Happy, Happy Birthday!

We kind of crashed this week. It didn't quite seem like jet lag, but it must've been. I mostly felt like I'd been going non-stop for several weeks (without ever getting a full night's sleep), which was also true. Moses complained of a headache. Ruby had severe pain in her foot. Linus felt feverish. Herbie had an accident outside the Lidl. Pressing deadlines at work had Woo cutting short his vacation days and tap-tap-tapping at the computer into the night.

Unfortunately it all coincided with Penelope and Woo's birthdays. As far as Penelope was concerned, her birthday was awesome. Woo dubbed it the second worst birthday ever. Other than opening presents and eating ice cream and singing "Happy Birthday" several times, we did pretty much what we've been doing every other day this week (but way crankier)--going to the beach, walking around town, playing soccer and attempting to stock the kitchen with food.

The kids are ravenous and are tearing through everything we're able to lug home within a day. We're just now making headway. Today Woo announced he thinks we might only have to go shopping two or three times next week.

Some highlights of the week:

We now have a washing machine!

We found the library (in an old villa--this one room is the entire children's section)!

Ruby, Herbie, Moses and Linus now have regular friends at the soccer court, who wait for them to come and play.

We're all speaking and understanding a bit more Portuguese.

We had Teresa (who's been baptized three weeks) over for dinner and I helped her set up a FamilySearch account and we reserved the baptism for her mother who had passed away. That's when I thought: Ah, this is why I'm here.

The missionaries brought a woman into church on the pretext of meeting the American family (she really wanted to speak some English) and she ended up enjoying the meeting a lot and spoke with the missionaries about learning more.

We have hot water as of Friday night!

I think the kids are pretty well settled in their chores now. Herbie, as dishwasher, is washing all of dishes by hand. We don't have a lot of dishes here, but still... If only he knew how rare that is for an 11 yr old boy these days...

Linus had an attitude change on Tuesday. He'd been pretty whiney up to that point, but during morning scriptures, he somehow turned to Alma 60:4 "But behold, were this all we had suffered we would not murmur nor complain."

He knew it was meant for him and read it every morning afterwards, mentally going over situations where he might want to complain, and how he would react instead. He even wrote about it in his journal today.

Unless Ruby is out bodysurfing with Woo at the beach, she is taking care of Archie, which I appreciate and she loves. She really is a great babysitter.

I taught the kids to play Clue for the first time one night. Moses LOVED it! He also loves chess (new to him since a few months), and he's always challenging Ruby to a game. The good news is: despite being very tired, Moses has only dissolved into tears once and that was today after church. The branch had a little surprise celebration for Penelope and Woo's birthday and Moses only got one slice of chocolate cake (some other people got three).

Penelope has such a cute "little girl" run that I love to watch when we're at the beach--because she is running everywhere! Into the water, out of the water, to Archie, away from Archie, etc. So far, my favorite beach memory is watching Linus take Penelope and Archie over to the life guard flags, lining everyone up and then all three of them sprinting into the water. So cute, those little kid sprints!

Today we noticed that our refrigerator had been unplugged for a few days (unplugged by the gas installation guys?) As I've been writing, Woo's been trying to contain himself about the three cartons of ice cream that he bought for his birthday, but are now ruined. He had almost gotten over it until he learned that today is National Ice Cream Day--just more salt in the wound.

When I crash, I really need to read, so this week I read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, A Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle and throughly enjoyed every second of them.

Also, here I am wrestling with substandard plastic wrap. Just one of the many heinous sacrifices I must make to live in Portugal.

I think that's it. Hope you all had a great week!