Week of Relaxing... Well, Kind Of :)

Unlike Trish's face shows in the photo below, we have had many adventures in the last week. Since finishing our work at Sojourn about 10 days ago, we have done all the necessary things we needed to do during the school year that we just didn't have time for... you know, the dentist, the eye doctor, closing bank accounts... all those fun details about being an adult.

It has been soooo nice to be able to sleep in ... although sleeping in means until 8am maximum for us, lol.
Trish has been really sick for about the last month, so here we are at the hospital after an appointment with an infectologist. He thought she might have C. Diff. but her tests all came back negative. So she's still in the dark as to what she really has... She is getting better little by little, but I'm sure her mom will take good care of her once she gets back to Ohio.

At the coffee stand in the Central Market. Great coffee!!! (Yes, Mom, I'm bringing you 3 bags like you requested :))
I was able to check an item off my bucket list for living in Costa Rica after taking this photo of... octopus!!! It's always for sale in the Central Market. Anyone want to try some new recipes with me? :)

Here we are, making awkward poses with the National Museum displays. We never had been to the museum, so we felt obligated after living here for almost 2 years.
And in the Artesan's Market with our friend Heidi! If I have brought you or mailed you a purse, coin purse, or scarf from Costa Rica, she's the vendor I bought it from! She gives us great deals and great Spanish practice.

After living in Costa Rica for 2 years together, Trish and I have grown a lot together and a lot as individuals. We have learned to speak Spanish together, learned to budget together, learned to navigate a country together, among many other life lessons. We both leave for the United States tomorrow to visit family and friends before heading off for our next adventures. This week of down-time has given me lots of time to think about how I am so thankful that God has given us this time together to grow up. The next couple months of transition might be difficult, but from looking at how God has provided a close friend over the last couple years assures me that He will provide in the future as well. I am excited for future adventures, both for my own and for Trish's!


Last Friday (and last day!) of Sojourn!

My last day with this awesome group of kids was a great day. We had a photo scavenger hunt to take silly pictures and to celebrate the last day of school!

During the scavenger hunt, this photo earned us about 20 points for all the random items, the basketball hoop, the soccer goal, the emergency light, and the secretary, all in the same photo! :)
My favorite from the scavenger hunt :)

I'm going to miss these kids! ;(
Amanda's idea to sit on the ledge...
And I always have to have a jump picture! :)

The last day was a bit teary as 6 of the 10 students cried as they left. I cried about 3.5 times as well. I am not very good at goodbyes...

Last Thursday of Sojourn!!

We started off the morning with a Field Day of relay races and sporting events at a nearby park. I was in charge of two events: the Toe Jam and the Tug of War. 
In Toe Jam, the students ran down to the bucket of jello, took off their shoe and sock, and then had to grab something out of the jello with their toes. ´´Ewwww´´ was most student responses! :)

Here Santiago hesitates about putting his foot in jello! I had to demonstrate how to do the game twice, and my sock was stained pink afterwards from the jello color... I'm sure all moms loved those pink socks coming home!
And the tug of war!
Ready to pull!

Then the kids were dismissed from school early and we had a going away lunch for the 7 teachers who are leaving Sojourn:

Here we are, on to other endeavors! (L to R) I will be teaching at Lighthouse in EscazĂș, Trish will be travelling with The World Race, Chrissy and her husband and kids are moving back to the States as her husband changes jobs, Peggy is getting married in August and will live in Oregon,, Carolina will be working at Lighthouse with me, and Erin is moving back to Virginia and hoping to find teaching work there. Not pictured is Lauren, who will also be working at Lighthouse with Carolina and I.

At our going away party, they surprised us with a mariachi band!! We were laughing and crying and not sure how to respond to such a great surprise!
And here we pose with the band... Trish of course joined the band and played guitar :).


Last Wednesday of Sojourn!!!

Our last Wednesday was rather exciting as we had a Read-a-Thon. Here the 4th graders get comfy for some good last reading moments of the school year!
Jonathan takes a sneak peek at what will happen next in our read aloud book.
Gabriel and Lucas hide behind their books.
Camila and Mariana

Then after school the women teachers from Sojourn had a bridal shower for Peggy Bedortha, soon to be Peggy MeGheeHee... don't know if I spelled her new last name right, lol. It's a tough one.

Of course we had to play the ''Make-a-Wedding-Dress-out-of-Toilet-Paper'' Game :)

Erin had planned all the games... Here Peggy looks nervous about what we will do next!
And all the ladies watching Peggy open her gifts!

A good last Wednesday... 2 days left!


Art Lessons

I have grown increasingly interested in abstract art over the last couple years, and I decided to explore some abstract art styles with my students over the last few weeks. To help keep enthusiasm levels up toward the end of the school year, we would do art instead of science every Friday morning. The students loved it and even asked on Thursday what we would be doing in art on Friday! Our last abstract art lesson combined everything we had learned with a ''final project'' in which the students painted using an abstract technique (blowing the paint using a straw, pouring, dripping, throwing, etc.) and then after it had dried, we added a word to each canvas that described the painting. The idea was to discuss how we can look at colors and textures and our brains make connections to concepts (words) that make sense, to something we can communicate. As you can see by the photos, we had tons of fun!

National Theater Field Trip

3rd, 4th, and 5th grades went to the National Theater for a dance performance from the Julliard School travelling from New York. We practiced our theater sitting positions and our theater manners for a week in advance. I wanted to be sure the students were ready. Everyone was really excited on the bus on the way to the theater!
Carissa and Paula
Melissa and Camila
Mariana and Mariana
Michelle and I
Lucas, Amanda, Michelle, Valeria waiting for the performance to begin!
Paula, Tess, Niki waiting
and afterwards, we took a group photo with the four Julliard dancers!!

I had fun planning this field trip. It was definitely simpler than planning the camping trip! If I can do 24 hour field trips, then 2 hour theater trips seem like a piece of cake!

Science Experiments

We had a Science Experiment morning a couple weeks ago, and the students were asking some tough questions! I was wading into new waters as I have never participated in a Science Fair or led students through the scientific process in self-invented experiments, so it was definitely an adventure for me and for them! Here's a peek at what we were learning:
Melissa wanted to know if people could tell similar tastes apart... such as regular Coke vs. Diet Coke... or sweetened tea vs. unsweetened tea. Here Gabriel tries the two Cokes.
Carefully thinking about which one is which...

Jonathan and Amanda were asking questions about what liquids will create solvents with water. Here they are with their whole display set up!

It was quite the process to try all their different solvent ideas.

I think the glue non-solvent was their favorite.

And then they surprised everyone with a vinegar and baking soda solvent! :) The only problem was that Jonathan couldn't find regular vinegar, so he actually brought in wine vinegar. I didn't realize this until after the fact when the resulting solvent bubbling all over the desk and floor smelled very strong... so strong we were all gagging and running out of the room!!! Oops!

Then Mariana and Mariana demonstrated how global warming is affecting the oceans due to ice melting. It was an impressive concept for 4th graders to dive into.

And then it was back to work once we cleaned up the messes!