December 30, 2012

Christmas at Karens

Chocolate Moustache! Didn't last long at all.
Our ritual of celebrating Christmas day with Karen continued. Alden and I helped make cinnamon rolls the night before so breakfast was a treat.
We took turns exchanging gifts, playing with the kids, and undertaking random chores.

Im going to slide a few pictures of my birthday in here too. 

December 23, 2012


December 21 was the gift exchange day this year.

The big hit for Alden was his 'safety equipment'. 
Elliott did super fantastic with all of the guests and handled being held and adored with the best baby attitude one could hope for.
There were even some really warm days where we took walks outside.
Sandy was able to play with the kids.

We got our first chance for photos as a family too. I think we should try again in better light.

December 17, 2012


 Our holidays are started around December 16 this year.  We did not plan it that way, but we had guests visiting early for the holidays and one thing lead to another...
Hanukkah started December 8but celebrating was hit-or-miss for the first 3/4. By the end our guests were here and we were celebrating about every evening for something or another.
Joseph and Sandy visited, and Scott made an appearance for a couple days. They all were able to attend the school holiday recital. The program this year was much shorter and having a year under his belt Alden did quite well.
He and his buddy Evelyn supported each other for the event.
Alden also got to meet Santa (and the missus) and get a stocking full of goodies. This was a bit awkward since Ilana told Alden that Santa does not come to our house and we celebrate Hanukkah. There is a bit of a story behind this, but the short of it is that we celebrate Christmas at Karen's house and whether or not Santa shows up there is still being debated. Anyway seeing Mr. Claus in person seems to have made for some interesting internal processing.

December 11, 2012

Employee of the Year

 Under the leadership of our new agency director I was awarded employee of the year. Darrell was made manager of the year. I got to shake the hand of the governor and get a piece of paper for my file. It was a nice gesture and I appreciate it.

December 10, 2012


I had a chance to get up to Aroostook County for a couple days. I'm doing some work to help the St. John Valley apply for a grant. 

I've been to the County a few times before. I always enjoy it. There are some spectacular things, like the Mont-Carmel church... but there is also a lot of distress.

Mostly agricultural focusing on potatoes and lumber, the region has seen better days, but even the run-down buildings are fascinating.

I don't really talk about work on the blog very much, so I am trying it out.Tthis was the view from my hotel.

December 9, 2012

More of the Kids

For those interested in Elliott's growth and development.
And people who want to see how Alden prepares to help me case-in a closet.

November 30, 2012

San Francisco Trip 2

We had a chance to  go to Muir Woods and visit the big trees with the family. I was also going to meet up with my friends Brad and Shanti and their new baby Taren. Unfortunately we got held up a little and there is no phone reception in the park by which to coordinate schedules. I later found out that Shanti saw Alden and Levin racing up and down the trails, but did not make the connection to me.

The forest was great and is one of the places I really wanted to see in my life.
Here is Alden outside the gift shop next to a slice of tree. 
In addition to the Muir woods trip we also did hiking and geocaching thanks to uncle Aaron. We found this crazy maze in the middle of a field and had fun taking and leaving things in the cashing canisters.  The big hit was the San Jose Technology Museum, it was so nice we went there twice.

There was a Myth Buster exhibition that was loads of fun.
 Aaron and Leven dominated in the space-chair simulator
Alden especially liked the kinetic ball-sculpture outside the museum and the new-technology exhibit where a robot arm drew a picture of Alden with a bic pen.
Alden and I were able to visit Shanti, Brad and Taren at their place after the museum.
Ilana and Barbara missed the first visit since Ilana was fighting a cold and Barbara was working. We went back on the last day of our visit... Well, they went back, I split from the group and saw an interactive art festival.

November 29, 2012

San Francisco Trip 1

Arriving on Thanksgiving, we were able to join the rest of the Hobson family for the feast. 
We flew all day and the flight was surprisingly okay. No delays, lost bags, bad attitudes or other nonsense that frequently comes with modern air travel. The one problem was the discovery that Alden will throw-up every time the airplane descends. Not a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN. However, knowing this allows us to be ready with a sick bag (or at least it did on the flight back... learning curve) 
It was great to be with the family all in one place and we were also able to celebrate Ben's birthday. We were able to meet baby Ada, and it was also a chance for many folks to meet Elliott for the first time. Alden and Levin got along famously and played well together.
Ben's birthday night bowling was a hit, although Liz and I stayed home with the babies.The group went to the Academy of Science, which had a rain forest exhibit with frogs, fish and butterflies as well as baby ostriches outside in the yard!

Baby ostrich!

November 18, 2012

Putting the Bees Away for the Winter

We have had a couple surprisingly warm days lately, the last gasps of summer. When given the chance the bees still go out and forage. They even come back with pollen, although I have no idea where they could have gotten it.
Despite the mild days it is time to prepare the bees for winter, which involves doing a final hive check to see if they have enough food, wrapping the hive in tar paper (with a little escape hole in the top), and putting a moisture board under the cover to help it stay dry inside.
Last year with the single hive I also put a piece of insulation under the tar paper, this year with four it was left out. Now all that is left is to wait and worry until February and hope they have enough food and whatever else for the winter.

November 12, 2012

Canada Trip, Moncton

I went to the Franco Fete conference last week, a French Language performing arts market for New Brunswick and Quebec.  The conference was in Moncton, about 6 hours from the house in Maine. The conference was split between three venues, one near the hotel and two in the downtown.
The drive was beautiful  and not too snowy. I think if I would have made the trip later I would be tempting the weather. 

I try not to blog too much about work, but it was great to be in a place where business was conducted in a different language.

November 11, 2012

The Kids

November 7, 2012

Standing up

Elliott loves to stand. His surprisingly strong little baby legs can easily hold up his weight and he's even taking a few steps now and then. He is pretty chatty too.

October 29, 2012

Beekeeping Outfit

This outfit was a gift from my work pals Darrell and Steve. While adorable, it is woefully inadequate for protecting a 2 month old while beekeeping.
Things have been pretty hectic with 2 kids, so the posts are not what they used to be. The latest Elliott update is that he is mostly sleeping through the night. This is awesome and may afford us more energy to update in the future. About three days ago Elliott just decided to sleep for 6 or 7 hours straight at night. In fact, now Ilana needs to wake him up to feed him since the milk supply gets painful after about six hours.
 In other Elliott news, he discovered thumb sucking a couple weeks back, which helps him calm down. He no longer likes pacifiers or sucking on other people's fingers. It also seems like he is realizing his hands are HIS hands which may be interesting in the near future.
Tummy time is also proving fruitful as he can now lift his head up for a little while and look around.