Tag Archives: movies

Things I DON’T miss


We talk a lot about things that we miss from home when we are overseas.  But today I’m going to talk about the things I DON’T miss from my life in America.  This is a video of my son snow-blowing my parent’s drive way.  Obviously this is fun because he never does this in Costa Rica, but if he had to do this all the time, it would lose its charm, I’m sure.

We got to go home for a few weeks at Christmas time to attend a Missions Convention and spend time with family.  One of the first things my big, 16-year old son did when we arrived at Grandma’s house was to stretch out on the carpet and roll around like a dog.  We have no carpeting in our Costa Rican house.  If we did, it would mold.  So it’s fun to walk around barefoot on the carpeting when we get home.  What I didn’t miss was the static electricity that it produced on our clothing and hair.  My skin immediately dried to scales and cracked along my finger tips.  We all developed crusty noses and dry coughs from the sudden lack of humidity we experienced from December in Minnesota.  I don’t miss dry skin!

We no longer have the appropriate clothing for winter in Minnesota.  The kids keep growing, so every time we come home, we have to ask the other family members to save hand-me-down jackets and boots to get us through a couple of weeks.  We used to have a Rubber Maid bucket stored at my in-law’s house full of all our winter coats, snow pants, mittens, scarves, boots, etc, but it disappeared mysteriously.  No one knows where it went.  This past Christmas, one sister-in-law had been saving a box of clothes for us until she discovered that the cat had been using the box as his litter box.  Thankfully she just threw the whole lot away.  So we don’t have winter gear.  I really don’t miss all the bundling up that is required to survive winter.  Nope, don’t miss that at all.

And along those same lines, let me just say that those people who say they could never live without the 4 seasons don’t know what they’re talking about.  I used to say that too, but now I officially HATE winter.  It’s wicked.  Give me a tropical Christmas any day.  I don’t miss the snow and the cold.  Last year I had people send me pictures of snow via Facebook.  That was enough for me.

Finally, my last thing that I DON’T miss is paying full price to go to the movies.  I know it’s kind of random, but let me tell you that we pay about $5 to go to the movies here in Costa Rica.  Now, let’s qualify that.  Some movies come out late and some don’t come at all, but we get the block busters.  All children’s movies are in Spanish with no subtitles.  I feel stupid when all the children around me are laughing and I’m thinking, “What did I miss?  What’s so funny?”  Sometimes we DO go to movies in Spanish, but they just aren’t the same.  For example, Horton Hears a Who just didn’t work in Spanish.  Dr. Seuss doesn’t translate well.  And we saw some Angelina Jolie movie where the dialogue was in a Pakistani language with English subtitles.  Then they put Spanish subtitles below the English ones!  I left that movie with a headache.  Once I watched Madame Butterfly with Spanish subtitles- English actors, playing Japanese characters, singing in Italian, with Spanish subtitles.  I felt so cultured after that.

But our movie-going experience here in Costa Rica is still far better than in the States because we have something that not many of you have up there… the V.I.P. theater.  If we pay a little more, we can watch a block buster movie in the comfort of our own leather recliner!  A waiter comes to take your order while the previews are playing.  You can order anything from sushi to fancy coffee drinks to hot dogs and popcorn.  Your food is delivered to your recliner in style!  And it’s still cheeper than going to the movies back home!  I can’t figure out why this idea hasn’t caught on in the States.  So I have to say, I don’t miss over priced, over crowded theaters.

I guess some of us are just luckier than others.  🙂

Purity is Better than Poop


A friend of mine posted a great little story on Facebook the other day and I thought I’d share it with you.  He couldn’t remember where he first read it, so if it was in your book… I’m not stealing your work.  I’d be happy to give credit where credit is due.  My friend wrote:

I can’t remember what book it was in, but some time ago my wife and I read about this man having a teachable momment with his kids.

His kids wanted to go see a movie with some friends of theirs and tried to persuade him to give them the ok. “It’s a good movie, Dad” they said. “It’s rated PG and only has a couple of swear words in it.” Dad contemplated in silence for a momment before saying: “I’ll let you go to the movie, but before you go, you have to let me bake some brownies for you and you each have to eat one.” Naturally, their faces lit with excitement. “Wow, Dad, you’re the greatest” they all agreed.

So Dad buzzed about the kitchen and whipped up a batch of brownies. When he’d finished, he called out to the kids and they all came running in anticipation of their mouthwatering treat. “Now before you take a bite,” said Dad, “there’s a small catch: When I mixed up the batter for the brownies, I added in a little bit of cat poop from the litter box. But it’s just a little bit and won’t hurt you if you eat it so go ahead.” All the kids were overcome with shock and disgust as Dad explained. “You see, kids, the movie may look like a real good movie and may even be enjoyable. But having just a little bit of swearing in it is like having just a little bit of cat poop in your brownies. It looks fine and exciting on the outside, but in the end it will put something ugly and distasteful inside of you.”

Like if you agree with raising children in purity.

Well, when you put it THAT way, yeah, purity is better than cat poop brownies any day.  As a former youth pastor’s wife, I love a good illustration.  I have at least a dozen illustrations about purity, but I hadn’t heard that one yet.

The little things can have a powerful influence!  A little yeast works it’s way through the whole loaf.  (see Matthew 13:33)  Teaching our kids to “draw the line” a good, far distance from the edge of disaster is never a wasted effort.  We are super careful about what movies we watch, what books our kids read, who they hang out with, and what they put before their eyes.  (We also don’t allow them to eat any poop.)  You know, it’s the little things that define a character.

The Bad Boy


***I must begin this blog with a huge disclaimer:  Josh told me to write about this.  So let’s all agree together that we will be laughing WITH Josh and April and not AT them.

In the fabric of our collective history there are some threads that shine more brightly than others.  Beloved moments and tender memories are the pretty pastels.  Mistakes, sorrows and pains are dark colors.  Blunders, gaffes, and faux pas are also part of the fabric of my history with Josh.  For example, my family has a knack for quoting movie lines.  We can’t remember our own phone numbers, but we can quote everything from Woody Allen to Pee Wee Herman.  My husband, on the other hand, has the antithesis of this gift.  He messes up EVERY line he tries to quote… and he makes it 100x funnier!  And I love him for that.

Another one of the funny stories that makes up the history of our relationship involves a Seinfeld episode.  It’s the episode where Elaine has forbidden her assistant Anna to flirt with George and tells her that he’s a “bad seed”.  This piques Anna’s interest in the short, balding man.  Jerry figures it’s because Elaine has made George “The Bad Boy” and Anna is into Bad Boys.  George is confused because he’s never been the Bad Boy.  “Why not?!” Jerry encourages him “You’ve been the bad employee, the bad son, the bad friend (yes, yes, agrees George) the bad fiancé, the bad dinner guest, the bad credit risk (OK the point is made!) the bad date, the bad sport, the bad citizen (George stands to leave) THE BAD TIPPER!!”  Jerry chimes.  (Here’s the clip though you might have to go directly to youtube to watch it.)

This scene rolls me into hysterics every time I watch it.  A few years ago Josh asked me why.  I finally confessed that before we met, I had a “thing” for the Bad Boy image.  Clearly, at some point I chose safe and responsible over unpredictable and… fun.  Josh was shocked!  And not for the reason that I suspected.  “But I AM a Bad Boy, aren’t I?”  he queried.  This coming from the man who thought about being a banker before he became a minister.  After laughing until tears rolled down my cheeks.  I said, “If you don’t believe me, ask your friends what they think of you.  They will tell you the truth.”

So a few days later Josh came to me sheepishly and confessed that he had told his friend Peter about our conversation.  He had asked, “Peter, am I a Bad Boy?”  (I’m giggling as I write this.)  And Peter shook his head slowly, “Oh Joshy, you’re a Good Boy.”  So there, Josh had the truth.  He was not a Bad Boy after all.

But Josh was not willing to admit defeat.  So to augment his new Bad Boy image, my husband refuses to shave more than once a week.  When I complain that he’s getting prickly he says proudly, “It’s part of my Bad Boy image.”  And why not, we’re all entitled to our own dreams.