5 more days…

This month is flying by at warp speed…. Another big chunk of time gone by when I didn’t sit down and write about it.  How does this keep happening??  It feels like I’ve only been here for 3 days, and suddenly I’m 2 and a half weeks in.   Well, here’s another whirlwind glimpse of the past 5 days …

*click on pictures to view them larger*

Wednesday  7•11

Emily and I headed out to Astoria for ethnographic observation on our own, kid free!  We had breakfast, walked around town, interviewed several people, and had interruption-free conversation about our observations.  We had another awesome class in the afternoon on Worship and Prayer, then had a fun rooftop dinner with 3 other couples from the training.

^ setting up a rooftop get-together with several families from our training

Thursday  7•12

Nate and Josh needed to get together for some team-oriented work, so Nate and I headed to the Kines’ part of town to meet up.   Nate and Josh set up shop in a Starbucks while Emily and I took the 6 kids to the park, where a lovely pigeon decided to poop all over my hair.  Class that afternoon focused on culture shock and other cross-cultural experiences.

^ park and poop

Over the course of the day, Noah started getting some crazy funky eye goop, which started looking alot like some sort of conjunctivitis by the end of the day.  Thankfully MTW had the foresight to bring a pediatrician along to this training, so I didn’t have any problem getting the issue taken care of.   A bit of fussiness and some prescription drops, but it wasn’t long before he started perking back up.

^ cranky boy laying in my lap… little dude gets crazy allergies!

Nate also had another Home Group with the Greek church that evening, so he was out from 6:30 or so until about 11….meanwhile I worked on my sunset pics again!

^ getting better! I’ll have some good ones by the end of the month!

Crazy story:  Nate and I opted not to bring a double stroller with us to NYC, primarily because they are difficult to get onto the subways.   However, Nate works alot of mornings and I have the kids by myself, so having two umbrella strollers strapped together can sometimes be difficult to maneuver for long periods.  I have really been missing my double stroller when I’m out walking the neighborhoods alone.   Thursday, while walking to class, a man ran out of his business and shouted, “Hey!  Do you need a double stroller?”   Nate and I were skeptical, thinking he was trying to sell us something, but it turns out that he just saw us walking by pushing our cheap umbrella strollers and thought he’d offer us the super nice double stroller he was about to get rid of.  Someone at his company was going to donate it to Salvation Army, but he saw and and thought we might need it.   I was expecting something old and worn out, but when he brought it out to us, it was in awesome shape!!   Praise the Lord for the way He provides the simple, practical things!

^ awesome stroller from an even awesomer New Yorker

Friday  7•13

Nate was headed to Astoria to do some ethnographic research for one of our assignments, so I tagged along with the boys to take them to Astoria Park while he worked.  The boys and I spent a couple hours roaming around and enjoying the playground before meeting Nate and heading back to Long Island City for class.  Since Noah’s eyes were still a bit funky, Nate stayed home with them and worked on his sermon prep for Sunday so they could nap, and I went to class alone.   Instead of class, we had a “spiritual retreat” which focused on worship, reflection, and prayer…it was a nice and welcome break after 2 weeks of lectures and class!

^ playground time! Barrett “flying” on top of the seal…which he thought was a giant fish.  And Noah threatening to jump off.

Saturday  7•14

Since Nate was needing some quiet time to prepare for Sunday, I joined up with Josh and Emily for a morning out with the kiddos.  We took all 6 kids to Dylans Candy Bar for a treat, then rode the Tram to Roosevelt Island for a trip to the playground and a picnic lunch.  It was a fun morning, but I think ALL of us were tired by lunch time!!

^ Matthew Kines enjoying his Dylans Candy Bar chocolate; excited little boys riding the tram; good times at the park

After an afternoon nap, Nate and I got ready for another NYC date night!  (Thank the Lord for other missionaries in our building who like to do babysitting swaps!!) We headed to a little Italian place in Nolita called Rubirosa, and it was incredible.  We loved it.   We followed it up with gelato and a leisurely walk through Little Italy and Soho.  On the subway ride home, a guy jumped on board with us, pulled out a full-sized keyboard and a tip jar, and started to jam on the subway floor.  It was an awesome way to end our evening!

^ Date Night!!
^ piano man on the subway

Sunday  7•15

I woke up Sunday morning nervous about how church would go…. Greek Evangelical Church doesn’t have a nursery, and Nate would be preaching.  I was a little worried that the boys would see Nate up front and go nuts, and that crazy squirmy boys in the congregation would make it difficult for Nate to focus.   The boys definitely squirmed and made noise and had to be carried outside several times, but Nate didn’t have a problem just preaching on through the distractions.  I guess he’s used to talking over silly little boys by now!    It was a bit of a trying morning for me as I tried to keep them straight, but teaching young children to sit in worship is a process, right?    Maybe next week will go better.    I know Nate preached on Mark 10, but I didn’t hear a bit of it, so I’m just assuming it went well (:    The afternoon brought LONG, much-needed naps, followed by a sunset trip to the park.   A good way to wind down before the crazy week ahead!!

^ blackwell playground at Roosevelt Island…with a view!

2 and a half weeks down…2 to go.  This week is PILAT (program in language acquisition training), which is hard-core.  All day classes from 9-5, which means all-day childcare for the kiddos.  Keep on praying for us…we (and all the other participants in this training) need it!

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