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These two cuties get super excited about Halloween ... and thanks to Nona's post-Halloween 2015 shopping I didn't have to put a minute of thought into their outfits. We had a cave girl and a football ref and the kids embraced their roles wholeheartedly.   Per recent tradition we went over to Campo Alegre where many US Embassy families live and trick-or-treated around their neighborhood. Nate wasn't able to join us because of a team event so we met up with the Passmores. We finished up the n...

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** Remember when I used to blog and it was real time? It's been awhile. I was ALMOST caught up an then the semester hit and now I'm just as far behind. Someday ....  But regardless can I just say that the pool is great whether summer or dead of winter. We love it! **   Pepe's pool was the highlight of our summer. Not because it was the very BEST thing we did but because it was what we did. Almost daily.   With Pepe no longer living next to us we haven't used it much recently but w...

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I have been itching for some time to make doughnuts with friends and my monthly dinner club seemed like the perfect place to do it!   Frying is not my forte, nor is frying particularly glamorous what with the grease everywhere, the heavy smell in the house and more. But man, those fried pockets of dough are delicious going down. So delicious that I probably ate about nine doughnuts this night. Yep. Classy.     But it was super fun to share with friends. The kind of friends who are...

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We knew we wanted to get in a trip to the beach this summer since we would be at home with no other travel plans, we just didn't know when. Nate's schedule involves lots of nights and weekends and we never know until Monday what his Saturday will hold. But he came home one day and announced that he had a weekend with no game so we scurried quickly to make plans. I was nervous about the beach with aftershocks still being a relatively frequent thing but Nate, who had been to some of the most devas...

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For Father's Day this year we started out with a big breakfast for Nate. The kids had made cards and we also got a t-shirt of famous soccer players. Then we headed out on a new adventure: our first family hike. No backpacks for the kids, just their own two legs for the 45 minute hike. We really weren't sure how this experiment would go but we were game to try something new. We drove about thirty minutes out to Nono to a place where you can hike to a waterfall. It was so peaceful and green along ...

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Right as I was leaving for my Girl's Weekend at Christy's I received a call from Nate who had spoken to my dad. He let me know that my Grandpa Puffer had passed away while riding his motorcycle. The Memorial Service was set for a few weeks down the road, after school got out and the family had some time to make plans. I had a really hard time deciding whether to fly to St. Augustine for the service or not. I knew my family absolutely understood if I couldn't make it and they put absolutely no pr...

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My eulogy for Grandpa P:   If you had spent a day with Grandpa P, to be sure it would have started early. During summers when my sister and I stayed with our grandparents we would often hear the creak of the wood floors my Grandpa installed himself in their little, slate blue Victorian before the sun was up. Coffee brewing, seasonal fruit being sliced and arranged atop cottage cheese, cereal from one of his seven open boxes tinkling into the blue and white bowls, the scrape of the chairs be...

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Last year we did a Girl's Weekend to the coast, which was the original plan for this year. But with all of the earthquake damage it didn't seen right to go there, both for safety and just sensitivity to what was going on. We threw out idea after idea but none seemed quite right and then one of us got pregnant and that changed their availability and then one had a trip to the US come up and before long the trip was looking really different. But Christy has just moved into her new place in Ca...

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For mother's day at Alouette this year there were six stations set up to do with our kids. There was a potato sack race, a pool filled with balls, the macarena and a homemade slip'n'slide. There was also a hair combing (tragedy for the curly headed among us) and nail painting station. Per usual with little kids, Eden was BEYOND excited to celebrate me and pretty much totally focused on how much fun she would have! I always enjoy being with her at school though where I can see her interact with h...

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This house has so many great qualities about it. The neighborhood, the price, the size, the proximity to school and work, the back yard, the skylights in the kitchen and more.    This house also leaks. Every year. Every rainy season. For days on end. Mostly through the skylights in the kitchen, plinking onto our counters and stove. Also in the back area where the roof is made of corrugated plastic (is that a thing?). We are pretty used to it. We keep lots of towels on hand. I make sure...

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