Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Top Ten: Jardim Zoologico

After we returned from the U.S., we decided to buy passes for the Lisbon Zoo. They basically pay for themselves after just two visits, and this way, we can go several times over the next few months, and not feel pressured to see and do it all in one day. We have already been twice, and will be going again this coming Tuesday for our next field trip! Here are my top ten pictures from our first two zoo trips (both with the Meyer family):

Group picture just inside the entrance holding some pretty birdies! Notice that Biruk is not holding a bird -- he was a little too scared...

But the next time we went, Biruk was so brave and agreed to let a bird sit on his shoulder for a picture of the 3 boys together! I just love this picture and how it captures each boy's personality so perfectly!

The zoo has a bird show with trained birds, including several birds of prey. That was very cool.

There is also a dolphin show, of Sea World quailty I am told. After seeing this show, Alex informed me he wants to be a dolphin trainer when he grows up.

One of the most unique features of this zoo is the telefĂ©rico, or cable car ride. It takes you all around the zoo so you can view the animals from up above! The kids love it, of course!

And now for a few animals:

 Rhino (I am curious what happened to his horn. I wonder if he was a poaching victim.)


Lions napping


I just realized that all my animal pictures are African animals! I guess that reveals my bias.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Top Ten: August Rush

Forgive the movie reference (great flick, by the way)... but that really is an apt description of our August. I can't believe it's already mid-September and I haven't done any real updating on our lives since we got back from our time in the U.S.

So, without further ado, here are some snapshots of life in the past month...

We arrived back in Lisbon just in time to go on another field trip with our teacher, Eunice. Again, we went to Sintra, and this time, we toured the Quinta da Regaleira. The kids had a great time exploring the gardens, which included towers to climb, dark tunnels to get lost in, and a lake with stepping stones to cross.

Group picture in the gardens

The villa

The Saturday after we got back, we attended the wedding of Johnny and Susana, friends from the Lisbon church of Christ. Rusty did several pre-marital counseling sessions with them before we left for the U.S. They usually came to our house for dinner one night a week, and then they would talk with Rusty in the kitchen while I put the kids to bed. We enjoyed the wedding, but it was very hot and the boys were tired and still suffering from jet-lag, so we left before all the festivities were over.

Our family with Mr. and Mrs. John Soares

We spent the first couple of weeks after we got back just trying to keep cool. We don't have air conditioning in our apartment, so when the weather gets hot and humid, we just have to suffer through it. Since we're on the second floor, we do get very nice breezes, especially in the evening, and I have to admit that it is nice to fall asleep with the windows open listening to the sound of the waterfall in the park right next to our building.

Watching TV in their underwear / diaper (too hot to even think about going outside).

Taking baths is a great way to cool off!

Alex's trains have a new home... in the trundle bed! Makes clean-up a breeze!

Alex had a week off of school right when we got back, but then he started a new year at O Peixinho Azul. At first, he kept saying he didn't want to go, but now that he is back, he seems happy to be there and is always excited to talk about what he did that day. His teachers tell us that they now speak to him entirely in Portuguese and he understands everything they say to him. He is also starting to use a little Portuguese himself, mostly when he is around other kids. Next week, Stephen is going to start going to school with Alex (they have a toddler class), so we'll see how that goes.

Waiting for the bus on his first day back to school

We celebrated Efesson Meyer's 5th birthday at one of our bi-monthly team fellowship nights at our house. We had tacos (yum!), and Teague made a Portuguese yogurt cake and decorated it to look like a road with real Matchbox cars on top. All the kids thought it was super cool! Efesson's birthday celebration also included a trip to the zoo later that weekend, but the zoo was so cool that it's worthy of it's own post, so stay tuned for that in a few days!


Team kiddos, sporting their sunglasses (a gift from the birthday boy). Note the recent addition -- Sophia Reese, born while we were gone.

The last Sunday in August, there was a community festival in the park just down the hill from our apartment. They had live music, food, people selling handicrafts, moon-bounces for the kids, and fireworks. We went on Sunday evening and walked around. We had a big plate of snails (Stephen ate them this time and loved them!) and some grilled sardines. Alex wore himself out jumping on the moon-bounces and the trampoline. After we walked home and put the kids to bed, we could still hear the music through our open windows, and we had a great view of the fireworks from our kitchen balcony.

Stephen at the festival. He's wearing one of Rusty's old shirts. Oh, and he's had his haircut. He looks like such a little boy in this picture.

And then, of course, there's all the daily stuff... like settling back into the routine of classes, homework, team meetings, church, etc. Our days are really very full and very busy, and it seems like there is usually something going on every weekend as well. I know some of you may be wondering what it is we DO all day... so at some point in the future, I plan to do a series of posts called "A Week in the Life" to give you a better idea of how we spend our time.