Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sweet Cheek's 2013 Goals

Sweet Cheeks' sweet teacher gave them a paper at the dawn of 2013. It said, "What are your goals for 2013?" Then, "How will you reach that goal?" 

She was so inspired. She wrote:

Goal: Lose a tooth
How to Reach That Goal: Wiggle it.

Well done. And may we all reach our goals that quickly.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

One Last 2012 Project

Firstborn got an adorable headband for Christmas from her Aunt K. (Or as we say, Aunt Boo.) We made a pattern from it and made some more. The top one was the gift. The bottom two we made from scraps I had.
And then nightfall came and our two and a half weeks of fun, family, and frenzy were over. Back to school! Time to begin 2013! Did you accomplish any mini-projects during the holiday? I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Final Days of 2012

We had just a couple of days after my family left before school started. (We went back on Jan. 2.) I knew I needed to get in my classroom and get it ready for January, as well as finish lesson plans and photocopying. But I also knew I had some important things to do at home. So, I took one day to work at school, then I took one day to...bake cookies with the cutest little girl in the world.
She suggested we make the Peanut Butter Blossoms with the peppermint kisses and sprinkles instead.
I liked them a lot. And since we knew everyone else in the house would, as well, we posted a sign.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy Birthday to Two Special People

Eleven years ago today, I was one day past my due date. I went in to see my Chinese doctor (in Singapore). I was starting to lose some amniotic fluid, so he wanted to induce my labor right then. This was the third time around, so I didn't really feel fear at that point. But when the nurse came in to give me my hospital gown, it occurred to me that I would be having this sweet baby, boy or girl, on my mom's birthday. I cried tears of joy. The nurse tried to comfort me, and I said, "No, no, I'm just happy. It's my mom's birthday." She said something like, "Oh, she will be a happy mummy, lah!"

And with that little shot and a natural labor, Charity Esther Campbell appeared three hours later. She was the most beautiful baby, no marks or scars, and the roundest reddest lips we'd ever seen.
 And to think she shares a birthday with someone who is a beautiful, godly example of what it means to know and walk with Jesus. Happy 11th, Esther! And happy 70th, Mom!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Visit to Turkey: Final Day and Goodbyes

We drove back to Ankara, enjoying the 8 hour drive. There are plenty of shepherds and flocks to see, plenty of things to talk about, and one McDonald's on the way home to break up the trip. Our last day together in Turkey, we took them to find some gifts to take back. We also went to a pazaar (market) for fun. That night, we turned on a movie, left all 11 kids home alone, and had a nice dinner out. Where else to take them, but Hacibaba's? We had them spell the Fish family name on our bread with the sesame seeds.

And then, the goodbyes. We all got up at 2AM to say goodbye. Lots of hugs, a few tears, well-wishes for a safe trip home. The next day was hard. There were lots of reminders that they were gone. I am so very thankful we got to have this Christmas here together. Thanks for reading my posts about it. Grandma brought us poptarts. Big Ben ate one the very next morning!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Visit to Turkey: Final Day (at the beach)

We decided for our last day at this beautiful mountain/coastline, to stay put. We let the kids enjoy some ocean/beach time (and cousin time!)

They built sandcastles. I wanted a picture of this one.

And as the sunset, I took this picture of the place I love so much, on the last day with people I love so much.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Visit to Turkey: Finishing Olympos

We loved Olympos. It was fun for everyone, and no one had to go to the ER! It was a good day! CC especially wanted my parents to see the church. It was a Byzantine church. Someone had constructed this little log bridge to help us cross. We crossed one at a time and said, "No jumping on the bridge!" It looked like the kind that trolls live under to me.

It is very hard to see, but we found a cross on the old church.
This is perhaps my favorite picture from the holiday. Dad...healthy...and me, happy to be with him!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Visit to Turkey: The Chimaera and Olympos

 We wanted to take the kids to see the Chimaera. This strange little mountain side emits a natural gas. Even scientists have not yet fully uncovered what chemical make-up it is. When the gas comes out of the rocky mountain and hits the oxygen in the air, it ignites. Too bad we didn't bring marshmallows!

Turkey, in my opinion, is ruggedly beautiful. Like these two...rugged. beautiful.
 Most of the grandkids went up...the grandparents stayed down as the hike was strenuous. Sweet Cheeks decided to stay with them. While waiting, they had tea and oranges from a sweet little man who looks after the mountain and the tourists who visit it.
 After the Chimaera, we went to Olympos. Upon entering, we saw this little Turkish girl with two puppies in her little push car. She was quite the extrovert. She chose which kids should hold which puppy. I asked her how old she was. I got her name, age, all kinds of information. Then I asked if I could take her picture. She sprang into action and arranged all our kids as she wanted them. Something tells me she'll be running the entire place, and her mama's orange orchard, before too long.
 Dad and Mom really enjoyed seeing the ancient city, so many walls still intact.
 As you can see, you hike back along this rocky mountain wall...go through this little archway where Big Ben is standing....
...and come out to this. It's just beautiful. Narnian, I think.
My brother was a real trooper, in spite of some pain, I am sure.
 And if you look carefully at the top part of this picture, you can see the carefully crafted castle walls and even an arched door. This was built by the Genoans to guard against pirates.

Never mind the chill. The kids wished for swimsuits, but instead took off their shoes and got right into the Mediterranean Sea.
To complete our day, we walked back through this little town and visited the church. I'll post that tomorrow.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Edition: What Happened In Between Perge I and II

As we toured the ruins, a rock gave way and my brother fell about 4 ft. He knew immediately he had broken his arm. We loaded everyone up and head into the city of Antalya with no clue how to get to the hospital. I had seen a sign that said "Memorial Hospital" and made the assumption it might be a private hospital and our best hope for an English-speaking doctor. CC called the number on it as he drove. They re-directed his call to Istanbul.

Someone there told him to just drive to the center of the city, on the main street, and he would find the main hospital. And so we drove. We passed several small clinics, but just felt this needed a big hospital. It was very swollen and painful at this point and visibly broken. At one point, CC said he was just praying God would show him where to go, when he felt he needed to turn off. He said that he felt maybe to continue straight might take him out of the big city. With that, the Lord put us on the right road. He drove for awhile, then stopped to ask a man on the street, who told him to take the next right. Truly, there was the hospital.

We realized after arriving that it was not a private hospital, but a public one. I've never been in hospital chaos like we were that day. Immediately, we were provided a liason who spoke English. She was very dear and made the entire experience so much better for us. We rode an elevator crammed with 15 people, trying to form a sort of gate around my brother so no one would bump his arm. We went to get x-rays. The halls were filled with people trying to get in to multiple little rooms for x rays. They bumped us up to emergency status, and our friend got us in.

We went back down the crowded elevator to the ER, where they called in an orthopedic doctor. When he arrived, the liason mistakenly said, "We are waiting for the doctor." That seemed to irritate him. At that point, what little bedside manner he had was gone. He set Tim's arm without anesthesia. I won't describe it here, but I'll just say that I rarely have days where I really don't want to be here, but that day was one of them. They put a cast on it, the old kind like you'd see when we were kids.

Thankfully, Tim has since seen his doctor in the US who said everything was done (almost) perfectly. It's interesting to me how much a person can bless you or make you miserable in a crisis situation. The liason was comforting to us, stayed with us the entire time, reassured us. She made the whole situation easier. But the ER doctor made a horrible situation even worse. I'm past my initial feelings toward him enough to step back and learn something from it. I want to bless others when they are suffering.

And all the credit for the day goes to the Lord who got us to the right place when we really had no clue where to go. Isn't that true about pretty much everything we do?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Visit to Turkey: Perge, Take II

 After our ordeal at the ER and enough confidence that Tim was ok, we headed back to see Perge for the 2nd time. We took this photo in front of what was once the church (established as a result of Paul's missionary journey). The churches were built in a cross shape with a circular center. These two pieces would have been the arms of the cross.

Here's my cute mom and dad. I am jealous of my mom's cute clothes.
 And not 10 seconds earlier, I said, "It's strange we haven't seen any sheep or goats wandering around here." We turned, and here they were....sleeping outside the church.
 One of our favorite spots is the ancient game board, very well preserved. I just wish we knew how they played it.
 11 kids. We told them, "Everyone grab a rock and sit down!"
 I love to find crosses.
 Since my sis-in-law and I go back to 8th grade, we have some connections that are unique. I know she loves me no matter what, enough for me to say to her, "Ok, take a picture of me and make me look good. Then I'll take one of you." I even have deleting ability if I don't like it.

 Then I really started having fun...Ok, now me with hubs.
 Ok, now daughter and dad. CC started teasing me and suggesting and more poses. I got the point.
 As we left, we went into the old theater. Though it make look real, this is NOT an ancient Olympic game. Everyone in this photo is posing, I  know it is hard to tell, though.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Visit to Turkey: Perge, Take I

We knew we wanted to take the family to Perge, the ancient town and Biblical site where Paul came to start a church (and split with John Mark.) It is very well preserved and so fun to tromp around and see!

Here's the entrance to the city. Do you notice the rock just above the entrance? It has a different design, a keystone (a trapezoid).
Old rocks and young kids.
Mom and Dad were real troopers. We were all enjoying the ruins, the Roman baths, the visible pipes from so long ago.
And then we started getting different family shots. Here are all the 11 grandkids.
And just a few minutes after this my big brother crossed over some rock to get a family picture. The rock gave way. He fell about 4 ft. and immediately knew he'd broken his arm. CC quickly rushed with him to get some ice. We gathered everyone up and began our 2nd trip to the ER in 3 days.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Visit to Turkey: Antalya Hotel Pool

This was the big draw for the kids...a hotel pool. Never mind that they don't actually heat the pool to a warm temperature. When you are a kid, it just doesn't matter.
Here's Firstborn with her cousin buddy. They've been pals since....oh, 1 year old.
Sweet Cheeks knows how to swim well now, thanks to summer swim lessons. It made my job of keeping an eye on all of them a lot easier!
This shot makes me laugh so hard. There was a little baby pool, maybe 1 ft. deep. The 3 little ones "dove" into it for hours on end. Check out the littlest Fishstick girl in the mirror. She's got perfect form for a dive. Big Ben is modeling the next step to the dive....throw your arms out and jump!

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