In Spanish this phrase literally means "pure life" but is more commonly thought of as meaning "full of life." Costa Ricans use this phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, resilience in overcoming difficulties with good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune of magnitudes small and large alike. This blog is about our life... Pura Vida!

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Friday, August 08, 2014

Summer Always Goes Too Fast!

Here we are again...

August. 


Only a few short weeks from school starting again and I ask myself, "Where did the summer go?" 
I guess we have been busy, and maybe that is why it seems to have gone so fast! 

In June I traveled to beautiful country of Costa Rica. (See my previous post) And when I returned, we celebrated our 10 year class reunion.




July brought 4th of July parties, Heritage Days, swimming lessons, a family vacation, and Waterama.





August meant that my Ems turned 4!




And August also means that my big girl is preparing for Kindergarten and the other for preschool!


Can time please slow down? 


Costa Rica 2014

In June, I had the amazing experience of going to Costa Rica with 13 of my students. It was a very memorable time for them and me! 

The last time I traveled to Costa Rica was when I was in high school with my Spanish teacher. It was one of the experiences that started my love for the Spanish language and culture and helped me find my career path. I wanted my students to experience some of this excitement as well. This trip was two years in the making and I was lucky enough to travel with my sister-in-law who also teaches Spanish. 

Here is a quick glance at what we did:

We explored Poas Volcano, an active crater near the capital. 

Here is the group at another crater. This one is no longer active and is now filled with rainwater.

This is La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

Here is the Sarapiqui River: We went whitewater rafting down this one afternoon. This picture was taken the next day from an enormous hanging bridge! (A little scary!)

A small sample of the trees/root systems in the rain forest.

One of the beautiful birds of Costa Rica.


Here is a local school we visited for the day. We prepared hot dogs (with ketchup, relish & mayo!) for the kids which was a big change from their normal rice and beans. 

We went on a night wildlife tour to see some more of the countries critters.

We enjoyed a night soccer game against a local team in the pouring rain!

Most of our meals included rice and beans (sometimes together, sometimes separate), fried plantains, and a meat (usually chicken or fish) Our beverages were always fresh juices. The kids didn't know so many juices existed!


This is Isla Tortuga (Turtle Island). We took a catamaran out to the island over an hour away. It was our final day and a perfect way to end our 9 day trip!

We also did lots of hiking, visited Arenal Volcano and the hot springs nearby, learned and saw how chocolate was made, went on an organic coffee plantation tour, went zipling through the cloud forest, shopped in the local markets and took a dance class.

This is the whole group with our amazing tour guide (front center) and our incredible bus driver (back right). I think the kids appreciate our road system a lot more after this trip!

PURA VIDA!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter

I love Easter for so many reasons. I'm so thankful we were all healthy this year and eager to celebrate!
 
Here is a peek at our celebrations:
 
Dying Easter Eggs:

Annual Easter Egg Hunt:
 
 
Celebrating my baby turning ONE! 



 
A wonderful dinner with family.
 

 Finding Easter baskets.
 
Easter mass.
 
Another delicious meal with more family. Followed by sitting outside in the sun (FINALLY!) and creating a fairy garden for the girls!
 
Hope your Easter was joyful!
 
Happy Easter! and Happy Spring!


Friday, February 28, 2014

The last five months :)

Oh where has the time gone? Life has been so hectic in this house lately, I guess I sort of slipped on the blogging. Let me catch you up quick.
 
The girls had fun dressing up for Halloween and trick-or-treating. Here is my peacock, Minnie Mouse, and kangaroo:


 
We celebrated Thanksgiving. And boy do we have a lot to be thankful for!
 
Maria and Emma had their first dance show in December. They did awesome! They knew their dance perfectly! But they were most excited about wearing makeup! (yikes!)
 
We celebrated another wonderful Christmas with many activities and many family members. Here is a picture of Natalie on her very first Christmas:

 Then a little New Year's Eve party was in order. Cheers to the New Year!

 A cold winter hasn't allowed us too many outside days, but when there is a chance, the girls are playing in the snow or riding snowmobile with daddy. Maria especially loves the snow and snowmobiling. Both the girls also took an interest in ice skating and can go all by themselves!

Joe and I got a chance to get away for week in February to Mexico, which was absolutely perfect! We could not have asked for a better vacation. We went to Playa del Carmen 6 years ago for our honeymoon, and decided to return there for this vacation. It was pure relaxation. (I needed that sooo much!)

 
We returned from vacation to find Natalie crawling regularly, blowing kisses and climbing stairs! Ahhhh the things that happen in just one short week! And sitting in the mail was the Kindergarten Roundup packet. NOOOOOOOOOOOO it can't be that time already!
 
But it is that time. Last week, my big girl had to go and turn 5.
 
Here is a few photos from her "Magical Unicorn & Rainbow" party. 

 The inside of our rainbow tie-dye cake:
 
Time keeps flying by. I wish I could slow it down just a little bit... (because seriously, my baby turns one in two months!!)
 
But since I can't really slow time down, I will try to enjoy every moment and feel blessed for the people in my life that keep me busy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What We've Been Up To...

 
It's been a little hectic here with back to school and back to work for me. Here are a few updates:
 
Maria started her second year of preschool.


And has already been on a field trip!
 
 
Maria & Emma started dance class. They LOVE it! They can't wait until it's Wednesday each week.
 
We took a family vacation to Duluth for Joe's inline skate marathon. It was less than ideal weather with them fighting the wind the whole way, but it was still an enjoyable trip.


 
We got a new car!
 
We celebrated Oktoberfest for the first time.

 
Maria and Emma both had their first hunting experience with daddy, and were actually mostly quiet!
 
 
Natalie tasted her first rice cereal and loved it! She's six months old already next week!

 
 
We picked pumpkins from our garden to get ready for Halloween!
 
It's been a busy but very fun few months. Hope you're enjoying your fall!