Monday, January 26, 2009

We are rich in friends!

Greg Brown (one of our favorite singers and someone you should check out if you have never heard of him) has a song called "Rich in Daughters". Well, Tom and I are rich in friends.

Last week was poised to be a crazy week and our friends & family came to the rescue. We checked into our hotel room last Monday night (at midnight -urrhhh) only to find that 2 separate friends had talked their way into our room. We were welcomed with a "welcome home Murphy's banner", fresh flowers, triscuts, cottage cheese, a few loafs of banana and chocolate chip bread, wine and chocolate...yummm...

Then, the week got better we had friends help us paint our entire upstairs, family that helped us move furniture and unpack boxes, friends brought over home cooked meals to the hotel so that we wouldnt have to eat out with jet lagged kids, friends that offered to GO out with us and the kids for dinner to help with the jet lag, friends that drove around with us running errands so that we had an extra hand with the kids, family & friends that dropped off winter clothes, boots, jackets, hats, mittens etc for all 3 kids (Billy and Kay have an entire new wardrobe thanks to their cousins and we were also gifted back some of Jimmy's old clothes. Its too cute to see Billy in Jimmy's stuff) friends that set up play dates to get the kids out of the house while we were painting and unpacking, friends that cut our hair so that we looked presentable at the 1st day of school (, friends that pushed a cart for us in Target since we ended up with 3 cartfuls (no, Angela, I didnt break your record), friends that continue to act as car buying consulants in an effort to get us a good deal, family that brought over dinner and their kids so that the kids could catch up, family/friends that organize a playdate for Jimmy so that he'd know other kids in his class at school, etc etc etc.... It was an unbelievable show of love and support and we are SO THANKFUL!!

We love you guys....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tom has a new number!!

Tom and I have decided to throw ourselves into the 21st century and only have a cell phone each. No home phone. Scary. So, here's our new main # and Tom's cell - 612-715-1866. Call us!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Its the People...

The most common question I have gotten in the last 4 weeks is "what will you miss most about India?". That's easy. The People. To prove again how amazing and talented and caring and geninue people are here, see the below photos of my last all team meeting.

My team took over my final all team meeting - there was cake and speeches and art and photographs and some of the most heartfelt sentiments (from me & them) in a long long time. They even sang me 2 songs. No one has ever sang me a song before!

It is really hard to leave, so I am determined to not say "goodbye" but "see you later" :)

My resolve to not cry didnt work.

See you later!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hello Sir, may we come early?

What time? Sir there is a Festival tomorrow so may we come at 9:00? Sure 9:00 is fine.

Except that was not the case and the movers showed up at 8:00 and we were still asleep. Of course the kids choose the one day to sleep in and look what happens. Also, when was the last time someone in India was a full hour early?! Just our luck. We are destined for sleep deprivation.

So it is 8:30 on Wednesday morning and the house is being pack around me as I try to get one last post before they take my computer. Tracy and I are trying not to stress out which is not working! All is well, all is calm and in perfect order! Do pack that?? it stays??? The kids sir do they get pack? Help me!!!

So after today we will have our basic belongings and will truely be camping here in India.

Here are a couple of final photos. We think we'll be able to get computer access somewhere around here in the next few days but will not be able to post pics. Please realize that we will not have the ability to check e-mails until around the 25th so if we do not get back to you we will.

We will send out a blog state side next week!!

And these Dominion Mugs are the last thing to go!

All our love and see you soon!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Major Purchase

So, we are not big souvenier shoppers, however, we did invest in 2 "big" purchases to remind us of India. A new dining room set for me and a pair of flip flops for Tom. See below for photos....

The main table is 8x4 and seats 10. It has inlaid elephants on the side and hand carving on top. Its all rosewood.

The extension table or serving table has the elephants but no carving. Its 2x4. Its the plainer portion on the "big" photo and entirely removable, but allows us to seat 12.

We also have 12 chairs and a china cabinet (of sorts) that match.

So, next time you are over for dinner to solve the worlds problems, we'll be doing it with a bit of "support" from Indian workmanship.

We think its gorgeous...

Now, for Tom's new shoes....

This is what 61Rs gets you in the way of footwear (generous conversion = $1.48)

Good memories all around. (I think I got the better end of this deal...)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words...

But even in this case, pictures don"t do New Zealand justice. You have to experience it. A friend told me before we left that "New Zealand is my favorite country" I thought it was a bit odd to have a favorite country but now that we have been there, I could'nt agree more!

We are back in Bangalore, safe and sound and a bit sleep deprived. Today (Sunday) will be spent doing 15 loads of wash, unpacking, banking, ironing, starting to pack again....

In the meantime (ie before we get around to our next blog) check out New Zealand:) (note, these are backwards to forwards of our trip, I loaded the photos backwards...)
As far as the distance travelled:
Starting Mileage: Kilometers: 107501
Mileage: 66798.02
Ending: Kilometers: 110189
Mileage: 68468.22
Total: Kilometers: 2688
Miles: 1670.2
Sir how did this dent get here? I have no idea, must have been there before. Well it doesn't matter you have the full insurance. Good. I will look up the previous trip log and see if this dent was over looked. Can you take me to my hotel I have a flight to catch!

Billy, Cooper and Kay yucking it up at the park on New Years Day.
Leanne and Dom at the beach:) It was COLD!

Kay and Billy climbing the sand cliff at the beach (South Australia).

Jimmy and Cooper swimming in the Southern Ocean on New Years Day while the rest of us were in polar fleece.

Kay, Jimmy, Duane, Dom, Cooper and Billy hiking up to see the kawalas and kangaroos.


Jimmy in the Anarctic Storm room at the Anarctic center sledding on an ice slide in shorts.

Kay and Billy in the same storm room.
Jimmy Kay and Billy measuring how they stack up against live size penguins.

Basektball man in Christchurch Cathedral square.

Mommy and Kay picnicing in Christchurch (Billy is the photographer of the next 2 photos)

Daddy and Jimmy( Photo courtesy of William Murphy)
Seal colony in Dunedin peninsula - cubs were 5 days old.

Kay and Billy on the 8 wheeler tour

Blue penguins nest on Dunedin penisula, you could walk right up to it!

Dunedin penisula wild seal and the kids at the beach

Optical illusion at PuzzleTown's restrooms.

Maze at Puzzle Town

Really weird anti gravity room at Puzzle Town, Tracy thought she was going to puke, the kids loved it.

The blue blue blueness of everything in NZ. The sky, mountains and lakes. Wankana.

Hike up to top of highest point in Wankana

Veiw of Wankana from highest point


Suspension bridge in the rain at Fox Glacier, a raging river was right below us and Jimmy kept jumping up and down, Tom was not impressed and I think it brought back bad childhood memories.

Same bridge, can you see the whitewater?

Fox Glacier

Waterfalls on the hike to Fox Glacier

Forging the stream to get to Fox Glacier

No worries, Billy's raincoat says "Fire Chief" we were in good hands in case of an emergency.
Cmas day drive to Fox Glacier

Cmas day drive to Fox Glacier

Cmas day drive down the west coast on the way to Fox Glacier

Even the rivers are torquious blue.

Power Ranger on Cmas day

Glamor queen on Cmas day

The 3 musketeers opening gifts - Cmas day

All the "goods" on Cmas morning

Cmas Eve night after Santa visited

Silly boys with their name tags on their mouths, we think this was the only time Jimmy was quiet the whole trip and we wished it had lasted longer.

Pony rides on Cmas Eve

Horse farm on Cmas Eve

Our 6 meter camper - The Griswalds anyone?

Nelson kayaking at Cable Bay

Billy paddling Tom home

A secluded beach swim mid kayak trip

You cant keep the boys out of the water

Believe it or not, in all these photos, the water really isnt this blue. Its bluer. Its truly unreal and gorgeous

Kay being paddled around

JImmy with our new friend Margarita from Spain.

Tom's new friend with his crab

Kayaking through caves

Jimmy had fun:)

Drive to Nelson from ferry

Ferry ride from Wellington (north island) to Nelson (south island)

Wait, are we in India?!!

Drive from Waitomo Caves to Wellington

An angora rabbit shearing expedition

No animals were injured in this expedition and infact the rabbits were practically asleep

Waitomo Caves and glo worms (or maggots as the locals call them) Auckland to Waitomo Caves

Glo worm boat ride through the caves

Maori warriors with the boys - they loved it! Auckland

Auckland - sort of an island San Francisco with more boats than you can see
Auckland, the start of our adventure