Happy New Year everyone! It's already 2008 fo...

December 31, 2007 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Happy New Year everyone! It's already 2008 for Lohring who is now in Australia! I'm off to Honolulu on January 3rd...but before I leave I'll do my end of the year cleaning and organizing. It's not to late to start so get going! Throw out that stuff you don't need and send it to the thrift shops, etc. I even washed out the refrigerator! Compulsive huh...
So here's to a very happy and healthy 2008 for all and thin thighs!

Happy last day of 2007! I smiled and thought...

December 31, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy last day of 2007! I smiled and thought of Yayoe as Robbie ran around cleaning house yesterday. We'll be spending the evening with some friends who have kids at Isa's school. I don't work on Tuesday, so we're thinking about an outing of some sort in the morning and movies and pj's in the afternoon.
We wish everyone peace & happiness for 2008!

The weekend is coming to a close, here in thi...

December 31, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend is coming to a close, here in this very quiet house. Jamie took the kids to the beach house. She wanted to check up on things at Judy's request, as well as get out of the house while she's watching the kids. I'll ring in the New Year's alone, which I don't mind terribly. It's been awhile since I've chatted up a cute girl in hopes of getting a midnight kiss, especially as Jamie goes to bed early.

I was under the weather on Friday with the cold that's been going around, finally feeling better tonight. Sam and I went for a long bike ride down the Amazon trail and through the city streets. He was nervous at first, but had a great time after he got into the swing of things.

Today Jamie and I went to the U of O Art Museum while Sierra watched the kids. It was great to get out with Jamie and do grown up things together. It's such a rarity these days, yet so important.

Tomorrow it's off to work, hopefully for a quiet, low-key day. I might take Tuesday off, if only to get paid for being on call during the day.

The end of a year which brought both wonderfu...

December 30, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

The end of a year which brought both wonderful times, and for Bob, some life changing experiences. I'm thinking that he will probably need to move to my house in the next few months. He believes that he can take care of things just fine and dandy, but he can just about manage a day's immediate tasks. He dreads giving up his house; he told me that it feels like a defeat not to keep a home for his kids. So I'm thinking that this move may be difficult for him; lots of family antiques to put into storage, tons of books, blue prints, etc. from his various projects - mostly non-profit housing projects.
Bob and I took Sam to see River Horse on Friday morning, then to lunch, and I took Dez and Jordan to dinner and Alvin and the Chipmunks on Friday evening. It actually was fun!

We also visited a town trapped in a Victorian...

December 30, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

We also visited a town trapped in a Victorian time warp. I'm now off to Australia to river raft and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef.

On the way to Mt Cook we visited a beach wher...

December 30, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

On the way to Mt Cook we visited a beach where some giants played billiards in the distant past.

I took a helicopter ride at Mt Cook

December 30, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

I took a helicopter ride at Mt Cook.

Milford Sound waterfalls in a 70 knot wind

December 30, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

Milford Sound waterfalls in a 70 knot wind. The spray actually covered the cruse ship, but I snapped the picture a little soon. The tour guide said this was the real Milford Sound, not the one in the tourist pictures. Needless to say, the wild life all stayed home.

Another jumper just after immersing her head ...

December 30, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

Another jumper just after immersing her head in the river.

It's well into my Mocha Friday

December 28, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's well into my Mocha Friday. I've managed to obtain four separate Starbucks gift cards, totalling around $50 worth of coffee. I'm half tempted to slap them down on the counter and tell them to line up shots of espresso, downining them one after the other, cowboy-style. Or maybe not.

Jamie and Emma are sick today. I was really wanting to take the kids swimming after many weeks, but that may just not happen. I'd also like to go bike riding with Sam this weekend. We'll see how it goes.

Josh is with me at work today, learning about being a computer programmer. I don't think I've dissuaded him yet, even after answering various e-mails and supplying running commentary about particular vendors. The fun never stops around here.

A brave Japanise tourist

December 28, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

A brave Japanise tourist.

Nothing like a little Chrismas vacation bungy...

December 28, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

Nothing like a little Chrismas vacation bungy jumping.

We had a great Christmas, visiting with every...

December 28, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

We had a great Christmas, visiting with everyone and evjoying family time. Soon we'll be off to another new year!
We did not get burried with the snow that passed the area. It always amazes me how the news reporters can find the 3 streets with the worst weather, and report from there. Our house had nothing but the usual Portland rain (and rain, and more rain). Isa was sad about this though. Even at work people were anxiously looking out windows hoping for some white flakes (though I think they wanted an excuse to leave early).

What a nice Christmas! This was a busy month,...

December 28, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

What a nice Christmas! This was a busy month, with lots of
hard work by Servando, painting the interior of the house,
resulting in a place which would make Martha Stewart green
(a tasteful sage, I'm sure) with envy. I still have to have a new floor in the kitchen and get the new dishwasher in, and have the painting in the upstairs bed room finished.
But for now, I'm content.
I took Jenny to the doctor yesterday, who told her she had the flu. When I saw her today, she still felt miserable, but at least a little less miserable. We certainly all have passed this flu bug around.

Christmas at my mom's house was very nice

December 27, 2007 by Adam in Family

Christmas at my mom's house was very nice. At the end of the engagement, Jenny, Darin, and Robbie were sleeping in the living room among the piles of presents and wrapping paper. It was a typical event at my mother's, with food and conversation non-stop. I had a good time catching up with Seraph in the kitchen and hogging the phone with Sadie. Poor Jenny was sick, so our holiday conversation was reduced to a series of groans.

We briefly returned home before going over to Yayoe's for dinner. There was way too much great food, which was fortunate as we took some home. Yesterday for lunch Emma was eating the rice and tofu wraps with chopsticks at the table.

Yesterday involved us hanging out with our smaller family. While we love all you extended family folks, it's admittedly nice to just have some quiet time at the house. Jamie went briefly to work, and I did a library trip, but otherwise we played with the horde of presents and took it easy.

I got the "Forbidden Lego" book at the library, so Sam and I had to build one of the plans in there. It took way too long and we had to seriously improvise a few pieces, but at the end of the day, it actually worked pretty well. Since we didn't have the multiple Lego motors for the full-auto rubber band shooter, we went with the paper airplane launcher. The trigger is still a bit tricky, but you can wind up the rubber band and launch your plane, usually without putting out an eye. Pretty cool.

Emma and I drew on her aqua doodle a bunch, and she carried around the diary Jenny got her all day long. Since she's been practicing her letters at school, she wants to write whenever she's home too.

At the end of the day, Sam and I took the bike to the park where he proceeded to get way too muddy and practice the new style of brakes. I think the new bike is a hit and we'll try to do a longer trip next weekend.

As for today, I'm back at work, but strangely working at home. I figure I'll take a shower, as Josh is coming to mentor with me as part of his school homework. It seems he wants to go to the U of O and study computer science, and it's up to me to give one last ditch effort to dissuade him. Maybe I can spend the day checking e-mail and playing solitaire.

We were carried off to dinner on a steamship ...

December 25, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

We were carried off to dinner on a steamship to a magical old place at the end of the lake. On the way we were served my a very unlikely Santa's helper. It was great. Today I'm off to tour Queenston.

Last night I had Christmas dinner with a grea...

December 25, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

Last night I had Christmas dinner with a great group. The couple on the right was from London visiting their friends on the left, who had just moved to New Zealand with their two daughters. The oldest daughter was home cooking turkey for her boyfriend, but the youngest was traveling with her parents.

Merry Christmas, all! We had a great time in...

December 25, 2007 by Adam in Family

Merry Christmas, all! We had a great time in Portland, very low-key. Yesterday Sam and I watched a couple movies while Judy entertained Emma and Jamie went to her dad's house.

This morning the kid's opened Ray's presents that Jamie had picked up while visiting her dad. I made breakfast, pancakes for the kids and blueberries loosely stuck together with pancake batter for myself. Afterwards the kids proceeded to play some elaborate game in the basement, giving Jamie and I a rare chance to chat over coffee. It was quite nice.

Here's Santa back from delivering all the pac...

December 25, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

Here's Santa back from delivering all the packages where Christmas was today. We helped him load up your packages for tomorrow. I'm off to Christmas dinner now. I miss you all. Merry Christmas!

Dad! Please acquire the best of the Exponents...

December 24, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Dad! Please acquire the best of the Exponents album while you're in New Zealand, titled "Sex and Agriculture." I think it will be a great addition to your collection.

Happy Christmas Eve to all! I miss you all terribly, and as promised, am wearing hair shirts and self-flagellating on the hour. Greg's family have seamlessly integrated me into their festivities, i.e. sleeping in and chipping ice off of the roof. Good times in Worcester.

I started the official tour with a train ride...

December 24, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

I started the official tour with a train ride over the mountains and a trip down the west coast. Unlike Christchurch, it rained and blew. However it all quit when we got to Franz Joseph glacier. This is one of the viaducts (New Zealand word).

Happy Christmas Eve

December 23, 2007 by Adam in Family

Happy Christmas Eve.

We're in Portland, being lazy. Emma's entertaining everyone with questions like "Have you been anywhere, like Africa?" There's a Christmas party later today, which we're leisurely moving towards.

Sam and I started a game of Risk, which he was pretty excited about. Jamie and I went out to a sushi place for dinner. We rented movies, which should fortify us against the dreary weather.

Christchurch is an incredably beautiful city

December 23, 2007 by Adam in Lohring

Christchurch is an incredably beautiful city. I spent the day on a trolley (they say tram) like this, stopping to walk through Victoria Square (looking toward my hotel), the Botanic Guardans, the Canterbury Museum, and a Sunday arts and crafts market.

Since it's still Saturday in Eugene, you can think of it as a Saturday market. I had a wonderful talk with the owner of a map shop about life in New Zealand. It seems they aren't quite as insolated from the problems of the 21st century as I thought. However, how many problems can you have in a country with only 1 million more people than Oregon. He said that if the sheep revolt they might have a real problem. I'm getting rejuvinated with a cafe moca from Starbucks. More when the tour starts tomorrow.

It's Mocha Friday, made even tastier by the f...

December 21, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, made even tastier by the fact that it was free. I got some card from the CEO with a Starbucks gift certificate for working on some project months ago. I've also decided that "happy" and "sad" are merely illusions, with the reality being a measure of how much caffiene is in my system. Needless to say, I'm feeling fairly perky at the moment. It's been a busy week, with lots of events happening every night. I've been a bit frazzled, expressing my frustration that Jamie and I seem to be meeting at the front door as she's going off to one place or another. Hopefully things will settle down fairly soon. The kids both did their music programs. Sam's was at school, which I missed but Jamie recorded. Emma's was in the evening, which we all went to. I was especially proud of Emma, who was nervous but went up anyway. Afterwards she had a minor meltdown, mostly because it was getting really late. I had the kids to myself last night, and they were both pretty good. We played in the basement, doing several rounds of Simon Says before moving on to I Spy. Sam played Super Mario Galaxy, his emotions going from excitement to dispair depending on the challenge level. Emma and I did projects, gluing, cutting, and making things out of pipe cleaners. Eventually Jamie got home and we all opened Dorothy's presents that had arrived that day. My favorite part of the evening was giving Emma a bath and having Sam come and show off his magic tricks. He kept getting frustrated because it didn't work well, but I kept him laughing with my silly audience antics. I gave him some useful suggestions, such as covering up a mistake by pointing away and saying "Look over there, away from my groin!" Such things are high humor among the 3rd grade crowd.

Just a brief note for this holiday season

December 20, 2007 by Lohring in Lohring

Just a brief note for this holiday season. This is the first time I have been away for the holidays, and I will miss all of you. Be good and show me how to post pictures so I can send you some of my travels. Who knows, I may actually find the flying spaghetti monster living on the Great Barrier Reef.

I have, for the first time in recollection, g...

December 18, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I have, for the first time in recollection, gone out without a good winter jacket on and caught a cold. Staying at home alone, feverish and incoherent, seemed like a lonely prospect the week before Christmas, so I drove up to Greg's house, where they are treating me very well. I always come here and feel like I'm eight, sleeping in a single bed in a wood panelled room (very much like mom's basement) with New England Patriot flags on the wall and a veritable library of Dr. Suess books. Well, not my childhood room, but Fred Savage's room from The Princess Bride. Hopefully this likeness (along with mainling tea and chicken noodle soup) will hasten my recovery. Send chocolate.

I got Sam Super Mario Galaxy for Christmas (w...

December 18, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I got Sam Super Mario Galaxy for Christmas (which we opened early). He's played it for a few days now and it is, indeed, an awesome game. There's these tiny planets that remind me of the one in The Little Prince book. Mario runs around these little things, doing all manner of crazy activities. Each little planetoid is novel and interesting, a constant exploration of a strange cartoon universe.

The best part for me is that there's a "helper co-op" feature. I can point the second wimote and the screen and do things like freeze enemies, pick up gems, shoot gems at foes, and help Sam jump higher than normal. As a parent, it's a brilliant addition, as there are occasionally spots in the game that would otherwise be pretty hard for Sam to get through.

I also picked up Call of Duty 4, though I've only played for a half an hour or so. The production values are excellent, though so far the game is fairly traditional. I suspect it'll be a fun if typical shooter.

I also downloaded Frets on Fire, an open source Guitar Hero clone. It was surprisingly fun, leading to lots of exclaimations of "Rock and Roll!" in the downstairs play room. It's pretty hard for Sam, though, mostly because he can't really hold the keyboard like a guitar. Finally he switched to using the keyboard normally and the game stopped telling him he played like a little girl.

What a weekend

December 17, 2007 by Adam in Family

What a weekend. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Saturday I went to the library and ran errands, took Sam bowling at a friend's birthday party, and in the evening we did our Christmas cocktail party. It ended up being quite fun, with a lot of laughing adults playing Trivial Pursuit. What was amazing is that our neighbors Todd and Victoria knew the diameter of the Alaska pipeline as they were recently discussing it at breakfast.

This morning Jamie went to work and I took the kids out to pick out a Christmas tree. Emma chose one and Sam cut it down with a saw. Then we waited for Jamie to return so we could decorate. I was fairly grumpy, probably because I wasn't feeling very well. I actually took a nap this afternoon, which is pretty unusual.

I did feel more reasonable after my nap and everyone begged to open presents early. Jamie's justification was that we were going to Portland next weekend, but I think she's just impatient.

Sam got a new bike, Emma got a ton of Littlest Petshop goodies, and Jamie got cashmere. Emma seemed to enjoy her mp3 player quite a bit, and Sam and I played games with the big exercise ball in the basement. There were also a couple Wii games in the mix that Sam and I played together for a bit.

Now we have a school and work day ahead. Back to the grindstone.

Emma's been a little sick the last few days, ...

December 15, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma's been a little sick the last few days, cranky and coughy. Worst of all, she has these funny red spots on her face. Of course, at the moment she seems like a perfectly normal little girl. She and Sam are battling it out with inflatable animals in the play room.

Her ability to spell and recognize letters continues. Today she asked me how to spell "style", which she was writing in her Littlest Pet Shop diary. She's also inherited her mother's creativity. We got some Christmas cards in the mail. She removed the stamps, taped them to paper, cut them out, and attached strings to hold each of them. Funny girl.

Sam got glasses

December 15, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam got glasses. He's been going around making statements like "You look totally different with my glasses on." and "I can see individually blades of grass!" He's still getting used to them and only wears them on occasion. I think he's excited to show them off at school on Monday. Already he's planning on telling his teacher he can sit anywhere, not just at the front of the class.

He's supposed to wear them "when he needs it" according to his eye doctor. He does fine with up close reading and the like and really only has an issue when he has to see far away. I suspect things like movies and hiking will be far cooler now that he can see the screen and scenery.

I was hoping Sam would get Jamie's eyesight, but at least he looks pretty good in glasses. Emma thinks he looks like a scientist, which Sam thinks is pretty cool.

It's Mocha Friday and it should hopefully be ...

December 14, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday and it should hopefully be a relatively calm day at work after a week of general nuttiness. I have some server administration and interfaces waiting for me. A little research, a little button clicking, and I'll be earning my keep.

The last of the Christmas presents have arrived, I think. I have some wrapping to do yet. I've spoiled both the kids at this point. We had several long debates about when to have our family Christmas and I think it'll be the Saturday morning before we go to Portland. Mostly I'm looking forward to the kid's faces, not to mention playing with their toys.

Sam was supposed to get his glasses yesterday, so hopefully they'll arrive today. He's been pretty excited about getting them.

Last night Jamie and I had a brief date while the kids were at Dave's house. We played cards at the kitchen table and gabbed. Afterwards we practiced swearing to make sure we remembered how to do it.

In terms of the weekend, Sam has a bowling birthday party tomorrow. There's the cocktail party tomorrow night. Hopefully we can go swimming with the kids sometime too. Life's busy, but fun, as usual.

Hi There, Just a quick FYI

December 14, 2007 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Hi There,
Just a quick FYI..Lohring is back in town but leaving next Thursday, December 20 for New Zealand. He's looking forward to the Australia boat races and is taking a ton of stuff with him. If you want to reach him while he's away please EMAIL him at lohring@pacinfo.com. He's bringing his laptop and promises to communicate with us on a regular basis. If he forgets I plan to sell his remaining boats on EBAY or Craig's List!
I'll see you on on the 25th about 5 PM..I'm counting on bigger and wilder WHITE ELEPHANT GIFTs this year. Frosty the Snowman will be joining us! He's in hiding in our freezer until it's safe to come out.

We had our first snow accumulation yesterday,...

December 14, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

We had our first snow accumulation yesterday, leaving Providence paralyzed. Inclement weather brings out the dominant flavors of a city, and I'm afraid that this city has just exposed itself as unprepared, complaining, and entirely uncivilized in their treatment of the public streets and sidewalks.

Just a quick note to say I'm back in town

December 13, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Just a quick note to say I'm back in town. Still a little tired, but mostly back to the normal routines.

Anna is visiting from San Fransisco for New Years

December 12, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Anna is visiting from San Fransisco for New Years. Mom is also sending me the remnants of Sadie's old patchwork quilt to renovate, so I'll have lots of quality time quilting in front of a fire over Christmas. The season is quickly thundering along!

My work schedule today is as such:
Volunteer with staff at food bank, 9-12
Goodbye lunch party for work study, 12-1
VISTA gift exchange, 3-4:30
Campus Compact holiday party at RISD, 4:30-6
And then a fancy holiday party at my roommate's work from 6-8.
Whew! So much socializing is delightfully diverting, but so exhausting. I've eaten an extra hand full of almonds to keep my fires burning.

The weekend has come and gone and we're alrea...

December 11, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come and gone and we're already well into the week. Not much happened over the weekend. The kids were feeling tired and maybe a little sick, so we didn't go swimming. We rode bikes on Saturday, with Sam going all the way around the park several times. Emma mostly stayed in the tennis courts until it got too cold and she wanted to go home. Jamie went to decorate Christmas trees with Pat and his wife.

Sunday it seemed we all lazed about. I didn't shave or leave the house once. Emma had a friend over for a play date. Sam and I worked on his grand Lego city. I got the kids a Lego advent calendar, which has become this exciting thing for them each morning. I think it has inspired Sam, and even Emma gets into the action on occasion.

We have Fencing tonight. Sam theoretically gets his new glasses in a day or two. We're hosting a Christmas party for assorted friends this Saturday. Fun, fun.

Side note to Adam - I keep forgetting to post...

December 08, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Side note to Adam - I keep forgetting to post that I have met 2 fans of your games in the last few weeks.
At the day-after Thanksgiving sale I was working with a woman who is a huge fan of your work. She had to call her husband on her cell phone, just to tell him that she met Adam Miller's sister, and that Adam lived in Eugene!
The other fan I met was on the airplane from Portland to Vancouver, BC. He was from eastern Canada, and had started a franchise of computer gaming centers. He was more technical in his praise, and was very impressed the quality of your games.
Anyway, there's a little afternoon ego boost for you : )

This is a view out of the offices window

December 07, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

This is a view out of the offices window. On the left is the worlds largest farris wheel, set to open next spring. Those are just a few of the cargo ships that fill the harbor around Singapore.
I miss you all, and can't wait to get home and see everyone!

It's Mocha Friday and I just downed the last ...

December 07, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday and I just downed the last of the delicious elixir moments ago. I think we have a fairly low-key weekend ahead of us. Hopefully I can get the last of my Christmas preparations done, or at least take a big bite out of them.

It's been a pretty uneventful week. Tuesday was Sam's first day of fencing lessons. He was so excited that he made himself a foil out of plastic arrow shafts, duct tape, and part of a plastic pirate hook hand. What's amazing is that it makes a great practice foil, light and generally the right size. I'm somewhat excited about doing some fencing myself, so we were practicing our footwork and stances in the basement. Days later, we were still sore.

Emma's been singing this funny song that mixes Hanukkah and the 12 days of Christmas. She's also been pretty tired this week, probably due to long days at school. She gets pretty tuckered out at the end of the day.

Jamie seems in good spirits, now that everyone's on the mend and the kids are back in school. She's been fixing us great dinners and planning a cocktail party for friends.

As for tonight, I'd like to get back into the swimming routine and visit the library tomorrow. We might take a short Bend trip over the holidays. I'd also like to take time off to hang out with the family. Fun, fun.

This is at the Raffles Hotel (not where I'm s...

December 07, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

This is at the Raffles Hotel (not where I'm staying). Hemmingway wrote here, and it still smells of old colonial money. Quite lovely.

Seraph, your travels look remarkable! Nothing...

December 06, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Seraph, your travels look remarkable! Nothing to report from Providence, although I woke up early to make macaroni and cheese from scratch for the office holiday party. With long workshops, holiday parties and graduate school paperwork filling up the week, things have been a bit frantic. I'm hoping to relax this weekend, go to a show at my favorite hipster arts organization, and have a big Boston dinner with Greg's extended family. While they will never be able to replace you, I have decided to stay here for Christmas. Instead, I'm replacing you with a stack of movies!

Sam had his first fencing class last night

December 05, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam had his first fencing class last night. We weren't able to go to the Eugene Fencer's Club, as the hours were too late, but instead attended the Northwest Academy of Arms. The class was a mix of 8-12 year-olds, with a couple girls and left-handers thrown into the mix.

Like any new thing, it took awhile for Sam to get the hang of it all, but towards the end of the class they had the kids advancing and retreating, lunging, and doing a bit of parrying. Sam needs lots of practice, of course, but he has a good stance and picked things up pretty well. The instructor was very patient with everyone.

Watching all that fencing made me really want to fence again. When we got home, I kept wanting to show him various moves, though Emma made a fairly heavy foil for demonstration purposes. I'd also like to add that Emma was great during the class, quietly drawing and making friends with the other waiting parents.

Hi all, I'm here is Singapore

December 05, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Hi all, I'm here is Singapore. This is a playhouse size gingerbread house in the hotel lobby. Yes, it's real gingerbread and candy! We're also having tons of rain here, except that it's also very warm. I miss you all!

I figured out how to turn on my whirlpool tub...

December 05, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

I figured out how to turn on my whirlpool tub, and it's pretty nifty. Unfortunately, I didn't know how to turn it off. Those things are tricky.

College Hill is recovering from yesterday's w...

December 04, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

College Hill is recovering from yesterday's windstorm. I came home from dinner at Mazzi's with Bob to find the street in front of the house completely blocked by one of the downed limbs from Stan and Linda's big old maple. Seraph, I took a piece of your Amish Friendship bread out to each of a crew of cold wet EWEB guys scurrying around trying to get it cleared up. Lots more downed trees and limbs in the neighborhood. My trees are unscathed, but my Weber BarBQ blew off to some other part of the neighborhood, and hasn't returned. I have an awful cold. I'm going in to see Scott tomorrow.

We had a great weekend, busy but satisfying

December 03, 2007 by Adam in Family

We had a great weekend, busy but satisfying. Friday night Jamie and I went out on the town, checking out a new, hip restaraunt while Dave and company entertained the kids. On Saturday Sam and I rode bikes along the river path while Emma went to a birthday party. Saturday night we went to Barbara and Zoltan's house, who plied us with amazing food and our kids played together.

Sunday was relatively quiet. I watched the kids while Jamie went hottubbing with Angie. We played all sorts of games and started to decorate the house with Christmas goodies. The afternoon was mostly lazy quiet time, as no one wanted to venture out into the extremely soggy storm outside.

Danica sent along her pictures from Thanksgiving. They made me hungry and miss everyone.

Sam and I had some alone time this weekend wh...

December 02, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam and I had some alone time this weekend while the girls were off at a birthday party. He wanted to ride bikes, despite the wet and cold weather. We packed them up in the back of the car and headed down to the river path.

We wrapped ourselves up in layers, to the point where we could barely hear each other due to the layers of hoods and helmets. After a little fiddling around, we were soon pedaling away.

Sam had quite a bit of stamina and I think we spent a total of an hour and a half riding. We went past the foot bridge to Valley River, turned around and went to the bridge by the U of O, and finally came back home. He's now very excited to do it again and I have to start thinking of new places to explore.

Happy Birthday Robbie!!!! I hope you and Isa...

December 01, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Birthday Robbie!!!! I hope you and Isa had a good day, and maybe even got to do something nice.
My trip was long, and I'm noticing that I'm getting more snobby about airline business class amenities (What do you mean we don't have on-demand movies!). We got to our hotel around 8:30pm, grabbed a quick bite of Mexican food (!?) and went to bed. I was up at 4:30 this morning, so I came down to the lobby (see pic) to pick up the free wireless connection.
We have appointments most of today, but if we get done early I may get to do a little shopping (tell Isa to cross her fingers).
I wanted to call last night when we got in, but (though it was on the check list) I forgot my calling card : ( Will you e-mail me the international calling card info for the card we have at home? I'd love to be able to chat with you both briefly.
I love you, love you, love you! When in doubt, use the family site to say "hi".

Mocha Friday

November 30, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I'm not quite there yet, though its lure will be getting me into the shower momentarily.

It's been a rough week, with lots of illness and running about. Yesterday I went to work and then got a call from Jamie letting me know it was my turn to watch a sick Emma for the day. I tried to keep an eye on her as well as do work remotely, which is always a bit stressful.

Emma and I headed out to 5th Street to fritter the time away. I had a mocha and Emma had steamed milk with vanilla. She drew, I read. Eventually we did a little Christmas shopping until I realized she wasn't really up for it. For the rest of the day we stayed at home, other than a brief trip to the park when the rains momentarily broke. By the time Jamie returned from the gym and showered by six that night, I was pretty wiped out.

We have some interesting things happening this weekend. Emma has a birthday tomorrow and Sam and I plan on riding our bikes by the river. We also have a dinner at Barbara and Zoltan's house, which is always entertaining. I have more Christmas project work to do, though I'm feeling pretty good about my overall progress. Most of the gifts have been purchased and now I'm working on my typical presents for everyone. Busy, busy.

I had so much fun having Isa come visit, and ...

November 29, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

I had so much fun having Isa come visit, and going with her to Jordan's school, Brushfire, having play dates with Emma, Sam and Jordan, and a nice birthday dinner for Sam at Bob's with all the kids on Wednesday night. Thanksgiving was fun this year, and I appreciate Adam's posting a picture of the dinner table. No matter how vain I am about my matching china, etc., you'll notice there's always a carton of milk sitting on the table.
I'm kind of struggling with the analysis stuff, going through difficult times in the past. Nonetheless, I strongly recommend the experience if you can afford it. I feel more and more able to withstand the buffeting of events the future always at some times brings. I am working hard on not being self-denigrating. Would you please stop me and remind me that next time I make fun of myself. Thanks, and one of the best things in my life is the love of my family. As the ad says, "Priceless".

My kids are awesome

November 29, 2007 by Adam in Family

My kids are awesome.

At the moment, they're playing some elaborate game with ever-changing rules. Just a moment ago, Sam ran by with Emma on his back. He was making screeching noises and Emma was zapping imaginary creatures with a blaster. They've been going at it for an hour.

I feel greatly improved from last night, when I not only was knocking on heaven's door, but ringing the doorbell and peeking through the mail slot. Yet again I was reminded just how bad throwing up sucks, along with the inability to swallow pain pills. Fortunately I got to blissful unconsciousness around seven o'clock and woke up at three the next morning feeling almost normal. I made it to work, a bit late, and felt greatly elated from the lack of blinding pain.

Other than that little speed bump, life is going fairly well. Thanks to Amazon, I think nearly all of my Christmas shopping is done. Seraph and Robbie hopefully got their birthday gift certificates (let me know if this one didn't go through). I didn't completely spoil the children, but I got pretty close. Fun, fun.

Quick little hello to everyone! We survived ...

November 28, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Quick little hello to everyone! We survived another Thanksgiving, and enjoyed a quiet weekend doing our usual routines.
I have yet to pack anything for my trip (leaving Friday morning), but I did pick up the miniature toiletries, which is really my favorite part of traveling.
Robbie and Isa will be pretty busy while I'm gone, and I think the time will fly by. But, if any of you want to call and make sure they've eaten more then cereal and grilled cheese sandwiches, it would be greatly appreciated!

I was deathly ill last night, with massive he...

November 28, 2007 by Adam in Adam

I was deathly ill last night, with massive headaches and throwing up. Fortunately I was much improved this morning, to the point where I made it to work, though admittedly a little late.

I might have gotten Sam's stomach bug that made him stop eating last night, though I have a decent appetite this morning. It could also have been Jamie's soup and food poisoning. So tasty and so deadly, just like Jamie.

The four-day weekend extravaganza is finally ...

November 26, 2007 by Adam in Family

The four-day weekend extravaganza is finally coming to a close. It's hard to know where exactly to begin, as so much happened. Probably the most happy news is that I finally feel better, as do Jamie and Sam. After not eating for most of a week, he cheerfully munched down pizza and applesauce as normal. Sadly it looks like Emma might be getting the sniffles. Poor girl.

On Thanksgiving I went over to my mom's house in the afternoon, leaving the kids with Jamie and her family. I loved chatting with my sisters in the kitchen, though Sadie's absence was sadly noticed. There was lots of food and conversation, which I think is my version of Heaven.

Friday was Thanksgiving with Jamie's side of the family. It began with a big red N stuck in our window, and the kids dressing up in Nebraska outfits. Of course, we won't actually mention the football game itself, but the result wasn't for lack of spirit from our family members. Food followed, along with more presents for Sam. The evening wrapped up with some non-stop Transformers, along with some dirty glances from Jamie as we edged near the kids' bedtime.

Saturday was our relaxation day. Since no one was feeling good, there was a lot of movie watching. The only exercise we got was playing boxing on the Wii. Today I've got "Wii back" from frantically punching.

Today was the party, and the preparation for it. I raked leaves while Emma dug for worms and Jamie went to the store. We did a lot of playing in the basement. The party itself was a big success, renting out a swimming pool and splashing away the afternoon.

Now we're all tuckered out and getting ready for return to our normal routine tomorrow.

We just got back from Sam's birthday party, e...

November 26, 2007 by Adam in Sam

We just got back from Sam's birthday party, even though he technically turns nine tomorrow. Like most birthdays, it's been a long affair, with his first present arriving early this month, another batch Wednesday, and more scattered over the weekend. The present that got the biggest reaction seems to have been the Nerf rocket launcher, and Emma seems enamored of the Nerf bow and arrow ("I finally know how to do this!" she just told me).

Jamie planned a pool party, which turned out nicely. Endless kids gathered in the Tamarack pool that we typically go to. Getting in the warm water was a wonderful comparison to the cold weather outside. Earlier today the kids were playing with blocks of ice in the backyard.

Now that he's nine, he's old enough for my old fencing club. We might check it out this week.

It's Mocha Wednesday for me, and a busy one a...

November 21, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Wednesday for me, and a busy one at that. Sam's home sick today and I'm at work, but coughing away. As a measure of recovery, I managed to sleep through the night and only woke up for a few minutes with my coughing.

The Thanksgiving festivities start tomorrow. I think I'm making bread both days. It would be also nice to take it easy for awhile, though we'll see how much R&R I can manage on this holiday and birthday weekend.

Everyone's still sick

November 20, 2007 by Adam in Family

Everyone's still sick. I've been waking up coughing the last few nights. All Sam ate yesterday was a milkshake and other fluids. Jamie's sniffling about and generally tired. Only Emma seems her usual self.

Last night the kids and I made pirate swords, pistols, and a hat with a skull and crossbones on it. Hearing Emma say "Yaar, matey" is quite inspirational.

I finished up Gears of War the other day

November 20, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I finished up Gears of War the other day. It seemed like a really fast play-through, but perhaps that was because I was sick and had a lot of time on my hands. It was the perfect level of game for me, lots of shooting and a pretty straightfoward plot.

I'm not sure the game was "Game of the Year" quality, but it was fairly fun. There were a few times when things were somewhat repetitive, though never to the point of putting the game away. The end was clearly set up for a sequel and the story itself wasn't particularly gripping. (SPOILER AHEAD) I could sum it up as "Figure out where to deliver bomb and then get it there.", though of course the interesting part is in the details.

I drove Isa down to Eugene yesterday

November 19, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

I drove Isa down to Eugene yesterday. It sounds like she'll get to see everyone for play dates this week. When I left she was happily creating a cardboard fort in the living room.
Robbie & I are planning on driving down on Wednesday night. It will be nice to see everyone again!
Isa has a chior concert at the Oregon Zoo (zoolights) on December 6th. I'll be out of town, but I know she would be thrilled if any of the family was able to make it. If you can, check in with Robbie about the details.
I leave for my trip to Asia on 11/30, and get back on 12/10. Work has been a little nutty as we get prepared for the trip, and head off the usual daily disasters.

I'm hoping that everyone is on the mend this ...

November 18, 2007 by Adam in Family

I'm hoping that everyone is on the mend this morning. Both kids got very little sleep Friday night, and so both were very tired yesterday. Emma was wacky, crying at everything, and eventually took a long nap. Sam was quiet and watched a couple movies. I dosed them with Advil and got them to bed early. Now they seem in pretty good shape.

Jamie went off to a chocolate tasting party at Sharon's house, and then later to pizza at Pat's. I'm still sick, so it was almost fortunate the kids were too. They mostly wanted to sit around and watch shows. We did have a fun half hour before bedtime, taking turns shooting Nerf darts into ceilings, windows, and whatever.

I'm trying to arrange for a breakfast outing. The thought of good coffee and tasty pancakes is greatly appealing.

Sam went to John's birthday party Friday nigh...

November 18, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam went to John's birthday party Friday night and only got a few hours of sleep. Evidently his friend Zach decided that repeatedly rolling over everyone in his sleeping bag was a keen idea.

The next day he was very tired and seemed to be coming down with the sickness that we've all gotten. He couldn't nap, but ended up going to bed early and sleeping for twelve hours. I think he's much improved now.

Dorothy's special award!!!! I'm pleased to r...

November 18, 2007 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Dorothy's special award!!!!
I'm pleased to report that Danica, Lohring and I accompanied Dorothy to a special event in Erie where she received the Outstanding Philanthropist award at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon. Over 200 people applauded her generosity. Her life-long involvement with theater and the arts led her to make the first significient contribution that launched a multi million dollar campaign to build a new theater at Allegeny College. The new lobby will be named after Dorothy and Franklin. She was also the first to donate to her Unitarian Universalist church's capital campaign. She also made it possible for future cardiac cath lab patients to receive treatments in Meadvile rather than having to travel to Cleveland. In addition to all these capital gifts she supported numerous charities including the Academy Theater, the Crawford Heritage Foundation, the Wesbury Foundation and the Port of Meadville Airport. We were so proud to hear about all her contributions and had tears in our eyes when she received the award.

Dorothy has come a long way with her recovery. Thanks to Danica, who has been her skilled case manager, she is getting stronger with the help of several caregivers and a personal trainer. Her progress has been steady and she's looking forward to our 2008 family reunion in Oregon, at the end of May. Danica is planning this event. We'll be back for Thanksgiving IF we make all our airline connections. Wish us luck with traveling during this time of the year where it's snowing here!

Work has been very exciting lately, as I cont...

November 16, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Work has been very exciting lately, as I continue to plan for a week training for all the state Campus Compact VISTA leaders and VISTA project supervisors in January. However, I've had also had some important community building moments with Rhode Island Campus Compact, particularly around the Photobooth application on their office's Macbook.

I've also had some great but challenging new breakthroughs with my graduate search.

Next week I'm off to Meadville PA with Danica, Andy, and Ben to visit Dorothy. It will be tons of driving, but I'm excited to see some long-lost family members!

One of the nice things about being sick and t...

November 16, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

One of the nice things about being sick and taking the day off is that I get to indulge frivolous things like playing computer games. I played more Gears of War this morning, getting through the first act of the game. Like many highly rated games, they slowly introduce you to the game mechanics and then once you've mastered those, they move on to new ones.

At the moment I'm leading a squad of men after a somewhat messy battlefield promotion. The commands are pretty simple - attack, cease fire, and regroup. Hopefully I remember to actually do something with them. So far I've been fairly successful as a one-man army.

The architecture of the game is pretty neat looking - a ruined city with classic elements. I can see how it might get a little dull after awhile, so hopefully they'll mix it up some more.

Well, it's Mocha Friday

November 16, 2007 by Adam in Family

Well, it's Mocha Friday. I ended up making my own mocha as I'm home sick today. I had to break a date with my mom, which was disappointing. Theoretically some consultants were coming in to work today and I was going to train them, but I'm certainly not up for it.

I don't feel horrible as long as I'm properly medicated, just sniffling and coughing all over the place. I've been waking up in the middle of the night the last couple nights when the Advil wore off, eating cereal and watching the t.v. show Chuck. I've also been sleeping on the guest bed in the craft room so Jamie avoids my tossing and turning.

The kids were very sweet to me last night. When Emma found out I was sick, they made a little bed for me to lie down and be taken care of. Of course, that game didn't last long, but it was the thought that counted. Soon enough they were playing pretend, lost in the desert. I was narrating their adventures, which ranged from making a shelter out of couch cushions, to finding food and water, and finally fending off wild animals. Fortunately they had a bath later, in part to wash off all the claw marks which they created using red washable pens.

As for today, I'm going to try and take it easy for a change. I've got laundry going and I might head over to the library. Otherwise I hope to lounge about and do things to take my mind off being sick.

I'm sick today

November 15, 2007 by Adam in Adam

I'm sick today. I sniffled my way through the night, not getting as much sleep as usual. I waffled back and forth on coming into work. After taking various medications, I feel tired but much more normal, so here I am.

I'm going to a concert at the Hult center with my mom tonight. Hopefully I can stay awake.

Gears of War arrived on my doorstep last night

November 14, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

Gears of War arrived on my doorstep last night. I got to play for a half an hour or so after everyone went to bed. I don't have a good feel for the game yet, but I'm liking what I see so far. The visual effects are good. There's a strategic feel of taking cover and firing from cover, something that's very different from the run-and-gun approach most shooter games take.

The most annoying thing about Gears of War is the Microsoft Live! setup. It took a bunch of time to get set up and do the update properly. Compared to the Steam setup, it seemed somewhat clunky.

Of course, now I have a little "gamertag" image I can post on this page. I also found a third-party site that does the same for Steam games. Of course, I'm not sure why I should be bragging that I'm "Teh Suck" by not playing any Steam games lately, but oh well.

Emma has recently figured out the secret of t...

November 14, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma has recently figured out the secret of the alphabet. Last night she brought her journal to show Jamie, and she had written down "Horses" by copying it from the word on her pencil. She recognizes most letters and has been asking me how to spell certain words which she'll laboriously copy down.

It sounds like much of this is due to her school, as Madame Janna is having them practice their letters quite a bit. Last night Emma had homework for the first time, practicing her m's on a long piece of paper. It's pretty cool watching her learn.

Back home

November 13, 2007 by Adam in Family

Back home. We had some brief excitement when they thought we might have our Eugene flight redirected to Portland due to winds. Fortunately all went smoothly and we're getting unpacked and ready for normalcy tomorrow morning.

I wrote down journal entries on actual paper while we were on the trip. I typed it all up and added some choice photos to each of the postings below.

I woke up early, went down to the lobby, and ...

November 11, 2007 by Adam in Family

I woke up early, went down to the lobby, and started writing down this little journal. Suddenly, loud fire alarms went off and dozens of people in their pajamas streamed out. The front desk people confirmed it was a false alarm, so I ran up to tell Jamie. They were still fast asleep, so I left them there.

Sam slept in until eight, unfortunately waking up with an itchy, puffy face. He was briefly unhappy, but the allergic reaction mostly cleared up. It's still itchy today, but not too bad. We went to Downtown Disney for breakfast. It was basic, but good. Since the restaurant was a bakery, I had the French toast. Coupled with coffee, it hit the spot.

Once we got to Disneyland, we dropped off Sam's hat to get embroidered, picked up Fast Pass tickets, and hopped on the Mark Twain riverboat. It was slow and leisurely, a perfect ride for everyone.

The boys and girls split up again, Emma had her face painted pink with swirls and glitter, and Sam and I went on Thunder Mountain and then Splash Mountain. The first was a western-themed roller-coaster and Sam thought it was the best ride in the park. The second was an odd mix of water slide and Briar Rabbit animatronic scenes, with a gut-wrenching drop at the end. Sam wasn't very happy with it.

Next was the California Adventure, with lunch first on the agenda. We ended up in a bakery, eating chili and chowder out of bread bowls. Emma had fun feeding the seagulls and ducks that hung out at the San Francisco themed wharfs.

We took Jamie to the vineyard for wine tasting and then circled around the boardwalk. I stood in line forever to buy ice cream for the kids and then Jamie and Sam went to Soaring Over California, which was my favorite ride. Emma and I played around the aviation area and posed with the characters from Cars. When we reunited, it was late in the day. We went back to our hotel for quiet time and early bet.

We used our early pass today and got to the p...

November 10, 2007 by Adam in Family

We used our early pass today and got to the park at seven in the morning. Our first ride was Finding Nemo, the revamped 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride. Emma, again, was scared. Poor girl.

Jamie wanted to do the Pirates of the Caribbean ride with Sam, so I watched Emma in a nearly empty New Orleans square. We reunited and the park filled up with people. We hit a few more rides, such as Indiana Jones, which was fast and bumpy. Emma and Jamie went on the Small World ride, which she enjoyed. Emma also stood in line to meet a princess, finally deciding she'd rather go to Toon Town again. We puttered around Tomorrowland and took the monorail to Downtown Disney.

Downtown Disney was completely new to me, a section of shops and restaurants. We ate at a Mexican restaurant and then hit up the Lego store. The kids were amazed by the huge Lego sculptures and they both left with assorted Lego goodies.

Afterwards Jamie took Emma back to the hotel for quiet time while the boys headed for California Adventure. That park was also new to me, taking features of California history and turning them into rides, shops, and restaurants.

We wandered about, seeing the sights, and Sam declared he wanted to go on the Grizzly River Rafting Company ride. A sign warned we might get soaked, but we scoffed at danger and had fun going down the rapids. We wondered about the sign, as we were merely sprinkled, when a geyser erupted at the last minute and were got soaked to the bone.

We spent another hour drying off and seeing the sights. I liked looking at the architecture, from the recreation of an old boardwalk to a surprisingly clean Fisherman's Wharf. Finally we did the Soaring Over California ride, which was quite amazing. They lifted our seats off the ground into a huge half-dome screen, playing movies of flying over California. Afterwards, we returned to the hotel.

I was exhausted and had a bit of a headache, so I collapsed for an hour. For dinner we went to Downtown Disney, which was very crowded, but fortunately the place we went to had great food. That night everyone went to bed early and got lots of sleep.

We woke up, ate breakfast, and headed out the...

November 09, 2007 by Adam in Family

We woke up, ate breakfast, and headed out the door. While the hotel I chose was technically across the street from Disneyland, the park entrance was a good quarter mile around the block.

Our first ride was the train, which we took halfway around the park. After that was a blur of rides, people, and sights. Emma liked Toon Town, and got Minnie's autograph. The kids ran around trying all the silly doorbells and running through the houses. Sam, dad, and I stood in line twenty minutes to get seated on the Indiana Jones ride, only to have it canceled and we were sent out. We did Star Tours, which didn't impress Sam. Both kids liked the teacups, a long time favorite. Emma was scared by the Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise. We took Sam on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and he thought it was pretty cool.

We did indeed eat at the Blue Bayou restaurant, which looked like a nighttime New Orleans swamp. You could also see people from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride go by and periodically scream in the distance. The food was really good, especially after eating some of the more fast food in the park.

Afterwards we did the Haunted Mansion while my dad watched Emma. It was strangely unscary, having been given a Nightmare Before Christmas makeover. We wandered around a bit more, then headed home to swim at the hotel and get to bed early.

I had carefully booked flights that minimized...

November 09, 2007 by Adam in Family

I had carefully booked flights that minimized travel time, along with keeping the travel between late morning and early afternoon. Because of this great foresight we were able to eat a leisurely breakfast and drop off some library books on the way to the airport.

Trouble began when I found it hard to get a parking space. We ended up far away in row F (which led to some lovely mnemonics to aid finding our car later). Next when we got to get our tickets, the computer immediately told us our flight was delayed, we wouldn't make our next flight, and there were no more flights that day.

Fortunately the airline people talked to us calmly, told us to ignore the machine, and got us on a flight that was merely a few hours late.

I dug out Sam's early birthday present, Phantom Hourglass, the latest Zelda game for the Nintendo DS. He was enamored and spent every free moment playing.

The flights themselves were fine. Since it was the first the kids could remember, they had a great time looking out the window. In San Francisco we peeked out at the famous hills and I talked about their historical significance in 70's cop show car chases. Emma made friends with an English girl named Jessica. We met up with them again on the bus to our hotels. They were very cute together and Emma whispered to Jamie that they spoke a different language.

We made it to our hotel, tired but happy. A quick call to my dad assured him all was well and we made plans to meet for breakfast the next day.

We're going to Disneyland today

November 08, 2007 by Adam in Family

We're going to Disneyland today. The kids seem excited, though when we ask Emma, she says that Disneyland makes her a little shy.

I think we're all packed and ready to go. With luck, the hotel will have an internet connected computer and I can give everyone updates from the happiest place on earth (according to the brochures).

Traveling again!!! Just a quick note to tell...

November 08, 2007 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Traveling again!!!
Just a quick note to tell you that Lohring will be meeting the Miller/Mellor clan at Disneyland on Thursday and will be returning on the 12th. We leave for Meadville on the 14 and will be back late in the evening of the 21st.

Lohring will also be traveling to Australia/New Zealand from December 20-January 16th. He's heading to Australia for a boat race (crazy huh but fun) and then to New Zealand to see a dental clinic. I'll be in Honolulu from January 3-13th visiting Josh/Jody and little Rob. We'll look forward to seeing you all for Thanksgiving. I'll bring cone sushi and sparkling apple juice, etc.

A quick Bon Voyage to Adam, Jamie and the kids

November 07, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

A quick Bon Voyage to Adam, Jamie and the kids. Jamie, Emma and I had a nice lunch at Barry's yesterday, as we worked on
holiday plans.
I'm going to be working on an oral history project with the
Bar Assn., asking for volunteers to do histories of some of the older members of the Bar and Bench. (that's how we
refer to lawyers and judges.)
Bob and I went to see Into the Wild - a bit overlong and a little self-indulgent, but otherwise very well done. People
either don't remember the inexorable power of Mom Nature, or
suffer from McDonald Hubris (humankind is so powerful there will always be a McDonald's just over the rise.) It would be
funnier if Oregon rescue teams didn't have to find lost climbers, hikers, or folks who were just out for a Sunday drive (on snowy logging roads.)

Ha, censorship

November 06, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Ha, censorship. Well, that's okay, I respect Sadie's modesty. I hope you kids all know how proud I am of you.
I'm struggling on through this psychological analysis stuff.
It's challenging; none of that Wings Seminars easy fix. It's certainly resulting in vivid, meaningful dreams.
Makes me realize how much being a little kid during World War II, and afterwards when my Uncle Al came home, affected me. As I'm sure I've said, he was with Patton's army and was at Dachau, one of the Nazi death camps, immediately after the war. They apparently weren't allowed to bring pictures back, but he smuggled out photos in his boot. As part of last night's dream I was a prisoner of war. Aggg.
War is not a good idea.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone for the...

November 06, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

I wanted to say thank you to everyone for the wonderful visit on Sunday morning! It was great to catch up and see how everyone was doing. It just makes me miss you all the more!

The week is chugging along

November 06, 2007 by Adam in Family

The week is chugging along. Given that we're leaving on Thursday, I guess we're halfway through.

Last night I took Sam out for another bike riding practice session. He's getting pretty confident and we made some bike adjustments to make things easier for him. Now he's trying more challenging tasks, such as going up and down hills. Fun, fun.

Poor Emma had a touch of a fever yesterday, so we gave her a bath and put her in PJs. Jamie was an excellent mom, reading her stories until her throat was raw. Kiera, an older friend of Emma's, gave her a stuffed giraffe and new Barbie movie, which she completely adored.

The weekend has come and gone

November 05, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come and gone. It was a very full one, with dinners, brunches, and all manner of activities. Sam was horribly excited that he learned to ride his bike on Saturday. I also took the kids to a marathon swimming session on Sunday for nearly two hours.

We're coming to the realization that we're heading to Disneyland in just a few more days. Soon my life-long dream of eating at the Pirates of the Caribbean restaurant will be complete.

Sam learned how to ride a bike today

November 03, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam learned how to ride a bike today. It was pretty cool, all-in-all. It started like many of our previous practices. I followed behind him, holding on to his seat. My fingers are still sore from keeping his balance and occasionally rescuing him from disaster. Over time, though, he needed me less and less and eventually I just ran behind him. My best advice was none at all. I eventually stopped giving him pointers and told him not to think about it too hard. That did the trick. He was very proud, and I was quite impressed as well. Within an hour he'd figured out the basics and was zipping around the playground without too much trouble. He still needs more practice time. Starting and stopping still take a bit of work and he hasn't really gone up or down any hills. After today, I'm sure he'll do just fine. He kept saying how much fun riding a bike was. Only after an hour and a half, his butt sore from riding, was he willing to go home. He couldn't wait to show off the movies to Jamie and Emma.

Happy Mocha Friday

November 02, 2007 by Adam in Family

Happy Mocha Friday. It's long gone, though I still have that delicious caffiene/chocolate glow.

Emma got a glowing bracelet during Trick or Treating, which amazingly still glowed slightly. Bath time turned into a new "Diving in Darkness" game where they'd turn off the lights, toss the glowstick under the water, and then try to find it. Sam was so excited for Emma to get out of the bath and try it himself that he gave up having Jamie read Little House on the Prarie to him.

Everyone seems to be doing well and we've got a fairly busy weekend ahead of us. Tomorrow Emma has ballet and a birthday party. Sunday we have dinner at my dad and Yayoe's house, going over our Disneyland plans next week. Fun, fun!

Halloween has come and gone

November 01, 2007 by Adam in Family

Halloween has come and gone. The kids had a great time, returning with the traditional bag of sugary goodness. In an odd way, the candy was secondary to the whole dressing up experience. Sam really liked his outfit and was happy with the positive reaction he got out of people. Emma really wanted to pass out candy to the people who came to the door.

My mom came by and took a picture of everyone. I think we need more group portraits like this one. I posted a bigger, different version here.

The week is wrapping up as well, our last before the grand Disneyland trip. After feeling under the weather earlier this week, I was frantic with activity yesterday. I got so much done at work, I surprised even myself. Weird.

Happy Halloween to all

October 31, 2007 by Adam in Family

Happy Halloween to all.

We've had a rough last couple days. On Monday, I ended up sending both kids to their room for not cleaning up. There was a funny moment in the kitchen where Jamie asked politely for a timeout too.

Last night I ended up sick and miserable. Copious amounts of Advil finally made me better, but I felt pretty horrible for awhile. Sam informed me that he didn't like it when I was sick, as it was boring. Jamie kept shooing me away, not wanting me to try and help with the kids. Emma, being the sweet girl that she is, made me a little bed in the play room and made me lie down.

I feel much improved today. I'm going to see if I can go into work a little late and help with Sam's hair. He's theoretically becoming an 80's punk rocker with pink hair and spikes. Should be fun.

Last night I was giving Emma a bath and she i...

October 30, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Last night I was giving Emma a bath and she informed me that she'd always live with us. Even more, we should remind her when she's older that she said so, just in case she forgets. I'm sure her future teen self will heed these words of wisdom most carefully.

Emma also has a new funny behavior. When she's bored and by herself, she'll pretend she's in the middle of an advertisement, trying to sell something. After hearing about it from Jamie, I finally got to see it in action last night. She was brushing her teeth in front of a mirror when she started to pose and say things like, "It's electric!" (meaning an electric toothbrush).

Perhaps Jamie and my obsessive watching of Mad Men has somehow filtered into her brain and she'll turn into a 60's characture of an advertising actress. Oopsie.

I finally took the big test and feel like a n...

October 30, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I finally took the big test and feel like a new person. Seven weeks of tension was released, and as Adam always said (in a remarkable accent) while thrusting his palm against our foreheads as kids, "you are healed!" I am born again, and free of the shackles of standardized examinations.

Thank you all so much for your well-wishing and care packages, cards and phone calls. On the day of the test, I felt like I had already learned everything I needed to know about life; that one must be a hoarder of love.

Sadie took her GRE's today, and I pried her s...

October 30, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Sadie took her GRE's today, and I pried her scores out of her,(it's on the internet, so it's an immediate grade) after her usual explanations about she should have done
better, etc, etc. The ave. math score for people applying to
Social Work programs is 548, and hers was xxx. Her verbal was xxx, or the 97th percentile of all people taking the test. I asked her if she were going to pursue her childhood goal of being the Messiah, and she said she could do it if it didn't involve a lot of fractions ("Jesus had one fish and John had two loaves of bread...") Ah, Sadie...I keep waiting for the bolt of lightning. But like Sir Thomas Moore said, He would not refuse one who goes to him with so blithe a spirit. Of course, Sir Thomas was about to have his
head cut off. That's what I call keeping one's chin up!

(Note: I replaced Sadie's scores with X's by her request. - Adam)

I forgot to say that I took Destin, Jordan an...

October 29, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

I forgot to say that I took Destin, Jordan and one of Destin's friends to the Science Factory on Friday evening for
the annual Hallowe'en party. What a hoot - no pun intended.
I spent yesterday cleaning out the tool shed. A great afternoon - sunny and warm. Tried to palm off plumbing tools on Adam. Not much sucess.

Good Luck Sadie! We love you, and we're send...

October 29, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Good Luck Sadie! We love you, and we're sending brilliant thoughts your way!

Where did October go? In fact, I wonder somet...

October 29, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Where did October go? In fact, I wonder sometime about 2007!
I've been trying to spend quite a lot of time in the office, finishing up a last few cases and going through old will files.
I've had an interesting experience. As I've said, I see the psychiatrist once a year to make sure my medication is okay,but I've never had traditional "psychotheraphy". But
with Medicare, it's really cheap, so I asked the psychiatrist if we could do therapy, and he said yes. Our first two sessions have been really interesting. It's
fun to see why I do things the way I do...
One other reasuring was taking one of those internet iq
tests someone sent on my trashy jokes list and coming up with same score as whenever I last took a real i.q. test.
Sadie takes her GRE tests tomorrow; send good thoughts.

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon

October 28, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon. Jamie is upstairs chatting away with her dad and Joanne. Sam's playing Portal with Josh. Dave and Emma are chatting away in the tent. It's weird having a little time to myself.

Friday night was swimming as usual. Emma was a swimming maniac, going halfway across the pool by herself. Needless to say, both kids were exhausted at the end of the evening.

I took Emma to ballet on Saturday, then visited Humble Bagel. We got way too many books at the library, headed home, and watched a show. Sam headed off to an insanely elaborate Harry Potter themed birthday. Emma and I went out again, this time to play with her friend Etta at the park.

We did a massive cleanup this morning, and now are enjoying the fruits of our labor.

I just took another practice test to warm mys...

October 26, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I just took another practice test to warm myself up for the big day on Monday. My verbal score decreased by forty points, and my math score is nearly the same as it was seven weeks ago. Dear god.

Jamie went to the parent-teacher conference f...

October 26, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Jamie went to the parent-teacher conference for Sam this week. Though I offered to beat him more, it turns out it won't be necessary. His teacher says he's smart, funny, and doing very well in school. I think he's gotten pretty close to 100% on all his math and spelling tests.

There's also a writing contest coming up that she's thinking about asking Sam to participate in. I shudder to think what wild creativity may bubble up from deep down in Samuel's noggin.

Happy Mocha Friday to all

October 26, 2007 by Adam in Family

Happy Mocha Friday to all. We got our first frost of the season, making me realize that I don't have an ice scraper for my new car. The full moon was up as well. I stood in stunned awe just staring at it, until I realized that my code wouldn't write itself at work.

Sam and Emma played so well last night. Sam eschewed all video games and instead built forts and did other wacky things with his sister. I was almost bored watching them as they were clearly doing their own thing.

It's swimming tonight, as usual, along with ballet in the morning for Emma. Sam has a Harry Potter themed birthday tomorrow and on Sunday Jamie, Ray, and Sam are going to hear big band music. I haven't decided what I'll do with Emma. I should probably think of some treat or another for just the two of us.

When I returned from an amazing time with Nor...

October 26, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

When I returned from an amazing time with Northern New England Campus Compact VISTAs in Maine, I had received two huge boxes in the mail. One, from mom, exploded with cracker jacks, popcorn, toothpaste, and organic granola, among many, many other small perfectly exalted necessities. The other, from Seraph, overflowed with beautiful clothing (remind me to encourage one of my children to be an apparel designer), Jasmine tea buds, local honey, my favorite magazines, and a new cookbook! I don't know if someone snapped a picture of me and I appeared emaciated, or if someone calculated out my budget and decided that cutting out organic bath salts was out of the question, but I feel completely pampered on the eve of the GREs. Thank you!

I usually use this space to talk about games ...

October 26, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I usually use this space to talk about games I'm playing and not so much upcoming games. I'd like to make an exception to talk about Fallout 3, which is the third sequel to one of my favorite games of all time. It's a dark, post-apocalyptic role playing game, filled with mutants and rad scorpions. One of the items in the game was the PIPBoy 2000. When I finally started getting online, I chose PIPBoy3000 as my handle for message boards, online games, and so on.

Now it turns out that PIPBoy is back, this time as the PIPBoy 3000. In a strange coincidence, the primary conceptual artist is Adam Adamowicz. Needless to say, I love the way the thing looks.

Though I've done fantasy and Neverwinter Nights modding over the years, I'm sorely tempted to do something for Fallout 3 if the tools are available.

The week continues to move along

October 25, 2007 by Adam in Family

The week continues to move along. At work, I've been chatting with consultants a fair amount. I'm also redoing some of my older web applications, cringing at how ancient they are. I'm strangely looking forward to sitting down and writing some more code today.

Jamie went off with Emma during her school to pick up pumpkins at a little farm in Springfield. Carving the bumpy gourd was the most challenging. Emma got all excited when I suggested a chain saw, but I ended up using a hack saw to take off the top. In the end, it turned out fairly well.

Dave came by last night to play with the kids for a little. Jamie and I watched the last episode of Mad Men for the season. It's brilliant and sad and epic, as usual. I continue to be amazed at how much can change in a generation.

Soccer is over

October 23, 2007 by Adam in Family

Soccer is over. Sam and I hiked Spencer's Butte and then went off to his last game Sunday afternoon. Though it wasn't raining, he managed to wallow in mud and return home without a dry stitch on. I got him showered, combed, and we celebrated with the other kids and parents at a pizza party.

The girls made it back safe and sound from Portland. Emma brought back a Princess scrap book, which she's been playing with the last couple days. Jamie felt vaguely guilty at the gifts showered upon Emma and bought some socks for Sam. Of course, they were pirate-themed socks, which unfortunately don't fit me.

The week has been chugging along. Emma's school is going to a pumpkin patch today. Sam's getting out early. Busy, busy.

I'm headed up to Maine for a retreat with the...

October 22, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm headed up to Maine for a retreat with the Northern Campus Compact VISTAs. I'll be facilitating a workshop on community organizing and learning circles, two of may favorite subjects to train on. It will also be a perfect time to visit Maine. I haven't traveled up there since Seraph and I were on our road trip twelve years ago!

It's Sunday morning and Sam is cheerfully pla...

October 21, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Sunday morning and Sam is cheerfully playing with Legos next to me. I think he's reenacting scenes from a video game.

It's been a quiet weekend without the girls. Friday we went swimming, though mostly Sam played with a friend from school. Saturday was the library and the soccer game. It was raining hard, so everyone was soaked. In the afternoon we hung out, played on the computer, did homework, and watched a movie.

Today I'm trying to go hiking, though Sam doesn't seem quite ready yet. He was also disappointed that the sun came out, as he was hoping for a rainy march through the mud.

I just finished Half-Life2 episode2

October 20, 2007 by Sam in Sam

I just finished Half-Life2 episode2. Last week I finished Portal. They were both really fun. My favorite part of portal was that it was funny. Half-Life2 episode2 was fun because of the physics puzzles.

Another Mocha Friday

October 19, 2007 by Adam in Family

Another Mocha Friday. How could I ever get tired of it?

The kids were especially goofy last night. Sam dressed up like a creature, which involved strapping a rubber chicken to his face. Emma was more subdued, scribbling away in her notebook with a pink pen.

We have a full weekend ahead of us. Jamie and Emma go to Portland. Sam and I are being bachelors, though our schedule is pretty full. Tonight is swimming, tomorrow the library. Both days we have soccer games, followed by a pizza party to celebrate the end of the season. I'd like to try and sneak in a hike or something similar, but we'll see how much time we really have.

Sue, I would like to throw "whatever" into th...

October 18, 2007 by Betsy in Betsy

Sue, I would like to throw "whatever" into the hat as a banned word. Please!

Sam had his last soccer practice of the seaso...

October 18, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam had his last soccer practice of the season, and quite possibly his last soccer practice ever. As tradition would have it, we had a kids versus parents scrimmage. Emma joyfully directed me while on my shoulders. After awhile she got bored, though, and went to pick mushrooms and dandelions.

This weekend is Sam's last set of soccer games. After that, I want to look into fencing and see if he likes it. It would be fun for me to practice along side of him. I'm not sure how we'd manage the Emma watching - hopefully Jamie would take her most of the time, but we'll see how it goes.

Yesterday I received an unusual envelope in t...

October 18, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Yesterday I received an unusual envelope in the mail, tri-folded with different handwriting for the return address, from the hippest coffee shop in my neighborhood. It was almost as is someone had sent a stamped, addressed envelope to the coffee shop within another envelope. Enclosed was a gift certificate to said coffee shop. Upon closer examination of the mysterious envelope I discerned Seraph Cortez's handwriting, and remembered that I had mentioned that the most difficult thing about being momentarily impoverished was the lack of frivolous coffee drinking at hip coffee shops like White Electric, where the tattoos, tight jeans, and coffee tie together the West Side strong social scene. And, of course, Seraph heeded my silly plea, because she loves me.

But wait! That was not the only gesture of complete attentive love and devotion that the family showed their prodigal daughter yesterday! Mom sent me an amazing box of frivolous favorites- hand-milled soaps, lemon verbena lotions, sachets of lavender, and, of course, chocolate. It was the perfect end to a night that I otherwise would have spent studying for the GREs. Thank you!

Hi, all, we Grandmas three had a nice lunch y...

October 17, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, all, we Grandmas three had a nice lunch yesterday at Marche. Yayoe suggested that she and Hanni take me to lunch
at my birthday, and it was now Hanni's turn. Hanni brought pix from their trip to Germany, and a darling picture for each of us of Isa. A good time was had by all!
I've been cleaning up from the summer's dirt for the last week. The kitchen is really the worst. I wonder if a mud room/laundry outside the back door would be a sensible idea.
Have to recommend "Knocked Up". Other than my disgust that everyone says the F word when they can't think of any other
noun (I don't give a f...!), verb (F... you!), adverb (I don't f...... know) Interjection (Oh, f...!), or adjective (the f...... tire), it was a charming movie. Someday, English teachers will rule, and the F word will be banished other than its usage as a verb. Love, the ex English teacher in the fam.

I finished up Episode 2 last night

October 17, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I finished up Episode 2 last night. The final combat section was okay, sort of a logical conclusion to things, frantic and tense. The last scene in the game had a Deus Ex Machina feel, though in this case it was "Dog of the Machine".

It's interesting comparing this game to Portal. Though Portal was much smaller in size and scope, it seemed the more original, emotionally gripping game. I'm sure part of it is the newness of the thing, though I suppose the takeaway for game developers is that sometimes simple is best.

In terms of my next game playing adventures, I have this odd urge to become the Peggle Grand Champion. Peggle is another very simple, engaging game. I picked it up for $10 and the kids and I have all had fun playing it.

School is going much better for Emma these days

October 16, 2007 by Adam in Emma

School is going much better for Emma these days. It's fun seeing the things she learns sneaking into her brain. She'll often sing her ABC's, usually in French, and can recognize many letters and numbers. Last night she was playing Cooking Mama on her Nintendo DS when she suddenly stopped and grabbed a paper and pen. It turns out she wanted to copy the letters on the screen, which brought a proud smile to my face.

I suppose I should actually have something to...

October 15, 2007 by Jamie in Jamie

I suppose I should actually have something to say on my own behalf, being an international traveller and all. The trip to Italy feels like a wonderful dream..being so far outside my daily reality. It was a great trip and I enjoyed travelling with my mom who so often thinks the same things I am....scary. We went to Florence and Venice, both of which I recommend. Now I am really enjoying reading "Room with a View" which takes place in Florence and the countryside outside London. And a couple of days ago I chanced upon the movie "Casanova" set in Venice. It helps me relive the trip to recognize those names and places. Our next adventure is in just a few weeks, Disneyland...and Emma's first plane ride, and probably the first Sam remembers since he was so young when I took him to Nebraska.

The weekend is over already

October 15, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend is over already. I'm not quite sure what happened, but I remember laying my head on the counter Sunday night, mumbling that I needed to go back to work so I can get some rest.

Friday was swimming, which was great. I did a bunch of errands on Saturday, picking up a new power supply for my computer, taking in a bunch of recycling, and getting the kids' computers upgraded.

Jamie went to Pat's Saturday night, leaving me to manage the kids. There was sock throwing, spaghetti making, dancing around to Code Monkey, and general hijinks all around. The kids went to bed, tired but happy. Of course, now Sam and Emma will spontaneously start singing the Code Monkey song at odd moments.

Sunday was a bit more low-key. We went to Oakway mall to see Angie and Winnie, while I ran around Borders with the kids. Dave came over in the evening while Jamie and I watched Mad Men. At night there was movies, though Jamie and I mostly slunk away to hide and be quiet for a few minutes.

I'm loving Episode 2

October 14, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I'm loving Episode 2. Not just for the great storyline, fun gameplay, and so on, but for the little things. Here's a touching scene from a moment where Alyx reunites with Dog, the robot, who has just fetched, well, a brain. Even better, the brain was an interactive 3D object which I cheerfully picked up and proceeded to show to everyone. Alyx patiently kept talking about getting the car, but I was too busy admiring the floppy part of the brain stem as I twirled it about.

I tried to take the brain with me, but without success. I tried jamming it next to the engine of the car, but it fell out after a few simple maneuvers. If only there was a way to keep it with me, perhaps on a shelf somewhere along with the other body parts of enemies I've strewn about over the years. A spleen or two, perhaps.

HL2, Episode 2 continues to impress me to no end

October 13, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

HL2, Episode 2 continues to impress me to no end. I just got this really cool muscle car after working for nearly an hour to get it. There was a crazy physics puzzle at the end which involved tipping a massive bridge by repositioning cars, culminating with a Dukes of Hazzard style jump over a chasm. Good times.

Sam's been playing Portal, occasionally voicing his frustrations with exclamations of hatred. As soon as I get him on the right path, though, he's hooked again. Since it's short, he'll probably finish up this weekend. Then I can play him the song from the credits, which I've burned to a CD.

Another sweet Mocha Friday

October 12, 2007 by Adam in Family

Another sweet Mocha Friday. Since the caffeine hasn't hit my brain yet, I think I'll try to summarize the week through various anecdotes that struck me as amusing or interesting.

I was up at 4:30 this morning, playing newly released computer games. I've been doing that every day since Wednesday, reveling in highly-polished video goodness.

Emma and I played a game where she was a pig and I was a farmer. My favorite part was cooking and eating her, which she didn't find too amusing. Eventually Sam joined in after I declared I was a vegetarian farmer. When we were assigning roles, I told Sam he was a carrot, and promptly cooked and ate him.

Sam's been reading Hardy Boy books, reading them at a rapid rate. Wednesday he took a field trip to mount Pisgah with his class. He was most impressed by a cougar kill of a deer, remarking on how long the spinal cord was.

This week our dish washer has been on the blink, the heating element stuck permanently on. We shut it off at the fuse box, but have been doing dishes by hand. It's strangely satisfying, soaking in warm water on a cool Fall evening.

Jamie's been busy, managing a sick Sam early in the week, working Wednesday, dealing with house issues, and today Sam's off school again. Hopefully tonight I can take the kids swimming and run around outside this weekend. Good times.

If you've ever wondered what other Smithies d...

October 11, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

If you've ever wondered what other Smithies do to change the world once they've graduated, check out my friend Alexis, fighting the good fight in solidarity with the people of El Salvador! By the way, she's Anna's room mate in San Francisco.

All is well in Providence. I just finished the first in a series of workshops I'm facilitating about framing Campus Compact VISTA work as a community organizer. Good fun.

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Happy Anniversary to us, Happy Anniversary to...

October 11, 2007 by Robbie in Cortez

Happy Anniversary to us, Happy Anniversary to us, Happy Anniversary Robbie and Seraph, Happy Anniversary to us! We made it, we made to our ten year anniversary. It seems like we just got married yesterday and now we have been together for a decade.

We are heading up to Timberline Lodge for the day. We are dropping Isabell off at school and heading up to rest by the fireplace, read books, converse (by ourselves), and having a nice dinner. My mom is coming up to watch Isabell and her friends after school. I believe Isabell and her friends are planning a belated party for my mom, since my mom's birthday was on Monday.

We are off to seize the day!

I finished Portal last night

October 11, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I finished Portal last night. It was quite short, but extremely awesome. The final battle was one of the most memorable and there was a brilliant streak of humor throughout the whole thing. The song at the credits was amazingly hysterical.

It's a giant spoiler, but you can evidently find the final song right here. Sadie would love it.

I started in on Half Life 2, Episode 2 this morning. It was nice to reunite with Alex and the rest of the Half Life crew. I just finished up a great "base defense" area with two wise-cracking would-be heroes. There was a great sense of suspense, tension, and quick-thinking. Brilliant stuff so far.

Day 10: 2006 Well, this is the last song I'm...

October 10, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Day 10: 2006
Well, this is the last song I'm posting, on the eve of our anniversery. As you'll notice, I'm sneeking in one more country song. I first heard this song a year or two ago, and always thought it would be the perfect anniversery song.
Even though our lives are as hectic as ever, it feels like we're finally getting the hang of this marriage thing! As I (frequently) say, if you plan on being married for 60 years or more, what's so big about the occasional bad day/month/year in the grand scheme of things? In reality, we've just made it through the infancy of our relationship, and I can't wait to see what's next!

P.S. This musical count-down would not have happened without Adam's help - so many, many thanks again!

We came to the conclusion last night that Sam...

October 10, 2007 by Adam in Sam

We came to the conclusion last night that Sam likely needs vision correction. We were testing him on the oven clock and his guess as to the time was way off. We'll get him formally tested and hopefully get him some glasses and/or contacts relatively soon.

Sigh. I was hoping this one would miss the whole "blind as a bat" thing that seems to be the family curse.

It's starting to be that magical time of year...

October 10, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

It's starting to be that magical time of year when it comes to computer games. This morning Portal and Half Life 2, Episode 2 unlocked themselves on my computer. I was up at 4 am and played for two hours straight.

I've been wanting to play Portal after playing the student game Narbacular Drop a year or two ago. Basically you can create two portals and move yourself and other things through them. This results in all sorts of wacky physics puzzles. For example, you can put a portal on the ceiling and floor, then fall repeatedly through them. Another bonus is that you can see yourself through clever positioning of portals.

To top it off, the story and humor is great. Sam will likely want to play tonight, but I'll hopefully sneak in a few hours when I can.

The week slowly moves along

October 09, 2007 by Adam in Family

The week slowly moves along. Sam's sick, sniffling his way through yesterday and today. Jamie got virtually no sleep Sunday night, though fortunately managed to recover last night. I got my flu shot, so my joints ached for awhile.

I'll probably down a third cup of tea this morning, if only to kick my brain into high gear.

Day 9: 2005 I was fully entrenched in shcool...

October 09, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Day 9: 2005
I was fully entrenched in shcool during this time. It felt like we rarely saw each other - the proverbial ships passing in the night...
You continued to shoulder most of the day to day work, while I kept promising this part would be end soon.

Day 8: 2004 This is when we moved to PDX

October 08, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Day 8: 2004
This is when we moved to PDX. Life was chaotic but good. I have so many happy memories of that first summer, spending all of our time in the rose gardens, playing in the fountian, and picnicing under the Alice in Wonderland trees.
You were again brilliant in the way you found work at Hillside, chatting everyone up and charming many mom's along the way.

The weekend has come to a close and we're bac...

October 08, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come to a close and we're back to the daily grind of work and school. It seems that I spent most of the weekend cooking or taking Sam to a soccer game. On Saturday I made the lasagna, biscotti, and fruit salad. Sunday was the bread, soup, and actually cooking everything. In general, I think it was a rousing success. Probably the most fun was making the little heart lasagnas for the kids.

Jamie took Emma to her ballet class on Saturday. I think she's loving it, dancing around the kitchen from time to time. I took Emma to Sam's first soccer game, where she played with Natalie and Sidney. On Sunday, it was just me and the other parents. It'll be odd when soccer is over for good, though I'm sure we'll find other physical activity for the boy.

We did do one big project Sunday morning. I disassembled Emma's old bed and moved it into the craft room. Jamie's now turning it into a guest bed, though it's awful comfortable to just plop down on it while Sam does homework.

Now it's time for a shower and getting my work stuff together.

Day 7: 2003 Ok, I don't even know if you've ...

October 07, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Day 7: 2003
Ok, I don't even know if you've heard of this song! I heard it in the car a while back, and it reminded me of us. We're both dreamers with ever revoloving dreams.
Spurred on by the events of the year, this was when I decided to go back to school. It took another year to get there, but you were with me all the way (well, after a few months of my nagging)!

Day 6: 2002 We joked once that we each wante...

October 06, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Day 6: 2002
We joked once that we each wanted to out live the other because of the funeral music choices. You knew I'd pick sad country-western songs, and I knew you'd pick sad Erasure songs!
Anyway, here's my country-western tribute song. Even with everything was stacked against us, you're still the one.

I signed up for Netflicks today, and my old r...

October 05, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I signed up for Netflicks today, and my old room mate Janet has taken control of my cue with helpful hints. She currently has these must-watch movies on my cue: the worst witch, mystery train, bon voyage, henry fool, home movie, fierce creatures, breakfast on Pluto, 24 hour party people, the puffy chair, kontroll, i am england, and Dracula: pages from a virgin's diary. I have heard of zero of these movies, but as she is a professional film snob, I must trust her judgment. It feels a bit like living with her again, when I'd come home and sit down in the middle of an obscure Korean independent film, and end up falling in love with it.

Seraph, I love hearing your anniversary count-down!

On an aside from the musical countdown - I st...

October 05, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

On an aside from the musical countdown - I started my vacation today. I stayed late at work last night making sure any lose ends were tied up, and feel resonably confident that the children's dept will hold together without me.
Not much is planned for the week. I think I'll try to hang out at a spa and do some pampering, but I'm also looking forward to reading and practicing my viola a lot. It will also be nice to walk Isa to school each morning, and generally hang out with my family.

Day 5: 2001 We had a 1+1=3 year, as Isa was ...

October 05, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Day 5: 2001
We had a 1+1=3 year, as Isa was added to our lives. It was a long year filled with sleepless nights, but also filled with little miricles. At the end we changed places, when I wnet back to work, and you became Mr. Mom.

It's Mocha Friday, and I just finish my last ...

October 05, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, and I just finish my last drop of that oh-so-tasty elixir. I was in an unusually bad mood last night, which is rare for me. Sam was a little grumpy, my computer was having issues, and I ended up giving myself a little timeout before rejoining my family. Fortunately I resolved my computer problem, made up with Sam, and all is well in the world.

This weekend promises to be filled with maniacal cooking on my part. I'm doing a seven-course Italian dinner this Sunday, which will likely span most of the afternoon. Tomorrow is the big cooking day, getting the biscotti, fruit salad, and other things ready. With luck, all I'll have to do is pop things in the oven periodically and bring them out to everyone in an apron.

I'm trying really hard to go swimming with the kids tonight. Various things have kept us home during swimming classes and we haven't gone for a long while. Swimming is one of the things I've done with the kids since Sam was a baby. Now Emma's nearly swimming herself, but I still love to play around in a warm pool at the end of the week.

I just went back and read Seraph and Robbie's...

October 05, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

I just went back and read Seraph and Robbie's website from
January, 2001. It was fun to see Isa's baby picture!

Day 4: 2000 Ok, this is probably the sappies...

October 04, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Day 4: 2000
Ok, this is probably the sappiest song on the list! Sorry if I am offending anyone's ears : )
This was the first time I've ever felt like my resolutions came true. We settled into work at EEI, bought our house, and found out Isa was on the way. This were looking up.

Ooo, Seraph, this is a walk down Memory Lane ...

October 04, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Ooo, Seraph, this is a walk down Memory Lane for all of us.
I remember that you wore a black top and a gold satin skirt to the Opera and afterwards to the party at Tony and Ilona's on New Years Eve. You two made a handsome couple!
You've done a good job being married!

Day 3: 1999 This was a tough year for us

October 03, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Day 3: 1999
This was a tough year for us. We learned that each win brought a loss. I remember resolving on New Year's Eve that 2000 would be better.

I got a bonus at work and took some of that t...

October 03, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I got a bonus at work and took some of that to upgrade the various computers in the house. All the parts arrived last night, and I promptly disassembled my computer and replaced the guts with stuff from cardboard boxes. Amazingly enough, everything turned on with my first attempt and after all the drivers were installed, most everything worked. The exceptions were the CD-ROM drives and the second hard drive. I just fixed the CD-ROM drives this morning and will eventually get around to the second hard drive. I hardly use the thing as my first has so much drive space.

In terms of the performance, I'm pretty happy. Things that took awhile are now quite snappy. I had to test out Bioshock at the highest resolution and it was a smooth as silk.

Sam got a paper cut on his finger last night

October 02, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam got a paper cut on his finger last night. It was sore while he was having a snack. "Can I have a placebo?" he asked. I whipped up a mixture of salt water and lemon juice. He wasn't impressed.

Day 2: 1998 Life was good, and we were ready...

October 02, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Day 2: 1998
Life was good, and we were ready for grand adventures! This song was out before 98', but we still had great fun joking about some of the lyrics.

There was a Design a Perk contest over on the...

October 02, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

There was a Design a Perk contest over on the Fallout site. I'm a big fan of the Fallout games, so I couldn't resist adding Robot Love:

Robots have an unnatural affection towards you. They are nearly always friendly, sometimes overly so. Even when they turn hostile, they never aim for your pretty little face. Computers flirt as well, though with a sadness in knowing their feelings can never be consummated.

Day 1: 1997 Robbie - As a count down to our ...

October 01, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Day 1: 1997
Robbie - As a count down to our anniversary, I have enlisted Adam's help to post a song each day. 10 songs for 10 years. Many of these are completly sappy, and relate to us, or a particular year of our marriage.
Day 1's song is acctually from our dating days. I'm curious if you remember; )

What a weekend! It seems all a blur now, but...

October 01, 2007 by Adam in Family

What a weekend! It seems all a blur now, but I'll touch on the highlights.

Sam had soccer Friday night. There was no rain, but it was very chilly. My mom joined me to keep my mind off the shivers, and we admired Sam's running about. Saturday brought Emma's first ballet class. She was so excited, dancing around like all the other little girls. There was a tear in her tights near the bottom zone, which gave her a touch of 80's Madonna.

In the afternoon, we had Barbara and Zoltan over. Our kids all played together, making the expected mess in the play room. We adults traded wedding stories and generally ate our way over several hours. We had a bit of chocolate mousse to finish it up and everyone headed home.

Saturday was much more low-key. Angie brought over Winnie for a bit of play time, and Victoria stopped by. In the afternoon we went to Tom's Apple Orchard and stopped by 5th Street Market to get pizza for the kids. Jamie and I went out for dinner while my mom watched the kids. The first two places were closed, so we ended up at the place where Humble Bagel resides during the day.

I did my usual exercise and cereal later that night, and headed upstairs to find Jamie watching the finale of Rock of Love. It's not nearly as good as Mad Men, but there's striking paralells as to how disfunctional relationships between men and women can get.

Now it's moving day for me in cubicle land. I'm stuffed into a little-used cubicle while trained cubicle technicians reconfigure my workspace. I would have done it in 15 minutes with an allen wrench, but I suppose this way is far more scientific.

I was so inspired by Sam, Emma, and Adam's wi...

October 01, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I was so inspired by Sam, Emma, and Adam's witch jars that I decided to make my own. This weekend I bought a pork tail (witch jar label: Hungarian Wolverine Tongue) and a bag of dried sardines (witch jar label: Peruvian Shark Fetuses). In addition, I canned Fallen Angel Feathers, Veritaserum (if you've read Harry Potter, it forces the recipient to tell the truth), and Love's Labors Lost (reconstituted). The Hungarian Wolverine Tongue is in the freezer at the moment, because I'm not sure how to preserve it. But it should keep until I figure it out. I'll see if I can post a picture of my beautiful, evile project soon.

Well, winter arrived within an eight hour period

September 29, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, winter arrived within an eight hour period. It rained last night, and this afternoon we had a real hail storm. An
hour after the storm there was still a pile in my front windshield well. Went to watch Sam's soccer game after work; it was chilly.

It's Mocha Friday on this typical Fall day in...

September 28, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday on this typical Fall day in Eugene. Raindrops beat a steady plop on my Starbucks lid as I walked in from my car. It's also move day for me, as I relocate my cubicle this afternoon so they can reconfigure it. When I move back in, Dave and I will be able to see each other, like the way it's been for the last few years.

The week has gone fairly well and everyone is settling back into the normal routines. Emma seems to be doing much better in school. Jamie has the house in order again. Sam's pretty much the same as always, wanting to play computers, talk to me about odd subjects, and run around in our yard.

This weekend Barbara, Zoltan, and their kids are coming over for tea. Barbara is Emma's teacher from last year and their whole family is very cool. I've been wanting to go swimming, but with Sam's soccer game tonight, the tea party, and Emma starting ballet tomorrow morning, I think it'll be too busy. I'm also hoping I can sneak in a library visit. Sam's been burning through the Magic Treehouse books at the rate of one a night.

All-in-all, life seems pretty good. Everyone is healthy, happy, and doing well. The pessimist inside me wonders how long it'll last, but the rest of me just wants to enjoy the moment.

It's been very nice having Jamie back

September 27, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's been very nice having Jamie back. The house is ship-shape and I actually have free time again. Emma seems to be enjoying school more, much to our relief.

I posted a bigger picture of the witch jars at Sadie's request. Already Sam is plotting to make more.

Well, Servando is off to Washington picking a...

September 26, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, Servando is off to Washington picking apples, so I've taken a break from hauling brush, etc. and am doing an entire summer's worth of paperwork. As you kids used to say,
"Boorr-ing". The high light of my day yesterday was going to a department store to buy a featherbed cover for the double bed. Bleh... so this is retirement. Much love from
Housewife Ms. Susie Tidy Bowl.

Ah, I'm trying to relearn math concepts so fa...

September 26, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Ah, I'm trying to relearn math concepts so far in my depths of my middle school memories that I feel like I'm re-living Roosevelt Middle School, hanging out with Sam and Bud and watching Jurassic Park in home room. It is absolutely ridiculous that my professional career depends upon how much I was paying attention in seventh grade. Anna and I have an emergency math session over the phone tonight.

Well, according to the Internet flight trac...

September 24, 2007 by Adam in Family

Well, according to the Internet flight tracker, Jamie's plane just touched down in Portland. I don't really know if she plans on heading home right away, or if she'll have a break before driving down. We have a tiny family birthday party planned. Emma and I made cheesecake on Friday and the kids wrapped up all sorts of odd presents over the weekend.

Of course, tonight is sort of wacky, with Sam having soccer team photos and a practice. I'm sure both the kids want to see Jamie too, so there could be a bit of tension. My guess is that Jamie wants to take it easy after so much time in the air today.

As expected, Emma cried all morning trying to get out of school. Fortunately she was greeted by Barbara, her teacher from last year, and given so much love and attention it was easy for me to slip out.

Update: Jamie called and she's driving home now. It sounds like I'll be getting Emma, picking up Sam, and reuniting as a family this afternoon. Can't wait.

Update 2: Jamie's back, had a wonderful time, and has taken the kids to soccer tonight. She's pretty exhausted, but trying to stay up a little in an attempt to get back into the normal routine.

Oh, making witches jars sounds like endless f...

September 23, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Oh, making witches jars sounds like endless fun! I'll have to try a few of my own (I have dibs on the VISTA corps' Halloween party). On Saturday, some of the Rhode Island VISTA crew came over to watch a movie, a respite from the day long study marathon my study buddy and I had undertaken. Tomorrow, after a training, she and I are driving up to a graduate school fair in Boston to check out the wares. Good fun!

I'm loving my volunteer gig at New Urban Arts, cleaning and organizing in preparation for their fall season. It's wildly satisfying to, after a long day of typing and organizing national initiatives, use my hands to organize real, concrete a space. Handling liminal space all day can drag you down.

I think we had a better day today

September 22, 2007 by Adam in Family

I think we had a better day today. Emma said, "I wish every day was a weekend" and Sam heartily agreed. We had a few bumps in the road. Sam refused to go to his first soccer game and I threatened to keep him in his room all day long if he didn't go. Once there, of course, everything was fine. Emma played with a couple other girls and Sam did relatively well in the game.

I made crepes for breakfast, which were a big hit. For some odd reason, we started to make "witch jars" in preparation for Halloween. We paused for the soccer game, but had a great time working on them in the afternoon. We had Elder God Spawn (spaghetti stuffed in snail shells), Reconstituted Pixie Dust (sand with a Barbie head poking out), and much more. The labels were particularly fun to make, crumpled and tea-stained. The kids were greatly impressed.

The afternoon is winding down. Sam's playing with Sebastian and Emma's playing a Putt-Putt game. I'm looking forward to Dave, Kirsten, and Josh coming over tonight. A bit of relief sounds blissful.

Emma had a much better day yesterday

September 22, 2007 by Adam in Family

Emma had a much better day yesterday. We made Jamie's birthday cake, went shopping for presents, and generally hung out together. She very rarely cried and was almost her normal self again. In the evening Yayoe made us a wonderful dinner and the kids enjoyed exploring her house. We returned home and the kids took turns reading the Scaredy Squirrel book. Emma in particular was very funny, remembering most of the words, though a few specific words were a little off (e.g. antibacterial soap).

We returned from Sam's soccer game moments ago. I had to threaten to keep him in his room all day before he'd go. Needless to say, this is going to be his last season. Once he got to the game, though, he was just fine.

Now we're working on a pre-Halloween project, making ingredient jars for assorted magical spells. We've done shrunken gnome heads out of lemons already. Next is fairy dust. Fun, fun!

It's Mocha Friday, though I have to admit I'v...

September 21, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I have to admit I've been making Mochas every day while at home. It's gone beyond a mere weekly treat and is well into the realm of blissful codependence. Mocha helps me defend against Emma's wailing sorrow and summon the courage to get through another day. I think I'll call it Father's Little Helper.

I decided not to send Emma to school today. The week of Eternal Sadness finally got to me. Now I'll debate with myself all day as to whether I'm a kind parent or merely a pushover. In any case, we have a lot of errands to run today, half revolving around putting something together for Jamie's birthday. It's also picture day for Sam, so Emma and I may have to pin him down to apply the necessary hair products and brushing. Ah, the joys of single parenthood.

Emma really, really doesn't want to go to school

September 20, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma really, really doesn't want to go to school. I gave the kids a snack and after Sam left the table, Emma pushed her chair over to the refrigerator. She climbed up, grabbed the eraser, and erased the upcoming school day from the calendar.

When I arrived and explained that erasing the days off the calendar doesn't make them stop being a school day, she replied in a sad voice, "It doesn't?"

It's been a very hard week while Jamie's been...

September 20, 2007 by Adam in Emma

It's been a very hard week while Jamie's been away to Italy. Emma wakes up, starts crying and saying she doesn't want to go to school. According to her teacher, she's weepy most of the morning. When I pick her up, she's fine for awhile, only periodically crying. In the evening, things go downhill again and she says how much she'll miss me.

Strangely, she doesn't really talk about Jamie much, though I'm sure that's involved. Maybe she thinks she's down to one parent and I could go at any minute. Sam and I had a discussion about pirates (due to Talk Like a Pirate day) who had lost their eye. When they're down to one eye, they protect it even more. I was wondering why she did better when Grandma Sue was around and Sam pointed out that Emma had a second eye back.

Anyway, all the tears are pretty tough for me. I picked her up early yesterday and will likely do the same today. As for tomorrow, well, I may just keep her out of school. I'm torn between "staying tough" so that I can get work done and not disrupt her school routine, and being sensitive to the epic scope of her sadness.

Ah, parenthood. Such sweet sorrow.

The wee pirates and I fought space aliens thi...

September 20, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

The wee pirates and I fought space aliens this afternoon, with Emma apparently in better spirits. Adam had a nice dinner, gardenburgers, homemade burger buns, corn and mashed potatoes. He actually seemed to be coping just fine..
Hugs to all, Mom

Yar, ya scallywags! It be Talk Like a Pirate...

September 19, 2007 by Adam in Family

Yar, ya scallywags! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day and I be tryin' to work and manage the kids as usual. Emma pretty much cried all the way through breakfast and on the car trip to school, saying she didn't want to go to school over and over. I dropped her off feeling horribly guilty. If only I be a black-hearted scoundrel, or three sheets to the wind. Avast!

I did the food shopping and need to start in on the laundry. I'll probably pick up Emma early from school, along with an eyepatch for her to try out. Hopefully she can help me make hamburger buns and fresh bread for grandma Sue, who's coming for dinner.


"There! That's what I think of ye

September 19, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

"There! That's what I think of ye. Before an hour's out, I'll stove in your old block house like a rum puncheon. Laugh, by thunder, laugh! Before an hour's out, ye'll laugh upon the other side. Them that die'll be the lucky ones."
Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!

I survived another day

September 19, 2007 by Adam in Family

I survived another day.

I decided to ignore the children's cries of pain and agony, stuff some painkillers in both of them, and send them off to school. I think they're both a teeny bit sick, but it's hard to tell. Emma was a little quiet and cried a little at school, but the only real symptom was an itchy nose. Sam's back was a little sore, but I think it's on the mend.

Emma has been taking Jamie's absence a little hard. Her protestations of love continue every few minutes, from me to her family to her teacher. She was also pretty tired tonight, going to bed around 7:30.

I managed a fair bit of work today, though I'm sorely tempted to take tomorrow off. I have shopping and laundry to do, plus a little time to myself sounds blissful.

It was an exciting first day with the kids

September 18, 2007 by Adam in Family

It was an exciting first day with the kids. I managed to get them fed, dressed, and off to school, then picked up later. Emma was very cute and helpful. I think she said, "I love you, Dad" nearly fifty times over the day. We also talked a lot about how long until Jamie returns.

While they were at school, I managed to work some. Working from home is okay, though I felt a little disconnected from things. Basically I sat down, slaved away, ate lunch, and picked up the kids.

Sam hurt his back during recess, so I decided not to send him to soccer. We hung at out home, with a brief visit by Dave, Josh, and Kirsten. Later on we did a park run, then dinner, and getting ready for bed. Emma was feeling pretty lousy, likely with the cold Sam and I had over the weekend. She wanted me to take her temperature and was quite distraught to find it normal.

Eventually everyone got to bed, with Emma falling asleep in less than a minute after I read her a story. She tossed and turned all night though, eventually crawling into bed with me. I suspect I might be keeping her out of school if she feels bad. So much for working again.

Busy, busy . . .

I picked up Sam from school and somehow he ma...

September 17, 2007 by Adam in Sam

I picked up Sam from school and somehow he managed to hurt his back while doing push ups at recess. It's not too bad, but running around and jumping seems to make it hurt, so I'll probably keep him out of soccer tonight.

On the plus side, I got him packed, off to school, and picked him up at the right time without any problem.

Hi guys, here's something to look forward to ...

September 17, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi guys, here's something to look forward to over the winter holidays. I want about four hours of all together no distraction kids' time to go through photos, Memory Box stuff, etc. No, I don't have a terminal illness. I'm thinking about the look of anguish on Adam's face when he realized that he was named as first pick for Personal Representative on both his dad's and my will. I'm trying hard to cut down on the junk I own, and organize what's left. Lohring, this includes you, so consider it a command performance. I promise I'll have lots of junk food and I'll get Yayoe to ignore the trans-fats I'm using as a bribe. It'll do you good, and you probably remember the names of those people from the 60's better than I do.

Dear Adam, Sam and Emma

September 17, 2007 by Jamie in Family

Dear Adam, Sam and Emma. A note from Mom:
Gramma Judy and I are getting ready to go on the airplane today. We will be flying over the North Pole to Europe (see world map in Sam's room) I will take lots of pictures so you can see what it is like. Take good care of Dad, remember he needs your help to learn what we do every day ;-) Have a fun week in school and I will see you in 8 days. Drink lots of water. I love you. MOM

Jamie's headed up to Portland in preparation ...

September 17, 2007 by Adam in Family

Jamie's headed up to Portland in preparation for leaving tomorrow for Italy. The kids are both taking it easy, watching shows before bath and bed. We did a lot of playing and running around, and a few moments of peace are blissful.

It's been a bit of a rough weekend. I was fairly sick, as was Sam, with headaches and sniffles. Fortunately we're both on the mend and the girls seem to have missed getting it.

I'm going to try to go to work tomorrow, from home. It could be a bit of a challenge, hustling kids to school and taking care of the ordinary things of the world. We'll see how it goes.

I got to meet Lohring's best friend from chil...

September 14, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I got to meet Lohring's best friend from childhood, David, this weekend. It was an absolutely magical experience, and made me realize (though I don't know why this continues to stupefy me) that people really are the same in wonderful ways when they are six and sixty. I guess it's just between sixteen and twenty six that they (I) forget, and have to slowly relearn that time is relative.

The kids grabbed the camera and went around t...

September 14, 2007 by Adam in Family

The kids grabbed the camera and went around taking pictures of things. I can't remember who took what, but they both independently decided to take a picture of the sun. Fortunately the camera survived their artistic flair and they came up with a few interesting and quirky pieces.

It's Mocha Friday, though I've got a bit more time before I jump in the shower and hit Starbucks on the way into work. Jamie goes to Italy on Monday, leaving me to manage the kids, house, and work all by my lonesome. I think I'll survive, though I may have to duct tape the kids to the ceiling.

Sam hasn't been holding back when it comes to expressing his displeasure as of late. He really didn't want to go to soccer last night, though with some threats and cajoling, he went and had an okay time. Yet again, I think we'll get him into swimming or fencing later this year.

I'm hoping to keep the routine pretty standard this weekend, so it's swimming tonight and probably the library in the morning. It might be nice to see if Jamie can give me some time to myself while I build up my strength for the week ahead.

Jamie gathered up all the baby gear to give t...

September 14, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Jamie gathered up all the baby gear to give to the latest baby in the extended family (Jamie's stepfather's son's daughter). Included in the mix was Emma's old Exersaucer, in which she spent many hours.

Soon enough she was making smiley faces at me, hoping to be put in again. At four, it was a tight fit, but she spent a huge amount of time twirling around and playing with the attached gizmos. I dug out this old photo of her when she was little and bald. It's a poignant reminder of just how big she's gotten.

Sadly, we had to out Mischa down on Monday night

September 12, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Sadly, we had to out Mischa down on Monday night. Robbie burried him in the yard, and Isa's going to pick out some plants to mark the spot. We now have a regular pet cemetary going on!
The other kitties are doing well. Riply seems to be gaining patience with the kitten, Skippy, who get fiestier by the day.

Sam's having a bit of an issue around sports ...

September 11, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam's having a bit of an issue around sports these days. Soccer isn't panning out as his exercise of choice, so we're looking into other options for him after this season is over.

Swimming is something he keeps talking about. The YMCA has a swim team, which is conveniently located close to our house. I'd also be interested in taking him fencing once he turns nine. It's something I could do with him, plus I'm curious if my old reflexes are still there.

It's the end of the weekend and I should prob...

September 10, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's the end of the weekend and I should probably be in bed already. Saturday we went down to see the Eugene Celebration parade. Poor Emma was afraid of the noise and people, so Jamie took her back home while Sam and I watched it. Sam though it was pretty cool and funny. Afterwards we went to the library and walked home.

Later that day we had my dad and Yayoe over for dinner. Emma and I made fresh rolls and bread. Jamie made a wonderful custard dessert. It was all so tasty.

As for today, we had Dutch babies for breakfast, along with generous helpings of espresso. The kids and I hung out and then went canoeing. It went pretty well this time. Sam's favorite part was going through the rapids after a small waterfall. We circled around and went through it four or five times before heading home.

Tomorrow it's back to work and school. It'll be the last week before Jamie goes to Italy. I'm not sure what I should do to prepare. All I know is that I haven't really done much to get ready.

It's Sunday evening, and I'm at Bob's, watchi...

September 10, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

It's Sunday evening, and I'm at Bob's, watching 60 Minutes.
I had a lovely visit with Seraph, Robbie and Isa, driving up yesterday morning and coming back late this afternoon.
We had fun yesterday afternoon, going for lunch and then puttering around one of the many fun little shopping areas in Portland. Then Isa and I hung out while we sent Seraph and Robbie to the movies. Today, Seraph and I went to Ikea, where I'd never been before. Extreme retailing!
Seraph said Mischa had been sick, and that the vet said that
if the anti-biotics didn't help, Mischa probably has cancer.
Mischa is very thin, so I'm sure it's cancer, and I can't imagine many more days left - but the little kitty loves to
snuggle up with Mischa, so maybe he will hang on as long as
he can. Isa is wonderful to him, and I can't imagine a better place for Mischa to be; bringing him back to Eugene
might make me feel better, but Mischa seemed very settled
at Seraph and Robbie's. Jenny gave him to Sadie at Christmas, 1989, when he was a couple months old, so he's had a long life. He's always reminded me of one of T.S. Eliot's Jellicoe cats; sort of quietly keeping the household in order...

Folks are fixing our leaky roof this afternoo...

September 07, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Folks are fixing our leaky roof this afternoon, causing noxious fumes to filter into our office. My supervisor has already left, and my brain has become oddly heavy. While it could be Friday, this lurking nausea could be roof fumes. With all of the new vocabulary I'm cramming into my head these days, I need to be delicate with myself, so I'm going to go home early. I hope the emails I sent this morning weren't incoherent...

Emma's been leaving me these messages on my w...

September 07, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma's been leaving me these messages on my work phone that are incredibly effusive, declaring her undying love to me. It's a bit over-the-top, but always makes me smile.

The other day I went upstairs to find Emma going through her piggy bank. She paid me 11 cents because I loved her so much.

What a sweet girl.

Mocha Friday

September 07, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I just finished my beverage of choice and am feeling quite perky. The first week of school finished for the kids, which I think has made everyone pretty tired. Emma collapsed in a chair last night while Sam and I were loudly playing Metroid Prime. I went to bed fairly early as well.

I think in general, school has gone fairly well for the kids. Emma's starting to speak a little French again after getting out of the habit over the Summer. Sam's enjoying hanging out with his friends again at school. He's in the same class as Zach, which could be rather exciting.

Jamie had her first day of freedom yesterday, with five whole hours to herself. I don't think the change has quite hit her yet, and she's not exactly watching television and eating bon bons all day long. The normal household business calls, and she's getting ready for her Italy trip. Of course, she did find the time to buy Emma some pink hair spray, so it's not all hard work.

We've got a busy weekend ahead. I want to go swimming tonight, which we haven't done in awhile. We have dinner with my dad and Yayoe tomorrow, and tea with Emma's ex-French teacher and her family. Fun, fun.

Isa had a great first day of school

September 06, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Isa had a great first day of school. She enjoyed catching up with her friends, and seemed to like her new teacher. Her only complaint was that during PE Mr. Hudson went over rules, and they didn't get to do many activities.
I think the excitment of the day wore her out. She came into our bed at 4am and couldn't sleep because of a continuing bad dream. I may be able to salvage some of the day now, because Starbucks has Pumpkin Lattes on tap!

I had a long travel recovery time, but have f...

September 06, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

I had a long travel recovery time, but have finally stopped bumping into things. We actually had a busy weekend, with a nice ending BBQ. Then on Tuesday afternoon, Emma and I went down to Brushfire. She made a ladybug magnet and I made a little flower magnet. A delightful couple of hours, for only $6.00. I had a long call with Isa last night; she explained that Mischa is mentoring their little new kitty, a stray who apparently was dropped off in their neighborhood. I picked up Dez after school today; he really likes his new school.

The kids' first day went fine

September 06, 2007 by Jamie in Family

The kids' first day went fine. Sam was disappointed that the recess time was more minimal than he had hoped, but he had pizza for lunch which seemed to make up some points. Emma said she learned names and painted a shaker but she "couldn't roll it up for a long time still" Both were very tired at pick up. I went to work and had lunch at home in peace but it seemed to be over all too soon. We'll sleep well tonight and do it all over in the morning!

It's the first day of school for the kids today

September 05, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's the first day of school for the kids today. We went to the ice cream social last night while Jamie went to the gym. Sam found his buddies and ran around with them while Emma chased after a couple older girls she knew. We discovered that Sam's teacher is Ms. Anderson, who evidently married another teacher from the school over the Summer, right on the school grounds. Hopefully Sam likes her.

We threw Sam in the bath in preparation for his big day. Emma had already taken a bath earlier, but while Jamie and I were chatting, she climbed in with the boy. I think Sam was demonstrating too much fun with the bubbles, and it proved an irresistible lure. Soon enough the two of them were splashing about, getting bubbles everywhere.

It's been surprisingly quiet at work lately, especially in comparison to the madness of our various computer upgrades last month. I'm trying to take care of things that have been languishing, ignored for more important projects. I'll probably do more of that today.

Back in Providence and setting up a rigid GRE...

September 04, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Back in Providence and setting up a rigid GRE study schedule for the next two months. I have to relearn geometry, and can only remember those beautiful spirals, golden rectangles, and the billiard game from Donald Duck in Mathmagicland.

Providence seems to be a wealth of old family friends from Meadville! I'm excited to meet all of these new old friends, and am angling for tea dates. I'm imagining having lots of intimate chats with Judi Dench, which may not exactly be what I'll get.

Back to work after the long weekend

September 04, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Back to work after the long weekend. Isa and Robbie are frantically running around taking care of the last back-to-school errands (hair cuts, dental apts, etc).
We spent the weekend getting some new living room chairs, making bread, and generally relaxing. We had some play time with Isa's friend Mikaya yesterday and a mini BBQue in the evening. Isa also had the grown up experiance of getting her ears pierced! She's really quite proud of it, and keeps pushing her hair back to show them off.
We're trying to plan out fall activities. Isa wants to continue with violin and swimming, but is also interested in adding Irish dancing and/or school marching band. I suppose I should get used to the idea of multiple activities, but I still worry about over scheduling her time.

The long weekend has come and gone

September 04, 2007 by Adam in Family

The long weekend has come and gone. My mom, Dave, Kirsten, and Josh came over Friday night. We had some apple pie and a cobbler made from the blackberries Emma and I picked the night before. My mom bestowed gifts upon everyone, including a cute dress from Spain.

Saturday morning was spent with the kids, with a library trip in the afternoon while Jamie took them to 5th Street Market. Sunday was the "Sam play" day, with a visit to Zach's for swimming and a long play time with Ben and Sebastian across the street. Monday was spent going shopping and generally hanging around the house. In the evening we went to a BBQ at Bob's where I returned with an entire pie from Anna.

Now I'm back at work, getting ready to update our home page. School starts tomorrow for the kids. Jamie goes to Italy in a couple weeks. Busy, busy.

Happy September! The Eugene Celebration is co...

September 01, 2007 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Happy September! The Eugene Celebration is coming next weekend!!! The Ukulaney's will be playing music at the parade on Saturday, September 8, so look for me and a bunch of other uke nuts playing in the band. The Hawaiian music group I play with will also be marching together to promote ukulele playing! If all goes well I'll also be playing with the Iron Mango band in the future! Stay tuned for show times!

We're going on a national parks trip at the end of the month (September 27-October 7). We'll arrive in Las Vegas,(Lost Wages), travel to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Little Bighorn National Monument in South Dakota, the Black Hills, and end up in Colorado. I'm taking up a collection from any willing pigeon who want to "invest" their money in Las Vegas. Send cash and other liquid assets if you wish me to invest your savings. Remember what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas including your money!

Meanwhile, Lohring's last day at White Bird dental clinic was Friday. Sniff. They had a potluck party complete with a homemade chocolate cake to celebrate the year he spent at the clinic. With his new schedule he will spend several days working at the LCC dental clinic. He's looking forward to having more free time at home. I'm still doing counseling at Reliant Behavioral Health and work at the clinic on Thurday.

Dorothy is slowly recovering from her surgery with in-home help services. She's hoping to go to Italy in the late fall to visit Caroline's son who lives and works in Turin.
Let's wish her a speedy recovery.

Isa and Hannie made it back safe and sound ye...

August 31, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Isa and Hannie made it back safe and sound yesterday. They were both pretty tired, as Isa didn't sleep on the plane, and wouldn't let Hanni sleep either!
It was really nice to have them back. Robbie didn't even complain when Isa crawled into our bed around 3 this morning. She was wide awake, and hungry, by 4:30am, so our day started early.
I think she had a blast getting to meet all of her cousins, and the whole family seemed quite taken with her! They spent a lot of time swimming and playing, and some of the pictures they brought back are beautiful.
On the home front, we're gearing up for the start of school. I think we'll spend the long weekend finishing house projects and school supply shopping.
Sadly, dear old Mischa is pretty sick. We're trying antibiotics, but the vet thinks he probably has cancer. I'm endlessly frustrated with how little information a vet can give you. I know it must be hard to have a patient who doesn't speak, but I always get the same run around with our pets. I usually want to say that it's ok if they just don't know what's wrong! Anyway, enough of my venting!

It's Mocha Friday, though my morning coffee i...

August 31, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though my morning coffee is still over an hour away.

Soccer season started, and Sam was out running around with his friends last night. He wasn't too thrilled to actually go, but once he was there, I don't think it was too bad. I pointed out that it was good exercise, which he grudgingly agreed with.

Emma and I spent much of the time picking blackberries, along with a small cluster of kids that tagged along. I think we have enough for blackberry coffee cake for the weekend. Emma picked quite a few, though half of them ended up being eaten.

After practice wrapped up, we went off to Ben and Jerry's for Sharon's birthday party. She's a good friend of Jamie's and her kids are good friends of ours, so it works out really well. Everyone ate too much ice cream and we took some very tired kids home to bed.

As for this final weekend before school, I think we'll do the usual swimming, library, and so on. Maybe we can sneak in some outdoor events and a lot of relaxation before the fast-paced school schedule begins.

I'm returning to Providence this afternoon, w...

August 31, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm returning to Providence this afternoon, with a detour to the Mall of America, the only place, apart from the airport, that the hotel runs a shuttle to. It would have been nice to see some of Minneapolis, but we were in workshops all day, and I facilitated Campus Compact VISTA leader workshops in the evening. The Campus Compact VISTA leaders were brilliant and accomodating.

It will be nice to get back into my own dusty house and wrinkled potatoes. After five days, the shiny surfaces and buffet-style meals can be too much of a good thing.

Okay, okay, Sandie lives far east of Mexico, ...

August 30, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Okay, okay, Sandie lives far east of Mexico, and even east of Gibraltar. I had a delightful time, and will try to post pictures and a little travel summary. I'm still kind of fuzzy after the long trip home, but am getting back on schedule.

I finished Bioshock this morning

August 30, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I finished Bioshock this morning. The final confrontation was fairly traditional and quite easy by the time I was fully loaded up on ammunition, plasmids, and upgraded weapons. The earlier Big Daddy fights were more intense for me.

Still, the epilogue was very fitting, different than most games, and reflected the choices I'd made throughout the game. I like that sense of denoument and meaning.

Fortunately Metroid Prime Corruption should magically appear on our doorstep today. It's for the Wii and is very well reviewed. The previous game was a bit too challenging for Sam and I, but I'm hoping that as Sam as gotten older and they've toned down the difficulty, it shouldn't be as frustrating.

Jamie called at work, sounding a little on ed...

August 29, 2007 by Adam in Family

Jamie called at work, sounding a little on edge, and letting me know that I was welcome back at home any time. Fortunately it was pretty quiet at work. I was the only person there, everyone else off somewhere or working at home, so I snuck out a little early.

The kids seemed a bit grumpy, so I decided to get them out of the house and took them to a canoe rental place by Alton Baker Park. There's a bunch of canals that run by Autzen Stadium that I'd never gone on, and it was the first time the kids had ever been canoing.

We stayed a little longer than I should have (2 hours), and the kids got a little grumpy/tired towards the end, but in general everyone had a great time. Emma tried out paddling and she developed a love for the blackberries that were constantly on the banks. Sam's favorite part was going through the "rapids" near a short waterfall. Now I'm exhausted and ready for bed.

It was quite the change of pace from the drea...

August 29, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

It was quite the change of pace from the dreary, madmen-filled undersea city of Rapture, but we finished Sam and Max tonight. Sam (my Sam) was at the controls, and I'd offer up periodic hints if we got too badly stuck.

All-in-all, I was pretty happy with the series. The sense of humor was bizarre and over-the-top, as expected. The puzzles were only borderline nonsensical and often resulted in a funny outcome. I think the first few episodes were stronger than the latter ones, though perhaps it was because the style of humor wasn't quite as fresh.

Still, there's nothing like crazy ol' Max and his gratuitous violence.

We had a good weekend that was highlighted by...

August 28, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

We had a good weekend that was highlighted by the Oregon Symphony in the park concert on Sat night. It was great to see the park packed and the symphony receive 2 curtian calls. There were even teenage girl's at the side of the stage getting autographs after the show. It all made me feel giddy!
At home we're getting ready for Isa's return. I know there will be a few grumpy days as we reestablish a schedule, so I want to get caught up on everthing else now.
We also need to have some tests run for Mischa. He seams to have "lost his voice", and the vet thinks it might be a thyroid issue.
I was home sick yesterday, so work is crazy today. We're heading into our Fall 08 development time and the pace is picking up. I guess it keeps me on my toes and out of trouble.

The first morning living in the Bloomington P...

August 28, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

The first morning living in the Bloomington Park Plaza hotel is quite nice. My window overlooks flat expanses of asphalt and the rolling hills of the mall of america. All of the VISTA leaders are great, though, and while I'm a little tired of the enthusiastic facilitators- "this week will transform the rest of your life!"- it's nice to have someone restock my shampoo every day.

The beach was gorgeous, I was all set to spen...

August 28, 2007 by Jamie in Family

The beach was gorgeous, I was all set to spend several days. However, Sam missed Daddy and wanted to go home, and the kids started their annoying fighting and then Emma missed Daddy and I couldn't take it any longer by myself. We (meaning I) cleaned up and drove home. Phooey.

I just got a call from Jamie

August 27, 2007 by Adam in Family

I just got a call from Jamie. Initially, all I heard was Emma crying in the background. Then Jamie pops in and says "We're coming home." and that the kids missed me.

I think the beach trip wasn't quite the lovely visit it was envisioned to be. Ah well, the one day to myself was quite nice. It'll be good to have the kids home again.

It's Monday and I'm back to work

August 27, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Monday and I'm back to work. Jamie and the kids are over at the coast and the house seems terribly big for little ol' me. I kept myself busy by mowing the lawn, gardening, doing laundry, and generally tidying up. I think they're coming back Wednesday or so, but it's up to Jamie and her whims.

Mostly Jamie and I hung out with Emma on Friday night and Saturday. We went for a long walk to the store, visited the library, and spent the afternoon hanging out. It was quiet without Sam, who had already gone to the coast. Having just one kid around is a very different experience.

I spent much of yesterday in Rapture

August 27, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I spent much of yesterday in Rapture.

No, not the state of mind, but rather the undersea city, Rapture. It's part of a game called Bioshock, which is almost certainly going to win game of the year.

It's a wonderful game, set in an art deco city under the waves. What began as a utopia has turned into a place full of once-human monsters, transformed in pursuit of an ideal. The gameplay itself is full of interesting choices. Though it's technically a first person shooter, it's often a bad idea to simply jump in with guns blazing. I'm fond of hacking the various robots in the game, setting up ambush points, and luring my foes to me. There's also a range of magic-like abilities, such as the power to shock your foe, move things with your mind, and so on. Fun stuff.

The story itself is intriguing as well, with lots of moral and philosophical discourse all about. At this point, I think I'm over halfway through and will hopefully finish before Jamie and the kids return. Though it is fun to indulge at times, I do look forward to my family coming home.

Sandie lives in a Mexican city on the coast o...

August 25, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Sandie lives in a Mexican city on the coast of the Mediterranean, which is a fabulous place. I¨ll post more later. Much love, Mom

In preparation for VISTA leader training, I'v...

August 24, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

In preparation for VISTA leader training, I've created a series of pencil and paper games for VISTA leaders to do while we learn about how to be transformational leaders. One of my favorites is a game called "categories," in which you have to write down something in a specific category that begins with a certain letter. My categories are books your VISTAs could read, movies that are good, civic engagement vocab, and something you'd rather be doing. My example row, using the letter "R," includes Rules for Radicals, Ratatouille, and Reading a magazine.

Despite Janet's unenthusiastic review of Rocket Science, a film that she jadedly categorizes as "quirky suburban teen comedy," I'm hoping to see it this weekend. It's about a boy with a stutter who joins a debate team for a girl. How could that not be delightful?

My Friday Mocha is long gone, I've gone throu...

August 24, 2007 by Adam in Family

My Friday Mocha is long gone, I've gone through the morning's e-mails, and the work week is wrapping up.

Swimming lessons are done for the week. Sam did quite well, though he doesn't think he learned much due to his class being so crowded. Emma had mixed feelings about lessons as well. I think it was colder than she wanted, even though she seemed to like her instructor quite a bit. Emma's on the verge of learning to swim. When we go tonight, I'll have to test her on the skills she's learned.

Last night Jamie went to Angie's and then a meeting at the Little French School. Sam played with the neighbor boys, getting muddy and tired. Emma played in the sprinklers. For dinner I made a huge batch of noodles, and then we retired to play a bit of Sam and Max. Good times.

It's a big weekend for Sam, who's going to the beach with Jim and Judy. I think they're going out crabbing, even. Jamie's talking about talking Emma to the coast to join them on Sunday, returning sometime early next week. It'll be weird to have some quiet days in the house.

So, it'll be just Emma, Jamie and I for tonight and tomorrow. I think we'll do swimming and then the library in the morning. Other than that, it would be nice to have some downtime to just hang out. We'll see how it goes.

Our week continues - though much quieter then...

August 23, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Our week continues - though much quieter then the weekend. Robbie has been wrapping up my "honey do" list and trying to get some R&R. Work has been mildly crazy. I have a meeting with some of my least favorite vendors this afternoon. We "affectonatly" call them Dumb and Dumber. But it does mean that I've donned my power suit and have consumed large amounts of coffee!

My taste in media doesn't always overlap with...

August 21, 2007 by Adam in Adam

My taste in media doesn't always overlap with Jamie's, but we've found a common love of the new show Mad Men. It's about a man who works for an ad agency in the early 60's in Manhattan. The whole thing is surreal, pointing out how life was like back then, in stark contrast to our own. Everyone smoked, drank, and hit on the office girls. The kids don't wear seat belts, play dress-up in big plastic bags, and always eat at the little kids' table.

I'm going to have to check with my mom and dad to see if life really was like that back then. It almost seems like a parallel universe, where I keep thinking they're normal people until they do something really bizarre.

It's been cloudy and sprinkly the last few days

August 21, 2007 by Adam in Emma

It's been cloudy and sprinkly the last few days. I decided to brave the weather and take Emma to her swimming lessons last night, as usual. It was a bad sign when she was the only student and the instructor showed up in a wet suit.

Still, the pool wasn't too cold. She got individual attention for twenty minutes or so, and then I pulled her out to swim in the warmer play pool. We frolicked until we froze, then drove home with the heater on full blast. Good times.

Mom left for Gibraltar from Providence this ...

August 21, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Mom left for Gibraltar from Providence this morning. We ate at many wonderful restaurants along the way, watched the Borne Ultimatum in the Providence Place mall, and got to sit on a beach in Jamestown. I have a new watch and lots of toilet paper.

Next week I'll be going to Minneapolis for VISTA leader training, which should be incredibly fun. Not the training, of course, but spending time with other Campus Compact VISTA leaders. We have a fledgling listserv and have frantically shared documents back and forth. I want to put them all online and then build a Campus Compact VISTA recruitment machine that rivals the Teach for America website. We, alas, do not have a recruitment budget, but that's neither here nor there. We have the web and each other.

Robbie and I had a nice - child free - weekend

August 20, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Robbie and I had a nice - child free - weekend. We went out Friday night, walked around most of downtown, and had a fashionably late dinner.
On Saturday Robbie had his PTA training, and I came into work, but after that we went to check out Ikea. The place was sensory overload! We got some great home ideas, but pooped out after 3 hours.
Sunday morning we hit our favorite coffee shop, went to the Rembrant exhibit at the art museaum, road the tram to OHSU, and walked around the PSU campus. We watch movies and ate cold pizza until is was late enough to call Isa.
When we called she was eating breakfast and watching cartoons in German. She is having a great time, and hasn't decided if she wants to come back!

Sam and I have been loving the new Sam and Ma...

August 20, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

Sam and I have been loving the new Sam and Max game. He'll click and I'll enjoy the wacky results, offering suggestions as needed. We've already blown through half the game, filled with zany humor and gratiuitious acts of senseless violence. Now we're going up against the president of the United States, who has evidently gone insane and enacted mandatory gun registration laws.

The Season One game will likely be over far too soon, but I think the "Season Two" version of the game will be a must buy for Sam and I to play. We're having so much fun with it. Point-and-click adventure games are a rarity these days, but still retain that sense of fun that modern games rarely attain.

The girls made it home safe and sound on Sunday

August 20, 2007 by Adam in Family

The girls made it home safe and sound on Sunday. Sam and I had a great guys-only weekend, filled with camping, computer playing, and action movies, exactly as planned. The one thing we weren't able to do was to rent a canoe and paddle about, but we'll try again some future weekend.

Towards the evening on Sunday, Sam and Ben spent an hour building up the Imperial Army out of Star Wars Legos. Emma and I played in the basement along side them, jumping around to the Mission Impossible theme song.

Afterwards I took Sam to a birthday party, where they'd rented the entire Amazon pool. It was sort of weird, not having a kid I had to watch. Sam played with John. I swam around and socialized with some of the other parents. The life guards finally kicked out the kids, who swarmed the dessert table. Sam returned with a Pirates of the Caribbean action figure and shrunken head as a party prize thingie.

Alina, Sara Spettel-Aliyar's wife, had Pracil...

August 20, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Alina, Sara Spettel-Aliyar's wife, had Pracilla, a perfectly healthy and beautiful baby to keep their two dogs company. Congratulations!

I took Sam on his first camping trip

August 19, 2007 by Adam in Sam

I took Sam on his first camping trip. I opted for someplace close, so we went out to Fall Creek. When I was eighteen or so, we'd head out to Fall Creek nearly every Summer afternoon, so it was a return to my old stomping grounds.

We packed up Friday afternoon, found the camp site, and took a tour about the place. The swimming area in the brochure was completely dry, the lake level down twenty feet below normal. Still, it was fun to run around a dry lake bed and explore. Eventually we went back and set up camp.

Sam's favorite part was playing with fire, with the excuse of cooking dinner. We cooked and ate hot dogs on sticks, then moved on to marshmallows. Eventually Sam tossed on the remaining firewood with pyromaniacal glee. Eventually we dumped the water on the fire and went to sleep.

Sleeping was the hardest part, loud and bumpy. Our nearby campers were up fairly late and a bit chatty, along with too many dogs. In the morning we eventually woke up, ate a bagel, explored the river, and drove on home.

We continued our guy-only weekend with some Sam and Max, going to the Bourne Ultimatum, and a short walk at the duck pond. Now he's watching old episodes of Sliders and we're taking it easy. Good times.

Isa and Hanni made it safe and sound to Germa...

August 17, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Isa and Hanni made it safe and sound to Germany! Apparently Isa didn't sleep during the trip, but had a great time. There was a bomb scare at the Frankfurt airport, so it took them awhile to get sorted out. As I said to Isa - this was sure to be a grand adventure!
Hanni said that as soon as they made it to Cousin Susie's house Isa crashed. It will probably take a bit for her schedule to even out.
Robbie and I did not go out and party right away. I worked late, and Robbie worked with the PTA at a neighborhood event. We then came home, watched old episodes of Little House on the Prairie, and rubbed our sore feet!
I think we have some more exciting plans tonight : )
Tomorrow, Robbie heads out for a PTA training and I'm coming into work to get some e-mails out. The difficulty of working with Asian countries is that their Monday morning is my Sunday night!

Mocha Friday

August 17, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. That delicious elixir is long gone. It was almost medicinal today, along with three Advil. I woke up in the middle of the night with a bad headache, stumbling downstairs and ending up sleeping on the Foof (the blue beanbag-like thing). I slept in past the time I normally went to work, so I came in pretty late. Fortunately I almost feel okay now, as long as I don't jiggle my noggin around too much.

Jamie and Emma were getting ready to go to Portland this weekend. Sam and I will be camping tonight. He has beef jerky and marshmallows out, which I guess is all an 8 year-old boy needs to eat on a camping trip. I'll probably bring along something a little more sensible.

Since it's a boys-only weekend for me, I think we'll try to see a movie, play more Sam and Max, and generally have a good time. I'm sure by the end we'll frantically clean so as not to get in trouble by the womenfolk.

Sam and Max: Season One arrived on our doorst...

August 16, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

Sam and Max: Season One arrived on our doorstep yesterday. Sam was horribly excited to play it, sticking up the poster on his wall while the game installed. I'm a fan of Sam and Max from years gone by. In fact, if Emma had been a boy, we would have named him Max.

For folks wanting a taste of what Sam and Max is all about, you can take a look at the blooper reel. Though it's not actual gameplay, you get a feel for the irreverence behind the game.

Mom is in town, and as we are want to do, we ...

August 16, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Mom is in town, and as we are want to do, we have eaten for most of her visit. Our first night, we ate roasted wild boar with figs and polenta, exquisitely grilled vegitables, and a perfectly baked fig tart with vanilla ice cream. Last night, because I was still full from Al Forno's, we went to Loui Fuller's down the street and split a seafood salad with grilled grapefruit, a vegitable tart, and a pear tart with ginger ice cream. I didn't take pictures of any of our amazing meals, but I should have. Tonight we're eating in with the harvets of my neighborhood farmer's market.

And, despite mom's shock that I can live on $12,000 a year, it's what many people must do, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I have plenty of socks.

It was another swimming night last night

August 16, 2007 by Adam in Family

It was another swimming night last night. Emma has mixed feelings about the whole thing. She was getting pretty chilly towards the end since she's in the big, unheated pool now. Afterwards we played for a couple minutes in the play pool, then she decided she just wanted to go home. I think that after staying up until 10 o'clock the night before, she was pretty tuckered out.

Jamie was off at King Estates Winery with Angie, so I managed the best I could. Dinner was a quirky affair. Sam got waffles, Emma had rice, and I snuck in a bagel in between courses. Afterwards we watched a short educational video about the earth's habitable zone. Sam's been going around saying "Doctor Spitzer, Doctor Spitzer!" nonstop.

We also got a little present in the mail, the new Sam and Max game. It came with a poster that Sam put up in his room. The game itself is pretty funny. I think Sam's favorite part is that the main character (Sam) can whip out a large gun and start randomly blasting things. Ironically, that was the solution to the first puzzle we ran across (turning normal cheese into a reasonable approximation of swiss cheese). Good times.

Happy birthday, Jordan! I'm in Providence wit...

August 16, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Happy birthday, Jordan! I'm in Providence with Sadie, baffled at how she manages to live on an income which has to be below the poverty line. Nonetheless, her roommate is very nice, and their apartment cute. Maybe Sadie should be doing a Martha Stewart show for the impovrished. Still, I think socks, underwear and money would be good gifts...Love, Mom

The county fair appears to have started in ea...

August 15, 2007 by Adam in Family

The county fair appears to have started in earnest. Last night I was trying to go to bed while 70's dance music blared from the fairgrounds. Through some quirk of geography, the sound travels right up the hill through our open window. Plus Emma was up past 9 o'clock, crying and fidgeting. I ended up sleeping in the basement, which was vastly uncomfortable on an improvised bed made from couch cushions.

Sam and I are slowly getting ready for the weekend activities. We're camping Friday night while the girls go up to Portland. We have marshmallows and hot dogs, which is all one needs for such an activity. This is a pretty low-key event, just camping out near Fall Creek. Maybe next year we can do some backpacking to a camp site and really rough it.

I've been taking Emma to swimming lessons the...

August 15, 2007 by Adam in Emma

I've been taking Emma to swimming lessons the last couple days. It's fun sitting out on the edge of the pool, watching Emma learn various strokes and techniques with a half-dozen other little girls. After lessons we'll play for a half an hour or so, going down the slide or playing in the shallow pool.

Just for fun, I made a little Lego person of ...

August 13, 2007 by Adam in Adam

Just for fun, I made a little Lego person of myself. You can try it too, right over here.

A quiet Providence weekend draws to a close

August 13, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

A quiet Providence weekend draws to a close. Everyone in Rhode Island seems to be celebrating Victory Day, which I think is silly, so I'm at work. I've started to selectively re-read some of the old Harry Potter books that I haven't picked up in years, and it's fun to find how all of the peices, names, and little details wrap themselves together in the end. I never liked the second book enough to re-read it, but that's when Harry hides in the wardrobe in that Dark Arts shop and Peeves breaks the matching wardrobe. It's neato.

What a great weekend! It seems like a bit ...

August 13, 2007 by Adam in Family

What a great weekend!

It seems like a bit of a rarity to say that, but this weekend went really well. Friday night we all went out to Barbara and Zoltan's house, Emma's old French teacher and her husband. They have two kids, around Sam's age, and everyone ran around and had a good time.

On Saturday Jamie went out to coffee and hiking while the kids and I did our library and Humble Bagel run. Sam's gotten into an old science fiction show, Sliders, and has been telling me all about it. He's also been playing with Sebastian, who lives across the street. Sebastian has recently become the middle child and Sam's company is probably very welcome.

On Sunday I took the kids to the ponds by Autzen stadium. They got very wet and mudding, having a great time until Emma got too cold. Later Jamie went out with Sam to get new shoes and school supplies. Emma and I seemed to play every game in the house, from Clue to Give Me the Brain. We also did a couple rounds of painting, which is always fun.

After dinner, I took Sam to collect his rock from Zach at Amazon park. They were putting on Romeo and Juliet, which ended up being somewhat boring to Sam. Since Romeo was played by a female actress and Mercutio was particularly bawdy, I found the performance quite amusing.

Now it's back to work. The big go-live this weekend is on track, but several hours behind. We'll see how our help desk calls do today.

Ah, back to Pennsylvania and Meg and Dick's

August 13, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Ah, back to Pennsylvania and Meg and Dick's. They are back from a weekend in Maine with their girls, and Meggie has just put my laundry in. The night is alive with locusts and crickets, and I am remembering what summer in Pennsylvania is like. I usually feel most homesick for Normalville early in the spring, but the chorus of summer singers has reminded me of sleeping out on the backporch when I was a kid.
Anna and I had a busy two days in New York, spending yesterday at the Museum of Natural History until they nearly threw us out bodily on the sidewalk, followed by a stroll in Central Park. Today, we were one of three cars that found parking places in the city, and we took the ferry out to Ellis Island. Anna found the records of her mom's family, and I found the Steane family. I couldn't find Dick's family, but they have a website, and I'll try again later. Love to all, Mom

The other day I was tucking Emma to bed and s...

August 10, 2007 by Adam in Jamie

The other day I was tucking Emma to bed and she exclaimed, "Where's the fish?" Sure enough, all the fish in the tank were missing and Jamie fessed up to having "disposed" of them. They were supposed to be Sam's fish and he was going to take care of them. Well, that all fell to Jamie and in an evening of passion and flushing, the fish were no more.

Of course, now everyone is clamoring to get a puppy. I've been quite firm in my refusal, reminding everyone that a dog requires an hour each day for walks, feeding, and play. Fish take just a couple minues a day and we couldn't handle even that.

Plus you can't flush a dog down the toilet. Well, maybe a chiwawa. Or a toy poodle.

Friday already, my mocha just a shower and sh...

August 10, 2007 by Adam in Family

Friday already, my mocha just a shower and short drive away. The week has been zipping along. At work, I'm frantically preparing for the big upgrade to our main clinical system. Lots of people in our department will be working this weekend, myself included, though I'm hoping it's only for a few hours here and there.

Last night the kids and I entertained each other while Jamie went to go power walking with her gym cohorts. We took turns being blindfolded and trying to accomplish various tasks, all while being filmed and having the robot vacuum the floor. There's a lovely movie of me bonking my head against a pillar and Sam avoiding the iRoomba in extremely dramatic ways.

We're off to dinner with at Emma's French teacher's house. Barbara is a neat woman, her husband is a scientist at the U of O, and their kids are around Sam's age. Should be fun.

I'm trying to think of this trip as the appro...

August 10, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

I'm trying to think of this trip as the appropriate time to lose the ten pounds I gained after stress eating my way through Bob's convalesence. Anna and I did Penn, and Philadelphia, then forged on to William and Mary, in Williamsburg, on Wednesday. Anna met with the History Department person late Wednesday afternoon. We had dinner
at a nice little Eugene style (ie. funky but with good food; we had barbeque shrimp with cheese on grits, a dish we picked because we knew we'd never again see it on any other menu) and after dinner we walked around Williamsburg
Historical Village. We saw a firefly, much to Anna's delight. This morning we went to the Jamestown archeological dig, and toured the museum. It gave a really good idea about what the colony was like, particularly because about 25 men of the
colony died during the first August. I got the autograph
of the professor who supervises the dig. I suspect he must
not have a lot of groupies asking for autographs because
he was very nice and chatted with me.
Then it was off to Washington DC, where Anna and I had a three hour whirlwind tour of the city. We then came to Baltimore, where we got a room in a Bed and Breakfast in
a slightly shabby but still grand old home. It's nearly mid-night. John Hopkins tomorrow, then in to New York for the weekend. I don't need no stinkin' Death March. It's time for
those Senior tours...Love, the mom

I can't believe it's been over a month since ...

August 09, 2007 by Adam in Emma

I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted anything about Emma on her personal site. My only excuse is that it's been a crazy, busy Summer.

Emma continues to grow. She's much stronger willed than she was a year ago, which is occasionally trying. To some degree, that's what motivated Sam to get his own room. No longer was she the cute little sister. On the up side, she's very confident in her abilities, seeming more and more like a person in her own right.

Today she called me this morning to explain that she had "poison egg yolk". After some confusion and intervention of Jamie, I finally figured out that she got a little bit of poison oak on her. Normally her vocabulary is amazingly good. Last night I asked if the rock she'd found had crystals in it. "No," she replied firmly, "It's obsidian."

With mom coming to Providence as an ambassado...

August 09, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

With mom coming to Providence as an ambassador for the whole family, I've decided to give her a grand tour of Rhode Island (which is not very difficult in a state so petite). I will still have to go to work, so I've organized weekdays into neighborhood quadrents, so I can direct her to an area of town and let her get lost until I find her again at 4pm. It is, of course, an opportunity for me to go the restaurants I keep hearing about (Cuban Revolution and Kitchen) and the ones I want to visit again (Loui Fuller's and Taqueria Pacifica). Cultural tours will have to include the RISD and Brown art museums, the Cliff Walk in Newport, and a day on Block Island. My roommate is curious to see how much mom will actually assent to doing in the short week that she is here, and I'm curious to see on what day mom starts likening the visit to her death march with Rick Steves.

It seems that my fellow family bloggers have ...

August 08, 2007 by Adam in Adam

It seems that my fellow family bloggers have been fretting over me after my overly dramatic tale of illness and suffering over the weekend. I am completely recovered, no sanatorium required. I actually just got back from the gym moments ago, back to my usual peak physical condition.

I discovered I missed my 20th high school reunion, which was last weekend. It's probably a sign that I wasn't part of any of the usual social circles. There's only a couple people from my graduating class that I really hung out with. Still, it would have been interesting to take the kids down to the picnic and see familiar faces.

Jamie called in a request today. I'm to take the children away from the house for the night. I can only imagine what plans she has. Perhaps bubble baths and frolicking naked about the house.

Of course, when she called, I was on a conference call with a coworker (who I'd put on hold) and had another coworker in my cubicle. She was on speaker phone, which I pointed out and added jokingly, "No swearing." "No swearing?" she replied. "Oh, sh..." Needless to say, my cubicle neighbors thought it was vastly amusing.

Last night was National Night Out, and cloudy...

August 08, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Last night was National Night Out, and cloudy weater aside, we had a great time! I don't know if other places get into this event, but it's pretty big in Portland. A lot of people hold block parties, and city parks, curches, and businesses oftern have music and food.
We will also be getting our widows replaced in 6-8 weeks. We've been getting bids on the project, and finally had to make a decision!

For those of you who may be worried that Adam...

August 08, 2007 by Jamie in Family

For those of you who may be worried that Adam is writhing in an elaborately carved four poster surrounded by flickering candles while we keep constant vigil for the fever to break....please be assured that he is fine. He experienced a nauseous headache Friday night and Saturday morning, but some rest and a lessening of stress at the office has effected a miraculous cure. No laudanum required ;-)

Hi, I'm sitting here in Meg and Dick's living...

August 08, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, I'm sitting here in Meg and Dick's living room while Anna sets up interviews and meetings at other schools. She and I slept in late this morning, but then headed to Penn.
At first we couldn't find anyone in the History Department, but after a bracing frappacino, I went off to the fabled University of Pennsylvania Anthropology Museum and Anna went back for another try. She found one of the professors,
who was able to give her some good suggestions about who to
contact in the department. We then went to see the Liberty
Bell and some of the famous buildings in the Old Towne section of Philadelphia. We leave early tomorrow to head for William and Mary, near Williamsburg, Virginia. It has been very fun to see Meg, Dick, and Kayla and they have been
great hosts.
Adam, since you work for a hospital, do you think you could
find a doctor to talk to. Your fussy old mother would feel so much better.
And Seraph and Robbie, when we came in late on Sunday, we saw the kitty, which we couldn't see very well in the dark, and wondered if it were a guinea pig.

Sad news from the Cortez household this morning

August 06, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Sad news from the Cortez household this morning. Our old rat Scabbers died last night. He's been ailing for a while so it's not a huge suprise.
Strangly the pet balance in our house may stay the same. Starting Sat evening, a little kitten has been hanging around. Robbie and Isa are going around the neighborhood today to see if he belongs to anyone, but he seems like a possible stray. Isa has been calling him (her?) Skippy John Jones, after a favorite book cat that the little kitty looks like.
Our weekend was pretty low-key. I came in to the office on Sat while Robbie and Isa hit the downtown library celebration. They saw Captain Bogg & Salty preform and came back with several ballon creations.
On Sun we went out to the farm stands to get fresh veggies for the week. Some of our own corn is starting the rippen, and Isa is anxious to "harvest".
Mom came in late and left before we were up, but we are sending good travel karma out to her and Anna.

I got deathly ill Saturday morning

August 06, 2007 by Adam in Family

I got deathly ill Saturday morning. I woke up in the middle of the night and rolled around in the basement floor, popping Advil like candy. I was still in amazing pain by morning, scaring away the kids with my horrific grimaces. I kept telling myself that it would pass and after a nap I felt vaguely normal. Here at the end of Sunday, I feel just fine again.

Saturday involved a library trip by myself and watching movies with the kids while Jamie went first to her brother's and then to a birthday party. Fortunately everyone was in a good mood and I was feeling better, so it went pretty smoothly.

On Sunday the big event was a family walk to Metropol where I officially had too much coffee. Dave and Ray came over, and Sam made his grandpa some Swiss steak. Jamie let me have some time to myself in the afternoon before heading over to Angie's. Tonight was quiet, hanging out with the neighbors and taking it easy. Now I'm mentally preparing for work tomorrow.

The raccoon incident came to a close, with the swimming pool getting tossed into the garbage. A strategic withdrawal seemed like the most sensible approach. Otherwise Jamie might have voted me out of the office in the Fall.

Friday evening before vacation at the office

August 04, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Friday evening before vacation at the office. Mr. Lopez, this summer's smart reliable Mexican contribution to my life and the US economy, is out painting the fence as I get the last loose ends finished up. My office is down to this room and 40 boxes of files stored in the basement. My client list after twenty nine years of practice was in excess of 6,000 clients. That doesn't count doing more than
one case for many of them.
Sam and I went to Brush Fire for Friday Fun Day. He painted
his tank bank and I made a personalized kitchen magnet (mom, mom and new baby) for friends of Sadie's. Always a bit drifty about science, I was musing about whether to make the glaze on the baby a mix between their skin tones, when Sam pointed out that it didn't work that way. Ah, youth. Pass the bottle. (And why don't you just read
Joseph Conrad's "Youth"? It has Harry Potter beat all hollow.)Love from the old mom

Sorry we've been out of the loop for awhile

August 03, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Sorry we've been out of the loop for awhile.
Work has been somewhat hectic, and we're trying to finish up household projects before the summer ends.
Isa has one last round of swim lessons before she leaves for Germany. She has enjoyed swimming so much this summer, that we are looking into indoor lessons for the winter.
Isa and I are also 3 weeks into our music lessons. We have a teacher who is working with us at the same time - Isa on the violin and me on the viola. While she enjoys it, Isa is still somewhat resistant to the practicing element.
Othe other hand, I have been loving every minute of it. Even when I'm vastly out of tune, it's fun to see how much I remember!
Now that Ikea is open I fully expect everyone to come and shop. I've been holding out for the initial crowds to thin, but most people say to plan on 3 - 4 hours. Not sure I have that many hours in a day, but if anyone wants to join me it sounds like a blast!

Well, I finished my Mocha

August 03, 2007 by Adam in Family

Well, I finished my Mocha. Things are going horribly wrong with our main server at work, but fortunately I don't have to deal with it (yet).

We decided to repair and refill the pool yesterday. Both kids lent a hand, getting completely soaked in the process. Emma had a great time spraying down her brother, eventually coming inside when she turned blue from the cold. Unfortunately this morning I found the pool again partially deflated. I haven't decided if I want to surrender or not just yet.

I'm looking forward to heading home tonight and going swimming with the kids. They've all been learning new techniques and I want to see them show off their stuff. Sam's learning all sorts of exotic strokes and Emma can supposedly swim for real now.

Jamie has a couple events with friends happening this weekend (fortunately I got rid of those pesky time-consuming "friends" long ago). I think we'll do a library run and maybe Dave will watch the kids a bit. Some time to just hang out sounds very nice.

I'm about to declare jihad against the raccoons

August 02, 2007 by Adam in Family

I'm about to declare jihad against the raccoons. Last night Jamie was woken by a raccoon in our backyard. It had pulled the tarp over to the edge so far that it worked as a drain. Half the pool is now empty. I may be a vegetarian, but I'm sorely tempted to hide in the bushes with a baseball bat tonight.

We went out to dinner last night. Everyone got dressed up and we went to Ambrosia. Jason Kronholm was our waiter, so we got great service (and funny too). I realized that I've known him for twenty years. I'm old.

The last day of July

August 01, 2007 by Adam in Family

The last day of July. The older I get, the faster time seems to fly.

Work has been completely insane since the move. We had a significant computer upgrade that went badly, and I continue to deal with those issues. I somehow got named the lead person to deal with this million-dollar piece of software we purchased. From there, things get even nuttier.

In any case, I'm back home, entertaining the kids as usual. When I arrived, Sam was wearing a blindfold and had spent the afternoon going around blind. Tonight we turned a laundry basket into a race car for Emma. She kept calling it her "baby" in a tough-girl voice, much to Sam and I's amusement. Life goes on.

Sam finished Harry Potter, taking about two w...

August 01, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam finished Harry Potter, taking about two weeks to get through it. His reading has improved immensely since the first novel and it ended up expanding his vocabulary as well.

He also started swimming lessons yesterday. It turned out he was so good that they ended up giving him private lessons with a teenage girl. According to Jamie he was learning the butterfly stroke.

Sam's been getting into Garry's Mod again for the computer. It's basically a big sandbox game where you can do anything you want. Today we ended up making a ramp over a flaming truck that he'd jump over. At the moment he's building a haunted house, I think.

I just finished my first day at national Camp...

July 31, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I just finished my first day at national Campus Compact! I'm still nervous about the transition, but am also very excited about the possibility of making real changes that help support Campus Compact VISTAs across the country.

Providence is great, and I can walk to work until it gets too cold, when I can take the bus. It's the same size as Eugene, and has the same feel. I also spend my free time cooking, which seems to swallow up lots of time, in the best possible way! This is my new kitchen, with a gas stove and the cooking supplies of a baker's daughter.

Hi, all

July 30, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, all. This summer has been crazy busy, with getting the upstairs bedroom and the bathroom remodeled, getting the outside of the house ready to paint, and getting the back yard ready for the new house planning to begin. At the same time, it's been fun, with having time with Dez, Emma and Sam.
Here's my schedule. Anna and I leave from Portland on themorning of August 6th, and get into Newark that afternoon. Meggie, I have been hoping that we could stay with you on the night of the 6th and 7th, and then try to
make arrangements to stay with the Lewis family in Bethesda.
Anna and I will be back in Newark on the afternoon of the 13th, and she'll leave for Portland the next morning. I'll take the train up to Providence and spend a week getting acquainted with Providence and spending time with Sadie. I go back to Newark, and leave on August 21st for Madrid. From Madrid I go to Gibralter to spend time with Sandy, returning on the 28th. More later, love, mom

It's Sunday already

July 29, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Sunday already. I survived without Jamie fairly well so far, though admittedly I had a little help. Friday night was our normal swimming night, though poor Emma complained the salt water hurt her hurt toe and spent the entire time out of the pool. She ended up assembling a lounge chair out of foam exercise weights, so she wasn't too bored.

Saturday was a whirlwind of activity which included a hearty breakfast, a trip to the library, and walking over to Saturday market. At the end of that, both kids were pretty cranky so we hung out at home and had some quiet time. Then we had a short trip to Fred Meyer's to get food and pool supplies. Each kid also got a little treat for themselves, Sam picking out a watch and Emma getting a pink chair. Sam spent the rest of the day announcing the time every five minutes.

In the evening, Dave, Josh, and Kirsten came over. They entertained the kids while I made a big dinner. After filling 'em up on pasta and corn, I had them move the last of the big furniture around. Sam now has an actual bed and the guest bed is in Emma's room. Both kids slept on their new beds last night.

We also had some excitement with the pool in the back yard. Saturday morning we went out to find the upper ring deflated. Evidently the raccoons had returned. We reinflated it and taped it up. Since the pool water was filthy, we turned on the filters all day, dumped in huge amounts of bleach, and scooped out all the bugs and detritus. At the end of the day, the water was actually fairly clean looking.

As for today, well, I'd love to rest. Theoretically Jamie returns sometime. We'll see how it goes.

It's Mocha Friday, though I haven't actually ...

July 27, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I haven't actually gotten my beverage of choice yet. I suspect I'll swing by Starbucks on the drive into work.

We've hit another milestone in the Miller-Mellor household. Sam is now mostly moved downstairs to the guest bedroom. The mattress is on the floor, but he has his dresser and books, along with his homemade ugly doll named Ogg.

The funniest part was coming home last night and being handed a blue badge with "Authority" written on it in metallic colors. Jamie's was silver, which means she could go into Sam's room during the day if she knocks first. I, of course, got a gold badge, which means I have full access. Poor Emma is badgeless, so she would knock patiently and wait for Sam to say "come in".

I'm not sure how Emma feels about the move. This is the first time she's had a room to herself. I'd ask her and she'd say it was "horrible" or something along those lines. Last night when we were putting her to bed, she was folding clothes and fixing up her room the way she wanted. I think she'll be just fine.

Jamie and I were a little tense last night. It's been a rough week at work for me and having the kids full time this Summer has been harder than she expected. Hopefully this weekend away will be relaxing for her. I suspect my kid-filled weekend will be less than quiet, but fun nonetheless.

Tonight is swimming, which I can hopefully coordinate with Jenny. Tomorrow is the library and Humble Bagel. I think we'll be hosting Dave and Josh in the evening. With luck I can get them to help me move the rest of the furniture around for the kids' bedrooms. As for Sunday, well, maybe we'll take a hike or go to the playground. We'll see how it goes.

We're now in Oslo, definitely a less gorgeous...

July 26, 2007 by Meg in Lytton

We're now in Oslo, definitely a less gorgeous and less charming place than Bergen. It's a bustling city, with public bikes you can borrow that have little transmitters on them and some mechanism for registering them, so life is not totally idyllic. The palace, however, has no gates and the Parliament building takes up 2/3 of a small block that it shares with a women's dress shop for the 20s crowd.

Mikayla is finally nearly better, though still weak, just recovering her appetite and intermittently nauseated. We extended our stay in the lovely hotel in Bergen instead of going on the overnight cruise up the fjord and northward to Alesund. We found out, when we cancelled, that all 3 cruise boats were beset by bad gastrointestinal illness outbreaks so it may have been a silver lining that only Kayla, not all 3 of us, ended up getting sick this trip!

Dick and I did do tourist things in Bergen--rode the funicular to the top on the mtn behind, breathtaking views, walked down the hill past houses squeezed in against the mtn in all orientations, with hairpin streets. I wonder how they manage in the snow?! It may not be all that bad--I met a guy on the train that said it usually gets no colder than about 0 Celcius, I assume because of the Gulf Stream. We also went to the Bryggensmuseum, a collection of excavated remains from Bergen's early days, when it was a collection of houses for fishning trade and then a bigger port that the Hanseatic League, a merchants' guild that ultimately set fish prices and made the rulers beholden to it because of tax revenues it paid.

Also fascinating was the Leper Museum, which was open until the mid 1940s. For some reason, there was a lot of leprosy in Norway, especially along the Western coast. The lepers, as well as anyone with any undiagnosed, ugly skin problem, were isolated in hopitals. Hansen, the Medical Director at the hospital in Bergen, was the first person to isolate the organism, Mycobacterium leprosum. It's is a very noninfectious infection and he tried all sorts of animals models to prove that the organism was the cause of leprosy (only armadilos and some rare bird work, though someone finally grew it on mouse foot pads). There was international skepticism about his theory so, out of frustration, he finally injected the organism into an unwilling female patient (I think he injected himself, the assistant medical director and a few assistants first, without success). She didn't develop the disease but he job as Medical Diractor (he got to stay on as leprosry research director) and the first Norwegian Patient Bill of Rights was deveoped! Ultimately, leprosy was named Hansen's disease. We now have a cure.

As a parting consolation for Mekayla, we bought knit mittens and hat for her in Bergen, then headed to Oslo yesterday (Wednesday) on the wondrous train through extraordinary mountain scenery, past glaciers, through dozens of tunnels chopped through bedrock. Mikayla vomited once, slept lots and was able to walk to dinner (her first meal since we arrived Sunday) to have a little rice. She woke at midnight, hungry, and is ready for breakfast this morning! Great relief here....

Off to the Peace Palace, the Viking ship and the Kon Tiki, etc.

Jamie made plans to go to the coast with her ...

July 25, 2007 by Adam in Family

Jamie made plans to go to the coast with her mom this weekend, so it looks like I'll have the kids to myself. I'll probably do the typical swimming/library/park activities. Maybe if I can think of something brilliant and interesting, we'll do that too.

Yesterday saw some progress in turning the guest bedroom into Sam's bedroom. Desks were sanded and prepped for painting. Books were moved around. Sam's getting pretty excited about it.

Work continues to be amazingly busy. My brain is tired.

The week is chugging along

July 24, 2007 by Adam in Family

The week is chugging along. Work is still insane, but not quite to the degree it was yesterday. I got paged at midnight last night, but managed to get up at a reasonable hour and head in to work, only to find a new set of crises to deal with.

Sam slept outside in a tent last night. Jamie and I chatted briefly this morning and decided it was getting to the point where he needed his own room. He and Emma love each other dearly, but they've been spending way too much time together this Summer and Sam needs a place he can call his own.

Sam decided to follow the tradition of many y...

July 24, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam decided to follow the tradition of many young boys before him and camp outside last night. Emma and I helped find the old, dusty tent that Jamie and I used to hike the Grand Canyon. It was quickly set up and provisioned, with the kids trying it out for much of the evening. There was a brief moment where Jamie didn't want him to stay all night after seeing clouds roll in. Evidently Sam's powers of persuasion are strong and he somehow got the okay.

He stayed outside, reading his Harry Potter book, and didn't come in until just a few minutes ago. Since it was 6:30 in the morning, I think he got a little cold or bored or something. Last I saw him, he was headed upstairs to the relative warmth of his own bed.

I'm so sorry that I've been out of touch of l...

July 23, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm so sorry that I've been out of touch of late! I'm in the midst of Pre-Service Orientation with Michigan, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Campus Compact- quite the national precident! I'm very sorry for missing your birthday, Adam. I do hope that all of this east coast business will translate into the perfect job, house, and life next door to you very soon.

Periodically, I really earn my keep at work

July 23, 2007 by Adam in Adam

Periodically, I really earn my keep at work.

Today I woke up around 4:45 in the morning, a little later than I'd planned. The alarm didn't go off at 4 am, and the lazy part of my brain let me sleep in a little.

Then it was off to work to help with the final part of a server migration. This is the one that everyone in the organization uses, so it's a pretty big deal. As expected, things went horribly wrong in a variety of unexpected ways. Our whole team has been working away to resolve the issues and only now, around 3:30 pm, feel like we have a handle on things.

So, jobs are running and I think I actually get to go home at a reasonable hour. I'm on call tonight, but I'm hoping I don't get paged. I really want some blissful sleep for tonight.

Generic Heading

July 23, 2007 by Dick in Lytton

PS: Happy Birthday to Adam and Sue!!!

Hi all! We're in Bergen, Norway! We left from...

July 23, 2007 by Meg in Lytton

Hi all! We're in Bergen, Norway! We left from Newark, NJ airport Sat PM, after driving to Dick's Mom's for lunch and to leave our car. We took Amtrak to the airport and SAS to Stockholm, then on to Bergen. Sweden looks like Minnesota and upper midwest USA--same geologic forces at work.It's flat with lots of lakes, though there are flat, scoured-down mtns. that you can walk on top of, if you don't mind the wind. Norway, on the other hand, is unbelievably mountainous, with snow in spots even now. There are isolated houses and small villages but most of the country seems clustered along the coast. The fjords were created by the weight of snow and ice pushing the river valleys to enormous depths, up to 1250 m, 10 times deeper than most of the Norwegian sea.

Bergen is on a decent-sized plain by the sea but there is a larger "community" spread over many nearby islands and peninsulas. Bergen is lovely,clean from the nearly daily rains. The people nearly all speak English quite fluently (we only had to sign "binoculars")because it is taught from 1st grade on. The language is close enough to English that we figure out some signs. The people have been very friendly and helpful. The country seems very relaxed and accepting, although the tour book says public drunkeness and drunk driving are definite no-nos. Gays seem to be quietly accepted. They haven't been in a war (except The Resistence during WWII), don't have guns and have about 1 murder per week in the entire country.

Fish, meat and dairy are the staples here but we spotted Chinese, Thai, and Mongolian restaurants, as well as (yep, you guessed it) McDonalds and 7-Eleven. No American ice cream or ices--a definite shortcoming.

I sat with 2 young Swedish guys on the flight over--almost flawless English, without accents because lots of TV is in English. Apparently, Conan, Leno and Letterman are big hits. The Scans watch in English but the Germans have it dubbed with German. The Nords and Swedes are not totally enamored of each other. The Swedish guys said Danish is hard to read because they do weird things with consonants and that Finnish is closer to Russian so harder to understand. The Swedes have the same school year and school vacations that we have, with 12 years of school. College acceptance is based strictly on school grades, though school "slackers" can get a second chance by taking a 5 hr one-time exam that is not required if people have good grades. Sports and extra curricular activities have no bearing. University is paid for by the government and is 3 to 5 yrs long, including medicine and law and architecture. Architecture seems a popular career and the designs in our hotel reflect this.

There is a museum about the Hanseatic League era (the League had a monopoly and set fish prices here, even dictating the size and structure of shops). Greigg, whose home is about 7 km from town, is the home-town celebrity.

We haven't seen much of the town yet because Mikayla got sick and is still recovering. She started to vomit as we landed in Stockholm and continued through this AM. She has been sleeping about 2-3 hrs so I hope she'll be better when she wakes(it's 3 PM). We did get in a walk around downtown yesterday. We are arranging to stay here another day and will take an 5 hr fjord trip to Flam, then the famous train trip over the mtns to Oslo on Wednesday. Dick and the hotel and tour people have been great about quick plan changes.

As usual, this has been one of my over-long posts but I'll use it for our journal too.


The weekend is coming to a close

July 23, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend is coming to a close. I think I've milked the maximum number of birthdays possible. Last night Jamie made a birthday dinner for Josh, my mom, and I. Today at noon my mom and I celebrated at Jenny's house. That's a lotta birthday. It was fun chatting with my family and Isabell, Destin, and Jordan played in the pool.

Friday night the kids and I swam. On Saturday, Sam, Josh, Dave and I went to the Transformers movie and enjoyed the quality of the explosions. Later Emma and I went to the library together where she happily wolfed down a bagel.

The main excitement of the weekend was finding raccoons had eaten holes in the tubes leading to the pool, presumably looking to get at the juicy dead bugs inside. Today Sam, Emma, and I went to TruValue to get new ones. We stopped by Metropol bakery to eat pastries and drink too much coffee (I did the coffee, they did the pastries).

Of course, tomorrow is the big day at work. I'm waking up at 4 am to check how the server upgrade went. I suspect I'll be fielding help desk calls until late in the afternoon. There's always weird things that pop up. "I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue" is a phrase often muttered after a server upgrade.

I am recovering today from yesterdays 13 hour...

July 22, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

I am recovering today from yesterdays 13 hour reading marathon. I picked up the final HP book Sat at 12:01am, and after a few hours sleep, proceeded to read until 8:30 last night! I won't give away any of the plot, but I was quite pleased with the ending.
Robbie and Isa were in Eugene getting the book with some old friends.
I want to wish both Mom and Adam happy birthdays. I'm thinking about you all!

Sam's playing a new online adventure game cal...

July 22, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam's playing a new online adventure game called Chore Wars. I told Jamie that there was a computer game that she'd want him to play all the time. She initially scoffed, but then admitted I was right once I explained it. Sam's character is Samtastic, a first level Barbarian with a couple adventures under his belt. Yesterday he put his shoes away and this morning he put away his clothes. Soon he'll take on the biggest adventure of his short adventuring career, cleaning the pool. There's a 20% chance of finding a +2 Discarded Swimming Suit of Power. Wish him luck.

I finally got to use the gym at work yesterda...

July 20, 2007 by Adam in Adam

I finally got to use the gym at work yesterday for a quick stair-stepper session. Today I was able to use the weights as well.

It's pretty amazing, from big, clean locker rooms to huge amounts of different exercise machines. To top it off, there was only one other person in there, making it feel like it was my own private gym.

The only odd thing was the security cameras. I best not do anything too embarrassing lest it show up on YouTube or something.

Mocha Friday

July 20, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I cheated and stopped by Starbuck's on the way to work this morning. I'm not yet brave enough to try the cafeteria here at work.

Last night was a pretty low-key birthday celebration. I got a card from my dad and Yayoe, complete with Old Navy gift certificates. Emma made a card and gave me her coveted lucky kitty statue. Sam drew me a map of Samatopia. Jamie bought me cheesecake from Metropol. It was all good.

Jamie was pretty tired last night, so I spent a fair bit of time with the kids. They were in good spirits, so it was a pleasure. Emma played in the sand box while Sam swam in the pool. Later we played assorted odd student games from the Experimental Gameplay site. They were both enamored of Cacodaemon's Barbecue Party in Hell, which involves spinning a cute little kitty and then tossing it in the oven. Good times.

I came across a page that has links to Eugene...

July 19, 2007 by Adam in Adam

I came across a page that has links to Eugene blogs. Most are dull or out of date, but a few stand out. Creative Overload Junction has a bunch of knitting projects that Jamie might like (there's a pirate cap at the bottom of the page). Though it's old, Places to go when you're bored in Eugene had some interesting tidbits. Discover Eugene seemed to have lots of daily content, though it didn't have much personality.

There's lots of personal blogs, such as Following Edge, Between the Miles (running), and more.

It's funny how geography and technology mix.

It's my birthday today

July 19, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's my birthday today. 38 years old.

I just finished having breakfast with my mom. There was some mix-up over which Glenwood to go to, but she dutifully drove across town twice in order to make it happen. I was entertained by a gaggle of teenage girls reading Harry Potter out loud, which both amused and made me feel a little old.

It's a strange feeling sneaking up on 40. I don't feel especially old. I'm probably in the best physical shape I've ever been. Just the other day I was tossing around 100+ lbs of kids in the play room. I can still pick up both kids and spin them around in circles, which is the best justification of hitting the gym I've ever heard.

As for the rest of the family, everyone's doing well. Jamie and I had our date night last night while Josh, Dave, and Kirsten took the kids to the park. We watched Coupling, our favorite BBC show, which is like Friends but lots more funny.

Now I'm at work, slowly catching up with odd requests. I'm still getting settled in my new cubicle. Writing "Cube Sweet Cube" on the whiteboard seemed to help.

Well, I'm in my new cubicle in my new place a...

July 18, 2007 by Adam in Adam

Well, I'm in my new cubicle in my new place across town. It's pretty odd driving over to Springfield. I think I've figured out the fastest route, about 16 minutes via the various highways. All the Portland folks are probably giggling at my complaints, but it's a big change from a ten minute bike ride.

The building itself is relatively nice and new. I finally unpacked everything this morning, surrounding myself with familiar photos and trinkets. With my plants all around, it's starting to feel somewhat homey.

I've got orientation for the gym in an hour or so. I tried to work out yesterday, but it turned out I needed to be shown something or another before I can be trusted to touch the equipment. Maybe I shouldn't have been licking the dumbbells all these years.

If I had been born thirty years later, would ...

July 18, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

If I had been born thirty years later, would making air reservations be so neurosis producing? I just realized that I gave myself only two hours to get off an international flight and onto a domestic flight. Bob's Anna and I leave Portland on August 6 and fly into Newark. We tour grad schools, and she flies back on the 14th. I have the next five or six days to travel to Providence and visit with Sadie, then head to Madrid on the 21st. Back to PDX on the 28th. What a treat! Love to all, mom

Happy belated birthday to you Adam! I hope t...

July 17, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy belated birthday to you Adam! I hope the change to you new offices is going well. Any natural light?
Work here has been a bit nutty lately. The endless cycle of not quite catching my breath!
It rained in PDX last night, making it hard to get going this morning. It was one of those days were you want to curl up in front of the fire with a good book.
Isa is excited about the prospect of swimming lessons in the rain! She thought it would be funny to get wet in and out of the water.

We're back home

July 17, 2007 by Adam in Family

We're back home.

The birthday surprise was an "ultimate" spa treatment. It was kinda fun in a vaguely girly self-indulgent way. I think I dozed off a few times during the wrap and massage.

The only thing of note is that upon our return, we found our pool completely filled with algae. The pool cover came off and turned it a cheerful green color. Of course, Sam had to jump in and swim around. He insisted I call him Swamp Thing and he repeatedly emerged to wreck vengeance upon the surface dwellers.

The kids are now in bed, winding down for sleep. I go to my new work tomorrow. Ah, change.

Today is my last day in the Center for Commun...

July 16, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Today is my last day in the Center for Community Engagement at Williams College. I arrived at work and found that Human Resources had already removed me from the network, leaving my email and intranet locked. With my supervisor being gone for the last week and absent on my last day of work, I can't imagine a more clear message from all sides of the institution to leave. No secret surprise party. Oh well.

However, I had a great time in Providence this weekend, moving the bulk of my things into my new apartment, with my new room mate. I'm so glad Mason came to help, not only for his truck and stamina in carrying heavy boxes up three flights of stairs, but to confirm how wonderful Vanessa is. I'm really excited to move, and am sure this will be a great space to live in.

This week, Mason and I are going on a canoeing, hiking, camping extravaganza for three days- a much needed break from my computer!

Jenny, I'm so glad you've found a new, friendlier employer! What nice news.

I'm posting from the Bonneville Hot Springs R...

July 16, 2007 by Adam in Family

I'm posting from the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa. Jamie drove us out of Portland yesterday, where we stopped by a waterfall and then headed across the Bridge of the Gods into Washington. I finally guessed the hot springs as our destination, going off her clue that I should bring a swimming suit while packing.

The resort is nice, very new. The spa itself is essentially a swimming pool and a couple hot tubs, filled with mineral water. There's even a hot tub in our room that's filled with the water from the spring. We've been exceedingly lazy, swimming, lounging about, and generally taking it easy. It's been quite nice.

As for today, we're heading out at eleven this morning, going to some other unknown destination. Jamie's calling it my birthday present, so we'll see what that means soon enough.

It's Saturday morning and as usual, I'm up an...

July 15, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Saturday morning and as usual, I'm up and about before anyone else. We're still at Jim and Judy's house. The mysterious anniversary event starts today, I think, though Jamie has done remarkably well keeping it a secret.

On Friday Sam and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie. I though it was quite good, though Sam said it was short and left out a lot of the events from the book. Sam's moved on to the classics since finishing Harry Potter, finishing Alice in Wonderland last night.

I was going to go to Flicks and Picks to pay my final respects, but heard the news that 10,000 videos from their collection were going to be purchased by the Eugene public library. That's a perfect solution, in my opinion. Most of our movies already come from the library, and the thought that my childhood is preserved in that way fills me with hope.

Friday night was a typical swimming night. The kids had a great time as usual and we stayed a little past the point where they got tired and loopy. Towards the end they were constructing boats out of floatation devices, attacking them with sea monsters and trying to get their yellow duckies across the wide sea.

The trip up to Portland yesterday was uneventful. Everyone has a good time here, in part for the change of pace and new toys. Jim and Judy took the kids to a fountain while Jamie and I went to Fry's to wander the halls of electronica and return with a couple headphones and highlighters.

As for today, who knows? I think the mystery will be revealed after breakfast. Should be fun.

I got a new job, dr bob is in the past, i now...

July 14, 2007 by Jenny in Jenny

I got a new job, dr bob is in the past, i now work for dr huling, and let me tell u he is a its a wounderful enviroment.life is now relaxed so i'll be in touch. Seraph i would like to send dez up for a week over the summer let me know what works? All our love to sll. life is so great now.

Well, we aren't going to Portland just yet

July 13, 2007 by Adam in Family

Well, we aren't going to Portland just yet. There was some miscommunication between Jamie and her mom, so we're heading up tomorrow. I thought about going in to work today, but decided to instead do fun things such as go to the library, take the kids swimming, and see the new Harry Potter movie. I might swing by Flicks and Picks to give my last respects and maybe pick up a movie or two at their sale.

Last night I was so tired, so much so that I was a little on the grumpy side. I fell asleep on the couch next to Emma as she watched some show. We also worked on "experiments", including the old standby, corn starch, water, and food coloring. Later in the evening I perked right up, but it took awhile.

Everyone helped me move into my new cubicle yesterday. The kids were great for the first half, and then got pretty wacky towards the end. I got my plants moved over and watered them heavily. My computer got plugged in and turned on, connecting to the network just fine. When Tuesday comes, I guess I'll be as ready as I'll ever be.

It's my final day working in the Support Serv...

July 12, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's my final day working in the Support Services building next to Sacred Heart. At lunch today, I'm going to be going home, grabbing my family, and moving everything off to the new place. It's in the old Sony building, clear across town. There's a gym, which is good, and free parking, which is also good. The room itself seems like a sea of gray cubicles, without much character.

I did my last bike ride coming in this morning. It was warm and gorgeous, and I wore a t-shirt with no jacket. It's days like this that I'll miss.

Last night Jamie and I went out on a date, going to Oakway mall for dinner and shopping. I picked up some boxer shorts with cephalopods, which made my day.

Jamie pointed out today that our anniversary ...

July 10, 2007 by Adam in Adam

Jamie pointed out today that our anniversary was on Sunday. Both of us completely forgot since we're doing our celebration of the even this upcoming weekend. We've been married 12 years. I guess by that time, every moment is like an anniversary.

I had a whopping headache this morning, mostl...

July 10, 2007 by Adam in Family

I had a whopping headache this morning, mostly controlled by a combination of Cafe Mocha and Advil. Supposedly it's going to reach 100 degrees today, so the thought of sitting quietly in an air conditioned building was greatly appealing.

Jamie was getting the pool ready for the kids today. I think even Emma might enjoy a dip in the cool water once the temperature gets up there. Sam and John went swimming for a long while yesterday. I think Sam's inventing new pool games, such as running around the perimeter and creating a whirl pool effect. Great fun.

We had a wonderful weekend by ourselves at Ka...

July 09, 2007 by Robbie in Cortez

We had a wonderful weekend by ourselves at Kah-Nee-Tah resort. My mom came up on Friday and she stayed the weekend with Isabell. Seraph and I left Friday evening and arrived around 8:30. It's really beautiful out there, as we saw wild turkey cross the road a head of us. Dinner anybody! We saw a lot of wild horses roaming the hills and trotting down the road, as we slowed down and watched with awe. When we we arrived, we checked into our room, ventured around the hotel, and headed over to the bar, where they played some truly horrible 80's music. It was so bad, it made us laugh, of course a few rounds of alcohol helped a lot. Can't say it helped when morning came around.

Saturday morning we staggered out of bed, had breakfast headed down to the village, explored a bit and then we went down to Warm Springs and went to the museum there. They have many wonderful displays on Native culture and about the destruction of Celilo Falls. After that we headed back up to our hotel, napped for two hours, and headed to a traditional salmon bake, where they bake the fish on stakes around a fire. Great food, and afterwards the Native children danced for us, with other hotel children joining in and dancing around. We went back to our hotel and decided to go swimming, where we found the wind whipping around us, and the water frozen. After 15 minutes as frozen peguins, we waddled over to the hot tub and de-thawed. Later, we went back to the bar, had ONLY one drink, we went back to our room and read books.

Sunday, we went down to the village to get pedicures, SHHH...don't tell anyone. It felt great, and secretly will have to do that again. After that, we checked out, explored the fish hatchery, ate at Timberline Lodge, and headed home to find a spoiled child, waiting for us. Over all a great weekend!

My rainy Monday mix: 1

July 09, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

My rainy Monday mix:
1. Whole Wide World, Wreckless Eric
2. Martha My Dear, The Beatles
3. Queen Bitch, David Bowie
4. Fire it Up, Modest Mouse
5. Automatic Stop, The Strokes
6. Lust for Life, Iggy Pop
7. I wanna be Sedated, The Ramones
8. Should I Stay or Should I go, The Clash
9. Beast of Burden, The Rolling Stones
10. Piano Man, Ghostland Observatory
11. See You on the Moon!, Greatlake Swimmers
12. Be the One, Little Barrie
13. Brand New Colony, The Postal Service
14. Deborah, Beck

This weekend I saw an exhibit at the Williams College Museum of Art about Gerald and Sara Murphy, who seemed to be bff with the who's who in twentieth century arts and letters. I mean, who gets their children's art judged by Picasso? Who is turned into characters for Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night? These people, as it turns out. It just goes to show how being rich at the right time and place can really get you friends and influence people.

Everyone's back again and we had a wonderful ...

July 09, 2007 by Adam in Family

Everyone's back again and we had a wonderful day yesterday. I whipped up breakfast for a change while Jamie went to the gym. Sam read Harry Potter while Emma and I painted. Later we went to Hendrick's Park to fly a kite, play Frisbee, and run around. Humble Bagel followed, with Emma striking up a conversation with a fellow bagel-goer. Upon return was Night at the Museum for Sam (Care Bears for Emma). Jamie visited with Angie and I had a few moments to myself.

When I went to return the movies, I sadly discovered that Flicks and Picks was closing, the store where I'd rented videos since I was a kid. I sadly handed over a video for the last time and returned to the car to find Emma fast asleep. I carried her to the guest bedroom in her princess dress. She looked just like sleeping beauty.

The kids went to Bob's house for dinner. Emma picked a bunch of blueberries for me. Jamie and I made dinner together and watched part of some overly dramatic Johnny Depp movie. It made for a busy, funny, happy day.

Now I'm heading into work in a few hours. The days are counting down, with everyone coming to work on Thursday to help me pack and move to the new place. Very odd.

A week ago, I took the kids to Elephant's Tru...

July 09, 2007 by Adam in Sam

A week ago, I took the kids to Elephant's Trunk at 5th Street Market. Sam saw an Ugly Doll there, these odd, distorted soft toys for non-traditional kids. Well, Sam really wanted an Ugly Doll, to the point where he was seriously thinking about cracking open his piggy bank and shelling out the $20 for one.

When he came home and told Jamie, she said she'd make one for him. Even better, it would be of his own design. Soon enough, Sam sketched out a one-eyed, three-tentacled monstrosity and they went to get some felt. Jamie did the sewing and Sam added the stuffing. Soon Ogg, the home-grown Ugly Doll was born.

Sam hit another big milestone last night, finishing the 6th Harry Potter book. The series really turned him into a serious reader. When he started a year ago, he was slowly sounding out words and managing picture books on occasion. Now he can read a couple chapters a night. He explained to me how when he reads, he doesn't sound out the words any more, but is instead transported to a different world.

Now he's reading a book about Sasquatch, at least until the last Harry Potter book comes out.

HI There, It's been so long since I last pos...

July 07, 2007 by Yayoe in Yayoe

HI There,
It's been so long since I last posted a family entry so here goes. Lohring is at his second national boat race in San Jose, California and due back on the 15th. The last one was in Washington. During that race I snuck a rubber chicken in his duffle bag and it turned out to be the best present yet. All the boat-head guys wanted their picture taken with it so now Lohring and the rubber chicken are famous.
On this trip I snuck a flying pig into his suitcase but he wasn't so crazy about it. It oinks as it flys through the air. Next time I'll find something real sinister to sneak into his luggage so that he gets arrested at the airport!

Tonight I'm taking a break from painting our living room wall. It's definately a big shock in terms of color.I wonder if I will scream in the morning when I wake up and see what mischief I have created. I almost called 911 after the first coat of paint went on the wall. Yikes!

My adventure at the Portland Uke Festival and camp was just amazing. Think of 130 uke players from all over the USA playing their ukes, taking classes and workshops and jamming in the evening. Then evening concerts back to back with famous uke/jazz players who play several instruments. We stayed at Reed College in the dorms and ate fabulous meals on campus. Looks like this will be an annual trek for me while Lohring does his boats.

By now you've all seen the article about Josh and his job as staff surfer. He has 5 surboards in his living room instead of furniture and now I know why. He's smitten with surfing. Gotta give him credit for getting paid to do it! Little Kekoa Marvit is a little over 2 months old now! Can you imagine Josh surfing with him in just a few years! Wow...Aloha for now.

I stepped on a bee last night while I was wat...

July 06, 2007 by Adam in Adam

I stepped on a bee last night while I was watering the garden. It hurt like the dickens for a few minutes, though I got the stinger out very quickly and took some Advil. The worst part is that there was no one to fuss over me, since my whole family was out of town.

I actually finished a game last night, S

July 06, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I actually finished a game last night, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (yes, it has all those periods in the title). It was from a Russian developer, which probably reflects its greatest strengths and weaknesses. It had lots of style and a lot of bad endings. The best was merely surviving and making the world a slightly better place. It was also difficult in many ways, with a strict weight limit, weapons and armor that broke down over time, requirements for food, dangerous radiation, and endless enemies that were often tougher than you.

I did pretty well, right up until the final levels. I found myself at the Chernobyl power plant without medical equipment, my armor in tatters, and extremely tough enemies all around. I got reasonably far using a run and hide approach, but this became impossible at the very end. Eventually I gave in after my 20th reload, downloading a trainer and making myself invulnerable for the rest of the game.

I still have Jade Empire to finish, though I'm not sure when I'll find the time to work on that next. Mostly I'm keeping my play time open until Bioshock arrives next month. That should be entertaining.

It's Mocha Friday, the last one at my current...

July 06, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, the last one at my current place of work. I'm still not sure what I'll do once I start going mobile, driving a car each day. Maybe I'll make one for myself at home before I head out.

I survived my night alone at Casa del Miller-Mellor. I admittedly played a bit of video games, which I rarely get to do when I have famiily about. There was also a tremendous amount of work to be done, from watering plants, doing laundry, doing dishes, and so on. My exciting Friday evening plans involve going food shopping and finishing laundry.

Everyone should be back tomorrow afternoon. I'll probably make myself a hearty breakfast and go to Farmer's Market. I should probably relax a bit, while I can, as I suspect Jamie will want lots of alone time when she returns.

While nothing exciting has happened in Willia...

July 05, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

While nothing exciting has happened in Williamstown, my good friend Mauricio's wife, Maria Jose, just had a baby! His name in Thomas, and he is sure to love their cobblestone street in Durham, England. It feels like a small victory for life and goodness. I hope little Thomas grows up to have an English-Uruguayan accent!

It's been a fairly quiet week so far, except ...

July 05, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's been a fairly quiet week so far, except for yesterday where America joined together to show their patriotism by blowing things up. We celebrated over at the Musgroves' where Jeff had purchased a massive arsenal of fireworks. Emma thought they were pretty neat until they got to the loud ones. Sam stayed late and got driven home, then switching to our balcony to watch the ones around town.

It looks like Jamie and the kids are going to the coast today. It was a spur of the moment decision, trying to come up with something to stay cool and entertain the kids for a few days. Fortunately for Jamie, I usually transform that weird, jittery feeling when my family's away into compulsive house work. I'm not sure I'll have time to create a master bedroom suite or add in a hot tub, but I'm sure I'll think of something.

Happy Fourth

July 04, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Happy Fourth. I hope that our country will sometime live up to the ethical expections and hopes of the Founding Fathers.
Then again, maybe if they'd had some Founding Mothers and didn't think that slavery was okay...
I now have a sort of Mud Flat where the deck used to be, and
with the help of Cervando Lopez, a fifty year old guy who spends from December through May with his wife, children and
grandchildren in Chiuahua (that spelling is not even close) things are gradually being readied to start construction on the little house. There will probably be a long delay in getting building permits, but I wanted to get all the front house repair, and the excavation, done. Then I can see what
the location will look like. I want to arrange for a cistern, too.
It's been helpful to have him stay at the house He's been staying in Eric's room, which has a bathroom, while I
stay at Bob's. I learned yesterday that the beautiful toilet
that I bought in Portland can't be installed because it needs a modifier package, apparently not available on this planet.

At the library I picked up the horror film 28...

July 02, 2007 by Adam in Adam

At the library I picked up the horror film 28 Days Later. A couple weeks ago, Dave delivered Jim's old treadmill. I tried it out while watching the film, finding horror films to be highly motivating. After 30 minutes or so, I stopped and went to bed.

Unfortunately I ended up having zombie nightmares all night, which is a rarity for me. This morning I popped out the DVD from my computer, put it away, and likely won't finish the film.

I feel old.

The weekend has come and gone

July 02, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come and gone. There weren't really a lot of big events or exciting stories. It was fun, pleasant, and somewhat relaxing. Friday night I went swimming with the kids. The hour flew by like it was nothing, with everyone having a great time. Now that Emma can move around so well in the water, it's a lot more fun for everyone.

Saturday was pancakes, eggs, and espresso, then a trip to the library and Humble Bagel with the kids. Sam picked up Piratology, which has lots of cool things to fiddle with inside. I think it's become Emma's favorite new book. We then had quiet time, watching movies, then playing a little in the pool and sandbox. Evening came and went without too much excitement.

Sunday's highlights were a trip to 5th Street Market and the kids playing with Sierra in the afternoon. I got some gardening in and bothered Jamie in the kitchen. She and Sam made egg noodles from scratch, which got turned into great noodle soup. Dave and Kirsten came over that night, where we drank martinis and had a delicious meal. The kids watched the old Fantasia and really enjoyed it.

Now it's Monday. I'm going to take a field trip to my new office in a half an hour. It's the first time I've seen things all set up. Next Thursday I'll move my stuff over, right before our anniversary trip to Portland. Ah, change.

The weekends bookending the Fourth of July ...

July 02, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

The weekends bookending the Fourth of July in Williamstown are ridiculous, and I generally try to stay off Spring Street to avoid the Williamstown Theatre Festival crowds. This weekend, I sewed, finished an 800-page novel called Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel and painted two of my favorite chairs cranberry.

Last week, on a hot afternoon, a few of my friends and I went to Images and watched Mansfield Park- the benefit of having a room mate who works at a little theatre is the private showings. We ate earl grey ice cream and had a very old New England time.

This picture is of Josh, Yayoe's son, at the best possible job in the world- taking water samples of beautiful Hawaii beaches, using a surfboard.

I have a few more gulps remaining in my Frida...

June 29, 2007 by Adam in Family

I have a few more gulps remaining in my Friday Mocha. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do once I move offices - pick up something on the way? Make it at home? The impending office move looms ever closer. Yesterday I pulled off all the stuff from my cubicle walls and drawers, stuffing them in four boxes. It's feeling increasingly drab and clinical, working away in these gray walls.

Sam had a great time in the pool yesterday. Emma got too chilly, like before, but Sam toughed it out and we ended up doing a little photo shoot of him jumping out of the water. His hair has gotten really long, so it sprays nicely. These are a few of the more choice shots.

I think the transition to the Summer months has been a little bumpy for Jamie. The kids were both a little wacky when I got home last night. The kids briefly pretended to surf on couch cushions while I played surf music. Eventually that broke down and we played with Magnetix, building odd, magnetically attached constructions.

As for the weekend, we'll probably do the usual swimming and library stuff. I have a hard time convincing the kids to go to the library with me these days. Even a trip to Humble Bagel doesn't cut it. Maybe after Sam finishes his Harry Potter book, he'll be up for it. At the rate he's going, he might finish in a couple weeks.

Emma's last day of baking camp is today. Yesterday she brought home cookies and two kinds of cheesecake. If she did this all the time, I'd end up the plumpest parent on the block.

I had a lot of fun last night

June 28, 2007 by Adam in Family

I had a lot of fun last night. Sierra, one of Emma's teachers from the Little French School, came by to watch the kids. They had a great time together, with even Sam talking a liking to her. Jamie says glowing things about Sierra and it sounds like she'll be a recurring babysitter over the Summer months.

Jamie and I went for a long walk, having dinner at Turtles, a local bar and grill. It was nice to just chat about odd things and hold hands, a pleasant reminder of how fond I am of my wife.

The kids tried out the swimming pool for the ...

June 27, 2007 by Adam in Family

The kids tried out the swimming pool for the first time yesterday. It was still pretty cold, though I think the outside temperature was in the 80's. Sam stayed in the longest, with Emma quickly getting too chilly. She then played with paddle boats, trying to run into Sam as he pretended to be a giant sea creature.

Sam was up late again, reading Harry Potter until 10 o'clock. He'll easily finish before the movie and last book come out later this month.

Emma returned from baking camp yesterday with pineapple upside down cake and white chocolate mousse. I restrained myself and only had a nibble.

Emma started her baking camp at the Little Fr...

June 26, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma started her baking camp at the Little French School yesterday. It's led by teacher Barbara, who taught her all last year. They make assorted goodies and return home with them.

When I came in yesterday from work, she excitedly showed me her chocolate brownies with rasberry frosting. She didn't like the frosting, so she said I could have some. After eating the entire thing in all it's gooey goodness, I informed Jamie that perhaps next year we could send her to gardening school.

While I was in Portland, I had the chance to ...

June 26, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

While I was in Portland, I had the chance to see Seraph, Robbie, and Isa's beautiful new home, and took a few pictures of it. Here's the front view.

All is well in Williamstown, and I'm wrapping everything up to move to Providence at the end of July to start work at the national Campus Compact office. You are all welcome to visit!

We went to an Old House Expo on Sat

June 25, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

We went to an Old House Expo on Sat. It was fun learning about the style of our house, and gathering resourses for future projects. Robbie went golfing with some folks from church, while Isa went to another church friend's house. As I am incapable of sitting still when I have alone time - I went to Home Depot and ended up putting in a small pond! My goal is to slowly delete lawn space.
Isa starts her second week of swim lesson tonight. Her teacher pushed her up two levels, so she's a little nervous. I think we've created another water-rat in the family!

We're now proud owners of a swimming pool, 3 ...

June 24, 2007 by Adam in Family

We're now proud owners of a swimming pool, 3 feet deep and 12 feet in diameter. Toys R Us had a sale and we picked it up for $70. Since we're both nervous parents, we laid down various rules, especially to Emma. I feel pretty good about things, as she's tall enough to stand up in the water. Nothing beats parental supervision, though.

It took all afternoon to fill and takes up a sizable portion of our back yard. The kids were pretty excited about it, with Emma trying to convince us that it wasn't freezing. We ended up breaking out the paddle boats that my dad made for the kids. Sam ended up trying hard to capsize his with massive waves.

Tomorrow we begin the Summer routine. I've got endless e-mail to catch up on once I return to work. Emma starts a week of cooking camp with her French School. Sam and Jamie will get some rare alone time, hanging out together for much of the week.

Well, I got the new DSL modem and router set up

June 24, 2007 by Adam in Adam

Well, I got the new DSL modem and router set up. It has some funky issues, but generally seems to be working okay. It took me forever to realize I had entered a "1" instead of a "7" for the static IP address of my computer. Everything looked great, but I just couldn't talk to the rest of the world. Finally I figured it out.

At this point, I'm going to see if my Internet connection is more stable. Theoretically if my web server goes down, I can still connect to the rest of the world. It's also a more flexible configuration, I suppose, even though I'm not trying anything fancy with my little network.

Saturday came and went, with it finally feeli...

June 24, 2007 by Adam in Family

Saturday came and went, with it finally feeling like we're settling into our old routines again. Jamie made crepes for breakfast, which I coupled with a hand-made Mocha. Afterwards I went to the library and Saturday Market, returning home with goodies for the mind and body.

At noon I took the kids swimming. After our trip to Bend, swimming every day, Emma has become extremely comfortable in the water. Her days of floaters are behind her and can swim short distances without help. My favorite thing was watching her go under water, a big smile on her bubble-covered face. Her new big thing is swimming to the bottom to touch it and go back up to the top.

The afternoon and evening was filled with cooking. I decided to make a six-course meal for her. Initially it was going to just be for Jamie, then Jamie and Sam, and then Emma decided to be part of the fun. They watched The Song of the Thin Man while food arrived. As dessert rolled around, we transitioned to Emma, the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow.

First was shrimp cocktail, the first time I've cooked with meat in ages. Afterwards came a fruit dish, served in a half-pineapple. Fresh French bread was next, hot out of the oven. The main dish was spaghetti with fresh herbs and tomatoes. Next was a salad in the continental style. Finally I brought out the cheesecake, made the night before. Wine was served throughout, with Sam pouring for Jamie.

It was a fun activity for the day, though I probably don't have the energy to repeat it any time soon. Today will likely be simpler fare, along with running errands. We might try and get a small pool for the backyard. We'll see how it goes.

Sam, if you would like to do some serious rid...

June 23, 2007 by Betsy in Betsy

Sam, if you would like to do some serious riding you can come and visit us on our farm. We have a Paso Fino mare that is a very spirited riding horse. Patrick rides her in our fields everynight. Its great for developing balance and is definitely a work out. Plus you learn all about caring for an animal and her tack (that's her saddle, bridle and riding equipement) I'll send some pictures to your dad. Have a great summer and I'm looking forward to the new Harry Potter book too!

I put together a quick movie of our Bend trip

June 23, 2007 by Adam in Sam

I put together a quick movie of our Bend trip. Mostly it's about Sam, and all the things he did for the first time while we were there.

th reading, mostly because he reads a chapter or two of Harry Potter each night. He's on the sixth book now, hoping to finish up in time for the final book.

We're back from our trip

June 22, 2007 by Adam in Family

We're back from our trip. There's so much to say that it's hard to know where to begin.

Sam in particular had a great time in Bend. We explored lava caves with Dave and Josh. He got to ride a horse for the first time and is pretty excited about doing it again some day. Sam went fishing with Jim, and he was the only one to catch anything - two Rainbow Trout, which he actually ate a little for dinner. Sam and I also rented a tandem bike and rode around the grounds at Eagle Crest. Hopefully that'll translate to him learning to ride a bike.

That's not to say the rest of us didn't have a good time. It was extremely relaxing and lazy, especially with other people around to entertain the kids. Nearly every day I'd take the kids swimming. Emma learned some new tricks and is more comfortable in the water than ever. Even though I lathered on the sunscreen, I've returned with a tan. Bend had gorgeous weather every day, plus the great view of the Cascades.

We also saw Brant and Wendy's new place. It's a barn with a kitchen, utility room, and bedroom tucked away to one side. They're raising some grain for a cash crop. Sam got to help move the irrigation thingies. We also had a funny moment, trying to jump the creek and failing miserably. We got very wet but had a good time.

Still, it's nice to be back. I'm planning on making a fancy meal for Jamie tomorrow. We went out to eat at Jen's Place in Sisters, which it turns out won the Bite of Bend. It was a five-course meal, crazy expensive, but also crazy good.

I did have a bit of Internet withdrawl. Plus adamandjamie.com was down for part of it. Fortunately Dave, Kirsten, and Josh came home early. Josh walked over and rebooted the poor server. It's nice having Josh in town again, though not just for his fine computer skills.

I need to unpack some more, mow the lawn, and run to the store for basic food stuff. We'll try to put together a little movie of our activities and post it here.

Well, I just rebooted our main work computer,...

June 14, 2007 by Adam in Family

Well, I just rebooted our main work computer, so I'm twiddling my thumbs for a few minutes while it comes up. Since today is my last day at work before the vacation, I've declared it Mocha Thursday. The sweet elixir is bubbling away next to me on my desk.

I had the kids to myself last night while Jamie went out to Angie's. I decided it was a movie night, so the kids and I went to Flicks and Picks, returning with Deja Vu for Sam and I, along with Polly's World for Emma. There were also a bunch of $1 used movies that I snapped up. Catwoman, even for $1, stayed on the shelf.

Tomorrow is the big day, packing, having lunch with my mom, and getting ready for the trip. I'm excited to have so much leisure time. Maybe I can actually be lazy for a change.

In much better spirits! The tile in the bathr...

June 13, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

In much better spirits! The tile in the bathroom is coming along really well; the whole project is more expensive than I thought it would be, but then, I'm used to do-it-yourself remodel projects, and I couldn't possibly have done the extensive changes to these two rooms with me and worker guys. Stop by soon for a bath!

My Internet connection went down again last n...

June 12, 2007 by Adam in Adam

My Internet connection went down again last night - complete inability to connect to our ISP at all. Extremely frustrating. Jamie's mom even called, asking to make sure our house hadn't burned down or something.

At this point, I'm thinking I want to spend some money. My server is several years old and the DSL modem I'm using is similarly ancient. There's a chance that the issue is on the ISP's side of things, but it's probably time for an upgrade anyway.

Well, adamandjamie

June 11, 2007 by Adam in Family

Well, adamandjamie.com is back from the dead, after a night of being off the Internet. I think my old DSL modem gets overly warm sometimes. I left it off overnight and everything seemed fine this morning. Time to buy a new modem.

The kids have only a few more days of school this week, and then we're all off to Bend. It'll be nice to be away from it all, hanging out with the kids and playing outside. Eagle Crest is a golf resort, though fortunately there's a pool and some hiking trails. Maybe we can load up Sam's bike and teach him to ride.

Rumor has it that Sam's cousin Josh is returning to Oregon with his family. Dave mentioned it in passing to Jamie, though I know little details beyond that. Josh used to walk to our house after school when he lived here, playing with Sam and generally entertaining us. We're awful fond of him.

Last night Jamie and I went to Bel Ami and sat by a fireplace, chatting away. It was nice to sneak away and just visit, something that seems a rarity these days. We discussed frivolous things, such as Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. We came to the mutual conclusion of "Well yeah, but so what?"

Seraph's hair straightening iron, Dudley's ha...

June 11, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Seraph's hair straightening iron, Dudley's hat, and a lone
Dalmatian mouse....two nice pitchers, a cocktail shaker and four cocktail glasses, and a blue towel...

Came home after moping around Bob's all day y...

June 11, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Came home after moping around Bob's all day yesterday, unable to face my empty house, to try the Sadie Jones cure-all, namely, cleaning house. Like Eugene after the wave of Country Fair hippies recedes after the event is over, my house produced a certain amount of detrius - Margot Tanenbaum's fur coat, Sam's soccer trophies, a light stick of uncertain ownership, Jenny's black leather jacket, etc..
But Seraph and Sadie had both washed sheets and generally cleaned up, so I've sort of had to manufacture tasks. I'm
headed off to see Dez' play in a few minutes...should be fun!

Here I am on Sunday afternoon, watching the P...

June 10, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Here I am on Sunday afternoon, watching the Prefontaine Track meet on the TV with one eye, while trying to catch up with e-mails, posting, etc. Bob and I drove Sadie up to the airport yesterday morning, stopping briefly to see Anna before heading back. I have done nothing useful yet today, and really think I'll putter around for the rest of the day
as well. Many hugs to all, mom

We've had a lovely weekend of lots of family ...

June 10, 2007 by Meg in Lytton

We've had a lovely weekend of lots of family visiting. Allie came Friday evening on Amtrack. Dick picked her up and they stopped in my office to see the almost-complete renovations. (We are having an open house June 22). Dick and Allie shopped Sat AM for plants and I went downtown to pick up Callie and Will, then Julie and Alex.Alex brought along a hugh birthday cake for Julie's 23rd. We had a scrumptious poolside brunch, then Callie helped plant the new plants while Julie and Alex sunbathed. Julie has been applying to med schools and Callie is starting GRE review courses before she and Will start grad school applying next year.

I am relieved to be done with most of the office renovation work, able to devote more time to the house and working on getting our electronic health record really going. Kayla is helping us with training-- I'm amazed at how she can actually figure things out from the oblique, fragmented training materials for the new software program (not that the ones for the old software programs were much better!)

My other looming project is preparing for my re-certification exam Aug 3. I've always managed to come in in the over 90% backet on these but feel I should do some formal study program. There's always something to be learned....

My peonies have de-petaled and the trumpet vine and bee balm are not yet red so no humming birds yet--hopefully soon!

Well, we have to get Allie to the train. All my love to everyone!

Sadie had her Royal Tenenbaums birthday party...

June 09, 2007 by Adam in Family

Sadie had her Royal Tenenbaums birthday party last night. It was quite the event, reenacting various scenes from the movie. Seraph in particular looked great in her role. The kids and I wore our red track suits and I'd periodically yell "Emergency! Emergency!" in my role as Chaz.

Unfortunately I had pretty horrible allergies and everyone fussed over me. I went home, took a bath, popped some Advil, and went to bed. This morning I'm much improved, though perhaps my arsenal of allergy medicine helped. And the mocha, a real one this time.

I just finished my morning coffee drink, whic...

June 08, 2007 by Adam in Family

I just finished my morning coffee drink, which was annoyingly enough not an actual mocha. The coffee lady put in some weird sugary stuff which wasn't to my liking. Curse you, coffee lady! Fortunately the caffeine was just fine.

It's been a whirlwind couple of days. On Wednesday, I spent the day with Sadie. In the morning we spent way too much time with her and my dad at breakfast. They chatted about helping the underprivileged, that common bond they both share these day. After breakfast, mom, Sadie, Janet, and I all went shopping for costumes. Sadie's having her Royal Tenenbaums themed birthday party tonight. The kids and I ended up with red track suits. Afterwards we made jam, recorded Sadie's voice for my game, and played with the kids. It was a great day.

Last night was the carnival at Sam's school. Sam held his own in the squirt gun arena. Emma got her hair colored and ate bubblegum snow cones. I sneezed at the allergies.

Today the kids are at school and I'm trying to catch up with things. I ended up volunteering myself as an administrator for a new system, so my life should be rather exciting over the next few days. Yippie.

Sam occasionally brings home interesting stor...

June 08, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam occasionally brings home interesting stories from school. This one won the "Spooky Creepy Award" from his teacher.

The Door

Once upon a time there was a run down mansion. Don't open the door to the mansion, if you do you will fall into a trap door.

If you are careful you can grab onto the side of the trap door then pull yourself up and go inside the mansion. The mansion is dirty. You shouldn't go into the next room. It has three objects. The first object is a glass eye. The second object is a pair of scissors. The third object is a knife. If you pick up one of the objects you wouldn't be able to let go.

Last night, Sam went to his school's carnival and had the most fun in the squirt gun ring. I tried to capture a photo of him stalking his prey.

Emma continues to be her typical, quirky self

June 08, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma continues to be her typical, quirky self. She loved getting her hair done at the Carnival last night, going for the "rainbow" look. When I wanted to take her picture, she gave me a variety of poses.

She continues to very much be a girly girl. She loves pink, stuffed animals, and playing games that emphasize interpersonal relationships. It did surprise me a bit when she wanted to enter the carnival's squirt gun ring along with her brother. She half heartedly squirted the other kids, but mostly wanted to run around and be part of the action.

She continues to do well in school, bringing home odd craft projects and more French words. It's hard to believe that there's only a couple more weeks of school and then she's off for the summer. This Fall she's returning for five days a week, with class going into early afternoon. She usually likes school, so we don't fret too much about it. I think the biggest change will be for Jamie, who will suddenly have a lot of free time.

Emma's slowly moving out of the toddler phase, though it happens in fits and starts. Last night I went to bed, only to find myself usurped by a four year-old. I carried Emma back to her bed and dumped her in there, where she stayed for the night.

Hi, everyone

June 06, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, everyone. I'm at Bob', having loaned my laptop to Anna for a week while Adam downloads stuff from her Mac, which is
expiring from old age. It is a treat to have Sadie, who flew in on Sunday. Her housemate Janet came out to Portland to visit a friend, and then came down with Sadie and me on
Monday morning. We've had fun, and they've been wined and dined by various family members; right now they're at Adam
and Jamie's, making strawberry jam. I'm going to drive Janet up to Portland this afternoon so she can take a plane out tonight, and bring Seraph back down. The girls will help put together the birthday dinner on Friday. On Monday afternoon we went with Jenny to get pedicures. I'd never had one before, but now I have bright red toenails! Jenny bbqued steak for us.
I took my first bath in my new bath tub! Love to all, om

It's Sunday afternoon

June 03, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Sunday afternoon. Sam's stalking about in a Death costume, while Emma convinces him to dance about. With Jamie in Portland, it's been a rather full and exciting weekend.

We did our usual Friday swimming routine, with Emma nearly falling asleep in the parking lot as we went in. She perked up, had a good time, then pined for Jamie as she took an hour to go to sleep.

On Saturday we had a hearty breakfast, went to the library, munched at Humble Bagel, played at the park, hosed the kids off in bathing suits, and went to my dad and Yayoe's for dinner. Today we had breakfast with my mom, watched movies, and played until Jamie returned, right in the middle of typing this.

As for the rest of the day, I'd like to sneak in some alone time. Jamie's returned with various antiques from her grandmother's house. Emma was trying on clothes that Ray got for her.

Last night, Sam and Emma were playing in the ...

June 01, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Last night, Sam and Emma were playing in the backyard. It was hot, so everyone was in their swimming suits. Sam decided he wanted to drink from the hose on full blast, which he found greatly amusing.

It's hard to imagine that there's only two and a half weeks of school left. We usually have Sam do a camp or two, though I'm not sure if that got lined up for this year. He'll do swimming lessons for sure, as that's something that he really enjoyed last year.

As for now, soccer is over and the various summer vacations are looming. Hopefully in Bend he'll have a good time fishing with Jim, going to the lava caves, and riding a horse.

I just finished the last of my mocha

June 01, 2007 by Adam in Family

I just finished the last of my mocha. I'm chomping down on carrots and trying to fix a weird computer interface issue. After scratching my head for a long while, it turned out someone had just turned off the job that's supposed to move data around. Oopsie.

The kids and a great time in the backyard last night. Sam did his job for the day and I got them into their swimming suits. Then they chased each other with a hose, getting wet and having a great time. Eventually we moved to the front yard and discovered every neighbor kid had the same idea. I think I counted seven kids playing with hoses, squirt guns, and slip-n-slides.

Today's the big day for the kids and I. I have the weekend pretty planned out. Tonight is getting movies and going swimming. Saturday is the library, Humble Bagel, and dinner at my dad and Yayoe's house. Sunday morning is breakfast with my mom and hanging out unti Jamie returns. I'll try to schedule a little fun in there somewhere.

I caught some sort of bug yesterday

May 31, 2007 by Adam in Adam

I caught some sort of bug yesterday. I ended up staying at work for a long meeting, and my stomach started to hurt towards the end. Later on I watched the kids while Jamie went to work. Fortunately they played really well together while I sat quietly and tried not to move.

This morning I feel a little better, though only a little. I'm at work, sitting still, and taking my mind off my tummy by typing away at the keyboard.

It's been a fine week so far, very warm and sunny

May 30, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's been a fine week so far, very warm and sunny. Last night the kids broke out the giant chalk from Emma's birthday and proceeded to make a huge, colorful mess on the patio. Jamie gave me evil eyes in the morning for permitting such an activity.

I picked up Jade Empire, which is competing w...

May 28, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I picked up Jade Empire, which is competing with all my other games for free time. Fortunately it's quite good in a lot of ways, well worth the $20 it cost on Amazon. The good and evil choices are a bit obvious, and occasionally the graphics are a little dated. Still, the art direction is excellent and I love the sense of style. It's like playing a kung-fu movie, with all those great Asian themes.

Embarrassingly enough, I did have to tone down the difficulty all the way to "Student". I haven't gotten the hang of combat, which is fine. The most interesting aspect is the story, after all, plus I don't have lots of free time to spend punching and blocking over and over again.

Emma's birthday party was a success, despite ...

May 28, 2007 by Adam in Family

Emma's birthday party was a success, despite the weather. Everyone in the world seemed to come, from Emma's French teacher to Seraph, Robbie, and Isabell from Portland. Emma was gleeful about the loot and spent the day announcing that she was four to everyone. She does seem so grown up.

Saturday went well, with a hearty breakfast and going to the library with Emma. I ran into Jason and Bridget, who are expecting a second daughter. It's strange running into old friends, and they seem pretty much exactly the same as always. Sam and I hiked in the afternoon, but generally took it easy.

Sunday was spent preparing for the party and generally hanging out. Jamie gave me lots of time to myself, perhaps to balance going to Portland next weekend. It was luxurious to putter around doing my own thing quite so much.

As for today, I'm hoping to continue my laziness. Somewhere in there I want to go to a movie with Sam. Good times.

Emma turned four yesterday

May 28, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma turned four yesterday. She was a wild girl all morning and finally settled down once guests arrived. The party itself was a bit of a blur, tearing into presents, basking in Hello Kitty paraphernalia, and watching small children gorge themselves on cupcakes and ice cream.

Afterwards she and I played with tiny animal dolls with massive heads and eyeballs. There was some beauty parlor thing going on, though I added a mad scientist twist. For bedtime, I read her Goodnight Moon in French. Her teacher came to the party and got that for her. It's fun relearning a language, as I haven't used French in over a decade.

She continues to do amazingly well with her school. Fortunately Jamie speaks French pretty well too, as otherwise Emma would be the one teaching me the language. Strange things come back to me, though. Last night she was being bad and I asked Jamie. "Is méchant the right word?" She laughed and agreed. It means "naughty".

Sam and I climbed Spencer's Butte on Saturday

May 28, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam and I climbed Spencer's Butte on Saturday. We had a great time and Sam had a tremendous amount of energy. He hardly took breaks and by the time we got to the bottom, he stopped to climb a tree. Once we got in the car, though, he was suddenly exhausted. By the time we got home, he very much needed some food and quiet time.

Sam's class presentation on the Wolverine went very well. Everyone liked his comparison to the X-Men wolverine. He also excels in his math, reading, and spelling. At this point, most of his tricky school issues involve interpersonal relationships with his friends, making sure people don't feel left out and reminding him he's not responsible for everyone's happiness.

I'm going to see if Sam and I can go to the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie today. Fun, fun!

Well I'm back home! It's been really nice to...

May 27, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Well I'm back home! It's been really nice to have the long weekend to recover. Most of Friday was spent in a sleepy daze, but yesterday we went downtown for a Chinese day (as Isa coined it). We went to the Chinese Gardens, had Chinese food for lunch, and did some shopping in China Town!
In the afternoon, I caught up on gardening, and generally enjoyed the non-humid weather.
We will be heading south in a few hours for Emma's birthday. It will be nice to catch up with everyone for a few hours, and generally enjoy the festive mood!

Hi, I'm really okay, looking forward to Sadie...

May 26, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, I'm really okay, looking forward to Sadie's arrival. You kids might want to look up, on ancestry.com, free until 6/6, all the members of your family who fought in the
Civil War. Only one Stahlschmidt family (Dad, maybe mom, and two or three sons,) came to the US, in 1750, and the family quickly changed the spelling to Stallsmith, so you're related to all those people who were in the Civil
War. Look up Joseph Stallsmith; he was the one killed at the Battle of South Mountain. Let's not do any more wars, though...

Barbara, Emma's teacher at the Little French ...

May 25, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Barbara, Emma's teacher at the Little French School, pulled Jamie aside as she picked up Emma yesterday. Barbara said that Emma was the best student she'd ever had, which was nice to hear.

Of course, it may have been that Emma was playing and exclaimed "Zut Alors!" Barbara started cracking up and asked Emma what she thought it meant. "Oh my gosh," she replied. I think that was the explanation I gave her when chatting in French a couple weeks ago. Of course, it's closer to "Damnit!" which probably makes it extra comical for a three year-old to say.

It's Mocha Friday and I'm cheerfully sipping ...

May 25, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday and I'm cheerfully sipping away at that wonderful beverage. It was another gorgeous day, riding in to work with just a t-shirt.

I took Sam and Emma bike riding at the park last night. Emma lasted maybe 60 seconds. Sam's still learning, so it involved a lot of getting up, falling down, and repeating. Fortunately he's very tenacious, if not very good at balancing yet. I also ran into a woman I knew in high school who was there with her kids. It strangely made me feel old, a long ways from the kid who wandered the hallways of my old school.

I'm horribly excited about this weekend. The kids and I go swimming tonight, I plan on hitting the library tomorrow, and we've got Emma's birthday party on Sunday. I'm also thinking of taking Sam to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie on Monday, so if anyone wants to come along, let me know.

We had a weird thing happen at work today

May 24, 2007 by Adam in Adam

We had a weird thing happen at work today. At one of our Bellingham offices where some coworkers live, someone reported a man with a rifle entering the building. The SWAT team was called and rumors flew everywhere. I got a call from a coworker in the parking lot, asking me for home phone numbers of other people so he could let them know.

It turns out that it was a man carrying his prosthetic leg in for a tune up. The floor above our team does work on prosthetics and I guess someone thought the leg looked like a rifle.

I guess it's another case where people have a hard time dealing with risk.

It was a beautiful ride into work today, all ...

May 23, 2007 by Adam in Family

It was a beautiful ride into work today, all the flowers in bloom. I hardly needed my windbreaker as it was so warm.

The week has gone along nicely, with not much excitement. On Monday, Jamie went bowling with Victoria, coming back a tad late, but having a great time. Sam's been getting ready for his presentation on Wolverines at school. I helped him make a "3D Diorama" (when I was a kid, we called it "stuff glued in a shoe box"). Emma is starting to get birthday presents, including a dress from Angie that she wants to wear all the time.

Patrick and I, met up with Meg, Dick and Mika...

May 21, 2007 by Betsy in Betsy

Patrick and I, met up with Meg, Dick and Mikayla in Oberlin, Ohio on Saturday. We had a brief lunch before Dick and Mikayla hustled off to do end of year school things. Meg, Patrick and moi drove into Cleveland to get the lay of the land and see some of the sites, returning to check out Mikayla's dorm room and head home as we had left Will at a job for the day.
It was the typical lush green Northern Ohio spring day and it was really nice to get together with family. Take care of each other and much love, P.

The weekend is slowly drawing to a close

May 20, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend is slowly drawing to a close. We had a great Friday, though I suspect Sam scraped his head on the bottom while swimming. No one noticed anything until the next morning, when he woke up looking like Harry Potter.

On Saturday, Jamie made a wonderful breakfast of pancakes and sausages. We drove to the library and headed off to Saturday Market. The kids liked all the odd things there, from Dreamcatchers to home-made honey. Afterwards we hung out at home, with Jamie and Sam picking up a plastic weasel for a school project.

Unfortunately, Sam tossed his weasel into the bushes upon exiting the car. We spent over a half an hour looking for the thing, finally giving up and making him get a new one with his own money this morning. A cheap lesson, as it goes.

There were other high points, like making bread with Emma. Jamie made baked beets, of all things, and it was surprisingly tasty. Good times.

I'm here in Hong Kong, and smack in the middl...

May 20, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

I'm here in Hong Kong, and smack in the middle of monsoon season. We've had strong rain the last few days, but it's still nice and warm.
Work has been busy, but I think FM will make it through another season!
I miss everyone like crazy! Travel is fun, but more so when the family is along.

Sam made his first video game today

May 19, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam made his first video game today. It used a program called Scratch, which is designed for making programming easy for kids. His first game was made pretty quickly, though I helped him out. He decided what sort of game he wanted to make. I gave him pointers on variables and control statements and stuff. Still, he ended up doing quite a bit of it. Like father, like son.

Mocha Friday, yet again

May 18, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday, yet again.

It's been a good week and I'm loving the spring weather. Last night I mowed the yard, some simple manual labor to ease my brain. Afterwards, Emma threw about clumps of cut grass like a flower girl and Sam rolled about on his back. What a quirky family I have.

I think we're mostly taking it easy this weekend, a short lull between trips, birthdays, and vacations. I really want to take the kids swimming tonight and go to the library tomorrow. The older I get, the more I come to cherish these little traditions. I'm sure I'll start hiking my pants up to my waist and telling the neighbor kids to get off my lawn any day now.

It seems like it's been a long time since I l...

May 17, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

It seems like it's been a long time since I last played a computer game. There was a recent deal on some older games and I broke down and bought three: S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Quake 4, and Destination: Treasure Island. I've only played the first at this point, a post-apocalyptic sort of game set in the area around Chernobyl. It's got mutants, anomalies, and mysterious artifacts. So far it seems like a big sandbox sort of game where you can wander around and explore, coupled with a loose storyline that slowly gets you towards the main reactor. Pretty fun, so far.

The most amusing gaming story was from last week. Sam's really enjoyed playing Garry's Mod for Half-Life 2 again. I think he likes the freedom of just messing around, creating objects, playing with physics and spawning in monsters for me to battle.

Emma has been ditching her Nick Jr. games, crawling into my lap and demanding that she control my character. She can sort of move around and fire whatever weapon I have handy, though her aim needs some work. At one point she spawned in, and asked for a big gun. I created one of the biggest ones for her and got it ready for her. "Rock and roll," she whispered, and proceeded to wildly empty the magazine.

Hello from Singapore! I made it in last nigh...

May 17, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Hello from Singapore! I made it in last night, and am writing this from the offices here. It's really warm, but there is a huge storm passing outside. Mom - it would remind you of Normalville. Time to work again - love to all.

Out of the blue, Emma decided she wanted to r...

May 15, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Out of the blue, Emma decided she wanted to ride her bike. We got her all geared up and we went down to the park. Though she was tentative at first, Emma was quickly zipping around the basketball court and enjoying herself immensely.

Sam was strangely excited to watch her, so he rushed through his homework and asked that Jamie take him down to the park. They played "zombie" where Sam chased Emma around in slow-motion. At one point, Sam got on his old bike and rode it around, looking like a clown on a tiny bike.

Emma continues to excel at French, teaching me new words all the time. It's a treat to listen to her sing in French around the house, with me picking up every other word.

We had a wonderful weekend visiting with Mom ...

May 14, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

We had a wonderful weekend visiting with Mom and Adam, and just puttering about.
I am mostly packed and ready to go tomorrow, and Robbie is getting off work early to take me to the airport.
We had some exciting news on Friday. Isa was chosen from all the Kindergarden classes to recieve the Outstanding Citizan award! Apparently she's a pretty cool kido. They had an awards ceremony on the 24th, and Robbie has promised to take a lot of pictures. If we ever get a faster internet connection I'll post them!

Our lovely Portland trip is coming to an end

May 13, 2007 by Adam in Family

Our lovely Portland trip is coming to an end. The kids just came home from lunch with the grandparents. Jamie and I drove to downtown Portland to have dinner at Mother's and go to Powell's. It was great and I felt very cosmopolitan.

Yesterday we mostly puttered about, the kids doing fairly well on the drive up. It was leisurely, playing in the backyard or fiddling with my computer (which is a required packing item, like toiletries). Emma loved trying on all the various princess dresses in grandma's dress-up box. Sam and Judy played with toy soldiers and pirates. It's all good.

This weekend has been absolutely beautiful, a...

May 13, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

This weekend has been absolutely beautiful, and I moved half of our living room furniture to our enclosed porch yesterday. Eating breakfast on the porch this morning felt like a summer vacation without the packing. I also had the good fortune of coming into a pair of English riding boots, courtesy of the Women's Exchange down the street, which I am breaking in today. Consignment shopping on a May weekend is my kind of heaven.

I hope that everyone had a perfect Mother's Day!

HI Everyone, I'm off to Honolulu on Monday a...

May 12, 2007 by Yayoe in Yayoe

HI Everyone,
I'm off to Honolulu on Monday and will return on the 24th. I'll have a chance to rock the newest member of our family in my arms while consuming large quantities of delicious island foods and pasteries. I've been busy working at Reliant Behavioral Health and seeing clients. It's very rewarding work. Lohring is working at White Bird and at the LCC HIV dental clinic. The dental clinic is slowly coming together despite not having a full inventory of supplies. Last week the feds did a site review of the project...they wanted to protect their large grant investment and choose Lohring's project because of it's unique model of care involving not only 3 community agencies but the assisting and hygiene students at LCC.

I'm still playing my 2 ukes and enjoy jamming with two local groups in the community. I sold my beautiful Harpsichord after 35 years of playing. I've transitioned from my chamber music phase to my uke phase. My playing is brilliantly mediocre but hey...it's still fun. Aloha

We made it up safe and sound here in Portland

May 12, 2007 by Adam in Family

We made it up safe and sound here in Portland. Emma got out the princess dresses. Sam and I played various sports in the yard. Dinner has been served, I'm tired, and hope to take it easy for a couple hours.

Congratulations, Robbie! Some of the most pow...

May 11, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Congratulations, Robbie! Some of the most powerful political movers and shakers of our time began in the PTA. I hope we get first dibs on school gossip! Today is the last day of classes for students, and I've already started to say goodbye to many of them. Sigh. One chapter ends, another begins.

We're looking forward to a fun weekend! Mom ...

May 11, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

We're looking forward to a fun weekend! Mom and Bob will be here tonight, and Adam will be over for breakfast in the morning. Tomorrow afternoon is the St. John's parade, in which Isa's school's marching band will be playing. Saturday night we have a friends concert at the MAC club, wich will be a fun "grown-up" event. I don't know that we have plans for Mother's Day yet. We might try to hit the zoo after church.
Robbie and I went to the PTA meeting on Tuesday, and Robbie walked out as next years VP! I think this just means he'll know all the good school gossip.

It's Mocha Friday, though the last of my frot...

May 11, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though the last of my frothy drink is long gone. I was up at 4:30 this morning for some weird reason, though I wasn't truly awake until recently. I rode to work in a vague haze, fortunately arriving at the right spot.

We're heading up to Portland as soon as I get home today. I'll be leaving early so that we can drive up. I think I have a breakfast date with Seraph and her crew, which should be fun. I got to see her house on Google maps, though I suspect it looks bigger in person.

Last night was Sam's last soccer practice. His last games are this weekend, which we'll sadly miss out on. There's a tradition that the last game is parents against the kids. Like last year, I carried Emma on my shoulders the whole time. She laughed and giggled, cheerfully running her muddy hands through my hair. Some of the parents were a bit too serious, leaving a trail of tiny bodies in their wake. Though we were twice as big as the kids, their elbows are at groin height, as I found out the hard way. All-in-all, it was a fun evening.

The week is slowly moving along

May 10, 2007 by Adam in Family

The week is slowly moving along. I'm starting to get excited for our weekend Portland trip and visiting Seraph and Robbie's new house.

Jamie and I had a fairly low-key date night, basically staying home and watching the BBC show Coupling. I've decided it's the funniest television show ever.

I did have the kids for a little before my mom arrived. The kids were wild and wacky out in the backyard. I gave them a bit too much freedom and they both ended up drenched in mud. Emma in particular was completely soaked, a huge splash from Sam causing her to have her face coupletely muddy and gross. Needless to say, showers and a stern look from Jamie followed.

I spent last weekend in Meadville helping Dor...

May 09, 2007 by Danica in Danica Miller

I spent last weekend in Meadville helping Dorothy celebrate her 89th birthday. If she would only act her age, the rest of us might be a bit more reverant! She's as busy and involved as ever and lucky for me most of her friends are too. I planned a birthday dinner and brought all the ingredients, but forgot that there were plans for practically every meal every day I was there. First a luncheon at the Iroquois club on Friday and then a Derby party and birthday dinner on Saturday. We squeezed in my birthday fruit tarts for Saturday lunch and the stuffed pork loin at noon on Sunday before I hit the road. A lovely weekend weather-wise and great way to start to the 90th year!

I'm reading Harry Potter five and so far it i...

May 08, 2007 by Sam in Sam

I'm reading Harry Potter five and so far it is really exiting. I've been reading a lot of Harry Potter lately. I'm typing about typing now so read Harry Potter you'll enjoy it.

In preparation for the Magical Tea Party (are...

May 08, 2007 by Jamie in Jamie

In preparation for the Magical Tea Party (are we having brownies at this thing?) Sam and I have been power washing the patio. Sam has really enjoyed it...I have a feeling that like me, it appeals to his obsessive compulsive tendencies as much as his masculine love of anything with a motor. We have done a great job, and I appreciate the team effort (Emma scrubbed the chairs and table, Adam blew bubbles ;-)

Emma decided to paint her tongue with a water...

May 08, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma decided to paint her tongue with a watercolor pencil yesterday. She feels pretty bad about it, and was appropriately scolded. Of course, having a bright blue tongue is pretty shocking. Just in case, I looked up the MSDS sheet for the brand of pencil and it said it probably wasn't horribly toxic. Lovely.

I have lots of fun talking French to Emma these days. Sam was doing homework yesterday, so Emma wanted to do some too. I asked her to draw her family. "Grande mama!" she cheerfully exclaimed as she drew Jamie with a massive head. "Oui, elle a une massif tête." I smirked.

Emma and I also had fun in the backyard yesterday, watching bugs and playing Frisbee. Good times.

This weekend was particularly beautiful, and ...

May 07, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

This weekend was particularly beautiful, and I got to plant my beans and spinach in the ground. Williamstown is at its best in May and June, which is too bad for all of the students who are buried in the library with finals. I am incrementally preparing to leave the college and community, and am almost excited by the prospect, though not by the idea of moving in August. Mom has hinted that she may help me move, which would be fun. I hope that all of you are well- I am so excited to come home for my birthday!

I'm back at work after a lovely weekend

May 07, 2007 by Adam in Family

I'm back at work after a lovely weekend. The bike ride in was nice as well, warm and sunny with all the flowers in bloom. I'll miss my bike rides after work moves across town.

We didn't do anything terribly important this weekend. Sam's on the mend and went to both his soccer games. The kids and I hung out quite a bit, going to parks and playing in the basement. Sadly I missed swimming and next weekend we're out of town. Maybe we can go out during the week some time.

Emma took a picture of me during Sam's soccer game this weekend. We were out in the sun, and very hot. I think I got a little pink, even through the sunscreen.

I've been at sixes and sevens the last couple...

May 06, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

I've been at sixes and sevens the last couple of weeks. This is a sad time of year, of course, but somehow all the
usual things which need to get done seem more burdensome as well. I go in to the shrink for my annual mental health check up next week, and maybe I should get him to goose up my meds. So if you see me grinning foolishly, you'll know.
On a bright note, welcome to the new baby. This is supposed to be a really good year for babies, I think The Year of the Golden Pig. Golden Dragon? Help me out here, folks....

Sam's lip has finally healed, which makes him...

May 04, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam's lip has finally healed, which makes him quite happy. For a week he was going around like a chipmunk, trying to protect his cut. Of course, now he's got assorted ills, from stomach problems last night to ear aches this morning. Poor kid.

Sam continues to do quite well at school. He gets great scores on every spelling test. He was telling me how he won the respect of another kid by successfully pronouncing "Rayman's Raving Rabbids" (his latest Wii game). Last night we were brainstorming on his homework, trying to come up with a game for his math class. It's fun watching him grow and learn.

I've downed my Friday Mocha and am feeling so...

May 04, 2007 by Adam in Family

I've downed my Friday Mocha and am feeling somewhat caught up after my trip earlier this week. There's still things on my "to do" list, but they're not as pressing as yesterday's frantic catch-up.

Sam was sick last night with some stomach problem, though he recovered soon enough. Towards the end of the evening he and Emma were leaping from the stairs on to the Foof. I took a few in-progress pictures to preserve the moment.

This morning Jamie was up early. Evidently Sam had an ear ache, so she stuffed him full of Tylenol. He may stay out of school if he's feeling lousy.

Tonight Jamie and I are going out to dinner and tomorrow is Sam's soccer game. I'm not sure if I'll be able to take the kids swimming, which is one of my favorite activities for the week. Next weekend it looks like we're going to Portland, though I'm not sure of our plans there.

All-in-all, it's nice to be back home.

I'm back home

May 03, 2007 by Adam in Family

I'm back home. Emma and Sam gave me a huge hug upon my return. I got to tuck Emma to bed last night and chat with Sam for awhile. Sam got an Academic Excellence award at school. Jamie seemed happy to have me back, in her normal subdued way. All is good.

I haven't learned any Manderian yet, but I th...

May 02, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

I haven't learned any Manderian yet, but I think a lesson or two might be a good idea in years to come!
Robbie is home sick today, so I'm trying to leave work early to help out with the kids after school. There are very few parts of my job I can take home so this is a bit tricky. I think I'll try to get Issac and Isabell out of the house so Robbie and sleep some more. It's amazing how things fall apart when he's down!
Robbie has agreed to assist 2 mornings a week at Hillside next year. They were ttrying to sucker him into 3 days, but I think he really wants to stay flexible. Still it will be nice for him to stay connected with his co-workers.
Isabell is starting to get the summer vacation itch. Lately she's taken to sleeping in, and it's hard to get her to wear anything but summer clothes. She keeps asking about swimming lessons and the library summer reading program.
Sigh... I too am ready for a little R&R. Although we work like crazy, our trips to HK do include very nice accomidations and warm weather.

It's the last day on the road

May 02, 2007 by Adam in Adam

It's the last day on the road. We have power this morning, but our main data center lost power. We're scurrying about trying to get things working again, which doing remotely is loads of fun. In any case, I'll be going to the airport in a few hours and heading south. Can't wait to be home.

Well, we made it to the meeting room just fine

May 01, 2007 by Adam in Adam

Well, we made it to the meeting room just fine. After being here for 10 minutes, the power went out. It turns out that power's out in much of the city, which could make today's meetings exciting.

I'm posting from a hotel room in Bellingham, ...

April 30, 2007 by Adam in Adam

I'm posting from a hotel room in Bellingham, having had a day being bored in airports and airplanes. Shortly I'll be going to a gathering of Web Services people, which hopefully will entertain.

Emma gave me the best send-off this morning. She and Sam were being herded out the door by Jamie to go to school. Suddenly Emma rushed back in, lips puckering for a kiss. With a kiss and an "I love you daddy," I was on my way.

I have just learned the amazing skill of edit...

April 30, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I have just learned the amazing skill of editing wikis. I haven't learned a new skill in ages (well, since I learned how to use imovie a year or so ago). My skin feels raw and my eyes are still sensitive to the light from being immersed in nerd language. I think I'm going to get my whole office to start using a wiki to organize our office's information, and I'm beefing up a very new Campus Compact wiki. My style is not Wikipedia-perfect, but there's something satisfying about contributing to a community where putting information out there is more important than having it be perfect. If information is a collective work in progress, it makes so much sense to be bold!

Generic Heading

April 30, 2007 by Betsy in Betsy

Seraph, learned Mandarin Chinese yet?

Just wanted to let everyone know I leave for ...

April 30, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Just wanted to let everyone know I leave for Hong Kong and Singapore 5/15, and will return 5/25. If you have any requests for knock-off watches or handbags let me know!
If any of you want to visit Robbie and Isabell, I'm sure they'd love company!

The weekend has come and gone

April 30, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come and gone. Soon I'll be headed out to the airport for a few days of business travel. Emma gave me a big kiss farewell and Jamie took the kids to school.

The weekend seemed quite busy, especially for Jamie. Her dad and Darrel came over to deliver a new bed frame to us. Then the two of them stayed glued to the television all day watching football. I seemed to spend a lot of time with the kids, starting with taking Emma swimming Friday night and going to soccer practice Sunday evening. I wasn't watching them the whole time, though it seemed that way on occasion. Fortunately they're good kids.

It's Mocha Friday, though the last of that de...

April 27, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though the last of that delicious elixir is long gone. Work is pretty busy as usual, with lots of little things vying for my attention.

Emma was having fun with Jamie's iPod last night, rocking around the house. We spent a lot of time together last night, playing soccer in the back yard, examining our garden, and playing with Flubber. Sam was a little sick, perhaps from allergies, and didn't go to soccer. Today he's staying home from school too.

Hopefully everyone's feeling better for swimming tonight, as we haven't gone for awhile. Sam has a game Saturday, which I'll probably take the kids to. Saturday night Jamie has tons of social events, so I'll try to do something fun with the kids.

Next week I'm out of town on business. I'm not particularly happy about it, but that's the way it goes. For some reason, people at work feel it's useful to all get together a couple times a year. Group hugs or something.

Congratulations Josh & Jody!! I can't waite ...

April 27, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Congratulations Josh & Jody!! I can't waite to see pictures of little Rob.

We have a new family member! Rob Kekoa Marvit...

April 26, 2007 by Yayoe in Yayoe

We have a new family member! Rob Kekoa Marvit was born today...April 25 at approximately 2 PM Hawaii time. He was 7'14oz, 19'and doing well. Jodie was 1 day earlier than her due date with a nine hour labor.She said she couldn't have done the delivery without Josh, who was very helpful.

She described Rob as having a little pointy head from the delivery but adorable. He was only 3 hours old when I spoke to them....they are happy and getting their last good night sleep for many years! I'll keep you posted and will send photos once they arrive via email!

Sam's funny

April 25, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam's funny. We just finished the game Rayman's Raving Rabbids for the Wii, which was quite an amusing experience. Sam got it in his head to make a Lego version of a Rabbid, which looks just like a rabbit except crazy. Plus a plunger.

Sam's poor lip got whacked pretty hard at school the other day. The story behind the injury was complicated, involving another kid wearing stilts. He looked pretty horrific for a day, but now the swelling is greatly reduced.

It's hard to believe that it's Wednesday already

April 25, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's hard to believe that it's Wednesday already. Life seems to blur by sometimes.

Sam had soccer practice last night, and Emma was out catching tadpoles as usual. She was pretty tuckered out, falling asleep in the car on the drive back.

The kids have had a bit of a rough week. Emma had growing pains for a couple nights, coming to our bed with her legs hurting badly. Last night she slept in her bed the whole night, which is a good sign. Sam got hit by a kid on stilts at school, making his lip swell right up. It looks almost normal now, but it was pretty ugly for a day.

I recently found a gray hair

April 24, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I recently found a gray hair. Actually, I found many gray hairs in my head, and pulled this one out for further observation and reflection. I am curious if 25 is when this sort of thing starts to happen, or if I have just been pretending to be older than I really am for so long that it's caught up with me. I've become older than I really am.

Last week I drove to Providence, Rhode Island, where I was offered, and took, the national Campus Compact VISTA Leader position. Moving to Providence will be a bit of a shock, but I'm very excited by the possibilities the position affords. And, much to the relief of mom, it's only a one-year position, so I'll be in grad school and on my way home soon.

I've been quite busy with work, but able to appreciate the rapid shift toward spring this weekend. I actually slept with the windows open last night, quite the change from last week's sleet and rain. Tonight is also my favorite community event all season, the Northern Berkshire Neighbors Community Recognition Awards, where everyone who is nominated wins. I always get roped into going and shaking the mayor's hand, and he always seems uncomfortable smiling that much. And I love standing next to people that are being recognized for mowing their lawns really well.

We had a nice weekend, and after a few weeks ...

April 23, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

We had a nice weekend, and after a few weeks of craziness are settling back to normal.
Friday was a major deadline at work, so the week was full on 12-14 hours days. Robbie and Isa were left orphans, but managed to only order out dinner one night! Friday night I was out with co-workers and some venders schmoozing and celebrating. I'm to old to party hard, but it was fun to go out and cut loose a little.
Saturday morning we all stayed in our PJs and watched cartoons. We headed off to see The Last Mimsey (good movie) and do some shopping. I made some pizza and we invited some friends over. The kids ran around, while the grown-up actually had real conversation!
Sunday was low key. After church Robbie went to the down town library, and Isa and I went out to one of the Sauvy Island farm markets. In celebration on Earth Day we made soup from local leeks and potatoes, and had numerous other fresh veggies.
Now were back to Monday, and I have a weeks worth of ignored e-mails to catch up on! Love to all - we miss everyone.

The weekend is slowly drawing to a close

April 23, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend is slowly drawing to a close. It was pleasant and low-key, with very little important things happening. Emma was sick on Friday and so we opted not to go swimming, instead hanging out at home and taking it easy.

She felt better Saturday and we went to the library together. It's always a treat taking Emma anywhere and everyone always smiles at her. We returned to show off our loot, then headed off to Sam's soccer game to get way too wet. Later that night Jamie went to work and to meet Pat at Steelhead. The kids watched a movie and then proceeded to try to trap me and tie me up in the basement.

Today Jamie whipped up Dutch babies in the oven, which Sam had forgotten he didn't like the last time around. Everyone loved them so much that we all had seconds (or fourths in my case). The day was leisurely, with a trip to Hendrick's Park, a bit of shopping, and a walk over to Grandma Sue's to deliver soup. It's days like this that make it all worthwhile.

Sam had his soccer game this Saturday

April 23, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam had his soccer game this Saturday. He was a little disappointed that he only got to play forward for less than a minute the entire game. Still, he had a good enough time spreading mud on his face and running around in the rain.

For whatever reason, Sam's rediscovered Legos. This morning he came down while the girls were sleeping in. We started building vehicles and other assorted gizmos. Throughout the day he worked on and off to create a bridge over lava, complete with bubbles popping out from the surface. It was rather clever.

He continues to read like a fiend. He'll probably finish up his current Harry Potter book and start in on Order of the Phoenix next week. It's pretty cool.

Mocha Friday, and a busy morning to boot

April 20, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday, and a busy morning to boot.

Last night was Sam's soccer practice. Emma spent the entire time catching tadpoles again, bringing them home to dump in our little porch pond. Sam's coach went bonkers and kept the kids way past the end of practice. After twenty minutes, I grabbed him and we headed home.

Emma had a touch of a cold yesterday, so Jamie kept her home. Sam brought home his homework, which was nearly perfect and often quite funny. It was fun helping him do his first post on this site this week. My boy's growing up.

We have swimming tonight and a game on Saturday. Busy, busy.

A very quick hi to everyone

April 19, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

A very quick hi to everyone. Easter was fun this year, with
much of the work done by Seraph, Jamie and Jenny. Lots of people brought food, which was really nice. I've been lucky to have Darren freed up for a while; he and his faithful sidekick worked in the attic room. Anticipating the effects of global warming, I had skylights and extra insulation put in, and they're going to put in double paned windows, as well as new registers in the Martha Stewart room. I went over to Adam and Jamie's for a quick Play, Play, Play with
Emma while Jamie had a few minutes to get her laundry done.
Emma and I played veternarian, skillfully removing a garbage can from Mr. Gorilla's stomach and stitching him up again after a scolding about improving his diet. Love to all, mom

Right now I`m typing about typing about typing

April 19, 2007 by Sam in Sam

Right now I`m typing about typing about typing. So I played line rider a lot today. I made a track where the line rider went into space, fell back down, and went through the earth.

Wednesday already

April 18, 2007 by Adam in Family

Wednesday already. I got myself a medicinal mocha this morning as I was feeling a little under the weather. Jamie reported that she was feeling a little feverish, and I suppose it got passed to me. In any case, I feel fine now, if a little tired.

Emma came to visit me at work on Monday, which was a rare treat. We wandered about, looking at my cubicle and finding cool places in the hospital. She was extremely polite and even sweeter than normal.

Tuesday night was Sam's soccer game. He played incredibly well, scoring one of the three goals of the evening. It was also pouring rain, making everyone quite soggy. What was really strange is that he didn't want to go, getting a little frustrated with a Wii game he was playing.

All-in-all, things are doing fairly well.

Emma and I seemed to spend a lot of time toge...

April 16, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma and I seemed to spend a lot of time together over this last weekend. My favorite thing we did together was making whole wheat bread together. She's my little helper in the kitchen and is quite fond of pouring in ingredients and mixing them up. With bread, putting flour on your hands is a must, though perhaps she takes the instructions a little too seriously. Needless to say, flour was everywhere at the end of the process.

It's the other little things I remember. We got the mail and critiqued the catalog of kid stuff together. Emma ate a popsicle on the patio in the sun. She showed off her climbing skills at the park while Sam played soccer.

It's all good.

It was actually fun watching Sam's soccer gam...

April 16, 2007 by Adam in Sam

It was actually fun watching Sam's soccer game over the weekend. In the past, it's been a fairly disorganized group of kids running about. My goal for Sam last year was to remain upright, as he seemed to constantly fall over for no good reason.

On Saturday he did quite well, chasing the ball about and holding his own. No goals, which is fine with me. Sam was also looking pretty beat towards the end of the game. If he had fun and got lots of exercise, that's my main goal.

School continues to go well for him. He blazes through his math homework without any trouble. He's similarly good at spelling, which he attributes to all the reading he does. I think he's on the fifth Harry Potter book and typically finishing a chapter each night.

The weekend has come and gone

April 16, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come and gone. It was rather pleasant on the whole. Friday night the kids and I went swimming. Sam's a pretty good swimmer at this point, doing laps across the long end of the pool. Emma's okay, other than that pesky "breathing" thing. At one point she went in without catching her breath, swallowing and then throwing up some water. Poor kid.

On Saturday Sam had a soccer game, so Emma and I watched him play. He did remarkably well, as did his whole team, and ended up pretty exhausted at the end of the day. Later on we had the Musgroves over and the assorted kids played together.

Sunday I took the kids to the park, where they got exceptionally wet and sandy. Then it was Humble Bagel for lunch, home for movies, and puttering around for the rest of the day. Emma and I made some great whole wheat bread. Jamie and Emma made a little wildflower garden in front. Later in the day we went for a family walk around the block, a pleasant end to a fine weekend.

Mocha Friday

April 13, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I just downed the delicious treat and have switched over to carrots. There's no comparison.

Well, at the risk of turning this site into an "Emma the Naturalist" blog, yet again I watched Emma catch tadpoles during Sam's soccer practice last night. She's got that Miller/Mellor obsessive behavior for sure, tromping through the mud to scoop them up and cheerfully show them off to me. She was quite a big girl, going up and down the muddy banks.

Of course, she did slip a few times and we spent the last twenty minutes of practice in the car. I stripped off her jacket and pants, wrapped her in a blanket, and we listened to the radio and watched Sam play.

The weekend is creeping right up on us, as is Sam's first soccer game. I'm hoping to go swimming too, sometime. Maybe tonight.

The week keeps on moving on

April 12, 2007 by Adam in Family

The week keeps on moving on. It's a dreary sort of day today, and Seraph's cake is starting to run out. I shall miss it.

Last night Dave and Kirsten watched the kids while Jamie and I continued watching BBC's Coupling. It's hysterically funny and I wish we had more time to watch. I remember back in the day when we'd watch a couple episodes of Twin Peaks each night when we were first going out. Ah, those were the days.

Tonight is Sam's soccer practice, and it's likely I'll spend the evening watching Emma catch tadpoles. Such is the way of fatherhood.

Here is the Easter meal we had, which is now...

April 11, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Here is the Easter meal we had, which is now only scraps of salmon Kulebakha leftovers and way too many deviled eggs!

Sam continues to play the traditional video g...

April 10, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam continues to play the traditional video games, such as Tomb Raider, but lately I've turned him on to the classics. Yesterday I had him playing Wishbringer, a classic text adventure that I played when I was a kid. He's a pretty good reader and he's just learning how to type, so it's a perfect time for him. I also put the game in a special "educational" category that doesn't count against his computer time limit.

It's been fun watching him giggle as different things happen in the game, like the cute poodle turning into a hellhound. I heard him exclaim "Hey, I'm getting good at this" as his typing skills noticeably improved. During dinner I talked about how this was what computer games were like before there were graphics.

I have these nostalgic feelings about the old text adventure games, learning to type and spell things like "gazebo". You can even play it online, though you can't save.

Easter Sunday has come and gone, my mother's ...

April 10, 2007 by Adam in Family

Easter Sunday has come and gone, my mother's house filled with the smell of cooking and dozens of people crammed into her living room. The kids had fun playing with their cousins and I had a great time chatting with my sisters.

Monday was a little weird at work, with things being so busy that I didn't eat lunch until 2:30 pm. Dinner was tasty, with Jamie making mushroom soup and rice pudding for dinner. If she ever goes back to work full time, my tummy will cry.

While it snowed on Easter, the house was warm...

April 10, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

While it snowed on Easter, the house was warmed by the smokey heat of frying perogies and blinys and cooking kulebakha, and the warmth of friends. I did call Seraph in desperation on Saturday, having somehow ruined all of my beet-dyed eggs. She had many helpful suggestions, among them to find the beauty in imperfection. So here is one of them- Dorothy should recognize the lovely plate from this Christmas! However, the good food and company made me miss home all the more. I can't wait to visit in early June!

It's Easter Sunday and the kids are having a ...

April 08, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Easter Sunday and the kids are having a great time playing together this morning. They had fun with their Easter egg hunting. Emma in particular has been waiting a long time for the festivities to begin. Saturday was fairly low key. In the morning we went shopping and snacked at Humble Bagel. Later Emma and I went for a long walk to Flicks and Picks. It was quite the workout for me, walking for nearly an hour with Emma in a back pack. Fortunately she was great company and very chatty. As for today, we're waiting for Isa to come over and I'll take them over to the park to play. Later in the day we'll go to my mom's for a grand Easter dinner.

It's Mocha Friday, though I still have anothe...

April 06, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I still have another hour until that delicious elixir is mine. I had a funny situation at work where I got the final specifications for a project on Wednesday, started work yesterday, and learned they want guarantees that it'll be completed in four days. Silly customers.

Last night was yet another soccer/tadpole evening. This time we took tadpole catching gear and scooped up quite a few. Towards the end, she became quite adept at catching them with her hands. I don't particularly mind muddy little girls, and by the end of the evening Emma was certainly doing her part. We scrubbed her squeaky clean just in time for dinner.

As for this weekend, it's Easter festivities galore. Tomorrow is painting eggs and then Sunday is the huge family gathering. Fortunately it's also Russian Orthodox Easter, so there'll be vodka.

Sam's had a somewhat exciting week, all around

April 06, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam's had a somewhat exciting week, all around. It's back to school, which he seems to enjoy quite a bit. As usual, he's doing very well at his studies, and enjoys hanging out with his friends. It's also the start of soccer. I was worried he wouldn't enjoy it, but he seems to be having a fairly good time. As he explained to me last night, there's a lot of things he likes about soccer, just not the game itself. He likes the exercise and visiting with friends, which is fine with me.

Sam also completed the grand treasure hunt that Sadie sent him on. For months he's been getting letters and packages with mysterious clues. We finally got a mysterious package with a massive glass diamond inside. He raptly listened to CDs that told of clues, which he assembled and found. It was extremely cool and Sadie did a great job.

It's soccer season again

April 04, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's soccer season again. Sam was running about with his friends tonight, while Emma busied herself poking at tadpoles with a stick. The lure of a muddy ditch was quite strong, though Sam resisted unlike some of the other soccer players.

The week has been going well so far. Work has been busy, but also kind of cool. I've been redoing an old application with our new stuff, and I'm excited to wow the customer with it.

Jamie tried hard not to do anything today, her first few hours of not watching kids in nearly two weeks.

When I got home today, Sam was proudly showing off a massive jewel. Sadie has been putting him through a grand treasure hunt and I suspect this was the pinnacle. He's also been playing the latest Tomb Raider game, so he's primed for treasure seeking these days.

It is nearly warm in Western Massachusetts, a...

April 03, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

It is nearly warm in Western Massachusetts, and I started seedlings for vegetables this weekend. Work is swinging along, and I had a great time at the Idealist Conference last weekend. My friends and I are planning a three day Easter feast, with the final day featuring Russian delights!

The family's back

April 02, 2007 by Adam in Family

The family's back. They arrived Saturday afternoon, with me eagerly running outside to the car, only to find that Sam was eagerly running inside to find me. Everyone was pretty tired from their car ride, especially Jamie. The kids and I put in a lot of play time and taking it easy.

On Sunday, I took the kids out to Amazon park to catch bugs in the swamp. After I cleaned up most of the mud, we went to Humble Bagel where Sam put away a ton of food. We spent most of the afternoon at home. Sam did a great job making treasure hunts for Emma and I. In the evening, we all went out to Ambrosia, where Emma wowed the other diners with her Barbie princess shoes.

All is well again in the Miller-Mellor household. The kids go back to school tomorrow, having a final day of rest. Soccer starts tomorrow, so I'll probably be running about outside with Emma quite a bit in the weeks to come.

Sweet, sweet mocha Friday

March 30, 2007 by Adam in Family

Sweet, sweet mocha Friday. Spring is here, there was a beautiful sunrise on the way to work, and that delicious espresso treat is sitting at my desk. Life is good.

I think Jamie and the kids are coming back today, but I'm not quite sure. I think her plan was to stay as long as they were having fun, so it could be any time over the next few days. It's been strangely busy while they're away. Last night I went over to my dad and Yayoe's for dinner, chatting for endless hours about computers, model boats, manufacturing, and financial stuff. Somewhere in there we managed to get a hug in too.

It'll be nice to have my family back. The house is far too big for just little ol' me. Plus I miss playing with the kids and Jamie's deadpan humor.

I talked to Robbie last night

March 29, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

I talked to Robbie last night. They sound like they're having fun catching up with everyone and seeing the sights. They are over in Taos, and Robbie said it was cold. They head back to Tuscon today, stopping for the night in Flagstaff. Hopefully they'll be warm again before heading home!

I woke up this morning, made myself blueberry...

March 28, 2007 by Adam in Adam

I woke up this morning, made myself blueberry pancakes and sausages, and foamed up a double mocha. It was an enjoyable last meal, and I contemplated the expression "nothing focuses the mind like the sight of the gallows." Delaying as long as possible, I headed out to my morning doctor appointment. I was about to go under the knife.

Well, it wasn't nearly that dramatic. I got a couple moles removed, one with a blowtorch like device. I enjoy the smell of burnt flesh like any other guy, but to have it be my own is somewhat disconcerting.

Currently I have a couple bandages, including a tiny one over my eye. I'm tempted to exchange it for an eyepatch, but then I'd look silly without the parrot and hook hand.

I just got of the phone with Emma and Jamie, ...

March 28, 2007 by Adam in Family

I just got of the phone with Emma and Jamie, who called to check up on me. Perhaps they were listening for party noises in the background or something. Surprisingly enough, I was at my computer, working on samatopia.com for Sam.

They're doing well. Emma talked about the foam toys they got at the aquarium. She also mentioned that she was a little afraid of the shark and octopus. Sounds like they're having fun.

A quick update on Jenny's house plans

March 27, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

A quick update on Jenny's house plans. She, Jordan and I went to the broker's office yesterday morning to get more information about financing. After checking her incredibly high credit rating, he got busy, and called her back yesterday afternoon to tell her she'd been pre-approved for a loan. Lots more things to do, but it looks like it could happen. Had a fun dinner with Adam. I did not serve Cat, regardless of the implication of Adam's posting.

The unfortunate orange peel incident conclude...

March 27, 2007 by Adam in Adam

The unfortunate orange peel incident concluded with me finding a sliver of orange peel under my nail. No wonder it hurt so much.

I thought this week would be quiet, but so far it's felt rather busy. I'm bouncing around odd projects at work. Last night I watched the finale of Battlestar Galactica and then went to my mom's for dinner. She, Bob, and I chatted about eating cats and Jenny's possible house purchase. I came home late, took a quick bath, and went to bed.

Tomorrow I'm going in to get some moles removed, using it as an excuse to take the day off. I'm getting rid of what Emma calls my "Kill Dad" button. She'll miss pushing it and giggling maniacally when I keel over and stick out my tongue.

Robbie and Isabell made it safe and sound to ...

March 27, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Robbie and Isabell made it safe and sound to AZ last night. I got a call from Robbie saying it was 80 degrees! They drive with Alex to NM today to spend the week with family there.
This leaves me, like Adam, alone in a big quiet house. I've decided to take advantage of it and worked late. My hope is to get ahead at work while their away, and I don't have to feel guilty about coming home at 9pm!
We are also having our floors refinished at the end of the week. It's these little things that make me happy.
Love to all, and lets hope Robbie and Isa send some of that warm weather our way!

Fun in Redmond! The weather was lovely, the c...

March 26, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Fun in Redmond! The weather was lovely, the conference was interesting, and we had a delightful evening watching the
Duck game at the town's favorite watering hole. It was particularly fun because we got to sit and talk politics, women's issues, and gardening with a mom, her daughter, and daughter's friend. Smart funny people abound in this state.

I'm home alone, knocking about in this big, e...

March 26, 2007 by Adam in Family

I'm home alone, knocking about in this big, empty house. Jamie and the kids are still at the beach, enjoying the sun and surf while I head back to work tomorrow. It's quite odd having everything be so silent. I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. The beach was overall pretty fun, though it started a bit rough. I got deathly ill the first day, ending up groaning and stumbling about until returning to bed and sleeping for two solid hours. Later that day I felt better and by nightfall I was fine again. Strange. The weather was great today, and not too shabby the day before. I went off on several trips to the beach with the kids, exploring various driftwood structures, making sand castles, and so on. When we were at the beach house, we ended up playing a ton of different games. Before I left, I got to be Emma's monster, chasing her about the house. Finally, it was time for me to go, driving back with Dave and Kirsten. I unpacked, went shopping, fed the fish, and generally unwound. Now I'm heading to bed early in this strangely silent house.

I just got back from the coast, leaving Jamie...

March 26, 2007 by Adam in Sam

I just got back from the coast, leaving Jamie and the kids behind. Sam in particular had loads of fun at the beach, claiming various pieces of driftwood and sand bars in the name of Samatopia. Of course, all was not well in the kingdom and there were various usurpers to deal with. We also spent some time building various structures out of sand, wood, and shells. Even though the endeavors were futile, there is something grand about creating something, even though it is doomed to be washed away by the next high tide. Sam and Emma have been playing particularly well together these last few days. When Sam's away, Emma sadly announces, "I want Sammy." Sure enough, that warbling cry was enough to get me to carry her a solid mile along the beach until we caught up with Sam, off on some adventure.

Mocha Friday

March 23, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. I just have to hold out another hour until that delicious treat is in my hands.

Last night was a little crazy around the dinner table. The kids were tired and Emma in particular was grumpy. Jamie and I had a little tiff around when exactly I was leaving work so we could go to the coast. Sam was probably the only one who was generally cheerful.

With luck, that'll all change when we head out to the coast this weekend. I'll only be there for a couple days while Jamie and the kids stay most of the week. It'll be weird having time alone in the house. I'll keep the booze and loose women to a minimum.

I'm trying hard to get things together at work. Yesterday was strangely productive, getting several major projects to a semi-completed state. We have one person out sick and another just had a baby, so it's feeling like I'm covering a lot of bases. Still, it's a fun job and I can't imagine anything else I'd rather be doing.

Bob and I are driving to Redmond to a housing...

March 22, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Bob and I are driving to Redmond to a housing conference this afternoon, and we'll be back Saturday morning. He's been released to drive, but hasn't been doing much driving.
The weather is supposed to be good. I'll have my cell. Love to all, mom

It was pretty cold today

March 21, 2007 by Adam in Family

It was pretty cold today. I scraped the frost off of Jamie's car before I rode to work today. That led to a "You're my hero" phone call from her later on.

Emma's had a cold all week, nothing horrible but she sniffles and whines from time to time. Jamie's kept her out of school, which makes Jamie's life a little harder. I think she's got a touch of a cold herself.

Last night Jamie hung out with Victoria and I had the kids to myself. We ran around the basement for awhile, ate dinner, and went out to the Zenon for dessert. Sam likes the ritual of it all, I think, getting more into his Italian soda than his chocolate cake. Emma was a cake eating machine, totally focused on shoveling each morsel down her gullet.

I love reading Sam's homework

March 21, 2007 by Adam in Sam

I love reading Sam's homework. Today I found his answer to the question "Who is your hero?"

Can you guess who my hero is? He is tall and has long hair. He can draw. I can always count on him to play video games. If you guessed me, you're right!

After months of "being in the works" it look...

March 20, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

After months of "being in the works" it looks like our house in Eugene will finally close next week! By the time the equity money gets distributed out there really won't be much left, but the housing market was good to us in the long run.
It looks like we'll be getting our living room floors finished over the break, and we're talking to someone about building the bookcases for us. It will be a major step forward in our project list, though as the spring weather returns it reminds me of all the outdoor projects still to do!
I've long since promised house pics, and should be able to post some tonight.

Hi, all

March 20, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, all. I had fun doing a short baby-sit with Emma, followed later with a lunch with the director of Unity School, for which I serve on the Board of Directors. Then Jenny, Jordan and I got together to go see a house Lohring learned about for sale in Thurston. It is a beautiful house,
about 100 yards from the elementary school, and walking distance from the middle school and high school. If Jenny can put together the financing, I know she'd buy it. Many hugs, ole mom

Emma's been a little sick over the last two d...

March 20, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma's been a little sick over the last two days, though it's just a little cold. She called me up at work and explained how she might have a virus in her stomach. It's funny how she combines science and drama. Where could she have possibly got that from?

Last night Jamie was looking a little tired from watching Emma all day. I whisked my daughter away where we proceeded to do all manner of silly things. First it was tattoos on the arms (using washable pens), and later I painted her nails with sparkly and purple nail polish. I'm not sure what sort of profession I'm training her for, but Emma had a lot of fun.

Well, the Potty Saga isn't quite over

March 19, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Well, the Potty Saga isn't quite over. We've had a few setbacks over the last few weeks, but during the day time, all is well.

In other areas, she's been growing like a weed and getting increasingly sophisticated. Last night and dinner, she was being stubborn in French. She wanted "du pain" (some bread) and we kept telling her to eat her apple sauce first ("maintenant le pomme"). It was pretty funny and Sam looked at us all a bit odd.

Emma and I made scones yesterday. She's often my baking helper, having been my assistant for the last few loaves of wheat bread I've made. It's fun listening to her explain how we need to knead the dough and let the yeast make bubbles.

Sam got a nasty bloody nose the other day

March 19, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam got a nasty bloody nose the other day. We were walking down to Dave's house for dinner, when he started dripping blood everywhere. By the time we reached the house, it looked like he'd been attacked by a wild animal.

On the way back, Emma fell and scraped her knees too, so it was a rather traumatic experience for all.

Sam seems to be doing fairly well these days. School seems fairly easy for him and he enjoys going to see his friends. Last night he and I had a long conversation about space exploration, all stemming from the question "What if you could make sound in space?"

It was a good day yesterday

March 18, 2007 by Adam in Family

It was a good day yesterday. Jamie made delicious challah French bread, coupled with my tasty mochas. Emma had her last ballet class, so she pranced about with the other pink tutu-wearing girls while Sam and I played Frisbee outside. The kids and I then went to the pool where we all had a great time. The afternoon was quiet and then we headed to Dave's house where he and Kirsten made a tasty dinner for us. I also snuck in a library trip somewhere in there, returning with video, computer game, and literary treasures.

Jamie started semi-working again, helping one of the mom's at Emma's French school with her business. She's mostly doing bookkeeping and office organization, but Jamie's remarkably perky about it. Hopefully she can balance her various responsibilities and still help out. Most likely it'll only be a few hours per week. We'll see how it goes.

Sam wrote this as part of a school assignment...

March 17, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam wrote this as part of a school assignment:

My dad is funny and nice. My mom is nice too and she talks alot. Me, I do lots of things. I play video games, draw, write, and I'm smart. My sister plays with Barbies and is annoying.

Well, I bought Sam a domain name

March 16, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Well, I bought Sam a domain name. SamuelMiller.com was taken, but Samatopia.com was free. For those who are curious, it's an imaginary place that Sam created a year or two ago. He'd spend long hours telling me about it's lengthy history and terrible battles.

We put together a little site yesterday. I admittedly got a little carried away, having fun doing some weird and wacky web things. Visitors to his site can play with magnetic poetry, adjust the map, or help make his comics. I want to get a better list of words from Sam and perhaps get him to do a bit of drawing as well. Fun, fun.

I just saw one of the rarest natural phenomen...

March 16, 2007 by Adam in Family

I just saw one of the rarest natural phenomena this morning, a circumhorizontal arc. I was walking back from coffee over the sky bridge and noticed a horizontal rainbow in the sky. The sun was just rising, it was cold and hadn't rained, evidently the right conditions for a rainbow to appear in the sky. I had just read about it last week, so I knew what it was immediately. Very cool. I did a very frivilous and fun thing yesterday. I bought the domain name samatopia.com. Sam and I made a little movie and I put together several pages that show off my cool web skills. My favorite so far is the comic, where you can arrange the words for other visitors. I may have to switch out the comic image itself with one a bit more tame. I wouldn't want Sam to get in trouble for visiting his own web site at school. It is also, of course, Mocha Friday. That sweet, sweet beverage is next to me, waiting. Hopefully it and the rainbow are signs of a good weekend ahead.

Sorry I haven't posted - this has been a week...

March 15, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Sorry I haven't posted - this has been a week of very long work days.
Work has been prety crazy, and a lot of s*** has been hitting my fan.
We managed to get out into the garden last Sunday, and it was nice to get my hands dirty again!
Poor Isa has a cough again, and Robbie stayed home with her yesterday.
Her good buddy Mikaya has her birthday party this weekend, and we have her schools "playground raising" on Saturday. Plus somewhere in there we've promised the girl some good old irish music for St. Patrick's day!
P.S. Mischa is alive and well. Although he has been banned from the bedrooms at night!

Adam: the earring returns? I can't believe I ...

March 15, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Adam: the earring returns? I can't believe I missed that post! Hurrah! The college's operations strategic mister mister wears a totally bad ass earring, too. And, for the record, I think Mischa is just fine.

I hurt myself in a rather odd fashion today

March 15, 2007 by Adam in Adam

I hurt myself in a rather odd fashion today. I was peeling an orange at work and managed to slide part of the stem under my finger nail and give myself a nasty cut. Even better, orange juice squirted in for bonus pain.

Fortunately I was able to rip apart and eat the orange afterwards. If only all my problems could be dealt with in such a satisfying way.

Work was good today. I spent a fair amount of time working on a lengthy backlog of requests. A few of them were sort of fun, including an Internet application that lets family members see where someone is in the whole surgery process.

Well, it's been ten days and I haven't heard ...

March 15, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, it's been ten days and I haven't heard from you, Seraph and Robbie, about how Mischa is doing. Sadie and I are pretty sure that he ran out into the street and was killed, and the two of you are just too nice to tell me. Please reassure me; post a picture tomorrow of Mischa holding the March 14th "Oregonian". Thank you, Mom

Our family was being silly tonight, as usual

March 14, 2007 by Adam in Family

Our family was being silly tonight, as usual. Jamie went to the gym and visited Angie, while I fed the kids. Afterwards she came in and sat down for dinner while I entertained with the infamous Hamster Dance video. Good times.

I had lunch with my mom this morning, which was a fun treat. She seems well and we chatted about how we both share this seemingly genetic trait to dig bomb shelters and stockpile food. We were trying to resist turning her farm into a fortress against some unknown impending disaster. I'm sure the endless cups of Glenwood coffee didn't help much.

Work has been nutty lately, spending way too much time deciding on whether or not certain words in our code should be capitalized or not. Tomorrow I need to hunker down and finish up some of the work that's piled up lately. Busy, busy.

Update: Jamie has requested that I remove the video. Evidently I'm supposed to talk to her PR rep any time I wish her image to be used. Oopsie.

This picture is just a reminder to folks to s...

March 13, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

This picture is just a reminder to folks to start preparing their costumes. The wrong style cigar or bow tie could sour the moment. I, obviously, am still working on the perfect Richie (this look is from where Margot gets off the bus and says, "stand up straight and let me get a look at you." Nico is playing in the background.

The job search plugs along. I had a phone interview this afternoon and the position in Rhode Island looks very promising. I have a feeling that being a queer feminist puts me out of the running for positions at Catholic colleges, though they are refreshingly social-justice oriented. If anyone finds any higher ed civic engagement positions laying about, waiting to be filled, give me a holler. I have requested that my friend embezzle money to bring me with him to a women's cooperative farming project in Africa this summer, but we'll see how successful he is.

It's Monday morning, feeling earlier than it ...

March 12, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Monday morning, feeling earlier than it really is with the "Spring Back" time change. It's pitch black outside and I guess I have to get used to riding to work in the dark for awhile more.

We had a good weekend, all around. Jamie made an amazing breakfast on Saturday, with scones that were to die for. I snuck away to the library, returned to take the kids swimming, and then John and Natalie arrived for a long play date. Having four kids around seems to be about as much work as two, strangely enough.

Sunday was a bit quieter. We mostly stayed outside to enjoy the weather. I did some work on my bike and rearranged the basement. Jamie and Emma walked with Victoria to the store. Later we all went over to Kirsten's house for dinner, chasing the kids around the back yard.

All-in-all, nothing terribly important happened, other than simply enjoying ourselves.

Mocha Friday

March 09, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. Work is a bustle of insane requests, pouring in faster than I can respond. I have no idea when I'm going to be able to work on my critical projects that had to be done at the beginning of the week. I'll have to summon the mighty power of the Mocha and accomplish everything in a blur of activity. Either that, or I'll just feign death until they reassign my work to someone else.

Emma's French continues to impress me. These days she's teaching me words. Last night I was giving her a bath and she started talking about a "grenouille" while playing with a toy frog. I had to ask, and so she explained how grenouille was a frog. It happens all the time now.

Thursdays are often the day when Sam brings back his homework. I love reading it, as he's so funny and quirky. His stories tend to be fairly outlandish, as if an adult comedian was doing 2nd grade homework.

The weekend looks pretty busy. We've got playdates for the kids, the Home and Garden show, swimming, a library trip, and more. Hopefully we can relax in there sometime.

Invisible Ink???? I can understand the lager...

March 08, 2007 by Betsy in Betsy

Invisible Ink???? I can understand the lager and the Chinese Finger Torture Device (have a couple of those myself) but Invisible Ink?!

Meg, difference in time and distance, so don't tell this one to Mikayla, but my freshman year at Chatham I came down with the flu. The school nurse wanted to put me in the hospital because I hadn't been able to hold down food or water for 3 days. Somehow at about 9p.m. Dad came into my dorm room, scooped me up in his arms, carried me down to the old blue Suburban and took me home to Mom who nursed me back to health. He had to have worked all day at some job, got home after probably a long drive and found Mom worried about me and turned around and drove into Pittsburgh to get me.
I have the picture of them together at the beach (The Dump in White pic) at the bottom of my computer screen on my desk here at the office and I miss them and their unconditional love.
Blessings to all,

What can I say? They were hostess presents fo...

March 08, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

What can I say? They were hostess presents for the Pioneer
Dinner which I forgot to give them Sunday!

I got a second controller for the Wii and had...

March 08, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

I got a second controller for the Wii and had a lot of fun playing Wii Sports with Sam and Emma. I wanted to get another good multiplayer Wii game, so I ended up ordering Rayman Raving Rabbits. It looks funny, quirky, and something even Emma might enjoy (I've given up hope on getting Jamie to play video games).

Sam's been playing Dark Messiah a bit lately. It's occasionally frustrating for him, as it's right at the edge of his difficulty level. I remember when he was four and I'd turn on God Mode and let him play through games without fear of dying. Now he can handle just about anything I can, though occasionally he wants a little help.

Emma's into Barbie.com, especially printing out anything she can find. Yesterday she printed out some mail order form for a "free" playmat (just send $1.80 in shipping and handling).

The week moves on

March 08, 2007 by Adam in Family

The week moves on. Not much exciting has been happening in the Miller-Mellor household. We took the kids to my mom's house and walked over to Metropol for bread. Afterwards we ate it with some fresh beer-cheese soup that Jamie made and watched a bit of Coupling. I picked up the kids a little later, where my mom proceeded to burden me with invisible ink, a large bottle of lager, and a Chinese finger torture device. Ah, family.

Work occasionally gets nutty, but I'm starting to feel like I have a handle on the deluge of projects. I'm about to roll out some new security reports that will either make lots of people gleeful that problems are getting cleaned up, or upset at me for making them do extra work.

It sounds as if all is well on the West coast...

March 07, 2007 by Meg in Lytton

It sounds as if all is well on the West coast and in Ohio.
Mikayla was homesick and came home from Oberlin for the weekend. She seems to have inherited Grandpa Bill's travel gremlin... For a variety of reasons (all solid), she and a friend decided to take a Thurs. 1:30 AM train from Cleveland, to transfer in Pgh and arrive in Phila Fri 3 PM. She called Fri 2AM to say the Amtrak train was 5 hrs late, & they would miss the connection in Pgh so they were going back to Oberlin and would figure it out the next morning. She called back at 6:30 AM as the "Fasttrack" train they got left Cleveland. They paid $50 extra and, for that, got a speedy train to Pgh and a SW flight to Phila, arrived 4 PM! Mikayla is so laidback, solid and resourceful, and seems to roll with the punches so I don't get anxious.

She was home for our one year anniversary of Grandpa Bill's death. We all went out to brunch- Dad was such a party animal, he would have loved it!!

We're getting the Alberta clipper that just gave Betsy -10 degrees. The winds last night were so strong that Dick asked if a train were coming down the street. Snow storm tomorrow...

My office renovations are moving fast. I'll try to figure out how to post pictures.

It was beautiful yesterday

March 06, 2007 by Adam in Family

It was beautiful yesterday. I came home to the kids playing outside in the sun, thinking how strange it was that I rode home in a blizzard last week. After cleaning up my bike, adjusting the brakes, and greasing the chain, the kids and I went over to the park to play around. I could get used to shorts, t-shirts, and running around outside.

I drove home without having to turn on my hea...

March 06, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

I drove home without having to turn on my headlights!!!
For the rest of you dreaming of warmer days - here is a link to the hotel Robbie & I stayed at for our honeymoon. We are hoping to return this October for our 10th!

Sunday has come and gone

March 05, 2007 by Adam in Family

Sunday has come and gone. It was a pretty good day, the first in awhile where I woke up feeling okay and ready for a hearty breakfast. Jamie kindly made my whole wheat and blueberry pancakes, while I worked on the espresso. We make for a winning team.

I got a second controller for the Wii, so Sam and I put in some quality one-on-one time in Wii Sports. It was surprisingly fun and Sam managed to beat me soundly in most of the games. I think I finally snuck in a win for bowling and baseball, but he beat me soundly in boxing and tennis.

Afterwards, in preparation for our pioneer dinner, the kids and I "worked in the fields". Mostly that meant weeding and spreading plant food about on our yard. Emma rediscovered the wonders of bugs and had fun capturing a ladybug. Eventually Jamie called in Sam to help with dinner while Emma and I went to the park and enjoyed the sun for many long hours. We wore tank tops and still ended up a little on the hot side.

Pioneer dinner was a success, with Sam's biscuits high on my list of favorite foods. Sam had a good time showing off the Wii to Arik, Bob's son. Everyone got into the spirit and wore something pioneer-like. I ended up recycling the pirate bandanna and wrapping it around my neck for the appropriate farmer flair.

Special thanks to all of you for helping to m...

March 04, 2007 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Special thanks to all of you for helping to make Lohring a very happy man on his 64th birthday. Sorry we missed Sadie and Bob but there's always next year....and of course Sadie's Royal Tennenbaum costume party when she turns 26!

And kudos to Adam for filming our birthday song to Lohring. I can't believe we were that offfff tune but hey...he didn't mind a bit. UTUBE sent us a disconnect note saying they did not allow noice polution on their site..feh...we just need to practice a little more. When I turn 64 I'm checking myself into a surgical spa so I can look like 60 and postpost hearing WHEN I'M 64 for another 4 years.

So as an update: we've postponed the Brennan family reunion until next year. If you have any other ideas for venues please let us know...it needs to be close and affordable...which puts us at Cottage Grove, Junction City, Eugene, or Springfield!...or..????

I'll be taking off for Honolulu in mid May to see Jody/Josh's new baby boy. I'll keep you posted to see if he's due on his arrival date of April 26.

So thanks again for another wonderful and fun family gathering.

I decided to join the YouTube world and uploa...

March 04, 2007 by Adam in Family

I decided to join the YouTube world and upload the short video I made from my camera of my dad's birthday. It's of everyone singing "When I'm 64", similar to my mom's birthday. I may end up putting more clips like this on the site in the future. We'll see how it goes. Yesterday morning was very productive. I replaced the sump pump, with Sam helping gather tools and perform various acts of destruction. I finished my taxes and got those mailed in. I also made bread with Emma, a delicious whole wheat variety that the kids can't get enough of. The most impressive part was that I managed it all while still being pretty sick, writhing around in pain for the first couple hours of the day. My dad's birthday party was very fun, just hanging out with everyone. Sam, Emma, and their cousins ran about getting into only minimal trouble. It seems that Emma is finally big enough to run with the bigger kids. Afterwards, we were all pretty tired, so we took it easy and the kids got a movie and popcorn. Everyone slept really well and I almost feel normal again this morning. After my morning mocha, I'm sure I'll feel like a million bucks.

What a nice birthday lunch for Lohring! Yayoe...

March 04, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

What a nice birthday lunch for Lohring! Yayoe made a wonderful lunch, and the whole gang was there, except Sadie, and Bob, who's still pretty happy to sit quietly most of the time in his own chair. Afterward, Seraph, Robbie and Isa came to pick up Mischa. I would have felt really sad, as well as just feeling guilty, but they drove off with Mischa snuggled on Isa's lap while she stroked his head. I think he gave me the kitty finger with his little furry paw as they drove off.

I had a rough night last night

March 02, 2007 by Adam in Family

I had a rough night last night. My annoying cold turned into a pretty bad headache. On top of that, when riding home I managed to pull a muscle in my back. It was hard getting to sleep and the pain got me up again around midnight. A few Advil later and I was able to blissfully enter dreamland.

I'm still thinking about heading in to work this morning, though I'm not quite as perky about it as usual. Hopefully the magical Mocha will ease away all my pain and worries. Well, as long as I toss in a few more Advil for good measure.

The kids were pretty funny last night. Sam spent too much time watching television or playing on the computer, so he was a little loopy at dinner. I pulled him downstairs for "training", which in this case involved dodging pillows as I swung them at him. Let's just say it was cathartic for me too.

Eventually Emma came down as well and the two of them got into some sort of flying donkey game, riding stuffed animals around the room and being exceptionally silly. It was fun to watch, especially as all I had to do is sit there and pretend my back didn't hurt.

I'm feeling a bit under the weather today

March 02, 2007 by Adam in Family

I'm feeling a bit under the weather today. It didn't help that I felt like I was drinking from the fire hose all day at work. Requests kept coming in faster than I could complete them, all of them unexpected and many of them in the "do it now" category.

Now I'm home. Sam's playing Animal Crossing and Emma's eating a bit of cereal. Evident jumping repeatedly on my belly tired her out or something. Still, she's so cute that I can't resist her.

Emma's has an exciting date at the hair salon tomorrow. She says she wants it short, though I suspect only an inch at most will be taken off. She's a fickle little girl, and typically tells us she wants her hair down to the floor.

I think we're planning on having our Pioneer dinner this weekend, which involves a lot of rustic food, as far as I can gather. I think Jamie opted for the ham instead of the "Buffalo for 1,000" recipe. Fortunately there's going to be assorted bread, potatoes, and the all-important chocolate-chip cookies.

Slush and snow were falling from the sky this...

February 28, 2007 by Adam in Adam

Slush and snow were falling from the sky this morning as I rode into work. A few sprinkles were stuck to our lawn as I headed out. As always, I felt pretty "hardcore" as one of the few cyclists on the road. Still, after the thrill was gone, I started thinking positively about driving to work once it moves across town.

Half a lifetime ago, I went to the mall with my then-girlfriend and got my ear pierced. It was one of those "whim" things that teenagers often do, part of a Halloween costume, as I recall. I wore an earring all through college and graduate school, but stopped wearing once I went out to get a job. I'd occasionally wear one, like last Halloween for my pirate costume, but it's quite rare.

A couple weeks ago Emma was playing with my old jewelry container and wanted me to always wear an earring. Since then, I've had one in my ear. What's really weird is that virtually no one at work has made any comment about it. These are people that I know really well and am very comfortable with.

The only person who said anything was my coffee buddy Jim, who once had earrings as well, but is now over 40 and the father of two twin toddlers. He jokingly said I looked "Totally badass."

I can live with that.

Robbie and Isa are home this morning, as it i...

February 28, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Robbie and Isa are home this morning, as it is again snowing in Portland! Isa has a 2 hour delay, and Robbie is home all day. This is more classic Oregon snow then what we had in January - wet and slushy.
Life continues to be busy. Things are picking up again at work, as everyone overseas is retuning from Chinese New Year. The factories won't be open for another week or so, but office life is returning to normal.
We will be in Eugene on Saturday for Dad's birthday. I can't wait to see all of my "Royal" family then.

The Royal Tenenbaum Party is not yet blog-wor...

February 28, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

The Royal Tenenbaum Party is not yet blog-worthy, as I haven't gotten full buy-in from the cast and crew, nor set a date for said event. But I had such a lovely 25th birthday with Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land that I thought another film-themed party would be a nice way to venture into my late mid-twenties. No final decisions have been made, and going to Cuba by myself is still a possibility.

Mischa gets his teeth cleaned tomorrow, but a...

February 27, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Mischa gets his teeth cleaned tomorrow, but all his tests
show he is a very healthy cat. So sorry, Seraph and Robbie.
But I'll send lots of cat food. Love, mom. PS. Sadie is going to try to rope us into putting on (yes, as in "acting
out the parts") of The Royal Tennebaums the next time she's home. Just a Heads Up....

The weekend has come and gone

February 26, 2007 by Adam in Family

The weekend has come and gone. It was pretty good, ending with Dave doing a redneck impression that nearly made Jamie and I pee our pants.

The highlights were a solo visit to the library, returning with movie and reading treats for all. I got to take Emma swimming without Sam, which was fun. She spent some time swimming around without her floater, doing surprisingly well in the water. She liked doing flips under water and slowly walking forward until the water was over her head.

The only down side was that Jamie and I were both somewhat under the weather. I can tell that I've got a cold, but I haven't been particularly sniffly.

Great time at the Coast! Even enough sunshine...

February 26, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Great time at the Coast! Even enough sunshine for a brisk walk on the beach. It rained hard coming and going, and we even had a little snow on the way from Ptland to Seaside. Jamie, thanks for taking care of Mischa, and chasing out That Bad Pumpkin, the cat from next door. Mischa and I are headed for the vet, and his 100,000 mile check up before he goes to Seraph and Robbie's. Love, and sorry I sounded so morose.

A little Friday night book review

February 24, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

A little Friday night book review. A writer named Joan Didion wrote a book called, I think, The Year of Magical Thinking, about the year after her husband died, and all the
pretenses she allowed herself, pretending her husband really was alive. I never let myself to do that, except one time, when I was with a date (not Bob) at a restaurant Dick and I liked. The date got up and left for the bathroom, and just that once, I let myself pretend it was Dick and he'd just be right back. Just that once.
But I have to admit that sometimes I go back to the postings
before Dick got sick, just to remember how good it felt back then. Much love from the old mom.

A quick note - Bob's sister and brother in la...

February 24, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

A quick note - Bob's sister and brother in law rented a place at the coast, and we're taking Anna and Aric and going over tomorrow. We'll come back Sunday afternoon or evening.
Remember that the Egyptian exhibit at the Portland Art Museum runs only through Sunday March 4th.
Angie's brother Olin and his sweet baboo are going to rent the Polk Street house. He does contracting work, and is going to do some major internal refurbishing before he moves in. There's a little reserve built up in the rental account, and it's a good time to clean-up, paint-up and fix-up. He wants to put in a sky-light. He would have to hire someone to do the roof work at +/- $100, and the kit would be a couple hundred; he'd do that work for free. I think you all, except maybe Sadie, have lived there at one time or another, so do you have any opinion about the skyligt?
The prior tenant painted the living room and one bedroom (including walls) gray, and started to paint the woodwork black. And she went to law school? love from om

Sam's had a rash on his face for the last few...

February 23, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam's had a rash on his face for the last few days. It's been getting better, but we've been trying to figure out what might have caused it. I was going through our Healthwise book which talks about various medical issues and I started going through the symptoms.

Eventually I got to the question about whether or not he'd eaten any new foods recently. I gasped as I realized I'd made him eat asparagus a few days before. "I've killed my boy!" I cried. We compared dates and it might have instead been the home made vanilla ice cream, though Sam vigorously disagreed.

It's Mocha Friday, though I've yet to head in...

February 23, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, though I've yet to head into work to grab that delicious treat. This morning promises to be busy as well, with three sort of go-lives happening at once. I don't like making changes on a Friday, in case I make a horrible mistake and it gets paged out over the weekend. Hopefully these changes are pretty benign.

I took the kids swimming last night, after playing in the basement for an hour or so. Sam got a little upset that I wouldn't go along with his "airplane crash in the jungle finale", but I was getting play-pretended out.

After swimming, I whipped up pancakes and sausages for a quickie dinner, then helped get everyone to bed. Sam's started in on the fourth Harry Potter book, and will likely finish the fifth one before the movie comes out. I'm betting he'll finish the sixth before the last comes out too.

I can't remember what's going on this weekend. Dave's got a birthday. Jamie's off to do something with Emma's teacher tonight. I'm guessing there will be the usual library and swimming runs. Should be fun.

I haven't left work earlier than nine at nigh...

February 23, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I haven't left work earlier than nine at night all week- the Paresky Center is like a casino of student energy. I've come to realize that if the place you spend most of your time eating is home, the quilt might be a little too on the nose for me.

Emma's Potty Saga is finally coming to a close

February 22, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma's Potty Saga is finally coming to a close. After seven straight days of dry diapers at night, she switched to underwear all night long. The heavens parted and a host of angels flew down to join hands and do a potty dance around her.

Well, Jamie couldn't get a babysitter last ni...

February 22, 2007 by Adam in Family

Well, Jamie couldn't get a babysitter last night, so it looks like we'll have to test the "Blondes have more fun" theory some other time. It's been a pretty busy week for Jamie, with gym and haircut on Tuesday, gym and helping at Emma's school tonight, and something I can't remember happening tomorrow night. Fortunately the kids have all been pretty good natured.

Seraph's possible 1st edition Harry Potter find is pretty amazing. Hopefully it'll pan out.

Well, Sam finished up Zelda: Twilight Princes...

February 22, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

Well, Sam finished up Zelda: Twilight Princess last night. As expected, the evil was purged from the land and peace now reigns over Hyrule. Sam ended up breaking his one hour computer limit, which didn't make Jamie particularly happy. Tonight is going to be a "no computer" night just to make up for that particular excess.

I'd have to say that Twilight Princess is one of the best Zelda games to come along, perfect for Sam in many ways. It required lots of reading and the puzzles were just about right for his level. Plus it gives him playground "creed". One of the first things he said when he finished was that he couldn't wait to tell his friend John.

Sam has a few unfinished computer games waiting for him. After a day or two of no computer, I'm betting he'll get into those.

Hi Everyone, speaking of Harry Potter Books, ...

February 22, 2007 by Robbie in Cortez

Hi Everyone, speaking of Harry Potter Books, I went to the Goodwill the other day, and I came across four Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone books. I leafed through them and became intrigued with one of them. I looked at the ISBN and and a line of numbers that tell you if it truely is a first editon. The numbers 13567....usually it's a high number and it's not a first edition, even if it says so. SO anyway, I asked around the Goodwill if they could tell me anything more about the book, but nobody did. I hid the book, went home and did a little research. I found one book that had the same numbers and I was dumbfounded to see the price on it. I had found a U.S. first edition Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone book! I bought it for $3.99, and it could be worth over $6000.00. I still can't believe it and have to look at the book to make sure I really have it. I'm pretty sure it is a first edition, because all of the numbers matched. I might do a little more research and check with Powell's rare book section. They had one there that was an Australian First edition, going for $3000.
Aaaaah, You've got to love Goodwill! All Harry Potter Fan's please don't come running to become my new friend! Just joking.

The week keeps moving along

February 21, 2007 by Adam in Family

The week keeps moving along. Sam's almost finished with the third Harry Potter book. After debating how much I'd supplement the book purchase, I taked about the library as a possibility. Though we've borrowed books since he was a toddler, it never occured to him that it would be an option. Perhaps tonight we'll pick up the next one.

Emma's cute as always. Last night she helped me make a salad while Jamie was getting her hair done. I think she ate half the baked tofu while dropping a few crumbs in my bowl to prove she was helping.

Jamie is now very blonde after a visit to the salon. We've got a date tonight, so I guess we'll test the "more fun" theory.

Yesterday at noon I met up with Lohring and Y...

February 20, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Yesterday at noon I met up with Lohring and Yayoe at the Remembrance Day dedication of the sculpture and memorial garden next to the Hult Center.(I didn't realize that Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the date that then President Franklin Roosevelt issued the order to round up about 120,000 Japanese-Americans and put them in prison camps). The location of the garden is where Japanese-Americans in Eugene/Lane County had to assemble to be shipped off to a location unknown to them (I think, but I'm not sure, that it was the Tuley Lake camp.)
The service was moving. It was also lovely to see Misa Smith, Mari, and hear Mari's daughter, now 9, read a poem. It seems only yesterday that Mari and Jenny were budds.
The imprisonment of Japanese-Americans seems incomprehensible today, until I realize that I received at least one pass-on my Trashy Jokes list berating the US Postal System for issuing a stamp commerating the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.

I wonder if the world's population will stop fighting with each other in time to deal with global warming. Like Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and they are us."

Emma has another funny potty story

February 20, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma has another funny potty story. She was watching a movie and decided she had to go to the bathroom. Since she didn't know how to pause the show, she did the next best thing and hauled her little potty in front of the television. Fortunately I intervened in time.

Emma's friend Dharam Dev and her mom came over for a play date yesterday. This was her friend from school, though they recently moved to Portland. Emma doesn't really seem to have a best friend at this point (other than maybe Sam), which I suppose is pretty normal for a three year-old. She also seems to be a social butterfly, chatting with anyone who will talk to her.

Last night we had fun watching old movies of the kids. Sam was especially mesmerized at how cute Emma was. His first question was "When can we have a play date with Winnie?" Winnie is the only baby we know these days, and Jamie said she'd ask Angie if they could come over.

Seraph, can't you use that pink rug in Isa'...

February 19, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Seraph, can't you use that pink rug in Isa's room? No pressure though....
If we're invited, I'd kind of like to make a trip to Portland the first weekend in March; it's St. David's Day and the Portland Welsh Society meeting. Let us know, love, mom

My computer died hard late last week

February 19, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Projects

My computer died hard late last week. For a long time now, it's booted up extremely slowly. Sometimes it would take forever and other times it was pretty quick. Finally, it wouldn't come up at all.

Fortunately I had bought a new hard drive recently and moved a bunch of old things onto it. I ended up purging lots of things I didn't need, consolidating it on one drive, and then reinstalling XP onto the new drive. Though it took awhile and I still have a few things I need to install, it actually seems to be working again. Boot up times are less than a minute and everything seems running smoothly.

I'm not sure what the problem is. Maybe it was software or maybe the hard drive was failing. In any case, I think I can keep this computer running for another year or so before I hunker down and buy a new one.

I'm back at work, while the kids get a day ou...

February 19, 2007 by Adam in Family

I'm back at work, while the kids get a day out of school. I think Emma gets a play date today with her friend that moved up to Portland. I'm guessing the kids are also wanting to devour the chocolate pudding pie they made over the weekend.

Sunday was low-key and pleasant. Jamie took the kids to the Pioneer Heritage Festival while I hung out at home. Emma returned with a clothes pin doll and beads. Sam came back with a leather pouch kit that he immediately started sewing together.

As the afternoon moved on, Jamie went to King Estate wineries with Angie, then later went to her house for dinner. Sam went with my mom and Bob to see Bridge to Tarabithia, with dinner afterwards. Emma and I hung out, making pizza together and doing our normal bedtime routine.

After my usual bedtime cereal snack I headed to our bedroom to watch Upstairs, Downstairs with Jamie and rub her feet.

Hi Mom - we'll take the box of Life Mag's

February 19, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Hi Mom - we'll take the box of Life Mag's.

Okay, Sadie said she'd take picture frames

February 19, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Okay, Sadie said she'd take picture frames. Let's see a little more stepping up to the plate...

We had a nice day yesterday, enjoying the inc...

February 18, 2007 by Adam in Family

We had a nice day yesterday, enjoying the incredibly warm and sunny weather. I took Emma to ballet while Jamie and Sam practiced baseball. Later Sam got dropped off and we all went swimming. Emma chatted up the other adults while I tried to pull Sam off a foam noodle. Good times.

We later went to the Asian festival, which was fun and crowded. Everyone was pretty exhausted, so we headed home early and took it easy for the rest of the day.

The near brush with death has prompted both B...

February 17, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

The near brush with death has prompted both Bob and me to do some redding up (for the non-Pennsyvania Dutch out there, that means tidying up and in this case, trying to get rid of stuff.) I keep thinking that you kids would kill me if I died and you had to go through all the junk I've accumulated. I did throw out ten years of old holiday/
Christmas cards last year. I'd like to get rid of the following(meaning, "Do any of you want....?"):
1. The rose colored rug which used to be in Seraph's bedroom.
2. The Millenium stuff I collected, (magazines, t-shirt, Millenium countdown watch, napkins, candles, etc.) which, in another 993 years, will probably sell on e-Bay for big bucks.
3. Some perfectly nice Christmas tree balls in pink, maroon, silver, and peach - perfect for someone doing a Martha Stewart tree.
4. A little fewer than four dozen antique Christmas tree balls.

6. Dick's Smith-Corona manual typewriter, which seems to be in good working order.

8. A square and a couple of straight edges for drawing/drafting.
Sadie, if you want any of this stuff, I'm glad to save it for you. And Seraph and Robbie, I'll deliver anything you want, since your Papa-San chair is here and needs to go to Portland anyhow. I still have lots of clothing to mend and refurbish, going back to the late 1800's, but I'll try to get that stuff all fixed up and then try to find one of you who wants it, or some of it.
I'd like to try to sell some old medicine bottles on e-bay
and maybe those Pennsylvania liscense plates. How much longer will it be before I can sell my CPT (complete with
disks which actually flop!) as a collectible?

I have moved into my new Office! Or rather, t...

February 16, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I have moved into my new Office! Or rather, the new Center for Community Engagement. The Paresky student center appears to have everything anyone could ever want, if one was a college student looking for leisure and leadership development. Hopefully, things will calm down next week, but it has been a very, very busy day in Paresky. Many dozen of my cookies were eaten, and almost every student stopped in front of my flip chart to wonder aloud, "What on earth is Community Engagement?" But we have to be up with the times- "service" is so last century.

I'm rather tired this morning - and like Adam...

February 16, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

I'm rather tired this morning - and like Adam's Friday's waiting for a coworker to arrive for a coffee run.
I left for LA yesterday at 5am and returned home at 11pm. It was a long day, but strange to think that I occasionally get paid to fly to warm places and go shopping with other peoples money. To bad I don't get to keep any of the clothes, most of wich will end up cut into pieces!
Isa and I are feeling better, but I think a weekend of puttering around will be helpful. Robbie continues to keep our lives running smoothly, spendint 2 hours organizing the bedroom closet. I'm sure it was in part to stop my whinning in the mornings.

Mocha Friday

February 16, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. Finally.

Home has been a little rough the last few days. My main computer is having problems, which causes me general angst. Jamie is sick and has mostly been resting these last few days. My stomach has been hurting (but seems mostly better today), which makes it not so much fun for me either.

I haven't had a chance to drive my new car around, except back from the credit union where I bought it. Jamie's promised to zip it around town to make sure the battery stays charged. Emma's switching to the booster seat, which should make switching between cars easier.

This weekend sounds busy. I'm going to dinner tonight with Jamie. Jamie's planning a dinner with Pat and a trip to a winery with Angie and Matthew. I'll probably do the normal swimming and ballet routine with the kids.

Emma keeps hitting milestones

February 15, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Emma keeps hitting milestones. She moved her little potty into the closet as she now uses only big potties. I think it got brought back out to be used as a stool, as reaching the faucet is still a little tricky for her. Not for long, though, as she's growing like a weed.

Jamie threw out the last bag in the diaper pail, which was beginning to mutate and become sentient. It makes a great garbage can and has worked its way into the kitchen.

Still, Emma continues to find her way into our bed most nights. Last night I was woken by her not-so girlish snore, finding Jamie had taken refuge on the couch.

Happy Valentines day belated

February 15, 2007 by Betsy in Betsy

Happy Valentines day belated. It seems so novel to see Sam in in Polar Fleece and hear about spreading bark-o-mulch when we are buried under snow and ice. It was -11 this morning. Course you had it earlier this winter. In any event stay warm, keep happy and post often....

Happy Valentine's Day to all

February 15, 2007 by Adam in Family

Happy Valentine's Day to all. I stayed home from work to hang out with the people I love. Jamie and I went for a walk, I played with Emma, and chatted with Sam. Good times.

I also bought a car today. After getting rid of my old Nissan Sentra, I purchased a 2005 Nissan Sentra. Since my work is moving across town, a second car seems to be required.

Nothing much else is going on. The kids are watching movies, Jamie's resting due to her cold, and I'm puttering about with my computer.

As for last Sunday, the kids and I hung out until Jamie arrived. We finished spreading bark-o-mulch in our yard. Towards the end of the day, everyone went for a really long walk. We ended up at the athletic field behind South Eugene. Sam ran around the track once, then tried the long jump a few times. Somehow he managed to keep up as we trudged home through the rain.

Many thanks to Mom, Dad, Yayoe, and Hanni for...

February 13, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Many thanks to Mom, Dad, Yayoe, and Hanni for helping us move over the weekend. Everything was a mess and they just came in and made it all work!
Things are starting to get organized, but it will be quite awhile before we're really there.
Isa's cold is making a come back, and I'm trying to hold off a sore throat, but I think in another week things will quiet down.

Well, Bob had his doctor's appointment on Friday

February 13, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, Bob had his doctor's appointment on Friday. The word is that he is recovering from his surgery with flying colors. There is a little cloud on the horizon in that there was some damage to the lower part of his aorta which
they didn't try to repair, and there may need to be additional surgery in the future. But that's a bridge for crossing later. So many hugs to all, and thanks for those cards and letters!

It's been a good day with just the kids

February 10, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's been a good day with just the kids. Emma had a bit of a problem going to sleep, but still conked out pretty early. She crawled into bed with me some time in the wee hours, waking me up repeatedly as she tossed and turned.

I made a very yummy breakfast, which the kids made appreciative noises at. I had whole wheat pancakes with blueberries inside, along with a cafe mocha. It doesn't get any better than that. The kids had a great time playing together while I cleaned up.

Sam's started this thing where he has to do a little job before he can play on the computer. Today it was helping me spread bark-o-mulch in the garden. Both kids pitched in and had a good time getting fairly filthy.

After that we were off to Emma's ballet class and swimming. Emma was incredibly cute at both places. I had to practically drag them out of the pool as I knew they were starving by then. They both ate like they were starving, with Sam even eating a bowl of soup. Now Sam's friend John has arrived and Emma is watching her Barbie movie. I'm sipping tea and enjoying the moment of quiet.

Mocha Friday, at least in another hour or so

February 09, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday, at least in another hour or so. Emma's got a bit of the sniffles and so she's been a bit grumpy lately. I mostly followed her around last night, trying to keep her out of mischief.

Jamie heads off to the beach tonight with Dave. I'm not really sure what I'll be doing with the kids, as most of my family will be up in Portland helping Seraph move. I'll see if I can come up with a few interesting things to do, otherwise we'll probably just do our normal weekend routines. Swimming, a library trip, and some visits to the park may be in our future.

I had a chance to look at mom's India trip pictures yesterday, and posted some of them in her section. You'll have to go back a bit, like at the bottom of this page. I especially like the one with the elephant, though the monkey takes a close second.

Did you know that the production of a single ...

February 08, 2007 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Did you know that the production of a single gold ring generates, on average, 20 tons of waste? Don't buy your honey gold on Valentines day! I recommend Oxfam and Heifer International.

In celebration of Valentine's Day, my room mate Janet and I are organizing a Williamstown Hugging Brigade, and we're giving out free hugs on Spring Street and Main Street all afternoon, despite winter snow warnings. As the Paresky Center project manager said to me (as he was checking in one more time to make sure I was happy and doing well in my new office), "what's more romantic than hugging in the snow?" I couldn't agree more.

Hi, Betsy, I'll send those addresses on; I'm ...

February 07, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, Betsy, I'll send those addresses on; I'm not sure I have an address for Eric Stohl, but I'll check.
Life is returning to what passes for normal. Bob and I got out last weekend, Saturday night to dinner with his sister, down from Seattle, at the home of a long time friend of hers, and Sunday at friends' for Superbowl. Bear down, Chicago Bears! I guess it's "Bears Down". Cousin Sandy Lenton, late of London and now in the Phillipines, is in Portland with her boyfriend, who has a manufacturing plant there. The tentative plan is to go up for dinner tomorrow night.

Last night Jamie pulled me away and indicated...

February 07, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Last night Jamie pulled me away and indicated I should quietly look in the bathroom.

There, in the darkness, was Emma sitting on the potty, her face glowing with the light from her Nintendo DS. She was playing Cooking Mamma and decided to test the portability of her new gaming system.

It was incredibly cute.

Well, the cable guy came and I now have a TV ...

February 06, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, the cable guy came and I now have a TV with cable which will pick up Channel 34, University of Oregon sports. I explained to the cable salesman why I was upgrading and he said, somewhat incredulously, "You like this guy enough to spend $240 a year so he can watch sports?" I do feel a little defensive. The problem is that after bitching at Bob halfway around the world that all he needed to do was take his Cipro, I feel really, really guilty.
PS Lumpy is going to stay for a trial run with Chuck and Joann, Bob's ex-wife's (very sweet) brother and his wife in

I need addresses for the following people: A...

February 05, 2007 by Betsy in Betsy

I need addresses for the following people:
Ann Pontius
Judy and/or Linda Jones
Kathy Jones Swartzler
Eric Stohl
Phil Tuza
Kip and Otto Scherer
I have pictures to send all these people so if anyone has addresses I would appreciate. Thank you, P.

Pretty much all I do with my computer, gaming...

February 05, 2007 by Adam in Adam's Games

Pretty much all I do with my computer, gaming-wise, is work on my Neverwinter Nights 2 campaign. Yesterday I got completely sick of it and decided to play one of the games I got Sam for Christmas. He got so many that he never got around to playing Dark Messiah, which is based on the Half Life 2 engine.

I'd heard mixed reviews, but the demo was fun and I sat down to give it a chance. Sure enough, I ended up playing a couple hours straight and decided it was actually pretty fun. The physics are the highlight, with kicking orcs into chasms being the highlight of events. There's also many traps you can set off on your foes, such as breaking support beams to drop barrels on them. The story seems okay so far, though quite linear.

There's also a bit of character development in the form of a skill tree. I'm going for a mostly stealthy archer, which is turning into a fair amount of fun. I seem to alternate between that and blades, depending on the situation. I may play a bit more tonight, if I can sneak it in.

Sam finished Trace Memory, which I think he liked quite a bit. We decided to let Robbie borrow it next, assuming we can find a way to get it to him.

It's been a pleasant weekend all around

February 05, 2007 by Adam in Family

It's been a pleasant weekend all around. Saturday I took Emma to her ballet class, which went okay until she started feeling poorly. The rest of the day we hung out at home, passing on our usual swimming. I snuck a solo library trip in the morning. In the afternoon, Emma helped me make wheat bread and wheat buns. They ended up quite tasty, if I do say so myself.

Today we went to campus while Jamie went to the gym. The kids loved exploring all the odd little places, from the fish ponds at the EMU to the massive atrium of the science buildings. Their favorite was the giant sofa, a pseudo art exhibit that they crawled on to and pretended they'd shrunk. They begrudgingly returned to the hospital with me, where we collected Jamie and went to Humble Bagel.

In the afternoon, Jamie went to Turtles with Sharron while the kids and I played in the backyard. Everyone is loving the sunshine. Emma played in the sandbox while Sam and I played Frisbee. Now the day is winding down and the kids are getting ready for bed. Next weekend Jamie goes to the coast by herself, so I'll see if I can plan some fun things to do with the kids while she's away. Good times.

Seemingly in the last week, Emma has become p...

February 05, 2007 by Adam in Emma

Seemingly in the last week, Emma has become potty-trained. She's quite proud of being able to wear underpants exclusively and go to the potty all by herself. She's also dressing herself and much easier to manage in many respects. I'm hopeful my days of changing dirty diapers are finally behind me.

Poor Emma does have some issues with growing pains. Last night she was groaning, complaining of her legs hurting. She climbed into bed and I massaged her legs until the Tylenol kicked in. I remember going through the same thing when I was a kid, and I'm trying to teach her how to stretch out her muscles as best she can. That's what helped me, finally. Warm baths only worked as long as I was in it, and I'm not too keen on giving her endless painkillers.

As usual, she's doing great at her French school. She's always singing little French songs around the house. Occasionally she'll say a phrase or two to us. So far I've been able to understand her mostly, though I bet she'll be vastly more fluent than I if she keeps in her French immersion school.

Sam's gotten into playing chess lately

February 05, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sam's gotten into playing chess lately. The last time I played him, I started half-heartedly, then quickly realized that I had to pay attention. I won, but he really should have, had he not made a few glaring mistakes. Tonight we played again and both of us were being very careful. As it stands, I'm not sure who's winning, and we shelved the game until tomorrow. It's neat seeing him become so good at something.

In other ways, he's a pretty typical boy. We played a version of frisbee where he jumped off a ledge and tried to catch it, usually landing with a melodramatic thud. He's also fond of playing "training" in the basement. This usually involves leaping onto the Foof from the couch while I try to block him with pillows moving in a pattern. The goal is to leap at the right moment, Indiana Jones style, and avoid being chopped up by the dreaded Pillows of Doom.

Math, reading, and spelling all seem easy to him now. He gets 100% on his spelling tests, plus usually gets all the challenge words too. He's reading a chapter or more of Harry Potter each day. It's nice having him be so good at school, though I do see those elements of obsessiveness that run deep in the Miller-Mellor genes. Fortunately I think he'll use his special power for good instead of evil.

Oh, your birthday, Dez! That's what I what I ...

February 02, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Oh, your birthday, Dez! That's what I what I was trying to
remember as the event which made this an important day. Disregard my phone message, Dez, it wasn't the full moon or Groundhog Day at all!
Bob is sort of settling in, but still not doing much except
sitting or lying down. We're trying to find a good home for Lumpy. Aric has been great about feeding her, and running her, but neither Aric nor Anna can have a dog where they live, and it's going to be a long time before Bob jogs again.

Happy Birthday Destin! Are you driving yet? ...

February 02, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Birthday Destin! Are you driving yet? Luv ya buddy.

Mocha Friday

February 02, 2007 by Adam in Family

Mocha Friday. Of course, I'm still at home, waiting for the sun to pop up and head into work. Still, that magical elixir will soon be mine.

The kids don't have school today, so they're coming over to visit for awhile. I think we'll eat lunch, see the flags on campus, and poke our heads in the art museum. I've had a couple people tell me about the flag exhibit, so I'd like to see for myself.

My mom came over last night, bringing more goodies from India for the kids. She and Emma had fun with projects, making funny glasses from pipe cleaners and beads. Sam busied himself with Zelda on the Wii again.

Nothing particularly exciting is going on these days. Emma has ballet again tomorrow, and I'll probably take the kids swimming. Work is busy, but not too bad. Same ol', same ol'.

It was freezing this morning, but the cold wa...

February 01, 2007 by Adam in Family

It was freezing this morning, but the cold was offset by a beautiful setting full moon. I had to stop in awe for a few moments. I'll miss my bike rides once they move my work out to Springfield. Already I'm looking at cars to buy. There's a very practical 2005 Nissan Sentra (to ironically replace my 1992 Nissan Sentra) as well as a 2004 Ford Mustang. I haven't decided if I want to be the cool or sensible dad. Right now I'm leaning towards sensible.

I had the kids for much of last night as Jamie went off with Angie and Victoria. We've been going out on adventures when I return from work, and we ranged all about our neighborhood. Sam picked the final seed from the "golden tree" that was only golden at sunset. He also got some ice that was frozen in the gutter. It's all part of an elaborate druidic potion of some sort. Flying, I think.

When we returned from our adventures, Sam played Zelda on the Wii and Emma helped me make dinner. She's great at chopping tofu and spreading butter on broccoli. I started moving everyone towards bedtime and then Jamie returned to finish the job.

I heard through the grapevine that Sam's cousin Josh might be around next year for school, in an attempt to establish residency for college. Both kids think Josh is the greatest, so that would be quite cool if it pans out.

Meggie, Bob thinks you're just letting me off...

February 01, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

Meggie, Bob thinks you're just letting me off the hook, and he can't understand why I didn't have that diagnosed better. His perverse sense of humor is returning, so I'm confident all will be well. We did actually hear some negative things about foreign hospitals. Probably all the lawyers here keeping the medical profession in line. Heh, heh. (C'mon guys, do you know how many lawyer jokes I've suffered through?)

Sadie's been at it again

January 31, 2007 by Adam in Sam

Sadie's been at it again.

Yesterday in the mail, I received a mysterious package. Inside was a box for Sam with the simple note to play the game and if he wins, give him the second box. The game was Mastermind and he miraculously won in three moves, guessing all the right colors the first time.

Inside the second box was a vial. Inside the vial was a small metal tablet that unscrewed to reveal a strip of rolled-up paper. On the paper was a code key, which I won't display here for fear of disclosing a future secret. Sam, of course, thought the whole thing was incredibly cool and now awaits further packages in hopes of decoding it.

On another note, Sam finished the second Harry Potter book. He now plans to get through the rest of the books in hopes of getting to the seventh book when it comes out.

It has been kind of nice having family around...

January 31, 2007 by Seraph in Cortez

It has been kind of nice having family around so much lately. Isa has been a bit sad now that she doesn't have bunk mates any more.
We went to visit Bob over the weekend. All of Mom's reports about his miraculous recovery are true! It might be awhile before he's throwing Lumpy tennis balls, but he's pretty chipper.
We had a lovely visit with Dad, Yayoe, and Hanni on Sunday. We took them over to see the new house, and they all promised to come back up and help move. Yeah!
We will probably start some peliminary moving this weekend, depending on Destin's birthday plans (Jenny - keep us posted).

When I talked to Bob about an hour ago, he an...

January 30, 2007 by Sue in Wielesek

When I talked to Bob about an hour ago, he and Cousin Ron were making a beeline for the exit of the VA Hospital, keeping a low profile and not making any unnecessary noise!
He had a bit of an infection, but it is apparently improving and they decided to cut him loose.
It will be awhile before he's good to go - for example, no driving for six weeks - but there's nothing that has to be done tomorrow. Anna will come down for a little while, unless she gets a job in place right away. Many hugs, and
thanks, Sadie and Yayo