Wow, October has been a busy month. Here are a few things that have been happening.
1. I attempted to blog every day of the month on a theme: ExNihilo Cooking. I started out well, but helping take care of our daughter, new grandson, and two-year old grand-daughter meant I was pretty busy. Even though I was cooking every day, I just kind of lost interest in the theme. I tend to be hard on myself when I don't carry through on things. I'm a plodder and once I start something I will see it through, stubbornly carrying on past the point where I should just quit. So, I refuse to feel guilt for dropping that one since something more important came along.
2. At the beginning of the month, we had three days of field conference. Both John and I were involved in that, so those were really busy days. After that week, I worked hard to finish up as many loose ends at the office as I could so they won't be there waiting for me after vacation.
3. We left Niger on October 14 just before midnight, landing in Paris early in the morning, with a six-hour lay-over there. While there we had a pain au chocolat (one of those great French pastries the whole world should have...it's basically chocolate inside a croissant, only it's not a croissant.)
We also found some benches and slept for awhile, then checked our email and found out that our grandson had been born shortly after we took off from Niamey! We also found out some bad news from Niger. (If you want to know more about that, contact me personally.) Once we landed in New York, we caught a "limo" (in reality, a van) up to Connecticut, arriving there around 6 p.m. John's brother and sister-in-law picked us up at the station and took us to my mother-in-law's apartment. We all went out for supper and then dropped in to bed, exhausted. It had been about 36 hours since we had last seen a bed.
4. The next day, Sunday, we went to church at our sending church, Trinity Covenant Church.
Then we had lunch with John's brother and sister-in-law. John's mom, Jean, let us borrow her car while we're in the US, so we took her back to her apartment and then headed off to Pennsylvania. We spent the night there with good friends, and then continued on our way to Ohio the next day. We really enjoyed the fall colors as the mountain areas of Pennsylvania were at peak.
5. We were so excited to meet Hezekiah James Hines and to get re-acquainted with our grand-daughter, Tera, who we hadn't seen since she was just a little over a month old.
If you'd like to know more about Hezekiah's name, click here. Suz and Theo are calling him Kiah for short. That is from the last half of his name. We are so in love with both Kiah and Tera and Theo and Suz are doing such a great job at being parents.
6. We've done a lot with Tera, especially.
She's accepted Kiah and doesn't seem to have her nose bent out of shape, but it's most helpful to Suzanne to have help entertaining her while she and Kiah work on getting on a schedule and recovering from the birth. Both are doing well, but it's just hard work to have a newborn!
7. I've made seven freezer meals for Suzanne and may be able to do one more. She had already made some, too, and I think somebody else left a few for her, so she's got some easy meals for those days when everything happens at once and she can barely get herself dressed, let alone cook a meal!
8. I've done piles and piles of laundry and lots of dishes. At least I have a good helper to keep me company.
9. We try to get in as many baby snuggles as we can.
10. Daniel and Kelly got to come down both weekends that we've been here. One weekend it was so warm that we took a hike at Clifton Gorge and had a picnic supper there.
11. We've gone over to my sister's house twice and she brought a meal here, so we got to see them quite a bit. This picture is not at her house, but you can see how much Tera loves "Aunt Natawee".
12. I've been working on a quilt for Kiah. I cut out all the pieces while I was in Niger, but alas, I forgot one piece! So my amazing neighbor has gone in my house, found the cloth, and is mailing it to me with somebody traveling this week. I should be able to finish it before we leave, but just in the nick of time. (I'll do a full blog on the quilt later.)
13. I managed to come up with a Halloween outfit for Tera. I looked at a certain store and all the costumes there were expensive for the quality and many of them, even in size 2T, were inappropriate. So on a visit to a thrift store, I found a duck outfit that fit her perfectly. Then I had to look at other stores to find orange pants for her legs and a yellow sweater for her arms. A local church had a trunk and treat, so we took her there. We also found at a thrift store this little duck basket (I think it was meant to be an Easter basket) for her to use to collect her loot.
Peepaw also carved a pumpkin with her.
And that's pretty much been our October!