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July 16, 2018

Highlights from the School Year


As I sit down to send this we’re already halfway through summer, and the days are tipping away from the last school year and toward the coming. Brian spent some time writing out highlights from the 2017/18 school year...

June 20, 2018

10 Years Later

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We’re thrilled and honored to be included in Venture’s annual report this year. Brian recently sat down with friend and fellow Venture missionary (who wrote the article) to span his history from first contact with Venture...

May 28, 2018

Venture Thailand Team Retreat 2018

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Last week we joined our Venture Thailand teammates for a retreat in Phayao, Thailand. Our co-founder and fellow missionary summed up the time well: “We have a great team. I love serving alongside our มูลนิธิวัฒนปราชญ์ Venture...

April 2, 2018

Race Recap: Baiyoke Tower in Bangkok


Training for this race was especially challenging due to heavy smoke pollution. This was an extremely competitive tower race. The winner, a super fast Kenyan who has won the race several times before seemed very calm as we chatted...

March 26, 2018

The Impact of Grace


A fellow Grace International School volunteer staff shared this recently with our community: “Encouraging News GIS Staff, Having just stepped off the plane from Korea, I had an opportunity to visit GIS alumni at Handong...

March 1, 2018

Race Recap: Banyan Tree Vertical Marathon


Last weekend I ran my 2nd tower running event- 61 floors of running up stairs! A bit of a chaotic trip getting to my hotel in Bangkok which ended up being a very late night but I finally made it and was able to get some sleep before...

December 17, 2017

Running Community

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Last night we went to a local track for a family run. While running around the track I noticed a large group of Thai runners wearing matching red and black shirts. I also noticed one was wearing a Phrae Marathon shirt, which was from a...

November 22, 2017

Thankfulness in All Things


As the saying and season goes, there is always always something to be thankful for. And although it feels like a whole lot of not Thanksgiving we still grab hold of traditions of our birth country and upbringing. Tomorrow I’ll...

October 12, 2017

Local 10K Race

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Here’s a news segment covering a race we participated in last weekend. Can you find us? (Hint: 0:29 in the middle of the starting row and 0:48 pushing a stroller!)    ...

October 5, 2017

Cross Country Team Goes to Kanchanaburi!


This first quarter at Grace International School has been full, and was highlighted by a recent trip to Kanchanaburi, east of Bangkok, to give our varsity cross country team a competitive running experience! I was honored to coach...

August 10, 2017

CM6 44K Race


Typically in life, at least my life, the times that I look back on most and spend much time reflecting, analyzing, and pondering about are the moments when I was most challenged, hurt, or confused. Typically, as in this case, it is all...

July 20, 2017

Meet Gabriel Gustav the Angel Fish


This week we got a pet fish! …from the street.  We stumbled upon this scaly fellow gasping for air (water?) in the street in front of our house. Our neighbor has two little aquariums and has kindly taken in street fish...

July 17, 2017

Chiang Dao 52K Race


Most of the getaways our family takes for much needed “rest and relaxation” are based around races. Doing a running race, bike ride, or triathlon is a great way to see a new area. Last week we went on a little race-cation...

May 19, 2017

Rainy Season Flooding

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It’s been raining a lot this week and this is what the entrance to Grace International School has looked like the past couple days. They said it was even worse this morning so they cancelled school! Since school was cancelled it...

May 16, 2017

Sculpting in the Waiting


It’s not an uncommon occurrence to lose running water at our house for anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days. Today is one of those days. But it also happens to be a rainy day! Resourceful Brian grabbed the kids’ bath tub and mop...

May 10, 2017

Hike Sweet Hike


Yesterday I took Paxton and Piper to Doi Kham (a nearby mountain) to pick up our usual Tuesday morning stair training. Piper made it up the entire mountain all by herself for the first time! She’s getting very strong and tough....

May 6, 2017

Thanks and Farewell, America!


We’ve been in The States for 9 weeks – the most amount of time we’ve spent here in 5 years, and we leave in 12 hours. I’m full and choked up reflecting on and clinging to the bouquet of treasured moments with...

February 17, 2017

New Ministry Video

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Sometimes people come into your life, smear a blessing across it and continue on their way. Chris and his new bride, Sarah, came to Chiang Mai quietly, patiently and humbly. And they served relentlessly. They gifted us with their time...

February 16, 2017

Happy Birthday Piper!


Happy 2 to our Piper! In looking through the last year of her pictures I realize just how easy-going and adventurous she is. More often than not she was outside, barefoot and looking quite content. Also remembering the many unknowns...

December 29, 2016

Racing in Thailand

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We recently had the chance to do two races together as a family – the first a rare-for-Thailand run-bike-run duathlon and the second a full-distance marathon for Brian while the babes and I ran a 10K. We had loads of fun, and...

November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!


Some Thanksgiving-relevant bits from a current read, ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp. I’ve been chewing on this for a few days now and thought today an appropriate day to share: “The face of Jesus flases [in...

September 24, 2016

First Day of Grace 2016

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A short video by a fellow PE teacher on the first day of school this year. We had to leave our old school building at the end of last year so we spent all summer moving everything to a temporary location for the next few years until we...

July 18, 2016

Visiting Friends


How do I even put words to this picture? It holds so much.  We stopped by our neighbours unannounced to return a book we’d borrowed, and after some catching up she insisted on opening a jackfruit for us all to share. It’s a...

May 27, 2016blog

In a special ceremony preparing for the move to Grace’s temporary campus, a torch relay was held from the old campus to the new. Student and teacher representatives were carefully selected. Of which one was Brian! One of the...

May 22, 2016

Home Sweet Home-Ish


Today is two full weeks back here in Thailand. I’ve wanted to share a simple update since we returned but I just haven’t had the words. Really, I even lost a bit of the heart there for a few days. It was a strange,...

May 4, 2016

Garment of Praise


Back in Dallas, Brian and I were talking about how our community in Chiang Mai –  specifically the Grace International School community – will again shift following a family’s announced plans to return to their home...

March 9, 2016

Trek to ‘Merica


Heya! We leave Chiang Mai for America in 12 hours, and will be en route for the following 24 hours. As you go about your Wednesday will you pray for our travels? Especially what the flights look like with the little ones, please. We...

February 16, 2016

Piper’s First Birthday!

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Beautiful Piper is 1 today. Hip hip hooray! Her playfulness and sense of adventure has exploded as of late. Just last week she climbed up on a stool, pulled herself up to the counter, grabbed her sippy cup, climbed down and drank it....

February 5, 2016

America 2016

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Happy Friday! We’re delighted to announce our America travel dates for this spring. DALLAS   March 10th-March 22nd April 13th-May 7th PHOENIX March 23rd-April 12th We have get-togethers in the works in both cities. Watch for...

January 11, 2016

Papa Comes to Chiang Mai!

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We had a special visitor last month – Brian’s dad! (Do you see the resemblance?) Paxton & Piper loved having their Papa for a visit. In my head I can still hear Pax shouting “Paaawpaw!” every morning when...

January 4, 2016

Family Pictures

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With little ones growing and changing by the day and week it feels like no more than a few months go by before we’re due for updated family pictures. …but no complaints from me! I love having these moments captured....

November 9, 2015

Family Run Fun

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The four of us enjoyed a nice morning run race recently. This looked like 12K of good conversation with a wonderful friend for me while Brian pushed about 70lbs of sleeping little ones in our double stroller. And there were hills!...

August 13, 2015

Happy New School Year!

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So long summer! We’re bidding adieu to what was a pleasant season for us. We loved having more family time while Brian was on break. Sweet summer. But as these things do, it went by quickly. And now Grace International School, as...

June 27, 2015

Deeper Roots in Thailand

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Heya! We’re back home here in Chiang Mai. And so good to be! No great revelation here but the more time that passes, the more our life here feels like a favorite comfortable, familiar, worn-in chair. Following this last furlough I...

March 20, 2015

Home Sweet Home

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Piper has been home well over a week now. And it’s good. She’s eating well. Pooping well. Sleeping well. We’re pretty content not asking much more of a one month old. …especially one that we couldn’t even...

March 6, 2015

The Arrival of the Littlest Elliott

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She’s here! Piper Asia Elliott made her debut quickly, smoothly and naturally at 39 weeks and 6 days. One day shy of 6 weeks after the polyhydramnios diagnosis when we were told to anticipate her at any moment. Weighing in at a bitsy 5...

February 10, 2015

Grace Senior Carnival

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Grace held its annual senior carnival last weekend, and the theme was super heroes. Paxton was asked to dress up as Baby Jack Jack  with The Incredibles group. We obliged. They threw him in some red and got his hair to stick straight...

January 13, 2015

Balance Biking!

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Brian and Paxton recently had a Daddy Son Adventure weekend while I attended a (really, really fantastic) art retreat. One of the days they went into the city for a bike festival. They stumbled upon this adorable balance bike course....

December 10, 2014

Grace Girls Basketball

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Brian has been co-coaching the U12 (under 12) girls basketball team this semester. These girls have improved sooooo much in the last many months. Proud of them and the hubs for all their hard work! Paxton and I often come to watch...

December 3, 2014

From Our Home To Yours

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Happy two years to us! We landed in the Kingdom of Thailand on December 3rd, 2012. One of my favorite early memories is when we discovered that the sheets we brought with us didn’t fit the bed in our first pre-furnished house. Our...

November 23, 2014

Paxton The Lion

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One of Paxton’s favorite books is just a few short pages of cartoon-ish animals. I always make the accompanying sound (appropriate if you’re me, mixed up if you’re Brian – e.g. meow for a cow or Loch Ness...

November 23, 2014

Afternoons at Grace

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Many a late afternoon Pax and I will walk or ride the bicycle over to Grace. Brian is typically involved with whatever sport activity is going on, and Pax loves to be a part of it. And there’s plenty to explore and play with on...

November 6, 2014

(More) Our Last Months in a Week

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  Continuing our summer updates! Raw Till 4 Fruit Festival In July about 250 fruit-loving, health-seeking people came from all over the world to gather in Chiang Mai. We heard about the festival a few months prior from some...

November 6, 2014

Our Last Months in a Week

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Indeed, it sounds like we’re confused about what to call the things that go into a week. Days? Surely. Minutes? Inevitably. Months? Too big! Read ‘Our Last Months in a Week’ a little differently and you’ll understand that...

November 5, 2014

Royal Flora

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Our church community went to Royal Flora (a botanical garden of sorts) for a post church afternoon outing recently. The boys played frisbee throughout the park and the girls chatted. Times were good....

November 4, 2014

Family Photos

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We recently had the opp to take some pro bono family photos with a local photographer. Score! He does really fantastic work. (Thanks Thum!) We picked a pretty location, got all did up (I curled my hair which is a rare occasion in this...

November 1, 2014

Ultimate Frisbee

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Every Saturday afternoon Brian plays ultimate frisbee with a dozen or so Grace students (and a few other adults). It’s intense! And often when Pax and I go to watch we overhear remarks about “how fast Mr. Elliott is.”...

September 30, 2014

Cambodia Travels

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In mid-August we ventured over to Cambodia to celebrate my birthday with a race. Marathon for Brian and half for me and Pax (in the running stroller). We’d registered for this race in the spring – months before Little...

August 4, 2014

Bamboo Teepee

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Here’s a fun little project I’ve been dreaming of for months. One of Brian’s colleagues at Grace helped us get the bamboo sticks. And then there’s this huge fabric market in the city that Paxton and I explored...

July 4, 2014

Happy Camp

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This past summer Grace International School hosted an English and Sports Outreach Camp for 120 local Thai students. The kids played sports, learned English, heard the Gospel in a culturally relevant way and had a chance to respond to...

July 2, 2014

Khantoke Dinner

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With my sis in town we couldn’t pass up a traditional Khantoke dinner. It’s pronounced can-toke but we called it can-toke-ee as we made plans to go. …so the name stuck. Plus, we think it’s more fun to say! It...

June 19, 2014

New Sanctuary

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And here we are – post our first trip back to the States. We spent 5 weeks between Texas and Arizona earlier this year. Which felt like no more than 5 seconds in Dallas and 7 seconds in Arizona. (We stayed slightly longer in the desert...

June 14, 2014

Paxton’s New Pool

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 We picked up this fine little pool at a nearby yard sale for 100 baht ($3ish). Yippee! I’d been in the market for one for quite some time. So play and splash we do. And when he was done he simply went to the edge and made his...

June 13, 2014

Phuket Marathon

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Brian and a friend, Cameron, went down to Phuket this last weekend for a race. Here’s B’s report from the weekend: This weekend I went down to Phuket, Thailand with a friend to run the Phuket Marathon. He is leaving this...

June 13, 2014

Happy Eight Months!

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My sister and I custom designed, crafted and painted this baby tunnel/house using three of the finest cardboard boxes that our friends were throwing away. (I know, what were they THINKING throwing these away?) 😉 Paxton’s Place....

June 1, 2014

Doctor Visit

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I was recently having some mommy concerns and decided a doctor visit was in order – if to do nothing other than rule out some basic ailments. Which was the case. Praise! He looked all good to this kind doctor. So kind as to even...

May 25, 2014

Pax’s Big Smile

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Meet Pax’s smile. His lips cannot adequately relay joy. It MUST be done with his entire mouth. But really. So cute! Maybe we taught him this. We realized I have a similar expression when I smile at him. Perhaps it’s all he...

May 23, 2014

Songkran Blessing

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Grace offers a Thai course for students to learn the language and culture – taught by a native. One of their assignments was to carry out the traditions of Songkran, and they chose to do so with the Athletic Department. That...

May 13, 2014

The Quarry

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The Quarry! What a place. It’s this really neat body of water tucked away about 8 kilometers from our house. We actually tried to go out last year to celebrate Brian’s birthday with friends but found it closed that day. We...

May 7, 2014


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This little buddy shattered my hopes and dreams of keeping him contained in this exersaucer. He simply will not! And this is about all of the jailbreak that I saw before he somersaulted onto the pillow. I was sitting next to him taking...

April 18, 2014

Monk Chat

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One of the temples in Chiang Mai hosts Monk Chat – a 2-hour event several times a week where you can sit down and talk informally with one of the resident monks. Interesting for sure.  ...

April 13, 2014

Songkran Triathlon

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Here’s our Songkran triathlon and duathlon story from Brian!: This morning we did the Songkran Triathlon (1000m Swim, 25k Bike, and 10k run) and Duathlon (5k run, 25k bike, 5k run). We have been looking forward to racing this for...

April 12, 2014

Fruit Stand Friends

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This sweet lady has a fruit stand on the road out to Hosea. Isn’t she adorable? Brian used to buy all of his bananas (that’s a lot!) from her when he was volunteering full-time at Hosea. And we still stop by whenever we go...

April 12, 2014


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Songkran is the annual festival in celebration of the Thai new year. For 3ish days in mid-April Thailand turns into a big water fight. No area and no person is off limits (except perhaps law enforcement)! Kids stand in driveways and...

April 5, 2014

Small Group

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These are some fine folks that we meet with every week to food, fellowship and Bible. We typically meet in the house of the family who leads the group but this week we got to host! Our house is pretty small so 20+ people was real cozy....

April 5, 2014

Spring Break

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Thai students are currently in the middle of their summer. However, Grace operates on an American school calendar so we’re still in session until end of May. But the school’s two week spring break started today! It’s...

April 3, 2014

999 Stair Mountain

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For Daddy Son Adventure Day this week Brian decided to walk up 999 Stair Mountain in the village of Ban Pong. Its name is self-explanatory! Two girls, Pond and Mon joined. Pond, in the pink shirt, was the first gal at Hosea to invite...

March 20, 2014

Kickboard Kid

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You guys. This is soooo fun! Paxton just holds onto the kickboard as we tug him around. And, yes, he has totally let go a time or two. We just scoop him up. He spits out any water in his mouth and grabs back on for another go. Tough...

March 18, 2014

Air Pollution

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A friend shared this photo with us. They took a picture from the same point – one in December and one just this week. It’s the time of year when all the farmers burn their crops to make way for the new season. It’s....

March 13, 2014

Young Moms Group

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Not long after Paxton was born I found out about a young moms book study group that was forming in one of the local churches. Yippee! We’ve gone through two books together now – the first about godly parenting and the...

March 10, 2014

Little Pieces With The Elliotts

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Hi there! Brian, Paxton and I want to share more of our day-to-day with you. We love using newsletters to write about Grace International School, stories from neat happenings and how our lives (and hopefully others!) are being...

March 8, 2014

Biker Babe

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Because we live in a pretty transient community of foreigners there are regular yard sales (not ‘garage’ sales because Thailand doesn’t have garages!). Some families opt to ship crates of their belongings to wherever...

February 15, 2014


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Brian wears his Batman gear for all of the races we do here and is becoming quite known for it. And now Pax is BatBaby! Some sweet friends found this bib (it even has a cape on the backside!) and socks.        ...

February 15, 2014

Sports Leadership

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Grace offers a Sports Leadership class where the older students coach rec league sports. This spring was soccer, and rather than making up team names the 4 teams represented a country: Portugal, Germany, Croatia, and Japan. Here the...

February 14, 2014

Bicycle Ride

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On Val Day Brian surprised me with a babysitter so we could go for a bike ride. It’d been almost a year since I’d been on my bike! I was itching to hop back on. We rode 25-ish miles and saw some Thai sights!...

February 9, 2014

Chiang Mai Zoo

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We recently took Pax to the Chiang Mai Zoo with another family on some passes that were given to us. His 6-ish month brain wasn’t quite ready to appreciate it. Maybe another month or so. 😉 He was more interested in the leaves on...

February 5, 2014

Paxed Around

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Get it? Instead of passed around – Paxed around. No? Okay. Thais LOVE babies. Love. Love. Love. Especially foreigner babies. For Pax specifically, they always mention his blue blue blue eyes and little nose. And they always want...

February 4, 2014


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Brian coached the track team this year. He lead them to a successful all-day meet held at another international school. They did really well – taking home a good handful of trophies....

January 12, 2014

Doi Kham Hike

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Doi Kham is a mountain about 3 miles from our house with a temple at the top. Doi = mountain in Thai. There are two ways to get to the top – either long, steep stairs or a long, windy and steep road. We love hiking and running up...

January 4, 2014

ThaiRun 2014

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The inaugural  ThaiRun is in the books! And what fun it was. We hosted a 5 and 10K run while visiting Phoenix, and had 85+ athletes register. Full proceeds came back to support our ministry here in Thailand. Shout out for our run...

December 25, 2013

Paxton’s First Horse

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It all started about a half a decade ago. A prize for the first of my (Amanda) five siblings to have a baby. The prize? An ornate wooden rocking horse. At the time we all shied away. Single, feeling quite young or otherwise unprepared...

December 25, 2013


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Paxton spent his first Christmas in Arizona with my side of the family. And I so anticipated these days in the many months between booking our tickets and arriving. I have vivid memories of scanning the familiar landscape from the air...

December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from The Elliotts

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Merry Christmas to you! Along with this advent season, we’re celebrating our first year in Thailand. Theyear has been one of tremendous hardships, tears, breakthroughs, indescribable joy, humility, and tearing down and building...

December 15, 2013

Baby Dedication

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Paxton was baptized here in Thailand but we opted to also do a special dedication in Texas. This was held at the church Brian grew up attending. It was a sweet time with Texas friends and family in attendance....

December 14, 2013

Motorbiking Baby!

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There was an abundance of toys to explore while visiting the States. And this Spiderman bike was not to be missed! …although Paxton was far more interested in using it as a teether than any kind of rough and tumble adventure-ing...

December 6, 2013

Flying to America

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Our 20+ hour travel to America was rough. Oh, sweet Paxton. I look back at these pictures and see tired written all over his face. There was little sleep, lots of fussing and even more bouncing at the back of the plane. BUT we scored a...

December 3, 2013

Peace Lutheran e-Newsletter

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We’re Brian and Amanda, and we’ve been living in Chiang Mai, Thailand since December of 2013. Brian first visited Thailand in December of 2011 on a short-term mission trip. And as he recalls: “I quickly fell in love with the country,...

December 3, 2013

Destiny Rescue

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We were connected with Destiny Rescue while having race shirts made for ThaiRun. Per their website they’re: “…a grassroots, internationally recognized, Christian based, non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing...

November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Craft

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The weekend after Thanksgiving we went out to Hosea, the Venture Expeditions community center, to do a craft with the kids. I’d seriously been collecting TP rolls since February and was determined to make thoughtful use of them....

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

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American holidays tend to just come and go over here. No pre-excitement and minimal (good or bad) fuss, if any at all. We’ve even found ourselves missing the smaller holidays altogether – not even realizing until someone...

November 25, 2013

Phuket, Thailand

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We certainly enjoyed the beaches of Phuket. Chiang Mai is Northern Thailand so there’s no ocean to be enjoyed there. Our hotel was about 1 mile down the beach from where the race and race festivities were held. That made for...

November 24, 2013

Happy 3 Months!

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Too cool. He turned 3 months during our Phuket trip. It took us 28 and 30 years respectively to get to the beautiful beaches of Southern Thailand. It only took him 90-ish days. The perks of being a third culture kid (TCK)!...

November 14, 2013

Dirt Track

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Brian’s Director at Grace discovered this dirt track about 5 miles from our house. The first time he took Brian out there the grass and overgrowth were as tall as them. It looked long abandoned. But this particular day we went...

October 24, 2013

Sports Ministry Day

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Last week Grace hosted a soccer tournament with 8 Christian international schools from 6 nations throughout Asia. And all the athletes participated in Sports Ministry Day where 300+ local Thai kids were invited to Grace’s campus...

October 12, 2013

Babies for Everybody!

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We went to a friend’s baby shower where 4 other babes were present. 4 of the 5 (Pax included) were born here in Chiang Mai! And all of them are their parents first. 🙂 It’s pretty incredible to be around this many ladies in...

September 14, 2013


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We love the access to fresh coconuts over here. Delish! You can regularly find a stash in our home. 🙂 So, of course Brian had the idea to capture some fun pics of Paxton “playing” in coconuts!...

September 8, 2013

Hello, World. I’m Paxton.

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Hi there. I’m Paxton Benaiah Elliott. And yep, I’m a boy! I was born on August 24 at 4:04pm. I’m 19.9 inches and 7 pounds 6 ounces. But really, what’s up with everyone wanting to know that about me? What’s...

July 17, 2013

Summer Break 2013

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We’re taking a little break from the Grace International School series to have Brian update you on summer happenings. Love, The Elliott Trio – The school year ended the last week of May, and June has been filled with...

April 7, 2013

Brian versus Septicemia

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We recently had a bit of a scare with Septicemia, a systemic bacterial infection. We may never know quite for certain how it came to be, but our (and the doctor’s best guess) is that bacteria entered through two wounds on...

March 5, 2013

Oh boy. …or girl!

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Does it not feel like just yesterday we were sharing about the significance of 3 in our engagement story? Welp, 3 strikes again. Brian Elliott + Amanda Elliott + Baby Elliott = 3! Prego! We’re 17 weeks into this partnership with...

January 20, 2013

Our Transition to Chiang Mai

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Hi there! As of December 3rd (we know – sorry for the delayed update!), we’ve safely and successfully arrived in Thailand with our four checked bags, one bicycle and four stuffed-to-the-seams carry-on bags. And the last month has been...

August 24, 2011

My Website Is Online

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Hi Friends! It’s official! I’m going to serve as a missionary in Thailand with Venture Expeditions! In the next few weeks I will be updating this site with information about me and the work I’ll be doing in Thailand....