Jul 29, 2011

Greetings from Colorado

Howdy! werall fane ere... Just trying some southern accent...

Colorado on the first look seemed like a desert compared to New Jersey, but we soon realized it had a lot to offer. The huge rocky mountains are sure a sight to see. The rolling Arkansas river is another. We got an up close look on both on the rail and raft ride. It was amazing!

What am I doing blogging? Good question. The clan is downstairs eating breakfast and I decided to sneak in to say a quick hello. Tried in vain to post a picture, so it has to wait till we come back.

Hope all is well at your end.

Jul 25, 2011

Colorado Bound

It is official; we are going to Colorado Springs, Colorado. The main reason is to attend a wedding but planned it as a week long trip to look around places too.

The tickets were purchased months in advance, the hotel was booked too but in the last minute I lost my job.

We weren't sure then whether to continue with the vacation as planned or settle for something local. After much thinking we finally decided to go as planned; however decided to incorporate a few changes too. Instead of the Marriott we are now considering Econolodge and indoor pool was a 'must have' then but a 'nice to have' now.

Colorado shares its borders with many States such as Texas,Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska & Arizona. I truly wanted to drive around to the nearest town in each State and have a meal there or sleep in to count it towards our "States Visited" list. But then we will not be able go places within Colorado itself in just one week.

So here we are bound for Colorado and only Colorado for the next full week. I will try to share if time permits as I have to post Coffee with Jesus on a daily basis anyway. In case I don't get to, I promise to share a snapshot on return...

Jul 24, 2011


After much contemplating Israel has got me an iPad! It is absolutely beautiful!

This is my first attempt to post something from it. I agree touch screen keyboard feels quite different from laptop or desktop keyboard. But I am sure I can get better at it in a few days. Children are most excited about Angry Bird and taking turns playing it.

I am not a huge gadget fan but for whatever reason I wanted an iPad ever since I had seen it at a doctor's office in the hands of a fellow patient some months ago. I was so curious and blurted out, "what is this called?" He was kind enough to give me a quick walk thru' of it and I had rushed back home to demand for one.

It wasn't easy convincing dear Israel why I really needed one. I am so glad he finally gave in to my request and got me one. I must tell you all the blogs look so much better from the iPad! Quite enjoying the scroll downs and finger tip browsing.

Seems to be a show off post but I really wanted to share my happiness with you folks! More to follow in the coming days. Stay connected please...

Jul 22, 2011

Oh deer!

Dear Deer!

I know you weren't expecting a letter from me. But I am not expecting to meet you in person or catch you in action and hence this letter.

Right, this is not the way to start a letter as it seems quite rude already without the usual greetings. But... I am not in a mood to really greet you after what you have done to my Petunias.

Did you know for the very first time in my life I decided to shell out the money and get myself two beautiful baskets of red Petunias and the shepherd's rod to go with it? I had put it lovingly in the front yard looking at it every morning with such pride and joy - as if my own hands made them bloom...

But yesterday morning as I walked out to water them I was shocked! stunned! Actually there is no word I can find in my vocabulary to exactly express how I felt, may be cheated sounds like it, to see that the plants had lost all its flowers. All! Not one of them left. I am so upset deer. Why did you do that? Did you know it was a treat I got for myself?

I wish I could say I hate you, but I don't like to use that word. I wish I could cry out loud but who cares... I want my flowers back. Please return if you can. Will you?

P.S: If you ate them by mistake I forgive you; if it was on purpose I might as well say I hate you...

Almost in tears,
~ NRIGirl

Jul 20, 2011

What is a Girl?

Little girls are the nicest things that can happen to people. They are born with a bit of angel-shine about them, and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart—even when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, or parading up the street in Mother’s best clothes.

A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth, she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot.

God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, the antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the speed of a gazelle, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten, and to top it all off He adds the mysterious mind of a woman.

A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals, first grade, noisemakers, the girl next door, dolls, make-believe, dancing lessons, ice cream, kitchens, coloring books, make-up, cans of water, going visiting, tea parties, and one boy. She doesn’t care so much for visitors, boys in general, large dogs, hand-me-downs, straight chairs, vegetables, snowsuits, or staying in the front yard.

She is loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she has provoked you, the busiest at bedtime, the quietest when you want to show her off, and the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again. Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction, embarrassment, and genuine delight than this combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale.

She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity—spend your money, your time, and your patience—and just when your temper is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you’ve lost again. Yes, she is a nerve-wracking nuisance, just a noisy bundle of mischief. But when your dreams tumble down and the world is a mess—when it seems you are pretty much of a fool after all—she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, "I love you best of all!"

Note: An excerpt from The Treasure Chest. Quotes by Alan Beck.

Jul 19, 2011

What is a boy?

Between the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood we find a delightful creature called a boy. Boys come in assorted sizes, weights, and colors, but all boys have the same creed: to enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of every day and to protest with noise (their only weapon) when their last minute is finished and the adult males pack them off to bed at night.

Boys are found everywhere—on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around, or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them, and Heaven protects them. A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair, and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.

When you are busy, a boy is an inconsiderate, bothersome, intruding jangle of noise. When you want him to make a good impression, his brain turns to jelly or else he becomes a savage, sadistic, jungle creature bent on destroying the world and himself with it.

A boy is a composite—he has the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a sword-swallower, the energy of a pocket-sized atomic bomb, the curiosity of a cat, the lungs of a dictator, the imagination of a Paul Bunyan, the shyness of a violet, the audacity of a steel trap, the enthusiasm of a firecracker, and when he makes something, he has five thumbs on each hand.

He likes ice cream, knives, saws, Christmas, comic books, the boy across the street, woods, water (in its natural habitat), large animals, Dad, trains, Saturday mornings, and fire engines. He is not much for Sunday School, company, schools, books without pictures, music lessons, neckties, barbers, girls, overcoats, adults, or bedtime.

Nobody else is so early to rise, or so late to supper. Nobody else gets so much fun out of trees, dogs, and breezes. Nobody else can cram into one pocket a rusty knife, a half-eaten apple, three feet of string, an empty Bull Durham sack, two gum drops, six cents, a slingshot, a chunk of unknown substance, and a genuine supersonic code ring with a secret compartment.

A boy is a magical creature—you can lock him out of your workshop, but you can’t lock him out of your heart. You can get him out of your study, but you can’t get him out of your mind. Might as well give up—he is your captor, your jailer, your boss, and your master—a freckled-faced, pint-sized, cat-chasing, bundle of noise. But when you come home at night with only shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams, he can mend them like new with two magic words, "Hi Dad!" ("Hi Mom!")

Note: An excerpt from The Treasure Chest. Quotes by Alan Beck.

Jul 18, 2011

Thanks a Bunch!

To all my friends a BIG thank you for coming together and celebrating Mom with me. It turned out to be a three day celebration; Amma was overwhelmed though a little shy.

Friday we had a prayer meeting; about ten families attended and we stayed late till 4:00 AM the next morning catching up with all. Vanitha and Raj had sent in lovely orchids for Mom.

Then Saturday we had a friend come over for lunch and we went fishing afterwards. Caught about ten sun catchers which made a perfect dinner.

Sunday morning all of you guys came together online with your wishes for Mom and your special posts. After church our friends Rammiya and Ganesh had us over for lunch. We spent the whole day with them and had a great time.

My sincere thanks to every one of you who participated in some way celebrating Mom with us and making my wishes come true.  It sure meant a lot for me.

Thank you! Thank you! & Thank you!

Note: I know you would love to see some pictures. Honestly in all my hurry burry I did not think of pictures. But sure saw some flashes here and there. Whenever friends share them I will post it for you. Israel might have one or two on his phone. I will get that posted too. I didn't want to delay my thank you waiting for the pictures...

Jul 17, 2011

With love, From: My Friends To: My Mom

Loving Amma! Wishing you a very happy birthday today and many happy returns!

I am sure it comes as a surprise - a letter from me - that too when you are here with us! Yes, that is the very idea - to surprise you! Here's more surprise for you! Friends and family members who could not join us in person have come together here on the blogosphere! Hope you enjoy it on your special day!

The 'party' begins! Wishes line up in the order received:

Princess & Family:
My Dear most Athai, Aunty & Granny ma,
HAPPY BIRTH DAY 17.07.11 Golden 65!
Princess, Jawahar, Finn Niol & Asher Royce

Esther Lionel:
Everyone should have a friend like you
You are so much fun to be with
And you are such a good person
You crack me up with laughter
And touch my heart with your kindness
You have a wonderful ability
To know when to offer advice
And when to sit in quiet support
You've brightend so many
Of my routine days
And time after time
I've realized how fortunate
I am that my life includes you
I really do believe that
Everybody should have a friend like you
But so far it looks like
You are one of a kind!

Dear Mrs.Yagapushpam,Many happy returns of the Day.
With Love & Prayers

Vijaya Ebenezer:
Dearest periamma Many Many happy returns of the day,,,, from all of us. May God shower the best of heavenly blessings on you. I hope this day will be the most fabulous and filled with lots of wonders and loving surprises. I wish we all were with u now. Even we would have enjoyed and shared the happiest movement with you. Anywayz not a problem.please let us know how was the day for you. Anyways bye for now way...

Anitha Krishnamurthy:
Though I met you recently and we have talked very little on those visits I was able to feel the warmth and care you hold for everyone around especially for your grand children. Here we are all wishing you a blasting birthday and great year ahead. Have a wonderful day aunty. I am sure Hephzibah and grand children will make your day the best. Enjoy your day and pass on some cakes if there are any leftovers ;)  (here's her blog post with wishes)

Jacinth Wisely:
On your Birthday Periamma
I think that you should know
How very much I love you
I look forward to your visits
To listen to your stories
To feel your love towards me
And always have a fun time
You are such an inspiration.
I am so very happy
That you’re Periamma of mine
Happy Birthday!

There are some that are boring
Those are some that are dull
There are some that don’t care
About much of anything at all
But that’s not you Periamma
You’re exciting, caring and great fun too
Your laughs I love
Those are really laughing out louds!

A Great Big Happy Birthday
From your Jacinthma or Jacinthal who loves you!
So Happy Birthday Periamma
I pray on this special day that
Our Heavenly Father bless you richly and
Give you healthy long life, and hence
We are blessed.

Vanitha and Raj:
Dearmost Amma,

Your birthday means so much to us.
Your endless affection makes you special and rare.

I cherish the very special bond we have.
You lift our spirits in many ways.

We celebrate your life; We honor you,
And send you our love, care and praise.

Thank you Amma for what you've have given to us.

Have a Wonderful & Happy 65th Birthday!!

Vanitha & Raj

Bawa Kaseem:
என் பிறந்த நாள் அன்று, நான் எழுதிப்பதிவு செய்த ஓர் கட்டுரைக்கு, பாராட்டும், வாழ்த்தும் தெரிவித்து என்னை பெருமைக்குள்ளாக்கிய அம்மாவுக்கு, அவர்களின் பிறந்தநாளன்று என் வாழ்த்தையும், நன்றியையும் தெரிவிக்கும்படி அமைவதே மிகப் பொருத்தமாக இருக்கும் எனத்தோன்றவே... இதுவரை அமைதிகாத்து, இந்தப் பதிவு வழியே என் நன்றியினைத் தெரிவித்துக்கொள்கிறேன்.

நன்றி அம்மா. உங்கள் வாழ்த்தும், பாராட்டும் என் பெருமை. நான் முன்பே கூறியதுபோல இது எனக்குக் கிடைத்த விருது.

Wish you a very Happy Happy Birthday.

Note: This is only an extract from Bawa's post for you: நன்றியோடு வண்டு!

Petty Witter:
Please click here for a toast from Petty Witter

KParthasarathay sends in balloons and cakes along with his wishes...!

Hope you enjoyed it all!

~ Loving daughter Queenma

Jul 12, 2011

In search of modesty...

Not so long ago, we went swimsuit shopping for our young daughters. It wasn't as easy as years before when they were little when we just picked their favorite color or character suit and we were done.

Now that each person has their own personality it was difficult to find one that suited both their mind and body alike. We would have tried at least a dozen suits from different stores and yet picking one to buy wasn't easy.

In fact I was shocked by the way the suits were made, two low in the front or too deep in the back or strategically cut or midriff baring or string bikinis, anything and everything except some modest cut.

Now don't get me wrong; I am not against modern wear. But when 'modern' replaces modest that bothers me. These itsy bitsy teeny weeny pieces may be the latest trend, but who cares. Give me a decent piece that is comfort and does cover up at the same time.

No, it is not a culture clash. I do not claim saree is better than swimsuit for playing in the water. And at the same time, I am not for walking around in underwear in public either. If we can have fun and comfort without compromising on modesty, I am all for it.

Finally after hours of trying so many kinds, just when we were about to give up, Landsend came to our rescue. It has beautiful collections which are approved by moms and daughters alike. I admit we got lucky this year finding a decent swimwear; looking forward to put it to more use while the season lasts...

For next season however, we better start looking out for an affordable private beach. Something tells me finding a private beach might be easier than finding a modest wear...

Jul 8, 2011

My Home Country

One thing that awed me when I landed in America was the sight of American Flag flowing freely in all highways and byways, malls, schools, post offices, municipal buildings, gas stations, churches, and even on apparels and accessories! It was awesome. Just the sight of it renewed my bond with my new home.It was a constant reminder that I finally made it to my dream country.

This was a contrast bewteen the Indian Flag I had seen only on special occasions couple of times a year like Independence day, Republic day, etc. It was almost sacred and dealt with utter importance. Nothing wrong with that. People would argue that's how it should be. It's just that it kept me - the commoner, at a distance when it came to embracing it as my own.

Whereas in America I can embrace the flag as her own child. I can touch it, feel it, wear it and see it all around and it gets me one step closer to the flag and hence the country. The longer I have lived here the stronger my affinity has grown towards my new country. I even wonder which I would call my home country now. I guess it would be safer to say wherever I make it a home is my home country. For now, it is America and I love it the best.

America has made it easier for me to achieve my dreams, reach my skies, touch my stars, and live my life. Grateful always to God Almighty first and America the next for making it all come true! Happy July 4th to all my fellow citizens.

Jul 7, 2011

Help me, help me, help me!

Please don't be alarmed from the title. It is from a little rhyme Mom used to sing when we were little... posted below:

In a cottage in a wood,
A little girl at the window stood,
Saw a rabbit running by,
Knocking at the door.

'Help me, help me, help me,' he said,
'Before the hunter shoots me dead!'
'Come little rabbit, come with me,
Oh how happy we shall be.'

For my predicament, though not similar, I decided to steal the words from the rabbit as that's how helpless I feel on this issue. Okay, okay I will start before you guys go wild with imagination on what it could be...

A dirty sink bothers me! That's the issue. You may say, 'well, that doesn't seem like an issue'. But the problem is, a dirty sink bothers me anywhere, not just in our home!

In any gathering be it in our house or at a friend's or at the church you name it, the minute I see a dirty sink, I will fold up my sleeves and get into action attacking it. When the work is done only then I can relax. But again in a few minutes when the sink gets filled with coffee mugs or whatever I spring into action all over again. This repeats itself almost the entire time; all the while missing out on relaxing conversations other guests enjoy.

I know this is not normal as no one else feels the same urge like I do, whether they play guest or host. It is only me who seem to have this problem. So, what is wrong with me?

By the way, this 'problem' of mine has brought me sincere heartfelt 'thank you's and even blessings from elders for which I am thankful for. Once in my Aunt's house as I was wrapping up an overflowing sink, my Grandma kissed me on my forehead and said, "God sees your humble heart and will bless you for that" and another time at a Church event a very old lady, grabbed my hands and said, "You did the hardest job cleaning all those dishes; your reward will be greater". I consider these blessings as my best rewards! But still I wonder if I should do something about this compelling urge and how I can possibly overcome it...

Please help me with your valuable suggestions as to how I can ignore a dirty sink, oh not in our home, but elsewhere. But then, if you believe it is normal, please say so...

Thank you,

~ Little rabbit; I mean NRIGirl :(

Jul 4, 2011


Who am I? What am I sitting on?

Jul 2, 2011

A Toast to my Friend

Note: Here's my toast to my best friend Vanitha and her husband Raj on their wedding day - July 2nd 2011...

Good Evening! I am Hephzibah Israel, the proud friend of our glamorous Bride Vanitha. First and foremost I thank the Lord Almighty for bringing the couple together on this joyous occasion; I find it a honor to be considered the Matron of Honor to be able to share a few things about my best friend Vanitha here.

I want to start by congratulating the bride and groom. Please know it is a special day not only for you, but for me as well and all of us here. You are looking stunningly beautiful today and Raj and you make a lovely pair! I admire how well you both planned out this occasion and congratulations on the success.

I wish to take you all fourteen years back in memory lanes to the time when I first met Vanitha. Her calm and pleasant nature and the beautiful smile attracted me to her and made it easy to bond with her. Looking back on our days spent together in St. Thomas Hostel in Santhome, Chennai I have nothing but fond memories.

The fondest memories include making paper flowers and teddy bears, taking off on rainy afternoons only to stand in the rain getting wet, singing our favorite song 'Eeechaka macha eecha poocha, chiyangu macha cholo' over and over again to the annoyance of our other friends, teasing each other and dreaming about our future husbands and planning out how many babies we would each have, etc. I am so glad we are now on this side of the aisle having everything we ever dreamed of and looking back to the dreams when they were just dreams.

We have come a long way since then and over the years I am fortunate to make friends with Selvi Aunty and JP Uncle, Vanitha's Mom and Dad. Their prayers for Vanitha have been constant through the years and they have longed to see this day come true with earnest prayers and steadfast faith. Today all their prayers and wishes have come true as Vanitha has found her suitable groom and the best companion in Raj to walk her side rest of their lives! From what I have come to know of Raj, I have no doubt in my mind about that.

Vanitha and Raj are both two remarkable people coming together today to complete and complement each other. Let me remind them that: Coming together is just the beginning; keeping together is progress; and working together is success.

I wish you success from the bottom of my heart. Years from now, may you look back on this day, your wedding day, with the same fondness you have for each other this very moment. I wish you the very best in everything life has to offer.

Please raise your glasses while I toast my best friend and her husband: Dear Vanitha and Raj! May the love of God shower on your family from this day forth for generations to come! May your love for each other be unconditional. God bless you! Here's to love, laughter, the newlywed and their happily ever after. Cheers!

Jul 1, 2011

Happy July

Wow! Hard to believe it is July already. Happy July to all! Thought I will share some updates from my end.

Children are okay, all the time watching TV or playing video games. Can't complain much as we are at work. However last weekend I took them out to the mall nearby and bought anything and everything their little hearts wished for. Rachel found a nice glass like shoes with some sequins on it while Sharon settled for some clipon earrings. It was a nice get away with Mom too and we enjoyed Chinese food from the food court. Overall it was a very relaxing day as we were not in a hurry to rush back home. Joshua had gone garden shopping with Dad. They ate out too and so no cooking and cleaning on Saturday.

Sunday after church we had the bridal shower. Oh, the bride looked lovely. It was such a joy meeting new friends and bonding with old friends. Had a good time overall. After the shower few friends stayed back and enjoyed Knight & Day while I totally relaxed with Auntie and Uncle (Bride's Mom & Dad) and my Mom in our deck enjoying the sunset and munching on snacks Mom brought from India and talking about family affairs from both ends. When the movie team came back they were like, 'where were you?' and I am like, 'having more fun than you guys'. We all had dinner together and dispersed to bed.

Tomorrow is the wedding. I am totally thrilled. We will be the first guest to arrive and last one to leave. In fact she has a lot of friends and family, but we wish to help around as much as possible. Children's clothes are all decided, but I am yet to pick mine. I know, too late in the game but what to do. Mom has brought me a few nice saree and so it shouldn't be hard I believe.

Oh! By the way, our indoor jasmin is blooming like anything. Atleast some 15-20 flowers are on it and the whole downstairs smells beautiful if you pay attention to it.

Hmmm... just scrolled up and noticed I have written a long post. So it is time to wind up I guess. Before I do, let me share a few things on July happenings here...

* Joshua & Mom will be celebrating their birthdays.
* Looking forward to the July 4th Fireworks in town
* Traveling to Colorado Springs by end of July

I guess that's about it. Please stay tuned for more posts this month. Take care!

Waldo is lost again; this time in a street fair...

If you happen to run into him you will tell him I am looking for him; won't you? And you will also tell me where he is; won't you?

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