Saturday, October 10, 2015

Camping Escape: Part IV

CC wanted us to take a family picture while we were there. Campbell Camping 2015!

When we camped 2 years ago, we were awoken by the strangest sound. It was a bell. It sounded like a cowbell, but it kept going in all different directions. Soon, this hound wandered up to the campground, checked things out, wandered off, then came back at eatin' time. He did the exact same thing this year! Poor ol' pooch has to wear a bell everywhere he goes.

He is the sweetest dog. If he needed a home...well,

CC built us some great fires for our hobo packets and s'mores. Anyone been reading this long enough to remember the last time when I couldn't find marshmallows, was very upset about it, then bought gummy dinosaurs for the s'mores instead? Oozing, dripping dinosaurs were "the" memory of the trip. This year I spotted marshmallows (made with fish gelatin here so they are hallal...yes, your marshmallows in America are spongy because they are made from pig's snouts. Look it up.), so I bought them. No more oozy dinos.

The last night CC and the two Turks slept under the stars.He said he woke up at all hours of the night watching the constellations shift above his head. Beautiful! (I slept in the tent!)

Goodbye to this sweet town.

Back to reality, but with a rewewed spirit!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Camping Escape: Part III (The Hike Up Light Mountain)

The next afternoon, CC suggested a hike. Up a mountain. A tall mountain. As he always does. Firstborn and I took him up on it. We left the others swinging in hammocks and collecting grasshoppers.

This picture doesn't do it justice, but we found a beautiful wild bush with about 5 different colors in it.

It was truly beautiful, and though we hiked 2 hours up a very steep mountain, I am so glad I went!

 We had some great conversations with this beautiful daughter who will soon fly.

I loved seeing this tree growing out of the rock.

I loved being with this guy.

As we neared the top, we could look down and spot our van, the kids, and the logging town.

Here's a much better one of the bush. Greens, yellows, oranges, fushias, and fiery reds.

When we approached the very top, we found a stone formation, much like an altar. We could also see the lakes from miles away.

At the very top were two men who manned the power station and telecom towers. They were so very happy to see someone; they invited us in and offered us Coca-Cola. They had 1 cup up there. We asked for a bit of water and shared our cup, very happy for the cold drink. They live up there for a week, then come down and work as forest rangers, trading off with another pair.

And now I must say that, though I am humbled to post this (and can NOT stand this first picture), I would not have been able to do this hike and would not have even considered it, about 3 months ago. I've made some healthy changes in my life, by God's grace. I'm hitting the 40's, looking ahead, wanting to stay healthy. So, here goes. Before and After.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Camping Escape: Part II

The next morning we woke up to the call to prayer from this tiny logging town next to us.

The kids began exploring, having fun.

We did have a small water source. Turks built these little wells throughout the countryside. Fresh groundwater ran continually from it.

I decided this would be the perfect time to take my daily walk, so I headed out.

I strapped on my camera and found some beautiful plant life, thriving in a hot, dry climate.

There was also a tiny cabin, unoccupied.

Meanwhile, CC got some much needed sleep.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Camping Escape: Part I

We want to be a camping family. Problem is that where we go to camp, it starts getting VERY cold VERY quickly. So, we knew that we needed to get our annual camping trip on the calendar soon. Thoughts of huddling with my face entirely encased in my mummy sleeping bag were highly motivating. So, a couple of weekends into school, we loaded the kids up as soon as volleyball practice was done. We drove up to Isik Dag (Light Mountain) and Kizilcihamam for our adventure. We simply can't get there before nighfall unless the kids miss sports, so we (we? I was in the van!) set up the tent by car lights and flashlights.

I had a fun surprise for EVERYONE! I'd found myself a thin little air mattress to take along! I left the last time (2 years ago) with a sore back. I was teased more than once by my sweet husband that I had only picked up 1 for myself. But oh, it was nice. I felt no rocks this year!

The next morning, the girls enjoyed tying up their hammocks they'd bought themselves this summer. This picture makes me think of Psalm 1:1.

It's a beautiful place, just the thing to get away from the stress of the city and work.

Monday, October 5, 2015

First Day Victory Lap

School officially launched! We've come a long way from the original 70 kids we had 12 years ago!

CC posed his questions...What does Oasis stand for? He used to offer 5 Turkish Lira to a student who could get it right. He's up it to 10...inflation and all.

And then we began our yearly tradition, 12 years now, of walking around our campus with the Turkish flag and the Oasis flag, carried by 2 seniors. It's a time of quiet and reflection and gratitude.

And just this year, as we've gone up to 270 students, we stretched as an entire circle around the campus. We finally did it. And this would be our last year to do this here. God has provided a new campus into which we will be moving June 2015. We are so grateful. But this was a little bittersweet. The first time we did it, Firstborn was in Kindergarten.

Bring it on, we're ready for 2015-16!

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