Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kerim Loves Reading

Seriously, Kerim loves reading a lot. He knows his ABCs and he never fails to practice anytime he has the chance.

If you have a toddler like us, you may want to check out these links. It is really helpful to make kids find reading fun and enjoyable.

Keep exploring!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Presentation 2011

Here are the bold and confident kids for their Christmas presentation. Don't you just love it when kids entertain during parties? Pardon the stage fathers at the back forcing their toddlers to join the presentation.

Happy happy holidays!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Jingle Bells!

Let all the bells jingle! ;) Is there such a thing as online Christmas caroling?

Merry Christmas!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas 2011!

We really are loving the season. Our Kyliegirl keeps practicing her song. This is practically her blog post to all of you.

Merry Christmas!


Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Carry Me Back to Old Virginny

As our Little Miss started her piano lessons two (or three) weeks back, here goes her one song. The toy piano is so far the most "played" and used toy ever so thank you to Mama for this!

Here goes:

Keep singing... while exploring!

The Turk Dad's View on Christmas

So, we recently posted what Kylie thinks about Christmas. Now, let's hear what the head of the Turknoy family gets to say about this festive season.

A little bit of trivia (just a tad!) - Noel Baba or Santa Claus as he is more widely know around the world really was born in Turkey. Actually, if you get a chance to talk to Cihangir, everybody is Turkish and civilization originated from Turkey. Go figure.

DISCLAIMER: Our views on Christmas are our own. We are not influenced by any individual from any religion nor we want others to be influenced by our views.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kylie Speaks About Christmas

Yesterday, we wrote about our views on Christmas far away from home.

Here's our Little Miss talking about Christmas:

Happy Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Qatar National Day 2011

YAY - Qatar National Day 2011! Qatar, the richest country in the world - I think in a very biased calculation of GDP (anyhow, not the point of this blog!) will be celebrating its National Holiday on the 18th December 2011. For sure, it is going to be awesome and spectacular, similar to the previous years.

Kylie's school already celebrate this event today, their last day of school of the Winter Term. She had a blast exploring all Qatar-related trivias and other galore!

We love Qatar! 

Anyway, I thought I'd share the events happening for on Sunday. We had a long weekend as this is a non-working holiday for most of us here in Qatar!

Corniche Dhows Show with traditional lighting
Corniche Starts: Saturday, 17 December 2011
Ends: Sunday, 18 December 2011
From: 9:00 PM To: 10:00 PM

National Parade Corniche Occurs: Sunday, 18 December 2011
(All day event)

Musical Fireworks Corniche Occurs: Sunday, 18 December 2011 From: 12:00 AM To: 12:00 AM

Classic cars exhibition at Corniche Corniche Starts: Sunday, 18 December 2011 Ends: Friday, 30 December 2011 From:
9:00 PM To: 10:00 PM

Also, this news direct from Hukoomi:

Every December 18th, the people of Qatar celebrate the Qatar National Day in commemoration of the historic day in 1878 when Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, the founder of the state, succeeded his father as ruler and led the country to peace and unity. 

The State of Qatar was founded amidst chaos from tribal wars on land and piracy and pillage at sea, during the decline of the Ottaman Empire and the rising British imperial influence over the region. Interests and loyalties shifted as conflicts and disorder spread across the Arabian peninsula. With God's help the support of the Qatari people, Sheikh Jassim withstood the storms and help navigate his country to peace.
Week-long celebrations will take place across Qatar from December 11-18. 

Event highlights include:
  • Dream 2030: Activities children at Aspire Park, 2 - 9 pm daily
  • Traditional dances and games, horse-riding, poetry and more: Darb El-Saai near Sports Roundabout, December 18 all day
  • Women's poetry: the Corniche near Theatre Roundabout, December 15
  • Qatari sword dance, The Pearl-Qatar at La Croisette Porto Arabia, December 15-16 5-10 pm
  • Handicrafts, games and shows: Souq Waqif, December 18 all day
  • Fireworks and parades: the Corniche, December 18 all day

Please note that traffic can become very congested during the festivities. Those who must reach their appointments and destinations on time should plan their route carefully and avoid crowded areas such as the Corniche, Sports Roundabout and Souq Waqif. 

Happy Qatar National Day!

Keep exploring!

Christmas Far Away from Home 2011

Another Christmas in Doha for this year. Blessed be!

To be quite honest, I adore celebrating Christmas in Doha, far away from our homes, with our family. It's quiet, stress-free, intimate and practical. Admittedly, a lot of Filipinos know for a fact that going home to Philippines during this season is very (very, very!) expensive.

Well, the OFWs are known to be the number one bread winner in families. But this season has the extra stress of providing gifts to everyone simply because - it's the season to the jolly! Ho ho ho!

Hey, I will go home to Philippines if I could this season. The holiday celebration is simply not the same compared to the simple celebration away from home. I will go and celebrate with extended families every five years or so. That maybe practical instead of once a year.

Besides, celebrating here makes me focus on the real story of Christmas. Just last night, Kylie is very interested  about Virgin Mary's role in Christmas, how does it feel to be born in the manger and lots of other questions. I intend to share her the story of Christmas and I definitely can't focus on the Christmas story with all the merriment of holidays back home, gift giving and catching up.

Tonight, we will be reading about Jesus miracles. Because Christmas is all about understanding Jesus's purpose here on Earth. It all started once fine day, called birth of Christ - Christmas!

Happy birthday, Jesus! We are grateful for your existence in our life!

And a blessed Merry Christmas to all!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

You've Got a Friend in Me! - Practicing Again!

Loving the song You've Got a Friend in Me, she's practicing everyday! Love it!>

Keep singing.. while exploring!

Busy Beaming with Pride

"If parents are not busy beaming with pride for their kids, we will be so very tired at all times."
   - Leng Demirkol

As our blog readers may have noticed, we have been on and off with our blog updates, we are so busy coping with life of two kids (plus one soon!) It's not easy to be both of us parents working full time, with no hired help to assist us with the chores. Not to mention the logistics challenge brought about by helping the extended family.

Yesterday is simply one of those days where being a mother is just about the wisest choice I've ever made in my life.

Kylie had a presentation in school. She sang with the rest of the Key Stage 1 students. In addition, she was selected to perform the closing number together with other students from both Year 1 and Year 2 coming from different sections.

It's not her first presentation but the bigger the crowd this little miss perform for, the higher the stress for me and thus, the busier I get beaming with pride. Here's the clip of the presentation from yesterday taken from my phone camera.

I love that she loves what she is doing. This might not be a best performance but she is proud of her being on the stage, and I am a super proud of her.

We went straight to work after the presentation and I got challenged having to concentrate at work while entertaining the little miss. She's a handful but a very welcome interruption from the normalcy of work.

After work, I picked up Kerim, went to do a quick grocery. Kerim shouted NANA! upon seeing a banana and then proceed to say .. ELO (yellow!)

I was teary eyed looking at the two kids growing and learning right before my eyes. Who has time to get tired when I am always busy beaming with pride!

I just love being a Mommy! And just when I was thinking this, they started fighting over some transformer toy and both shouted "MOMMY" to call my attention waiting for my verdict as to whose side I am with.

Arrghhh, music to my ears!

Life is good!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bare Necessities of Life

So Kylie started singing, and here's one more.. The Bare Necessities of Life.. Yeah man!

She has a presentation in school tomorrow and really looking forward to it. YAY!

Keep singing... while exploring!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

You've Got a Friend in Me!

Singing You've Got a Friend in Me is Kylie's new found addiction the past few days. She's beginning to sing a lot of songs and she's getting pretty good at it if I might say my biased opinion.

Just love how her eyes talk when she sings. Kerim is always in the background, of course. Gotta love Turknoy duet. ;)

Keep singing... while exploring!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas 2011!

Let our celebration begin for this year! 

From our Turknoy family to yours, we give a heart warming wishes to all. May the birthday of Jesus Christ have meaning in our lives in this day and age!

Ho ho ho!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Reminiscing our First Family Adventure: Pamukkale

It's been almost a year ago since we had our first family adventure. By adventure, I mean exploring an entirely new place. We have travelled back and forth to Turkey since but not really exploring but visiting family members and relations. Well, it's all worth it. We just need to keep focusing on our goal to explore together as family as well.

It seems important to do things together like adventures and all but right now we are enjoying a perfect weather in Doha being cozy at home and enjoying being together. Bliss - as always.


Keep exploring!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eid Al-Adha 2011

It's the first day of Eid Al-Adha holiday for 2011! And we are wide awake early in the morning!

Okay, so it has been almost a month since our We're Back blog but our blogging mojos are really taking its time on its holiday.

And in this part of the world, we get to have our 9-day holiday, almost similar to last year. It is officially our favorite holiday of the year, Eid Al-Adha!

And it's not purely because of non-working holidays. Well, for the husband, it reminds him of all the new clothes he and his sister receives during the holiday. (It is somewhat similar to our Christmas celebrations - for Christians of course!)

Yesterday, I have explained to the kids the meaning of the this Eid. This is the Feast of Sacrifice. I believe that not only Muslims should celebrate this holiday.

What is being commemorated in this feast is the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac to our Lord Almighty. Despite how much Abraham love his precious son Isaac, he intended to follow God's will and obey Him. He was about to sacrifice Isaac! Of course, God provided Abraham a sheep instead to sacrifice after realizing Abraham's full obedience to His power.

Personally, to me, it also shows how God's love for us. He will test and give us trials but at the end, He has His loving reasons.

God is love. And a little understanding of God's love will allow us human to endure sacrifices, albeit small.

I have always loved this story when I was a kid and reading Bible often. Now we get to celebrate it with my family.

Not that we are going to follow the Muslim tradition of offering a goat or sheep, but we believe that sacrifices to assist others will do the trick.

Eid Mubarak to all and may our sacrifices here on Earth be worthy to the eyes of our Creator.

Keep exploring!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Back in Doha But So NOT Back to Normal

Hello Blogging!

It seems like eons ago that this blog started with a post Turknoys are Now Back in Doha. It was our family's visit to Turkey and we were so inspired to tell the world how it went, hence, the blogging part.

Several months later, more than a hundred blog posts and three more visits to Turkey, the inspiration is still there but the effort from our side is very nil. Our blogging mojo has left the family. For quite some time only, we hope.

But that doesn't mean that we are the exploring anymore. Well, to be quite honest, we mainly stay home and be together, complete homework, rest and bum around. To our defense, summer heat is almost unbearable in Doha after experiencing a magnificent summer weather all over Turkey.

We are homesick, over-relaxed and lazy and to think that we were back from our Turkey vacation a month ago.

Well, at least this weekend, we went to Corniche with the kids and now we are back to our blogging while the Turk is busy whipping up something in the kitchen.

Back to normal? I suppose back to routine. But there are lots of changes in the family's attitude and style of living that we will explore in our next blog posts.

For the mean time, here we are shouting out: WE ARE BACK!

this is the only almost- decent family photo we got all dressed up

Keep exploring!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

All About Spelling

Alright, we have set our goal: All About Spelling next semester. We're off to a month of vacation in Turkey and we intend to start our spelling lessons seriously after that.

We have prepared materials already through the All About Spelling curriculum. Come and enjoy us explore an excellent curriculum of teaching how to spell and read for that matter.

Click here for more details - promise, it's the best I've seen so far and I intend to explore this with all of you.

Our Kylie learned how to read at the age of 3 and I have made it a mission to ensure that she loves books and words. My next objective then is for here to learn how to spell properly as I do not want to overdo the reading part.

She wrote this "love letter" to me when she was 4 year old. So sweet really? I just let her write letters and stories without correcting her spelling. The idea is to make her love words. So far, so good. Just need to effectively teach her how to spell by next month.

Being a Mommy Teacher could be so great, right?

Dear Mommy, I love you very much bigger than Jupiter. Kylie
(with drawing of Mommy and Kylie with eyeglasses including the stars because we are stars!!) 

Keep exploring!

Doha Tribeca Film Festival: Call Out for Volunteers 2011

Doha Tribeca Film Festival is now calling out for volunteers. They started Call Out For Volunteers yesterday, 8th August 2011. Hurry up and register NOW!

If you have time around 25th - 29th October for the Doha Film Festival, do volunteer! I can still remember how memorable Doha Tribeca Fil Festival 2010 for our family because of the volunteers. We extremely enjoyed the Family Day 2011 among other activities during the festival.

During DTFF 2010 - kids with Volunteer flying their kites!

volunteers in DTFF 2010 made the event alive!

To find out more details about the Volunteer Program and how to register. You can check out this link:

Turknoy family will definitely be part of this event even though as spectator or as volunteer.

Keep exploring!

Top Ten Tuesdays: Ten Things Turkish!

Top Ten Things Turkish on Top Ten Tuesdays! Gotta love all those Ts and the topic of this post (I hope!)

Guess what, in less than 24 hours, me and my husband are flying again to Istanbul, Turkey. Like what was noted by my colleague, this is my 4th trip to Turkey in less than six months, so I must really love the place!

Well, that is true - I love the place but most importantly the people in it. I love the tradition and the things that are distinctly Turkish! And here are my Top Ten Things Turkish (almost!)

Evil Eye and Turkish Tea
1. Turkish Evil Eye: Of course, the strong belief in the ability to refrain from bad luck is VERY VERY obvious among Turks. You will see all sorts and types of evil eyes and evil eye decor almost EVERYWHERE in Turkey. The most weird thing I've seen (so far) is evil eye underwear design (in a kinky store - and don't ask what I was doing there, still in tourist mode!)

Some of the evil eyes we have are bracelets, rings, earrings (a real jewelry), pot holder, car holder, wall decor, door decor, towels, pots - you get the picture! We even sold evil eyes to our colleagues (still selling!) so we can share its awesome power.

2. Turkish Tea: My husband used to tell me that Turks drink more tea than Brits. I didn't believe him until I was there the first time. They even have street vendors for Turkish Tea in parks, for crying out loud. They serve Turkish Tea in ferry boats, bus and all public places! We went to bazaars and we are offered to have Turkish Tea just by window shopping. And with all biased opinion - Turkish Tea are the best tea I've ever tasted, way better than Earl Tea. (I did say, biased opinion!)

Turkish Viagra
Turkish Delight 

3.  Turkish Delight. Or locally known as LOKUM, Turkish delight is pure and authentic Turkish candy. It comes in a lot of different flavor and sizes. Walk through the Grand Bazaar and you'll be treated with free tastes of Turkish delight. It is mostly sugar so caution with the fat accumulation in your body. I should know. Arrghhh!

4.  Turkish Viagra. Okay to be quite honest, I've only known about this during my last visit three weeks ago. Apparently, it is as popular as Turkish Delight. It's simply a concoction of dried nuts, dried fruit and sugar - well, who knew that Turkish people need viagra? I think it's that Vitamin E content in all those ingredients that can give its aphrodisiac appetite. (Honey, go easy on that dried apricot mixed almond!) 

5. Turkish Coffee. It is popularly known around the world as Turkish Coffee! What the world is missing is the tradition after drinking the Turkish Coffee. You can actually read your fate in your Turkish coffee cup. Yeah, like predicting your future from tea leaves, only in this case, shredded and diluted Turkish coffee beans. I always drink Turkish coffee for this purpose. My in-laws know how to make me feel good with my future. They always make out FISH from my coffee cup which apparently is very lucky! 

6. Turkish Simit. It is a light and flaky bread, baked to a golden brown colored and topped with sesame streets. Most of the time, it is formed into rings but there are braided breads as well. It think it goes well with Turkish Tea especially if you are starving going all around Istanbul or any touristic spots in Turkey. It usually costs 1TL, very cheap, to feed growling stomachs. It tastes like no fast food bread even though it is.

Eating Turkish simit 

7. Turkish Shawarma. Sharwarma did originate from Turkey. And Turkish people know how it should taste like. Any Turk would complain how badly a sharwarma taste like if it is not "Turkish." Sharwarma actually originally came from a Turkish world, çevirme , means "turning." Shawarma is prepared by "turning" the meat a spit while it is being slow-grilled. 

posing beside Turk and Turkish shawarma 

8. Turkish Pie or Pide and Turkish Pizza or Lahmajun. Okay, these are two Turkish dishes but equally popularly in Turkey. In my Pinoy culture, these are they equivalent for a full meal. They can survive without eating rice because of these carbo-loaded meals. Turkish pie is great with (you've guessed it - Turkish Tea) and could be  a stand alone snack or dinner. What Turks normally do is to pre-baked the dough and just bake dough with toppings, - cheese, meat or greens and it is instant meal. 

As for Turkish Pizza, it is like any thin crust-pizza with the toppings, except that it is normally served with parsley and lemon, placed as toppings and rolled before eating. It gives that "healthy" feel since it has veggies. 

Turkish Pie or Pide
Turkish Pizza or Lahmajun

9. Kokorec. My favorite! No trip to Turkey is complete without eating Kokorec. Some tourists are so grossed out with this meal since it's lamb intestines. It is usually served as a sandwich and perceived to be so unhealthy (and dirty!) but hey, I was brought up in country where we eat unfertilized chicken eggs (craving for balut now!) We really like the taste of Kokorec, including Kylie of course! 
YUUMMM - kokorec

Kokorec sandwich
10. Turkish Linen.  Okay, it's almost all of the items in this list are food. Moving on to another trademark - Turkish linens! Not-your-normal-made-in-China linen but Turkish-hand-made-linens. Great quality and great craftmanship. Almost all Turkish bedrooms are like this. Awesome sheets they have indeed (no mockery there - really!) 

Turkish Linen!

Did I miss out important Turkish trademarks? Pretty sure I did as ten is such a few. What are your favorite things that are Turkish? Do tell. 

Keep exploring!

Linking this here:
Top Ten {Tuesday}

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Messy Play: Paintings

Of course most of the messy plays we do, we get paintings out of it. But the idea of messy play is more like "it's a journey, not the destination kind of principle. Well, in messy play, it's not the output, but the method and enjoyment during playing.

I am not an expert (nor knowledgeable much) in messy play but I always make sure that the kids enjoy playing and hanging out inside the house. Life is way too short not to enjoy things we do at the moment.

I can't help it when they occasionally come up with great works. Of course, they always come up with great works in my eyes.

Who needs wall decor when I got these?

paintings with their dad!

greatest wall painting in the house  - so far!

Keep Exploring!

Linking this here:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Exploring Istanbul: Galata Tower

Back to exploring Istanbul. This time Galata Tower and the idea of flying. Hhmmm.

Galata Tower is one of the oldest and most beautiful towers in Instanbul. Okay , that is  a very subjective statement and is written at the back of the entrance ticket to the Tower!

Some other facts - yes, still written at the back of the entrance ticket to the Tower.

  • The Tower was built in 528 during the sovereignty of the Byzantine Emperor Justinianus. 
  • Having been used by the Genoese in the 13th Century, the Galata Tower was captured by the Turks in 1453 when the Byzantium was conquered by them. 
  • It is measured 61 meters high  from the ground and 140 meters from the sea level, having a diameter of 8.95 meters and thickness of 3.75 meters. 

okay, the walk from Taksim Square to Galata Tower is challenging but all so worth it!  
my beautiful sisters!
More than being a beautiful and oldest tower, Galata Tower showcases the first attempt to conquer gravity - yes, flying. Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi attempted to fly from Galata Tower to Dogancilar Square and he was successful! Instead of being rewarded for his brilliance, the current  Sultan those times were threatened and put him to prison instead. (there goes politics in action even during ancient times, tsk!)

And I modified a story a little for our dear Kylie: the first man to ever fly with his glider in Ottoman Empire became a prince.. and lived happily ever after. A great story for a 5-year old. I think, she enjoyed the trip most.

Our Kylie inside the Tower wanting to fly as well! 

view from top of the Galata Tower 

view from the top of the Galata Tower

really overpriced menu of Galata Tower restaurant
Personally, I wouldn't come back to the tower for a tea - way too expensive and limited choices for a meal. There are lots of hotels in the area with the similar view and more tea choices (well, preferably cappucino for me with a slice of cheese cake - yum!)

UNLESS, Kylie and Kerim request to see that courageous man who attempted flying for the first time. Because readers of this blog know that is an important value we want to impart the kids - taking risk and loving it!

Keep exploring!


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