Thursday, May 26, 2011

Feira de Barcelos - (Barcelos Market)

Today, Michael and I spent a little time at the market.  It's not often that we go without visitors.  Usually it's one of the highlighted attractions that we carry our out of town guests to see.  It's always very crowded and full of confusion. 

Today though, as Michael and I sat near the fountain in the center of the market, I looked around, and with some Portuguese pride in my heart, I was thankful to be here.  I was remembering my first trip to the market, nearly 4 years ago.  Not understanding a word the venders spoke to me.  Using hand gestures to communicate whether a basket I was considering buying was for trash or for dirty clothes....(try that one!) 

~~~But, today....It felt like home and not that foreign world it was 4 years ago.

Here is a sample video I found online....It looks like this day it was pretty calm, must have been lunch time! ;)

This market has been around since the 1400's.  Every Thursday, rain or shine.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Furlough Frenzy

Time is winding down, and preparations are in their final stages.....less than two weeks before we leave for furlough.  Lists have been made and many things already crossed off......

  • Get furlough vehicle to Birmingham.
  • Find a sitter for all my gorgeous Orchids.
  • Organize the dungeon. (our junk room)
  • Decide what luggage to use and how many pieces will be needed.
  • How many vehicles will be needed to take us + our luggage to the airport?
  • Find a Dog sitter, cat sitter and turtle sitter.
  • Buy 60 kilos of dog food for Major
  • Leave fridge running, or shut it down?
  • Make checklist for house watcher & dog/cat sitter.
  • Install electric fence to keep dog from wandering.
  • Decide what songs the kids will sing and in which language. (I stress THE KIDS, not me.)
This is only a sample of my to do list.  My schedule is in high gear lately, and the work in the ministry is showing no signs of slowing down.  (Praise HIS name!)

Trinity helping instal the electric fence.

Justice trying to be sweet.

He asks me daily, "Mom, are we going to Amewica today?"

Last weekend we had a Convívio das Casais. (Couples meeting)

It was a precious time of fellowship, prayer and of course, Eating!

Some of the dishes.  Michael made the dish on the left.  It's called Baclhau à Brás. (Cod fish and Potatoes)

Salad is amazing in Portugal, once you get used to olive oil and vinegar.....Now, I'll have it no other way!!

I'll certainly miss the fresh, daily bread!

Singing praises!

Ms. Dawne stayed upstairs with the kids to give us parents an evening with other adults.

I'm going to miss these people.

So...since I'm thrilled to be visiting my homeland, but torn about not seeing my friends and church family here.....does that mean I'm officially insane, or officially a missionary? 

I think the two go hand in hand.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Brooklyn!

Our oldest daughter Brooklyn turned 12 last week.  Feels like yesterday I was going to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning to be induced.  She was a week late and I couldn't take another day of pregnancy.  Contrary to popular belief, I don't enjoy being pregnant.  Although all my pregnancies were healthy ones without any complications and my Doctor told me I was a 'baby making machine', I did not like the discomfort of being huge, hot and irritated.  (Looking back now, I think the irritation came from not being able to drink caffeinated beverages.....Coffee solves a world of problems!)

I remember hopping around the house, be-bopping up the steps to our little townhouse just a few days after giving birth, my family amazed at my 'quick' recovery.  I told them that I felt better the day after Brooklyn was born than any day of my 9 month + 1 week pregnancy.  And every baby afterwards was the same situation.....recovering from child birth was so much easier than walking around pregnant for 9 months.

So, today I'm celebrating 12 years with that little, dark headed, jaundiced bundle of joy!  She's been a delight to help raise and I feel priviledged that God would choose me as her mother.

She celebrated her birthday this past weekend with 2 of her closest friends. The pijama party was a lot of fun and different for the two girls invited.  PJ parties aren't very popular here....but they had a great time.

So, here goes my top 12 reasons I love Brooklyn:

  1. She helps me the most with improving my language skills.  (That's after I've embarrassed her by butchering a language she speaks so beautifully!)
  2. She's an excellent student that cares about her grades and her performance in school. (Opposite of me!)
  3. Although she's not the best at keeping her room tidy, she has amazing organizational skills.
  4. She's the typical bossy oldest sibling, but does well when needed to care for the younger ones in our absence.
  5. She recognizes when I'm down, when I need a hug, when I need someone to volunteer to wash dishes, when I need time alone....she's sensitive and aware of others around her.
  6. She makes a mean fiesta chicken.
  7. She says, "Thanks Mom" a lot.
  8. She taught me how to listen.
  9. She taught me how to put someone else's needs before my own. 
  10. She still holds my hand when we walk around in public. 
  11. She has the love of Jesus in her heart.
  12. And last but not all know what's coming......She's MINE!  Thank you Lord!
"Happy Birthday Brooklyn Malena! I Love You!"
Love, Mom

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Happy Birthday Trinity!

    Trin (snaggle tooth) on her 7th birthday with her sisters Lib and Brooklyn.

    Trinity, our youngest daughter, turned 7 on Tuesday.  It was a local holiday in our town, so schools were out and we had a beautiful day geocaching!  She even lost a tooth on her birthday!

    So, in concordance with my normal birthday routine, I'll list the top 7 reasons why I love Trinity:

    1. She waits on me to come to the living room when we are going to watch a family movie so that she can sit right beside me and share my blanket.  She's always been my best cuddler.
    2. I never have to tell her twice.
    3. She recalls bible stories with much ease when she is faced with real life situations that parallel biblical accounts. ( such as...."Mom, that was scary!  But God protected us like he did Daniel while in the den of lions!")
    4. She is an excellent student that loves school, math and reading.
    5. I have more pictures in my 'keep box' from Trinity than all my other children combined.  She's always drawing me something.
    6. She's very sensitive.
    7. She's MINE!

    Trin (middle) with her sisters Faith and Lib

    "Happy Birthday baby girl! I Love You!"