We've still been doing class together for 1 1/2hrs MWF all summer. The kids resented it the first couple weeks they were out of school, but I knew we had to keep something up to keep us all sane. They've settled down now and it's pleasant. 

The kids are appreciating it and retaining things from our classes (poetry, history, Shakespeare, geography, Old Testament, literature, church history and temples). It's a little bit strange to have Archie ask me random things about say Martin Harris or the Rosetta Stone during the week when he's been thinking about them, but I think it's probably a good thing.

We're coming to the end of Oliver Twist (reading for 30 minutes twice a week). At the Back of the North Wind is our next read for literature and I'm excited, partially because I've never read it before. As a general rule reading to the kids=good, reading for my own personal entertainment=bad.

For example, I had started to read Bleak House a couple of weeks ago. The book was interesting enough, but it was bad for me. Apparently, I don't wind down well by being a consumer (I was getting depressed--not to mention staring at the words Bleak House every time I opened the book). I have to be a producer. Even when it seems like vegging out is exactly what I need, creating something myself is in reality what I need. It takes some mental work that I balk at, especially those first few minutes, but maybe that is exactly the point. After I'm done I feel refreshed and something else that is good. Maybe enriched is the word?

Anyway, our Tuesdays and Thursdays are pretty free, and this Tuesday we went to Aveiro and Águeda! Aveiro is like the Venice of Portugal, lots of boats in a series of canals. The kids really wanted to ride one, but we stalled them by getting pizza at the Telepizza, and then the kids got to ride in a train! (I think it's an equivalent excitement level in most of their eyes.)

We started out sitting quietly, but we were practically alone and it was hot under those face masks. The kids ended up putting their faces right up to the windows and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

We rode to Águeda, which was one of Woo's areas on his mission. He remembered quite a bit more than our visit to Guarda. He found a building he did doors in.

His old apartment.

And the house of a member.

Águeda is apparently home to a few bicycle and umbrella factories? Several of their street lights were oddly hung with tarps like folded up umbrellas.

Herbie worked a lot on his house plans he's drawing up for his future house at the end of the week. He asked me a lot of questions because he wanted to get them just right.

Moses also often works on house plans. He is less concerned with exactness, and sometimes finds tiny toy figures and has them play on the paper in his house plan.

We put our Children and Youth goals up on the window. I was hoping it would help us to be seeing them more frequently, and also to see accomplishment by pulling a finished goal down and saving it for a future awards ceremony. (I mostly was inspired by a family in the Church News.) 

I did tell the kids they could keep private ones private by only writing a code word for them to remember what it was personally. No one took me up on that except Penelope, who's code words pretty much told all. I will have to coach her on that a bit better.

Ruby and Herbie have been fulfilling assignments for their youth thing and sending in clips. Ruby's push ups were apparently so impressive (along with Linus's filming where he insisted that he show her whole body so no one would think she was cheating), that there were comments about why Americans always won all the olympic medals and so forth. (FYI the athletic bar here for anything outside of soccer is pretty low.)

We all went to help Woo's friend flip his sailboat for smearing fiberglass on the bottom.

Archie got jumping jacks!

And argued with Moses over an article titled "Love in our Family."

And I think that's our week!



This week started out pretty drab. There was a dismal, muggy fog. It rained all of one day. It seemed as if nothing would ever change.

Penelope wrapped a blanket around her waist, put her hair up and an apron on and did some organizing.

Dragons was the lego theme of the week.

Moses went to his first meeting for the youth thing. It's all been online. Our kids haven't been the best participants. Also Moses's group activities are always between 8-10pm... He'd dropped off the face of the earth as far as his leader was concerned and she was very worried about him. Anyway, he finally did part of one meeting.

One morning after scriptures, Archie was fascinated about cureloms and cumoms. He kept asking me what they were, and of course, I don't know. I told him to go pray about it, which he ran off, excited to do. He emerged from his room, smiling and saying a cumom was the size of a lama, but with more of an elephant head that went out, not up.

Woo broke another surf board. His fourth break, he says.

Also he changed the oil filter, so the van was good to go. On Saturday, as everyone was driving into town to go to the beach, we were driving out to visit Tomar. We bought our first tank of gas in five months on the way out.

The Convent of Christ was my favorite castle ruin so far. It was easy to imagine it being a very pleasant place to live at one time... so many terraces, vine covered trellises and stepped gardens over a large area. Pleasant, other than the fact that attacking armies were apparently enough of a threat to live all the time inside a fortress.

Ruby also loved the grounds and apparently some of the windows (like the one above) are exactly what she's always wanted for a little bed nook. Walking around, she had dreams of a house with twelve of them in a long row (more of a hall than a bedroom) for the 12 children she's currently planning on having.

Penelope made herself a sandwich before we left to eat as a snack (this is a Portuguese thing). She wrapped it up in a paper towel, then a baggie, and took it out to take a dainty bite or two at different rest intervals.

Herbie finished his transcription of his 3rd great-grandfather's (Isaac Kite Wright) missionary journal. He posted it to FamilySearch last week and has been contacted by a couple of "cousins" who are very excited about it. They are all old people, who ask him about meeting up sometime to talk over the family tree.

The kids finally got their rings for the Children and Youth program in church today. Linus was thrilled, but also very particular about how his ring must fit and which finger it goes on. He spent most of sacrament meeting fiddling with it, most of the period between sacrament meeting and when we got home to primary, complaining and being dissatisfied with it. But in primary he finally got it. It's perfect now!

That's our week!