Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This language!

Yesterday, Brian went to the grocery store to pick up several things. I had already ordered groceries online, but these were things that I had forgotten and needed for dinner and over the next couple of days. He was able to find everything on the list except beef bouillon.. He wasn't sure where to look or what it was called in Turkish so he proceeded to try to explain to the helpful little man at the market what he was looking for.

Brian - "I'm looking these things that are beef flavored. They are shaped like cubes."
Grocer - "sugar cubes?"
Brian - "No, it is beef flavored and sometimes you put it in soups. There are also chicken flavored cubes that can go in soup."
Grocer - "bulyon?"
Brian - (feeling really stupid) "yes, bouillon."

I have also had that same experience. Right before we went back to the states I went to Starbucks with a friend. My drink was really hot so I tried to ask for the little cardboard thing that helps to insulate your hand. I tried explaining it to the nice lady, and she looked at me and said, "you would like a sleeve?" Yes, a sleeve. I didn't know what they were called in English, so I had no idea what to call them in Turkish!

I think this is why I try to plan out what I am going to say before I have to say it! When we first arrived back in America I even found myself planning conversations there so that I wouldn't have to figure out how to say something! Then I realized that my eye doctor speaks English! So did the hairdresser and the cashier at the grocery store! Now I have to remember that I am back in Turkey. Today at the mall I beeped when I went through the metal detector at the entrance. I turned and looked at the lady and said, "Am I okay?" in English. She just looked at me and waved me on. Turkish, Natalie, Turkish. One day my brain will catch up with my body!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


While we were in the states several people mentioned that they enjoyed reading our blog and getting our updates. This made me feel a little guilty because it has been a while since I have sent an email update! After starting this blog about a year ago I have sent very few updates thinking that this blog could serve that purpose. But, I am realizing that for security reasons I am not really updating anyone on our work in the blog...just on our life. So I have decided to start anew with the emailed updates. What does this mean? If you currently received emails from us (blog updated, personal, or whatever) you will automatically be put on the update distribution list. If you check this blog because you got this site from a friend, off of a "remember us" picture card, or some other way and would like to receive email updates on our work please send me your email address so I can add you to the list. And finally, for those who get emails from us but don't want updates, email me and let me know and I will take you off the list. Hopefully that covers everyone! Expect the first update email in a week or so. We are just getting started and still trying to recover from jetlag!

Blog = life, funny stories, my crazy thoughts
Email updates = work related stories and requests

Email me at natalie@dixonchronicles.com or leave a comment on this site and I will take care of you. I will delete all comments that have personal information such as email addresses as soon as I add your address to my address book.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Welcome Home!

We are back in Turkey...finally! After several weeks of not knowing when we were leaving Texas it seemed to happen very quickly. We got back January 25 and immediately had 11 people over to hang out and help keep us awake until bedtime. We ordered pizza from Dominoes and had lots of fun. The top picture above shows the Dominoes sign in the trees under the Dostlar Manti sign. I was standing on my balcony, zoomed in, and took this picture to show how close it is. And they deliver too! I wish I had taken a picture of the pizza to show everyone what it looked like. The cheese and pepperoni pizzas look pretty much the same. There is very little sauce on them, but they are pretty good. We also got a pizza that had feta cheese on it. You can order pizza with corn kernels, square pieces of meat that are supposed to be ground meat, and something called garlic sausage that takes getting used to. They are round just like pepperoni, but often cut a little thicker. I am pretty sure there were some of these sausages on the pepperoni pizzas because I would occasionally get the garlic sausage flavor and some of the meat looked a little suspicious. Welcome home!

Some other things I have noticed since I have been back....everything seems really small. I remember thinking that things seemed huge in Texas when we first arrived back in June, but I guess I got used to it because things here are tiny! The toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, microwave ovens, cereal boxes, milk, sandwich bread, and various other things are a lot smaller than I remembered. Even the rooms in my apartment look smaller. Will thought his room shrunk while he was gone! Now things are looking a little more normal. Brian and I watched a TV show called Designed to Sell while we were in the states. The idea behind the show is to update your house a little so that you get more money for it when you sell it. One of the main things we heard over and over is that most people have too much furniture in their rooms. They overcrowd. Well that is how our house looked to us when we got back. Our furniture was too big for our small rooms. We don't have closets so we have to put wardrobes in the rooms for our clothes. A wardrobe, bed, table with a lamp, and a dresser take up a lot of space. We have walking paths and small play areas in the kids rooms, but the people on HGTV would cringe if they walked in here! Welcome home!

We have really enjoyed being back and getting to use our electric blanket, our space heaters, and wearing long johns! We don't even own these things in Texas but enjoy the rare occasion when we need the fireplace there. I wasn't happy about coming back to really cold weather for long lengths of time, but I was excited about being able to get warm when it is cold! Very strange I know. It snowed last night so this morning we walked to church in the snow. I think we will have many opportunities to use our blanket, heaters, and long johns in the next few weeks! See the pictures above for proof! Welcome home!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Some dates...finally!

Well, it's official. We finally received our passports today and now have tickets to head back to Turkey. We fly out on January 24 at noon, Texas time and arrive in Ankara on January 25 at 2pm Turkey time (6am Texas time). We are happy to have something to work towards. I was tired of living in limbo...knowing we were headed back but not having any specific dates! The kids will have 3 days of life before they have to start back to school. Hopefully it will be enough time to get over jet-lag! At this point they don't have a choice. Thanks to everyone who has been thinking about us during this time. We really appreciate it! Now think about how we can get all the stuff we are planning on taking back into our suitcases! That may take a miracle!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Old School

Recently we have been having some internet issues. We finally had a repairman show up at our house and...gasp...it is our modem. It plugs in and looks like it should be working, but something on the inside decided to quit. We don't think we need to spend the money on a new one since we are leaving soon so we have resorted to using the old stand-by...dial up! I can't believe how slow it is! Definitely old school! It took forever to download my emails today. (I am currently at my parents' house loving their DSL as I type this blog.) What does this mean you ask? Well, no more pictures or mass emails until I get back to Turkey. I'm not sure how skype or other programs will work on dial up. We will have to just try it and see!

Exactly when will you be going back to Turkey you ask? Good question! I wish we knew! We are currently waiting on the kids' passports. We sent them in for renewal a long time ago! We still haven't received them. According to their website we should have them "on or before January 13". We already had that same message another time we checked and it said January 10. That day came and went. Now we are hopeful that we will have them in the next couple of days. Once we receive them we can give our company the go ahead to get our tickets. I have no idea what the earliest travel date will be for reservations. It may be the end of January before we will actually be leaving. We are half packed and not sure what to do with ourselves. We have kept the kids home from school after the Christmas break because we planned on being back in Turkey for the second semester of school which starts January 29. That will still be the case, but with the way things are going we might end up missing a couple of days. We will keep you posted on our plans.

Monday, January 08, 2007

And more...

The kids on their scooters...a Christmas present from Brian's parents.

The flamingos at the San Diego Zoo...they were loud!

A mountain...somewhere along the way.

Hill tops covered with windmills

What Jacob did on Christmas day. He was coming down with strep throat! Thankfully we were able to see a doctor/friend and get some medicine. Thanks, Doc!

Pictures from the west.

The kids standing next to a cactus. Those things are huge!

A picture of the desert...somewhere in Arizona

Las Palmas Dr. on the way to Brian's parents' house.

The Hollywood sign as seen from Griffith Observatory.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Remember us!

Since we have been in the states we have had new "remember us" cards made. If you would like one either leave me a comment on here with your home address or send me an email with your address and I will mail one to you. All blog comments are emailed to me as soon as you leave them so when I get your address I will delete your comment so your address isn't out there for everyone to see! My email address...just in case you need it...is


If you don't want a card but want to see what we look like here is the picture printed on the card.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Promised pictures...

I don't usually take scenic pictures. Usually I make sure to have people I know in the scenery...two pictures for the price of one....but these pictures were exceptions. Enjoy.

The view of Los Angeles from the Griffith Observatory. Notice the layer of smog over the city!

A saguaro cactus...one of many we saw on our drive through Arizona.

The start of sunset over the Pacific Ocean as seen from Camp Pendleton.

Mountains and a full moon.