Sunday cooking, gospel musing, and Jack Daniels for Grandma.

The last couple nights I fell asleep early on the couch and then spent half of the night watching Downton Abbey or reading until 3 am. It’s such a bad habit, and I fell asleep early again tonight, but hopefully I make a responsible choice and go straight to bed when I finish blogging.

Considering today was the Sabbath, I did an awful lot of cooking. The thing was, all of it felt necessary. I had started a beet cake yesterday that begged to be finished, I had mushrooms and crab that were going to go bad if I didn’t stuff the former with the latter, I had to practice a turnip pear soup for class tomorrow, and I have been craving baked lemon ziti for days now and just had to finally make it. So basically, I spent the whole day cooking.

It turns out my home cooking doesn’t count towards an internship, and since we haven’t heard back from Communal, I have forfeited the rest of my Saturdays this quarter to working at my chef’s pop-up restaurant. All that to say, I didn’t feel like I needed to take pictures of anything I made…except for the beet cake.

It turns out I love candied beets! They were so easy, too. Even I couldn't mess them up!

It turns out I love candied beets! They were so easy, too. Even I couldn’t mess them up!

I had extra batter and turned out a couple cupcakes too. Mary ate two big ones. I didn’t protest because she still fits into the same clothes she wore this season last year. Size 12-18 month clothing fits her perfectly. Since she’s now 28 months, that seems slightly concerning.

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I don’t know if the cupcakes helped, though. She burned a lot of energy dancing with Abe all morning long.

She liked going under the tunnel.

She liked going under the tunnel.

They tried to reverse roles, and it didn't work quite as well.

They tried to reverse roles, and it didn’t work quite as well.

The girls were really tired during sacrament meeting today, and we went to great lengths to keep them entertained…

Lydia plastered her face in stickers. Abe took this picture in the hall en route to the potty.

Lydia plastered her face in stickers. Abe took this picture in the hall en route to the potty.

I loved all of my meetings today. Our neighbor gave a great talk on family prayer, and afterward I chatted with some ladies and discovered a lot of people around here have the habit of reading scriptures to their kids over breakfast. I don’t know why I don’t do that! But they assured me that it works great. By the time breakfast is done, their kids are usually prepared to be reverent for family prayer. I think I shall try it.

Abe gave a great lesson on Jesus’s messianic mission.  When Abe and I discussed the lesson before class, we were struck by how many temporal problems that man with palsy had and yet Jesus’s first action item was to forgive his sins. Our takeaway: Reconciliation to God should always take precedence over all else in life.

Almost the whole class participated in the lesson and gave great comments. I think the class took away something different than what Abe and I discussed beforehand, but I loved the direction the class went. The class really latched on to the idea of how collective faith can work miracles. One man in the class had actually acted out this scene for a church film, and he choked up as he relayed how it took unified effort to lower the man through the thatch roof safely. I learned a lot.

In Relief Society, we had a lesson about prayer. We read Ezra Taft Benson’s teachings on the subject. He was the United States Secretary of Agriculture before he was called to be prophet, and I was impressed that he started all of his department meetings with prayer. His political colleagues recorded that they felt awkward at first, but that this habit helped them put aside their egos and try to do what was right for the country. I’m sad our times have changed so much. I can’t imagine that anyone would dream of doing such a thing these days.

Then we came home to more cooking, cleaning and FHE. By the time we had FHE, I was asleep on the couch. I hope being present counts, but I won’t have any reason to blame my kids when they become teenagers and want to sleep through FHE themselves. Abe and the kids discussed death, a topic I so frequently talk about that Lydia has become nothing short of a theological prodigy on the subject. Not only have I ingrained in her the potentially mortal danger in even the most benign activities (only the other day she told me that she held on tight to Summer while playing with her so that she wouldn’t die), but we have discussed everything that happens after the fatal event occurs. She can explain exactly what happens to the body and the spirit after we die, and she is a veritable little genius when it comes to discussing the resurrection.

…And that’s where her precociousness stops. I highly doubt she could explain any other gospel concept with any sort of coherence, but death and resurrection? She has those down!

A lighthearted moment after the heavy talk.

A lighthearted moment after the heavy talk.

A light anecdote for you, Grandma! I forgot to write about this on the day it happened, but Abe was making calls at work, and he talked with one man in South Carolina who invited him to have Jack Daniels with him if he ever is in town. Abe told the man he was Mormon and didn’t drink, but then Abe mentioned that he had a ninety-plus grandmother who had Jack Daniels every day. They both got a kick out of that. You bring us laughter and light, even from a distance. We love you!

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