Last week I got to substitute Linus' Primary class. I found the lesson (thank you, Gospel Library App!) and Woo got Linus in the mood for the lesson by taking his picture and annoying him.

The lesson was called Being Grateful For Fish, which seemed kind of ridiculous until I got into it, and realized it was really a lesson on the creation and the beauty and diversity on earth. Linus ended up enjoying it.

Archie was a good student too.

We played Mother May I one evening. Linus did great when I was calling the shots, but when it was Herbie's turn he got kind of confused.

Before Herbie could even said anything Linus asked, "Brother? May me?"

And then he said, "May I, brother?" to Ruby.

The world would be a much better place if there were more robots.
Moses: I wish we had robots to clean all this mess! 
I'm going to invent robots, and they could clean super fast!
And even better if all parents were robots.
Moses: And they could let us sleep in and not make us miss the bus! 
Woo: Why couldn't you just be raised completely by robots?  
I bet those robots give nice warm hugs.  
Moses: And when we were super bad they'd give us tons of candy!!  
AND when we were good!!!
A boy can dream, I guess. In the meantime we'll be stocking up on Kit-Kats. I wouldn't want anyone to be allergic to anything.
Moses: I'm allergic to chocolate. The only chocolate I'm not allergic to is Kit-Kats.

Penelope is still ridiculous.
Woo: Penelope, go give yourself three spankings! 
Penelope: No! I not! 
Woo: Ok, Penelope, go take yourself upstairs! 
Penelope: No! I not! 
Woo: Ok, Penelope, go eat a cookie! 
Penelope: No! I not!
I can barely leave the house, or take Archie upstairs for a nap, she has to give us so many hugs. This is the message  I got from Woo, the last time I left the house:
Did you hear Penelope run for one more hug and burst into tears when you left? Apparently the 3 right before weren't enough ...
Here's Penelope carrying her baby in the baby carrier. She almost tipped over backwards a couple of times.

Woo worked some, and he snowboarded some.

Herbie is really, really into all the Frozen songs (like every other kid/person in America?). He sings them all the time, and corrects any of the rest of the kids who don't know the words exactly. The songs alone were the best part of the movie for him. I think he might be our most musical kid, actually.

Ruby got a keyboard to practice her new piano skills on. Woo originally thought he would take her over to the church to practice, but that lasted once. Maybe twice. 

I don't know if you can tell from the picture above, but she snipped another chunk out of her bangs on a dare from some kids in school. That's three times for her.

Well, that's all. Hope you have a great week!


KIDS ...

You probably can't tell from this picture, but Ruby is wearing two pillow cases over her feet, and she's pulled the tops clear up to her waist so that they poke out of her pants. This was her ingenious solution to keep her legs from aching, and I think it worked, because she kicked them all over while I was trying to take a picture, and we never heard about the aches again.

Ruby had two piano lessons this week, which she loved, and she also started doing something strange. She spent about 5 minutes carefully combing her hair in front of the mirror before going each time. This is the only time she has ever cared about tangles being in her hair.

Here's Herbie with his homemade kendama, which, according to Ruby, qualifies him to roam around with the kendama gang at recess. It's made from a broken piece of a snowball shooter, and a plastic ball from one of Archie's toys. Woo is thrilled with his creativity, but we're still planning on getting him a real kendama for his birthday soon (unless they're already out of style or outlawed by the school and he changes his mind).

I got to sit with the kids in Primary on Sunday. The teacher held up a picture of the Salt Lake temple and asked why temples were such sacred places.

There were a few other (more accurate answers; although, his wasn't completely wrong) before Herbie raised his hand.

Herbie: Because the pioneers built it.
Teacher: Yes. And I think it even took them sixty years to build it --
Herbie (interrupting in his know-it-all voice): No, it was forty.

And he was right. He'd read it somewhere.

I also forgot to mention that Herbie likes to rake leaves for fun. When the kids are out playing, he'll get the rakes out and enlist Moses or Linus into helping him rake up a pile or two.

Moses: I know where earthquakes come from.  
Us: Where?  
Moses: The right! 
Cuz meteorite--right!  
Woo: I can't wait to see your science fair entries...

Linus was super excited to teach his first Family Home Evening, which was on Jesus loving children.

On another day he asked me:
Linus: Mom, how old was Etchie when he was one?

Ever since we prayed for our hurt neighbor and for the doctors attending him, Penelope has added a "Please help doctors feel better," to her prayers.

Which is ridiculous because everyone knows doctors don't need to feel better.

Here's Archie performing the all important job of pulling all of the dirty laundry out of the basket and onto the floor.

He also does good work for us pulling all of his clothes out of the drawer. Or all of the toys out of the cupboard. Or all of the rags out from under the sink ...

Anyway, that's it for the week. Hope you had a good one!



This weather this week was cold every morning, and lovely every afternoon and evening. One evening the kids talked me into eating dinner outside. Another we all went for a bike ride to the beach. The temperature was in the 50s, I think, which is of course warm enough to tear off of your shoes, socks and shirts and wade in melted ice water.

There was a lot of good rock throwing going on. I think kids (and men?) could throw rocks into water for hours. Moses told us this was the best day ever. He and Herbie asked me every day about getting the shorts out, but it's too soon. It'll snow again.

Around here kids sometimes have to wait for the things they want.
Moses: Mom! Can you take my temperature yet? You said you would do it last week!
It was just as I suspected -- normal.

I held my hand up to give Moses high five after he finished unloading the dishwasher, but he wanted to knock knuckles first. We missed. Then we tried like five times to slap each other's hands without any success.
Woo (watching us): You guys are really cool. I can tell.
Herbie (rubbing his knee or something): Mom, I'm hurt.
Me: What's wrong?
Woo: Arthritis.
Herbie just looks at him confused.
Woo: Menopause, right Herbie?
Menopause got you down?
Herbie hops on his bike and sprints away, not that hurt after all.

Linus has taken the time change the hardest. He's been super mad, even going so far as to call me, "You ... MISTER!!" and having scary dreams that he likes to brag about in the morning.
Linus: Mom! The first scary thing I saw was a tiger-snake!
Also, he got into his head that we had made some sort of deal that I have no memory of and am pretty sure never happened.
Linus: Mom! Remember to buy me a snowmobile when you go shopping!

Getting Penelope to clean her plate continues to be a challenge, but Woo's had some success creating counting games for her. "Eat three more bites, NellPea! Now one!"

She's a pretty good little counter. Today during church she sat with a book in her lap counting the letters in the title. She got up to 10 correctly, did some number in the teens for the next 5, and then alternated between 16 and 18 for the next 20 letters.

Ruby did end up being the first girl in her class to pass off her multiplication tables. She was really excited. She also wrote a limerick that I thought was quite clever, but didn't write down. The rhyming words were trumpkin, pumpkin and bumpkin, I believe.

Archie thinks we can understand every word he says, and we act like we can. Sometimes he's pretty close. If we ask him something that requires just a yes or no answer, he'll often respond with a one syllable word. Today he rode on Woo's back during our walk. Woo asked him if he'd had fun looking around. Archie pointed into the distance and said, "Gah."

Hope you had a great week!



Fantastic weather (where'd all that snow go??) + tons of sunlight = a Sunday walk.

Which was made slightly more memorable by Linus toppling into the creek. I had a split second to choose between lying outstretched in the mud or hopping in the water myself.

I chose hopping in the water.

Moses: Good thing he was wearing rain boots!
I'm not so sure about that. They trapped air and floated on the top while he was in the water and carted plenty of water home with us on the way back.
Woo: Linus, you're not coming down here by yourself until you're 25. Maybe 26.
Some warm, dry jammies and some time on the heater with Dad, and he was as good as new.

Our home teachers came this week and gave the "You are my hands" lesson. They left several slips of paper for the kids to write down nice things they do and then staple them all together. Linus was really, really excited for this until he realized we would be making a love chain not a love train.

Woo got the bikes out for the first time this year to go deliver invitations to a ward party. Linus kept getting farther and farther behind, until Woo looked back and realized that Linus had picked up his bike and was running with it in his arms, under the mistaken impression that this would help him go faster. I think it's a lesson that all the kids have had to learn, actually.

Woo misses dinner one night a week on the day he goes into work. I let the kids take turns picking what they want for dinner. It usually ends up being stuff like cornbread, cinnamon toast, oranges, scrambled eggs, etc.

Woo gets his requests on other nights -- stuff like homemade guacamole, salsas, asparagus, curries, salads, etc.
Moses (staring at a pile of guacamole on his plate): We have way more delicious stuff when you go to work, Dad.

NellPea spent a large portion of our walk holding "my's own hand!" of course.
NellPea (talking to herself): And Archie is a boy. And Herbie is a boy. And Mosey is a boy ...
Me: Is Ruby a boy?
NellPea: No! He's a girl!

Now that Archie thinks that the stairs are his to conquer, we try to keep that door closed tightly at all times. The problem is that door is quite noisy. The loud squeak of the door opening is inevitably followed by the quick splat, splat, splat of Archie's little hands on the linoleum as he makes a quick break for the stairs before anyone can stop him.

He's also driven Woo to the windowsill to keep Archie's little hands from pounding on the keyboard at inopportune times, snatching the iPhone, yanking the cords, etc.


Herbie is proving himself to be quite dependable. We know he's not going to sneak anything. He's always thrilled to help with anything. He gets along well with the other kids. He doesn't always, but he will often clean his room very well. One time I opened his drawers to find everything neatly organized inside (he did that, not me). I briefly considered marching the whole family up to his room to show them, but instead just mentioned it at dinner.

This week Herbie picked up a free book from the stash his Aunt Moley sent that was actually called, The Annoying Joke Book: How to be Annoying.

Thanks, Aunt Moley.

Ruby hopes to be the first girl in her class to pass off all the multiplication tables (some pesky boys finished on Friday).

She also got "written up" on the bus for not staying in her seat. Sometimes we wish we knew better what happens between Ruby and other kids, because we don't get a very clear picture from what she tells us.

Woo's hair is at a fun length where if he were to say shower at night and then immediately go to sleep on it, it could be pretty crazy in the morning.

That's apparently what happened this morning because this is the text I got from him at his early meeting:
Well, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) burst into laughter when I walked in.
In his defense, he did ask me how it looked before he left, and I said, "I don't know. I don't have my contacts in."

I'm probably not the best wife (or mother) for anyone hoping to avoid getting their hair laughed at anyways.

Well, that's it for our week. Hope yours was great!



Moses had his 6th birthday this week, which I think went well. The only hitch was that we couldn't eat cinnamon rolls like he'd requested (we had homemade strawberry ice cream instead) because we didn't have a working oven, which was the end (???) of a long line of breaking things. It really all starts last week.

Last Week:
  • Washing machine breaks again. 
  • Woo gets pulled over several times for a burnt out tail light. (Every time he replaces the fuse it blows.)
  • I get a head cold which gives me vertigo.
  • I lose a contact.
  • New washing machine part comes in. 
  • Right before Woo needs help lifting the washer, I hurt my back. 
  • Woo fixes it alone.
  • I wash two loads and the washer dies for good.
  • Woo (praying): Please bless everything to quit breaking or being lost.
  • Woo and Linus find us a new washer.
Moses: Where's Dad going?
Me: I think he's going to get a washing machine.
Moses: Maybe he'll get a Lightning McQueen one! 
  • Woo drives into work and hopes he doesn't get pulled over again.
  • Archie is missing. I find him bouncing at an upstairs window -- buzzing his lips at the flashing ambulance lights parked in front of the neighbor's house.
  • The kids and I say lots of prayers.
  • We're relieved to see a living body leave the house on a stretcher, but saddened to see that he is clearly not well. 
  • The kids immediately start recounting all their memories of this neighbor, remember him in all their prayers, and we're lucky to get update texts from other neighbors (It was very iffy there for awhile, but now it looks like he'll make it).
  • I start dinner. 
  • The oven gets hot. Really hot. Too hot. I turn it off. 
  • Dinner isn't done. I place the dish back in the oven hoping there will be enough heat to cook it.
  • The oven is not turning off.  It is getting even hotter. 
  • I unplug the oven and pull out the pyrex dish, which shatters into a million pieces on the stovetop.
  • We eat leftovers.
Herbie: Why does everything keep breaking?
Me: I don't know. Maybe something really good is about to happen.
Moses (jumping in the air): Maybe Jesus is coming?! 

The truth is, even though lots of bad and inconvienient things kept happening this week, I've been filled with a feeling of eager anticipation. I think it's because I keep running into this scripture (Mosiah 7:18-19) in my personal and family scripture study. In my lesson preparation and in my conversations with other people.

I think it is a message to me now:

"O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made.

Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob."

While it's true I'm not under "subjection" to anything too serious. I do have a handful of things (some of which I've struggled under my whole life) that I think many people would find onerous. I do feel blessed that my burdens have been made light, and most of the time I don't even feel them. But I do have a list of about ten things that I would be THRILLED to be free from. Any one of them would be an answer to prayer, and I'm excited to find out which one it will be.

(I also really enjoyed this BYU devotional talk by Elder Bednar, which is somewhat related.)

Herbie: Everyone's a nerd.
Woo: Cool kids aren't nerds.
Herbie: Jesus wasn't a nerd.
Woo: Jesus had to be a nerd ... to understand what we go through.

Ruby had her oral president report this week. She was so excited, she sat down and wrote two pages front and back the second she got home after getting the assignment a month ago. She found her own costume and props. Did absolutely everything on her own and got 103/100. She was assigned Franklin Pierce, who (as everyone knows) was the first president to have a Christmas tree in the white house.

We have a book called something like: I grew up to be President, and it has a couple of pages on every president, their childhood and their presidency. It is definitely one of Ruby, Herbie and Moses' favorite books. They each have spent a great deal of time with it.

(Moses spying on Linus and Penelope with his new spy goggles.)

We were talking about tattling for some reason.
Moses: We can tattle in my class.
Me: Oh, you'll have the lesson soon on what types of tattling your teacher wants to hear and what she doesn't.
Ruby: Well, what your teacher wants to hear is not tattling. That's called reporting.
Moses (nodding gravely): And you can always do iMessage.
(Penelope asked me to take this picture. She felt that putting the truck on the garbage can was quite the accomplishment.)
Penelope: I'm a bad guy!
Woo: I want you to be a good girl.
Penelope: No! I'm a bad guy!
Woo: Ok, be a bad guy.
Penelope (in her bad guy voice): I'm going to the temple! 
(Archie standing in Woo's snowboarding boots)

(Linus made a comfortable bed for himself in the appliance graveyard in the kitchen.)

Well, that's it for our week. I hope you all are doing well!