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Friday, February 29, 2008

INSPIRATION

I've sure fit in my crying for the day (or year) this morning? The kids are sleeping in because there is no school today and I came down and, of course, wanted to blog a little. I checked out Shandee O'Neals blog and she had link to another families blog that she said had inspired her. My testimony has been strenghtened and I am praying for this cute little family. It's amazing how the gospel and our belief in our Savior Jesus Christ can help us through even the hardest of trials. I am so grateful to have been raised in the church and to teach my children so their lives might be as blessed. I did my visiting teaching yesterday(just like me the very end of the month) and we talked about our families. How amazing that we get to be together forever.

In one of the recent posts they are asking for anyone who reads the blog to leave them a message.
Go see this families blog: http://www.sgmackfam.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sunday, February 24
Coming home from the Cruise-Day 8
We waited in a killer line to go through customs and get back into the U.S. The best part was getting that Passport all stamped up, I loved it!!! By now I just wanted to snuggle with my kids and time was going by extra slow. We got into Houston and we were 5 hours till our flight, we went out to eat, bought some magazines, etc... We had a layover for 1 hr. (or so we thought) in Denver. We boarded the plane for a quick 1 hr. flight to SLC. After sitting on the runnway for 50 min. they announced the plane had too much cargo and was over the weight limit. We went back after another hour waiting on a HOT plane for matters to clear up they announced we would leave shortly but they had to take off 30 pieces of luggage. GREAT! We were sure between the 8 of us on the flight we would be missing some luggage. We finally arrived (a little after our 10:00pm anticipated arrival) at 1:00am. We were heading to Elko, along with Barts padres, to pick up the kids. Everone wanted to stay in a hotel and just leave in the morning but i threw a fit that I had to see my kids. We drove to Elko and arrived at 4am. Everyone had a turn driving except me, I felt kinda bad about that. I peeked in on my sleeping children and was so glad to be with them finally!

Saturday, February 23, 2008
Caribbean Cruise-Day 7
Today was a day to do nothing at all. We slept in, ordered room service, layed around in the sun, played more shuffleboard, and Bart went to town at the waterslide. He kept coming down and smiled as big as he could and told me he had to make one more run. He was just like Jadon at the Brigham pool. I loved it!!! Dinner was fabulous and as we ate our waiters sang "Leavin on a Fun Ship" to us. We need to start planning our next cruise, truly what any busy parents need to rejuvinate, relax, and go home ready to take on the world and love their kids. I started missing the kids today and felt ready to go home. I thought I would miss them by day 2 or 3 but we stayed so busy I really didn't think about them except for going to sleep at night. (probably becuase I had displayed their pictures by my night stand.)
Every night we arrived back to our room to have the bed turned down and a fun towel animal! Here is our elephant friend.
Enjoying our last night out on the deck.

Friday, February 22, 2008
Cozumel, Mexico-Day 6
The day started with a call from Dana telling us they were watching the news and there had been a 6.5 earthquake in Elko the day before. I panicked, cried, and then searched for my cell phone to call the kids. I kept thinking the worst, knowing we were virtually impossible to get ahold of (we had kept both our cells off) while on the ship. So as soon as we walked onto land in Mexico I called to check on everything. Everyone was fine, the roof over the patio had toppled (luckily it was freezing outside and none of the kids were outside anyway) but no other major damage. Jadon said he never even woke up but acted like he thought it was pretty cool that there was an earthquake while he was visiting.
OOhhh, just looking at these pictures makes me want to go back, we were on the most beautiful beach for the day. The snorkling was amazing. The schools of fish swam so close to us they would touch our skin. The water was so clear you could see so far ahead under the water. Breathtaking isn't it!


After laying in the sun and snorkling we went to the flee market. We found some great deals and ate a little lunch at a great resturaunt.



Getting ready to jump in again.

Nothing more relaxing than laying on a beautiful beach drinking a cool fresh fruit smoothie.




Me and my Dad


Thursday, February 21
George Town, Cayman Islands-Day 5


We had to tender over to the island in a smaller boat, once we set foot on ground we loved everything. It was so beautiful. We had the greatest adventure planned. We took a bus to another little port and sailed away to Stingray City. It was the most amazing experience. There were about 4 other boats ancored on this huge sand bar. When we jumped into the perfect water and stingrays were everywhere. Kelsie hyperventalated and started crying she was so scared and I can tease cuz I was doing the same thing. It took awhile to get used to them and dare to feed them. Once we did dare to touch them along with the boys they were so velvety soft. We had our underwater cameras with us and took many pics so I'll need to scan them in. Then the boat took us to a coral reef where the snorkling was amazing. Tropical fish were everywhere. Bart was the first off into the water and he dove to the bottom and came up with this huge sea shell. The water was the perfect temperature, Bart and I were the last to climb back aboard we didn't want to leave. We agreed we would spend our day snorkling in Cozumel the next day too.

Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville!
We passed one in Jamaica, too

During and after dinner we all slipped up onto the deck and took some pictures. It was a full moon that night and it was so peaceful and beautiful.

A pic with Barts parents-Richard looks like he belongs on "Miami Vice" or something doesn't he??

Carlie, Mom, Kelsie, Dana, and me
Dad, Josh, Bart, Richard, Isaac

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008
Montego Bay, Jamaica-Day4
Right off the ship
Bart and his Dad beg to be part of the band
Our driver, Peter, took us to the orange, pineapple, and sugar plantations. It was so neat to see everything. We picked some and he expertly cut them into peices for us to eat.

This was one of my favorite highlight of the trip, we were hiking to the pinapple fields and there was a small building where we heard chlidrens voices. Peter told us it was a school. I asked if we could look it and before we knew it the principal was inviting us to come in and look around and talk to the kids. This building was the size of a large family room, it was divided into 4 smaller "rooms" and each had a large table with about 8-10 kids. 3, 4, 5, and 6 yr. old classes. Artwork and writing covered the walls and, as a teacher, I saw tons learning going on. I just couldn't believe the poor environment, cramped space, and lack of certain materials. (I felt so full of gratitude and thanks for the public school system our family is blessed with) In Jamaica they only have private schools, parents will save and save just to send their kids to get a decent education. video video

I truly never knew how pineapples grew.

The beach was very fun. Lots of locals selling things and they are so hard to say "no" to. Peter said the unemployment rate was 25-30%. Here we are in America really worrying about 5%. How blessed are we.

Another pic of dinner. You can choose to try as many things as you'd like, I believe this was one of 6 plates for this night.


Peter, cutting our pineapple.
Bart, posing at the beach. After the beach we drove around some neighborhoods to see the way they lived. Bart couldn't believe how much it reminded him of Columbia (where he served his mission) It was very "third world" little one bedroom huts build against the sides of the mountains. Almost ever hut had clothes out drying on the clothes line. There were walking paths leading to their homes becuase in these parts no one owned a vehicle. Their streets were very narrow and curvy, pedestrians are all over and I couldn't believe how close cars (including us) would fly by them. We did see an car accident, and couldn't imagine anyone there could even afford insurance.

When we were going through customs to board the ship, they made us form a female line and a male line. We had our bags checked and walked through detectors, yet, the men all had to get physically patted down. I guess drugs are frequently smuggled from Jamaica. All us girls laughed as the men complained about their departure. ha ha

Tuesday, Feb. 19
Caribbean Cruise-Day 3
Today was another day of complete relaxation. After breakfast we went out and learned how to play shuffleboard. Sure, we played by our made-up rules but we had fun. On one of the top decks there was a basketall ct, miniature golf course and a volleyball ct. Bart, my dad, Isaac (kelsie's husband) and I signed up for the volleyball tournament. 6 teams total, we played 4 grouling matches and won the tournament!!!
We stayed out enjoying the sunset before we went to our room to get ready for dinner.



Isaac, laughing; he was quite amused he and my dad were killing me and Bart at shuffleboard.