“The construction will be done by the end of May”…

riiiiiiiiiight…we should have known better…we didn’t really have any choice, but we were led a little bit astray by the landlord’s info…BUT, the construction or at least most of it is completed…and here it is mid-September.  Ha!  So, here is the side-ish/front of the house.  The left picture was taken mid-March…the right one, taken just a few days ago.

                                                            These next pictures are the complete front of the house.  They’ve done a nice job, but shew, it took a while and some interrupted naps…not.cute.  It’s just crazy how they make buildings using bamboo scaffolding and they slap the concrete on the bricks and smooth.


We are hoping that the landlord will paint the entire house so that it looks nice and uniform and maybe get all the trash in the front of the house cleaned up too!  The house is looking good and feeling more and more like home each day.  

Soooo, what have we been up to??

Yeah, I’ve (Beth) been pondering this question also…since it’s been a little while…ahem, over a month…since we last wrote…

We had a pretty jam packed first week of August with a Hindi teacher coming to stay with us for 6 days.  It was a great time and actually a lot easier than I expected…He was very nice and spoke wonderful English so there was no pressure to speak Hindi after class hours…which was nice b/c after taking 51 pages of notes in 5.5 days, my brain was toast!  There was a lot of cultural insight as well as grammar and conversation practice.  We were really glad we had him come and surprisingly enough, it was a glimpse into our little girls’ lives that we were encouraged to see.  Usually when we have new people or people they don’t see regularly come over to our house, they both are a little skiddish…but with this man, they warmed up right away!  It really warmed our hearts that maybe this is a snapshot of them loving this culture and people for the sake of the Gospel in the future…

Then, during this crazy week, I was trying to do everything I could (i.e. cook meals and put them in freezer, make up fun art projects, gather snacks together, writing daily notes, etc.) to prepare Will for 5 days WITHOUT ME!!!  Yup, that’s right!  I went to Delhi with about 54 other ladies around S. Asia for a Women’s Training.  It was great…I really had to hash out what’s been going on in my brain/life these past 8 months since we’ve been here.  And frankly, it wasn’t all that pretty.  So, a lot of reflection on who I am and who God wants me to be in South Asia is slowly, slowly coming…….so, after all the deep stuff each day, we did get to go out for dinner (and YES, I did eat beef…..TWICE!) and shop a little bit…I got tons of gluten free stuff, which sounds dorky, but I had 10 kg to fill up!  hahaha….all in all, I didn’t even worry about Will and the girls and I didn’t need to be – he said they all did great.  I’m so thankful for those of you that prayed for them at that time…The pic to the left is one of the malls in Delhi.  When we were there, it was India’s Independence Day, so, everywhere was saffron, white and green (what do these colors mean?  Click here.).

This past week, Will has been gone Tues-Fri to the neighboring state, which somehow got the name the “graveyard of m1ss1ons”.  He’s been a couple of other times, but he is seeking out some new work for our church back in KY.  I’ll be anxious to hear about this…meanwhile, the girls and I have been making our 10 min walk down the street to the club we joined a few weeks ago.  

It is really nice and is worth every penny of Christmas money that was spent!  Plus, we now have a 25 yr membership, so, no backing out now.  ha.

We have one more week all together and then, we travel again for a team meeting!  It’s been fun to have things to look forward to…I just hope that we can keep this blog updated a tad bit more.  Forgive us please!

Life in the FLL: Our kitchen and lunch everyday!!

Ok, so, I’ve (Beth) been waiting for a while to take pics of the kitchen b/c I wanted it to be spotless and full of food to show off 🙂  Well, the spotlessness has still not really happened but my sweet didi (house helper) does a wonderful job every day drying the dishes I washed the night before, washing the current day’s dishes, cooking our favorite lunch dal bhat and subji, washing those dishes, drying them and then mopping the kitchen floor before she leaves for the day…and that’s only like a 1/4 of what she does everyday at our house!  This girls needs a gold medal!  haha…

So, at last, here are some more pics of our house in FLL…our kitchen is approx. 10×11 (although we don’t know for sure since everything here is measured in the metric system. ha!) and we are in it quite a bit of the day.  Here’s the entrance way and I’ll show the pics counter-clockwise from when I step in the door.
 Here’s a zoom in of the wall w/ the sink and gas burners…

Round the corner to the wall w/ the little stove and microwave…

And then, my favorite part of the kitchen…no, not the fridge…the full vegetable stand!!  hahaha…is she crazy??

And all along those black cabinets are the goodies from those awesome people in the States have sent us!!  Don’t worry, they’re not just sitting there, there are great plans for them 🙂
Ok, so, now onto our favorite everyday lunch…they have the same thing for lunch everyday??  Well, if you didn’t know, if your last name is Jackson, you have to have something you do the same for at least 10+ years…remember this?  yeah, that’s what I’m talking about… anyways.  At 11:30 a.m. our time our didi starts preparing all of the ingredients for our dal bhat (lentil soup-ish stuff and cooked rice, which I’m told is a complete protein by itself.) and subji (cooked yummy vegetables in oil and other spices).  Mostly S. Asians eat the veggies cooked with masala mixes, but I highly suspected when we first got here that they may have gluten in them, but it’s not listed.  (Unfortunately, I found out the hard way.)  So, our didi has to make very simple lunch.  But it’s still sooooooooooo tasty.
She prepares everything, cooks everything and has it on the table when we get Maddie back home from school at 1 p.m.  It’s awesome…she knows pretty much how much rice we’ll eat and how much vegetables to make.  She’s awesome.
Did I mention that she is awesome?! 

So, here is the spread…the girls are always so excited.

Maddie has 1-2 bowls of dal bhat and subji…

But that’s no match for Mahaney’s whopping 3 bowls of it…

And then she promptly comatoses out…

Some would say it’s the volume of food she’s eating…some might say it’s the heat…I just say she’s a growing little girl that loves her dal bhat and subji and if she can’t eat anymore, she’ll just dream about eating more.  Love her!
So, that’s what we got folks!  If you wanna stop by for lunch sometime, it’s no problem…give us a heads up so we can tell our didi how much.  Word!!

Some more pics of our house!

Ok, so, please don’t judge me b/c I haven’t put anything up on the walls yet…but this is our front sitting Imageroom…seems nice and cozy, right?  Wouldn’t you like to come have a cup of chai w/ us?  haha…we are trying to decide if we want to paint this room a color…what do you think?  The couches and cushions are red w/ some navy in them and the curtains have navy and a small amount of red in them.  The white/light grey is a little bit bothersome for me b/c I like color on the walls!  I also have one of those wall art w/ the words that I’d like to put up, but yet again, we’re trying to decide what to do…anyways

Moving on…here is the master bedroom…even though one little munchkin is on the bed, it’s actually mine and Will’s bed.  haha…our bathroom…I’ve tried my best to make it look like an American bathroom…at least it has a boundary!  I like boundaries…haha…

Lastly, for now, here is a picture of the hallway/guest bathroom.  It looks a bit funny b/c the toilet is behind the boundary for the shower…not sure what happened there, but it still works!

You can go potty, take a shower and then, wash your hands, all in the same room!
Oh wait, isn’t that what a bathroom is for?

Check back soon for a funny picture of Bug 🙂

The Girls’ Room!

Ok, ok, so, we have been in our new house for over a month now, and we are still “setting up shop”…I had these 2 cute wall appliques (thanks Granmommy & Aunt Lindsey!) and didn’t want to put them on white wall.  The butterflies and some of the flowers even have a 3D effect!  Now, here’s the thing.  In South Asia, in FLL, how do you get paint on the walls?  1.  Ask all of your national friends (which we have like 2 close ones so far) who

 they know that can remotely paint.  2.  You ask them where to get the supplies, or just ask them to get them for you.  3.  Get said friend to come paint.  4.  Air out the room for a week and a half and pray the kids don’t suffer from the fumes!
Ok, so, that’s what WE did….haha….The appliques were REALLY easy and super cute, but I just couldn’t put them on white walls…so, I had the friend paint “Power Pink” onto our girls’ walls and easily put these presh appliques on with no problems.  I would suggest them to anyone and I think they run around $10 per box at Target…


Also, we had the bunk beds and cubbies made by showing them a friend’s Pottery Barn kids’ magazine…hilarious, right?!  The carpenter did a great job and the bed looks pretty sturdy…

another funny thing in FLL, there is no wood stain (P.S.  Will and I really like dark/cherry wood stains)…so, they have to paint them dark brown and then use HIGH gloss lacquer.    So, we had to air out the room a week and a half b/c of the fumes from the paint AND the bed AND the cubbies we had made.

  The girls are so far loving their new room…now, we just need to get some cool(er) toys to fill the little cubbies 🙂

Pssst…I really want to make one of the drawers of the cubbies a dress up drawer.  Like, you know, all those cute princess dresses they mark down after Halloween?  Some shoes, jewelry, you know…the works!  So, if anyone has any they’d like to pass down and maybe send over w/ a team, let us know!  

Coming soon…more pics of rooms in the house!

Pomegranates & Popcorn

Pomegranates & popcorn is what we’re having tonight for family movie night…kinda weird, right?  Well, that’s how we roll…haha…we’ll be watching Beauty & the Beast (Thanks Grammy Dei!)…so, that is what is going on in the foreseeable future.

Currently, I am listening to the workers talking/bantering outside my window, cringing as the carpenter hammering away at the screen door he’s installing, hoping my girls get at least some nap, waiting for Will to come back w/ a new hair cut and smelling the Lizol (Lysol equivalent here – ha!) my house helper is using on the floor.  Moving into a new house in a foreign land is sure DIFFERENT from in the States.  There is no one store you can go to to buy all that you need….no Target to buy cute stuff for the walls as well as a shower curtain…no Walmart to go and buy all/some of your appliances, kitchen needs or Goldfish snacks…it sure is different.  One of our friends said it would take like 3 months to set the place up…Whoa!

It’s been good though…I (Beth) had a little bit of some culture shock 2 weeks ago and broke down, but that’s all it took…just one little cry and I was fine.  Funny Lady Land has been good to us so far…it is getting warm though, and I wonder how this is going to work in the summer.  Our new house is pretty cool right now, temp wise, so, maybe that will bode well for the hot time.  My armpits are clamming up as we speak!  (Sorry if that’s TMI)

We are still setting up and hope to post pictures soon of the new house (we’re actually in a 3 story building and live on the bottom floor – the landlords come once a month and stay here one month out of the year)…it’s pretty sweet and open for anyone that wants to come and visit 🙂

Final Days in da ‘Ville

After we returned from Orlando, we spent our final 10 days in Louisville finishing up all of our packing and saying goodbyes.  We loved our time in da ‘Ville as they call it.  Since we did the long-distance dating/engagement thing, this was the first place that we lived together.  Both girls were born here.  And we made and have many great friends that we had to leave to head to Funny Lady Land.  I could write many blogs talking about our time in Louisville, but here were a few of our favorite things:

  • The unique events like the Danger Run, Trolley Hop, and Thunder over Louisville
  • Maddie loved going to the Zoo to see all the animals, esp the tiger and polar bear!
  • We had a blast going to the Louisville Bats baseball games courtesy of my work Summit Energy
  • Trunk or Treat at CCBC.  Over the years, we were Nacho and the Nun, Luke and Leia, Mr. Green and Mrs White, Linus and Snoopy and Woodstock, and Waldo x2
  • There were some fun local restaurants we will miss like Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, Dittos, Havana Rumba, and the Homemade Pie and Ice Cream Kitchen.
  • Sledding down the Gene Synder exit ramp
We will definitely miss living in Louisville and the fun that was had there.  The hardest part of this blog was trying to actually narrow down our list of favorite things.  When we return from overseas, we hope to visit Louisville many times to take advantage of these great favorites.

Man, what is it about time flying…

It really is not a habit that I want to get into….only posting once a month.  What’s up with that?  Will, the girls and I have been on a crazy adventure these past 2 months.  We closed on our house, obviously by the last post.  We have moved into our church’s mission house.  Nice and furnished.  We’ve been packing and visiting w/ friends and family.  Trying to tie up loose ends w/ bills, changing our address, bank accounts and adjusting to being broke and homeless.  ha!

It’s been a sweet adventure though…we’ve told some friends goodbye already and we have truly been encouraged beyond description by these sweet people.  The Lord crossed our paths for a reason and I hope that we have given Him glory through it all.  Anyways, before I start crying…..ha!   Ok, so the last I updated was July 5th…Here is a quick rundown on what we’ve been doing and what’s going on w/ the girls as we go through this transition….

July
VBS @ CCBC!  Maddie’s 2nd VBS and Bug’s 1st!

   

We went to visit one of my dearest friends, Kim, and her sweet family in Knoxville.  We got to meet their fun little boy, Rev and we had a blast!

After the Knoxvegas trip, we moved into the Mission house and moved the girls into the same bedroom.  Kinda shaky at the beginning, but they love it now!  Then, my awesome South Carolina friends came for a visit in the Ville while William was playing his last Summit Cup golf tournament.  It was a sweet treat to get to hang w/ them and laugh hysterically together (and not scaring Maddie w/ my laugh).  HA!

August
Will’s 32nd birthday!  Yes I did just post your age on our blog!  It was fun celebrating w/ our dear friends, the Chung family.  We also visited Big Willy at work for our annual birthday lunch with Daddy on the day.  Despite the face in the picture, Maddie LOVES going to see Daddy at work.  🙂

Our last day in our first home….kinda sad, but we went out with some Krispy Kremes!  haha…

We’ve had friends come over, gone to the zoo w/ Daddy, Catan night w/ some friends, a smashing going away party w/ our peeps at church, Bug got her big girl carseat (sigh!) and  lunch w/ Grandaddy, Granmommy, Aunt Abbey and Pop halfway!

  

We’ve gone over to some friends’ house for dinner and we even went to the KY state fair for the first time!  Whew!  Will even ate that nasty Krispy Kreme hamburger….he claimed it was delicious, but about 20 minutes after he ate it, he had to sit down…ha!

 

I had a wonderful dinner w/ my Art chix (the art teachers I used to teach with) and they TOTALLY surprised me with a Canon Rebel T3 (whoa, I know!)  So, we will be taking more pictures and updating more frequently, or off with my head!

We went swimming at Auntie Laura’s pool too!  And Maddie had her first big dentist appointment to get her teeth cleaned – she did great!  We were really apprehensive about it, but she did great until the actual dentist came in.  HA.

  

Needless to say, we’ve been busy, but we wouldn’t have it any different in this chapter of our life…

Closing Time

One of my favorite lyrics from this song is “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”  (If you’re trying to remember the tune, click here).  Yesterday, Beth and I closed on our house.  What?  Closing on house?  Are you moving?  Yes and Yes.  About 4 years ago, seminary was getting close to ending and we really started the process of discerning what was next.  Through this process, God showed us that the call to missions was one that both of us had strong leaning towards.  So in January 2009, we sent our initial application to our mission agency.  Little did we know that the economy would collapse and the agency would go through a sending freeze AND a reorganization causing us to have to sit and wait, and wait, and wait.

So 3 consultants and 2 kids later, the time has come.  Last week, Beth and I (and the girls) were recommended for appointment!  We will head to Orlando in September to meet with the trustees of the mission agency.  Pending final approval from the entire trustee board, we will be leaving for South Asia in January!  South Asia?!?  That’s far away?  Where are you going?  I’m glad you asked.  While we aren’t saying exactly where we are going (at least not on the blog), I have decided to call the place “Funny Lady Land”.  What are you going to do?  Well, we will be working with the local church planters and pastors, helping train them on how to plant churches and disciple their believers.

Over the next few months, we will be sojourners in the States going to visit family, some vacation, and 2 months of training in Virginia.  We promise to try to be more diligent in updating the blog with stories of our journey as we work towards moving to “Funny Lady Land.”