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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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In all of the major events that happened in August (the addition of my first nephew, flying to Oklahoma with Canaan to meet this nephew, moving! from our apartment to Keystone) I forgot to write about the first fun event of September.  Two of my best girlfriends from college came for a short visit.     Amanda (2nd from the right), known as Commander by us, was visiting her home in Canada during a summer break from classes in Cambridge and decided to "swing by" Chicago. Jeanine (2nd from leftO...

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I've long been a cupcake fanatic.  I know it's uber-trendy, but I just don't care.  I've loved vanilla on vanilla since I was a little girl.  Something that comes in that flavor combination and is perfectly portioned and decadently decorated was made for me.  While nothing will ever beat a vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream, I'm game to try almost any combination (after all, you can always eat two, right?).  My friend Em shares my love of cupcakes (she goes for chocolate) but we have ...

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Labor Day weekend marked a change from the non-stop summer weather. Not that I'm complaining about the sunshine, but it was kind of nice to pull out a pair of jeans instead of the rotation of three shorts I wear as a full-time mom. Each weekend day Nate and I would remark that this was a "Quito" day because of the perfect temperatures with a slight breeze.     Labor Day 2010 was celebrated like many past, in the Keystone backyard with Eric & Em, Katie & Bill, and Beth & Charlie thi...

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Part of the cooking frenzy from a few weeks ago was due to the fact that my very first sister-in-law, Laura, is getting married!  I was happy to help her celebrate bachelorette style by making some appetizers for everyone to enjoy.  Laura has been a great sister and I wouldn't miss being able to support her in this way.  And now in just about a week we'll have a new marriage and a new addition to the family in Garenne.       Some of the fun! Gorgonzola, pear, and apricot tarts, brie and ra...

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10 years!  It's been 10 years since Nate & I left Ecuador, 10 years since we graduated from high school.  That meant that this summer was reunion time.  Our class reunion was in Costa Mesa, California where the reunion planner lives.  People flew from all over the US, including Maine, Texas, Colorado, etc.  We had people come down from Canada and up from Ecuador for the event.  Just over half of our class was able to make it.  And wish us we brought new spouses and a pile of kids.   ...

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