Thursday, June 30, 2011

books I've read in the past month

Another slow month for reading. When did I get so busy that I couldn't enjoy a good book? Or is it just that I haven't had enough super-good, can't-put-this-one-down reads?

The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need by Juliet B. Schor

Night (Night, #1) by Elie Wiesel

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas

All of these books were just okay.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

fun on the beach

McKayla and Shanley building a sand castle/complex?
Chandler making a sand fortress. He built a lot of castles/structures while we were there.

Shanley walking down the beach. How in the world did I get a 13-year-old that looks 19? Both the girls always get mistaken for being much older than they are. Part of that is because they are so tall. McKayla's is partially because she acts pretty mature.

On our last day we paid for the kids to play on the water trampoline/slide. They enjoyed it but said it was a lot of work getting up on it!

Alec spent a lot of his time on the dock. He would pace and talk to himself (or his imaginary friends). Then he'd suddenly jump off the dock into the water and swim to the shore. He'd maybe sit in the sand for a few minutes and then he'd repeat it all again!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

the water in St. Maarten

I realize I've probably gotten carried away with posting pics from St. Maarten but really it was so beautiful that I can't choose just one favorite photo. The water was so blue and the sand so white and the hills so green.

pics about town

The first 3 photos are the beach in Marigot (the capital city on the French side of St. Martin. The water is just as blue but the coastline is rocks not white sand like in Phillipsburg (where we stayed on the Dutch side of St. Maarten).

Downtown Phillipsburg (which consists of a couple of streets).
Alec is a HUGE Star Wars fan and the Yoda Guy (guy who drew/created Yoda) lives on the island and has a store there dedicated to Star Wars and other movies he has done artwork for.

French Bakery

What trip would be complete without trying some of the food? We didn't eat out much but Kevin and I did sample some pastries at a French bakery in Marigot. They were luscious!

This one is a chocolate/cherry dessert. Kevin enjoyed it! He said it tasted just like chocolate-covered cherries which is a favorite of his.

We both tried the pear tart. It was tasty.

I especially enjoyed the Eclair Cafe. Very chocolately and rich. I certainly couldn't finish it but it was beautiful AND yummy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fort Louis

When we went to Marigot, we hiked to Fort Louis. It sets on top of a hill overlooking a good portion of the Caribbean. It was very strategically-located to enable them to defend themselves from the British.

The views from there were amazing!

polygamy or just confusing family ties?

Two years ago Kevin and I were a "Lehi and Sariah" on our Stake Book of Mormon youth conference. One of the boys in our family was Ben.

Fast forward to last weekend's Pioneer Trek. McKayla was in a family with Ben so they shared a "Ma and Pa".

McKayla and Ben joked that they came from a polygamous family because they shared 2 sets of parents (us and trek parents).

I'm not convinced that qualifies us as polygamists - just confused!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

back from Pioneer Trek

Kevin, McKayla, and I spent the last 3 days re-enacting the Pioneer's journey to the Salt Lake Valley. Kevin drove a medical support vehicle but McKayla and I walked and pulled handcarts. We took part in Pioneer-type activities, sang, listened to speakers, had testimony meeting, and pushed and pulled.

We came home exhausted but it was an amazing experience! For both McKayla and I the highlight was the "Sweetwater Crossing". There was a bed of water that the young men carried every woman and girl across. Then those boys banded together to get every handcart across and up a very muddy, slippery trail. It honestly made me cry and I was so proud of those Young Men! I think they felt the same way watching us do the Women's Pull up a hill.

McKayla had the side of her foot run over by a handcart so it is bruised and tender. I developed blisters so badly the first day that I walked barefoot the last day. My feet are a little tender and the blisters are oozing. I can't get my contacts in because my eyes are so swollen and sore.

Still, it was such a wonderful experience that our minor injuries are nothing! Just think of what our pioneer ancestor's endured! I actually thought the walking was pretty easy but I'm sure I wouldn't have thought so if I had to do it for months and on as little food as the pioneers did. I'm so glad we got to experience this.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

fun in the water

McKayla jumping off the end of the pier.
Chandler jumping off the end of the pier. He jumped off at various places further and further down the pier until he got brave enough to jump off the very end.
Shanley taking her leap off the end of the pier.
Alec never jumped off the very end of the pier but he jumped off the side at various point several times.

Watching the kids in the water makes all those swimming lessons worth it! I have often thought over the years that my children are part fish. They don't get that from me. I am not a great swimmer. I passed all the swimming levels but still don't love it. My kids love the water! I think they most enjoy vacations where they can spend lots of time in the water and on the beach. They are all pretty good swimmers. Even Alec gets around in the water very well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

more pics

St. Maarten was very lush and green. Could be due to the fact that the temp stays about 82-88 degrees year round (the humidity hovers about there too!).

We had pretty nice views from the balcony of our hotel room. Phillipsburg is right on Great Bay.

Great Bay is where the cruise ships dock. We were there in the off-season (thank goodness!!!). We had a cruise ship in port for 3 of the 6 days we were there. When the cruise ships were in port the beach had plenty of people, waverunners were going non-stop, and the streets and shops had people. The 3 days without ships, we practically had the beach to ourselves. During the height of tourist season, there is 6-9 ships in port per day! I can't even imagine how crowded and chaotic and crazy it is then.