As a way to celebrate our two-year anniversary of serving in Thailand, I thought I would share some of our favorite things we’ve enjoyed in the last twenty-four months. This post contains affiliate links, which means if you use our links to purchase from Amazon we receive a bit of money!
So drumroll, please . . .
GAMES. We are a family who loves games. Before moving to our house in the village we didn’t have a kitchen. We’d often visit a local restaurant with amazingly low prices, but long waits. So we took up the tradition of playing games while waiting for dinner. Here are a few favorites:
Anomia We were first introduced to this game in a board game cafe in Bangkok, and the kids begged for us to get it. Anomia works well because we all have random information swimming around in our heads; the trick is to remember it more quickly than your opponents!
Wits & Wagers Family A gift from grandparents last year, Wits and Wagers is a low-pressure numbers guessing game to play with friends or family, or both!
Tenzi This one is perfect as an icebreaker and can be played when there’s a bit of a language barrier since it’s a simple dice game. Up to ten people can play as well, making it great for large gatherings.
No Stress Chess We finally decided to take the dive into learning chess for the character and critical thinking lessons it would offer. We haven’t been disappointed, but a little surprised that the kids kicked our butts after a few short games. It’s ideal for people who haven’t played before and want to learn.
BOOKS. There are way to many too list between family read-alouds and personal choices, but some stand-outs from the last two years would include the following:
God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue by Daniel Walker. This eye-opening book is hard to read, but so good to understand the difficulties involved in rescuing victims.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. We read this while we were stuck on Bangkok’s freeways, paying tolls, ironically. It’s hilarious, and perfect for families with kids of differing ages.
The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks by Kathleen Flinn. I’d love to own a copy of this someday. I’d never read a cooking technique book that had some many interesting stories in it. Maybe it’s a new genre? (Or I’m woefully behind.) Either way, it’s so good.
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. When I asked the kids what books stood out to them from our school readings, they thought this one deserved to be on the list. Written in the 1930’s, the book tells of the kids in a family and their wild adventures in their neighborhood.
Redwall by Brian Jacques. This book was assigned reading for an online class Spunky took last year, but she loved it so much we decided to read it as a family. Little did we know that we’d fall in love with the book characters and make plans to read the entire series! Spunky even put on a feast based on the book for her class project.
Church Behind the Wire: A Story of Faith in the Killing Fields by Barnabas Mam. Being geographically close to Cambodia, as well as working within the borders of the country has sparked an interest in their past. If you’ve never read anything about the Cambodian genocide, this is a good place to start.
Timothy Keller on YouTube. Since a friend introduced me to one of his books last year, I’ve been a huge fan. His online sermons are great to listen to while watching the sun rise.
The Bible Project, also on YouTube. We love everything in this series. It’s not really made for kids but ours liked it so much they’ve requested it again and again.
The Briefing by Albert Mohler. Absolutely essential for Christians who care about current events. I listen to this with Spunky, now fourteen, but don’t think our younger kids are quite ready for some of the subject matter.
The School of Podcasting. Why I ever started listening to this I don’t know, but I’m immensely glad I did. This show is interesting and full of information, and we just may have to start a podcast from Asia. Who’s interested?
The Read-Aloud Revival This one has been around for a while and I’m sure many are familiar with it, but if not it’s a great podcast to listen to if you’re looking for new book ideas for the kids in your life
“For pleasure has no relish unless we share it.” — Virginia Woolfe
We hope you’ve enjoyed the list and maybe find something new to enjoy!