Monday January 28, 2019

Hebrews 12:11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Today was Universal Studios day! I’m not sure what else to say about the day, other than the kids had a blast. We got to see and get photos with the minions and do some fun rides. Here on some highlights.

Universal closed at 7:00 so we had to rush a bit to grab some dinner before everything closes at 9:00! We ended up taking the cable car across the bay to a wonderful dinner with a stunning view. I think everyone enjoyed it, though we were all pretty tired.

All in all, Singapore was a success and we leave tomorrow for Bali. I am looking forward to this part. I am still not feeling that great, India just doesn’t want to leave my lungs, and we did a lot of walking today, which meant a lot of coughing from me. I am looking forward to resting and relaxing poolside for a few days! But before we can leave, we have to pack. This task is definitely not my favorite part of traveling, but I will say that my kids have been so well behaved over these last few travel days. They have been helpful and have truly been a pleasure to be around so far!

For those interested in an update, Anjali has been doing so much better now that she is getting the proper amount of sleep. I am so relieved and I think she is too. She even said that she feels like a different person. As I read this scripture I am reassured in our discipline of our children. When things get really difficult and the behaviors seem uncontrollable, it is so easy to just back off of the parenting to make peace with out kids. “Discipline is painful” and not just physically, but emotionally, especially for us parents (or at least it is for me). I can’t begin to describe how difficult Anjali’s behaviors have been to tolerate and manage. I know that others will go through this much worse than this, but for me it was really hard. I found myself many times placating her so that we had peace and no fighting, but I quickly realized that this was not the solution and wasn’t making anything better (actually it was getting worse). So I followed Jeff’s lead and we stayed firm in her discipline and while her behaviors weren’t changing like we wanted, she at least knew that we were serious and that we were not going to waiver. God’s words give me that reassurance during times that her discipline caused major meltdowns and tantrums, we are doing the best thing for her; we are helping to shape her future.

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Sunday January 27, 2019

James 1:17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

We arrived in Singapore early this morning and as soon as we walked outside the first thing out of Anjali’s mouth was “holy cow it is clean here! Even the streets are clean!” It was a nice change to drive in a car without hearing the blaring horns and without seeing tons of motorbikes and cars (granted, it was 7:00 am on a Sunday). This moment of our year marks the halfway point. We have been volunteering for the last 6 months and while we didn’t plan for this long of a vacation, here we are. Just as a recap, our hope was to stay in India until we had to be in Sri Lanka on Feb 17, but we could not get our Visa for more than 60 days. So here we are, ready to enjoy a long vacation. I keep reminding myself that this whole journey is God’s plan, not mine and as much as I would rather be serving and working, this may be what our family needs; a bit of reconnection and focus before we begin the back-end of this year.

Before leaving Germany, when we realized that we were not going to be able to stay in India until Feb 15, we gave the kids a project–plan our vacation. They unanimously decided on Australia (actually New Zealand initially, but we couldn’t make that happen), so we are headed to Perth. But as we were looking at airline tickets we quickly realized that the flights were long, the layovers long, and just all-around not conducive to traveling with kids. So we decided to make use of the layovers and break up the travel to Australia into sections. Singapore is our first stop, with main focus being Universal Studios on Sentosa Island. We are only here for 2 nights; long enough to get some rest before and after Universal Studios and to see a bit of Singapore. While we got rest, we did not get to see much of Singapore since we pretty much stayed on Sentosa Island.

Today we made a grievous error, we broke the number one rule when traveling overnight–do NOT take a nap that first day. You should stay awake and go to bed as close to a reasonable hour as possible in order to help your body adjust. But I guess we were all so tired and needed some rest. After our rest we ventured into Sentosa for some beachside lunch. After eating, the kids played in the surf while Jeff and I enjoyed a drink beachside! It was superb.

The kids, especially Lucia, got completely soaked playing in the surf. Thankfully it was warm

outside so she was able to dry quickly. They had so much fun playing together and just being kids.

It was a beautiful sight!

Here are some pretty pictures exploring Sentosa Island.

After some exploring we let the kids do some swimming at the hotel before heading out for some dinner and wrapping up our first day here.

It was a great day, though Jeff and I learned that everything on Sentosa Island closes at 9:00 pm. It’s like the whole island shuts down-no bars, no restaurants, and no people. It was almost eerie to be walking around the island with no one else around you.

Sentosa Island is beautiful and clean with tons of shopping opportunities. This place reminds me a lot of Vegas, but the difference is that Vegas doesn’t sleep and Sentosa has a 9:00 bedtime! This place is perfect for the family, just be ready to spend some money-everything is expensive!