December 31, 2007

Never Too Early to Start

Although the Pacers are having a better season than most people expected, they still aren't doin' much to gain fans. Ever since the Rumble at the Palace, it seems like the Pacers been on a slippery slide downhill. As a result, in order to build true Pacer fans, I guess we need to start early. I've been teaching Owen the names of the Pacer players, hoping that one day he and I can enjoy sitting in front of the computer watching the scoreboard. Maybe by the time he is old enough to really understand, the Pacers will actually be good.

December 30, 2007

Name Owen

Meet Name, (No, I didn't forget his name, his name is Name) Owen's cousin. Name was born 4 or 5 days after Owen and they are next door neighbors for the time being. Tawm (Tawm's cousin in law) brought Name over to our house the other day. Everyone can't get over the size difference between the two. Owen and Name played together. Owen wanted to play more that Name. He squirmed and squirmed until he got in reaching distance and then gave his little cousin a little love tap. As a result of the love tap, Name started wailing. Although name is about 2/3s the size of Owen, his cry is about 5 times louder. I am sure Owen and Name will be spending lots of time together in the future.

If you were confused by the names, sorry, this is Thailand!! :)

December 27, 2007

A Tough Loss

Well, my fantasy football team had a disappointing end to the season. Pretty much my whole team had an off day and we got blown out.

I am also hoping that a couple of other teams have a disappointing end to their seasons, namely the Patriots and Cowboys. However with my luck, they will probably meet in the Superbowl. It will be like the mid 90's when my two most hated teams seemed to meet in the finals, the Jazz and da Bulls. It was always rough trying to decide which team to cheer for.

Here's my dream Superbowl match up Colts vs. Bucs or Steelers vs. Bucs. I know that neither is likely to happen, but hey, one can dream no?

Thailand's Need

Today we received a Christmas card from one of our supporters in Canada. Inside, they included a newsletter from Far East Broadcasting Associates of Canada. This is what the introductory paragraph said...

"The population of Christian believers in Thailand is estimated to be only one-half of one percent - making this Asian kingdom one of the least-evangelized countries in the world!"

Thailand's population is 64 million and according to my math that means that Thailand only has 320,000 Christians and many of those aren't really believers. I thank God that He called me here, please pray for us and all the missionaries who are laboring in this needy place.

December 26, 2007

The Results are in

Last Sunday was election Sunday. As a result, we had almost no one at church because everyone had to return home to vote. This was the result:

The People Power Party (PPP) whose main platform was its support for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (who was ousted in last year's coup d'etat) won the election. PPP won the hearts of Thailand's rural majority. Of a possible 480 seats, the PPP won 232 seats. Thaksin who has been living in exile in both England and Hong Kong has already made it known that he will be coming back to Thailand for the first time since last year's coup. People have promised that there will not be another coup but we will see what the future entails.

Because of the PPP's popularity, it makes one wonder, was the coup really needed?

Have you You Faied?

Yesterday was Owen's first Christmas. Although he is too young to understand, I had the chance to explain the whole Christmas story to him (we'll see how much he can recall later on). We spent the day at home because Tawm is following a Thai tradition called "You Fai". After giving birth, if women have an opportunity, they will follow this tradition. Basically it is a week long spa. A lady comes to our house for 7 days to give Tawm massages and different kinds of treatments. At the end of each day, Tawm sits in a home made sauna. Thais believe this helps the woman to heal properly after giving birth and it also helps the woman to lose weight. I think it helps the woman to relax from lack of sleep. Anyways, Tawm is enjoying it and as a result, Owen gets to spend extra time with daddy.

December 22, 2007

The Problem with Democracy

Tomorrow (Sunday) Thais head to the polls to elect a new government. It has taken almost 1 1/2 years for this insurgent government to allow another election. I am excited but hope and pray that this election will be just, fair and democratic. There is over 20 parties running for government. In the past, Thailand has been plagued with corruption. Government parties buy votes hoping to give them the majority, especially among the poor country folks who are in need of money. There are signs posted around Chiang Mai that say "Don't sell your voice". It will be great to have some stability in the goverment rather than having a military government. Hopefully, Thailand will take a turn for the better.

December 19, 2007

Headin' to the Bowl!

Being a Bucs fan (ever since the ugly orange days), I have never liked the Minnesota Vikings. However this year, I wisely drafted Adrian Peterson and he is turning me into a Vikings fan too, although if they meet in the playoffs, I'd still have to cheer for the Bucs. Anyways, thanks to his outstanding season, my Fantasy Football team is heading to the Superbowl. My team finished third with a 9-5 record and upset #2 in last week's semi-final. Last year after finishing 4th I won the big game, we will see if I can do it as a #3 this year.
Here's my team:
QB - Carson Palmer
WR - Larry Fitzgerald
WR - Donald Driver
WR - Calvin Johnson
RB - Adrian Peterson
RB - Clinton Portis
TE - Donald Lee
K - Shayne Graham
DEF- Tennessee

Can you say Repeat!!

December 15, 2007

Some More Owen

Been trying to upload Owen's 2nd video but I can't get it to upload. In the mean time here are a couple more pics of Owen.

December 08, 2007

16 Already!!

No, he's not old enough to drive yet (at least in Canada, who knows about Thailand) but Owen turn 16 today, 16 days that is. Time sure flies by fast.

December 05, 2007

Thailand's King turns 80

Not only is it the King's birthday but Thailand celebrates Father's Day today too commemorating the king's birthday. Wanted to wish my father a Happy Father's Day and thank you for being a great dad. Appreciate you more and more all the time.

This article is taken from VOA News and helps explain the mood and climate of Thailand as the nation celebrates the kings birthday.
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, marked his 80th birthday Wednesday with a warning that political disunity can lead to disaster in his country. Thailand is moving to heal political wounds this month with elections that are to return it to democratic rule following a military coup last year. VOA's Luis Ramirez reports from Bangkok.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, born 80 years ago Wednesday in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, is universally adored in Thailand. Thais see him as a symbol of national identity, unity and stability in a country that has had at least 18 coups d'etat since 1932, when Thailand made a peaceful transition from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy.

The latest coup, which ousted then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in September of last year, was the result of public anger over corruption - and over what some here saw as Mr. Thaksin's disrespect of the king.

Debate over the validity of the coup has pitted members of Thailand's middle class, who resented Mr. Thaksin's style and personality, against the working class, who support the former prime minister.

Thailand hopes to heal those political wounds, and Thai voters will cast ballots on December 23 to put a democratic government back in place. Mr. Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai Party was forced to disband, but his supporters have been regrouping and campaigning as members of new parties, and some analysts expect the poll to be contentious.

In a one-hour address to the nation late Tuesday, the king issued a call for unity - a recurring theme of his recent speeches.

He says Thailand's military and civilians must be united, like two legs that have to walk in unison, with one leg stepping forward while the other waits behind. He says that if Thais are not united, the country will - in his words - face disaster.

For Thais, the monarch's advice this year has special meaning, as his age and failing health have become evident. The king, who took the throne in 1946, was recently hospitalized for three weeks after suffering symptoms of a stroke and other problems, and in public appearances, he appears frail.

Talking about the monarch's passing and the future of Thailand without him is considered impolite here, but the unspoken preoccupation is evident among the thousands who gathered outside the palace in the pre-dawn hours of his birthday, wearing yellow or pink - colors that have come to symbolize the monarch.

December 03, 2007

Owen Update

 Since its been a couple days since I posted any pics and before I hear any complaints from the other side of the globe I thought I'd post some pics. The last pic is my personal favorite. Owen is doing good. The doctor told us we had a healthy baby boy after our check-up. We praise God that He is faithful in answering prayers.

December 01, 2007

Naa Jun

Naa Jun, these are the words that we hear all the time from people that come to our house to see Owen or when we go out. However you'd probably be surprised to know that Naa Jun doesn't mean cute, good looking, handsome or anything that a foreigner would call a baby. Naa Jun means ugly! Thais believe that if you use words like cute or handsome, the spirits will come and take the baby away. So instead, they use their wisdom to fool the spirits and call Owen ugly because what spirit would want an ugly baby. Before Owen came into the world, I never knew this (although I knew Thais were very superstitious). I love Thai people but some of their beliefs are just plain strange. Now everytime I hear someone say Naa Jun, I know that they really mean something good, or at least that is what Tawm tells me. When I doubt that, I just look at Owen's face and I know Tawm is telling the truth.

As I am posting, I recall a Seinfeld episode where Seinfeld and his buddies go to visit a friend who just had a baby. Don't remember all the details other than that the baby was hideous and none of them knew what kind of compliment to give the parents. If he lived in Thailand, he wouldn't have that problem, he could just say the baby is ugly. He would mean it and the parents would think it was a compliment, both sides win.