Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just a few more video clips of some past adventures

This first one is kind of long (watching the same thing), but I thought it was kind of cool.  This was in Lisbon, in a Praca (square) outside of a restaurant we ate at.

This next one is the Mafra Palace.  We weren't allowed to take photos inside (although I did sneak a few after I saw others doing it), so I only have this outside movie.  But, I did want to say that the inside is so gigantic that we lost Devan and Tanner several times.  A lady even stopped us to tell us that our sons were looking for us and she thought the little one was crying.  Funny - he wasn't crying, he was laughing.

We went to see the Quinta de Regaleira.  This is a "palace" that was built by a regular guy, not a king or anything.  It has changed hands several times.  This last time it was purchased by Portugal and underwent a facelift, and is now open to the public for tours.  Very amazing place.  Kinda like a "magical kingdom" - and not the Disneyland kind of kingdom.  The grounds were amazing - lots of tunnels, cool Repunzel towers, etc.

This is really a moss covered pond with real stepping stones.  Very cool - but also a little mind boggling to walk across.  The thought of miscalculating a step and falling in - yuck!

Rick trying to coax his mom across - he's not very convincing!!

She took the alternate route, escorted by Rick, through a cave/tunnel.  So cool.

Underground spiral staircase - view from the bottom

View from the top - looking down

Exiting the staircase at the top/ground level

Pathway through the grounds of the Quinta

So, to sum up Quinta da Regaleira - HEAVEN ON EARTH.  My favorite place in Portugal. 
This was THE FUNNIEST little dog, ever!!  We ran across this lady walking her dog in Evora.

The adventure into Spain

These are the last of the videos of the Medieval Faire:  Belly dancer & The Wenches!!

These are the hard workers who would never give us our sandwiches :)

I'm finally getting back to posting the video clips - you know the ones I lost.  Hope you enjoy them.

Pretty cool camels at the Medievel Faire in Torres Novas

For some reason this thing is only letting me upload these 2 videos.  Weird.  So, I'll try posting them and do more on the next one.

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24, 2011

Wednesday we took a trip to Lisbon to attend an “American’s in Portugal” picnic.  But, before that we took a little trip to the Lisbon mission office.  There, we saw Elder Walter – who completely bagged on me for not keeping up to date on my blog.  So…
I will try to catch up a little before we go home.  But, don’t hold your breath – we go home in 1 week.   1 week?  Did I just say 1 week?  Oh my gosh!!!  I have so much to do – I’d better start packing.  Maybe you all will just have to talk to me when we get home to find out anything else about our adventure.
Just kidding – I started packing a week ago, and I’m almost done (can you say excited to be going home?  hmm…).  A couple of bikes to take apart, weight bench to disassemble, last minute clothing to put in our bags and we should be set to go.  Well, it sounds easy, but I’ve been a little stressed.  Why does packing always turn into such a chore?  Sorting through your junk, trying to figure out if it’s really junk or not.  Trying to figure out if it’s worthy to be given away.  Trying to figure out if it’s worth taking back.  Trying to figure out if it should go home on the ship or the airplane.  Decisions, decisions, decisions…
Well, in amongst the stress of these last minute things, we’ve had PLENTY of fun lately.  It almost makes us want to stay a little longer.  Seriously.  Yes, I really did just say that.  I want to make this post very short because tonight I’d like to work on uploading some video and I promised Elder Walter I’d get a new blog posted.  So, let me just tell you that we’ve spent the last few weekends in Lisbon so that the kids could hang out with some great teenagers.  Plenty of fun for them lately.  I’m sure they’re going to be sad to go home since they’ve finally made some good friends.
Well, the picnic wasn’t all that exciting, but we now know that if we were to ever “live abroad” again one of the first things I’d do is go to the American Embassy and check out if there is any American organizations in the country.  Or, at least, do some Google searches to find out if there’s any groups of the same language that we could go have some fun with.
Hopefully, this will appease Elder Walter for a minute. I know I haven’t given an actual “update” to things we’ve done lately, but we have Family Night and a baptism to attend in a little while – so I must be going for now. 
I’ll write again – I promise!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 1, 2011 - Church is always exciting!!

Well, I spent an evening uploading about 8 video clips.  It takes FOREVER to do that.  But, when I "posted" them, something happened and I lost all of them.  SO BUMMED!!!!!  What a waste of alot of time.  The website apologized, though - thanks!!  So, I gave up for a short time.  I'll get back to posting video clips soon.  But, for now, I wanted to share our church experience of this past week.

Church was fairly uneventful... until Sacrament meeting.

Julio got up to lead the opening song.  He and his family haven't come to church for a little while.  They've been "offended" and such (very typical).  But, Sunday he came and was willing to lead the music for sacrament.  Well, Kaylie was playing the piano and he started leading/singing.  But, there were a few people who were ahead by about 1/2 a sentence.  People in this branch don't really know how to sing, and they definitely don't know how to read music.  So, when there was a note that was supposed to be held, they would just keep going with the next word.  I started singing a little louder in hopes that people would get back on track, Rick was laughing, Kaylie was trying to figure out what to do.  Then, all of a sudden, Julio just stops and turns to our branch President and goes off.  He puts down his hymnbook, and storms back to his seat.  OH MY GOSH - DRAMA!!!!  Kaylie's just sitting at the piano, looking at me, wondering what she should do.  Rick says I should go lead, but no way - you should hear me pronounce some of the words.  And to make the Portuguese translation fit the music, they sometimes squish words together, which confuses me even more.  Finally I say to Kaylie to play a little louder and I'll sing a little louder from my chair, and we'll improvise.  Well, our 2nd counselor jumps up and leads the rest of the song - but he doesn't know how to sing or lead either.  It was hilarious.  For the next 2 songs we just sang with no music leader, then for the closing song, the YW Counselor jumps up and fills in - but she doesn't know how to lead either.  So funny!!

Then, Julia (the old lady who causes a lot of problems in the branch) is giving one of the sacrament talks.  Our branch President had to tap her several times to tell her to end her talk because she went over time by about 15 minutes.  But, she wouldn't until she'd given her whole talk.  She spent so much time trying to find scriptures that she'd put in her talk, that we'd all just be waiting and waiting and waiting.  Our branch Pres. was pretty ticked off.  The other missionary, Elder Tavares, had the closing talk - but it was only about 5 minutes long because of Julia.  After Julia ended her talk, she went back to her seat (in the congregation) and kept saying "o desculpe, Elder" - which means "sorry, Elder" during the Elder's talk. 

Lastly, the missionaries had 2 investigators at church.  One is a girl named Joanna (she's 20), and her stepsister Tatiana (who's a teenager).  Great day to have investigators.  Well, Tatiana left about 1/2 way through sacrament, then Joanna left during Elder Tavares' talk.  I didn't know why until later.  Turns out that one of the ladies in the branch "chastised" them and told them to be more reverent.  Are you kidding me?  The 2 girls were sitting with me and I never heard a peep out of them.  And to tell an investigator to be reverent?  Really?  Wow.  Hopefully the Spirit overpowers insanity, otherwise we will probably never see these girls at church again.

Well, after church ended Rick told me what Julio had said to our branch President in the middle of sacrament.  It went something like this, "I cannot lead the music with people singing 2 different things" blah blah blah.  Then, after church, he told the branch President that he cannot lead the music since it's not professional. 

I'm very sad to be going home to my Mapleton 1st Ward.  It's gonna be so boring....  hahahahahahaha

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More Picts of Mom & Dad's Stay

The beginning of the Medieval Faire in Torres Novas.  This was the first "display" we came across.  Three real camels.

This is the booth that was making the pork steak sandwiches.  The one where people were reaching over our heads and grabbing sandwiches.  Funny.  The man is putting the dough, with the meat in them, in the big oven.  He heats the oven with wood inside and a blow torch.  As soon as the wood burns down and the oven is extremely hot he pushes the wood to the back and adds the sandwiches.

They work very hard kneading the dough and forming the sandwiches.  Laborious work - they must have very strong arms.

I love to "people watch" and the Medieval Faire was a great place to do it.

See what I mean?

Lots of "costumed" people.  Or were they?

Many fun displays to watch.

This guy was bizarre!!  Put a coin in his hand and he comes "alive". 



Belly Dancers

She's inspired me to diet once again!!

Medieval musicians - so cool.

This area was roped off - each pedestal had a different bird on it - eagles, vultures, and owls.

Tanner so wanted to spear one with his souvenir arrow gun grandpa bought him.

Up close & personal with the animals.

Waiting for some road kill...

More street performers

Many displays

Medieval times iron worker

This man was "cutting" wood with an extremely hot wire - can you see the smoke coming off of it?

How to "smoke" a salmon.

Lots of people watching the "parade"

Don't they fit right in?

I think Tanner could take him

Wench's for sale

Rick's wench - No, that is not me!!!

Wenches in the dungeon

The punishment for not being "kind" to the wenches.

Exiting the dungeon - scary creatures - NOT mom and dad - the other ones!!

Promised Picts!!

Taking a break at the Tomar Castle - grandpa writing on Tanner's back.

Family Pict - enjoying our time walking the grounds of the Convent/Castle.

Lunch at a local restaurant. 
Our public pool has a cafe inside the building.  We eat soup there everytime we go swimming.  After chatting with the lady who works at the cafe, we find out that she also owns a restaurant in town.  Since her soup is so good, at the pool, we really wanted to try out her restaurant.  It was not a disappointment - very good food.

The train ride we took around town - thought it would be fun - turned out to be hot and extremely bumpy.

A vendor at the feira dumping his live chickens from one crate to another.  He'd just grab a couple at a time, by the neck, and throw them into the other one.  So sad.  Notice how many there are per crate.  Nasty!!

Another vender at the feira - she'd grab hers underneath the wings and hold them up for display.

I was looking all over for the men - and this is where I found them. hahaha

Baptism at our home. 

Walking up our driveway, heading to a really cool part of our lake for the baptism.

Joao Heiter with Elder Agee - getting ready to take the plunge.

The whole group just before the baptism.

Rick "witnessing" the baptism.

Everything's a go!!!  Very spiritual moment (well, after we got the dogs out of the water, anyways).

Dinner at the house after the baptism.  So great to have that many young missionaries in our home. 

Our trip to the Castelo de Almoural.  Notice where Devan is standing (in the background).  This area was "off limits" according to a posted sign.  He's always breaking the rules when it comes to climbing castle walls - he gets it from his dad!!

I took a picture of Rick and dad on a lower part of the castle - I was at the very top - they were on a lower level, which was still extremely high.  You can't see them very well in this picture, but they are both standing on a ledge where they could definitely fall to their death.

Family pict at the top of the castle

Walking back to the boat to leave the island.

Soup tasting festival in Tomar.  A once a year event where local restaurants prepare their best soups for the public.  Some were pretty yummy, others not so.

Lots of booths of soup.

One thing I've learned about the Portuguese - they have very strange taste in entertainment.  These were "clowns" at the soup tasting festival.

Well, hope that kept you "entertained" for a little while.  I'll do some more later.  Rick's computer got a virus so he is need of mine at the moment.