Monday, April 29, 2013

Keepsake correspondence Binders (great for TCKids)

Living across the ocean, another culture and time zone away from our family and dear friends has its challenges.

There are a few things though that are special to living away from family and one that I want to capitalise on is those sweet cards, notes and letters that come in the mail or other avenues. They can become tiny treasures, especially to your kiddos.

Thus the beginning of our Keepsake correspondence binders for our kiddos.

Each child has a binder that keeps all their cards and note etc from Grandparents, cousins and friends over the years. 

A friend of mine started this and I picked up on it and have been doing it now for a few years. My girls especially love this, they get their binders out from time to time and just sit and look through them. 
It is a reminder to them that they are loved from a distance. 

We also keep notes from friends. I personally love all the ones from school mates that are in Turkish. 
What a great keepsake. 

It also is a great storage/organiser saver. :) 

Truth is being away from those we love and them being away from us is difficult.  However it is good for the soul to be able to see and touch all those bits of love being sent our way from close or across the sea.  I also think for our kids it is a tangible help to feeling connected with family. 

Just a little added note.  I think for the grandparents it is an inexpensive way to keep in touch without sending an expensive package. :) Also if it is difficult for a family member to write letters, cards are a great help. :)

Using our challenges to find sweet memories. Hope this helps you all to create your own memories.
In our west corner,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Turkish subway art

Made my first piece of Subway art for our office this last week. :) 
I cut part of it off because I tend to be pretty secretive about my present location. ;) he he
It looked super cute too. 

My husband got it printed out 60x60 and then we framed it with a black frame. :) 
I also went in with a black sharpie and added a few extras to some of the turkish lettering that was lacking because of the fonts I chose. 

Happy subway art for Turks and English speakers a like. :)
Thinking of making one for you all ....all you Turkey dwellers that is. 
We shall see. 

In my west Love with my creator/saviour/friend who has set me free! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Roll-O your sibling.

Here is a Cardboard box we has been awhile since I have brought a big ole cardboard box in the house from the dumpster. I have slightly neglected my love for cardboard boxes these months. ;)

Roll-O your sibling game
What you will need:
a big box
siblings (brave ones)
strong arms
This cardboard box was played with for I think a week of fun filled sticking your two siblings inside and rolling it? Go figure.

Sometimes boxes need to just be played with by the kiddos without all my creative ideas. Kids come up with the best games. :) 

Really I don't think I would have thought of the great game roll-o your sibling. :)

I am finding that I have less time these days than I like to enjoy my kids and just do things with them that are not intentional or for a purpose. I like just hanging out with my children and I miss it.  The other day my som was talking to me and I was preparing dinner. I was nodding and saying my 'oh's' and 'really's' and then it hit me I wasn't looking this little guy in the eye, I wasn't given him my full attention at all.  So I stopped knelt down listened and said some more 'really's' and 'oh's' but this time he knew I had really heard him.  It seems to be so easy to engage in tasks that need to be done instead of the dear people (especially those little ones) who need to be heard and loved on.

Desiring to focus my eyes on the 'people' this week and not so much the tasks.  

In my west corner, 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

RAndOm fUN foR the DaY and Cardboard art. :)

Here is what I am working on....

My heart was so happy to have time this last week to create something. 

RAndOm fUN foR the DaY

This song has made me smile way down deep. I had never heard it have you?

Crayola Doesn't Make a Color For Your Eyes.

Celebrating the fun of life today. Sometimes you just have to choose to celebrate to say THANK YOU GOD for this time in life.

off I go to take my girls to there FREE gymnastics class that they ADORE and then to help my husband bring a little life to that office of his. :)

In my west corner choosing to dance just because God is doing thing even though I don't see it all.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Homeschool Journey and Journal #3 (with some fun links)

Our newest thing these days is adding knitting and typing 
to our weekly scehdule. :)
My sweet friend has Autty come over for 1/2 hour once a week and teaches her how to knit. This is something Autty really has wanted to do so we are both excited about her learning this skill. (and I am excited to have someone else teach her something;))

The 2nd thing I decided on was teaching Autty how to type. She has been receiving and sending
e-mails to friends and cousins and since we live overseas typing and computer use are a must. I love the site we found that is fun, interactive, effective and free. Also she can do it independently. So we have added that to our rhythm of the week also. :)

My favourite quote these days regarding Homeschool is:

Success is the sum of small efforts -
repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier

This quote as literally breathed a bit of hope and the desire to persevere.

Enjoy these following links:
This has been a great free program for teaching Autty how to type. 
We have now put typing on her schedule twice a week 10-20 minutes. :) 

Autty loves audio books. Here is a free site we found with some classics. There is a fair selection of books that you can down load and listen to on your computer or iPod. 

My younger two still love picture books. Here is a site that is great for younger kiddos to enjoy some free books and read alouds.  There are several books that are read aloud...including Fancy Nancy. :)

In my west corner enjoying learning and teaching with my kiddos,

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sleepytime Extra

Throat so sore this has been my new diet: Sleepytime Extra. So glad for this little tea. 
Being sick does provide something I am grateful for... REST. 
There are certain things I need to do but I just can't and so I let them go and that at times is a good thing. I have been laying in bed organising my thoughts for homeschool this year and into next.
It is so nice to have time to actually start a thought and finish it. ;)

I didn't even get to start my M&M rations or my daily sunshine... guess that will have to wait until I am healthy. 

Waiting for Spring to stay,
In my little west corner.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My new diet

Sunshine and imported M & Ms from Greece.

sigh, smile, sigh
Need I say more? 

So how should I ration them? 20 a day, 50, 75? 
Maybe instead of counting them one by one it could be more like 1 or 2 fist full. :) 
It will be my new diet for the week: a face full of sunshine and a fist full of colour pieces of chocolate.

Using what we have ...the Greece border oh so close and my fist. ;)

In my west corner...
grateful for a new day with sun and sweet love,
Visit my food Pinterest board for lots of healthier chocolate goodness. :)
So what are you, a peanut or plain kind a gal?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Homeschool Journey and Journal #2 ~ I can not rescue her from this.

These past few days of homeschooling have brought out some things I am so sad to know.

In Turkey of course there is NO concept of Homeschool at all. Especially in our small town. 

 The first month of us returning from the States and not enrolling our oldest daughter was a whirlwind of gossip in our community.  I really felt protected from it and have tried hard to keep a positive attitude and spin on it all for the sake of my daughter.  We have several friends who have accepted us in this they just don't understand.

We are still very active in our neighbourhood and Autty still gets to see several of her friends from her old school. However she shared with me that she doesn't like going outside a lot these days because she feels weird and that people talk about her. 

Also a few of Autty's closest friends from her school last year have said lots of cutting words 
to her about not being in school. 

Today I learned in more depth that all these things are NOT rolling off her back but striking her heart in a painful way.

In our town there is no other homeschooler.  She is it. 
How do I comfort her and help encourage her?  
She feels very alone and I feel unsure how to help her right now. 

(Autty has picked up on Art journaling and loves it. This is the front cover she made. 
The pages are full of her own designs and trials and errors. 
I adore watching her in this process of finding her our niche )
She is so precious, so confident, so brave and unique. She is also such a people person and yet right now she just wants to hide from others. 

~I know that sometimes just spilling it all out and being able to cry and be heard can be part of the healing and beginning to moving forward. I am so grateful my daughter shares her heart with me. 
Thank you sweet Autty, I am honoured to know your inner thoughts. 

I can not rescue her from this struggle. We are walking through this together.  
Right now I am praying and trusting. 
I feel sad.

In our west corner... trusting and walking.

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