Spiced Biscuits!

The high school seems to have the best library in the whole town. It has the Portuguese version of lots of books we recognize and also many books in English. Ruby’s brought home big fat books titled Great American Poetry, Great American Short Stories and also Eragon (and other modern American books) in Portuguese. 

Ruby hadn’t read Eragon in a loooong time and she was enjoying it, until about three chapters in when she realized that the novel she’d been writing all summer was basically Eragon, but with girls. Whoops.

Moses never seems quite settled. Some weeks he’s unhappy with school because of the COVID measures and breaks are boring. Other weeks he looves school and hates the weekend because he can’t be at school, and then he switches back and forth again.

This week itself was volatile where he got 100% on his history test and the high score and loved school, but then he worked on his space shuttle project at home and only wanted to be home all the time to finish it. 

The stores began carrying all their Christmas treats before Halloween, which means Spiced Biscuits!

Spiced Biscuits are a cinnamon type cookie... the kind that has a windmill on it... similar to Biscoff cookies... anyway...

I bought a couple packs to eat with ice cream for dessert on Sunday and the kids were so excited. Last year, I bought them each a pack for Christmas and tasting them was bringing back all kinds of Christmas memories.

Herbie: Mmmm, this makes me think of reading Sherlock Holmes over Christmas! 

Herbie loves the spiced biscuits by far the most. He cleaned the whole kitchen for 6 of them, deep cleaned his bedroom and closet for 5 more, and did that dreaded Saturday night sink of dishes for an after dinner Spiced Biscuit snack.

But we all like the Spiced Biscuits and apparently the whole country (continent?) does too because there are large stocks of them all over the store.

Another thing that says autumn to us now are roasted chestnuts. The grocery stores always have plenty and I roast a batch in the oven every couple weeks. 

Penelope came home very excited because she’d just had math and had been learning more complicated long division. She immediately found a piece of paper and made up her own problems to solve for about an hour.

She thought it was so fun and exciting and couldn’t understand why the same problems she whipped out took other kids in her class so much longer and many of them couldn’t do them without a multiplication table in front of them.

Woo, Linus and Herbie skated past the school on their way to the park and saw Penelope out to recess all by herself. She was the only one who’d finished her division problems.

“This is boring,” she said. 

Linus and Archie have taken the time change and our new later schedule the hardest. Linus shows it by being cranky or constantly making obnoxious squeaky voices.

Archie shows it by also constantly making noise or running around like a crazy nut.

They both spend a couple hours together in the afternoon very pleasantly (often also with Penelope), playing legos or a board game or working on project, but about a half hour before dinner (when we’d normally be winding them down for bed) they are nuts.

Some nights Woo is able to take kids that are home to the park (which they love because it’s dark then now) while I make dinner and wait for Moses and Ruby to come home. 

Linus and Archie can usually keep it together through dinner and scriptures, but they’re the ones who need the most reminders and sometimes have a bad day. 

Woo and I have been fighting infections. I’ve had an eye stye (which is why I’ve been wearing glasses). Nothing seems to work except if I can get myself settled and asleep by 10pm, it’s noticeably smaller in the morning. It doesn’t hurt or anything, just feels like a lump, and it’s really close to nothing, but not quite. Hopefully next week.

Woo has had something in his ear, which has often been quite painful and has made it difficult to not be irritable. It wasn’t improving at all for about a week, but two days ago he was excited to find that it was no longer throbbing and today it is much better.

Then, of course, he got a rash from his wetsuit and hurt his neck.

He did learn a new skateboard trick, though. Right after telling Herbie he was too old to learn new tricks.

My patriarchal blessing says that my home will be an island of security amidst the chaos that will in the world during my time, and we’re definitely feeling that now.

We can tell there’s a storm out there, mostly from what we hear from many of you or even some things in conference, but it all feels very far away. I don’t think it’s so much because we’re here in Portugal (we still have an Internet connection and covid, for example), but it is a blessing for where we’ve chosen to put our time and energies, especially our discretionary time.

And that’s our week. Hope yours was great!