Lazy, sleepy Sunday…

First of all, I fixed yesterday’s links, so that the scherzo is now public. Oopsy! Thanks, Mom and Grandma, for catching that. Also, apologies for how out of tune the piano is. It’s right by a huge single pane window, and the temperature changes may have just permanently damaged it. The upper register is especially unpleasant.

Today at church we made it through Sacrament without having to take the kids to the hall! Wonder should abound at this abnormality. Our strategy was basically to feed them junk food the entire time, and wow–it worked! The families surrounding us were probably aghast at the things our children were eating so early in the morning, but hey. I’m trusting in the good influence of church to ease judgment all around.

And that was basically the apex of our day. We spent the rest of the day sleeping, eating, and watching The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe. We used it as an intro to understanding the atonement, although Lydia’s grasp of that concept still seems precarious–at best. Since C.S. Lewis was SO explicit in his analogy, our job of translating the story to Lydia was easy, but the hard part came when we tried to explain the concept of laying down innocent life to save the transgressor. No problem with the resurrection, though; the minute Aslan appeared again it was all cheers, smiles, and hooray.

After the girls went to bed, Abe and I finished off Prince Caspian (started yesterday) for good measure. We are movied/analogied out.

Here are today’s pictures:

This really should be in yesterday's blog, since I organized it yesterday. After the influx of Christmas books, I overhauled the bookshelf in the girls' room and moved a bunch of books to other parts of the house. This is the final product--I am SO proud.

This really should be in yesterday’s blog, since I organized it yesterday. After the influx of Christmas books, I overhauled the bookshelf in the girls’ room and moved a bunch of books to other parts of the house. This is the final product–I am SO proud.

Abe took pictures during our bedtime routine.

Abe took pictures during our bedtime routine. Mary had just finished brushing Lydia’s hair.

I got lots of snuggles tonight.

I got lots of snuggles tonight.

She also played with my lips...

She also played with my lips…

Couldn’t cull the pics properly today…

In Sunday school today we had a lesson on one of my favorite topics, Zion. In Relief Society we discussed the mission of Jesus Christ (a lesson which Abe taught in Elder’s Quorum, and which intimidated him to no end). In Sacrament we had a fantastic Christmas program…but even after all of that, I didn’t feel like my day was super spiritually charged. I did feel uplifted, though, so church was not totally in vain.

Also, at the Linger Longer after church, we collected the pics of the girls with Santa from the ward Christmas party. Abe took the girls by himself to the party, so this is the first time I've seen these pictures. Note Lydia's finger up her nose. They retook the picture a TON of times before they got the bottom two with her finger out of her nose.

Also, at the Linger Longer after church, we collected the pics of the girls with Santa from the ward Christmas party. Abe took the girls by himself to the party, so this is the first time I’ve seen these pictures. Note Lydia’s finger up her nose. They retook the picture a TON of times before they got the bottom two with her finger out of her nose.

I spent most of the rest of the day in bed, although our home teachers came over to drop off some gorgeous cookies. I also played with my family and threw some cauliflower in the oven before we went over to a family party at the Miners’.

Abe pretended to be Santa and interviewed the girls. The pig puppet play was Mary's reward for being such a good girl.

Abe pretended to be Santa and interviewed the girls. The pig puppet play was Mary’s reward for being such a good girl. (Grandma, do you recognize that hat?)

Here's Lydia telling Santa about how good she's been.

Here’s Lydia telling Santa about how good she’s been.

Here's Lydia demonstrating to Santa her ability to share with Mary.

Here’s Lydia demonstrating to Santa her ability to share with Mary.

Santa was so proud.

Santa was so proud.

...And so Lydia got a puppy!

…And so Lydia got a puppy!

She was pleased.

She was pleased.

After that we played "fetch" with the puppy and Mary. Here's Mary throwing.

After that we played “fetch” with the puppy and Mary. Here’s Mary throwing.

Also proud of herself.

Also proud of herself.

And then I told Santa I wanted a snack, so the girls helped out and baked me a feast.

And then I told Santa I wanted a snack, so the girls helped out and baked me a feast.

Then I stopped taking pictures because my hands became full of “food.”

After a delicious evening at the Miners’, we came home and discovered that our friend, Aria, had dropped off some treats for us. I love Christmas.

Dinner with the Andersons (sans pics) and Variations on a Theme (with pics)

Pre-church. I would match my children every day if I could. Variations on a theme is my next favorite thing to do, and a little bit of both makes my heart unreasonably happy.

Pre-church. I would match my children every day if I could. Variations on a theme is my next favorite thing to do, and a little bit of both makes my heart unreasonably happy.

Lydia giving in to her natural hoarding instinct. Mary is waiting patiently for her to start sharing.

Lydia giving in to her natural hoarding instinct. Mary is waiting patiently for her to start sharing.

She did not wait in vain.

She did not wait in vain. (There was quite a bit of parental prodding/cajoling/threatening that took place to get us from point A to point B.)

Mary Berry! (Doesn't she look like one? Abe coined that phrase today.) This is Mary before Abe took the girls outside to build a snow fort.

Mary Berry! (Doesn’t she look like one? Abe coined that phrase today.) This is Mary before Abe took the girls outside to build a snow fort.

The two girls bundled before their snow fort play session.

The two girls bundled before their snow fort play session.

And then I stopped taking pictures, because I was busy cooking dinner. We had our friends, Paige, Michael, Ada and Olive Anderson over for dinner. I kept thinking that I needed to interrupt to take pictures of Ada and Lydia playing, but I enjoy adult conversation to the point where it’s hard to tear myself away. They were so fun.

We were supposed to go to the Christmas devotional at the Conference Center tonight because our friends, the Vattikutis, gave us tickets. However, Abe placed them on the windowsill where Mary found them and (we presume) swatted them into the trash can below. Sad! But at the end of the day, it worked out because we got to spend time with the Andersons.

And now I am full of food and ready for my bed. Goodnight!

Food and friends

The first thing I did this morning was run to the kitchen to bake a lemon pound cake. Don’t ask me why; I just woke up and knew I had to get it baked before 9am church, and so 7am found me frantically melting butter and grating lemons so I could get the thing out of the oven before we left for church.

When we got back from church, we all ate leftovers for lunch, and then I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on dinner. Just as I was about to stick the lamb in the oven, Misty called me and invited us over for dinner. How convenient! So I told her I had lamb in the oven and asked if she could come over instead. She agreeably acquiesced, and at 6:30 she, Rich, Sophia and Max brought over a ton of delicious potato leek soup to supplement our lamb and glazed carrots. I also baked my favorite dinner rolls (amended with whole wheat flour), and by the time we were done eating, I was feeling pretty fat full.

Whenever we get together with Rich and Misty, Abe and I spend the next week discussing how they are the salt of the earth and how fortunate we feel to have them in our lives. We replay this discussion over and over to the point where I should just transcribe a script and save ourselves some breath by periodically waving it enthusiastically under Abe’s nose. In a nutshell and to state the obvious, we love them.

Our cousin, Balu, joined us for dinner too, and we love him too–so much, that it was only with great reluctance that we finally broke up our post-party party (at almost 10pm).

Basically, we ate a lot, visited with friends and family, and had a great day at church. Oh, and we took a nap. That’s a great Sunday in my book. (Although even though I cleaned for an hour, there’s still a lot left to do in the kitchen…oh, well. That’s a small price to pay for evenings like this.)

I get way too excited about matching. I would match my daughters every day if I could. (I used to secretly match my companion in the MTC and then act like it was an accident. People started making fun of us, but she would vehemently deny an pre-emptive planning on our part. I'd just stand there and smile.)

I get way too excited about matching. I would match my daughters every day if I could. (I used to secretly match my companion in the MTC and then act like it was an accident. People started making fun of us, but she would vehemently deny any planning on our part. I have since confessed.)

Abe lit a fire in the fireplace for the firs time this season. The girls were mesmerized.

Abe lit a fire in the fireplace for the firs time this season. The girls were mesmerized.

Lydia helped me make the rolls.

Lydia helped me make the rolls.

The Sorensons.

The Sorensons.

Finally, this is for mom. Mom, Gloria is back in town! She brought you a ton of roses, and I promised her I'd take a picture and send to you. There's a whole other vase of roses that look like this, but so far I have just gotten around to taking a picture of this one. She sends you her love and wants to see you when you're in town soon.

Finally, this is for mom. Mom, Gloria is back in town! She brought you a ton of roses, and I promised her I’d take a picture and send to you. There’s a whole other vase of roses that look like this, but so far I have just gotten around to taking a picture of this one. She sends you her love and wants to see you when you’re in town soon.