Monday, November 28, 2011

Empanadas, Oreos and Other Babysteps

I don't know if it makes me a bad mom or not...
but our Gringanada is a fan of food and I am a fan of watching her try new things.
It sure beats that pureed stuff...
She destroyed that empanada...literally.  I eventually had to take it away, which of course led to a temper tantrum.  I know where she gets it from though...I throw temper tantrums too when people take my empanadas away.

I'm not quite as adventurous to give her things as Grandpa... 
This was her first Oreo...(that I saw)
Courtesy of Grandpa. 
She was willing to share if you would like a little bit. 
In our Gringanada's 9 month appointment, I sheepishly admited to our doctor that I had started giving her a little bit of table food.  He assured me that by now she is pretty much ready for anything except peanuts, honey and real milk...I don't think he had Oreos in mind...or empanadas for that matter.
Here I was going to make the justifying comment that this is the only Oreo that she has had until my dad just walked in with her a minute ago and he was giving her what he called "Oreo crumbs." 
I guess that's how I need to start justifying it too when I eat a couple.

I guess I don't know what all she has "tried" in the last few months.
But she seems to be healthy.

Last week she even pulled this little stunt on us:
She's up and going.
She will pull herself up to the side of the couch and get a few steps in before she crashes.
She still is a lot more comfortable crawling over walking, but she is getting more couragous.
My favorite part of her walking is how excited and proud of herself she gets.
I am pretty proud of her too.
Maybe all the sugar from the Oreos has something to do with it.

Happy Turkey Day!

Although this post might be a couple of days late...
I HAD to share these pictures!
This is her first time enjoying some nice juicy turkey.
 She pretty much gobbled it up...pardon the pun.
It's always nice to be together as a family.
Overall she was a fan. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's in a Name?

I have been wanting to do this blog for a while now,
but Saturday pretty much sealed the deal for me.

This story starts as Sergio and I were on our way to Pocatello to watch an amazing choir concert that my friend, Kara and her husband were in. Did I say it was amazing? Because it was.

Before the concert started we wanted to try Texas Roadhouse for dinner so I called to make reservations.

This is the basics of the conversation I had with the front desk girl.

"Hi I wanted to make reservations for tonight."
-Okay.  For how many?
"2 and a high chair."
-Okay what is the name.
"Sergio Riva...I'll just spell it for you...
-Oh wow...that is by far the hardest name I have ever heard.  Congratulations!

Sergio and I laughed a lot.
When we arrived at the restaurant I mentioned that we already had reservations and they asked me our name again.
So...The conversation started again.
"I'll spell it for you...R-I-V-A-D-E-N-E-I-R-A."
-Oh right. Hey, you guys really need to make up a fake name for when you go out to eat...So it will be easier.
We laughed even harder.

I didn't want to get into the details of every time I call to make a Dr's appointment, or when I need to pick up a prescription, or when I get a church calling.
So we just made our way to our table I chuckled about it for the rest of the night.
Today I am dedicating this post to my very original last name.
Here are some random facts about my last name:

Funny Fact:
You can sing the Mickey Mouse song when you spell it...
try it out:
pretty awesome right??

Grammar Fact:
The #2 question I always get (1st being...How did you two meet?)
How do you say your last name?
So here it is...
Our name is basically 3 names all together
Neira (Nay-tha...Nay like the sound a horse makes and the 'ra' works best if you can roll your R's it's actually a RRRR sound but the th works pretty well too.)
If you are still having a hard time pronouncing it...don't worry, I still can't say it perfectly...and neither could the majority of the people in our Spanish branch.
In fact, most everyone in Argentina still calls me by my maiden name...since they knew me by that name first and since it isn't really tradition to change your name when you get married there.  Your name doesn't change on your legal documents and you vote under your maiden name. So don't worry about offending either of us if you decide to call me by my maiden name.

Geological Fact:
Part of the reason that it is so...dare I say..."weird" is because our name comes from Galicia, Spain which is a providence that borders Portugal so the last actually a Portuguese ending.
There is even a River called Rio Neira.

Historical Fact:
But my favorite fact about where my last name came from is a story that my mom found doing family history work.
You can read the original site where I got this information here, The information was taken from a book called Genealogies of the New Kingdom of Granada. It was printed in Madrid in 1624, but I am just going to give you the less accurate Kira version.

Basically 13 years after Christ's death some of Jame's (from the bible) disciples were on a boat traveling towards Galicia.
The Queen Wolf allowed them to dock and then they asked for a cart and a couple of oxen to help them unload a few things. What I understand is when the bulls came to the boat they started to charging and the disciples made the sign of the cross and the bulls stopped.
This miracle scared the queen and so she ordered for them to be put in jail.
Sometime later one of the queen's maids went down to the dungeon and saw a "great radiance."
The maid was startled but she must have known it was a miracle so she went upstairs and grabbed the blind prince by the hand and brought him down to the dungeon.
He was miraculously healed and all the people in their town were baptized by the shore (A.K.A. "riva" in Spanish) of the Neira River.  They then changed their name to Rivadeneira.
So basically our family were some of the very first gentile members of the church after Christ's death.
Pretty cool hu?

Over the last couple of years I have really grown to love my new last name.
Especially because of the man it ties me to.
We have an amazing family and I am grateful for my new heritage.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

9 Months!

Our little Gringanada is turning 9 Months old!!!
That's how long she was in my belly!
In a tribute to the last 18 months...Watch us grow. 
20 weeks
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
Feburary 2011
February 2011
 November 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sergio's Conversion Story

Last week Sergio had the opportunity to give his first talk in church in English.
He decided to share his conversion story.  It was powerful and moving to say the least. 
I thought that it was something that could inspire more than just our ward.

Today I would like to share how the gospel changed my life.
Several years ago two young men left far away from their homes to share the gospel. They talked to a young member and asked if he could give them a reference to someone else that might be interested in the gospel. He thought about the challenge and invited a friend. She also invited her friends to listen to the missionaries with her. I was one of her friends. We listened to the lessons and my friends did not keep listening to the missionaries but I did. It was not easy because where I lived there were a lot of misconceptions about the church. I was only 14 years old and my parents were also very concerned about what I was learning and they disagreed with my decision to keep listening. My mom said that they were trying to brainwash me.
I remember when I got my first Book of Mormon every evening I sat in our patio to read it. I still remember how I could see everything that I was reading. The feelings that I had were so strong that I really wanted to share what I was reading with my mom. I would try to talk to her while she was washing clothes.
I was really worried during this time because my parents would not let me be baptized. I was not sleeping well and I even had started sleepwalking, which made my mom worry even more.

After a year of seminary and attending the church I started to beg my Heavenly Father that he would soften my parent’s hearts. The next day I came home from school and I talked to my dad and asked him for permission to be baptized. He said the same thing all parents say when they don’t want to be responsible…he said Go ask your mom. I went and asked my mom and what do you think she said? Go ask your dad. It was kind of like Ping Pong. In the end they finally signed my permission slip to be baptized.
Sergio's parents, Jose and Susana
So many blessings happened after my baptism. A little while later other missionaries came to our home. The influence and the light of these different sets of young men began to change my parent’s way of thinking. Two years later my brother and my sister were baptized.
Front row: Susana & Jose with Ale (nephew)
Back row: Sergio, me, Araceli (sister) the twins, Alejandro (brother in law) Juan (Brother),  Anto (sister in law) Maira (Sister)
One year before I left on my mission we were listening to a lesson from the missionaries. It was the fifth time that my parents listened to the six discussions. We were all sitting around the table and the missionaries asked my parents if they had read the Book of Mormon. They both had. They asked if they had prayed to know that it was true and they had not. One of the missionaries asked if we could pray right then to ask if it were true. He asked my father to give the prayer. We all knelt down around the table. It was the first time that I had ever heard my father pray. The spirit was very strong. When we stood up we were all surprised to hear my father say, “I now know that I need to be baptized.” My mom then said the same thing. My brother and sisters were crying. To me it was such a surprise I could not believe what had happened. One of the missionaries baptized my mom and I baptized my dad.
Our wedding 2009
Buenos Aires Temple
Thanks to those two young men that were willing to serve a mission and to that one member that was willing to give a reference to them we have been sealed as a family. My brother and I have also served missions. One of my sisters has been married in the temple and my little sister is preparing to serve a mission.

I still have family that has not accepted the gospel. I want to thank the parents here for preparing your children so that they can serve a mission.

Argentina Salta Mission
 To the Young men. I would ask you to keep yourselves clean. Study the scriptures. I have been watching you and I cannot help but think that one day you could be serving the Lord in my country and all the families that just one of you could bless.

I know that the Book of Mormon has power to touch the hearts of the people.

I know that the church is true.

I share these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.