Sunny and Occasionally Hot

We've been through a windy spell this week, which means the wind intensifies at night, and is really pretty loud in our apartment.

Herbie has it the worst and his sleep has shown it. He almost fell asleep during evening scriptures two days ago, which he's only done once before and that was when we first moved here and he was adjusting.

He has had some rough, lack-of-sleep moments, but the difference is that he's now self-sufficient in separating himself, getting revelation about what's bothering him and apologizing.

He and Moses had their multi-school track meet--MEGA Sprinter--this week. They were both really excited before, but felt not very well on the actual day. We were only able to watch Moses run the 40m before we had to go get other kids for lunch, but he did not do very well. He said his long jump went a bit better, and Herbie said his 1000m went well. He took 5th or 6th.

The kids usually bring their grades home for us to sign, but we got Moses' in the mail. I don't know if too many kids never showed their grades to their parents last term or what. Moses' grades all improved and looked good. There were no odd low ones to be blamed on the horribleness of his class. I do think they are getting better, at least Moses never complains anymore, but he does sometimes mention what he's done to encourage better class behavior from his friends.

Ruby is excited for girls camp. (This is the first year they've separated the boys and girls camp here--Woo and I are organizing the boy's camp... ) She and I printed out a bunch of invitations and permission forms and she gave one to every girl in her class.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. Unfortunately, Ruby handed out the invites right before history class and all the girls kept asking her more and more questions and making plans with tents, etc. in the middle of class. The dress standard, among other things, was a curiosity for most of them, but she feels that almost all of them are coming. However, we will see what their parents say.

Almost every day for Linus is an awesome day and a bad day. He wakes up feeling great! He does his homework, makes his bed, reads his scriptures, finishes his chore so fast he often will do an extra or two, and then he is off to school. He's usually pretty good at lunch too; although slightly less enthusiastic. But in the evening he is cranky and rude. He is working on that and getting better, but if you forget about his mornings and only think about his evenings, you don't get the complete picture. 

Last week after church I had to hustle all the kids together and leave immediately because Archie was throwing a fire engine red tantrum. Penelope had thrown one in the first part of primary, with a lot of shouting and crying because while she was very reverent and sang very well, I had to chose someone else who was singing louder and smiling to pick the next game.

And then near the end of primary, a similar thing happened to Archie and he didn't get as many pompom balls as he felt he deserved and screamed and bawled all the way through the church and several meters down the street.

Anyway, this week I learned to make extra sure that everyone felt like a winner. However, someone in the branch had given me two little toys when I walked into church that I decided to use as rewards. There are five kids in primary and everyone wanted one. I gave away one, but I couldn't chose a kid for the second one; they were all being awesome.

So I told them they all won, and asked if anyone would be willing to accept pompoms instead of the toy (we have a huge jar of them left over from an activity last year). Three kids accepted that. We were singing "Did You Think to Pray?" so I asked the other two to share a time when they had been in a situation like those in the song and prayer had helped them. Three kids shared experiences.

The last two holdouts (Penelope and Archie) were still standing firm in wanting the toy for themselves. I had them leave for a minute to pray about who should get the toy. They returned, Penelope first, who whispered to me that Archie should have it, and Archie, a second later, to say that Penelope should have it.

Finally, everyone was feeling generous and unselfish! So I gave Penelope and Archie the choice of sharing the toy or getting pompoms. They smiled at each other and chose to share, and they were very good about it too.

Four or five years ago I started to spend 15 minutes midday reading whatever standard work we were studying in Sunday School. So four years ago I read the New Testament over and over again (it's not very long). And I'm reading it that way again this year too.

Anyway, this morning after we'd had our family study in Luke 7 and 11, the Holy Ghost whispered to me that all that earlier reading I had done was preparing me for this moment. I've had personal experiences with so many of these verses. I've thought about the stories. I've wondered about differences. I've drawn connections between similarities. I'm able to go beyond the tired, re-hashed verses and topics we always seem to hit in Sunday School because I've read and had epiphanies about verses I've never, ever read in any class or manual, only in the scriptures. And now I'm able to share that with my family.

Some of the kids are very good at recognizing symbolism and drawing connections from the scriptures to their own lives. I don't know if that's because they are still kids, or what. But even Archie gets stuff out of reading straight scripture like, "That's from the Living Christ!" and "Jonah was in the whale 3 days like Jesus was in the tomb!"

Woo had the kids most of the day Saturday while I went to a district Relief Society activity. When he has the kids alone, he always makes it a point to get them out of the house doing something new and exciting. Also, eating fresh produce is usually a goal.

This Saturday, he first took them to the park where they played a spin-the-bottle, truth-or-dare game where Woo dared Ruby to stand up and smile for a picture and she did it!

Then he loaded up all the kids on bikes and skateboards with the goal of checking out an unattended, possibly wild, pea patch we'd discovered on our bike ride last week. The peas had been plowed over, but everyone was still able to salvage a few peas on the very edge of the field... to much rejoicing??

I returned at this point and ran to meet them (since I hadn't been able to go on a run earlier), and just in time. Archie was at the end of his rope, very ready to have someone exactly at his speed or slower. But the weather was great. It was a good day to be outside.

And that's all I've got. Hope your week was great!