Monday, December 29, 2008

So Be It

This is the point I have reached in my preparations for my nine American guests arriving tomorrow.

So Be It.

The house isn't as clean and neat as I'd like it to be.
So Be It.

I didn't get the milk or the 2 bathroom stools I wanted for tomorrow.
So Be It.

The carpenter hung the curtains backwards and I'm too tired to take them down and reverse them.
So Be It.

The nine of them including my dad and 2 nieces arrive around 3AM tonight in another city about 4 hours away from here. I sent O. and a team to get them. I had to oversee the house.

I know I could get everything done if I just didn't need to sleep...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve, Etc...

Well, the computer seems to be working better. However, the internet is incredibly slow. And we're all really busy. So posts may be short and infrequent for a while.

We DID have our BIG Christmas Program on December 22nd. Several thousand people came and all went smoothly. Thanks for your prayers. Our ladies ministry did a variation on the Lifehouse "Everything Skit." (If you don't know what this is - well, I'd be surprised, ask anybody.)

We praise God that it was a very powerful tool for Christians and non-believers alike.

We had another Christmas program last night that was put together by all the churches in our city. It was smaller and nice (OK, mostly boring) but it was nice to join together with all the Christians in our city and celebrate the Lord's Birth.

Tonight is Christmas Eve. The big gift exchange program in church. Then Christmas tomorrow. Only two programs planned for then.

There is some unity rally planned for Dec. 26th. I'm not even asking.

VBS starts on Dec. 30th and our team of ten from the USA come on that day.

I'll breath again after January 9th. Then it's all about FOCUS on the birth of the baby.

Better Late Than Never

I finally got the pictures of the House Opening up. It was a major chore just getting these here, so that's why there are only two.

The House - All Lit Up!

Ribbon Cutting.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blame It On The Computer

My lack of blogging has not been for lack of trying. Both my home and office computers had a virus that affected my Internet connection so I could only get a few minutes of connection at a time before my computer would crash and I would have to restart. Very frustrating.

Anyway, things seem better now...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Moved. For The LAST Time

We moved on Thursday - for the last time. We are in our OWN home, no one can kick us out (at least not easily.)

I want to write all about it but I also want to do it justice. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not Moving Today

I thought we might move into the new house today. It didn't happen. Our street was dug up and our car couldn't get through, plus O. has been running behind the land for our Christmas program. The owner of the land in front of our school that we use every year refused us this year. Thank the Lord, we got land next to the school, but it was full of bushes and stuff. It needed serious cleaning. So, O. was overseeing that.

I asked him to focus on moving the house tomorrow. So, I may be sleeping in my new house - tomorrow?

This might have been a more interesting post - but I'm packing simultaneously.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Long Post About December 3rd

What happened at the The Grand House Opening.

Well, while I was cleaning bathrooms at the house on Wednesday morning I got the news that my sister-in-law, Martha, had started with some labor pains. She was well due to deliver her first child and we had all been waiting with baited breath.

I left my cleaning rag at the new house and walked over to Martha’s house. Yes, she had some pain in the morning but it stopped. Her older sister was with her so I left Martha in her care and said call me when she’s really in labor and went back to the house.

Soon after returning to the new house to clean some more bathrooms before the big walk-thru in the night, I got another call. This time it was from the local government hospital. My niece (O.’s sister’s daughter) had been sick for some time so since Tuesday I had her go for chest X rays etc. She was now in the government hospital getting her first morning spit tested. And yes, she has tuberculosis. Now the hospital person is calling me for all her house information because they have to come and see where she lives and then give her the 6 month course of medication.

This is all before the House Opening even began.

That evening when I was getting ready for the event, I started to feel sick. I drank some chai at someone’s house around 3:30PM and it didn’t settle right. I thought I would throw up. I needed to vomit, but I held it back. The last time I vomited a couple weeks ago, it was so strong I burst blood vessels in my face.

Well, you know how it is when you need to clear something out of your system and you don’t. I was breaking out in sweat, I felt feverish – on top of feeling lousy. I arrived at the new house by 6PM and thought, I can’t stay. I’ll stay for the ribbon cutting and go home, let O. do the testimony.

By this time the stomach problems had moved down into my bowels and I decided to use the bathrooms in the new house. I went into a bathroom for about twenty minutes. Prayed and prayed and got a little relief. I thought I might go down hill again after 10 minutes or so, but I didn’t. Praise the Lord. I just felt better and better and by 7PM I was totally fine and feeling great and gave the testimony I wanted to give. Another Praise the Lord.

Micah 7:8a “Do not gloat over me , my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise.”

Over all about 800 people came through the house and were fed. We never did get to show the movie, there was a sound problem, but the team we had come and sing was great and a big hit.

Praise God for a wonderful night and thanks for the prayers.

New Addition

We got a new baby in our family on December 4th. Hence, why all blog info has stopped for several days. After a long day (and night) at the house opening I decided everyone was taking Thursday off and sleeping in.
This worked until 4:11 AM when I got a phone call that Martha was truly in labor. So, we were all at the hospital by 5AM.

We got us another baby girl in our family at 11:45AM. It was a normal (read - non-caesarean) delivery. Which is HUGE. It is the first time in 9 years in this city that I have ever seen a child born in a private hospital delivered non-cesarean. A Great Big answer to prayer. I had even prayed that the Doctor wouldn't even mention caesarean - and she didn't. Normal from start to finish.

Martha and baby came home from the hospital tonight - which is a big relief because in India you have to provide all your own food for patients and since O. left yesterday morning to Rajasthan with our car, it was mighty difficult for me to get food, etc. back and forth to the hospital. Anyway. All is good.

No name yet for baby, but she was born with really long fingernails - she gets them from me - and I thought it very cool of her to use them to scratch her parents' initials on her cheek the first day. M. A. (Martha, Amar).

Me with E. and G. after a long but productive night. (Martha's Doctor is also my Doctor so I keep getting instructed to lay down, take a rest, go home. At one point my Doctor was sending messages up to me via visitors to the hospital. "Uh, your Doctor says you're supposed to be resting."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The House Is Open - Tomorrow

December 3rd is the BIG day for our House Opening. We'll have a small program with a few worship songs, a testimony of God's goodness (by me) and maybe a few words from O. Then a prayer.

After that everyone is free to wander through the house (it's empty - we won't officially move for another week or so) and then EAT.

We'll also have a team singing Christian songs in traditional Indian music and we'll show a Christian film.

Please keep the event in prayer. We expect somewhere over 500 people.

Card Making

We're sending out Christmas cards from here to our mailing list again this year. I had our Children's Home kids decorate them last year and it was a big hit. I planned to do it that way this year too, but, well, in a moment of insanity, I said "yes" to the printer when he asked if I wanted them "plastic coated."

Arg, nothing writes on these cards but pen, crayon and CD markers.

Pens are just boring, crayons are OK, but kind of dull; and CD markers come in a maximum of , I think, three (3) colors.

Well, we're just doing the best we can.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Help From Some Friends

Tonight we asked any of our church believers who wanted to come and help us get our house ready for Wednesday to come at 5PM. Loads of people showed up, almost everybody!

I was just so thankful, most of the plaster got cleaned off my marble. Who would do that? At the end when we prayed and I said thank you to everyone I mentioned that service specifically and what a great testimony it was to all our new neighbors to see this hoard of people - coming with small children in tow- working like servants to clean our house. I'm just thankful for the family of God.

O. At Work And Not

Occasionally even O. gets in the mood to throw some dirt. Or else he supervises.

C. Works...When She Wants To

Since the House Opening is on Wednesday, we're all working. Even C. pitched in to help.

G. With Hair

I had some inquiries about G.'s hair. It's back. She's hard to get a picture of because she needs to be behind the camera.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Mostly that's the attitude of Indians (and me) over this hostage situation and attack. Angry that the politicians in this country cannot even agree enough with each other to be able to travel to Mumbai together. Angry that even after all these bombings, terrorist attacks, etc. there is still no kind of central intelligence in India; state wide police/intelligence don't cooperate with other states, obviously, there is a huge lack of information and proper action.

We've been having like two Major terrorist attacks a month here in India for several months, and still something like this Mumbai situation can occur. It's mind boggling and it surely makes me angry.

Friday, November 28, 2008

No One Ever Listens To Me

Remember the few times I mentioned terrorism in India and how it doesn't make international news?? Yesterday when I connected to the Internet, low and behold, what was the top story on Terrorism attack in India.

I don't want to say I told you so, but I've been trying to tell you. Actually, these terrorists focused on American and British citizens and, as far as I know, now about 40 hours later, a hostage situation is still going on.

The attack is in Mumbai at several locations, one being the Taj Hotel. I've passed it many times, never been inside, too rich for my blood.

However, this is comforting. Yesterday, around noon, a man from our local police station's Foreign Nationals Registration Office came to meet me. They were personally going to all the foreigners in the city. He wrote a document in the local language with all my pertinent details and I signed it. I guess it said, I am alive and well.

Continue to pray for a quick solution to the ongoing hostage situations and against the increasing amount of terrorism occurring in India.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bit That Bullet

The washing machine repairman never did pick up. O. and I bought a new machine tonight.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tired And Somewhat Stressed

I really think the Lord wanted me to rest last week. I did rest, more than I usually do. But I was just soooo tired. I still am. It doesn't matter how much I sleep, I'm tired. I think it might be the medication, the one for the contractions and then 3 after the abscess operation. They all end tonight, thank goodness. Hopefully, I'll feel more energetic tomorrow.

The Grand House opening is in less than 10 days. The house is almost ready. Once we get some of those main doors on there we can move in. Of course, everyone is coming to be paid nowadays, which is starting to really stress me out. Well, mostly I let O. handle that, but it trickles over to me, too.

Something else that is really stressing me out is my broken washing machine and the repairman who tells me he is on his way, every time I call him. I wish he would just declare the machine officially dead so I can focus on attempting to get a new one and move on with my life.

It's 6:35 PM , I'm gonna call him again now (he's stopped answering my calls around 4:00...)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I was admitted in the hospital for the 2nd time in my life (other than deliveries) yesterday morning. Second time in four days actually, and it wasn't even labor pains.

I had an ABSCESS.

By Tuesday night I was in such terrible pain I knew I had to be the first one to see the doctor on Wednesday morning. It was a good thing that I had just been admitted there because the nurses and all the staff members rushed me right in, (thinking I was in labor - again. I wasn't.)

The doctor took one look at me and said, "Oh, you look sick." She took one look at my sore bottom (yes, that's where it was) and said, "This is a deep abscess, I need to operate on this."

An abscess is a collection of pus. Pus is a thick fluid that usually contains white blood cells, dead tissue and bacteria (germs). The usual cause of an abscess is an infection with bacteria.

Where do abscesses form?
The skin. Most abscesses form just under the skin. A boil is the most common example. In this case, a hair root becomes infected and develops into a small abscess. The skin next to the anus is another common area for an abscess to develop. The symptoms of a skin abscess include: swelling, redness, pain, and warmth over the affected area.

Who gets abscesses? Most skin abscesses occur in people who are otherwise well. There is usually no underlying cause, and no further problems usually occur once it has gone.

Thanks to for this.

So, Once again I was admitted in the hospital. They gave me anesthesia, which I was really happy about (To have the anesthesiologist come and administer the drug cost me $10). I didn't feel a thing. I didn't even know I passed out, I kept waiting for them to start the operation.

I stayed in the hospital for observation - hungry and thirsty - til 9PM when she released me. I'm feeling MUCH better today.

This morning I was thinking about all these physical problems and I was reminded of the following verse: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

E. 's 8th Birthday Party (In Pictures)

E. could not wait to cut (and eat) that cake.
Prayer for E.
E. finally gets to eat the cake.

Testimony Of My E.

Christians in India usually give a testimony when it is their birthday or a special occasion. It's a really nice thing to do for God's glory.

Today my E. is 8 years old. I'm having a small party at home with just family and a couple of friends. No mad kids parties this year.

Things you probably don't know about my E. E. often gives her 20 month old sister a bath, puts her diaper on her and gets her dressed for me. The other night I saw E. carrying 5 year old sleeping C. out of the car, all the way down the street and into the house. She had to stop occasionally, put C. down and readjust her, but she made it all the way. When I am sick, E. brings me food and water. When I am sad, she comforts me. When we go out and people beg money from us, she insists I give. If I give her a coin for the poor she gives it back to me and says, "Mom, you don't give coins, you have to give notes." When she was a teeny tiny little girl I used to have to carry a separate change purse with me on the train because she would want to give to everyone who begged from us - which were a lot.

E. is generous and tender-hearted, she's kind and compassionate. I wouldn't change her for the world.

Labor Pains

I had totally normal pregnancies and deliveries the first 3 times around, what's the deal with number four? I've decided I'm just getting old.

On Saturday I was preparing dinner and started having painful stomach cramping. At first I thought it was dysentery and went to the bathroom 3 times. Not much was happening there.

I didn't think about it and went to the kitchen to start dinner and that's when the severe stomach pains started. No back pain, no pressure, just low, centralized, strong pains.

Phoebe (who lives with me) came home at just this time and I said, watch dinner (it was on the stove) and I went to lay down. The pain kept coming at regular intervals and I thought to myself, "I know this pain, these feel like contractions." I was a little embarrassed but I called O. and said come right home, I need to go to my doctor.

He came after a few moments with his entourage of 4 or 5 other people. Also, our pastor and his wife and 2 children came to visit at the same time, so we, all of us, piled in the car to go to my doctor/hospital.

The whole time I kept thinking."If this is gas pains, I'm going to be really embarrassed." For this reason I was strangely relieved when the Doctor examined me and said,"Oh yes, you're contracting, the baby has come down very low."

I'm Due February 15th and Saturday was November 15th so that means I was exactly 3 months - too early.

The Doctor gave me two painful injections to stop the contracting and admitted me over night for observation. I had to lay in a hospital bed with my feet elevated above my head and no pillow - all night. It was torture. I had/have a horrible head cold and my sinuses were killing me. I didn't sleep a wink. I just wanted to go home.

During the darkness of the night I took my blanket and slipped it under my head but soon after one of the 2 ladies who stayed over night in the hospital with me, said,"Oh no no no." And whipped it out.

The Doctor examined me at 7:30AM on Sunday morning and sent me home for 4 days of bed rest. I go back on Thursday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Grand House Warming

December 3rd is the Big Day for our House Warming. They do things a little different here in India. We'll actually have a small program and set up some seating and provide food. We're inviting loads of people and all the neighbors in the neighborhoods on all sides. I am guessing about 800 people will come.

We won't be moved in at all at this time, the house will be empty but livable.

The program will go like this: We'll sing a little, have a short message giving Glory to God and then a small testimony (probably me). After that people will walk through the house and eat.

Please keep this date and program in prayer. It is a great time to give praise to Jesus Christ in the midst of those living in darkness and also show His love to our new (and old) neighbors.

We plan to move in right after the 3rd. Praise the Lord.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Railings And A Kitchen

The ongoing theme of House Construction is ... ongoing. Oh, and my camera had some sort of accident and is currently refusing to take nice pictures.

BUT - I have railings. Yay, no longer any fear of falling from the walkway on our 2nd floor!
Second Floor walkway (with railings!)
I also have... drum roll please... Kitchen counter! Wall tiles, Floor tiles!
Even a sink!
All this work is hand done. All stones are cut to size and shaped by hand - at my house.
Here is our outside. Not looking so good. We sent our vehicle to another state to bring back the workers who do the outside; apparently they went for Diwali vacation and have not yet returned...
We are planning our house opening on December 3rd. We'll move in after that. Please keep us and the remaining work in prayer. We still need doors and windows.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Rejoicing And Mourning

As the United States Rejoices, Mourns, or is just caring less today, I cleaned my house. Cleaned means - CLEANED OUT my house. I've heard that women before giving birth have the cleaning "nesting" instinct. Personally, I've never experienced it. I have no "cleaning instinct." God, in His sovereignty while creating me, decided not to give me any of that.

Actually, what I've been doing is pulling out all the boxes, suitcases, etc... that are mostly full of trash, that have been dragged from house to house over the last nine years and stored away. While I was cleaning out O. said to me, "Don't do this now. You are doing your thing, I do mine, let's work together to get something done - like the Christmas donation sheet." (translation- let's do my work.) Later I said to him, "how many times a year do you see me cleaning out the house? Once, twice - maximum." Don't crush the mood, man. Don't crush the mood. The mood is here today and it may not come back for a good 6 months.

Eventually, he joined his hand in some of the decision work. I said, I don't care where the stuff goes I just want it OUT OF MY HOUSE. And I never want to see it again.

I also noticed today that I had only 1 (one) view on my blog. I'm just gonna blame it on the election...

Monday, November 03, 2008


I've been working on making a matrimonial page for my friend, Justy, on for two days. I think I may have just gotten her photo uploaded.
She is an orphan and a widow with an eight year old daughter. She is VERY high maintenance, always has heath issues, and can easily make you crazy in under 60 seconds; the best thing is to find her a husband.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Boy Season

2008 must be a fertile year because tons of people are pregnant.

Our co-worker, Suresh, became the first time father of a little boy on Friday, then my brother, Dan, had a boy (#3) yesterday. My sister-in-law, Martha, is due with her first on the 19th of this month, then me in Feb, then my other sister-in-law in March. Not to mention the other, uhh 6-7 (???) ladies in our church who are pregnant right now...

Anyway, the first two were healthy, non c-section births, and boys. Must be the beginning of "Boy Season..."

Congratulations!!! and Praise the Lord!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How I Know Its Diwali

It's the smell.

Several contiuous days (actualy, mostly nights) of firecrakers and fireworks, small blasting bombs and sparklers, the smell is distinctive.

Today, it's Diwali, Hindu New Year.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What E. Fears

E. and C. like a story before then go to bed at night. A couple nights ago I was tired and so I said I'd just tell a short story, E. requested a "really scary one." I wasn't really in the mood so I decided to tell them a story with a moral for once.

The basic premise of this night's story was not to get into cars with strangers.

Without retelling the whole story here I'll cut to the chase where the 2 little girls were locked in the dark basement of the bad man who beat them and didn't give them food and there were really scary noises in the dark all night. (The girls eventually escape in the morning and learn never to go into a car again with a stranger.)

Anyway, when the story was finished E. said,"If that ever happened to me I would bite that man... because you know, if someone doesn't give me food - I'll eat anything."

Obviously, the most terrifying part of that story for E. was not being fed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mostly Bathrooms

The tiles are mostly up in our bathrooms at the new house.
This is our master bedroom bathroom. I always wanted a black and white bathroom. The tiles have a really pretty reflective design on them that you cannot see in the picture.
This is the ground floor guest bathroom.
This is our favorite bathroom, the 2nd floor guest. Unfortunately, its the most unclear photo. We love this bathroom so much that we're thinking of moving into it.
I went yesterday morning to choose all the bathroom fixtures and sinks. Toilets have already come. We should be getting those things in in the nest week or so. We're in a bit of a rush, not only because we want to get in by the first week of December, but because the HUGE holiday of Diwali is almost upon us and we're going to lose all the people laboring on our house for 10 days or so.
These are a picture of our steps taken from a really weird angle. They are made from stone, not wood, although it does appear to be wood. That's why we liked it so much. They have not polished the floors yet but are starting today. Once they get clear I'll post some pictures of them.

I also chose the wall tiles and floor tiles for our kitchen so that means we should get working on the kitchen by some time this week!

My last two works for today or tomorrow are choosing railings for the stairs and upstairs and glass for the windows. Decisions Decisions. O. leaves it all up to me and says I'm the one who has to be happy living there. I order it, he gets it installed. Works for me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Goa Ladies

I don't have a group shot of all the people who were present at our Goa Conference, but here are the ladies. The 2 Americans in the middle front row were part of the team of 4 from the US who were involved in running the conference.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Goa Retreat

O. and got back from Goa late Friday night, it was a little touchy at the end because our first flight was late causing us to miss our second flight, but we caught the last flight out of Bombay at just the last minute. Whew.

The conference was sponsored by EFI (Evangelical Fellowship of India) and Barnabas International. It was a wonderful time to fellowship with other ministry leaders in India and their wives. One couple said it was the first time in 28 years of ministry that they had both gotten away together! Mostly the wives were delighted to be invited along with the husbands since we usually send our husbands off to these conferences and we stay at home and hold the fort.

It was a lovely resort, right on the ocean in Goa and O. and I had a great and refreshing time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back To Goa

I am just on the road all the time these days. O. and I leave for 5 days in Goa on Monday. It's not a vacation but I'm sure it will be fun. We were invited by the Evangelical Fellowship of India for a Conference being held in Goa for husbands and wives who are leaders in different Christian ministries. (that was a mouthful) Apparently, there will be 3 couples from each Indian state in attendance.

I have to leave the girls behind which is heart wrenching since I was just away for a long time - not great timing, but at least it will only be for 5 days this time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This May Freak You Out

This nasty creature visited my room once while I stayed in the guest house in Mussoorie.
Here is his buddy who visited me on another day (see right hand upper corner of carpet). A passport size photo of myself is in the foreground for size reference. You'll see the spider is quite a bit larger than the photo.
That vacation to Mussoorie isn't sounding so great right about now is it????

What We've Been Doing Around Here

As you might remember we had a rally on Sept. 2 to protest the persecution in Orissa. A great thing that has come out of that is a monthly meeting between all the Christian pastors/leaders in our city and surrounding cities and villages. It's been great for unity building.

The first official meeting was last Saturday with 30 men in attendance. Very exciting. I am waiting to see what God is going to do through this team in the coming days.

Please keep praying for God's people in India and especially in the state of Orissa. The situation and persecution remains intense.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"Severe Persecution"

I sent out a general email yesterday requesting more prayer for the persecution going on in India. I must have written the phrase, "severe persecution" in the email because someone wrote me back requesting clarity on what that means.

Here is what I responded:

"Being hacked to death by sword in front of your wife and children. Being raped and dragged naked thru town, being burned alive, churches and homes of Christians burned...All of this and worse is happening in India every day and there is not much being done to stop it."

I think the above constitutes "severe persecution."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Persecution Continues

The persecution against Christian believers in India has continued on and on. I've been thinking lately about how if we were in the US and we heard about the murder of a pastor or a family - just because they were Christian how we would be so shocked and it would take a long time to get over it. Or if we heard or knew about a church being burned to the ground simply out of hatred toward Christians. What would we do?

Yet, when we hear of persecution in other countries, of a pastor being murdered, a Christian child being burned alive, a church being destroyed - why is it not so real to us? Is that Christian brother in another country any less valuable to God than a Christian brother of our own culture?

I hear about churches burned, pastors killed, property destroyed and Christian women raped every day in India. And we weep and we pray and we cry out to God.

Time For Some Beauty

The Himalayas were not visible for most of my stay in Mussoorie but, thankfully, by the last 4 days the weather cleared up and the clouds moved away and these are some of the breathtaking views. The mountains are even clearer in person, the camera just doesn't capture it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Landour Language School

I did finally get around to posting pictures of the school. Here is the office.
The church where the classes meet.
Me and my teachers.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Life Without Mom

I came home from my 18 days away from the family and was happy to see my girls all alive and well. I was, however, much happier to see that E.’s fingernails were long and nasty and that G. had a whole heck of a lot of black crud in her ears.

They survived without mom, but not too well.

Home In Mussoorie

I stayed in a lovely Guest House in Mussoorie called Dev Dar Woods. I was fed well and I loved the staff and other guests. Here is my very cold room.
The road a walked everyday to and from - well, anywhere.
Dev Dar

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mussoorie Rain

When I first arrived in Mussoorie, it was cold and it rained a lot. It remained cold the whole time, but the rain eventually stopped a few days before I came home.

Mountains in the rain.
City in the clouds.
Pouring, I mean really pouring, rain.


A good place to start is always the beginning. So, here I am with the ladies at the retreat in Nagpur. It really was a wonderful way to start my "September Tour."

Monday, September 29, 2008

After A Long Time

After a long time I am home.
After a long time I am posting pictures from home.
After a long time I am posting pictures of our new home.

Here it is with the white plaster on the outside.
Plaster on the walls, grates in the windows and MARBLE on the floor. Yes, the floors are almost all in!!! (The stones are down and sealed but not polished, so this is not the final look.)
The floor - not resembling anything like what it will eventually look like.
Boundary wall is going up fast.

The promised "September Tour" pictures on the way in the next couple days. Come on, I am digging out people.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Going Home Going Home

Today is the last day.

I catch a train to Delhi tonight and will be with my sweet little family by Saturday evening. - God willing.

HOPEFULLY, I will even be able to post pictures... yes. No more pictureless posts. You are going to be so sick of pictures that you will wish for the good old days again when I forgot my picture downloader wire thingy while on my "September Tour" and couldn't post anything. Uh huh.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

#4 On The Way

Well, this seems like as good as time as any to inform any of you out there who don't know - we're pregnant with baby number four. Due in the middle of February.

It was a surprise but a happy one and I'm very excited. I've been feeling great and the weeks are just chugging along.

I have been a little emotional which may have been why I teared up every time I looked at the Himalaya mountain range this morning.


Today was the first day I was able to see the Himalayas in the background of the local mountains. Since I've arrived they've been hidden by clouds and bad weather. But today is a beautiful sunny day and they are just All Over.

It took my breath away to look at the beautiful snow capped mountains in the distance. It's taken my breath away ever since and every time I see them again.

The white of the snow on the Himalayas is so white and shines so brightly that my mind is having a hard time accepting that what my eyes are seeing is real.

The whiteness of the snow reminds me again and again of the "Joy of Painting" when he would take the scraper and slap the "happy white" on the tops of trees and houses and mountains and things. The white is that bright and thick and shining in the sun. I wish you could see it with me.


The Day Ended Well

It was a good birthday with people celebrating it all over without me - which is great. Glad lot's of people had fun and ate good food on account of my mother giving birth to me.

As for me, I loved my quiet day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

23rd September 2008

It's hard to believe but the "big day" has come around again. My birthday. I'm reluctant to give any thoughts on how the day will turn out this early on in the game, but it has been pretty good so far. Shhhh. The day occasionally starts out this way and eventually goes down hill. I'll let you know about the whole shabang - tomorrow.

I've had loads of phone calls, one friend even told me he went to the local hospital and handed out apples to all the patients in celebration on my birthday. Yeah, I thought that was funny too, but I loved it.

I plan on cake after lunch with my two other guest house friends and the workers there. Then pizza for dinner, sweets for my teachers. That's it. Nothing special going on today. I woke up and was studying Hindi before 8AM.

I kind of thought to myself, hey, I should do something special today. Then I didn't really feel like doing anything special and it finally hit me - duh - this whole trip is special. I don't need to do anything else. What a load off.


I feel like my Hindi is getting worse.

I think it is the many days of having my Hindi corrected again and again and again. And then there is the possibility that I now - intellectually - know more Hindi but the old, crappy Hindi is still flying out of my mouth.

I had a feeling this might happen...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Church Away

Since I come from a long line of "church junkies" I was really looking forward to today (Sunday). I attended the church that is at the same location where my Hindi training is since it was the closest.

It was in English and in Hindi and, interestingly enough, they had both Indian and English (American) pastors. The Indian pastor spoke in Hindi and the English pastor translated for him. Wow, in all my years I've never seen that before. Lot's of English translated to Hindi but never Hindi translated to English (by a non-Indian, at that.)

I cried at the beginning. I was just starved for common worship. It was lovely.

Less than a week to go...

Friday, September 19, 2008

One Week Down

I've finished the 1st week of Hindi Language School. Whew! One teacher told me today that we can finish the entire 30 chapters of the book by next Friday when I'll have to leave. That would be fantastic.

I still feel like the Hindi grammar is like water slowly sinking into the hard dirt of my brain. But eventually it will all sink in - AND produce fruit. Whoohoo. I'm really glad I came, even tho it poured rain continuously for the last 24 hour and it's freezing (almost) and I hate being wet and cold. Not to mention lonely. :( Still miss my girls. Esp. my baby G.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Puzzle Pieces In My Head

I just finished my third day of Hindi classes. That's 12 hours. Some is sinking in, some is floating around in my head.

I do feel like I am getting many missing pieces to my "Hindi language" puzzle (the imaginary one in my head). I just need to get the pieces in the right spots now...

O. and girls continue to thrive without me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Delhi Blast

While on my way to the Delhi train station to catch my train from Delhi to Dehradun on Saturday night we got the news that there were several bomb blasts in Delhi. More terrorist attacks like the ones in Gujarat last month.

We were expecting some delays, road blocks, etc..., but we zipped right into the city, I got my on my train and off I went. Seems kind of bazaar.

Where Am I?

I dragged my laptop and Internet connector all over India with me so that I could keep up on emails and blogging and I am now so high up in the mountains that I have no Internet access. Figures. I'm in a cafe so I can keep up, but it's not like having it in my room.

I arrived in Mussoorie yesterday morning. There is only one other guest at my guest house - currently. A very nice retired Psychiatrist named, Ben from Hollywood, CA. The guesthouse, and Landour (which is really where I am - more north of Mussoorie) is exactly what I expected. Very Isolated. Very Quiet.

I think that was the most disconcerting thing last night when I tried to go to sleep - the absolute silence. There isn't even a ceiling fan in my room!!! NO ceiling fan. It's dang cold here. Cold.

I start Hindi classes today. They called me over there at 10AM and then informed me my classes start at 12:10. O-kay. That's not too unusual either. Hence, why I am here now.

I'll have classes all afternoon but I am changing my 12:10 to 8:20 since my lunch will get messed up every day otherwise. Lunch, is important.

Friday, September 12, 2008

In The Garden

In The Garden was the theme of our retreat and, sadly, it ended this afternoon.

There were only six of us. Five American women and 1 Indian woman who was our speaker. I found that to be really beautiful, that we were Americans ministering to Indians and we had the opportunity to be ministered to by an Indian woman.

This was the first time in nine years that I had any kind of opportunity for fellowship quite like this. I was blessed. I especially feel like God ordained the timing of the retreat to come right at the beginning of my two weeks of Hindi study (and reflection/seeking God.) It was like a spiritual preparation.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The First Leg

I traveled by train alone for the first time in my life on Tuesday. I boarded at 3AM and arrived in Nagpur for my ladies conference at 6PM. Right on time.The trip was uneventful. I couldn't sleep much but I did read a lot.

The conference starts today at 3PM. There will be 6 ladies in all. We were supposed to be 12 but the number dwindled for various reasons.

I did forget the wire that connects my camera to my computer which means no loading pictures til I get back at the end of the month. Bummer.

The girls and O. seem to be fine, we'll see as the days progress...

Early Birthday

O. threw an early Birthday/Goodbye Party for me on Monday night. I'm not really a birthday party person - hence- why I planned my Hindi training over my birthday, but I never seem to win.

It was a lovely party and everyone had a great time and I got lots of beautiful gifts, so I'm not complaining.

At 2AM that same night, friends and family came to drop me at the train station and saw me safely on my train.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Leaving Tomorrow

Five months of planning zoomed right on by. I leave leave tomorrow night for my trip to Nagpur (for the women's retreat) and my two weeks of Hindi training in Mussoorie.

I'll have a laptop and internet connection (God willing) and my phone. It's not like I'll be incommunicado.

I've settled everything here as best as I could, left O. a list of "Important Things to Know" and so I'm leaving the girls and everything else in O.'s capable hands (I think he'll end up shipping them out to various friends and relatives...)
Leaving E., C. & G. for two and a half weeks is the hardest thing. Pray for us. Thanks.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Teeth Are Gone

The TEETH are out. Yes, 3 whole teeth got pulled out of E.'s mouth yesterday. E. had off from school and she went with me to get G.'s MMR shot and there was a dentist right around the corner and the mood was right, if you know what I mean.

E. started crying as soon as we walked in the office, so much so that all the other patients were trying to comfort her, including an old women who whipped her false teeth right on out of her mouth to amuse E. (E. refused to look, but I thought it was funny.)

Didn't work.

E. made it to the chair, the dentist talked to her a bit to calm her down, sprayed her mouth and then gave her the injections. This was, by far, the most amusing part for me. E. shouted the whole time. I never thought to explain to her about numbing... She kept saying - correction- Shouting, "What's happening?" (She wouldn't even look in the mirror when she came home, I think she was afraid her lips were gone.)

All in all she looks MUCH better now and it only cost me $5.