Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Christmas time is here

Holidays have officially started and I couldn't be happier. I still haven't started baking but by Monday or Tuesday I should have a good start. Even though I don't really feel like baking or eating a bunch of cookies I thought I would still do some just to keep up the tradition.

The kids had their school concert (like millions of other children). It was of course cute and entertaining. Here are a couple of short videos from the night.

Really don't have much to share this week. We are just resting our bodies, minds and spirits. We need to make some big decisions soon. Pray for us if you pray.

Trinity still misses Jane. Again she woke up in the middle of the night crying. Poor girl. I can't wait to get her another dog one day.

Silver is amazing. He's grown so much since being here. He amazes me. What a strong little guy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's beginning to NOT look a lot like Christmas

Breathe. I am just coming up for air after two weeks of diving deep into work related projects and never ending sickness.
After I wrote that sentence I went back under for a few more stress filled days and more sickness. My body is so tired. I now have a headache everyday and can't seem to take any sort of deep breath. I may go see a Dr. this weekend but really I will just rest as much as possible and see how I am on Monday.

Alright let me catch you up on some happenings around here. 
1. Silver had his FIRST outdoor birthday party! We was thrilled to be outside having fun with his pals. Here are a few pictures. Remember it's December and not a snowflake to be found. 

2. We went to see Santa at Camana Bay. He was outside and there was fake snow flying out of machines. Fun times.

3. I did a lot of my Christmas shopping on line. I actually enjoyed it. I will post what I got Ryan because he NEVER reads this blog. I know, he should be writing in it. Maybe after Christmas or not. I'm sick of fighting Ryan everytime he wants to buy a book (because they're heavy and heavy means money when shipping stuff home one day). Sooooo I got him a Kindle. It's a thing that you can store electronic books on. Ahhhhh. Now he will only be allowed to buy books for the Kindle (while we are on the Island). This present is much more for me than him.


4. Trinity and I started playing violin. We have had three lessons. Keep that in mind when watching this:) VIDEO to be added soon

5.Silver and Trinity had a fun time at Grandma and Gramps place on Silver's birthday. They had a super cool treasure hunt. At the end they both got bikes! So awesome. 

I have so much to write about but....... but

I'm dreaming again. Now that's a great thing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What a long week this has been. We've had so many short weeks lately that a full 5 school day week has seemed unbearably long. Mostly due to the fact that I am still dragging my sick body around. I did however go to my first Yoga class ever and found it to be AMAZING. I relaxed, I learned and I sweat. My arms have been twitching since Monday. I can't wait to go back:)

I keep asking Ryan to post something but he is seriously working his butt of right now. He has a really heavy work load all year and it's getting hard for us to find time to just chill and enjoy our surroundings. Tonight he is away all evening with the high school on a retreat:( We are getting better at separating work and life. But as I said it is challenging with all the work we have to do. I find myself prepping stuff for the three art classes I have 4 nights a week. I enjoy it but not always fun.

Trinity is doing much better. She hasn't talked about Jane for a couple of weeks now and she is getting quite a few friends in her class. Tomorrow is Twins day in her class (two people dress the same) and two girls asked her so they will dress like triplets:) She is getting better at spelling and reading so she is feeling much more confident.

Silver is enjoying football and getting much better. Being around all the other kids who take it very seriously and push themselves is starting to rub off. He is still kickin butt in class with his marks. He loves getting A's and A+'s. He got his first A+ in science and was so excited! It was awesome. One funny thing is that Silver is already starting to get an Island accent. Oh boy!

I have some pictures to post but forgot my camera at school. So again I will post them later.

Strange things I did this week.
1. Went to see Santa. He was outside surrounded by palm trees.
2. Bought Egg Nog in a can.
3. flushed a tiny lizard down the toilet

Thursday, November 12, 2009


As if moving, starting a new job, making new friends, finding a church, leaving everything important and not important behind, wearing a bathing suit more than twice a year and watching your family struggle with it all wasn't HARD enough why not throw in being horribly ill for weeks and weeks. I am now on antibiotics for the second time in one month. First it was sinus infection and now bronchitis/flu. Seriously this is crazy. I am trying hard to overcome this sickness but my body and mind just won't let me. I mean a body can only take so much. I can't do my usual just "just keep swimming" thing because it's making everything worse. For the first time in a LONG time I just have to sit and wait and feel helpless.
As much as I hate feeling helpless it is helping me to refocus and feel stronger. Questions I ask myself daily.
Why are we here?
What did we do?
How long can we do this?
I'm guessing that people who make big moves ask themselves those questions for a long time. I also guess that they fade after a while. I do have answers for all of those questions and good ones too but I still need to remind myself of those answers to keep moving forward.
In short I want to be healthy and strong again. Sooner rather than later.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Adding to my list over the next week. I have linked some spots. Check them out if you have the time.
These are a few of my favorite things.......
1 My bag.
recently given to me. I have plans to embroider or add leather pieces to make some branches with leaves or flowers on it.
2 My hair colour.
I had it done this weekend. I've been feeling 'unpretty' (I'm sure most women have moments like that) and it was the boost I needed to just feel good. Bye bye for now gray hair. (picture to follow)
3 Going to the movies alone.
This is a new favorite thing for me. I've seen 'This is It' twice by myself in one week and it was great! I plan to do this more often.
4 The rain. Video taken this afternoon.

Not a new fav thing. I have pretty much always loved it. As a child we used to sit on our front porch and watch the thunder and lighting storms. So it's comforting I guess.
5 My espresso machine.
This is the only thing I brought just for me. Even though I miss going to *bucks for my drink at least I can make one myself (not quite the same though).
6 Hope. Although hard to find in me lately I cling to it.
7 The Post Secret blog. I have checked this blog every Sunday morning (almost) for over three years. People from all over the world send post cards revealing their secrets. Some are funny some are sad and some are scary. I love them all because it reminds me that there are other 'humans' out there. Feeling, breathing, hurting, laughing and suffering.
8 The fact that there is a hurricane named Ida roaring through the Caribbean right now. For those of you who don't know my first name is Ida. I like this fact because inside I feel like a hurricane:)
9 Foy Vance. Amazing singer song writer. I was hoping and praying that I would be inspired by some music and this guy has done it for now. Check him out on youtube. Here are my three favorite songs.
Foy Vance sings Indiscriminate Act of Kindness

Foy Vance sings First of July - this is my favorite

Foy Vance sings Gabriel and the Vagabond

10. The book I am currently reading Anne Frank Diary of a young girl. I have wanted to read this book for years and I have finally found the moment and what a perfect moment. I should tell you that before I was married I actually read books from cover to cover. As life changed with kids, jobs, moving and a million other things my reading habits never fully adjusted. So the fact that I am reading at all is a big deal. This book is amazing for many reasons but for me personally it's so timely. I can relate to how Anne was feeling being trapped in that attic with no real freedom to move about and be herself. But at the same time feeling grateful for the opportunity to even be in the 'secret annex' was such a blessing.

11. People who know me. When you move to a place where no one knows you it can be a scary thing. On the other hand I actually really like being a face in the crowd who doesn't know anyone and no one knows me. BUT when surrounded by people who don't know you they don't know whether they can trust you, what you are capable of, if you're 'normal' and not crazy, what you love to do what you're good at and,what you've done in the past. So I miss having people around who know me. People who can feel safe around me and I around them.

I may add to this list over the next week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our Halloween and other strange things

So we got dressed up and went out this Hallowe'en. It was different....... surprise, surprise. We went to a couple of places. First Camana Bay for some trick or treating and fun stuff. Then to a neighborhood someone told us would be a good place to go. To sum it all up we had to drive from house to house because only about 20% (if that) on every street where actually giving away candy. We actually went to one HUGE house where two ladies were out on the porch having wine and desserts while the 'help' was handing out the candy. It was weird and felt gross. There are very clear lines here between those with money and those with little. I guess it's just the same story all over the world. Here it's just really clear. We also went to a place where the people were so friendly and sweet. The kids were given heaps of candy and Ryan and I were offered some 'refreshments'. It was GREAT to not have to bundle the kids up in coats and hats. In fact it was so warm that Silver wore only underwear under his costume and Trinity was hot with her scrubs and Dr. coat on. After that we stopped in at Grand Harbor then the kids begged us to take them home.

Halloween seems like a million miles away now. It's been a crazy week here for us. People keep telling us "this is just the way it is here" or "Welcome to the Caribbean". We are staying focused. We know why we are here. More time with family less time working.

Ryan has been learning to sail and even took us all out on a boat a few weekends ago. He is also going to start diving. I think I might like the diving but it's just too much of an expense for now. I am going to start taking violin lessons with Trinity next week! That should be a good time.

I haven't painted a thing since we got here. I do have my paints and I bought some canvas but I just couldn't find the time. I am going to try and make this weekend the time to start. We need some colour in our place and I need to seriously release some emotions. I miss dancing. I am going to try and sign Ryan and I up for a class of some sort. Maybe Salsa:) That would be great!

I wish I had more pictures but alas I still hate my camera. I should really do something about that.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Picture by Rodney S Braun
So I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself these past two weeks. It's just a phase I'm sure. I think most of it has to do with my brain and body adjusting to weather. Seriously. It totally doesn't feel like Autumn. I miss the cool air, beautiful leaves, sweaters and socks and the mental prep for winter. The weather here has been a bit rainy which I have loved. When it's not raining it's hot. I think it will take at least 6 months to get used to the heat. People say it will cool down soon, but really that just means it will go from HOT to hot. I am NOT complaining. Just trying to get used to it. Also I stopped taking pictures because I decided I hate my camera. I was trying to take some cool shots and my camera wouldn't focus or take any of the pictures I wanted so I just stopped. I want a Rebel like all my cool friends have. I'm just whining.

Silver has been doing so well in school. His marks are soaring and even though he doesn't seem to have any friends in his own grade he does have a good time playing at recess with some of the grade ones. He is starting to enjoy football after a bit of a struggle with the game. Ryan and I really need to do our homework with him and get him practicing more.
Amazing picture by Rodney S Braun
Trinity is really struggling. She talks about Jane everyday and we had to go out and buy Jane and the other dogs she lives with some toys and dog bones. We are going to mail them tomorrow. I'm sure it will cost us a small fortune to send but it is making her happy. She couldn't sleep tonight because as she said "I'm having too many thoughts of Jane". I don't think she will ever get over losing Jane but I also know that once we get her another dog (when we move back to Canada one day) it will lesson the pain. She's doing great in school and is starting to make some friends.

Halloween! In usual form Silver will be dressing up as a Star Wars character. We ordered him a very cool X-wing fighter costume and thanks to Nannie we got it in time for Saturday. Trinity is going as a Vet. Totally not surprised. I am having someone make her some little scrubs and we found a dress up Vet coat and some Dr. supplies. Halloween is pretty down played here on the island. We are going to take the kids to Camana Bay for their events and then off for some trick or treating in one of the areas of the island where kids trick or treat. It should be a fun night.

We just had a 4 day weekend and in two weeks we have another one. There are quite a lot of 'holidays' here. I kinda like it:)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Trouble in Paradise

So I've been sick for about three weeks now. One day I feel like I'm on the mend then the next I feel terrible again. Tonight we finally went to see a Dr. and found out I have a sinus infection. Well at least now I have some meds to take and should start to feel better in a few days.

The Iquana outside Trinity's window

Things have been moving along the last two weeks. Up early, school, home, sleep then we get up and do it all again. It feels nice to have a steady schedule and all be in the same place. The kids had their first football game last Saturday. Silver was so happy and proud to be on the team. I am so proud of him for sticking it out and choosing to play. Football is a pretty big deal here. Sort of like hockey in Canada. Our kids aren't used to the competitiveness of it all. It's a bit heart breaking really.

Super Silver

I am constantly trying to find ways to build the kids confidence. Silver plays on his own a lot and misses his buddies in Canada. Trinity seems to be making up illnesses like sore legs, stomach aches or sore throat to get out of class and see the nurse or me. She talks about Jane (the dog we had to leave behind) almost daily. She really misses her. Not much we can do about that. I told her we would get a dog when we move back to Canada one day.

More fun at the pool

I will add some pictures tomorrow. The camera is in Lulu (our vehicle) and I don't want to go and get it.

To sum everything up. I'm tired, the kids are still struggling and no one has come to visit us yet. Oh but I did buy some tickets for the Alicia Keys concert in December. I'm very excited about that!

some grapes I had that I just Had to take a picture of.
The way I like to enjoy the 'pool'.

Well bless you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday seems to be the day

Checking out the crazy sudden rain storm.

Friday is my favorite day of the week here in Cayman. It marks the end of an always busy work week, school ends at 1:00pm, we always have a good family time and I catch up with my blogging and facebook pages.

This was a bit of a different week for me. Monday and Tuesday were in-service days so the kids (lucky monkeys) got to spend two whole days with Gramma and Dude (sleep over included) and Ryan and I had meetings at the school. I actually took a First Aid and CPR course with the Red Cross. It was good to take the class. I did learn a few things. Now at least if anything happens I am much more equipped to handle it. It's so funny to me how the sight of bloody pictures makes me dizzy. I was not always like this. Hopefully if needed I can keep it together long enough to bandage someone up before I throw up and pass out.

Silver taking a rain shower.

Trinity and I have been sick since Wednesday. Did we stay home from work and school? No. I just didn't want to miss anything and get more behind on the projects I need to have done for the Pre School classroom. I hate being behind.

The kids start playing actual soccer games against other schools next weekend. Trinity has decided to stay on the team. I actually gave her an incentive to keep going. She (and Silver) get money added to their allowance for every practice and game they go to. I just didn't want to see her quit. Although I am NOT looking forward to early morning games on Saturdays.

I'm tired and still sick so this isn't every interesting. On a fun note I am going to start taking violin lessons soon! Excited!
Did I mention we have a Gerbil? This was Trinity's birthday present. She misses Jane to much and she really just wanted a pet. So meet our newest family member Love.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Here or There

Things I don't have here but wish I did.
1. shopping mall - I know it's sick but you don't realize how convenient they are until you don't have one
2. cold water - the "cold" water that comes out of the tap is lukewarm
3. changing leaves
4. the kids friends
5. the Vineyard
6. cel phones that work properly
7. good butter

It's been a hard week for many reasons. I have been fighting off a sore throat that seems to be getting worse and worse. I pretty much destroyed the laminator at the school..... well not exactly destroyed but I did put it out of commission for a few days. Now I'm afraid to use it. Getting up at 6am ( I should really be getting up at 5:30) everyday is getting pretty tiresome. I've been a bit home sick too. That's funny because I don't really have a place to be home sick over. I just miss little things like driving down to the Forks with my family or a walk at Assiniboine Park. The sculpture garden is so pretty in the fall.AT LEO MOL SCULPTURE GARDEN '06

I've also been thinking a lot about people I met at the mission (Siloam Mission). I've been asking myself questions like. What is ____ doing right now?
Is ____ still reading books on watercolour painting?
I wonder if ______ is still sober and creating amazing works of art everyone loved?
What was that joke _____ told me that I laughed so hard at?
Man I loved my time there. Hard as it was at times (which actually were some of the best times) I loved it.
Well I'm tired and need rest. We have been invited to go out to Sting Ray City tomorrow morning with some people who also just moved here and have two kids. Making friends is always hard for me. I wish it was easier. Good night.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Did I grow wings?

Lizard. They're everywhere.

Time has been flying by these past few weeks. Getting here was such a long laborious process which seemed to take forever. But now the days are quickly passing and we have so much we should be doing but where to find the time???

When we first got here I made a commitment to myself to send people mail. Postcards, letters, pictures and boxes with fun treats. Well I have three packages ready to send but haven't gotten tot he post office for two weeks! Today is the day to remedy that. Facebook and phone are great for staying connected of course but there's nothing like a piece of mail to hold and read over and over.

School is going well for all of us. Some days it's hard to get the kids motivated in the mornings but other than that it's been fairly smooth. Football (soccer) practice has started and both Silver and Trinity have joined. Trinity is the ONLY girl in the whole school who is playing. Apparently the boys play football and the girls play netball. Well I think it's a bit sad that more girls don't play. She is having a hard time already. She has mentioned a few kids have said rude things to her about it. It may prove to be too difficult for her to continue. I mean she's only 6. She's not really ready for all that pressure of being the only girl.
Silver is really growing to love the sport. He is on a team with kids younger that him and all his classmates are in the older teams but he still wants to continue. I'm so proud of him. He has been doing very well in school. He has been getting mostly A's and B's because he studies and gives his best. We are working hard on catching him up in Cursive and Math.

At the school we celebrated Grandparents Day by inviting the Grandparents of students in to the classrooms to share stories, talents or to just observe. We had a good time in Pre School with a room full of Grandparents.

Gramma and Dude came to Silver and Trinity's class and Dude played his harmonica. The kids loved it! I can tell Silver and Trinity are still getting use to having Grandparents (or any family for that matter) around. They totally love it!
I hope I can up date much sooner this week but don't count on it. The days might fly by again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

List of Loves

1. Seeing the janitor shew a cow out of the school parking lot
2. Finding out that the teacher I work with had her baby at the same hospital in Winnipeg I had Trinity at. The teacher is from Jamaica. Love it.
3. Teaching art
4. Random groups of chickens
5. Getting mail
6. Sending mail
7. Music
8. Dancing in open spaces
9. Chasing lizards
10. Family
11. Creating
12. Change

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back to school

Let me begin this post by saying that yesterday I slept for 10 hours straight got up for 5 hours then slept again for 9 hours. I was hit with a crazy flu bug that just took me out for one whole day. It was CRAZY. The only time I have ever experienced anything like that before was when I had food poisoning about 11 years ago in Kamloops. It was a very un-welcomed illness in the midst of a crazy first few weeks at school.
Trinity in the pool.

Things are going well. I have been busy in the Pre School making charts and wiping noses. The kids are a really great group. I have been hugged and told I'm loved by more than half of them already and it's only been a week and a half:)

Ryan is really enjoying teaching High School. He is starting a sailing club which is something he has been interested in for a while. I will try to get him to write an update in his own words soon.

The kids are finding their way through new subjects such as US Geography and Spanish. They are also making new friends and getting to know their teachers. Silver is coming out of his shell a little and talking in class. Trinity is doing well and has only had one day she said she didn't want to go.

Here we are set up to watch a movie outside at Camana Bay. Every Tuesday night they show a movie for free. It's really cool. Camana Bay is a really cool place that has a book store, coffe shop, movie theater, shops, apartments, fountains and this cool place where they show the movies.Fun in the pool.

So here we are. Settling in. Living day in and day out. It's fun but difficult. I still don't know which chicken to buy at the store or where a good bakery is. But no worries I've got time to figure it out.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A time of growth

Two weeks ago we bought some seeds, dirt and pots. A week after that (we just didn't seem to find the time) we planted the seeds and have been watching them grow. I can't believe how fast they are growing. The pictures here are one week after planting. The tomato plants we bought as plants as well as two of the herb plants but everything else is from seed.

Amazing! I love growing things.

For the past few years I have wanted a lemon tree.
Ryan and I have dreamed of picking our own lemons from a tree in our backyard. Well We bought the tree but I'm sure it will be years before lemons can be picked off it's branches.

It's so beautiful and smells amazing. When we bought the tree a lady who worked at the Nursery sang us a little song about how lemon trees smell wonderful and have beautiful flowers. It was a really memorable experience.

This week we have been at the school everyday preparing classrooms, boards and lesson plans. I (Alexandra) will be a teaching assistant in the Pre School. I'm looking forward to being with the cute little ones. I will also be teaching Art to grades 1-3 to help the amazing Art teacher. So I get to be in my kids classes at least once a week! Amazing. We are blessed!

Friday, August 14, 2009

First Day and sunset pictures

Pictures of the sun setting tonight. We left the beach early and didn't catch the whole thing.

Today was our first day at the new school. Long story short it was AWESOME! We learned about the school including the vision and some school history. We meet some of the other new staff who where all very cool. It's so amazing to be surrounded by people from different cultures. I'm really going to love this.

We also learned a bit about Cayman and the history. It was really amazing.

The kids were a bit stressed last night and couldn't fall asleep. I was a bit nervous for them too. While Ryan and I were in a meeting this morning they were being taken care of. When we got there another teachers child was there as well and he is the same age as Silver! This was a big bonus. The kids ended up having a great time and are excited to get school started.

When we arrived here we had some issues with our work permits and passports. Well that all got worked out today as well. It's been a good day. Now there's only this weekend left before Ryan gets working in his classroom everyday and then the kids start school Friday!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sea Turtles and boat rides

A rare picture of all of us! This was at the end of a long (fun) afternoon cruising around the island. The kids where so tired.

Just over two weeks on the Island now. I have realized how much is not available on the island. In Canada we are just so used to having everything available. If it's not available at the store down the street we can easily order it on line and have "it" delivered within a few days. Even ordering on line here is difficult. Most places won't deliver here or it would cost so much it's not worth it. As frustrating as this is I am secretly enjoying it. It just makes me have to work harder and be more creative.

For instance I have been trying to find storage bins or drawers or toy boxes. I have found nothing. Seriously nothing. So the kids toys are all over the place or still in a suitcase. It's fine but they aren't really playing with them because they just don't have a familiar place yet. I know it will come.

Here is a sting ray at a place called sting ray city. We stopped here on our boating journey. It's a reef spot about 3-4 feet deep. We all got out and swam with the sting rays. Trinity was super excited to be able to touch one. Silver was a little more freaked out but within a few minutes he was relaxed and having fun too!

The other day Silver asked if they could start school tomorrow so they could make some friends. I see how much they miss their friends. It's hard. Trinity said one day out of know where "I miss our house, I miss Jane". It almost made me cry. I know these things will come too. It just makes me so sad to see the kids this way.

Here we are at the Turtle Farm. We spent an afternoon there learning about Green Sea Turtles. It was awesome.

We are trying to do fun things to keep us busy and not focused on all the transition. We have done some cool stuff. We've been to the Turtle Farm, on a boat cruise, swam in the pool and trips to the beach of course. We are reminding ourselves that we are on summer break and need to relax amidst all the craziness.

On Sunday we where invited to join a group of about 25 people to cruise around the island for the afternoon. It was a really cool experience. The kids loved it!