Monday, October 11, 2010


It seems that since October started we have just been so busy! For starters, we began language classes again, so now that we have those classes and a babysitter coming three times a week, we're busy with class, homework, making sure there are snacks (for the tutor), and making sure the apartment is clean (for the babysitter...Turks are apparently very judgmental and picky when it comes to a clean house). We also had a guest for a couple of nights, had lunch with my old Turkish teacher, started planning our next vacation (it's a surprise!) went to a birthday party, and Shannon has just been working a lot. So, it's just been busy, busy, busy around here!

It's cold enough for a hat now! (Plus, if you look closely, you can see her 2 teeth).

I feel like I have gotten some "big" things accomplished, though. I washed the cushion covers on one of our couches. Shannon spilled coffee (oh, ok, actually Lane did it, but it was Shannon's coffee!) on one of the cushions so I took the cover off and washed it. After I put that cover back on and it was next to the others, it was apparent how dirty they all were, so I had to wash the other covers as well! I perfected my chocolate chip cookie recipe (outside-of-the-United-States version). I have been keeping up with vacuuming our apartment and keeping it dusted. I've made lots of baby food in the last week (pumpkin, green beans, avocado, and apples). I redesigned the blog (I'm still not happy with it but it will have to do for now). And I got a lot of necessary emails written, finally.

Mmm...chocolate chip cookies!

Our heat got turned on this past Friday night! That's a big deal over here, because unlike in the US where apartments just have thermostats and you can turn the heat or the air on as you wish, here the entire building's heat is controlled by our doorman...I think. Our doorman came by and asked us if we wanted the heat turned on, to which we heartily replied, "Yes!" (In Poland and Ukraine the entire city gets heat at one time and I had assumed it was the same here. It appears as if it's not the same, but I'm not entirely sure exactly how it works here. All I know is that I don't get to decide that I think it's time to turn the heat on!). This past weekend was so dreary...Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were cold and wet (in the upper 40's or lower 50's (9°-12° Celsius) and it just poured down rain all three days. We pulled out all of our winter clothes and put up our summer clothes. We got out our down comforter. Lane was wearing legwarmers (thanks, Diana!) under her clothes and even sleeping with them and socks under her pajamas. We were very grateful when Mr. Doorman turned the heat on, and Lane started sleeping through the night again (I think maybe she had started to wake up in the middle of the night because she was cold and not be able to get herself back to sleep).

This is what it looked like for 3 or 4 days last week.

So, that's been life around here. I've also been pondering two questions that maybe my readers can help me out with?

1) Concerning proper blog etiquette: How do you go about answering questions that readers post in your comments section? Do you answer their question in your comments? Or do you go to their blog and answer there? I'm never quite sure what I'm "supposed" to do and end up doing a combination of both and then feel guilty, like maybe I chose wrong. Help!

Playing in the grass for the first time! (Yes, for the first time. All previous times she has either cried at being put on the grass or it's been too wet).

2) As we are approaching the holiday season for the first time as a family with children, we're thinking about traditions that we want to begin for our family: Thanksgiving traditions, Christmas traditions, birthday traditions, and so on. We know that Lane will be too young this year (and probably next year as well) to remember them, but we thought it would be good to start working on them, thinking about them, and planning for them. This brings me to my question: what do you do with your family/children to make holidays special? My friend Margo makes her kids birthday pancakes in the shape of their age. My friend Tina's kids get new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve and then sleep in them that night. We're considering "stealing" these and making them our own traditions as well! I'm looking for any and all ideas, because we want more suggestions to steal for our own family! Please comment and let me know what you do in your family!

So, there's a bit of randomness to satiate your dying curiosity as to what's been up in Scarbrough Land. I'm going to be trying out some new recipes in the next week or two, so check the recipe blog for updates on anything I have success with!


  1. That first question is a toughie.
    Most of the time if you reply on your blog the other person might not ever know it unless they remember to check back. It's not like they will receive a notification of some sort. I usually just try to reply on their blog or facebook or whatever.

  2. Oh, I remember your choc. chip cookies veeerrryy well! Mmmm! I'm sure your new recipe is good too.
    #1--I have no idea and can't wait to see what people say!! You can respond to me as a comment on your own blog, because I'm trying to remember to check the follow-up box thingy.
    #2--We do the pj thing, too, and also on Christmas Eve we gather around the kitchen table with our nativity scene on it and read the Christmas story from Luke by candlelight. We have individual special desserts with birthday candles on them which we light, sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus, and blow out. It's something my parents did with me and my brothers, and it's my favorite part of Christmas.

  3. 1. If I leave a comment that needs a response, I check the box to recieve follow up comments via email. So I usually reply on my own blog, but if it's really importantt, i'll go to FB or email.

    2. We have a stuffed nativity scene we play with all december... it is one of those "supervised play" activities. We also have the happy birthday jesus cake. and, we have a ton of christmas books. i wrap them up individually, we read one each night. christmas eve, we open a new one (that stays hidden until then) and read it. some are christian, some not. and the best part is we add a new one each year. it's becoming a favorite tradition of mine. i also get my kids an ornament each year- something that represents the year... like one year it was Sesame Street for John Mark, because that was his LOVE.... etc. noel piper's book Treasuring God in Our Traditions is AWESOME. Speaking of books. are you on Paperback Swap? You should get someone in teh states to manage it for you so you could get good books for Lane. We also have a book called Honey for a child's heart. it lists all the good books for children based on age.

    okay, this comment went on way longer than i expected. sorry. enjoy!

  4. A few thoughts on the Christmas and birthday traditions:
    1) Some friends of ours decided to make the child's birthday the big celebration/present time of the year and to have Christmas be more focused on family activities and the gospel story. They do get presents then, but not as many.
    2) We make an Advent calendar with small treats that we get each night and last year we used a series of Advent readings that I quite liked. We also try to do some fun things during the month like baking Christmas cookies. I think this year we'll try making some paper chains for the tree.
    3) We also have some Christmas books that I store the rest of the year and take out for Advent.
    4) We also have friends that decorate Jesse trees. I think I'd like to do that this year too.
    5) For birthdays I make an initial letter pancake for the kid and we dye their breakfast milk the color of their choice with food coloring. And the birthday kid gets to decide the dinner menu.
    Have fun building your traditions!

  5. Some friends of ours put up a Thanksgiving tree (Christmas tree with just lights) at the beginning of November. There are small cards with strings attached that are available, and throughout the month, they hang cards with things they're thankful for written on them. Then at Thanksgiving, they take them all off and read through them. I've always thought that sounded neat, but haven't tried it.

  6. Kecia: what kind of individual desserts do you have? Do you mean that for example Mike has an apple pie, you have a carrot cake, Jessica has a big fat brownie, etc... or individual portions? I'm trying to get my mind around it.

    Amy: Where'd you get a stuffed nativity scene? We got "God Gave Us Christmas" for our Christmas book this of my aunts gives us one each year as well. I'll have to check out Paperback Swap.

    Kristi: I love dying the kid's milk! That's great! What Advent readings did you use?

    Erica: That's a neat idea...we may have to try it sometime...maybe when our kid(s) is old enough to participate!

  7. Hey! I don't have any suggestions for the kiddos yet, but to the blog question, I try and reply on the comments section below their question, or address it in a future post. Maybe I'll start the "send follow up comments" thing too!

  8. We used these:


Thanks for commenting!