Friday, May 30, 2014

Dog cake and some Birthday 'magic'

8 years old has arrived for our tip toeing middle girl.  Dog loving has also arrived and so you guessed it, a dog cake was the appropriate animal cake of choice this year.  We tried to do a dog themed party with some fun entertainment.

We also added a little bit of a talent show from the parents... it was a hit! Enjoy the pics. 
Here he is one and all:  Jock Illuzion... the magician. 
The kids LOVED this and David was so hysterical. This was the hit of the party.  I think we have found some hidden talent. 

If you would like to see a YouTube video of Jock Illuzion in action view here: 

I was the comedy act but the act before me put me in for a pretty expectant crowd. 
Their favourite joke: What do you call an alligator in a vest? An investigator. (ba ha ha)

The theme of our family party was dogs. 
I made a cardboard doghouse for Lydia's presents and
 I also threw together a 'Dog dress up kit'.

In the 'Dog dress up kit': Head bands with felt dog ears I made, a ribbon collar and
 a small doggie treat of candy dog bones to snack on during the show. 

Here is our 8 year old with her cute little birthday present. Yep a little puppy. Tonight the puppy has found a new home in the cardboard doghouse next to Lydia's bed. :) Oh how we love you lovely Lydia.  Happy Birthday. 

This was just a family party and what a precious time with our family it was!

In our west corner - using what we have and who we are, to bless each other,

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Do you know yourself?

There are a few things I know very well about myself. I know that if I don't exercise I can become down and gloomy. Exercise; levels out my emotions and gets my whole mind and body on track. So I take care to exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week even if I only have 20 minutes that day.
I also know that when I exercise everything else tends to fall in place quiet times, eating right, being organised etc. One discipline snowballs to more discipline.

I know that caffeine or too much black tea can make me irritable and on edge. So I have to watch my black tea intake, even though I love it and am surrounded by it daily.
I know that green tea doesn't effect me in the same way so I have learned to enjoy green tea with honey every morning.

Discipline in the small things can take me a long way in my day!
So there you have it, those are the things I know. :)

Simply doing what I know provides a better environment for my family and much better days for myself. 

What do you know about yourself?  What do you do to keep healthy in mind and body and Spirit?

My motto on this blog has been "use what you have"
today I am adding "DO what you know".

Apply the things you do know about yourself
even if they seem small.

Doing what I know in my west corner and determined to keep on doing it,

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pallet couch for our Home school room

OUr new PLace and SPace:
Here are a few pictures of our upstairs. (some are pretty grainy) We made it into our Homeschool/everything room. 
It is also where I give english lessons to a small class of boys. 

Well here we are: our homemade couch (pallet couch) and it is used ALL the time and is comfy with the thick foam. One day I would like to make a patch work cover for it day. 

It also stores our Math -u- see blocks and certain board books. David found where they make pallets here and bought me 4 as a surprise for 9 lira a piece (that is about $4 each).
FOUR pallets?? - I wasn't to sure what I was going to do with 4 but I was excited and we have successfully used three - 2 for this couch and one for a desk we made. (pictures on that another time) 

I don't know if you can see it so well but I stencilled on our terrace door window. I used a stencil I found online for free and then used water colours and dabbed and sponged. It created a fun little design and is easily wiped off without scrubbing. So if you ever want to stencil a window... 
use water colours with just enough water to create a paste and dab and sponge away. 

Quick story: 
Although I have lived in Turkey now for 9 years there are still moments and situations where I feel intimidated by the culture, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot. 

This chair you see below is an example of me overcoming some of that fear and intimation I feel at times.  

In my little corner here there are a few used furniture places that are down a narrow alley in the downtown area.  It is a street with about seven or so little storefronts full of used furniture and household items. It is not a bad part of the town but for some reason it has always intimidated me and I have never went without Dave. (even though I love the thought of finding some treasure there)  

Well, I needed foam for our pallet couch and when I found out the price, it was more than we could afford so I decided to get over my 'I don't feel like I belong, intimidation issue' and head to the narrow street.  Let me mention that it is hard to get our big van in and out of the narrow street, and it is usually all men sitting about and drinking tea watching you walk up and down and into their shops. However I went and I was successful! I found foam for 10 lira ($5) and this adorable chair with wheels that I bargained for from 30 tl to 15 tl (about 7 dollars) from a very kind shop owner, mind you. So a victory for me and a huge savings on my upstairs furnishings!!! 

Here is the full span of the room. Yes it is huge, yes it is aMaZIng. We do not need this space for learning because I believe learning should and can happen in every room in our house but there are NO complaints from me. It is so nice to have an upstairs and not be worried about keeping the kids quiet all the time. So while we have this space we are using it to the fullest. 

The kids do lots of dancing shows, magic shows, forts and 
everything and anything else you can imagine. 

Here is a picture of two little boys I give english lessons too every Monday and Thursday. :) 
This Monday I am adding one more little guy.... we shall see how three,  5 and 6 year old boys do! 

Well Happy Mother's day to all you moms! 
I had breakfast in bed - homemade scones, green tea and fruit and was smothered with homemade cards. :) I am grateful that my husband and kids have shown their appreciation for me today. It is a gift to be appreciated and loved; not a right. 

In my little west corner in a not so 'little' apartment,

Monday, April 21, 2014

Splashes of Spring around me

Finding splashes of Spring and moments of joy around me. 

This is just down a bit on my new street. 

"Patient endurance is what you (I) need now, so that you (I) will continue to do God’s will. Then you (I) will receive all that he has promised." Heb. 10:36

Finding a rhythm of rest.. my new favourite spot.

My fireman in spring. 
The wild poppies are out, sprinkling red. 

"I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the
 LORD in the land of the living." Ps. 27:13

In my new place, in my new corner,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nightly rounds and my new elevator.

Made my rounds of book reading, song singing, praying and sweet kisses (oh yes and a glass of water). Tonight it was a pleasure and comfy and joyful  however there are nights the bedtime routine is full of irritability and tiredness. Grateful for tonight. Grateful for energy and good books to read and my nightly rounds.

This is just a quick post to say I am here...I may have moved but I didn't die. 

In my new place I have plenty of time for reflective thought ... the elevator is super slow. :) (We are on the 5th floor) Hey I'm not complaining... time to myself and when people come over I have plenty of time to rush around and get dressed! Oh and obviously I have plenty of time to do self portraits in bad lighting. 

Ps. I made a palett couch and in the process of making a palette desk for my art room. 
Oh so much to share... too bad it is 11:30 pm.

Hope to be back soon until then .... 

in my new space,

crazy post yes... but hey i've gotta start somewhere to get back into the swing. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Homeschool Journal and Journey #4 - Our inspiration board

At the beginning of the year I put together this 'Homeschool Inspiration Board' for the girls.

The sayings and quotes are tacked onto a real "stylish" rectangle cardboard piece.

We usually prop it up at the beginning of each day and slide it behind a door or by our piano at the end of the school day. There are days we read the little quotes together but most days we don't.

The 2 quotes you can't read are: 
"Success is the sum of small efforts-repeated day in and day out." Robert Collier-author
"You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself" Ethel Barrymore

I remember being in High School and there were these signs all over the building that said..
"Today is a new day, I begin again"

It is simple and at the time I thought the signs were silly but it has stuck with me know for years and there are days I actually say that to myself. 
Sooo in light of that, I have little sayings, quotes and verses here and there because I know the girls read them and it will come back to them some day.

 I am a firm believer on helping my kids memorise scripture.  They have been memorising scripture since they could talk. :) 

Again I remember verses that my mom quoted to me when I was growing up in her home and verses that I memorised in Bible quiz when I was in 6th grade and on. These verses have come back to me in moments when I was in need of wisdom or encouragement etc. 

God's word is life giving and I love hearing my kids memorise and quote it because I really believe there will be a day that it will come to their minds at the right moment that will help them to make a good choice or remind them of God's ever present love. God's word is my source of life and I want my children to value it and hide it in their hearts. (I could go on and on about memorising scripture but I will spare you all my soap box. :))

One of the sites I use for helping my kids memorise scripture is: Bible Verse Printables

These great printouts and copy work go along with the wonderful Music CD series by SEEDS. 

There have been times that I have purchased a song from Seeds album on itunes that goes along with the verse and printout we were learning for that week.  :)

Well there's my inspiration for ya. :) 

We are currently moving apartments (this Sunday/Monday) and so may be a little scarce in my posting, but I will be back. So off I go to pack a box...

In my west corner,

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My offering

Offering: a gift- something offered in worship or devotion- sacrificial

I find a lot of  peace when the Lord gives me new insight into my current situations. The other day I had a break through in my understanding and here is a peak into it from my journal.

I want to give living without the outdoor freedom for my kids and myself as an offering to the Lord. It may be a small offering to some but to me it is and has been costly.  I have born it only as a hardship to be endured but now I see there is a better way to give it, as an offering of love to my King.

Let me be glad/honoured to give this offering to my King.

Is there a hardship in your life that you have been enduring? Is there a way for you to take that hardship and offer it to the Lord as a gift or love? The Lord knows what it is costing you and I believe it will bring a lighter heart and a greater sense of devotion to the Lord as you give an offering that costs you something. 

In my west corner ~ 
finding peace in offering my hardships to the living God. 

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