Growing Family

 

It’s a GIRL!  In case you missed the announcement, we are expecting baby #2 in early September!  Our baby girl will be the 5th baby girl in the Stroud family to wear this little dress above.  Her aunt and 3 cousins have already carried on the family tradition.  We are very excited about our growing family.

For my parents, this will be their first granddaughter after having 3 adorable grandsons.

Having one child in Bangkok can seem pretty daunting at times (friends around the world with multiple children are laughing at this) and adding another to our mix of work and ministry is going to bring some big changes, but we are excited about the timing and purpose of this baby girl in our family.

As we considered a growing family we began “house hunting” to see what is available around us with a bit more space.  We were absolutely blessed to come across a single home for rent right in our neighborhood.  Honestly, whether we were living in America or internationally, it never crossed our minds that we might be able to have a house!  So this is really exciting!  At the beginning of April we packed up our 2 bedroom apartment and made the move within just a week of finding this house.  We are settled and love it already.  We consider our home to be not only ours, but a gift to those we know as well.  So we have enjoyed all our friends who come and stay with us each week and find comfort and relaxation here too.

The house has a small green yard and lots of room for Charlie to run around.  He literally takes laps around the house daily.  I don’t think there could have been better timing for a 2 year old boy to have some freedom and space.  I’ll be in the kitchen with all the windows open and hear him flip floppin’ by every 30 seconds or so.  Next will come a squeal of delight as he chases a gecko up the wall.  And what could be better than having not one, but two water hoses to play with…

The house is located in a very quiet part of a neighborhood with a mix of single homes and small apartment buildings.  In fact we have a neighbor on one side, but not the other and no one across the street, unless you count all of the creatures who make jungle sounds night and day.  Safety was an issue of concern voiced by both our families and our Thai friends and just for peace of mind we have a wall, gate, rod iron “spears” and two beautiful levels of barbwire.  It’s beautiful really…

There is a small shop a few doors down where you can grab cold drinks and snacks and then one of the best parts is that in the middle of the ’roundabout’ (5 minute walk from our door) is a kids park, walking path and workout equipment.  The walk to the park is pretty exciting for a two year old.  He counts the doorbells on all the gates and searches for all the dogs that every house seems to have.  The park is full of life each evening and we look forward to getting to know some of the other families as our language develops.  So far, most of what I can understand is the older children yelling “farang noi” (little foreigner), but that’s okay for now, since Charlie enjoys doing his own thing at this age.

Life is full of daily struggles and questions, but the ever present joy and peace we have in Christ is what continues to guide us and encourage us here.  We have some big events coming up at the end of the month and look forward to updating you about our work here in Thailand soon.

Love,

Melissa, Jay, Charlie and Stroudlette

 

Charlie teaches us a new word…

Charlie Turning On the Light

in Thai…

To speak another language fluently absolutely blows my mind.  For those of you who are privileged to have accomplished this, I envy you!

In the past I taught English as a Second Language in a program dedicated to helping Spanish-speaking mothers who had children  in the public school system in California.  There was an understanding that in order to help the children excel in their new environment, the moms needed to be able to communicate and understand English, as well.  I taught those ladies without any understanding of their situation, but how times have changed.

We don’t have a school aged kid just yet, but now I am the mom who needs to grasp a language that is so foreign to my ears.  This week I learned a new Thai word.  Not from our private lessons or a book, but from Charlie!  He doesn’t say or understand it perfectly, but for a 20 month old he is communicating well.   He always points to the lights or a light switch as says, “fais” (pronounced fies).  So I soon learned that “fais” was his word for light and I knew then that he wanted to be picked up so he could push the light switch.

Well, as his communication skills increase daily (he is a jabber box) it finally dawned on me that I should ask what the Thai word for light is.  Knowing that he often adds an “s” to everything, which derives from his familiarity with English, I asked if “fai” can mean light and sure enough, it does.  Thanks Charlie, I think we might learn more from you than from a book.

Speaking of learning Thai, we have been in private lessons for 13 weeks now (just 2 hours a week) and apparently are quite a bit behind the average student…learning the Thai word for failure this week was not a good sign.  Haha.  But, despite that, we have loved learning and actually feel like we’ve progressed a lot as this was our first formal introduction.  Honestly, we have all kinds of excuses for why we don’t practice more and all I’m going to say is that if you are ever given the opportunity for intensive language study take it!

If you are unfamiliar with Thai you can take a look and listen here http://www.thai-language.com/

ริน คุ ตะ (Mel) and  ซุ คะ ฟุ (Jay)

Sawatdee Khap!

That’s “hello” in Thai and though I can’t say it just yet, I have learned that it is important to show respect to others and greet them.  So, I’ve begun to wai (bow with my hands together) to others and soon I’ll learn to say hello!

I’ve been a pretty happy camper lately.  My days are so full.  After a good 11 hours of sleep at night I’m ready to hit the ground running.  I love breakfast with Mom and Dad and then I get an hour of playing in while they rush around getting ready.  One of my favorite things lately is when I hear it is time to go, which means I get to put on my shoes!  I love my shoes!  I rush over and grab them of the shelf and even though I still need help getting them on properly, I’m learning.  Then it’s time to get in my stroller and we are off to catch a bus.

Daycare is still non-stop fun and I’ve found myself taking 3 or 4 hour naps lately!  Crazy – I never do this at home for mom and dad, but I just wear myself out at daycare.  You can see in the pictures that I’m a really good listener and it helps that all my friends know what to do.  Some of my newest words in Thai are “sit down, hug, lay down, all done, eat, clap, music and dance,” and come to think of it those are some of my favorite in English too.  Well, I think the pictures speak for themselves so I’ll let you just enjoy those.

Thankfulness – Skype and FaceTime

Breakfast Chat with Uncle Kevin and cousin Noah

Face to face time is wonderful.  We do not take for granted being able to communicate so easily with friends and family who are elsewhere.  Of course, we would prefer that they all just take a vacation and come and visit us (we have an extra bed waiting to be used), but for now, it is great.  By the way, our Skype account is Jay & Mel Stroud, if you want to chat.  Keep in mind we are 12 hours ahead of CST.  So if it is 9pm here on Sunday night then it is 9am there on Sunday morning.  Just do the math and then try calling us if you see we’re on.

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