Saturday, November 29, 2014

Our 2nd Thanksgiving in India

We've had a fun week preparing for and celebrating Thanksgiving with our team here! 
With 18 of us here, plus 2 friends visiting from America, plus 1 other friend who lives here in the city, we had 21 adults + 2 children to feed! Good thing there were LOTS of girls to divide and conquer the cooking! I honestly think cooking was less stressful for me this year even than last year when we were only cooking for 11, because I was responsible for WAY fewer things!

We put the boys in charge of picking up the rotisserie chickens and bringing the pop :)

It was a feast to be sure...maybe a little overboard, but we want Thanksgiving to feel special and like home for everyone, so we make any and all dishes that any person from our team wants to have in order for it to really feel like traditional Thanksgiving. That took some planning ahead and we had some Thanksgiving food items (think french onions for green bean casserole or stuffing mixes or turkey gravy packets) sent over in a suitcase back in June. When you have 18 different people with different family traditions, it makes for a lot of food! Just for fun, here was our menu this year:

Rotisserie Chicken (no messing with expensive, low quality turkey for us)
Mashed potatoes
Creamed corn
Cheesy potato casserole
Green bean casserole
Bacon wrapped green bean bundles
Sweet potato casserole
Cheesy broccoli and rice casserole
Crescent rolls
Zwiebach (another kind of special roll)
Veggie tray
Fruit salad
Deviled eggs
Pumpkin pie
Apple tarts
Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
Cake and Oreo balls
Strawberry jello pretzel salad
Apple cider
Homemade peppermint mochas
Coffee :)

I told you it was a feast! In our defense, between Thanksgiving day and the day after Thanksgiving, we ate almost all of the leftovers...ironically we have the most of the chicken still leftover :)

The food was delicious, and it was such a fun time to just hang out with our India family.
Of course we missed our families back home, but that was made easier by the fact that we'll see them in less than a week when we go back to America for a few months! (4 days left on the countdown!)

We ate, talked, laughed, played games, ate again, watched Christmas movies, and just had a great time together. And of course we spent the whole day after Thanksgiving together as well, playing outside, eating leftovers, hanging out, and watching the movie Million Dollar Arm together. Emphasis on TOGETHER - I'm so grateful to have so many people here to be together with!
I'm really thankful for this crew!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2nd Annual Fall Festival

I love fall. It's my favorite season.
But round these parts in India, the leaves are always green (unless they're covered by dust during the hot season), and just finally in the last couple of weeks the temperatures have "cooled" down to the upper 80s during the day and 75ish overnight lows. Needless to say, they don't have fall here.
As a sidenote, when I pulled out my fall decorations (brought over from America), I was trying to explain to our house helper, Shefali, what the fall season is. She didn't understand :)

So I still like to pretend it's fall sometimes, and my favorite way of doing that is our team fall festival! We started this tradition last year, and made it even better this year by adding a soup potluck dinner, so it was one of my favorite evenings of the year so far!

We kicked off the night with a soup potluck - I made Pioneer Woman's Perfect Potato soup, and it was perfect. Best potato soup I've ever had. You should make it.
Some of the other girls made creamy chicken and rice soup, and Bethany made creamy white chicken chili. The boys were in charge of picking up bread bowls from a local bakery :)

Dinner was delicious, followed by painting "pumpkins." I don't really know what they are, some sort of gourd I suppose.

Landon and Layla get a kick out of this, and everyone's creative juices come flowing out.
Of course with the World Series going on, the Royals were a popular muse for pumpkin designs.
 Finished pumpkins! Christina's mom happened to be in town visiting at the time, so she joined right in on the fun!

After pumpkin painting, it was time for fall desserts. We may have gone a little overboard...
Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, no bake "spider" cookies, ghost bananas, and pumpkin dump cake. Yum yum yum.
We also made homemade pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider. Starbucks doesn't have anything on us!!

We ended the evening playing several games (I learned a new favorite game, Dominion!), and just having a good time together as we ate second and third helpings of dessert. It really felt like a crisp fall evening...with the air conditioner running, of course.
We're so blessed by a team that is really family to us. Any time spent with them is so special, and we love them all!
Not to mention they're such a good looking group :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pregnancy Update - 20 Weeks

The bump is real!

It always amazes me how quickly pregnancy flies by - thank goodness God gave us 9 months to prepare for a newborn! Although I'm sure in the final few weeks my body will be wishing it wasn't so long :)

We're already half way through! This Tuesday I hit 20 weeks along, which is just crazy. For all my family and friends back home who were doubting if I was showing very much, the picture is proof! It's interesting; I feel like all of a sudden in the past week my stomach has just exploded and I'm showing so much now. 

Considering I haven't really done any pregnancy updates so far, I'll give a quick recap:
* I went through about 2 months of feeling really nauseous starting around Week 9, blah. I finally broke down and started taking some nausea medicine for several weeks so that I could actually function in the mornings. Thankfully around 15 weeks I was feeling fine during the days, and by 17 weeks I was feeling fine in the mornings without the medicine. Now I'm feeling great, as long as I eat when I get hungry!
* I think I started feeling the baby move for the first time on September 19 (Landon's birthday!), but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I felt him/her moving starting October 2. Now the baby is super active and very easy to feel regular movement from - Kyle has even felt the kicks from the outside!
* We had our "anomaly check" sonogram this past week at 19 1/2 weeks. Everything looked healthy and normal, yay! We're dying to know whether it's a boy or a girl, but in India it's illegal to find out the gender of the baby during an ultrasound, so we'll have to wait till America. We have an appt scheduled with my OBGYN in Manhattan on December 5, so we're praying they'll be able to get us in for a quick ultrasound that day also! My "maternal instinct" is that it's a girl, because the pregnancy has been very similar to when I was pregnant with Layla, as far as how sick I got and what week I started feeling sick. But we'll see!

Now that I have more energy and no nausea, I'm trying to get back into the swing of working out, either walking or doing barre3. I haven't had to take afternoon naps for a few weeks now so that's upping my productivity level, ha. I've also been trying hard to eat more fruits and veggies, but it's hard when there are only a few here that I like! I am looking forward to being home and eating lots of the foods I've been craving but can't get here (lots of cereal, fruits, cheese, Cheez-Its & Wheat Thins, and countless other things!)

Landon and Layla still have no clue what it means that they're having a brother or sister or that there's a baby in my tummy - hopefully eventually they'll catch on! If not, they'll probably get it once the baby arrives and never leaves!

Every time I feel the baby move I get so excited - that's by far my favorite part of pregnancy. We're so blessed that things have been going well, and we're so excited to meet this little person in a few months!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

So Behind

Ugh, I'm a horrible blogger lately. Sorry family!
I have all these post ideas I need to update about our time with April and Addyson here, a pregnancy update, plus some fun what life is like in India posts I've been thinking about, but when I have a free moment I just haven't gotten around to blogging! I'm really going to try to catch up in the next few days, but to hold you over, here are just a bunch of fun pics of our kiddos being their adorable (and ornery) selves.

She loves dancing with Daddy

 The night I took them by myself to the arcade and ice cream in the mall. Never again will I let Landon pick his own ice cream...he wanted the green (mint) and then hated it. Vanilla forever for you boy!

I love when they share

 Kyle sent me a few pics while I was away at wives' retreat, including my two favorite kids at their favorite place to eat :)

 Doing trick shots together.

Cutest Wildcats ever!

Layla's happy place: blankie corner to fidget with, bunny in hand, pacifier in mouth

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Landon is FOUR!

 Well, apparently I blinked and somehow my firstborn baby turned four! He's looking like such a little boy these days...I guess that's what happens when you're not a toddler anymore!
Landon's birthday was last week, and he kicked off the day with some birthday pancakes. Landon has been most excited about blowing out candles for his birthday this year - for days leading up to his birthday, he would say, "First, it's happy birthday, and then the fire and then (he would pretend to blow them out)". It was hilarious. So he was excited to blow out his first candle at breakfast.

Landon's best birthday present was that his aunt April and cousin Addyson came to visit and arrived early in the morning on his birthday! He's had a BLAST playing with them, and he'll be so so sad when they leave next week. 

We had his birthday party with our India team the night after his birthday. He loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates, so we had a pirate birthday party for him. Kyle and I even dressed up as pirates for him :)

Ocean blue cake frosting
 Landon was also really excited about opening presents. And he was not disappointed! He got some really fun things from all our friends!

What a fun time. I love him so much!

Landon at age four...he's so much fun! He's both crazy energetic and yet cuddly at the same time. He's so funny and entertaining to watch. He's talking all the time now and starting to make more and more complex sentences. He can memorize songs and movie lines like nobody's business. 
Funniest song he has memorized: 22 by Taylor Swift. He loves it.
Most favorite thing: Watching a performing sports trick shots. He became obsessed with the YouTube sensation group called Dude Perfect - it's 5 guys who do videos of shooting all kinds of sports trick shots. We have a loop of about 20 of their videos that we watch, and Landon has all of them memorized and tries to recreate the shots with our basketball net and plastic bowling set at home. In fact, 3 of the guys ordered Landon a set of kid golf clubs so he could complete his trick shot repertoire :)
Favorite foods: PB&J, apples, chips, Chili's chips and salsa and fajitas, McDonald's chicken nuggets (or "handaburgs" as he calls hamburgers when we're out of India!)
Loves: Disney Junior shows, doing puzzles, painting with watercolors, Pete the Cat books, playing outside, snuggling on the couch, hanging out with our team, and bossing Layla around.

And now some pictures!
Enjoying a birthday cupcake from our friend Megha

Snuggling on the couch

Practicing some trick shots with his new golf clubs!
Watercolor masterpiece

He's so tall!

Got 2 new Pete the Cat books from Grandpa & Grandma!
Doesn't he look so grown up?

 I made some comparison pics of Kyle and I with Landon when we were around his age.
Love you little buddy! No matter how old you get you'll still be my Lil Punkin'.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...