Category Archives: Brasil

Tchau Brasil

In our typical fashion, we concluded our adventure in Brasil with a delicious dinner. Although, this week was not so typical as we had our Brasilian dinner during the Superbowl. 

Our friends did not complain as we served fun Brasilian appetizers, dinner and dessert. 

Brasilian Dinner-Picture Menu 

mini quesadillas, brasilian style

I love the concept of these quesadillas, pre-purchased polenta, sliced, grilled and topped with sweet Brasilian avocado butter, grilled red onions, butternut squash, corn and broiled with a slice of goat cheese. 

warm hearts of palm salad with Brasilian hot peppers 
You really have to prepare your sinuses for this one as it was quite spicy. I found this recipe on the food network from Emeril Lagasse.

picanha tri-tip roast

banana and white chocolate ice cream torte
Another great dessert to conclude our week. I’m generally not a big fan of banana desserts and went a little light on the bananas for this torte. The flavors were nice and mild, with a thick (almost too thick) walnut/almond crust, topped with a decadent dark chocolate syrup-using my favorite, Valrhona chocolate.

Brasil, it’s been fun and we have appreciated learning about your vibrant, exotic country. And, we plan on keeping our promise of visiting, hopefully soon. We’ll continue to play soccer and think of your passionate fans and when we see the green, gold and blue flag, we’ll be reminded of what those colors mean. Until then, Muito Obrigado, we thank you! 

futebol, toucans and samba

I’m not sure this week was a good idea. Actually, I’m kind of wondering about this journey altogether. The traveler inside me wants to hop on a jet and head to one of these exciting places, yet I know it’s not possible right now and it’s killing me! Especially as today we spent awhile on YouTube checking out video clips of the Iguazu Falls in Brazil. Over 275 falls make up this beautiful sight and I am desperate to go NOW. Desperate!  

So, that was the beginning of today’s study. Yesterday, I did a little “futebol” (soccer) lesson with the kids. It went surprisingly well as I’ve tried a few times to do this and failed. Perhaps it was the formality in which it was taught that worked to my advantage. We began with simple passing, moved on to a bit of dribbling, even going through cones and finished with a game of “monkey-in-the-middle”. Addie surprised me the most as she picked up dribbling quite quickly, even mastering the step-on-the-ball-and-move-it-backwards technique. Here’s some fun footage  


soccer lesson #1


big kick!



go Addie!


The kids could have played soccer for hours yesterday and we’ll play a little more today, but first we did a fun toucan craft I found on  

All you really need for this craft is colored and black cardstock, glue, glitter glue and black ribbon. There is even a simple template provided to cut out and use for each part of the mask. I basically did all the cutting and the kids assembled their masks while we listened to samba and read some facts about toucans. Did you know there are over 33 species of toucans in the world, with the toco toucan (black and orange) being the most popular? Neither did I. In the end, we had two little toucans. I love my kids! They looked so cute.  



two little toucans




Ordem e Progresso

I have to admit, I rather like the Brazilian flag. So much more colorful and lively than ours in a way. (Wow, I feel like I’m betraying my country even admitting that, but I do LOVE the USA and am proud of our flag.) The green, yellow and blue of Brasil is just fun and I like it, that’s all.  

In researching the meaning of the flag, I came to like it all the more. The green background stands for the fields of Brasil, while the yellow represents Brazilian gold and wealth. I love the blue circle in the middle, especially because it represents the sky of Rio de Janeiro on the night of Nov. 15th 1889. That’s so fun! Good friends of our family have an in-home theater with a fiber optic ceiling of stars depicting what the night sky would have looked like above London on December 31, 1999. This flag makes me think of that fun room, however each star on the Brazilian flag represents a Brazilian state.  

“Order and Progress” illuminates the center. Words of the French philosophe, Auguste Comte, who the Brazilians admired.  

So there you have it, a bit of history, information unknown to me before, but that will be remembered I’m sure.  

We’re trying to make our flags different each week so today we used cardstock and cut the different shapes. While I helped with the words in the middle, Tallinn was able to do the rest himself, tracing shapes and gluing them together (oh yes, I also helped cut). At the end, he added white stars with a white colored pencil. Easy, schmeazy.  

diamond stencil tracing


glued on shapes


adding the white stars



Bem-vinda Brasil

We have now left South Asia and have landed in South America. If we were to really be traveling the world, I don’t think alphabetically would be the most efficient way to go as we’ve been almost been around the world and back and we’re only to “B”.

Fortunately, on the internet, you can do anything. So, here we are in Brasil. Yes, typically it’s spelled with a “Z”, but we’re going to spell it the way they do in Portuguese as we try to be as authentic as possible.

There are two things I think of when I imagine Brasil. The first is a postcard some family friends sent us years ago of the most amazing waterfalls I’ve ever seen in my entire life! Since receiving that postcard I have longed to travel to Brasil and see such beauty, but sadly haven’t yet had the chance. Someday. Until then, I’ll continue to look at postcards and books and dream. Since I haven’t been able to find that postcard in years, I thought I’d share an actual picture of these dreamy falls. Someday I’ll go…I promise.

The second thing I think of about Brasil is soccer. Boy does this nation have a passion for soccer!

So, those are two things we’re going to use this week. As I typically like to change up the focus of our learning-music, art, culture-this week I think we’re going to try some science. All day today the kids and I have been talking about waterfalls, why it’s not a good idea to stand underneath many of them, what types you can go over with a raft, which are too dangerous, etc. We even ventured to Disneyland and got to see first-hand several “man-made” waterfalls and talked about the different types. This week, we’re going to try and create some sort of waterfall using various materials. I’m excited!

Next, we’re going to focus a bit on soccer. Having played the sport for ten years in my younger days, I love that I can use this week to teach the kids. Tallinn has played a little and Addie has watched, but actually, Cardiff seems to be the most adept in the family, so he’ll probably teach the others.

As we were playing earlier at the big “D”, later we’ll begin our geography and review our previous countries so we don’t forget. How fun that “It’s a Small World” was a good way to revisit  some of the countries we’ve journeyed to.

Also, in honor of the Amazon (which we’ll obviously also be studying), I chose this verse for our week:

There is a river whose streams

make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most

High dwells.

Psalm 46:4

Tchau for now. (That’s ciao, in Portugeuse).