Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Little Cooking Help

We are pretty much adjusted and I am getting used to cooking here.  There are lots of good foods, but I am getting bored of the meals I know how to make and there are foods I don't know what to do with.  So I am looking for ideas for more meals.  Here are the foods that are readily available:

green beans
red/green peppers - my husband and I don't really care for them and our kids really dislike them, but we are working on changing that
squash - I have no idea what kind it is, but it's some sort of squash/zucchini that I could substitute for zucchini
pumpkin - it's not our traditional pumpkin - it's green on the outside, but looks like pumpkin on the inside

bulgar - i have no idea what to do with this
other beans - mostly white, but i don't recognize them and cannot find any translation

chicken - our main staple
hamburger - i think I found ground beef, but it's like $12/lb, so I'm trying to use it minimally
lamb - we have eaten it and it's good, but I have no idea how to cook it

We don't have a microwave, but did buy a toaster oven that can bake things pretty well, just small scale. So....if you have any ideas/suggestions for what meals I can make....I would LOVE to hear your ideas!!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Getting Settled

We finally got here late Saturday night and were able to get a few things at a market before Sunday.  We had our first church at our home on Sunday.  Monday we were able to make a trip with a neighbor to a large store to buy a bunch of 'house' know the boring hangers, food, broom, mop, etc.....).

Then we got sick.  We've had the queasy stomachs that go along with new food, but we got sick.  The throw up all night long, diarrhea sick.  Like clockwork James, Hannah, and I were running to the bathroom. Hannah and I even shared the toilet while throwing up a few times.

It was miserable.  I was wishing we were home.  We were wondering if we were going to survive.  

Tuesday we were getting better.  Just throwing up occasionally, but then TJ had a fever and got sick.

I ended up going to the hospital with TJ.  A few hours and some medicine later we were doing better.

We have all recovered from the flu.  Hannah and Sofia have had fevers, but basically we are all feeling pretty good again.  

Now, we are beginning to get settled.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Our Trip

Wow.  It was kind of a rough one.  You know how you plan for the worst, but expect the best.  We are glad we packed with extra clothes in the carry-on, extra food, etc.... We used it.

We left home Thursday morning and had plenty of time at the Salt Lake Airport, so we set off to find the kids play area, but they got rid of the play area.  Bummer

Our first flight was good.  We had 4 seats no where near each other, so we asked people to move so we could be with our kids.  The lady that switched with me really didn't want to...I told her she could sit next to our 4 year old instead...and then she decided to switch.  We found out TJ had bad ear infections 2 days before we left, so we were nervous he would scream during the flights, but he did great!

Our flight from Denver to Frankfurt was delayed by about an hour.  We thought we would still have time to catch our connecting flight.  Then we sat on the tarmac for 2 hours before takeoff.  The girls were asking, "Are we there yet?" before we even took off.  But, that night the girls did pretty well sleeping.  They kept their heads on James' lap, so Sofia's feet kept falling into the aisle.  I had TJ and walked around the aisle some to keep him happy.  After getting him to sleep, we didn't have a bassinet so he was on my lap.  Hannah kept squirming and kicking me and TJ throughout the night.  On our descent, it was a little choppy and Hannah threw up.  It was by far the most she has ever thrown up.  Majority of it was caught in the barf bag, but it also went all over her clothes and some on James.  It smelled lovely!!

We missed our flight in Frankfurt.  No on could help us.  No one.  They kept sending us to a service center that was closed...After lots of walking around James left me with the kids to camp out while he tried to figure it out.  He managed to get new flights figured out, meanwhile the kids all had to go to the bathroom.  Me, 3 kids, and our luggage was quite a sight to behold while we maneuvered to the bathroom twice (Sofia couldn't get it all done in 1 trip!!).  We met back up with James and went to our new gate.  Then they switched our gates to the other end of the terminal.  We make it to the other end of the terminal to realize it wasn't our flight that was was a different one to Istanbul leaving at the same time as ours.   Back to our original gate.

Our flight to Istanbul was delayed so we missed the last flight to our destination point.  We spent about an hour in Istanbul waiting for them to get us on a flight for the next morning.  Then we spent another hour waiting for them  to get us a hotel for the night.  James was waiting the entire time while I was trying to entertain the kids.  After 2 hours, the told us they couldn't get us a hotel.  So, at 11 pm we forked out a ton of money to get a hotel and a ride there/back from the airport.  We finally got the girls to sleep at midnight.  TJ finally got to sleep around 3 or 4 in the morning and we had to wake up the girls at 5am to go back to the airport.

We finally arrive in Erzurum and 2 of our suitcases were missing.  Somehow they got lost in Frankfurt and never caught up to us.  There were supposed to be people from the University to pick us up and take us to our apartment.  There was no one there to meet us.  They did not give us an address and we had no the airport people helped us find a hotel in the city.  We were going to take a taxi but the bus was a lot we took a bus and eventually got to the hotel.  There was wifi at the hotel so James was able to email his contact.  Eventually they picked us up and brought us to our apartment Saturday evening after we had already overpaid for a hotel.  

It felt like one thing after another went wrong.  It was actually funny.  Except, it's so much more stressful with kids.  And it cost us a lot of money in addition to the fortune we had forked out to get us on the same flights as James.  The girls were amazing, but so done with flying by the time we got here.

But, we made it!

Monday, December 2, 2013

On Top of the World

A few weeks ago we went and played in the canal.  The girls have always loved throwing things into the canal, but now that the water has drained out of it they think it's even more fun to play in it.

To get home, they walked on top of the dirt piles....and acted as if they were on top of the world.  It kind of looked like they were (and made me a little nervous because they were pretty high, but they made it home without falling off!)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Our Thankful Turkey

Following our tradition we did our thankful turkey again this year.  In random order, here are the things we are thankful for:

* a house to live in while waiting
* water fountains
* kids (and parents) sleeping through the night
* the girls excitement over TJ
* Jesus
* sunrises and sunsets
* the girls playing together
* decorations
* babies
* my family
* a soft bed - and a good nights sleep
* rice packs
* quiet time
* flowers
* fond memories
* airplanes to take us places
* health
* good nights sleep
* an awesome husband and 3 sweet kiddos
* morning runs outside - with the view of the mountains

We have lots to be grateful for, but it's nice to recognize the little things!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

awesome hair

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Slave Labor

This is how we do the shoveling around here.  So far the girls seem to enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

4 months

Here's our happy guy at 4 months!

At 4 months he:
* has been spitting up lots, but I think it's becoming less frequent (or maybe that's wishful thinking)
* just started turning
* found his vocal chords (conveniently during church)
* likes to blow bubbles with his mouth
* has learned to enjoy his sisters constant in-your-face attention
* slept through the night 1 time (at least we know it is possible!)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

before and after

I was ready for a haircut.  It has gotten pretty long and I was sick of it.  It was long enough I could donate it - so I had 8 inches taken off.

It is shorter than I really like, but it will grow back - and it's for a good cause - so I'm happy with it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Trip to Mexico

The girls were playing together and I came into the room.  I found them with a suitcase and  asked what they were doing.  Their reply was, "We're going on a trip to Mexico."
So, they had a suitcase (full of clothes and shoes) along with all of the things they will need for their long plane ride.  Apparently we've been doing too much suitcase packing and talking of long plane rides at our home!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Reading Time

The other day I found Hannah 'reading' to Sofia.  They know they aren't allowed to have their shoes on the couch, but they wanted to keep their shoes on, so this is what they came up with.  Hah!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Earlier this week my parents left to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  They will be serving in Zambia for the next 18 months.  We went down to the airport to say goodbye.  

It's always sad to say goodbye, but we're excited for them!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

First Snow

Snow fell in the yard for the first time the other day.  The girls were rather excited about it. 

They were trying to catch the snowflakes, but couldn't quite get close enough

After digging through suitcases we managed to find some of our snow clothes and go out and play:


They had fun...I hope that excitement lasts for the next few months!



Sunday, November 3, 2013


The other day we had to say goodbye to our car.

My sister and her family now have a daughter old enough to drive (CRAZY!!!) and could use another car.  Conveniently we won't be needing one for a while.  They flew here for my sisters wedding and drove our car back.  The only problem is we are still here so we still need some wheels to drive...fortunately Grandma and Grandpa have been willing to share with us!

Anyway, this car as a soft spot in our was a good one and we loved it despite the missing hubcap

and squeezing 3 kiddos into the backseat.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Last Trip?

We went to the park the other afternoon.  We had fun, but it was cold!!  Is it possible that this really is the end of our park days for the season?  That is sad to think about, but since James was there I actually got some pictures!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Festivities

When we realized we were going to be here for Halloween I gave the girls a few options for costumes and they chose to be m&m's. 
Naturally Sofia chose purple...
 and Hannah chose pink.  They wanted nothing to do with the normal m&m colors, so I didn't argue too much.
James wanted to be Eminem, the rapper instead of an M&M wrapper, but I vetoed that.  Here's what we ended up with:  
 I had planned on making TJ a peanut m&m, but was too cheap.  The thought of finding the right color onesie, and sewing it for him to wear for a whopping 1 hour was too much for me.  My sister conveniently gave us the tiger costume.
Hannah is actually old enough to get excited about the holidays and it makes it so much more fun.  We spent the week doing preschool crafts for Halloween.  We used them to decorate.
Here are a few of the ghosts we had flying around
and the spiders creeping around:
We managed to do a few candy corns as well as a Frankenstein
and lots of spider webs to top it off
Of course we had to plan our menu to the holiday.  So, we had jack-o-lantern burgers (which I forgot to take a photo of).  
We find any excuse we can to make 7 layer naturally we made it work for Halloween
 and ended with pumpkin rice crispies (as if we needed a dessert)!
This was our first time actually going trick-or-treating, but they caught onto it pretty quickly. After a whopping 10 minutes (thank goodness we live on a small cul-de-sac), we headed home to sort the candy.  They each got to choose one thing to eat - I thought it was rather fitting they each chose a package of m&m's 
I think that was their first time actually eating m&m's and they seemed to approve!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kite Flying

We made some 'kites' the other day as a preschool activity.   I use the term kite very loosely - they looked like kites, but weren't really flyable.  A couple days later it was windy and the girls wanted to fly them. Unfortunately they were soon disappointed.  Luckily Grandma had some real kites the girls got out and had lots of fun.  They get the concept of the kite, but still kind of struggle with making it fly.  So, they pretty much ran around and the kite would follow them wherever they ran.  That was good enough for them.  

They had a fun time...

...until their kites got tangled up.

Whatever entertains them, right?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Our Little Bakers

We made rolls the other day....of course there were two little helpers to join in.

Nothing like yummy dough mixed in lots of butter to make them smile!

Bug Hunt

Nothing like searching for bugs to kill the time before church.

Apparently the magnifying glass helps to find them! She was mesmerized by the millipede.