Sunday, February 25, 2007

Latest India News

I just talked to "India" in order to get the scoop on our big Marriage Seminar that was today.

A husband and wife team do the teaching and we invited them from a city about 3 hours from us. It turned out that only the husband could come since they had both become 1st time grandparents last week. Congratulations to them!

Our pastor told me that he had ordered refreshments for 60 people and as he watched the people come to the program tonight he had to send someone out to get more.

150 people came! Thankfully, most of them with their spouses.

We've been seeing that godly marriage and family counselling and teaching is so necessary in the Christian church in India today. We just praise God for this program and for His presence there. I'm still a little shocked at the turnout. I think people are just hungering for something more in their marriage and they realize that it's not just going to happen on it's own.

On another subject I did get some pictures of the Slum school in action but they were sent to me in a Word document and I couldn't get them into any format that would load on here. So, they'll resend the pictures as just pictures, probably on Monday.

O. and I have a big day of speaking engagements tomorrow and then we're taking it easy for a few weeks. We're on "Baby Watch" just 12 days left til the due date.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

My Day In The SCA

It was a long and tiring and wonderful weekend for me. I guess that's why I am sitting here at 11PM+ on a Wednesday trying to get something up on my poor neglected blog.

I never did get to go to see the Tut Exhibit due to school problems and late openings. Will try again later.

We Did get to go see "Music and Lyrics" which is really lite and cute. No heavy stuff here. Catchy tunes for sure.

On Saturday my friend Kat and I spent from morning to night at a "Day in the Middle East" event sponsored by the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, which is a group dedicated to researching and recreating the Middle Ages in the present.)

Kat is an active member and we were there "merchanting" on Saturday - which means we sold our stuff and did pretty well. It was a cold cold day and God bless Kat who did all the loading and unloading of a lot of stuff. I mostly just sat behind the table or wrapped people in sarees.The only breaks we got were when "Court" was in session. Thank goodness for that.

The theme was "Middle East" which was great for us as merchants selling Eastern items, but being Not A Big fan of middle eastern food I could have done without the wrapped grape leaves and pickled radishes. Next time I'd prefer "A Day in an Italian Restaurant" thank you very much.

On Sunday I visited my dear friend Karen and her family and on Monday got to spend a lovely day with my friend Luci who actually lives in MD where I was over the weekend but she had been in NY and stopped by NJ to visit me on her way home.

I had a blast, an exhausting blast, but a blast none the less.

This is my last busy week before the baby who is due in 2 weeks. After Sunday night I am done. D-O-N-E.

Nothing scheduled. Nothing going to be scheduled- for a while...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Gone For The Weekend

I have a busy weekend in front of me. I leave today to visit my friend Kat in Maryland. We have an event on Saturday where I will help to sell some stuff, looking forward to it. But before that we'll be going to the Tut Exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. She's a 7th grade teacher and has a field trip on Friday, so I get to tag along. I think I have to chaperon six 7th graders but - small price to pay, I say.

Kat and I are both Archaeology majors and have actually seen the exhibit in Cairo, but I bet it'll be set up a lot cooler over here. Needless to say, we're excited.

I'll stay over til Sunday with Kat, go to church with her and then visit some more friends, Karen and David, in Baltimore. Fun weekend, the girls are staying home with Grammy and Grandpop until Papa gets home from his conference on Friday night. I'll be kid free for 3 1/2 days.

Woooooooooow. (that says "Wow")

Probably the last time for a long time since I have only 3 weeks to go until my 2 girls become 3. (Or 2 girls and 1 boy, or something - we'll all have to wait and see...)

Slum Schools

I talked to India last night and was excited to hear that a small school was started up in a slum area of our city.

There are several families in our church who are from the slums, basically squatters and day laborers. They usually have 4 or 5 small children who do not attend any school. I'd often see the kids roaming around the city picking through trash, looking for something they could sell (plastic bags, metal, paper) and get money for it.

Of course this doesn't sound like an ideal life, but the children - left in the lifestyle too long - are habituated to it and eventually do not want to leave it. We find this with adults who no matter how much we want to help them, don't want to leave the squalor.

Since Tuesday of this week we have started a small school for children 3 to 10 years old. It starts off with a Christian action song and prayer and then there is teaching. Right now they have a blackboard and some charts showing the Hindi, Gujarati and English alphabets. I think our pastor said that there are about 30 children already.

He and about 6 others from church go every evening to gather the children (probably takes up half the time) and then they teach. Please pray for this ministry. It is just developing but we'll see where God is going to take it. I'll try to get some pictures sent to me to share. I want to see it too!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Now It's On March 12th

The newest news on the visa interviews is that they are all finally scheduled and occuring on March 12th.

Whew, at least that's not hanging over our heads anymore.

I kind of wish Suresh had left his interiew on February 28th but I can also understand all of them wanting to go on the same day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Visa Interview- New Date

In the ongoing saga of the 4 guys from our minsitry trying to get a visa to the US, we got news today that one of them (Suresh) got an interview date for February 28th.

Please pray for him as he prepares to go again for the interview and also as he is inputting the information to get the remaining 3 men their dates. The computer and internet was driving him a bit crazy. He was glad to finally get his date fixed and he is diligently working on the remaining 3 online applications.

I checked today and the wait is now into Mid-March for an interview date. Please pray that they can get earlier dates than that. At least the 1st date is early, it should give us an indication of how the other three interviews might go. Yes? No?

Times a flying...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Baby Blessing

Yesterday was my first speaking engagement combo "Baby Blessing" at my home church here in NJ. It was long and lovely.

I enjoyed speaking about India, showing off my pictures and answering lots of questions. But most of all I loved just standing around and talking with new and old friends. It was really my first chance to peacefully do that.

I was "blessed" with a beautiful bead bracelet that each of the women contributed to as well as scripture and prayers for my new (almost here) baby. And I was give a shower gift from a money tree that's already been mostly spent.

Well, I knew just what I wanted and needed and so I ordered up a Baby Sling today and some nursing items for after the baby is born. I have a some money left and I could use some nightgowns for the hospital and after so I think I'll actually go in person and get them. :)

Go Diego Go

Mom and I took E. & C. to see "Go Diego Go" Live last week. They liked it but C. told me that Dora wasn't real.

We did get this cute free picture from State Farm.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New Camera

Before leaving India I gave my old digital camera away (to our mission office) because I knew I'd be buying a new one when I got here. My old one had been broken for almost 3 years but it cost more to fix it than a new camera would cost, so we survived for 3 years with no automatic lenscover. The lens was always open.

Now the camera always took good pictures but the lens was getting kind of foggy and with a new baby on the way - it was time. It Was A Time.

The chance of this 3rd kid even getting his/her (we go on Friday) own album of baby photos is slim but I figured he deserves a non-foggy camera- at the very least.

So, I bought another Sony. I was happy with my first one so I got another - Sony DSC-W30. It is teeny tiny and oh so cute and uncomplicated. I love it already.

I wished that the new battery had been charged by this morning because there was this really pretty snow outside and I wished I had a camera yesterday when the girls were in the very bubbly bathtub and being very cute. But I'm back in business now.

This means an occasional picture post - whohoo - after a long while.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Visa Progress

The 4 guys are back in business when it comes to the visa application process for coming to the USA in April. They go on Tuesday for the 1st step and then they can get the appointment for the interview date. We're expecting it to be the end of this month or maybe the beginning of March. The wait is now only 12 days! It was 6 months when Ii got them a date in August.

Keep on praying and please pray that all the necessary paperwork, etc. will reach them in a timely matter since we have mailed some stuff over from here. Thanks!

Lack Of Material

The thing about living in India is that I never lack for material for the blog, plus- the internet is my connection to the outside world and the US and family so I spend a lot more time on it than I do here IN the USA.

So, you know, that's the disclaimer for any BORING posts from now to the future.

I did go to the midwife today for my 1st appointment since being in the USA. Everything seems fine.

I'm at 35 weeks, I've put on 24lbs since being pregnant, my BP is 118/72, I'm not dilated at all yet but my due date isn't until March 8th so there's plenty o' time and Diane (my midwife) thinks I'm gonna go right on time. (Both E. & C. were born on their due dates - ok, C. was 3 hours late).

March 8th is O.'s birthday, so that would be fun.

Dianne asked me if I wanted to go for an ultrasound and I said yes since we do want to know if we're having a girl or a boy (it's illegal to do sex determination in India). I have an appointment on Friday. At least if we're having a girl we can let everyone in India down early, get that tension out of the way. They're BOY fanatics over there - hence why sex determination is illegal. There already aren't enough wives to go around for the boys coming to marriageable age.