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):


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! :)
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