26 October 2008

Fay is HERE!

We've been SO spoiled this week to have Auntie Fay here! She arrived on Tuesday evening and has been an awesome addition to our family. We just wish we could keep her!

Jack was extremely excited that she was coming, even though, honestly, we haven't ever had this much time with her before. You would hardly have known it; Jack and Jane took to her like they'd spent days and days with her before. And why wouldn't they? She's a grandma of two boys and two girls, very close to their ages, so it's safe to say, she knows kids!

We have spent our days doing fun, some touristy, and some not-so touristy things. Here's a quick run-down of some of our favorite moments during the week.

Fay starting a fire in her bathroom with her curling iron. Oops! Thanks to marble counter tops, no harm done!

The kids have been so fascinated by her reading glasses this week. Jack loved wearing them on the tip of his nose so he could see over them to read with Daddy.

We spent a morning at a Thai school for children who's parents work during the day and cannot care for them. Khun Bird invited us to celebrate his birthday by donating drinks and little pencils to the children. We didn't feel like we got to help much more than just serving them their meal, but it was an awesome experience, once again, to see these sweet children and see the good that is going on here. I didn't take a ton of pictures here like I did last year, and unfortunately, you can't see many of these cute kids, but here are a few from last time, if you're interested.

Visiting Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), which I've been wanting to see since we got here. Usually, by the time we've seen the other temple, we're too tired to cross the river to this one, but we were smart and started with it this time. It was really different from the others, and we loved that you could climb up a good part of it, although it was a little freaky with the kids! VERY steep!

Riding the truck home... Fay was up for anything, which always makes it SUPER easy to get around. She never complains, never loses her patience, and always seems like everything is exactly what she would choose. I have a LOT to learn!

We spent a day at a Tiger zoo outside of the city. It was a new place for all of us, and we weren't disappointed! We saw a tiger show, and those tigers were gorgeous! (gotta love that lady's outfit).

This is Jack petting a baby crocodile. Very cool.

Fed a bottle to the baby tigers. You can tell Jane was a little bit hesitant, but who can blame her, not all of the cubs were calm, and if they really wanted to, I think their paws could reach through those bars! This one was already sticking through some. We were trying to stick to the lazy ones.

You could pay 150 baht to get pictures with a number of different animals, but being cheap like we are, we didn't want to pay the money. While it was raining, we were kind of stuck under an awning with a bunch of these animals. Our kids were SO excited to pet them. Jane was drawn the entire time to the little bunny, and Jack kept going back to this huge snake. The guy finally let us just take a picture with our camera, which we were grateful for since Jack loved this snake so much! No fear from this boy! I didn't feel too guilty about not paying for the picture since I think Jack hanging around with this guy was getting other people to pay for their picture.

Jack had the camera a good deal of the day. I thought this was cute! Look at all those gorgeous teeth!

Did I mention that Fay is up for anything? She is so adventurous and didn't want to miss a thing. We were impressed that she took the opportunity to get held up by the elephant. Very cool and only 50 baht!

We've fed crocodiles before, but not like this. This was an adventure for us too! At first, dangling a dead chicken from a "fishing pole" seemed a little mean, like we're teasing the crocodiles, but then I remembered... they're crocodiles! It was awesome. That croc that is jumping out at Jeff's actually got it that time, and I got an incredible video of one going after Fay's. I love that you can hear their jaws snapping shut so well. It's incredible!

We did a crocodile wrestling show, which we've seen before, but it's always fun to watch. This one has the only girl wrestler that I've ever heard of. Jack gets really intense during it, and last time, we actually just walked out. Maybe I'm a bad mom for submitting my kids to potential violence, but it's part of the culture, right? I love how Jack was holding on to Fay here; you can tell he's really into it.

Waiting for a taxi in our lobby. This is the first time in a while that I've heard any name more than "Mom!" in my house. Is it okay that I've loved that? We've heard, "Auntie FAY!" about 1,000 times a day. At least. Jack and Jane want her for everything! She's done story times, taught them how to finger crochet, read books, sung songs, drawn pictures, played computer games, board games, and tonight Jack could hardly go to sleep because he was so excited about the cards he and Fay were making together.

Yesterday, Fay and I got to go solo to the Chatuchak market, which I love. She was an awesome shopping buddy. We found lots of fun things for both of us, and were in and out in about three hours. That's about three hours shorter than my usual visit, in case you were wondering. I don't go very often, so when I do, it's to stock up. It was nice this time to focus on what she wanted, and just be along for the fun!

We also got to bring Fay to church with us today. It was fun to show her off a little bit, and to have her there to help prepare for Primary stuff! She shared a bunch of her awesome Tabernacle cards and CDs, and just was happy to let us introduce her to so many of our Bangkok family! One sweet sister even brought us lunch at church today, which was SO sweet. We got to sit and sample delicious Sri Lankan food before the meetings started. We had NOT planned well for a long day at church, so we were especially grateful for all the effort that went into that meal. I feel like people just keep giving and giving and I have NO way to repay them for their thoughtfulness and service.

I know this is brief, and we have SO many more fun pictures, so maybe Fay will share some on her blog. Since Fay is going home tomorrow, I'm ready for our last night of visiting. We have LOVED having her here. She has been such a help with the kids, housework, and she just has an overall positive glow about her. I have always loved my Aunt Fay, but I have never been able to spend this much time with her! I feel SO blessed to have had this chance to get to know her on a whole different level. As we visit, it's fun to see little bits of my Mom come out in her. Or Grandma, or her twin, Gaye. In a way, I feel like I've had more than just Fay here, since we've talked about all of our family so much! It's nice to get the first hand update on everyone and feel so much closer to so many. I know our time does need to come to a close, and I know for a fact she is missing her husband and kids. Thanks to everyone for sharing your wife, sister, Aunt, mother, and Grammy Fay with us!


Adri said...

Oh, Mindy, it looks like so much fun! But, we are dearly missing our Grammy/Mom...please send her home soon! :) Even though I don't get to see her, I talk to her on the phone nearly every day.

I'm so glad you got to spend some time one-on-one. In a big family, it is rare for that to happen with our aunts and uncles, huh? We recently had a visit from my uncle Dave and I felt the same way...why is there so much I never knew about this man I'm related to? And, yes, my mom does remind me of your mom, aunt Gaye, and Grandma. What wonderful women we are related to!

Kami said...

Thanks for the photos! My kids feel like Grammy has been gone for months! But, they'll be happy to see all the fun things she has been up to! Sounds awesome!
Hey, Jack...I notice that you're reading "Indian in the Cupboard" right now, too! Guess we're on the same wavelenghth. Carson and I are loving it!

Mimi and Papa in Provo said...

I remember when I was young and would go visit my cousins in St. George for a week or two - I would never get homesick because Aunt Virginia was so much like Grandma and Aunt Marg and my mom, LuRee that I just felt at home all the time. How when I visit St. George and I'm with my cousins from that family I really feel nostagic for my special aunt Virginia. Aunts are a blessing in all our lives. I'm soooooooo glad that this was an experience of a lifetime. You really fit a lot in.