Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted
according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or
slow to do the humble work.

- Mother Teresa

About Me

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Sunny Florida, United States
I am the proud mom to 6 kids: Natasha, 24, Nikolai, 20, Reese, 20, Maylee, 14, Erik, 10 and Violet, 7. The kids come from Russia, Ukraine and China; I'm so proud of my family sometimes I think I'll burst and I needed an outlet for it - so I've created this weblog. :o)
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- Mother Teresa

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One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
Mother Teresa

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Sunday, May 19, 2013
This morning when we woke up, we were in Asia!  We had arrived in Kusadasi (koo shu DAH suh), Turkey.  It was supposed to be another cloudy day, but not cold. 70's.

THANK GOODNESS Reese let me convince him to turn in early last night - he was asleep by 10 or 10:30.  It made a nice difference today.  ;o)

Okay, so we boarded the bus and headed first to the house where the Virgin Mary lived out her last 11 years. 
The Apostle John brought her here, and he lived nearby, too (though we didn't get to see that place on our tour, unfortunately).  We went through the tiny little brick house and gathered some holy water.  There are 3 faucets, and each stood for either Health, Wealth or Love, but you didn't know which.  The tour company gave us little terra cotta pots with which to collect water, and so I filled mine up 1/3 full of each of the 3, mixing them.  ;o)  Reese chose one and filled his pot with it.  I also filled a regular plastic water bottle with water from the center one.  It is said that people have been cured of diseases and illnesses from drinking that water.  I don't know if it's true, but it's only drinking water, and it can't hurt.  lol  (We brought the waters home - yes, they survived the trip! - and haven't consumed them yet.)
The area where Mary lived her final years is beautiful.  Way up high on a mountain (not so far from Ephesus!) amidst lots of olive trees (olive trees are EVERYWHERE here and also in Greece), with birds chirping and clean fresh air.  It was super nice and peaceful. 
In the "crook" of Mary's house.
There was also a "baptismal" place that we never figured out, but it was cool, too.  (If anyone knows what this is, please let me know!)
I bought a beautiful small nativity scene there made out of silver and olive wood.  It's going to be a very special piece to put out each year at Christmas. 
An olive tree near Mary's house.  The camera I had didn't take a good picture :o(  but you can get the idea.
From there, we descended the mtn. a ways to Ephesus. 

I knew this place was going to be amazing, but not THIS amazing!!  Reese was astonished, too!!  Basically, you walked through an entire ruinous town.  Houses on the left, government bldgs on the right, a library straight ahead with a massive 24,000 seat amphitheater around the corner!  How AMAZING this place must have been in its day!! 

Yeah, it was super crowded, like everywhere we'd been on this trip so far!!  I felt like I was back home at Disney!!

Paul preached in the amphitheater and might possibly have lived up a little on the left, but that's not quite certain (they are constantly excavating).  It was jaw-dropping.  I liked how hardly anything was roped off and you could touch whatever you wanted (unlike the Parthenon).  The only horrible thing was that 1/2 way into the tour, my camera battery died on the new little camera I was forced into buying cause I left my real camera battery at home!  (Therefore, I didn't get a picture of the amphitheater.  I bought a postcard of it, but don't feel like scanning it right now...)

A Roman bathhouse used to be here.
A hospital was behind this stone.  See the snake on a pole symbol?  Similar to the one we still use today.
Can't remember what this was, but with the flowers, it shows that even in a ruins, there is still life.
This is a residence.  Our guide said that Paul's residence MIGHT have been behind here, but they weren't sure yet.  See the mosiac floors?  I wish I had mosaic floors like this in my house!!
The whole experience is just too much for words.  This place rivals the Parthenon, believe it or not.  If you ever get a chance to go here, DO IT.
Reese in front of a frieze of Nike, Goddess of Victory.  Can you see the "swoosh" in her robe?
After that, we went to a buffet lunch at a posh resort called Pine Bay.  It was good and I tried several strange things, some good, some nasty.  One thing I had were olives.  I have never eaten olives except out of a jar, and was surpised at how good they were - really interesting.  Of ocurse, I had baklava for dessert.  ;o)
Figs on a fig tree.
We went back to the port to shop.  Turkey is a place where bargaining is a lifestyle and despite it being totally against my people-pleasing personality, I love to bargain!!  I think it's a blast, so I was looking forward to this, and I wasn't disappointed.  I bought gobs of stuff, including a gorgeous 12g sterling silver bracelet, for less than 1/2 of what the guy wanted for it!  I also bought GOBS of Turkish spices (spices in Turkey are the best anywhere).  Reese commented, "Well, dinners at home should be interesting for awhile...!"  LOL 

I wanted BADLY to buy a hand-knotted Turkish carpet, but simply couldn't spend the money.  :o(  Even Reese was super impressed by those.  (A placemat sized cotton carpet was $100.  A 5X9' carpet was around $1500, depending on if it was cotton, wool, or silk.)

We had a really neat carpet demonstration complete with Turkish booze!  I think they give you the booze so you'll be more willing to spend your life's savings on one of their carpets.  Fortunately, I just had some Turkish apple tea...
By the time he and I were tired of being molested by venders trying to force us into their stores to buy stuff, it had started to rain and we headed back to the ship (very nearby).  We opened up our bags and recalled the stories of the day and rested a bit (and I'm journaling).  We will next walk around a bit and wait for supper (in an hour).  I know we will sleep well tonight!

Another absolutely awesome day!!


Amy L said...

Wow! Those pictures are amazing. It had to be so surreal to be there and see Mary's house. I wanted to touch it right through the picture. So happy you guys got to see that!

Anonymous said...

I was following on FB, forgot to check your blog! What an amazing trip! I hope these moments are stamped in your mind for the future to pull out as a "happy place" when things aren't so beautiful. Great photos. Thank you for sharing!

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If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
- Chinese proverb
It is not the will of your Father that any one of these little ones should perish. Matt. 18:14

Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matt. 18:5

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

My family

My family
Nikolai, Mark, Missy, Reese, and Erik

Nikolai, 19

Nikolai, 19

Reese, 19

Reese, 19

Erik, 9

Erik, 9





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