Thursday, September 30, 2010

Water Table

A long, long time ago, I told my Tante Jan I would post a picture of our water table int he backyard so she could see what one was. (Don't worry Jan, I didn't know what one was either before we bought it from our friends.) But here are the photos of Elijah playing in it. The boys love it. It's fun to dunk things in, pour water over yourself from, and anything else you can imagine.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday ...

... one day late to one of our dearest friends in the whole world. Ron Ray! You stalked us from Kentucky to Minnesota. We've been friends since before we were married (and that's a long time!) We love you Ron!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Silver Triceratops

Yesterday, Isaac prayed for dinner for the first time. We were eating outside, JB was cooking inside, and I said, "Who wants to pray?" Normally there is no response. Or someone says, "Mommy did." But last night Isaac said, "I do." Then he prayed. He folded his hands, peeked out of the side of his eyes and said, "Dear Jesus. This food be good. Amen." I almost started to cry, and I was desperate for JB to hear what he was saying.

I wish, all day, that I could record the things this little man is saying, but truly, by the time I get a pen or get to my computer, the memory is gone. I know it is typical of all kiddos, but I also know that in just a few years, his vocabulary will no longer be something that is always making us smile! He repeats everything we say, begs to eat "pommegranites", is singing songs, and telling us exactly what it is he would like to be doing.

Yesterday I went into his room during naptime when I heard him yelling, "Help Mommy. Need help!" He had his "dinosaur cave" (Daddy broke the rules and gave it to him in bed) and he wanted it unzipped so he could get the dinosaurs out. I told him he could not sleep with all of them. There are like ten big dinosaurs in there. But he could have a few.

He watched me randomly handing him some, and when I thought I was done he said, "Mommy. Need the Triceratops."

Okay. I know which one that is. (Thank goodness!) I pulled it ou and handed it to him. He accepted my peace offering but looked at it funny. "That's a triceratops," I said.

"I need the silver triceratops Mommy."

I dug through the cave until, sure enough, I found the grey triceratops. Silly Mommy.

Sweet little boy. Thank you Lord for choosing me to be his Mommy.

He settles ...

... the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.

Introducing John and Becky's son!

Joshua JoonSeo

Please take a moment to visit Becky's blog and voice your congratulations. Even if you don't know them personally, this is news that you will enjoy reading. After years of infertility, two failed IVF's and a very difficult miscarriage, they have a referral!

Also, please pray that Joshua can come home sooner than anyone expects. The agency says April is the earliest. Let's all pray for April (or sooner!) We want that little boy in the arms of his Daddy and Mommy as soon as they can get him there.

To say I am excited is an understatement. I cannot wait for Becky to be the mother she has always wanted to be. She is already a mother. But now she gets to hold her child on this earth.

Suds in the Bucket

... or make that, Elijah in the bucket. Check out his muscles too!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Prayer Request

*** pregnancy mentioned in the post below.

Want to usher in a prayer request for my brother and his wife. My brother and his wife are expecting their second child. I often refrain from pregnancy "stuff" on my blog, however, in this case, their little girl has some sort of cyst on her chest, and I thought the desire to get prayer for her overrode the attempt to be sensitive for those struggling with infertility. They got word this week that it does not appear her heart is effected! Praise the Lord for this fantastic news!!! However, the family would still appreciate every one's prayers as they continue to monitor this cyst throughout the rest of AD's pregnancy. Our prayer is that it wastes away to nothing and that it is only a superficial inconvenience. Thanks for the prayers everyone.


One very cool thing about living here at Incirlik is the world-wide effort at keeping up morale. Because we are in the Middle East and just a hop, skip, and jump from some of the deployment locations like Iraq and Afghanistan, we get a lot of "morale boosters." There are a lot of musicians, comedians, entertainers, and the like that will make a stop here while they are touring the Middle East.

Our TV comes with our house, and it is run through the Base. Things are tape delayed and replayed. Basically they take the best shows and combine them into one huge channel. So the channels things are on at home won't necessarily be what they are on here.

The commercials are nearly all military commercials. Lots of morale boosters. People telling you that you are doing a good job. Thank you for your service. It makes me feel sorta special. And it's nice to hear. It's nice to remember that we are working for our government and that being here is basically considered being "deployed as a family."

There are always free items available at the post office or our church. People or companies who sent stuff just for military lifers. It's so nice to feel appreciated.

So, speaking of morale ...

Today I had the opportunity to attend one of Beth Moore's simulcasts for free! We didn't get to actually watch it live with the 125,000 other people from the other side of the globe, but we did get to watch with people around Europe and Asia. What a blessing for her ministry to provide this gift to us at Incirlik. Not only did I get to listen to Beth Moore speak on kindness (more on that in an upcoming post as I recap her great teachings) but I also got to meet quite a few women from off-Base which is quite unusual.

Getting access to Incirlik can take up to a month! I started working on getting access for my Mom and Joni (who come to visit next month!) when we first moved here, and we just got complete approval finished. So to have a room full of women visit from off-Base was quite a luxury. They had been working on this for many weeks and weren't sure approval would be granted. But it was! Most of these women attend an international church (which we hope to visit in the future) off-Base. They are American women living in Adana. JB and I actually had dinner with one couple last week, a connection from our good friends Tristan and Shannon.

There is religious freedom in Turkey. You are allowed to be a Christian or any other faith. However, conversion is basically against the law. If a Muslim was to convert, they would be completely ostracized from their family and face a myriad of dangers (even death.) So while there is religious freedom, it is not the norm to see a Turk express a religion than anything other than Muslim. But there are some who are Christians. And they worship together with Americans in the open in Adana and throughout Turkey.

Anyways, I got sidetracked a bit. What I was writing this post to express was my gratitude for these morale-boosters. If you have something that you can share with the military community either at home or abroad, don't hesitate to do so. (There was a box of crocheted hats available at church the other day.) We really appreciate it. I am incredibly grateful for any "taste of home" I get. While I am so incredibly happy to be living here, enjoying the experience, and not regretting our decision to make Turkey our home in any way, there are some things that are quite difficult about living here. One of those is the feeling of isolation. And tastes of home help that feeling.

Tastes of home are a wonderful blessing. And Beth Moore was a wonderful blessing. If you have never had the opportunity to listen or read any of Beth Moore, I encourage you to change that immediately. She's fantastic!

P.S. Thanks to my wonderful husband for watching our boys for the day and giving me time to spend with my savior. I needed that so much. :)

Happy Birthday Rachel!

It's my friend from the Polar North's Birthday today. Happy Birthday Rachel! Rachel is one of those gals that I know if I would have stayed in Minnesota any longer, we'd have been doing all kinds of stuff together now that we are both staying at home. She is the wife of one of JB's classmates: Hans and they'll be calling the Polar North home for quite some time. So hopefully our paths will cross more consistently again in the future. (This picture is from "Match Day" back in 2007).

Friday, September 24, 2010


Last night was the Air Force Gala. We put the boys to bed before the sitter came which was very helpful with them not feeling well. We had a wonderful evening. Since not everyone could be in the main room (they have a 200 person limit for fire code and they wanted more people to be able to come) they had rooms set up all around the club with TV's and food stations everywhere. From 7-8 there was food all over the place, 8-9 a speaker, and 9-? dancing. Great time!

I did wear the purple dress based on the vote on my blog and loved it. It fits great and unlike most strapless dresses, doesn't feel like it is going to fall down all night. I also went and got my hair done with Angelica at the beauty shop on base. A Turkish guy did it for eight bucks! I should just get it done everyday.

My date for the evening.

Angelica, me and "Stebbins". Sarah A. was also there but we lost her midway through the evening. (There were so many rooms, it was like a maze if you lost someone.)

Stebbins and her hubby Ryan.

Tom and Emily are our neighbors next door. They are great people and attend our same church service.

Angelica and her husband Dan.

Dancing. Not sure what we were talking about here.

Because everyone has to wear the same "mess dress" tuxedo, they will often get the shirt under their tux personalized. Here is Dan's personalization. And you can see the guy in the background's choice. JB hasn't done this yet. Not sure if he will. We may have to have a vote as to what should go on it.

Stebbins. She is such a fun person. (And she doesn't even drink. This is how she is all the time. Just very real and very goofy and very herself. What a great friend.)


Yesterday I experienced what it might be like to not have two little kiddos at once. I realized that being as Isaac was 8.5 months old when Elijah was born, I have never experienced a solo toddler since I've become a mom.

Both boys are under the weather, Elijah especially so, and as a result, sleep was the name of the day yesterday. Take a look at how it all played out:

Elijah: Up at 6:00a
Isaac: Up at 7:00a
[Note that 7-8:30a, while JB was home, was the only time ALL DAY that they were both awake!]
Elijah: Asleep from 8:30a-2:30p!
Isaac: Asleep from 1:00p-5:30p!

Now here's the thing. I would have thought that this would be glorious. But in fact, it was, and I hesitate to even write the words, but ... boring. I was the entertainment instead of them entertaining each other. (Which I have been told by many moms-of-twins is the best part of the two-for-one-deal.)

Of course, when they are both awake I am breaking up fights, distracting one, and bee-bopping between dirty diapers, feedings, play times, and what-not for two boys and a big dog. But on this day, it was just one kiddo.

Normally, I do not have a moment where I just sit down unless I am reading to them. There is always something going on. But yesterday, I sat quite a bit. It was weird. It is true that when you have two together, you can't imagine doing it any other way. Just as those of you who are not in my shoes would probably say you wouldn't want to do it the way we have.

God does give you just what you can handle. And I'm glad with what God gave me.

P.S. Tonight is the ball. We plan to put the boys to bed and have a sitter just be here while they are sleeping. It'll mean going a little late but with them being sick, we don't want a sitter to have to deal with that. The purple dress is the dress of choice so stay-tuned for pics of our night on the town!


People from back home have been asking me what the weather is like here. As we understand it, overall, the weather is very comparable to northern Florida with mild seasons, no snow, and hot summers. Of course, we haven't been here an entire season cycle. So we can't say for sure. And, apparently, this has been one of the warmest summers in recent memory.

But here is how it is different. The temperatures right now are highs in the 90's (or 100's a few weeks ago) but early in the morning and late at night they can swing into the low 70's.

This is different from a place like South Florida. While South Florida doesn't get quite as hot as it does here, it stays warmer. For instance, a few days ago, we had a high of 92 and a low of 70. When I looked at South Florida, the high was 92 or so and the low was 87. That's where the difference is.

It is getting better, but most people avoid doing anything between 10-3. Any other time of the day right now is pretty pleasant and even a bit "cool" sometimes.

Hard to believe that most Turks do not have air conditioning. And if they do, they have a unit in just one room. They have good ceiling fans and leave their windows open a lot, but AC is not then norm. Most restaurants and places of business have no air or a simple unit that doesn't really help all that much. Even places like malls, while air conditioned, are set much warmer than we are accustomed to. You don't get that "cooled off" feeling off-Base like you do on-Base.

Hatice told me that to put AC in their house and her husband's business would cost them about $600 a month. She makes less than that a month! Yikes!

Either way, we are really looking forward to nicer temperatures in the next few months. Bring it on!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

JB's Grama

We have gotten news from the other side of the world that JB's grandmother is not doing well. She is now living with JB's parents and hospice has been called in. She is coughing a lot and just overall, having trouble breathing. We knew when we saw her before we left that this was the direction things were taking, but it is still hard to hear confirmation that this is the case. This is JB's last living grandparent and his Dad's mom. Please pray for the family and especially for Grama. Please pray that she is not in pain and that she has peace and calmness about what is happening around here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Here's a little E-man this morning, watching Lion King and laid out with a fever. Poor little guy is feeling really crummy. JB said that he is seeing 4-5 patients a day with the same thing that laid me out last week. And most likely, this is also what Elijah has. It appears to be about a 48-hour feverish illness. Please pray that Isaac skips it as right now he is appearing to be doing great. Elijah just wants to lay on the couch, on me, or in my bed with me. He did sleep though the night in his crib last night other than two wake-ups where he was crying in his sleep, burning up, and we gave him some more medicine.

Unfortunately, this small Base leaves sicknesses to run rampant. We are all congregating in the same places and with the same people. When an illness hits Base it often runs it course pretty successful. I'd appreciate extra prayer that our family stays healthy during our time here.

I'm glad I knew the word "hasta" for sick so I could try to explain why Elijah wanted nothing to do with the attention being showered on him yesterday at the Turkish Residency Offices. I even resorted to giving him a pacifier and when one of the men asked that he take it out so he could "see" him better, I said "hasta" and he immediately understood.

Our residency passes were complete so we had to go pick them up. JB doesn't need one, but the boys and I do. So he drove us there. Wednesday is JB's "admin" day in the afternoon. A time that he can catch up on all the things he needs to do.

There are things I am still adjusting to each time we go off-Base. People kissing my children is one of them. I don't really mind it, but it is just so different from our culture where really, if you aren't family or close friends, you don't kiss people's kids. The other thing is the men in this culture. They are just so different from men in America. They are very "touchy-feely" not only with each other but with the children. They congregate in groups to drink tea and play cards. The women are much standoffish when we venture out, especially the older women. But the men and young boys are incredibly outgoing and kind.

While we were waiting to get our passes, tea was served. We were offered tea. I don't care for tea of any sort, but JB readily accepted. And Isaac, as usual, was excited to eat a sugar cube. They also brought out chocolate for the kiddos. This made a huge mess. People are always quick to offer napkins when they see one of my boys is messy. But a dry napkin on dry chocolate isn't exactly a successful combiantion.

Driving continues to surprise me. Yesterday we witnessed a fight between two men on the side of the road, apparently due to a traffic incident. JB turned to me and said, "See, this is why I don't want you off-Base by yourself." It isn't the incident so much that is the problem. It is not totally unheard of to see tempers flare in the USA as those of us in South Florida definitely know.

It's the fact that you can't understand the language. You don't know what the fight is about. You don't know what they are saying or what they are planning to do. While we carry a card with us that we can use to get a translator on the phone, if we were to get in an accident and people were to start saying things to us, we'd be hard pressed to remain cool under the pressure. Language is such a barrier. My twenty word vocabulary isn't going to be enough in that instance.

Such is why Babel was never built I guess.

Digital Camera Returns!

Here is Isaac counting to 11 and singing the whole ABC song! (And Elijah wearing the hat he refuses to take off. He even sleeps in it.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lotsa good news (and one bit a bad)

Good news is the name of the game here right now folks.

Good News #1: Our van is in Turkey!!!!!!!!!! We feel so limited with our tiny little car with sort-of air conditioning that we are renting. We can't put anyone else in our car unless they squeeze between the two car seats. (Which I have found is possible if you can lean one way while turned another.) We can't wait to see our van. We are hopeful that we will get it in the next three weeks. (We still have a lot of steps we have to go through before it reaches us, but we are closer.) Please pray it gets here in time for my mom and Joni's visit in a few weeks.

Good News #2: I found our digital camera (it's our old small one but the only one that can take video of the boys to send back home.) I had left it at Isaac's gymnastics class!

Good News #3: Thank to an anonymous tipster, I have found a site that I can get coupons for organic milk. Check it out here. Now the only issue, is that I can only get two coupons from my computer. But I plan to ask around and see who else can send them to me. Please use these if you use organic milk. Also, I would not ask people to send me only these coupons because the amount of money it would cost to send them would equal what I would save. But if you have the ability to get to multiple printers and print a bunch or if you are already going to be sending me something else, please include these coupons (if you won't use them). The item that we would want is in the top left corner (Save $1.00 on two half gallons.) Thanks!

Good News #4: I have decided to wear the purple dress to the ball. I am not sure this qualifies as a good news bit, but I thought I would share it nonetheless. Black was in a fairly close running for awhile, but purple clearly got the win.

Good News #5:
We are going to Germany next week. Long story short, JB thought we were going somewhere with work, but it fell through. So he had no patients booked. We found out that we can take the military flight from here to Germany for FREE! No joke. So we are headed out on a one week vacation. Even better is that our friends Shane and Linda have volunteered to stay at our house and watch the Scrubinator! Way cool.

Bad News: Elijah is pretty stinkin'-sick. Last night we met some mutual friends of Tristan and Shannon: Mike and Ginger for dinner in the Alley. They live in Adana and are Americans! Very cool. Elijah was miserable though. And for good reasons. Who wants to eat hot food in the heat when you have a fever of 103. Our night was long and he is now laying on the couch watching Cars. Poor little guy.

Hatice's house

Yesterday I took Hatice home. This was impromptu, not planned whatsoever. I was dressed in my t-shirt and shorts (not in my typical skirt or pants for off-Base adventures). JB got home early, I had a car (rarity), and she asked if I could run her up to the gate. She usually takes a bus there but she could avoid the bus if I drove her. From there, she would walk home. But geez, she only lives a few blocks from the Base so I decided to just run her home.

JB was not happy about this. He does not want me to go off-Base by myself. This is hard for me. I feel very safe, but the truth is, we are advised to always have a travel buddy. This is probably the most difficult part about living here, the fact that we can't really just "go somewhere." I have to learn how to respect my limits. I need to plan ahead to have a friend with me, even if I only want to venture into the Alley. I don't really like this, but it is what it is.

On the way to the gate we passed another housekeeper who was about to miss her bus. So I moved aside a car seat and let her climb in as well.

Now that I know JB's feelings on the matter, I probably won't do this solo again. But yesterday, venture off I did. Hatice first took me by her husband's convenience store. Imagine a store jam-packed with everything imaginable and no air conditioning and you have the place pictured correctly. He's been in business five years, and like most Turks, sits outside and talks to other men when he isn't inside working. I told Hatice I was not dressed properly to meet him. She said that I was fine. He was a kind man, and it appeared Hatice had told him nice things about me by the way he responded to me.

It's funny, his store is only one street off the Alley. The prices are way lower. The conditions very different. The Alley caters to Americans. He caters to Turks. I definitely plan to return, however, despite the fact that I am an American.

Next door to the convenience store was Hatice's brother's shop. A tailor. This was very "Nigerian" in feel. Hot again and sewing machines and clothes everywhere. I really like the tailor I found in the Alley so I may continue to use her despite the fact that I feel loyal to Hatice.

After that it was off to Hatice's house. If I understood her correctly through a combination of English words she knows and Turkish words I know, after ten years of renting a home, they bought this home three months ago. It is in an apartment. The hallways of the apartment are not taken care of and rundown, but her house was quite nice. It's the first time I have been inside a Turkish home here, and I was excited to experience it.

They had three bedrooms. One for her and her husband, one that two of her daughters share. (They are fifteen and seventeen.) The other bedroom currently houses her daughter who is marrying next week. (Her fourth daughter is married with a baby in Istanbul.) After that, it will be a guest room. They also had two bathrooms. But one is reserved primarily for guests unless they have to go.

The house is sparsely decorated but very clean. They have a super nice washing machine, but they hang dry all their clothes. (This is very common of all the homes around Turkey. Clothes hanging out over rails everywhere.) One room has air conditioning, but otherwise, it is fans that keep the house cool. The kitchen is very modernized (dishwasher!) but small and warm. There is a computer in the living room which the daughters know how to work but Hatice has no clue. She actually had marble counter tops. I couldn't understand if she splurged on these or if they got a good deal. She tried to tell me but we weren't on the same page communication-wise for that part of the conversation.

I was offered fresh figs (which are quite different from dry figs) that I took home with me. They also gave me little cakes to take with me as well. I received an invitation to Tuba's (not sure if I spelled that right but it is how it is pronounced) wedding.

Unfortunately, we won't be able to attend since we are going to Germany next week! (More on that in an upcoming post).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dutch Milk

One bad thing about living in Turkey. Hormone-free milk (which JB insists we buy*) costs, hang on to your hats everyone. Four dollars for ... a HALF gallon. Yes, that is EIGHT dollars a gallon. (But they only sell milk in half gallons here.)

Fact: we go through approximately one half gallon of milk per day.

So needless to say, milk is liquid gold around these parts. And when I poured two full cups last night and forgot to give them to the boys and forgot to put them in the refrigerator and had to pour them down the drain this morning, it hurt my feelings very much.

Too bad milk can't be shipped in a care package.

*The Dutch** part of me finds this terribly painful. I have practically begged JB to let me buy the cheap milk -- to such an extent that when I bring it up now he changes the subject before the sentence gets out of my mouth. (He feels very strongly about hormone-free milk.

**Dutch are, stereotypically very strict Calvinists (don't work on Sundays) and very cheap. Question: How do you confuse a Dutchman? Answer: Offer to mow his lawn for free on a Sunday.

My Bball Teammates Rock!

Elijah and Isaac chowing down on their goldfish snacks from Shea.

What a great surprise today! My trip to the mailbox revealed presents from two of my former basketball teammates. Shea sent us a care package filled with goodies that she herself missed when she was living overseas and playing basketball. Jaime sent me sharpie pens, remembering how much I loved writing with them. Jaime, how did you remember that?! So very cool!

I am so blessed by wonderful friends from past and present places in my life. From way back in my childhood in South Florida, to my years in college in Kentucky, to my teaching and coaching in Kentucky after college, to life in the Polar North, followed by Eglin AFB and now Turkey. What a blessing!

Thank you Shea and Jaime. Everyone jokes around here that the little yellow slips we get in our PO Box at the mail office is like college mail. It's so exciting to everyone here. We really are isolated and this really makes us feel a bit of home. Thanks gals!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ball voting

If you haven't voted for which dress I should wear to the Ball next week, click here to see the choices. And then you can vote in the bar to the right of this post.

Turkish Version of the Co-op

Elica and Isaac taking a reading break after a hard morning in the pool

The wifia had their co-op, and we Turkish military wives, have created our own. There are seven of us gals with children ranging from 1-4. We decided to form a bit of a co-op to help give other moms a chance for some time off.

What we decided to do was set up Mondays and Fridays as a "co-op" day. On Monday, one mom hosts the co-op at her house. Another mom is assigned to help her. Anyone can drop off their kiddos at the host's house between 9-1. The most kids that could be present are 10. I happened to be the helper and the hostess for the first two events and we had six kids both times.

We are trying for a two month period. Each person has to be a helper or hostess four times. You don't have to utilize the co-op or, in my case, I could utilize it for one kiddo or both kiddos or no kiddos. I could also just drop them off for one hour or for all four.

So far, it has worked great! I was Stebbin's helper on Monday. And I was the hostess on Friday and Angelica helped me. Angelica is a beautiful gal (both inside and out) from Spain. She's a wonderful sister in the Lord who lives almost right behind us. We played outside for an hour, played in the pool for an hour, and then moved inside for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and some lunch. It was fantastic!

I am really excited about this opportunity to fellowship with another gal and get some time to get things done if I need it without having to drop the boys off in a daycare setting where I know Elijah would just lose his mind right now. Way cool.

We'll see how it goes next week when I'm not a hostess or a helper!

A night on the town

My best friend and me.

Shane (Linda's husband) and Nick -- the resident who, along with Tristan, helped recruit us to come to Turkey.

Stephanie (on the left) is one of JB's bosses. Linda (pediatrician) and her brand new husband Shane.
As I mentioned in a previous post, there was a visiting allergist (from England) in town this past week. He was working with JB nearly the entire week, helping to make sure our Base was doing things as efficiently as possible, that JB was doing well as the allergist ... that sort of thing.

On Thursday evening a bunch of the doctors and their techs took the doc to an AMAZING restaurant in Adana. It was awesome. It was more comparable in price to an American "evening out." A dinner was about $25 a person which is still considered a fairly good price in the USA. It was outside with an English menu, great service, and an amazing view of the lake.

When my Mom and Joan get here (NEXT MONTH!!!!!!!) I hope to take them here. We could bring the boys too as they have a playground off to the side for kids to play on. When in the US have you ever seen a fancy restaurant try to be like a Chik-Fil-A? Love it!

Friday, September 17, 2010


A HUGE THANK YOU! to those of you who offered me encouragement after my post yesterday. I was so incredibly grateful for the encouraging words I received both on this blog and via email. So many things jumped out at me.

Joy you were such a blessing to me. Joy noted that I was writing this after being sick for two days. SO TRUE! Not a good time to analyze my abilities as a mother. Secondly, her comment about their eternal souls was one I had thought of before I even wrote the blog. The fact that I am investing in the souls of men is what I need to remember. When I was serving them their macaroni & cheese with peas for dinner, I thought about the fact that surely there was a mom who was better at this dinner thing than me. But years from now, they won't remember what we had for dinner. What they'll remember the values I helped instill in them. What a task!

Bethany I also greatly valued your comments as a mother of twins. I have to remember that times two is, literally, times two. That helped me so much. You are my hero!

I know the Lord is looking out for me because even before I could express in words my feelings of being overwhelmed, my mom sent me an email with the following scriptures. How awesome is He to show her I needed encouragement even before I expressed out loud that I did?

Psalm 61:2-3 (New King James Version) 2 From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. (Amplified Bible) 2From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the rock that is higher than I [yes, a rock that is too high for me]. 3For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the adversary.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not enough of me

Some days I feel like there just isn't enough of me. This seems especially true when I venture away from my home.

In my home, I have a routine. A system. Despite the fact that my system has been relocated from Eglin to Turkey, it exists. There is an order for eating, changing, feeding the dog, playing, exercising, devotions, everything.

But outside of the walls of my home, everything changes.

And even inside, the routine gets shaken up quite a bit. Like yesterday when one boy wanted to be in the pool and one wanted to come inside and both wanted me with them. And last week when, while trying to get one in from the pool, he peed on our new rug since I had taken off his new diaper. Or yesterday when a poopy diaper outside left me resorting to spraying Elijah's bum down with a hose. (He thought that was great.)

Today I ventured off-Base for the first time by myself. Well, not by myself entirely. I went with Angelica and her two kiddos and Stebbins and her son William.

We parked our cars right next to the gate and began the walk through the big gates, where snipers sit hidden in the bushes and dogs sniff cars, and went to the tailor -- Dee Dee's.

Stebbins needs a dress made for the ball. She brought a picture from People magazine and will have a fitting tomorrow! How amazing is that?

I, was picking up a pair of black linen Capri's. I brought her a pair of white ones last week that I love and she mimicked them perfectly in black. How amazing is that?

Angelica who is already bilingual in English and Spanish got her son's haircut at Pretty's next door. That name still cracks me up. We also found a Thursday market that we can walk to. Amazing as well I think.

Anyways, I gave both my boys a ring pop while we were out and about. Is that bad? When I am outnumbered ... in other words, traveling with the boys without JB along, I feel I need some strategies.

Changing diapers? I let it go until we got home. Is that bad?

We ate lunch at Burger King in the food court outside the BX (which, in addition to Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Baskin Robins are the only fast food places we have access to). Anyways, we were supposed to bring JB his lunch at the Clinic after we were done. But when I ran into one of his techs, instead, I asked him to bring JB his food. Was that bad?

It's just that, we live in a society now where none of us have cell phones. It's amazing I lived my whole life like this. I can't call JB and ask him to meet me at the door to the Clinic. Instead, I have to unload the boys and get inside with the food. It's a thirty minute ordeal. You have to know where you are meeting ahead of time because you can't just call each other! Craziness!

Sidenote: Isaac is a very slow w-a-l-k-e-r ... Elijah, is not so slow. They don't stay together well. Thank the Lord for strollers.

When we get home, Scrubs goes crazy, as usual, and follows me everywhere while I get the boys down for the naps. He wants to go outside and play. Desperately.

I put the boys down for naps in the same room which I do about 50% of the time. Mistake. Somehow, they managed to pull their cribs right together. (I think Isaac jumps until his crib moves over enough so that they can grab hands and pull them together but I am not sure.) They had thrown their animals back and forth at each other until they were both upset because they didn't have their stuff. I took Elijah out. Put him in the pack-n-play set up in the room nextdoor. And then listened to Isaac cry and yell that, "I want to have you help me MOVE this, Mommy! I want to touch Elijah."

It was at this point that I just feel there is not enough of me. I am a mom to two boys. I am the owner of a high maintenance and uber energetic dog. I am a wife to a wonderful husband who gets the last bits of me everyday. I'm also supposed to be a daughter of the Lord and a friend and a sister and keep in touch with people long distance and blog and read my Bible and exercise and ...

... and some days I just do NOT know how to get it all done successfully. I feel swamped. Facebook? It's a jungle I just can't even begin to maneuver through. But I miss everyone so much. I feel out of the loop.

While the vast majority of our house is in order, there are still so many things needing to be done. How do I get it all done? How do I spend enough time with the boys while taking care of myself and being a good wife?


Are you a follower?

If you follow my blog, will you take a moment to add yourself to my followers in the right hand column on the screen? I'd love to know who you are ... since you obviously know who I am!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A bit under the weather

Yesterday was one of those days where I wondered, "How can I take care of myself and my two boys?" I have been sick the last two days. Very sick. The sickest, other than migraine-sick, that I can remember being in the last five years.

I was so blessed that both days, Elijah took a morning nap, and a friend volunteered to take Isaac while Elijah was sleeping: Stebbins on Tuesday for playgroup and Angelica on Wednesday. In fact, after I dropped Isaac off with Angelica (who lives right behind me so I could let Elijah sleep while I walked Isaac over), I fell onto my bed and slept without moving until Angelica rang the bell to drop him off 2.5 hours later! Yikes!

After lunch, Isaac went down for a nap, and I put on Cars and just let Eljiah climb all over me and watch the movie while I dozed. I couldn't do anything but lay there and let him watch TV.

Anyways, despite me being under the weather and both the boys not quite themselves, we hung in there together and made it through the day. JB was unable to take a day off since the regional allergist from Germany was in town. JB is the "allergy extender" on Base and basically works as an allergist. He reports to this guy in Germany, who then checks in on him every few months and makes sure John is handling his allergy patients well.

After a longer than usual day at work, poor JB had to come home and completely take over with dinner and clean-up. I had nothing left. Needless to say ... church was a no-go.

JB also captured a few snuggle-time pictures. There was lots of laying around and watching TV and reading books in our house yesterday as you can see from the photos below:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Which dress should Wendi wear to the ball?

I'm going to a ball next week. It's an Air Force Ball. For JB, it's easy. He wears his mess dress. For me, a bit more complicated. I have to actually pick something to wear. Lucky for me, I have three dresses to choose from. Here they are as depicted in photos below:

The first is this purple dress from my sister-in-law AD's wedding to my brother back in 2003 I think. Geez I am lost on years here.

A dress I bought for the Mayo ball that we never got to attend in Rochester. I wore it instead to a playhouse for a date with JB.

The dress I wore in my friend Michelle's wedding way back, like almost ten years ago. But hey ... it's black. it's classic. Right?

Please vote in the poll on the right column of my blog. I have to make this decision big time quickly! Help me out folks. Vote soon. My ball attire depends on you.

A bit of a teaser

It was before we left for Turkey that I hinted at some exciting adoption news in our future.

While we are not completely ready to unleash all the details of our exciting news, I did want to whet every one's appetite a bit for what we hope will be unleashed very soon.

No, we are not adopting ourselves. Not right now anyways. What we are hoping to do is help other people adopt. We are actually in the process of creating our own non-profit organization which will be designed to do just that -- help other people experience the miracle of adoption.

Stay tuned for more details. We hope to have them for you soon.

Loving my little men

*** To all my infertility friends, this post, is quite motherhood intensive. Feel free to skip it and come back tomorrow. I would never want to hurt any of you travelling this road. ***

I’m sitting outside on our front porch while I write this. It’s the middle of the afternoon, and we are outside. The weather is still hot, but each day we see the end that everyone has been promising. Cooler temperatures seem to creep in each day. We eat dinner a few times a week on the back patio. The boys play often in the front yard. In the back yard. In between the two yards. Each offers different excitement and opportunities for boys to be boys. A pool. A slide. Bikes. Cars. Trucks.

My house has become the sort of toy store that both JB and I swore to each other we will never have. My only comfort is the fact that none of these toys are things I have bought -- at least not without a huge discount second-hand.

We have more than enough big cars for the boys to play with, due to my propensity for finding a bargain in the next door neighbor’s garbage or at the local thrift store. And yet, I just took a two minute break from writing this to deal with a fight that had broken out over one particular car that is an exact duplicate, minus the color, of one that sits next to it. Isaac is in it. Elijah wants it. Elijah won’t leave Isaac alone. Isaac pushes him and screams, “Leave me be Ewijah!”

"Ewijah" screams back and begins yelling the few words he knows. "Car! Momma!" And in between his screams he's signing with intense fury.

Each day as a mother of two nearly-twin-boys offers new excitement, challenges, delights, stressors, lessons, frustrations, and huge smiles. A quick look into our day-to-day existence would present a visitor with glimpses of two diaper-clad toddlers chasing each other around the loop between our hallway and kitchen. The next moment you will find a fight has broken out over one matchbox car that has suddenly become integrally important to each of the very existences despite the fact that there are well over a hundred tiny cars lining drawers in our home with only slight variations apparent.

A few seconds later, double-dirty-diapers are the item of the moment. These become compounded by the fact that leaving toys behind for a fresh bottom creates extreme anxiety. “Ewijah will get that Mommy!” Isaac yells. “Don’t wet him take it.” And then the next all-important question. Will I or will I not use cream. "Just use a wittle cweam Mommy," Isaac says. And Elijah will simply sign "All done" before the cream can come out. Desitin is the only cream we seem to see success with and it stings a bit.

I love being a Mom. And I love the fact that I have two children. And two boys at that. I find myself actually contemplating the boredom that would ensue if they didn't have each other. They belong together. As if they were twins born in one womb, I believe God destined them to grow along side one another. They learn together. They play together. They cry together. They fight together.

And they nestle themselves, each day, even the bad days, somehow, even deeper in the recesses of my heart. Of John's heart.

Love of children is so very different than that of a spouse. My love for JB is born of selfish desires. I am often looking to him for what I can get in return. But my love for my boys is completely selfless. Some days, there is very little in return to be gotten. And yet, even if I was to never receive anything in return, I'd get up each morning, well before I was ready to, and love them. And serve them. And pray for them. And try my best to help mold them into the men I hope they will one day become.

Of my womb. And not. And forever entwined into every fiber of my being.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Congratulations Tara

My heart is not only with infertility and women. It's also with the single woman. I may have wanted children badly. But I often reflected on a woman who had not met a spouse. She wanted childrend and a spouse.

Tara was one of those friends. One of those friends whom I knew wanted so badly to meet "Mr. Right" but just kept happening upon a relationship that wasn't "quite" right.

Until now.

Tara, I'm so happy for you.

And yes, I plan to say, "I told you so" as often as I would like.

I so hope, somehow, I can be at your wedding. I'm bubbling over with excitement.

Some cool websites

My life is currently easier and more fun by the inclusion of the following websites in my life. What did we do before the Internet folks?

1. English to Turkish Translation -- a good sight for help with basic translation

2. Turkish Characters -- since the Turkish alphabet has different letters, this helps me type in Turkish. Way cool!

3. Typeracer -- this is a fun site where you can race against yourself or others and get your words per minute. It's a bit different from normal words per minute since, if you make a mistake, you must go back and fix it. My highest so far has been 120 wpm. Anyone want to try and beat me?

Büyük Muz (Big bananas)

Bananas (muz) are one of our more expensive purchases at the Market. Have you ever seen a banana tree? They don't produce a plethora of bananas. I figure this is why they cost about three times as much as many of the other fruits and vegetables we buy. Eiher way, since Elijah likes to eat about three of them a day, we always buy a lot. This time, we found some very large muz at the market. In fact one of them was even a siamese banana. I was impressed and tried to brag about it to the woman standing beside me at the booth. She didn't seem to care. I guess it wasn't quite as impressive a finding as I thought.

You can see the double banana on the far right.

The boys enjoyed sharing the double banana with each other.

The picture below was before we went to church last night. I have my hair down and my contacts in. Who knows my, but I am finally having more success being able to wear my contacts. I wore them all the time in Kentucky (12-16 hours a day), but when I started my infertility treatments in Minnesota, my eyes got so dry and blood shot and it was even worse anytime I wore my contacts. Minnesota and Eglin produced very few contact days. But I've been having more success here.

Anyways, that is beside the point. The fact that I have my hair down and glasses off must mean I look very different. Our neighbor Ivy who is about eleven and likes to play Frisbee with Scrubs and bring him her leftover bones from her dinner told me: "You don't look the same," when she saw me. :)

Anyways, I took my different look to church on Sunday evening. Since Elijah was still seeming a bit on the crabby side, John decided to stay home with him. Isaac and I went to church together. I decided to try him in the 2-4 year old class. It didn't go well at all. He did fine during the first fifteen minutes of service while he was in the sanctuary with me. But when I brought him to his "new" class (which I had discussed with him at length and he seemed very excited about) he absolutely lost it. He was a lot younger than the other kiddos, and I just think he needs more time before he leaves the "nursery." The teacher was wonderful and tried to work with him, but she told me that he was beyond normal crying. That it was hysterics and I needed to get him out.

However, when I brought him back to his nursery class, he cried, screamed actually, for the next thirty minutes. I did leave him there after assuring him that I would be back. Gut wrenching.
It was hard enough with one kiddo screaming. I have no idea what will happen on Wednesday if they are both screaming. If you think of it, please pray for my boys to have peace with me leaving them. And please pray that I am able to leave them peacefully.

Oh and speaking of church, I can't believe I forgot to write on the blog that JB (and me) cooked a fajita dinner for about 100 people at Bible Study last Wednesday. JB was amazing. I don't know how he brought it altogether. But it went well and seemed to be a smashing success.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthdays all around

Joy -- my friend from church when we were at Eglin. She is my age but has six children. Egads! She is one of those women who just exudes the love of the Lord and the grace that Christ extends to all of us. You always feel that Joy is being real with you and that you are "okay" in her book.

My neice Grace who has been as precocious as they come since birth. She is seriously, like twenty-one years old inside that pint size little body. Grace loves people and wouldn't hurt anyone for the world. She has a tender heart and a great personality.

My goddaughter Logan! What a cutie she is. Logan is such a beautiful little girl both inside and out. She is one of those kids that just exudes peace and kindness. Happy Birthday Logan!


Sunday market day. For some reason, many of the usual vendors weren't there. At first we thought it was due to the weekend after the Muslim holiday. But after some thought, we came to the conclusion that it was most likely because of the vote that was occurring today. Either way the atmosphere felt changed somehow.

And it wasn't like we could just ask someone what was going on. I mean, I have just learned how to ask for a half kilo of apples. (I say some combination the words bir (one), yarim (half), kilo, and elma (apple) if you are interested.) I'm not even going to make an attempt to ask, "Where is everyone today?"

Even if I could ask it, goodness knows I wouldn't have a clue what they were telling me when they answered. And when I seem confused, they'd try saying the same words slower and louder. And I'd still be lost. Hand gestures might help. But not much.

Welcome to how any new person to America feels everyday. Completely overwhelmed. Lost. Confused. At least here, in Turkey, most of the people want to help me learn Turkish. I can't say that we, as Americans, ever express much interest in helping a foreigner with their English?

... that was a complete tangent I didn't plan on. But something to think on nonetheless. Telling people to "learn the language!" is a bit easier said than done. Have you ever tried to learn another language?!

Anyways. The market. We are finding that many people are looking to go to the market and often looking to go with someone. This morning, Shane came with us. His wife Linda is still studying for the Boards, and as a result, having to limit her activities. Shane was stationed here many moons ago, so he actually has some pretty decent Turkish skills. Between the three of us we managed to buy a stroller full of produce. I also scored the two skirts (Eteks) above!

These skirts run about $10-15 U.S. dollars per piece. I am actually going to be sending some to my online friend Dawn. She's going to pay me through pay-pal, and since it is free to ship from APO Box to APO Box with the military (who knew?!) I'm going to send them to her. Very cool! I absolutely am in love with these skirts. They meet the dress code requirements of the area, are cool, comfortable, and go with nearly anything, while letting me feel like a bit of a girl instead of a tomboy which is how I usually feel.

I am hoping in the near-future, to venture to the market solo. But more practice (especially driving) is required. I need to devote an entire post to driving in Turkey in the future. Today let me just focus on beeping. People beep for no real reason here. Well they have a reason, but I can't tell what it is. If you here a beep it is probably because:
  • You took longer than .3 seconds to go when the light turned green.
  • They are coming by you and want you to know it.
  • They want to say hi.
  • They want to say bye.
  • They want you to scoot over.
  • You are going too slow.

Good luck figuring out which one you are doing wrong.

... and lastly, the vote. I had said earlier I was going to return to that. So return I am.

There are many areas surrounding Base which are called "red areas." These are areas which we, as military members, are restricted from travelling to or through. Nearly everything to the East of us right now is red. Nearly everything to the South as well. If we want to go anywhere, we need to go north or west. Anywhere near Syria or Iraq is basically a no-go. This is unfortunate as there are a lot of Biblical sites I would love to visit in those areas. For right now, Israel is open to us. But the Turks and Israelites are not friends. There is no telling how long that opening will remain.

There are also days when we are advised to practice caution when leaving Base. A day like today where the country is in the midst of a vote on the importance of religion in their politics amongst other things. Days surrounding big holidays, like yesterday. That sort of thing.

It's strange. I realize we are living in a very tumultuous part of the world. A part of the world that has been the source of much violence for the last few decades (and last few thousands of years actually.) That being said, I feel more safe on Base then I have felt anywhere else in my entire life. This is a mini-Mayberry. There is basically zero crime on Base -- especially of a violent nature. I trust my kids outside. I trust my neighbors. I could knock on any house and get something I needed or obtain refuge. I would run at night. I would walk across the Base at night. I would let my kids play outside by themselves without a second thought (if they were a bit older.)

I also feel fairly safe in the area right around Base. The reason is that this is an area that thrives on the American serviceman. We are their business. And a result they don't want anything bad to happen to us.

But outside of that, we do live in the Middle East. We live on a Base that most likely harbors some major weapons. And I am still processing what that means. Two times in the last ten years, family have been evacuated from this Base. We are "deployed in place."

I am so happy to be here. But the safety issues, sometimes, "twerks" me a bit. It makes me wonder if the non-deployment and good hours and Mayberry feel is worth it.

And right now, the answer is yes. We'll see if it stays that way.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A bit of a twist

In 2001 I lived in the United States when our country lost thousands of peoples in the terrorist attacks on 9-11. I don't have to ask you if you remember where you were. If you are a young adult (or older), there is no doubt you remember where you were that day.

I was teaching a room full of innocent children in Franklin, Kentucky.

Today I am living in the Middle East -- an area often associated with these brutal acts.

I have always felt strongly about the fact that we should not blame everyone for the sin of one. And I feel that way even greater on a day like today. JB and some of his coworkers received some sweets from one of the Turkish coworkers -- a tradition this time of year for Ramazan. The note he included passed along his sympathy for the 9/11 anniversary.

His coworker is Muslim. But the vast majority of Muslims believe what occurred nearly ten years ago was a travesty of the worst kind. They would never adhere to such violent acts.

As a Christian, I cringe when I see someone doing something in the name of my religion that I don't agree with. "Christians" who kill abortion doctors. "Christians" who form white supremacy groups. "Christians" who kill in the name of Jesus. "Christians" who live as hypocrites. "Christians" who believe they are above another people group. I don't want to be associated with those people. They do not accurately represent that God I serve.

Most Muslims feel the same way.

As a Christian I am called to love everyone. It is my job to spread the gospel. It is my job to share my faith. It is my job to pray for those who persecute me. But it is not my job to hate or to blame or to initiate violence.

I hope we all remember, today especially, who the enemy is. Today we must remember that sin is the enemy. One particular people group is not the enemy. Satan. Sin. Evil. That is the enemy. It comes in various forms and cloaked in many variations. Muslims died in those buildings on 9/11. Christians died in those buildings on 9/11. The enemy is Satan.

The thief comes but for to steal, kill, and destroy. But Christ comes to give life.

Please remember to pray for those people who are living without someone they love because of the evil that is present in the world we live.

Thanks for the Advice

Thank you all IMMENSELY for taking the time to make some suggestions for me in regards to my boys and childcare and events around Base. I have read every single comment. Here are some things I am thinking after reading them:

  1. Both my boys have colds today. I think some of the issues may have related to this. Thank you to the commenter who suggested they may be ill. They both have a little something going on.
  2. This too shall pass. This is a stage. It will pass quicker than I want it to.
  3. I need to not leave without talking to them first. Leaving without them seeing me might have worked when they were a baby but they are old enough to understand that I have snuck out on them. I have been doing this and I think it bothers Elijah especially. Last night, we had a babysitter so we could go on a date. Elijah got upset, but then I stopped and explained it to him, and he was okay. He did well with some explanation and a distraction (playing outside.)
  4. I should consider allowing Elijah his pacifier or "buddy" (aka "luvvy") while in the nursery.
  5. Staying in the room to help is probably not a good option for me right now, but it is a "last resort" attempt I could make.
  6. JB and I need to figure out whether they should be in the same class or not be in the same class. What works better for both of them? They will probably be in the same classes for years to come so we were leaning that way. But we have to discuss this together.
  7. Consider bribing. (I think this will work for Isaac. I am not sure Elijah can understand the "future" enough yet.)
  8. Take it slow. Choose my events with care.
  9. It is okay to put me first. And it okay to put them first.
  10. Consider a babysitter.

So many wonderful ideas. JB and I went on a date last night! Glorious for both of us. We talked about this a lot while eating our Turkish dinner and practicing our Turkish with our host.

For now we are planning to:

  1. Attend Sunday evening service together and put the kids in nursery. It is just one hour. Isaac seems to enjoy this every week. Elijah is touch and go.
  2. Continue attending Wednesday evening service. Amanda is their teacher every week, and they seem to know her now. This is also held in the CDC (Child Development Center) which offers a very cool room that they both seem to greatly enjoy.
  3. Take MOPs as it comes. I may consider getting a babysitter to attend this since it is only every other week. MOPs has a lot of kids and is in a room not designed for children. It may just not fit for them right now. MOPs is worth me getting a babysitter.
  4. Wait at least a semester before starting Tuesday Bible Study. This is hard for me as they are doing a Beth Moore study, and I would love to do it. But I think this is just too much for the boys right now.
  5. When we have our little Monday & Friday babysitting co-op, leave the boys for a very short period to get a break, but don't do it all the time and make sure they are comfortable in their environment.

Thanks everybody! I'll keep you posted on how it is going. And if you want to add more comments, suggestions, or emails, please continue to do so. I've ready every single one, even if I didn't respond to each one individually.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guess who got ...


P.S. If I told you via email, you are eliminated from the guessing game. Or if she told you directly you are eliminated. I am so, seriously, stinkin' excited, I can barely stand it!

P.S.S. And LOOK at that ring folks!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Needing Mom ... advice requested

Today was MOPs. I only made it through about half of it. Elijah was having none of this nursery stuff. And unfortunately, Isaac decided to agree with him today. Stephanie came and got me and told me that Elijah was just not being consoled. I went in to find him just hysterical. I asked Stephanie her opinion. Should I try to leave him again. She said that she thought he was not going to loosen up today and I should just wait until the next meeting to try again.

I brought Elijah out with me for awhile and he sat on my lap pretty calmly sucking on his pacifier (which is against my "only in bed" pacifier rule). I returned to the room about thirty minutes later because I realized I had taken Isaac's diaper bag. Isaac was hysterical when I returned. And I decided that if I was 0-2, it was time to go home.

I know life with toddlers comes in waves. It was just a few weeks ago that I posted about not knowing what to do with the boys while I got ready. Life has already worked that one out. The boys are doing okay by themselves downstairs while I get ready. Or I use a video. Or I bring my makeup downstairs and get ready in the downstairs bathroom. It's gone a lot better. And I haven't even put a gate up at the top or bottom of the stairs.

And as such, I know that this will work itself out as well. The question is, what do I do in the meantime? We are currently putting the boys in nursery on Sunday evenings, Wednesday evenings, and then MOPs every other Thursday. Sunday is just an hour. Wednesday is just an hour. MOPs would be two hours but only every other week.

When we push the stroller up to the church, Elijah starts crying. He starts clinging to me.

I used to work in the nursery as a young girl and teenager and young adult. I know how it works. I know that if mom will just leave, the kid will stop crying. Or eventually, after a few weeks, the kid will be okay with it. I know that if you cater to the crying, they'll never go into the nursery. Or it will take longer.

So I've been doing that. I leave Elijah screaming at the door. He's yelling my name, and I walk away nearly crying myself. Sometimes JB takes him in and I don't even go to the door.

It sucks. I'd say "stink" but that just isn't strong enough. I hate it.

And so my question is this. I believe that putting him in nursery on Sunday evenings is sort of a "requirement." We need to go to church, and bringing him in with me is just not something I would like to do.

But what about the extras? What about Wednesday and MOPs? All three of these are in a different location. What do I do? Do I make him to go to all of them? We are only six weeks in a brand new place? Is this just too much for him?

Isaac cried today, but that isn't usual. The room he was in was very warm and there were a lot of kids crying. They came and got me to pick up Elijah. But with Isaac, I was just dropping off their diaper bag, when they opened the door. Isaac saw me and ran up to me, hot and crying and said, "Mommy, take off my name tag! Mommy, take off your name tag!" He was done with church for this day.

But Elijah is just distraught. Horrified. Miserable. I know he is "Elijah the Passionate" just like Elijah in the Bible as he fought the worshippers of Baal on the mountaintop. He's been passionate since birth. But I don't want to push too hard.

So, let's open up the floor of discussion. What would you do? What should I do?


I feel like I am back in college again. I love getting mail. Care packages from loved ones ROCK! They really do. It's awesome. It really does feel like a wonderful touch of home. We also get all kinds of free stuff here from people back in the States. Thank you for supporting your military! How awesome. Yesterday at church they had knit caps from a group in the States. I didn't take one because there were only a few left, and I thought someone else could use it more than me. But way cool. Wayyyyy cool.

If you want to mail us something, we would like to receive it! I would be happy to email you our address. Just shoot me an email at Remember that mailing something to us costs the same as a package within the U.S. as we have an APO Box. One stamp will get something here! And you can also get a flat-rate box at the post office, fill out a customs form, and send whatever you like!

If you have something you'd like to share with other military, I'd be happy to pass it along to people as well. Just let me know.