The kids were out of school, but the van was in the shop. We couldn't go anywhere, so I decided to try an idea I read years ago... rotations or stations... I think we've settled on "rotations."

Basically, 2 hours of our afternoon are spent by kids rotating through 6 stations for 20 minutes each: khan academy math (by grade level), online library books (twice), drawing or craft, legos, and play doh.

It's worked pretty well. The kids are excited about it, and have asked me to extend each session to 30 minutes, but I think 2 hours total is long enough. It gives their vacation days enough structure to keep everyone satisfied. We've also played soccer at the park as a family in the mornings, and they go back again when all their friends are there before dinner, and chores and meals, and times to do their own thing, of course.

It's worked so well, I realized I've found the solution to our two hours or so on Sunday afternoons where we struggle to keep the kids involved in Sunday activities. Today was our first and not very organized, but these are the stations I have in mind: study The Living Christ, write in journal, read any scripture outside the Book of Mormon, study scriptures about Jesus Christ from the Topical Guide, family history (includes reading my blog for the younger kids), and writing notes, letters or emails to family.

We did finally change our clocks forward Sunday, so even though it's vacation, I don't think a single one of us has slept-in any day. We had a couple nights of Linus and Moses whispering instead of going to sleep and Archie opening his curtains and getting out his toys after being put to bed. I had a few nights of staying up too late myself. Anyway, we all have some annoying cold like thing. Ruby has a headache; Herbie is grouchy; etc. Penelope is probably the only one who seems completely fine.

Our internet stopped working yesterday afternoon. We think we've found a pattern.
Woo: What if our internet problems are as simple as one of our neighbors coming into town for the holiday and switching their internet on? 
And honestly, it seems pretty likely. It's like clockwork.

Luckily, we've been able to watch conference tethering off our Portuguese phone. We're pretty excited for our new prophet and apostles. Our family felt like we'd won some sort of prize when the new apostles were announced. We hadn't speculated at all, but Woo (and his children) always hope for Elder Soares. (He was Woo's mission president for a few months.) And about an hour before conference started, my mind was on some other train of thought, when I suddenly thought "Elder Gong" and texted Woo.

The only reason I think the Holy Ghost would tell me (of all people) anything like that is because I've said several prayers for the new apostles and their wives over the past two weeks. I'd been on a biography kick and had read Spencer W. Kimball's and Hugh B. Brown's own accounts of what an excruciating ordeal it was to be called as an apostle.

I've had two or three nights/days in my life that seemed similar to what they were describing, and for that to go on for a week or more... I felt compassion for them, and also knew that two men and their wives were probably going through the same thing at that very moment.

Anyway, I know that God has called them and will strengthen them. I'm excited to learn from them and for President Nelson as well. He's certainly grown in stature in my eyes over the past year or two as I've come across his old talks. He is a humble man who will lead the church in the way Jesus Christ instructs. He has my full confidence.

His direction to learn more of Jesus Christ has definitely influenced my life. Easter means more to me now than ever before. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He directs His church in preparing His people and the world for His Second Coming!

I love you!