16 Wonderful Years

Woo and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary this week. The kids are better at celebrating it than we are. They were so, so excited. I made sure to pick them up a treat (donuts) for lunch to make their excitement worth it.

Linus had been planning a special surprise for several days. He was the first down that morning and wanted us to come up and see his surprise. He even added, "You might want to take a picture or video... "

When we got to the top of the stairs Archie and Nellpea were standing there beaming, holding a nice sign between them. We admired the sign, but I was a little confused about the fact that Linus had disappeared. He had been the most excited one...

So I said, "Where's Linus?"

And then he popped out with a bright, little, "HI!"

Woo and I laughed and had a nice start to our day. We then spent the rest of the morning at the lawyer's... twice... but we did finally get the all the legal stuff signed for Moses and Ruby to go on their school trips, and it also was our temple day.

Because it was our anniversary, we were of course going to do sealings, but Woo also wanted to baptize Ruby and Herbie a few times, and maybe I would witness?

But in the waiting room, a few other kids came in, a couple were two boys old enough to baptize who'd also been there last week, so we decided to just go up and do sealings.

The Portuguese sealers are awesome; they talk so fast, we got almost completely through our large stack of names. And they just rolled with those Czech names, there was not a single instance of them raising eyebrows or gulping or sighing or anything else when they saw a Czech name; they just barreled through them. They actually had more trouble with the English names we had.

Woo and I also went out to eat later that night.

A brother and sister from Spain were in the baptistry. Ruby and Herbie shared some of their names with them, and made fast friends. Ruby did a lot of talking, in Portuguese and French? Herbie didn't seem to think she could speak Spanish, because I guess he can?? Either way, they somehow found ways to understand each other with their new friends.

Apparently surprised, one of the Portuguese boys asked Ruby how many languages she could speak. She matter-of-factly answered English, Portuguese, French and Greek... I know that she knows some of those far better than others, but she does have a powerful drive to speak, and can probably make herself somewhat understood in all of those.

Herbie has been spending a lot of time this week on a group project. They've been doing a lot of extra work during lunch and one morning, where he usually starts late and does family history during that time.

I was pleased to see him arrange his time wisely the night before all on his own. He did a lot of his morning things (his chore, making his breakfast, etc.) that evening so that he could have more time to still do family history in the morning before going to school. He feels it's important for him to have that protection that comes from doing family history work for school.

Another thing Herbie often does is take his little brother (Archie) and Nellpea to the park. They love the attention of their older brother, and it's a nice thing for him to do for them. He shares his skateboard with Nellpea, who likes to do her own thing, and he races Archie across the court on the scooters.

Penelope has been into pigtails the last week or so. They are pretty cute on her, and they were a big hit at school. She started putting them in after a dream she had where she wore pigtails and her teacher loved them.

Archie continues to love school. I like delivering him to school and seeing a couple boys calling his name and excited to see him. Archie lost his backpack one afternoon at school. He was very distraught, and all his prayers mentioned it. Luckily, he found it the very next day. How happy he was.

I asked him once if he missed preschool and he said, "No. I like learning real stuff. In preschool we just played all the time."

Moses had a really excellent day, I think on our anniversary, also. He was extremely obedient, kind and showed a lot of initiative. His revelation for that night was that he'd been a very good boy that day. (Of course, the day after he was kind of cranky :). Moses was excited to get a muito bom (A) on his very first test of the year--in History and Geography of Portugal.

Woo had a couple of really fun days of surfing. He came home with huge smiles and told of how fun it was to be catching waves and really fun ones on his big foam beginner board, when everyone out on their short boards could catch hardly any. I was reminded that we'd fasted for him last Sunday. I think an abundance of fun was one of his blessings.

He's taken all the kids to watch part of the World Surf competition at Supertubos, but I think he's done. Once you've been to one pro competition, they're pretty boring--much better to watch the highlight clips. Herbie and Moses did get some free hats and tote bags and Nellpea got a free lunch when her class was invited to watch a concert that was supposed to be at Supertubos for the occasion.

And I had fun this week doing things like designing a conservatory, reading the 3 Investigators to the kids, and going on a few extra runs, now that Archie's in school in the afternoon too.

While writing this, Linus just found his own name to take to the temple--the very first time that's happened to him. He's pretty excited about it.

And that's all I have this week. Hope yours was great!

This is possibly the laziest talk I’ve ever given. Luckily, it also was the right talk to give.

For several years I have read a recent conference talk everyday. To be honest, it gets kind of boring there at the end and I get really excited for general conference, if only to have something new to read. However, I keep doing it because more than once, I have received clear and memorable revelation while reading an old talk in the last week, and because I know the talks very well. They easily come to mind when I need them while teaching my children or a lesson.

But now, something I enjoy doing is fasting and praying over portions of conference talks. President Nelson’s talks are especially good for this because he is the prophet and also because he often gives us specific things to pray about.

This week I read his talk Spiritual Treasures and I made a list of the things the Holy Ghost told me I needed to fast about. I’m going to share that list with you.
  • to understand the spiritual treasures that are mine in the temple. 
  • for truth to register upon my heart that will change my life. 
  • what I need to do to lay aside the things of this world and seek for the things of a better. 
  • to draw liberally upon the Savior’s power to help your family and others you love. 
  • to discover what the Holy Ghost will teach me in section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants. 
  • for the Holy Ghost to prompt me about what is no longer needful, what is no longer worthy of my time and energy. 
  • to embark upon and continue this lifelong process of consecrating my life to the Lord. 
  • to speak and teach with power and authority from God. 
  • that every time I serve and worship in the temple, I will leave armed with God’s power and with His angels having “charge over” me. 
  • to prepare a people for the Second Coming of the Lord. 
  • for my prayers, fasting, time in the scriptures, service in the temple, and family history work to open the heavens to me.
 (In my opinion, this is one of the most important sentences in the whole talk because the prophet gives us a nice list of 5 things we need to do for the heavens to open to us: pray, fast, study the scriptures, go to the temple and do family history.)
  • what truths can the Lord teach me about priesthood power in Doctrine and Covenants sections 84 and 107. 
  • for my understanding to increase as I exercise faith in the Lord and His priesthood power, so that my ability to draw upon this spiritual treasure that the Lord has made available will increase. 
  • that I may understand the priesthood power with which I have been endowed and that I will augment that power by exercising my faith in the Lord and in His power.
I would encourage all of you to read President Nelson’s recent talks and make a list of the things you should pray over.

I also read about Captain Moroni this week. The thing that I was most impressed about this time was that Captain Moroni never stopped preparing his places of security. Even after his fortifications had successfully astonished and driven away the Lamanites, he continued to strengthen them. He knew a worse attack was coming and also he added things that wouldn’t have done a great deal with out his earlier efforts, but were brilliant with them.

Our places of security are our homes and we should never suppose that we are done strengthening them. I know these things to be true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.