Tuesday, May 27, 2014

April Family Pictures

Writing newsletters, updates and just living abroad in general causes the need for many family photos.  But now that William is a wild man, it's hard for me to capture a good picture of the 3 of us!  Thankfully, we have an awesome talented friend who has grown accustomed to taking pics of us.  So when we were in need of a family photo for our Annual Update, we headed out to our favorite rice field with Nicole (nicolealice.com) to take some family pics!  ENJOY!

Be still my heart.

A pretty accurate depiction of the "real" photo shoot :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

March/April happenings :)

So, I guess I should just stop apologizing for not updating this photo blog more often... Looks like I'm only going to get around to it once a month (or less... gasp!).  Life is just so busy, it's hard to keep up with documenting it all!  But, I won't give up and keep telling myself that I will be thankful for this blog one day... even if they are far and few between!  

Another two months have gone by and so much has happened in such a short time!  Let's see... a quick recap:  We decided to switch organizations, so there's been a ton of time and energy put into that (leaving GEI and applying with SIM).  Expat Homes has hired 3 employees (woohoo!) and is hoping to add a 4th employee VERY soon (another woohoo!).  We've pretty much got the office up and running and expect to have a "grand opening" at the beginning of next month.  Steven's mom came and visited for two weeks and completely blessed us by watching William and serving us in whatever way she could (we are so thankful!).  
*Disclaimer: This section is about William and all his little developments over the past two months...  (aka: for my own personal reference and for the grandmas and great-grandma's out there)
And last but not least, we have watched our lil William Takashi enter into "boyhood" as he clearly isn't a baby anymore.  (How did that happen?!?!)  I have heard repeatedly this month that "William is looking more and more like a little boy and not a baby anymore...".  I totally agree and while I'm super proud of him for all that he's discovering, I'm also a little sad because he's just growing up too quickly.  I absolutely love this stage in his life.  (I'm the mom that could totally skip the newborn phase... that was no fun.)  But man, now he's just running around like a little person with his own personality and opinions.  He's just so fun to watch.  He's talking a ton (his favorite sentence is still "That's a ball!") and he's understanding so much.  I like to play this game with him where I tell him things to do and see if he understands enough to do it.  Reminds me of our early language learning days--it's so fascinating to me.  I'll tell him "go put this in the trash" and then he does it!  Amazing!  "Go put this on top of the coffee table."  Done!  "No, you can't go outside without shoes.  Go get your shoes, bring them to mommy and sit on the stairs so she can put them on."  Bam!  Follows directions like a pro.  He's a genius, I tell ya.  Genius.  (And I'm also that loser mom who thinks her kid is the smartest kid ever.)  Besides his language development, he's also just becoming more "kiddish".  He likes to play with actual toys now and entertains himself with legos, balls, music, etc.  It's fun.  Oh and he's gone "poopy on the potty" a couple of times now too!  He knows when he has to go and sometimes will go over to the toilet.  He still doesn't love sitting on the pot (the kid can't sit still for more than 2 seconds), but he does love to throw toilet paper in the potty and flush it afterwards.  Margie keeps telling me that Steven potty trained himself at 18 months, so we'll see if William can follow in his daddy's footsteps.  I'm not particularly enthusiastic about starting this potty training thing, so for now it's just a fun little game.

Anyway, on to the pictures!

Pawn gave her testimony at one of the "Mae Baan" trainings in March.  I wasn't there to hear it, so I asked her if she could tell it to me again.  This is the recording of what she shared with me... it is so incredibly special to me and I will always cherish this video of her.  We just love her so much and are so thankful for our relationship with her. 

William's got some big shoes to fill :)

Watching some March Madness with Daddy!

Basketball, boys and a bottle.  What more could they want?

Sunday Funday at the pool!

Really goin' after those chips... like his Papa! :)

Took William to go see a friend's futsol game.  He was enamored with it all...

Whatcha lookin at mom?!

Josiah tried taking his ball away... He got pretty upset.

William with our friends, Jess & Alex, who are also halfsies!

The kid loves to sweep the street with Pawn

It's been a *craaaazy* couple of months for us and the Steffens, so some people suggested that we take a weekend to get away and just relax.  So, we did!  Since Pawn's girls are on summer break, we asked them to come watch the kids for a couple of days.  It was our first overnight without William, but since we completely trust Pawn it was pretty easy to say "goodbye".  So, we took a picture of all the kiddos, told Pawn "good luck!" and off we went!

We found a great deal on this new place up in the mountains.  Us and the Steffens were the only guests there, so it was awesome to have the place all to ourselves to just chill.

Thailand is so beautiful.

What a great, great time away connecting and dreaming with our best friends!

Expat Homes' sign went up!  Pretty cool moment.

Spent some time with my dear friend, Bonnie, before she left for home assignment for 4 months!

Best friends...

...and lovers?!?!? :) :)

He climbed into the cabinet when I wasn't looking and got himself stuck.

Love writing out Scripture... helps me to really meditate on it and pray through it.

Date night!

The kid loves Pad Thai!

Hey, you'd be naked in the pool too if you knew how hot it was here...

Decided to get a perm... I know, that's weird.

Teaching William how to do "selfies"


Grandma Sauder is here!!! :)

There's a famous guy in Chiang Mai (I think he's the #1 barista in the world?!?!) that draws your face into your latte!  I don't even drink coffee, but who doesn't want to see themselves in a cup of joe?

Drinking myself

Morning bike rides with grandma become a tradition

At the Day Safari with all the animals

It kinda spooked me out how comfortable William was around such large animals...

See those small holes in the wall next to William?!  The ones that are RIGHT by the TIGERS??  Surely those holes wouldn't go all the way through into the cages, right?  WRONG.  William decided to stick his hand in there and as I ran over there to take it out, I realized that it DID go all the way through to the cage!!!  William could've stuck his hand all the way in the cage and gotten it bitten off by those tigers!!  Seriously Thailand!?!?!?

Easter egg hunt!

We are sending out our Annual Newsletter and I needed some family pictures of us... So, I had a friend take some pics for us but the morning of the pictures William woke up with mosquito bites all over his face!  Poor guy.

Out to lunch with Expat Homes' first employee, Pii Muu!!! :)

Made Margie help me plant some flowers while she was here... all for $7!!!

William learned how to give really great hugs.  They're the best and are guaranteed to make any day brighter.

Took Margie to the amazing infinity pool... :)

On her last day, we decided to go to this lake and then go off-roading!  It was super fun.

A boy and his stick.

 Expat Homes' FIRST officially employee meeting!!!!  Praise God.  
This is what I posted on facebook:
Today Expat Homes had its first official employee meeting!!! We spent the morning getting to know one another and sharing our life stories. It was such a blessed time. For Steven and I, today was a dream come true. Since we started dating 8 years ago, we have prayed to be a part of something like this... And to see it come to fruition is something too special to express in words. Thank you to all of those who have supported us, encouraged us, cried with us and upheld us throughout the our journey this far. We couldn't have done this without you. Praise be to God! (Please continue to pray as we hire one more person, officially open the office, obtain Steven's work permit and renew our business visa... all within the next 2 weeks!)

 Not so sure about this potty thing...

 Steven doesn't have his work permit yet, so he doesn't want to work at the office... So our home has been turned into their office space.  I kinda love it.

 Just another morning facetiming Ama and Papa

 "Can you give Ama a huggie?"

 Sweet boy.

 Leila got her Elsa dress that I had made for her!  :)

 William getting his face painted at a carnival

 Whatta big boy!


 Our small group had a get together for a friend who is heading back to the States.  The boys were having fun playing with the kids in the water.  This picture just makes me really thankful... 3 years ago none of these people were here.  Steven and I were lonely and prayed for community.  And now we have some pretty awesome friends doing some pretty awesome things here in Thailand.  Thank you, Jesus!

William pooping in the middle of the store... You can't see his face, but it was all red :)  So funny.

And that's a wrap for March/April.  Looks like we will probably have to head out of the country again next week (sigh) because our business visa/work permit/business registration paperwork is still not finished.  We are hoping to head to Singapore since our trip to Malaysia was less than ideal... We're hoping to have better luck at the Consulate in Singapore, but as we all know, it's pretty unpredictable.  I'm sure May will be filled with lots of continued craziness... I think we're just accepting that this is our life and to just go with it.  So, here goes nothing! :)