Sariah's first week with us was really cute. We brought her home just as she was rounding the 7-week mark, so she was still pretty tiny and sleeping a lot. She wanted to be where we were and usually fell asleep on us. There wasn't much to do during this first week except love her. She has the sweetest personality, just like the breeder told us. It won't be long before we will look back on these photos to remember when our big puppy was just a tiny thing.
Last November, we received word that Kelly's boyhood friend's wife and children were getting baptized in the LDS church. Kendall had married outside his LDS faith fifteen years ago, and when his wife read the Book of Mormon to prove to him once and for all that the church was not true, she received a surprising answer. A year after she and the kids were baptized, we received an invitation to join them for their sealing which took place here in Los Angeles. What a joyous event! It was an honor to witness. We drove home to pick up our girls before rejoining the wedding party at their reception. Jenna danced with Daddy (Heather has been able to do that a couple of times at youth events) and the girls watch Daddy dance with Mommy (I think they were shocked that we knew how to do this). We were so happy to be able to celebrate with these long-time friends, and the girls finally got to meet Dad's BFF from way-back-when and hear all the crazy stories. Good times.
We had a quiet Thanksgiving day which is just how we like them. Kelly made another excellent turkey, Grandpa was here to visit, and we watched football games and played with the puppy. We're thankful to have our grandpa around to celebrate with us while we're missing our other family members in other states. We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
We would like to introduce our newest family member. Her name is Sariah Rose, and she is a 7-week-old Rhodesian Ridgeback. The girls and I drove to Atascadero (San Luis Obispo) on Saturday to pick her up from the breeder and bring her home. We played with six puppies for over an hour, and this was the one. We had information on all the puppies ahead of time and had picked her out due to her cuteness and also the description the breeder gave us. She was one of the most loving puppies the breeder has come across, and she is also going to be a bit smaller than her siblings which is why we pre-chose her over the others. During the time we were at the breeder's home, we watched all the puppies play, and they were all too darn cute! It was hard to choose just one, but in the end, we got a very playful and sweet pup. We got to meet her parents too, and they were both very good-natured and friendly.
Prior to our trip, we made a list of names. We wanted a majestic/regal name since this is an African hunting breed, and we wanted something exotic if we could find a name we all liked. We had some African names on our list as well as regular names we liked. We were pretty sure we liked one name for sure, but we wanted to wait. When the girls met her, they said she was delicate and beautiful and reminded them of a rose. On the way home, we tried all our names out on her, but none of the ones we had were fitting. We wanted a two or more syllable name even though Rose was a perfect name. After trying out names all that day and all night (Willow was one of our top contenders at the end of our car ride), we tried out Sariah, and it just felt right. I don't know how many people give their dogs two names, but we did so we could remember that first meeting and first impression the girls had of our cutie.
Now, the part I've left out thus far is how in the world we ended up with a new puppy? Winston went home on Tuesday, and this new little one arrived on Saturday, BUT that was not in the plan. When we started to talk about Winston going home to his family and doggy brother last month, our thinking (Kelly's and mine) was that we would be dog free for a while. The girls saw Winston's return as an opening for a new puppy. We told them it wasn't a probability right now, but Heather started researching before Winston left. If you can picture a run away train, that was Heather and her plan. We were getting gently prodded with video clips of breed ideas, reasons why certain breeds would work, etc. One night Heather brought me a video clip of a Brittany, a short-haired, obedient hunting dog. I joked with her that Daddy would like that because it was a hunting breed. That comment was the catalyst for involving Kelly. He and Heather began researching together, and I'm telling you, it was like the ball was rolling, no one was really saying, "we're doing this," and the search kept getting narrower and narrower. By the time Winston went home, we had breeder contact sheets and were researching how to contact breeders. Two days later, I called one, and the rest is history. We met a great breeder who loved us over the phone, had two litters ready to go to families, sent pictures, and was very happy to meet us in person and let us choose the puppy who would come home with us.
Are we crazy? YES! But we're all feeling crazy together. We're in love, and in the strange way that things happen when you're not expecting it, puppy ownership has happened for us. If you want to know more about this breed, click HERE to be taken to a short video from Animal Planet 101. It's a great breed, and we're looking forward to some vigorous exercise and backpacking with our new pup.
Not too many photos from this night time game, but here's the recap. The girls played their hearts out...both sides. We brought our best game, and they brought theirs. We even had a best friend routing on the sidelines (thanks Sarah!). We went 4, thats FOUR, quarters with NO SCORE. That's how well both teams were playing defensively. We lost by one point in overtime, but really, there are no losers. With our forward going out first quarter with a broken arm (yes, it was that bad), and five of our girls playing soccer for the first time in their lives, we did VERY well. Plus, after winning first place two years ago, it's kind of a bummer to go to regionals because of the Sunday games. That's really not sour grapes. With two Mormon coaches, and a good part of the team who are LDS, we wouldn't have had a great turnout for regionals. The 2nd place trophy is still HUGE by-the-way. Trophy party to be posted later. Great job Vicious Hamsters!!!
Today was the last regular soccer game of the fall season. Our team beat this team when they last met, and if we beat them again today, we would automatically take first place and the opponent would take second. Their team seemed to know that and played hard. After one goal for the opponent and a bad call from the ref in favor of the opponent, our girls seemed to lose steam. In the end we lost this round and will move on to Thursday's playoff...against the same team. Bring it.
Veteran's Day has been a day to remember those who serve and with Instagram and Facebook, it has been a day for public thanks and posting of loved ones' photos. I enjoyed seeing photos this year, and I put this one out there. It hangs in my hallway and is a photo of my maternal grandpa, Clement Spencer, with some of his buddies in the Navy, WWI. There were other photos I could have posted, and perhaps I will when I gather them all. We have uncles on both sides who have served, and my cousin's son, KC, is currently serving. Heather asked me why these men (and women) serve in the military. It seems scary to her like it did and does to me. My best answer is that there must be some added measure of Divine strength to the men and women who serve our country. I don't know if I would be strong enough? They are so brave and valiant, and I am continually grateful for their service.
The girls and I wanted to do something fun on their day off, so we headed off to an afternoon showing of Thor 2. It did not disappoint. Kelly and Heather went on Friday when it opened (11/8), and they saw it in 3D (cha-ching!) They said it was amazing in 3D. Heather was happy to go again even if it was just a plain old boring 2D movie screen. Haha. We are such Marvel comic nuts, and we really enjoy these movies. Okay, the actors (and actresses) are nice to look at too. I'm glad we got to go do something fun in the middle of our hectic school and life schedules.
We had dinner at Marie Callendar's for Kelly's birthday. No, that isn't his favorite restaurant, and yes I may have blown that part, but the choice was well-intended. I reserved the dining room that seats 10-12 and is very secluded. Then I secretly invited four couples who I thought Kelly would enjoy spending time with, and the surprise dinner was on. Unfortunately, one of the couples couldn't make it, so I invited a two other couples just in case. Those last two are very busy families, but I did what I could to fill the party. We arrived at dinner and saw one of the couples walking to the door which kind of looked suspicious. Then the waitress wouldn't seat us until "more of the party" arrived. Ugh! Surprise much? The cat was out of the bag. If they had just taken us back to the dining room, the girl would have seen that there our friends were already seated. Oh well. We lost another couple right after that via text, and just as I was contemplating giving up the dining room for a larger party (and feeling bummed that my surprise flopped), one of the guys from the last set of couples I invited walked in. Yay! He left his wife to hold down the fort so he could run over. About ten minutes after that, another guy from the last set of couples invited walked in. He left his event for a few minutes so he could run over and say hi. Then the couple that canceled via text was able to send her husband over. Our table ended up being full, and I was so thankful to these guys who left their busy evenings to come and show Kelly he was important to them. My husband IS important, and I hope he felt the love. Now I'll have to spend a few weeks planning date nights at his favorite restaurants to make up for my restaurant blunder, but that's fine. We need some more date nights anyway. As for presents, Kelly has a new iPhone that he digs, so the girls and I got him a couple of funny gifts. We're Duck Dynasty watchers and have laughed over the antics of the crazy uncle, Si, so I picked up his book. The t-shirt was a find in our hotel gift shop in Zion. Perfect for an "old guy" who's young at heart. We hope to have him around for another 50 years. Happy Birthday honey!
Okay, so this picture doesn't have anything to do with the Bell Game. It is Parent/Teacher Conference and Red Ribbon week at Fulton, so Jenna has been getting out at lunch every day. This particular day was sports jersey day, and it was also a good day to get lunch at Subway. MacKenzie and Jenna decided to sit on Sarah for some reason. They thought it was fun, I don't think Sarah loved it. These three are too much.
When I picked Heather up, she had me come on campus to see all the decor for Bell Week. It was pretty insane. All the walls were covered with posters, and all the windows had artwork too. Lots of spirit here.
We got tickets to the game for our whole family, and we thought it would be pretty good. Fountain Valley was tied for 1st in the Sunset League under a new coach, and it looked like this year was the first year in ten they would take the bell home. It was not to be. While it was fun to be at the game, the game itself was painful to watch. Still glad we went, but sad for our school. Heather said they had the "Bell Game Jitters" which may have been true. Hopefully the next game we get to will be more exciting. Jenna still thinks we're crazy because we promised her excitement and tons of fun. Next time, Jen!
I'm a wife and mother of two of the sweetest girls ever. In my former life, I was an elementary school teacher. I love learning and sharing experiences, and the chance to journal for posterity. I wish I knew as much about my ancestors as my posterity is going to know about me!