Sunday, July 27, 2008

Speaking in Tongues?

UPDATE: Tim successfully completed his mission. Sunday morning at 11:30 Tim preached his first sermon in Portuguese. Everything ran well and Tim was understood by all. Here is a short clip, sorry the audio is not the best. And guess what? He gets to do it again next week (5 pm Sunday) b/c another church is down one pastor due to a family emergency. So you can just keep on praying. At least he can preach the same sermon since this is a different church. Thank you so much for praying. Your prayers were definitely felt.

Snail Tale

Part of learning the culture is eating what the people eat. Well, that sometimes involves a thick stomach lining. We recently went with our language teacher and some other friends to the town's local festival where we gobbled down three large plates of SNAILS! Yummy. They are cooked with oregano, garlic, and olive oil and you can pull them out with toothpicks, but if you are really good you can just suck them out of the shell. The biggest shocker was Karis. She loved them and in the end was an expert at pulling these little guys out of their shells. However, when we now find snails crawling around she just wants to eat 'em up.
Warning: the video is rated "Y" for the yuck factor.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Visit to Northern Portugal.

As our time gets closer to leaving Portugal, we were wanting to take advantage of the time we have left and see parts of Portugal that we haven't seen yet. Our language tutor took some time off, so we decided to visit Northern Portugal. We had a nice time and saw "o berco de Portugal"(the birthplace of Portugal), the castle where the first king, Afonso Henrique, of Portugal was born. We also saw the mountains in the center of the country and Porto. We had some great language opportunities as everything in Portugal is hard to find and we had to stop and ask directions many times. We were quite proud of ourselves as we understood the directions and never really got lost(which is highly unusual on a trip like this). Here are some pictures of the trip.

This is a waterfall we hiked to in the Serra De Estrela mountain range in northern central Portugal.

That's Traeger standing on the rocks in case you can't quite see him!

Here is a picture of the sunset in the mountains, where we stayed.

This is a francesinha. Porto and Northern Portugal are known for them. It is made with slices of meat and two slices of bread with melted cheese and sauce on top. They are actually pretty good.

Here is a view of Porto and the river running along the edge of the city.

Porto is also known for it's many bridges. We took a short boat tour along the river to view the city and bridges from that perspective.

The houses along the river are very colorful and beautiful.

The kids taking a break from all our walking on a door stoop.

This is a picture of the housing in the city of Guimaraes. It is a very beautiful city--very well kept and clean.
This is a statue of King Afonso Henrique, first king of Portugal. Tim and the kids are showing off their muscles.
This is the Paco dos Duques(the palace of the Dukes). It is the palace that King Afonso had built and lived in.
This is a picture of the Castle where King Afonso was born and lived until he built the palace in the previous picture.

This is a picture of the Northern coast of Portugal. It was very beautiful.

The kids collecting rocks and shells at the beach.

Our hotel had a pool and the kids spent hours swimming. They had a children's pool and an adult's pool. Traeger is really becoming quite the swimmer! They love the water.

Karis also gained a lot of confidence in the water and isn't near as timid as Traeger about going all the way under!

This is the "Bom Jesus" in Braga. It is an old Catholic Parish.
*Just a reminder to continue to pray for Tim this week as he is preparing to preach on Sunday. We'll make sure to post an update after he is done.*

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Happy Ride

The kids enjoyed a little ride up to see some horses and a lake (pond really), but they always get excited with the little Portuguese ditty's that play on the loudspeakers.

Friday, July 11, 2008

One thing we try to do here in Portugal is to experience and learn about the culture. We went to a concert of folk singer and dancers. Needless to say, Karis was more than excited. Have a look!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Monthly Update and Prayer Requests...

July 4th marked our 1 year anniversary here in Portugal. We have been reflecting on last July, our first month here and remembering...riding the bus with the kids to get groceries. Many times riding for hours because we didn't know where to get off or how to ask where to get off. Or waiting for hours because we didn't know which bus to take or how to ask which bus to take. We remember feeling lost on our walk to school as people would stop and ask us for directions or for the time and we would have no idea what they said. It has been a year full of adjustments and yet thanks to the grace of God, a year full of accomplishment. We have come a long way from our first months here. We are definitely functional in our Portuguese now. Telling time is now a no-brainer. Although we still struggle with giving directions, at least we know when people are asking for them. We can have conversations with people and are finally able to start building relationships. We can actually understand about 75% of a sermon. We have also learned to adjust to life without heat, airconditioning, a clothes dryer, Target and Taco Bell. It has really given us a taste of what life as a missionary is like--as far as being flexible goes and not having a set schedule. We are learning to live amidst constant change knowing that we will once again be transitioning to a new life and culture in Africa. Because of this it has been difficult for us to feel settled or at home here. We are learning how to live with eachother 24/7 and without our traditional roles as housemaker and breadwinner. Not that all these accomplishments have come without difficulty or pain. One thing we have learned this year is that all these adjustments are a process and a process that we are continuing to adjust to. We are trusting God as he continues to lead us to Africa and use this process of adjustment to make us into the people and family he wants us to be and to prepare us for our future in Mozambique.

Here are some updated prayer requests:
* Tim is going to be preaching for the first time IN PORTUGUESE on July 27th, so please, please pray for him as he prepares.*
*Prayer for continued health of Michele and the baby in these last couple months of pregnancy. She is struggling with the added difficulties and uncomfort as a result of the heat.
*Pray that we would stay disciplined in our studies, despite the summer vacation fever we are feeling (It just feels wrong to be going to school in the summer).
*Pray for the kids as we have only about 5 more months here and then we will be heading home for a couple months and then on to Africa. Especially for Traeger as he gets older and has really made some good friends here, but for both of the kids as we will make another transition. One thing we have noticed as a result of moving here, is that Traeger is able to make friends with just about anyone. No matter where we go, if he sees a kid, he will go right up to him and just start playing. He doesn't need to know their name or anything. In fact one time we were at a restaurant and he went up to kid and started playing with him and talking to him in Portuguese and it ended up that the kid was British and spoke English and had no idea what Traeger was saying!

Parabens Traeger!

Traeger turns 4 years old on Wednesday, July 9th. We celebrated on Saturday with a party at McDonalds with all his friends from school. We had 12 kids come and it was a little crazy, but Traeger had a great time. It was great practice for our Portuguese as we tried to control and listen to 12 very energetic 4 and 5 year olds! Here's some pictures of the party.

They did face painting at the party and Traeger chose to be "homem aranha" (spiderman).

Traeger and his good friend Beatriz. She is a year and a half older than Traeger, but they are best buds at school.
Everyone had fun playing in the play area. The girls faces are painted like butterflies (in case you couldn't tell).

Traeger had a little help with opening his presents. I think he actually opened one or two. The rest were opened for him:)

We finally got a smile from Traeger. He was very embarrassed when everyone sang "Parabens" (Happy Birthday in Portuguese) to him and he refused to blow out the candles, but we finally got him to smile!

We managed to get everyone sitting down for the food and there was actually a few minutes of silence while they all ate.

Karis enjoyed the party as well. Well the french fries anyway!