The Marsh Family

The Marsh Family

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Kittens and Karaoke...

Well - I still don't have the pictures to show you to explain the excitement of last Monday. I'll try to explain it and hopefully will have some pictures this week. Last Monday I laid in bed and said to my hubby, " Wouldn't it be great if we got to school and there was no electricity so they would send us home?" That was met with a laugh from Courtney, we got ready for school, and left. When we got there, you guessed it, no electricity! If you recall this happened once already and we were electricity-less for 4 hours. We went to get the kids and took them into our dark rooms. One of my boys came to me and said, "Missy there's a rabbit in the hallway." Okay there are no rabbits in Puerto Rico...what are you talking about? After hearing this 3 times I finally told him to show Missy. He took me to a corner in the hallway and there it was...a new baby kitten! I picked it up and what should happen?! Another new baby kitten underneath! What was I supposed to do? I picked them both up and put them in a box. I told my husband that I couldn't leave them there because if an older student found them they'd probably do something mean because that's how most older kids here are. I told him I would have to take them home that night because I refused to leave them there. Okay so now I have no lights, 19 insane students, and 2 baby kittens in a box (are you singing "And a partridge in a pear tree" yet?!). About that time the principal comes in and says to use the cell phones of any students that have them and call their parents to come get them. Am I psychic or what?! I asked my kiddos, "Do any of you have a phone in your bag?" To which they replied, "Missy we're little kids!!" So I got out my cell and called one of my parents that I knew spoke English. Within at hour or so all students were gone and....the lights came on!! Now I'm student-less with 2 baby kittens. Courtney started telling other teachers about my new babies so I had people coming to ooh and aah at them. One teacher came with her phone, called a friend and took one of the babies. We went home with 1 kitten and I went to get formula. While I was out the mother of one of Brent's kids came and took the other one. So...we had a 1/2 day of school, rescued 2 babies, and found them new homes...all in a 1/2 days work! Moving on to the weekend...on Friday night we tried to go to a Guayama Brujos basketball game. We read on the Internet that one of the players is from Overland Park, KS. We got to the game early and they were already sold out. So we went home and were bored. Katie convinced Brent to go look for a movie and he took a detour to a game store in the mall. You see, Katie and I have been trying to talk Brent into buying a Karaoke or American Idol game for his Xbox for weeks now. Well - he found some games so we went and bought one! As soon as we got home we busted out the beer and got to singing. We made our own characters, dressed them, and started singing for scores. I let my inner rock star out singing "I Love Rock and Roll" my first time up and got a perfect 30,000! Yep - I'm a platinum artist! We all did an awesome job if I do say so myself. I think it's safe to say I've become an addict. I want to be at the Dill house singing all the time. In fact - last night when we got home (next story) we started singing. The Nuggets were playing so Brent went to our house to watch the game. Next thing you know Brent, Katie, and Courtney are at our house watching the game and I'm left alone with the microphone. I felt like a huge dork so I quit! Do you think they were trying to give me a hint? We haven't been singing today and yes I'm a little bummed. I even got on the Internet today to try to find a way to get more songs...I think I might need some help! These are pictures from Friday night when the fun started. I believe Courtney was singing "Me and Bobby McGee", a song we "unlocked" by getting a platinum score. We also "unlocked" several new outfits for our contestants including a cat outfit, a devil outfit, a long denim skirt, and a bathrobe. Yesterday during the day we went on a road trip with Mendez to Aquadilla to see the Puerto Rico Airshow Extraveganza. The Blue Angels were supposed to be there but cancelled due to the accident last week. We did however see one Blue Angel. They aren't took exciting when it's just one of them. There were some other cool air displays but the rest of it was walking around and walking through other US Military planes. It was pretty exciting for Courtney and I because several of the planes were from good ole Kansas! We met a pilot from McConnell Air Force Base, saw several Beechcraft planes, and found a plaque from Raytheon. Here are a few pictures of our KS connection.
We also saw a Hummer vehicle that belongs to the Puerto Rico National Guard so Katie and I had to climb in. They had an Xbox (I think) in the back hooked up to a big screen so there were little kids playing. There was an ARMY recruiting tent that we went to look at because I told Courtney it would be funny if our friend Dave Williams was there. He had to go look to see if I was really psychic...didn't work this time. There were some men walking around with machine guns that you could hold so Katie and I took turns being G.I. Jane. Mendez called my pose the Jane Fonda. Katie and I are known for having out pictures taken with random statues of animals or mascots or just crazy things. This time we find the lightbulb mascot for the always fantastic Puerto Rico Electric Company. We can't remember the full name it said on his back but we lovingly refer to him as Bombi.

Here are pictures of some of the helicopters, fighter jets, etc. that we saw. We were able to walk through 2 and even got into the cockpit. The first picture is a HUGE machine! It was posted how much would fill the plane so Courtney put it in terms I would understand. This plane would hold 4 semi loads of wheat!! That's a lot of room! We also saw a Coast Gaurd demonstration. We kept waiting for Aston Kutcher and Kevin Costner to come out like they did in "The Gaurdian" but they didn't. It's amazing how still they can keep those helicopters. It was very windy yesterday and I know it's ten times worse when they're trying to hover over the ocean in a storm with waves pounding them. All I know is the people we saw yesterday have steady hands and strong stomachs! PS: anyone who wants to know of a good gift to buy my Xbox would be fabulous! Please help support Kelly's karaoke habit!! ;) Good one, huh?!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

In the words of Chris Daughtry...I'm Coming Home...

Nothing too exciting in this post just letting you all know that we booked our trip home for the summer! We will arrive in St. Louis on Tuesday, June 19th and leave on Friday, July 6. We can't stay for too long because we have many friends and family coming to PR to visit during the summer. We wanted to come home at this time for our friend John's wedding on June 23. Hope we get to see you all this summer! More to post later including some exciting news from school this past Monday but I'm waiting for some pictures. Check back here soon!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

More Spring!

Okay, so we got back from Vieques and had our Easter so it should have been time for the spring break fun to begin, right? Unfortunately the Marsh family didn't do it that way. We got up Monday morning and I was sick. I ended up staying in bed with a fever on Monday and Tuesday. So much for finding something fun to do. By Wednesday I felt a little better so we decided to go to Ponce to the art museum and had a few other things on our list. By the time we ate lunch and walked through the museum I was beat and couldn't do anything else. The art museum is really nice. There was one main painting Courtney wanted to see which is the Flaming June. It really is stunning. The picture is a little fuzzy because I did it without the flash so it wouldn't glare but here's a picture I took of the original Flaming June.

We also saw some paintings of Saint Jerome who is the Patron Saint of Translating. I bought Courtney a Saint Jerome medal several years ago because I thought it was neat. No, we aren't Catholic but I liked it so I bought it. I've never seen pictures of Saint Jerome before so I was pretty excited. We drove back to Guayama and I had a fever again. I was so tired of sitting at home thought that I sucked it up and we went to see a movie. I figured sitting in the freezing movie theatre would be good for comments needed. We went and saw Blades of Glory and it was retarded yet funny. By the time we got home the Dills were home from their outing and we all got pizza for dinner. On Thursday morning the boys all went fishing so I stayed home and cleaned house. I was so bored when I got done that I took pictures of the dogs. As you can see they were very excited to have their pictures taken!

Friday morning we got up and went beach exploring. We found a new beach that looks very nice and calm but no pets are allowed. Then we drove to one of the beaches we really like and had a picnic and then went swimming at the Brandemar pool. The sea was really rough on Friday so I couldn't even go swimming or to try out my new boogie board. Yesterday the Dills went on an outing to the North part of the island for horseback riding which Courtney and I will be doing in a month for our 5 year anniversary so we got up and went fishing. I learned how to tie on a sinker and a hook, I baited the hook, and learned how to cast. Basically I'm a pro now! Unfortunately we caught fish for lunch! As you can see, I am a very determined fisher...

After catching, well, nothing, we came home and did laundry, went groccery shopping, and played games. It's really not been that exciting of a spring break but I guess that's okay because it kept us from spending a lot of money. We have no plans for today. Courtney needs to put new front brakes on our Rodeo and I'm going to make lunch and do some crafty stuff...or at least attempt it. Hope everyone had a great week and weekend!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Spring Break in Vieques

Our Spring Break has started! It started with us meeting Rick and Cathy Dill and leaving for Vieques bright and early Thursday morning. We thought we were doing so good leaving early (6:30 am) to make it to Fajardo to get our ferry tickets. We under-estimated the number of people that would be heading to Vieques for Easter weekend. Katie and Rick stood in line to get tickets and called us and said we weren't going to make the 9:30 ferry because they were stopping selling tickets because there were so many people. This would mean we couldn't leave until 1:00! Then Brent stood in line and we kept gradually moving our stuff closer to the doorway to the ferry. Rick and Katie went to check in with Brent at about 9:35 and Brent said to be ready if he came running. Next thing you know, Brent's running towards us. We grabbed everything and ran! The lady said she had 3 tickets and Brent said he needed 6...she got on her walkie talkie and sold us the tickets. Unfortunately people take up at least 2 seats per person so we had to stand for part of the ride. Once we got there we called for our rental car which Katie and Courtney went to pick up and took 2 hours to return. While they were doing that Brent called about our apartments we had rented. Those fell through so they put us up in their hotel. Not bad actually - we got the whole top floor to ourselves which was basically an apartment with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a living room area. Pretty nice actually! Here's some pictures of the front of our "hotel" and our car. For those of you who know me really well can probably guess I was stoked about driving a 2006 Durango...a vehicle I've wanted for a long time!

The rest of the day Thursday was spent eating at a place called "Bananas", finding a few beaches, and then hitting the hay pretty early because the men needed to get up early to go fishing. Friday at 7:00 the men headed to the dock to catch their fishing trip with Franco. Katie came back (isn't she sweet getting up early to take them?!) and waited for Cathy and I to get up. We weren't as eager to get up and face the day as Kate was! We did eventually get up, caught breakfast at Roy's, did a little shopping for some rings that started at $6.50 and ended at $20.00 (LONG story!), and headed to Green Beach. This is the beach where they say you can find tons of conch shells and that's just what Katie and I wanted to do. We started snorkeling right away and ended up bringing 6 shells to the shore to sit with Cathy. We were pretty proud of ourselves because we actually had to go a long way out and dive deep for the shells. Not as easy as it sounds people! Here's some pictures of our shells and the master snorkelers.

On our way back from Green Beach we came across a group of wild horses. Believe it or not they are everywhere on Vieques! In Kansas we have to worry about hitting a deer at night, here, wild horses. We saw the group on the way out there and on the way back. I counted on the way there and counted 17, on the way back they picked up another buddy and there were 18. Here are some pictures of some of the wild horses we saw in our 3 days there. I would guess we saw at least 40 total.

After leaving Green Beach we went to eat a place called "Belly Buttons" - such a cute place! Then we decided we didn't have enough time to go to the hotel so we went and sat at the dock waiting for our fishermen. They had a somewhat successful fishing trip. Each of them caught 1 while they fished from the boat (apparently called spin fishing). They spent the morning fly fishing which had no success for them. Once they got on the boat the hits came pretty quickly. Courtney didn't even get seasick! We bought some seasick bracelets for him (actually Sharon and Wilbur did before they came down because I can't find them here) called Sea Bands and they work! Enough of a shameless plug - Brent caught a tarpon, Rick caught a baracuda (yes, I'm serious), and Courtney caught a yellow tailed snapper. They way it was explained to us: Brent caught the biggest and toughest, Rick caught the smallest with the most teeth, and Courtney caught the prettiest and tastiest. Here's a picture of the Belly Buttons sign (too cute!) and some pictures of their fishing trip. Thankfully Rick had his camera and captured the trip for us all.

Once the men got back it was time to get ready for the bio bay tour. Courtney and I had decided we wouldn't go to save money and because we were so excited about the one in Fajardo we didn't think we needed to go. Unfortunately Brent wasn't feeling well and they would have had to have paid for him anyway so I went in his place. I am so happy I did! It was so amazing! In Fajardo it's amazing but it's different in Vieques. In Vieques the glowing is a bright blue - and I mean bright. There were fish everywhere, jumping out of the water and glowing. Everything that the micro organisms touch glows which is why you glow when you swim in it. When we got in to swim it was the most amazing thing! We lifted our arms out of the water and the glowing water trickled down our arms and then it looked like you had glitter all over because you just sparkled. It was amazing! Here's a picture of us getting ready to board the bus to take us there and a picture of Rick, Kate, and I in the water. You can't really see the glowing so I took a picture from the website for the bay. You might not believe this but that is really what it looked like! I could not believe it! If you'd like to see more pictures and read up on it go to

We got home around 9:00 and it was off to bed. Courtney and Brent were already asleep but I woke Courtney up because I was so excited! I bought one of their shirts that glows and was just reeling from the experience! I know Courtney was really thrilled I did that. We got up Saturday morning and went back to Green Beach to try to find some conch shells for Rick. The sea was a little rough that morning so we didn't do a lot of snorkeling. When you go to Vieques or Culebra and buy your ferry tickets you have to purchase your trip back at the same time as your trip there. We had marked ours to return at 4:30 on Saturday because we didn't think we'd get back in time. We had to return the Durango (tears!) at 1:00 and their was a ferry trip back at 1:00. Courtney and I returned it and got back to the dock at 1:05. The ferry was still there so Courtney and Brent went to check to see if it would be possible to hop on. We thought for sure it wouldn't happy but once again - Brent came running! We packed up and ran again! This time Courtney and I had to stand for the entire hour boat ride. It was a bit of a pain in the butt but at least we got home early. We came home last night, took showers, went shopping for our Easter lunch today, got some pinchos for dinner, and went to bed. Today was spent cooking up an Easter feast and then taking the dogs to the beach to get some exercise. Courtney and I found 2 jellyfish on the shore at the beach today which we've never seen before. Katie took pictures with her underwater camera so we'll have to get that developed. Hope everyone had a Happy Easter and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our nephew, Nicolas. He's the big 8 today! We miss you, Peanut, and can't wait to see you in June! We love you and Anna VERY, VERY, VERY, MUCH! Here's one last picture of our Vieques trip...we called it our Sports Illustrated picture...or you could say a ruined picnic!

Monday, April 02, 2007

For Joy...

I am writing this entry at the urging of my sister, Joy. I talked to her on the phone tonight and she said I need to update. We really haven't done too much in the last couple of weeks which is why I've fallen down on the job. Please, please, oh joyous one, forgive me!! Here's what's been happening since the Noon clan left. The entire next week was spent relaxing and doing laundry. We had a 3 day weekend so we spent the entire day Friday doing laundry. On Saturday we wanted to do something a little different so we went to a pool owned by the hotel and bar we like alot, Brandemar. For $5.00 you can spend the day swimming without being a guest at the hotel. You would think with as much money as they make off of the 4 of us they cold cut us a deal and let us in for, oh, I don't know, FREE! Anyway...there is a lovely picture of me being a swimming pool mertard on Katie and Brent's blog but I didn't think I needed to share it here. Kate and I want to become better snorkelers so we took our gear and practiced in the pool. Courtney threw money in the pool so we'd have some "treasure" to find. We are fabulous snorkelers now!! We also found out that we will have mucho visitors in July and we are very excited! Our friend Marilyn from Sabetha is coming in July and the day that she leaves Courtney's cousins come. We can't wait! We are coming home in June for about 2 weeks so those of you who won't come visit (I'm frowning at you now) will still have a chance to see us. Moving on....last week was a full week of school, kind of. We had GPS' Annual Game Day on Friday. It was insane! The 1-3 graders arrived at 8:00 and played games like: water balloon pass, shoe race, relay race, jump rope race, etc. until 9:30. Then the 4-6 graders arrived and played from 9:30-11:30 then we go tot go home. That was the best part! There's nothing better than coming home in the middle of the afternoon, unless of course you're talking about...SPRING BREAK!!! Yippy Skippy People! We had school today, we have it tomorrow, and we have it Wednesday and then we're off until, are you ready for this?! APRIL 17!!!! Twelve days of spring break bliss are headed our way! We are so ready! Brent's parents arrive tomorrow and Thursday morning, bright and early, we're off to Vieques. Vieques is a little island off of PR once used by the US military for bomb testings and what not. Brent's dad, Ricky, was stationed there when he was enlisted. Cool, huh? I think it will be very interesting for him to go back and see it now...sure it's changed a little. The boys have an all day fly fishing trip on Friday so Kathy, Brent's mom, Katie and I will fend for ourselves on the beach for the day...tough life, I know! Trust me, there will be pictures on the next post. The rest of our days have been filled with school, cleaning, laundry, and combo dinner nights with the Dills. We've been talking alot lately about how our time here is already half over. It doesn't seem possible that we've been here for that long! If we come home after our 2 years (which is more likely than not) we'll need to have that decision made, hopefully some connections for jobs made, and be thinking about a house at this time next year! It's going so much faster than I thought it would. I can say that even with the bad times we've had here(believe it or not there have been a know that if you've read carefully!) we are still loving (and learning from) every minute here. We wouldn't change this experience or the friends we've made in the Dills for anything! HELLO...JOY....ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!?! When are you coming to visit?