Articles of Faith obstacle course

This morning Abe and I worked out on the bikes at the Orem Rec Center. We had a great time.

Mary had an eye appointment afterward. One of her eyes is becoming more stigmatized, whatever that means. But at least she’s not cross-eyed anymore! Also, the doctor offered her a job to come teach all of the kids how to behave in doctor’s appointments. He offered to pay her in stickers. She thought that sounded great. I also thought that sounded great. After sacrament meetings I always think I have failed in the child-rearing department. It was nice to hear such positive commentary today.

The kids were having so much fun pre-appointment that I took a picture.

The kids were having so much fun pre-appointment that I took a picture.

Mary's appointment. I realized as I took this picture that Ammon was about to disassemble that machine which probably costs more than our house. I snapped the photo and quickly rectified the situation.

Mary’s appointment. I realized as I took this picture that Ammon was about to disassemble that machine which probably costs more than our house. I snapped the photo and quickly rectified the situation.

Did I mention this child loves to accessorize? Mary didn't want these sunglasses because they would hide her beloved red glasses. Ammon gladly took her trash.

Did I mention this child loves to accessorize? Mary didn’t want these sunglasses because they would hide her beloved red glasses. Ammon gladly took her trash.

Abe organized the BEST Family Home Evening ever tonight. He had the girls do an obstacle course, and at each obstacle they had to say an article of faith. They had the best time. All of the rest of my pictures reflect how much fun they had with their amazing dad.

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Sunday activities

Today after church I helped the girls make candy cane cookies. We intended to give some away, but we never got to that part. Hopefully we get to that tomorrow.

img_4261 img_4262-1I spent the rest of the day cooking dinner, baking for my visiting teachee, getting home taught, breaking our fast, and visiting teaching. I also realized I have to give the lesson next week in Relief Society. I thought I had traded that Sunday away and so am now scrambling to get something thrown together.

Here is a cute picture and a cute video of Ammon and Sylvia, the daughter of Jenny (my friend and visiting teachee) at church.

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Gingerbread houses

On Saturday we did errands in the morning. When we got back home the girls did their gingerbread houses.

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Lydia had already been picking at hers by the time we took this photo. We had planned to leave them up until Christmas, but looking at the houses is pure pain for the girls. We gave in and are letting them pick away now.

Lydia had already been picking at hers by the time we took this photo. We had planned to leave them up until Christmas, but looking at the houses is pure pain for the girls. We gave in and are letting them pick away now.

The Leonardo and picking our tree

On Friday morning we had a field trip with Lydia’s school to the Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake. We got there early and so headed to the bakery across the street to get out of the cold.

img_4404Then we went to the Leonardo. I had never been there before. Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed at first. All I wanted to do was find a quiet corner to eat the sandwich I’d gotten from the bakery. The minute I finally settled down, I heard a familiar scream fill the entire museum. Mary had knocked heads with a kid going down the slide and had gotten a bloody nose. Poor girl. But thankfully she was fine after two minutes of  lying in my lap. We all went over to the little kids’ section and settled there so that I could have a better shot at my sandwich.

img_4409 img_4407 img_4405 img_4412 img_4413I met a homeschooler mom who inspired me so much. She just had such a bright, cheerful attitude and had been homeschooling for twenty years. She gave me lots of useful tips, but most of all I appreciated how fun and positive she was. What a great example.

Then we all headed over to Robinson’s Christmas tree lot to get our tree.

img_4417 I wanted a smaller, sparsely branched, skinny tree. Lydia thought that was perfectly awful and chose the biggest, fattest tree that our house could handle. Christmas is (partly) about making magic for kids, right? I picked Lydia’s tree.

When we came home, Abe joined us to put up the tree, and after work we all decorated.

I love the image of the girls digging in the decorations. They had so much fun exploring all of the Christmas boxes.

I love the image of the girls digging in the decorations. They had so much fun exploring all of the Christmas boxes.

necklace repair

This morning I let Lydia wear my necklace as a consolation prize while we did her first looooong practice this week…and she broke it. I got much too upset, but then I remembered that I could probably get it fixed somewhere. I then apologized to Lydia for getting mad. I hope she knows she’s more important to me than a necklace.

After I picked her up from school, we went to the repair shop in the mall to see if they could fix it. They did–and they did it for free! I was so touched.

Mary entertained Ammon while my necklace was repaired.

Mary entertained Ammon while my necklace was repaired.

When we got home I stripped Ammon down to his onesie and socks because he was covered in cookie gook. I loved watching his little plump body toddle around thus attired.

img_4402 img_4400And here are some pictures Lydia took a couple days ago. She was very excited about how cute her subject matters were.

img_4390 img_4391I am excited about how cute these subject matters are. I can’t believe I forgot to post these gems from a couple days ago:

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Dinner with Nick and caroling

img_1298Today we had our friend, Nick, over for dinner. We enjoy him so much. He knows so much about subjects we are interested in. He and Abe talked about the sinking of the Lusitania at length, and then Nick answered all of my questions about the Avengers.

While we were cleaning up after dinner, the doorbell rang. A group of youth from our church wanted to carol to my mom, but since she is in Pittsburgh, we got it on video. Nick supplied the impromptu beat boxing.

Dioramas

We made dioramas of Joshua Tree National Park today. I thought it would be a fun way to talk about perspective and digest some of what we learned on our trip. The girls were pretty excited about the project.

Mary's diorama.

Mary’s diorama.

My diorama.

My diorama.

Lydia's diorama.

Lydia’s diorama.

#Lighttheworld (and how someone lit ours today)

Today I was still recovering from whatever made me throw up yesterday, and Abe did a TON of work getting the house in order after the trip.

Tonight we were hoping to go to a live nativity with the Marshalls, but after we seriously considered our to-do list and the state of my stomach, we had to cancel. The minute Chelsea got wind that we were fighting a bug over here, she called and offered to bring us soup.

Chelsea is doing the #lighttheworld service initiative put out by our church. Every day we are given new ideas for serving others. Today we are supposed to heal the sick, so Chelsea made a big pot of chicken noodle soup and hoped that she could find someone sick to heal. Isn’t she amazing? Since I was sick, we were the blessed recipients of her kind act of service.

I meant to get a picture of her with her inspired pot of soup, but I forgot. Darn.

The soup was delicious and I feel so grateful for loving friends.

Also, I just got this video of Mary goofing around. I was emailing and all of the sudden heard her yelling about power and light. She was stomping around and doing all sorts of power poses. I got the video after she had been going for a solid five minutes, so I missed the best parts. But still, for our amusement in our golden years…:

Joshua Tree National Park

On Sunday we headed home from San Diego. We would have arrived home at some reasonable hour had we not taken a detour to see Joshua Tree National Park. Even though this detour meant we did not get to bed until 3 am, it was so worth it. We want to go back when we have more time. It was, as can be (sort of) observed below, amazing.

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I made the unfortunate choice of eating Chinese food right before entering the park. Chinese food does not generally agree with me. This picture was snapped ten minutes after I threw it all up. Oops. We certainly won't be making that mistake again.

I made the unfortunate choice of eating Chinese food right before entering the park. Chinese food does not generally agree with me. This picture was snapped ten minutes after I threw it all up. Oops. We certainly won’t be making that mistake again.

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The girls earned their Junior Ranger badges and had fun posing outside of the visitor center together. Like I said, they have been getting along fantastically well ever since Mary shared her cotton candy at the zoo.

The girls earned their Junior Ranger badges and had fun posing outside of the visitor center together. Like I said, they have been getting along fantastically well ever since Mary shared her cotton candy at the zoo.

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San Diego Zoo and December Nights

On Saturday we had no idea how we could possibly top the events of the day before. But we headed over to the San Diego Zoo as a post-highlight-of our-lives consolation prize.

What a consolation prize! The zoo is an embarrassment of riches. Each exhibit is a marvel. Even the insect exhibits are stunningly framed in beautiful, wide swaths of copper. We now know we should have swooned at the prospect of a day at this zoo.

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The girls are sitting on a LIFE SIZE replica of an extinct eagle.

The girls are sitting on a LIFE SIZE replica of an extinct eagle.

Santa was at the zoo! Both girls were a little shy. In fact, Lydia was so shy she refused to sit on his lap at first.

Santa was at the zoo! Both girls were a little shy. In fact, Lydia was so shy she refused to sit on his lap at first.

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This was the bucket ride. Also, Lydia got her face painted. Mary chose cotton candy instead. When Lydia timidly asked Mary if she could have a piece, Mary freely handed over large chunks with regularity until the candy was gone. Ever since Lydia has remarked about how nice Mary was to share her cotton candy. The girls have gotten along splendidly for three days now, and Lydia keeps telling us that they aren't ever going to fight again because Mary was so nice and shared her candy.

This was the bucket ride. Also, Lydia got her face painted. Mary chose cotton candy instead. When Lydia timidly asked Mary if she could have a piece, Mary freely handed over large chunks with regularity until the candy was gone. Ever since Lydia has remarked about how nice Mary was to share her cotton candy. The girls have gotten along splendidly for three days now, and Lydia keeps telling us that they aren’t ever going to fight again because Mary was so nice and shared her candy.


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Mary loved the bucket rides best of all. When Santa asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she asked for a bucket ride.

Mary loved the bucket rides best of all. When Santa asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she asked for a bucket ride.

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These condors wanted to eat the girls. At several points they opened their beaks and tapped the glass by the girls' faces.

These condors wanted to eat the girls. At several points they opened their beaks and tapped the glass by the girls’ faces.

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After the zoo we walked through Balboa park to see what "December Nights," the San Diego holiday festival, was all about. We also met up with Swathi, who happened to be in town for a hematology convention! That was the best way to end our lovely day.

After the zoo we walked through Balboa park to see what “December Nights,” the San Diego holiday festival, was all about. We also met up with Swathi, who happened to be in town for a hematology convention! That was the best way to end our lovely day.