We had a nice quiet, summer week, mostly spent hanging out around home. Herbie and Woo did go to scout camp. Which Herbie loved, and best of all, Woo bought him a pocketknife.

Herbie: Mom, you know those toothpicks?
Me: Yeah.
Herbie: Well, I'm not going to ever need any more because my pocketknife has one.

Herbie: Mom, guess what, if I ever need tweezers, I don't need to borrow yours. I can just use my pocket knife.

I didn't point out that we're keeping his pocketknife in our possession except for supervised occasions, and that he can't just use the pocket knife whenever he wants, but he is pretty excited about it, and is massively entertained whenever he does get to use it.

Ruby really wanted a pocketknife, and has been asking for one for quite awhile, so it was a bit of a blow when Herbie came home with one. But she only ever asks me, not Woo, and Woo has now promised to buy her one before we go camping in the Uintahs.

Ruby taught FHE and got to pick the activity.
Woo: We only have five minutes left.
Ruby: Ok --- piggy backs!
Herbie (taking charge): Ok, I can take two kids at a time.

Herbie has also been counting down every single day of summer until school starts again.

I've been excited to further ingrain in my two oldest, my favorite summer break activity, which was reading. I've reserved lots and lots of books from the library, including some of my grade school favorites like The Diamond in the Window and The Three Investigators, and they have just burned through them. Some new favorites for both of them are the Betsy-Tasy books and Tintin. Ruby also really loved Tucket's Travels.

Moses has picked up the habit of chewing on something almost constantly. It's usually paper, but also sometimes little rubber toys like car wheels and the like. One night before putting him to bed, I held my hand under his mouth, and he spit out a dark and gooey wad of some mystery substance that he said was foam from Herbie's football helmet.

Me: Moses, you can't just put any thing in your mouth! You're going to end up getting poisoned! Nothing but food goes in our mouths!
Moses (the next morning): I'm glad I'm still alive. I'm never going to put anything but food into my mouth.

We'll see.

Linus doesn't seem to get heat. Or how to deal with it. He wore a long sleeve shirt, pants and a hoodie out to help Woo mow the lawn. Of course he was sweating. He prefers his darth vader slippers to bare feet and would still be wearing footy pajamas, if we hadn't outlawed it. In fact Woo has outlawed pants and long sleeved shirts for him. He's the only kid we've ever had to coax into shorts and a t-shirt.

Whenever we talk about kids or babies, Penelope still feels she's exempt.
No, I'm a mom!
Woo: Penelope, if you're a mom, who's your baby?
Apparently, this bit of logic had never occurred to her before because she sat in silence for awhile. Then she said slowly: Archie's ... my ... friend ...
Woo: Archie's Mom's baby, Penelope. Who's your baby?
And she didn't really ever come up with a good answer to that.

One of Penelope and Linus' bonding phrases is: Bum-bitty bum, bum, bum! They like to shout it and laugh together, and often Penelope will say: Whinus! Remember bum-bitty bum, bum, bum? And they'll be off.

Archie is still not walking. He will take a four or five steps and then stop. Sometimes he will clap as if he's accomplished something. The more we try to encourage him to do more, the less he does. 18 months is coming up here quick.

He's also developed a "smile" for the camera. This is it:

It did rain one day this week, so the kids got to watch a movie. Luckily, someone gave us this portable DVD player right about the time ours died. And because of the novelty, the kids probably like it better.

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


This is the story I shared several months ago about an experience in our branch in St. Louis. I started off by talking about what Elder Eyring had said about bearing our testimonies in Sacrament meeting to strengthen our children, and then I said this:

Another thing I've been thinking I should get up and talk about -- but haven't had a strong enough kick in the pants until now to actually do -- is share the most memorable times when the Spirit has witnessed to me that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. 

I'll start with the most recent. I was sitting in Relief Society in our inner-city branch in St. Louis. The lesson was being taught by a little lady named Debbie Lancaster. Debbie was a retired junior high band teacher, and walked with a cane. Debbie was a convert and this was the very first time that she had ever taught Relief Society. She read the lesson, which was on Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel, straight from the book. Even her questions were taken straight from the book -- It was an excellent lesson. And at the end of it, Debbie hobbled out with her cane from behind the podium to bare her testimony. She placed two hands on her cane and lifted it up in the air as she said, "Joseph Smith is a prophet of God," bringing her cane down with a thump on the ground at the word "God."

And just as the cane hit, it was like an arrow shot through my heart. A sudden pang of the Spirit that took my breath away and testified to me that Joseph Smith really is a prophet of God. 

I'd like to add my testimony to Debbie's that I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. That Jesus Christ restored His church through him on the earth again.

And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.