Special thanks, Adam, for posting the announc...

April 29, 2006 by Betsy in Betsy

Special thanks, Adam, for posting the announcement. To those we don't have mailing addresses the rest of the announcement is regarding lodging in the Normalville area. If you would like that information please email me at
Pat_krgcampus@sbcglobal.net and I will forward on to you. To those so inclined, memorial funds have been established at the:
Normalville United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 215
Normalville, Pa. 15469
The Great Lakes Historical Society
480 Main St., P.O. Box 435
Vermilion, Ohio 44089
Love to all, P.

Betsy asked me to post this announcement of g...

April 28, 2006 by Adam in Betsy

Betsy asked me to post this announcement of grampa Bill's service.

For a long while, I've waffled over whether o...

April 28, 2006 by Adam in Adam's Projects

For a long while, I've waffled over whether or not to buy a laptop. It always seemed too expensive for something that wasn't very powerful. I'd wonder what I'd really do with it and put off the decision for a later day.

Last week I found myself looking at a $400 Dell laptop and couldn't resist. I plunked down my credit card number and got a chance to fiddle with it last night.

Sure, it's supposedly fairly wimpy, but it seems snappy enough for the basics. My plan is to set up a wireless network so that Jamie can look up recipes from the kitchen. It also makes a great "carputer", with a DVD player to entertain the kids for long drives.

The only problem at the moment is that my old wireless router just doesn't seem to work. I see it, but can't connect to it properly. It was flaky for a long time after I got it, so I'm thinking it's time to just buy a new one. They're pretty cheap, unlike my free time.

It's good to be home

April 28, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's good to be home.

It's mocha Friday and theoretically I'm going to work today. Since I've been running about, I'm wanting to be a bit lazier than usual. I'll probably wait until the kids are up before I head in for coffee and catching up.

My final day at work was okay, with slow but real progress made on a few different fronts. We worked our way back to the Seattle airport, got a quick bite to eat, and flew back.

When I arrived home, the kids were very happy to see me. I helped tuck them into bed, with long conversations before they drifted off from sheer exhaustion. I'm happy that tomorrow is the weekend and we can do our normal routines.

I'm moments away from heading to the airport ...

April 27, 2006 by Adam in Adam

I'm moments away from heading to the airport and returning to home sweet home. I can't wait.

Ironically, I am indeed eating cereal and usi...

April 27, 2006 by Adam in Adam

Ironically, I am indeed eating cereal and using the hotel's Internet access as we speak. I had to use a cup and swizzle stick to eat my cereal, scooping it up like chopsticks. I'd like to think it's in sympathy for my dad's plight, but the reality is that I'm too lazy to go down to the lobby to get a spoon.

I had a terrible headache today, starting small and getting worse throughout the day. We went to the Sister's retreat, which has a number of big meeting rooms. The grounds were beautiful, right on the lake with trees all around. We did our usual meeting stuff, with lots of talking and chatting as a group. Nothing too earth shattering, except some interesting talking points by one of the VPs. Change is afoot.

Afterwards our entire group went out to dinner and stayed there for three hours. We were incredibly loud and had a good time, especially after I popped three asprin and I drank some tea. I think the relief of not being in pain made it all so much better.

This is for the benefit of our dear husband/f...

April 27, 2006 by Jamie in Jamie

This is for the benefit of our dear husband/father, who is much missed, but things are just fine. On both counts he will be, I'm sure, pleased. We will see you late Thursday for a tuck in, hope you are getting enough cereal and internet access ;-)

hello from Beijing

April 26, 2006 by Yayoe in Yayoe

hello from Beijing. The Forbidden City is awesome...so much splendor, grandeur and amazing archecture that it's hard to describe. Yesterday we climbed the GREAT WALL..it too was awesome and beyond description. Quick quiz from Lohring:which country is a socialist workers paradise? And which country is a capitalist dream?
A: Japan B: China.
The answer will be posted at the next internet session! We're off to cruise in the Yangze River today...oh by the way...Beijing is really the most polluted city I've seen since LA in the late 1950's!!! We're having a great time and eating delicous cuisine.....

Janet, Purdy and I are in the middle of an al...

April 25, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Janet, Purdy and I are in the middle of an all-Harry Potter film festival. Hopefully we'll be able to finish the next two this week- we all have in congruent schedules that prevent watching more than one film a night. Janet had her real Chinese Film Festival to work last night, so we had to start at 9:00 last night. I'm such an old lady that I couldn't even make it through the Basalisk. Neither of them had ever read a Harry Potter book or watched one of the movies, so I feel quite privileged to be their Potter ambassador.

The plane touched down an hour or so ago and ...

April 25, 2006 by Adam in Family

The plane touched down an hour or so ago and I'm cozy in my hotel room, wondering how I'm going to eat the cereal I got from a super market without any spoons. I imagine I can steal some from the break room at work.

It was a pleasant morning, with the kids slowly waking up before I left. I had time to make espresso before David came to drive us to the airport. The flight up was quiet and I mostly read a book.

Now I have to unpack, eat a bit of food, and wander over for a day of meetings with my coworkers. Funny how the first thing I did in my hotel room was hook up the laptop and make sure I had Internet access. Ah, such is the life of a world traveler like myself.

Dear Oregon and Ohio clans, Happy Eastern O...

April 25, 2006 by Meg in Lytton

Dear Oregon and Ohio clans,
Happy Eastern Orthodix Easter, Oregonians!
I'm looking forward to meeting you in Chicago Friday night, Sue. I'll email you arrival times.

Callie's back from visiting Dick's mom in Fla and is dealing with last minute issues of her team's final paper for their course at Wharton. She is excited about working for Habitat for Humanities in Zambia for 3 weeks in June. Unfortunately, this means she'll miss Mikayla's graduation!

We're getting set for Julie's graduation-- we bought 2 new guest beds and made restaurant reservations. We're still trying to figure out Penn's graduation schedule, which is as unfathomable as the inscrutable Orient! She'll start summer organic chem classes at Bryn Mawr College almost as soon as she graduates from Penn and then take more pre-med prerequisites at Temple in the fall. She can then start the MCAT and application process next spring.

Mikayla has a summer job helping with stagecrew stuff at her high school. With babysitting on the side, she might do well. She looked lovely for the prom despite shivering in the cold, rainy weather.

We're starting the planning for the trip to Western Pa for Dad's memorial service. I'll send out notices as soon as I receive them from Betsy. We are renting a van (mine burned up a few months ago after a squirrel built a nest inside the dashboard and gnawed through the wires--I was driving along when smoke began to issue from the dashboard!). We hope Sue will fly to Phila and ride back with us. We will invite Judy to come with us too.

I have taken up reading Dad's sea books. I am enjoying Patrick O'Brian's (of Master and Commander fame) series. It's the first time in a long time that I've needed to keep a look-up word list as I read. (Look up the etymology of the word "grog"!)I remain impressed and warmed by Dad's intellect and feel a connection through the reading....

Again, off to bed.

I'm heading off to Bellevue tomorrow morning

April 24, 2006 by Adam in Adam

I'm heading off to Bellevue tomorrow morning. I'm flying out of town tomorrow morning and not getting back until late Thursday. As usual, I'm fairly unenthusiastic about the trip, thinking about the work that will pile up and how we could have done this over the phone. To top it off, I'll miss my family.

Jamie did whisk me away for a nice lunch. It was surprisingly quiet with no kids trying to talk over each other. It took us awhile to come up with anything to say since we tend to be all business when we get a few moments to talk. I'm very much looking forward to our life of leisure when the kids are a bit older.

I made one more foray into the world of Oblivion

April 24, 2006 by Adam in Adam's Games

I made one more foray into the world of Oblivion. I think I'm feeling fairly well done. Sure, I could try another character or something, but I think I need to let it rest for awhile. There was one quest I had heard much about, a trip into a painting. Yesterday I finally tracked down the right person, hopped into the painting, and was treated to a surreal landscape that was jaw-droppingly cool.

For now, I'll happily work away on my Neverwinter Nights project and see what comes out of E3 next month. It's usually an extravaganza of new game announcements, screenshots, and movies. I'd like to think of it as the nerd equivalent of the superbowl.

I'm beat

April 24, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm beat. I just finished reading The Spiderwick Chronicles to Sam. Emma collapsed asleep moments before. My allergies have me sneezing away, Claritin be damned.

After breakfast, we went to a plant store to get some goodies for our home. The kids played in the fountains, ran through paths, and generally carried on. After pausing for lunch and planting, we headed to Sam's soccer game where it was quite sunny.

We arrived late to Easter dinner at my mom's. As usual, it was full of food, conversation, and small children running about. I loved having a chance to talk with my sisters, whose lives are always interesting. Seraph is hoping for an internship at Fred Meyer's. Jenny was laid off and is hoping for another job with an oral surgeon.

As for me, my belly is full of Seraph's potato chocolate cake, I'm exhausted, and I'm ready to wind down and go to sleep.

It was a great day

April 23, 2006 by Adam in Family

It was a great day.

It began, as great days often do, with a hearty breakfast and a cappuccino with real espresso beans (not the usual decaf stuff). After playing with the kids for awhile, we headed off to Sam's soccer game. He was in usual form, falling to the ground more often than not after every kick. Fortunately he seemed to enjoy himself doing it. Mostly I carried Emma about and played on the playground until it was time to go.

Jamie took Sam and his friend Gavin for the afternoon while I headed to the library with Emma. I had her in the backpack and a block away from the library she conked right out. I had a leisurely time browsing the bookshelves while she napped. Eventually she woke up, we ate bagels, and headed home.

After a bit, Sam was returned and Jamie went off to help my mom and Anna with preparations for tomorrow's festivities. Jamie returned after dinner, somewhat exhausted, and the kids and I went across the street to play with the neighbors.

Eventually the bedtime routine kicked in, Jamie took over tucking the kids in at eight o'clock sharp, and I decended into the nerd cave to watch a little Doctor Who. Good times.

I finished up Oblivion, powering through the ...

April 22, 2006 by Adam in Adam's Games

I finished up Oblivion, powering through the final parts of the main quest. It was epic, I suppose, though I suppose I've saved so many worlds at this point in my gaming career that I've become a bit jaded.

Mostly I have fun wandering through the massive and beautiful world. It's entertaining just riding around from place to place. I'm tempted to start a new character that's stealthy and uses a bow, just to play around with things.

Sam's still playing, though he's recently gotten distracted by a Star Wars game. It's way too hard, so I think I'm push him back in the direction of Oblivion again. Either that or Emma's library games. Mmm . . . educational software.

Hey!!!!@WE just found this internet station ...

April 21, 2006 by Lohring in Lohring

Hey!!!!@WE just found this internet station in Kyoto. We@re having a wonderful time and eating Japanese food at every meal. Lohring has mastered the art of eating with chop sticks. The first time he ate a bowl of noodles it took 5 hours for him to complete the last bite but now he:s fluent in eating. Everything here is so expensive but beautiful. We love looking at all the mineature cars, cement mixers and trucks. The bullet train was amazing...it goes about 180 miles an hour. Lohring@s map skills enabled us to ride the subway and trains and also walk to different parts of the town without getting lost. My limited Japanese has come in handy despite the fact that I can only understand a few words. We love watching TV and the people who make it interesting. People are ultra polite and very honest. We@re off to Beijing on Sunday....

I'm getting this posting in a bit late, hours...

April 21, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm getting this posting in a bit late, hours after my normal morning mocha. I'm enjoying the Friday workday, with a slightly slower pace than the last few days.

Last night I took the kids to soccer practice as usual, not checking the schedule. It turns out we had team photos that day, so no one showed up. In the meantime, the kids had a great time playing in the stream, catching tadpoles. Sam in particular got very muddy and had to strip down quite a bit before going home.

Tonight will be a little unusual, as there's no swimming due to pool work. Instead we're having Dave and Kirsten over for dinner and kid play time. That should be lovely.

The weekend itself promises to be busy. We have Easter at my mom's, soccer games, and hopefully working in a library trip. Hopefully I can get any last minute things done before my work trip, which I'm not looking forward to particularly.

Last night my roommate Janet brought home the...

April 20, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Last night my roommate Janet brought home the 1983 book "Color Me Beautiful," the catalyst for the Color Draping movement. I'm an Autumn, as you may have guessed from my golden skin, gold-flecked blue eyes, and my honey brown hair. Janet, on the other hand, is teetering between a Winter and Autumn, though the book assures that only redheads can actually teeter between seasons. We spent an hour trying to decide weather her hair was "charcoal black" or "blue black." An important distinction, as she'll have to throw out half of her wardrobe and would like not to throw out the wrong half. But we had fun trying on camel color t-shirts and magenta dresses and trying to determine if we were "pink" or just "ruddy."

Hi, news bytes

April 20, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, news bytes. I'm going to go back to Illinois for the wedding of Ann and Dave Pontius' son and Depti (oooh, spelling? Brain, don't fail me - again) over the weekend of the 28th, and I'll stay to visit Anita and John for a couple of days. Meggie is going to fly in on Friday night and leave on Sunday. Easter is shaping up; I haven't scrubbed the kitchen on my hands and knees, but that's coming up. Yesterday, I picked up Dez from school and took him to have his teeth cleaned, then later watched Sam and Emma. A delightful afternoon!

This morning I got a wake-up call from my goo...

April 19, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

This morning I got a wake-up call from my good friend Mauricio, who is living with his wife in Durham, England and getting his PhD. I helped produce a Spanish radio show with him and a few of his Spanish TA friends last year, and he's starting his own Uruguayan/Argentinian music show in Durham next week. The UK university system is not as engaging as the American system, but he's finding his way. We spent lots of time together last year when he was getting his Master's at the Center for Development Economics.

Anna just returned from a two-day energy audit trip to a dairy and a new UC campus in the San Joaquin Valley. Hearing about the way such simple things as milk cartons are made is amazing. Her job is a little like accompanying Mr. Roger.

April continues to flash before my eyes as I bring more and more work home with me to catch up for my long weekend. But I'm busy in the best way, and excited about this weekend, where every campus group is trying to save the world at the same time. The joyous pressure certainly improves this corner of Massachusetts.

My stomach has continued to grumble and rumbl...

April 19, 2006 by Adam in Family

My stomach has continued to grumble and rumble, probably due to some viral thing. To add to the fun, allergy season has started up with the break in the weather. At Sam's soccer practice last night, I was sniffling non-stop and hid in the car whenever Emma would let me. Fortunately Claritin does a pretty good job of making me feel normal.

The week continues to move along. The kids were busy playing in the sand box when I got home. They actually got along together relatively well, letting me sit on the swing and read next to them for a wee bit. They're really loving the nice weather and didn't want to go inside for a long time.

Later we all went to soccer practice where Sam ran around and Emma and I looked at the creatures in the stream. It was full of tadpoles, water skippers, water beetles, and spiders. Great stuff.

Monday during work was fairly frantic and crazy

April 18, 2006 by Adam in Family

Monday during work was fairly frantic and crazy. I sat through a bunch of meetings and realized how much work is coming down the pipe the next six months or so.

I tried to be nice to everyone last night and largely succeded. Jamie made my absolutely favorite meal, tamale pie, and I had to relate to the kids the epic story from my childhood. When I was a kid, I fell off my bike and had to be taken to the emergency room. Before we left, I sniffed the air and realize we were having tamale pie for dinner. I pitifully asked my dad if I could eat dinner first. He agreed, so I had a pleasantly full stomach while I got a finger splint and stitches.

I've apparently been fighting a stomach bug these last few days. It's been paining me, and Jamie gave me the news that it's been going around. It's not debilitating, but it's quite annoying.

I woke up around 4:30 to Emma snoring away. Jamie had moved to the couch and couldn't sleep, so we chatted for a long while until we heard, "Mom . . . where are you." Then Jamie went back to bed and I went downstairs to get ready for work.

Colin Morgan dropped me a note the other day, mentioning that he's an architect on a 25-story building in Chicago. His wife makes jewelry and is showing her work in various boutiques. It's strange thinking that we used to drive out to Fall Creek with shirts on our heads.

I have dared to risk both cash and my mother'...

April 18, 2006 by Jamie in Jamie

I have dared to risk both cash and my mother's ridicule in the pursuit of a slimmer me, and the combination seems to be working. I've been diligent with the gym sessions and bulking up on cooked oatmeal and poached chicken cottage cheese salads. So far lost 3 pounds, but this initial water weight is merely a drop in the bucket toward my goal to be measured on August 20.
Have been working on getting a front door that will actually close and not have a bullet hole in it, and things are all ordered and should happen in the next few weeks.
I have also succumbed to the nagging pressure of my monster-in-law who tells me I need (i.e."deserve") some time for myself, so today booked a massage at "The Pearl" day spa.

The Steane family gathered in Dayton on Satur...

April 17, 2006 by Betsy in Betsy

The Steane family gathered in Dayton on Saturday to celebrate Lil Steane Lewis' life. I drove over from Normalville and the get together was at the Dayton Country Club. It was a beautiful day and so nice to see everyone. Ann, Dave, Larry and Deepti (his new wife), Allen, Jeannie, Jessica, Arthur Jr., Georgia, James, Pam and her husband and their two children. Peter Pontius had some surgery and was unable to come with his wife and Andrew Lewis (Jessica's twin) is in California. I went back to the house afterwards and Ann had some pictures that I will send to applicable parties. The Lewis house is an incredible peice of real estate but unfortunately is a dinosaur in the present market. I think they may have a difficult time liquidating and selling. It was good to see them all and they all spoke about wanting to get together again for a Steane famiy get together sometime in the future.

What a nice Easter! Adam and Jamie invited Bo...

April 17, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

What a nice Easter! Adam and Jamie invited Bob and me to Easter brunch. Yumm, yumm, very tasty! I went back to the house to continue cleaning, and then to Bob's for dinner with him, the kids, Deb, and Jesse (used to be Judy), who in this small town, is one of Deb's best friends. We saw Sam's soccer game, and Dez' second basketball season is starting. Should be fun! Talked to Sadie and Anna - very sad, but Anna promised she would still love us, since we are all going to love her.

The initial gluttony of easter has passed, an...

April 17, 2006 by Seraph in Cortez

The initial gluttony of easter has passed, and I m hoping that Isa and Robbie will emerge from their chocolate and jelly bean induced comas soon.
What I'm really looking forward to is Russian Easter next weekend. As we went from rain to hail to sun several times yesterday, I decided that god was trying to tell us that the real easter fallows the old calendar!
Congrats Adam on the game contest win. Your name is quietly wispered among my fellow students.

Easter weekend has come and gone

April 17, 2006 by Adam in Family

Easter weekend has come and gone. It all seems a blur to my still-waking up brain this Monday morning. I did my normal routine with the kids Friday night through Saturday at lunch. Sam picked out books on World War II. In the afternoon we went off to Willard school for Sam's soccer game. It was fortunately dry just for that half hour, so Sam didn't get too muddy. Mom and Bob came down to watch as well.

Sunday was Easter and the kids had a great time finding eggs. Sam was especially sweet to Emma, giving her hints and showing her the ropes. After breakfast, they watched Emma's new Barbie™ Fairytopia™ Mermadia™ movie (no kidding on the trademark symbols). I painted the rest of the kids' room in a blue color to contrast with the pink that Emma picked out.

Towards the end of the day, we all got in grumpy moods. We took a nice walk through the wet streets and had a nice time, got the kids to bed, and unwound for bedtime.

This is us in the cafe

April 16, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

This is us in the cafe. Hooray!

Anna, Emily, Linda, and I just got back from ...

April 16, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Anna, Emily, Linda, and I just got back from the Boulangerie, a very nice cafe in Cole Valley where they live in San Francisco. We've had a great weekend, and the weather has been alternatingly sunny and pleasantly rainy. We're going to make a Russian Orthodox Easter dinner with kulich, pascha, beet-dyed easter eggs, and challah for our unobservant Passover observers, i.e. secular yeast-loving Jews. Anna and I decided that I am not going to move to San Francisco in August. We'll see where I will be. Despite the change in plans, the weekend has been worth the red eye flight this evening back to Williamstown. A wonderful Easter and Passover to all from me and Anna, who love you all!

P.S. This lovely picture is of Buddy, my new friend, the undead dog. He appears to have an "auto-immune disease," euphemism for "zombie". Fortunately, he doesn't appear to eat brain, although more than once a good scratching produced handfuls of decomposed dog chunks. He's owned by Anna's family, though they can't bear to touch him.


April 14, 2006 by Adam in Family

Mmm . . . mocha Friday. Sadly I'm still at home, mocha-free, though I should be hopping in the shower momentarily.

Sam continues to have a good time at his soccer practices. Strangely enough, I think this is the last of them as the first soccer game is this Saturday. Emma and I took him last night and the big excitement was that the boys had caught a frog. Sam also didn't get quite as muddy as last time. Upon arriving at home, Jamie stripped him down to his underpants and knee pads just to be sure.

This weekend should be pretty busy. It's already started for the kids, who have this Good Friday off. We've got soccer games, Easter, and hopefully a bit of bedroom painting going on. Busy, busy.

Work has been strangely fun these last few days. I've been making a movie of the webcam that shows our new hospital being built. Today I get to tweak it some more and it'll get shown in a loop at various monitors in the hospital. Ah, the things people do for PR.

Last night Emma wanted to play outside. Sam followed a few minutes later and wanted me to open up the door to my old car. Soon enough, the kids were playing inside, discovering all sorts of hidden treasures. It hasn't been driven in months, and I really should sell it, but I found myself considering all that would be needed to fix it up again. I might take it for a spin when I have my next work trip, though I worry about leaving it sitting at the airport for a long time. The battery doesn't really hold a charge any more.

Emma hit one of those big milestones yesterday

April 13, 2006 by Adam in Emma

Emma hit one of those big milestones yesterday. For the last week or so, she's been volunteering to go potty by herself, typically right before a bath. A few days ago, Jamie got her a little potty just for her and put it in our main floor bathroom.

Last night Emma announced she had to go to the bathroom. By the time I got to her, she'd already gone, put her pullups back on, and was busy emptying the little potty into the big one.

I can see that the days of changing diapers may soon be over.

Well, it looks like I have the best job in Am...

April 12, 2006 by Adam in Adam

Well, it looks like I have the best job in America. Software engineers make good money, get to work on cool projects, and are relatively stress-free. Duh.

I was given the chance to go write games for a living at Bioware and turned them down. That's sayin' something.

Awhile back I ran into a woman who was somewhat unkind to me in high school. We exchanged some polite, friendly words and later I remarked to Jamie later that her husband drove an ice cream truck. Revenge is sweet.

I'm going to continue my "cute girls poking a...

April 12, 2006 by Adam in Family

I'm going to continue my "cute girls poking at the mud" series today with this lovely picture of Emma at Sam's soccer practice. It truly felt like Spring soccer last night as it was raining and the field was muddy. Sam returned home completely covered in mud. Fortunately we had a blanket to wrap him in, otherwise we would have had to strip him naked and bathe in the nearby stream.

The week is chugging along. Now that my coworkers have returned, the pace of things seems frantic again. I'll be heading to work in a few minutes to dive into the fray once again.

I'm looking forward to Easter this weekend. I'm a fan of dieing eggs and getting creative with them. With the kids around, I don't even feel too silly doing it.

I'm going to see Anna this Thursday in San Fr...

April 11, 2006 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm going to see Anna this Thursday in San Francisco. We don't have anything special planned, but it should be a solid visit, and perhaps we'll dye some Easter eggs with her family and spend some time with lovely Luke.

Work is incredibly busy, but very satisfying. Seeing the end of my tenure creeping up has made me desperately nostalgic for the minutiae of happiness that holds this job together- waving to a half a dozen people on our little main street and getting to use college funds for the betterment of the community. Sigh. But I'm looking forward to a real job with a real salary and real benefits. I'd sell babies on the street for dental.

Meg, Oberlin College is a great school

April 11, 2006 by Betsy in Betsy

Meg, Oberlin College is a great school. Located near Cleveland which is an extremely culturally diverse city with the lake and lots of activity. I will make it a point to visit! It's only 2 hours from my house. Just like Barney, Al, Lil and Buzz used to visit me. The circle of life.
Sue, I think its wonderful that you quit. My Bob, quit three years ago and it was the greatest thing he ever did for me! Since Dad's death I have taken to telling every single person I see smoking to try to stop. I'll probably get punched sometime but what the hay, I stick to my convictions.
If I don't get a chance Best Wishes for a great Easter. I'm leaving for Normalville with a work crew on Thursday. Hugs to all, P.

Dear Sue, I'm delighted to hear that you hav...

April 11, 2006 by Meg in Lytton

Dear Sue,
I'm delighted to hear that you have not smoked for 2 months. I hope I don't jinx it or put pressure on you, but I am very happy for your accomplishment!

Mikayla seems to have decided on Oberlin, sight unseen. We went through the catalogues for McAllister, Carleton and Oberlin this weekend, comparing course-to-course, professor-to-professor, and she felt most excited by the offerings at Oberlin, which seems less traditional than Carleton. She had previosly decided against Smith and McGill. She was supposed to visit Oberlin this weekend but doesn't want to go,saying that visiting colleges makes her dislike them and that she is sure she'll be happy there.

Dick and I are pretty upset by this approach and are somewhere between depressed, isolated and furious.
I've decided that this is one kid who seems to have to learn from the school of hard knocks.

She reminds me of myself but I wish I had been smarter and listened better and tried to see the world and other people's lives from many different angles. That way I wouldn't feel as if it took me 'til age 35-45 to figure out what was going on in life! I think that being able to stop to see things from everyone's perspective and always looking for the answer that works for lots of people is a sign of intelligence. On that note, I caught the tail-end of The Fog of War movie, interviews with Robert McNamara, on TV yesterday. Fascinating, insightful, if sad in the inevitability of the result.

I hope, at the end of the day, I will have raised my kids well and be able to be proud of them. At the end, Dad was accepting of everyone-there seemed to be such forgiveness that last day. He gave me such a big, long wonderful hug before he died. Dick and I both miss him.

I have to stop posting these at night. I go on too much....

Life, love and happiness to all,

Hi, all

April 11, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, all. I'm contemplating stopping to get some really fancy ice cream on the way home, my reward for not smoking at all - not my usual two or three a day, but none, that's
(0) a day, for about two months. I was in Florida trying to get together all my props for smoking a cigarette - a Salem, which no one but me smokes anymore, a match, and a
peppermint or beer, and it was all just too darn complicated. I'm not sure I feel a lot better, but my doctor feels better, and Bob, who hates smoking, feels better so I'm going to try to hang in there.

I think Sam and Jake have resolved any differ...

April 10, 2006 by Adam in Sam

I think Sam and Jake have resolved any differences they might have. They had pizza together and were busy playing around when we went to soccer practice the other day.

Yesterday when we painted, Sam was very helpful. He carefully did the roller with minimal splashes and worked on the corners with the brush as well. I love being able to tell him "Go get the screwdriver and take off that faceplate." Magically, he'll scurry off and it gets taken care of.

The day is slowly coming to a close

April 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

The day is slowly coming to a close. I've parked the kids in front of a movie, as they're exhausted and I have a bunch of house chores to finish up. Jamie should be returning from Portland in an hour or so.

We had a pretty exciting day, starting with our usual hearty breakfast. In this case, it was pink heart-shaped pancakes especially for Emma. Aftwards I had everyone put on grungy clothes and we began painting the kids' room. They were both very excited and Sam was actually helpful. Emma tried really hard to be useful, though she eventually lost interest and I encouraged her to watch her Rudolph movie for the fourth time. Sam and I finished up about a quarter of the room and stopped to clean up.

Next was a walk around the block and a trip to Humble Bagel. We then swung by Amazon park where the kids got way too wet and muddy. There's a pond that has become the finale of their play time there. Soon enough I was transporting filthy children back home for a shower.

A quick lunch later, we went to the planetarium. Emma was scared of the dark initially, but eventually peeked out from my coat and exclaimed "It wasn't scary!" We then wandered about the Science Factory with a dozen other kids. That was our final excitement for the day and I figure we'll take it easy until bedtime.

The kids are asleep and I'm headed to bed myself

April 09, 2006 by Adam in Family

The kids are asleep and I'm headed to bed myself. It was a very full day, and I'm a bit tuckered.

We had a hearty breakfast and we sent Jamie on her way to Portland. The kids and I did our usual trip to the library, Humble Bagel, and worked our way to Hendrick's Park. Sam really didn't want to get out of the car, promising he'd have no fun. Within a minute he was laughing hysterically and we played a game of hide and seek like no other. Emma was in the backpack and kept giving our position away by giggling like a maniac every time Sam approached. After awhile it started to sprinkle and we headed home.

Sam really wanted to watch his James Bond movie, so he did that and Emma watched old cartoons while I did laundry, did the dishes, and generally got the house in order. We puttered around, playing outside, doing science experiments in the kitchen, and generally frittering away the afternoon. There was another round of baths, shows and bednight snacks, reading books, and getting everyone to bed. Emma was out in a couple minutes as she hadn't had a nap.

Depending on how tomorrow goes, we might go to the Planetarium. I'm learning to keep my plans flexible, as few things are certain while watching Sam and Emma.

Sam and I continue to play Oblivion from time...

April 09, 2006 by Adam in Adam's Games

Sam and I continue to play Oblivion from time to time. It's a beautiful looking game, plus the openness and huge world really give you a sense of immersion. I've gotten sidetracked from the main quest many times just wandering about or doing odd little quests.

Still, it's starting to feel like it's time to hunker down and finish the main quest. There's some tedious parts, though I've managed to make myself permanently invisible and simply walk past monsters. It makes certain things much easier.

Sam also has gotten into the game quite a bit. Since all the dialog is spoken, he can generally follow what's going on. I think he also likes being able to wander around and do just about anything he wants.

Adam: I suggest you get the kids playing Ris...

April 07, 2006 by Seraph in Cortez

Adam: I suggest you get the kids playing Risk, now that Emma can manage colonies.
I just returned from Isa's school, where she was star of the week and wanted to bring me in for her show and tell. It was fun to see all of her classmates, most of whom I haven't seen since her birthday in January. Scabbers, our pet/classroom rat, even made an appearance, much to the kids' delight.
Robbie and Isa are going back down to Eugene this weekend for the library book sale. It's the one day a year that I can guarantee Robbie will be up at 5:00 a.m.! I will be spending my weekend doing technical flats on the computer and putting together a portfolio for my product development internship interview!
Love to all.
(Mom, get in touch with me about Russian Easter)

It's Friday and my weekly cafe mocha is settl...

April 07, 2006 by Adam in Family

It's Friday and my weekly cafe mocha is settling in my belly. Yesterday was a beautiful spring morning and the kids were busy playing with ants by the time I returned from work. It was pretty funny to hear Emma tell Sam "stay away from my colony!"

I took Sam to soccer practice while a no-nap Emma stayed home with Jamie. Sam did pretty well, scoring the single goal during free-play. He was pretty proud about it, though he was quick to say that he did it in combination with an excellent pass from another kid.

I'm actually getting a little excited to push Jamie out the door and have the kids to myself for much of the weekend. My tentative plan involves trips to the planetarium, nature walks, and the always popular pizza and movie. We'll see how much we actually end up doing. I suspect the kids will be too tired and cranky for everything.

Oh, I totally forgot to tell Adam and Jamie -...

April 06, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

Oh, I totally forgot to tell Adam and Jamie - While I was watching Sam and Emma yesterday afternoon, we took Emma's beautiful new pink bed, stripped off the sheets, and incorporated it into an elaborate game in which I was King Kong and Sam was a pilot shooting me off the Empire State Building. Sensing the imminent return of Adam and Jamie, I told the kids we needed to clean up. "Yep", said Sam calmly,
"Let's clean up and get the hell out of here." I was so astounded I failed to scold him, just asking rather weakly
whether that were a line from a movie. I guess Sam's headed down the road to Perdition without his old grandma ever lifting a hand in restraint.

On a trivial note, after the sinus infection ...

April 06, 2006 by Sue in Wielesek

On a trivial note, after the sinus infection and the same flu bug that ran amok through the family, I am feeling much better. The doc changed my asthma/bronchial meds to a one a day inhaler, which has been wonderful. I'm no longer coughing up small furry guina pigs and hamsters, though there's an occasional field mouse in those messy little offerings from my beleagured lungs. Thanks to Adam for overhauling Arik's laptop and to all of you who love me and fuss over me.

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