After a long while, Sam finished the first Ha...

December 31, 2006 by Adam in Sam

After a long while, Sam finished the first Harry Potter book. He's already started the second. Last night, I crawled into bed next to he and Jamie and we all read together until it was time to sleep.

It's the last day of 2006

December 31, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's the last day of 2006. Sure enough, we're all sick. Emma still has her cough, I'm sniffly, and Sam is still in bed at 10:30 this morning. This seems to happen every Winter, so I suppose I should just get used to it.

We did have a nice day yesterday. The whole family piled in the car and we drove out Highway 58 until we found snow. There was snowball fights, snow angels, and snow men. Emma got very cold, but some hot chocolate and the activated charcoal hand warmers hit the spot. We drove back home, happy and warm, and took it easy for the rest of the day.

Much love to all, and I'll post soon

December 30, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

Much love to all, and I'll post soon. I'm at Bob's, after Sadie, Isa and Seraph all helped me pack. He decided not to take the water filtration system, but has about 80 pounds of food. Do you think Dick has been reincarnated? This has been a wonderful vacation, with lots of happy highlights. Have a safe and happy early January. Remember oue traveling poem: Here I am in Delhi, full of curry and gee. I am ready for Delhi. Is Delhi ready for me?

Mocha Friday, in name anyway

December 29, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday, in name anyway. The college students at Starbucks evidently couldn't figure out how to get the espresso shot into the cup, so I had an expensive cup of hot chocolate this morning. Ah, well. My gift certificate is done and it's back to the hospital PRN from here on out.

It's been an uneventful week, with both kids out of school. They've had lots of play dates each day and have seemed pretty tired each night. Jamie's feeling better these days, getting ready for Mexico next week. As for this weekend, we might do a short "play in the snow" run, depending on how everyone feels. Next week, it's just the kids and I. Hopefully it'll be fun.


December 29, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

Ooo. long time, no post. I did the pre-holidays differently this year. I wrapped presents first, then made wreaths. I think I'll work out wreath making with the farm tenants next year, as the wreath making machine on the farm works better than sitting on the floor for long tedious hours (although it's a great time for ironing movies - you know, the kind you can watch while you're ironing, not too engrossing.) All my cards, except for those going abroad (for which I cleverly bought New Year cards!) were postmarked before December 25th - okay, on December 24th, but better than last year, when I got the last ones sent in June. It has been great having Sadie here, and she has been
a little Susie Tidy Bowl, cleaning, cooking, and washing dishes.
The India trip looks like this - we leave at 1:30 on Saturday, change planes in London, and land in Prague at 5:30 on New Years Eve. We stay there over night, then on to India the next morning. We stay in Delhi through Friday, then to Agra and Jaipur(I had to look these up on a map.)
We fly back to Prague on Saturday a week later and spend about a week in Prague.
Christmas was very fun, and I'm hoping to have a little "Christmas" for Seraph and Robbie tomorrow. They are
down to pick up Isa and do some paperwork with selling the
Louis Street house. I also have a funeral for a former client, so very sad.
Love to all, and thanks to God (be it him, her, or them)for
sending the sun yet once again.

I had a minor bike accident this morning

December 28, 2006 by Adam in Adam

I had a minor bike accident this morning. I was coming down our hill and hit a spot of black ice, immediately tipping over from lack of traction. Fortunately the fall wasn't too bad, getting away with only a bruise on my tailbone. I walked to the bottom of the hill and rode on without incident.

Since I started commuting to work three or four years ago, this is the closest thing to an accident that I've had. Let's hope my uneventful biking continues in the future.

I'm back to work again today

December 27, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm back to work again today. It's a bit strange after so much time off, but fortunately it's been pretty quiet after the weeks of go-live madness.

Jamie continues to be sick and not talking much. Last night Sam went off to Dave's to spend the night, leaving the three of us alone in the house. It was awfully quiet, especially when Emma conked right out to sleep an hour early. It's strange thinking our big house might be sans children some day.

I'm mentally gearing up for next week when I have both kids. Should be interesting.

Merry Christmas to all

December 25, 2006 by Adam in Family

Merry Christmas to all.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of activities. In the morning we took the kids to see Jamie's old roommate, Tina, and her family. Her husband Noah is exactly as I remembered him, quirky, funny, and full of energy. Soon enough we were playing with the air-zooka and setting paper airplanes on fire. Sam loved it. Tina seems the same as usual, and her kids are cute. It was fun, all around.

In the afternoon, Jamie's family began to filter in. Jackson is now huge and he and Emma played a bunch. It was fun seeing Josh again, and we're hoping to get him together with the kids before he heads back to Tennesee. Presents were exchanged and I got even more chocolate covered espresso beans. All my vices wrapped into a single package.

We're heading back home today. Jamie's feeling sick again and I'm heading to work tomorrow. Busy, busy.

Happy Christmas Eve to all

December 24, 2006 by Adam in Family

Happy Christmas Eve to all. We made it to Portland, safe and sound. The kids and I got way too muddy at the park, played about the house, and generally had a good time. Jamie went off to see her dad, and we all gathered for a traditional holidy Thai dinner. Today we're eating a hearty breakfast, playing at the park with Jamie's college roommate and her kids, and having the big Christmas party this afternoon. We should be back in town by tomorrow.

Just wanted to let everyone know that Robbie ...

December 23, 2006 by Seraph in Cortez

Just wanted to let everyone know that Robbie is doing fine. He was one of several appendectamies (?) that were preformed yesterday, so the docs had it down pat.
Now he's mostly tired out - both from the surgery and not sleeping the night before. I think he's looking forward to a holiday of movie watching and Nintendo playing.
Isa will still be down on Christmas to celebrate with you all. I hope all of you feel free to step in and keep her in line a little! She enjoyed the night with Alex and Carolyn - who were in town - shopping and ice skating. Sounds like she'll be a pro in no time.
Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and calls. Love ya tons!

It looks like we're heading up to Portland to...

December 23, 2006 by Adam in Family

It looks like we're heading up to Portland today instead of yesterday. Judy reported sick, so we're minimizing exposure, even though I think we already had what she has.

We had our little family Christmas already, after Emma's French school on Thursday. Emma liked her kitchen set and pink Nintendo DS. Ironically it was Sam who kept sneaking it away to play Nintendogs. He's training a puppy named Emma, so we'd keep hearing him call for Emma from his bedroom. I was pretty excited about my new electric razor and chocolate covered espresso beans. Jamie liked her sweater and new cookware. The cycle of consumerism is complete.

We just heard that Robbie went to the hospital last night to have his appendix out. I can think of better ways to spend Christmas, but it sounds like everything's okay. Best wishes to him and the rest of the family.

A quick little request for good thoughts and ...

December 23, 2006 by Seraph in Cortez

A quick little request for good thoughts and prayers to Portland. Robbie just headed into surgery to have his apendix removed. Anymore this kind of stuff is pretty routine, but I've never found extra prayers to hurt!

Merry almost Christmas

December 21, 2006 by Adam in Family

Merry almost Christmas. I think our family is doing a gift-exchange today, the first day of a rolling Christmas that continues as we bounce from family to family. It's hard to maintain the illusion of a jolly Saint Nick when there's multiple filled stockings on different days. This is probably the last year Emma will believe. Ah, youth.

Yesterday was fun, having breakfast with Sadie and my mom. We continue to lure Sadie back to Oregon, which looks increasingly promising. I still have an old birthday card from her where she gave me various gift options. Needless to say, I picked "Return to Oregon" and hope to collect next year.

We also made two big batches of jam, a pear marmalade and some apple butter. There was the usual hijinks and last minute purchases, but we ended up with jam in the end, which is what matters most.

It's Mocha Tuesday for me as I'm taking the r...

December 19, 2006 by Adam in Adam

It's Mocha Tuesday for me as I'm taking the rest of the week off. I can't wait to make jam with Sadie and generally take it easy for a few days. I think Thursday is going to be my "me day", where I can do whatever I want. Maybe I'll sit around watching t.v. and doing my nails, or whatever folks do with free time. It's been way too long.

My life and times goes fairly well these days. It's still all about family, work, and sneaking in a little free time here and there. I have a little interview about my gaming stuff that I just released. My annoying cough seems to slowly be getting better, though it's been a couple weeks. All-in-all, life's good.

We had a very low-key day yesterday, ditching...

December 17, 2006 by Adam in Family

We had a very low-key day yesterday, ditching our normal routine and instead going on a walking expedition over to Flicks and Pics to grab some movies. It was a cool, brisk, day, though strangely Sam found a salamander in our yard. Emma came in the backpack and we chatted away on the long walk.

Since only Sam and I share movie watching interests, everyone got their own thing and then went to different screens in the house to see their show. Later on, the kids and I played and hung out while Jamie went to the store. I stocked up on jam-making items for Sadie's arrival this week. Very exciting.

Sweet Mocha Friday

December 15, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sweet Mocha Friday. Only a few minutes until I head into work to partake of that wonderful elixir.

Emma's French school gave us a little Christmas present, including ornaments they made and some pictures and videos they took in class. The latter is pretty cool and I put together a quick video of Emma at school, a perspective I rarely see. This is also a photo of her at school, making pizza for some occasion. It's neat that she's actually learning things at school. Last night she was talking about Kwanzaa to me.

We had a huge storm last night, with Sam watching it all from the bedroom window. At first I thought the big black shapes flying off a nearby tree was birds, but it was actually branches being ripped away by the wind. It might be a bumpy ride on the way to work.

I still need to get in touch with everyone about Christmas plans. I'm tentatively taking next Wednesday through the following Monday off, and then more time while Jamie goes to Mexico and I have to watch the kids. I'm very much hoping for some relaxation and family time. Apple butter awaits!

Remember the Mattress Giant (see November 16t...

December 15, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Remember the Mattress Giant (see November 16th posting)? The Mattress Giant has spoken! The Giant "addressed the issue with Simmons, the vendor for the product, and the name will be changed as soon as a replacement product is ready. The anticipated timeline for this is in the latter part of the first quarter of 2007." Wohoo! My VISTA co-leader rocks my socks! MACC VISTAs, making the world safer for queer sleepers everywhere!

Tomorrow is my last day of work! I am so thri...

December 14, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Tomorrow is my last day of work! I am so thrilled to come home on Monday, and make apple butter, hang greenery, and buy electronica for small children! Last night was 15 Hall St.'s gift exchange and goodbye party for our friend Ven. We all pitched in and made Ven a quilt of scenes from The Little Prince, which was pretty neat. The best present by far was the titanium spork given to Janet by Mason, although Janet's 1930's logging documentary for Mason was cool, too. I am currently wearing a beautiful green scarf from Janet, and have a handmade, corn-filled icepack from Mason in the freezer. Ah, my roommates know me so well.

My big work project has actually turned out r...

December 13, 2006 by Adam in Adam

My big work project has actually turned out really well. It's one of those behind-the-scenes applications that's pretty utilitarian, but everyone in the organization uses it one way or another. People keep coming up and congratulating me on how it works, which is a good sign. I just keep polishing and making it fancier.

I'm resisting getting more presents for people. My kids will be horribly spoiled, especially in the realm of electronica. I figure it's my role as a computer-savvy father to equip them with appropriate gadgets and gizmos. Jamie got more practical things (other than the robot), but hopefully she'll appreciate them too.

Tonight is the Christmas party at Emma's Fren...

December 13, 2006 by Adam in Family

Tonight is the Christmas party at Emma's French school. I'm horribly excited to hear a dozen three year-olds singing assorted French songs. There's a catchy tune I learned in school about plucking a bird (Alouette, Je Te Plumerai), that they've turned into carving a pumpkin. Emma's been singing parts of it for ages.

I'm also eager to take time off work starting next week. I may go in Monday and/or Tuesday, but take the rest of the week off. I have a tentative breakfast with my mom and making apple butter with Sadie. Fun, fun.

As for the rest of the Miller-Mellor household, all goes well. I still have my lingering cough, but everyone else seems okay. Jamie has her assorted concoctions that I jokingly refer to as her "ju-ju", but she somehow managed to miss the bulk of the illness. Chalk one up for Emergen-C or whatever it's called.

Sam's up to chapter 6 of the first Harry Potter book. Emma can spell her name (as long as you don't mind tilted letters). Plus they're both so cute and funny.

Only ten days to Solstice

December 12, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

Only ten days to Solstice. Along with all the other depressants in the Northern Hemisphere, I'm counting the days. Yesterday was particularly bad, probably because I also had either a touch of the Miller-Mellor flu bug or an
adverse reaction to the typhoid meds delivered Friday. Bob actually was a big help, bringing movies and sitting with me while I finished wreaths. It's really a pretty short stretch, and soon Sadie will arrive. But Seraph, only Christmas Day? Is some Devil wearing Prada in the Fred Meyer organization? Debbie, Bob's ex-wife, graciously loaned me a couple of outfits to wear in India, one which someone brought back for her, and one she got in Portland. Sadie, international shopping in Portland while you're here? Bless Meg and Dick, they are cheerfully storing the old Caprice, and I'm hoping they can post it on Craig's list for Philadelphia. I'm off to deliver wreaths.

As some of you may have with your jobs, my VI...

December 12, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

As some of you may have with your jobs, my VISTA position comes with an extensively used (some may say abused) listserv. Today, one of the listserv members requested that we stop, or nearly stop, using the listserv. There was a groundswell of support for the listserv. In solidarity with the listserv, I wrote (and obviously emailed out) this ode:

I love it when you fill up my inbox with sweet nothings,
like there was nothing else in the world to do
but to remind me, in any way that you can,
each one stuffing in a question, a website, a frantic yawp,
that I'm not alone in
(as Paulo Freire and Myles Horton so beautifully put it)
making the way by walking.

Tomorrow is an office all-day retreat, so I'll be without VISTA listserv sweet-nothings all day long. Pray for me.

Well, I'm back! Hong Kong was beautiful and warm

December 11, 2006 by Seraph in Cortez

Well, I'm back! Hong Kong was beautiful and warm. It was so nice to be home that I promptly slept most of Saturday. I managed to pull myself together enough to go to Zoo Lights with the family. It's always fun, beautiful, and cold!
As some of you know, the house we were trying to buy fell through. There were some potential problems with the stucco siding, and we just weren't up to the risk. So, we spent yesterday looking at a dozen new houses. Arggg...
Our schedule is busy over the holidays, and we'll probably only be in Eugene on Christmas day. I can't wait to see you all!

I'm watching a very sick little girl, sleepin...

December 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm watching a very sick little girl, sleeping away on the couch while Jamie takes a shower. Supposedly Jamie and I were going to have a whole night to ourselves while Emma and Sam stayed over at a friend's house. Unfortunately around 9:30, Sharon called and Emma was returned to us. A couple weekends ago Sam ended up getting really sick at their house, and I guess it was Emma's turn. Either that or Sharon is secretly poisoning our children.

Anyway, Emma spent most of the night throwing up while Jamie earned her keep as super mom. I was mostly useless, as I ended up taking cough syrup for my annoying cough and zonked out even more than usual. At this point, it looks like I can be most useful washing the four loads of laundry generated by Emma's illness.

I imagine I'll go get Sam shortly. Perhaps he and I will go on an adventure to the tree farm and pick up a Christmas tree for decorating. Emma looks like she's going to sleep until next year. Poor girl.

I looked up the site; it's actually pretty ni...

December 09, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

I looked up the site; it's actually pretty nifty, supporting small women owned businesses. Vivas las chicas!
(Sort of like, you go, girl...)

Hi, sweeties, I am in digital purgatory! The ...

December 09, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, sweeties, I am in digital purgatory! The phone guy was out here at the office for two days last week, followed by Mr. Computer Guy. Mr. Phone Guy is blaming Mr. Computer Guy, who's blaming Mr. Phone Guy. The long and short of it is that after having phone/computer/fax capabilities for at least ten years, the entire system has gone to hell in a handbasket and I'm going to be standing on the roof waving semaphores. Anyhow, I'm still at the office, waiting until 6:30, when I will go to Jordan's holiday play at EWEB. Love those EWEB cookies. I have no idea where I've been for the last six weeks and why I haven't posted. But before I forget, I've been carrying around this web site for ecologically safe cleaning supplies: According to an article in one of Bob's architecture magazines, it lists the top 20 toxic ingredients in everyday cleaning products. The article recommends Seventh Generation, which the Safeway on 18th carries. About four hundred hugs and kisses. Love, the mom
(sort of like The Donald)

I wanted to share my Mitosis video, which you...

December 08, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I wanted to share my Mitosis video, which you can get to with YouTube:

We got our first snow of the season last night- we were all quilting away at home after my big retreat this week. This weekend I'm chaperoning a teen acoustic coffee house at the North Adams Elks Lodge- good times.

Sweet, sweet Mocha Friday

December 08, 2006 by Adam in Family

Sweet, sweet Mocha Friday. Oh, how I missed you.

I was in a bit of a grumpy mood last night, the accumulated effects of a busy work week, occasionally wacky children, and my lingering illness. I think I'm going to throw caution to the wind and take a good chunk of time off this holiday season. For those of you wanting to hang out with me, the week of the 18th is looking like a fine time for a life of leisure.

Not much is happening in the Miller-Mellor household. Jamie's evidently feeling better, going to the gym last night. We got the garage door opener fixed after the ancient one finally stopped working. Such are the mundane aspects of our lives.

I'm working away here - slowly finishing up

December 08, 2006 by Seraph in Cortez

I'm working away here - slowly finishing up. My job occasionally makes me curse the American bargin hunters who make me bicker over 3 cents and decrease other people quality of living simply to prevent FM from becoming Wal-Mart!
Anyway, I fly out tomorrow (Sat) morning and will get home Sat morning - funny how that works! I then plan on spending a day in my PJ's watching cartoons with my family! Love to all.

EMMA Emma typed that all by herself

December 08, 2006 by Adam in Emma


Emma typed that all by herself. Here's what else she wanted to say:

"I love you dad."

Jamie and I had our date night last night, ta...

December 07, 2006 by Adam in Family

Jamie and I had our date night last night, taking the kids to Dave's house for an hour or so. Unfortunately Jamie's so sick that our special alone time consisted of sipping tea at the breakfast table. Ah, life.

We've got a ton of exciting things happening over the weekend. Sam and Emma are spending the night at John and Natalie's house. This is the first time Emma's spent the night at a friend's house, though she seems to be somewhat excited about it. The tricky part will likely be the last 30 minutes of the day when she's exhausted and wants her mom. Hopefully it'll go well and I'm glad Sam will be along too.

On Saturday we're going to pick up a Christmas tree and decorate it. It's one of my favorite holiday rituals and hopefully we can accompany it with hot chocolate and appropriately themed music. There's an ice show happening in the afternoon if we're up for it. On Sunday we're having my dad and Yayoe over for dinner, who I haven't seen for awhile.

Should be pretty exciting all around. Just a sneak peek at the exciting Christmas schedule ahead.

Hi, just trying this out

December 07, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, just trying this out.

The days just fly by

December 06, 2006 by Adam in Family

The days just fly by. I was greeted by a smiling Emma this morning, looking quite dapper in her bright red pajamas. Both kids are doing well these days. Emma's learning French songs for a Christmas party at her school next Wednesday. Sam continues to read the first Harry Potter book and loves playing his new Zelda game on his Wii. It looks like Jamie has whatever the rest of us had, and is popping pills for the headaches. Poor girl.

I'm getting excited for Christmas, as is Emma. She keeps asking how many days until the big day.

I am typing from Boston, preparing for a semi...

December 05, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I am typing from Boston, preparing for a semi-working retreat called Early Service Training (EST) with the VISTA crew. In some ways, this is the last big required training that Carly (my co-leader) and I have to plan until late June. Hopefully I'll be able to juggle being a VISTA leader and being an on-campus VISTA better. It has also begun to snow in the Berkshires, which marks the beginning of our hibernation season, so I'm not sure how I'll manage drivng out to Boston every other week. In real life, all is well- Janet and I are making headway on the quilt, and I just convinced my room mates to get a little Christmas tree. Ah, the holiday season of over consumption begins.

Hello from Hong Kong! While I've had a few "...

December 05, 2006 by Seraph in Cortez

Hello from Hong Kong! While I've had a few "vacation" moments, we've been working pretty hard. I miss you all though, and really wish everyone could be here and see some of the amazing sights! This is an amazing city that puts the word "modern" to shame! Have to run back to work - love to all!

My annoying cold still hasn't gone away entirely

December 04, 2006 by Adam in Adam

My annoying cold still hasn't gone away entirely. I've been sniffling and coughing throughout the day. Blah.

My Level One project continues to fill all my time at work. I had a conference call on an unrelated project and ended up throwing together a web demo in 15 minutes. The lack of preparedness is sadly bleeding into other things.

On the plus side, people are using and looking at the information I'm collecting from tons of different systems. Unfortunately they're also finding the bugs, which means I get to stay busy.

Mocha Friday, though I have a few minutes lef...

December 01, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday, though I have a few minutes left before I head to work and enjoy that delicious elixir.

Emma has been kooky lately. Last night we broke out Jamie's Christmas present, the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner. Needless to say, things didn't go as planned. Emma simply wouldn't let the robot clean the floor. Instead, Emma decided it was her new best friend, cuddling with it and imbuing it with human emotions. I made a little movie of it, which was fun to put together.

She also called me up and asked me to smell. After laughing and explaining I couldn't smell anything through the phone, she replied, "Let me hold it to my bottom." Later that evening I discovered she had a full diaper and wanted to share the news in her usual witty way.

Today I have a sore throat and a touch of a sniffle, though my headache has passed. I'll be doing the usual kid stuff tonight and tomorrow morning. It'll be nice to have a normal weekend or two before the Christmas madness begins.

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