Friday, July 05, 2013

Big Boy Bed

Since we are in temporary housing Peter has been in a pack-and-play in a room with Ruthie.  The room has two twin beds and Pete has several times tucked himself in the extra bed and asked to sleep there.  I guess I wanted him to stay a baby a bit longer so I resisted the first few times, with Jay making sure to let me know I was being ridiculous.  So a couple nights ago I gave in and Pete hasn't looked back.  He was so excited and proud to be in his "big boy bed," snuggled up with his Beluga and Bank (his blankie).  Sigh.  I'm glad we did it.  Now to get him done with diapers (that is one baby thing to which I'm glad to bid farewell).

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Castillo de San Cristóbal

Our first family excursion was to Castillo de San Cristóbal, the fort finished in 1783-built to protect the "rich port" that the Spanish had established in San Juan.  It was the most intriguing fort I've ever visited.  It is so OLD, but so well preserved and pleasing to the eye.  The kids loved exploring the dungeon, where they have preserved some drawings of galleons that imprisoned sailors scratched into the dank walls centuries ago. 

The fam.  You can see we look a bit wet and bedraggled.

Here you can see the city of Old San Juan behind Mac's noggin.

These pictures show the iconic sentry boxes that PR uses as a (unofficial?) national symbol.  

Old San Juan.  Can't wait to explore it!

Apparently we arrived in San Juan during the rainy season- it rains off and on all day.  Heap big rain.  The day at the fort we dodged it all day.  This guy was smart.  But truly, I decided, pouring rain is rather refreshing on a Caribbean isle when you don't care about your hair.

Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude...

After landing on la Isla de Encanto (Island of Enchantment for all you gringos), we got to do some exploring.  Our housing is like a little compound- not on the actual USCG base, but you do have to have an ID to come inside.  

Here's the fence with razor wire around the top.  This shows the walking/running path too, which is a 1.1 mile loop around the perimeter.

We've enjoyed seeing the flora and fauna of a new place- a new latitude.  Here is a baby bird we found, and a sweet spotty egg.  I think I've also discovered a new bird species- it is not in my "Birds of the West Indies" book.  And stay tuned for some pics of the gorgeous flowering trees in our neighborhood.

And here is the wonderful pool we can walk to, where we've been swimming and meeting neighbors.  This is so exciting!  The kids are loving it, and already becoming stronger swimmers.  And this pool will be open all year, baby!  Endless Summer- here we come!!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Buen Viaje!

We flew out the day after my birthday, after an amazing packing job by Jay- you can't imagine how much random stuff you end up with after moving out and being on vacation for three weeks.

Our first story from the trip began when we checked in at the Pensacola Airport and they told us there were only 5 tickets- someone had cancelled Jay's ticket!  (Jay and Mac were both listed as James M Hodges).  So we are standing there, unbelieving what is going on- kids are whining for food, Jay is on the phone with the Govt travel agency that booked the tickets.  For 45 horrible minutes we stood there- me praying and just begging The Lord to get Jay on this plane.  The options were me go by myself with 4 kids, with Jay meeting up with us later that night- or all of us going back to my Mom's until later that week- both options horrible- flying solo with 4 kids!  Unpacking and repacking and saying goodbye again!  You can imagine my state of mind at this point.  It got to the point where Jay asked the ticket lady to pull our luggage ( which was already checked in), she radioed the guys at the plane... When the Govt travel agent said she got Jay on!  I think I went limp- and we waited again for it to show up on the ticket lady's computer- and then the kids and I ran to get to Security.  Jay caught up- and the amazing thing was that the flight was already delayed 45 minutes- otherwise we would've totally missed that flight!  Thanks be to God-  all I can say.   And Oh, the relief, as our plane took off with all 6 of us safely on board.

Second story- Mac holding up his first lost tooth as we boarded the plane in Miami!  We just laughed and laughed.

We landed safely in San Juan and had a quick, uneventful rental-car pick-up/ meet-up with Jay's sponsor, drive back to our temporary house in CG Housing.

What We've Been Doing- June 2013

The month of June we left our friends and home in VA- after the movers came and went- and launched out into a month of visiting and fun before the big move to Puerto Rico.  Here is a quick recap:
First stop was Montgomery- we went to a Biscuits game...

Bass Pro Shop...

Then on to Milton, FL, to see more family...

Check out our fave museum...

(This is from our time in Montgomery with JuJu and PawPaw)...
More family in Mobile...


Beach time reunion...

Ruth's first time on a surf board...

Then Jay and I made a quick trip to New Orleans to send the van to PR.  We stopped for lunch at Central Grocery- yum yum.  

Time to bid farewell to the mainland and start our new adventure...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Florida means Friends

 Finally, we made it to Vero Beach to visit some of our besties, Brandon and Jen and their 3 sweet babies. It was so much fun, just to be with them and eat with them and go to church with them and sit in their backyard and chill.  Not only that but it was 50 degrees warmer at their house in sunny Florida than our place in "Friginia."  ( That is funny- I just made that up!  Ha!)  We did so many fun things... check it out. 
We got to meet little Eli who was 4 months old (I think).  Look at those blue eyes!

Hanging out at Vero Beach.  Sorry for the glare from my white self.  Yikes.

Ruthie and Isabelle bonded- Ruthie got to have a little sister for a week!

Best kid ice cream eating picture ever.  Collins is hilarious.

Backyard movie projected on the house!  Lion King.  Awesome.

I love Aunt Merrill!!!

Too sweet for words.

Ruthie caught a fish in the lake behind the house.  We watched birds- and saw otters playing!

Our last day we headed to Sea World.

We met up with my cousin's wife Michele, and little girl Jayde for the day.

Beautiful Mama and baby Eli.

Hey Uncle Brandon!

We saw the Shamu show...

And our family favorite- the Dolphin show.  Look at that!

It was such a fun and refreshing trip.  I loved seeing my friends and seeing our kids become friends!  What a JOY!
Love ya, McSheas!