Festibond Family Photos 2008-2016

Festibond 2016: Jenna

This year was our tenth Festibond. Although we lost Kirsten, we had a good holiday and our traditions remain unfaltering. In preparation, we went to Freeport to get matching clothes–something that Kirsten would have done when my sisters and I were a lot younger. Our holiday was on New Years’ Eve, so we attempted to stay up until midnight (we didn’t succeed).

In the morning, we drove to Portland for breakfast. Although it was a long drive for just a meal, the meal was plenty satisfactory. It was a good decision.

Miss Portland Diner


Continue reading Festibond 2016: Jenna

Why I Play Violin

In 2009, there was an option offered to students of CK Burns school to play a string instrument in the school orchestra. I don’t remember why I joined, but that decision changed my life. Sometimes I try to imagine what my life would be like if I never joined, but it’s inconceivable. Violin is an integral part of me. Some people who have made a profound impact on me, I met in orchestra or String Camp.

It took many years to make my playing sound like music. I started learning in a class under the instruction of Anne Wilkinson. She got us started on the basics, but it was clear that I wasn’t getting very far. I never practiced, so for two years I progressed very little.

In 2011, my mom got me private lessons with a teacher named Susan LaVerriere. To this day, both Ms. Wilkinson and Susan are my teachers. Since I started taking lessons, my technique improved rapidly. I owe where I am today to Susan. My lessons are half an hour once a week, and our routine is usually the same: first, the scale I’m working on, then the solo or duet I’m working on and exercises to improve my technique. I don’t remember when it was exactly that I actually started to love playing violin or when I knew I wasn’t going to quit, but it was after I started taking lessons.
Continue reading Why I Play Violin

Moving In: Skye

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. Moving was easy as we hired real professionals. Moving Again Backloading was so quick I could not believe they managed to load all out life into trucks within several hours.

A good day to close on a loft.
Getting stuff ready to be moved out of our former place.

Continue reading Moving In: Skye


For nine years we lived in an apartment on the third story of a brick building in Maine. Before that we lived in a house in Kansas, but we moved shortly after I turned four, so I have no memories from it. This September we began to look for a new home. Our apartment was familiar to me after living there so long, but I was thrilled by the notion of moving, for not only a change, but because the apartment had many little cons. Things like doorknobs being loose and falling off, or doors not closing right.

Before this move I knew nothing about the process of moving, so was a bit disappointed that we wouldn’t be officially moving for at least over a month. There was also the problem of where the house would be. I defiantly wanted to stay in Saco, and I didn’t want to move too far away from The main area. There was also the problem of how many bedrooms it would have. At our apartment we each were able to have our own room, which was great, but it was unlikely we would find a good four-bedroom house that we liked at our price range. I agreed to share a room with my oldest sister, Skye, if needed, because I knew it would be worth it to be able to move to a nice place, and she would be leaving for college in about a year anyway. When it did come time to start viewing houses, though, I felt beyond excited and optimistic. The first house we viewed still had some furniture and everything in it, but as we walked through it, I gradually grew less and less excited. It seemed to be a bit of a fixer-upper and felt old. There was a huge garage (full of clutter) and a basement, but there were also windows on bedroom doors that had been painted over and many little things that would also need replacing. I didn’t like it, but I did do my best to stay positive. The next house we viewed was better, but it felt cramped in places and I did not like the kitchen at all. There had been a garage separate from the house, but the previous owner had connected them with a room. It also had a very large open basement. Both of the houses had been close to the high school and my best friends house, which I liked, but the houses were not as I had hoped. Again, I felt a bit discouraged.

Continue reading Moving


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.

We finally closed on our new loft at 18 Park Street in Saco.
We finally closed on our new loft at 18 Park Street in Saco.

Continue reading Moved!

Family health looks at children’s health and well-being in the context of their family unit. It focuses on the family and how it shapes individual life and health.

To ensure that the analysis is appropriate, we conduct the analysis by classing children by the ages when they were born, or the dates their birth certificates were issued. We do this in a way that reflects when the children in the data set were born. Because the number of children was greater than the number of people available to conduct the analysis, there is a possibility that there may have been some under-reporting. In order to mitigate this, the analysis is conducted within the data on a quarterly basis from January to December. We have done our best to ensure that the data is consistent. However, in some cases, there is room for interpretation. For example, the analysis of the child poverty rate can be affected by changes in the composition of the population since the last quarter. If there is an increase in the proportion of children born to a single parent then the proportion of children living in relative poverty in the quarter may increase. Similarly, a change in the proportion of children with disabilities (e.g. autism) in the population may lead to an increase in the relative poverty rate. It would be unfair to ask one or more households not to be able to pay their child support if they can prove that their child is not in relative poverty and therefore not in a position to receive child support. As we have stated before, all the data are adjusted for other factors that may be related to child poverty. We also recognise that households that have additional children are also more likely to have income in arrears, so the data are adjusted for non-payments by this household. In addition, the relative poverty rate in the quarters can fluctuate over the course of the year, so it is possible that there are more households in a given quarter where the rate is low and the rate is high in the following quarter.

In 201213 the proportion of children living in relative poverty was 17.9 percent, which was similar to the 201115 proportion of 18.7 percent.

In 201213, the relative poverty rate for all children was higher for Indigenous people (18.7 percent) than for non-Indigenous people (17.0 percent). However, the relative poverty rate for non-Indigenous children was lower than the 201213 rate for Indigenous children (17.7 percent) for the first time since 200102. Indigenous children accounted for 31.4 percent of all children in poverty in 201213. This was the highest proportion since 1993, which was also the year the ABS began measuring Indigenous children in poverty. From 1993 to 2012 the proportion of children living in relative poverty fell by 19.7 percentage points (the equivalent of nearly two years for the entire period), from 29.8 percent in 1993 to 13.1 percent in 201213. While there were improvements in the relative poverty rate for Indigenous people, the rate for non-Indigenous people increased for the third year in a row, up 3.5 percentage points between 2011 and 201213.

The total percentage of children under 18 living in relative poverty fell from 43.4 percent to 36.6 percent between 1993 and 201213, while the proportion in absolute poverty rose from 31.1 percent to 38.5 percent (Table 5). Indigenous children are concentrated in relative poverty, whereas non-Indigenous children are concentrated in absolute poverty.

We can’t forget about the importance of taking good care of our kids, which is why it is always important to look up to professionals who can monitor our kids health, we highly recommend to read the North Raleigh Pediatrics ideas so that we gain more knowledge on how to handle our kids.

Festibond 2015: by Kirsten

On New Year’s Eve our family celebrated our eighth Festibond, an annual tradition we created and have absolutely loved every year. It has been altered and added to, but at the core of Festibond is strengthening our family bonds, individually and as a whole. This includes the writing of personal, heartfelt letters to each other in the weeks before and reading them to each other on the day of Festibond.

This past year has been especially challenging for all of us. I have spent 6 1/2 months of it away–In Alaska (with Kathy, Brent’s mom) and Illinois (with my parents). I realized I needed to be away to work through many issues and stressors with which I have been dealing, mostly resulting from my medical illnesses. I enjoy and treasure the time I have with my mom and dad, and with my sisters, Amy and Sara (and their families). And they have all been so good to me. But I have missed Brent and the girls tremendously, and it has been very difficult for me to be away from them for so much time. I keep in constant contact with each of them via text, phone, and FaceTime. I am very thankful for FaceTime and the opportunity to communicate with Brent, Skye, Jenna, and Hayley face-to-face. It’s wonderful to hear their voices, see their expressions and gestures with which I am so familiar. We sang, danced, played games, made silly faces, cooked together, and had our “family night”…all via FaceTime. :)

Our little family at my parent's house *photo credit: Sara
Our little family at my parent’s house
*photo credit: Sara
Continue reading Festibond 2015: by Kirsten

Is that a Space Shuttle?

Tonight at Family Night Jenna introduced us to a new game, for which we take turns drawing and guessing the drawing. Each player draws an object on their paper, then folds the paper to hide the drawing and passes the paper to the player immediately next to their left, who writes on the same paper what they think is the drawn object. Then that player folds the guess out of sight and passes to their left, etc.

I drew a “rocket” and passed to Hayley. I’m not sure how, without solid rocket boosters, an orbiter, or an external fuel tank, she thought it was a Space Shuttle launch, but that’s what she wrote. Next, Jenna drew a nice Space Shuttle launching, for which Skye guessed, simply, “rocket?”

Full circle.

I drew a lovely generic rocket.
I drew a lovely generic rocket.

Hayley: Space Shuttle launch?

Jenna drew a fantastic Space Shuttle launch.
Jenna drew a fantastic Space Shuttle launch.

Skye: Rocket?

Festibond of 2014: Skye’s Point of View

The Danler family has been celebrating Festibond for eight years. Each year improves and I continue to enjoy every part of it. This whole tradition began in 2008 when our family wanted to create a tradition that celebrates the bonding and cherishment of family. Thus, Festibond was founded and we’ve been enjoying its pleasures ever since.

As everyone began to wake up, Mom matched their outfits with my own. She always tries to make us look presentable and match for the pictures on Festibond. This year’s outfit was pink shirts with a black or gray sweater over it.

Festibond family picture of 2014
Festibond family picture of 2014
Continue reading Festibond of 2014: Skye’s Point of View