January Rainbows and Blue Tie Spies

It was our first full week back to school, and boy was it exhausting. We're all going to bed at the same time, but the kids all have circles under their eyes... from waking up early again, I guess. And waking up too early the first few days of the week.

There was a lot of fighting... a parent of the kids' school friends told me, "We're fine except the kids are always fighting."

They were at that very moment tackling each other at the foot of the stairs. I was able to reassure them (and me) that it's just post-holiday January. We'll all even out in a few weeks.

We met with all the kids teachers. Everyone is progressing and learning more and more Portuguese. If we finished the year right now, they would all pass. Of course, they all have their weaknesses and strengths.

Ruby is failing two classes, but her teachers are confident she'll bring those up as she continues to learn Portuguese and she is constantly speaking (or attempting to speak) Portuguese.

Herbie is passing everything, but hardly ever speaks.

Moses is very well-behaved, but timid.

Linus works hard and does great work, but distracts others when he's done with his own stuff.

Penelope... okay, maybe there were no complaints about Penelope. She's speaking Portuguese and excelling in all her first grade studies.

And we didn't talk to Archie's teachers, but I can guess. He's the calmest and most well-behaved kid in class, but rarely tries to speak Portuguese.

I got a new calling today--Primary President. In the past, that has meant sole Primary worker here, but I requested Ruby and she was called as the junior Primary teacher. She taught last week and this already and has done a great job. She instituted a point system with a coloring reward at the end of class to encourage reverence. I never hear them while teaching the older kids and when I go in at the end, they're all quietly coloring (including Ruby).

Ruby's regional race is later this month, so she's been doing "special training" in PE class (running a few extra laps) and went running with me Saturday.

Herbie, Moses and Linus' church clothes all died at the same time. They got matching tuxedo shirts, velvet bowties and plaid pants from Zara.com's yearend sale. They are pretty pleased and spent an afternoon in them as spies.

Linus, the spy, answered a call from Herbie on his walkie-talkie.
Herbie: blah, blah, blah... roger. 
Linus (sneaking through the living room): My name’s not Roger. It’s Wilson, kay.

Herbie gave his first talk here this week. He was excited to talk about the Holy Ghost and shared two experiences where the Holy Ghost had helped him. Herbie's Portuguese is excellent, but he was quiet. Probably only the first two rows heard him.

Moses and Linus were super excited to start swimming for PE this week. They go to the pool every Thursday morning. They were told to bring a hat, which we assumed was a beanie for their wet hair afterwards, because we think the Portuguese are a little overblown about their 50s and 60s winter weather--everyone's constantly wearing puffer jackets and we've even seen kids in snow pants! But no, we were the fools. They wanted swim caps.

Moses had an okay time. It was more fun than normal school, but they did "baby stuff." He wanted to go to the deep part and go off the diving board, but they did lots of exercises in the shallow end as well as swimming basics.

Linus LOVED it! He can not wait to go next week and he loves the "egg" float he learned. The shallow end is still pretty deep for Linus, so he had no complaints about where he was, in fact, he seemed kind of proud that it was up to his chin for a lot of it.

Penelope might have a crush on one of the Elders, which is a first. Mostly she attaches herself to the moms and grandmas in the branch. Also, one afternoon she discovered dust on the baseboards and went around with the spray bottle and a rag, cleaning the baseboards in many rooms. I was happy because I'd noticed the dust myself, but hadn't yet done anything about it.

Archie has been walking around with his head cut off all week. He can not follow the simplest of instructions. He can not figure out the easiest of problems. One thing he's been great at is playing with his new toys and making gigantic messes of clothes and toys with Penelope. Archie came home with his first craft--Senhor Croc--a paper crocodile that he is very proud of.

He's still thinking about Spain:
Archie: On my birthday, when I turn 13, I want to be in Spain. 
Me: You do? 
Archie: Yeah, cuz then I can get one of those bow and arrows at the Costco. You had to be thirteen. 
Me: Okay...  
Archie: I’ll remind you everyday, okay.
Thank goodness he hasn't.

The internet's been working well all year, which has been good news for Woo. He's gotten back into the swing of work stuff. Also he spent his afternoon Saturday making salsa for all those tortilla chips (or corn chips, as he insists they're called) we bought at Costco.

These Inferno chips (WARNING: EXTREMELY HOT Not Suitable For Children) were purchased here. Woo found them to be better than expected and did serve some to the children.

Anyways, that's about it. Hope your January's been great!