This place is for the birds……

Well again we spent much of the week driving from one assignment to another. We decided that we should take the camera whenever we could remember (sometimes we get so rushed that we forget). We have not only been surprised by the amount of water around this area but also all of the birds.
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We are awakened every morning by crows that sit on the roof top overhang of our apartment above our window.  I’d like to get a shot of them but not with the camera.  It’s been so surprising to us to see so many flocks of geese either flying or eating in flocks in fields.  We have seen so many varieties but must admit that we’re not so good at getting shots of them (with the camera).

Treat for Parents and Grandma

We learned that Son-in-law Kevin (living in Luxembourg with Ashley and Oliver) would be in New York for several days and that Grandson Oliver needed Stuff.  We re-arrange our schedule picked up supplies and of course Grandma stopped at every kid outlet between New Paltz and New York City and we met Kevin at JFK.  It was an adventure and we leaned and saw many new things.  Elder Howes learned that even going West costs (tolls) when your in the city.  We learned that we can get to the City in 1 1/2 hours but it still takes another hour to get to JFK after you get there and getting from JFK back to Manhattan at 5pm, forget-about-it (New York-ease for not so easy).  But it was great joy for us to see and visit with Kevin even for a few minutes.

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Sister Howes also wanted to make sure that Kevin knew she is not above bribing him to stop by whenever he can with a treat he can’t get from daughter Ashley.

As we left, our GPS guided us back home through Times Square (not a good thing) and Sister Howes went nuts with the camera.  Enjoy what we saw…

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Our girls should notice the Tim Hortons attached to the Cold Stone Creamery. It then took us through the Lincoln tunnel (also not a good thing)

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We had a pretty spectacular view of the City as we drove along the other side of the Hudson on the way home.

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Preparations, Presentations, Driving & Conferences

We started the week with District Conference in Lake Katrine, New York.  Sister Howes and I are the only Senior Missionaries in both our District and Zone and the young Missionaries depend on us for a lot of different things.  Sister Howes is always fixing a pair of pants or counseling someone on a health issue.  Most try to hide from Elder Howes when they need a hair cut or haven’t shined their shoes.  They will put up with allot just to get fed.  We feed these young Missionaries for every District and Zone meeting.  Something we use to share with two other couples, but we’ll survive until the District and Zone expand.  We spend a fair amount of time planning and preparing food for them and then driving to wherever District and Zone conferences are held.  This week as we left Lake Katrine, Sister Howes had to take pictures for Grandsons of a Temple model made of Lego’s.  This is for Bauer and Lennox.

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We also prepare or re-prepare every week for presentations that we make somewhere each week and on each Sunday.  We live 80 miles out of the City, where we’re assigned to the Branch, but spend a lot of time driving back and forth.  This week we were in Lake Katrine for District meeting, Manhattan to meet Kevin, Poughkeepsie to lead a Strengthening Marriage class, back to Manhattan for our Temple assignment and finally we drove to Newburgh twice for meetings related to Stake Conference.  These people, as few as there are, are so strong and dedicated to building the Kingdom.  The Stake leadership meeting looked like a meeting of the Bell Canyon High Priest Group and just as strong. Our General session of Stake Conference was broadcast from Salt Lake with President Boyd K. Packer with Elders L. Tom Perry, Rasband and Packer along with new General Relief Society General President Linda Burton all with significant ties to the Northeast where all of the Stake Conferences were coordinated to be at the same time.  We also worked with our little branch to begin a garden spot on the 17 acres where our little branch building sets.  It was well advertised but the Branch President, Elders Quorum President and Missionaries were the only ones to show up.  Worries us a little for what will happen between now and harvest time.  I’m sure that there will be plenty of help for the harvest.

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