Tuesday, March 20, 2012

All-in-One

WOW...these past couple of weeks have been quite eventful...sometimes it seems like the week is over before it even begins! I have so much to talk about that this really is an "all-in-one" kind of blog post. And the heat...OOOHHHHHHHH the heat! it's been pretty dang hot here, and I hear next month will be worse. You know when you walk outside in Texas this time of year...and you walk straight into a swarm of gnats? Or fly season when they seem to be everywhere? That's what it's like with the mosquitoes here right now. I mean they've always been here, but I will sit down and they fly up like dust particles...I'm not joking. I light coils, plug in raid and spray...still our skin is looking quite lumpy from the many bites we've gotten. I've been sick for the past 3 or 4 days...I'm pretty sure it was a parasite because when I started taking the medication, I started feeling better...parasite medication is disgusting...yuck!
On the up side though, we have been doing a lot. Last week I got a chance to snap some pictures of the English class we do at our house...the kids on our street come and Preston teaches them English. I just teach them songs like...the hokey poky and head, shoulders, knees and toes. I'm sure they think I'm crazy hahaha
This handsome young man raising his hand is David...he lives a few houses down and his mom runs a store out of their house. She will be coming over this week to learn how to make pizza. She told me the last time she made it for her husband the crust was so thick that he wouldn't eat it. We have short conversations because my Spanish isn't very good, but I like her a lot. I pray blessings on this family all the time.
The girl with her head down to the right is Gabriella. The first time she came to class she was crying because she didn't want to be here, but since then she has warmed up nicely. Her mom is from Honduras and her father is from Korea (I think)...she is so sweet...and her little brother runs over to our house all the time and squishes his little chubby cheeks up against the gate. I just love that!
Here's a shot of all of the kids! Raymond, Joe and Caroline normally join in the class and learn some Spanish. They enjoy Tuesday's and Wednesday's so much
I really like this kid...I can't remember his name right now and Preston's at a church meeting or I would ask him. He says, "Hi" to us every time he sees us
Of coarse I had to get one of Preston teaching in there...he's so dreamy!
So the past few weeks really have been crazy and I've learned a lot...especially through our homeschooling experience. One thing I learned is I can't do everything. Another thing I learned is everything doesn't have to be perfect. I broke down and got the kids www.spellingcity.com/ and www.ixl.com/ for math. That coupled with the hooked on phonics math, spelling and reading...has been amazing. Here are a few pics of them doing one of the hooked on phonics math games together. (Please note I know the photos you are about to see aren't the best in the world, but they were working together without fighting which is pretty cute...also, Caroline's hair is special and I thought the world should be privy to such an atrocity)
As some of you may know my 30th birthday is less than a week away. I started working on Preston aboout our "need" for a sewing machine quite some time ago...and subtly hinted here or there (on facebook). Anyway, I knew that this could save us money on things like clothing and such...and as a plus it would give me a creative out. I would look at sewing projects on Pinterest and long to be doing them myself...yeah I know...I'm a freak. Well, imagine my surprise when Walter and Susan Bennett from the Conroe Vineyard offered to get it for me. This week, the day I got sick, I purchased said sewing machine. It felt like the best day of my life. I just imagined all the possibilities of thing I could do with it. Hemming pants, sewing holes in shorts and jeans, making pajama shorts for the kids, possibly making a dress or two for Caroline. I was so determined that I braved the Oriental Market with our friends Donnie and Eva while sick to my stomach. It was fun...Eva introduced us to the man who she got all the fabric from her wedding from and he ended up giving me the 2 yards of fabric for FREE! I was ecstatic. I did learn a few things...like...a pattern is what you draw on a newspaper and cut out yourself. When I've asked about patterns people look at me like I'm crazy. Also, I learned that cotton isn't everywhere, I'm not exactly sure what kind of fabric I got, but I know there wasn't any cotton. Here is a picture of the glorious sewing machine...I can't thank the Bennetts enough.
The next lesson I learned came today when I was actually well enough to start sewing. I had a pair of Preston's jeans ironed and pinned to hem them (along with the long list of jeans that I was going to hem stacking up in my head:)...I learned quite quickly that you need a more durable needle for hemming jeans. I discovered this when I pushed on the peddle to start my first sewing job and the needle broke. Luckily I had bought some at the market. I went and got the fabric and started on the pajama shorts for Raymond. With a few clicks of the mouse I discovered how to thread the bobbin, needle and thanks to pinterest...how to make a pair of pajama pants/shorts without a pattern...here's what I ended up with
I know they aren't perfect but I did learn a lot on my very first sewing adventure...EVER IN MY LIFE! I had tried sewing before, but the machine would never work for me...now that I have one that works...I'm so excited.
Okay, so I will end on this...this is why I have the best and worst husband in the world!
I was craving cream cheese danishes, so he made them...and now he won't stop. Seriously people...one day I ate four of them...
Dear God, please forgive my gluttony...P.S. Please make my husband stop making me be a glutton.
Yours Truley,
Carrie Kolb

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Visit to Sooth the Soul

Hello people...I know it's been quite some time since my last post. So much has been happening around here. It seems like the longer you go without writing, the harder it is to pin something down to write about. The overwhelming feeling of remembering everything you've done keeps you from the small task of picking a story or two and running with it.
We've changed things up a biton the homeschooling front. I am basically "getting through" this year with the help of Hooked on Phonics Reading, Spelling and Math. Raymond has his books and curriculum which was sent to us by a Christian School in California, which has been a total blessing. We have, however, figured out that it's not the right curriculum for us. It's not that the curriculum is bad in any way at all, one of the problems is that my 8 year old has to know how to completely navigate a page (which would probably be easier if we weren't in a Country where internet access cuts off frequently). Every time he navegates away from the page it causes a "0". Even so, Raymond is still making A's and B's...the main problem is that he has to log in every day to get credit. This does not in any way work for us and our schedules as a missionary family. Not only do we not know exactly when we will have interent, but we also have to leave the Country every 3 months to renew our visas, help when teams come in town, when family visits the kids are on vacation...we have got to have a more flexible program. Next year Raymond will be in 3rd grade, and I have purchased Switched on Schoolhouse for him...this will be better and all of the kids can use it...yay!
On a more personal level, my parents came to visit in February. Oh my heavens! It was the most relaxing, wonderful time I've had in a long time.
We went to Ometepe Island for a few days
The kids and Dad rode horses
Mom and Dad relaxed in hammicks while Caroline played with her new barbie doll...yay
The kiddos hung out together
We went to Ojo de Agua
We happened upon La Vina Ometepe
Mom, Dad, Preston, Neenaw and I enjoyed the Island...and the kids enjoyed having their family here for what seemed like the blink of an eye.
Mom enjoyed showing these kiddos what a smart phone is...they were so excited to have their picture taken
Then there was this...hahahaha
Next was Granada
The boat ride was beautiful
Gotta love those Monkeys
Next was Volcano Masya
Then we spent a few days at our home in Managua. Everything you read above is not anything we do in a normal day here in Nicaragua. In fact that's the most we've seen of the Country since we moved here. My parents and Neenaw coming to visit us was refreshing and so much fun. When they left, it was heart breaking. Everybody was sad...I barley got the kids out of the airport before the crying started. We explained to the children that we were all sad and let them know how much we loved them. When we got home from the airport Preston had to leave to teach an English class in another town...the kids and I watched a movie, nobody said anything...there were just tears :( Joe put himself to bed about 5 minutes into the movie and slept for a few hours. I kept excusing myself to cry in the bathroom...until Raymond came to me and said, "What's wrong mom?" I said, "I miss them" and he said, "it's ok...we all miss them". It took a good 3 days for the crying to stop and a bit of normallsy to return. I think that really is the hardest part of being here, saying goodbye to friends and family.
Okay, so now that you're completely depressed...life is back to normal. I've discovered pinterest which has been wonderful for my love of cooking. We cut down to meat once a week since it's kind of expensive...so it's helped with finding foods I can make here. I started P90X and have been working out in the mornings...and I'm trying to find a sewing machine so I can start making the kids clothes because buying them is so much more expensive here. I will be making more frequent posts to keep yáll updated...sorry about the break. One more thing, we are now officially the Youth Pastors at our church!