Friday, October 31, 2008

Stuff I didn't post when blogspot was down.

At the fall carnival I helped work the game in Jacob's class. It was insane. The basic idea was that the kids had to find tickets hidden all over the room. The catch was that it was dark. The tickets were spread out on the floor and the kids had to crawl around and try to find them. There were pieces of paper, lentils, string, and bowls of a flour/water paste spread around on the floor. The kids crawled around feeling for tickets and ended up putting their hands in nastiness. They loved it. At some point some boys decided to pick up the bowls of flour and water and dump them on the floor. A huge mess ensued. Kids were coming out of the room with tickets, but they also had the dirtiest pants I had ever seen. Since I had my camera I took a picture of the mess.

Now remember...it was dark. The flash lit up the room. I told AG I was about to take a picture so she sat up and posed. I'm pretty sure they won't be doing this game again. It was horrendous to clean up!

Will's class played a game of Deal or No Deal with candy instead of money. Here is Jacob trying to win some candy.

Will took a turn being the banker for the game.

Will also took a turn playing the game Fear Factor. He won the first heat of this game by holding his breath longer than anyone else. The next heat wasn't quite as easy. The boy behind Will was supposed to pour OJ into his cup and put it in his mouth. He was then supposed to spit it into Will's mouth. Will was supposed to swallow. Well if you know Will there was no way on earth he was going to do that. No way. So he dropped out. Evidently he missed out on eating pickles from between someone's toes, getting his face covered with shaving cream and cheerios, and eating a can of cat food. Fun times. (Oh...and thanks to Anny Park for this awesome picture!)

I also filched this picture from my friend, Lisa. She posted it on her facebook page. Since I didn't have any good pictures of Will from our pumpkin carving party the other day I figured she wouldn't mind. Thanks Lisa!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween in Turkey

Last night we went to a pumpkin carving party hosted by some of our friends. We had a great time! It was fun for the kids to participate in an American tradition here in Turkey. It was the first time for Jacob and Anna Grace to ever carve a pumpkin!

We do have pumpkins here but they are these greenish-gray kind.

Short, squatty, and very bumpy.

Our friends bought 30 pumpkins from the base commissary for us to carve. They were actual American orange pumpkins!

Anna Grace shows off her goopy hands after cleaning out the inside of her pumpkin!

Will watches as pumpkins are carved.

Erica and her friend look to be quite grossed out by the messiness of it all!

Jacob and a friend punch out a pirate ship pattern onto their pumpkin.

Brian takes a turn trying to make something that resembles a pirate ship after the boys give up.

Jacob and AG showing off their masterpieces.

About half of the kids who were there! I think there were 22 total!

The pumpkins made quite a show lined up on the driveway!

Will and friends made their pumpkin vomiting.

Erica and friend made a haunted house.

AG and friend made a ghostly face.

Jacob and friend (with quite a bit of help from Brian) made a pirate ship.

We also had a yummy dinner of lasagna, salad, green beans, and garlic bread. There was a pumpkin roll, chocolate cake, and chocolate chip cookies.

After dinner the kids all got to pick a prize for all their hard pumpkin carving work. Will chose a box of Frankenberry cereal. Jacob chose a big bag of chocolate and vanilla marshmallows. Anna Grace chose a package of chocolate chip cookie mix with cookie cutters. Erica chose some Halloween themed cups. A great time was had by all.

Oh...and yep...I took a picture of the inside of their extra refrigerator. I think the kids loved the American sodas just as much as the pumpkin carving!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Carnival - Food Edition

Last Friday we attended the Fall Carnival at our kids' school. There were games and candy and all the things that make a fall carnival fun. One thing that makes our carnival unique is the International Cafe. Since the kids go to an international school they have kids from all over the world in their classes. On carnival night everyone brings a dish native to their country to sell in the cafe. This is my absolute favorite part of the carnival! Getting to eat food from all over the world prepared by actual people from those countries. I did my duty in partaking of the food, AND because I knew you would need a full report I took pictures to go along with my findings. So without further ado I present to you the Fall Carnival 2008 food review.

Nigerian - These were pretty good. They had the consistency of the breading on the outside of sweet and sour chicken from a chinese food place. They had a slight chicken flavor, but no visible pieces of chicken.

No explanation necessary!

Meat pies - kinda tasted like a sloppy joe. I have no idea what country this is from!

Nigeria - These tasted like a stale beignet or sopapilla. Ok but probably much better hot and fresh.

The Sudan - Falafal - Kinda like a hush puppy, but different. I ate two of these and could have eaten more. Yummy!

Brazilian Empadhinas - These were filled with chicken and mushrooms. They tasted ok, but since they had been sitting out they weren't hot. I'm sure if they were served hot they would have been better.

Sweet, greasyish cakes sprinkled with coconut. Not sure where this is from.

Romanian something or other. I didn't try this one. I'm not sure how I missed it!

Korean rolls. Some people call these sushi, some call them California rolls. I don't care what they are called...they were delicious!

Yep...some good ol' American food!

Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria - Katayif - These were sweet...like sugar and nuts in a pancake.

South African Cheese Scones - tasted just like a dry biscuit.

Some sort of rice balls. I never did try these!

Malaysian Screwpine Sesame Cake - Slightly sweet, thick texture.

Romania - I only tried the things on the right side of the plate. They were like crescent roll dough with carrots and something else mixed together on top. Good. The stuff on the left is a squash fritter which I've had before and then the deviled eggs. Not sure if the Romanian ones taste any different or not.

Japanese - The brown things are egg filled with sweet rice. Pretty good stuff!

Jordan & Palestine - Monakeesh - I never did try this! I know...I'm falling down on my job!

Turkey - Mercimek Kofte - exactly what the sign says. Red lentils and spices shaped into a ball. I love these!

Now I must admit that after I tried almost all of the above items I was about to burst. I finally had to walk away from the cafe, because people just kept bringing more and more food. It was easier to just walk away than admit defeat in my goal of trying at least a bite of everything! And it is quite possible that I am wrong about the origins of a couple of the food items that weren't clearly labeled. I asked the people serving the food and have reported what I was told. I didn't fact check my story with actual people from the country in question.

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27th - again.

Because I've already blogged today, and because it takes entirely too long to post something these days I decided to just send you to last year's post on this day. Actually last year's post was posted on October 29th, but it concerned October 27th. Enjoy.

What October 27th means to me.


We went to Cappadocia on Saturday for one last hurrah before we head back to the states.

On the way to there we stopped at Tuz Golu, Turkey's salt lake. The kids had never been there so we decided to treat them to a visit. I made sure they brought flip flops so they didn't have to experience the walking on broken glass feeling!

Anna Grace requested that we stay in a cave hotel so we obliged her. This is the room that our family stayed in. There were three twin beds in the front room and a queen bed in the back room. They brought in an extra mattress so we were all able to stay in the same room. That never happens!

After dropping off our stuff we headed out to do some hiking through the unusual terrain.

The kids had a blast climbing through all the ancient man-made tunnels and caves.

We also met this couple on the trail. I am guessing she wasn't aware of the hiking part of their date. If you can't see her shoes please click on the picture. I tried to take this without her knowing I was secretly laughing at her on the inside. Poor girl!

While in Cappadocia we decided to go traditional Turkish with our meal on Saturday night. Really experience the culture. We took our shoes off. We sat on the floor to eat. We had tea. We ate at 5pm. Ok...that isn't so Turkish. We ate breakfast at 9:30am and skipped lunch so we were starving by 5. Turks normally eat late. The owners of this place had to turn the lights on for us. It was all yummy of course, and we walked out of there completely stuffed!

Jacob and Anna Grace chose apple tea instead of the traditional Turkish cay. It basically tastes like warm apple juice. We brought one of these copper/silver trays to the states back in June of 2006. We might have to throw some couch cushions on the floor and eat Turkish style to reminisce after we get back!

Only 28 more days.

The rest of the story

I'm not so sure what I think of emailing my blog posts in. The last one only entered half of what I typed, but at least the picture showed up. I also said that Brian and Will were out watching the Cowboys game with friends and that they had decked themselves out in Cowboys clothing for the event. That was all Will. He loves the Cowboys and made sure Brian was outfitted properly.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Does this work?

I am trying several different things in my attempt to post a blog. I
have figured out a way to post, but I am not able to post pictures due
to the longer upload times. Now I am attempting to
email this to my blog and include a picture. Let's see what happens.

Friday, October 24, 2008

OH NO!!!!

Ok. I am having a bit of a panic attack. It seems as though blogger.com and blogspot have been banned or blocked in Turkey. That means that I will have issues trying to update this blog. Hopefully the issue will resolve itself in a day or two. We are headed out of town tomorrow morning and probably won't have internet until we get back on Sunday night. I hope things are back to normal then. I can still receive comments on the blog and have them set to be emailed to me. I hope you all have a great weekend, and hopefully I will see you back here on Sunday night!

Don't ask how I updated this time. It wasn't pretty.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I woke up with a migraine this morning. Brian wasn't here to help with the kids so breakfast, lunches, and getting the kids off to school was solely my responsibility. Yikes. I did breakfast and lunches then took my migraine medicine. Once I felt the meds kick in I directed traffic from a kitchen chair. The phone rang so I had to walk to the salon to answer it. A friend called to check on me because I tweeted that I had a headache. She laughed at my slurred southern drawl. I could tell I was slurring my words, but I had no idea that I was letting the south shine through. Thank you, Zomig. I'm still feeling the loopiness even as I write this. And why I felt the need to write a blog post while under the influence is beyond me. And I've had to delete and retype quite a bit because I am misspelling everything. I should get in my bed. Thanks and goodnight...er...good morning.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Some ponderings...

Internet comparison. You are used to dial up. You are ok with dial up. You know there is something better out there, but you've never tried it. Is it better to try the better thing once and know what it's like when you can really only get dial up or would it have been better to have never known how great a faster connection was?

Tomatoes. You are used to the store bought variety. Should you risk tasting one that has ripened on the vine knowing that it might ruin your taste for what you are used to?

Cigars. Stick with the cheap kind and be ignorant or splurge on a Cuban just once?

Brought to you by the crazy inside Natalie's head.

Turkish Breakfast

On Monday night Will requested a full Turkish breakfast for Tuesday morning. Since it was too late to actually get everything I needed I promised him we would have it on Wednesday morning. Evidently the other kids didn't hear this idea, because when they came in for breakfast and saw what we were having they cheered.

Look how excited they are to be eating all this yummy food! Actually, they call this smiling like a Turk.

To better understand the phrase "smile like a Turk" please click on the following picture.

Yes, there are some kids smiling. No, my daughter isn't. She's good. She's really good!

Moving on.

So for breakfast they had a boiled egg, olives, feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced apples, salami, fried cheese, bread, and jelly. I also made a pot of Turkish tea. Jacob chose to have a glass of apple juice instead.

Thanks, mom!