In Our Spare Time

{Jen and Ian learning about teeth at the Boston Museum of Science}

OH HOW WE LOVE MASSACHUSETTS! Living here has given us SO many opportunities to be out and about and having fun together as a family. We make it a regular habit to check local websites to see what's going on during the up-coming weekend. Some of our most memorable family outings have come as last-minute, gee-that-sounds-really-fun moments!

{Joe and Ian checking out some maple sap buckets in NH}

In the 20 months we've lived here, we've discovered a love for polo, learned how maple syrup is made, discovered the beauty of New Hampshire's White Mountains at the peak of autum, watched artists sculpt sand in the blistering heat, seen a Broadway musical, headed out on many a camping trip, signed up Ian for his first YMCA class, and many, many more things. Boston has so much to offer, and we love exploring everything local tourism has waiting for us.

{A family picnic overlooking the city in Cambridge, MA}

Family time is our greatest priority, so spending time together is of great importance to us. Quite often, we'll dump out all of Ian's lincoln logs and just play....other times, we'll get out our bikes and explore our neighborhood. Ian and Joseph both have snow shoes, and have loved getting outside this winter for some trail-walks. Heaven knows we have plenty of snow for it. =)

{Bike rides with Dad are always relaxing}

We love to play games and get together with friends....We love dominoes, Scrabble, Boggle, Password, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Bang!, Bohnanza, and a myriad of other fun games that get stashed in the coat closet. Ian is starting his own collection, and loves to play memory, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, and "make a match," (which is his name for dominoes).

{Camping in Tennessee soon after our wedding}

Sometimes we'll simply hop in the car and go exploring to new neighborhoods or towns in the area....other times, we stay at home for quiet evenings in. Some things are constant, though: dinner together at the table every night, grocery shopping for Ian and Jen on Monday mornings, and bath times and the bedtime routine with Ian and Joe.

{Father-son bonding reading on the couch}

Our local library has been a great source of fun--especially on those inevitable rainy days in the summer, and snowy gray days in the winter. Ian loves to walk the aisles and point out the letters and sounds he knows. The library also offers discount passes to local museums and cultural events--through which we've loved making regular trips to the Boston Museum of Science, Children's Museum, New England Aquarium, and the local zoo. The ease of public transportation (and fun, for sure) makes occasional Saturdays fun "downtown" days. Ian sure loves to ride on the train!

{Joseph and Ian with greasy, greasy hands after working on the car}

We love to travel whenever we can--often going as a family on Joe's business trips. Our favorite trips of 2008 included Washington, D.C. and England.

{Charting the progress of one of our Utah summer vegetable gardens}

We also love to garden. When we lived in Utah, we had a bright, sunny back yard which afforded us a thriving garden. We loved being able to nurture it and take care of it--it was a blast. Our house in Massachusetts, however, has a very shaded yard, so a full-fledged vegetable garden isn't possible. BUT. We've loved being able to learn about container gardening on the porch, as well as bringing our hobbies indoors as we've learned about growing our own herbs and other plants.

{Ian watching a sheep herding demonstration at a local festival}

We mostly just like spending time together...that's the most important thing, right? And while we all have our individual hobbies (which you can read in our own 'about me' sections), we get the most happiness out of exploring life together.