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Here are a few photos to start the summer.
Jack and Lucy and I in Wells, Maine- we drove down to see my niece Grace Tate (Joel and Christine's second) graduate from high school.  Bowden was too cool to look at the ocean and Miles is the pokiest puppy.  I think Charlie was asleep in his carseat.
Squishing my boy in the airport before he left for California. Bowden turned 15 the day before this picture.
Lucy on Rock Dundar, on the shores of Lake Champlain.  Living in Maine means that we are a short 81/2 hours away from Josh's family- much better than the 22 from Florida.
On the way home from Vermont, I picked up Ruslan- in green- and two brothers that a friend of mine is hosting.  Ruslan is near fluent in English, and acted asa translator for Ivan and Illia.
Miles gave up his room for Ruslan (pronounce roos-lawn.). This is a picture of him settling into his new room.
The view from our parking lot.  This is Salmon Brook.
Enjoying the indoor pool at the University of Maine in Pres…
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Another summer, and the days swim by...

I'm typing this from my table on the second story of my strange house in Northern Maine- I look out over a lovely, long brook and a public playground, and Jack walking in circles with one of his zip-ties, face scrunched up, making noises for whatever the zip-tie is meant to be at this moment, in this game.  He's walking in our parking lot- maybe the biggest parking lot in the small town of Washburn, Maine.  Our house used to sit on top of Sperrey's Superette, one of two grocery stores in the town, and now sits over 2,400 square feet of unfinished something.  We like the possibility of it, the potential, but potential unused becomes something less appealing, so it is our giant living room/ playroom.  The house/store was built in 1901 on the site of the old Mill, but it lacks all the charm of an older house.  Instead, it is strange.  Three staircases, one of them a metal spiral staircase, and all of them at least a little scary.  A three-person tub with whirlpool jets on the…
In September, we were gifted a wonderful stay at a fellow pastor's vacation home- a lovely little pink house with shells everywhere and two huge rooms just perfect for all of us.  We were just a walk away from the white sands and calm, clear ocean, and we spent more time than my pale and sand-hating husband understood, but it was just lovely.  I have pictures on my phone, but I only pulled out my big camera for these few on the first day.









It had a fenced yard for the dog, a golf cart to drive us the two blocks beachward and lots and lots of shells and quality family time.  This was the trip that we watched Knight Rider together, so that's notable.

Tate Chickens on a Messy Porch

I took these just before Bowden and Lucy flew up to Vermont for the month.  I'd like to say that they were sad to leave everyone, but the only one they were really sad to leave was Charlie.




Sometimes they all like each other a ton, but much of the time, Bowden picks and teases, Lucy bosses and shuts everyone out of her room in exasperation, and the two "little" boys fight and bicker and yell at everyone, all while Charlie demands that his every need is met, NOW, and only by the person of his choosing-usually me, but at the most frustrating times, some other random family member.
I think to not write this would skew my view of these days, and I have good hope that we are growing closer to each other, and learning how to love better.


They all missed each other.  The house was empty without everyone there, and our reunion was marked by days of sweet camaraderie.  Eventually a fight broke out, over boredom more than anything else, but I think we have retained some of the aw…

Camping in White Springs, FL

Lulu Advent joined with our friend Becky and her mother-son campout and slept "primitive" in the woods this Friday.  This is something you can do in Florida in November, and is actually better than many other times- it's so humid and hot and buggy here that November is about the earliest that it's comfortable to sit around a fire- and the past two years we have had temperatures in the 90s up until January.  So, no toilets or running water, no cookstoves, just open fires and good fun.  I don't love sleeping on the ground, especially because my friendly padding somehow does not pillow the hard, hard bones inside.  We went on a hike along the Suwannee River Trail on Saturday, and came home dirty and exhausted and glad we had done it. Becky and her son Brandt.
 Jamie and Richard  Alicia and her son- I wish that I knew his name, but I don't remember it.  He was sweet, though, and Alicia has six kids altogether and this was their first time doing anything, "…