Friday, November 26, 2010

Daisy the Dog

We now have a dog. She has been a part of our family for apx. 2 months. We had talked about getting a dog for a while. Sophie has very high social needs and seeing that she doesn't have a little brother or sister yet, we figured a dog would be the next best thing. There is a sweet missionary family in the neighborhood whose teenage daughter was moving back to the US and they were looking for a home for her dog. It seemed to be a situation we couldn't pass up. First of all, she is adorable. Secondly, she was already partially trained and very well mannered- for the most part. Her biggest weakness is the burst of high energy she gets on the arrival of anyone through the front door. She is OBSESSED with toes. She bites, nibbles, licks, sniffs- while simultaneously jumping and running circles around your feet. The sight of fresh feet (meaning new feet, not clean feet- actually, I'm pretty sure she prefers dirty feet) acts like a visual amphetamine for her. I need to figure out how to take her through detox. I know there's probably a very easy way to train your dog, but I'm challenged when it comes to training. We're still working on going potty outside- all the time. Isn't this supposed to be relatively easy when working with an intelligent dog? I believe the experts, its normally a problem with the trainer, not the trainee. I need someone to train me on how to train.

Nevertheless, we really do love her. I secretly love the fact that she usually follows me wherever I go. When I'm cooking, she always gets snuggled up in the corner beside the oven, right by my feet. When I'm having a quiet time on the couch, there she is, right at my feet. I'm trying to ignore the fact that if she doesn't get a bath every other day, then I'm constantly sneezing and my eyes are bloodshot. This too shall pass- or not.

Sophie does well, but she can't handle Daisy first thing in the morning. Sophie always stops on the second from the last step and calls me to come and get her. Daisy is especially excited to see Sophie in the morning, but Sophie needs to enjoy Daisy from a secure location- the couch or living room chair, too high for Daisy to jump on. After Daisy comes down from her high, the playing begins. Sophie loves to play with the leash. The great thing is Sophie can't clip it to her collar, rather she lets Daisy hold it in her mouth and leads her around the house. Daisy always cooperates and keeps it in her mouth, following close behind Sophie. That's a good friend.

I hope we have Daisy for a long time, I just need to get trained on how to train. It's not that much different from training a child, except I don't have to "shepherd" the dog's heart. Speaking of shepherding a heart, I need to go read that book again. I need to get trained on how to train a child too, or at least a regular refresher course.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Poor Child

Hmmm, I guess I'm not a blogger. My last entry was almost 4 months ago. The Pioneer Woman would be so disappointed. Maybe its just not in my blood. My sister finally wrote me an email and said, "Ok, enough is enough. Its Thanksgiving, write on your blog." Once I do it, blogging is really therapeutic. And I'm all about therapy.

I really can't believe its Thanksgiving already. Where does the year go? We have a big team Thanksgiving dinner. The only thing we'll be missing is turkey. Turkeys are really expensive here and to make enough to feed 40 people just seems like too much. We'll have grilled chicken instead. But we'll have everything else: pecan pie, hashbrown casserole, dressing, sweet tea, etc. The only other thing missing is weather cool enough to wear a sweater and boots. Ahhh, the joy of winter ensembles. Its so much more fun to pick out an outfit in the winter. I wear the same shorts every other day, the same 5 shirts, the same flip-flops. Though, I guess I should be be counting my blessings- clothes to wear and food to eat.

Something else that is flying by is Sophie's age! She will be 4 years old in two months!! She is getting smarter, spicier and funnier. Here are a few funny things she's said lately:

Sophie is really good at turning some of our corrections around and using them on us. Marc will periodically comment, "Sophie if you don't like Daisy trying to play with you, maybe we'll have to let her go play at someone else's house." Then the other day, Sophie said to me, after she witnessed my frustration at cleaning up after the dog, "Mommy, if you don't like Daisy tee-teeing on your floor, maybe we'll have to let her tee-tee on someone else's floor." My reply, "Well, who would like to have Daisy come tee-tee on their floor?" ...Sophie- "Hmmmmm, I'm not sure."

We were at a retreat and Sophie was really in the mood to play, she came to me and said, "Mom, I love you and everything, but where is Daddy?"

At the Fall Festival there was an ongoing game where our friend Brandon played the part of sheriff and would periodically arrest people. Brandon came to arrest Blaa and put her in jail, Sophie was standing with Blaa at the time. (Blaa is a dear friend who hangs the moon in Sophie's eyes). Sophie was taken off guard, and as Brandon pulled Blaa away by the arm Sophie aggressively pulled Blaa back by the hem of her dress. She was determined to save Blaa, it was serious business. She was utterly confused and Blaa was playing along saying, "Help, help!!! Sophie, help me!!" Finally, Sophie let go of the dress and took off running to her daddy, crying hysterically. She couldn't help Blaa. Marc kept trying to explain that they were just playing but as soon as I took Sophie in my arms, she said, "I'm never coming to church again!!!" She continued to say this on the way home, through her tears, "I'm never going to church again. Only you and Daddy. You can get me a babysitter!!" Poor child.

Until next time......

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Tribute to Sisterhood

Well, the visit by my sister and her family has come and gone. We had a great time. Their visit was short but we tried to fill our days with good time together, eating (as usual) and seeing lots of everyday Thai culture. There's never a dull moment with my brother-in-law Gary around, he never meets a stranger. They say the people who learn the language the quickest are those who aren't afraid to go out and use the vocabulary they've learned, Gary would have the language in no time. He was trying to speak Thai the minute they got off the plane.

Hailey and Emily were so sweet, just glad to be here, going wherever we took them and eating whatever I asked them to try. They colored endlessly with Sophie in all her new coloring books. They watched Pooh. Hailey even shared her i-touch with Sophie whenever she asked. They are great cousins.

Melissa, however, was such trouble, more trouble than it was worth to have her here. I hope you can hear the jest in my typing. If I could wrap her up and stick her in my pocket to have with me all the time, I would. She's adorable. She's sweet. She's as easy to talk to as the day is long. She loves her family. She can make a cheesecake better than Paula Deen and the Pioneer Woman put together. She's addicted to sugar- I mean BAD. She's got extreme maternal instincts- (she still tries to mother me and I don't mind a bit :-). She loves Jesus and loves to talk about Him. She loves to cuddle with my baby Sophie. She thinks my husband is funny. She flew 1/2 way around the world to see me. And best of all, she loves me like a big sister should. I mean she really loves me. She is at home trying to slay the jet-lag beast because she loves me so much. I absolutely, positively cannot imagine not having sisters. I'm so sorry to all of you out there who don't have them. I'm sure having a brother has its perks. Having one sister is a great thing, but having two sisters is, is... extra great. I have a friend with 3 sisters (you Lute girls are blessed) and I can't even imagine the joy and the fun. Its in the works for my oldest sister and mom to come along next time. I will have to send out warnings that the Marechale sisters are in town and in full effect. My dad has graciously declined an invitation to ever visit us in Thailand again. He says he enjoyed his trip last year but he never cares to get on a plane for 27 hours again. I don't blame him.

So, anyway, that's pretty much all I can talk about right now. I will go and make something chocolatey so that I can think about my Sissy some more. Until next time. Sawasdee Kha!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Friends and Other "Tidbits".

Life is good here in the Lewis house. The schedule has picked up quite a bit with the arrival of our summer missions team, which has been a positive thing. Sophie and I have still been enjoying doing some school together. This girl loves cutting and gluing. I could give her a pair of scissors and a stack of scrap paper and she'll be happy for hours- ok, maybe only 45 minutes, but still. Its fun to hear the new words and expressions she picks up- from who knows where. We were walking through the grocery store, the stinky meat and fish section, when she covered her nose and said, "Mommy, something smells horrible, no actually, something smells terrible." I could only agree and laugh. Then, yesterday, while I was cooking dinner, she came to me and in her most bereft voice said, "Mommy, I don't know what to do with myself." What!? Have you ever heard me say that? I know she might get the dramatic and animated facial expressions from me, but these expressions have got to be someone else's fault. :-)

We also made some new friends this week. Sophie and our friend, Blaa, met some little girls at the neighborhood playground when Marc and I were on a date. They are several years older than Sophie and really loved playing with her. The oldest one, named Ice, asked if she could come and see Sophie again sometime. Well, Monday night Sophie and I were finishing up some coloring and about to head upstairs to bed when there was a knock on our front glass door, scared me to death. All I could see were four tiny faces pressed against the glass. The next thing I knew there were four precious neighborhood children running and playing in our living room at 7:30 pm. I let them play for about 20 minutes when I finally had to tell them it was time for Sophie to go to sleep. They, to my surprise, quickly starting neatly putting away all the toys they had played with and got on their bikes to leave. It was sweet. It was especially sweet because I was just thinking the other day that I wish there were some little kids in our neighborhood. I had never seen these children before. I knew children lived here but our street is all older, retired people and the kids on the other side of our neighborhood generally stay at school until at least 5 pm, sometimes 7-8 pm- hence the reason they were strolling in at 7:30. We were delighted to hear their voices in the carport the next evening calling Sophie's name. They came in again, played "enthusiastically", asked lots of curious questions about why my and Sophie's hair color was so different and then cleaned up all their toys at the first mention of Sophie's bed time. We're hoping they stop by again soon.

I had to stop this blog post to start dinner. Sophie came in to help. I sat her on the counter, her normal seat, and she said, "Guess what Mommy, I cut my hair and Chok Chai's hair." (Chok Chai is her stuffed horse's name) "What?!"I couldn't immediately see the missing chunk of hair but she showed me the evidence, black hair in the bathroom trashcan. Once I tried to reapply her hair in a ponytail, I could see her new and extra thick sideburn. Lovely.

So, the last exciting tidbit is that my sister and her family are coming to visit in exactly 13 days. They will be here for about the that long exactly, 13 days. I will anticipate their arrival obsessively, and savor every moment of their visit emotionally. :-) Its just the way I do things.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I didn't know it could be THIS good.

I'm so glad no one told me how incredibly fun and satisfying being Sophie's mom was going to be. If I had known this, the 2.5 year wait for her would have been so much more difficult. And she gets funner everyday. Can I say funner? I don't think I'm supposed to. :-) The above picture is Sophie driving her school bus.

Most of the time I can't wait for her to wake up in the mornings- though I also can't wait for her to go to bed at night either, b/c I'm usually falling asleep by 7:45. But seriously, can anyone love their child as much as I love her? Is this normal? It only intensifies with every day. Like my heart is going to burst. I really have to control myself so that I don't squeeze the breath out of her. She is FULL of personality. She still loves dancing and now she's singing more and more. Though, I know she loves me dearly, her daddy totally "hangs the moon". See her hanging on his arm, I can't get enough of her and she can't get enough of him- I LOVE IT!!

Sophie and I have just recently started some K-3 homeschooling. The school year in Thailand begins in May so we will follow their schedule. It's been so good, for both of us. I really thrive within structure, and so does Sophie. Our schedule is very simple but its provided us with such good quality time together. She really enjoys "school" and its showing me how eager kids are to learn when given the opportunity. All of the older missionary kids go to a school in our neighborhood which is equivalent to a homeschool co-op. All the mothers teach, with the addition of a hired teacher. Sophie goes to this school for Thai language class. She loves getting to sit with her friends, John and Becca, to color and try to learn a few Thai words with her teacher, P' Gluay Khay (which literally translates "banana egg", a type of Thai banana).

We've got a very busy few months ahead of us as a group of American college students come for their summer to help Marc and the other staff meet some of the Freshmen at NEU. Sophie and I are looking forward to exercising our gift of hospitality by having a house full of students as often as we can. We've just recently put an air-conditioner in our living room which makes having people over a lot more enjoyable. Please continue to pray for us- and come see us!!!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

We have now been home for one week after a long month and a half of traveling. Although it was difficult to leave our loved ones again, we are so glad to be home. Its taken us all several days to get somewhat back to normal, but I think the best way to express our current joy is through a dance performance by Sophie Mei.....

Dancing on a Cool Day in Thailand from marc lewis on Vimeo.

Sophie Mei dancing and having a great day.

The week after Sophie's 3rd birthday we flew to America and spent 4 lovely weeks visiting with friends, family and supporters. We, especially me, enjoyed as many yummy southern cooked meals as possible. I've always enjoyed good food but I feel the older I get, the more I enjoy- not a very good thing for an ever-declining metabolism. Collard greens, black-eyed peas, cornbread, a few Paula Deen recipes, Tres Leches cake, real mexican food, etc. I also had forgotten just how enjoyable a Chick-fil-a sandwich really is. There have been many foods that I dream about eating for so long and then when I finally get to eat it, I'm sorely disappointed- never as good as I remembered. But good 'ol Truett Cathy never disappoints. What is it? Is that sandwich anointed? Maybe so. God's blessing on a family who have chosen to honor Him first in all their dealings. Otherwise, it really doesn't make sense- a chicken sandwich so set apart from all others of its kind. ..... Ok, this is what happens when I just start typing the first things that come to my mind- a tribute to the Chick-fil-a sandwich.

Back to our traveling.... we enjoyed being home but the cold weather was pretty intense. We experienced snow 4 x's in those four weeks (Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina). Sophie and I spent a lot of time indoors avoiding the weather and all the viruses that were rampantly attacking almost everyone we knew. She and I finally got colds but enjoyed staying snuggled up inside Grammy's house. While home, we ate good food (have I already mentioned that?), played really hard with all Sophie's cousins, had many cups of coffee around a table with all my favorite gals, lots of laughing, a little crying, trips to Wal-Mart, Target, and Chick-fil-a. Pretty enjoyable I must say.

Once we returned to Thailand we were at our house for four days and then left again for our Thai Summer Project in Chiang Mai. This retreat is designed to provide an ideal setting for our Thai Christians to grow in their faith and the non-Christians to be moved forward in their understanding of who Jesus Christ is. It was a very fruitful time as there were six new believers by the end of the retreat and many Christians who were encouraged to seek Christ daily and have Him use their lives to reach others. We were reminded of how privileged we are to be a part of such profound things, the ministry of reconciliation.

Now, we are getting settled back in, enjoying the Thai summer break. We will have a staff retreat at the end of April and then the campus schedule picks back up in May. Please continue to pray for us. Pray that our language acquisition will continue so that we can build and deepen relationships for the sake of the gospel. Maranatha!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010