Moneypants Miracle?

I've had a really amazing week in a lot of ways. Woo found this Moneypants Solution that we've been doing for two weeks now and our house is a different place. The kids leave for school and... the dishes are done, counters and tables all wiped and sanitized, bathrooms cleaned, floors all swept, laundry done and put away, bedrooms cleaned, beds made, bedrooms vacuumed, dining room tables wiped off, garbages emptied... in short, they leave a completely clean house. Also, except for Sunday (which is chore free for us), they go to bed leaving a completely clean house.

And the kids are happy to do the work because we're paying them (so they can buy everything we'd already been buying for them before).

I've not lived in this clean of a house since we moved here. It's pretty amazing and really nice. My entire morning has opened up. Penelope and Archie play and I've dejunked, washed walls and now I'm up for painting the back bathroom.

Things are not perfect. We have a few kinks to iron out still, but the whole thing is really encouraging.

After Penelope goes to school, Archie and I go for a run. We still have the single stroller I haven't used since Herbie was a newborn and it still works great (after Woo put a hot wheels dirt bike tire on the front). Archie really liked our runs until he started to fall asleep during every single one. Now he associates them with napping, but I still take him because he needs a nap and this is an easy way to get him to sleep.

Archie whispering to himself while paging through a Book of Mormon in the morning:
The lamanites don't want us to go to church. Jesus wants us to go to the football game. Jesus wants us to go to church. 

Penelope loves school. She has lots of friends (she says everyone in the class is her friend), and is learning.
Penelope: Mom, do you know what I learned? 
Me: What? 
Penelope: I learned that years are longer than months. Because before I always thought months were longer.
(And it's true. She used to get in arguments with her brothers about which was longer. Sometimes it doesn't matter what your parents or siblings tell you; you'll only believe your teacher. Grrr... )

Penelope bought her own journal and colored pencil with some of her earnings, and it's her favorite at home activity (besides riding her bike). She likes to sing while "writing" in her journal.
Songs like:
Whenever I hear the song of a bird (from "I know Heavenly Father Loves Me"),
I run outside and catch the bird! (NOT from "I know Heavenly Father Loves Me.")
Linus is a natural at this Moneypants thing. He seems to already know everything we're trying to teach the other kids. He always does his best job on his chore. He always finishes before the timer goes off, in fact he loves doing it and sometimes starts early. He doesn't want to spend his free money on anything; he wants to save it to buy something bigger. He knows how to keep things (like his bed and room) clean so he has less work later. And he's the only kid who's never had anything collected by me for being left around the house that he has to buy back later.

Moses is doing all of our laundry. The entire family's laundry, and he's going to do it for a year. He's really gotten the hang of folding blankets. They look fantastic up there in their shelves. Socks though, he doesn't seem to see socks. This is something we need to improve. He's been spending his free money on Pokemon cards. He carries his money and cards around with him constantly and he's very attached to both of them.

Herbie has always loved work, but he feels more responsible being in charge of everything to do with the dishes, and the counters, stoves and small appliances. The home teachers brought over a microwave today as part of an object lesson and Herbie immediately jumped up to clean it because "cleaning the microwave is my job!" He wiped the whole outside and got something unstuck from off the top, but we stopped him before he went to work on the inside. The home teachers will have to do that themselves.

Ruby came home very excited one day because she'd been chosen to be on the school's Leadership Council. This is something she had carefully filled out an application for, submitted with her transcript and prayed that she'd be able to do. I said a few prayers for her as well, since it seemed like a great opportunity for her to build on her talents.  They had me at the duty--welcoming new kids to school and helping them feel comfortable at lunch and recess.

Also Ruby sure loved President Uchtdorf's talk last night. First off, it was President Uchtdorf, secondly, he talked about meeting Harriet, thirdly, missionaries were involved.

Woo got us all out for a fall hike to look at the leaves. The kids HATED it... they were so cranky, until we stopped by a wash full of rocks. Suddenly, everyone had their favorites, that they never wanted to leave, or must take home, or must visit again soon. Woo took a few pictures for memories, but the rocks had to stay.

Also, Woo was thrilled to have our first bumper apple crop--a whole box!

That is all!