Easter Break!!!

I spent most the week counting down the days until Easter break. Every morning I'd greet the kids with "Only 3 (or whatever day it was) more days of online school!!" 

That was only true of Herbie, Moses and Linus, but everyone knew what I meant. (Ruby has 2 more weeks after the break, and Penelope and Archie are already back in school.)

We only get a week off (Easter break is normally 2 weeks), and we can't leave the conselho (county, literally council). There were some concerns that the break would be super boring, so I planned a fun thing for every day (a picnic in some dunes with trees that the kids want to explore, roasting marshmallows and playing steal-the-flag in the pinhal, a nature scavenger hunt, driving to and exploring the outer reaches of the conselho, etc.) I think everyone is looking forward to it now. We just need the weather to cooperate.

Of course we're also excited for conference and have been counting down for that also. I got another word of wisdom reminder, so I decided to make this year as sugar and face-stuffing free as possible. We usually have used treats for at least some sessions, so I had to do a bit of pre-planning for that also... I think it will be fun!

Archie came home from school one day and announced that his teacher was going to give him an entire chocolate bunny for Easter. I was surprised because one of the awesome things about the schools here is the complete lack of candy (and it's use in motivation). (They do always have a bucket of fresh fruit in the back of every classroom for anyone who wants a snack--donated from local farmers?) But I knew an entire chocolate bunny in Archie would be bad news, so I emailed his teacher.

She agreed to not give him one, and Archie and I worked out a plan where we'd make granola together when he came home. Archie's teacher was distracted and accidentally handed him one, but Archie reminded her himself and came home without a chocolate bunny.

We learned Penelope might get one also, which she did, but she brought it home (as requested), and Woo divided it between him and the kids on Saturday. The older 4 kids were super grouchy Saturday, but that had nothing to do with chocolate. Probably just the end of a long online week.

Herbie once again protected his brothers at school. Last year during the lockdown, for French, Ruby was assigned to watch one of those unrated European films that would have had an unacceptable rating in the US. Herbie was assigned a movie for PE this lockdown that he also didn't watch. Both of those were when we had the packets and Woo and I were able to intercept it.

But this week at the school library, Moses was assigned a movie for PE, and because he assumed no could possibly assign a bad movie, and certainly not for PE, he was super excited and tried to get Linus to watch it with him. But Herbie stepped in and it was discovered that it was indeed not a movie that they should watch, and no one did.

Ruby was super excited one evening to not have any schoolwork after dinner. She cheered and smiled and made plans to do something she wanted to do. But after dinner, she decided to double check, and found that her Portuguese teacher had assigned an assignment at 5PM to be finished by 6PM. This seemed nonsensical to us as all of Ruby's class was in PE until 5:30. Ruby did not even see the assignment until after 7. She did not finish it in an hour, but she was tired and wanted to go to bed. We let her. Woo just had her turn in what she did get done.

Ruby's been incredibly cheerful and positive, though. Learning long-suffering appears to be an important part of her education right now, and also her father's blessing over Christmas mentioned the importance of her learning to get along with people that she disagrees with. She's getting this too.

Linus had to finish one assignment Friday afternoon. He decided to enlist Archie in taking the picture of him with his shield. When I thanked Linus for including Archie later, he said that Archie kept taking pictures with his head cut off, until he told Archie to take a picture of the ceiling. Then they finally got one. 

I looked through the deleted photos. There were about 12 pictures, none with heads missing. There was one taken in pretty close, but I guess the one above is the one that Linus felt was the best.

Linus had a bad beginning Sunday morning, but by sacrament meeting he was doing great. He encouraged a sad Archie (who wasn't ready early enough to get a seat by me) and helped him be reverent through the whole thing. 

Linus also helped Archie melt his perler bead temple together after lunch.

Woo's email to SEF concerning Ruby's account was forwarded to another division on Monday. Then we heard nothing, so Woo made the dreaded phone call. It did not seem to be nearly as long or as onerous as expected, but it wasn't that effective. Woo was instructed to write another email to have the bad account deleted, and then start another one. The first email still had not been answered, but Woo dutifully wrote another, and we continue to wait.

Penelope pretty much tries to be perfect at all times. Sometimes this makes the other kids mad, especially Moses. When she jumps up to immediately help someone or do something we ask, he is not happy. To make matters worse, she started rolling her eyes at him when he's pointing out something she needs to correct, which makes him even more mad!

I can't remember exactly what, but I said something to Penelope just as Woo announced it was time to pray for dinner. She told me it was time to pray. It probably came off much more haughtily than she intended. When I laughed and gave her a little jab, she dramatically rolled her eyes at me, which made me laugh even more, and made her burst into tears.

Anyway, she was horribly embarrassed (I hope it's okay that I'm writing this :/), and eye rolling made it on her repentance list that night. She says she hasn't done it since to anyone, and I believe her.

I did not bear my testimony on the relief society Zoom meeting, but Woo had me say what I was going to say to the family afterwards. Moses has mentioned it a few times since then and said that he also is going to try to be more concerned about bring souls to Christ than his worries or thinking about anything else he wants.

What Moses really, really wants is a new house. On our walk today, he would point out a house, or talk about a house he'd like, or something that would be fun in a new house, and then he would end his sentence with "... and bring souls unto Christ."

A couple motorcycles drove by and Moses muttered, "Bring souls unto Christ, bring souls unto Christ--"

Anyway, that's our week. I hope yours was great!