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Alethea & Athena
September 15th, 2019 
02:07 pm - The grand finale
twins
We're updating early today! Not that anybody is checking the timestamps on these things. We're waiting for somebody to stop by and pick up a cat carrier, and we figured this was a good thing to do in the meantime.

I have to tell you, the nicest thing happened at church today. When the youngest deacon came along to administer the sacrament...first, I should point out that as the organist and music director, Athena and I tend to sit all by ourselves up on the stand, behind the bishopric. The youngest deacon is the one who administers the sacrament to the bishopric, and then he goes on to give it to everyone else on the stand. So anyway, Athena and I were in our separate little area, and he came by to give us the water, and I'm not sure if you're supposed to talk while you're administering the sacrament (I think most people are just silent automatically), but, remembering his days in Primary, he said quietly, "The two best teachers!" That made us feel pretty good.

Speaking of church, we're now on the Sunday portion of our trip report! We went to church with Mom...and that's about it as far as that's concerned. We saw some old friends from back when we lived in Fresno, there was a Relief Society lesson on answers to prayer. We joined Mom for choir practice, and everybody was hoping we could stick around for the performance, which was today. (They have a pretty small choir, but not as small as ours!) Frankly, we're kind of glad we weren't available, because they were doing "Nearer, My God, to Thee" in sign language, and I didn't have the coordination or the time to learn to do it right.

After church, we hung out and ate kettle corn nonstop for a little while. I guess we hadn't gotten enough to eat the previous day, because my body told me to just keep going and going with the kettle corn. We did eventually stop when Celeste showed up with her kids. ...And to be honest, I don't remember much of what we did with them. Oh wait, now I do. We mostly sat around while Mom took the kids and played with them and some new toys. Apparently Mom and Petunia have a game where Mom hides Disney princess figures around the room, and Mom very rudely shoved Belle behind me, completely ignoring my personal space. That's how I remember that game. Later, Petunia had a set of cups that she hid for me to find, mostly in plain sight.

At one point, Steve's son Scott showed up, and it was time to begin the birthday festivities. We pretended we were in Primary, and I played the piano while Athena led the group in singing to all the September birthdays. This got Gilderoy in trouble, because he wanted us to sing to him, too, even though his birthday is decidedly Not in September. We told him we would sing to visitors next, but he wanted no part in that. I don't remember how that got resolved, but I do remember that I did not play any hello songs.

Mom and Steve pulled out the cake, and we got to see the writing on it! Apparently the story goes like this: Steve went to Baskin Robbins to get the ice cream cake, and the girls working there were like, "Oh! Whose birthday is it?" and he said it was his, and they replied, "And you're buying your own cake?" Then the discussion went to what writing they should put on it, and Steve didn't know, so the girls took it upon themselves to write, "Happy birthday! To Grandpa, from Steve". We thought that was the perfect thing to write on the cake after we made him go buy his own, so gold stars to the Baskin Robbins employees!

We played another game of Telestrations, and Celeste got mad at me for going off the rails too early. Normally, we like to take it seriously once before getting too crazy, but this had to be a short game because Mom and Steve had to leave to teach a self-reliance class at church. My word was "cheetah," and I could see that easily ending up as the word cheetah, a cat with spots, the word cheetah, a cat with spots, etc. There might have been some variation if somebody wrote "leopard" instead, but the point was, I didn't have time to let it get all the way back to me before I fixed the problem. So I started right off the bat drawing a hand holding five aces, and that book turned out to be pretty interesting in my opinion, so even if I did jump the gun, I feel like I made the right choice.

After Mom, Steve, and Scott left, Gilderoy wanted to play Mario Party. (He's not usually allowed to play video games on Sunday because he gets very upset when he runs into difficult levels, and his anger is not a good Sabbath attitude. But he is allowed to play family games like Mario Party.) For some reason, he insisted that it only be him, me, and Athena, although Petunia was allowed to play on a team with Athena. The baby joined in, in the sense that they chose the character he wanted for the computer to play as, and they handed him a controller to let him think he was doing stuff. But they couldn't take the batteries out of the controller (I don't remember why, maybe you just can't with a Switch?), so he was pulling up menus and backing us out of games all over the place. Fortunately, he got bored pretty quickly.

Gilderoy was being a butt, so we didn't go easy on him. Okay, that's not the only reason. We'd never played this version of Mario Party before, so when we were presented with new games, we wanted to see how well we could do. Some of the games were really fascinating, too, like they had one where they would show you three Mario badguys, and they would take turns doing something that made the controller vibrate. Then they would close the curtains, and the controller would vibrate again, and you had to remember which one of the characters made the controller rumble in that specific pattern.

Anyway, even without us going easy on him, Gilderoy managed to take the lead pretty early on. And then Athena and I both outstripped him and he ended up in third place. It was pretty fun.

After Celeste took her kids home, Mom and Steve came back and Mom wanted to make no-bakes, but discovered that the milk supply had been depleted during the course of the festivities (despite efforts to hide the milk in the back of the fridge). We decided we did want the cookies badly enough, so we called Celeste and made her come back with some milk. Then we had delicious cookies while we talked and talked and talked. And we went to bed late, thus depriving ourselves of sleep once again.

The next day, we packed up our things and got on the train home. We worked while we were on the train, but when we got home, we were too tired to work any more. We got back to work on Tuesday and have been work work working ever since. We did take breaks to watch Miraculous, and The Dark Crystal, as mentioned last night. And now here we are. Tadah!

Today I'm thankful for getting to eat a yummy ice cream cake for Steve's birthday, also getting to have no-bakes, getting to try out the latest iteration of Mario Party, finally having things worked out for what room we can use for choir practice on odd-numbered Sundays, and today being the day of rest.
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