Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thank You Heather!



This is Heather. (Pictured here with her 'Booger Bear', Liberty) She is a young lady from Living Waters Baptist Church in LaGrange, Georgia where my husband used to pastor. Whenever we had a birthday party for one of our girls, Heather would always give the girls some of the cutest clothes. I'd always get compliments on how cute the girls would be dressed and I'd have to admit that either Heather, her mom or her sister had bought them. These ladies know how to shop!--Well, with the school year just around the corner and no good places to shop here in Portugal, I called on my "personal shopper," Heather. Would you take a look at what she and her family sent to us!! We are so excited. Fashion shows have been going on all day.


The package has arrived!









Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ramblings










Things are moving right along here in Portugal. Our days are full of language classes, left-over schoolwork & attempts to minister in Portuguese. Sometimes these attempts go over better than others, but we are trying nonetheless.

Michael has held devotions in Portuguese twice and will be preaching in Portuguese for the first time at the end of August. His anticipation grows with each passing day, then is replaced with fear and apprehension. He does very well and is encouraged by the kind comments he gets from those present at the church services where we have had the privilege to attend the last few months. Last night we had dinner with the Pastor and his wife. We spoke only Portuguese and managed to have a delightful time and a delicious meal. We left their house about midnight exhausted, but encouraged in what God is doing here in northern Portugal.

Brooklyn has been invited to eat supper with her friend tonight. This same friend, Ines ate supper with us last week. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing. We have this Portuguese girl in our home, supper is ready and I don't want to say,"Go Home", so we invite her to stay. She eagerly runs home to ask permission and her mom actually said yes! So she ran back, we put another place setting at the table and she ate grilled salmon, mashed potatoes and bread. She tried my green beans, but very discreetly spit them back out. Michael, trying to make conversation with her, asked her what her favorite meat was. She responded, lingua de boi (beef tongue). So....I'm not going to tell Brooklyn this! She (Brooklyn) got the "talk". We told her that she is making our first impression on this family and that this is her opportunity to "minister". She took that challenge with enthusiasm promising to eat what was offered her and to use her best manners. I'll let you know how it all turns out!

My birthday is around the corner and my husband has been faithful to remind me I'm now in my mid thirties. My kids do the same. However, with my finding a new gray hair everyday (sometimes several of them) and with the way my body feels when I get out of bed, no one needs to remind me. Just remember this...if you knew me when I was a kid and your thinking..."Boy, she's getting old." ----You're still older than me!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Birth of a Son - Guest Blogger




Strictly from a father's perspective, the birth of a son has been
known to elicit numerous responses. Perhaps the most well
recognized of these being the pre 80's ritual of passing out cigars
to other expectant fathers in hospital waiting rooms. Others may
include the dancing of jigs, shouting, and dreaming of their
greatness in years to come. Having watched my wife bring four girls
into this world, with very little help from me, I often wondered
what, if any difference having a son would produce on my attitude as
a father. Would I be more or less protecting, loving, forgiving?
Would my fatherhood of a manchild afford me greater insight to the
Heavenly Father's great sacrifice of freely giving His Son for us?
Looking back, less than two years after becoming the father of a son,
I realize, right or wrong, that the change a son produces on any man
is patently undeniable, and cries of sexism or women's liberation
theology will never change the irrefutable nature of the change
wrought by the birth of a son on his own father. Though this change
may not always be identical throughout mankind, absolutely noticeable
it is. Though it may not always be permanent, a transformation
nonetheless does come to pass that is markedly different from the
mindset of those tasked with raising beautiful little girls.

Such was the case very soon after our first parents began to fulfill
God's first command to be fruitful and multiply so they could
replenish the earth. Once Cain mercilessly ended Abel life, God
graciously gave another baby boy to Adam and Eve. Seth, they called
him meaning the appointed one. From the Bible, we aren't privy what
effect this had on Adam, but to the next generation we may look and
discover the birth of possibly the greatest opportunity ever afforded
man. However, before fully realizing the greater effect Enos' birth
had on Seth, we should notice the primary workings of his birth. In
Genesis 4:26 we read, "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son;
and he called his name Enos..." whose meaning signifies the frailty
and mortality of man. Here we have Seth, who was born after one of
his brothers killed the other, now years later at the birth of his
own son pondering the very frailty of human life. At the birth of
his son, Seth must have looked down and said something akin to,
"Honey, we are but poor and miserable creatures." Enos' birth forced
Seth to acknowledge both the eternal existence and infinite power of
Almighty God. Seth thought, though we are but pitiful and helpless,
He is not, and the last part of verse 26 naturally follows, "...then
began men to call upon the name of the LORD." What was the product
of Enos' birth? Prayer. Pure, unadulterated, spontaneous prayer.
Seth saw his own frailty and that of his newborn heir and began to
cry out to his Creator, the Omnipotent Effector, the very opposite of
weakness. No doubt, soon others began to take notice and share in
this great privilege and so on and so forth down through the
wonderful ages until now.

I know the birth of my son has changed me. I can see the subtle
effect of his life on mine each day, and yet how rarely I stop and
thank God for how He chooses to change me through others He brings in
my life.

"Thank You Lord for my son. Thank You for my daughters and wife and
friends. Lord, please use these people and others that You choose to
bring in my life to make me more like Your Son. Father, teach me to
cherish the privilege of prayer each day and grow closer to You
through it. How I love You, Lord. Amen."


Bro. Michael

Ms. Lora


Ms. Lora is a precious friend of ours. Before we were full-time in the ministry (10 yrs ago) My husband was her children's youth pastor. And a few years later Ms. Lora taught my children in Sunday school. There was an abundance of preschool aged kids that needed to get out of the nursery, so Ms. Lora saw that as a ministry opportunity. She decked out a classroom with a small pic-nic table, a rug for story time...and away she went...with an entire classroom of 3 yr old's and younger. She was always coming up with new ideas for the church. She directed Easter dramas, organized the church directory, made "Ain't' God Good Buttons" for the church and was always pulling a teen to the side to encourage him/her in the Lord. Ms. Lora is always thinking about someone else. Our family has benefited from her thoughtfulness at many times over the years, with the most recent being when she took two weeks out of her busy life as wife, mother, Meme and entrepreneur to accompany us on our move to Portugal. One thing you can't say about Ms. Lora is that she's afraid to "Live". This lady lives life to the fullest and with this daring aspect of life, comes many heartaches. She gets discouraged from time to time, and we'll get a phone call or an email. Mostly she just needs a shoulder, and an ear. We listen, tell her things she already knows and a few days later she tells us how God gave her victory, yet again! He is faithful, huh, Ms. Lora?! A few years ago, Ms. Lora was dealt a terrible blow with the tragic and unexpected death of her precious son Philip. As expected, Ms. Lora has struggled with this pain, yet rising above it, she still continues to minister to others. She recently directed VBS at her church where a precious young soul was saved. Praise the Lord! She, being the thoughtful person she is, has started a blog to help encourage others who may be suffering in the same way. Would you please pay her a visit & leave an encouraging comment. She'd do the same for you...trust me.

A Mothers Journey Through Grief

Thank You. Have a great weekend. (Bom fim de semana!...see I AM learning something in language class!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Does This Count?

My husband and I met when we were 14 years old and shortly thereafter the sweetest love poems began to come my way. These continued all the way through high school and on into college. With the ones he wrote during college being the most precious of all. However, after our wedding day, the poems began to come less frequently. The last few months I have been asking for one of the poems like I used to get. I had hoped maybe he'd surprise me with one on our anniversary, but June 14th came and went with no poem. Well, last night I made a late night shopping trip and came home about 11:30 to find this poem from my husband on my email....how personal is that?! Anyway, I'll let you decide if I should accept it. I'll just say this...it's not what I was expecting....

The Things I Do

I'm not too good to wash the dishes
Don't think that cooking goes to far
But when you ask me to write a love song
You've hooked your wagon to a star

It's the things I do that write my love songs
From this I pray that you would understand
That from the first moment that I saw you
I've loved you more than the beaches full of sand

I'd gladly change those dirty diapers
Give the kids a bath or even more
Put on your car brand new wipers
And would never consider it a chore

Through the years my creativity has faded
My imagination lost its touch
As proven by this feeble poem
For now, writing a love song seems to much

It's the things I do that write my love songs
From this I pray that you would understand
That from the moment that I saw you
I've loved you more than beaches full of sand.


~You Better Know Who!

That's what I get for asking for it.

Update: Just for the record, and in case you were wondering, I really do like my poem. I was just giving my husband a hard time. Only one of you said it sounded like a country song gone bad (I thought all country songs were bad...) so I'll accept it and be thankful for it. (Like I wasn't going to accept it. I sure talk tough sometimes...but that's all it is..talk!)

"My Love"...I love you too!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Step Away From The Scooby Snacks!



A package from our friend, Paula Garrett arrived today. In it included all the wonderful things you see here. Paula used to work with my mother and would always send special treats to our children. As you can see, our moving to Portugal didn't stop her. She is a precious lady who promises to pray for our family daily. Her prayer alone is a special gift to us, but now we get to eat Scooby Snacks and have hazelnut creamer in our (my) coffee!! I must confess though, that after our trip to the zoo today...we're just about done with the Scooby Snacks!---It was so neat to get some of these slow cooker meal starters. I've never seen them before...and guess what..when I turned them over to read the directions....I understood every word!! Man, it sure is nice to read ALL the words on these items....God Bless America!!


We are all staying very busy. Our language classes have continued non stop since 2 weeks after our arrival in Portugal. They seem to be going well. Sometimes, I have a good day and other times, I can't wait for our teacher to leave.

Brooklyn, Faith and Liberty are having language classes now as well. Faith and Liberty have class for 1 hour, 5 days a week. Brooklyn's classes are a little more intensive, with hers lasting two hours, 5 days a week. It is imperative that Brooklyn get a good hold on the language before starting school in September, or she will be put in a much lower grade. She is working diligently so she can be with her peers this next school year. So with all these classes, and the normal "mom" things, my days are jammed full. On top of all this, the temperatures here have reached high 80's. That probably sounds like a relief to some of you, but without air-conditioning it gets pretty hot, especially when you're trying to go to sleep.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

6 Quirky Things

Rita at The Jungle Hut has tagged me for a meme.

Here are the rules of this meme:
1) Link to the person who tagged me.
2) Mention the rules.
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.
4) Tag 6 other blogger´s by linking to them.
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.


Here goes...
1. I put makeup on in the car, even if I have enough time to do it at home. I feel like I'm wasting time just sitting there. So I use my time at home for more important things like drinking a second cup of coffee or painting my toenails.

2. I invent random words out of pieces of other words. And I think they sound nice. I think it makes me sound smarter. Don't you?

3. I like to clean house at midnight or later.

4. I wear a size 10 shoe.

5. I drink entirely too much coffee. I love what I can get accomplished after a few cups! Is that an addiction?

6. I hate to be baited. Just ask me if you want something. Don't beat around the bush. I don't have time for that.


And now for my 6 luck victims:

A Mothers Journey Through Grief
My good friend who truly has a story to tell.

Valley Of The Mountains
My former Pastor's wife who is now on deputation to Nepal.

Counter-Cultural Mom
A precious homeschooling mother in the town we used to live in.

The Webbs
My best friend from school.

This Pilgrimage
Missionary wife in Guatemala.

Beautiful In God's Eyes
A christian mother in Montana.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Finally...Watermelon!

Watermelon is a beloved treat in this family. All 5 of my kids adore this fruit. However, melons are pretty expensive here...especially when it takes so much of our American dollars to get a Euro. Anyway...I splurged yesterday and bought a tiny melon. Just enough for us all to have one small slice. It was about the size of a softball on steroids...

Boys....got to love 'em.

I know..he needs a haircut.

Faith is always wherever my camera is.

Notice the grass.

That grossed daddy out, so he washed it off for him.

Much better.
video

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just a Reminder....








Just a reminder that we all get older...and most of us get fatter!

Friday, July 11, 2008

More Guest Blogger!



The gauntlet has been thrown down. A challenge has been issued and that with defiance. She all but said the words "double dog..." Just now after supper, while on my way upstairs, I shared with Nina my express desire to address her devoted "blaudience" (yes, I'm planning to officially coin the compound contraction composed by joining blog and audience, respectively, so that I can reap the appropriate financial benefits.) Nonetheless, she proceeded to inform me that her previous post could not possibly be bested. If I recall correctly, her exact words were, "You can't beat potty training blogging." I, my friends, beg to differ. With eyes closed and one hand behind my back, here goes.

Thursday morning Nina drove to the airport to pick up our co-worker who had gone to a missionary retreat in England, and while she was gone I helped the first graders with some school work. Faith was in the middle of a history lesson that covered things distinctly American - flag, pledge of allegiance, national anthem...that kind of thing. There came a place for her to sing the national anthem, and she wasn't sure how the tune went. Since she's never been to public school in the states and didn't play organized sports I don't know that she's ever sung the national anthem. The aforementioned revelation may sound more like an excuse, but it is really an admission, of guilt. I don't ever remember learning the national anthem, but always remember singing it, even as a child. So, with Faith and Liberty there in my office, a converted kitchen 10 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean in northern Portugal I began to sing the national anthem of the United States of America. A funny thing happened along the way. I realized, once again, on the 10th of July how great our nation once was - when the majority of Americans both understood the significance of the song and respected those who fought to keep it the land of the free and home of the brave. I made it about halfway through the first verse (there are actually four), "and the rockets red glare..." without any major difficulties, but the more I tried to continue, a veritable geyser of suppressed patriotism welled from my marrow up into my throat and into my eyes. I continued until, "Oh say does that star-spangled banner..." when I could take it no more. Faith peered into my tear-leaking eyes and said, "Daddy are you crying?" Of course, I did what most Dads in this position would do. I said, "You girls go take a break from school." They immediately hopped up and went outside while I wept lamentations over my beloved home land.

The simple fact is this. We love Portugal and the people here, tremendously, but it is not the United States of America. No nation is or ever will be. That is really enough said. I could go on about how great our nation is or what makes it great or how sicker she gets by the day, but you know all of these things and if you don't it's because you don't want to. But, I'm not going to. Instead I'm simply going to encourage you to do two things. First, cherish the liberties you have. Fight, under the law, to ensure you retain those liberties. Call or email your legislators about important matters. Exercise your right to vote. Simply put - be an American....not a Polish American, Irish American, African American or any other kind of American. Just an American, and secondly, honor those who are fighting or have fought for the freedom you enjoy. Thank them for their service, pray for their safety. Help their families and recognize their sacrifice for your freedom. If you don't know a veteran, when school begins again, go to your local high school for a football game. When the national anthem ends, look for the grown man with a wet handkerchief. And, just in case you haven't looked at the words to the Star Spangled Banner in a while, below are the 1st and 4th verses.

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Adeus!

O Pregador

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Very Much

I'm proud to report that Justice used the potty for the first time yesterday! Yes, I know....you are so excited.

I put him on the "big potty" with one of those little seats you sit on top. That way, he's terrified to get off. Great parenting strategy, huh! I left him in there with very specific instructions...."Go Potty". How hard is that?

After about 20 minutes of him drinking his sippy cup, playing with a car and screaming... "Mama...Daddy...sisters... Maaaaama...Daddddddy....siiiisters. (even louder) he finally went. Not just number one, but number 2 too....(2 too...that doesn't sound right....2 also...there, that's better). When I walked back into the bathroom there was the aroma that evidenced his obedience to my command. I had never been happier to smell poop!

However...he kept saying..."tee tee" and pointing towards a sprinkle that was on his foot and all over the floor. That little guard thing on the potty seat didn't work too well and he was grossed out by this, as was I. Any suggestions from you mothers who've potty trained boys would be helpful right about now.

After a little celebration dance, I quickly got him down and we both looked into the potty. Me with great enthusiasm and him with a look of confusion. He had no idea how that nasty stuff got in there and wondered why I was so happy about it. He in no way owned up to it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Plant Stands, Bedtime Stories and Computer Hogs


Look at this cute plant stand. I saved for a month to buy this thing!

Faith reading a book before bed.



He uses "squishy bear" as a pillow...and that's chocolate mousse on his nose!

It's a wonder I ever have time on my computer with these little computer hogs!

Speaking of computer hogs, Brooklyn was allowed to get an email address. So if some of you family and friends from back home would like to write to her, here is her address: portugalrocks58@yahoo.com