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Friday, January 21, 2011

BLUE DAY

Have you read that coffee table book called, ‘The Blue Day Book’?  It’s all about having a lesson in cheering yourself up.  I needed that book this week.  I have not only been unwell for nearly two weeks but I also fare-welled my wonderful parents, after their holiday here, just yesterday.  

These experiences have left me feeling... well ... BLUE!!!

The Blue Day book contains some beautiful photography of animals and by the time you get through reading it, you really do start feeling a lot less grumpy and a whole lot more optimistic.

I was reminded of this book recently when I started viewing some of my own photographs taken here in Chiangmai  So I thought I’d create my own version of the Blue Day book right here online for you.  I’m hoping by the time I finish this post, it will have cured me of my ‘blues’ so that I can report more on what’s really been happing over here lately (...which is a lot!!!)

Enjoy!
 Have you ever had a blue day?
 A blue day is a day when nothing goes right 
and you feel kind of lousy?
 You might feel like hiding,
 crying,
 escaping, 
 or just being left all alone.
 A blue day can leave you stuffing your face with food,
 or just not hungry at all.
 Maybe you're feeling too small,
too awkward, 
 too old,
or not enough fun to be around. 
 Maybe you feel like you just want to shout,
 close your eyes,
or jump off something.
 Maybe you feel like you’re 
just another face in the crowd.
Or like you’re hanging on by a thread.



Or that the colour seems to have faded.
 How ever you're feeling... hang in there! 
Let down your guard.
 And open up to a good friend.
 You might even end up laughing at yourself,
 smiling again.
 and changing your blue day in to a NEW day.


I know I sure feel a lot better now!!  

Okay to end with, here’s a funny sign I saw the other day.



Really?  I didn’t know that!! Ha ha.

Until next time - keep smiling,

Andie :)


Sunday, January 16, 2011

A YEAR AGO TODAY...

... we arrived at the Chiang Mai airport with a lot of baggage! In addition to our suitcases we were also carrying the emotions that came from separating ourselves from all that was familiar to us, a life we ‘knew’, a family as great as they came and friendships that had taken decades to develop.
It was these ‘heavy’ thoughts that really weighed on me as I looked at my three small children’s tear streaked faces, heard their broken hearts and noticed just how much they stood out amongst the Thai people. Would everything be okay?
I remember how it took every muscle in my body to lift our luggage, but it was nothing in comparison to the ‘inner’ strength that it had taken to get our family to where we are now.
I give all the thanks to God for this strength. I personally could not have survived a month if it had not been for His comfort and peace this past year. Many of you know that we have all wept many tears, we have felt so far away (especially on the “special” days) and we have missed our friends and family like crazy.
God is so good though and he is faithful.
He has provided wonderful teachers for our children, a lovely house for us to to live in and a safe car to drive. He has protected us from injury, answered our prayers and supplied every thing we have needed and more. We feel so overwhelmed and blessed.
We wanted to make you a little video and post it today but we’ve actually all been sick this past week and so the kids pretty much stayed in their pajamas all day... we thought we’d wait a few more days till we’re looking a bit better otherwise it’d really seem like Thailand had taken a toll on us!!!
Anyway, I thought I’d dig out some old photos from our first week here and see how much we’d changed in the past year. I had to laugh today when I looked over and noticed that Dave was wearing the exact same burnt orange coloured t-shirt he was wearing in the photo below, a year ago!!!


THEN                                     NOW






















Thank you for sharing the past 12 months with us through this blog. By visiting our site and sharing your comments, we feel like we get to be a part of your life also. If you’re visiting for the first time, we hope that our journey can bring you a few laughs as well as some encouragement.

With love from Andie and the Cross Family :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

ON THE ROAD...

It’s not often that I would get the chance to take the one-hour drive to ZOE all alone… in fact I don’t think I’d ever done it completely solo… until this past Wednesday that is.
On this particular drive, I had the time to really appreciate the variety of scenery in the journey.  So much so that on my way home, I wore my camera around my neck while I drove and took some random shots out my car window hoping to capture the progression of the changes along the way.
From our house, out through suburbia, onto the highways, along winding streets and then in to the national park. The bitumen becomes stony and then the stones change to a red dirt ridden with huge potholes.  It is down this bumpy track that you get a glimpse, through the banana trees, of the ZOE Children’s Home roofline.  




Dave and I had to laugh a few weeks ago when his parents announced that they would just “get a taxi home from ZOE!”.  When you experience the trip to ZOE, you realize just how isolated it really is.  
Upon pulling in to the driveway though, it’s easy to forget just how far away from everything else you are because you step out in to what we fondly refer to as “ZOE” land!
ZOE is a place you need to experience first-hand to really truly understand it but the atmosphere and culture of this home has not once ceased to amaze me in the past 12 months of being here.
The standard and caliber of the staff, students, parents and kids at ZOE is simply astounding.





Their politeness, their servant hearts, their attitudes and their conduct is above anything I have seen or experienced before.  They are so welcoming, appreciative and friendly. 
Despite the language barrier, it is impossible not to fall in love with the ZOE family.  Maybe it’s because they are a family that really knows how to love… unconditionally!  We have certainly needed this, this past year!  Our children really do enjoy their time at ZOE- their only ‘problem’ being that they are sometimes too loved on!!  
Dave and I are so thankful for the ZOE kid’s patience and persistence.  It’s meant that each of our children have developed some really special friends amongst the ZOE children who they now look out for and play with.  They are even slowly learning to get used to the “mob” that attacks them with hugs of excitement as they arrive!
So whilst I feel like I am always saying, “It is SUCH A LONG WAY TO DRIVE” … and it’s winding, it’s bumpy and it’s in the middle of the jungle… this unmade road... this less traveled one, is certainly worth taking just to see the smiles on the faces, to hear the laughter of the children and to receive the warmth and acceptance that is offered so freely.


And as for the Cross Family’s journey so far? … Well it too has been a bumpy ride but the more we travel down these unmade tracks, the more we stop and see the beauty that surrounds us and the more we open up our own arms and hearts to the warmth and acceptance that has embraced us; the easier it is getting to enjoy the ride.
I feel so excited for 2011… joyful in advance for the experiences we are going to have this year in Thailand - potholes and all!