Tuesday, June 24, 2008

home sweet home

Our internet is still annoyingly spotty, so hopefully it will hold out long enough for me to post this and let everyone know that we're taking a trip to the States and we can't wait to see all of you!!! Just bought our tickets yesterday and our itinerary puts us in the US from July 18 - Aug 10, with the first week spent in California and the next 2 weeks in Utah. So clear your calendars because we KNOW how important it will be for you to spend time with the Weists! I'm counting down the days and John is already talking about "going to US" about every 5 minutes, so it may be a LONG couple of weeks. Looking forward to seeing everyone!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

so many pictures, so little time...

So our internet connection basically sucks rocks lately and I haven't been able to upload a thing. I was *this* close to getting a bunch of pictures on here from when Michael's family was here and then our connection was reset and I lost everything. SO... I am giving up and just posting pics of my beautiful children because that's what the grandparental-units like to see anyway. Thankfully I did manage to get these few pictures to upload and I'm not going to press my luck for any more. Hopefully I'll get those other ones up here sometime. But I will tell you we visited an elephant sanctuary, Batu caves (a Hindu temple site not far from our apartment), Krabi (in Thailand, not close to our apartment) and basically had fun being tourists.

Stealing a kiss on our hotel balcony overlooking beautiful tropical grounds with the beach in the background. It was heavenly sitting out here, mostly because the kids were asleep.

My FAVORITE picture of Emily sleeping like a little angel. There's certainly nothing "preemie" about this girl now.

John in the bathtub at our hotel in Thailand, showing off his muscles. The best is that he growls when he does this.

Emily's 3 favorite activities:

Chewing on daddy's finger. (Goodness, how I love her twinkling eyes. What did Grandma Snow used to say? 'dem eyes'd bring a duck off the water.')

Hanging out with her brother (translation: watching his every move as he plays)

Trying to shove both hands in her mouth as far as humanly possible. We're looking into booking her a spot on Letterman.

And two more pictures of John, just because I have such beautiful kids and want to show them off.

Playing with a Mr. Potato Head ear stuck in his own ear. I said he was beautiful, not brilliant.

And I swear he did this of his own accord. I came around the corner and he was clomping around in my shoes. Heels, no less. "Look, mommy! New shoes!" So adorable. And of course Michael was mortified, which makes it that much more hilarious.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

On second thought...

I was reminded this week of one of the things we love about living in Malaysia. Because it is such a large city and we have a relatively small branch of the church here, we have greater opportunities to be involved in missionary work. At first we merely showed our support by attending baptisms and welcoming new members. After a while, we got to know some of the Elders and Michael has been able to help them on a few occasions in meeting with investigators. Then, hallelujah, 2 or 3 months ago there were sisters assigned to the branch! Ah, yes, I obviously have a soft spot in my heart for the sister missionaries, but especially because I would be able to be more directly involved with the missionary work here.

Of course, I also had a 2 month old baby attached to me 24 hours a day, so it hasn't been possible to be much help. But this week they called me to see if I could come to an appointment with them at the church. At first, unfortunately, I had to turn them down because Michael is in the Philippines and it would be far too late to come to an evening appointment with 2 kids in tow (not to mention entirely too disruptive to their teaching). But after hanging up the phone I had vivid flashbacks of being a missionary, arranging schedules, trying to get people to come help, being stuck and in need of a 3rd person and not knowing what to do, and I felt SO ridiculously lousy and guilty, that I immediately called them back and apologized for not realizing earlier that I could volunteer my house to be the meeting place for their appointment. That way I could put the kids to bed and be here to help the sisters. Thankfully, they and their investigators were able to make it here that evening and we had a great time. (I just finished watching "Pride & Prejudice" - thanks Andrea!- before writing this and I keep wanting to say things like "marvelously delightful" and "stupendous" so I apologize if this post sounds out of sorts.) :) It's been difficult having Michael gone and doing bedtimes and mealtimes on my own but it made such a difference to my week to be able to serve someone else. Not to mention the amazing spirit that the missionaries bring to a home...if you have the opportunity to have missionaries over, especially to teach someone, PLEASE take it, I promise you will not regret it.

The man they were teaching didn't speak a word of English (one of the sisters translated everything into Hindi for him) but it didn't matter, the Spirit was still there and we all had big smiles on our faces because it felt so great. Of course that was also because the sisters had brought another investigator with them who is being baptized this week...don't ask me his name, I couldn't spell it if I wanted to, but he was from Nepal and also spoke Hindi. He spoke a little English and tried to explain his feelings about The Book of Mormon...he said when he read it he felt like it was "magic" somehow because it made him so inexplicably happy. It didn't matter how much or how little English either of them spoke, though, because we could all recognize those good feelings in our hearts. Anyway, I was reminded of how contagious missionary work is and I couldn't wait until the sisters called me again (which was fortunate because they called today and asked if I could speak at the baptism tomorrow.) I remember as a missionary myself feeling so anxious sometimes to ask people to serve and so grateful when they would help us, but I wish I had known what it felt like from this side, that they are actually serving ME by allowing me to be a part of their work. I think I would have viewed "member missionary work" a little differently.
Well, my break is over, my kids are awake so it's time to get back to life. I love being with them but I still can't wait for Michael to be home again. Hopefully soon I will have time to download pics from the Weist family vacation and write a little about their visit here. As always people are welcome to come anytime they find themselves in Asia. :)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

a recent conversation

mike: wow, i can't believe emily's diaper! those are some serious big yellow chunks in there!
me (from the kitchen): thanks for that...that's just what i want to hear as i take a big swig of my mango lassi drink.

Monday, June 02, 2008

the sounds of home

So I finally got both of my kids down for naps this afternoon and I'm sitting on the couch listening to the sounds of our home. It's a rather interesting list so I thought I'd share it with you. First, there is the constant construction going on for the building behind us, which by now is directly outside our back window. When we moved in, the building was several stories shorter than it is now, but it has grown considerably and now there are workmen directly outside my balcony less than 100 feet from my spot on the couch. We're thinking we should really get some curtains.
However, that is a dull, minor annoyance compared to the second sound I'm listening to, which is the renovation going on inside our building. Because of the concrete construction of the place, the echoes make it darn near impossible to tell where the sound is coming from: above, below, next door...I have no idea. But if I didn't know any better I'd say it was coming from our own bathroom. Or inside my skull. Either way gives you an idea of the decibel level of the drilling.
Another sound I've listened to this morning is a neighbor (I believe he lives above us...again, the sounds here are deceiving) who has intermittently been dropping marbles on the floor and suffering from allergies in the form of massive, heart-attack style sneezing. I'm not kidding, it sounds like he's doing martial arts, complete with "HI-YA!" vocal exercises, except they are accompanied by violent bursts of air from the nose and throat that let you know his threatening outbursts are simply nasal and not intended to be violent.
How do my children manage to sleep through this cacophany, this symphony of discordant sound, you ask? Not well, I would say. Not well at all.