Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Funny Things I Heard Them Say

The other day, after intently listening to the story of Adam and Eve and how they first sinned, Daniel looked up at me with his very serious eyes and said, "Mom, Satan is a jerk, and a liar, too!"

And in response to my Thai aunt (whose English is the Australian brand) when she mentioned Helen's mummy, "That's not right! A mummy is a dead person in Egypt!" Oh, thank you, classical education!

Sam just turned 2. I know, I know, where did those 2 years go? And little Abi slept 7.5 hours last night! Life is good.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009


For those of you who had Miss Taylor for English at BRCS, and maybe for some of you who didn't, this poem may hold fond memories.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Daniel, Helen and I read it together for the first time a couple of days ago. It delights my heart now as the grow through the house attacking the Jabberwock and speaking of the Jubjub birds...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

1st Grade and Pre K in our house

I thought there might be one or two people who would like to see what we are doing this year for school. Really, I feel like I am in my element with homeschool. I absolutely love it. Every part of it, nearly. I love to read books about homeschooling, look through catalogues from homeschool companies, and plan every aspect of our curriculum.

We are using the Well Trained Mind approach ( a classical education meaning you teach the student how to learn) and meshing it with Sonlight books. We are now completing are 6th week and I can't believe how fast it is flying by. I think we are all having fun, but I am sure I am having the most fun!

Daniel is technically PreK and we are really stressing the basics, ABC's, counting, fine motor skills for writing. This kid could color and draw all day and loves any and all super heroes. Buckling down for school is really not his idea of a good time, but he is plugging away at it. We don't push him too hard yet. He joins Helen for Bible time and then does a little pencil excercise to help him get ready to write, works on his counting or ABC's, and then I try to read to him a bit.

Now that Helen is in 1st grade, I feel like to she is finally in school for "real." She has Bible time with Daniel. We are working through Leading Little Ones to Christ. It's a great basic theology for early elementary. While I read the lesson, they listen and draw in their Bible notebooks. Then it is on to handwriting practice which is the verse that she is memorizing at the time. Currently she is finishing up Psalm 1.

Then we switch gears to reading time. She has a book that she reads alone, then I question her on comprehension. Then I read aloud to her. Right now we are reading Homer Price. Such a cute story. She also a very short basic grammar lesson and spelling work.

Next is history. We are taking a very fun journey through the ancients this year. Like so many others I have talked to, I didn't really enjoy history when I was in school. Now, it is my favorite subject to study with Helen. We have spent the last six weeks learning about Ancient Egypt--pyramids, mummies, pharoahs and more. We have built our own pyramid with sand blocks, written on clay tablets using cunieform writing, and made clay seals like they had in ancient times. Helen is building a history notebook full of narrations from what she has learned, coloring pages, maps and her own artwork. She is also working on a time line book.

In science this year we are introducing animals, the human body, and plants. Just like history, we are making a science notebook of all the things we are learning and the experiments we do.

For math I am using Rightstart and really enjoying it. It is a hands on program that helps the student really understand numbers not just memorize facts.

On top of all of the this, Helen and Daniel have begun Thai school in the mornings. We are seeing improvement in their ability to understand and speak Thai. Helen is even writing Thai now.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

More on Abi

Pun put up the last post for me, which I am very grateful for, otherwise you wouldn't be seeing any pictures until now. I am still figuring out what our new "normal" looks like with 4 instead of 3. All you who have larger families, I can hear you smirking! :) Anyway, as with all our births, Abi decided to come late. She was our earliest birth, though, at just 6 days late! She was also my easiest and shortest labor. In fact, my friend who helped us with her birth began to call people in for her birth when I thought I still had a few hours to go. She was born 15 minutes later. And she was our smallest baby. She is such a sweet, petite little thing. The first night she only squeaked like a kitten when she woke to eat!

Our Sweet Abi...

Truly, we have all fallen head over heals for Abi. She is so easy to care for and so much fun to hold and kiss. All 3 of her brothers and sister are in love with her and fight for turns to hold her.

Helen, Daniel, and Sam

Abi and Helen share the same due date (Aug 20) so we were wondering if they would share their birthday as well. That didn't quite happen, so 4 days after Abi was born we celebrated Helen's 6th birthday with lots of friends and family.

Helen, Daniel, Sam, and Abi on Helen's birthday.

Today Helen started 1st grade and Daniel Preschool. It was a bit crazy as I am trying to figure out a new curriculum in combination with Sonlight. I think it will be a great year once I get the logistics down.

Throw in a visit from Grandma and Grandpa from Utah, some extra outings to the Crocodile Farm and Elephant Island with them and we are keeping busy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Abigail Anne Birth Announcement

Dear friends,
After 6 hours of active labor (not to mention 6 days past the due date) we welcomed Abigail Anne to the world on August 26 at 16:21 (GMT +7). She came out without a cry and started to nurse right away! Merri had a good night of sleep after only 2 hours of rest the night before. Helen, Daniel and Samuel were excited. Helen couldn't contain herself from such joy to have a little sister. Abigail was 7 lbs. 4 oz. (3.3 kgs). She was born at home, completely natura

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Home Improvements

Sam, 16 months, hanging out on the patio.

We have been in our new house, it's hard to believe, for a year and 4 months! Over the months we have been making progress, not steadily, but in spurts. Lately, lots of exciting things have been happening...

This is our front patio area. Pun put down concrete tiles and we added a table and chairs. We sometimes eat breakfast or lunch out here. It is very well shaded so it feels sort of secluded and cozy. Most recently, Pun "planted" this stump in the flower bed and then put in flowers.

We put down rocks in all the little areas where there was only dirt and then planted creeping vines to grow on the walls.

Ok, so don't look in the planter here. Look at the planter. It wasn't there before and it represents several hours of sweat and back breaking work on a very hot summer day for Pun. This wall runs along the back of our yard. The kitchen window faces it. When I do dishes this is what I see. Before we put the planter in a couple weeks back we had been throwing all our "compostable" garbage here and it was looking pretty ugly! I hated staring at it every day. But, in all that we threw out there to compost, several plants began to grow on there own including a nice tomatoe plant which has already given us 8 tomatoes (and we didn't do a thing!) What you see is what has grown up on its own, except for a couple little plants we stuck in there to see what would happen. This will be a little vegetable garden as soon as we go pick out our plants.

Our bedroom has been the last on the "honey-do" list for so many reasons, but lately we have begun to tackle it and I am so excited about this room! We have it almost all the way painted. It was supposed to be red, but when the red paint that we chose actually went up, oh boy, it was a mistake:

So we changed to a brick red terracotta sort of color. It is beautiful! (the picture really doesn't do it justice)

I would say we are 70% done. I am waiting for Pun to help me move some heavy furniture so I can finish.

This last weekend Pun put up wood shelves that he made for the two recessed spaces on either side of our balcony doors. I have been waiting and hoping for these for weeks (months, actually!) and I couldn't be more thrilled with how they turned out. Now the hard task of organizing them to be beautiful and functional awaits.

We are planning to work more this Saturday...I can hardly wait to see what we will get done!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

For Bakers and Sweet Tooths

Yesterday I had a craving for some cinnamon rolls. I had seen a few mentions on line of a certain cinnamon roll recipe that was to die for. So I tried. Oh my...

Well, I loved them, my kids were crazy about them and, here is the clincher...even Pun (who doesn't eat my desserts) was licking his fingers. I even caught him sneaking downstairs later for one more! I made a big pan and a little pan of these and we polished off the big pan in about 10 minutes. Ouch!

We ate up the little pan for breakfast this morning. I thought I should have a picture to show you but this is all I have...

Oh, and did I mention they are easy-peasy! It is a recipe for those who are afraid of making anything involving yeast. No kneading involved and it turned out to be the softest and lightest dough I have ever made. It is very simple. I did cut this recipe down to a fourth (just in case you are wondering how we put away so many cinnamon rolls!) And the frosting is made with coffee. Yummy! The great thing about making these for me is that all the ingredients are easy for me to get (except the maple flavoring, I substituted vanilla) and they are also inexpensive. I am in the process (and I think that this will take years) of learning to cook with the different ingredients and methods for food prep available here to produce the foods I love. This recipe is a keeper!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hello again (part 2)

I meant to do all this in one post, but then my pictures messed up and it was just easier to separate it into two posts.

So, I was saying, shortly after we got home from Chaing Rai, my parents came for a visit. The kids were counting down the days until Grandma and Grandpa arrived. Having my mom here was such a help. She really took care of our family while I felt so pukey.

Helen and Daniel took some walks down our street with Grandpa.

We also spent some time painting, which was a lot of fun because Grandma and Grandpa painted! What you will do for your grandkids...

Daniel turned 4 while my parents were here. We celebrated the ususal way with cake

and presents.

Helen couldn't wait to try on Daniel's new pirate suit!

Sam really bonded well with my Dad and my Mom.

At the crocodile farm...crazy man putting his head in the croc's mouth and the kids and Mom holding a baby tiger.

Helen showing off her Northern Thai Tribal costume

We have also been hard at work trying to get more done on our house. It is amazing how much time it seems to take! Such a long list of projects I have for Pun (and me, too) to "finish" house. Our favorite phrase these days is "little by little". I will post pictures of this soon.

So I am back online. There is much to tell. I will try to be faithful and continue sharing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hello again

Yes, yes, I know it has been awhile. Of course, lots of things have been going on since I last wrote. The main reason I have been away so long (if you don't already know) is that I am 19 weeks pregnant. I have finally reached a point of "normalcy" in this pregnancy. It seemed to take me longer this time to get over the morning sickness and I have just been so tired. I am due late August and we are so excited to meet another new baby!

Though I have been under the weather we have still kept relatively busy. Over the new year we went with our dear friends up to the village where they have been working for years writing down the people's language and then translating the Bible book by book as well as several other cultural type books. It was, to say the least, a fascinating experience and one that endeared us to these people. Here are a few pictures:

The annual Christmas party for everyone in the village

A guest at the party

Going on a hike through rice fields

Daniel and his best buddy

Northern Thai children performing music at the market

Burmese monks at the Thai-Burmese border

And of course, a few wild life pictures. One sad little gecko who just lost his tail!

And a very large spider in the tree.
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