Things Lost

Woo and I started teaching EnglishConnect in the stake last week. I was apprehensive about what we were getting into, and Sunday is not the day I would’ve chosen to add one more thing to, but it’s been fun. 

I had a little miracle this week. I had one, random thought about a sister missionary that served here a couple years ago, and I forgave her and loved her. I did not know that I needed to forgive her. I hadn’t even really realized that I was holding a grudge against her, but in that moment I realized that I had been and also that it was over. And so I continue to clear out debris :).

One morning Woo became convinced that he and I should register for our national health numbers (for easier covid testing, etc), but I’d already gotten mine years ago.

The school had wanted all the kids to get one for emergencies and while I was in the health center, the woman at the desk had convinced me to get mine at the same time... I remember the whole thing being uncharacteristically easy and pain free.

This would not be the case for Woo. Long story short... before he left home there was a desperate search for a document, a desperate search for a bank card, which was never found (It had been eaten by the machine after paying Ruby’s residency fee... Woo had run off without it in his excitement?), a wait in line, a return home because he didn’t have his passport on him, another wait in line and then finally getting registered and told he’d get his number in about six weeks. (They wouldn’t call or send an email; he just had to go in again sometime and see if they had it.)

He also had a horrible surf, a lot of pain in his shoulder and foot, and trouble breathing. It reminded me of one of his old birthdays (which were always back-to-back trouble for Woo until Penelope was born).

All in all, it hasn’t been his favorite week.

Mother’s Day is today in Portugal. Penelope made a flower card for me with an adjective for each of my initials. The Fathers Day cards are in English, but the Mother’s Day cards are in Portuguese, and Penelope had a hard time coming up with an adjective that started with “y.”

Her teacher had to help, and she found one that was actually English and she wasn’t familiar with it either, but it had a definition both Penelope and her teacher thought was perfect for me: yuppie.

Nellpea usually gets out of class right on time, but one day I was a bit late, and there was no Nellpea. I could see kids in her class, but not Nellpea. I was starting to get a little worried that I’d missed her running home, but I saw her looking sad and rummaging through some bushes with a few other kids.

She’d lost her watch. When she saw me, she did leave the school to go home and eat, and resume her looking later. I dropped her off in the apartment and immediately turned around to get Archie. She was so late, I didn’t realize I was already going to be late getting Archie.

Archie was waiting and sprinted out to meet me as soon as he saw me, and the first thing he did when he got to me was pull Nellpea‘s watch out of his pocket with a giant smile.

“I found Nellpea’s watch!”

He’d found it on a table in the hall at recess. Somehow he knew that would be the heaviest thing on her mind, and he was excited to surprise her.

Archie cried Monday morning because he couldn’t find his notebook with his homework in it. He looked; Nellpea looked; I looked; Ruby looked; Woo looked.

Moses lamented the fact that Herbie had already gone to school because he’s the one who’s always willing to look and can find everything. (This is true.)

But we sent Archie off to school super sad, secretly (or not so secretly) believing he’d left his homework notebook at school. There really aren’t too many places it could be in our apartment.

At lunch Archie confessed that yes, he’d left the notebook at school, and no, he hadn’t had to do it at recess; no homework was even due. A lot of stress and tears for him for nothing.

Archie missed a day and a half of school by suddenly having an allergic reaction in one eye during lunch. We have no idea what caused it, but his eye is fine now.

Last Saturday Woo ordered five nerf guns and two hundred bullets on Amazon.es Two for Penelope (the smallest guns, in a pack of two), and one each for Moses, Linus and Archie.

Moses’ is the largest, and Woo talked him down from three or more guns. Moses was imagining himself in a jungle with a giant gun in each hand and one strapped to his back? I don’t know.

Anyway, the guns were to arrive in three shipments. Woo predicted that Moses’ gun would come last, and of course it did. You’ll remember that Moses was already chomping at the bit last week for his nerf gun? That only intensified this week, as he hoped his package would come first and it would be early.

The first package to arrive was Nellpea’s and Archie’s guns. The package came on Monday, two days early. Moses was disappointed it wasn’t his gun, but also was encouraged that his might also come early.

Linus’ arrived while the kids were in school. Moses arrived home first. He was very excited, because his was coming next and all signs still pointed to early! We laughed at him and went on with our work, when the next thing Woo and I knew, Moses was out in the hall shooting off a few rounds. Without thinking, Moses had torn open Linus’ nerf gun, loaded it and begun shooting.

When Woo pointed this out, Moses deflated like a balloon. He immediately slunk back to the box, laid Liney’s gun down in it and slunk out to disappear into his room for a few minutes.

When I asked him last night the best thing from his week he said, “I don’t know... school or something...”

Me: What about finally getting your nerf gun???

Moses: Oh, was that this week?

Woo thinks it’s already been a bit of a let down for him. He’s enjoying it, but it’s not quite the answer to all his dreams like he thought it would be. Something I guess we all have to learn as we grow up.

I can’t remember what the question was, but one evening at evening scriptures, Ruby got the revelation that the thing her teachers didn’t understand, but that they needed to understand was the family—that the family is ordained of God. Then she got a list of five things she needed to do. She started memorizing the Proclamation on the Family in Portuguese to prepare for that.

The waves were not good this week, so Herbie had some extra time on his hands. What did he decide to do? He cleared the mud and sand off of our two decks and scrubbed them. He obviously had a good time, and Woo and I were reminded of how much Herbie loves yard work.

I was wishing we had something for Herbie to weed whack, and Woo was remembering his own pleasant moments of uprooting dandelions by hand in Huntsville.

We did get some planting pots and planted a few vegetable seeds on Saturday, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough work to keep Herbie happy. Besides, all the kids want to do the watering.

Herbie had his parent meeting with the school counselors to discuss his future education (it looks like he’ll also be doing a math and science track like Ruby).

The more I understand about European college entrance requirements, the more I understand why overall GPA doesn’t seem to be a concern to anyone.

It appears that (for most universities??) only the grades of one to three classes, important to your chosen field of study, are needed. Also, it appears that this grade can be taken from the average from your 10-12 grade years, or the results from the final high school exam.

Our kids are not getting the college prep we got, and what college prep they are getting is not clear to us yet. We’re following the Spirit for specific instructions here and there, and trusting that God has a plan and knows what He’s doing.

Linus has a new nickname at school, which is “Google” because he knows everything. He continues to get the class high score in everything.

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t speak Portuguese better than everyone, but he understands the grammar being taught and how to take tests better than everyone.

At home, Linus had some good days and some bad days. Saturday was a bad day. As I was escorting him home from the park (while Woo stayed with the other kids), I thought that his room was probably just too light at night for him to be getting a good nights sleep.

Linus has a skylight in his room with no blind. Every year (but this one) when the time changes, I’ve worked up a cardboard/blackout contraption, but really I’m just tired of it. I’ve been rigging up a simpler blanket thing every night that only puts the room into semi-darkness.

It occurred to me that Linus could probably do a cardboard covering (and do a better job with it than I would). I gave him the assignment when we got home and threw a roll of duct tape and some scissors into a box for him.

He was NOT happy and did a lot of complaining (which he’d already been doing...), but I ignored him and hopped into the shower. When I got out, he was in his room busily cutting and measuring and so absorbed that he didn’t even notice me.

I came back an hour later to find it all hung in the window with him putting on the finishing touches. He’d designed a “hatch” with hinges and dead bolts for a lot of light, and a smaller hinged opening in that for a little light. And of course, it all closes up to make his room nice and dark.

He told me that making it was the best part of his day. Now I’m excited for his next cranky bout, so I can have him make another one for Penelope’s window.

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