Saturday, March 23, 2013

Emma's 9th Birthday

Emma turned 9 on March 15th. I can't believe she's this old. Where in the world has the time gone? Just like a kid, she's been planning her birthday party for months. I remember telling her in December that we needed to get through Christmas first, then we could talk about her birthday party plans. She changed her mind a bunch of times but finally decided on what she wanted.

And she had it down to every last detail. Made it pretty easy for us!

She wanted a sleepover with two of her best friends here.

Getting Ally ready for the party
Gotta have those nails painted

Jack helped me make a Cinnamon Roll Cake for breakfast the next morning. We don't have refrigerated dough here and I didn't want to wait for dough to rise and all that I found this recipe. It's terribly unhealthy, but good. Especially for a slumber party.

Made a sign and put balloons everywhere
She picked out her own birthday plates and napkins
Let's get the party started: Olivia, Ashlyn and Emma
Emma wanted a dinner of Daddy's spaghetti, cucumbers, garlic bread and southern sweet tea. It was a hit! The other two girls are from the north but they loved the tea :)
What's a Costa Rican party without a pinata?

With tons of candy
Cupcakes with pink icing and strawberries on each of them
We gave her a trip to a camp this summer for her birthday present. But Daddy decided to give her something else too. We watched the movie "Ramona and Beezus" a few days before and Emma said she always wanted to squeeze a whole tube of toothpaste into the sink. So, this is her opportunity. Of course she said it was her favorite gift.
Duct tape bracelets. They made them all that night
Haha of course
Olivia gave her a bunch of manicure items and a homemade diary. Emma loved it! And I'm glad she won't be stealing my nail polish anymore.
Toothpaste in the sink. Everything she dreamed it would be.

Making duct tape bracelets and watching Phineas and Ferb. After they got into their pajamas and watched High School Musical 1,2 and 3. They went to bed at about 2am. I think we'll start a new rule of a midnight bedtime. Live and learn with these slumber parties.

Wanted a pic of me and my girl. She said it was an amazing birthday! We had a lot of fun celebrating with her.

Emma has grown so much over this past year. She has really developed into an even more beautiful girl both inside and out. She's very thoughtful and introspective and easily shares her thoughts and feelings. She's always been a logical thinker and it's neat to see her understanding more and more about the world around her. She's kind and friendly and LOVES meeting new people and developing new friendships. I know God has special plans for her and she makes me want to be the best mom I can be. She has such a pure heart and a sincere love for the Lord. We love you so much Emma and are so blessed to call you our daughter. Life just wouldn't be the same without you. Happy 9th Birthday!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Going on a Date

Will and Emma go on a Father/Daughter date every year right before Valentine's Day. This tradition started when our home church had a dance and now they have continued the tradition here in Costa Rica. This is Emma's favorite night of the year....she will tell you that. Once she even bought a fancy dress in May to save for the next year's date with Dad. Surely she won't outgrow this...right?

She's already concerned about sharing this day with Ally. Will has assured her that they can each have their own date.

I sort of helped her get ready this year. She had her outfit, jewelry, perfume, purse and makeup all picked out. So I just sat on the bed and talked with her. It was fun. Here's a pic of my big girl all ready to go.

Daddy/Daughter Date 2013

Will brought her flowers and some goodies, picked her up at the door and they were off. Our car had broken down the day before, but surely that wouldn't happen again...

And here is the "grua" towing them home

And Emma got to ride in the front seat while being towed...her favorite part of the night.

The car was put in the garage (bad alternator) and they quickly regrouped and called a taxi. Shortly down the road, the taxi started acting strange and broke down at a gas station. Can you believe it...the taxi's problem was the alternator too! Hilarious.

Once again, the courageous couple regrouped and hopped in another taxi. They went out to Momentum Mall and ate at a yummy Japanese restaurant.

This pic cracks me up. She did this exact face as a baby.

Now she was ready for a picture. Pretty girl.

Fancy dinner

And gelato ice cream after

I just love this sweet picture.

And guess what?!?! The next week my handsome son asked me out on a date too. He came to pick me up at the door with flowers and everything. We drove to Denny's on a Tuesday night (because kids eat free) and had a great time. It was so fun just getting to hang out with Jack again. It was just the two of us at home for several years and I've really missed our time together. He said later that we need to do this more often. I agree.

Monday, March 18, 2013

What My Kids Are Used To

Will takes the kids with him on his trips to the country whenever he can. These trips are difficult 5 hour drives through terrible roads with very few stops. My kids have gotten very used to this, and I love that. Our friend, Andy, came in town and Will and Fernando took Andy and the kids on one of their pastor visits. I wanted to share a bit of what my kids are now used to:

Eating sugar cane off the side of the road

Playing with new friends. Emma took a bunch of stuff she doesn't use anymore and gave it away. This was totally her idea. I love that.

Playing together...because they're all just kids

They don't have indoor bathrooms in this area and they all use an outhouse. Pretty gross, but this is where the outhouse runs off...and my kids are playing in it.

And Emma has "it" all over her. But she doesn't care.

Chasing chickens 

A woman was not okay with Emma having "dirty stuff" all over her. So she pulled some water up from the local well and washed Emma off. I told Emma I was just glad she didn't drink the well water. To that she said "Oh I did drink it Mom". Great. Looks like we need to de-parasite ourselves before we leave here.

Beautiful scenery that I know we will miss terribly.

And of course there is a disco on board the ferry on the way home. Why not?

All of this my kids now find extremely normal.

And I love that.