At the beginning of the week we boarded a plane for the US. We arrived before we left according to the calendar, safe but jet-lagged. Somehow losing 19 hours makes it hard to fall asleep when your body thinks it’s 5 p.m. 😉
So here are the answers to some questions about this season in our life, starting with the most important question of all!
Will we have a white Christmas?
Well, there are never any guarantees of that. I think chances are better the further north you live. We’re in Kansas City (smack dab in the middle of the US). We’ve had plenty of white Christmases, but I also specifically remember one Christmas as a child when I got neon pink socks and road my bike outside without a jacket. Then, there’s the last time we were at my parents’ house for Christmas along with my sister’s family. We froze our tails off at an outdoor ice skating rink. My mom says she remembers like it was yesterday that the actual temperature was -4 F / -20 C. Bottom line: it was freezing cold.
They’ve already had snow in KC this year, but to be honest, a white Christmas is not looking promising. Below is the forecast in Fahrenheit…
Followed by the same forecast in Celsius…
But the forecast does keep changing…
The first little inkling inkling of snow looks like it may come when we are visiting Jaron’s family in New Mexico. See that little snowflake at the bottom of the forecast???
And, I have a little boy who has be praying for a year that there would be enough snow for us to build, “Two snow boys, one snow girl, one snow dog, and a small snow cave or igloo.” Folks, that requires a lot of snow. Good thing we’ve got time. Feel free to join Q in his prayers if you feel so inclined.
What are you doing in the US?
Celebrating Christmas with our families, of course! But we’re also on home assignment, so after the holidays we’ll visit churches in New Mexico and all over Texas. Texas is about 3 times as big as New Zealand with approximately 20 million more people than NZ.
Then, Q and I will return home in time for him to start a brand new school year at the beginning of February, while Jaron will visit churches in Michigan. Michigan is in the very northern part of the US. Snow is definitely more likely way up there.
What are you noticing?
The roads, and most especially the interstates (motorways) are so big and wide with so many lanes! And the traffic moves so fast! It keeps catching me off guard to see such big roads with so few cars.
Also, all the houses and buildings are so warm! I have gotten used to wearing my coat inside in the winter or dressing in merino base layers, but every building is so warm, I almost feel hot in my single-layer long-sleeved shirt.
What are you missing?
Summer! We are spending almost all of Q’s entire summer holiday (6 weeks) in the US.
It’s awesome because we get to enjoy Northern Hemisphere Christmas, and when you’re 6 1/2, nothing is more magical than the lights, music, baking, cousins and grandparents, and festivities.
We’re missing the lazy days of summer, sunshine, trips to the park and pool, and our district youth camp.
But if we’re talking weather, I think it has been pretty rainy in NZ, and the best weather in NZ usually begins after Christmas and extends through February.
What’s going on at your church? And what about your house?
Our friends, Rob and Vanessa Fringer and their two kids live in Australia, but they’re spending their summer holiday living in our house, exploring our neck of the woods, preaching at church on Sundays, celebrating Christmas with our church family, enjoying youth camp, and generally doing all the things. We think/hope it’s a great situation for everyone!
But what about Laylee?
She’s on holiday with some new miniature dachshund friends and their pastor-parents in Whangarei, located in the northern part of New Zealand. Q and I will drive up to pick her up a day or two after we get home. We may take a few minutes to play at one of our favourite beaches as well.
What grade is Q in at school, and how does that work?
Q just finished year 1, which is the US equivalent of kindergarten. He’s currently on summer vacation/holiday. In February, he’ll start year 2, or first grade. He attends our neighbourhood school, which is just one block from our house through a little alley-way. It has been a great experience for him.
His school is made up mostly of white kiwis, but he also has kids in his class who are Māori, Indian and Chinese. I think he has really settled into being an American kiwi kid.
Q has a wide variety of friends, enjoys the large blocks of playtime at school, and swims as a part of the curriculum every single day in Dec, Feb, and March. He is learning Te Reo Māori, the language of the Māori people, at school. He loves reading and writing and thrives in the academic setting.
He is looking forward to the next school year… once he gets to enjoy some snow!