Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Other News

Now that I got the Costa Rica update posted, there are a few other updates that we would like to share.

1. After being home from Costa Rica for 2 days, we went to my mom and stepdad's house in Atlanta for the week of July 4th. My sister, brother-in-law, and niece and nephew were there as well. We got to meet our niece and nephew for the first time! It was so great to meet them, they are both precious children.

Greg is 12 years old and all BOY! He loves sports, video games, riding his bike, and pretty much anything outside. He really liked Chad because he is so active and Chad can hang in there with him. One thing Greg does not like to do is eat. He is a very, very picky eater. He puts me to shame in that category.

Then, there is Izabella, or Bella as we call her. She just melts my heart, especially when she calls me "Aunt Tawa." She seemed to cling to me at first and even though I would like to think that she loves me the most, I know it's really because I was a new face. She just turned 3 years old and is very tall and mature for her age. She is tall and skinny and has light brown hair, just like I did when I was a child. My sister thinks she looks like she could be my child, and I don't deny it. Bella is sooooo smart, mischievous, and manipulative for her age. She is a girly girl and loves to wear flip-flops. She loves to be held and loved on.

I just love these kids, they fit into our family just perfectly and add another great aspect to our time together!

While in Atlanta, we went to the pool several times, went hiking, shopping, ran the Peachtree Road Race, watched fireworks, and ate, ate, ate. It was great!

2. Chad got a job! It is amazing how God worked it out just perfectly. He will be teaching Biology and coaching girls track at Shades Valley High School next year. It is a Jefferson County High School and the feeder High School for my school. So, eventually, Chad will have some of my students in his classes. He went in for an interview in mid-June. To be honest, he was not really excited about the interview, but when he called me after it was over I could tell he felt differently. He felt really comfortable with the principal during the interview. The princial told him that she would probably contact him later that day. I was shocked! I have never heard of a principal saying that, especially that early in the summer. I knew they mut have really liked him (but who wouldn't?). Low and behold, she called later that afternoon to offer him the job! It's still amazing to me how it all worked out and I know this is where God wants him right now. Now he is trying to figure out how to get his teaching certificate so he will be qualified for other positions. I'm ready for him to get into his classroom so I can get all this stuff out of my house! I can only take it for so long.

3. We have been home now for about a week and a half. Last Friday, Chad woke up and decided it was time to clean out the garage. That has been our latest project. We hung more shelves and used hooks on the walls to hang some other things up. We also used hooks to hang our bikes from the ceiling and that made a huge difference in giving us more room. It looks really nice and I hope we keep it that way! In the process, we also decided to hang another shelf in our laundry room for extra storage space and that made a big difference as well. It's all neat and organized. That also led us to clean out our "junk drawer" in the kitchen. You know, we all have one of those where you just throw things in. I just need to get some baskets and that will be looking great. We are hoping to do some more home improvements this fall. We'll share them when we do!

We still have one more beach vacation coming up! We are going to Hilton Head with Chad's family. We are excited! I will give an update when we return.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Costa Rica

We returned from Costa Rica! It was so much fun and we highly recommend it as a vacation destination. It is a 4 hour plane ride from Atlanta to Liberia and then we only had a 45 minute drive to our hotel. It was nice to not spend our whole day traveling and we got there with plenty of time to tour the hotel and grounds before it got dark. There was so much to do in Costa Rica, we could have easily stayed there a few more days. We stayed at the Paradisus Playa Conchal, which is an all-inclusive resort right on the beach on the Pacific side of the country.

The resort was beautiful, had great food, and lots of things to do. All the rooms were suites situated in small villas. We had a sitting area, minibar, bathroom, and our "bedroom" that was up two stairs in our suite. The room was very quaint and romantic.

The resort was spread out and required alot of walking. We didn't mind at all because it was so pretty and we were able to see many "critters" during our walks. We saw iguanas, something that looked like a cross between a raccoon and an anteater, squirrels that looked different than the ones we have here, and a variety of birds.

There was 24 hour room service and many restaurants open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We tried all of the restaurants at least once and we were very impressed. For dinner, there was a buffet open each night, or there were 3 specialty restaurants that required reservations. There was an Italian, Mexican, and Asian Restaurant and all of them were wonderful. We liked the Italian restaurant so much that we went twice. Each restuarant was very "up-scale" and offered many appetizers, entrees, and of course dessert. Since it was all-inclusive, we just couldn't help ourselves! We went a litle overboard a few times, but it was worth it!

The resort also had free activities such as: bike tours, kayak tours, sunset boat cruise, bike rentals, kayak rentals, canopy, exercise classes, dance classes, etc. Even though we wanted to do a few of these activities, we just ran out of time. We did go on the sunset boat cruise though and it was awesome! We also participated in water aerobics class 2 different days while we were at the pool.

We went on two excursions away from the hotel. The first one was an ATV/Canopy Tour. First, we rode our ATV's to the canopy. It was a good introduction canopy tour and nice because we were alone with our tour guides. Then, we rode the ATV's for 2 more hours on dirt roads. It was neat to see the daily lives of the people that live there. We saw some school children walking and riding their bikes to school and 2 boys raced Chad on their bikes. We rode by the beach for a while and got to stop and take pictures. We also saw howler monkeys during that time. There were a ton of them together in several trees and some had babies on their backs. Our second excursion was our favorite day of the entire trip. It was called "Adrenaline Adventure Combo" and boy was it a combo! We were gone from 6:30am -6:00pm that day. First, we drove about 2 1/2 hours to a canopy tour. It took an hour and a half to complete the canopy tour. It was built around a canyon and we went back and forth over the canyon on the zipline. At one point we were lowered down 25 meters into the canyon, did a "Tarzan" swing back over the canyon, and the rock climbed back up the canyon. Also, there was a section where we had to rock climb horizontally to the next line. It was so much fun! I was glad when it was over though because my nerves were pretty much shot! For those that know me, it was very scary for me, but I did it all. Chad was loving every minute of it, he is such a dare devil. Next, we went on an hour horseback ride to a waterfall, where we got to jump off a rock into the waterfall. Then, we had lunch, and we to a "Costa Rican" spa for the rest of the day. At the "spa" we went in a sauna for 10 minutes, took a mud bath, let it dry, and rinsed off in a freezing cold shower. It was supposed to be good for our skin, but I'm not sure about that. Then, we went to a hot springs, where the water is naturally heated from the lava in a nearby volcano. The whole day we had a tour guide that taught us alot about the Costa Rican culture.

While we were there I treated myself to the spa and Chad played golf on the course at our hotel.

Even though we went during the rainy season, the weather was not too bad. When we first arrived, it was very hot and humid and I was worried that the whole week would be like that. Luckily, that was the worst day! It was very warm during the day, but we got at least a short rain shower each afternoon. Two afternoons we got thunderstorms. The resort provided us with an umbrella in our room, which was convenient.

We had a great time! It is so nice to escape the stresses of daily life and refocus, relax, and rest. We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Summer!

We just love the summer, but why does it always go by so fast! We have been busy, busy since the last post so now we have lots to update about. I hope you enjoy the new template, I thought we needed something summery with bright colors for this time of year.

First, I would like to update you on my newest sewing ventures. I took my grandmothers sewing machine to a local sewing machine store and was able to get all the parts I was missing. While I was there, the lady told me about introduction sewing classes for my machine. I was able to attend a 2 hour class a few weeks ago and learn some basic things about the machine that I did not already know. It was wonderful! My newest project is learning how to applique, which was much easier than I thought it would be. I made some kitchen towels with a personalized applique for a thank you gift. I would not recommend starting with the letter "S" because it is probably the hardest one, but I didn't have a choice. I bought some cellophane bags at Michael's and wrapped them up with a ribbon.

That is all I have time for right now, but check back soon for updates on our Costa Rica trip and my new niece and nephew!