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." Yeah...it 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 thing....like 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 students...now 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 Carnival...so 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 come....it'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 excited...in 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??? :)