Friday, May 29, 2009

Good Bye To Good Friends

Wednesday we hosted a BBQ with our friends and co-laborers to say goodbye to Leandro and Priscilla. They will be returning to Brazil the first of June. We wish them well and pray that God would give them clear direction for their future. It's been a blessing getting to know them.

Here are some usual...

Leandro and Priscilla

Enjoying the beautiful day.

BBQ Brazilian Style

The good life!

Bingo in the grass.

Tigra found a cool place to rest. She's going to have kittens soon.

Looking at fruit trees.

Make a note....It is possible for a man to wash dishes! I have proof! And notice the homemade ice cream!!

The preachers.

The preachers and their families.

Trin with her goofy grin.

My Love

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blessings Arrived From Hoover, AL

Melissa and her class at church of precious young ladies have gathered and mailed these wonderful items to us. These young ladies learn about missions and missionaries at church, and then turn around and do special projects as the Lord directs.

(Get a load of this!!!)

Melissa said after my post about the cost of no stick cooking spray in Croatia (it's not even available in Portugal) that she was moved to encourage her class to collect items that are hard to find on the mission field.

Convenience items are almost non-existent here, so all these items will be cherished!

The girls have already carried Fruit Roll Ups to school to show the kids how cool American snacks are! And with these sugar free snacks, I've been given that boost I needed with my diet.

Two boxes arrived yesterday with what appears to be all the items pictures here except the Pam spray. Due to restrictions about aerosol cans, they'll have to ship the Pam spray by boat.

I tell you what....after all the trouble these folks have gone through to be a blessing to us...I'm so humbled it makes me want to cry.

Thank you Melissa and girls!

Our prayers are that God would bless you abundantly for your thoughtfulness and sacrifice.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Green Superfood

My weight loss journey started back in January and as I draw closer to my goal weight, these last several pounds seem to be super glued to my hips and thighs.

With my increased levels of exercise, I'm finding that my new eating habits aren't supplying my body with the necessary vitamins and protein needed to have an energy filled day. (I know...what's that?! An energy filled day?) So I seem to be resorting to the 'quick, sugar-laden pick-me-up' type foods.

I'm not crazy about meat. I like chicken breast, but in Portugal it's pretty expensive, so I don't buy it as often as I would like to. (About $7.50 for 2 pounds...and that's the cheapest place I've found.) So if all white meat chicken isn't on my menu for dinner, I usually skip the meat. Eating only the veggies, rice or potatoes.

I've battled anemia since my teens when I stopped eating all red meats. It's been over 15 years since I've eaten a steak or a hamburger. During certain times of the month, I struggle with dizziness, extreme fatigue and crippling headaches. And when you add in my recent selective eating habits and increased levels of activity, these symptoms have doubled .

I've already introduced you to my wonder women mother-in-law but let me remind you she's a nurse of over 40 years. My hubby went to her in search of help for his wife who was struggling through her days.

Nanny's response..."Nina needs to eat meat protein!"

She may have said that, but this is what I heard...."Grill her up a nice, fat, juicy steak and watch her energy levels increase right in front of your eyes!

My response...."Yeah right!! NO WAY I'm doing that!!" And Nanny knew I'd say that, she knows me.... she's prepared special dishes and foods for me for many years now, always considering my eating habits when deciding on dinner for our family.

So we went with plan B.

Food Supplements

After Nanny did lots of research and after talking with her personally and telling her the benefits I've had in the past taking chlorophyll, this is what she bought for me and sent in a box that I received last week. (Thanks Nanny!)

Chlorella has astounding health benefits! After you get past the part about it being an algae.

The benefits of Chlorella:

It contains the highest levels of Chlorophyll known.
Supplies high levels of Beta-Carotene, Vitamin B-12 and Iron.
Filters toxins from body
Fights cancer
Aids in digestion
Helps balance boys pH
Normalizes blood sugar and blood pressure
Has protective and cleansing compounds (which means it takes odors from your breath and from your poop! ....wonder if I can get my entire family on this stuff...even the dog...hmmmm)

So after a week of filling my body with "The Green Superfood" I'm proud to report I'm feeling some of that energy I've been lacking.

I may be green like The Incredible Hulk, but at least I have his energy level too!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Sun, Strep & Sweet Toothpaste

This past week we enjoyed beautiful weather! We also enjoyed spending countless hours at the hospital and doctor's office with our two youngest who were eventually diagnosed with Strep Throat.

Having 5 kids causes me to spend extra time thinking about all the locations an abundance of germs could be found. I thought of a place this week that I hadn't considered before.

I always disinfect toothbrushes, or buy new ones when a sickness starts moving it's way through the family. But I never considered the toothpaste. The opening where all the kids rub their toothbrush across, or in Justice's case, the part that he walks through the house sucking on. (Don't act like your kid's have never done it! Especially that yummy, sweet, bubble gum flavor kind. Or in Trinity's case the kind that tastes like dead strawberries)

Some pretty girls....enjoying the sun.

We were invited this past week to visit a ceramic making factory that is owned by a member of the church here in Barcelos. This nice man has been on me for weeks about stopping by his shop to pick myself out something pretty for my house. I told him I'd like to have a large vase for an over sized flower or plant. He told me Sunday he had some pretty ones right now, and I'd better hurry.

Here are some pictures of our visit....

Praise the Lord He did NOT throw the clay away!!!

Still drying.

Ladies hand painting.

Well, instead of one thing...I ended up coming home with all sorts of things....take a look...

This pot will look fabulous with a huge plant...maybe even a tree! It's much bigger than this picture makes it look.

These cute kitties were for the kids.

The three vases on the left....

And lastly this cool vase. Yes, it's supposed to look cracked. Wonder what I can do with it?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Writer's Block

Stay with me.

The flood waters of creativity are bound to break free any moment.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Justice Learns the Hard Way

"Daddy go?"

"Daddy go?"

"Mama.....uh-oh...Daddy go?!?"

That was his question. Over and over again.

All 7 of us were standing on the cold, dark, wet street corner looking for the correct apartment building of our friends who had invited us over for fellowship following a church service. It was almost 10:30 pm, the kids were sick, cranky and tired. Bedtime is normally 9:00, so we were all well into the delirious stages.

I reassured him that his daddy had just gone to the corner cafe to ask where building #33 was.

He spotted the cafe and took off. As he approached the glass walls of the cafe he saw his daddy through the glass at the counter. He continued down the wall looking for the door to enter when he saw what he thought was an open door.

You see, rain or shine, cold or heat wave, the Portuguese prop open the doors to their cafes, clothing shops and restaurants. You name it, if it has a door and they're open, then the door is propped open.

Justice in his 2.5 year old head has learned this already. Most of us know when driving past a shop, that if the door isn't open, then they're closed.

So after he spotted what he thought was an open door he ran full force through it.

Well, maybe I should say into it, cause he bounced off that glass just like in the cartoons when Jerry pulls a frying pan from behind his back and Tom runs into it face first.

Justice took a few wobbly steps backwards as his entire body vibrated.

His sisters and I a few doors down saw the entire thing and our late night giggles took over. We began to laugh so hard that the man who ran out the cafe to check on Justice thought us horrible that we could laugh at such a thing. He rolled his eyes and went back inside.

Now we know that not everyone leaves their door least Justice does anyway.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mama Fit

I really want to have a fit today, but I lack both the energy and will power.

Just looking at this picture makes me tired....

Today's Saturday. The day when I wash about 673 loads (okay maybe it's only 8-10 loads) of clothes because electricity is cheaper. It's when I utilize my 4 clothes lines that run the entire length of the house. When I can hang out 6 loads at a time and by the time the 7th is ready to be hung out, loads 1, 2 and 3 are dry and can be taken down. I have this system, you see and it works well for me. I actually like washing clothes.....except when it's raining, like it is today.

We, unlike the average Portuguese family, own a clothes dryer. However, the length of time it takes to dry a load of clothes is so frustratingly slow, I can hang out a load on a pretty day, take them down, fold them and put them away in less time. Not to mention the astronomical amounts of energy it uses.

So where does that leave me on days like today?

With about 5 loads of wet clothes sitting in baskets lined up next to the dryer waiting for their time to tumble. The other 5 loads are on lying on drying racks in an already too humid room. If it continues to rain, they'll take about 3-4 days to dry completely.

Do you see my dilemma? It could be days before we get clean underwear in this house!

Would you please have a fit for me....I just don't have it in me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Birthday's, Cherries and Lefty's

*****WARNING: Picture Post*****
If you don't like pictures, skip this post!

The cherry tree in our yard has never given fruit before. Well, now it has!

"Trinity's Garden"

Justice likes to concentrate with his tongue.

And prefers using his left hand.

My birthday girls. Brooklyn turned 10 and Trinity turned 5.

Brooklyn receiving traditional birthday kisses from her teacher.

Brooklyn's classmates.

Her friends at school singing "Happy Birthday"

I baked 50 red velvet cupcakes.

Her best friends, Ines and Jessica.