08 July 2008

Catch up

Jeff mentioned that we had a full Sunday and that is why I am (again!) late with my usual Sunday post. Little did we know that on top of being exhausted from a busy Sunday (isn’t Sunday supposed to be a day of rest? I’ve got to work on that!), I was also getting sick. Not fun. I had about 24 hours of fever and terrible aching. As I sent Jeff off to work on Monday morning, I didn’t know how I was going to cope. Plus, I felt terrible because I was supposed to go to IDC (Immigration Detention Center) with him to take the Dhakals things they’ve been without for too long. A dear man in the ward suddenly called Jeff up, and asked if he could visit the Dhakal family with him. In no time, it was arranged for him to meet Jeff on Tuesday with all the supplies for the Dhakal family, plus some serious medication for me. Thanks to him, we knew the Dhakal family would be taken care of, and Jeff could arrange to come home and take care of me! What a blessing!

Now that I'm feeling a bit better, I'm ready to start playing catch up! Because of our fun trip to Khao Yai last weekend, I forgot to post a couple of my favorite pictures from the previous week. Jack had a short day, so we had some extra play time together and made the most of it by heading to the pool! Jane loves water, like I've said a million times, but our pool is COLD, so she mostly just plays beside it with her dishes, or around it with Jack. I don't care what she does, she has fun!

I loved this series of my two together. Very typical of trying to capture a decent picture of them together. Trying to do what mom asks...

getting a little silly...

and I've lost them completely, but who cares? I LOVE watching them together!

There have been a few things lately that have indicated that maybe we've been in Bangkok too long. For one, for a split second, while the kids were playing in the pool (above) and I was sitting beside the pool watching, playing, and reading my book, I actually thought, "I sure wish someone would come and take my order for a smoothie!". Usually, when we're relaxing by a pool somewhere in Thailand, that's what happens, but I'm embarrassed that I'm getting used to it.

Another one is that it seems totally normal to me here to take many of my clothing repairs to someone else, rather than doing them myself. I've repaired a few things, replaced buttons, fixed a seam, but almost anything beyond that, I just take it to the streets! This lady replaced a zipper, took one of Jeff's shirts down a size, and repaired some pants, all for 100 baht (~$3)! Just can't beat it.

I know I probably mention "mom guilt" way too often, but feel it when my kids are completely unaware of normal American things... like Slurpees. We were walking along and it was really hot, so I marched Jack into a 7-11 for water, but I found a Slurpee machine! I was thrilled, and immediately started filling one up. Jack stood in awe and finally asked, "Mom, what is that?". As he realized how delicious it was, he kept asking, "what do you call this again?". Sigh. I felt it again when Jack asked me the other day what hot chocolate was. Double sigh. Have we been here too long, or am I just not doing my part as an American mother?

So, moving on. Jane was invited to a trial ballet class for 2 year olds. I thought it would be a total joke, but honestly, she loved it and did really well! I was doing most of it with her, so I didn't get many action shots, but it was a fun time, and who can not enjoy seeing Jane in tights and a leotard. She was the most beautiful ballerina there!

Jane especially loved running around in circles and using all the fun props. Wings, tiaras, scarfs, and baskets with petals. She is such a girl, and I'm loving every minute of it.

These are the Flammers from Logan, Utah. They are in our ward, but we've never had a chance to get to know them because they live about 11 hours south of Bangkok. They come up when they can, but it is quite a trek! They are about 18 months into a 27 month contract with the Peace Corps, and I am completely in awe of what they are doing down there! I like to think that if Jeff and I didn't choose to start our family so soon, we would have done something as adventurous and selfless as they have, but we both agreed that we probably wouldn't have had the guts! So, here's to people who leave their comfort zones way behind!

One of our biggest adventures this week was just getting home! We got off the train and it was raining - no big deal, right? It wouldn't have been if we could have gotten a truck to take us down our soi, but they were all full! So, rather than waiting another 10 minutes, we chose to just walk it. We knew what we were in for, so Jeff put Jane on his shoulders, Jack was willing to swim, and I rolled up my pants, which just happened to be white. So smart. At one point, the water was up to Jack's behind. Thank goodness for an adventurous little boy! If you can't tell, they actually are walking on the sidewalk.

So, how do you celebrate the 4th of July in Thailand? Lucky for me, I ran into an American at the Chokchai farm last weekend who let us know about an awesome Independence Day Picnic put on by the American Chamber of Commerce. I was thrilled! We spent Saturday afternoon at a park full of Americans, which felt really weird to begin with, but eventually it felt just right. I got to eat delicious Mexican food, Jeff and Jack got hot dogs off the grill, and Jane ate free Dairy Queen ice cream. Hey, it's the 4th of July!

They had soldiers in uniform standing at attention for a while, and whether it was intended or not, they turned into picture props. Mostly for the Thais who were there, they just took turns standing with them and taking pictures. I watched these young men have absolutely no expression through all of this and wondered if they were loving or hating it. Jack was in awe, and as I explained to him what they do and why they do it, I got pretty emotional. It was nice to watch understanding dawn on my little boy as he realized these men are real life heroes.

I didn't really want to pose by the soldiers (give them a break!), but the kids were excited to salute like them!

Do you think Jane likes Jack or something?

They had a nice program with the soldiers posting the colors, the singing of the national anthem, and the ambassador reading a part of the Declaration of Independence. It was nice to have something that felt familiar on one of the best holidays of the year. I missed our usual traditions with the family, and this didn't quite replace it, but it was nice to have something to help us celebrate being Americans. What a blessing it is!

The park was full of games, treats, and blow up toys to play on. Jack did everything else, then had his sights set on this one. He waited in line for almost 45 minutes to climb this big blow-up climbing wall. When he got up there to do it, the pegs were way too far apart for him, which probably explains why everyone else in the line was at least 3 years older than he was. But, this kid was determined! He did his very best, and after getting a bit frustrated, Ming Wei, who had just shown up, grabbed the rope and pulled him the rest of the way up! Way to go, Jack!

The big finale of the day was the fireworks show, which was amazing! I thought it would be a nice, small show with maybe a few overhead. Oh, no. It was amazing! They were huge, and right over our heads, and went on forever! I was so impressed, and once I thought of it, realized I shouldn't have been surprised. Americans aren't known for doing things "small". Jeff, Jack, and I loved the fireworks, but Jane wasn't too excited about the noise, poor girl. She was so looking forward to them, but I forgot to warn her about the noise! She probably would have enjoyed them more from a little bit farther away! Notice Jack's feet in this picture. Muddy and shoeless. His shoes were nowhere to be found after the climbing wall, and the water from the dunk take flooded a good part of the park, so we were all a little muddy on the way home. It's been almost 2 years here that we have left our shoes unattended all over the place, and the place where his shoes go missing is at an event full of Americans! Someone must not know the rule of leaving with the shoes that you came with.

On to Sunday. Yes, it was busy! But, in a good way. We met a family at church from Phoenix, AZ, and invited them for dinner. It was fun to try a couple of new recipes (I don't do this very often right now!), and have some new company! Scott comes here on business a lot, but we'd never met. He just happened to bring his wife, Dana, and daughter Janice with him this time. Jack was totally enthralled with Janice the entire time and she was amazing with him! After we put a completely exhausted Janie to bed, Jeff and I were able to have a nice visit with Scott and Dana.

So now that you've spent all this time reading about our week, I hope you haven't regretted it. I realize I'm super wordy, but in some ways, I'd rather write more than less, just so I don't forget. I know myself, and I know I remember things better when I write them down. Although I am feeling better, I'm still not at the top of my game, but hoping I can be soon so I can really enjoy having Jack home with Janie and I full time for just 2 short months. I'm looking for fun science, art, and cooking ideas to fill our summer time with, so any ideas you've got, or websites you use, pass them along!


Bethany said...

I think I have told you this before, but I just LOVE your pictures of Jack and Jane together. They are so cute and you can tell they adore each other. Love, love, love it!

Joanna said...

We had Flammers in our ward in Nibley. Mike and Lauretta (Lauretta actually went on tour with us to Europe and was Abbie's preschool teacher!). Maybe they're related?
I LOVE reading your blog. Usually I have to do it in shifts because of kid interruptions, but you never disappoint! Keep it up! Love you!

Bevany said...

Your kids are seriously the cutest things ever. The picture of them looking at each other is the best ever. Jane looks adorable. I love your blog too. You have such an exciting life. Yay that you found a 4th of July celebration over there. Looks like tons of fun.

jaci said...

MINDY, aren't those flammer's fascinating? Brittany was one of my first roommates in college. SMALL WORLD! They amaze me, completely. I am so glad you got to get a piece of their wonderfulness. If you see them again, tell them you are my cousin!

Bevany said...

ps- I love that Jack and Jane are reading Superfude. That's such a fun book. pps- Where did you get Jane's red shirt? It's so cute! And...I love your new template. I might copy you.