Monday, September 29, 2008

My spanish, or lack thereof! / Mi español, o falta del mismo

Well last Sunday we got to church, not having to run the entire way which is usually the case, and sat our family under the only air conditioning. After the branch Pres. made his announcements he said that Diego would be giving the opening prayer. I said "did they ask you" and he said no, but who cares really it´s a prayer how hard can it be! We got through the meeting with not too many issues with our 4 wiggly kids and I heard my name towards the end right before the closing song. I asked Diego "did they announce that I am speaking in a couple of weeks?" Which I am! It seemed a little odd to me, but you never know. He said no he said that you were giving the closing prayer!!! Um great! They asked me to give the closing prayer one other time and I was a nervous wreck!! It´s not like you can just write it down, have your hubby translate it and then read it! I have a terrible memory so I didn´t even try to memorize it. So the first time they asked me I thought that I could just practice in my head during church and ask Diego how to say some of the things that I was thinking about. Well it just happened that Jacob rolled his ankle the day before and it was getting worse so Diego took him to the doctor Sunday morning! I was on my own. I did ask one of the elders (my dentist from Californias´s a small world) to translate a few things. I did o.k., but made it short and sweet. Anyways back to last Sunday. So I had very little time to play things out in my head and just got up and winged it. So after my short and sweet prayer I go walking off the stand and see Diego grinning and talking to his sister! O.k. I´m sure that I screwed something up!! So I sit down and Jacob looks at me and says "doesn´t Sabado mean Saturday?" In my prayer I said that I was greatful for this Saturday!! Am I LDS or Seventh Day Adventist? O.k. great my 8 year old son knows more Spanish than his dumb mom! No, I know my days of the week for heavens sake, but that is what you get for springing a prayer on an unsuspecting gringa!!!

I´m going to start quoting my kids when I can remember some of the funny things that they say at the end of my posts. This blogging has been great journaling for me!!

I was getting on Aitana for splashing water all over the bathroom and this is how our converstion went

Mom.."Aitana stop splashing and flooding the bathroom"

Aitana.. "Why does Ryan get to?"

Mom.."Because he is a baby and doesn´t understand that he shouldn´t. You are a big girl and know better."

Aitana.."I wish I was a baby."

Mom.."You were once."

Aitana.."Did I splash when I was a baby? Because I really wanted to."

Mom.."Yes of course!"

Si realmente quieren saber el significado del palique éste que se metió mi esposa, pues me avisan y se los resumo...

Friday, September 26, 2008

This Week / Esta semana

Well this last week has gone by fast. Last Friday night Diego and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary and we were able to go away for a night thanks to Diego´s sister and Louise, a good friend, who kept our kids. We went to dinner and then went back to the hotel and did absolutely nothing, but enjoy the airconditioning, silence and each other. Oh yeah and I took a bath for the first time in almost 4 months. (We don´t have a tub at the house.) Diego asked me do you want to go for a walk or shopping or anything and I said no way I just want to relax and do nothing!! We did just that. Diego had 10 roses and some of my favorite treats waiting in the room when we arrived, but I am sad to say that I didn´t eat many of my treats. Unfortunatley or fortunately I am running out of room in my tummy and get really sick if I eat too much or too many sweets. The kids were thrilled that we came home with left overs which we used for bribery....isn´t that what any good parent would do!!

School is going well for the kids. Jacob still gets a little frustrated with the language, but is picking up a lot. They come home from school and say things that I don´t understand!! I guess I had better study more. Jacob gets a little extra help in language on some days since we opted not to have him attend religion class! The title of the book that they use is "Me llamo Jesús." "They call me Jesus." Um you wouldn´t see that at a public school in the good ol´ US of A. Lauryn was invited to a birthday party so she is very excited! Diego and I had to laugh when she came home with the invitation because her name was spelled Loring!! Hey at least they tried. We took the tranvía to Toys R Us last night to pick a gift. The kids haven´t been to Toys R Us in nearly 4 months so they were in heaven looking at all the new toys. I can happily say that we made it out with no tears or fits and only the birthday gift in hand! That was a proud moment!

Aitana-I love how honest kids are. We were walking a couple of days ago and Aitana was behind me and she said "mom your butt shakes when you walk." Obviously!! Then she stopped and asked "watch mine, does it shake when I walk?" I wasn´t quite sure what answer she was looking for and I guess it moves a little, but I´m sure that it doesn´t even compare to mine. So I answered no and she looked a little dissapointed. Then she went behind Lauryn and said "Lauryn´s does." That made me feel a little better! :)

We also had a chance to spend some time with Rosa, an old friend of Diego´s, and her kids (Dexter and Sharon). We took the kids to Parque Boulevard to play in the fountain. They had a great time!

Esta semana se ha ido volando. El viernes por la noche celebramos nuestro décimo aniversario y pudimos escaparnos una noche gracias a Pily (la hermana de Diego) y Louise, una buena amiga, que se quedaron con los niños. Fuimos a cenar y después a un hotel para no hacer absolutamente nada, sino disfrutar del aire acondicionado, el silencio y de nuestra mutua compañía. Melany se dio un baño por primera vez en casi cuatro meses (la casa donde nos quedamos no tiene bañera, sólo plato de ducha). Diego le preguntó a Melany si quería ir a dar un paseo o ir de compras o cualquier cosa, pero Melany sólo quería relajarse y no hacer nada. Y eso es justamente lo que hicimos. Diego tenía preparadas 10 rosas (una por cada año de casados) y una cesta llena de las golosinas que más le gustan a Melany, aunque no las pudo disfrutar tanto como le habría gustado. Desafortunadamente (o afortunadamente) a Melany le queda poco espacio en la barriga con el bebé y se pone mala si come mucho o muchas chucherías. A los niños les encantó que volviéramos a casa con tantas golosinas que usamos para conseguir que se porten bien....¿no es eso lo que hacen todos los buenos padres?

En la escuela les va bien a los niños. Jacob todavía se frustra un poquito con el español, pero está aprendiendo un montón. A veces llegan a casa diciendo cosas que Melany no entiende. Imagino que tendrá que ponerse a estudiar un poco más. Jacob recibe ayuda extra en lengua algunos días ya que optamos por que no tomaran la clase de religión. El título del libro es “Me llamo Jesús”. Me pregunto si un libro así se vería en las escuelas públicas de EE.UU. ¡Lo dudo! A Lauryn la invitaron a una fiesta de cumpleaños y está emocionadísima. Nos tuvimos que reir cuando recibimos la invitación porque habían deletreado el nombre como “Loring”. Bueno, al menos lo intentaron. Fuimos en el tranvía a Toys R US anoche para comprar un relago. Nuestros hijos no han estado en una tienda de Toys R US en más de 4 meses así que se hallaban en el paraiso mirando todos los juguetes que han salido al mercado. Podemos afirmar que salimos de la tienda sin que nadie se enfandara o pidiera llorando que le compráramos algo, solo con el regalo del cumpleaños. ¡Fue un momento para estar orgullosos!

Aitana-me encanta lo sinceros que son los niños. Hace unos días íbamos caminando y Aitana estaba detrás de Melany cuando dijo “mamá, tu culo se mueve cuando caminas.” ¡Obviamente! Entonces se paró y preguntó “mira el mío, ¿se mueve cuando camino?” Melany no estaba muy segura que tipo de respuesta Aitana quería oír, y supongo que se mueve un poco pero estamos seguros de que no se compara al de Melany. Por tanto, Melany le dijo que no y vio la cara de desilusión que ponía. Después Aitana corrió donde estaba Lauryn y dijo “el de Lauryn se mueve”. ¡Eso hizo que Melany se sintiera un poco mejor!

Además tuvimos la suerte de pasar la tarde con Rosa, una vieja amiga de Diego, y sus hijos (Dexter y Sharon). Llevamos a los niños al Parque Boulevard para que jugaran en la fuente. ¡Se lo pasaron en grande!

Friday, September 19, 2008

10 years with my best friend!

Well this post is for my husband. I think that he will actually be impressed since I figured out how to scan this with everything on the computer in Spanish! Yeah me! Anyways we are celebrating our 10 year anniversery today and I just had to post a cheesy entry to surprise my hubby. What a wonderful 10 years that I have had with my husband. He is the most patient man I least with me! He has been so understanding and caring all of these years and I am so blessed to have him as my own! Well I guess that I have to share him with my kids. If you know Diego he his a very hard worker and determined, but also always has time to have fun and have a good laugh. I have never had to worry that we would go without. I know that he would work 10 jobs if he had to so that I could do what I love and stay at home with my kids. I have really enjoyed being in Spain and meeting so many people that have been a part of his life and people that he has touched. He is truly loved by many! Diego I love you so much and I am so glad that we have eternity to be together! Happy Anniversary! Thank you for loving me.

Dang it...he beat me to it!! I hurried to post this while he was gone and when I finished it he had allready posted something to me....Cheater you lied and said that you were going to visit a sick friend!! Great minds think alike!

10th Year Mark / El décimo aniversario

I want to be first to let everyone know that today, September 19th, is our 10th wedding anniversary. It´s been 10 years since I married the most wonderful, beautiful, and generous person I could have ever dreamed of! Heavenly Father has really blessed me in so many ways. Melany is at the top of my list!

To be continued...

Quiero ser el primero en hacerles saber que hoy, el 19 de septiembre, es nuestro décimo aniversario de boda. Hace ya 10 años que me casé con la mujer más maravillosa, bella y generosa que pude haber soñado jamás. Dios me ha bendecido de muchas maneras, y Melany está a la cabeza de mi lista de bendiciones.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Odds and Ends / Cabos sueltos

This post is a request from our children. I think that they feel like they are celebrities when they see themselves on the computer. We were at the park and Lauryn said take a picture of us at the top so that you can post it on our blog! Then Jacob wanted me to document his mohawk. He definately needs a hair cut!

Nuestros hijos nos pidieron que publicáramos esta entrada en el blog. Creo que se sienten como los famosos cuando se ven en el ordenador. Estábamos en el parque y Lauryn dijo que les hiciéramos una foto para que la pudiéramos poner en el blog. Más tarde Jacob quiso que documentáramos su cresta. ¡No hay duda de que le hace falta un buen corte de pelo!

Now my little bit of mom stuff...I have been terrible about documenting statements that my kids have said throughout the years so I am hoping this blog will push me to be a better historian. Lauryn....she has cracked me up the past few days. A couple of days ago I was helping her wash her hair and if you know Lauryn then you know that she always has a story or a comment...The apple doesn´t fall far from the tree! Well, she was telling me something -don´t remember what it was about- (Diego can attest that I need to work on my listening skills), so after she told me her story I said "No Way!" Then she looked at me and said "Mom I think that parents just talk that way to make kids happy when they tell them things." She is very observant and probably realized that I wasn´t listening as intently as I should have been, but tried to act interested. What a great mom! Then yesterday she was asking about child birth. Well she has asked before and trying to be honest with her I explained some things and also about the epidural....That totally traumatized her!! So I was talking to her about it more yesterday and she seemed very disturbed about, should I say, trying to fit something the size of a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon! I did tell her it was a little painful, but then reminded her that there is very good medicine that helps with the pain. She then said "like when they stick the needle in your back" I said yes then she got this horrible look on her face and said..."That´s why I want to be a boy."

Melany dice que no ha hecho su trabajo como madre de documentar lo que nuestros hijos han dicho y hecho a través de los años (sobre todo lo cómico), esperemos que este blog sirva como excusa para documentar sus aventuras de aquí en adelante.

Hace unos días Melany estaba lavándole el pelo a Lauryn (si la conocen ya saben que nuestra hija siempre tiene un relato o comentario que hacer-la manzana nunca cae lejos del árbol, dicho americano para decir que "de tal palo tal astilla"). Pues bueno, ese día Lauryn estaba contándole algo, Melany no recuerda sobre qué era exactamente (si le preguntan a Diego él podra atestiguar que Melany necesita desarrollar sus técnicas de escucha), y al terminar la historia, Melany dijo "¿De verdad? No me digas". Lauryn se quedó pensativa unos momentos y después dijo "mamá, creo que eso es lo que los padres dicen para que sus hijos estén contentos cuando les cuentan cosas". Lauryn se fija en todo y ya se ha dado cuenta de que Melany no escucha con la fervosidad que debería sino que intenta parecer interesada, digamos. ¡Qué madraza!, ¿no? Justo ayer, Lauryn le preguntaba cosas a Melany sobre el nacimiento de los bebés. Ya se lo había preguntado antes y en su intento de ser sincera le explicó ciertas cosas, incluyendo lo de la epidural. ¡Creo que eso la traumatizó! Así que ayer estaban hablando un poco más sobre el tema y como Melany la vio bastante preocupada con la idea de que algo del tamaño de una sandía saliera por un agujero del tamaño de un limón, Melany le confesó que era un poco doloroso pero que había drogas que ayudaban con el proceso de dar a luz. Lauryn dijo "como cuando te clavan una aguja en la espalda...?" Melany le respondió que sí. Lauryn puso una cara que expresaba su horror ante la información y casi con lágrimas en los ojos suelta "¡por eso quiero ser un chico!". Esta niña tiene cada cosa.

Friday, September 12, 2008

School Is Finally Here / Ya llegó la escuela...¡por fin!

We looooove our children, but let´s face it, 3 months of summer in a small house could drain anyone, even the most devoted parents! So when the first day of school arrived, no one was happier than we were. Still we were worried that school in Spain would be a hard time for our kids from the start. We crossed our fingers and sent them to school hoping for the best.

Queremos a nuestros hijos un montón, pero hay que reconocerlo, 3 meses de verano metidos en un piso puede volver loco a cualquiera, aun a los padres más devotos. Así que cuando llegó el primer día de colegio, nadie estaba más contento que nosotros. Aún así nos preocupaba que la escuela en España fuera bastante difícil para nuestros hijos desde un comienzo. Cruzamos los dedos y los enviamos a la escuela deseando lo mejor.

Surprinsingly enough, Aitana had the best time (even though this is her first time in school ever, and in Spanish). She loves her teacher, she already made new friends and likes to be doing what her older siblings have been doing for a while. She is such an independent princess! Lauryn enjoyed it as well. Even though at first she felt lost and frustrated, after a while, she realized she could do it, even in a foreign country. Now, she loves going to school and has no problems making friends and completing her work (aftre three days, the teacher realized she was in the wrong class, so they had to send her to a new teacher. We were worried thinking she wouldn´t take the change well, however, she still enjoys school and she is excited she now has double the friends). Jacob had the roughest time at the beginning. Being the perfectionist he is, he felt frustrated when he couldn´t understand his teacher or the work to do. Jacob thought the teacher was mad at him because she used a "loud voice". Every day, however, he does better, (yesterday he commented "it was the best day yet!"), and we are confident he will do great at school. We really hope the kids will learn a lot of Spanish during these 3 months, so we can continue working on it upon our return to Oklahoma. By the way, in case you noticed the girls´ribbons, since they couldn´t pick their first school outfit (the school requires uniforms), we let them pick any color of ribbon they liked (even if it didn´t match the white and blue of their uniforms!).

Para nuestra sorpresa, Aitana se lo pasó de miedo (aunque esta es la primera vez que va a la escuela y además en español). Le encanta su profe (Maria Isabel), ya ha hecho nuevos amigos y está contentísima de poder hacer lo que sus hermanos mayores llevan haciendo un par de años. ¡Tremenda princesa independiente! Lauryn también lo pasó bien, aunque al principio se sentía cohibida y frustrada, cuando se dio cuenta de que podía completar el trabajo, empezó a disfrutar de la escuela, incluso en un país extranjero. Ahora, le gusta mucho ir a clase, no tiene problemas haciendo amigos y puede terminar el trabajo a tiempo (después de tres días, la maestra se dio cuenta de que Lauryn estaba en la clase equivocada, así que tuvieron que mandarla a otra clase. Al principio, nos preocupó porque pensamos que no se tomaría el cambio de manera positiva, sin embargo al regresar a casa nos dijo que ahora tenía el doble de amigos). Jacob lo pasó bastante mal al principio. Como perfeccionista que es, se sentía frustrado al no entender a la maestra o el trabajo que tenía que hacer. Jacob pensaba que la maestra estaba enfadada con él porque hablaba en "voz alta". Ahora, después de varios días, se encuentra más a gusto y no tenemos ninguna duda de que pasará esta prueba sin problemas. Esperamos que en estos 3 meses, los niños aprendan mucho español para que podamos continuar mejorándolo al volver a Oklahoma. Por cierto, en caso que notaran los lazos que las niñas llevan en el pelo, pues como no pudieron estrenar vestido (la escuela exige uniforme), les dejamos que llevaran el color del lazo que quisieran (aunque no pegara con el color del uniforme, que es azul marino y blanco).

For those that wonder what Ryan does while his brother and sisters are in school, just look at the picture below. I think he´s living it up!

Para aquellos que se preguntan qué hace Ryan mientras sus hermanos están en la escuela, miren la foto. ¡Yo creo que se lo está pasando en grande!

And if you want to know what we do while the kids are school for 4 hours every morning...well, just look at the picture for a little preview.

Y si quieren saber que hacemos nosotros mientras los niños están en la escuela 4 horas cada mañana...bueno, simplemente miren la foto para que se hagan una idea.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kids clothes

So I had to post this quick blog because I was laughing so hard and I am usually really bad about writting down funny things that my kids say. In the last few days I have been thinking a lot about how my kids match their clothes. I used to care, but with 4 I don´t really care anymore unless we are going somewhere special or to church. Jacobs´favorite thing to wear is a pair of camo shorts and a camo tshirt. They are different shades of green and styles, but he insists on wearing them together. When I get a chance I´ll take a pic and post it. Lauryn does pretty good probably because most of her clothes I bought to go together. Aitana on the other hand has a plethera of hand me downs so her outfits can get pretty crazy. Anyways back to the funny comment. We were getting clothes for Aitana today and she said she wanted to wear "hot pants." Well my definition of hot pants is tight short shorts (usualy worn in the 80´s, but I have spotted them way too much here in Spain!) She obviously was refering to long pants, but it made me chuckle because unless she sneaks them when she is a teen, she will never wear hot pants!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Final Days of Summer / Los últimos días del verano

This summer has been the longest summer ever! Normally I wouldn´t mind spending 2 or 3 months off, but when you spend soooo much time with five children (my four and my nephew Alejandro) in a small house without a yard, you have no other choice but to go a little crazy and pull out the few hairs you have left. Either way, we´ve been enjoying our extra long summer since we got out of school early in Oklahoma and don´t start until later here in Spain. We are trying to fit as much in as possible. We spent a day at the Museum of Science, a day with Diego´s family at Loro Parque, and a day shopping for school uniforms and supplies. With 3 kids in school, you can imagine the expense...Anything for a good public education.

Este verano ha sido más largo que nunca. Normalmente no me importa tener 2 ó 3 meses de vacaciones, pero cuando uno se pasa tanto tiempo con 5 niños (los cuatro míos y mi sobrino Alejandro) metidos en la casa buena parte del día, uno no tiene más remedio que volverse loco y arrancarse los pocos pelos que le quedan. Aún así, hemos tratado de aprovechar este largo y merecido descanso antes del comienzo del año escolar. Pasamos un día en el Museo de la ciencia, otro en el Loro Parque en el Puerto de la Cruz con la familia de Diego y otro comprando los uniformes y los materiales para el colegio. Con tres niños en edad escolar ya se pueden imaginar el gasto, pero bueno, todo sea por una buena educación pública.

The kids wanted to take a picture with the parrots. By the time we realized Ryan had been eaten by one of the birds it was too late.

Los niños querían hacerse una foto con los loros del Loro Parque. Para cuando nos dimos cuenta de que uno de los pájaros se había comido a Ryan, era demasiado tarde. Eso o resulta que el pequeño es muy tímido...¡Nooo! Seguramente fue lo primero.

Thanks to Diego´s aunt and uncle, Pilar and Antonio, for the fun day!
Desde aquí queremos extender un voto de agradecimiento a los tíos de Diego, Pilar y Antonio, por el magnífico día que pasamos juntos (y no digamos ya la pambufeta que vino más tarde).

The kids wanted to sit in the splash zone, but Jacob was the only one that lasted. He didn´t get too wet! What a lazy Orca!

Los niños tienen cada idea. Querían sentarse en la zona del salpicadero, pero al final el único que resistió fue Jacob. Y tampoco se mojó tanto. ¡Vaya Orca más gandula!

How exciting can Orcas be....I see one in the mirror everyday!!
A ver, ¿cuán emocionante puede ser ver las Orcas.?..! Pero si me veo en el espejo todos los días.

Aitana wanted to pose for a picture with dad! Oh wait dad doesn´t have that much hair or gold nipples!
Aitana quería sacarse una foto con papá. Espera un momento, papá no tiene ni tanto pelo ni los pezones de oro...

Even though Melany thinks that Ryan didn´t enjoy the show as much as the rest of us, I believe he was the smartest! Between the voice of Miliki as the narrator (an old clown from Spain) and the puppets (that looked like a strange fusion between the Dark Crystal and a B version of Sesame Street), he had the great idea of taking the nap of the century. The rest of us had to put up with a story about a deformed meteorite with a canarian accent. Even my friend Carlos could make better puppets than those. In the words of Gloria Fuertes "this is for the children!"

Aunque Melany piensa que Ryan no disfrutó tanto del planetario como el resto de nosotros, yo creo que fue el más listo. Entre la voz de Miliki como narrador y los muñecos de la historia que parecían una fusión entre La bola de Cristal, el Volcán y una versión clase B de Barrio Sésamo, Ryan tuvo el buen tino de echarse la siesta del siglo. Los demás nos tragamos el rollo de un machango de meteorito con acento canario. Hasta mi amigo Carlos haría las marionetas mejor que lo que usó en ese espectáculo. Bueno, como diría Gloria Fuertes, "esto es pa los niños".

I´ve decided that I am moving to the moon. This scale showed how much you weigh on the moon...I only weigh 10 kilos, (22 pounds).

Melany ha decidido mudarse a la luna. La báscula donde está subida marca tu peso lunar. Solo pesaba 10 kilos (22 libras). Si se quiere ir que se vaya, pero que se lleve a la suegra también...

Lauryn and Aitana can lift a car with a simple machine! I´m going to buy one of those so they can clean up their room!

Lauryn y Aitana pueden levantar un coche con una polea simple. Voy a tener que comprar una de esas para que limpien su cuarto.