Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oh the Fun...

...of living in a developing country.

On Thursday our internet went out. John (using his far superior Spanish) figured out it was cut out by Amnet. He then called them - using their English line - and found out it was because our debit card expired and they didn't have the new exp date. So...instead of calling us to inform us that our billing wasn't working and giving us a warning. They cut us off. Nice.

John gave them our new exp date and was told it would be on in 24 - 48 hours. But for someone who's filling out Security Clearance stuff online and someone else who uses World of Warcraft as a stress reliever, not having internet for any amount of time sucks. SUCKS!

So after I couldn't get a hold of a friend because he phone was cut off just like my internet, John called Amnet Friday evening to check on the status. Apparently the guy who John talked to on Thursday night didn't do anything. Here are your options: 1. wait until Monday when someone who can process debit cards comes in (REALLY?! You're the biggest internet provider in Costa Rica and you don't have an easy way for all employees to do this?!). 2. Go to a bank to pay the bill and then call them for service activation. 3. Go to a Fischell pharmacy and pay the bill and then call them. Fine. We'll to option #3 because we can't go a whole weekend with out internet!

So yesterday on the way home from a day in San Jose with some friends on a guided tour - a whole other story - of the historic part of San Jose we stop at the Fischell on the way home. John doesn't have the customer number. No worries, they should be able to check by phone number. They can't find it under our phone number - that's not right. No phone number? Well they should be able to look it up by name. They don't believe his last name is what it is (it's a first name, but still!!). ARGH! #$%&*&^ %$#@#$$%^&** &^%$#@Q!#$%^&***&^%$$ #@!#@$%^^

I've entered the homesickness portion of my tour - I know it. :)

So I haven't worked on my security clearance stuff since Thursday night and I have a TON left to do. John played WoW last night and is most likely on right now. I've been online for almost two hours this morning catching up on blogs (because I fell asleep last night trying to)...

(Three and a half hours later) I heard Simon playing with a toy and had to run to him. He's so cute! I then went to the gym, fed Simon while John napped, made French Toast for Malachi and I while John napped, and worked a little bit on my Security Clearance while John napped. John only napped for about an hour and a half, but it was productive for me, and he was so touched that I offered to let him do that. I'll work more on the Security Clearance, and after that who knows. I do know that tonight I'm watching the Emmy's! I'm excited!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


The kids are doing really well. Malachi's enjoying school and is learning his letters, numbers, Spanish letters, swimming (on the days it's not raining), playing with play-doh (making numbers), eating snacks (that I pack, and ones from his friends), eating lunch, amongst other things. The last two days he's come home with an amazing amount of energy so I wonder if they've been putting the nap mats and blankets to good use. Either that or he's acclimated to the schedule. Wish I could say the same about myself. He made up a phrase "Holy Scheckmoes" his friends from school think it's really funny. I laugh when he says it.

Simon is also doing well. We had a fairly normal day today. He slept in this morning - we had to wake him at 7 to feed him before we left. He's up on his knees rocking, sometimes up on his hands, sometimes up on his elbows. Sometimes the front of his body isn't up at all. He's sitting really well now. Although grocery carts are still a challenge. He sometimes falls over onto his face. He's not a fan of that.

Johnathan (this is what he goes by at the Embassy, apparently it's becoming natural for me) is still working away. He often comes home with interesting, funny, and heart breaking stories about his interviews. Since we got here we've had a couple of American deaths (John's not dealing with those yet) and near deaths. It's always hard to hear stories like this. I don't envy the Officers doing American Citizen Services. John will do that before he leaves - he'll probably start next year some time. He went and saw Inception the other night with a friend. He says it's amazing. I'll see it some day.

I'm still trying to figure out school. I need to check with DBU (Dallas Baptist University) to figure out how many credits I can transfer in before I start at Ecclessia. If I get my butt moving I can probably start in September - probably not though. I'd have to register for that by the end of next week. Hm. I might be able to pull that off. I also need to fill out FAFSA but have had a hard time with that because I can't find our tax papers and figure out how much I made separately from John. My Spanish classes at the Embassy are going well. We're being taught a ton and I'm not remembering to study at home. I so need to do that.

I'm going out tonight to see a Ryan Reyolds film from 2008 with a friend (she saw Inception with her hubby two weeks ago). Why am I seeing a 2008 film? Because it's playing in the VIP theater (reclining leather seats with drink and food service in the theater - even a little button to call the attendants. It's not quite as awesome as the Love Sac theater in Dallas because there are no blankets. It's really close though.) and my girlfriend and I want to go out. Her hubby's away, and I'm burnt out.

I need to update photos on flickr and facebook. It's been a while, and I have plenty to add. We'll see when I actually get to that. Who knew that sending my child away for close to nine hours a day would actually make me busier than I was this summer. Well...all the school age moms did, but I didn't!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Suit Up!

October 13th is Suit Up Day. Here's a link to follow for the website suit up day.

It's going to be legen...wait for it...dary! Here's the text from a flyer that can be printed out and posted where ever you like. Sorry about the all caps - that's how the flyer was made.




Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1st Day Down

I got a little bit emotional today, I have to admit. I didn't cry as much as I thought I would. I didn't bawl like I did on Malachi's 1st birthday.

I didn't want to leave the school this morning though. And I was super jealous of the parents who stayed after we left. You see...John has to get to work by 8:00 to make sure he's working the visa line in time. He's the only parent from the Embassy who's a Consular Officer. Everyone else got to stay and go in when they pleased. Luckies.

If you haven't heard yet, P fell down our stairs yesterday. Happily she's ok. I took her to the hospital and had an x-ray done (only $51 btw) - no fractured ribs - yay! She'll be recovering at home for the next week. I'm very sorry for her that she fell. BUT (be warned, I may sound insensitive here) it does make my life a little hard right now. I'm supposed to work Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I left work early yesterday to take her to the hospital. I dragged my poor baby in for an hour today so I could email the materials I needed to do my work from home (that was quite a process btw, Simon has a lot of stuff!). Tomorrow I am supposed to be at Spanish Class from 10:30 to 12:00. I may be asking a friend to watch Simon during that time. I may just miss my class.

I spent today either taking care of Simon or working. Right after I finished the work I went to Malachi's school to get him.

I took him to a little grocery store because I had to pick something up for dinner. I knew it would be a while before we got dinner so I let him have a treat - donut and chocolate milk actually. Then we sat in the Embassy parking lot for about 20 minutes before parking in front of the Embassy for about 10 waiting for John.

Whew! What a day!! We still haven't had dinner and we have a Skype date with John's brother and sister-in-law in about 20 minutes. I guess I could go cook some pasta while John watches Scrubs with Simon and Malachi watches Cats and Dogs on the netbook. I think I'll do that...we should eat.

****10 Minutes Later****

Simon got hungry so he needed a bottle. And then I got distracted by Scrubs. Guess we'll have to eat after the Skype date.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Malachi starts Kindergarten Wednesday. He's pretty excited. I'm very excited.

I'm so excited to have him with people his age again. He's been so cooped up since we moved to VA and I couldn't get him into pre-school.

He got a hair cut today. He hasn't had one since we left the States and it was getting pretty shaggy. He looks very handsome again; el es muy guapo.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dream a little (or BIG) Dream for me...

My blog friend who lives in Manila is a life coach. She helped her Filipino client realize he doesn't know how to dream. She noticed that a lot of Filipino's don't know how to dream. It's not something their culture lets them do.

She appreciates that Americans know how to dream and she put down in words some of her dreams. She asked her readers to comment with some of theirs. I put down some realized and not yet realized dreams. I then thanked her for encouraging this, and then I thought...this would make a great blog entry of my own.'s the list that I put on her blog.

Realized dreams:

marry an amazing man
have child 1
have child 2
to not live check to check
getting a job in CR
running two 5K's

Dreams I'm dreaming:

being out of debt
having child 3, 4, 5...6?
seeing my children growing into amazing people
finishing my bachelor's degree in Management
running a 10K

So...what are YOUR dreams?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

One Down, Three to Go...Again

He's in Brisbane and in about four hours takes off for L.A. WOOT!

Only about 29 hours to long as they're not too late coming in!

Friday, August 6, 2010

First tooth!!!

He's officially cut his first tooth! It's still barely there, but it's there. I expected to be up all night the night this happened, but I didn't have to get up once last night - woot!!

**long break to feed baby, and make French Toast for Malachi and I**

After thinking about it some more this morning I realized he was probably cutting yesterday. He didn't sleep much in the morning and feeding times were a bit hard in the morning. He was much better by the afternoon though.

I Skyped with John last night - he feels (and looks) a lot better. He was using a friend's computer instead of the one at the resort and he had good internet. Their Friday is winding down (unless it'll be a late night), and mine is just beginning. I was up very late last night doing the State Dept Blog Roundup, so I'm a bit sleepy. I might try to catch some more z's while Malachi is watching TV.

I'm heading into work again today...but I think you already knew that. My brain is close to working on auto-pilot, it'll probably reach this point this weekend when I have NO plans and the minutes until John's arrival S L O W L Y dwindle by.

I considered applying for a full time HR position, but I like my job. I'll stay where I am.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

State Dept Blog Roundup

In the words of the Bleuths, I've made a huge mistake. The format I used last time wasn't so bad... when I only did 30 blogs. This time around, I used the Foreign Service Blog Agregator. There are a TON of blogs (although the list may not be as long as the one on Digger's page). The format that I used last time DID. NOT. WORK. this time. By the time I decided this, it would've been too much work to change it to the format that I will use next time (which may be a while from now).

I have to say, if you haven't found the Foreign Service Blogregator yet, please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and check it out. What a wonderful service provided to us! Thank you to the administrator!!

If you haven't seen them, check out these entries on this blog: Are We There Yet?, Vacation Post #2, and Exciting Drive Numero Dos (in that order). They're a series of posts about a trip I took (this trip was only 28 hours long, and yes it did require three entries) with some friends. Life in his house hold has been crazy this week. The husband/father of the household is standing in a friend's wedding on Saturday night and the wedding is in Thailand, so he's been gone since last Friday morning and doesn't get back until Monday. Thailand to Costa Rica equals 44 hours of travel! I can honestly say I've handled the separation better than I thought I would. However, I did go into work today (an off day) for the housing tour, and I'm going tomorrow (another off day) to get a little work done, and go to a happy hour hosted by the PA (PD) department to welcome their new boss. Do I have to go? By no means! Do I want to go? Hell yeah!

I think about 80-ish% of the blogs out there this week were talking about the bid-lists. I was getting confused reading some of them but then I realized that not only did everyone at post get their list this week, but the A-100 got theirs too. Once I figured that out I was a bit less confused. So that being said, I have a hard time figuring out what categories to use this week. Pictures is an obvious one, and there were some great pictures, but I think a category just for bid-lists would get quite long. I'm tempted to not have any categories and let y'all wade through all the entries by yourselves, but that's kind of mean! Let's see what we can come up with.

Here we go!


A Daring Adventure (the mother of the roundup) pays tribute to a friend, proves that "Fits Crap Into Minivan" is an appropriate name, and shows off the best action shots she's ever taken (and also has one of those moments where a parent knowingly embarrasses a child); she also raves about Seattle, although admits that her frugal ways prevent them from bidding on it; her and her husband tour Seattle a bit - the Space Needle, of course! - dine with a co-worker, and contemplate the scale used for languages in the Foreign Service.

The Space Needle - A Daring Adventure

Email From the Embassy said goodbye to the last of the relatives in the D.C. area and headed to their next post in Jordan. *Personal note - I have the choice of a hubby and kid free vaca in either Jordan or Australia next year and EFTE's presence in Jordan is a huge PRO if I'd get to meet her!* They'll be in temporary housing for a while and they won't get internet there. We look forward to hearing about your adventures the first few weeks. Don't take too long!

A Daring Adventure and Email From The Embassy have quite a conversation with us about each other. It's quite entertaining.

Destination: Diplomacy arrived at her new home! She'll share pictures as soon as she gets a new cord for for camera to connect to her computer; she can't share her bid list with us "that shiz is CLASSIFIED" but is very excited to go through this process for the first time.

Sadie Abroad is going to spend one more week enjoying the U.S.A. before she heads over to the Kingdom. She's more than a little excited about her upcoming adventures; she wonders, as many of us do at times, how to answer the question: where's home?

Life After Jerusalem really doesn't want to do her grants training, but after a week of that she gets to work on her dissertation until she and her wife go on an Alaskan Cruise, and then brags to the 155th A-100 class that she'll be around the corner from jeans; she has been informed that the 115th Specialists class began this week too and welcomes them; she celebrates equality with the decision of the overturn of Prop 8 in California; she posts comments from ASFA President Susan Johnson in response of the slur against FSO's: "Remember State Department employees refusing to 'volunteer' to be assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Iraq?"

Criplomats (love that name btw!) moved into a new apartment that is nicer and has more ammenities. They also said goodbye to some friends, and it sounds like will be doing it quite a few more times but such is life when you started in the FS months ago!

The Ohio Diplomat says she's ready for her first post in the Dominican Republic.

lime of sight passed her Hebrew test! Wheels up next week! Congrats friend and good luck at post!

Foreign Circus Life arrived in Saudi Arabia and can see IKEA from the compound! She'll update us more about her impressions of her new home once she's a bit more settled and has conquered jet lag.

Noble Glomads had less than 24 hours before wheels up and is hoping they didn't forget anything; they arrived in New Zealand and she shares her first impressions; food in New Zealand is not as bad as she thought it would be.

Midlife Diplomatic Crisis recapped on what's been going on in his life. He was able to go for training in D.C. and wonders where he is in the cycle we all go through of our emotional status at post, he thinks he may have reached acceptance!

The World That We Live In praises her husband for using his diplomatic skills and getting them a voucher after the airline lost their bag; she and the voucher getting husband toured different parts of D.C. and check out the hot tubs at the Supreme Court; they also check out their first ever bid list!

Rock Star in Dhaka and Other Places shares a poem with us called Beach Glass; they're in Quebec City and had a successful first night out.

Life At Post

EF'M's rainy season in the desert proves to be wetter than he thought. Grocery shopping for the first time on his own makes him proud, and earns him a beer (it's a big deal for us EFM's who are on our own!), and informs future and first time FS families what's in a welcome kit at post; He's sticking to his guns about not hiring someone to help in the house but appreciates the work it takes to keep a house from going to the dog; the dog wakes them up before the crack of dawn barking at the back door which causes EF'M to check their security, and finds a lock that needs to be fixed!

Something edited this way comes is less than enthused about the aquarium in Milan and is glad she didn't have to pay for it. However, she did come across a very funny star fish; she's very excited that she found her Milan & the Lakes travel book.

Star fish - Something edited this way comes

The Dinoia Family is so proud of their daughter who's taking care of a bird's egg, but doesn't look forward to the almost inevitable upcoming discussion about the viability of that egg; she brags on the same daughter again, who's made it into her school's Advanced Chorus; the Dinoia family say "happy birthday" to grandma/mom.

Where in the World is Luca Galeno celebrates their A-100 class' one year anniversary and admits that life is good despite her doubts early on; she thinks that maybe age may be a factor in it being harder to learn Portuguese than it was to learn English as a young girl and is a bit jealous that her husband does it with such ease.

Shutz Happens ventured out to IKEA even though they knew they shouldn't have; he regales us with multiple stories of how chairs have affected his life, and have even laughed at him in the process.

Worldwide Available found out how pretentious her product purchases have become.

Nick and Liz Go Global catch us up on pictures!

Liz - Nick & Liz Go Global

Half Breed Outlaw had an amazing night at the opera; she learns that her daughter doesn't like Tango.

Opera House - Half Breed Outlaw

Happy in Hanguk laments her lack of blogging and has been measuring her time left with out her husband in odd ways.

Ben and Sarah Williams are struggling to find good produce and other "staple" items in Honduras and are frightened by heavy cream and surprised by sour cream.

Our Oriental Express gives their first impressions of Istanbul and life in Turkey; she makes Turkey sound and look like a dream post after a dream trip to the Boshporus and MADO.

Lindsey Mae's blog had to get out of the house after being sick. They went to the Mall of Asia and had a delicious snack at Krispy Kreme and a very fun time at the Science Discovery Center.

The Slow Move East has a friend in town and seems to have shown her the best of Turkey.

Hick/Hitchhiker...Diplomat? shared about his and his wife's awesome ring making trip.

Equidorian + Blowtorch Hick/Hitchhiker...Diplomat?

The Mas Alla informs her readers about her job as an Assistant CLO and about her freelance editing work.

Beyond the Cornfields has a little one who appears to be afraid of and easily awakened by thunder.

The Guatemala Holla noticed differences between what the Brits and the Americans have in stock, he shares a picture from a car window.

Diplomat and Cat didn't do too much on her day off on Friday due to the closing of the consulate. She discovered that Mexican sushi is not something to be shared with the Japanese; she thinks that when posted at Juarez she'll never go out with out sunscreen, and takes a day trip to El Paso.

The Perlman Update went on a very long and tiring road trip with out buying a bike rack first!

Diplojournal wishes there was better health care in his area even after trying to get an appointment in two different countries!

Summer in the U.S.

Our Serbian Story s made it home from Serbia after a very long day; at said home, she found out how small the world of fashion really is.

Jacksonian Realist bought a motorcycle and got it up to 250 miles and plans on riding it as much as possible before heading to their next post.

Where in The World am I? walked her 39 week pregnant body one mile to see some beautiful flowers and then another mile home, before sleeping the rest of the day; Baby Day! They went in at 4pm on Thursday for induction and hope to have said baby by that time on Friday!!!

GlobeHoppers are sad that they're not traveling the world like their friends, but have an a very American summer and share some of their stories with us; they're excited about the bidding season; and teaches us about SOL scores and shares their kids'.


Diplopundit published his July 2010 Blog Index; lists the 28 newly confirmed Ambassadors, and those confirmed for USAID, ADB, BBG, and OPIC (how do you like them apples David?); he shares with us the birthday greetings from Indonesia to President Obama; he remembers Holbrook Bradley, late FSO who took the Federal Government to court for age discrimination.

I'll Take Mine...To Go Please! enjoyed a nice family date for their 11th wedding anniversary (they celebrated sans kids last weekend); she is very excited for summer to end; she's very excited that the German studying is over and is waiting for up to two weeks for the results of an 8 minute phone test.

Peripatetic teaches us what it's like to watch American TV in Poland.

Diplochick wonders if she's the only FSO Mum in the blogosphere; she contemplates her family's future.

Diplomatic Baggage explains to us why their trip to Paris was so special to her; she goes into details about her trip.

Patchwork Planet is going through the bid-list right now and can't decide where to live!

Please, PLEASE do the rest of us a favor and sign up here for the blog roundup. The last person signed up is next week.

Fever Broke!

Malachi's fever broke last night! Maybe it was around 5:00 am when he woke up? I hope it won the battle against his cold. I haven't had to tell him to blow his nose this morning, so maybe it did!

I Skyped with John last night. The resort they're at for the wedding is really nice, but has a crappy computer for internet, so he didn't get to do anything else because web browsers weren't loading properly. I'm super excited that Skype worked even.

He leaves Thailand on Sunday evening and begins another 44 hours of travel and he'll be home 24 hours after he began. Love it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Six Days

Only six more days...

To some couples this is a drop in the bucket. But we're not those couples, and I miss John terribly. His absence has really made me realize how much I love him. I can't wait to cuddle with him and watch Better Off Ted.

Simon has really gotten good at moving around in his walker (which stays downstairs, for the information of the concerned grand parents). And he's so good at it he doesn't get stuck very often. He goes into the guest room, the laundry room, the kitchen, the dining room. He has so much fun with it.

The other day Malachi fell asleep on the couch while Simon was in his walker. Malachi was snoring a bit and Simon thought it was hilarious and laughing made his way over to his brother.

I caught him right before he actually touched his brother.

Tonight after I got home from work Malachi was really clingy. And loud. While I was skyping with my brother-in-law and his wife he was yelling a lot. I told him to stop yelling which was followed by a yell. So he lost his Wipeout privileges tonight. So after dinner, which he didn't really like, he went to bed Wipeout-less. And he's been looking forward to it for so long (since the last episode on Thursday).

Work is really busy right now. We have a lot of arrivals in the next couple of months, which means a Newcomer's reception. Of course we have school starting so we have a Back To School Party for 6th - 12th graders with make your own pizza. The very next day we're having a Play Day for the younger kids with decorate your own cookies, ice cream, and water games. Costa Rican Mother's Day is this month so we're going to have a Bazaar to showcase some American small businesses in the area and give the Locally Employed Staff the chance to buy their presents right at work. Should be a good time.

And amidst all that I'm still putting together the Embassy Newsletter. This is a Sensitive But Unclassified document which means that only the people I send it to can have a copy. So if you don't get it from us already then I can't send it to stop asking!

John we all miss you, please come home safe and sound.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Did I really sign up for the State Department Blog Roundup?


Luckily I have until Friday to finish it.

Was that just for me?!

Recently I called out to some of my girlfriends in Dallas, MN, and VA and told them I was having a bit of a faith crisis. I got a lot of good advice and prayers. Someone said go through the Psalms. So I started doing that. I don't remember to do it every day, but it's something I enjoy doing and sometimes I even read it aloud to Malachi.

Today I went for a second time to a Baptist Church not far from home where I have friends who are members. I decided that I wanted to try the adult Sunday School. So I got the kids out of the door (on time!) and took us over there. Malachi went to his class, Simon to his, and I went to the mixed adults class (insert joke about dog breeds here).

The class is going through the Psalms. Perfect!

They alternate teachers, and the guy who taught today did something different for their class. He categorized the Psalms into five or six categories and listed which Psalms fit into those categories (except for Lament because apparently 70% of the Psalms fit into that category, he did put a few though). It couldn't have been better for me. Like it was perfectly suited just for where I am in my walk with the Lord. I now have a great reference for going through the Psalms and if I ever want a specific topic can look on that list instead of actually searching through them. I was quite encouraged by it!

The sermon was done by a guest preacher because the Pastor is out of town on vacation. The preacher did a wonderful exhortation using John 15: 1-17. He talked about some verses from that scripture that are taken out of context. But mainly he wanted to talk about how to remain in Jesus and what our ultimate reason for existence is. The guest preacher last week had already told us our reason for existing was to Glorify God. And this weeks preacher reiterated that.

How do we Glorify God? By having a fruitful life. vs. 8 (Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.)
How do we have fruit? Through Remaining in Jesus vs.4
Can we have fruit with out Jesus? No vs. 4

Good news though! Producing fruit is a natural part of being in Christ. It's not something you have to work towards. do we remain in Jesus? I'll tell you.

First you need to know that Jesus loves us as much as the Father loves him. vs. 9
We remain in his love when we obey his commands.
What's his command? Love one another as he has loved us! vs. 12

Sounds easy right? Wrong!! This may be the hardest thing a human has to do!

How did Christ love us? By laying his life down for us!

Is Christ asking us to literally die? No. But he is asking that every day we sacrifice our own desires for those around us.

What a sermon! It was perfect for me! One of my favorite things he said was that Jesus' command was not: read your bible every day, pray for an hour every day, go to church every week (or multiple times a week depending on your church), etc. His command is to love one another, lay down your own desires for the desires of those around you. Is it beneficial to read the word and pray every day, and go to church? Yes! Are you a bad Christian for not? No!

What a relief! This is something John's been trying to get in my head for a while - sorry babe. For some reason it clicked better this way. This must be one of the freedoms in Christ that people are always talking about.

Now the hard part...laying down my life. I'm one of the most selfish and lazy people you'll ever meet. Pray for me.

He's made it!

He's at his destination! He got there at about 3am my time, so please pardon the delay in updating...I was asleep!

He's at his destination until next weekend and then makes the 44 hour trip again. Whew! I hope it's worth it. He does get to see a good friend get married. We've seen this good friend go through some really bad times, so we're so, so happy for him. Congrats friend!!

I'd like to see the Tigers hate this entry!