Forgotten Photos... that are no longer forgotten

I forgot to post more photos from my US visit! I took about a 1000 photos while in the States, ha, so I thought I would share a few more... these are some of my friends I was able to spend a morning or afternoon with...

Chelsea Winn and I at my house...
Dick and Chris Ratliff and I at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline...
and Jenny Olson and I at her house...


The Battle of the Bichos

Bichos equal Bugs.

I've been having battles with bugs. Serious battles.

3 nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night suddenly. Not sure why, I just did. I turned on my bedside lamp and there, looming in the upper corner of my room, was the largest cockroach I've ever seen. Not kidding... I hate killing cockroaches as they just crunch too much, so I didn't do anything about it. But then I couldn't sleep for fear the cockroach would burrow in the covers with me. So I slept with the light on all night so I could see where the bicho was...

2 nights ago, I walked up the stairs to my room and turned on the lights to find a huge moth clinging to the ceiling... like, each wing was the size of my hand, not kidding. I had found one previously, about 4 months ago (ha, I thought it was a bat at first because all I could hear were the wings flapping!), and I knew that if I didn't get it outside, it would just flap all night and I wouldn't sleep again. So I resorted to throwing my wadded-up socks at the moth to direct it back out the window into it's dark feeding grounds... I threw all my socks and was collecting them to throw again when the moth found it's way out the window...

Last night, I darted into the room to find my cookbook and froze when I saw it... a HUGE grasshopper on the wall above my bed. My first thought was, ¨Seriously??¨ I had 5 guests downstairs waiting, so I returned to the kitchen and told them what was up, and we plotted before returning to my room with a bucket and sheet of clear plastic to transport the grasshopper to it's proper home. ... We succeeded after I gave up the main position of ¨catcher¨... I'm a bit too squeemish for this sort of endeavor.

It's not as big in the photo as it is in my memory.


A Real Life 30 Second Skit

Tequila, family dachshund (short hair, black)

Background Information
Tequila likes to play fetch... to the point that you no longer want to play. Kate's room is on the second floor, and she can throw Tequila's toys out the window into the backyard as the dog races down the stairs to get it. Judit knows that Kate enjoys playing with Tequila but tires easily of the repetitive game.

°Kate throws ball out window as Tequila races down stairs.
°Enter Judit into the backyard to take clothes off the clothesline.
°Tequila speeds across the lawn and burrows into the bushes to find the ball, rustles around.

Judit: Tequila!! Leave Kate alone!
Kate: Awe, Judit, she's alright for now.
Judit: No, she needs to learn to stop!
°Tequila stops moving in the bushes, pokes nose out as if to see if coast is clear.
Judit: Tequila, don't hide yourself!
°Tequila continues to play statue.
Kate: Tequila! You don't look like a plant!
°Tequila sulks out of the bush, complete with puppy eyes, as if to say: Come on! Sure I do!
Judit and Kate exit, laughing.
Tequila follows, ball in mouth.

Back in Action

I arrived in Costa Rica again 5 days ago, and all the Sojourn teachers are back in action. We have had a somewhat relaxed week as we only had one day of new students and the rest of the time was for preparing our classrooms and curriculum... and for the countless meetings that come with a so-called laid back week.

I created a Reading Rainforest in my classroom... I'll have to post photos. I love it, but it's totally the creativity of a teacher... hoping my students will love it :).

The tico parents headed to Nicaragua for a week vacation, so it's just been me and Judit here at home. We've been cooking great feasts every evening and laughing until our sides hurt. She leaves in 3 weeks for China... I'm going to miss her.

Pray for wisdom as the new school year begins! Much love!


La Judit En Chicago

My tica sister (aka Costa Rican friend) Judit came to visit for a week in Chicago. What a great opportunity to show her where I am from, to speak Spanish, and to continue to build a lasting friendship!
Judit in Union Station... the high ceilings aren't common in CR so she was fascinated.
A sweet shot I got while riding on the Loop 15 feet above Chicago downtown streets. We rode the "El" (aka Loop) full-circle twice for 25cents and were really excited about the photos we got.
Judit waiting for the El. I was super excited about this shot as I used a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of the train.
A classic, the "Bean" in Millennium Park. I am pretty sure this is the most photographed object in Chicago history... if not world history.

Judit had gone to the grocery store at 6:15... and we started getting worried when she hadn't returned by 7:30... turns out she was enjoying the many parks in the area and watching kids play in a fountain. Christina went out riding on the bike to find her.

We went on an Architecture Boat Tour on the Chicago River. We learned so much about the city! Here's a photo of the Sears Tower... excuse me, Willis Tower, and it's tall neighbors.
One of my all-time favorite works of Georgia O'Keefe. I introduced Judit to the Chicago Institute of Art and of course I had to introduce her to Georgia as well. This is called Blue & Green Music and she was studying the theories of Kandinsky from Russia when she decided to try out his ideas and paint to music... this is what she came up with. If you're able to read music, you just might be able to read this painting :).
Judit and I at the Art Institute.
Rosie came to join us for a day in Chicago. It was great to introduce Judit to some of my good friends along the way!

I also introduced Judit to some of my favorite forest reserves in the Elgin area...
and my favorite siloes...
The family also came with us for a day downtown! We went to Shedd Aquarium and walked 4 miles in one day :)
Judit and I also got a top notch view of the city from the ferris wheel... I had ridden it before, but I got really scared on the way up!
And after a week of walking a lot every day (probably between 2-5 miles every day), Judit's poor feet were looking forward to different shoes... The only pair she could stand by the end of the week were her flip flops, but she even had blisters in between her toes from the strap! We bought a daily box of Band-Aids to help out with this problem.

Have I Seen You Somewhere Before...?

It has been great to be back in the States for a few weeks and along the way I have been reunited with quite a few good friends. It almost felt surreal, as if I had never seen these people before, but yet we had a history and actually knew each other really well. It's hard to allow it to seem real that you're with people you have known longer than a year when it's only for one day or one evening (ha, if that makes any sense at all... I read that and it's a jumble of words... it makes sense in my mind). Someday life will be more permanent, I tell myself... Maybe. :) I mean, who really knows, but I guess at this point that's how I console myself.

Rosie Guerrero and I go all the way back to high school... she's my cheerleader in learning Spanish as she also is bilingual. Here she is with Judit, my Costa Rican friend that came to visit.
Bible study girls... sister Kallie, friend Erin, and new friend Jeannie.
Emily and her husband were good friends while I was going to school at Judson. We met at Elgin Bible Church and they have since moved to Peoria. They will be coming to visit Costa Rica in December, so you'll be seeing more photos of them! :)
JeanaLe and I at her new apartment with her new husband, Jason. It's crazy how fast life changes! We completed the education program at Judson together and she is now teaching in the Elgin area.
Costa Rican friends come to visit! :) Judit was here in Chicago visiting for a whole week. It was so fun to speak Spanish stateside as well as introduce her to classics... More about that in a later post.

My dear friend Jaclyn. You might remember her from posts more than a year ago when she went to Costa Rica to visit the school and Vulcan Arenal so I could check out where I would be living. You can check out her blog now too at this link as she heads to Uganda in just a couple weeks! She will be volunteering with Engineering Missions International (I think that's the name... someone correct me!) for 4 months.
Then there's always Sarah. You might also remember her from March 2009 posts when she came to CR to visit. Here you can see the slight outline of a metal hanger, unbent and stuck into her door... yeah, we locked all keys, cell phones, and anything else of use inside the car, so we had to get creative... believe it or not, I was able to pop the lock within 2 minutes. Too bad we sat on the car trunk for 45 minutes before thinking of this genius plan. Haha... good memories :)
I love friends. I was able to stay 5 nights with Christina (center in the polka dots) and her husband Chris (in the blue button down shirt) and we had friends over one night. L2R me, Sean, Chris, Christina, Natalie, and Todd. We played a hysterical game and laughed the whole evening... it was great.

More photos of friends to come.


Family Photo Shoot 2009

I'm not even sure when the tradition started... but my photography skills combined with growing Siscoe kids makes for a yearly photo shoot. Here's some of the successes:

Wes climbing a wall... backwards?