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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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We had a combined birthday celebration at Flor's house this year. We celebrated Canaan and Pauli, who share a birthday, and Carol as well. Francisco couldn't come as he had been battling a bad virus for ten days and was still flat on his back. We finally ate chivitos, a Uruguayan sandwhich, after years talking about when we would get together to make them. Chef Agustin didn't disappoint. I was put in charge of birthday cakes, which I happily complied with to try out a few new recipes.   &nb...

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Dirty from camping, but we love waking up on Easter morning on the side of a beautiful mountain. Every year as we drive up to the cross, the skies are bright blue and the yellow wildflowers are blooming. This year our kids were old enough to sing along to the Sunrise Service songs. Canaan held baby Clay's hand sweetly the whole time. John Darnell used the kids and the 12 easter eggs to tell the resurrection story. It was short, it was simple and it was a perfect way to remember.   We then h...

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Easter Camping round 2. I appreciate already being on the mountain, enjoying the view and the fresh air, before the sunrise service on Easter. I don't particularly love being dirty and smelly when everyone else is showered and in their Easter outfits but it's still worth it!   This year we invited the Wallaces to join us and it was a fun addition. We ate lots of veggies and ranch dip and had more success at cooking over the fire. The first night Christy came up and we sat around the fire, d...

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Eight plus hours each way. Our longest Ecuador road trip yet. Carnaval was the perfect time to attempt it with a 5 day break. It was also the perfect time to break out my sister's Christmas gift to the family: Two-screen, car DVD player. Anyone who knows me knows I'm pretty anti-TV for kids. Like usually the rule is 30-minutes on Sunday nights only ... and half the time we skip that because we are with friends. But this car DVD player? Why have we not done this before??? The trip was so quick an...

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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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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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In the wee morning hours of Halloween day we loaded the kids into our already packed car (SO nice to be all packed up the night before), met up with the Passmores and Christy and headed for the beach! The traffic was light, the air was festive, and the books on tape were abundant. Though waking up at 5am is never my strong suit I loved being at the beach before lunch. It was so worth it and I bet we will do it that way often now. We stayed at the Shedd's condo at Playa Almendro and loved the var...

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