These are a few of my favorite things. . .

Here are some of our favorite treats. . . The first is what we call “Mango Mountain!” It’s shaved ice cream with mango on top. It is huge, but we have no problem finishing it as you can see. The second is from a new coffee shop that opened up within walk distance. Coffee in Asia isn’t the norm (it’s usually tea), so this coffee with ice cream is like a piece of heaven! The third is a place David and I eat without the kids because it’s spicy as you can see by the red color of the broth. You get to pick what you want in your soup and they make it for you. We did all veggies with tofu this time. Delish!
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Some things we will miss. . .

We are getting ready to get on a plane and head back to the States for the summer.  We are so excited to see our family and friends and spend a precious 2 months together!  Of course, we have mixed feelings of leaving our friends, our home, and our life here for 10 weeks. . . but again FAMILY and FRIENDS.  Those two words are so important to us and we want them to be important to our little ones too.  But, here are a few things we are going to miss:

THIS VIEW – this is the mountain right across from our house.  We climb the mountain frequently and play in the river.  It’s a beautiful and quiet place we enjoy.

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“PETS” – so the kids have caught 3 baby turtles, 2 fish, and silk worms that they have enlisted local friends to help them take care of while we are gone.  This huge snail, I made them put it back because that thing can cover some ground!  I did not want him getting loose in my house :)

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THE FOOD – We LOVE LOVE LOVE local food.  We eat it out and fix it at home here.  Caden is tearing up a bowl of noodles and the spicy/sour pickled radishes that he added himself.  We hope to be able to fix some good Chinese food for our family and friends when we go back to the States :)

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NATURE – We are nature lovers, always amazed by the Creator’s art.  We come to this special place and climb, hunt for crawfish, camp, or hike several times a month.

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Not pictured are our local friends.  We have been blessed and encouraged by so many relationships that have helped make this place feel like home.

Injuries and Sickness

I really feel thankful for the past 3.5 years here in Asia. We haven’t had any MAJOR sickness or injuries. That’s definitely the Father’s hand of protecting and blessing for sure! Here we are, getting ready to head back to the States for the summer, and we have had more health problems than I remember having before.

Well, this past week Caden fell on some slippery tiles in our neighborhood and cut his head open, and Colt had a severe ear infection (which would make flying excruciatingly painful). Thankfully, we were able to get Caden’s cut cleaned up and take the fast train to the next province over to an international clinic. From other people’s experience, we knew the local hospital used thick sutures and no numbing medicine. . . I couldn’t imagine Caden holding still with that painful stitching job going on right next to his eye. Thankfully, it was possible to avoid that traumatic experience.

Colt. . . after 2 sleepless night and painful days, we were able to get some antibiotics and he started to get some relief. I was desperate.  I even took him for massage that the locals do when they are sick.  He said it made it worse :) haha. He still has some fluid in his ear, but it seems to be getting less and less. He should be good to get on the plane Monday!

I used to be laid back, but after this. . . I’m more foreseeing the accidents and germs/sickness that never happened before – pretty much turning into my mother :)
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Professional Pics

One of Colt’s classmate’s parents own a kids photography business. They had asked a while back (like last year) about taking pics of the kids to “give them practice for their western style.” I really had no interest because our kids don’t sit still for long periods of time, and she was talking about it being pretty much an all day affair. Well, the kids had a two week break this past month, and I thought it would be a good way to break up the day. So (after agreeing to being finished by lunchtime). . . we went to their studio and it was amazing! I have never seen so many clothes. We had no idea what it would be like, so I had already bathed the kids, brushed their hair, and put them in nice clothes. But, when we got there, the workers ushered them into a huge studio for clothes and make-up/hair. Kylie was in heaven. The boys. . . not so much. I’m not sure about the outfits they picked out for the kids, but I suppose it’s part of their idea of “western style.” These are pics we took with our phone. I’m hoping to get a few from the professionals when they are ready :) :) It was an unexpectedly fun experience.
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Cooking over an open fire

David had the idea. He calls this meal “hobos.” I’m not even sure how you spell that, because I had never heard of them before. We each made our own – just meat and bunch of different veggies. We went to our favorite camping/climbing spot and played while they cooked for about 30 minutes. Of course we also had smores afterwards, then came home. How’s that for a no mess meal? Not too bad. . . And yes, they were quite good :)

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