Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Campbell Christmas Part II

After our Christmas breakfast, we opened gifts. It is always so very strange to see the kids in the neighborhood going to school. It's something I'll never get used to.

One thing I loved this year was watching the kids open their gifts from each other. CC took them to the Dollar Tree this summer and let them pick out gifts for siblings. I love this picture! Sweet Cheeks was so happy with her unicorn riding stick!
And the hit of the day for Big Ben was his drill! He drilled everything..chairs, tables, couches, even my knees. One of these days my knees may need to be drilled!
CC's biggest surprise of the year was the Redskins t-shirt I got him, and a matching one for Big Ben. Oh, it was hard for this Cowboys fan to do it, but love enabled me. But now I get email from
The kids were so happy with their gifts, and we had so much fun watching them open them!
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Campbell Christmas Part I

How do you celebrate Christmas morning? For 10 years now, we start the day by waking the youngest Campbell, singing (and CC playing the guitar) Away In a Manger. This was, perhaps, our last year to have a "baby" to wake up.
Then we let the kids open their stockings.
And we always have some type of breakfast casserole and a birthday cake for Jesus...with 3 birthday candles, for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This year I also made homemade hash browns.
Merry Christmas morn!
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve Party

Thursday night we had our Annual Christmas Eve Eve party for any staff "leftovers." (Leftovers are those of us "leftover" when the rest head to the US for Christmas.) We had a great time! These boys are all growing up, but still had time to play with some of Big Ben's toys, much to his delight.
We even had some of our old-timers, back in town, join us.
Can you tell why all these kids might be drawn to this guy in the middle?
My buddy, C, was back in town for the holiday from her new home in North Africa. (She brought me Golden Graham cereal, shhhh, no one in the house knows but me.)
And my little Miss Middler met a new friend, who works at our school in Indonesia and is visiting her sister, and who just happens to have the same first name... Charity.
We had a great time! To end it all my buddy (Brenda/Auntie/Miss Morton) popped open a can of confetti (picture coming later) which has been very much like the bird seed we had throw on us at our wedding...we kept finding it weeks later! CC even vacuumed it off the ceiling, tee hee! Thanks for coming, ya'll!
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cousins' Christmas Party

We decided long ago, if we all had to be so very far away from family, we'd just become family to each other. The beautiful girl next to Firstborn is now in college, but was in junior high when we all came. The young man is a Senior, but was in 5th grade when we came. These kids have been 'cousins' to each other since that first year. And so, we once again had the Cousins' Christmas Party. My kids get to go to their house and make a craft, eat lunch, and just have a fun family Christmas party. It's one of the highlights of the year for my kids. Next year, Big Ben gets to go. Watch out.
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

A certain box which contained oranges became a wonderful manger this week. The sheep are all there, along with a pink pony. The shepherd even found a staff. And the angel, in the shape of a glow worm, lights up.
Merry Christmas! Thank you, Jesus, for coming.
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Mall Madness

Last Friday was our official final day of school for 2010. A sweet friend, Grandma Magee, who I met when Twinkle Toes was a newborn, always sends us a check at Thanksgiving and tells me to fill the girls' Christmas stockings with gifts bought by her check. This year, we treated them all to the 3D movie Voyage of the Dawn Treader. We are HUGE Narnia fans. Ross read all the books when he was a young boy. I received the set one Christmas from my Uncle Gordon. It's so much fun for us to re-live them with our kids. Papa has read the girls three of the series so far.
So we headed to the only mall showing the movie in English. There, we found great Christmas lights! Technically, here they are "New Year's" decorations.

Though we were perhaps the only people in the theater who understood it, our favorite line by far was when Aslan says, "You will know Me by another name in your world." Indeed!
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Reception

One of our school families owns a Ramada Hotel in town. To show Christmas cheer and appreciation for the school, they hosted a reception for us. We had so much fun!

Isn't this amazing? Those silver spoons, however, did not contain chocolate mousse. It was liver pate. "Oh," I thought, with my mouth full.

This is one of my students...Erin.
What a fun way to kick off the holiday weeks!
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Food Face

Let's see: parsely salad eyebrows, roll eyes, bulgar cheeks, soy bean nose, chicken leg mouth. That about covers it.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Help Me!

Below is a photo of my babies' crib that I sold yesterday. It just went right out the door. Big Ben is nearly 35 pounds now. He hasn't crashed through it since CC put reinforcing brackets in it, but it's time for a big boy bed. Someone help me! Someone tell me I might have grand kids in about 15 years!!! We've had a crib in our house since 1999. Sigh.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

The Last Day for School in 2010

This last Friday of school in 2010 is always a big day for us! The teachers organize very purposeful parties for the kids. For many, it will be the first, and perhaps the only, time the Christmas story is ever told to them. So, it's a Big Day. I offered my help and was asked to organize one of the 4 "rooms" which the kids visit. They go to a singing room, a craft room, a Bible story room, and a game room. I was in charge of games. We threw cotton (snow) balls all over the floor, picked them up with spoons in mitten-clad hands, and dropped them in snow buckets...all with a timer. It was fun!

But I approached this day with guns ready (or my Sword, I should say) because on our "Big Days" like this, when it is more natural and more acceptable to share Him due to the holiday, the Enemy always gets busy.

Today he got busy by having 2 policemen knock at my door. They said my neighbor had called them about me. "Why?" I asked. Their reply, "You can not shake your rugs out of the windows, the dust disturbs her. She says you do this." I explained that I had not done it. (Even though it is illogical to follow this rule of hers, as all her balconies are glassed in and no dust can enter, I have agreed to it to appease her.) So then I called my Turkish friend to help translate for me and explain to them that I have not done this, but that this neighbor has some problems, and I simply want her to leave me alone. And then Big Ben appeared at my side. And grinned at them. They melted. They were much kinder than the last police that came. They winked at him, tried to get him to come shake their hands. Big Ben must have sensed they meant me no harm. (Sometimes when he senses otherwise, he gives a grumpy face.) He played peek-a-boo with them.

Even though they were kind, it was still unnerving. A policeman in a foreign country, called to your door by your neighbor who is chronically angry at you and not playing with a full deck, is still scary. I teared up a bit, and they said, "Oh. Please don't cry." I think it was out of frustration more than fear.

I called CC. He said, "Don't you worry. This is my problem, let me take care of it."

And then it occurred to me. When, of all times, did this happen? Exactly 5 minutes before I was heading out the door to school to help the teachers while they teach the Truth.

After all the parties were over and kids hugged goodbye and wished a Merry Christmas, I opened a note from a friend, written today, which said, "I am so grateful for your choice to come to Turkey...I don't think we'd still be here if you guys weren't here. Our boys have been blessed and built up in their faith, as well as given a great education. Thank you for your love for the kids-God has given you a great opportunity in each of their lives, and I thank God for this school everytime I am reminded of the places these kids are from."

I think God got the last word in on this day afterall. Amen.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Party 2010

Saturday night we hosted our staff Christmas party. Around 40 folks tromped through the snow and came in to warm up with wassail. Our teachers are a fun group of folks!

We had such a great time. Eating. Reading the Christmas story. Singing. Then we did the annual gift exchange. You know the one...where you can steal people's gifts. The gifts that keep getting stolen at our parties are food products from America like Cheese Nips!

Here's my long-time friend Jenna. I like her a lot!

It's a highlight for us each year to host this!

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Perhaps My Favorite Winter Post

I couldn't wait to post this. Here's our neighborhood after our big snow. When we came home from breakfast, the middle girls stayed out from 10:30AM til 3:30PM. No hot chocolate break. No warm mitten requests. Just solid snow play for 5 hours. Oh, to be that young, huh? CC told them he'd join them, so in the afternoon he did.
And he helped them sculp this!
My husband has all these hidden talents! But beyond that fun discovery, a neighbor watched him do it for hours, without CC knowing. This neighbor later came out and expressed his fascination, but then said, "But what is this table you are carving?" CC got to explain the Christmas story with him (the first time he'd ever heard it) and why he carved this.
The next day, some boys destroyed it...hit it over and over with a big stick. Much like what happened in real life, so long ago.
Glory to God in the Highest and Peace on Earth to Men! I'm thankful I've found that peace, have you found it?
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Our First Snow!

They called for some snow! And the weathermen were right! Just as we left the school from the Friday night Christmas concert...singing about white Christmases and such, the rain turned to snow. We woke Saturday morning to this beauty!
I told Firstborn this has become my all-time favorite picture of her.
We decided to walk down the hill to our breakfast spot. It's CC favorite time of the week. How could we miss it just because of 6 inches of snow?
There was much snowball throwing, frolicking, and tromping as we walked.
But this little guy got tired. Thankfully, he's got a strong Papa to carry him.
The hot eggs and fried bread tasted all the better after a walk in the snow to get there.
This little man didn't care for the snow. It's cold. It's wet. His boots are hard to walk in.
There's something about that first snow of each winter, isn't there?
This little girl was such a trooper. She marched on down to get her food and never complained once.

Though he didn't like the snow, he was fascinated by the snow on the cars.

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