Saturday, April 30, 2011

Waxing Sentimental About Change

This Wednesday I'll be back in the US. These past few days have felt a little strange and different - it's a strange feeling knowing that you are living life but it's really a dream and you will soon be waking up and thinking "Did that just happen?" It will soon all be just be a memory even though it's right before my eyes.

As shared at the beginning of this General Conference message "Nothing is as constant as change" (I love this talk ~ Read it if you haven't, or read it again if you have. It's wonderful!)

But we are all excited for what this next chapter of our life back home in Utah will bring, such as:
~ another precious baby! Am I really going to have EIGHT children?!? Holy cow.
~ a new home to live in and make new memories in, but in a familiar neighborhood with family and many dear friends close by again, it will be great.

On the same note, I've loved the adventure that we've been having for the past 7 months. Some of my personal favorite moments and memories from our 3 months in Costa Rica:

-Watching Corey bury 7 kids at Playa Conchal (I'm enjoying every memory and photo of the beach right now - we had a lot of beach days - that was great)

-Our jungle hike

-Papaya Smoothies (Is there a place to buy fresh or frozen papaya anywhere in Utah?)

-Having the kids with me all day everyday, providing lots of free time to explore and be creative or just bum around the house.

And even little things like the car ride to church every week, mopping that shiny and very slippery floor, making pico de gallo, those little "just daily life" things about Costa Rica are now cherished.

All the daily life moments in Chile are still too familiar to be longed for yet, but I know they will be soon: picking the kids up from school, then driving home with all of them simultaneously loudly telling me about their day, the daily trips up and down the elevator, the city lights, maybe I'll even miss all the cars that honk at me everyday when I drive? I thought it was kinda funny when we first got here, lately it's been really ticking me off and annoying me. Listen people, if I'm trying to turn a corner but I'm not going yet it is because there is a pedestrian crossing the road! You have liberty to honk, but it will not make me move any faster, we just gotta wait until the pedestrian is gone, cause you're not supposed to hit people with your car, OKAY?!?! Let's all just calm down a bit and pause just for a few extra seconds before letting loose with the hand to the horn reaction. Although I do have a goal to try and honk at someone myself before we leave. I mean everybody is doing it, so I probably should too, just to make my Santiago experience official. :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wesley's Last Day of Pre-Kinder

The older kids will be attending school on Monday and Tuesday of next week, but today was Wesley's last day.

Wes on the way to school.

Even though I was a little nervous for him on his first day, he took no time to adapt and has loved going to school. Such cute kids in his class and the teachers are just lovely and wonderful in every way.

This is Tia _____

And Tia ______
(All the teachers are called Tia (aunt) instead of Miss)

And in the photo below is Joseph's teacher who comes in to teach her subject to the Pre-Kinder class, and she taught the kids a song that Wesley just loves and makes him laugh his "tickle-me-Elmo" laugh that is just contagious and makes everyone giggle.

There's Wesley on the left drawing a picture of his imaginary friends...

Until he got caught a glimpse in his periferal vision of a plate full of artificially colored snacks

And forgot all about what he was doing...

and proceeded to follow Abi around and sneak snacks off her plate, and the other cute kids in the class were looking longingly at her too, so we had to go since there was not enough to go around.

I'm grateful Abi shared with Lily outside, they munched while we waited for the older kids to finish school for the day and week.

Mmmm... Nothing says "I taste good!" like bright rainbow colors, right?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our Chilean School Morning Routine

So here is a part of our life here that is "normal" so usual doesn't seem news worthy. But for the sake of my children's blissful reminiscing of this dream they're living, I shall now document our morning routine.

Chile still hasn't started their "fall back" to regular daylight time cause they're trying to save energy, so it's been feeling sooo dark and early in the mornings. I thought the time would switch at the beginning of April, then finally asked someone in the elevator and they said May 8th, and I was bummed cause we're gonna miss it and we were so looking forward to having that extra hour in the mornings. But, we'll be back in the US, and guess I'd rather we go back than stay just for the time switch. So we've pressed forward with the early morning routine.

6:45 - wake up the kiddos.
They get dressed in their uniforms and I go start to make the lunches.

(Yes, that is our kitchen table that Melodie is standing by. Yes, our kitchen is like unto that of a motorhome kitchen. Yes, most of us usually eat standing.)

I always put in four things.
1) Peanut Butter and Jelly/Honey sandwiches everyday (grateful Lider is owned by Walmart and we can find some "Great Value" brand foods!
2) yogurt almost every day, sometimes boiled eggs.
3) Fruit almost everyday, sometimes a juice box or cucumbers
4) Some random snack - chewy granola bars, chips, cookies. They got lucky this day with the Chilean version of Ding Dongs! Happy kids. (Now say "Thank you, Mother!")

All zipped up and ready to go. I win if I get their lunches all made before they're dressed and finished with their oatmeal. Oatmeal is the fall back breakfast. I stopped buying the expensive yet comforting food of cold cereal two months ago after we forked out too much money for their books and uniforms.

Also, after buying all the school supplies I decided against buying them lunch bags that were 10 bucks each cause I didn't want to spend the money, so we've been getting by on reusing ziplock bags. They get a few looks and comments at school, but they don't mind. We can get away with just being the weird foreigners.

Ok, get your books for the day... backpacks on and lunches in? Good. It's 7:30, let's go!
Hop in the elevator!

Down to our parking level at negative 2.

Push the button to open the locked gate to the parking garage.

Walk out the gate into the dimly lit garage...

Take a slight left, then right, and there's our little car that I pray every morning will work another day for us.

Backpacks in the back, kids jump in. Then the 25 minute drive to school. School starts at 8. Looking forward to an extra hour in the mornings back in Utah where school starts at 9, that will be nice.

And that's the Morning Routine!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

We had a wonderful Easter on Sunday. The Lamberts invited us over for dinner, and it was lovely - Liz made a meat roast, cheesy potatoes, and delicious homemade apple pie - it was so nice - Corey and I were both in heaven and I am so excited to have my crock pot back again NEXT WEEK!!! Well, take that back, I'm sure I won't find it for a few weeks, but still, woo-hoo! I'm excited to be baking soon - I seriously have used the oven here ONE time and that was for frozen pizza - I have cooked everything on the stove top in our little motor home sized kitchen. I made french toast last week as a treat and was killing myself trying to find counter space. I'm way excited to see a lovely big American kitchen again! The Lambert's kitchen is very nice compared to ours in our apartment here, but Elizabeth and I both laughed at I said "Wow, your kitchen is so big!" as we remembered what kitchens in Utah are like - those are big, and it will be great to be back.

Okay, back to Easter - We didn't get plastic eggs, so I asked the kids to make something, and Melodie happily volunteered. She spent two days making these little Easter baskets. Friday was a day off from school for Easter weekend, so all Friday and Saturday she was busy coloring and taping her crafts.

Each one was different. She's so creative. All ready to fill the baskets with treats!

We went to their home at 3:00 and let the kids have their Easter Egg hunt first.

Hiding the goodies

We even let them eat it too - knowing perfectly well it might ruin their appetites for dinner, but the potatoes needed a wee bit more time, so they had fun gathering eggs in the back yard.

Finding eggs - I love toddlers at Easter - they find one egg and they're good! They stop to enjoy it and don't even know they're missing on the hoarding. Love little kids

Then they ate their goodies - can you see the high sugar level in Abi's eyes? She is her mother's daughter. I'm trying to get my love of carbs under control though, but Abi's got it in her blood just like I do.

Sweet Wes-ers

After the kids got their sugar fix, we sat down to a lovely feast.

Big kids got to sit with the adults, lucky lucky! And little kids outside on the patio table.

After dinner we adults visited for the next several hours while the kids played and played with toys and we were hardly interrupted at all! It will be so nice to have a big home again where that might be a more frequent occurrence for us. Next week at this time I'll be back in Utah and Corey will be in the air!

Thanks so much for having us over Elizabeth and Matt! We owe you - when you guys are in Utah this summer (and if you have time) it's our turn - dinner at our house, okay? :)

StartUp Chile

Yesterday Start Up Chile announced 110 more business that will be coming to Chile in June and July to participate in their program. Don't know if any of them are from Utah since it only listed the countries. Let me know you applied and what's the news for you.

As I looked at their blog I started to browse their flickr photos, found this one of Corey and I with some important government guys at their January 14th kick off thingy. Fun Stuff.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Semana Santa

We celebrated Easter yesterday with the Lambert Family and had a lovely time. I'll post those pictures tomorrow. For now, I thought I'd share some pictures about the real meaning of Easter - here in very Catholic Santiago, as they were leading up to the Semana Santa, there was a display at the mall on the Shroud of Turin - a life sized picture of it and other pictures to explain possible reasons for the markings on it. Corey and I stumbled across this two weeks ago as we were walking back from a date night dinner, and then took the kids to see it the next week. Corey and I are both interested in the shroud - Without a ton of study on the subject, I'm of the current opinion that it is the burial cloth of Jesus, and that the image on it was imprinted on there by the resurrection process, not that I know anything about how resurrection is done. (Although Corey did meet a guy on the plane on his flight to Costa Rica, that is working on a resurrection machine in his basement. You'll have to ask Corey about that story)

We enjoyed reading the display's information for as long as we could with the toddlers not cooperating or helping our cause:

Corey putting Lily on his shoulders above, below him with a frustrated face, Lily mad that she's not free to run away.

The part I found most interesting was seeing all these markings:

These markings are on the front and back side of the image, and are markings from when the Savior was scourged. All over his chest and front legs, and all down his back, buttocks, legs, and calves. They had a picture of what they think the crucified Lord would have looked like with all those wounds - they believe from the shroud that there were two people scourging him at the same time, from the two angles of the whip marks, and that the kind of whip they used had little metal balls tied to the three whip ends - (looked like small dumbbells with the whip tied around the middle of the dumbbell - thought I got a picture of it, sorry), with would leave 6 circular marks

And from the cloth it shows that the crown wasn't just a hollow crown, but was a whole cap of thorns that pierced all over his scalp.

It's incredible to think of all Christ endured for us, and this was just on the cross, not to mention the Garden of Gethsemane when he took upon himself our sins and bled from every pour. Impossible for us to comprehend, but I am so grateful that he didn't give up. He finished the work the Father gave him to do, and because of that, he won the victory over death and hell. The biggest miracle, is that he rose from the dead on that first Easter Sunday, resurrected, ppening the door for all of us to live again. I love Jesus Christ and thank Him for what He did for me and my children, my parents, all my family and all of us on this earth. He died for us and because of that we can all be forgiven of our sins and we will all live again.

Here is a lovely Mormon Messages on Easter.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lily the Snuggle Bug

Lily likes to snuggle. If she's got her head next to your chest or head, she feels safe and will fall asleeep. She's a cutie. Usually she sleeps with Joseph, I'll try to get a picture of the two of them tonight. Well, she goes to sleep with Joe or Corey usually. Corey's got a soft spot for her. She usually won't snuggle with me. She prefers her daddy or Joe-mama.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

TurBus Ride to Santiago

Wish the US had a comfy bus system like Chile - it'd be a really nice way to travel with kids. Look at those big seats and all that leg room!

It was a 10 hour drive, but much better than driving ourselves. It'd be easier and cheaper for us to plan US vacations to Disneyland and such if we did the bus thing. But Corey says we don't want to do Greyhound though. I'll take his word for it. But I give our TurBus experience two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pregnancy and Exercising Update

I still had some spotting our first two days in Pucon, then the last of it was Monday April 4th, and nothing that whole week, so on Monday when we were back in Santiago I did an upper body workout Body-for-LIFE style, everything was still okay, next day did lower body, Wednesday planks and stretching, then repeated all that for Thurs, Friday, and Saturday, and it was all good.

I haven't felt any big kicks or movements from the baby, but try to find time to hold still before bed and pay attention to any fluttering movements. My varicose veins on my left calf are out in full force again this pregancy and brought more friends to hang with them, so that's a good sign that things are going okay in the womb.

This week on Monday I did Bodyrock's Brutal 500, a very modified pregnant version (for example I didn't do the sit-ups, turkish get ups, or side v-cruchnes, I just chose a good exercise and did 50 reps, like slow step-out burpees), and my legs are so sore still from those backward/forward lunges! Love it! I love exercising, and even though I'm not looking to loose weight right now, I just feel so much better emotionally and my body feels better (no back aches) when I try to keep my muscles strong so they can do their job and hold my body up properly. :)

I was so sore that yesterday I just rested, today since my legs are still tender I did the BFL upperbody again. I have lots of Bodyrock workouts written in a small notebook and just go straight to the gym here in our apartment after I take the kids to school (take them at 7:30, am in the gym around 8:15) and no one else is ever in there at that time, so I put on my ipod shuffle and do some stretching and dancing and disco-strike-a-pose moves (all of which I would not do if anyone's in there) and take my time working out until 9. It's great to have that time in the mornings, definitely something I will miss about Chile. I'll be exercising at home when we're back in Utah and, without a gym to escape to, might get interrupted by waking children. But since it will be lovely summer time in Utah, I can go outside huh! Looking forward to it and the lovely Utah mountains.

Things I'm Looking Forward To

So, almost done documenting Pucon - just a few videos from the all night bus ride home. But gonna take a little break to ramble.... We are very excited to return to life in the States. I am soooo looking forward to going to Costco and great bargains on food. Chile is expensive. Our Start Up Chile friends from New York were totally amazed that groceries and food here was more expensive than in New York. We'd been dishing out the dough in Costa Rica to feed our hungry crew there, so not too much of a shock for us, but I think it will be a shock, or perhaps it will just be a welcomed memory and new reality, of the great deals at Costco and the blessed promised land that America is.

I've been at a loss with what to do with clutter here (amazing that we still have clutter with our limited household and personal items), don't know if there's a thrift store or donation center, so I'll probably just hand it all off in a box and grocery sacks to some friends before we head out. But if they don't want it I'll probably pack it and take it by Deseret Industries. Love the DI! I'm sure I'll quickly have a load of things to donate. Excited to unpack boxes of our past life and see what treasures we find, remember, and love and what things I look at and wonder why I thought I should keep them.

I'm excited to have my K-Tec Blender and enjoying smoothies, protein shakes, and other healthy snacks I've been reading about on Kristi Approved's blog and BodyRock. Yay!

Looking forward to a carpeted home! And vacuuming with my Dyson! I could go on, but I'll save some for another post.

Now that we're less than 2 weeks away (12 days if you're counting with me) the kids and I can start saying "Only ONE MORE Wednesday in Chile!" And, found out today (glad my kids understood this from their teachers/peers) that there is no school on Friday cause of Easter, so that was a surprise and we changed the countdown calendar - now only 8 more days of school for them, and only 31 more times driving to school for me! I filled up the car yesterday, I that might be the LAST TIME that I have to fill up the car (Corey might need to do it again after taking me to the airport). We're starting to count other "LAST TIME!!!" events -Planning to go to the Movies FOR THE LAST TIME (to go see Rio) on Saturday. We had the missionaries over for dinner for THE LAST TIME on Monday. (They are cuties.)

On the right is Elder Wilkey (spelling?) from St. George and Elder Doh! I can't remember his name either, but I think he's from Morelos, Mexico? Or maybe Morelos is his last name. Oh well, sorry Elders. We had a fun Family Home Evening (not our last, yet) with them. The kids did very well paying attention, as Corey was guarding their small stack of Pringle chips (below) that they were to be awarded after the lesson, and if they spoke out of turn or didn't sit still, he took a bite. It's a very effective method for getting young ones to be good.

So the Elders shared a thought and scripture about setting goals and achieving them, then asked the kids what they want to be when they grow up. Abi had us all laughing when it was her turn, as she thoughtfully said "um, a... pink... elephant."

Just look at those cute little faces paying attention! It's so nice when they listen!

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