Monday, June 28, 2010


We are enjoying summer produce right now! Hooray for fresh fruit and veggies that don't cost an arm and a leg! I have big plans for all this summer produce including: making some jams, applesauce, canning some tomatoes (diced and whole) and salsa!

I got things rolling a couple weeks ago with 10 jars of freezer strawberry jam, there is nothing better than homemade jam, it's so yummy, we've already finished one jar already. I'm really excited, now we'll see how much energy I have. I'm really excited thinking about being able to open up a jar of tomatoes and throw them into a recipe (we can get them here but they are about $3.00 for a small can, a price I just can't justify). Thankfully fresh local produce comes in stages, so that I'm not bombarded all at once. I have high hopes to get some cherries in the freezer this week. If you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them. I'm also tossing around the idea of canning some spaghetti sauce, from what I've read I'm a little intimidated, has anyone done this before?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What’s this called?

For Father's Day Calvin and I woke up early to get started on a big breakfast for Marvin (really Calvin woke up early so it helped me get an early start on the cinnamon rolls). As we sat down for breakfast brunch Calvin looked at the bacon and said, "What's this mommy?" He then moved on to the cinnamon rolls and asked me what they were. I had to laugh because I'm sure Marvin knew what these two things were well before 2 ½ . Regardless he enjoyed them both.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


It's been a busy couple of weeks. We have slept very well. We had lots of extra stuff on top of our normal stuff that made life a little crazy. We were preparing for our supervisor and his family to move, and of course we had to make their send off special. It was a lot of fun planning and I was pretty exhausted by the time it was over. We had a fun time and I was thankful to everyone who helped it go smoothly. We will certainly miss their family. It has already been weird emptying their house.

Their house is in the process of being sold. We've had lots of memories in this fortress house, and it will be very different not going out to this village often. We lived in this same house for over a year before they moved to our city. Over this process it's been good to be thankful for those memories, but not to let them hold us back to where Father is leading.

Monday we had our nanny come so I could get some good time of refreshment. I will have to be honest when I plan these sort of days I'm often distracted by being home and the things that need to be done. I had to smile because it was a day when our water was out, and every household task that needed to be done involved water, it was a sweet little gift. It was a beautiful morning to sit on our balcony and just soak up the Word. I loved every second of it. I love to listen to music while reading and I noticed a playlist I created shortly after going back to the states and it was a sweet time of being reminded of how Faithful He truly is. This sort of morning is going to make its way into our monthly routine.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mommy watch this......

Ever try to put a potty chair over your head? I don't recommend it, they get stuck.

After about 15 minutes of a trying to pry this thing off of an upset little guy I determined it was going to take two people, and I had just helped our neighbors lock the door and knew they weren't home. So I called in the big guns, Daddy, and told him he'd have to head home instead of class. Of course I had to snap a quick picture before I did so. Thankfully we got it off about 5 minutes later, and Marvin was able to go to class.
Some days all I wonder is WHY?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

not this week

Just so you know today is not Father's Day! I was clearly convinced it was until yesterday, thankfully a friend told me otherwise. So glad I didn't wake up super early to make breakfast-in-bed for the Father in our house. I guess when you're not being bombarded by media things get a little fuzzy!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rant.....then swallow

So I have this thing against technology and children's toys. I DESPISE toys that require batteries! Most of the time they are so annoying you just want the batteries to die, but really where's the play when all your animals make their own sounds? Coming from an early childhood background I've seen so often how play just stops with these types of toys. I honestly feel like kids learn best through exploring their world with their own hands through play.

With that said, we do live in the age of ipods, ipads, laptops, etc. and it's important for kids to be familiar with them. I recently had this discussion with a friend, who is all about reading books to their baby on the way on a Kindle. (It will be interesting to see if this view changes once he becomes a parent.) Now the funny part was when Calvin brought me our calculator the other day and said, "Read this book Mommy." Our friend was very pleased at our little techno savvy little man.

I also said I'd never EVER own a leap pad, leapster, whatever they are. Well guess what someone gave us one and guess who loves it? I'll give you a hint, he's a blond little boy. But you know what made this mama's heart so happy? Was when he decided to add some "guitar action" with the music! That's my guy. Guess I better watch what I say from now on.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Addition & Subtraction

Soon and very soon we will be the proud owners of a freezer. I can't tell you how long I've wanted one, especially overseas. I've had dreams of doing once a month cooking but our little freezer could hold maybe 3 meals, it's that tiny. I've been plugging away at a menu that requires no use of the oven when needing to serve the meal. I'm all about keeping our house cooler this summer, why turn on the oven when you don't have to. The meals I've tried to pick out are ones that can be made by crock pot, stove top, or reheated in the microwave. Once a month cooking is going to be so handy this summer, especially since we've bumped our language up to 5 days a week. I think I have a cooking buddy lined up too, I'm really excited.

What really isn't exciting is the reason why we are becoming the owners of this freezer. We bought it from some dear friends, people we look up to, come to with questions about EVERYTHING, and are seriously our family here. They are moving on, although we're excited for their new journey, it's hard to say goodbye. It is fun that we will have reminders of them around our house, ways that they will still be a blessing to us from so far away. I think of this often as I pull bread out of Jamie's space bread box, or use Laura's salad spinner. Even though these people are not working with us anymore we're grateful for the opportunity to work together for a season. Our lives are better because of it!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Out numbered

We made it to the half way point, 20 weeks!!!! It's fun to think that we'll get to meet this little one in only a few short months. Some days that fact overwhelms me, but most days it is fun to think of life as a family of 4!

When we got married Marvin's side of the family was filled with boys, he has 4 brothers and not many cousins with two X chromosomes. I told him that I didn't think we'd ever have a girl, in fact I seriously thought it was impossible! Then his brother had 3 precious little girls, that we miss tremendously! It gave me hope. I will admit that when we were told early on that we may be having a girl I was excited, but a little sad Calvin wouldn't have a little brother to pal around with, I've grown to love being a mom to a little boy. Then our next ultra sound told us we were having a boy, we were just confused.

We had a very compliant little baby this last week for my ultrasound and turns out I'm going to be out numbered in our house, another little boy! We're thrilled!

I am already dreaming projects for this little one. I want to update our stroller. This is our stroller.
But ours has an extra easier to remove pad over the seat part, that I want to recover, to give it more personality. Which one would you choose?
Ta Dots?
Teeny Tiny Zoo Pool?
I need to order one of these soon so I can get the fabric and finish this project before we head out to have this baby. (Living in a place where it takes a month to get a package takes some planning!)
Thanks for the help and sharing in our excitement!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Homeward Bound

You have no idea how excited I am to be returning home today. I can't wait to give my amazing husband a HUGE hug. I've missed him so much this past week. So has Calvin. He is ready to give his Daddy real hug, not just a high five on the computer. Every time we pray at meals he reaches out his hand for Daddy, making me miss him even more.

To be honest it's been exhausting! I've been Calvin's constant playmate this past week (with the exception of when he and Pooh, his imaginary friend play). Thankfully he's been a really sweet boy, I've only had a few moments where I've wanted to lock myself in the bathroom. We've really had some sweet times together these last 8 days. I'll remember this trip forever!

We're all packed and ready to go. Of course we had to go local and pack as locals do, only I found a nice rice bag that was more my style at IKEA. I'll get it wrapped in saran wrap at the airport here in a few hours and no one will ever suspect I'm a foreigner.
I'm praying for an uneventful flight and a quick tour through passport control and customs, and of course a seat for Calvin this time around.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Too close not to stop

Calvin had a doctor's appointment at the hospital where he will have a minor operation when we come to have the baby this fall. It was great to talk about logistics with the doctor and see the hospital. This particular hospital is a good taxi ride away from the apartment we are staying in, and very close to IKEA. So since I have been craving a hot dog, I thought it would be perfect to run over to IKEA for lunch and of course take some time to play and shop while we were there.

I'm not the only one in our family who loves IKEA, Calvin had a blast. Of course it is so much more enjoyable because they have brilliantly laid out their store so that it's child friendly. We made it out of the store with a few necessary items like dry erase markers, and Ziploc bags, but a couple fun ones too. It's just refreshing knowing if you buy a toy there it won't break the next day. It 's was sort of funny to look around at the things in the children's section and see so many things that live at our house now. What can I say, we're loyal customers!

Friday, June 04, 2010

a busy building boy

Calvin would like to give a HUGE virtual thank you hug to Aunt Stacey and Uncle John for the legos. He loves them and has spent so many hours busy creating. He had the biggest grin on his face when he discovered a few familiar lego people, Bob the builder and Piglet. After we went to the store in search of a birthday present for a little friend I was so grateful to have such great quality toys. I really despise cheap plastic and apparently that is what is affordable here.

Here's is what I've found throughout the house recently:

Lego People Swimming

pirate guys in a boat

I on the other hand want to give you a huge hug for the air conditioner! My allergies have been terrible this year and I have not even hit the worst of it. As we experienced a few hot days here in Istanbul, I was dreaming of our cool apartment back home. My awesome hubby and another teammate have installed it, and now all we have to do is get back home in order to enjoy these new treats.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

One Ticket

We'll I survived my first international travel flight alone with a child and it wasn't too bad, but I'd much rather do it with help. Only on Nineveh Air is it possible for a 2 ½ year old to be a lap child, but at least his ticket was free. Of course he was a lap child without a lap belt, pretty sure those weren't invented when this specific airplane was made. It was a cozy flight, I'm so glad my belly isn't any bigger, because the person's seat in front of us was broken and only reclined, but we had a seat and we were able to fly. One other blessing was that the flight was filled with women, which meant that the waiting area and the plane weren't smoky!!! No smoking signs don't apply to bathrooms, in our part of the world.

It's also one of the few airlines that travel with their own "engineers". We had to wait on everyone to get off the plane so I could go to the back of the plane and get our stroller, since we boarded through the back of the plane. As soon as all the people got off the "engineers" put on their orange vests and grabbed their flashlights and went to work. I'm glad they make sure everything was working before they took off.

Calvin's been a great traveler and has been having fun at the "ABC house". He hasn't forgotten the apartment we stayed at when we were here for our visa run. In fact he remembers everything, as we were turning in the apartment complex when we arrived from the airport, and he was so excited to go play on the playground. I had to remind him we still had to take our bags to the apartment, he was slightly disappointed. He's also very busy retelling things we did the last time we were here, I can only imagine the stories he'll tell when we come to have the baby this fall.

I was able to see the doctor on Monday and the baby is continuing to grow! It was encouraging to hear that because I woke up on Monday after the oddest dream about a doctor's appointment where they did a sonogram but they couldn't tell me what the gender the baby was because the baby was wearing pajamas. In my dream they told me that I must have swallowed a pair of pjs, I of course insisted that I didn't, but they told me I'd have to wait till the baby was born to find out the gender, and they hoped that the pajamas didn't cut off the babies circulation to its hands and feet. They couldn't tell me if the baby would be born with hands and feet yet, due to the pajamas. It was very odd. So I was relieved to get a picture of this, and no I didn't tell the doctor about my strange dream.

We also learned what we're having, but I'll save that for another post!

The best news of all was that there was no sign of preterm labor. I'll get the last of my lab results back on Thursday and we'll see where we go from here. The doctor must release me to go back home, so I'm hoping that this stay will be brief and we can travel back home on Sunday, granted there is a seat available on that flight.

With this pregnancy I have a lot more fears. I try not to let my mind go there but it's quite terrifying wondering what might happen if I do go into labor early again, only not in a place with great medical care. So I've just been paying a little more attention to my body and trying not to worry over every little ache and of course pouring prayer over this little thing. I know many of you have been too, it means the world to us!