- Boggle (I lose and lose and lose...)
- Lilias Trotter on the Light of Christ (Jen gave me a neat book!)
- Decaffeinated teas (I bought some)
- The 3000 piece puzzle in our basement (lots of green bushes)
- Hotels and trains in Istanbul (why do I care?)
- My next mailing (I'm procrastinating)
- The SAT scores of my students (they aren't posted yet!)
- Cutting my dog's toenails (it needs done)
- Making jewelry (my sister's the one doing this)
- Sewing shoulder bags (very fun fabric)
- George MacDonald (reading and enjoying)
- Writing poetry (my sister insists that it can't be melancholy)
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
But my kids should do well, I think. We've reviewed extensively. I've repeated myself over and over and over. It'll be good.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
This kind of situation seems to be reoccuring for me over the last couple of weeks. Most of the time I wait and pray and God works it out for me. Other times it hangs over my head for a while. I lack wisdom and discernment for telling the difference between the problems with my own attitude and the problems with other people's actions and attitudes. Hopefully I'm growing.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Kurds are very picky about their food and most really hate to try anything new. A group of basketball players that went to the U.S.A. were most traumatized by the food out of all the cultural differences. We like flavors, spices, variety. Kurds like greasy rice and chicken cooked in tomato paste water.
We made baked chicken with egg, salt, basil, oregano, and bread crumbs. (Light on the spices.) We also made spaghetti (which they do occasionally eat here) and that was mostly tomatoes, tomato paste, some onion, garlic, and just a little basil and oregano. We also had bread, a cucumber/tomato salad, tirshiat (a red pickled cabbage and cucumber dish), and some sauteed peppers and zucchini.
It worked. They didn't love the food... but they did eat it. We almost had a tea crisis because I struggle with making Kurdish tea, but they seemed to like it and had seconds. And our pudding with a digestive cracker crust had the 3rd grader coming for seconds.
The best part was after they left and we pulled the dishes (we hadn't been able to wash all of them before the guests arrived) out of the laundry rooom and had a chance to sit down and laugh about all the silly things we'd done to try to pull off this feat. And all in all we felt pretty good about it. We have Dutch company tonight... Thanksgiving at our house tomorrow. Company!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
This is a rather stressful event for us foreigners. We want them to actually be willing to eat what we put before them. But if we try Kurdish food, we'll fail miserably and we'll end up spending all night having them tell us how to really make Kurdish food (their way!). So we've got to come up with something that is both semi-Kurdish in flavor and not at all Kurdish in appearance. How about that!
Add into the mix that this guy is a germophobe to the nth degree. And his wife pretends she doesn't speak English around her husband... and their kid goes to our school.
Yeah... it'll be fun and exhausting.
Friday, November 20, 2009
"Even on days when every cinder in our soul feels cold, if we crawl to the Word of God and cry out for ears to hear, the cold ashes will be lifted and the tiny spark of life will be fanned. For "the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul."
Friday, October 30, 2009
But class... hmm... sign language is out of the question. I'll write on the board. Maybe play classroom telephone with the directions for school. Have kids read aloud. I think it would be kind of interesting to try to go through class without doing anything more than whispering.
Should I make it a rule that if I can't speak above a whisper then they shouldn't?
But then I couldn't hear them from the back of the classroom.
Maybe not the best long term solution... but it could be fun...
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Since then, we've been doing something a bit more exciting. A lot of rappelling and taking our kids out to do it too. It's been a great experience coaxing kids off the cliff! And we've gotten some pretty neat pictures out of the deal too!
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I read some of the book on an Airplane over the Atlantic. The drone of the engines and the monotony of the travel was so distinctly contrasted to the fluid and poetic writing.
I cried for an hour in the little green yard of a church in Eastern Turkey. I wasn't upset or having an emotional breakdown... the book was so beautiful and so sad. It was carthartic in the truest sense. And yet as I continued over the next few pages I'd still get teary.
Finally at home I finished... having taken breaks to think through what he had said. The sadness was good, and the sadness had an ultimate good. The author didn't realize it at first, but later, walking through life he saw the purpose. 'How true' I thought.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Thinking a lot about the Christian and Muslim views of sin lately. In practice, they aren't that different sometimes. But comparing the Bible and the Koran, they are very different. Hmm... still thinking.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Now, I'm just trying to figure a hostel or hotel in a central Turkey. It's actually kind of fun wondering how much of it is just advertising and how much is real. I mean, all of these places "sound" great. Haha.
I'm enjoying how much reading I've been able to do this summer. Not that I've read really important things or anything, but I've had time to lounge through books that I enjoy. They are comfortable to me and peaceful. I'm a sucker for peace.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
- Add to red dress for brother's wedding
- Visit with friends
- Make frame on oval table for mosaic
- Find glue for mosaic
- Download more audio books
- Cook orange chicken
- Trying to get Advair prescription renewed without a doctor visit (DONE!)
- Buy medications (DONE!)
- Pack to spend a week with Katie!!!!
- Find something interesting to write a blog post on...
- Train dog to be ok with toe nail clippers (just going for ok...)
- Take sister's car to get an oil change
- Buy oranges for the orange chicken (I should have put this up higher in the list...huh...)
- I think I need ginger too...
- I need to write something... dunno what... but I've got a writey bug...
- I'm sure there is more, but I'm tired and need to go now.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
- I open the fridge to look for water. We don't keep water in the refrigerator here.
- I'm cold even though its 80 degrees outside.
- I glare at people as I go through the grocery store. I'm sorry.
- I don't know the characters on TV shows that my family has watched for years. I'm not sorry about this one.
- I miss my team--like a second family.
- I get to drink milk, eat deli turkey sandwiches, and granola.
- I miss my kids.
- I get to see my family every day.
- My brother took me out on a date today. We had Thai food.
- I went running yesterday. It felt good.
- I went out for coffee. Yay.
- I had a good talk with a friend. More yay.
- I went to a prayer group with people like me.
- America is EASY.
- America isn't perfect... it's missing some things.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
The big ones are things like my brother getting married and my family's new dog. The smaller changes are more interesting to me though. My mother changed where she keeps the baking powder and baking soda. It took me 5 minutes to discover the new location. The compost bowl is on the other side of the sink than it used to be. And the glasses are now nearly all stemware like the kind you find for water in nice restaurants.
These are only a fraction of the myriad changes in a home after six months. It isn't much to adjust to, but at least these things are things that have really changed. More things feel odd but really are very normal for here. More on those later.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
I went for a walk in the rain with my brother. The rain made me happy and my brother made me happy and my family's dog waddled along in perfect oblivion to the lightning and thunder.
Here I am.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
How intensely joyous is it that God gives us difficulty to bring us to the point where he can bind our hurts and our sorrows. How wretched it would be if he were not willing to give us pain if it brought us ultimate joy.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The admin was talking about changing the ending dates of our school this week. We still don't know even when school will start next fall. And if we asked about the holidays everyone would laugh... I would laugh. That's how long I've been here. I now laugh at the thought of knowing anything in advance. How sad.
Americans, you complain too much about your country and the systems that run it. They aren't perfect, but they could be so much worse.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Then after some more minutes we moved on into the other room where the food was laid out on a plastic "table cloth" or "sifra" on the floor. Many dishes all heaping with rice, soups, yaprax, chicken, and salads. I should have taken a picture. I made the mistake of loosing my plate to the mother of the house who filled it with more yaprax than I could possibly eat and I don't even like yaprax. It is rice and sour stuff wrapped in grape leaves or this other kind of leaf that we don't have in the U.S.
After eating as much as possible and even drinking mastau (a yogurt water that is reminiscent of cow--and which I think as much as I don't care for it, it helps with digestion), we moved into the living room where the TV was on. I don't think I've been in a Kurdish home without the TV on unless there was no electricity. We mostly ignored the extreme wrestling/boxing/whatever kind of fighting that was and talked some more. We drank tea, which was good, but it was late at night. And then we tried to leave... BUT! You can't leave without eating some fruit. So they hurried and brought out the fruit. Katie and I managed to split a banana and they didn't try to make us eat anymore, phew!Hopefully as we get to know them more they will treat us less like guests where we have to be forced to eat.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Another random meme... yeah, just for those of you who who have nothing else to do and are probably related to me!
I want….. to be content.
I wish….. I were in heaven.
I hate….. the selfish and terrible things I do.
I miss….. my family.
I fear….. myself.
I feel….. uncertain and confused.
I hear….. the buzz of our refrigerator.
I smell….. kerosene and candles.
I crave….. love and affirmation and understanding.
I search….. God’s word for answers to my life.
I wonder….. what will become of me.
I regret….. my complaining spirit.
I love….. my students and my team.
I ache….. for the lost to know God.
I care….. about my relationships with people.
I always….. am the steady one.
I am not….. an ideas person or a decision maker.
I believe….. that God will get me where he wants me to be.
I dance….. whenever I am alone and happy.
I cry….. too often.
I don’t always….. say the things I want to say.
I fight….. through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.
I write….. whatever comes to mind.
I never…. will be forsaken by God.
I listen….. most often.
I need….. to be more prayerful.
I am happy….. when my heart is right with God.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Another set of random questions that I am answering to procrastinate from writing my 5th grade science test.
2. What color is your favorite hoodie?
I’ve only got a blue one.
3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?
I kissed the cheeks of some of the tenth grade girls… Yeah, I’ll kiss them again.
4. Do you plan outfits?
umm… how do you mean “plan”?
5. How are you feeling RIGHT now?
depressed and sick
6. What's the closest thing to you that's red?
7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?
I dream so often.
8. Did you meet anybody new today?
yes, I am constantly meeting new people
9. What are you craving right now?
10. Do you floss?
11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?
12. Are you emotional?
13. Have you ever counted to 1,000?
14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
chunky=then I bite it
15. Do you like your hair?
16. Do you like yourself?
depends on the hour.
17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush?
I guess, if he really wanted to. But it would be awkward I think.
18. What are you listening to right now?
Noor and Katie talking in the kitchen.
19. Are your parents strict?
20. Would you go sky diving?
I guess so.
21. Do you like cottage cheese?
sure… in stuff.
22. Have you ever met a celebrity?
I don’t think so.
23. Do you rent movies often?
24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in?
my jili kurdi is in my closet. Other than that… not really.
25. How many countries have you visited?
I don’t know.
26. Have you made a prank phone call?
no, that’s rude.
27. Ever been on a train?
28. Brown or white eggs?
As long as the inside is white and yellow, I don’t care.
29.Do you have a cell-phone?
30. Do you use chap stick?
31. Do you own a gun?
32. Can you use chop sticks?
33. Who are you going to be with tonight?
34. Are you too forgiving?
35. Ever been in love?
This is a stupid question.
36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow?
Probably going to school like a good girl… I love you Laurel.
37. Ever have cream puffs?
38. Last time you cried?
too long ago.
39. What was the last question you asked?
Are we cooking for team dinner tomorrow here at your house?
40. Favorite time of the year?
Spring in Kurdistan, Summer with my family.
41. Do you have any tattoos?
42. Are you sarcastic?
Usually only in my head.
43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect?
Like, actual butterflies? Or is there a movie? Or the actual process of how one flap of a butterflies wings can change the course of the world?
44. Ever walked into a wall?
many kinds of walls actually… but poles and pillars more than walls.
45. Favorite color?
Don’t have one.
46. Have you ever slapped someone?
47. Is your hair curly?
48. What was the last CD you bought?
I was given a Yo Yo Ma CD for Christmas.
49. Do looks matter?
In many things, yes.
50. Could you ever forgive a cheater?
By the grace of God, yes… I forgive my students quite often for cheating.
51. Is your phone bill sky high?
52. Do you like your life right now?
Yes… but why am I so miserable?
53. Do you sleep with the TV on?
54. Can you handle the truth?
55. Do you have good vision?
56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people?
I don’t think so.
57. How often do you talk on the phone?
58. The last person you held hands with?
I held hands with Katie as we ran away from the freaky men in Dohuk.
59. What are you wearing?
purple shirt, jean skirt
60.What is your favorite animal?
61. Where was your default picture taken at?
My default picture? What’s that mean?
62. Can you hula hoop?
I used to be able to. I’d have to practice a lot.
63. Do you have a job?
64. What was the most recent thing you bought?
a rolling pin, some thread, some balsamic vinegar, and some other junk.
65. Have you ever crawled through a window?
Saturday, April 04, 2009
This is about half way down the street and downhill. Each Newroz (New Year) everyone in the city goes out and walks up and down the street. Different groups have music or food on the sides of the street. But those aren't the real attractions. The real thing is to see everyone you have ever known and to watch people, especially foreigners or politicians. It is swarming and not the easiest place to walk through. We were exhausted by the time we finished, but it was worth it. Everytime we stopped for anything we drew a crowd of our own. P got interviewed by a news crew on what he thought of the festivities. People followed us around with cameras to take our picture. You'd think we were something special. =) But we did manage to see some of our students and their families which made me feel a little more normal.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
From there, the conversation went on into the normal questions of life here. He was sad that I wasn't married (he was married at age 17) and the Koran says it's a pity to not be married (according to him). I tried to tell him that in the Bible it isn't a pity not to be married and that I was okay. He then got all excited and said he knew all about the Bible and proceeded to tell me the story of Jesus' birth and Mary and how he preached. I stood there nodding and smiling as well as I could. I just wanted 3 kilos of ground beef! It took a while... it always does. But the story was worth it.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Your father.......................................always available
Your favorite thing...............................my friends and family
Your dream last night............................interpreted by Katie
Your favorite drink...............................fruit smoothies?
Your dream/goal..................................knowing what to do
The room you are in..............................living room
Your fear...........................................having people mad at me
Where do you want to be in 6 years...........I've stopped answering that question
Muffins.............................................it's been a long time
One of your wish list items......................to stop complaining so much
Where you grew up..............................Moscow
The last thing you did............................reorganized my external harddrive
What are you wearing...........................jeans and t-shirt
Your TV............................................in the cupboard
Your computer..................................an amazing gift
Your mood........................................concerned and confused
Your car............................................well loved
Favorite store.....................................don't like shopping
Your favorite color...............................don't have one
When is the last time you laughed.............last night
Last time you cried................................last night
Three people who email me....................Laurel, my Mom, and Kea
Three of my favorite foods......................cheddar cheese, pomegranate, cilantro
Three places I would rather be right now............nowhere else....maybe Moscow with my fam.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
1. I went to
2. I don't have a favorite color. I like some colors in some places and other colors in other places.
3. I have a really hard time remembering to take the trash out. It's a good thing I live with a girl who thinks about that! Yay Katie!
4. I have never worn gray until this year and am still not sure if I like myself in it.
5. I've never been kissed.
6. Cucumbers make my tongue numb.
7. I grew up listening to Keith Green and Steve Green. This made me very confused about music artists' names and musicians in general. I've never recovered.
8. I sing and dance in my kitchen when I'm all alone. But I think everyone does that.
9. My fuzzy blue hot water bottle is named "Derf".
10. When dogs first meet me, many of them pee on themselves. Not kidding--it's called submissive urination.
11. I was invited as an economics expert to speak on T.V. on the current economic status of the
12. People think I'm nice.
13. I know how many amps most appliances in my house take.
14. I wish I knew more about wireless internet routers. We have five in our house and I can't get any of them to work.
15. I like to have my toenails painted in dark colors.
16. I'm a very huggy and touchy person. I love having my girl-friends or my family stand with their arm around me or play with my hair.
17. I dislike wearing jili kurdi. I always feel so awkward.
18. I have journals from my whole life since I was seven. I still haven't decided if I will ever let anyone read them. (But that first one is hilarious!)
19. I have a fetish for beautiful blank books and nice leather bound Bibles.
20. I'm a fairly private person who has to work to open up to people. That makes things like this tagging-quiz-thing fairly difficult for me.
21. I'm very afraid of letting people down.
22. I am wrestling over the concept of hope. What is it exactly and how does it work as a part in faith? Hebrews 11:1
23. I don't like scotch or port.
24. I wish I had time to write a book, a really good book. I have an intense desire to be a part of creating something grand.
25. I would love to shoot an AK and rappel out of a helicopter--not at the same time though. Can we?
Monday, February 09, 2009
One way to keep from being between them, huh Laurel?, originally uploaded by thebeloved.