Sunday, September 22, 2019

An Emotional Independence Day

I usually don't put too much effort in celebrating Costa Rica's independence Day because, after all, I am not technically Costa Rican.  But because three of my kids were born and are being bred in this country, it holds a very special place in my heart.  Plus, you know, I live here too.   Celebrating independence day in Costa Rica comprises of so many traditional elements that it's hard not to get all caught up in your emotions.  This country is so rich with history and tradition that they take an entire month to celebrate the day, which is the 15th of September. 

This year, as with last, I had a kid in the school band; this time my 11 year old son.  And being in the school band meant being an integral part of the independence festivities.  The main purpose of the school band is to celebrate Costa Rica's independence in the big finale parade on the 15th.  Band usually starts at the beginning of the year, with after school practice sessions once a week.  As the parade draws closer, they start practicing during school hours a few times a week to prep for not only the parade but for the various other independence day activities throughout the month; a celebration at the local private school Colegio Monterrey and the lantern parade and celebration at their own school.  Not to be forgotten, my daughter and my 6 year old son also played their part in celebrating Costa Rica's independence.  All three kids were involved in some form this year and it made me one proud mama

Independence celebration at Colegio Monterrey


Independence celebration and lantern parade at school

The big Independence Day parade with the school band

The Last Birthday Celebration For 2019

My son is officially an 11 year old tween which means I am officially done with party planning and birthdays for the year, excluding my own of course.  Because he recently had an amazing birthday party, his actual birth-DAY was a very simple celebration at home with just our family.  As the kids get older, their celebrations tend to be a lot more laid back and I can't say I mind.  As long as we stick to our traditional way of celebrating with gifts, cake and a special meal, my kids are over the moon ecstatic on their birthdays.  And as a mom, what more could I ask for?

                                             Celebrating at school with his classmates
                     Celebrating at home on his actual birthday, 9/16/19

A Soccer Party For My 11 Year Old

The best parties are the ones that take the least amount of work, least amount of planning, least amount of money and very little stress yet still turn out the amazing.  For my son's 11th birthday party, we had all those elements for a great party.  I barely did any planning.  With hubby in charge, he found and booked the soccer field with ease and It only took about a week to actually have the party planned.  We decided to have the party at a sort of indoor artificial grass soccer field; Futbol 5.  With the venue all set, all I had to do was send a few invitations to my son's classmates and friends.

After that, I just let the party plans unfold naturally.  I bought a few goody bags and treats as take home favors for the kids and I kept it pretty inexpensive and simple.  I also got a few snacks that took hardly any prep at all to set up.  And I baked a few cupcakes, as per the usual.  For the main course, we ordered a few boxes of pizza which, of course, was a big hit with the kids.

We had about 16 kids in total, which was the perfect amount because we didn't have a lot of parents attend the party and I didn't want to feel overwhelmed babysitting a ton of kids. However, the most important aspect of the party to me was how elated my son was that all his friends showed up to help him celebrate his special day.  The kids had a blast and with hubby in charge, all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the day.  Hubby and his friend played soccer with the kids because after all, it was a soccer themed birthday party.  The kids played for almost two whole hours, and I didn't have to do a thing.  It was awesome!

I thought the theme was genius, especially for a kid as obsessed with soccer as my son is.  And having the party at a soccer field meant built in entertainment for the kids.  They were able to play and run around and just enjoy the day.  No party games needed.  And after lunch and cake, we were able to clean up in a matter of minutes and head home to open presents.  It was the perfect day.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Kids Day In Costa Rica

It was a different way to celebrate kids day this year, where each class had their very own celebration instead of celebrating with the entire school.  There were no moon bounce inflatables or magicians.  It was simple and every parent volunteered a fun food item to donate to the special day.  The kids had so much good food to eat from donuts to popcorn, from sandwiches to candy.  And of course, they played all day to their hearts content.  In my 6 year old's kindergarten class and my 10 year old's 5th grade class they watched a movie, while my daughter's 6th grade class played video games.  It was the perfect way to celebrate the day for kids.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Just To Be Fair

As if a birthday bash was not enough fun for a weekend, we decided to take the kids to the local fair near our house the day after the party.  It was something different to do on a Sunday and a nice change of pace before the kids headed back to school on Monday.  And to state the obvious, of course they had fun. 

The best part of the fair to me is the food, so the kids all got a chance to indulge because why not!


Celebrating His 6th Year Of Life

August 29th marks a very special day for us as a family, as it was the day everything changed and we became a family of six.  Having a fourth child was not in our plans but I am so thankful life turned out the way it did and I can now celebrate my youngest child's 6th birthday.  It's remarkable how life has a way of making sure we get what we had no idea we wanted.  What a beautiful gift he has been.