5.04.2015

BEAUTIFUL SPRING


Moses had a play date. I decided this was a good opportunity to send him by himself to the park. He was nervous, but went as far as the pavilion before he looked back to see me on the porch watching. Then he ran back home. I encouraged him to go again, to go clear to the playground--his friend and his mom were there waiting... So he went again. He came right back, and said they weren't there. I told him he hadn't gone far enough to see, he could ride his bike. So he left again on his bike and stayed.


I texted his friend's mom, who immediately called back. They weren't at the park; they were expecting us at their house, so I piled everyone in the car and picked up Moses, who was waiting all alone outside the park with a very worried expression on his face.

I figure, short of being kidnapped, that's the worst lone trek to the park he's ever going to have, and he made it.

Penelope's lesson in church: Adam and Eden!


Penelope has recently started to say, "Mom! You're the best mom in the whole world!" and then give me a giant smile. She says it so frequently and started so suddenly, it's almost like someone told her to tell me that (like her Primary teacher). I have mixed feelings. It's cute, but I also know I'm not the best mom in the world. Plus, I hate flattery. I'd rather she just tell me she loves me.

Here's the board game Ruby invented and designed. She called it Ichabox.


There has been a marked change in Ruby's behavior the last few weeks. She's had a change of heart of some sort, but I don't know exactly what. I think part of it is picking better friends. Today she was a dream come true.


Ever since kindergarten roundup, Linus has decided that he's one of the "big kids." He now refers to the older kids as "the other big kids," and if I slip up and say "big kids" without including him, he's quick to correct me.

He got a few activity books at the roundup that he's been pouring over. I overheard him praying for help to remember the number 20.


Archie holding a baby his size, but not his age.


Archie is our first child to not tear off socks the second we put them on. He actually ask for clean socks almost every morning. He's also started to say the wrong color on purpose. Some say he's making a joke, but I don't know. It's almost like he's testing us.


Herbie told me that Mormon 3:3 was his favorite scripture, which I thought was an odd choice. Then he told me that after not feeling well one evening and still not feeling well in the morning, he opened his scriptures and that's what he read. When he read about the people not recognizing that the Lord was helping them, he realized he was doing the same thing.

Woo watched the latest Avengers movie at work on Friday, which as a movie was subpar, but as a day at work was pretty awesome. He did some laughing in parts that were not supposed to be laughed at and came home with a giant soda cup that has fascinated every single one of the kids. They all aspire to own a cup like that some day.

I keep running faster and faster. This hasn't happened to me in a long, long time. Every morning I think, I ran pretty far yesterday, I'm not going to be able to beat it. And then I do. It's kind of exciting. I would love to run really fast again.


Also, I have to say that I love living in this beautiful place, where we can go on a lovely walk in all directions the second we step out the door, and where we have such a peaceful yard with a great view, while putting hardly any work into it at all :).

That is all. Hope you had a great week!

Testimony Below (very short):

I know that the source of all comfort, hope and healing is Jesus Christ. He has the power to strengthen us in our trials, the power to make our burdens light, and the power, when the time is right, to deliver us from any bondage we may be in, great or small.

I have seen this many times, and I know it to be true.

4.25.2015

WEEK BY NUMBERS


MONDAY

One block of pine sawed and sanded.


Two Nails hammered by Herbie.
Three hour visit from an old friend of Woo's.
Four axels polished.

TUESDAY

One kid (Moses) with the faith to pray for Herbie's car to win.


Two short runs for Chelsey.
Three heats won by Herbie's car.
Four discussions on how the Pinewood Derby is about having fun...

WEDNESDAY

One Linus at Kindergarten Roundup.


Six happy kids when Herbie got a present for each sibling and shared all his candy from Trade Day.

THURSDAY

Two kids separated (Penelope and Archie just not working in the same bedroom).


Seven bracelets brought home from work by Woo and already lost.

FRIDAY

One field trip for Moses (+binoculars!!!).


One package opening turned object lesson on sin.


Two Happy Birthdays...

 
To You.


Two sporty presents.


Nine years for Herbie.


SATURDAY

One kid trapped 6" off the ground.


One kid with a walkie-talkie and tux.


One playdate for Ruby, and...

Two high heels on the playground


That's all! Hope you had a good one!

4.19.2015

PAYSON


This was a quiet week. Probably the biggest event was the Payson Utah Temple open house. Our Stake President owns the construction company that built the temple, so our whole Stake was invited to the pre-open house, where everyone who worked on the temple and their families/friends were invited.

We went after school and work, along with everyone else, so it was pretty crowded. I'd say it was less crowded than a regular open house, but also less organized, so I'm not sure going with us was an advantage, other than to see us and have Woo buy dinner for everyone who could at Zupas afterwards.


The temple is really big and really pretty. My favorite was probably the upper floor, which had a waiting room in the center and was surrounded entirely by sealing rooms that took full advantage of the stain glass windows on the outside.


Linus gave a talk this week, that he mostly wrote, and I read over with him three times before he had it memorized. Yay! Four kids down in the talk arena, two to go. Being in such a small primary has really worked out for my kids because they get to speak so often, and are really getting comfortable with it.


We had one day of snow before it warmed up. Of course, it was the day Moses had his Daddy Day, and Woo wanted to go for a bike ride. I think he survived.


I don't know where he learned this since we don't go on diets, and we don't drink diet coke, but maybe it's just obvious??
Moses: Herbie, you know if you go on a diet, you have to drink diet coke!

I did something pretty crazy for me... I invited another family for dinner on a school night. It was a new family with a boy in Herbie's class, so Herbie was very excited about it. The kids cleaned the house so well, it's lasted us a few days.


I'm starting to see bursts of my old energy that I haven't seen since I got pregnant with Penelope. For example, I cleaned most of the house in an hour, and the whole time I kept thinking, I remember when I cleaned like this everyday and it didn't wear me out... It felt like an old friend. Also, I'm running faster.

Woo and I watched The Imitation Game last night. Woo's a big Alan Turing fan, being a computer geek and all, and I always enjoy a biography. But, when we watched it, I think I enjoyed it more. Woo likes the facts straight. He'd much rather watch a documentary because he hates dramatization, and it's true, they bent over backwards to put in some extra conflict (as if his own life didn't have enough), and added/manipulated some things to make a "good" movie. A lot of things were pretty heavy-handed.


Ruby's class had a pizza/pajama party. Ruby came down in a pair of pajamas that didn't have a drawstring and dropped to the floor when she wasn't holding them up, then a pair that showed four inches of ankle, before I let her borrow my hotwheels pajama pants. She was very excited. I've worn them once, but it made me a hero with every single one of the kids (and my husband). They're big, but I think she's confiscated them now.


Penelope's started to wear dresses on a daily basis. I'm not sure she was aware it was allowed. She's run into a few other little girls who wear dresses or church shoes all the time, and when she finally tried it, no one told her not too.


Archie's getting a tooth. He's drooling a lot. He's also cranky. Sometimes Woo likes to sing him songs, just to hear him say, "Don't sing that! I not like that song!" even if it's normally his favorite.

Well, that's about it. Hope you had a great week!

4.13.2015

POST VACATION BLUES


Woo has been sick the entire week. And not just sick, but really, miserably sick. I suppose that explains the not very many, not very good pictures this week, because I didn't rise to the occasion either.

It seems, for us, a long time to be sick, but he just hasn't been able to catch a break. On Wednesday he spent the day at the elementary school teaching a class on iPhones/computers/hardware for Science Day, that normally he enjoys, but talking for four hours straight with a sore throat meant he had zero voice on Thursday. Apparently the one glimmer of light during the entire day (other than seeing his own kids at school) was one kid on the front row, who whispered loudly to his friend, "Ruby's so lucky to have a dad like that!!"

Then on Saturday, when we thought he was finally getting better, he overdid it trying to be Dad of the year--taking kids to parties, bike rides, throwing footballs in the back yard, etc., and today was as miserable as ever.


Moses rededicated himself to trying to be like Jesus, which he does periodically. But he picked possibly the worst week. The week after Spring Break isn't easy for a kid.
Moses: I'm still trying to be like Jesus. But... it's hard!! 
Me: Did you know you can pray for help to be like Jesus? And then it will be easier. 
Moses: (beaming): I didn't even think of that! Thanks, Mom!
I've watched him control his temper after Archie ruined his block creation and instead laugh and say, "Oh, you're so cute, Archie!"And help his brothers and sisters with their chores or frustrations, and also consider the important things... "Would Jesus eat a hamburger or a hotdog?"

The only thing better than an eye patch?


Two eye patches, of course.

Linus had his kindergarten shots. By which I mean, shot. It was a non-event. Other than the fact that Linus got a book from the doctor and he feels like the wheels are turning to get him closer to Kindergarten.

It was almost a disaster for me, though. Linus hadn't been to the new doctor since we changed insurance and I discovered I'd left his shot records at home. Luckily, Woo was home and could text me them in a picture. Thank you work-from-home-dad and technology.


We've seen a lot of pirate play around here since Linus attended a pirate-themed birthday party.
Penelope: Can I be a mom-pirate?  
Linus: Yes.  
Archie: Can I be a big-kid-pirate?  
Linus: Yes. 
Archie: Yay!

Herbie bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting today at Woo's encouragement. He told a story of a prayer of his that was answered (Archie to stop crying during family prayer), and did a great job. He also wore a new, blue suit that he looked great in.


Ruby spent some time at a friends Saturday, which she loved. She spent the whole way home telling me about the movie she watched and how good it was. She was very careful to tell me that she spent a lot of time outside and only watched the movie for a little bit. Today, the parents of her friend told Woo how nice it was to have Ruby over because so few kids come over and want to play and explore outside. They just want to play video games and watch movies. Story checks out.

Well, that's it for this week. Hope you had a good one!

TESTIMONY BELOW: (Kind of a repeat)

I was sick a couple of days this month, which is hard for me right now because I get so tired, and then I get depressed.

Anyways, on one of these mornings, when I woke up feeling like I hadn't slept at all, I picked up my phone, and opened my scriptures. I was staring at 1 Thessalonians 2:20 which reads, "For ye are our glory and joy."

And I knew in that moment it was a message from my Heavenly Parents to me. And I cried.

I know that God speaks to us through His scriptures, but we have to open them, and we have to read them like we expect Him to speak to us through them, and then the Holy Ghost will confirm to us that he has.

I know that our Heavenly Father, who is the most important, the most powerful, the most popular and the most perfect Being in the universe, loves you. And he love each of us exactly the same, no matter where we're at or what we've done.

4.06.2015

SPRING BREAK


This week the kids had Spring Break. We made a quick stop in Orem for a family dinner, a haircut for me (thanks, Lynds!), and a quick trip to the temple (thanks, Anita!). Woo got a dime sized cyst removed from his arm at Vivint's free and very quick and easy clinic, which is lucky because otherwise, he probably never would've gone in.


Then we were on our way to Zion National Park.


Well, that was the goal, but we spent about two hours in Beaver replacing two tires. We got a flat tire 1/2 mile out of Beaver. Woo thought it was one of the best things that had ever happened to him. He knew he'd gotten all the wear he possibly could get on that set of tires and all the stress of choice and finding the best deal was eliminated for him, when we went to the guy a block off the freeway and had him fix it.


We camped above Rockville on BLM land, which was practically deserted, but we were surprised to find we had LTE, since we camped yards away from Rockville's cell tower.


In the morning we went into Zion, which was SO crowded--it almost wasn't fun. The first hike we went on, Emerald Pools, was pretty miserable with all the people, and not being very exciting anyways. But, by the second day, we'd figured Zion out: ride to the top and do the hikes coming down. Everyone else is doing the hikes coming up, and we missed them.

Karen and Peter's kids had Spring Break the same week and it was fun to be able to meet up for a night. Whenever we camp with other people, it seems like they pull out the smores and the guitar, and Woo and I think, "Oh, yeah... people do those sorts of things when they're camping."


For some reason they completely slip our minds, and we stick to cavemen types of entertainment like drawing a line, picking a target and letting everyone take three rock tosses. Which, I'll be honest, we enjoyed. Woo won the most. Ruby, Herbie, and I had a couple of wins each. Moses won at least once, and Linus was surprising good. He was second a couple of times. Penelope and Archie were just happy to toss rocks.


In fact, I think most of us could have spent the entire day throwing rocks into water.
Woo: Throwing rocks--I'm pretty sure that's what they do in heaven all day.

It's by far, Archie's favorite thing. On our walk today, he refused to go any farther, until we told him there was some water up ahead he could throw rocks in.
Archie: Oh! Water? I'm coming!

Camping with these kids is getting so much easier. I think in a year or two it's going to be a walk in the park. I can almost taste it. But, Ruby must have overheard something because on the first night as she was falling asleep she asked, "Mom, do you have fun camping? Do you have fun camping with all these kids? Is it hard to do?" I said, "It's not easy, no, camping with little kids." And when she asked again, "But do you like it?" I understood what she was really asking and I gave her a hug and said, "You kids are worth all the work, Ruby." Which must have satisfied her because she snuggled down and fell asleep.


Ruby, standing up for the little guy.
Linus: Rattlesnakes are mean! 
Ruby: No, they're just who they are, they're not mean.
Woo honked the horn while we drove through the tunnel on the Zion-Mount Carmel highway, which mystified the kids. They couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from, and when Woo said he'd done it, they couldn't figure out how (we must not honk the horn often enough).

But, Ruby told us all how it was done, "You blow on the sides of the wall!"


The shuttle buses were a big attraction for the kids. At one stop, the rest of us were looking up at people climbing the Angels Landing trail, right on the cliff face, and Archie faced the opposite direction so he could point and shout at every bus that drove by.


While the rest of us enjoyed pictures of the canyon during the short movie in the museum, Linus loudly whispered several times, "Why don't I see any buses or people?!" .


Penelope "wrote" some songs for us on the drive out. The first one repeated this refrain: I don't like red walls. I like red walls.
Penelope: Mom! I wrote another song! You want to hear it?
Then she sang another song to the same tune: I don't like red clifts. I like red clifts.


We stuck Herbie and Penelope together in the same tent, which was one of the best match ups we've ever done. They didn't wrestle at all, and Herbie took good care of Penelope.

Herbie: Maybe, when the little kids are napping, Dad can take us big kids up to Angels Landing? 
You big kids aren't that big, Herbie. Just thinking about it almost gives me a heart attack.

Herbie lost his hat near the Narrows. We prayed we would find it, but we never did. Instead he found a Wolf Scout hat in a DI in Cedar City that he's been wearing constantly since.


Ruby, Herbie and Moses picked up Jr. Ranger packets in the visitor's center. Ruby and Herbie finished theirs and got badges and stickers. Moses did not. Then he finished it on the way back to camp. The next morning, on our way out to head home, he asked, "Are we going back to the visitor's center to ask about Herbie's hat?"
Me: I don't know. Probably not. 
Moses: Well, if we do... the Jr. Ranger badges are in the same line... and I could get my badge?
Then he smiled so sweetly, he had me totally convinced. But it would've been a pain in the rear, driving back into the park, maneuvering the crowds, finding parking, waiting in line, etc. Moses will just have to get it done on time next time.

(Woo talking science)

One stop in the canyon has a large grassy area with a giant cottonwood tree in the middle. We stopped there many times for lunch or snacks. Woo would always make the kids "earn" their fruit rollups. He had Herbie do the crab walk to the tree and back. Penelope was sent to tickle Herbie, then run back. Linus did ten somersaults in a row one time. Another he ran to a bench and took a "count to 10" nap on it. Moses climbed a tree. Ruby ran to several places barefoot. Archie ran around the tree. It was fun to watch.


We got home in time for baths and haircuts and Conference. I hope you've all had a great Easter!