Andi and Tanner taking off on a para-saling adventure

What a trip!

It is now Sunday, December 2nd, 2012.  Tanner and I got back to MN a week ago today.  The time we spent with the girls down in St. Martin was fantastic, and I was profoundly grateful to be back with my wife and two daughters.

Little Piper is growing up so fast it’s scary.  She talks incessantly and acts more like an adult than a two year old.  Andi is doing remarkably well considering all that life is putting her through, and I am deeply impressed with her resilience.  Carina is happily slogging along, and despite the pace at which new material comes at her, she still seems to be enjoying this whole med school thing.  (Thank goodness!)  The first weekend I was there was block weekend so I didn’t really get to spend any time with her for the first couple of days, but after blocks her schedule slacked off a little and we had some good, quality time with each other and the kids. Read the rest of this entry »

Halloween on the island isn’t quiet what it is at home, but the American community still makes the most of it

While Tanner and I are keeping busy up in the northern hinterlands of Minnesota, the girls in St. Martin are filling up their days with lots of fun island activities as well.  Andi and Tanner have both had birthdays recently… Tanner turned 12 and Andi turned 14. Michelle recently shared a fun report on her blog, and I thought I’d re-post a condensed edition here as well.  If you’d like to experience the whole report, checkout her blog!

Take it away, Michelle….

“We like to parrty. With two r’s”

Christmas came early this year for the estrogen tank in St. Martin. As I mentioned in my last post, my niece Andi who JUST turned 14 (WOOT WOOT) went home for medical tests and was diagnosed with Probable Lupus. With a brave face and confidence from her doctor, she decided to return to us on the island to continue her school year as normal and get her regular teenage life back. We missed the little nugget, and were so excited to have her back, and just in time for her birthday. Read the rest of this entry »

Piper, Carina, Andi and Michelle at the White Coat Dinner, fall semester 2012

Well, it’s been almost three weeks since Carina left with Andi, Piper and Michelle to head back to St. Martin.  Tanner and I miss them terribly, but otherwise we are doing well in Suburbia, Minnesota.  We are enjoying the cool fall weather and the turning trees, and we both agree that if we have to be here and not in St. Martin, this is the time of year to do it, as the girls are suffering in crazy hot and humid weather right now.

Tanner is loving 6th grade where he has enrolled in the yearbook committee, an after school golfing class, and a baseball batting clinic.  He and his uncle Tommy  (who is a year younger than him) are living it up together. And Tommy, who would otherwise be an only child as all of his siblings are grown and gone, is thrilled to have a built-in room mate.

We are hearing good reports from the island, and I thought I would take some extracts from Michelle’s blog (with permission) and share them here as well. But before we turn the floor over to Michelle, I’ll include one update that happened after she wrote her last blog post. Read the rest of this entry »

Ribs and Chicken on the Barbie.... Sea Side. Mmmm!

One of the great things about being on the island with the American University of the Caribbean and as Mormons is that we get to know people in both communities.  In only a few months we’ve met some wonderful people through AUC who will no doubt be friends for many years to come, if not for life.  And through the LDS branch here on the island we’ve also met some local islanders who are fantastic people and who we never would have met had it not been for the Mormon church.

(Quick vocab update for non-Mormons:  Mormon congregations come in two types: wards and branches.  Wards are big, branches are small.  The congregation on St. Martin is too small to be a ward, so we’re a branch.)

This past Easter weekend the branch sponsored two activities: A beach side BBQ on Friday and an Easter Egg hunt on Monday.  I didn’t make it to the egg hunt, but all the kids and Michelle went and the report was tremendously positive.  I did, however, make it to the BBQ with Andi, Tanner and Piper.  And wow!  What a treat!  The chicken and ribs flowed endlessly, the company was terrific, the weather was beautiful, and the beach (which we hadn’t been to before) was beautiful.    But most of all, the chicken and ribs flowed endlessly and the company was terrific!

I thought I’d share a few photos of both events. Read the rest of this entry »

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