Greetings from Costa Rica!  We have safely arrived and happily welcomed the three pieces of luggage that took an extended stay in Houston.  Unpacking is a little bit like Christmas.  The cabina is charming and we are settling in and working through the firsts of this trip.  First night’s sleep in Costa Rican nightsong (crickets, birds, ocassional dog, portable fan).  First trips to the grocery store, figuring out store layout, price differences, and Spanish names for ingredients.  First taxi ride with more people than seatbelts.  First morning devotions with the Hogar de Vida family.  First Jillian Michaels dvd workout on a tile floor.  First mispronounced Spanish words.  First taste of mango picked right up off of the ground.  Mmmm. . . One even rolled right down the sidewalk and up to our door yesterday.  I think it was a divine appointment.

The kids are doing great as we find a new rhythm for our family in this place.  It is a blessing to see them take these new experiences head on.  Please continue to lift us up in prayer as we learn how to do life here as Team Gnuse.

Ezekiel watching planes at the airport.

Making breakfast in our cabina.

Sowing Seeds

Our church took part in the nationwide 21-day Awakening Fast this January.  We broke the fast on Sunday, and most of us are happily reacquainting ourselves with the pleasures that we put on the altar for a time.  Meat.  Solid food.  Facebook.  Chocolate.  Movies.  Sweet nothings by the mouthful.

I’m relieved to have finished out the 21 days, but find myself reluctanct to leave this place at the altar.  This place where I couldn’t run to the candy bowl for comfort, so I opened my arms to my Savior.  This place where my time was better focused because I wasn’t checking Facebook 20+ times a day.  You all are  fascinating, you know.  This place where the Lord lit a fire in me to study Spanish so that I will be able to connect on a heart level with the beautiful people at the Home of Life in Costa Rica this summer.  Where I began to sort through our abundance of things and release them.

The journey that stretches before us is a marathon rather than a sprint.  My quality time each day with Rosetta Stone and is chipping away at the language barrier before me.  The skis we sold on Craigslist, the ski boots we still have posted, and the craft room piled with outgrown toys waiting to be posted are drops in the bucket of bailing out our home.  And the Lord whispers in my heart that this is planting time.  The Spring, if you will, of the new direction the Lord is taking us.  Each verb that I learn to conjugate, each one-time treasure released to a new home, each prayer lifted up to fill the bowls in the throne room is a seed sown into the field of His future for our family.

So I linger at this altar of 3 weeks that advanced His purposes in my heart, praying over what to let back into my days and with what boundaries.  Because planting time has only begun, and I don’t want to short the harvest He has for our lives one measure by underestimating the value of each seed sown.


Every morning at the home we have devotions. On Monday there is a prayer time, Tuesday is worship time and Wednesday through Friday are a message. One of the topics while we have been here is to pray for the nations. This past Tuesday during worship they had flags from many nations around the world. As we worshipped we prayed for each of those nations. There were also Gold flags for heaven, White for God’s forgiveness and Red for His Blood.

Another Pet!

We have another friend living on the overhang of the cabin next to ours. We haven’t really made a formal introduction. We just tend to give him his space and let him take care of a few bugs. From what I can find searching on the internet he is a Golden Orb Spider. His body is about one and a half inches long.

Next is a picture of the front of our home, it is difficult to get a good picture from the front because there are several tangerine trees directly in front of the cabin. In the picture there are two cabins with an open area covered by a roof between the two. You can see the tables and chairs in the open area. This is where we would typically eat our meals when we were here in the past with a large team. Since there are just the four of us we eat in the cabin. We are in cabina dos, the second cabin, it is on the right side of the picture.

This is the view from our front door, with one of the tangerine trees about fifteen feet from our doorstep.

It was raining so Eliana and Elijah wanted to stick their feet out into the rain.

More Pictures of the Home

We took a few pictures so you could see the sights around Hogar de Vida.

Eliana’s Bunk Bed!

Here are several pics of the kids in the park and the playground equipment.
Here are two pictures of the classroom Kris uses with the preschoolers. I took the pictures from opposite corners of the room.

These two pictures are of the infant stimulation room. I use this room for my physical therapy sessions with the children. Again, I took the pictures from opposite corners of the room.