It has been quite the week for our family. It wasn’t quite what we thought it would be but it actually turned out much better than we expected.
Paul not only got to attend his parent’s dinner for he, his siblings and their spouses, but he got to attend a special family gathering last Saturday, complete with wedding cake. Nice job Heather!
Paul got to see a deer in the neighborhood while we got to see immense garbage in one of the rivers that flow through San Jose City. It was sad to see that people live this way but it was a GREAT visual lesson for my kids! YUCK!
After a private session of Fe en Dios for Curly Cook and Joy Boy that same morning, we traveled to San Antonio, the opposite side of San Jose from where we live, to watch a Cubing Competition. El Gringo enjoyed seeing how the competitions work and is interested in competing at the next one.
Although it was a bit boring to watch one contestant after another solve their cube as fast as they could, the kids took advantage of the time and solved their own cubes. Joy Boy got his PB (Personal Best) on the 2×2.
El Gringo was asked by two different boys if he would autograph their competition shirts. He loved the honor and indulged them. Then the boys started to talk to him about cubing and asked him all sorts of questions . . . in Spanish. I had to take this shot over my shoulder and capture this moment. How cool is it that my kids KNOW HOW to speak Spanish. That is SO AWESOME!
We got home from the long drive from the competition and found a fun surprise waiting for us at our door. I hoped it hadn’t been mis-delivered, since we really don’t know ANYONE who would send such a gift to us, but found out it was for the kids! It was Children’s Day in Costa Rica last Saturday. Our sweet neighbor gave this to the kids. She has been so thoughtful and given the kids something for several holidays over the past 2 years. We immediately ran over, at Curly Cook’s insistence, and said thank you in person. Then we came home and divided the spoils between the 5 of us so we could enjoy the candy while we watched a fun and touching movie on Amazon together – The Yellow Day. Hope you enjoy it too!
Monday dawned and we had 2 guests for the day and then their parents over for dinner. The Bennett family. They are packing up and moving to the USA. They have been living here for almost 8 years. I know what it feels like to pack up everything into a container, sell whatever else I had left and uproot my family – so I offered to take the kids as much as they needed.
They took us up on our offer and had their kids come almost all day Wednesday, sleep over that night, and then they stayed until the evening of the next day. It washed out 3 of the 5 days we had for school this week but I think it was what ALL of US needed! Sometimes we need to learn through life lessons more than written lessons. Life is short . . . be kind to those around you and see if you can help in their time of need.
I especially enjoyed the down time because it gave me a chance to get back into learning HOW to do my hair again. It has been a LONG TIME since I have put this much effort into my hair. Joy Boy helped me take this picture, right before he dashed out to go swimming with the girls.
We ALL slept in pretty late Friday morning since there wasn’t any Seminary due to Costa Rica’s (and all of Central America’s) Independence Day. Curly Cook wanted to attend the morning parade but I just wasn’t up for it. It has started late the last 2 years (I am told it ALWAYS starts late) and it seems that each school plays the SAME SONG in their school band. I prayed really hard to know what to do that day because we had been in the house all week and the kids indulged in TOO MUCH in technology/screen time. We NEEDED to get out of the house. So much for school that day too.
So we got up, ate a quick breakfast, sunscreened and hopped into the car . . . only to have the car battery, of our leased rental car, completely dead! Thankfully our security guard called our neighbor after I couldn’t find anyone to help me. Our neighbor Larry had a battery charger and it got the car up and going again. While we waited for it to get a good enough charge, we did what we should have done in the first place – read our family scriptures and said our morning family prayer. Then we headed to La Sabana park where the 3 youngest enjoyed a pony/horse ride in the rain (5 minutes for $3 a pony – YIKES!) . . .
and then ALL of us enjoyed paddling around on this pond in 2 canoe-ish catamarans. It started to downpour, so the kiddos sought shelter on a small island that had a tunnel. I waited for the rain to stop under some bamboo trees with the catamarans. The trees didn’t keep me from getting wet but at least I wasn’t soaked to the bone. After a humble prayer and a blessed lull in the rain, we paddled back to the docks, in full force, and then quickly walked back to our car. We enjoyed a warm and yummy lunch at Subway and then drove home to have some hot chocolate and hot showers.
I was chill to the bone but 3 hot showers didn’t help make this tub very hot. It’s okay. I have taken MANY baths this week, trying to feel safe and comforted while this week took us on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I feel blessed to have such a gift in my home! That night, when the car battery proved to be dead again, I found myself working on our Family Tree Project instead of attending the temple. I actually REALLY enjoyed spending some quiet time working on this project. I’m excited to see how it will finally turn out!
Saturday morning dawned with Paul holding a yard sale and us sleeping in (again). Paul worked so hard this week gathering, sorting, collecting, giving away, throwing away and finally selling ALL of our things! Sadly, we didn’t make much money at the garage sale today but boy will Deseret Industries get a HUGE supply of fresh inventory tonight. Thanks so much to Danny, Heather, Mark, Steve & kiddos, Grace & Steven, Dave, Chad, Mom & Dad, Kathy & Greg and all others who helped make this week happen. And thank you to those who did buy our stuff. We TRULY appreciate it!!
I will admit that I did have a moment today where I had to let the flood gates open up WIDE. I was exhausted with all the weight of the last few months/years and felt lost as to “what next.” My heart was saddened that we couldn’t do anymore than we were able to get done between the two of us, Paul in Utah and me in Costa Rica. Our house had its first viewing today, shortly after Paul and his helping crew got everything emptied in the house and loaded onto 2 trailers. It was overwhelming to think of all that has happened in one week but there was still so much to be thankful for.
I wanted to dive into our pool and “cool off” my emotions, but it had just started to rain and I wasn’t interested in adding electrocution to our week of adventures. This little inconvenience started my crying even more until I noticed that the rain was crying right along with me. I know that crying creates dehydration, so I took a deep breath and let the rain cry for me. This simple little act of service got me thinking, “Does Heavenly Father cry with us when our hearts are breaking? Does He actually care when our hearts break, even though He KNOWS it is for our best? Does He really care enough to send rain to cry with me?” I felt so alone before the rain and I didn’t know who I could talk to. But the rain immediately helped me to feel not only better but I felt heard and like someone cared. Thanks rain! I needed you today!
I’m VERY GRATEFUL that at least these items DID sell. That is a HUGE weight off my mind and Paul’s. We are also DEEPLY grateful that a few families helped by taking a few of our things to their homes to use until further notice. You know who you are . . . THANK YOU!! (BIGGEST HUGS AND KISSES!!!!)
As for our BIG FURNITURE (Dining Room, Living Room, Master Bedroom, IKEA couch and server) we will have to wait and see if Linda’s Furniture wants to take it on consignment or if the new home owners (whomever they may be) would like to have it as part of the sell of the home? Faith Wendi. Tons of Faith!
Thankfully, in the end, I GOT to KEEP my grandmother Marjorie Wardle’s beautiful chair. Now to get it to my brother’s home and into his basement. Thanks Dad!! Thanks Andrew! Thanks Chris and Jordan! I REALLY APPRECIATE your help with this!
Both, Paul and I, are AMAZED that we did what we did this week. We shrunk 2 HUGE closets, tool/wood working shed, hidden food storage, garage and back yard into THIS. Seriously . . . WOW! We are DEEPLY grateful to Chris and Jordan for allowing us to add to the already big pile we have in their basement. They are so selfless and humble to let us use a portion of their basement for our needs. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!
Now to get THIS GUY back home to us. He is EXHAUSTED! Thankfully he is taking the red eye and he might get to fly first class on his longest leg home – L.A. to Costa Rica. It is an immense blessing that he is such an AWESOME flyer, so I am not worried about him getting sleep nor that this flight will affect him negatively. He said he walked about 40 miles this week. I don’t doubt he did. Hopefully he will sleep well and get to take a nap tomorrow too? Wait. He is a Bishop. He has meetings all day. Bless his heart and poor body. Literally.
So while Paul worked his fanny off today, we spent the day TECHNOLOGY FREE. The kids cleaned the house while I took the car to get a new battery and car wash. Then we each worked on our drawing skills, made a yummy dinner, played a game of Chutes and Ladders, and then indulged in scones for dessert. It was an early night but not before saying goodnight to Daddy and letting him listen in on our family prayer before going to bed.
I have learned a lot this week. Life is NOT about our THINGS. It is about the people in our lives. No, we may not always treat each other the way we should but at least we have each other. I will miss my ward family, neighborhood and being so close to our family and friends but this isn’t the end. . . it is only a waiting place to see what is next.
Thanks for listening,