Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Excited, Scared, Sad

Those were the words Will used to describe his feelings about going back to America for 7 months. We were saying prayers one night, and I asked him if he was excited about going back. He said, "a little". I asked if he was scared and his answer, again, was "a little" and then he volunteered "and I'm a little sad too". I told him I understood his feelings exactly. That is how I feel too. I am excited to be able to see family and friends and eat things that I have missed. I am scared/worried about the kids being in school there, about feeling overwhelmed with cultural differences and about not having really close relationships. And I am sad about leaving the team and friends here that have come to be like family to me. I look back at life in America, and I can pinpoint times when God really spoke to me or when I really felt like God was teaching me truth about himself. But they were just incidents among many other "normal" times. I relied on myself when things were tough, and I figured out how to fix what wasn't right. I look back at life here in Turkey, and I feel like it has been a 4 year long incident or lesson! I have had to rely on God so much more here. I realized very quickly that I was not capable of fixing the things that weren't going right. I had to depend on God to see me through. I feel like I have learned volumes about who God is and who He created me to be. I think part of me is worried that I will go back to the states and become complacent about things again...that I will not be intune to what is going on around me. I pray that God will bring people into my life to speak truth, to call me on things when I am being disobedient, and to love me and encourage me. I ask that you pray for our family as we finish our last 6 weeks here and as we begin to adjust to life in America again. Yesterday Erica said she couldn't wait for school to be over, but then she added "except that means we have to go back to America". I guess we all are feeling it. God is good, and He is faithful. I know He will use many of you to teach us many things while we are there. Thanks for being faithful to pray for us.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I decided to go ahead and make a post about my weight loss since I have gotten several emails from people who have commented on it. Yes...I have lost quite a bit of weight. I originally went on a "diet"...the dreaded D word...by accident in September of 2003. I had not planned on going on a diet. On Sept. 1, I made pancakes and had every intention of eating them, but by the time I fed my family and the visitors we had there wasn't enough for me to eat. Also I was sick of looking at the pancakes because I had made so many of them. For about 4 days things like that kept happening, and when I stopped and thought about it I had not had carbs or sugar to amount to anything for that entire time. My mother had just been telling me about the weight she lost doing Atkins so I thought I would try it. Once I made the decision to not have carbs or sugar it was harder. After about two weeks of severely limiting my carbs and sugar it got a lot easier. I no longer wanted them. I was pretty strict with myself from September through Thanksgiving. By that time I had lost about 30 pounds. It was shocking. And I felt great. After Thanksgiving I continued to watch what I ate, but didn't try to lose more weight. I never did set a goal weight. I was just excited to weigh less than I had in years. I kept that weight off for a full year. In November and December of 2004 I went to the states and saw several of you. Everyone was really surprised to see that I had lost so much weight. And I ate whatever I wanted while I was there...Hey! They don't sell Krispy Kreme here! After returning to Turkey things just seemed to be more stressful here and I put back on about 10 pounds. I am definitely a stress eater! I decided in October that I needed to lose that plus a little more, and I set a goal for what I wanted to weigh. Now I had something to work toward. I also set little goals...I want to lose 5 pounds by a certain date...or by the time I see my family at Christmas I want to weigh a certain amount...whatever it took to motivate me. It worked great. Since I started in October I have lost about 25 pounds. Some weeks I am really strict with what I eat and others I relax some. I weigh less now than when I got pregnant with Erica which was one of my "little goals". Now I would like to weigh what I weighed when I got married. That is my goal for going back to the states. I have 8 weeks...and 7 pounds. I think I can do it!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Home Sweet, Nice, Normal Home

We have noticed that when people come visit us...whether family or friends...they often are surprised by how nice our house is. It is the run of the mill, ordinary house but most people have in their minds something far less appealing I guess. I have heard these comments from people coming to visit. "This is really nice. Not at all what I expected." "I don't feel sorry for you anymore." "No more care packages from us!" So, in order to not perpetuate the myth that we live in a hole, mud hut, or tent in the desert here are some pictures of our house.

Our living room/dining room combination. Here it is called a salon.

This is a picture of our bedroom. Not the best picture but I was hiding Brian's side of the room with this angle!

The kitchen. Not huge but big enough to cook in and eat in. What more do I need?

I chose not to take pictures of the kids rooms. They weren't exactly company ready. You know...unmade beds, pjs on the floor...you understand!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Random sights

The last couple of times we took trips outside the city we had to stop to let sheep cross the street. Here is a picture of a flock with their shepherd. The sheep all had paint splotches on their backs so that the shepherd could tell whose sheep they were. Almost everytime we take a trip we see flocks of sheep up on the hills. They always have a shepherd or two and sometimes the flock includes goats and a dog or two.

This is a picture of Anna Grace (left) and one of her friends wearing as many clothes as they possibly can. You should have seen the mess on Anna Grace's floor after they were done with this game. There were no clothes left in her drawers!

I didn't have a whole post of anything but just wanted to share these pictures with you!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Who is the potter?

On our trip to see the eclipse we stayed in a town called Avanos. It is in the region of Cappadocia which is one of the places 1 Peter was written to...check out 1 Peter 1:1. Anyway this town is know for it's pottery. There are clay pots everywhere! In the town square there is a pile of pots...I think it is a statue. On many street corners there are random pots. There were many different kinds...some painted some just in their original clay color. Come visit and we will take you there!

Will tried his hand at pot making and did a pretty decent job. He did have a little help though!

Sumer, one of our Turkish friends...and an employee of Brian's, takes a turn at the potter's wheel. It is foot powered so every few minutes she had to push it like a merry-go-round.

Anna Grace and a friend sit at a fountain in a city park. Notice the pile of pots on the top!

Sumer's finished product! We weren't sure what to call it. Modern pottery?

One of the stores that sells the many different pots. These stores all have rooms that are like caves. This is actually a doorway into another room of the store.

Coach Brian

Many of you have heard that Brian is coaching "university football" here in Turkey. Well this rumor is true. A few schools here have football clubs and Brian and another worker here coach at one of them part time. The club was started by the guys wanting to learn American football and they recruited their own coaches. Brian never played football in junior high, high school, or college but he watched quite a bit of it which makes him an expert. The guys sometimes ask him what position he used to play and he gives them one of two answers...
1. in my backyard?
2. second base.
They don't usually have a clue what he means by either answer! I went to a recent game and took a few interesting pictures. Brian's team is the one in black and gold. They are the Cankaya cougars. They are playing the team wearing blue and red.

Notice the player with the black and white socks on. The weather was a little chilly so I guess he decided to wear matching socks and a scarf!!?? while playing the game!

Another picture of the scarf wearing player. I did notice that another guy has on one blue sock and one black sock. I am not sure if these are team issued or not!

Brian is walking over to talk to a couple of guys. They get very emotional and cry when they mess up or when they think someone else thinks they messed up. Brian says it is like watching junior high students play, but his players cry more.