Friday, December 11, 2009

Home, Sweet Home!!!

We are back in America! WOO WOO WOO!!! :D We are finished with the island for good! WOO WOO WOO!!! :D The island was definitely an experience with some highs and lows...but we're happy to be back in the U.S. So many wonderful things here! Haha! :) A few things that are going to take getting used to again:

1. Driving with a speed limit
2. Driving above 30mph
3. Wearing a seatbelt (haha :))
4. Having a reliable cell phone!
5. No pot holes or speed bumps!
6. Not sweating the moment you go outside
7. Pumping your own gas (one of my favorite things about the island was having gas pumpers!)
8. Not needing cash for anything, you can charge $1.00 on a credit card!
9. Going to the grocery store and finding EVERYTHING you need
10. Target....looooove Target.
11. Friendly customer service!!
12. Living in my parents HUGE house! I think our entire apartment could fit in their kitchen! haha! :) We need to attach some bells to Ella so we know where she is! haha!

Yep, those are just a few things that are super great since coming back! Tom and I have new cell phones, which is exciting. And we're going to be doing a lot of traveling this month. We flew in to LAX on Friday (the entire traveling was VERY uneventful, which was AWESOME, and Ella did really well on the 4 hour and 5.5 hour flights!), then Tom left for Utah on Monday to spend some time with his brother and to go to the BYU basketball game. Ella and I fly up to Utah this upcoming Monday and we'll be there for a week. Then on the 21st we fly to Chicago for two weeks to celebrate Christmas/New Years with his family (it's going to be interesting because I'm not sure how all the sleeping arrangements are going to be. I hope Ella still gets a nap at least every other day!!!) While in Chicago, we are going to drive to Detroit to see our good friends Derick and Megan, which we are REALLY excited about! We'll spend a couple days there, head back to Chicago for a few more days, then fly back to California for good! At least for a while...

I am SO excited to be living with my parents! I know that is kind of weird, but I don't care. My parents are super fun and LOVE being with Ella, which makes me happy too! Plus, since we're expecting another one, it will be really nice having them to kind of help with the transition of one two! Wow...kiiiind of scary! haha! :) We are excited to be in my home ward again, too. Everyone is so nice and friendly and excited to have us back! It's nice to feel so welcome and to be around so many nice members!!

Anyway, that's the update for now. We will be living with my parents till around September, or whenever Tom starts his clinicals. He will be taking the step in June and then we'll take it from there!

Ella is loving being around her grandparents and great-grandparents! She likes to play with Uncle Andrew, too, even if she messes up some of his room! Oops...She also likes to go look at Leo and the birds. It's pretty cute. She says "Puppy!!"

I also got Ella completely decked out for the winter! I think I went a little crazy, but I don't care! She is going to be the CUTEST little snowbunny in Utah and Chicago! I'll be sure to post pictures.

My computer is still broken and is being shipped back to HP today, which is why this post doesn't have pictures either! Sorry!

Anyway, Ella is pulling on me and wants me to go watch a movie with her, so that's all for now! But I'll keep you updated! If you would like my new phone number, email me! :)

p.s. I deactivated my facebook account for a while, fyi.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Six More Days...

We are leaving the island for good in six more days. I am pretty excited. I know I have been slacking on my blog with the lack of pictures and such, but I promise I'll fix up some posts when we get home. My computer also died, so I'm having to use Tom's computer and I am having a hard time with a Mac! So yeah, those are my excuses :)

Anyway, this may be my last "island post" before we're back in the wonderful, magnificent, U.S. of A. *siiiigh* Loooove America :) Haha!

Right now we are trying to pack up a bunch of suit cases because we move into a hotel Sunday/Monday. I can't believe that we are leaving already. It seems like it went so quickly...but then took FOREVER. :)

I also want to give a shout out to Tom who has been SO unbelievably wonderful the past couple weeks. I think I am sicker this pregnancy than with Ella. All I want to do is sit....or sleep....and not move...I'm hungry, but want to throw up when I eat....its this vicious cycle. Tom has been GREAT! He has been doing ALL the chores, watching Ella, getting up early with her so I can sleep in, and everything! I don't think I tell him enough how much I appreciate him. Thank you, thank you, Tom!!! :D

Anyway, next time I post, hopefully we'll be in America!! WOOO!!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


It's funny how the body and mind work. A few years after you have a kid, its like, "Aawww....I want another one....this is so wonderful..." and yadda yadda yadda. Then you get pregnant and its like, "oooooh yeaaaahhhh.......nooooow I remember why we waited three years....." BLAH!

For the past couple weeks I have been feeling really great! Not sick at all, sort of tired, but manageable, and just a little emotional. About five days ago, it got worse: really sleepy ALL the time and SUPER emotional. I mean, it was getting ridiculous. If I asked Ella to put her shoes on and she didn't (okay, she is TWO!) it would make me want to cry. It was a little ridiculous. I was getting pretty frustrated because although I may be a passionate and overactive person, I'm not overly emotional. I RARELY cry and hardly ever get really worked up about things (I've learned this since high school, that was a different story :) haha!) So, the fact that here I was as this emotional wreck, was really frustrating.

Well, now that has past a little bit...and onto full on morning sickness, which I don't know why they call it morning sickness, since CLEARLY it lasts ALL day. It's at that point where certain smells are like, "gaaaaaag" and I'm really hungry, but the thought of eating makes me want to puke...but then once I eat, I feel a little better.....but then feel sick again. It's kind of a vicious cycle? Hopefully this goes away soon...but probably not. Boo.

Now, I'm sure most people reading my blog are like, "um...okay, who cares?" Well, I totally respect if you don't care. But, I'm not writing this blog for you people. It's for me and my kids. Sooooo, ten years from now, or twenty years from now, I can say, "See??? Look what I went through for you!!" Hahaha! :) Good stuff.

Also, I'm still a little bit in denial about the whole pregnancy thing, although seeing the ultrasound pictures on Andrea's blog (shout out, Andrea!) did make me REALLY excited to have a baby :) I'm still kind of freaked out over the whole thing. People keep asking me what is there to be freaked out about...uh...HELLO!? I'm worried about the whole pregnancy thing, about something going wrong, about something being wrong with the baby, about miscarrying, about the ACTUAL labor, what if something goes wrong with that? What if the epidural is messed up? What if I have to have an emergency c-section? What if I don't like my Dr.? What if my baby is colicky? Can I really handle having more than one kid, when one is sometimes so overwhelming? What if Ella is jealous of the new baby and is constantly picking on them? What if Ella uses the new sibling as a RECRUIT?! AH!

Yes, Ella's pregnancy and labor was like a DREAM. Sooooo easy! NOTHING went wrong. Everything was predictable. It was LOVELY. So yeah, it can only go downhill from that, right?? That is what I'm a little afraid of. *sigh* Too late now, though, right?!?? :) Hahaha!!

Oh, still no pictures. My computer decided to be stupid and quit working. So, there may not be pictures for a couple more weeks. Sorry :( I need to figure out how to put them on Tom's computer...soooo, yeah. Sorry!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Yes, yes....for those of you who have seen my facebook status - I am pregnant again! :)

We think I am due around the first week of July, but I haven't been to the Dr.'s yet. Soooo, we're not exactly sure. Oh well :)

So far I'm feeling really good. Just kind of hungry all the time...and really emotional for some reason? When I was pregnant with Ella I don't think I was that emotional, but man oh man...its making up for it now! Haha!

I think I am having a hard time accepting the fact that I am pregnant, though. I am kind of freaked out about it. That is kind of why I didn't call anyone or tell anyone face to face...I think I am still in denial, and if I just type it....then it isn't as real! Ha! I know, I know....super lame...but deal with it people :) I also had the best idea of how to tell people: get Ella a "big sister" t-shirt. So we went hunting around the island to find one....nothing. I coudln't find one ANYWHERE. So that put me in a bad I just posted it instead. So I'm apologizing to all the family members that read it on facebook first! Sorry! I still love you, but again...just a little in denial still! Ha! I think that will I get fatter!

That's another thing, I just lost all this weight! Dang I get to gain it all back. Yeeeeshh....

Oh, and don't expect any belly pictures from me. I am NOT into the whole "here is my naked stretched out tummy" so sorry :) The only belly pictures you'll get is if I happen to be taking a picture anyway...not JUST for the tummy. I know a lot of people are into tummy pictures, but not sorry :)

Aaaaanyway, that is our big news here! That, and we are almost done with this island! Wahoo! :) That's a different post, though. ;)

So much happening!

Okay, this is kind of going to be a lame blog entry because I don't have ANY pictures yet. My computer crashed the evening my parents left and I just put all my pictures on it. So I need to put them on Tom's computer, then I'll post some pictures :) So sorry....

A few big exciting things have happened so far, though!

My parents came down for the weekend to help us celebrate Ella's birthday. Her birthday was a couple weeks ago, but we had a party for her this last Saturday at Layla's. It was REALLY fun! :) There will be pictures coming. Ella got lots of fun presents: sparkly shoes, dress up clothes, playdoh, coloring stuff, etc. She was pretty excited :)

We also went to Anguilla while my parents were here. We went to Anguilla instead of the 5th Semester party. It was a fun little weekend getaway! We went to Shoal Bay and stayed at Island Harbour. We ended up staying at this DIVE of a hotel though! was definitely NOT accurate. I called them when we got back and ended up getting 40% refunded adn 10% off our next reservation. So that's good. It was such a hole! Hah! So, future reference: NOBODY stay at the Arawak Beach Inn, unless you want to go camping!Ha! We ate at the yummiest restaurant for dinner, though: The Straw Hat. Soooo yummy. Even Ella's spaghetti was AMAZING! Haha! :)

While my parents were here, we did some other fun stuff, too! We went to the Butterfly Farm (again, pictures coming), Le Galion Beach, and ate at our favorite restaurant: Bajatzu. Soooo yummy. Mmmm....that is one restaurant I will miss for sure! Haha! :) Ella loved the Butterfly Farm and liked playing at the beach. That girl is a definite Water Baby!!

So that's a brief run through of my parents visit - again, pictures coming!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blurb about Motherhood

This is to all you mothers out there....I need you to tell me if anyone else goes through this! Hahaha!! :)

For the past month or so, Ella hasn't been eating well. She was averaging about 1.5 meals a day. She is already stick skinny, so I was getting a little worried. Then she discovered how much she likes Macaroni and Cheese.

I give her macaroni and cheese for breakfast....I've been giving it to her for four days in a row. She eats A LOT of it. This morning she had a thing of applesauce, two full starfruits, and a bowl of macaroni. Yesterday she had a bowl of macaroni and applesauce again. The day before, she had a bowl of macaroni and a bowl of fruit cocktail.

For lunch, I usually try to give her chicken nuggets or something...but she only eats them now if I give her macaroni and cheese, too. Dinner is the same.

Now, I know it is bad to just give her what she wants all the time, but she is eating so much now! What are your thoughts on me giving her macaroni until she starts eating enough again?? I was worried she was going to lose more weight, but if she keeps this up...she may just get into the average percentile!

Thoughts anyone? Macaroni and cheese is sort of healthy, right? Milk....butter....wheat....powdered cheese?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

I can't believe we've been married for FIVE years!! It makes me feel like an old lady! WOW. Haha :) It has definitely been a quick five years, though. I always heard that when you are married, it seems so short, no matter how long you've been married....but at the same time, it seems like you've ALWAYS been married. That's totally what it feels like. :) I can't believe it has been five years!

Well, last year on our anniversary I gave a run down of how we met and the top 50 things I love about Tom. None of those things have really changed, so I'm having to think of something new to write about :)

I know a lot of these pictures are repeats, too, but that's okay. They're still good pictures :)

When it really comes down to it, there isn't that much that needs to be said. I think you can gather a lot about us by the pictures we take and the things we do.

And by the kids we make...well....just kid right now. But isn't she cute!

I think you can tell a lot about a couple by how much time they actually want to spend around each other. Granted, you will occasionally get on each others nerves, but that's what its like with your family, too. And everyone loves their families :) Tom and I would rather be around each other than just about anyone else. I would much rather spend a quiet evening with Tom, than a crazy night out with my friends. Granted, a crazy night every now and then is kind of remind me of what I have to come home to! :)

Even through all the CRAZINESS we have been through, and all the struggles and trials, both physical, emotional, spiritual, I've never once thought that Tom and I weren't meant to be. All of our trials have been things we have dealt with together....and not because of each other.

Even when our kid sometimes looks like this :) Hahah!

But seriously, I know a lot of couples have often doubted or wondered if who they married was the right one. But I think Tom and mine's relationship just happens so effortlessly, that it couldn't NOT work! No matter what comes up or what the problems or dilemmas we are facing, we can always talk through them.

And talking about things is what is most important in a relationship: communication. Knowing that your spouse is listening to you and you are listening to them. That way you both feel validated with knowing that you know how the other person feels.

It's also nice knowing that you're with someone who would never intentionally do anything to hurt your feelings. Someone that loves you more than themselves, and that you love more than yourself. I think it is easier to love Tom than most people because he's just so non-antagonizing! haha :)

Even if things don't go the way we planned, and we may be struggling through some temporary hardships, I know that I am happy and at peace in the long run. When I look at the big picture, it is so steady and stable, which is more important than the temporary struggles.

I love you, Tom. You are my favorite. You make me happy. You make me feel peace.

Happy Halloween!

We had a GREAT Halloween this year! I bought Ella's costume back in August, so I was SO excited to finally have her wear it :) She was a cute little ladybug. So cute!

Anyway, we started our morning out by going down to this grocery store WAY down in Madame Estates (I think?) called Fresh Market. I wish I had've discovered that store sooner! It was VERY American! It was like walking into Albertsons, only a little smaller. They were even giving out samples 'cause it was Saturday. Awesome :)

We went there, though, because the newspaper had advertised that James Parker from Food Network would be there!!

Ta Da! SO COOL! :) He was one of the Food Network Challenge competitors for the fruit carving one in Hawaii. He was really nice and very talented. He says he will be giving classes next year, but I told him I wouldnt' be here. So he gave me his card and told me to email him 'cause he does classes in California, too! Suh-weet! :)

Fruit bird. Made compeletely out of fruit/vegetable.

This one was REALLY cool! This was his main showpiece. You can't really see it, but there was a cool fountain going through the whole thing, too. Very neat :)

Anyway, after that, we took Ella home and put her down for a nap, while I made cupcakes. Tom helped me sprinkle them too :) I think there is a picture at the bottom.

When Ella woke up, we got her all dressed and pretty and headed over to Sunset Beach Bar because the newspaper said they were having a Kids Halloween Carnival. Well, it turns out they were just doing free hot dogs/hamburgers and drinks. We were eating at the Spouses Org Halloween Party, so we didn't want to stay for that. The newspaper also said games, face painting, etc. But no...they didn't have any of that. We even asked and the main guy said, "No?" and looked at us like we were crazy. False advertising, I guess.

I had a hard time getting a good picture of Ella! She kept closing her eyes or moving her head or something. So sorry these pictures aren't great. She still looked so cute, though :)

This is Ella trunk or treating. She was SO funny!! She would go up to the people with buckets, and start taking candy out one at a time...and keep taking them and keep taking them....till I finally had to push her away. Then she would go to the next person and when I said, "Take only one, Ella" she woudl just take one at a time, and keep taking and taking, while I was talking with whoever. I was like, "Ella! no!" She had SOOO much candy! Her little bucket was completly full!! I think she had a good time :)

Here are my Halloween Cupcakes! They were Halloween Funfetti, too! Soooo cute! :) Thanks Mom for giving me the box/frosting! :)

There was another spouse that had her girl dressed in the same costume as Ella. Oh well :) They were two cute little ladybugs!

The Spouses Org did a GREAT job decorating and everything!

Ronda even made these cool photo things and a bean bag toss game, too. There was a candy making station, a "body part" station with things like string beans as "fingers" and stuff. It was very cute :) Ella had a good time. There was face painting, and bean bag toss, and magnet darts and a costume contest. Ella didn't win the costume contest, but the baby that did was SOO cute! she was in a caterpiller costume like the caterpiller on Alice in Wonderland. You can't beat that! :) Haha!

All in all it was a VERY fun day! It was fun to be around so many fun people and their cute kids all dressed up. Thank you, Spouses Org, for doing such a great job and having such a FUN party!!!! :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ella!

I can't believe Ella is TWO! It seriously goes by SOOOOO fast. I remember people telling me that and thinking, "Yeah, Psh. I'm sure." But now I'm the one being like, "WHA??? I can't believe its been TWO years!!!" Wow...

Well, Ella certainly does make our lives interesting :) Most of the time, things are harder...but it is also VERY fun!

Having a kid is definitely harder and easier than I thought. The things I was really worried about when I found out we were having a baby...are easy. And the things I thought I could control and would be simple...are really difficult! I thought it would be so hard to know what is best for your child and just knowing what to do in a general sense. That part seems to be coming easy. The hard part is actually DEALING with a kid all the time! It is more time consuming and tiring than working three full time jobs. It also never ends. You don't get weekends off, or evenings, or holidays. In fact, those are the busiest times of the week. You also don't get a lunch break, a 15 minute break, or even a bathroom break! Most of the time it is a messy, noisy, frustrating job...but when your kid comes up and gives you a big hug - it is worth it. Difficult...but worth it :)

Ella is learning so many new things! She learns so quickly, it is amazing! Every day she learns about two new words and is trying to form sentences. She is also experimenting with potty training. She likes to go in the potty...but sometimes just wants to sit there...just to sit there. Then she always says "MORE!" And I'm like, " have to wait a minute - you just went!" Haha! :) Silly girl...She also has distinct ways of telling you which DVD she wants to watch. She says, "Pooh!" for Winnie the Pooh, "RAARR!" for Monsters Inc. (or she says "Boo", which is her new word) She says "Bee!" for Bugs Life, she moves her arms like wheels for The Wheels On The Bus. "Cars! Beep Beep!" is for Cars, obviously. And the best is when she goes "aaaaaaaaaah" for The Little Mermaid (it's supposed to be the part when she is singing and the Sea Witch takes her voice)!

She is such a happy baby, ah! she's not a baby anymore! She's such a happy child! She definitely knows what she wants, though. She is really stubborn and impatient. Sometimes it makes me laugh to see her get so adamant about something so quickly! I just keep telling her "Just a minute, Ella!" And she just gets so mad! Most of the time, though, she is all smiles. Her favorite toys right now include: a cardboard box, the flour tupperware container that she uses as a stool, and the DVD player. She also LOVES to empty things out. In one afternoon, she'll empty all the dresser drawers, her toy bucket, and anything else she can possibly open! Some days I can't keep up with her! Haha! She is a really big helper, though, and LOVES helping me put away the laundry. She tries to put it away before I can fold it, though, and I end up finding random clothes in random drawers! It's pretty sweet :) She also really likes helping me clean. If she spills something (which sometimes she does on purpose, just so she can do this...) she'll run and get a wash cloth and wipe it up! It's really funny :)

Her favorite things to do include: the pool, the AUC Playground, picking out DVD's to watch, coloring all over everything, and taking a bath. Grandma/pa Henderson sent her some "bath tub markers" that she LOVES. She colors the WHOLE time. She'll stay in the bath until the bath water gets cold! She drawers little squiggles and then makes an animal noise telling me what she drew. She draws a lot of snakes and lions...sometimes big and little dogs. It's very cute. She LOVES to play with me and Tom. She tries to tease us sometimes, and its funny to watch her watch our reactions. She also thinks burps are HILARIOUS and she always laughs really hard when she toots and grabs her bottom!

Sometimes she's too smart for her own good, though. She has a time out floor mat that she has discovered can sometimes if she gets put in time out, she'll move the mat to wherever she wants to go and THEN stands on it. I'm not sure what to do! It makes me laugh so hard, and technically she's still in time out! Haha! She has also learned how to climb in and out of her crib. I'm not real sure how she figured it out, but she's really good at it. She also has recently decided she doesn't want to take naps anymore. Well, too bad for her. So now we have to pull one of the twin mattresses over her crib so she can't get out! It's kind of funny, in the mornings when we get her out of bed, she is sticking her head in between the mattress and the crib edge. Funny girl :)

Anyway, I can't believe she is two already. It makes me very reminiscent and kind of sad, but I think that is just part of being a mom. I remember her being so small and having to carry her everywhere. Now she runs and jumps and says "No!" if I try and hold her hand! She is so loving, though, and shows her love more and more as she gets older. She gives big hugs and kisses and loves to cuddle while we watch a movie. I love her so much and it is so much fun being with her! I'm also glad I have someone to keep me company while Tom is gone all the time! Haha! :)

I love her so much and am so excited for my parents to come down so we can throw a huge party for her! We didn't do much today because Tom was studying pretty much all day. We took her out to lunch at Burger King, but of course our camera ran out of batteries, so I couldn't take any pictures! :( We're going to do more of a birthday thing tomorrow, too, though, since Tom doesn't study on Sundays. So I'll take pictures of that and post them! Camera is fully charged!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Island/Ella Stories

Well, Autumn is in the air. Not that it really changing the weather at all, but ya know...holidays are around the corner! It is raining more often, which is kind of nice 'cause at least it cools down for a little bit. But then the sun comes out and now its so humid you can practically cut the air with a butter knife. It feels hard to breath sometimes because the air is so thick. It kind of feels like drowning slowly...sort of.

Anyway, to update some island stories, here are a few:

1. Butterflies are EVERYWHERE right now. The little white/yellow ones. There are thousands of them everywhere. I want to try and get a picture, but I don't think you'll be able to see them. Sooo, yeah, sorry, no picture.

2. The other day I had to swerve out of the way of two huge iguanas in the middle of the road that were, er....well...they had just gotten "married", we'll just say that. It was TOTALLY random. Tom and I had a good laugh about it. Only in the Caribbean, I think...

3. Ella can climb out of her crib...proficiently. And she has decided she no longer needs/wants a nap. So, when we put her down, she immediately climbs out of her crib and comes running in the living room giggling. Yesterday, I put her down and a few minutes later I heard some papers rustling. Well, knowing that she didn't have any papers in her crib, I knew that couldn't be a good sound. Sure enough, she had climbed out of her crib and was standing up on TOP of the piano!! (I have an upright piano in her bedroom). I was like, "AH! Ella!" sooo, now when it is nap time, she gets a mattress from one of the twin beds pulled on top of her crib so she can't get out. She doesn't like it...but she is napping. So that's good :)

4. There are a lot of cars here that have those decal stickers across their rear or front windshields. They RARELY make sense. Things like, "Good do it" or "Black Princess Lover" or religious ones like, "Jesus You Love" or "Who Jesus Loves No Man Hate". Yeah...very random. Most often they are spelled wrong, too. They are HUGE stickers, you would think they would check the spelling? But apparently not.

5. The Dutch government doubled their ambulance adding two. Now there are four. That sure makes me feel safe. NOT. A couple months ago, there was this crazy drunk lady wandering outside our complex. We told the security guards that maybe they should call the police. The security guard shook his head and said, "No, they won't come." That makes me feel safe, too! Oh it doesn't!

6. The golf course road (the main road to get to the school) is completely destroyed. There are SO many pot holes (they fixed some of them by pouring asphalt into them, but it doesn't last long) and cracks and just overall rundown. Well, instead of fixing the golf course road, the government is fixing the road leading up over the hill to Philipsburg. The hill doesn't need it. But they are doing it anyway. Ridiculous.

7. Ella can now say a myriad of words and a few sentences. Her sentences now include "That's mine." "I want some more" or "I wanna watch" <-a movie. She also loves saying, "No, no, no, no" and is getting more and more independent. She gets mad if I try and put on her shoes if SHE wants to do it. She also likes picking out her clothes now. I have to give her options, otherwise she gets really mad! It is kind of funny. :) Silly baby. She turns two in two weeks, I can't believe it!!! We are celebrating her birthday in November, though, when my family comes out. So I'm excited :)

8. We went to McDonalds a couple months ago and tried to order a Bic Mac. They didn't have any Big Mac buns. You could order a different hamburger...but not a big mac....aren't they just the same buns plus a bottom bun? Apparently not...

9. We went to Burger King a couple months ago and they were out of buns completely. There must be a bun shortage on the island...well....on the Dutch side at least. There are LOTS of bare buns on the french side! Ooo! Haha! :)

Well, that's about it for now. I'm sure other things will come up. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!!

This post is dedicated to my mom because it is her birthday today! Wahoo for Mom!!! :)

My mom is super awesome,
and really pretty cool.
She always helps us with our problems,
whether social, work, or school.

She likes to travel lots of places
and always try new things,
like snorkeling, touring,
parasailing and scuba diving!

She's always sweet and kind,
and never tells a lie.
She loves music and cooking,
and playing cards: shanghai!

She plays the piano and the flute,
and is learning the guitar.
I think that for her birthday,
she should get a brand new car
*cough* *cough* *dad* *cough* ;)

She drove us all to different lessons,
games, and practices.
She signed us up for different things,
like swimming and art classes.

She drove us to and from everything
sometimes while we complained.
But now we're all well accomplished,
and she's the one to blame! :)

All us kids know that she loves us,
she shows in different ways.
It's by all her loving and kind actions,
and not just by what she says.

I love my mom so very much,
she really is the best.
I hope that I can be like her
so my children can be blessed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Island TidBits

Well, when I first started my blog, it was supposed to be about all of the adventures we are having while living here. I didn't realize it was going to turn into "Look how cute my baby is!" Blog. Yeah...well...she is pretty cute...but that's beside the point! But the more I think about it...that IS the point! Living down here has been rough, and fun, and crappy, and exciting, and frustrating, and relaxing, and everything all rolled into a big ball of St. Maarten. I figure that my posts are becoming less about the island because I'm getting more and more used it....and the blog is getting more and more about Ella because she surprises me every day with new adventures! Haha! :) Hers are just as frustrating sometimes, but are much more rewarding in the end....we hope! Ha! Just kidding.

So here are a few little island stories to help me remember them in years gone by...and so my faithful readers can get a little kick out of it.

The Ox Is In The Mire...Well...He's Just Going to Have to Stay There...

A few Sundays ago, we decided to have a new student/member, Rick, over for dinner. He is by himself, so I figured he is probably getting sick of frozen food and the restaurants near campus. So I invited him over for sushi and chicken. We told him we would pick him up at 5:00.

Dinner was aaalllll nice and ready about 4:50 (perfect timing) and I told Tom to go get Rick. I started putting all the rice in a bowl, and setting the food on the table: yakitori chicken, sushi rice, sliced crab, mango, cucumber, and avocado for sushi, and some juice to drink. I go into the pantry to pull out my seaweed wrappers and open the package....there is only one left. Ohmygoodness....I could've SWORN I had a full package...but apparently not. So when Tom and Rick walked in the door, I said, "I have to go to the store!" And ran to the car!

Well, the island kind of shuts down on a Sunday...and especially a Sunday afternoon. So I go to the Food Express...nothing. I go to Gourmet Marche...closed. The I proceeded to go into every single scary little "market" store in all of Simpson Bay! Yes...every one....even that scary one on the corner next to that Robbie Lottery place just before you turn to go to Cole Bay. Yeah...even the PeiKing Market didn't have any seaweed wrappers! I asked the clerk at every store and every single one gave me the blankest stare. So I just went to look myself. Nothing. Oh, every clerk was Asian, too! Mmmhmm....the scariest store was definitely the PeiKing Market. I don't think I'll be going back! Ha!

So I had to return to home empty handed and thoroughly embarrassed that I didn't have the MAIN thing for sushi! *sigh* We tried wrapping the sushi with plastic wrap and then peeling the wrap didn't really work....Note to self: Be Prepared.

Seminary...Is It Really a Class if No One is Learning?

As many of you know, I am the current seminary teacher for our little Branch. I did it all last year, too, so I was feeling very prepared and excited to start Book of Mormon. No one showed up. Well, Junior showed up, and Elizabeth (the young adult institute teacher, because none of HER students showed up either!). Turns out one of my students, Franz, is going to a different church because his girlfriend is going there....mmmhmm....he was one who stopped coming to my lessons after the little "chastity" talk! Sooo yeah. I'm not sure where the other students were, though? Oh well...we'll send the missionaries after them.

Anyway, we started the lesson with "What IS the Book of Mormon" and "How is it different/similar to the Bible". Junior has never read the Book of Mormon...and the only person he could name me was "Mormon".'s going to be a long semester. We actually spent a good deal of the lesson trying to explain that the Book of Mormon is what makes our church a little different....mmmhmm...

Piano Students...How Much Am I Getting Paid For This???

I teach piano lessons two days a week down in Philipsburg, and one lesson in my home. On Mondays I teach from 3:15-6:30 and on Fridays it is 3:30-5:30. Each parent pays $65 for a 45 minute lesson, split between two children. That may sound like a lot...but it is $65 for the ENTIRE MONTH. I tried to do the math, and I think I get paid about $7 an hour. That is somewhat depressing. Back home I charged $40 an hour...per lesson....per kid. I never did group lessons and they had to practice, or I would drop them. Things are a little different here. The parents don't care if the kid doesn't practice. I've had one mother tell me that her daughter doesn't have time to practice. I told her it was a waste of time to teach her then if she isn't going to practice. She said the last piano teacher didn't tell her that, so maybe it was me. *sigh* wow.

I also have a couple of brother/sister teams. They gang up on me and make fun of 1. How fast I talk. 2. That I am from California. 3. That I've lived in the snow (some students have a hard time believing me about that...) and 4. I have red hair. I have one student who is constantly petting my head. Bizarre...

All in all, the lessons are feeling like a success. They are slowly progressing and the ones who practice are actually getting better (imagine that!). They do say the funniest things to me, though, example:

Me: Okay, Kishon (a boy), you have to play middle C first, for two beats. Do you see that? That is a half note.
Kishon: No, it's not.
Me: Yes, it is. A half note is an empty note with a stem. Remember? We talked about this...
Kishon: How do I know you're telling me the truth?
Me: What???
Kishon: You could be lying to me.
Me: Why would I lie to you?? I'm supposed to be teaching you!
Kishon: Maybe....we'll see....

Ha! It was very funny :) If he makes a mistake he always stops and goes, "Okay wait...wait.....wait......*thinking* Okay....wait....." Ha! It is very funny :) Example 2:

Jhuwon: I practiced a lot this week!
Khrystal (his sister: No you didn't!
Jhuwon: Yes, I did! Khrystal, Shut up!
Me: Jhuwon, did you really practice?
Jhuwon: YES!
Me: Are you lying to me?
Jhuwon: Yes...I mean...okay....I was GOING to practice....
Me: Okay, Jhuwon, thinking about practicing and actually practicing are two different things you know...
Jhuwon: Not always.
Me: *confused* I guess if you're practicing thinking?
Jhuwon: Exactly. You talk too fast.

The lady I teach piano lessons for is super fabulous, though. Her name is Bernadine Van Veen and her husband, Herad, is about a million years old! I can't tell how old she is, though...but she's kind of old, too. She is a sweet little black lady from Holland, and her husband is as white as they come. They are very sweet together. She picks me fruit from her trees and shows them to me. They are very strange fruits. She tells me how to prepare them and even cooked me up a breadfruit once! The most recent fruit was a "sugar apple" Not very good. She also gave me something called a "Sweet Tomato", I think? It looks like a grape tomato, but it grows on a tree and has a REALLY sweet flavor. Very strange! Haha! She was also the one who recommended me to the crazy fruit lady on the side of the road, who definitely has the BEST prices on plantains, avocados, and mangos! She is crazy though! Haha! :) I'll try and snap a picture of her...

Anyway, that is about all for now. So many interesting things happening on the island that I just don't even really notice them anymore! :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kids Do the Darndest things!

Funny stories about Ella :)

Story #1 - Keep in mind that Ella doesn't really talk yet. She says a few words, but no sentences or anything.
This morning, Tom was trying to discipline Ella by saying, "Ella, I'm the boss!" So then I say, "Ella...who's the boss?" And she points to herself! Ha! It was so funny! :)

Story #2
Ella has a bad habit of going through all the CD cases, emptying the CD's out, or putting them in the Wii (Yes, she is WAY too smart). She always gets in trouble for doing that, so I don't know why she keeps doing it! We usually put her in time out or something. So this evening, Ella pulls out the basket with all the DVD's and Tom says, "Ella...don't you touch those! Put those back!" She looks up...waves to him and says, "Bye...bye...." telling him to go away! Ha! It was so funny!! :D Silly girl is getting too smart for her own good.

We think she said her first sentence today, "I want more." Interesting...I wonder what this says about her personality!? This could be good...or bad...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My busy child! :)

So Ella is getting bigger and bigger every day, of course. And she is getting busier and busier...and faster and faster....and noisier and noisier! Ha!

This is her playing "monkey" and climbing all over everything.

This is her just out of the bath. She is kind of making a goofy-lookin' face, but ya know...sometimes kids look silly :)
Now she is giving her "seducing" stare. :) Ha! I love it!
She often likes to empty her toy bucket and then sits in it and plays with her toys inside the bucket. It is pretty funny :)

Silly girl. Still no talking. She says a few words like, "Puppy" "baby" "Momma" "Da-" and "Car" "Boat" "Bye" "Hi", but no sentences...still patiently waiting... :)

Book Review

Yep! It's that time again - another Book Review Post!

You may wonder where I find all this time to read so many books, well, the answer is simple:

1. I am an astoundingly fast reader
2. I live on a tropical island with nothing to do.
3. My child likes to play by herself, giving me a lot of time to myself.

So yeah, here are my most recent reads:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. My next book club book. Yes, the title is a mouthful, but it is REALLY good! It takes place during World War II, and I sort of thought it was going to be another holocaust book, but it isn't. It takes place in England during the occupation. The Potato Peel Pie society is an underground "book" club that takes care of each other. The whole book is written in letters and notes. It is a really quick and fun read. There are parts that I literally laughed out loud, and that is hard to do in a book that takes place during a war!

Year of Wonders. Very interesting book. It is about a woman living in England when the plague breaks out. There are some slow parts of this book, but overall it was very interesting. It helps you get a look into the every day activities of an individual during that time period. Some of the characters are very superstitious, others are fanatically religious, etc. This book also helps you appreciate being born in this day and age because woooooweeee! Let me tell you about hygiene! Haha! A quick read.

The Red Tent. Wow. Very fast read. VERY interesting. This is the story of Jacob and his sons (yes, from the Bible) from the point of view of his only daughter, Dinah. It is about all the women in that group: Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, etc. I really enjoyed this book. There are some pretty risque parts, so you can just skim over that, but overall it was really well written. I don't necessarily agree with everything the author is suggesting, but some of it really makes you think. Another book that helps you appreciate living now! Haha! It is cool to finish this book and then read Genesis chapters 28-34. It definitely makes you think.... :)

The Weight of Silence. Just a random book I picked out from Costco when I was home. Another quick read. The book is written like The Poisonwood Bible, where each chapter is from a different point of view. This was a quick read, but it was just okay. A lot of the plot was predictable, but I did like the different points of view. The plot is that there are two girls, best friends, who go missing. The one girl, Callie, doesn't speak because she was traumatized as a child, but no one really can figure out why she doesn't talk. So they go missing, and it is all the different people around them trying to find them and deal with it. The ending is pretty good, even though some of it is predictable. A fast read, even though it is kind of long.

Shanghai Girls. Boo. I did NOT like this book. I kept thinking it was going to get better and better and it never did! Normally I like Lisa See, but this one was a huge downer! NOTHING good happens! It is about these two sisters who get sold off as wives to these two guys that are moving to San Fransisco and all their adventures. The only cool thing about this book is that the whole book is written from the older sisters point of view, so she assumes things that are incorrect. It is interesting to have a book where the narrator is false in her assumptions. So that was interesting. Other than that, I could've done without this book.

Woo! Another Wheel of Time book! This one started out REALLY slow and it took me quite a while to get into it, but man...once it gets going, it REALLY gets going! Again, another fabulous book from this series :)

The Alchemist. Very interesting and deep. It is sort of like The Shack, where it is somewhat mystical and religious. The story is about a young boy trying to find "treasure" and his life that he builds around that. It is all about self discovery and inner truth. I really liked it. It is really short, but not a very quick read. You have to sit and think about what the author is telling you. Again, I don't necessarily agree with all of its ideas, but it does make you think :)

Okay, that is all the books I've read in the past month or so...I'm not sure when the next book review post is coming, so keep an eye out! :) Haha!