Okay, I realize that it has been over a month since we last updated. But hear me out! The main reason is that we had a base-wide internet crash. Since that also interfered with our phone, we really haven't been in touch with anyone in quite awhile. Everything is back on now, and I will attempt to fill you in on the last few weeks.
Everything went relatively smoothly with the workers strike. In fact it really wasn't a strike after all, so we didn't have to worry at all.
For my birthday Michael planned a trip to Mount Nemrut. The fact that it consisted of waking up at 2 am to take a 1 mile hike up a very steep mountain with four grumpy children to watch the sun rise made me wonder if he has ever actually met me. When I pointed out this was more appropriate for HIS birthday, he just said, "Come on! It will be FUN!" Hmmmm..... I think for his next birthday I am going to take him shoe shopping.
In all fairness, he did give me a ultra-fabulous new Sony a300 with a kick-butt lens. This camera can do everything but your dishes. Now I can record the misery of hiking a mountain at 2am with stunning clarity.
No really, besides the fact that Hayden cured boredom by attempting to leap from the sheer cliff face, it really was fun. (And hey, watching to see if I'd catch him every time he bolted for the edge was nothing short of hilarious....for him)
Our first stop on the way there was at a small rest stop that we now affectionately call the "Death Trap Playground" If you look closely at this picture you will see that the slide is metal in the 115 degree heat, making it more conducive to burns. It is also tilted at such an angle as to cause the rider to reach speeds close to warp 9. I am assuming the thinking was that if they could propel the children into orbit, they wouldn't feel their flesh melting off. But the real crowing glory of this whole set up is the landing. The end of the slide dropped off at about two feet high, and placed there to cushion the blow was a lumpy, cracked wad of concrete. This was to ensure that if the children escaped third degree burns, they would at least have fractures severe enough to land them in traction. I would post the pictures Michael took of me frantically chasing and catching Hayden while he scrambled up over and over again and howled with delight. But I look close to losing my mind, and they are a little embarrassing.
Our next stop on the way to Mt. Nemrut was a beautiful town called Kahramanmaras. We had a wonderful time touring the market place. When we passed a man selling spices, Bennett exclaimed loudly, "Yuck!! I am NOT eating leaves!" Of course I couldn't resist a picture.
Further on in the market, Dallen met a blacksmith that helped him make a knife. Everyone kept swarming our kids. Turks really adore children. I always joke that when we head back to the states, Hayden is going to have a shock when he isn't adored every time he sets foot out his front door. In fact yesterday, we were walking to the park and we passed a man doing some repair work on an electric box. He was facing away from us and (understandably) absorbed in his work. When we passed him, Bennett looked at me, completely puzzled and said,"Mom, why didn't he say Hello to me?" When I tried to explain that he was busy, Bennett looked unimpressed and merely stated with disgust, "Well he's supposed to say Hello to Hayden at least."
Here are more shots of the market place, these men were pounding copper pots. They did it in time, so it was almost like a song.
Next we found a man making Turkish ice cream. He would spin and toss the sticks in the air. He'd yell, "Huppa" and dance and all the while keep the sticks moving. The kids were transfixed!
The whole day was fun, but long. When we arrived at our hotel after a bus ride of Hayden loudly voicing his disapproval of car seats, Bennett removing the entire contents of the diaper bag onto the dirty floor because he was searching for the blue car that he swore he put in there, and Dallen rhythmically kicking the back of the driver's seat, I had about one nerve left. Understandably, I was a little upset when I found that the "four star Hotel" didn't have air conditioning. Remind me to never stay in a Turkish two star. Once again, I decided to find everything funny. It keeps me from committing homicide. Below you will find a close up picture of the stair railing outside our room on the fourth floor. Yes, the bars are 18 and 3/4 inches apart. I measured. By the way, that is wide enough for Hayden to run straight through, as he enthusiastically demonstrated for me. Really, is there a death wish? Am I that hard to live with?
The next morning, we all rolled out of bed while muttering insults at Michael, because it was his stupid idea. Hayden and Dallen actually fell back asleep while I was getting Bennett dressed. It was strangely cold for July, and I bundled the kids up for the hike. The view from the top was amazing and we got some nice pictures. By this time Hayden and Dallen had gotten a second wind and were busy thrown rocks from the highest point they could find. Hayden soon tired of this and began throwing himself, which is why you see the harness below. If anyone is judging me for putting it on him, I defy you to come and spend a day with this boy here in the country of no guard rails.
Now apparently the ancients believed that this was the birthplace of the sun each day. What they didn't realize, is that it is also the birthplace of ladybugs. Below are just a few of the ones we saw. My children were in heaven. Maryn almost drove herself crazy trying to round them up and place them where they wouldn't be stepped on.
On the way home we stopped at a gas station for snacks and a potty break. They had a few shelves stocked with toys that I found so funny, I just had to post them.
The name of the doll is "Amused Baby" The yellow banner says "My new store. There is a lot and new clothes here" The bottom says "style, fashion, nobleness" I don't know about you, but I have always put those qualities together in the same sentence.
Dear Santa, this year all I want for Christmas is a magical hen...... Especially one described as "New Addition! Many color a lot, selected freely by your!" and make sure it has "included three eggs"
I think the shopkeeper thought we were crazy. We were laughing so hard and snapping pictures. There were also a few food items I would have loved to get pictures of, (like pizza flavored cola) but the bus was ready to leave and we ran out of time.
We made it back safe and sound with a whole lot more memories to laugh about.
Jump ahead now three weeks - Missoula Children's Theatre came and held tryouts for a play. Dallen and Maryn both got parts. Maryn's was even a speaking part. The show was a loose (and I mean LOOSE) adaptation of Robinson Crusoe. Dallen was a chameleon and Maryn was Will the Goat.
That was about it as far as news. Hopefully our internet will stay online and we won't have another long silence.