We went to a funeral

The funeral was nice. We only knew a few people there--we didn't know the man who died and it was mostly his family. There were nice stories and tears and love and hope, and I'm glad we were able to help out. On the way home, our friend said she loves Latter-day Saint funerals, because other funerals are just sad, while Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint funerals are full of hope of seeing each other again and families being together forever. Of course there's sadness, because we miss our loved ones, but we believe the separation won't be permanent.

The rest of the day was pretty laid-back, too. Grawp called, so there was Minecraft, and we celebrated our neighbor Charlise's birthday in Animal Crossing. Same day as Sailor Mars! And we played some Pokemon. I'm getting a little impatient for Pokemon Snap, but I think that's just because today is an impatient kind of day for me.

Today I'm thankful for opportunities to serve, making it to the grocery store at about the usual time, getting to practice Moonlight Densetsu some more, winning some Pokemon battles, and Pokemon Snap being less than two weeks away.

Social day

We've recently had a lot of plans on Saturdays that required us to not sleep in, which was bad, because Saturday is our one day to sleep in, and we stay up too late during the week so we are not well rested. We thought we'd get to sleep in tomorrow, but then they asked me to play the organ at a funeral tomorrow morning. So, since we're reasonably ahead of schedule, we decided to take the day off and sleep in today! It was nice, except there was some unfortunately early yardwork that woke us up a little. Nevertheless, we didn't have to actually get out of bed, so it was fine anyway.

We meant to take the time off to do a little organizing, but instead we did a whole lot of socializing! (Via technology, of course.) Hermie managed to steal Grawp's phone again, so we got to play some Splatoon with her. Athena mostly went easy on her, but then she saw that Hermie was doing a pretty good job and thought, "I don't need to make it so easy for her"...and then proceeded to destroy the girl in a game of Rainmaker. It was cute, though, because Athena had been losing every battle before that, so Hermie was like, "Good job, Athena!" in a tone of voice that almost sounded like, "I'm so happy for you that you finally got a win!" Awwww.

We also had a meeting with the missionaries, which was fun, because it was a new set, so they asked us about what we do, and we spent at least fifty-five minutes going on and on about the finer points of translating manga. It's just so hard to stop when you have a good audience! Then it came out that one of them didn't like Frozen, and we were like, "Oh, good! We can rant about it without hurting your feelings!" and proceeded to rant about it. You know, Terry Pratchett says hate is just love with its back turned...I wouldn't say that's how we feel about Frozen particularly, but it is how we feel about Disney in general these days, so we ended up ranting about how the Disney movies aren't good anymore. Of course we talked about the gospel, too. This time the theme was temples! So we can get hyped to go back to them when they open up again.

There was also Minecraft with Grawp, of course. He dug a lovely stairway all the way down to the level where you can mine diamonds, and he recently built a path to it that's all magma rocks. The thing about magma rocks is they damage you if you walk across them like normal, and he decided to raise the difficult level so that actually makes a difference. He surrounded the path with torches so that once you're on it, you can only get off at one end or the other (well, you could probably jump over the torches, but still). He told Athena, "If you don't want to get damaged when walking over them, you can crouch." And she said, "Or I can go around them." The path to the mine entrance only goes to one corner of the stairs, from a diagonal, so it's really quite easy to walk across the lawn and get to the other side of the stairs. Grawp's response to Athena was, "What?" So she repeated, "I can...go...around them?" No response.

Soon thereafter, the entire entrance to the mine was surrounded by magma rocks.

Finally, we had a lovely conversation with our sister about life and TV shows and stuff. I feel like we didn't get much done by way of "productivity," but we got an important recharge in relationship batteries, so I'm going to call it a win.

Today I'm thankful for getting to talk to people, specifically getting to talk about the things we're passionate about, living in a world where people don't make the entrances to important facilities out of magma rocks, the yummy pizza we had for dinner, and the Christmas episode of Pair of Kings.

Saved from our recklessness

We knew that we were going to want to get to Disneyland's website before the 8:00 ticket sale start time, so we dragged ourselves out of bed a little bit sooner than usual and I made it at almost 7:20. That's when I discovered there was already a virtual waiting room to buy tickets, and when it started to look like the odds of us getting to go to Disneyland's reopening on our birthday were not very high. A few minutes after eight, the screen changed to let us know that the wait is almost over! and give us an estimate of how long we'd be waiting in their virtual line before we could buy tickets--more than an hour. We took that as their way of saying, "Go, live your life!"

So we left the window open and went about our day. About two or three hours in, it became apparent that they were having technical difficulties, and they had to recalculate our wait time. This was probably the most difficult part of the wait, because we wanted to go eat lunch, which, unlike our job, is not something we do with a computer screen shoved in front of our faces. But we didn't want them to finish recalculating and tell us we only had two minutes to wait while we were off refueling, as unlikely as that scenario may have been.

Well, the conclusion to the rather dull story is that when the wait time finally got down to under an hour, Athena checked reservation availability for Disneyland on the 30th, and there was none, as in, the park had reached legal capacity. As our wait time continued to go down, we considered how much we wanted to at least go to California Adventure and ultimately decided we didn't want it enough to buy a couple of the most expensive tickets (they're doing tiered tickets now; only the highest tier can get into either park for the first two weeks). So we got out of line, and that was that. And now we can continue our life of quarantine without being so reckless as to go out to crowded places.

We're still hoping to go to the Zag Store for our birthday--we want to do something special! So tomorrow we'll start looking into that. We're not quite sure what's going on with Gaston and Alice anymore, though, so we're a little bit nervous. At the very least, Pokemon Snap comes out that day, so no matter what happens, we should have something extra fun to do. But we haven't given up yet!

Today I'm thankful for having one aspect of our potential birthday plans definitely decided, finishing all our work today, finishing Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (the main story; when did every video game start having Story Mode Part 2?), having more money by not buying Disneyland tickets, and getting to take the day off and sleep in tomorrow.

Doin' stuff

The video gaming started earlier than expected today when we got a phone call not too long after lunch. I was surprised because I figured the nephews would be in school (they're back to in-person learning), but Athena rightly guessed it was their little sister. We all started up Splatoon and then her mother came along and addressed her by her first and middle name, asking, "Did you call your aunts?" ...Well, that explains why she seemed to be excusing herself or explaining something as soon as Athena answered the phone. (We couldn't quite make out what she said; she's not always the most articulate.)

So apparently she'd snuck off to call us unbeknownst to her mother, but unbeknownst to her, it was almost time for them to go pick up her brothers. So we got to play one battle together and then Athena immediately logged out to make sure nobody got in trouble (we're not sure about Hermie, but Grawp is notorious for vocally acknowledging when his parents tell him to stop and then proceeding as if nothing had been said), and off Hermie went. She cheerfully told us she would call us when she got back.

But we never heard from her, so we figure they had a family outing of some sort. And that meant we had time to practice Moonlight Densetsu! It's kind of a tricky song (or maybe just a tricky arrangement), so right now we're practicing our parts separately, so we can be familiar enough to at least try to be in sync when we practice together. We'll see how it goes!

And we finally got back to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. And took way too long completing the marathon mission. I feel like we're extremely close to the end of the game, but we wanted to watch Pair of Kings and open our newest Wizarding World crates, so we're saving it for later. The Wizarding World crates were really cool, too! The theme this time was Dumbledore's Army, so they came with a beanbag toss game (Athena was like, "This will be so helpful for Singing Time!" ...You know, when Singing Time is a thing again) and a thousand-piece puzzle!

Today I'm thankful for getting to play with Hermie, having time to practice music, sort of finishing our work quota, making progress in Mario & Sonic, and having cool new toys to exercise our physical and mental skills.

Watching anime

Today the children kept telling us they'd call back, so we'd hold off on playing Animal Crossing or Pokemon because that way we could get to whatever game they wanted more quickly. But then they forgot to call back, so we had a surprising amount of time to do things that did not involve the Switch. And that means we watched anime! Tadah!

We had given up on anime for a little while because the Crunchyroll app was being incredibly unhelpful--as in, it would freeze up every minute, making it virtually impossible to enjoy an episode. But we'd heard they were beta-ing a new app or website or something, and the new Fruits Basket season started up, so we tried it! And so far it's working! We've managed to watch four whole anime episodes! (But it did get grumpy when we tried to keep pausing and unpausing so we could read the voice cast.)

The other anime we watched was Farewell, My Dear Cramer! We translated the manga of that one! I think the anime is a pretty good adaptation, but in all honesty I'm not sure I've been able to pay much attention. Same with Fruits Basket. We watched the first episode of the new season, and like an hour later, I was like, "So I think they just talked about stuff?" and that was all I remembered.

So yeah. We're watching anime. I can't tell if we're enjoying it or not. We did decide to give up on The Irregulars. We started episode four, and then I guess the dude was cutting a guy's face off, and at that point I was like, "No, that's enough edginess for me." It's a shame, too, because we really liked Leopold. Oh well.

Oh! And they power-washed our patio today! They warned us ahead of time that water might come in under the door and told us to put a towel there, so we were prepared for that. What we were not prepared for is the water that came in over the door, and around the door, and through the door's window. We were also not prepared for how far it flew. Dang, they are not kidding when they call it a power wash. It was pretty funny. We're pretty sure nothing got destroyed, though!

Today I'm thankful for being caught up on anime (until we start watching The World Ends With You), finishing all our work today, having a shiny clean patio for the moment, blasts from the past in talking about crafting projects, and stork scissors.


We spent most of today being antsy because the producer of Miraculous posted about the manga on his Instagram again. It makes us impatient, and afraid things are going on that we'll never know about until they announce an English version that we had nothing to do with. So while Athena spent however many hours playing video games with the children, I worked on a draft for a message to send him. I think I have something ready to go, but we're nervous and cautious, so we're not quite ready to send it yet. We'll see how it goes.

In the meantime, one of the managers of our apartment came over to say she's very sorry but there have been complaints about noise in the area--"I don't think it's you!!!"--and she noticed that Athena had been scrubbing the patio (the scrub brush was still out). Our patio has been...ravaged by stray felines. So she offered to get maintenance to power wash it for us! And repaint it! Woohoo! Our rent is being used for stuff! Now it should be nice and clean when the next set of Miraculous boxes get delivered. We just got the email today, and they'll be shipping them out right in time for our birthday!

The other thing that has us antsy (that we almost entirely forgot about because of the first thing) is that reservations opened up for Disneyland today, and even though we checked several hours after they opened, and the park will be operating at severely reduced capacity, no dates have been filled up yet (pretty strong evidence that it really was annual passholders clogging everything up). That means there will probably be a big rush once ticket sales open up again on Thursday, and while I still think it would be really cool to go on our birthday, the idea of getting in cyber-line kind of stresses me out. Well, we'll just see how it goes.

Today I'm thankful for the wonders of modern communication technology, getting to have our patio power washed, having a good time playing video games with the kids, getting to work on Those Not-So-Sweet Boys, and the super cute papercraft kitty that's now on our desk.


We got to sing in church today! WOOHOOOOOOOO!!! We all had masks on, of course--don't worry, we're still following the safety guidelines. And oh my goodness is it hard to sing with a mask on. You finish a line, then you basically inhale your mask to gear up for the next one. It's a good demonstration of why singing would be a high-risk activity without masks, though! Also, lucky for me, from next week on, I'll be playing the organ, so I don't have to worry about it. (I didn't get to play this week because the bishopric counselor in charge couldn't get a hold of us in time. It was Saturday morning--what do you want from me!?) And Athena's going to start us out on shorter hymns so we can all get the hang of it...and to increase the odds of everyone knowing the lyrics, since hymnals are still off-limits (too much surface-touching) (but people are allowed to pull up the lyrics on their phones, of course).

That was the major excitement for the day. The next biggest excitement would probably be the lava caves we discovered in Minecraft...which were promptly taken over by Grawp. Today's Minecraft assignment was to head down to the mine in search of diamond. Of course every time Athena found something cool, Grawp would come over to mine up all the cool stuff. At one point, he even forbade her from digging in his corridor (and went so far as to hit her character to chase her off), so she went somewhere else and as soon as she found some coal and iron, he came along and chased her off from that corridor. I don't get why he was suddenly so possessive--he'd been finding gold and lapis and diamond. But whatever, I guess.

We had to ditch him to go help some friends prepare a song they're going to sing as a special musical number (probably to be recorded in advance, but I'm not sure what the rules are anymore), and someone brought them donuts, but they're trying to cut back on sugar, so we got to remove the temptation for them. Fancy Oreo Krispy Kreme. We haven't tried them yet, but we will before we go to bed tonight!

Today I'm thankful for getting to sing in church again, getting mine some cool stuff in Minecraft, getting to go on Salmon Runs with Hagger, getting to put together our neat little papercraft projects that Gaston and Alice got us one time when they went to Epcot, and having yummy-looking donuts to look forward to.
kid flash

Games, games everywhere

As if it weren't easy enough for Saturdays to run away from us, today it got away even quicker! It started out well enough--we had a women's conference for church via Zoom, which was very nice and uplifting. It even finished early enough that we didn't feel like we were getting to the rest of our day much later than usual, so we went ahead and got started on the fishing tournament in Animal Crossing. We were responsible and turned it off after only a few rounds so we could go to the grocery store, where we got some chocolate eggs stuffed with Reese's Pieces on clearance.

And then it all ran away. When we got home, Athena found that she had four missed calls from Grawp. She called him back, and the video gaming commenced! This time with Minecraft. He didn't have much time left on his turn, though, so it wasn't long before he hung up and we were finally able to get to the short little job one of our publishers foisted on us at the end of the day yesterday (due Monday). But despite its shortness, we didn't get to make any progress on it, because what we didn't realize is that when Grawp's turn ended, Hagger's turn began! Why didn't we realize this and just wait for the call back, or even say, "Whoa, don't hang up!" ...Just because, I guess.

So then we got to play Splatoon for a while, and it was nice because we found a couple of scrolls we hadn't found yet and got to try out some new weapons that turned out to work quite nicely. (We don't always play "with" each other when we're on Splatoon. Sometimes the kids like to do an Octo Canyon challenge, where both parties go to Octo Canyon to complete an arbitrary mission and see who finishes first.)

Then Hagger's turn ended and we got back to doing our own stuff, and a few minutes later Grawp called again, having earned more Switch time. I guess this means he's getting a lot of reading done! Athena spent a lot of time today shearing sheep, so that was pretty fun.

Anyway. We had a good time playing with the kids, but it was a little hard, because there was a fishing tournament in Animal Crossing, and we were kind of eager to get to it. I mean, we have pretty much all the fishing tournament prizes at this point (unless they added new ones now that the game's been out for over a year), but we also thought it would be a good opportunity to be out and about shooting balloons, because the internet tells me today was the last day of cherry blossom season, and we were hoping to get more recipes. We did eventually get the cherry tree wallpaper, for which we are grateful.

We also decided to give up on the Pokemon tournament, instead of fighting the fifteen battles we were allotted today, so that gave us another two hours. And we were losing anyway, so we didn't need that kind of grief.

Today I'm thankful for the women's conference being very nice, making it to and from the grocery store before all the video gaming really got into full swing, getting to shear sheep in Minecraft, getting some good new weapons in Splatoon, and getting one last sakura recipe in Animal Crossing.

Danger in the village

We weren't asking for more excitement re: video games today, but we sure got it! ...Insofar as Minecraft can be considered exciting.

This time, Grawp started a new "survival" world, so there's a village where we went and commandeered a house. (Disclaimer: all the decisions were made by Grawp; Athena only did as she was told.) Then Grawp sent her off to work in the mines--but not his mine, the other mine. I guess there were two. She was banished because she mined some iron before she had the right pickaxe for it, and I guess that's super bad, because now she was forbidden from going anywhere near Grawp's mine. It was quite a silly rule, because once he told her which pickaxe to use, she was a pro. (The real problem arose because she was multitasking and missed some instructions. We had a real job to do!)

It was actually kind of nice, just wandering the caves looking for ore while Grawp went off and did whatever (mostly make stuff with the ore Athena mined). But then! a newcomer came along. Grawp was surprised about it, too. Suddenly there was a new person--it was his friend, Gus! (Name changed to protect the not-so-innocent.) He came straight to the village...and started whacking Grawp with a sword! What kind of a friend does that? ...The kind of friend who's a punk kid and knows it's just a video game, that kind, but it still felt kind of rude. He killed Athena a couple of times, too. And he would do a countdown in the chat, which we discovered was his way of letting everyone know he was about to do a stunt, I guess? From what we could tell, most of these stunts consisted of falling from great heights.

Eventually Grawp's mother insisted that his time with the Switch was up, and hard as he tried to convince her that he was playing with his aunts, she was adamant. So he stopped playing and we got back to work (we were so close to finishing a translation).

And then he earned more Switch time and called us back. Athena went back to the mines, and while she was getting a bunch of coal, who should visit Grawps house in real life but Gus! He assured us that the mass murderer was, in fact, his cousin, but somehow all the "cool stunts" were still him. He must have brought his Switch with him, because suddenly he was back in Grawp's Minecraft world, which was sufficiently distracting for us to get ourselves a snack: croissant chips! And they were delicious. Eventually the two of them got wrapped up doing stunts, and lyschan invited us to go to her island for a meteor shower, so we wandered off to play Animal Crossing, and that was that.

Today I'm thankful for finishing our work for the day, getting to mine a lot of coal, getting to visit lys, delicious croissant chips, and getting to sleep just a little bit later tomorrow.

The monotony of defeat

Today was pretty uneventful, unless you count getting beaten in twelve out of fifteen Pokemon battles as eventful. There's just...really not much else to say.

Today I'm thankful for managing to win three Pokemon battles, getting to try some Michel et Augustin cookies today, said cookies being pretty yummy and therefore not a waste of money, having a nice time playing Splatoon with Hagger, and finishing our work quota for today.