The blessing of family away from family - Part 1

Our team is definitely a family away from family. Efesson and Biruk have Tios (Uncles) and Tias (Aunts) who love on them, play with them, and model a Godly life for them. Around the holidays we are especially thankful for our team family with whom we can have fun with at Halloween, commune with at thanksgiving, and rejoice with at Christmas.

Here are a few of our families favorites pictures of us with our team family!

We celebrated Halloween on a day when Baba (Robert) was in the US, so it was nice to have other family to celebrate with! Here we are Skyping with him before the party.

E & B with their made-by-mommy fire hats!

All the kids in their costumes!

The trick-or-treat action - the Campbells happen to have 5 trick-or-treat friendly doors in their apartment, so the kids were able to go door to door trick or treating!

For thanksgiving we were able to celebrate with our team family and our Instituto Biblico Português (IBP - the bible school where we live) Family...more on the IBP family in another post...stay tuned!

I cooked my first Turkey, Irene.

Here is 4 month old baby Sophia with the finished product so that you can see just how big Irene was (7kg = 15.4 lbs).

It was a great meal, but we made the mistake of letting our guests eat first before the team. The guests sat at one table and the team sat at the other. Note to self...

Laura had a great idea and got recipes for some of Nathan's favorite holiday foods from his mom. She sent me the recipe and I made this Shoofly Pie for him. Note the beautiful spread of pies behind Nathan.

And last but not least who can forget team Christmas? This was our THIRD ANNUAL team Christmas! That's right we've been having team Christmas for 3 years now and we aren't even in Angola! If you want to refresh your memory, or you just plain don't know what Angola Team Chtistmas is all about, check out our first annual and second annual team Christmases.

The youngest opens their present first! Sophia gets a handknit hat and toy mouse from Jordan.

Sophia makes a "Best Buds" picture frame magnet for Stephen. She dipped her pinky finger in black paint and printed it on the frame to make wheels for a choo-choo train!

Stephen made me greeting cards with his little footprint on them. Each card has a special foot-related bible verse on it!

I made Katie a "Parabéns" banner. "Parabéns" is said when it is someone's birthday or any other congratulations need to be said. Katie will be able to use this a lot in Angola, both for her family and for her friends there!

Rusty is famous for signing his name at the end of his emails with something funny like "Rustberrymuffin" or "Rustafarian," so Katie made him a list of all the ways he has signed his name over the years...it is over 100 ways! Here is Rustalooloo reading the list to us.

Rusty made Robert a bulletin board our of recycled wine corks (that he got from a cork recycling bin here in Portugal).

Last year, at the second annual team Christmas, Danny wrote a song for Robert. So, this year, Robert drew Danny's name and wrote a song for Danny. He recorded in parts using Garage Band and played it for the team. It is to the tune of "American Pie" and it is called "Ode to Edsel or the Day I Realized." FYI - Edsel is Danny's middle name.

One of Danny's priceless reactions to the lyrics of the song.

Danny spent countless hours making Nathan a detailed map of the city of Huambo where we are going to live in Angola.

Nathan sewed Efesson a marble mat! The whole team agrees that Nathan, out of all of us, comes up with some of the very best gifts!

Efesson made Alex a Pick up Sticks game!

Alex used snail shells from eating snails at the cafe to make Jordan a picture frame and some magnets.

Biruk made Laura some wreaths with Pinecones and Chestnuts that he found in Portugal.

Laura made Eliana a "Quiet Book." Here are a couple of pages that Ellie can use to learn how to zip a zipper and to play tic tac toe.

Ellie made Biruk a "Best Buds" photo magnet with a picture of the two of them at the aquarium. She used her fingerprints to make little fishies on the border.


Grato por Portugal (Thankful for Portugal)

It has been hard to keep up with blogging! Our life in Portugal keeps us busy! There is so much to share about our time in Portugal that I decided that I would blog a series of posts related to the events, people, places, etc., from our time in Portugal that we are most thankful for. It will be a good way to summarize all that has gone on during our time here.

Our visa paperwork is slowly wading through an ocean of red tape on it's way to Angola. So we are in a time of reflection of our time in Portugal and anticipation of our time in Angola. We expect...well...hope...that we will be in Angola sometime in the first half of 2011. Please pray that we will receive visas asap!

Montserrat, Spain - December 2010 Family Vacation