Hola! It's been a crazy month for the Dice's in Costa Rica. We had a birthday, a visit from 16 family members, Maria came back for another month, and we have had a ton more school work this tri.
It is a whole new ball game. We now have learned all 14 of the verb tenses, we just don't know how to use them all yet. I am considering taking the 3 hour grammar exam at the end of the tri for college credit. Jeff is considering death by lethal injection. Really no difference, except Jeff's solution is painless and quicker. I have started studying for it already.
The 15th was Karis's birthday. She had a blast. 7 kids came over for brownies and games. (See the pic above.)
On January 24th, the whole Palmer clan arrived for a family vacation. That is Aunt Beth and Uncle Lee and their kids and grand-kids as well as Aunt Jody. For those of you at Brown's that includes Treena and Duane Hall and Todd and Lori Palmer. It was pretty awesome because many of the kids had never flown or been to another country besides Canada. They spent the first day with us exploring around San Jose and then headed for the beach. They enjoyed exploring and snorkeling. The fun was mixed with jelly-fish stings and sunburns!
Aunt Beth was gazing at the moon, tripped, fell, and broke her nose! She was walking with Guillermo, the guide and bus-driver. He says he tried to save her, but she was sure that hand on her back was pushing not pulling! Actually, he felt terrible and Aunt Beth loved to tease him about it. Ellie told Aunt Beth that she had very colorful eyes. I guess that was true since they were black and blue!
After school on Friday, we took the public bus and met the family in Monte Verde. It was a five hour trip. The bus was packed and people stood in the aisles the entire way! Our hotel, the Monte Verde Inn, was at the edge of the jungle. We got to see monkeys, coatis (a type of raccoon), sloths, tarantulas, a porcupine, wolf-spiders, a huge ant mound, and lots of other bugs! It was pretty awesome. We went on a suspension bridge walk high up in the rain forest. It was something right out of Tarzan complete with hanging vines. As David said, "On your wonderful works I will meditate." God is amazing.
Next we took a boat ride to the Volcan Arenal. The drive to the lake was amazing. I am convinced that we just need to move all our family and friends down here. We'll just have to wait for the housing market to come back up! Los Lagos, our hotel, had pools warmed by the volcano!
This was our only trip outside of San Jose and we really enjoyed doing it with the family. We are so blessed to have them. There were a few tears (mostly mine!), but Treena let me borrow her noise-maker (a machine that makes noise so you can sleep), and the next day I was fine and Jeff didn't need to push me off a suspension bridge! It was an amazing experience none-the-less.
I have been really enjoying the experience down here. It has been so different from normal life. I didn't realize the weight I carried around at home. The weight of concern for others in our church and family. A friend told us that God's shoulders are big enough to handle the weight of the world. We can't carry it ourselves. I am convinced I need to pray more and worry less, but I guess that probably isn't news to anyone!
Well, I'm going to leave you all in God's hands. Mine just aren't big enough.
Love to all,