Holidays in Thailand: Part 2 Thanksgiving

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The meal: sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, dressing, corn fritters & chicken

The boys enjoying their Thanksgiving meal

Ben helping Lincoln with his mad libs

One of the silly stories

Working on their Thanksgiving coloring page

Apple pie & Double layer pumpkin pie

Decorating the tree

Time to move on to Christmas!

I usually love Thanksgiving, mostly for all the yummy food. I enjoy spending time with our families and relaxing after the meal, but again this year would be different. I didn't want the day to be a nice American meal and then back to whatever we were doing before we ate. I wanted it to feel like a holiday, so we devoted the whole day to Thanksgiving.

We had our traditional Thanksgiving meal, minus the turkey. I was not sure where to get a turkey so we had roasted chicken instead. We had all the yummy sides and even two pies. Way more food than 5 people need, but I didn't want that to stop us from having a regular Thanksgiving dinner. It was so yummy and made me miss home. It was nice to have some American food!

After dinner, the boys learned about the true story of Thanksgiving. No sugar coating here. I really want to boys to learn real history instead of the glamorized version. We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, did a funny Thanksgiving mad libs, & colored Thanksgiving pictures. We all even took that traditional Thanksgiving Day nap! We finished the day up by putting up our Christmas decorations. It was so nice and relaxing.

I think Thanksgiving may have been my favorite holiday that we have celebrated in Thailand so far. I was able to spend the day relaxing and being thankful for the people that are so important to me. It was the first Thanksgiving that I felt we began to understand the meaning of Thanksgiving. When you move somewhere new and only have your immediate family with you, you begin to depend on your husband and children more than ever before. This adventure has given us amazing family time and brought us all closer together. This Thanksgiving I was so happy to devote the day to the people I am the most Thankful for.

Holidays in Thailand: Part 1 Halloween

Heading home after the fun!

My 3 superhero's stopping for some treats.

The whole group.

Lincoln giving a thumbs up for the good meal!

Flash is enjoying the meal.

Halloween themed dinner

Boys going on a scavenger hunt around the house for candy.

Halloween fairy left goodies in Pattaya for the boys.

I thought I would let you all know what the holidays have been like here in Thailand. I knew coming here the holidays would be VERY different. We would not have our normal traditions, families to celebrate with, or even the right season to go along with the holiday. I was determined to make the holidays special here for the boys. Through trying so hard I actually found more joy in the holidays, I found interesting facts and traditions about the holidays, and I found that the whole "spirit of the season" is really what you put into it.

First Big difference: the weather. I LOVE Autumn. It's my favorite season. I love picking apples, hay rides, fall festivals, candles, football games, & cozy clothes. Well, none of that happened here in Thailand. Our October was crazy!! We were running from the massive floods that covered most of the country. (I almost forgot about Halloween!!) It is was hot & sticky, nothing like October in Ohio. We woke up Halloween morning in Pattaya, two hours away from Bangkok, with 3 out of the 5 of us with the stomach flu. Not the most exciting way to spend Halloween, but the "Halloween Fairy" did drop off a few goodies for the boys.

The next day we were back in Bangkok, everyone was feeling much much better and I decided it was a great day to have our own little Halloween party. We had our traditional Halloween themed meal: Severed fingers, pumpkin sandwich, ghost banana, Frankenstein jello & a bat cupcake. Then, Ben took the boys on a scavenger hunt around the house for candy. We finished out our Halloween party watching the Halloween classic, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". We had lots of fun.

The second big difference: Halloween is not celebrated in Thailand. It was sad to know that the boys would not be going Trick-or-Treating. Normally they go to Little Boo at the Zoo with friends, have Halloween parties & then trick-or-treat around our neighborhood. We were so happy to hear that a few teachers from RIS had put together a trick-or-treat night back in our neighborhood the weekend after Halloween. It was a lot of fun. All the kids dressed up and got lots of candy.

I know things are different here. We are making new traditions and have to be flexible, but the best part has been when I hear the boys say, "This is the greatest day ever!" We seem to hear that a lot lately, so it does not have to be the way it was back in Ohio. As long as we are together and having fun, it is perfect!

Back into our Routine

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Koh Samet
Huge leaves in Koh Samet
Letting a lantern go in Rayong
Beach in Rayong
Big Buddha in Rayong
Lots of room service
Flooding in our neighborhood
Pattaya Beach
Mini Siam in Pattaya
Wow! What a crazy couple of months!! The flooding in Thailand was on our minds everyday starting in the middle of October all the way through the end of November. Areas all around us were flooding, but our area stayed dry. It almost seemed like the flooding might pass us. Our main concern was the lack of food and water in the stores. Which is why we left the first time in October. The owner's of our home were kind enough to drive us to Pattaya, a beach town south of Bangkok. We enjoyed hanging out at the pool, the beach, and checking out Mini Siam before the stomach flu attacked half the family. So needless to say, our first evacuation was not much fun. We ended up spending most of our time in the hotel. Thankfully it was a nice place with a kitchen!

We came back to Bangkok on October 31st and our whole neighborhood was still completely dry. Ben's school kept cancelling because of threats of flooding from all around us. It was really nice to have the time off, but yet we almost felt trapped in our home. We were never really sure what areas around us had water coming in. So, it kind of stunk because we would have loved to explore Bangkok, but we were safe and had food and water which was much better than many people in Bangkok.

RIS was scheduled to go back to school on November 15th. I was starting to get very nervous because water had finally reached one of the main roads leading into our neighborhood. We heard about many people starting to evacuate again. We made the decision to leave even though Ben was supposed to be back in school. So thankful we left because his school ended up cancelling that day for another week. Our owner took us back down to Pattaya again.

We stayed in Pattaya for 2 days and went to the beach and saw Big Buddha Hill. Then we headed further south to Rayong. The beaches were beautiful there. We hung out by the pool and did a little Christmas shopping. After 3 days we headed to the island of Koh Samet. It was paradise!! I never wanted to leave. Other than the man eating mosquitoes it was perfect. I felt lucky to be able to experience such a wonderful vacation with my family. This trip would have never happened if we were still living in the states. The boys loved the beach and swimming in the clear ocean. I am really looking forward to going back in a few months!

So now we are back in Bangkok. Life has returned back to normal. The cars that were parked on all the bridges are gone, flood relief signs have been taken down, & people selling rubber boots, boats, & life jackets on the highway have disappeared. You do still see and endless amount of sandbags though. There is enough sand in Bangkok to make their own beach I am sure. I keep thinking what are they going to do with all those sand bags?

We were so lucky to be in an area that was protected from the flooding. So many people in Thailand have had to live in flooded areas for weeks to months. Mosquitoes, diseases, crocodiles, snakes & filth have come with all the flooding. But the Thais have such an amazing spirit and are working to get their beloved country back to the way it was. Now we get to say we were a part of the largest disaster in Thailand in the past 50 years. I am so glad it is over in our area but still think of all the families that it is still affecting and to all those that were lost in the floods. Thank you to all that were praying for our safety during this time.

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