This week Moses fell apart. First he lost a tooth, which he actually asked the dentist to pull for him. We heard his little scream from the waiting room when it happened. Turns out it hurt. I don't know what he was expecting, but it's gone.

Then about two days later, he stood on a deck above me and said, "Mom, will you catch me?" I was in the process of telling him no, when he jumped. And he might have just made it, the deck was only about six feet high, but his shorts caught and tore on a protruding nailhead and he landed hands first.

We thought at first, it might be sprained--it looked ok, he could move everything, there was no swelling--but in the morning, it was pretty clear it was broken. So I took him into the Urgent Care. Two hours later, we walked out to the car, only to have the nurse chase after us. She hadn't even bothered to talk to the doctor? Or find out what was going on? She'd just assumed it was sprained and sent us on our way with a brace. Turns out we needed a temporary cast. After another 45 minutes or so, we were finally able to go.

That temporary cast is driving us nuts. Moses trips and falls on that darn broken arm about five times a day, and it's clear it's pretty painful every single time. We're scared to send him to school with it, where recess and lines full of 6 year olds and walks across grass lie in wait to accost him.

Herbie was the nicest sibling. The evening it happened, he hurried and did his before dinner chore, told Moses he didn't have to do his, set up a soft nest of pillows for him on the coach and placed a bench with a tower of pillows on it next to Moses' place for dinner, then he sat down and read Moses stories. He also later made Moses bed, took down his dirty laundry and helped him dress.

Ruby cried that no one had been that nice to her when she'd broken her arm (which I'm sure plenty of us were, but sometimes it's easy to feel sorry for yourself.)

Speaking of Ruby, she had her unit on cloud types, and is constantly labeling every cloud in the sky for us. I'm sure she'll retain those names a lot longer than I have because of it. I can only remember like two. She also came home from school with a spider in a bottle. She and a few friends had spent their recess catching spiders. I didn't even look at it--just told her it couldn't come in the house. A day or two later, she told me that the spider her friend had brought home was a hobo and her mom had made her flush it down the toilet. I don't think they catch spiders anymore.
Woo (to Ruby): If you could change one thing about your dad, what would it be?
Ruby: President of the United States? Bishop? Prophet?
Doesn't look likely that Woo will ever live up to her expectations.

Linus is currently on a stretch of being very good (it won't last forever, don't worry). He's doing a great job of cleaning up his room and making his bed and picking up other rooms in the house. He likes to "babysit" Archie and "read" books. My other kids tell me that Linus was hilarious in Primary today. When they drew his name in Sharing Time, he jumped up, raced to the front, did a little dance and a cartwheel--all in his little tuxedo with tails.

Penelope has decided that the best time to change her clothes is when she's supposed to be sleeping. Send her up early to put her pajamas on? No, she doesn't want them, but they'll be on the first ten minutes after she's supposed to be lying quietly in bed. Use the potty before naps? No, she doesn't need to go--until everyone is all settled in. Then she needs to GO POTTY! And she can cry loud enough and long enough to prove it.

Archie is learning all the essential little boy words like: car and truck and buttball (It doesn't matter what kind of ball it is, they're all buttballs to him.) He can also say dog, but he prefers to stick out his tongue and pant instead of actually saying the word. He's tries to climb on any bike or skateboard lying around, with very little success.

SpaceMonkey (the startup Woo's been working for) has been bought by Vivint. Working for Vivint, or any big company at all, was not where Woo would've imagined himself a year ago, but things (so far) seem to be pretty close to the same. He still only goes in one day a week, although the commute is about 10 minutes longer each way. Plus we got new t-shirts--and candy--and Woo got a new windbreaker. How could we not be won over???

Well, that's about it. Hope you had a great week. I'm hoping our next week is quieter.



Woo left this for me after I told him of a humiliating social encounter I'd had earlier in the day. And then later that night we listened to a lot of music, trying to help an engaged couple pick out their reception playlist. Listening to lots of music always puts Woo in a good mood and brings back pleasant memories for him, but for me, it usually brings back painful, humiliating ones. 

Almost all of them from the same summer--the summer before I started dating Woo. My roommate Bonnie was either engaged or at least dating her husband, so she was never around. That left my friend, Karly, as my only hope for social interaction. Karly had just moved into a house with a group of cool, artsy girls who literally had a party at their house every night the whole summer. And I thought, well, I can do this. I can be cool--to disastrous results.

One night I went over and there were only about a ten people--much tamer than usual. A game was decided upon where a random song would be played and one person would act out the song or do some interpretive dance alone in the middle of the kitchen. The first person to go was a dance major; she obviously knew what she was doing. And the next and the next. A boy went, who was clearly not a dancer, but was hilarious. And then it was my turn. I stood in the kitchen, everyone looking at me. They started my song. I threw out a few awkward movements and then I had nothing. Absolutely nothing. Everyone was looking at the floor, the wall, the ceiling, anywhere but me. The song finally ended. I think one person went after me, but after that the game was over. The fun was gone. I left soon afterwards.
Me: I don't know what I was thinking. I think I thought it would be lamer for me to refuse to try. 
Woo (barely able to breath): You were wrong.
The summer ends well, because I met a boy at Karly's house who invited me to play Ultimate (which I'm a bit better at than dancing). Woo was there. I went to lots of gigs around town with Karly. Woo was always there, and he was always nice. Plus, some prodding from Tyson and Lyndy and one instance of me doing what I thought a "normal person" would do, and by some miracle, I got myself married.

Anyways, telling Woo that story and realizing it was funny was very cathartic. Maybe after telling him a few dozen more stories, all from that same summer, I'll be able to listen to music without pain again.

After seeing Penelope walk into several houses, spread her arms wide, look up at the ceiling and say, "Oh! My house is a lot bigger than this house!" I realized that she might not be understanding the meanings of bigger and smaller.
Me: NellPell, who's hand is bigger? Mine or yours? 
Penelope: My hand! My hand is much bigger! Your's is smaller!

Linus: Hey Mom! That's a batman sign down there!

Ruby had a swollen eye last week, a swollen upper lip and a rash this week, a migraine the week before--this getting back to school thing is rough on her body (and us).

Woo (greeting me after my run): Archie was a terror!

And he suddenly is. Every second he's got a hand in the flour, or in the oats, or in the garbage. Or he's pulling food off the counters, or out of the fridge. I find him walking out of Woo's office with Woo's wallet or Woo's keys. Or he's standing on the table or the window sills. Or dumping food on the living room carpet.


Woo took the three oldest boys to their annual free football game. Linus had absolutely no idea what was going on. He wanted to know if the players could drive. An important piece of information to help him gauge how old they were. 

Woo accused Herbie of having the smallest bladder in the world. There was a bit of a disagreement before it was decided that Herbie had actually used the potty three times in the hour and a half they were there. Always makes for a fun outing.

Moses is loving first grade. His favorite part is lunch. He comes home every day convinced that he was the best behaved kid in the first grade. I don't think that's entirely true, but I'm not going burst his bubble.

Hope you all had a great week!



One night there was a loud thunderstorm. Linus told me that he had said lots of prayers--that the thunderstorm would go away, that he would be safe, and that he could go back to sleep. I asked him if he said his prayers in his head or out loud. He said out loud. I thought it was so sweet to think of little Linus scared in bed during a thunderstorm, saying his prayers out loud.

The most exciting thing that happened to me this week happened in Walmart. I walked down an empty aisle in Walmart and was followed by three teens. I was suddenly on high alert--very aware of everything they were doing (pretending to look at stuff on the shelves, but mostly keeping tabs on me), and I felt really unsettled. The feeling was so palpable, I almost asked them what they were doing, but the thought entered my head, "Just leave." So I did. I came back and got what I needed later.

Ruby's back-of-the-cardboard-box family history work.

Moses went to school with his crazy hair without incident. I don't think anyone even said anything about it except one kid who thought it was cool. At any rate, I buzzed it all off Monday evening, and there's not enough there for him to be cutting it again anytime soon.

Herbie discovered my Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan of the Apes. He loved it and read parts of it aloud to all the other kids. Good thing there's only about 200 books in that series (Okay, a little over 20). He'll get tired of them before we run out. At least, I've never read them all.

One afternoon, I left Penelope and Archie buckled in the car with Woo, while Linus and I ran in to check the older kids out of school. Penelope wanted to come too and asked "Archie, can you help unbuckle me?" Archie was more than willing to help. He reached over and made some noises. But, if you can believe it, Penelope remained buckled.

Archie has been going to nursery for about two months now. Almost every time we pick him up, they tell us, "He is so good! He is an example to all the other kids!" Way to go, Archie.

Better watch your reading nest, Moses, or Archie's going to steal it.

Ruby: I like the way old people walk.  
Me: Why?  
Ruby: I don't know, look (pointing to an elderly couple pushing a grocery cart). They're just slow. 
Of course, nobody moves as fast as Ruby.

Ruby: Mom, I think you should start a bed and breakfast--just fix up the shack! (In the back pasture) 
Woo: Ye-es ... Welcome to our theme rooms. This one is called Chicken Coop. 
And this one is called Under the Trampoline. You might find it looks quit similar to under the trampoline. Let's hope it doesn't rain.  
This one is called the Back of Our Station Wagon. It's quite romantic once we remove the car seats.  
This one is called Storage Room ...  
And lastly, Archie's Room. If you look to your left you'll see ... Archie.
I hope you all had a great week!



Summer ended this week and we tried to get in all the fun we could in the last few days. First Woo hurt his back.

He insisted on giving me a piggyback on a walk. The first time went ok, but the second time, he felt like I kept getting heavier and heavier, and by the time we were done his back was out. He needed help getting in and out of bed, walking anywhere, dressing, etc.

A friend had invited us to swim in their pool the next day. While I was helping Woo out of the car and  hobble down the to the pool, Moses hopped in and promptly got in about an inch over his head. He was entirely powerless to bob or swim a foot to shallower water. Ruby threw a floatation device that he splashed away. Herbie yelled, than Woo yelled (he could barely move himself). I dropped Archie, the bag and jumped in with my clothes on. I think I've had to hop in for Moses once a summer since he was two, which is more saves than I ever made in my entire lifeguarding career. Gosh, I wish he would learn to swim or at least bob.

We went to the Ogden Temple open house, which was very nice. They didn't have cookies at the end, but they did have a new thing where they took your picture for free at the end. Woo and I both looked better in the first picture that they didn't email us. I promise. Kids still look cute, though.

The school's theme for the year is UP (from the movie), so there were balloons everywhere at back-to-school night. The kids each took at least two home, and in the car Woo said, "We're never going on vacation again."

Me: Why?
Woo: Because 10 balloons in a car is better than DisneyWorld.

We asked Moses if he knew how to get to his classroom from the bus, and he said no. We explained it to him, and he got excited. "I dreamed that last night! I've been dreaming about this my whole life! It's a miracle!!"

As I left Herbie and Moses after kissing them goodnight, I heard Herbie say, "What if nobody wants to be my friend anymore?" Moses answered, "I'll help you make friends. Don't worry, I'll find some people your own age."

The kids are already in that fun adjust-to-school mode. Moses has been sneaking. A lot. He ate a lot of the apricot leather Woo made with his mom, stole mints out of my room, and instead of cleaning his room Saturday morning, cut his hair. I was going to buzz it right away, but Woo suggested we keep it for a couple days, as a consequence. Church went ok, hopefully school does too.

Ruby told me that her eyes went crazy the first day of school, then there were holes in her vision, and her head hurt. She spent some time in the sick room before returning to class, and we decided that she'd had her first migraine. Or the first one we've known for sure. Her teacher told me hers are triggered by lack of sleep, and I'm sure Ruby tossed and turned all night long in anticipation of the first day of school.

Her teacher also told me that a boy from the special needs unit will be spending time in their class specifically because of Ruby. His teachers have noticed how kind and sweet she's been with him, and she'll be able to help when he comes in occasionally.

Penelope finally got the last of her Pretend Birthdays. She tried on her new clothes for us and did a little dance and kicked up her leg behind her for each new outfit. She was most excited for her treats, and has shared generously with all of us. Even Linus who said, "I want a throw up!" when he wanted a fruit roll up.

Here's some random stuff:

Woo (to me): You're beautiful when I'm mad.

Whenever I leave the house for a run, Linus and Penelope storm the backdoor crying, "Don't get run over, Mom!" and "Don't crash!"

Herbie learned to bunny hop three skateboards in a row. (This is the best picture I got, he was moving pretty fast, and most of my pictures just had three skateboards lying there.)

Archie's become pretty handy when I have a piece of trash I need thrown away. He's excited to carry whatever I hand him and walk across the house to deposit in in the garbage can. The only problem is that he also likes to toss in anything he finds on the floor in, and we actually need some of them. Like our shoes.

Overheard ...

Penolope: Where was you born?
Linus: In the bathroom at Idaho.

Me (talking about a man we know writing a book): He's writing an adventure--
Ruby: Like useless?!

It took me a several seconds to realize she was talking about Ulysses again.

Well, that's about it this week. I hope you all had a great one!



We spent a lot of time at the pool this week. The kids had swim lessons, which (as many of you can already guess) was a bit of a waste. Next summer I think I'll just get a pass. I considered it this year, but it would've been asking quite a lot of Archie since he naps from 12-3, and the pool first opens at 12. He'll only be taking a two hour, more flexible nap next year.

The best part of swim lessons was that the last day was a 2 hr party, where all the family was invited to swim, and they periodically had races and prizes between all the different levels. They learned more in that time than all the other lessons put together.

Linus was the very last kid of the lowest level to walk across the shallow end of the pool. He was also the shortest, had the biggest head, and was (in my indisputable opinion) the cutest.

Ruby is one very, very, very competitive girl. It was obvious from the get go that she wanted to win, and she might have too, if she hadn't moved in a diagonal path and covered more distance than anyone else. She got third, and won a few free passes. She got even more towards the end. Enough for us all to go a couple more times to the pool with them.
Ruby: Mom! Did you see me dive off the diving board?!
Me: Yes. And I laughed. And the lifeguard laughed too.
It looked exactly like this except she held her arms straight out in front of her.

Moses is the child that we most fear for his safety. He's fearless, going down all the slides and off the diving board, but not having an ounce of fat on him to help him float. And he has zero feel for even the simplest of things like how to bob.

He looks pretty good here, but the second he tries to kick or move his arms, he goes straight to the bottom.

Herbie doesn't like thrills, or he works up to them slowly, but he likes to work on tamer skills. An older kid taught him how to tread water during the party, and after I showed him the eggbeater kick a little more closely, he can do it. He also is halfway to a flip turn with his underwater somersaults.

Penelope was pretty bored watching the other kids during their lessons. She played with Archie some, asked me to take her to the potty about 10 billion times, and lined flip flops up into neat rows. She loves the water, and is at that scary stage where she'll just jump in and start "drinking" the water if it's a little deep.

Archie was super mad about the water at first, but Woo warmed him up to it. He's still not in love with it, though.

Woo is good at getting the kids to do stuff they don't want to do. Mostly by insisting. It gave me lots of flashbacks of being at the pool as a little girl with Dad. I probably only learned to dive and to swim across the deep end and jump off the diving board and bob in deep water and a bunch of other stuff I was too chicken to do because he insisted.

Woo and I went to a Beck concert this week. We seemed out of place, and not just because we sat on the ground during the entire opening act.

Well, that's about it for the week. Other than Linus yelling, "Hi! Mrs. Apricot!" to our neighbor named Mrs. Endicott. Hope you had a good one!