Another Week

We really dropped the ball on pictures this week. Sorry. All of these were pictures the kids wanted us to take: Herbie's cardboard surfboard before he tossed it, Archie with his primary program talks, perfectly made beds (or mattresses on the floor) by Linus and Penelope, Linus and Archie's tie tying efforts, and Archie's pillow surfing.

Bickering has been a problem since school started. Our last two FHE have concentrated on it. And despite this, Ruby could not get the ending of the word contentious correct. She said things like contentual, contentuous, etc. (Reminds me of my Portuguese.)

Anyway, last week Woo led a family council where we finally made progress when we decided the biggest problem was that the kids just didn't recognize when they were being contentious. We decided on a silent signal to give whenever anyone observed anyone else being contentious. The effect was immediate. There was absolutely no arguing for probably 3 days. No one wanted the signal pointed at them, and when they forgot, the signal would cut off any arguing kid right away. We still are having much more peace.

Except in the case of Herbie and Moses who didn't show up for dinner two nights in a row. We knew where they were both times, but this has never happened before--to them or to us. They definitely know now how we feel about it.

Ruby, Herbie and Moses had a kayaking race. We didn't go to watch because it was 6 hours long, we had no idea when they were racing and the other kids come home for 2 hours at lunch. But it was the most pleasant day of the week, a great day to be outside on a lake, and they enjoyed themselves.

Penelope got her first Book of Mormon revelation (that I know of). I often try to encourage her to pray and get revelation when she's upset, doesn't think something's fair, has her feelings hurt, etc. but she always resists, saying she won't get revelation about those things. Anyway one morning, she recognized herself in Laman and Lemuel in 1 N 15 when Nephi asks, "Have ye inquired of the Lord?" and they say, "we have not, for the Lord maketh no such things known unto us."

She apologized to me and told me she was going to do better.

One night Archie told me the worst part of his day was "the music."
Me: The music?  
Archie: Yeah, people were laughing at me during the music. 
Me: Why would anyone be laughing at you during the music? 
Archie: Because they didn’t like my dancing, (matter-of-factly) which was the best dancing.

Woo had the flu this week, the shortest flu I ever remember him having. To me it lasted a day and a half. (It was probably a day longer to him.) He used to get sick for weeks whenever he would get sick. He also worked towards renewing the registration on the van, went surfing, did a bunch of work, family stuff and church stuff.

Saturday Linus helped me make cookies and he led Penelope and Archie around the neighborhood to deliver them to friends. They came home a third of the way through to resolve an argument of who to deliver cookies to when someone wasn't home. Left again. Came home again to grab more cookies for a bunch of friends they'd discovered at the park, and came home in the end, feeling they'd done some good in the world.

I made sure everything was in place for the primary program. I kept it as simple as possible and I only have 5 primary kids, but there were still some stressful moments. Mostly this week I worked on floor plans, which is too much fun for me right now.

That's all for now. Hope your week was great!


Some Stuff and Other Stuff

This morning Herbie and Moses picked up their best friends and brought them to church! It is the first time we've ever been able to get anyone here to come to church with us. The friends enjoyed themselves and Herbie and Moses were great hosts. Moses even encouraged his friend to help him pick up hymn books with him after sacrament meeting by making it a game.

After I learned more about my spiritual gifts, of course I encouraged all the kids to pray about theirs. I'm not going to list what everyone got, just a few notes...

Ruby: Music (kind of a surprise), and humility, if she wants it and works on it.

Moses: Sports and making people laugh (not a surprise), but he wasn't sure how those would help people. He prayed again and learned he could use those gifts to help people who aren't good at sports to feel better about themselves.

Penelope's was also not a surprise; it was love. But how she could do it better was. She learned that she should stop jumping up on me when giving me a hug. And she stopped. How much more pleasant her hugs have become, and I can stop telling her to stop.

Ruby got her first "muito bom" of the year. It was the first thing out of her mouth when she got home, and she gave us a blow-by-blow account of how the tests were handed out and everything everyone said. She was super happy, and especially because it was in history (of Portugal). One of her weakest subjects last year.

Herbie finished the Book of Mormon in Portuguese for the 4th time this week.

Linus has really been getting into the Book of Mormon during his reading time. He LOVES Captain Moroni, and he even sometimes laughed (?!) when reading about sneaky war strategy.

Our time changed last Sunday. Kids have been, well, like they always are when the time changes in the fall; although, I hardly think about it any more, and even Woo will say, "They're just tired," when they are constantly bickering. They seem to be okay in school, though.

I had to smile while picking up Archie from school. He was the only one sitting quietly on the rug, looking at his teacher. All the other 3-5 yr olds were wriggling, jumping, rolling around on the rug... with the teacher desperately trying to get them to at least sit. Felt kind of like my house.

We had a branch activity this week, on a day with no school. Woo ran the whole thing, organized it and us, kept us entertained and mostly happy, and I believe he stayed 5 1/2 hours! 3 hours is my absolute upper limit at a social event (which may go down to 2 as I lose my 3 hr Sunday conditioning?). I was about to throw a tantrum myself. I took the 3 younger kids home to bed, while Woo soldiered on and Linus threw the tantrum as I pulled him out the front door.

I wasted too much time looking for a CAD program before I realized that's not really what I wanted. What I really wanted was something more like Illustrator. (Sorry, everyone that's obvious to... it's been a long time.) I found a free program I really like called Gravit. I like it now, but took me awhile to find a work around to a missing tool I really like in Illustrator. But, after I got that, I was zipping along.

As I work, I realize I actually know quite a lot about drawing house plans, and I'm recognizing that Kurt taught me pretty much all of it. I'm pulling out of the back of my brain all sorts of measurements, associated with a memory of him telling them to me; also ways to save labor and money; and of course, the all important instruction to pay special attention to what wall you put the toilet on. No one wants to hear flushing while they're sitting down to dinner. At least according to Kurt. (And okay, all the rest of us.)

Here we are practicing for the primary program next week.

Woo is amused by this "Bad Cat college" jacket someone gave Ruby.

And most of the pictures are from exploring little caves with some friends, which was a fun Saturday activity.

Well, that's about it. Hope your week was great!

Testimony Below:

I love the Book of Mormon. I have prayed about it and felt the Holy Ghost witness to me that it is true.

I read the Book of Mormon every day and every time I read it and try to learn something or to feel peace, I receive the Holy Ghost again.

Over time, reading the Book of Mormon heals us of our weaknesses. This happens because the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ. We come unto Christ and we follow him when we read it, and his atonement has power to work in us.

I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is led by him.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Eu amo o Livro de Mórmon. Eu orei sobre o Livro e o Espírito Santo testificou para mim que é verdade.

Eu leio o Livro de Mórmon todos os dias e toda vez que leio e tento aprender algo ou sentir paz, eu recebo o Espírito Santo novamente.

Com o tempo, a leitura do Livro de Mórmon nos cura nossas fraquezas. Isso acontece porque o Livro de Mórmon testifica a Jesus Cristo. Nós nos achegamos a Cristo e o seguimos quando lemos o Livro de Mórmon, e sua expiação tem poder para operar em nós.

Eu sei que Jesus Cristo vive e que a Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias é guiada por ele.

Em nome de Jesus Cristo. Amém.