There is always something else we NEED to do instead of…

…being here and present for our children and ourselves.

It’s Saturday morning and my son Max needs to study for a physic and history test. I’m leaving on Wednesday to visit my husband, dad and friends in San Francisco and there is soooo much to do. At least in my own mind!

I grab Sasha and give Max time and room to study without distraction. He is easily side tracked and the to-do list is overwhelmingly long anyway and Sasha loves shopping. Well kind of.

For our last items on the list we had to drive by her favorite parc (Parque Desportivo Municipal de Mafra)聽in Mafra which she frequents with her Dad (he has his own Blog here). She loves these moments with him and I love it when they have them聽馃槈

It took a lot of fast repeating in my head; Katrin take a left turn. Make her happy, take a break and just enjoy…Katrin take a left turn…the car drove, I followed and we had such a beautiful time.

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Love your life. Enjoy the small moments. Invite them in more often.

~Love Katrin

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Our Summer Camp Trip in Portugal

 

Mafra ~ Beira Alta ~ Pi贸d茫o ~ Salamanca ~ Tomar ~ Mafra

We have been in this beautiful country for a bit over a year now. We have settled in, kids have been going through their first year of school and the second one is starting next week.

Sasha with her 5 years is almost fluent in Portuguese. Thanks to her school Col茅gio Art & Manha in Mafra and patience of her teachers she reached a level Seth and I look up to.

Max made his way through 6th Grade German School in Lisbon. With the American School System as a background and speaking German only a little he had a lot to catch up to. He did really well. It was the second time that he had to show a lot of persistence and went all the way to make it happen. I can only applaud him. (The first time was his Junior Black Belt at his Karate school in Santa Cruz)

Seth finally managed to take a week off work. He has been working, so it seems, around the clock for the past 3 month. I’m glad we had the chance to discover some other parts of Portugal and spent even a day in Salamanca, Spain.聽 It was definitely a new experience for him to do “European Camping”. I think he was VERY skeptical at first. I tried to explain to him that my fondest memories of my childhood were the Camp trips with my parents to France and Portugal. My memories in short: Instant Camp friends to play with (I think my parents hardly saw me once we set up our tent), Parents could relax with a glass of wine and we took some great day trips returning to a fun dinner in an open air environment. I love camping. He will be probably writing his only little blurb about the trip here.

The Camping Spot was PERFECT! Camping Toca da Raposa. This little Camping Spot is located in the Beira Alta District of Portugal. The region is beautiful and has a lot to offer. From hiking over kayaking to horseback riding. If you want to have any fun in the outdoors contact Matt at Rock & River. He has a great team which will take good care of you. Our Kayak trip was a 4 hour trip down the River Mondego. We stopped and swam in the river and watched Firefighter Airplanes pick up some water from the river to kill a fire in Seia which was not too far from where we were.

beira-alta

The weather was great and the kids were super happy. Sasha made a new little friend, named Lola. Lola had moved with her mom from England to Portugal. In this case Sasha had no language barriers to overcome.

Max had some great fun with kids from Belgium and Holland. With dutch being a bit similar to German (I said a bit! Lol), English and German he managed to play games, swam in the pool and enjoyed the grand finale of a night long thunder in the mountains with his new Camp friends.

Overall a really successful vacation and Portugal is just beautiful. Happy to live in this country.

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Salamanca, Spain