A Dozen for Moses

Last year I forgot to write about Moses' birthday (was that already a year ago?), so I'm starting off now. Moses turned 12 this week. He picked out all presents himself (a Lego set and Pokemon cards), except his breakfast treat, which he advised me on (a brick of ice cream).

For dinner he chose blue cheese hamburgers (a very popular birthday request, that I haven't quite figured out), melon and caramel popcorn for dessert. The caramel popcorn was a new one for us, but we all enjoyed it, thanks to me learning from my mistakes last fall (which were good enough still for Moses to request it for his birthday). Instead of trying to come up with a corn syrup substitute, I just made real caramel (but soft) and poured it over the top of the popcorn.

The kids were out of school Monday for Wednesday for Carnaval. The kids seemed very happy for the extra time to play with each other and around here, so we didn't do anything special.

Lidl had Carnaval costume stuff on sale. Moses and Ruby (on a Princess Bride streak) were very happy to find swords. We actually thought we had missed them. Herbie had looked on an earlier trip with Woo and told us they were gone.

There were some silent, individual prayers, and we went to check anyway (even though Herbie was adamant), and when we got there, Herbie appeared to be correct. We bought a few other things and went to check out, when Archie spotted one sticking out of a pile of marked down stuff right by the check out.

Lidl reconnected me to my 20s by having both overalls and rubber clogs on sale. I couldn't resist and bought both. Wearing the overalls got a response from everyone in the family, mostly about how I looked much younger (like 5).

Archie's reaction was the best though, "Mom! You're wearing your big girl pants!!"

Linus once own a pair of striped overalls that he always called his big boy pants. I guess Archie decided that's what all overalls are called, and we've now adopted it.

Herbie did a lot of cleaning over the break, which was wonderful. He was trying to earn money for his surf boots, which he earned and was able to start using this week. Woo tried to talk him out of them (not liking his own), but Herbie appears to be very satisfied and wears them every time he goes surfing.

Penelope spent almost the whole morning yesterday also cleaning. She wants to earn money for a small Lego set. She did a lot of reading over the break and started into some of Ruby's easier books.

One morning after reading the Book of Mormon Linus told me that he'd been reading about the 2,000 stripling warriors, and he told me that he'd gotten revelation to not doubt. Then he asked me what doubt was. I gave him 2 or 3 synonyms; he said "thanks," and skipped off.

We are doing better with contention. Each of us has learned things to help us individually. We have several kids who regularly get things like: “you did pretty well today,” when praying to find out how they did. Also things like: “keep following the revelation you’ve already received,” when they ask how to do better.

I notice that Woo and I rarely call out contention anymore. Instead, we try to figure out ways to help the contender feel loved.

Simple, but effective for me, is to call the contender away from the situation (or go to them if they refuse), give them a big hug, tell them I love them, and thank them for something. Woo often does something similar, but also tries to get a laugh or a smile (usually with success).

Repeat offenders are pulled aside with something like, “You appear to not be feeling well or something is bothering you. What can be done to help?”

However, we have not completely kicked this thing. Each of us still makes mistakes. And with eight of us, it’s very difficult to get everyone doing great all the time. Some days are better than others.

Linus prayed this week to know when we would return home. The answer he got was: “not until we’ve overcome contention and rudeness.” Moses had earlier received a similar answer. I also believe it to be true. For those of you anxious for our return... this is what you can pray for.

And lastly: Woo skateboarded several times last week and did not get hurt!
That's our week. Hope yours was great!

Testimony Below:

Today I have an example of when the Lord guided me this month. We go to the temple every week and on the day after I would be so sad and depressed. I thought Satan was trying to destroy me after going to the temple, with much strength.

But I prayed a lot and after some weeks the Holy Ghost whispered to me to stop eating chocolate. I did not think that I was eating that much chocolate, but apparently I was eating enough for the chocolate to affect me and make me depressed.

I stopped eating chocolate and I no longer had any problems.

The Lord guided me to a way to be more happy. I know that the Lord loves us and wants to do things like this for all of us so we can be happy.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.