John's letters to Whitney.
One funny story: Brick went to the restroom during Sacrament meeting, and I told him to come back to the foyer when he was done because it was during the Sacrament, and I wanted to partake. Anyway, as he was coming back down the hall he passed between three men from another ward who must have been in their early twenties. Without saying a word he lightly kicked one of them in the shoe. They looked at him with astonishment and then laughed. I asked Brick to go back and apologize, but while he was considering that they left. At home I talked with him and said, "Brick, I am just curious as to how you think. Did you give that much thought, or did you just see a foot and kick it out of the blue without thinking much about it?" He confirmed that he hadn't given it much thought.
One more thing: As I was doing some dishes last night I decided to do a science experiment with the kids. I got two of those plastic bowls and put a small amount of milk in the bottom of each bowl with about a table spoon of rice krispies on top of the milk. Then I set those on top of the microwave to sit for 24 hours. Tonight I will get two other bowls with the same amount of milk and rice crispies and let them sit for five minutes or less. I will then get four volunteers to clean the four bowls all at the same time, and we can see which bowls are easiest and quickest to clean. Hopefully that will get through to somebody, although I know it is a long shot.
The science experiment had no symbolic value. Just another failed attempt on my part to communicate to children the value of washing dishes earlier rather than later. I asked each of the boys which bowl they wanted to clean and told them I would time them. Fortunately two boys chose each of the two bowl options. Rock and Dash chose the crusty bowls because they thought the caked on cereal would peal right off. Rock took 32 seconds and there was still slight residue left. Dash took a minute and then I called it. Both Tank and Brick had their fresh bowls clean in two seconds. Since that time no behavior has changed to any observable degree.