The Rambling Family


KIDS – Avi

No Ticks = Success!

After rolling the two kids and the camper all the way the Alaska and back, we couldn’t just stop and go home to the heat in Arizona.  Instead, we continued to Pennsylvania to visit family and give the kids an opportunity to attend summer camp via Penn State University’s Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.  Zoe went to a week of their camp a long time ago and has, ever summer, asked to do it again.  Finally, this year, I was able to say yes. Continue reading “No Ticks = Success!”


Our San Fulgencio Family

The kids have been attending CEIP San Fulgencio, one of the the local Spanish public schools here in Albacete, and it has really become a little hub of our community.  Both kids have made amazing friends, and the daily bike ride has been something we all look forward to. Continue reading “Our San Fulgencio Family”

Bragging Rights

This post is going to be all about our two kids.  It’s my prerogative as a parent to brag a bit and I feel like I haven’t done enough of it lately.  These two young people I’m helping to prepare for the world impress me daily and fill me with such joy and hope for the future.  We’ve been given some pretty crazy drastic news recently, and yet the kids are resilient and hopeful.  It’s really the simple beautiful things that make Zoe and Avi wonderful people.

Continue reading “Bragging Rights”

The igloo!

Well, we have been back from Christmas holiday for a few weeks and gotten back into the school groove.  Zoe bikes about 2km each way to and from school daily, which gives us all a lovely bit of free exercise for the day.  She gets dropped off and picked up in the school courtyard which doubles as the playground and cafeteria during the mid day recess and desayuno.  No cafeterias as public school in Spain…. lunch is later at home during siesta time after school lets out at 2. Continue reading “The igloo!”


Can I tell you how  I love swim class?  We bike over twice a week to the university area- it’s not far – and get to see all the young folks heading to class. At the pool building we each have a little card to swipe, which Avi loves to do on his own: big boy! 
Continue reading “Swim “

Homeschool Kindergarten

It is such a joy to hav Avi at home with me. I have to say he is quite a fun and funny guy.  He is also quite sensitive, which leads to emotions over small things in addition to lots of snuggle time.  Continue reading “Homeschool Kindergarten”


Avi is becoming a fish!  We went to swim lessons today; he to his group of kiddo’s and me to the beginners group of adults.  I can see him from my group in the pool, and he does great following directions and has a blast.  They began with arm floats, kicking, bubbles, and face-in breathing.  Then they switched to simply holding noodles and jumping in to kick over to the edge.  Near the end I glanced over and saw the instructor tossing kids in with no floatation.  Avi was next and went willingly…he popped back up to the surface and swam over to the ladder after the kid in front of him!  It was great to see.

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Continue reading “Swimming”

UPDATE: Nutmeg and Ginger

UPDATE:  Cats names are now Nutmeg and Ginger, not Mango and Pumpkin

One promise we made to the kids before moving the Spain was that we would get a pet.  The kiddo’s have been ready for a while, and after fostering kitties in Korea they wanted their own!

So we visited El Arca de Noe shelter when Bethany was here and tried another time, but were turned away for not be pre-approved.  So I spent a long afternoon translating and filling out the adoption application and questionnaire.  Then, another couple weeks later, I started getting texts about potential kitties.  I guess the ones at the shelter are either feral, mostly feral, new, or sick.  So, not ideal for our situation…. we needed a couple cats who get along and have known temperaments.  The shelter has 70% of their cats in foster, so I got lots of text options, and questions about kid interaction, etc…. we finally hit the mark with a family of cats that were born last spring and none adopted out yet.

We packed up the kids Tuesday afternoon to go see the cats at their foster house about an hour out of town.  They were staying at a shelter volunteer’s mom and dad’s summer house.  It was incredible: like this little mansion right in town.  We walked through the gate with an “Aaaahhhhh” at their beautiful oasis courtyard.  Then they let out the kitties to play and interact.  We let the kids get approached by them and the one orange and white one was obviously Avi’s.  This little boy, they called Mago, let Avi carry him around and play and pet.  They were inseparable.  Two of the 5 little ones – teens if you will – were skiddish and nervous of the kids, so that made an easy choice.  The last two were both super fond of Zoe.  They played and played, and it was hard to choose.  She wanted to call her kitty Boom Mic, and so originally wanted the black and white one.  But, then it seemed a bit wild and would not calm to let her pet him or pick him up.  The other orange kitty was a gigantic purr machine, and played, and loved.  So, she chose him (they called him Merlin) after a long afternoon of deciding.  The family told us the two oranges also seemed to be best friends.

The family were so nice!  They brought out drinks and snacks and we all sat on their veranda and chilled out while the kids picked out kitties.  There were an adult daughter and son, who spoke English (and went the CEDES, the school Zoe will attend), and their parents all living out in this fancy place for the summer.  After decisions were made, the dad invited us in to check out the house and his antiques; he likes British stuff and thought we were from the UK at first.  His house was amazing!  The foundation was built during Muslim occupation times… so about 600 years ago.  In the basement there was an original tunnel opening that used to lead to the church.  I guess all the town people had their own underground passage to church during that time period.  His family built the current house on top of that in the 1700’s.  It was amazingly ornate and formal in layout, plus his antiques and collection were awesome.  Anyway,  once he learned we were Americans he said he liked us better….thats a new one!

After that we were invited to take the kitties!!  I did not think it would be just like that; I figured all the paperwork and stuff would have to happen first.  But, this is a trial adoption period.  We will meet in a few days downtown to finalize everything.  I’m so excited!!!  So are the kids.  It has taken a couple days of having the cats around to choose names.  Zoe landed on Ginger pretty quickly, though I did like Boom Mic she said it wasn’t appropriate on a non-black fuzzy cat.  Avi has gone through a lot of names (Crescent Moon, Orange Peel, Tulip), but I think Pumpkin will stick…. nope, it’s now Ginger.

These two cats have been a joy to have at home.  They wander around with us and love petting and purring, but they also play and hang out in the yard while we garden.  So far, they have been sleeping in the big bathroom where their litter pan is.  They’ve been quiet at night in there, but at bedtime are meowish and playing so thats why we put them in.  Hopefully they get the hint that if they are calm they can sleep with the kiddos, though they do seem to like sleeping together so maybe its best to have them in their own space.


In the morning Nutmeg goes looking for Zoe while Ginger comes into my room where Avi has usually joined me in bed. So much love!!

Birthday Boy

Avi turned five recently and though we had his party a couple months ago with friends before departing Korea, we still had a bit of a celebration. We even put up some fun sparkly streamers from our new favorite store: Hiper Zn…. A chinese import place that puts Walmart cheapness to shame.

In the morning Zoe presented him with the gifts she bought – her generosity amazes me sometimes.  A playmobil guy, some toy dinos and a cool model of a British bus which was halfway put together by the time I got home.  

I woke early to stand in a hundreds- deep line to sign up the boy for swim lessons.  After an hour,  I had a number (200), and went to home wait a couple hours.   Sad birthday boy and sister had to accompany me back over to the gym  later in the morning when I thought my timing was right…. No so!  We spent another two hours waiting before my number came up,  but luckily there was still space in my first choice class time.  So,  he is signed up for the whole year.   The kids earned ice cream for that log wait.  
Zoe read this entire book while we waited.

In the afternoon we swam in our pool and had cake and opened gifts from Bryan and I.  Watched some shows in the hot afternoon and then went out for dinner at night.  

His choice of restaurant was closed… But we found an even better cafe with an adjacent playground that he declared delicious! 


Happy fifth big boy!

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