Happy Easter!

We had some kids that were VERY grouchy this week. I suppose it was probably the time change (our clocks changed last Sunday), but I wasn’t expecting it. It seemed the spring change sometimes doesn’t affect us at all and the kids are older... but I guess I was wrong. 

It was probably a blessing that the kids weren’t in school or they would’ve been even worse.

We had been full proponents of tossing out daylight savings and were excited that Portugal and the rest of the EU were supposed to stop this year (Covid put the brakes on that plan). But then Woo discovered that some areas had tried to toss daylight savings before, but it was quickly reinstated after it was discovered that life was even worse without it. Something about the sun coming up at 3 or 4 in the morning, but I guess it depends on how close to the equator you are. Anyway, another thing to be solved in the millennium, I guess.

We had our fun daily activities that had some complaint or problem every time, but overall were very good. Several, the kids really looked forward to and asked if we could do again. The picnic, capture-the-flag in the pinhal, kick-the-can and crab soccer with a hopper ball were popular.

Others were meh. Like the time we drove to a very near town that we’ve driven through (and even ridden our bikes through) numerous times, but have never explored side streets. It was mildly interesting and there were pleasant aspects, but I don’t think anyone thinks we need to do it again.

Ruby did some baking with her extra time this week. She (and I think Penelope?) made cookies. Everyone got one on our picnic. She also made a small berry thing for lunch another day.

Ruby used to always complain when we left the house to do something. Sometimes severely. (She never seemed to learn that within 10 minutes she would be enjoying it.) However, she seems to have finally conquered that, as she didn’t complain once, no matter what was proposed, and she hasn’t in months.

As we were leaving, Herbie picked up and carried the backpack full of food to our picnic spot of his own initiative. Woo carried the water, and I didn’t have to carry anything.

Herbie was also very pleased to start the fire to roast our marshmallows and to do it quickly and without any help from Woo. (It is sometimes so windy or damp that only a seasoned expert can do it.)

Herbie also had one amazing moment where Linus was super grouchy and instead of allowing it to make him grouchy too, he got up, gave Linus a big hug and told him he loved him. This moment was hard won, as Herbie had had a pretty rough day himself.

Moses started a perler bead marathon. Ruby and Woo had found a bucket of perler beads shortly before Christmas. It had a mild start over Christmas break, as kids remembered them with nostalgia. But Moses got all kids (but Ruby) deeply involved this week. (Moses has a habit of starting most kid activity trends.)

They worked on perler beads during almost all their free time, and finished the whole bucket. They made fighting bunnies and finally an army of cute teddy bears.

Moses oversaw things like everyone taking turns and making sure no one hogged anything... most of the time... and most of the time the apartment was completely silent as they worked. But at other times there were arguments and blowups and crying.

Linus seemed to take the time change the worst (as I write this, I’m remembering writing the same sentence a few years ago). He had bags under his eyes and was very grouchy, especially after 6PM.

He stomped up to bed Thursday night and was fast asleep by 7.

Linus made 26 bears and he explained to me the strengths of each color bear. Like, yellow bears were the smartest, red bears were evil, the green bears were the best at camouflage, etc.

We watched President Nelson’s Palm Sunday message as soon as we got it, which was Sunday evening for us. It was right before scripture time, so our question that day was what should be our new personal spiritual quest.

Penelope’s was to do more things that bring her joy, and made a list of things that bring her joy that night as she waited for Woo and I to say goodnight.

One thing on her list was cleaning. Every morning, after her chore, she’s cleaned her room very well, walked around and cleaned anything else she’s seen, and then asked me for ideas.

Penelope and Archie adjusted probably the best to the time change, but they did have a fight Thursday evening, and Penelope went to bed crying about it.

We rode bikes to the picnic and everyone tore off in excitement. I rode a bike with a missing pedal and a pedal from another bike shoved on, not secured. I had to slow down a few times to tap it back on.

About halfway there, I came up to Archie, who was waiting for me. He’d noticed I’d fallen behind and didn’t want me to be lonely.

Archie was the only one really excited for our outing to the neighboring town because his teacher lives there and he thought we would probably see her. He kept talking about it on the drive there. We did not see her, but he was okay with that. He was the first to ask that we start back home; he was tired.

On Herbie, Moses and Linus’ worst day (and consequently, I assumed, everyone else’s), Archie ended the day with a good prayer that ended with thanks for the good day. I realized at that moment that he HAD had a good day, and I never would’ve recognized it if he hadn’t said so.

Archie made a little perler bead Easter egg to put in everyone’s little general conference packet that I had made. This is probably part of the reason he had a good day. He was happy to be making a little something for each of his brothers and sisters.

Woo worked hard on not escalating anything when the kids were angry. When he pointed this out, I thanked him for not being an escalator, which he did not think was very funny, despite his love of puns. Actually, he’s not brought up puns in awhile. Maybe he’s over them.

One evening at scriptures it came out that Ruby did not have a journal and everyone kept forgetting to buy her one (including herself). Woo pointed out the example of Nephi making his own plates, but as soon as the younger kids were in bed, he ran to the Chinese store to buy her notebook, saying to me, “If my child asketh for bread, do I give them a stone?”

But to Ruby he said he was going out for some “ore.”

He surprised her with it as soon as he came back, and she was able to write in it for awhile before going to bed herself.

Woo aspires to Penelope's repentance list

I read President Nelson’s Palm Sunday message maybe two (three?) times, before I realized there was another (third) invitation we hadn’t done. We hadn’t been making the week holy by thinking of palms. This turned out to be more meaningful than I had expected.

And that’s our week. I hope everyone had a good week and has a good conference!