Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry Christmas and More (A post for family but the rest of you may come along for the ride.)


November and December 2014

Here are few more pictures from our time at the beach. We came home and decorated for Christmas that same evening.

November and December 20141


Here is some Christmas at the mall. More of that later.


Story time. Jube always rides on his dad’s back for story time. And yes, Dad is almost always on his stomach for story time.


More mall snapshots. We went in with Glenda for to get a family picture taken. But I don’t have any of those on the camera. Just the fun stuff.



Glenda told them the Christmas story. (Glenda is the schoolteacher here for some of the staff families.)


Fatherhood does something for you apparently. Aren’t they darling?






I wanted pictures of the children opening Christmas presents this year. So now we have pictures of everyone but Dru. Duh.


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Now the next two pictures from our failed attempt at going up the mountain for a picnic yesterday. It ended up with a broken down car and hours of song tow travel and a bunch of walking. We were gone for 5 hours and came home hungry at eight o’clock in the evening. So we consoled ourselves with a picnic on the bed under the AC with a movie.


While on the red song tow, Havilah played on my computer, while Jube opted for a nap. The lady next to her fell in love with her.


Jube took the picture below this morning. He is very happy with his brother and giggles with glee when ever he catches Rennie grinning.



Dru bought me a sketch book for Christmas. A lot of what is in it so far reflects what’s going in on in our lives. I am not, however, an artist. I am a doodler.  On Christmas Eve, just before we opened presents, Hannah spotted the suspected rat in the drawer of the oven. We set out traps and have not seen or heard anything of it since. I finally pitched the (gross, old, black, sticky) traps.


Who knows what we watched last night? I wish I could draw this delightful creature better.


Havilah at play this morning.


Jube and his artwork. Love this guy and am so proud of him.

Last Sunday Mr. Merle Florry preached a very good message on hope. And I needed it. I realized that life was overwhelming to me basically because I had lost my hope. I was ready to throw my hands up about several things in my life but was soundly and wonderfully reminded that in Jesus and because of his death on the cross, there is hope for every situation and person on this earth. That was so freeing! IMG_1149IMG_1148

This paper star is from our neighbor man at our old Mooban. He gave us four of them last year. His name is Tawil, but you would actually pronouce the L with an N. When we moved in such a hurry we didn’t manage to say goodbye to him appropriately. He was very upset. We worried about him a lot. Then this last Sunday we went over to that side of town to show the old neighbors our new baby, do some caroling, and give cookies.                  Tawil was delighted to see us. I was so relieved. We spent a lovely short amount of time with this old and lonely man. We’d actually never been into his home before because he lives over the fence in the next Mooban from where we were. He sent us home with two more plants, a bunch of bananas, and his phone number. Since we didn’t get to know him as well as we should have (shame on us) we didn’t realize just how lonely he was. Apparently, he spends a lot of his time alone in his big brand new home, with no one to talk to.

Do you think that, with Dru being very near his house on a daily basis, at least until the end of this semester, that we can be better neighbors to him now than we were before? I can send him baked things and Dru can visit, in the very least. There is HOPE for Tawil!

There is HOPE! For everyone! Joy to the world!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hua Hin

I still think that people that live by the beach are incredibly blessed and I wonder if they take it for granted. I love it here. We play on the beach for hours--building, digging, and splashing. And the other families who are staying here, where are they, I wonder. Why come to the beach if you aren't going to play on it?

Dru and Rennie, doing what they like best.

In the kayak Hannah rented.

Little pretties.

One more of my biggest and littlest men.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Rennie Rafik

I think he's the cutest thing. We had the hardest time naming him but in the end, I like his name a lot. 

We are planning on keeping him.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

On Thanksgiving Day

I'm thankful for my little boy. He's actually not staying little really. I'm afraid at two weeks old today his newborn things are getting small. He likes to eat. 

I'm thankful for my new house. Pictures of that later maybe.

And I'm thankful for these people.

And I'm thankful for Hannah being here. I don't think I could have done this last month without her...or the month before that either. She does have one quirk though. She likes geckos (among other creatures and creepy crawlies). I was not aware that this was happening. 

Then there is this amazing guy. He just is. 

I had to search high and low for this picture, by the way. I don't know who took it. I think it might have been my cousin Heather. Anyway, in my search for this picture I saw lots of pictures from our time in the States. So thankful for a nice stay in the States and all the lovely friends and relations we got to spend time with.

We're postponing our Thanksgiving feast to Friday when our friends and neighbors (Lanus and Aggie) from around the corner can join us. I'm quite crashed today anyway, so that suited us better too. Dru is ending up running around helping Bob and Yaai this evening as well. Bob's dad is in the hospital and Bob is quite concerned. Pray that this could bring both Bob and his dad close to Him. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In which I announce that I am still with the living.

In the last ten months I have:

1. Gotten pregnant. This after two miscarriages in the previous year. I got sick and felt a lot more positive about keeping this baby seeing as I was actually sick for a change.

2. Packed to go to the States--which involved prepping my house for sub-letters. This is always kind of an ordeal because we have to pack personal belongings away and have the house clean in all the corners. I was morning sick but didn't have time to be, so I took care of myself and pushed through. And we had help from friends.

3. Lived in the States for five and half months. It was going to be a bit longer than this but when we bought the tickets we didn't realize that I was pregnant. However, if we had the baby in the States, it would have stretched out our time there to much longer than we were willing to stay. It was a lovely time spent well with friends and loved ones.

4. Took a 3 week road trip (while being 7 mo. pregnant).  This was not easy for me until we were actually on the way. I think that this trip was the hardest thing in all of our business for me to accept. But Dru took good care of me and it ended up going really well.

5. Survived a car accident--okay, a bad fender bender. This was our on-the-way-to-the-airport nightmare. And although no one was hurt, we were both jumpy and more traumatized by it than we realized until we started driving over here a few days later.

6. Flown internationally, again. (Think 34 weeks pregnant.) And they almost didn't let me on the plane once we finally did get to the airport in the nick of time. Dr. Dunlap, bless her heart, emailed a letter to the proper address with an updated date on it, and we were good to go--in the nick of time.

7. Moved out of my lovely old house to a town house that is much newer and lovely in other ways. Here's where I say that Dru's sister, Hannah is with us for 6 months and the two of them did most of the work with that. I was beat after all the drama of the last 8 months and was game to be moved before the baby came, but had no energy for it.

8. Given birth to a 8 and a half pound little boy. People have this way of asking this awkward question. "How did it go?" It was awful. But it's over and he's here now. And then the other awkward question, "How's recovery for you." Slow. Much slower than I'm used to. But I'm better now than I was. Please, nobody ask, "Was it worth it?" I don't even know where to go with that question. I love my son to pieces, but that has absolutely nothing to do with excruciating pain for hours.

In all of this I want to say that Dru has been the most amazing and enabling man I could ask for. Yes, there were times where I broke down and said I wasn't sure if I could do all this travel stuff. But as we went, day by day, he took care of me. Fed me well. Excused me from being everywhere he was all the time. Let me have my space and rest.

I enjoyed my crazy 10 months. It was the best pregnancy I've ever had. Fancy that! I didn't have time to think much about how I felt. And I had lots of good old American food. And I had my mom. And I had my brother's lovely house to live in while we were in the States. God took good care of me too.

So I'm back. I think. I haven't even been journalling much. I guess I lost time and inspiration for writing for a while. But I'm back now. I hope that's a good thing.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Praying it through.

Sometimes, you just have to pray. You have to stop and give to God something that you thought should be within your power. Something that you thought was your responsibility. You stop and just say, “God, I’ve been trying to get this thing right now for two years. For two years I’ve trained and taught and line upon lined, precept upon precepted. And this is where I’m at God. Only You can change a heart.”

One by one the formulas go out the window. I ask for wisdom. I try something new. I work and pray at it. I work through my anger—giving that to God, realizing that this anger is not from God, it’s just thrown in there by the devil to muddy the already difficult water. I take away privileges, I take away sweets, but nothing works for the long term. About the time I think we’ve got this thing, it all comes crashing in again. I realize I can not do this thing.

He is four years old. He is my first born son. And I love him. So today, I washed out his shorts one more time. One more time he tried to hold it in because  he was having too much fun to stop. One more time I could see in his eyes, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this child was guilty. Once again, he knew when and where it happened—what he was doing when he realized he needed to go, but was having to much fun to stop.

When he’s cleaned up I just take him on my lap and I pray. I ask God to change his heart. I ask God to protect him. I tell God I’ve done my best and I’m committing my son to Him. It’s all that’s left to do.

It’s a helpless feeling. It’s a safe feeling.

This week there will be more line upon line, precept upon precept. I’m going to pray harder. I’m going involve him better in my daily activities. I’m going to keep closer tabs on him, if that’s possible. I’m going to love him. I’m going to discipline him as usual. Because everything is coming hard for this kid these days. Obedience, attitudes,all of it. And I think it’s coming. But only God can change his heart.

And God will. Someday, this will pass. Someday this stubbornness will be changed into a fervent and undying love for the Lord. The hardness will be softened. He will find what it takes to be a man of God. He will find Jesus for himself.

This is the goal. I’m not sitting around holding my breath, wondering if this boy will grow up to love Jesus. Loving Jesus is what he was created to do. We’re going to walk this thing out with lots and prayer and obedience. We’re on God’s team around here. This is all we have and it’s far more than enough. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

I took my camera outside this morning.

This is what I came up with.



  Chubby feet.


Havilah and the “Buppy-Duppy.” She loves this dog. It wouldn’t be so bad, but the dog loves her. And she’s not ours…Thankfully, we’ll be going back to the States about the same time she goes home to real owners.




Friday, January 24, 2014

Popping Peanuts

Did you know that when you roast peanuts, they crackle and pop for a while as they cool down? My children are intrigued.
“But there’s nothing happening inside of them when you open them!” Jube explains to Havilah.
Yesterday Jube had a friend over all afternoon and into the evening. She was with her parents who were working on laying tile for our neighbor lady.
By the time she had to go home around seven o’clock they had puzzles, games, and toys all over the dinning room floor. But they sure had fun!

Thursday, January 23, 2014