much time and effort to lose weight and then bammo overnight it is back? That would be the problem with this tapering thing. My body gets adjusted to the big time exercise and when I cut back even the teeniest bit, I get hit. I guess it is time to start watching what goes into the big ole' bocca!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


You know those days when you need a nap more than the little ones? Well this was one of those days. I completely forgot to pick Maleah up from school. It was that bad. It seems like the older I get the harder time I have multi-tasking. I had a class to teach this morning and it blew everything else out of my mind. I guess I better start writing things down, or keep forgetting people.

Now some of my older kids would argue that this is not a new thing. The difference is I knew they were waiting to be picked up, I just could not be more than one place at a time and picked them up as I could. Jesse always carried a sketch book everywhere with him so that he could draw while he waited. And wallah an artist was born. Too bad all of them could not find productive things to do while they waited.

I probably don't even want to do all the things they have done and will continue doing while they are waiting for Mom to pick them up!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


My baby is growing up! The first official, non pulled tooth has been lost. She had me wiggling it Sunday and I said oops and out it came. She was so shocked that it did not hurt. Her other two teeth she has lost were pulled and they hurt. So now she was pleasantly surprised that it did not hurt. In fact as soon as I accidently pulled it out she said "pull the other one"! I explained that it was not quite ready.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I just have one question for you. If your butt looked like this would you want to run 20 miles?

And one comment, thanks honey for going to the pharmacia to help me out :)

Friday, August 21, 2009


I caught this little belly button grub worm in Grandpas garden! Good thing nothing was growing at the moment, or it would have been history. He sure loves the dirt though, almost as much as his belly button!


Today was bug day at Maleahs' school. Yesterday we helped her find a mommy worm, a baby worm and a cricket to take in her jar to school. She came home grossed out because some of the kids had brought cockroaches. That is pretty gross.

Also since we brought her to school a couple of weeks ago, when there was no school, and she had to hang out with another class. They now have labeled us the retarded family and she gets special notes just for us. In her notebook it said they got out a half hour early today, her teacher sent a special note home with her in her uniform pocket telling us once again that she got out early today. Then when we got outside she told us "Mom I get out tomorrow at 10:00" and held up her hands to show me! Ok I don't speak Spanish too well, but I really am not retarded.

Her teacher did seem relieved to see us when we picked her up at 10:00.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


There is a saying that if anything can go wrong it will. Well in the case of marathon training that is true for sure. I have been very careful not to get injured an been very conscientious about stretching and staying loose.

A few years I developed a neuroma, or as it is known on the bottom of the foot is called a "mortons neuroma". It feels like running on a hot iron on the ball of the foot. Painful! I did not think I would be able to do our 18 miler on Monday, but it loosened up and I was able to limp through it.

The problem with limping through a run is the sore muscles that are not used to limping. The compensation is not always worth it, and I sure felt it on my five miler today. My opposite leg was so sore and the bottom of the affected foot was so sore from running on the outside of it.

The good part was by the end of the run I was feeling strong and well. It is great when a five miler actually feels good. We are actually starting to get our act together on this marathon. It has been a fun journey for this one for sure and can't wait to run the race. Tamarindo Marathon here we come !!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


When you are done with a long day of unschooling, including doing a math section, a section of history, and practicing the song you have been working on singing with your brother what can you do? I mean what is a bored unschooler to do with the rest of her day? Or at least the rest until she is allowed out of the house to play, or in her case to see her boyfriend?

I have it, let's make the dog look ridiculous! Since the baby didn't do a good enough job of it when she took the paper scizzors to his fur and left little hunks gone all over him, I will try. Well I think she did a pretty good job of it! He looks ridiculous.

When we lived in Missouri we had to keep track of our homeschool hours with the kids. We were required to complete 1,000 hours a year with 600 hours in the five basics. You would be amazed what you can fit any day to day activity under.

For example Rascals haircut would definately fit under "job training". My daughter is trying to find out of dog grooming is for her. Well we ruled that one out for sure! Can't imagine what she will rule out tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Woo hoo! Today Rebekah and I finished our second to the last long run of our training. We have a 20 miler next week and then it is taper time. Man I just love the sound of that, taper time, taper time, taper time!

It was a most beautiful day for a long run here in the mountains. We had about 75 degrees taking off and about 85 with lots of humidity by the time we got done. It was beautiful. The one problem we have had with training in the mountains is we have not had heat training.

It just does not get hot here like the beach, so that will be our biggest challenge. Not to mention the feet, chub rub, and knee. The typical aches and pains of a marathon. The bad part is we have not signed up and paid our fee. It is really expensive and we are saving our colones to sign up.

We also wanted to make sure neither one of us got injured or pregnant. I am sure you can guess who was worried about which :)

Friday, August 14, 2009


O.K. I think this shirt is about on it's last thread. But the problem is that I love this shirt. I have had it obviously a very long time and it works great for running. The biggest problem is the funny tan lines I get when I run in it. But it is very well air conditioned and keeps my shoulders covered.

I guess since I have reached my goal I could reward myself with some new running clothes. The only problem with this is the fact that when you wear fancy, smancy running clothes people actually expect you to run like, fast.

It was like when I did triathlons. I had a really nice bike that I had traded for with massages. Well when I would show up for a race people would take a look at my bike and think I was actually going to be the "competition". Ha, ha, ha, they quickly discovered differently once the swim began.

Anyway I am already self-conscious about running in my "runner watch". I read once that the only difference between a runner and a jogger is the watch. But I really am more of a jogger, and believe me it takes a really long time to jog a marathon! I would say I have it on the really fast, and kind of fast people when it comes to endurance. I can run all day. I have to to finish the race because I am so freakin slow. But I am doing it and having fun, most of the way, and staying healthy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Yahoo! Finally got into the 130's. When Rebekah and I started training for our marathon two months ago my goal was to get into the 130's by the time we did not marathon. I am so excited to finally get down there. I have not seen this weight since I did my iron man 7 years ago, and did not expect to get there again.

Now I know the key. Run 35 miles a week and don't eat junk food or sweets. The last part was forced not by choice by the way. We have been trying to tighten our belts and cut out the junk and "non-nutritive" foods. That seems to work, unfortunately.

The good news is I have been working on cookies all day. My son wants to introduce our cookies to the neighborhood, so we made some to sell over the weekend and see how they were received. The bad news is chocolate chips are now $4.00 a bag now, holy heck I guess I will keep losing weight. May be in the 120's by the time our race day gets here in four weeks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


The President of Costa Rica is the latest victim of the porky flu as my kids call it. He evidently caught it on his big adventure on the new train from Heredia to San Jose. Really makes me want to try out the new train ha?

Our family has been going through something, not sure it is the real thing or another fake flu. I just know baby and hubby never get sick and they got hit the hardest with this one. All week on the couch and sleeping.

I guesss baby has not missed too much in pre-kinder, just lots more coloring and cutting, hope that does not mess her up too bad. The only thing she says she misses is her friends, normal.

So much for our lymph drainage. Oh wait we did not practice it on them, that is why they got sick, they did not get their lymph massage!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


When we moved to Costa Rica almost three years ago, they did not really celebrate Halloween. Last year they had parties everywhere. We had pretty much decided not to bother with it and then felt bad because all the people around us were celebrating. This year we will be prepared.

I know it is only August, but this is the time to prepare for a really good bash. We don't like the candy here, but we do like a party, so we will get things ready ahead of time.

Two years ago we all dressed up, even the adults and had our party here. I was, of course a witch, and the kids still remember that. I was looking online and found this cool site with adult Halloween costumes I really liked the Wizard of Oz ones. We have the perfect dog to be Todo and could just dress up the whole family.

One of these days I will be prepared and not have to be a witch or a gypsie, which is usually the last minute preps. And of course the baby has to be a princess wearing her nightgown and putting her hair up!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Does it look like he needs something to do? I thought so too, so I talked him into going back to school. Now when the kids say they don't want to finish their degrees he can show them how it is done.

He will be starting back to school this semester and will do online classes through Governors School. His tests will be proctored at the University here and he is actually getting excited about returning to school.

Thank goodness he is like a genius and school is usually very easy for him. Of course that was a few years ago, hope he still has all the marbles upstairs!

Friday, August 7, 2009


It's all about the outfit,and this outfit is all about dancing. The only problem was they did the dance for their parents the week we were in Nicaragua. I offered baby to stay here and do her dance, but we were the main ones she wanted to do it for. I'm just glad looking at these pics that we bought the outfit, it was well worth it!

This is the traditional outfit for the Costa Rica celebrations. Last weekend they were celebrating the annexation of Guanacaste from Nicaragua. The girls all wear this and the boys wear white shirts, jeans and a bandana around their necks. They all look sooo cute.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I have found the perfect answer to the "swine flu". Get a lymph massage! As we have been studying the lymph massage for the past couple of weeks I keep thinking that it would be great for everyone to get one, if they are worried about their immune systems.

In conjunction with the massage portion we also studied salt glows, dry luffa scrubs, and yoga moves to stimulate the lymph system. We all had fun and learned a lot about this amazing system and how it works.

Good thing we can work on each other! Hannah had a cold and was demo one day.She got to draining really good, slept for awhile and then felt much better. Amazing this stuff really works!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I am a little jealous. Actually a lot jealous. Last night baby was sleeping with us in our bed, she's only five :) In the middle of the night she started sleep talking, which is not abnormal for her. The difference? She was talking in her sleep in Spanish! We were so shocked we both woke up and started laughing. I think that means she is thinking in Spanish and pretty much has it down.

Today I was reading a blog this guy wrote about how easy it is to learn Spanish. We have lived in Costa Rica for almost three years and I understand Spanish really well. I can usually tell what is going on, sometimes takes me a couple of minutes but I get it.

Sometimes I think people think I am slow or something because I have not learned to speak in Spanish yet. They don't realize how my brain works. It does not work without touching things. I am a massage therapist, not a linguist. Not that I can't talk, I just need to feel things to learn them.

I would be curious to see how long it takes this guy to learn Spanish!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I really am ready to start avoiding these parent teacher meetings. They have us come in, about six parents and talk to us. They don't want to call all the parents at once because of swine flu. So we all come in and sit for at least a half hour. The goal of the meeting? Trying to convince us that we want to give more money to the school.

Today we sat for thirty minutes for her to try and convince us that we wanted to donate four dollars over the next four months to finish the cafeteria. The catch? It will not be done before our kids leave the school in Dec!

After that hard sell they had to convince us that we wanted to donate eight dollars for our childs graduation packet. They are graduating from pre-kinder for goodness sakes! And the teacher had the nerve to joke about my husband asking why the school always wants more money!

Granted it sounds like small amounts, but it does add up. I look at these people whose average salary in Costa Rica is 600.00 per month and think, yeah that would be a hardship. She told them if you can't afford it talk to their Godparents!

I finally got frustrated and took the money out of my pocket and put it in the envelope hoping the teacher would get the hint and stop talking so we could leave. I would much rather get a note in her notebook and then just send the money, or go in and argue like hubby!

Monday, August 3, 2009


O.K. just when I think my kids have come up with everything one of them gets me. I never saw this one comming as my daughter never said anything about it. She had mentioned that she thought the moms that did it were champs, but other than that she never said a word about wanting to be a surrogate mom.

About two weeks ago she told me that she had been in contact via email with a couple in Austria about being their surrogate. My first response was no way you can't do this. I was of course thinking of all the ways she could get hurt or ripped off, etc.

Once we talked more about it and I saw where she was comming from I felt a little better. Since I have a friend considering surrogacy I was especially excited for her, once I got over the shock. Most people just respond by telling her she is crazy.

I think it is a nice way to make money and help out a couple that have been trying to have a baby for eight years with no success. We will see how it goes and definately keep you posted on the progress. She is hoping to be p.g. by Oct. so it will be as soon as we finish our marathon!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


These pictures were taken on our 90 day leave trip to Grenada. It is a really fun place with lots of old, I mean old stuff. We did a little horse and buggy trip around all the old churches and checked out the place thoroughly. The top picture is a great depiction of how poor it really is here, poor thing was pretty well starved.

The other pictures are of one well maintained church and one that has not been taken care of at all. It is sad to see something so grand go to ruin like that. There was a tourist street about three miles long. It was a ghost town. I guess Grenada was a roaring place at one time. Now there are just a bunch of backpackers and hippies visiting, guess I know which one of those we fit under!