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    Springtime His & Hers

    We’ve been enjoying the spring weather. David decided to clean up our porch last weekend. We have netting that keeps the pigeons out, but it was super dirty. There was a nice layer of film on the table and chairs as well.

    Once the porch was clean, David hung up the dartboard he got at our staff Christmas party. He later suggested we walk down to the florist since I had noticed their hangers and other flowers recently. David was calling the porch his man cave, but I guess I kind of ruined that with the flowers. Ah, compromises. His and hers.


    Porch His and Hers


    I love the color of this pretty flower! Since there were a few more buds on the plant, I cut one of the big blooms to keep inside. Does anyone know what kind it is?


    Orange flower


    I set the pot of flowers a ledge so I can see them even when I’m inside. It’s a beautiful view!


    Flowers at sunset



    Ireland Part 5: Kilkenny and Dublin

    After a night in Cork, we headed back east. We made a stop in Kilkenny and saw the castle. (Photography was not allowed inside.) Much of the Kilkenny Castle had been restored. I don’t watch the show, but our friend said it was very Downton Abbey. The art gallery was especially impressive.


    Kilkenny Castle entrance


    Kilkenny Castle


    There was a beautiful rose garden in back:



    Kilkenny Rose Garden




    After touring through the castle, we grabbed a quick lunch at the farmers market then headed back to Dublin. We had two nights left of our trip. We didn’t do much the first night, and we all had different places in Dublin we wanted to see on Friday.

    Friday ended up being our only rain day, which made it perfect for checking out museums. David and I tried to go to the National Decorative Arts and History museum, but we found out we were on the wrong side of town. We stopped into the National Museum of Archeology instead. Entrance was free, which was great. We saw artifacts from 7000BC and learned about the bog areas of Ireland. They had several petrified bodies that were found in the bogs – creepy!


    Dublin Archeology Musem


    After the museum, we met up with our friends at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. St. Patrick’s was rebuilt in the early thirteenth century:


    St. Patrick Cathedral


    It was huge and incredible and beautiful. There was so much to see inside.


    St. Patrick Cathedral stained glass


    Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels, is buried there:


    Jonathan Swift grave


    We stayed  to hear the Choral Evensong and I’m so glad we did. The voices and acoustics were just beautiful. It was a nice time to sit and pray and praise God.

    The cathedral is a magnificent work of architecture and I can’t imagine the time and labor that was required to build it. It’s interesting how these beautiful structures were created to be houses of God. And while I think workmanship and reverence can please God, what a joy it is to know that He cannot be housed by anything created by man! Church is not a structure, but the people. He is anywhere that two or three gather and his Spirit is with His people.

    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” –2 Corinthians 4:18




    We had one more night in Dublin and returned to Ankara the next day. We had such a wonderful time in Ireland and are so thankful for the opportunities we have to travel!


    » Ireland Part 1: Dublin
    » Ireland Part 2: Driving in the Countryside
    » Ireland Part 3: The Cliffs of Moher
    » Ireland Part 4: Blarney Castle


    Roses, roses!

    Turkey has so many beautiful roses! They were in bloom when we came in August, and there’s so many in bloom even this month.


    Roses in Cappadocia, Turkey



    Lovely Lilacs

    Ankara is in bloom! There are many lilac trees around our neighborhood and in the forest. I love their fresh fragrance and have especially enjoyed them in our apartment.

    I might have a problem of taking too many pictures of them. But they’re just so pretty!




    Budding Lilacs


    Lilac Cuttings




    Lilac Leaves







    Spring in Ankara

    Spring has arrived in Ankara! When we left for break on March 23rd, it was snowing. When we got back on the 29th, it was almost 70 degrees!

    We are loving the warmer weather. The kids love it, too. There are lots of flowers blooming and falling off the trees. A kindergartener was handing out blossoms she found on the playground one morning. Another day, I looked out he window and saw a lot of white fluttering in the air. I was worried for a second that it was snow!

    David went on a hike in the forest earlier this week and took some pretty photos.


    Ankara forest


    I don’t know what kind of trees these are, but they’re beautiful. They kind of look like apple blossoms, but I’m not sure.


    Flower blossoms on a tree


    On his hike, David met a turtle friend. Two turtles, actually. But the two turtles were not friends. He thought they were fighting over territory.




    Spring blossom


    Trees blooming in Ankara


    We will post soon about our spring break travels to Amsterdam and Bruges!


    Things To Smile About

    Sixty degree fall weather made a quick appearance last weekend! I’m hoping it decides to visit again soon and stay forever. Fall is my favorite season. The color on the trees, the cool weather that’s perfect for scarves and sweaters…

    I miss some things about fall we had in the states: pumpkin spice lattes, corn mazes, football games… But there are many things I am smiling about this fall in Turkey!

    Some color on the trees and vines (even though we’ve had mostly 80 degree weather!):


    Fall leaves in Ankara


    This candle.… Even if I can’t drink a pumpkin spice latte, our house can smell like one! (David got this for me when he was at the U.S. military base. He also got me a Rice Krispie Treat and Cheez-Its. He sure knows the ways to this girl’s heart.)


    Pumpkin Yankee Candle


    A sweet thank you card from the cutest little Asian kindergartener:


    A thank you card from a kindergartener


    The beautiful roses outside the entrance to the school:


    Roses outside the school


    The impressive work my Computer Graphic Design students are creating:


    Computer Graphic Design high school class projects


    Great deals at the mall… I got this cute necklace for 5 lira (less than $3 USD), originally 20 lira! I’m still a bargain shopper even in Turkey. This reminds me of my late grandma; she always liked owls:


    Own Necklace


    Evening walks with wonderful friends… I took this photo in Kizilay. Let’s pretend these are Christmas decoration lights:


    Nighttime in Kizilay, Turkey


    I have much to smile about here in my new home! To name a few more: worshipping with other believers in church on Sunday; diving deeper into the Word in the women’s Bible study I attend; hearing sweet, little voices greet us in the mornings at school; getting to know students more through extra curricular activities… the list goes on and on! God has truly blessed us here!