Happy 2nd Birthday MacLaren!

Happy birthday son. I love you and I miss you.

I’m almost done doing archaeology at Azekah, and I’ll be home soon.

Give Mommy, Quincy, Rory Kate, and Grandma big hugs and kisses for me.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAC!!!

Announcing the Arrival of Quincy and Rory Kate Cargill

Roslyn, Talitha, MacLaren, and I are pleased to announce the newest additions to our family: our son, Quincy Enoch Domenico Cargill, and our daughter, Rory Kate Duvall Cargill were born on May 11, 2013 at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City.

Quincy Enoch Domenico Cargill arrived at 7:22 pm. He weighed 5 lbs. 1 oz. Enoch is Roslyn grandfather’s name. Domenico is Robert’s great-grandfather’s name, and was the patriarch who brought the family to the U.S.

Rory Kate Duvall Cargill arrived at 7:26 pm. She weighed 4 lbs. 14 oz. Duvall is Roslyn’s family name going as far back as can be traced.

Roslyn is doing fine and recovering well. Daddy is already reading Aramaic to them both.

Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and warm wishes.

Mommy and Quincy

Mommy and Quincy

Mommy and Rory Kate

Mommy and Rory Kate

Mac Learns To Navigate the Stairs

My son, MacLaren, has developed a superior method for descending the stairs safely and quickly. Note that he gets down on his tummy and then backs onto the stairs, makes sure the gate is closed (safety first!), and then transforms into a penguin to maneuver down the stairs.

Enjoy!

Mac Learns to Walk

The video speaks for itself. Mac figured it out, and he did so just in time for my father’s birthday.

Happy birthday Dad. And congrats Mac. I’m very proud of you both!

Now I have to teach him to hit a slider to right field (something I never figured out ;-)

Happy 1st Birthday MacLaren

MacLaren at One

MacLaren at One

Mac,

One year ago you changed our lives, and I, mommy, and your sister (as well as Tiggens, and your grandparents and uncles and aunts and friends) have loved you more every day.

I love you more than I can say, and I miss you. I’ll be home very soon to give you hugs and cuddles (and to teach you stratigraphy and how to read pottery), but for now, please watch this video that my friends and colleagues here at Tel Azekah made for you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON! I love you. Kiss mommy and pet Tiggens for me. See you soon.

through the looking glass

MacLaren is learning to pull himself up. He’ll be walking soon. For now, he’s happy to stand and view the front yard through the front door.

our first iowa caucus experience

Republican Iowa Caucus Precinct 16 at Lucas School in Iowa City, Jan 3, 2012.

The outgoing and newly-elected Chairs speak at the Precinct 16 Republican Iowa Caucus at Lucas School in Iowa City, Jan 3, 2012.

Roslyn and I (and baby Mac) just finished our first Iowa Caucus experience. After participating in the Coffee Bean Caucus at Hamburg Inn this weekend, we did the real thing tonight in Iowa City, home of The University of Iowa Hawkeyes, as well as the Departments of Religious Studies and Classics (where I teach).

As most of you know, we are registered as unaffiliated voters in Iowa (just as we were in California). This means we do not belong to a political party. Because the Democratic and Republican caucuses take place at the same time at different places, you can only attend one. And, you must be registered with the party that is caucusing in order to participate. Luckily, you can register with the party at the door. So, since the Democratic Iowa Caucus is uncontested, Ros and I chose to attend the GOP Iowa Caucus, and registered as Republicans at the door.

(Fear not, we’ll re-register as unaffiliated voters in a couple of weeks and reassert our independent status. But we wanted to attend a contested primary and as moderate independents, either party will work for a night.)

So we went and we participated. And I tweeted the process live. We listened to short, 5-minute speeches from representatives of some of the candidates. And then we voted. And this is the big difference between the GOP and Democratic caucuses: at the GOP caucus, after the 5-minute pitches, you take a secret ballot vote. The votes are then counted and the winners announced. However, at the Democratic caucus, you ‘vote with your feet': you physically walk to areas for each candidate and are counted. Then, after an initial vote, backers of different candidates walk around and attempt to convince other caucus participants to join them in support of their candidate. This is especially important for candidates with less than 15% of the vote, who cannot receive delegates. But at the GOP caucus, we simply voted and awaited the result.

MacLaren couldn't handle the excitement at the Precinct 16 GOP Iowa Caucus at Lucas School, Jan 3, 2012.

All of the excitement was too much for MacLaren to handle at Precinct 16 of the GOP Iowa Caucus at Lucas School, Jan 3, 2012.

We were told that Republican Precinct 16 is one of the larger GOP precincts in the People’s Republic of Johnson County, so Precinct 16 may very well be a decent model for the larger GOP Iowa Caucus field.

The announced results were as follows:

Romney: 62
Paul: 48
Santorum: 28
Gingrich: 10
Perry: 10
Huntsman: 2
Bachmann: 2
Undecided: 1

It was simple and I must admit, it was the most fun and most personal experience I’ve ever had as a voter (although MacLaren was completely overwhelmed by the excitement). I like the Iowa Caucus process, and next election we’ll attend the Democratic Caucus to actually ‘vote with our feet’.

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