Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Six Months


This easy-going charmer is six months old!  He's taken to solid foods like a fish to water, has loved it from the first taste (which was avocado).   He's just barely sitting up on his own, starting to babble, still loves to gnaw on fingers.  He's quick to smile and laugh, and very tolerant of the aggressive love of his older sisters.  I can't imagine our family without this sweet boy.




Monday, November 3, 2014


This was the first year that the girls were really aware of and excited about Halloween (thank you school:), and they were counting down the days all week.  They'd have still been content to pull costumes out of the dress up box, but Alasdair was a softie and let them order Frozen costumes.  So, we had some of the many Elsa's, Anna's and Olaf's.  This is the first movie they've loved, and it could kind of be written about them.  (A few days before Halloween, Dori Willeman invited the girls over to her house for dinner and to watch Frozen, and they were in heaven.)
We had dinner at the Willeman's with a bunch of friends from church and then came back to our neighborhood to trick or treat.  The girls went to about 10 houses, and then we came back and handed out candy.  The big house to visit in our neighborhood is "Miss Vicky's" - the well-loved elementary school secretary.  She and her husband go all-out for Halloween, and this year they had a whole dark circus theme in their yard.  One of my favorite things about Halloween is how outgoing Emily is every year.  She walked right up to strange houses and talked to people about her costume and her siblings.  At home, she calls to the children in the street and happily hands out candy.  So funny.

 I think Adara's favorite treat was this juicebox.
 There may have been 1000 Elsa's, but Emily was the only "Elsa cat"

Our happy little Olaf was a big hit

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I love fall.

Despite the busyness, we've had some great moments of really enjoying the fall.  Many trips to Boston Lot, including swimming the last weekend of September, picnics at Nathan's Garden, a family hike up Balch Hill, watching the Dartmouth homecoming bonfire...

 little buddies at Romp & Stomp

 Nathan's Garden play time

 Rocco's farm tours


More family video clips are up on the link on the right of the page.  Lots of Frozen dance shows. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


After the conference, we spent a few days with the Eshbaugh kids while Megan & Joel went away, and had a fun weekend of hiking, hot cocoa, and middle school football.  Staying at someone else's house is nice because you are take a break from all the housework or projects you "should" be doing.
 their kids are so good to ours

 6 happy kids at Boston Lot

Then, the Eikhoffs came back from Ohio for a week.  It was a full house, but we had a great week, and it felt so normal to have them here that it was hard to believe they'd been gone for 4+ months.  We did all the regular stuff: Montshire, book group, Romp & Stomp, and lots of hanging out, talking & laughing.  Emily cried the day she came home from school to find them gone.  I didn't manage to take many pictures.

 This weekend we got the Masons while they were around for a wedding.  We had fun catching up around their other events and hiked up to Boston Lot (our go-to spot these days apparently:).  Adara especially loved taking care of baby Peter.  "Mommy, I always wanted to have two babies!"


Monday, October 27, 2014

CCEF Conference

 The CCEF National Conference this year was in San Diego, so I figured it was a good year to make my reappearance, after staying home with kids for the past 3 years.  It's great to share in that with Alasdair, reconnect with some good friends, and meet people at the main office I've only corresponded with via email.   Traveling cross country for a conference with a 5 month old is definitely not a vacation, but it was a fun adventure.  Alden traveled well, and was happy to spend much of each day in the ergo.  The plenary sessions were streamed live online, so I was able to listen to some of the talks while sitting outside in a lovely courtyard by a fountain.  It was so fun to have a whole CCEF New England contingent this year -- we traveled out with the Hucks and the Engerts, and Joan Hadden (a board member) and her husband met us out there.  Libbie was there too, so between her and Christine I had lots of help with Alden and Alasdair was able to focus on his many responsibilities at the conference.  I loved thinking back to 5 years ago when this was all a crazy idea we talked about in the Sironi's living room in Philadelphia.  .. and this year both Alasdair & Aaron gave plenary talks and are leading offices with multiple counselors.  God has been good!  Alasdair's plenary was on "Speaking our Losses & Finding Refuge" and he also had a workshop on the loss of a child.  (Audio is available online and CCEF also just posted a short blog about Alasdair's workshop.)  One of the highlights of the conference for me was Ed Welch's introduction of Alasdair.  He started with "I have loved Alasdair longer than anyone else in this room except for one person (his mother)" and went on to mention his friendship with Al and how he'd probably prayed for Alasdair as much as anyone besides his own children, and how we pray for our children that they will surpass us.  He said, "I don't pray that for Alasdair anymore."  It was really beautiful.

We and the Engerts stayed an extra day and a half after the conference to get a little taste of San Diego.  Sunday afternoon we rested a bit and sat by the hotel pool, and went out to Old Town for dinner.  Old Town was kind of overly touristy, but once we had wandered out of the main area and were looking at our phones deciding where to go to eat, a random guy on the street came up to us and suggested the best two Mexican places nearby; we took his advice and went to Old Town Mexican Cafe and ordered the Molcajete, and it was amazing.  On Monday (on the recommendations of some friends who are from the SD area), we rented a car and spent the day on Coronado Island.  We saw the Hotel Del Coronado, walked on the beach for a long time, wandered into town for more delicious Mexican food at Miguels.  After lunch we walked some more, and Andy & Christine held Alden while Alasdair and I went swimming.  We had ice cream for dinner and drove back to the beach just in time to watch a spectacular sunsest before heading for the airport for our red-eye flight home.  Such a great day.



We were able to do the trip because my parents stayed at our house with the girls.  Mom came the whole 5 days we were gone and managed the girls and their daily school routines, and dad came up for the weekend.  From all accounts, it was a success.  In fact, when Emily got of the bus on Tuesday, she was more disappointed that Mimi was gone than she was happy to see us. :)    Saturday (Adara's birthday) was rainy so they took an adventure to Killington and went out for lunch & hot cocoa and went swimming at the pool.  Sunday was beautiful and they took the girls to Riverside Farms for the hay ride and apple, pumpkin and raspberry picking.