Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sunday Lunch for Three

It just so happened that on my real birthday, I only had 2 of my 5 kids around! One had a sore throat, one heard her sister had a sore throat and thought she might have a headache (Sweet Cheeks!), and one went to the US Base Chapel to help lead worship along with our other youth. So, I just had Miss Middler and Big Ben accompany me to church and lunch.

What happens when you are only 2 of 5 kids at a restaurant? You actually get to order a soft drink!

I ordered my weekly Diet Coke. Turkey is putting names on Cokes now. It's fun to see what you'll get. Mine said, "My love."

Big Ben was a hungry boy. He put away his cheese and tomato pide, plus salad, plus bread and dip, plus bulgar, plus part of the eggplant meal Miss Midd and I split!

It was a fun mix. Boy, 2 kids are quiet compared to 5!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Girls' Night Out

For my 42nd birthday, I invited some other mom friends to go out to dinner at the mall. I specified no gifts, but they were all just very disobedient and showered me with some sweet things. The waiter brought me a piece of tiramisu.
We talked and talked and talked, until someone finally noted, "The mall's about to close! We've got to go!"

I am blessed with some very dear friends. I don't know how I'd survive Turkey without them.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Birthday and sending him off!

You know I married a man with the exact same birthday as me, 4 years ahead. But nearly every year we are apart on our birthday. We try to make it a special week leading up to his departure. One night, when no one had basketball/piano/tutoring/running club/drama practice/youth group/Bible study, I fixed a good ol' Thanksgiving meal, right smack dab in February. We had a chicken, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole. (This was all due to some stock-piling and hoarding on my part.) 

I made a red velvet cake. We both love red velvet and have memories of it being our birthday cake sometimes growing up. 

CC conspired with my friend B and got me this purse. She snapped some photos of it when she heard me say I liked it. He snuck over to the mall and bought it for me. 

Sweet boy of mine said he wanted to make me a gift. He asked my favorite animal and my favorite color. The result? a blue panther I'll keep forever. 

All too soon it was time to pack for CC. Someone was not happy. 

I hesitate to include this, but for heaven's sake, who doesn't need a laugh today? Our IT guy printed this picture and morphed our faces into it. This greeted us at CC's office door. (My phone code is 007 on our school plan, hence the spy theme.) 

And though he was short on time and long on things to do, CC took me out for a birthday dinner the night before he left. 

mmmmm hot lavash, esme, yogurt dip, a fresh winter salad....

And Ali Nazik, pureed garlic eggplant with shaved beef on top. 

And because we've been buds with the owner of the restaurant for 10 years now, never a visit goes by without some complimentary Turkish coffee. (The water comes with it. If you've ever had it, you'll know why.) 

And then CC was off at 4AM for 2 weeks in the US.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Oasis Spirit Week: Twin Day and Pep Rally

Our next spirit day was twin week! I asked N, our Turkish receptionist, to be my twin. I brought infinity scarves (made by my sis-in-law who is fundraising for her adoptions of boys from the Congo...find her at Little Fishies on facebook if you want to buy one!). And believe it or not, I have 2 of the exact same sunglasses. Weird, I know. 

We had our first ever pep rally in the atrium! They announced the awesome varsity girls basketball team. Don't my girls look excited to be introduced? 

Actually, I think this one didn't mind it.....

And then our darling junior cheerleaders led us in some oldies but goodies...The Lions are RED HOT! 

We had a great weekend of games. There is NO where I'd rather be than watching my kids play sports! 

She did snag this one...

A fun week with a lot of school spirit! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Oasis Spirit Week: Foil Day

Another chosen theme day by the pep rally committee was "Foil Day." Firstborn added a beautiful curl and some foil earrings to her casual wear. 

Twinkle had a foil hair clip and earrings. You can tell it wasn't cool to go all out, at least at the junior high/high school level. 

But then there were the elementary kids...

Even our school nurse came decked out in foil space boots. She rocked 'em. However, Turkish aluminum foil is no Reynold's wrap, so I spent much of the day re-wrapping my students in their creations. Foiled again.

Oasis Spirit Week: Character Day

Oasis had out first ever Spirit Week and pep rally to gear up for the big basketball game. CC never wears jeans on jeans days so I did not expect to see this when he arrived at school. I think all it took was Big Ben asking his Papa to be a jedi knight with him to get him to cross over to the dark side.

I decided to be Captain Hook, minus the peg leg.

The kids went all out. Firstborn made these fun comparisons for my blog.

We had a Duck Dynasty Willie.
Frozen's Anna.
Sweet Lucy from Narnia, complete with a vile of magic healing potion (Papa's cologne, which he never wears, and which spilled in the 6th grade room, giving everyone a nice musky scent for the day)
Sweet Cheeks was Madeline. She wanted to be a character off of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, but I begged for Madeline since it is the last year anyone will fit in it.
Big Ben was an Ewok from Star Wars.
And we all had a fun day!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

MIss Middler's Birthday: Ropes Course

Miss Middler requested the ropes course at the new mall for her birthday. They suited the girls up and they climbed right up. She has one friend who is in grade 5 but is short for her age. They originally told us she was not tall enough by regulation. But, we're in Turkey. So, we smiled and explained it was a birthday party. Wouldn't it be ok just this once? So, the attendant gave her his own harness which had a slightly longer rope attachment and let her do it. And what did HE do? He went on the course to help them with NO rope holding him on. Such is life in Turkey. Rules can be bent. After 10 years of living here, I can see the advantages in that.

The ropes course went up three levels. We were only supposed to have 30 minutes, but they gave them a full hour. I am certain cute girls like these using the ropes course was far better advertisement for them than an empty ropes course.

We were given a handful of tokens with our birthday package, so CC and I went at it on the air hockey game. (My dream house would have one of these!) (the air hockey game, not the man...I have him already!)
 The girls each got to play a game.
 Then we came home and let them all sleep in the den. They were up early, very early.
 I knew when I took this picture it would be my favorite!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Miss Middler's 12th Birthday

Miss Middler had a super fun (and easy!) birthday this year. We took her and some of her friends to our new mall for burgers and a ropes course. We decided since it was a special occasion to NOT walk through the construction site, so we loaded them in the van and went.

I took a cake and candles from home. The burger joint was very accommodating and let me serve it there.

I really love this picture. She is such a delight to me. You've never met a sweeter 6th grader than this one.
 Ropes course pics to follow!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kizer Visit: One Last Mediterranean Sea Swim

As we were packing up and and loading the car, the cousins ran down to the Sea for one last swim.

They may not look cold....but they were.

We love this land, these people. It was our joy to share it with family for these 2 weeks!

KIzer Visit: Olympos Part II

Just beyond the Chimera (fire mountain) is an ancient Greek town called Olympos. It is honestly one of our favorite places to take people.

Look at the ancient stone structures in the background of this picture. We aren't even allowed to go on that of these days, I'm going there.

My sis in law K was a great companion. She rode the whole 8 hours with me to Antalya and back. I loved having that kind of time with her.

I took several photographs of my lost little sheep that was found.

This is an awesome little spot. The rock comes right up to the sea. You crawl through this and discover the ocean and a fortress wall on the other side. We have always said it reminds us of Narnia.

The water was chilly, but that didn't stop our kids.

This was their backdrop for swimming!

We took a few minutes to just rest. Big Ben found a horsey ride.

You may be wondering where the kids changed into swimsuits....we found a big bush!

A beautiful place...with people we love!

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