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!

Monday, November 17, 2008

South Asia in America!!

Tonight we went to an awesome South Asian First Birthday Party :) My friend Priya has a daughter (Ananya) who just had her first birthday, so they threw a big bash! There were about 40-50 South Asians there - and since I'm missing SA, I loved it! Here's the Birthday girl (below) with my friend Priya and her husband.
Ananya liked her first taste of cake!
This is my other friend Jyoti :)
This is Jyoti's daughter, Parisha. Aashini had the best time playing with her! At one point they started holding hands :) it was so cute :)
They had soooo much food! This is only one table of food. They put the little flags (food labels) in the food just for us :) Priya made all of the food herself!! It was a lot of work! They also had appetizers and deserts!
Aashini really had a lot of fun and made a lot of new friends!
Here are Aashini and I with the birthday girl and Priya :) And yes, everyone was wearing a sari... Priya called everyone and told them to wear a sari... except me - she didn't want to embarass me if I didn't have one - haha! So instead, I was one of the only ones wearing jeans :)
Here is Adam with his new friends :)
Today it was really cold, so we came to the party all bundled up... but they cranked up the heat inside - so we really felt like we were back in South Asia! haha! We had a lot of fun and made a lot of new friends - it was awesome! It was cool to be in South Asia while here in America ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Funny Things 2 - American Fair Edition

We just got back from Roadtrip #8 in Macon, GA. It was an awesome trip!! So, before we head out on the next trip, we went to the North Florida Fair! The fair is always famous for it's fried foods... they fried everything!!... They had fried/breaded zucchini, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions, green tomatoes, okra, pickles, etc :) I had a lot of it too - YUM!Now, I'd heard of fried Snickers & twinkies (which they had) but they also had FRIED OREOS & PEANUTBUTTER CUPS :)
The fair was cool. They had a shark show and a sea lion show... but our favorite was the pig races :) haha!!! It was hilarious!! Aashini was close up to the race until the pigs came - then she crawled up into Adam's lap really fast :) (as seen below) :) Pig races! haha! Cracks me up!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Funny Things - American Edition

OK, so being overseas since 2005, some things have seemed really funny to us here in America, so this post is dedicated to the things that we thought were funny when we first got here to America :)
First Funny thing (below) - we got the opportunity to go to a Florida State Football game :) While walking to the game we saw one of the FSU police officers on this funny contraption. We were with our friends Jacob & Sara that just came back from Thailand, so we all thought it was funny. It seems a little hard to look like a tough police officer on that thing :)
Now, to most of you, this may not seem funny at all, but our 2nd week in America, we saw this and Adam & I just started cracking up... Lets look a little closer...
Again, you may not think this is funny, but this guy is sitting in the middle of the mall with this funny blue light on his teeth to whiten them... OK, not so funny, but we cracked up!
At one of the airports we've been at, there was this guy sleeping in the airport. Everyone was taking his picture :) It was pretty funny :)
This one is my personal favorite... Now, for all you South Carolina folks, this will seem really normal, but for this Florida girl it's quite different... Let's take a closer look...
Yes folks, those are FRIED GREEN BEANS!! I'd never had thoe before in my life - they were yummy!! We also had deep-fried bacon for the first time... Only in the South :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Fall Fun!

One thing I love about America is the Fall! :) It's so fun! We went out to a pumpkin patch this week. Aashini loved the pumpkins!
We did come to the pumpkin patches a little late, and they were almost out of pumpkins!
So we went to a couple of different patches :)
We carved pumpkins last night. I went for the traditional pumpkin face, while Adam went for the fancy pumpkin. In case you can't tell, it's Wall-E (from the movie... we just saw it the other day)...
Along with pumpkins are the Pumpkin seeds! Yum! I just had to roast some!
Here is Aashini in her costume :)
I think she's a cute little frog :)