A Bunch of Answered Prayers

Covid numbers were rising in town, so Ruby was tested again this week. (This is going to be an every two week thing for the high school??) 

Ruby was nervous about returning to online school and said a lot of prayers as two kids went home feeling sick the day before, but no one in her class tested positive. At least six people in the school did though because six classes are now online for ten days.
Me (looking at the size of the Gilbert AZ temple): I’m always amazed at how many people live in Arizona.  
Woo: Phoenix has what, 3 million people?  
Me: I know! I always think of Arizona as this giant desert or something, but people live there!  
Woo: Your brother is one of them.  
Me: And your sister.  
Woo: Chelsey, this is going to surprise you, but there are millions of people living normal lives... living in houses, sitting on couches, access to hamburgers.  
Me (laughing because decent hamburgers—and couches—have become the unattainable symbol of the good life to us)  
Woo: I’m serious. Name one American that within five minutes can’t go out (or make in their own home) and have a hamburger in their hands.  
Me: ...filling their bellies...  
Woo: Name one! 
I couldn’t name one.

Woo doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to help people move here, but he did get to help someone move their boat for about four hours.

Me: How was it?  
Woo: Well, it wasn’t a cat owner who hadn’t packed yet… but I did get to sit in a car with a dog!

The morning Woo was leaving, I forgot my keys taking Archie to school. Halfway there I realized Woo wouldn’t be home to let me in after my run, and I needed to turn back for the keys right then.

I told Archie to give me a hug and run on ahead so he wouldn’t be late.

Archie: Mom, I’m scared!

I started to list some options for him, but before I knew it and before he’d given me a hug, he had torn off for the school as fast as he could.

I guess he’d decided that he could do it, and to sprint past all the dangers immediately, while the coast was clear. No kidnappers, dogs, or cars got him, and I got the keys.

Archie got an assignment to write a book for school. He had what he felt was a brilliant idea, that no one else had thought of, to write a comic book. He immediately got to work and wrote it that evening.

He took it to school the next day, and read it to his friends, who all wanted their own copies. He’s been working on little books ever since.

Linus finished covering all the upstairs windows with cardboard. The quality of his work and innovation took a hit with each window, but he got them all done. It is much, much darker up there now.

Linus still was crabby until Thursday evening.
Wednesday, as a family, we got the rebuke that we needed to work harder on contention and rudeness. Hard-heartedness was the culprit.

In the morning I had each of the kids pray about what they were hardening their hearts against (and did the same myself, of course).

Herbie, who’d been finding himself dragged more and more into Liney’s grouchiness, was excellent that morning. He talked about his soft heart and immediately did my every suggestion, and even some I didn’t mention, but he’d remembered me saying in the past.

Like he wiped up the sink and counter after Linus did the dishes instead of criticizing Linus and immediately dropped to his knees when we said it was time to pray.

But that afternoon, Linus and Herbie came home shouting at each other, in a big argument.

Neither one of them was able to let it go for a long time. I don’t know what finally helped them (other than prayers?), but that night they forgave each other, and decided to be friends. They even decided to hug, and Linus kissed Herbie, which Herbie acted disgusted about, but listed it as one of his daily blessings. They both mentioned being friends in their prayers and have been talking about their soft, squishy hearts ever since.

I overheard Ruby telling Moses(?) about her dream the night before. It had a pretty obvious interpretation, I thought.

Me: I can tell you what your dream means, Ruby.

Ruby (laughing, amused, but disbelieving): Really? What?

Then I told her in one or two sentences, and she stopped laughing and was dead silent for several moments as it was clear to her that I was right.

Ruby’s morning runs have led to morning showers, which have led to greater care in her dress. She even wore a skirt on Friday because of her friend’s shock that she’d worn overalls and then white pants and basically all the clothes that her friend would wear, but didn’t think Ruby ever would or could.

You know that old parent line: all I want for my birthday (or Christmas) is good kids?

Well, Moses took that to heart and was excellent all day for my birthday. Actually, most of the kids were great in the morning, but Moses was the only one able to keep it up literally all day.

He immediately got to work on his chore in the morning and proudly came and told me that he’d done the best job he’d ever done scrubbing the toilets. He seemed to have surprised and pleased even himself with his efforts.

He thanked me graciously and immediately for any treat I brought home, or anything I did. He never argued with anyone or got distracted or told jokes at the wrong time. He was always on task. He remembered everything we asked him to do with no reminders.

Even in the evening when everyone else was tired or had forgotten it was my birthday after being at school, he was still on task. He set the table. (Linus cut the pizza.) He was the first one with his teeth brushed and ready for scriptures and prayer.

Ruby had big plans for what she going to do for my birthday (deep clean her room, make dinner, etc), but she got hit in the head by a volleyball during P.E. It was also the day after her covid test. She spent her afternoon off sitting in bed drawing and looking kind of miserable. She is, of course, forgiven.

At the end of January, we got an extra sweater in a package of clothes we ordered for Penelope. The sweater was on sale and I think 3€? When I emailed the company to tell them, we were fully expecting them to tell us to keep it. I told Penelope she could give it to one of her friends, and she was excited to surprise her.

But the company didn’t say we could keep it; they wanted it back. The options were to take it to a brick and mortar store (1/2 hr away) or to a drop off point at a cafe in town. Then everything shut down and neither was possible for about three months.

I wasn’t excited about the drop off point. I had to print a return (we don’t have a printer), I’d have to explain (in Portuguese) that I shouldn’t be charged for shipping, it sounded like a mess. A couple weeks ago Woo decided to take it to the cafe for me, but it also turned out to be more work than he was expecting, and the sweater remained in a box in our room.

So for my birthday, I decided to drive to the mall in Caldas, return the sweater, maybe take a look around… something reminiscent of the old “day off” I used to take on my birthday.

Woo made sure the van was in working order (but forgot about the gas), and pulled the van out of the garage for me. (It’s much trickier now that someone decided to permanently store a Jeep in the space in front of us.)

Anyway, long story short, I got lost without a working phone, was low on gas, said several prayers (to find the mall, a place to park, that the van wouldn’t be towed or ticketed or roll down the hill, to effectively communicate the return of the extra sweater, to not run out of gas, for everyone to be safe without me, me to be safe, etc.—all were answered), and got the sweater returned.

I tried to look around the store, but I spent less than a minute in there. I had to leave pronto because the Holy Ghost did not like the music (Woo had prayed that I wouldn’t lose the Holy Ghost when I left the apartment), and the rest of the mall held nothing for me either.

After some more prayers I found the grocery store (which was playing NO music!). I found a running jersey and high top sneakers on sale, bought dinner, treats, lunch and headed home.

At evening prayers Woo expressed thanks that the sweater was no longer plaguing us and that we’d gotten rid of that bit of debris bothering us :).

Woo was happy this week because Ruby’s new residency permit and his replacement bank card both arrived safely in the mail (answers to prayers, of course :)

Every school day without fail, Penelope returns home at lunch and runs to her room to read a little Doctrine and Covenants before I come home with Archie. It was a personal goal that had a few starts and stops as she tried to find the right time and to start a new habit, but she’s got it down now!

She’s also been writing poetry, and she’s working on a treasure hunt for her friend AndrĂ©’s birthday. It’s for him to do at recess.

Archie (tattling): Dad, Moses just took another nectarine! 
Woo: Did he really?! 
Will you go tell Moses that I love him? 
And that you love him?

Archie ran away laughing, I assume to follow Woo's instruction.

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