Pressing On

We had several really wonderful moments this week. 

Last Sunday morning, Woo walked into the living room and announced that he was going to give only compliments all day, no criticisms, no corrections. And he did it! Some of his compliments were kind of funny (or really funny), but he did a fantastic job.

Tuesday morning I noticed a few places in the kitchen that needed extra attention and said a little prayer that somehow the house would get more clean, before I moved on to my regularly scheduled responsibilities.

About an hour later Linus came in and asked if he could do extra chores for a little money (he hoped to earn a euro). When they saw what he was doing, almost everyone else wanted in too.

Linus and Penelope easily took care of the places I was thinking, and at one point I had Herbie helping Linus patch and sand some dings in his bedroom wall, Penelope cleaning the baseboard with a rag and a toothpick, Moses cleaning behind and under the fridge, and Archie cleaning fingerprints off the wall with a soapy rag.

It also became clear this week that while the girls were being excellent at using their time, the boys were drifting into idleness and frivolity. I needed to intervene, so I announced I was going enforce the original summer plan and require an hour of reading in an “educational” book (to be pre-approved by me) with a page of notes.

Because Linus does not take sudden announcements well, I told him he didn’t have to do it until the next day, so he could have a day to get used to the idea.

Herbie, Moses and Archie at first expressed disappointment, but did what I asked, and when we got started they seemed kind of relieved to be settling into a little mental work.

That first day was another nice moment when we were all sitting in the living room, and I had Moses taking notes on a book of poetry (asking me how to spell Lincoln for “O Captain, My Captain”), Herbie reading and taking notes on a biography of Daniel Boone, Archie working on his art skills from the art book, Penelope (who wanted to join for fun) reading and taking notes on a biography of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and we could hear Ruby’s playing of Für Elise drifting in from down the hall.

I had just printed Für Elise for Ruby that morning at her request. I was really surprised that she was getting it so well. It sounded very nice! And I was pleased that she’d taught herself so much on the piano in the last two or three years that we’ve lived here.

The next day Linus joined us. He was predictably unhappy about it until Moses and I pointed him towards a child's biography of Geronimo, and then he was excited and read very happily the entire time. 

Other highlights were visiting the Sacred Grove virtually; having several really wonderful family scripture studies as Linus got over his crankiness and Archie took serious notes and read along closely with every verse; checking on Moses and finding him on his knees, praying; baptisms in the temple; and throwing a pseudo egg hunt (with baggies instead of plastic eggs).

Woo asked, “Was it as fun as a regular egg hunt?” and Penelope answered, “I don’t really remember having an egg hunt, so…”

On the drive home from the temple, Herbie and Moses started to get antsy and giggle and wrestle in the back of the van. Woo asked them to stop, and they sat up and starting reciting D&C 1, taking turns every verse and seeing who could do their portion best.
Woo: This is much better! Thank you!
(Herbie memorized the last verse last night--first one done!)

Lastly, Ruby also requested that I print some chapters of the Qur'an. She’s really loved this and has told me about many things she’s read. One story led me to look up the meaning of the word “muslim.”
Me: It means “one who submits to God.”
Ruby: Oh! That’s similar to Israel.
Which we both found very interesting.

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