Thank you for being so patient with me. Turkey has officially unblocked the ‘blogspot’ links, and I’m headin’ back. I did consider staying here to blog, but I just find the blogspot system is easier for me….which means I blog more, which means I get to talk to you more.

So, please accept my apologies for switching yet again, but please follow me back to  my original blog, here:


After seeing King Midas’ tomb and looking in the museum of artifacts, we hiked up on top of one of the burial mounds. Tractors drove past (Big Ben was thrilled), men farmed their land…no one seemed bothered by the American family tromping on 2,700 year old burial mounds. (Spellcheck is telling me to change tromping to tramping, but I just refuse. I like my non-word.)

One of us just wanted to find cool rocks,  hoping one might be a fossil or an artifact.

And another just wanted to dig in the dirt.

Afterwards, we drove just down the winding road to the spot where the actual town would have been so long ago. They are excavating it little by little. It was very easy to pick out where the town walls were. The large stones were still there. Around this little town was just a simple barbed wire fence, studded with big tufts of goat hair. Clearly, the local goats didn’t care if the town was 27 or 2700 years old. If it has good grass, they go in. We walked the perimeter of the ruins, peering in, thinking about King Midas and the invasions of this city, and considering going under the barbed wire fence. We enjoyed the walk with some friends….

And then one smart little CampbellKid got the idea to take one of those little tufts of hair and make herself a goatee. Here’s to a cute “kid!”

We enjoyed our outing. I never really was interesting in archaeology growing up, but now it’s definitely in my system. It’s a lot more fun to “tromp” on an ancient city than read about it in a history book.

After touring the tomb and museum, we went across the street to a little outdoor cafe to inquire about lunch. They had drinks and snacks, but only served one hot menu item, “Tost,” which is similar to our grilled cheese except done on a big loaf of bread without as much butter and with a lighter yellow cheese. (Now that I think about it, it’s not really like our grilled cheese!)

We enjoyed sitting outside in the sun. Evidently, tomb inspecting makes my kids hungry.

And then we finished it off with a treat of ice cream.

This past week was our Spring Break. We had a lovely week! We opted not to travel, as we did travel a little in the Fall with our visiting company. We made it a home week with some fun activities thrown in, and it was perfect for us. The first part of the week it rained non-stop. We tackled home projects like switching our fall/winter clothes for the spring/summer ones. That’s quite an undertaking with 5 kids! I store all the kids’ clothing and just roll it down to the next CampbellKid. But in our apartment, we don’t have closets or extra storage, so it can be a challenge. When the rain cleared, we took a day trip to Gordion. That is a small village which sits on the former capital of Phyrgia, once ruled by King Midas. It’s only about 1.5 hours from our house, but in our years here, we’ve never been there. The village has about 100 little man-made hills, all burial mounds from the 700 B.C. civilization. Archaeologists dug a tunnel into the biggest mound and found a great king’s burial chamber. Some believe it was King Midas’, but others say it was another great king. As we walked up to the tunnel, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It didn’t take my kids long to begin a run down into the tunnel. It didn’t take me long to freeze in my tracks, turn to CC, and say, “You can go in without me.” I don’t mind helicopter rides or leaning over a skyscraper railing to see the tiny cars below, but asking me to go into a chamber with little ventilation and only one way out, I’ll pass. The kids begged, so I took a deep breath and went in.

At the very end, we found a log cabin type structure. Inside of this once held the remains of the king, as well as the riches they included in the tomb. I was amazed at the thick tree trunks used to craft it and at how well they are preserved. 700 B.C. is a long time ago! Mr. Midas’ bones now reside in our Ankara museum.

There was also a small museum we visited. They’ve only dug up about 25% of the mounds and so much has been found, like coins, jewelry, tools, weapons. I wonder what’s inside the other mounds.

Outside the  museum, we found a large stone, into which was carved a cross. I have a fascination with finding the crosses in this country and try to get a photo each time I find one. This was most likely some type of basin used for baptism, as it had a place that once held water.

We are glad to say we’ve seen Gordion, so famous for its’ legends of the Gordion knot (which Alexander the Great could not untie and finally sliced with his sword) and King Midas and his gold.

More tomorrow!

Last Sunday, I tasked Sweet Cheeks with going out on the balcony to see if it was too cold to eat our Sunday morning breakfast out there. She came in, bundling her bathrobe around her and pulling on the hood, saying, “It’s perfect! Not too cold!” Well, it was cold, but we bundled up and had a wonderful first breakfast of Spring outside. Above are the menu items: boiled eggs, olives, cheese, tomatoes, yogurt, watercress. Papa also got us a loaf of bread from the bottom floor market, to which we added butter and jelly. I put cheese and watercress in my bread, mmmm.

Just room for everyone…

Have you eaten a meal outside this Spring yet?

You really never do know what a day will hold. Sunday morn we got up and had a lovely breakfast on our balcony (pics to follow in a later post) before leaving for church. When we got to church, a group of about 40 people were standing together across the street from our church, staring at all of us as we drove up and entered. Firstborn finally uttered aloud what we were all silently wondering when she said, “Well, most likely they aren’t planning to bomb the church today, I mean, there are some kids with them at least.” (Just reality.) Thankfully we found out after entering that they were a group of Iranian refugees, brought together by our fellowship, on their way to a picnic outside of town. That was nice to know.

And then an announcement was made that a Turkish brother was in desperate need of O negative blood, a rare blood type. Soon after, I saw CC do something he’s never done before. He sat down during the singing. I knew immediately why. He’s O negative, and he was already queasy thinking of donating his blood. I was right. (Anyone ever known your spouse like that when no one else has any idea?) We came home from church and at 1:50PM he prepared to meet the small group going to the hospital to donate. I suggested that I go with him. Then the debate began…  CC: I don’t need your help. I’ll be fine. Me: Oh, I know, honey. I just want to go. It would be a neat experience. CC: I don’t need you to baby me. I won’t pass out. Me: I’m not going to baby you. I’m your wife, not your mother. I just would like to be there. CC: This is ridiculous. Why do you want to go? You want to go because you think I’ll pass out. Me: No, really, I just thought I’d be there in case you need something, but really I just think it would be a good blog post, and I’d like to go pray for our brother in the hospital. CC: Ok, but I don’t need you. And on and on it went, but in the end he let me go. When we got there, CC had to fill out a form. Then the nurses explained to him that actually it was not just blood that was needed, but plasma and platelets. It would be a 4 hour process. They had him walk through the blood donating room several times for different forms and tests and signatures. Each time, CC got greener and greener. I really tried to not notice, not “baby” him, not say anything. But finally I said, “You don’t look so good, are you ok?” He then went into the men’s room and came back out and said, “Wow! I really am white as a sheet. I’ve always wondered what you meant when you said that. Even my lips are white!” I took the opportunity to inform CC that when he got really mad, his lips turned white just like that! The process was long. One test, then wait. Then instructions to go get a good meal, come back in 1.5 hours, while they ran another test. We had just eaten a good lunch, and CC admitted he may not be able to put any more food away. But a Turkish brother overseeing this donation drive took us for some delicious Turkish meatballs. CC ate every bite. We returned, and the nurse said the donation would be acceptable. At that point, we suggested our brother helping us could leave, we’d be fine. They hooked CC up to the machine. Not only would they take blood out, the machine would filter it of all the plasma and platelets that it needed, then filter it back into his system. I told him for a first time donation, he really went all out! He did JUST fine as long as he didn’t look around.

Things weren’t quite done as they would be back home, but anyway, it was an adventure.

The really precious thing to me is that when we realized we’d be there all day, I called home to see if Firstborn could handle keeping everyone. She said to me, “You just take good care of Papa while he helps that man, I’ve got it covered here.” At one point when the blood was put back into his system, he said he began to feel tingling in his mouth and face. Not sure how to explain this in Turkish, I called our brother on the phone and asked him to tell the nurse. She replied to him, “It’s ok if he tingles, as long as it is not in his face or lips.” !!!! “It is!” I yelled. Then some of the strangeness of the day increased. She said, “Go get him some ayran.” Ayran is a Turkish yogurt drink, which contains salt. In the US, they would call the food preparation folks to come bring it. Here it is more of a DIY thing in hospitals (Do It Yourself). I asked, “Where?” knowing the cafeteria had closed at 6PM. The orderly instructed me to run to the emergency room wing, go to the little store across that street, and buy him ayran. I did that. They replied, “Oh, we don’t have any.” Then one helpful young man said to me in Turkish, “Is it an emergency?” I said, “Yes!” (thinking how weird it was that this yogurt drink and its acquisition could rise to that level). He told me to run through the parking lot to the little restaurant on the other side. I did that. I found ayran, bought 2 drinks, then ran back. True to her word, when CC drank them, the tingling stopped. Trying to keep him from feeling faint, I kept the conversation light. We joked about the Miracle Drink Ayran. We also joked about how the ‘other guy’ got the machine that said, “Designed for Donor Comfort,” but not CC.

In the end, the patient did great. He never passed out. In fact, he never turned white again while donating, just when seeing everyone else donating. I drove him home, basking in the many, many times he said, “I sure am glad you came. I had no idea what was in store.” When we arrived home, Firstborn and a sister had baked a batch of cookies and also a chocolate-chip, iced, and strawberry-laden cake with the note, “Surprise! We were praying for you and I just know you’ve pleased God by serving this sickly man.” And after those two hearty meals, CC downed half the cake that night.

May God keep our brother in the hospital in perfect peace.

Disclaimer: my post has nothing to do with this picture. I went to my archived photos to find something “springy”…maybe some flowers in bloom, something like that, and I stumbled on Sweet Cheeks in this costume. I just had to do it.

Our Spring Break has begun! We debated going somewhere out of town…thought about maybe going to Cappedocia for a couple of days to sleep in a cave, but finally decided to stay put. So this morning, I had a chat over coffee with each of my girls and asked them what they would like to do with our free week. We have an interesting list…airplane museum (clearly someone thinking of a little brother), work on Science Fair projects, play basketball, take a day trip, have a picnic. CC and I sat down and mapped out a schedule for the week…one that includes some work time for him (which he needs after being gone last month), fun things to do with kids, a few projects to knock out, and some good ol’ downtime.

Today it was rainy, so we decided to knock out our Spring cleaning chores early on. We stripped the beds and changed everyone’s sheets. We don’t have air conditioning in our apartment, but this is the time of the year it is “just right.” It feels great hovering right at 70 degrees inside. Still, I’m hoping we haven’t pulled the flannels off too early. We dusted, we swept the floors, we mopped. And just now as I tucked them in, I thanked them for the hard work. They said, “It just feels so nice. So clean. So Springy!” And so it is!

So, what are you enjoying about Spring?

For the first time ever in our 7 years as a school, we have new Oasis sweatshirts! Every day the kids must wear kacki’s/navy pants with a white collared shirt. But today, CC said if they had purchased one of the new sweatshirts, they could wear them with jeans to school for the day.

I was at school subbing for one class period today. Before I left, I had to sneak a peak at Sweet Cheeks on the playground in her new sweatshirt!


We have been fascinated today watching this link that Grandad sent us:

There is a live webcam set up by a Bald Eagle’s nest in Iowa. Her three eggs are expected to hatch today or tomorrow. Every few minutes, a CampbellKid runs into the room to check on the eagle. It is really addictive! I think it is because it is live…we are watching what is really happening.

And now the confession: just as they all got to bed, I yelled, “They’re hatching! They’re hatching!” All ran downstairs shrieking and shoving to get to the computer. “April Fool’s. ” Downright rude, but I did laugh while I was doing it.

If you’ve read my blog for any time, you’ve seen pictures of Ulus. This is the oldest part of town in our established city. The ruins that can still be seen go back to the 3rd century (a Roman bath house). I love this part of town and never get tired of going (or taking pictures!).

We went down because we had a guest in town and wanted him to see it.

I’ve been there so  many times, these ladies remembered me and begged me to buy some of their handicrafts. Here, they are trying to convince some Chinese tourists what a good deal they are getting!

Our guest is a good friend who is the overseer for our region for ACSI. After walking around, we stopped in a hole-in-the-wall place for lunch.

There, “Teyze” (auntie) was sitting at her low table preparing the day’s gozleme.

Here’s what she made us…a flat fried bread stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. Mmmm.