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April 30, 2008 by Jamie in Betsy

Sue Miller is currently in London, England



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April 30, 2008 by Betsy in Betsy

Where is your mother?



What a wonderful Easter, and special thanks t...

April 30, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

What a wonderful Easter, and special thanks to Seraph for taking two days off work to do all the cooking, while I puttered around doing trip and cleaning stuff. Jamie came over to do perogis, and Jenny made her usual heavenly shish kabobs. Seraph and Robbie stayed until 11 on \monday, then headed off to Portland, as they were expecting Alex for dinner. I went over to Bob's, and we finished packing most everything by 3:00 a.m.. Getting up at 4:00 was a challenge, but the trip went smoothly. The only thing not co-operating is the weather; it's raining hard as we sit in this Internet cafe. We do the Big Bus Hop on and Hop Off tour tomorrow. Oh, to be in England, now that spring is falling down around us. Much love from mom, Bob, Jeannie, and Jenny



It's Mocha Friday and I'm in the lucky positi...

April 25, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday and I'm in the lucky position of having a nearly full cup o' joe sitting before me. I feel like I really need it this morning, as Jamie was chatting until late last night. It's always a treat to get to talk without children, but after ten o'clock rolled around, I groggily hinted that I needed some sleep and I don't remember much else.

My family reverted back to normal, generally good but occasionally impish. So much for robots and aliens. Last night I tried to keep the kids entertained, though I was struggling keeping my heart in the "play pretend" story they had going on. There was fort building, animal attacks, and escaping the hot desert sun. Ah, the things they don't tell you about parenthood.

I have the kids tonight and tomorrow night, with social butterfly Jamie being off and about. I'd love to go swimming tonight, but it might be a challenge getting them out of the house. Maybe Saturday we can do a movie night. I'm sure I'll think of something.



We've been playing a bunch of different games...

April 24, 2008 by Adam in Adam's Games

We've been playing a bunch of different games lately. Yesterday we finished Zack and Wiki, with an ending that amazingly made Emma cry. Sam played a bit of the Road to Hill 30, a traditional WWII shooter, and Heroes of Might and Magic 5. The later was a huge hit with him for awhile, though he's faded as of late.

A few days ago, I downloaded a couple Half-Life 2 mods. One was a zombie survival game, which was fairly slow. The other was an extremely fun car game.

Today we switched over to an old mainstay, Garry's Mod. Sam and I made these rocket-propelled spinner things that we had to test out against a horde of attacking zombies. Sure enough, they went flying in all directions, much to Sam's delight.



Something really odd has happened to my family

April 23, 2008 by Adam in Family

Something really odd has happened to my family.

Sam's been completing chores without being prompted, has finished all his homework, and generally plays well with Emma. Emma's been much more cheerful and loving compared to last week. Yesterday she decided that I was going to read her stories and put her to bed, which has never happened, though admittedly she switched to Jamie after she started getting drowsy. Even Jamie has gotten in on the act, writing welcome home messages in our driveway with chalk.

I suppose it's possible my family has been replaced by aliens or robots. If so, well, I guess the rest of you will just have to hide your envy the next time you're around me.



I'm not sure how Bob and I planned to have Ea...

April 22, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

I'm not sure how Bob and I planned to have Easter, move-in day, and the beginning of a three week trip all come at the same time! Just good planning, I guess. We had breakfast this morning with Marie-Pierre Wolf, the woman who is renting us the house in Pepingnon. It sounds as though it will be fun, though a longer trip from Paris than I thought.
I had a good time this weekend; it was work, work, work on
Saturday, but it was very fun to go up to see Isa's recital. She did very well, quite poised and focused. The kitties are really cute!



We had a great weekend! Friday night Isa ha...

April 22, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

We had a great weekend!
Friday night Isa had a sleep over at her friends house. I was out with my co-workers, "living it up" as we completed a major deadline. I got home around midnight, and stayed up watching a Jack Black movie with Robbie.
Saturday we took it easy in the morning, and then headed out to Isa's recital rehersal. That, and the continuing cold weather, put us in an Irish mood, so I made some lamb stew and Irish soda bread for dinner.
Sunday morning Isa and I made a compost bucket to celebrate Earth Day, and then after church we met up with Mom & Hanni, raced off to Isa's recital. It was our very own mini Riverdance! Afterwards, we hit a great little dessert bar "Pix" near our house.
It's back to work/school for all of us today. Isa & Robbie went out to the movies, and I'm catching up on a weeks worth of neglected e-mails. I can't wait to see all of you next weekend! I hope you're all ready to eat, becuase I'm ready to cook!!



It's snowing at the moment and the backyard i...

April 20, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's snowing at the moment and the backyard is covered with a thin layer of snow. It's such a strange contrast from last weekend when it was 75 degrees out and everyone was in shorts. Maybe I'll take the kids on a walk in the snow if it sticks for any length of time.

The kids and I stayed inside for most of yesterday, as it was raining and hailing away. We did projects, played, watched movies, and generally did inside things. Jamie went off to hang out with Pat. Later in the day I attempted to make chocolate cake. I think the cake part turned out great, but the frosting was a little, er, unusual. The kids loved it, but Jamie decided to take a pass.

Update: Emma and I went out and made a snow person. It was loads of fun, especially going back inside to have cocoa and coffee.



How about we call them all Jesus, since I gat...

April 19, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

How about we call them all Jesus, since I gather the general belief was that Skippy was chaste and had no carnal knowledge of the neighborhood boy kitties.
I got to go to the Art Museum with Jordan's class. Very fun, and I see why the teacher likes Jordan. He just chugs along cheerfully!



Baby Kittens! Oh, they're beautiful

April 18, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Baby Kittens! Oh, they're beautiful.

Names I like:
Elijah
Moses
Jedediah

Or:
Pocket
Bucket
Cupful



I'm still a few minutes away from that delici...

April 18, 2008 by Adam in Family

I'm still a few minutes away from that delicious Friday Mocha. Soon that sweet elixir will be mine.

Yesterday after work, the kids and I played in the backyard, enjoying the gorgeous weather. It started with Jamie informing me that Emma was being naughty and had things to clean up on the patio. I grabbed her, declared that my real daughter had been switched by goblins, and carried her outside. Only if things were cleaned up could she return to her human family again. I then proceeded to be the goblin guard, trying to keep her from cleaning up her mess. Worked like a charm.

Sam wanted to play a game he did last year, leaping off the wall of the planter bed and catching a Frisbee. He had a great time, though if it went badly, I was to call out "Wipeout" in a cool voice and Emma would run to administer first aid.

If you look closely at the picture of Emma, you'll see her short bangs, as well as the whiskers she drew on her face. What an impish girl.

As for tonight, we're going swimming, unlike last week. I shall ignore the cries of my children and haul them off for watery fun. The only other exciting thing on our agenda is to make a chocolate cake. I'm sure the kids will think that grand entertainment.



Here are the new kitties! Any suggested baby...

April 17, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

Here are the new kitties! Any suggested baby names?
They were born on tax day, so we thought of Roth, Ira, and EZ. It is also an election year, so we discussed Hillary, Barack, and John. Or, there's always Huey, Duey, and Louie!



Our kids were amazingly polite last night, sa...

April 17, 2008 by Adam in Family

Our kids were amazingly polite last night, saying please with every request for more drink, food, or piece of chalk. Emma's grumpy mood seems to have completely vanished, probably due to finally getting lots of sleep.

Last night was date night for Jamie and I. We took a long walk over to our house with our favorite garden, which I stared at longingly. Perhaps some day I can win over Jamie and get a full garden put into our house. My mom watched the kids, taking them through the car wash which she markets as the "Tunnel of Doom".



Quick hello before I head home from work

April 17, 2008 by Seraph in Cortez

Quick hello before I head home from work.
Other then the usual craziness, our little cat Skippy had her babies yesterday evening! There are 3 of them, 2 pure white, and 1 black sheep. So far, kittens and mama are doing fine. Unlike most cats who hide away, Skippy is neurotically attached to us, and takes better care of the babies when we are hovering near by. Hence, her basket is at the foot of our bed, and Robbie and I were up several times in the night to baby squeeking noises (a little deja vu). They look like little rats, but I will try to post pics tomorrow.



Jamie's back and the week is halfway over

April 16, 2008 by Adam in Family

Jamie's back and the week is halfway over.

I think the first couple days of the week have been a little rough. Emma's been staying home, though I think her cold is finally over today. I think staying at home has made her a little stir-crazy, as she's been particularly wild. Jamie called me to express her exaspiration. "What did she do, cut her hair?" I asked. Sadly, it turns out she did. Fortunately it wasn't too bad, though I had fun calling her "Bald Emma" for an evening.

Sam went off to fencing last night, with Emma crying the entire way. Once we got there, as usual, she was happy and played games with me the whole time. Funny girl.



I'm exhausted

April 13, 2008 by Adam in Family

I'm exhausted. Sam's watching a quirky British fantasy television show based on a story from one of my favorite authors. "This is kinda weird," he just said.

Emma's running around naked in the playroom, trying on different clothes that used to be Natalie's. Whenever she gets a new bag of clothes, it's like Christmas, but with nudity.

Last night I was planning on going swimming, but decided instead to take it easy. Emma was very much under the weather and is still sniffly today. She was really missing Jamie, and spent much of bedtime drawing a picture of Jamie, along with Emma giving her a flower.

This morning, everyone seemed in much better spirits. I made crepes for breakfast and we played around until it was time for the library. Both complained heavily about going, and both had a good time once we were there. Afterwards, Sam didn't want to go to campus as I'd planned, and complained so much about wanting to stay home that I sent him off for a play date with his friend John.

Emma and I had lunch at Berry's on campus, and proceeded to play and explore until early afternoon. While down in the art store, we picked up Shrinky-Dinks and Sun Print paper for later. When we arrived home, we got a message from Clarissa that Savah wanted to play. Emma immediately put together a gift for her, went went over, and she immediately had a wonderful time. For about five minutes, I was without children, and reveled in the quiet.

Later I got Sam, picked up Emma, and made everyone sit and watch a movie. After that we played with the art supplies. The kids had never done Shrinky-Dinks, and they thought it was extremely cool. Later everyone ate a good dinner, Emma had a bath, and we're slowly winding our way towards bedtime. I'm eagerly awaiting blissful sleep.



Ha! It's taken 14 years for me to notice it

April 11, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Ha! It's taken 14 years for me to notice it. You think forgiveness will be instantaneous?
It's a beautiful day here. I'm accessorized and my home has a decor. As you know, these are things which I said would not happen until my next life. However, I want to tell you right now that the dishwasher won't be in before Easter. Mr. Poole, my contractor for the last 15 years, went to Yemen to visit his son, and he has to replace the underlayment before they can put in the Marmoleum (which is, I understand, "green".) The real problem I have is whether to pay an extra thousand bucks to have the edges coved, which would be much easier to keep clean, which is always a problem because of the way dirt washes downhill into my kitchen. On the other hand, I lost $15,000 in my retirement fund in the last three months. For some reason, though, I've never been able to believe that stocks and mutual funds are real, so it doesn't feel like I've lost anything real. I'll just keep shopping with the poor folks at Canned Food Warehouse.



Ah, Mocha Friday

April 11, 2008 by Adam in Family

Ah, Mocha Friday. The scent of coffee and chocolate has wafted away from my cubicle and that delicious elixir is sadly long gone. Work's been quirky as of late. I thought for once that things had quieted down, only to discover that all the phones at the new hospital have tiny web browsers in each one, and I'm going to be asked to make a web page for each of them. Ah, job security.

The kids played wonderfully together last night. They had this long and elaborate game where Emma befriended and tamed a wild creature (played by Sam). There were struggles and heartaches, with the eventual death of the creature, who perished defending Emma from wild animals. Fortunately Emma found another creature friend and was busy befriending it when I called them up for dinner.

The weather has also been nice as of late, and promises to be warm this weekend. When I came home from work, Sam was busy creating a weird potion on the patio. Emma was picking flowers from our clematis, making a huge basket of them and filling our house with their heady scent.



I was probably twelve when I recorded over yo...

April 10, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I was probably twelve when I recorded over your Mistaken Identity tape. I hope you can forgive me.



The week has been moving along

April 10, 2008 by Adam in Family

The week has been moving along. It's hard to believe it's already Thursday. Jamie's been talking about going off to the coast with her mom over the weekend, so it'll likely just be the kids and I. Like I tell Jamie, it makes for a non-restful weekend, but at the same time I usually have a good time hanging out with the kids. I'll probably stick to the routine of swimming, library, and exploring someplace or another. It might be fun to romp around campus. When they were little and I worked at the hospital, Jamie would drop them off to go to the gym and we'd wander through some of the neat buildings at the university.

Yesterday after work was fairly typical. The kids and I played hide-and-seek throughout the house. Later we played pretend, with me as the horrible child-eating Captain Hook. Good times.



Hmm, I want to know who recorded over my Mist...

April 09, 2008 by Sue in Wielesek

Hmm, I want to know who recorded over my Mistaken Identity tape. Lots of Ani DeFranco...



Here's a video of Sam playing with a toy of h...

April 08, 2008 by Adam in Sam

Here's a video of Sam playing with a toy of his: What's most interesting is that this weird ball thing once had a light inside and a cloth mesh around it. The intended play activity was to squeeze it and tiny bumps would squish through the mesh. Pretty soon the mesh came off and it became "squishy ball". We'd turn off the lights in the basement, activate the inner light, and play catch. After that, Sam unplugged the ball, letting out the gel and removing the lights. The light is now sitting on his dresser. As for the ball itself, well, it is no more.



My luxurious, three-day weekend is over

April 08, 2008 by Adam in Family

My luxurious, three-day weekend is over. It was very pleasant and relaxing. Now I'm back to the daily grind.

Friday was my day off to hang out with Jamie. We spent a romantic morning getting my car's oil changed and going over our finances. Though I kid, it was actually quite wonderful to hang out with her and have no kids running about. Later that night I took the kids swimming, but Emma scratched her knuckle on the pool's side and we left early.

Saturday was busy, with Jamie hiking with Pat, playing in the rain with the kids, and having my dad and Yayoe over for dinner. Sunday came and went quickly. Sam and I rode bikes to Euphoria and picked up chocolate. Later we had pizza and watched Creature Comforts for our movie night. Good times.

(bigger video)



I spent Saturday morning cleaning up the once...

April 07, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I spent Saturday morning cleaning up the once trashed empty lot, now community garden, in my neighborhood. I procured a big raised bed for the season, and am beginning to plot out my piece of dirt with vegetables and herbs. Like much of Oregon, Providence is in zone 7, so I'm hoping to stuff things in the ground soon.

I just watched this great video called The Story of Stuff, about where our stuff comes from, where it goes, and everything in between. Highly recommended!



It's a Mocha Thursday for me, today

April 03, 2008 by Adam in Family

It's a Mocha Thursday for me, today. I'm taking tomorrow off to theoretically spend time with Jamie. I think she's already planning the errands, which doesn't exactly jibe with the romantic gesture side of things.

Tuesday was full, heading straight home after work and taking Sam to fencing. Emma really didn't want to go, crying all the way, but she immediately perked up once we got there and played for an hour in the lobby outside his classroom. We played tag and red light, green light for ages.

That night I was completely exhausted, possibly because I really pushed myself on the treadmill that day. I went for speed, going a mile in 6:40. As a non-runner, I felt pretty good about it, but boy was I tired.

Yesterday I had the kids again while Jamie went to Pat's house for dinner. We played outside for a long while, enjoying the sunshine, then continued the playing inside. Even Emma enjoyed Radioactive Ball, which is Sam's current favorite inside game. Eventually we had dinner, baths, and book reading. As Emma was drifting off to sleep, Jamie returned to tuck her into bed.



While we were at Powell's books, I wanted to ...

April 02, 2008 by Adam in Sam

While we were at Powell's books, I wanted to be left in peace while I browsed for books. Glancing over at a display featuring zombie-themed books, I recognized the Zombie Survival Guide, which I'd heard about. "Here, read this," I said and passed it to him.

Well, he has. Every free moment over the last week he's been pouring over the chapters on the history of zombies, weapons, defense, and the like. I even got him to go on a bike ride, pointing out that bikes are the preferred vehicle after a zombie outbreak (zombies don't move so fast).

Of course Emma and I were recruited into several "play pretend" games. For some reason, Sam preferred to be the zombie most of the time.



I'm typing from my friend Jim and Heather's l...

April 01, 2008 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm typing from my friend Jim and Heather's living room in Minneapolis. Things are well, though no easy decision has surfaced about graduate schools. Both Minnesota and Brandeis are more full than I knew last week.

I was primarily interested in the University of Minnesota because of their impressive, asset-based and grassroots organizing partnerships with the Jane Addams School for Democracy. I got into the Jane Addams School when I was at Williams, and tried to visit today. Due to the blizzard, the Jane Addams school closed. Either it's an omen that I must come her for school to see my dream campus-community collaboration, or it's not meant to be.



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