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Last week was dominated by Woo's family reunion and the return of Woo's parents from their mission. This week Ruby and Herbie started school.

We're still trying to get settled, so I'm just going to throw a bunch of pictures at you.

All the good ones were taken by Alisa, Woo's sister. All the second best ones were taken by Woo (He paid me to say that), and all the worst ones are mine.

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We spent one day of the reunion on the lake (jet skis, inflatable toys, sand, etc.) I personally spent exactly one minute in the water, which was enough to get this picture and fool posterity into thinking that I am not a wet blanket.

And no one can even tell that we're only in 6 inches of water.

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Here's the first day of school.

little boys and girls instagram

There can be downsides to letting your kids wear whatever the heck they want.

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I'm hoping that it will turn out alright in the end.

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Woo: Nell-pea, hold Liney's hand!

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Penelope: No!! I hold mine hand!

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This picture makes the source of Archie's worried face seem pretty obvious.

little boys and girls instagram

Penelope got the guts and the skills to ride on the back of the lowrider.

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Herbie: Mom! Pretend this is a wedding picture!


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Woo found someone had already called dibs on a pear in the pear box.

Woo: Ruby! Come take a picture with this pear!

And then don't ever scratch your name in one again.

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Herbie and Moses (especially Herbie) have discovered the joys of riding down stairs.

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Ruby (pointing to some old camping cots in the shed): Mom, can we play with these?

The apricots?

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Herbie (praying): ... and please bless Linus to stop liking Archie so much, so that the rest of us can play with him too ...

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Archie has developed an army crawl that is reminiscent of an inch worm: bum up, wiggle forward, bum up, wiggle forward.

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Moses (praying): ... and please bless that I won't cry.  Or have gas in kindergarten ...

We may or may not have warned him that he (especially) might have to worry about that last one.

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After Herbie's Kindergarten teacher, we hoped that Herbie would get someone the next year who would be more appreciative of his talents. 

But, after his first grade teacher, we decided that we'd rather have someone who didn't swell his head up to the size of a melon. 

As luck would have it, he's being taught this year by a team: his old kindergarten teacher and a newer teacher. The perfect mix?

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We've spent the past 5 days family reunion-ing, and I'm too tired to do anything other than stare at the wall -- see you next week!



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Archie got two teeth this week at exactly the same time. According to Linus he should be talking any day now.

One thing that I think is kind of funny about my kids is that they unanimously and wholeheartedly believe that Archie is the cutest person in the family, then Penelope, and then so on, up the ladder. No one even seems to consider that they should/could be the cutest. The title belongs to the youngest.

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Also, if I'm playing with Archie, no one is whining that I play with them instead. They whine that I'm hogging Archie, and they want a turn.

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Moses gave Linus his too little suit, which caused Ruby to reflect, "You know what's stupid about being oldest? You never get things handed down."

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We went and got school clothes this week. Ruby was surprisingly very excited about three skirts. She loves them because one is camo, one is a plaid that reminds her of a kilt, and one is blue with white stars. (Ruby loves americana.)

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No one has told Penelope that she's supposed to deny these sorts of things ...
Someone: Who stinks?!
Penelope (excited): I do!!

In Penelope's mind "coot"= "fat ba-by"

Penelope: Etchie coot! I coot! Mom-my coot!

Etchie fat ba-by! I fat ba-by! Mom-my fat ba-by!

That last one is maybe going a bridge too far. Also, I notice she doesn't think Woo's a fat ba-by. But, I don't think she's ever said that Woo is coot either.

Me: Are you a tired little girl?
Penelope (glaring): No! I Nell-pea, Mom!

So, yes. Yes you are.

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Herbie had a play date with a friend. When Woo went to pick Herbie up, he was outside flying a kite with his friend's big sister. His friend was playing in the house.

Herbie's always super excited to play with this friend, but I don't think I've ever seen them actually play with each other.  Herbie insists that he and his friend did tons of fun stuff together, and that they like each other a lot. Riiiiiiight.

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Woo has had a fun week. And by fun I mean stressful. One day he worked 12 hours on a problem without making any progress. He later qualified that by saying that he did learned a lot of things that weren't going to work. That's a form of progress.

He's decided not to teach another semester of his online course, so that's one thorn out of his side. It was pretty painful for him there, the last couple of months, I think.

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Linus likes to start all his words with the letter F or a FW. Actually, I think it's all words that start with a consonant blend (You'll have to ask Woo. He's the one who pays the most attention to proper enunciation.)

The one that I giggle about the most is whenever he says, FWOTCH! (That's crotch, and yes, he always seems to be yelling it. You'd be surprised how often it's necessary for him to say, as well.)

One time he kept going on and on about the Fed. We finally figured out he was talking about the sled. Which made a lot more sense.

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Moses begged me to take a couple of naps this week, which I was happy to let him take. We'll see how he does when school starts. I won't lie, I'm a little nervous, but I am excited for him to start kindergarten, mostly because he is so excited.

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He also lost his first lost tooth, and he was very proud, as he should be.



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These pictures are kind of embarrassing because they show the sorry state of our porch. The good news is -- I picked up new porch posts from Lowe's this week. The bad news is -- it was humiliating.

I had Linus, Penelope, and Archie with me, and we waited in the front of the store for our order. An employee wheeled them out, took one look at us, and turned straight around and walked to the back of the store, leaving the posts there in front of us (Bad experience with women and small children??). 

Getting those out to the car along with my cart full of kids was going to be quite the struggle, so I pestered the cashier to see if there was someone who could help me get the posts out to the car.  She corralled a guy passing by, who reluctantly wheeled the posts out behind me.

And this is the part where I fulfilled all their expectations of being a pain in the rear, when I had him throw the posts in the car above the seats, and closed the rear hatch. The top corner of the rear windshield popped out. 

I wasn't actually too worried, since I've done it before, and it popped right back in. No problem. 

In fact, in the heat of the moment, I thought it would be a good idea to pop the entire rear windshield out so the posts could just hang out the back. While I was working on that, the guy said, "I think you should just tie them on top of your car."

Hmmmm. He did have a point there, so we pulled the posts out of the car, deposited them on top of the car, and he practically ran into the store with the cart.

I struggled for a couple of seconds untangling the bungees, ropes, etc. that we have in the car before some wonderful guy waiting for a friend in a car asked me if I needed help. 

Of course, I did. 

He did a fantastic job securing the posts, and I drove a few blocks to secure the rear windshield in it's groove in privacy. (Where another man driving a car load of kids, stopped to see if I needed more help -- I didn't).

I drove home wondering whether the first two guys would've been more helpful in an earlier time, and whether I should've tipped the third guy? But, you do kind of expect better service when you spend hundreds of dollars at a place, even now. Right?

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Linus has still got it. Before Lowe's, we were at the pediatricians, and Linus kept up a steady stream of commentary in a loud whisper. The receptionists and nurses giggled appreciatively at everything he said, and kept muttering, "They are so cute! He is so cute!"

He even bewitched the doctor who had to exclaim, "And this one is SO CUTE!" After Linus had said nothing spectacular, but threw up a charming smile and chuckle after he said it.

Today he walked out of church down the middle of two rows of visiting college girls who were all very appreciative of his knee-high red socks, black cowboy boots, and grey jumpsuit.

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Ruby has spent a lot of time this week climbing the only tree in the yard that she hasn't spent much time in -- our spruce. The branches are very dense, and she's created an "office" up there. One day I came out to call them in for dinner, and she told me she could see the neighbor's pool from where she was. She whispered, "It's beautiful!"

Turns out that spruce tree has lots of sticky sap that's hard to wash and brush out of hair, but it does have kind of a fun sparkle to it.

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little boys and girls instagram

Herbie likes to read mystery books, and then announce that he's "solved" the mystery as he reads the reveal at the end of the book. I like to announce that I've solved the mystery after reading the first chapter in the same books, which always impresses Herbie. He can't figure out how I know. Someday he'll read those books again and find out that his mom wasn't really as smart as she appeared. 

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I thought Moses went to church today in the worst outfit ever (not the same as in this picture). Well, not the worst outfit. That was the outfit he had on before I made him change a few things. I did make him find matching socks after he came down with a bright orange sock and a bright green sock peeking out from his pants. And I did make him change his too short tie that was red and blue (on his grey and orange shirt). But I still wasn't thrilled.

Before we left, I caught two young women pointing at him and talking about how "stylish" he was. What do I know?

One of Penelope's favorite things to say is that "Etchie-bawd coot! Etchie-bawd coot!" Archie is the only thing I've ever heard her describe as cute, but today she came up to me and said, "Shoe coot! Shoe coot!" I asked if she thought her shoes were cute, but no, she was talking about my shoes -- hot pink heels with several layers of ruffles on front. We may finally have a girly-girl?

Archie has now realized that this solid food thing is not going away, and he'll now let me shove whatever mush I want into his mouth, and he'll swallow it. That's not to say that he likes it, necessarily, but I am getting plenty of food into his belly.

Woo's still spending tons of time working for the startup. We did go for a walk Saturday night out to the super-low lake. Lots of wildflowers have grown up all along the beach we went swimming at earlier in the summer. Woo found a giant bouncy ball and broken ski pole where the water used to be. Woo lives for those kinds of finds. And no, I'm not kidding. We followed two young bucks up the trail home. Woo took lots of pictures of them that didn't turn out.

Well, that's all for our week.