Friday, April 29, 2011

Oh, how I love traffic

Photo credit:

If anyone has noticed my absence, I haven't died, or am lying in bed with a bout of malaria, or, as of now, busy!

You were wondering about that, right?

I haven't blogged in a week because we went out of town.  And, wow, what a trip!  There was a conference that our friends were going to in Bangkok, so we tagged along!

We started Monday with a 8 1/2 hour trip that turned into a 12 1/2 hour trip.  You know how that goes.

At the end of the day, we were doing just fine; cruising, and rejoicing as we entered the wild concrete jungle of the big city.  The kids weren't going insane yet, I was feeling better from my sickness that hit the day before, and our car hadn't blown up yet.  Things were going well.

We passed over a massive suspension bridge, and I remember saying that I suddenly felt so so small. We are country bumpkins now, I'm afraid, and things like passing over gigantic bridges in the middle of a gigantic river in a gigantic city (11+ million people!) can make you feel like a that.  (As a side note...we were in the mall yesterday, walking through an ultra-chic home department store, and the kids and I confirmed ourselves to be quirky, small-town people as we laid down on an uber-comfy floor rug. The kids ooh-ed and aah-ed and we all remarked at how soft the fibers were.  Treavor tried to act like he didn't know us, as he was quite embarrassed.  Moving on...) 

We passed over said suspension bridge and continued to try our best to decipher the three maps of Bangkok's downtown city streets - while noting highway signs and praying that we wouldn't miss a turn.  We had heard that if you miss a turn of the expressway, which we were barreling down at this point, that you would quickly regret it as u-turning is quite impossible and quite laborious. 

Well, what did we do, you ask?

We missed our turn, of course.

20-minutes later, we managed to turn ourselves back around to retrace our steps back to the fork we missed.  There was no fork.  There was no turn option.  We were livid.  And tired. was raining.  And, it was dark!  Recipe = disaster.

We tried the non-expressway option and tried to work our way to our hotel on the congested city streets, trying to manage not to lose our minds.  We normally reside in a two-stoplight town, people - this was a challenge!

Two hours later, we gave up.  We went to McDonald's (cue "Hallelujah music").  We got some directions.  And, we finally managed to make it to our destination.  Praise. God.

The conference was great!  Thursday, we successfully made it back out of the city, and are now on....


I don't know if I will blog any more until we get home...I will be working on my tan, working on regaining my sanity from "life" and trying not to work very hard at anything else!

Got any fun travelling stories?  Do tell...Comment below.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday led to a great Saturday morn...

Last night, we made these...

Let me tell you, they were gooood.  I saw this recipe at and bookmarked it immediately!  Why don't you try it out, EVERY Friday, even!  Not just once a year...

After consuming one per person (ahem, two for the kids and by the end of the day, five for Mom - I told you my pants were fitting tighter lately) - we settled down on the couch and read Part 2 of the Good Friday story.  After the part where Jesus was betrayed in the night and put to trial in the dead of night, we flipped to the story in our Message Bible for Kids about the Crucifixion.

After reading and talking about it, we spent a good 15 to 20 minutes taking turns praying and listening to Jesus.  Jeshurun said that he didn't want to stop!  He just wanted to keep talking to God!  It was the highlight of my day.

(The next day, today...)

Jeshurun was heard on the baby monitor, talking and talking in the early morning.  This woke Kyla up, which we started to scold him for. 



We asked him why he was getting so emotional.  He stayed silent.  This is rare for my highly extroverted and verbose child to do.  If you know him, you might be scratching your head right now.

"Jeshurun, why are you sad?"

"I don't know!"

"What do you mean, you don't know?  What were you feeling that made you start to cry?"

More silence.

Finally, as real, fat tears rolled down his cheeks, he told us of how he had woken up this morning, and was just praying and praying.  He said he didn't want to stop.  He said, verbatim, "It was just, so...sweet."

By now, our ears and eyes have perked up to realize that this morning was not just a regular Saturday morning, but something truly special.  There is a change in our child this morning, and it is truly the work of God.

We softened, and sat down with him on the couch to listen to, as he cries, that he was just asking God to "know Him more," and to "hear His heart." 

We celebrate the Resurrection tomorrow, but know that Jesus truly is alive today!

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3

Friday, April 22, 2011

Seder Success

Last night, we celebrated Passover with Nick and Steph's clan! 

Does anyone else reading this think they can pull off an entire Passover meal/program with 7 kids 5 yrs and under?  Did you know that an authentic one, with all the frills, lasts close to 3 hours?

I didn't think so.

But, THEY can!  Ha!  And, with finesse...

We declared together, in many beautiful words, that Jesus became our Passover Lamb...

His body, broken for us...

His blood, represented here by the grape juice, poured out for cover up and wash clean away ALL our mess-ups, our rebellion, our aloofness, our selfishness, and for our turning away from the Father who created us to know Him!

We ate homemade matzah bread, unleavened, like the Hebrews did at Passover...

And feasted on LAMB!  Thanks to Nick for driving 30 minutes away to purchase this beauty for us to enjoy!  And, for forking over all that cash...

Did you know that lamb isn't really the meat of choice for Thais?  Hence the sacrifice to buy it and enjoy every last bite. 

You know I did.

That's why my pants are fitting a wee bit too tight today...

How did you celebrate Passover, or "Holy Thursday" this year?  And, what are your plans for meditating on Jesus' death and (Praise GOD!) His Resurrection?  Feel free to comment below...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 Things I Like Today

1.  Jeshurun got his training wheels off today!  He's a two-wheelin' maniac!

2.  Ordering out.  I love it when I can call my food into existence.  Well, not real into existing...just being made to order, at least.  And, delivered to my table by my lovely husband who went to pick it up!

3.  The afternoon downpour.

4.  Eating fresh mangoes from our tree out front.

5.  My rose bush blooming again!  It has been resurrected!  A few months ago, all the leaves turned yellow and I was sure it was dying.  I replanted it, prayed over it and hoped that it would bloom again.  And, here it has, in all it's painted beauty!

6.  That Jesus is the final sacrifice.  This week, with all the focus that we've been putting on his death and Resurrection, I feel like a child again, finding out for the first time that I cannot do "life" on my own, especially with all my screw-ups.  I.  Need.  Jesus!

7.  Stephanie's homemade cinnamon rolls.  Oh my.  It was a party in my mouth.  And, I love how effortlessly she made it look.  That look is definitely NOT the look I get when I bake.  Heaven help me.

8.  The smell of Kyla's baby soap.

9.  New storybooks.

10.  These three hooligans.  Playing together.  Becoming best friends together.  And, most importantly...not fighting!  :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011


A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
   “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
   “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
   “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

...from the book of Matthew 21:8-10

This morning, we cut palm branches, read an old story from Matthew, and worshipped the Lord on our front porch to commence "Holy Week."  Ever since last year, when we did this for the first time, Huy's favorite worship song is "Hosanna" by Hillsong.  Without fail, when we ask for a song request, he wants to sing this sweet song and fan his arms up and down like we did with our palm branches. 

We talked about how the people of Jerusalem prepared the way for the King of Kings to parade down the road, once muddy, adorned with their own cloaks and with thickly-laid palm branches - a makeshift "red carpet" set out for royalty. 

Then, we talked about how if Jesus were to come down our road today, that we would prepare the best for Him.  We would give Him our finest, and worship Him unabashedly. 

As the world reflects on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ this week - think about how you can give Him your best!

What are you doing this week in reflection and celebration?  Share about it below:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Water Fight! A Story In Pictures.

Songkran (click for more info) happened a few days ago.  Well, really, in the bigger cities here in Thailand, they celebrate for three and sometimes five days straight!  In our teensy-weensy town, the water fight lasts one day - but, man, it is FUN!

Here's a look into the action (I took a drive right outside our little street and locked the doors to make sure nobody pelted me and my camera with a bucket of water!)...

Run and Huy, dressed in classic Songkran attire

They're ready!

The first shot.

Run snuck around to our neighbor's house to get a surprise shot...this poor, unsuspecting boy was dutifully washing his father's truck...when Run strikes!

After study-time, Daddy joins in...and they walk up the road to the main event!

In our town, the place when EVERYONE plays is 7-eleven, the land of Slurpees.

The sidewalks were full of people hanging out.

People get on their motorbikes and pile into pick-up trucks to drive down the road...squirting others, and getting drenched, themselves.

These kids had colored talcum powder that they smeared onto unsuspecting passers-by.  My doors were locked!  Haha!

The road was full for a few miles...

And then, I spotted them!  Treav and the boys were in the back of our friend's pick-up, having a BLAST (no pun intended)!

"Get Mommy's car!!!"

Later that afternoon, we headed to some friends' house in a nearby town to play some more!

Our friends had some Thais and foreigners over to eat MEXICAN food.  The kitchen was full! was the eating room.

The boys and M, another foreigner, going to town with the water guns. 

They blessed the food...

...and BOY!  Did we have a feast, or what!?!

Fun, food, and friends; a great end to a great day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It is worth it!

My baby is sick.

She has a fever, a dry cough, a fussy disposition, and a voice that sounds like a 60-year old smoker.  I cannot tell you how funny it is when she says "Mama!  Dada!" or "Amen!" with a raspy sound.

But, the rest is not-so-funny because she is wanting to be held constantly while she's awake.  Who's to blame her when she's achy and miserable?  But, for a chronic multi-tasker like me, this is hard to swallow.  Both of my boys have played well independently once they learned to sit up, but Kyla is an co-dependent extrovert at heart.  Especially when ill.

So, my biceps are getting toned from all the hip-carrying - and she's getting to witness just about every part of my day being right by my side.  Laundry.  Cooking.  Phone calls.  Blogging.  Two days ago, she slapped her hands on the keyboard and the shift key and the "Fn" key (whatever that is) went flying in the air.  I am thankful for a handy husband who can fix such blunders.  Otherwise, that "to do" would have been added to my mile-long list of things to fix, clean, buy, organize, etc....I digress.

The Ergo carrier that we bought last year is definitely getting some mileage...she spent a good 4 or 5 hours on my back yesterday as I attempted to manage the house. 

And, when I hold her and pray for her as she goes down for her nap each day, I am reminded of how precious she is to me.  As Treavor was leaving to attend a meeting yesterday, I complained "Oh, I am just never going to get anything done today."  He shot back - "What?  You ARE getting something done!  You're taking care of our baby!" 

Sometimes, I forget that moms have limits.  They don't have to be Superwoman.  They don't have to being doing three things at once in order to be successful (even though I almost feel "lazy" if I'm JUST feeding the baby, or JUST cooking dinner or JUST doing the dishes).  I whip out my phone to check up on someone, or read my emails, or try and teach my 5 year old math while I'm chopping vegetables.  Doing all of that is fine.  But, when I am limited to just enjoy one task at a time, I feel like I'm cheating or something.  Does anyone else ever feel that way?

So, Treavor's comment helped me to be "in the moment" yesterday.  My nerves calmed.  I actually made eye contact with my children.  I listened to their stories.  In the end, they were loved.  And, I was a happier mommy.

How have you learned to enjoy life lately?  To feel free to love people more fully, but still do what you're made to do?  Feel free to comment below.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Who says homeschooling is boring? Even on a Saturday...

I cannot tell you how much fun it is to do school on Saturdays.  No, it really is.

No.  I'm not sick.

No.  I'm not a nerd.  I could only wish to be that smart. 

Here in our little po-dunk town, tucked away in the lush forests of southern Thailand, we do home school on the weekends.  Science, Art, crafts, games, songs, scriptures, videos, messy things, loud things, and things that will (hopefully) entertain a rambunctious bunch of 5 kids 5 years old and under.  It can be crazy.  It can be fun.  And, sometimes, the kids learn a thing or two. 

Here's a look into the things we did yesterday:

We've been learning about plants, their seeds, pollination and the sprouting process.  The kids played a game where they pretended they were bees, so they spread the pollen (baby powder) around to the chalk-drawn flowers outside.  So fun!

Then we picked some weeds and labeled the parts of the plant.  Lily, our friend, drew bees by her plant.  Cute!

"Quiet Reading Time" - better known as "You kids better sit down with a book because you're driving us crazy Reading Time"

Elliot and Sammy

We learned about the upcoming Thai holiday - Songkran (click for more info) - which traditionally is a time to honor your elders...but has now turned into more like a humongous, nationally-celebrated water fight! 
We decided to celebrate early by having our own water fight in the front yard.  "P.E." at its finest!

Huy and Lily

Steph, Jeshurun, Jed and our friend, P. Nit

Then, low and behold...this gigantic scorpion decided that he wanted to get drenched, too!  Stephanie's hand in the pic above proves how freaky this guy looked!

The scorpion, up close and personal.  Later, our friend, P. Nit, smashed his stinger and beat him.  When he wasn't a threat anymore, the kids had a blast pelting him with their water guns.  Amazing Thailand!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pictures From the Mudslide

These were taken two days ago when Treavor hitched a ride with some locals to go and hand out aid and pray for those affected by the recent flooding.  The death toll from these floods have now reached 54.  It is so sad and we believing for Hope to rise up in the midst of it all.

As you look on these, please reflect on and intercede for the houses (which represent real, live families) that are in need of great provision and even greater hope.  As we have read and heard, some families have decided not to return back to this village because practically everything they had, including their dwelling, was swept away.  Mercy, Lord.

A caravan of five trucks - filled with caring believers and sacks of clothes, food, soap and Bible tracts.

 The sack at the front door was some of the aid given.  This house was almost completely covered to the roof.

Treavor said that there were just piles of enormous trees swept everywhere.

Standing in the middle of was once a giant river of mud.  If you look up at the mountain, you can see the bare patches where the soil gave way and came crashing down onto the village below.

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