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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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Family comes in different forms.  Some by blood and some just by bond.  For us, going to Chicago means getting to see both types of family.  And it was just what I needed.  Moments of time with people I know and love to soak up and fill my heart back up with.  From the moment we walked out of the airport and were greeted at 1:30am by someone so excited to pick us up at that hour we felt loved and cared for.  We had a good friend just hand over his car keys for two w...

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We celebrated Christmas with my play group friends on an Ecuadorian national holiday.  Appetizers which were more like full dinner entrees, a pumpkin spice latte cake, a water table and drinks in the bright sun, kiddie gift exchange, many language corrections to my Spanish and chaotic fun with friends.  Glad to have friends from here to celebrate with as we share our different traditions and talk about what Christmas means to each of us!           Add new comme...

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My new favorite thing is seasonal bucket lists.  They are fun and help fill up long toddler days with creative activities.  Our fall list included "s'mores over a campfire."  Honestly we have to skip many of the seasonal activities or change them up because they don't exist here but this was one we could do.     In the end we turned it into a group event and invited about 15 people over for Brats and S'mores.  It was a chill night with minimal prep for me because ev...

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I hosted a mini Halloween party for our play group friends the week we got back from the beach.  Because Halloween is not commonly celebrated here in Ecuador, they left everything up to me and were excited to try out some of our traditions.     People got in the spirit and dressed up their kids.  Originally two of the moms had planned to rent costumes.  In my part of the US this isn't really common and I was excited when both, in the end, made homemade costumes based off...

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Many of you know that I started a play group with a friend here shortly after arriving.  Play groups aren't a common Ecuadorian concept but my friends have really gotten into it and it's been a great opportunity for me to interact with other moms and Canaan to make some fun friends.    This past week was full of play group activities.  Instead of doing our traditional play group, we had a birthday party for my friend as her husband was out of town.  The kids loves noisem...

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We managed to cross one thing off my summer bucket list by going blueberry picking in Michigan with the Runyans.  It was hot but not 100 degrees, like much of the summer was, and after quickly feeding Eden in the car we got to picking.  Canaan really got the concept and had fun for awhile, although his container had as many twigs and green blueberries as useful ones.  He’d been so excited on the ride over, asking every five minutes “Where are we going?”  Whe...

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One of my favorite places this summer was this backyard:       Not because it is the most amazing backyard ever, although I am thoroughly impressed with all the work that’s been put into it and the fun details (sherbet colored deck chairs and metal lanterns) that have been added to it since I first toured it as a not-yet-bought house over a year ago.  Mostly because of the people who make this backyard what is represents for me.   It’s a backyard where you ca...

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Part of the long process of moving overseas has so far involved a lot of moving within the US!  We spent the first three weeks of October living at Keystone, our friends' building, while we waited for our temporary apartment at headquarters to open up.  We had our own private bedroom, living room, and bathroom but did meals together every night.  Four adults and three kids under four was definitely a recipe for chaos at times (plus four more adults and four more kids on the other floors), but...

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One benefit of community living comes from the fact that Em is always very motivated to do family activities and get out of the house.  It's much easier to tag along on these things when we all start from the same place and can check in all morning on what kid is napping when in order to figure out when we will actually leave.  For Columbus Day we went out to Goebbert's Pumpkin Patch, land of pumpkins-o-plenty, camels and ponies to ride, kettle corn, roasted corn, and apple cider donuts, hay b...

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