Friday, March 29, 2013

บ้านของเรา... (Our House)

I'm pretty sure I made a promise a looooong time ago, to post pictures of our house here in Chonburi.  This was literally the only house available for rent in this area when we were house-hunting and thankfully, we feel we've been able to make it feel pretty "homey."

So, without further ado, here's a little glimpse into the place we call "home."

Living Room 

Dining Room
Office area
(just to the left of the dining area)
Jon built the desk :)

(just excuse the disastrous state of my counter & sink!)

(we had this awkward-sized nook to fill and couldn't find anything that would fit,
so Jon built a cube shelf to fill the space.  He did a great job on it!)

Marek's Room

Yes, Michael Jordan hangs over Marek at night.
Kinda creepy?  Perhaps... but it was the only place in the house I would let Jon hang it ;)
Callie's Room

And there you have it.  All you're missing is pictures of our very boring bathrooms and our master bedroom (the pictures were too dark to post and to be honest... I haven't done enough to "beautify" it yet so you'll just have to wait for another time!) :)  Hope you enjoyed your tour!

Feel free to stop by anytime... iced coffee is always on! ;)

Monday, March 25, 2013

A summary of sorts...

Life has been full of fun over the last few months, so here are a few highlights and pictures to prove it :)

As many of you know, we had the awesome privilege of hosting a small vision team from our sending church, Central Community (Chilliwack, BC).  Our time with them was full of so many incredible opportunities to serve within the community, and even more so, to see God move in powerful ways!  From kids outreaches, to prayer walks, to showing them lots of Thai culture and all the existing ministries (and dreams of ministries to come!)... we kept them busy!  But even amongst busyness, this team never stopped blessing us with their love and constant words of encouragement!  Our "tanks" were truly filled to the brim by the time they got back on the airplane, bound for Canada.  Thank-you again Central!  You guys are such a rich blessing in our lives and we hope to see you here again someday!

L-R: Jeremy, Sarah & Chad.

Getting ready to start our VBS outreach!

L-R: Danielle, Pastor Ron, Sarah & Chad.

This sweet little girl's name was "Almond."
Is she not just the cutest little button!?

Praying over the village of Ang Sila,
before going to share the gospel message with a Thai lady.

Boat tour of Ang Sila & Bang Sai.

Then, about 10 days after Central left, our dear friends, Ginny, Steve & their daughter, Indiana, came to visit!  What an amazing gift!  We thoroughly enjoyed our time with them and were even able to get away for some holiday time in Hua Hin.  Ginny & Steve, thank you again for making the loooong trek over to come and be with us!  We're so thankful we got to share a bit of our lives here with you guys and also, finally got to meet Indie!  We love you guys so much.
Finally meeting baby Indie!

Typical "smother mothering" from Callie :)
Gin & Steve working away in our Hua Hin suite's kitchen.
Checking out the Night Market.
Enjoying the gorgeous beach in Hua Hin.
Besties for life :)
Helping Callie "ride the waves!"

MARCH (... so far)
Last weekend, I, Bonnie, had the opportunity to go back to our old stomping grounds (Chiang Mai) for a little visit.  My dear friend, Lauren, had a sweet baby boy just a few weeks after we left C.M. and I hadn't met little William yet.  So, after finally finding an amazing seat sale with Air Asia, Marek and I made our way up for an extended weekend.  It was so fun to meet baby William and to be with Lauren & Steven again.  Their friendship has been an incredible gift to us since being in Thailand and we certainly miss getting to see them on a daily basis.  Thanks again for a great weekend guys!

Enjoying a walk through our old muubaan with Lauren & her friend, Liv.
Marek and William getting acquainted.

Sweet baby William.

Marek absolutely fell in love with Lauren & Steven's house-helper, Pawn. 

Love you, Lauren!
This month, our Bang Sai team is busy planning Friday English day camps for a small fishing community.  Thai kids are currently on "term break" so many of the children are bored while their parents are at work.  We are always looking for more ways to get involved in the community and establish new relationships, and seeing as Thai people are always looking for ways to learn English, we figured a weekly English camp is the way to go.
So, starting this coming Friday (March 29), we'll be spending our Friday mornings, teaching English songs, curriculum and crafts to Thai children.  Please pray we'll have a good turn-out and that we'll establish trust and friendship with these Thai people.
This is where we'll be holding our Friday morning English camp.
Here are just a few other cute pictures of our ever-growing & changing kiddos!

This picture cracks me up because it totally reminds me of Callie when she was a baby.
She used to sleep with her arms under her head like this and we'd call her the
"Californian Sun Bather."  Guess Marek may follow in her footsteps :)

Intense Saturday morning painting session.

Cuteness personified.  I love everything about this picture.

Nothing better than Sunday afternoon naps.

Good morning sunshine!
And, last but not least, here is a little video clip of Callie.  She absolutely insisted that she read to me "in Thai" the other night, so this is what followed.  
After posting this on Facebook, someone asked if she is actually saying anything and although she doesn't form any actual sentence patterns, she DOES, in fact, say several Thai words... with perfect tone too!  She says the Thai words for "bird, can, five, fish." :)  Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What are you living for?

I want to dedicate this post to a very special lady named Joni.  I've been meaning to write this for a long time now and after talking about it a few times recently, with some friends of mine, I figured... no better time than the present. :)

Probably within the first month of being in Thailand, a friend from our sending church, Joni, sent me this link to a Francis Chan sermon.  As many of you know, I had a rough start to life here and have definitely had many moments of questioning whether we should be here... fighting feelings of extreme homesickness... missing all things familiar.  But little did Joni know, that this little clip would bring a WORLD of hope... proper perspective... needed refocusing for me.  And I have called it to mind, time and time and time again.

You see... whenever life over here starts to feel heavy, or I feel as though what I've "given up to be here" is too great, God has brought this sermon to mind.  And suddenly, its as if I get snapped back to the reality of what I really, truly, actually want.  And what I want is, to stand before my Father on that Final Day, and be able to say that I followed obediently and did my best to fulfill what God has called me to do.  I want to know that I lived life in light of the white part of the rope, rather than the red.  That I treated life as the brief gift that it is, and made every effort to live out and share God's truth and love with the world.

Are there still days that feel really hard?  For sure.  Do I still miss my friends and family everyday?  Absolutely.  But I also know that I get to spend the "white part of the rope" with them, and therefore, the sacrifice of the "now," is SO worth the reward at the end.

So, Joni... I cannot thank you enough... for caring enough to think of me... for caring enough to take the time to send this... and for being used in a mighty way, by our caring Father, in my life... over and over again.  Thank-you.