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We can always find Archie at the foot of the stairs when it's time to go up for naps or bed. I thought he was already understanding the word "upstairs." Woo thinks he just knows the routine. Woo's probably right.

Now that Archie is master of his own position in the house, he has a few places he really likes to frequent. One of his favorites is to crawl really fast into our bedroom when the door is open, and then turn sharply behind it to stay in the corner by the hinges. This makes us nervous, because as you know, little kids and door hinges are a dangerous mix. But so far, Archie has been fine.

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Ruby, however, had a very unfortunate accident today involving a finger and a door in church. It looked pretty bad, but luckily, nothing seems to be broken.

Books from home found smuggled away in Ruby's backpack: Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, Roughing It by Mark Twain, and Mental Toughness Training for Sports by some expert.

That girl has a future.

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram
Moses (in November): Mom, how many minutes until Easter? 
Which apparently led to other deep time-related thoughts ...
Moses: When was the first day of the whole wide world?  
Me: I don't know.  
Moses: Was it 2011?  
Me: No. 
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Me (encouraging Linus to ask Penelope to share with him) ... NellPea likes to be nice ...  
Penelope: No! I not nice!  
(running towards me and crying) Mom! I NOT nice!  
Me: Oh? What are you?  
Penelope: I NellPea! 
Linus' Christmas wish list: Ah, Candy and a Santa Claus, what has a sword and can get bad guys and what is loud. And I want him to hold snowballs and throw snowballs and I will get the snowball. And a big gingerbread man ...
Herbie: When will I be old enough to get an iPod? 
Woo: Probably when you're old enough to have a job.  
Herbie: I know people who have an iPod, but don't have a job.  
Moses: Oh yeah? Well I know people who don't have an iPod and who do their chores!  
Thank you, Moses.
Herbie (full of admiration): He looks like a hip star! 
Is that hipster or rock star, herbie?
Me: Linus what's your new teachers name? 
Linus: I don't know. 
Me (surprised because Penelope knew her name): Really? 
Linus: Oh. Becky!  
Penelope (from next room): No! That's my Becky!
Which reminds me ...
Linus: I like marshmallows! 
Penelope: No! I like marshmallows! 
Penelope (turning to me and crying): Mom! I like marshmallows! 
Me: Penelope, it's ok if more than one person likes marshmallows. 
Penelope (immediately calming down): Oh.
I was trying to get Moses to tell me what kind of donut he'd eaten in his class. He didn't know what they were called, but they were all the same, he said. After a bit of thinking, he said that they were tree donuts, that they had stuff on them like the trees in the front yard. I thought perhaps he was describing sprinkles by way of pine needles, but he said no. It was something sticky.
Me: Oh. Sap? 
Moses: Yes! I had sap donuts!
I had a much better week than last week. Thank goodness my persistent badditude of the last couple of weeks (that I couldn't seem to shake myself) left around the middle of the week thanks to a blessing from Woo (and the blessings from that blessing :).

Woo did not have a better week. Just imagine your car didn't pass safety and inspection for the most frustrating reasons ever, and that you have until the end of the month to get it all taken care of. That about sums it up.

The good news is he was truly thrilled to find and purchase this 25 lb bag of carrots. The kids were almost equally excited.

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Well, I hope you all had a great week!




little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Good-Week-Woo: Woo felt like he had so much free time after he only worked 40 hrs this week that he went to the open house for a 2.9 million dollar home.

Bad-Week-Woo: Woo does not have 2.9 million dollars to spend on a home. Or even 2.9 million dollars at all.

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Good-Week-Chelsey: I read a novel, worked on a fun Christmas surprise for the kids, and volunteered in Moses' class.

Bad-Week-Chelsey: I'm very, very tired. (The kids have still not adjusted to the time change :(

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Good-Week-Ruby: I handed Ruby her talk for the Primary Program and she went off by herself and memorized it in about 10 minutes.

Bad-Week-Ruby: She spent the first half of the Primary Program pinching and tickling Herbie, sticking her entire hand in her mouth to wiggle a tooth, standing backwards during the songs, etc.

Good-Week-Herbie: Despite being under almost constant assault from Ruby, Herbie behaved as if she wasn't even there during the Primary Program.

Bad-Week-Herbie: Herbie loudly sang one line from a Lion King song over and over and over and over and over and over ...

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Good-Week-Moses: Moses went from crying uncontrollably every few days in kindergarten to not crying at all for an entire month. He earned his trip to the store to pick out some candy. Congratulations, Moses!

Bad-Week-Moses: He stayed up way too late stuffing his pajamas full of clothes to make "body guards."

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Good-Week-Linus: Other kids: Thanks for making dinner, Mom! Linus: Thanks for making Herbie, Mom!

Bad-Week-Linus: He started wetting the bed again after the time change.

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Good-Week-Penelope: Penelope makes us all laugh by praying for her brother, "Herbutt."

Bad-Week-Penelope: There's a scratch on her nose that keeps reopening and is just not healing.

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Good-Week-Archie: A playful Archie likes to dive head first into a soft blanket, take a big bite and wiggle his legs up and down.

Bad-Week-Archie: A playful Archie plus a hard floor are not a good mix. Also, we didn't get a single picture of Archie all week :(.

Hope you all had a good week!



little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Ruby and Herbie were super lucky to have both sets of grandparents come eat school lunch with them for Grandparents Day. I wanted it to be a surprise, but those pesky teachers told the kids, and then once Woo's parents came one day, it was pretty easy to guess that my parents would be coming the next. 

Oh well, I think it was still fun for them. 
little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram
Herbie: Grandpa played tag with me and Hunter and Mason and Christian. 
Grandpa was "it" first. 
And he never got anybody.
Is that true??? :)

My mom and dad brought giant cookies to decorate afterwards.

Thank goodness one kid recognized that getting as much candy as possible on there is more important than good design.

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Moses and his pet apple:

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

For FHE we watched the 100 Years of Scouting broadcast. Penelope missed the beginning, but Linus instructed her on everything important that she'd missed.
Linus: You can sit wherever you want, NellPea. 
Penelope: Oh. 
Linus: But if they have American flags, then you have to put your hands on your belly. 
Penelope: Oh. 
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Parts of the broadcast were quite interesting, like when they showed how scouting was during WWII, but I'm not going to lie, Woo and I did our share of eye rolling. But, I think that it was probably perfect for the age group it was intended for because this was Herbie's reaction.
Herbie: I want to be a scout because I want to help. 
I want to help people!
Ruby really wanted to be a scout too. It's too bad there isn't really a good equivalent for girls. I would've liked to have been a scout too. Or at least compete in the pinewood derby.

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We made it through all our tomatoes. We made it through all our cabbage and all our corn and green beans and other fruit, but we have not made it through all of our apples. This is not from any shirking on Woo's part. He eats many, many apples a day and always says something along the lines of, "These apples are so delicious! They are better than/just like candy to me!"

Ruby agrees with him. I do not.

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

One night I made a salad just for Woo: blue cheese, karamata olives, fresh mushrooms, etc. It was NOT a big hit with the kids, except for Penelope. She gobbled her helping right up, and then went on to have thirds or fourths.

And then a couple nights later I made a blue cheese stroganoff, and she would not touch the stuff, but everyone else loved it (maybe because the sauce was mostly cream??).

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Looking good, NellPea!

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Archie is at that age where he should be showing stranger anxiety (10 months), but I haven't really noticed anything. He doesn't let out a peep if anyone strange picks him up, but he will only very rarely smile at someone who is not immediate family.

He is also our only child not terrified of dogs. I give him six months.

little boy and baby girl funny faces instagram

Lots of grunts and heavy breathing coming from the dining room = Archie high-centered on a chair.

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Last night I finished the first draft of a novel. Yes, it's for children, and yes, it's absolutely horrible. But, isn't that what first drafts are for? I like it enough that I'm going to keep plugging away at it. 

And then about an hour later, I got tired and whiney and self-absorbed, only to find out that tens of thousands of Filipinos were dead or displaced or suffering. That was humbling.

When I told the kids about it this morning, they wanted to send money. Moses looked at each coin in his bank carefully to pick out just the right ones to give and just the right ones to keep. I wish I could say he sent the Filipinos his best, but he put his favorite colored ones back in the bank.

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Herbie's prayer tonight: Please bless the Philistines to stop dying, and bless the Philistines to get our money.

(Which reminds me that Linus thinks the pasture is called the password.)

Well, that's all I've got for our week. Hope yours was great!



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I was sitting in church being quiet and reverent (kind of like I've been able to do for the last 25 years), and Moses leaned over, gave me a big thumbs up and whispered, "You're being awesome, Mom!"

Thank you, Moses.

He went on to give several other people thumbs up and compliments because he "wanted to be nice."

He did not compliment Linus who yelled, "NOT Amen!" at the end of the Sacrament prayer. (Yes, he had the glare to match his badittude.)

And then because he'd sure shown us, we let him get up and do whatever the heck he wanted.

Just kidding. He glowered all through the rest of the meeting instead.

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(Moses is a super-storm trooper here, but he also dressed as Super Ironman, and finally settled on Superman for trick-or-treating)

Moses has been a sneak lately, and Herbie has been a tattle-tale.

Herbie: Mom! Moses snuck a carrot to church in his pocket and ate it during Sharing Time!!


Moses: Who's the most ticklish in the whole wide world?
Herbie: Me.
Moses: No, it's Jesus!
Herbie (as if stating a matter of fact): No, Jesus isn't ticklish at all, actually.

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(Ruby as either a German detective or a German spy)

Ruby (smiling proudly after doing an excellent job on her room): I have a talent for cleaning!

And for making a mess ;)

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Yep, that's Penelope dressed as the Hulk. (Linus is a moose.) We let the kids at the costume bin, and that's what Penelope walked away in. My older boys won't wear those muscle-y costumes because they think they look like a woman. So maybe Penelope thought she was dressed as a woman?

Or maybe she just wanted to be the Hulk.

Linus: I want a sandwich with jam!
and onions!
and peanut butter!
Me: Hmmm, interesting.

Me: Is Linus under the chair?
Linus' voice from under the chair: No.

Linus and Ruby working out a trade...
Ruby: Do you want three or six candies?
Linus: Six!
Linus: Actually, I want one hundred!

little boys and girls instagram
little boys and girls instagram

Herbie was so proud and excited to wear my bike jersey and shorts for Halloween. He even got to go on a bike ride with Woo wearing them, but no one could guess what he was dressed up as. Next time we'll have to include the helmet.

little boys and girls instagram

No one could've predicted this, but Halloween + tons of candy + a time change has not the best mix for little kids. We've had our moments of being surrounded by five crazies and/or crankies.

Archie's pretty much the only one we've been able to rely on to act calm and collected. One night after struggling to get everyone (except Archie) to prayer, Woo held Archie in his lap, and spent the bulk of his prayer praising him.

Archie looked over at me, raised his eyebrows and gave me a (rare) giant smile.

I love it when babies act like they know exactly what's going on.

Well, that's all I've got for tonight. I'm going to go lie in bed and relax.
Hope you all had a great week!