Getting On With Our Lives

Monday was a horrible day. After we put the kids to bed I was completely frazzled. Afterwards, when trying to calm down, a thought flickered across my mind, but I blew it off because I’d been careful. Woo suggested it again later, which meant, yeah maybe, which grew into probably... 


I’d eaten 5 small dark chocolates from a box someone at church gave us. Even worse? I’d given 5 to each of the kids.

The next day I was transcribing blessings Woo had given me from the previous year so I could remove them from my phone. I had a couple mention blessings I would receive from obeying the Word of Wisdom. At the time, it seemed slightly odd. I’d never had a blessing mention the Word of Wisdom before, but in relistening it clicked.

I’d received revelation to stop eating chocolate only a couple weeks before the lockdown. I’d never associated chocolate with the Word of Wisdom, really, but there it was, and what a wonderful blessing it has been to have been warned and to be mostly free from those particular problems for almost 10 months. (We did make a few other discoveries during that time such as no brownies or no vanilla/chocolate/almond ice cream bars after dinner on Sunday nights...)

January is normally a difficult month, but I’ve been fasting and praying and other than Monday a few small miracles have happened: Ruby and Moses decided to run home from school, I decided to start serving dinner before they get home, and we’re getting kids in bed 45 minutes earlier!

I got inspiration on how to help Linus and Archie cope better with their long days, and I’ve gotten inspiration on lots of little projects for myself that are quick, doable and drive away that blah January feeling I often get.

Archie was baptized on his birthday, which was exciting, but it was also a Sunday and a fast Sunday which is less fun for a kid’s birthday.

Archie figured out the situation months ahead of time and proposed himself to eat his birthday treat (breaking his fast) for lunch and opening his presents after dinner. He was so good and so patient, waiting until Monday morning to play with his presents, and then having to leave them for school, to be reunited at lunch, to again be separated... he got kind of grouchy about it on Tuesday, but that was the only day.

Woo was on the ball with yearly interviews this week. He prepared a list of questions and pulled everyone aside to record at different points during one day. He would’ve been able to check it off his to-do list that day too, but I still needed to interview him and I couldn’t get to it until the next day.

All the interviews start with him asking the kids (and me) the exact same question, but I decided to ad lib and ask a question of my own first, so that one’s out of sync... darn it!

Also the DVDs Woo’d ordered in November finally came! But he finished showing kids a documentary about the planets on Saturday. Herbie and Archie thought it was the best thing of the day.

It was cold this week. Woo and Herbie still went surfing. When they got home Wednesday, Herbie looked to be in shock, stiffly holding out his bright red hands. Apparently, during the surf, all was well, but on the bike ride home he endured great pain while his wet hands froze on the handle bars, and he experienced the other extreme with his body burning up and sweating under his new warm wetsuit.

They continued to go surfing every afternoon after that, walking through the door with Herbie holding out his hands, barely being able to walk and a different expression of discomfort frozen on his face. My favorite was the time the wind had also slicked his wet hair down in the middle and fluffed it up on the sides so he looked especially woebegone.

Meanwhile, Woo thought it was funny that I wore four jackets to pick kids up from school.

We took advantage of after Christmas sales to order the kids some new clothes. They arrived this week and Penelope got the pair of boots she’s been dreaming about and is so, so happy to wear.

Despite her efforts to be ready for school early one morning, she was thrown for a loop on her homework and left for school in tears, further compounded on the walk there when she realized she’d forgotten to put on her new boots (that she’d planned her outfit around) and slipped on her old shoes. She rallied when she realized she could put her boots on again when she came home for lunch.

Ruby has had a great week. She’s been very content at home with her new, warm sweats, fun books and better keyboard. She’s been doing an excellent job on her chores (the apartment continues to be much cleaner).

She wanted to do her book report on one of her new Christmas books, but it didn’t exist in Portuguese, so she read Journey to the Center of the Earth instead. It was easy to find a free Portuguese version online.

Today for our conference talk discussion, she took most of the time herself, with genuinely great insights, and was humble and appreciative. Near the end she praised me and told me she loved me... sometimes it’s fun to think about how far she’s come :).

I decided to enforce a quiet time for Linus in the afternoons in an effort to improve his evenings. However, it didn’t need a lot of enforcing. He was very excited to lie in bed and read one of his many new Christmas books. He and Moses both feel that they went from having nothing to read to having tons and tons of good books to read.

For Portuguese Linus practiced reading 110 words in 1 minute. He shouted excitedly when he did it. Then he shouted my name each time he whittled off another second. When Woo came home Linus was thrilled to report he could read 110 words in 51 seconds!

Moses’s maze ball was also a big free time hit. Moses has been good at sharing it with both Herbie and Linus.

How Moses speaks to and treats his siblings is highly influential on most of the rest of the kids. When he is being kind the other kids are anywhere from over the moon to content. When he is muttering insults they range from upset to shattered. Almost everyone but Ruby and kind of Penelope seems to live or die on his approval.

They built a new Aldi in our town. Woo had been really looking forward to it because there was a chance they’d have a constant supply of tortilla chips. He was a bit depressed when he found out they wouldn’t. He waited in line at the grand opening anyway, and came home with a bunch of new snack food to try, but not the dreamed of tortilla chips.

Both Ruby and Herbie have kids in their class who tested positive for Covid, but they had no contact with their class since before Christmas. For now school continues as normal. Except that Ruby and Penelope both have one teacher in quarantine and they both got to come home early on Friday afternoon because there are no substitutes.

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