March Madness


Well, it is about time for a new post, I must say. Though our family is in mourning because our fav UCONN Huskies aren’t going to be the national champions this basketball season, we’re making the best of it. We’re enjoying watching basketball on our slingbox (for those that don’t know–it is a nifty little device that is connected to my parents’ DVR in America and through the wonders of the internet we can watch our favorite, can’t live without shows/sports over here on our computer). This has been especially fun for the girls to still get to catch a Yo Gabba Gabba or Dora episode, and well, I still get to watch Survivor. And American Idol. And maybe The Bachelor, don’t judge me, and please don’t tell anyone. 🙂 Hey, this culture shock thing has really gotten to me and a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, right? Moving on….I’m embarrassed now.

Derran is working hard on cultural research and though it is definitely tedious many days, the Lord is revealing so much to us about this beautiful culture. Please continue to pray for this task and that the Lord will bring the fruit from this labor. We believe that the Lord has called us to this year of intentional research and that He will be faithful in guiding us and helping us discern what we are to learn about our continued work here. There are definitely days when the floor is covered in note cards, and brains are fried, and it is easy to wonder what in the world we are doing. Those are the days we remind ourselves that we are not called to get all these things “right.” We are called to be faithful in asking good questions, to use wisdom in making decisions, and to pray. We are doing our best to navigate all this, but God is the one who will bring His kingdom here in Phayao. And it truly is a joy to have a small part in the unfolding of His plans for the people here. Please continue to pray for this area specifically.

In my world right now, I’m doing a lot of play time. Brynn’s school is out for summer break. She had her finals–and I’m not kidding—and passed Anubaan 1 which is basically Pre-Pre-school. I think her final was compiled of a lot of coloring, letter identification in English and Thai, and tracing letters. She did well and we are so proud of how much she has learned in the last six months. She is now moving on to Anubaan 2, Preschool. She starts Summer School next week for half days. She is really looking forward to seeing her friends again and meeting her new teacher. I have to take a moment to brag on our little Brynn. We’ve been playing a lot of letter identification games in both languages. The Thai language has 44 consonants, and 20+ vowels. The girl knows almost all of her Thai consonants, and about 10 vowels so far! It is absolutely amazing for me to watch her learn two languages. She still has a way to go with speaking Thai, but I can tell that she is understanding so much around her. I know that she yearns to speak and play with her friends in Thai like she does in English. Brynn is such a social little girl and loves her friends. It has been tough on her to not be able to communicate fully with the little girls around her. However, running, jumping, chasing, laughing, dancing, and coloring are universal so she has been blessed with several really fun friends at school. I think she has a had a good break being at home this week, but she was saying today that she was excited to go back to school. She also started a ballet class just down the street. Last Sunday afternoon was her first class and she spent most of it on my lap watching the other girls. I’m praying that she will feel more comfortable this week and that this will be another great place for her to make some friends and learn more Thai. Your prayers are requested about even things as simple as this! 🙂

Little Meg loves her some Barney these days. She always says, “I want Bahney”. I just bought a Barney DVD that is dubbed over in Thai. Oh my goodness, if you think Barney is pretty annoying in English, you should hear it dubbed over. Wow. The girls love it though, so I suffer silently. Meg rarely says her “Rs” so we get a kick out of her saying things like “Bahney” and “My haht (heart)”. She also doesn’t say her “Gs”. So she frequently asks “Where my baby doh?” (Where’d my baby go?). She knows we like it so we hear it a least 100 times a day, and I think we laugh every time. She loves to do “Hohhok”, homework, with Brynn. She loves to hide and then jump out and say “Boo Daddy” or “Boo Mommy”!  But my all time favorite is when she plays with Brynn. She has always called Brynn, “B”.  In fact she just started saying “Ben” not too many weeks ago, “B” is just so much easier! I was sitting in the kitchen the other day and I hear her say, “Boo Bee!” It was hysterical. Of course she has no idea what she is saying, but we love when they play that game and we laugh behind her back every time she yells, “Boo Bee!” Sorry, I just had to share the little things that make my day so funny.

Well, we’ve been here for six months now. I have to admit that it has been a hard six months for me. I have to admit that I’m tired of being in culture shock! I am definitely in a better place now than I was a few months ago, but some days it still all catches up with me. I’m trying to have a sense of humor about it all, and deep down I know “this too shall pass”. I sure hope so because I’m ready to move past it! I think the hardest days are when I see that Brynn is hurting. The other night after throwing an all out fit, she just crawled in my lap, and said “I just miss my cousins”. These are the moments I was not prepared for. These are the moments that I didn’t picture when I was excited that we were finally moving to Thailand. I have been stretched farther than I thought I would be. Our family has been stretched and pushed to difficult points. However, I can say we are enjoying this precious time being together in such a laid back place. We spend a lot of evenings on the floor with Chutes and Ladders and Hi-Ho Cherry-O. Derran and I eat lunch together almost everyday. The rhythm of our days is pretty simple compared to the frenzy of last summer, or the last year for that matter. I’ve heard an ambulance siren maybe three times since I’ve gotten here. I never see airplanes flying overhead. Most of the noise I hear during the day comes from the crickets and locusts in the field behind our house–and we live in the city! I told Derran the other day that sometimes I think the noises outside are so loud, but then I laugh when I think that it is nature that is so loud when I was so used to hearing trains, airplanes, and traffic all night long.  So slowly life is feeling more settled. I would appreciate your prayers for me to be able to find some Thai women to be good friends with. That the Lord will give me patience with myself and with the whole settling in process. PATIENCE!! I need it.

Ok, I’ve totally given you more than an earful! I could go on and on about this transition, but I’ll let you faithful readers off the hook. I will end by saying that your love and prayers for us are valued and needed. We are grateful to all of you that love us so very much and continue to encourage us on the hard days. Thank you for being faithful in prayer for us, our team, and our work here. This experience has given us such a different perspective on prayer. We love hearing about and knowing that so many are praying for us, it truly spurs us on and lightens the load. God bless all of you as you live for Him.



  1. love you guys so much! of course we are still praying!!
    I am so impressed with Brynn learning the Thai letters so quickly- when I heard her say them to me on Skype they all sounded the same! How does she know the difference?!! Truly amazing language and maybe one day she can teach me!! HA!
    Love you~ you’re doing an amazing job and I am so proud!

  2. Awesome job Brynn!! (Boo Bee) haha sweet Meg. Brynn has learned so much in such a short time what a smart little girl she is, very proud of her!! I can’t imagine how hard your transition has been honey, I know I could never possibly do what you are doing or accomplish the things you have in another culture, I am so very proud of you. I am lost and out of sorts just going to another city let alone another country. You and Derran are doing such amazing things and are such amazing parents. It takes very special people to be able to do what you are doing and God certainly chose the right two people in you and Derran, you are both very, very special. I think of you daily and I pray (and worry) constantly that the transition gets easier for you, Derran and sweet Brynn and Meg. I love you all very much and I am so proud of all of you. xxoo

  3. You are sowing the seed……..The hardest part is getting the ground ready to plant. What you are doing and the way you are doing it continues to amaze me.
    I recognize your difficult struggles and I will be praying for those days that are really hard. Can’t wait to hear how the dance class goes.

  4. Can I tell you how much I just LOVED that ballet performance in their high heels? PRICELESS. Those two girls are so beautiful and fabulous! I think about you so much Ann~ much more than I tell you, so know that every time your nose itches (or you hear a cricket chirping) that you are being thought about, prayed for, or especially missed in that moment! Love you so much.

  5. Ann, I’m praying for you in each of the things you mentioned. I really admire you and miss you, friend… in spite of the fact that you watch The Bachelor.
    🙂 Ok, so maybe that was the best part of my Mondays this semester.

  6. I love you, Ann. Thanks for the update and your candid report. When we lived there people kept saying “what a sacrifice” and I did not understand. There did not seem to be any true sacrifice. Today … there is sacrifice with you being so far away with Derran, Brynn and Meg. Now I understand what they tried to say to me. Just know this, God is receiving much praise and honor because of your sacrifice. Daddy

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