Saturday, January 30, 2010

Prune-ilicious...

Our poor, sweet girl got a little "backed up" last week so we introduced her to some 'tasty' prunes...
... this was her reaction :)

video

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thailand- Day 4 & 5

Day 4: One of Team 2000's church plants (Bethel church) is in a rural area called Chachengsao, a little over an hour outside of Chonburi. Dave & Louise Sinclair-Peters are the ones who branched off from the Chonburi team, to get it going. And what a church it is!! Its basically just a roof with partial walls and is located, literally, in "the sticks." :) Its out in the middle of a field and the shanty houses that surround it, aren't much more than slabs of tin & wood thrown together.
But let me tell you... these Thai believers really know how to praise the Lord! There were probably only about 40-45 people (including our team & the YWAM team) but that just added to the close-knit feel of it. The church service was one of the most genuine & touching things I've ever been a part of. Although the worship songs were sung in Thai, they were all songs we knew and we were able to sing along in English. It was moving to watch the mix of Thai & North American people, coming together in worship like that.
One of our team members, Paul, preached the sermon & had it translated for the Thai people. He did a fantastic job! And then after the service, we all cleared out the chairs & set up tables for lunch. I loved the fact that Bethel church always eats together after a service. It brought about such a sense of community.

Getting ready to feast together...

Before digging in, I made sure to ask one of the English-speaking Thai girls, if the food was spicy. She quickly reassured me that it wasn't because they knew that not all of the North Americans would like it. But after one bite of the curry dish, I thought my throat was literally going to start on fire! I laughed and said, "if this is what you call non-spicy, I don't want to know what spicy is!" None the less, the food was incredible and the company, even better.

Jon volunteered to help with the dishes after the meal, but it took a lot of convincing to the sweet Thai ladies that had prepared the meal. They're not quick to accept help :) But eventually, they finally gave in, and thought he was the sweetest thing because of it :)


Some of the Bethel children...

Louise Sinclair-Peters enjoying a little Callie time...
(** Oh, and if you're wondering what is around Callie's neck, it was a little gel-filled bandana that stays cool when you wet it. It was one of the only ways to keep her cool in the scorching heat!)

Sunday evening was spent back at the TLC church in Bangsaen, and was again, a delightful time of praise & worship. We didn't stay in the service for the sermon though because we had the opportunity to go upstairs & help out with the children's ministry. We put on a skit for the kids & then did a craft with them. I quickly realized that pretty much every kid on earth is the same in that they love a good craft that involves stickers & bright colours :) I couldn't wipe the smile off my face as I watched them get creative & chatter in excitement about what they had made.

After church, Ricky gave us a tour of TLC and spent some time sharing their goals & visions for the next years of ministry in Chonburi. So if you think of it, please pray for the missionaries and the ministry they're doing in Thailand. They have hearts of gold and want desperately, to see continual growth in having Thai people come to know the Lord. They will need both prayer & resources to continue the work there, but we know that God is faithful and will meet their needs. I'm excited to see what the Lord is going to do in the years ahead in Thailand!

Highlight from Day #4: For me, (and I know I can speak for Jon as well) being a part of both the Bethel church service, as well as the TLC service, was incredibly special. It was unbelievably beautiful to feel so connected to people we didn't even know & worship the same God, together. The Holy-Spirit is very much living & active in the hearts of the Thai believers and we felt richly blessed to be a part of such an intimate time of worship.
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Day 5: A day at the zoo! Monday was our "day off" so we met up with the YWAM team, as well as the TREK'ers, and enjoyed a day exploring the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo...






Ricky made sure that we got in on all the shows and first up, was the crocodile show. Let's just say... these people must live each day, wondering if today's the day they'll die on the job! I couldn't believe the stuff they did with these crocodiles and had to agree with our teammate Tracy, when she said, "honestly... I will need some serious counselling if we're the one crowd that ends up seeing these people get eaten by a crocodile!"
Thankfully... we didn't :)


Intrigued by the crocs...

Probably the toughest woman I've ever seen...


Hanging on for dear life... the suspense was too much ;)

At the end of the show, you could pay to sit on the crocodile. Ricky jumped at the chance :)
This was something that Ricky would call and "OIT" moment...
... "Only in Thailand!"

Next was the tiger show...

Again, very impressive but I found myself feeling very sorry for these animals...


And last but not least, the elephant show. Probably my favorite of the 3 shows...

Elephant massaging one of the YWAM girls...


Our teammate Cecil, also getting a massage...
just not as pleasant as Leah's :)


Carolyn, another one of our team members, catching a lift...

Jon and I taking a ride on an elephant...

... very fun, but a very bumpy ride!

Baby Callie with Baby elephant... :)
And last but not least, the highlight of the day (especially for Callie!) was getting to play with the baby tigers! It only cost 150 baht (about $5 CAN) to go in the pen, and have your picture taken with them. Callie was entirely taken by these furry little creatures and was surprisingly gentle with them. I thought she would try to pull their hair, but she just stroked them gently and stared in amazement...


The little guy on the ground beside me, kept scratching at my foot & trying to play with it. Guess he was feeling left out... :)


"Can you even believe this!? I'm actually holding a baby tiger!"

There were bunnies in the pen too. Seems random, but a whole lot of cuteness in one place...

Highlight from Day 5: As I said, definitely the baby tigers! Cutest things ever!! :)

~~ STAY TUNED FOR DAY 6 & 7... COMING SOON!!~~

Monday, January 25, 2010

On its way...

The next installment of Thailand should be up for your viewing in the next day or two. Sorry its such a slow process--- it takes a lot of thought to write out each of our experiences, as well as a lot of time to sort through all of the pictures. So, thanks for your patience. Days 4 & 5 are coming soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Belated Christmas pictures...

I know its already the middle of January, but I still wanted to post some pictures from our first Christmas with Callie. Although she had no idea what all the fuss was about, it was still fun to watch her stare at the Christmas tree, help unwrap the presents & watch her cousins in total amazement, as they got excited about their gifts. We thought that Christmas would feel chaotic this year, considering we only arrived home from Thailand a couple of days before, but it actually ended up being one of our nicest Christmases yet, and was surprisingly relaxing.

First up, Glen family Christmas (Dec. 23)...


Lounging on her Auntie & cousin-to-be...

(Dec. 24) Christmas Eve with Grammy Glen...

Callie's Christmas Eve outfit was pretty special.
The dress is hand-smocked & came from Callie's Great-Great Aunt Norma in South Africa. The booties were the ones I wore as a baby...


(Dec. 25) Christmas morning at home...

VERY excited about her breakfast...

"Cheeeeese!"

Opening her very first present with Daddy...



Christmas afternoon nap...

Sporting one of her Christmas presents from Mommy & Daddy...

Christmas afternoon at Auntie Naomi & Uncle Erich's house.
Opening gifts from U. Erich, A. Naomi, Konrad, Ava & Calvin...



Sitting with Auntie Susie before bed time...

Our little card shark...

She really thought through her game strategy...

Esau family Christmas (Dec. 31).
Opening her stocking from Grandma & Grandpa E...
(* note: do not be fooled...
Callie doesn't & has never, sucked on a soother.
She just uses them as teething toys & chews them to death.)

"Aww thanks! Its what I've always wanted!"


A common sight over the Christmas holidays...
Callie & Uncle Juergen spending some quality time together.
She loves him, and I'm pretty sure the feelings are reciprocated... :)

Checking out the snow with Grandpa...
All in all a fairly busy Christmas, but none the less, relaxing and enjoyable!
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And a quick update on Callie...

She turned 6 months on Dec. 30 and weighed in at 18 lbs. 11 oz. at her 6 mth. check-up. They didn't measure her but I know she's grown a lot in length too. She's officially outgrown her infant car seat now, which was sad & great all at the same time. The pro is that I don't have to lug her around in the bucket seat anymore and put my back out doing so. But the con is that its just more proof that my baby is growing up!
She is changing at a rapid pace and is now sitting on her own, clapping her hands (though she claps on the back of her hand rather than her palms together :)), and has proven to LOVE swimming. We took her to the pool for the first time last Friday, and it was as if she had been swimming a thousand times before. She kept trying to get onto her belly and kept her legs kicking and hands splashing, the whole time. I had a feeling she would enjoy the pool, as bath time is her absolute favorite time of the day, but it was really exciting to see just how much she loved swimming. We're going to try to take her on a regular basis now and I might even join a Mom & Tot swim class at the leisure centre.
She's been on solids since we got home from Thailand and has yet to reject any type of food. She has never once spit anything out (even the first time we gave her cereal, she took to it instantly) and gets extremely excited every time its time to eat. So far, her taste buds have responded wonderfully to rice cereal, oatmeal cereal w/ apples, peas, green beans, squash, mixed veggies w/ chicken, mixed veggies w/ rice & chicken, carrots, sweet potatoes & pears. In fact, I'm pretty sure she would eat all day long if I let her :)
The other big milestone for the 6 month mark is that she's finally sleeping through the night again. Last night was another glorious gift when she slept from 7:30pm til 7:40am (and then went back down til 9:30am after a quick feed). I can't believe how much of a difference uninterrupted sleep makes for me! Its been awesome and I've been extremely thankful. Other than that, we're just soaking in the time we have with our baby and praying that she'll stop growing up so fast. She is truly the light of our lives & each new stage with her is even more fun than the last.