Sunday, January 26, 2014

January highlights

January is probably the coolest month of the year here! We've been enjoying it! Getting down to 18*C (64*F) at night, it's been nice to get out some of our long-sleeved t-shirts! Briana has even been able to wear her hoodie! (a gift from my amazing cousin, Pam! Thankyou!!)

Joe continues to surprise me by bringing gorgeous reminders of his love for me and our family. He wins me over every day! I love fresh flowers. :) Not too good at selfies, though. haha

One morning Wes got into my mascara! Since it's waterproof, this photo was taken AFTER Joe tried to scrub it off his face. When I got out of my meeting and saw it, I just laughed and laughed! He'd given himself a beard!! He's such a great kid. How could you get mad at that face??

We were invited to our little friend's first birthday! Sophet, Bunleap's father, speaks English really well, but had a hard time finding a good job. He sells food outside of a convenience store close to our house for a living. (The Cambodian version of a hotdog stand). When we moved here, his wife was pregnant, and Bunleap was born in January, 2013. We were happy to be able to attend his 1st birthday party and continue to get to know them as a family!

Their house is just a single room, their only furniture is a bed. Ours was the only gift for him to open at his party, but it was a great party! With music, balloons, children, and laughter, we are reminded of what is important in life: family & love. I hope we will be able to someday share Christ with this special family!

Bunleap: the birthday boy! So handsome!

Bunleap and his mama playing with Briana

Even though it wasn't his party, Wes took it upon himself to be the center of attention! He was so excited to see the birthday cake and kept blowing out the candle before Bunleap had a chance to try! (Bunleap didn't really know what he was supposed to do, and Wesley was good at it! It was pretty cute and got a lot of laughs)

Another little friend: Pano

January 11 marks the official "Starbucks Day" for Chelle and I! 
5 years ago, exactly 6 months before I was to be married, we had a sentimental Starbucks "date" and claimed this date as our own. No matter where we were in the world, we would meet up for coffee for a sister reunion. Now, 5 years later, we continue the tradition and, even though neither of our cities have SB, we still find a special place to enjoy and get caught up "together." I love you, Chelle!
On my way home from my SB date with Chelle, an amazing thing happened!
The train tracks that we go over ALL THE TIME, actually got used for a train! I've heard this train passes by periodically, but I've never actually seen it. I had to take a photo. 
It was hilarious how people stopped to let the train go by. Cars, trucks, and motos all fill up both sides of the road. So once the stop sign is raised, we're all sitting there looking at each other and chaos ensues as we all try to move forward and get around the people who are exactly in front of us. So funny!

Wes is growing out of ALL of his shorts! 3T sizes are too small, and we don't have a lot of 4T for him. So, we did a little bit of shopping. Or, Briana and I did. Wes fell asleep in the tuk tuk on the way, so Joe just sat in a coffee shop (er, milk tea shop!) waiting for the girls to come back from shopping. Bri and I had a great time together! And Joe and I even had a relaxing "date" with our sleeping toddler and happy baby! :)

Wes & Briana sure love & miss their cousins.We can't be at the birthday parties, so we decided to celebrate on our own and start a little tradition of sending out birthday "cards" as a way to stay connected. 

We were sad to miss Jason & Ethan's birthday party, so we had a little celebration of our own
complete with silly string! We love you guys! Happy birthday!

Juliet celebrated her first birthday this month!

And Eliora was born! We can't wait to meet you!

I made a little "Reading Corner" under a table in our entry way, with a CD player for Wes to turn on his own music. This is an alternate background noise vs. Curious George. It seems to be working! He likes to play (and dance!) while he listens to music, and will often say, "Music! Music!" instead of "Hoo Hoo Ha!" A welcome change! His favorite is Veggie Tales Worship, and this instrumental playtime music.

Here is Wes & Briana in the little reading corner. too cute!

After his bath one evening, I had to just snag a photo of my BIG 2 year old! He really overpowers me sometimes! This is Wes at 2 years, 8 months. 

And this photo is my petite little baby girl at 6 months! Love them both so much!

We went out for lunch one day, since our stove was out of gas. (A good excuse not to cook! :) This little local restaurant serves amazing food, the BEST iced coffee, and it's just around the corner from us! We've gotten out of the habit of going since I couldn't drink coffee when I was pregnant. We'll have to frequent this place again more often! Yum!
Here's Wes doing the Asian "happy" sign for the photo! haha!

Wes playing with his dinosaurs...a new favorite toy.

And now, for your viewing pleasure...
some videos of the kiddos.

Wes was hugging Buddy for SO LONG after his little trip through the washing machine. I was sitting there laughing at him, but he wouldn't stop hugging him and saying, "Buddy!" over and over! So I went upstairs, emptied the camera card, and came back down and he was still going at it! So I caught part of it on film. This is one loved monkey. lol.

Wes singing Old MacDonald

Briana's song!

Wes loves the new calendar our Martin family sent! He's really learning how to count! :)

Wes fits right in with these crazy boys. This went on for OVER HALF AN HOUR. I kept waiting for either someone to get hurt, or for them to run out of energy. Neither happened. I had to break up the party. haha! I love these kids! Notice how gentle they are with the younger ones. Wes is often the instigator in the roughhousing. my boy!

I found this video of Briana from a couple of months ago...she's just giggling...with a surprise at the end. I thought it was cute, so, even though it's from October 31, you go. Sorry it's late!

...and on that lovely note... I will wish you all a wonderful Chinese New Year!
We plan to celebrate with a few special CNY treats and decorations, and also make jiaozi (dumplings!) with Shirley, our Chinese colleague!

Xin Nian Kuai Le!! (Happy New Year!)
NOTE: Khmer New Year is in April, so we'll save those celebrations for later. ;)

Joe, Nica, Wes, & Bri

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