28 December 2011


Aaaah, the movies!

There are many blockbuster hits that arrived in the theater Christmas weekend. Mom, dad, Nick and I went to see one! Here is the treview (it's either a trailer or preview... I'm never sure which)

The film is called We Bought a Zoo and was very good! I recommend it. (If you were looking for an in-depth review, I'm sorry to disappoint)

Wanna know something crazy? This was the first time that I had been to the movie theater since... before my mission. The last film I saw was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in July 2009. That's approximately 30 months in between trips to the movie theater. And want to know something else? I really don't like going to the movies. Here's why:
  • if you have to go pee during the movie, they don't pause it for you. 
  • sometimes there are very loud, large, white guys in front of you who like to laugh. Loudly. (this guy was pretty entertaining in and of himself! Ha.)
  • it's very expensive (I know Cedar isn't near as expensive as other places, but I'm po'.)
  • if you want popcorn and a drink, you'll have to give them some appendages (usually an arm and a leg)
  • there's no such thing as ample leg room.
  • if you take off your shoes your socks will get stuck to the floor.
  • babies. They are loud.
  • bright cell phone screens contrasting with the dark. Annoying.
  • my couch is better than those seats.
So call me a movie theater hater. I'll just keep using Netflix or Redbox or whatever and enjoy my movies at home. For a fraction of the cost. Where I don't have to wear shoes. And where I can consume lots of food and drink for free. Sort of.

Random photo from the mission!

Me and Elder Peterson behind the Capitol.
☮ ♡ ☺

27 December 2011

And now for your viewing pleasure...

Here are some pictures from the Christmas season this year. This post was supposed to be more wordy and cool, but I'm technologically challenged and can't seem to figure out what the cow I'm doing so I'm going do another post... Enjoy the pictures!
My eldest brother, Damian, papa, me at the annual Sorensen family Christmas party.
Me, Damian, papa, and Gail playing Hearts. I won.
Chocolate fountain with yummies!
 Sometimes I wear niece's hair thing. What are those things called? Clips? Sure. We'll go with that.
On the way home from SoCal on Monday with Tandy and the kids, we stopped to see the lights at the St. George Utah Temple.
The reason for the season.

Looking around at the lights.
Me and the kiddos.
Family! Grandma, dad, mom, me, and Nick Christmas morning!
This wasn't a Christmas gift but I did acquire it on Christmas day. Hooray for the accordion!

23 December 2011

I am an audio book

Move over Jim Dale! Mr. Liebhardt is taking over your job!

...Kind of. But not really. Let me explain.

On Monday, I drove to Utah from SoCal with my sister-in-law and and her three perfect children. She will probably say that they are far from perfect, but they're close enough. During the drive I read the first eight chapters of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone aloud to the children. The 6 and 8 year-olds were really into it and remembered details so well. The 4 year old, not so much. My voice was exhausted by the time we got home.

I wonder if you can get sick from overusing your voice. The reason for wondering is: I got sick. Nasty, nasty sick. So Tuesday I combated the illness with home remedies of gargling with salt and soda water, taking zinc, and chicken noodle soup. I had to get better fast because I had a grand adventure planned.

The Grand Adventure

{This is like a post within a post}

On Tuesday morning I dragged my ailing body out of bed at a reasonable hour to start my journey to the Provo and Salt Lake areas to visit some awesome people and spread some holiday cheer. And germs.

The agenda before I left:
Mount Timpanogos temple with Nick [✔]
ice skating [✔]
President and Sister Mansell (my mission president and wife) [✔]
wedding reception of a friend in Ogden [   ]
Temple Square [   ]
Bingham's (a missionary couple I served with) [✔]
The check marks indicate things that I actually did.  

When it was time to hit up the reception and temple square, I was physically exhausted (I skated for almost 4 hours with my friends Elise and Mandie) and still sick (although I felt loads better) and I wasn't in the mood to drive in the dark. So, sorry Mr and Mrs Chugg. I suppose I'll mail you the card I have for you. As for Temple Square, I'll be back up there on the 28th for the wedding of a cousin. 

Highlights of the trip: 
  • the temple!!!
  • ice skating-- I learned how to go backwards! 
  • visiting with Elder Tolman-- one of my former mission companions. We still call each other Elder.
  • visiting with President and Sister Mansell-- find me nicer people and you win a prize.
  • vising with Elder and Sister Bingham-- they're still Elder and Sister because they're super awesome and serving another mission! This time they're serving at the Family History Library in Salt Lake. And we made a lot of cookies. I also stayed last night at their house. They were very accommodating.
  • having a nap on my cousin's couch-- I was sick. I was tired. I needed a nap.
  • not paying for gas-- mom and dad bought the gas for this trip as a Christmas gift!  
This adventure was done between the 21st and the 22nd of December. Today is the 23rd and I drove home early this afternoon after stopping in Salem to see Elise's house and deliver Bingham cookies (angel thumb prints and white chocolate macadamia nut). 
    Where are all the pictures? Well, I left my camera charger in Maryland almost three months ago. I still haven't got a new charger. And my camera is dead. So that's why there aren't any pictures.

    Except for....

    The random photo from my mission!
    It's Elder and Sister Bingham! This picture was taken at their apartment on March 24th, 2011 when we were allowed to watch the BYU vs. Florida Gators game. They were finishing up their mission so we presented them with this shirt, signed by all of the Elders serving in AC (Anacostia) at this time.

    ☮ ♡ ☺

    11 December 2011

    David Archuleta Concert!!

    I didn't go.


    I will tell you what I did.

    I spent the evening at Gail's house. Gail is my eldest sister. She has two kids: Caroline, and Johnathan (whose name I misspelled on the Christmas card. Drat). They are very entertaining. Especially Johnny. He's two. I wish I had a perfect brain to remember all the funny things he did while I was there. I will rack my brain and share with you the cuteness that is my nephew.

    I was making funny faces at Johnny to entertain him and then he would imitate them. One such face was sticking out my tongue, blowing up my cheeks, crossing my eyes, and pulling my ears (like a monkey?). He imitated this face by sticking out his tongue and plugging his ears.

    We also ate some ice cream (death by chocolate. Yummmm). Johnny had his in a cone. And it got everywhere! He essentially had a nice melted ice cream goatee going on. He eventually got a napkin and wiped his mouth... sort of. He would pucker his lips and only wipe off his lips so he still had the great chocolate mess on his chin. Then he got better at using the napkin and was able to wipe most of the mess off... Except for a little strip above his lip. So he had a nice chocolate Hitler-stache. I was laughing pretty darn hard. If only my phone was cool enough to hold several photos so I could have documented this joy. (I still have the Razor that I had before I went on my mission. It only holds like two pictures before it says the memory is full. Sad.)

    We played catch with different kinds of balls. Whenever I would throw him the ball, he would cringe and close his eyes so I taught him "keep your eye on the ball" and I demonstrated by opening my eyes as wide as they would go and watching the ball as I moved it around. He didn't really grasp the concept of watching the ball and keeping his eyes open when the ball comes near, but he did great at opening his eyes wide. Every time I would say "Ready?" as I would prepare to throw him the ball, he would open his eyes as wide as they would go. And as soon as the ball left my hand his eyes would shut. We'll keep working on that skill.

    I don't know why, but I was pretty tired when I was there and I laid down and said, "I'm going to take a nap." He replied "I'm going to take a nap, too!" And he flopped down right next to me and started fake snoring.

    My main reason for going there was so that Gail could wax my back. Don't judge me. It's my German/Hungarian ancestry. I'm very hairy. While Gail was waxing me, Johnny would come up behind me and stick his little hands on my love handles and watch the process. Luckily his hands were warm.

    After everything was said and done, we played a rousing game of Disney Scene-it which Gail won because of a stupid tie breaker (whoever has the longest hair wins). I like that game. But I also like winning.

    The moral of this story is: My nephew is the cutest two year old alive.
    In other news, I played racquetball for three days in a row! I am so sore. I tweaked my ankle a bit and ran into a wall which jacked up my wrist. But it's so fun.

    I'm playing violin in Cedar City's 71st annual performance of Handel's Messiah. It is free and performances are Sunday and Monday (11 & 12 December) at 19:30 at the Heritage Center Theater in Cedar City, UT. Be there or... don't be. But you should be.

    And now, the random photo from my mission brought to you today by the letter blue.
    That's me. Looking shnazzy. In an alley. On Capitol Hill.

    ☮ ♡ ☺

    04 December 2011

    ♪ Christmas Music ♫

    One of my favorite things about Christmastime (which is one word, by the way. I found that out when I was writing letters from Santa to elementary school students for English class in high school. I will never forget that I spelled "Christmastime" incorrectly) is the wonderful music that accompanies this magical time of the year. It seems like the music warms the heart and soul. And there needs to be lots of warming here in Southern Utah. It's snowing yet again.

    My past two Christmases were spent away from home because I was serving a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Washington, DC metro area. While on my mission I acquired some great Christmas music, most of which was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Which I love. They are soooo good. Seriously. Check them out. 

    Anywho, music of the Christmas season is meant to help us reflect on things such as winter fun, family, our Saviour and His love for us. They can be secular or religious, fast or slow, complicated or simple. I love them all. Well, most of them. I won't tell you which ones I don't like so that those songs aren't ruined for you.

    My favorite Christmas season song is The Christmas Song (aptly named, no?). It has such wonderful chords and the words whisk me away back to my childhood. There are lots of artists who perform this song. I can't tell you whose rendition is my favorite, but I really just like piano and voice, not too jazzed up. Simple.

    So now I have a question for y'all:

    What is your favorite Christmas song? Why?
    Also, include which artist did your favorite rendition.

    I hope that you will be able to feel the wonderful Spirit of Christmas this season. Good uplifting music is one way to bring that special Spirit into your life.

    Random picture from the mission: Me and Elder Hutchison in front of the 
    Washington DC Temple Visitors' Center during the Festival of Lights.

    ☮ ♡ ☺

    02 December 2011

    Merry Christmas Season!

    Good ol' Cedar City has some great Christmas traditions like the Storybook Cavalcade Parade (which I'm going to be in tomorrow), Santa's Holiday Celebration, The Creche Festival, Handel's Messiah, and even fireworks!

    One thing I really don't get are the lights that adorn the two downtown blocks.

    I get the snowflakes. But bananas? We don't even live in a climate
    that can grow bananas yet we string them downtown.

    This is the old Post Office turned City offices. It has Santa and his sleigh
    on the top of the facade. Makes more sense than bananas.

    I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas season and that your hearts will be filled with the light of Christ.

    PS I know that those "bananas" aren't bananas. They're swags, or even festoons. But don't they look like bananas?

    ☮ ♡ ☺