Monday, July 28, 2008

Ruston and Warren

We are finally at home! We had a great time over the last few weeks catching up with family, old friends, and supporters of our ministry, but we are so pumped to be sleeping in our own beds and not living out of a suitcase any more.

We spent the last week in Ruston, LA, our college town and then in Warren, AR. In Ruston we were busy catching up with almost everyone we wanted to see, eating at all our old favorite spots (like Johnny's, Blue Light cafe, Ponchatoulas, and Log Cabin), and visiting LA Tech.

I've got lots of pictures to share. . .

With her Uncle Mike, Rocky's brother.

On the way to Ruston. Baby is sleeping. Life is good.

us in the Quad at LA Tech.

Adelaide and I checking out the Lady in the Mist, a LA Tech landmark.

Adelaide running in front of my old dorm, Harper.

No one does home cooking like Blue Light cafe. I mean look at this place, doesn't it look like they make some good black eyed peas and cornbread?

Us with the Catoes. They were like grandparents to us in college. They taught us how to play chickenfoot and always made us brownies.

Our old place at married student housing, aka Vetville. It has gone down hill quite a bit. Rocky says it is because he's no longer the manager.

On to Warren, AR. . .we went to spend a couple days with Jon and Brandi Nichols, our good friends from college. We met at Jon's parents place which is a super fun place to hang out. They own about 500 acres now and have four wheelers, a fishing pond, and tons of animals to feed and look at. Their son, Joseph, is right at 6 months older than Adelaide; they had fun playing together. Adelaide learned how to say "Joseph" and Joseph learned to say "Adelaide." Cute.

Here they are with Jon's mom, Mrs. Naoma, feeding the ducks and geese.

Checkin' out the animals.

I thought this picture was just super cute.

Since they feed the birds so much corn, there are about 20 deer that have grown unafraid and come right up to you to eat.

Adelaide playing in Joseph's gigantic sandbox.

There were so many things to ride at the Nichols. Adelaide loved the "tracta."

Swinging at the park in Warren. Right before we headed to the park that day we had been fishing. I noticed a wasp circling Adelaide but I never heard a peep from her so I didn't think anything of it. However, when we got on the Bad Boy for a ride, I noticed a huge swollen whelp on her leg. In the center of the whelp was a bright red spot. Crazy kid. Got stung by a wasp and didn't make a peep. The swelling went down in a few hours and was gone except for the red part by the next morning. She does better with wasps than with mosquitoes.

With Rocky at the park.

Occasionally a picture makes me think Adelaide looks so grown up. This is one of them.

Riding around the farm, checking out the cows. Adelaide's favorite animal sound is 'baaaa.' We'd tell her to say "moo" and she'd laugh and say "baaa" at the cows.

With her daddy (as she calls him now instead of dada) on the "Bad Boy."

Adelaide and Joseph on Brandi's dad's motorcycle. I love this picture. The expressions couldn't be more perfect.

Monday, July 21, 2008


We have been in Louisiana since last Tuesday and have been having a great time. We've been bouncing all around trying to see everyone-- my mom, brother, Rocky's family, and my dad. We will be in Ruston, LA starting Saturday. Then we'll be off to middle of nowhere Arkansas to visit friends from college. It's tiring living out of a suitcase especially since we haven't been at home really since the middle of May. We've got about a week and a half more of traveling before we head back to Austin.

We've got lots and lots of pictures.

Adelaide loved every minute of being at home before we headed to Louisiana. I did as well. Her new favorite thing in the world are shoes. She loves to wear them. She loves to pair them together. She loves to bring them to their owners and watch them being put on. She's playing right in to her girl stereotype.

Adelaide has also gotten into accessories. She loves hats, gloves, socks, bracelets, necklaces, etc. Here we are playing dress up one morning.

Adelaide has become quite a share-er these days. She loves to take care of others (even if they don't want her to). This doll was more than happy for Adelaide to feed her and give her drinks all day.

On to Louisiana. . .the 8 hour road trip went really well. Adelaide slept about 30 minutes of it and was awake 'til 11pm , but she was generally happy. Every one was so happy to see her.

Adelaide with her uncle Dan at the zoo. She can now say Dan, Mike (Rocky's brother), Pops (Rocky's dad), and Nanny (my mom). Her vocabulary is off the charts good these days. She amazes us with words like "tractor" and phrases like "i want food."

Swimming at Rocky's parents' house.

Playing with Cousin Claire at Rocky's parents' house. They played together really well. Claire is going to be 2 next month. It's great to see that Adelaide actually plays with other kids now, not just plays alongside them.

Adelaide trapped Claire in her highchair, buckles, tray and all. She's gotten quite proficient at buckling things now. Luckily she can't unbuckle yet. I've been teaching her to say "help please" when she needs things to be unbuckled. She says it often since buckling over and over is so much fun.

We went to visit my dad and pick blueberries at an organic blueberry farm last Saturday. I tried to teach Adelaide to pick the berries and put them in her bucket. Instead of doing that, she ate every berry I put into her bucket then began to pick berries but not one made it to her bucket.

They made it to her mouth instead. She ate so many berries her mouth turned blue and she had green poop for 2 days! I can barely get her to eat a blueberry now. She's pretty much sick of them.

When she was done withe the berries, she shared with Claire. She put them in her bucket and fed them to her. Super cute.

Adelaide is pretty good at eating on her own these days. She requests spoons and forks at almost every meal. If it's a spoon type meal, we'll scoop the food for her and then hand her the spoon. She usually makes it to her mouth with no spills. She's doing even better with the fork. Her progress makes for some slow meals these days but fun ones for her. We left her with her fork and blueberry pancake for just a minute and found her covered from head to tray. I'm not sure what she did, but she thought it was funny.

Rocky and I went to Lafayette one day to visit a supporter of ours. We left Adelaide with Rocky's family. He surprised me with a night at a bed and breakfast on the way back. It was our first night to both be away from Adelaide. The grandparents had fun with her. Here she is with Claire at a local park.

They said she did well swinging on this half big kids sort of swing.

Adelaide did not sleep well the entire time we were at Rocky's parents. She was up late (around 10:30, 11pm) and generally woke up earlier. She was exhausted alot of the time. Here she is, cute but exhausted, sleeping on Rocky's mom's shoulder at lunch.

Somewhere in the car.

We gave a presentation at Judson Baptist Church last Sunday evening. We talked about Thailand and our work with CCC. Adelaide was dressed the part of missionary kid wearing a dress I bought for her in Thailand this summer.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

So you think YOU can dance?

Snuggle, the fabric softener we all know and love, just came out with a new product called Snuggle with Fresh Release. This new Snuggle gives you that just washed fresh scent every time you move all day long. All you need to do is simply move and feel the freshness.

Snuggle is partnering with the television show So You Think You can Dance to celebrate Happy Dances. Happy Dances are fun, spontaneous moves that release the freshness of Snuggle. Snuggle wants to see your very own spontaneous and fun celebration dance. In other words, show Snuggle your Happy Dance.

During So You Think You Can Dance episodes on Thursdays, you can catch videos of people showing off their own Happy Dances. Viewers like you could also see your Happy Dance on air and win a trip to the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE finale in Los Angeles. All you need to do is to enter the Snuggle Happy Dance Contest.
Go to and upload your very own Happy Dance video. Maybe we can even create some blackmail for our kids in the future with this!

“The opinions expressed on this site are those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by FOX, 19, Dick Clark Productions, or Snuggle.”

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A trip to Target

It took a trip to Target for me to see how much Adelaide has grown up over the past couple of months.

When we got there, I had Adelaide stand outside the car while I put on my bag and locked the car. She did. She just stood there.

Then she walked holding my hand up to the front of the store. She held my hand when I asked her to and kept holding it until I told her it was OK to stop.

When we were walking up to the store she started shouting "ball." She loves Target because of all the red "balls" out front. I think they are made as barricades or something but they are just balls to her. She walked up to every one of them and said "ball." She also stayed on the sidewalk while doing it, and she didn't fall or trip the whole time.

Then when we went inside she said "cart." I don't know when she learned that.

I proceeded to look at purses. She kept saying "bag" in that section. I moved on to wallets (since I lost mine this summer) and wasn't paying any attention to Adelaide's words but when she got more insistent I noticed she was saying "hat." Sure enough there were hats on the next row.

In the diaper section she kept saying "baby" because of all the pictures on the packaging. When I picked out a new sippy cup for her she said "cup" and "wawa."

In the toy section she kept saying "ball" and then at the end of the rows in the bike section she said "bike" or "big bike."

On the cat food aisle, it was "kitty cat."

We went to eat lunch at the new Spicy Pickle restaurant after that. The Spicy Pickle is awesome BTW. They have great service (at the one here in Cedar Park) and I ate for free with a coupon I got in the mail! When they didn't have the soup I ordered for Adelaide, they threw in a cookie for free too.

At lunch we sat outside by the front door (I'm trying to get Adelaide in the bright sun as much as possible during the day. They say it helps with the night/day jetlag confusion). Adelaide said hi and bye to everyone that came in. She said "momo" when she saw a motorcycle and "car" when she saw a car. Midway through lunch she started pointing at a poster behind me and saying "hat." I turned around and sure enough the guy on the poster was wearing a hat.

When we got in the car, she said "hot" and it sure was hot in there.

Then while I was in her room getting her ready for her nap, she went and sat in her rocking chair and said "rock." Then she pointed at my rocking chair and said "rock," instructing me to sit there and rock. She loves it when we rock together in our chairs. She got up and brought me a book and said "book" and went and sat back down. I read her a book and she brought me another one.

When she got up from her nap she worked on a puzzle. Before we left she struggled with it. Now she knows right where the pieces go even though she may not get them in there perfectly.

And that's just the stuff I noticed in one day, in a few hours really. They do grow up fast.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Video

The documentary Rocky's team went to Thailand to film was finished right on schedule. We had a sort of mini film festival to celebration the completion of the video and to reflect on all we learned from one another during the summer. I could go on but I'll instead link you to the Degarmos blog where they posted more about it. You can even watch a mini version of the film. Check it out.


After the video was done and we said our goodbyes to our dear Thai friends (some of which we've said goodbye to 6 times!), we took a family vacation to a national park just south of the city of Hua Hin. When I say "family" I mean our family plus Andrew and Libby, our teammates, and our good friends Ped and Tik. It was an excellent time. Quite eventful too.

We stayed at a place called Dolphin Bay Resort in a 2 bedroom apartment with the 2 singles on our team. Adelaide loved all the space to run around (since she'd been used to one room for 3 of us). The kitchen helped us save money by making our own lunches, and the balcony gave us some great space for hanging out in the evenings. The resort got great reviews online and for good reason.

On top of us having a great apartment, there were 2 nice pools. 1 which had an excellent water slide that Adelaide loved. There were swing sets and a playscape, a massage place built into the hotel, etc. Oh, and the best part was the price. It was around the same price we'd pay for a Motel 6 here in the States!

This was the view from our breakfast table, not too shabby.

Our first morning on vacation our family went for a bike ride after breakfast. It was awesome. Bike rentals were 50 baht a day, about $1.50. Adelaide and I rode for about 2 hours-- on the beach, next to rice paddies, near fields of flowers. . .

Here we are on our ride. The national park we were near is called Kaow Sam Roy Yod, 300 hundred peaks. The mountains were so beautiful.

The next day the whole gang headed out on a boat trip around Monkey Island, it was right across the water from our place. It's not named Monkey Island for nothing. Here's one of the monkeys.

And here's another one. Adelaide was not interested in the monkeys, only in the bananas we were feeding them and climbing on the boulders.

The 3 of us on Monkey Island. I know we look like tools, but hey there are monkeys.

And more monkeys as our boat ride continued.

In the national park we hiked up a mountain to visit Sai Cave. We didn't anticipate such a steep hike but we all made it safe and sound. The cave was awesome. I love this picture of us all mesmerized by the cave and some endangered monkeys we saw near the top.

The following day we rented motorcycles to explore the park some more. Adelaide felt so comfortable on the motorcycle that she fell asleep after only 10 minutes or so.

More national park pictures.

This picture doesn't do justice to show how huge this lizard was. We thought it was an alligator at first. The park has tons of wild life. Obviously you've seen some of the monkeys but I really enjoyed the varieties of birds and the mud skippers best I think.

The whole family on the motorcycle. I remember when we left for Thailand I was worried about Adelaide not having a carseat all summer. Obviously I worked through that fear.

Adelaide building sand castles with Rocky and her first crush, Andrew. She loves Andrew. She loved spending time with him and even kissed him a few times. Andrew used to teach swim lessons for toddlers so he also gave us some pointers along the way. Adelaide's doing really well so far. She can hold her breathe for about 4 seconds and can dog paddle under water pretty well. She will jump right in to the pool and we've been working on her turning around on her own and going back to the end. She is totally not scared. Andrew said it's a funny quality to see in a first born, but thinking back I'd say Rocky and I are some adventurous first borns so she must get it from us.

Unfortunately on the last day of our trip the tide brought in tons of jellyfish. Fortunately we didn't find that out the hard way. We found this blue one which we thought was pretty cool.

These flowers were growing all over the beach.

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture or video of one of the best parts of the trip-- Adelaide swimming or sliding down the water slide. I guess I was always having too much fun when I was there. I can't even describe to you how much Adelaide enjoyed the slide. She'd say "more" just as soon as she landed and she'd have a open mouthed smile from the moment we sat down with her at the top. You'd think she'd be afraid of the big splash at the end but no. She squealed even more when she hit the water.

Adelaide fell asleep on my lap on the way to the train station. She didn't stay that way long with the train whistle and all. Look at the crazy blonde hair and tan skin. She looks like a beach bum for sure.

Since Adelaide was awakened too soon from her nap, the train ride seemed a little longer than 3.5 hours. She was constantly wiggling and needing some entertainment. Rocky and I were a little worn out after the ride. Here's Adelaide wearing Andrew's hat, one of those attempted to preoccupy her.

Even though one of the things that was the hardest to adjust to on this trip were the prices (the value of the dollar going down and the growing economy in Thailand), I'm still amazed at times how cheap some things are in Thailand. Our trains were $10 for the special express. Our meals were often just $1 or $2 . Massages around $7 for an hour. Our motorcycle rentals were less than $7 a day. Rocky's prescription sunglasses were a little over $20. I'm afraid though that next time we head back I may not be very impressed with prices. Things are changing so quickly these days. Some things are beginning to rival America's prices.