Living in Thailand

Hug.

Posted by on Oct 16, 2015 in Living in Thailand | 1 comment

Hug.

I feel like God gave me a hug this week, just to remind me that He loves and cares for me. What a kind Father! So here are some of my hugs:

Our weather on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday stayed in the mid-60s and it was glorious! I love the cozy feel of being in a warm house on a cold day. The sky had that overcast look when it’s going to snow (not that it did!), I had some music playing, candles burning, and comfort food cooking on the stove. We pulled out the slippers and socks, and the kids enjoyed wearing long-sleeves again. Why is this a hug? I grew up in Pennsylvania, where I enjoyed having four seasons. Thailand is the land of perpetual summer, so I was thrilled to have some cool weather, particularly since my brain knows it’s October. πŸ˜‰

Hug.
Earlier this year we stopped by a yard sale in Chiang Mai. A family was moving back to the states and wanted to get rid of some stuff. The yard sale was well attended, but somehow this little gem was overlooked by everyone! Not only do I love Yankee Candles, one of my favorites is Sparkling Cinnamon. Sure, the candle was half-used, but I didn’t mind paying $1.00 for it! And now I have it as a reminder that God truly cares about the little things.
Hug.

Most evenings we go for a bike ride and usually catch a beautiful sunset. By the time I took this picture, the sun was just about gone, but God has given amazing scenery as a backdrop to our neighborhood!

Hug.
Any parent can tell you kids are a lot of work, but these two really do bring me so much joy! It’s so fun to hear them giggling together. I love watching them play together. I pray they grow up being best friends. I have such great memories with my siblings, and I want these two to experience that.
Hug. 
And then this morning? My brother called me.
Big hug!
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Where Did The Week Go?

Posted by on Sep 20, 2015 in Living in Thailand | 1 comment

Where Did The Week Go?
The days just fly be here, so let’s have a week in review via pictures, shall we?
We took our friends out to eat at a Chinese restaurant and I decided this is the biggest plate of pork fried rice I have ever seen! Oh, and the mushroom platter??? That was for my husband. :-)
Discovered an amazing view from a nearby mountain. We can’t wait to go back and explore on a clear day!
That’s a LOT of hay!
I loved having my friend and her husband here for a visit. What an enjoyable time sharing Thailand with them!
We have our ups and downs, but when my little guy smiles like this, he completely melts my heart.

A friend gave me Cadbury hot chocolate mix, so the first night that was even remotely chilly, I made some up and enjoyed it in my new mug.

Discovered a new cafe and restaurant or, as they label it, cafe and meal. πŸ˜‰
This little girl takes smoothies very seriously!
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Fun Visitors!

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Family, Kiddos, Living in Thailand, Spending Time With Friends | 2 comments

Fun Visitors!
We have absolutely loved having friends of ours visit for the last week or so! It’s been so much fun hanging out together, talking and laughing long after our kiddos are in bed. We’ve also enjoyed a couple of game nights, one of our favorite ways to spend an evening. :-) 
Our friends tend to be more explorers and adventurers than, shall we say, shoppers, so between the four of us, we discovered plenty of cool things to see in nature.
{The Readers and Nat explored a cave}
{Ellie experienced her first elephant ride near this river}

{Took a hike that led to twin waterfalls}

{New pictures were needed for a prayer card/Christmas card, so we snagged a few mommy & baby poses as well}

{Such happy smiles}

I’m so thankful for sweet fellowship and precious friendship. We’re sad to see our friends leave in the morning, but we are so grateful they came and spent the time with us!

(Photo credit: Ilona Reader)

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At Least I’m Consistent!

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Family, Kiddos, Living in Thailand | 3 comments

At Least I’m Consistent!

We’ve been having lots of fun in our new house and city, so here’s a quick update via photos. (Again!)

We bought this rocking horse just before we moved, and now the entertainment is endless around here!

This is the way Ellie drives…

Nat has been busy scrubbing dirt off the walls and ground (the walls in the background show the difference), and Paul has enjoyed “helping” Daddy.  :-)

A couple of weeks ago I took a quick trip to Bangkok to visit with some friends. It sure was fun being in the big city again!

Nat did a great job with the kids while I was away, and he sent me this picture of Ellie’s “daddy-do”.

Apparently the back of our truck is loads of fun too… 

Check out this coffee stand we stopped at… That stepstool was helpful and the coffee was very good!

Our house is in this neighborhood.

These two love playing with each other and have the cutest giggles.

They are also huge daredevils and are constantly finding new heights to explore. 😳 

Paul loves a mango smoothie! That yellow thing in his smoothie? Yeah, that’s NOT a piece of mango, but some kind of jello-like rice glop. Big disappointment when the expectation is a piece of mango. 

There aren’t too many playgrounds here, but there are plenty of kiddie rides at most malls and big stores. The kids were finally bold enough to take their first ride together. They loved it, contrary to the expressions on their faces. 
As always, there’s more to share but it’s back to enjoying life with the kiddos!
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Taking A Breather

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Living in Thailand | 1 comment

Taking A Breather
Last week I took the opportunity to slip away to a nearby coffee shop while the kids were napping. I haven’t quite decided if this particular shop is going to be my new favorite coffee shop or not. For one thing, the name is Pen Da Hug Coffee. I keep forgetting to check the Thai spelling because then I might be able to figure out where they were heading with the name. The word “pen” in Thai is actually pronounced like “Ben” and means is/are. I’m not sure what “da” is supposed to mean, but “hug” sounds pretty comforting, so maybe it will be my new favorite after all!
And come on, this *is* a pretty cute way to serve an iced latte:

So for approximately $1.20, not only did I get a cute-looking mug (great-tasting latte included!), I also had 45 minutes of downtime to sit on someone else’s porch with a wonderful breeze blowing through and I got to read part of a book! Complete win: kids slept, hubby worked on projects, and I enjoyed a breather. :-)
That breather was needed because we’ve packed so much into the last two weeks. The move from Chiang Mai was the first time we’ve ever had to move everything to a new house, and I was grateful we had movers do the job. 
We were very excited to have the opportunity to put together our kitchen the way we wanted to, so we started off with a blank room:

And came up with this:
Can I just say how much I’m enjoying having a big kitchen?!? It was originally the living room, but the kitchen was more important to us than the living room, so we tossed the idea of a living room out. :-) 
We’re still putting a few things together throughout the house, but overall we are completely able to function with lots of little perks along the way. We’re also enjoying a wide porch, whether sitting out there to read my Bible, watching the kids play, or eating dinner. A soft breeze blows often and it’s so quiet. God has been very good to us!

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Emotions.

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Family, Getting to know me, Living in Thailand, Memories, Musings, Purposeful praise | 1 comment

Emotions.
We’re moving in four days. 
It goes without saying my emotions have gone all the way from elation to tears, sometimes within the same hour! What an unreliable indicator of truth.
On the one hand, we are incredibly excited as we take the next step forward in reaching out to people groups in SE Asia. So many brand-new opportunities and connections await us. How thrilling!
And, of course, there’s the other hand. The hand that tugs on my emotional heartstrings. For instance, this picture:
These two little guys are Sunday buddies. As in, they play together each Sunday and have done so for over a year. Us moving four hours north is putting an abrupt end to the adventures in toddler-hood these two share. {Well, it would come to an end soon anyway since the other little boy’s parents are returning to the states for furlough but … I digress.} 
We’ve put down some roots in Chiang Mai – 19 months of roots. We’ve gotten to know and love so many people, visited many unique places, hosted our first visitors here, made memories with Paul, and of course Ellie was born here. We stumbled through language learning (oh wait, I’m still stumbling!), had some cultural boo-boos, and were a source of endless entertainment for our neighborhood.
By focusing on the past though, I’m not going to make forward traction. Instead, I’m going to get sentimental thinking through memories, but not adjusting to a new set of adventures. 
And so…. I choose to be excited about this new step ahead of us. Of course that doesn’t mean part of my heart isn’t being left behind in Chiang Mai. It is. Just like a part of my heart is in Pennsylvania. But I can’t wait to begin putting down some new roots and making new memories in a new place. Oh, and the people we will meet! I want them to come to Heaven with me. So it’s time to dig up those roots and plant them somewhere new. Souls are waiting.
Our new city

Our new house – please come visit us!
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