I decided it would be fun to really focus on some of the things that fascinate Jack, throughout the Summer. He loves to look things up online, but I've felt like we haven't had enough time to really learn enough about the things he wants to, so the summer is the perfect time! This week we learned a lot about Volcanoes. We have an awesome book about them, we made volcanoes on paper, colored pictures of volcanoes, watched eruptions online, and the highlight by far was making our own out of playdough and making it erupt over and over and over again. I'm scared to think what will happen when I decide we need to throw it away!
We started researching bugs, and even found a fun and informative bug book the other day that we've loved! Jack's the driving force behind all this stuff, but I'm loving it just as much as he is. It's fascinating to learn about a ladybug's spots, how many stomachs an ant has, or why wolf spiders are our friends. Who knew?
Our friends, the Lee family, recently found out they have to move back to Washington D.C., and they leave this week! They've only been here for less than a year, and the news was sudden, so I definitely wasn't ready to see them go! Rachael has been a good friend since they first arrived. She's one of those people who is just easy to be friends with. Easy to talk with, easy to get together with, and easy to relate to. They're leaving a big hole in our ward, but we're hoping their new ward will appreciate what they're getting!
Jack is always SO excited to get together with the Lee's because he LOVES Cameron. He always wants to hold him, walk with him, and make him laugh. Cameron is such a happy kid and just smiles and laughs at everything Jack does! Jane and McKaila are a lot closer in age than the boys, but they really don't get along for the most part. This picture was taken when we had dinner together this week, and we were all shocked at how well they did that evening, because normally there is lots of screaming, spitting, and pulling. To say the least, they don't bring out the best in each other. Sad, but true. I'm hoping this night was a turning point, as I'm watching Cameron and McKaila tomorrow while the movers are packing their stuff! This picture reflects well how much fun they had together that night.
The next day, we had Jack's other girly friend, Scarlett, come spend some time with us. They ended up swimming in our pool in their underwear. It was so fun to watch them be so silly together, but also how grown up they've become in just their one year of school together. I wished I'd taken a picture of the two of them this time. Jack's been so blessed to make such wonderful friends here!
Remember Narissa? She and Jack have been such close friends since the first day they were together. On one of my very first posts, I have a picture of them sitting together in a car cart at a grocery store. They have always gotten along perfectly and never seem to get sick of each other! Anyway... Narissa's family moved into a new place and it is beautiful! The pool area is better than any resort I could imagine. There are several different kiddy pools with fountains, a water slide, and a lazy river. It's amazing! We went over last week and again this week and we always have a fun time with them. Jane and Alena get along really well too, but unfortunately I didn't get a good shot of them. I think this is one of my all time favorites.
We packed in our playdates this week, if you can't tell! Jack's friend, Kazuya, is moving back to Japan next month, so we are trying to get in some fun playtime before he goes. It's a little bit of a challenge when he's in summer school almost full time everyday (which is pretty common here), but we took him on Saturday while his mom was working on moving stuff, and we loved having him with us! He is SUCH a good kid! We went to this fun new bookstore/library in the mall, which had an awesome area for the kids. This picture's terrible, but it kind of shows the idea of this wall of honeycomb-like structure with the tall bookshelves. They loved climbing all over this to get books.
Jane found a little "pod" for her and her friends to read in. It was pretty high, so I had to lift her, but she thought it was the best.
Kazuya is such a great kid. He and Jack are super silly together, and both really affectionate, so it was fun to see them walk with their arms around each other, hold hands, or wrestle. I love this stage, and I am sad for when it fades and they are too cool for that!
It still amazes me that here in Bangkok, I have family! Isn't it such a small world? How many of my family members are living overseas? Very few. Yet, two of us are living in the same city! We've loved spending time with Rikker and Kaw over here. It's especially been a treat to watch them go from a young married couple, to pregnant, to parents of an infant, and now experienced parents of a 7 month old! Their little Leslie is so darling and happy! They just returned from the States two weeks ago, and since they left Thailand her schedule's been off, but you'd never know it based on our experience with her tonight. She was an angel the entire time they were here, even with Jack clobbering her the whole time! I don't think he got more than three feet from her the entire evening. He loved holding her, getting her toys, crawling with her, and all the slobbery zubbers he could get! I thought this was a good one of Rikker and Kaw, but Jack was making funny faces (I wonder where he gets that?) and little Leslie's eyes were closed!
Here's one where you can see her big, beautiful eyes and cute grin. Rikker and Kaw are such sweet parents and it will be fun to see what character traits Leslie develops from the both of them. There are certainly plenty of good ones to choose from!
I've been thinking a lot this week about how our time here is quickly drawing to a close. We're starting to attempt the planning of our last several months here as we try to fit in the things we have yet to do. Thailand is not a huge country, but somehow two years hasn't been enough time for us to see it all when we have to worry about actually living, not just being tourists! It's hard for me to think about closing the door on this chapter of our life. I'm so grateful for what a fantastic opportunity this has been, but in many ways, it's made me hunger for more. Until our time here, I didn't realize it, but I was like a person who's never been outdoors before. Traveling during my college summers gave me my first peek out the window. Living abroad has let me get out on the porch, smell the air, and feel the wind. From the porch, I can see for miles and miles all the things I have yet to see and experience. There is just so much out there for us to see, so many people we haven't met, and before I was here, I don't think I realized it.