Friday, September 28, 2012

Spanish school

Since we are living in Spain, and spanish is such a valuable language, we decided to send the kids to spanish school out in town.  They do have american schools on base, but we just thought that this is such an amazing opportunity for the kids to learn spanish and decided to take advantage of it.  School in Spain starts at age 3, so Kailey also gets to go to school.  They go to school from 9-2 everyday.  There teachers speak NO english and in Kailey's class there is only one other little girl that speaks English and Spanish and in Ethan's class there are two little girls that speak English.

The first week of school was a little rough and a bit of an adjustment.  Ethan is a very social little boy and came home upset because he didn't know how to ask the other kids to play with him.  So we had to practice "puedo jugar" which means, "Can I play".  Kailey didn't cry the first day, but the next couple of days cried and clung to me.  Her teacher had to pry her off of me.  Her teacher is this young guy named Pablo and he is good-looking, dresses in cargo shorts and t-shirts everyday--totally doesn't look like a teacher, but he is fantastic.  Ethan's teacher is also wonderful.

The school they attend is called "Cristobal Colon" or Christopher Columbus school.  This school is kind in a bad part of town and a lot of the gypsy kids go to this school.  After school, we wait outside of a cement wall and the kids come out through a gate, so basically it is this big mosh pit of parents waiting for their kids.  It is interesting, because most of the parents are smoking, the women are SOOO trashy looking and covered with tattoos--it is a very poor part of town, but because it is where most of the poor kids go, the school gets a lot of money.  The school is very nice and the kids really are enjoying school now.

Ethan and Kailey still don't understand a lot, it has only been 3 weeks, but it is fun to hear them come home and tell me something new.  The other day Ethan came home and said, "I learned how to spell sun--S--O--L."  I stopped for a minute and was like, that isn't how you spell it, oh wait sol is the word for sun in spanish.  Yesterday he learned how to spell grapes--which is uvas.

I am just so excited for this opportunity and so grateful to have kids that are so resilient and willing to try new things.  I really do have some amazing kids and it is going to be so awesome to hear them speaking spanish better than me pretty soon!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Moorish Castle

 On our way back home, we stopped in Silves, where there was an old moorish castle, also the town was quite picturesque.  We had so much fun wandering around the castles--the kids are very interested right now in castles, knights, princesses, etc.  Kailey kept asking which princess lived here, was it Cinderella, or Tangled or Sleeping Beauty, etc.  I have a feeling by the time we finish our 3 years in Spain the kids will have seen LOTS of castles!!

Castle entrance

Eric and the kids with the knight that lived here

Looking out over the city

The town was very quaint and cute

Ethan wanted his picture taken everywhere!!

Prince Henry the Navigator's Discovery School

One of the other day trips we did from Lagos was to go to Cape St. Vincent and Sagres, Portugal.  In Cape St. Vincent we went to see this old fortress where Prince Henry the Navigator had a Discovery school.  Some of the most famous navigators went to study, like Columbus, Magellan, da Gama, etc.  The fortress has been restored and the only thing remaining from the school was a huge compass rose.  

Sagres, Portugal is about 10 minutes away was the last place Columbus saw as he left on his famous voyage and at one time was considered the "end of the world."  Needless to say, the endless miles of coastline are GORGEOUS.  It is so interesting to see so much history, things I remember learning about in school, but never thought I would see.  I hope my kids remember all these amazing places we are going.!
The fortress

The gorgeous coastline

They had all these random naked lady statues throughout this old fortress, so we had fun posing like them!

Kailey's pose!

Henry the Navigator's compass rose

Gorgeous water--I think they had the best beaches I have ever seen here with the clearest water.

Kailey and I posing

The kids on the cannon

On top of one of the walls

Where is Ethan, Kailey and Cade??

Everybody posing, except Cade, he is doing a ninja jump!!

Old chapel

Most picturesque coastline--so gorgeous!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Grottos in Lagos

One of the most interesting things to do in Lagos, is to go on a boat ride through the grottos there.  So the second day we were there, we hopped on a boat to go see the famous grottos in Lagos and it was unbelievable!!  Gorgeous weather, unbelievable rock formations--we had a great time!!
Natural rock bridge

Us enjoying the gorgeous weather on the boat

The grottos

The kids and I in the little boat we took to go see the grotto up close

The boat we were on

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sandcastle festival, gorgeous beach and more!

Continuing our Portugal trip--we stopped at a giant sand sculpture festival on our way to Lagos, Portugal.  It was rather interesting.  The theme of the sculptures was heroes, but we saw a lot of sculptures that had nothing to do with heroes--like dinosaur train, frankenstein, Madonna, etc.  It was amazing to see what people can create with sand.  Here are a couple of pictures:
Albert Einstein

Star Wars--Ethan was in heaven--he loves Star Wars


Princess Diana--Kailey wanted her picture in front of a princess.

Eric trying to be the vitruvian man!
 Here we are finally in Lagos, Portugal.  It is a big resort town on the southern coast of Portugal.  Here are some pictures of us at one of the beaches--seriously they have some of the most gorgeous beaches I have ever seen--here are a couple of pictures.