Isn't family wonderful? I always knew that I loved my family, but not being with them for so long on a daily basis makes me appreciate them even more! What a blessing it has been to have Mom and Dad here this week! They arrived Thursday night around midnight and looked as fresh and excited as if they had just had a good night's sleep! Unfortunately, that's not really possible an an airplane, but it sounds like they did get to sleep some, which is a better way to start out a visit, I think.
Basically, our week did not begin until Mom and Dad arrived, because Monday-Thursday was pretty much spent in preparation for them. Until this week, I can't remember staying home for a full morning of cleaning/organizing. That's probably while my house needed it so badly! It was actually nice to go through some things and get rid of "stuff" that we don't use or need, in preparation for our house guests.
We started Friday off bright and early with taking Mom and Dad on their first tuk-tuk ride to drop Jack off at school. Jack loved showing them off on the playground and sharing his classroom with them. The morning was filled with Jane's swim class and a trip to the hospital for a part to Mom's sleeping machine. Not very "touristy" things, right? You're right, but my motto is work first, play next. We decided if Dad was going to get a suit made, we'd better get it started right away, allowing for any necessary fittings. This place was recommended to us by a friend, and is also the place where the missionaries all go for their stuff. So, we felt like we were in good hands. We hope. Here's the street this shop was on.
It was totally this back ally that no one would ever be able to find, unless they were looking. We pretty much went straight to the source for the best bargain. This guy does most of his business through expensive hotels, but we opted not to pay for the location and just pay for the clothes.
This is where the clothes are made, or somewhere like this. There were a bunch of different shops along this road, but I wasn't sure exactly where DAD's suit was going to be made. Interesting.
These sweet kids were playing and running around all over this shop street. They got such a kick out of practicing their "hello" on us, and LOVED that I was taking pictures of them that they could see after.
We ate Japanese for dinner, and went home to celebrate Mom's 61st birthday with a "Hello Kitty" cake! Do we live in Asia or what? We LOVE "Hello Kitty"! Jack and Janie were so excited about surprising Mimi with this. The whole way home, Jack kept whispering in my ear, "cake, cake, cake!". Is my mom cute or what?
I'm amazed at how well my parents are handling the jet-lag since they've gotten here. I guess it's easy to stay awake during the day when you've got TWO children that don't want to leave your side! Considering Mom was in the hospital with bloodclots less than a month ago, she's been especially amazing. We spent Saturday morning on a long tail boat for a canal tour, which we all really enjoyed. The bright stripes is actually the roof of the boat we took.
My family of four enjoying the boat ride. My kids LOVE boats, tuk-tuks, trains, etc. I think they get the love of transportation from Mimi. She's always loved it! Notice Jane's butterfly headband. I can't believe she doesn't get tired of wearing those things!
Mimi and Papa in front, enjoying the view. We saw lots of Thai homes along the canal, temples, hungry fish, a crocodile farm (where we just stopped to use the restroom), and my favorite, naked Thai kids swimming in the water! The joys of youth! I think one of the coolest parts was when the boat went through a lock, where the water has to even out, so they close off doors to level it off with us in it. Very interesting.
We had the boat driver drop us off at the pier by Wat Pho. I've written about Wat Pho before, but I'm not sure I've posted pictures. This was my 3rd time here, but still I really enjoyed a quick visit. It's quite stunning and very unique. It was SO crowded, so this is the best picture I could get, but we'll take it!
Just outside of the temple, before finding the bathrooms where you have to pay for toilet paper. Gotta love it. Isn't the architecture beautiful?
After one heck of a time finding a taxi, we finally got home with two sleeping children. We enjoyed a nice evening at home, while Dad and Jeff went home teaching. Like I said, I'm amazed at my parent's stamina after such a long trip. They are so good to be open to every situation, very patient, helpful with Jack and Jane, and I feel like they are really starting to see what makes Thailand so wonderful. That's really nice.
My sweet Jane has had a little cold this week, and therefore has had trouble sleeping. This, on top of a new sleeping arrangement made for some interesting nights. TWO different nights, Jeff, Jack, and I all ended up in Jack's room with Jane sleeping in her crib in our room with a completely empty king size bed. Ridiculous. So, last night, I decided I would try letting her just fall asleep on our bed, instead of her crib. Wow! She went to sleep (with glasses on) and slept better than she has in 3 nights! We've been putting off the whole "big bed" thing, just not wanting to deal with it yet, especially before our trips this month and next, but now are wondering if she might be ready? We're not sure, but we're at least open to it now. We'll see.
Want to win my children's hearts? Read them a book! Mimi and Papa figured this one out with their grandkids years ago. I love these moments.
Mom and Dad have been such good sports to try every different mode of transportation you can imagine! I always think of our ways of getting around as "like a ride at Disneyland, but not nearly as safe". Unfortunately, this is the truth, but it's what we do here. This is life, so what can you do? Smile and enjoy. That's what they've done, and it sure makes it fun. Here's Mimi and Papa and the kids on the way home the other night.
So, what's next? SO much! But, the best thing in the future will be the arrival of my sister, Vanessa! I'm so anxious to pick her up tomorrow night and let her join in on the fun. Can you believe she's leaving her four sweet children to come for a week? Thank you Andrew and Roseanne for making it happen! It's always been too long since I've seen my sisters. In my dreams, I have flown over my entire family so we could be together here. I guess that's the only bad thing about having such a wonderful family. It's just not always possible to all be together at once. But honestly, if that's as bad as it gets... I'll take it.