FINALLY an update!

While it has only been 2.5 weeks since my blog post, it feels like much, much longer. So, finally…I am posting a blog! I am a little ashamed at the small amount of pictures I have taken, but I will post the few here.

In the past 2.5 weeks, we have traveled to SC, Chicago (we only visited the airport here, but I am going to count it!), and Colorado.

In SC, we have been visiting with churches and current ministry partners, meeting with potential ministry partners, giving the kids swim lessons, seeing family, and taking a little vacation time. My parents got a new camper so we loaded up and went with them on a camping trip to a local campground on the beach. Granted, the campground has ALL the amenities including bath houses, a water slide, indoor and outdoor pool, splash pad, arcade, and much more, so I am not sure if that really counts as camping, but when you stay 6 people in a small front part of a camper, SURELY it counts. It was a blessing to be with family and we had fun, but I learned a VERY important lesson on this trip that I am sure has now been etched into my mind and that lesson is this: vacation with 4 kids isn’t restful (someone advised me that when you have little kids, you call them trips and not vacations…very, very wise)…in fact, life with 4 kids isn’t restful and I just have to be okay with that in this season. I am trying to cherish every moment with these sweet little ones the Lord has given me, and for now, that means that it is physically exhausting.

In Colorado, we attended on bi-annual staff conference with Cru. It was so much fun to see old friends, meet new ones, hear from our national leaders, attend seminars that equip us for our ministry, browse a bookstore with lots of great resources, and just have a good time away from the city. What wasn’t so fun is that since we started traveling, Brynn has decided that she not only is boycotting naps, she is also going to wake up at night the number of times that rival a newborn. Thank goodness for coffee, caffeine, and lots of talking to keep me awake.

Special thanks to Marie, our NYC resident baby whisperer who is on staff with Cru and was out in Colorado with us. She LOVES babies and offered to take and love on Brynn many, many times throughout the week. She even took her for a few hours while we were having lunch with someone so that we could get a break. So very thankful for her blessing others with the gift of caring for children that the Lord has given her.

We are leaving Monday to head to Greenville, SC (where Ed’s parents are) to meet with current and potential ministry partners. Would you pray that Brynn starts sleeping during the day and at night? Would you pray that the Lord leads us to those he wants on our team and that we are able to schedule appointments and get decisions from them? Would you pray that we have a “restful” week before heading back to NYC to start the school year?

Introducing Our Graduate

Summer Mission is over. While we were very sad to say goodbye to the college students who made Manhattan their home for the summer and the staff we have come to know and love, our family is ready for a much needed break.

All in all, this summer was AMAZING and we saw the Lord do way more than we ever expected! I posted lots of fun stories in our prayer letter this month, which you can check out by clicking on the link here, but here is a bar graph that shows our goals for the summer and what we actually saw the Lord do.

To be honest though, being on summer mission in the city you live is tough. Its hard to balance school for the kids with summer mission activities. Its hard for my husband to be gone SO much. Its hard to trek everyone into Manhattan multiple times a week and make sure we are back at a decent time for school the next morning (which came early!). Its hard to try to still cultivate friendships with the people you are meeting around you but also cultivate relationships with the students and staff on summer mission. Its hard to have a difficult 4 month old on summer mission. Don’t get me wrong….it was the Lord’s provision for us this summer as the girls were in school still….but we are ready for a much needed break. This picture shows you what we spent a lot of time doing this summer – riding on subways!

And then before we knew it, school was out. Here are pictures from Kinsley’s last day of school, Emerson’s last day of school, and Emerson’s graduation.

Little miss Emerson got selected for Class Sweetheart and let me tell ya…Ed is going to have his hands full chasing off guys from her. We found out two little boys in her class had crushes on her, one being this little guy below. She called him “her boyfriend” and told all the college students on the summer mission that she was going to “marry him.” As if!! His mom said he even picked out outfits for school and would ask her “Mom, do you think Emerson will like this?” Then, on her graduation day, she said she broke his heart and he was sad because she told him she wasn’t going to marry him anymore. I am bracing myself now. Someone please tell them they are in preschool and to chill their jets! This mama ain’t having that!

After summer mission ended and before we headed to SC to vacation and see ministry partners, we had a family day in the city. We let the kids splash around at a playground/water area in Central Park, climb a huge rock in Central Park with great views of the city, play at the playground, ride the carousel in Central Park, have a picnic in the park, and try a famous cookie place for the first time. It was such a fun day and a much needed change of pace.

While there are hard parts about living in NYC, we are discovering that the good definitely outweighs the bad. For instance, we found out that our building is the place to be for July 4 fireworks. We had friends over for a cookout and then were going to watch the televised Macy’s fireworks from our building’s balcony overlooking the city. When it started getting dark, we went over to our window and started admiring all the firework shows going off. Then, we noticed that people were on the roof of the apartment building next to us in our complex (which they were not supposed to be!). One of our friends snooped around and found out that a door was indeed ajar leading to the roof on our building and the alarm had been cut off. We, along with our friends, joined others on our building’s roof to watch the coolest firework shows we have ever seen!

Not only did we get to see the HUGE Macy’s fireworks show, we got to see fireworks going on in every direction, amounting to probably 30 shows at one time! We got to see shows happening from Flushing north of us, to the beach area west of us to Jersey south east of us, to the Bronx west of us. It was so, so, so neat and a definite perk of living in NYC and in particular, our building 🙂

This past week began our long month of travels. We will be heading to Georgetown, SC to take some vacation time and visit ministry partners, Colorado for our biennial staff conference (with only 3 kids in tow!), and then Greenville, SC to visit with ministry partners in Ed’s hometown. Our kids did so well on the airplane and are excited to be at Gammy’s house! Pray for our kids to sleep despite all the transitions and that even with all the traveling, the next month will be restful!