Friday, February 26, 2016

A Winter Greenhouse

lift off

For some of the coldest weeks this winter, our family was outrageously blessed to be able to travel to the sun.  It was more deeply encouraging time than even I, the optimist, had hoped for.  Just like our Father to pull a little trick like that, eh?   Lavish, lavish grace...

We felt crazy blessed to get to be in Thailand for some family time alone for rest and memories together (this pool lasted for at least a full work week of hours, only-break-for-sleep, swim-while-the-sun's-up gladness for our crew.)  We kept it very simple...  groceries for breakfast and lunch out of our tiny kitchenette and dinner on the beach for some authentic Thai curries and seafood for about $2-3 / person.  Gotta love deliciousness that cheap!

all the silly monkeys...
tuk tuk
new friends
Such a gift to meet this Swedish family...  the super cool mom and dad had both immigrated to Sweden with their parents from Iran in the 80s.  Our kids loved these two sweet boys!  
The one main break we took from our simple plan was a day of splurging- Grandma and Grandpa's Christmas gifts covered this experience gift(Thank you guys!!).  Our kids enjoyed their first ever theme park:  Vana Nava waterpark.  What a crazy cool, fun, new place with all the best and better kinds of slides than Matt and I could remember.  Our whole crew was pretty starry eyed, and totally exhausted, after the day there!

Then we got to head off to another city and meet up with precious friends.  And again, how fun to enjoy Thailand's sweet prices!  The afternoon at this awesome indoor climbing gym (another first for our crew) was about $6 USD and we had spectacular buddies to play with there!

a few took took rides (with big boys on the battery for a seat) and that last, last minute decision of "what's for dinner?" and we ended up with this riverside(-roadside) picnic.... all sparklingly blessed
Between these two stops (above and below) we spent some time at the dentist and meeting with a teacher from the states who came to help several homeschooling families in Asia.  I'll tell you, foreigners living in Asia know the best spots to spend Chinese New Year (since our cities all shut down for two weeks or so!)...  There were lots of friends to play with and great hearts to be super encouraged by in these days, I got a fancy hair cut (again, for cheap! love that!),  and we ate some super yummy food.  There were loads of good things packed into this time.   Grace.

Now that we're home again, I really do feel like we've just been in a greenhouse.  Sunshiny and warm, soul-nourished and full of growth, life, character fruit...  may it be, Lord, that you would bear much fruit in our lives, our family, from your Word planted deep and shined bright on in this time.

Since her "dives" looked more like a bent forward step into the water, Matt wanted to give her a taste of what she should be feeling when she enters the water, head first for real dive.

nothing says Sillybadilly like this girl's dancing!
We got a new board game to play on the iPad.  Agricola.  It started off capturing their interest, but in the end, it seems to be appreciated about as much as a list of chores or a few pages of math.  We've decided to use "Agricola" (accented like we were told the Germans do:  a- GRI- co- la) as K family slang for no good at all.  

next month, this guy will be double digits...  Couldn't love him more!
daddy-daughter-love.  perfect place of rest for her.  

our crew of silly-messy swimmer heads


  1. I am so glad to see such happy faces jumping in the pool. Glad the time away was even more encouraging than you had even anticipated. Miss you guys!

  2. How incredibly fun to see all these fantastic pictures!! I am thrilled for you that your family had such a time of refreshment! Love the bangs in your haircut, it looks so cute. :). Thanks for sharing!