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. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Adara's Birthday

Like everything else in life, I am having a harder time keeping up with this blog lately.  :)  This has been a busy month, but way back at the beginning of October we celebrated Adara turning 3!  This has been our year for underwhelming birthday celebrations -- Emily got candles in her pancakes while we had a houseful of guests for our college reunion, and Alasdair & I were out of town for Adara's birthday.  We did still manage to celebrate her though, and spending her actual day with Mimi & Papa was a great treat.

Adara and I have had lots of good times together lately, especially our after-preschool picnics at Nathan's Garden.  She's still strong-willed and quick to throw a fit when things don't go her way, but also often really cooperative, cheerful and helpful.  She loves school, and comes home excited to tell me about her crafts or the signs for various words.  She loves all things Frozen and Dora, having her nails painted, mermaids, dressing "like a princess" (tights and a shirt.. or, which I can convince her, a dress), and we just introduced her to some classic Disney songs.  She still has an unfortunate affinity for the word "poop."  (Usually said emphatically and with a twinkle in her eye because she knows it makes us laugh.)  She adores her siblings.  She runs to tell Emily anytime she hears something that makes her happy, and the first thing she does when meeting new people is to introduce her baby brother.  She is almost always telling silly stories or singing "for the first time in forever."  

We made October 1 her family birthday -- I was the parent helper in her TMO class, which she loves because she gets to ring the "magic wand" bell when it's time to clean up, and help me set up snack.  She also got to bring special marshmallow treats to share, and the teachers have all the children draw pictures to staple together in a book for the birthday child.  Daddy joined us for our regular picnic lunch, and then when the big girls got home from school, she opened her presents, we had her choice of dinner (pasta and butter) & cupcakes, and watched Frozen.  

  marshmallows with breakfast

mermaid costume from Granny

  getting her nails painted with the new nail polish from Jess

Her three year old "interview" was a bit of a challenge to complete, because she was more interested in being silly and making me laugh than actually answering any questions. :)

Who is your best friend?  Little Emily
What is your favorite color?   Purple
What is your favorite book?   NUffin
(I asked her again later and she said, "I already telled you that."
What is your favorite animal? snuffy
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite game? 
What is your favorite song? 
What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Hey! Where's the water table?
What animal do you sleep with? 
What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy: chess
What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy: read books
Anything else you want to tell me about your favorite things?
What is something you're good at?