Monday, April 29, 2013

Wedding Joy in January (Part 2)

Later on in January, we had the opportunity to not only attend a wedding, but participate in one!  Juliana and Kai got dressed up in traditional Cambodian outfits and played the roles of the young boy and girl in the wedding party of our next-door neighbor's wedding.

Kai and Juliana stand with the groom (Say-ta) and his family as they prepare for the morning procession to the house of the bride (our neighbor Chen-da.)

Because our house was next door to the wedding ceremony, we agreed for our yard to be used for parking.
Kai and Juliana look over the fruit/food that is given from the groom's family to the brides as part of the dowry.  (The couple on the left is the groom's parents and the couple on the right is the bride's.)

We were delighted that Bethany's parents and older sister, Joanne, could take part in the wedding reception (at a rented wedding hall.) 

Kai and Juliana stand in front of the groom and bride getting ready for the reception procession.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wedding Joy in January (Part 1)

Wedding season is here!  Dry season is also wedding season in Cambodia.  (Planning an outdoor wedding during the rainy season would, of course, present numerous logistical complications.)  In January we had the privilege of attending the wedding of our friend, Sokhom and his lovely bride, Sreypov.  The event was a full day of ceremonies, music, eating, and dancing.  Below are a few pics of the day...

Sitting at the wedding breakfast table, getting ready to eat rice porridge

The handsome groom and lovely bride in one of the many outfits they would wear that day.

Foot-washing ceremony

Evening reception dinner

Getting ready to walk down the fancy carpet and be showered with lots of tiny white flowers

Monday, May 7, 2012

Family Update

Some snapshots of family activities from Dec/Jan...

The cast of the Impromptu Umble Family Christmas 2011 Pageant

Juliana and Kai at Hope International's Sports Day
(Juliana joined as a homeschooler) 

       Juliana earns points on the Frisbee Toss
Kai is first across the finish line of his preschool heat in the 50 meter...

...and is all smiles with his blue ribbon!

Aslan the Climber, conquering the playset steps
(he later mastered climbing up and sliding down by himself at only 15 months!)

Aslan found a new hiding place

Celebrating Ryan's 33rd birthday with coffeecake at breakfast...

...and an evening river cruise with a group of dorm students and visiting American students

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dorm Retreat 2012

This spring, our family once again joined the students of the EMM dorms for the annual Dorm Retreat, a time to get away from the city and studies and to play, relax and get to know one another better. March 8 (International Women's Day) found us traveling by chartered bus to Sihanoukville in Kompong Som Province - also known as "the beach." : ) We enjoyed free time to play on the beach, the opportunity to eat fresh "grueng samut" (seafood), listening to a Cambodian young woman serving with YWAM share her testimony and Ryan share on God's plan for love relationships. And what's a fun time in Cambodia without dancing Khmer-style to loud music? (Unfortunately, we don't have pictures of that. : ) )
Women's Dorm Director, Moniroth, holding Aslan at Thmal Roong
a pitstop on our way down to the beach
Men's Director, Dady Ezra, and his wife Sreyroth
with two of their children, Rachel and Benjamin
Playing an icebreaker game before the worship service
Sharing and praying in small groups
The annual bus photo : )
The annual beach photo : )
Eating chicken-and-rice lunch before enjoying Kbal Chai, a waterfall attraction,
on the way back to the city
Fun with our little troopers at the waterfall
For anyone familiar with Mo Willems books', this is a shot from his
upcoming book called "Don't Let the Baby Drive the Bus!"
 And once again, we returned home two days later both refreshed AND exhausted, but looking forward to a chance to do it again next year!
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Ministry Update

A glimpse into some activities from the past several months...

PPMC Christmas 2011 Pageant celebrating the birth of our Savior!
(they did a great job, as usual)

A visit to Mesang (where teammates John and Debbie work) in early January ...
...included playing silly group games with project staff and local pastors
The engagement celebration of PPMC elder Sokhom and financée Kunitha, led by elder Mades
newly-engaged Uncle Sokhom holds a happy Kai : )
Ryan preaching on bearing fruit at PPMC
Dorm Seminar on First Aid and CPR led by former dorm students
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

December's Birthday Bonanza!

December just so happens to be the month in which all three of our children were born, and this December was the first year of celebrating four birthdays in one month (including Jesus' at Christmas). Whew! It was quite the busy month. It's fun to celebrate the uniqueness of each of our special blessings, but one day, practicality may win out and we'll end up with one big birthday bash for all three!

Juliana's celebration (celebrated a day early) was multi-faceted: first, a trip with Daddy to get her child-size guitar (a preschool graduation gift 2 yrs ago) restrung and tuned, as the strings had all broken long ago. (She doesn't actually know how to play yet, but don't tell her that. : )  ) Then, a family trip to a Christmas craft fair called Coconuts and Holly, sponsored by a Christian NGO (non-government organization) that works with vulnerable and trafficked women, etc. Then a date with Mommy for some Christmas treats (at said fair) and finally, candles in the requested banana muffins for dessert.

The guitar shop guy fixing her guitar = happiness!

Kids Corner crafts at Coconuts and Holly

Juliana's SEVEN already!
Aslan turned ONE on the 10th, and his celebration was rather low-key. He "opened" presents (with help from older siblings) and enjoyed his first taste of cake - banana cake with lemon icing from a local cafe.

"Oohh... fire!"

"This doesn't taste like pureed bananas."

Kai turned four on the 17th, but due to a wedding at our next-door neighbor's that day, we celebrated it the night before. He requested banana bread, so I made him one - then realized that all three birthdays were unintentionally celebrated with banana-flavored baked goods! That evening, he opened gifts at a restaurant, and then we surprised the kids by going to a new (for us) indoor playground called Monkey Business. He (and Juliana and Aslan) loved it, and it was a great way to honor our little monkey!

Which is more exciting - turning 4 or eating banana "bob"?

Mommy and Daddy's gift is met with a big grin

Sliding down the huge bouncy-slide at Monkey Business
What great kids they are, and what fun birthday memories!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Random Catch-up

The following pictures and stories are random snippets from the past three months that are worth including in a blog, but don't necessarily go together. So here's a "catch all" post of random glimpses into our lives...

Kai and Juliana standing in fromt of the wall of Thanksgiving
 We started a new tradition this past Thanksgiving - listing things we're grateful for on pumpkins and decorating our wall with them for the season. A fun family activity that kept our blessings before us for several weeks, not just one day. : )

Our landlord with Kai and Juliana, showing the cross-section
 of a jack fruit which he just picked and cut from a tree in our yard

Victorious predator and his handicapped prey

   The day before Thanksgiving, our cat Simon, while chasing a rat, somehow caused it to fall from our second-story porch onto the concrete below. It wasn't killed by the fall, but must have been maimed, for it made very little effort to move after that. Of course, as rats are a major nuisance to our family, we can't say we were too sorry, and left it to it's demise in an abandoned lot next door. (This is one of the better-looking rats we've seen, though! And yes, we've seen our share up close...)

Our Silly Screen-licker

"Yummy!  And what a fun texture..."

Aslan is a wonderful little boy, but he sure keeps us on our toes as he finds very interesting ways to spend his time!  He's fallen on the concrete steps, broken a bottle of hot sauce he snatched from the open fridge, has eaten (or attempted to eat) countless strange objects not fit for human consumption, and one day, we discovered him trying to lick the window screen. Sigh.... (You can join us in praying for his safety and health, and especially peace of mind for his mommy!)



"...I don't need any silverware."


While Gerry Keener visited Phnom Penh on a recent Asia trip, he treated the EMM team to dinner at a Chinese noodle restaurant. We all really enjoyed the delicious noodle soup, but Kai had his own very special way of enjoying those noodles. : )


Juliana enjoying Thanksgiving Day lunch
 This Thanksgiving, instead of joining with other families to celebrate, we enjoyed a semi-traditional meal I made for lunch before we headed out of the city for two nights/days of mini-vacation at a nearby resort. Rather than try for an expensive, imported turkey from the grocery store, we complemented home-made bread stuffing, baked corn and frosted pumpkin bars with a local rotisserie chicken!
- Bethany