Saturday, April 28, 2012

Come on In

I know I posted a few pictures of our apartment in the past but I don’t think I ever gave you all the grand tour.

View from our door when you walk in.

View from the other direction

Our little office area

Living room


Boys Room

Our room

The Man Cave (Balcony off of our bedroom)

Toilet room


Come on over anytime.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Balcony Quake

Last week shortly after getting the boys breakfast drilling began in the apartment above us, it’s nothing unusual.  I was thankful they were getting an early start and hoping that maybe they’d be done by nap time.  After I took Calvin to preschool and I came home and we had dust all over our balcony and a started noticing a little crack above our window.  I didn’t think about it much and got ready for a full day of language.

I had to get a book from our room and checked the balcony again and noticed we now had larger crack and could see outside, 10 minutes later the crack grew larger. 

No one must get a permit to do remodeling, and workers aren’t always concerned with structural safety I didn’t know how structurally sound our windows were if they continued to drill.  Honestly I was worried they’d fall out.  Since they were bolted to the floor above us which was disappearing.

I showed our nanny and my language helper and got their advice, called Marvin and sent him a picture of what was going on.  So our nanny went upstairs with me and she let the workers have it, while I chatted with our neighbor.  In the end the workers were “sure” it wouldn’t be a problem and they would fix the gap.  My sweet neighbor even came down to clean up all the dust, twice.

The next day we woke up and there was a blanket hanging down covering our windows, which was really sweet of our neighbors to help prevent any more dust, but today they were welding, which means lots of sparks.  I fully expected to look outside to see a blanket on fire.

Thankfully that didn’t happen, and it turns out they are adding an extension to their balcony.  While this is great for us and gives me a little umbrella for my laundry in case of rain I have a few more minutes before my clothes are soaked, and some shade in the hot afternoon/evenings.  But I hope that their new balcony doesn’t come crashing down anytime soon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Letters, Letters Everywhere

Shortly after I woke Calvin up one morning he excitedly told me that I had to come in to his room and look at the letter on the wall.  

When I walked in I saw the letter "I" perfectly projected on the wall.  My little boy who loves letters right now was pretty excited.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

Seriously the makers of child safety locks need Micah to help them develop their products.

Off to buy another one.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flash Mob {Ninevite Style}

During dinner this week we heard some music playing and people clapping.  When we looked out the window it was a group of young guys with flags, one of them had an accordion another one in traditional dress and the others were in a circle and dancing.  It was so much fun to watch.

I love how the people here love their culture and dance so much.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Marvin captured this a few weeks ago.  It’s pretty much how people roll around here.

Of course it needed a few captions, so he added a few.

Neighbor above: “Ahmed, don’t jump.”

Ahmed: “Don’t worry Tembulat, I have my human safety harness on.”

The whole time Ahmed is thinking, “Babushka better hold on tight.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


My little bookworm has been devouring books recently.  I’ve loved it.  We’ve spent lots of time reading during Micah’s naps and in the evenings.  The other day, when their room exploded, he even crawled through the window to the balcony to get some new books.  He’s hungry for literature right now, although we did have a talk about the appropriate way to get new books out of the balcony.

Calvin’s still enjoying his reading program and generally begs me to do it, which helps me get it done when I’m exhausted.  Some days it’s tough to slow him down, as he wants to do multiple lessons, but I want to make sure he knows it before we move on. So I’ve tried to add in more school things to our day.

I’m hoping to add a read aloud chapter book in next.  Any suggestions of books your kids have loved?  I think it will be the perfect way to wind down in the evenings.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

40 Carrots

Calvin’s been coming up with a few things we don’t want to forget.

Recently he’s been curious about this new baby growing in my belly.  One day he asked, “When Micah was a baby in your tummy, did he go potty in your belly?”

I of course told him yes, to which he replied with his eyebrows raised, “Ewe that’s kind of disgusting.”

We decorated cookies for our neighbors and Calvin usually averages about 4 cookies when we decorate them.  This day was a struggle, he really just wanted to eat the first cookie he made.  He did spend a long time on it and used all three colors of frosting and lots of sprinkles.  He got stuck on cookie #3 and only wanted to eat the first one.  Finally he just said, “Mama I lost my focus, and I don’t know where I put it.” 

I’m always amazed at how different his play is from what I remember doing as a child.  His world is very different from my Kansas childhood.

We had some friends come to visit and I was amazed at how well they played airport.  From baggage handlers, to boarding passes, to taxi drivers, they had it covered.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t know anything about flying at the age of 4.

He’s been very into a local show when translated is called “Funny Balloons.”  Apparently he's been reenacting a scene from the show recently.  He’s been playing Sorok Markov (40 Carrots) a lot. He takes his cart and wheels it around the house with his “carrots” (various toys) selling carrots.  It cracks us up.  Growing up I never inspired to be a carrot vendor.  How about you?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Measuring Up

I have a few favorite kitchen items.  Of course my kitchen aid mixer ranks #1 but I have a new #2.

When you live in the land where butter has no measurements on its packaging or Crisco sticks, a food scale will rock your world.  I promise.

Seriously why didn’t I think of buying one before?

No more washing greasy measuring cups for me!!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lesson learned

Calvin is an intense kid.  He plays hard.  Dives into projects with his full attention on them and gives them all he’s got.  He works at things until they are perfect.

He also feels things very intensely.  He gets very excited and now we’re working on how to handle strong emotions better and to not sin during them.  So one day he was pretty upset when he lost some privileges, couldn’t handle himself so I had him go to my bed and take a nap.  Long story short we ended up with a broken window that afternoon.

He’s been getting some spending money if he helps with some extra jobs around the house and he decided he wanted to buy a Lego guy with all his money.  Unfortunately we had to take away all the money he had been saving to replace the broken window.  He was crushed.  But it was a good learning lesson for him.  Although his piggy bank is pretty bare right now I think this taught him a little bit about controlling his emotions a little better.  We’ll see.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I made a quick trip to Istanbul for a doctor’s appointment.  It was a great trip; I packed it with seeing as many friends as I could.  I came back home with my heart full but exhausted.

My balance is all out of whack.  The day before I left I fell out of a mini bus, holding Micah and groceries.  I twisted my ankle and our usual 5 minute walk from the bus stop home took me 40 minutes. Thankfully the Lord allowed me to walk the next day, which made flying much easier, but it was still very swollen and sore.

I successfully got to several places by buses in Istanbul without the help of my GPS, aka Marvin.

I’ve been working on storytelling skills in a different language; it’s hard and has been stretching my language skills to the max.  I’m hoping it will help grow my ability to explain things in more details.

Spring has officially arrived!!!!

It’s amazing how we went from snow.

To mud

To dust in a just two short weeks. 

Our weather has been gorgeous and I’ve been soaking up all the sunshine before the rainy days of spring hit and the pollen revs up.

I love fresh flowers in the spring time.  I also love that someone is always gathering a handful for me.

Our heat is still on in our building, full blast.  Which means our apartment is SO hot.  It wouldn’t be so bad if we could open our windows, but with our crazy climber open windows make me nervous.

Someone learned how to climb out of the pack and play.  He’s so close to climbing out of his bed.  So our little guy is back in his sleep sack to prevent the climbing out of the bed, he loves it. 

Someone else has decided he doesn’t like many, many things.  Things he ate well just weeks before he refuses to touch.  So we’ve tried a few things, the most torturous of all is…. eating alone.  This day that strategy backfired.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter 2012

In preparation for Easter this year we had been doing a Resurrection Egg each evening.  This was perfect for Calvin; he loved it and can tell the entire story with the help of his eggs now.  It’s fun to see him learn the passages of scripture and watch his excitement and amazement grow with each story.

We had taken cookies to our neighbors the night before and right before we had a little egg hunt at our apartment, our neighbor came by with a little gift for the boys.  How sweet is that?  I just love our neighbors.

We’re very thankful for the ex pats community in our city.  For our tiny little town (about 300,000) there is a good group of ex pats.  It's special for our kids to get to have some American traditions with other kids growing up so far away from America. 

We had a sweet time together in worship.  Marvin did a great job leading our time.  In our group we had multiple countries represented, so it always makes worship more meaningful to get a little taste of what heaven will be like.  It’s a day I won’t forget for a long time.

Of course everyone brought yummy food.

We even had an egg hunt.  With prizes for all the kids.

Calvin carried his bucket around the entire day.  Munching on all the sweets he found.

Micah had fun taking his eggs in and out of his bucket. He stuck with it much longer than I thought.

We have so much to celebrate and I’m thankful for the sweet memories created this year.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This kid

Oh my do I love this guy

He’s so determined.

I forgot how difficult the toddler stage is. It’s hard to teach and correct a child who quickly forgets.

We’ve been putting him in his bed when he throw things or hits people.  I’m hoping this will tame our little bull, but it’s exhausting some days.

We’ve decided to try and potty train him once we get to Istanbul this summer.  We’ll have some free time before the baby arrives and we will be free of some of our normal responsibilities.  He’s showing some interest in using the toilet but right now I don’t have time for it.  

Anyone have any good books/systems they used?  He’ll be 20 months.

We’ve decided his love language is physical touch.  So when I’m frustrated with him, we’ll spend some time wrestling, or just squeeze him tight and it makes the day much, much better.  He’ll often come up behind me if I’m sitting on the bed and throw his arms around my neck and try to pull my backwards.  He loves wrestling more than Calvin ever did.

This little fella has a love for animals and it makes his day to see a cat or dog.  Serious excited giggles are heard.  I love it.

My days rocking this little man to sleep are over.  He’s way to wiggly for my belly these days and seems to be happy snuggling with his blanket in bed.  I’m a little sad that I don’t have the peaceful time with him a couple times a day. 

He’s growing up and I wish he’d stop doing it so quickly.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


It’s amazing how my belly has grown so much in the last month.  I’ve started noticing it’s more difficult to bend over to pick up things off the floor, which isn’t great because I spend a large bulk of the day picking things up off of the floor.

Calvin’s been such a sweet little guy helping me.  The other day he helped me carry a juice in from the balcony and said that he had to be a helper so that his new baby stays safe.  He’s really excited about having another sibling and sometimes takes his big brother responsibilities very serious.

I was able to take a quick trip to Istanbul to see the doctor a couple weeks ago.  I was thankful for that visit, and it looks like everything is going great.  I passed my glucose loading test, but I’m trying limit sweets and breads just in case.  With Micah I know something was wrong, even if my tests all came back fine.  I’ve just dealt with my usual barrage of pregnancy problems, so if I keep getting regular analyasis and everything looks fine I should be able to leave at 36 weeks as planned.  This is such a relief because it means Marvin can travel with us, he'll get back from his trip just a couple days before we need to head to Istanbul.

Week 21

Week 25

I’m very visibly pregnant, and I haven't had to wear my winter coat, so it’s even more visiable.  So if our neighbors were wondering before now, they for sure know now. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Well hello there

We’re in a slightly crazy season of life right now.  Our little family keeps me busy.  Micah keeps me on my toes and then there is the usual cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping that tends to take up so much more time here.  Top of all that with our job here, it’s no wonder why I’m so exhausted and fall asleep in 2 seconds every night.

This exhaustion hasn’t given me much time to plan for this new little guy (or blog for that matter).  We’ve taken on the mentality that it will just come together when he gets here, for now I’m concentrating on studying and speaking as much as I can before he arrives.  I know it will be much more difficult once he gets here.

I got a sneak peak of our littlest one a few weeks ago.  It was such a blessing to be able to watch this active little guy move and wiggle, rub his eyes, play with his hands.

So after my sneak peak I couldn’t help but wonder what this little guy is going to be like?  Will he be like Calvin or Micah or his own person?  What his quirks will be, what things will he love, what things will make him giggle?  I’m so thankful for advances in technology that gave me this little glimpse of the little one who loves to stretch and kick inside my belly.

I can’t believe he’ll be in our arms in just a few short months, this pregnancy is really going by very quickly, almost too quickly.  Regardless I’m excited to meet him and so thankful that he’s healthy and I’ve had a so far mostly normal pregnancy.