Archive for January, 2010

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Happy Birthday Little Meg!

01/27/2010

Our Meg Hayden turned two on January 7th, and I wanted to share some pictures of her party. We were down in Hua Hin, which is a city south of Bangkok right on the beach. Our team got to do our first annual Team Retreat there at a vacation home with our own pool! So we had a Puppy Party/Swimming party for Meg. Last year in Abilene we had a Snowflakes and Cupcakes theme, and this January we celebrated in 90 degree weather by the pool. Pretty drastic change I must say! Meg loves puppy dogs.  She sleeps with two stuffed puppies that are bigger than she is and loves to say “No, no, pup—py” when she hears the dogs across the street barking (which happens a LOT!).

Here she is in her bathing suit opening presents and eating the cake Haley made for her. We had a great time and she loved being the center of attention. Our team kids made the day very special for her, and we just can’t believe our baby is two already!

And here is a short video of singing “Happy Birthday.”

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Some fun facts about Meggles:

She is into everything, but especially into following Brynn, or “B” as she affectionately calls her, everywhere she goes. She adores Brynn and loves going with me to pick her up at school everyday. She has also picked up a few Thai words to add to her ever-growing English/Thai vocabularies. She makes sure to pull them out in the grocery store because she knows what her fans want to see. It is so funny to watch her walk into the store or somewhere as she starts to wai (hands together, prayer style, in front of your face—Thai greeting for hello, goodbye, and thankyou). She does it so dramatically and then throws in a “Jaow”, which is a Northern Thai word and it always makes her audience happy—and she ALWAYS has an audience with her blonde hair and blue eyes. You can also ask her in Thai if she speaks Thai ,and she’ll respond “Dai”, which means “I can!”. Of course, that is one of the only words she knows but it doesn’t matter to the fans—they love it that she can “speak” Thai.

Meg has an adventurous, curious spirit about her and is a girl who knows what she wants and what she doesn’t. She has a smile that melts your heart and brings such joy to everyone she is around, especially to us. She has already changed so much since we got here; she is taller and more talkative, and is so comfortable being here. She takes her shoes off automatically when she goes in a house (customary here). She calls her shoes her “dirties”, because for the first few weeks/months I would always say “Put your shoes down, they’re dirty” or “Don’t play with your shoes, they’re dirty”, thus she says daily “I want dirties” or “My dirties”.  Brynn will even say, “Meg get your dirties on!” when it is time to go.

Meg Hayden Reese, we love you so very much. We are so thankful for you and feel so blessed to be your parents. God bless this next year of your little life as you continue to bless all of those around you with your laughter, sweet smile, and fun personality.

Enjoy the pictures and video! And now, pray for our patience as Brynn asks just about everyday when her birthday is getting here…..oh, it’s going to be a long wait till May!

Next post I’ll share some stories of our trip which involve an eternal train ride, bbq ribs, fun, not-so-fun stomach bug that paid a visit to all the children, and a host of other adventures and things we added to the “we will not do this again” list! Stay tuned!

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Being Kind Is Tiring

01/23/2010

One of the unexpected realities of living in Phayao for 4 months has been the level of fatigue I have felt. I have felt it physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are numerous reasons for this, but Chris Fikes and I recently had a conversation about one cause that has surprised us. This was our reflection.

Phayao is a fairly small town. We run into the same people all the time. And being one of about 15 Westerners (including our team) who lives here, I am easily noticed and remembered. Thus, when I make a quick run to the grocery store or go around town finding the best price for a bathtub, I am keenly aware that my attitude and behavior is being noted. Therefore, since I am supposed to be representing Jesus among people who know very little about the way of Jesus, I am also keenly aware of how my attitude and behavior will impact our ability to form communities of faith here. If I am mean, or short, or even just indifferent, what will that be communicating about us Christian folk? So, I always feel the pressure to “be on my best behavior.”

What I have realized is that always trying (and I stress the word “trying”) to behave in a manner that reflects the ways of Jesus is very tiring. Thus, I am tired most of the time here.

The real problem with all this is that it implies that I have lived most of my life fairly unconcerned about how I am portraying myself, as a follower of Jesus and fellow human, to “people out there.” I did not feel this type of fatigue when I lived in Abilene because the people in the Bueno drive-thru (man, I could go for a Mexi dips n’ chips right about now) or the United checkout line were inconsequential to me. I did try my best to not be mean, but avoiding bad behavior is not the same as pursuing loving behavior. I could “check out” when I ran errands because that encounter wasn’t going to have any real effect anyways, was it?. (We have even noticed this when we would take a trip to Chiang Mai. We would subconsciously “let our guard down” because people there did not matter.) Thus, I am not well conditioned at being purposeful in every encounter I have here. So, I am tired.

But, of course, the important, and sad, realization with all this is that it took “being a missionary” to start being intentional about how I treat people I encounter. Shouldn’t the fact that the guy at the bathtub store and the girl in the Bueno drive-thru are fellow humans be reason enough to treat them with the utmost respect and love?

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A Glimpse of Phayao

01/18/2010

We recently made a video highlighting our lives in Phayao for the Highland Church of Christ Missions Special. It was shown last Sunday, but we wanted everyone to have a chance to watch it if you are interested. It might take a minute to load, but hopefully it will work. Hope you enjoy.

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Doing Some Chores

01/18/2010

We had the privilege to spend New Year’s Day in Chiang Rai with our neighbors’ extended family. New Year’s Day is big family holiday in Thailand, so we were honored that Brasong and Nong invited us to join them at Nong’s mother’s house. We spent the day talking, watching the girls play hide-and-seek with the older kids, and seeing some local sites. It was so great to join them for a homemade meal (pictured above) with aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was Thai style where everyone sits on mats and shares everything. The girls weren’t into much of it, but luckily they had sticky rice–old faithful. The highlight for us was when the parents said that all the kids get to do the dishes. The teenage girls invited Brynn to help them, which she was excited to do. Meg was quick to follow. A few minutes later we walked out to the back porch, where they were washing the dishes, and we were amazed that the were actually helping, and enjoying it. The older kids were so nice to include them. The video below will give you a glimpse. You’ve got to love to the flexibility and adventurous nature of these two little girls. We were so proud of how they handled themselves in this completely foreign situation. It was a great New Year’s.

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Giving WordPress A Try

01/16/2010

We have a lot of complaints about our blog at web.me.com. While I usually stand behind everything Mac, mobile me has not been the best. So, we are going to see if wordpress will work any better. We will continue to have our old website but will update blogs here. We will probably be messing with it for awhile, so bear with us as we might make changes to it. Thanks for keeping up with us. And please comment on whether you think we should permanently move to wordpress or stick with web.me.com. We want it to be as user-friendly as possible.

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A Poem

01/16/2010

Question?

The world is too big,
So for a bit, a fraction,
A tiny slice I ask.
The whole? No way, I do not dare.

Where can I go,
Hands outstretched with aid?
Nothing grand to give,
Mustard seeds, at most, I may wield.

“We come in peace,”
Or should I say,
“The peace we know,
yes, that One, is the peace we give.”

But now we are here,
No dove in sight.
“We extend to you,
Well, please give us some time.”

The circumstances call
For questions to be posed,
There is the obvious “why”
Surely followed by the “how long.”

But I hesitate,
without the strength to petition,
for I am quite certain,
no excuse nor retort shall suffice.

So, without asking for much
Can I have just a crumb?
Though it seems to me,
I should just ask for the world.