Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Wishes

Today is December 23, 2103 and there are just 8 more days left in a year that had tremendous changes and new beginnings in it for me. As I look back on the year, I am amazed at all the changes in my life. It is hard to think that 2013 is almost over and that 2014 will begin in just a few, short days. It will probably pass as quickly at 2013 did.

I look back at all that happened in 2013 with awe, amazement and trepidation. While I have settled in to a nice routine, there is still the occasional pull on my heart and in my soul for home and I deal with that on a case by case basis when the feelings arrive. It simply amazes me that my life is so much different than it was three months ago. Three months ago… That is another thing that is hard to believe. I have been here for three months. Once again, some days it feels like a lifetime ago while other days it feels like just yesterday.

We will celebrate Christmas here at Promise Home tomorrow evening with dinner, songs and presents. After that, the children will go to their villages to stay with family for a few days and I will head off the Bangkok to deal with Visa business. I will try my very best to stay completely away from the anti-government protests there and simply go about doing my business. I will only need to stay overnight and will return to Chiang Rai on Friday. A friend here is moving so I will go to her house to stay while the others here are gone and while I am there, I will be helping her pack and move. Thank goodness for friends who will help keep me occupied.

In four short months, a group of friends from Colorado will be coming for a 10 day visit which means I will get to see Vannessa as well. Then, there will be three college aged girls who are planning to come at the end of May and stay until the end of July. In June, I am also hoping to see two of my nieces and my oldest nephew's wife for a 10 day visit. I will have enough visitors to make up for the first four months of the year when I will be on my own. I cannot wait for all of the people who will be coming to see me in 2014.

Let me take this last opportunity again to thank all of those who donated money to Promise Home and those who gave other items as well. Thank you as well to those who have sent well wishes and positive thoughts my way during the past three months, Your kindness and support are overwhelming.

Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to all of you. May you have a wonderful day wherever you are and whoever you are with. 

Happy New Year! May 2014 bring you peace, love, joy and all the rewards you richly deserve. 

Until next time…….

God Bless,


Happy Holidays from our family to yours! 

Happy Holidays! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our friend- Max

Today is a sad day for us here at Promise Home because our friend and companion Max, left for a little island trip before heading back to the states next week. I would like to dedicate this blog to him.

Max joined me here at Promise Home shortly after my arrival which was a lifesaver for me. You may remember my post about the feeling of complete and total isolation after I arrived and Max's arrival helped those feelings of despair. He quickly became my companion and we did a lot of things together. When the group from Charities Within Reach arrived in October, Max pitched in and worked very hard to improve the conditions at that home. He cleaned, he painted, he hung curtains and he shopped. He would do any chore I asked him to do and he often just went about fixing something he noticed needing fixing. These tasks were just the tip of the iceberg.

The most valuable thing Max did during his time with us was the relationship he established with all of the children, particularly the boys. One of the boys has been without a male role model/father figure for most of his young life and the other has never had one. Max immediately filled that role. When he helped around the house, cleaning the bathroom, clearing the table or washing the dishes, he demonstrated what a young man is capable of doing. Now I know that Thai culture treats their men differently, but we want to raise well rounded, respectful young men and Max was the perfect role model. He also helped the children by participating in their English lessons and worked with them on their math homework and extra studies with all of us. He played games with the boys, he watched Thai TV without being able to understand a word, he let the girls use his computer for games and videos. When he left, he was given a memory book and both of the boys thanked him for being their "Big Brother." His presence will be felt around here for many years to come. He left a piece of himself in everyone's hearts.

I will miss Max and his companionship Although there were some days we both worked on various projects on our computers and barely spoke, I always knew he was there and I could talk to him or ask a question whenever I wanted. He always did more than I asked him to do and often never allowed me to help. I consider him a good friend.

Max, I hope you have a great trip to Koh Samui and then a safe journey home. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  God Speed my friend.

Until next time……

God Bless,


Trying out one of the new sofas


The boys! 

New blankets

Max at the Lisu Hilltribe Kindergarten

Trying something new 

In two countries at once

At church

Getting into Thai pants 

Enjoying the water at Doi Tung

Getting ready to send off our lantern on Loy Krathong

Riding elephants in the rain 

King, Queen, Prince game at Bethany

The big bird chasing the boys



Our last outing with Max

Help me!

The gang 

At the waterfall

A little soak

His picture of us all 

Max and his presents

Max and the family 

With the guitar he gave the children for Christmas 

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 9, 2013

Family fun

This past Saturday we were treated to a wonderful trip to celebrate Max's last full weekend with us here at Promise Home. We went to Boon Rawd Farms at Singha Park, then to the Khun Korn Waterfall, and finally the Pha Soet Hot Springs where we stayed the night.

Boon Rawd Farms is a huge farm that has a tea plantation, fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. It is simply a lovely place to go and see the stunning country side of Northern Thailand.

King of the hill

Variation of a Bird of Paradise

The whole gang 

The girls 

Great photo

The waterfall is located in the Lam Nam Kok National Park outside of Chiang Rai. You climb 1400 M. to get to the falls and some of the walk is quite steep, but it is a magnificent waterfall so well worth the hike. I was asked by one of the girls if I was going up and I asked if it was far. She said yes, and then I asked her if she was going. She said no, so I decided I would stay with her. Next thing I know, she and I along with Mauruethai and Da were making the trek up the hill. We all stayed together and helped each other along. They had distance signs and they all started pointing them out to me, but I told them I wasn't going to look at them since I would then know how far I still had to go. The walk was beautiful and the reward at the end, great!

Starting out 


The girls and Max

The girls at the waterfall 

And then we camped along the banks of the Mae Kok river… The kids went swimming after all of the tents were set up and then we had the bar-b-que with sticky rice made in bamboo sticks. After dinner we sat around the campfire and listened to the guitar and the kids sang for us. It was a clear evening without a cloud in the sky- Perfect night to gaze at the millions of stars overhead.

Trying out the tent 

Our campsite 

Everyone in the pool 

Enjoying a swim 

Some of the food we will enjoy 

Our campsite 

Temple along the river 

The Mae Kok at sunset 

Cooking the food and filling the bamboo sticks for the sticky rice

Coking the fish and the sticky rice

Hope you enjoyed our trip. I know I did.

Until next time…

God Bless,


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