The Past while…

Ok, I admit, I was very mistaken, I thought that with the boys and everyone gone, this summer was going to inch it’s way past. But here we are, halfway through July already! And I’ve really enjoyed the last few weeks.

Well, I think life has finally found a new normal. This normal isn’t going to last long though! In a little over a month we are going to be Our whole family is going to be together again! But even that’s not going to be normal, with Lori getting married, there’s going to be an addition soon.

I had a very enjoyable day the other day. Some could think it was boring, but I didn’t. Alaina and I went out to the village in the morning. I was going to go and give
the land surrounding the pavilion a long needed mowing, and the bathrooms a
thorough cleaning, and Alaina jumped at the chance to go out and play with her
friends. I dived into the yard work (not literally) for close to half an hour when I decided to sit down for a couple minutes. As I sat there listening to Dad and Frank talk I noticed that the sky was getting slightly dark. I asked Frank if he thought it would rain, and he said that the wind didn’t feel like it would. So I waited for a couple more minutes before I started again. A couple minutes later, lo and behold, it started sprinkling. I stopped, it stopped. I started, it started. I stopped, it stopped. Finally the rain was tired of playing games. It poured! Frank said in the old Khmer culture, if it rains when you’re doing something good, you’re getting a blessing, maybe it’s patience? We went for lunch, came back, and sat at Frank’s place and talked for close to an hour before it finally let up. I, determined to get done, sloshed the mower through the water. I felt accomplished after I was done. Some of the staff guys were in the middle of a volleyball game when I was done, so I sat down and watched them. It truly is the little things that makes life wonderful! Even something simple like sitting down and not sweating, while you’re mind wander between the game and various little bunny trails.

The kids are still keeping us laughing! The other day mom needed a spoon. Alaina asked mom “a Christian spoon or Khmer one?” Apparently, anything western is “Christian” and anything else is “Khmer”!

Since my last blog post our baby parakeet flew away, the children were heartbroken. A couple weeks later, Sen gave Forrest two baby mynahs. Forrest was overjoyed! The day after we got them, we were getting ready to head to bed. Mom heard the birds being extra loud, she thought Alaina was probably trying to hold them. She went to check on them. Just as she came into the living room, a cat ran out… with a bird in its mouth! After we gave it a good chase, we figured that would be the last of the cat. However the next evening Forrest was in the living room, and once again, the cat invited himself inside for a meal. Forrest was not feeling quite as hospitable as the cat had hoped. He scared it out, then went outside with his slingshot and returned minutes later, an exuberant expression on his face. He shot it and scared it away.

On Sunday, we left the house here around 6:15 – 6:30. We were supposed to meet the Bakong and Kampong Phlok people at 7:00 at the pavilion in Bakong to go out to Bong Malea for church. Alaina and I rode Khmer style. 23 people in the 12 passenger van! Being crowded just made it jollier.

There was approximately 60 people crowding under Chhum‘s parents house. We had a very close gathering! Literally! After the service we had a potluck of sorts. Everybody brought something, then they all shared. The hit of that meal was definitely moms French bread. In fact I think that’s all some of them ate. I saw people walk past with 5+ slices in a bowl with sweetened condensed milk on top.


Dad was aroused early on the 30th by a call. It was Frank. He was cutting palm leaves for his fence. Frank saw a hole in the ground that looked like a snake hole. Frank, curious to know if anything was in there, stuck a stick down the hole. In return he heard a loud hissing. He then figured it was a Cobra. He got Chhom’s nephew, Tain, to come help him. They finally caught it, getting spit on a couple of times in the process. It was a spectacled Cobra. We needed to go clean the pavilion and bathrooms for church on Sunday anyway, so went out and watched Frank and Dallas play with it for a while. It was tired from the chase the guys gave it, so it wasn’t very active. Which was kind of disappointing. They measured it, it was 47¼”. After we left, they killed it and made it into a soup. I thought the kids were more photogenic than the cobra… sorry!

Heather for the Helmuth’s




Comings and Goings

Wow, these last three weeks have been really busy! We got done with school the week before my cousin Cassandra came. Cassandra was supposed to get here on Thursday, but due to bad weather, did not arrive until Saturday. We filled the week after she came with going to the market, getting drinks by a roadside stand, and going out to the village.

The day after she came we were headed out to the fishing village for church and on the way, we got a flat tire. While we waited, Cassandra asked if a flat tire was a common occurrence. We said it wasn’t. The next day, we girls decided to go and play volleyball with the guys at the village, and Mom wanted go see Srey Mum’s baby. Soon after we started, we heard a funny noise…every time Mom sped up we would hear it.Finally it got bad enough and we started smelling something hot, so Mom pulled over. I got out and looked at the tires on the passenger side. I didn’t see anything the matter with it. But when I went to the other side of the van, something was very wrong. The tire was shredded! So much for a flat tire not being a common occurrence!  Mom’s phone didn’t have any data, and Kayla’s phone had data but was almost dead. We called dad, and he told Ryan to come help us.  Ryan got to where we were in about half an hour. And in another half an hour he had the spare on. It was late enough that we decided to ditch the playing volleyball.


The flat tire…

Jody  arrived on Thursday, May 24th. The children were all thrilled to get stuff from Luke. That next week was a lot of fun, also kind of sad because it was Kayla’s last week here. On Saturday the boys had off so they decided that they were going to take Jody Cassandra and Kayla on a short bike trip. However that plan fell through when it started raining, hard, so we ended up going to the silk farm and putt putting. We got rained on there too.

Sunday evening after everybody left my sister Lori and her boyfriend Cordell video called us to tell us some exciting news… they’re engaged!!! We’re very happy for them. 1527483944781_8691956859_8c3894ae_v1.jpgOn Monday, we girls went gallivanting around the market looking for souvenirs. Then that afternoon we went to a coffee shop with Kayla one last time before she would leave. Kayla’s sister and her family were in Siem reap for a couple of days that week so Kayla got to see her sister before she left. On Tuesday it did finally work out for the boys to take them on their bike trip. They all thought it was fun.

The next day Jody went to the village, Cassandra went shopping, and me, Kayla, Mom and the kids went swimming with Kayla’s sister and her children. Then later that evening on the spur of the moment we went up to the mountain to watch the sunset.IMG_4682

The next day we made three trips to the airport, it was both Cassandra’s and Kayla’s last day here, and Rod and Janelle Musser came late that night. That day seemed like a couple days all squished into one (emotions included). Cassandra left a little bit before lunch. Then after she left I tried to get as much of Kayla as I could. Five o’clock came much too quickly. We were all sad to see her go. The next day dad and mom took Rods out to the fishing village.

On Saturday we went to the reservoir, ate lunch, and played games, it was a lot of fun.

Monday Dad & Mom took Rod & Janelle to Angkor Wat. Tuesday rolled around and it was time for more goodbyes. Rod and Janelle left after breakfast. Jody went to the village to bid adieus to all the Khmer people. It was weird yet normal having her here, it felt normal because she lived with us for a year and a half, but it was also weird because we had all changed in some way.

The evening after they left Ryan, Austin, and Chum went to Phnom Penh because Austin needed to get a physical examination done before he can go to Beaver Lake camp this summer, and they also needed to look for a truck. The next morning Mom and Dad followed them. Dad got his license renewed, and Mom got fabric samples for Lori. They did not find a truck the first day, so they stayed the night and looked some more the next morning. Meanwhile at home I kept busy taking care of the children and doing laundry. There were parts that weren’t so fun but there were also a couple of times that were pretty funny. The one happened today when Forrest and Alaina were playing outside. I heard Alaina crying so I went out to check out on her. Forrest and Alaina were both sitting on the grass, Alaina with her head bowed down, blood streaming out of her nose, Forrest leaning over apologizing over and over again. I asked Forrest what happened, he looked up and told me that they were playing, and he was gonna throw a piece of grass at her but he didn’t realize how close her face was. He punched her and gave her a bloody nose. We are all relieved to have Mom and Dad back. Well I think that about sums this month up.            Heather for the helmuths


Looks relaxing doesn’t it?

An Answered prayer…

We’ve often heard it said that you should have a childlike faith….recently there was an incident that really showed what can happen when you have faith of a child. Maly, one of our friends that helps mom out with the cleaning and cooking three times a week, has two cute daughters. She lost her husband 5 years ago in a moto accident. Her youngest daughter Nita, has been wanting a bike to go to school with for quite some time. However, her mom always told her she didn’t have enough money to buy one. So Nita decided that since her mom didn’t have the money for one, she would start praying for one. When she went to church, she would ask her Sunday school teacher to pray for her to be able to get a bike. And then a couple of weeks ago someone gave $100  to ALAM and specified that the money should be given to Maly. Needless to say, Maly was astonished when she got the money, and with that money Nita got the bike she had always wanted.


Nita and her bike…

We recently got an adorable little moustached parakeet and the cutest little parrot from some people in one of the villages.


James and Ruth Mullet arrived on the 28th. They came to replace Elton’s for about a month after Elton’s leave. We always enjoy extra people around.

This last week has been a lot of fun. Mose Clemmer and Wendell Bauman, two of the guys that were in Canada last summer with my brothers, decided to globetrot Asia. And since they were in our area, they decided to come visit the boys. They got here Monday evening. We had supper, and then the kids watched the sky to see if they could find the airplane that was to bring my aunt and uncle. Dad pointed it out to them, then after a while they headed for the airport to pick them up. Tuesday they all headed out to the fishing village. They decided to go rat hunting and I think the guys thoroughly enjoyed that. The next day the Ryan and Austin took the guys drilling with them, and Mom and Dad took Wade and Rosy to Angkor Wat. After they were done there they went to the Landmine Museum. Thursday Dad and Mom took Wade’s and James’ to Brealingeang (a village way out in the country). From what I gathered, they all enjoyed that. The following day was Wade’s last day here. Dad took Wade to watch the guys drill, then after lunch Dad and Mom took Wade’s to the Silk Farm. We were all sad to say goodbye late that afternoon. We had our traditional Friday meal of Grilled chicken and cornbread with gravy. Saturday morning all the guys decided to go the reservoir. When they came back, we pulled out some stuff for sandwiches. After lunch, Mose and Wendell hurried off to airport and catch their plane to India. Sorry for the lack of pictures…

We are all looking forward to having two of our cousins with us these next few weeks. I will try to get lots of pictures of that for y’all.  Until next time, Heather

Holiday Travels


Last week we did something that we had been wanting to do almost ever since we came. Last week was Khmer New Year so everybody had off, our interpreter, Sen, invited us to visit his homeland for his father’s house-warming party. So we decided to make a trip of it, and travel around Cambodia…


On Wednesday, we went to a town by the Mekong River, and on the way there we stopped and ate lunch with Steven and Angela (Kayla’s sister’s)family. The second day, we were going to go up north and  get a ferry and keep going on the other side of the river. We decided to go a couple miles out of the way to get to the Cambodia Laos border. From there it was about 45 minutes to the ferry, due the bumpy road it took twice as long as it should have. Once we got to the ferry, we realized that was only meant for moto’s and not big enough to fit the van… so we retraced our tracks all the way to the town we came from. Then we went to hotel about an hour away. The scenery there was gorgeous, it was mountainous and everything was green. I was very surprised how many mountains there were.


Sen’s family

We traveled around a bit more until Saturday, the day of the party. We arrived at Sen’s homeland around lunchtime. They made lunch for us, after sitting around for a while, we decided to go to the guest house and get cleaned up for the party. Since we are in Cambodia, you can’t have a party without LOUD music. It was loud enough that if you were in the house you could hear the metal vibrate. I, personally, was very happy to get back to our warm guest house (the air conditioners didn’t work). The next day was Sunday, we went to church with Sen’s family. We ate lunch with them, then we started back home. We were all glad to get home. Traveling is always fun, but in the end, There’s no place like home                                                                                                                                                       Until next time,  Heather for the helmuths

March Happenings

OK, so I was told I’m supposed to take over the blog so I will try to give it my best…
On the fifth, we took the day off to hang out with Luke before he left. We had big plans for the day… but of course, things went Khmer style. We were going to go putt-putting earlier in the morning, but it got too late, so we just went to the reservoir for a bit. Then we went to the airport to surprise our cousin, who is here on world race. After that we went to Veasna’s mom’s place for lunch. We were there for a while, then we headed home to get ready to go to the water park, but when we got there, of all things, it was closed. So we ended up just going putt-putting instead… Then after supper we went to Swenson’s for ice cream.
The next day was busy preparing for Luke’s farewell supper. We all enjoyed the pork, bread, and cucumber salad. Luke told the Khmer people bye, then we headed home so Luke could get cleaned up and get his stuff together. Then we took off for the airport. And alas we bid our dear brother farewell. It’s quieter since he’s gone, we all miss him a lot.
On the fifteenth Ryan Austin and Dallas went with all the staff guys on a bike trip.
On the 18th we were all thrilled to have our cousin Melanie (the one that’s on the world race) and one of the girls on her team spend the evening with us. It’s not often that we get relatives through our neck of the woods.
The following day, Dad was driving down the road and he saw a girl who looked a Mennonite. He decided to turn around and ask … turns out she was and she lives right down the road from us. She’s here with an organization called Destiny Rescue.

And on the 22nd Alaina turned five. That whole week that was all she could think about. We were all relieved when the day came and we could finally get some peace and quiet.

Well that’s about all that’s happened recently.


Why not take take a bath with your fish?


Heather for the Helmuths


This past while hasn’t been that busy. Since the board left there hasn’t been that much going on. The biggest thing was when we had a seminar here at our house for everybody who wants or is considering baptism/membership with our church. There was around 70 people here for the day if you count all the children. We have started a weekly Instruction Class for those who want it, so that is very exciting…

Other than that there hasn’t been much going on, but for me at least there is a big change coming up!!!

I’ve been teaching English for the last 3 years, and today is my last day in the foreseeable future. There are mixed feelings that come with that. On the one side I’m happy, because planning lessons can become a drudgery. On the other side I’m sad, because I really love the children that I’ve been teaching. We have had so much fun together, both during class and after. No, they are not perfect, but then who is? I’ve been trying to teach them English, but at the same time they have been teaching me stuff. Like when I was trying to get a conversation started, and I asked them this question. “If you could have anything in the world what would you want.” Over half of them answered that they would want a happy/peaceful family. Some of these children don’t always know where their next meal is coming from…Maybe this doesn’t seem as big to you as it did to me, but it made me think again about what is really important in my life.

Well, I guess if you don’t know, you are probably wondering why I am stopping to teach. In five days I am going to be moving to Idaho where I’ll be living with my uncle! I will definitely miss my family and a people/country I’ve come to love, but I’m also excited about going. There’s going to be a challenges I’m sure, so I’d appreciate it if ya’ll would pray for me if you think about it…

Well that’s all for this time…

Luke for the Helmuths…

The Holidays…

This holiday season has been a lot of fun. A lot of the reason for that was who we spent it with. Lori got here from Canada two days before Christmas. Then the next day Steven Kings (Kayla’s sister and her family) came from Thialand, to spend 4 days with us.

Christmas Day we didn’t do much that was extra special. Just had a good meal, played games, and enjoyed some family  time. I guess that’s how the next couple of days went.

The one day we took Stevens out to Bakong, and showed them a lot of what we do here. It was fun watching their boy Isaiah run around with Forrest. Their family lived in a city for three years and barely got out so anything nature related was really cool.IMG_9106.jpg

On Thursday Charity got here from Alaska. We four oldest children would have gotten to know her fairly well at Beaver Lake Camp this summer, and she and Lori made plans then to come over together…A couple hours after Charity got here Stevens left.

On New Years Eve, we stayed up late and did our family tradition of putting together a jigsaw puzzle until midnight. A couple minutes before 12 we went up to our rooftop patio, and watched the 2018 come in with a bang…Literally actually…From our rooftop we could see fireworks that people put off all over the city. We weren’t quite surrounded by fireworks but it was getting close…

On Monday Frank’s Family invited us and Sen’s to go with them out onto the lake for the day. We rented a big boat and went way out on the lake for lunch. Soon after lunch we came closer to shore and went swimming.

On Thursday our family went up to Kulen Mountain for the day. It was a real treat go there, because it’s a bit expensive. We hiked down to the falls and were there for a bit before heading downstream away from all the people that were congregated around the falls. Once we found a place downstream that we liked, we sat down and ate a snack. Soon after that most of us children were wading in the river. About 4 o’clock we headed back up close to the falls. Much to our surprise everybody was gone…Apparently the sun going down behind the mountain or the time scared them off. Either way we had the place to ourselves and a few of us jumped in the pool there for another swim…

Then on Friday we spent the afternoon at a waterpark here in Siem Reap. We really enjoyed it, but were soon wishing the slides were higher/faster.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty much just normal, except for Sunday afternoon Lori headed back to Canada…We were sad to see her go, but she wasn’t quite as sad to go this time as she usually is..:) Those of you who are in the know, know why. The rest of you I guess you’ll just have to wonder…


Here’s a family pic we took since we were all together again.

Well that’s all for this time…

Luke for the Helmuths