Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mother Bear the Hamster

Shortly after Megan was born I took Erik and Claire to the pet store. They had pooled their money and had 7 dollars, enough for a hamster. We brought her home on a Wednesday and 4 days later on Sunday night she had 11 babies. Since she's a teddy bear hamster and a proud mama the kids decided to name her Mother Bear. It was a lot of fun to watch the babies grow up and we even managed to find homes for them.

To tell the truth I love this little rodent. I had just had a baby...she had just had 11 babies. We had that "I know what you are going through" bond. Erik and Claire love her too. They talk about how we have 6 members in our family and mention her in prayers.

Top 5 reasons Mother Bear is a great pet:
1- She has a super sweet disposition.
2- Low maintenance. Every few days dump out the old bedding and pour in the new.
3- When we go out of town it is easy to leave her with someone.
4- Don't have to take her on walks in the winter. MB cruises around the house in her hamster ball (we have to remember to block the stairs or we hear a bump bump bump as the ball rolls down).
5- A $9.00 bag of food lasts forever.

And of course an Erik story. One day I heard a holler/scream coming from the bedroom. I went to check on things and Erik came stumbling out with his face tilted to the ceiling while at the same time squeezing his eyes shut. Concerned, I asked what was wrong. Erik replied, "Mother Bear just peed in my eye!" HUH?!? I couldn't figure out why MB was on his face in the first place.

(Holly took this cute photo in Jan.2007)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ladies First? "That's boring," says Erik.

Without a doubt there is an individual who would make both Erik's and Claire's top 10 favorite person person list. It is Natalie. They have each known this nine year old since they were born. When I told them last Friday that Natalie was coming over in the afternoon to play they were beside themselves with anticipation. They kept opening and checking out the door every few minutes to see if she had arrived. Then a funny thing happened as Natalie came up the steps. Erik decided to act all cool and that it was all no big deal she was around.

Situation One:
Me "Hey what do you all want to do now that Nat. is here?"
Erik "All that I have wanted to do all day is play on the computer."
Me "Hmmm, okay, not an option." (thinking to self...this is not the same boy from 60 seconds ago)

Situation Two:
Me "Who is ready for snacks? I made everyone their own plate of nachos. Here you go Natalie and Claire and here is one for you Erik."
Erik "Hey how come I'm last! It's not fair!"
Me "Ladies first. It is just a way of showing respect."
Erik "That's boring. Men should be first!"

Situation Three:
Natalie, Claire, and Erik (he would say "You said my name last, no fair!") went sledding in the park across the street. He showed off his best sled-stunts for Natalie. Later on all three came back to the house and Erik informed me that since the girls were done he wanted to go back and sled some more with "the guys."

I think my son is one of the three greatest kids in the world. He is six so I'll cut him some slack. But 10 0r 20 or 30 years down the road from now I hope he remembers some guidelines if a girl wants to spend time with him:
1-Don't ignore her so you can play on the computer.
2-Remember to serve her before you start wolfing down all the nachos.
3-Focus on the girl if she is around to spend time with you. Don't ditch her to hang out with "the guys."

The next day we were driving down the road and Jeff was in front of us. I said, "Look we are following Daddy." Erik then said, "Men first!" and started laughing really really hard.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I admit it. I'm a crier.

The saying goes that if an elephant is in the room, you introduce it. I will admit that I am a crier. Usually I do a pretty good job keeping my emotions in check but certain topics relating to family or church will set me off. It isn't so much the crying that bothers me. It is the fact that I can not talk through my tears. Not even close. Some people you see with tears streaming down their cheeks but with steady voices they continue to speak. Nope, that definitely isn't me. If I'm crying I can't get a stinkin' word out.

Yesterday the bishopric called to see if Jeff and I would speak next week in church, the topic being prayer. I replied "no way." I've never said no to a church assignment in my life and I actually don't mind speaking in front of people. It is just that I immediately knew I was going to get up there and look out at the congregation and start to bawl. Who wants to listen to someone cry for 10-15 minutes? Not me!

Well today in Relief Society I was asked to read a quote (for those who don't know what R.S. is, it is a meeting during church for the women). I read it silently before my turn, no problem. The quote was about how there are angels all around us but these angels may be our neighbors who we see every day. When it was my turn I got half way through and all of a sudden the tears hit me full force. So I gave the quote to the woman sitting next to me to finish. Later on I attempted to make a comment and KA-BAM the tears came back. I said that maybe if I was looking at Rebecca I could get through my comments without crying (we laugh a ton when we are together, we don't cry). It didn't work. Then Shannon remarked about how cute my squeaks sounded (she knows me well enough that laughing would lighten the mood enough for me to finish). I did think it was pretty funny and laughed for a split second but still couldn't finish! Curse you tears!

Here is the quote from Elder Jeffrey Holland:
"Not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some to them we walk with and talk with--here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us...Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind."

The quote really hit home because it reflects how we feel about our family, friends and neighbors. These past 6 months they have truly been our angels here on earth. Now I feel like Jeff and I are back on our feet and it is our turn to help others.

Next time I had better read a quote about something like ordering pizza or doing a load of laundry. I can do that without being a boo-hoo...haha

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Feliz Navidad 2008

It all started in 1965 (I think...) when Jeff's grandparents asked their 4 kids what they wanted for Christmas. The options were a color t.v. or a trip to Mexico. The kids voted for Mexico. They had such a great time that they went again and invited other families to join. So fast forward 43 years and the Mazatlan, Mexico trip is a yearly tradition still going strong. The group has expanded past the initial 2 or 3 families to their now grown children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends and whoever wants to join. This year was smaller at less then 100 people, but two years ago there were over 140.

There is a catch. We drive. 1500 miles. Yeah you heard me right! Everyone loads up their trailers or motorhomes or tents into cars and drives. We then camp in a R.V. park on the beach. From the time we head south to when we return home is two weeks. Jeff and I are currently on the every other year plan.

And of course here are a bunch of photos.

Feliz Navidad Erik

Claire, Bridger, Wakely and Ryland

Megan hated the first hour or so on the beach but then warmed up to the idea.

Claire's sea shell collection.

Tidal mother like son.


Fisherman Ray

Its Casin! The close waves were just right for the younger kids to boogie board.

Uncle Randy, Jeff and Joe. I don't think any topic is taboo with these three. They could solve a good chunk of the worlds problems if they could just agree ;-)

Heidi is a yoga instructor and would lead a class in the mornings. Namaste!

Most days are spent at the beach but we will go downtown to the market too.

Feeding pigeons at the cathedral.

LaKay in the market.

I love the taco stands, I just don't eat at the one displaying a pig head.

But I do stop and pick up fresh hot churro's.

Sandi is in her element negotiating a few deals.

Jeff with Pablo. Pablo has a big 'ol grin on his face because the previous day he sold 1 bracelet to Jeff (for Claire) for the SAME price a few minutes later he sold 4 bracelets to Sandi.

The one meal the group has together is Christmas dinner potluck style. Every year the LDS missionaries serving in the area are also invited. This year there were 20.

Marissa had a good sampling.

Jake made strong work and loaded up.

If you are a growing teenager like Taylor obviously you will load up at the dessert table.

The ever adorable Kembree and her Aunt Molly.

Chris, Whitney, Shawn, Dean, Chris and Alex.

The official game with the Mazatlan group would be hearts (karaoke is going on in the background).