october 23. clarie's birthday. an excuse to party. we like surprises here, so no one really said much about the upcoming birthday, but a plan was definitely brewing. it was on sunday, so the girls who don't go to church did a little prepping while the rest of us were gone. church brought a VERY pleasant surprise for us though. a couple of general authorities! Brother Matthew O. Richardson, the 2nd counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, and Brother Larry M. Gibson, First Counselor in the Young Men's General Presidency (to learn more about what they do, go here). of course those guys were like celebrities to us, plus they're from America and actually speak our language, so we were WAY excited to shake their hands and talk to them. Brother Gibson got a special place in my heart. he gave us all a little card, that's generally for the young men, with a gold dollar to start a mission fund. we talked to him a few times, and you could just tell that he was going out of his way to give us an extra reason to smile, when we were so far away from home.
after church was slightly hectic. Leslie and i rushed out of church saying that we needed to find the stadium where we would go to the tennis open the next day (more on that later) which we actually needed to do, but didn't, and the other girls tried to stall clarie as long as possible. we ran home and blew up balloons and made signs and covered the apartment in streamers as best as we could in the about 15 minutes that we had to get things done. i think our plan worked fairly well. we made blini, and played catch phrase, and ate cake and ice cream, and watched hocus pocus, and played murder in the dark- complete with theme music via the inception soundtrack. i suppose you could say it was a good time.
and of course, clarie's birthday wouldn't be complete without her shoving some kind of food in someone's mouth. bekka was the lucky winner.