This was a big week. First, Herbie turned 12!

Maybe I should list some things he did/got, which are pretty typical of the kids birthdays.
  • We watched pictures and videos of Herbie Sunday evening on the projector.
  • We usually wake the kids up singing "Happy Birthday," but Herbie requested that we not. (He's sharing a room with Archie right now and didn't want to wake him up.)
  • Herbie ate strawberry yogurt for breakfast (usually reserved for Mom or Dad)
  • I did his chores for him all day (except Grandma was in town and couldn't restrain herself from doing some of the laundry--in fact she did laundry all week. It must be her favorite :)
  • Before leaving for school we sang "Happy Birthday" and Herbie opened his presents (that he picked out himself--a watch and a homemade "cow" from Archie. He also got a surfboard and leash.)
  • I was unprepared with a treat, so I sent him to school with 5€ and he and Ruby dropped in the store on the way home from school for a giant Milka bar.
  • He picked dinner (mujadara, pineapple and ice cream for dessert)
  • And normally the kids get a father's blessing for their birthdays, but Herbie didn't because he was...

Ordained a deacon! He's been looking forward to this for a long time, has prayed and read scriptures and conference talks in an effort to prepare, etc. Having Grandma and Grandpa there was an extra treat for him. He also got his first temple recommend, which he's very excited about.

Ruby also had a satisfying week... she finally bought herself some rubix cubes. I think she had big plans to wow all her classmates with her awesome skills, but unfortunately, it's been 10 months and she'd forgotten a few of them. She spent a lot of her free time Tuesday looking things up on the internet until she was back to where she wanted to be.

The kids had school off Wednesday, so we stopped quickly by a pro-surf tour competition in Santa Cruz and then on to the National Palace of Mafra. The gardens there were a big hit with the kids and the playground had a giant chess set. Ruby was pleased to win both games she played.

Grandma also wanted to help Moses with the dishes. She dried while he washed, and he was super excited in the afternoon when he saw there was hardly anything to be done. There was an argument about who got to ride in Grandma and Grandpa's car to Mafra and Moses was one of the chosen ones because he got right to work, tackling a mountain of post-birthday dishes without even complaining.

On Saturday Grandma and Grandpa treated us to Dino Parque--brand, spanking new by 2 months. Penelope was the most taken by this tiny bunny some small child had lost and another thoughtful person put on the fence post to be found. Penelope really wanted it, and stood and stared while the other kids ran and jumped in the playground.

There were some monkey bars at Dino Parque. Linus ran right up and swung back and forth over and over again, just like old times. He inspired a lot of Portuguese kids to want to try it... he made it look so easy... and he was smaller than them! None of them could do it. These are the first monkey bars I've seen here, and I'm sure none of them live as close to a set of monkey bars as Linus did. He had fun, but he did make a few comments about missing the ring monkey bars in Huntsville.

Archie continued his Uno winning spree while playing Grandpa and Grandma. He played six games with Grandpa and won them all. He won 4-2 with Grandma. Even with his cards laying face up on the floor, he can not be beat. (Well okay, he can, but not often.)

Archie was very tired. On Friday he wanted to be constantly entertained and Saturday he did a lot of yelling, which is rare for him. But, he did leave the park with his crown and his 2 shark teeth... eventually... so I guess it was all worth it.

Woo's week was a lot less stressful, now that he's found renters for our rental in Huntsville. He's enjoyed having his parents here--to tease his dad about driving in Portugal and surfing, and see his mom spend time with his kids. He bought a 3000 piece puzzle for us to do after the kids went to bed, or in case of rain. We finally opened the box Friday night with everyone, and after A LOT of sorting, we've got some edge pieces put together.

That's our week! Hope yours was great!