We’ve had several fun things going on these days.

#1 First, the girls’ Nonnie and Poppy came for a visit for 9 days, and we had a great time with them. The girls were thrilled when they came around the corner and through customs at the airport. It did their hearts so good to be showered in hugs, kisses, laughter, and of course, lots of presents! We showed them around Phayao, they got a good feel for our lives here, and then gave it their big stamp of approval. We also took them to ride elephants! It was the girls’ first time. And, though they cried and were nervous for a lot of the half hour ride, they still talk about it and want to do it again! At one point, (after I’d given Brynn the big speech about this being really fun and she was going to ride it, like it or not), I started getting nervous up there, too! I scooted closer to Derran and kept giving him the nervous laugh and the “Are we going to be ok? If I fall, will I just break my leg or my skull too?” questions, and he finally said, “Ann, you need to pull yourself together, I can only deal with one nervous female up here”. I pulled myself together and had a good time. As did our almost-4-year-old.

#2 We got to go celebrate the wedding of a good friend in Chiang Mai over the weekend. They are a beautiful Christian couple, and it was a beautiful wedding. We’ve known O, the groom, for many years now, and just recently met the bride, Nid. It was so fun to see old friends at the ceremony and celebrate such a sweet couple. Here’s a picture of them and one of us giving a blessing to the couple during the string-tying ritual. (Here, Thais tie string around the wrists of the married couple as a symbol of being unified and as a way to bless the new couple.)

#3 And finally, we celebrated Brynn Kylar Reese turning four on May 9th. She has been talking about her birthday for MONTHS now, and we are all glad that it finally arrived. We celebrated her little life with pink donuts, a Princess party, a pink cake with pink icing, and much conversation about how she has grown and changed over the years. It is so cliche to say it, but I can’t believe she is four! I remember watching the World Cup holding Brynn as a newborn and thinking the next time the World Cup would come around this little bundle would be four….and here we are! We had her party in our neighbor’s yard because they have a lot more room to play. I found out a few hours before the party that they weren’t even going to be there–they were so sweet and wanted us to go ahead and enjoy ourselves whether they were there or not. They gave me the keys to their little schoolroom and made available anything we  would need. I was sad that they couldn’t be there, but was so blessed by their hospitality. Our team came and brought balloons and food and added such joy and fun to the party. All of our kids love each other so much, and it is a joy to watch their relationships grow. We played games, ate cake (that I created earlier that day) and cupcakes (that the girls decorated), and enjoyed time together. Last year we had a swim party in the backyard with pizza.  This year our party had grilled pork on a stick, sticky rice, glass noodle salad, and fresh mangos. Little different, but another fun celebration of Brynn! My only complaint was that it was so blasted hot even at 6 in the evening. Ok, even at 8:30 when we were cleaning up it was still so HOT! But Brynn enjoyed herself thoroughly. Well, except for the dress-up relay race when she wanted to put the gloves on correctly, with every finger in its place, which just doesn’t happen in dress-up relay races–so she gallantly pushed forward and finished that leg….then went and cried in the corner for the poor gloves that weren’t put on correctly. Girl after my own heart–if it doesn’t work just right, she and I have a hard time recovering. (Reminds me of a Schlitterbahn story our first year of marriage and a race with Derran’s family that didn’t go so well….) It’s safe to say, the Reese girls don’t necessarily thrive in competitive situations. Something to work on this year! Our sweet neighbors all came and that made us feel loved and accepted by  those around us. They gave Brynn gifts and stayed to talk and enjoy watching the kids play. We went to bed last night grateful for our little Brynn and the joy she is to us and to all those around her. It was a fun evening.

Roof update: We’ve been assured that it will be fixed this week sometime. We’re not holding our breath. I mean, is it really so bad to have a closet in your hallway, mattresses leaning against the wall in our room, and three beds crammed in the guest room? Laughing it off….laughing it off.

Bug update: Here are some shots of us eating some bugs a couple weeks ago. Apparently they only come out after a very hard rain (like the night our roof caved in), and are a real treat around here. Our neighbor fried some up, and we tried a couple….not too bad for a bug. Kinda salty. Crunchy. I’ll stop now.

Cute pictures update:

Sweet Meg–so funny and sweet. I just love this picture!

Precious Brynn–here she is catching up on some reading in a book her Daddy left on the couch….like father, like daughter….we like to start our girls reading at very high, contextually appropriate levels…:)



  1. First of all, I love your quote that “Reese girls don’t necessarily thrive in competitive situations.” Some of us do (Jordan!), others of us, not so much. We love having you girls on the side that doesn’t thrive well in competition; what a nice way to say that.

    I’ve eaten bugs. Yuck.

    I’m glad the birthday party went well! We love you!

  2. Happy Birthday Brynn!! Im so glad that you had your princess party and that it was a success!! Good job mommy for putting that together! Wish we were there to help celebrate:)
    Can not believe that you made me look at that picture Derran. YUCK!! I had to scroll past that very quickly and try not to throw up thinking about it~
    I will NOT be eating bugs when I come to visit!!!
    love you~

  3. So glad the party was a hit! It looked like so much fun, I wish we could’ve been there to celebrate. All the pictures make me miss you guys even more. The girls are just so precious! Hope the roof gets fixed this week and you can find some other things to eat besides the bugs that come out after the rain. Seriously…gross! Love you lots!

  4. It’s so great to see you settled in to life there. What fun you guys have had lately. Miss you guys!

  5. Great pictures and it has been an eventful few weeks.
    You managed to pull off a great 4th birthday for sweet precious Brynn. She has a super Mom and Dad.
    Love you,

  6. Happy birthday Brynn! Wow…I cannot believe she is 4! The picture of her crying with the gloves on while you are talking to her cracked me up. Brynn, I can relate. I have a weird thing with socks and gloves too…they have to be on just right! I’m glad you all are doing well. We miss you and think of you often.

  7. Love the elephant picture! And Meg is getting so big! She is so adorable, well they both are!! Cute party too. Looks like it was fun. Sawyer would love that princess cake.

  8. Wow! It has been way too long since I’ve caught up with you guys. Jocelyn emailed me last week and got me caught up a little bit. I love the pictures – can’t believe you have a 4 year old Derran. We are so old. That picture of you eating the bugs brings back some memories. lol. Email me sometime.

  9. Great cake Ann- very impressed. Hope you got our birthday song on the phone a few weeks ago. We were hoping we could catch you guys. We are actually in Florida visiting Jody on Brynn’s bday. The party looked so fun. Yes, wasn’t it like yesterday when we were all watching the World Cup. Jody is so pumped for this year. I’m a little sad for him b/c we are going to be on his family’s vacation staying in a cabin with no TV. Missing you guys so much! Give those girls a hug from us.

  10. Ann, you are such a hoot…contextually what?? You must make missionary life so much fun for everyone! I am so sorry now that I didn’t get anything in the mail for Brynn. I have to do better! Better check my birthday calendar.

  11. I miss you guys and I’m so amazed by the work you’re doing and the things you’re teaching your kids. They are being filled with knowledge of a rich world and I know that you will help them understand and learn who God is in the midst of challenges and surprises and joys.
    Love you guys!

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