Portugal Bound

Today on Friday’s Spotlight, I am privileged to introduce you to Nina.  Incase you watched my vlog yesterday, I pronounced Nina’s name incorrectly.  Thankfully she forgave me, but probably only because she’s in the spotlight today.  You see, my being nice to people has special perks.

Nina is pronounced N*ee*na.

Nina and her family are missionaries in Portugal, the country of my father’s birth and where he now resides.  We had an instant connection and I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to develop a friendship despite the miles that separate us.

If you haven’t visited her blog, you must.  She has adorable children, big feet, and throws ‘mamma-fits’ on a semi-regular basis.  She’ll fill you in on the rest!


How long have you been blogging and what or who motivated you to launch your site?

I began blogging in Oct. 2007.  Just a few short months before our departure to Portugal.  I saw it as a means of keeping everyone in the Sates, family & friends updated.  My friend, Tabatha Bentley showed me the ropes.

When you were a child what did you dream of becoming when you ‘grew up’?

I didn’t have dreams as a child.  As strange as that sounds.  It’s probably what’s wrong with me now.  However, I remember writing in a “school days” book that I wanted to be a moviestar, nurse, or mom.  Hey…the way I look at it, I’ve accomplished all three.  Folks around the world see me and hear from me on my blog, I’m nursing boo-boo’s daily and I’m a Mom, five times over!  No, seriously, nothing in this world would give me the satisfaction I have in raising my kids and serving my Lord.

How do people in Portual view American missionaries?

Depends on who you talk to and what problem they are currently blaming on America.

No, really, overall they are accepting.  America is such a strong power in this world that Americans are either loved or hated.  Mostly, to the average Portuguese person, we are strange.  They wonder why we’d leave America to come here.  They wonder why we have 5 kids (one is plenty for them) and they wonder what religion we are.  The people in our village are accepting and very friendly.  But who knows what they say around the dinner table!

What has been the biggest adjustment for your children in this foreign country?

Going to school.  They were all homeschooled before this school year.  So their first time ever in a public school and it was in a different culture in a different language.  You can imagine I’m sure!  However, 5 months after that first day our oldest is basically fluent in the language and the other two are not far behind her.  It was the best thing for them.  They can communicate very well, they’ve made friends, and they have a respect for the people and the culture in which we live.  It was the biggest adjustment, but also the biggest blessing for them.

Tell us what you are passionate about…what makes your blood boil, your hackles rise, your heart soar?

Blood Boil:  For someone to ‘beat around the bush’ when they want me to do something for them.  “Just say what you want already!”

Hackles Rise:  When someone questions my parenting ability.  “Back Off…these are MY kids!  Go have 5 of your own!”

Heart Soar:  My kid’s laugh, my husband’s eyes, and my Lord.  The look on a persons face here in Portugal when my husband is teaching them the Bible and it ‘clicks’ with them.  When they see ‘truth’ for the first time.  When God opens their heart!!

Do church members in the states have unrealistic expectations for foreign missionaries and their families?  

I dont’ think so.  If they do, it’s out of ignorance and I can overlook that.  I would say that the average church member doesn’t really know what to expect from a missionary, so in a sense we’re the ones setting the standard.  I am very thankful for that average ‘church member’.  It’s as a result of their praying and giving that we are able to be here today.  We’re like a team, us and them.  I wouldn’t ever fuss about my team members.

What was your funniest experience on deputation?

Definition:  “Deputation” /noun/-the period of time when and independent missionary raises his/her support before reaching the field.

Our funniest experience was early in our deputation time.  (It lasted for 16 months.  It involved constant traveling and visiting of churches sharing our burden for the Portuguese people.)    We were having a fellowship dinner before a church service in a fellowship hall.  Upon leaving the building headed for the church, my child who was almost 5 at the time, stepped on a “sticky pad” thing that people use to catch mice and bugs.  Her curiosity had gotten the best of her, or maybe she was trying to kill those huge dead camel crickets that were sitting there, who knows?  Anyway, when she tried to pull her foot away, the entire thing came with her.  She freaked out!  Panic. Screams. Kicking her foot so hard she kicked her boot off.  We were all laughing so hard we couldn’t help her.  She was still screaming after her boot was across the room.  her daddy just about had to do surgery to free her boot from the pad.  The more we laughed, the more she screamed, the more we laughed…we had quite a crowd surrounding us before it was all over.

I’m sure I received some unsolicited parenting advice after they saw how we responded to our terrified baby girl.

What is your “15 minutes” of fame?

Are you kidding!!  Being on the Domestic Fringe is better than any 15 minutes of fame!

Give us a bit of parenting advice…

Since you’ve asked…because remember I don’t take unsolicited parenting advice very well.  But I would say to lay down the law and stick to it.  I used to think I knew about kids.  Knew what all parents should do to have well behaved ones, but after having 5 I’ve learned that I don’t know a thing.  I’ve been humbled.  Read the Bible.  The book of Proverbs is an excellent start.


What Portuguese custom simply baffles you?

They’re horrible drivers and they stare.  Even when you make eye contact, shrug your shoulders and raise your eyebrows as if to say, “What are YOU staring at?”  They still keep staring.  I mean, can’t they take a hint?

If you could add any word to the dictionary, what would it be?

Maybe “facaid”  (FringeGirl…maybe you could link to my ‘facade’ story!)  FACADE STORY HERE

Please leave us with one brief thought.

I don’t have anything but brief thoughts, so it’s a good thing you’re only asking for a brief one.  Now…what was I saying?


Go visit Nina @ Portugal Bound!

Thank you Nina!!

Many Blessings,


  1. says

    Tricia, It brought tears to my eyes reading back over this…..My babies, well my girls at least, are so different now. – But you know, we as mothers have to treasure every stage our children go through. I loved and still miss the three in diapers stage….but I’m also so thankful to witness and encourage my teens and pre-teens. The awkwardness they’re experiencing, the lack of self confidence….I’m loving being that person there for them when they need it. Not pushing too hard, cause they’ll resist….but being available and letting them know “I’m here and I love you…..I think your awesome!” – It’s that stage I’m in now…..I wouldn’t trade it for anything cause in due time I’ll be wedding shopping with them….which I’ll adore, but I’m fine right where I am for now. ;) ~ Sorry…you didn’t ask for any of that…….I’m looking forward to our interview. But no hurry…we have tons of time….Beijos!

  2. says

    Thanks Fringegirl for asking Nina all of these questions.Nina is a wonderful mother,I ‘ve had the pleasure of watching her be the mom that she is . Nina is one of the most Godly women I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.The people whom know Nina and her family get a blessing everytime they are around them.We (the ones from the states ) love Nina, Michael, and the kids with all our hearts. Nina is a true woman of God…We love you Nina, keep up the good work.We may not live in Portugal with you but we live there through your Blog. Thank-You.

  3. says

    Thanks Fringegirl, for letting us get to know Nina even better. Now I know how to say her name. I always said it wrong in my head too.

  4. says

    Love this idea for Friday posts!
    Loved getting to know the person in the picture on your sidebar…
    Sigh…I just love coming here.
    Thank you, Sister Fringe.
    (That reminded me of Twisted Sister. Which, I have no idea if you are or are not… ;o))

  5. Wana Williams says

    I just think its wonderful how a handful of you have become so close. This blog thing is good. Nina is a SPECIAL LADY. I know because she is my daughter!
    Wanda Williams…. Oneonta, Alabama

  6. says

    Loved the interview. Nina has a wonderful attitude about life and living it! Five kids!!! I would already left for a foreign country…alone. Great questions and smart answers. Thank you for doing this and allowing us a chance to get to know these individuals better. Debbie

  7. says

    I love you , Nina, and I haven´t ever even met you in person!

    Thanks- you, Fringe girl for honoring a missionary wife, and mother in such a beautiful way! I have gotten to know her in a very short time and my family and I will be going to visit her over Easter break, Lord willing. I am so excited!

  8. says

    I loved the interview. Nina is a very good friend of mine. She has always impressed me with the way she handles life. I’m glad she is in my life and my three girls has some one to look up to. Our family in now on the deputation trail and many times I wonder how Nina who handle the situtations I am going through. She is a very dear friend that I know loves the Lord and God is going to do great and Mighty things in Portugal because of the dedication of her and Bro. Michael.
    Thank you for the posting an interview on Nina. Wonderful choice.

  9. Mom says

    Loved your responses to Tricia’s questions. Had to laugh at the thought of the Portugese people pronouncing your last name!! My in-laws and Portugese friends had a hard time saying “Tricia”.

  10. says

    Nina certainly does God’s work in many ways, especially since I view motherhood and humorhood two of God’s favorite things. Thanks for another good interview.

    The Texas Woman


Please Leave A Comment