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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Goodbye Smokey Bear ...

Last night the unthinkable happened.  I came home from work, walked into our sunroom/dining room which was full of hot Texas heat, and spotted Smokey lying across his cage.  I've caught him like that before, so I wasn't too alarmed.

Usually when I call his name, he wakes up and sniffs around.  This time, he didn't do anything.  So I opened his cage, and put my hand on him.  He almost snapped at me -- something he's NEVER done in his life.  I picked him up, and noticed he couldn't move.  It was like he was paralyzed, or had a stroke.  I wasn't sure. 

I don't know if he was dehydrated (I checked his water bottle.. it was working fine) -- or the heat got to him -- or if it was just old age.  He was 2 years old, after all.  His poor little bottom had dried up poop, like he was severely constipated, but I was so puzzled.

By now I was alarmed, and put him in some paper towels to cradle him.  I gave him some water from his water bottle, which he slurped up.  Pretty soon he was able to poop some more -- but his belly was getting distended.  I knew then, that the end was near.

I looked at Maddie, and tears were falling from her face.  She was silently sobbing from behind me, as I frantically tried to coax him and sweet talk to him.  When I saw her crying, I couldn't help shedding some tears as well.  I finally gave Smokey to Maddie.  She held him, and just cried.


What a wonderful little hamster we had.  Katie was the one who bought him, who picked him out of the litter.  He was separated from the other hamsters because he had gotten in a fight.  He had wounds on his body, and Katie said "we can nurse him back" and "put neosporin on his wounds!".  I was worried b/c I thought we had a feisty hamster on our hands!  But, no ... we had the gentlest hamster ever.  He never bit anyone.  Loved to cuddle in our sweatshirts or on our blankets.  Maddie was afraid to hold him for about a year, but she came to be able to hold him on her own.  What a proud day that was for her!

One night Smokey had an adventure.  He had gotten out of his cage.  Mike thought we had a mouse in the house, and for sure was going to stomp on the mouse.  When we saw it was Smokey having the time of his life -- I was the one to corner him in the bathroom and save him.  Whew.  What an adventure! 

Smokey made many friends when the family went on vacation.  They stayed with four families -- who all had their own stories to tell about Smokey when we picked him up.

Who could forget the time we decided to paint Smokey's nails hot pink?  Or even forget how much he stuffed his cheeks with food?



One time I left a shopping bag next to Smokey's cage, and by the morning, he was found with the entire shopping bag IN his cage.  In fact, he lined it in his sleeping cove and slept on it.  I tried to take it from him after a week, and he came running for it, and grabbed it right back!


Smokey loved sticking a full carrot in his mouth.  We tried to get him to nibble a baby carrot once, only he stuck it all in his mouth!   We didn't do that again, but managed to feed him bits and pieces of veggies.

Smokey was often found sleeping in his wheel.  Such an adorable sight!


Smokey managed to drive Mike crazy.. especially at night.  He was called "The Rat" by Mike, and often Mike was seen to put him in the garage in the middle of the night -- because he loved to play at night and run on his wheel.

After several hours of holding Smokey, cradling him, petting his soft fur ... his breathing was very shallow.  He started squeaking -- trying to breathe.  He was turning cold. I looked at him, and he was holding his paws as if he were praying.  I had to snap one last picture.  Finally a short time later I had to do the unthinkable .. suffocate him to further his death.  We all sobbed as this happened, but it was finally over.  The girls and I found a place in our yard to bury him.

Rest in peace sweet Smokey Bear. 
Your girls will miss you. 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Happily Ever After Girls Camp 2012

I'm only ... 8 months late for this blog post...  :)

Although I am now serving in Young Womans, at the time of Girls Camp last summer, I was not.  I just went up for the day to bring girls to camp.  I had such a blast that first day, and was so excited for all these girls and the experience they were going to have!

I did not come up with ANY of these ideas.  I was just the photographer for the day ... but I loved all that was given to the girls, and put on display for the girls so they would have an enjoyable time.

The theme for the Girls Camp was "Happily Ever After".  Each ward had their take on the theme, and decorated their table.  This was how our wards table looked:


I loved these fake diamonds in the middle!


When they got to the camp, each girl had this at their place waiting for them (a bag, a crown and a bandanna for their head)
Each girl had a place to sit each day, and for their placemat, it was this
 (the opposite side was scrapbook paper).  At the end of camp, each girl wrote a message on the back of the placemat for the girl.  It was an amazing item to have!
I absolutely love that picture of Katie!
Their shirts for camp was this on the back.
The front basically said "Happily Ever After" Girls Camp 2012
The YW Presidency at the time worked super hard on little gifts for the girls..
and these were the gifts for them
  This was actually to be filled w/ candy at the table (like M&M's) each day...
 so they left it at the table
Because camp was in the beginning of July in Texas, it was boiling hot.  The girls got these little fan that squirts out water (it was kind of useless since it didn't work well)
Because they went to camp over the 4th of July, they got fun things for the 4th.  Including these glow in the dark necklaces to wear and these fantastic sunglasses!
This opened to a mirror ....
This was a pin they could wear at church...
.... and a bag they could hold all their gifts (which most ended up broken or lost)
I'm sure a lot of these were found at Oriental Trading, or the Dollar Store -- I know the 4th of July things were found at the $1 Target bin. 
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