Emma's been learning all sorts of things lately

January 30, 2009 by Adam in Emma

Emma's been learning all sorts of things lately. Yesterday she showed off her sewing project. The general shape was a tube, and I think the general idea was to make it into a hand warmer. I had fun using it as a ghost tube puppet, though.

She also made a ground hog for school, using a paper cup, tongue depresser, and assorted colored paper.

I've been most impressed by her reading. She's really taken to it this year and can sound out even really complicated words. One of my favorite parts about being a parent is watching my kids grow and learn. Emma's at a fun age where the curtain is drawn back and the mysteries of the world are revealed to her. I love her expression of joy when she learns something new.

It's midway through my Friday mocha

January 30, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's midway through my Friday mocha. I've taken care of my critical work things and I have a brief respite before the madness starts anew. It's been busier than usual, though I'm keeping a cheerful attitude about it. My "happy place" is starting to get a worn-in look.

Jamie and the kids are off to Portland this morning, stopping by the children's museum in Salem. Emma called me up yesterday and announced that she'd miss me, then followed up by asking if she could chop off my head and keep her company. That's my girl.

As for me, I'm being a bachelor for a couple days. Hopefully the weather is good enough to paint tomorrow. If so, I'll be working on the shed and maybe doing some landscaping. Tonight, though, I've got to make a shopping run and stock up on the relevant bachelor supplies like bread and tofu pate.

Finally, the new counters are on, the marmole...

January 29, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Finally, the new counters are on, the marmoleum is down, and the dishwasher is washing away. Darren was over today, and he and Bob went over the drawings to put the laundry room and a half bath in on the sun porch. Darren will put a stacking washer/dryer in the bedroom closet at the Polk Street house and put up a six foot security fence, as well as put a heater in the living room and fix the closet doors.
All this will be spendy, but my hope is to do all this stuff while interest rates are low. Hugs to all, Mom

We had a good weekend, very typical in many ways

January 27, 2009 by Adam in Family

We had a good weekend, very typical in many ways. There were library trips and swimming. Sam and I played with his Mindstorms Lego robot. Jamie made all sorts of delicious meals.

It looks like this next weekend will be a little unusual. Jamie's taking the kids to Portland, leaving me a bachelor for a day. I'm tentatively planning some project work, either on the shed or around the yard. If it's sunny and relatively warm, like the forecast says, then I'll be painting until my arms fall off.

It looks like Brandeis is closing their impre...

January 27, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

It looks like Brandeis is closing their impressive art museum and selling all of the artwork. Pretty crazy. The Heller school seems blessedly insulated from the panic, or has at least kept quiet enough to stay out of the New York Times.

I wish the weather here permitted outdoor projects! Tomorrow's forecast includes 8 inches of wintery mix, a beautiful combination of sleet and snow that makes all concrete surfaces death traps. I think I'll try to convince my roommates to stay in and read Twilight aloud- that's as close as I want to get to icy roads.

One of my teeth is on its last legs, so I'll hopefully see you all for Easter/Pesach while it gets patched up. Medical tourism at its best.

We are all recovering from a nasty cold bug t...

January 26, 2009 by Robbie in Cortez

We are all recovering from a nasty cold bug that has hit us hard. Working with children with this cold is unbearable. Most of the time I feel like I'm not there and I'm viewing a film of children that I know. It was an especially hard week with two children who are very hard to handle.

We had a nice quite birthday party for Isabell on Thursday night. With Isabell requesting tacos, and cupcakes. It was nice just sitting around the table while we watched our eight year old daughter opening presents.

On Saturday we rented out the Penasco Theater, ordered pizza and had a few of her friends come to the party. I feel bad that I don't know many of her friends or parents at her school. When we lived in Portland, I worked part time, and I was able to help out at her school a lot, so I knew many parents and kids. If I knew her friend's parents, it would be easier to invite her friends. It was a small group of friends, however Isabell had a great time as she played, jumped roped and watched Arthur Spiderwick.

After the party her friend Niamh came over for a sleepover, and they had a great time watching movies and playing pet shops.

Sunday we went for a drive over to Chamisal to look and take photos of the house. We discussed future renovations of the house, and finally left after Isabell got bored. We took a drive down to a village called El Valle, a place I've wanting to for a long time. Two authors live there and wrote a book called A River of Traps. We found there house and drove along the beautiful snow covered fields.

The weekend is over, and we are now getting ready for bed.

It's another delicious Mocha Friday

January 23, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's another delicious Mocha Friday. I'm settling in at work, reading e-mail and catching up.

Sam injured his knee yesterday, jumping over a pig. In his gym class, they were stacking objects and leaping over them. He'd stacked foam pads, a block, and a toy pig. Evidently the pig was too much, and he got a good bonk on landing. Fencing was out, but he was feeling better at the end of the day.

Jamie went off with Angie and Victoria after her gym, so I didn't see her until late. Fortunately she'd made a delicious lasagne so I didn't have to terrorize the children with my cooking skills. The kids ended up playing this elaborate pretend game, leaving me to putter around and get some chores done.

As for this weekend, I don't think we're doing much of great importance. It's still too cold to paint, though maybe I'll arrange to pick up supplies for the shed. I'd love to go to the library and swimming, as always.

Happy birthday, Isa! She told me Seraph made ...

January 23, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Happy birthday, Isa! She told me Seraph made her a bundt cake, but of course Bob and I teased her about her Butt Cake. She sounded very grown up when we talked with her.
Bob and I went up to Portland late on Tuesday, as Cousin Ron was having minor surgery. We had a good Lebanese dinner with Anna, who is leaving at the end of February for another three months in France, and stayed the night at Seraph and Robbie's. All well there. Then we picked up Anna and had a quick but delicious breakfast, dropped her off at work, and spent the rest of the day with Ron. On the way home, we got a call from Jenny saying that the other bidder on the house dropped out and the house is theirs. Much excitement!

Most everyone here in our corner of the state...

January 21, 2009 by Seraph in Cortez

Most everyone here in our corner of the state is still flying high after yesterday’s inauguration. Even those on the other side are keeping quiet, or pleasantly happy not be the butt of every joke for a while.
I watched the swearing in and speeches while doing laundry in Taos. A few other folks and I were all standing, with our chins propped on rows of industrial washers, sighing and wiping away stray tears.
Isa's school watched it, but Robbie's school couldn't get reception. Isa's comments were mostly about Obama's kids, whom she seems very interested in.
After the ceremonies were over, I was listening to radio commentary, and thought it interesting that the democratic guy did not think Obama's speech was very inspiring, while the republican guy thought it was one of the best political speeches he'd ever heard. It's always strange when I find myself siding with the republicans!
Other family news this week - we're gearing up for Isa's birthday tomorrow. I pointed out to her that she was born 2 days after G.W.Bush took office, and could (hopefully) be 16 before we see another president! We're going to have a small family dinner tomorrow, and then a party with friends on Saturday. We will be renting out the small theater in Penasco, and there will be pizza, cake, movie, and general chaos served up!
We're all fighting colds right now. I just need up to recover before the party. Anyway, I'm off to the kitchen to bake bread and make cinnamon rolls. I think I'll start doing my part for the country by making extra for my neighbors!

Today was the inauguration

January 21, 2009 by Adam in Family

Today was the inauguration. Sam watched it in his classroom today. We managed to bring down our Internet connection at work, as so many people were trying to watch it. Sam thought the whole experience was pretty cool.

The weekend was good, with an extra day for Martin Luther King day. We had a great time at the park on Sunday, with Sam swinging as high as possible. There was playing with Mindstorm Legos, playing pretend with Emma, and going swimming. My mom and Bob came over for a delicious cake.

Sam did manage to get his face whacked pretty hard when playing with Sophia, taking a big ball to the face while holding a camera. Emma's foot was hurt when Sam accidentally jumped on it. To top it off, everyone has a bit of a cold.

Still, our spirits are high. Maybe it's the new president.

While sitting among my colleagues watching th...

January 21, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

While sitting among my colleagues watching the inauguration at the Heller school, I had anticipated the speeches and processions. But the benediction by Rev. Joseph Lowery left me speechless. When he said, "And even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other," I felt myself recommitting to be mindful of my public responsibilities. I'm so excited to work at being a citizen of these United States. Amen.

Tomorrow begins the first real week of school...

January 19, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Tomorrow begins the first real week of school, which I'm still not entirely ready for. My brain is slowly bending to the idea of doing homework instead of trolling the internet, eating nachos, and re-applying lotion and lip balm like its my job. Fortunately, my two three-hour seminars will be conveniently separated by a really fun party, hopefully with nachos. The first inauguration I've ever watched. I'm trying not to let my generational dismissiveness of nationalism overwhelm my generational hopeless idealism. I think idealism is quietly winning.

My roommates and I have also repainted and redecorated our half bathroom in a style that is eccentric and whimsical. I painted the walls a dark teal and Katherine used her many power tools to replace the fixtures. Liz sewed the curtain and painted the painting, a self-referential piece idealizing our own home. Which is how it should be, really.

The Drive As I head to Sa...

January 18, 2009 by Robbie in Cortez

The Drive
As I head to Santa Fe in the morning, the sky is slowly turning a soft saphire color as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains hide the expecting sun. Primevil pine forests hide the sky from me as I drive through the sleepy towns of Penasco, Chamisal, Las Trampas, and Ojo Sarco. Only in this town do I have any sense of time. Cars line up on a side road with parents and children waiting for the bus. The more cars, the later the time. Finally the sky opens up as I enter Truchas. Looking up I see the familiar Truchas Peaks towering over me, as I see dark mauve colored clouds floating in front of them. As I start my descent down from Truchas the views open up and opposite of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains the Jemez Mountains come into view. The suns rays are starting to stretch over the west, and the ever changing light reaches the peaks of the Jemez Mountains. As you drive down, you can watch the cascade of light flow down the side of the mountain, and by the time I reach Nambe the face of the mountains are all in glow. By the time I reach Santa Fe, the round orb of the sun is at the pennicle of the mountains, and the great blue sky has welcomed another beautiful morning in the Land of Enchantment.

It's mocha Friday and I'm nearly done with th...

January 16, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's mocha Friday and I'm nearly done with that delicious beverage of choice. I'm gleeful that the web site is still working, as there were some tricky parts after my ISP made some changes. Regardless, adamandjamie.com lives on.

The week has been going well. Sam's getting used to his new hair cut. He went to fencing last night and a few of his fencing buddies noticed the dramatic change. Sam was secretly happy that he could beat his good friend John. I pointed out that he should help make fencing as fun as possible for his friend, otherwise he'll move on to another sport. Vanquishing your foes and mocking them openly gets old after awhile.

Emma read us a book from school last night. At her urging, we ignored the teacher's instructions to read it to her first. Instead she sounded out all the words and did an amazing job. The speed isn't there yet, but that will come in time. I'm most impressed by her ability not to get frustrated when something is hard, which is something we still work on with Sam.

I was somewhat down on Wednesday. I got a parking ticket at work, issues with the ISP threatened adamandjamie.com, and Jamie told me she'll be away at the beach with friends on Valentine's Day. The next day I woke up, went to my happy place, and everything seemed to get better. My parking ticket was dismissed, my network issues were sorted out, and we're going to move Valentine's Day to another day.

I'm hoping to work on the shed some more this weekend, swim with the kids, and all the normal things that make weekends fun.

I'm having some excitement with my ISP

January 15, 2009 by Adam in Adam

I'm having some excitement with my ISP. I tried to switch everything over last night and wasn't able to get adamandjamie.com up and working. I ended up switching everything back again. To top it off, I got a parking ticket yesterday due to not hanging up my yellow parking thingie on my mirror.

Fortunately today I went to my happy place. The parking ticket has been waived. I spoke with my ISP and we'll be working to resolve the issues momentarily. With luck, we'll only experience a little down time of the site.

Finally, my running has improved considerably. I haven't had any more headaches and have been able to go back to running pretty hard again. It's funny how just a couple weeks off can make such a huge difference.

It's hard to believe the week is already half...

January 14, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's hard to believe the week is already halfway over. The big news is that Sam cut his hair short. Other than that, we've had typical evenings of play pretend, homework, chores, and Nintendo Wii. Sam and Emma are having lots of fun with Boom Blox these days.

Tonight I'm doing some server maintenance, as PacInfo requested that I change my static IP address. I think that means that the web site will be down for an hour or so. Hopefully it won't be too disruptive.

Sam you are such a stud!! You actually look ...

January 14, 2009 by Seraph in Cortez

Sam you are such a stud!! You actually look a lot like Josh now.

I just received four boxes of loot from Eugen...

January 13, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I just received four boxes of loot from Eugene, and am slowly integrating it into my Waltham life.
Classes began today. I'm taking econometrics, economic theory, policy analysis, and sociological inquiry. Should be fun.

For several years, Sam has had long, blond hair

January 13, 2009 by Adam in Sam

For several years, Sam has had long, blond hair. He was never particularly good about washing and combing it, though, and he started to get annoyed with people calling him a girl. Yesterday, he took matters into his own hands and got his uncle Dave to cut it.

This is a view from the shop/apartment to the...

January 12, 2009 by Lohring in Lohring

This is a view from the shop/apartment to the rear of the main house.

I spent the weekend with Jenny looking at wha...

January 12, 2009 by Lohring in Lohring

I spent the weekend with Jenny looking at what I hope will be our new house. It is ideal for us with a four bedroom, two story main house for Jenny and the boys and a shop/ apartment in the back for me. It only needs the bathroom in the shop enlarged to be perfect. The neighborhood is very nice and new with river access through an old filbert orchard. There is even a public launch ramp near by. We should know in two weeks whether the banks accept our offer.

Sam saved up all his Christmas and birthday m...

January 12, 2009 by Adam in Sam

Sam saved up all his Christmas and birthday money for a couple years and finally decided to spend it all. He is now the proud owner of the Lego Mindstorms kit. He spent all day yesterday and much of today constructing various robots to entertain and terrorize our family.

We had a very fun and laid-back day

January 11, 2009 by Adam in Family

We had a very fun and laid-back day. Yesterday Sam's Lego Mindstorm kit arrived. He'd been saving up his money for a year, and finally had enough after Christmas. It showed up and soon we had a Lego robot assembled and ready to go. For most of the day, he was writing programs and watching it run around.

After a delicious breakfast of crepes, potatoes, grapefruit, and coffee, I went to the library. After returning with treasures, I took the kids swimming where they had a great time. The afternoon involved playing Kung Fu with Emma, having her read me a book from school, and of course more Lego Mindstorms.

Soon Jamie promises us all cookies, which I very much look forward to.

I am easing back into the icy east coast, app...

January 09, 2009 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I am easing back into the icy east coast, applying for internships, ordering books, and responding to emails laid fallow for three weeks. Its wonderful to see my friends here when I'm happy, relaxed and not consumed by public policy. Being so pampered on vacation has made me more able to listen to other people without finding a way to talk about my papers. Now all I want to do is talk about Twilight (fortunately, everyone else in the world is waiting to talk about the same thing). I think my hair grew several inches from all that rich, healthy food, and my skin is buttery soft. As is my belly...

It's Mocha Friday, and the end of a somewhat ...

January 09, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, and the end of a somewhat quirky work week. We were out in Bend, so I missed the first couple days. Then I was in all-day meetings for the rest of the week, working remotely as the rest of my team gets flooded in Washington. I also discovered that generally responsible adults get very silly in front of a webcam.

The kids are slowly adjusting to school and returning to the routine. Jamie had the chance to go hang out with friends last night, returning at a very responsible hour to help get the kids to bed.

As for this weekend, I could start getting supplies for the shed. There's always library and swimming. Jamie may have a bit of a cold. We'll see how things go.

Emma called me at work again yesterday, askin...

January 08, 2009 by Adam in Emma

Emma called me at work again yesterday, asking if I would join her club, which was all about marine biology. I agreed and she informed me that it would cost me a cent, which I pretended to stuff in the phone. Upon my arrival, she declared that I missed the club, but that I had all sorts of homework to do.

Somehow while going downstairs she got sidetracked and ended up playing Club Penguin.

Well, in rereading my last posting, I realize...

January 07, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, in rereading my last posting, I realize what it means that the best laid plans go oft awry. On Sunday afternoon, Jenny was so sick that Sadie went over to her house, loaded with photos to sort. And when we took Sadie to the airport on Tuesday afternoon, she learned that no flights were leaving Denver, so her flight was cancelled. We went back to the airport at 4:30 this morning for a 6 am flight, and she just called saying her flight would leave Denver for Boston just fine.

We're all back at home, the kids in bed and m...

January 07, 2009 by Adam in Family

We're all back at home, the kids in bed and me joining them soon.

The last few days were pretty low key. We checked into Eagle Crest on Sunday, and spent the next couple days playing Monopoly (Sam won), swimming, and hanging out. Now the kids are dreading returning to school and I'm sure my e-mail In Box is full of endless tasks. Plus I think I have to work late the next couple days due to meetings.

Our winter holidays are over and a New Year i...

January 07, 2009 by Robbie in Cortez

Our winter holidays are over and a New Year is on it's way. Though there were chaotic moments during Christmas, it was a nice relaxing one with many late morning sleep ins. It was a rather nice surprise to see so much snow in Portland before Christmas, and it was sad to see it go when we returned to Portland after Christmas. We had a great New Year's Eve with our good friends Blake, Emily, Mo, and Parker.

We flew out on Friday the second and had a good flight into Albuquerque. The unfortunate thing was I lost my favorite green wool hat. I've tried several times to contact US Airways, but have been lead on a wild goose chase. We spent the night there, and ate at the Waffle house for dinner.
The next morning we woke up, took the bus into downtown Albuquerque to catch the Railrunner back upto Santa Fe. We didn't realize that it was the last free Saturday ride between the two towns. It was jam packed full of free riders enjoying a joy ride. We didn't get even close to boarding the train, and we decided to take the train South bound in order to head North bound. We eventually found seats, and when we returned to Albuquerque, more people entered with standing room only. It was a packed ride all the way there. When we arrived at the train depot it was packed with returnees. When we got off, people commented that we had our luggage and thought we were staying overnight and that it was a good idea. Funny thought, but WE use the train for transportation!

When we finally arrived home, Anne had started a fire for us, and the house was warm and cozy. We woke up to a snow storm, and we braved our way to Taos to do some shopping and pick up a flat screen TV that my dad and Carolyn had sent us for Christmas. That night more snow fell, and I woke to hear that all Taos Schools were canceled. I hopped out of bed, turned on the computer and found out that there was school in Santa Fe. I slowly got dressed and headed to work. There was snow in Santa Fe, but not enough to cause any hazardous conditions.

Today is Three King's Day and it is celebrated by many hispanic families. We made Three King's bread, a sweet and savory desert bread, however we didn't realize the preperation time, and we'll have to celebrate tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow's the last day of the holidays for u...

January 04, 2009 by Sue in Wielesek

Tomorrow's the last day of the holidays for us, except for Russian Christmas, the day Sadie flies back to the east coast. I'm hoping that Sadie got R and R'd a little. She seemed tired and a bit raggedy when she got here. I think that we're all so used to her getting top grades at top schools that we think she does it effortlessly. Christmas was hectic but fun, with lots of accomodations for snow. Seraph borrowed Jenny's SUV to go up and pick up Robbie and Isa, but it turned out that the snow was so bad in Portland that trains and busses weren't running, so Seraph brought Anna down as well, and they all got in late on the evening of the 23rd. Next morning,Sadie took Isa for a play date with Sam and Emma, and then Robbie, Seraph and Isa were off to Hanni's in the afternoon. Seraph and Isa came back late that night, and Robbie and his mom went on to midnight mass. Seraph, Sadie, Isa and I had a lovely early morning on Christmas Day, with Isa delightfully cheery in spite of her late night. Seraph and Sadie fixed a hearty brunch for 12, with Jenny, Dez and Jordan arriving mid-morning and Adam, Jamie and the kids arriving at noon. We were pleased to have Yayoe and John for brunch; he is a congenial sort.
Adam and Jamie had to cancel their usual Portland trip because the snow was so bad, and they went up on (oooh, can't remember) either Friday or Saturday. In fact, the snow was still so bad in Portland on Christmas that Bob borrowed Jenny's SUV to take Anna back to Portland. We all promised Jenny we would never again tease her about having a big car. They made a family event of the trip, with Deb and Aric going along. Deb and Aric stayed with Chuck and Joann, Deb's brother and sister in law, and Bob stayed at
Anna's over night. They came back the next day, with tales of the city still clogged with snow.
Lohring came over on Christmas afternoon, and took all of us
except Jamie and Emma, who needed a rest, and Hanni and Robbie, who may also have needed a rest, to see "Twilight". The girls had decided Chinese take-out was the appropriate Christmas dinner, which turned out to be a good choice.
Seraph, Robbie and Isa left for Hanni's, Jenny packed up the boys, and Lohring, and the day drew to a close.
Jordan, Dez and Isa got together to go see "Desperaux"
on Saturday morning, and Isa, Emma and Jordan came over for a play date on Monday afternoon, with Jordan and Isa sleeping over. They had a great time dressing up as pioneers and hanging out in Bob's room. I think they were playing "Little House on the Prairie", because they called him "Pa" all afternoon. We met Seraph, Robbie, Hanni and Jenny the next morning at the Glenwood to return kids, and then Seraph, Robbie, Hanni and Isa left for Portland. Sadie
went up to visit them on Thursday, delivering them to the airport on Friday for their trip home. It's now Sunday, and the house is clean enough to see the floor everywhere but the hall! I talked to Robbie this morning, only briefly,as they were on their way to Taos. He said that their flight was fine but the train to Albquerque was crowded. I finally got unlimited long distance on my phone so I can talk to them at home, as they don't have cell phone reception at their house, and have to go out to the road to use cell phones. We're hoping Jenny will be over this afternoon to help Sadie go through more photographs. The guys will start on the kitchen remodel soon.

We're sitting in Wendy and Brant's house, enj...

January 04, 2009 by Adam in Family

We're sitting in Wendy and Brant's house, enjoying the beautiful view of the land outside of Bend. It was so quiet last night and you could see the stars wonderfully. The kids have really enjoyed the animals and hiking around the property. Sam briefly got to drive their ATV to haul the garbage out. Ah, country living.

We're heading over to Eagle Crest later today, though we're in no rush. We'll probably hike around until we're ready for a little swimming. It makes for a relaxing end to winter vacation.

It's Mocha Friday, and a new year to boot

January 02, 2009 by Adam in Family

It's Mocha Friday, and a new year to boot. Sam went off with my mom to see an opera on New Year's Eve, and surprisingly really enjoyed it. It was in English, which helped, as well as being a comedy about Greek mythology. I'm sure there was a cookie during the intermission which sealed the deal.

Tomorrow we're off to Bend for our final vacation activity before school returns and things return to normal. We'll probably play in the snow, spend a lot of time at the swimming pool, and hang out at Brant and Wendy's ranch.

Our backyard shed is finished, which probably signals the end of building projects for awhile. Our construction company came back with a much increased estimate for the balcony remodel. We basically said we didn't have the money, and so we're done for now. I think finishing up the painting and interior of the shed will keep us busy through summer.

For Christmas, we gave the kids coupons for family events. Last night Emma used her "fancy dinner" coupon. I wore a suit and tie and everyone except Sam dressed up. The bill was shockingly high, as Sam wanted to try the lobster, but everyone had a good time and was on their best behavior.

Sam's been thinking about cutting his hair considerably shorter. He's getting increasingly annoyed with being mistaken for a girl, though he's nervous about making a big change that he can't undo afterwards.

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