Recent happenings


Prayer rock


Grape Gatorade wine and coconut cookie bread


A couple weekends ago while Nolan was on a medical outreach campain, the kids and I walked up to prayer rock for worship . It was a beautiful morning to praise the Lord out in His nature! We talked about the Passover, and about the blood on the door posts that spared the first-born children when the angel of death passed over, then about how the blood of the perfect “Lamb” on the cross spares us from death. We ended with our own little communion.


Our communion


A week or so later we had another march with the kids playing in the band. It was pretty warm out, with quite a wait in the sun. We tried to keep them drinking water and in the shade as much as possible. One forth grader who was behind Benjamin fainted from the heat. His face received the brunt of the fall, but fortunately he is ok. Here are some pictures of their day.



Ben is the third drum in the line closest to us and Syd is to his left with her Lita.




My family


The lead marching girls


Nolan marching


Syd and her friend Maria Pilar


Some of our school kids watching some boys playing marbles.

It seems that the games that the kids play here change with the seasons. They have played with taps,  which are little plastic disks that you try and throw just right so it flips your opponents’ tap. Then they played trompos, which are tops. The ones where you wind up string around them and throw them to make them spin. Now the game of late has been marbles. Pretty much everywhere there is an area of smooth dry dirt, there are kids playing marbles. There are several games that are played.  It has even made it to our yard.


JP going for a shot


Watching Peter. (Syndey and some of her friends have been playing “Little House on the Prarie.” Konika made the bonnets, etc.)


Syd trying to win it all

Other things that have made it to our yard:


An awesome swimming pool with a home-made waterfall by Benjamin!


And our bird… Can you find him?


Here is a better picture of our bird










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Celebrating Peru!


Two of the cutest kids there!! 🙂

Today we celebrated Peru’s Independence day! I have heard that celebrating can last for a week to a week and a half. We will see how lucky we are! 😉 Our kids have been very busy preparing for this day, putting in lots of after school hours to practice with the band.  I know I am a little biased, but our Diospi kids looked awesome! Great marching, band playing, and outfits!



Ben and his drum

Benjamin played the drum and was quite proud of himself for being able to flip his drum stick while not missing a beat. He figured that out during one of the 2 hour practice sessions. 🙂 They had 6 of those sessions in the past 2 weeks.



Syd and her lita

Sydney played the lita which is like a xylophone. During practice they had to hold the lita up against their side, but today the first 3 girls to arrive got a strap to help hold it!  She was so happy!



The lita girls

Sydney and Annie both played the lita which made it a lot easier to get Syd out the door to practice. So thankful for Annie’s friendship with Sydney!

This is the band in the background with a few of the Diospi students marching in the front. It was kind of hard to get pictures because there were so many people.


Some of the Diospi boys marching


Here are a few pics. Lucky for us, we were one of the first schools to march, so there wasn’t TOO much waiting once things started rolling. However, the kids had to be at the meeting place at 8:00 and didn’t march until around 11:00. So there was a bit of waiting. 🙂



Annie, Sydney and Mariella


Sydney and Mariella


The band playing while the Diospi students marched by



The little Diospi kids marching, they are so cute!

I wanted to put a video on here so you could hear them playing, but I can’t get it to participate at this time. 🙂

Categories: Konika, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Our recent life

Apology: I have had this post ready to go for over a week now, but our internet has not been fast enough to upload pictures. Today, it is working!! Yay!

There have been lots of happenings since our last post. Looks like we left off at the school inauguration… The following Monday, the kids started school. There were a few moments of nervousness, but they were mostly excited to get started. They were also very excited about their uniforms (this excitement has worn off a bit).

All ready for school

All ready for school

This is their uniform for every day. Including the sweater. Benjamin is not the biggest fan of the sweater (he thinks it is a bit too purple).
The school is brand new, as you know, and there were a few hick-ups (which is expected, the first go around) one being, the school supplies were not in the classrooms for the kids. Which was a problem for Benjamin because we turned in his pencil bag, so the poor guy started a new school, in a foreign language, with no pen or pencil to write with (he didn’t end up getting his bag for over a week, but we sent some spare writing utensils the next day). Sydney lucked out, because on our way to school I gave her a pencil that I happened to be carrying. So lesson learned, don’t turn in the pencil bag with the school supplies. 🙂 On Thursday, I finally went to talk to Sydney’s teacher to ask where Sydney’s notebooks were. She only had one (we had turned in 5) and said that they had been looking all over an couldn’t find hers. I had reviewed my Spanish words that I was going to use all the way to school. I guess I lined up my words correctly, because I got my message across and after we found her books her teacher came up to me and started speaking to me really fast. I had no clue what he was saying, so Sydney pipes up and says ” Mom, he is saying that us English kids don’t always understand what he is saying, and he wants to know if you can come in and help translate for us.” Ha ha! Needless to say, I did not get the job. 🙂
Other than that, school has gone fairly smoothly. The kids have a fabulous girl named Elsa, who is from Germany, that helps them with their school work and helps them through some of their classes. She is also teaching them German, which is a huge hit!  She is super nice and I am sad that she is leaving pretty soon to return to Germany. 😦
Well, just as we were getting school started, we got an e-mail letting us know that the kids’ carnets were ready to be picked up in Lima. So after being in school a little over a week, we headed to Lima.

Waiting... We actually got to skip to the front of one line since we had kids, but we waited 2 hours in the next line.

Waiting… We actually got to skip to the front of one line since we had kids, but we waited 2 hours in the next line.

The last two times we have gone to Lima for carnet stuff, Nolan and I have gone without kids. So this trip to Lima, we tried to work some kid activities in around our appointments and a bit of shopping for things we can’t get in Curahuasi The highlight was finding string cheese; Sydney was so so excited!! We also found some cheddar cheese, which is quite rare.  Nolan and I both realized that it is A LOT easier shopping for supplies minus the kids! It was like they had not seen modern things in years.  It seemed that every item in the store they wanted to show to us, but it was fun to see them having a good time. We rented bicycles for an hour and rode up the walkway along the cliffs that overlook the ocean. At our turn around spot, there was a free BMX bike track and skate park, so Benjamin and Nolan took a couple laps.

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Ready to ride!

We went and played at the beach. (which is not comfortable to lay on)

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Plenty of rocks to throw!

We were also able to hook up with a couple friends from the hospital and we went to this water park. Its actually more of a fountain park, but fun none-the-less.  After the $1.50 entrance fee (can’t beat that), you were free to roam around the park with its 13 different fountain areas.   Many were in different designs, some went with music, some you could play in, and at night they light them up. It was a lot of fun, and a very nice park.

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The fountain park

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Inside a fountain

Watery tunnel

Watery tunnel

Another highlight was being able to attend an Adventist church. I do miss our church family! It is amazing how you can attend an Adventist church anywhere and it still feels like family. It is the little things!  🙂
While we were in Lima, we got a call letting us know that our house was finished and we could move in!! So after we flew into Cuzco, we bought some mattresses (yes our taxi was looking pretty funny )

Our loaded taxi

Our loaded taxi

and a few other things and drove straight to our new place. Then came the “fun” part of packing/separating all our stuff and unpacking it once we got it to our house. They do not build closets in the bedrooms here, so that makes storage and hang-up clothes a little bit of a challenge. So this week, we have been doing a lot of moving around, lots of figuring out what we need to buy (furniture), and what we can live without. Good times!


Home sweet home


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Inside our gate


Our kitchen/ dining/ living room

Our kitchen/ dining/ living room


But we do owe Stephen and Finley a HUGE thank you for letting us live with them until our place was finished! I am sure it probably wasn’t easy having 4 extra people sharing their place, but they were very kind and put up with us for over 3 months! So THANK YOU!! (I know, it needs to be bigger! :))
Well I think that just about catches you up with us for now.



Categories: Konika, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Machu Picchu

This last weekend, I had an invitation that I could not pass up. Three wonderful young ladies asked me to join them in a weekend trip to Machu Pichu. We had so much fun. Our first night we took a rainy, very quick, and a bit scary taxi ride to Cuzco ( fortunately our angels can fly fast), where we spent the night so we could get started on our “real” trip first thing in the morning. We loaded into a van the next morning with many other people, and off we went.


Makes me feel a little sick just looking at the picture! 🙂

As you can see, (there is a river at the far left, the rest is one road) the road winds all over the place! Let’s just say, I wasn’t medicated so the 6 hour trip seemed FOREVER! (My tummy doesn’t get a long too well with curves)Then we got to take a train the last 30 minutes to where we were going to stay.  It was kind of interesting, because since I now have my carnet (visa) I am considered a Peru resident. So as two of our group got to go in this really short line with all the gringos, Luz and I got to go stand in the long Peruvian line. We did get to ride in the same train, but we were in the less plush car. 🙂 The up side? We paid $3.50 and the others paid $24.00. Anyway, we did end up making it to Aguas Calientes. It is such a cute little town. And the river that runs beside it was unreal! The power behind that water is incredible. (Sorry, can’t get my picture to load)


Aguas Calientes

Bright and early the next morning, we headed up to Machu Pichu. (By bus, not foot) It was a little foggy when we first got up there, but then as the fog lifted, you could see more and more. It was so beautiful!

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I love the windows


Isn’t it neat how they carved the rock to look like the mountains behind it?


The fog is just about gone


How did they move those rocks?


How did they carve this?

We decided to walk back down the mountain to Aguas Calientes. Wow, there were SO many stairs, and they are tall stairs. At first, it was fun, then my knee decided that it was not having as much fun as I was and decided to try and spread the misery. 🙂 It has taken days, but my calf muscles are finally back to normal. I am just grateful that we took the bus up. 🙂


This is the road up to Machu Pichu. We walked down the trail that just goes straight down.


The lovely ladies I had the opportunity to travel with

We had a great time, and I am so glad I was able to go. One thing I have really enjoyed in my “mission” time so far, is being able to spend time, and getting to know people, especially young people who are so on fire for God. These ladies, and the young ladies we were able to get to know in Costa Rica, are not waiting until they are older, or married, or until things are “just right”. They are out right now, living their lives for God, doing what He wants. These three ladies are doctors who could be worried about how much money they aren’t making, instead, they are worried about how many people they can share Jesus with, how they can show His love to their patients, and being so concerned with this that they dedicate their lives to His service. I am inspired by their faith and their love of God.

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We graduated!! Can you believe it? I know, amazing right? Ok, so everyone graduates when they leave the school here, but  still… 🙂 We know that we have improved since we arrived (for sure) but we have a LONG way to go still.  I have to admit, I get excited because now I can read people’s posts on Facebook that are in Spanish, and can figure out what they are saying!  Oh the little joys in life…  But now we are entering the sink or swim time, so hopefully we can swim!


Miss Sydney with her teacher


Mr Benjamin and Miss Sydney. Sadly I didn’t get a good picture.


We are with our teacher Melvin. It was at this point I thought I had gotten away with not having to say anything in front of everyone. But I was called out and we had to talk. Blast! 🙂 (I do pretty much ANYTHING to get out of talking in front!)


Our fellow graduates. 🙂


Bree and I in our classroom


Our first teacher Sonya.

There was also a fiesta on the day of our graduation. May have possibly been because we are leaving… Not too sure. 🙂 Just kidding, it was for Navidad! We have had stockings there at the school and each person got to draw a name and put things in their person’s stocking, secretly of course.  Then at the party, you got to hand your person their stocking.  Then the staff there at the school provided us with lunch. It was very sweet of them. We were blessed and made some really great friends here in Costa Rica!  It is  sad to know that we will probably not see some of them again here on this earth. But the time here was made so much better because of our friends! So thank you to everyone who made our time here enjoyable! 🙂


Some of the kids trying to peak in their stockings! 🙂


Sydney and her friends Sonya and Sofia


For culture class (we have it every week on Thursday) we got to sing a traditional song that is about Joseph and Mary going door to door, looking for somewhere to stay. So the “inn keepers” are inside and “Joseph and Mary” are on the outside. So we were all divided into two groups and got to sing to each other.


Nolan got to play the guitar


Here is our Christmas picture! 🙂


One of Benjamin and Sydney’s teachers. Super nice girl!


Benjamin and Sydney’s class with their teacher who has LOTS of patience!

We leave tomorrow for San Jose.  Our flight to Peru leaves Sunday morning! We will first fly to Lima and then to Cuzco a few days later.  So we have been packing ALL day today!! It really isn’t very fun.  We have bought some things for Peru, people have given us gifts, and things just add up! Now we are trying to stuff it all in our bags. 🙂 Good times!  But, the good news is, that we are pretty much done! So now we can enjoy the Sabbath! I am so glad we have the Sabbath to look forward to every week!

Categories: Konika | 2 Comments

Always Fun!

Thanks to all those who have sent letters or packages to us during our time here in Costa Rica.  Not only is it fun to get things from family and friends, but it is also encouraging and really does make our week!  Your kindness and support is invaluable!

I will always remember how excited my kids get when we receive a package from the States.  🙂  Thanks again!




Health Food!


Guess my head is cut out of this photo, but it still shows the fun stuff we got! 🙂


My FAVORITE!! 🙂 That’s right, I love me some fake dogs!


It is Christmas fun for everyone!

Again, thank you everyone for your prayers, thoughts and love! And a special thank you to all the 2nd and 4th graders at AWS! The letters have been, and will be read many times! WE HAVE AMAZING FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!

Categories: Konika, Nolan | 2 Comments

The Final stretch of Costa Rica

Our time here in Costa Rica is quickly coming to an end! We have about 2 weeks left before we head on to Peru! Though we are filled with excitement to go to Peru, there is still that nagging feeling of not knowing enough Spanish!!  I know that God wants us to be there and He is going to make things work out, we just need to let go and let God do His thing.  Wish it was as easy to do as it is to say… satan has a quiet little sneaky way of getting into our minds and throwing doubt in there. God promised that through Him all things are possible. I just need to repeat that to myself daily! Ok, maybe several times a day! 🙂


Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

We took one last trip as a family here in Costa Rica (I say “as a family” because Nolan and Benjamin are going on a little trip up into the mountains next week). We went to the Pacific side of the country to a beautiful place called Manuel Antonio.  It is a National Park.  We had the privilege of going with a family that we met here at the school. They are great people and we had so much fun hanging out with them. And even though we had to say good-bye to them last week, it is not forever! They are headed to Peru in January to work in an orphanage for a little while and amazingly, they will be about 30 minutes from where we will be! A-MAZING!!! 🙂 Ok, so about Manuel Antonio… It was so pretty there!


This is a view from a restaurant called “El Avion”.

We ate at this really fun restaurant called “El Avion”. The boys especially LOVED playing in the cockpit of this C-123.


Really, who wouldn’t love this? Pushing buttons, pulling levers… Now, if only it would fly… 🙂

We stayed at this little place that was snuggled in the jungle and monkeys came several times and were playing in the trees and on the roof of the building. I thought that was pretty cool!


This little mama is carrying her baby who is almost as big as she is!

At the beach we saw some iguanas (one was exceptionally big), and lots of crabs! The kids made a “home” for the crabs; basically pits with little walk ways for them to go from “room” to “room”. Don’t worry, we let them go when we were done playing.


This little guy was running for his life. 🙂


Some crabs in their “home”


Some itsy-bitsy crabs


This is an iguana we saw at the beach

And on a walk through the park we saw more monkeys (this time it was Howler monkeys. At the hotel we saw the white faced Capuchin monkeys and Squirrel monkeys) and more iguanas, Agoutis, a Purple Crowned Fairy hummingbird, a Sloth, Toucans,  some tree frogs, and there could have been more, but my brain is not recalling anymore at this time. 🙂

Oh, on our way to Manuel Antonio, we crossed this river that had crocodiles. Don’t want to fall off that bridge!!


Glad I was up on the bridge!

Here are some more pictures of our adventure. We are thankful for family, friends, fun, safety, and MOST of all for the love of our Father up above.


Sydney and her sandman since there is no snow here! 🙂


Digging holes


Did a little zip-lining


All ready to go!


Crazy little monkey!

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Just livin’ in Costa Rica

I am sure it is hard to imagine, but it can be challenging to live here in Costa Rica.  ( And I am sure once we get to Peru, we will look at our days in Costa Rica and think to ourselves, now why did we think it was challenging there?) It is challenging to be in a different place with a new language we are trying to process.  A place where we have new friends (but still wish we could just hang out with our friends back home).  A place where you can’t express (beyond a basic level) your sorrow for someone losing a loved one or excitement for someone’s achievements because you don’t know the words (or just don’t remember them, which is more often the case).  A place where 4th grade is SO hard because Mom is not like Mrs. Weddle. 🙂  (I try and remind him that Mrs. Weddle still made him do his work and each year you learn new stuff that is sometimes hard. Still we miss Mrs. Weddle.)  A place where we have to wait on the bus, and sometimes walk home when we miss it. Sometimes we just get frustrated with each other. We are with each other 24/7 pretty much!  🙂 All these things can get a bit overwhelming sometimes. But right now I am reading the book of Acts in my morning alone time (with the roosters) and that is the perfect book to bring my self-pity train into the station.  Paul was imprisoned, beat, put on trial, tested in his faith all the time, and he still boldly spoke about God, not dwelling on the things that were uncomfortable or things that didn’t go his way. He kept his eye on the prize.  I am sure his conditions were not perfect and the food wasn’t always great. I pray for an attitude more like Paul, one that the focal point is never changing, one that will put up with all kinds of challenges because we know what the forever future holds.

We are healthy, and safe and have many blessings and things to be thankful for. I need to dwell on these things. Thanks again for prayers of support, they are much appreciated! 🙂



P.S. Here are some of the little creatures we have found.


A very large butterfly


Looks very different when closed up


A bee hive


These butterflies are so beautiful!


Just doin’ some laundry


Sweeping up after the guy came and did some weed-eating



So glad I didn’t walk into this guy’s web!


Think this guy has cool antennea?


But check out these! Fancy! He even posed them nicely for his photo.


Check out this cute little fella. He lives on our stairs (inside the house)


This big ol’ guy did not live very long after this photo


Everyone gets to help carry groceries


A very bizarre looking fruit. It was surprisingly tasty.

Categories: Konika | 9 Comments

Week 4

We have made it to week 4! We mostly keep ourselves busy by going to school in the morning, trying to remember what we learned in school, grocery shopping (Nolan), studying verbs in Spanish, doing homeschool (Benjamin and Sydney with me), playing “Bingo” with Spanish words, doing homework (all of us), playing memory with Spanish opposites, playing (mostly kids) and studying Spanish. Did I mention studying Spanish? Since that is why we are here, I guess that is a good thing. 🙂

We had a little break and decided to take a day trip. We went to the beach! 2013-08-23 17.00.36 We got together with two other families from the school we are attending, and booked a van with a driver and took off!

Our driver took us to a part of the beach that had reef all around it which made it perfect for the little kids to have calm water.  It also made it perfect to snorkel and find fish.

2013-08-23 12.55.31We mostly saw little fish, but Nolan and Benjamin did see a pretty good sized puffer fish (not puffed up).

It was a beautiful day and a much needed rest from language learning.  🙂

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Thank you all for your continued support and prayers!  Please pray for our language learning and for our homeschooling. Sometimes it is challenging to have patience to do homeschool after a morning of language school and the homework from that.  🙂

Categories: Konika | 3 Comments


Tuis is the town that we go to school in. It is about a 1.5 mile walk or bus ride from where our house is.  We live in La Selva.  This weekend, a very nice girl who is attending our school, took us on a tour of Tuis.  She showed us several places that I am most certain we would never have found on our own. Including this…


This guy has made his backyard into a kid’s dream!  Several huts with thatched roofs, several rope swings, this tree house, a see-saw. The kids thought it was pretty cool!




The following morning she invited us to go with her host family to milk their cows.  So at 6 am we were waiting at their gate.  Up a steep hill in the coffee plants we came to a little shed where the cows would come in to be milked.  Obviously the gentleman had milked cows MANY times! He was so fast. He was also very nice and let the kids try. Then he gave us some fresh cow milk!



I am sure not all of our weekends will be this interesting, but grateful for a gracious people who are making our stay here even more enjoyable.

Categories: Kids' Posts, Konika | 4 Comments

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