It's Almost Christmas!!

There are two words that will make Penelope’s eyes light up. Science and Japan. We were pretty surprised about Japan, and didn't understand why she loved it so much until we learned that she'd read a book about that dog, Hachiko.

She really loved it, but it did not increase her love for dogs; it increased her love for Japan. She wants to learn Japanese and it's her dream country to visit. She knows she has a cousin there right now on a mission, and thinks she'll go there too.

Her love of science started last year with a special and exciting science unit. She feels a special kinship to it now too.

I overheard Nellpea trying to compare where she is in the Book of Mormon with Linus.
Linus: We're not just supposed to READ it. The prophet said we're supposed to STUDY it... 
Penelope (quickly): I know...

Linus has been pretty belligerent this week. (Which is kind of odd because he's an awesome morning Book of Mormon reader, but Herbie told me this morning they've been getting up too early and working on Christmas presents in the bathroom...)
Me (walking the kids to school): Linus, you are off to a bad foot.  
Penelope (suddenly reminded of other idioms with similar meanings): AND he’s digging a hole! (That's one Woo likes to use.) 
Oh! AND he’s stopped rowing! --That’s what someone from conference said! 
Unfortunately, it did not make Linus feel better.

Herbie loves canoagem. He is always super excited to go, and is excited when their extra Portuguese tutoring session is cancelled and he can go an extra day.

Ruby puts up a fight every single time, but she's weakening. In fact this week she said, "I can tell I'm getting stronger since I started canoagem."
Me: Oh? 
Ruby: But that does not mean I want to go.
Last week Archie watched 101 Dalmations for only the first or second time. He really liked it and wanted to talk about it. I was kind of surprised, because it's usually been branded a "scary" movie by our kids that age, and I thought for sure Archie would be the same. But he said, "No. The only part scary is gorilla corilla... what’s her name again?"

All Herbie's Christmas surprises have already been ruined. One present he picked out himself. One, observant Archie, who had no idea Herbie wanted a sweater or why I would buy one, mentioned it to him. And the other was known by Ruby, who told Moses, who told Herbie... All that's left now is to wait until they're in his possession.

I keep plugging away at the house. It is not very big; however, I'm throwing everything I've ever liked in a house at it. Well, almost everything. I've let go of a thatched roof.

I'm also understanding why you draw them yourself. As I go, I see the problems I didn't know were there; I find solutions, then have additional ideas, etc. Yesterday I wrestled with a staircase (unpleasantly discovered while starting cross sections) that was not going to behave in the way I thought it was going to behave... Anyway, I did find a solution that preserves my goals for how the house flows, and will also be more exciting for the kids.

Moses has had a great week. He surprised me by following the instruction of the visiting authority in district conference and asked in prayer what he need to let go. The answer was the very thing that Woo and I would've said (thankfully, not the one Ruby suggested to him during the talk--that one ended up being hers, ironically). Anyway, the good news is he's made a lot of progress in that area already.

Here's the link to Woo's patent to those who've asked about it. I (and he) don't suggest anyone actually read it. Just scroll to the bottom and read: Inventor--Steven Woolley.

Well, that's our week. Hope yours was great!