Wednesday, December 31, 2008

MeRrY ChriStmAs!!

Well, we're back from Tennessee and getting ready to start packing... yikes!!!
We had a great Christmas... on the way up to Tennessee, we passed through my favorite county in Georgia... Our Christmas was good... a lot more fun than last Christmas:
Aashini spent her first Christmas in the hospital...
Kari & Emily came by and brought us some Christmas decorations to make our hospital room more Christmassy... (is that a word?)
So, last Christmas was memorable... but not the best :)
This Christmas we were in America! Here's Aashini when she was coming into the room to open presents on Christmas morning...
I think she's making a really funny face in this picture! haha! She was excited about her "stick horse"...
She got some books for Christmas too, and her Masi (Alison, my sister) read her a few :)
I'll post some more pictures later :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Visiting Family :)

This weekend we went and visited Adam's family! It was our last time to see them before heading back to South Asia, so that was sad, but we had fun :) Here's a pic of Aashini with Adam's mom.Adam's mom is a belly dancer. It's cool :) On Thursday night we went to Cafe' TuTu Tango where she dances. We got to enjoy great food and watch her show.
It was fun :) She did a cool dance with this plate full of candles - talk about having good balance!!
We went to a local spring too and got to see some Manatee :)
Here's Adam's brother Sean :)
Here's his dad. They played some racket ball (as well as a bunch of other fun stuff) :) Aashini thought it was cool :) We had a lot of fun :)
Hope you guys have a GREAT Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Lens

I got a fun new 50 mm fixed lens for my camera and so I've been playing with it the last couple of days! Some ladies asked for some pics of our feet (you know... "how beautiful are the feet...") so I got a little carried away taking feet pictures :) You can see Aashini's cute little anklets (on her cute chubby feet!) :) In our area of South Asia, they give kids these anklets when they start walking (I think so that they can hear where they are) :) So, we bought some before we left to give her when she starting walking... she thinks they're cool :)
My cool friend Lea has almost the same lens that I do and taught me a fun trick tonight - so I had to try it out! I was too lazy to pull out the tripod (and make it look even cooler) but this still looks really cool :) These are the lights on our tree - I made them look like stars! Fun hunh?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jingle Bell RUN!

This past weekend was my favorite Tallahassee event :) We've been gone almost every weekend, but we were planning on being in town for this weekend - it's my favorite! It was the Tallahassee Winter Festival. During the festival is the JINGLE BELL RUN!
The run is really fun! Everyone wears the run shirt, a santa hat (well, most people wear that) and jingle bells on your shoes... this year there was a new addition - fun light up necklaces! It's a 3k, - not a long race, so a lot of people come out to run. There were about 65,000 people at the festival, and a LOT of those people run... not sure how many there were, but there were a lot! There are so many people, that if you stop to tie your shoe, you'll get trampled :) haha! Here's my best attempt at a picture before the race :)
Here's Adam & I before the race with our cool light-up necklaces :)
So I want to know what your favorite Christmas songs are? It would be fun to hear your favorites :) I have 3 favorites...Feliz Navidad (b/c it's just fun!), We Three Kings and What Child is This?... oh... and that N'Sync one (yeah, I just admitted that out loud), and "All I want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey - it's fun! :) haha! So what are your faves?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Recipe Fun!

OK, so I LOVE any kind of sweet yummy coffee drink... BUT the caffeine in coffee makes me crazy hyper and then I come crashing down -- so I tend to be a decaf person :) Anyway, on a friend's blog the other day, they posted a recipe for Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes - so I thought I'd pass it along it is super yummy!! :)

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes
2 cups milk
1 cup strong coffee (I used 3 T of grounds to make 1 cup)
2 T canned pumpkin (or maybe 3 T of South Asian Pumpkin)
2 t vanilla
Sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to taste
Mix all ingredients in pot, cook over low heat until steaming.
Onto another favorite of mine... PIZZA!! Our South Asian friends think that Americans only eat Pizza & Burgers :) haha! We do eat our share of pizza :) I was trying to figure out an easy way to make pizza... check this out!
OK, all you need is a can of those pop biscuits (you know the can that pop when you open them?)... Get just the plain biscuits, the sweet ones make it taste kinda weird. Then get any kind of pizza toppings you like (Mozzarella Cheese, Pepperonis, Onions, Tomato Sauce, etc...)
Flatten out each biscuit, add pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings. Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes - EASY!
The pizzas were really yummy and fun!!! It would probably be a lot of fun to do this with kids!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Random Pics & Fun!

Our friends Annie & Rahul and their awesome kids were in town after Thanksgiving and we got the chance to see them for a little bit! It was so great seeing them! It was hilarious to try to take a groupl picture together with 4 kids and 4 adults! haha! It was funny! :)
Here's a pic of Annie & I... Annie made that awesome Baby Shower Blog for us before Aashini was born and is a photographer - Annie Agarwal Photography - she's awesome!
The other night we met this really fun South Asian family! One of our friends in South Asia is friends with them too, so it was fun to meet up with them :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

New Orleans (road trip #9 continued)...

We visited New Orleans when we went for our visit to Slidell last weekend. We hadn't been to that area since Katrina, so it was pretty crazy to see how different it was. We spent some time driving around the 9th Ward. It was the hardest hit area and the area we used to live in (and I used to work in). We drove down street after street of houses that were still destroyed and unlivable. We could still see the spray paint on people's houses. You can see the "X" in the picture above (and the guy doing one in the pic below). They used those Xs as a way to communicate during the search and rescue time after Katrina. Different search organizations had different methods (and the animal search groups really confused things), but this is basically what they did:
When a team goes into the house, they paint one diagonal of the X, and where the northern quadrant would be, they put the date, and in the western quadrant, they put some indication of who searched it. After they're done searching, they put the other diagonal of the X. They fill in the southern quadrant with any people they found, living or dead (here they found nobody), and the eastern quadrant with any hazards that future teams should be aware of (such as unstable stairwells, missing floors, etc.)
When you're searching a large structure like an office building, you do the one diagonal going in, one diagonal going out, and you'd also put time in and time out in the north quadrant. That way if the SAR team itself gets in some kind of trouble in the building, the marking on the outside of the building lets other searchers know that there is still a team inside, possibly needing rescue themselves. (Was that too much information?)The area that was hit the worst of the 9th Ward was the Lower 9th Ward, that is where Brad Pitt is helping new houses to be built with his Foundation called the Make it Right Foundation . They had a competition with some architects to make new houses. Some of them are really crazy looking. Here is one below:
It was really cool to see all the rebuilding going on!
While in New Orleans we got to meet up with our friends E & M and their cute little girl Amanda. E & M will be joining us in South Asia in a few months - so we got to talk with them about how awesome South Asia is! Whoo hoo! See you guys in South Asia soon!!
We went to our favorite coffee place in the French Quarter - Cafe Du Monde ! They have the BEST Beignets !!!
We also got to enjoy some awesome street entertainment - you cant' beat it - it's a very fun place!
It was great to get to go and see everything again - what a cool place!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Slidell (Road Trip #9) !!!

This weekend was awesome!!! We went to Slidell & New Orleans :) I'll write about New Orleans later, but right now, I'm writing about our awesome trip to Slidell. We went to grad school in New Orleans and lived there for the first year, but then moved to Slidell after that for the next couple of years as we finished school. We love our church family out there!!!
First stop were our old jobs! First we went to my old job at Crossgates Athletic Club - they have re-modeled in the last 3 years, so it was cool to see all of the changes and see some fun people I used to work with. Next, we went to the Wal-Mart Pharmacy where Adam used to work. It was really great getting to see everyone there. It rocked!
On Friday night a bunch of people from our church (Northshore) all got together and we ate and hung out :) It rocked! Here is my friend Alicia. She lived in Slidell pre-Katrina and now lives in Texas, but drove in with her awesome kids for the weekend :) It was great seeing them :) This was way past Aashini's bedtime - can you tell by her look in this picture! haha! She's not happy!
Here is her youngest daughter, Emma, with Aashini. They're about a month apart in age :)
In the pic below is Aashini with Emma and Isabella (my awesome friend Misty 's daughter. They came in town for the party too!!! It was awesome seeing them!!!)
Aashini got lots of attention and loved it :) These are Bronie, Alicia & Misty 's kids (and my buddies :)). It was so fun!
More fun friends!
Here we are with our friend Travis :)
Here's my buddy Michelle! She lives in Baton Rouge and came in town too!!! How cool :)
It was a really amazing weekend! It was sooo good to see so many awesome people!! The city has definitely changed a lot since Hurrican Katrina, but our friends are just as cool as ever! We got to go to our awesome church in Slidell - Northshore Church!! We started going there at the beginning of it's church planting days and we really got to grow with them while we were there and it was awesome! The last time we were there was 3 weeks before Hurricane Katrina (and 2 weeks before we moved to South Asia). The church building was destroyed and since then they have met in a lot of different places -- including Crazy Carl's Fireworks! (although they had to get out around the 4th of July) :) Right now they're meeting in Slidell Athletic Club. They just added a 3rd service to accommodate the people :) It's so cool to see the church really being the people and not having anything to do with the building.
This is a really bad picture (below) - but you can see everyone helping to move out all the chairs and things after the last service was over.
During the praise & worship time, we sang the song by Christ Tomlin that says:
"Greater things are yet to come
and greater things are still to be done in this city"
It was so cool to see everyone singing this with such hope. Katrina caused so many bad things to happen in this area, but it was amazing to see everyone so hopeful and excited to see what is going to happen next. Greater things are yet to come!!!!
Thanks guys for making it such an awesome weekend! We love you guys!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Random Fun :)

Here's a couple of random pics from the things I've been doing lately :)
My mom teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) at FBC in Tally, so when I'm in town, I go with her to her class and help out. We have the very beginners that don't really speak any English at all. It's a very fun class! Anyway, this past Tuesday night, we had a Thanksgiving banquet with the Students and their friends. We met some new South Asian friends and had a lot of fun! :) At the end, some of the students played instruments and some sang. One lady from Russia played the accordian and sang - it was so fun! The picture below is of my friend from Japan playing the Sanshin and singing - it was really neat! Aashini loved all the music :) The pic below is of me and my friend Nisay. She's from Cambodia. She's really cool and has a really cool story. Right now she's at school at Florida State. Adam & I want to visit her in Cambodia when she's back there in a few years.
Last weekend Aashini and I met my friend Christine (Left) at FSU before the football game. It was Homecoming and she was twirling her baton at the game. It was so great to see her and catch up :) We also ran into another good friend from College - Ann Marie (middle) :)

That's all for now, Adam & I head out to New Orleans & Slidell tomorrow :) Whoo hoo!!! The last time we were there was 3 weeks before Hurricane Katrina came through - it's going to be so different - it will be interesting to see the changes. When we were getting directions to our friend's house we're staying at, we told them to just give us the address and we'd Google it - they said: "you can do that, but it won't help you, there aren't many street signs left". Wow!

I can't wait to see everyone!