A Bit of a Ramble

We heard from all the kids’ teachers this week. I was so confident that the kids would be able to do packets again that I didn’t worry too much, but there did come a point where it was in question enough that I began to pray (but nothing near to the stress of last time!!). We did hear on Friday that Herbie, Moses, and Linus would be a go for the packets. Penelope and Archie have the same teachers and didn’t object when I answered that we’d like the same arrangement as last time in answer to their questionnaire, so I assume they’re good too.

We also got Ruby’s online schedule (she’s now in high school with completely different school administrators), and it was not horrible at all. Only 2 hrs a day (3 hrs on Thursday and Friday) in online gatherings (none of which disturb our family schedule), and the rest of the school day to be spent working individually on assignments.

However, during the course of my prayers for the packets and everything to work out, I began to wonder if there wasn’t something better for us out there. I’m doing my own stuff with the kids, but maybe there was more, an opportunity or something already prepared for us.

Really, if ever there was a time for the kids to be randomly selected for some surprising educational opportunity, now would be the time! When I suggested this to Woo (as a joke, of course) that maybe we’d soon be getting a notice from Kraft that the kids had been chosen to enter their prestigious school of the culinary arts for young chefs in New York City (not that I want the kids to be chefs, or for us to live in New York City, or that Kraft would really be the company with the prestigious culinary arts program...)

When I left the room Woo secretly sent me this email:
Dear valued mother:
You have been selected and your children to win. Yay!
Secret admirers
Anyway, our real hope is in fasting, and that’s what we’ve been doing today: fasting for the kids’ education.

Incidentally, the last time we fasted about the kids’ education we got the revelation to move to Portugal a few weeks later. It exceeded our expectations for what we were fasting about, but clearly the kids’ education needed to include many things beyond school work (which, while not perfect, I also think improved here). Still, time to fast about it again.

Ruby’s teacher (who begins all emails with URGENTE or MUITO URGENTE), informed us that the authorities were finally taking notice of Ruby’s class, and they were all scheduled for testing 13 days after the last day of class.

I was ready to walk her over, but Woo thought it was a waste of time and possibly even putting her at risk of infection, heading into a bunch of people who suspected infection. He texted the health official, who said that in his opinion Ruby should still be tested, but other than that they left us alone.

In the afternoons, we’ve returned to our old friend the parking lot. Ruby spent one entire time there hopping and skipping from one painted line on the looong crosswalk to the other. It was really quite cute and looked fun. Penelope joined her for much of the time.

Herbie keeps getting hurt. His hands are fine now, but his scooter slid out from under him in the park and he fell hard on his nerf gun on his hip. The nerf gun survived, but Herbie cried for a while and has cried a couple times since then when his hip gets knocked or he falls on it again.

Moses found his nerf gun and a handful of bullets, which is mostly annoying, but Woo has a stash of nerf guns and bullets that he keeps for special occasions. He took Herbie, Moses, Linus, Archie, and later, Penelope, down to the garage/basement for a nerf war. They all loved this, but no one more than Moses, who now wants only nerf guns for his birthday.

Linus turned eleven! He put on a pair of footy pajamas and wore them all day. I thought it was only for old times sake because footy pajamas were the ultimate comfort for him for many years. But I think he originally put them on to hide flip flops and several pairs of socks to make Woo and I think he’d suddenly grown taller for his birthday. We didn’t even notice.

Linus got a maze ball and he and his brothers did that most of the day, while his sisters started on the Hardy Boys set he also got.

Linus asked for rice crispy treats for his birthday, but we’ve only seen marshmallows here once. (We bought like 10 bags, and they were already long gone.)

And then, the day before his birthday, Woo and I went grocery shopping, and there they were! Two boxes of McKennedy marshmallows. (McKennedy is Lidl’s American cuisine brand. Lidl rotates through ingredients and foods from different nationalities every month or so. The marshmallows must be a new addition in the last year.)

We had cornflake treats, though, because while not impossible to find, crisped rice is rare and expensive. They tasted fine. Maybe better.

Penelope is the child most eager and willing to run an errand with Mom or Dad. She paid some bills and bought a few odds and ends with Woo. She biked to the pharmacy on a windy, rainy day with me. The first blast of air was not fun, but we got over it after that and had a good time.

Archie still writes anything in English exactly like he did 3 1/2 years ago, yet he writes full sentences, spelled correctly, in cursive, in Portuguese. He wrote out his own talks for the primary program, for example, without help and all correct.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to bring his English writing up to par this week by having him write in English for half an hour every day. He now understands that things he learned in Portuguese also apply in English: capitalize only the first letter of a sentence and proper nouns, indent the first word of a paragraph, etc. Also, cursive works in English too! His English spelling is very slowly improving.

One thing we’ve also noticed about the prevalence of cursive here is that the kids very rarely have a problem reading cursive in their indexing batches.

Woo took us all to Burger King this week. He was feeling good when he suggested it, then had a headache by the time we left (I don't know why Ruby's so mad...). Woo's headache lasted 3 days (?) and was unrelated to our Burger King trip. It finally started to get better after taking some ibuprofen (the purpose of Penelope’s and my trip to the pharmacy).

We were only allowed to use the Burger King drive thru, could not order drinks, and could not eat anywhere near the restaurant. We parked in the parking lot of a nearby grocery store and ate in the van. Luckily, we also had 5L of water and some cups in there too.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. I hope you had a great week!