We checked out the book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming from the library, which led to this conversation.

Linus: What's our car's name?
Me: It doesn't have a name. What do you want to name it?
Ruby: Red face!
Linus: Um. Uh. Um. Chitty chitty bang bang!
Herbie: Mine would be a football player. My favorite football player. Peyton.
Moses: Red face! (but after looking at Herbie's mad face, he decided to change it to) Peyton!
Moses: The car's name is Peyton Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Red Face!
Ruby: No, Manning.
Herbie: The car's name is Peyton Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Manning.

Speaking of Herbie, he sure likes those Betsy and Tacy books. Is it normal for an eight year old boy to request a book called Betsy's Wedding?

The Adventures of Tintin are also a big hit with everyone. They're probably Moses' favorite. Other than The Amulet books, but he's been banned from them, and can only read others under supervision, since sticking two pages of the last Amulet we got together in the corner. We had a bad experience last summer where we had to buy one slightly torn book and almost had to buy another because of fingerprint smudges, before I talked to the library head. After watching her sand off the smudges in a few seconds and tell us it would only be $2, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

This will probably make all librarians in the audience tear their hair out, but I preformed minor surgery on that Amulet book. It involved holding the stuck pages over a steam source, careful separation with the library card, a light sanding, and finally an ironing of pages. But no fine :).

Mister continues to be the biggest insult the little kids can come up with. Actually, that's not true. It's the biggest insult they're allowed to say (one of the school attending kids taught them butt head, but that will get them in trouble).

Penelope appeared to be having fun pushing all the other kids in the stroller, but then, all of a sudden, she tore out ahead, turned (her face full of rage) and screamed, "You guys are MISTER!"

Linus (tired and cranky and mad at Woo): Mister! Mister -- PINEAPPLE!

Linus: Do you want to see how high I can count?
Us: Yes.
Linus: 1-2-3 ...
He missed 15, which sent the three older kids into a fit of giggles, but Linus kept right on counting. Somehow he got from the 20s to the 50s. Soon he hit 57, then ended with pride at "fifty-eighty!"

The undisputed highest counter of any of our four year olds.

We had some visits this week. Grandma, Bruce and Konn came up for lunch one day. Bruce's walker continues to be a popular ride. Grandma picked up the twisted nail puzzle Kurt sent along for Herbie and Moses, and pulled them apart almost immediately. (It took quite a bit longer to put them back together again.) And Konn gave us all shoulder massages while we ate.

Another day Grandma and Grandpa came up. They brought two boxes of apricots with them, which the kids are just as excited about as candy. Penelope got this track suit from them, which everyone knows is one of the ideal outfits for muscle flexing.

Penelope: Oh! It's a shark!!
Me: Where?
Penelope (pointing to a bird): Way up in the sky!

We discussed Ruby's lesson on David and Goliath with her after church.

Woo: What's your Goliath, Ruby?
Ruby: Nikki. And Colton. Tim (He's in scouts with Herbie.) Brock and Sven ...

And I believe she would've kept going indefinitely, listing every person she'd ever argued with, if we hadn't stopped her to say that Goliath is not necessarily a person.

Here's Ruby in her warpaint.

Usually Ruby is the first name that our baby's say after Mom and Dad, but I haven't heard Archie say it yet. I did hear him say "Moses" twice this week, though.

Archie and Penelope play really well together. It reminds us of a little Ruby and Herbie playing together.

Woo's had one of those weeks, where his mind has focused on solving one riddle, and he's worked day and night until it's done. Which he finished last night -- hooray!

Well, that's all for the week. Hope yours was great!



The best part about Woo's birthday this year was that he spent 5.5 hours of it in meetings. No. The best part was that I woke him up 10 minutes before his alarm went off when all he wanted to do was sleep in. No, no. The best part was that this year his driver's license expired.

We decided to renew mine as well, and we drove to town, got the kids out of the car and into the DMV only to be told that driver's license's are all handled in a special building clear across town. "By the fish and game office," the man in line behind us said, which of course made everything perfectly clear.

When we got there, they tried to spring a new requirement on me (marriage certificate), but luckily they were wrong and I got my license without a hitch. (I didn't even have to take the test!). But Woo's experience went exactly the way he expected it to go. He couldn't sleep at all the night before, and he'd been putting it off as long as possible because he knew there'd be a block on his license due to a ticket he got in Connecticut 13 years ago. It's reared it's ugly head anytime he's ever had to do anything at the DMV, despite having taken care of it at the time.

Just 3 hours on hold later, and he was cleared ... until next time.

Penelope had a great birthday. Three year olds are pretty easy to please (thank goodness). Everyone was excited about the new rocking horse she got.

Me: Are you my little birthday girl?
Penelope: No! I's Dad's birfday girl!!

Me: Nelpea, do you want an M&M?
Penelope: No. I don't like those.
Me: Oh, you don't like those candies?
Penelope: Oh, I do.

I've been going on a declutter rampage this week. Herbie, Moses and Linus were thrilled when I pulled an old armchair into the front yard and started tearing it apart so it would fit in the garbage can.
Moses was good at tearing upholstery off. Herbie was all about the tools, and wanted to use them, whether he actually accomplished anything or not. Linus got hold of a pair of scissors, which he used to cut small scraps of upholstery, and then finally the grass.

Ruby helped me carry a dresser we'd gotten from Alisa out of the living room and up the stairs, and she was actually helpful. I had no idea she was so strong.

Archie is eighteen months and not walking. He did walk the entire length of the living room once. I'm the only one that noticed, and I pretended that I hadn't seen anything. That seemed to help. Every other time he takes a few steps, we all make a big deal of it, and he sits right down and laughs at us.

Every mom knows of the phenomenon of never being able to walk into the bathroom without someone knocking on the door. For posterities sake, I thought I'd list who interrupts me the most frequently.

#1: Woo and Herbie: I rarely go into the bathroom without either a "Are you in the bathroom?" from Woo or a "Mom! Mom!! Mom!!!" from Herbie. He can never seem to figure out that he can't find me because I'm in the bathroom, and that I'll be coming right back out.

#2: Moses or Linus: When it's one of these two it's proceeded by a lot of crying because they've either just gotten hurt or gotten served some injustice.

#3: Ruby, Penelope, Archie: These three seem to be able to go the longest amount of time separated from me, but they still have their moments.

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



We had a fun week filled with events and family visits. First Mom came and helped the kids pick out and plant flowers, which they loved. I ripped up a bit of grass in that area, while they were working, and decided that would be the perfect spot to start a few vegetables -- we'll see how they do.

Mom left a few treats, including one of those giant bags of peanut m&ms, which meant that I ate m&ms exclusively the next day. Good thing I never buy them for myself :).

While I was eating m&ms, Woo spent a day at his parents picking raspberries and making raspberry jam, otherwise I could've counted on him to hide them from me.

The day before the Fourth, Christine and Jon and their kids rolled into town. We had fun in the pool and ate dinner before getting the kids to bed. Nicole spent a large chunk of that time in the bathroom working on her hair. She definitely had the best hair there.

The kids got up in the morning and dressed in their best red, white and blue, which for Herbie meant his cub scout shirt. I wanted to know when he'd planned that, but he told me that he always wears that shirt for the Fourth. There was no debate or planning involved. Before the parade, his den leader rode by and asked him if he wanted to walk in the parade with the flag. He said no, but later when his den walked by, I think he regretted it.

Archie really loved throwing the snaps that Grandma sent along with Woo. All that good rock throwing finally came in handy.

After the parade, we had no real plans until the fireworks, so Jon went on a mt bike ride. The same ride he started at the family reunion last year, but had a much more enjoyable time due to the actual presence of a chain.

Ruby took the liberty of ripping Isaac's training wheels off his bike, and the next thing I knew he was riding around on two wheels with all the other kids.

Penelope taught Sammy the joys of "bum-bitty bum, bum, bum!" They spent a lot of time laughing and being silly together.

Linus decided he'd had enough of Lil' Pinker, and upgraded to the slightly bigger blue bike, which the kids call Lil' Bluer, of course.

We also made a trip to the beach, kids used the water slide, everyone but Christine took a ride on the kiddie train and we BBQed before we headed to the park for fireworks.

Woo declared this picture the best picture of me taken in the last five years. I guess he would know. (Thanks, Jos and Trace for the glasses.)

Penelope was not nearly as scared of the fireworks as we thought she might be, and they put Sammy to sleep.

The next morning Woo took the kids to the park for their annual search for "treasures." Moses found these glasses, which pretty much made him the coolest kid in town. Or maybe it's the cherry stains. Or the ribs. Either way, he's the coolest.

Ruby found a broken camp chair that she insisted she could fix with duct tape. When I refused to allow her to take it home, she countered that I just didn't know how to use duct tape as well as she did.

We made another trip to the beach, where Ben finally got his fill of sand and water.

Through it all we ate A LOT of food. In part because Christine brought enough meat and ice cream treats to feed a small army. Woo declared her salmon the best salmon he's eaten in five years (I'm sensing a five year theme here ... )

Anyways, it was a good holiday and week. Hope you had a great Fourth!