Sunday, October 31, 2010

Los Domingos

Here is a typical Sunday for us here in Costa Rica.

The first few weeks it was a 45 minute drive, so we had to leave at 8:15, but I was so happy the week after I wrote my letter to Costa Rica that they listened to me, and that next Sunday a huge part of the dirt road had been smoothed over and there were no potholes -

Even with slowing down for the men at work, we were able to cut 10 minutes off our time. The next week even more was cleared off, another 10 minutes off our time - so now it only takes us 25 minutes to get to church. We even hear that the dirt road is going to be paved in January! A little too late for us, but glad there have been improvements on it, it's nice, so thank you Costa Rica!

And I also want to say, after we drove up to Liberia last week, I noticed that the road from Villareal to Liberia is totally flawless, smooth, all one piece of blissful continuous pavement, so I wanted to apologize for labeling the whole country as asphalt deficient, cause it's not, but it is in Tamarindo and Villareal and from here to Santa Cruz, and since that's where I've been driving 95% of the time, I was noticing it a bit too much. This is what the paved road to Santa Cruz looks like - A pothole on this road was responsible for my first flat tire. Okay, on to church. Arrive at 9:00 - church is ready to start, we sit down on the folding chairs, which I feel make a lot of noise with my constantly moving around kids. I can usually last the 20 minute til the Sacrament is passed. The chapel is very small since it's a small branch, so there is no nursery classroom, no mother's room, no couch to sit on with kids that are being noisy during sacrament meeting (those would be my kids) so during these first two hours of church we head outside...

La la la la laaa - let's walk round and round the building... Lily enjoying herself, but it gets hot fast, after a few laps she's all rosy cheeked and sweating.

Abi drawing in Wesley's ABC book with a pen. They snuck the book to church, but since it was keeping Abi busy we kept it. Of course I still had to take her outside cause she and Wes were fighting over it. It is his book, but Abi gets to have it cause she's spoiled rotten.

During the third hour, the little kids and I join the Primary in the nice air conditioned big room.
There is a bucket of legos at the church that someone brought in to keep a little girl busy who's mom is meeting with the missionaries. My kids saw it and it kept them entertained very well.

The kids are doing great learning the songs in Spanish for the primary program... we sing the songs so much at home that even Abi is picking up the tune and some of the words.

That's Tara Martinsen leading - she's from Arizona. There are only two Tico kids in our primary right now. Not sure how many are inactive in the branch, but it's a good thing all of us Americans are visiting, as we are making up 80% of the Primary right now (one family with three kids wasn't there this Sunday. I don't know how many Ticos weren't there. But usually there are only two)

That's Hermana Pina sitting with the kids at the far side. She's great.

While we are in Primary, Corey is in the Elder's Quorum. He's a counselor in the Elder's Quorum Presidency. This is where they meet during the third hour...

Oh, so I forgot to mention, during the second hour of church it makes it hard to be outside with Abi and Lily running around cause there are classes on both sides of the church yard - I don't think they mind seeing us running around, but we do try to be far enough that we aren't too loud. Wesley and Abi like to hit trees with sticks

and they also found a frog one day that kept them quite entertained.

And finally, the parking lot. I think I mentioned previously that there are 6 parking stalls, but today I double checked what I said and now I correct myself - there are only 4 parking spots. You pull in to the property and you're at a T - you can turn left or right, two stalls on each side. Or you can just pull forward up over the curb and park on the grass/plants, as the car behind the men did in the picture above. Other cars just park behind the cars in stalls. So sometimes you're stuck.

Those are our cars stuck in the picture above. Usually it doesn't take too long for everyone to clear out. Sometimes when I'm anxious to leave, I do 10 point turns and go up on the grass and try to squeeze myself out - no dents in the car so far!

Then we go home, have an American lunch of PB&J sandwiches and leftovers the whole day, I blog a bit, write in my journal, try to take a nap, Corey takes a nap or goes to more meetings or something with the missionaries... (he's been in Liberia all day today at a leadership training meeting) and the kids run around crazy, write on walls with markers, drop raw eggs on the floor, and dirty dishes, and that's what we do on Sunday.

Hyrum frequently says he hates Sundays cause we don't do anything, and he's right, we don't. What do you do to make your Sunday's a day of rest or a spiritual day? Sunday for us is usually a day of NO's - No TV, no swimming, no beach, it's a day to NOT do things rather than a day to Do things. Please share if you have something that you do on Sundays that makes it a wonderful day for you. I'm in need of inspiration.

So that's a typical Sunday. The end.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

Happy Halloween! So, this is how we've celebrated the day of the dead here in Costa Rica.

During the night, the Great Pumpkin visited and left one of these bags for each of the kids in front of their bedroom doors.

-with a small Lego City toy inside.

We haven't decorated the house at all, but today the kids did draw on brown paper bag lunch sacks to collect their treats in.

As soon as it was dark (6:00) I told the kids to get their costumes on. We had a few costumes on hand that we'd brought when we flew down here. They all got dressed.

Joseph was Tarzan
(he had all of us laughing hard)

Melodie was Little Red Riding Hood

Ethan was a vampire
(that was his costume last year too, he lamented, but don't you think he makes a great one?)

Hyrum was Indiana Jones

Wesley wanted to be Batman, but couldn't find the shirt (I think it's in the dirty laundry somehwere), I told him to just get the mask and cape, but instead he opted to just be "a crazy man".

Abi was a princess (aka herself - that's what she was last year too)

Lily was a baby

I bought 5 different treats at the store - Guayabitas, MnM's, Hershey's Kisses, assorted Hershey's mini bars, and Pringles. and they went trick or treating to Dad in the front room, then to the 4 doors in the hall - master bedroom, Joe & Lily's bedroom, the Laundry room, and the bathroom under the stairs.

The little kids went first as Joe, Mel, Ethan, and Hyrum answered the knocks.
Trick or Treat! Lily didn't have to go door to door - she just got to eat the treats Corey was handing out.

Ethan was so cute - after they knocked, he shouted out in a spooky Halloween voice "Enter ... if you DARE!" and opening the door looked like this:

Isn't he just a cute vampire?

It was fun to see the older kids playing the adult-handing-out-candy roll. After Wes, Abi and Lily go their loot, they didn't want to go hand out treats, so I answered the door and handed out all the treats at one stop. Here they come!

Then we watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, that lucky for us was just starting on cartoon network. We even let them watch it in English. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pico de Gallo

Lily ready to help dice up some tomatoes and onions.

Today Shirley left us with a ton of rice and a ton of beans. I can't even fit them in the fridge. I think if we eat them at every meal over the weekend we'll still have some left over on Monday. But I feel like I can't cook anything if we still have all this rice and all these beans that need to be eaten. So to go along with our Gallo Pinto tomorrow, I made some Pico De Gallo. I just forgot to get cilantro at the store. doh. Maybe I'll go buy some in the morning. Lily is great at helping me make it. She seems to be happy if she's sitting on the counter - it's much better than having her grab my legs and cut off my ability to walk around. She loves tomatoes, and she doesn't flinch if she bites into the onion either.

She loves eating red peppers too, she's such a healthy little person.

We are having our Halloween festivities tomorrow. We got each of the kids a small Lego toy at the AutoMercado today. I'm wrapping those up and going to put them at their doors for them to see when they wake up so they can play with it tomorrow all day (rather than give it to them when we go trick or treating from bedroom to bedroom tomorrow night - cause if I wait till then they won't have much time to play with it, since it will be bedtime and then Church Sunday morning.) Happy Halloween! I'm so glad we are not having a ton of Halloween Candy to deal with this year! (Aren't I such a party pooper) and the kids have made their own costumes, much cheaper than the $100+ I spent on costumes last year (I'm such a tight wad too). And I didn't have to decorate anything (the kids might do that tomorrow too - (having a door decorating constest before we trick or treat) I think this will be my most favorite Halloween yet!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Papaya Smoothie

So I heard about this two weeks ago and have been eating it for breakfast since. May I introduce to you the Stout's Breakfast Smoothie - blend together Frozen Papaya, Frozen Banana, and pineapple juice. Mmmm....

Have you tried papaya? We did over Conference weekend, and none of us cared much for it. Corey always comments that it smells like vomit. He's right. I don't like how it looks much either - looks like fish eggs or something. Still, I read if you eat it regularly you'll maintain good health and vitality! Well heck, who doesn't want that, eh? Mostly, it's one of the less expensive produce items at the store. Tara Martinsen mentioned to me that the Stouts told her this way to use papaya - healthy and delicious.

Since I don't have sandwich baggies on hand to use, (I don't want to spend money to buy them anyway), I've been freezing my bananas on a plastic plate (I used to have a freezer stocked of frozen bananas for my Chocolate protein shakes). I think I'll keep doing it this way after CR, it's quicker and less messy than putting them in plastic bags.

Then do it with the Papaya too. When they are frozen solid, bend the plate to help pop them loose, store them in a cut milk container.

Experiment with the proper combination, I've been using 1/2 c. water, 1/4 c. pineapple juice, about 7 sliced banana circles, then I put in double that of papaya - from 14 to 20 cubes of it. Also yesterday and today, after I made the shake I stirred in a 1/2 c. of cottage cheese - a good protein and produce combination for a great breakfast. Here's to health and vitality! :)
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