27 January 2008

Jeff... my Thai pop star

We've had some really good moments this week. Unfortunately, not many that we got pictures of, but overall, it's been a good one. We had plenty to do, and got to enjoy lots of friends this week. I just wish I would have pulled out my camera a little more (particularly when Jack jumped in the pool and swam to the side all by himself, or when he had a big breakthrough on his violin) Things are just getting to be so normal here now that although I almost always have my camera with me (just in case we see the extraordinary), I often think, we've got LOTS of pictures like that! BUT, I've looked back on my blog a bit this week, and there isn't anything that I wish I wouldn't have taken pictures of, so I guess I taught myself a lesson this week! Also, looking back, I've realized how grown up Jane's become. She really has grown up so much since we've been here, and it's fun to look back and read about her taking her first steps down by the pool at our first hotel, or discovering that she loves rice. All those people that tell you to keep records of things, they really know what they're talking about!

My friend, Catherine, came over on Friday with her kids and we had a great visit! Jack and the twins played together really well (3 can be a hard number at times), and Jane and Madeline really played together for the first time ever, as opposed to just being in the same place. It was really fun to watch. They dressed up in some of Jane's favorites, then played in Jane's bed and with her little dish set. Madeline is a really sweet girl, and I think it was really good for Jane to be the older friend, as opposed to her usual role of being the youngest around when we're with Jack's friends.

Yesterday, we started the day off with story time at the library. Several months ago, I got into a conversation with one of the women at the library only to discover that she is the one in charge of the children's programs and has many of her own children's books published and in every bookstore in Bangkok. We'd read her stuff, so it was fun to meet her and make the connection. She asked if I'd be willing to read for story time sometime, and so this was my week! We read a few silly books about ducks, water, and boats, then made a simple craft. It was really fun to be the one reading to the children, but I was a nerd and thought I was starting late, but really started early, and didn't realize it until later. Why no one there said anything is beyond me! Luckily, the craft went on for a while, so whoever wanted to participate was able to. I would love for them to ask me again, but after that, would you? I don't even have a cool British or Australian accent like all the other storytellers. The way I read one of the stories didn't even rhyme because of my American accent, but then how does it sound to only say one word with the accent. Dumb, I tell you. Jack says some words with British accents and even though it sounds just like all his British friends, it sounds silly when he only says one word with the accent. Like "mirror" pronounced "mirrah". He was completely convinced this was the only way to say this word.

Jack quickly plopped down on this beanbag with a book, completely content! I love that my children enjoy reading so much!

After the library, we went to Anutra's work to get our pictures taken for some advertisements they are doing at an education fair next weekend. It was funny to pretend we were in class while the camera is shooting away. Jack was not so excited about it, but Anutra wisely came prepared with chocolates to keep even my tired kids happy. We went out for lunch after with Anutra, Bird, and Faa (with her boyfriend) and Kung showed up to surprise the kids. Sorry, this picture really is not good.

Jane was particularly fond of Bird yesterday. Everytime he went out of sight (like to park the car), she was looking for him saying, "Khun Bird, Khun Bird". She would snuggle right up to him, or run into his arms, and made sure she got to sit by him while we ate. He was loving this, of course! Anutra got a really cute one of Jane kissing him on his cheek, but I missed it, dang it!

Jack hadn't seen Faa in a very long time, due to Faa's new job at a school 2 hours outside the city, and her new boyfriend. It took a bit, but he warmed right up to her again. We've missed her!

Kung was especially fond of Jane this time. We went for ice cream afterward, and Jane sat inside with Anutra and Bird, while the rest of us were on the opposite side of the window (see the reflection of Jack?). Kung had gone in to help Jane with her ice cream and was wiping her mouth at every bite, I thought this was hilarious because this is very typical of how kids are treated by their nannies here. I love Kung, and her pampering Jane like this is just fine, but can you imagine having someone do everything for your kids like this, all the time? Not that all nannies do, but it makes me laugh when I see Nannies following kids around the playground with every bite of food.

I guess you could call this our front yard. This is basically the grass by the lobby where we wait for Jack to come home on the bus, or hang out while we wait for a Taxi or tuk-tuk. It's nice to be out, but my goodness, it's getting hot! Some days I'm glad the sun sets here around 5pm (remember that our horizon is high rise buildings!).

Monday, I met a friend at the park (Nancy, who I met at the orphanage a year ago) to visit and play with the kids on the playground. There was also a family there, the Wood family, who we struck up a conversation with about 5 minutes before we needed to go. I found out they were from northern Idaho and visit Asia occasionally as Christian missionaries. They had just returned from a month in India and have a few weeks in Bangkok before heading home. We didn't get to visit much, but exchanged cards in case they needed anything. The whole way home I kept thinking about traveling around Asia like that with two children and how wearing that probably is. I really admired their dedication to serving the people of Asia. I decided to invite them over and hope they didn't think I was a nut case for doing it. They were so sweet to come all the way across the city to spend a Sunday evening with us, even when they had been feeling a little under the weather. Their children, James and Mary Ann, played so well with Jack and Jane, and Jeff and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Jon and Natalie. We wish them the best of luck as they continue with their efforts to spread the word throughout Asia.

Our bishop came over last night and called me to the Primary presidency. I was pretty sure they'd keep me in nursery for the entire 2 years we were here, so this was a big surprise. As fun as it always is to mix things up a bit, I'm a bit anxious to find out who will be taking care of "my kids" in the nursery, and I was a bit sad today to think that I will have to turn that over to someone else (is this a controlling side coming out of me?). I haven't been in Primary since Jeff and I were first married, so really, I think this will be a fun adventure for me. I was even more excited when I discovered I'd be serving with two incredible women who I can learn so much from. Hopefully we can continue what our incredible primary workers were doing before, and add a little something of our own!

Ever since we got here, people have told Jeff that he looks like a Thai pop star named Noy (I think that's his name, Thai friends, help me out!). Anutra even brought a picture over for us to see and insists they look alike. We think this is hilarious. He's since been on a new campaign for Pepsi Max and is now all over the city. What do you think? Does this guy look like Jeff? Is this why so many girls randomly tell Jeff he's so handsome on the train? Because he's even more handsome than this famous guy?

Maybe if we zoom in just a little, you can see the resemblance:

Sorry ladies, he's taken.


Andrew & Vanessa and kids said...

Oh, you guys, you make me laugh so hard!
Is that bench in the "new" part they were working on during my visit? I'm so glad that you are meeting such amazing people. I think of YOU in their shoes and I know how grateful they are that they meet a happy, smiling face who will help them! You're the best - I miss Thailand!

Joanna said...

He DOES look like a superstar! He should start signing autographs and charging for pictures with him! Congrats on your new calling. You'll be so great at it!

zippa said...

I don't know how you do it. You are always doing something, so fun! Your kids are getting so big, still dang cute!! We miss you guys. Jeff the super star, definatley seeing the resemblence. You will be wonderful in the primary. Have a fun week:)

Carol said...

Mindy can I tell you how happy I am to read your blogs? You are going to be an amazing Primary leader! Keep taking those pictures I've watched the kids grow up as well. Love ya tons! Oh, and this weekend's broadcast (byutv.org) is a tribute to President Hinckley. You'll love it.

Pink said...

hahaha.... Mindy, you know what ... when we first saw Jeff .... we were joking that Jeff was this guy.

Team Hanni said...

There is a resemblance. How funny. Congrats on the Primary calling. I LOVE PRIMARY!!! They are lucky to have you!

Mimi and Papa in Provo said...

Yes, Jeff is just like the Rock Star only cuter! How is his voice and electric guitar coming? Maybe you guys can make some money on the side for that Teak furniture you've been looking at. Hey, what ever happened with that? Did you order some? Wow, tell Jack that Mimi is so proud of him and his water antics! We lova lova love you!