Saturday, January 25, 2014


Saw this term used by other missionaries here in Chiang Rai to describe their time away from their various work assignments and I thought it was very appropriate. I will be taking a furlough of two months from Promise Home beginning Friday, January 31, 2014. I have some family business matters to attend to and then of course I have that little tax obligation to deal with before April 15th. I had originally thought I could do most of the work via the internet, however with my retiring from work and receiving retirement funds, I think it is best if I can oversee all the details personally and then be able to talk with my tax preparer one on one if necessary. I am looking forward to arriving in Colorado on February 1, 2014 just in time to watch my beloved Broncos in the Super Bowl the next day. Go Denver Broncos!

So before I go, I would like to share an update on Promise Home-

  • During the month of January we have been looking for a house with a yard or compound that we can move the home to at the end of April when our lease expires on the current location. We are looking for a larger property so we can increase the number of children we assist and where they will have a place to run around in and play. Our current location is right on a very busy street and there is no yard to speak of so the children are confined to staying inside most of the time. That is a little tough on the two boys. They cannot go out and run around to release their energy and play without hurting anything in the home. We found a place that meets all of our needs and are just waiting to hear back from the owner to see if they will allow us to rent the home from them. I hope to hear something before I leave at the end of next week. 
  • The children are in their last two months of school. They will go to school until the first part of March and then they all return to their villages to help with the planting and other activities there. They will have March and April off. They will return at the end of April when a group of 9 ladies from the United States comes for a visit.  
  • April ladies visit- this group will be arriving on the 21st of April and it is our wish that we have the house by then and we can finish moving everything into it. We also hope to be able to plant some flowers and perhaps some vegetables so there will always be a garden that can be used at the home. In addition to working on the home, this group will be doing some tours and some outings with the children. We don't have the outings planned yet, but I am sure they will be great fun. 
  • The children- they are all thriving and doing very well. We have experienced some unusually cold weather here in Chiang Rai but we have managed to stay warm enough. During the first cold spell which was around Christmas time, I was able to find fleece pajama tops and bottoms, gloves, hats, and socks for everyone so when it gets too cold in the home, they all go bundle up in them. With the nights being colder than normal, the days don't get as warm but I am not complaining. I love the mid to upper 70's that we have been having during the day. Quite comfortable. According to the weather channel, it is supposed to get even warmer during the day approaching the upper 80's and then the nights are in the high 50's. More like normal winter weather here in Chiang Rai.
    • The two girls continue to help around the house with daily chores and one takes excellent care of her two brothers. I think she has had far too much responsibility placed on her shoulders for a girl her age but she takes this responsibility very seriously. The other always helps out in the kitchen at meal times and often prepares several dishes all by herself. Both of the girls have chores around the house and they immediately take care of them after arriving home from school. They also do their laundry and other tasks. Both seem to being doing well in school. The language barrier makes it hard for me to communicate with them but when I ask if school is good, they both say yes or OK. 
    • The two boys are just like any other four and nine year old boys. They play with each other, wrestle around and are stuck together like glue. Where ever the oldest is, you will be sure to find the youngest. He is the oldest boy's constant shadow. They don't have many assigned chores but will help clear the table after meals and when I ask them to do something, they will do it. Sometimes they don't even need to be asked. Today I was taking the clothes hanger from my room down so we could dry all of the sheets for their beds and they saw me carrying it down the stairs. They immediately dropped their toys and each one grabbed an end and took it to the front door for me. The girls don't ask them to do things very often as that is not how they were raised but I try to get the boys involved in chores so the girls aren't the only ones doing anything. 
    • We have fallen into a predicatble, regular routine. One that many of you with children will recognize. The children go to school during the day, come home, do their chores and homework and then watch some television before bed. The next day, they do it all over again. They will take care of other chores such as laundry and cleaning on the weekends. We have not had any major excursions lately because of the difficulty fitting everyone into the smaller car and the fact our friend who can speak both English and Thai has been so busy. Our lives here have been very uneventful. 
I will start the blog up once I have returned from furlough. I look forward to seeing many of you while I am home. To those I won't get to see, thank you for your support and following along. I hope to share more new adventures when I return. 

Until next time…….. 

God Bless


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chiang Rai Flower Festival

Every December Chiang Rai hosts a flower festival- they have a large area over by the airport and a smaller one at a park in town. There are beds and beds of flowers along with displays made of flowers.

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words so I will let them do the talking. Enjoy!



Just realized it had been a while since I published an update. Got a little bit busy with the holidays and the kids being gone.

We celebrated Christmas here on December 24th with lots of presents and a wonderful dinner with guests. There was a family from Oregon here for the holidays and they came to visit with us and joined me for dinner. They were a lovely family and I do hope they will return one day and come to visit with us again. As always, after dinner we sing and enjoy some time with the children.

The room decorated 

Everyone and there presents 

Chiang Rai experienced a severe cold snap beginning the week before Christmas and it continued through the holiday. While it is known to get cool here at night, it is not known for it being downright cold. There was two weeks when we barely hit 70 degrees during the day and then it went into the low 40's at night. Now I know that doesn't sound cold for many of you who suffered below 0 temperatures in December and who are now experiencing the same now, but for here, that is miserably cold. The biggest reason is that no one, and I mean no one has heat in their house. Our home is cinder block construction with metal rolling doors for the entrance. During the day we would leave them open to help heat the house however, with it not being very warm outside, it didn't heat the house very well. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would wear a long sleeved shirt, a fleece pullover with a scarf inside the house. When we went outside, I had to add a coat and gloves. Fuzzy, warm socks were essential. I had two blankets and a quilt on my bed so I would be warm enough. Imagine how cold a tile floor is when you wake in the morning….. Fortunately, my room faces the west so I got the afternoon sun and was very thankful for that. I would go up there to warm up or would just stay in my room most of the day as the main part of the house was just too cold.

I am happy to say that the temperatures have returned to normal now and the weather is brilliantly pleasant. Mid 80's during the day, hit 50's at night and little to no humidity. I like it like this. I was reminded by several people to remember the cold snap and be thankful for it when the hot season begins in March. I will try but I was most uncomfortable.

The children left for the respective villages for over a week during their Christmas break on the 25th and they all returned on January 5th. School started again on Monday, January 6th. They are now back into the swing of things for the last two months of school. During the time they were gone, I stayed with a friend that I had met on a previous visit to Chiang Rai. She moved from her old house on New Years Eve day and her new house did not have Internet so I was not able to communicate much with folks. Part of the reason it has been a while since I have written. We moved her into her new house and since both of us were sick, we were overly tired so our New Year's Eve was very uneventful. Went to bed early only to begin coughing around midnight and then heard the barrage of fireworks that were going off. One year I will stay up and will go downtown to see them. New Year's is the big holiday around here and many people from the south travel to the north to holiday. The town and roads were overcrowded with them and other visitors and it can be quite the mess to be in. I am not all that fond of being shoved around and bearded around in a mass of people so I try to avoid the huge crowd. But one day, I will see the fireworks.

I hope that 2014 has started out well for all.

Until next time…..

God Bless,

5 Year Anniversary and Still Going Strong!!!

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