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: http://www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival/volunteer

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!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

All About Spelling

Yes - It's All About Spelling. Especially this coming school year for the Turknoy kids! I found some wonderful tool in the net and I can't wait to get our hands into this.

I promise to share this to our Doha Explorers Book Club. After mastering early reading, it's time to move on to serious spelling.

Click for more details.

Keep exploring!

Thankful Thursdays!

Every second, every minute, everyday is an opportunity to be thankful! Thank you, God for all the wonderful blessings! To Your Kingdom be the Glory.

There are lots of things I am so grateful for our lives. My prayers always include sincere thanks to God and the wish to be worthy of all his blessings!

I am extremely grateful for:

RESPECT IN MARRIAGE - Above all else, of course, there is LOVE.  On top of that is the freedom to be what I AM and the freedom to say what I THINK and express how I FEEL. My husband is Turkish and a Muslim and the differences in our relationship is often highlighted more during this month of  Ramadan when he fasts and I don't (I couldn't even last one hour without nibbling something!) . I tend to be very vocal on what I feel about his fasting. His ears bled out of my "sermon" about the "real" value of fasting and he always listen to me. He listens, he expresses his views and do what he thinks is right. I have high respect for him; and I believe vice versa. Awesome!

QUALITY TIME! The kids have been with their grandparents for almost two weeks now and I have spent great quality time with myself alone, my husband, my sister and brother. It is always great to have a look at a different perspective in our lives. I was too close with my kids to realize some things. I couldn't have seen it that way with kids with me.

EXTENDED FAMILY. Turknoys are indeed not only a family of four. It extends way far from that both sides. It has its challenges of course, but it is getting MORE and MORE and MORE colorful every time.

COMMUNITY. Oh the communities we belong is awesome. Online and offline. At work and at play. We learn everyday. Collection of positive and motivated people.

SHORT OFFICE HOURS. Well, since it is the Holy Month of Ramadan, we get to work for only 6 hours a week and in a not-as-much work loads. What more could anyone ask for?

Truly we are so blessed.

What are you thankful for the past week? 

Very Very Grateful for Life,

Linking this here:

Undeserving Grace


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