Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Florida 2014


You still there?  Well, that is amazing!  I am impressed with your commitment!  Sorry I've not been around.  Sigh.  I could go on and on about why, but frankly I am tired of all that.  Let's just pick up right where we left off, mmmk?

Alright.  So the last two weeks we were stateside for the first time in a year an a half!  Well, that is unless you count going to the US embassy.  Wait.  Is that just an urban legend?  I don't know. Anyway.

The first couple of days we spent time with dear friends from Barakel that now live in Orlando (Hi Rob and Elizabeth!!!) and they spoiled us rotten!  If you ever need tips on how to love on missionaries that come to your church, Elizabeth is the woman to talk to!She even has a song about being a missionary helper!  She asked about favorite foods, what would be good for the boys, navigated me through shopping Stateside, helped us pack up at the end of our time and just generally took care of us.

There was this hilariously weird culture shock moment when we were driving on a toll road (what is with the toll roads in Florida?) and we didn't know how much the toll was.  We had a small amount of US change with us and we just kept throwing quarters at the toll machine.  I think we got up to about $2 worth and decided surely that had to be enough.  And yes, as we drove away there was a buzzing sound.  And Forrest started screaming "WHY ARE THERE NO PEOPLE IN THE TOLL BOOTHS?"  Oh man.   Rob decided he could help with this all and got us a SunPass, one of those things you stick on your windshield and it gets scanned as you drive along so you don't need to have cash or be able to figure out how much the toll is.  It was a huge help.

After a few days with Rob and Elizabeth, we got to spend some time with Noah's parents and one of his brothers and his family.  It was so good to be with all of them.  We hadn't seen Noah's parents in a year and his brother in almost two.  There was lots of good food, games, swimming, visiting our favorite orange grove, and just generally being a family.

Next we headed to the coast to spend time with my family.  What a sweet time!! Again, aside from my parents, we haven't seen my sibs since we moved back in the Fall of 2012.  We spend some time on the beach, laughed, cried, played, got sunburnt and were a family.  It was good to be known!

One of the things the boys had been patiently waiting for over the last six or eight months was LegoLand!  And it did not disappoint!!  Every ride was a Lego vehicle, they got to talk with a Master Builder, experienced their first roller coaster, and built and raced Lego cars.  One of the coolest things was every employee at the park has a minifig or two on their name tags.  You can trade any of them for any minifig you have.  So the big boys brought 3 of their least favorite ones and traded up during the day.  It was such a fun touch!

One of the funniest moments of the day was when Quinn discovered the Lego Firefighters the same size as himself. He would pat them on the back, hug them, and then kiss them!  So stinkin cute!!

By the time we left, we were feeling rested, and restored.  It was a good trip, at the right time!  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

This and That

  • Forrest was walking out the door this morning with an empty backpack.  No homework, and worse, no lunch...and I hadn't packed his lunch yet!  Mom fail.
  • 17 days until our Florida Trip.  Yeah, we're just a wee bit excited over here
  • This last weekend we had a retreat with our mission.  It was the last of the LAM retreats and several people came from the United World Mission headquarters.  There was even a couple that came from Cape Town, South Africa to give us a taste of what God is doing there.  Very cool.  It was good to meet some of the new faces now that we are with UWM.  Forrest at one point during the weekend said this was the "M" retreat, because there is an "M" in LAM and UWM.  That kid.

  • Did I mention we are going to Florida?  Oh, sorry.
  • We just might be getting some new neighbors!  Our landlady is building a new house next to ours and a friend from a Bible study I am a part of is looking for a house.  They have a 9 year old boy and are originally from Chicago.  It would be amazing if this actually works out!

  • I think I am going to adopt Quinn's form of language learning.   His vocabulary is exploding right now and it's in part because he repeats all the time!  And if he hears anything in connection with another word he just learned he will talk about it.  Like this.  He learned how to say Happy Birthday to you.  No really.  The whole thing.  He says Happy Birthday to to.  I was reading him a book that said something about a birthday cake.  To which he said "Happy Birthday to to."  What?!  He also learned about airplanes this weekend (there were lots of planes flying over the place the retreat was at) All weekend he would say "Plane.  It's flying!"  Now he talks about the birds, "Bird, it's flying"
  • There is a pile of laundry calling my name.  Bye.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

And the Winner is...

Pam!!! Thanks for all your sweet comments about the blog.  It's been a wild ride!

Pam, I'll contact you and get your café to you!!

Friday, February 21, 2014


6 years is a long time.

Just think about it for a second.  6 years is the difference between a baby and a 1st grader.  It's closer to 10 than 1.  It's 45 dog years.  And 100 in blog years.  I jest.

But! Here we are, still alive and kicking 6 years later.  Amazing I tell ya.

Remember way back in the day when I had just one baby?  And then remember we added a kid?   And that time I battled squirrels that ate my bread?    Oh, what about the time we played in the sprinkles?   Ooo, remember winter retreats? And when we moved?  And learned a new language?

Oh, oh, oh!  What about the time we had a rat in our laundry room?  And  then when we added another kid?

And then there was the time we moved again?  Ooo, and learned how to make tamales? And tried to get drivers' licenses?  And got about the work here at Roblealto?

And because a birthday or anniversary isn't complete without presents, I have something for you!  Well, one of you.  Leave me a comment and tell me what one of your favorite posts have been, and you will be entered to win a fabulous bag of Costa Rican coffee. 

I am going to keep the comments open for a week (from now until and then Tuesday, the 25th) and then we'll draw a winner!

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Love Song from a Little Boy

Elliot, who is 5, sings.  Almost constantly.  Especially during "quiet time."  At the top of his lungs.  Sometimes it's just about life, but more often than not, it's about or to the Lord.

 (the photo is blurry and Quinn is photo bombing, but this is how Elliot often talks to me about life.)

Today, I was sitting at the computer and could very clearly hear him (there is no sub floor in our house, the floor for the upstairs is the ceiling for the downstairs.)

This was what I could write down.  There was a lot of repeating and the song went on for about 20 minutes. 

"You are the King that rose from the dead, 
King forever, King for always, You came to love us. 
You are rose from the dead, You love us, 
The King forever. 
You love us good, good God, 
King forever, King for always is our God. 
And our Salvation is because of You. 
We love you with all our hearts. 
You will always be with us. 
You are a good, good God. 
You love us with all Your heart. 
You are what we need. Forever." 

What a powerful song!!  It's his little heart singing what is pouring out of it, to the God of the Universe!  I have been thinking about it all morning, just how foundational, how simple and yet profound it is.  I love little grammar quirks, and especially this line "Our Salvation is because of You."   WOW!

I said to him a while later "I liked your song.  Maybe some day you'll write songs that people sing at church"  to which he replied, "Yeah!! Just like David!" 

What a love song from a little boy's heart to his God, who is "The King forever, King for always"!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Summer Camp

It's February ladies and gentlemen!  We made it through summer camp!

And what a a month it was.  We saw kids come to know Jesus for the first time.  We saw volunteers grow in "the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Camp changes lives.  The lives of the campers and the volunteers.

One of the things we were excited about this season was the Patrocinadores program for our volunteers.  Instead of me explaining it in boring words, watch this video and hear from one of our volunteers!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Casita, errrr Fort

Around Thanksgiving time, our church ordered a bunch of paving stones to pave the parking lot.  These pavers came on pallets.  Now.  I have been on the hunt for pallets for 2 years!  So I asked around and was told "take them.  Please." Well ok!

I had lots of ideas, but the first project I wanted to get done for the boys was a playhouse.  Or a casita (little house).  And I was told, "we don't want a playhouse, we want a FORT!"  Ok then.

Our landlady had some big posts and Noah and the boys promptly got to work on digging the holes. After about an hour the boys abandoned Noah.

But really, the ground was soft and he got the the post sunk in a morning.  Then, our landlady had some leftover aluminum sheeting she offered for the roof of the casita err fort.

The boys love it.  We are still working on a floor of some sort because it's in a low spot (one of the few level places in our yard, which is on the side of a mountain), but really, they are in it almost everyday doing something.  

I am praying somehow we can keep this house with it's amazing yard and great landlady while we are on home assignment next year.  It's just too good of a space to give up!