Acclimating – Otherwise Known as “Getting Used to Life as We NOW Know It”

Well HELLO!

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(L wearing her birthday gift from her Wardle Cousins)

My name is Mr. White Bear, and I am here to welcome you to this week in the land of far, far away. Well, we really aren’t THAT far away, but it sure can seem like we are . . . especially without the Internet in our home!! It has been an interesting week for our family. We have had some ups and some downs, but through them all we have seen the silver lining and feel extremely blessed to be having this experience.

Here are some highlights from our week:

At the beginning of the week, we started noticing these flags on the side of the road, into our little town of Belen.

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A flag for every country was represented down the street; I wish I could have gotten a better photo for you to really get the idea.  We found out that these flags welcomed ALL of the Presidents or dignitaries from ALL of the Latin American countries near Costa Rica, including the Caribbean. What an thrill it was to hear sirens ushering the dignitaries about and to see police on guard at every corner, knowing that these men and women were just minutes away from us. Costa Rica is the “Switzerland of Central and South America,” so meetings like this happen here often. What a neat way to introduce our children to a wider world out there . . . bigger than Utah and the United States at least.

Until my washer and dryer arrive, and possibly even when they do arrive, these amazing ropes are my second driers. You’ve got to love a hubby who is a master at everything!

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During the middle of the week, “Hump Day” as G so fondly calls it, we decided to return to one of our favorite places to play – Museo de los Ninos (Children’s Museum of Science and Culture). We were surprised to find that they had changed a few things in the last 2 1/2 years.

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                    (K being a Silly Goose)                               

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(G putting out the fire, like he does at home)

Some of our favorites were still here . . . like the mini grocery store for kids. L LOVED it, K not so much. We realized that we had done some changing of our own . . . our kids GREW. The museum wasn’t as much fun for the older two, but they were good sports to let the little two still have some fun!

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(K being a good sport & example to L)

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(L was REALLY taking her job seriously)

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(G being a big support to little sister)

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(I had to sneak a pic of E in; good sport!)

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(Don’t mess w/ 2 headed G)

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(K being super silly)

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(Look @ that hair!)

One of our favorite activities to do at the museum was to ride the “earthquake”. We looked and looked for it and assumed they had gotten rid of it, but with a bit of luck, and patience, we found it!!  Watch the kiddos take a ride.  It is a lot of fun, I know, I tried it myself!

 

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K had a WONDERFUL surprise happen for her @ the Children’s Museum. It came through a little lesson of not giving up when things are uncomfortable or seem to be too hard. Let me give you the back story . . . We were coming to the end of our stay at the Children’s Museum, when a group of entertainers at the museum invited us to join them in a game of Bingo. The kids were super excited to play a game, until K looked down at the card and realized that the names of each square were in Spanish and that the entertainers were only speaking Spanish. She IMMEDIATELY thought the game would be too hard and asked if she could leave.

I had a feeling to let her go, even though I didn’t think she should. I instead felt prompted to continue to TRY to play the game and trust that things would turn out okay in the end. To be honest with you, I was scared too. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself or completely get lost, but I knew that this was going to be a HUGE element to our life here and I needed to get used to it at some point – so why not now. So, I put a HUGE smile on my face and did my best to help L and G play the game.

E came along, after playing a flight simulator game, and actually joined us as well. I felt comforted having him there, at least TRYING right along with us. As the game started, I took a deep breath. I looked desperately for each word I could barely understand and felt like we were behind already, when one of the entertainers came up to us and showed us the picture of the card they were calling out. REALLY?!? You are going to help us play along?!? How cool was that!

So, we jumped right in and played along. The first round went fast but the kids got the hang of it. Just as the first round ended, K came walking up. I didn’t know if she was going to beg to leave or just sit and watch. Surprisingly, she asked for a board (by pointing at it) and joined us in the second round, 4 corners. I thought to myself, “Right, this is going to take forever! Wouldn’t it be funny if K won this round?” And guess what, SHE DID!!!

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That little stinker actually won the game, and fast! She got 3 of the corners in a row. That was when I knew that if we CHOOSE to be HUMBLE and JUST TRY at what we are being asked to do, blessings come. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you will always win the Bingo prize, but I do BELIEVE that you will always win what Heavenly Father is wanting to give you – a warm feeling that YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS and that He is so very “proud” of you when you do!

Many of you might know that a few of my kiddos, as well as myself, are Dyslexic. It isn’t something to be ashamed of, it just is. Thankfully our family has been led on MANY journeys to discover how to control, not “cure” ourselves of this wonderful gift. GIFT?!? Why yes! Because of our Dyslexia, we are given MANY wonderful gifts and talents. The only real issues that Dyslexia causes is something called disorientation.

Disorientation is something that feelings like you are spinning around and around and around and then coming to a complete stop. That yucky feeling occurs when our brain misfires what our senses are really perceiving. Instead of seeing reality, we see what our senses WANT us to see, taste, touch, hear, or smell. It can be quite overwhelming, especially when you are trying to learn in school! What causes disorientation is something we call triggers.

Triggers can be shapes, symbols, sights, sounds, tastes, colors, consistent events, etc. You name it and a person can trigger on it. Can you imagine a child that is in a classroom or family that is constantly doing things that trigger them? They get angry, upset, defensive, distant, or even violent; because they don’t feel in control. Thankfully, through a WONDERFUL chain of events, my sweet family found a FANTASTIC program that has helped us learn the tools we need to control ourselves when we disorient and regain reality when we need it. It is called the Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis.

This program has truly been amazing! It is so closely tied to the Plan of Salvation that it literally makes me cry when I de-trigger something that has caused me so much pain and suffering; just like having the Savior help me overcome a weakness or sin and find peace, happiness and control over that issue. Now don’t get me wrong, this program doesn’t cure us of dyslexia. Sometimes it is okay to not live in reality, like when you want to create something or try something new or different. Dyslexia provides us with the opportunity to look at life through many different perspectives. That is why I think we are the perfect candidates for living in a foreign country – living here is just living life with a different perspective.

Once we each finished the week long Dyslexia program, we are then giving a daily assignment to practice using the tools we were taught. Each day I work with whomever wants to tune their tools, including myself, and we do it by using clay. Here are some of our recent creations . . .

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Here is L’s “on” – the jewelry is being support by and is touching the lady, which is the definition of “on”.

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G’s model of “in” – He is jumping into or inside of the pool.

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K’s model of “down” – She is coming from a higher to lower position by using the stairs.

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L’s model of “I” – The person that is speaking or writing.

It really is an INCREDIBLE program and one that does not make you practice flash cards for hours or recite word lists at lightening flash speed. It doesn’t tear you down and make you think or feel like you need to be “normal”. This program SHOWS the student (and the parent) that the child is WONDERFUL they way they are and that they have the ability to learn to CONTROL their Dyslexia in the best way that works for THEM! It is the BEST MONEY I have EVER spent on myself and my children. I truly feel we have seen our Heavenly Father’s hand in this program.

If you would like to know more about what this program could do for you or one of your children, please contact:

Stephanie Taylor
Focus Dyslexia & Learning Solutions
7109 S. Highland Dr. #100A
801.678.0330
stephanie@focusdls.com

On a spiritual note, I have had these thoughts on my mind all week!

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Of course there is a video link to go with these quotes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhLlnq5yY7k

We have ALL had to do A LOT of creating since we moved here. With no internet, no container full of our worldly possessions and only one car that seats 5, we have had to create our own happiness. It amazes me how easy it is to be “entertained” in this life, especially with the comforts that we have grown accustomed to. I almost wish that our container wouldn’t arrive, just so we can continue to live in this world of forced creation but also of Gratitude. When life gets us down, which it seems to do a bit more with boredom at our door, I have the feeling of gratitude come to mind. If we choose to be grateful for what we DO have around us to work with, create with, play with, than life seems beautiful, wonderful, satisfying. I am so grateful living here in Costa Rica. Not because it has beautiful beaches, warm, breezy weather and sweet people – those are the cherries on top. I’m grateful to live in Costa Rica because it gives me the opportunity to count my MANY blessings. And believe me, I have plenty of time to do it during 2 hours and 15 minutes of pure Spanish speaking on Sunday (I get to go to the Temple Missionaries Sunday school class for 45 minutes and participate in English – it is a real treat!)

Now that my heart is wide open and full of gratitude, our family would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to all who have helped us make this journey possible. You know who you are!! Family, Friends, Ward Members, Neighbors, School Teachers/Staff, Doctors, Dentists, Co-Workers, and strangers from around the world. Thank you!! But most importantly, we thank our Father in Heaven and His Son, even Jesus Christ for making ALL of this possible. When we were down and reached to Him for help, He sent you! When we were afraid or worried about how things would work out, He sent you! When we didn’t think we could do one more thing, He sent you too! We have not been alone through this experience. And if He is helping us, I know He is helping you too!

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The Whitchurches say THANK YOU!

I’ll sneak in a few more pictures of the house, since I have peaked your interest!

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(pic of front door)

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(pic of front house)

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(pic of back house)

This journey has definitely had its ups and downs. I mentioned last week an up and a down. I will this week as well.

UP: All the fruits and veggies you can eat!!

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(look at all this goodness and SO CHEAP!)

 

IMG_6161(Would you pay $1,175 for a pineapple? I would! It is in colones (pronounced co/lone/es). That sum converts to about $2.35 a pineapple. That is actually expensive here. We can buy 2 for $2.00 at the farmer’s market; if we can be patient until Saturday morning’s Farmer’s Market!)

DOWN: Learning to live without U.S. prices on food staples.

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(This cheese would cost me $15.00 @ Costco – Here it is $29.00. Yes, we bought it. Somethings are a MUST HAVE in a family!)

 

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(Pizza is SUPER expensive in Costa Rica. Thankfully I know how to make it, so it doesn’t hurt so bad buying this bag at $27.00. This bag will hopefully make 7 “Little Caesar” size pizzas. A “Little Caesar” size pizza here costs . . . $20.00!)

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(Would you pay $8.00 for this Costco/Sam’s Club size bag of chips? Neither would I!)

Now, I can’t end on a downer! I do have some food blessings that make me VERY happy here. One is canned tomatoes!

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These tomatoes are only $1.00 per can. You can’t complain about that price, especially when figuring in importation taxes and fees. That is cheaper than I can get them in Utah during a case-lot sale! Yes, not as good as homemade, but I can’t complain . . . I’m living in Costa Rica!!

My second favorite item to purchase is boxed whipped cream!

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Yes! Boxed! It is shelf stable and whips up just like refrigerated whipped cream. If you want it cold, just put a box in the fridge or freezer, depending on time, and you can have cold whipped cream. It whips up warm too! I LOVE this stuff. You can buy it in Logan, Utah as well. I just never felt it convenient to drive “all the way” to Logan, just for boxed cream. But if you are in that area, give it a try!!

Well, that ends our post for today! I hope you can feel of our love for you and know that we are truly never far away! You are in our thoughts, prayers and hearts. We think of you daily and send our love to you. May the sunshine, rainbows and breezy palm trees of Costa Rica fill your heart with joy!

All our LOVE

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