hey to all well just wanted to say that the s...

December 31, 2005 by Jenny in Jenny

hey to all well just wanted to say that the snow day was the best ever...i hope all had fun, the people that were cold need to go to googwill and get some good snow gear. Well x-mas was great and sadie we all ready miss u. well the boys and i are home for the next 4 days so if anyone would like to hang out give a gingle. For all that we dont see happy new years to all...the boys and i are going to have a party at home with video's and hot choc..so all are inviteted.we wish happy new years to all ..and much love.

One more day until the new year

December 30, 2005 by Adam in Family

One more day until the new year. How quickly things have gone. Emma in particular has changed dramatically, going from a toddler to someone with a will of her own. She's very chatty and bright, loving to sing, dress up as a princess, and doing tea parties. Sam's new thing is reading, which he obsessively does everywhere he sees words. Graffiti in particular fascinates him, which will probably cause trouble some day.

Yesterday was the big snow expedition, which ended up being both fun and stressful. Jamie had many second thoughts about the trip, though we managed to make it to a snow park intact. The kids went crazy when they got to snow, tossing snowballs and running about. Virtually everyone was there, something nearly impossible to coordinate. Yet it happened, we had fun, and we returned home tired and cold.

Today has been fairly calm, mostly to counteract the last couple weeks of excitement. We went to Fred Meyers. Sam and I watched War of the Worlds. I think we'll spend the rest of our dreary day inside, playing with the kids. It's all good.

A quick posting this morning

December 28, 2005 by Adam in Family

A quick posting this morning. I'm actually at work at the moment, catching up with zillions of e-mails and such. I came in later than I expected as Emma was handed to me by a tired Jamie right before I left. Fortunately Emma was pretty exhausted too and just conked right out.

The last few days have been good. We've been playing with Sadie a lot, with Sam and I going to see the new Harry Potter movie with her yesterday. We've also been finishing up various house projects.

The bathroom is nearly completed. Jamie painted the medicine cabinet and I painted the walls. I think we have one more visit from the construction folks to seal the tiles and we're basically done.

One of Jamie's Christmas presents was a small LCD television for the kitchen. Yesterday the cable guy arrived to put in an outlet. The wall mount arrived via mail as well, and I quickly put it up on the wall. Now she can cook and watch old movies at the same time, plus the kids can watch their shows while eating breakfast.

I'm taking the next couple days off still. I think tomorrow we're going to try to find some snow, perhaps heading towards Willamette Pass. We'll see how it turns out.

The perfect Christmas, except that Hanni was ...

December 27, 2005 by Sue in Wielesek

The perfect Christmas, except that Hanni was ill and
couldn't make it for Christmas dinner. Sadie and I started dinner in the morning, and Seraph joined us about 9:30. Sadie did the last couple of hours of cooking while Bob, Anna and I went to see
Aunt Thea and Ron in the afternoon. Then home to lots of presents and good food. God bless us all, everyone, and stand up for peace and fairness.

I'm playing at Adam's with Sam

December 26, 2005 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm playing at Adam's with Sam. We're making up a pirate song which goes a little like this: It's hard to be a pirate, you never get to play/ you're always working on the ship all day/ and when you get some booty, you spend it all on grog/ when you wake up in the morning, they call you scurvy dog/ it's hard to be a pirate, a-slaving on the seas/ always working on the deck a-swabbing on your knees. I'm having a great time, obviously.

Merry Christmas, everyone

December 25, 2005 by Adam in Family

Merry Christmas, everyone. I'm up before everyone else and we will likely be heading south soon after breakfast. The final Christmas celebration awaits.

Emma has had a great Christmas so far, and it...

December 25, 2005 by Adam in Emma

Emma has had a great Christmas so far, and it's still not over yet. Our first Christmas was on Monday, with just our little family. Emma kept asking "Did Santa come last night?" and we finally got to say that he had. I spoiled both the kids, and Emma had a great time with her Playdough, Magnetix, and especially the Leap Pad.

Today we had Christmas at Jim and Judy's house. She got all sorts of frilly girl clothes, including a pink flapper dress and Cinderella dress up accessories. I think she had two or three outfit changes while presents were being opened.

She also spent some time with her cousin Jackson (Jim's grandson). He was a bit rough, used to bigger kids, but soon enough Emma was giving him hugs and they were having a good time playing together.

Tomorrow's the final Christmas, at my mom's house. I suspect the pink presents aren't at an end quite yet.

My Resident Evil obsession continues

December 24, 2005 by Adam in Adam's Games

My Resident Evil obsession continues. I have a few complaints, mostly around some sections being so difficult that I have to play through a few times before I can succeed. Video games are made for video game professionals. Still, the number of save points sprinkled about keeps the stress to a minimum. This is in stark contrast to Metroid Prime, where I sunk 30 minutes to make it through a tough boss fight, only to die on the way to a save point with my health critically low.

I don't think I'll ever go completely for consoles. PC games have lots of advantages, such as patches, mods, and greater capabilities.

My current PC game is Civilization 4, which Sam and I were playing hotseat together. We were cooperating extensively, sharing our technology quite a bit. Eventually the unruly Japanese offended Sam, who had recently discovered gunpowder. A couple dozen turns later, he had rolled through the last Japanese city, renaming it to Conquored City 5.

It's Christmas Eve and we're all lounging abo...

December 24, 2005 by Adam in Family

It's Christmas Eve and we're all lounging about at Jim and Judy's house. Yesterday morning we went off to OMSI and had a good time. The kids loved it, especially the first thirty minutes with nearly no one there. Two hours later we were all a bit frazzled, but the memories were worthwhile.

Later in the day, Josh, Dave, and Kirsten arrived. The kids and grandparents took the Max to downtown Portland to see the lights while the rest of us went for dinner.

All very pleasant.

Update: The guests have left and the presents put away. Today was mostly about the Christmas party, with lots of food and people hanging about the house.

I ate far too many chocolate covered espresso beans. Emma got tons of princess clothes, mostly in the pink and frilly category. Now we're all tuckered out and ready to return home.

We made it to Portland, safe and sound

December 23, 2005 by Adam in Family

We made it to Portland, safe and sound. The trip up was fairly grueling, with the kids becoming increasingly wild as we got closer to Portland. Jamie keeps giving me a hard time about setting up odd contraptions to let the kids watch movies, but I grow weary of the "I hate you"'s and back seat flailings. I think I have the equipment to set up a Gamecube in the back, which I might have to do on the way back.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning, which is early even for me. I think I'll be taking the kids to OMSI while they're still fresh. Jamie's slipping off to surprise her dad this afternoon. Jim and Judy are taking the kids downtown to see the lights, letting Dave, Kirsten, Jamie, and I to have a quiet dinner together. Should be nice.

Yesterday seemed quite pleasant, somewhat low...

December 21, 2005 by Adam in Family

Yesterday seemed quite pleasant, somewhat lower key than the rest of the vacation so far. Mostly I hung out with the kids as usual. Jamie gave me a blissful hour to myself after she took Emma off to Jerry's to pick up some paint. The worker guys returned, refinishing the bathtub and making it look brand new. The bathroom is really looking nice, with only a few things left to do.

Continuing our traditional week-long Christmas (dare I say Christmukah?), we opened up my dad and Yayoe's gifts. Emma loved her Cinderella doll and Sam spent the morning putting together his Dino Attack Lego set. Jamie poured over the book of desserts, which I promptly forbade her to cook from (a vow that will be quickly broken, I suspect).

Towards the end of the day, we sent the kids over to Dave's house to be entertained by the trio of Dave, Josh, and Kirsten. Jamie and I cooked together for the first time in ages, enjoying our yummy mushroom enchiladas while watching The Island which Angie lent us. It was wonderful.

Today we're getting ready to head out to Portland tomorrow. Sam's friend John is over. Jamie's heading out to Pat's for a Christmas party. Life's good.

Yesterday was our family Christmas

December 20, 2005 by Adam in Family

Yesterday was our family Christmas.

It started the night before as I turned on lights, put the presents under the tree, and filled the stockings. When seven o'clock rolled around the next morning, I ran out to Metropol to return with assorted pastries and muffins. I heard the kids moving about upstairs, so I cuddled in bed with everyone until the excitement was too much.

They dug into the stockings, loving some rather unexpected toys. Sam really liked his pirate MegaBlock toy, especially a plastic pirate coin which instantly turned into a game. Emma carried about her Barbie Farytopia coloring book as if it were a real Barbie. Eventually we moved into the real presents after the grown-ups got their coffee.

Sam liked his new Gamecube games and Emma liked her playdough. Jamie was excited about her new food processor. I got some new shoes, though I need to get the size adjusted. Dorothy gave us scarves which ended up being worn the entire day. All-in-all, it was a good haul and lots of fun for the kids.

Jamie went off deliver presents to friends and I played with the kids until noonish. It was a little rough, with Emma having a melt-down about wanting to wear her pink dancing dress. It took me a good five minutes to calm her down before she could even articulate what the problem was.

For the afternoon, Sadie and my dad arrived to help me make apple butter. I assigned my dad to play a new game with Sam, which he was ecstatic about, rolling dice and moving tiny figures about on a hexagonal board. Sadie and I chatted and did a lousy job at following the recipe, though I think it finally worked out.

As the day wrapped up, we tried to keep our normal routine. There was dinner, baths, and stories at bedtime. Everyone was pretty exhausted and went to bed fairly easily.

It's been a rather exciting weekend

December 19, 2005 by Adam in Family

It's been a rather exciting weekend. So much has been going on, it's hard to know where to start.

Yesterday was spent trying to get things done, making Sam a bit disappointed that I wasn't playing with him as much as he'd like. Sadie and Isa came over to play for a bit, and then we all went to see the new Narnia movie. It was good, though perhaps not great, a little longer than I expected. The actress who played Lucy was very good, as was Mister Tumnus and the beaver family.

I stayed up late working on my Christmas presents, going to bed sometime before midnight.

Today seemed even more jammed back. This morning Jamie went shopping with her friend Pat. The kids and I played non-stop while I continued my Christmas projects. At noon we went to my mom's to make gingerbread houses with my mom, Sadie, and Isa. Sam and Isabel had a good time playing together. The kids had a great time making the little houses while I chatted with Sadie as much as I was able. Afterwards, Dave and Josh came over. The kids loved playing with Josh, who seems even taller than before. Around three, we sent Sam home with them while I snuck by the store for stocking stuffers and ingredients for tomorrow's project with Sadie.

And now, towards the end of a long day, I'm at Dave's house with the kids. Pretty soon Jamie will pick us up after visiting with Angie. Tomorrow is our family's Christmas, so I've got to get everything ready for tomorrow. Hopefully I can make it a semi-magical experience for the kids, especially Emma who's so excited for Christmas.

Every night at seven o'clock, the kids get du...

December 16, 2005 by Adam in Emma

Every night at seven o'clock, the kids get dumped into the bath. Emma in particular likes bath time. She'll happily fill up old shampoo bottles, draw in the mist on the shower doors, or see how much she can bother her brother. Last night I took a few pictures of her aqua-play session, mostly so I don't forget what it's like.

Emma's been really getting into the spirit of Christmas this year. We were driving around town and hearing Emma say, "Look! Look! Look! Look! Christmas lights!" Yesterday she had her hands clasped together, an intense look on her face, whispering, "I wish . . . I wish . . . I wish for Christmas."

It's Mocha Friday here at work

December 16, 2005 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday here at work. It's also the last day before my semi-two-week vacation. I've got a long list of things to do, but I'm trying hard not to put anything into live or make any serious changes before I leave.

Sadie was supposed to come into town last night, but she ended up stuck in Portland. I guess Seraph will be hauling her down, hopefully this weekend sometime. I can't wait to see her.

The picture for today is a typical scene in the Miller-Mellor household. After I feed Emma her bowl of cereal, I bring her upstairs where the kids get read a story by Jamie and tucked into bed. Emma and Sam have different reading preferences, so it's a bit of a challenge at times. Jamie's been reading Little House on the Prarie to Sam, having long discussions about European colonialism and the relations with the native Americans. Jamie reports that he's brilliant and insightful, which is a good sign.

Tomorrow begins a couple weeks of hanging out with family and hopefully a bit of relaxation. I'm hoping for some time playing in the snow, watching some movies, playing some games, and visiting with folks. Plus cocoa. There's something special about cocoa on a cold winter day.

The grand bathroom remodel is in full swing

December 15, 2005 by Adam in Family

The grand bathroom remodel is in full swing. The contractor working on the house is a really nice guy and Jamie is quite happy with him. The walls and floor have been ripped out. Yesterday he put down new flooring and today the tile will be going down. When I asked Jamie what the next project is, she just grinned and wouldn't say anything.

Jamie and the kids slept in until eight o'clock yesterday, so Sam didn't make it to school. My mom even went out to watch Sam sing in his holiday musical, but he sadly wasn't there. I think Jamie's been feeling guilty about it.

I have another work day of meetings lined up, making it the third one in a row. The first day was actually pretty productive since it was just focused on a small group of us and we had actual things we wanted to accomplish. Yesterday was far more fluffy, mostly about team vision and such. I don't have particularly high hopes about today. Ah, well. At least tomorrow is Friday and I'm taking a bunch of time off work.

Last night I took the family to a team dinner. The kids were in pretty good behavior while there, but they were incredibly wacky afterwards. Jamie's frustration level was quite high towards the end of the night. I ended up putting the kids to bed, which is a rarity for me.

Tonight my mom comes to babysit the kids while Jamie and I go for a walk to look at Christmas lights. Sadie also arrives late tonight, which excites me to no end.

I'm also trying to arrange for some high scho...

December 14, 2005 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm also trying to arrange for some high school friend time this break. This is the crazy run-down of what my old pals are doing:

Conor Reidy is getting his JD from UVA.
Kyle Lamb renounced consulting, moved home and is taking pre-med classes at the U.
Meghan McMorrow is also back in the Lane County working with Pier One.
Sarah Wheeler is still selling the best vegan lube in the nation.
Alan Bergland is getting a doctorate at Brown studying mosquitos.
Morgan Munro is dating a very special South Eugene High School alum who saved me from failing pre-calc my junior year.
Katie Freund is using all her debate team skills with Earthjustice in DC.
Sara Spettel has yet another dog and is still happily married to a pastry chef (and who wouldn't be?).
Marshall Clement is living it up in Brooklyn and doing justice reinvestment.
Jenny Minnity Shippey's name still has that musical internal rhyme, which she is using to her advantage getting a masters in creative writing.
Jim Bergland is engaged to be married.
Luke fired himself and took a trip to Baja Mexico.
Ashley Harris-D is researching allergies and asthma in children at National Jewish Medical and Research center in Denver, CO.

And I thought my life was exciting!

Sue I'll gladly come along!!!! Basketball, Sc...

December 13, 2005 by Betsy in Betsy

Sue I'll gladly come along!!!! Basketball, Science Factory, roller skating, gingerbread houses, WOW! sounds right up my alley. Sounds like a wonderful time!

On a more serious note, all blessings to everyone for a loving Christmas and many good tidings for the New Year.

Hi, from mom, with some highly flexible sched...

December 13, 2005 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, from mom, with some highly flexible scheduling
Thursday at 4:30, Bob and I will babysit Sam and Emma
for a couple hours, if he's in town. He is taking Anna and Arik to Seattle to visit his sister for a few days, and that's not yet scheduled.
Thursday at 10 pm, I'll pick up Sadie in Eugene.
Friday, Sadie can call - sleep catch up, breakfast at New Day, whatever suits her
Friday night - the Public Defender's party.
Saturday - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I think
this is Seraph's last day of work.
Sunday - Kids Day at my house, Gingerbread houses to decorate, and I hope for help putting up my tree and lights.
Everyone is welcome, kid or not
Sometime during vacation I'd like to take Dez and Sam (if he'd like to give it a go) to an Oregon basketball game, and
take kids to the Science Factory or maybe roller skating.
12/25 Christmas at my house. We'll open presents around 4 and eat around 5. Let me know what you would like to make,
or if the times are terrible.
As you know, all the times and plans are totally negotiable.
Many hugs, the mom

Anna and I are getting ready to go on our res...

December 13, 2005 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Anna and I are getting ready to go on our respective holidays, madly brainstorming the re-use of those last crusty Thanksgiving leftovers. Work is slowing down, and I'm spending my waning days at work looking over grant funding for a community project that a few community members and I are dreaming up. Nothing special, but a nice change of pace.

I also finished making my secret snow monster gifts for my secret people. As a childless aunt, I have more freedom to take that "personal touch" to whatever creative place I want to without robbing a child of their dream Moon Boots or Ultimate Princess Pack. That's what parents are for.

And as for Emma's urge to say thanks, I too have been satisfying a similar urge at home. Anna lets me hold hands with her and wish all the migrant workers who picked our vegetables the best of luck. I think it makes us more mindful eaters.

Poor Emma's been sick these last couple days

December 13, 2005 by Adam in Emma

Poor Emma's been sick these last couple days. When I came home from work yesterday, all she wanted to do was either be held or watch cartoons. Towards the end of the evening she perked up, though. She really wanted to eat a gingerbread man and after dinner, she finally got her wish. Instantly she was happy Emma again, exclaiming such joyous phrases as "His head popped off!"

After dinner, the kids and I piled into the bathtub for a cramped but amusing good time. The highlights involved putting on soap bubble beards and doing Santa impressions. Sam was also interested in the various styles of facial hair, from goatees to soul patches.

Hopefully Emma feels better soon. She missed out on school yesterday, which she really loves. Hopefully she can be back this Friday. The one thing we've noticed is that there's a new ritual she wants to do before each meal. She wants everyone to hold hands and say "Thanks!" Ah, the joys of church-based preschools, even of the subdued variety.

In response to Seraph, a funny little thing I...

December 12, 2005 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

In response to Seraph, a funny little thing I found about the 40-hour work week. This is from the people who read what the people and McSweeny's bring you (http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/openletters/12workday.html):


June 13, 2005

Dear Eight-Hour Workday,

Before I was hired at a 9-to-5 job, I had no idea how long you were. I skipped along blissfully through life, never questioning the sanctity of each moment. The phrase "9 to 5" was merely a metaphor for "people who have real jobs." Now that I have arrived in this world of suits and scheduling, I know the truth. Eight hours is an eternity.

I have decided that, with the amount of people in this country working eight hours a day, this society should be much farther ahead that it is. We should have flying cars that are fueled by used cooking oil from McDonald's. We should have a creative and well-funded education system. We should have universal health care.

What if you devoted eight hours a day to something like origami? To working out? To learning? You'd be the smartest, buffest paper folder this world has ever seen.

Granted, when we say "eight hours of work," we don't really mean eight hours. There's the time it takes to take off your coat and say hello to co-workers. There's walking from the desk to the water cooler. There are at least seven or eight bathroom breaks a day. And we mustn't forget sustenance. Shoot, when you think about it, an eight-hour day really comes down to a good four hours and 54 and a half minutes, give or take.

I guess I'm ignoring part of the equation here, and that is that, as human beings, we are not capable of concentrating on anything longer than The Legend of Bagger Vance, let alone eight hours. If a writer sat at a computer and worked on a novel for eight hours nonstop, she would have a whole lot of crazy in the end (not that I would know). There are limitations on the human mind and body that must be addressed. If a person needs a Minesweeper break every hour on the hour, then, by God, it's about time for the next game.

I've strayed. The crux of everything I've said here today is that eight hours is a freaking long time. In my day so far, I've e-mailed several people, applied for a credit card, done a few things for work, and written this letter. I still have four and a half hours to go. I guess that means I still have several bathroom breaks to cash in.

Olivia Roth

I've finished the first of my finals, and now...

December 12, 2005 by Seraph in Cortez

I've finished the first of my finals, and now there are only four more to go! At this point I'm desperately looking forward to them all being over Wednesday afternoon, then three days of back-breaking work at the supply store, then I'M FREE (well, for a few weeks at least).
How I crave the boredom of a 60 hour a week desk job. One where I never get to express a creative or original thought, and only have a dozen or so people telling me how to do my work. Well, if this apparel thing doesn't work out, Pres. Bush's job will be open in a few years!
We're all really excited to head to Eugene over the break, and especially to see Sadie. We'll be going back and forth a few times so the poor cat doesn't starve, but all in all we should be there for a considerable chunck of time.

Sigh, another Monday

December 12, 2005 by Adam in Family

Sigh, another Monday. Soon enough I'll be braving the freezing weather to get to work. This is going to be an odd week for me, with lots of team meetings and hardly any time to get real work done. To top it off, I'm going to be taking time off for most of the end of the year, so I can already envision work piling up. Ah, well.

Sunday was both productive and relaxing. Sam and I managed to get all the bathroom things done. Sam in particular was extremely useful, unscrewing bolts and helping me drain out the water from the toilet. Somehow it's less disgusting when there's two of you cheerfully making jokes about it. We hauled the toilet into the bedroom and then took the sink downstairs. There was some minor spackling and then it was declared finished by Jamie.

We bundled up and drove down to the river path. Everything was still frosty, so we tried hard to keep the kids warm. We made our way to the odd concrete sculptures, which they enjoyed playing in considerably. After our adventure, we headed to Barry's for soup and muffins, then back home.

The rest of the day was deliberately spent relaxing. The kids and I played a fair amount. Jamie gave me some time to myself, mostly spent playing Resident Evil 4 and creeping myself out. All-in-all, it was a very pleasant end to a very pleasant weekend.

Yesterday was a mini-Christmas for me, with R...

December 11, 2005 by Adam in Adam's Games

Yesterday was a mini-Christmas for me, with Resident Evil 4 for the Gamecube and Civilization 4 showing up in the mail. Playing RE4 was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to hook up head phones so I could play while the kids were asleep. I only played for a few minutes, but the tone is distinctly creepy. I ended up having scary dreams about a haunted village. My only complaint so far is that I completely suck at aiming with the Gamecube controller. I keep missing at point blank range.

I've been having better luck with Metroid Prime. There's something simple and special about getting power-ups and doing boss fights. It's occasionally frustrating in a "can't save everywhere" sort of way, but I've managed to work around it so far.

Finally, I played Civilization 4 last night. It's very similar to the previous ones, yet polished to a shiny finish. I'm also falling into my normal bad habits, ignoring the military until a nearby civilization decides I'm easy picking. Right now I'm fighting off the primitive Romans, who actually built up a significant army.

It's a chilly Sunday morning here at the Mill...

December 11, 2005 by Adam in Family

It's a chilly Sunday morning here at the Miller Estate. Sam's playing with Legos, Emma's watching a show, and Jamie's taking a shower. Soon I'll get Sam dressed and we'll start working on the bathroom, taking out the toilet and sink, as tomorrow the worker guy comes to completely remodel it.

Yesterday was fairly low-key. I mostly hung out with the kids, managing to steal some R&R time along the way. John came over in the morning and he and Sam played for a good long while. Jamie went to Victoria's party last night, returning at a quite reasonable hour.

Maybe we can hit the library today, or perhaps continue hanging out with the kids. There's about three movies out that I'd love to see in the theater, but that might be somewhat difficult to manage.

Most of the time I find myself cheerfully hea...

December 09, 2005 by Adam in Adam

Most of the time I find myself cheerfully heading off to work. I like what I do, enjoy the people I work with, and I grudgingly admit that watching the kids for long stretches of time can be a little exhausting.

But something's happened lately.

The last few weeks, the kids have been more interesting to hang out with. Emma doesn't require quite as much constant vigilance to prevent bodily injury. Sam's usually cheerful and polite. Work has been a bit crazier than usual. To top it off, there's that lure of holiday spirit and promise of hot beverages after spending time outside in the cold weather.

I'm going to try really hard to take a lot of time off, starting the week before Christmas and going through most of the week after. Maybe we can gather all my siblings and their kids together and head off to play in the snow. I'd love to make jam with Sadie one day. And hopefully I can spend some fairly quiet days with my family, doing nothing of great importance.

It's Mocha Friday, though I'm trying to wait ...

December 09, 2005 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I'm trying to wait to get one until my friend Jim arrives at work. His wife just had twin babies, who are staying at the hospital for a bit longer. His job is to deliver milk each day, so he's promised to swing by for our normal Friday coffee run.

Work has been surprisingly busy as of late. I spent yesterday trying to debug a coworker's code, which is always interesting. I have another import process that doesn't work properly for some odd reason. I'm very much looking forward to taking some time off.

Yesterday evening was a little different. Sam was at a friend's house and Jamie took Emma off to put her to sleep in the car. With an empty house and a work-frazzled brain, I decided to spend some quality time with our new Gamecube and played a little Metroid Prime. Soon enough Sam was next to me while Emma slept away in the car and we were exploring a strange alien world from the comfort of our couch.

Jamie went off to have dinner with my mom and I spent the evening distracting Emma from the fact that she was gone. I did fairly well, using a variety of silly faces and games to keep her occupied.

The weekend looks busy already, with assorted events filling the days. Hopefully I can sneak in a little rest and relaxation too.

As the Christmas season crushes us, I thought...

December 08, 2005 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

As the Christmas season crushes us, I thought you might be interested in this website, which chronicles quite a few companies' labor and environmental practices: http://www.responsibleshopper.org/

I'm plowing through the week, waiting for students to give in to finals and then disappear for winter break. Until then, they keep me on my toes. And I love them for it. But as I was hauling 96 bottles of "wellness" odwallas to a refrigerated space for tutor thank-you brain-food bags, I wanted (just a little) for a more consistently paced job.

I got through it by singing really loud to an Artichoke song that goes like this:

do you know Mary Anning? born on a southern shore/her father Richard was a cabinetmaker
and Richard died too early and left the Annings poor/but lucky Mary Anning found an icthyosaur

by circa 1820 she ran a fossil store/she put the bones together for the collectors
and science was the province of men of noble birth/but I'd take Mary Anning over those stuffed white shirts
ancient life that sleeps as fossil

she was walking the cliffs on her own by the sea/she was wondering if there were shapes underneath
there were men with their cash but that's not what it took/she could read every line on the ground like a book
she assembled the bones of the past in cement/and she sold them in town for a couple of pence
and she showed all the men how the bones could connect/though at first some would scoff they would grow to respect

(repeat first verse)

The pile of files on my desk is finally dwind...

December 07, 2005 by Sue in Wielesek

The pile of files on my desk is finally dwindling slightly,
and I hope the things left will be minimal when Sadie arrives. I'm just about ready to go to my babysitting gig at
Adam and Jamie's. The weekend was fun; I watched Dez march in the Springfield Christmas parade (and a CHRISTMAS parade it was. Nary a "Happy Holiday" to be seen or heard, except for a large Happy Holiday sign on the gun turret of a military vehicle. It's the new diversity!) Adam and Jamie fed us dinner Sunday night, and we went to see Good Night and Good Luck at the movies.

Emma crawled off the bed last night, burrowin...

December 06, 2005 by Adam in Emma

Emma crawled off the bed last night, burrowing under the covers until she ran out of bed. Soon enough she was on the floor, crying, with a bruise on her forehead.

Fortunately she's quite rugged and was smiling and laughing a few minutes later. Today she came to visit me at work, charming my coworkers and having a chocolate muffin with me at Starbucks. I'm looking forward to taking some time off from work these holidays and spending some time with her.

I admit it

December 05, 2005 by Adam in Adam's Games

I admit it. I'm a console boy. For many years, I've stuck with computers, passing by the PS2s, the XBoxes, and the like. My last console was an Atari 2600, which played Pong.

Now I have a Gamecube in our house and I'm trying to figure out what to do with it. It's was primarily for Sam, who seems to somewhat enjoy it. He's still adjusting to the controls and the twitch-based requirements and lack of ability to save anywhere.

Still, it's interesting. I've been playing Metroid Prime a bit, which is a different experience than on a PC. The controller is different, especially how it vibrates when you're hit or fall. It's also strange sitting on the soft couch, staring at the big screen.

I treated myself to Resident Evil 4, which is supposedly the best game of last year. I'm not sure how I'll play it. Most of my game playing happens after the kids are tucked into bed. It wouldn't do to have them trying to fall asleep while the screams of monsters lull them into dreamland.

The weekend is coming to a close

December 05, 2005 by Adam in Family

The weekend is coming to a close. Jamie's making dinner for my mom and Bob. The kids are watching Little Bear on tv.

Saturday was fairly typical. We all went to library in the morning. The afternoon is a bit of a mystery, as no one can remember what we did. I do recall putting Emma to sleep while driving around in the car. After dinner, we all watched the Polar Express.

Today the big event was getting a Christmas tree. Jamie went out with Angie while the kids and I went to the park this morning. I don't think anyone was used to the cold, as Emma refused to wear her hat and gloves, and quickly became painfully chilly. Sam complained that his jeans with holes in the knees were too cold as well. Soon enough, though, we were back home and drinking hot chocolate.

The tree trip took a good hour or so, with Sam helping out with cutting and hauling. Emma had fun watching the chickens that lived on the farm (along with the people who rent it from my mom). On the ride back, Emma fell asleep, leaving Sam and I to play together. When she awoke, we decorated part of it.

I had a minor fit of exhaustion and begged Jamie for some time to myself. I took a bath and read, and have since mostly joined the ranks of the living. Fortunately tomorrow I return to work and can hopefully get a little rest.

PAtrick is standing here playing with some we...

December 05, 2005 by Betsy in Betsy

PAtrick is standing here playing with some weird plastic thing that you can put on your heas and it looks like a spiked do. How can I get him to do his homework? Any suggestions? We are beyond rewards, threats, etc....

Well, I finally finished up Fable

December 04, 2005 by Adam in Adam's Games

Well, I finally finished up Fable. The overall concept was neat, the idea that you start as a boy and you change your look dramatically depending on your outlook and profession. It was fun changing hair styles and getting tattoos. Unfortunately the main plotline was merely okay. I get a little tired of the standard save the world and avenge my parents sort of quests. I've lost count of the number of worlds I've saved and parents I've avenged.

Once the game is over, you can still wander around. I decided to get married and settle down. Since I had Legendary renown and was as attractive as possible, I grabbed a woman at random, pumped my arm a few times, handed over a few choice gifts, and got married. Here's a picture of the loving couple outside my newly purchased home. If you're curious, yes that is a pimp hat I'm wearing. I'll let you do the Google search on your own to find out how I got it.

Oh the joys of snow

December 04, 2005 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Oh the joys of snow. While Anna and I had planned on making a cuboidal snow robot, this little bundle of joy is what appeared.

As promised, here are the most beautiful sh...

December 04, 2005 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

As promised, here are the most beautiful shrunken apple heads that Williamstown has ever seen. They were a big hit between Anna and me on Halloween, although a passing trick-or-treater's mom did ask if they were actually apples. I like to interpret that as an expression of delight and awe at some fine-looking heads.

I have in fact found a nice situation for Emm...

December 03, 2005 by Jamie in Emma

I have in fact found a nice situation for Emma at St. Mary's Episcopal church downtown. There are 2 nice ladies who take care of kids on Mondays and Fridays from 9:30-1:00 so their beleaguered mommies (or daddies) can escape to the dentists office or the grocery store unmolested. There is a big gym with lots of riding toys and playhouses, so Emma loved it. There are only 4 or 5 kids currently using the service, so I loved it. The first day she decorated a Christmas tree and painted a picture in lovely shades of pink and lavender and was fed a healthy lunch homecooked by one of the grandmothers who attend the church. She didn't cry while I was gone....and was heartbroken when we had to leave. What could be more wonderful?

Well, Jamie dropped Emma off at this new day ...

December 02, 2005 by Adam in Emma

Well, Jamie dropped Emma off at this new day care for the morning. After sticking around for a bit, she told Emma "I'm going for a walk." Jamie returned a few minutes later to find that Emma was doing just fine, so she wandered over to my office and chatted with me for a bit.

So, it looks like we have a winner. That means that most mornings Jamie will be able to have at least some time to herself.

This morning, Anna heard that her granmother ...

December 02, 2005 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

This morning, Anna heard that her granmother passed away. We had expected it, but had a little quiet morning because of it noetheless. Hopefully, all of Anna's mom's family will still gather in Phoenix every Christmas, even withiout its matriarch. It snowed all day today.

In other Anna news, she's playing fiddle for a Celtic dance group in our fancy new theatre this evening. Should be fun.

This is the beautiful wreath that mom sent. She's the best.

December already

December 02, 2005 by Adam in Family

December already. Hard to believe. I'm still at home, visualizing my morning mocha.

It's been a busy week, with things happening nearly every evening and my days seeming more frantic than usual. I'll go in to work, planning on working on some project or another, only to find myself working on something completely different as the calls poured in.

Jamie and I had a nice Wednesday night, going out to Onsen's for some relaxing hot tub time. Last night I had the kids to myself. For awhile I was trying to play pretend some zombie game with Sam and Go, Diego, Go with Emma. I think tonight will be a repeat as Jamie's going off with Angie somewhere.

Hopefully this weekend will be somewhat more quiet. We need to start getting the bathroom ready for the contractor coming next week. I'm sure there's some Christmas-related activity that needs to be done, hanging up lights, for example. Ah, well, time for the shower and heading into work.

Happy Birthday Robbie! Isa promised him an e...

December 01, 2005 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Birthday Robbie! Isa promised him an extra 10 days before she considered him "old", which is rather generous for her!
Hanni is coming up for the night, and we are all planning on going out to dinner after I finish work.
We had a threat of snow last night, and some places in the foothills got a dusting, but no major storm like the news networks were craving. While I wouldn't mind a little of the white stuff, I hope it holds off until my finals are complete. There's nothing worse then slugging loads of stuff through sleet and slush!

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