Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Eve Service in Mérida, México

Kids' presentation and Christmas Eve service 2006

This file is BIG - so let it run through once (and buffer) then play it again. It should play through without any stops the 2nd time.

Christmas Service in Mérida

Christmas Eve this year our family had the opportunity to participate in the service held at our church here in Mérida. Dave was asked to share the Word of God and the kids were involved in declaring the birth of Jesus in a beautiful presentation with poetry and drama and singing. I've put together several photos that will allow you to see our Christmas Eve service, 2006.
Please drop us an e-mail if you've had the chance to view it or if you had any trouble with watching it from start to finish.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Jammy Time

You've got to love the feeling when you get into a brand new pair of pajamas! The kids were all smiles tonight in their new jammies. Enjoy the photos!

A few of my friends have been posting their blogs with slide.com - I had to give it a try myself. What do you think? It was super easy to use!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Kids's Conversation

Dave and I were in the car with the kids on our way to a party when the kids began a Biblical discussion.
We've been reading about the ark of the covenant and what it was and the laws about it, and what happened to those who disobeyed the laws.

Joseph: Only the high, high, high priest could touch it.
Rebekah: It wasn't the high, high, high priest, it was just the high priest.

It's neat to hear that they're retaining information that we're teaching them.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree

Every year since we've been married, Dave and I have had a fake Christmas tree. Last year, in Costa Rica, it was miniature, even. This year we decided to go with a real one. We packed the kids in the car and headed out to Wally World (not sure about the the whole copyright thing on the actual name . . .) in our summer attire to pick out a tree and ornaments to decorate it.
Interesting procedure - we choose a tree, a guy cuts a bit off the trunk, then hammers a couple of boards and a large planter "plate" to the bottom of it, and finally ties it up on the top of our SUV. Quite a process, but I'm sitting here admiring its beauty and wonderful piny smell. I have to admit, it's tough feeling the heat of the day and thinking of Christmas, but the kids had a super time putting up ornaments and setting up the nativity - we listened to Harry Connick, Jr. and Nat King Cole and took pictures of the finished product. Happy Decorating!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Our 4 Year Old Jonathan

This week we celebrated the 4th birthday of our youngest - Jonathan. His actual birthday was Wednesday and we let him pick a place to eat for lunch. The whole family enjoyed a local fast food restaurant called Checkers. There are some activities for the kids here - he enjoyed climbing a rock wall with his brother and running through the play area complete with slide.

Yesterday we had a party at our home and invited our neighbors, our missionary friends and a local pastor and her family. Jonathan was very happy with the festivities, batman piñata, and chocolate cake with lime ice cream (it's just that he adores the color green . . .).

Happy Birthday Jonathan!!!
We love you!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Braces :-)

I remember having braces as a teenager. Never did I think my own daughter would have them at the age of 7. But, here she is - all smiles. But who is that in the background getting ready to take a look at those pearly whites???

Actually, the whole family went to get our yearly (?) teeth cleaning (we hadn't gone the whole time we were in Costa Rica - shhhhhh, don't tell the toothfairy), and the dentist suggested braces because of the way Bekah's front teeth had come in. Well, it was braces now or surgery later. So, here she is with pink rubber bands.

Side note: dental work here is MUCH less expensive than in the US, so if you're thinking of getting any dental work done . . . why not treat yourself to some warm weather this winter . . .

Of course, everyone had a good time at the dentist because clean teeth are sooooo much better than cavities!


Celebrations are great times of getting together and honoring someone - but what happens when the celebration goes awry?
Here is Jonathan eating his piece of cake as we celebrate him not sucking his thumb anymore - a very significant feat for a three year old going on four.

The very same night, while celebrating after finishing his cake, he gets cut on the back of his head, requiring a trip to the emergency room and 3 decent size stitches.

Here he is making a call to his lawyer.
If you look closely, you can see the stitches there behind his ear, along his hairline.

Today, five days later, we returned to the doctor in order to remove the stitches - no infections, no problems. This little guy is a trooper.

He has shown us how to take everything in stride. I had prayed on the way to the hospital that we were going to trust Jesus in everything. And we are. Every day, celebrating and trusting when there doesn't seem like much to celebrate.

After leaving the doctor's office tonight, we headed to a pizza place for supper (less to celebrate - more because I didn't plan on making anything to eat after we got home ;-0). I wanted to relay a cute little story about Jonathan. He had stopped eating his pizza and started asking me questions about stuff, "Mom, do you know how to make a pizza?" Then, after answering him, "Mom, do you know how to make a table?" I answered again, interested at his questions. Then a third question, "Mom, do you know how to make a chair?" To this I began, "Well, it has legs, a seat and a back," as I motioned to a chair next to me. To this he replied, "Does it have a head, too?"!!!

What a kidder! Hope you enjoyed that one as much as we did. Kids can teach us so much - everything from trusting God to sharing a good joke!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Follow along with us to . . . Mérida, Mexico.

Whenever one makes a move to a new city, there is a list a mile long of things to do, let alone people to meet and places to see.

As you may know, our family has relocated to the VERY hot city of Mérida, Mexico. Here we join veteran missionaries Paul and Sandy, along with their 3 kids.

The life of a missionary varies depending on the place he is living, people he is working with, and the call and ministry that God has placed on his life (or her life, of course).

Currently, Dave co-teaches at the Bible Institute, preaches at local churches, works on computer issues for the missionaries here in Mexico and is revamping the Mexico AG website as well as blogging at www.disciplemexico.org.

I have the opportunity to homeschool our kids during the week, accompany Dave as we visit various local churches, and spend time with local ministers. I even had the opportunity to teach a children's Sunday School class (unexpectedly . . . :-) ).

This site is dedicated mostly to our family life, so you will see lots of pictures of the kids, along with outings we take and fun things we do. However, since our life is intertwined with ministry, I will undoubtedly share our experiences here among the churches and ministry opportunities that we have.

I hope you will follow along with us as we discover more about Mérida. Please visit often and enjoy more photos here as well.

More Family Fun - Erie, August 2006

We enjoyed the beautiful peninsula with Grandma Joy and cousins Samual and Levi. The kids had a blast in the water.
We had a great time with Papa Bob, eating at Sarah's on Presque Isle and another day eating at Perkin's Family Restaurant - both great pasttimes for us growing up in Erie, PA.

There are so many great memories of Erie -most center around family. And, for that, we keep coming back to PA.

Right now we're missing that cool fall weather. Drink a hot chocolate for us - it's still in the 90s here.

We also hung out with Auntie Al, Uncle Micah - who celebrated turning 18, and Roni, and of course Grandma Kim and Papa Dave.

We missed seeing Auntie SKY - which was very sad. But she is living in Spain right now! - How cool is that? Maybe this Spanish thing is in our blood . . ..

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Family Fun

I want to let all of our family know how great it was to see all of you before leaving for Mexico. We had a great time visiting during our short stay. Enjoy some photos (or snapshots) of the fun.

The boys had fun in Indianapolis - 3 peas in a pod - here are Joseph and Jonathan with their cousin Jack. Maybe they'll start a garage band when they're teenagers, called "Say 'aghhh'!"

Then we have the princesses of the clan - Rebekah with Jack's older sister, Emillie. They can't believe how crazy their brothers can be at times!

The newest family member on the block is Levi - here he is being held by a very proud cousin Rebekah.

And the 2 cousins who are very close in age - being 3 is SO MUCH FUN - Samuel playing with Jonathan at Uncle Rick and Aunt Francine's house.

More to come . . .

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Good Friends

Rebekah with her friend Allison. Her parents have been so incredible. We invaded their downstairs living area for a week before heading here to Mexico - thanks guys!

Joseph with his friend Jordan, our families know each other from way back in college- find out more about his family here.

This is Jonathan with Sarah - I think he's actually bugging her, not whispering sweet nothings :-) Our families have been friends since college days, too. Sarah's mom, Amy, let us borrow a car seat while traveling and gave me a really cool book called "The 'me' in Mommy" Thanks, God, for great friends.

What was also really cool was that my friend from high school drove up with her kids to see us during our brief stay in Erie. It was so awesome having our kids play together and getting each other caught up on our family life. What a blessing to be able to reconnect after months or years without seeing one another.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Saturday at the park

Yesterday was a busy Saturday with activities that spanned from morning until night. For the afternoon our family traveled just outside of San José to visit a huge nature center with one of our professors and her husband, a local pastor here. All of us enjoyed the outdoors, animals, insects, coffee, juice, and a typical "tico" dessert. The park is huge and filled with trails and exhibits that teach about the many plants and animals of Costa Rica.
Here are some photos of the kids enjoying themselves yesterday.

Ever wonder what it feels like to be a turtle???

Who needs exhibits, I can find my own bugs!!!

My favorite place - the butterfly garden . . .

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

This weekend sure was a full one - activities galore, mostly related to language school.
Despite all the activity, Dave and I had the opportunity to celebrate our 12th anniversary yesterday. And since we got married on my parents' wedding anniversary I want to say a special "Congratulations" to my mom and dad, Kim and Dave Yaple!

If you're wondering, my hair is flat ironed in this photo, although my curls are still coming through! This picture is from this past Wednesday when Dave preached his first sermon in Spanish. Way to go, Babe! I love you more every day!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Father's Day / El día del padre

Gotta love seeing kids with their Dad - there's just something special about that!

We celebrated Father's Day here on Sunday - the kids had fun giving gifts to their Dad this year.

Each one made him something extra special. He even got homemade apple pie from me :-)

Kid quotes from our youngest

Jonathan: What are we gonna do?
Me: We're going to Priscilla's birthday party tonight.
Jonathan: Priscilla already had her birthday . . . duh!
(not so stifled laughter from Dave at the computer)
Me: (trying to keep a straight face) You don't need to say "duh!" - that was a rude thing to say, honey. How about 'Mom, didn't Priscilla already have her birthday?' or something like that . . . (all the time I'm thinking, how is it that a 3 1/2 year old can use a word like that for the first time in the "correct" context without missing a beat???)

The next morning at breakfast:
Rebekah: We learned about coches (Spanish for cars) on Barney yesterday.
Me: Oh, really - what about cars?
Rebekah: About safety and using your seatbelt.
Me: Do you remember the word for seatbelt in Spanish?
Rebekah: (silence)
Joseph: (silence)
Jonathan (after2 seconds of silence from his older siblings): "SEEN-TOO-ROAN!!!"
(which when written correctly is cinturon - the Spanish word for seatbelt)

Yes, we had been told that our children would pick up the Spanish language, because, to be sure, kids pick up ANY language - good, bad, or indifferent. I am thankful that we have the oportunity to experience all of it alongside our kids here in this new culture.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Little Fun

Here at language school in Costa Rica we have a break in between trimesters. Our family took advantage of this time off by enjoying each other at a local amusement park in San José. The kids had a blast and Dave and I were happy to spend family time outside and we even were blessed to go on 2 for 1 day!

Here is a picture of Dave and I at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. We had a chance to take a trip back to this great site, just the two of us. We also had a chance to sample some amazing cuisines at our hotel and local restaurants.

Dave and I tried ceviche for the first time. It is a raw fish that is "cooked" in lemon juice. Here it is served with some crackers. At another location it was served with fried yucca - yum!

Dinner one night was served on banana leaves and the chef must have been an artist. Not only was the food delicious, but the presentation was amazing! And the cost, well, nothing in the states could compare with what we ordered here. For less than $30 (this includes tax and tip), we had smoothies, an appetizer of chips and bean dip, steak (mine was actually filet mignon) with all the trimmings, and coffee.

This porcupine pictured here was part of the decor at our hotel at the breakfast buffet.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Young stars

Not to be outdone by their cousin Samuel, Joseph and Jonathan put on their own guitar performance. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Easter Activities

This Easter was different from any other in the life of our family. We had the Springlike weather, but we're in a foreign country where Resurrection Sunday isn't that important here (for the most part). So, as a missionary body, we joined together to give thanks for and celebrate our victorious Saviour at the home of a fellow missionary family. Dave had the opportunity to play drums, I helped with communion, and the kids had their own special service. Afterwards, we shared a traditional Easter meal and the kids enjoyed hunting for Easter eggs.
Take a look at some Easter pictures on Flickr.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A little vacation with family from Erie

This past week we got a nice visit from Mom, Dad, and my brother Micah. We spent about 6 days together here visiting various places in Costa Rica including the beach, central San José, and a volcano. Here's a picture of us together at a restaurant on the beach.
Also wanted to try out posting some photos using Flickr. We'll see how it works with some wildlife photos taken at Manuel Antonio National Park here in Costa Rica.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Young poet!

Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote? I remember my mom sharing poetry with me that she had written as a young person. And when I was a teenager I recall various poems or songs that I created. So, why should it surprise me that my 1st grader comes home from school having written poems in her class and then creates stories just for the fun of it at home? Dave says its because she's left-handed :-) Maybe there's some truth to that. Well, we may have written our own creative stuff as a child, but I can't remember ever being published at such a young age! Our daughter's work appeared in the school newspaper - now that makes a parent proud!

Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you who wore green and celebrated today. This is one of the holidays that isn't known or celebrated here in Costa Rica . . .

Monday, March 13, 2006

Odd Numbered Kids

Now that it is March, all three kids have reached years having odd numbers. In November, Jonathan turned 3.

In January, Rebekah turned 7 (pictured here with Emma, a fellow Mexico MK).

And, in February, Joseph turned 5.

I can't believe how fast each one is growing. Tonight it was fun to listen to Rebekah and Joseph banter - in Spanish! They are doing so well at learning this new language. They don't get stuck in the grammar and "correctness" of things like their parents!

Thursday, January 05, 2006


It's interesting that the 2 times we have seen rainbows here, they were not sighted during the "rainy" season. I had a chance to grab the camera and capture this one on film yesterday. Seeing it reminds us of God's promise to never destroy the earth again with a flood. To me, it is a visual reminder of His many promises to us. Yesterday we were able to spend time with the Breits, another family headed to Mexico. There are at least 6 new families headed there during 2006 - how incredible! God is planning something amazing, I believe, in this country.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


The week between Christmas and New Year I purchased a hummingbird feeder at the Central Market here in San Jose. We decided on the least expensive one, paying just over $5. About a week ago I hung it in our little courtyard and waited. Well, we didn't have to wait long before we got our fist arrival. These little birds are smart and were attracted to the red color of the feeder. Since that time I have tried to capture photos of these little creatures and as a result named our first squeaky friend, "Teaser," since he (or she) wouldn't let me snap a picture. Then we noticed another hummingbird had come, less brilliant than the first, and this one got the name "Scrubby" as a result. This one is much quieter and also let me take a picture. This morning I think Teaser was jealous because I got a picture of him, too.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The New Year has begun. I just developed my first 2 rolls of film here in Costa Rica. I even got a 2 for 1 deal! It's been awhile since I scanned in photos from my "real" camera, but I wanted to share a few online. These are all from our visit to Volcan Arenal just before Christmas.
Joseph and Rebekah are on the boat we took to see the volcano. You can see it well in the background with Joseph's photo. Jonathan is standing in the gardens that were located at the hotel we stayed at - Los Lagos - which means "the lakes."