We live in a beautiful place.

Archie's very presence makes every one of us happy. He is just so cute. I can't get enough of kissing his fat cheeks. Woo loves to tickle him. Penelope likes to "read" him stories. Herbie likes to make him laugh with his funny noises. Ruby likes to hold him. Moses and Linus like to chase him and crawl next to him.

Penelope has moved beyond knowing how to talk, and now likes to have a real chat. She sits down with a hymn book and sings the words a few seconds after we do. I overheard her tell Linus, "Linus, it's time to sing!" when he was just sitting through a hymn in church. Also, I discovered this week that not only can she count to 10 perfectly, she can accurately count objects up to about 8.

(Linus making oatmeal)

The kids have been absolutely excellent at picking up their messes and doing their chores. I also lightened my Sunday load quite a bit by assigning each older kid a younger kid to help with breakfast and dress for church. Ruby, Herbie and Moses love getting to help button and pick out clothes for Linus, Penelope and Archie. 

And the little kids love being helped (Well, except Archie. There are things he only wants me to do). I think it's helping their relationship with each other too. 

Linus keeps calling Herbie "best friend" instead of Herbie. I heard Herbie say, "You're my best friend Linus, and also Penelope is my best friend, and Moses is my best friend."

Woo took Linus snowboarding for the first time this year. One of the fun things about doing things with the kids one-on-one is the deep questions they ask. Like this:
Dad, where did Mom find her wife?
Dad, where did you find me?

Moses' lego houses are seriously rivaling mine. Look at all those balconies and turrets and garages. He even attached a pool after this picture was taken.

Ruby has never been one to come for me for hugs, even as a baby, but I've been making a bigger effort seek her out for a hug and kiss. Even though she pretends to hate it, I know she likes it and is touched.

Here was the biggest blight on my week:

How can something be so stimulating for kids and so mind numbing for adults? No one ever told me that one of the hardest sacrifices I'd have to make as a parent would be listening to kids read every single joke from a joke book out loud to me.

And instead of tearing the book into shreds or smashing a potted plant to the ground, like I'd really like to do, I'd instead get to act interested in every single one. 

I hope you appreciate this, Herbie!!!

Well, that's all for our week. Hope you had a good one!