Saturday, September 26, 2020

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Back to School Sunday Tea

We had a "back-to-school Sunday tea" for the third year in a row and that is SOMETHING. It was exciting for everyone, except for Rosie, who woke up when it was almost finished. She's not going to school anyway, except walking and talking and being cute school. ;) 
It's funny because everyone is switching from school to homeschool and we have decided not to homeschool and Adelaide is going to first grade this year. (this was decided before Covid, by the way)
I got this idea for a "back-to-school feast" from the one and only Nie Nie ( We do a much simpler version which included an attempt at Smores Brownies today (no one complained, but I will just make regular brownies next time) and cold tea. We have crowns a la Nie Nie, but that's about it. 
I also include a "team building" challenge, inspired by Rosa Pich, in which the others suggest a habit for each member of the family to work on. For example, we suggested Davy make his bed in the morning and I pracice piano at night. I printed out a little chart where each person draws a symbol in a box and tries to keep it up for 50 days. 
Here they are with their german "schultutes". (I got this idea from Jessica at Shower of Roses). Cone-shaped present filled with school supplies. Were they disappointed all I was able to get them was a snickers bar and a rosary each? Poor kids, not at all! A huge, empty schultute! 
I was able to print out these same "favorites chart" pictures from the last two years! It was fun to look at them. And below are the "Smore brownies" which probably will not be on the repeat menu. 

Now that Adelaide is going to first grade, it is even more important to me to maintain and create family culture, traditions, identity and quality time. She is so excited about her first day. Davy and I will sure miss her. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Anne Frank quotes

(corner torn by baby)

I read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl with my book club, and it is definitely a book I rate as five stars. Anne is so creative, intelligent and resilient. She is an example of character and virtue for all ages. I cried like a baby when I read the epilogue. It is so sad what we humans (I include myself) do to each other. Sin is a very sad thing. 

Here are my favorite quotes!

"It's an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary; not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me that neither I - nor for that matter anyone else - will be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen-year-old girl." pg 2

"So much has happened, it is just as if the whole world had turned upside down. But I am still alive, Kitty, and that is the main thing, Daddy says." pg 13

"The first thing I put in was this diary, then hair curlers, handkerchiefs, schoolbooks, a comb, old leters; I put in the craziest things with the idea that we were going into hiding. But I'm not sorry, memories mean more to me than dresses." pg 14

"Anyhow, I've learned one thing now. You only realy get to know people when you've had a jolly good row with them. Then and only then can you judge their true characters!" pg 34

"I only wish I could see the results already or occasionally receive encouragement from someone who loves me." pg 46

"I feel wicked sleeping in a warm bed, while my dearest friends have been knocked down or have fallen into a gutter somewhere out in the cold night. I get frightened when I think of close friends who have now been delivered into the hands of the cruelest brutes that walk the earth. And all because they are Jews!" pg 54

"There is nothing we can do but wait as calmly as we can till the misery comes to an end. Jews and Christians wait, the whole earth waits; and there are many who wait for death." pg 64

"Ordinary people simply don't know what books mean to us, shut up here. Reading, learning, and the radio are our amusements." pg 84

"I do talk about 'after the war,' but then it is only a castle in the air, something that will never really happen. If I think back to our old house, my girl friends, the fun at school, it is just as if another person lived it all, not me." pg 114

"That is something we must never forget; although others may show heroism in the war or against the Germans, our helpers display heroism in their cheerfulness and affection." pg 146

"I want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift, this possibility of developing myself and of writing, of expressing all that is in me." pg 197

"Be brave! Let us remain aware of our task and not grumble, a solution will come, God has never deserted our people." pg 207

"Don't go upstairs so often, don't encourage him more than you can help. It is the man who is always the active one in these things; the woman can hold him back." pg 220

"We're going to be hungry, but anything is better than being discovered." pg 240

"Oh, Kitty, the best part of the invasion is that I have the feeling that friends are approaching. We have been oppressed by those horrible Germans for so long, they have had their knives so at our throats, that the thought of friends and delivery fills us with confidence!" pg 245

"In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out." pg 264

I especially loved her references to nature. Here are some of my favorites about NATURE: 🌳🌸🌼🍁🌞

"I can't tell you how oppressive it is never to be able to go outdoors, also I'm very afraid we shall be discovered and be shot." pg 21

"It is lovely weather and in spite of everything we make the most we can of it by lying on a camp bed in the attic, where the sun shines through an open window." pg 24

"'As long as this exists,' I thought, 'and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts, I cannot be unhappy.' The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of Nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles." pg 158

"As long as you can look fearlessly up into the heavens, as long as you know that you are pure within, and that you will still find happiness." pg 159

"This is one of the things that Mummy and I are so entirely different about. Her counsel when one feels melancholy is: 'Think of all the misery in the world and be thankful you are not sharing in it!' My advice is: 'Go outside, to the fields, enjoy nature and the sunshine, go out and try to recapture happiness in yourself and in God. Think of all the beauty that's left in and around you and be happy!' I don't see how Mummy's idea can be right, because then how are you supposed to behave if you go through the misery yourself? Then you are lost. On the contrary, I've found that there is always some beauty left - in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you. Look at these things, then you find yourself again, and God, and then you regain your balance." pg 171

"The dark, rainy evening, the gale, the scudding clouds held me entirely in their power; it was the first time in a year and a half that I'd seen the night face to face. After that evening my longing to see it was greater than my fear of burglars, rats, and raids on the house." pg 251

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Camping trip 2020

A few weeks ago, we went camping for four nights and only now am I posting a few pictures about it. Camping wasn't as rewarding this time around as it was two years ago. It had some great advantages (nature, something different), but it was a little tiring. I'm not sure if we will repeat it. 

First up, we visited a friend and her animals and vegetables. That was one of the highlights of our trip, for sure. Going on trips alone is a little lonely. The social part is crucial... don't you agree?

Here are Davy and Tommy with the rabbits:

Next, we set up our tent at Serpins camping under a willow. I wish there were more spacious campsites in Portugal where you weren't so close to others and could make a campfire. 

We swam in the river and that was also a highlight. I think I like rivers better than ocean beaches because there is more shade and interesting wildlife. Here is a frog: 

The whole reason we went to this place was because it was near an animal park I wanted to visit called Parque Biologico Serra Lousã. I loved it. It was worth it. Really great. Here is Dav with just a fence between him and two huge bears. That was pretty scary for me. 

How about you... do you suggest any cool places to visit in Portugal? Have you ever tried camping?