Over the last few years, I've pared down and I've pared down, until I now have a stress free Christmas. I have to say that I couldn't do it without Amazon. I know I've said this before, but how wonderful is it to spend an evening in my own house picking out presents for the kids and then have them show up on my doorstep 2-7 days later? They come in sturdy, cardboard boxes that I can leave in a pile in my room and the kids can't even get a peek--Wonderful!

Anyways, the point is I feel like I'm really enjoying this Christmas season, and I think that my focus and the family's focus is definitely turned towards Jesus' birth.

I memorized The Living Christ around Thanksgiving, but wanted to recite it for my family. I finally did that this week for FHE. (I do have to say that it never seemed especially revelatory to me, but memorizing it made it a lot more meaningful.) We watched the short YouTube clip He Is The Gift, and put up the tree.

The next night while Woo was at work I let the kids decorate the tree however they liked. Minutes after this picture was taken, Archie pulled the tree down on top of himself, all the kids ran around like nuts, making things worse trying to help, and the tree wouldn't stand up anymore due to all the decorations being concentrated on one side. That was the point where I lost my temper (still not perfect ...).

Here are some random things from the last two weeks:
Me: I don't know computers as well as Dad.  
Linus: You don't?! I do!  
I just get a book and I type, type, type.  
Just like Dad does. 
Oh, Woo. You make it look so easy.

Four things Linus has to say every night after I kiss him goodnight.
  1. I love you and I like you and goodnight!
  2. Will you take me to the potty?
  3. Will you pinch me when you take me to the potty?
  4. Are you staying up?
Linus (announcing the arrival of another Fedex truck): It's a Fedup truck!!
Whenever anyone can't remember something, Linus is quick to yell: 
Ask Jesus! Jesus is the only one who knows. 
He says this because recently he couldn't remember something, prayed, and then suddenly was able to remember it. 
Moses (wearing his fire helmet backwards like a flat brimmed baseball cap): I'm a lazy man.  
Woo: Is that how lazy men wear their hats, Moses?  
Moses: Well, sometimes they wear it like this. (Turns the brim to the side.) 
Moses is very, very motivated by candy. He'll step right up and do a fantastic job on all his chores and cleaning his room just for a little Christmas treat.

He was very proud to show me his math test. Not only because he got 100%, but because (as he carefully turned each page and showed me) it was five pages long and he didn't miss anything.

Last Sunday Penelope suddenly announced that she's Betsy. Betsy has three children: Cheerio (Archie), Archie (a doll) and Chouin (a doll). Actually the doll's names are sometimes Powchin, Bunkbed (a girl), Wowa, John and Konn. 

Betsy does all the important Mom activities like brushing her children's teeth, putting them in bed and putting them on the potty. Penelope sure is lucky to have a younger brother who is such a good sport, and who she can parent in her spare time. Archie will do almost anything she asks--even lie down and pretend to nap. 
Linus: NellPea who are you married to?  
Penelope: Archie. He's my kid.

Woo's bought himself a few toys this week and last. Two new sets of headphones, and his crowning glory--The X11 Hornet. For those of you who don't know, the X11 Hornet is a quadrocopter. We've spent many evenings with the lights off, Woo flying his X11 Hornet up and down the living room and the kids watching, totally transfixed. Woo loves it so much (and the kids have too), that he's ordered almost all of them remote controlled helicopters for Christmas (don't tell them).

Herbie came home from school one day very excited because his friend Brock had made him an elf (as in the Elf on the Shelf). His friend was being very kind to draw him an elf, write out the rules and package it nicely for Herbie, because (according to Herbie) he's the only kid in his class who doesn't have an elf at home spying on him.

Ruby, Moses and Linus immediately colored and cut out elves of their own and placed them in the living room. Herbie made the rules absolutely clear to everyone, and even told the elf the rules of our house, and then (oddly enough) the elves never moved, and everyone forgot about them. 

Archie now does that cute thing where if one of the other kids hurts his feelings, or we tell him he can't do something, he'll bawl all the way to the stairs and up them. Then come down ready to be happy. He's seen the others kids go upstairs crying so often and come down happy that he seems to think it's some magic panacea. And maybe it is.

Ruby went shopping with Grandma Sandy for her birthday last weekend. She was super, super excited and got do some things she'd always dreamed of, but her tyrannical parents were always preventing. Like eating spaghetti with meatballs (Woo hates it, and I've never made it for that reason.) She also got herself some clip-on earrings, and a whole bunch of books--everything Harry Potter.

Well, I think that's it. Hope everyone's enjoying their Christmas!