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October Occurrences, Part 1

October has been so busy and will continue to be busy, so I thought I'd do a run-down of October 1-15 (I figured out this morning that we will be home 16 nights between now and December 14).  Then at the end of the month, I'll catch you up on the second half of the month.

We started the month with a trip to Calvary Church in Baldwin, NY.  We got off the highway and took some less-traveled roads, which was fun.  No pictures, though, as I was either asleep or driving.  Well, I did see this car wash which I thought must be the world's fanciest car wash.  



John's dad grew up in Baldwin, NY where his parents (John's grandparents) owned a house.  They had attended this church when John's dad was a boy, and Calvary had supported my parents-in-law when they were short-termers to Nigeria.  John said as a boy he would study this picture when the message got boring.  Others at the church told us that whenever they have homecoming church reunions everybody has a story about "the picture".

  

Aren't these beautiful stained-glass windows?



We stayed with the Pastor and his wife in their granny flat and were very comfortable there.  They are right under the flight pattern of JFK and not far from the railroad track, but none of it kept us awake.  I love it when kids are involved in services and we try to have a table that takes advantage of kids' propensity for tactile learning.  They are free to beat the drum, play with the xylophone, or pretend to write on the slate.  We ate Saturday night supper, then had a meeting in which two other missionary families presented their ministries.  Sunday morning started out with breakfast at the church, then during Sunday School, a camp in which the church is involved presented their ministry,  The pastor's wife also presented an up-coming missions' trip the church will be doing.  Then in the church service we showed our audio-visual presentation and John preached.  The service was followed by another dinner.  We had a great time there!





From there we drove up to Connecticut where we spent the night.  We visited with John's mom, went out for dinner (I know, so much food in one weekend!), and on Monday morning we took her shopping and spent some time with her.  While we were there another resident of her retirement home fainted right next to me while we were eating lunch in a little bistro they have.  I was able to grab her and keep her from falling out of her chair!

Our next journey was to Boston, which I've already blogged about here.  It was great to see my cousin there and, unexpectedly, my sister, who is working remotely for a college and was there for training.  We also got to spend time with our neighbors and good friends, Ian and Beka, who are excellent tour guides of the Boston area.  



We drove home then and spent a few days here, catching up on laundry, getting ready for our next road trip, and enjoying the fall colors.  Unfortunately the colors seem a bit muted this year, but they are still beautiful.





Our next stop was on Venus.  Well, not the planet, but Venus United Evangelical Church in Venus, PA.  We spent the night with a couple who live in an old house in the country.  They're adding on and renovating and it's a truly beautiful house in a restful location.  He teaches music at Clarion College, so John enjoyed talking music things with him.  They have their church service first and then Sunday School, so we presented in both of those.  John did a message in the service and then we presented our ministry in Sunday School.  Afterwards the pastor took us out for dinner.  (People did show up to the service; I just took this afterwards.)





From there we headed off to Michigan to spend a week with Dan and Kelly, Levi and Everett.  We enjoyed all the baby snuggles and great conversations with Dan and Kelly.  



We watched some movies and played some games in the evenings.  

Daniel was able to get Friday off and we went out to the Alber Orchard and Cider Mill where they have a cider press, an apple orchard, and a corn maze. 



The maze was pretty incredible as it was shaped like the emblem and helmet of the Pittsburgh University football team (the owners' son plays football for them).  





What is cuter than a baby in a pumpkin patch?  Two babies, of course!







On Saturday we all drove down to Ohio to Suz and Theo's house.  Theo was at work, but that afternoon everybody else went to a "fair" (not a fair with rides) that was being held in a nearby park.  We just wandered around there for awhile before going home to make supper.







Sunday we went to church, then after dinner and naps for the kids we went to have our photos taken.  The idea was to do it outside with fall colors in the background, but it turned out to be rainy and windy and there really weren't many colors, anyway.  So the photographer's back-up plan was this cool studio.  The floor-to-ceiling windows fill the room with natural light so there's no need for a flash, even on cloudy days.  We had a fun time and she was just about finished before the four children under four started having melt-downs.  I can't wait to get the photos from the photographer!  This is one she posted on her Facebook page.  We got some with Heavenly in them, too, but of course I can't show those on my blog.



When we got home, we celebrated Hezekiah's birthday.  Not only was he king for the day, he IS the king.  Because Hezekiah in the Bible was a king, our Hezekiah is usually called King Kiah or King-King.  His birthday was actually on Saturday, but since Theo was working that day, we celebrated on Sunday.  







First he opened his gifts and then he dove into his cake.  I was taking pictures for Suzanne on her camera, so I didn't actually get any of him with the candle on the cake.  Oh, my goodness, he is so cute!  

Little Tera is really getting the hang of her balance bike.  It's fun to see her gaining confidence.



While we were in Ohio, we invited one of our supporters over for supper, but failed to get a photo.  We hadn't seen him for ages.  Unfortunately his wife isn't well and couldn't come, but she prays for us so faithfully.  Then another evening we had my cousins, John and Donna and Jeanne and Ken (well, Ken couldn't come at the last minute because he didn't feel well) and a student at Cedarville who had grown up in Niger, Corrnne.  She brought her roommate, so we had a full house, but we also had a great time.

Suzanne and Theo have finished off their basement into a one-bedroom apartment and are renting it out on Airbnb (if you're in the area, make sure you check it out!).  We got to be their second guests (Dan and Kelly and the twins stayed there first), but I forgot to take any pictures, so I stole these from Suzanne's blog.  They are putting in a fridge and a stove.  It is surprisingly light for a basement apartment.  They've done a great job and will hopefully get enough reservations to help pay for the mortgage.



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