May 31, 2011

Dog whisperer

Okay.. maybe that's wrestler.

Poor Rivka.. he does this to her all the time.. she could care less.  She use to wrestle with him but now she just sits there.   We did just discover that she doesn't let other small children do it.   A neighbor girl tried to and she didn't put up with it.   Apparently she only tolerates abuse from Rohan.

May 30, 2011

Q+A question's 3 and 4

So... questions from two more readers. :)   I'll combine them here.   If you have a question you'd like to ask post away!
I love reading this blog! Your life is so fascinating! My husband knows you by name because I talk about how we should move to CR all the time :) I could ask a ton of questions, but I will practice some self-control, lol. What made you pick Costa Rica? How did you make the move.. as in did you know people down there who could help you? What is the medical care there like? For example, do they have good hospitals if you need a csection or any major surgeries? Ok, I will stop now :)
What made us pick costa rica?  Well, at first we sort of decided on Belize.   We had even found a piece of property we liked!    However, upon researching a bit longer we decided the temperature wasn't ideal for us.    It was just a bit too warm for what we had in mind (working outside all day long).  We then started looking at Chile.   My husband really liked that idea.  I didn't.  I'm not sure why but I just could not be content with the idea of Chile.   So, we looked at Costa Rica again.   We "knew" (online) a family that lived in Costa Rica so that was a factor... and the weather was more what we had in mind, the crime rate is low, the stories from people that moved here said the people were very welcoming and kind.   When we mentioned costa rica again we both felt at peace.. so that was that.   Not a very scientific process I'll admit. :)

How did we make the move?   We did a lot of research on forums.   It seemed that every forum recommended the same shipper so we contacted him.   A family here gave us tips on what to ship and what not to ship..  And we started selling off everything and boxing up what we were shipping and putting it in a stack in the garage.   It wasn't long and our house looked like this.. 

When our house sold we loaded all of our belongings into a trailer and drove to Florida.  We delivered our car (which we shipped here) and all the stuff to the shipper, hopped in our rental car.. and drove to the airport.    Was actually a fairly simple process.   We had found a rental house through a local realtor through the internet so that was ready for us (and furnished).  We packed up about 8 HUGE suitcases, backpacks, and carryon's with things we wanted in the 5 weeks it took for our shipment to arrive and hauled it all with us to the airport.   

What is the medical care there like?   The medical care here is actually something people come from the states for.   They have socialized healthcare and the facilities are good.    C-sections are well available (too much so.. their c-section rate is through the roof)  and I've heard the cost for them is about $2,000.   Much of the healthcare is free and GOOD, or it is very affordable.   The dental work as well.  I'm in the middle of a root canal (with the best dentist I've ever used and I have an insane amount of dental work) and the grand total?  $100.00.   

Hi there! I have been reading your blog for a while now. I really enjoy learning all about your family and life in Costa Rica. Your photos are amazing and I absolutely love the scenery. I have a question- do your children enjoy going to the local school, and will they continue to do that as they get older? Thank you for sharing!

Well, they have quit going.   The goal was to have them attend until we moved to the farm but we stopped a bit sooner.  With us going to the states for almost 3 weeks, and we are about to make at least 1 week long trip to the farm in the next 4 weeks.. possibly 2, then we move down there.. we pulled them out the day before we went to Texas.   They did enjoy it though.   Lorien more so.  Brianna had started to tire of it.   Her reasoning?  "Mom.. I don't like public school... because you have to get up... and put on socks... and button a shirt"   ???  Really child?  LOL.    I missed homeschooling as well!   I don't regret the experience and the made good friends and picked up spanish.. but we will be homeschooling from now on. :)  The schools here are VERY catholic.  Fine.. if you are catholic.. which we are not.   At the time my girls couldn't understand enough spanish to know what they were saying but in the future they'd be able to understand. 


How things change..

So.. was browsing my old blog and came across our old house plan pictures.

This was the first floor of our plan in 2007
This is the first floor of the plan we are now building

The 2nd story of the 2007 plan

The 2nd story of the one we are building

And.. the front.. 

Praise YHWH for finally giving us common sense!

May 29, 2011

Q+A question number two

Got another question to answer. :) 
(If you would like to ask a question scroll down a few posts to the ask me anything post and leave a comment!)

1.) Have you found that you brought the right things with you to Costa Rica from the US? (Are there things that you wish you'd brought but didn't or things that you brought and wished you hadn't?)

2.) Do you intend to stay in Costa Rica for the foreseeable future? Reading your blog, I'm not quite sure if you have left the US for good or if you think that someday you'll move back.

3.) What part of blogging do you like the best? The least?

4.) What are your favorite blogs to read?

Ok, so that ended up being more questions than I intended. Just ask my professors at college though- I am always asking tons of questions.


1) Hmm.. kinda not really.     Some things we brought we shouldn't have.   I brought a lot of my nice boots and such that well... silly thing to bring.   As well as an insane amount of gorgeous silk wrap skirts.  Pretty.. but really?  for the jungle?  really?    For the most part we did pretty well.  We brought a ton of books but I don't regret that.. and thankfully I brought a tong of kitchen things which are harder to find here.   We should have brought more things for the farm but we just had another shipment delivered (it should clear customs tomorrow) With some extra things we needed (and didn't).    For instance it's got crockpots, griddles, all sorts of awesome kitchen stuff.  But also a pretty king size bedspread (not a common size here), and some fun stuff like passover plates, and a few pretty dish sets.    We should have all gotten a good pair of boots (as in the practical type) but we didn't.  Live and learn!

2)   Our move here is permanent to the best of our knowledge.    We do not have any plans at all of moving back to the states but I'm not going to say we never will.  I'm also not going to say we'll never move to Africa or Antarctica KWIM?   I've given up trying to plan to much.   I'll let the father take care of that and plan the details in between. :)

3)  Hmm...   good question. My fav. part of blogging?   I'm really not sure!  Probably just being able to share our life with family and friends who we don't see often.   I started blogging strictly for our out of town family back in 2007.   I never dreamed other's would be interested in our life.   But our life has changed a lot and it's a bit unusual so I can see why people would browse.. if nothing else but for the pictures. :)      My least favorite part of blogging?   The people who have nothing to do but be mean and rude and somehow feel like sharing their judgmental poop will somehow improve their and my day.        (Delete button.. meet comment)

4)  Favorite blogs to read..   I'm a bad blogger.  I go through spurts where I read NO blogs, then I go through spurts where I read all the blogs in my reader everyday for a month.   I use to really enjoy baking blogs like bakerella.  I love doing creative things like that with sweets.   However, here it's impossible to buy the supplies to make that stuff so I've stopped reading those.  Even normal cooking blogs have lost their appeal as the ingredients aren't something I can buy here.    I also use to really enjoy decor blogs.. esp. the one's that focused on a more eclectic style which I have.  I like reclaiming objects.. but again.. that doesn't work here so there's no use in reading about it!    I've found that now I read homesteading blogs, friends blogs, and about once a month I browse the fun one's I use to enjoy.  I'm browsing now while I type.. I love the bad MLS pictures. :)

   I also love homeschooling blogs.   It's one of those things where I read them and imagine myself being that awesome of a homeschool mom.  (wait.. did I just admit that? LOL)    I really love this homeschooling blog.   I found it and fell in love... then a bit later realized we shared the same faith so that was cool for me.

Here's another blog I was browsing.  In a roundabout way I "know" her through mutal friends and her photography and spirit are just amazing.

cooking blogs.. another I ran across one day by accident.  Was googling how to dehydrate bananas... feel in love with her blog and then I realized we shared a faith later.  Makes it nice since we can actually EAT what she uses in her recipes (no pork, shrimp, etc..)

Creatures everywhere

Living in a tropical place creatures are a given.   We have literally dozens (hundreds?) of bugs in the house every night.. some really interesting.  Like the 3 inch long wasp in our room 2 nights ago.  YIKES.. I ran out of the room and made the men handle that one!    Do NOT move to this country if you can't handle bugs.  They are everywhere, all the time.   We usually have to fish several out of our sink when we wash dishes and if there is a pot/ pan/ plate/ cup on a shelf not face down it WILL have multiple bugs in it so you have to wash everything before you use it.   You get use to it.. but if you are considering moving here.. be prepared.

Gecko's are everywhere but those are pleasant.. I love geckos. :)   

Once we get to the farm there will be more.  We have 25 chickens waiting on us, 4 cows, and a horse so far.  

It POURED last night.  I love it when it rains.. it cools the house down for the night and keeps the bugs to a minimum since the bugs don't feel like flying through the downpour to get into our house.    Something else comes out with the rain.. The toads!

Christopher took this picture for me (since it was pouring)..   Pretty cool picture huh?  What you can't tell is that this toad is like 8 inches long and 6 inches wide.. HUGE toad.

 The neighbors here are awesome.  They are always delivering stuff.  We have had to buy milk only about 2 times since moving here since they are always bringing by raw milk.   They bring natilla, fruit, veggies, even meat.  Usually the meat is butchered, ready to cook.   Not always.   This was delivered today. 

How awesome is that?  We got gifted a rooster! LOL.    It's to bring to the farm.  We are actually leaving to go tomorrow for a week so we'll bring it with us when we go.   For now it's on a "leash" in the backyard.  

It's a gorgeous rooster isn't it?

There is also this fairly exotic breed of monkey.   I see it frequently.   Briannapanze I think it's called.


May 28, 2011

Q+A question number One

On my last post I offered to answer any of your questions and I got one just shortly after posting.. so here it is. :)
 I would love to know about your conviction to head cover. We already wear skirts full time here and are still looking into other things.

My other question is can you tell me about the diet in Costa Rica? What is a typical day's meals like? And what kind of income do the people around you live on????

Thanks so Much

Headcovering.. I started covering about a year ago?  A bit less?  I had felt the need to cover for at least a year and wore one off and on for a long time, but finally made the decision to just go for it full time.  I talked about some of my reasons a bit in this post HERE.

I love headcovering!  They are so pretty and simple and I just feel better about it when covering.  It's something Yah's culture has done for centuries and I'm happy to join a set apart culture in doing so.  I see the examples of women covering in torah and it seems to say that YHWH considers uncovered hair nakedness (look at the above blog post) so I just feel better covered. :)   Also, if you hair is a glory.. I love saving it for my husband. :)    I do not see it as a command (thus a sin not to do it), but I see it as a way to live a more yah-centered life.  

I really love the look of a tichel 

but also really appreciate a simple bandana for simplicity and have fell in love with the snoods from Sowers of Hope.  (link on the right sidebar of my blog)  


The diet here.  The locals eat rice and beans for all 3 meals.  You add milk to rice (and other things to make it yummy) for breakfast.. or scramble eggs and eat atop rice for breakfast..     Lunch and dinner are usually gallo pinto.  Pretty much rice, beans, and tortillas.  Fixed with spices and seasonings and veggies of course.. quite yummy.

If you go to a local soda (just any small restaurant) they traditional plate is a Casado plate.  It is whatever meat you order chicken, beef, or pork (the beef rocks), rice, beans, a fried plantin, and some sort of salad..   AWESOME stuff.. so so good.     "natural drinks" are very common here.  They are pretty much blended fruit w/ some water and sugar.  yum!   Mango, pina, and mora berry are the most popular flavors.    Plantins, mango, pina, and bananas seem to be the most common fruits.  You can buy them at all the roadside vendors or the people the drive down the road selling them.   There is also an edible flower that is very popular here.  You just sautee it up w/ onions and peppers.    Chayote is a common veggie.  It's very similar to squash.  The tortillas are of course corn and handmade.  The milk is usually raw,  the chicken usually bought from a neighbor..  nice lifestyle.  ALL the children like fruits and veggies (beside peppers.. we've found they don't eat peppers well)


Income..  The average income is 10,000 a year.    that being said.   They all OWN their homes.  Yes, they are small and simple and you can see through them in the poorer areas.. but they OWN them.   And they are so amazingly clean.   They have no debts at all and seem to be happy and satisfied people.  There isn't as much of a "keep up with joneses" here..  It's creeping in.. but hasn't infiltrated yet.  

It's all a matter of perspective though.  You'll go to a house with dirt floors, and outhouse, etc.. and your american mindset says "they are poor!".. then they open the fridge and you see it crammed full of butter, eggs, cream, beef, chicken and realize they eat like kings.  So yeah... the fact is the people here have no debt and have some net worth which really makes them wealthier than 99.9% of american's. 


Ask me anything!

So..  got something you'd like to ask me?  Leave me a comment with a question about anything and I'll answer it. :)   I'm needing some things to blog about hehe.

A few rules.  
1- you must leave your name.. no anonymous questions.
2- mean comments like always will be happily sent to their grave

going for a walk..

Went for a little walk in our small backyard.  Can't wait until we move to the farm and have more land!   Speaking of the farm.. things are progressing. :)   We hope to move there in about 4 weeks, and are going for 8 or so days on monday or tuesday.  I'll come back with lots of pictures!

One picture of last night.. Our two doggies asleep LOL

Monkey we saw on our walk.. it was pretty far off so excuse the highly zoomed in lame shot.

the trail in our little backyard.. it leads off into the jungle

My small cute man

The dogs came with us too.


 He is so cute.. and getting so big!

My slightly bigger squirt.

A neighbor kid that seems to live at our house LOL.  His name is Andres

A lot of the neighbors burn their trash in this pit in the backyard.. it's pretty deep but the kids all insist on walking across the "bridge"

A pretty little flower in the yard.

Impatients.  These grow EVERYWHERE here.. in huge masses along the side of the road.

The field right next to our house.. planted solid in beans.  These are like 2 weeks old!  wow... they grew fast.

Cheaply made hammock, 3 small kids of our own, countless "extra" kids over all the time.. equals broken hammock.

A lime tree right by our door.

a "chalkboard" the kiddos have.  

Another flower in the backyard.

Two small kidlets in the lime tree :)

The two dogs.. they literally bite on each other and "fight" over things ALL DAY LONG.   so like human children LOL

Andres and Rohan in the lime tree..

 Christian and Christopher have been deeply involved in Angry Birds LOL


May 27, 2011

Monkey's in the backyard..

 There were several monkey's in the backyard this morning.. Finally got my battery charged long enough to take at least a few pictures (again with the new easy camera.. sorry guys.. it's just SO much easier!)

Howler monkey's... super loud.. not the cutest.. but pretty cool!

The one in the front is a momma w/ a baby on it's back and the one in the back is an adolescent. 

Cute little monkey :)

Here's a picture so you can see they are literally in the backyard.  Those metal buildings are little pig/ chicken type pens in the backyard about 15 feet from the back door.

Wow.. the kids made them MAD.   Making howler noises at them and climbing the lower parts of the tree.. the monkey's got LOUD.


May 26, 2011

Back home.. and how you live when you have no cabinets, and no space :)

So nice to be back home.   My stomach can be at peace now LOL.   Seriously..  99.9% of the meals we ate out made my stomach protest.   It's not use to that food anymore!   Not to mention seeing my husband and our extended family again.  It's so nice and quiet.. and just peaceful here.     

Certainly not a life I ever envisioned for myself. :)   During a yummy dinner of Tostones, raw broccoli salad (SO good...  all raw with peanuts, and much more for dressing. I'll get the recipe on here later), and fresh pineapple tonight I was looking around.   11 people having a simple, fresh, super good dinner in a tiny living room.  Some standing, my kids, tico kids, and our extended families kids crammed in at the table, and the rest of us in folding camp chairs we use or standing up...  chatting away in spanish and english while we swat bugs and tell the dogs and cats to stay out of the house because the door is open and our food is tempting them..   Who would have thought?   But oh.. it's amazing.   Still a lot of growth I need.. I'm still spoiled and pampered from living in the states in a perceived lap of "luxury" but I'm getting there.    The longer we are here the more I see the wisdom in Yahshua's statement that it's hard for a rich man to enter paradise.    Money has became a god to many.. and it almost seems like if you have a lot it means you haven't given enough.  So many are so "rich" but so very very poor.   Praying daily that I can gain more wealth in spiritual ways.. and help as many people in possible with the material wealth YHWH has granted us.   As well as use it to build a different life for our children.   I joked today that our kiddos wouldn't have the "traditional" life style then realized it was the opposite.  What we want for them IS the traditional life style.. one of hard work and simplicity.  One that is entirely dependent on YHWH and his weather, his earth, and his timing.   One of sharing the gospel with whomever they come across and one of humility.

Oh.. and I finally saw a toucan today!  there was one in our backyard for awhile!   I had caught a glimpse of one the week before we went to texas but finally got a good look at one.  Gorgeous!

anyway... on to some pictures from today. :) 

My sister had bought the kids these lollipops.. they ate them today.. phew!  what a mess! :)

After straightening the room (and getting the sheets off to wash) I decided to take a few pictures of our room. :)
The left wall when you walk in.    There isn't really enough room on my side of the bed (the side w/ the pink suitcase) to walk.  We have a ton of suitcases and too many clothes to leave out (and shoes).. so I've got a few suitcases full of clothes I want to keep nice and clean so those are in suitcases and crammed down on the side of the bed for a "nightstand"  There is one on Jesse's side as well but it's hidden by our blankets.

The right wall.   Our shelf.  Jesse made it! :)   My clothes are on the top 2 shelves, Jesse's on the third, and shoes on the bottom.   We also have no bathroom cabinets/ storage so on the top of the cabinet is our toothbrushes, brushes, shampoos, deodorant,  meds, hair supplies, lotions, etc..   As well as essential oils and my necklaces/ bracelets.   Then a big drum LOL.. and my notecard collection on the top of the drum.  Over in the corner is my computer monitor still in the box on the bottom, a box of clothes that do not need unpacked in this house, then on top of that is my camera, and my box of headcoverings.. draped on the box is my shawl. :)  And then the fan of course.. a much loved luxury. :)

My "curtain"..  A bed sheet and the curtain that was on the window in the middle.   It didn't quite cover the window that faces the street LOL

On the back of the door..   My purse, robe, our "trash can", and my earrings..

close up of my cheapo earring holder.. a strip of fabric hung from a nail with the earrings jabbed into it. :)  works SUPER well.

We got a new doggie!  Cocoa is on the left. :)  She's a bit younger than Rivka and seems really sweet.

One of the neighbor kids cats.


Lorien's figured out how to carry a cat..  looks pitiful!