Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Last blog post everrrr!!! We have just returned from the amazon what?? It was the craziest/ coolest thing ever and 10x more beautiful and better than you could imagine. We saw monkeys, tarantulas, ate bugs, got cleansed by a amazon healer, swam in the Napo river, learned how to salsa dance etc, and also had to say goodbye to our babies in a one week period. We cried so hard our eyes kind of felt like sand paper the next day hahah the people here are so amazing though, They just kept comforting us as always and wanted to make sure we were okay. This has been the most amazing experience of our lives and our kids here will always have a part of our hearts. We have learned to wash clothes by hand, tie a cloth diaper, live with 20 girls, speak a little Spanish, throw a spear, how to de flea a bed, how to keep 8 toddlers amused all by yourself,just basically how to live in a foreign country without your family, and soo much more! Crazy that coming home is actually going to be the real adjustment. One of the most important things that we have learned is to never take our families or what we have for granted. Must say we will never forget swinging from vines or seeing the second largest tree in south America or how Nicole fell in love with our guide Javier and Anna and the bar tender had a real connection... gotta love the amazon! Thanks for following our adventure in Ecuador and tune in next time for more crazy international love! hahah  Ps: after a 17 hour flight delay we will finally be with our families in the morning whooo!! Xoxoxoxo Anna and Nicole

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Birthday dinner

Sunday Dinner

40 some odd pounds of meat!
Happy 4th of July!!!! This afternoon at the orphanage we had a big 4th of July party... bbq, decorating all the kids wheelchairs for a parade, bobbing for apples, and we also got the pleasure of making potato salad and cheeseburgers for 100 people... :) It was honestly a blast of a day and so fun to show the Ecuadorians how to fiesta USA style. haha speaking of... we decided to plan a flash mob for when everyone was eating dinner so we had someone turn on the song Party In The USA and one by one we just all joined this synchronized dance ahah it was so great to see all of the tia´s faces like what the heck are these freaks doing?? haha In other news we have also realized that the stereotypes you would have about tons of girls living together are for real hahah Rumor has it that if you put your hair in 2 braids and put conditioner in the ends that will grow faster... I heard wrong and have been putting lotion in the ends ahah ooops.  There is also a girl who always asks things like... If I leave my face wash on through the night do you think it will make my skin better? So of course we all said yes cause we didn't think she really would but yep she did hahah Me and Anna had Sunday dinner and we made spaghetti.. Homemade rolls and "easy" brownies. Yummy! Also I was lucky and got to go to testimony meeting this Sunday! I don't know what came over me but I just decided to go up and bear my testimony! I wish I could say that I did it in perfect Spanish but who am I kidding I used a translator hahah also on Sunday I had made a scripture chart for martin and told him i would get him a ctr ring if he read every night for two weeks and this past sunday he also finished that! He was sooo stoked and it was so adorable. He has also been asking us to pray before we eat lunch and dinner. What a cool kid!! It is going to be so hard to leave all them! There are so many little things that happen every day that just make you fall even more in love with them. Every morning when I get to shift at Milagros Cristian (who is paralyzed from the waste down) scoots as fast as he can down the hall to come give me a hug with the biggest smile you have ever seen on his face, Laurita when she wants to say her prayers points up the the picture of Jesus on the wall then folds her arms all ready, when I go in and kiss Orvie in the morning on his cheek when he is still in his crib giggles so hard that sometimes he snorts hahaha just adore all of them. Hope everyone at home had a good time celebrating the good ol U S of A. xoxoxo Nicole
Supp people! this morn i had trini so i sleep in a little then we get on the bus and head up to turi which is about a 20 minute drive but while on our way up there strangest thing happened they were having a parade for the fourth of july so we jumped out and joined in... just kidding i wish but the police had crossed off the way to get up there soo we had to turn around and go home but as nicole told you earlier osso was having a party for the fourth so we went home and helped with all the food and such and ended being really fun to help with all the food... me and nicole mixed like 20 pounds of beef for the hambugar patties and it was lovely with the smell and freezing cold texture of the deep raw meat good thing i ve seen my dad gut a dear and could mix it with my bare hands haha thanks dad! then we got all ready and headed to osso where we decorated the place and all the kids chairs and them and then we took all the kids and made our very own parade and if i dont say so my self was quite the site, we took up the entire street and had a line of about four cars behind us for a little while... pretty legit! then after the 20 ish minute parade we headed back and started doing some games and then got all the food ready and got my face painted and just looked way to cool for school haha but i must say it was quite the sight seeing our whole group in all red white and blue including most of our Ecuadorian friends dressed up too yeahh represent! then ate and had some dang good burgers and salad and all that good ole American food! then we were lucky enough to have fire works even though they arent exactly legal we had some good bottle rockets but the best part of my night was when the fireworks were going off Christian from Esperanza was right next to me and he put his arm around me and it was just the cutest thing and he just held it there until the show was over!! ohhh i love that kid and all of the others! then we cleaned up and headed home and had quite the singing blow out in the bus home but even though it was hard missing the fourth back home this was a pretty dang good fourth Ecuadorian style!
hope all of you had a wonderful fourth too! love you all and god bless America haha :) xoxo anna

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hola from Ecuador!! 2 days ago we celebrated my birthday and Anna and the girls made it a blast :) I woke up and Anna had made me chocolate pancakes and eggs (yum) and then I got to spend the whole day with my party people at Milagros. I taught Laurita how to whip her hair back and forth (jadynn smith style)and then after we went and got dinner and Anna had made skor cake! Tradition has it over here that everytime it is someones birthday over here they get there face shoved in the cake. Needless to say they got me good and I couldn't open my eyes for like 5 min hahah all in all it was a good day. I did get a little homesick but maybe that's cause everytime I call my family they are boating or doing something like that... Haha (there arent supposed to be any fun things without me hahah) Last night we did a talent show at HML and my girl Anna Irish danced! She only usually does it for select groups so it was a pretty big deal :) some girls sang the song Temporary Home by Carrie underwood (youtube it) and of course cause I'm a baby I started crying. Isabel was sitting on my lap ad she just turned around and started wiping my tears and telling me not to cry. It was just so ironic that considering the circumstances she was sitting there comforting me. These kids are insanely amazing! Ive realized lately that every time I talk about my family here I always can´t help but get the biggest smile. (other than when im talking about them doing fun things) I love you all alot!!! Nicole

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Holler from ecqui!!! All the ladies in the house have boyfriends so we got shafted out of phone time tonight so here we are blogging.. hahah We have boyfriends but they are all just under the age of 10.. and have bed times of about 6:30. Serious note: we are 23 days away from being home and it is really starting to freak us out!! For all of you lovely people who have never seen the video clip on youtube from one of Uchtdorf's talks called the tender moments (or something close to that) go look it up!!!! Tonight that was what our devotional was on and it was awesome. Nicole's heartbreak experience of the day: having Leidy start bawling when I had to leave after shift.. Anna's heartbreak experience of the day: having to walk into a room that smells like poop and having all the kids smiling and just knowing that I was the only person there for them that day. Anna's happy moment of the day: there was a bunch of people in Leidy's casa today and having her come to me to hold her hand when she was overwhelmed. Nicole's happy moment of the day: reading scriptures and saying prayers with Martin/Cristian/Marcelo and looking over and seeing Laurita in the corner by herself saying her prayers without even being asked too... these kids just keep surprising us by teaching us more and more everyday and showing us that we have more love in our hearts than we thought possible! We dread the day when they have to become memories but we know we will see them again in heaven:) To our mom's: fire up the rice cooker for when we get home...hang up the laundry lines... and put a bunk bed in nicole's room because we are going to have a hard time not waking up to each other's faces every morning. ahaha we love you all!!!! ps.. we are throwing a throwback dance party for our friend jenni's birthday in t minus 5 minutes so wish us the best of luck... it's about to get cray.We aren't making a big deal about it or anything but we did put some fliers up around the house... ahaha lovin life! xoxo Nicole and Anna

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Giron Ecuador

anna babe

serious face
Ecuador is lovelier than ever!! The other morning I was pumped because I got to feed Camilla (one of the new premie babies) I feed her the whole bottle... She proceeds to throw up the entire thing all over me.. Literally a projectile motion ahahah next thing that happened that morning was me and Anna were in the sala playing with the itty bitties and one of the babies kind of looks like a troll and cause she is always laying on her back she has these nasty side mullets so I decided I had had enough so I decided to give her her first haircut haha! Anna stood guard and I just went at it. I know it probably seems like I'm always breaking rules but I justify it by saying it's for the child's benefit :) Today we got to drive 4 hours to the Guayaquil temple! Sooo amazing and it made us realize how lucky we are to have so many temples so close to us. The workers were grateful that we were there and it was funny cause they couldn't pronounce McMillin so they kept saying Micano or something weird like that hahah Guayaquil is like the Vegas of Ecuador and you should have seen how stoked some of the girls were over seeing a  Mcdonalds...  hahah We have all been craving American food like crazy. Things like peanut butter and American candy are basically like gold these days!! Besides wanting American food, you should also see how 15 girls in a house together act when they haven't even been able to hardly look at boys for over a month hahah crazy stuff. Sorry for the side tangent haha but after the temple today we went to this iguana park and  there were just tons of the creatures roaming all over. Surprise surprise nature woman Anna was scared to death:) We are also proud to say we ate from our first sketchy street stand last night as well and our stomaches so far have weathered the storm hahah it was meat on a stick and it was actually really good! When in Ecuador right? The heart break moment of the week was when I was playing with Marcelo and he asked me if I was going to be his "amiga para siempre" (friend forever/friend for always). He is at the age where he understands that people are always walking in and out of his life. Such a hard thing! Also... If anyone wants to adopt my baby Orvie until I am 25 and married I would be forever grateful hahah kinda serious. Haha! Fun fact of the day: KFC is the largest American company in Ecuador. Xoxoxo Nicole

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Walk in my room and see a girl laying in my bed... hahah never a dull moment with 15 girls in a house.

All the girls from the May group
Buenos Dias familia y amigos! Soooo Yesterday Rosa asked me to take her home with me to the states.... It's awkward sometimes in those situations first because I have mastered the art of speaking Spanglish and rosa doesn't speak that.. Haha and also even if I knew Spanish better what would I say? She is so funny and sweet and it's sometimes hard seeing that side of things.The music scene is also pretty amusing here. They go wild for One Direction and Pit Bull but yet Rosa doesn´t know who Nicki Minaj is... needless to say that kind of upsets me.. hahah just kidding. I have also started dreaming about taking some of the kids home with me.. Last night I dreamed I smuggled Marcelo home and the CIA was after me hahah the kids are amazing and we love them sooo much it's insane. Me and Anna have really learned that we have more love in our hearts for them than we even thought possible! They teach us new things every day :) Today at azogus me and Suzanne were feeling ambitious so we decided to clean both the bathrooms and the kitchen... Without gloves. As sick and twisted as it sounds as we were cleaning we looked up and noticed that the roof was made of cardboard boxes in that area of the house..the spirit came so strong and we both thought of the hymn Because I Have Been Given Much. A lot of times here I have gotten almost angry at how good of living conditions we have at home. Why am I blessed to live the way I do? is a question I'm still trying to figure out. There is a special needs boy Brayan who sits in his crib all day  at azogus so today i decided I was going to chance it and take him outside with me and deal with the consequences. He just cuddled up and was so sweet. Once again... These kids are amazing!! Today has been pretty hard because Rosa dropped the bomb on me that it was her last day working for OSSO and also Linnea and Kylee are leaving. Sometimes living in a house with about 16 girls can get pretty crazy but we have all gotten really close so it´s hard to constantly be having to say goodbye to people when they leave. I was curious before I left what the things I would miss most about home would be (besides people) and I have finally decided.. here is the list in order...: 1. my own shower!!! the idea of being able to take a shower and not have it turn off or turn cold when someone flushes or turns on a sink seems like a dream. 2. Cafe Rio.. weird that we crave it like crazy??? 3. privacy.. if I had a dollar for every time Ive been walked in on indecent... and that´s all I can think of right now. Last night we decided to have a sleepover with a bunch of us in my room and we managed to fit 5 girls on 2 queen size beds. Pretty exciting!! hahah love you all!! and shout out to my poppy!! haha I have no doubt the best dad in the whole world and I hope you have the best Father´s Day ever! I had an experience the other week where I was skyping my dad and there were other girls in the room and when I got off they were all saying things like "oh I wish my Dad acted like yours", or "that´s so cool you and your dad have that good of a relationship". One of those things where I don´t know how I got so lucky to have him! Not to mention he gives the best advice in the whole world and has a way of making me always feel like everything is going to be okay! Love you a lot!!!! Nicole

Monday, June 11, 2012

whats up people of our blogging community! so last friday on the 8th of june i was lucky enough to celebrate my 19 birthday here! also i was lucky enough to have the most wonderful best friend here to make sure it was amazing! So that morning i woke up to the familiar ballad of happy birthday and found my self waking up to all the girls in the house singing to me and nicole holding a plate of waffles, a beautifully cut kiwi, and a smear of ecuadorian peanut butter must say one of the best breakfasts ive ever had! i had an off for the morning so mostly just read and talked to cute jenni who also had an off with me. then for afternoon shift i went to my homeland cunas and fate finally brought me and nicole together for a shift ha after having a crazy dancing party with us and the kids were fed them and got them ready for bed. as i am changing one of the kids the worker, marta, got out her phone and started playing music which was a little strange but i didnt think anything of it then to my surprise the second song to come on was happy birthday and hermana jessica came in and started dancing with me and so i can officially say i danced with a nun and then marta gave me a piece of chocolate which was bomb by the way. as i am changing the last kid who was giving me quite the rough time and making sure i was sweating a little while changing him linnea who was working in the other casa came a grabbed me and whisked my away to the kitchen and as i am walking into the kitchen the lights were off and all the casa kids were staring at me and what do you know in the middle of the table a scoop of ice cream with seven candles burning bright was waiting for me. they sang me happy birthday, but in spanish of course, and hermana jessica had the biggest smile and all the kids were loving it so thanks to nicole and linnea i got danced with and sang to by a nun, two workers, and six ninos, quite the day at the orphanage! then we proceeded home and went out to tutto freddos (a restaurant in town) and weirdly the whole town came out to celebrate my birthday, as well as a corpus kristi which is a holiday celebrating sweets and stuff like that, but we went to dinner ate some dang good american ecuadorian food and then headed out into the party. so if nicole or i have not told you yet americans here are celebs so saying that everyone was staring at us like we were aliens is an understatement but its cool i enjoyed it as well as nicole. haha. as we were wandering they had some strange towers of wood looking material that was covered with paper and ish like that, that they said they light on fire and its really cool but unfortunately we did not see them actually light it on fire but i am sure it was pretty sweet! also we watched some strange street dance group that had quite the crowd around them but werent really doing anything beside dressed in womans clothing and fake fighting/dancing... definitely one of the weirder things ive seen here. then rising into the night sky we saw paper lanterns so we weaved our way through the crowd to where they were and some how nicole and i got to light one off which i am pretty confident to say was the most magical moment in both of our lives... and then we galloped off into the sunset... just kidding but it was a defining moment for my birthday! while we were setting off the lanterns some ecuadorian girls were next to us and had some sashes on so i am thinking they were royalty of something but they ended up pulling me and a couple other girls into a picture with them... pretty cool haha. there was music playing so we all were dancing and just having such a good time until we needed to head home so we caught a taxi and returned home. nicole still had one more surprise for me she made homemade peanut butter cups. needless to say they were super amazing and the perfect ending to a great day! dont know what i would do with out nicole because she made this birthday one of the best ever! love her to death! hope all of you are doing good and thanks for putting up with my joking manner of writing. love you all! <3 anna