The Strangest Parents Ever

Every once in awhile it comes to my attention how different we are... We lost an Elder (below, pretending to lose a game of chess to Archie) and got a new one from Orlando. After church our new Elder sat down at the piano, all the kids gathered around him, and he started to play a bunch of Disney songs.

Our kids were able to identify the movie of one of them (Moana) after a couple incorrectly guessed Frozen. All the movie names got the Elder blank stares from Linus, Penelope and Archie (Toy Story?? Cinderella?? Beauty and the Beast??). Herbie and Moses had seen more, but couldn't recognize the songs, and still had no idea what he was talking about with a couple (The Lion King??).

When they were tiny, before they were in school, Ruby, Herbie and Moses used to watch a movie once a week. We had a collection of movies they could chose from, some Disney, but Disney was rarely their choice. When we moved to Utah, movie watching tapered off more and more (At least for the kids at home, the kids who went to school in Utah suddenly had their movie viewing significantly increased--grrrr.... but that's a topic for another day...)

Until now where we watch a movie hardly ever at all and watching Planet Earth episodes over Christmas break is a huge treat.

Anyway, that's were we are. Sometimes I think the kids are going to move out of the house and go nuts with a bunch of movies, perhaps, and really, it'll probably be fun for them. However, I kind of think that a window will have passed. They'll never watch Cinderella every single day for a period of years, for example, and have it be a huge part of their childhood. Or what they can remember of it.

Not that that was our goal either. We've just done what we've done, and we'll wait and see the results like anyone else.

In other news, it's been a January like every other January. At the end of an "animated" Come-Follow-Me session this morning, Woo quietly said, "I feel impressed to say that there is a special blessing that Heavenly Father wants to give us, but he can't because of the contention and rudeness in our home."

I was perhaps the only one who really heard him, and I tried to reinforce it by sending everyone to a quiet spot to pray and get their own revelation about it.

Long story short, when Woo and I walked into our room I said, "Well... we're never going to get that special blessing... "

We laughed, but I went into the bathroom and said my own prayer, where I got that nothing is impossible with the Lord and I could write Woo's words and hang them up around the house. Also, I could pray for it often. Also, I could teach that things like leaving a mess at the breakfast table, for example, is rude because it's inconsiderate of others.

I immediately went to work on the signs (we had a bit of extra time before church and also I decide to do that over put on makeup) and hung them up.

Reading it again Woo said, "At the time when I said this I thought it was so profound, but now I realize it's just the promise it always is--when you keep the commandants, you'll prosper in the land... which I guess is profound."

And needs to be repeated often.

And when I left our room the kids were noticeably better. Ruby was washing bowls for everyone. Service must have been her answer. Herbie is currently working on a chart for him to keep track of his progress. He has to monitor every hour he's home :).

We did get a picture of Moses on his second trip to the temple. Moses had a busy Sunday. He passed the sacrament, gave a talk and taught youth Sunday School. He was nervous and not excited about it (possibly explaining his argumentativeness in the morning).

Ruby was very kind to remember him in her prayer last night. Probably because she'd done the same thing the week before, except play the piano instead of pass the sacrament.

Ruby felt fantastic after that Sunday and had a wonderful afternoon. She said, "I wish every day could be Sunday, Mom!"

When I raised an eyebrow at that unusual sentiment, she explained how much she had enjoyed speaking and teaching and how awesome it had felt.

Moses was pleased with how is lesson went, but not pleased enough to want to do it every day.

Woo spent a lot of time (most of his time?) organizing and labeling our vast photo and video collection. This has been very enjoyable for him (except the annoying duplicate photo aspects) and for the kids and for me. We sure had some cute kids.

Speaking of movies, he's showed us all the best old clips, which have made us all laugh a lot. Woo has also interviewed each kid on camera each year. We've watched a lot of those and laughed also. Two to three years old seems to be the sweet-spot for exceptional cuteness and delightful answers to even the simplest of questions.

Whenever he does this I remember what a priceless treasure of (now organized!) memories we have because of him.

His arm is not all better, but has shown definite improvement this week.

Herbie is a good friend to Woo. He's his best surfing buddy and surfing admirer. Herbie didn't want to surf this week because he thought the waves were too big for him, but he gladly went with Woo to film and help Woo figure out his form.

At the park on Saturday it was amusing to see Herbie ride his bike around the path at the park, towing Woo on a skateboard. Then Woo riding the bike, towing Herbie on the skate board, and so on.

Linus wanted to make a present for his science teacher who is leaving to have a baby. He bought some clay and decided to make a volcano that he carefully molded and painted over a period of days while he listened to Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Linus: "Am I as good as him? Am I as good as Little Lord Fauntleroy?" 
Me: Well, he isn't real.
Linus loves this book so far. I'm still making up my mind, but making kids want to be good is always a plus.

Penelope's half birthday was this week. She had a much better experience than last year where it didn't live up to her expectations, and she went to bed in tears (I believe in an unrelated incident).

This year every time she or Woo would see each other, they would break out into a big grin and say, "It's our half birthday, Nellpea!!" or "It's our half birthday, Dad!!" and Woo would do his I'm-chuckling-as-if-I'm-having-a-lot-fun laugh and Penelope would do her real I'm-having-a-lot-of-fun laugh.

Archie lost another tooth. I know we tried to get Archie dry at night last year (?) with the incentive of a bike, but it never worked. We don't live in a place where a kid can just pull out his bike and start riding it at any old time. And of course we let him ride it whenever we go on family bike rides.

Also, I've never been any good at teaching kids to be dry at night, or maybe there's a genetic factor; I don't know. We have a pee alarm, but Archie was terrified of it, and the last time I tried to get him to wear it was a disaster.

But about a month ago I decided that this had to stop, because really, the time was long past. I asked Woo to help Archie get it on and explain it that first time (to avoid repeating the experience he'd had with me) and it went great. Soon, Archie was able to get it on and off himself and use it effectively. He's been doing wonderful! Which is a huge relief to me and in a lot of ways really feels like the last frontier.

And that's our week. Hope yours was great!