Monday, April 07, 2014

Airports, Hotels, Tired Babies, Cute Babies, and Cake

Our trip to America was looooong!!!! We were so excited that we only had to stop once in China. We had never done this before.

We always stop in one Asian country, then Los Angeles, and then Houston. 


Clinton figured a 14 hour layover in China with a complimentary transit hotel would be a good deal.

Let me just tell you, it was the worst trip of our life.

Did I just say that?!?


When we arrived in China the entire airport was closed. It was midnight and it was dark and COLD.
It was 38 outside and probably close to that inside. There was no heater on and we didn't have jackets or blankets. WE. WERE. FREEZING.


All the troops did well without complaining. The only two that complained were Joe and Mama. Yes, I was miserable and wanted Daddy to know it. Poor guy.


At around 6 am, when the information counter opened and we can ask how in the world to get the the Transit Hotel, we made our way there.


After a train, and then a bus we were finally at our Transit Hotel. Just in time to sleep for three hours and then back to Airport.


Once we arrived in Houston, and stood in the immigration line for an hour, the Immigration Officer, said to Clinton, "You go to soft" and he said to Colton, "You go to hard"

I had NO idea what all of that meant, but I knew it wasn't good.

So I waited with Chan and Cayden. And waited. And waited.


After an hour and a half of interrogation, they let them pass. I can't tell you what was going through my mind.

"We've finally made it to America and now they're going to send us back."

We will never be able to come to America with our Thai family."

I was a wreck waiting.


But in the end, they let all of them pass, and gave each of them a 6 month visa.

God is so good to us.

Words can't even begin to express how blessed we are that our WHOLE family is in America!! Wow!!


Three days after arriving, my Aunt Dee Ann had a party for us. We had three cakes made.

One for Cayden's 4th birthday.

One for Joseph, welcoming him to America.

And one for Bella's 1st birthday.


We had a great time fellowshipping with family and friends.














And the kids played and played and played.


Nitcha loves America!


I haven't had a picture with these guys (my handsome nephews) in years! My how they've grown!


We're on the road and we're having so much fun!!

We were able to see Chase and meet his fiancé and now we're in NJ where Clinton preached for a men's breakfast, and two services on Sunday.

God showed up!!

More on that later.

Love you,
Amber

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

USA Here We Come


We had more than 50 people see us off at the Train Station. There were lots of hugs and lots of tears.


Bang's friends came to see him off. When I saw all of them standing there I got tears in my eyes!! God took our boy from the slum and set him in a spacious  place!

Here we are all of us, going home together! It's a miracle. I feel so blessed.
 Here's our little monkey on the sleeper train . He was so full of energy and excitement we could barely get him to sleep.

 Sweet baby Bella on the train.


We celebrated Cayden's 4th birthday once we arrived in Bangkok. And we all had our last Thai meal.

We're leaving the guest house in just two hours to head to the airport. We fly to Bejing and the to Tx!!! 

First stop in Tx will be Mexican food!!

I'll keep you posted. 

Love
Amber

Friday, March 14, 2014

Digital Project Life

Digital Project Life Cherry Edition
I am SO excited!! After a year of hard work, when I didn't think that I'd finish, I did it! I finally finished my Digital Project Life 

I have my files at the printer now and am sooooooo excited to get my photo book back.

They say when you're doing Digital Project Life you should have the pages printed ever so often to keep you motivated to finish. 

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the pages from my DPL photo book. 

In case you're wondering Digital Project Life is a form of Project Life but in digital form. It's  system that lets you chronicle your life as it happens week by week in pictures and journaling. 

Becky Higgins is the creator of Project Life and this is what she has to say about it. 

Project Life provides an ultra-simple solution that helps us get those pictures into albums without draining our time, energy, and wallets. The idea is simple: Photos + memorabilia + journaling together in an album - everything slips into pockets. No requirement to cut or glue or embellish a thing. And yet - the results are stunning. Project Life is back-to-basics scrapbooking at its finest.


It can be a simple or complex as you have time for, that's the beauty of it. If you have time to embellish each page then you can but if all you have time for is to slip the pictures in slots then that's fine too. It's so versatile.

I love taking photos and I love having photos in an album for the kids to look at . It's something so special to help everyone remember.

The older I get the more I forget. lol

But this way, the whole family can remember what we did throughout the year.


Now for me,  Project Life wasn't an option for many reasons.

1. I live in Thailand and having the book and all that goes with it shipped here would be too costly.

2. I'm severely handicap when it comes to cutting anything... I can't cut a straight line to save me life!

3. No tape, glue or scissors involved. I'm handicap remember!?!

4. With the use of the internet, I have access to TONS of free scrapbooking materials.


The digital version, to me, is so wonderful because all you have to do is drag and drop your images into the slots and Photoshop does all the cutting for you.

I took an online class that was only $35 from Jessica Sprague  With this class you not only get fabulous teaching but you also get a full Digital Project Life Kit to use on your first album. I started with the Cherry Kit  but then moved into fun freebies on the internet. So my album is a mix match of lots of different patterns.

In the class, she takes you step by step in how to use Photoshop in just six lessons.


But the cool thing is the lessons are video so you can watch them anytime you want.

You always have access to any classes you buy from her. Her classes also come with lost of free material which is always a bonus.



I really love journaling our homeschool with DPL. I want to remember these moments forever and I want the children to remember them too.


You can go to Becky Higgins Digital Project Life site and view all the core kits that are available.



Celebrating Chandler's 1st birthday

Our sweet grand-daughter, Bella Rose


This day, the boys wanted to swim. It was SO. HOT. So we cleaned up the cement bucket and let them take a swim. They had a blast. Can you tell?






So there's a little peek into our year.

How do you keep track of pictures and memory making? Do you scrapbook? Do you do Project Life?

I'd love to know!

We fly out in just 5 days!!!!! I'm so excited that I've been up since 3am. It's 5am now. ; )

Love you~
Amber

Sunday, March 02, 2014

A Day in Our Life....in the Mud

We had a super fun encouraging week this week when the Acts Team from IHOP Atlanta came to visit us!

We prayed and worshiped for four hours a day and it was wonderful!! They were a breathe of fresh air in a dry and weary land. 

We were so blessed to have some one else come in and lead worship and pray over our people. 

Our prayer sets in the morning were in English and it was sooo good. The evenings we had some Thais attend so we did an hour of English and a hour of  Thai. 

This picture shows our Sunday morning service. (excuse my Christmas banner still up... it is February and I'm aware and have no excuse.) 

All the pictures on the wall my sweet husband painted. 




After church some of our disciples asked if we wanted to go catch some fish. They didn't say, "Do you want to go fishing?" They said, "Catch some fish.... with your hands." 

This got me interested and I thought I must go see what they were talking about. I thought it would be a wonderful experience for some young excited interns too.



So we pull over to the side of the road and get out. I'm like, "Where's the water? I didn't even see a lake or a fishing hole or anything like that." 

My Thai friend pointed to the ditch filled with water and mud. 



It takes me a while to catch on sometimes, but I was totally stumped this time.



As I got closer I saw everyone bent over with their hands in the mud pulling cat fish out of the mud hole. HILARIOUS.

Bang and Pii Akom


This area has man made ditches for the water to run through when it rains and floods. As the water begins to dry up the fish, clams, shrimp and any other sea/water creature buries themselves in the mud. Perfect for dinner, right?


This is Kevin. What a precious young man! He played the violin the five days they were here and it was such a treat!! He's graduated with a major in Engineering, but wants to serve the Lord in full time missions in some capacity.


This is Lorien, she graduated with a major in Elementary Education with a focus on TESOL. (teaching English as a second language). She also has a heart for missions.

Lorien


This is Dana a sweet southern girl from Georgia. It was so fun to listen to her talk!

Dana

 Here's Nan, she's a precious Thai girl that is like a daughter. She calls us Mom and Dad. She graduated from our Bible School and is a missionary to her people. She'll be the one living at the church and taking care of the two Thai girls that we took in as well as watching over the church and the cell groups. We love her!

My sweet baby


So this canal, is full of water and they blocked the water off and began to use buckets to drain the canal of water. Once all the water was drained, they all began to dig the fish out of the mud with their hands........ little fish, big fish, it didn't matter.



I asked them, "Are you going to keep all the fish? What will you do with them?" They said they would keep all of them. With the small ones they'd make a curry cake they they wrap in banana leaf and steam, with the big ones they'd fry them or make a curry with them. 

Thais are super resourceful. Especially the Thai from eastern Thailand. Because there's very little work up there except farming, they eat whatever they can find.  



Even ants.



As I was walking around taking pictures, I saw some old Thai men with a bag up to a tree shacking it.  I know that Thais love to eat ant eggs, so I assumed that's what they were doing. I walked up closer and asked them what they were doing and if I could take some photos.

They were obliged.  But they weren't catching the eggs... there weren't any. They were catching the ant! A large ice cooler full of red ants!

They were gonna take them home, fry 'em and eat 'em!



This was the team when we got back to the church... a dirty mess! But they had FUN!



If you went on a missions trip, would this be something you'd like to experience?

What are some of the adventures you've had?

Until next time!

Amber~