January 27, 2014


Alden is now a student of the violin! We found a Suzuki school near by (by Maine standards) and are doing our nightly music exercises and listening to the Suzuki CD every chance we get.
Currently he is studying how to carry and hold the instrument, perhaps by this time next week he will be playing something!

January 20, 2014

Swimming 2

It is back in the pool for Alden! His swimming lessons resumed this January.
The first lesson was canceled due to freezing rain conditions. This week the weather was fine so we were able to be reintroduced to aquatic sport.
Alden loves swimming, but we were not able to stay late and splash in the pool because of his birthday party schedule. Maybe next time.

January 19, 2014

Alden Day

Alden had his birthday at the Children's Museum in Portland. He always has a great time there. We like it because after the kids arrive parenting is not very difficult. Folks just run around doing museum stuff. 
Alden has four pools of friends to chose from for birthday guests. I think this is amazing for a six year old. Friends from Harbor Children's Center, friends from Stepping Stones school, friends from his current school, and friends from aftercare at the Boys and Girls Club. Despite this the turn out for the party was low. I think Portland is a ways to drive from Gardiner and it snowed all day so roads were poor.
I think the gathering was just the right size in my estimation. Good quality interaction, sweet kids that were genuine friends and we had quite a bit of extra pizza left over. 

Alden received a bunch more legos, following the trend from Christmas, and was very gracious in opening them and thanking his friends. 

While the older kids ran around Elliott and I hung out in the toddler pin/ coral/ zone/ and worked on our stair climbing and wall biting skills.

January 13, 2014

Capricorn Ball

This was the 20th (and final) Capricorn Ball. For the bonfire Karen and I collaborated on the goat sculpture. I built the inner armature and Karen applied the straw.

The event was small this year. There was freezing rain forecast and the roads were already icy. But we made the trip to Skowhegan slow and steady.
Despite being in the rain all day the sculpture burned very well. The underside was dry enough to light and the wet straw created some very dramatic smoke. 
At the party (inside) Alden found a chess set and wanted me to teach him how to play, so that is what we did. For most of the pot-luck we just ate cake and played chess. Very nice. There was also a 30 minute power outage which called for flashlights, Alden really enjoyed this. 
Here is an early picture of the armature

January 1, 2014


We did a bunch of things after Christmas, which always blurs in my mind as birthday-ish time. The birthday shirt I am wearing was designed by Alden and is bees in a beehive. 

We all went bowling, although Elliott mostly watched and ate pizza. You can also note the winter beard filling in.
We played checkers, on of Alden's favorite pass times, and he is getting pretty good.