Sunday, January 1, 2012

After the exhausting prelude (see "'Twas the week before Christmas") we were happy to have Christmas arrive.  Even though we didn't have shall children in the apartment, we still had to get up early--6:00 is still early.  We had a beautiful tree, as you can see, thanks to a previous missionary couple that bought a beautiful pre-lit tree and left it for subsequent missionaries.  We decorated it the day after Thanksgiving and enjoyed it all month.  We enjoyed it so much that we just may have to buy one when we get off our mission.
We opened our presents and had a fun time.  Bill got a tie organizer that lights up and twirls around so you can see all the ties in a jiffy!  It holds about 45 ties and he only brought about 25, so I think there may be some tie shopping happening in the next few months...
He also got a new watch.  The timer on his old one was getting stubborn, so he got one with an easy setting timer as well as a heart monitor!  Now he will shop for an exercise video that he can use in our apartment without a lot of equipment.  Won't that be fun?  He tried it out on his daily exercise routine and discovered that he could get his rate up into the 90s without a lot of effort, as well as drop back into the 60s in pretty short order.  Healthy man!

And here you see my lovely presents--a beautiful, sparkling ring with matching earrings!  I really love them.  Bill said if anyone asked if the diamond were real, I could answer, "Absolutely!"

After we opened our presents (including the pistacio nuts, Ghiradelli squares assortment, trail mix, etc.) we had breakfast and went to church.  We had to be there by 9:30 so Bill could get the bulletin typed up and I could get one last practice in before church started.  Church was presented by everyone--the Relief Society sisters sang, "Silent Night" while one of the sisters read Luke, chapter 2, a missionary read the story of Silent Night, the Primary children sang, "Away in a Manger," the Priesthood brethren sang "O Come, All Ye Faithful," several stories and poems were shared by others, and Elder and Sister Karlinsey sang, "Once in Royal David's City," unaccompanied since Sister Karlinsey is the only member of the branch who can play the piano/organ (we could have sung to the CD accompaniment, but the pitch was too high for either of us).

After church we joined the Bullochs for Christmas dinner, along with Elder Neal and Elder Menlove who are the elders assigned to the Oneida Branch.  Sister Bulloch was a little disappointed when we told her we had to leave by 2:00--she was looking forward to hearing some more of Bill's stories.  She had really enjoyed the ones he told after Thanksgiving dinner.

Skype was ringing as soon as we opened the computer after walking in the door.  Bill visited with Laura Dawn, Brenda and Thomas for over an hour.  In the meantime, I visited with Rachel and Scott and their girls via cell phone since they don't have Skype.  Then I visited with Cindy until my cell phone died (I forgot to plug it in the night before).  When Bill and his kids finished with their conference call, I was able to Skype with Mary, Sarah and Laura as well as Adrienne and Amy, and see their Christmas fun.  I think we finished up about 7:00.  What a great time we had!

And here we are, enjoying the rest of the day after we got home from Church.  Actually, we took the pictures Friday evening, the 30th, because we forgot to take any on Christmas day.  But six days doesn't make that much difference, does it?  On Saturday we took the tree down and discovered that artificial trees shed needles, too!  The living room feels a little bare with the tree gone, but we'll be happy to set it up again next year.

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