Singapore Airport Butterfly Garden

I have said more than once that I would take a vacation to the Singapore Airport, and I’m not kidding.  It’s the most awesome airport I have ever visited!  It is beautiful and clean and somehow magically quiet, and there are lots of free things to do!

On our way to Chiang Mai, we had a nearly 24-hour layover in Singapore.  Truth be told, we spend about 8 of it sleeping in the also awesome airport hotel.  But then we went exploring!

We are well acquainted with terminals 2 & 3 now.  There are butterfly gardens, and koi ponds, and movie theaters, and playgrounds, and good coffee, and western food.  What more do you need on vacation?

Anyway, we spent a good hour hanging out in the butterfly garden.  It boasts hundreds of butterflies in many varieties.  I may have taken a few pictures. :)

Sing Butterfly Garden Sing Butterfly Garden Sing Butterfly Garden Sing Butterfly Garden Sing Butterfly Garden Sing Butterfly Garden Sing Butterfly Garden Mommy and Elias Peeking at Daddy

Seriously, if you have to spend 24-hours in an airport with a two-year-old, Singapore is the place to do it!

Day Safari

After feeding the giraffes at the Chiang Mai Night Safari, we bought tickets for the Day Safari (in the Night Safari park, just earlier in the day).  They took us on a little tram ride through the park where we saw various animals.  The “safer” animals were allowed to roam free and would walk right up to the tram where we could feed them.

Day Safari Day Safari

After the tram ride, we stumbled across some porcupines that we could feed and pet.  Despite the look on his face, Elias loved this part.

Day Safari Day Safari

Since returning home from our vacation, Elias continue to talk about all the “amimmals” he got to see, feed and pet.


Feeding the Giraffes

Because we live overseas, people often think that we travel a lot.  And, while, yes, we have spent a lot of time in a country other than our passport country, we actually don’t get around that much.  We’re homebodies, Nathan and I.

BUT, we decided that for vacation this year, we would venture outside of Indonesia and see another part of this Asian world that we live in.  So, just a few weeks ago we travelled to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Thailand is the 4th country that Elias has visited, quickly followed up by his 5th, Singapore.  (We don’t count airport layovers…that would be cheating.)  The others he has been to are the U.S., Indonesia and Mexico.  Not too shabby for a two-year-old.  Especially considering that his mama has been to only 9 countries (add in Wales, England, Germany and Canada for me) in her 34 years of life.

Anywhoozzles…in Chiang Mai we went to a Night Safari, although we went during the day for the sake of Elias’ bedtime.  His favorite part by far was feeding the giraffes.  For about $1, we could buy a basket of vegetables to pass out to the eagerly waiting giraffes.

Feeding Giraffes Feeding Giraffes Feeding Giraffes Feeding Giraffes

Feeding Giraffes

Feeding Giraffes

We came back to this part of the zoo 3 times, he loved it so much.

More on Chiang Mai another day!

Two and a Half

My baby is two and a half years old today!  How did he get so big so quickly?

2 1/2

Everyone once and awhile it washes over me all over again how blessed I am to be this boys mama.  Out of all the kids in all the world…God put us together.  Adoption is awesome :)

2 1/2

He is silly and sweet.  And adventurous while cautious.  He talks a mile a minute and likes to tell stories.  Recently, he likes to hold my face in his hands and says, “You’re a cute baby, mama!”  He notices things, like when I am wearing new earrings, or when I have an new “owie.”  He’s a heartbreaker.

2 1/2

When Nathan comes home after a day of flying, he likes to run into his arms and knock him over.  He loves to give “all the kisses” and squeezes so tight when he gives hugs.  I hope he never grows out of that…but I know he probably will.

Sweet Elias Tate…I love you.

Nabire Preschool

You know what I love about September?  Back to school sales.  Pumpkin everything.  Crisp Fall air.  Changing leaves.

BUT, we don’t have any of that here.  September rolls on like every other month.  The weather doesn’t change.  There is no “Back to School” aisle in the store.  There definitely aren’t Pumpkin Spice Lattes and changing leaves.

There was a time that I dreaded this time of year in Papua…because I desperately missed Fall.  But somehow, I have nearly forgotten that there are parts of the world that are turning toward cool right now.  I haven’t even bought a pumpkin yet (I’m pretty sure I bought a pumpkin on Aug 31 last year, just to be ready to say “Hello September!”  I guess I’m adjusting to this tropical living thing.  It’s about time really, we’ve lived here for 6 years now.

Anyway, what I really intended to write about on this post is Preschool!  Since Ethan (our 5 year old neighbor) is now fully into Kindergarten, his younger brother and sister come and hang out with Elias and me every morning while Ethan is homeschooled.  It’s not really Preschool per-say…but let’s just say that it is.  Elias loves to “do school”, so I’m trying to  keep that enthusiasm going for the day that he really does have to “do school” for realsies.

Last week in Preschool, after reading “Going on a Bear Hunt,” we made binoculars out of toilet paper rolls and went on a bear hunt around base.  We found a lot of pretty flowers, tiny ants, and some frogs, but no bears.


Goodbye airplane!

Our hunt was momentarily put on pause while we waved goodbye to the daddies who were headed out on their second flight of the day.


The best discovery of our bear hunt was this fantastic pile of old fuel drums.  The kids quickly tossed aside their “noculars” and spent a good 30 minutes climbing all over these things.

Three Monkeys on the drums

Who needs a playground when you can get tetnus from rusty fuel drums instead…just kidding…I hope.

Elias on the drums

Yep, they got filthy dirty, but they had fun.  And Elias has asked to go back to play on the fuel drums every day since!

Stuff I’m Reading

Nathan and I both have Kindle eReaders and we use them daily.  We actually only started out with one Kindle and then it quickly became apparent that for the sake of our marriage we needed two. : )

Since our initial purchase of Kindles about 5 years ago, we have gone through several kindle because they have either been broken or stolen.  But, Kindles are something we replace quickly though because WE LOVE TO READ and it is the quickest and easiest way for us to get English books over here!

Now, when I first got my Kindle, I was super stingy about spending money on Kindle books, so I would often read books off of Amazon’s free book list.  But let’s face it, the books on the free list are not great works of literature and I slowly started to feel like my brain was melting.

In an effort to prevent more brain melt, we added kindle books to our monthly budget.  Here’s what I’ve read this year so far (I average about two books a month):

Peace Child by Don Richardson
Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Night by Elie Wiesel
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff
Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther by Ginger Grant
The Color of Secrets by Lindsay Jayne Ashford
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
I Dared to Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh
The Grip of Lions and Veils by Audra Grace Shelby
Room by Emma Donoghue
Wild:From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I used to be a fiction-only reader, but I have recently tried reading more non-fiction and I’ve found myself really enjoying it :)

What are you all reading?  What should I add to my book wish list??

Flourish; Pt 2

Ladies Retreat 2015

If you follow me on Facebook, you have already seen this picture from the Ladies Retreat, but what you didn’t see is the story, the lives, the impact behind it.

The retreat included 17 missionary women from the western side of Papua.  These ladies hail from 5 continents and 6 countries; they work for 5 different mission organizations among 8 different villages and 7 distinct language groups.

Even though they all live near each other and do similar work, many of them had never met.  This retreat was amazing time of CONNECTION for each of them.  I hope that the connections forged at this retreat will CULTIVATE lasting friendships

We are all in this business of the Gospel together, ya know?  No matter where we come from, the body of Christ can come together and work for a common goal.


The Ladies Retreat is over and everyone has gone “back to reality” (except the ladies from the U.S. who are still traveling back to Prescott).  I can’t even begin to describe how wonderfully amazing the Retreat turned out to be.  God showed up in a big way and I think the whole weekend exceeded everyone’s expectations, including my own.

I don’t really know where to start in describing the weekend, so I will just jump in and start with the team of women that came from Heights Church in Prescott, AZ.

The Prescott 6

This is the best picture I have of the 6 of them together…too many cameras taking pictures at once :)  Joyce, Mikela, Robyn, Nancy, Tina Marie and Nancy.

Anyway, everyone of these 6 women came to serve.  They each leant their own particular skill, but I also saw them praying with people, listening to their stories, holding babies so the mamas could eat, holding doors, offering their chairs, and giving back rubs.  They gave and gave and gave of themselves for the missionaries who attended the retreat.  It was wonderful to watch.  I’m sure they will be good and exhausted when they get home! :)

Tina Marie Mikela Robyn Nancy Joyce 5

The theme of the retreat was Flourish, and the six ladies who came from the U.S. did just that.  I am extremely proud of them.


Can a take a little minute and brag on the amazing missionary women that we have the privilege to serve?? They are amazing and I admire them.  They are living in remote parts of the Papuan jungle, homeschooling their kids, learning tribal languages, and teaching the gospel to people who have never heard, all while dealing with heat, bugs, illness, and distance from friends and family and quality chocolate.  It’s a really hard job.  Like, really, really hard.

Who doesn’t deserve a little pampering more than these ladies??

RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT there is a team of 6 ladies who have travelled all the way from one of our sending churches in Prescott, Arizona to Papua to do just that: pamper these ladies.  This coming weekend, we will be having a 4 day retreat at the nicest hotel in Papua that I could find.  There will be rest, and teaching, and swimming, and eating and hair cuts and massages and manicures and quality chocolate.  AND, this amazing church has gone above and beyond by sponsoring each of these missionary ladies, covering the costs of their flights, their hotel room and all of their meals.

Heights Team Nabire Sign

Pray for the 6 ladies as they have travelled half way around the world and are getting over jet-lag.
Pray for all the ladies attending at the retreat, that it would truly be a relaxing and refreshing time for them.
Pray for all the of details that go into planning a retreat, that everything would go smoothly.