I'm way more excited than my kids that school is out. Crazy kids. Maybe around junior high they'll come around to my way of thinking ...
Woo: What are you most excited about summer? 
Linus: That I get to go to school when it's over!
Ever since we went to Zions Herbie, Moses and Linus have had a rough time settling down to go to bed. Lots of giggling and whispering, and it was making me so mad!! Especially when they'd be exhausted and cranky the next day. It was the worst part of my day. We'd tried one or two half-hearted things, but mostly had just decided to wait it out. Sleep would catch up to them after a week or so, and they'd be fine. Except it didn't.

Finally, on Sunday, I realized this was a problem that wasn't going to go away. So I said a prayer and opened my scriptures to D&C 3. I read this, "Yet ye should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you ... Except thou do this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no more gift."

I could not for the life of me remember what I wasn't doing anymore that had caused me to lose my "getting-kids-to-sleep" gift. Until I finally did remember that around the start of the year I'd rededicated myself to catching kids doing good, and commenting on any and every good thing I saw them doing. I'd even gone so far as to set an alarm on my phone to go off several times a day and remind me. Well, I'd stopped.

I started back up on Monday and Monday night they settled right down for the first time in over a month, and every night since. It worked so well, I tried the same thing on a problem I'm having with Penelope. But the answer to this one was, "Keeping on trying. It will get better." Something to keep being patient with, I guess.

Nellpea: Archie say "butt!"  
Archie: Butt. 
Nellpea: Archie said a bad word!! 

We've started letting Herbie mow his own patch of lawn, and boy does he love it. He normally runs to scouts early, right after school, but when he saw I was about to mow the lawn, he got everything out, gassed it up, and mowed right up until the time scouts actually starts. Then he made me promise to save the last few strips he didn't get to for when he got back.

Herbie finally got his second pretend birthday. Sometimes it's hard to get a date and time together with Grandma and Grandpa, but they bring the party with them when they come--yay!

Moses had his first grade opera. No one was more thrilled than I that he chose to be a monkey, and we already had a monkey hat. Thanks, Aunt Alisa!

I've made a run to the library and picked up about twenty books in anticipation for summer. Ruby's already finding the most comfortable reading positions imaginable. The kids spent the bulk of an afternoon playing a game Ruby invented where they were orphans (of course), and had just trekked over the mountains after the deaths of their parents to build a home in the pasture.

Linus has a ring and two bracelets, which is not remarkable. What's remarkable is that he STILL has a ring and two bracelets, and he wears them every day, and he hasn't lost them. Linus has a friend he sometimes plays with when his friend stays with his grandma. He got to see him two times this week because his friend's mom had a baby, which turned out to be a bit much. Linus got pretty cranky and unfriend-like that last half-hour or so of the last playdate.

Archie and Woo had a Daddy Day they both enjoyed, throwing light up balls around Woo's office. I could hear a lot of laughing, and when I peeked in to tell them dinner was ready, they both froze and looked at me as if I'd caught them breaking some rule. "I'm having a Daddy Day," Archie said. In the morning he told me all about it again.

Woo loves to look through the kids' end of year portfolios, and they love him to do it. He's genuinely enthused and excited to look at their pictures and stories, and has lots of positive comments for them. Unless he can tell they didn't try their best. Then he's not impressed.

That's all for now. Have a great week!

Here's another random story I shared with my family and my Young Women this week:

Having a new baby is one of those things where you know what's going to happen, everyone's told you, but you don't REALLY know until it happens. Then you're like, "Oh, THIS is what everyone was talking about. Now I understand..."

When I had Ruby I felt like I hadn't slept for weeks. I could never get caught up. One day I got her down for a nap and ran to my own bed. I had just fallen asleep when I heard Ruby cry from her room. I was so tired. I wanted to cry... All I needed was just an hour or two of sleep. Please.

So I started a prayer. I prayed that maybe some great-grandmother of Ruby, someone who loved her, some angel would go into her room and sooth her to sleep...

The answer was: You are the angel I sent to help Ruby.

So I got up and helped her back to sleep. I don't think I ever complained about getting up with a crying baby again (which isn't to say I never complained about anything else :). The end.



There's one thing I've been dreading for the past six months--Moses' 7 yr old birthday party. I've learned a few things from my past failures. 1. Don't plan the party on a holiday weekend. 2. Don't only invite kids of the opposite gender of party kid. 3. Don't plan a water party before June. And so on...

Somehow we hit upon a winning success for Moses' party with a great day and time, great weather and great party idea. We had almost his entire first grade class there. And no one was more excited when it was over than me.

Moses won the monkey bars, not the long jump. And he would've won the 100m Dash, if he hadn't been afraid of breaking the tape.

He came away with an incredible amount of toys and money.
Woo: On one hand, I'm happy for you, Moses... on the other, I'm glad you don't have a party every year.
Woo was in charge of the Father's and Sons campout this year. He made reservations, made the menu, shopped for food, set up, cleaned up, etc. He did find someone else to cook and to speak.
Woo: This is going to be horrible, but the good news is they'll never ask me to do it again.
I'm sure it turned out fine.

Moses also had his first grade Show-n-Teach this week. He taught his class how to stuff their pajamas with clothes and blankets to make "body guards."

Penelope: Mom, is poop a bad word?  
Me (tired of her calling other kids that): Yes.  
Penelope (eyes wide, very serious): I never say that word to anyone. 
(A lie)
Penelope (walking away): I only said that word to the door... I go poop on the potty...  
Penelope (on the stairs, yelling): Mom! Is it ALWAYS a bad word?!
Penelope gave her first talk in Primary today. She did a great job (not perfect, but fine). There was a long pause at the end before I had to remind her to end it, "In the name of ..."
Nellpea: Archie, you want the gorilla kind!? (Vanilla)

What the kids bring home from their Trade Day is always a window into their soul. Ruby brought home a bunch of old pencils, markers, erasers and stuffed animals. Most of it looked like the dumped out contents of somebody's pencil box. She did get a feathered headband for all of her brothers and sister, which they all were excited about.

Herbie had a field trip and his class patriotic program. Holding up the letters A for Abraham Lincoln and V for Valley Forge were his big parts. Herbie NEVER sings any of the songs he learns in school at home, and he never mentions his parts or anything about it. It's always kind of a surprise to see he knows them so well, and seems to be enjoying them.

Linus has started to build some very elaborate creations with his legos and blocks. They're so big, he can't move them, but they look pretty cool on the ground. Snowmobiles, airplanes, boats, trains, trucks and trailers, tractors, and the like seem to what he likes to build. I don't know if he sets out with one of those in mind, or if he decides what it is when he's done.

Archie has been sick most of the week. He's a good sick boy. He does very little crying or whining, just walks around slowly, looking sad. His worst day was the day of Moses' party and he was such a good sport. I'm sure he was totally confused, but he just followed me around the park without complaint until he got to sit down and eat his ice cream.

Well, that's about it!



I love my mom because... she helps me a lot.
My mom makes the best... pancakes.
My favorite thing to do with my mom is... make dinner.
My mom is good at... love.
My mom is as beautiful as... an angel.
My mom teaches me... to be a mom.
My mom loves me because... I am obedient.

I love my mom because... I am awesome.
My mom makes the best... pizza!
My favorite thing to do with my mom is... eat.
My mom is good at... making dinner.
My mom is as beautiful as... ME!
My mom teaches me... the Gospel and awesomeness.
My mom loves me because... I'm awesome.

I love my mom because... she is nice.
My mom makes the best... cookies.
My favorite thing to do with my mom is... to go shopping.
My mom is good at... frisdie.
My mom is as beautiful as... flower.
My mom teaches me... to be like Jesus.
My mom loves me because... she is nice.

I love my mom because... cuz she's pretty.
My mom makes the best... some soup.
My favorite thing to do with my mom is... to go on a walk.
My mom is good at... I don't know.
My mom is as beautiful as... a butterfly.
My mom teaches me... to learn things.
My mom loves me because... I don't know.

I love my mom because... she's my mom.
My mom makes the best... cookies.
My favorite thing to do with my mom is... help make dinner.
My mom is good at... giving hugs.
My mom is as beautiful as... a mom!
My mom teaches me... to pray when I go to sleep.
My mom loves me because... I'm hurt.


Archie did some good scribbling on his paper. Thanks, Archie!

Hope you all had a great Mothers Day!



Moses had a play date. I decided this was a good opportunity to send him by himself to the park. He was nervous, but went as far as the pavilion before he looked back to see me on the porch watching. Then he ran back home. I encouraged him to go again, to go clear to the playground--his friend and his mom were there waiting... So he went again. He came right back, and said they weren't there. I told him he hadn't gone far enough to see, he could ride his bike. So he left again on his bike and stayed.

I texted his friend's mom, who immediately called back. They weren't at the park; they were expecting us at their house, so I piled everyone in the car and picked up Moses, who was waiting all alone outside the park with a very worried expression on his face.

I figure, short of being kidnapped, that's the worst lone trek to the park he's ever going to have, and he made it.

Penelope's lesson in church: Adam and Eden!

Penelope has recently started to say, "Mom! You're the best mom in the whole world!" and then give me a giant smile. She says it so frequently and started so suddenly, it's almost like someone told her to tell me that (like her Primary teacher). I have mixed feelings. It's cute, but I also know I'm not the best mom in the world. Plus, I hate flattery. I'd rather she just tell me she loves me.

Here's the board game Ruby invented and designed. She called it Ichabox.

There has been a marked change in Ruby's behavior the last few weeks. She's had a change of heart of some sort, but I don't know exactly what. I think part of it is picking better friends. Today she was a dream come true.

Ever since kindergarten roundup, Linus has decided that he's one of the "big kids." He now refers to the older kids as "the other big kids," and if I slip up and say "big kids" without including him, he's quick to correct me.

He got a few activity books at the roundup that he's been pouring over. I overheard him praying for help to remember the number 20.

Archie holding a baby his size, but not his age.

Archie is our first child to not tear off socks the second we put them on. He actually ask for clean socks almost every morning. He's also started to say the wrong color on purpose. Some say he's making a joke, but I don't know. It's almost like he's testing us.

Herbie told me that Mormon 3:3 was his favorite scripture, which I thought was an odd choice. Then he told me that after not feeling well one evening and still not feeling well in the morning, he opened his scriptures and that's what he read. When he read about the people not recognizing that the Lord was helping them, he realized he was doing the same thing.

Woo watched the latest Avengers movie at work on Friday, which as a movie was subpar, but as a day at work was pretty awesome. He did some laughing in parts that were not supposed to be laughed at and came home with a giant soda cup that has fascinated every single one of the kids. They all aspire to own a cup like that some day.

I keep running faster and faster. This hasn't happened to me in a long, long time. Every morning I think, I ran pretty far yesterday, I'm not going to be able to beat it. And then I do. It's kind of exciting. I would love to run really fast again.

Also, I have to say that I love living in this beautiful place, where we can go on a lovely walk in all directions the second we step out the door, and where we have such a peaceful yard with a great view, while putting hardly any work into it at all :).

That is all. Hope you had a great week!