Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Here's a happy grandma with a severely jet-lagged baby.
And a happy grandaddy wearing his "Grandpa to the 11th power" t-shirt. Big Ben had one little casualty on the flight. Perma-Baby got a bit too excited and accidentally poked him in the eye, as you can see below.
Only in Nashville would there be rocking chairs in the airport! We're a long way from home! (Well, that other home, I mean.)
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
So when my sweet little Kazakhstani friend called and asked me to dine with her tonight, I wasn't so sure. Time, I need more time. But my heart is full of love for her and I want to encourage her in her new walk, so I said, "Sure. What time?"
We met tonight, on a breezy deck. We had steak wraps. They were delicious. We caught up, we wished one another a good summer. At the end of our meal, she insisted we have some Turkish tea. Rather than the normal teacup with 2 little lumps of sugar, out came a rectangular plate. On it was the teacup, the spoon, a mini vase with a single wildflower, a homemade cookie, and 2 drops of freshly spun hard candy. And it was free. The tea presentation was symbolic of the breath of fresh air I needed. I'm so glad I went.
I left this house worn out, hardly able to answer a question, let alone the hundreds of questions my children were asking me about our flight/what time they get to wake up in the middle of the night/what should be packed in each carry on. I returned well fed, refreshed, and enriched from time with a friend. Sometimes, I think, when we think we need to do something the least, we need to do it the most.
And now, I am off to bed. I'll finish the packing later.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I did send my phone in case of an emergency. The phone rang, and she said, "Mom!!!! Did you know diapers are 23 lira?!" Yes, I did know. 5 expensive bottoms, I've had.
Yes, that picture was posed. However, 15 seconds before it was taken, that is exactly what I saw...unposed. I had called the Campbell Clansman to see if he needed me to make him lunch. He replied that he already had ordered a pizza with his staff. So I casually remarked, "Ok, no fried bologna sandwich for you..." He must have told the girls on their walk home that they were getting this for lunch. They ran in, hung their backpacks, washed their hands, then thanked God for their lunch with their sandwiches as close to their mouths as possible.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Miss Middler at the start...
...and finish of 1st grade.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
My menu was varied: fresh fruit, chips with a spinach dip, strawberry cream pie, Aunt Nina Belle's chocolate chip pound cake, crescent rolls, chili crab dip (thanks, Katie Warren!), strawberry banana punch, and of course (what Turkish party would be complete without...) TEA!
Friday, June 12, 2009
We had a nice visit. We discussed the unruly wild dogs running through our streets (and subtly hinted that since my neighbor's husband is the Mayor, he could deal with the problem). We discussed the weather. We discussed allergies. We discussed children and their bedtimes. We discussed what they want me to bring them from the US. We discussed what America looks like in Tennessee. We discussed the green card lottery one lady's daughter won, and how she didn't want her to go because she'd miss her. As I proceeded up the steps to her terrace, I breathed a prayer, "Lord, help me. Help my Turkish." He answered with this sweet lady who had lived in America for a short time. We used some English, some Turkish, and basically were able to communicate for all to understand. Her daughter's name is Ece, which means "Queen." I told her my daughter was named for a Queen in the Bible.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
One side with ketchup smiley faces.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Today we went to the Anitkabir, which is the memorial place for Attaturk, who is considered the Father of Modern Turkey. He did much to help this country. He prevented it from being carved up and divided among other countries. He also helped it to be established as a secular country, which is why I can now live here without a head covering and can read Turkish words with a familiar alphabet.
At one point there was fanfare, and we were told to wait to go in the next exhibit for 15 minutes. As it turns out, our beloved country Singapore was honoring Attaturk with a wreath at his tomb. Firstborn was born in Singapore. It's hard to explain this feeling I get sometimes, but I think God just wants to remind us that He was with us then, and He is with us now.
I was able to catch a guard change on video.
Perhaps the most special part of the day for me was to meet some students from a deaf school. As soon as they saw us, they all began doing a motion under their chins. I had to know what it meant. "Foreigner." was my guess. Later the teacher and I spoke. He asked about our students and where they were from. He told me about his students. He said that motion was "European." They assumed we were from Europe. The kids were just precious. One kept asking me for my watch. I thought he wanted to know the time, no he wanted my watch! The teacher and I talked for quite a while, and he had to tell everyone there I have 5 kids. Then everyone had a good laugh at their shocked reaction...over and over and over. In the end, I asked to take their photo (which I accidentally took as a video) and gave him my card. He said he'd love for our schools to somehow link. As my friend wisely said, "Every positive interaction with us is good." Indeed.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Part of the process of "gettin' it fixed" is to submit paperwork, signed statements, ultrasounds, and photos to a doctor, who in turn submits them to my insurance company.
So last night I photographed my 'bad' leg. Then I downloaded (or is it uploaded?) them to my computer. Then I needed to prepare an email with the attached photos to send to the gal in the doctor's office who handles all this.
Just as I got them ready to send, a little box floated across my screen. The box was from smilebox, an email greeting card company. It had picked up my 'new photos' and had a message for me..."New photos have arrived! Why not send a greeting card?" Before I knew it, my bad leg was floating across the screen in a greeting card. My computer needs a brain.
I decided not to send it to you. You're welcome.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Our original crew of 6 is dwindling to just 4 of us after this year. We welcome the new folks, thankful for their sacrifice to come. We also cling to those with whom we have a history. They have become family.
Tonight was just one more installment in the finish of the 2008-2009 school year.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Here are a few...
a time to say goodbyes, some of them permanent...
..and others just for the summer.