A Dark Day {Literally}!!!

Friday morning on the drive to School, the Island we live on was dark.  No traffic lights.  All we could see were car lights.  The intersections were chaotic.  No sense of order.  Horns blaring, cars swerving, people running to cross the street.  We turned into the School that looked closed or even abandoned.  As we entered, the hallway was filled with flashlights, candles and smartphones {such fun new technology!!!} lighting up the hall.  The Elementary kids crammed into the Music Room and someone lead them in a few songs, while others tried to make a plan and locate more candles.  Classrooms were filled with candles and the the staff of IA did an amazing job of turning a difficult situationation into a fun memory for the kids.  Teacher’s read stories, played games and taught lessons.  Emme’s class even had an optional “nap time” which Emme thought was so fun!


I tried to capture a candlelit teacher’s meeting…but it was so dark you could really only see the dim twinkle of the candles.  The administration determined that if the electricity had not returned by 10, classes would be canceled.  At 9:53 the darkness was replaced with light!!!


Emme said that, “This was the best day of my life!!!”

A Little Scare…


Yesterday was Korean Lunch at the School, so of course I joined the kids for a fantastic lunch.  As I was gathering my things to go home for my last 2 hours of freedom, one of the teachers met me and said, “I am sorry Mrs. Sullivan {that is still weird to me that I am a Mrs!} there was an accident at recess and Emme was hurt.”  My initial response was to burst into tears, which was fortunately replaced with panic/crisis mode.  I found Emme surrounded by a crowd of friends sobbing.  She had a bump on her forehead, but thankfully was alert, no signs of blood and was not nauseated.  The story that I was able to piece together was that she slipped off the merry-go-round and before the kids could stop it got hit in the forehead.  After seeking advice from several others, Emme and I went home, curled up in bed and started Movie Therapy.  I did not realize how exhausting panic and stress can be.  I do not think I left her side the rest of the evening.  I am so grateful for a great IA Staff and friends that watch over and care for our kids in our absence.  I am thankful that this unfortunate accident was not serious and my precious, little girl is back to her normal, crazy self!!!

O’ Christmas Tree…


I have enjoyed your twinkling lights and reminiscing the many memories you display…I hate to say good-bye, but look forward sharing another Christmas with you in 10 more months!!!




…make any day better!!!


Guitar Lesson…


Emme the Photographer…

During our last trip to Granny’s, I found my old camera {which is still in great condition} and Emme quickly claimed it as her own.  I do love encouraging the kids to take pics and am so thankful that the days of purchasing film and development have been replaced with free digital imaging that can easily be deleted!!!


This pic makes me feel cold!!!


I love the reflection and double exposure in this pic.



I love Emme!  She is sweet, fun, opinionated, determined, full of energy…which all can occasionally translate to exhausting and frustrating.  She would make a good Lawyer {always questioning, pleading her case and determined to get a victory!!!}.


Pestering me for a Play Date and pouting until I gave in.


What a great pic of an amazing girl!!!


The Sun!!!


I never use to take pictures of the sun…but now it has become such a rarity, I must document its appearance!!!


I Am So Thankful For Gid!!!


I was trying to capture the huge, fluffy snow flakes that were just floating in the air…but I can’t resist Gid’s cute face!!!

Please pray for Gid…School is tough, Math is torture and lately he has seemed a bit discouraged.


Starbucks With Friends…


I love having such fun, cute, young friends to share life with…I just hate the fact that I could be their mother!!!  What a fun night…so glad they let me crash their party!!!



If my New Year’s Resolution was to be a more committed Blogger or Photographer…I have failed!!!  We returned to Saint Pete on the 7th and life resumed immediately.  We unpacked on Monday, Keith began work on Tuesday and the kids returned to School on Wednesday…while I just tried to stay awake and keep up!!!  I got sick on our first day in the States and even after a trip to the Clinic and a round of antibiotics, almost a month later, I am still coughing and exhausted!!!  I spent most of this past weekend sleeping {I slept until noon on Saturday and Sunday…something I have not done since becoming a mom!!!}, but thankfully everyone else has adjusted and returned to “normal” life.  We are thankful for the fabulous time with family over the Holidays {just disappointed that sickness prevented us from seeing more people} and are looking forward to seeing what God has planned for us this year!!!


PTL For Calculators and Spell Check!!!

Returning to School after a long holiday is always brutal…returning to School with jet lag to torture…at least for the teachers and kids!!!  I loved it because I slept from 8:45 until I returned for pick-up at 2:30!!!

FB {AM}~So thankful for a great school and amazing teachers who invest in my kids...while I am curled up on the couch with only the Christmas tree lights on...wondering how long I can stay awake? I love IA!!!


I am not a teacher. I am not a Mathematician. I still count on my fingers. My kids are so like me!!! Emme is not doing so great on Math Minutes {Time Tests}...so being the "good" mom that I am I was "helping" her with her Math Ring. At one point, she said, "Mom stop you are hurting me!!!"

"How am I hurting you?!?"

"You are hurting my brain!!!"

I guess yelling the fact families and problems at her may have been a little over the top. I did reminded her that there will always be a calculator!!! :-)


The Battle With Jet Lag Begins…

FB {AM}~Oh my!!! Jet Leg + Nyquil + a warm cozy quiet apartment must = a perfect nights sleep. I slept from 10pm until 11 am and I could still crawl back in bed!!! Usually, I can not resist unpacking, but I may continue to step over my suitcases today!!!! Praying that my coffee kicks in soon!!!

FB {PM}~I slept 13 hours. Have been awake 4. Unpacked all 5 suitcases...with my super, amazing helper Emme. How can I already be wishing it was bed time? I know taking a nap will be a huge mistake...but one I am willing to make none-the-less!!!



What an amazing Christmas vacation!!!


6 suitcases and 6 carry-ons crammed into the SUV, no traffic, no lines, no problems...checked in and sipping my final Gingerbread Latte in only 15 minutes!!!  We had a fabulous layover in DFW with lunch at Bennigans, a nap and free Wi-Fi. 


London never seems to welcome our family very well!!!  Our 2 hour layover quickly became stressful when the plane was a bit late, it took 45 minutes to disembark, a bus ride to the terminal, went through Passport Control, surrendered our “oversized” carry-on, showed our passports again, security check {removing shoes, coats, belts, laptops, tablets and then gathering it all up seconds later is so not fun when you are rushed, sleep deprived and starving!}, had our handbags searched, barely reached our Gate for the last call, showed our passports AGAIN and then got back on the same bus with the same bus driver to board our final plane home!!!

We arrived at LED minus 3 suitcases!!!  It took Keith AND I an hour and half to complete all of the paperwork for our missing luggage {What other country makes you fill out a form~front and back~4 times, but if you make one error...you have to redo all the copies from the beginning? They seriously need to invest in white out!!!}...I made 2 mistakes and Keith 1 totaling 38 pages to report 3 pieces of missing luggage.

We were so grateful the our dear friend Masha met us at the airport and we had a few minutes to catch-up before our teammates picked us up from the airport and took us to dinner.  I just gave the kids Melatonin...hopefully soon we will all be sound asleep!!!

So glad to be home!!!


Sad Good-Byes & My Last Supper…


I am so thankful for such great friends that allow us to burst into their home, share their lives, shower us with love and encouragement for only a few weeks every other year!!!  We are thankful for friends who are willing to give so much and make such sweet sacrifices for us!!!  We love and miss you guys!!!


My last supper…DDP and Fajita Burrito at the Taco Box!!!

Our Final 24…

Plans for my last day in the states...breakfast with friends, pedi in a massaging chair, begging UPS/USPS to surrender the package that was scheduled to arrive today, but due to weather and holidays is not scheduled to arrive until minutes after we depart tomorrow, my last trip to Wal-Mart {which Keith thought was last night}, one last Sonic Happy Hour DDP, cramming in the final purchases to our already full suitcases and saying our last good-bye to the farm and our farm friends.


Lunch With Lindsey & Taylor!!!


Pet Peeves…

Pet Peeve #248...Being asked, "Have you seen {insert whatever random item I packed just minutes before}?"
Pet Peeve #249...Standing in Wal-Mart wondering what I wish I would have purchased when there is no Wal-Mart.



Spent 4 hours today wandering the isles of Target...it was exactly what I needed!!! The employees were so nice and helpful, the options were fun and affordable, a Starbucks Gingerbread Latte and a scone topped with Chick-Fil-A made the time perfect!!! I found all the things that I have had on my Wish List for more than a year {decorative pillows, rug, tote bag, storage containers, fun clothes} and some how I managed to cram everything into our suitcases!!! I packed 5 bags in 2 hours!!!

Girl’s Lunch Out…



Happy New Year!!!


FB~Since when did sleeping until 5am seems like such an accomplishment!!! First day of 2013...sipping coffee in my jammies, reflecting on a great year and wondering what 2013 will bring!?!? Happy New Year!!!