Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Every child knows this...right?

This morning Anna Grace decided to eat some leftover macaroni and cheese for breakfast. She got the following bowl out of the cabinet and proceded to say "I'm going to use this bowl with that guy and that dude on it."

I wondered if it was really possible that she didn't know who they were. I asked her if she knew what their names were and she said no. I asked her if she knew what television show they were on, and she thought for a minute and said "Elmo". This was shocking to me! How can a kid grow up not knowing who Bert and Ernie are? I would bet that almost everyone my age could tell you who they were and give several details about both of them. Like Ernie is a fun loving guy who has a rubber duckie that he loves (cue rubber duckie song here). Bert is obsessed with pigeons (again...hum the song as you continue to read) and tends to be a little OCD. They have a window in their house where the twiddle bugs live in the flower box...and of course so much more! We have lived in Turkey since Anna Grace was 2 1/2 so I thought I could excuse her from knowing who they were. We have the movie Elmo in Grouchland and both Ernie and Bert are in it so I guess that is really the only thing she has ever seen them in. I decided to ask all my kids if they knew who these characters were. Will's response when asked who they were and what tv show they were on..."I don't know" and "Elmo". Jacob..."um...is one of them named Kermit?" Erica finally made me feel better when she said "Bert and Ernie" and "Sesame Street". She did look at me like I was crazy for even asking her that question though!

New Rugs

During our shopping trip yesterday we went to a used rug store. Actually, it was a basement store with 6-8 vendors selling used rugs. I had seen several rugs that others had bought from this place so I was prepared to purchase a rug if I found one I liked. I ended up finding two that I really liked that were very similar. I kept walking from one vendor to the other to compare them. Finally, I asked if they could open them up next to each other so I could decide. My friends and I decided that they looked good together and that neither one would look that great with either of the existing rugs I had in my salon. So since I couldn't decide between the two I decided to get them both. The old rugs are being picked up today to be cleaned, and then one of them is going to be put in our bedroom. I'm still not sure what to do with the other one at this point! Below are before and after pictures!

The old rugs

The new rugs. The one in the living area has a sheen on it that when seen from one direction looks darker and from the other direction looks lighter. That is not a stain under the table leg. The short pile is just brushed the opposite direction from the pile around it.

Close-up of the rug in the living area of the room

A close up of the rug under the dining room table. You can see why I needed to see them next to each other!


Yesterday I went shopping with a couple of friends. I wasn't actually looking for anything but went along just for the fun of it. Here are a couple of pictures from a furniture store. As you can see there was barely any room to move! My friend, Tiffany, is a shopper extraordinaire. She found several interesting things. I don't have a good enough eye to see the prizes through the stacks of stuff!

They served us Nescafe while we shopped. It was so hot in the shop that coffee was the last thing I wanted! It tasted good, but made me hotter!

Here I am peeking around some furniture. They kept telling us to sit while we drank our coffee. There were chairs tucked in spaces here and there so we sat and peered around furniture to talk to each other!

I did end up purchasing this hanging thing for Brian. He usually throws his pants over the end of the bed and hangs his shirt on one of the drawer pulls of his dresser. I thought this would be a better option. After I got it home I realized it was a little warped, but once it had his clothes hanging on it I couldn't even tell. I can guarantee it will never be sitting there empty of clothing so I decided not to worry about it!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Great Idea!

The pictures in the following slide show have all appeared on the blog before. I just wanted to see if putting a slide show on here was as easy as it seemed...it was! Thanks R and A for the great idea! Now I'll have to get out and take some pictures of something fun so I can do another one. Oh and if you are interested in making a slide show just click on the "Make Your Own" button under the slide show. It really is that easy!

Trying something!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


One of Brian's recent trips was to/through a small city called Kastamonu. Here are a few pictures of the city.

The view of the castle on the hill.

The view from the castle on the hill.

I'm working on getting Brian to update his blog with actual info about the trip!


I love technology. I downloaded Brad Paisley's new CD for $9.88. The whole thing! The only time I ever listen to music is on my MP3 player so I really don't need the actual CD to listen to it.

Brian and I sat on our couch in Turkey last night and watched an episode of Dallas SWAT on our TV. I don't think I would ever watch it if I lived in America, but I enjoyed seeing the Dallas skyline and hearing the Texas accents.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

SS Roster

I worked in the nursery again this past Sunday. Joshua, Andrew, and Levi weren't at church, but Miriam, Hannah, and Josiah came. I'm not kidding! So on Sunday we had those three plus Paul, Stephen, Eva, and Maggie who Brian decided could be named after Mary Magdalene...but I doubt it.

Did you know...

That Carmex can be purchased in 4 and 8 oz. containers directly from the manufacturer, http://www.carma-labs.com/? Can you imagine? A normal jar of Carmex is 1/4 oz. They also sell the bigger 1/2 oz. jars in many stores. The tubes come in 1/4 oz. and .35 oz. But 8 oz. of Carmex for about $10...now that's something to write home about!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Day Trip

We decided to take a day trip to a small town about an hour outside of Ankara. First we decided to stop at a mall in town and treat the kids to Dunkin Donuts for a surprise. The donut shop is right inside the main entrance of the mall. We walked in the mall and Will immediately looked at the computer store to the right. We walked all the way up to the counter before the kids even noticed where we were! Here they are enjoying their donuts of choice.

After we arrived at our destination we had lunch. We sat at an outdoor cafe and ordered cheese pide (similar to pizza without sauce) and the cafe's famous guvec which was similar to beef stew meat with tomatoes and peppers. It was good, but a little fatty. In this picture you can see the kitchen where the food was prepared behind Brian and Jacob.

After eating we went to the town hall to find out if they could give us any information about their town. We were seated in a waiting room and served tea. After waiting for a long time we realized that we were waiting to talk to the mayor. He seemed fairly busy so we said that we would just walk around the town on our own. We drove up to a park that overlooked the town and let the kids play on the playground. Here is a picture of the town.

We were really hoping to meet some people around the town, but other than kids it just didn't happen. There were several children at the restaurant and at the park that talked to us. Brian overheard two girls talking to each other in Turkish about asking us "What is your name?" in English. They never did work up the nerve to ask us though. We asked them in Turkish if they spoke English, and they just giggled, said no, and ran away. Up at the park some boys did come and sit on a bench close to us and after we started talking to them they asked us "What is your name?" I'm sure their English teacher at school would be proud! We are thinking about going back on Sunday for the Mulberry Festival that they are having. If we had waited around for the mayor he might have even invited us to it, but it didn't seem like we were going to get in to see him very quickly. Even though we didn't come away with any new friends we still enjoyed getting out of town for a few hours!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Movie Night 1, 2, and 3!

Well, I finally watched The Devil Wears Prada. You know they only mention the word Prada once in the whole movie. I've seen the movie three times now. Once with a friend, once with Erica, and once with Brian after he returned from his trip. It was good. I wonder if the fashion world is really like that. Some of my favorite lines from the movie...The details of your incompetence do not interest me... I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight...By all means, move at a glacial pace, you know how much that thrills me...Is there some reason my coffee isn't here yet...did she die or something?... I'm on this new diet where I don't eat anything and when I feel like I'm about to faint, I eat a cube of cheese...And the "hire the smart, fat girl" one. That's all.


I love my kids' school. I love the fact that it is so international. There are kids from all over the world there. I also love that most of the teachers go to our church so we are friends with them as well. I like that I know exactly who my kids will have for a teacher the next year because there is only one teacher per grade! I also love that the kids are always doing something different. There's the science fair...which I wasn't into at all, but it was something different...and kids in 3rd-8th grade were required to participate. Jacob's class recently studied the rainforest. They painted long strips of butcher paper with the four different layers of the rainforest and hung it on one wall in their classroom. They all chose different animals that lived in the rainforest and wrote plays about them. Anna Grace's class did a study on a country that they had either visited or lived in. They did all kinds of things with it. They also did quite a few plays this year. Will's class studied famous Americans and then had a wax museum like showing. Several of the classes came and visited the characters who told about who they were when the "tour guide" pressed a button on their display. Will's teacher took all the boys in her class bowling one Saturday, and all the girls had a sleepover at her house one night...something you could never do in America! Anna Grace's teacher had all the girls over for a tea party, and I'm sure did something just as exciting with the boys. When we were in the states Will got a note about applying for the gifted and talented program at school. We never did fill out the forms, because we weren't going to be there long enough for the program to even begin. He was sad and said that kids that were in this program got to do fun stuff in their classes. I told him that all the kids at our school in Turkey got to do the same kinds of stuff they do in the G&T program! Jacob had 14 people in his class and Will had 15. I'm not sure how many kids were in Anna Grace's class. I remember when Erica was in 1st-3rd grade in the states. She always had good teachers and really enjoyed school. There were just too many people to do much more than teach for the standardized tests that were so important. I'm glad that our kids have the opportunity to go to a school where they don't even give standardized tests! When we were in the states Will was pulled out of class 2 or 3 days to take the test that he should have had the previous spring. He did fine. I had no doubt that he would be okay! We go to a great school!

Friday, June 15, 2007

The last two weeks

Brian got back Thursday morning from two different trips with groups from the states. He left with one group last Monday morning and returned Thursday afternoon. Then Friday night he boarded a bus and went East to visit with another group. I am very glad to have him home again!

I am more out of shape now than I have been in a while. We went bowling last night, and the balls were so heavy! I felt like my elbow was being pulled out of socket! And I was using a 8 pound ball! I also bowled the worse score ever for me. 48. Now I do admit I wasn't trying very hard. I usually bowl around 100, but after not knocking down any pins the first frame and feeling like my arm was coming apart I stopped trying.

I have been working in the nursery at church the past two Sundays. I felt like it was a Who's Who of the bible. Stephen and Paul kept fighting over the toy cars. Andrew kept getting his feelings hurt. Levi wanted to make sure he had access to all the toys he wanted. Joshua just laid there (he's only a couple of months old!), and Eva was angelic. And then Maggie and Kayra. They seemed out of place in the midst of all the others.

We ordered dinner from McDonalds tonight. Erica got a large french fries. Will got a quarter pounder. Anna Grace got a "chicken burger". And Jacob asked for a McTurco. It is basically a very thick tortilla with two hamburger patties or two chicken patties covered in some special sauce. I've never had one...they look gross to me. When I was taking orders Jacob said he wanted a "McFlurco". I think he was confused! McFlurry and McTurco....maybe.

Erica leaves for camp tonight. She is traveling with several other kids on a bus. It's not a camp bus or a church bus. Just a regular one like Greyhound. It leaves at 11pm and will travel all night before reaching it's destination. She is the oldest of the kids going on the bus. I'm not sure how many are going at this point. She has a cell phone so I'm not too concerned! The bus will stop at least once during the night for a 30 minute stretch break. Hopefully she will be able to sleep some before and after so that she doesn't start camp exhausted! She arrives back home next Saturday at 11pm.

Well that's it for now. I will try to write more this week.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Watch this and try not to laugh...you can't, I promise!

Awwww...I love that movie!

Brian has been out of town for the past few nights so I have been watching movies in the evenings after the kids are in bed. So far I've watched A Walk to Remember...you're right, Amy, I love this movie and should have included it on my movie meme post..., Fried Green Tomatoes, and Pure Country...yes, the George Strait movie...so what?...although not a classic it is a feel good movie and it made me feel good...so there. Now I am sitting here in front of my movie collection trying to decide what it's going to be tonight. I keep looking at the movie The Devil Wears Prada. I own this movie, but I've never seen it. It was recommended to me by a friend so I bought it. I look at it and then put it back because there is something about a good old familiar story that I love. There are few movies that I like to watch over and over. Some movies I own I've only watched once. They were good but not something I care to see again. There are some movies that I wish I owned, because I want to see them again. I remember liking them, but I can't remember how much. Are they so good that I would watch them over and over? Like Beaches. I know...some people think this is cheesy. I liked the movie when I saw it in the theater years ago. (Yes, Mentanna...I thought it was good...M&M?) I have even seen it at least once since then. But, it's probably been 10 years since I saw it. Was it as good as I remembered? I would like to see it again to find out. And what about Far and Away? Was this a good movie? And Sliding Doors...only saw it once, but was interested throughout the whole thing. Is this worth buying? And of course there are several movies that I have never seen which sound interesting. Chocolat, Bridget Jones' Diary, Because I Said So, Music and Lyrics, and others. I never saw the first two listed, because I heard they had questionable content. But, they are listed on all the great movie lists. That makes me reconsider my original thoughts about not seeing them. And I never had a chance to see the last two in theaters but would love to rent them to see what I think. And now...my decision for my movie watching enjoyment for the evening is...nothing. I started this blog an hour and a half ago and I have been on the phone and doing numerous other things at the same time as typing so I no longer have time for a movie. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

All better

Today after watching Anna Grace jump around and seeing how gross her cast looked after just a few days I decided to take it off. Easier said than done. Using a knife, a pair of scissors, and a saw I started hacking away. I was really careful. I didn't want to end up taking her to the doctor with a stab wound so I went very slowly. After just over an hour the cast was off, and my arms were on fire! I think there were small shards of cast stuck in my arms and hands. And I was bleeding from one of my knuckles, but I have no idea what happened. After watching Anna Grace jump around again celebrating her cast being off I decided I was glad I did it. Her foot seems fine...no bruising or anything.

Monday, June 04, 2007

What we did this weekend

On Friday night Will wanted the whole family to watch a movie together. We ended up watching Joe Somebody. It was okay.

Will spent the night with a friend on Saturday night and played his first game of tennis. Now he walks around saying "I love tennis!" constantly! He played his last soccer game for the spring season at this base on Saturday. I'm glad it's over, but I will miss the Dr. Pepper they have for sale at the base!

Jacob put couch pillows up his shirt and wrestled around with whoever would take him on. He also played soccer at the base.

Erica sat at the computer chatting with friends. She also helped lead worship at church on Sunday morning. Brian says she did a great job. I had to work in the nursery so I didn't get to particpate in worship.

Anna Grace played on the playground equipment at the base. She decided to jump off one part and ended up hurting her foot. This is the same equipment that Jacob fell off of and broke his arm two years ago. I really didn't think it was a big deal, but after she sat with me for 1 1/2 hours watching the boys play soccer even when being coaxed by her friends to come back and play I figured something was wrong. Her foot looked like it might be slightly swollen so Brian took her to the hospital. She came home with a cast. According to the x-rays she didn't break it. We weren't really sure why they put it in a cast. Brian said they wanted to immobilize it. Haven't they ever heard of an ace bandage?!? We talked to a friend who is a doctor, and he said that it could be a compound fracture which would show up better on an x-ray done after a couple of days. He said that it did seem a little over the top to cast her foot, but he had used the same method a couple of times when necessary. I took her back to the doctor today, and they decided (without doing another x-ray to be sure) that it wasn't fractured. The doctor wants her to wear the cast for another week, and then possibly have it wrapped in a bandage for another week. I personally think that it is crazy! I guess if it really is a compound fracture I should be grateful that she still has a cast on. The problem is trying to get around. We have no crutches, and I don't plan on buying any just for a week! They are expensive! And Brian went out of town this morning for a couple of weeks. (He will actually be back for about 24 hours from Thursday night to Friday night, but that won't help us too much with getting her to and from school.) I ended up taking her to school today. We put her in a desk chair with wheels, and her friends pushed her around all day! I think they all enjoyed it! One thing I have to say about the medical care here...they don't take injuries lightly. They seem to go overboard on most things! That's better than not taking things seriously enough I guess!

I went to a garage/moving sale and bought some new houseplants. Everytime I get a new plant my cats decide to eat them. I think that I overwhelmed them by buying four new plants at once. They don't seem to care a bit that there are new plants in the house!

Brian went to a movie with a friend as well as participated in the stuff mentioned above! Going to the base for soccer games, taking me to a garage sale, taking Anna Grace to the hospital, and various other chauffer duties took up much of his time this weekend! I bet he's glad to be gone for a few days. He's off with a group from the states basically chauffering them around Turkey! I guess I should learn to drive here so I can help!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Use your imagination!

I took a walk today. I meant to take my camera so that I could take pictures of the city, but I forgot it. As I was walking I passed an Alpha Romeo car dealership, and I noticed an employee in the parking lot with an armload of trash. Car dealerships in Turkey don't have the huge parking lots of cars for sale. The dealership was in the bottom floor of an apartment building, and there was a parking lot that held about 5 cars right in front of the dealership. This guy just walked to the edge of the parking lot and threw the trash in the street. Right in front of me. There were candy wrappers, a couple of water bottles, and a piece of a newspaper. I couldn't believe it. The funny thing is that it would only take a small gust of wind to blow the trash back onto the lot. He didn't even try to take it to the corner or throw it over a fence...just threw it where it had literally inches to be back in the parking lot. I wished I had my camera.

I took a bus home from the city this afternoon. While on the bus I witnessed an almost accident. Our bus cut someone off and the car's tires squealed and hit a curb before coming back into traffic. I was sitting in a bus seat in the rear of the bus that faces the back of the bus so I saw the whole thing. The bus continued until the next bus stop which was just a few feet further up the road. The car pulled over and the guy who was the passenger in the car got out and started running toward our bus. The driver of the car got out and looked at his tire before heading in our direction. The bus driver got out and met them right outside of my window. They all raised their voices and yelled about who was at fault and the bus driver even put his hand out to keep the other guys away from him. I kept thinking that they were going to get into a fight right there. I couldn't believe that nobody from the bus got off to try to "help" the situation. After a couple of minutes of screaming at each other they all headed back to their vehicles, and we were on our way. I did notice that our bus driver seemed to drive more recklessly after the incident. I think he was in a hurry since he had stopped for longer than planned so he tried to make up for it by going as fast as he could through the rest of the traffic. I was thankful nobody else got in his way! I would have loved to have taken a picture of the guys yelling at each other.

Next time I will bring my camera!