December 30, 2013

Holidays

Here are some holiday pictures
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We went to Kaen's house for Christmas morning. The big gift hits for Elliott were some bath toy egg things and a toy car that plays music. His favorite song is pop goes the weasel (the red button).

Alden also liked the musical car and would hassle Elliott about song selection and driving rights.
What really impressed Alden was the lego set, which made everything grind to a halt for about five hours while he assembled the beach- house. He Still had gifts left to unwrap, but was so excited went off and started to build. 
In the evening we had a fantastic seafood super.

December 28, 2013

Ice Storm

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So we got behind on the blog updates  due to the holidays. We lost power for three or four days (23 to the 27th-ish) which was inconvenient but no major issue. We kept the wood stove burning and were able to go over to Karen's house on Christmas (she had her power back by then). We still had (cold) running water and our stove-top is gas, and since it is winter we put our refrigerator food in a box on the porch. 
The birch trees were the most dramatic with the ice weight,
We did not get too much damage, a few lost branches, but they were far away from the house and rather small.
Everything was beautiful encased in ice
Not sure how the bees are doing... too cold to check.

December 21, 2013

Alden Holiday Series 1

Original artwork gifts from Alden. He did this series of things that he likes/ is interested in. 


 A monster with a gold stick.
 Cat with stripes and butterflies behind clouds.

Cheese robot with wheels floating down to cheese moon holding some cheese.

 Alden and Elliott taking a bath.

  Butterfly sun and snake.

 Fish from the fish tank.

 Orange cat and grey cat playing with balls and ribbons.

 Cage above three mice with cheese.

Candy.

November 30, 2013

Hanukkah

It was fun to have Hanukkah and thanksgiving overlap. 
Scott came by for a few days and we also celebrated with Karen
We tried to remember to do a gift for each night for Alden. The best one so far seems to be the checkers set... even though Alden tries to make up his own rules.

November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a small affair this year, despite being shared with Hanukkah. 
We got dressed up and had a lovely meal at Karen's house
The special treat this year were the two pheasants (instead of turkeys) that were prepared.

November 22, 2013

Elliott Walks

He has just started being able to do more than two or three steps. 
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November 15, 2013

Elliott Hair Cut - Alden at School

Elliott got a haircut this weekend;

Before 

After

We had our first parent teacher meeting for Alden. They reported his academics are advanced, but he needs to work on social skills... basically listening, eye contact, and some impulse control... nothing serious. It was nice to meet his teacher and see his school again.

November 4, 2013

Steve's Wedding

My friend Steve got married yesterday in Houlton Maine to his special lady friend Jess. Alden and I made the trip and Ilana stayed home with Elliott. My work friends Chris and Priscilla and their sweeties also attended, which was great. 

It was a three hour drive, but it was worth it. Steve is a great guy and Alden has been asking about marriage lately. How do you get married? when can I get married? When do you know you are married? and so on. 
Alden had a nap on the way up. He ran round the ceremony-seating like a rat stuck in a maze before the opening. He was very well behaved during the ceremony, bet was very anxious to see Jess and asked 'is that Jess?' when each bridesmaid entered. 
The ceremony was short and sweet and then we went to the reception. Alden ran around the tables like crazy, was well behaved at the meal and we left at 8pm to drive home. Alden slept in car so he was ready to go the next day. I was a little beat, but enjoyed myself a lot and it was worth it.

October 31, 2013

Halloween

Alden went as Eve from Wall-E this year. Karen and I transformed a trashcan to make the costume. This is somewhat ironic since Alden's self-named and self-styled superhero is a character he calls "Trashcan". This is what Trashcan, the superhero looks like:
We don't get it either, so don't ask us. The net on his head is "a gun that shoots metal parts at bad guys". The handle of the net fell off and now it's basically just a metal spike that falls right at eye or crotch level, depending on your age. So to protect the family from an unintentional skewering, Kerstin fashioned it with a Kinder Surprise egg case on the end. The mouth piece is a handle from Elliott's sippy cup. 

Elliott went as a frog because we had a frog costume handy... not much beyond that. He seemed to enjoy the transformation and Halloween night was rainy... weather that frogs like. 
Here is Alden with Elliot just before leaving for trick-or-treating.


October 21, 2013

Saint John

Kerstin was invited to a music conference in Saint John, NB, so we packed up the kids and turned it into a mini vacation.
The view of the city from our hotel. The Queen Elizabeth 2, shown here in the harbor, had docked here over the weekend and we shared the city with the passengers, who were mostly retirees from the States.
There were lots of musical performances that weekend, including a children's band in the Market Square, so we took in the show as a whole family. Otherwise, I spend most of the time shuttling the kids between luncheon locations, playgrounds, and the hotel room for naps and/or a re-up on supplies while Kerstin attended the conference, so it wasn't quite as relaxing as perhaps I had hoped. Still, it was fun to explore Saint John, a city none of us had been to before. Elliott was a little fussier than normal, although he liked the 4-hour car ride through northern Maine and Canada.
Elliott's first international trip!

October 14, 2013

Follow the Dog!

The middle days of October have been simply beautiful. 

I spent three hours outside with the boys enjoying the sun and the green grass. At some point two neighborhood dogs came by to check out what we were doing. One got bored and left, but the other one decided to stick around and smell out trees and bushes.
I followed the dog for about an hour, pulling Elliott and Alden behind me in the wagon. Alden kept yelling, "Follow that dog, he knows were to go."
Eventually the dog left. At some point Elliott fell out of the wagon, but was not hurt and we played on the grass.
All in all a nice day.

October 1, 2013

St. Johns, NF

Just a quick note from Newfoundland. I am attending a conference this week and thought I would post a few pictures. 
When I told the customs agent that I was attending an arts conference in Newfoundland the officer said something like "There are arts in Newfoundland?" As it turns out it is a very vibrant arts community, especially for live music.

Here is a picture of folks getting Screeched in. Half fabricated tradition, half alcohol promotion, but all very fun.

September 24, 2013

Honey Harvest 2013

We went to Scott's house to harvest our honey this year. Alden was more interested in the lake than the extraction process, but the water was too cold to swim in, so he spent his time taking off his clothes, looking longingly at the water, getting cold, and then putting his clothes back on. He repeated this cycle a few times.
The extractor broke after the first 10 frames so Scott's handy friend Dana spent several hours MacGuyvering a fix. He did it, the extraction proceeded and we ended up with 133 lbs all together split across 3 five-gallon pails.
It wasn't a great year in terms of quantity (only 4.75 boxes from 4 hives and 3 of those boxes came from Ponyo), but the quality of the honey is superb. It's rich and floral and fruity and even better than last year, in my humble opinion. We promptly sold it all in the coming weeks to family, friends and colleagues, who clamored for more long after the last bottle was spoken for. We need to find a way to keep the bees from swarming so we can increase our production. Everyone seemed to want more than we had to offer!

September 19, 2013

Sophia Birthday

The family attended Sophia's birthday today, at the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. 

Not much to report, other than it was a fun time and very enjoyable.

September 16, 2013

Apple Picking

We went to Rikers Orchard to pick apples and eat fresh doughnuts. We were also excited by the offerings like the corn maze and animals.
Elliott was a good sport and liked crawling in the grass (no walking yet). He also LOVED the wagon ride when I pulled him and Alden through the apple orchard.
On top of apples we also picked grapes at the farm.
Fun Fun.