October-December 2021

It's been a busy and beautiful fall! Here are a few highlights.


Fall garden--our zucchini, tomatoes, and kale kept giving us veggies well into October, until I finally declared them over on Halloween so people could actually get up and down our steps.


Fenway Opening Our Doors Festival--this year Samantha's chorus sang. We ran into friends, listened to music, made art, and enjoyed the day. So great to have this back!


Boston Marathon, fall edition. Super weird to have it in October, but we ran with it. Cheered on wheelchair racers and elite men, then got sushi and came home to make Halloween gingerbread houses with Sarah, Sean, and Evie, all enjoying the day off.


Tween trip to a corn maze


Enjoying the summer-feel weather in fall: bike rides, kite afternoons, and playground time with friends (ending in a fun-filled Saturday night Home Depot run where the check-out staff started handing out candy and dancing around, and our collective four families' worth of kids just joined right in).


Archery out at Gore Place in Waltham. Robert took Samantha and a friend, and while the girls had fun, he won first place out of everyone there. He's very proud of his medal.


Inflatables and bouncy houses and bull-riding at a kids/youth fellowship night at the church. Helen and her two kindergarten friends from Sunday School spent 27 minutes warming up to the bull, bouncing around it, touching it, getting brave enough, and then rode it for three minutes at the lowest setting, all clutching each other, and eventually all rolling off. It was a hit.


Animatronic dinosaur exhibit in Faneuil Hall with Shanti, and dinner afterward at Wagamama.


Sunday School crafts and friends (look at their sandals--we talked about following Jesus, and they decided to model their creations).


Museum of Science on Thanksgiving weekend.


Swimming lessons! Helen can swim now!


Kids' obstacle course race in Fenway Park with the Spartan race folks.


Boston Children's Chorus--last of the outdoor rehearsals. With vaccines approved for kids, they are moving inside in January. Everyone is relieved, on so many levels--not least the conductors who had to rake leaves before setting up chairs on a Saturday morning.


Marcus's volunteer group, the YES Leadership Corps teens learning to set bindings on skis, wax and unwax, and do all sorts of other ski-related maintenance. In January they'll start accompanying younger kids on ski trips and acting as mentors on the slopes.


Boston's Fall-o-Ween festival on the Common, running into friends.


Trick or treating at the zoo.


Boston Children's Museum Halloween party


Pre-trick-or-treating Halloween party at our house. Spot the fifth kid, and Samantha decorating sugar skull cookies.


Trick or treating in the neighborhood on Halloween.


Helen's first lost tooth.


Ice skating in South Boston with a friend of Samantha's and her little siblings.


Missions day at church--learning about Kazahkstan


Boston Nature Center owl walk


Soccer (sadly over now until Spring)


Robert's father's birthday celebrations. Happy birthday, Richard!


Thanksgiving--including a grilled turkey, carving a chocolate turkey, tons of friends, food, and fun.


Quilt exhibit at the MFA. Very cool quilted ball in the center, and a not exactly G-rated quilt at back left. The girls were pretty fascinated with it, both before and after I read aloud the blurb. "Ooh, this one looks like pretty flowers!" said Helen at first, and indeed, it does. "It's very cool the way they made it so 3-D!" Samantha joined in, admiring the technique. "Oh," I said. "It says it's supposed to look like...like a lot of penises, uh, like on boys or men." They squinted at it with this new piece of information. "Why are we still standing here?" hissed Robert in my ear, uncomfortably. "Why aren't we moving on?" Hence: "Ooh, girls, let's go look at that really cool giant ball!" I said, and on we moved.


Korean corn dogs and french fries at the Super 88 (along with mochi donuts too, and after a stop at Juna's father's sushi place in Brookline).


Mexican food in Chelsea after the girls got their vaccines


Kindergarten fun at school


New Playstation.


Chanukah and Evie's birthday together with friends. Samantha wanted to make a chocolate menorah mosaic. Sarah's parents and my parents had an old people's conversation about delays at pharmacies. And everyone got new pajamas and played dreidel.


Roslindale tree-lighting, ornament-making, circus performances, reindog costume contest, and more, followed by sushi take-out and "Shang Chi" at home with Debbie and Chris, in town for the One True Thanksgiving.


Christmas tree lighting at the Seaport, including the free outdoor curling rink, their Christmas market, $1 hot chocolates and teas at the Capital One Cafe, Samantha's chorus singing, free pink bouquets of flowers and a visit with a giant pink Yeti (who would occasionally move an arm or leg, startling the heck out of Helen).


Our own Christmas tree! We got it delivered, fresh, and Helen did all the ornaments except the star (Samantha, with Robert's help).


Samantha's birthday. We started celebrating with a 24" chocolate babka from Bakey's, and some fun balloons. Then a chocolate cake and Korean pork at home with Grandma and Pop-pop, and a Harry Potter movie marathon.


Christmas baking--some cookie boxes for people at my office.

Christmas Eve gingerbread ice palace and festive challah baking


Christmas Day puzzle, gingerbread cake, rainbow of candy (Marcus's gift to Helen, and her look of pure joy), and a brief COVID-safe visit from Richard and Bri:


Quiet time at home


Art by Samantha:


Creations from a recycled fashion class.


Samantha's Apple Watch. Hand-painted band, functioning watch.


Art by Helen:


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Created: 12/16/21. Last Modified: 12/25/21.