It's been fun to have Penelope and Archie running around the house together being buds. In fact, in their back to school blessings, Woo blessed them to be special friends their whole lives, which I thought was sweet. Penelope's definitely the one in charge, and Archie is happy to go along.
Penelope's song: Today is my birthday-- 
Archie: No. It's not. 
Penelope: You say, "Oh! It is! 
Archie: Oh! It is!

Inspecting something on the ground...
Archie: It's a cheed. 
Nellpea (laughing): You don't know what it is. It's a veed not a cheed. 
Archie: Oh, a veed. 
Nellpea: Yeah, to kill bad guys.

Of course, it's not always sunshine and roses. Every once in awhile one will yell at the other, "You're not in the club!" which never fails to produce tears, and sometimes Archie will get really mad and call Penelope a "Mister-head!!" But it never lasts long.

Penelope has been on a magic kick.
Woo: Nellpea, do you remember when we fixed that vacuum today? 
Nellpea: Oh, yes! We didn't even touch anything! It was just out magic!
And when I opened the van door from the keychain both Archie and Penelope gasped.
Nellpea: Mom, did you do that with your powers?
Archie, however, quickly recovered. "I opened that by myself, Mom. I opened that door by myself."

I thought giving Penelope a head start on writing her long name might be in order. She did a great job on the first try, but her efforts quickly dissolved into cursive.

I was in the kitchen making dinner when Herbie yells, "Mom! Nellpea has two matches!!!" What??? "Ok, Nellpea, come here." But it turns out Penelope getting ahead in memory is much more exciting than I would've guessed. "No, not those kind of matches! In the game!"
Archie: Mom, I'm a soccer team! 
Me: Awesome! 
Archie (smiling proudly): Yeah.

Some of you will think this is sad, but I'm kind of proud. Herbie came home and said, "Mom, what's an Xbox? Everyone's always talking about them and I don't even know what one is." Turns out, I couldn't quite explain it either. Woo had to help us out.
Herbie: Mom, what does Oma mean? 
Ruby: I am the Oma and the omego, isn't it?

A friend introduced Ruby to the Ranger's Apprentice series and she has loved them. I read the first one to check them out. I can see why Ruby loves them, it was a fun, quick read, and I came away with the distinct impression that the author was a good man, which I is something I don't ever recall thinking about a book before.

Woo was in charge of organizing Sacrament meeting for the old folks home up here. He enlisted Ruby and Herbie to give talks. Ruby prepared a talk on prayer and Herbie a talk on resurrection this morning (their choice). I think they both enjoyed it.

We picked up some Halloween costumes at Savers one day. Moses found a ninja costume and entertained us all with his special ninja sounds and moves.
Woo: That's a good costume for you, Moses. 
Moses: Yeah, it's good cuz I know karate!!!

The contents of Moses' pocket, which he almost snuck up to bed, if not for a sharp-sighted Woo.

Moses and Linus were in the same school assembly together.
Moses: Who was that kid you were tickling? The one in front of you? 
Linus: Oh, that was Sam. He's funny. 
Me: You were tickling the kid in front of you during an assembly? Did you get in trouble? 
Linus: No. The principal was way back behind us. In the very back. 
Ruby: Did Sam get in trouble? 
Linus: No. The teacher just came and told him to stop or he'd have to move.
Linus meets scented markers for the first time.

After two weeks Linus already knows most the kids in his and the other kindergarten class by name. He's recognized several kids while out and about. He always shouts out their name and says hi. The other kids never seem to know who he is. One even told him he didn't remember Linus in his class. Linus just laughed.

Woo is still not 100%, but he's feeling way, waaay better than he has in weeks. It's been so pleasant to have him back. He's worked hard to get his office put back together and I got to take a trunk load of stuff down to the thrift store (yay!). We even moved our three extra appliances out of the house and into storage in the rental. The house seems really clean now.

He told me he'd get rid of this hard-earned poster off some wall in Portugal, if I took a picture of him with it, but after he saw it again in all it's glory, he just couldn't do it. This one is back in the office.

He also started working on a new project at work, something to do with surveillance cameras, so someone came up to our house this week to set us up with a security system including three cameras, door locks, smoke and CO2 alarms, etc. It's kind of overkill for our house, but Woo's pretty excited about the cameras. He's enjoyed tinkering around with them.

Of course, a nice peaceful week would be too much to ask for Woo. The Mercedes broke down on his way to work. It may be destined for the junk yard since it ran out of oil. Whoops. Neither of us were monitoring that too closely, obviously. But it's been on its last legs in a few other areas as well. I'm glad Woo wasn't hurt, and it turned out okay.

Some of you know that I've been drinking a tablespoon of olive oil every day for almost a year. I could tell something was happening almost immediately--my skin and hair became super smooth and soft. My nails got stronger and grew faster. My joints and muscles moved more smoothly. I felt like a well-oiled machine. After a couple of weeks, my newest wrinkles, in the middle of my cheeks, that I developed while pregnant with Archie went away. It suppressed my appetite--I no longer felt like snacking and eating constantly (which is why I originally started drinking it). And this week I noticed a new benefit. I had sprouted several white hairs at my crown and I'd just let them grow, because well, why not? But a few months ago I plucked them. This week I noticed they're not growing back in white, but my normal hair color or a very light gray. Pretty cool. I had no idea anything like this could happen.

Sorry so long. Hope you had a great week!


I've been lifting pretty heavy the last ten weeks and it's brought back all sorts of weightlifting memories for me, most notably two.

The first is lifting after dinner in the basement with Dad. I mostly remember Tyson being there too, but I think Josey started joining us in the end. Lyndy was too young to be lifting (probably preschool to 1st grade?) and also to be safe around the weights. She stayed upstairs with Mom most of the time. This was back when I was stronger than Tyson (5th and 6th grade?), which bothered Tyson at first... "But she's a girl!" Dad just said, "She's a strong girl." Tyson seemed mollified, but he was still out to get me. He might have passed me now, but we'll never know since we quit lifting together before that ever happened.

We would pull on our bike gloves (gardening gloves do the trick now), lie back on the bench and struggle with our skinny, chicken arms to lift the bar in the air. Dad spotted us and gave encouragement. I seem to remember benching 45 and 55 lbs, but I could be way off.

We also did wall sits. Dad sent Josey to run and get Mom and Lyndy to watch the pinnacle of my wall-sit career--10 minutes; although, I'm not entirely sure it was legal. I eased up a couple of times for a fraction of a second. Dad was probably being generous, as long as I didn't fully stand up and sat down for more.

The other long-forgotten memory is lifting in Wash U's student weight room in the few months I had between nursing Ruby and Herbie being born. I'd wake up early, ride my bike to the school and lift, while Woo got Ruby up for breakfast. I wasn't the only woman in the room, but I was definitely the only extremely pregnant one. I could do almost everything (except sit-ups, obviously) pretty normally, but I eased up on squats after awhile.

I've missed weightlifting. I like it and it's easy to do early in the morning, when you're not 100% awake. I tried to get into it briefly when Penelope was six months or so, but couldn't stick with it because my old weight routine wasn't feasible with my weights at home. But I've found something new that never takes longer than 30 minutes and I can still progress meaningfully with the weights and space I have. Results for women from weight lifting are slow to non-existant at first, but by now I'm starting to see results. For the curious, I've modified this slightly to fit the weights I have.