Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Hey family Merry Christmas. We want you all to know we were thinking about you today and it was fun to think of what you were doing at certain times of the day. We hope you all had a great day, we wish we could be there to celebrate with you and help you eat a few tamales and cinnamon rolls, challenged you to a few games of cards, and given you all a big hug! Thanks for being so supportive of us. We love you and Merry Christmas!


What is Christmas without a few tasty treats!

We found some Cookie Cutters in Istanbul, so we were able to make cookies in a shape other than a circle. We decorated our cookies with an impressionist style. (Actually I made the frosting a little too runny, I was afraid we wouldn’t have enough frosting if I didn’t. I had to save some powdered sugar for Christmas morning doughnuts.)

Christmas Eve we enjoyed soup in a bread bowl! Our friends who came to help us celebrate had never heard of bread bowls and when we came to the table one of them said, "Where is the middle of the bread?" We rocked their world when we told them we would be eating our soup out of the bread. By the end of the meal we they were convinced that bread bowls were an amazing culinary invention.

Today we had a feast of imported items! Chips and Dip Hummus (A personal favorite, I was so excited to find Garbanzo Beans at a local grocery store!)

AND Cheese Cake!!!! We used the cheese cake for Jesus’ Birthday Cake (we gave him our best!)

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

We picked out our tree this week and the first step was to develop some sort of tree stand, so Marvin picked up some rope and a couple of buckets and went to work. He did an awesome job, and we were able to decorate before evening. (Mom thanks for picking out a few ornaments for us, it was fun placing them on the tree.)

The day after our tree was up I started hearing a popping sound, from previous experience it was a similar sound that our extension cord made before it caught on fire several months ago. So I examined the tree and couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary or hot. I called Marvin in the living room and of course he didn’t hear anything. So the pops continued and we decided it must be the needles falling off and hitting the presents. It wasn’t until the next day we finally figured out that the pine cones were opening and the seeds were falling out. It has been fun to watch all the pine cones open up on our tree.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Oh the weather outside is frightful. Well not really but it did snow this last week and even though the temperatures make it up to 6 degrees Celsius the snow still hung around to give us a white Christmas. We are ready for things to freeze all the time; it makes it much easier to walk when you don’t have to avoid slush and puddles of melted snow.

A Holiday Home Tour of the Fortress

We realized we haven’t posted any pictures of the inside of our house. We hope you enjoy a few pictures of our home. We do have an upstairs, but we only use it when we have guest, and guests are always welcome.

Whenever we call America this is the room where we do so from, it has the best connection in the house. (There is the least amount of static from this phone.)

The Living Room
We absolutely love our couch! As with most furniture here it pulls out into a bed, but it is perfect for lounging around and taking in a good book.

The Kitchen
We have spent lots of hours in this room, chopping, dicing, baking and stiring. The pot on the stove right now serves as our hotwater supply. It actually heats up rather quickly, and we have developed quite a nice system of keeping hot water around.

Dining Room/Office

It is such a huge room we usually choose to eat at a table in the living room, unless we have company. But the table is a great place to spread out to work. It is perfect for planning lessons. I usually like to spread everything I have out so I can see it all, and then place it in order.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Language Mix

When I taught preschool we played a game called puzzle mix, we would mix several puzzles together and they kids tried to put them together as fast as they could. Well that is what I have felt like in terms of language these last two weeks, only I'm not doing so hot. When we went to France, I could understand what was being said, but the wrong language would always come out when I tried to respond. Now add Turkish to the mix and let's just say now French comes out. Hopefully when we get back to our city the language we have been studying for the last 10 months will all come back to us.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Update on Marvin's ankle

A few of you can remember when Marvin twisted his ankle in April. Well he is still experiencing some swelling and pain after he plays sports, if he is on his feet all day, and in the mornings. So Marvin made a doctor's appointment in Istanbul about his ankle. Since we weren't going to be in Istanbul long the doctor did an MRI on his ankle. He found out that it was a pretty bad injury after all, sprained on both sides of his ankle and he ruptured ligaments and damaged some tendons. His doctor's said that they are healing, but thicker and longer and that is why he is still experiencing pain. He gave Marvin more exercizes that will help and a few meds, just in case the pain persists. We are glad to know what finally happened, we thought a few of you would be interested too.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Souvenirs from Paris

These aren't your typical souvenirs, but this wasn't your typical vacation either. Other than the sights we enjoyed a few culinary treats like NACHOS (we devoured those babies in less than 3 minutes), Italian food that wasn't pizza or spaghetti, CHINESE, and cream cheese.


We had such an amazing time in Paris. We are so thankful that we were able to take such a trip. It was a good time of refreshment for us. We hope you enjoy the pictures:

Of course the first place we visited was the Eiffel tower, where else could you start. Before leaving we read that it sparkles at night. We were on our way to a big grocery store and we stopped as we crossed the Seine to enjoy the view and all of sudden it started to sparkle. It was pretty amazing.
The first day we were in Paris we visited the Champs Elysees, a famous boulevard in Paris. We stopped to rest our tired feet and took in a little French food at a restaurant on a side street near the Champs Elysees. After our meal we headed back to the Champs Elysees and we had quite a treat. All of the trees were light up, it was beautiful and we couldn’t have asked for a better surprise.
This massive Crypt houses Napoleon Bonaparte.
We loved the ambiance to the city; the buildings were all appealing and flowed together with the same general style. Spots of color were added through flowers still blooming on balconies. Every now and then we would find something pretty fun, like this door. We aren’t sure what this building is used for, but that is one big door.
Sacre Coeur is set on one of the few hills in Pairs and the white cathedral was a pretty amazing site as you look up the hill. We were looking forward to going up in the bell tower but unfortunately it was closed the day we visited. None the less we enjoyed the view from where we were located.
Montmartre was one of our favorite parts of Paris; the streets were filled with quaint little shops, places to stop of coffee, artists selling their work, as well as artists ready to paint your portrait.
Versailles Palace was only a short train ride from Paris. We enjoyed touring the castle and walking around the never ending gardens.
Au Revois! We hope you enjoyed a few of our favorites memories of Paris.