2.17.2019

Coimbra


We had a fun week. The weather has been fantastic, like summer temperatures for us, and the next week or two are forecast to be the same.

Ruby, Herbie and Moses' school had a 3 on 3 basketball tournament this week. Herbie thought to invite his team to play with the Elders on Monday to practice, and they came. Everyone had a great time, and one friend was so impressed that one Elder could dunk a basketball, that he filmed it and watched it over and over again, even sometimes in class, according to Herbie.

Ruby was the high scoring player on her team again, but she lost the little kick up of one leg she used to have whenever she shot the ball, so she was less entertaining for us to watch.

She had a happy week where she got lots of tests back with muito boms and one teacher listed all her good student qualities for the rest of the class.

The rewards system we started last week have been helping a lot of us in other areas. Moses found a way to motivate members of his (out of control) class to behave better with rewards involving him and his Pokemon cards. He came home encouraged and spent a couple hours putting together card packages, because some kids had been really motivated.

I used almost entirely rewards in Primary, and a girl who refuses to give talks, accepted an assignment to give one next week. Also, Archie sat for long periods of time straight up in his seat with his arms folded... practically unheard of earlier.

Penelope has been doing lots of extra things for me like set and clear the table, pick up 25 things, etc... and then she rarely cashes in her rewards without a reminder. She's pretty self-motivated.

A reward Linus likes is an extra story night, and I award him more stars for his problem area: being grouchy, cranky, belligerent, etc. for evening scriptures. He's tired then, but he can still behave better, and he has almost every night.

There was a teachers strike on Friday, so we took the opportunity to drive up to Coimbra. We loved it. I think we would've gone sooner if we'd known. Almost half these pictures are from Portugal dos Pequeninos, a park filled with small versions of buildings around Portugal. Some were historical buildings, some were houses typical of different areas in Portugal.

The kids loved it, and could've spent all day there. If we lived closer and there was any concept of an annual pass here, this would've been the place to get it.

Coimbra is home to the one of the oldest continuously running universities in the world. I think the oldest in all of Europe, and certainly the oldest in Portugal. It was established in 1290. I was mainly interested in seeing the library, but for us it was kind of dud. It probably hadn't helped that we'd just been to Rome a couple weeks ago.

We did really like the science museum. There was a room or two with more modern, interactive exhibits, but there's still a lot of worth in old-fashioned natural history exhibits. Some of the displays were hundreds of years old.

The kids loved things like stuffed specimens of 2-head lambs or whale skeletons. Woo loved a lot of the fish and the personalities he imagined they had. I loved the old display cabinets.

Woo is less sick and has done some surfing, but has not managed to get a lot of rest between basketball tournaments during prime nap times and day trips to other cities in Portugal.

He was asked to give an extra talk for someone who fell through this week, but we had a surprise visit from a counselor in the district presidency and Woo didn't have to give a talk after all.

That's our week! Hope you all are enjoying your snow!


Smiling at a crocodile


These stairs are even longer than they appear. What looks like the end is actually an overhang you walk under.