We did not really have Thanksgiving here. The kids didn't have school off and no one made a feast. Ruby did roast a chicken and made cookies. I mashed some potatoes and made some vegetables and gravy. For the kids it was a pretty exciting weekday dinner. For me it was fine (I completely lost all my Thanksgiving food memory during one meal in St. Louis, for some reason), but Woo suffered.

It was overcast and rainy. He was sick with the flu and homesick--for Thanksgiving food and his family. He and Herbie did go on a walk where they came home soaking wet. (And found a delicious orange tree growing in the middle of the sidewalk!) He also watched a lot of surfing clips, since he couldn't surf himself.

Moses went on his first field trip to... the local Museum of Lace!! It was more exciting than he was expecting, I think. He liked the "humongous things" they had for making lace.

A group of older kids challenged my boys and one of their friends to a soccer game at the park. I watched Moses move the ball all the way down the court through opponents, entirely by himself, and then score. Twice. He even has one fan, a boy at school a couple grades younger, who watches him play soccer from the sidelines at recess.
Moses (demonstrating his British accent): Bom dia, mate!!
Archie: Mom, Dad was the first baby you had. But--how did Dad get taller??

Penelope has gotten really good at her super sad face which instantly pulls at the hearts strings of all Portuguese; they give her hugs, treats, purses, toys, whatever on hand (and frankly, I'm trying to convince her to stop). But there is one area she is not getting babied. One recess she dropped her pear on the ground. She took it to a recess lady with her super sad face (I can only assume), and... they washed it off and gave it back!

Germs just are not a scare here, nor are food allergies, which is nice in that all the kids are provided with a milk at recess and a box of in-season fruit sits at the back of the classroom for snacking; homemade birthday treats are totally fine, and disinfecting wipes and hand cleaners, etc. were conspicuously missing from the school supply lists.

Almost overnight Ruby has grown up (as in her daily behavior) and it has been wonderful. She has been praying for humility every prayer I've heard her say for probably three months, and that is definitely part of it. She backslides every once in awhile, usually when she's tired or not feeling well, but she is so much more helpful, patient, kind, and quiet and there is a LOT less pestering and arguing going on.

Her Thanksgiving was pretty great, in that she got one of the few completely successful packages we've gotten in the mail--a quilt from the YW in our ward back home.

Linus is cleaning our bathrooms now, and they are the cleanest our bathrooms have ever been! He really does his best job every morning, disinfecting and wiping down every inch. On Saturday, he also really loves to take out everything from under the sink in my and Woo's bathroom and organize it. It looks fantastic, but also takes quite a bit of time, partly because (I discovered yesterday) he's "smelling all of [my] chapsticks!" Peppermint was not his favorite, but he really loves the pumpkin pie one.

One of the grocery stores here is giving out little "guys" from various Dream Works movies as a promotion. It's kind of a pain because the kids argue about who has more, who has a new one, etc. Anyway, on one of our walks, Archie found a guy on the ground and was so happy. Singing about it and dancing... We stopped to talk to a crazy old man (we attract them just like real missionaries!) and Archie dropped his guy over someone's fence.

The kids rigged up a rescue effort while Woo and I tried to talk sense, Moses snagged the guy, threw it up over his head, over the fence, where it bounced off the sidewalk and straight into a gutter drain, where it was lost forever. Archie was devastated!

But a few days later we went to the grocery store and he got a special silver Captain Underpants that no one had ever gotten before and a VW van he bought with his free money, so I think the week ended up well for him.

Herbie got to talk about his beliefs and share his testimony with the big kid at the park who swears a lot and all my kids mostly try to avoid. He was interested to hear that Herbie had good reasons for not swearing, belonged to a different church than most people here, that we don't smoke, not even Woo, etc. Herbie and Linus (who also said a few things) were excited about it.

I did some stuff this week, but this email is long enough already. Here's a picture Woo took of me before starting my run, sharing the beach with a million birds.

Oh, and I found (but didn't try) these amazing "hand-cooked" sweet potato chips.

Oh, and I guess to be fair... after I point out other people's language foibles... I told another pair of Jehovah's Witness this week that God loves himself, instead of God loves them. Still true, but whoops!

Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving!