Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sweet Sisters-In-Law And First Day Of School!

I thought it was kinda humorous that my brother Tom called me up on Monday night and told me he had just read my last blog post and was wondering who in our family was pregnant!!! So obviously my sweet sister-in-law Sarah is not:o).

Another sweet sister-in-law did call me up over the weekend and casually worked into the conversation that she is expecting a baby... now I won't tell you her age, but let's just say she thought she was done having children:o). If the Lord brings her to mind, pray for Kim as there's a diabetes possibility.

~Kim and my 5-year-old nephew in May~
Today was the first day of school, and judging by these smiles, I think the high school girls are ready for school:o). Or perhaps Eliza was just anxious to get back to pranks, jokes, and strangling her fellow classmates;o).

~Thanks to Mary and to Abigail for the idea of what to do on the first day of school:o). I tweaked the suggestion a little bit, in that I knew most of our students would prefer donuts to bagels (lots of winter camp kitchen experiences!) Plus I don't think the students were too offended that they had *permission* to eat sugar;o).~

~And finally we played a game as a fun way to review the rules and procedures for our school. I'm not sure how much the students retained, but at least we reviewed the rules!! Oh, and the gold, light blue, maroon, and hunter green shirts are the dress code colors... how nice that those boys sat next to each other, just for my blog post! Riiiiight:o).~

Ah yes! 1 day down...

...180 days to go!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Can You Guess?

Well, it's that time again!!!! This occurrence has been happening a lot more within the past few years and I am always excited to hear the news! I found out very recently that a new little addition is going to be added to our family in April/May of next year! But let's see who guesses right which lady in my family is going to be the mommy:o). Remember I already have 8 nephews and nieces and two were just added to our family this year!

So which sister/sister-in-law do you think it is that's expecting???

*Sigh* I love babies...:o).

Saturday, August 25, 2007

To Die Of Mortification Or Not?

While in Thailand, I had plenty of, um, embarassing things happen to me. This morning I was going through my e-mail inbox and I found this story that I had sent home to some friends of once incident in particular. I got a good enough laugh over it again as I remembered that Sunday morning, so I figured I would share it here too...

A week ago Sunday morning was the Lord's Supper at RBC so while the church partook of that, I got up to use the restroom. We were staying for the afternoon meal anyway, so I figured that was a good time to go! After I came back to my seat, Pookie gave me a strange look and started touching my skirt. I was a little curious as to why she fingered my skirt, but didn't give it too much thought. Finally she leaned over and said, "Do you have on two skirts?"

What on earth?!?!

I had no idea why she would ask that question and so I just said, "no, but it might look like I have two skirts on because the bottom has ruffles..." yada yada yada. But Pookie said, "No, I think you have two skirts on." Since I knew for sure that I didn't have two skirts on (!), I sweetly corrected her and told her no again. Then she said, "I think there's something wrong with your skirt. I see two different colors." I began to feel around my skirt and about shrieked out loud when I realized there was a huge, and I mean a huge rip in my skirt... in the back... with (ahem!) another color showing underneath. No wonder she thought I had two skirts on! My first thought was to laugh, but my second thought was "how long has it been ripped?!?!" I mean, come on, who wants the whole church to see something else besides the skirt?!?!?!

Pookie looked at me (while shaking with silent laughter!) and asked, "What are you going to do?" Hmm, good question! So finally we got up and went to the bathroom and as soon as I entered in, I bemoaned the fact that I had paid $12.00 ($12.00!!!!!) for that skirt only a week before I came to Thailand... the one consolation was that I paid for it with a gift card. Once I got to the stall, I realized the rip was even worse than I thought and my only two options were to die of mortification or to laugh at myself and my poor skirt! I chose the second option and after the Lord's Supper was over, I explained the situation to one of the Filipino girls and she ran to a shop to buy me some safety pins. It wasn't very elegant, but at least I wasn't showing two colors anymore!

There was also the time I tried to get on the back of a motorcycle with a skirt on... yeah, that was interesting, to say the least! I didn't know... well, never mind:o). And of course there was the time I was making a desert and burned the pot handle right off the pot and dropped scalded milk down my legs... over the kitchen floor... onto the counter, sink and washing machine. But that's another story!

But you know, long ago I developed a sense of humor and of laughing... at myself. I know that I do my fair share of dumb, "blonde" things and often I'll say, "Oh! I am so stupid!" And since coming home, I've said that phrase a lot as I've gotten readjusted to work... all the while doing some not-so-smart things along the way! And you know what? It's better to laugh than to sulk, get angry, or bitter. Because those are attitudes that just shouldn't be in my life and they really don't let me grow in my walk with God.

In the meantime though, I'll probably keep on doing some pretty dumb things... and sheepishly laughing too:o).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Summer's Evening.

Yesterday I ran over to a local park to go walking with a friend I really hadn't seen since I came home, other than a 10 second "hello!" at church:o). Then today she called me up and asked me to go walking because her daughter wanted to see me so over I went again! As we were walking, she asked me if I wanted to meet for a game of volleyball tonight... well, that's like asking a thirsty person if they want something to drink! The love of volleyball is kind of a prerequisite for being in my family (let's just say we really enjoy the game:D), so I was all ready to play, especially since I didn't play in Thailand at all:o).

We managed to pull together a group of 8 people and had a good time... laughing... playing... kicking sand (we were at a sand court:D)... just enjoying a summer's evening. For we know that all too soon we will be back at school... back to the fall season... back to long hours... back to driving to work when it's dark and leaving work when it's dark...

But for tonight, we just enjoyed a summer's evening. They pass oh so quickly...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Very Random Post:o).

I have yet to be "officially" home yet... one night doesn't count! I've been house sitting/dog-cat sitting for a couple in my church since Saturday and that's going to last until next Monday. By the time I do get home, school will start the next day. Oh the fun never ends!
While on a walk this morning in a quiet residential area, I heard the humming of an air con. Now normally this wouldn't be too unusual for an August morning in Pennsylvania except it's been rainy and in the 50s for the past couple of days. If I had to guess, I would think it was a teenager (the air con was on the third floor) and that teenager was probably buried under blankets:o).
I appreciate all the welcome home comments from the last post! Ya'll weren't the only ones to welcome me home... in addition to you, my family, and my church family welcoming me home, I was welcomed home by... well, something else! Monday, my first day back at work, found the printers in the office going berserk. And then apparently the folding machine also remembered me, because it refused to work on Tuesday although it was just repaired on Monday! So now I can tell I'm home and back in the grind because the machines only misbehave for old friends like me:o).
I can completely understand why Rachel was so cold when she came back from Thailand in May. I got used to "cool" being 85 degrees, so when I came home last week and the temp was 85, I thought everything was "normal". But now I'm not so sure. With the aforementioned temp being around 55, I feel like I went from one extreme to the next! But not to worry; the weatherman said it's going to be a sunny weekend with temps of 85... and the weatherman is never wrong :o).
Tiffany posted some pictures on her blog about a month ago and I thought her boys looked so cute! Well Sunday was my first time to "meet" JayDonn and to see Dillon in almost three months. I was so excited to hold Dillon and to feel that he is heavy. When I left, he was around 10 pounds and had been hanging out around that weight for several weeks on end. Now he's over 16 pounds and he even has little chubby rolls on his legs:o). This might sound odd to you unless you've followed Dillon's story. This little guy had been on some medicine that made him lose weight instead of gain weight. While that might sound nice for some people, Dillon didn't need to lose any more weight, especially at 14 months! So I was happy to see him gain weight and thought I would take this moment to praise the Lord... I got a blessing out of it anyway!
I need some help... quickly! The first day of school starts next Tuesday and I need an idea (or two!) of what to do for fun on the first day of school. Could you leave any suggestions? If you've ever worked/went through an ACE school, then that would be a plus:o). I just wasn't ready to come home from Thailand and switch gears that fast, so maybe somebody has an idea:o)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Good-Bye Thailand... Hello Reality.

Thank you Kristi, Melissa, and Lizzy for sharing your blessings with me! It's so good to hear when God is doing something special (big or small!) for other believers:).

Here is a series of good-byes and hellos in pictures... and then there are just some other "reverse culture-shock" things I didn't take pictures of... like the outrageous prices ($1.59 for hash browns?!?!?!), shower curtains, and getting in my car and just driving somewhere.

By. My. Self.

Very weird. I feel like I should grab another girl to go with me to the park!

~Krinny and I at the airport~

~This monstrosity is what I saw on the other side of passport control at the airport in Bangkok~
~Welcome home! Good 'ole PA~

~Am I the only one that tears up to see an American flag??? It's amazing what seeing Old Glory does to someone who's been away for a while...~

~There was no better welcome home for me than to see "Schmo" (Andrew on the left) giving me a tight hug at JFK and not letting go and then seeing "Monster" (Ethan on the right) last night for the first time in three months... they've both grown up so much! My auntie heart was filled at the sight of these two handsome boys (who really are cousins despite the fact they look like two opposites!)

Back home for now... and off to do a million and one things!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bountiful Blessings #5.

I haven't done "Bountiful Blessings" in a sweet forever, but I thought now would be a good time to bring out the blessings! Plus I'm hoping you will participate too (that's part of the deal you see:D). And I think it would be a "blessing" to check back in on Thursday or Friday and see all that the Lord has done for you and you and you and you and (all the other visitors to my little home!) Humor me, would ya:o). Just think, you'll be a great encouragement to a weary-traveler-with-5-mosquito-bites-all-over-her-who-forgot-her-camera-tonight-even-though-we-went-for-a-little-drive-and-saw-some-pretty-niffy-stuff;o). Oh yeah. Back to the post...

  • This might be an odd blessing, but I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to room with other girls for 2 1/2 months and be responsible for making sure our townhouse looked presentable! I got into a routine of going grocery shopping, taking care of a house, dealing with "unexpected" situations (i.e. a broken air con!). I'm really going to miss the "ease" of throwing water on the kitchen floor, mopping the dirt up, and pushing the water down the drain! *Sigh* It was bliss!
  • My devotional time has been so sweet! I've been following David in the book of 1 Samuel, and have jotted down so many lessons learned. The latest one I learned was the way David responded when an Amalekite ran up to him to say he killed Saul after Saul asked him to. David replied, "How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?" It was a good reminder not to mess with the Lord's anointed!
  • I've been working on a project, trying to get it finished before leaving Thailand, and it's done! (With the exception of doing some finishing touches:D)
  • I found a cheap airline ticket online to go visit some family for Christmas! Last year I began checking in August for tickets to Florida, and refused to pay $200.00. By the time my ticket was eventually bought (by my brother-in-law) it wound up being over $400.00! So let's just say I learned my lesson last year.
  • My "last" service here in Thailand was terrific. Bro. Tom talked about the marks of a disciple in 2 Timothy 2 and then we just sat around and chatted with another missionary family for a couple of hours. Sweet, sweet fellowship:o).
  • Speaking of fellowship, I already know Sunday morning's service will be very special. Without fail, every time I come home from a trip (and this has been the longest time I've been away so I'm sure this will be true!) I soak up the moments and just thank the Lord for Lehigh Valley Baptist Church. That's not to say that I don't do that every service, but after being away from my home church for a couple (or several!) services makes me appreciate all over again what I have and remember how truly blessed I really am.

I can certainly go on and on, for the Lord has been so good to me!

Now it's your turn! What's the Lord been doing in your life recently? Anything? Have you taken time to thank the Lord for the air conditioner, cool water to swim in, and the pretty sky at night with the stars twinkling? I'm looking forward to going outside of my house and just gazing at the thousands and thousands of stars in the sky!

It might take you a couple of seconds or minutes to write out your blessing(s) but just think of the encouragement you're passing along! Leave a blessing!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ruins, Elephants, And A Few Tears.

Bro. Tom suggested we visit Ayutthaya on Saturday, so that's what we did! It was a nice "half-day" trip that yielded some amazing sights...

~ The Chao Praya River that skirts around the city ~

~ Some "non-ruined" ruins:o) ~

~ In the middle of the day, we went to a "retirement" center for elephants... crazy, I know! We were so excited to see three baby elephants just hanging out with the big dudes! These two were especially cute as they kept falling into what looked like a water pool (except it had no water... so it was more like a hole in the ground!). I don't recall the last time I was this close to elephants (before coming to Thailand that is!)... oh wait, I remember - never:o). It was pretty neat to interact with the elephants. ~

~ Psalm's not a short girl... probably five six or five seven. As you can see, this guy is still towering over her! Maybe the chain wrapped around his ankle had something to do with him not stepping on Psalm;o). ~

~ I thought it was a cool looking tree. ~

~Krinny told us that this wat is built after Ankor Wat in Cambodia. Regardless of whether it is or not, Psalm and I decided to climb to the top... MISTAKE! I don't mind heights, but that's because I'm usually tucked safely behind a wall or something. Climbing up these stairs was a little scary, to say the least! The steps were crumbing and they were probably only 6 inches wide. While the view was pretty neat, I wouldn't recommend doing this... unless your type of "fun" is sky diving and rock climbing;o). I was very happy to make it back down to ground:D.~

~ Just in case I didn't realize I was leaving, this reminds me! Romphrakhun Baptist Church is where we attend church in Thailand and today was my last service (for now!) at RBC. Lord willing, I will see the brethren here again in the future... like next summer:o). What good memories I have here... it's amazing that the Lord can cross a language barrier and speak to my heart week in and week out! ~

At church today they showed a power point presentation of a man who was a missionary to Thailand and died here. The following is a poem he wrote, and I felt it was appropriate to post as I prepare to go home. If I was given the choice, I would stay in Thailand rather than go home, but that is not God's will for me right now. A few tears came to my eyes as I read the poem and realized that God is going to be guiding me each step of the way, the whole way!

"Thy Will Be Done"

Help me, oh God as I obey
Your will for me, where ever I be
Let not my will, but thine be done,
On earth below or when I am gone.

Your will for me is not to stay
And this is clear for me today
So I must leave and go away.
Stil in that country I must stay.

Uphold me, Lord, and comfort me,
I obey, help me to pray
The words of Christ the same I say,
Let not my will but Thine be done.
~ Albert Padura ~

Please pray for me as I go home on Wednesday...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Boys Will Be Boys!

If you could use a good laugh, why don't you go on over to Rocks In My Dryer and read what I thought was pretty funny:o). Having 6 nephews, working in junior church, and constantly being around junior high boys made me appreciate this post although I am not a mom. Make sure you check out the links she mentions in her post!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

200th Post:o).

What better way to mark my 200th post than with pictures?!?! (Ok, and a few words:D). We've been away from home since early, early, early Thursday morning (like up at 2 AM early!) and we made it home, safe and sound, tonight! We had several reasons for taking this trip, including a visa-renewal for me, but I was sooo glad to get away from the office, computers, phones and all that good stuff and enjoy north-eastern Thailand and Laos! But now we're back home, ready to work. Except I leave a week from Wednesday, which really doesn't give me much time left in Thailand. So until I can form a more intelligible post, this is going to have to do!

~ Purses - how does a girl choose? ~

~ Tabby - a sweet 2 year old girl - and I ~