Sunday, September 27, 2015

What a Friend...

We sang "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" during our time of Bible study this morning, and the words ministered to my heart in such a sweet way. I'm not discouraged at the moment or going through a trial (watch out, Anne! right?), but sometimes home and friends seem very far away from my little corner of the world. But what a precious thought that Jesus is my friend and I can take everything to Him in prayer - right here. Let the words of this song minister to your heart like they did to mine today...

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged -
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge -
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He'll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

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. ;-)

This little girl takes smoothies very seriously!

Monday, September 14, 2015

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)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Enjoying Life!

We've had our share of busy days with visitors coming and going, investing in people, and just simply enjoying the life we have!

Last weekend we were traveling, so we had the joy of sharing a room as a family. These two were so delighted with the king-size bed that they entertained themselves on it for a good two hours. 

This little guy just melts my heart...

Nat and some men were invited to teach in a mountain village... I wish I had taken a picture of the road going up to where Nat parked the car!

In the village.

The evening view outside our room... So pretty, especially during the day!

Hanging out at a kid-friendly coffee shop!

I have a huge fascination with what motorcyclists can carry on their bikes. This passenger definitely got creative!

You can't see him in the picture, but the driver is actually a motorcycle taxi. I would love to hear that conversation play out, "Can you pick up 10 plastic chairs and bring them to me?"

Family day!

Oh this kid... :-)

... and this one too!

We stopped for a donut on the way home from the store today. The uneaten donut in Paul's lap is a good indication of just how tired he was!

Monday, August 10, 2015

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!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

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!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

These Two Little Munchkins.

A quick photo shoot last Sunday morning paused time for a brief moment -- one very brief moment!

These two munchkins kick the activity level up a notch around here and their giggles fill our home from before sunup until after dark. Even then, after two little bodies are safely tucked into their beds, we'll occasionally hear from a little boy adding his two cents to our conversations. Both of them are such adventure-seekers and Ellie delights in having us look for her, and then screams with delight when we find her crawling to the top of the stairs.

Of course dirt and mud beckon Paul's name and he simply can't resist. I often find him squatting over a pile of rocks, twigs, or dirt - intently focused on the important task at hand. 

And this girl. Whoa. Ever since her birthday, her little personality has really developed. Gone is "baby" and taking her place is a toddler who can't quite keep up with big brother yet --- but she is determined to try! 

My days are filled with childish laughter (and tears), food smeared on the floor ("oops!" I hear), training and teaching ("please put this away") and lots and lots of hugs and snuggles. Always, always worth it, although some mornings I don't hop out of bed with a bright smile on my face when I hear our bedroom door being slammed open by a very awake little boy. ;-)

Yep, I love my job!

Friday, June 26, 2015


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!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Doing What They Love To Do.

While not the best quality, I love how this picture captures my two kiddos doing what they love to do: play with plastic containers and cooking. These two keep me on my toes and there are plenty of times throughout the day when the same lesson is taught over and over again (to me, haha!), but it's so fun to watch these little personalities grow and develop!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Quick Update.

The silence on my blog has a lot to do with a very busy month or so! We participated in two different camps and then had friends from our church visit for two weeks. Now that we're settling back in to a routine, it's time to dust off the blog... with pictures, of course. I'm so consistent!

This dear lady and her husband encouraged our hearts over and over again during their visit

Of course our kids took right to them, and adopted them as "Grandma" and "Grandpa" 

Trying on big brother's new hat

We were trying to get Paul to turn around for the picture, but he was too enamored with the fish and the water 

The Golden Triangle is where three countries meet: Thailand, Laos, and Burma

Anything will work for a phone, even a remote controller :-)

The quiet, little street just outside our house

Ellie's first time to sit in grass - I don't think she was a fan

Two "firsts" for Paul: flip flops and a baseball cap

Both of these boys love water and had a blast playing together  

Little Miss Ellie celebrated her first birthday while our friends were here!