Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Our October

As usual I've let a bit of time slip away so I apologize if this post becomes long and well, a bit boring. Hmmm, where to begin...Several weeks ago I wrote this entry and then just never got around to actually posting it, so you are getting the story late, but just for fun here is what I wrote...

As children many of us might of feared going to bed at night because we were certain there was a montser waiting under the bed or hiding in our closet. Well this fear became reality the other day when we found a monster hiding in the drapes. This monster happened to be a five inch centipede, INSIDE my house people! After finding said monster I grabbed Emma jumped up in a chair and demanded that Jerod get it out of my house! As Jer was chasing him around the living room with a strainer and cup (didn't want to spray everything we own with pesticide) Emma was gently patting my arm as we leaped from chair to chair saying, "Mommy, it's not scawy, it's not scawy!" I on the other hand was yelling, "just get him" and "tell me when it's over." Jerod was laughing and saying it's not like it's a venomous snake. To me, it might as well have been a grizzly bear because I was terrified.

I am usually rational when it comes to bugs. I am the one who calmly tells my friend Ashley to pull over and take a deep breath when we discover a golfball size spider on the windshield. I am also the one who still has the courage to run up the bug covered steps at night and unlock the door when Ash and I return home from our workout. However, let me tell you a little something about centipedes. They are poisonous, fast, and aggresive and knowing this makes me hate them! I would have much rather seen a 5 inch cockroach on my bed! I did however manage to relax enough to take this picture. Yesterday, and thankfully, the bug killer man and his team came to spray. Goodbye ants, cockroaches, wood beetles, millipedes, and most importantly centipedes. I know I live in the jungle but monster bugs and I are just not meant to coexist!

Okay now that I FINALLY have that story of my chest I can blog about the rest of October's adventures. First we were super excited that my mom, stepdad, and little brother came for a visit. Overall they loved the sea, disliked most of the food, and could not understand the narrow, crappy roads. My sentiment exactly! We had fun showing them around, getting to try a few new restraunts (with actual yummy food), and visiting a few sights we haven't seen yet. Hanging with them was a welcomed break from my normal island routine and I was happy to have them around, even if it was just for 1 week. Thanks for a great time Family! Here's a few pictures taken at Belmont Estates (they produce cocoa beans here).

My Brother and I "walking the chocolate"

Emma enjoying the cocoa tea (hot chocolate)

Eating Lunch at Belmont Estates. Nice face Tanner!
Also, at my request, Grandma Susan brought Emma a snorkel not believing she could actually use it. The smallest they make them are for 5 year olds afterall. Yes people, my 2 year old can snorkel! It scares me half to death but it is easy to hear her breathing through the tube.

After my fam left, Jer and I got to stay at an amazing resort called Mount Cinnamon for the weekend. A long awaited and late celebration of our anniversary. Thanks to Blair and Ashley for staying overnight with Emma! I think she had just as much fun as we did. Here is a  few pictures of the resort.

Picture of our suite

Emma showering in the rain shower. She thought this was so much fun!
Lastly, Halloween was very different this year, but fun nontheless. The grenadians do not celebrate Halloween however, the SO (significant others) Organization held what they called A "Fall Festival" the Friday before. The kids got to trick or treat on campus, play games, eat treats, jump in bouncy houses, and make Halloween crafts. Emma dressed as a bumble bee and was oh so cute! She didn't understand though, why if her costume had wings she couldn't really fly. When I first put it on her she started to cry and when I asked why she kept saying, "I wanted to fy, I wanted to fy!"

Trick or Treating on Campus. Emma looks a little concerned about what candy she will get!
Making a pumpkin mask with Vanessa

So that's about it, that was our October!  Happy belated Halloween everyone!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Crazy & Cute, What a Combination!

I have been a bit ill which has officially caused me to lose my mind! I figure that if I can make fun of myself  instead of getting upset it will help me get through all of the crazy things I have done lately. Majorie Hinckely once said, "The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefet to laugh, crying gives me a headache." Here's what I've done so far that has cause me to laugh and maybe cry just a little...

1. Atleast 5 times a day I say words in a sentence backwords, or say words the wrong way all together

2. I put the milk jug away in a cupboard rather than in the fridge where it obviously belongs

3. I set the television remote in the wall cradle for the A/C remote, and put the A/C remote on top of
    the TV (We didn't even notice this until it was getting hot and time for some cool air.)

4. I crashed my car into a cement post while pulling into my driveway (already somewhat of a terd on
    wheels, this was still extremely upsetting.)

5. I can't seem to remember anything and put things away without recalling later where I have put them

Now, I don't know if these things were caused by being sick, medication, sleep deprivation, or a combo of the three...or if these are just silly excuses for my foolish behavior, but I'm losing it right? Anyone ever feel this way??

In other news Emma has become a skilled talker and is cracking me up every day. Here's a list of what she has been saying lately...

1. This morning she crept over to the side of my bed and put here face to mine. When I peeled my eyes open she looked at me and exclaimed with a big smile, "Mommy, you waked up. I'm so powd of you!"

2. When she came outside with an ever patient daddy to view the damage to the car she said ""Mommy what happon?" I said, "Mommy broke the car." Then she said, "Oh mommy, I buy you new one k."

3. A few days ago Emma noticed a scratch on my face and said "Mommy I'm sooooo sowwy you hewt yoursewf." She is not quite pronouncing her her L's or R's just yet but this was super sweet of her to say!

4. Whenever she is on the couch she pats the seat next to her and says, "come hit by me." when we correct her and tell her to say "sit by me, I swear it sounds like she says "shit by me!"

5. On a daily basis at some point she tells me, "Mommy, I'm reawwy sad." When I ask why she says with tears in her eyes, "I miss my puppy, I need my keka."

So there you have it, 5 crazy things I've done and 5 cute things Emma has said! Whew, what a week!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Taco Soup in 90 degree Weather!

It occured to me today, as I was simmering taco soup for dinner, why my mom thought it was odd that I wanted to go and get soup in the middle of summer (this was in July, while we were visiting Medford). I remember eating homemade soup on cold, rainy days as a child. Now I'm here, making this large pot of soup in 90 degree weather, where the sun is shining, and the earth surrounding me is green and lush. It's strange to live somewhere where the weather pretty much goes from hot and rainy to hot and dry, and I am missing Fall. I want to put on a sweater and a pair of waist slimming jeans for pete sakes! Instead of stomping my boots in a pile of crisp fall leaves, I am crunching crabs with my tires as I drive-sick and wrong I know, but it sounds awesome! I think Jer might miss the changing seasons a bit too. A few days ago he bought cocoa mix and we both enjoyed a steamy mug of hot chocolate in our humid house! So give fall a kiss for us, and tell him that while he has forgotten to come here I am still trying to pretend he exists!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yoho Yoho a Pirates Life is NOT for me!

Ahoy Matey! This weekend we set sail on a pirate ship with the significant others group at SGU. Emma was extremely excited about going on the ship since she has been asking to go on a boat since we got here. She has never been on a boat before and so I was a little worried about how she might react, but it seems she had a great time.  Immediatly upon boarding she asked for a pirate hat and gun. I on the other hand spent most of the time hiding in the lower deck near the bathroom. Yes people I still have my dignity; I refused to chum water with a few others up above and did my puking in private! I should have known that my stomach would not approve of the swaying ship.  At any rate I survived the excursion and was grateful the rest of my little family had fun. While aboard we dressed as pirates for pictures, drank juice, ate snacks, and shot cannons into the water. The ship also moored at flamingo bay so we could swing from ropes, walk the plank, or climb the ladder for a wavy but refreshing swim.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life Lately

My blog seems to suffer lately due to a severe case of writer's block, or is it because life here finally feels normal? Not much about Grenada shocks me anymore. I'm used to the people, the culture, the lack of inexpensive but tasty restaurants, the crazy bus drivers, men peeing on the side of road, the expensive groceries, the rain coming down in sheets and flooding the streets in just a few minutes, the short banking hours, the sun going down by 6:30pm, having to wear sunscreen and bug spray daily, the sweltering humidity, constantly sweating from said humidity, legs always itching from mosquito bites, pesky ants in my cupboards, swimming at least 4 times a week, craving a smoothie everyday, only wanting to take cold showers, fun Friday nights spent together as a family or with friends, being asked for money everywhere I go, and the rest that living here entails.

 Life just seems to go on as it would at any other time or place. We are completely adjusted to the routine that medical school and living on a tropical island requires. I love being here despite some of  the odd things I've listed above. Living here feels natural, like we've been here a very long time.

Emma doesn't know any different. She is in heaven with the beach or pool as her playground.  She also loves attending the GAP (Grand Anse Playgroup) this term. I'm thrilled that she can finally tell me what she wants to do, Like "mommy, I wanna go wimming." or "I wan go schoo," or "I wan watch a mootee (movie)" or "I wan see Kody and Ayee (Allie)." She doesn't seem, however, to understand why I can't fulfill her almost daily request of "mommy, I wanna go to gammas house day."

For Jerod, time goes by quickly. He is busy of course with school and has already completed 3 classes for term two and is continuing 3 others. Every now and then he squeezes in a game night with friends, a movie, or some beach time with us. Mostly though he's at school listening in lecture or studying. I am proud of his commitment towards success.

As for me, I stay busy keeping Emma entertained, reading books on my new Nook that I never want to put down, watching movies with terrible acting at night with my good friend Ashley, cleaning like crazy, cooking new things, planning activities for young womens with little to no resources, chatting about motherhood and busy husbands with friends at the pool, attempting to burn more fat at SGU's gym, and catching up on my favorite TV shows via the Internet.

So that's it. That's our life lately. Boring as it seems I wouldn't have it any other way, at least for now!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Girls Camp!

If someone asked me 1 year ago if I thought I would be Young Womens President and having girls camp in Grenada I would have responded "Now where would you get such a strange idea as that?" Well here I am exhausted, having just completed camp in the Caribbean with 9 giggly girls. We decided to forgo camping in the wilderness due to mosquito's (dengue fever is going around), rainfall, and lack of available priesthood leaders and "camped out" at my house. It was a miracle that we all fit in my apartment. The theme, chosen by a few of the girls, was "Angels of God." We spent our time swimming, hiking, decorating slippers (flip-flops), scripture reading, sharing our testimonies, and discussing the angelic qualities we can develop in our own lives to be more like the Savior. We had a great time and even though it was a lot of work and planning for me, I learned a few things. Like how to plan for camp at all, that heavenly father truly helps us fulfill our callings, that I can mostly understand the girls Grenadian accent now, that if you ask for it others will gladly help you (thanks Ashley, Kensi, and Jerod), and finally that I love these girls to pieces!

Exfoliating in the Sand
Sister Bhola, my new 1st counselor-she is AWESOME!

Jerod teaching the girls about building a campfire on the beach.
We actually made tinfoil dinners on this fire and they turned out!
Decorating "slippers" with the young women value colors
Building Friendships
This must be how the girls really feel about me!

Finishing Camp with a hike and a swim at the Seven Sisters Waterfalls.
It was a small miracle that we all made it there and back,
I was really proud of the girls!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our Short Summer Story

Well its been over 2 months and I'm FINALLY getting around to updating this here blog. I know, I know some of you are none to happy with me but cut me some slack, we a had a busy summer. Now I have a lot of explaining to do. Our original plan was to remain in Grenada over summer break and we made it to July when some generous family members gave us a little extra cash for school, etc. We then decided to take a much needed trip back to the states. Don' get me wrong, we are loving Grenada but we were definitely ready for a break from the extra rainy days and increase of mosquito's that rainy season brings! So we found a flight and two weeks later, surprise, we were showing up to our families 4th of July party in Utah. Two days later we drove to Oregon, then back to Utah for 2 weeks. Next on the itinerary was a 4 day trip to Bear Lake, after which we went back to Salt Lake and finally headed home to Grenada one week Later! Whew!! We did a lot of traveling but enjoyed every second of family, food, and fun.

While in the states we spent our time shopping, playing, and eating out at our favorite American restaurants. I must of gained at least 10 pounds, all of which I plan to sweat off in Grenada.We were also so excited to be there for the birth of little Elijah, the newest member of our family (my nephew). We fell in love with this little guy and it was hard to leave just 2 weeks after he was born. Emma and I took full advantage of the short time we had with him and were labeled "baby hogs" by the rest of the family.

Now that we are back in Grenada it's back to life as usual. Jerod spends most of his time on campus and Emma and I are back to working on our tans at various pools and beaches. Emma has also gone back to her playgroup twice a week, and it looks like I will be doing some substitute teaching there every once in awhile. It was awesome to be back in the states, but coming home to Grenada reminded me how grateful I am for the carefree and laid back lifestyle that island life lends us.

So there you have it, our entire summer in 3 puny paragraphs! Oh, and I must thank my dear friend Ashley for sharing her blog expertise with me so that our site could be re-designed, you're the best. Happy catching up everyone!

Here's a few photos from our trip to the states

Emma adored her new cousing Eli!

Emma and Daddy turning Uncle Tanner into a "sand lobster!"

Watch out, Emma could hardly turn this thing but LOVED driving it!
Enjoying all our free time together!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sea Turtles, Sand Fleas, and So Much Stuff!

So I'm finally getting around to updating the blog. We have been busy moving into a new apartment, that so far has proven to be a much better place to live. Who knew we had acquired so much stuff in just 5 months in Grenada. This move took a lot of work! At some point I will post some details and pictures of our new place, but for now that can wait. I must write about our turtle excursion this past Sunday.

A few weeks ago we drove almost 2 hours with some friends to the northeastern coast of the island in hopes that we could watch sea turtles lay their eggs. We arrived at 8 pm and waited. We waited for 3 hours and not a single turtle came to shore! Thankfully our guide did not charge us and said to give him a call when we were ready to come back. It was a long drive and a disappointing experience but we decided to try again Sunday evening. Once again our family and our friend Zach as well as his friend Ali arrived at Levera Beach at about 8 pm. Right away we headed to the far end of the beach to see a turtle who was just finishing her task. On the way to that turtle Jerod spotted a Giant turtle coming out of the water right in front of us. We waited there and watched this turtle find the right spot, dig, lay her eggs, and descend back to the water.We even got to touch her after she laid and covered her eggs.

As this turtle was heading back to the water another one came out just a few feet away.  This was a new turtle that has never been tagged and so the guide and research team asked our group what we wanted to name her. Everyone agreed that we should name her after Emma since she was the youngest in the group. So now there is a 5.5 foot long leatherback turtle in the sea named after our little Emma. Pretty Special! When "Emma" began digging to lay her eggs she dug up another nest, breaking eggs with her back flippers and Jerod helped gather the baby turtles so they could be saved. Meanwhile our guide kept filling the hole back in to discourage her from digging any further. Eventually she got frustrated and moved down the beach to another spot. The entire time we were there turtles were coming out of the water to lay eggs. Jerod and Zach were having a competition to see who could spot the most turtles. This was truly one of the most amazing things we have ever done and totally worth the long drive and late night on the beach.

I will however share the down side of the experience, and that was getting eaten alive by sand fleas. Thankfully Emma avoided these nasty insects as she was in our arms most of the time. They come alive at night and because they are so small you hardly know how bad you are getting bitten. The welts they leave show up the next day and the itch is almost unbearable. The worst part is you can't scratch or shave because they scar easily. We did wear bug spray but this was not enough to keep them away and realize now why all the researchers were wearing long pants, jackets, and tube socks. Now my days are spent rinsing with bleach water, feeling loopy from benadryl, and applying calamine lotion to hundreds of the worst bug bites I have ever had. Besides the constant nagging itch and unsightly red welts on my legs, seeing these enormous sea creatures was an experience we will never forget!
Head of the turtle and shell covered in sand
(sorry the pictures are so hard to see, the turtles and only be illuminated
with red light and no flash photography is allowed.)

Jer and Emma touching the turtles head.
Emma has not stopped talking about "big turtles."

This turtle laid 98 eggs!

Note to self: Never sit in the sand at night in shorts. Ouch!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer Break in Grenada has Begun!

On Friday of last week Jerod took his last final for term one. Hooray and way to go Jer! Now he has 12 weeks of summer break to spend with us. Since the cost of airfare is so high we decided to stay in Grenada during this time off and look forward to all the fun things we get to do. Yesterday was spent at the U club pool with friends, many who have completed their first 2 years. We were sad to say goodbye but wish them the best of luck, and thank them for their friendship and also for all the stuff they gave us before leaving!

Some of us enjoying the pool ....

and the view.

Today we ate biscuits and gravy with friends for breakfast and then headed to Grand Etang National Park. There we hiked on a muddy and rocky path to the Seven Sisters Waterfalls. When we arrived it was raining fiercely but that didn't stop our adventurous group from making it to the falls (we are in the rainforest at the beginning of rainy season after all). Emma was as happy as can be in her pack on Daddy's back. Here are some photos of our fun day.

Shelter from the Rain

Emma in her pack

Starting the hike. They have hiking sticks you can borrow to help prevent you from falling but according to our friend Blair you shouldn't feel bad if you fall, it's a pretty slippery and muddy trek, hehe!

We made it!

So amazing!

The guys hiked to the top to jump in. The water was freezing!

Feeding the monkeys bananas before heading home. Emma loved seeing these crazy monkeys!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Noisy Neighbors, Barking Dogs, and Sleepless nights!

Neighbors, can't live with em' ...can't live without em'. I believe this statement has been reserved for men but for the sake of today's post I'll borrow it. Before I go any further I must make it perfectly clear that my landlords are incredibly nice people. They are always helpful, kind, and they keep to themselves. The only problem is that they live above us and I honestly don't know how they function day to day. I hear their TV on until midnight or later and then they are up again at 5:30 getting ready! I don't think for a second that they are loud on purpose. It's just the way the house is built, they could drop a pin upstairs and it would sound like it happened in our bedroom. Thus every opened door, closed dresser drawer, high-healed footstep, and squeaky facuet is heard. I am used to this. Jerod, who obviously is gone a lot, still is jumpy about it. Every time there is a strange noise upstairs he walks to the other room, "what happened?" I then sleepily assure him it was just something upstairs. Now this if all fine and good except that I have failed to mention their six yappy dogs who think they own the neighborhood. They are outside dogs, free to roam about. It is so hot during the day that they spend most of their time laying underneath my car or on the porch upstairs, but at night they come alive. Sometimes they bark until three in the morning and I swear they are standing right outside our bedroom window. Last night Jer swore he was going to ask my sister Jen (who is coming to visit next month-yay!) to bring us an airsoft gun. My response, "I'm pretty sure that falls under animal cruelty." What I didn't say was what I happened to be thinking, "maybe I can accidently run them over one day when they're asleep under my car." Okay, all kidding aside, I would feel more than terrible if this actually happened but sleep deprivation has caused me to think this way at 4am. I long to move but so far we have not found anything with the same price tag and amenities as we have here, and by amenities I mean air-conditioning in every room. Looks like we are in for another term of noisy neighbors, barking dogs, and sleepless nights! Oh, and Kensi... I love you dear but this still is not enough for us to want to move to the Flats!!

P.S. Emma's new favorite question is now "What Happened?"
P.P.S. The dog posted above is Emma's favorite, she really is sweet but at 3am..well you know what I'm thinking!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Emma's Puppy Pawty!

Last weekend we celebrated Emma's second birthday with a puppy pawty! She was super excited about having her own party and the puppy balloons, presents, and pupcakes. As promised here are some pictures of the fun. I also posted the invite we sent out to our friends. While we miss our family we are so lucky to have good friends to share these important life moments with. So thanks to all of them for helping make Emma's day special for her and memorable for us!

Emma so excited about her party

Opening Presents

Playing with new punching balloon from friend little Zane

Practicing her stethoscope skills on the future Dr. Schaeffer

Hiding under the table with her not so secret admirer Zane


Blowing out TWO candles

All the kids playing with "Uncle Zach"

Click to play this Smilebox invite: Emma's Birthday Invite
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Has it really been a month?

So obviously I have a lot of catching up to do on this here blog. Just when I think I'm fresh out of ideas to write about I realize that I am to far behind to get caught up on everything that has been going on the last few weeks. These photos are my best attempt...

Emma holding still for her very first haircut

Me helping Emma Race during Sports Day at the GAP
Emma enjoying icy, red punch after her race and someone's behind in the shot!
My crazy Grenadian hairstyle
given to me by one of the young women
My cute little bunny,
who wore this mask for the entire afternoon after an Easter party
and kept jumping around saying "Hop, Hop, Hop"