Down but Not Out – Update

Brave Boy!

Just a quick update.   Jay and Charlie are doing better today.  Back at work and daycare.  Antibiotics, breathing treatments and a good sinus flush have worked wonders for Charlie.  Can’t say he enjoyed those experiences, but he has to appreciate feeling better, right?  Thanks for your thoughts and prayers as we work through all kinds of new experiences, including different illnesses…

Down but Not Out

This past couple of weeks have been long. It feels like a month between Sundays and is amazing how much can seem to happen in just a few days. We are exploring and loving this great city and praying that we might see some of the ways that God is at work in the people here.

With this new life and surroundings, inevitably sickness is going to happen. We have not been immune. Some of it has been the usual stuff but currently both Charlie and I (Jay) are sick with headcolds that have become bacterial infections. We both had to go to the doctor this afternoon. Would you spend some time praying that we would be healed and also that Melissa would stay healthy in spite of being around us sickies? We’ll keep you updated.


Some of what I do every day…


How do I begin?

We have arrived! A month ago.

It’s true.  My main focus has been on Charlie, which means I haven’t allowed my mind much time to think about much else!  That little guy changes everything about how one goes about settling into life in a new culture.  You know this is true whether you’ve relocated across town or on the other side of the world.

All in all, our family has had a wonderful first month of living here in Bangkok.  Each day we have to encourage one another and push each other to be “present” and focused on who we are and what in the world we are doing.  For example:

Charlie – let’s learn to keep our shoes on and not eat them.

Jay – let’s be excited about taking one step at a time of settling into home.

Melissa – let’s stay positive after a long day and focus on where we can find some dinner.

Seriously, most days, it is the small things that count.  Charlie ate something new for dinner and loved it, or Jay fixed the shower head  so only a small river runs over the edge of the tub and into the drain, or we finally got the entire floor scrubbed down (because Mel shattered a glass and plate in one blow).

As one can imagine, life in Bangkok so far has been a roller-coaster of thankfulness and relief, challenge and frustration, discovery and adventure, and most of all dependence.  Those are the best words I can think of right now to help define this past month.  That said, I’ll work hard in the coming weeks to help illustrate what those words have meant to me on a day to day basis.

I leave you with the scripture that has carried me through at work and is applicable to all of life.  It is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Happy Birthday

First Birthday

Today was my first birthday!  And in following with the Stroud tradition of celebrating I have had three little parties!  First, I got to celebrate with Grandma Stroud last week before she left to go back home.  That was the best because I got lots of fun toys that I play with every day now.   When we moved here from the US I had to leave the few toys I had behind and so far I’ve done pretty well playing with yogurt containers and plastic water bottles, but even those can get boring for a one year old.  So, now I have some blocks and puzzles and even a xylophone!

Hi there!

My next birthday was with just mom and dad and me.  That was special because I tasted my first chocolate birthday cake.  YUM!  At first I just picked at it and then I started shoving it my mouth saying, ” MMMMM!”  Maybe it wasn’t my proudest moment, but I loved it.

Then just today, on my actual birthday, I went to daycare and brought my friends and teachers my favorite banana muffins.  We ate those together at snack time and then the BIG surprise happened.  My teacher bought me a Mickey Mouse birthday cake and they all sang “Happy Birthday” to me!  This was so much fun because these are my closest buddies and they made me feel so special.  What a year it has been and now I am ready to experience so much more – one day at a time.

Just found out I love Cake!

Settling into Home

I love interacting with people. Here I am at the hotel playing.

I have been such a trooper!  While I began sleeping through the night just a few days after we arrived, I still like to get Mom and Dad up and going bright and early.   We’ve explored a lot of our area and more central Bangkok these past few days.  I’ll put up some pictures of our adventures.  Before we found our new home, we lived at a hotel.  The very first day the policeman said hello to me so I smiled for a picture and then the restaurant staff greeted me.  I loved the breakfast and all the friendly smiles that would great me.  I ate ham, eggs, french toast and papaya for a whole week for breakfast!  My usual day of getting to know the town meant that Grandma Stroud and I would take several long walks a day and explore all the soi’s (small side streets), walk around Mom and Dad’s university campus, watch people cooking at the stalls along the roads and play in the hotel lobby.  Now that I am walking I love to get out of the stroller and cruise around.  The attention is great!  So when people watch me and say hello, I’ll give them a little wave – they seem to love that here.  Now I’m trying to learn how to wai (bow) so that I look more local. Besides my blond hair I think I’m going to fit in pretty quick here.  Especially since Grandma Stroud found this great little daycare next to the Sripatum (that is said just how it looks, but without pronouncing the “r”) University.

Ajarn A is so patient with me

My daycare is a lot of fun.  I’m the youngest guy there so I’m going to learn fast from all the big kids.  I’ve already begun to respond to two Thai words.  Seems like they are always telling me “no” and “don’t put that in your mouth”.  I guess the teachers are looking out for me.

Getting Where I’m Going

This was early December in Iowa. Maybe next time I'm there we can go sledding!

In the last couple of weeks I have grown up a lot. We have been living out at Grandma and Grandpa Stroud’s farm. I have spent a lot of time with Grandma Great and Great Grandma Stroud. They love me so much and I know that they have prayed for me for a long time. Here are some pictures and videos of some adventures I have had. Pastor Brian and my family and everyone at Grandview Church agreed to help me grow up to be wise and make good decisions. It seems like everywhere I go, everyone peeks into my stroller and waves at me.

Dad also taught me how to drive Uncle Andy’s tractor out at Grandpa’s farm. That was a lot of fun! Even though it was very loud, I felt like I was a natural sitting up there, and everyone laughed when I tipped my hat and waved.

Also, I have crawled since September but that seems like little kid stuff. I took a few practice steps in the middle of December but right about Christmas, I started to let go of some of the furniture around me and take some real steps. I felt like a big boy!

Daddy let me drive the tractor at Grandma and Grandpa Stroud's farm! I loved it!


Yesterday at Grandview Church, the Stroud’s numbered 2 Great Grandmas, 2 Grandmas, 1 Grandpa, 1 Great Aunt, 2 Aunts, 2 Uncles, 5 Cousins (+ 2 in the oven), 1 Mom, 1 Dad and me, Charlie Stroud.  It was fun to look out and make faces at Grandpa Stroud while Pastor Brian was talking.  I know more than ever now how much everybody loves me and wants the best for me.  I want to thank everyone for praying for me and taking good care of me.


Subscribing pt 2

Hey gang, for those of you who have suffered through the subscribing process to this point, try hitting the orange subscribe button again.  It has been greatly simplified.  Should be easy sailing from here on out.  Right now, the button is email only.  If you like to use Google Reader or something like it, try going to

Welcome Grandview Friends / Prayer Update

A big welcome to all of our friends from Grandview Church who are here for the first time.  Click the subscribe button and you can set up email alerts any time we add an update.

I wanted to add one important prayer request that I forgot to mention at church this morning.  We have been trying to sell our car via Craigslist but have not had much luck.  The car is a 2004 Pontiac Vibe hatchback with 70k miles.  It is in very good shape having never seen any winter miles.  Melissa was the original owner and it has never been in an accident nor had any body work done.  We are asking $7500.  The craigslist ad is below with more information.  If you know anyone interested, please contact us asap!

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