Thursday, August 28, 2014


So I know I will get in trouble from some of you that this post still does not contain photos of my new house--I so need to do that, I know.
But I must tell you all why I am having trouble blogging lately.  I'm more of a working Mom than I realized I was going to be!  I mean, I realize I'm only teaching one hour and a half class per day.  But because I'm writing the curriculum and teaching a subject I never have before, I'm spending hours and hours every day on these two every other day block classes.  

My day looks something like this:

7:30- Get kids to school, slather with sunscreen and bug spray, walk to class.  
8:00- Go jogging (3 times a week).
8:30- Clean up and change.  
8:40 to 9:30- Print worksheets and make photocopies in teacher lounge.  Grade papers and plan in library.
9:30 to 11:30- Set up for class, enter grades in computer, teach.
11:30 to 12:30- Grade and prepare for tomorrow's class.  Pick up Abigail at 12:30.
Nighttime- Make worksheets, review lesson for next day.

It's insane.  I'm probably spending 6 or more hours a day a lot of the time on teaching.  And soon I'll run out of the material I planned over the summer!  Then I'll really be scrambling.  I think I'll have to come to terms with the fact that I'm not going to be too great of a mom this year.  Don't have too much play in me.  Hopefully I will get more efficient (I'll just grow a new personality . . .)!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

97% of Dominican fruits and veggies tested as pesticide-free!

This is so great!!  I always have worked from the assumption that we were eating a lot of them--pesticides, that is.  I will say this is perplexing since I've seen plenty of farms spraying here . . .

El 97% de frutas y vegetales del país está libre de plaguicidas, dice estudio

Friday, August 22, 2014

All Moved In . . . and Ready to Drop!

I wasn't really sure if it was ever going to happen.  We basically packed up the house as soon as we got robbed and people started telling stories of other robberies in our area and how dangerous it is in that neighborhood.  But for a month and up until the afternoon before we moved we didn't know if it was going to happen.  It turned out that a previous owner had put in a new meter instead of paying overdue bills--twice.  So the electric company balked at connecting one of them.  The house had illegal wiring rigged up (?!), but the school wanted us to wait until we got legal electricity before moving in.  We're in now!  I don't think the electric company has actually connected the meter yet, but they've been here several times and we do have electricity.  Not sure we're paying for it yet . . .?

We moved in last Friday, worked like dogs all day, and then had a birthday party for the boys with 30 people on Saturday.  That was actually a fantastic idea (especially because my maid and her sister made all of the food) because it made us work super hard all day on Saturday to be ready for a 4:00 party.

Then Monday we started school, and once all of the kids caught their breath, they did really well in their new classes.  Mommy actually had the hardest adjustment out of everyone.  I haven't taught in ten years, and I underestimated how much energy and work one block-scheduled class per day would take.  Maybe when I'm done unpacking and sorting our stuff until 10 or 11 every night I'll do better.

We're so excited to have a weekend here with not much to do (except, of course, that Owen has a paper due for his class Saturday night).  We can hopefully enjoy the house and do more casual finishing touches and organizing.  The house is beautiful, it's got a huge bougainvillea growing on an arch above the house and a balcony all along the front of the house.  The kitchen has pretty brown little tile backsplash and the floors are a pretty swirled tile (they won't show dirt as much as the old white ones did.  It's got a great outside space where the kids are skateboarding (well, ripstiking, actually) and scootering everywhere.  It has pretty stained-glass windows (pictures soon, I finally unpacked the camera yesterday) and we even got to help pick wall colors since the owners hadn't painted yet.  So blue, green, and yellow . . . very bright.

The house comes with some major challenges.  For the first week we had to turn the kitchen sink water off at the base each time, because it was leaking out of a little tube previously used as an automatic ice maker.  We flooded the kitchen a few times when we forgot.

And every time it rains really good it comes in the back door and floods the floors.  The day we looked at the house all of the floors were wet, but we foolishly thought that all the men were working hard to get the house all clean for us.  We now realized they must have been clearing out all of the rainwater that had gathered.  Last Sunday Owen spent about four hours sweeping water out the back door.  (I did help an hour before leaving with the kids for church . . .)

Yesterday they put a cover over the back patio and we hoped that would solve the problem.  It helped, but because the patio slants down toward the house, any water that does make it onto the patio basically finds the inside of the house.

(There's supposed to be a hurricane this weekend, so thank you, Sonia, for the loan of the shop-vac!)

We have our phone and internet set up now, and our house is mostly set up . . . we're hoping for a relaxing and productive weekend!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


We had a 4.7 earthquake yesterday.  The kids and Owen felt the house shake as if a big truck was going by, and Micah saw the ceiling fan swaying.  I was shopping, and completely didn't notice.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Our New House

We got it!  Finally!  The new house!  And we should be moving in next week.  Our apartment has been good to us, with its amazing breeze that is the envy of our friends.  And I really do still love it, except for the safety concerns here, but I'm really excited about the house we're moving to.  It turns out it even has a guava tree hanging over the back wall.  Score!  My kids love guavas!  It is also bigger, and we're excited to throw the boys a birthday party in our new house ("parties" were a little claustrophobic in the apartment).

And funny thing, because the landlord never finished painting, we even got to pick some of the same colors from this apartment we just repainted.  What a great surprise.  :)  It's taken so long to get them to sign on this house that, humorously, it has made me really love it all the more (once I realized that we maybe couldn't get it after all it somehow seemed more attractive).

We're just waiting for water and electric and we should be able to move in!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Stuffed Animal Camp Day

The kids and their mother woke up really grumpy today.  And the house is mostly all packed up (their mother was perhaps a bit optimistic on the moving time-line), with almost everything in suitcases and those plastic bags they give you at the grocery store or Walmart because we don't have boxes.  The kids have been using scooters and ripstiks (wiggly skateboard type things) all over the house for a few weeks now, and we're all getting tired of their toys being all packed up.  Hopefully we'll sign on the house today.

In the meantime, rather than unpack here, we're having a stuffed animal camp day.  They love when I give them a camp day (where I dust off my old camp counselor activities for their entertainment), but I thought we all might love if they gave their stuffed animals a camp day.  This way they can be high energy and creative, and Mommy gets a bit of a break.

It's working out wonderfully.  Right now they're working on a scavenger hunt (which in this case is really just a list of activities I made up for them to do while I'm inside on the computer and in the kitchen and lesson-planning for school).

Friday, August 1, 2014

New House

So I'm pretty sure we have found a house.  It's been up and down and on and off with this.  We find a house, they no longer want to rent.  Or, maybe, they don't want to rent to us.  We find another house, we arrange a time to meet to sign papers.  They cancel, they want to reschedule.  They avoid rescheduling.  They want more money.  We start looking for other places.  They call back and do want to sign.  We are now midway through pre-signing paperwork.  Hopefully this week we will have a place!  I will post pictures!