just like the good ol’ days

the past few days we’ve gotten to spend quite a bit of time with our old neighbors. we love our old neighborhood and we still own our house in that neighborhood. we don’t love the house and never really have, but the neighbors are fantastic.

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there are two families of kids missing from this picture, one has moved away and one just wasn’t around the day we took the picture. c17 and a14 recognize that the time we have spent here has been a bit different from what it would be like if we actually lived back here. not that we still wouldn’t have great times, but it just wouldn’t be all great all the time. everyone has been on their best behavior and grace is free flowing.

s11 struggles more with understanding this. for him this is heaven and – at least in his head – it was always heaven and always will be. forever and ever, amen. and as delightful as these visits are – and as much as i wouldn’t change anything about them – for s11 the goodbyes are excruciatingly painful. worse than the first goodbyes. and they’ve started.

our time in colorado is drawing to an end and these goodbyes are the what fill up the negative column of living in another country.

signs of change

sure signs the seasons they are a changing here in chiang mai

  1. frigid morning and evening temperatures.  and when i say frigid i mean it. it was 66 this morning and i didn’t want to get out from under the warmth of the comforter.  if you had told me 3 years ago that i’d be digging out hoodie sweatshirts and warm socks when the thermometer hit 69 i’d have called you crazy – or at least thought you were crazy.
  2. khom loy.  you actually see them off and on through out the year, but they are in full force as the loy kratong celebration approaches.  releasing these lanterns always feels sort of exotic.  this past weekend i went to a party to celebrate a couple of friends’ 50th birthdays.  as part of the festivities we released many lanterns.  the brisk air and the lanterns made for a perfect cool season evening.

 

 

april break

april break is coming to an end. and we did a bunch of nothing. or at least i did. the oldest two, c16 and c13 went on a mission trip. they spent a week in two villages in northern thailand. they played with kids, assisted with vbs and returned with packs full of stinky clothes. c16 also got sick. he spent a day and a half puking his guts out. probably better he was there than here. because a) i’m not one for the puking. and b) there he had aircon and tv, neither of which he would have had access to here.

april break is 2 weeks here. two very hot weeks. for the first week and a half, michael was home. that meant for the first full week it was the five of us home. it’s been a while since we’ve all been here, together, with not much scheduled. we played games. helped michael with some projects. finished getting a music room together for s10 and slept in. the second week started with the c16 and a13 headed out for their trip. leaving 3 of us here to play songkran. what could be better than the biggest water fight in the whole wide world? especially when they are very fond of using ice water. and throwing it on you by the bucket full. wednesday michael left. that left s10 and me. alone. s10 was certain that the few days between michael leaving and the return of his siblings would be the most boring time in his entire life. i proved him wrong. we made a day trip to the flight of the gibbons – where we had our fill of ziplining and waterfall hiking. and we were not bored at all.

c16 and a13 have returned. monday it’s back to school. and then the countdown to the end of the school year begins.

i get real jittery when i think about it

this time last year the summer loomed in front of us.  a tortuously long summer with no idea what we would do with ourselves.  we did have that trip to penang to be excited about – we were wrong to be so excited.  but this summer!  this summer i can’t even think of the goings on we’ve got going on.  this week will be all about holiday bible club – hbc is just a fancy name for vbs – preparation.  but that preparation time is going to be slightly interrupted by a 2 night/3 day girl trip to pai.  we leave wednesday and get home friday.  saturday there are meetings to attend and a 17 year anniversary to squeeze in…  oh, and i start single parenting it again.  i’ve been a bit spoiled.  michael’s been home 3 weeks.  3 whole weeks. 

the next week will be holiday bible club.  monday through friday every morning.  i hear there are like 200 kids and i’m heading up the crafts.  should keep me busy.

the following thursday c15 and i get on a plane for india.  india.  i can’t believe we’re going to india.  10 days there and then the states!  texas and colorado.  friends and family.  and we’ll probably discover 4 weeks is not enough time.  especially since that 4 weeks might have to last us another 3 years. 

if i believed in to do lists – or rather if i were capable of making one and keeping it – i would have to include get visas for india (c15 and me).  get reentry permits for kids and me – so we can return to thailand.  locate backpacks for c15 and me.   pack for all of us.  and all that intails…  i’m trying not to think about what that could be.  and – because it’s not going to do itself – get the stuff for hbc crafts.  but it is sort of cool that once i get it it will sort of magically get sorted and prepared.  and by magically i mean all those hbc helpers will do what i didn’t finish while i’m gone!

busy summer ahead, but sure beats a boring summer stretching out into eternity.

hoppin’ down the bunny trail…

today was our second easter egg hunt here in thailand.  i think it’s pretty impressive that we’re starting to repeat annual activities – makes me feel like one of the old timers.  sort of.  okay, not really.  but this year i was wiser.  the hunt was held at the same venue as last year – the abbots’ house.  last year i thought abbot was a title.  see, the pastor of our church is british.  and i, being not british, but knowing just enough british phraseology to be dangerous recognized abbot as a term for some kind of religious leader in england.  so, i assumed that the house belonged to the abbot of our church.  i should have thought, but now know, that the house belongs to the family abbot.  it’s their surname.  not a title.  silly me.  anyway…

the biggest difference between this year and last year is that last year i went as a basic unknown nobody.  it was just something for our family to do, a way to maybe meet some people, make some friends.  this year i was in charge of the hunt and the kids story.  so, i was up early to boil eggs.  100 of them.  and because i’m the best delegater ever – or maybe because michael recognized how badly in need of help i was – he prepared the story/activity for the kids.  a rousing game of easter bingo.  and it was a huge success.  no surprises there.

so eggs were hunted and colored.  activities participated in.  donuts and fruit eaten.  coffee, tea and water drunk.  and no complaints were heard…  or at least noone complained to me.

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