Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas 2015 - From Flip-Flops to Snow Boots!



Christmas 2015 - from flip-flops to snow boots! It was a huge (but awesome) change.

It’s kind of weird to be writing a post like this. For the past year we have been in the SE Asian heat sweating like crazy and then not even after a month of being back in the US we are in Washington State where the snowfall was waist high.

Dave and I spent two weeks in Kansas seeing family and friends there. We had Christmas with Dave’s family in Wichita and then we came to Washington to have Christmas with my family. We have an ‘every other year system’ for Christmas, so one year on Christmas day we are with Dave’s family and then the other year with my family. 

My family met up near Leavenworth, Washington this year. We rented out a lodge and brought in all our own food. The lodge was right by Lake Wenatchee and the views were incredible. We went into town a couple of times and the town itself is so cute because it is modeled after a Bavarian village.

Most of all we just enjoyed time together. There are two new babies in the family since Dave and I got back and it was really neat to meet them and to see all the cousins together.  It was definitely chaotic at time because, well 4 children under the age of 4 under one roof and we had our hands full, but I’m it was still really great to be around family. 

The Lodge:


A Day at Leavenworth: 


Sugar Overloading...


Sights around Lake Wenatchee


 I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! 
What was your favorite thing about Christmas this year? 


Monday, December 21, 2015

Project Life - Documenting Myanmar and Thailand Part 2



Project Life! 

I've blogged about it before (right here) but today I wanted to give a mini update on where I am with my PL book. 

If you don't know about Project Life it is basically a super simple scrapbook and photo book combined. You can go into as much detail as you want with your PL book or keep it simple and I like having those two options. 

I got a PL life book to document our year abroad in Myanmar and Thailand. I kept the book pretty simple and I'm really liking how it is turning out. I have a little more to add to it so hopefully I'll be done with it soon. 

Teaching was a big part of my life in Myanmar and I also taught in Korea previously. In Korea I took a million trillion pictures and completely overwhelmed myself. In Myanmar I tried to simplify how many pictures I took and I was selective on what I put in this book. 

For the book I put one picture for each child, with the exception of two kids that were cousins, I grouped their picture together. That way I will have their cute little face forever in my album and I hope it will be a reminder for me to pray for them when I see them. 

This big picture is of Shane and I love the card above his picture because so often Shane would say "HERE WE GO!!!" 


I did put a page or two of the smaller pictures and I need to add a couple of more. If you are a teacher, PL is a great way to document but not over document your life as a teacher. 


My 30th birthday had a few pages too! 


I documented our trip to Chaung Tha beach. It's not anything super fancy but I do want to document and remember the places Dave and I went to.


Downtown Yangon

Downtown Yangon is full of beautiful buildings built by the British but unfortunately they have not been up kept over the years. Dave and I really liked downtown though and we did a few walking tours down there and we also took a lot of guests there. 

Something I thought was really fun was that I took the map that Dave and I used pretty much every time we needed to flag down a taxi and explain where we were going. The map is from around the area where we lived. I just cut it down into a 6x8 and then put this little card in there with some washi tape. 

I know in the US we use GPS mostly for maps but if you are in an airport or stop at a highway rest stop they usually have free maps and who doesn't love free???


Elephants! These had to be documented and I have my blog post almost ready to go about these guys.


My parents and Byron and Becky came for a visit and I put a page or two in for each time guests came. Having guests were so special and I want to make sure that our time with family and friends is documented properly.


I'm really thankful I had this book this past year. It helped me to be crafty while abroad without having to haul over a massive amount of crafting supplies. 

Want to know what my next fun project is? We R Memories! It's basically a mini PL but it is for 4x4 pictures. You can use your Instagram or upload your own they just have to be square. I also got the super cute travel journaling cards. This was actually a gift from my sister and I plan on documenting our next road trip using this. 

want to see some more PL posts? Check out Amanda's pages. She is the one who introduced me to this new fun hobby.  

Do you do Project Life? If so please share what you do with yours. I love seeing people's projects. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

We're back!


    

We're back in the land of America! And it feels so good! 

Dave and I calculated the total hours we had been up and traveling and it added up to a whopping 54 hours!!!! We didn't sleep a lot on our flights so we were pretty much walking zombies but we were were so excited to be home that it didn't phase us too bad. 

We spent the last week seeing a lot of family and friends, eating, sleeping and wrapping Christmas presents. 

Home doesn't feel too much different but there are a few things I noticed right away. The first is water pressure. Wow! America has water pressure. I even called Dave over to look at how much water pressure was in the washing machine and how fast it was filling. We had to manually add buckets of water to the washer in Burma, which I didn't mind but it is nice to not have to manually do that. 

Also everything here is super easy. It's easy to purchase groceries. It is easy to eat out because I'm not wondering if I will get sick. It is easy to commute. It's easy to shop. We have it really good here. It's been a little hard to process how easy it is because as I walk in the land of plenty the images in my mind of people in Burma and Cambodia who have so little are ever present too. I haven't processed all that yet but I will eventually. 

In the year we were gone Aidan, our nephew, is now walking but he is still little and really fun and cute. Two of my best friends had babies and I got to meet them, which was so much fun!!! 


              

That picture of Aidan and Dave just cracks me up! That boy did not want to ride in the wagon.


We will be in Wichita until December 16th and then we are hitting the road again. I know no one is surprised... My car is in Idaho so we are going to fly up there and get it. PLUS I have a new nephew to meet there and my sister and I have a years worth of baking and catching up to do. 

After Idaho my side of the family is all meeting in Washington state for Christmas and I have another niece to meet this time!!! It's so much fun to meet all these babies. Also, my brother is supposed to be deploying some time in January so we all want to get together before he leaves. 

After that we are going to drive back to Kansas and then Dave is going to job hunt. He has been keeping his eye out and asking around about jobs here in Kansas so we will see what doors God opens. I told Dave I am willing to go wherever but part of me really wants to stay here in Kansas and have some stability and structure. I feel like my life has been on the go with huge life changes since 2012 so some calm and structure sounds really nice right now. 

Thanks again for praying us through and for encouraging this past year. I'm still so thankful for the huge community of support God gave us. 

As far as blogging, I am still planning on writing and sharing but it isn't going to be as consistent with the holiday season and all these life changes right now. I will be around though and hope to keep sharing with you all. 

If you have any questions for us, e-mail or comment and I'll get back to you. 

Have a Merry Christmas season, friends!!! 

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