Woo's septic troubles at the rental are over. He began digging frozen ground on the coldest day of the year and ended pumping blockage in the pouring rain on a day in the 40s. We've had tons of snow and he's done a lot of snowboarding. He was 10 minutes late to Herbie's maturation program because the snow was too great; he didn't want to leave. And Herbie wasn't worried. He was expecting Woo to be late.

I bought an exercise bike, which I'm really excited about. I should've bought one years ago, but for some silly reason or another, I never have. Exercising for the past 12 years has always been fraught with conflict: Can Woo watch the kids? For how long? Do I wake up super early? Run when they're asleep at night? Take kids in a stroller? How many kids? Is it snowing? Raining? Single digits or worse? Are the streets clear? Anyways, no longer do the stars have to align. I can pull the exercise bike out almost any old time and use it. It's been great.

Ruby has been enjoying the regular activities now that she's in Young Women's (she just never had a consistent experience with activity days). And now that Woo's Young Men's secretary, they walk to the church together and back. Woo's the preferable parent for social activities because he likes them and doesn't make you leave early, but this week he stayed too long even for Ruby. She came home alone, freezing (he'd stopped to talk in the road), and Woo came home 2 hours later.

Woo taught FHE on how to pray in Portuguese. We wrote everything up on a large chalkboard he picked up this summer, and Herbie sat in front of it for a few minutes yesterday and memorized all of it. We've been trying to say all our family prayers in Portuguese and Herbie is by the far the best of us non-speakers. He never has to cheat and peek at the board, and I think he also sounds the best (to my untrained ear).

The kids have not been their best the past two weeks. It's been a lot like the weeks after a time change, but worse because I was taken off guard. This week has been slightly better than last, but still frustrating. Moses is a roller coaster. He alternates between telling me he's sick, then running around like a crazy nut. Shouting at someone for holding Ruby's book, then weeping hysterically because "everyone's being mean to me."

Linus lost another tooth this week. He has four empty spaces in his mouth and another is already loose. The first day back from school he came home saying, "I don't care." In a really smug way to everything anyone said, exactly as if he'd learned it from some smart kid at school. He seemed shocked when we pointed that out (as if there was no way we could've known something like that), and hasn't said it since.

The one exception to the crazy kids has been Penelope (and also probably Ruby). She has really been great. Whenever I get frustrated she runs up and says, "I love you, Mom!" In kindergarten they learned about showing initiative, and occasionally she'll run around the house picking things up, or doing things she knows needs to be done, or helping someone with something and says, "I'm doing initiative, Mom!"

The school kids had Friday and Monday off school and Archie has really loved having them all home to play with. He has greater freedom to go out and do stuff, because I don't worry about him as much when he's with the older kids. He's helped them dig out snow forts all over the front yard, and once I peeked out the window to see him wearing our tiniest cross-country skis, skiing (more like walking in his case) after Herbie over snow piles and bumps.

One last notable thing: we had our first moose in the yard. We were all in the house, but the kids immediately started shouting as the moose sauntered past all our windows and finally up our front walk back onto the road.

That's it. Hope you had a great week!