Saturday, September 22, 2012


I love teaching English.
It's a good reminder that Thai isn't the only difficult language to learn.  
There's a lot of pretty tricky concepts in English too.
The other day in class we were comparing some onomatopoeic words that imitate the sounds that animals make. 
Did you know, that onomatopoeias are not the same across all languages?
Or does it?

It made me giggle to hear just how different some of the animal noises actually were between Thai and English, and not only that, sounds in stories like "knock, knock" aren't the same either!  
Sorry, but I just find that so fascinating.

As someone who often mixes up sayings and words, I had to smile the other day.  When I pointed to a flashcard which had toes on it and asked what they were, my student replied "foot- fingers". 
And you know what?  That actually makes sense to me!  Why are they called toes anyway? Haha.

Okay... and now for a quick ZOE update:

  • Australian comedian Ben Price made this wonderful video to create awareness about ZOE's work.

  • Praise God for Narara Valley Baptist Church and the vision of 11 year old Emily! Choosing ZOE as their charity of choice and pictured here at Walk 2Bfree in Gosford with ZOE Board Member, Tammy Cross.
  • And (pictured below) this wonderful short term just left last weekend.  They were a lot of fun!

I hope you're having a great weekend.
We have special guests coming from Australia this week.  I can't wait to tell you more about them soon.
Take care.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Update on Spencer's Elbow

Last post we asked:
*Please pray with us for Spencer's arm to heal properly.  The doctor  will x-ray the elbow on Tuesday night and let us know whether it is healing correctly or whether a pin needs to be surgically inserted (we are believing this won't be necessary).  It's been very difficult to keep him from jumping and running around in his usual manner!!

Well praise God!  The x-ray on Tuesday showed that the bone is healing really nicely.  Spencer had the full plaster cast put on to which he lay there cracking jokes and amusing the medical staff (a pleasant change to a week ago).
He'll have another x-ray this Tuesday and will probably need the plaster on for another three weeks.  Thanks so much for your prayers.  God is good!
Then Wednesday morning I was back up at the hospital waiting to see a different doctor.  Poor Tobi got food poisoning on the weekend and was showing very slow signs of any improvement.  After seeing a wonderful doctor who prescribed him just the right medications, he was a different boy within 24 hours.  And was back at school on Thursday.

As you can see here, by Friday night, both boys were back in the game, full of energy and taking each other on in a semi-friendly game of soccer.  
It's so nice to have them both able to run around again.
Oh and lastly, during Chapel on Friday at the school/ preschool Eliana and Spencer attend (the preschoolers, Grade 1 and 2 get together each Friday morning for half an hour or so) Spencer won the Star Student Award!  He was so chuffed and I think I may've even wiped a tiny little tear from one eye.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dear Diary...

Friday September 7th: It's 9:30pm and I am waiting patiently for Dave to get home from ZOE.  
My sister, Mel, and friend Andrea Stickland are flying in tonight for a week here and I'm going to pick them up from the airport at 10:40pm... yippee!

Saturday September 8th: It was so great to pick up the girls last night.  Had to laugh at the computer keyboard poking out of Andy's hand luggage.  So thankful for her bringing over another computer for ZOE. Looking forward to the week ahead.

Sunday September 9th: An early start and off to the elephant camp today.  It's Mel and Andy's first time to ride an elephant.  After hanging around waiting for their return, we learned that the elephant trainer (riding in front of them) had fallen off his elephant and then their rider had taken them off-course to spread the news! Poor man. 
This was a really fun morning and relaxing afternoon.

Monday September 10th: Off to work at ZOE today.  I love my job teaching English and spending more time getting to know the staff and house parents.  
I had a big shock tonight (literally) as I went to make myself a coffee and got a massive electric shock from our coffee machine causing me to jump back and spill the jug of milk all over the kitchen cupboards and floor.  Felt quite achey after that and took myself off to bed rather early.

Tuesday September 11th: Going to pick up Mel and Andy after their dental appointment today but not before cruising around on the motorbike to drop the little ones at school and preschool.  We managed to fit 4 of us on the bike this morning! (after I'd taken this photo).

I spent a wonderful relaxing morning with Mel and Andy getting a pedicure which Andy gave me as a birthday present.  Very relaxing- thanks Andy.
Off to the barbecue restaurant tonight where you cook your own meat on a blazing hot plate in the middle of your table.
Wednesday September 12th: After watching the kids so carefully at the barbecue restaurant last night (the hot plates are very dangerous to be around) we let the 3 children have a quick play on the small playground after dinner only to have Spencer run back to the table screaming and holding his arm.  Considering the screaming had not subsided by the time we got to the car, we decided a trip to the hospital might be necessary.  After an hour or so of examinations and x-rays, it was confirmed that Spencer had fractured his elbow.

Well, I won't be going into ZOE today.  Spencer has been very subdued and is still in a fair amount of pain.  We will go back for another check up next Tuesday when the swelling has gone down and to have the full plaster cast put on.  Until then, he'll need to stay home and take it easy (hmmm that's going to be hard for him).
Spencer and I did manage a quick trip up to preschool this afternoon to say goodbye to Nong Iy his friend who is being adopted into a French family and living in Switzerland.

Thursday September 13th:  I decided that since Spencer was feeling a little more active today Mel, Andy and I would head off to the Safari park with him.  Upon arriving we were amazed to see a baby giraffe that had JUST been born!  It was still being licked down by its mother and all wobbly on its legs- so beautiful.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me.

Friday September 14th: Just hanging with my little man today.  He's been a good helper as we've driven here, there and everywhere running errands today.  He is getting lots of attention and sympathy from the Thai people while we've been out, noticing his green elephant sling and sore arm.
Tonight we head in to ZOE with Mel and Andrea for church.  It's their last night here.  
After church, we drive them back to their hotel stopping to get them one last banana roti!

Saturday September 15th:  Parting is never fun but we all held it together whilst waving off two very special people and feeling thankful for the time they had with us.
Off home for a nanny nap as we're back out at ZOE tonight for a yummy barbecue dinner.

Sunday September 16th: It's so amazing to think that it was seven years ago that our precious son Tobiah was born.  It was a bit of a stressful birth- ending in an emergency caesar but we thank God for his safe arrival and every day that we have him in our lives.  
Happy Birthday Tobi!

*Please pray with us for Spencer's arm to heal properly.  The doctor  will x-ray the elbow on Tuesday night and let us know whether it is healing correctly or whether a pin needs to be surgically inserted (we are believing this won't be necessary).  It's been very difficult to keep him from jumping and running around in his usual manner!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Just Two Weeks Ago...

Last night Dave and I had a little chuckle together as we made school lunches and cleaned up from dinner at how just two weeks ago we'd come and looked through this house and now we were well and truly at home here and living in it.
We smiled as we reminisced at how we'd liked it in its primitive, unkept, half finished state but how in just 10 or so days, the landlord had cleaned it all up, installed a kitchen, had it painted, put down a lawn ... and we'd moved in.  It still amazes me!
Well, the transition went well and we are all enjoying the new surroundings.  
Apparently the garbage gets collected at 2am here... well it happened that way last night anyway- Dave heard noises and looked out our window to see our bin being emptied by someone!! Hahahaha.
Our children are enjoying having other kids in the street to play with and already, on the first day here, Eliana ditched her training wheels to ride Tobi's old two-wheeler and keep up the pace with her brother and our landlord's two children.  
Serving up food seems to be about the only enticement to get our children to actually come indoors since we've moved.  
The excitement of playing outside either on their bikes, soccer or imaginary games with the used packing boxes has made it very easy to get all the unpacking done and keep the house reasonably tidy.
We have met several of our neighbors now and everyone seems very friendly as well as a little bit intrigued.  One lady brought her friend over tonight just to stop and watch our "farang" family (foreigners are called farangs).
David definitely wins the award for 'Most Popular Parent' this week.  Our decision to rent a motorbike for him has definitely made him much more appealing. 
Let's just say that the bike is by far the most-preferred mode of transport where the Cross kids are concerned! (Even in the rain!)
On the work front, we have just welcomed a new field worker to the ZOE family.  Elizabeth has just joined the team and we look forward to getting to know her more over the coming months.
A short-term team from America arrives tonight.  
Dave is currently napping on the couch before heading off to greet their flight at 10:50pm.
And my added role of teaching English as part of the home-schooling program for the children (at ZOE) unable to attend regular school has been super fun!  
I love being able to teach on a regular basis again but in such a different context.  
I am also enjoying getting to help some of the ZOE parents, rostered on to assist in translating, who desire to improve their English skills too.
Lastly, please pray for our Child Rescue Team.  
They are dealing with so many important cases right now and need to be covered in prayer.  
Please ask God to give them the wisdom they need in making crucial decisions, for break throughs and especially for the victims still waiting to be rescued.  
It's been a busy and exciting couple of weeks.  We thank you so much for being a part of our lives... I'm excited to see what the next two weeks have in store!!!