Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Big Ben Winter 2015

And then there's this sweet little guy who taught us how to be a mama and papa to a boy, who came to us a little later in life, who has changed the whole dynamic of our girl-centered home, who is loved intensely by his 4 big sisters...this one who thanks God each day for making people and for making us able to know Him. I love my boy!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sweet Cheeks Winter 2015

This little punkin wasn't into the photo shoot as much as her sisters. For her, it was all about how fast she could get her picture made and hop back in the van!

But here's my baby...sweet, innocent, loving girl who solidly has my heart!

My favorite!

Not my favorite! She looks too old!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Miss Middler Winter 2015

My darling, sweetest-girl-you'll-ever-meet 3rd daughter. She's a friend magnet, so easy to get along with. She's happy for others, sad for me, the epitome of "pure in heart." I love watching her become her own person as she's entered Middle School. Every time she walks into my Bible class, I think how blessed I am to get to teach her this year!

By far my favorite picture I've ever taken of her.

No props, just a sport setting on my camera and real snow!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Twinkle Toes Winter 2015

Twinkle Toes, my spunky, tender-hearted 2nd born daughter. She is quick to listen to the Lord and pours her heart out to Him in prayer, journaling, and drawing. I couldn't be prouder of her! Sometimes people say she looks like me, what a compliment to me!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Firstborn Winter 2015

Perhaps my favorite Christmas Day memory is this. The hoar frost had left Cigdem, but we knew it still remained out in our new neighborhood (higher elevation). So, after we had our Christmas breakfast and opened gifts, CC announced his plan for the day was to take a nap. Poor guy! He'd been working hard all week with packing. I knew I wanted to get some pictures of my 5 kids with that beautiful frost. So, while he slept, we loaded up and drove out to our new neighborhood. The following 5 posts are the pictures I took that day. It was SO cold. The kids stayed in the van, while I motioned for which one to sprint out, strip off their winter coat, and give me a big smile while freezing!

Here are Firstborn's pictures; my beautiful, intensely-loyal gal that made me a mom. She's so quick to tell me thank you and recognize what has been done for her. She's heading off to grown-up life in just 1 1/2 years. I have no doubts she will do well! Her heart is the Lord's, and she's going to launch just fine, we believe.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


I called my reindeer rug Rudolph. CC changed the name to Vixen. He said it can also mean a mischievous woman. Hmmm. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Back to School

Right away the girls had a basketball game. Our sweet Miss Middler was cut from the team because they had so many girls trying out, so they cut all the 8th grade from the high school team. But she was given the chance to practice with the team. She never missed a practice or a sprint and stayed with it. Then, an older team member quit. So she got a jersey and even got to play in the game! I am still smiling to think about it! The girls won their game 20-2. They secretly told me later, they just quit stealing the ball because they felt so bad for the other team. 

I was so proud of Twinkle Toes. She chose Drama as an elective course and was in a play about Amelia Earhart. She was a 1980's reporter trying to find out what happened to her. I am proud to tell you I was the official 80's hair stylist. I needed more products and could have made it bigger, but anyway, it'll do. 

The First Snow and Gettin' Back to (the new) Normal

We had our first snow. It was so beautiful to look out any window in our house and see the soft snow landing on the trees! We had a big time texting all our Cigdem's snowing here, is it snowing there? We are at a much higher elevation here, so we think we'll get more here. I know we already got 2 big nosebleeds early on! 

I decided to bundle up with the kids and see if we could sled. Not quite enough for it, but we had fun trying. I realize I look ridiculous. I bought this off ebay when I was suffering from some anticipation-disorder when leaving the tropical island of Singapore for the deep, cold Anatolian mountains. I am not sure if I look more like Buzz Lightyear or something off of StarWars, but it did keep me warm. 

And oh we kept watching the calendar for when our Christmas break was over. Not only would we be going back to school after 2.5 weeks. We would also ALL be loading up to ride together for the 25 minute drive, since our school hasn't moved yet. We are a 1 van family, so we all go together both ways. The kids were used to walking out our door, sometimes even hearing the first bell ring, sending them into a dead run (I don't recommend that.) But you know what? It hasn't been bad at all. We all pack up the night before. We get up earlier. We eat simple, quick breakfasts. We turn the crock pot on. And we go. We have all noticed that the family time we are getting in the car is...nice. Much better than we thought. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Gingerbread Challenge

After about a week of working to get our heat evenly distributed in the house and figuring out why there was no hot water sometimes and discovering we have to use a LITTLE toilet paper (read here: drain overflow in the basement) and facing unpacked box after box, I needed a little break. CC cheerfully offered to take me out to dinner the next Friday night. We went down to the nearby mall for a burger and a Starbucks. But it was January 1. So I decided to make things a little fun for the kids too. I made a snack dinner and left them the 2 gingerbread kits we were given for Christmas. They divided into teams. When I got home that night, I could not believe how cute they were! I did make the mistake of asking about the little fire in the front of the house and was told that was Baby Jesus. (gummies) 

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