Latitude 17N

Sunday, October 26, 2008

And yet another spelling bee

Julian joined in on the fall spelling bee at our fancy library. His group was very small but he was among 10 other kids who competed in this bee. He did very well, seeming less nervous than last time, but was eliminated after about 7 rounds on the word "whiskers". He missed the h. He had a good time and will try again in the spring hopefully at the school bee and then again at the library bee.

Fall Festival at Mulberry Elementary

This is Julian's costume for this year. We used cardboard from a box that I begged the people at Sears to give me. We had to cut out the shape and tape it all together. I was surprised that it held as well as it did. You can really do a lot of cool things with cardboard! Then we painted it and put the detail on. Jaime did a great job on the eyes and all of us took turns drawing the scales on. I am not sure if you can see that detail but let me tell is there!!! The wings were made out of a cheap umbrella that I bought at the Dollar store and demolished. Like his raptor costume the head is not very comfortable and we are working to make it more comfortable. We re-used the feet from his costume last year which we repainted to match the red of his dragon costume.

Frirday nigeht we went to the annual Fall Festival at Mulberry Elementary School (Julian's school). Julian was expecting it to be a party like the ones we had at Oualie Beach in Nevis but it was not at all like that. As we were walking in, there was a huge line of people waiting to get in. We had paid our admission in advance so we didn't have to wait in line; we just sailed right through. Inside, each classroom had a game for the kids to play and win play money. Julian played a few games but got tired of waiting in long lines so we went over to the silent auction. They had two rooms full of baskets to bid on. They had some great ideas for gift baskets. We each bid on one...Jaime on a few...and then headed out to see what else there was to do. In the cafeteria they had a display set up for pictures. We got Julian's picture taken and then headed home. Julian was one of the few kids who dressed up in costume for the event. I think he felt a little out of place but we assured him he was way more fun than any of the other kids. He saw a few kids he knew but for the most part it was not exciting for him and actually a bit of a disappointment from what he was expecting. We left and went back later just before the closing of the bids at the silent auction just to be sure we didn't win them all! We may have won one auction...I'll keep you posted on that.

We were supposed to go to another party on Saturday night at the Rec Center for a costume contest but we had a problem with our car and could not go. Hopefully we will make it to the contest at the library on Thursday. He has to go to the teen contest because they have one for kids pre-k thdrough 3rd grade and one for teens...nothing for in between. Crazy I know...but I asked which one he could be involved in and they said the teen contest so we will go to that. Trick-or-treat is on Halloween night on Friday.

We went to visit our friend Mark down the street last night and we all took a ride past a house in our neighborhood who has their house decorated for Halloween. It is really cool. They have these figures out front that are made out of that tubing stuff that has lights in it. They have pumpkins and ghosts (that look like pac-men) that are lit up. If you tune your radio to a specific station they are synchronized to light up with the music. One pumpkin is the lead singer and the other two are the backup singers. The "ghosts" just kind of add to the show. It is very clever and according to Mark there is a guy down the street from him who does a similar thing for Christmas. I will try to get a video of the Halloween one and upload it. It is really very cool.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nevis after Omar

Well although Nevis was spared a direct hit the storm surge created a lot of damage on my former home island. Once again the storm hit from the west side of the island where the Four Seasons Resort is located. In the pictures we have a view of the pier at Oualie with The Sea Bridge (the new auto ferry) in the bay, Sunshines on Pinney's Beach (a lot of us have spent time there), Chevy's :-( or what is left of it also on Pinney's Beach (that is where we used to go for Girls Karaoke Night) of course you can't let all that beer get warm so they are out there having a party behind the rubble, no grouping of Nevis pictures is complete without the NO PISSING sign in Charlestown, Gallows Bay which is where we did the swimming for the triathlon right in downtown Charlestown near the ferry terminal (yes, that is what it felt like when we were out there swimming!), and the last picture is of the ferry waiting area. Anyone who has been to Nevis has probably been there a time or two. From what I hear everyone is safe there but they have a lot of cleaning up to do.

Thank Joann MacMullin of Nevis for allowing me to use these pictures. Thanks Joann!

Four Seasons Before and After Omar

Remember this nice happy picture of Jen at the Four Seasons in front of the fancy pool? Well that pool is buried under that rubble somewhere after Omar dropped by Nevis. It is a different view but according to a friend of mine this is the area where the pool was.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fun Weekend with the Berniers


In the pictures we have our dinner group, Julian being attacked by a tarantula, Jacquelyn being attacked by cockroaches, Julian playin in the water fountain things at the farmer's market and Julian eating bugs.

What a fun time we had last weekend with my parents in town. They arrived on Thursday around lunch time. Jaime and I picked them up and brought them to our exciting town of Houma. They checked in to their hotel and came back to our house to await the arrival of Julian from school. He sure was happy to see them! That night we had dinner at Cafe Milano here in town. Cafe Milano is one of the few nice restaurants here in Houma. While there we were graced with the presence of a large group of ladies from the Red Hat Society. Julian had a lot of questions about the ladies so we told him to go up to them and ask. Bold as he is he did just that. We found out that the Red Hat ladies are fun people who get together to have a good time. On Friday we spent a low-key day taking a walk in "the neighborhood" before we headed over to Julian's school for parent's day to lunch. After that we took a tour of the library which my parents were both very impressed with. After that we went home where dad tried to nap and mom and I chatted on the "peaceful" balcony. Once Julian was home we went up to the Morrison's where we went out for Thai food. It was very good as usual. On Saturday we all went to the farmer's market and sampled some good food (tamales, scones, cookies, and Indian food). Julian had a great time running around in the little fountain things that squirt water up from the ground. After that we went to visit Jim's dad Bob and his mom Mary at the nursing home where Bob lives. It was nice to visit with them. That night we had an oyster feed at the Morrison's. Oysters Casino, Rock-choke oysters, raw, and fried. They were all very good. Even Julian tried the raw oysters. We also had cajun crawfish pasta and walking taco dip. Jacquelyn went out for her homecoming dance and stayed at a friend's house after that. On Sunday, after Jacquelyn came home we all headed out to the city where we were going to stay for the night and go to Commander's Palace for dinner. After we checked in to the hotel we headed over to the Insectarium where we learned a lot about bugs. We even ate bugs! No joke! They had dips and salsas with meal worms and fried meal worms and fried grasshoppers. They also had grasshopper beignets. It was fun to try them. After a while we were ready to go back to the hotel for coffee and to get ready for our night at Commander's. It was a fun night. The Morrisons, Morenos, Berniers and Chris Hartwell filled a large table for 10 up on the garden room. It is quite an experience to go there. We were greeted by no less than 10 different people on our way up to our table. We had many servers all who came out together and served each course simultaneously over our shoulder. The food was great and the presentation of the bananas fosters for desert was fun too (even if Hugeaux--correct spelling by the way--did burn me with the splatter when he dumped the bananas in). What a blast. We spent a nice comfy night at the Marriott in downtown New Orleans and went to the Riverwalk for shopping and lunch on Sunday before we all had to head back home. My parents are back home now but we had so much fun while they were here. It was a nice change of pace for us. We thank them sincerely for all that they did for us while they were here. What a blast!!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Hi Cindy, Mom and all my other faithful followers...

Haha. I think you two are really my only faithful followers! I tried to update my blog last week and got a strange error that I have never seen before. I tried to edit the post and still got the error. I thought it might be a glitch so I tried again later but still got the same thing. So...I was going to post some old pictures but for some reason it won't let me. Now I am just rambling on. Julian is having a better time at school. I keep telling him he needs to get phone numbers for kids so he can have kids over to play. So far he has zero phone numbers for friends and the school here doesn't publish a nice phone book like they do in Kensington so I have no idea where to find these kids. We recently got an addition to our household and Julian has a roommate. Our friend Chris is here for a couple of months while he finishes up clinicals. The house he was living in got damaged by Gustav so we were happy to put him up. We rearranged Julian's room to accommodate them both and it is working out well. Julian is happy to have a "big brother" here for a while. Chris brought him a present for his birthday...a Nerf assault weapon. They have both been having fun with that. Chris says that when he is through taking his Step 2 test he is going to buy himself a Nerf weapon so they can have a real war. Aside from that Jaime has been working in the ER this week. He is getting paid! He got hired on and can work when he can so it will be good to have some cash coming in. I am still plugging away at my medical transcription course. Today I will finally finish the first grouping of my transcription. It has taken me a long time to finish it. Now I am moving into intermediate transcription and then I'll have to do advanced. I have been putting in a lot of hours doing that, sitting in front of this screen, typing away. That is another reason I have not been updating much. I am tired of typing! Next week my parents arrive for a long weekend. That will be fun. We are going to have dinner here in Houma the first night they are here and then we'll spend some time here in Houma on Friday before we head up to Jen's to see Jacquelyn in her marching band show at the homecoming game. The next day we are going to cook oysters at Jen's house but not sure how we are going to fill up the day. Sunday night we eat at Commander's Palace and spend some time in the city on Monday. Julian will skip school that day. He was supposed to have it off but now it is one of the many makeup days from the hurricane. So, not exciting around here. The weather is the best thing we have going around here these days. It has been in the low 80's and dry. That is the perfect combination in my opinion. That's it!