Friday, February 28, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy!

We've had an exceptionally busy week and I'm not sure why. :-) In addition to our usual three days of school and studying, we taught English at a local primary school, Nat spent a day passing out tracts with a visitor from the states, and we had a couple of other things come up. One of these times I'm going to do a post about a typical (or not so typical!) day in the life of the Williams family. :-)

We've also enjoyed an unusual number of phone calls from the States too. Communication is very important and so I was pleasantly surprised to hear my phone ring a few times. One of the calls came in at noon as we were getting lunch ready. Here a very dear friend couldn't sleep and decided to give a call... Two hours later we hung up and I really hope her work day wasn't too tiring!

We've also been able to stream the services from our church, as this week is our missions conference. How we long to be there... but streaming is the next best option!

Now we're doing a quick market run after school and then we're staying home for the evening. Language school days always feel like we're running in a marathon, so a quiet evening looks absolutely delightful. God had been good to us and we have many things to praise Him for. 

Happy Friday!!

Monday, February 24, 2014


... Is going to be good! 

Ka-bobs and potatoes grilled over the fire. Yummy benefit to living in this temperate climate. :-)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Christian Funeral.

Today was a first for us - attending a funeral here in Thailand. I've actually been to two when I lived here before, one Christian and one Buddhist, but time has dimmed my memory so I was curious as to what a funeral would be like.

This funeral was for the mother-in-law of the pastor of the church we attend here, so we never actually met her. Our day started off bright and early for the 1.5 hour ride to Lamphang. We stopped by church and picked up a few people and headed down the road. 

I was beginning to see the humor in the situation after we made our third u-turn because we realized the man who was supposed to tell us where to go didn't actually know... where to go. :-) A few quick phone calls and we got to the right place with minutes to spare.

It was a combination funeral/church service since this lady was saved. During the slide show of pictures they played the song, "Amazing Grace" and the thought brought tears to my eyes. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. This lady is experiencing the fullness of that amazing grace!

I'm glad we're just entering hot season and that the service was at 10:00 in the morning. I'm thankful for the fans they had blowing to circulate the air!

Pastor Srithone preaching his mother-in-law's funeral service.

After the service, they served a delicious Thai lunch. The fried rice came out first and from there the dishes got hotter! I tried some of the fish with chilies, but that's about as far as I went. :-) 

I wish I had taken a picture of the truck on which they put the casket. I had never seen a funeral procession before (or a cemetery for that matter) here in Thailand, so it was intriguing to watch the men load the casket onto a flat-bed of a truck and put all the flowers on there too. It looked to me like 8-10 people rode along in the bed and away the procession went. The police directed traffic and then hopped on their motorcycles to get ahead of the procession to the next intersection.

The service at the graveside.

Praise the Lord for the hope of eternity and heaven! There were tears at the funeral and I'm sure more so in private, but when you say good-bye to a Christian you know you will see them again and that is a wonderful thought.  

Today wasn't our typical Sunday by any stretch of the imagination, but was still an opportunity to praise the Lord. My big praise for the ride home is that Paul fell asleep for a good hour, rather than "serenade" us the whole way home! Sleep is good. :-)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Updated Kitchen.

We had our new kitchen counter installed last week! My husband blogged about it, but I decided it was time to put some pictures on my blog too. :-)

When the men were installing the cabinets and counter, they ran into a problem. Apparently the men who came out to measure a month ago to make sure everything would fit measured incorrectly. So the installers had two of the cabinets hung when they realized the third wouldn't fit because our kitchen ceiling slopes. Oops. So I suggested they put the third cabinet on the opposite wall and it worked out just fine!

I am very pleased with how it all turned out and it was definitely worth the wait! After the sink was installed, I cautiously used it because I was so used to doing the bucket system that it didn't seem right to have water come out of the tap and go directly down the drain. Fun stuff!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Things I Love...

For dinner I made stuffed peppers but needed some cooked rice. Nat quick went to the market across the street and got a bag for about thirty cents. What a blessing to be able to skip a step and use a "shortcut."

That got me thinking about all the things I love about living in Thailand. No it's not America but if I think about all the things I miss in America, then I'll develop an attitude of disappointment and sadness. So here are a few things I love about Thailand.

1. A fresh market right across the street. We buy all of our produce there and just bought some meat there for the first time!

2. I feel this needs to be mentioned separately: I really, really enjoy the variety of fruits and vegetables available. Our weekly staples include pineapple, watermelon, pummelo (like grapefruit), mangoes, bananas, papaya, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, garlic, onion, tomatoes, and a few other items. Best of all, all of that is around $10.00!

3. At the market, we've been very loyal to one vendor who sells us tomatoes. I make my own sauce so that means a lot of tomatoes! Monday the vendor gave us a discount since we bought so much and the ones we were buying didn't have the prettiest skin. That doesn't bother me since I take the skins off anyway. So we paid $1.08 for three pounds of tomatoes.

4. When it comes time to pay our water or electric bill, we take the bill (that was left in the bill holder by our mailbox) and go to 7-Eleven and pay it. Simple!

5. My washer is on the porch outside so I simply wheel the laundry rack over, hang the clothing up, and push the rack to the front of our porch so the clothing can dry in the sun.

6. Our mubaan (neighborhood) has two Thai restaurants, and we've used the one many times. For the two of us to eat at the restaurant costs us about $2.00. 

7. I am not a coffee drinker at all, but I commented to Nat tonight I've had more iced lattes in the last three months than I have in my life. :-) Coffee shops are everywhere and they offer more than just coffee. The best part is many of the drinks would run around $4-5.00 in the States, but here they cost $1.50-1.75. The other thing I like is if your drink is take away, they will put it in a bag that you can carry which is very convenient. Anytime you buy something here, it goes in a bag. That's probably because for many people their main method of transportation is motorcycle so you just slip the bags on the handles and you're good to go!

8. A store called Yok has just about become my favorite store. You can get all sorts of baking stuff there (some of it expensive), but we like it because they sell blocks of cheese, cream cheese, and butter for a reasonable price. We made a cheesecake the other week and figured out that the cost to make the cheesecake was about $10.00. Now that we have a bigger freezer, we can freeze things like butter or cheese and we now have the option of buying in bulk and not paying $4.00 for an 8 oz block of cream cheese.

9. When we stop for diesel, we get one water bottle for every $9.00 we spend. The station we stop at has the same exact price as everywhere else, so it's nice to have something "extra" thrown in. They also pump the diesel and wash the windshield too... What service!

10. At a ladies' meeting in September, the ladies in my church gave me some money for pedicures over here. I finally went two weeks ago and I'm sure I went to an "expensive" place because I didn't know where else to go. Including a tip, it cost me $7.75. I'll have to hunt around to find the cheaper place but it sure was a nice treat... and it made me grateful for those generous ladies back home!

11. Nat's been having some muscle problems in his leg and someone suggested him going to a physical therapist across the street. For a 45 minute appointment, he paid $10.00 and it's been helping him.

12. My last doctor's appointment included an ultrasound (done by the doctor herself) and the total cost of my appointment was $21.50. My first appointment included an ultrasound and bloodwork so that one was $31.00. 

13. Beef is very expensive here. We eat chicken and pork, so when we get the craving for beef, we'll go to an American restaurant and order a cheeseburger with fries and a pickle for $4.00. I usually cut it in half and have the rest for lunch the next day. That burger is also cheaper than Burger King, where the burger alone is about $5.00.

14. Our shower hot water heater needed to be replaced, so we bought a new one and the man came to install. After installing it, he realized we needed to have a different breaker put in so the next day he returned and installed another breaker... at no extra charge, minus the cost for the part. 15 minutes and everything was installed!

15. Remember the three refrigerators we had in our kitchen? After talking with the landlord and explaining the door was broken on the freezer of the one, he gave us permission to get rid of it. The neighbors down the street got their two boys to move it out and they set it on the corner of our street. The next day it was gone. :-) Problem solved!

16. Every week after the church service, we enjoy a meal cooked by one of the members. We all sit down, eat and fellowship. Such a precious time!

17. The highway is literally outside of our mubaan. What a blessing when the traffic is congested to be able to "turn left on red" and not have to wait forever at the looong light!

That's good for now! I want to appreciate the things the Lord allows us to enjoy, and yet be ever mindful that we have a far greater task at hand. All of these perks are just extra. :-)