The last two weeks have gone by so fast, its such a blur, we've been busy! Time needs to just go ahead and slow down, i'm dreading getting back to Minnesota to face real life. I can't believe its already the end of March. Ya'll ready for this two week recap? I have lots of pictures this post. Let's get started...
My sister Hannah turned 19 a couple weeks ago, and one of her presents from my mom was monster cookies (indirectly...my mom lives in MN, Hannah lives in UT, so my mom paid my bro who's also in UT money to make the dough and deliver it to Hannah...that entire explanation was unneccesary...moving on) so monster cookie dough is AMAZING. If you've never had a monster cookie, then that sucks for you. They're one of my favorites, but they're SO expensive to make. My friend Katie and I went out and bought everything and it was 50 bucks, luckily we had decided to donate the majority of the cookies to Cari's school where they sell baked goods on the weekends for the students, so we were reimbursed. Phew. I'm such a cheap American. The monster cookies were a success, those things are beasts, though. There were 6 cups of peanut butter, 18 cups of oatmeal, it makes so much dough, I had to mix it with my hands and we had to use the biggest bowl we own, which happened to be our crock pot. Ha! This guy at Cari's school literally tracked her down and asked if she was the one whose family made the monster cookies and asked if we would please make them again soon. He said he had nominated us for a "Golden Spoon" award which basically means we own at baking. Woo!
Another thing I've been wanting to make is orange chicken which is my favorite food. Ever. Asian food is the best, oh my gosh. I'd so marry an Asian just so that he had my mother in law could cook me legitimate Asian food. Orange Chicken was ALSO a succcess.Our friends Katie and Danny joined us for a post-block celebration for Cari who did very well on her last round of exams. Danny and I got the short end of the stick and had to bread the chicken, that flour and egg combo sticks to fingers like no other. I literally thought I had a wart on my finger halfway through dinner and it ended up being the breading which was stuck to my fingers after two washes. DANG. After dinner Cari thought it would be hilarious to play the "corn starch game" which never in my life have I heard of. You put a pile of corn starch on a plate with a dime on top of it, and everyone takes turns cutting pieces of the corn starch off of the sides and whoever knocks the dime off has to then slide the dime off of the plate, using only their nose. It was funny because I wasn't the one who lost. Poor Danny.
We took these pictures after dinner. I think its really funny that Katie had no idea I was staring at her the entire time we were taking pictures.
Piper and I have been going on a lot of shopping trips this week. We tagged along with my friend Kenzie and baby Eliaa whom she nannies for. We went to the capitol and did some grocery shopping and then checked out "Rima" which is the giant souvenir shop here. Piper was pretty overwhelmed by the store, her eyes got huge when we walked in. She was running from thing to thing picking it up and telling me what it was, I feel like she would be an excellent tour guide for the blind. If she wasn't picking things up, she was dancing to the rasta music playing in the store. She's so fun. Rima is apparently where everything comes from thats being sold on the beach by people. I bought a dress for 20 bucks last weekend, the lady told me she had homemade it, went to Rima the next week, saw the same exact dress for 12 bucks. I got hustled. The souvie shop was gigantic, I ended up just getting a bunch of postcards for some close friends and fam. Texting my friends asking for their addresses to mail the postcards to was pretty funny, I got some weird responses, such confusion as to why I wanted to know where they lived. It was like my friends thought I wanted to burn their houses down or send them anthrax in the mail or something. Such skeptics.
Every Monday Piper and I do the grocery shopping, which takes five times longer here than it did at home. You go to some stores to get your produce, some stores to get your bulk, some stores to get your dairy, and they're all far away, and generally there's traffic. Piper likes to hang out on the cart now, its funny, that or she has to push the cart, but she can't see a dang thing over the cart, so she basically yells "EXCUSE ME!" and then proceeds to ram the cart into stuff.
This week we went with Eliaa and Kenzie, while Kenzie was in the bathroom and I was holding both babies Eliaa and Piper began to brawl. This is Piper getting it handed it to her by the baby ;)
For play group last week we went to the Seaside Nature Park. Its a horse stable, with a petting zoo, and a giant pavillion, and then the beach you can swim in if you want to. If you pay to get a horseback riding lesson there they take you riding in the actual ocean for part of it, its beautiful. Piper got to pet a horse, and I got attacked by a swan, it was actually really scary. Birds hate me. I don't know why, but ever since I was 12 and got kicked in the face by a goose while I was riding my bike, I haven't really liked them all that much, either. Quit looking at me, Swan. (If you know what movie that's from, then we can continue being friends) The horses started eating out of the garbage can right next to where we were petting them, and one of the horses found and ate a banana peel and Piper got so excited because she LOVES bananas more than any other food, and I think she was excited that horses like them, too. "Horse eat nanas!"
One of the boys from play group, Mikey, just had his very first birthday, so he had a little birthday party. His mom is from Nigeria, and they had this Nigerian rice and chicken which was super good but also very spicy, half of the adults couldn't eat it, but Piper loves spicy food. The whole time Cari was pregnant with her Cari craved jalepeno peppers, so Pipes loves it. She kept shoveling the rice in, then washed it down with some cake. Nothing like rice and cake...
My friend Melissa and I took her daughter, Emma, and Piper to this baby pool at a hotel right next to our apartment. It was so nice and secluded and the pool was shallow enough that Piper could walk in the entire thing, but the water was really cold, so instead of swimming Piper and Emma just did laps walking around the border of the pool. I got to sunbathe in the water and talk to Melissa, so works for me.
I kept busy even when I was "off duty" going out to dinner and movies with friends. I'm pretty sure my security guard thinks I have no life outside of going to the movies. Every time he's working and I see him and he asks where I'm going I always happen to be going to the movies, oh well. HUNGER GAMES COMES OUT THIS WEEK. I'M GETTING EXCITED FOR THAT. I also had a couple of hair clients this week. My friend Kenzie wanted to go about six inches shorter and have some blonde foils put in...
It looked great when we were done, and getting your hair cut while staring at the beach, not too shabby. I cut Danny's hair this week, too, but that one wasn't quite as exciting. But we did get his bangs cut like he likes them, apparently everyone here likes to leave the sides really short and the top really long. Cute?
This weekend was really fun and also really hard. I was an emotional wreck all of Friday. Poor Cari came home from school to a sobbing Michelle. I've been pretty stressed with my student loans starting to need repayment, and I had this total bank fiaso. I've been getting a monthly "convenience fee" (not at all convenient) from Wells Fargo. Finally after they'd taken 45 dollars I decided to call and see what the heck was going on. Apparently I need to be transferring at least 75 dollars from my checking account to my savings account. The customer service rep was telling me there was a new plan I should switch to that eliminated those monthly fees, I was all for it. After being on the phone with him for 45 minutes, 20 of which were just him rambling about his life and telling me it was cool that we were both in the "21 age range" and how his dad got him too drunk on his 21st birthday, needless to say, I was starting to get annoyed. Before we hung up the phone I clarified with him a handful of times that my debit card would still be linked to my new account so that I could still use it. The next day at the grocery store my card was declined, I come home and call the bank and they tell me that my card has been cancelled because I have a new account and there's no way they can turn the card back on once its been cancelled. I was so mad. So I had no working debit card, no valid checks, my account was no longer joint with my moms for easier bill pay from here, it was a disaster. I called my mom to tell her the whole fiaso and ask for her assistance in getting it resolved and after a few minutes of working out a plan, she says she has to go because she's at her Aunts house and our uncle had just died. I just started crying hysterically. I felt so insensitive for rambling on about stupid money while my mom was with our family right after LeRoy passed away. A good cry always makes me feel better, though.
Later that night I went to my friend Trisha's house and we celebrated St. Patricks Day. I'm not irish, but I still love Shamrock Shakes. We watched this movie from 1959 starring Sean Connery, and HOLY COW, what a babe he was! I couldn't believe it. The movie was so funny, but I'm of course totally blanking on its name... The next morning we had to be up extremely early for a baptism and a full day going to the boardwalk and then hitting up Guana Bay, our favorite boogie boarding beach.
The baptism was in the ocean, and it was so pretty. It was for a 14 year old named Patrick, he's a super nice kid. We weren't sure what to wear to a church event, at the beach. We just threw some dresses and skirts over our bathing suits and called it good. After the baptism we went to Taste Factory. Casey took this picture while we were eating, I don't remember what we were talking about, but it was apparently really funny.After the Taste Factory we drove to the boardwalk where all of the cruise ships dock and all the tourists flock to. Its easily the most touristy part of the island. Its a bunch of cool landmarks, their courthouse, a lot of restaurants, and beach, lots and lots of beach. We looked like total tourists with our backpacks and my constant picture taking. You don't want to look like a tourist here, if the locals know you live here, too, they tend to give you better deals and are nicer, which is understandable. Tourists get so rude and impatient to the locals. Here's a bunch of pics from our sightseeing at Frontstreet, Backstreet, and Oldstreet.
The highlight of the day was definitely "Yoda Guy" which was this Star Wars exhibit with cut outs of all the major characters from the movie. They also sold a lot of really cool stuff, they had pages from the actual script framed and for sale. The "yoda guy" is the man who helped create the character of Yoda, and he was kinda nuts. This little boy went up to him and told him he was his hero and all of this, and then "yoda guy" went on this long speech about empowering the youths minds, and as our friend Matt said, "you can tell that kids mind is being blown right now" haha. Kenzie and I asked if we could take our picture with him and he turned around and told us he had to "pay the rent" and was glad to take pictures with anyone who helped support them, aka buy things. Then he said there were many cruise ships here and that he'd already taken thousands of pictures this week, and didnt have time for all of the pictures and how he was too busy trying to enlighten and inspire young minds. I'm not sure what all he said because the whole time all I could think was, "we could have taken an entire photoshoot of pics in the time its taken you to answer us whether or not we can take a picture together." Kenzie and I were bummed about the lack of photo, but it didnt stop us from snapping pics of his butt while he wasn't looking. Ha.
After all the boardwalk festivities, we went to Guana. Unfortunately Piper had had enough of the day, so Cari and Casey took her home early. I saw a shirt on the bottom of the ocean that I'm pretty sure was attached to a dead body, but other than that, the beach was awesome. Andi, Tanner and I got home from the beach all sandy and wicked tired. The rest of the night we just laid around and then I made us all watch "Top Gun" because Tanner had never seen it. Goodness gracious great balls of fire.
Church today was very entertaining. When I was first asked to teach the 4-7 year olds I was very overwhelmed because they had so much energy, and you couldn't get them to listen to you for very long because lessons got boring, church is long, they're hungry, etc. So the two necessities for teaching are: bribes & games. I put out a handful of candy and tell them this is the candy they can share at the end of class but every time they're not paying attention, or getting out of their chair, I take a piece away, and when they answer a question, or volunteer to say the prayer, they get a piece. Its actually working like a charm. Today we had an object lesson about the steps you take before you can get baptized and we made it literal. Every time they said an answer, they got a footprint that they could tape on the floor from their chairs, to the picture of someone being baptzied on the door. I told them they had to walk on the feet to get to the picture and to pretend the floor was hot lava, and they got SO into it. It was so cute. These kids are hilarious. Yensen, who's one of my favorites, loves to answer questions, and every time she does, she stands up and puts a finger up as if to say, "listen carefully, i'm about to say something wise." Plus I asked her what her favorite treat was and she said lasagna, so that alone makes me love her.
I don't know if it's a Mormon thing since our church is three hours long, and we hate being in uncomfortable dress clothes for that long, but ever since I can remember its been a contest to come home and see who can change from their dress clothes into pajamas the fastest. Today I came out to the kitchen to see that Andi and Piper were both wearing the exact same shirt as me and I thought it was hilarious that not only did we all pack that shirt, but we all changed into it after church. Its a Walk and Roll shirt from a fundraiser for my dads work. Here's our tribute to you, Dad!
Piper had her first real bath in months tonight. We don't have a bath tub here so she's had to take showers and she HATES it, so Cari decided to bathe her in the kitchen sink, ghetto style. Piper loved it, she screamed hysterically when we eventually had to take her out, five minutes after she was done she said, "I think I need another bath."
Funny Piper story of the week:
Piper really likes to do other peoples hair, she'll always ask me to put ponytails in her dolls hair, and then Piper will mimic that, and she'll put the rubber bands in her mouth, and brush our hair for us all the time. Plus every day when I get her dressed she says "ponytail" right afterwards, chick loves getting her hair done. So this week, she decided to do her dads hair, I'll let the pic do the talking. Way to be a trooper, Casey.
I hope you all have a good week! These last pics are ones that Casey took from the cliff overlook on the way to Phillipsburg, and then the nightly illuminated city of Maho. Very pretty.