Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This and That

Yep, we're resorting to bullet points.  Don't judge.

  • After two days of working on letters and sounds, Elliot became a reader!  Love this kid!

  • I have been working on tons of projects for church!  We have a picnic coming up in a few weeks, so we've been painting and building outdoor games, sewing buntings, and figuring out relay races.  
  • I am also neck deep in fabric to make new table clothes for church.
  • We're working on plans to give the kitchenette at church a make over.  Fun stuff!!

  • I started tutoring for my Spanish again.  It's been painful, but good.  This language learning, it's a life long process I tell ya!
  • A few weeks ago, we found a desk for a steal!  After way too long of using the kitchen table as a desk, I have one again!!

  • For Mother's Day (August 15, yep, it's different) the boys and Noah got me a hose and a nozzle!! So excited!

  • Our neighbors, can I just tell you how wonderful they are?  Not only do they go along with almost every hair brained scheme we come up with, they take our kid to school, and bring us food, they also have a sweet fire pit and understand the importance of living in community and taking time!!

  • We've started to think more about getting ready for our Home Ministry Assignment (furlough) that will start in December.  I've got really mixed emotions about that. On one hand, we're all very excited to see family and friends we haven't seen in over 2 years.  On the other hand, we are going to desperately miss our friends, church, and neighbors here!  Sigh.  This living with your heart in two places is hard. 

  • Speaking of being in MI, if you know of anyone who has a car/van/something that will hold a family of 5 that needs to be driven, we're looking for a vehicle for that 6 months. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Days

Last week was the start of school around here.  Sigh.  August 5th seems way, way, way too early to be starting school.  But, it's what it is.

We went to Back to School Night, and discovered that neither of the 2nd grade teachers were there that even.  Huh.  One was still on her way to Costa Rica, and the other had a family issue.  We also learned (4 days before school started) that the school day has been lengthened by 30 minutes.  Well, then.

Forrest was excited for  2nd grade, which was good. In fact, this is how he looked...

Those front teeth are growing in quit nicely.  Noah took him that first morning and met his teacher, Mrs. Rodrigez, who is super sweet and genuinely cares for her students.  When we did have a parent meeting the following week with both second grade teachers, she could already tell me some things about Forrest that she was noticing.  Sigh of relief! We have been praying for a restorative year for him, and us as far as school goes!!

The only blip was that the name on his desk was his middle name (cultural moment:  lots of people here go by their second name.  Most people have 4 names.  What a North American would think of as first and middle names, and then two last names, one from dad and one from mom.  So, if Forrest was really Tico, his name would be Forrest Dooley Kamper Runals, which we have seen on different papers.  And it often messes the computer systems up when we say we don't have a second last name)

A big change for us this year is Forrest is now in the mainstream Spanish class.  Last year he was in the Spanish as a Second Language class, which was wonderful! It was just him and 2 other kids.  This year, they felt like he was ready for the mainstream class, and that is just stunning to me.  He seems to be doing just fine and yesterday he came home with a Boleta Feliz (A Happy Ticket) for working so hard and participating so well!  Wonderful!

Oh!  The other wonderful part of this school year is our neighbors are sending their son to the same school!  Yeah,'s a.mazing!  It's week two of school and I haven't had to drop off or pick up yet!  Noah works 10 minutes from school so he does most of the afternoon pick ups.  It is lovely!! Especially with Quinn still taking naps.  Thankful!

Elliot started Kindergarten at home this year.  He was a bit apprehensive about starting, but once he realized he got to have cool things in his backpack too, he was ready!  He wanted to have his first day of school photo on the Brincaline.  Benefits of Home school.

He sat right down and was excited to get some work done.  Again, thankful!  He is not a bookish kid.  He would much prefer to be building something, exploring something, creating something.  To sit and write letters has been a challenge in the past.  But that first morning there was only cooperation!  And by this week, he is reading!  Yep, he was ready!  The plan is for him to go to kindergarten in MI when we are back this winter.

Speaking of that...there is a public school two blocks from the house we will be staying in, and it just so happens that that is the building with the Spanish Immersion classes for Kindergarten and 2nd grade!!  I contacted the coordinator of the program earlier this summer and explained our situation and it looks the like the boys will be part of those classes for the second semester!  I just laughed, how like God to provide for our boys language skills while we are on Home Assignment as well!!  Amazing!

Monday, July 28, 2014


Well, some how we went from the beginning of July to the end of July in a blink.  Here's a little of how it went

  • We watched the Ticos lose to the Netherlands in a shoot out.  Sad.  But that didn't change the reception that the team got when they flew home the next week!  They drove the whole group around on a flatbed truck for 5 hours after they landed, just so people could see them.  And everwhere there are billboards thanking the team and the coaches. 

  •  We went on a short get away to a beach we hadn't been to yet.  Long story, but our neighbors were given two nights at a house just off the beach and invited us to join them.  What a blast! Best part?  Hands down, feeding the monkeys on our porch first thing in the morning!

  • I finally came up with a workable solution for shelves in our garage.  I even managed to maneuver the hardware store in Spanish with all the kids in tow! Oh and funny thing about those shelves.  Elliot opened the back of the 4Runner and all three boards fell out onto his little foot!  We were concerned that he might of actually broken something this time.  So we went off to the doctor the next day (this all happened the day before we went to the beach) and praise the Lord, it wasn't broken, just badly bruised!  He was told no trampoline or tree climbing for 5 days.  And now he's right as rain.

  • Noah made me a window shelve too!  Yes, we're into shelves here.

  • Elliot found a lizard and put a leash on him.  

  • The boys and our neighbor friend built a tepee.  Steph has been collecting used sheets to make a big one later on, but she let the boys paint one for the small tepee they built.  And I will say, their painting looks very cave drawingesk.

  • This week is teacher inservice at LCA.  Today the Bible teacher is talking with the rest of the staff about how Jesus taught.  Wednesday, Noah is going to be talking about discipleship, and Friday I will be sharing some practical ways a teacher can  be disciplining in their classroom every day.  This is a new concept for most of them.  Pray for us and for the staff.   

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Good Old Fashioned Cook Out

For the Fouth of July this year, we decided to have a good old fashion cook out.  We looked and looked for fireworks, but never did find any.  But there were three legged races, ring toss, sling shots and tin cans and FOOD!  Lots and lots of hot dogs, potatoe salad, chips, dip, ice tea, lemonade, watermelon and birthday cake for Noah!

Such a fun night!

Monday, July 7, 2014

July Newsletter

We have some great news!  The Lord has clearly directed us to serve alongside the pastor and staff at our church here in Costa Rica as assistant pastor and school chaplain!  This is a continuation of the type of disciplining ministry we were doing at Roblealto but on a larger scale as we will be.directly impacting the lives of over 100 members of the church and 100 students (and their parents) that attend the church's largest ministry, the bilingual Liberty Christian Academy (LCA).
For years, both LCA and our church have been praying for these needs to be filled. In the role of assistant pastor we will be assisting our pastor in different projects and helping to facilitate community growth and outreach for our church. At the school we are working to create a comprehensive Bible Curriculum, pre K-11th grade,  planning and leading weekly chapels, and working one on one with students and parents. We're also excited about working with the teachers to cast a vision for making disciples out of the students.  Many of students come from broken homes, and don't know Jesus.  Their families send them to LCA because it's an English speaking school.  What a huge opportunity!! 
One of the things our pastor wants us to develop in our church is being the Body of Christ to one another.  What we grew up knowing as  church family, (things like bringing meals to people after babies are born, surgeries, etc, helping people move, being the physical support in times of crisis,) doesn't often happen in many Tico churches.  Our pastor has told us he really wants to see the church grow in this and wants us to not only model that, but to help people understand and grow in those areas of hospitality and community.  He also wants us to disciple the members and move them to being active serving members of the church. We also see this church on the verge of some really great outreach possibilities in the community we are situated in as well as in Costa Rica.
We have officially started in these new roles and are so excited to hit the ground running!  We are thankful for UWM and their help in this process.
Thanks for all your kind emails and prayers!  We wish we could have answered you all personally!  Know that God used those to encourage us and discern where He was leading!

Because of Him,
Noah, Liz,
Forrest, Elliot and Quinn

Monday, June 30, 2014


After an intense game, where everything that could happen, did happen, Costa Rica advanced to the top 8 teams in the world for the World Cup!  After the game, we decided to see what was going on in our little area.  And all I can say is if this is the celebration after wining that one game, I can't imagine what they will be like if Costa Rica goes all the way!

CR WORLD CUP from nlkamper on Vimeo.

Friday, June 27, 2014

New Toy and a New Word

Brincar (to jump) + trampoline = brincaline.  Yes, that would be an Elliot created word.  Love it!
And it gives you an insight into what has been important in their lives this week.

On Tuesday Noah picked up a used trampoline that we found a about 1/4 the price of a new one.  We went in with our neighbors on it and the boys can hardly finish breakfast in the mornings fast enough to get out and jump!