Usually, it seems, January is blah and boring. Not this January. The four older kids kept hearing rumors that school would be closed again for everyone older than 12. Some of them were for it, some were against. I’m sure it was a topic of great interest in all of their classes. 

I was barely paying attention. I had no feeling that they’d close the schools. I did notice Moses prayed that the schools would stay open the night before the day appointed for closed door meetings, debates and crucial decisions, and when the doors were opened—school was not cancelled! 

There are, however, some new school restrictions. For example, Herbie is no longer allowed in the high school. This is a problem because all the surf club equipment (wetsuits, boards, etc.) is stored at the high school. Surf club now consists of skateboarding and other dry land training in the gym of the middle school. He still had a lot of fun though. Herbie always comes home excited to talk about what happened in surf club. 

Shortly after Christmas I was suddenly seized with a desire to improve our living conditions. It was a fun diversion as I made small changes here and there... I bought some bath rugs, a table cloth...

Then, this week I thought it would all be over—we’d be moving to a fully furnished place! I made all sorts of plans, stayed up too late in excitement... and then it didn’t pan out.

Logically, I knew it was okay. Logically, I knew it didn’t matter. Logically, I knew I was being irrational, but I was exhausted and needed a day to mourn emotionally. I tried really hard, and I did a lot of praying, but unfortunately for Woo, I’m pretty sure I went through all 7 stages of grief in that one day. (Again, thankfully, I had eaten no chocolate... what a disaster that would’ve been!) The next day I was fine. 

Woo tried really hard to help, and we’ve racked our brains for every possible solution, but truly improving our living conditions seems to be tied completely around whatever it is we’re waiting for. Nothing else is right. So we continue to wait.

Some time ago a mold began to grow in Archie’s room that had a dirt smell. I moved him out of there and kept the door closed. (Thankfully, we have plenty of space so this is no problem.) I used bleach; I painted over it, but it always returned the next day.

A guy from the condo association (I think that might be what it’d be called?) came to look at it this week. He found that the clay tiles on the roof above were not broken, but disintegrating, becoming soft like sponges. He also found a few other leaks into Liney’s room. He said he’d inform the association and they’d discuss it at their next meeting... so there’s that too :). 

Since we read poetry over the lock down Ruby has been writing a lot of poetry herself. Her poems are pretty good. She’s actually working on a series that she works on regularly. Penelope also set a goal to write a poem every week.

One morning Ruby was reading several of her poems out loud.
Herbie: Your poems are better than mine!  
Archie (who often co-writes poems with Penelope): Your poems are better than Nellpea’s!
Then he quoted from a poem of Nellpea’s titled “Wisdom.”
“If you want knowledge, you have to go to college!”
No one laughed louder than Nellpea. Apparently they’d giggled over that line together earlier. 

Ruby also writes poetry in Portuguese. Woo thought she should read some to her Portuguese teacher, since most of them are inspired by the Book of Mormon.

We discussed President Nelson’s Liahona message instead of a conference talk a couple of weeks ago. One of the changes Woo has made is to intentionally find a quiet place to pray out loud every day. This means going down to the garage and into the van once the kids go to bed.

There have been some kind of fun results from this: a doorbell ditch with a bag of groceries, and Woo drawing up a daddy day sign up sheet and list of suggested daddy days to get those going better again.

Friday morning Woo played maze ball with Moses then they fixed bikes together. 

He made paper airplanes with Archie and went to the park to fly them in the afternoon.

Saturday he made waffles with Penelope and Ruby.

Herbie gets plenty of daddy days surfing. Linus is up next. 

Getting Linus to take a quiet time in the afternoon has been no problem, but it isn’t working. We’ve been back in school two weeks and he gets a little worse (more tired and cranky) each evening of the week and then a little worse each successive week.

I have two more ideas to try this coming week. We’ll see how it goes. 

Also, Archie and I set up his FamilySearch account this week and I started sending him names to reserve. He’s very excited to get started.

We had sacrament meeting at home today for the first time in about six months.

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