I'm not sure Woo's ever been elk hunting before, but a neighbor invited him this week, and he went. He did not bring home an elk or even see one, but he did go for a long snowshoe through the mountains, see this cool thing in the snow (no idea how the bird did this),

he managed to freeze his sock to his boot,

and he spent much of the time on the phone dealing with work stuff.  A successful outing, by all accounts.

Tired of pictures of happy kids who are always getting along? Well, here you go.

I'm sure they had their altruistic motives, like this:
Ruby (hitting Penelope's with a plastic hammer): Let me check your reflection, NellPea.
Unfortunately, "Penelope has bad reflection."

Penelope always insists on climbing into huge drifts of snow where I know she's going to get stuck.

Thank goodness Moses is always up for a rescue.

Linus too. One day I found them in the front yard, Penelope on her hands and knees with one bootless foot in the air, Linus trying to dig out her boot and clean the snow off her sock at the same time. Needless to say, I arrived just in time.

More from Linus' dreams:
Linus: I wish I could watch Christmas again in the night.
He also has his upcoming birthday on the brain, and assumes that everyone else does too.
Ruby (referring to her lego creation): I'm lopsided. 
Linus: Are you lopsided for my birfday?! 
Me (the killjoy ... ): Lopsided, Linus. NOT excited.

Herbie told us that There is a Green Hill Far Away is his favorite song after The Iron Rod. I thought this was an interesting choice, and asked him why. He said, "Because it's a Sacrament song, and I want to help pass the Sacrament."

Woo and I reflected for a short time on what a good boy he is, and the next morning read the entries in his school journal. Half of them described how he'd ridden his motorcycle to the lake to meet Woo with the boat or ridden his motorcycle with Grandpa.

Poor Herbie, born into a decidedly anti-gas-guzzling family, several generations strong, where the closest we get to those things are a bike and a canoe.

Here Herbie insisted that Archie was standing all by himself. No one was fooled.

Archie's reached that cute stage where he'll laugh a second or two after everyone else, just because  we're laughing. He'll also "sing" when we do. He's decided that the stairs are his to conquer, and even if he falls down a few to the hard floor below, he'll turn right around and climb back up. I have to keep the door to the stairs closed or a close watch on him to make sure he doesn't get too high without anyone to spot him.

Woo's been showing the kids old home movies and old interviews of themselves in the evenings. Penelope tried to describe a movie of Ruby and Herbie when they were tiny toddlers to me.
Penelope: I saw Ruby, and I saw you, and I saw Dad! 
Me: Where was Penelope? 
Penelope: Uh ... He's sleeping! And Linus sleeping and Etchie!

I almost became the mom of everyone's dreams when I successfully dehydrated a batch of apples and then a batch of bananas this week. But, then I was right back to regular ole me, when I wouldn't let them eat the entire batch in one setting. Our dried apples really are sweet. Almost like candy. (That was for you, Woo :)

One of the reasons Moses was so excited to go to school was because he wanted to learn how to read.  A while ago, he told me he was sad because he couldn't read yet, and so many other kids in his class can. He's really doing fine. He's above where he's supposed to be at this point, but of course, some kids in kindergarten can already read very well, and he sees Ruby and Herbie read. I started making a point to work with him on his reading every day, and have handed him books to read himself that are his level when he has quiet time. I've not been one to try to get my kids reading as early as possible, but I think, more than anything else, it has boosted his confidence in his progress, which is what he mostly needed. 

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