January 30, 2012

hoop shoot

A few months ago, the kids' school had a free throw basketball shoot contest. El Fuego wanted to participated and ended up going forward to the next level. The Elks National Hoop Shoot Free-Throw program is bigger than I understood.

Sadly, El Fuego didn't do very well and it proved to be a life lesson more than anything else.

We are proud that he followed through and stuck it out, even when we could see he would have done anything to leave. It was hard to watch. But, he tried his best and that's all that matters in the end.

Good job El Fuego!

January 29, 2012

on the court

Something I never really thought too much about, ever, is basketball. I've been to college games. I've played in elementary P.E. classes. We even have a hoop in our driveway. But, I didn't actually put too much thought into my children actually playing the sport in an actual organized basketball group.

Out of all the sports we've played, baseball, tae kwon do, swimming, dance, gymnastics, this has by far been the most fun. The action is quick. The exercise is aplenty. And, the entertainment factor is fantastic.

January 27, 2012


The other day, I was walking along, and my gait was different. It felt odd at first. A little bouncy I dare say. I surmised my shoes were doing something funny to the way I was walking. I tried to change my steps so the bouncing would stop. It didn't help. And, then I thought to myself, "Is this what it feels like to have pep in your step?"

By golly! I've gone all peppy and stuff!!

Hold up!! Before you go rolling your eyes and muttering about what a windbag I am, hear me out.

My mother told me when we boarded that airplane bound for Costa Rica that "this place will change you." And, like you, I brushed it off.

She warned there was something, not exactly sure what, but something about the community, the air, the rain forest, the animals, that seeps into your soul and mixes it up a bit. For every person, the effect is slightly different. For most, it's downright cathartic.

I lost myself in the jungle and purged my soul.

However, I didn't really realize the full extent of Costa Rica's grasp until I was back in my hometown, back to doing all the normal, routine things I had done before. Back to doing laundry, organizing play dates, filling the dishwasher and schlepping kids to and fro. In fact, it was an early morning eye appointment with Miss Divine one week later when the realization started to sprout. The eye doctor was going on about vision prescriptions, patching weak eyes and listing off way too many numbers when she stopped what she was saying mid sentence, gave her full attention my way and asked what was different about me. Without skipping a beat, Miss Divine blurted "She cut her hair and just got back from Costa Rica!" My eight year old's blunt perception of my new psyche was more or less hushed because how perceptive can an eight year old be after all.

Skip ahead a few days, as I tried to time my stride to a rhythm that wasn't so bouncy, when it hit me. Pow! My aha! moment (as Oprah would say). Miss Divine was right! My eight year old, in her funny little eight year old way, actually nailed it. It wasn't my physical appearance that was so different, it was my inner self that was shining through. All those things that weighed me down before visiting the most magical place on earth, had disappeared and is no longer really all that important. And, dang, don't I feel good about it!

January 26, 2012

dancing girl

Petite Artiste is in her third year of dance classes. She loves everything about it!

Parents aren't usually allowed to sit and watch. It's distracting to the kids and makes teaching harder for the teacher. Every session of classes, however, there is an observation day. The parents/families/friends get to sit in on a class and see how their little dancers have progressed.

Miss Petite seems to glow in everything she puts her mind to. Dance is no exception. She hangs on her teacher's every word and follows her new steps as best she can. It's very cute to watch.
Another parent wrote me a note about a recent art project she helped with in Miss Petite's kindergarten class. Mentioning how much my girl "needed" glitter.

My reply: "this girl was born with glitter in her veins."

From her head to her toes....

I really believe that is true.

She is one sparkly kid!

January 24, 2012

faces of costa rica

One of the things I noticed most about my time in Costa Rica is just how beautiful the people are. Not so much their outside appearance, although who can argue, 'these be a pretty bunch of people!'

I was mostly taken aback at how beautiful they are inside.  Costa Ricans are so loving, genuine, and caring. They smile all the time. They kid around with everyone. They hug at every greeting. I've never truly felt like a community had each other's back like I did when I was surrounded by these people. A third world country so poor in things, but so rich in life.

 I now wish I had taken more pictures of the many faces that came into my view.

father and son
Juan Jose
grandpa and granddaughter
Enrique and his wife

January 23, 2012

climate shock

As soon as I stepped off the plane from ten days in Costa Rica, I was greeted with cold and snow. Talk about a climate shock. Warm rainforest to freezing white stuff. It was hard to be motivated to get out bed even. Then, we lost power and the whole town shut down. School was cancelled and heat was elusive. I was not a happy camper. The kids loved it until around hour eight without power. They got bored and I wouldn't let them go out to play in the snow, because we didn't have a way to get warm again. In the end, we survived. The power cam back on and kids went back to school. I'm getting myself up and begrudgingly have started chores around the house. Coming home after vacation is great, unless four people and two dogs continue to live in your house while you are gone. I'm a clean up crew of one today. Sigh.

(Petite Artiste doing the happy dance)