We are officially residents of NYC!! How crazy and exciting is that? Here’s a little of our journey the last week….
Last Tuesday, Ed drove a Budget truck (though our POD was in NYC, we needed to take a lot of stuff that we had with us to NYC, as well as pick up a HUGE Ikea order so we could furnish our apartment) to NYC. After a long 12.5 hour ride to Brooklyn, he made it to Ikea and picked up our large order (which he learned never to do again by himself as it was way too much for him to handle). Then, he traveled to Garden City to stay with some ministry partners before driving into Queens and moving into the apartment the next morning.
Meanwhile, I was in Greenville with Ed’s parents and meeting the guy who was going to buy our van. Like I said in the last post, God did a crazy-cool thing and provided Chad, the lead singer for the Christian band Unspoken (though you may not know their name, you absolutely know their songs), to buy our van, so he drove down from Nashville, sold his car to CarMax, and then paid me for our van. Not only was it awesome to meet Him, it was neat to see how the Lord provided a perfect van for his family at just the right time and he was able to support a missionary family at the same time.
Wednesday, Ed arrived at our apartment bright and early to move in all our gear, along with some Cru staff members and professional movers. It also meant finding parking for the Budget truck in crazy NYC traffic and navigating getting everything up through a small elevator shaft. But, it all made it!
Ed spent the next few days getting things put together, moved around, and buying things we needed. Friday, he flew back to Charlotte, NC to meet up with us (his parents graciously drove us and provided a hotel for us to stay in that night) and then Saturday morning, we headed out bright and early to NYC. The kids were so excited to ride on the airplane, especially Blake who kept yelling plane at the top of his lungs at EVERY.SINGLE.PLANE he saw at the busy Charlotte airport.
Cool God moment – we took a shuttle from our hotel to the airport (like a 10 minute ride) Saturday morning and after checking our luggage, we realized that we had left my book bag on the shuttle bus. After frantically trying to call the hotel and get in touch with the shuttle for them to bring it back, and lots of crazy praying to God for us to find it quickly, Ed “happened” to look up and see the shuttle bus driving by on the way to drop off more people. He sprinted to catch up with them and was able to catch him, and get our book bag. Praise the Lord for perfect timing!
After a short (but Oh So Long) flight to LaGuardia and cab ride, we arrived at our apartment. We have spent the last few days getting unpacked, ordering LOTS of things from Amazon, and getting used to life in the city. Did I mention that we have had lots of help getting unpacked, just like this?
We took a break to take the kids trick or treating, and man, was it an experience. Like, whoa. People here go ALL OUT for Halloween. I have never in my life seen people celebrate it in full force like they did here. If you were not dressed up, whether an adult or a child, you were out of place. People travel from all over Queens to trick or treat in Forest Hills (where we live – especially on one street in particular) so they literally shut down the whole street, decorate the houses, and give out candy all night. The businesses even give out candy.
We have spent lots and lots of time the last few weeks praying and trying to decide whether to keep homeschooling the kids or send them to preschool and 1st grade in public school. We decided this week to put them in school and Kinsley was not happy about our decision, which was really hard to push through knowing she wasn’t feeling it. So, we prayed, checked out the schools, and decided we would go with it and if it didn’t work, pull her out and homeschool her. So, we went to her school where she is zoned for, and found out they didn’t have any spots. So, they sent us to another school nearby to register her and we were excited to learn that this school is one of the best in our area. Such a cool answer to prayer to get a spot at a really great school. The administration was so helpful, Kinsley got to meet her teacher and see her classroom, and by the end, she was so excited about going back to school – what a huge answer to prayer! And, the best part, they just requested and got approved to add a bus stop for this school literally outside our apartment complex, so we won’t have to walk her there or walk her far to get on the bus. Yah!!
Then, the school administration got us so much info about getting Emerson enrolled in free pre-K (something NYC offers to 4 year olds called universal Pre-K where they can enroll and attend 5 days a week to get ready for kindergarten) and helped us tremendously. After many calls to multiple Pre-K centers and the Department of Education, and getting lots of different answers, we found out that we had missed the enrollment deadline and couldn’t register at a center even though there were spots available. We were bummed, BUT then, one of the centers called back and said that the Department of Education said she could enroll a kid if another kid got discharged. And guess what is happening November 18? Yep, she has a kid getting discharged, which means Emerson can take that spot. Basically, that means that Emerson can go to pre-K at an approved center for free, instead of us paying hundreds of dollars each month. And the center is close to us and will work with Kinsley’s school schedule. Praise God for how He is working out every single, teeny, tiny detail, from helping us find our missing bag so we didn’t miss our plane to finding a great spot for both of our kids at schools that are close by.
More to come from this great adventure ]the Lord has us on….