Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Mish Mash of Things

As Mike's third semester is coming to a close we realize how busy we have been.  When we returned to the island after last christmas we knew we would not be back to Colorado for awhile but the time has been flying by and April does not seem so far away.........and what have we been doing to keep so busy?

- Hanging out on the beaches of course
- School work
- The boys got a new tutor (Whitney) - she is wonderful with the boys
- The boys fell in love with Whitney and Jared's new puppy Mocha
- In March the boys and I met family in Florida for a spring break
- Raising money for the Bolivia Medical Volunteer Trip
- Sharing the island with family and friends (Mikes parents came for the break in April and our friend Addie visited in June/July for 3 weeks)
- Dillon and Ronan started surf lessons
- Dillon had his first surf competition
- Experienced a major injury in a foreign country (Ronan broke his arm)
- The boys started up their knitting projects again
- We started a garden and continue to experiment and work on it
- Mike has studied hard and done well on his exams
- Read books
- Had good food and good times with my good friend Alexi (Sadly she is leaving me at the end of the semester)
- Said goodbye to friends who had finished their time on the island
- Met new people who have joined the AUC family
- Celebrated birthdays, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Easter
- I received my first surf board - this meant the boys and I could go to Plum Bay and surf together when the conditions were right
- The boys made friends with a lad named Jake - he lives in Tradewinds part of the year and is from Ontario, Canada ( actually not far from where I grew up - such a small world)
- The boys and I got our first hair cuts on the island - curtesy of Alli - a spouse of a first semester student, her expertise were much needed and appreciated
- Spent time sharing mommy stories and struggles with my friend Karla
- A trip to Anguilla

The weekend before block exams we sold rice bowls to the students in order to raise money for the Bolivia Medical Trip.  Karla made black beans and rice and I made the lime chicken - they were a great success - Dillon and Karla had a good time at the school selling the bowls and I would hang out at home making popcorn for the other 4 boys.  We are not sure what the students will do next semester now that we have retired????

Dill and I out waiting for the perfect wave at Plum - it is a fair distance from shore as you can see - this was my first day on my new board 

we watched the ever changing colors of the sky and ocean from our balcony (yes that brown is the ocean - it was a very eery afternoon)

hung out with a whole lotta boys

Alli and Dill

sweet Mocha

thanks to a waterproof cast cover Ro was not slowed down by his broken arm

Plum Bay - Dillon and I are those 2 black spots heading out to the point

beach time with cutie pie Erik and his mama Karla

island playground

Alexi - our partner in crime for so many adventures (whether she wanted to participate or not)

my happy place - Cove Bay, Anguilla

although he does not have much time off we try to make sure Michael has lots 'o' fun when he does take a break - thank you for working so hard - we are proud of you - you are getting closer to the finish line every day

With third semester coming to an end in just over 2 weeks the boys and I are packed and ready to head to Canada for the month of August.  We will be hanging out with family, camping and enjoying a change of scenery and pace.  Mike will finish up fourth block exams and the following week his final exams of the semester and then make a trip of his own.  He is headed to Montero, Bolivia for a medical volunteer trip.  It will be a wonderful experience to see a new country and work in a clinic in a completely different environment than experienced in the United States.  We are hoping he will bring back some interesting photos.  Some exciting changes coming up but we will all return to the island for 4th semester - WOW - how time flies (I still remember the day we arrived on St. Maarten).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boys of the Island

Awhile back we made a trip to Simpson Bay beach with a couple of our friends and their boys.  It is a beach we don't frequent often but probably should as it is close to where we live, the water is beautiful and it is close to the runway - making it exciting for sure.  I finally remembered my good camera and was able to get a few shots of all the boys running around.  Between the 3 moms there were SEVEN boys........

Dillon  - age 11

Elijah  - age 6

Erik - age 2

Karla (age -a secret) and 4 boys

Ethan - age 5

Ronan - age 8

Eric - age 3

Sebastian - age almost 2

so refreshing

some runway action - KLM and Airfrance are the best ones to watch

food tastes so much better at the beach!!!

There is no place better then the beach for all these boys

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Addie, Addie

Our friend Addie, a climbing buddy from home visited for a few weeks and has headed back to Colorado -  I just wanted to post a thank you to her for coming to visit us....

Thank you for
- taking 3 weeks of your summer to visit
- bringing your moms yummy recipe (and great cooking magazine) with you
- washing dishes (that means so much when you don't have a dish washer)
- hanging out with the boys
- making us get off our butts and show you the island
- sharing cooking adventure/disasters with me in the kitchen  - but they all came out good
- pushing me to suck it up and get us to the Harry Potter movie the night it came out ( a day before it came out in the states - another cool thing about the island)
- video taping our island drive (still need to download that)
- assisting with making Lime Chicken for the Bolivia Trip Fundraiser (I was sooo sick of making chicken) and selling it at the school
- allowing me the opportunity for a girls only lunch (such a rarity with a MIA med school husband)
- giving Mike and I a chance to go out to dinner with friends and NO children
- for reminiscing with us about all our fun climbing adventures

I am sure I am forgetting something so if I think of it I will add it to the post.   We really enjoyed your visit - we hope you had as much fun as we did.

we loved your peach/plum cobbler

volunteering for a good cause - Mike really appreciated all the help

I think you might just have to come back and visit so you can make another one

our favorite spot in the summer - Redcliff - we are excited to get back there next spring.  we miss all our climbing friends - we know we have an opportunity to enjoy and explore the ocean and are doing so - but also realize we have our climbing to come back too when we return to Colorado and most importantly the people that make it so much fun - until then we miss you all.

Addie, we loved having you and sharing the island with you.  I hope it was an interesting experience that gave you a perspective to another part of the world. I know you have the traveling bug - hang onto it - it is a good thing to have.  If we make it to England like we hope, you just might have to visit us there.  Once again we appreciate all the help you gave us while visiting - see you soon.

HNMLS Rotterdam

The last few days we noticed a ship hanging out in Mullet Bay (the beach you can see from our balcony).  I knew it was part of the Dutch Navy but not much more - I have been taking some photos when it is clear (we have been getting a lot of fog lately).

as you can see Mullet Bay can be a very busy place at times - if you look very carefully on the back of the Rotterdam you can see the helicopter that hangs out on it - it is also the helicopter that was hovering low over the water when we were at the beach and the crew waved to the kiddos.  We also noticed the helicopter buzzing the neighborhood - kinda felt like we were in a bit of a war zone.

after looking up some info on this large beast in the ocean I learned it is part of the Royal Netherlands Navy and comes equipped with a helicopter landing pad, large dock for water craft, a hospital that has an operating room and an ICU (intensive care unit) with 10 beds and a desalination system that allows them to use the sea water for drinking.

it has become apparent the view from our balcony is never boring....... behind the Rotterdam you can see the funky weather from a tropical wave that has been making its way by us.

Full Moon Hike

There is a place on the island called the Seaside Nature Park (oddly enough you drive through the power plant to get to it) where you can take horse back riding lessons, hike and have birthday parties and kids camps.  They also do a full moon hike each month - they have it set up so each child receives a hobo stick with a hanker chief filled with a granola bar and a drink, a fun little added touch.  The hike finishes up at the beach with a bonfire (you can roast marsh mellows if you want to purchase a small bag of them for a dollar).  The guide was great - he shared some island information, mostly about the different plants and trees you see but also the old road we were on at one point and the original names of some of the areas.  I am horrible at taking night photos and just had a our little point and shoot camera but I wanted to put something up on the blog as it was a fun night - what kid does not like going for a hike in the dark as the full moon rises?

Mike, Karla, Ethan and Ronan - heading out

Thadeus, Melissa and Emma

since moon pictures are hard to take and never look right I just played with the photo to make it more interesting - when we got to the top of a hill on the trail you could see the moon come over the hill across from us - it was pretty cool

full moon
It was definitely fun and something different to do - I hope Addie enjoyed it too.  When the weather cools off it would be a good place to go hiking.  Another successful  island adventure.....