Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our First Thanksgiving In Portugal

How do American missionaries in Portugal celebrate Thanksgiving?

Well, The Andrzejewski's, the Loop's, the Pollard's and Ms. Dawne did it like this......

Just SOME of the food!

The big kids table

The adult table.

The adults, chowing down.

The big kids eating.

Everyone eating.

Silly girls, waiting patiently.

Their patience paid off!

The King and Queen

Card game that followed.

The kids entertained themselves with movies and gameboys.

All good things must come to an end...saying goodbye. Until next time.

This picture came today on my email. This is Dillon, Cheyenne, and Dakota Butler. Michael had a part in winning their parents, Jim and Becka to the Lord. They are a precious family that we miss dearly. "Thanks kids!! We love and miss you so very much!"

Here are Dillon, Dakota and Cheyenne with my girls Easter 2005.

And here is the whole family. We love you Bro. Jim and Ms. Rebekah! Thanks for sending the pictures.

(You can click on any picture to enlarge it)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Check Me Out

How cool are my new little link buttons over on my sidebar?! Feel free to add one to your blog. Just copy the text in the box and put it on your sidebar.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Humor me, please

Can I whine just for a minute?

I realize that in a very recent post I described myself as "not wimpy" But aren't I entitled to whine from time to time? My husband who lives in a house with 5 women, one girl cat, and two female hamsters calls these days, "Emotional Days". And I believe he's qualified to say that, so I don't get angry when he diagnoses me. We've come to the conclusion that female hormones don't make their appearance at puberty, but rather at birth.

This is my dilemma.....I miss church!!

Yes, I go to church all the time. Yes, I actually try to pay attention. And yes, I realize I voluntarily came to this country. But I miss the churches of America.

I miss the revivals, the camp meetings, the ladies fellowships and the special Thanksgiving services. I miss dinner on the grounds, hugs, shouts of 'Amen', 'Glory', & 'Hallelujah'. I miss seeing the altars full, and more than that, I miss being one of those at the altar. I miss being able to hear someone pray over me and seeing someone get saved that we've prayed years for. I miss being in church with my extended family, hearing my aunt sing, watching my cousin sing (notice Danielle that I said 'watch' you sing, not hear you sing!;)) I just miss it all!!

This is all part of culture shock, I know. I had hoped I was past all that. I'm beginning to realize that as strong as I think I am I will still struggle with differences from time to time. Last night, we had a really great time at church. Such a sweet spirit, full house, and a yummy dessert fellowship afterwards. I can see God's hand moving in the hearts and lives of those present, including me, but it will always be different.

And that's okay. It's not supposed to be the same. I just needed to whine a little.

Now, where's my coffee?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Can I Do It Again?

This is a picture of my Thanksgiving dinner I served last year.

Well....the one I dreamed I served.

You see, if I'm completely honest with you, I'd admit that I've never cooked a turkey in my ENTIRE LIFE! But I'd rather not be completely honest with you. So pretend like you don't know that, ok? I'd rather my image not be tarnished. Cause you all know that I can cook anything, right?! that we have that out of the way.....My family never got together for Thanksgiving. I'd always go to a friends house, or when I was dating my husband, we went to his family gatherings. Which only involved bringing a dessert (Now...desserts, I can DO!!!) drinks or hot rolls from Ryans. Never once did it involve the cooking of a turkey. As a matter of fact, Honey Baked Ham always had the privilege of cooking a turkey for his family. And boy, do they do a good job of it!! (No shame, Nanny!! Those honey baked turkey breasts are FABULOUS!)

Our Thanksgiving will be spent with three other missionary families from various parts of Portugal. They'll all come to our home next Friday for dinner. Since no one around here cares about this strange American holiday our kids will be in school on Thanksgiving. Plus our mid-week prayer services are on Thursday nights.

I am happy to announce though, that even though Thanksgiving will be here, I'm not attempting to cook a turkey. I just don't think I could handle all the pressure that's put on the one cooking the turkey. A more seasoned missionary mother of 8 will be bringing the bird for us all to enjoy. Her oven is bigger, she has more experience, and with 8 kids, she has more practice at handling pressure. So, she's the heroine of the day!

IF I were to cook a turkey...I would only cook the breast, several of them and I would roll them in bacon. (Your neighbor knows what she's talking about FringeGirl!) So maybe I'll experiment and be prepared for next year.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Break All The Rules

Pam at Midnight Musings gave me this very sweet award. However, there are a few strings attached. I have to share a little information with you. I'm supposed to answer the following questions using only one word....yeah right!

So here goes...

1. Where is your cell phone? purse

2. Where is your significant other? beside me

3. Your hair color? brown

4. Your mother? Wanda

5. Your father? Bill

6. Your favorite thing? computer

7. Your dream last night? Can't remember, but I know I had one

8. Your dream/goal? raising all 5 children to be thoughtful, appreciative saved adults

9. The room you're in? bedroom

10. Your hobby? blogging/cooking

11. Your fear? loss of a family member

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Why six years?

13. Where were you last night? can't remember...seriously. I've spent too much time trying.

14. What you're not? wimpy

15. One of your wish-list items? a new teapot

16. Where you grew up? Alabama

17. The last thing you did? wash dishes

18. What are you wearing? gown

19. Your TV? No idea

20. Your pet? Major, Tigra, Mary & Martha

21. Your computer? laptop-HP

22. Your mood? comfy

23. Missing someone? ABSOLUTELY!

24. Your car? VW Van

25. Something you're not wearing? earrings...gasp!

26. Favorite store? Christopher & Banks

27. Your summer? Beautiful

28. Love someone? hundreds

29. Your favorite color? red

30. When is the last time you laughed? less than an hour ago

31. Last time you cried? Less than 6 hours ago

So many have already done this meme, so I'll not pass it on to anyone specific. If I leave comments on your blog, then consider this award yours as well, cause I love all the blogs I read!

Did you learn anything interesting about me? Besides I don't follow rules very well?

It Is Time to Change - Guest Blogger

Just over the last month or two I have begun to notice campaign signs for the Communist Party of Portugal all over town. I see the same signs everywhere. The very first time I saw one, it floored me. I'll show you the sign, then translate, and let you be the judge. Remember - the Communist Party of Portugal.

It is time to fight
It is time to change!
More power to the Communist Party of Portugal

Comments are welcome.

O Pregador

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We Survived...Barely

Faith...feeling awful. But still smiling. Takes a lot for this girl to stop smiling.

Liberty...wishing I'd just let her sleep. She's also on her sick bed/recliner - backwards. Why do kids do that?

Trinity....also trying to sleep off her virus. She had it worse than anyone.
I took all these pictures at the same time. Three kids in different places, each with a trash can beside them.

Maybe it's safe to say all the sickness is past. If I'm just typing those words and not actually saying them out loud, do you think it will be okay? It (the dreaded 24+ hour stomach thing) ended up hitting everyone except my husband. I guess he was prayed up and we weren't?

About an hour into our language class on Tuesday, I began to decline rapidly. I tried to tell my husband I was feeling bad and that my head hurt, but my ever faithful to remind me language teacher told me that my head hurts every time we have class. Indicating that it's only the Portuguese language that I'm allergic to. After another hour, I left the table and curled up on the sofa, unable to hold my head up any longer. I think it was then that I finally got their attention and our class was canceled and I went straight to bed.

For the next 24 hours, my husband took care of everything. Cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, brushing teeth, putting to bed, dropping off at school, homework and all the other things that moms try to stay on top of. He's my a dark gray sweater.

Last night we borrowed a projector from the little baptist mission in town and we had a movie night with the folks of the mission, their lost friends and family and a few of our neighbors. About 20 people came to watch Facing The Giants. It even had voices in Portuguese, which really impressed the folks. We pray their was a seed planted as they consider what they saw and how God worked in the lives of those in the movie. I wanted to take pictures but I was so busy popping popcorn and serving espresso, that I didn't have time to think about pictures. Everyone commented, even those that know nothing about a loving, saving Lord, on how good the movie was and several wanted to borrow it to show friends and family.

We really enjoyed my parents visit. This picture was taken 'Christmas' morning.

The kids at mid week prayer service. Feeling much better. Thanks for praying.

Brooklyn and Faith in the one and only classroom.

Trinity sporting her new hat.

Liberty took this picture. My camera was bigger than her head! She was so funny trying to hold it up straight!

Look at this crazy looking flower. My mom picked it out.

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Prankster Potty

Trinity, my precious, innocent 4 year old, after a night of constant bathroom trips throwing up, just informed me rather excitedly that "the potty has a bunch of yucky stuff in it and I'm afraid it's going to overflow!!" As I sprinted to the bathroom, taking one last, long sip of my precious morning coffee, I asked her, "Where did it come from?" She said, "I have no idea Mom. After I went poo-poo I looked in it and there it just 'came out'!" My friends, she did not mean come out of her, but rather the potty itself deposited this horribly nasty 'stuff' in which she had no part of. As if the potty was playing a cruel joke on her. I didn't want to cause her further embarrassment, as she had already endured 24 hours of torture, so I just flushed, sprayed and left the bathroom. My kids are so naive about some things. I'd rather they remain that way as long as possible regarding certain issues, but this is over the top. When do they start realizing that what is left in the potty actually came from them?! I think Liberty was 6 before she stopped responding to my questions like this.... "Liberty did you go potty?" "Yes, mam." "Did you go pee-pee or poo-poo?"....... "I don't know." ----Could someone please explain to me how one could not know the answer to this question? I grew up in a house where my step-father would proudly exclaim, "Pull my finger!" ....... Wait a minute that I think about long did it take me to realize what happened every time I pulled his finger? poor kids....they are just like me... "You're right honey, they ARE just like me."

We've battled sickness around here for about a week now. All of us have head colds in which two kids developed infections and are on antibiotics. Then the dreaded 24 hour stomach thingy hit us. I've nursed the second child with this virus and am waiting patiently for it to hit a third. It'll take us a month to completely recover I'm afraid. I may have another interesting story to tell before this is all over with. But, I'm sure you'll pass....right?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Post-Logical - Guest Blogger

According to at least one well known, ardent supporter of the newly elected president, as of last Tuesday, our entire world has changed. I'm told that we should no longer calculate earthly years in the Latin denomination of Anno Domini, (A.D.) but instead in terms of B.O. and A.O. Yes, that's right – Before Obama and After Obama. Even before this historic election, my Portuguese banker quipped that President elect Obama was the new messiah. His smile, the banker's not Obama's, although beyond my complete discernment floated somewhere between sinister and scornful.

All of Europe expected the United States to elect an African American president, because of his skin color, although no nation in the EU would ever even consider electing a minority candidate. Can you imagine Germany electing a Jewish chancellor? The national exit polls show us that 95% of African Americans voted for the candidate of their race. Yet, I am supposed to believe that we have now catapulted into a “post-racial” era. We are supposed to believe that we are suddenly beyond the capacity of discrimination...that we have reached a heightened level of consciousness. I don't buy it one bit.

No, instead, we have simply changed how certain terms are, indeed defined. For instance, I heard no cries of racism when the new Black Panther Party tried to intimidate white people from voting in Philadelphia, but many considered it racism to disagree with someone's ideas though their skin be a different color. Again, it has been deemed questionable for chaplains in the military to pray in the name of Jesus, but no questions are raised when children in government schools are taught how to pray to Allah, in the name of cultural awareness. Despicably, if a man murders a lady who is pregnant with an unborn child, he stands judged for the death of two people, but if a mother pays a doctor to extract her child from the womb before it is born, thus ending the baby's life, we champion her right of choice and his right to practice medicine.

No, just because we elected the first black president, we are not beyond discrimination, but we seem to be beyond consideration. Therefore, I submit a more accurate explanation of our current social state. From now on, why don't we just say that we live post-logical society. It would certainly be more factually correct. To be clear and unequivocal, I absolutely abhor racism – on every level. There are plenty of black men that I would support for president – Alan Keyes, Colin Powell, Larry Elder, Lynn Swann, Alan West, Bill Cosby – if he ever decided to run. My three best friends in college were Korean, Mexican, and African American. I am a foreigner living here in Portugal and at times feel the slight sting of cultural stereotypes. My father, whose grandfather came from Poland, often recalls growing up in Buffalo, New York where there was nothing worse than being a “polock.”

Yet, let's no longer equate skin color with merit, or bondage for liberty, or rhetoric for wisdom, and if that is what we are going to do, then let's call it what it really is – illogical. Post-logical. It has a nice ring to it. Yes, I submit that we now live in a post-logical world.

No, wait, I'm sorry, we can't call it that. It would make too much sense.

written by Michael Andrzejewski for The LaGrange Daily News.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Double Whammy

Remember that old game show...Press your Luck? Remember those crazy whammies that would dance across the screen and laugh that they had just stolen all the contestants money? Well...that's how I feel today. I feel like I've been whammied and it's not a laughing matter.

I now have to get used to calling a man I have zero respect for...Mr. President.

......President Obama

I just don't like it. I don't think I ever will.

And to top it all you know how depressing the day after Christmas always is? All the hype and expectation of Christmas is over and the Christmas tree is being taken down. You've eaten way too much turkey or ham and now you have to eat it for the next 5 days too. Well, that's how I feel today having celebrated Christmas yesterday with my Mom and step-dad....

Christmas is over...I have a knuckle-head president....I've been double whammied!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Christmas Eve in Portugal!

Mom and Terry arrived safely and on time Saturday. We've had a great few days!

Today, whether you know it or not, is Christmas Eve!! We've been last minute Christmas shopping, threw in a bowling game, decorated our new store bought Christmas tree and celebrated 3 birthday's. Tonight we enjoyed a Chili and grilled cheese supper in the den with a family movie and the Christmas tree lights. Now, all the kids are tucked in and have threaten to awake very early in the morning. So I need to get some sleep too....tomorrows least for us and Mimi and Paw Paw it is.

Waiting at the airport....

They're finally here!

Birthday Party

Hanging the lights on the tree.

The kids decorating it.

Bowling..on Christmas Eve!

Trinity after her first strike!