Archie Turns 6!

We had a pleasant last few days of Christmas break. Plus, it was Archie's birthday! He turned six and was so, so excited, and delighted with everything that happened or he got. I love that he is so easy to please and grateful. The back-scratcher I randomly got was a surprisingly successful present.

The kids went back to school on his birthday. When we walked into Archie's class, all the kids spontaneously shouted his name as if they had missed him and were happy to see him. It was a great birthday welcome.

The weather was great and Woo took the boys to the skatepark several times (and occasionally Penelope).

They were all very excited about their progress there: Moses and Herbie dropped into the 5' halfpipe, Linus rode the scooter around the bowl, Archie rode his bike around and around.

I, of course, decided a little skatepark was what was missing from my house plan, and I spent time researching and designing one with input from Herbie and Moses (mostly).

Ruby continued to spend a lot of time with her keyboard. She can pick out and play the melody of almost anything after a few tries. She went to the recycling center for some pvc pipe and spent a morning washing, measuring, cutting (with the help of Woo), and assembling a pan flute for a class.

This week I noticed that blessings the kids were promised in their blessings before we left (a year and a half ago), are happening.

Ruby was promised that with her ability to mimic others, she'd be able to speak Portuguese and sound as if she was born here. Check.

She, Herbie and Moses also think its fun to speak like Brasilians, which always makes them laugh a lot.

Moses (who you might remember was very timid), was promised he'd learn to speak up for himself. He only got a bom in English, which he and we think can't be right. I told him he needed to ask his teacher about it, and he nodded his head and agreed, no problem.

A few minutes later we were in the store; he found something he wanted, but there wasn't a price marked. He walked up to the cashier and asked her the price... in Portuguese... what??? I couldn't believe the change, which seems to have happened overnight.

Herbie was promised that he would learn to sacrifice for his younger brothers and sisters. He's been buying them Christmas presents with his own money, bought Archie a birthday present, and has become much more patient with them. A couple days ago Penelope spilled water on his leg and new slippers at dinner. He took them off and cleaned up the mess himself, without any shouting or accusations at all.

He also had the kind of weird experience of being in line behind a lady who refused to pay the rest of her bill (0.35€). She walked out of the store. The cashier asked Herbie if he could pay it. He counted his money, agreed, and then bought his present for Archie.

We made it to the bumper cars one last time--they were so fun and a reasonable price--we met the Sisters there (and Elders from the nearby town). It was their p-day and they wanted to say goodbye one last time before they were transferred.

We discovered Archie could have fun if he sat right in Woo's lap.

The kids were at the park before we left. Linus hid his soccer ball and goalie gloves in the bush he's hid them in all summer, except now they're looking pretty scraggly. Linus' bright orange soccer ball was completely visible from all angles everywhere in the park. Woo warned him that anyone could see it... but Linus swore it always worked before... when we got back from the bumper cars, Linus' soccer ball and gloves were stolen.

He was devastated. He cried and cried. I carried him part of the way home. Then I suggested his hoody pajamas... getting into something fuzzy always helps him feel better... Ruby shared her piano with him, and we managed to get him cheered back up.

Archie told anyone who would listen that he was going to buy Linus a new ball and gloves with his birthday money, and he really meant it. He was still talking about it a few days later, but I told him it wasn't necessary; Linus had his own money.

Penelope bought a bike with the rest of her Christmas money--the coveted "pikachu" brand, but it's pink and the right size, and that's all Penelope cares about.

We finally got all the Christmas junk cleaned up. I cleaned two garbage bags out of Penelope's room. I think she had every toilet paper roll we'd ever used in there, along with a bunch of new Christmas stuff. She must just collect garbage around the house, with the express purpose of storing it in her room.

Anyway, after cleaning it out, she was so pleased with the result, she spent all her free time from one entire day in there reading on her bed.

The Sisters were transferred out of our branch. There was a good feeling from these last ones, and one of them left notes for us on all the chalkboards in the church, which were fun for us to find today.

Woo picked up the new Elders, and has showed them around some. He's already done more with the missionaries this week than he has in months. The Elders seem to be much more comfortable having him around and working with them.

We were excited to start our new Sunday program. Our home study of Matthew1 and Luke1 went really well, and that, along with FINALLY! having Sacrament meeting first, were powerful bursts towards a really fulfilling Sunday.

And there are a few pictures of boys before their nerf war. I was sleeping (head cold) and Penelope and Ruby were playing Settlers.

That's all we have. Hope your week and ease back into regular life went well!

Testimony Below:

Last night I read a scripture that I have never noticed before in Matthew 10:41

He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward;

As we begin to follow the prophets instruction to condense our church meetings and study the gospel more in our homes as individuals and families, I know that we will be blessed to the degree that we are obedient to that instruction.

I know that the prophet speaks for Jesus Christ and that this is His instruction too.

In the name to Jesus Christ, amen.


Ontem à noite eu li uma escritura que nunca estou a notar antes, em Mateus 10:41.

Quem recebe um profeta em qualidade de profeta, receberá galardão de profeta;

Ao começarmos a seguir as instruções do profeta para condensar nossas reuniões da igreja e estudar o evangelho mais em nossos lares como indivíduos e as famílias, eu sei que seremos abençoados na medida em que estamos obedientes a essa instrução.

Eu sei que o profeta fala por Jesus Cristo e que esta também é Sua instrução.

Em nome de Jesus Cristo, amém