Week One

This was our first full week of school. Luckily, we don’t have kids getting home as late as we did last year, so we’ve been able to keep a fairly normal schedule. 

Linus and Archie each had a grouchy evening, so not perfect, but also way better. On the other hand it's also only been a week.

Ruby came home Monday super excited because there’s a new girl in her class. She’s from Pakistan, speaks Urdu and English (no Portuguese), and is Muslim.

Ruby was enlisted to help her because of her English skills, and they quickly became best friends because of their shared values and because of Ruby’s interest in the Qur’an.

Ruby and Herbie have been trying to be better friends now that they’re at the same school. Ruby often makes Herbie a sandwich during her lunch break and gives it to him to eat during breaks. (He has five hours of class after lunch.)

Herbie has also had a wonderful week. He has become more humble recently and feels a lot happier (and we feel a lot happier about him). He’s enjoying being at a new school with new teachers and many, many new people. (He only knew three other people in his class, and many of his old classmates he’ll never see again as they go to different types of schools.)

P.E. was an exciting class for him. They had everything out and available for the first class: roller blades, skateboards, giant chess, rock climbing, rappelling, ping pong, badminton… like a giant party. The school also owns surfboards, body boards and mountain bikes, but those weren’t used this time.

Herbie got out of one class before lunch ten minutes early, so he came home and made spaghetti for all of his siblings.

Moses is trying to be a good big brother. One day he came home carrying Penelope’s backpack and her carrying his because hers was much heavier. He took Penelope to the library and helped her get her card, then they checked out two books that they both wanted to read so they could switch when they were done.

Archie was having a hard time coming up with something to do the one afternoon he comes home forty minutes before everyone else. It was wonderful when Moses came home next, put his arm around Archie as soon as he came through the door, and took him upstairs for some car races.

Linus gets to help Nelpea at her new school too. He helped her find the papaleria (like a bookstore in the school) where she could buy a staff notebook for music.

Linus has also been playing soccer at the breaks. Apparently, the older grade kids won’t let younger grade kids in their game, but Moses snuck Linus onto his team? I don’t know exactly how that worked, and I guess it means Moses is able to play with the ninth graders, but Linus is always super excited when he’s had a good play with the older kids, making a goal or blocking shots.

Linus always wows the other kids here by how infrequently he gets hurt. He falls and jumps back up; he blocks a hard shot with any part of his body and keeps on going; he actively seeks for headers and never complains of his head aching. The Portuguese can hardly believe it, and Linus thinks it's no big deal.

Penelope has been reading or talking with friends at breaks. She’s a great athlete at endurance sports, but team sports are not something she excels at naturally. She makes (the popular) complaint that boys don’t pass to girls.

However, Ruby, I and her brothers know that isn’t true. Any girl who’s cutting or driving in and makes a call for a pass will get a pass. Any girl jogging along (or standing) with three defenders between her and the ball (even if she is standing completely alone), will not get a pass. I wouldn’t pass to that girl either.

We tried to explain to Penelope that it’s a matter of knowing what to do, but she didn’t believe us. We’ll have to show her physically some time.

Penelope has been a bit strained or overly sensitive at times as she takes in everything there is to know about this new school, but overall she’s having a lot of fun.

Archie has become my new walking buddy. He walks with me to and from the middle school four mornings a week, and he could walk with me to and from the high school four evenings a week (he’s only allowed if he’s been excellent during scriptures the night before).

These walks are fun for him, especially because we get to cross a huge construction zone each time. I’ve been slightly surprised, but anyone can walk through any point of the whole construction area at any time. We just watch out for heavy machinery ourselves, I guess.

Archie loves the mountains of gravel and looking down the open man holes and catching sight of a backhoe or road roller or cement truck.

Yesterday he found 8 cents in the road, which he was very excited about, and immediately handed over one cent to put in his tithing.

With seminary and only having one kid in the elementary school, we’ve had to move our morning scriptures up one hour earlier. The kids are fine with it. I would’ve been worried about Woo in the past, but he took it very cheerfully when I explained that I thought that’s what we’d have to do, and he hasn’t complained at all.

With the kids back in school, Woo’s been working more on his app. He gets to go surfing Friday morning with Herbie, since Herbie doesn’t start until after 10, and he walks to pick Penelope up from school at Friday lunch. (I get Archie and Herbie who arrive at roughly the same time.)

He often walks with me in the evenings to the high school too.

Last Saturday Woo thought roasting marshmallows in the pinhal would be a good idea, and he was right! The place was dead (everyone else out school shopping?). Afterwards we hiked in a bit to be really secluded and Woo gave us our back-to-school blessings.

This Saturday we where invited to a birthday party. They seemed to think it was low key, but it was plenty exciting for us.    

And that’s our week. I hope yours was great! We’re looking forward to conference next week!