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I've really been itching to read some novels lately, so I decided to do something new for my birthday this year -- a week long reading binge. Of course, it couldn't really be a complete binge, I have people I need to keep alive and give attention too, but I got a tall stack of highly recommended books from the library, and planned to lose myself in a book in my spare time. I started out strong, reading 5 books in 2.5 days, and loving every minute of it. (How is it that I've never read Jane Austen's Persuasion before??) But I got bogged down by the beginning of Code Name Verity, and although, I finished it, I didn't find it to be as amazing as everyone else did. And then I was done, ready to return to my usual life. I didn't make it a week, but I got enough reading in to be satiated.

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Herbie was an elephant in the 1st grade opera. They must've learned something from last year because the operas were shorter, and much more enjoyable for everyone. The kids definitely peter out at about the 10 minute mark, and probably most of the audience too.

One night I overheard Herbie praying by himself. I couldn't hear most of what he said, but I could tell that he was praying, and he went on for quite awhile. I did finally hear some words clearly, and heard him pray about something that is definitely important to him. I love that he prays on his own about his concerns.

I also love when he gets sent up to his room to cool off, and a slow, brooding melody from the concertina or harmonica drifts down to us.
Herbie (explaining the facts to his little brothers):  
Ginger ale is made of gingerbread.  
And ale. 
Which is water.
little boy elephant costume instagram

Herbie, it appears, is now capable of sleeping in. Ruby still can not. She doesn't seem to have enough time in the day to do all the reading and paper folding and running around outside and playing with friends and writing stories and building things (and so on) that she would like to do. I'm glad that school will be out soon!

Here she is making origami "claws" and then stacking them to make a surprisingly sturdy sword.

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Moses (on Ruby's arrival at the park): 
We beat you here ruby!! 
We went way TOO fast! 
The police almost pulled us over! 
(seeing Woo laughing) 
I saw a policeman behind us!

Moses: Mom, do you like snakes, 'cause I'm making snakes for you! 
Chelsey: Umm ... I guess. 
Moses (changing his mind?): I hate snakes!

Moses: Mom, we've cleaned up! Can I pick a movie now? 
Me (hoping for some variety): Ok. But, you can't pick Cars. 
Moses (disgusted): I don't even want Cars. 
(But, the mere mention of the word made him reconsider.) 
Why can't we pick Cars??

Ruby and Herbie are usually the ones who give us the correct answers to our random questions, but Moses has been surprising us lately.
Woo: Do you guys know what the most common way to die is? 
(Ruby and Herbie rack their brains.) 
Moses: Getting shot! 
Woo: Good guess, but no. 
Me: That's actually very rare. 
Moses: Getting sick! 
Me: It's a kind of getting sick. 
Moses: A fever? 
Us: No. 
Moses: A heart attack! 
Us: Yes!! Good job, Moses! 
Herbie: I was about to say that.
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One thing I learned this week is that if you have a three year old get something stuck up their nose, they are not going to be much help in getting it out.
Me: Where is it Linus, is it in this nostril? 
Linus: Yes! 
Me (pointing to the opposite nostril): This nostril? 
Linus: Yes! 
Me: Ok. (Trying a different tact) How big was it? (making a circle with my fingers) Was it this big? 
Linus: Yes! 
Me (changing the size of the circle): This big? 
Linus: Yes! 
Me (changing it once again): This big? 
Linus: Yes!
In fact, they won't even tell you that they've stuffed something up there for several days, and you'll realize that that stinky breath you've been smelling is actually coming from their nose. 

I was ready to take him in to the doctor, but steady-hand Woo equipped with his iPhone and tweezers got it out.

Linus is just as helpful in a game of hide-and-seek.
Linus (to Woo): We playing hide and seek. 
Moses (from other room): You can come. 
Linus: Upstairs? 
Moses: Yes. 
Linus (to Woo): Where is Moses?
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Do you remember this dress, Grandma? I think you made it. It's been worn by me, Ruby and now Penelope.

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One of Archie's little quirks is that he does not like his eyes covered. His first few days of life, he wore a little, knit hat. One day he was crying, I walked in the room to see the hat over his eyes. I pulled it off, he took a deep sigh, and settled back down to sleep. 

Because of this Archie is slightly more work than no work during church. I was able to carry the other kids in a covered carseat, while they slept during church, until they were about 6 months old. Archie hates his line of vision to be obstructed, so I can't cover the carseat (unless I want him to cry), and he doesn't sleep during church. He does sit there calmly, but it's not quite as easy as a sleeping baby.
Moses: Mom, why do we think Archie is so CUTE?
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Did you know that Amazon sells Lays potato chips? 

And that they'll ship them for free if you spend at least $15? 

And that they'll get there in just 2 days? 

Woo does.

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