Saturday, January 3, 2015

We are Cat People?!?

Thanksgiving 2015
Let me explain.  It all started over the Thanksgiving break, driving through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and finally into New Mexico.  That is when the mice decided that they could run around our house while we were gone, like they owned the place.  While in New Mexico we saw lots of our friends, and we didn't see a lot of our friends, we even tried to stop by the hospital where the babies were born so they could say "hi" to the nurses that cared for them while they maintained residence in the NICU for a couple of weeks.  Unfortunately, there was an emergency at the exact same time that we were there, which also occupied the doctor who delivered them and was all over the billboards, and on the commercials as well, sorry to the Rust NICU nurses and Dr. Hernandez, next time!
Rust Medical Center
Beautiful views from the Tasker home
ABQ Volcanoes to the West
Sandia Mountains behind the temple
Beautiful temple
However, we did get to spend a lot of time with family, which is always great fun...especially at the Tasker's.  A huge thank you to them for allowing us (and all the craziness that a family with 6 kids age 8 and under brings) to stay at their home.  We ate well, we played well, we swam well, we rested well, and we ate well!  Bennett became so enraptured with his cousin Emma, that he still says her name all of the time, when he sees a picture of her he lights up, big smile on his face, and yells as loud as he can, "MEMMA".  Again, thanks for the memories Tasker Clan!
Bennett eating well
Gary, Kailey, and Emma's touches to the Turkey Table
Playing well
You'd think we had never seen one of these before!
Spiderman and Superman
Darth Anderson made a visit
Taya giving it a go at the Thanksgiving Pinata
Cooper ready to hit the minion
Swimming well
Hot tub goodness
On our drive back, we decided that we had to take a few pictures of the local landscapes.  Including The Hooker Inn and The Hooker Gift Shop...don't worry, Hooker is a town in Oklahoma, not what you were thinking, but I bet they had some great shirts at the gift shop!  Also, I did Instagram the beautiful state of Kansas and how it was prettier than I remember, but I had to include it here as well (for journal purposes, of course).  The weather in Kansas was literally like this the entire time that we were in the state!  BLAH! Sorry if you are from there, but you can have it (insert smiley face here).
Comfy passengers
Hooker Gift Shop
Hooker Inn
I respect this man!
Kansas, prettier than I remember :)
As we were gone and traveling, I think that the mice were multiplying and replenishing the Hutchings' Home. We got home, and sure enough that first night we saw a mouse run from our kitchen fridge to our dining room fridge.  That is when Emily first brought up getting a cat.  Yes folks, my wife, Emily, was entertaining the thought of having a four-legged creature in our house, on purpose!  For those of you who don't know, she is the opposite of an animal lover and has told me on several occasions that we will never have an animal live in our house.  Story continues...

December is a very busy month for our little family, with 6 of the 8 birthdays to celebrate, Christmas, New Year's, kids home from school for a couple of weeks, etc.  Now, we had to add to this craziness the addition of a few mice.  Between the time we got home from New Mexico and Christmas, I think that we caught roughly 10 mice (I was going to put one of our pictures of the mice that we caught, but decided against're welcome PETA).  With every mouse that was caught, I guess Emily's desire to have a pet was increasing.  The other main factor in the decision to not ever have pets in the house is that our kids are a little bit afraid of animals, they FREAK out when they are faced with a pet, even the most friendly of pets.  This aversion to pets, however, seemed to disappear while we were at the Tasker home.  Their pet dog, Muffy, was hated and despised and screamed at by the loving Hutchings children, until the 4th day we were there, they could actually be in the same room as the dog without screaming their heads off, and by the time we left they were actually petting it!
Petting the dog
The beginning of December isn't so bad, one birthday, the kids and I were all in school eagerly anticipating the arrival of the big guy in the red suit.  We went to see him and tell him our wants, we watched our annual Christmas show, "A Christmas Story", as well as a few (actually a LOT) of Hallmark Christmas movies.  All was well with the world, minus a few mice.
Nauvoo Nativity
We tried a little bowling with a lot of kids
Anderson with the Big Guy himself
Riding the Kirksville Christmas train around the courthouse
Cooper showing his dancing skills
Luke in his class play, he played a doctor and 2 reindeer
Most of my classmates at the MOSDOH Ugly Sweater Holiday Party
My group's Holiday gingerbread house at the MOSDOH party 
Bennett in serious contemplation
The brothers all tuckered out
Christmas tree decorating contest
Emily showing some mad hair skills for the friends' ugly sweater party
Christmas Eve came and we attempted to do our own rendition of the Nativity with Taya as Mary and the boys playing about 3 different roles each...yeah, that didn't work out so well, crying/screaming/bantering/bickering...  We then sent them all to bed and awoke to see that the fat man in the suit did indeed visit us and he ate all of the cookies left out.  We opened the gifts, ate breakfast and cleaned up.  And that is when it happened, approximately 9-9:30 am.  At the top of her lungs, Emily screamed, "JAKE!!!  GET IN HERE!"  She was in the bedroom, and I being the wonderful husband I am, beckoned her call (a couple of minutes later).  She proceeded to tell me that there was a mouse in our room, not only in our room but between the two pillows that she sleeps with, on our bed!  Yes a mouse was on our bed!  That is when we decided that we would indeed go down to St. Louis for a couple of days, and we would leave at 3 (after nap/quiet time of course).
Christmas jammies
Somehow, Jedi Joseph was riding the "Donkey"
Our Nativity, best decoration we have (thanks for all the Christmas cards everybody!
One day we will send some...that might be a bit hopeful!)
The obligatory stairway Christmas picture
Our new computer station
All I want for Christmas is my 4 front teeth!
We went to St. Louis, got to our hotel (from at about 7, were very pleased with it, we actually had a balcony with a view of the arch from the 28th floor.  Unbeknownst to us, anything above the 20th floor would not be receiving an internet signal.  Seriously, in the 21st century there is a 3.5 star hotel that doesn't have internet to every room in the hotel?  How were we going to watch Netflix (thanks Ryan)?  I spent over an hour talking with the front desk, speaking to a representative of their internet provider, looking at other rooms that they would switch us to, etc.  They said that they would switch rooms for us in the morning.  The new room was on the 11th floor, a suite with a living room, kitchen and a bedroom, also with a balcony even closer to the arch with a better view.  Needless to say, but we forgave them for the first night.
Our balcony view
While in St. Louis we saw the under-construction-clinic where I will be learning how to do dentistry on actual people, then searched a couple of areas of where we may want to live, and then visited the amazingly free zoo that is there.  Our last day there we went to the St. Louis City Museum...coolest place on earth!  If you come and visit us, we will take you there for sure!  Anyway, we then made the 3+ hour trip back to our mouse infested home in Kirksville.  Unfortunately, there was no mouse in the traps that we had set.  We had a mouse on the loose still!  That night we saw it for the last time, like all the others running from the kitchen fridge to the dining room fridge, we proceeded to set the traps in their usual spots and caught that mouse!
My clinic starting in June!
St. Louis City Museum, yes, it's a playground of learning!
Anderson found a new favorite food, delicious!
Dec 27 The Babies turned 2!
Dec 30 Ethan turned 6!
Jan 1 Luke turned 7!

Fast forward to New Year's Eve, Emily was still thinking about those mice, getting a cat, and getting rid of those mice for good.  She found a lady on the Facebook page Kirsville Area Swap shop trying to get rid of some 5 month old kittens, and an hour and a half later, we were the owners of a pet cat, an indoor pet of the 4-legged variety.  So, yes, we did what we thought we would never do, and we still don't know if we are going to keep it, but we haven't seen a mouse yet, and the kids are, for the most part, good with it, as long as it doesn't come towards them.  The only major issue we had was last night when Ethan came down to go to the bathroom at 3:30am, the kitty wanted to play and Ethan wanted to go back to bed, and still in a delirious state, he allowed himself to get "cornered" by the cat and started to scream!
Happy New Year's, toddler style.  Thanks to the Hatch family for having us over, best New Year's ever!
It is true, not a prank.  Say hello to Kitty Kat (pronounced Tidd Tat Mao)
The kids love him!
This is our story and we're sticking to it!  Merry be-lated Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

"SOOOOOO Delicious!"
"YES!!! MORE!!"
"This is SOOO GOOD!"
"Seriously, it's good!"
"But it's mine, stay away."
"Stay Away!"
"Seriously, if you touch my food, I will hunt you down, and then I will KILL you.  Don't TOUCH IT!"