Sunday, June 10, 2012
With four days to go, Mike is super focused on getting the remaining trees planted on our land in the San Luis Valley. (Personally, I think he is avoiding having to help me pack and purge...but mom's the word okay?) Thanks to friends and student groups from the University of Georgia campus in San Luis, we have almost 300 trees planted on our little slice of paradise! Mike made contact with the University and arranged to have a group of students for a morning come and plant trees, and plant...they did! I think they got about 160 trees in the ground in one day. We are grateful for these student volunteers and the support of the UGA. The next weekend, we had more help from close friends who donated their muscles to a good cause...yes, more tree planting. I consider myself an expert now and have the bug bites and sunburn to prove it. We had a lot of fun and good laughs along the way and the three hours of planting came and went in what seemed like a blink of an eye. How many of the 300 will actually take root and grow is anybody's guess, however we hope that when we return we'll see some growth and can take the next step to perhaps building a little vacation home of our own. Dare to dream.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
One of the sweetest things resulting from this move...listen and enjoy, I sure did! With so many things racing through my mind right now as we are under a week to go here in Monteverde, I find myself thinking of all the posts to the blog that I should have made time for, going through old pics and videos...this is one of them. It needs no introduction or conclusion! Peace, Signed: S
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Thankfully the boy's enthusiasm for the move is keeping my anxiety at bay! Every day over breakfast, we talk about how many more days until we leave. I wish it was as simple as that and am glad, that the boys see it as such a simple thing in their mind...14th of June we wake up in Costa Rica and lay our heads down in North Carolina...cut and dry...right? For them, maybe, but for me - it is part of my daily routine now to review my To Do List to 'ready' ourselves for the transition. We just signed the contract for a rental house, so we have a place to call home for atleast a year or so before we can again qualify for a loan! What keeps me awake and what fills my conversations with Mike is how different Michael and John's school experience will be in the States. Going from a class of 23 with 3 teachers to a class of what I hear might be upwards to almost 30 with just one teacher! Today, they receive kisses and hugs from their teachers as they bounce out of class and into my arms at noon to tell me all about their day. What will their day look like in Downers Grove, Illinois? What about the bombardment of advertising, TV, games, and hand-held devices that await! Things that go BUZZ and BLING and all that - do we invite these into our house or will be thought of as 'wierd' by our neighbors and boy's classmates, if we do not have a TV or a hand-held game to offer up for play? Will John and Michael be seen as outcasts at school if they can't carry on a conversation about the latest Mario game...or whatever it is. For goodness sake, they are only six years old - do we have to deal with all this electronic stuff right now? So, Mike and I have already started discussing our strategy and how these things will or will not support our family values! Don't get me wrong - a ton of kids here in Monteverde have cell phones, access to their own Facebook page and X-Box at their homes, so perhaps rural Costa Rica is not that far out of touch??? Another thing that has my stomach turning is the freedom they have now to run outside at any time, climb a tree, play in the rain, pick fruit, pat horses, catch leaf-cutter ants, etc. "Dorothy, we are not in Kansas anymore", how do we keep their sense of freedom and innocence while, at the same time, keeping them safe and aware of their 'new' environment. One of our main goals is to keep their curiosity alive without numbing their sense of adventure. I for one, will be bringing my coffee sock home with me and will be brewing my morning coffee using this - and YES, it does taste so much better made this way than the 'Mr Coffee" way. So, as I look forward to being closer to family and having different opportunties available, I am realistic that we will have to prioritize that which is dear to us. We continue to prepare the house, giving away clothes, puzzles, rain boots to kids/families in the zone that can put them to good use...and yes, the rainy season has started and I am pulling out the few crafts we have left to entertain the boys. Two days ago during a rain-out in the afternoon, we brought out all our cards in the house, Sight Word Cards, Spell-om-inoes, Counting Cards, Playing Cards and had a great time building the house of all card houses (a twist on the three little pigs), with Michael being the Wolf, trying his best to blow down the house. It kept us busy for a good two hours!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I PHONE...I PAD...I YII YII
Can't believe I've been back from Chicago now for over a week - talk about a whirlwind trip. 17 hour trip there, and 17 hour trip back - oh my aching back! My biggest accomplishment had to have been the mastering of the Iphone and the Ipad! Has all this happened since I've been away! I thought to myself as my sister handed her I-pad to me..."here, try this it is really cool", thinking to myself "ya, right, another wireless gadget, just what the world needs", but boy was it awesome. I think the best part of it was having it on my lap while I sat on the passenger seat of the car last Saturday morning as we weaved in and out of streets looking for garage sales. A touch and slide of the finger and I was managing just fine locating directions for the finest sales in the neighborhood. Here's my four day run down. Thursday 6:30 a.m. - hugs and kisses to my three boys as I waved goodbye to them as I boarded the bus for the 4 hour ride down the mountain to the airport. 12:30 - San Jose to Ft. Lauderdale 8:20 p.m. - Ft. Lauderdale to Chicago 11:15 p.m. - Beth's House 11:20 p.m. - Glass of Wine Friday Looked at rental house in LaGrange Coffee at Starbucks (with Iphone and Ipad neatly displayed on our table) Returned to Starbucks to claim my purse I had left (not use to carrying a purse I guess) Garage Sales - SCORE - bedroom set, a couple of chairs, lamps Whole Foods Good Will Store to buy Sally some non-Monteverde clothes Barnes and Noble Home - Wine, Dinner and Movie Saturday Looked at rental houses in Downers Grove with Realtor More garage sales Lunch with a good friend in Naperville on our way to look at some beds for the boys Purchased the two twin captain beds for the boys YA HOOOOO! Standard Market for some wine sampling and to buy fixins for dinner Home - Wine, Dinner, Movie Sunday Went for walk with Beth Figured out how to get the bedroom set into her garage Target to buy some 'trinkets' for the kids (mom can't come back from a trip empty-handed) Drive to Orland Park for early dinner with Mom Schaefer, Margie and Jeanine Back to Western Springs to load up the bedroom set Wine, Dinner Monday Re-invent Sally (from Monteverde mom/volunteer to Corporate 'wanna-be') Interview suit, make-up complements of my sister Buy train pass and ride into city Buy umbrella - managed to leave the house without one 3 hour interview and yummy lunch (beats beans and rice) Home, Wine, dinner and packing Tuesday Up at 3:00 a.m. Taxi - 3:30 a.m. San Jose Airport 11:00 a.m. Wait for bus - 2:30 p.m. Bus Ride up the mountain - comatose 7:00 p.m. Home to little brown house - 8:00 p.m. All in all, a very productive trip. Working on securing a rental house as we speak, talking with elementary school, working my way through mounds of school enrollment requirements, reviewing YMCA, park district internet sites for day camp and soccer camp opportunities. So far, Michael wants to do soccer or skateboarding camp and John gives his thumbs-up to fishing camp! Sending thank you letters out for interview, working on Visa paperwork to bring a friend over to live with us for a year to learn english and to help with the boys, purging and cleaning house for new tenants and keeping the family running! ONE MONTH COUNTDOWN and feeling READY! June 14th here we come! The sole photo from my trip - me and Zach, my nephew!Peace, Signed: S
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Thanks to my talented neighbor, Adrienne, for making this wonderful video of this year's Monteverde Friends School Walkathon. This year, I opted to work a station with the family (Famous Station #7) handing out watermelon and words of encouragement to participants. Other years I have run the 13K route, but my body told me I better listen to it this year, so that I did and enjoyed spending the day with my boys. Enjoy the video and hope, through this, you can understand why we love this community so much. Smile for the camera Mike!