Wednesday, February 22, 2006

She lives again!

After consulting with "techies" at work, the problem with our computer is the power supply - and Ben got a new box thing with a lot of cords attached to fix the problem. It worked - a sweet little solution indeed.

Word of the day: em-PEET. As in, there's nothing in my purse. It's em-PEET.

It was a beautiful Carribean day today - sky so blue, big fluffy clouds, warm and sunny, but not an absolute scorcher. We're sure going to miss the weather when we leave.

I was able to take both girls swimming today by myself and it was a success. Mariah has grown up enough that she now knows to pull her face out of the water while sitting in the little baby floatie.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Big C remains dead

Sorry, no pictures now. The Big computer - the one with all the family stuff on it - is dead. The power button will not turn her on (She is plugged into the wall. We checked.) Any techies who want to offer advice will find a ready audience here. Meantime, B is researching purchasing a new Big C, and my computer time is on his laptop at nights when I can - so don't expect too much on the blog for now.

Mariah is tooting all over the place on her own two feet. She's starting to do more cute and funny things, like hugging/tackling Lily, feeding herself and others with a toy spoon, and saying "all done" with understanding.

I just finished reading Standing on the Promises, so among other things, we are adjusting our discipline and training strategies. Interesting observation: she has done immensely better with potty training since we began our adjustments (a completely unplanned side effect?). We don't know if someone is praying for her, or if there is a correlation. Guesses, anyone?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Good Free Stuff

If you're into rebates and free stuff, this is a really good month to check out the WalGreens Easy Saver - you can get a free child's toothbrush (pass it my way if you don't have any little sprouts), a free tube of lipstick, a free bottle of shampoo or conditioner, and a free stick of deodorant. That's enough to keep a body clean and pretty for a little while at least! If you haven' t seen it before, the Easy Saver is a little booklet on the same rack with the weekly circular just inside the door in any WalGreens. One booklet lasts for a month, and every month they offer several free items (via rebate) as well as in-store coupons and various rebates. And if you get into the "Easy Saver" habit, you can get your rebate back in the form of a WalGreens gift card, and they'll give you an extra 10% back for free just for choosing the gift card. That'll usually cover the cost of your stamp on the rebate, if you even care! Happy shopping.

PS - this WalGreens tip came from Tara VanderW. - a true bargain hunter.

PPS - no pictures yet. The big computer has decided to go on vacation and not turn on.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Caribbean National Forest

We just got home from hiking in the Caribbean National Forest, El Yunque. El Yunque is a real rainforest. It was so fun to visit and actually see all the stuff that I've heard about the rain forest. In relation to the US, it's most similar to the Smokey Mountains, in that everything is green and mossy, but the similarities end there. The vegetation is so different: palm trees, other trees that look like deciduous trees but never really shed their leaves, lots of vines and plants that grow on the trees, etc. There are four visible layers to the rainforest, which we could clearly see. We hiked two different trails, one to a waterfall (pictured in the "El Yunque" link above), and one to a lookout point (on top of a mountain) from which we could see a good portion of the eastern corner of the island. The view was great. I was surprised at how cool the wind got when we were up that high. The clouds are low here, and at the top of the mountain we were on the same level as the clouds and could see them floating by.

We put the kids in their packs and they did ok. We let Lily walk some (until she was so tired she couldn't walk anymore), and we collected some rainforest "toys" (leaves, bark, etc) for her to play with in the carrier. She never really slept until we got into the car to go home at dinner time and we have never seen her more tired than she was today! Mariah did well in her "pack" and had her own little conversation with nature complete with many hand gestures as we walked up the mountain.

Pictures to come later.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Snail mail

This time our mail really did come on the back of snail. In fact, I think the snail - packages in tow - floated across the ocean on a leaf. Today we received 2 packages via "Priority Mail", one postmarked Oct. 3 and the other Nov. 17 (Today is Feb. 7). We think that the pony express was faster than this!

In other interesting news, strawberries were on sale at Amigo (the local grocery store owned by Wal-Mart) for the very low price of $3.97 per pound (US dollars) - cheapest I've seen since we've been here. Regular price: $5.97 per pound. I bought some and we are having strawberry shortcake for an early Valentine's Day treat sometime soon! Red and yellow peppers also came down to a mere $2.97 pound, as compared to the regular $5.97/lb. The cost of food (though these are extra high prices) is one of the down-sides of living on an island; most of our groceries are shipped in. Milk, which is locally processed, must be regulated by the government or something, because it is always $4/gal, and the price has varied by nothing more than $0.25 (even with "sales") since we've been here.

Mariah is taking lots of steps now - 5, 6, or 7 or more together. She does still crawl or cruise along the furniture most of the time, but she is getting more confident in her walking.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Lily in the car on the way home from church: 'Cito. Miss. Hand. Holding.
Translation: I miss Davicito. I hold his hand (and run around the church with all the other kids)! Davicito (center) and family moved to MI on Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

News & Views

Mariah seems to be producing a mate for her lone top tooth (she's got three on the bottom, which makes things a bit lop-sided!) and this new tooth is sure giving her the blues.

Lily has really taken to Madeline, a recent book from the library. A childhood favorite of mine, she is especially intrigued by the bed that is "em-peet" in the row of 12. She knows of course, that it's empty because Madeline is in the "ha-pit-al", and likes to find the pictures of Madeline in the hospital. She's also decided to add the suffix "-ing" to most of her verbs (would that be the present participle???), so most of her actions (the ones she reports, anyway!) are in the present continuous. I guess that is actually somewhat fitting, since she rarely thinks about anything other than the immediate present, and most of her actions are repeated over and over!

I am starting to sew a new batch of diapers. I've finished the pattern design, done a trial run, made pattern adjustments, and finally cut into my good fabric (lime green french terry! - sweet stuff!) for the first one today. I need to assemble this one and try it out a bit before I do a mass cut-and-sew of a dozen or so. Maybe I'll get them finished before we come home; we'll see.

I feel kind of badly leaving a mention of Ben out of this update, but I feel equally badly say, Ben is working, working, working. But that's how it is, and last week and this week (and maybe next week too) he will work Saturdays as well. They are in the heat of finishing up stuff on this phase of the project.