Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just a picture

I think it says it all!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Potty Training Update

I know you're dying to know how my day went potty training my Silas, so I thought I'd tell! :o)

As of 7:30pm the M&M jar was completely full (if you don't count the 3 (or maybe it was more like 4) M&M's that I took for comfort's sake.) So, that meant no success, yet. :o( While one of our older kiddos was showering they brought the potty out to the living room so they could have a few private minutes without having a little brother coming in constantly to "try." Callie saw the potty, took off her diaper, and......went pee pee! Can you believe it!? Not exactly the result we were hoping for! (Callie is 18 months, and I decided I'm just not ready for her to be potty trained!) Patrick and I looked at each other and thought, "Oh no! Poor Silas has been "trying" all day!" We quietly gave Callie her earned M&M hoping Silas wouldn't notice. No such luck, the poor thing was bewildered! Then, not to be outdone, he finally went pee! Yipee!! Okay, so it was just a tablespoonful, but it was there! We cheered and clapped and he enjoyed his candy! Then, sat back down again and went another teeny bit....we cheered, dished out candy, then he went again....we cheered, dished out candy...This happened 13 times! Now, we realize we should have went with a sticker chart! Wow! We'll be able to say our kid is potty trained, but all teeth are rotten! They say no two children are alike. That's definitely true! It figures my Silas, lover of anything with sugar, would figure out how to get the most chocolate out of this situation! The good news is that on #14 time (this all happened within 10 minutes) he also went poo! Double yipee! and double M&Ms unfortunately. We'll see how tomorrow goes! I have to run to the store for more candy!

Today is the day.....

to start Potty Training! You're definitely putting me on your prayer list now, aren't you? :o)

We've really been talking up going pee-pee in the big boy potty and wearing big boy underwear this past week. I decided that after our Thanksgiving break, Monday would be the day! Oh dear, that's today. Silas was excited to see the cool stash of big boy underwear in Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Rex and lots of other Cool Guys. I'm trying to talk him into not getting them wet! He has his bribe jar....I mean candy jar all ready to go. One M&M for Pee, Two for poo. Little too much info, I know.

Off I go to clean up a mess......

Sunday, November 27, 2011

You know you live in the West Indies if....

You know the way rays of sun coming through a window magnifies dust? Well, we always have an over abundance of those gorgeous floaties in our house! :o) This morning I saw Callie Grace standing and watching the dust. All of a sudden she started "clapping" the dust. Then, she looked at me with a sweet smile and said, "Squitos!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A New Pie for us

I love love love trying new recipes! And this was a great one to sample. Josh says it's now his all-time, second in line favorite (he said Apple Pie is his first). So, I thought I would share! It's a recipe from a magazine my sister Keela gave me. Thanks Sis! I love Taste of Home and their recipes are fun, but pretty simple.

So, heres the recipes, thanks to Taste of Home, for

Sweet Potato Coconut Pie with a Marshmallow Meringue

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
2 tablespoons shortening
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

1 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup flaked coconut

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and ginger; cover and
pulse to blend. Add butter and shortening; cover and pulse until
mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
While processing, gradually add water just until moist crumbs form.
Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30
minutes or until easy to handle.
Roll out pastry to fit a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate. Transfer pastry
to pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute
edges or decorate with pastry cutouts as desired. Line unpricked
pastry with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Fill with dried
beans, uncooked rice or pie weights.
Bake at 425° for 8 minutes. Remove foil and weights; bake 5
minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325°.
For filling, in a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, brown
sugar and cream cheese. Cook and stir until smooth. Transfer to a
large bowl; cool 5 minutes. Whisk in the sweet potatoes, eggs, lemon
juice, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Pour into crust.
Bake at 325° for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the
center comes out clean. Cover edges with foil during the last 15
minutes to prevent overbrowning if necessary.
For meringue, in a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on
medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1
tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and
sugar is dissolved.
Place marshmallow creme in a separate large bowl; fold in a third of
the egg white mixture, then fold in the remaining mixture. Spread
evenly over hot filling, sealing edges to crust. Sprinkle with
marshmallows and coconut.
Bake 12-15 minutes longer or until top is golden brown. Cool on a
wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before
serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 603 calories, 23 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 110 mg cholesterol, 348 mg sodium, 91 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 9 g protein.

Of course, I changed a few things. I used my own pie crust recipe, couldn't find marshmallow fluff (so I melted a 10 oz. bag of marshmallows with 1/2 cup water on the stove), and I didn't add flaked coconut...just not a fan of that stuff!

It was great! Hope you try it and enjoy!

Friday, November 25, 2011

So Thankful on Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here in St. Barths! The day was filled with our usual traditions of cooking, baking, lots of eating, watching football, decorating our Christmas tree and watching It's a Wonderful Life. My kids know what is supposed to happen even better than Patrick and I do! They reminded us the whole day, "Now, we're supposed to do this..."

During our time of sharing thanks around the table, this phrase was heard several times, "I'm so thankful we're all back together again." Family sure is a special treasure. God has been so good to me!

Of course we had our traditional Pumpkin Pie, but this year I tried a new one, too. I'll post on it next, because it's perfect to make for this season!

Our home was truly busy, busy, busy this Thanksgiving, but that's exactly how I love it!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Time to go!

Praise the Lord, My Visa arrived! Yay! I've had a great time with my parents, sisters, nieces and nephews, brother-in-laws, and church family, too. God has been so good to give me this time. But, even though saying Good-bye is never fun, being with Patrick, Josh, and Brenna is my heart's desire. My parents always taught me that once I'm married and out of the house I will always be welcome...for a visit :o) My place is with my husband and children. I'm thankful that they've instilled within me a sense of knowing my place. I heard my niece, Emily, telling a friend today that "Grandma and Grandpa's house is like a gathering place, we all just end up here!" It's so true, and I've had so much time living daily life with all my family

In the morning Elisabeth, Silas, Callie and I will leave for Miami at 5:30. Yikes, that's early! We should arrive in St. Barths by tomorrow night around 7:30. Long day, but definitely worth it! Please pray for safe travels for us, but most of all, Thank the Lord for working out all the details for us. He's so good to us!

Are you jealous, Josh?

My Josh loves to work for my Dad at his carlot. The extra cash is always nice, but my Josh likes to be around cars, and especially around his Grandpa. This time, since Josh wasn't here, Silas took his place. Are you jealous, Josh?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Just a waitin'

Well, we're still waiting for our Visa to come in. Today makes Day 8. Hopefully soon. My family needs me, and I definitely need them. So, for Patrick, Josh and Brenna's sake, I'm going to post some photos of what we've been doing while we're waiting.

Beware: Lots of cousins photos ahead!

Ha! This picture makes me laugh!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I finally let her do it

When Elisabeth and Brenna were little, my sister Keela was dying to get their ears pierced. Well, Patrick and I wouldn't let her. With Callie, we decided to let Keela go for it. I hinted to her that Callie wanted to go out with her Aunt Keela for the afternoon. sister knew exactly what I was talking about and was very excited! Here's the before....are we really going to do this?

Such a sad picture.

Her tears dried up within a few seconds and then the weirdest thing happened....instead of not wanting Aunt Keela, she didn't want Mommy! She didn't even see me! She's in love with her Aunt Keela now, for sure! I thought for sure it would be the exact opposite!

Monday, November 14, 2011

"You have all your papers"

These are words that we haven't heard yet in the process of our least not on the first try! But, that's exactly what I heard last Wednesday at the French Consulate! Yay! Denise kept the kids for me, and Mom and I drove to Miami for the day to turn in my paperwork. As I waited for name to be called, it was interesting hearing all the different stories as to why people needed a visa. There were none quite like mine. But, it was actually pretty easy. I told him that my husband is french and I want to go and live with him in St. Barths. The man smiled, and began my paperwork. It was sheer bliss for me.

He said the process usually takes about 10 days for France to approve a Long-Term Visa, but he wrote down that I needed it in 6 days. So, we shall see when it will come in!

After my appointment, Mom and I went out to a great Mexican restaurant, then did some Christmas Shopping before heading back to Fort Myers for church that night. It was a great day!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Time to get my Visa

We had a great visit with my Mom and Dad! We had planned that when they were going to go back to Florida, then I would too so that I could get my Visa. We decided I would need to take Elisabeth, because of her braces, and that since I didn't know how long I would be gone, I would take Silas and Callie with me, too. It was hard to say good-bye to Patrick, Josh, and Brenna. It's hard when you don't know when you will be back. Our goal was 2 weeks, but we knew it could take longer.

It was great to be able to travel with my parents and we had a great boat ride over to St. Martin! Silas loved pointing out all of the fish and birds to my Dad. I think he talked almost the whole time!

My sweet Beth is so faithful. Since we needed to get up early and hurry to get ready, she didn't get her morning devotions in. She was faithful to read on the boat. If it were me...I'd be faithfully feeding the fish! I can sometimes get a little seasick, so I just focus on the pretty water and watch the horizon. God made the sea so beautiful!

Marc (Patrick's brother) decided he would head back to the states on the same boat, and plane, as us. Mariane and Romea (Patrick's aunts) decided to come along on the boat to see Marc off. They enjoyed playing with Callie and she talked on Romea's phone most of the time.

It was a gorgeous day!

Callie loves her Uncle Marc and is sure going to miss him once we head back!

After our boat ride, we took a taxi to the airport and had some lunch there. We walked the kids around and tried to keep them awake so they would sleep on the plane.

Then, it was time to board the plane. I love in St. Martin how you take a bus, then get out and board the plane outside. You can see the ocean and it feels so tropical. I love it!And, yes, our plan worked! After about an hour Silas and Callie fell asleep, I tried to snooze, and Beth read a book. We left St. Barths at 8:15am and landed in Fort Lauderdale at 6pm. Then, first stop....McDonalds! Yay! Then, it's a 2 hour ride to Fort Myers. It makes for a long, long, day. But, praise the Lord, He blessed and we had a great journey back!

Now, it's lots of business of Visas and paperwork....and a little sisterly-love! I love my family!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Great Visit

If you know me very well, or have read my blog much, you know I have fabulous parents! I love 'em to pieces! I was so thrilled when they told us they bought tickets to come visit us! Yay! We all counted down the days and prepared and were so excited!

We tried to fit in as much as possible in the 6 days they were there. We were busy, busy, busy, but they also experienced everyday life with us.

Dad fell in love with the bread from our bakery around the corner. It became his daily spot.

Of course, Dad bought donuts for his's a tradition! Although they were a little different than Dunkin Donuts!

What a wonderful Grandpa my Dad is. Silas had to show him his train set and Dad just plopped on the floor with him and played.

We were excited to have my parents there for our services on Sunday. Here we are singing the BIBLE. We always have "American Sunday School" before I start picking up our ladies for church.

Magic tricks from Josh and I'm sure some jokes, too.

We bought some ribs in St. Martin to have special while Mom and Dad were there. Patrick makes excellent ribs!!

Touring the island. This picture is taken from Colombier.

Tea party time with Grandma (another tradition) As I loaded these pictures I told Mom I am so sorry there isn't all that many pictures with her in it! She was usually the photographer behind the camera. I think it's also the life of a mother and grandmother. But, my Mom is a thoughtful and fun Grandmother. My kiddos absolutely adore her!

In this picture they look like they are sizing each other up!

Mom and Dad had a really great time, although I know it was a little different for them. It was the longest they'd ever gone without driving a car, reading a newspaper, watching the TV (especially the news!), checking emails and internet, and using the phone freely....oh and having real milk, too!

My parents wanted to take us out to a nice restaurant for dinner. To say the least, St. Barths is extremely expensive. Patrick and I tried to talk them out of it, but they insisted. We gathered menus from different places and looked at the setting of the place. It was soooo much fun! Dad wanted a place with a view. We found a place with a view and with a menu that had stuff that would please us all. Then, we studied and reviewed the menu to decide what we wanted to eat. We were a little excited! I think we memorized the menu!

It was a gorgeous night, the weather was perfect and there was a nice breeze that flowed throughout the restaurant.

The food was amazing and we made so many memories.

Gorgeous food! Josh ordered duck and it was amazing!

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for coming. You spoiled us all week long. You played with the kids, you talked and laughed with me and Patrick, and most of all you were truly interested and excited to see everything about the place that the Lord has called us to. That meant so much to us! We love you both and can't wait until the next visit!