Our friends, Jeff & Mackenzie, stayed with us for a few nights on their way to and from Cuenca.  It was easily the easiest house guests we've had (other than family.).  They have two young boys, with Canaan falling right in the middle of them age-wise.  They spent hours playing together, building forts, going camping, digging in the back yard and more.  We barely left the house because all they wanted to do is play together.  It brought forward some of the real paren...

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My dad found out he needed to be in Shell, a town about 5 hours from us, for work.  Lucky for us, my mom decided to tag along and we ended up with an unexpected visit in early June from Nona and Babum.  The kids were THRILLED!  Despite the kids suffering from a severe lack of sleep due to room sharing and Eden's desire to wake Canaan up pre-5am every day it was wonderful to have them.   My dad was with us only for about a day and a half total but he brought me a full stock of...

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It's been a rough few weeks.  A friend that I graduated high school with lost his 3 month old baby girl.  Mother's Day was a mix of emotions celebrating the two children they do have and grieving the one that is in heaven now.  Another friend I graduated high school with that lives here in Quito was in a major car accident with her husband.  She spent 4 hours of her Mother's Day in surgery.  It's been a sad time hurting for my friends.  It's been a sobering time rea...

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For the second year in a row, we spent Easter morning up on the mountain in Calacali.  A 5:45 am (note that Canaan was awake before us and sitting patiently downstairs waiting to see if he could open his Easter basket of goodies) wake up to sit on a blanket next to a fire, some cows and a rustic, 30 foot tall cross that's been erected.  A view of the mountains, the valleys, the farmland and wildflowers while singing some simple hymns and choruses about the resurrection while surrounded...

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Easter came up quicker than expected and we had no plans  except for Sunday.  I knew it would be our last chance to get away because Nate will have a game every Saturday/Sunday until August.  So even though it was last minute I was desperate to find something and I came across this little gem just three days before.   A short 45-minute drive away from the city (on a holiday weekend anyway) sits Tumbaco.  It's a suburb to a suburb of the city and because of the altitude d...

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I have a brave husband.  He took our two toddlers to the beach for three days while I was away.  That's a 5 hour each way car drive with the little ones.  He's a great and adventurous dad.  Here are a few shots from his time with them.                 Boogie boarding, riding their "caballo" (horse) and digging holes.           The kids definitely lucked out because Dad bought them a lot more GEAR than their mom ...

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I went down to a local market about 20 minutes away and bought my first round of burlap.  Of course there are a million fun things I'd like to do with my burlap but just to get started I sat down and made a few of these vases.           Simple, five minute craft that adds some of that rustic, femininity to any room.         And a great way to show off my beautiful ranunculus that are popping up in my planters!         Cut burl...

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A new friend texted Nate asking to go camping together.  And I am always supportive of NATE going camping.  So I said sure.  Go.  And then something changed and suddenly part of camping was getting the "wives" to come along to.  And that is not something I'm supportive of.  But we all have to take one for the team sometimes, right?   Never mind that it's rainy season.  That it was my vacation days and camping never seems like a vacation, just a lot of hard...

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Just for my record I need to write down how we celebrated my bday way back in late December.   Nate & the kids let me sleep in and then made french toast after I got back from my run.  They gave me their gifts.  We did family stuff in the morning, including Nate finishing off installing a Christmas gift he made for me and has been working on (off and on) since August.  Projects completed are a gift in themselves to me.  The kids napped and we relaxed.   In the a...

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My first time returning to the US after our move to Ecuador, I felt my throat get a little choked up just walking through the Houston airport.  The air smelled and felt different, even in the airport and part of that feeling of being "home" had set in.  Never mind that my husband was back in Quito.   The next time I felt this happen I was standing at New Life Lakeview in Chicago and the worship team had just started playing.  I felt tears building in my eyes and soon rolling ...

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