Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dance Recital

Blair loves dancing and she especially loves any chance she gets to perform. Her Christmas recital wasn't as big of a deal as the one they do in the Spring and it was just at the dance studio, but she loved it. Grandpa and Grandma Davis and Grandpa Erickson came to watch her. She was a great little dancer and was thrilled to get flowers from her daddy after performing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday!

Davis and Blair turned 4 while we were in Uruguay. We had a party for them with our extended family before we left, but they knew it wasn't their actual birthday. We kept a couple of presents for each of them and took them to Uruguay to open on their birthday.

After a delicious breakfast of pastries we went out back in the beautiful weather to open presents. They were thrilled with the gifts. It made me think about how we always do too much because just a couple of thing that weren't that big of a deal was more than enough for them to be so excited on their birthday.

Davis spent the rest of the month attacking with his first Nerf gun.

Blair was happy to get things for her baby, a swimming suit, hair stuff, and a snow suit. She was excited to bring the baby back to Utah where it could wear its snow clothes.

After lunch, we went to the ice cream shop for a birthday treat and followed it up with a trip to the beach. It was warm, but not super hot, so I told the kids we'd just wear short and play in the sand because it wasn't warm enough to go swimming. That was a mistake because they just went swimming in their clothes instead. They were so happy to play at the beach, but Davis was elated because he thought the whole reason we went to Uruguay was to go to the beach.

It turns out it is cold getting out of that water. Lucky for the kids our house was close to the beach.

I love the huge smiles my kids have in most of these pictures. We had a great day hanging out together celebrating their birthday. We couldn't have asked for anything better.

El Pinar

On November 3rd, we took a day trip El Pinar. It was about an hour and twenty minutes on the bus from Piriapolis. This was the sixth area Spence served in on his mission and he was there for about six months. This was one area where Spence had written down addresses for the people he baptized so we didn't have to do so much walking.

First we went to visit the Sanchez family. Both Gricelda, the mom, and Celeste, the older daughter not pictured, were baptized while Spence served here. The other family members were baptized later. When we went to their house, they were very happy to see Spence and we had a nice visit. Davis and Blair were thrilled because they had a slide to play on in the front yard.

Gricelda and one of her younger daughters

Next, we went to visit the Del Rio family. When we arrived Spence asked for Mirta and her husband (who Spence barely knew) said she was dead. Spence was a little shocked, but it turned out that Miguel was just messing with him. We went inside and had a great visit. Mirta was thrilled to see Spence and told him all about everyone he knew from the ward and everything that was happening with the missionary work since he left. She was pretty sure no one had come along that was as good of a missionary as Spencer. Mirta fed Davis a ton of cookies and the kids were pretty good considering we visited with them for about an hour and a half.

Spence baptized Mirta's granddaughter, Vanesa, while he was here, but for most of our visit, Vanesa was at school. Vanesa walked up just as we were leaving and it was so fun to see her. We got to catch up with her more at church later.

We also greatly appreciated the ride Miguel gave us from his house to the church. A car ride was a fabulous thing in Uruguay.

Miguel and Mirta

Spence, Vanesa, Mirta

The new chapel in El Pinar

On the 13th, we went back to El Pinar to go to church. It was much different than church in Sarandi Grande. They had a big chapel and it was full of people. Mirta and Vanesa had told lots of people that we would be there and when I came out of Relief Society, eveyone knew who I was when I was wondering around alone. They were all super nice and Vanesa was patient enough to let our kids go to her primary class and try to communicate with them. Blair was Vanesa's best little buddy by the end of church and was thrilled that we were hanging out with Vanesa after church.

Lareano Pardo, the third person from the left, was one of Spence's converts in El Pinar. We were excited to see him and his family and it was fun for Spence to visit with his mom.

This is a picture with Celesta Sanchez. We visited her home earlier (see above), but she wasn't there so it was fun to catch up with her at church.

After church, Mirta, Miguel, and Vanesa invited us over for lunch. Of course, Mirta was too nice and made a wonderful meal of canalones complete with two desserts. I think she thought I should eat three or four times the rest of them because I was pregnant, and I ate a bunch because it was so good, but I didn't make it through the whole second dessert. We had another wonderful visit with all of them and it was fun to meet Marcelo, Vanesa's boyfriend, too. He is a very nice, fun, returned missionary and Spence was so happy to see her on track in the gospel. She's awesome.

Blair was entertained forever playing with toys in Vanesa's room. They spoiled the kids rotten with anything they wanted and their constant attention.

When it was time to leave, Miguel and Mirta took us to the bus stop, but for some reason, the bus we needed didn't even slow down when it passed the stop. We were worried that we'd be waiting another two hours, but Miguel took us to another stop and a different bus that wasn't on the schedule happened to go by and we made it back to Piriapolis without a huge wait at the bus stop. El Pinar was one of Spence's favorite places to visit.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Day in Piriapolis

Wednesday November 2nd, we just spent a pretty relaxing day in Piriapolis (where we stayed for the month). That morning, Spence went to help the Piriapolis ward with a service project painting one of the "hospitals" in the city. A few hours into the project, the kids and I went to see him and check out the progress. As you can see from the pictures the clinics aren't very big and I can't imagine they're very up to date inside either. I'm very grateful none of us needed medical help while we were there.

When we were visiting and seeing the progress, Davis was thoroughly entertained playing with the kids that were there. My kids, speaking English, are always a big hit, but the kids this morning couldn't get enough of Davis telling them, in Spanish, that his name was Buzz Lightyear. They thought he was so funny and they were happy to run and play and do whatever he wanted for a pretty long time. Blair likes to play with the other kids sometimes too, but she's a little more shy. She hung with me most of the time.

Later that afternoon, we took the sister missionaries to lunch. On Sunday, when we were at church, they were passing around the sign up to feed the missionaries and Spence thought that would be fun. He told the missionaries that we couldn't make anything really good with what we had in our house, so we just took them to a restaurant we liked. It was fun visiting them and Spence really enjoyed hearing all about the mission.

The rest of the day we took it easy, played at the park, and enjoyed being together.

We tried to have a few different people take a picture with all of us, including Spence, but for some reason, they couldn't make it work. So we settled for this one Spence took.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

San Jose de Carrasco

On November 1st, we took a day trip to San Jose de Carrasco. It's only about an hour from Piriapolis, where we're staying, on the bus. We walked a ton becuase Spence didn't have any addresses written down and he couldn't remember for sure where things were. We went to see the church there and I was pretty suprised to see how nice it was. The building we attended in Piriapolis was nice, but I didn't think they would all be so nice.

After seeing the church, we had lunch and headed to find the apartment Spence lived in here. We walked on a lot of dirt roads, and it was hotter than I anticipated when we got everyone dressed, but we eventually found the apartment. Spence was thrilled when Graciela Alonzo, the lady that lived in front of them, was home and she was beyond excited to see him and catch up. They talked about how everyone was doing in the ward and had a good chat. Spence will have to fill in more on that later due to the fact that I can't understand very much when he's talking to people here.

It was so much fun to see people Spence knew when he served here and watch them both so happy to see each other.


More walking...

Taking a break from walking...

Graciela gave Davis and Blair some toys to play with while she talked to Spence. It was so nice. The kids get pretty tired of sitting and not touching anything while Spence talks in a language they don't understand.

This is the apartment Spence lived in while he was here.

Another break

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Halloween & Punta del Este

On Halloween, we had a pretty mellow day planned, but ended up doing and seeing a lot and having a blast. In the morning, we went to the park and spent forever twisting the kids up on the swings and sending them spinning. They thought this was super fun and they each did it a million times. After the park, when we were on our way to lunch, some super nice people that we met at church the day before pulled up and asked if we wanted to go to Punta del Este that afternoon. We didn't have anything planned, so we went.

Punta del Este is a major resort town and many people in South America travel here for vacation. It's only about 30 miles from where we're staying in Piriapolis.

Jugo and Teresa were fabulous tour guides and took us so many places it would have taken us forever to see by bus and foot. Davis and Blair enjoyed riding in the car with no car seats. (I've seen a few car seats here, but for the most part kids aren't even sitting down in cars. They're sticking half of their body out the window or just messing around and climbing on the seats.) We stopped a number of places along the way and saw a couple of neighboring towns too. Davis and Blair happily gobbled the treats Teresa had brought along for the trip. It was a little crazy letting my kids eat so much junk, but Teresa and Jugo were trying to be so nice, so we let them have at it. (In Uruguay, lots of people eat one big meal each day at lunch and then just snack the rest of the day. The snacks they eat aren't healthy either.) The kids had candy, wafers, and tons of other junk on the way to Punta del Este and while we looked around, and on the way home Teresa insisted on stopping by the panaderia for some bakery treats. Daivs and Blair have perfected their "Gracias". They loved it.

Jugo and Teresa were so nice and so much fun and they were so patient with the craziness of Daivs and Blair for almost five hours.

On the way home from Punta del Este, the kids noticed some other kids walking the streets in Halloween costumes going Trick-or-Treating. We've been telling them that people in Uruguay don't celebrate Halloween and we were just going to skip over it this year, and they were a little disappointed when they saw the other kids dressed up and we didn't bring costumes. Things have changed in the ten years since Spence has been here. They do a little for Halloween now, but nothing like home. The kids got over it pretty quickly though.

We, of course, brought Halloween shirts to celebrate a little.
Blair learned how to "pump" herself on the swing in the morning. She is still so proud.

Twisting madness

One place we pulled off on the way to Punta del Este

Our family with Jugo and Teresa and Punta del Este far off in the background

We stopped at the Plaza in Punta del Este and the kids had a blast on this Merry-Go-Round type thing

Over by the port, this giant Sea Lion was hanging out on the sidewalk

Feeding the wafers to the Pigeons

"Los Dedos" One of the landmarks in Punta del Este

The kids playing at the park in Maldonado- Maldonado is a city next to Punta del Este that we drove though on the way home.