Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Declare A War

Meet Zeus

Fringegirl over at The Domestic Fringe has also gotten a beauty of a machine which she and her kids have appropriately named "Feona". A beautiful, shiny red head like this deserves to be named "Feona". She was giving me a hard time about the impending arrival of my "bad boy" the other day, to turn around and buy a commercial strength kitchen aid mixer at a discounted price, no less! To her credit though, she did give God the Glory for providing such a beauty when she was in need of a mixer. --- And if I have anything to say about it, a stand mixer is certainly a need, not a want!

So here's where you, my faithful followers come in. I need a name for this "tough guy". He's a male, not a female. I've already told fringegirl that I couldn't share my kitchen with a beauty queen like Feona. She'd give me a complex. And since my bad boy is dark gray...he needs a tough, authoritative name. Here are a few pictures in case you need to see him before you can name him:

Poor guy....he needs a name.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Mayhem

We've had a wonderfully crazy day. It started this morning as we were getting things ready for our friends, the Mosley's to arrive. Our buzzer rang with the delivery guy delivering yet another two boxes with late arriving Christmas gifts. Everything was put on hold as we went through these wonderful gifts. As we were putting them all away and getting back to preparing for our guests, the buzzer rang again. This time it was one specific box. This box contained a gift JUST for me. Some of you ladies can appreciate this......

I was so excited! I yanked it out of the box and placed it proudly on my kitchen counter top. (Thanks Dad!)

Our guests arrived and we had not even come close to getting the things accomplished we were hoping to get accomplished. Too much excitement this morning. After a lunch of taco salad I jumped right up and made some cookies using my new mixer. I couldn't wait to use it. We enjoyed warm cookies and even warmer coffee. (We'll take any heat we can get these days!! Our house stays so cold.) This pretty baby makes life in the kitchen so much more enjoyable!

We are so thankful for precious friends. The Lord has blessed us with many in the short 10 months that we've been here. Here are a few pictures of the kids playing with John and Stephanie.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Birthday My Love

I just don't think it's fair for those folks like my husband that have birthdays very close to Christmas. But he handles it very well. Growing up, birthday's were a big deal in my house. We had a birthday party every year. Inviting family and all the neighborhood kids and I loved it. I guess I like attention. At least I admit it.

But Michael doesn't really like for his birthday's to be a big deal. I planned a surprise party one year for him and spent the next two days apologizing for it because he didn't like it. I made a mental note to back off a little on birthday's, at least when it concerns him. I still enjoy fussing over my kids on their birthday's. Always remembering that I want each of them to feel important on their special day and I don't ever want them to resent coming from a family with several children.

"So honey, with as little emphasis as I can muster .......happy birthday love."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fake Ice & Snow But Real McDonalds!

Today we took the kids into Porto, the second largest city in Portugal. We went in search of the Largest Christmas Tree in Europe, but I think Lisbon won that bid this year, so we ended up 'wax skating', bouncy jumping, playing in snow bubbles and eating at the Imperial McDonald's. Even though our van worked just fine, we stopped at a metro station (subway) so the kids could enjoy their first ever ride. We took the metro right into the middle of the city. As soon as we got on and it took off, all the kids went flying backwards about 5 feet and went crashing to the ground. I was laughing so hard I couldn't help any of them up. Metros don't mess around! It was obvious to everyone that we weren't from around those parts!!

The girls skating on wax....when they fell they had bits of wax all over even looked like ice shavings!

Some sort of fake snow. We're still not sure what it was. The kids said it tasted like soap. Some sort of bubbly stuff...they loved it!


A huge Christmas Bell. The kids played inside of it. It's where the 'snow' fell.

Looking straight up from inside the bell.

They love their coffee and their Clooney!

City sights

At least I was behind this statue....

Trinity did not want to stand next to the 'weird green guys'. Faith's just a little too friendly!

The Portuguese kids love to jump in those bouncy things too!!

Trinity says...."Merry Christmas to All"!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Riding Hood & Jingle Bells

Little Red Riding Hood & Jingle bells?

Not exactly peanut butter and jelly. The two just don't have the same
solidarity as salt and pepper. Maybe opposites attract – Abbott and
Costello, Mutt and Jeff? When I consider one or the other, Little Red
Riding Hood and Jingle Bells naturally stay in their own universe.
Little Red Riding Hood, one of the most beloved children's stories of
all time that chronicles a girl's temerarious lunchtime delivery to
her bedridden grandmother, doesn't quite coincide with dashing
through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh.
Yet, the Portuguese don't allow such minor details to muddle their
holiday theater. Last Tuesday, our little Faithy came home and
proudly declared that she would have to wear the same clothes to
school on Thursday. They were going to perform Red Riding Hood as a
class for the Christmas play. Perhaps it was the combination of a
red, hooded sweater and flowing blond hair that led her teacher to
the epiphany of performing such an act. Perhaps all the other
Christmas themes were taken. Perhaps for her, the story itself
warranted a Christmas adaptation. Nonetheless, Faith, one of only
three non-Portuguese students in the entire school district had just
won the lead role in her class production. No matter that she only
speaks a little Portuguese. She's photogenic, out-going, and best of
all – she's got the right costume!
At approximately the same time, our nine-year-old, Brooklyn was being
drafted into singing Jingle Bells, in English during the same
program. Shouldn't be too difficult for her, thought the music
teacher, she's one of only three children in the school that speak
English. No matter that she's shy, easily embarrassed and
conscientious about her height in comparison to her other classmates:
She knows the right language!
So, for the next two days Brooklyn learned, that's right, learned
Jingle Bells. Maybe it's sad and she's been sheltered thus far, but
she's grown up on Amazing Grace and Glory to His Name, not Santa
Claus is Coming to Town. While she learned Jingle Bells, Faith walked
around and goaded her mother not to forget to wash her red sweater,
and Liberty cried because she was too scared to volunteer for a part
in Riding Hood.
The big day rolled around with great excitement in the missionary
house. As Nina and I arrived at school for the party, I quickly
spotted Brooklyn who looked like she was going to puke from nerves.
Her teacher almost frantically sprinted to me and told me that
Brooklyn had been telling her that they could in no way begin the
program because we weren't there. With roughly 300 students, parents,
and teachers there, I'm not sure who was more nervous, our kids or their mother.
Despite said nerves, each class marvelously performed their pieces
with Red Riding Hood receiving the most raucous and animated laughter
from children and adults alike and Jingle Bells being performed with
uncanny silence from the audience. The pin drop analogy doesn't even
do the silence justice. There were smiles all around complete with
whispers and pointed-fingers at the weird Americans. This reviewer
biasely gives the Hood and Bells combo two-thumbs up and five stars,
all the while intently speculating on what will come next year –
Silent Night with the Three Little Pigs?

Written by Michael Andrzejewski for The LaGrange Daily News

Here's Little Red Riding Hood getting instruction from her mother:

Here she is talking to her 'grandmother' who's really the wolf:

Here she's running and screaming cause the wolf is getting out of bed to get her.

Faith and Lib's class singing "Happy Birthday Jesus". Lib's on the right in a pink coat.

Here's Brooklyn's class singing before her solo. Notice the guy in the sweat suit that says "Only for Girls". What's that all about?!

Here's Brooklyn singing "Jingle Bells".

Here she is after her solo, very relieved.

And this is the crowd of folks they preformed in front of!

Here's the kindergartners with a nativity scene. The "Star of Bethlehem" is picking his nose.

Random Shots

Our dinner table last night.

My Coffee...about 4 times a day!

Justice sharing his yogurt with Tigra