Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Current Activities...

So I thought I would give a little general update on our various activities...


Tom just finished his fourth semester of school! WOO! He had two classes this semester: Physiology 2 and Pathology 2. He passed both classes! YAY! :) We have two more semesters on the island. YAY! :) The program is normally a five semester program, but when Tom's dad died, he missed a week of school, and had to take a block exam a week after the funeral...he didn't do so well on it, so he had to retake a class....resulting in an extra semester on the island. He missed it by one question...but we don't really talk about it ;) So instead of "having" to stay on the island...we have the "opportunity" to stay on the island! Ha! Silver lining, right?? :)

AAANYWAY, next semester he will be taking Pharmacology, Behavioral Science, ICM (which is like patient interviewing skills) and Neurology. Should be pretty exciting! :)

He is also currently serving as both the Assistant Ward Clerk and the 1st Counselor in the Elders Quorum Presidency in our ward. He is trying really hard to get inactive members to come back to church, but it is difficult. It is hard to find them, too, when their addresses are: "Take your first left after the grocery store, go down three vacant lots until you see the house with the chickens in the front yard, turn up the path on your right, go to the third building, go up those stairs, and its the fourth door on your left." gets tricky...and in scary areas! So he leaves a lot of that up to the missionaries :) I don't blame him! Ha! He is also trying to get the ward members to actually accept callings. They can't even get someone to ring the 5 minute bell! Apparently that is too much responsibility *sigh* Welcome to the Caribbean branches! Ha!

That's about all that is new with Tom. His brother, Sam, went into the MTC today, though! He is serving in the Keiv, Ukraine mission. He'll be in the MTC for 12 weeks learning Ukrainian. CRAZY. Tom's mom is moving to St. Lucia next week for medical school, too! We are going next Sunday to visit her and help her set up down there. Should be exciting! We're kind of disappointed we didn't go home, though....we really miss America *sigh*. But that's okay...nothing we can do about that now! :D


Let's see....I'm no longer Spouses Organization President. I did it for two semesters and woowee! It was a lot of work! We did a lot of fundraisers, a lot of holiday activities, and a lot of various activities. I know it doesn't sound like a lot...but things aren't really easy on this island in general, so just finding ICE for the fundraisers was sometimes quite a feat! There are good things and bad things about being Spouses Pres. though. It was really fun to get to know all the girls and try and help different people get situated and help make everyone feel welcome. But at the same time, I felt like I was trying so hard to be people's friends...that I wasn't anyones friend! This isn't a pity party, it was just a weird I know everyone....but I don't really get invited to anything. It's not a big deal, so you girls who are reading this....don't worry! It was just kind of weird. Oh well! Hopefully that will change though since I won't be in charge anymore! :) It was really fun planning activities though and getting clubs started and going to lots of different things! I also really enjoyed the SGA meetings! They were SO interesting! Ha! All the inner workings of AUC...very interesting..... :) I will be sad not to go to those anymore! I'm also looking forward to going to activities that I don't have to do anything for! Ha! I can show up when I want...and leave when I want! Yaay! :)

I'm still the seminary teacher for church. It is getting a little frustrating, though. I mean, its always been a little frustrating, but now it is worse! Since the lesson on the law of chastity, my class has diminished greatly in size! I only had 6 I only have 2 coming! Apparently some kids just can't handle the truth! Haha! I hope they come back, though. We don't have seminary for a couple weeks because they are out of school for hopefully they come back afterwards! It is fun to teach them, but frustrating because of their confused ideas...oh well...

I'm teaching piano lessons in Sucker Garden, too. I teach two days a week and have seven students, and maybe more in the next couple weeks. I give half hour lessons to kids ages 5-12. It is really fun :) Some of the lessons are frustrating because the kids don't practice and I teach them the same thing every week, but other lessons are so fun! It is so exciting watching some of my students progress! They all have really unique names, too! Jhuwan and Krystal (siblings), Dejah and Jahde (sisters), Niama, Janelle, and then Ryan. None of them are from St. Maarten, either. They were all born on other islands....lived in the States....and are now here! Crazy. :)

I'm also giving a concert in a couple weeks down in Philipsburg at the Belair Community Center. I am accompanying an opera singer, La Vaune, and Jesse Cotrell on the violin. I will be playing some of my own compositions, too. I'm a little nervous because some of the opera pieces are REALLY difficult....hopefully I don't mess up big time! Haha! I hope a lot of people's a lot of work and then its frustrating if no one shows up, ya know?? Oh well....I'm excited 'cause my mom and sister are coming down for a week, too! YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!! I am SO excited I get to see Angela before she leaves on her mission! She is going to Asuncion, Paraguay and I thought I wasn't going to see her before she leaves, but she's coming to see me! YAAAAAY!!!! :D I'm a little case you couldn't tell!

That's about all that is new with me....

Well, let's see. What's new with Ella....well....she likes to scream, but that's not really a new thing! I think she is frustrated that I can't tell what she is saying! She babbles all the time and tries to explain things to me, but then screams when I don't get it! She is very particular about what she wants, too! Ha! She is really smart and is always getting into things! She likes to empty out drawers, baskets, toy buckets, pretty much anything that CAN be emptied....she empties! She likes to help me put away the laundry, though...but then slowly pulls everything back out of the drawers! She LOVES being outside and really likes the swing at the playground at the school. She loves her shoes and is always getting them and making me put them on her, even if she is just wearing a diaper! She also likes getting mine and Tom's shoes and walking around the house in them. It is very funny :) She likes cheeseburgers, NOT chicken nuggets when we go out to eat. She is totally addicted to her bottle and LOVES milk and apple juice. We give her a bottle at nap time and at church....or in the car....pretty much whenever we need her to be quiet! Terrible, I know! She is learning to use her silverware and likes to play with her fork and spoon. She likes to drink out of cups and water bottles, but can't quite do it on her own yet. She also likes to get water bottles and spill them on the floor and play in the water. She loves the pool and SCREAMS when we have to get out of the water! She still watches Enchanted a lot, but we have moved on to Little Mermaid and Cinderella as new favorites. She does NOT like Robin Hood or Jungle Book. She likes to look at books, but doesn't sit still long enough for me to read an entire one to her :) She loves her stuffed lion and stuffed duck. And she likes to push the button on the elevator. She knows most of her body parts, like when we say, "where's your nose?" she points to her nose, her teeth, tummy, belly button, toes, cheeks, ears, hair, fingers, arms, etc. She also shrugs her shoulders when you ask her a question. It is very cute :) Her newest trick is that she will put her hands on her tummy and go "Ha ha ha!" or "Ho Ho ho!" It's really funny :)

Well....that's about it. It's slowing down on the island and getting into low season, so that's nice. Not as many bridge openings, not as many tourists....but hotter and less wind....which is too bad. It is starting to rain more, too, which means more flooding on the golf course. Groceries and gas are expensive as ever, but right now we have a smaller car while our big car is in the shop, so it gets better gas mileage :) So that's good!

We leave for St. Lucia in a few days, so I'll post pictures fo that when we get back! Anyway...that's about all for us. I'm wondering: does anyone have any questions about the island? What do my faithful readers want to know about??? :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Okay, these pictures are a little out of order because I am having issues with my blogpage. Sorry :) So we'll go backwards!

Easter Sunday we decided to invite all the other LDS couples over for dinner after church. It was really nice to have such a big group of people over for Easter. It made it feel like family! :) We had lots of good food! I was in charge of the main dish: ham. Tom and I drove all over this island trying to find a bone in, spiral ham! We couldn't find anything even close! The closest we got was a picnic ham, shoulder. NOT THE SAME! So we ended up getting a really big deli ham. It was still good, but not a spiral ham *sigh* It still cost $40 too!! For six pounds of ham! AAH!

The other couples provided the rest of the meal: chicken drumsticks, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, oreo cake, chocolate cake, jello, and green beans! Mmm....dinner was very appetizing :)

Ha! I just realized that Alicia, Hetal, and I are all wearing striped shirts! And Matt! Ha! I love it :)

Saturday morning we had a Spouses Org Easter party! It was very cute :) We invited all the husbands and kids and had an Easter egg hunt and decorated easter eggs with crayons! :) The kids got the biggest kick out of the Easter egg hunt! We had to be careful that the older kids didn't get them all before the little kids!
Here's Ella finding the eggs! She was thrilled that she could open them and spill them....not so much that they had candy :)

This is a fuzzy picture, but she was looking for the eggs :) Sort of...

Here are my Easter cupcakes and some peeps! I'm not the biggest fan of peeps....but ya know...its kind of an Easter staple!

Here is our Easter spread! Lots of yummy brunch food :) It wasn't a very long party, but it was still fun to get together with a lot of the girls and just talk. We could also sit and admire our lovely painting job on the playground ;) Very bright. Ella LOVES the swing, too. Dad played with her for a long time on it! She definately didn't get sick of it! Ha!

I don't have any pictures of Ella in her Easter dress, but I'll take some the next time she wears it. She has been REALLY difficult lately on Sundays. She wakes up really early, adn then is really cranky by the time we have to leave to go to church. That means she is cranky and fussy the whole time at church. *sigh* I wish I had someone to sit in nursery with me. Actually, I wish I didn't have to sit in nursery. I wish my daughter could just be satisfied with a coloring book and some treats! But no...she likes to scream, and wiggle, and run, and climb, and push the chairs around. Ugh. I wish we had pews....

Anyway, the end of the semester is here and we're going to St. Lucia for a week! I'll have a post about that for sure!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ella's First Hair Cut....*sniff*

It was a sad day in the Penrose home.....Ella had to have her hair cut. It was getting very "mullet-ish". So I pulled out the kitchen shears and had a go at her hair! It was very tricky because she definately did NOT want to hold still and I didn't have good scissors! They were huge! haha! :) I did the best I could and it ended up being a little shorter than I planned...but thats okay :) Here are some pictures...

So cute! She looks like such a big girl now! Okay, she looks a little dazed in this picture, but it really does look cute :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Party!


Things I like about Easter:

1. Good food.
2. Good candy. (I like fruity candy...not so much chocolate candy)
3. Good church service.
4. Days off from school!

Here on the island, everything shuts down on Good Friday. It was a little obnoxious since I needed cupcake tins, but that's okay...we did without :) Friday morning we went over to church for their annual Good Friday breakfast. It is always a little weird, since it is the locals cooking it. But it wasn't too bad this year: pancakes, fruit, keishish-stuff, scones, and then this weird saltfish/fruit mixture....ew....not so much. :) It is fun to see the ward members outside of church. They are so funny and just think we are all so funny! I told Sister Lake that I had breadfruit for the first time this week and all the little old ladies started laughing! :) They thought it was funny I'd never had it! Ha! :)

Friday night we went to a little party thingie at Bamboo Bernies so Tom could get a certificate for being a T.A. for anatomy for two semesters. He's done it for three. They called out a bunch of names....but not HIS! UGH! Stupid Dr. Nash forgot to get him a certificate!! EW! I swear....things like that only happen to Tom! What are the chances that out of aaaaaalllllll the people who got certificates, that TOM was the one who got MISSED! ARGH! STUPID PEOPLE! So...I'm giving a shout out to Tom: YAY FOR TOM!!! :D I'm proud of you for T.A.'ing so well! You are so smart and I'm so proud of you! YAY!

So yeah...we left the stupid party early. But I did have a virgin was REALLY good. I recommend it :) Drinks were on the house, so we experimented a bit with the virgin drinks. Mmmm....

Saturday morning we had a Spouses Org Easter Party! My second to last event for the Spouses Org *siiiiigh* :) We hid a ton of plastic easter eggs and colored some hard boiled eggs with crayons. Thank you to Laura O. for boiling the eggs and bringing the crayons! Thank you to Jill for getting ice and helping with all the eggs and stuff! Thank you to Sharill for bringing the iced coffee that kept everyone awake! :) Ha!

Anyway, it was cute! We had most of the kids there and they got the biggest kick out of the Easter egg hunt! :) And when decorating the eggs, the boys definately got creative. They decorated some like pirates and the monster from Monsters Vs. Aliens! Haha! So funny! :) It was a pretty good turn out: good food. Good company. Good weather. We did it out by our newly painted playground ;) See previous post!

Tonight Tom and I are going out for a night on the town! Haha! Yes....that means its Burger King night with Ella! WOO!! :) Hahaha! It's the little things you have to find happiness from ;) Then we are going to watch Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I hope it is good!

Tomorrow we are having some couples over for Easter dinner. I couldn't find a bone in ham, though :( So I had to buy a big deli ham. I hope it works okay. They had pork shoulder, like a picnic ham...but I did some research and it is NOT the same thing! You have to boil a picnic ham first....THEN bake it. yeah...wish me luck with my deli ham!

Sorry there aren't any pictures on this post...I'm so bad at remembering to take pictures! :(

Service Project

Okay, for those of you who know me....I'm not really one who is super into doing service projects. I don't like sweating, so that cuts out quite a few of them, and I have an attitude that is sort of like, "If its not broke, don't fix it!" Ha!

So some of you will be greatly surprised to see the work we did with the AUC Playground. It's actually a funny story. As the Spouses Organization President, we have raised around $1800 over two semesters of fund raising. That is just from burrito sales and stuff! Anyway, I thought about it and was like, "What could we spend that money on that is worth while?...I know! Let's make over the playground!" So I started getting estimates on paint, supplies, etc. and started emailing around the people I would need to get permission from. When I emailed Heath, the SGA President, about it, he said, "Oh, I think Matt Broge is doing something like that already." I was like, "oh?" So I emailed him, and sure enough! He had all the supplies already lined up and was getting the school to pay for it! AWESOME! He just said that it would be a great help if some of the spouses could come help paint! WELL OF COURSE! So here are some before and after pictures:

There was a lot of damage done to it from the last hurricane season...but it was still really ugly...had a lot of splinters coming out....had three very unsafe swings...and the metal slides are peeling....yes...peeling metal. Not very safe.

Here we are getting started! WOO!

So bright eyed and bushy tailed! We started scraping/painting at 9:00a.m. and it took us SEVERAL days to finish it because only a handful of spouses actually came out and helped. I am giving a shout out to them right now: Melinda, Hanna, Jill, Meagan (who babysat the kiddos, which was AWESOME), Sharill, Jen D., Adrienne, Ronda, Ang, Kathy, Ashley, Camille, yeah...I think that is it. PLEASE EMAIL ME IF I MISSED YOU so I can put your name up here, too :) I'm a little disappointed that we didn't get more spouses out there. We even bribed them with Subway for lunch one day. But oh well - it got finished and that is what is important!

I also want to give a separate shout out to Matt - WOO MATT! He was there every day from 9-5 making seesaws, fixing the roofs, sanding things so they weren't a hazard, and doing general maintenance on the whole thing! He also installed a new infant swing and ordered new swings! WOO! So yeah...GO MATT! :)
Lookin' good!!!


Yes. I am very proud of it. I feel bad 'cause I had to bail out early most of the days so Ella could take a nap before ICM. I know that sounds like a lame excuse....but I wasn't trying to be lame! :( I also got a really bad migraine one of the mornings. Gosh...I'm so lame!! Sorry for being so lame!!!!!

Aaaaaanyway, only one more week of being Spouses Pres! WAHOO! :) I'll put a post about that later, though. It deserves its own post :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Super cute baby giveaway!

I copied this from one of my friends sites, Thanks Nicki! :)

A lady from her hometown makes and sells these super cute diaper bags, makeup cases, and little girl purses!

She's having a giveaway on her blog where if you win, you get to pick any one item from her Etsy site. Here's her blog address to read the rules and enter:

And here's her Etsy site, so you can look at all the cute things she makes:

Go check it out! You're bound to fall in love with everything you see!

Oh, ps - you have until midnight Thursday April 9th to enter.