Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekend in Avon

Saturday I walked to the club house in Grandmas area. I ordered a peanut butter pie. I could only eat half of it. It was very rich. The lady sitting next to me, Vickie said that looks good. I offered to split it with her. She said she would pay me for half of it. Later in the day as golf games were ending several men in their late 50s - 60s came in. They saw I was sitting next to Vickie and introduced themselves to me. We talked about Texas, Texas A&M, and Republicans. They were very right wing. I enjoyed meeting them. They were very friendly. 

Well, as soon as I got to Connecticut I was looking for a church. I did a quick search and quickly saw a baptist church that looked good. I don't have a car yet so emailed someone from the church to see if they knew of someone that could give me a ride. About an hour later Grandma asked if I needed to go to church. I said I sure do! She said Andrea, a lady that helps her, goes to the baptist church and would be glad to give me a ride.  How crazy is that! In the mean time I got an email from a Terri. She works at the church and lives near me. She offered to give me a ride too. I told her I already had a ride but appreciated the offer. Terri told me to look for her behind the welcome desk at church. 

I went to church with Andrea and her mom, Audrey. I loved the church! It reminds me of a church I went to! Andrea made sure I knew where everything was. I meet Terri. She was nice. They have a very large young adult group. There were probably about 30 people all about my age. We meet where the high school group meets before us. It is in a coffee shop type of setting at the church. The teaching was very biblical. 
After church I went to lunch with maybe 20 people from our group. More people kept coming so we continually added more chairs.  We went to a Mediterranean Buffett. It was very good. Everyone was very kind and welcoming. 

Meanwhile, I got a text from Laura, my cousin, asking if I would like to go to a few farms. I said yes! She picked me up with her friend Jenna. We went to a farm about 30 minutes away. They had a nice store inside with vegetables, and baked goods. We went on a wagon that took us to pick apples. We had two options. We could pick a large or small bagful. There were rows of different types of apples. The orchard wasn't to high which was good for short people. 

Then, we went to see Laura's horse, Puck. There are 19 horses at that barn. Next, we went to another farm. They had breads, pies, and of course vegetables. That farm was in Massachusetts.  

After going there we realized we were close to Laura's favorite don't place. Mrs. Murphy's.  We went just a little before close so they didn't have many donuts but they did have original. It was good! Laura likes to go once a year at 4am to get there by 5 when they open to have the donuts fresh. I'm not that dedicated to Mrs. Murphy's. 

After our adventure we went back to the Banulski's, Laura's families for dinner. John, Laura's dad made lasagna for dinner! We were deciding if we wanted to eat in or out. After we got settled outside it started raining. There were 8 of us for dinner. The 5 in the Banulski family, Gabe, Laura's friend, Jenna, who joined us on our farm journey and myself. Dinner was good! Laura bought an apple pie at one of the farms.  We had it for dessert. 

Later that evening Grandma and I watched a movie together.  

This morning Grandma and I cleaned out the upstairs. I got more settled in my room. 

About noon Stephen and Gabe came to pick me up. We got chipotle! I'm so thankful there is a Chipotle close to us. Then, we went to the Yankee Candle Store. The store was about an hour and a half away. It's in Springfield Massachusetts. It was like the Wonderful World of Disney and just about as big. They had every single scent. They had a room for about every holiday. I saw Mrs. Clause! It was a very neat place. 

Stephen was saying he that Magic Wings was close by. At first I thought it was a wing restaurant. I looked it up and Magic Wings was 4 minutes away! We went there after the Yankee Candle store. It had an outer room with some bugs. Inside was a very large room with hundreds of butterflies. It was so neat! They had a little restaurant there and they have weddings at Magic Wings. 

Stephen and Gabe stayed for dinner.  We picked up a pizza from a local place.  It was good!  

Grandma and I were going through things.  I saw two things that needed to be cleaned.  One was a ice crystal something.  As I was cleaning it I broke it.  I felt bad.  Grandma didn't seem to care which I appreciated.  Then, I cleaned a candle holder.  I broke that too!  This time it cut my finger.  Grandma didn't seem to care that it broke.  It cut my finger a bit.  Grandma helped me put a band-aid on it.  

"until I think of a good closing"

Friday, August 28, 2015

Life in Conneticut

Well, I am getting settled in Connecticut.  It is nice living here.  It is like having built in community with all of the cousins.  My dad is bringing my car on Wednesday!  It will be good to have!  Aunt Norma is ready for me to have a car to be able to pick up things from the grocery store and maybe I can take her out to eat.  I asked Aunt Norma if I can call her Grandma.  She said yes.  Grandma said she is missing one grandchild so I can take his place.  Now this grandson is in the army, is 6' 8" and has red hair.  So, I'm not exactly like him.

Stephen and Gabe, Stephen's best friend, came to pick me up.  We went Madison, about an hour away.  There was a cute downtown there.  We went to a book store.  They had many authors pictures hung.

From the downtown area we went to the beach.  The beach had so many seashells!  We couldn't even reach the bottom of the shells!  It made it hard to walk!  Many people were out at the beach.  There were only a few swimmers.

Stephen and Gabe and I went to a fish restaurant.  It was nice.  I had a hamburger.  I hear its a real popular restaurant.  Gabe told me about this drink they have in the North East that is like Root Beer but not Root Beer.

Kara told me about the Book Barn.  She said there are tons of barns with books.  The three of us went there today.  Out of all of the books I didn't see any Christian books.  The people at the store said the Christian books were at a downtown location less than a mile away.  We went there and I found several great books.  The downtown store was in a cute area near another beach.

Next, the three of us went to a vineyard.  Stephen and Gabe have been going on a wine tour around Connecticut. They have a wine passport book.  I don't drink but it was very nice to see the vineyard.  There was a pretty pond and flowers.  It was pretty! They had a restaurant there too.  It was quite busy when we went.  Stephen and Gabe said the California wine was better than the Connecticut wine they tried.  They said in Connecticut they have to make flavored wines like blueberry, ect.  

We came back to Grandma's and Grandma and I have been watching a movie.  So far Connecticut is great!  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

God is our Comforter

Well, I woke up yesterday morning and Nicole, who I was working for told me this wasn't going to work.  I was shocked!  Did not see that coming!

I called my parents.  My parents called my Aunt Norma, my Nanas sister.  My aunt said her driver could probably pick me up or my cousins.

I texted Kelly who I was going to babysit for occasionally.  I had never meet her but had talked to her a few times on the phone.  Kelly had just called me the day before to see how things were going and to make sure I could still babysit.  I said everything is great and I was looking forward to meeting her.  So, I texted Kelly and told her what happened.  She asked me to call her.  I called Kelly.  She told me they had a couple of guest rooms I could stay in.  Kelly offered to pick me up, take me places, Kelly said they had a busy day but her plans had been canceled so she was able to help.  So, Kelly came over, picked me up and I put all of my things in her car.  Kelly gave me snacks, a Coke, mac and cheese, and great Godiva chocolate.  Kelly said her husband gave her the chocolate for their anniversary. The chocolate was very good.  I was with Kelly for about 3 hours.  My cousins came about 2 hours from Connecticut to pick me up.

On our drive my cousins were telling me about a castle.  I looked it up and it was just 10 minutes away from where we were.  We stopped at the castle.  We walked up a long steep road to get to the castle.  It was a run down old castle.  We couldn't go in.  Nothing was there.  We saw another train and walked through a large amount of grass, like a jungle.  Stephen made sure I knew what poison ivey looked like.  I appreciated that!  We saw an old water tower and a trading post.  It was neat to see.

It was about a two hour drive to Aunt Norma's.  It was great to finally see her.  I probably hadn't seen her in 13 years!  Aunt Norma said she is glad to have me.  I think she enjoys the company.

I was getting settled in with Aunt Norma.  Later that night Stephen, my cousin came by to pick me up.  He took me to see his family his parents, and two sisters.  We went to Disney World together when I was about 5 but I don't remember that.  They were very nice and John, Stephens dad said if I need anything let him know, we're family.  Stephen, Laura, and Laura's friend and I went to the BEST ice-cream place I have ever been to!  I got peach ice-cream.  The ice-cream place was on a farm.  It had a cute small farm store attached to it.

Today Stephen came over and took me to the Mark Twain Museum.  I don't have a car so I appreciate his taking me.  It was great to see the museum!  Afterwards, Stephen took me to the Green House.  It is a tea place like Teavanna.  They have different flavors of boba.  I thought that was cool.

My cousin Kara was at Aunt Normas's when Stephen and I got back.  I meet Kara 14 years ago when she came to Texas.  We made banana nut bread and had dinner together.  I really like her!  She can't believe that I don't love the Cowboys.  I can't believe that she named her dog Dallas and she loves the Cowboys and Kara isn't even from Texas.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

God is our Provider

My first week as a nanny has been good.  I am trying to figure out the lay of the land and learning my new responsibilities.  The kids have to do about 30 minutes of school/educational workbook a day.  One of Kyle's assignments was to look at leaves and identify them.  The 30 minutes flew by that day.  We both enjoyed looking at the leaves.  After identifying leaves Kyle and I put a leaf behind a piece of paper and colored on top of the paper.  It was very fun!  

Tuesday evening I made dinner.  I am the first nanny the Riggers have had that made dinner.  I made baked ziti, green bean almandine, garlic bread and brownies.

I have been to Starbucks many evenings.  The evenings are dead at this Starbucks and pretty much this whole small town.  I did meet Tim who works at Starbucks and his friend Joey.  They told me about the New York City.  They told me Time Square was just a tourist trap.  I did't want to believe them but it is true.  Tim and Joey also told me about a good app to use to find train times.  

At the beginning of the week there were a few hard days being alone in a new town.  I had been praying that the Lord would provide me with friends and the people I need.  I remembered Steve, the youth pastor from Trinity Presbyterian.  I texted him and asked if I could hang out with him and his family.  He said absolutely!  Steve said they were about to go to a church conference but I could come over.  I really appreciated that especially as they were packing.  Steve and his wife Amy and three kids live in White Plains, about 20 minutes away.   White Plains is the largest city (at least I'm pretty sure) in Westchester.  Amy is an OBGYN at Columbia.  Amy is a doll!  I love her!  I am looking forward to hanging out with Steve, Amy, the kids more soon!  

Thursday evening after work I went to Terrytown which is right by the Hudson River.  It was pretty to walk along the river.  There were near condos right there by the water and a nice restaurant.

Friday morning I went to Starbucks and saw a man a little older than my parents who had a book out about Finding the Right College.  I asked if he was going to school.  The man said "Do you know anyone my age going to school"?  That man is Jack.  He helps students write essays, and with interviews.  Chappaqua has the best school district.  They are very focused on grades here.  The cool kids are the smart kids.  As I was talking to Jack about what he does a lady walked by and overheard us and asked for Jacks card for her kids.  

The next day I saw Jack at Starbucks.  I asked him a question about the city and he helped me by telling me the lay out of the city, what is where, what to see, and what is a good day trip.  Jack also told me about how 5th Avenue is "ground zero" and everything revolves around that.  So to find streets start at 5th Avenue.  I am very thankful for Jack.  

Friday evening I went to Rye.  There was Playland which is like the game section of the fair.  Right outside of Playland was a boardwalk and a beach.  It was pleasant to walk along there in the evening.  There were two restaurants there along the beach.  I walked along the beach which was very nice.  Friday nights they in Rye they have fireworks on the beach.  A man told me the fireworks were worth staying for.  That man had never been to Disney World.  The fire works weren't the best.  

Welcome to Chappaqua

My mom and I got up early for her to drop me off at the airport.  I was so excited to come here.  I was sad to leave her.  Going through TSA the guy who was watching my body scan said "try not to smile."  At first I thought he was serious and then I realized that he was joking.

On the plane I sat in the middle of two ladies.  One was a doctor in the city.  The other lady was going to New York with her husband.  They were Jehovah's Witness.  They were going to the country to help build a house.  They were taking time off of work to do this.  The lady kept saying how its okay because its good for the organization.  I felt sorry for them kind of wasting their time for something false.

After arriving in LGA I meet Dan who I am working for.  He was super nice.  As we were leaving the airport there was someone that had to check my luggage receipt to my bags.  I had never seen that before.

We meet Nicole and the kids at a pizza place.  It was great to finally meet everyone.

That day I got all settled in.  It was also Dan's birthday.  We went to a nice restaurant for dinner.  They restaurant great tea!  

NYC with Otto

Otto, who I meet about three years ago at Central Market started working in Connecticut.  I hadn't seen Otto for a while but saw from  Facebook that he was in the North East.  He told me he was going to two churches in New York on Sunday and that I could join.  I took him up on that offer. Otto said to get my little Texas self at the center of Grand Central and he would take care of the rest.

I left Chappaqua and walked to the train station which is about a mile walk.  I saw a nice looking girl there about my age.  I said I have a silly question but will you take my picture by the Chappaqua sign.  She said it wasn't a silly question and took my picture.

I sat by a phone charger on the train.  It is about an hour ride into the city.  I had my feet propped up and was comfortable when group of girls sat right next to me because it was the perfect number of seats for their group. We ended up talking and they were super sweet.  A mom was bringing her two daughters and the cousins for a meet and greet.  The ladies said I looked like their cousin Katie. They told me about the city and about the train.  A lady over heard us talking and offered me her train schedule and welcomed me to the city.  The man collecting tickets got me my own train time schedule.  The group of girls offered for me to follow them to the center of Grand Central where I meet Otto.  The ladies were very helpful and nice.

I saw several police officers around Grand Central.  I asked one of them if I should plan on being back on the train before dark.  The officer said no you're fine to come back any time.  I asked if they had any safety tips.  The officer said "what do you mean safety?"  It figured it must be a fairly safe city.

I meet Otto at Grand Central.  We got a taxi to go to the Standard Hotel where we had breakfast.  Otto was telling me all about the city.  The taxi driver said he should be a tour guide and mayor.

The Standard was a very neat hotel in the Meat Packing District.  We sat outside which was fun.  The weather was great!  At the Standard they have a rooftop pool.  Otto and I wanted to see the top and the great view.  We couldn't get on the elevator because we didn't have a key.  We saw some folks going up and went with them. We didn't quite get to the top so we had to take the stairs.  The stairs were really neat.  There was art work there and cool music.  Otto was taking a picture of the unique art work when a man that worked there said hey this area is closed. Otto said she is from Texas this is her first time in New York and explained how we just wanted to see the view.  The guy let us go up!  It was an incredible view! We could see so much of the city!  After taking pictures we got on the elevator.  We quickly discovered we had gotten on the service elevator.  There were several people that go on and off with carts.  We had to walk briefly through the back of the house to get back to the lobby.  It was an adventure!

We walked to Marble Collegiate Church.  We saw the Chelsea neighborhood, and Greenwich Village. Otto knew a lady at Marble and she was nice.  The sound booth guys charged my phone for me during the service.  It was a pretty church.  The choir was wonderful.  Otto told me one of the former pastors there wrote the Power of Positive Thinking.  We got to meet the main pastor after the service.

We quickly walked to Hillsong church.  We went right through the middle of time square to get there.  That was fun to see!  We got our picture taken with dressed up characters.  After the picture Elmo took off his mask and said to Otto "sir, I work for tips."  Otto gave him a $5 and the man playing Elmo said sir, we need more than this.

Otto and I had a hard time finding Hillsong.  We walked right passed it without knowing it.  While we were walking around Time Square to find the Best Buy theater where church was we took our picture in Time Square.  A nice older couple took the picture for us.  They were from some place in Africa that Otto had been.  We finally got to Hillsong.  We were there a few minutes late.  They had to set up more chairs because so many people were there.

We went to St. Peters Cathedral.  Otto took me around to the back area of the church I wouldn't know to go if I was by myself.  He said that is where he usually prays.

Otto and I were headed to the Plaza Food Court for lunch.  They have a fairly large food court.  On the way to the Plaza we passed Rockefeller Center which was great!  After a great lunch we went to Central Park.  From there Otto headed to the airport to go back home.   I walked around the park a little and then had to put a band aid on my heels.  Cute pink shoes aren't always comfortable.  A man saw my foot and I could tell he felt sorry for me.  I told him how the shoe were cute but aren't comfortable.  He pointed at his son.  I then found he couldn't speak English.  He put up two fingers.  I could tell he wanted me to put two band-aids on.  I was having a hard time peeling the band-aid and it would stick, it wasn't the best situation.  The man then went on to help me put the band-aid on.  I'm glad he did.  It was nice and helpful!  Even though he couldn't speak English and I couldn't speak the language he spoke he could still see that my feet needed help and felt sorry for me.

I walked around a little more.  I was looking for a place to charge my phone with a view.  I found the Peninsula Hotel.  I got a $9 Coke there.  Good views aren't cheap.  After so much walking I decided to go back to Chappaqua.

As I was exiting the train I saw the same girl that took my picture going into the city!  What are the odds of that!  We chatted for a bit and I found out she just graduated and is now working in the city.

After going home and taking a shower I meet Anne at the Cheesecake Factory in White Plains.  Anne leads the Young Professionals home group at Trinity Rivertowns.  We had chatted several times.  She was sweet to invite me to things.  It was great to finally meet her.

Monday, August 24, 2015

First Sunday in Westchester

Sunday I woke up early, went to Starbucks, like usual and went to church.  I was going to a Presbyterian church about 20 minutes away.  I walked in with a few nice folks.  I saw a few candles and thought that's kind of odd there aren't usually candles but oh well.   I walked into a pretty Catholic church.  I saw the nice lady I walked in with bowing down to Mary.  I turned around and left.  I saw someone and asked if this was the Presbyterian church.  She said where I was at a Catholic church and the presbyterian church was next door.

I arrived at the Presbyterian church.  It was my first time at a presbyterian church.  The youth pastor Steve spoke that day.  I saw his name before and thought about emailing him to see about working with the students.  After we were leaving Steve and the other pastor were shaking peoples hands.  Steve stood out to me because he knew I was new and he told me his name.  I appreciated that.

I meet a few sweet girls after church at a fellowship time.  One of the girls told me the main pastor and his wife are from Texas.  I meet the pastors wife Dru.  She and her family lived in Dallas.  She was a realtor and her husband was a lawyer.  He is now a pastor in Rye.  I was able to talk to Steve more about the student ministry.

That afternoon I went to Westchester which is in White Plains which was close to Rye where I went to church which is about 20 minutes from Chappaqua which is where I live.  I got a few things to make my room feel like home.

At Anthropologie I meet Maggie.  She helped me find some things.  She also told me about New York.  She told me not to be afraid to go into the city.  She also gave me her email address if I had any questions.

At Kate Spade I meet Gen and Paula.  They were really great.  Gen encouraged me to write in their book of Interesting People.

After shopping I went back to Chappaqua to talk to the Riggers about my job and duties.  I am responsible for anything that has to do with the kids.

I went to Trinity Rivertowns that evening.  I talked to the pastor a couple of times and already had plans to go to dinner with life group leaders Steve and Kim that lived near me.  Steve and Kim are awesome! They offered to help me with the move and offered me a ride to church.  Steve and Kim introduced me to several people at church.  We went to a great burger place after church.