Monday, October 27, 2008

"Los Americanos"

Another funny thing about living in Puerto Rico. Wherever we go I am used to hearing people saying something about "Americanos" as we walk by. I don't know if I have mentioned this before but on the whole Puerto Ricans love Americans and are quite fascinated by them. We are used to grown men reaching out and tousling our boys blonde hair in the grocery store. We are used to people excitingly pointing at our boys shouting "mira que tienen los ojos azules" (look they have blue eyes!) as if it was as exciting as someone having purple eyes and green hair or something. Like Jake says, taking our blonde- haired, blue- eyed little boys anywhere is liking walking around with minor celebrities. We are used to the attention and to be quite honest, we really get a kick out of it. In the states no one think twice about my kids unless Tommy was throwing one of his famous Wal-mart- floor, fist-pounding- fits.
Especially here in Ponce, where we live, they just are not used to seeing many Americans. Last christmas I took our neighbors some cookies. A week later she brought over a package of cookies with a card labled "los ninos Americanos" (to the American kids). Once Jake had his car at the mechanic, and he got the keys back to the car, the name tag on the keys said "Gringo". Well last Saturday we went to a birthday party for a little girl we did not know but the grandparents to the girl and the grandpa being the stake patriarch, was very insistent that we come. The boys had fun at the party and at the end they were handing out the party bags to all of the party guests. When Tommy brought us his little bag the tag on it said "Americano Pequeno." (Little American boy) Lukes said "Americano Mediano" (Medium American Boy) and Jetts said "Americano Grande" (Big American Boy).
I thought this was hilarious! I mean in the states you would never make a gift tag to "the little chinese boy" or the "big Mexican kid." Oh well- you gotta love it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jugo de Pais

This morning I had dropped the boys off at school and was heading to the the Holsum bread store. I was talking to Jake on the phone and this noxtious smell enters and stings my nostrils. I slam on my brakes to backed up traffic in both directions. There was a terrible smell, worse than any sulfur drive by you have ever smelled. I started gagging and throwing up in my mouth and all. I am not sure if Puerto Rico was being attacked and gassed or what the freak was happening. As I inch along in bumper to bumper traffic I see that the road is flooded up ahead. As I get closer I see that it was a broken sewer access hole in the middle of the road. Now we here in Puerto Rico are used to a little bubbling sewer in the middle of the road now and then. As missionaries we lovingly referred to it as "jugo de pais" or the " our land's native juice".
But this was above and beyond! This was brown freaking water gushing across the road and flooding it. I just held my breath as long as I could and drove through it all. I was never so happier than at that time to be sitting up way high in our Explorer as I watched the brown sewer "jugo" slosh up on the windows of the lower riding cars. From now on I think I will stick to milk...

Monday, October 6, 2008

The voyage of the blue Mimi

Today is my sister Renee's birthday. She is an incredible person that I dearly love and this post is dedicated to her.
Thanks to a Jr. High. Science video series and Shayne Hatch, I have lovingly referred to my little sister as "Mimi" for over 22 years. Renee and I fought like cats and dogs growing up, until college. Since going away to college in Utah we have grown to be best friends. We talk on the phone almost everyday. I don't know what I would do without her.

She is turning 32 today so here are 32 of my favorite things about Renee:

1. She is probably the most thoughtful person I know. Never forgetting a birthday or any special occasion.
2. She makes me laugh
3. She didn't blow the whistle on me when in high school mom and dad would leave town and put me in charge and I would let a college grunge band practice in our living room.
4. She makes the best pot roast I have ever eaten
5. She is beautiful both inside and out
6. She is fiercely loyal to her family
7. She was cool enough to receive a rose from the lead singer of Depeche Mode (my high school obsession)
8. She won't put up with any American cheese at resturaunts
9. One summer in college when all my roommates were gone for the summer she left her own friends to come live with me for the summer. (One of the best summers of my life!)
10. She is the reigning champion of "Settlers of Catan" in our family
11. Incredible mother and wife
12. Always up for something fun
13. Capable of driving herself to the emergency with a broken baby toe
14. When Jake and I were dating and she first met him she pulled me into the back room and said "you better not mess this one up- I like him!"
15. She has incredibly beautiful straight hair
16. She has courage and inspires me
17. You never leave her house with dirty ears!
18. She got me watching "L's" kitchen
19. She took me to get my very first pedicure
20. She agreed to go out with all of the dorks that we set her up with when she was single
21. When I was first married she would come up and spend weekends with us
22. She loves cats
23. She is extremely organized and tidy
24. She has a great decorators sense
25. My boys adore her!
26. She is my biggest supporter
27. She is very smart and always has good ideas
28. She married a guy we all love
29. She is an incredible hostess and makes you feel so welcome in her home
30. She is willing to do my dirty work if ever need her to
31. She bought brand new bikes for my boys just so they would have them to ride whenever they came to her house.
32. She is the best little sister in the world and I don't know what I would do without her!!!!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

My new skinny best friend

So I have a new skinny best friend. I don't hate her though because she is too darn helpful. She helps me with the impossible everyday task of keeping the standardized Puerto Rican white tile floors clean.
My wonderful mother in law actually introduced us when she was last visiting here and could see that I needed some help. For some unknown reason I ignored my friend for the first few months. But we have recently become reaquainted for which I will be forever grateful.