Once again, we had an important reason for going to Thailand this winter. Before that, however, we got to take a detour to the beach. Xavier got his own seat on the plane for the first time.
We stayed our first night in Bangkok, then got Xavier immunizations at an international hospital. Then we took a four hour mini bus ride to Dolphin Bay. I must admit that before we got there, I didn't think that it would be worth the hastle it was to arrive. I held and entertained Xavier most of the way there with a pile of luggage next to me, and a monk in front of me. Apparently if a woman touches a monk, they have to go through an extensive purification ceremony. I was definitely not at my best when we got there, but, of course, it was worth it.
We stayed at a guest house that provides refreshment to people with the same purpose as us. It includes laundry service and meals in their dining hall. So many of their trees and plants reminded me of my childhood: frangipani, papaya, etc. The next morning I slipped away by myself before Xavier woke up to have quiet time on the beach, and this was the view Father shared with me.
The kids enjoyed the beach, but were excited about the pool too. Ephraim wanted Jacob to take a picture of him "tanning."
This kid cannot keep a straight face. :)
William was so sweet: sharing everything he had, getting Eden and Ephraim a parting gift, talking to Father with Eden and Ephraim, wanting to include everyone in everything, and hosting movie night in his front yard. His Mom told me that he wants to marry Eden when he grows up, and he is asking Father to move us closer to them. So precious.
Eden and Sarah.
This cracks me up!
I love this picture of Eden.
Just because you stay on the boat, does not mean you are safe from the monkeys.
Jacob took this picture for me of three nursing momma monkeys huddled together. I adore it.
Xavier burying my feet in the sand. He hated the beach noise and pool water the first day, but didn't want to leave when it was time.
Ephraim really enjoyed playing in this mud pit.
We met up with friends staying at another guest house. It was good for the kids to see friends from home in Changchun. It helped when they had to say goodbye to other friends.
Ephraim's reaction to Jacob taking him and Eden swimming at night with their friends.
The infamous floppy popsicle.
The kids were part of a spa made up by friends. There was much drama involved, but good lessons learned in the end.
Ahhh, what more could a toddler ask for: being strolled in his chariot by the beach while sipping on strawberrry milk.
Collecting shells with friends.
Jacob with a jellyfish. At one point, Xavier managed to get one halfway picked up before I shrieked!
Getting every last inch of himself possible in the water.
This girl takes it all in. I love her so much.
Come and get me. I'm ready!
Making a track for the hermet crabs.
Making use of his tae kwon do skills: splits at the beach.
I love this picture of Xavier.
My favorite moments were taking Eden and Ephraim separately on a morning at the beach to have a quiet time and lift them up specifically.
I will treasure this forever.
Showers of Blessing:
Xavier doing well on the plane rides
People who serve others and provide places of rest
Not cooking or doing laundry
Sweet friends for my kids
Afternoon walk on the beach, just me and my Father
Resting as a family
QTs alone with my kids