3.27.2017

Late Nights--Still My Archnemesis!


We had some late nights this week: pack meeting, Ruby had a party, YW activity, etc. Early in the week there was A LOT of bickering.

Moses and Herbie were arguing over something so insignificant I don't even remember what it was.
Me (trying to get them to see sense): ... It's NOT his first born child; it's NOT his one-way ticket into college... 
To my surprise they paused to mull this over where each of them apparently thought I was talking about the other.
Moses: But what if he doesn't even go to college? 
Herbie: Yeah, what if he goes straight to the NBA?

Poor Herbie. He has the worst luck with pinewood derbies, rain gutter regatas, etc. The space derby was no different. His ship was one of the slowest, but I think it's for the best. He's slowly learning to lose gracefully. He had a very brief, low moment where he couldn't keep the rubber bands in his ship, but other than that he accepted it. He helped out where he could, didn't let it ruin his night or the next day and was genuinely happy for his little brother, whose ship did much better.


Woo was a little mad about Moses' since in his opinion the scoring was off and Moses should've gotten second or third. Instead he was awarded fourth. Moses was happy regardless. (P.S. He finally lost those chapped lips he was fighting for a few days--but really, what's a little chapped lip to the best high school basketball player in the nation?)


Ruby had three late nights and she really did well holding it together until Sunday. I don't know what it is, maybe it's that we're so often sitting so close together (scriptures, church, fhe, dinner), but she cannot keep her hands to herself or from pestering others. She and I did have a few pleasant one-on-one times when I picked her up from her party and when we went to the Womens Session of Conference and then out for a treat.  In a lot of ways she's really growing up and understanding things.


Linus has been playing some basketball with his older brothers. He doesn't make many baskets, but he's so excited when he does. He'll run in and tell me that he's made "a toilet!" Sometimes the ensemble is part of the excitement and he walks around really pleased in Herbie's BYU jersey and basketball shorts that are ten sizes too big.


Penelope was possibly the most sad with the cooler, rainy weather this week. She wanted to go outside and play every single morning, and many times she did ("I don't get cold, Mom."), but she always came back inside, finally admitting it was too cold or raining. Most days were warmer and drier by afternoon, so I think she still got some outside time at recess, and definitely after school. She learned to ride the next size up bike, which is a relief because now she'll be much faster.


Archie and I walked to the library once (like we do almost every week), and he was doing a lot of running ahead and behind me and feeling very fast.

"I run faster than you, Mom!"
"You run like this... " (slow sort of jog)
"And I run like this... " (where his arms and legs pumped faster, but he didn't actually move much faster.

I didn't bother to argue with him. He was so happy and carefree.

Our temple was closed for cleaning so Woo and I went out for dinner and a treat, which we don't get to do very often. We went to an Indian restaurant, which for us was so, so good. Woo wondered if he could live on garlic naan alone. We discussed new towns in Portugal to move to and decided on one that's at least good enough to look at very closely. I hope to send visa stuff into the consulate this week. And hopefully that will all work out without too much trouble...

Well, that's it. Hope you're enjoying your spring!

3.20.2017

Summer?!?


Early this week Moses fell asleep and then, about ten minutes later, started screaming. He was terrified; he needed help, and we could not wake him up. I said some prayers, and then somehow Penelope, whispering, in the next bed over got to him, and he stopped and slept soundly for the rest of the night.

In the morning, when we asked him, he said he was having the "sick nightmare," which of course made everyone want to tell me their "sick nightmare." The common denominator seems to be "louder and louder."

Herbie's is him stepping on a grid, where the squares light up, but get louder and louder until it is frightening. Ruby's is just a dot, but the dot gets darker and darker and louder and louder. And I still remember mine: raindrops falling into water, where at first they're kind of sweet with little voices, but get faster and faster and harder and harder and are eventually yelling at me with loud, angry voices.


We secured two things for our visas this week that I originally thought were going to be a giant pain in the rear, so that was nice.


The weather has been a dream. We've all spent a lot more time outside, and we just have tiny piles of snow in shady areas left. I've been able to take Archie out again in the stroller for some nice runs. He's been happy to be there and outside, but he's been tired this week, whiney at almost every other time.


Penelope, Archie and I spent a morning in town while the van's brakes were getting fixed and we walked around the temple and then to a playground. Penelope loved the temple and talking about it, and even stopped walking and talking to give me a great big hug about halfway through.


Linus seems to have a good group of friends who are fun and really like him. He came home excited to tell me a story of someone making fun of his outfit one day (said he looked like a carrot), and then told me what three or four other kids immediately said to speak up for him. Another day he had a great recess where he and his friends had marched around the playground chanting, "We love our shoes!" Which caught like wildfire through the rest of the first grade.


Moses has really been excellent the last couple days. Like really excellent. He's being immediately obedient and yesterday when Ruby and Herbie were arguing about who got the last seat in the front row, he picked up his stuff and moved to the back so they both could sit on that row. Today, he had one of the coveted spots next to me during Sacrament meeting, but he quietly moved over to let Linus sit there after Linus started crying. It sure has been helpful to have such a ready peacemaker.


Ruby was doing similar things earlier in the week, but she's had a couple late nights and cracked yesterday and today. Instead becoming the most contentious one.


Woo's family had a family dinner yesterday, so we took the opportunity to go early and do a session in the Provo City Center Temple (something Woo's really been wanting to do ever since we went through the open house). It was not as time-consuming and crowded as we'd been led to believe, but was really, really beautiful. Everything seemed even better in there and we had a great temple experience. We loved it! Of course, Woo sent me links to houses for sale in Provo later that night... if only we could stand to live in Provo...


The kids helped Grandma and Grandpa dig up the rest of their carrots, and Herbie was super excited to use a handsaw to help Grandpa with the last of his pruning.

Well, that's our week. Hope you're enjoying your spring!

3.13.2017

Sixty is a Great Temperature!


The most exciting text of my week. I laughed for quite awhile about it. I mostly can't believe people really talk to each other this way, but since they do, I'm glad they could send a little cheer my way too. (Don't worry, I did finally convince them I didn't have a brother or any relation named Todd.)


We enjoyed warmer temperatures this week, which was awesome. We still have quite a bit of snow, but it is melting and we have one long patch of dry grass on one side of our yard, where we all spent a lot of our Saturday. I almost fell asleep---so comfortable.

Yesterday was the best. Woo took the kids on their first bike ride of the year and they were so excited!


Ruby and I went on a long run. She knows how to pace herself now--no more sprinting for half the run and fighting a side ache the other. It was quite pleasant.


Herbie and Moses tossed a football for about an hour, then a rubber ball, then a lacrosse ball, and so on. And they didn't have to do it in the street or on a pile of snow!


Linus sat in a swing out in the sun and swung and swung and swung. He also sat in a hammock (we have three or four now).


Penelope and Archie still have a few things to learn... they were the only ones who got cold, but that was because they kept playing under the shade of giant pine trees and digging into old snow with their bare hands.

That's our week. Hope yours was great!

3.06.2017

Birthday Sick


Moses turned nine. He had a great day, enjoyed all his presents and shared. He requested cheese cake for his birthday, which some of the kids have never had, and others swore they would hate. It was a hit with everyone except Moses who ate too much and decided maybe he didn't like cheese cake that much after all.


One year ago, the fast Sunday after Moses was baptized, he planned to bear his testimony in Sacrament meeting, but he'd been sick earlier in the week and then got a bloody nose right after the Sacrament. In the end, it was too much for him; he didn't get up.

Today he also planned to bear his testimony. He'd also been sick. He also got a bloody nose (but before the Sacrament), but he hurried back and was so determined, he was one of the first people up. (He spoke about reading the scriptures). I think he plans to start bearing his testimony every month, which is fine with me. We're moving to Portugal in a few months and the branch we're moving into is so small, it's actually a group. We're all going to be bearing our testimonies every month just to fill up the meeting.


As part of our Portuguese practice we've been doing our morning scripture memorization in Portuguese. Herbie memorized 2 Nephi 2:25 in Portuguese in a few days, which is no surprise. Even I got that one. Same for James 1:5. It took him a bit longer for the Sacrament prayer (Moroni 4:3), but I was amazed to hear when he did have it memorized. I can barely tell where one word ends or the other starts.


We had a cold blow through this week. (Well for everyone, but Archie. His was lingering.) Herbie got it first. He came home from school, crawled under a blanket on the bean bag and started crying because he said Archie was making fun of him. (I don't know what that looked like; I missed it.) But never fear! Linus to the rescue! Linus pulled an unused birthday package from school out of his backpack and gifted it to Herbie. Herbie was so touched, he pulled out the little note book and started writing nice notes for his brothers and sisters. Everyone ended up happy.


Archie has been sick the most. Everyone else had about one bad day, but Archie has had several. Really, we're sorry he's sick, but it's also just so cute. He does everything slowly and he falls asleep on us and he says nonsensical things in his high, sick voice. Like--
Archie: Mom, my favorite food is blood and boogers.  
And--
Archie: Mom, I want a pumpkin for Christmas.

Ruby has been like the little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. One minute she's picking out Archie's clothes and helping him dress for church, the next she's poking Linus into a fit of rage with her hair brush. One minute she's shoveling the front walk without anyone asking, the next she's barking out contentious, contrary remarks to anything anyone says. I'm guessing this is normal, right? For her age? It seems like I've heard about this kind of thing before...


Penelope loves Skip Bo. The first time we ever let her play (a few months ago), she won. She was so excited. And then even more excited when someone read the box and told her the game is for 7-107 year olds. ("I won and I'm not even 7!") And ever since then, it's been like it's her game. It's something she, Herbie and Moses often enjoy together, which makes me happy.


Woo's been busying typing those computer keys. He released a new ooTunes update and enjoyed a large uptick in sales. Really, he was just so happy to get an update out. It had been a long time. Like years. Of course, there were some people who have old phones Apple won't even let him test on, that were unhappy and had to make their displeasure felt. That soured his sense of accomplishment.


Also, he's made this handy Book of Mormon app for the kids and I, which has Portuguese on one side, English on the other. It's helpful now, but he has big dreams of being able to highlight a word on one side and the corresponding word on the other lighting up. The app does that already with a few words and the kids are excited when they find them.

Thanks to the exercise bike, my fitness level is improving. I know it's not for everyone, but I seem to be okay at settling into some really boring exercise (a few hundred laps back and forth across the pool anyone?) where I can just concentrate on beating the clock. Also, I've begun to tackle the visa tangle. Well, most of it. Woo will have to do some. Hopefully, it won't be too onerous.

Well, that's it for our week. Hope yours was great!

***************************************

Testimony Below:

I don't remember why, but on January 8, 2015, I decided to follow President Eyring's example and spend a minute or two each night writing down the blessings of the day. Here in my phone.

One night, a few weeks ago, I had kind of a rough day, and as I was writing down my blessings, I had the impression to read what I had written for the same time period one or two years before.

And when I'd read what I'd written back then I started to cry because I recognized how much I was being blessed. Even though I'd only written down blessings, I could remember how hard those days were and the comfort that my Heavenly Father had given me through prayer or through the scriptures.
There were probably ten things from last year or the year before that I don't deal with at all anymore. My Heavenly Father has delivered me from them just like He had said that He would. And I had already forgotten.

I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and is blessing me and that writing it down helps me to remember.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

2.27.2017

Christmas in February


We spent a large chunk of President's Day in the church so Moses and Linus could play with their ninja turtles on a large floor space, and everyone else could run around and play and find left behind treasures.


Herbie ran shuttle-runs with me. He needs less warm up than I do, but has less endurance, so by the third one we were at the same speed and he mysteriously slipped and then was done. Which was sad. I wish he'd done more with me.

Woo: Do you still play with [boy]?
Herbie: No. He plays football.
Woo: Why not? Don't you play football?
Herbie: I do, but he always starts a fight.
Woo: Why?
Herbie: He says I come late and always start on the winning team.
(Woo and I smile at each other)
Woo: That... sounds plausible.


Ruby found her first temple names this week on FamilySearch. She was pretty excited. About a month ago I kept being reminded of this promise of Elder Renlund's, and I was *almost* there, but not quite. I needed to teach others. I wasn't quite sure how to help the kids (my builtin students), since I still don't think they can do what I'm doing.

But there was a 5-step instruction list in the Ensign; we went over it together and Ruby ran with it. She actually didn't find anything for a couple weeks, just enjoyed looking at dates and pictures (like Herbie and Moses who found someone in our line dating back to 315 a.d.), but this week was the lucky week, and she's on her way.


Linus occasionally will wake up about 15 minutes after he's gone to sleep, complaining of nightmares. Then he goes right back to sleep. I haven't thought too much about it until I witnessed one of his personal bedtime prayers this week. After mentioning one or two other things, he said, "Please bless me to not die in the night. Please bless the house not to burn down. Please bless there to not be a tornado." He had quite the long list, the last two being: "Please bless I don't die of suffocation and please bless I don't die of diabetes."

I didn't even know he knew suffocation and diabetes could kill people! Anyways, I've talked to him about combining that whole list into one blanket plea for safety and spending most of his prayers on more positive subjects, and so far, so good. No nightmares.


Through a series of unfortunate events (for others), I ended up teaching an hour of kindergarten this week, which was waaaaaay easier than I ever imagined. I was imagining kids hanging off chandeliers or something, but it was actually a lot of fun. It definitely brightened my day. Those kindergarten teachers are lucky people.


Moses unearthed a Christmas present he'd never really gotten into earlier, but is actually a lot of fun for him--his snap circuit electronics kit. All the kids were fascinated. And when a belated Christmas bonanza came in the mail, most the kids declared they wanted "Snap Circuits!"


The scouts had a carnival for their Blue and Gold banquet (Ruby and Moses showed up late and soaking wet after running blocks in the rain to pick up a friend), and after the opening prayer I suddenly found myself completely kidless.


Penelope had sprinted to the face painting booth (she knew what was up, the line ended up being loooooong, and she was the first person in it), and Woo took Archie under his arm to shoot gliders. Other kids ran to the cotton candy or popcorn and I was left alone. It was a little disorienting.

Penelope is still working hard on all the early readers we have. She often reads to Archie or just by herself. I'm happy to see her so excited about it.

And also, Archie thinks Tupperware is called "templeware."


We had a couple days of snow and Woo went snowboarding again. The snow was practically perfect, but his day was not since the resort was really crowded and he no longer has a beard to protect his face from the cold.

In closing, here's an old picture of kindergarten Lyndy. Happy Birthday, Lynds!


Love,
Chelsey