Friday, July 15, 2011

Mmm mmm good! Memphis time

I haven't blogged much, I guess I am too busy living life. Maybe my social teacup is staying full. But I want to catch up on blogs to keep a record of this fun summer! We had a wonderful two weeks in Memphis. My upcoming posts will be about our time there. To start, here are my in-laws. We had a delicious Sunday lunch together...roast, gravy, potatoes, green beans, carrots, salad, Sister Shubert rolls, mmmm. A perfect Southern meal!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Gulf Coast Part III

I can not even tell you how many times we attempted to take this picture. Her hair was wrong. My eyes were closed. My hair looked like her hair. It was junior high all over again.

For both of us, it was a time of renewal in the Lord as we enjoyed time to reflect on our stage of life....parenting pre-teens with little ones still in tow. Reading the Bible and reading magazines like Above Rubies and No Greater Joy renewed both of us spiritually. It's good to get reminders every now and then that in the long run, doing it God's way will pay off.

The road trip was also fun.

Thank you, S, (And S's husband...And CC...) for giving us this time away.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gulf Shores Part II

Pretty much our schedule for each day was...wake up late and have a nice long quiet time with coffee...hit the beach...fix lunch for ourselves only (read here: no sippy cups)...hit the beach or pool in the afternoon....get a delicious Gulf Coast seafood a rented chick flick until we were falling asleep.

I am not sure I realized how much I needed a little break like this, but I soaked up the sun, the surf, the seafood, the friend time. And by Friday, I was very ready to come home and fill a sippy cup again!

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gulf Shores Trip Part I

My friend S and I have been buddies since 7th and 8th grade. We've stayed close and have many, many memories. When she hit her 40th this year, her husband offered her a kid-free trip to the Alabama coast with a friend. Guess who got to go? me!I picked the week my big girls were at camp so CC would just have the Turks. (Word has it they slept with him every night!) Here are a few pictures of our first day.

Found in an Alabama gas station. I had to take this for Papa, a.k.a. Campbell Clansman.

Don't you love Alabama?

A sweet, sweet friend loaned us her condo right on the beach.

Our first night we had steamed seafood....mmmmmm. You know it is going to be good when you have to use pliers to get the meat out!

Here we are, friends, 25 years later, perhaps a little wiser. (Please no one ask me why I have lipstick on at the beach. It's just who I am.)

A special gift from God was the sighting of some dolphins the first day. I did make sure none of them were named Jaws.

More pics from Alabama later!

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Friday, July 8, 2011


The Singapore Girls got to go to camp this summer. We are so blessed by this camp. I used to work there as a teen and it's very much how it always was. We drove them up and got them settled in their bunks, with many assurances by them that they were excited and ready to have a week there without us. (Having cousins on both sides of the family at the camp with them helps!) When I left Twinkle Toes, she was impressing the crowd with her ability to fearlessly pick up an enormous bug on a stick, thereby making all of them scream and run away. (I was thinking how nice it was to just let them scream! That's camp, I thought! Screaming at bugs!)

And when I picked them up from camp, I found that God had met my family's needs beyond my wildest dreams. One of the camp speakers was Firstborn's 5th grade teacher, not even from our state. This may be hard for me to verbalize, but my kids are true TCK's...Third Culture Kids...meaning they don't exactly fit in "there," but they don't exactly fit in "here" either. And so they sort of develop their own "third" culture. But for them, to have their teacher there, who knows them, knows why they live in Turkey, just really validated for them why we are there. The camp director had so much fun with it, he even began calling out cabin sweet shop time in Turkish, so all the kids had to ask my girls to translate if it was time for them to go buy their sweets. Something small like that meant a great deal to me from my Big God!

They hung out with cousins, learned a lot, and even made new friends. On the drive home, I asked about the little girl in this picture, whose eyes were full of tears upon saying goodbye. They said she had come to camp without friends, but they be-friended her early on. Her daddy is in prison; she admitted she may not even recognize him when she turns 18 and is allowed to see him. They live far out and don't go to church much. This camp and her new friends meant the world to her. She didn't want to leave. I admit I had a lump in my throat watching her say goodbye.

And then we began the drive home...swapping stories and reminding them not to interupt each other as they all had so much to say. And then I asked about showers,meals, teeth brushing, lake swimming....all that mom stuff. Have a look at these feet!

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Boy Cousins

Somehow Big Ben just sort of has this "Boy Cousin Radar." Prior to even arriving in the US, he was asking for "Jo Jo" and "Thombo" before we even got on the plane. The kid lives with four older sisters, who treat him like a king, but still, a guy just needs an older boy cousin sometimes. Here he is, early on in our trip, still jetlagged, but happy to be zonked out next to his big buddy.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Monster Cookie Mania

My kids are blessed to have all 4 grandparents, all of whom know the Lord and love their grandkids. One of the fun things about grandparents, I think, is that they've gotten old and wise enough to know that time is precious. They make the time to enjoy being with their grandkids, no longer stressed with the ins and outs of the day. This summer my mom suggested a Monster Cookie Making and Baking session with the older grandkids. They LOVED it. We used to make Monster Cookies for the trip to see my Granny in Virginia. The recipe makes about 144 cookies. I don't have it with me here where I am blogging, but if anyone is interested, I'll post it. Warning: it involves ingredients measured in pounds, not cups!

She had it all measured out. The kids' job was the pour in the 'stuff,' and STIR with wooden spoons without breaking them. If you attempt to make them, you'll understand why no mixers are allowed.

The reward? A big wooden spoon for each to lick. And a few cookies. But unfortunately for these kids, their grandma was a teacher. She counted the cookies left on the counter before she left the house.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Isn't it nice to know some things are still "in"? Slip-n-slides are one of them. One hot afternoon, I pulled out the slip-n-slide (the one we've duct-taped) for some of the kids who wanted to cool off. There are so many poses and fun things to do...

Running start with a sit down slide....

Dives with a twist...

On your belly with big splashes in the face...

Going down in pairs...

...And then there's always the, "Just sitting in the little pooled up water, letting your hair down because it's so long now and pretty now" idea. (Yes, this is what she said to me.)

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Lightning Bugs

We don't have lightning bugs in Turkey. I am not sure why! Upon her arrival, Firstborn made all the cousins and sisters a lightning bug collecting jar. I remember catching them with my cousins Christi and Holli when we were little. We would all sleep in the basement, with our bugs as our nightlight. Of course, by morning they all stank or were dead (the bugs, that is!). But what better reason to stay up late in summer? I can't think of one!
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