Saturday, March 29, 2008

Easter Sunday Afternoon at Grammy and Pappy's

Heather, Nathan and Jacob.

Easter Sunday afternoon, Nathan and I, went over to Grammy and Pappy's for our annual Easter egg hunt with his cousins, Heather and Jacob. Uncle Tripp was there and he took the three kids to ride the bike trails at Alafia state park before they hunted eggs.

Loading the bikes.

While they were gone Grammy and I hid the eggs. This year to enhance the fairness of the hunt, Heather divided the eggs into three equal piles. Each child had their own pile and Heather put each child's initials on each egg in their pile. So, during the hunt each child could only pick up an egg if it had their initials on it. It worked out good and cut down on all the whining because each one found the same number of eggs.

Posing before the egg hunt began.

Grammy finishing the hunt instructions.

Nathan and Jacob hunting eggs.

Uncle T.R. and Pappy watching Nathan miss an obvious egg.

As the kids were finishing up with finding the eggs, Uncle Tripp picked up a horse pellet and threw it at Heather and said, "Here's one you missed!" She promptly picked up another one and he took off running and she chased him around the yard and in no time she caught up to him and nailed him right back.

Heather chasing Uncle Tripp!

Lisa bought the stuff for me to make eggplant casserole so it baked while we did the egg hunt. Then we had leftovers for supper. We had ham, broccoli and cauliflower casserole, rice cooked in ham juice, peas, eggplant casserole and Grammy's famous carrot cake! We also had shrimp that Pappy cooked especially for Nathan and me. Thank you Grammy and Pappy for a great visit!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter 2008

Nathan and I have had a wonderful week. It is hard to believe that time flies as fast as it does. It seems like we just got here. I finally took some pictures today using Mama's camera. We started out the morning at the mall. JCPenney was having a great sale. We took advantage of it. I was hesitant to take Nathan with us, but he was a good boy and didn't complain. Especially when he was trying on those Sketcher tennis shoes his DeeDee bought him.

When we finished at the mall we went to the Easter egg hunt that the church held. Nathan was a bit hesitant when we first arrived but, as always, it didn't take him long to find someone to hang around with.

Being a loner.

Getting instruction.

On your mark, get set, go!

He actually carried that basket.

Picking out a prize for finding a numbered egg.

Getting his food without Mama's help.

Nathan, Wyatt and Jay.

After the Easter egg hunt, Uncle Howie took Nathan to see a movie and then he and DeeDee colored eggs. Uncle Howie said that DeeDee didn't read the directions. But, I think they turned out pretty.

See how pretty they are.

Well, maybe all of them but the last one!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Flying to Chile when I was five.

Nathan and I have been given the opportunity to come home for spring break. His school year is divided into three terms and he just finished his second term. He made the A honor roll again and we couldn't be prouder. He was also moved up to a higher reading group. He has two weeks off and one of those weeks Todd has a Royal Ranger team to host on the south side of the island. Since he needs our only vehicle, Nathan and I would have been stuck in Montego Bay for a week with no transportation and I don't think I could take being holed up in our apartment with him for a week. So, thanks to Todd, who granted us our wish, frequent flyer miles, and my gracious parents who are letting us take over their place we came home yesterday for a much needed vacation.

We left yesterday morning on Air Jamaica and flew to Orlando. Now, just bear with me a moment here because I have to give a plug for Air Jamaica. All of the national newspapers in Jamaica (the Gleaner and the National Observer), give them a bad rap saying they are in financial trouble and they don't service their planes properly and blah, blah, blah. But let me tell you, I have flown both Spirit and American Airlines to and from Montego Bay. Both of those airlines have been late, the service left everything to be desired and Spirit wouldn't even give you a drink of water without wanting two dollars from you. Air Jamaica on the other hand, leaves on time, their service is friendly, they offer drinks and snacks at no charge, even complimentary champagne to coach passengers and most importantly their tickets were the cheapest. So, if and when you come to visit, fly Air Jamaica.

I had to leave our camera with Todd, and I didn't bring my computer with all of my pictures on it, so the above picture is one of me that I found here on Mama's computer. I've been told that blog posts are better with pictures. Even though I didn't look like the above picture yesterday on the plane I thought it was cute and fitting. I just have one thing to ask Mama though...What did you bribe me with to get me to wear that skirt?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ultimate Jerk Centre

Saturday was the team's free day and we took them to the falls in Ocho Rios and then snorkeling. Half way between MoBay and Ochi, is the Ultimate Jerk Centre. It has the best jerk pork and chicken that we have had on the island. Our bus driver said that it doesn't have the best jerk goat but I haven't tried the goat so I can't argue with him. But, the pork and the chicken are the best. We stopped Saturday and the team loved it as well.

Nathan fell asleep on the way.

He eventually fell over into my lap. And, there is no need to comment on that huge dimple in my leg. I know it's there and now you do too.

Outside view of the facility.

Nathan and the menu.

Todd ordering.

The portions come in quarter pound, half pound and one pound sizes. We ordered a pound of pork for the three of us. Unfortunately here in Jamaica they grab a piece of meat off the grill and give it a few hundred chops with a meat cleaver and so you may not always get just lean meat. This go 'round we had a lot of bone and fat. We made a pile of it and Todd took it back up to the counter and showed it to them and they gave us more lean meat. No apology of course because here it is expected that you will get bone, gristle and fat.

The grill in the back and a man frying festivals. Festivals are Jamaican fried breads.

"Set you on fire" jerk sauce made with scotch bonnet peppers.

This sauce was really good. Now it was hot as fire but it had a great flavor. Todd asked to buy a bottle but they didn't sell it.

Jerk chicken (chopped in miniature pieces) and festivals.

We haven't figured out why they feel the need to chop their meat into little pieces before serving it. There is a place here in MoBay called Jerky's that does the same thing. So, I have learned that when I take my ticket over to the grill to get my chicken, I always say, "Don't chop my chicken!" They have the hardest time with leaving a chicken leg and thigh intact.

After leaving the Jerk Centre we went to the falls. Todd and Nathan climbed it with the team. They of course loved it. Then we took them out on a boat and snorkeled. Todd said the reef wasn't near what it was in Negril. I know the boat wasn't. I kept praying that the glass bottom wouldn't give way in the wind and waves. Before we went snorkeling, there was a man selling cotton candy in the parking lot. You know how my redhead loves cotton candy.

Cotton candy Jamaican style.

The back of the Jerk Centre has an open grassy field that leads down to the sea. Nathan convinced some of the team members to race him. He loves to run. When I ask him what He wants to be when he grows up he always says he wants to be a racer. Here is one of his races:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

First Football Practice Match

Nathan had his first practice football match this week. We have waited all year for this match. It was worth the wait. MBCA has two teams, the junior boys which Nathan is on, and the senior boys. We played DMP Academy and unfortunately lost 3-1. Our coach said that it was a whole lot better than last year when they got beat 9-0.

We met the team up at MBCA in order to follow the bus because we had no clue where DMP Academy was. And, it's much easier to follow than to try and get directions since there are no street signs, whatsoever. The boys were suited up when we got there and Todd walked over to the bus where the team was and Nathan looked up at him and said, "Daddy, I'm so excited." Yes, DeeDee, we let him ride the bus, but as you can tell from the picture we were right behind them.

Can you make out the white thumb and red hair?

Darren and Nathan warm up.

A break in the game.

A much needed break.

Resting at halftime.

The first half was only thirty minutes because they all kept running out of energy and walking. Nathan kept coming over to the sidelines for a drink of Gatorade. Of course he did that during the second half too. The second half was forty minutes. Most of the game consisted of all the players crowding together and when they would kick the ball, it would bounce off of the other players like in a pinball machine. The other team scored three honest goals (well, I think one of our players actually scored one for them, but it wasn't Nathan) and we scored our goal off of a penalty kick.

Brain freeze.

Celebrating our one and only goal.

When we made our goal, you would have thought we were at a gymnastics meet. They were so excited they did cartwheels and flips all over the field. They also realized how much running it takes to play football. Nathan said at practice yesterday, Coach made them run about 30 laps.

Experience some of the game:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Quiz At MBCA

My baby among all those big kids.

Montego Bay Christian Academy divides the school into four houses (teams). They are Destiny, Purpose, Excel, and Diligence. Nathan is in the Destiny house. During the year they have competitions between the houses. Last week they held the spelling bee and this week was quiz. Next month is sports day, which Nathan is really looking forward to. In quiz today, each house had one representative from each grade. So, each house had six reps and Nathan was the grade one rep for Destiny.

Quiz consisted of three rounds. The first round was a team effort and each house was asked their own question. The house that answered the most questions in the alotted time won. The second round was a competition in that each grade rep from each team competed against each other. So, the two first graders competed, then the two second graders competed, etc. The third round was again a team effort but both teams were asked the same question and the first team to hit the buzzer first and answered the question correctly won the point.

Destiny teammates.

Nathan did well. In the first competition he was up against Ashari and he helped his team by answering more questions than she did. But, in the second round, Tisanna answered more questions than Nathan did. At the end of the competition, Destiny house finished second overall.

Nathan and Ashari:

His last answer was tomato and they gave him credit for it. Tune in tomorrow (if I continue to have an internet connection) for a post on Nathan's first football practice match.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


The junk.

We had quite an unconventional service Sunday morning. We host missions teams from the states. Many come as construction teams and some come strictly for ministry. This team that is here now call themselves fx ministries. They are students from Southeastern University and they are a percussion group that makes "music" by playing junk. They use drum sticks, broomsticks, paint cans, hubcaps and anything that they can scrounge up. Now, I must admit, when I first heard this, I was a bit skeptical. Okay, I was very skeptical. And, after listening to their selections, it's not what I would call music. But, with an open mind, I have to admit that it's not the sound they make but the beat. They were very organized and together. Nathan loved it. On one piece they used broomsticks and did a pretend battle with the beat coming from their stomping and the sticks hitting together. I asked Nathan what he thought of it and he liked it. He said that he wanted to use the broomsticks to play Power Rangers. That didn't surprise me.

Nathan was part of the planning session.

Between selections, different members of the group would speak and give just a short testimony. Todd did a good job with the analogy that God can help us with the junk we carry around at the end. After church all the kids got to try their hand at beating the junk with the sticks. Was I evermore glad when it was time to pack up. :)

Here is a sample of their "music" for you:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Another "Mommy Moment"

One rainy day last year at the beach.

I had another "mommy moment" this morning taking Nathan to school. Last night Todd went with the team to a church in Lucea. Nathan and I didn't go because he had a book report due today and also because Todd doesn't come in from Lucea until after 11:00 PM. Nathan got tired early last night and he wanted me to lay down with him. I was tired too from the long day so, I told him to come get in bed with me. As he was getting his pajamas on, I heard him singing a song from church. He had the words all mixed up, but I didn't care I was just glad he was singing because he NEVER sings. I can't even bribe him to sing. He just has absolutely no interest in singing, whatsoever. As we crawled into bed, he was still singing. So, I joined in with the right words of Lord I Lift Your Name On High.

"You came from heaven to earth, to show the way. From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky, Lord I lift your name on high." We sang it several times, repeating the last line, "Lord I lift your name on high, Lord I lift your name on high, Lord I lift your name on high." Then I got silly and started singing with the same tune, "Give your ma-uh-ma some sugar, give your ma-uh-ma some sugar." And of course he would lean over and kiss me. He thought that was funny for a few seconds, but then he went back to Mario on his DS.

This morning riding to school, he started singing again. I joined in and when we got to the last line, he would sing, "Give your ma-uh-ma some sugar," and lean over and kiss me. So, after singing that song through a few times, I thought I would go out on a limb and see if I could get him to sing another song with me. (Fat chance, I thought.) So, I asked, "What other song can we sing?" And, there it was, he looked at me with that sweet face of his, impetigo and all, and says, "I'll Always Come Back." Why was I surprised? I wasn't. What I was surprised at though, was when he belted out every word as if this was some every morning ritual of ours. Unfortunately, for those of us in our family with hopes of him being a good singer one day, I'm afraid he only hit one or two notes that were right. But, I didn't care, because we had the sunroof open and me and my boy were singing together and it was a mommy moment I won't soon forget!