Summer Fun

June 28, 2015

Baba works 10 hours per day this summer while his partner is away. We are thankful for their partnership as it allows us to take  breaks every other year as well. We still want to make the best of the summer so last night we had a family brainstorm and came up with this list:

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I wonder what the summer will bring and if we will complete them all? It was fun to dream…now onto living it out!

Snow Day!

June 25, 2015

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One day, this spring, it snowed in our housing complex. We live in a set of about 50 duplexes. The picture above shows two that share a center wall. It hadn’t snowed this much in 30 years in this city and it was quite an event!

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Ok. I realize, now that I’m posting the pictures, there REALLY wasn’t that much snow. But, at the time, it was such a big deal!

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The kids were supposed to start their language class but of course, I let them run outside for a few minutes. As they ran down the driveway, Each home had a woman standing in the window with a smart phone, taking videos of the snow. It was a chain reaction. Each house wife, started to yell at my kids as they went by, “You’re going to get ill!” they declared! It is a common cultural belief that children get ill from being in the cold. We once had an elderly man yell at us, “You sinners!” because we were taking ouf kids sledding. We work hard to stay within cultural permaters so as to not draw extra attention to ouselves but, sometimes you gotta know when to let it all go!

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It may not snow again for another 30 years and we made the most of it!

Snow Day!

June 25, 2015

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One day, this spring, it snowed in our housing complex. We live in a set of about 50 duplexes. The picture above shows two that share a center wall. It hadn’t snowed this much in 30 years in this city and it was quite an event!

February-April2015 003

Ok. I realize, now that I’m posting the pictures, there REALLY wasn’t that much snow. But, at the time, it was such a big deal!

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The kids were supposed to start their language class but of course, I let them run outside for a few minutes. As they ran down the driveway, Each home had a woman standing in the window with a smart phone, taking videos of the snow. It was a chain reaction. Each house wife, started to yell at my kids as they went by, “You’re going to get ill!” they declared! It is a common cultural belief that children get ill from being in the cold. We once had an elderly man yell at us, “You sinners!” because we were taking ouf kids sledding. We work hard to stay within cultural permaters so as to not draw extra attention to ouselves

Quote from N

May 28, 2015

Today, N said, ‘I was just thinking. It’s almost as if as you grow older, life gets harder.’

Hmmmm. Enjoy those Legos, buddy because you’ve stumbled on some truth!

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Home School Co-op

May 18, 2015

Co-op has been going strong this semester. We meet every other Friday. We alternate between studying a composer or an artist. The kids have a time of recitation where they recite all that they have memorized since our previous meeting. Then, we do a little value added learning on whatever subject seems pertinent. On this particular day, we learned about Vivaldi, an Italian composer. Check out The Piano Guy’s mix of Vivaldi’s Winter and Frozen. Incredible! After that inspiration, we had a knot lesson. With a rope for each child and a few YouTube videos, we made some knot tying experts! :) Then, we went to a local naval museum that also had naval knot tying stations.

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The guys think more along the lines of knots to hang the war enemies they capture.

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The girls think more along the lines of knots to tie off the necklaces they make! There were knots for everyone and we had a great time!

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Rockin’ the naval museum!

Local Hospitality

May 16, 2015

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I left the kids with a babysitter and went to visit a friend for tea. This is the table that awaited. A home-made sweet, a savory, fruit, tea and then coffee. Fresh flowers on the table and in pots from the balcony rails. How different this is from meeting a friend at Starbucks in the states! Both feed the soul…I miss time with dear women in America but I also treasure these afternoons both for the joy of sharing life with other women!

Strawberry Season

May 14, 2015

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Look how big these strawberries are! Seriously! Compare SK’s fist to the size of that strawberry! They are every bit as good as they look too! We are so much more aware of seasons here. This is partly due to fruits and vegetables only being available in their rightful season. It is also due to living among more nature where flowers, trees and plants make seasons more visible. On the same day, all the oranges turn from green to orange, the roses all pop at once, or the wisteria makes a grand entrance. I love seeing God’s creation in this way and I also love partaking of yummy fruit- home-grown and freshly picked!

Denim Day

May 12, 2015

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We do have a dryer but it doesn’t work as well as an American one would. I usually use it for socks and underwear and hang everything else as this seems to be the quickest way to get the laundry job done!

When to Ask for Help

May 10, 2015

Something that helps us thrive  here is knowing when to ask for help from locals. Do you see what is strange about this picture?

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The climbing vine is hanging mid-mid air, without a base. The right side is our home and the left side is our  neighbors. We share an adjoining wall. We had decided together to have the climbing vine cut down. The maintenance crew was just leaving when I came home. I asked them to finish the project before they left and cut the WHOLE vine down, not just the base. No, they said, too dangerous. Well, can my husband borrow your saw then? No. Well, if I get a ladder for you, will you finish? Thinking for a second….”OK, if you pay me 50 lira” (25 dollars) I didn’t know I was supposed to bribe maintainance men to do their jobs nowdays. Time to call in the cavalry.

In this situation, the Calvary is a neighbor who is always home, always knows who or what is coming or going, in short, doesn’t miss a thing whether you want her involved or not. This was the type of thing she lives for.

All I had to do was tell her about the proposed bribe. One phone call later and the vine was GONE!

Thankful for knowing who and when to ask for help!

Preschool Open House

May 7, 2015

Last Saturday was SK’s spring open house. We got to tour her class room, talk to her teachers and see all the crafts they have been working on at school.

This is SK’s English teacher. There are always two teachers in the classroom. One who speaks English and one who speaks the local language. She has had the same English teacher for two years in a row now and she has been such a gift to us!

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This is SK’s local language teacher. She is also super sweet and SK likes that she “always dresses lady-like.”

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Interestingly, they had both individual projects and ‘class projects’. Here is SK explaining how she helped with one of the class projects.

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As Americans, we are generally more individualistic. It was interesting to see how a more co-dependant society more highly valued group work. There were several group projects. This was one of my favorites.

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There was also a Merry Christmas banner on the wall because, hey, it’s in English so lets hang it on the wall!

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Loved SK’s artwork and interesting last name!

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There was also a clown who painted faces.

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At the end, there was a drum and song performance. SK looked bored throughout her drum show. Afterwards, I asked her if she was bored and she said no, she was hot and squished. It was a hot day but I made her keep her sweater on, just for the performance because it was culturally inappropriate to have short sleeves at that time of year, even though, to us, it was hot. I guess I paid for that decision with a bored drummer!

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After the drums, they sang an English song. At the end of the song, they repeat, “all together now.” But, SK sings this with a local English accent. She can’t even tell what she is saying. When we try to tell her she’s saying, “all together now” she adamantly explains that no, in fact, she is saying, “ahh toogeta naw” Oh well, thankfully, she’s there to learn the local language, not English!

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