Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Well we returned home from Portugal on wednesday, Dec. 10 and I don't think it has stopped snowing since! We are loving the snow, but the cold has been quite a shock from the 60's in Portugal before we left.

We said our goodbyes to friends in Portugal, it was a bitter-sweet time for us. There is a lot we are going to miss about Portugal. One of our highlights was Traeger's school. We are going to miss his teachers, who became our friends while we were there, and Traeger is of course going to miss his school buddies. We are also going to miss many people from our church that we attended while there. We are going to miss the almost perfect weather, watching the sheep go by our apartment every morning and the beautiful beaches, but of course we are thrilled to be home, snow and all!

It was a very long plane ride, but we arrived safely. We had a flight cancelled in Chicago and didn't arrive home until 1:30am, when we were scheduled to arrive at 9:00pm. Michele was sick with a cold on the flight, so was pretty miserable, but our kids were so good. We can tell a lot of people were praying, because they were very well behaved and Kallen was a little angel the whole 10 1/2 hour flight.

We have been enjoying seeing family and friends and shopping at Meijer with sales and coupons! The kids have loved being close to both grandmas and grandpas. A very generous couple from our church has lent us their house to live in while we are home and it has been such a blessing. It has been so nice to have a place to retreat to after busy days and have space to sort and pack our stuff as well as enough room for the kids to sleep in their own rooms and not with us!

Tim's mom had major back surgery on the 4th of Dec. and then his grandpa broke his leg and had surgery on his leg a few days ago, so the George household has been a little crazy between caring for mom George and grandpa Dejong. Thankfully both are doing really well and are recovering more quickly than expected.

Here are a couple of pictures of our last days in Portugal and our first days back in the states.

Traeger has loved the snow, unfortunately, as you can see, Karis has hated it and cries when it starts snowing.
This was pure torture for her, but I had to have a picture of her in the snow!

Traeger could just play all day. He loves it.

Especially eating it!
Karis and a friend from church in Portugal.

This is Graziela, the mother of the guy we rented our apartment from. She was wonderful to us there in Portugal.

Kallen all smiles!
Saying goodbye to downtown Lisbon. We had a last drive through the city to say goodbye.

Traeger and his best buddie, Andre.

Traeger's school goodbye party or festa de despedido.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Our little genius!

Maybe all babies do this, but Traeger and Karis never did at this age, so we like to think she is "gifted". She is just so interactive. It has been a lot of fun.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A birthday party/Halloween

The kids were invited to a birthday party for another missionary's kid on Halloween. Since the Portuguese don't really celebrate Halloween, they had a costume party for their son's birthday. It was fun to be able to dress the kids up. Although they don't sell costumes here, so we had to make our own. Karis is a cat and Traeger is Lightning McQueen in case the pictures aren't obvious enough.
This was at the end and Traeger is saying do I have to take one more picture!
Here is Lightning McQueen.

Here's the little kitty crawling around and meowing!

Traeger had "dia das Bruxas" or witches day at school, so all the kids had to wear a mask, hat, broom, or something that had to do with witch. Kind of strange, but witches here are a kids thing, they aren't seen as scarey.

Sometimes they love eachother.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October Update...

I can't believe it is already the end of October. We only have a month and a half left of our time here in Portugal. I thought I would give everyone an update as we are almost finished with our year and a half of language school. We have been very busy since Kallen's birth, with keeping up a full time class schedule as well as having my mom here for two weeks and Tim's parents here for a month. It has been so nice to have all the help and we have been able to keep up our classes. We have a new tutor who is coming to our house now, so we don't have to travel back and forth during the day with Kallen. He comes three days a week and then we still attend our regular classes on tuesdays and thursdays. In order to cram in as much Portuguese as possible this last month of November, he will be coming 4 days a week to the house as well as us still going to classes on tuesdays and thursdays. Pray for us as we try to soak in as much as possible. Tim also preaches this sunday, so please pray for him as he continues to prepare in the next couple of days.
Traeger's Portuguese is better than ours as far as pronunciation goes and the idioms of the language. He is still enjoying school and will be continuing until we leave Dec. 9. Please pray for him as he will have to say goodbye to some good friends and move again to a whole new culture.
Karis hasn't really been able to develop much of her portuguese unfortunately. She is too young to attend Traeger's school and she just hasn't had the same opportunities as him. She is doing great in her English though and sounds more and more grown up everyday. She is also now potty trained. It all happened in one day! She is doing great with it and it has been the easiest process ever for mommy and daddy! Thank you God! Pray for her with the adjustment to a new culture and that she would be able to pick up Portuguese in Mozambique quickly.
Kallen is growing like crazy and at her 1 month appointment weighed 7lbs 90z and grew 2 centimeters. She is no longer in the sleep all day mode and has started to have fussy times, but overall still better than Traeger or Karis ever were. She has already traveled all over Portugal, and has been to Spain and within the next 4 months will have been to the United States and Africa! We have already received her passport and birth abroad certificate and we are just waiting on the ssn now. Please pray for her continued health and that she would be a flexible baby with all the traveling we have ahead.
Although we have been continuing with classes and spending a lot of time on our Portuguese, it hasn't been all work. We have been showing off Portugal to Tim's parents and have seen some new places, even for us. Here are some pictures of our time with them and some updated pictures of the kids.

Here's a picture of Kallen smiling. It's the only one we've been able to photograph. She has been smiling a ton the past week or so.

This is at a beach called Odeceixe. The coast of Portugal is so diverse and every beach so different.

Karis, Grandma, and Kallen

Kallen almost smiling...

Here's all three of them.

I love this picture!

Here's another one of Kallen.

Kallen and Grandma

We took mom and dad George out for an authentic Portuguese meal. I of course did not even try it.

The "torre de Belem" or Tower of Belem

Pena Palace

This is how Kallen spent her beach days.

Here's the kids with Grandma and Grandpa. Traeger wouldn't look because the sun was in his eyes.

The kids love to hold hands while they are walking for some reason and even when they are riding on daddy and papa's shoulders.

These are cork trees. An interesting fact about Portugal: they are the world's leading exporter of cork. The cork trees are everywhere. These ones have just been harvested. The bark is the cork and every 6 or 7 years they trim off the bark and then it grows back.

Traeger found many crabs at the beach. This was the biggest he caught.

Having fun at the beach.

This is in the Algarve. The beaches are some of the prettiest beaches we've ever seen.

This is at "tres irmaos" beach or three brothers beach

More beach time. The weather has been fabulous this October and we've been able to spend quite a bit of time at the beach.

Monday, September 22, 2008

More pictures of Kallen...

A lot of people have asked me about the delivery, so here is a brief description of our experience.

I went in at 8:00 a.m. to be induced...but it took almost 2 hours to get called into the room. By that time I was already having contractions so they didn't induce me. My water broke by 11:00 and I had an epideral by noon. Because of my history of fast deliveries my doctor stayed with me pretty much the whole time. By 1:45 I was ready to push but had to be transferred to the delivery room. So they had to run me through the halls to the delivery room and then I had to crawl onto the delivery table before I could push. Tim had to get scrubs and a mask on and almost missed the birth. By the time he arrived the head was already delivered and 30 seconds later Kallen Beatriz was here.

A couple of other things that were unique with this Portugal experience are...they do not give the baby a bath for the first 24 hours. They dress her with clothes that I provide right after birth with the blood and mess that they are born in. After the delivery I had to stay in a recovery room for two hours before being transferred to my hospital room. Then after I was brought into my room the nurses or docter did not check on me until the next day. We were pretty much on our own. Overall it was a good experience and went much better than expected.

Kallen is a great baby and sleeps and eats well. Much better than Traeger and Karis. Hopefully it continues.

Here are some new pictures.

Life in the Country...

This is where we are living now. It is up in the hills and out in the "country". It is very different from the city life we have been living. The kids are loving it because they get to play outside and enjoy the outdoors once again. The following pictures are everyday sites for us around here.

This is our neighbor. He is a shepherd and walks his sheep by our apartment several times a day. The kids love this of course.

Here are some of the sheep.

Here they are crossing in front of our apartment. We also have a beautiful veiw of the river from our varanda.

These guys are everywhere. Traeger even found one in the house the other day and somehow managed to catch it and remove his tail before I could save it and release back outdoors.