After all, we do live .....here....
Friday, December 30, 2011
Our first day, we took the kids to swim in the hotel pool. It's an act of love, trust me. Turks believe making the pool warm will breed bacteria. Everytime we take them swimming, I have to remind myself someday I'll look back on this and laugh. It is so.very.cold. I get in, splash, laugh, hold my little boy who doesn't know how to swim. And just as soon as everyone has noted that Mom did indeed swim with them, I curl up in a towel on the side and begin the yearly thaw. We also walked across the street to the beach. Miss Middler picked me this flower and took my picture.
We got to Antalya just after the sunset. Just in time to wear our new pajamas from Mimi that night!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
And finally....we made it to Christmas! The Campbell traditions were carried on this year. We began the morning with CC on his guitar, playing "Away in a Manger" to wake the youngest Campbell, something we've done since we just had 1 baby. The youngest Campbell complied by sleeping in late, after a big night of staying up late to party. Then we opened stockings, stuffed to the max and waiting in front of the fireplace.
We then spent some time praising God for this wonderful reason to celebrate, then began our Christmas brunch with a birthday cake for Jesus. Three candles represent the Trinity. We all sing, we all blow them out. Big Ben asked if God was getting presents. I told him the amazing thing is that on His own birthday, He gives the present: Himself.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Our tradition in Turkey has always been to host a big party on December 23rd for any staff and staff kids who are staying in country for the holiday. We had such a great time with the 4 families and 2 singles who joined us. Here's the kids' table.
Big Ben had a big time roughhousing with all the boys at the party.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
I also made new crab dip and a salad with mushrooms, brussels sprouts, and tomatoes.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
The next reward day was Sweet Cheeks' day. She chose a hot chocolate and mall time. We sipped a drink, while she sat on the big, comfy chair at Starbucks. Then we walked through a toy store, not to buy, but to browse. It was fun! And added bonus for us was that this toy store routinely plays English kids' music, though they do not necessarily know what the songs say. Guess what we heard? This Little Light of Mine! (Remember the rocks and trees will even cry out to praise Him?) I have to believe the timing of that was a special gift from God to us.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
And our precious student Lin, recently diagnosed with cancer, went with us and stood on the sidelines, watching her classmates skate. And then I got an idea. I asked the ice rink "helper" if he would take her for a spin. He was more than happy to do it. I think there were more than a couple of us with a tear to wipe away.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Here's Sweet Cheeks getting set up on the bench encased in her dress poof.
God is in control. Please pray for my girls who say goodbye this week.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
One of our favorite times of the year is Christmas because we get to have the whole staff over for a party! We've grown a little since our first year, when we had 8 on staff. (CC in the back middle looks like he's growing some wings this Christmas!) Amazingly, CC is able to set up the den and bring in balcony chairs so that everyone in this group has a seat! We always eat a great potluck meal, listen to the Biblical Christmas story, sing carols, and then have a gift exchange game.
There's nothing cuter than a 4th grader, in my opinion!