April 29, 2013 by nktaube
A few weeks ago we had quite the non-traditional Sunday. We woke up 5:30am to get in the car and drive the whole family to a race. And then instead of going to our Quito church afterward, we had the opportunity to "church" via skype with New Life Lakeview! Definitely fun to participate in that way despite the fact that Canaan had a crayon meltdown while we were talking in first service. We got smart 2nd service and just kept shoving food in their mouths to keep them quiet!
But back to the race. 7K. From De Los Pinos and 10 de Agosto to Amazonas and Veintemilla. I can't believe that's only 7K because it would take me a good half hour in the car to get from one to the other on a normal day. Instead it took me 40 minutes early on a Sunday morning to run it.
I'm glad I did it and pushed myself a little harder but the truth is I didn't enjoy it quite as much. Maybe it was having no mile markers along the way to gauge where I was. Maybe it was the fact that I fell 4 minutes short of the time I wanted. But I came away a little demotivated. Couple that with impossible work schedules between Nate and I and I don't know how much more running I'm going to be able to do!
I do like running in the midst of a crowd though and having one common goal. I like the quietness of an early Sunday morning, moving and pushing when most are still in bed. And mostly I like having these three support me and cheer me on along the way! Nate's been super encouraging in all of this even though it's another thing in our packed schedule. He packed sandwiches and bottles and they sat waiting for me to pass by while munching and then getting packed into the car to go to the next location.
April 18, 2013 by nktaube
We were excited to celebrate by attending a sunrise service out at El Refugio, a camp owned by YouthWorld. It's out past the Equator and even higher in altitude. We woke up at 5:30, packed the kids up and headed out. We had trouble getting to the actual service, which was up past the regular campsite and had to park in the middle of a dirt road and have someone come pick us up to drive the last 5 minutes. No 4-wheel drive for these city folk! The service was simple, short and focused on worshipping. One thing I love about YouthWorld is how chill they are about families and okay with kids running through, asking for milk mid-service, etc.
After the service everyone came down the mountain (Nate in reverse in our car and the kids and I in a truck manned by Howie) and had a potluck style brunch at the base. The kids ran around and played on the playground and the tractor. Then we headed to Jim and Suzy's house, who live about 1km from the camp, for more festivities. A THIRD egg hunt, but which was the first hunt where Eden "got it" and picked up her own eggs. There was also more egg dying. Because we had been going non-stop with activities for about 5 days in a row, Eden and I then headed back into the city so she could have a regular nap. We hadn't realized Jim and Suzy were also doing an Easter lunch so we hadn't planned for that.
Nate and Canaan stayed for lunch, mostly because there were planning to CAMP (C's first trip!) that night back at El Refugio. On the drive back I felt a little sad to be missing that "around the table" feel of family at Easter and wished I wasn't the one headed to a quiet, napping home. But I think it was best for Eden and just had to remind that major extrovert in my head that while it would be fun, missing one event isn't the end of the world :)
Eden and I spent the rest of Easter hanging out just the two of us, giving her some special one on one time. We played at the park and did what SHE wanted to do the whole time ... instead of following her brother. I also might be the world's worst mom who let her eat a small pack of McD's french fries. But let me tell you that the smile on her face was SO worth it and her tiny little, greasy, salted fingers just kept signing "more" over and over again. Then we stopped and I ordered sushi to go for my Easter dinner, in an attempt to feel some solidarity with my Taube siblings who were back in Chicago having a Japanese Easter! And it was a little too quiet maybe but it was also really, really nice to have a night where I just put my feet up and watched TV!
A little break to pet a dog. Fearless this girl. There isn't a dog big or small that she doesn't want to cuddle.
Celebrating Easter with a view this beautiful!
April 16, 2013 by nktaube
Argentina and Uruguay have a tradition of eating gnocchi, either homemade or takeout on the 29th of every month. Living in Uruguay Mark & Kora participate in this tradition and encourage friends and family to do it too as a way to connect over the long miles!
This month was our first time participating and we mostly made it happen because we involved our Uruguayan friends here in Quito! It's funny how God works, with both of us becoming involved with Uruguayans while living in two separate countries! So even though it was Good Friday and the 29th and usually families would be getting together to make a giant bowl of Fanesca, we were getting together with friends for a 7.5 hour gnocchi making party! (The gnocchi didn't take 7.5 hours but they did take 2.5 hours!) We took turns getting involved in the cooking, chopping parsley, rolling and cutting, etc. and then managing kids running throughout the house!
The kids had a blast, pouring water all over themselves in the first half hour and ending up in undies together. Besides eating gnocchi, much mate was passed around and imbibed and a trip to the park for a little soccer, little volleyball in between lunch and dessert.
(Flor was concerned that Nate's pictures would make us all look like maids with our aprons on ... something I never would have thought about!)
The kids didn't get naps, which made things a little crazy for awhile and also turned Canaan into a zombie. We decided a little bit of tv couch time might actually be a good thing in this case and this is how we found them.)
April 15, 2013 by nktaube
When I planned an easter egg hunt for our play group I thought it would be our only one for the year! But then we were invited to participate in one with some other families from the school. It ended up being a neat thing because we went to a local orphanage and had the egg hunt, story of Easter, and egg dying there to help the toddlers living there celebrate. I wish Nate had been able to come because I felt like a particularly unhelpful parent in terms of playing with the other toddlers or feeding some of the babies but I still thought it was really good! (And I was so impressed with how much more built up this orphanage is than when I lived here! The kids had a blast playing.)
We also took time around the house to do an Easter egg hunt that told the story of Easter. I found a printable on Pinterest with pictures showing different parts of the story so Canaan found the eggs and then we went through the story several times. Of course he only gets parts of it but it's a start. Mostly he remembers that Jesus rode on a donkey and Jesus washed his friends feet. Also that Judas was "yucky."
And finally the night before Easter the kids had an "easter" bath with all their plastic eggs. They LOVED it. Little containers to fill and pour all over. What's not to love. Canaan's been asking for an Easter bath weekly now. Oh and also of note has been Canaan's confusion with this holiday. Because we call Eden "Ee-ster" (or often Canaan will yell "Ee-ster, Leester, Keneester") he thinks they are her eggs, etc.
April 12, 2013 by nktaube
I don't know that there is anything on this earth that can make my heart feel more full than to watch these two little ones enjoy each other fully.
April 06, 2013 by nktaube
Within my playgroup we've got 6 birthdays within one month. That's five parties since one is for twins! I'm going to have quite a spoiled little boy by the end of this! We started off last weekend with T's bday at Burger King. We didn't say much about it ahead of time to Canaan because he can make us crazy asking "when" questions.
But boy was he excited to dress up as a "pirata" (costume borrowed from a friend) and help celebrate. Our little guy loves anything physical and he was one of the first to conquer the climb and slide independently. He probably went up and down that thing 45 times during the two hours. He also enjoyed a puppet show with Cookie Monster and getting candy from the pinata. He ate his chicken nuggets and fries with his friends, made sure he didn't miss cake and then went back to the slide. He also continues to talk about how T ate a whole cake. It seems it might be traditional here to let the bday boy take a big bite out of the middle of the cake before serving it. He was also the only kid who wore his BK hat through the entire party.
Eden, the ballerina, was not as big of a fan. I think she was pretty overwhelmed by the stuffing of over 60 people into a really small, hot space and she also didn't like her daddy telling her she couldn't pull the puppet stage down onto herself during the show. But under the play area she did well enough to survive.
I learned that even if it's a kids costume party, the parents better come dressed up. I also learned a party without a pinata - even if there are lots of treats and candy - is no party at all. (Figure out pinata is now on my to do list!).
March 31, 2013 by nktaube
Ecuadorians don't really celebrate any of our pagan Easter traditions. They recognize the REAL reason for Easter but bunnies and chocolate eggs? Not very common.
So last Thursday I introduced them to some of the traditions I thought the toddlers would enjoy. I like making play group more than just crazy, screaming kids running around while moms try to talk. So I purposely try to come up with a few activities that will catch the kids attention and involve the moms. Their very first Easter egg hunt and egg dye did the trick and they were fascinated with both. The moms all want their own set of plastic eggs now (which I will slowly have to bring down since you can't buy them here!). And getting the kids to give their eggs back to me and just keep the candy was tricky because they loved those little eggs too!
Canaan was super excited to dye eggs and sat in his chair with his smock on waiting with perfect patience while the other kids ran circles and screamed. (He's used to having a "project" mom and so he loves this kind of thing.) In fact a few days later we dyed more eggs just he and I since it's was a little chaotic with 5 kids and 2 babies trying to do it together.
After the fun the kids topped their own mini pizzas and tried to drown out some of the candy overload that way.