Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mother's treats

I sometimes hide my treats or sneak a treat in just so I don't have to share with the kids. Is this something that all mother's do, or am I just selfish with my treats?

Our swimming pool

Monday's and Thursday's we are allowed to use the University Club's pool and it is something we always look forward to. The pool is great and the location awesome. Eliza is learning to swim really well and of course Fenton is right behind here. There are 2 pools, one for the little kids and one for the adults and it is the biggest one on the island. It has a large tree on one side so it can provide shade. It is right next to the beach so if they get bored swimming they can go play in on the beach. There are hammocks and kayaks to use. We order drinks and sip it next to the pool. It is quite an escape from the heat and humidity. Here are just a few pictures to make you jealous.

David is 30

David turned 30 last week and he celebrated all week. On Monday we had a special breakfast and dinner and opened a present. Then on Saturday we had a party for him and another student that had a birthday that week also. It was a pretty fun party. We had quite a few friends come and the kids just went wild. We had treats and balloons and then we played some games from "minute to win it". I wanted to make David's 30th special, even if he was studying all of the time. We are still waiting for a package for the rest of David's presents.
This is how David's spent a lot of the party,,,watching college football on the computer, exactly where he wanted to be.
Happy 30th David and I am glad that you have joined my generation!!!!

bouncing off walls

Fenton is full of energy and he is always running around or jumping off things, or just jumping. He has reached his terrible two's for sure. He is potty training and doing quite well. Diapers are super expensive so I wanted to potty train as soon as possible. I am hoping I survive till he reaches 3. Here is a quick video of him flipping. He sure is a dare devil.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pirate Ship

The Saturday after David's exams we were able to go on a pirate ship to Flamingo bay. There were about 70 other students and their families on the boat. We had a great time. There were drinks and a few snacks and lots of chatting with others.
It was a true pirate ship from about the 1700's with sails and everything. They had a plank to walk, a rope swing and 4 cannons that they fired. When we got to the cove we jumped off the side and swam. It was a bit choppy that day and about 10 people got truly sick on the boat, but we did fine.
It was a fun way to spend our morning with David and the kids and an experience that we probably won't ever have again. Argh, avast ye matie!!

Airplane, takeoff landing

Fenton loves airplanes and David's school is right next to the runway so some days we go see the 737 take off and Fenton loves it. In the picture you can see the runway in the back, but you can see how happy Fenton is just to see the big plane.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Real life in Grenada

To begin, I would just like to say that this is neither supposed to be complaining nor bragging, but just a document of life in Grenada, for my benefit in the future, so I won't forget the little details of living here. It is also quite long, just a warning.
Grenada is hot and humid. It doesn't get much over 88 degrees but it doesn't drop much below 80 degrees, even at night. It is humid! I have lived in Charleston and it was hot and humid there too, even hotter than here, but at least you had the comfort of your own home with AC running 24/7. Here it is a luxury to have AC. We have it in only the two bedrooms which we find solace in at night and during naps. It is quite a refuge for me to know that though I may be sitting all day in my sticky sweaty body, I know that at night I get to take a shower and sleep in my air conditioned bedroom, as do my children. It does cost us a pretty penny to even run it at those limited times, but that is our choice of luxury on this island. But please do not forget how hot, humid and uncomforable it is.
Water. Water here is fine when you have it. The island turns of the water at various times during the day and I rely on the reserve tanks that we have. This is fine except when it comes to taking showers. The only water pressure that exists then is from gravity from wherever your water tank is, thus not causing enough pressure to even come out of the shower head. We have had nights where we can bearly get a trickly out of the shower head and let the tub run for 30 minutes just to get enough water in it to take a bath and get relief from the stickiness. We also have the luxury of hot water, but his also has a twist. The hot water consists of a switch outside of the shower and it heats the water at the head of the shower. I have been shocked a few times, not too bad. You have no choice of temperature, whatever the heat element is doing to the water is the temperature of water you get, sometimes too hot, sometimes not very hot. Then of course you need to turn off the heater before you turn off the water so you don't burn out the element, which is just messy and not convenient. I am not complaining because quite honestly cold showers are exactly what I am looking forward to after a hot sticky day.
Washing clothes. We luckily do have a washing machine but sadly no drier. The washing machine is hooked up to some wattage thing that keeps running to suck enough power out so the washing machine can work, until I turn it off. I only tell you this because I can't just put a load in in the morning and leave to go swimming for a few hours because even though the washing machine is finished, the power is still being sucked out, and power is a high commodity on the island. So when I put in a load I need to stay near for 30-45 minutes until the load is done so I can turn off the converter and hopefully save a little energy. No big deal, just something I need to be aware of. Then of course comes the drying. I have to hang each individual piece out on the line and then wait all day hoping that it doesn't rain so that I can have clean underwear to wear the next day. The commercials that claim drying by the sun leaves a nature feeling and smell of the sun are lieing. Clothes are not soft and fluffy and then just smell of the island, which I would never want to bottle and sell. Again not too bad, but I do miss a drier that I could just throw all of the clothes in, in a pile, not individually, and then it would be dry, fluffy and smell super clean in 50 minutes.
The bugs. There are ants and I hate them. It took me a couple of weeks to figure out how to combat them, but I am getting better. They come back every 10 days, but I do my best at killing them. I see their little scouts all over trying to find their next treasure to feast around. This has also caused me to try to be cleaner. I have tried to tidy up and keep surfaces clean and keep to eating only in the kitchen and dining room. I hate co-habitating with bugs.
Outside there are catipillars everywhere which I don't mind but the kids love. They pick them up and race them, squish them and step on them. There are really large catepillars (refer to previous blog) which are quite unique. There are butterflies everywhere. It is kind of cool to walk down our little road and see so many butterflies and the kids go wild. It is like our own little butterfly sanctuary. There are crazy looking spiders but nothing too bad. The concern I have the most is with the mosquitoes. They are pretty bad right now because of the rainy season. When we first got here the kids and I got eaten up. Our poor little legs had bites all over them but it has decreased dramatically since we have been here. We still get a few, but somehow our bodies do not react as badly too them. The concern I have is Dengue fever. It is found rampant here right now. I know af probably 10 people that have gotten it and it can be quite delapidating. It is a mosquito born virus that causes a temperature of 104-105. It usually knocks you out for 3-5 days, sometimes longer. Generally the body can fight it over time, but there have been a few fatal cases on the island, so I am super concerned. I wish I could let the kids play outside without worry, but I am worried and I lather up and the kids up with insect repellant and pray that it works.
The road up to our house is quite trecherous for about 20 feet, up a pretty steep hill with large crevices on both sides. I am quite the skilled driver to manuever up the hill every day. Again it is only 20 feet, but if done incorrectly could be quite damaging to our car. Which I am very thankful for that I have. I have a car! I love the freedom, I love that it has AC. I love the I don't have to have the kids in their seats if I am only going 300 yards to the beach, (although most times I do).
Grocery shopping. I can find my peanut butter, doritos, oreos, Lucky Charms and of course root beer. The hard part is that it doesn't always have what you need. I have only seen bananas 2 times, and of course have bought about 4 bunches. Milk is a commodity that generally only comes on Friday so I have to make sure to plan our milk supply. It hasn't been too bad lately. The meat is ok, if you look for the good meat. Bread is not always available and just to finish, it is expensive. Almost double what I would pay in the states for my grocery bill. At first it was difficult and really bothered me to buy certain items, but I get used to spending $5 for one bunch of grapes. It is quite difficult to find general things on the island, clothes, shoes, toes, kids stuff, so I generally get things online and have my parents send it. So shopping isn't enjoyable here nor can I do comparable shopping, if I find something I like, or even resembles something that I could like, I buy it because I am not going to find it anywhere else on the island, and there are no bargains.
My life. I have tried to get a good schedule here for me and the kids. Monday and Thursday is pool day and the University club and I love it. It has 2 pools, a tree by one so you can be in the shade, a bar and grill so you can order a drink or some fries, right next to the beach with hammocks, chairs and kayaks for our use and a beautiful view. It is quite the luxury spot. I will post some picture later. The kids love it and love it more when their friends show up.
Tuesday is playgroup at a tiny park. Wednesday and Friday are their preschool days and they love it. I love it. I get 4 hours in the morning to clean, do laundry, read, and even excercise. I have access to a gym on campus and it is a nice distraction for me to do the eliptical.
There is a group here called the significant others group, or SO which is for the wives, husbands, boyfriends, ect of students here and they plan activities so they are not bored. I have made some good friends through that and the kids have found their best friends and that has been fun to play with them. With this lifestyle, though my hair isn't done or I don't wear makeup, I do have quite a nice tan, as do my kids. I don't even work on my tan. We wear SPF 50 everyday but still I get some sun and I don't ever burn so it is quite a nice side effect. Fenton has bleach blonde hair, Eliza has bright blonde streaks and my hair is getting lighter, yet with some red in it.

I wear a swimsuit nearly every day. I don't do my hair except on Sunday and generally it is some sort of braid and if you know me and my humidity, I have the crown of fuzz around the crown of my head, which is always attractive. I don't wear makeup because I am in the water at some point during the day, but on Sunday's I wear makeup. I feel like it melts off my face within the first 30 minutes because the only room that has AC is the sacrement room. I am in the nursery for the 1st hour, then I teach gospel doctrine the 2nd hour, which is in the sacrement room, so that is nice. I have enjoyed teaching, not because I am a great teacher, but because I have had to really study the old testament stories to try to find the things to teach. I have learned a lot and have enjoyed this experience.
the TV. We didn't have tv when we first got here but we purchased one at a yard sale for $20 and we knew that we were taking our chances on if it would work for us. It was great, for about a week, then it died. We loved watching DVD's on it and playing the Wii for that one week. After about 2 weeks of the tv being in the shop, they decided that they couldn't fix it so we bought a new tv. Nothing fancy, 21 inch but it plays DVDs and the Wii. Sadly I blew the fuse to the Wii, again so that part is on order but we will enjoy that luxury once again.
When I came down here I was so excited to make smoothies every day with fresh mangoes in my new Magic bullet. Well it is NOT that magic. After about 4 weeks of use the motor blew and quite honestly I wasn't that impressed, but I was kind of disappointed.
This is real life in Grenada. A great place to visit and vacation and quite an experience for us.


Eliza has been asking A LOT of questions lately but here are just 2 of my favorite.

Eliza "Mom, are we going to keep Fenton"
Me "what do you mean? when the baby comes?"
Eliza "yeah, when the baby comes are we going to keep Fenton".

Eliza "why hasn't Fenton turned into a girl yet?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My back yard

So living in a tropical island, our backyard is quite full of tropical fruits. It is quite entertaining to have so many fruit trees that I will never have again. We have 5 mango trees, a cherry tree, a green orange tree, lime tree, a guava tree and a noni tree. For those of you not familiar with noni it is a rare fruit that the juice is sold as a cure-all in the States. It is the weird looking white fruit.
Sadly I am not very good at keeping up with all of the fruit or using it properly, or even at all.
We made some guacamole with fresh lime which was nice. I always cut up the mangoes and freeze the fruit for smoothies later, but the rest I don't use. I tried the guava and it turns out that you can't eat the seeds and they feel like gravel, and the green oranges, I never know if they are ripe, and they are not very juicy.
So that is just a little of my backyard here in Grenada.