Spy Wednesday and a VLOG??

“Spy Wednesday” was today.  I must say I am SUPER grateful to be learning about “Semana Santa” or Holy Week this year.  It is a HUGE tradition in the Latin community but it is actually something that is celebrated around the world.  Growing up in Utah we kind of tied Easter with the Easter Bunny, Easter egg hunts, a new Sunday dress with shoes, Easter Baskets and TOYS!  But I honestly don’t remember Easter being about our Savior (sorry Mom!).  I know, it makes me sad because will my children say the same thing when they are older, after ALL we do to teach them, take them to Primary and surround them with family and friends who live the truth?  I hope not.  I truly do hope that our home will be a place that our children will say, “My Mom knows, so she taught me to know too!”

Life has been a bit crazy this week.  The public and private schools have been on vacation, as well as friends back in the US, so the kids have been kind of sad, saying . . . “Mom, can we be on vacation too?”  Well, I can’t let VACATION happen right now because Paul and I are trying to plan a “get away field trip” to Guanacaste or Nicaragua (if Guanacaste falls through) next month, so we need the kids to stay on task and keep their assignments going smoothly.  PLUS, we are gearing up for our HUGE 5 1/2 week trip back to Utah this summer.  I can’t say we will be “homeschooling” the entire 5 1/2 weeks there, so we need to save up and do all we can now, to balance out that LONG TRIP BACK HOME!  (we are SO EXCITED . . . can you tell?)

So this week has been a bit different for us but exciting.  We haven’t done a reading lesson each day, or math, or I guess really much but we have instead focused on learning about Semana Santa and what each day of our Savior’s last week might have been like for him.  It has REALLY been alot of fun and I must say, I am SUPER EXCITED for tomorrow, “Passover Thursday”, so I can have my youngest help me prepare a “kid friendly” Passover lunch for our family.  We are going to use the FANTASTIC resources on LDS.org to teach us about the Passover AND we are going to also talk about the gift of the Sacrament.  I LOVE sharing His-story with my children, it is my FAVORITE subject to teach them, besides learning to read!

We also had a fun experience happen this last Monday. We actually had a nice couple from Utah, stop by to chat for awhile about them possibly moving to Costa Rica.  I think I filled them with more horror stories then they wanted to hear but I actually walked away from the visit with much more than I expected to gain.  The husband was so sweet and actually encouraged our family to start a “vlog” or YouTube channel about us living in Costa Rica and what life is like for us . .  especially since we homeschool.  At first I freaked out, because I am still super sensitive about us talking about homeschooling.

Just last week I had a member of my ward tell me that she felt I should put my two youngest into public school, so I could focus on my older two.  Now, I genuinely believe that she was really only wanting what is best for our family but she made a comment afterward that REALLY hurt.  She said, “Because they will get a MUCH BETTER education in the public school!”  OUCH!  That REALLY hurt.  But that is my life from her perspective.  So I can’t really get angry or hold a grudge at someone because of how they feel, but if any of you TRULY know me . . . I HATE CONFRONTATION (especially somewhere like at church or the temple – which is what happened).  So, I had to take a DEEP breath and say a quick prayer, asking what I could say in return that would not only confirm the TRUTH I have received, through personal revelation that my kids ARE supposed to be homeschooled – EACH ONE, but to also help her know that I appreciate her willingness to share her thoughts with me but to gain a feeling that what I am doing for my family is right, and that is all that needs to be said on the matter.

So, I took another deep breath and replied to her comment that my children are very unique and with the experiences we have had and the feelings I have about their future, that homeschooling is EXACTLY what they need . . . especially the little ones.  I can’t imagine G and L not having the close relationships they have with each other through E and K teaching them how to read.  But, in this sister’s defense, this lifestyle is STRANGE and WEIRD (unique) so if she is imagining her children or grandchildren doing this, it is probably WRONG, so this comment would TOTALLY make sense for her to share with me.  But she does not know my children like I do.  So all is well.  I need to put it behind me.

BUT . . . that little moment, that lasted maybe 5 minutes, impacted me SO STRONGLY that I realized I will potentially have dozens more like them waiting for me in Utah . . .so I better grow a thicker skin and get prepared.  And I think that what this gentleman suggested might be the very way for our family to grow together in a bit more happiness, gratitude, acceptance and even honesty that we are doing what we are doing and if it is what the Lord asks of us, IT IS NOT WRONG!, it is actually PERFECT for us!

So, so, so.  I keep saying so because I am nervous to admit this.  I made a little “test run” video vlog tonight in my car, while waiting for E to finish with his ping-pong fun at the church with his Young Men’s President, a counselor in the bishopric and the Bishop’s son.  Pretty cool huh!  Those are a few of my son’s CLOSEST friends (I want E to ALWAYS remember that!  He is one blessed kiddo!)

I am not comfy putting up the video just yet.  First of all, it was filmed in the dark, since it was at night, in the church parking lot AND I have not one drop of make-up on my face.  Yes, that is vain of me to care about what I look like but in my defense, my face is SO broken out these days and I looked SO TIRED tonight.  Costa Rica is wreaking havoc on my body right now and I can’t stand wearing make-up because my face is SO broken out.  The other issue is, I am not a spring chicken anymore. I am still the same bubbly, out-going, fun to talk with Wendi but I look so MUCH older and I am having a hard time with that too.  I REALLY don’t want to go vain on myself, so I am struggling to know how best to handle these videos.

On one hand, it might be nice for me to break my grunge-look and take better care of myself each day?  But on the other hand, I don’t want to become obsessed with looking at myself in the mirror each day.  How to keep that in balance, and at almost 40 years old, seems like a HUGE temptation to me.    The other issue is, I want to be REALLY.  Life in Costa Rica IS NOT A television show.  Life is real.  It is messy.  Kids have bad days MORE than they have good days. And mom has bad days more than she would like too but we keep getting up, we keep trying and bottom line is. . .  we are a family, doing our best to accept the life we are given and to LIVE IT to the fullest each day.  Maybe this vlog will help us see life through a NEW and EXCITING pair of sunglasses.  (but hopefully not pink – right mom?!)

So, I leave it to you to facebook message me (since my comments are locked – due to spam attacks) what you think.  What would you like to know more about our life?  Do you want to know more about Costa Rica or how our home life works?  Do you want to see a day of homeschooling – good and not-so-good?  What fun tradition should we do to make vlogging fun?  Should E make us a FUN intro?  How long should our videos be?

Remember, this is just a brain-storming session, to know how we can best help/serve you.  We are NOT perfect, we are NOT experts and we are NOT happy people all the time.  BUT . . . just as I had to realize while K and I filmed the “100th Birthday Challenge”, and I kind of freaked out inside that I looked the way I did on camera, I had to be honest and say, “So THIS is the Wendi that everybody knows and loves?!  THIS is what they see!  Oh, I didn’t know that.  Well, HELLO WENDI in real life!  It’s nice to finally meet you!”  And then I just let go and did my best.  Yes, there were moments that my voice sounded angry during the video and it made me cringe but in all honesty, that IS ME when I am frustrated, tired or DO NOT WANT to do something but feel FORCED to do it.  I was bugged and I could hear it . . . but did you?

The BIG QUESTION isn’t “should we do this?” but “WHAT can we do to help people by doing this?”  That is the question I leave to you, as we continue to celebrate the rest of Semana Santa, something I REALLY ENJOY doing and have LOVED spending time with the kids learning about.  I hope and pray that you are all doing well, that you are healthy, happy and at peace and always striving to be your very best, each and every day that we GET to live on this earth, for we never know when it is our last.  Happy Easter! and #Hallejulah

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