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Three days after Christmas Nate's parents came to visit. The kids woke up at 3am the morning they came in because they could hear noises and they were THAT excited about them coming! This meant a whole other round of Christmas for the kids and they were super excited to get crazy wigs, doctor outfits and more for dress-up! Eden (and Canaan) especially loved the doll, Evelyn, that she received as a late bday gift. I anticipate Eden and Evelyn have many adventures and outfit changes together! We d...

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These two love bath time. They are a bunch of crazies. They like to ride on each other's backs like boats or paint each other. A favorite is sliding down the side of the tub into the water and making a big splash. Another favorite, that they know they aren't supposed to do but are often caught doing anyway, is to climb up the sides and jump off into the water. Yes, our whole bathroom is sopping wet by the time they're done.   Here are my side by side swimmers:    "She's coming. Tr...

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Christmas Day the kids woke up and this year Canaan knew exactly what a stocking was and that he could open it right away! I pushed myself out of bed immediately because I don't yet want to miss out on those fun moments with them! I had expected to do stockings, breakfast and then presents but our kids are growing up because they are now willing to deny their tummies in exchange for presents. Canaan had his first year in training to be Santa so he was Santa's helper.  The kids loved their g...

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Having two weeks off of school for Christmas vacation was a blast! On Monday our friends invited us out to a ridiculously large 6 bedroom, multi-storied house in El Tingo to spend the day with them. They had rented the place since they had family in town. It was one of my favorite days of the break, just tranquil in that setting though we were busy with fun things every minute. Helping Christine make dinner rolls in the kitchen, pulling out tons of Mexican leftovers and everyone eating a bit of ...

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I sometimes feel frustrated that I never do as many things as I'd like to, creating fun memories with the kids. I decided that having a plan up front would help so in November I created a list of possible Christmas activities for the break. It was my no-pressure, only do what we want to do list so that I wouldn't feel like I was checking things off. This concept worked so well for me as a daily advent calendar feels like too  much preparation and pressure while having no plan leaves me feel...

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This is our 4th year visiting our little farm on the side of the road to find a Christmas tree. Nate & I marveled at how seamlessly everything went this year. We weren't sure it would be open since the Saturday we wanted to go is a huge holiday here in Quito but we caught the man 15 minutes before he was going to leave. There was little traffic. There were no kid meltdowns on the farm and they happily tromped through the rows pointing out potential trees. And it was the smallest tree we've e...

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Before I completely forget to blog it and move into all things December I wanted to note for my records that we hosted our 2nd Annual Adult Halloween Party this year. I was on the fence about hosting another one, remembering how crazy busy everything got right after Halloween but Nate was up for it and a friend asked us to host it, so host we did.   We kept things simple. Another competition of best Fall treats, another costume competition and the introduction of a few minute to win it game...

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This year we had a "traditional" North American-living-in-Ecuador Thanksgiving. And by that I mean we skipped the turkey and headed to the beach for four days of sun, sand, waves, and fish. The weekend prior to Thanksgiving we did have an impromptu dinner with some Thanksgiving sides and a roasted chicken but that is as close as we got.   We drove 5 hours to Casa Blanca and I have to say our kids are becoming semi-enjoyable in the car. Of course there was bickering and whining at times, but...

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After mulling over several ideas, we ended up landing on Scuba Divers. The kids were excited about this and I love having them coordinate! (And let me tell you it made it so easy to just buy two of the materials we needed.) Canaan has been chatting about being a "deep sea diver" for weeks and the week leading up to Halloween I involved them in the process, cutting out their flippers together one afternoon and painting the scuba tanks with Eden another day.   The day of the kids were ecstati...

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The morning after Matt and Tina's wedding we packed up and headed about 15 minutes away to meet my parents and sister's family at a different rental. I can't recommend our location highly enough. It was a fun, family friendly neighborhood with a huge park and lots of ethnic cuisine close by. And every landmark we wanted to hit up seemed to be within 10-15 minutes of our house. The rental itself had lots of character, having previously been a horse stable that was converted into 6 loft units &nbs...

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