In no particular order...
- A tumble down the last few stairs Wednesday morning left this Mama and son feeling sore. The bad news is Paul wouldn't put too much pressure on his left ankle until the middle of the day. I never got so many snuggles from my little boy before! The good news is he slept from 9 PM until 9 AM - which never happens in this household! We'll see how he does today, but I think a trip to the hospital can be avoided this time.
- Because of said tumble and concern over Paul's ankle, I decided to stay home from school Wednesday. Thankfully we have one more class on Friday and then a 10-day break, so I hope to catch up over the break on what I missed!
- My husband flys home today from a nearby country! We've really missed him around here, but I'm glad he got to take this trip. We are ready for the better half to be back. :-)
- After being with us for the last 7 weeks, my niece starts her long journey to the States on Friday night. The song "I'll Be Home For Christmas" has been heard around our house recently and in her case it's very true! We've had a wonderful time with her and it goes without saying she has been an immense help here. Our recommendation to any missionaries planning on settling in on the field in the future is to take a helper, especially if you have small kids!
- The lack of cooking taking place in this house sometimes amazes me. But then I think about it from the perspective it's actually cheaper to go eat at the neighborhood restaurant ($1.00 or less) than it is to go buy the ingredients. That's cooking Thai food. When we talk about American food, the expense really shoots up! With all the time and energy devoted to language study, I am so drained mentally after class that we often eat out on those nights. It helps having our neighborhood restaurant and a market just across the busy highway. There is always variety to be had! This trend is here until school ends. We won't be in school for ever.... it just feels like it sometimes. :-)
- Last week, at the request of the local pastor who has connections at a school, we taught English to two classes of 4th graders. At first it was pretty intimidating, but then I realized we are native speakers, so anything we would say would be an immediate help because these students and their schools don't have enough funding to compete for the elusive "trained" English teacher from America. We really had a good time and it made me appreciate my language teachers more, because I could hear the students saying the words incorrectly and know my teachers can hear me say the Thai words incorrectly. :-) It was fun to be able to do some teaching!
- Our plans for Christmas are to have a quiet day at home and maybe enjoy an American meal at a restaurant. There's a special program Sunday at the church we attend, but that's about it. Christmas isn't hugely celebrated here (although the commercialism is!) and New Year's Day is actually the big event. So I'm sure things will ramp up after Christmas!
- I've been reading through the book of Proverbs for my devotions, in keeping with the Sunday School lessons back at my home church, and have founds tons of gems in this wise book. I've also found tons of things to work on in my life, as those one-line proverbs really have a way of going directly to the heart of the issue. It's been a sweet study.
- I'm amazed at how much attention our little boy gets from Thai people. Whenever we are doing a more touristy-than-not activity, a bunch of people will come up and touch Paul, try to get him to smile, and even hold him so they can take a picture. Last Saturday we took our niece to another province to a white temple and no less that five different people wanted to take their picture with Paul! Such good opportunities to speak for Christ.
- I'm thankful for Skype, Magic Jack, blogging, e-mail, facebook, and snail mail. We've used all of them to keep up the communication back home, which makes home feel a little less far away. This is just a plug in that I am working on too: communicating with someone on the foreign field might not seem like a big deal to you, but it is HUGE to those on the field. Every email, Facebook message, phone call and note in the mail screams, "I do care and haven't forgotten about you. I'm extremely busy, but I wanted to let you know you matter." I've been trying to make my communication more meaningful, being prodded on by the verse to show myself friendly. I can sit around and wait for someone to call, or I can pick up the phone a and call someone. Simple! Like I said, I'm still working on this too because communication is definitely a two-way street. I recently read something that I thought was a little sad: a missionary on the field hardly ever heard from their sending church. What? I'm thankful for those in our church who have taken the time to drop us a note, because it means a lot. One man in particular even went so far as to call my husband a couple of times which was a big deal to Nat. He got off the phone and was excited for the spiritual "iron sharpening iron." I know men have a harder time communicating but it made my husband's day that this brother called. By the way, if you write, I will respond! My goal is to answer one email message a day, and that "usually happens! It just might take me time to respond to everyone. :-)
Time to get moving!