Sunday, April 13, 2014

Catching Up: October

October passed in a whirlwind of events that left us completely worn out by the end of the month. Less than a week after we got back from our trip to the States, Rusty was packing his bags again, this time for the men's CCC conference in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2012, I enjoyed a week of renewal and replenishment, thanks to the wonderful folks at Great Cities Ministries. This past fall, it was Rusty's turn! I stayed home with the boys, and we actually had a nice, peaceful week (as in nobody got sick or had to be taken to the ER).

While Rusty was in Brazil, the boys and I went "back to homeschool." I planned a special day to kick off our year that included pictures, interviews, lunch with a homeschooling friend, and an afternoon tour of the library at Alliance Academy with our homeschool group (those last two just happened to fall on the day I chose as our official first day).

This year, I have a second-grader, a pre-schooler, and a toddler! It's my first year to be teaching two at once.
Story-time at the library. We also got a tour and learned how books are cataloged.
Group picture of the elementary homeschool students
At the end of the month, the teenagers in the homeschool group hosted a "county fair" for the younger students. There were lots of fun, carnival-style games, and also food available for purchase, with all proceeds going towards the teen spring retreat. Our kids had a blast!

Alex and Micah had their picture made at the photo booth, and this was the result. Totally cool!
Spiderman Stephen
Baseball season for the Quito Youth Baseball League started up again in October. Alex was moved up to machine pitch this year. With games almost every weekend from October through December, and practice once a week, it was more of a time commitment than last year's T-ball. But he enjoyed it and learned a lot, so, as much as I personally dislike sports, I think it's good for him to be involved in things like this.

Opening ceremonies -- "Boston Red Sox" team picture
Batter up!
Stephen got to try T-ball.
And Ben just wanted to wear the batting helmet and carry around a bat.
The biggest event of the month was our move out to Camp Bellevue. We decided we wanted to be completely moved before the holidays and before I got hugely pregnant, which basically meant by the end of October. While Rusty was in Brazil, Julie and her kids came and spent two nights at our house, and Julie helped me with a lot of the initial packing. When Rusty got back, we spent the better part of the next two weeks moving. We made several runs out to the camp (over 1 hour from the north end of Quito) carrying loads of our stuff in our two cars. We did rent a moving truck to help us with the large items like furniture and appliances, and we had help from some of the EQEB students with the loading in Quito, and from the staff at Camp Bellevue with the unloading. Moving is always stressful, but this move seemed especially so, partially because the process drug on for so long, and partially because I was 5+ months pregnant. But we eventually got everything moved, and then the real work of finding a place for everything began. The administrator's house at Camp Bellevue is quite a bit smaller than our Quito house -- just two bedrooms, and an upstairs loft that we are using as storage and a playroom right now. However, what we gave up as far as the house, we more than gained in outdoor spaces -- lots of room to run, play, and explore, plus a playground, soccer field, basketball court, and volleyball court just a stone's throw from our front door. (We do plan to add on to the house eventually, and are actually in the process now of enclosing the front porch to create a designated school room. Future plans include adding an extra bedroom and a family room onto the back of the house.)

Our new house
Home sweet home
View of Mt. Cayambe from the camp -- love that we can look out our dining room window and see this mountain every morning (when it's clear, anyway).
Game night in front of our cozy fireplace
Benjamin loved to play in the packing paper

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