Hurricanes and Other Stuff

We dropped the ball on pictures this week, but the kids were much better. There were no problems at all, except the 3 or 4 tantrums Linus threw. Hopefully, he'll pull himself together next week.

Herbie and Moses are super excited because they introduced their two best friends (who are brothers) to the Sisters. They and their mom are now meeting with the Sisters and things seem to be going very well; although they have not been to church yet. Moses is working on a Book of Mormon cover for his friend right now.

We had heard nothing about a hurricane headed this way until Woo's dad texted yesterday afternoon. Then we found a lot of sensational headlines predicting the storm of the century. No one here was concerned at all. It turns out fishermen know their storms.

We did get some water and fill the house with food, just in case. Wind and rain started about 7pm. I moved all the kids sleeping on the upper level down to be with the rest of us around 9pm. Minutes after that the wind died and remained silent. The storm completely fizzled into nothing.

Here's kind of a cool thing Woo discovered a couple weeks ago... Svoboda is the name of the czech family line I've been researching, and we've been doing their temple work for the past two years. Anyway, Woo discovered that the word svoboda means freedom in English.

It brings to mind things like this: "The Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light--yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom." or one of my personal favorites: "For the prisoners shall go free."

Ruby, Herbie and Moses made it to kayaking for the first time this week. They had a lot of fun; although, there was some complaining of Ruby ramming into or splashing her brothers on purpose, and they were exposed to the sailing team, who were all zipping around in tiny sailboats made for one or two people. They all wished that was what they could be doing.

Linus, Penelope and Archie went to the beach with their school to pick up garbage. Archie's teacher said he did a great job of actually picking up garbage while they were there (something I imagine might be difficult for 3-5 yr olds with the temptation of the sand and the dunes).

Linus wore his Elmo hat in anticipation of his morning on the beach. Looking at him, I realized I hadn't seen any Sesame Street stuff in Portugal.
Me: Does everyone know Elmo here?  
Archie: Do they believe in him?
Linus said no to both questions. Most kids think he's wearing an Angry Birds hat.

Penelope cut her hair once last week. Then she (or a friend--I haven't gotten a clear answer yet...) cut it again to attempt bangs. I've tried to fix it a bit. Anyway, this is what we have now:

I love conference, but the last couple, I've had kind of a weird feeling while watching it (never while reading)... attributed solely to my pride, probably... but where I feel lost in a crowd, listening to a speaker address everyone in the world, while I've wanted something more personal, something just for me.

Anyway, I said a little prayer about it last week and forgot about it. Then on the last talk I watched--President Nelson's talk in the women's session--three times he said something exactly the same as my back-to-school blessing from Woo. Then I remembered my prayer. That was the answer.

This is what I attempted to bear my testimony about today, but I completely forgot it was testimony meeting until it was about to start and my Portuguese was a bit of a mess. I'm not going to try to recreate it.

I hope you had a great week!


Crazy Kids Week

This week we were in the thick of the getting-back-to-school craziness and then we decided to do a bunch of things that would be tough with a bunch of kids, let alone crazy kids.


Attend a moving away party right before bedtime for a member moving to Angola, and expect the kids to stay seated or happy inside his living room sized courtyard.

Had a new member over for dinner in our apartment (also, right before bedtime, when the kids get their wildest).

Visited Óbidos, which is actually a pretty cute medieval town with an intact castle wall you can walk clear around. Unfortunately, there is no guardrail and I flatly refused to let the kids on it. (My fears were later vindicated by Penelope tripping and falling while crossing the street. Crazy kids=clumsy) Instead we walked down crowded streets with vendors where the kids wanted to touch and buy everything, or windy, maze-like streets where the kids wanted to run like the wind and get completely separated and lost.

Then lastly, we watched a session of conference we'd already watched, but in the church, in our church clothes, in a foreign language and Steven unavailable because he needed to help everyone with their technical difficulties. Actually, the kids were awesome at the one. I was the one who almost lost it.

This is the week I've remembered what it's like to be frustrated. Oh, how quickly I forget.

Anyway, here's the good news of the week:

I cut the boys hair! (And Penelope cut her own.)

Linus learned how to make melted cheese by himself and made it for him, Penelope and Archie several times this week for lunch.

Ruby is out of the crazy start-of-school phase. She was the calm and collected one for most of the week (so nice to have one, finally!)

Moses prayed about his two afternoons at home, and he got the answer that he should make a playing schedule with Archie. So far it's mostly dress up and play Star Wars or Avatar, but also a little soccer at the park.

Archie and I have two afternoons just us, and he wanted to do his favorite rotations for part of it, and park or library the other part.

Mom and Dad are coming to visit!

Penelope swept the patio at the moving away party.

The kids enthusiastically made their own Conference Bingo games that they played happily and kept everyone, but Archie quiet for 95% of the time.

Woo had his own frustrating week, spending a lot of time at the church trying to fix the computer for the Sisters to watch conference. He gave up everything he wanted to do (surfing, getting a break, etc.) for two days, either hanging out with us at Óbidos or doing that for the Sisters... who he also had to run off to help 30 seconds before the first Saturday session started and leave us to fend for our own with the projector (which we--Herbie mostly--had no trouble).

Anyway, I'm excited for the 2 sessions of Conference I still get to watch (still haven't watched the Women's Session because it was the middle of the night for us. Although, Woo's watching it right now... ) I hope you all had a great week!