Wednesday, 28 September 2011

She is a lovely little lizard!

We've got these lovely little lizards here in Bangalore.  Mostly, I have only seen them when it's starting to get dark outside.  They aren't very big.  Maybe 4 inches or so and a yellowish brown color.  I managed to snap a picture of one at dusk.
From what I've heard, they are completely harmless and eat bugs so as far as I'm concerned they are my new little friend (as long as they keep their distance.)  Go about your business, eat your fill of all the bugs you want - But stay the heck away from me!

My sweet, critter-loving daughter has an entirely different perspective on the lizards.  SHE LOVES THEM!  As in, let's embrace these little boys, home as many as we can as our pets & give them all the love and attention they deserve.  

When I was unpacking some of our boxes the other day, what happened to go scampering across the floor but one of these lizards!  Oh yes, he did.  BUT!  He kept to my rules of "Stay the Heck Away from Me" and he was only an itty-bitty-teensy-weensy-little baby.  So I spared his life.  When Rachel got home I told her, "Guess what I found in the house?!"  "What?!"  "A baby lizard!"  "WHAT?!?!  WHERE"!?  "Well, first off all I saw him up in your room when I was unpacking.  Then I saw him down here in the living room."  At which point she started to look around and with a very serious and solemn tone about her she said, "How do you think he got in here?!"  "Well, it was probably b/c you kids keep leaving the door open and all sorts of things could come in and live with us if you don't shut the door behind you when you come in." "Oh, right!  Mom, hurry up and close that door so he doesn't get out!"  

OH DEAR!  I told you we aren't on the same page.  She thinks we should keep the door shut so the lizard doesn't escape back into the WILD where he belongs.    It's been several days since I last spotted our "indoor lizard" UNTIL this morning!  Rachel was ecstatic when SHE found him today!
Yep, look carefully in crack of the stair step in our living room - That's our baby lizard!

Rachel got right down and started talking to him (I think she might be a distant
relative to Dr. Doolittle or something?!)

Of course the questions was, "Mom, can we keep him!?"  At this point, he's little enough that it doesn't freak me out.  I've seen bugs bigger than this lizard but I tell ya what - If he wants to co-habitate with this Lady, he better understand - IF he ever lands on me, runs across my foot or makes any physical contact of ANY TYPE - He is OUT OF HERE!  For now - Welcome to the Family! ;0)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Sari Shopping

Yay!  I am the proud owner of a sari!!  I'm so excited!  I can't wait to show you when it is finished.

  This is the Mysore Sari shop in Bangalore - Where you can find fabrics and saris galore!!!  (Hehe!  I'm a poet and I didn't know it!)

There were literally thousands of fabrics to choose from.  Every person is given individual attention.  Joan and I probably had about 5 people whirling and swirling around us.  They brought out stacks and stacks and stacks of fabrics for us to look through.  After about 15 minutes we were casting things aside like old pros!  Once we chose our favorites, they started to drape them over us like a sari so we could get an idea of what the final product will look like.

 So many choices!!
Premiere Treatment, aye?

I like bright colors so thought I'd try this
hot little number.
Decided it was a little too "Kermit the Frog"
for me (Disclaimer - I do not have
a growth on my hip - It's just the
clothes I was wearing underneath
my sari!  Heehee!!
There I go with more rhyming! 
Someone stop me...
I mean it!  Anyone have a peanut?!)

Joan in a fine silk sari

Pictures do not do this justice.  It was LOADED with
sparkly diamonds and crystals! 
Ooh La La!

Joan and I didn't buy anything this fancy
but we definitely went with
some BLING!
After all, this is not a sari for
everyday use - We are going to a

I was so excited!  When I started looking through the pictures I had taken of our day I realized that the green fabric in the lower right hand corner...
Wait until you see the final product!

The tailor measured me & will be hand delivering my sari on Sunday.  I hope I was clear enough to him to not make it too tight b/c unlike the US anything made with cotton does not have any Lycra mixed into it....We're talking NO STRETCH - Fittin' like a glove kinda blouse!  YIKES!  Makes me sweaty just thinking about it.

We finished up our day of shopping with a "cold coffee".  The concept of an iced coffee is quite foreign to them.  Especially since I did not want them to put ice in my coffee.  (Rookie mistake.  Ice.  It'll make you sick-sick-sick!!!)  SO!?  How do they make cold coffee then!?  Hello!  With ICE CREAM, of course!  (Diet, you say!?  Oh, QUIETTT!!!!)  It was to die for...Heavenly!

Sari shopping was completed with a stop for some sassy shoes and lots of bangles.  No sari should be without bangles.  It's like bread without butter. :)  Party pictures to follow in a couple of weeks!

Much love to all!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Proof of the Scarf Strangler!

So these pictures are not the greatest but here's David's war wounds from the little strangling incident at school! 

I don't know why this picture is loading wierd but if you look closely at the right side of his neck you should be able to see part of the burn mark on his neck.  (This is the day after & I had to go to school to get him b/c he threw up.)  He's looking pretty pale, aye?

Side view of burn mark from scarf
Lastly, the chin damage.

Shop til ya drop!

I spent the good majority of my morning shopping (a gene passed down from my Mother.  I LOVE to shop!)  We have a couple of "fun" things coming up.  On Saturday night we are going to a Charity Event & we're supposed to wear "Party Wear."  Thankfully, I brought along a little black dress in my suitcase that should fit the bill.  (Every girl otta have one!)  Gonna bling it up with some lia sophia jewelry of course BUT I am at a dilemma in the shoe department.  Currently, all I've with me is my aqua-soled Zumba sneakers (see my previous post on Zumba for the 411 on that!) and flip-flops in Skittles assortment of colors.  (I told you I like to shop!) 
I've got zebra print flip-flops
Teva Mush flip-flops,
Nike Celso flip-flops
and my current go-to favorites:  LOVE THEM!  (Thanks for the recommendation Jess C from the Norwell Block!) 

BUT!  I don't have any "party shoes" with me.  Hmmm.  This is definitely a dilemma.  Matt and I are also attending another charity event in a couple of weekends.  It's "India Night" at one of the local hotels.  I am soooo excited to dress in local Indian garb.  (I can't wait to see what Matt wears!?  He's talking about a turban & a lungi)
Hey!  Nice Lungi, Dude!!
 (Think this could be the next big thing at Duxbury Beach!?!?!)

A lot of the ladies will be wearing a traditional Saree.  May I just share with you the inner turmoil....stress...anxiety.... GAS I am experiencing at the thought of my saggy post-FOUR BABY-pregnancy belly....SERIOUSLY!  Nobody wants to be seeing that.  I have to figure out a way to hide the bulge or I am going to have to fore go the Saree altogether.  Can't have any of the charity goers losing their lunch when the see my WHITE sagging and bagging BELLY!  Not pretty.  Nope not ever.  So I am on a mission tomorrow for a tummy flattering Saree!?!  Highly doubt there is such a thing!  I am also prepared to shop high and low for partying - dance all night - comfy - sassy shoes.  I am meeting my friend, Joan, tomorrow at 9:30 to start our quest!

Yesterday, "church day" as the kids call it, was a great day.  After church, we went out to lunch at a place called "The Only Place."  As we drove up I was thinking to myself, "What an odd name for a restaurant."  What I later came to realize is that it was very appropriately named that b/c it is truly "The Only Place" in Bangalore to get an American hamburger (YES!  REAL BEEF!), french fries, chicken fingers....You name it - It's American and I about cried as I sunk my teeth into my 100% beef burger with cheddar cheese.  Not some funkadelic goatified we're talking Wisconsin kinda good cheese.  God Bless America.  We produce some GOOD food!  Anyhow, the children thoroughly enjoyed their chicken fingers with genuine Heinz ketchup not some soupy, weird, red sauce - Oh man!  It was just delightful. 

Then we made a stop at one of the roadside garden centers.  Two to be exact.  At the first one our driver asked how much a palm tree was and they told him 75 rupees.  We stopped at the next one and Matt saw the very same palm tree and asked how much.  They told him 500 rupees!  (Hahah!  They saw us Westerners coming a mile away!)  We've since decided we will be making a list of the plants/trees etc we want in the yard but Cladius will be going to buy them!  We bought a lime tree last weekend!

The kids each picked out a zinnia

So many pretty colors and so many plants to pick from!

Matt's the gardener in our family.  I can't wait to see what he chooses and where he plants them!?  We ended our day with the kids biking and Matt and I walking to Baskin Robbins.  Mikey chose mint chocolate chip, David had alfonso mango & cream, Erica had chocolate chip, Rachel had papaya & pineapple, I had coconut chip (Cristina E. I thought of you the whole time!  AMAZING!)  Daddy had toffee crunch.  On our way back home....Guess who we saw!?!?!?  The Mosquito Man!  Ack!  I tried to get a picture of him but it didn't happen.  Hoping that you'll be able to see from the picture below the smog he leaves behind.  (I'm pretty sure he's probably killing people not just bugs!  HAHA!) 
Run for your life - It's the Mosquito Man!!!!

Because the kids rode their bikes - They beat us home by a mile.  When Matt and I came strolling down our rode - Rachel came to meet us.  She was all fired up and told us a BAT flew into her while she was on her bike!  She thought it was hysterical.  I thought it was revolting.  Hahaha!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

John 3:16

We got to go to church today!  We attended
It was great!  They spoke from John 3:16.  It's a well known verse for many but have you ever really stopped to think about the words and how it would affect your life if you chose to believe those words?!  If you are not familiar with John 3:16 it says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life."  Isn't that amazing?  All you have to do is BELIEVE!!!  I realized while I was attending college that I had been a religious person up to that point but that I had never actually accepted Christ into my life.  I am so thankful for the day that I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  I now believe that He is the only way to get to Heaven.  I can't get there on my own.  Nothing I can say or do will ever change that I'm a rotten sinner that deserves nothing better than eternal life in Hell.  Thank you God for loving ME and for sending your one and only child to die for my sins so that I can have eternal life in Heaven someday.  It was really special to be here in a new country and be with people from all over the world that share a love for Jesus.  We all gathered today to worship our Saviour!  This is one of Matt and my favorite hymns    Such a beautiful song.  Thank you Jesus for paying the price for not just MY sins but for ALL our sins!

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  I will try to write more in the morning.  Super weekend but I'm spent.  Going to bed feeling very grateful for all God has given me.  More than likely, if you are reading this - You have some sort of interest in my children, my husband, or myself and chances are - YOU are part of the reason I feel so grateful.  At the top of my "Thankful List" is the amazing friends and family God has given me.  Love you all so very much.  Miss you all something terrible!  Thank you for your kind words and following my blog and sharing in this adventure with me.  SOOOOO MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL.  xoxoxoxo  Sending tunz of  love from the Bangalore Block ;0)  Night to all.   

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Super Saturday

Happy Weekend Everybody!  Yay!  We started our morning off by skyping with family and friends.  How COOL is Skype!?  We were able to carry the laptop around the yard and house and give them the 'tour' of our new locale.  We gave Salomi and Shashi the weekend off so we were in the kitchen fending for ourselves for breakfast.  We have come to realize we did a pretty terrible job of packing up items in our air shipment.  No dishes, no spices, we have lids to certain containers but the containers we need are still floating around in a container in the ocean somewhere (hoping it will all arrive before Halloween?!).  We also should have packed some sort of table/folding chairs - Luckily, our driver, Cladius, had a dining room table with 6 chairs that his family wasn't using so he brought over all sorts of goodies for us.  The dining room set, a living room set and several rugs (because with the marble floors and concrete walls the house echoes like crazy!)  If it wasn't for Cladius we'd all be sitting on the floor for several more weeks.  One thing we did think to bring with us is air mattresses.  We've been sleeping on them since we moved into the house.  Every night, I get out the battery operated pump and top off all the mattresses.  Of course, the queen size one that Matt and I brought for ourselves popped the first night (get your minds out of the gutter...not because of "that")  I think it's more the...we need to go on a diet thing! ;0)  Yep.  So literally after night one and bottoming out all night long (nothing like sleeping in the shape of a "V" as your bum is saggin' on the floor and your feet are pointing to the heavens!) we got up and with a cough, choke and a wheeze the mattress breathed its final breath with a silent P O O O O F - and with that she gave up the ghost.  Luckily, we had arranged to purchase a set of beds from the previous owner of our villa - So the boys are sleeping on their new beds and Matt and I have taken claim to the boys twin air mattresses.  All in all, these "Single Sleepers" seem to be holding up much better then their "Queen" competition.  What's up wit dat?!  Poor Old Girl, may she rest in peace.  I can tell you one thing, by the time our sea shipment shows up and we are able to sleep in a "real bed" again my aching bod will be awfully thankful to see that moving truck.

Breakfast consisted of pancakes that were LOADED with butter b/c we couldn't keep those stinkin' flap jacks from sticking to the pan (yep, yet another thing we didn't bring along..NON-STICK pans), bacon and eggs.  Obviously, the pancakes tasted AMAZING!!  (Doesn't butter make everything better?)  But I'm pretty sure as Erica would say with her best British accent, "Mummy.  Did your butt grow in the night?!"  that those pancakes will be sticking with me for quite some time :/

We also have come to find out that David loves to make his "rounds" on Saturday mornings.  We live in a big gated community and the kids are always riding their bikes all over the place, playing at the playground or swimming in the pool.  I feel like it's a throwback to the days when you played in the streets, didn't wear bike helmets, and were home by dark.  It's old school and I LIKE it! :)  It seems to be the unwritten rule that all the neighborhood kids go back to their own houses by 6:30 pm.  

The last couple of Saturdays mornings the kids have been waking up at the Butt Crack of Dawn and are either begging to jump on the trampoline or ride their bikes etc and what the neighbors don't realize is that when we let them all lose at 7:00 am - They've already been up since 5:00 am and drivin' us crazy!  HAHA!  Anyhow, so last week, we find out that David has gone down the street to Matt's bosses house (yep, lives on our same road!) and watched a little Spongebob Squarepants with Steve, requested that Steve make coffee for Matt and I, discussed really important life issues like "Do you have gum!? and "Don't you have any toys here?!" and so when Steve came down to the house a couple of hours later with two piping hot cups of coffee & Steve was saying, "Yah, I wasn't sure if you really sent David down to ask for coffee or not so I thought I'd bring some over" Matt and I both shared glances of "Say What?!" and David looked up and smiled with his big one tooth grin and said, "Yah.  I ordered those for you!"  Hahah!  Then when one of Erica's friends from school came to the door at about 10:00 this morning she informed us that David had been knocking on their door at 8:00 to see if she and her brother wanted to play.  How lovely!  Needless to say, we had to sit down "Brady Bunch" style and have a family pow-wow about what time of day you can go rat-a-tat-tatting on someones door and making sure Mom and Dad know where you are blah blah blah. :)  I do like it though!  I like that I have a yard full of neighborhood kids that are here until it starts to get dark or until the mosquito man rides through the neighborhood.  (Ideally, you get home before he comes through though because he could care less if you're standing on the street corner or not)....Think of the Wicked Witch of the West riding on her rickety 'ole bicycle, except this guy is on a motor scooter/motorcycle/mo-ped of sorts and it's the LOUDEST thing you've ever heard!!  It sounds like it's powered by my grandmother's 1950's Hoover vacuum and it makes this crazy-stinky fog that looks like it should be in some sort of Scooby Doo cartoon.  Whether you hear the whizzing of his motor or see the haze from his machine - You KNOW you better get home quick or you'll just be another victim of the "Mosquito Man"!!

We spent our afternoon at the pool, playing tennis and shopping for a mini-vacuum (no luck finding what we want yet) and eating at this amazing little French restaurant called Chez Mariannick. 

Me - Outside The Chez Mariannick

The front of The Chez

They are known for making the most delicious homemade breads, quiches and brick oven cooked pizzas.  Oh dear.  (Should we discuss my diet strategy?  Clearly, I don't have one!)  Haha!  We ate outside at table made out of stone and then afterwards met the owner and she took us to the back where the make the bread and let us pick out what we liked...which meant more BREAD for supper...Can't you just hear my gut growing?!

Little Too Sunny for Erica - She borrowed my sunglasses ;)

Walking back to the car - Bellies Full!

Lifeguard Mikey now On Duty

David Making a Big Splash in the Pool

Then,  Home again Home Again - Jiggety Jig where even Daddy got in on the street fun.  He ended up playing soccer (ooh!  I stand corrected...Futbol!) with some of the neighborhood kids.

Although our children wonder why you and Big Pop-Pop keep getting "Circle Haircuts" ----You're only as old as you feel! 
 I have a feeling you will always be Young at Heart!!

He stepped in as goalie for part of the time and told the boys that if they scored on him he'd pay them 10 rupees per goal.  I think he ended up owing them over 100 rupees!  Hahahah!

All in all - We have had a great Bangalore Day!  Trying out a church tomorrow. Nighty Night!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Salomi's Supper!

This is our first week having our domestic staff with us.  We have a cook, named Salomi, and a maid, named Shashi.  On Monday, Salomi and I spent a good portion of the day shopping together.  She helped me select local produce and identify strange objects with psychedelic labels that I couldn't read.  She bought a lot of staple Indian ingredients because she makes an Indian lunch everyday for herself, Shashi and Cladius (and me too if I am so inclined).   When we got to the meat section I picked out a small whole chicken for supper and she said to me, "Oh.  Shashi and I don't like chicken.  Only Mutton."  To which I replied, "Well, that's fine.  You can get that for yourself but our family likes chicken.  Can you fix us chicken?"  "Yes, Mad'am!  Sure!"  So I bought my bird and she bought some goat and lamb for she and Shashi. 

When we got home much to my dismay we realized that our oven wasn't working (it's still not!) but the stove top works.  So she decided she would make meatballs instead of the chicken and we had made a spaghetti dinner the night prior so there was plenty of leftover pasta in the fridge to make another meal out of it.  Might as well eat it up, right?!

In fact, the spaghetti dinner was the first meal that we made in the house since moving out of the hotel.  OH MAN!  It was soooo good.  Freshly baked rolls from just down the street, salad, Matt made the sauce and of course, lots of pasta!  I don't know if that officially falls into the "comfort food" category but ooh-da-la-lee!!!  It was scrumpdiliumcious! ;0) 

Back to Salomi's Supper... she proceeded to made meatballs on the stove top.  Not sure what spices she put in them but WOW did they ever make my nose happy!  I was walking around like a hounddog hot on the trail as I sniffed, sniffed, sniffed the air.  YUM!

This week as Salomi makes the supper time meal - She prepares everything and then puts it aside until our family is ready to eat it.  By the time we are sitting down to eat together, Salomi and Shashi are long gone for the day.

When Matt got home from work, he too like a dog, came licking his chops and wagging his tail in excitement over the meal that had been laid out before him.  The kids tried the typical, "I don't like meatballs" routine (actually, some of them love them and others aren't such big fans) to which I flatly replied, "Well, these aren't my meatballs.  Salomi made them.  I think you should try them."  The meatball lovers were already 4-5 meatballs deep while the skeptics decided that they might as well give them at least a small sample.  Matt was oohing and aahing and "Oh my word-ing"   - "Jen, Seriously!  They are so good!"  I couldn't have agreed more - They were delicious and I asked Matt, "I wonder what she put in them to make them taste so good?!"  Matt knows his way around the kitchen & I thought maybe he would be able to detect what the special ingredient was.  To no avail.  He couldn't put his finger on it but ate several more meatballs while I got up and cleared the table and told the kids it was time to start to get ready for bed.  After multiple helpings & very full bellies the children started to climb the stairs at which point, I walked over to Matt, leaned down and whispered in his ear...."It's goat!!!"  You should have seen the look on his face.  "Jen.  Jen.  Seriously!  That's so not cool!"  I simply said, "Well.  Were they good or were they not!?"  No denying it.  They were.

AND!  For those of you that are horrified that I didn't tell them all....WELL!?!?!?  Would your kids (or husband for that matter) knowingly eat goat?!  I dare say, NOT!!!  Neither would have mine.  In fact, Rachel probably would have been in tears at the thought of it all.  I must also say, that it was a little weird for me too.  You're looking at the girl that grew up in the heartland living on my dairy products and pretty much was a "Hamburger" kind of gal until I met Matt.  He has introduced me to so many new foods and so many things that I would have been afraid to try.  Now, I have learned, it doesn't matter if you can't identify what you are eating or if you think, "Oh.  But I don't like that."  You never know.  Try it.  Maybe you don't like it cooked one way or in one dish but you love it in something else.  So, now I try stuff!  Just one bite.  If I don't like it - That's okay.  I tried it.  Same goes for our kids.  Thank GOD we had this philosophy before moving here or our kids would be starving to death by now.  Everyday at school most of things they are being served are Indian dishes or it's not easily recognizable.  They try it.  If they like it - They get more.  If they hate it - No harm done.  Although it may seem cruel to not have told my family what they were eating, the truth is I didn't realize it until the meatballs were all cooked.  I found myself in the kitchen scratching my head thinking, "Wait a second.  We were going to have chicken.  Then at the last minute we changed that to meaballs."  That's when I figured it out - Salomi was making the meatballs out of "her" meat.  I figured "Well, I'm not gonna say anything and we'll just see how this all plays out."  It was a smashing success!  The kids still don't know.  Shhhhhh!!  I don't think we'll tell them.  At least not anytime soon.  I don't think they could mentally handle it.  Although it's not something I'm used to - I gotta say...."Goat!!!  It's what's for Dinner!"  Hahahahah!

So!?  What are you having for dinner?!  xoxoxo 

Well, We're Movin' On Up!

Okay.  So I don't know if we've actually moved up or not but we're out of the hotel and in the house and I'm happy! :)  One of the things I enjoy the most is being able to open up the windows!!  The weather is absolutely amazing!  Today it is about 78 degrees and there is always a gorgeous breeze blowing.  Every morning I open up the windows and sing a happy song to the little birdies out my window (Walt Disney would be so proud!)  Actually, there is one bird imparticular lately that I am NOT a fan of (but he's an exception to the rule!)  I literally walked around the house one morning convinced that one of our overhead fans was squeaking!  Nope!  It's a bird that sounds like a squeaky wheel!  He better be careful though - I'm in with the neighborhood tomcats and there's a warrant for his arrest.  Dead or Alive!  I'm done with Mr. Morning Squawky Pants!

Speaking of birds outside my window - The other night I had a little critter that scared the bejusus outta me!  It wasn't a bird it was a frog!!!  Of course, after you open all of these windows, I have to go around and shut them.  WELL!  I was shutting the boys window (which is quite an ordeal) you have to pull off the magnetic screen so you can put your hand in between the screen and the window so you can manually close the window.  When I pulled the screen back and stuck my hand out the window what I thought was a LEAF in turn was a LEAPING FROG and when it LEPT in the window I about LEFT something in my PANTS!!!!  I don't think I'm much of a screamer but that sucker scared me half to death!  I called for Daddy to come save me and when he arrived he wasn't so sure about our little reptilian friend either....It wasn't like any froggy we'd seen before so he carefully got some toilet paper to pick it up with (not taking any chances on that bad boy being poisonous!) and he kindly threw him back OUT the window.  Needless to say, I am a lot more careful when I'm closing windows at night!

David appears to have survived his strangling yesterday with no post tramatic stress.  In his words, they were not fighting!  They were playing!  David was a "karachee" guy (karate) and the other boy was the "ninja"  hence where the scarf type item came into play and ended up around David's neck!  He came away with valuable new insight, "Stuff around your neck is not a good idea!"  NO KIDDING!!!!!  The stuff you just assume your kids know, aye!?  Wow!  So, although he survived the scarf strangler yesterday, I was called again today by his teacher b/c he puked!  JOY!  So, Cladius and I hopped into the car and jetted off to school to get him.  He hasn't had anymore episodes at home but he's been sleeping for a LONG TIME!  Pray it's nothing serious!

Oh Dear!  It's bus time...gotta go grab my Bubblicious and my scooter!  I'm outta here! :) xo

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

That's Just The Way It Is Baby!

The more days that pass the more we are realizing that this is just how things are done in Bangalore.   “What do you mean?” you might ask?  Well, for starters, we have  moved into our villa that will be our home for the next three years but it might take the next three years to get settled and by then we’ll be packing up to move back to the US.  Hahaha!    Every day is spent waiting on various people to come to the house to “do or fix” something.  When I venture out into the city, I find the same.  Everything takes light years!  You have to make about 4 different stops to complete your grocery list because you shop at various locations for different types of items.  I had an Internet connection yesterday (that’s a VERY long story and I will save for another time) and today I do not so I decided to write this blog entry into a word document and then once we are on-line again I will post it for you guys!?  So much is happening and every day is filled with all sorts of craziness. 
Currently, I am looking at a list that doesn’t ever seem to get shorter (that’s not true but it feels like it). Back at home I made lists so I could cross stuff off and feel like I had accomplished something during the day.  Maybe I should stop making lists in India!?  Hahaha!  Anyhow, here is one of my current lists of odds and ends I am having a hard time finding:
1.        Bike locks – all of the children either bike or ride their scooter to the bus stop & currently we do not lock them but apparently things ‘walk away’ from time to time so locking them is the way to go.  My Zumba followers will be sad to read I haven’t been able to make it back to a class since my initial adventure but let me tell ya – I’m still getting exercise.  I feel like I’m five again as I ride a scooter to and from the bus stop.  In fact, I make sure I’m chewing bubble gum and snapping it as I go – Really makes me feel young again!  Tomorrow I think I will add whistling to my routine!?  Hahahah!  Too bad scooter riding doesn’t make me LOOK young too!  (I gotta get someone to video tape what this nearly 6’0 ft momma looks like riding a Razor Scooter?!....the odds are not stacked in my favor!)
2.        Baking Soda.  I found Baking Powder but no soda.
3.        Dill (We will be making our own pickles as you can’t get dill pickles here)
4.        Vanilla Extract (from here on out, I will be making this too.  I have a friend here that says it is very simple!?  We shall see!)
While I am writing this one of the gardeners showed up.  We were told he was going to be putting rocks all around the outside of the house.  He came with two bags. :/  In the US they’d just show up with a big truck and dump the load in your driveway.
During my last paragraph, David’s teacher called to inform me that a first grade student got mad at David and tried to strangle him!  LITERALLY!  Mind you she is calling me and speaking relatively good but broken English and says that there was a fight and the other boy wrapped something around David’s neck and he has a rather large burn mark on his neck.  HELLO!!!!  I said, “Wait!  What!?!?!  Who wrapped what around whose neck!?”  She proceeded to tell me, “In the Indian culture we wear a ‘insert word I did not understand’ around our neck.  He put this around David’s neck.  This child has been sent to the counselor as his actions are inappropriate.   I just wanted to make you aware.”  Good grief.  Here I thought school was going so well!?!?!  HAHA!   Boys will be boys I suppose whether they are American boys or Indian boys.  Just glad David is a scrapper.  That grade 1 boy probably didn’t realize he was brawling with a FOUR year old GIANT and I’m glad to hear David came out on top and is still BREATHING!  (Can’t wait to hear his version of the story when he gets off the school bus tonight.)
Sorry!  That was a long diversion.  Back to my list!
5.        Bleach – evidently this is not well known and certainly not really ‘sold’ yet in India.  My driver, Cladius, brought several packets of bleach in powder form!?  Didn’t know there was such a thing?  I put the packets in the garage and figured that is “Matt’s department” and he can figure it out.
6.       Shower curtain rods.  It’s the weirdest thing.  You can purchase everything from bath mats to toilet brushes but you can’t find curtain rods to save your life.  Rings either for that matter unless they come along with a shower curtain you are purchasing.
7.       Broom Handles.   We purchased mops and brooms but they didn’t have a handle.  Most things have a short handle.  We’ve yet to see anyone shoveling with an American looking shovel.  The handles are about 12 inches long and so what is normally already back breaking work is even worse!  Craziness!  Typically, an Indian broom looks something like this
I am also waiting on the electrician to come back to the house.  He came yesterday with nothing.  He returned with light bulbs in a plastic bag and now I think he’s trying to find a ladder?!  We were told the previous tenant was going to leave behind his ladder – He did not.  Pain in the butt.  I suppose I should add “ladder” to my list of things I need to find.
So many more things to write about that’s it for now.  I have been enjoying an Indian lunch everyday and Salomi (my cook) just brought me in some form of dahl and rice with a long green vegetable they call “lady fingers”.  Once she told me that – It was almost creepy how much they do look like fingers and now they are all chopped up and sitting on my plate.  We’ll definitely have to serve them on Halloween (not sure what kind of candy we’ll be able to find here.)   Somehow though, I  don’t think “lady fingers” will fly with our Fab Four!  Even though things can take a little while to accomplish here I think I’ve still got time to scope out ‘goodies’ for Halloween. 

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Outta Here!

I'm worried if I even dare utter the words out loud..."We're Outta Here!"  SUPPOSEDLY, our air shipment is being delivered to our house tomorrow!  What does this mean?  It means packing up our 23 bags that our currently staged in our hotel room and preparing for another adventure!!  Hopefully, we will be able to get on-line at the house but just in case we run into any road bumps - Thought I'd warn you all in case we disappear for a couple days!

Quick Kid Update:

Rachel is doing well at school.  Her teacher's names are Ms. Rachel (how cool is that!?) and Ms. Grace!  Really great people!  We love them already!  What Rachel likes most about her school day is horseback riding.  She gets to ride 3 times a week for 45 minutes per session.  She was so proud of her riding abilities and told me she already got moved up to the next level because she is "really good at trotting".  :0)  Those of you that know Rachel well know that horses are near and dear to her heart.  She may even be a kindred spirit to them?!  One of those horse whisperer types, you know?!

Erica has moved past "It was the worst day EVER!" to now claiming she has 3 BFF's (all of whom are Indian and I wouldn't begin to know how to spell their names!)  She enjoys taking swimming at school and she switched from a Western Dance elective to Indian Dance so that she can spend more time with her BFF's ;0) 

Michael is also making friends quickly.  His bestfriend is a boy from Finland named "R2"  Obviously, I have no idea how to spell that poor child's name either but that's how it's pronounced so I'm goin' with it!  :0)  R2 and Michael look like brothers!  Blonde haired, blue-eyed beauties! ;0)  They sit on the bus together everyday, are in the same class at school and they live just down the street from us.  Buddies from the beginning.  I'm already sad at the thought that R2 and his family are leaving in June.  They've been here for 3 years and their time is coming to an end.  They are heading back to Finland.  Would you believe when R2 moved here at age 3.5 he didn't know ANY English!  Amazing how kids adapt and learn, aye?!

Last but not least, my Davey-doodle.  My baby.  (Shoot.  I better be careful or I'll have another weapy Mommy Moment)  I'm so proud of him.  Leaving to catch the bus with the big kids at 7:15 and arriving back at home at 4:45 pm....He climbs up those big 'ole bus steps and doesn't skip a beat.  He looks back EVERYDAY to me as he's walking to the back of the bus and with his chubby little hand held in the air he makes the sign language sign "I LOVE YOU" and then he says, "Mom!  MOM!"  Until I acknowledge I am listening (which of course I am!  The day he stops doing it my heart will be heavy!) and then he says, "I wub you to pieces, Mom!"  Seriously!?  If that doesn't just make my heart grow a little bigger EVERY TIME he does it.   (SHOOT!  Here comes the tears and soooo much more embarrassing to be crying in the hotel lobby then when I'm in my room so I better wrap it up)  Such a sweetie, that boy!

Why am I in the lo by you ask - Well!  Getting a cell phone here is a sheer act of God.  You'd think I'm some sort of mobster with a criminal record that makes Whitey Bulger look like Santa Claus?!  I got a new cell phone LAST WEEK and have been waiting and waiting AND W A I T I N G to get them to connect me to a local provider.  Let's just say when I come home I might have learned the value of patience during my stint in India!!!

Love to you all.  No worries if I'm off line a couple of days....It's moving day.....Indian Style!!  Buckling my seat belt....It's bound to be a bumpy ride!  (It's all part of the adventure....It's all part of the adventure...It's all part of the adventure!)  If it gets really bad - I'm going to start clicking my Ruby Slippers together ;0)  xo  Jenny from the B'Block

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Holy Cow!! ( Hahah!  I just made a funny...I'm in India and I just said..."Holy Cow!"  Hahaha!  I know, sometimes I crack myself up.  I take after my Dad!)  Anyhooo!  As I was saying, "HOLY COW!!!"  I'm so sore!  Which of course is a good thing and means that my Zumba workout did what it was supposed to!  Unlike any Zumba class I've taken at home, the instructor ended the class with some pilates and yoga.  Hello!  Can you say, "Overachiever!!?"  I didn't want to offend her on the first day of class by leaving at the end of Zumba but in my heart of hearts I was DYING and did NOT want to stay a minute longer!  This is why 'group exercise' is what works for me.  I have no inner "dig deep" qualities - When the going gets tough...I bail!  :0)  When there is a room full of people I cannot be the only "wimp" that stops doing the exercise...I push through! 

Anhow, I thought I was going to die of a heart attack.  Looking back, I'm very glad I stayed for the duration as I found the yoga to be a great stretch; although, I don't think she thought I was stretching at all (I'm so unflexible!)  When told, "Touch Your Toes!"  I'm lucky to touch my knees and that's only b/c I have such long arms!  HAHAH!  I have also concluded that Pilates is a silent but deadly killer?!  Those of you that do it, I'm sure you get my drift.  You lay there on your little mat on your back pumping your extending arms up and down and to the casual passer by - You look like a lazy turd - Meanwhile if you are the on the mat - Your abs are on fire and you are contemplating killing your instructor in her sleep!!  (Okay.  Maybe I'm the only one that my thoughts turn to random acts of violence...I think this is why they tag the yoga onto the end of the class...."Everyone breath deep.....Do not come searching for my place of residence to do me bodily harm.....and exhale...LOVELY!!!")

More Zumba on Friday!  I felt like I needed to shed a few pounds before arriving in India but certainly rice and Naan with every meal is not going to help my "situation" - So this is a good thing if I can get back into my Zumba groove! :) 

Monday, 12 September 2011

Zumba Quest!!!

For those of you that don't know it - I have a bit of an exercising obsession with something called Zumba!!!  Albeit, my class attendance leading up to our move left something to be desired. :/  When Matt and I started to contemplate making this move, no kidding, one of the first things I did was log onto the zumba website to see if anyone is doing Zumba in Bangalore b/c I didn't know if I'd be able to survived THREE years with no Zumba!

Well, yesterday, I went on a Zumba Quest and I wasn't coming home (meaning the hotel) until I figured out where I could go / when to do Zumba.  Needless to say, it was an adventure (but it seems everything here is - So that wasn't really a surprise).  I contacted an instructor through the Zumba website and she told me where she teaches classes...I was so excited when I actually recognized one of the locations is one of the malls that I know how to get to (again, not surprising that I know how to get to the Mall!)  Hahah!  Anyhow....I literally walked ALL THREE floors of the mall asking anyone that made eye contact with me "Where is Zealer's Dance Studio?!"  Some people simply could not speak English while others had no idea where Zealer's was.  People kept sending me to different floors of the mall.  A couple of people told me 'out in parking'  -  I was like, "WHAT?!  In the parking garage?"  So then my quest from the Mall ventured out into the parking area....Long story shorter version - Sure, enough - On the second floor of the PARKING GARAGE they have set up an indoor dance studio!  Just goes to prove you can Zumba anywhere, right?!

Needless to say, I'm geeked out with excitement!  Have had my Zumba attire on since 6:00 am waiting to go to class at 10:30.  I ran into a little road bump though at about 3:00 pm yesterday after I had been dwelling on how much fun I am going to be having at Zumba on Tuesday - I realized...I have no SNEAKERS!  They are still in our air shipment which we have not been able to get out of customs yet!  WHAT!?!?!?!  I am too far committed in my brain that I'm GOING to Zumba...sneakers or NO sneakers!  So, what did I do - I went to the mall of course and bought some new sneakers.  Did not get the greatest deal on them but I like them.  Nikes.  Grey.  Navy Blue & a cool turquoise sole.  It was all a bit strange for me though.  I'm used to going into somewhere like Kohl's and ripping through the shelves trying on every shoe in every color in my size etc.  Well, here, I was like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  Sales people were swirling around me everywhere - Holding up their different wears and "You like this one, Madam?!...."This pair is very smart!"   (Really!?!?!  A smart pair of shoes?  Now that's something!  Hahaha!  They have a lot of funny phrases like that!)  Anyhow.  I only tried on a couple of pairs b/c having some guy at my toes helping me with putting on my shoes made me feel like a five year old and also made me very self conscience of "Hmmm....When did I last shave my legs!  BLAHHH!"

So I walked out with my new Zumba appropriate sneakers thinking. "Boy!  I do look pretty smart in these bad boys!"  Fast forward to the bus stop this morning, as I mentioned I've been all geared up since the break of dawn so I went to the bus stop all Zumbafied....and as I'm waiting with the children my eyes hone in on this, I would say, British boy.  Tall.  Blonde.  Good looking bloke, ya know?  Probably 15 or 16 years old.  I notice his pretty blue eyes and that he's wearing his p.e. uniform (all of the schools in India wear a uniform.  You have a 'formal' uniform that usually consists of a tie, dress shoes, dress shirt and pants or a skirt.)  A p.e. uniform is something they wear on days they will be doing some sort of sport or active type activity.  So he has on his t-shirts and running shorts AND....drum roll please....MY SNEAKERS!!!!!!!  Yes!  The EXACT ONES!  Turquoise sole and all.  What the heck!?!?!?  Now that I think about it when the sales men showed me the size I remember thinking... "Hm.  That's not my size.  Must just be a mismarked item and that's why they are selling them in India."  OH NO!  It wasn't mismarked - That guy sold me MENS SNEAKERS!  I'm tellin ya though - I think the British Boy should be the one feeling foolish.  I may be wearing men's sneakers BUT they are GIRLIE mens sneakers ;)  I know one thing, my husband wouldn't be caught dead wearing them!  Then again, maybe they fed the boy the line about "How smart the shoes were" and he was sold on them too!?  Good sales people, these Indians! :)  Hahahah!!

I will let you all know how my Zumba morning turns out!  Guaranteed I'll be the only white girl there ;0)

Enjoy some of my favorite Zumba You Tube Videos below.  If this whole "going to a class thing" doesn't work out - I'll just be doing these types of vids in my living room!   (Think I can get the hired help to 'shake it' with me!?!?!  HA!)  It won't take them long to figure out I'm another "Wacky Westerner!"

Christal's one of my favorite Zumba instructor's on Youtube!

Bradley also has fun stuff 

I am not as familiar with this gal BUT I love that she refers to herself as Curly Shirley and she's got GREAT energy...and she's a smiler.  Shoot!  If you're not having fun - You've missed the boat man!  ZUMBA IS FUNNNNNNN!!!!!!  I'd take her class in a heartbeat sooooo I dare ya - Get up and try it!   I LOVE THIS SONG!!  You'll be shocked how quickly you're huffin and puffin AND having fun, right!?!?!?

One of my friends from Massachusetts, Melissa, does a version of this song that is sooooo fun!  Who doesn't LOVE the Hokey Pokey!?!?  TRY IT!!! I'm tellin ya - You know you wanna!!!!  This instructor's name is Tara & she's from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Lastly, a little Indian Fun to end us off   (Please tell me you've all watched "Slumdog Millionaire?!")
Heather Rounds is the Zumba instructor in this video.  She's amazing and representing from Hickory, North Carolina.  I LOVE watching/doing her stuff!
Countdown is on....less than hour and I'll be doing Zumba Indian style!?!?!?!

9/11 in a different country

A lot of people have been asking what experiencing 9/11/11 in India was like so I figured I'd just make a blog entry out of it.  Obviously, there were no American flags flying but there was non-stop 'media rememberances' playing on television all day.  Overall, I do not feel any danger by living in India as an American.  As a whole, I have found the Indian people to be very kind, patient and gracious people.  They are quick to share a friendly smile and have made us feel very welcome.  It has also been our experience that the Indian people love children.  Quick to pinch a cheek, give a high-five, a hug, a head tap.  They love rubbing the boys heads b/c of their short crewcut type hair styles! 

(A quick side story, David was all upset when we left our favorite restaurant, the Leela Palace, on Sunday afternoon.  One of the waiters that David has been bonding with over the last couple of weeks, came over to David and got down on one knee and held his arms out to him and David just cried into his shoulder.  It was the sweetest thing.  Once David composed himself.  He stood up and gave him a high-five and off we went with a "We'll see you soon!")  Can already see that leaving here will again spring up a world of emotions...the kids especially have already opened their hearts to a lot of people we've come into contact with in just a short time.

The kids have also gotten several requests to have their pictures taken on peoples cell phones (or as they call them here mobile phones)  and you don't text here you send an "SMS" message.  The children's teachers all readily send and accept sms messages about anything you need or want throughout the day pertaining to the children.  I had sent a frantic sms message to David's teacher last week in a tailspin panic b/c I thought I forgot to pack his "swimming costume" and was informing her that I thought Michael might have his in his backpack and David could just borrow it etc.  She responded a short time later with, "No worries.  We do not have swim class until TUESDAY!"  Yep!  Was glad David wouldn't be the only one in his class not swimming but wasn't thrilled that the teacher already knows I can be a bit of an airhead!  (She would have found out sooner or later anyhow, right?!)  

Well, what started out as a blog about 9/11 has gotten a bit sidetracked but in short, I could walk around this city consumed by all sorts of things that could harm me and my family but I could do that in the US too.  I choose to put my trust in God.  Deut. 31:6 says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."  I trust God put us here for a reason & when we have moments of fear or uncertainty (here or in the US) I pray to the Lord and trust that He is looking out for us and with us every moment of everyday.  It may seem goofy but this song
that the kids learned at VBS (Vacation Bible School) at our church a couple of years ago gets our toes tappin' and helps turn our fears upward and simply reminds us, "God is Always, Always, ALWAYS....I know He's Always Here!"

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Indian Fast Food?!

Matt managed to snap this picture with his cell phone this morning!  Those poor little chickens were ALIVE too - Not for long, I suspect?! 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Probably just the time of day...

It's probably just the time of day.  I'm feeling a bit hungry and tired and I'm longing for the kids to be home from school.  Put those things together and it makes for a prone-to-be-emotional-Jen :/  So, I guess I'll share my little moment I'm having with all of you.  It may not tug at your heartstring anyway (like I said - I'm probably just overly tired at the moment).  Aside from saying good-bye to our family, friends and friends that are like our family - Hands down, the hardest thing we had to do was leave our dog, Charlie behind.  He's the sweetest thing you'll ever meet.  Loyal to the core.  He follows us everywhere.  Never have to put him on a leash b/c all he wants to do is be with us.  After much prayer and deliberation we thought it would be best to leave Charlie in the US.  So many things crossed our minds, what if we brought him to India and he were to get bitten by a snake or a poisonous frog?  What if he got loose and ended up as "Charlie Chow" on someones table?  (Kidding!  Well...sorta!)  What if he were attacked by a wild dog?  You get the idea.  Some of our "Friends that are like Family" are stepping in as his family and watching him while we are away.  We are so thankful that we don't have to worry about his health and his safety but let me tell ya - We miss that silly 'ole pooch!  We've gotten stories from home of him trying so sneak up on the furniture for a snooze or stealing freshly made cookies (NAUGHTY CHARLIE!!!)  Anyhow....Back to my moment.  So, my second child, Erica is a sensitive-sweety by nature.  Makes friends easily and has a very tenderheart.  As far as the kids go - Leaving was probably the hardest for Erica.  :/  Anyhow....focus (can you tell I have a hard time with that!?)  So as I was poking around here in the hotel looking for a scrap piece of paper and a pencil I happened upon a stray piece of paper that Erica had scratched out the simple words, "I love you Charlie."  Why does that make me so sad?!?!?!?  I don't know.  I guess it's finding her feelings written out on paper or perhaps knowing the silliness of it all -  that her dog that she left behind will obviously never read it.    You know what?  Or maybe it's just the simple fact that I too "Love you, Charlie!"  Hmphh....I need to gather myself.  B/c it really shouldn't be this big of a deal, right?!  Maybe I better go take a quick snooze or eat something to keep my emotions in check?!  hahah!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

First Day of School

We left our hotel at 7:30 this morning and we literally walked in the door from school at 5:15 pm!  WOW!  That's what I call one long day!  Michael is falling apart at the seams (so tired) but I think he had an overall good day.  Rachel had a really good day and is tickled she doesn't have any homework until next week.  David loved it.  Erica although she declared it was her "Worst day ever"....I think what it really comes down to is that she was just totally overwhelmed by it all.  I think the whole 'new kid' thing really got to her.  Although it's nice to be the novelty to a certain degree it sounds like the kids were really overbearing and 'annoying'.  I told her to just tell them "I need a little space" and her response was "I don't want to hurt their feelings!"  All in all, I think everybody did fine but they are totally wiped out.  LONG DAYS ahead but I think they will adjust over time and it will just become the norm.  I also keep reminding myself that although the days seem really long compared to US school days.  There is also a huge difference that everything we sign our kids up for after school (karate, swimteam, horseback riding, basketball etc) they incorporate these activities into the school day.  The children are allowed to choose 2 electives to participate in addition to the music and language classes they take. 

Okay, one quick story and then I've got to get the kids to bed.  I was able to sit in on David's class for awhile this afternoon.  They sang a few cute songs.  A couple I knew like "The more we get together" and some I had never heard of before (all of course sung in a lovely Indian accent!)  David's favorite is the "Sticky Sticky Sticky Gum song."  Being the gum fanatic that he is - I think he connects with the song and getting it stuck on places and things that you shouldn't! The children finished off their time together by going around the circle with a pretend microphone and telling everyone their name and where they were born.  (One little girl was born in Minnesota...I love her already!  hahah!)  David was towards the end of the group and he kept getting up and coming over to me and whispering in my ear, "Mom.  Where I was born again?!"  "Massachusetts," I would say.  He must have repeated this scenario at least three times.  When it finally came to his turn to talk he said, "Hi.  My name is David and I was born in Bangalore!!!!"  The teacher's eyeballs about popped out of her head as she shreiked in delight, "BANGALORE?!"  I just shook my head and burst her bubble with, "No.  Massachusetts."  

Monday, 5 September 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods to Indus School we go!

Today was the kids first trip to the school they will be attending.  Matt and I had been one time previously when we were over to visit and make the school selection.  It seems everything here takes a "Long Time" in fact Erica has asked, "How come everything in India has to be so difficult!?"  (Mind you, her comment was prompted after I told her "No, we are not eating at McDonald's and No, you cannot have a snowcone b/c it was probably made with dooky water!!"

Our driver, Cladius, drove the kids and I to today as I wasn't sure what was going to go down and how long everything would take.  The drive to school took us about an hour :/  (I thought Boston was the only place with bad traffic!?)  Oh, no, India is worse b/c you have everything from cars, auto-rickshaws, walkers, motorcycles (called two-wheelers), bikers, buses, livestock.  Did I mention the honking!?  Good Lord!  Everyone here is "Beep Happy" they are constantly honking their horns!  Unlike Boston though it is not because people are irritated with you - It's more of a beep-beep, I'm on your righthand side - Don't run me over!!!

Anyhow, we were gone for about 3 hours and all we accomplished was getting the kids their p.e. uniforms.  They were measured for their formal school uniforms but those are custom made and won't be ready for 7-10 days.  Children 1st grade and up all wear a uniform so David will wear his normal American clothes to school.  He is NOT happy about this.  He had a major meltdown when he realized this and cried and cried and cried and cried...(you get the idea!) b/c he didn't get a "Costume" like the rest of his siblings! 

The children are currently all watching Disney XD in Hindi!?!?  I don't get it.  I guess you can just watch the picture and generally understand what is going on in the cartoon!?  It's the craziest thing to see them all sitting there watching Hindi cartoons!  Haha!  Meanwhile over the loud speakers the afternoon call to prayer is sounding!  Glad I can pray anytime of the day and call out to God whenever I need Him and don't have to wait for some random horn to sound to indicate it's time to pray.

By the way, thanks to those of you that prayed for the kids today.  They did great.  We go back tomorrow for an actual day of school.  Keep sending up those prayers on our behalf! :)  We appreciate it more than you know!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Cultural Training Needed?!

For those of you that follow me on Facebook this will be an old story (well as in "Yesterday's News!) but feel like it's too good not to share for those of you who are NOT on Fb.

SO!  Yesterday we were at the mall in Bangalore eating ice cream and looking out the window. Some women in burkas come walking towards the mall, and the kids started shouting, "Ninjas, ninjas!! Look at the Ninjas!!"

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Jenny From the Block!?

I am new to the blogger circuit & have recently decided this might be the best way for me to journal and track some of the new, exciting and generally out of the ordinary things our family is going to experience over the next three years.  First of all, a little background?!  I am a Minnesota Girl.  Love my dairy products and cold weather!  My husband, Matt, a New Englander and a true traditionalist.  Together we are rearing our four children ~ Rachel/9, Erica/8, Michael/6 and David/4.  Matt and I have been married for 13 years and have spent most of our married life in Massachusetts.  We just packed up our Crazy Crew on Monday, August 29, 2011 and headed off to Bangalore.  I hope you will enjoy sharing in our Indian adventure with us!  More posts and pics to come soon! xo  Jenny from the B'Block! ;0)