11.13.2017

Little Kisses, Little Hugs


The Portuguese are way more affectionate than we are. On one of his first days of school, Linus' little friend kept pushing up against him with his arms out, saying, "Little hugs! Little hugs!" (abraçinhos!)

Linus had no idea what was going on, until I said, "Give him a hug, Linus; he wants a hug!" After getting his hug, his friend was free to run off giving everyone else little hugs, including Woo and me.
Moses: I got kissed today. By a boy!
Apparently, he'd made a super exciting goal at recess and had been mobbed by hugs from everyone on his team.
"And then there was something squishy--it was a face!"

Woo getting off the phone with someone at the utility company(?).
"I'm trying to imagine that conversation happening in English--Goodbye, goodbye. Little kisses. Goodbye. Little hugs."
Technology-wise, the kids appear to be getting the education Woo and I got 30 years ago. Ruby is the only one learning typing. The youngest kids don't have any computer classes. Herbie has at least been in the computer room.
Herbie: It has bars on all the windows. And double doors. You have to walk through two sets of door to go in there. 
Me: Do they have super awesome computers in there? 
Herbie (snorting): No!

No smart boards, or even white boards. Every teacher uses chalk on a chalkboard. The kids were fascinated with those chalk wand thingies some teachers use to hold their chalk (that I haven't seen in decades).

And there are no electrical pencil sharpeners or even manual ones. Each kid carries around a small plastic one in their pencil box (which, for my kids, at least, leads to a lot of extra sharpening and prematurely short pencils).


Ruby and Herbie do a lot of writing, copying down in their notebooks what the teacher spends the entire class period getting up on the board--one reason why cursive is taught the very first year. Penelope comes home every night and practices her cursive letters in her little workbook. She feels pretty grown up and sometimes teaches Archie (and Linus).

We aren't worried at all. One of the things proceeding our decision to move to Portugal was a family fast to know what to do to improve the kids' education. Among other things, moving to Portugal was an answer to that fast, and while the kids aren't getting a state-of-the-art education, they're learning other things that simply weren't possible in Utah.


Anyway, that's all I have this week, except this picture of Woo and another new surfboard. It had to live on his side of the bed for a short time because I refused to let it live on mine.

Hope your week was great!

11.06.2017

Stuff and Other Stuff


We ended daylight savings last week so I was all geared up for having the worst week ever, but it wasn't too bad. The kids were actually pretty tame. They didn't have school Wednesday and it was also overcast and probably the tiredest day for everyone. That day started out miserable, but we got out to look over some cliffs and check out a different beach, so everyone ended up feeling better.

I was sort of relieved to skip Halloween this year. No costume, candy or party burden and no overexcited kids.
Me: Did you miss Halloween? 
Moses: Nah.
In the aftermath of last Halloween Woo had sworn that we would never go trick-or-treating again, I'm not sure anyone really believed him, but we also never imagined we'd be in Portugal for the next one.


Another thing that probably helped is that the downstairs neighbors complained that we were being too loud in the mornings, especially on weekends and holidays when they want to sleep in (Of 16, I think, apartments in our building, only 3 appear to be occupied right now. One is us and another is directly beneath us... poor people.)

We put down a rug, changed rooms where we assemble for morning scriptures and the kids are trying to be more quiet.


I didn't realize until this week that the kids' language foibles are going to be all tied up in another language now.
Archie: Do you know how to say "high five" in Portuguese? 
Me: No, what is it? 
Archie: Mais cinco!
He went off by himself for a while, muttering about high fives and mais cincos and came back.
Archie: Actually, high five is olá cinco! (hi five)

Ruby has a crush on a boy here. She talks about him a lot... he's the son of Ruby's Portuguese teacher and also one of a set of twins, who are apparently still dressed in matching clothes by their mother. Ruby laughed a bit when she told me this, but I guess it doesn't hinder his attractiveness.
Me: So why do you like this one and not the other twin? 
Ruby: Well, this one is a little more athletic, well... they're both pretty slow... but he's a little less slow...
I haven't seen him, but knowing Ruby, I think his appeal must lie in his resemblence to Harry Potter.


A section of all the kids curriculum is reserved for catholic studies, but only members of the local diocese (?) attend the class. Ruby and Herbie come home early. Moses, Linus and Penelope go to a seperate art and morals class offered at the same time. Linus and Penelope have their class together. They both came home to tell us they'd sung "Sou um Filho de Deus" (I'm a Child of God) together over and over again in that class while coloring (which they'd both happened to memorize on their own in Portuguese two days before) and Linus had talked about the Book of Mormon when the teacher had talked about scriptures. They were both excited and Linus told me it was the favorite thing of his day.


Herbie's daily prayers for faith (and other things) he committed to a few months ago seem to be the only thing standing between him and insanity. Every couple weeks he'll throw a giant tantrum or two. I'll ask him if he's been saying his prayers; he'll admit that he hasn't and he'll recommit himself, for a couple more weeks, until the next time he gets lax.


Moses was worried about leaving the laundry to start the dishes (and let's be honest, the pile is intimidating), but he now uses it as his time to sing and sometimes swing his hips in a little dance. There is something therapudic about washing a sink of dishes by hand, if that's the only chore you have to do.

Woo took the van in for inspections, he was already dragging his heels and hanging his head as he went out the door, but it passed! His experience was further inhanced by the inspector being incredibly kind. It's about time something worked out for him the first time!


Yesterday was a surprisingly relaxing day. In the afternoon we all went to the park to play some soccer (except Nellpea, who was doing "exercises"). After awhile we joined Nellpea.
Woo: I can't do this one, Nellpea. It's too hard. 
Nellpea: They're supposed to be hard! That's WHY they're stretches!

Keeping my testimonies super simple seems to be the thing for me to do right now. I am telling stories in my talks and occasionally in my Sunday School lessons. I might start including those at some point.

Hope your week was great!


I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and also President Thomas S. Monson.
I know that the commandments bless us when we keep them.
I know that Jesus Christ loves me and I love him.
I know that when we are on the right path, we are safe.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Eu sei que Joseph Smith é propheta de Deus e também o Presidente Thomas S. Monson.
Eu sei que os mandamentos abençoam nos quando guardamos os.
Eu sei que Jesus Cristo me ama e eu amo o.
Eu sei que quando estamos no caminho certo, estamos seguros.
E digo isto em nome de Jesus Cristo, amém.

Ich weiß daß Joseph Smith ist ein Prophet Gottes und auch Präsident Thomas S. Monson.
Ich weiß, daß die Gebote uns segnen, wenn wir sie halten.
Ich weiß, daß Jesus Christus liebt mich und ich liebe ihn.
Ich weiß, daß wenn wir auf dem richtigen Weg sind, sind wir in Sicherheit.
Das sage ich, im Namen Jesus Christus, amen