Wednesday, May 28, 2008

1 + 4 + 3

What do all these pictures have in common?

Well, they're all of couples that are in love with each other. Their love has proven itself over the years. Some have been married just a few years while my Grandparents have been married for over 60 years. Love comes in all shapes and sizes. But one thing I'm convinced of is that Love is a decision... not a hole you fall into and out of. My anniversary is just around the corner and I've been thinking about the years I've spent married to the most handsome man in the world. (Sorry ladies...but it's the truth!) We met in January of 1989. This next January we will have know each other for 20 years and married over 11 of those years. Does Love evolve? I believe it does. Love matures with each person and is shaped into what we want it to be. It's all about decisions, sacrifice and dedication.....just call me Dr. Phil!

"It's been a fantastic 11 years, My Love!!"

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Little Kitchen Helpers

Faith & Brooklyn Making Dumplings

Justice unloading the dishwasher

Sweet sisters

Liberty's bruised chin...ouch!

Justice's new haircut

Would you please be in prayer for Helmut. He's a German man that was here visiting family when he fell and broke his hip. Michael was asked to visit him in the hospital and tell him about the Lord. Helmut speaks English not Portuguese, so the church called Michael and asked him to make the visit. I know, it doesn't sound like a big deal to you, but it was to us. Helmut came close, but didn't pray while Michael was with him. Will you help us pray that he'd humble his heart before the Lord and seek Him for forgiveness?

I'm making another trip to the fish market this week. Salmon is on my list. Yum...fresh, caught that morning Salmon!! Then, after our language lesson, my friend is going to show me how to grill it!~~~Maybe I'll remember to take pictures this time?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Fish Market

Out of respect for my language teacher I left my camera at home. I really need to start "living here" and stop being such a "tourist" when I'm out and about. But that makes for a pretty boring blog, huh?! That's no fun for you guys back home. So I'm sorry that there aren't any pictures that accompany this post. Those of you who know me well, know that I would be a vegetarian if my family would do it with me. I HATE to prepare meat! I'm the girl that would only buy boneless skinless chicken breasts at wal-mat. I'd open the bag and dump the chicken into what ever pan I was using to cook it in, careful not to touch it with my bare hands! Well....there are no beautifully frozen boneless chicken breasts here, so I've had to toughen up! Now my girls remove the meat from the bones for me....I've trained them well!---Anyway, here is my fish market story:

I met our friend at the only landmark I new of near the fish market. She walked about a mile to meet me there. As we walked together toward the market we could smell the stench a block away. As we approached the huge area where ladies were all peddling their fresh fishes, octopus, squid, stingray and everything else from the sea, the ladies were all shouting how much for their fish. Holding them high in the air so everyone could see theirs was better than their neighbors. After you made your choice, you could ask them to "clean" it for you. On the small butcher block right there, they slit each fish open, removed the insides with their bare hands and threw it on the ground, cut off the tail with one hard "whack" and carved off the head, being careful not to waste any of the meat. Then she handed me what was left of the fish in a plastic bag and we exchanged money with the same nasty hands she had inside my fish!! She even dropped some of the money down on top of the fish, picked it up and handed back it to me. At this point I didn't even want to hold the sack that contained the fish. I was completely grossed out!

Later in the day, our friend came for our 3 hr language lesson and immediately following the lesson, she showed me how to cook the fish. After I scraped the scales into the sink, we prepare it with garlic, olive oil, tomato pulp, lemon, potatoes and salt. Put this all in the oven and about an hour later we feasted! The girls mostly said..."Nasty Mom, it still has skin on it!" and reluctantly tried a bite. It was really very good. If I had ordered it at a restaurant I would have been thrilled with it, but it was hard for me to remove the images from my mind from earlier in the day.

That's my "Fish Market" story. Update: I found a stock photo that is similar to what I saw.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Our New Friend

This is our new friend Toree. Toree is an American playing professional basketball here in Portugal. Michael met him after a game one evening and since then we've had him over for lunch and some fellowship. We've also had another basketball player, Fred come for supper, but I didn't get a picture of him.

Toree is 6' 10'' and weighs 300 lbs. I don't think these pictures show just how big he really is! The girls had a blast watching him duck every time he went through a doorway.

Things here are really good. We're getting near the end of school with the girls. Language classes are coming along. My teacher is meeting me at the fish market tomorrow and is going to teach me all about fish. How to order it, ask for it to be cleaned and how to tell them they can keep the head, cause I don't want it! Then tomorrow afternoon, after our 3 hr language class, she is going to show me how to cook it! I'll have to take pictures and share that experience with you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mail Call!

We had some terrific things delivered to us today. First the girls had purses & bracelets sent to them from our friends the Sellers family, missionaries to Nepal.

Then Brooklyn and Trin received birthday gifts from their Nanny and Pawpaw. Brooklyn got all this art supplies and Trinity got 3 gameboy games. (she was playing one while I took this picture)

Michael got some candy. He loves fruity, chewy candy and there isn't anything here that comes close to comparing to Skittles or Starburst. So his Mom took care of her sons sweet tooth with several pounds of candy. Look where he's keeping it. On top of his bookshelf in his office! I wonder why he put it way up there?!?!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

Here in Portugal they celebrate mothers day a week earlier than they do in the States, so this is the second Sunday in a row I've been given roses! Sweet huh?!

Happy Mother's Day!

Well, our day didn't get off to a really good start. The 4 little "Mothers" in our house had a very tragic beginning to their Mother's Day. We discovered a neighborhood stray cat had entered our house through a cracked window and ate their sweet little hamsters. We had a rushed burial before church and dried the tears with a promise to get two new hamsters immediately after church. So this is the result of our kept promise. Let me introduce you to Mary & Martha.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sad Good-Bye

This morning at 5:45 am I left my Mother at the airport. With tears streaming down my face I made my way to my car not caring who noticed my tear stains. I already missed her. When I got home I immediately began to wash clothes and take advantage of the early morning hours without any kids to interrupt me. As I put clothes in the washer I heard this faint "mom" whispered behind me. It startled me at first then I turned around to find Faith standing there with messy hair and squinting her eyes. She said, "Can I say goodbye to Mimi?" Holding back the tears I told her Mimi was already at the airport and that she needed to get back in bed. Very sadly she said, "yes ma'am" and made her way back to her room. On her way up the stairs she began to cry. ---I know exactly how she feels.

After a week of fun with Mimi it was time to get back to work. We got back on school with the kids, and we had another language class too. Boy could I tell we had a week off. It was hard to get back into the swing of things.

(Notice how both Brooklyn and Faith squint their eye when they look into the does their Daddy!)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fun Times

Yesterday we took Mimi to the coast for a few pictures. The weather was pretty with a cool breeze blowing. When Justice fell in the water and got soaked from head to toe, I ended up carrying him back to the van to undress and warm up in the car. He and Liberty posed for me.

Then last night we had a birthday party for Brooklyn who turned 9 and Trinity who turned 4. We had taco salad, strawberry shortcake and chocolate cake. There isn't any taco seasoning here so Mom brought some packets with her from the nice ladies she works with. And we even had cheese sauce made from Velveeta my mother-in-law sent to us. So we all felt very privileged to have such a fine dinner!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Festival Pictures

After Mimi finally decided to get out of bed this morning, we headed downtown to the festival. The typical "market" items were for sell, plus other rides, exhibits, and a parade to end the day. After seeing the crowds that had gathered to see the parade, we decided we'd hang out and wait on it. It had to be a good one cause of the number of people crowded around. We waited about 2 hours for it to begin. We even had front row "seats" in hopes of gathering all the candy we could. Well, it ended up being the most boring parade the girls had ever seen. No candy, no neat floats and not even one smile. It was a catholic parade. Mom reminded me in the middle of it that we had our work cut out for us. There was a lot of religion with no hope. It was a very sad & depressing parade. Here are a few pictures...