Time has flown by since Carmen and the girls left almost a week ago, and I need to finish blogging their time here before I forget too much! It’s been a bit of a blur of a week The three-member prayer team arrived for the week and our Reach team leader is returning to the States tomorrow. It’s all been good for returning our focus over and over to God whose help we need so much!
So, Carmen and I both felt like it was really good to catch up on each others lives. Even though we do e-mail (the four of us sisters), it’s so easy to miss out on a lot and being together really helped with that. It was so, so encouraging to see God’s work in each other’s lives too. We also were reminded of the ways we are alike and different! 🙂 We talked about how much we enjoyed being around each other’s girls and spending time with “older” nieces. I loved my chats and overnights with both girls and a quick ice cream “aunt date” (I think their favorite part was the tuk tuk ride) with them (while Carmen took our girls out for bubble tea and a stop at the stationary store to buy fruity pencil grips). I’m not used to anyone calling me Aunt Candice- so fun. Carmen also had some good bonding time with Silas- he loved having her read stories to him every day before naps and bed. And he liked saying that she likes “ants, cars, and men.”- get it?
When we got back to Bangkok after the trip to Chiang Mai, we only had five days together, so we tried for a balance of having them be a part of our “normal life” as well as doing some touristy sight-seeing things in the city. They also got a chance to experience our heat and traffic! 🙂 I’m writing down some quick highlights with pics, mostly to help me remember what we did. I have such a short memory! Tom had to remind me of half of this stuff at least.
We arrived on the train early that morning and brought a taxi home to be happily reunited with our boys. Silas was so excited to see us and his aunt/cousins, that he talked pretty much non-stop for the first few hours. Tom made us a big egg, toast and fruit breakfast and took good care of the weary travelers. After we washed off the train grime, Carmen and I headed to the grocery store (Rhonda came to babysit. Thank you!). I remembered how much fun I had going to her grocery store in Meknes and doing such a normal sisterly thing with her and wanted a repeat on my end. I got to show her all the strange things in my store and she got to stock up on things she can’t get (in her store, I bought lots of laughing cow cheese. In my store, she got brown sugar, black beans, chocolate chips, etc). Friday afternoon, we all crashed in the air conditioning for a good nap (sleeping on the train is never all that restful). In the evening, Carmen and I beheaded and deveined three kilos of shrimp and we had a huge shrimp feast with the kids. Also, pasta, asparagus,…and Moroccan olives (!!). Later, the girls had a movie night of their own (Akeelah and the Bee) while Carmen, Tom and I watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (we do not recommend-cheeseball) and Amazing Race.
I’ve already posted about our day at Wat Po and then having lunch at the mall downtown. We got home by late afternoon for naps. For supper, we had a Thai picnic on the floor with somtam, fried chicken and sticky rice. Lydia and Eliza took a rowdy shower together, had a great time and splashed so much water, it dripped down through the ceiling. The kids scarfed down a pan of kettle corn. We played some Rumikub and then Carmen and I got to skype with Anita and Rebekah- it was so, so good to have some sister time! Love you three!
The girls were so pleased with their gifts from Tom – tiny sticky rice baskets from his trip to Laos.
Two girls who love to play in the shower!
Skyping with sisters.
We had waffles for breakfast and then family church about Jesus the Good Shepherd. The girls each made a set of puppets of the sheep, wolf, and shepherd. Then Carmen and I headed downtown to meet my friend Ju. Because traffic was bad, we had a nice long time to chat. (so we didn’t mind the traffic too much. Carmen learned about my ongoing frustration with a particular traffic light :)). We met up with Ju at Fuji Japanese restaurant. It was funny- Ju had taken on the hosting role and ordered us about three appetizers that we didnt’ know about (ennoki mushrooms, chicken wings, garlic squid and fried tofu) so we also ordered an appetizer- sushi and our main courses (teriyaki salmon and chicken) that also came with rice and soup, so we had way more food than we planned on! The lunch was so fun. Carmen and Ju had a chance to know and like each other and I got my time with Ju so it was great. Afterwards, we took a short walk on the skytrain platform to look at some 3D sidewalk art. After we left Ju, Carmen and I did a whirlwind shopping trip at MBK to pick up souvenirs for her loved ones and we scurried back home to our dear babysitter, Tom. Meanwhile, Tom gave the kids fried rice for lunch and after naps, took them all to the playground where they had a great time and then got caught in a rain shower on the way home- they ran around the basketball court in the rain. Uncle award! After we got home, Tom and Lydia and Lize went out to get our traditional Sunday night market supper and we had salted fish, jumping shrimp, corn and ribs. The girls had to work up the nerve to put those live shrimp in their mouths! 🙂 (I’m not sure one ever made it into Dara’s mouth 🙂 Don’t blame her!). Tom kindly put the kids to bed for us (and washed dishes and cleaned all the corn off the floor!) while Carmen and I went to a girls night hosted by the Reachers. We got to chat with our team ladies awhile and got our nails painted. We came home packed onto one motorcycle with a driver who reeked of alcohol. Wish you could have seen it! 🙂
Some Sunday morning dollhouse in the driveway. Followed by…
Making puppets. Lydia and Dara are both good artists.
Lydia and the Good Shepherd.
Checking out the chalk art.
Staring down the jumping shrimp. Eliza has an irrational love for them. She’s ready to douse them in hot sauce.
After oatmeal pancakes, I did milk art and magic tricks with the kids (if you really want, I’ll show you my ESP crayon color trick). We thought the milk and food coloring art was cool (used old milk so it wouldn’t be wasting, Mennonites)! Rhonda came over to keep the kids and Carmen and I went for a massage…which we both LOVED. Fun and relaxing. We picked up garlic chicken and prik pow chicken on the way home and invited my friend/neighbor Chaweewan over for lunch on the spur of the moment. Rhonda stayed too and Carmen got to have a little time with them and gave them gifts of Moroccan slippers. In the evening,we went to our normal Monday night church and Carmen got to meet Seri and Geat and Lung’s family and have a big feast on the floor. We studied from Luke and prayed for each other. Seri shared some folk wisdom that neither of us really enjoyed. Right, Carmen? 🙂
Braids for our nieces
Favorite pic of Eliza and Lydia looking like storybook girls.
Lunch with Chaweewan
The kids watching tv at Geat’s apartment
Home church ladies
Tom went to teach. Us girls played some games and Carmen worked on packing. We scoured the house for belongings. Tom brought home a light lunch of chicken and rice and broth. In the afternoon, we did our aunt dates with the girlies. About 4:00, we went out for dinner with our landlord, Lung Seri and his wife, Ba Ulai at a sidewalk restaurant on the way to the airport (we made a big stack of the suitcases by the vendor’s stand). We ate a huge meal of sticky rice, somtam, grilled pork, etc. I even tried tripe soup and a dipping sauce made with bile (!!) for the first time. A very good meal and so generous of our landlords to take us all out. It was a great ending. I rode along with the girls to the airport for final squeezes and good-byes. We were emotional but it was also good to say “see you soon!!” This summer really isn’t far off at all and we’re always happy when it won’t be years! So, that’s more or less it…Carmen, what did I forget??
Ice cream date! My favorite part was chatting with Dara about lots of things from having twin baby brothers to the Little House on the Prairie tv show…and how excited Lydia got about the tuk tuk ride home. 😉
Dan also joined us for supper on the way to the airport. So happy Carmen and girls got to eat our favorite meal!
Silas knows where to go for spoiling and hand feeding.
Don’t we have a pretty airport?? (those are live orchids) and pretty girls too of course.