The Marsh Family

The Marsh Family

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas came...and went....

Well, we spent our first (ever!) Christmas away from our families this week. I only broke down one time and it was first thing in the morning. It was really an uneventful Christmas for us. On Christmas Eve Papi (Mr. Mendez) showed up around 8:00 and said, "You look bored, let's go to a party!" so we went to a party. It was at the house of a friend of his sister. It was fun. We ate good food, listened to music, played instruments to the music, and got invited to their New Year's Eve party. We met some of Papi's family, too. We met his sister, Nilsa, her husband, Papi's nephew and his girlfriend, and some other neices and nephews. We had lechon, pasteles, snacks, drinks, etc... The people were so friendly - whenever our hands were empty they brought us a beer. It was nice to get out and spend some time with other people that night. Then Christmas Day we got up, did our cooking and went to Tom's house for lunch. We had a great lunch with Tom, Tori, Tori's friend Mandy, and Tori's new puppy, Coco. Here's a few pics from Christmas Eve and Day...told you it was uneventful!

Puerto Rican Papaya anyone?

Pasteles filled with pork

Our new Puerto Rican band!

Christmas for the dogs! Here's Coco and Miller in his Christmas gift from Curtis.

Manischewitz anyone? Oh yes people, we drank it! Ew!

Let's see - after Christmas Day we went back to Utuado to the caves with some friends. Mama Pomales has family here from Indiana for a few weeks so we took them to the caves. We had 3 cars full of people. When we got to the gas station and parked our cars there was a stray dog just hanging out. He followed us to the cave opening and we thought he'd run away...nope. He went through every place we went through, probably even more graceful than us! Here's Courtney and his friend.

After the caves we went to Arecibo to the Pirate's Cove which happens to be with the lighthouse. We walked around and looked at the "pirate ships", went through the aquariam and then took in the beautiful view. It was a full but fun day!

I had to take pictures with the pirates by myself since Katie wasn't there. Here's one...

Here's a picture of our group and a few of the scenery - not to shabby, huh?!

Since then we haven't done anything. We were supposed to go Snuba diving on Saturday but it's been cancelled because of the weather. We are re-scheduled to Snuba next Friday, the 4th of January. We'll have a busy few days because we will Snuba on the 4th, Three Kings party on the 5th, and the Dills come home on the 6th. We won't be bored then! Hope you all had a great Christmas!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas is coming...

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I blogged last so I thought I'd give you a quick rundown of what we've been up to. Nothing too exciting. A few weeks ago I went with the Dills to take their Christmas picture. We found a way to get to an old Sugar Mill in Guayama that they were able to walk up and sit in. Benny and Lola just LOVE sitting still for pictures! They like it about as much as Miller & Winston do. Here are a few shots from that day.

Last weekend we didn't do too much. On Sunday we went to another teacher's beach house and spent the day. We didn't get into the water because it was raining off and on but we had some good food and hung out. If they would have put us up in a beach house we might consider staying a little longer...

This week was spent getting grades and tests finished up because report cards go out right after Christmas break. This coming week will be the easiest week ever at school. No grades will be taken, no pressure. On Wednesday we have our Christmas program and then students are released at 11:00. Granted we have to stay until 3:00 but oh well! Free after that until January 8th!! Katie, Brent, and I put together a little play for our classes for the program. We're doing a short (very short) version of The Polar Express and damn is it cute! Our elves do a little dance routine with presents, we made a train, we have the cutest conductor, and it's just fun! Here's a pic of Kate and me working on painting The Polar Express No. 123...

Last night the 4 of us went out to celebrate our Christmas together. We went to a nice restaurant in Old San Juan and had some great food. When we got home we exchanged some gifts. Courtney told me this week what he's getting me because he needed to set it all up. We are going Snuba diving on Dec. 28. Don't know what snuba is? Snuba diving is a cross between scuba diving and snorkeling. You wear an oxygen mask like in scuba but you don't carry the oxygen tank. You don't wear a wet suit either. Your oxygen tank is floating in a raft on the water and your line only goes down 20 ft. so there's no chance of floating up too fast and passing out or anything. I'm really surprised my hubby wants to do this seems as how he hates the ocean. There are about 6 or so of us going out to do it. Don't worry, I'll take plenty of pictures that day to post! So last night I told him his big Christmas gift - I bought Brent's XBox for him. He's only had it since last Christmas and plays it all the time so I just decided to buy it! Yesterday I found Madden 2008 for the XBox and it was a price that I couldn't pass up so I bought it too. There you have it folks, if ya need a gift idea for Courtney - XBOX GAMES! Anyway, Brent and Kate bought Courtney an XBox game and a movie for his PSP. We bought Brent a movie for his PSP and a shirt that hasn't arrived yet. We bought Kate a makeup bag and a book all about women running to help motivate us in our's getting difficult! The name of the book is "Sole Sisters" - isn't that cute?! And they got me a BEAUTIFUL Coach purse!! I love this purse! Kate and I saw it a few weeks ago and I knew she bought it because I was there, I just had to wait for it. Here's a picture of my purse...

Brent and Kate are set to go to the States this week for Christmas break. They are not taking little Benny and Lola so Aunt Kelly and Uncle Courtney get to babysit. I'm sure it will be crazy with them the first couple of days but then they will be bored with us. Miller and Winston, I'm sure, will be tired out by the time the Dills come home. We don't have a ton planned for Christmas break - snuba diving, Vieques, and not much else. We'll probably just spend a lot of time relaxing and at the beach. Christmas will be tough but I'm sure it will go fast! In case you haven't heard we are moving home in May or June!!! We officially got jobs for next year, I know, already?! Courtney will be teaching Spanish at Pleasant Ridge High School in Easton, KS (6 miles from Leavenworth) and I will be at Ft. Leavenworth again. I'm not sure where yet but I think it will probably be Kindergarten at Mac. We're already looking at houses online because that's the next move. If any of you know of someone selling a house in Leavenworth, keep us in mind! Have a great week and if you're in a place with lots of cold weather and snow - stay warm!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Our Christmas picture

I know most of you will be receiving our Christmas card and picture but I thought I'd put it up here anyway. We've been telling people about this picture and I know there are some people who are anxious to see it. I know, I know, the picture does not look real but it is! This is us in the window cave at Utuado. It was so cool!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

They came, we saw, we spelunkered...

My parents finally made the trip down this last week. They arrived last Saturday at 11:00 pm and we took them to the airport at 5:30 this morning. It was a full, fun week!

Last Sunday
We took their first day here pretty easy. We got up late and watched some TV before deciding to go to Los Bohios for lunch with some friends. Brent had his friend Colton here from Colorado so they went with us. We had the fantastic crab dip we ate with Joy and Hoshi and then had some real Puerto Rican cuisine. My dad even got adventurous and tried Seafood Mofongo. Yum!

On Monday we were going to go to Ponce and to try to meet "Chi Chi" Rodriguez but things in Ponce were closed and it was raining so instead we drove to San Juan. We went to Casa Bacardi & Casa Don Q -of course!- and then walked around Fort San Cristobal. After the fort we walked down to the docks and around Old San Juan in search of Christmas gifts. We even got my mom to take a few sips at Bacardi...until she started to get too hot and have some hives! Ya gotta love a woman allergic to alcohol for trying!! Here are some pics of our trip Monday.

On Tuesday we made our first attempt to meet the famous golfer "Chi Chi" Rodriguez at his golf resort El Legado. We drove out there and were told he had just left. We stood around looking at his pictures and golf shop for a while and then left. We continued on to Ponce for a trolley ride and more shopping. Unfortunately all of the museums we were to see during our trolley ride were closed so we made only 1 stop. We drove by the oldest tree in Ponce. Then we stopped at a market where we got everyone to try Mavi. Mavi is a juice that is fermented tree bark. We got the man selling it to show us the tree bark. It's actually very's at least interesting. Then we shopped around the plaza before going to La Guancha (the dock/marina in Ponce) expecting to eat lunch. For some reason all of the restaurants were closed! Not much luck in Ponce on Tuesday.

Attempt #2 was made to meet "Chi Chi" and again we were told he had just left. I decided that he is an elusive little creature who in fact might not exist... After being disappointed again we decided to just spend the day at the beach. We needed to be home at a decent hour to start getting things ready for Thanksgiving. We went to a new beach and it was alright but nothing too spectacular. We then decided to just go to our old faithful Lighthouse Beach. We got there and our jaws dropped. There is barely a beach there anymore!! You can't get to the rocks we usually walk to, our "spot" in the shade is completely gone and there is so much erosion from the hurricanes and tropical storms. We couldn't believe it! We decided to go ahead and stay there but we didn't know for how long because the sky was awfully dark.

Thursday, as you all know, was Thanksgiving so we didn't go anywhere. We had 11 people over for lunch and mom and I cooked up some good food! We got up around 8:00 -not too early!- and started the turkey. Things went very well and we had PLENTY of food...plenty of leftovers! Check it out...a DOUBLE DECKER CHOCOLATE PIE!!!!

Our third and final attempt to meet "Chi Chi" happened on Friday. FINALLY...he does exist!! He was so nice & funny. He sat and talked with us for a long time. He signed some autographs for us. Very down to earth!

After that we drove to Utuado to spelunker (were you wondering when that was coming?) in some caves. We were told by Mendez and his son Alex that it would be a view to die for. Better be good because this is way out of my mom's element. She doesn't like dark enclosed places. On top of that we had to hike a little and climb down some steep areas to get there. AND there were bats all around which my mom hates. We were doing really well walking through the cave with our flashlights and then we saw it..."the window". OH MY GOD!!! It was the most amazing view! I know from pictures that it doesn't look real but I assure you it was. We will definitely be going back there before we move. It was kind of fun to get inside the caves and explore. After that we drove to a lake and took a look around before arriving back home to let mom and dad pack up.

Saturday wasn't too eventful...we took mom and dad to the airport at 6:00 in the morning and then we came home. I tutored for 3 hours in the afternoon and we caught up with Katie who got home late Friday night. She actually got up at 5:00 in the morning just to meet my parents!! Isn't she cute?!?! Now we start the long wait to come home. I thought seeing my parents at Thanksgiving would make not going home at Christmas easier on us...we'll see! Courtney has an interview on Tuesday for a job back in Kansas for next year so keep your fingers crossed for him! Hopefully he'll get that job then I'll get one and everything will fall into place for us to come home. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with your families!