Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy, healthy New Year!!!


Friend, rejoicing with us for our Savior's birth!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Wish Come True


One thing I really longed for is for Sam to be born in time for him to meet Pun's great grand aunt. I have blogged before about her. She is now nearly 104 years old. Monday night we took Sam next door to meet her. She is blind so we laid him in her arms and let her feel him. It was truly an amazing thing to see 100 year old flesh next to 3 day old flesh. Pray for this sweet woman...

A Thankful Heart


I need to take a moment to tell the things I am thankful for. It's easy to overlook Thanksgiving in Bangkok and all the good that comes with it, like the wonderful food :), the way your heart is pulled toward home and being with family and good friends, and how you are reminded of all of God's goodness. Here I sit in my short sleeved shirt and shorts with the windows open (in the winter season) feeling almost comfortable, but missing the nostalgia of cozy winters and turkey dinners and my family.

So here is are a few of the things I am most thankful for:

Pun. 5 years of marriage and 3 children and he is still the one person I most want to be with...
Helen. She constantly challenges me and has made me more aware of my need for God in the process of training her. She is bright and beautiful to me.
Daniel. He is a tenderhearted soul and I can never resist him when he smiles at me with his dimples.
Sam. How I thank God for his safe delivery and him being healthy. I never tire of smelling his new born skin.
A New Church family. It is truly magnificent how God's people can bond together so quickly.
An Old Church family. They are still an encouragement to me so far away.
A New family. Although I have been married for over 5 years, it is just in the last year that I have begun to make relationships with my husbands family. I pray for stronger deeper friendships with them.
A New Country. A place to learn anew to depend on God.
A New House. A place to make a refuge for my family from the world.
God's Saving Grace. These were part of the verses I read Thanksgiving morning.

I Corinthians 6:9-11

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexual
nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.


My heart is full of thanks for His forgiveness...

What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Praise Him for a BOY!

Boys rule!!! This is Pun blogging in for Merri.

Praise be to God who answered our prayers for a safe delivery.
The labor took 13 hours, but the last part went really fast.
He weighs 8 lbs 14 oz and 21 inches long.

Meet Samuel Ian Panthaworn - Samuel means "His name is God" and Ian means "God forgives"


Thank you all so much for your prayers. We'll post another update soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Daddy!


Yesterday was Pun's birthday. We kept it pretty simple this year. The kids and I painted this sign (thanks again Dave and Debbie for the paper--we haven't even made a dent in it and have had hours of fun!) and then we each made a card telling him why we love him! A simple but sweet day celebrating Daddy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Our House is Finished!!

I have been feeling like I should have posted something more by now, but really all we have been doing is waiting and waiting...waiting for this baby to be born, waiting for our house to be finished so we can move in. We haven't been able to go check the progress for three weeks so when Pun went out on his lunch break yesterday, he got quite a surprise. It is basically finished, with full gardening and a lawn around the outside! As he walked through he was impressed by the workmanship and eye to detail that was given. Only a few minor problems were spotted! To say we are excited is an understatement!! But we will still wait to move in until the first of December. As soon as we can get out there and get some pictures we will post them, but we'll post just 1 photo here from Pun's cell phone. So for now, we are praising God for such a wonderful gift of a beautiful new house and waiting for a precious new little life.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Shoppers Beware (of train)!

This is actual footage of an outdoor market in Bangkok. Pun says it is rent free!
video

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Green Mountains and Asimo

Weekends seem to be pretty busy lately between checking on the progress of the house and doing things with the kids. It makes the quiet weeks at home with the kids pretty nice!

Anyway, last weekend was no exception. We spent Saturday at Khao Khiaow Zoo -- or Green Mountain Zoo. It is an open zoo meaning you drive through and stop to see the animals along the way. You can even feed many of the animals. So here are a few pictures of what we got to see and experience:

An amazing "bug collection". (Remember doing those insect collections in Jr High?) This was phenomenal...the above picture was only one of the many boxes displaying butterflies found in Thailand. Then there were the dragonflies, the regular flies, the grasshoppers and on and on. All we could say is "Isn't God sooo creative??"

One of the things that made this zoo fun was that you could get so close to many of the animals. Here we are feeding the deer. There were probably 30 deer in this little area, and we were able to walk right up to them, feed them and pet them.
We ate our lunch right here by the giraffes. They, unlike the deer, were very interested in eating. If they saw food in your hand they headed toward you. The deer were walking away from our offerings. This isn't that great of a picture, but I chose it because if you look carefully, you will see the very long tongue of this giraffe coming out and twisting around the vegetable that Helen was offering it. I really enjoyed how his tongue could wrap around his food! :)

Riding the elephants. You know, we rode an elephant bare back in Chiang Mai last year, and though it was a little scary, I think it was way more comfortable than this ride! Or maybe it has to do with being 35 weeks pregnant...



Checking out the tigers. We got to see a couple of beautiful white tigers.


And some funnies for you. "Best Friends" (Not sure what Daniel was making a face at!)

Roaring like a lion...(We just came from seeing the lion and hearing him roar.) Too bad there is no sound on this blog.



The only reason I put this picture in is for my 2 college friends and my mom who want to see how big I look with this pregnancy! (Don't laugh too hard, Trish and Jill!) Behind us is a really neat stone carving of lions although it is a little difficult to see.

I never knew how much fun it would be to take your kids to the zoo. We have been several times with Helen and Daniel and every time we go their excitement over seeing the animals is contagious. This was such a fun trip because we could "experience" the animals more than most other zoos. Recently we have been talking about how God created everything "just right". And that was the theme for this day.

On Sunday, we took the kids to see Asimo. Now, if you are like Pun, you probably know exactly who I am talking about. If you are like me, you are probably saying, "Huh?" Or maybe I am the only clueless one! Asimo is the famous Japanese robot. He has never toured South East Asia, so having him visit Thailand first was a big deal. We got to see him walk, run, dance, serve food and some other interesting things. Unfortunately for me, I understood very little of the program since it was all in Thai. But it really was quite something to see. And yet, in all of man's "creative ability" this is the closet he has come to inventing something "creature-like". Asimo is amazing in many ways, but I can't help to compare him to all the beautiful and graceful animals we saw at the zoo. The variety was astonishing, each creature having a mind of it's own. We think as humans we have a come a long way in our ability to invent, but it will never compare to the Creator.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

And 50 days...

...until our little baby's due date! Some days I think it can't get here soon enough. Of course if this one is anything like Helen and Daniel, it will take its own sweet time coming. I am praying for an early delivery, though. Lately I feel as slow as a turtle and really am looking forward to the return of my normal energy level.

Helen and Daniel and I have been working on getting a little more routine in our life. Now that they are home from preschool, I have so many things I want to do with them and teach them, but as I have mentioned the energy is just not there. We are taking it slowly. We have started a little "circle time" each morning after breakfast where we read a short devotional or Bible story and talk about how it applies to us that day. Then we pray and sing songs together. Helen still loves to sing and is continually memorizing new songs. Daniel has just begun to really try and sing with us and is surprising me with the words he is learning. I am beginning to add in memory work as well. This will include Bible verses as well as other things I want them to memorize. Today we let Helen teach us the Thai alphabet using flash cards. It really works well, because of course, she loves to be "the teacher" and it reinforces her memory of the alphabet and Daniel and I are hearing the letters over and over and repeating them back. We really have fun with this. Sometimes we draw pictures of what we learned and hang them up to show Daddy later and then we might read a few books together. Usually after we have finished the kids play together in their room for awhile. This has been great for training them in obedience from getting along together to following the rules I gave them for their play time.

They are both excited for the new baby to come and have lots of ideas about what to name the baby as well as how they will help me take care of it. :)

I realize I was a little short in the last post about our new house. I was trying to get the kids bathed and ready for bed while working on it, so it came out brief. Here is some more info:
It is a 4 bedroom 3 bath house. It is not extremely huge, about 2000 square feet, but a good size for our family now. It has 2 kitchens (Thai style), one for prep and one for actual cooking. This helps keep the heat out of the main part of the house. We also have a little yard (also typical--land in Bangkok is pretty expensive) but it is just the right size for the kids to run around but not give us too much extra work. The location seems pretty ideal as well. Pun can get to work in about 30 minutes and hopefully get home in the same amount of time. We will be living in a subdivision which provides security guards (nice to have since Pun will travel overnight occasionally) and a park with a swimming pool.

The pictures we have of the actual house aren't that exciting for a blog yet so here is a drawing of the finished product as well as a layout of the house.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

73 Days And Counting...

until we move here!


Yep, that's right! We are officially homeowners again. Will you thank the Lord with us? We fill so blessed to be moving into a new home so soon. Right now it is still being built, so we make regular visits to check on the progress. It is supposed to be ready on the first of December. I just can't wait for Christmas this year! :)

By the way, this means that we will be ready to have visitors soon!!! (for all those who said they would come see us :)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Helen!


Yesterday, Helen turned 4. And it couldn't have happened any sooner. Since Daniel's Birthday (which was January 27) it has been weekly if not daily conversation for her. So the big day came. And to say that she was excited is an understatement. She even said several times throughout the day, "I am soooo excited!!" We let her choose her dinner and the only thing she really wanted was pancakes! So we added eggs to it and had breakfast for dinner. My kind of girl. Then we let her choose if she wanted cake next or to open her presents. That should have been obvious! So she opened gifts. We didn't know what to get her really, but when a friend offered to give us a little bride's dress and ballerina outfit to play dress up with, we decided to add to it and and then get her a little trunk to put it all in. Lately she has had a fixation with pigs as well, so Pun bought her a little pig stuffed animal and a few other "pig" items. The thing that stole the show was the bride's dress, though. She just lit up when she put it on. She is just at the right age for dress up and loves girly things! She was really too cute, I have to say.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I saw this and thought some of you might enjoy it. It is not actually Bangkok, but sometimes I feel like it could be. Someday I need to do a post on Bangkok traffic.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Do you know the name of the city we live in?

Here is one more interesting tidbit for you... This is the actual name of Bangkok in Thai (and this is all one word):

กรุงเทพมหานครอมรรัตนโกสินทร์มหินรายุธยามหาดิลกภพน
พรัตนราชธานีบูรีรมย์อุดมราชนิเวศมหาสถานอมรพิมานอวตา
รสถิตสักกทัตติยะวิษณุกรรมประสิทธึ์


and it means:

Great city of angels, supreme repository of divine gems, great unconquerable land, grand and prominent realm, royal and delightful capital city full of nine noble gems, highest royal residence and grand palace, divine shelter and home of the reincarnated spirits.

For obvious reasons it is abbreviated to the first two syllables: กรุงเทพฯ
In case you are wondering, it holds the record for the longest name of a place in the world.

Watch your tone...

I promise not to go on and on and on about language but I came across this diagram today which made me smile (for some odd reason) and I thought it might help you visualize better what I am trying to learn.

Everything you say must be said in the correct pitch (tone) or you most likely won't be understood. Consequently, this is how my brain feels after a few hours of study sometimes.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

School's Out...

I completed the first 3 books in language school (all dealing with listening and speaking) and have learned so much! Yet, I still struggle to make basic conversation. I hope this will improve as I try to speak and listen more. I know it takes time but it is so difficult to be patient when I just love to talk!!

I made the decision to not continue with book 4 for several reasons. One big one is my energy level is dropping as this pregnancy continues. I was just getting so tired and had no energy left for Helen and Daniel when I got home. It was such a hard decision to make. I really wanted to continue, but my kids are more important and really need me. So now, they are still in preschool until the end of August where they are also absorbing the language. It is has been slow going for them as well, but I think they are learning more than I realize. The sounds of the language are definitely being imprinted in their minds. Throughout the rest of this month, I am cramming like a mad woman to review as much of what I have learned in the last 3 months as well as push ahead in reading and writing. It has been quite exciting for me as I am able to read some now, although I may not know what I am saying. And I am coming closer to really knowing the alphabet. Remember the picture of the 44 consonants I posted? Well, I have now learned 52 ways to write the vowels! It has actually been fun, though. And the good thing is that Thai is over all very logical. So most of the time it makes since, unlike English!

I am also preparing and planning for Helen and Daniel to come home. I am thinking through routines for their days and things I want to work on in the area of training and discipline as well as beginning to think of how our home school will work. Helen won't really start for another 2 years officially, but I would like to do some preschool work with her during this time as well.
Sending them to a Thai nursery has been a trade off. It has been helpful for me to be able to go to school and know they are cared for and being immersed in the language, too. But, discipline and training are suffering. And I just simply miss them. I am more convinced than ever that this is my primary god-given role. They need me, and it is my job to teach, train, and discipline them. And I really am looking forward to this. I am so glad the end is in sight.

Another exciting bit of news is that our house hunt is officially begun. After months of deliberation, we have decided to explore buying a house instead of building one. This has been another very difficult decision with no easy answers, but this is the direction we are leaning towards right now and is another thing that has taken so much of our time. We have been out looking at houses nearly every weekend for the past month or so. It is possible, that we could be in a house of our own by January. We are praying for wisdom and direction.

So now, I am off to study. Now that school is not consuming my days, maybe I will have more time to write! :)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Just for fun


Here is another interesting bug Pun found on the way home from work...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day

I hope you are having a wonderful Independence day. Sure miss BBQ and fireworks! And we miss you... Actually, living in Thailand has given me a new appreciation for America. America isn't perfect, but I think I took my freedoms for granted, not because I wanted to or because I never thought about it, but because I had never experienced living without them. Thailand is a tolerant place, but it is a country that still tolerates a coup. Countries rise and fall, so it will happen to America and Thailand as well. Yet God will always be in control. I guess I just want to be thankful wherever God puts me.

Today, Pun left for boot camp. Yep, boot camp. CPAC (the company he works for) hires the Thai army to "host" a boot camp for new employees to "encourage" teamwork. To say the least, Pun was not looking forward to it. From what others have told him, it will be like a real boot camp --waking up at an ungodly hour, being yelled at, strenuous physical labor all day until you fall into bed exhausted at night. His co-worker's advice was to take Ben-Gay with him! Poor guy...

Helen is growing up in so many ways. She has gone from not being interested in learning Thai at all to knowing the alphabet better than me. Today, she asked me to write a certain letter and when I couldn't recall it she took the paper and wrote it herself. Then she said," Don't worry, Mom, I will teach you."

Daniel is all boy. His current interests are guns and Spiderman. Everything becomes a gun in his hand! I'm just not sure where he got this love affair with guns! :) And he can watch Spiderman everyday ( I am ready to throw out that dvd!)

I am growing larger and feel the baby kick all the time now. I have managed to pass my second Thai class so I am now in book 3. This is the last of the speaking/listening classes. I have come so far, but I can also see now that I have so far to go.

Happy Independence Day...Enjoy your day, enjoy your family, enjoy your food, enjoy your freedom.



Monday, June 11, 2007

Bathtub Babies

Pun's parents house doesn't have a bathtub so Helen and Daniel have really missed taking baths. I don't know why it took us so long to figure out that we could buy a basin for them to take baths in, but now we have one and the big event every night is bath time. So here's a cute picture of our evening ritual for you.

What's Your Favorite Flavor?



"Hewen? You wike banilla ice seam?"

"Yeah, I like banilla."

"Ohh. I wike chocat."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

YIPPEE!!

I passed my 1st Thai class! Book 2 starts tomorrow. Now the pressure is really on...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Bit About Thai

My dear friend Karen posted a comment on the last post about my Thai language learning. Here is a (lengthy) response to her questions. Maybe others of you are interested also.

I have enrolled in an intensive language school which teaches Thai in 20 day modules. I study everyday for 3 hours with a teacher and 2 other students. My teacher is a 20 something Thai lady who speaks minimal English and constantly pushes us to speak Thai even when we are asking questions. Good, but frustrating. Overall, she is an excellent teacher.

The other 2 students are from the US and Korea. The Korean doesn't speak English and our teacher doesn't speak Korean. You can imagine his frustration. The American is tone deaf and can't hear well. Poor guy...but he tries hard. Thai is difficult enough without these challenges.

I feel I have every advantage right now. I have been living with a Thai family for 9 months, so I am constantly exposed to the sounds of Thai as well as picking up repetitious phrases. I also have a husband who is more than willing to help me, and correct me until I get it right! :) I am also deeply indebted to my phonetics/linguistics teacher at Moody for giving me such a great foundation in these subjects. It has been a tremendous help. I feel I should send the professor a fruit basket or something to say thank you!

Yet, with all these advantages, learning a language is still a challenge which takes a strong commitment to success. I study an average of an hour a day, but this really isn't enough. In the first 3 levels of classes ( I am in level 1) there is no official homework other than to practice and memorize. If you do that, no problem. I understand most of what I am learning, it is just the mass of info that needs to be memorized. There are some difficult sounds for me, but they are getting easier. Once you master levels 1-3, you begin reading and writing. In levels 4-6, there is 3-4 hours of homework a day I am told. Ouch! How will I ever find time for that? By the way, each of these levels can theoretically be accomlished in 20 days, assuming you pass the oral exam at the end of the class and don't have to repeat the level. If you finish all 6 classes, you should be able to speak, read and write at a 6th grade level.

The Thai Alphabet:

Here are the 44 consonants. I spared you the vowels!



There are 44 consonants and 32 vowels. This is not as bad as it sounds since many of the consonant sounds are repeated and only used for differences in spelling. The vowel sounds, unlike English, are each represented by a unique character. In English, the word hat and the word hate both use and a to represent two different sounds, whereas in Thai, the characters are different for every different sound. This, I think, is an advantage to learning Thai. There is little guess work in pronunciation. Of course, there are the 5 tones. I think of Thai as listening to a song. You need to hear the music of the speech. This just takes practice, practice, practice.

My Goal:

Of course I would love to be fluent in speaking, reading, and writing. Who wouldn't? But, with a baby on the way, I only have few months left. I am really hoping to complete the first 3 levels (all of the listening/speaking classes) and maybe try level 4 to get an intro into writing. We will see. Of course, that means I must pass every class in one try. Some do, many don't.

All this said, just as I enjoyed phonetics and linguistics in college, I really enjoy language learning now. I am not gifted in it by any means, but it is fun to learn something new. More than this, it seems like I have been living in a dark room for 9 months, but now, the lights are coming on dimly as I begin to understand more and more around me. My vocabulary is growing, and as I work on grammar, the world around me is opening up. What HOPE!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Warning: Excuses Ahead

Well, if you want an excuse (which you probably don't, but I am very good at excusing myself!) here it is:

1. I have been sick for 2 weeks with a severe cold and the flu,

2. while taking care of Daniel ( who is finally doing much better with the mosquitoes, although on his second fever in less than 2 weeks),

3. and like a valiant soldier, I continue to push ahead in language study. Honestly, there has been more than one night that I struggle to sleep because I cannot turn off the Thai words running around in my head. Sometimes I even wake up in the middle of the night hearing them! Aagghhh!

Ok, now that I have done my best to get your sympathy :)......

The Guardians

My friend Cristi wrote an excellent tribute to our modern day war heroes. Please take time to read it if you can.

http://minimalshrinkage.blogspot.com/2007/05/guardians.html

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Poor Daniel"

If you were here with us now, that is what you would be hearing a lot of this past week or so. Poor little guy...moving to a new place (especially a new country) means new germs and new "bugs" for your body to get used to. He rarely got sick in Utah, now he is sick ever other week it seems with fevers and colds! This last week he has been battling a particularly vicious attack from the mosquitoes. It seems that his little body is allergic to them and when they bite him their saliva gets into his blood and produces even more sores which then get infected. His legs have had no less than 30 sores on them. He is even getting them on his head!

After two visits to the doctor and an impressive regimen of washing, scrubbing, applying ointments and creams, taking oral medicines and sleeping under a mosquitoe net we are starting to see an improvement. We are told eventually his body will develop an immunity to these nasty little bugs. But for now "Poor Daniel..."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Three Light Bulbs

I have been working for the biggest ready-mixed concrete supplier in Thailand for 2.5 months and found two other believers. Out of some 1480 employees, there are only three Christians including me. That's 3 light bulbs to shine throughout the company. It's great to know that there are Jesus' followers everywhere, especially in a country where over 95% of its population profess Buddhism.

Please pray for these three light bulbs to reflect our Lord Jesus and bring Him glory in our conducts.

Shalom - PP

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Just Wondering....

Is anyone still interested in hearing from us after so long??? I have been down with morning sickness for the last 9 weeks. Starting to feel a little better, but just when I think it is over, it comes around again. I also started language school this last week. After 3 hours of Thai a day and another of traveling, I come home wiped out.

Yet, there are so many things on my mind to share. I still haven't even posted pictures from my parents visit in January!! Ouch! So, if you are still watching, hold on, there is much I want to tell you about. Coming very soon....

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Record Breaking Temperatures

Yep, our first summer here and Bangkok is experiencing the hottest summer in the last 10 years. Right now, at 9:47am, it is 33 Celcius (91.4 F) but feels like 43 C (109.4 F) with 71% humidity. I guess I will stay in my air conditioned bedroom again. Sure miss Utah...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Morning Sickness and Toddlers

The other day when I was having yet another bout of morning sickness, I set up Helen and Daniel with paints outside and then went inside to rest. Of course it got a little too quiet outside, so I drug myself out to check on them and here is what I saw...



I guess it could have been worse! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Blogs

I added a few new blogs to the side bar. If you need a chuckle, check out Cristi's blog-Minimal Shrinkage. Cristi is an old friend from Moody days and is a talented writer. Josh and Christina are missionaries in Utah and Nathan and his fiance will join the Utah team this summer.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

First Days

Pun is now a working man and loving it! He wakes up excited in the morning to go to work, and I can understand why. It seems like a pretty cushy job. Not only does he get to sit in an air conditioned office where he is told he is the "expert" (boy, that Ph.D. is really paying off!), they told him if there are days he feels "under the weather" or just doesn't want to come in he can work from home! The first 3 weeks he is scheduled to meet individually with all the departments he will be working with. He told me the other day that they are paying him to think. So if you see Pun (not that you would) with a blank stare on his face, he will tell you he is working. HA! Actually, it still looks like the perfect job for him, and I am so very happy for him.

As for the rest of us Panthaworns, we are painfully settling into a routine. It is getting a bit warm here now. I am not looking forward to the next 8 weeks or so. We'll manage. Helen and Daniel have started Thai preschool. I think they are really going to like it. I am hoping this will help them with learning the language. I will be going with them for awhile to help out, so maybe it will help me, too! It is really an ironic thing. The preschool is in Pun's grandparents' old house which they are renting to the couple who run it. The lady and her husband are believers and also have a small church that meets there on Sundays. It really was amazing to just stumble upon this couple and their school, and they have really reached out to us and our children.

I, too, will start Thai classes once the kids are settled. So we are making some progress. :)
Helen and Daniel with their preschool teacher.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Wild Things

One of the things I really enjoy and at times also fear is all of the interesting and new creatures we are seeing. We are starting to collect quite a few photos, so I thought it would be fun to show you some of them.

This first picture is just a cool shot of an intricate web Pun found at his parents ranch. He said he had never seen one like it before. I think it is interesting because it is so perfect and symetrical and then all of the sudden chaotic, sort of like the spider got tired or two different personalities worked on it!








Ok, this next little guy, I actually picked up! Really, he's rather large, though this is a normal size for the elephant beetle. Helen and Daniel were fascinated by him. They got down on the floor and watched him for quite awhile. If you look at the second picture you will see the beetle on Daniel's left shoulder. No fear!!












Elephants, elephants, elephants...I have seen more elephants in the last 6 months than in my whole life! But they are still fun to watch. Here they are all dressed up for the tourists. Pretty fancy.





We passed by this baby elephant walking down the side of the road as we drove by.















Then, just a few hours later, we stopped for a lunch by the sea and up came another elephant with its trainer. For half a dollar we fed him sugar cane!


The ranch is quite an experience for me. I never know what will happen when we visit. It seems like everytime we visit, I learn or see something new. On this particular visit, we were sitting outside after dark visiting with Pun's parents when we spotted a pretty moth. After watching it for awhile it flew down and landed on Pun's face!! We all sat there laughing and admiring for a little while, wondering when it would choose to leave. A few minutes later, I finally went to get the camera and took several candid and posed pictures. I don't think I could have let it set on my face for as long as Pun did! But we really got a giggle out of it.





I know chickens are not exotic or all that interesting especially, but Helen has enjoyed holding a few at the ranch.





We went down south right before Pun started work. In a little fishing village there was a lady holding a gibbon. She let us have a turn. Now Helen wants a gibbon.... and chicken... and a pig ... and a rabbit... you get the idea.
And for the finale...I have met my first snake. In our yard. By myself. With no English speaking person available to tell me if this was a poisonous one or not. Had my mom not called, I never would have been downstairs looking out the front door and seen it! With all the Thai I know (after I ran upstairs to get the camera and snap several pictures--what was I thinking?) I ran next door and called out to Pun's grandma (because I can't say grandpa!) and kept telling her to come. Finally she did and saw for herself. Grandpa came, too, and motioned for Helen and me to go inside. He got a big bamboo stick and tried to knock him down; the snake was on the awning. It didn't work, though, because he crawled up into a hole on the side of the house. My thought was, Oh boy, he will be in our room next ( the awning is right below our bedroom.)
The rest of the day, I was on snake duty. I kept a close watch for him and whenever he came out, I sent the maid out to get him. Somehow he always escaped though. Helen had lots to tell daddy when he came home from his first day at work. Pun was sorry he missed all the action. By the way, he wasn't poisonous! And we are hoping he is long gone now...






P.S. Word is getting out, so I thought I would make announcement. I am pregnant and due in November!! If you have read this far in such a long post, thanks for caring. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Wait Is Over!!!!!

After 3 1/2 years, my husband is now employed!!!! They called him in this morning, offered him a 1 year contract (with the hope of renewing it at the end of the year) and a higher salary than he asked for! Can you believe it?? PRAISE GOD!!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Paitiently Waiting...or at least trying to

Forgive me for being silent so long about Pun’s interview. I have been hoping all along to make a big announcement once everything was finalized and openly praise God for providing a job for him. At this point he has been offered a job, but that is all we know. This, of course, is a huge praise, but something in the back of my head says it can still fall through...

Here’s what’s happening:

In the middle of December, Pun had his first interview with Siam Cement Group, a large, respected, and profitable company. They liked him and asked him to come back for another interview with some of the directors. We waited and waited and waited until they finally called him in for that interview in the middle of January. It also went extremely well, and he came home feeling like he had the job. So we waited and waited for nearly another 2 weeks until he received an email congratulating him and welcoming him to the company and that the details would follow soon. So now we are waiting and waiting some more (you get the idea) and to see when they want him to start and what they will offer him. Pun is in communication with the company, but this doesn’t appear to have helped any in expediting the process. We are told this is normal for Thailand. Yet, we hold out for this company because it seems this would be a fantastic job with lots of potential for Pun with a company known for its ethics and valuing its employees, and in their defense they are creating a position for him. So we continue to wait.

Thanks for remembering us in your prayers. I will let you know.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Short Break

Grandma and Grandpa arrived January 11 safe and sound, although tired from a 24 hour flight. Since then we have had the flu and colds among other things and have not gotten out much. We are planning to begin sight seeing soon.

Needless to say Helen is in heaven right now. She is very attached to my mom and I am already wondering how she will handle Grandma saying goodbye in a few weeks.

So for now, we will take a break from blogging and enjoy being together with my parents.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Chiang Mai

In the middle of December we took a few days and headed up to Chiang Mai. It is about an 8 hour drive from Bangkok in the northern part of Thailand. Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand with approximately 1 million people (Bangkok has 13 million!) The city still has some of its ancient stone wall and moat around the center part of the city. It is a charming and artistic place to visit.


On our visit to Chiang Mai, we were able to see how paper is made and then turned into fans and umbrellas. Here Daniel and I are pounding the paper pulp. This has to be done continuously for 4 hours!

Watching an artist hand paint a fan.


Checking out a waterfall.




Meeting up with friends of a friend of mine. Thanks, Keri, for connecting us! We had a great time!!

We visited an amazing flower garden. It was so beautiful, I asked Pun if we could live there. As I looked at all of our pictures from this garden, no one picture really catured its essence, so I chose one with Daniel. :)

I was really hoping to see an area where the hill tribe people live. There are several tribes scattered across Northern Thailand. Here is a picture looking down at their homes.


We drove on some beautiful mountain roads. This particular road is just above the hill tribe.

Helen and Daniel wanted to see elephants. Here Daniel and I are riding bare back. Helen, who was very excited by it all, would not ride one.

I inadvertantly turned our camera to b/w. So here are our "by accident" artistic pictures!

The Night Bazaar Market--great shopping!

Thailand is known for its beautiful orchids. We went to visit an orchid farm only to find out that most of the flowers had been sent to the Flora Expo being held in Chiang Mai in honor of the King. We did find a few, and here is a shot of one of the prettiest ones we saw.

Chiang Mai is a place you could visit over and over again and never see it all. We left hoping to return as soon as possible!

 
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