December 31 of 2016 marked the tenth celebration of Festibond. I missed Mom’s presence, but we succeeded in continuing our lovely tradition. The day before was full of preparation.
I’ve lived in Maine for most of my life and up until about two months ago, that’s been in the same apartment. I’d been craving a change for years. My dad has discussed moving with the family on many accounts, but it wasn’t until recently that he began to take action. We viewed three places in the span of two days in September with our amicable realtor, Michelle. The three home were all so different, it’s hard to compare them. However, it’s easy to say that the loft we viewed won our hearts by a wide margin and we proceeded to buy it.
My family had lived in the same apartment in Saco for nearly ten years. The proximity to Thornton Academy, downtown Saco, and Biddeford was ideal, but my dad had been talking about moving for years. This Autumn, we started looking at different houses with a realtor and it started to feel very real. The whole process was very exciting.
Now, we’ve lived in the Park street lofts for over a month and it’s just beginning to feel like home. My favorite things about it are all the big windows, the kitchen space and appliances, and the “openness”. Every morning, sunshine from the East streams into the dining room and makes everything warm and colorful. It’s quiet and peaceful. Whereas at our former apartment, the windows were closer to the ground and smaller, so the sunrise was not as great. I love that my sisters, dad, and I spend more time together because the loft is more open.
I’m glad that we were able to have Thanksgiving at our new loft. Our Aunt Christina, Brent’s sister, came over for Thanksgiving break. We had a traditional Thanksgiving meal on our new table. It felt homey. Our new kitchen is easy and comfortable to use, so we are cooking and having family meals more often.
Jenna has been asking me all summer to take a family camping trip. It seemed that there was always someone who was busy (with work or other summer activity). Realizing school would start in only a couple of weeks, I decided I needed to plan something very soon, so I began preparing for a camping trip to Bradbury Mountain State Park for the 3rd weekend in August.
Together the girls and I decided on the menu and purchased all the necessary ingredients. I searched for foil dinner and breakfast ideas, and found a couple winners. I prepared the individual foil dinners ahead of time, but because I was working the two nights prior to our departure, I didn’t have the time I needed to get everything done that I wanted to. As it turned out, I did forget a few things, but we made do. The girls and I drove up to Bradbury Mountain State Park (only about a 45-minute drive north) Friday afternoon after I slept a few hours. My car was packed full, and the girls were good sports about the small amount of room they had. Fortunately my new Subaru Crosstrek has a bit more space than my old little VW Jetta! Brent planned on meeting us there that evening after he got off work. After the girls and I secured our spot and set up camp, Brent arrived…with the firewood and some newspaper. He got a nice fire going. He’s a regular boy scout. ;-)
Skye is an environment enthusiast. She especially loves marine biology and has done much reading and research on the subject. It disturbs her to find trash discarded carelessly, especially plastics washed up on the beach. She has been conscientious about recycling, and is often frustrated by all the plastics being used excessively and unnecessarily, or to see people not bothering to recycle.
Several months ago, Brent and Skye attended a lecture by Waynflete about plastics. There they learned about a program called Rippleffect. Its purpose is “to promote youth development and leadership through adventure, healthy communities and living sustainably.” Skye was very enthusiastic about it, and proceeded to apply for the CELP, the Cow Island Environmental Leadership Program for high school age teens. She was accepted into the program, and excitedly made preparations for her 4-week stay at Cow Island.
In my opinion, Festibond was a great success this year. There were some things we could change, but overall, I’m glad we did a few things different. I loved Jenna’s idea of not spending Festibond at home: we ended up spending most of the time at a hotel. Like usual, I loved the idea of letters. I will always love that meaningful part.
The only thing I would change about Festibond is to plan ahead more. It seemed like we were rushing around trying to get stuff done and ready for Festibond. I would like to plan more activities next time, as well.
It was between 7:30 and 8:00 when I woke up. No one except Dad and I were awake. Slowly, everyone else woke up, and everyone was awake by 9:00. It was a very hectic morning trying to get dressed and putting all the food and clothes into bags to bring to the hotel where we were staying that night. It worried me that every moment, it was getting closer to being too late for breakfast. We left at around 10:00 and headed to the Marriott hotel in Portland. We brought two cars, because Dad had to leave earlier than us the next morning for work.
Continue reading Festibond 2013 – Skye
On July 11, 2011, a holiday called ‘Siblings day’ was invented by Jenna, Hayley, and Skye Danler. Every year since, we celebrated our relationship by bonding more than usual. Sounds cheesy, but to us, Siblings day is a day to cherish.
This year, our big sister Skye created a very sweet slideshow! It included pictures of all three of us through the years. It also included my new favorite song, ‘My Sister’ by Reba McEntire. I was on the verge of tears. :)
I also got some card stock so that my sisters and I could try this fun activity that I thought up! We all made a board game from scratch. Both my sisters went above and beyond on them, being so creative. :)
My board game was called ‘Are you a Mainer?’. Hayley’s was ‘Adventure on a Board’ and Skye’s was ‘Truth or Dare’. It was super-duper fun to try them all out after lunch.
My sisters always cheer me up on down times. I know, sometimes they can be annoying :( but we always make up after a fight and laugh about it later like in the song ‘My Sister’. Skye was a big help in planning it! So kudos to her for being so helpful… :)
We also had a pillow fight. Hayley got hurt, so we moved on to a different game that I made up. We had to make each other laugh, and if we laughed, we loose. I lost so many times!
Anyway, I love you Skye and Hayley!!
Skye went skiing! Her school had a “BAM Day,” in which students were able to choose activities to expose them to new and fun physical activities. Although skiing was one of the more expensive of the many choices, I encouraged her to do it because I not-so-secretly want her to be my partner on the slopes. As the day approached she was nervous, but excited. I was, too.
I wasn’t going to go, as I didn’t want to be one of “those dads.” Continue reading Skye’s First Day Skiing
Kirsten and I finally have a weekend to spend together without scheduling conflicts. Best to take advantage, and take advantage we have done.
This morning we all went to our favorite local breakfast joint, Palace Diner in Biddeford. The food is wonderful, service exceptional, and prices reasonable. It’s really a jewel of Biddeford. Our family took up about a third of the barstools at the counter.
Last Friday Richard and Patsy sailed in from Canada on the Crown Princess cruise ship. I took the day off of work and we drove up to Mt. Desert Island Thursday evening. It was very nice to see both of them. We walked around Bar Harbor, ate lunch at Geddy’s and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a nice few hours.
When they got back on the boat in the afternoon we drove up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain where we took pictures and ran around the rocky slope.