Thursday, December 22, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
A Christmas tradition here in Costa Rica is making tamales. Tamales are made of masa (like a cornmeal) with vegetables, different types of meat--usually pork--and different seasonings. The mixture is then placed into banana tree leaves that have been cut and cleaned. They are folded into a small rectangular shape and tied off with a thin rope. They then need to be boiled or steamed before eating. Every person makes them a little bit different using their own "family recipe." Many families get together and spend hours upon hours making them and many give them as gifts, share them as a Christmas meal and sell them on the streets everywhere. The talk of the town here at Christmas time is the making of tamales--it really is a such a beautiful family tradition for the locals here. We were blessed today by friends who attend our church. Jose and Rosa invited us over to pick up some tamales that they had made this week. They have been talking about them for a month and we look forward to eating them tomorrow. We love being here and experiencing the local traditions of a completely different culture than our own. We have chosen to really embrace this culture as our own and participate in it with our local tico families when at all possible. We have also shared our traditions with the locals so that they get a taste of a different culture as well. We made cinnamon swirl bread for all of our friends and "family" here and distributed it today...what a blessing it was to "share traditions" with each other. God is so good. We are so very blessed!!! We pray that all of you have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! We are so very thankful for each of you!!!
Here is a picture of me with Rosa and her tamales.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Wow---what a blessing it was to celebrate Jesus with our precious children in INVU!!! I was so blessed to be there with all of those little ones that we love so much!! They had a wonderful time of clowns, cookies, juice, presents, candy boxes, and lots of love! Many of the moms attended as well and it was a blessing to be able to spend the morning with themas well!! We had exactly enough gifts--117 gifts--115 children at the party and 2 gifts sent with a grandma whose grandchildren couldn't attend the party. God is so faithful!!! He knew what we had and He made it work!! We were getting nervous as kids and mommies began pouring into the park. We just prayed and the Lord made it work...it was beautiful! We had 17 volunteersfrom our church there serving and that was such a blessing as well...gringos and ticos hand in handserving--so wonderful!! Thanks to Calvary Chapel Lexington (our home church) who has always been a BIG part of sponsoring the children for the outreach. You guys are amazing and we love you!! Here are a few pictures of our fun-filled day...Our wonderful volunteers waiting for the masses of children!!
Lining up for cookies and juice and then for gifts and surprises...
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Here are a few pictures of the wrapping party we had for the Christmas Outreach. It was tons of fun as we enjoyed desserts, wrapping and sweet fellowship among members of our church. We were all excited and looking forward to the outreach. We wrapped 117 gifts and filled 117gift boxes with surprises for our sweet INVU children. Here are a few pictures of our wrapping night...
Below are a few pictures of the boys having fun with Christmas Crafts. Daniel cut wood and they made wooden reindeer with Daddy. My Mom sent us a Gingerbread House Kit and though there were a few broken pieces, the boys had a blast making it. They determined that their house had been through an earthquake so the roof was caving in a little...very appropriate for Costa Rica :)
Thanks, Uma, for the Gingerbread House!!!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Our sweet firstborn, Thomas, graduated yesterday from Prepa and has now begun summer break! He had such a great school year and truly LOVES learning! He has also made some really great friends and his teachers were just precious. He will begin first grade in February. Here are a few pictures of the graduation. (Poor Thomas was sick all day and night before the graduation and was still throwing up even before we left for the ceremony, but he was determined to participate so we took him. He did fine and waited until we got home to get sick again.)
We can't believe how fast time flies!!! It was bittersweet for me...
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Yesterday we hosted Thomas's end of the year school party. His teacher asked us to do so weeks ago and we agreed thinking it would be a great time to minister/love on the parents, teachers and kids who attended. It was great! The kids had a blast and the Lord really opened some doors for us to build more relationships with these families. Each child had at least one parent in attendance and so we had a great time as adults as well. We look forward to more opportunities to love on these families with the love of Christ. Here are a few pictures from the party.
Below are a few pictures of the boys decorating our Christmas tree. We found a mini tree here and the boys were so excited we were buying a Christmas tree this year versus a Palm Tree.
Here is Micah in an outfit that both Thomas and Jacob wore--brings back so many memories!!
Monday, November 28, 2011
What a wonderful treat to have my mom and stepdad, sisters, brother-in-law and niece all come visit for 4 days over Thanksgiving!!! We had so much fun just being together!!! And my boys just ADORE their cousin, Anna. We so appreciate them sacrificing to come and bless us!! Here are a few pictures of our time together...