Monthly Archives: November 2013

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

untitled (5)Hanukkah begins at sundown this evening, which means Thankgiving and Hanukkah are celebrated together this year.  A new term Thanksgivukkah is being used to honor both holidays!
The next time Thanksgivukkah will be celebrated is in 79,043 years from now, according to one estimate. Another suggests Thanksgivukkah will take place in 2070 and 2165.

For fun and educational activities for children go to

Directions to play the Dreidel game.  Play for Hershey kisses, a great way to have fun with the kids when they are home from school!

Happy Hanukkah!

Thanksgiving an American Holiday

untitled (4)Celebrate on: Fourth Thursday in November

Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday in November, but many Americans take a day of vacation on the following Friday to make a four-day weekend, during which they may travel long distances to visit family and friends.

The holiday dates back to 1621, the year after the Puritans arrived in Massachusetts, determined to practice their dissenting religion without interference. After a rough winter, in which about half of them died, they turned for help to neighboring Indians, who taught them how to plant corn and other crops. The next fall’s bountiful harvest inspired the Pilgrims to give thanks by holding a feast.

The Thanksgiving feast became a national tradition — not only because so many other Americans have found prosperity but also because the Pilgrims’ sacrifices for their freedom still captivate the imagination.

To this day, Thanksgiving dinner almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpkin pie. Before the meal begins, families or friends usually pause to give thanks for their blessings, including the joy of being united for the occasion.


Justine Probst - Au Pair in America

Justine Probst - Au Pair in America

Justine Probst is a 23 year old young woman from Germany living in the USA as an au pair with Au Pair in America. I met Justine when she arrived to her host family in Center Moriches in August 2013. As the Suffolk County Community Counselor for Au Pair in America, part of my job is to visit with new au pairs and help them through their year in America. Her long brown hair, ready smile and slim build were memorable. An intelligent young woman, she was excited about starting her year in America with her host family, caring for their children, learning about America and taking classes at Suffolk Community College.

Each month the Suffolk County au pairs get together for an activity and Justine always attends the activities. On Sunday, November 17th, over 200 au pairs from Au Pair in America who live with Long Island and Westchester host families, enjoyed the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in NYC. I immediately noticed Justine’s cute short new hair style and asked what made her take such a big step to cut off her hair. She said she did it for Locks of Love. We made a date to chat this week about why and how this was done.

Au Pair in America is a wonderful experience for young women from 60 countries around the world who spend a year or two with a host family caring for their children up to 45 hours a week, taking some classes at local colleges, and learning about American culture. But part of this experience is being away from loved ones back home. Justine learned a family member in German has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. She wanted to do something, but knew traveling home would not change her relative’s outcome, that she would lose her time in the USA; but she knew she had to do something meaningful. She found Locks of Love online and decided she could donate her long brown hair.

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. You just need 10 inches of hair that has not been bleached or highlighted tied back in a ponytail or braid to donate.

Justine followed the directions on the Locks of Love website, went to a salon, cut off her ponytail and mailed it off to Locks of Love. I am very proud that Justine found this wonderful way to do something to honor her relative with breast cancer. Justine said her family member caught the cancer early through self-examination and her outcome is expected to be good. A lucky young child will one day be wearing Justine’s Locks of Love and hopefully will have a good outcome, too. Thank you Justine Probst!

Interested in Au Pair in America?  Check out

Holiday Boat Parade in Patchogue


Sunday, November 24th at 6 PM

The 20th annual boat parade will be taking place this weekend along Patchogue Village’s riverfront. A preview night Saturday from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. will allow residents to view the boats and vote for awards. Boats can be viewed from The Oar, 264 West Avenue in Patchogue, Harbor Crab, 116 Division St. in Patchogue, and Off Key Tikki, 31 Baker Place in Patchogue. The parade itself will take place Sunday around 6 p.m. and can be viewed from Sandspit Park: Davis Park Ferry Terminal on Brightwood St. or Fire Island National Seashore: Watch Hill Ferry Terminal on West Ave. More information is available at

Au Pair Enjoy Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

The Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America!

The Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America!

DSCN0270On Sunday, November 17th, 200 au pairs from Au Pair in America enjoyed a truly NY holiday tradition at Radio City Musical Hall.  The au pairs loved the Rockettes and the whole Christmas Spectacular!  The show was truly spectacular!DSCN0272DSCF2655

Veteran’s Day is Monday, November 11th!


Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Do you know the difference?

Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring those who died serving our country.

On a Veterans Day we thank and honor those who served in the military.

Veterans Day is observed on November 11th of each year. This day used to be called Armistice Day.

What can children do for  Veterans Day?

* Draw a picture about Veterans Day.  Click here for some Veteran’s Day coloring pages

* Make a card to thank veterans. You can send your card to a    local VA Medical Center.

Click here for Veteran’s Nursing Home

Click here for Veteran’s Hospital

Welcoming home her Daddy!

Suffolk County, Long Island is home to the largest population of veterans in New York State, and has one of the largest veterans’ populations of any county in the United States.

Au Pair Orientation

Au Pair in America provides a comprehensive Orientation for all our au pairs before they go out to their host families.  When each au pair arrives at the NY airport, she is welcomed and transported to the the Hilton Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown, NY.  There she is met by an Au Pair in America Orientation staff member, given some valuable information, room assignment and a chance to check into her room for rest. Three full days follow started each day with early wake up calls.   The importance of being on time is emphasized so the meeting run smoothly and au pairs learn to understand the importance of time in America.

998798_10152025733573792_1279016968_n[1]Noelle from Germany was welcomed to America by their Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba.  She is going to a family in Pt. Jefferson, LI, NY and will be joining a cluster of about 30 au pairs.

At Orientation the agenda includes:

  • An Introduction the United States and Au Pair in America
  • “The Three No’s” – No drugs, no alcohol under 18 and never while driving or caring for children, no child abuse (Au Pairs are sent home if they abuse drugs, alcohol or children!!)
  • The Role of the Community Counselor
  • Living in America – Cultural adaptation and communication with their American families
  • Childcare safety and media
  • American Red Cross Child Safety Workshop
  • The American Family
  • Child Care in America – managing American Children – Communication and discipline
  • Living in America – auto insurance and health insurance

    Au Pairs during Red Cross training at Orientaion

    Au Pairs during Red Cross training at Orientaion

3 meals a day, time to socialize with the other au pairs and the Orientation Staff.  There is even an evening tour of NYC!  Au Pairs submit questions anonymously all week and every question is answered by the staff to the group before they go home.

Au Pairs leave Orientation on Day 4 at 3 PM and head out to 35 states and hundreds of host families.  Everyone is excited to depart and begin a year as an Au Pair in America!