Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Four Years Here In Thailand!

Four years in Thailand, today.

Today marks our four year anniversary of arriving in Thailand.  Four years has flown by, in some respects.  Real perspective comes when I start looking at the facts:

In four years...

...we have added two kids to the family (our baby girl, Kyla and our other baby waiting in the womb).

...we have lived in three completely different cities (one in a big city in the South, one in a country town, and one in a BIG city in the North).

...we have said goodbye to two members of our crew and welcomed on four more (these two, this one and C, who Instagrams like a mad-woman).

...we have encountered more Asian wildlife than we were expecting.  National Geographic specials have to originate from somewhere, right?

...we have had the privilege of travelling to Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Malaysia, and Indonesia for visa purposes, conferences or family vacations.  If we didn't live here, I couldn't imagine us ever getting to visit those countries unless we were on the Amazing Race or something.

...we have learned Thai.  OK, to be honest, I am nowhere near fluency...but for living life using the Thai language I have acquired, I can get by just fine.  Just don't ask me about any words higher than a 2nd grade level and you can stand to be impressed.  :)  Or, unimpressed.  Whatever.

...we have endured the grief of four grandparents passing away while living here, one uncle's sudden passing, and my father's bout with throat cancer.  Death and sickness wait for no overseas experience.  We are so thankful to be able to cry out to God from anywhere in the world and know that He hears us and sees us in our sadness and petitions.

...we have seen flooding in two cities we were in, and just missed our first home being flooded (after we moved two weeks prior).  Maybe we should invest in a rowboat?

...our two oldest boys chose to follow Jesus and accept the gift of salvation!  We baptized them and they are moving forward in the big things God has in store for them.  We are super proud!

...we have seen countless lives restored, encouraged and lit on fire for Jesus. 

I am sure I am leaving a million things out, but nap time is almost over, people.

Thank you for being a part of our wild journey here.  Rejoice with us today that God still has us here for a purpose greater than we know.  We're just going to enjoy the ride!  Keep coming back to read and enjoy it with us!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Hit Like With a Mack Truck

photo credit

Since my last post announcing our newest bun in the oven...I have had the tar kicked out of me every day by my Little Lentil.  (Side note: the boys have been calling our baby according to its size every week...Johnny Apple Seed, Little get the idea.  I love it!)  How can something so small (literally) eat my lunch every day?!  I feel like I have been hit over and over again by a Mack truck every day, people.  Every day.

I am head-over-heels thrilled about our fourth child...and this is a dream fulfilled that I have had for about a year now...

But, I tell ya.

I think I had pregnancy amnesia or something.  Was I really this wiped out with the other three?  How did I LIVE every day through it?  OK, I might be being a little over-dramatic.  Hey, blame it on my "condition."

Before baby, I had tons of energy and felt like I got a million things done in a day.  Naps?  Those were for wimps who couldn't make it through the afternoon!  Naps, schmaps.


6:30-7am: Hit my snooze a few times.  Look at the clock and realize that it actually IS a decent time to wake up, not some horrible pre-dawn hour that causes me to shrink back in fear.  Stumble downstairs.  Inhale a cup of coffee.  Attempt to stay awake for an hour during my time with Jesus (oh, You are merciful, Lord) and finally rise out of my sleepy stupor to greet the kids at 8am.

8am-noon: Family Devotional, breakfast, chores, home school, yada yada yada.  Once story time on the couch comes, if I sit for more than 10 minutes, I'm a goner.  Do something to wake up...pace the floor, water the plants, call a "snack time"...anything to not fall asleep sitting up like a crazy fatigued woman.  Sometimes, actually, I close my eyes and drift off a little bit.  The boys are like, "MOM!  What are you DOING?"  Then, they shake me awake and laugh like little goofballs.  I wish I were kidding that they have to do this almost every day.

Lunchtime: I have my energy for about .2 seconds until morning sickness hits and I don't want to finish my plate anymore.  At this point, it doesn't matter what I am eating...Thai food, American food...I suddenly can't handle it anymore and just want to curl up for a nap to ignore my weak stomach.  Ugh.  I am so glad this part will pass in a few months.

Nap time: It doesn't matter who feels tired or not tired that day...all of the kids are gonna have to rest because Momma just can't make it anymore.  Gone are the afternoons of home school where I would read aloud to the boys for almost two hours and love every minute of it.  I can't get through two minutes anymore, let alone two hours.  That part is just going to have to suffer until I feel like a normal person again.  Gone are the afternoons of blogging, washing dishes (oh, I am soooo sad), or reading up on something.  Some things just have to wait for sleep.

Evening time till the kids are in bed: Thankfully, I have my husband home most nights (or we're out together) to help me wrangle the kids when I can't move very fast.  But, when bed time comes at 8pm, I want to turn in as well.  My night-owl tendencies are being put on hold lately.  The only reason why I am still awake now writing this post is because I took an almost three hour nap today.  Feeling guilty, Alina?  No...not at all. 

I guess, sometimes, life has to change a little bit (OK, a lot!) when you are preparing for another human being to enter the world, your life, your house, your heart.  Right now, I don't have to endure the sleepless nights of parenting a newborn...but, just the opposite.  I suppose it is God's way of helping me to store up? 

I'll take it.

Thanks for reading and being a part of this new journey with us.  I love you all to bits! 
And, I hope to be getting back to being a better blogger once I get more energy.  You understand!  :)  Thanks. You all are the best!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Three's A Crowd, So What's Four?

If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, then you've seen the above picture already.  If not, then, surprise!  We are, indeed, with child.  Child number FOUR to be exact.  We have already past the tipping point of an odd family size here in Thailand (most have one or two) why not add to the questions and stares by adding another little one to the mix?!  A generation ago, large Thai families were not uncommon.  But nowadays, with expensive school fees and high unemployment rates, people are a little less risky when it comes to upping their family size.  And, hey, let's face it: kids are a handful!  It is a fact!  :)  Lately, I have observed that most Thai kids give their parents a run for their money...figuratively and literally. 

But, children are also an enormous blessing.  Thus, our reasoning for welcoming this little sesame seed (the size of our babe right now) into our family.  God's grace is big enough for me to mother four kids, and I know there is enough love to go around (thank you for teaching me that, Michelle Duggar).  :)

Before we took a test yesterday to know for sure, I was experiencing almost every symptom in the book: fatigue, emotional breakdowns moments, nausea, aversions to smells and normal foods, and tons more things like that which you probably would rather I spare from listing out in greater detail.  You're welcome.

After finding out for sure, we had extreme joy in calling family and friends to break the news.  Even though we're at the beginning of this pregnancy, I have a feeling it is going to fly by fast with all that is already on our schedules for this year.  This must be a year for encountering God's amazing grace, because I am going to need it! 

So, for now, I am stocking up on ginger ale and crackers to ward away my constant companion, morning sickness.  BTW, morning sickness is the lamest bit of advertisement of a word, ever.  It isn't confined to the morning...OH no!  It likes to sometimes stick around all day.  Yuck. I just have to remember that I am getting another little person out of this whole thing. 

Baby, you're worth it!

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