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    Volleyball Spirit Week & Games

    Our high school volleyball teams competed in their season tournament in the middle of October. We had three spirit days and a short pep assembly to support the teams.

    Wednesday was Superhero Day. Teachers and students dressed as their favorite heroes from movies, books, history, and real life. As you can imagine, the lower elementary kids LOVED this day. Capes, masks, and ninja moves galore!


    Superhero Day




    David reused his Mr. Incredible costume from last year’s Character Day. One of his former students was an Incredible, too!




    This was one of my favorite costumes from the day:


    Rosie the Riveter


    Superhero teacher


    Thursday was Tourist Day. Some kids wore shirts from places they’ve traveled, and others wore typical tourist attire (think hats and sunglasses):


    Tourist with map


    This guy was so proud of his homemade camera:


    Tourist Day


    Boy with binoculars


    Tourist Day


    Friday was School Colors Day and we had a quick pep assembly with a silly pass-the-hula-hoop game:


    Pep assembly


    The tournament took place over Friday and Saturday.


    Volleyball serve


    David helped coach the men’s volleyball team this fall:


    David coaching


    Volleyball tip


    Volleyball team


    The teams played hard and the guys placed third in the tournament. Two of the guys were named to the All-Tournament team, and one of our girls was named the MVP of the girls tournament.


    San Antonio Spurs vs. Fenerbahçe Ülker

    About a month ago, David and I took a quick weekend trip with some friends to watch the San Antonio Spurs play Fenerbahçe Ülker in Istanbul. It was a really quick trip – we left Saturday morning and returned Sunday evening. The basketball game was the only thing on our agenda, which left the rest of the trip to be a relaxing time to enjoy the city.

    The view from our hostel was awesome:


    Kadikoy at night


    Kadikoy view of mosques


    The game took place on a Saturday evening. I think it might have been the first professional basketball game I’ve attended. I found it interesting that almost all of the entertainment was provided by the American team. The Lords of Gravity were really cool. They did a bunch of crazy dunk stunts with trampolines. The Spurs won 96–90.


    San Antonio Spurs


    At the Spurs game


    Fenerbahçe stadium


    Lords of Gravity


    We slept in Sunday, walked around the Sultanahmet area a bit (with no street sahlep to be found… sad day), stopped by the Spice Bazaar, and made our way to Beyoğlu and Taksim.


    Riding the ferry


    Spice market


    We stopped briefly at a cultural building that had an exhibit on Turkish coastal towns. I loved this display of newspaper headline clippings:


    Turkish beach towns exibit


    Where we stayed:
    This was our first time staying on the Asian side. We spent a night at the Hush Hostel Lounge in Kadıköy. We found it to be very clean and modern. The only thing we disliked was that our room smelled like smoke. It was supposed to be a smoke free, but the people who stayed in the room before us must not have followed the rules. Also, worth noting because this is Turkey: the breakfast included filtered coffee.

    Where we ate:
    We grabbed döner and lahmacun at a couple of street places. We also ate at Shake Shack near Tünel. It had the most delicious, greasy, American burger I’ve had in Turkey. And the custard? Oh so good.



    Beautiful Gifts

    This is a busy time of year. I have a lot to share about what’s been going on recently (including our spring break travels to Croatia!), but haven’t had time to write about it all yet.

    Last week our soccer teams participated in their big tournament. A team from one of our sister schools flew in from another country to participate.

    Several of the teachers hosted the boys. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but these young men were some of the most courteous and appreciative guests we’ve ever had. They were so kind to have even brought gifts as thanks for us hosting them. These bowls were handmade and the scarf is so soft:


    Brown and teal handmade bowls


    Beautiful bowl


    I love the raw details of these pieces. They look and feel truly artisan:


    Bowl bottom view


    Beautiful edge detail


    The team showed camaraderie and they were super supportive of our school during the tournament. They cheered louder than our student/parent/teacher section!

    It was the first time most of the boys had traveled out of their home country and it was so cool to see Turkey through their eyes. We took a small group to Kizilay one evening and went with the entire team and some teachers to Ulus. They were so happy to be here and experience everything.

    Even though it was a busy weekend, I am thankful both of our schools had such a unique opportunity!




    Liberty University Alums in Ankara

    I don’t think I heard much about Turkey before we announced we were moving. David and I have been amazed at the connections our friends and family have to Turkey. My dad has a coworker from Turkey, a former coworker of mine had a Turkish roommate, my best friend’s cousin has a friend in college whose family lives in Turkey… the list goes on and on!

    A friend from our previous home in Lynchburg, Virginia let us know her friend and fellow Liberty University alumnus would be in Ankara for a basketball tournament. (David graduated from Liberty.) After school on Friday, we hopped in a taxi and took a short ride to Tobb Etu, a college in Ankara.

    The campus was pretty. We had a couple of wrong turns trying to find the “spor salonu” (gym). Several college students who spoke English helped us out. We found our seats a few minutes before the game started.


    Tobb Etu Ted Ankara


    Megan Frazee plays for the Samsun Basketbol team. The city of Samsun is about 250 miles northeast from where we live and is along the coast of the Black Sea. Samsun played Ted Ankara Kolejliler last night. The two teams were very competitive and the game was fast paced.


    Samsun Basketbol Team


    We cheered for Samsun. Megan was recovering from an injury and was not able to play. It was a close game, but Samsun lost.



    Afterwards, another game of the tournament started and Megan sat with us in the stands. It was such an encouragement to meet her and hear about her story and experiences. God has been doing so many cool things in her life and sports career!


    Meeting Liberty Alum Megan Frazee


    Megan has a great website and blog – please check it out!

    We hope the rest of the tournament goes well and will be praying for your quick recovery, Megan!