We did a lot this week. I cleaned out the office, which was not too bad. Most of what we thought was mouse poop was actually an old cord to a rock band drum set deteriorating on the floor. Still... we caught three mice and the room isn't well ventilated. Plus,Woo was having an allergic reaction. He's our canary in the coal mine. I cleaned and aired out everything, which had the undesired effect of spreading Woo's belongings into other areas of the house. Did I mention we also have a broken washer, broken dryer, two bathroom doors and beadboard for the back bathroom cluttering up the house? Besides all our normal stuff? I've never lived in such a mess. This week has been an exercise in patience in that area alone.

The good news is I was able to get through the entire mountain of backed up laundry (built up while we were waiting for a working washer) and the kids put it away. Also, I was able to impress on the older four kids that if they didn't entirely mess up their rooms every time they changed clothes or got a book, they'd only have to clean up a few things before school instead of an entire room. Their rooms have never been so clean for so long. Also, Woo agreed to go through some of his stuff and get rid of it.

He started with baseball cards. The kids were in heaven. Pretty much all they did Saturday was stack and organize any and all cards Woo tossed their way. And then after dinner, we went outside and Woo taped cards to their bikes to run in their spokes. They were thrilled.

One evening Woo brought home Subway after work and we rode our bikes down into the river bottoms for a little picnic. The kids ran around and climbed trees.
Penelope: Mom am I going to break this tree? 
Me: No, but you're going to ruin your dress. 
Penelope: No!! I want it forever!!!
I managed to go shopping for a few kids' clothes, which with just two kids was easier, but I still had to take both of them to the bathroom and get a drink. Penelope and Archie were fascinated by the automatically flushing toilets. Penelope finally came up with an explanation: Our bums has powers!!

Linus loves kindergarten, but he does not like to talk about it. Asking him questions just annoys him and he says he can't remember everything, but he says that he loves it. It has made him feel very knowledgable and his efforts to educate his younger brother and sister have increased.
Linus: Nellpea, do you know what ankles are?  
Penelope: No.  
Linus: They're these bump things right here. You have one on each leg. 
Linus: Nellpea, there is someone in my class named Elizabeth. 
Penelope: Who is it?  
Linus: Elizabeth.

Ruby requested something pink with owls on it. I did manage to find a pink jacket with an owl on it. It also said: I love nerds. I know I love nerds, but we didn't know what Ruby's reaction would be. She loved it. She immediately put on all her new clothes, wore them to bed, and was up and ready in the morning. She wondered if anyone would even recognize her with her different clothes. I assured her they would.

In fact all the kids were very grateful and appreciative of the new things they got. I felt like a success.

Ruby also gave out two mini Book of Mormons to friends this week. She wrote her testimony (which was very good) in the front and had a positive reaction from both. When we asked her why she did it, she just said that she felt like she should.

Herbie was very excited to take apart Woo's old iMac with him and try to fix it. They weren't successful (soldering iron trouble) but Herbie got his fix-it/dad time. Herbie is excellent at this kind of stuff because he can wait quietly, hold still without touching or hold stuff steady when needed.

Moses had some concerns the first week of school. He said he hated recess because he didn't have any friends to play with. He just walked around the whole time. Woo gave him some very specific advice of what to say and when, and I suggested he pray. He did both, and the next day proudly announced he had one friend. This week he smiled and told us he has three or four that play with him regularly.

Archie always has to comment on his poop after a trip to the potty. Usually the shape is what concerns him. A 'nake, a pen, a mountain, etc. He also associates bad guys with poop.

"Bad guys eat poop! And they drink pee!"

One time I asked him how all that poop had gotten into his belly. He answered, "A bad guy put it there."

Just one last thing I thought was kind of cute. Going through his cards brought back all sorts of old memories and feelings for Woo. One was that he and his friends started a card shop. He found a little note with a plan for how he was going to spend all his profits.
10% Tithing
30% Cards For Me
40% Cards For Shop
20% Supplies (binders and plastic folders and the like)
Interesting to note that one of his card shop co-owners now owns a couple pawn shops in Maine.

Well that's about it. Hope you had a great week!