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After Kim and FP left we still had another 10 days with my family. We visited the rec center often, for runs and swims and rock climbing. Highlights included the kids' first bowling experience and a trip to the Train Depot Museum in Boise followed by a cold walk to a pizza-by-the-slice place. Another favorite for Canaan was spending a day in Nona's class with her. He was really proud to be in 1st grade for a day and was respectful of "Mrs. Jordan." He asked to go back to the rest of the week he ...

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New Year's Eve! If it had been up to me we frankly probably would have been in pjs by 8pm, with a blanket on in the front of the tv with my parents. But despite it being about 10 degrees outside Nate was determined to mark the New Year in a bigger way!   We tucked the kids into bed, put on about four layers of warm clothes and then headed into Boise. My parents stayed home since my dad had no desire to brave crowds, stay out late or be cold. We walked downtown around 9 and there were no cro...

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Cute cupcake girls. Foxy fireman boys. Christmas with young ones is just so fun!    There were bits of wrapping and tissue paper all over the floor.    There were plastic food items crammed into the couch and strewn over the rug.    There were fresh, hot cinnamon rolls for breakfast and a big turkey for lunch.    Isn't it good to celebrate together? Add new comment...

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We all agreed that we wanted to go to the Christmas Eve service at the Nazarene College Church. We love the simple but beautiful service they put on, with more choruses and hymns than spoken words. This year, after weeks of working long hours, of trying to squeeze in activities around the work and the sadness that our community felt, there wasn't a lot of time to sit and BE. I didn't realize this until a few minutes after entering the service, when I felt my body and heart start to unw...

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After a hard Fall dealing with tragedy, we decided in December to go back to Idaho for Christmas. The purpose was to spend time with family but also to spend time debriefing with people outside of the community and doing counseling. Although it really changed what our December looked like it was well worth the trip. And the bonus was getting to spend Christmas with my parents and my sister and her family. The trip started off with a "bang" in our house when we settled down on Sunday night after ...

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Deciding to go to Boise for Christmas was totally unplanned. So unplanned that our great family had already planned and sent all sorts of Christmas gifts down and they were all wrapped and hidden in closets. It made zero sense to haul all of that back to the US only to return here a few weeks later so we decided to have a Family Christmas here in Quito before flying to Boise. The kids were excited and all for the idea!   We hung stockings, we pretended it was Christmas Eve the day before an...

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Surprised? I totally was. While I had been skeptical about the chocolate cake in my fridge Nate had an explanation for it and I was headed off to work. I threw on some clothes and went to my office in the dark to do a couples session. After they left I waited the requisite 5 minutes before following them out and was just getting ready to leave when I heard footsteps. Thinking they'd returned for help with the gate I popped my head out and was met with streamers and whistles and a giant yellow ha...

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  Apparently this year there was supposed to be a surprise birthday party for Christine & I. I think Nate had the idea of combining them, though they are a month apart, because he knows how hectic it gets between Christmas and New Years. But with some really hard, stressful weeks due to the loss of a friend a full on party didn't seem appropriate and the party was canceled. Instead, once things had settled a bit, we still wanted to celebrate Christine so we threw a much lower-key versio...

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These ladies and their families were some of our very first friends when we moved to Quito. We met through Gymboree and haven't let the friendships wane since long after our Gymboree days have ended. We've watched our first babies grow from crawlers to Kindergarteners, we've added siblings to some of our families. We've made different choices in schooling and work since those early stay-at-home mom days that have led to it being much more difficult to get together but that hasn't stopped us from...

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Just after Thanksgiving we decided to put up our tree since we had a free morning. We made our way to our traditional Christmas tree lot and brought home this small beauty. As is often the case, it was sunny and 80 degrees when we brought our tree home and it took us ten minutes to get the price from $80 to $35. But what would it be without all the regular traditions, right? This year we got smart and asked for more of the base cut off at the lot. And we carried it in on a blanket, eliminating a...

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