With blatant disregard for our tax break wishes, Archie refuses to be born in 2012. Instead he shows up in early 2013 and is such a snoozer that he immediately proceeds to sleep through the night. All night, every night. 


Linus spits in the face of ancient mythology. 
Chelsey (reading a story): Thor has a hammer. He uses it to fly.  
Linus: No!! He uses it to get the nails out, Mom! 


Herbie ages 40 years at Arches National Park. 
Herbie (after a night in the tent): My back hurts. 
And ...
Herbie (taking in the desert landscape): I just noticed how dirty it is. 


The last annual Annual Haircut. Too long, too ratty hair incites a revolt against Steven's brilliant, time-saving strategy. 


Steven starts a new job. Now he sits in bed with the laptop for 16 hrs a day, every day. 

Chelsey (interviewing kids for Fathers Day): What does Dad want you to do when you grow up?  
Ruby: Barf all over the house. Get a job. 

On the Fourth, we put the kids to bed at their regular bedtime, wake them up ten minutes before fireworks start, then hustle them right back the second it's over. 


Chelsey refuses to ride (or even think about riding) a wave runner at the family reunion. 


We vehemently object to buying the Happenings Coupon book, or going to the school's fundraising carnival or donating to the PTA or anything even slightly ... Oh, whoops. 

We bought the school t-shirts. 


Penelope repeatedly refuses to be complimented or given a nickname or referred to as anything but Penelope. 
Chelsey: Are you my good, little girl?  
Penelope (crying): No! I NOT good girl! I Nellpea! 


Moses shoots holes in Herbie's iPod arguments. 
Herbie: When will I be old enough to get an iPod?  
Steven: 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! 


Chelsey's brother wins a million dollars on Survivor and her whole family flies out to LA for the finale. Except Chelsey. 

She's too afraid to leave her babies (and her naps) behind. 

Here's to hoping we're more fun next year! 



Favorite Appreciator of Cuteness: Ruby
Ruby: Linus is so cute! Remember when Linus got his hair cut off? He was just so cute! I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror!
Ruby (praying): ... and thank you that Archie could be so, so, so, so, so cute -- so much cuter than this prayer ... 

Favorite Computer Nerd: Woo

After lots of research, pain, and setting alarms early in the morning to place bids (and then missing them), Woo finally bought a projector. 

The projector works best when placed about 4' high right smack in the middle of his office, so he constructed a stand with an old board that juts out of the bookcase into the middle of the room. It worked pretty well, except that Woo often bumped his head on the board and the projector would fall off. But, copious amounts of duct tape later = Voila! Success!

The first thing he did was show the kids a bunch of trials bike clips of Martyn Ashton and Danny MacAskill on YouTube. Herbie kept us well informed of all the tricks he could also do (which happened to be quite a few, if you can believe it). Even Penelope, who can't even ride a balance bike yet, would yell, "I do that!"

I have no idea what this picture is. I found it on his phone the day he went into work this week, so it's certainly computer-nerd related. I just hope it isn't top secret.

Favorite Gingerbread Cookie Eater and 3 ft Ninja: Linus

Favorite Party Organizer and Cookie and Swedish Tea Ring Baker: Grandma

Favorite Christmas Party Theme: Survivor?

Favorite Uncle: Tyson for Penelope, but ...

It's Josey and Brody for Herbie. Thanks for taking him sledding, guys! (No pictures of that, unfortunately.)

Favorite Wranglers Wearer: Moses

Hey, we live in a Podunk town. Moses can wear all the wranglers he wants. 

Favorite Pirate or Bad Guy (the voices are the same): Penelope

Favorite Sound: kids giggling together

Favorite Thumb-sucker: Archie

Don't tell Woo, but Archie's getting pretty accustomed to having a thumb in his mouth.

Favorite Babysitter: Penelope
Me: Penelope, can you watch Archie while I go get the mail? 
Penelope: Yes! Put him in my's lap!

Favorite Hair Dresser: Lyndy (my sister)

She me a great cut that looks good even when I do nothing but wash and brush (Thanks, Lynds!)

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!



The month of November was a rough one for me. I had officially decided that it was the worst month of the year (Sorry, anyone who loves November). I was feeling pretty overworked and underpaid, so to speak. It's a phase probably every mother gets to go through.

But, after my blessing and some reading and prayer, etc, I remembered a few things.

First, my number one job as a mother is not to keep the house clean. My number one job is to love the kids.

Also, my number one job as a mother is not to get the meals on the table. It's to love the kids.

And finally, my number one job as a mother is not to immediately finish/accomplish whatever it is I've started. It's to love the kids.

I had been spending way too much time doing those other things, which let's be honest, are not fun, and were stressing me out. Spending time with the kids is fun.

These are the changes I made:

1. I clean for an hour in the morning. That's it. I spend the rest of Archie's nap hanging out with Moses, Penelope and Linus.

2. I finally got serious about consistently letting kids help me with dinner. The four older kids each have a night a week where they help me. They love, love, love it! I slow down, and let them do everything they're able to do. Herbie sliced carrots of all different widths for our chicken soup. Linus carried the big griddle all the way up from the basement himself (He was so proud!). Ruby flipped all the pancakes. Moses sliced a potato without incident, but I sliced my finger immediately afterwards (whoops :).

3. I've changed my attitude about being interrupted. For example, getting the living room vacuumed is not really that important. I can stop to tie someone's shoelace or pull apart some legos.

I've been doing these for a couple of weeks, and I feel a million times better. I'm not as tired, and I can tell that Moses, Penelope and Linus (especially) are behaving much better. Moses even poured a full gallon of milk this morning all by himself without crying and panicking and insisting that he couldn't.

Ruby, though, I was still having some trouble with Ruby. Wednesday was a bad day, where basically she was the rudest ever, and I was the meanest ever.

In a way it was good, because we had a great talk afterwards where we worked out a plan for her behavior that has worked very well so far. She's been wonderful for 4 straight days, which has not happened since school started, and definitely not at the end of a long week.

Also, it came out that she's been having a lot of trouble with bullies on the bus. I knew that there were a few rough characters, but she was being targeted directly, which would put anyone in a bad mood. She'd been afraid to tell me, probably because she sometimes couldn't stay totally out of the drama and retaliated, but telling me seems to have been a big relief to her. Hopefully, we can help her figure out ways to cope with it.

Some history according to Ruby:
Ruby: I know why Ronald Reagan is famous. 
He's the one who invented Star Wars.  
Me: That's George Lucas, Ruby. 
Ruby: Well, he's the one who was president when the twin towers went down.  
Me: George Bush ...

I always love when the kids see a magic show and later attempt to do all the tricks themselves. Moses did a few for me. They involved turning his back to me and then fumbling around a lot in his pocket and then MAGIC!

Here's an email I wrote to Woo back before Linus turned fantastic.
Linus is mad. He's pinching my hair as hard as he can.
We've been building some good forts over here. Also, the ice rink is open.

Herbie is possibly the most excited of anyone about helping me with dinner. It helps that I recently got a food processor/blender called the Ninja. He loves that thing and chopping/mixing/blending stuff up in it.

The tree is up, and Archie thinks it's for pulling apart.

Linus (and his many admirers ) playing Atari with Woo for his Daddy Day.

P.S. My brother, Tyson, just won Survivor! 

Have a great week!



Me: Do you want more toast Herbie? 
Herbie: No, because it's not healthy. 
And I want to grow taller than you and Dad!
Linus: Mom, Nellpea's tattling! 
Me (not being able to remember Penelope talking to me): Do you know what tattling is, Linus? 
Linus (scowling): No.

Linus: I want you to pick my wife. 
Me: You will pick your wife. It will be fun for you.
You wouldn't want who I would pick anyway. 
Linus (nodding): I want to pick a green woman. 
Me: Why? 
Linus: Cuz. I like green.

Woo (reading): And then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb; and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling, together; and a little child shall lead them. 
Ruby: I'll be friends with a great white shark! 
Linus: I'll be friends with a pig.

Ruby (describing some kid from school): He's kind of a bum in the rear.
Woo: Linus, do you want to pull NellPea? 
Penelope: No!! I want to pull me!

The only thing I can remember Moses saying this week:
Me (trying to help Moses to stop panicking over the tiniest things): What's important, Moses? 
Moses: Jesus. 
Me: Yes. 
Moses: You. And Archie. My family. 
Me: Yes. 
Moses (trying to stump me): Falling in a hole. 
Me: Yes. 
Moses (laughing): No! 
Me: Actually, Moses, if someone falls in a hole I want to know about it.

And Archie is still cute.

Hope you all had a good week!



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  • Moses is sick; he stays home from school.
  • Herbie teaches his favorite "Iron Rod" FHE. It involved turning out all the lights and feeling our way along an old broom stick to a giant pile of laundry (the Tree of Life).
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  • Hotshots Glass comes to replace our windshield.
  • Ruby, Herbie and Moses each have a "tasting party" at school.
  • Woo spends most of the morning trying to figure out where the oxygen converter is.
  • He takes the car to Costco where he has to buy new tires, even though we've only gone 15,000 mi on guaranteed to 40,000 mi tires.
  • Archie eats a ton of squash for dinner. I think it might be his favorite food so far.
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  • Woo wakes up early to work on the car with our neighbor Steve.
  • The kids and I clean the house and pack like madmen.
  • And it's done! Woo fixes the car about 30 minutes before we drive to his sister Alisa's.
  • I go to Zupas with Woo's sisters and mom.
  • Woo feeds the kids lunch and puts the littles down to nap. Linus and Penelope are in the storage room.
  • Linus becomes very attached to a little bell that Alisa ties around his neck on a string.
  • At 10:30 PM Penelope runs upstairs with a giant smile on her face. When we tell her it's not morning, her smile drops. Then turns into tears.
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  • 1:52 AM Moses whispers loudly, "I think it's morning, guys!!"
  • The moving balance beam: the only piece of play ground equipment I can school Woo on.
  • We drive to Woo's parents for dinner. (The check engine light is still off!)
  • We eat lots of food and then pie, and Woo sinks into a coma on the couch.
  • But we have to go. We swing by Alisa's for the potty we forgot, and then on to Veteran's Memorial Park to meet Karen (another sister of Woo's) and family.
  • The kids play on the playground in the cold and the dark.
  • After enough kids have gotten hurt, sprung bloody noses, or sunk to the ground in exhaustion, we say goodbye and drive home.
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  • We all sleep in, and then lay around the living room all morning.
  • I and all the kids take naps.
  • Archie is sick.
  • Woo and Moses take the car in again. It passes!
  • We go to a neighbor's pie party.
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  • Ruby and Herbie want to go running with me. Herbie is done after 3 minutes of warming up. Ruby is done after 2 sprints. They go home, and I finish.
  • The kids watch Harry Potter and eat popcorn.
  • I ride the lowrider all over town trying to deliver the Relief Society newsletter to someone who will print it.
  • Woo tries to get a weeks worth of work done in one day.
  • We start our fast.
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  • Herbie and I make lemon bars that I save in the oven until we're out of church.
  • It is very clear that Linus, Penelope and Archie did not get good naps because Linus scowls all through nursery; Penelope breaks down into a NO!-fest the last 10 minutes of Sacrament meeting, and Archie spends almost all of it out in the foyer with Woo.
  • Ruby bares her testimony.
  • We get home and I scrabble to finish dinner. I turn on the broiler for Woo's garlic bread.
  • Something is burning ... the cookies! Blackened to a crisp. I go lie in bed in defeat, and Woo finishes dinner. He scrapes off the the top of the cookies, and ... they're still edible! Hooray!
The End.

Hope you had a great week and Thanksgiving!