Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Adieu To 2008... Moving Forward To 2009!

I had to laugh when I read this post that Amy linked to. Apparently I'm not the only one who is reading through the Bible "in a year." One of my friends was pretty surprised I had never read through the Bible, so I suppose I should qualify that with the fact I've never read it straight from Genesis to Revelation. After spending years in Bible Institute (where the main textbook is the Bible - who would have thought?!?), I know I've read the Bible through. My Old and New Testament classes come to mind, especially having to give a chapter heading for each chapter of each book in the Old Testament. :)

But even still, in my personal devotions I've always wanted to read the Bible the whole way through. Every January I would start off in Genesis - never mind the fact that by the time December rolled around I was only in Isaiah or Jeremiah.

So January of 2007 I decided to (once again!) read through the Bible and started off in Genesis, like I usually do. Only this time, I continued on in January of 2008! Now as we approach January of 2009, I am happy to report that I am in the book of Acts - chapter 14. My goal is to be finished by April. :)

It has always been easy for me to get caught up on one or two verses and spend a big chunk of time on them. It's been said before: "it's a marathon, not a sprint!" and I'm applying that to my Bible reading:). There are too many gems and diamonds in the Word of God, and I don't want to miss them!

A new year is always a time of goal-setting and resolutions. My pastor preached an amazing message on Sunday night (Monday morning my time - thank you internet!). I've probably heard this message a half dozen times over the course of 11 years, and yet this is the first time I'm actually applying it. He calls it "year-end inventory." Since I didn't really set any goals for this year outside of this missions trip to Thailand, I really don't have anything to inventory from this last year. But this new year - what an opportunity!

Here in Thailand, it's already New Year's Eve. I'm really excited about 2009 and all that the Lord is going to do!

Happy New Year!!!

A Little Help Please.

I could use a little help. Seriously. I feel like I'm being eaten alive by mosquitoes. (Hello, cool season!)

So in an all-out effort to ditch the itch, I am turning to you guys. What do you do to prevent bites or scratching?




Something has to give. And I'm trying to forget the fact that mosquitoes carry dengue fever.

Soooo, any ideas?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Neighbors? They're In Stitches:).

This certainly has been the week for goof-ups! It all started on Monday night when Pookie suggested a motorcycle ride. Carolyn and I quickly agreed and soon she was wheeling the motorcycle out onto the street. As we prepared to jump on, I noticed that the shopkeeper across the street seemed to have an abundance of people hanging out with him outside - all the more to laugh at us! Pookie started the motorcycle which immediately caught their attention. But what kept their attention on us was the fact that Carolyn and I hopped on behind her. The chuckles were loud as poor Carolyn (who is rather tall) folded herself onto the motorcycle while my feet were swinging rather freely:). I'm sure we were quite the sight!

On Tuesday afternoon I was cleaning my turtle's tank when Sharon walked by with the Lange children. After exchanging a few pleasantries, Jon asked me, "So, Anne, where is your turtle?" I glanced up from cleaning the turtle tank and said, "Jon, he's right..... oh no!!!! Where did he go?" Here, my rather determined turtle decided he would rather be smashed to smithereens than kept alive in the tank, so he took off running for the street. Again, the neighbors were completely amused by our shouts and rightly so. My turtle dashed for the street (and believe me, turtles dash!), Sharon stopped traffic, I tried to run out the gate after the turtle, realized the gate was locked, and quick darted out the Gaudets' gate, all the while my turtle is running for the road. The poor driver of the truck was looking so confused at what the farangs were doing. I'm glad to say I reached the turtle before the wheels did!

The next amusing moment came on Christmas Day....and it involves that little rodent that is pictured in the post below. As I already mentioned, our door was wide open so when I went out to check on the grill, I was pretty surprised by the sight of the rat just sitting there. Of course I did what most girls do and started to shriek:). This time the shopkeepers across the street and the food vendors down the street all looked our direction with much curiosity. Thankfully the rat had more sense than we did and ran off for the sewer!

I suppose today's escapade wasn't really seen by the neighbors, but I'm throwing it in there for good measure. Carolyn and I were sitting in the living room chatting when we suddenly heard a loud popping sound. As we looked around, Carolyn said, "something must have backfired." I looked at her incredulously and said, "from our kitchen?" We ran to the kitchen and smelled the worst burning smell. Here Carolyn had some eggs in a pot boiling....and, well, boil they did! The popping sound was three eggs exploding in the kitchen, leaving behind a rather charred pot with egg whites and yolks decorating our floor and wall. We took the burnt pot outside where I believe it is still residing. Who knows, maybe the rat will eat it:).

They say laughter is the best medicine, so our neighbors must be pretty healthy:).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Some Pictures.

I've decided to share a few pictures from the past couple of weeks.... Christmas-time in the tropics!

These cookies were absolutely scrumptious! Now don't laugh, but they were bought at the hospital:). Bumrungrad Hospital is apparently a shopping center/resort/hospital all rolled into one. We're going tomorrow morning (Krinny and Carolyn have appointments) so I'll get my first glimpse of the inside... and hopefully get another cookie:).

Those would be fried grasshoppers.... I wasn't here when this was brought out; someone else had my camera:).

My sweet Thai co-worker Bunga and her 10 month daughter Hadasseh (her nickname is Hannah).

These two little girlies are definitely a must for my auntie heart! I'm so thankful that there are kiddos here that I can love on since I'm so far away from 8 (soon to be 9) precious nephews and nieces!

This morning the door bell rang and we were pleasantly surprised with a sheet cake... mmm, mmm!

Of course Christmas in the tropics wouldn't be complete without a visitor... in the form of a rat. The funny thing is we had our door wide open and as I went to check on the grill, this guy was just sitting there. Both Pookie and I shrieked, slammed the door, opened it to take a picture and he still just sat there. I'm glad we got that scare out of the way early in the day:).

Pookie grilling the shrimp and steaks...

What a blessing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with brothers and sisters in Christ!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Quiet Christmas.

The Christmas tree lights are shining brightly while the banister lights are twinkling their little hearts out. The street has turned to its nighttime routine, with motorcycles whizzing by and food vendors shutting down for the day. The fan is quietly blowing as a movie plays in the background. I sit here on this Christmas Eve thoroughly enjoying the moment. My December has been very care-free, and I thank the Lord for this Christmas I get to spend in Thailand.

Lest I be construed as a kill-joy, I definitely am not. Let's just say I needed this. I tend to get caught up in all the "hustle and bustle" of Christmas at home. But it's been very refreshing to have no plans for this entire month; well, no plans outside of the normal plans:). Our plans for tomorrow are very simple ~ a picnic-style lunch with our team members.

But the most important plan I have for tomorrow is to reflect on the birth of Christ - my precious Lord and Saviour. I know He was not born on December 25th, but this is the day we set aside to celebrate His birth. My mom used to make a "Happy Birthday Jesus" cake and that is the true meaning for tomorrow.

So I wish all of my dear blog readers a hearty and merry Christmas. Wherever you may find yourself tomorrow, be reminded that the birth of Christ truly is the reason for the season!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ah.... Life In Thailand!

Just thought I would pop in and say that I'm completely satisfied with my $6.00/1 hour foot massage I had this afternoon.

*Blissful sigh*


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WFMW - Chocolate-Covered Pretzels.

I had to laugh when I read Shannon's ground-breaking information.... such a good tip:). Make sure you check out Rocks In My Dryer for more tips!

I'm going to add my own little works-for-me tip because it's so fresh on my mind... and on my hands! I decided to make chocolate-covered pretzels tonight - my first time ever. So I wasn't exactly up-to-date as to how to do it, and the first little try of melting chocolate in the microwave brought about a little, um, smoky smell that soon cleared out of the house:). But I soon got the hang of it. One reason why is because I added milk to the chocolate that was melting and it turned out marvellously!

A second tip I have involves pulling the chocolate-covered pretzel out of the pot. My roommate brought with her "cheater chopsticks" ... which is good for me because I still haven't figured out how to use real chopsticks. It worked so well and was terribly easy:).

Pretzel anyone?!?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Thai Style!

My roommates and I decorated for Christmas last Tuesday evening (almost a week ago!), but I wanted to wait until today to join up with BooMama's Christmas tour of homes 2008. I'm completely amazed that I practiced that much restraint. Actually I'm practicing restraint in another area right now. I received a big ole Priority Mail box this afternoon from my parents (THANK YOU Mom & Dad!) and I haven't opened it yet... impressive, I know:). But that's because I wanted to get this post up.... :).

We were very blessed to have all sorts of decorations already here at the house - left over from previous girls who came to work with the missionaries. So, using what we had, we managed to decorate our house in two hours! I've never been able to do that before:).

Anyway, welcome to my humble home in Thailand. Come in, make yourself at home, and kick your flip flops off at the door....:)

Our very cute (and artificial!) Christmas tree:)

Oh hello there... just a friendly little lizard paying us a visit!

The wreath on our screen door... even if the weather outside is in the 80s, we're enjoying the snowflakes on our wreath.

Our dish cupboard with garland and one lone Christmas card... we're hoping to fill up the entire top with cards:).

An overview of our downstairs.... we even found an appropriate tablecloth:).

While not the best picture, this certainly lights up our evenings. I guess it's nostalgia, but I love to sit in the living room and just look at the lights:).

The birth of Christ isn't celebrated by many in Thailand...of course the commercial aspect of it all is. Just one more reminder to me as to why I am on the mission field!

Well, I'm off to go help decorate the missionaries' house:).

Sunday, December 14, 2008


During the song service this evening, we sang the song "Channels Only." The third verse convicted me as I meditated on the words:

Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me,
A clean vessel in Thy hand;
With no power but as Thou givest
Graciously with each command.

Chorus: Channels only, blessed Master,
But with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us,
Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour.

The challenge in the verse was so clear: emptied that Thou shouldest fill me. Empty of what? Pride. Dreams. Self-preservation. Bitterness. Selfishness. Vain pursuits. Laziness. Hopes. Anger. Expectations. The list goes on and on.

I can never be filled until I am first emptied. It's like Elisha and the widow woman. He told her to borrow empty vessels (2 Kings 4:3) so he could fill them with oil. What would have happened if the widow woman brought full vessels? Talk about unusable.

And so the challenge resounds in my heart tonight. Before He can flow through me and use me every day and every hour, I must first be empty.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Desperate For Chocolate:).

You know you are desperate for Peanut M&Ms when you pay $1.40 for a little bag that should only cost $.50 in the States:o). But, boy, those 28 pieces of chocolate were good!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hello Bumrungrad Hospital.

We're scattered today (and maybe scatter-brained too!).

Krinny - hospital.

Tom - hospital.

Carolyn - hospital.

Pookie - hospital.

Me - work.

All is well on our little team:). HA!

Falling On A Walk.

I try to go walking every morning with Theresa Lange, the missionary's wife. It seems to me that 5:45 AM comes around a little too early, but I dutifully stumble out of my darkened room and try to look presentable in meeting the morning. One friend called it discipline; I laughed and told her it was accountability:). Given the choice, my bed (and sleep!) would win out every time, but I find that the day gets too warm so 6 AM really is the ideal time to go walking. Plus it's a great way to spend some time with Theresa:).

This morning Theresa's son, Jon, came along with us. He's come before, but normally uses his little scooter. This time the scooter was deemed unusable - it kinda helps to be able to turn it! - so Jon walked instead. We tend to walk a little fast, so Jon had to do this skip/hop/jog thing to keep up... personally I think he was enjoying having all those options:).

As we neared the development, Jon suddenly fell flat down. After checking for blood (nothing!) and bruises (none!), Jon bounced back up and we continued on. Later in the walk it happened again, and as Theresa helped him up, she was explaining why he needs to watch where he was going. Whether she knowingly did it or not, she managed to work a spiritual principle into the conversation:

"We need to watch out for the rough spots and take heed lest we fall."

Because I just had the concept visually demonstrated in front of me, I had a pretty good idea what 1 Corinthians 10:12 was talking about. Jon falling down brought tears both times. He was so sure that he had really hurt himself, and sniffled his way down the road with us.

I thought about how I fall in my spiritual walk; how I miss the rough spots for a myriad of reasons. When I fall, I sometimes wonder how it happened. The Lord tenderly picks me back up, encourages me with His Word, and reminds me to "take heed" and learn from the fall.

I'm so glad I got up for a walk this morning... sometimes the Lord uses everyday occurrences to teach me!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Random Pictures.

This dog is my favorite dog on our street (and believe me, there are plenty around here!). He is just too cute, and I'm not even a big animal fan! I noticed his "coat" tonight and had to laugh - go Eagles! Oh, the reason the picture is off-centered is because the little dude kept moving... imagine that:). One more thing - it's a balmy 75 degrees here. Yup, that's definitely coat weather:).

Some of the current team members... we were having a good time, as evidenced by the smiles on our faces:).

(Me, Pookie, Alex, and Berm)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Big Brothers.

Nina and her family have been having some work done on their house by none other then my brothers! She's been very sweet in e-mailing me pictures of them. Apparently I'm the family photographer and since I'm in Thailand, that has kinda hampered me from taking pictures... strange, I know! So it's been really nice to see my brothers through pictures:).

My brothers Tom and Phil

Carolyn and I had just been talking on Monday night about Philly cheese steaks, hoagies, and stuff like that. So when I saw the above picture, I started laughing because (unless I miss my guess) it looks like Tom is about to enjoy a meatball sandwich.... mmm,mmm!

Monday was Phil's 28th birthday, so Nina made the cake and, according to Nina, their boss (affectionately known as "Mr. N") did "Happy Birthday" Polish-style! They look like they're having a great time:).

So even though I am not home, I still had a glimpse of home.... thanks Nina!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Honesty Of Kids.

The honesty of children is so refreshing, and at times very funny!

The other evening I went over to the Langes' house to borrow a movie. Both Jeff and Theresa were busy at the moment, so I spent a couple of minutes playing with their son. As we were playing, I asked Theresa if I could borrow "Over The Hedge." Jon instantly dropped the ball and said, "No!" He then backpedaled and said, "Well, I mean you can watch it here, but I really don't want you to take it home." Apparently he and the movie were really good buddies, but eventually Mom and Dad won and I had the movie in hand.

Just before I left, I turned to Jon and said, "Thanks, Jon, for being so willing and letting me borrow the movie." As he touched the DVD case, he looked me straight in the eye and said, "But I'm not willing." At that point, Sharon and I lost it and had a really good laugh over that:). What was really funny was the next morning when we were walking, Jon was telling me about this book he had on veterinarians and said, "You can borrow that if you want to." Oh wow, thanks:).

Later I got to thinking about the incident and realized that while I might have thought that in my mind ("hey! I'm not willing!"), I would have never said it. Jon just blurted it out, but at least he was honest. In my opinion, it's worse to think it in my mind and yet be all "showy" on the outside and pretend everything is alright when it's not.

Just for the record, I returned the movie to the owner the next morning...and I got to read the veterinarian book! All is right in my world:).

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Wonders Of Future Park.

One of the "drawbacks" [I use this term very carefully, just to let you know:)] to being in a foreign country is that we sometimes go from the house to the office to the house to church to the house to the office --- well, you get the point! For the past two weeks, Carolyn and I have felt the need to "get out" and that finally happened today! We went with a third lady who is visiting from the states and spent 5 1/2 hours at the mall known as Future Park. FP has 5 levels and I can honestly say there are stores that I have never been in before, so today we just strolled through all the levels and discovered some pretty exciting stores!

Right in the center of Future is this wide open space that is used for, well, everything. We've seen carnivals, cake displays, dances, concerts, and workshops take place here. So it really wasn't any surprise to see the center of Future being used today. What did surprise me was the amount of people that showed up to see their little kids perform.

When I took this picture, we were on level 3. By the time we got to level 5, the crowd had doubled! I kid you not! I have never seen that many people stationed in one part of the mall:).

Since most of the people were gathered here, that made shopping at the grocery store so easy! We had a great time at the mall and just enjoyed spending time with one another. Now I'm just waiting for the block party outside my house to die down (it's 10 PM now) so that I can go to bed. Apparently the people here are celebrating Christmas a little early since most people return to the provinces in the north for the actual Christmas/New Year's time.

Ah yes, my very own rock concert right outside my house. Pass the earplugs please:).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Yankee Candle Coupon.

I received a coupon in my e-mail the other day I thought I would share with you all...

If you like Yankee Candles, then you'll want to use this coupon... it's only good until December 7th, so you better act quick! If you are using the coupon online, enter the code YCFF08.

I sure hope this is a blessing to someone:).

Crystal is hosting Frugal Friday so head on over to her blog to see some more great (frugal!) tips and ideas:).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

May We....May God.

"As we have a high old time this Christmas, may we who know Christ hear the cry of the damned as they hurtle headlong into the Christless night without ever a chance. May we be moved with compassion as our Lord was. May we shed tears of repentance for these we have failed to bring out of darkness. Beyond the smiling scenes of Bethlehem may we see the crushing agony of Golgotha. May God give us a new vision of His will concerning the lost and our responsibility."

~Nate Saint~

(Excerpt taken from "Through Gates of Splendor" and written on December 18, 1955, just weeks before he was killed taking the Gospel to the Aucas Indians)

WFMW - Cleaning Supplies.

My Works-For-Me tip isn't earth-shattering, but it really did work for me today! When I came home from the office, I decided to clean our two bathrooms. I'm so glad we put the needed cleaning supplies in each bathroom so I didn't have tote a bunch of bottles around with me! It was so easy to go in and clean and not drag the stuff up and down the stairs with me!

So there you have it! A quick, easy, workable tip:).

But don't come to me if you want tips on keeping turtles alive.... I'm not the "go-to" person for that, as evidenced by the lack of one turtle in the aquarium this morning!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Venus, Jupiter and the moon winked at me Monday night in Thailand.... I love when the Lord does stuff like that and moves planets and stars into place!

But I'm sorry for you folks in the States:

Unfortunately, because North Americans are on the other side of the equator, they'll view the phenomenon upside down — as a mono-browed frown over a pair of eyes.

It was still pretty neat to see!

Happy December 1st!

Nothing says "welcome to December!" like taking a walk at sunset and then buying some fresh watermelon on the way back!

Mmmm, mmmm!