Sunday, April 24, 2011

Feliz Pascoa (Happy Easter)

Wow – today was quite a day!!  HOLY COW!!  Church just gets better and better each week - haha.  Easter Sunday – isn’t that the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior?  Isn’t church supposed to be uplifting and perfect?  So here’s another doozie of a church story.  Easter day started out good (other than the lack of sleep I got – went to bed at 2:30am, up at 5:30am having an allergy sneezing attack, got about another hour of sleep after that), we had a yummy French toast with strawberries and fresh OJ breakfast and then we were off to church.  Our church has Sunday School first, and we were a little late – so I just went to my classroom to set up my lesson for the second hour.  I teach Young Women’s.  Well, when Sunday School ended I went to collect kids for my class.  I don’t just teach the teenagers now, it seems I’ve been put in charge of teaching the primary girls also and Tanner, since he doesn’t speak Portuguese.  So, we have a very mixed class.  We were just about to start when Vanessa (16 year old girl) gets up and storms out and into the Relief Society room (the women’s class) and goes off yelling at her mom.  Kaylie and I had no idea what was going on.  Then she comes back to our class and sits down, then her mom comes in and grabs her and they leave, yelling and mad.  Well, turns out (Rick told us what happened after church) that someone had said something to Vanessa before church that made her really mad and she was freaking out about it.  She was mad at her step dad for not “doing something about it”.  Anyways, it was another big fiasco at church.  Rick got the situation all calmed down eventually and they all came back to church.  This family, that we have become friends with, is a very interesting group of people.  They seem to find trouble where ever they go. 
The day, at church, ended well.  We went home, had some lunch, got dinner started (pot roast – very untraditional), did an Easter egg hunt with Kaylie and Tanner, and enjoyed the rest of the day.  One funny little side note:  Rick received a text from a lady at church about the “incident”.  The text was intended for either her mom or sister – I guess that’s who started the problem.  She was basically saying that that shouldn’t have taken place at church, and that she was going to start going to a different church building if it didn’t get better.  Kinda funny.
Well, off to bed I go (it’s now midnight).  I am still trying to back track and get some other posts up.
Feliz Pascoa!!!! (Happy Easter)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14, 2011 - Amber

Isn’t it a bummer when you start out having a perfectly good week and then something comes along and ruins it?  Wow – that was yesterday.  What a day.  A sad, emotional day.   One of our dogs – Amber, the one that Kaylie has been attached to -  got in a bad dog fight and killed another dog.  So, a few details.  Rick went jogging in the morning.  I stayed in bed, being lazy, because I’ve been up at night with a cough.  Kaylie and Tanner were up getting the day started.  And Devan had just gotten out of the shower.  I kept hearing Beethoven barking, but that isn’t too unusual for him.  But, the barking didn’t stop and then I heard Rick doing his “dog whistle” and yelling, but Beethoven continued barking.  That’s when I thought it started to be unusual.  So, I got up and asked Kaylie what was going on with the dogs.  She said that she hadn’t heard anything.  Just then Tanner came in the house very upset and said Amber had killed another dog and that dad needed me to come next door.  After climbing through the trees to our neighbor’s property I found Rick with the dead dog.  So sad.  I could not believe it. It was horrible.  And Amber had definitely killed it.  She was a mess.  Rick had found her hovering over it panting like crazy with blood on her.  I guess Beethoven was barking because he was watching the whole thing take place.  Rick said the dog was still alive when he saw them, but by the time I got there it had died.  Rick was pretty ticked.  And I was just so sad.  Then, to top it off, Rick said we’d have to put Amber down.  That if she had it in her to kill a dog the way she did, then she wasn’t safe.  It was so out of character for her.  Since we got her from the pound, she has been so wimpy and fearful.  She was Kaylie’s instant friend, but it took her a long time to warm up to the rest of us.  And she still never really warmed up to Devan.  So, this was especially sad for Kaylie.  Kaylie bathed her and took her for a walk.  Then Kaylie and I took her for a kayak ride (her favorite thing to do with Kaylie).  We contemplated letting her out of the kayak way down the river to run away, but figured she’d just find her way back home.  After lunch (because everything closes for a 2-3 hour lunch in Portugal) Rick took her down to the vet and had her put to sleep.  It was heart wrenching.  Tanner was so confused because he was mad at her for killing another dog, but then he was so sad because Rick put her down.  It was not a fun day. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pictures of Portugal #15

 Thought I'd continue to share some pictures of my favorite things here.

The water in the lake has risen so much that we lost all of our beach area.  Hopefully soon they'll let some water out at the dam and the beach will be back.

Kaylie's holding Beethoven, who hates to go for rides, and Amber's in front - she loves the water and the boat.

Believe it or not - this is a mail man on the motorcycle.  Cool way to deliver mail, if you ask me.

I'm still wondering if this cemetary was "haunted" - we actually saw the witch!!

Interesting grave site - creepy!!

Tanner, in amongst the graves.

This is the chapel at the cemetary.  It needs a good bleaching job!!  That green stuff on the walls is mold.

Castelo de Almourol - We have not been there, yet.  It is on an island about 15 minutes from our home.  They will soon have a man working that will take you from the shoreline across to the island by boat.  We plan on doing this soon.

This is where you "catch the boat" to go across to the island.

I just love the towns on the hillsides.  So pretty.

I pass this field every day when I take Tanner to school.  I love it - it's green and beautiful and full of olive trees.

This is in our neighborhood.  The natural landscape is just my style.  I love it!!

View of a cool city from the freeway.

Tanner's favorite field of goats.  We pass them on the way home from school each day.  They get moved from field to field to clear out the weeds and grass between each of the grape vines.  Getting ready for the season.

Pretty cool brilliant green spider.

Cool camouflage this spider has.  This is out where I hang my laundry - the cobblestone where I stand - I'm keeping my shoes on from now on.

This is the view of the Castle in Panela, from the highway.  Pretty cool - they do a medievel play on the castle walls every year.

Making room for the new - down comes an aquaduct wall, up goes a freeway.  Kinda sad.

I don't know if you can see this in the picture - but, this weird goat had this huge field to hang out in.  And he chose to sit himself right next to a shrub that was poking him in the face.  Tanner and I thought that was pretty funny.

Really pretty entrance to someone's estate.  This is a very popular photo - it's on postcards and in tour books, etc.  This town is about 25 minutes from our home.

This will be beautiful when the tree's are covered with leaves - I can't wait.

Elder Walter Got Transferred :(

Our American (Arizona boy) missionary, Elder Walter, got transferred.  So, this post is dedicated to him.  What a good boy.  We really like Elder Walter.  He is now serving in Lisbon, in the mission office.  Busy calling.  Hopefully, Elder Walter, (if you ever read this) you will really look us up after your mission, when we're all back home in the USA.

This was what we saw when we walked into the chapel, at the church, for FHE.  Elder Walter as Ozzy Osbourne.  Funny!!

You just gotta laugh!!

And laugh some more!!

Elder Walter trying to get Elder Duarte to join in on the fun - wasn't a taker, though.

Still, no taker!!
Run, Elder Duarte, Run!!!

Ah - he found a taker - Antonio!!  Good sport.

Good lookin', Antonio!!

Don't you think the glasses add alot - those are Elder Walter's too.

Oh yeah - another taker - Vilmar.

GORGEOUS, Vilmar!!  Such a beauty queen.

Elder Walter's baptism of Ceasar (Julia's son).

Elder Walter getting ready to catch the train to Lisbon.

All smiles, 'cause he's leaving Tomar!! (tough area to serve in)

Final farewells!!

Elder Duarte waving good bye to his good friend.

Time to go!!

Don't cry, Elder Walter - it'll be ok!!

Just kidding - he was just itching his nose - haha

I told you he was tall.  We got to see how it feels to have a tall son for a few months. 


                                              GOTTA LOVE ELDER WALTER!!!

April 4, 2011 - Valentines Day (teaser)

I know I was going to TELL ALL about my Valentines Day; but, I changed my mind.  I decided that there are no words to do it justice without soundy corny.  Rick and I have been married 21 years.  We are very "sensible" people.  Sometimes, well ok MOST of the time, we forget that romance is important in our marriage.  But this will be a Valentines Day that I will never forget.  This will be one of my memories of Portugal that will, hopefully, last through the Alzheimers I will probably have in my later years.  We had the perfect setting here in Portugal for a romantic Valentines Day - rolling hills, trees, beautiful lake, row boat, secluded island, light drizzling rain, pic nic lunch, favorite dessert, and a romantic evening out across the lake in a beautiful restaurant.  (I figured I needed to write something, so in case my Alzheimers sets in early I'd have this to jog my memory - this is my journal, you know).

If Rick happens to read this...

I love you and I want you to know that I appreciate ALL the effort you went to to make this a very memorable Valentines Day for me.