Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Packin' Up

We're officially living out of suitcases, as you can see! We spent our first night in the new (to us) flat, but we're continuing to sort and pack at our old place during the day. It's a little crazy trying to juggle our work schedules, our kids, and all of the requirements of moving away from India (then going to the US, then going to Cambodia). But we're learning a lot in the process!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The End is Near...

The countdown has begun - we will be leaving India in three weeks. After 3 years of living and serving in this amazing country, our departure feels very bittersweet. We will miss our friends (even more than we realize now), we will miss the beautiful Ooty climate, we will miss the amazing students of Hebron... However, we are so looking forward to what God has next for us in Cambodia. It feels good to be simplifying once again (as you can see by my smile in the pic below), and it feels good to be making conscious decisions about how God wants us to live as a family. We are committed to serving Him and honoring Him - which makes all of life's craziness (and believe me, it's been crazy) worth it!

This week we are moving houses so that we can downsize before our "big" move. We'll be living out of suitcases and essentially "camping" in a smaller apartment so that we can send off all of our stuff in the next week or so, and can focus on "leaving well". We'll be shipping a small container to Cambodia, and the rest of our belongings will go into suitcases.

Last weekend, Lauren's dorm had a Jumble Sale (yard sale) to raise money for a service project in North India and to help feed local beggars. We donated several boxes and bags of clothes and household items - they raised almost $700! It was great to donate to such a good cause (and great not to have to deal with selling it ourselves). Unfortunately, our belongings seem to be like the widow's oil that would never run out, so we'll probably be having a sale of our own in a couple weeks. The money will go towards setting up our new home, so hopefully it will go well :)

In closing, I should probably leave you with some "Bubba" cuteness. When Addie was little, this is what she called her best friend, Jordan. And this is now what Megann calls herself. The Tamils call her "Papa" which means baby, and he Ozzies refer to all babies as "bubba". So, with all of those influences, the nickname stuck. Her sisters, of course, add their own flavor and call her "Bubba Choo Choo".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Sunday Tradition

This is tourist season in Ooty. Local schools are on summer holiday, and our town is flooded with people. I don't know quite how to explain it, but even for India the crowds are crazy. Unfortunately, our school entrance is just inside the gate of one of the most popular tourist attractions - the Botanical Garden. For the past few weeks the crowds and traffic have been almost more than we can handle, so we've been finding creative ways to escape the craziness.

Our new Sunday tradition is to go to one of the nice hotels on the edge of town for the afternoon. We can't afford to eat there, but we enjoy a cup of tea out on the lawn with friends, while our kids play with rabbits, ride bikes, and just have a great old time!

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy...

Addie and her new friend playing with rabbits

Lauren, Addie and Megann playing with friends

Addie - making friends like only Addie can (no, we don't know these people)

Brenna and her new talent (whistling)

Ryan - helping Addie learn to ride a bicycle...

Giving up, but still having fun!

And one last picture for my Grandma Bass - 'cause she appreciates the importance of sticking out your tongue when you're really trying to concentrate!