Tuesday, December 30


YES!!! We finally did it...we cut Nathaniel's hair!!! Well, not actually us. We took him to our favorite barber. Think 'Old West', 150 years ago, only the barber speaks Spanish, and you just about have it. The difference was stunning, check out the pics below.


The barber waves goodbye!


Our New Baby

Here she is! This wonderful contraption is what took us to the beach, and other places since then. Around the beginning of December we seriously started contemplating buying our own personal vehicle, due to our growing family and the amount of travel we have in the next few months. Plus, we hope to see more of Nicaragua, and several hours by bus can be, shall we say, a bit tedious with 3 little ones? So we bought this the week before we went to the beach, and we are quite happy with her.

This is something you will hardly see in the States, like many of the vehicles here.

Okay, all you car enthusiasts...can any one guess what it is? (and you have to say more than "Toyota")

Specs to follow later...

Friday, December 26

Beachy Christmas

We got away for a fun-filled 4 days and nights at an all-inclusive resort on the Pacific Coast from the 19th to the 23rd. Here are a few highlights.

We were able to get a decent family shot...I think self-timer shots are the greatest addition to cameras!!

Mommy and Nathaniel enjoying the waves. There was a bit of riptide, so we weren't able to stay out in the big waves to our heart's content, but I think Nathaniel will take after his mommy and be a beach bum :)

The boys were impressed with the large nativity scene. Here, Nathaniel is giving a pat on the back to one of the wise men. Zachariah was concerned about baby Jesus, and wanted to make sure he was in his bed.

The boys had a good time digging a hole and putting daddy in it, although Nathaniel was a bit concerned when he saw Steve's toes coming up through the sand.

A view of the beach.

We had a marvelous time at the all-inclusive resort. The food was buffet style and were impressed with the variety. We were able to sample foods that we haven't seen since coming here, oh the cheeses, vegetables (like green beans!) and desserts...Mommy really enjoyed all the cheeses, especially the Swiss cheese! Not everyone shared our enthusiasm, however; Nathaniel stuck mostly to what he knows...rice and beans and plain chicken :) He has no idea what a green bean is, or cheddar cheese or apple pie!

We started out our days early...after all, vacation with kids means getting up at the crack of dawn so as not to miss anything!! We were up at 6 am, had a hearty breakfast, then spent most of the morning at the beach. Chairs were strewn around the beach by the resort, which was relaxing for mommy and daddy. The boys loved the waves, running and jumping.

Around 10 am, when the sun became too strong to handle, we headed to one of the kiddie pools and got a few drinks at the nearby snack bar. Then off to lunch, a quick nap, then back to the beach for the afternoon. We spent some time at the kids area, which included ping-pong tables, pool tables and an assortment of games. The kids played on the jungle-gym while we sipped our fruit juices and occasionally ran after them.

The history is interesting. The last dictator, Somoza, had built his personal private beach resort here. But when he was overthrown in 1979, it went downhill, until Barcelo Resorts bought it and renovated the area.

We had a wonderful time and hope to go back next Chrismtas...Zach is already asking when we can go back!

Tuesday, December 16

Brotherly Love

Now that Nathaniel can get out of his playpen by himself, he loves to come visit us during his naptime or as we are going to sleep. Last night, we heard the warning squeaks of his escape, and waited a few minutes to see what would happen. A few minutes later, our curiosity got the better of us and Steve went to check on him.

Nathaniel had crawled up into Zachariah's bed and was getting all snuggled in! Zachariah was fast asleep and hadn't woken up during all the moving (no naps means he passes out in record speed at night). I guess Nathaniel really missed Zach and wanted to be with him! Either that, or it's time to get a toddler bad....

Thursday, December 11

How to eat an Orange...Nicaraguan-style

Take the orange, and using a mechanical apple peeler, peel the orange until only a thin skin remains. Cut the top 1/4 off the top, eat the flesh from the top section, and suck all the juices out of the rest. Throw it out, wherever you are. This is how some people make their living, by peeling and selling oranges all day long, standing by the side of the road with their basket of oranges, peeler and machete. They think it's hilarious that we actually eat the flesh of an orange!

Who are We?

The night sky here is absolutely spectacular...even with living in the city. I love to look up at night and gaze on the brilliance of the stars. While looking at the heavenly sky the other evening, I remembered David's words to God (paraphrased)

When I look at the stars in the sky, the works of your hands in all creation, I wonder, What is man that YOU are mindful of him, the son of man that you take notice?

Then I remembered that God loves me so much, He sent His son, Jesus, to die for me. He created me just for Him, and made me unique and special. I slept well that night.

Wednesday, December 10

My Boys...Professionally Done

This picture doesn't really need explaining...but yes, they really are brothers :)

And more Chocolate...

We've been experimenting with some new recipes and have enjoyed the help of our little ones, as well as a very old Betty Crocker cook book we found in the MCC library here that contains an amazing array of wonderful recipes...Here are some of our latest creations.

Chocolate and caramel covered apples....I robbed a bank to pay for the apples, but they were worth it. But don't ask me how many teeth I have left!

Elf cookies, from the VeggieTales movie, Lord of the Beans. A basic, rich cookie dough, cooked in shapes then with crushed hard candies put inside them. They are baked for a few minutes, then done! A nice combination of heavy cookie dough with sweet candy. Zach enjoyed making shapes with the dough.

Happy Birthday Zach!

We enjoyed celebrating Zach's 5th birthday on the 8th. Zach had been asking for a pinata for months, so he picked out Spider-Man. We spent the day opening gifts, eating chocolate cake and ice cream, and then finishing it off with the pinata.

Nathaniel was a little unsure about the pinata, but he valiantly tried a few whacks. However, any movement by the pinata sent him running...it seems he thought the pinata was "alive". We tried not to laugh, but a few giggles managed to escape.

We were thinking that this would be a good therapy for anger management class. Zach certainly expended some energy trying to break the pinata!

Zach could hardly open his presents fast enough...

Here he shows off the chocolate cake he picked out at the local bakery...as soon as we got the cake out of the box, he had run his fingers across the top and swiped a sizeable amount of frosting off. He was so engrossed in licking off the frosting, that we never made it to the candles part :) I don't think he noticed.

Wednesday, December 3

Ferrocement Tank

Steve recently started a main part of his project, building tanks to hold water. He decided to go with a ferrocement tank, instead of the normal block tank they generally build here, due to cost, skill required and just the sheer fun of trying something new! A ferrocement tank uses a strong mix of concrete, sand and water on top of a chicken wire mold, which means most tanks are cylindrical in shape. Steve wanted to try something a little different, called a Thai water jar. If you want to see more photos, click on our link to the right. an inside view of the tank
mixing the concrete the old-fashioned way

Monday, December 1

Last Day of School

November 19th, Zachariah graduated from 2 level pre-school, congratulations! Here is a picture with his diploma and his teacher. He had a great time at school, and I give it most of the credit for his language progress. Next year, he goes into 3rd level pre-school, then 1st grade after that.

Below, some of his classmates recite a poem in traditional Nicaraguan dress.

Let the Holiday Season Begin!

Nicaraguans LOVE to party, and they show it off by their many parades and fireworks. You can always tell when December is around the corner when you hear the fireworks going off, every night, through the night....Being mostly a Catholic country, December is a pretty big month. December 8th they celebrate the Immaculate Conception, which means the whole first week of December there are parades with a statue of Mary being carried by the parishioners, and lots and LOTS of fireworks.

For us, it means lots of baking! I tried out my hand at truffles the other day for the first time, and from what I heard, they were good. (I'm not a chocolate eater, just a chocolate sniffer :) I think my boys, big and small, ate them in record time!

Also, if you look really close, you can see our little baby peeking out from my belly (I think he or she wanted a bite!). I will be posting more pictures as we both grow!