Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bake some Cake!

This weekend Ryan had an away game. What does this mean? I bake! When he is gone I think of reasons I need to bake things in order to occupy my time! This weekend it was "Karsiyaka" Cupcakes and Carrot Cake. I made the cupcakes for a boy named Emre that is in our Branch. It was his Birthday on Saturday and he turned 12! His whole family is HUGE Karsiyaka fans so I did Red and Green...they were YUMMY! The recipe for the vanilla cupcakes was really easy and they were incredibly moist. Emre loved them!
I made the Carrot Cake for a little party that we had today. All of us wives/girlfriends of the players got together to watch the game. I asked everyone what they wanted me to bake and randomly they chose Carrot Cake. It was my first time ever making one so I was nervous but I won't was AMAZING! The girls all loved it and it's a good thing I left some at home for Ryan because there weren't any leftovers at the party! I know the picture doesn't look all that great but it was really delicious!
Here is a random picture of the TV screen. Every time I watch a game on TV I think it's so weird to see Ryan. He looks so cute! It's just weird to see him on TV.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Turkish Cup

Last weekend was the Turkish Cup. Karsiyaka qualified earlier in the season and was one out of eight teams to be there. It was a single elimination tournament. Luckily this trip the team allowed us girls to come along! They flew us to Adana and we were able to go to the game. It was really fun to be able to actually travel to an away game! We can always travel to the games if we choose but it has to be on our own so we never go. The game was really intense and really close but we ended up with a loss. It was really sad but at least it was fun to be able to see the game and travel!
Also Ryan was picked to be in the magazine that was made for the tournament. They chose 8 guys out of the whole Turkish League to interview and get their own page in the magazine. Obviously the article is in Turkish so we can't read it but at least he was chosen! They asked him about 25 questions so we don't even know what parts are in there. One of the funny questions they asked him was- Did you think getting married so young would make your Basketball career worse? Random. But Ryan gave a good response. He said that getting married has made him a better player because now he is even more motivated to work hard. Now he doesn't play only for him but for his wife and future family. He has to focus on providing a living and it makes him want to improve more and more. Before he was married it was all for him and he didn't have to take it as seriously. Good answer Ryan. He scored brownie points with me! But at the same time, what is he supposed to say? Yes, being married is the worst!! I am so bad at Basketball now because of my wife. Listen up fellow players...never get married! haha
On the top right side by his name it says "Chosen as the tournaments favorite player." Pretty cool if you ask me! Way to go Ryan!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Here is yet another funny story. This story is actually quite the insult to me but I think it is something great to laugh about. I have a gym pass here to a really great gym called Sports International. I love this gym! It is huge, great classes, good equipment and I have made some good friends because of the gym. Luckily Ryan's teammate Dre has a girlfriend that I love! We get along perfect! We go to the gym together every single day and it is so nice to have a little gym buddy. Now let me give you a little background info. Emily (Dre's girlfriend) is in impeccable shape. I mean six pack, really thin but really toned, amazing cardio ability and is in the best shape of anyone at the gym. She is a personal trainer in Omaha and has a booked schedule from morning to night. She graduated in Exercise Science with a minor in Nutrition. This girl knows her stuff! A few months ago when Emily was here in October we went to the gym. We were doing Cardio when a trainer at the gym came up to her and told her that she doesn't get her heart rate up high enough when she does Cardio. She was really nice and told him that she knows what her heart rate should be and also she was doing interval training so it would change a lot. He proceeded to tell her that she was wrong and that she isn't working out right. Then she got a little annoyed and so was I. She started getting "textbook" on him and explaining why she was right and that he was wrong. He wasn't budging so eventually she just told him thanks for the input but she'll just do what she prefers. We were both really confused about where he thought he had the right to tell her what to do when these trainers haven't even studied anything about fitness. We moved on and honestly had forgotten that this even happened and actually found it pretty funny.
THEN there is today. Emily is back now for the rest of the season. We have been going to the gym everyday like we used to and it is so much fun to workout together. We were doing circuit training today and a little bit of Cardio. At one point one of us would do a few upper body workouts and then we would switch and one person would do Hamstring curls. It was my turn to do Hamstring curls and so I am laying down doing my set when the same trainer from the experience before comes up and said "Are you doing this to get rid of your cellulite?" I was really confused. Yes, I won't lie. I do have cellulite on the backs of my legs but come don't have to TELL me that. I stood up off the machine and said "Excuse me?" He again replied with "Are you trying to get rid of your cellulite on the behind of your legs?" I was so irritated but wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt so I asked "Do you understand what you're saying?" I wasn't sure if he was confused because of the language barrier but this guy knows English! He said "Yes, I understand. You have cellulite on the backs of your legs. You are needing to get rid of this. You do Hamstring curls to get rid of your fat." OH NO YOU DIDN'T BOY! haha I was so offended! I looked at him and I said as polite as I possibly could "You don't ever say that to girls. I don't know if this is acceptable in Turkey but it isn't ok with me. Don't look at me this way and I don't appreciate you telling me things that are wrong with my body." And I walked away. He is lucky I am happy with the way I look. Yes, it was rude and I was a little offended but most of all I thought it was really weird he felt this was acceptable. He should be grateful I'm not the type that is now going to stop eating and begin researching for new cellulite creams. I walked over to Emily and told her what happened. She was SO mad. She is the sweetest girl and she couldn't stop telling me how great of shape I am in etc. trying to make me feel ok about what happened. I just know she didn't want my feelings to be hurt. We finished our workout and on the way down we both gave him the evil eye. I won't lie, it made me feel better. (I know you might be thinking I'm dramatic but come on. Don't tell me you would be all smiles and invite him over for dinner if someone said that to you.) The story isn't over. Ryan called me. He was coming to the gym to meet up with me to go to the Bizarre. I told him on the phone what had happened. He was NOT happy. For those of you that know Ryan you would most likely agree he is the sweetest person ever unless you do something to offend ME. He will protect me or anyone he cares about until the end. Along with being protective of me he is very "witty" with his comments. He was more mad that this trainer was checking my legs out when I was doing Hamstring curls and that he felt like it was OK to talk to me that way. (Just so those of you that are reading this don't think I was working out in underwear I want to let you know that I was wearing Nike running shorts that are fitted but are only about 4 inches above my knee. These aren't booty shorts and actually qualify as "knee lengths.") Ryan showed up at the gym. He wanted to go inside and have a little chat with the trainer. I refused to go back into the gym and show him who it was but Emily was mad so she was more then happy to go inside and show him. I was so nervous. About ten minutes later Ryan came walking out and all he said to me was "He won't be talking or looking at you ever again." That was that. But then of course Emily and Dre wanted to know what he said! I wasn't inside so I don't know exact words but this is Ryan's recap. "You know my wife Jessica? You are to never talk, look, or come near her ever again. You have no right to tell her there is something wrong with her when she is perfect just the way she is. I swear if you ever say one more inappropriate thing to her or Emily you will dread the day Dre or I hear about it. Mind your own business and they will mind theirs." TAKE THAT JERK! I am not going to lie. It was nice to know that I have a husband that will stick up for me! This whole story probably sounds so dramatic and blown out of proportion but I guess you may have had to be there. It really was inappropriate and I truly was offended. Later today the Head Manager of the gym called and apologized to both of us for what happened. I said that I didn't want him to be in trouble or anything but he needs to know how to treat and talk to customers of the gym. The manager agreed 100% and said nothing like this would ever happen again. So anyway folks! Here is another funny but more embarrassing story for you! Next time I see you I'll notice if you're trying to look at the cellulite on my hamstrings!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This is a funny story that I wanted to post about! Last week at Ryan's home game I was enjoying myself when I saw Ryan's teammate accidentally smack Ryan in the face. No, it wasn't on purpose. No, it wasn't while warming up. No, it wasn't during the game. It was simply after his teammate had made a really sweet fast-break dunk. Ryan put his hand up to give Alper a "high five" when WACK!! Alper accidentally made this simple "Way to go Man!" into a "I'm gonna slap you in the face and rip out your eye contact!" I saw Ryan grab his eye and I just thought he would shake it off but then I could see him looking around on the ground for his contact. I immediately thought...Ryan doesn't have any back ups in his bag. He used his back up last game when his other contact flicked out. So I scream across the court over the cheering crowd "RYAN DO YOU NEED A CONTACT!?" He yelled back "RUN HOME!" So that's what I did. You should have seen me...I grabbed the house keys and I was out of there! I have to describe what I must have looked like sprinting down a busy street in Turkey. I was wearing skinny jeans with jeweled flats, a black t-shirt and my "boyfriend blazer." with lots of cute jewelry. Get the picture? Not a good sprinting outfit. But I will tell you what...I WAS HAULING!! I was getting the weirdest looks ever. First of all I already stand out here in Turkey and on top of that I am sprinting as fast as I can in my regular clothes all dressed up for the game! I am about 3/4 of the way home when I hear "JESSICA" and I turned around to see Emine waving his arms and yelling my name. Emine is one of the teams helpers. He drives the guys around, takes them to the bank, fills our their paperwork etc. He can barely even speak english and he was about to pass out. All he can say to me is "Ryan-yok" Which means "Ryan-no." I was incredibly confused. I knew Ryan needed his contacts so I had no idea what he was saying. He just kept on saying "Ryan say no" So I figure he is trying to tell me that Ryan found a contact and no longer needs more. So I walk back to the arena thinking all is well. I walk right back into the game when the half-time buzzer rings and Ryan comes sprinting over to me "WHERE ARE MY CONTACTS!" and I said "WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS? Emine said you didn't need them anymore!" Uh oh...Ryan turned to Emine and screams at the top of his lungs "I NEED MY CONTACT not I DON'T NEED MY CONTACT!" oopsies....So Emine grabs the keys to his car and we jump in thinking this would be faster then me running. We were wrong. We got stuck on a really skinny street on the way to our house that had a semi on it dropping off groceries at the mall. By this time Emine was crying. Poor guy. I kept on patting his back and telling him Ryan isn't mad at him. I told him the language barrier causes major problems and it isn't his fault. I also told him Ryan is just stressed out because of his contact and didn't mean to yell at him. I felt so bad. I decided to jump out of the car and sprint through the mall because that would be much faster then waiting for the semi to be done. I told Emine to meet me in front of the complex. Let me create this picture. To enter into our mall you have to put your bags through the security conveyer belt like at the airport and go through a scanner yourself. So when I run up and just basically leap through the scanner I may have looked a little bit suspicious. I was literally running as fast as I can through the mall screaming "PARDON!!!!!" I looked like a fool. I was getting really interesting looks along with looking so crazy. I finally got to the apartment, rode the incredibly slow elevator up to the 16th floor, grabbed the contacts, rode the incredibly slow elevator down and then threw myself into Emine's car. We hauled back to the arena when I see Ryan's GM outside waiting for us to get back. I hand him the contacts and he ran into the arena to give them to Ryan. The game was starting. My heart was pounding and I seriously felt like crying because it was so stressful. Now I laugh! So I walked back in because I didn't want to miss the game and THEN I realize...I am SO HOT!! The second I sat down I totally started sweating. Come on...someone please tell me you have had that feeling when everyone around you is perfectly normal and you have beads of sweat running down your face. I was so embarrassed! All well...
Now that you know the story I will tell you the funniest thing of all...The next day in the Izmir Newspaper the front page headline was "Ryan Toolson's Wife Saves The Game" With a huge picture of Ryan and me with our hands up in the air when he was screaming "Where are my contacts!?"
That my friends is embarrassing.
Oh well. At least they won and at least I have another embarrassing/funny/random story to remember of living here in Turkey.
I am positive there are plenty more to come.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We have some news...

Ryan and I would like to make an announcement!!!

We have been waiting for this day a really long time...

We are really excited about the news!!

And just wanted to let you know...

We have made an addition to our family!!!!

It's a.....

Her name is "DELI" which means "CRAZY" in Turkish! She has a nice pink house with colorful rocks and a lounging area to hang out. She likes her new home and we like her too!
(Sorry for those of you that thought we were making an announcement about a baby...that day will hopefully come sometime! For now a silver dollar turtle named Deli is a lot easier to take care of!!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

I think he's perfect..

HE makes me happy...

A homemade card with a drawn picture inside...anything better? No!
I am lucky. There isn't anyone more perfect for me. I am grateful I will be with him forever. He loves me and I love him. The End.

When I'm bored...I BAKE!

I may not have the healthiest hobby. All well! Here in Turkey I find that I have a lot of time on my hands so I get myself busy by baking. Valentine's Day was no exception! My sister Kim gave me a delicious recipe for Brownies that I had to try, I have also been craving "Thumbprint Cookies" or what I call Jam cookies and also I made the usual sugar cookies! I made all these things in one day and had a blast! I was a little baking machine!

These don't look nearly as good as they tasted! Oh my goodness they taste like a piece of heaven! For my first time making them I thought they turned out pretty good but now I know the trick of getting the jam not to spill out the sides for next time!
I took the sugar cookies to church and they SCARFED these things down!
I decided it wasn't a good idea to keep all of these sweets around the house so I made Valentine's packages for all of our friends. I know they look kind of ghetto but I did my best with what I had!

If you have anything you think I should try baking please let me know! I am always looking for fun, new and yummy things to try!
I hope that you had a great Valentine's Day!
(If you want any of the recipes I used just let me know!)

What we love to do...BOWLING

When the boys have a night off or when we have something to celebrate we go bowling! We have a really nice bowling alley right across the street from our house inside the mall. I will admit I am a terrible bowler. I mean when I say terrible... I mean it's embarrassing! But at least I'm the type that can even make fun of myself! The guys are always incredibly competitive and end up making us play about 3 rounds before we can leave. There is always some sort of "No, you just got lucky! We have to do another round!" Or there is someone saying the other person cheated etc. But what us girls want to know is how can you even cheat in bowling? The computer keeps score and it's impossible to run down and knock over the pins without someone noticing! So we just roll our eyes and agree to play another round.

Ryan and Dre always love to pose like Dave (guy on the right) because he does the same arms behind the back with his arms flexed every picture! I won't make fun of you Dave! I think you're awesome!

Ryan made me take a picture of the 1st game because he wanted proof to show Dre, Baby (dave) and the other teammates that he won when the guys started making up stories about who won!
Below you will see my version of bowling. I like to call my talent "Creative Bowling." I have come to the conclusion that I am not supposed to be a good bowler so I add my own twist and bowl my way! If you want some lessons I will be teaching some creative bowling camps this summer when I get home. It draws a great crowd at the bowling alley and even some Turkish people are willing to compete against you! Then there are a few videos of Ryan showing off his mad skills! Also I apologize I recorded Ryan's videos the wrong way and IPhoto won't let me change them! Sorry for any neck injuries caused while watching his videos!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I made donut holes...
And we loved them!!
So the other day we were watching TV and on the show someone was eating a powdered donut. This created a major craving for the two of us. We wanted a yummy donut! The problem is that here in Turkey there are no donuts. There are delicious pastries, cookies, desserts etc. but nothing to satisfy the craving of a powdered donut. In order to solve this major problem I decided to make donut holes from scratch. It was SO easy!
Here is how...
Easy Donut Holes
Dry Ingredients
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp nutmeg (optional: I didn't use this!)
1 tsp Baking Powder

Wet Ingredients
1 egg
3/4 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
(+ extra oil for frying)

Powdered Sugar, cinnamon sugar, glaze, chocolate glaze. ANYTHING YOU WANT!

Mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and mix with a fork until smooth. Put oil about 1 inch high into a pan. Heat up your oil and drop in the dough using a teaspoon measurer or a mini ice cream scoop. Test your oil by only dropping in 1 donut and seeing if the oil sizzles and begins to brown the donut quite quickly. Once your oil is the right temperature drop in as many will fit in your pan. Turn over when golden Brown. About 2-3 minutes total. Take out of oil and put on a pan covered in paper towels to soak up extra oil. Once the donuts have dried roll in your toppings. Delicious!
Good Luck!

Monday, February 8, 2010



is definitely worth bragging about! Ryan was picked to play in the Turkish League All-Star game! He was also picked to compete in the 3-point competition. He is doing so well this season and I am so happy for him because he deserves some recognition. Out of the entire league there were a total of 12 foreigners picked to play in the game- Ryan being one of them. Also there were only 5 people picked to compete in the 3-point competition.

Warming up for the 3 point competition. In the first round 5 people compete with the top 3 moving on. Ryan and 2 other guys moved on and then Ryan lost by only one shot in the finals! He did AMAZING!
Playing in the All-Star game. Ryan had 12 points in the game!!

I am so proud of Ryan and can't believe he was picked to be in the All-Star game his rookie season! WAY TO GO!!

When it snows...YOU SLED!

So the whole time I was home visiting I was somewhat disappointed that there was never a good snow storm! Well, that all changed the night before I left. My family had a "going away again" party for me the night before I left. We had my...
Meal of choice: Hawaiian Haystacks
Dessert of choice: Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and Costco chocolate dipped with almond Ice cream bars- Delish!
Game of choice: Sardines!! Yes I got my entire family to run around the whole house and find each other in random hiding spots. The best hiding spot was my dads. Under the piano in the living room. You should have seen 6 of us hiding under the piano!
Other hiding spots included...
Mom in the closet of her quilting room.
I hid up in the loft of my room.
Cody took a blanket and hid under that in the hallway thinking we were "look over him!"
Tyler in the easiest spot that took us all the longest. A small corner by the fireplace!
We also played the card game Five Crowns. If you haven't ever heard of it you must buy this! Cody and Alycia gave it to us for Christmas and now it is easily a family favorite!
Last activity: SLEDDING! I had been waiting my entire visit for there to be enough snow for sledding. I GOT IT!
Here we are preparing to go out...we threw on the most random outfits. I even wore capri sweat pants and rain boots. Warm? NOPE!
Look at this!! Inches and inches within a few hours!
Let's get this sledding started!
After the sledding! Why did I wear rain boots without long pants? I had more snow inside my boots then outside. And the worst part...I borrowed my moms North Face coat and realized there was a hood on the coat AFTER we were finished sledding. Yes, I'm a genius. All well.

Thanks family for being willing to play my incredibly random games, go sledding and get super wet, eat my favorite foods/desserts and for simply being the best family! Love you!

NeW yEaRs!

New Year's was a little different this year! I went home to visit family/friends for a month but my poor husband was all alone in Turkey. His night consisted of staying up til 12:01. He called me...we said Happy New Year's! We sent each other a kiss through the phone and he was asleep by 12:10. Even though I was without a real New Year's kiss I still had fun with my family! We went to Pizzeria 712 for dinner, played games, watched the countdown, fell asleep at 11:00pm to wake up at 11:45pm and then we celebrated! My parents and I still had TERRIBLE jet lag from traveling back from Turkey the day before.
Can Benton be any cuter? out ladies. Young or old!
The family! I was so happy Kim and Tyler were able to come up for the month when I was there. PERFECT!
Aren't my parents the cutest? Little party animals!
T-spice, Kimki and Jessers!
Missed you Ryan!
(little late I know!)

Saturday, February 6, 2010


What started off as a great day in the park eating cookies from my favorite bakery and playing basketball with water bottles turned into....



All well. At least I have a husband that will clean poop off my head! Thanks Ry!
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