Sunday, January 8th
After finding out that more people were out of town for NYE weekend than we thought, and after our condo quarterly meeting being rescheduled 3 times, we are finally hoping to be able to organize a [Christmas] cookie "open house" for our neighbors this week! Here are some of the starters that I'm trying to make one day ahead of time... (note: do not make the Nutella cookie recipe from Pinterest that only has 4 ingredients. 4-ingredient cookies are not delicious).
Monday, January 9th
I'm also making wassail for aforementioned "cookie open house", and I am definitely adding my own orange juice made with a juicer that Luis Miguel already owned (it's not uncommon for people to make their own juice 'au naturale' here). (No, that wasn't Portuguese, just using a random different language like Americans do to sound more intelligent). Thankfully, we are really blessed with free fruit, veggies, and eggs on a regular basis, given to us by Antonio, one of our Powerchair Football athletes, whose parents have a garden on a large piece of land and raise chickens as well. Sounds like another reason for baking, eh?
Tuesday, January 10th
I think it's safe to say the cookie "open house" was a success! 5 of 7 families in our building stopped by, loved the cookies, and most stayed chatting for about 2 and a half hours! Most also commented that it was a great idea to start having more community in our building. It was a surprise to me, as well, that each family brought a little something for us... some eggs from a grandmother who raises chickens, flowers for me and wine for Luis, and 2 boxes of chocolates! I have learned that when you invite Portuguese people over for dinner, they always bring a small gift, but I really didn't think for something so casual, that they would still be so generous! After asking around this week, I have now learned that it doesn't really matter what the occasion... if a Portuguese person comes to your house, they will bring you a treat! The mantle was the only place I could put my camera to get all of us with a timer, so the photo is a bit far away, but check out the head of curls and the pajamas and robe on the little guys in the front!
Wednesday, January 11th
Haven't seen a beautiful sunset in awhile, considering we've been working later and since it gets dark so early, so this was a welcome surprise this week!
Thursday, January 12th
I remember shooting a photo of this tree when it was red and green in autumn, but never really noticed it in winter until the other day when Luis pointed out how beautiful the shape is, even without leaves!
I don't have words to express how much I love this soccer team! I hadn't seen them together since November since we're in a bit of an off-season, and we had a fun morning of reuniting and laughing on Friday (even if they don't look like it)!
Saturday, January 14th
After also being away from our "couple friends" (as in, friends who are couples, not that we only have two friends here) for a few months, we reunited again for dinner... and some unexpected and spontaneous Texas line dancing! Pretty impressive shot, considering the photographer is only 7, (and considering my camera was set to shoot at night, hence the crazy amount of grain!)