The End

This week was just as busy as the last two, but with the added emotional element of Ruby's teacher collapsing in her pasture Sunday night. We had a lot of hopes and prayers for her, but she was taken off life support and died last night. She was 38.

Ruby graduated from sixth grade and discovered the joys of burning holes in paper with a magnifying glass. She fasted for her teacher and as part of the Leadership Council, got to travel to the principal's home to "heart attack" his house.

Herbie had his class play (He was Paul Revere and also had a drum part because he was one of "only three kids in my class who can keep a beat.") and started a fire for us to roast hotdogs so I could have an easy dinner one night.

Moses came the second I called--every single time. And said, "Okay," immediately after I asked him to do something---every single time. Kind of amazing. He also gave his best friend a Book of Mormon.

Linus finally got his 7-yr-old party. Moses' racing-themed party at the park was so popular and easy, I was glad Linus wanted to do it too. Unfortunately, Linus had spent so much time and energy being excited, he didn't race well, but of course he loved the party anyways.

Penelope spent the morning before her last day of school, looking at the pictures of her class in the yearbook. She started crying when she hugged her kindergarten teacher goodbye and cried the whole bus ride home because she was going to miss her friends.

At one point I had two tiny girls over so their mother could nap and Archie kept saying things like, "Hey! Guys! I'm the oldest one here!" He stepped it up to make sure they both were happy and safe while they played in the backyard.

Woo has been emailing and skyping and facetiming the senior missionary couple in Portugal. They are bending over backwards to help us. They contacted a realtor, toured an apartment for us, visited the school, negotiated the terms of our rental and are in the process of securing our contract. Woo was exuberant after we all got to meet them over Skype on Saturday. We are extremely grateful for them.

I realized by Thursday that I was just plain tired. To confirm that, after the temple, Woo and I bought a large bag of m&ms, two cartons of ice cream and three bags of chips. Thankfully, two things I'd committed to on Thursday and Friday fell through, and I just had to hold out until my last appointment Friday night, and then yay! School is out--this week is over!

Hope your week was great!


Field Trips, Programs and Visas

Another crazy week. Next week *might* be a bit better, and then school is out!!

  • We got sent detailed information about schools in two cities from a very thorough Senior Sister. It was pretty much already clear, but we prayed and picked one.
  • Ruby got a cavity filled.
  • Archie and I met Lyndy, Mom, Tracy, Rachel and Ryssa for a birthday lunch, then we went grocery shopping in the most mind-bogglingly large Costco I've ever been in.
  • By some miracle Herbie earned his Arrow of Light. We didn't believe it was possible when he told us, but I guess he did it?? We certainly weren't on top of things. We were getting ready to read scriptures before leaving when Grandpa Earl walked in the door. Another big surprise for most of us. Woo neglected to tell us he'd invited his parents.
  • Herbie got a cavity filled.
  • I'd planned to have Linus' birthday party this day, but luckily his teacher never got the invites, because it snowed. I sent more invites to school with Linus; his teacher handed them out, and we're good to go for next week.
  • The school double booked us: Herbie's field trip and Moses' patriotic program. Woo: Why do they do that??? Me: I know! It's like they're not expecting anyone to have a kid in every grade...
  • Herbie's practically ready to surf and Moses' program made me a tiny bit sad we'll be missing the Fourth of July.
  • Ruby, Woo and I went to the temple (Ruby did baptisms; we did sealings). The sealer had two sheets of names from the Czech Republic I'd sent into the temple a year ago, so it was cool be able to participate in some of those, as well as our own names. (Which reminds me... on my birthday I also sat next to a woman who was doing a temple name I'd sent in. Too many coincidences to be accidents :)
  • Woo was definitely happy leaving the temple. He skipped, then insisted we stop for ice cream, then danced in the aisle while he picked what he wanted. Ruby gradually got over her embarrassment.
  • We're double booked again! Woo accompanies Moses on his field trip and Archie and I eat lunch with Penelope in the park for hers.
  • We got Woo's visa in the mail! Woo was in Rancho Markets when he got my text and said, "Moses! I got my visa!" The mexican woman nearby smiled, then later asked Woo something about the checkers in Spanish. He said, "No sé."
  • Ruby helped with the Young Women's spaghetti dinner and auction (to raise money for camp). Ruby loves young women's.
  • Woo discovered DELICIOUS sweet corn at Rancho Markets. Quite the surprise this early in the year. This is a blessing for him, because it's his favorite vegetable and pickings will be slim where we're headed.
  • Woo spent Saturday morning speaking only Portuguese. Herbie and I understood a lot. The other kids understood some.
  • Woo and Herbie started another fire in the back yard... I guess it's their goal to burn down all of the old shed before we go? Woo also helped all the kids roast hot dogs over the fire for lunch (I'm vehemently opposed to helping with hot dogs.)

That's it. Hope your week was great!



Wow! What a week! At one point, I was like, "Was my birthday really only a week ago? It feels like a month!"

Maybe I'll just do a list...
  • I invited people over for dinner on one of the busiest weeks of our year... what was I thinking? Actually it went well, wasn't a burden at all because the kids do so much work now, and we all had fun.
  • We got eight people in to see the dentist. (Only two cavities, yay! But unfortunately two more appointments, boo!)
  • Ruby and Herbie competed in the Science Olympiad down at the county fair grounds. Ruby did pattern blocks, Herbie did the egg drop. They both took second place.
  • Afterwards, Woo took Archie (I was sitting in the dentist's chair) to Rancho Markets--our new favorite produce place--and Archie found these "burnt peas."
  • Ruby's Young Women's activity was a special Mother's Day activity, so I got to go with her. We seemed to have bonded over it, because for the day or two afterwards, she was really attached to me and affectionate (for Ruby).
  • One night I was getting the kids settled in bed when it sounded like a helicopter was trying to land on our house. That's because a helicopter was trying to land on our house. Or nearby it. It parked itself two houses down, for an unfortunate incident of domestic violence that ended in a death. We were completely surprised and saddened, of course.
  • We did hear from the Mission President. He didn't recommend a city, but instead told us he was going to immediately dispatch a (native speaking) couple to check out the schools and find a few apartments in the areas to help us make our decision. They'll help us with the deposit, etc. since it's nearly impossible to do without a tax number, which we can't get until we get there.
  • Linus had his Show-n-Teach. He taught his class a few Portuguese phrases, including "Sou canguru!" (I'm a kangaroo!) Then did "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" with them in Portuguese.
  • Woo and I went to the temple. Halfway through the session I looked over at him and he gave me a huge open-mouthed smile. Then he did it again several minutes later. Turns out he'd received some clear revelation: You need to decide to be happy. Walking out of the temple, he gave several, hearty and jovial chuckles, clicked his heels past the fountain and skipped to the car. Me: Well, now you've seen your weakness. In a year or two, it'll be a strength.
  • Penelope had her kindergarten program. She was the best January-sign-holder there! She was so proud... She'd warned us several times beforehand that she would wave to us, but then she was going to keep all her attention on her teacher. Instead, she looked at us with a pleased smile several times, and those were my favorite parts.
  • The kids discovered hole digging. Moses (giving me a hug): I really like to dig holes, Mom. And boy did he ever dig some. He was the main digger, and the deepest (he wanted the spend the night in his biggest hole), but Herbie dug a nice fire pit so he could complete his Arrow of Light. He wrapped a hamburger in tinfoil, stuck it in the coals and voila! he'd cooked something over a fire. Ruby was extremely tired from not sleeping well (end of school excitement?). She was the only one who didn't dig, but stayed in the house and read a book.
  • First thing this morning I told all the kids and Woo, "Happy Mothers Day! Thank you for making me a mother--I love it and I love you!" I got some chocolates (which I shared), some cards, some plants, some clean up after dinner, and a lot of hugs and I love yous.
I think I've hit all the main points. Hope your week was great and Happy Mothers Day!