Woo made a lot of purchases this week. He bought Settlers, Seafarers, Cities and Knights and their 6 player extensions from Amazon Germany. Moses couldn’t sleep the night Woo announced that. 

Yes, they’re in German, which is fun for us because Woo reads everything out loud and giggles to himself. He remembers an amazing amount from his jr high German class. The kids enjoy trying to decipher things themselves, sometimes with the help of Google translate.

The games were much less expensive in the original German.

Woo: Everyone’s going to be planning a trip to Portugal to buy their Catan games when they 
learn how much I paid!

Moses beat Woo at Settlers for the first time ever on the first game they played. Woo wondered if he could use his second vaccination a few hours earlier as an excuse. It was the only adverse reaction he experienced.

Woo also bought a croquet set. We bought two tents and two camp chairs at Lidl (the camp chairs are for the living room :) and lastly, he bought a slack line.

There was one thing he did not buy: tickets to Utah. We were interested to see that the day Woo had been seriously considering (he had the dates already entered, only waiting to hit buy), ended up being during the 48hrs of a huge baggage workers strike. Over 300 flights were cancelled, the ones we would’ve been on included.

I’m sure if it had been right to fly, we would’ve been directed to a different day, but instead we experienced something that was the perfect definition of a “stupor of thought.”

We were immensely relieved and grateful to have avoided that hassle which quite possibly would’ve involved another round of covid testing (and another $1000+); rescheduling flights for who knows when; indefinite time in the airport with a bunch of tired, hungry, grouchy kids; possibly arriving in the US without luggage, etc.

Another strike is scheduled in another two weeks, and it looks like there was a strike with airport immigration officers the week before this, so I’m happy to have no reason to go there for now.

Woo spent a lot of time talking passionately to the kids on Tuesday. A friend died of an overdose, which prompted a lot of teaching on drugs (in all forms). Then at dinner, for some reason, the kids were really fascinated by how prisons and the justice system works.

Woo: It’s clear to me that you guys have never had the Cub Scout field trip to the police station…

This made me laugh because I remember going on that field trip myself a couple of times.

It was enough for Archie to remember in his prayer that night.

“Thank you that we could learn how to not take drugs and about consequences and not going 
to prison.”

I hit 100 letters (and beyond) on Tuesday which was a relief because I can relax now. I’m handing them out now at a more sustainable rate, like two a day. Also, I’m starting to forget to whom I’ve already given one. On Friday, I handed one to a lady who told me I’d already given her one at the beach, but it was okay, she wanted another. Which I guess is a good sign??

Penelope bought some rollerblades with the rest of her birthday money. They are adjustable, and Penelope was very kind to make sure everyone got a chance to try her new rollerblades, even Woo and I (we didn’t last long).

Ruby went in on them with her, so the price was halved. Then Herbie and I made a quick run to Aldi for him to buy his own pair.

Monday was a lot of work. Herbie defrosted the freezer, which had had a problem and was full of ice. Ruby gladly and willingly stepped in when he was tired of chipping and clearing out ice and needed a break. I think it helped Ruby be so generous that I’d found her favorite outfit (polo shirt, jean shorts) for her at Lidl, and in her favorite colors too (red, white and blue).

Then Woo took Moses and Herbie to a branch member’s house to help finish tiling a floor and prep for painting. Ruby went along too to hang out.

Linus, Penelope, and Archie got their faces painted (face paints was the surprise for the week).

Moses organized a huge lego build/game that lasted several days. The first game was “city.” It involved some of the things Woo had been talking about (a prison, court house, police station, etc.) They also played “airport.” Possibly prompted by the strike. At times Ruby played too, and at times Penelope took reading breaks, but the four boys played it together always.

Linus made a lot of progress on his crocheted lion, but isn’t finished yet. He got distracted by Moses’ lego games. When we went to the park, he perfected his backwards bike riding. He can ride for long swathes of time around a loop of the walking path.

Herbie continues to be my proofreader. He corrected the Portuguese in my letter that I hand out. This week he corrected the Portuguese in my lesson handout, and then the first 11 chapters of my book. (This is the book everyone’s always thought I should write, but I never have. Basically, the highlights of three years of emails—2013-2016–in a narrative. The kids love it. And they should. It’s about them and for them.)

FYI no one’s proofreading skills can be judged by my emails… no one proofreads those :).

Archie got to do a special presentation in our EnglishConnect class—he told us what he does everyday.


Penelope repented as Yoda.

Woo took Ruby, Herbie and Moses camping Friday night. There was a lot of angst about where would be legal to camp. Well, angst for Woo. The kids didn’t care. But he finally picked a place and went, and I guess they probably had fun? It was cute how excited the kids were before they left.

Moses (super excited): I have a flashlight if we need one! It’s not what you think!
And then he pulled out the string of lights we had on the Christmas tree, which is stored in his room.

And that’s our week. I hope yours was great!