Wow! What can I say? The food was excellent: Chateau Breaund and Chocolate Souffle. Yum! Not to mention, the great company, Derek and Kim. We had a great time and I can't imagine a more romantic spot for dinner. Polonezkoy (means "Polish village" in Turkish) is a really cool little village on the out skirts of Istanbul. It is one of the few places that you can get pork. Derek was impressed by the fact that you could see stars tonight. We haven't left the city in too long. Anyway it was just a really nice and much needed escape that we were more than happy to take. Thanks Granny Juanita and Papa Rodrick for the special gift this Christmas to pay for it. ;-) Upload Video and Photos at DropShots.com
Here are a few pictures we took on Christmas. The first few were took on Christmas morning with our friends - Derek, Kim, Laura Beth and Scott. They spent the night with us and then we opened presents together Christmas morning. The last few the ones were we are dressed were taken at our friends house, Bill & Rebecca Hogg. We had a wonderful dinner with them and a few other friends, the Morgan's, Byrd's and Bill and Rebecca's son and daughter-in-law. We were blessed to share Christmas with so many good friends who have become like family! Upload Video and Photos at DropShots.com
As you can tell from the picture it's snowing in Istanbul! We woke up Christmas Eve morning to white roof tops, white streets and white cars. Not quite yet a winter wonderland but the snow is still coming! Our plan today was to do just a little more shopping at the mall but we are afraid we wouldn't be able to get home if we do. We live on a big big hill and so the likley hood of us getting back up it is slim. So we will just walk to the store close to our house to get a few things we need. But how fun it would be to have a White Christmas!
Tonight we plan to spend the evening with a few friends who have been left by themselves in the city this Christmas mainly because their roommates have gone back to the states or they didn't have anyone to spend it with. So we are going to have a nice Christmas Eve dinner then have them all spend the night and open gifts together on Christmas morning.
But as we think of tomorrow, Christmas morning, we are reminded that we will be the only ones in our apartment building and one of three families in our neighborhood celebrating Christ's birth. And then to add to that only about 5,000 believers, Turkish and foreigners, will be celebrating Christ's birth in a country of 70 million people tomorrow. So we praise the Lord we have the opportunity to worship Him and proclaim Him in a land that does not recognize the sacrifice our Savior gave when He came into this world.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord...there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.'" Luke 2:11 & 14
Here is the latest addition to our household thanks to Elizabeth's brother and sister-in-law as a gift for Bailey. We will put it in Bailey's room so that we can rock her to sleep and feed her. We just wanted to share it with you because we are thankful for how beautifully we are provided for in everyway.
We had a wonderful time Sunday night with some Turkish friends and some old friends from Ruston. They all came over for a Christmas meal and to exchange presents. Though I am not sure how Christmas, Mexican food really is, it was a good meal.
However the thing that made the night really special wasn't the food but it was that we were able to spend the evening with several Turk believers. If you don't know that is special because there just aren't many of them. It is so uncommon to find a Turk that really knows the day Christmas is on, most just get it confused with New Year's, and even fewer know the real meaning of Christmas.
Good times! With old friends and new, Elizabeth and I know we are blessed.
Yes you are looking at a Krispy Kreme donut! And yes it is in our house in Istanbul. Unfortunately Krispy Kreme has not opened in Istanbul but we keep praying. But thankfully I have a friend, who is here for a conference, that brought 12 Krispy Kreme donuts from the states! Some friend, huh?! Let me say they were good even though we didn't eat them as the sign lights up that says, "HOT NOW!" Makes your mouth water doesn't it? They were still good and we are savoring every bite. I have four left and we only got them last night. Not sure if I'll let Billy have anymore or not. I let him eat three of them that's probably enough.
We are thankful for all things and in all things! And a big thanks to Kanoot for bringing them half way around the world for us to enjoy!
Hey everyone! Can you believe it is already time to throw away the Thanksgiving left overs? Time passes so quickly. It seems like Elizabeth and I just returned to Turkey. We are now realizing this will be our last Christmas as a couple without kids. FUN STUFF! I can't say that I haven't enjoyed our two Christmas as just us, but it is something to look forward to when thinking about having a kid or two wanting to get up and check out the presents before the sun rises. Ha! Ha!
However, our focus is still on the real reason for Christmas. Not the coming of our child, but the coming of the CHILD. With the putting up of a tree, hanging of lights and the taking out of the dusty Christmas CD's a certain excitement can be felt. It is such a special time of year. Make sure that you do take time this year to enjoy the moment and to remember the blessing of the CHILD. We can definitely feel a whole new reality of what it is to await the Christ as we await our Bailey.
Thanksgiving was great. We had all of the best foods, especially HAM!!! Thanks to Callie, we had a beautiful ham from America.
All joking aside we are so blessed by God to have so many good friends, the chance to live among a wonderful people, our wonderful home, so much good food beyond our needs, a new baby on the way. May we not be thankful only on one day of the year.
Today we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary! It is hard to believe we have been married two years already. We have enjoyed every minute. We celebrated by going to the Ritz Carlton Hotel for breakfast. I know breakfast doesn't sound that exciting but it is when you don't always get bacon! We enjoyed eating pancakes, french toast, omlettes, pastries, fresh fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice and yes BACON!!! Bacon is a luxury here because Muslims don't eat it. So when you find it - it is very expensive about $50 for one pound. Anyway we really enjoyed it. We had a lovely view of the Bosphorus Strait. I wish we could show you but we forgot to take the camera with us. So the picture was taken at our house today. We spent the rest of the day working. And then I made tortillas and we ate soft tacos for dinner. Sounds like an old married couple, right?
These two years have been wonderful. I am blessed to have such a loving husband. I can't wait to spend many many more with him!
Bailey already has it right. As you can see in the picture she is saying her daddy is #1! For some reason Elizabeth doesn't seem to agree with me. Haha! Hope you enjoy this new pic of our growing baby.
The doctor said this past time that Bailey is so big now that it is hard to get a good ultrasound because you can't see all of Bailey at one time. I really don't care if it is this picture or any other picture, they are all nice to have. Please continue to pray for the health of Elizabeth and Bailey.
We have three American friends other than Elizabeth that are pregnant and it was fun to see all the pregnant ladies standing together, all in different stages of pregnancy.
However, the night was really about our Turkish friends and their little boy, Mustafa IV, that is on the way. Mustafa III is our Turkish Teacher for our company. He has been a long time friend and help to many of our friends here in Turkey. We were able to bless them with many different gifts and suprise them some fun American style deserts that they never had. The baby shower went really well and our friendships were solidified in a way they never have been. Hopefully we will be able to have more times where we can get together. Maybe the next picture will be of all five babies laying next to each other.
One person asked what Mustafa Bey was teaching in the class because nearly everyone of his students got pregnant. I don't know maybe it is just something in the water at the office.
Please remember these friends and all the babies that are on the way.
Hey here is our picture. As you can see Bailey is growing all the time. It is fun because Elizabeth's belly just gets bigger and bigger. Bailey is kicking all the time. Just the other night I put my ear to Elizbeth's stomach and Bailey kicked me in the ear. I guess she enjoys her privacy.
We are preparing all the more. Just this week we will be going to buy some of the things that we need for Bailey, her rocker, dresser/changing table, etc. It seems like everything is falling into place. We are having lots of fun. God is really blessing us through this time. Elizabeth also had a little class this week at the house with a few ladies that our on our team that have had several babies and the other first time moms. It sounds like they had a lot of fun, but some things they are learning I just prefer not learning until I have to learn them.
Other than these few things you all can just remember to continue to pray for us.
Pray that Elizabeth and Bailey continue to be healthy.
Pray that we continue to be prepared to be good parents.
Pray that we are prepared to have this new addition to our family.
Well I can only say a trip through four countries in just 10 days was absolutely unbelievable. We flew into Zurich, Switzerland and rented a car. From there we drove through the edge of Germany and saw Neuschwanstein Castle. We went to Salzburg and Innsbruck, Austria; and enjoyed Elizabeth's singing with the "Sound of Music" show. We drove down into Italy and enjoyed a couple of days in Venice. The "Regada" was going on and we got to enjoy a huge festival. Other things we got to enjoy were just the simple pleasures of pork and a little time to reflect. Wow! I still get chills thinking of the beautiful views that we saw in the Alps and the open green valleys with all of the Swiss houses and the tons of flowers. It was an absolutely unbelievable vacation and we hope to see some of those places again.