Tag Archives: boston

Our Year in Pictures, Part 2

Here’s a continuation of yesterday’s post. Here are more pictures from this past year.

Eli was potty trained this year, but learned quickly the multiple uses for underwear and discipled his brother.

We also discovered 1st Saturday’s Home Depot Kids Workshops. It’s free for everyone and it’s a great family activity. He’s already learned from tv that real carpenters work without their shirt…

This month we discovered that couch pillows are best used for forts.

In July, Amber and I along with 5 of our friends visited Boston and New York for a week long vacation and trip to get familiar with church planting in Boston. It was an amazing time and we got to meet with amazing people.

Calvin joyfully inherited his Red Sox fandom.

Before the water restrictions kicked in we loved visiting the triangle fountains.

And we got a tiny gumball machine for the boys. It was a huge hit.

Eli turned 3 in September and we celebrated with cake for breakfast

Which Calvin loved…

Because he likes to party in a tuxedo t-shirt

Eli started preschool as well.

Poor Handy Manny didn’t have a chance…

October was crazy for us, but we found time to visit the pumpkin patch in Elgin with our friends. As you can see the boys loved it…

We also visited another pumpkin patch, because you really can’t visit too many of those…

For Halloween, Eli first wanted to be a tiger, but settled on a skunk…

Calvin loved Halloween…

Those are the pictures through October. I hope you enjoyed them. After Christmas, I’ll post the November and December pictures.

Have a Merry Christmas!


Filed under Church Life, Life, Parenting

Summer Pictures

So it’s been a while since we’ve posted some family pictures, so I thought I’d show you some of my favorites from this summer. Enjoy.

What are brothers for? Choking, of course…


Eli with a Rockstar mohawk.


Calvin “building” his adirondack chair


Calvin enj0ying the finished product


One of our favorite Austin spots is The Triangle. Great restaraunts and the boys love the fountains there.


Calvin when we gave him his Boston souvenir


They quickly became weapons and are now used as drums on the floor


Eli showed Calvin how it was done


Calvin loved his Boston Red Sox bat after a while


The next 2 speak for themselves



Eli and I have started to do the Kids Workshop at Home Depot on the 1st Saturday of each month. You get your own Home Depot Apron w/ your name on it and he loves it


When Calvin sees the camera out, he’s learn to say “Cheese!” and he usually says for it a full 2 minutes…



Filed under Life, Summer

I think I’ll go to Boston…

Tomorrow we leave for Boston for 4 days and then to New York for 3 days. The trip serves multiple purposes. First, we’re going without the boys.  They will be enjoying lots of time with their grandparents here in Austin.  This will be the longest we’ve been away from them so that will be a challenge, but it will also make it a different type of vacation. Vacationing with kids is not a true vacation in terms of rest and relaxation as many of you have discovered, so we’re looking forward to that.  Second, we’re going to Boston to see if it may be a place we would end up living in the future.

[Sidenote: We’re not leaving Austin immediately. When we mention this trip to people, at times they express worrisome thoughts that we would leave Texas immediately. We’re thinking long-term here, not next month. We’re also not saying that the northeast is a done-deal as far as our future. We love being up there and it feels like home when we are there, we love the opportunity for engaging a culture with the gospel in an area that isn’t gospel or church saturated.  But we may end up feeling like it isn’t where God has us or it may be a longer term plan than we think.]

We’ve always had a heart for being a part of establishing a church (church planting) in an area where the gospel is not common, a place of need that has little going on in regards to churches engaging and transforming a culture with the gospel. Austin & the south has a lot of churches, Boston is one of the least reached or least churched cities in America.  The American northeast is home to 4 of the top 10 least religious states.

While we’re there we are meeting up with some current church planters at Reunion Boston and Seven Mile Road and potentially another church in the Allston-Brighton area. We’re also meeting with Ralph Kee from Emmanuel Gospel Center, which is an organization working for the vitality of urban churches through collaborative efforts and research. We’re really looking forward to learning about the demographics of Boston from him.

We’re also just really looking forward to enjoying the city and visiting the different neighborhoods to see different cultures and the rich history of each different neighborhood.  Five of our friends from The Austin Stone Community Church are joining us to see if Boston may be the place where they end up as well. 

On Sunday after church at Seven Mile Road in Malden, MA just north of Boston, we’ll have lunch with their lead pastor and then head to New York for a few days.  There we will get to meet with JR Vassar at Apostles Church, we’re excited about the opportunity to hear about Apostles because Amber interned there before we got married back when it was Manhattan Christian Church.  We’re going to try and get over to the Brooklyn Tabernacle prayer meeting that Tuesday evening.

We’ve visited New York before, but we’re excited about this trip to enjoy the city together and to see some old friends from college and celebrate Amber’s Uncle Gordon’s Birthday while we’re in Manhattan.  Hopefully we’ll get to see more of Amber’s family while we’re there.

It’s going to be an amazing trip and hopefully we’ll be updating you on the trip through this blog, twitter, and facebook.


Filed under Church Life, Life

It’s Summertime!

It’s officially summertime as the baby pool and water balloons have become a staple in the Gentrified backyard. A water fight usually results and Calvin so far has been completely unphased by his brother’s insistence on soaking him first. It’s a blast and we will be spending a ton of time at the neighborhood pool with all the local Wells Branchites.

This should be a fun-filled and action packed summer. We get to welcome a new addition to the Engstrom family, my Aunt Gladys is moving to the Austin area from Kansas (she was dying for those 100-degree June-August days), Calvin turns 1, we’ll be traveling to visit family and friends in Houston, Amber and I will vacation without the boys to Boston and New York City in July. It should be an awesome summer.

It’s been a while since we’ve posted a blog, so here’s brief update on the boys.

What is Eli up to?

Eli is almost potty trained, he only wears a diaper for going to sleep at night, and he’s been pretty awesome. After a lot of trial and error, we figured he wouldn’t always tell us, so we make it a point to take him to the restroom about once an hour until he gets into the habit himself. He’s very proud of his underwear (as you can see in the picture), even though he’s almost too skinny for them to stay on.


He’ll be 3 in 3 months, which is insane for me to think about it. We’re going to try and put him in swim lessons this summer and he’ll also start a couple of days of school this fall.

He has a few OCD tendencies as he insists on getting certain things done or certain things in specific places before he can move on to anything else. He’s a great talker, tries his best to sing and loves to flirt with the ladies (I don’t know who he got that from…probably Amber’s side…)

What is Calvin up to?

Calvin is 11 months now. He’s walking and trying to talk/sing like his brother. He says phrases like “No way!”, “That way!”, “Mommy”, & “Dada”. He’s trying to learn animal sounds, but apparently believes every animal makes the same noise. The lion roars and so does the cow…

He continues to eat everything he can find, but lately has become more particular about the food he eats for lunch and dinner. Not sure how you can eat sand and then be particular about real food, but to each his own.


He hates taking a bath without his brother; he gets completely mad about it until Eli joins him and begins tormenting him by showering him with as much water as possible.

I’m hoping to post some videos of the boys and the family soon.


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Filed under Life