February 28, 2011

AND.. The winner is.......

Lori- Dawn!   

You've won the giveaway of the Sowers of Hope Tichel.   I hope you enjoy it!  :)   

Send me an email (suzyandkids@gmail.com) with your address and it will be on it's way. :)



ANow that we are getting closer to moving out to a farm (it's purchased.. now to get a house on it) I've been browsing seed websites, gardening blogs, etc.  So much fun. :)   The biggest goal is to grow all our own food, but I've ordered about um.. 50 varieties of flowers as well.    I'm a sucker for a gorgeous flower garden.   

The plan is to mix the flowers in with many of the veggies, and then we will have a large covered area (it gets too much rain there for many plants) where we will plant the rest of the veggies.

We went to a nursery today and bought a few herbs and some containers to start seeds in..
Here are our herbs :)

In the pot.. Sage, Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Oregano, & Lavender.

(we think it's mint.. what is the plant on the far right with small leaves?  smells like mint but the leaves are different)

 And a big pot of Citronella.  Used in many products to scare away bugs.  Thinking about making a living fence out of the stuff LOL.

And.. I couldn't resist this hanging basket.. no CLUE what it is.  Anyone know?

Here are some inspiration pictures I've found. :)


Need book suggestions..

 Books in English aren't easy to come by here in Tilaran Costa Rica.   Not easy for a girl who use to make a weekly trip to either Barnes & Noble or Books A Million.

I kicked around the idea of buying a Kindle before leaving the states but didn't.   Regretting that now. 

So, I relooked into the e-book idea a few weeks ago.   The Nook does not allow you to buy books on the website if you are in Costa Rica so that got marked off the list quickly.   The Kindle does not allow wireless access in Costa Rica but they do allow you to buy ebooks and download them to your kindle (just not with wi-fi)  So, I ordered a Kindle.   So excited to get it.  I miss books!   It was supposed to arrive today but this is the current tracking update.

Track your package    
Date Time Location Event Details
February 25, 2011 05:16:00 PM San Jose CR Possible delay in delivery due to extra carrier processing
February 25, 2011 04:55:00 PM San Jose CR Possible delay in delivery due to extra carrier processing
February 24, 2011 05:23:00 PM San Jose CR Possible delay in delivery due to extra carrier processing
February 23, 2011 05:11:00 PM San Jose CR Possible delay in delivery due to extra carrier processing
February 22, 2011 05:23:00 PM San Jose CR Possible delay in delivery due to extra carrier processing
February 21, 2011 05:16:00 PM San Jose CR Possible delay in delivery due to extra carrier processing

February 21, 2011 11:46:00 AM San Jose CR Arrival Scan
February 21, 2011 09:59:00 AM San Jose CR Departure Scan
February 21, 2011 09:58:00 AM San Jose CR Arrival Scan
February 21, 2011 08:28:00 AM San Jose CR Completed customs clearance process
February 21, 2011 03:19:00 AM San Jose CR Arrival Scan
February 21, 2011 03:19:00 AM San Jose CR Customs Clearance delay
February 21, 2011 03:19:00 AM San Jose CR Initiated customs clearance process
February 21, 2011 02:43:00 AM San Jose CR Arrival Scan
February 19, 2011 06:39:00 PM Miami Gateway FL US Departure Scan
February 19, 2011 12:16:00 PM Miami Gateway FL US Arrival Scan
February 19, 2011 05:41:00 AM Cincinnati Hub OH US Departure Scan
February 19, 2011 04:46:00 AM Cincinnati Hub OH US Arrival Scan
February 18, 2011 07:58:00 PM Allentown PA US Departure Scan
February 18, 2011 07:58:00 PM Allentown PA US Arrival Scan
February 18, 2011 12:44:00 PM Allentown PA US Shipment received by carrier

GRRRR.  Let's hope I get it sometime this year.
In the meantime.  I need book suggestions!   Leave a comment with a book you recently read and loved.  I've met few books I didn't enjoy.  I despise horror type books but past that.. I'd probably enjoy it. :) 

(please refrain from posting something with obscenities or words in the title that would be inappropriate for teens to read since some read this blog.. past that let's not argue over what others suggest.  I'm a big girl and know how to edit my own book choices.. if I or you do not agree with a choice we don't have to read it.. we also don't have to argue with the commenter about it)

February 27, 2011

Modest Monday ~ Swimwear

Once again, a post about swimwear. :)   I had posted awhile back about what I ordered the girls, and a link to what I had ordered for myself.   The swimsuit I ordered for myself, while cute.. once I got it on I didn't feel very modest.  The skirt hit my upper thigh and then skin tight leggings under it (and the suit itself was quite tight)  And the cutout's around the neck?  The center one is in an um..very revealing place.    So, I looked for a new option.  I ended up deciding to break down and spend the money to have a custom one made by Simply Modest.  

By ordering a custom one I could have the skirt made to the length I wanted, give my exact measurements, choose my own fabric, and specify that I wanted a loose fit.  I'm so happy with the results.  It will be nice to not only be comfortable in modest clothing but to be wearing quick drying swimwear fabric as well. :)  The quality is wonderful as well.

I have never understood why people think it's perfectly acceptable to walk around in their underwear in front of others simply because it's at the beach.   If nothing else,  consider covering up for others.  We don't really want to see you in your underwear anymore than you want to see me in mine (trust me.. would not be a pretty sight).   Wouldn't it be awesome if everyone simply tried covering up a bit at the beach!?   Modesty aside, it's better for your skin.

Remember, modesty counts no matter WHERE you are.   If you would be ashamed to wear something to the Farmers Market.. don't wear it to the beach.   (and in that I mean coverage.. not style.  I'll admit I would not wear something styled like this outside of the beach)

I also came across this website..  Cute stuff. http://seasecret.biz/


Dreaming of..

A venti extra hot chai latte, browsing Barnes & Noble with a $200 gift card, and one of their red velvet cupcakes.
I am so marking that down on my calendar for when we visit the states in May.

Oh.. and add internet that works to the list.  The internet tonight is beyond lame. 

February 26, 2011

Limes ~ so many uses

We buy our milk from a friend who milks his cows every morning.. ahh.. fresh raw milk. :)    What that means is we re use our gallon jugs and such.   The hard thing about this is that it's very hard to scrub them out.  Lately our milk had been ruining sooner than expected and I found out it was from remaining bacteria in the jugs.  So, I needed to use clorax OR Limes to clean out the jugs.  So yes.. Limes it was.  They are practically free here so it works out well :)

So, I chopped up several limes, mixed the juice with some baking soda, poured it in the jug, added some vinegar, and hot water.. voila.. Nice clean smelling disinfected jugs.

I hate to waste stuff like leftover limes though.  They have antibacterial properties.. So I scrubbed down my kitchen sink with them before I washed it out w/ vinegar.

 I do this next thing w/ lemon peels, limes, and oranges.  fill up a saucepan with water and the peels.. and then let it simmer on the stove all day (add water as needed)   Makes the house smell AMAZING.


February 25, 2011

Wishing you a blessed Shabbat

This song is sang by a dear friend of our's in Texas. I thought you might enjoy it. :)

Create in me a clean heart oh YHWH. Renew my spirit, Let me have a contrite heart and let me remain in your presence my Father.

February 24, 2011

Fantastic Foods Friday ~ Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Honey Cinnamon Syrup

These were AMAZING.  Seriously good pancake recipe but the syrup?  Heaven.  I always double pancake recipes and I did with this as well.   If it's for dinner (I rarely make them for breakfast.. they are more of a special dinner thing) we need way more than one batch.  And, if you have any leftover toss them in the fridge for an easy breakfast the next morning. :)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine eggs, milk and oil; add to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Keep warm.
  2. Combine the syrup ingredients in a 2-cup microwave-safe bowl. (or just put it in a small saucepan and heat on the stove like I did until the butter is melted) Microwave, uncovered, on high until butter is melted and syrup is hot, stirring occasionally. Serve with pancakes.
 (recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com)


Playing Tourist

We always giggle at the mob of tourists that stop here..
It is the very first view  you have of the lake once you turn onto the road that goes to the Arenal volcano.  I think pretty much all tourists stop here for pictures and to check out the peoples goodies they have for sale.

Here's a hint.  What they are selling is not super special and better views come up a bit farther down the road.

A bit father down the road we passed the usual traffic jam that occurs when monkey's are on the power lines beside the roads.  All the tourists have to stop and take pictures.  So.. on the way home we decided to play tourist as well.  Hey.. I'll admit it.. the monkey's still fascinate me. 

Taken from the other angle you can spot some of them in the trees a bit farther back.

See the monkey jumping from one tree to another?


February 23, 2011

Giveaway ~ Sowers of Hope Tichel

I love giveaways!  So, I thought I'd do another one. :)    This time we are giving away this gorgeous tichel.

This unique no-slip triangular headcovering is expertly created from a black and multi-colored floral fabric.

Unlike many others, this tichel is made with a no-slip black light-weight cotton underside. Having a cotton underside prevents slipping and it also offers a beautiful contrasting color effect.

With such exquisite coloring this gorgeous tichel can easily be worn with a number of outfits.

The headcovering measures approximately 60 X 42 X 42.

A must have for every modest wardrobe!

Tichel Tying Tutorial: http://sowersofhope.blogspot.com/search/label/Tutorial

This is made by Sowers of Hope


To enter the giveaway... here are the rules.
1- You get one entry for commenting on this post
2- Another entry for following the blog (please comment on the post again that you followed the blog or if you are already a follower)
3- One other entry for liking my facebook page for the blog.  (follow this link here)  and comment on the post again if you liked the page or already liked it in the past.
4- One last entry for liking Sowers of Hope's facebook page (follow the link here) and comment on the post again if you liked the page or already liked it in the past.

So.. you've got 4 chances to win this gorgeous headcovering!
The giveaway ends Monday of next week at 7:00 CST.  

If you feel led to share.

There are some needs in the Costa Rica area.

1- The local orphanage.  We will be going to visit them next week and hope to shop this week.    There are about 12 children (I believe the amount varies) that are all under the age of 10.   They will be very blessed by your donation.  Some of these children are here because their parents are in jail, several because their parents were murdered, etc.   It's truly heartbreaking what these little one's have went through in their short life.    We will be contacting the orphanage to see what the needs are this week.    If you would like, use the donation paypal button on the right sidebar, be sure to label the donation as orphanage. 

2- (as an update on 2/24 this need has been met.  Thank you all so much)
Here are some excerpts from a note a friend sent out.
School has just started again here in Costa Rica and where my children go to school there are 6 children whose parents can’t afford to buy their books for this years school year.  It is 15,080 colones =$ 30.50 per child.
   Also, this year I will be working more with the school in different projects as last year I was giving folks food out of our garden and cheese and other things.  This year Jesse (a brother in the community here in C.R.) and I will be preparing an area at the school and teaching the kids how to make their own garden at home and how to plant seeds and take care of a garden organically.  So I am excited about this opportunity to teach youngsters about the Father and His ways.  Simple things like a garden can be used to teach kids about life in general and we will use this as another outreach program.  First the natural and then the spiritual; I believe Paul said it to that affect and there is so much truth in that.
    There is one more need at this school as well.  The building where the kindergartners are at has no ceiling in it.  It has a tin roof but no ceiling and every morning when the kids arrive they have to start to dust off the desks and sweep up the dirt and leaves off the floor due to not having a ceiling.  It’s very windy here where we live avg. mph wind is about 35 to 40 and buildings are built different here than the States.  No insulation and dirt and other material end up finding their way into your home or building.  I’m guestimating that it would take 250 dollars to put a roof in the classroom.
   If you are led to give go to our site, see link below, and you can donate through paypal.  Please write a memo as to which project it is for.  Either kids books or school roof.

Feel free to also use the donation button on my side bar and label what it is for.  I will get it to them.  This is the school our children are attending as well.

February 22, 2011

Sweet Shot Tuesday ~ Lake Arenal

 Sweet Shot Day

I took this today after we picked up the kids from school.    I'm still in awe that this view is part of our daily drive. :) 

The lake you see is Lake Arenal and the Volcano is The  Arenal volcano.


February 21, 2011

Small delights

We were introduced to these tiny bananas on arriving.   They sold them in the states as well but I don't think these work as well when picked super early and shipped.    We love these.  small, easy to eat, and so sweet.  They seriously taste like eating banana cream pie.  So good.

The other is completely new to us.   Water apples.      They smell very very sweet, just like a flower.  It's odd.. I've never smelled a food like this.   Imagine walking around in a lot of blooming fruit trees.. that is exactly what this smells like.  Because of that I'm not sure about them.  I don't expect my food to smell like flowers LOL.    They taste amazing though.  Very sweet and juicy.

Apparently on our farm there are two HUGE trees of water apples with enough for many families..  Looking forward to coming up with some jellies and other recipes with them.


February 20, 2011

Pirates and oceans

We made a quick trip to the beach again today. :)  

On the way there we decided to go thru a McDonalds drive-thru.  We haven't ate this trash for about 3.5 months.. and man was it good LOL.   

One thing we didn't think about.. was the language barrier and drive thru's.  I mean, those can get messed up when you speak the same language.. but it went quite well.  Jesse is doing great with his spanish.

The kids were quite serious about their cokes. 
and the fries.. oh man.  so good.

 The kiddos were VERY impressed with the pirate ship in the bay.   I'll admit.. it was pretty cool.

oh... got to love the amazingly clear blue water.   

The water was about up to my chest here.. and look how well you can see my feet. 

I bet those people paid a ton of money to take those cruise ships here..  

Miss Lorien squirt :)

The big one.  Seriously.. she'll be 8 soon.   How in the world?

 Brianna collected pieces of these large shells..  Maybe one day we'll find a complete one. 

There are a lot of piles of brush up in the jungle that borders the beach... The brush piles are FULL of lizards.  

This one was about 3 feet long

slightly smaller cute little thing

They were burning off the fields again this time around.  Thankfully not quite as much.   they've been burning them off lately near our house as well and man.. that smell gets to you after awhile. 

 And much thanks to our dear friend Gertrude for showing us how to get to the beach..

 (in all seriousness.. Thank you so much to Mark and Linda who are loaning us their car and GPS while our car is in San Jose getting registered.)