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[Comments] (4) Mini Travelogue, Since I Never Update: At Rachel's request, I am finally updating. Since my last entry, I have been to California and back and gone down to part-time. California was great. Jamie and Dave have a beautiful house and adorable kids who love their uncle John. I enjoyed watching cooking shows with Jamie, looking through her scrapbook stuff (she's a professional) and admiring their furniture (we have been promised first dibs on the cofee tables and Tyler's baby clothes).

Disneyland was awesome. It was fun to just be a couple and only have one other person to agree with. Thanks to FastPass, and getting there before it opened, we got to go on pretty much everything with very little hassle. I was sorely disappointed when we sat waiting with terrific seats for Fantasmic and it was cancelled, but I supposed there's always another time.

John likes playing with Tonks. He just can't admit to liking a cat! We were only in Bakersfield for a short time, but Christmas is not too far away.

Now that I am part-time, I don't have to go to work on Tuesdays, unless I'm covering. It's odd; I have groups MWF and staff meeting on Thurs. The next two Tuesdays I have training, so that is taken care of, but today I am home making and buying Christmas gifts. John is worried I'll be bored and kept giving me suggestions on what to do. Unfortunately, I don't have too much to do at work on any other day, so I'll save some of those suggestions for later in the week.

Covering for a different group every time is going to be a challenge, but I did a little of it at the end of my internship, and it's not too bad. I did one group yesterday, I have one on Friday and two full days at the end of December (and I'm sure plenty more in between). Now that no one is on maternity leave we (me and the activity supervisor) can finally do what we were hired to do. She's been doing my job since four months before I was hired.

Doing Laundry: Suddenly, my life has become very boring. I mean, I'm not bored at all, but it's hardly anything worth writing about. Yes, I am doing laundry. This morning I have also: crocheted. eaten breakfast. read scriptures. Perhaps the reason things continue to remain exciting for me is that I get to spend all my time making Christmas gifts. I wonder what will happen come January... Well, another one of my coworkers is due in February, so I won't worry about it too much. Back to cleaning our apartment.

[Comments] (1) : I have been making lots of Christmas gifts and even bought a few small things. Enrichment was great yesterday. I made some decorated gift bags, and some fun food things. We also got to go up and see John's family and hang out with them. I saw "Nightmare Before Christmas." Interesting.

The service project we are doing for the ward is going well. We will be able to do Christmas gifts for 13 kids.

: Tonight was our ward Christmas party. Dinner was ok and then there was a talent show highlighted, I think, by a Christmas hula by one of the girls I visit teach and another girl. It was very lovely. We also collected a few more gifts for our angel tree kids.

There are more presents under our lamp/tree, although most of them are for other family members. It looks very nice and presenty. A lot of my gifts are homemade this year, but still very nice, I think.

: The pile of gifts for our Angel Tree kids is piling up in our living room. A couple in our ward brought by a very generous donation we'll be able to use to fill in all the blanks, maybe even buy things for another kid.

I tried a new, and very simple, recipe today. Chicken, salsa and corn, wrapped in tin foil and baked. Cheese and sour cream on top. It was yummy and very easy.

[Comments] (1) : I have a shirt that says "Sugar*". I think the asterisk is a symbol of the brand or something, but I always think it is trying to say:


*May not actually be sugar.

It's Friday Morning: It has, apparently, snowed.

[Comments] (2) : My cute husband is making me breakfast, which is fair since I'm making homemade soup and bread for dinner tonight. We've finally collected all of our Angel Tree gifts, although some late last night that need to be delivered today.

I am excited to cook dinner, yum! Does anyone know if I can put bread in the fridge after it rises but before baking?

[Comments] (1) : Our hometeachers are both named John. John D's wife made yummy chocolate-dipped pretzels. Which I need to stop eating now.

: It was pouring snow on our way home from church. John, how sweet, pulled the car up for me. My bread and stew turned out ok. The next loaf will be even yummier. Thanks for the tip, Mom. The stew didn't have enough juice in it, or perhaps I added too much pasta- Things that can be easily remedied the next time I make it. Another yummy triumph!

: This morning I've made lasagne and chocolate chip cookies for my husband. hopefully that will tide him over tonight. I have training from 1-6 and a work Christmas party from 630-930. On the bright side, I get paid for going to training (it's a refresher on restraints), and there are supposed to be very good prizes and bonuses at the party. And very good food. Today promises to be a good day considering I'll be at work for most of the rest of it.

I hope we are making lots of Christmas cookies, as discussed elsewhere. John and I have a deal that involves me making him sugar cookies once a month (I got cute cookie cutters in return). Plus, it's fun, and it's a family tradition!

: Training was fun. What can I say, I've always wanted to put the choir teacher in a safety hold. Not! Oh well, I didn't get dropped on my head, and I only have a few jewelry scratches.

: The Christmas party last night was fun. I won $20 in a random drawing- You wouldn't believe how much money they gave out! And they're doing it all again on Thursday night!

The Murder Mystery was interesting. They did this whole show, with singing and dancing, then the murder happened and we had about five minutes to find out clues and make our guesses. Very Fancy prizes for those who figured it out. We had the right person, but she turned out to have multiple personalities all of a sudden... Yeah, it was weird at the end.

[Comments] (1) : John and I are leaving for California a little earlier than planned. We booked a room in Nevada for Monday night. We were able to move our Return of the King date with the Chadwicks to Saturday after family pictures, so now we can leave Monday after working a few hours.

Yay! I can't wait for all the traditional Christmas things, and to see Leonard again. And open/watch other people open presents!

What a Weekend: John and I spent this weekend at his parents' house in Midvale. Jamie's family was also staying up there and we got to see plenty of everyone else. Saturday morning we took family pictures. John and I, having no kids to wrestle and bribe into position, didn't have to be as involved, but it was quite the ordeal for most everyone else.

Then we had lunch at Grandma's and went to see Return of the King (John and I, the three oldest grandkids, Nathan and Ashley and Brook and Erin). Then we watched The Grinch. We also got to open some of our presents since we won't be there Christmas Day. Money, food, books, and DVDs. We are bringing the DVDs to watch in the car on John's laptop. Then we slept (on the floor like baby pigs in blankets all lined up).

Sunday we had the world's longest Sacrament meeting (and no one even gave a talk) and then paid a short visit to Jon and Sharon Whitney, who are drastically adding on to their house. Played with the kids, watched more Christmas movies I hadn't seen, picked out family pictures, had yummy food (potatoes!) and made lots of jokes. Yay!

We got home last night and had time to pack and watch the Titanic sink. We are both working until 2 (not that I'm at work or anything) and then leaving for CA. Yay! More family, here we come!

Isn't Christmas great??

[Comments] (1) : We've made it here safe and I am all excited. Full of Christmas and mommy's cookng. Yum! Yay! When are Leonard and Sumana getting here???

Happy Christmas!: What a great day. For the past few years it's been a tradition for me and Leonard to do stocking stuff and wrap the remaining presents. I believe this is correlated to Leonard arriving at Mom's house with many unwrapped gifts. Anyway, we had fun doing that again this year. Leonard went a bit overboard with the stocking stuffers (although Rachel and I made a traditional "drive") and we even ended up wrapping some. Leonard loves the stocking part.

We got to go see all the Richardsons, eat yummy food, get yummy gifts, hug Grandma lots. Yay.

My sweet husband bought me lots of thoughtful and useful gifts. He is so wonderful! He has thoroughly enjoyed sneaking out and buying me surprises, and especially making sure they stay surprises. Silly boy.

Mom bought each of us very nice recipe boxes and filled them up with all of her recipes, neatly printed and laminated on 3x5 cards. It also includes who she got the recipe from, and all of Uncle Carl's sourdough recipes. I bet it was a lot of work for her, but definitely appreciated. Thanks, Mom, for such a wonderful gift!

: We're back home safe. We managed to miss driving in any actual storm, although there was several inches of snow off the road through most of Utah. Now it's snowing again and I have to drive to work in it.

John's parents, it turns out, are some of the 50,000 people in Salt Lake without power (although we think that number went up since we read that). They, and everyone else who lives or is staying at their house, including Traffic and all of Jamie's family, are now staying at Brook and Erin's. We're going up tonight, to see Jamie etc. before they leave. Either the power will be back on, or a generator provided. What a pain.

We have no food in our house and no time to buy any. John and I both have full days today and tomorrow, and since we're going to Midvale tonight, no time to go to the grocery store. We brought cookies, oranges and peanut brittle from home. Perhaps we can survive.

Anyway, I'm off to catch up on a week's worth of work (actually, I'm covering for someone). Hope everyone else out there is having a happy and less snowy day. Brrr.

Old News: Number of spiders killed in our house since we moved in (organized by killer):

John: 1 Susie: 0 Yay John!

: Everything is a mess out here because of snow and wind and ice etc. I was scared driving to work this morning. Work! I get to cover groups every day this week. More money. We are still hopefully going to see John's family tomorrow, as long as the roads stay open and not scary. They still have no power.

: Today, after a great day at work, we got to drive up to Murray and visit with John's family. It has stopped snowing, for the moment at least, and the roads were clear (although there was some considerable slowing). Tomorrow we get to go up and spend the night, although we both work until 5 tomorrow and I have to work New Year's Day. Oh well. It will be fun to party with the nephews and Jodi has promised to spend the evening with her fam. We do get to meet the new beau, however. Hehe, I originally typed "meat the new beau". Freudian slip. Just kidding, he sounds great so far.

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