Saturday, November 28, 2009

World's Best Coffee

A lot of people say that the world's best coffee comes from this part of the world. And a lot of those people say that it comes from Costa Rica. So here's a shout out to Costa Rica's awesome coffee beans. They make a lot of people happy every morning. Random post, I know--but hey, coffee is good and some of you have never seen a coffee plant.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2009 Team Wrap Up

Well, we did it!  We finished our first year of coordinating the Abraham Project's short-term teams.  God was so good and faithful to get us through the year without any major catastrophes (or small ones for that matter).  God blessed us with 10 amazing groups (only includes those that stayed with us 5 days or more) that each donated their time, money, and hard work to the Project. In all, we received 525 volunteers that came with various short-term teams that worked with us from 1 - 10 days.  Now we are looking forward and preparing for 12 teams in the first HALF of 2010!  It's going to be a busy year but we are grateful for all of the volunteers that the Lord is bringing to contribute to what He is doing at the AP.  

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Caia's Sibling




So, some of you know, but many of you don't, we're pregnant! We are 21 weeks today and had our ultrasound to find out the gender of our baby! Doc says everything is perfect!

Our greatest hope was not for either a boy or a girl, but for a healthy baby! We had a fairly emotionally exhausting pregnancy the first time around, and this one has been so the opposite! We have always received good news from our u/s and blood work, and that has been such a gift to us! 

We will deliver here in San Jose, Costa Rica. We have a WONDERFUL doctor! He delivers all of his own patients, he (himself) does an ultrasound each visit and spends a minimum of 30 minutes with us talking, answering questions, asking questions and really getting to know us.

The downfall was the 9 weeks that I threw-up. I won't go into details, I will just say that I lost 10 pounds during those weeks. Caia began walking in the bathroom and spitting in the toilet because she saw me do it so often. She would come in while I was losing my saltine crackers and pat me on the back and rub my hair. Poor Jonathan had to clean the toilet ALL the time--the TRUE downfalls of only 1 bathroom at a time like that! 

But, we all lived through it and have come out on the other side healthy and excited! (I've even said I'll do it again, 2 just doesn't seem like enough!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

School Days

So, Caia LOVES school! It took about 2 weeks (3 hours/3 mornings a week), but after that, she was begging to go! I am so happy she is happy there! One of my favorite things about it is that she brings home crafts! Here is a rainbow, sun and cloud and below, is her Father's Day gift! it says, "Happy Day Daddy." 

Her class eats lunch at 10:30, and since we don't pick her up until 11:00, she has started eating lunch too. Prior to our knowledge of this early lunchtime, apparently Caia was begging food from the teachers, so they mentioned to us that we may want to start buying Caia's lunch each day (it's a little less than $1 for her lunch each day). 

Anyway, she loves it! 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Prima Ballerina

Jonathan's brother and his wife came and took us on an all-star vacation in April! Not only did they take us on flippin' sweet vacation, but they brought us TONS of goodies from home and Caia has become almost permanently attached to the ballet skirt that came with her ballet pajamas. Of course I am super-excited about this! However, Caia can't take ballet here until she's 4 years old, so we have a couple more years until she's officially a prima! 


So, we have lived in this house longer than any other since we have been married, but it's time to move on! Why you ask? Well, we are moving to Ali and Kyle's old digs in a "gated community" that is closer to the project! Not only that, but it's a little bit bigger, has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (ours now is a 2/1) and it's much newer! Their house also only shares a wall with one other house and those neighbors don't tend to have the car parties every weekend! Not to mention, the new house doesn't share a wall with a Chinese restaurant! And finally, when you look out their front door (as Caia and JG are doing here in our current home), you see other homes instead of a trash dump, wood pile and port-a-potty (and folks, clean out the port-a-potty day once a week is a ROUGH day on the nostrils!). So, as much as we have enjoyed our first home and all of its' perks, we are really excited about what God has provided! 

Bebe's Visit

Jonathan went out of town for 4 days with a team and who swept in to save the day? You know it, Bebe! My mom is the greatest! I called her 2 weeks prior to the day she landed and told her that I needed help! And my mom is not one to just come, "play with the kid." Oh, no! She comes and cooks, cleans, washes dishes and clothes, buys us meals, buys us groceries AND plays with the kid! Everything she did was such a gift to all of us! And it was SO good for my heart!

My parents did my brother, sister and I such a favor in telling us there was a world beyond out back yards and providing the means to us to discover it! So, all 3 of us went out of state to college and then off to many wild blue yonders from there! It couldn't have been easy for my parents to watch their kids go so far away (especially when their friends' kids were staying so close), but they encouraged us each step--all the way to India! But now, there are grandkids involved. And as much as our families would like us near and to be a more constant part of our lives, my parents REALLY DID give me roots and wings--and you KNOW that mine can't be clipped! However, the hardest part of our life is raising our daughter away from family. 

My greatest fear in moving my child out of the U.S.A. at age 3.5 months was that she wouldn't know her family, and initially, she really didn't. Due to visa regulations, we had to leave the country every 3 months our first year here, so we saw family often during that time, but it always took Caia a while to warm up, and I hated it! We definitely saw change during our trip home this past Christmas and even more so this past May. Well, from the minute my mom showed up here, July 1, she had a shadow (and our house is only 800 sq. ft)! She couldn't go anywhere without Caia following right behind! And in those few days, I knew God had done this work, my daughter knew and adored my mom! Mom left early one morning, before Caia was awake, and the whole day Caia kept saying, "Bebe?" We still refer to the bed mom slept in (in Caia's room) as Bebe's bed and Caia will pick up the calculator and pretend she is talking on the phone to mom and just laugh! It's something God did for me, for my mom and for Caia. I really do believe God has something special for parents/grandparents who release their kids-who push their kids -to chase Jesus and I am so blessed and thankful to have those parents! 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In the Garden

JG's sister-in-law has a great camera and is great with it! We went with her to her mother-in-law's garden and chased Caia for an hour! This is the way to take pictures of kids people, forget the studios! Never a tear, never boredom, never a fit...Caia just played and Laurie just snapped! 
(I can get you Laurie's information if you want it :) )


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Off to School

Yes, Caia has officially started school. One week shy of her 20 month birthday, we enrolled her at the daycare at the Abraham Project (the place in which we work). She is in class with about 7 other kids between the ages of 1 and 2. She attends Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8-11. The first day, we walked in and she started crying, then I handed to her wonderful "teacher" and she screamed "MOMMMMMMMMYYYYYY" louder than I have EVER heard her scream and I turned around and walked out. Yes, it was hard; No, I didn't cry. 

We have made this decision for many reasons. 1. We want Caia to be more immersed in the community with whom we working. 2. We want her to be more immersed in the Spanish language. 3. Kyle, Ali, Thomas and Claire are moving and once they're gone, Caia won't have any friends. She and Claire have really started playing well together in recent months and Caia will be SAD to see Claire go.....though she won't realize it until Claire is not at the park, everyday! 

So, we made a decision that I never thought I would kid goes to daycare. I am a stay-at-home mom and my kid still goes to daycare! But, she needs to be around kids her age and in this culture, "play dates" are pretty much non-existent.  So, off to school she goes! 

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Quick Trip

We had a quick trip to visit family (and a few friends) in May. We always have a great time and we always struggle taking Caia away from her family. She has so much fun with her cousins, playing in the grass, playing with all the toys her grandparents have to offer, and just having a lot more freedom! However, we know where we've been called and God WILL give her/us all we need to raise her away from those who love her the most. 

                                            Caia with JG's dad--granddaddy

  Caia with JG's grandfather-Roy (or Ree-Ree as Caia calls him)
     Caia with JG's step-mom, Alicia (Nana)
     Caia with my grandmother-Momo
                                 The lake water and weather were perfect! 
                               Caia and JG with my brother and his son, Luke.
       She LOVES the water!
          Playing with Luke (who is only 6 months older than Caia)
    Papa Sedg was a great catcher at the bottom of the slides
              This is heaven for Bebe-boat and babies
            My brother, Matt, his wife, Libby and Luke.
             At Chick-fil-a with Lissa and Wyatt
         Playing in tupperware with Aunt KK
                  Tony is so lucky! 
                             Wrestling with cousins, Nic (5.5 years) and Evan (7.5 years).
                                             They are so good and gentle with her!
                    Dancing a jig at the mall with the Cole girls-Mabry and Evy.
                With cousin Joshua (6.5 years old).
   Playing with Nanny-JG's mom

Friday, April 24, 2009


So, you just saw pictures of Caia at the beach, but I just remembered this other picture, from 14 months ago! Caia was 4 months old on her first beach trip and here she is at 18 months...and still can sleep on a lawn chair, with her knees tucked up under her, in the shade....nice! Thank you Caia for being so flexible!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Gift

Our house is about 900 square feet, that includes the garage. It sits between (by between, I mean we share walls with) 3 houses, one of which functions as a chinese restaurant. Across the street is a grass parking lot, with a garbage dump and port-a-potty on it sitting directly in front of our house. There is also a grocery store and 2 other restaurants sitting catty-corner from us. We also sit on about 2nd gear of the bus line (buses go by every 15-20 minutes from 5 am to 11 pm, everyday).  Without air conditioning, our windows remain open 24/7 and with all that surrounds us, it tends to be noisy. One night as some men were standing in front of our house talking and fixing their car, Jonathan and I were sitting on the couch and I said to him, "If I couldn't hear life going on outside my home, I think I would feel lonely." 

After more than 5 years of living in over-populated (India) or busy (the street on which our house sits in San Jose, Costa Rica) places, I have come to not only appreciate the differences of the places I've lived, but to need some of them. During our 8 months in the States (between India and Costa Rica), Jonathan and I only lived in our own space for 3 months, and they were lonely months to me. We lived in a nice little house on a quant street near friends and I was constantly trying to get out. I didn't necessarily realize it then, but looking back I can see that I longed to be near people and I realized it wasn't the way I grew up.  It wasn't a North American trait.

I was raised in a wonderful family, in beautiful homes, in great neighborhoods. But after not only experiencing, but living in and engaging in different cultures, I have found myself more like them in this respect of needing people near me.  And I have come to understand it as a gift. God has called me to these places and made ways for me to be a part of them for extended times so He gave me this gift.  He made me like them. 

It hasn't been easy and He is still molding me to become more like my neighbors in other ways....there are certainly areas that I am not like them! But He has done this work in me and I am thankful for that gift. I am thankful to be more Costa Rican, for now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Here is a sample of a typical work day at the Project when a team is here.  We had a team of high school seniors here this week from California and they spent the day breaking up crates and "cleaning" boards.  The wood that we use at the Abraham Project as our principle building material is donated by a local company that imports glass.  When we receive the wood it's in pretty rough shape and our teams help us prepare it by pulling out the nails and staples as well as treating it with poison, polyurethane, paint, etc.  The transformation that the wood undergoes is pretty incredible and just one very cool way that the Lord has provided for this ministry.  The space in the picture where the team is working will be the seating area/soccer field of the new multipurpose building when construction is complete.  As you can tell, there is a lot left to be reason we love and appreciate all of our teams so much.  

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vacation at it's finest!

Tony and Laurie (JG's oldest brother and his wife--one of my DEAREST friends) came to visit us and spoiled us rotten! They brought birthday gifts (from them and others) and easter candy and it might have well been Christmas for Caia based on all the goods they brought her! We had so much fun with them, as we always do! We spent 2 days at the active volcano at Arenal and the clouds lifted so we could see the top smoking! Then, we spent the following 5 days at Playa Tamarindo and enjoyed relaxing and eating! Wow, as is to be expected with Tony Griffith, we ate well! We were sad to see them go but excited as we've already begun planning next year's trip to include Evan, Nic and Alex (their 3 kids)! Tony and Laurie, we love you and appreciate you so much! 

Tony and Laurie on the canopy tour (zip-line)

In the kiddie pool at Playa Tamarindo

Our view, not too shabby! 

She LOVES the water!


One night at sunset

Caia's response to "GO DAWGS!"