Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pick up cover

Today we got the custom built cover installed on the back of the pick up truck. Not a minute too soon either as the rainy season is just about to begin. Actually, we have been having afternoon rains on and off for the past week. Thursday afternoon about 4:15 it began raining and rained cats and dogs for at least 20 minutes. Fortunately Big was able to get all the kids inside the cab of the truck and got them home without getting wet. With the cover, they won't have to squeeze into the cab to be protected.

The company that built the cover did an excellent job. It is sturdy and well built. Then all of the employees helped with the installation and making sure we liked the end product. Some American companies could learn a lesson or two from them.

While the boys and I were out getting the cover, the girls stayed at home hemming new uniform skirts and ironing them in addition to their uniform shirts. Yim, the youngest is now moving about freely and beginning to crawl so today I got a walker for her so she can scoot around the house and Fon won't have to keep a constant eye on her so she won't hit her head on the floor. She seems to like the walker and scooted around for some time before lunch.

Big has a good routine going here at the home. The kids come home from school and complete chores or work on any homework they might have. Then we eat dinner and after dinner we work on English, Thai and Math. I join then every evening at 4:30 for dinner and their lessons afterwards. On Saturdays, I usually arrive at 11:30 and enjoy lunch and the afternoon with them. Sunday I will meet them at church and then we come back to the house for lunch.

Monday/Wednesday/Friday is English, Tuesday/Thursday is Thai and Math. Big works with the older girls on fractions, decimals and division while I work with Nom and Tin on addition, subtraction and multiplication. Ahmorntep gets his worksheets to practice writing Thai letters, the English alphabet and then he practices saying some Thai words as well. We spend about 30 minutes each day doing this extra work to help the kids along. They are practicing regularly so look for another video from one of the other kids.

The current political situation is not affecting me or the children here in Chiang Rai. There are some roadblocks and there is a military presence around them but life goes on as usual for all of us. Two of my nieces arrive for a visit on Monday, June 2nd and then the two college aged girls who will be volunteering for two months arrive the following Monday. We will be busy with tourist stuff, activities and other fun things for the kids. Watch for more updates along the way.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Until next time.........

God Bless,

Photo Bomb!

Welding the seat frame 

Sanding down the rough edges

Installing the seat backs

Seats complete
Everyone in the back of the pick up

Thumbs up 

The finished look

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Palita speaking English


One of our goals with Promise Home is to help the children learn English. Since the children moved to the new house, we have been working for about 30 minutes each evening on learning and practicing English. I am attaching a video of Palita, the oldest girl at the home giving a short introduction of herself that she worked on for school. When she says where she comes from she is trying her very best to say Promise Home and that is the reason for the big smile.

She did a wonderful job and I am so incredibly proud of her and her accomplishment. She works hard every night trying to learn and asks me to repeat words for her over and over again. This video is a monumental step for her. Enjoy

Till next time.....

God Bless,

Tuesday, May 13, 2014



As I mentioned in my last blog, I took the kids swimming on Monday the 12th and it was a blast. The community pool is within walking distance of the house and it is very reasonably priced. You can swim and eat food if you want. It was a great afternoon.

The kids start school tomorrow and the excursions will be limited to the weekends only. They have gotten settled in the house and with a few minor exceptions, there will not be any "major" events to report. This means there will be longer periods of time between blogs but I will be sure to report on their progress at school and other activities. For now, enjoy our day at the pool.

Cool cat- Ahmorntep 

Tin and Ahmorntep 

Palita and Ahmorntep 

Such fun splashing away 

All of the kids having fun 

The pure joy of swimming 

Till next time.....

God Bless,

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Pick Up

Good morning from Chiang Rai~

Last week we were able to accomplish one of our recently set goals by getting a pick up for the home so the children could be transported to and from school, church, outings and going to the market. With the help of Pastor Prathuan at Bethany Children's Home, we were able to find an eight year old Mazda Freedom Cab in very good shape. A Freedom cab has the second set of doors that swing outward so the kids can climb behind the driver and passenger if they need to. Big accompanied me to see the pick up and he was very meticulous when looking it over. He wanted to make sure it was money well spent and that we didn't get ripped off. It had a couple of minor issues but he got the sellers guarantee that the issues would be fixed at no cost to us and then he approved the purchase.

We picked it up from the shop on Thursday, May 8th and before we took it, Big took it out for a drive to make sure the issues he wanted to have corrected were done properly. All was well so we took it home. After we arrived home, the entire family along with our friends went outside and blessed the truck. The prayers were for safe travels and safety for everyone who ever rode in it and a long life of service for the pick up. Prayers were offered by both Big and our friend, Jermsak.

The following day, Big called and asked if he could take the kids to a waterfall. Of course the answer was yes. I thought it was cute that he called and asked me. They all loaded into the truck and off they went. Big took lots of pictures and when they came home, he showed them to me. Unfortunately, his camera card is way too big for my computer and I don't have the adaptor so I don't have any pictures. I am going to see if I can find the adaptor for his card. After the waterfall, they came to get the washing machine from the apartment and moved it over to the new house. I joined them for dinner and noticed some nice additions to the front yard when I arrived. Big brought several plants from his old home and added them to the front yard. He is working hard at making a home for everyone. They have even started a small vegetable garden out by the kitchen in the back.

Plants along the front balcony

Showing smaller plants along the front wall

On Monday, May 12th, Big took the pick up to the shop and got it measured for the cover. The cover is necessary for transporting the children in the rainy season. It will have a window in the front over the cab for ventilation along with side windows. There will be seats inside that I believe will fold up so he can load larger items inside. It will be done at the end of May so watch for pictures of that. Later in the afternoon on the 12th I took the kids to the community pool and what fun they had. Pictures of that will be in the next blog. They have today and Wednesday to be free and then it is back to school until October.

With each passing day, I feel more and more blessed with the choice we made in hiring Big and his family. I visit daily and the children are all happy. The boys go fishing with Big, the girls help take care of Yim and Fon paints their nails. Big is the "master" chef and Fon and the girls delight in helping him.

The most enduring thing is that the entire group now calls me Mom. In this journey I went from being mom to to Vannessa and my five nieces and nephews to being a mom for nine additional people. How much more could one ever ask for?

Till next time.....

God Bless,

Friday, May 9, 2014

Nittaya's 13th Birthday

Wednesday, May 7th was Nittaya's 13th birthday and I am not sure who was looking forward to it more, Palita or Nittaya. Palita was so excited that Nittaya's birthday was coming all she could talk about was cake and presents.

Palita and I told Big about the birthday and how we wanted to do something special and make it a surprise. He was all for it. On the big day, Big, Fon and Palita took the car and went into town. Big told me it was for something special and then simply smiled. They were gone quite a long time. So long that I began to wonder if something had happened to them. But they eventually returned.

When they got to the house, Fon took Nittaya upstairs and kept her occupied so Palita could sneak in the cake. She was so excited. Then we unloaded the car which had all the makings of the glorious bar-b-que that I have grown very fond of. Once everything was inside, Nittaya was allowed to come down. Big, Fon, Palita and I (yes, me) started making things for dinner. Palita instructed me on how to wash the noodles, the mushrooms and the lettuce. She praised me every step of the way with
"Good job Mom." It was fun getting everything together for dinner. Occasionally Palita had to asked Nittaya how to do something but that was the extent of Nittaya's involvement in the preparation.

After all the food was ready, Big started the fire and we all sat outside under the covered patio and had dinner. Big, Fon, Palita and Nittaya all helped cook the meat and put the vegetables in the broth. But there was something missing...... We were eating and I asked Palita where the noodles were. She gave me a quizzical look and Big translated for her. She looked at me in surprise and jumped up to get them. She is so cute. We ate and ate and ate. Our friends Jermsak and his family arrived and we all sang Happy Birthday to Nittaya and out came the cake. Palita took great care when she carried it outside. It was Mickey Mouse...... Nittaya loves Mickey Mouse. It was the most delicious cake and we all had huge pieces. Ahmorntep actually had two big pieces of cake. He was covered from head to toe with frosting.

It was a great day with the kids. They played in the yard, washed the car when it came back from the market and then we gathered for dinner. They all seem very happy and content in the house with Big and Fon. I hope they have many more of these wonderful days ahead of them. I am certain that birthday's will always be something special for them.

Washing the car mats 

Happy Birthday Nittaya

Tin and Ahmorntep playing in the yard 

Nittaya enjoying her cake

Blowing out the candles 

More cake 

Scrubbing away

Palita enjoying the dinner 

Nom, Tin and Ahmorntep 

Cleaning the inside of the car 

Till next time...........

God Bless,

5 Year Anniversary and Still Going Strong!!!

Good morning~ I woke up this morning and realized that five years ago today, I began the first leg of a journey that would forever change ...