10.18.2010

A Good Week

In our branch in St. Louis we were front-row-joes, and assumed we could do the same thing here. We soon discovered that the 1-4pm meeting time with Sacrament meeting last was going to be a bit more than our kids could handle, and we moved to the back row after a couple of weeks.

This week we sat a couple of rows behind the deacons, and I was reminded why we starting sitting on the front row in the first place. Ruby was absolutely mesmerized, eyes wide open, hands folded under her cheeks, faint smile on her lips as a young woman sang "How Great Thou Art" (it was quite lovely), and was almost equally mesmerized during the entire final talk.

I have a feeling it helped that the final speaker was a striking Polynesian boy recently returned from a mission in Mexico. We passed the Elder and his friends on our way out of the chapel. Ruby totally rubber-necked him, and then clasped a hand over a giggle and ran out the door.
Me: Ruby, why did you do that? Were you thinking to yourself: I'd like a suit just like his? 
Ruby: No! He is so... crazy! His hair is crazy! His skin is crazy! 
Steven: Did you find him... attractive? 
Ruby runs away, and we laugh.

Herbie needs two things every day to be happy. First, he needs enough sleep, and second, he needs to do something meaningful. By meaningful, I mean that he needs to spend a portion of the day doing something that is worthwhile enough that Woo and I spend time doing it.

We're not perfect yet, but Woo and I have made an effort to put him to work whenever we can. I've bulked up chore time in the last week or so, and given Herbie more responsibility.

He's great at sweeping the floor (getting as much in the dustpan as I would), cleaning the sink, the toilet, mopping, unpacking and vacuuming (of course). I recently decided that he and Ruby need to start washing dishes, and will start as soon as I get a couple of child friendly supplies.

Woo tries to give Herbie little jobs whenever he's doing something (Herbie carried 20lb bags of rice into the kitchen for him yesterday), and Herbie always requests mountain biking for his Daddy Day. Partly because he likes it, and partly because it's something Woo does for fun, I think.

I'm starting to think that there really isn't much that he can't do, even though he's only four, and I should take advantage of his willing attitude while it lasts.

Linus has a smile for just about everyone. Now that he recognizes that there are people he doesn't know, he waits a few minutes before warming up to them, but usually rewards them with a smile before too long.

But yesterday he finally met his match. We stopped in the park to chat with our neighbor Brother D--. Linus was in the backpack on Woo's back, and when Brother D-- smiled at him, he burst out crying. There's nothing especially frightening about Brother D-- other than he's old, and has a big smile, big nose, big mustache and big eyebrows, but I think it was mostly that Linus was tired.

Woo tried to move Linus out of view, but he refused to take his eyes off of him, crying afresh whenever Brother D-- smiled. After a few minutes he finally got down to just a lip quiver in response to a smile.

Moses has started a funny bedtime ritual where after we put him to bed he yells, "I'm a baby, Mommy!"

After I respond with, "Good Night, Baby!" he'll settle down, maybe yelling it again one or two more times after a few minutes before he falls asleep.

Occasionally, he'll be a broken record, and won't be pacified by my response, but will still yell, "I'm a baby! Mommy!"

Which inevitably causes Woo to bark, "Be quiet, and go to sleep, Moses!"

On cue, Moses will cry, then yell "I'm a baby!"

I'll say, "Good Night, Baby!" and he'll go to sleep. He's nothing if not predictable.

This week was mostly an organizing week for me. The kids and I spent a lot of time in the basement unpacking food storage and setting up shelves to place what we need to still get.

We met Grandma S at Ikea where I got clothes organizers for mine and Woo's closets and my Christmas/Birthday present from last year. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

It feels so nice to have our closets looking nice. I've finished painting the molding for the picture rail, and hope to put that up in the living room and dining room this week. After that I can start working on the walls in the master bedroom. The insulation is on it's very last legs, and I get to start collecting bids for drywall installation!

Woo got our furnace up and running. It's been quite cold in the mornings now. We originally thought that just the pilot light was out, but it turns out that a hose had been disconnected either by the plumbers or someone else who'd given us a bid. Woo found and fixed the problem after a couple of hours of effort, and we've been enjoying the heat in the mornings.

He's been doing lots more research on solar power after we lost power for a couple of hours today. Even if we just had it as a back up would be nice. He's looking into the idea of putting panels on a pole in the pasture since they could follow the sun, and our roof is partially shaded by the neighbor's huge tree.

Anyway, that's it for this week! Hope everyone had a good week!

10.11.2010

Christmas in October!

K-- and P-- (Woo's sister and brother-in-law for those of you who don't know) came for two days to help us with the insulation. Besides the 3.5 hr drive and P-- taking a day off of work, they also endured the rain, our cold house temperatures, my finicky house rules, and crammed themselves and all five of their kids in the living room for the night. P-- and Woo got a lot done. Thanks, guys!

Feeding 9 kids and 4 adults for several meals (and one including L-- and her kids on their way back to Idaho) was a new experience for me, but went without major incident except for the hasty purchase of sirloin burgers for dinner. K-- and I forgot that running to the store with 9 kids was not going to be easy, and once we were there I just wanted to get out. It isn't the worst mistake I've ever made, since they were quite delicious.

Herbie developed a romance with his cousin A--. She's 3 years older and a foot and a half taller, but those things don't mean anything to Herbie (or maybe added to her attractiveness?). I hypothesized that A-- first caught Herbie's eye when she burst forth from the bathroom wearing her pink leotard and tights, "I wore these here under my clothes!"

But K-- said he had stolen a kiss earlier in the day. He held her hand wherever they went, spent a good part of the afternoon pretending they were married (pretend marriage consists of a lot of dancing in circles, falling to the ground, and dramatic looks), and they both talked about the other in their bedtime prayers.
Me: What was your favorite part about the cousins coming? 
Herbie: When I was pretending to be married to A--. 
J-- (another cousin) brought a few cars that Moses was enthralled with, and played with almost constantly. Almost immediately after K-- and P-- had driven off Moses kept asking when we were going to visit the cousins. Then he wanted to know when they were coming back. He was still at it this morning, and finally on the way to church I clued in.
Moses: When are we going to our cousins' house? 
Me: Moses, do you miss your cousins or do you miss their cars? 
Moses: I miss them's cars. 
Moses also graced A--'s pink leotard dance performance with a loud guffaw and a flattering, "Her's funny!"

While reading a book to Herbie and Moses, I discovered that Linus thinks the word "voomaroom" is really funny. I keep saying it too him just to hear him giggle.

He also likes to hear, "mom, mom, mom, mom, mom," but that just gets me a huge smile, no giggles. 

Linus didn't seem to be at all bothered by the extra people. I just sat him up out of the traffic, and he was quite happy with the entertainment.

Ruby could not have been more thrilled that M-- and T-- were coming to visit, and then later more cousins were staying the night. She loves, loves, loves people, but also doesn't know when to take a break. She was a mess most of today. She really wanted M-- to come to school with her, but was still pretty excited that he got to see her off at the bus stop.

Woo spent A LOT of time this week working on the insulation, and, of course almost constantly while K-- and P-- were here.

Last night he stayed up late writing an app for Ruby to practice her sight words. He was so excited about it (at 3 in the morning), but Ruby didn't even like it, and he's so tired.

He fell asleep while reading the kids a story, and then while listening to their prayers. He vehemently denies falling asleep during his own prayer, but I think he did. He just rededicated himself to getting to bed on time, and then fell asleep.

That is all folks. Hope you had a good week! Talk to you later.