Not the Best Week (Not the Worst Either)

On our Sunday walk Woo stepped off the path, planted his feet, bent his knee, swayed slightly and gave us his David Attenborough commentary on the landscape. 

I laughed; the kids began to imitate. Ruby and Moses plucked up plants and gave us their best imitations for probably an hour.

Moses usually went for comedy.
“THIS is a monstrosity! No larger than the size of my THUMB, this organism subsists ENTIRELY on minuscule plankton. A monstrosity INDEED!”

Linus followed them, making no effort at a British accent himself, but would feed them lines.
Linus (interrupting Ruby’s description of a plant she’d plucked off the ground): ... even Charles Darwin himself...
Me: Linus, do you know who Charles Darwin is?
Linus (smiling): No.
I laughed really, really hard when Woo lugged his foot up to a precarious spot on top of a pole and gave a commentary on a bridge built “by a series of humans.”

Ah... impressions... even better with a British accent...

Remember last year when we drew names every day for a secret sibling? The kids loved it and would’ve gone on indefinitely, but the organization was tough on Woo and I. We had to shut it down after awhile.

Anyway, two weeks ago Herbie or Moses or both decided to take the burden upon themselves. They wrote down everyone’s name (kind of... there are some abbreviations that have led to confusion...). Then they hold a drawing every morning and a reveal every evening at dinner.

They’re still going strong and it’s so nice to have them entirely in charge of it. I’m not sure it’s actually led to more peace and less arguing, but the kids sure love it.

The kids have done some very nice things this week. For example, Linus took Archie under his wing to study the week’s conference talk. He went at Archie’s pace and they took notes together. Linus was incredibly kind and patient the entire time.

Penelope saw the dirty cake pan and realizing that I was going to be making apple crisp for Sunday dinner, washed and dried the pan for me. It wasn’t her duty, no one asked her to, it was only Penelope thinking ahead (although Moses says he’s the one who pointed out that I would need the pan again soon).

I thought for sure that Linus had drawn Archie and that Penelope had drawn me (the kids have been generous to keep our names in the drawing), but no. They had completely different people for whom they’d done things like said “Hi, how are you?” and not gotten mad in situations where they’d normally get mad at that person.

We’ve also had a few injuries this week. As always, I’m very grateful nothing’s been bad enough for a hospital.

Moses and Linus were running laps together in the parking lot. They were doing very well, and as they moved out of sight near the stadium, I heard a scream, then Ruby shouted, “Mom! Moses is hurt!” Then she and Herbie sprinted across the parking lot to the place I couldn’t see.

When I got there, Moses was lying at the base of a concrete pillar. He’d been checking his watch or talking to Linus or something and run right into it, hitting his head. There are so few pillars or anything in that parking lot... why on earth did he have to run into one??

Anyway, he appeared to be hurt, but fine. He wasn’t up for running anymore, which was understandable, and he wanted to move to the shade. His pupils were fine; he could walk and sit up fine; there was no blacking out or throwing up, but he did get a very large bump on his forehead.

Then Herbie, who’s been moving from one injury to the other as soon as he can heal from one, broke his nose surfing.

He’s in a lot of pain when he bumps it against me while giving me a hug or someone accidentally brushes against it. Also, he can feel it separating while running or doing jumps on a bike. It’s still straight and doesn’t need setting, but not fun.

He also developed a rash under his watch. I finally remembered to direct him to baby powder, which is the only thing that helped my eczema last year. Sometimes we just have to dry ourselves out here.

While I’m listing things that have gone wrong... Moses, who’s room is on the ground floor of our apartment (in other words, Linus’ room is above his), has a leak in his ceiling that drips water every Spring. By now, Moses quietly takes care of it himself, placing a bowl and some towels in that corner whenever it starts.

This week he discovered a new leak, a tiny trickle of water down the wall by his bed. We also had one of those in the kitchen that we knew about, but this week discovered two.

In happier news I finished disinfecting all ceilings and walls and it’s close enough to spring that I’m likely done until next winter! Yay!
Ruby continues to plug away at online school. She is doing waaaaay more school, and it takes much more time than regular school did. She gets started right after breakfast and morning chores, and other than a break to go to the parking lot with us and dinner and scriptures, she is working on some assignment or another until bedtime. This is including Saturday as well.

She is trying very hard to be cheerful and positive in a tough situation. Last week I know she was frustrated with her lack of free time, especially as there were some things she wanted to read for fun. But this week there has been less of that.

Archie wasn’t as tough this week as last week. He did a lot of whining and wouldn’t try his best in our workouts at the beginning of the week. His worst day was our bike ride day.

We took a route that is mostly a paved bike trail, but ventured off into the dunes a couple of times for variety. The other kids loved it, but Archie hated it!

Sure, trails through dunes are not the best. Sometimes you can ride and sometimes there are sand traps, but’s not like you’re on a steep incline or at 10,000 ft. It’s no problem to walk your bike a few paces every once in awhile.

Archie would’ve been fine on another day, but this day he was convinced it was torture. Still, I tried to encourage him and tell him he was doing great. I stayed near him so he didn’t feel abandoned. The other kids scouted ahead so we could tell him how much farther he had to go.

When Ruby reached the paved trail, she parked her bike and ran back to carry Archie’s for him. He cried and cried on the paved trail after that, until Woo zoomed past us and then Herbie. (They weren’t back from surfing when we left.) Archie knew there was no turning back now, and he also was reminded that riding fast is fun. So away he went with comparatively little complaining.

Woo was my helper this week. He did my chores while I put away groceries because we tried to hit the grocery store as early in the day as possible.

Also, he took Penelope to the school to pick up a book for a reading contest she has next week. I had tried the day before and failed, but we got a message that it really was waiting at the gate for us this time.

Thankfully Woo went because there was still A LOT of confusion amongst the funcion├írios about what was going on. At one point, he said, there were several crowded around trying to figure it all out. Some said Penelope needed to enter the school, but Woo couldn’t. I imagine there was a lot of rummaging around at the gate desk and phone calls, like when I went. In the end, Woo succeeded where I had failed and came home with the book.

Moses’ wanted to celebrate his birthday on Saturday, which we did. He only got about half his presents, opting to wait until stores are open next week to choose the rest.

We let him pick our games in the park. Enfeita was fun with all of us. Friend tag was less fun.

We also had stake conference by Zoom after his birthday dinner. There was a misunderstanding between Woo and I about how much the kids should watch, which did not go over well with the kids.

This week we also got the news that starting next week there will no longer be any packets for Herbie, Moses and Linus. They will need to go to the school and attend online classes there. It doesn’t seem to be as bad as I originally thought. They’ll all be in the library and only for the morning. But Herbie has a lot of pain wearing a mask, so we’re figuring that out.

Sometimes it seems people think that all we have to do is decide to come home and we will. That is not the situation at all. Above all we want to do the Lord’s will, and we know that the Lord’s will is for us to wait. The situation is sometimes difficult here, but we also know that we are being protected from even more difficult things, likely eternally damaging things, that would occur if we were to move home at the wrong time. We will move home when it is the Lord’s will that we move home and not a minute sooner.

And that’s our week! I hope yours was great!