Week Without Woo

This will be short. Woo's been in Utah all week and I never sleep well while he's gone. Also, we only got a few hours of sleep last night after his late arrival.

With Woo gone, the kids and I decided to do a few things we wouldn't normally do. We watched way too many movies for one. Also we ate way too much junk food, but Woo did that too.

We also switched chores for the year (although, I'm starting to think a switch every six months would be better for us).

Ruby's washing dishes. Herbie's on meal prep. Moses is sweeping all the floors. Linus is doing laundry. Penelope's on bathrooms (made easier this year with the huge improvement in the boys' aiming), and Archie's in charge of keeping the stairs and the entry clean.

Another thing we did was clean up the oil from our (previously) leaking car in the basement. The neighbor (we think!) who's been complaining (and he has every right to, who wants a big oil slick in their community garage?) was down working in his section while we cleaned.

He looked uncomfortable. I don't think he was expecting the kids to come down and scrub the floor. He tried to give me a lamp for our apartment, which I did not accept. He made a few comments on the difficulty of cleaning up oil, then helped us with the lights (which automatically go off every few minutes).

The kids, on the other hand, had a ball. There was unfortunately a lot of arguing over the 3 scrub brushes I bought (should've gotten more), but we found dish soap to be reasonably effective and vinegar even more so. The kids got close to all the oil off the floor.

Another fun thing was taking the car to the carwash. My plan was to let each kid have 2 minutes to themselves, but the second Penelope took over the hose, it spun out of control, over her head and soaked Moses. After we stopped laughing, Herbie helped her, and Archie wisely decided to not take a turn.

Linus (talking about Woo's whereabouts): Is Sandy the capital of Salt Lake?  
Archie: No! New York is!!
Four kids had back-to-school lectures and meetings with teachers, and with Woo gone, I had to go. I hoped to get out of all of them, but in the end went to all. I did not understand everything, but I understood much more than last year... and I was surprised to see that I have friends at these things. I was happy to see the teachers; they seemed happy to see me; there were several people I could smile and wave at; and even a few I could chat with.

I don't recall this feeling in the US, but the schools here are much smaller (only 5 classes of about 20 kids each in the elementary school), and I think it might actually help me to feel closer to people when everyone gives each other little kisses and a hug as a regular greeting. Also, I'm probably different.

Woo's week was 60% work, 30% traveling, but he did squeeze in a dinner at his parents, a very quick trip home (Thanks for driving him, Becky! I was worried about his safety... ), an ooTunes update, and an ill-advised sacrifice of a night of sleep to hike Timp. He also wrote a talk. He definitely has stories, but he'll have to tell them.

I hope you all had a great week!


Italians, Spaniards, and Hawaiians

Last Sunday after my email we went to João's baptism.

Anyway... this baptism was scheduled at the exact time we normally end our fast. Because we had to do about an hour of driving beforehand to help everyone who wanted to attend, we decided to end our fast as a family immediately after the baptism. This was also a fast Sunday where Linus and Moses decided to fast two meals as well... long story short, the baptism started 45 minutes late and the whole thing was series of small sacrifices, one on top of another, for each of us...

Here are Moses and Herbie sitting in front of the food that they couldn't eat until everyone was ready...

The kids were really so good. They hardly complained at all, and I actually forgot Linus was still fasting, he didn't say a thing. Also, there was a very cute musical number because it was the missionaries... and Penelope, standing in the very front and middle.

Luckily, we got all our sacrifices for the week out of the way so we could have a pretty pleasant temple trip!

The only thing was that immediately on arrival we threw some meals in the microwave to make sure the kids got dinner before Woo and I headed out for an endowment session. One of them set off the fire alarm.

We got all the kids in one room, with the food we'd managed to already cook, while facilities guys checked out the microwave in the other. They were still there when we had to leave. Sometimes you just have to walk away from the calamity at home and trust it will all work out to get yourself to the temple.

But overall the trip was good. I drove the entire way there and back for the first time (usually Woo does all the driving), the drive was uneventful, and we got lots of temple work done.

There were some Italians in the baptistry, which was fun for Ruby, Herbie and Woo. Herbie was baptized or confirmed in Spanish, English, Italian and Portuguese.

I did sealings twice and never came close to fainting; Moses successfully babysat while everyone older than him was in the temple; and Woo bought these disgusting hard-boiled egg flavored chips, that after the initial surprise, he and the kids managed to polish off.

Here's our traditional picture in front of the olive tree, which we recently learned was planted (or transplanted, I should say) either the day Woo and I got married or the day before.

Archie: Is the angel on top of the temple playing the temple song?
When we came home we had a branch Luau activity. Woo and the kids definitely made the activity.

A few other tidbits:

Archie has the stinkiest feet in the family.

Ruby's school books came in the mail, and she's excitedly started to read them.

Penelope sang:
Princess, princess, princess pea,
Princess, princess, princess me!
(ALL little girls in Portugal are princesses. I think little girls here are called princesses by EVERYONE more often than they are referred to as anything else.)

Linus, always the best inviter, snuck in a couple invitations to the Luau to his friends in the day between our arrival home and the party.

Someone swore six to seven times telling a story in the middle of talk about "Strengthening Others through Our Conversation"and yes, they had no idea.

Moses did, though, and he gave me his startled look every single time it happened.

Also, I'm almost done with Saints. One thing I'm learning from it is the overwhelming significance the Lord places on eternal and spiritual things--they are more important than any other temporal concern--crushing debt, sickness, death, persecution... He clearly views these all as trivial things He can dismiss with a wave of the hand (so to speak), but He wants those eternal and spiritual requirements met.

Anyway, that's our week. Hope yours was great!