Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Day 2012-13 School Year

It's a new school year! Here are my wonderful kids on the first day.
 Miss Middler going into 5th grade.
 Firstborn going into 8th.
 Sweet Cheeks going into 2nd.
 Twinkle Toes going into 6th.
 And my little guy going into K4.
 Oh, and here's me...going back into 3rd! (My first day of teaching full time in 13 years!)
 "D" is for Director!
We are so thankful to be a part of this wonderful, God-inspired school!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How To Make Korean Bulgogi

My sweet Korean friend offered a mini cooking demonstration to me and a couple of friends. I jumped at the chance...Korean food is some of my favorite. (The Koreans at our school don't know that their food is the real reason we have International Day.) Would you like to know how to make bulgogi, a favorite in Korea? Here's what she showed me.

Rinse your beef, letting it soak in water a few minutes.
 Ingredients: 800 gm (or almost 1 lb) of beef (in Turkish, it could be antrikot, contrafile); 1 onion, 350 gm (or about 12 ounces) or mushrooms; 1 carrot; 2-3 green onions; 1 Tbsp red wine; 4 Tbsp soy sauce; 2 tsp garlic powder; 1 tsp black pepper; 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds; 2 tsp sesame oil; 1 Tbsp of honey; 2 Tbsp white sugar
 Slice the onion into half-moons, then thin strips.
 The beef should be sliced, long ways, then into small bite-sized strips.
Carrots should be cut into matchsticks. Also cut the mushrooms (small slices) and the green onion (small pieces).
First add all of the sauces and spices to the beef. Then toss in the onion, carrots, mushroom, green onion. Place it in the fridge for about an hour if you have time.
Stir fry about 1/2 the batch at a time. As it begins to cook, taste test. Our Korean friend added up to 2-3 Tbsp of sugar and soy sauce each to that half-batch at this point.
 Serve with some sticky rice. This wouldn't last long at my house!
I'm putting this one on our meal rotation. Anyone have a favorite Asian dish to add? Send me a comment and I'll post your recipe!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Waiting for School to Start

It's the week before school starts. The kids have all attended VBS at our local military base chapel. Firstborn was asked to lead the worship, she's done an amazing job. At 13, she and her friends have coordinated all the practices together, learned their songs, and performed well.
 Most of the afternoons are spent at the park, chatting with friends, enjoying those last few days of freedom.
Big Ben is still finding his way to the hallway outside his sisters' rooms. On this night, he also packed some heat (3 guns slept beside him.)
And we've been busy with inservice meetings and getting a school year ready to launch. We did enjoy a night out with fellow staff members to celebrate the birthday of our fourth grade teacher. There's something about getting out of school and having a few cups of Turkish tea that suddenly made all those inservice videos incredibly funny.
And in just 3 days we launch!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Darling T-Shirts

My amazingly talented sister-in-law created these t-shirts to sell to raise funds to adopt two sweet little African twin boys. (My mom's going to get her Baker's Dozen...13 grandkids.) She also is offering to make them in the shape of Turkey with the heart applique on it. I am guessing she could stick that heart on any city...Ankara, Izmir, Istanbul, you name it!) Please see her etsy shop if you are interested in making a purchase. As for me, I'm dreaming of meeting my two new sweet dark-skinned nephews!

Here's the link you need:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Doing What I Love

I just can't believe the time has finally come for me to step back into the classroom full time. Thirteen years ago, I carried my precious firstborn daughter inside and finished my last "full time" posting as a teacher. Since then, I've taught part-time Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, 7th grade English, and Spanish I. I've also been the Curriculum Coordinator. But here I am, back up in the classroom batter's box.

And I'm so happy.

We flew back in and I unpacked our suitcases. The big girls and I cleaned the house from the layer of summer dust. And by Tuesday morning, I headed into my classroom. The feeling that came over me was really indescribable. It's MY classroom, again. They will be MY students. There's a full year ahead, 180 days of school, given to me to challenge, enjoy, love, discipline my eager students. And for them, there's only one third grade and only one third grade teacher. I want to be the best I can be.

I suppose my blog will take on a new subject from time to time....teaching. I briefly considered starting a second blog, but decided to keep it all together.

We have one week of teacher in-service and begin on August 27.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Tooth Club, Finally!

Sweet Cheeks was the only first grader to complete the year without being able to be in the "Tooth Club." She kept telling us she had a loose tooth this, but I was skeptical until Uncle David (our dentist) confirmed it this summer. She kept wiggling it. We started to tease a bit that she couldn't go into second grade until she had lost a tooth. Sure enough, it came out this week...just a week or so before our big second grader goes to school!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Going Home and Beyond

Our flight home was great. I really mean that. The kids are good at traveling.
And once we landed, we felt loved on this side too. My friend B met us at the airport with waters and snacks for kids who had slept through several meals.

And then we began the week-long jetlag detox. Big Ben has slept on his oldest sister's floor every night since we've been home.
He says he "wikes the gwound."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Final Days in the USA

Goodbye to cousins.
 Goodbye to fun summer sleepovers.
 Goodbye to sisters.
 Goodbye to friends.
 Goodbye to summer afternoons in ice cream parlors.
Goodbye to the annual family photo.

Goodbye to cousin wrestling.
Goodbye to tractor rides.
Goodbye to tractor driving.
Goodbye to forced kissing.
Goodbye America, it's been a great summer! See you in 2013!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Good Spoiling

I have the sweetest twin cousins. I idolized them growing up (perhaps still do!). They were my matrons-of-honor when I married. Just before I flew out, we met up and they treated my sis-in-law and me to a good day of spoiling!
I got new glasses just before moving to Turkey. Whatcha think?
There was no question about where to last sushi meal!
I love all these girls! Thanks for making me feel special!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Off to Kansas Part II

We spent Friday night in Kansas, and the wedding was in the afternoon on Saturday. My girls were asked to help at the wedding, and they were surprised with a beautiful corsage to wear when we arrived.
The bride was beautiful! She wore her mother's dress, a classic.
And I happen to think the servers were cute, too.
Jenna brought Turkish delight for the guests. The girls got to hand it out, as well as bubbles at the end.

We had the added blessing of seeing many of our Turkey folks at the wedding. All but one of these good people have moved on. Once again, we had some goodbyes.

And then it was back on our little puddle jumper to go home.

Off to Kansas Part I

This summer we got to go see our sweet friend Jenna get married. She's like a little sis to me and has taught with us for 7 years. She's very special to my girls, as well. She basically adopted them and became their aunt while she lived here. We were trying to figure out how to make it to her wedding, especially for Firstborn and me, when Jenna offered us some travel vouchers. She had written an essay about her little local airline Seaport and won 4 free vouchers from Memphis to Salina, Kansas. She said she had no plans to use them. We took her up on it! The afternoon came for the trip. It was really weird to just have 2 of our 5 kids. We remembered one long car drive up to Malaysia we had with just these two daughters when they were babies.

We quickly discovered Seaport Airlines has its own hangar. A minivan picked us up and took us across the street to the place where it loads. There we were greeted by our pilot, our luggage was weighed (to make sure it wasn't too heavy for the plane), and there was no security whatsoever.

A small plane with two growing girls.
Our pilot loaded our luggage! It was an 8-seater. Just before we arrived, CC asked if I thought there might be a bathroom aboard. "Of course," I said, "Every plane has a bathroom." Not this one! It was tiny! We determined that there is no need to take our kids to Disneyworld, this provided enough thrills in the air to cover us!

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