Saturday, January 31, 2009
No matter how much I complain about my kids, I am thankful that I have them in this life, and at this moment in time. My cousin, Joni, just posted a link to a woman's website--this woman's 2 year old daughter is dying of Pediatric Cancer, and likely won't survive the week. I couldn't even make it through one post without sobbing. I know I need to count my blessings more often.
Here is the family's blog: http://half12.blogspot.com/
If you would like to make a donation to help this family, you can go to this blog and there is a button on the sidebar: http://littleolladylivedinashoe.blogspot.com/
We had Jared's chipped tooth fixed...she did a PERFECT job for just $45 USD. Perfectly seemless!
She also checked Ella's teeth for free. It was Ella's first time at the dentist, and she was quite nervous. The dentist just had her rinse with mouthwash, and then looked at her teeth with the camera. Ella's teeth looked PERFECT...no decay whatsoever (I wish I could say that about mine)!! Way to go, Ella!
Friday, January 30, 2009
A friend showed me this very entertaining article:
Is mommy an exotic dancer? The importance of clear communications
File this under miscommunication.
On his blog, Baltimore weatherman Justin Berk posted this provocative class drawing from a child depicting her mother’s profession.
Berk also posted the mother’s letter of explanation to her daughter’s teacher.
The letter states:
I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.
Sincerely, Mrs. ...(Mother)
Just goes to show the importance of clear communication.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
65 hours later, Team Alaska's block looked like this:
Notice the bear searching for the guy in the trailer? Well...he probably won't find him...he's stepped on him!! At the bottom right is their carving/sculpture that was the original design.
They didn't win the competition, but they got Kid's & People's Choice...quite the compliment! Good job, guys!!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Devri is very talented, and made Maiya an adorable dress for the wedding. Gee...the girl was getting married, and here she was...making a dress for a baby just a few days before the big day! We like her a lot, and are happy to have her addition to the family! It is always a relief when a family member chooses a spouse that we can relate to! According to the luncheon "toasts"...we have caught wind that she will fit into the family perfectly. She sounds like a strong, opinionated woman...just like a few other Saville girls that I can think of! I am so happy for Brian...and still find it hard to believe he is old enough to get married, let alone date a girl...
While in Utah and Idaho, we got some good family time in (although much too short)! We swam at my parents' and siblings' hotel, ate a bunch of yummy meals, and I stayed the night at my brother-in-law's grandmother's house. She is an angel, and quite the host! You wouldn't believe the breakfast she cooked up for us, and you also couldn't imagine her perfectly preserved home from the 60's. Wow...I should have taken photos...pink and lime green shag carpets...and all the accessories! I would have eaten this house up in my high school years...I'm sure I would have dug some great clothes out of the closets...
There are funny quirks about this place...and sometimes I see things that make me laugh so hard...
For example, we purchased a bunch of metal handmade planes, trains, and automobiles for our store.
The shop owner gave us a brochure of the different items that they make, including their mini scenes for professionals (i.e. Doctors, Teachers, Musicians, etc). The first one may seem normal, but the other two caught my eye...
Hmm...know anyone in these professions that I should purchase these for?
Friday, January 16, 2009
It was quite an unusual Christmas...warm, sunny, and quiet.
Our tree was a whopping 9 inches high (including the angel).
On Christmas Day, Ella didn't know it was a special day. That is, until we sat down with her and explained to her the Christmas Bible story, baby Jesus, and how the Wise Men brought Jesus gifts. We then pulled out her single gift and explained to her that it was a reminder of when the wise men visited Jesus. Of course, she was thrilled to get a present!
She got a cute little mini doll chair and table set that we bought at a little tienda for less than $2.50. Simple, and yet...well...isn't that what Christmas should be? I have to admit that as a retailer I am quite cycnical about what Christmas has been "made into." Of course I desperately want my customers to "buy buy buy!", but our celebration of Christmas is quite different in reality. I think it is easy to miss the whole point, nowadays!
We had a business mission to custom order some metal embossed artwork for our store. We knew what we wanted, and were returning to ask some artists to make images of wildlife that they don't see down here...such as moose, bears, etc. As it turned out, Carla & Greg speak great Spanish (Greg is a Spanish teacher), and they translated for us as we made our custom orders. Looking back, I'm not quite sure how we would have done it without them! They were a HUGE blessing, and we hope to stay in touch and remain friends! Too bad they don't live down here!
While there, we ran into some friends who invited us to their house that evening. They were having a small get-together. We accepted, and I baked a birthday cake to take to the party for Jared. The party was great, intimate, and included just a small number of other Mexican couples. Two of the husbands (including our host, Mark) are Canadian (married to Mexican women), so they helped to translate! We learned a bit about the Mexican New Year traditions.
We enjoyed yummy food, sat outside on Mark and Martha's veranda, and enjoyed the beautiful weather all night as the kids played in the yard and inside. Mark and Martha's property is right on the lake, and is SUPERB. Here's a photo of their backyard in the daylight:
In Mexico, they count down according to their own watches, and when the clock strikes midnight, they eat a grape for every clock chime (you know...12 chimes means it is 12 o'clock). They say it is for good luck for each of the months of the coming year! Truly, 12 grapes is a LOT to eat in 12 seconds...and I don't think everyone quite did it...but I suppose it is the intention that counts!! Everyone also went around the room and gave each other a hug.
We left "early," around 1am. We were told that Mexicans often go to 2am or 3am. Maiya was a wreck, and needed to be put to bed...but Ella could have gone all night playing with her new best friend from preschool, Pablo. Pablo is the child of Martha and Mark, and is clearly Ella's new beau (to rival Nico in Alaska). They have been inseperable at school, lately (which has caused a bit of trouble). Oh...isn't it funny that Ella's two boyfriends have both been half-Mexican?!! :-)
Oh...and a few more photos to end my post...
Maiya is developing quite the personality. She thinks everything is SOOO funny. She makes this sly face when she is up to something goofy (like climbing or lounging on the stairs...her favorite). Her giggle and toothy smile is just priceless!
Happy New Year!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
However, it is adorable, and much easier to deal with. And most importantly, I'm SO glad she likes it, too!!!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
School begins tomorrow (hallelujah!), and I (Alisa) get a break from Ella for 5 days as I fly to UT with Maiya for my little brother's wedding. Brian is getting married in the Idaho Falls Temple, so I'll be carpooling up from UT in a vehicle packed with family...I'm so excited to see everyone! Wish me luck on the plane with Maiya...she doesn't like sitting still for very long, either!
Friday, January 2, 2009
But Hotel Anita's large room definitely met our needs, and everything was dandy except for the gigantic, UGLY spider that we killed in the bathroom. I jumped out of bed hysterically in the middle of the night, telling Jared there were spiders all over the walls. He calmly assured me there weren't. I had to squint hard, but I finally realized he was right. That darn spider gave me nightmares!
The beach wasn't bad, either! We bought some inner tubes from the vendor across the street (who lived in the attached shack), which allowed Jared and I to play nearly hands-free in the ocean with the girls.
We packed the girls back into the car (grateful for the air conditioning), and drove North to Barra de Navidad. It was one of our favorite little towns, as it was very walkable, well-paved, and had great personality!
A typical beach restaurant
And another testament to the coconut plantations surrounding the whole coastal area
We stopped in at Playa Tenacatita for some lunch at a beach-side restaurant. The beach was beyond the sleepy, small town...and it looked like we were headed into the middle of nowhere. We were surprised to find a tourist-type atmosphere on the beach!
We checked into the hotel, and went down the street to grab a bite. My favorite item on the menu was the Fresh Fruit plate "with honey bee." Too bad I didn't order it...it could have been interesting. Oh well...maybe next time?
We walked along the Malecon after sunset. It was quite beautiful, and we enjoyed a show by the Papantla Dancers. It was dark when we saw them, so my photos didn't turn out. But I found this photo online. Basically, the men started out on the pole top, playing a beautiful song on handmade flutes. They then began hanging from the pole, rotating in a circle all the way, falling further and further down until they reached the ground. I've never seen anything like it!
A website explained the tradition as follows: The unique aspects of the performance are derived from an ancient Aztec legend. In the story, five men attempt to deliver a message to the God of fertility – Xipe Totec – after a long period of drought. To gain the attention of the deity and request the return of the rains, these men cut down the tallest, straightest tree in the forest and erected it in the middle of their village. After removing all the branches, the men dressed as birds, suspended themselves by their feet from the pole and flew in circles to attract the attention of their God. It is believed that this ritual performance dates back at least 1,500 years and was eventually disguised as a sport to conceal the custom from Spanish colonizers.
The next morning, we enjoyed walking along the malecon in the daylight, when all of the shops were open! It is amazing how every region of Mexico has completely different things for sale. Wherever you go, everyone has the same products within the same town, but they rarely have something from another region. Jared and I kept thinking..."Why do they all carry the same things? They could also be selling the cool stuff you see in Ajijic, and then they wouldn't have such tough competition!?" I'm sure it is determined simply by the local availability of products of available to wholesale and resell, however (although the products they're selling aren't locally made!).
That night we stayed in a beautiful room at the Mayan Resort in Puerto Vallarta. Here is an exception view from our room
We checked into Hotel Diamante, a fabulous little find with lots of space, vibrant color, and an outdoor communal kitchen. We traveled with a cooler of food, and in the 5 days were were gone, we ate out only 5 times (not bad when you consider breakfast, lunch and dinner).After fixing up a snack, we ventured out onto the beach in the darkness. It was peaceful, and yet there were still people out and about. As we wandered into town, the restaraunts were still hopping, and even the gift stores were open. Of all the shops in Mexico, Sayulita had the most beautiful, well-fashioned gift shops! There is clearly a heavy American influence in Sayulita, and it certainly caters to tourists.
In the morning we found the typical stands set up by the native men in their traditional clothing, selling their incredible beadwork.
Here's the "world famous" Sayulita Fish Taco joint, which our Lonely Planet book says some claim has the best tacos in Mexico. We didn't find out for ourselves...
And if you aren't tired after reading all of that (I am!)...then you're nuts, too. We've decided that one of these years we'll learn how to REALLY vacation. That is...go to a hotel, and STAY in that hotel for more than one night. Maybe 2 or 3 or more!? We'll see...
That's what I get for marrying a professional driver...