Monday, April 7, 2014

March highlights

This is the HOT time of year. And dry. And dusty. And sticky. The kind of weather that makes you want to live in water. However, do you know what makes THIS March & April so much more wonderful than LAST year? I'm not in my third trimester! AND our power outages have been so infrequent! Amazing! All through March I was thinking, "You think this is hot, Nica? Just's not even April yet." Well, now it's April! And, it's hot. This picture makes me laugh. It feels true!

 I'm not sure if he'll hate me for this photo in the future, BUT. I AM SO PROUD OF WESLEY!!!
This has been such a month of change and development for him! I can't believe it! He's really caught on to potty training!!! No more negotiating with us for more candy. ("1 skittle if you go on the potty, Wes." "TWO candies." "Okay, fine. Two skittles." "Three candies." "You're pushing it, kid!" haha)
He now just tells us "pee pee" and we make a bee-line for the toilet!
This does, however, require Joe and I to always be on guard. For those brave times we take him out in public, we need to always be on guard for where the toilets are. When we went out with Carol (see below pics) we forgot to ask in advance where the toilet was, and when he told us he needed to go, although he was running beside his daddy as fast as his little legs would go, he didn't make it in time and he had an accident. He was embarrassed and it was SO cute. I just love seeing him grow up.
Way to go, Wes!!!

PS...sitting backwards on the toilet was Auntie Sheila's idea. It works great!

We had a friend from Shanghai come to Phnom Penh for business and we were so lucky to snag her for an evening! We met up with Carol at her hotel, went swimming, had dinner, and got a way-too-brief chance to see her again! She was a huge encouragement to me through my pregnancy with Wes, and was a big part of his first year, so she was so excited to see him again, as well as meet Briana!


It was our first time to swim in an infinity pool! So fun!


Another great way to stay cool: enjoy air conditioned play areas! This is also something that the kids and I do on Saturday mornings while Daddy studies Khmer. An activity that both Wes & Bria love! It's so cute to see them enjoying the same things! :)

We're sad, though. We went there last Saturday and they were tearing down the play area, hauling the rides away one by one. A different owner, so the toys are leaving. We'll have to find another Saturday AM hang out. These pictures are extra special now!

I noticed the ice cream horns after I took the photo. I thought it was funny!

holding Wes' ice cream cone while he played in the bouncy castle.

Sharing a ride together! --the last time they would enjoy these rides. (sob)

Of course, we always have entertainment in our home!
The boys love coming over to play with Wes & enjoy our pool.

I love watching them play together!

Some places in Cambodia make me feel like I'm not in Cambodia. 
This new coffee shop is one of them. 
A fabulous bakery, great wifi, and even a wonderful playground for kids! It's where I bought the bagels for Joe's birthday, so I mentioned it to our play group. We met here and the kids had such a wonderful time while us mommies enjoyed great coffee and bought bagels at half price! Score! Hope I can frequent this place again!

Khemrin is Briana's little play date buddy. 
They are so cute together! They both just sit there, making baby talk and stealing each others' snacks. He is also our neighbor, so we get to see him and his mommy frequently! I'm so happy to have met English speaking friend on my street...with babies the same age! God is so good!
a heart-to-heart with my baby girl.

The adorable Khemrin!

Khemrin & his mommy, my friend, Katherine.

15 years ago (yes, I'm old enough to actually say that!) I chipped a tooth playing baseball. (Never was good at that hand-eye coordination stuff.) Unfortunately the cap came off and I had to find a dentist here (the kind of thing I put off until I absolutely have no choice.) I must say, I was pleasantly surprised! A beautiful high-rise in the center of town (probably 1 of about 4 or 5 high-rises. It's not a big city!), squeaky clean offices, staff that speak English, and pleasantly affordable! One of my friends recommended I go here. She said it's the kind of place where she would take tourists who come to visit her, just to get their teeth cleaned. I don't know if I would go that far, but the dental care really was fantastic, the view of the city was pretty beautiful (as beautiful as this city gets!) and yes, if you want to get dental work done when you come to visit us, I now know where to take you. ;)

The view of the city with the palace and Mekong River in the background, taken from the dental waiting room.

It's common that our neighbor boys show up just as I'm preparing dinner. 
Sometimes they find what I'm doing SO intriguing that they can't help but want to help me (like making tortillas) and then I laugh as they try. This boy, Ratanak, told me as I was showing them how to roll a tortilla, (he speaks some basic English), "Everything you do is different!" haha, I suppose that's true! He also remembered how to use my garlic press and was proudly showing the other boys how to use it, too. He said, "You have everything to make it easy!" I guess I don't realize how true that is. Even though my neighbors would be considered middle class, they often surprise me with their limited knowledge. 
One day I came down the stairs to my office to find a neighbor lady looking through my refrigerator. I thought it was so strange that she would be looking at our food, and I asked my housekeeper to tell her to please stop. I found out they don't have a fridge, and she wanted to see what one looked like on the inside and how it worked. THAT'S why they always have meat drying on chairs and tables outside! I just don't think about these things. They still use flower-pot-style clay pots and charcoal for cooking. They burn rubber tires to get the fire started. Yes, it smells terrible! This is what they are used to, and this is what they still do. No wonder they look at all my fancy kitchen gadgets (oven, fridge, even a garlic press) in wonder. It's moments like that when I stop and thank the Lord for blessing me with SO much. Maybe not a lot in comparison with North American standards (no shiny red Kitchen Aid, no bread machine, no dryer.) But the simplicity of these beautiful people have me thanking the Lord for beginning to mend this war-torn country and raise up a generation that won't need to live in fear of poverty, death, starvation, or illness. It's a long process, and these things are still rampant, and yet we are moving forward. One garlic press at a time. haha

Here is Ratanak feeding Briana. He was one of the first people we met on our street when we moved here! He is a special boy! Pray for him, that the Bible stories that he sees in English on our TV (and he translates into Khmer for his friends) will become true in his heart and that our resurrected & living GOD will stir within his heart a passion to know Him, the same GOD of those stories, personally! He is a natural leader.

My baby girl...8 months old. Such perfect posture!

Take baby to work, day! :)
Bria was helping me prepare for a meeting and I had to take a picture. 
So grateful for my online job that allows me the flexibility to work and be a mom at the same time!

We have a lot of these little guys around our house.
Wes is very intrigued by them and loves to try to catch them.
I caught one on film, getting rid of a little bug for me!

So, thanks for praying with us through this month, and not forgetting about us! :)
We love you all and think of you so often. Looking forward to seeing you this summer!

Joe, Nica, Wes, & Bri

1 comment: