Archive for June, 2011


Can’t Believe She’s 5!


We are a few weeks behind on this one, but we still wanted to show some pictures from Brynn’s 5th birthday. She actually had a couple of birthday parties!  She really wanted to have a “Tea Party Birthday” this year and had been talking about it for months. It worked out perfectly that Eva and Ella would be here, so we planned a tea party for the cousins. Tonya and Haley were the “Tea Party Fairies” and so sweetly volunteered to decorate for the party at our favorite coffee shop. When we showed up everything was pink and beautiful. It was a real treat!  Brynn and her guests dressed up for the occasion and loved having their own special party. The girls had a great time drinking “tea,” eating fruit, and making jewelry.


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Later that afternoon we had a party at our house with all of her friends.  Most of her friends here are boys, so no dressing up or anything–more like pink cupcakes and decorations with lots of running around and playing tag in the rain.  It was a fun time hanging out with friends and neighbors.

It was a great couple of days celebrating with Brynn; she loved every minute of it!  It is hard to believe she is five and in kindergarten. She has a million questions every day, makes us laugh with great stories, never stops moving or dancing, loves homeschool and Thai school, loves to be read to, builds pillow forts, plays with dolls, sings, and is full of energy! Brynn, with her beautiful curly hair and bright blue eyes, continues to bring such life and joy into our home. It has been a wonderful 5 years with this girl!


Carders in Thailand


May was a great month. Not only did we find out we are having a boy, celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary, and see Brynn turn 5 years old, but we were also blessed to have Rick, Amy, Eva and Ella Carder come for a visit. They stayed almost two weeks, and we enjoyed every minute of it. The girls were beyond excited to have their first cousins come see their home in Phayao. There is no way to tell you all the fun things we did, but maybe some pictures will give you a glimpse of what our time was like. (If you do want to read up on their visit, and laugh a lot, checkout Amy’s recaps on her blog.)

I love this picture of Ella running out of the baggage claim towards Brynn and Meg. Those were four excited girls!

Sporting new jammies from Mimi. I think Brynn and Meg had those smiles on their faces for 10 straight days.

The girls loved the cousin photo shoot, or at least the first 3 minutes of it.

Ann leading the troops into the grocery store, umbrellas and all!

The woman watching them eat lunch through the window is indicative of our lives during their visit. Four blue-eyed girls attract lots of attention in Phayao!

Somehow Ann convinced Amy to jump on the motorcycle for a short trip to the beauty salon. She was a good sport, though I noticed that she didn’t ask to ride it again.

Rick, on the other hand, rode the motorcycle more than he probably ever wanted to.

The girls liked playing in our “yard.” This is what you do in Thailand during the month of May.

It only took Ella a few days to get the “wai” down. She is so adorable.

The Carders even took a ride in the Fikes’ Vespa. Quite a sight, and they got a few laughs and stares as well!

Splashing around in a waterfall outside of Phayao.

A minister’s work is never done, even on vacation! Rick jumped right in and joined our trash clean-up efforts while he was here.

They joined us for church at the Fikes’ house.

Cousins and best of friends.

The Carders were able to get an early tasting of our brick oven pizza.

We spent the last couple of days in Chiang Mai, which included a ride in a tuk tuk.

We took the kids to ride elephants and watch the elephant show. Ann pulled the pregnancy card and didn’t ride. Can’t say I wasn’t jealous. Some of the thrill wears off after the 8th or 9th time. But, the girls loved it.

The fans like the elephant show (Well, look at our faces, the girls’ expressions are a little harder to read 🙂

Four brave little girls.

The girls love their Aunt Amy and Uncle Rick.

We stayed with the Reagans in Chiang Mai and took this picture right before taking the Carders to the airport. It was definitely hard to say goodbye (both girls wailed as we left the airport), but we thank God for the time we spent together and that we could show them our lives here.


We’re Having A . . .


For those who didn’t catch Ann’s facebook update, Reese baby #3 is a boy. We are obviously excited to know and look forward to adding some blue to this house full of pink.

The day we found out was especially fun because we got to share the moment with a group of our friends. We decided to have a gender-reveal party and invited our team members and our friends Nong and Lek, along with their two boys. Rick, Amy, Eva, and Ella were visiting at that time, which made it even more special. Ann, Amy and I went to the doctor’s appointment while everyone else set up for the party. They put blue and pink decorations up and made cupcakes of both colors. Chris cooked a brisket in the brick oven while others prepared salads, mashed potatoes and other sides. (It was seriously the best meal I’ve had since being in Phayao.) Everyone who came also had to wear a blue or pink shirt to indicate which gender they thought the baby was. It was overwhelmingly dominated by blue shirts. Amy had also wrapped two presents, a pink onesie and a blue one.

At the hospital, Ann and Amy closed their eyes during the critical moment of the ultrasound. The doctor showed me the “information” I needed to know and then finished the ultrasound without letting Ann or Amy know the gender. Once back at our house, I tried to hold on to the power as long as possible, but Ann was dying to know. So, I picked out the present with the correct color and then let the fun begin. You can watch Ann’s reaction below.

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It was a great night of fun and celebration. Now we just need to pick a name. Any suggestions?