Mocha Friday

August 29, 2014 by Adam in Family

It's the end of the day for this work-filled mocha Friday.  It was pretty much non-stop work for me, while Joanna stayed home with all the kids.  Jamie picked up Sam and Emma for a little while.  I think we get Sam later in the day.

Yesterday afternoon we managed to track down the new Japanese teacher at South.  It looks like Honoka will be a TA in one of the classes - possibly Sam's.  Sam's a little light on classes, so he might see if there's an interesting elective in one of his free periods.

The rest of the day was pretty quiet.  Emma and I went swimming while Honoka threw marbles for us to find and squirted Emma.  Eventually I whipped up dinner and Honoka and I picked up Joanna and the kids from the airport.  They were happy to be home, though very tired.

We somehow managed to feed crepes to all five kids this morning.  There was a study in contrasts, with Honoka neatly eating her food without a crumb.  Duncan was next to her, shoveling in his crepe with a smile on his face.  Ah, the joys of cultural differences.

Honoka, Emma, Duncan, and Berry all went swimming this morning.  Later Honoka accompanied Joanna and the little kids to cheese park. 

I'm glad it's a three day weekend.  Should be fun.

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Getting Ready for School

August 28, 2014 by Adam in Family

It's been a very full couple days, getting Honoka slowly adjusted to life in the Miller-Bartlett-Gustina household.  After lunch we were all in the basement, Sam and Emma engaging in crazy swordfighting.  Soon enough Honoka's eyes began to close and I tucked her in Berry's bed before she completely collapsed.  Kate came and played with Emma for a few hours - I briefly joined them in the pool, which was quite warm.  I woke Honoka up in time for a typical meal of hamburgers, corn, and chips.  She seemed to enjoy it, despite the messiness.  Sam cooked the burgers on the grill, which was great.  Both kids have been very helpful lately.

After dinner my mom came to visit.  We puttered around until Honoka grew tired again and went off to bed early.  Emma went to bed too.  Sam played video games with friends.  I texted Joanna and played on the computer until it was time for bed as well.

This morning Honoka helped make crepes for everyone, which was great.  I made her a caffĂ© latte for her troubles, which she seemed to enjoy.  Emma wanted to burn things after breakfast, so they broke out the magnifying glass and set things on fire while I watered plants.  Later we played Forbidden Island (and lost) and Lego Creationary (and had a great time).  Sam in particular really got into Legos again.  Eventually the rest of us got worn out.

We're off to school to drop off paperwork and talk to the new Japanese teacher.  Honoka may end up being a teacher's assistant, with the possibility of helping Sam in his Japanese class.  There's still a lot to do to get ready for school, but we're slowly getting there.

Joanna, Duncan, and Berry are busy flying across the country today.  They're seasoned travelers by now.  I can't wait to see them all, and they're excited to meet Honoka themselves.

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August 27, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

Wanted to say a bit more about  the trip. Jenny, Jeannie, and Jordan went on a bear watching tour, and a whale watching tour as well as an excursion to see sled dogs and play with puppies. Dez, Sam and I took a helicopter to the top of the Mendenhall Glacier and went on a high lakes canoe trip, took a trip to totem village and the boys visited a glassblowing studio and made ornaments.
Both boys had fun, I think. Every evening they joined a gang of kids and hung out 'til the wee hours, but got up cheerfully the next morning for the day's activities.
So it's home for me! Hugs from Mom

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Honoka is Here

August 27, 2014 by Adam in Family

Sam, Emma, and I picked up Honoka at the airport yesterday.  She was very quiet and pretty overwhelmed by everything.  Fortunately Sam and Emma took her down to the basement and played games like "throw the baby in a circle", key to American culture.  Right now Sam and Emma are fencing for her amusement.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.  She's not registered for classes and there's a bunch of things to do yet.  Still, her room is set up and she seemed to sleep okay last night.

This morning we walked to South Eugene to try and get her registered for classes and such.  Sam also has a light schedule that I'd like to try and correct.  We went food shopping and ate lunch.  There's nothing we need to do for the rest of the day except hang out, maybe swim, and make burgers for dinner.  I think we might try swimming later too.  It's hot.

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August 28, 2014 06:45 AM by Lohring
Tell Honoka hi from all the rest of us. It's good she's only meeting Sam and Emma for now. The whole clan is a lot to take in. Everyone involved is going to have a fun year.

August 30, 2014 08:49 AM by Yayoe
Tell Hanoka the evil step mother is also coming soon for a visit! Glad she arrived safely. I'd feel overwhelmed too after a long plane ride from Japan. Take care...and have fun.Looking forward to meeting her and the family again. Take care.

Home again, again

August 27, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

It's been a busy happy summer. I'm home again from the Alaska cruise. I've just handed over the baby car to Dez to take his girlfriend Peighton to the Oregon State Fair. I think he and Peighton went to the State Fair with her family on their first "date" and he wanted to take her there while it's on this year.
We had a wonderful time on the cruise to Alaska. Somehow we avoided the rain on all our stops. All six of us went on the White Pass train ride in Skagway, which is really impressive. Alaska is a lot like Oregon but bigger, higher and colder. The train was built to carry would be gold miners to the Yukon Territory during the Gold Rush. I really enjoyed the Alaska history - from the First People totem poles and exhibits to the early boom towns. We visited Ketikan, Juneau, and Skagway in Alaska and Victoria on the way back.
Have to go to a meeting. Mo' later, Moe (an Aunt Barney humor)!

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Back to School

August 27, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

We've been back in school for two weeks now. Robbie's loving his new school and has a great group of kids. Isa is doing great, settling in to 8th grade, and enjoying seeing all her friends again.
I've been working to get the wine bar open. We finally got our permit and started construction on Monday. I've been designing menus, ordering glasses and making endless to do lists.
Life is is busy and good.

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August 27, 2014 05:56 AM by Seraph
Adam - why do all my pics get flipped sideways?

August 27, 2014 10:36 AM by Sue
Are evenings good times to call you?

August 27, 2014 02:12 PM by Adam
I've magically fixed it . . .

Work-filled Weekend

August 25, 2014 by Adam in Family

I'm about ready to head into work, which will probably be more relaxing in some ways compared to the last couple days.  I was completely family free starting Saturday morning, so I've been doing endless house projects and getting everything ready for the horde of children that will soon arrive.

Emma left with her mom to Portland after a tasty waffle breakfast.  I started painting the front porch - moving everything, power washing, and painting like a maniac.  Sam called in the middle, having just returned from his Alaska cruise.  I got the impression that he spent his days exploring the glaciers and towns of Alaska and Canada, and the nights hanging out with a pack of teenagers.  It sounds like quite the experience.

I made the porch beautiful, did a shopping/errand run, and then returned to work away at my long list of projects.  Joanna and I chatted over our phones, which was a nice treat.  I keep finding little notes from her hidden around the house.  The evening wrapped up with a little video games and television, coupled with cider and a rice and vegetable dish I whipped up.

Sunday was more of the same.  The big project of the day was getting Emma's room cleaned, with the aquarium being the bulk of the work.  I took out all the fish, plants, and water, cleaned the muck from the rocks, and put it back together.  I ended up replacing the light and upper part too, and moving it to the table Yayoe gave us.  It fits perfectly in the corner.

I get the kids either tonight or tomorrow.  Honoka arrives in the afternoon.  Life will get busy soon.  Can't wait.

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August 24, 2014 by Adam in Adam

This is from a birthday party from long ago.  I think I was about 30 at the time.  It's a little long, but there are some funny parts sprinkled here and there.  It's funny how young I look.  I remember how awesome I thought those pants were.

Mocha Friday

August 22, 2014 by Adam in Family

My mocha is long gone, but the perkiness remains.  I took Emma to her annual checkup yesterday - she got shots and was generally poked and prodded. We've been watching her weight over the last few years - the numbers are improving, especially as she's taller than 95% of kids her age.  Her doctor encouraged her to continue the obsessive treadmilling.

She and I hung out after work, watching Sea of Monsters and making tofu rice.  I got to hear about all the differences between it and the book, and how far superior the book was.  Emma is coming back tonight for some more hang out time before she goes up to Portland with Jamie.

I keep hearing from Joanna, who does a great job keeping in touch despite the difference.  I keep finding little notes she's hidden for me to find, and get regular updates via text messages.  She got to see Duncan and Berry yesterday, which was great.  I miss those kiddos.

I've been getting ready for Honoka's arrival.  She'll be here in a few more days and we'll see her at the airport, sign in hand.  I did a little cleaning of her room and need to make keys for her.  Otherwise, all is well there.

Jamie and I have talked about some changes to Sam's schedule.  He'll be going to Jamie's after school Monday through Wednesday and coming home after dinner.  I think he'll generally be spending the night at my house too, unless there are weekend things they set up before hand.  Hopefully that works better for everyone.

I have a couple quiet days this weekend and have some big house plans.  I think I'll try to get a bunch of washing/painting done, which hasn't happened in many years.  It's a rare treat to have a brief opportunity to take care of things.

Back to work.  Trying to fix broken things yet again.

Best Crab

August 19, 2014 by Adam in Family

Okay, some news of Sam and the family is starting to sneak out.  It sounds like they're having a good time in Alaska, staying somewhat warm and eating great crab.

Joanna is getting ready for her trip to Rochester tomorrow at the crack of dawn.  The next couple days will be pretty quiet, though I'm taking Emma to her doctor appointment this Thursday.  Friday night Emma and might watch Sea of Monsters, though she's worried it might suck.  I have lots of things on my "to do" list, getting ready for the arrival of all the kids and start of school.

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