Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer Days

 Well, I figured I should take this opportunity to share with you some of the happenings of the Johnson family.  We are so very grateful for so many of you who love our family, miss our family, pray for our family, support our family, and ask about our family.  This blog is for you, and especially for the grandparents who love to see pics of all of us;) This is purely the fun stuff that we have done or celebrated in the past few months.

 On May 30th, we celebrated Clay's 5th birthday! I can hardly believe it!  Here Clay is Skyping with Gammie and Mimie.  I think our kids are going to grow up thinking that opening presents on skype is just a part of every birthday and Christmas celebration!  Having lived overseas for almost a year now, we are INCREDIBLY grateful for technology like Skype, especially for our kids to have an ongoing relationship with our family even though they will only "see" them every 2 years!

Happy 5th Birthday my smiley Clay!

Chiang Mai is surrounded by mountains.  I have never lived by the mountains before. There are many cool places to visit around here! Here we are at a look out on the side of a mountain with Chiang Mai in the background.

 One of the most popular attractions here in Chiang Mai, for Thai and farangs (foreigners), Doi Sutep mountain

Now that's a Big bell!! 

Thailand is a VERY HOT place!  Though I can't say it was too much of a change from New Orleans summers, but imagine going through NOLA summers without having your AC on all day.  Yep, it gets very hot and humid.  So, this hot season we have enjoyed some special frozen treats.  The popsicle Zeke is eating here, I think was coconut favored with red Kidney beans!  Zeke is one of our more adventurous eaters.  I think it's because he was only 2 when we arrived here.

One of the things we are required to do in order to keep our VISA to live in Thailand is that we have to leave the country every 90 days.  The cheapest way to do this is to drive 5 hours north through the mountains and cross the border into Myanmar.  This was fun and adventurous at first but has become quite the daunting task now!  The boys do a really great job.  Their favorite part is that we stay at a hotel by the border.  Here they are in the slippers the hotel provided. I'm pretty sure they wore them the entire time we were there and Clay even wore them to bed ;)  In the next couple of months we are planning on applying for a Visa that does not require us to actually leave the country every 90 days, but just check into the immigration office here in Chiang Mai.  PLEASE pray with us that we are able to get this Visa.

 One Saturday morning we decided to try out the aquarium here.  It was quite interesting seeing some of the sea creatures that we have never seen before!  And anywhere you go that has animals, you can feed something.  Here you could feed the fish with a baby bottle!!  Yes, you read that right, a baby bottle! They would come up stick their heads out of the water and suck for a few seconds!  It was quite the experience.

 In July, Rob celebrated his 32nd Birthday!   Also in July Rob and I celebrated our 9th anniversary!

In July, we were blessed to be invited to go to Phuket, Thailand with my sister-in-laws family and parents!  Phuket is on the south of Thailand, on the beach!  This was such a relaxing and fun time for our family.  We have gone through a lot in the past year and were grateful to have this time to refresh and spend some quality time with our family before the kids started school in August.  what a blessing! 

 YAY!  Nina and Pops (my sis-in-laws parents) came to Thailand!  here we are having a Thai dinner in Phuket!


 On August 2nd, our little Zeke turned 3! Oh this boy!  He is a challenge to raise, but the most cuddly, lovable, silly little man!  We love him dearly!  He was sure to tell me exactly what he wanted on his birthday cake, blue icing  (blue is his "favorite" color), m&ms, gummy bears, a car and Pocky sticks (a sign my kids are becoming third-cultured kids, wanting Pocky sticks on his cake!!)

We celebrated with a friend, whose 2nd birthday was the day after Zeke's!  

Well, we had quite the cultural experience when Clay fell in our "yard", which is really just a strip of concrete around our house.  He cried quite a bit when it happened, but it took us 24 hours before we decided that maybe we should go to the hospital to get an x-ray.  It was quite overwhelming to have to deal with a hospital in another culture, but all went well, and come to find out, he had broken his arm.  The only problem came when they decided to only put a splint on it instead of a hard cast.  The ace bandage was falling off the very next day, so after about a week, we decided to return to the hospital to have them put a hard cast on, which they did!  It only takes about 3 weeks (i guess) for a child's bone to heal.  So, get got his cast taken off on Monday.

And here are our two little guys on the first day of school.  Clay is now in kindergarten and Zeke started Pre-K 3!  They are attending an international school here that has students from all around the world!  It is a great school and we are so grateful that our kids have such a wonderful place to attend!  Clay absolutely LOVES it and wants to "sleep there too." Zeke is adjusting.  He is only going 2 days a week (Tues and Fridays) and is getting use to being away from mommy, Zeke is now on his 3rd day and each day seems to get better and better.