Friday, December 16, 2011


Oh, how THIS VIDEO of a bearded dragon "playing" Ant Crusher on an i-phone made my day. It sure made me miss Dino & Geico, our two bearded dragons, though!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

One of the reasons I loved going to Spain this summer...

... was that it made for some awesome, awesome classroom decorations/bulletin boards.

Fun with friends

Missing Holly-head... but her heart was with with us.

Dear, dear friends.

Whoever heard of such a thing!? :)

Hello December!

Making Christmas cards
Doesn't it look exceptionally festive with our green wall? :)

Big Red has been pretty busy...

I think I'm in love...

Meet "Big Red." She was a gift from my generous husband.

These are a few of my (new) favorite things...

Lentil-filled quesadillas

Pineapple, banana, passion fruit smoothies


This one is for my mom... she was wondering what my dishes look like.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why I Hate to Wait #5

As I wait, I love listening to this song. I love how it speaks to my heart and encourages me every single time I listen to it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why I Hate to Wait #4

In His loving kindness, God has been showing me how impatient and self-sufficient I am. I like to get from Point A to Point B quickly and efficiently, and I like to think that I can do it by myself, on my own strength. And to be honest, when that doesn't happen, I get frustrated. I get frustrated because my expectations are so different.  I get irritated because I think I know what is best. I get irritated because the situations are out of my control and I simply have to submit and wait on the Lord (and in case you haven’t figured it out by now, I HATE waiting!) I get frustrated essentially because I am not getting what I want, when I want.

Now try telling our SOVEREIGN Lord that He’s not providing what you need, when you need it. Try telling God, who created the heavens and the earth and in whom all things hold together, that He’s wrong. Try explaining to God, who created YOU and who’s timing is perfect, that you know what’s best for you and that waiting isn’t part of your plan.  Try telling our perfect God that you should be in control.

…{sigh} Yep, pretty much been there, done that… not necessarily through my words, but definitely in my actions and thoughts.

God has been so gracious and patient with me as He has been molding me, as a potter does with his clay, to make something beautiful. And a beautiful mess it has been. He certainly is giving me beauty for ashes. And He's showing my tunnel vision- efficiency craving-TO-DO list loving, Type A-ISFJ- meticulous-steadfast-personality that getting from Point A to Point B isn’t always important…sometimes just the journey from Point A to Point B is the more important thing.

But it’s hard because I’m like one of those annoying little kids on a long journey that keeps asking, “Daddy, are we there yet?” and “Daddy, when will get there?” and “Daddy, how much longer?” I remember asking those questions to my own dad when we would take long car trips and his response was usually, “In a while. Why don’t you just look out the window and enjoy the scenery?” {sigh} God’s saying the same thing to me, “Karly, my child, I promise we’ll get there eventually. Right now I just want you to soak up your surroundings. I want you to bask in my love. I want you to take comfort in ME. If I quickly take you from Point A to Point B, you’d miss out on an incredible journey. You’d miss out on seeing ME. Have patience, my child; we’ll there eventually… we’re just taking the scenic route. You might not see it yet, but the scenic route sure is beautiful.”

This morning I read again from "A Shelter in a Storm," which are meditations on Psalm 27.  I read another meditation on verse 14 which says, "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.” Part of the meditation that really resonated with me said, "Waiting on God isn't about the suspension of meaning and purpose. It's part of the meaning and purpose that God has brought into my life. Waiting on God isn't to be viewed as an obstruction in the way of the plan. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For the child of God, waiting isn't simply about what the child will receive at the end of his wait. No, waiting is much more purposefully, efficient, and practical. Waiting is fundamentally about what we will become as we wait.”

So waiting is for my good and for God’s glory. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, but there is a purpose behind God’s plan to make me wait Him.

Lord, thank you that you love me enough to walk with me during this time of unknowns and of waiting, as you continue to mold and shape me to be able to better serve and love you. Help me to be grateful for, and take to heart, all the things that you are teaching me on the journey, instead of always waiting and looking to see if I’ve arrived at the set destination. I know I have nothing to offer you… my life is ugly and my heart is full of sin, but I know that you can make something beautiful from the mess that my life is as you continue to sanctify me. Though my heart aches for answers, for immediate responses, for answered prayers, for crossed off TO-DO lists, I know you are doing a mighty work in me and transforming my heart as I wait on you, the giver of all good gifts. Give me beauty for ashes, oil of joy for my mourning, a garment of praise for my spirit of heaviness… that You might be glorified (Isaiah 61:3)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why I Hate to Wait #3

According to the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, I am an ISFJ.
  • I am an (I) introvert; time to myself is high on my priorities, I recharge by myself. When I am around people, I prefer a few close friends instead of many acquaintances. 
  • I am (S) sensing. Other personality tests would say that I am a "concrete-sequential." The abstract is difficult for me, and I have a hard time seeing the big picture since I am usually so focused on the details.  
  • I am a (F) feeler. I think with my heart instead of my head, which often time defies logic.
  • I am (J) judging. I know that sounds bad... but it means I like predictability. Change is hard, the unknown is hard... I like schedules because I like to know what to expect.
My friend tagged me on FB on the below grid; I found it rather humorous. Despite being an ISFJ,  I will admit, that I definitely identify with the comments for ISTJ, INFJ, INTJ, INTP ESFJ, and ESTJ. {sigh}

I find that the INTP, "Lord, help me be less independent, but let me do it my way" probably best describes what my life has been like recently. God is teaching me to trust in Him, to find my strength in Him, to let Him have His way in me, and to give over the control that I had that I thought I had.

It's a daily battle, but I choose joy. Joy in knowing that God's plans are infinitely greater than mine, and joy in knowing that the journey from Point A to Point B has a purpose. I choose faith. I choose to walk in faith, trusting and believing that even though waiting on God is hard and sometime hurts, that God is up to something ridiculously good... I just don't see the whole picture yet (since I'm an ISFJ and focus on the details so I can't see the whole picture) :)

What Meyers-Briggs Type are you? What is God teaching you? How do you deal with the testing of your faith?

Praying, dear reader, that you choose joy and faith, even when it hurts.

Why I Hate to Wait #2

I'm waiting. {SIGH}
  • I'm waiting to hold my new nephew
  • I'm waiting to see my dad this Christmas
  • I'm waiting to see how this whole flood situation will pan out
  • I'm waiting to hear if we'll have make-up days for school and if/how that will affect our summer
  • I'm waiting to buy tickets to the US this summer since we don't know if/how our summer will be affected
  • I'm waiting for God to answer prayer requests (for myself and friends & family alike) in big ways
  • I'm waiting to go home this summer and squeeze my family and friends... 2 years is a long time!
  • I'm waiting to see how to best assess and give grades to a new student that just joined my class this week (who has never had a Spanish class before)
  • I'm waiting on finances
  • I'm waiting on God's timing and promises
  • I'm waiting...
... and I sure don't like waiting!

I am all about efficiency. I like to get things done in a timely manner and I like to do things well the first time. I struggle with, what I like to call, "tunnel vision." I set my eyes on my goal/task and I just keep going until it's done and I can check it off my TO-DO list. There is no stopping until it's done. This can be a very positive thing often times... I start a stack of papers, and I keep going until they are graded and put into the grade book. I start planning for the next unit for my classes and I don't stop until I have made all my photocopies made. I start a book or a movie, and I don't give up on it, even if it's horrible because I have the hope/expectation that it will get better (exception: Tree of Life... definitely gave up on that movie after 15 minutes).

I follow through, I check off/cross off, I get it done. So waiting is VERY hard for me because waiting means I can't do it on my own time. Waiting means being dependent on others/God. Waiting means not knowing when it will be accomplished. Waiting means I can't just cross it off my TO-DO list. Waiting means being suspended and having to face the unknowns. Waiting simply goes against the grain of my tunnel vision, TO-DO list lover, Type A, meticulous, steadfast, Meyer's Briggs ISFJ personality.

Needless to say, all this waiting has been hard. But man alive, has God been doing a lot in my heart lately! More to come in the next post... (I'm keeping you waiting)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why I Hate to Wait #1

I've been going through a book called, "A Shelter in the Storm" by Paul David Tripp. It has 52 meditations on Psalm 27 and is a book I highly recommend. The book has been such an encouragement to me, as God has been teaching me a lot lately. He is definitely doing some major heart re-construction on me as He has been providing ample opportunity for me to grow in patience and trust, as I wait on Him. He has been stripping me of my self-sufficiency and teaching me to walk in faith. It's been very humbling.

I loved this meditation that Tripp wrote on Psalm 27:14. Man, was it a good reminder!

"Why I Hate to Wait"

"Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" -Psalm 27:14

"I hate to wait;
I have places to go
I have people to see
I have things to do.
I love me
and I have a wonderful plan 
for my life.
I hate to wait
I don't like obstacles 
in my way
or people that disagree 
or processes that take too long
I hate to wait.
I don't like lines
or traffic
or delayed appointments
or tardy people.
I hate to wait.
I wake up every day with an agenda.
I know
what I want to accomplish.
I know 
how I want it done.
I know 
where I want it done.
I know
when I want it done
I know
who I want to do it
I know
why it has to be done this way.
I hate to wait
I am the one having to wait.
I don't mind 
thatyou have to wait
but I don't want to have to 
wait with you.
I hate to wait
I tend to put myself
in the on place
I am never supposed to be
I tend to want to be
the one thing 
I should never crave to be.
I hate to wait because
I want to be 
in the center of my universe
and I want to be 
my own sovereign.
When I forget Your plan
When I lose sight of Your will
When I begin to think
that my life belongs to me
When I fall prey to the delusion
that I am wiser than You
my way is better than Yours
Then I hate to wait
I curse the obstacles in my way.
But You are sovereign
and You are
and loving
and gracious
and kind
and mighty,
filled with compassion
overflowing with mercy.
You bought me
with the price of Your Son.
You forgave me
and the cost was His death.
For all my attempts
at independent wisdom
and self sovereignty
the truth is
that my life does not belong to me.
once more I fall to my knees.
Once more I open my hands
give my life back to You
and say, 
'You do in , with, and through me
what You think is best
and I will follow 
and when
Your wisdom and grace
require it,
I will be willing 
to wait.'"

Monday, November 14, 2011


My Spanish 2 students keep asking me, "What does PLAYED mean?" At first, I couldn't figure out why they were asking me that since we're currently in a clothing/shopping unit. It didn't take me long to realize that they really want to know what PLAID is (I guess plaid isn't in style...). Man alive, pronunciation of the English language is so difficult!

Who's your daddy?

We often see little kids around our apartment complex, particularly in the early evening when a lot of Thai play groups seem to take place. The other day when we were on our way out, we were walking behind a mother who was holding a child that was around a year and a half, and from what we could tell, was most likely an Asian-Caucasian mix.  Mike smiled at the child as we walked by, and got a good laugh when the child responded to his smile with, "Papa!?" So funny. While Caucasians often think that "all Asians" look alike, this just goes to show that Asians can think that "all Caucasians" look alike too. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thailand just got THAT much better

Look what just opened 3 days ago! Located only 5 minutes away from where we live & JUST LIKE the one in Bloomington, Minnesota! It was a taste of "home" and an escape... we didn't even feel like we were in Thailand as we ate our Sweedish meatballs & filled our big yellow bags with home organizing things (and napkins). :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

10 things not to say...

I enjoyed this article... maybe because I'm in that stage of life right now, usually on the receiving end of #1 and #5. A few things I would have to add to the list of what not to say include: "You're biological clock is ticking." "You've been married for 6 years and you still don't have kids?" "Don't you want kids?"

People's questions are well-intentioned, but it can sometimes be difficult to be on the receiving end of it, especially when put on the spot. I also find myself feeling very awkward when people I don't know very well steer the conversation in this direction... it's a personal thing.

I'm sure that parents could come up with 10+ things that their childfree friends shouldn't say too... like when I am the one that jokes saying, "Thanks for the birth control!" when their child wipes his/her poop all over their bedroom walls (or something of that nature).

I guess all this to say that we really ought to be sensitive to other people's circumstances and feelings. May our words be edifying and well-seasoned with salt.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

High & dry

We haven't floated away yet, or even had to build a creative raft... it has actually been pretty dry here, except for a few thunderstorms in the evenings. After October break, school was supposed to resume on Wednesday, Oct. 26, but due to the flooding & potential flooding in our area, we are off until November 7, as mandated by the Ministry of Education (MOE). We've actually heard that the newest mandate by the MOE is that schools are to be off until Nov. 15, but we haven't received that news from our school yet. (It depends on whether our school appeals to the gov't [and the gov't accepts] to continue school or not because we are located in a non-affected/minimally affected area).

Despite, the extended break from school, there is no day lacking of work, as teachers are required to do e-learning with the students (which always ends up being MORE work than just normal teaching), in the hope of not having to extend the school year into our summer. But if school does get cancelled through November 15, then our summer will definitely get cut short. :(

Saturday was potentially supposed to be the worst day of flooding, due to the high tides, amount of water already in rivers & canals, and possible breaking of barriers/dams, but things are looking okay for now. Click here for a recent article on the current situation, and here for some pics by YWAM Thailand from the flooding in other areas that have been greatly affected.

The gov't declared a national holiday from Friday through Monday so that people could get out of town and escape the flooding; thousands of people have left the city. We're staying put for now, and currently sitting high and dry. Thanks for partnering in prayer with us... may our hearts be surrendered & may our gaze continually be directed to our sovereign and holy God in every circumstance.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pray for Thailand

1/3 of Thai provinces flooded, with over 9 million people affected.

Two very good news articles. Click here and here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What you don't want to hear...

"Government sacrifices eastern Bangkok"

...what you don't want to hear when you live in eastern Bangkok.

Click here for news article.

We've been fortunate not to have much rain the past few days, but rain or no rain, all the water from areas that were hit hard has to go SOMEWHERE. Our 4-day October break weekend, just turned into a 5-day weekend. ICS will be closed tomorrow due to the potential flooding & terrible traffic due to flooding as the water makes it way to the Gulf of Thailand, and is routed through Eastern Bangkok. I think it was a wise decision... we ran a few errands at the nearest mall/grocery store, and walked out this evening to pouring rain. As everything is already quite saturated, the canals high, the dams/dikes on the verge of collapsing, after 15 minutes of hard rain, the streets around us were flooded to the ankles.

We're headed up to Chiang Mai with some dear friend for the October break. While we're looking forward to a much needed break from school, it's hard not have a heavy heart for Thailand & to worry about what things will be like in Chiang Mai, as well as what things will look like where we live when we come back.

Please keep Thailand in your prayers. We'll post more updates soon on the situation soon.

Even the elephants aren't safe...

Monday, October 17, 2011


Click here to see some pictures of what is going on in Thailand as of late. Please pray for Thailand.


My mama and auntie are crazy and I can't handle the craziness

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Calling all Spanish teachers #2

We all know what LOL stands for, but do you know what LSHMSFOAIDMT stands for? Well you should... add it to your repertoire for something more than a LOL.

Thanks to my co-worker Aimee, for the awesome find. :)

Calling all Spanish teachers #1

If you're a Spanish teacher, or if you know anything beyond 1st semester Spanish 1 grammar, you'll appreciate what I got a kick out of today...

Student tries to write: Elena studies a lot.
He writes: Elena estudia un mucho.

I laughed aloud.

Apple Invasion 2011

3 Macs & 1 i-phone. They just needed to be listening to their i-pods & contemplating buying an i-pad...

Before & After

Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Nice new tabletop. "All the better to play games on, my dear," says Mike.

Lovely changes, wouldn't you say? I feel like our apartment feels a) more homey and b) more cheerful :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Highlights from Alicante

After a few days in Madrid, we made our way to Alicante. Man, was it good to see more friends and introduce Mike to life in Alicante! Alicante was a little crazier than normal in that it was during a time of festival. Mike got a good taste of Spanish night life. He had to get used to staying up late and getting up practically in the afternoon.

Some of the things we saw and did in Alicante:
  • Learned a lot of new Spanish words, as I was forced to speak in Spanish/translate a lot. Plus, my friends really helped push me to learn more.
  • Ate a lot of good food
  • Met up with lots of friends after 11 years
  • Went to Hogueras events: mascleta & parades
  • The beach
  • Paella at Casa Domingo
  • Castillo de Santa Bárbara
  • Bodega: Francisco Gómez
  • Reunion dinner at David & Natalia's flat
  • Port
  • MARQ: museo de arquelogía
  • Looking at the different monuments created & visiting the Hogueras museum
I had remembered the Hogueras festival differently from 11 years ago so we had plans to leave in the middle of the festival, thus missing the last day of the festival when they burn all of the monuments. We had reservations to go to La Alhambra in Granada, so we ended up leaving mid-week, going to Granada, and then returning to Alicante to be present for the Cremada. I'm so glad that our plans were pretty flexible and that we could come back to experience the last night with friends.

** As always, you can click on the collage/pic to see a bigger version of it. :)**

Great friends
Paella at Casa Domingo
Hanging out before heading to the beach
At the beach. We introduced our friends to the art of jumping pictures. They had seen the one of us jumping on the beach in New Zealand and thought that was so cool, so wanted to do their own one in Alicante. :)
Castillo de Santa Bárbara
La Bodega
La Bodega. I love this series of pictures; they make me laugh every single freakin' time because Mike is showing us his booty practically the whole time. In his defense, he didn't know that a series of 9 pics was going to be taken and that we were only planning on doing a booty picture 1-2 times. Pobre Mike.
La bodega

A reunion of HS friends at David & Natalia's place. It had really been about 10 years since all of them had been together. Unfortunately, we were missing Silvia, who was in Madrid. :(
Late night/early morning shananigans.

Mike got to try horchata and hang out with David's little birdy. The other two pics are views from the great terraza that David & Natalia have.

Hogueras. They spend practically all year planning for this festival, all for it to end quite quickly. They create these huge monuments to enter in to a competition and then on the last night there's the cremada, where they burn them all.

The beginning of the cremada. This was the first hoguera to be burned. In the above collage, it was the one in the bottom left corner that looks like a palm tree.
This was Natalia's sector's hoguera.
It almost looks like riots. The people scream to be sprayed by the fire hoses to cool down.
Last night
Trying to get a good view and not get soaked by the fire hoses.

Last night... out dancing after the cremada
My love.
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We had such a great time. Thanks for hosting us, David & Natalia!