Monday, May 25, 2015

Big Boy

I walked into the living room the other day to this:
This kid...he's getting so big. 


Friday, May 22, 2015

Class Pets

Today is the last day of school!
My summer vacation officially starts in one hour and thirty minutes!
I am ready to get this summer going. It is looking like it will be full of FUN!

Since it is the last day of school, I figured I'd better hurry up and get this post up.

A few weeks ago, my parents were leaving to go to a Bible study they have on Thursday mornings. I had just let the kids out for lunch when my dad yells into the school, " might want to come out here!" I could tell by the tone of his voice that I should also bring my camera.
I get out there heart's love, but my head's aversion was standing in front of the church.
A man with about 10 bird cages stacked on his back. It is funny because just a couple weeks before this, my dad and I were in the car and I told him, "I feel the bug biting me, like something inside of me is saying it's time to get a new pet - BUT DON'T LET ME! I don't have time for it and I don't want the responsibility." Sigh.
We'd also discussed getting a class pet once we had moved into the new school. I was thinking a hamster, a goldfish...something the boys could feed and clean up after. Something EASY!

This bird man had an adorable little green parrot perched on his hand, and when asked what was in the gift bag hanging from his arm, he pulled out its tiny twin.
Two baby parrots, not even fully feathered. Be still, my heart!!
I was holding pretty strong until my mom came downstairs to look at them, exclaiming that we should get BOTH of them so they'd be buddies.

Meet our new class pets. 
In this picture, the one on the left was 8 weeks and the one on the right was 10 weeks old. 

The boys loved them, especially our two youngest. 

Dad loved loved them....and they loved him. 

They got their first bath and enjoyed that. They came out looking like muddy little monsters! 

Have you noticed I have been speaking in past tense? Yes, the two birds were BFFs for two days. They entertained and snuggled with us for two days.

Then....something happened, the younger parrot got sick - I have no idea what happened, really. All I know is after church one night he was huddled in the bottom of his cage, his feet all contracted. It was the most pitiful thing I'd ever seen. I cuddled him, trying to keep him warm....he then started having violent seizures. It.was.terrible. Weeks later and typing this out makes me do the dog shake.

I've had a lot of pets, and living in Mexico I've seen a ton of sick animals. We had one of our dogs get parvo years ago and I thought that was bad, but nothing can compare to what went on with the little baby bird that night.
It was awful.

We are now left with one bird - and instead of having another bird as his little buddy - he has us.
He's the sweetest, cuddliest little ball of feathery warmth. He especially likes to snuggle his beak into our necks or behind an ear lobe, like in this picture:

I was thinking the other day -

Up until a few years ago, I thought birds were great, but touching them was the most disgusting thing ever. Then Pastor and Sis. Stoltzfus came down to visit us. I don't remember how exactly it all unfolded, but Sis. Stoltzfus got me loving birds. We were walking downtown by their hotel and a man with bird cages on his back came walking by. With her encouragement I got my first parrot. She showed me how to hold it, how to take care of it, what to feed it, and answered all my questions - which were many since birds are unlike any pet I'd had up until then. She bought me my first cage, which is the cage this bird is using now.

Hopefully we will be moving into the new school in August. When we do, this little guy will be living up there - that is the plan at least.
What is his name, you ask? We thought we'd name him Charlie - maybe that can be his "official" name. But all we ever call him is Baby. Baby this, Baby that. So Baby it is. We've been needing more babies around here. :)


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Vero's Baby

On May 3, 2015 the newest little member of our church was born. She doesn't have a name yet - not an unusual thing with babies here in Mexico. Nine months isn't quite enough time ;)

She weighed 5 lbs 6 oz - she's a tiny little thing! 
Nicole's hand - size comparison

Nicole and baby girl

Me and the little munchkin 

After visiting for a little while, they started bringing out food. 

We hadn't planned on eating, but boy were we thankful for what they put in front of us! Homemade tortillas and chicken with red sauce. (Anyone notice a theme in the food I've been eating lately??)
Something about the people here - they know how to turn a little bit of nothing into the tastiest, most satisfying meals. 

Nicole and I

No this isn't a random picture - look a little closer. Notice anything? 

A pincher bug! 

See the roof in this picture? In Spanish we call this a roof made out of "lamina". I don't know what it's called in English...laminated roof? It is sheets of metal. 
Well it was pouring rain and apparently the pincher bugs were trying to escape the downpour. They started dropping like flies, about every 30 seconds one would land right next to my plate. 
I tried to reason with myself in the in-between times. "You're not actually scared of these. There's no reason to jump when they fall. This is normal for the family that lives here! Don't make a big deal of it." Sigh. Mind wars :P 

Thankfully the family was very gracious and were not offended by me and Nicole's dislike of these bugs. The baby's grandpa ended up just standing by the end of the table where I was sitting so he could swipe each bug off the table as it fell and smoosh it on the floor. 

Because of the rain, it got pretty chilly in the house. Hot cinnamon tea was brought out for us to sip on while we visited. 

My tea
After sipping on tea, we sat around visiting and cuddling the new little baby. We began telling stories and laughing...I felt so bad for Sis. Vero - she's a very happy lady and loves to laugh. Unfortunately she had a c-section so every time we'd make her laugh she would try unsuccessfully to hold her laughter in while clutching her tummy. No matter how hard we tried to talk about more serious topics, it'd always end up in someone popping up with a witty reply. 

Trying not to laugh too hard

Sis. Vero's parents came from Veracruz to be with her and the baby for the first couple of weeks. They are the cutest little couple - married for almost 50 years! 
The grandpa was especially adorable. For some reason, he took a liking to me and told me that although he was leaving the next day to go back to his pueblo, he'd never forget me. Aww! I wish that they could move here to Puebla and come to church with their daughter. 

I will let you all know when the baby gets her name. We are supposed to submit our suggestions to be voted on in the near future...


Monday, May 18, 2015

Mi Viejo Pueblito

On Saturday Grampa and Gramma took Nicole and I out for lunch. We went to a very popular restaurant called "Mi Viejo Pueblito". They serve authentic Mexican food in a classy, traditional atmosphere. 
Perusing the menu...

I still hadn't entirely kicked my craving for red enchiladas so I didn't need to even look at the menu. 
Mi Viejo did not disappoint me! 
My enchiladas in red sauce

Nicole's enchiladas - one in mole poblano, pipian verde, and pipian rojo. 

Gramma's very healthy salad

Grampa's...something. I don't remember what he ordered, but it looks like mole! 
We spent a nice day together. After having lunch we ran a few errands and picked up things for Sunday school. We love spending time with our wonderful grandparents! We are blessed to have them and thankful we get to have them so close.


Friday, May 15, 2015

SS End of Quarter Party

Last Sunday we had our end-of-the-quarter party. Another 12 weeks of Sunday school has passed!
As we do in every Sunday school party, we had tons of games planned with prizes, toys, and an abundance of candy.

We started out with the same game we played at the park on Children's Day a few weeks back. Dip your water bottle in the soap and see who can make the longest soap snake. In this picture I am demonstrating how it is done. I love the looks on the kids' faces! 
They are adorable. 

Litle girl in the front middle...aww :) Utter amazement! 

Dipping into the soapy water

Several kids looked like they were about to pass out. They had to be told to stop and TAKE A BREAK! 
We do not want any kids unconscious on the ground in Sunday School, unless it is because of the Holy Ghost...

We also did a relay race of filling a cup of popcorn tied to your shoe. We had popcorn everywhere, but the kids loved it! 

Shake, shake, shake! 
We played a ton of other games and relay races, but somehow we did not get pictures of them...

At the end of class, we presented the prize to the contest winners. 
The contest was to earn points by inviting guests, memorizing verses, and bringing your Bible. Jerameel astounded us all with her skill in memorizing Bible verses. She'd come to class each Sunday having memorized entire chapters of the Bible! Supergirl! 

This is Sis. Carmen's daughter - the same daughter that won the contest a couple quarters ago and got a trip to the zoo with her family! We love the girls to pieces! 
It was funny - Nicole presented the prize to her and immediately her sister jumped up to admire the prize. She was just as excited as her sister! 

So here we go again - decorating for a brand new quarter! I will have pictures of what we come up with in the next week or so. It is always nice to have a new scenery. We enjoy using our creativity and the kids are always excited to see the new decor. We have a meeting Saturday morning where we will hopefully get everything built and ready for Sunday! 


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dinner for Two

Last week Nicole and I had a boatload of errands to run. We also wanted to have dinner in the Zocalo, which is the historic center of town. It is a beautiful view! 

It is always interesting to sit outside and eat. You get the added entertainment of passers-by. Some are singing, playing instruments, are selling trinkets, or just look hilarious.
Never boring! 
This was a couple days after I'd gotten back from the States. I was craving some authentic Mexican enchiladas with spicy red sauce. 
I couldn't have asked for anything tastier. When my plate arrived, my eyes about popped out of my head - it looked delicious! 

Nicole's enfrijoladas

Nicole and her food

(Nicole had to make a phone call right as our food was brought and I tried my best to wait for her to come back....but I did not succeed. Which is why my plate is empty while hers is full. 
After shopping around for a while and picking up something we needed for Sunday school, it started to rain. Cats and dogs! And hail. Since I am the clever type and think ahead, I brought an umbrella. And not just any umbrella! It's our nice one from Costco that is heavy-duty and won't turn inside-out with the wind. That's always nice. :)
The roads cleared like the Red Sea, giving Nicole and I the chance to walk down the middle of the road unobstructed. Our shoes filled with water, but our faces stayed nice and dry. We soon grabbed a bus and headed home. 
Puebla doesn't have the best street drainage system so it was interesting to watch the cars and buses drive through the streets making huge tidal waves of water. I felt bad for people walking home...
I can say I'm loving this season of rain. Rain is beautiful at any time of the day, but is an especially soothing sound to fall asleep to each night. 


Monday, May 11, 2015

CA Trip - Beth

This past week, you may have noticed we did not post as usual. That is because I (Bethany) took a trip to California. It had been 6 months since I last was in the US, which means it was time to renew my papers. What made this trip unique was that I did not go to a conference, and only went to one service the whole week. It felt odd!

I only brought one carry-on suitcase which also felt very out of the ordinary. Usually I'm bringing about 32 outfits and 22 pairs of shoes - struggling to keep my suitcase under 50 lbs. It was so extremely liberating to walk around the airport with my tiny little suitcase - I felt like I was proving something to myself. I've heard it all from the lucky men in my life that have had to lift my suitcase into the car, take it into the airport, or carry it up the stairs to my house. "What have you got in here? The kitchen sink??!" "HOW long are you staying?" or my favorite (usually from my dad) - "How much of this do you actually need??"

(Thank you for listening to me speak on this topic of luggage which I am aware nobody cares about. But  it makes my heart smile.) 

I felt like Arthur Dent proclaiming, "I saved the waaaald!" 
I don't over-pack for the fun of it. If it was possible, I'd pack this light for every trip.
This is my actual suitcase. (I love my luggage - I've never seen anyone with my same suitcases). 
Before getting into my actual trip and the happenings thereof, I have to mention something. 
Before every major trip we go on, something bad happens in the days prior. Pets decide to kick the bucket. Saints go off the deep end. One time one of my parents backed our van through a saint's wall. This same parent set his/her keys on the back bumper of the van and drove off, leaving our house and church completely defenseless the night before we were to fly out. We had to run to Home Depot to buy padlocks for all gates and doors. 

Dad was working feverishly in the days leading up to our trip, trying to get as many pens made to take with him to the US. The night before we were to fly out, he somehow got his thumb tangled in the drill press. It was late at night, but I was up packing when my mom called for me to go in their bathroom. I walk in to find my dad hunched over the sink, white as a sheet, blood all in the sink. It was pretty gross! In Dad's words, the drill press turned his thumb into "ground hamburger meat". YUM! 

Feel free to click and zoom! (Nicole voted to not post the picture, so we are compromising by making it tiny.)

He went to the ER the day after we flew in to California and got it looked at. The nurse vigorously scrubbed at it, saying she wanted to see blood. This was obviously very painful and my dad let her know it. She responded with, "Well, it could have been worse." My dad replied, "WELL ITS NOT YOUR FINGER!" Hahahaha! 

Besides renewing my papers, the other reason for this trip was for Austin to have his normally scheduled doctor check-ups. In case not everyone knows, Austin was born with hydrocephalus and has a shunt, he had a heart murmur, a cataract in one eye and has had scores of operations since he was eleven days old. Naturally, the doctors like to keep an eye on him and make sure everything is running smoothly. 

One of his appointments was at Shriner's hospital in Sacramento. Dad and I were to be singing together that next Sunday (a rarity) and we were hoping to get a chance to practice with a piano. 
Just so happens, Shriner's has a piano in the center of the first floor of the hospital. 

Don't worry - I don't make a habit of running around with my hair stringing all over the place. I was in the midst of tying it back when I saw the all happened so fast...

That is my pillow/blanket on top the piano, by the way. This became extremely handy in doctors offices and waiting rooms. Between adjusting to the time change and trying to acclimate my body temperature to the arctic conditions of , I did a lot of sleeping on hospital couches. Nothing better than passing the time away curled up on random people's chairs and couches...
I became an expert in sleeping sitting up, thanks to my very handy inflatable neck pillow. I did feel a little weird, huffing and puffing, blowing it up, trying to hide in an obscure corner of the waiting room. "Don't mind me, guys. Nothing happening here!"

Our rental car

After a good nap at Shriner's, we walked over to UCDavis for some more opportunities to sleep. 
This particular instance didn't work out too well thanks to Dr. Phil and more air-conditioning overkill. I ended up going outside to sit with sister-girl in the nice warm California air. 

Finally my family came out. Austin performed the most annoying thing he knows how to do to women in his family:
Pinching Sister UCDavis' back fat
We ended up eating at Ruby Thai for lunch. Couldn't resist some boba....

I tried out the Apple watch. Not out of interest, but just to be able to rag on it with some intelligence and be able to say that YES I did try it out. 
I could go on and on and onnnn. 
This watch is for the person that feels he is not already sufficiently wrapped up in the fantasy world of technology. 
Yes, I did just say that. 
I just don't get the big hubbub around it. I think it is stupid. 
I tried it on so I CAN have an opinion! 
We ate at one of my favorite places in the world: Chick-fil-A! 

Perfect chicken nuggets with their perfect Chick-fil-A sauce

The Marysville church hosted a mother-daughter banquet. I got to go with both my mom and grandma (my mom's mom). We had a great time! I went around getting pictures with all of my Gramma Wakefield's friends to send to her. I knew she'd get a kick out of seeing all of them. 
Sis. Bledsoe

Sis. Bellew

Sis. Woodward - my Gramma's twin!! They aren't related, but look like sisters. 
Me and my sweet grandma that lives in California - telling me secrets :P

Sis. Whorton

Mom and "Sharon Flo, Sharon Flo" (sung to the tune of Disney's "Let it go, let it go!")

Sis. Harding spoke to the ladies

I was grateful that the one service I did get to go to while I was in the US was in Anderson with the Green's. I absolutely love their church. I didn't get any pictures of the actual service, but got some of the trip up there and of the town...
We stopped at the penny candy store - a tradition for us when we are in the area. On this particularly hot day, a sno cone was just what we needed. 

Interesting, old-timey candies at the penny candy store

We stayed at a hotel that had a gym...Austin was thrilled with that...
"Hey buddy, would you mind getting out of the painter's scaffolding?"
It was funny - the whole way up to Anderson I was trying to persuade everyone to have lunch at Applebee's. I was going to be leaving in two days and was craving their Oriental chicken salad. It turned out to be a little too far out of town, but after church the Greens randomly picked Applebee's for dinner! I was one happy girl. 
Me and Sarah Baker, soon-to-be Davis!

A snake smashed in the parking lot of Bank of America

Austin aquired a new pair of sunglasses - he was quite infatuated with them. 

I flew back after a week to get back to the school. We are in our 2nd to last week! 
Interesting :P

My last flight - this little plane would take me right into Puebla

Nineteen hours of travel later, I was back home, looking over the beautiful city of Puebla. 

This is just the "campo" surrounding the airport outside the city limits of our very large city. 

I am a little jealous - the other night my mom texted me 31 pictures of the town where I was born and lived in until I was 7, Antioch, the house we lived in, the park we played in...I did wish I could've been there for that!
I had a great time - but it is sure nice to be home!!


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