Monday, October 31, 2011

carribean sunset

Right outside our patio on a lovely evening. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

first communion

Today Anders had his first communion at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Frederiksted, VI.  He spoke about what communion means and I believe is ready to be a communing member of the church.  As soon as I get photos uploaded they will be added.

Anders received his first communion from Pastor Love who just returned today after suffering a broken leg on the golfcourse several weeks ago.  Pastor Love is an incredible preacher and teacher.  I am thrilled he has had the opportunity to learn from her.




Saturday, October 29, 2011

pool in the evening


After a long hot day, it's always nice to take a dip in the pool.  I have a feeling both Anders and Kathryn will be excellent in their swimming lessons next summer.

I love a parade

Halloween parade St. Croix style:

Anders as a roman soldier/King David, Kathryn as a princess, Osten as an admiring sibling and I as a cat.  No parkas or warm clothing required.  Very nice.



Gleek

Living on St. Croix we have had to eliminate some expenses in our lives as it is more expensive to live here.  Our electric bill for instance was about 4 times the amount it was in Wisconsin. 

Cable is one of the expenses we have eliminated.  To compensate for our lack of television exposure, we have subscribed to Netflix.  In that subscription, we are able to watch a myriad of television shows or movies on demand.  Glee has become a source of entertainment for yours truly.  I knew if I started watching I would get hooked and that has happened.  So far, they only have season 1 available, but I will search for ways to find season 2 and the current season 3. 

I AM A GLEEK AND PROUD OF IT!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

K in kinder


Geometry study with pattern blocks. 

smokin

On our way to school this morning, we could smell a strange electrical smell.  As we passed a service station near Sunny Isle, my door--the passenger door, started smoking.  We pulled off to the side of the road and proceeded to call Bruce to pick us up, Good Hope to report our projected tardiness and Miss Haley to let her know to start the day without me. 

Along comes Hayden and his Mom and sister.  Hayden is in Anders' class at school and noticed his friend Anders at the side of the road.  They proceeded to pick us up and drive us right to school.  I think God was watching out for us.  Thank you Kim for your incredible kindness.

The van is in the shop and we are benefitting from Bruce's jeep--super fun to drive home in a jeep from school today.  Hopefully everything will be fixed tomorrow and we will be in our minivan once again.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Birthday beautiful Abby Blomgren

Anna and Abby Blomgren celebrating Grandma and Grandpa Blomgren's 50th Wedding Anniversary

Abby Rae Blomgren is now 11  years old.  Wishing you a wonderful birthday and love you lots.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

one year today...

Abby Thibodeau demonstrating the flip--note Osten immobile on ground

jungle cat aka Libby Thibodeau

meow after making her cool scarf

Alazae and Osten

Logan Lloyd Langeberg and Osten getting to know one another
One year ago Ivy, Julie, Libby, Abby, Kathryn, Osten, Alazae, Logan and I got together for a day of fun and frolic.  I miss my D3 honey bunch and wish we could have a St. Croix reunion. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

thank you Cheryl

My dear friend, Cheryl Dintemann sent me a gift card for one of my favorite online stores, Athleta.  I purchased a new top and skirt for work...here's a photo.  THANK YOU so much.

At Polly's in Frederiksted for a cup of Joe with Osten and Brad

Friday, October 21, 2011

moko jumbies


amazing sight


dressing while waaaaay up in the air


Anders and Katie intrigued by the spectical

getting the costume just right


hanging out on top of vehicles


Kathryn and friend, Kai watching the moko jumpies walking to their performance



At World Food Day we were treated to Moko Jumbies--stilt dancers who were getting ready to go on stage.  Here is an explanation of the tradition of Moko Jumbies from another website, http://www.repeatingislands.com/

In an interview in Toronto’s Star newspaper, Willard John of St. Croix discusses the moko jumbie dancing tradition of his native St Croix. John, a 58-year-old St. Croix stilt dancer, has made it his life’s work to pass along the lively, lofty art form of his African ancestors. Here are excerpts from the article, which also includes a lovely description of the building of the island’s lovely church, built by slaves from live coral.







The colourful craft of stilt dancing came to the Caribbean with enslaved West Africans, who brought their culture and indigenous religions with them.






The “moko” or “mocker” was the spiritual guardian of African villages, tall enough to reach the evil spirits, and drive them off by mocking them with supernatural, magical powers.






It’s believed that another job of the African moko jumbie was to frighten children into adulthood – so maybe Willard had good reason to be scared as a kid.






Moko jumbie stilt dancing is mesmerizing. Rhythmic sounds of African drums evoke the spirits, while masked stilt dancers in colourful costumes appear from nowhere – gliding, almost floating in thin air.






“This current generation of stilt dancers has taken the art form to a level never seen before, skilfully combining dancing and acrobatics with complex synchronized choreography,” says Mr. John of his gifted students at the Guardians of Culture Moko Jumbies and Moko Jumbie Academy.






“The Caribbean moko jumbies combined influences from different religions of Africa, Europe and their new environment,” says the stilt dancing historian, pointing out that in the mid-1800s the traditional costume in the U.S. Virgin Islands was a European woman’s dress, adorned with African motifs, and petticoats underneath.






“It wasn’t until the 1960s, after too many curious people kept trying to look up under the dress and upsetting the precarious balance of the stilt dancers, that pants became part of the modern costume,” he laughs.






Whether in pants or a dress, moko jumbie stilt dancing is just as hard as it looks.






“It’s very physical and very taxing to your muscles and your bones,” says John, who has been performing the gliding, almost slow-motion movements on metres-high stilts for 34 years now, and is “planning to do this when I’m 100.”






“The passion that I had when I first got on my stilts and did my first parade in 1975 – that passion and spirituality is still there today. And I’ve got all these young people around me, so I’m encouraged to keep up with them,” says the talented teacher of his pleasure in sharing this leggy legacy.






“The art form originated in Africa and I want to always remind people of its spiritual African origins.”




Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ocean view

Have I mentioned lately that I work on the Carribean sea? Our incredible custodial staff just took the initiative to trim a large number of sea grape trees and gave us spectacular views of the Carribean. I must post photos that I have taken of the majesty.


Osten is doing fun stunts every day. He currently has a favorite corner in the dining room where he backs into the space with cars or other little toys and can play for long periods of time. He love to open the dishwasher and when I asked him to close it this evening, he promptly obeyed. He is a great little persons. I ran into his daycare provider today and she told me that Osten is a great kid and that he really enjoys riding in the wheel barrow. I have never tried it, but I think it's really cool that he's getting that experience.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

more love from home

Love was delivered to us in the form of our Halloween package from Grandma & Grandpa B. We received a package with a special note, candy, special K bars, new shirt for me and a box of cereal for our family. Thanks so much for thinking of us. Also received a special card to celebrate Anders' first communion. Thank you so much Grandma &Grandpa B...we love you so.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

fall colors...

I just got a glimpse of beautiful fall foliage from my lovely Mother in Law, Betty Jean Olson.  She took a breathtaking photo from her deck in Grantsburg, mounted it on a card and mailed to us here in St. Croix. 

She also sent Halloween cards to the kids featuring photos of each.  It's such a treat to receive something so special in our mailbox.  Also received the Mt.Lake/Butterfield paper so will be enjoying that read very shortly.  It's great to be connected to home. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Noises

The past two nights I have been hearing some high pitched squeaking outside shortly after sunset. I hope to find the origin of the squeaks and hope it's not too scary.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

World food day at UVI

We've had a very nice day. We drove to church and dropped Anders and Katie at Sunday School and then went downtown Frederiksted to have a cup of coffee at Polly's. They have a nice patio out back. We enjoyed the peace and quiet and Osten toddled around. We then went to church and the kids made cards for pastor Love as she has a broken leg. After church we went to a World Food Day event at the UVI campus. We ate pate, Johnny cakes, BBQ chicken, popcorn and drank Ginger beer and tamarind. We saw the Ramsdell family, the Greens, the Coles and the Hutchins. We also saw a petting zoo and macho zumbies. I will post photos once I'm on my regular computer. Now I'm baking cookies and will take a dip in the pool soon. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

randoms

Haley's Thank You Card to the Frederiksted Fire Station featurning Firefighter Ted

Anders reading book 6 of Harry Potter

on our way to the beach on Friendship Day

ripe banana

the cluster of banana grass off the gallery

a hand growing with flower on bottom

a hand that was cut off and ripening on our counter--along with Osten's car and some sour sop

yet another hand growing on the cluster of grass

Friday, October 14, 2011

All things f

Our kindergarten class had an f day today. Friday, fun, field trip, Frederiksted, Firestation, with 3 fathers of students visiting throughout the day. One of the students commented about what other f words we could dream up...I had to smile.


Lost dog pub

We experienced the lost dog pub for pizza this evening. Hot and delicious pizza for a price. It was a fun experience, but we are going to stay with economy or out to eat at a fancier restaurant.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

on the boardwalk at Christiansted

Dinner at Angry Nate's

Anders, Kate and Osten at Christiansted Harbor

Watching a sailboat launch into the ocean

the corner grocery


Last weekend on our look about Christiansted, we went to a little local grocery store.  To see tons of seafood at the deli counter where you would find meats and cheeses in Wisconsin was pretty amazing to me.  Osten and Kathryn enjoyed being carted around in the shopping cart and Kathryn loved wearing her fish hat from the Blomgrens/MN State Fair care package. 

As you can see, Cruzans like their beer just as Wisconsin people do ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hispanic Heritage Assembly

Kathryn and Anders participated in their first Good Hope School Assembly. Kathryn helped direct the Kindergarten class sing the color song and pio pio pio. Anders sang with tremendous feeling with the 4th graders and I was told by numerous teachers that he was so fun to watch and has a great stage presence. I think they enjoyed themselves very much. I met Joshua's grandmother who is a native of Buffalo, MN. She seems like a gem of a woman. Next school assemble for Anders is Wednesday, November 23, an "I'm Thankful" concert. Should be fun to watch again.

kinders

anders singing

Table prayer

Tonight at dinner, we were waiting for everyone to sit down so we could pray together. Osten in his highchair, Katie right next to him, I on the other side of him and Anders across the table from Osten. When Brad sat down, everyone, including soon to be 17 month old Osten folded their hands and prayed. It was pretty special.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catch 22

Today one of our topics of discussion in our kindergarten classroom as fire safety. This coming Friday, I am taking the kids to the Frederiksted Firestation and wanted to give a little background on fire safety so they aren't completely unprepared. Imaginations went wild when I introduced the topic and I had one little girl in a panic about dying in a fire before the day was through...what do you do? Totally skirt the subject? I hope I didn't scar the lovely little lady for life!

Monday, October 10, 2011

What a difference a year makes!





One year ago today Osten, Kathryn, Ivy, Logan, Curt and I met at an apple orchard near Hastings.  It was very fun and I can't believe it's already been a year.  I wish they could pop down here and visit...dreams do come true!

Virgin Islands/Puerto Rico Friendship Day

This is taken from the St. Croix this Week website describing what VI/Puero Rican Friendship Day stands for:

Puerto Ricans have been part of this community from the beginning of the last century and have become a strong, powerful group of people working hard to improve themselves, their families and what became their new home, St. Croizx.

Their influence was recognized in 1964 by the local Legislature, under Governor Ralph E. Paiewonsky, approving Act No. 1075 making a historical change. Columbus Day, observed in all the Americas as the Discovery Day, was now to be Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Friendship Day. This bill called upon the citizens of the Virgin Islands to "observe the occasion with fitting ceremonies honoring Puerto Ricans residing in our midst and who have made substantial contributions to the advancement and progress of the Virgin Islands."


We enjoyed a day at Carambola and observed friendship with our family ;)


Sunday, October 9, 2011

osten and cars

boys love cars.


breakfast on the gallery

Happy Sunday! 



I am enjoying a lovely breakfast on the gallery.  Brad woke up before I and made a delicious mango, apple and banana smoothie and a pot of coffee.  I am enjoying both very much.  I started reading the October edition of St. Croix This Week and am watching several ships in the distance of the dark blue Carribean.  A mere three months ago, I would never have imagined this is where I would be today, but it is quite refreshing to be living in the moment.