One last “Good-bye to 2012” post…. Last year we did a little recap of 2011 and it was a really good exercise for me in thinking of all the positive things God brought about and to focus on praise and gratitude at the end of the year. Looking back always makes me see how lucky and blessed we have been and the hard parts kind of fall into perspective. So, I thought it would be fun to do it again. You’ll notice that most months there is only one highlight picture, but sometimes I just couldn’t pick between two! 2012…
January. Tom and Silas took a very special trip to the village in Laos to spend time with Pon and Lan and their families. It was so good to see where these two members of our fellowship and gave us a lot of vision for what could happen in Laos in the future.
Also in January, we were lucky to have Tom’s brother George and his wife Mindy visit us! We took a great trip with them to an old capital of Thailand called Sukothai and I have such great memories of the beautiful old ruins, riding bike, and time with George and Mindy!
February. Miss Eliza finished her time at Anuban Butsayamat. That was a great school for her and we’re so glad she got the chance to go there. Saying good-bye was a little sad, but we had the trip to America to look forward too! Silas, Eliza, and I left for the States at the end of February. Claire also turned 9 and we celebrated with a day at Suan Siam waterpark.
March We were happy to end our separation as a family when Claire finished up school and she and Tom joined me and the two youngest in Virginia (after a freezing cold speedy visit to Tokyo on layover). Our month was spent with this collection of Rhodeses in VA. Many more wonderful memories collected and stored up. We even got to see a little snow!
April. We spent Easter and part of the month with our dear friends, employers, and church family in Ohio. Remembered how much and why we love OHIO! 🙂 Eliza celebrated her 7th birthday with a rainbow party with her cousins in Delaware at the end of the month.
May. We headed to Delaware to spend time with the Mast family. So happy for cousin times like these. Tom turned thirty-something and we celebrated with a crab feast. Had a really great camp-out with the whole S.A. Mast family.
June. We returned to Thailand in mid- May and got back our normal routines of team, and teaching, and school. The girls and I started full time homeschool which we fortunately all like a lot. Silas started back into kindergarten at Butsayamat. Tom took another trip to Laos to connect with Lan. I had a great birthday with some of the things I like best: sleeping in and shopping!
Arriving soon after we did, were Dani and Rhonda. It was such a blessing to add them to our team and we have been so grateful to have Rhonda’s help with our family needs! Love these girls! Anabell also joined our team a little later in the summer.
July. One of the exciting developments of this year, was a serious, regular Monday night Bible Study with Geat, Lung, and family and also our landlord, Lung Seri. It became our “regular” church at we also enjoyed our time eating together, studying the Bible (Luke and The Hope video), and praying. Such a blessing to see them grow in faith.
We had a team retreat over a weekend. It was such a good time together and a good time to re-form as a group after so much travel and adding new team mates.
August. We took a family trip to Laos for a visa run and time with our friend Pon. He taught us to make sushi and we met his landlords and friends as well his parents and nephews. Silas turned four years old with a trip to Funerium. Tom went on a trip to Ubon for the candle festival and to spend time with Piak and Lan.
September. Claire was baptized on a joyful day at the end of September.
October. This was a jam packed month! We got a visit from Brittany, Mim did a retreat with our team (pic: purple train home from Chiang Mai), RMM staff and board members came for a visit, and Tom and Silas took a trip to Ubon with Wanna and Utai for their son Tiger’s baptism.
..and Maya got adopted by the Adams family!
November. We had a great trip to Laos- time visiting Tom’s cousin and also in the village again with Lan and Pon’s families.
December. We had the joy of seeing Nii baptized. Another great privilege for Tom this year was working with the small group of believers at the gas station in Wong Wian Yai. Several were baptized and also had regular Bible studies with Tom. Our excitement for Lao people reaching Lao people grew!
We also had a wonderful Christmas as a family and with Thai friends and team.
Again, we feel like a very blessed family and it’s exciting to see all the opportunities God gave us over this past year. When we talked over our past year as a family, Eliza said it was like everyone drew straws and our family drew really long ones! I feel lucky like that too. Thank you, Lord for the life you’ve given us! The good times wouldn’t be as rich without the things that were hard, so we thank Him for those things too.