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We knowingly booked some crazy tickets because I like to save a buck! So we planned for a 10 hour layover in Guayaquil and figured we'd take a chance to explore a city we hadn't seen as a family. We packed super light backpacks since we'd be lugging them around for the day and headed out on a 6am flight. We were in Guayaquil a quick 30 minutes later with time to kill. We left the airport and grabbed a cab. It was HOT out and we knew this was gonna be a long one. We first wove our way through pai...

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In October they talked about baptism in chapel and Canaan came to us soon after to ask if he could be baptized. We asked him some questions and he seemed to understand what baptism was on the level he is currently able. We talked about when and who and he asked about doing it at Beach Debrief with my college students, knowing that is something special we do every semester. Honestly I didn't talk too much about it from there for awhile because I wondered if this was a fleeting thought based on ch...

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At our house we have a simple, totally non-Pintereque string of yarn with Christmas activities on mini clothespins. We hold loosely to this and always talk about these as potential activities and NOT expectations that we have to complete. (Maybe I'm the only one who needs to say this but it sure helps my goal-oriented, achiever self to constantly remind myself these aren't check boxes that MUST be completed.) We enjoy what we can and have time for and save the rest for (possibly) next year ... o...

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After spending Thanksgiving with 50+ people last year Nate & I were both in favor of a much more intimate experience this year. And we thought what better way to celebrate than to integrate some of our North American friends with our Ecuadorian friends and bring them into our traditions. It was just a lovely, low pressure, relaxed, inviting day all around and I know both of us would like to replicate this experience again! A true highlight of the day was having Canaan direct a Thanksgiving p...

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We knowingly booked some crazy tickets because I like to save a buck! So we planned for a 10 hour layover in Guayaquil and figured we'd take a chance to explore a city we hadn't seen as a family. We packed super light backpacks since we'd be lugging them around for the day and headed out on a 6am flight. We were in Guayaquil a quick 30 minutes later with time to kill. We left the airport and grabbed a cab. It was HOT out and we knew this was gonna be a long one. We first wove our way through pai...

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For Halloween this year we didn['t know of any events happening so we decided to throw together a Trunk or Treat around our neighborhood park. We had about 8 vehicles and maybe 25 kids and parents show up and though it was nothing like the extravagance in the US it was totally enough for our kids! As long as they get to put on a costume and snag 4 candies they are happy! We invited kids from the park to participate and then the construction workers from all the new buildings going up around the ...

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A highlight of this Fall was watching Argentina play Ecuador for World Cup qualification. Ecuador had just been eliminated in the game prior so for them this wasn't a high pressure situation. For Argentina they needed to win! We sat in the stands just behind the goal and had an amazing and incredible view to watch Messi score all 3 of Argentina's goals for a hat trick. Everyone worried about a downpour but I was sure it would blow over and it did with just a few tiny drops landing on us. We scre...

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Canaan 2 missing teeth at the start of 2nd Grade and is in Ms. Oliver's class. After his first week he reports that Ms. Oliver likes to make learning super fun and he loves it. Eden has all her baby teeth still, still hasn't had her first real haircut and is still obsessed with uggs and jackets in 90 degree weather. She has Ms. Bolgiano who loves sea life and is teaching her all about underwater magic.       Italian sodas were the perfect choice to celebrate the end of their first...

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Oh Chicago, how I love you! There is still something that just feels like home when we land in this city. In fact when we got off the plane at O'Hare, Canaan said, "Ah it's just so good to be in my home city!" (Never mind that he left when he was 10 months old.  We did a whirwind 5 days here. We landed and had an afternoon and evening with Nate's family, first at Laura's house where they packed boxes and painted and then at Giordano's where we opted for thin crust pizza (sacrilege) because ...

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The kids and I took a special trip this summer after saving up for a few years. It was perfect timing because Nate had some really heavy work and school weeks, in which we would barely see him. So off we embarked, one mom, a 5 and 7 year old and a 20 hour day of flying. After some really stressful circumstances that made us have to miss our first flight out, we flew out 12 hours later. We were SOOOO glad to land in Idaho after all of the extra complications.  There were so many highlights o...

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