Tired of making salsa and out of tortilla chips, Woo took up mixing cocktail sauce this week. Then we went to the store for some shrimp. I convinced Woo that the kids would help and he bought two big tubs.

Then I forgot and made a big dinner. The kids hardly ate any. Woo polished them off in two days and later in the week bought another tub. 
Woo: Well, I can’t have steak, but at least I can still have shrimp! 

We fasted and prayed and we talked with the kids, and they’ve been pretty well-behaved despite the time change. I had some leftover Capri suns from eating at the pinhal with the Elders and offered one to any kid who tried their hardest to sleep in two mornings and not be contentious. (Ruby was the only one not motivated by this incentive, or any, really, but she tries to be good anyway.)

A few of the kids think it’s impossible to sleep in, so we emphasized the concept of faking it ‘til you make it, and they did it! By Friday they were waking up when they needed to. 

Still, Ruby got a stuffed, runny nose on Thursday. Not wanting to go to school and be sent to the isolation room or home, she opted to not go to school.

This backfired a bit when her teacher contacted us wanting to know where she was and strongly encouraging her to call the hotline and get tested. This appeared to be a giant headache, until Ruby explained she had no other symptoms, she got a runny nose around the time change every year, etc., etc. Luckily, her teacher was convinced, and she was able to return to school Friday fine. 

With Ruby at home, Moses was set to walk home alone in the dark. I quickly finished dinner, threw it into the oven on low to keep it warm, and ran out the door to meet him at school and accompany him home.

Halfway there I realized I’d forgotten a mask. Masks are now obligatory even outside if many people are around. Moses’s school is in the busiest area of the city and I didn’t want a fine or an encounter with the police, so I smoothed out a paper towel I had on me, tucked one end under my glasses and zipped the other up in my coat and voilá! 

I got no strange looks, Moses said he noticed nothing until he got close, and this is the second time a paper towel has saved us. 

There was still some grouchiness this week, but Ruby diffused a lot of it. She made Archie an egg for breakfast, for example. When Penelope wasn’t feeling well she helped her get water and read to her.

Archie sat by Penelope and told her stories. Penelope suffered from a similar thing as Ruby Saturday morning, but she had more tummy trouble, and she was good by noon. 

Penelope was excited to have successfully asked the girl next to her in class to stop swearing and that girl started telling others around them to stop too. The next day she told them she made her own lunch and could even make soup (from an envelope), which impressed them all so much, that Penelope had to immediately come home and put a pot on the stove to make soup, even though she usually makes a sandwich. 

Linus started his first club: table tennis. He was pretty excited and had a lot of fun. He asked Woo and I if we’d ever heard of a game called “Around the world” and was shocked when we not only had, but had played it and even won sometimes.

Linus continues to get 100% or nearly on all of his tests and was chosen from his class to be a student tutor. He thinks he’s pretty good at explaining things (and probably is), and is excited for this new opportunity too. 

Linus worked on his pumpkin long after everyone else was done, shaving out the inside perfectly and getting more and more creative. 

Moses dislikes afternoon school. He hates getting up in the morning and then having to wait hours until his day starts (in his view). Then when he comes home at night, there’s no time to decompress. It’s dinner, scriptures and bed.

He’s started to throw in a: “... and please bless that I can somehow go to school in the morning...” in his prayers.

We’d love to read scriptures at another time, but it’s the only time on a weekday that we’re all together as a family for more than 10 minutes. 

Herbie has made it a personal goal to become one with his family, and I can tell a big difference. There is a lot less bossing from him, in fact, close to none. He still needs to be reminded to talk more softly at times, but he is trying and gets it himself often. There is a lot less bickering from him. 

He tries to be immediately obedient to Woo and I. Once this week we were sitting at the table, I said: “Time to pray,” and he closed his mouth mid-sentence, bowed his head and closed his eyes. After the prayer he picked up his story exactly where he’d left off. 

Archie brought home some “pumpkin treat” from school. His class had made it together as a fall activity. Archie decided it might be jam and spread some on his bread, but after that he shared it generously because it tasted like “squash with sugar.”

That’s because it was squash with sugar. The Portuguese call both pumpkins and squash by the same word and actual pumpkins are rare. I bought all the pumpkins in the store for a further incentive for the kids this weekend, and most stores didn’t have them. 

The government announced last night that 120 counties are going back to restrictions we had in March and April (but schools still open). Our county was not included in that, nor the counties surrounding us, so we’re in the middle of a buffer zone and we’ve been spared for now.

And... I think that’s our week. I hope yours was great!