Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's Hard to Say Chao

The excitement was palpable.  Seven days left and the school year would be complete.  That was thrilling within itself, but the buzz mostly contained topics of what flight you were on, when you were getting out of town, what you would be doing when you flew back to the wonderful US of A, and most importantly--what you'd be bringing back from the states!!!  It was a Thursday, so Joe came home for about 30 seconds, and then had to run off to Young Men's for church.  I was getting the kids ready for bed when I got a phone call. "Hey, Elizabeth!  What's going on?"  
I never would have guessed her next line. 
 "Well, you know we leave next week for vacation...we aren't coming back."  
Elizabeth was one of the first people I met when we moved to Chile.  I was THRILLED to find out that our families lived 3 courts down and our kids could play together.  She had been here for 3 years already, but their family was asked to stay for another year and a half.  She quite literally took my hand and showed me how to survive in so many different situations.  Hours before the call, I had just gone to the grocery store to buy a bottle of EVOO for her because she let me borrow some the night before when I realized I was out.  She's just that kind of friend.  
Complete surprise to all of us (their family included), we needed to do something to tell them how much we loved them.  Why not have a little shindig?  Three days later we did just that.  

The funny part was, just a few weeks earlier, we had a goodbye party for Tammy Schick and her the Lambert's home.  We were so sad to hear that Tammy, our incredibly generous, thoughtful, energetic, bunco organizer and gourmet chef was leaving--and now she and her fam were right there celebrating the Lamberts with us.  
This is my first experience saying goodbye to close friends as an expat.  That's one of the negatives.  You have to say goodbye a lot apparently because it's the nature of the experience.  People are always coming and going.  As sad as it is, I'll take it. 
 I'm better for having been blessed by them in my life.  

Just Give Me a Second...

You know those kind of sneezes that make everyone freeze mid-sentence while you scream, "Don't move!" So you can run get a kleenex, but you can't find the kleenex, so you go with the next best thing-- a rough napkin, a raw-nosing papertowl, or better yet, about 30 squares of toilet paper that you didn't quite rip from the roll because you're running as fast as you can-- due to the green noodles that have somehow exploded from something so small and cute?  Well, I've had my fair share and I'm throwing in the towel.  
Let's just say, strep throat, bronchitis, colds, strep throat, bronchitis, ear infections, colds, sinus infections and why not throw in a little South American influenza for all of us--just for kicks.  Super Jake has borne the brunt of bugs.  The poor thing has looked sickly since March.  
I love to take care of my kids when they are sick (minus the sleepless nights).  As a complete side note-- why is it that when my hubby is sick, I'd rather he just suck it up?  But I digress.  They love to snuggle with me and cuddle on the couch and I want to do everything I can to get them well.  I pump them with vitamin C, oils, extra green smoothies, lots of soup and copious amounts of fluids. The second I become ill, everything changes.  My patience suddenly finds some curtains to hide behind, and all I want to do is crawl under my covers and hide too.  Why is it that when I finally surrender to the bugs, Jake suddenly has a good day and has a THOUSAND new ideas he shares with me as he shadows my every step; Luke decides that naps just aren't for him that week, and Kate still has to leave at 7:05 for school.  I know.  I'm complaining.  Sometimes it makes you feel just a tad better.  
I can now check off knowing how to go to the clinic and discussing the color of snot, sore throats, hacking coughs and super high fevers in Spanish.  It's amazing what you can do when you absolutely have to :)  I just finished submitting 18 claims to our insurance.  I guess we can look forward to a nice reimbursement check!  
My only solace is that in a few days we will be flying home after almost a year in Chile!!!  My suitcases are already out...  And actually, things are starting to look up.   I only had to wipe/blow noses about 12 times today.     

Another Birthday!

It seems like every time I talk to my sister, I mention that I need to buy a birthday present or Kate's not home because she's at another birthday party.  They are huge!  I really don't think we've ever been invited to so many birthday parties in our lives combined!!!  Here Kate is with her good friend Fiona, celebrating her 8th.  It was a spa day.  You simply can't go wrong with that theme.  Even when you're an adult :)  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

How Fast Can You Build a Pyramid?

Kate had been studying about ancient Egypt in school.  One day she came home and was a little busy body-- running all over the house, collecting things here and there.  I was busy with the boys when all of the sudden she came in and asked us if we wanted to play a game.  She had created her own Egyptian board game.  Complete with fishing in the Amazon River; building pyramids; finding treasured jewels and trivia questions to go along with the theme.  It was so creative!  I think we played it at least 10 times that afternoon.  

He's The Man

Joe works insane hours.  And the culture doesn't help, because everyone eats dinner at 9 or 10 o'clock at night--so people don't even think about leaving work until 7:30.  And that's normal people.  So Joe usually comes home later.  But, when he is home.  He's the man.   
 I came back from yet another doctor's visit (this time for me) and found the kids completely engrossed in a movie under one of his many sweet forts.  It was even decked out with snacks for the kids to enjoy.  
 Another night, I found an incredibly intense 3 against 1 pillow fight in Jake's room.  People were going down like nothing I'd ever seen before.  I was about to put an end to it before someone got really creamed...

 but I was too late.  

After a hug and a kiss, he was right back up that ladder wanting more.  
My kids need dad time.  
So very grateful Joe gets it and knows how to give it.

Friday, June 28, 2013


Guess what we learned about today at Goldfish Preschool? ;) 
 Jake was LOVING it. 


Have I mentioned how grateful I am for my gringas down here?  When embarking on an adventure such as this one, it's a total perk if you can have a few souls to call when you taste the "spaghetti sauce" for the first time from the store and your entire family, including you, revolts--and you panic--What's going to be my 30 second prep dinner meal now???  Or when you're at the supermarket and you are reading the 67th label for the different cuts of meat and you have NO CLUE which one is supposed to work for your pot roast you are planning on making tonight.  For the 10,000 questions I've emailed, texted, called or knocked down someone's door for, I'd like to thank these women.  They are family away from family.  
We have so much fun together, whether it's at BUNCO....
 at church...

 or milestones that deserve to be celebrated.  
Thanks ladies, for your constant support.  It'd be an entirely different experience down here without you!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Before everyone decided to start falling like flies with strep throat, horrific coughing and boogers like you wouldn't believe, we took a trip about an hour south of Santiago to a little town called Pomaire, known for it's pottery among other things.  It was incredible! 
 People really do get nicer the farther away you get from the city :)

 The kids got an up close and personal look at how the pottery is made.  

 It was their favorite part!
 Check out that "smile" from Luke.  Nice.

 Jake requested an elefante piggybank; Kate a gato;  He let them help make their own!  It was awesome.

 Checking out one of the many shops on the main street

 Biggest empenada we've ever seen.  
 The empenadas were yummy, but don't think we'll be buying the big ones again.  We took a bite into it and there was an entire chicken leg inside.  Not my kinda thing...

What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  

La Dehesa Ward Primary

I've been having so much fun getting things ready for our Primary kids!  Joe made me promise I wouldn't let it take over my life.  I warned him it might take over at least a few weeks...Here's a little thing I made for the kids when we sing to them for their birthdays.
 Love these kids.  I pray with all of my heart that they will feel united as children of God, feel of His love and share that love with each other even though the language barrier is there.  We are chipping away at it and things are looking up!


Every morning I come into Jake's room to find something like this:  
   He likes to get his clothes out the night before and get them all lined up just perfectly, 
                                         so he knows just what to put on the following day. 
                                                        "How efficient!"  I said to myself.  
When I went to wake Kate up this morning at 6:30am, I turned on her light and announced that it was time to get up.   I was making scrambled eggs. (Usually pointing out what is currently on the stove top will arouse her a bit).
"Alright," she yawned.  She sat up in bed and pushed the covers off of her and what did I see?  She was already in her school uniform.  Dressed and ready to go.
"What's this?!"  I laughed.  
"I wanted to get to school early, so I got dressed last night.  Plus, our uniforms are like jammies anyway.  They're comfy."  Very efficient.  And the best part is?  
The uniform didn't even look wrinkled!  

Time to be Pampered!

 Gabby was turning 8 and she invited all of her closest friends over for little pampering fun.  Kate could hardly wait.  We ran over to her house and were the first ones there :)

 Leslie didn't leave any detail out.  It was so cute!  The chocolate fountain was "fantastic" in Kate's words.

 The Divas:  Kate, Ema and Gabby

The girls could hardly wait to cut into the cake!  Thanks for hosting a wonderful birthday, Gabby!  Kate's nails still look divine!

Glimpses into May

It was a pretty action packed month!
 Santa surprised us with a visit

 Fortresses were constructed to fend off the bad guys

Thankfully we were in good hands. 
How could you not feel safe and secure with these guys? 

Geniuses were born. 
 I walked into the office when I heard, "No way!  Mom, check this out!  There are yellow and red ones INSIDE!!!"  Found Jake dissecting a pair of earphones...
Twins joined our family

Superheroes came to our rescue a number of times

Budding Babysitters and a lesson in Marketing

Breathtaking Sunsets

And lots of bear hugs.

What a month! 
 It's enough to wear a guy out :)