Olá, água, fantástico!!!

Well, we've already amassed Portuguese language apps, podcasts, cartoons, grammar books, CDs, etc. It's been a long time since I've learned a language, but I'm pretty sure I'm learning more than I ever did in high school German, probably not as much as German 101, and definitely not as much as being in the country itself. I am pretty pleased that I can now say, "I don't understand Portuguese" in Portuguese. (Eu não entendo português.)

We haven't shared a whole lot with the kids yet, mostly because we've been screening everything ourselves. Woo makes sure it's teaching European Portuguese (not Brazilian), and I test for ease of use and to make sure it takes us beyond finding hotels and calling taxis.

But they are excited for everything they get their hands on. One evening Ruby and Herbie poured over a grammar book together, with Ruby repeating, "Olá, água, fantástico!!!" over and over again.

I made an experimental failure of a meal one night. It was edible, mostly. Just not particularly delicious. And had ingredients that really shouldn't be together together. Like onions and oatmeal. And peas. Anyways, enough about that... everyone was at the table poking around in their bowls, and during a pause in general grumbles and complaints, Ruby launched into an high-minded lecture, "I, for one, am thanksgiving for..."

She hit starving people in China and all the other necessary talking points in this type of situation and when she was done, Woo stood up and applauded. "Ruby for President!"

I hope she joins the debate team.

Herbie is, by far, the most interested in learning Portuguese. He'll sidle up by me whenever I'm looking at something so he can learn too, and that grammar book is his favorite book right now. Language and reading are his strengths, so I'm not particularly surprised. This whole thing is a dream come true for him.

Moses has been having a hard time getting to sleep. Something about Christmas, and presents, and moving to Portugal, and Christmas... The first night we told the kids we were thinking of going to Portugal, he laid in bed for half an hour, then called, "I'm having lots of good dreams tonight, Mom! Lots of good dreams about moving to Brazil!" And about an hour later he'll actually went to sleep.

Here's Linus with his friend Rocko. He's the only one who's expressed any concern at leaving his friends or whether there'll be new friends for him in Portugal. His group of friends seem to really love him. Once when he went home sick, his teacher told us how sad his friends were that he wouldn't be there for recess, and he sometimes comes home, "So-and-so doesn't want me to move."

Penelope wanted to go ice skating for her Daddy Day, but the rink was too slushy (I think we got more rain this week than snow, again), so they went cross country skiing. And because she's five, they only had to go around the yard and the pasture. At one point she tried to ski up the bike jumps, which she did, but when she got to the top, she kept sliding down backwards and falling over on her hands.

"Harry Potter and Ginny!"

Archie kept telling everyone he was going to be a wiseman in the Christmas nativity, which would always get a rise out of Moses and Linus, because they knew that they and Herbie had been asked to be the wisemen. They argued with him and tattled on him and tried to get me to lay down the "only Herbie, Moses and Linus are wisemen" law, but I stayed out of it. Then a few days before the nativity, Herbie was asked to be Joseph and Archie was a wiseman. He was so thrilled, AND he had been right, just like he always knew.

Well, that's it! Hope your week was great!


Portugal aqui vamos nós!

Well, it's official. Woo bought eight one way tickets to Portugal this week. We'll be leaving this summer, with the plan to stay a year.

We're excited, but realistically speaking, we also know it'll be like three months of tears every night. (Some of them mine.) But we've always wanted to do something like this, and now is the time. Our youngest is old enough and our oldest is young enough, and all the kids are super excited and up for the challenge of entering Portuguese public schools and learning Portuguese.

There is no temple in Portugal yet, so that will be a sacrifice for us, but ground is broken for one in Lisbon, and we're hoping to move into a struggling branch and help the people prepare for their temple. We're looking at it as kind of a mini mission for our family, and Woo is excited to show us the sights and all the cool castles and maybe take up surfing.

We got quite a bit of snow this week (and even more rain :(. Woo got some snowboarding in and instead of my usual run I ran a loop around our yard and pasture while the kids played in the snow. One loop Archie was waiting for me, smiling, on the side of my trail with a soccer ball strategically placed in the snow. He kicked it far in front of me, and as I ran by said, "I was trying to hit you, Mom!"

He laughed and I laughed and every time around he would try to hit me, but with giantic snowballs from then on, which he always threw far in front of me. Except the time he dropped the snowball on his foot and hurried to scoop some up onto my pants. "I got you, Mom! I got you!"

Ruby is very excited to turn twelve and remembered and went to talk to the Bishop herself so she can get her first temple recommend to go do baptisms on her birthday. She's also excited to start Young Womens and the entire Young Womens group is excited for her to move up. Everyone, leaders and girls, talk to me about it frequently.

We finally got the tree up this week and Herbie pretty much took over. He did the heavy lifting and instructed everyone as to what they should do when, which made for an extremely easy decorating experience for me. He also likes to teach his younger brothers and sisters the little bit of Portuguese he already knows.

Moses chose to go sledding for his Daddy Day. Unfortunately, they went before we got a few more inches of snow, but there was still enough to move a sled, or tow your dad uphill.

Linus knows Santa isn't real so he came home worked up in a dilemna, wondering what he should do about this class assignment. I told him it was fine, and he wrote this pretty cute (I think) letter after all.

Penelope continues to read and write everything she can. She's becoming a pro at setting up little study areas for herself. Some are more secure than others. The suitcase it prone to tipping.

Well, that's all I've got. Hope your week was great!