Our Next Home!

We just received official word of where we are going next and we are thrilled! Before we reveal our next post, let’s review where we have been:

Taipei, Taiwan 2010-2013

 

Amman, Jordan 2013-2015

 

Pretoria, South Africa 2015-2018

Istanbul, Turkey 2018-2020

 

And now, we are excited to announce that our next home will be:

Bern, Switzerland 2020-2023

Bern: the capitol of Switzerland!!! Famous for bears, Alps, Toblerone, fondue, and as the one-time home of Albert Einstein. And because Ellie doesn’t get to do enough fun stuff already, her international school in Bern enjoys Friday Ski Days! (It’s about time this Utah kid finally learns to ski.)

We recommend you all start saving your pennies to come visit us, pronto!

Tomorrow Is the Day! Care to Guess Where We’re Going Next?

It’s hard to believe that it’s already bidding time. Actually, bidding has been going on for months but tomorrow the State Department will finalize the latest round. So, care to guess where we’re going next?

Here are a few clues:

  1. Small
  2. Cold
  3. Bears

I know, it sounds like Salt Lake City. But if that were your guess, you would be wrong!

Stay tuned! We’ll let you know tomorrow when we get the official word.

Youngest Child

Here is a sure sign of a parent at the tale-end of raising her last child:

Today is Picture Day at Ellie’s school. Last night we had this conversation:

Ellie: What should I wear for school pictures?

Me: I don’t care. Wear whatever you want.

Ellie leaves the room and comes back 20 seconds later holding two shirts on hangers.

Ellie: Which of these shirts should I wear?

Me: I don’t care. Wear either one.

Ellie: Just tell me which one to wear!

Me: OK, the one on the left.

Ellie: But I wore that one last year.

Me: Then wear the one on the right.

Ellie: Are you sure?

Me: Yes!!!

Ellie: Will it make the blue in my eyes pop?

Me: Yes. The blue in your eyes will pop right out of your head.

Ellie: Mom, I’m serious! What color shirt will make the color of my eyes pop the most?

Me: Just don’t wear red. You don’t want the bloodshot color of your eyes to pop.

Ellie: MOM!!!

Ellie again: What pants should I wear?

Me: I don’t care!!! Besides, no one is going to see your pants in the picture.

Ellie: MOM!!!

Ellie again: Should I wear my hair curly or straight?

Me: I don’t care.

Ellie: Just tell me!!!

Me: OK, straight.

Ellie: OK, I’ll wear it curly.

Me: Fine. I don’t care.

When she left this morning for Picture Day, I think her hair was curly, but I have no idea what shirt she wore.

When my oldest daughter was in school, I would to start thinking about what she would wear for Picture Day when we did her school clothes shopping in August. I would sometimes go shopping just to find the right shirt for Picture Day. But I’ve raised four kids and I really don’t care anymore. I have been through too many school picture days.

Before you start feeling terribly sorry for poor Ellie, I was also the youngest in my family and my mom didn’t care what I wore for school pictures either. And somehow I still graduated from high school AND college AND I have never spent a single day incarcerated.

So it all somehow works out, even for the youngest child.

Tulips: Not as Dutch as You Might Think

It’s a cold and drizzly day today in Istanbul. But notwithstanding the chill in the air, the tulips at Emirgan Park are breathtaking. I get to walk past these beauties every day on my morning walk.

Did you know that tulips are not originally Dutch? The Dutch took them to Holland in the 16th century from the Ottoman Empire. Tulips are as Turkish as Turkish delight, kebabs, and kaftans.

Best Holiday Quotes 2018

We had a wonderful holiday vacation. Two of our three adult kids came home to Istanbul. Sadly, our soldier son wasn’t able to come home. We missed him dearly.

The other five of our Six Abroad family enjoyed site seeing around Istanbul and southwestern Turkey. Here are a few of the highlights:

Süleymaniye Mosque

Hagia Sophia

Topkapi Palace

Pamukkale

Ephesus

Another highlight was when a rug seller suckered us into purchasing this rug. Rug sellers in Istanbul are the world’s best at getting unsuspecting Americans to purchase rubbish they don’t need. Seriously, they’ve turned it into an art form.

Early this morning, my college kids headed back to the US. I’ll admit, the house is much more quiet without them. When they were here, there were lots of words in this apartment. Words everywhere. And in that vein, the following are my favorite quotes from the holiday (in order of greatness). I have chosen not to offer any context to the quotes, because honestly, their greatness needs no context. Their brilliance stands on their own:

#3: From 22 year old Cecily: “Don’t let Mom keep my shoes!”

#2: From 20 year old Ben: “Anything for big, wooly Ben?”

#1: And the winner of the best quote from Six Abroad Holiday Vacation 2018, goes to 14 year old Elizabeth: “It’s called sarcasm, Doof Wad!”

God bless them every one!

Because Moms Worry

Dear Grandma Hale and Grandma Parker,

We wanted to let you know that we arrived safely in Istanbul. The Turks greeted us warmly upon our arrival.

We arrived at our new apartment safe and sound.

And discovered that our complex has an amazing view of the Bosporus.

Yes, the Turks are feeding us well.

And yes, we’re eating our produce.

Your granddaughter has started school.

And like a good Mormon girl, she’s enrolled in seminary.

And she seems to be thriving in her new environment.

So you can rest assured that your children are doing well in Turkey. And just in case you’re wondering, THIS PLACE IS COMPLETELY AWESOME AND WE CAN’T BELIEVE WE GET TO LIVE HERE!!!

Love always,

Jason, Erin, and Ellie

 

 

 

Goodbye South Africa

Tomorrow I leave South Africa.  It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to this amazing country.  It has been such a privilege to have spent three years of my life in Africa.  A portion of my heart will remain behind when I board the plane tomorrow.

Thank you, South Africa, for your kindness, hospitality and beauty.  You will be dearly missed.

Photo credit: Amy Bennett