We’ve had a pretty quiet week. Almost too quiet. I realized that the kids had been out of school for 12 weeks, which is essentially a summer. Except we’d had no road trips and the kids never went outside without our supervision. Kind of amazing when I thought about it. I would’ve been worried, if it had been proposed to me that way when this whole thing started, but we’ve been fine.

Still, on Wednesday I prayed for something just a little bit fun to happen and on Thursday it did!

After our class, Woo announced there was a surf board he wanted to see... it was only 15€ and probably junk, but we could explore a new place and go to Burger King for lunch. It felt like ages since we’d driven anywhere besides the grocery store. (And it had been, only the one other rainy Saturday drive in 12 weeks.)

The only problem was we were expecting a package from Decathlon. I said a quick prayer that it would come either before we left or after we returned, and a couple minutes later Woo got a text saying it’d be there in five minutes.

Most the kids only got socks (and Penelope and Archie got nothing), but we were all excited. Packages are always fun, and we are a family that gets excited about new socks. The decathlon socks were tried on (and also Herbie’s new shoes) and universally highly praised, and then we were off.

We got Woo’s surfboard first, which turned out to be a pretty nice board and sleeve, but the sellers were trying to move and were having a difficult time getting rid of it in an out-of-the-way area, so Woo (and Herbie) were pleased with the purchase.

We drove to a nearby inlet with a giant sand dune and nice boardwalk. Woo and all the kids climbed to the top of the sand dune and ran down before most kids waded into the river a ways and then we all took a walk on the boardwalk around the inlet.

Before leaving, Woo, Herbie, Moses, Linus, Penelope and Archie raced to the top of the sand dune (Moses snuck up a way out of Woo’s line of vision and won) and then back down (Herbie won).

Ordering at Burger King in a face mask was awkward and strange, but whatever. I think everyone was a bit confused. Woo and I were the only ones to leave out the correct door, for example, but only because they yelled at us especially.

Woo and I ordered while the kids sat on the grass outside, and that’s also where we ate (no indoor dining allowed). All in all it felt like a much needed celebration.

I decided that my life right now requires 8 hrs of sleep a night, not my usual 7, so I’ve been going to bed an hour early.

I was happy one day when time was up for Oliver Twist and all the kids protested. They wanted to hear more. Oliver Twist is pretty grim, but it is also pretty funny and I’m happy when it’s clear the kids are getting the jokes (and also thinking more about poverty).

I am very happy with what the kids are learning with me. We *think* the packets from the teachers will end sometime soon... the older kids possibly next week... but we haven’t heard anything from anyone, so we still plug along.

Ruby has kept her room immaculate for almost two weeks now, and last week she decided to empty all the kitchen cupboards, clean them and organize them. It was wonderful! Saturday she was on her hands and knees scrubbing the grout between tiles on her bedroom floor.

Moses also got on a cleaning kick, but not for fun, for money. He mopped the kitchen, cleaned the walls, and the microwave, then cleaned our two upstairs room that were becoming overrun with Penelope and Archie’s stuff (they’re the only two who really “spread” anymore).

Ruby’s packet had a couple of questionnaires trying to help her know herself and choose a future career. She answered all the questions honestly which came out very gospel centered and she laughed a lot imagining her teachers’s reactions and surprise to her answers that would be nothing like anyone else’s.

This is the picture she sent in with that project.

She and Herbie have kept up their family history goals, doing it everyday. Whenever Herbie gives a talk or testimony, he almost always talks about family history. His talk to us a couple weeks ago was also on family history, but I thought it was the best he’d ever given. The Book of Mormon is his second favorite topic. That's what he bore his testimony about today.

One wonderful thing about Herbie is that he is completely trustworthy with a computer, only doing exactly what we’ve said he can do (and yes, I check often). Not only that, but he is content with the digital confines we’ve set for him. This is true of all the kids, really, but I believe this is one of his blessings for his family history work.

Woo occasionally has to refer to YouTube for his physical therapy needs. There are two guys with a catchy song that Woo sometimes sings. Moses too, with a slight change.

Moses (singing): Bob and Brad, the two most famous physicantologists on the Internet!

Moses and Linus: What can we build next with legos?

Me: Ummmm... a space station?

Moses and Linus: Yeah!

Woo showed the kids part of the space shuttle launch, so they built all of that including a stand with spectators. After admiring Moses and Linus’s work, Woo showed the kids a few space station tours, which the kids loved, but Woo said made him feel dizzy.

Linus also worked carefully on this drawing of his kids. Then he started on another one with Oliver Twist, Harry Potter, and a bunch of “regular guys” with umbrellas or hats or backpacks or pigtails. This is Dumbledore and Voldemort dueling.

He spent Sunday morning working on one of Jesus and Mary outside the tomb, and then a picture of a boy and a lion walking in Paradise.

Penelope and Archie did not complain at all when everyone got something from the package. In fact they were happy for everyone else. I used them as an example today when we discussed envy in Alma 5 today. Archie said he was too excited to feel anything else—the perfect example of selflessness.

We continue to learn bit by bit how to overcome contention and rudeness. Unfortunately, envy over little things contributes to almost all our contention. We’re talking about it and praying for help with that now.

Penelope continues to read every book in the house, run to help whenever she sees a need, put her hair in crazy ponytail arrangements, and be Archie’s best friend.

Penelope taught Archie how to do what she does on FamilySearch and even lets him reserve a few of the names I’ve sent her. He is very excited to turn 8 and have a membership number and account of his own (not to mention be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost).

I hope your week was great!