Woo was gone almost all this week. He flew in Saturday morning. We were glad to have him back, and he was glad to be back. It didn't sound like he had that enjoyable of a time. He was sick and worked a lot... did team building things like ax throwing... but I think there were parts that were nice for him, like seeing family briefly.

He unloaded his treats and goodies for us, and while he might have had plans for a more exciting afternoon, he laid in bed and slept until dinner.

He missed Linus' birthday while he was gone. Linus was a little sad, but mostly fine. He's very easy to please for his birthday (in fact, all the kids are, now that I think about it). We have our birthday traditions that we do for everyone, and thats seems to be all anyone wants or expects.

But an unexpected and pleasant surprise for Linus was that he got out of school early (his P.E. teacher didn't show up), and he got to go to the park to play soccer with Herbie and Moses.

Archie missed three days of school because his teacher had a sick child. While I was exercising Archie asked if I could help him with a toy.
Me: I can’t help you right now, Archie. Can you say a prayer? 
He was silent and then I heard a click.
Archie: I got it! 
Me: Remember to tell Heavenly Father thank you. 
Archie (a few seconds later): Mom, I know how He does it. He gives you the strength. That’s how He does it. 
And then a few seconds more.
Archie: Mom, does He take the strength back, or do you get to keep it?

Motivation was lagging and we needed a change with our chore routine. One problem with Moneypants is that it is all connected to money. Woo and I are not big spenders and we struggled with rewarding the kids, but also not allowing them to buy everything in the world. Some kids had tons of money racked up that they never had an opportunity to spend... (Archie and Penelope).

Anyway, this week I made a few changes. Not with the chores or expectations themselves, but with rewards. I added a lot of non-monetary rewards, many suggested by the kids themselves, which have been very popular... things I was happy to give them and achieved my goals for re-motivated kids.

Here's Penelope cashing in two rewards she earned: nail painting and Settlers with Mom. We had a very enjoyable morning together, the morning she started school late.

One of Herbie's was an early haircut.

Anyway, I have a new app filled with a bunch of rewards the kids are working towards.

For Woo being gone, we really had a nice week. I already mentioned Woo's blessing and sleeping better. The first few nights, I encouraged the kids to get revelation on how to help me while Woo was gone. It's the first time I've had them pray about something so self-serving, but I felt it would help us all, and it did. Arguing and pestering went way down, helpfulness went up.

One thing the kids have been doing lately is to tell me in the morning that their revelation is a secret and then see if I can guess it when they do it.

Ruby's was to not argue with Herbie. Moses' was to be super good in primary and answer all the questions. I could tell a difference.

Moses had a school report on marriage. He did it on temple marriage and printed a few pictures off the internet of sealing rooms and couples outside of temples. Moses doesn't give a lot of details, but he said his was the only report that had questions afterwards, even a couple from his teacher, and the pictures were popular.

I started a new thing for the kids' story nights, I read them a few entries about them in my "daily blessings" lists from years back--the times I considered something they had done or said to be a blessing in my day. They loved it. Ruby was sure she would hate it when I started, but after a couple she stopped scowling and didn't want me to stop.

Herbie came home from lunch super excited because the Holy Ghost had warned him to not look at a friend's phone. The friend was looking at pornography, and Herbie, who is friends with this kid's older brother, told the brother, who called their dad and deleted the app the younger brother had. Herbie felt awesome because he'd not only avoided it himself, but also helped others.

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