Sunday, June 30, 2013

Life Lately

It's been a busy, busy few months. We left today for vacation and are enjoying a break back in our old stomping grounds of Istanbul before heading to Cyprus next week. So I thought I'd take the chance to update the ole blog since I rarely have time to anymore. What's been keeping us so busy?

1. The Circus. We took the girls to their first circus. It was small and slightly rinky-dink, and about a thousand degrees inside the tent, but they loved every minute of it. There were lions and poodles that did tricks, a man who breathed fire and a clown. What's not to love?

Before the circus began, when they were giving pony rides and letting people hold snakes and stuff.

2. A cold snap. Back in April it got so warm that they turned our heat off about five days early. We were all glad because we were sweltering. Of course, a couple days later it got cold. Like, really cold. So cold that Noel had to wear her snowsuit for trips to the market. So cold that we were wearing multiple layers of clothing inside the house and drinking hot tea and coffee all day long. So cold that we had to dry our clothes on the oven because they wouldn't dry just hanging on the rack:

3. A girls' trip. A few of the other ex-pat ladies here and I took a short trip to another city. We got to sleep in, eat our dinner without having to feed anyone else theirs, linger at the dinner table, and swim in an awesome swimming pool. It was my first night away from both girls and while I missed them, it was great to have some girl time.

The awesome pool where we ladies stayed.

4. Laundry. Sometimes I feel like it never ends. But at least in the summer I can hang it out to dry and it dries in an hour or two.

5. Camping. A few weeks ago we took our girls on a camping trip with some other ex-pats. The first day it rained all day and we were wet and miserable and sure we'd made a mistake by going. The second day the sun came out and made it all worth it. We ate s'mores and picked wildflowers, ate shashlik grilled over a campfire, climbed rock walls, and just enjoyed being out in nature.

Staying dry in the tent while it was pouring outside.

Playing with a beetle. This girl loves bugs.

Rock climbing for the first time.

6. Visiting friends. We headed out to some local friends' "farm" one day. The girls enjoyed fresh raspberries, currants, cucumbers, and saw other fruits and veggies that weren't ripe yet. They loved all the plants and the berries, and Lane enjoyed "swimming" in their small pool. While we're still learning the cultural rules around here, we're grateful that we're starting to make some local friends and acquaintances.

The girls exploring the tomato plants.

7. Canning stuff. One friend loaned me her canning equipment and another friend showed me how it all works here, and I've started canning some stuff. So far I've done some strawberry jam, strawberry-rhubarb jam, apricot jam, strawberry syrup, and one jar each of barbecue sauce and salsa. I have no idea how any of them will turn out (if my seals sealed correctly), but it's been fun and neat to know I'm making this stuff on my own, and hopefully making my life a little easier come winter.

8. Playing outdoors. With summer and warm weather have come lots of mornings and evenings to run around, pick mulberries, play in the dirt, ride rides at the park, and burn off energy. I've greatly enjoyed letting the girls run wild in the many awesome parks (not playgrounds, those stink, but the parks are awesome) here.

Riding the kids' train at the "big park" here.

9. Cooking. It's always an adventure around here. Last week I bought a couple of chickens to roast. The first one was completely normal. The second one looked like this when I took it out of its package:

So there you go. One long, long-overdue blog post. Hopefully now that I'm not studying every evening for the next few weeks (hooray for vacations!) I can update a little more. But no promises...


  1. I think I laughed out loud several times on this one!

  2. Holy cow, I would have died if I would have opened a chicken and it looked like that! I know all about clothes not drying because it's cold too; here in Israel our apartments are FREEZING in the winter, and it will take up to 3 days before my clothes are even close to dry! I don't have an oven, so I don't even have that option. I'm glad you get to go on vacation, and I hope y'all have a great time!

  3. That chicken! I would have DIED! And possibly thrown it across the room...

    1. Well I didn't throw it across the room but I may have screamed a little...=)


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