Anyway, yesterday we completely forgot to thank nezumiko for the snowflake cookie gift! Thanks! It's so pretty and yummy-looking!
Speaking of Christmas treats, we decided to try our hand at making Mom's classic hot chocolate recipe from right off the Hershey's cocoa box. Only we adjusted it in that we didn't care enough to add vanilla, and we figured less milk would only make it more chocolatey, so we didn't add as much. We also figured a little extra cocoa couldn't hurt. It's cooling now, because we can't actually drink hot drinks.
So last night we went to help buy gifts for some teenage boys in foster care. It was pretty nerve-wracking because we had all girls doing the shopping. We really should have thought to bring some boys along, I think, but hopefully it will all turn out fine. After shopping we went straight to our ward's Family Home Evening, where we had a lesson on developing our talents.
After the lesson, it was time for the activity, which was going to Christmas Tree Lane, a long line of houses that decorate all fancy for the holidays, and driving through it to see all the lights. It was then that I learned that there are more Christmas songs out there that I don't like than I thought there were. Oh well. It wouldn't have been an issue except that we were also reminded that sloooooooow driving with lots of starts and stops makes us really carsick.
As for the lights--some displays were really nice. But I think there's more to awesome Christmas decorating than just putting lights on everything in the vicinity. We've definitely been spoiled by Disneyland. There was one house that was like super whoa with the lights. Every surface was literally (and I do mean literally) covered in lights, and they had fireworks, and even one of those fancy billboard type things made of lights (like you find when driving the Las Vegas strip, only smaller) displaying a slide show of their family photos. I think it would be interesting if they kept it up all year, but anyway. It was fascinating to see, but definitely overkill with the lights. Also, there were a lot of the newer multicolored light strings with the deep blues and purples on them. They seem really popular, but they hurt our eyes. I was wondering if it's just us, or if anybody else has that problem.
When we finally got home, we turned on the TV while we ate some dinner, and Find My Family was on ABC. We figured why not watch it, and it was all like, "Awwwww!" And then there was a little pop-up on the screen informing us of an all new Castle! We thought they were done with new Castle for a while and weren't planning to watch tonight! So all the service and FHE stuff paid off, because if things hadn't worked out exactly the way they did, we would have totally missed it. But now we're wondering if we missed an episode... We'll have to check on that.
Anyway, back to the lesson we had on developing talents. It didn't really say anything new, just a reminder to, hey, develop your talents. And with that, and happening to read a couple of scriptures about using talents this morning, we decided to make today a "new forms of creativity" (meaning something other than our day job) day. And right after we made that decision, we checked our e-mail and had a new assignment from TokyoPop. But we had decided, and we followed through! (So far it's just been brainstorming for maybe writing a story or something, and learning Hyakunin Isshu poems, and a little bit of cooking. Later there may be piano, punch needle, and/or knitting.) It's just as well, too, because one, it's a good idea, and two, my headache from last night hasn't left, and for some reason every time we work on Happy Cafe I have some sort of unpleasant pressure in my head. So hopefully it will go away before tomorrow and we can work on Happy Cafe free of physical ailment.
Today I'm thankful for getting an assignment, getting WDAS's attention, experiments with hot chocolate, LJ gifts from friends, and catching that new episode of Castle.