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October (Halloween week)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Since May, Ben has been commuting to Delaware for work. When we moved back from New Zealand, it took longer than we expected for his North and South Carolina medical licenses to process. He was still licensed in Delaware and we needed some money. So he took a temporary job at the wonderful hospital where he did residency. It has been a great solution for our family, while we took some time to figure out what our next step was going to be. (More on that next time)

Most months it shakes out to be a pretty good deal. Ben's usually works about 14 days. But October/November has been pretty rough... home 5 of the past 30 day. We had him for Halloween and every was thrilled. We went to Denver Downs to get our pumpkins... and it ended up being a lot more fun than I expected. It reminded me of something you would find in New Zealand. Lots of funny and quirky games, zip lines, farm animals, rope swings, hay ride, a corn maze... everyone had a great time! But it was probably because we were so happy to be together. 

In the back yard of the house we are renting there is a creek. The path to the creek was overgrown when we arrived, but has slowly become well worn. There were two rusted lawn chairs, a dilapidated Tonka truck, and an overgrown fire pit. You could tell that, at one point, this was a beloved place. On one particularly frustrating day I took a portable speaker and all the kids down to the creek. Max had a serrated kitchen knife and a pair of scissors for a "project" that he was working on. I took the knife and spent the next two hours "clearing brush". Bending branches and sawing limbs with my little kitchen knife. It was cathartic. As things started to look more beautiful, the kids got excited and joined in, gathering bricks and other building supplies to improve the atmosphere. By the time Ben got home we were ready for the "big reveal" and our first creek side cook out. It was a good night.

This year Max and Maggie were very enthusiastic about making their costumes. Thankfully Jude and Jonah were quite content choosing from the large selection at Grammy's house. Maggie was an American Indian and Max was a Tusken Raider (sand people from Star Wars). Ben has the papier-mâché skills in our family, so I got off easy with a little bit of sewing machine work. We went trick-or-treating at my Aunt's house in Greenville and Ben caught an early flight the next morning. He get's home Monday and we can't wait to see him.

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