Thursday, September 17, 2009

Update: Super Typhoon Choi Wan Level 5!

I am soooooo thankful this passed us. Granted it would have been an awesome experience, but not at this level. Thank you Lord for protecting us. We are still feeling some side affects from it though. Still cooler outside, grey skies and lots of rain and wind.... but we are safe. 

Please pray for the families on the small island that is may hit. 


If you look closely, you can see the island of Saipan right below the center of the eye of the storm. 

Super Typhoon Choi-wan had just become a monstrous Category 4 super typhoonon the morning of September 15, 2009, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this photo-like image. Choi-wan is a perfect circle with bands of clouds pin-wheeling around the dense center. The dark blue surface of the Pacific Ocean is visible through the clear eye, which is defined by a towering wall of clouds.

At the time the image was taken, Choi-wan had sustained winds estimated at 230 kilometers per hour (145 miles per hour or 125 knots), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Choi-wan was strengthening. Twenty-four hours later, the storm reached Category 5 status with sustained winds of 260 km/hr (160 mph or 140 knots). The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expected the storm to intensify a little more.

While the storm raked across the Northern Mariana Islands and was targeting the small islands of Iwo To and Chinchi Jima, it was not forecast to hit any major land mass. In this image, Super Typhoon Choi-wan is centered over the northern arc of the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean, with the larger islands of Guam, Saipan, and Tinian located on the southern edge of the storm. The islands north of Saipan are volcanic and are either unoccupied or sparsely populated.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

...Island Living...

Welcome to our home in the sweet village of Santa Lourdes....
We live on the top floor of this island style home. Our landlords, though its hard to tell there is a lower level, live on the lower level to the left.
Our House and our New 97' Honda Civic. Gets much better gas mileage then the 4-runner. Front Door.
Front porch, to the left of the front door... Its a nice, big, wrap around porch...
the side porch, next to the living room.

Side porch looking back towards the front porch.
My Orchids....
Kitchen view when entering the house through the front door. Kitchen/Dinning Room looking at the front door.
Our sweet little kitchen.

Hallway to the two bedrooms and bathroom.

Living room/dinning room looking back from the hallway. Kitchen in the distance from living room.

Living Room and Side porch view from Kitchen.
Living Room.

Our Bedroom. Like the brown curtains mama?

Our bedroom looking out at the living room. Love the new bedding, thanks to IKEA, and the mirrors we bought when we were first married, from IKEA.

Our awesome closet space in our bedroom. We can finally fit back into one closet!
Marks Office/ Guest room. Also Marks Decorating skills. =)

My experimental plants are doing great! They are growing like weeds!

Thanks Mama for the sweet table piece, I love it! Our chairs we purchased at a garage sale last year for $15 a piece... (BEFORE)

Our chairs, $15 more later... SO MUCH BETTER! and a fun bright color!

Thanks for visiting our sweet little island home! We have a guestroom avaliable, trust me, Mark WILL clean it up for you =). So I hope to see 1 or 2 of your sweet faces on our island this year!


B & M

Monday, September 14, 2009

Last night was a good night. It was much windier then usual and lots of rain, but nothing to exciting, except for the power going in and out through the night. 

We are back to normal, well almost normal, today. I am back at school have 15 of my 21 students, and Mark is still at home today... the PSS didn't want to risk it, which I whole heatedly agreed with.... I would rather be home and have all the kids safely at home, but I don't make the decisions... 

So anyway, It is still very rainy, very dark grey skies, and windy.... I am not sure which way the storm is headed at this moment. It is moving very slowly, and the radio says we should still feel the affects of it later this afternoon and in to tomorrow night....

Not to much damage was caused last night, Lots of Banana Tree's are now lying on the ground, but there are so many on island, its okay to spare a little...

Well, as always, we will keep you updated! 

M & B

Here is a picture Dad emailed me this AM. We are in the bull's eye of Choi Wan.

The Calm before the Storm

Today has been a strange day.

As of right now, it is 10:32 pm on Monday evening, and we are still waiting for typhoon Choi Wan, or as some people are calling it Chop Suey to show up. We have seen some effects from it, it is much windier then normal, but its not bad. They say it is to hit us early Tuesday morning, so who knows exactly what that means.... but for now, we are home, safe, ready for bed, and ready to ride out the storm.

Today at school was interesting, like I said earlier, Mark didnt have to go in at all today, but we did, and man were my kiddos on edge. Every time it began to rain or the wind began to blow, "Mrs. Sawyer! ITS HERE!", "No guys, its just rain, no worries, you'll be home before it hits...."

I also went around the room, moving bookshelves and TV's away from windows, moved anything up off the floor in case of flooding, etc.... so we will see what my classroom looks like tomorrow or wednesday....

After school ended, Mark picked me up and we headed home, with making a quick detour to McD's for some french fries and bbq sauce =) The weather wasnt too crazy on the way home, but you could tell there was a storm abrewin..... some palm trees were leaning to the left and the right, while stores had their storm shutters closed....

The 4-runner getting a light rain this afternoon. Tree's on the side of our home, The Calm Before the Storm...

And last but not least for our day, a wonderful family, the Martinsen's, who live just down the road from us, and are sadly moving back to the states in 3 weeks, but happily moving to Washington State, so its really not goodbye, invited us over for dinner and games.... It was nice to take a break from thinking about the typhoon. We ate homemade soup, bascotti, and had fun with their two girls, Abbie and Emma...
The Martinsen's have a great look out in their backyard. We took a walk down there, and boy were the waves crashing against those cliffs! We certainly enjoyed the view though...
The Martinsen Home, all boarded up and ready to be beaten.... Most homes look like this right now....

Mark is soundly asleep in bed, i just took a nice hot shower, may be the last one for a few days..... but wanted to update you real quick before we wake up in the middle of the storm, with no power....

We are safe, its raining pretty hard as we speak, and getting a little windier.... But we will contact you once we are in the clear and up and running again....

Love you all,
Mark and Brittany

****If you want to find out more about the storm, you can always google JOINT TYPHOON WARNING CENTER, and click on CHOI WAN W15.... its pretty good, and tells you pretty much everything we know.... =)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tropical Storm Update

These are some updated photos from 12pm and 1230pm... the storm is getting closer... if you look closely at the pictures you can see an island in the shape of a bear with its paws to the side, that is Saipan.... 

Today on our way to school, Mark and I were noticing that non of the public school students were standing and waiting for the buses..... needless to say, all public school & government offices have been closed until further notice... HOWEVER, the only school that is open on day like today is Saipan Community School.... So Mark is home getting our house even more ready for this storm to hit, and I am at school teaching Math, to all of my students who arrived on time. 

SCS will close once we are at a typhoon level two. As of now we are at a tropical storm level 1... next will be typhoon level 1, then level two. At that point my school will be closed and children sent home....

It is getting windier by the minute and we have had showers all day.... So we will see what will happen as the day goes on...

As most of you know the Navy has 4 ships that usually sit about 2 miles from our shores, well we noticed about 15 minutes ago, that they are gone, which means they are preparing for the typhoon also, getting the heck outta here.... and I just heard the courthouse has been closed and boarded up.... guess it is just now a waiting game, and until then I will just take it like a normal day, hanging out with my 21 third graders, who freak out every time it begins to rain =)

Pray for us, and we will keep you updated for as long as we can.

All our Love,
Mark and Brittany

Tropical Storm - Choi Wan, headed towards Saipan

For the past few weeks we have heard of possible Typhoon warnings, etc... but nothing has ever come of them.... Well Yesterday and Today that is all we have heard about.... On signs, the radio, the internet, etc....
Apparently there is a tropical storm coming towards Saipan, as of now, we wont be in the eye of the storm, but we will definatly feel the affects.... and they say it will hit us late Monday morning, Early evening Sunday for all of you back home....

So as the warnings on the radio have been saying, today Mark and I went out and bought supplies... If this really does hit us, we may be without power/water for a few days, or possibly awhile. So if you dont hear from us for about a week, dont be surprised =) We will be safely inside our home, playing cards by candle light, starting to smell from the sweat we have occured from the strong humidity, with no power, no water, and canned food.... mmmm mmmm goood =)

There hasnt been to many signs of a storm yet, but there definatly has been more of breeze today, overcast skies, and some rain.... but we live on a tropical island, and that happens.... SO we will see if this really does happen...

We both think we are messed up in the heads.... in a strange way would love for the storm to hit island, just to experience it, etc.... but at the same time, life would be so much easier if it would just by pass us.... Oh well, I guess we will find out in less the 24 hours what will happen!
Please keep us, our friends, and our island in your prayers when you think of it.... Typhoons arent too dangerous, unless you put yourself into that danger of walking outside in it, but still will make a mess of our island, and a mess of peoples homes who dont live in great conditions.... some homes could possibly be lost.... SO PRAY. =)

But we are good, we are safe, we are prepared.... lets see what you've got Choi Wan!

If and when we can, we will keep you updated as to what is going on.... You can always check out the national weather service website, or google, joint typhoon warning center, and we are #15, Choi Wan....

Love you!
M & B

"Our Dog" named Chuck

Mark and I knew that when we rented the house, the 6 or so dogs on the property came with it. Which, to be honest, dosent bother us at all, it is kinda nice to have dogs always around watching out for us, and being our security. And for the most part, all the dogs are pretty sweet.... this is what Mark and I came home to the other day, 4 all lined up in a row, sleeping, and trying to stay dry from the rain....
A few of them truely have become our security dogs... here we have Whitey and Boy, guarding our house, on our front porch... they do this every night.

Well, as Mark and I have been watching these pups around the property, we have fallen for one.... he is the runt of the bunch, granted he is one of the bigger ones, but he is always getting picked on.... He's also skinner because the other dogs tend to eat his food.... SO.... Mark and I have sudo-adopted him =) He is really our landlords dog, but he spends more time on our front porch then anywhere else..... SO MOM, here is pictures of our Chuck! His name was boy, we have renamed him chuck and he now answers to both boy and chuck =)

We even have purchased some dog food, and he knows when we are going to feed him. None of the other dogs are around, we give him a little treat, just to "beef" him up =) He has fleas, so we really dont pet him, but he does hang out alot with Mark when Mark is outside. Fleas are a common factor on Dogs here on island.... our landlord gives them all shots, it helps, but doesnt stop them.... we are guessing they just keep growing because of the heat and humidity, nothing strong enough to kill them off....

Either way, it is nice to "have" a puppy around to spoil =) And he certainly is a sweetie!