After battling a cold this past week (and watching it trickle through the rest of our family), I am finally feeling well enough to update you on our last week (well, a little over a week but who’s counting?).
I love living in such a diverse place and learning so much about other religions and people groups. For instance, seeing these tents at Jewish houses and synagogues over the last month reminds me that it is time for the Festival of Booths, where Jewish people remember and thank God for their fruit harvest and also remember how God provided shelter for them when they were wandering in the desert. I also did a culture report for our staff meeting where I shared more about the Chinese Exclusion Act. Our team is going to take turns doing reports on different cultural things that have happened in the US and the racism different people groups (that we work with daily) have dealt with as a result of it. It was very humbling to learn that American prohibited Chinese immigration for over 60 years back in the 1800’s – it was the first and only time in US history that a group was singled out by name as being undesirable. They never shared about this in history while growing up and I feel it’s a very big deal!
We had our annual Fall Retreat last weekend in New Jersey with all the NJ and NY Cru students. We had 12 students attend (7 from St. Johns, 4 from Queens College, and 1 from Stony Brook Univ.), which is an increase from last year!! I did not attend for a variety of reasons (which I am glad I didn’t as I came down with nasty cold) but it was neat to hear stories of how God grew the students, connected them together, and got them excited about going back to reach their campus. While Ed was gone, we explored a new-to-us park near our new place, we went to church, and we spent lots of time playing and relaxing. At church last weekend, they opened a new library for the kids where they can check out Christian books and return them to get more. I think its a great idea to introduce Christian authors to kids, especially when they start reading chapter books and Christian authors aren’t as numerous. Kinsley got to do the ribbon cutting (along with another friend) for the new library, and of course, their favorite part were the cupcakes and juice boxes to celebrate.
Ed got Monday off – one, because it was Columbus Day and college campuses were closed and two, as a recovery day from Fall Retreat. So, because the girls were out of school as well, we headed to the Bronx Zoo. We love this zoo – it is huge (we have never been able to see everything in just one day) and we love that they really care for and provide great habitats for the animals rather than just putting them in a little cage. We also have watched some of “The Zoo” on Animal Planet which has connected us with the animals as we see the behind the scenes things they have done. They were having “Boo at the Zoo” and our kids loved the Candy Trail and the Costume parade (shown below).
Brynn has been having a hard time sleeping through the night and we thought it was in large part to the fact that she would lose her pacifier and couldn’t get back to sleep without it. So, because we were planning on taking it away soon anyways, we decided to go ahead and do it while we weren’t getting sleep. I am excited to report that we are like 5 days into no pacifier at all and she is sleeping through the night and sleeping longer and better than she has ever done. So thankful! That being said, it has been fun to even see her personality come out more since she doesn’t have a pacifier in her mouth. For instance, she is always finding little places all over our house to hide herself. For instance, one day we found her under the bathroom sink and another, we found her hiding in our pantry. This kid keeps us laughing and I pray it continues.
One thing I am not liking right now – dealing with bugs again! When we moved to NYC, I already had expectations that we would deal with bugs and ants in our apartment (we had a major problem with ants when we were here for the summer a few years ago). But surprisingly, our apartment was great and we only ever saw 1 water bug. However, moving to a house has been a totally different story. Spiders, creepy crawly bugs that I can’t even name, and ants have been constant since we moved in. Ed is doing some major spraying this weekend to try and get the problem under control, but man, I didn’t miss this!