Lucky Thirteen!

With the end of spring break and another holiday, the kids only had school three days this week. (And they have another day off next week too!) The second day they were back in school, I took a 2 1/2 hr nap in the morning, met everyone for lunch, and then took another 2 1/2 hr nap in the afternoon. I don't think I've ever done that before, but I guess I needed it.

Herbie has been telling us for months and months that he wanted blue cheese hamburgers for his birthday dinner. Herbie was excited, but I was skeptical. Hamburgers have not been a successful meal here... it's a lot of work for Woo, and the weather has to be agreeable to cook them over coals... the beef is different here... half the kids HATE blue cheese... Anyway, we went to the store and bought some burgers that I thought might be okay (because they also had bacon in the patty), and then I cooked them in the frying pan.

The store we went to did not have straight blue cheese, but a cream cheese sort of blue cheese that ended up being okay for most of the kids. After smelling them and staring at them in the frying pan, I still couldn't bring myself to eat a burger, but the kids and Woo enjoyed them so much that we bought more for Saturday's dinner and then they all ate the leftovers this morning for breakfast. We even had surprise guests for Herbie's birthday dinner, and they didn't immediately spit out their burger in disgust, but each voluntarily had more than one, so I guess Herbie came upon a hit that I never would've guessed.

Herbie picked an ice cream cake for his birthday treat that he ate for breakfast and lunch (and more ice cream after dinner after singing "Happy Birthday") and he was excited about our guests (2 kids from Hawaii), so I think it ended up being a great birthday for him. Plus, now he's 13!!

Our guests were here 2 days and were very kind to the kids. Linus peppered them with all sorts of personal questions; Moses was very impressed with their skateboarding skills; Penelope clearly developed crushes; and Ruby seemed to barely notice they were here.

Woo and I rode bikes with them over to the Fortaleza museum, which was opened (after remodeling) for the first time since we moved here. This is where political prisoners were kept while Portugal was under a dictatorship. My favorite thing was the pictures of the crowds of people in town and waiting for the prisoners to be released from the Fortaleza on the day the regime fell in 1974.

We also had a big district activity that was fun for the kids. I helped with face-painting, which basically means I paint all my own kids' faces (who all stand in a line by me refusing to let anyone else paint their faces), all other kids choose another lady, and by the time I'm done, everyone else is done too and the face painting is over!

Moses wanted to be a yellow zombie with a black and red eye. Linus wanted to be a blue zombie. Penelope was a "scary princess." Her face paint really weirded Woo out, but when I told him what she'd requested, he said it was spot on. Archie was a "big, scary Indian." Unfortunately, their days of cute, happy face-paintings appear to be over.

Ruby did not want her face painted and ran around in a group of other teens, most of whom she'd become friends with at camp last week, but some of her favorite friends were missing at the activity. And she got some quality time with a bow and arrow, which she always enjoys.

Moses was the undisputed champion in this game thanks to his choosing the biggest bowl in the world.

[edited per the EU's privacy laws]

Woo's been a champion, entertaining everyone for days on end, giving talks for people who fall through, driving other people's cars for them to activities, finding another bike so we can all ride our own bike for the first time in Portugal, holding down a job, multiple surfs, and so on and so on...

Archie's still working on his books, one written on Sunday called "The Best Surfer in the World and the Church." Interestingly, the following pages have zero references to either surfing or church.

And that's all I have for today! Hope your week was great!