The Halloween Edition of Mocha Friday

October 29, 2010 by Adam in Family

I'm dressed as Chuck, from the Chuck TV show, sipping on my mocha and working on SharePoint issues.  The badge came out particularly well for my outfit, which otherwise looks like a standard shirt and tie with Converse.  The plan is I wear it off and on to the various Halloween festivities throughout the weekend.

Sam got his grades on Wednesday, an odd mix of A's and B's, as well as a couple C's and a D.  He still had some missing assignments from when he was sick, and getting them, turning them in, and getting them graded has been challenging.  He still has math and science, which I'm hoping will be done soon.  I've got to get him a new book for independent reading when I take all the kids to the library tomorrow.  And lots of math.

Yesterday was somewhat fun, leaving work early and taking Emma to Skate World.  We ran into a friend of hers, and many people were dressed up.  Unfortunately her stomach started to hurt, she got hungry, there were some falls, and we decided to head home.  Duncan's stomach was hurting this morning too, so I'm hoping we don't all get sick this weekend.

Berry and Duncan have a birthday party to go to tomorrow, as does Emma.  We'll see how everyone's feeling.  Joanna and I are going to a movie at the old McDonald Theater tonight, which should be entertaining.  Hopefully my mom can come over and play Pretty, Pretty Princess with Emma and Berry.


October 27, 2010 by Adam in Family

We're a Glee household. Last night after Berry and Duncan got to bed, Sam, Joanna, and I piled on to the couches to watch the latest episode. I have a soft spot in my heart for Rocky Horror Picture Show, and an episode based on it did not disappoint.

Other than that, it's been a relatively quiet week. The nuttiness of the weekend has faded and Joanna and I have both recaptured our humor and good natured demeanor. Duncan and Berry have been generally cute and charming. Sam has been working for hours on homework every night after dinner. Joanna discovered a new British accent that cracks everyone up.

Last night I went shopping, as usual. The routine is to put on my headset and wander the aisles throwing food in the cart while helping Sam with homework. I had to reassure the checkout woman that the voices in my head were really there. Sam strangely likes me helping remotely, and I like the company as I shop.

I have a lot of things I'm looking forward to that are coming up. Tonight Joanna and I are going swing dancing. I'm taking Emma roller skating Thursday afternoon. Halloween is this weekend, and I'm going to either dust off my pirate outfit, or try and pull off Chuck.

I did get news that Sam is going to have to have a couple teeth extracted. I'll try to get it soon enough before Thanksgiving so that he can eat turkey and his birthday cake. These things are important.

Relaxing at Work

October 25, 2010 by Adam in Family

Some Mondays I look forward to going to work after a really busy weekend. My tasks are fun and interesting, and the interruptions are fewer and typically polite.

Sam worked on homework every day for three days. The PowerPoint presentation was put together, his poster on submarines was created, math was finished, and he revised his book cover based on assignments he learned was missing. To top it off, I learned he finished his woodworking quiz. It took a few weeks, but he got 100% as required and can now use all the nifty power tools. So, I was proud of him for getting everything done. It was somewhat exhausting, and I didn't accomplish a lot else beyond that.

The basement is slowly coming together. I painted one wall and put the washer and dryer in place. That felt good. Yesterday I put in the smoke alarm and the shelf. I still need to put in two lights and paint more, but it seems less overwhelming than at the beginning. I still haven't heard anything from the contractor who was supposed to do all this work. Kind of annoying.

Other than that, it was your basic cooking meals, doing laundry, cleaning, and so on. Sunday morning I made great gluten-free scones, and Joanna and Berry made cookies in the afternoon. Everyone but Sam went to carve pumpkins at Jason's house like the year before. Emma came home with Sea Monkeys, which she's very excited about.

I look forward to the routine, and settling down a bit. Cereal and Chuck each night sounds like a wonderful reward for the end of a rough day.

Bad Mom, bad friend

October 25, 2010 by Sue in Wielesek

Apologies to all. I have been so busy dealing with the landscaping stuff that I have been awful about communicating. So, Yayoe, you have been almost constantly in my thoughts. I am hoping that you are recuperating well. Hanni, we loved the wonderful tomatoes you gave us. Sadie, I promise we will spend time together even electronically. Seraph, I haven't talked to you since who knows when. Tell me a time, any time. I love you all.

Way Too Much Coffee Friday

October 23, 2010 by Adam in Family

It's Saturday morning already, with everyone still fast asleep.  Yesterday was a whirlwind day, which I took off from work in order to accomplish everything.

I took Emma to school in the morning, bringing Sam along for the ride.  It went smoothly, other than the forgotten backpack which was lost in the shuffle of the piggy bank, jacket, and poncho.  Afterward, we headed to the Glenwood for a tasty breakfast with my mom.  No mocha, but plenty of coffee.  There's the possibility that she take our cat Hobbes, who isn't getting a lot of attention and makes the basement off-limits for me for a long time.  We'll see how that turns out.

After breakfast, Sam and I returned home for homework.  He slowly waded through math while I sanded the drywall smooth and applied spray texture.  It doesn't quite match, but it looks well enough.  I had a huge sense of relief to finally put the washer and dryer back for good, as well as clean up most of the mess.  I have some touch-up and the ceiling to paint, but the vast majority is done.  The contractor who was supposed to do it never showed up the week before last.  Like with work, if you want to do something right, I've learned it's best done yourself.

Sam worked on his PowerPoint presentation on stress relief through crying after lunch.  I left him plugging away at it while I picked up Emma from school.  We immediately went to an afternoon birthday party at Skate World.  Emma had never skated before, and I hadn't for probably twenty years.  It was awesome, though, skating around the rink and holding hands as she worked really hard to figure it out.  There were many falls on her butt, which was still sore that night.

Eventually we had cake and slipped out to visit Joanna at work.  Emma went home with her and I went to get pizza.  Once again we had pizza and Mythbusters, the tradition continuing.  Sam worked on PowerPoint a bit more, exercised with the weights I got him and did stair stepping.  After all the kids were in bed, the three of us watched two episodes of Chuck and went to bed tired, but satisfied.

I'm not sure we've completely nailed down the schedule for today.  I'd like to go to the library.  Sam needs to do some more homework, and is going to a birthday party this afternoon.  Joanna and I are trying to get some time together.  Tomorrow we're going to a pumpkin carving party.  Life's busy, but good.  Better start making crepes for the hordes when they awake.

Cleaning closets

October 20, 2010 by Seraph in Cortez

So yesterday afternoon I pulled everything out of our bedroom closet.  It's pretty big, and we've spent a year shoving bags and boxes of random crap into it.  At this point Robbie gets home, takes a look at the pile on the floor, and promptly lies down on the couch with a washcloth over his eyes, saying he has a headache!  I don't know why he doesn't understand my OCD episodes.

Anyway, I have spent this morning sorting through years of saved papers, documents, and again, random crap.  I know have neatly labled expandos for each year, with only the really important documents (I realized I don't need to keep EVEY bank statement and bill from 2006).  Sadly the pile hasn't gotten smaller.  Now I have a pile of paper the height of Isa that we'll need to burn.  We don't have a shredder or recycling, so I think we'll roast marshmellos tonight by the warmth of burning check registars.

A last note on all the paperwork.  I noticed that the times we;ve been really broke, we kept amazing records.  The years when we were a part of the free spending economic process, our records are sloppy and incomplete.  I guess we didn't care about every possible tax write off then.

3 Hours of Homework

October 20, 2010 by Adam in Sam

Sam worked on homework from after dinner until bedtime. It was surprising just how much stuff he had to do. Roosevelt seems to have quite a bit more homework than in elementary school. We helped him write a limerick on density, research a paper on submarines, and do some math. He has more for today, and this weekend I'm hoping to help him work on a PowerPoint presentation. The topic is crying as stress relief, which may come in handy.

Figuring out what Sam does in his free time takes a bit of detective work. Lunches are spent in the library with the chess players. He evidently plays with them on occasion, even though he claims to be worst player in the bunch. He was talking about game variations that I've never heard of, like Bugout and Subspace. I like hearing that he's making friends and working himself into a little community of sorts. They seem like a cool bunch, made up of quite a few "frenchies," the folks from the French immersion school where chess is played frequently.

He's out of school this Friday, so I'm taking the day off of work. Hopefully we can get time to catch up on his homework, as well as get some play time in. Should be fun.

Long Time, No Post

October 19, 2010 by Seraph in Cortez

Hello All!  I've been on vacation off and on the last two weeks, so we haven't had much time to post! 

We had a great visit with Hanni, Charles and Judy for Hanni's birthday.  Poor Hanni had a cold, but still managed to be cheeful and fun.  It was fun to catch up with everyone and show them around the area.  I only managed to get everyone lost once!!  Charles and Judy drove back to WY on Sunday the 10th.  Isa and I camped out in our campground on Sunday night, and Robbie and I went to Ojo Caliente on Monday night for our anniversery. 

 Isa was sick with a cold during the week, but was better on Friday.  Friday, Robbie delivered Hanni to the airport and then joined Isa's class at the ABQ Natural History Museum for an overnight field trip.  Sat we all met in Santa Fe and used a gift certificate we had to stay at a resort there.  Isa had a friend along so that was fun.  The rest of the weekend was low key, with me back to work tonight.

I've spent the day working on our 2009 taxes (arrggggg).  I don't know why we have to be all biblical and have tax season coinside with the end of ski season!  We're working on a USDA loan for a house and property in Dixon so I've got to get them done though, sigh....

Quiet Weekend

October 18, 2010 by Adam in Family

We had a fairly quiet weekend all-around. Sam and Emma went to the beach with Jamie. Emma went out shell collecting and claims to have touched a seal. Sam took the "relax at the beach" approach, spending the weekend reading and watching assorted videos.

Friday night Joanna and I took Berry and Duncan swimming. They continue to really enjoy the water, and we had a fine time all around. Saturday was surprisingly busy, starting with a Health Kids run where B&D loaded up on prizes, got their pictures taken with the U of O cheerleaders and mascot, and ran around inside to get their face painted. After that was a trip to Target, Ben Franklin, the Beanery, Down to Earth, and finally an orchard out in Springfield. We returned home with an apple tree, exhausted.

We puttered around for the afternoon, doing chores and enjoying the day. I actually got some reading in, the Walking Dead books that Sam strongly recommended. They were excellent and creepy, and made short work of them. Joanna had a work event, leaving Duncan and Berry with me, my first night taking care of them alone. Fortunately they were wonderful and Berry exclaimed that I could babysit anytime. They quietly fell asleep and I managed to play a little Civilization V before Joanna returned, gussied up and tired.

Sunday was a hearty breakfast of crepes and bacon, with gluten-free crepes for Joanna. They were delicious, as always. We went to church, came home for lunch, and puttered about until Sam and Emma arrived. Sam's been motivated to earn some money for a game, so I put him to work digging a hole for the new apple tree. Since I got a little more of his time, I took him to the basement and we patched drywall a little more. It's looking really good.

Emma is fun to have about, as always. We laughed and played in the yard and had a good time. We did some of her math homework and worked a little on her reading. I missed tucking her to bed at night.

Emma Update

October 15, 2010 by Adam in Emma

Emma's had all sorts of exciting things happen to her in the last week, much of which was filmed. Emma had her BFF Morgan come over for a visit, ran in the jog-a-thon, dyed her pink, got glasses, and was generally cute and sassy.

Vanilla Mocha Friday

October 15, 2010 by Adam in Family

Just to prove that I can be exciting and zany, I had a vanilla mocha this morning. Plus it was the special, so it was cheap. But I'm zany, too, honest. It was a rough week for Sam, as he had stomach pain Wednesday night, was up late, and was completely out of it Thursday morning. I worked at home until it was time for him to go to school. I fretted about him all day long, but when I arrived home he was laughing and fighting zombies with Josh so all was well. He's getting increasingly caught up with his homework, and hopefully with a weekend push he'll finally get to where he needs to be. Emma stayed over last night, and was a treat to have about as always. She got her glasses, so she excitedly wore them off and on throughout the night. It was also Berry's half birthday, so we had cupcakes, sang songs, and handed out a small present. She was horribly excited and wanted to take her new jewelry case to sharing at school this morning. That didn't pass the mum test, so we went with the heart pillow. The kids are both going to the beach with Jamie until Sunday afternoon, so it'll be somewhat quiet about the house. I think we'll try going swimming tonight, a kid run for Duncan in the morning, shopping for fruit trees in the afternoon, and then Joanna's going to a work gala that evening. I'm putting the kids to bed, which hopefully will go well. I have a Barbie DVD, just in case. Sunday I'm hoping the kids get back early afternoon, as Sam's been wanting to work for money and I should have some holes to dig.

Mid-Week Update

October 13, 2010 by Adam in Family

Life continues to be great, busy, and full.  Emma's glasses arrived, which we're trying to get to her.  Duncan lost a tooth, writing a very sweet letter to the Tooth Fairy.  Sam went home Tuesday with a headache, and have been frantically trying to catch up on homework.  Hopefully we can get caught up and reduce his stress levels.  Emma wanted to come over Monday night to practice bike riding.  Berry has been cute and funny and singing the "Get Your Sparkle On" Barbie song.

The house projects continue.  As I can't really afford to pay anyone to fix things, I've been doing it myself.  The contractor has yet to call, so I've been finishing the drywall myself.  We had the roof leak over the weekend during the heavy rains. The sprinkler system doesn't work.  The outdoor light does this weird on/off cycle.  The gas fireplace doesn't turn on.  Maybe next year I can go through and pay to get all the miscellaneous issues resolved.

Joanna and I went out to our first Lindy Hop lesson last night, and it turns out the room was double booked.  There were a couple tai chi people, and we decided we could probably have taken them.  Of course, they'd fight in slow motion and we'd have to do a dance fight.  It probably would have ended in tears and hysterical laughter.

Post-op progress report

October 13, 2010 by Yayoe in Yayoe

HI There,

Just a quick note to say my recovery is going very well. It's been almost a week since my surgery. I'm up on crutches, walking, taking nourishment, chopping wood/carrying water, etc. John and friends have been wonderful helping out and taking good care of me.

I have very little pain but a lot of swelling which makes my leg look like a eggplant. If you're curioius  I'll show you my incision at the next family dinner. It will of course be an X-rated visual. It's hard to believe that my new hip/socket got thorough such a small opening. I'm still wondering if they threaded it through my nose or something weird like that! You know those surgeons.

The Tooth Fairy Cometh

October 11, 2010 by Adam in Sam

Sam, Emma, and Duncan all have wiggly teeth.  Sam was the first to lose one of his, popping out while Emma and I were bike riding.  He was especially excited, as he's trying to get money these days.  As is traditional in our family, I gave him $1 and a note from the tooth fairy.

Five Days Away

October 11, 2010 by Adam in Family

It's been so much fun having five days off, four of them with the kids.  Much was accomplished, from fixing the dead battery and corroded cables in the car, to patching the basement drywall even more since the contractor didn't call.  More issues popped up, such as a leak in the living room roof, which is mysterious.  Joanna sewed up a storm, finishing pajamas for both kids.

Saturday morning we all went to the library, where I loaded up on zombie graphic novels for Sam.  There was a puppet incident, and Duncan had a minor meltdown, fortunately reverting to a nice boy again by the afternoon.  We all worked on projects and I did a store run for pizza at the end of the day.  I took Emma out for a bike ride, where she ended up getting really good.  Sam returned from Jamie's and we had pizza and Mythbusters, the first time in months.

Sunday morning everyone but Sam woke up early and we drove to Autzen for a 5K Race for the Cure.  It was pouring rain, so Joanna took the kids to load up on cookies and swag.  I had a great time running hard through the rain, passing people as I went.  I heard a "Go Adam!" as I ran across the finish line, and we all wandered home.  I cooked up a massive breakfast for myself, and froze a bunch of crepes for the week.  I woke up Sam, who stayed up reading The Walking Dead, and we chatted about zombies while slathering on whip cream.  Good times.

The rest of the day was made up of homework, house projects, play dates, and a trip to the park for riding and play.  Sunday dinner we discovered that the kids love artichokes, or at least the part where they dip it in butter.  Sam did stairstepping, Emma ate tofu, and we watched more Chuck after the littler kids dozed off.

Happy Anniversery!

October 11, 2010 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Anniversery Robbie!!  13 years - wow - here's to many more : )

BTW Adam, Robbie wants to know if you really can get lucky by drinking mocha.  Hee hee, maybe he'll become a coffee drinker after all.

Mocha Evening

October 09, 2010 by Adam in Family

It's nearly dinnertime, and my morning's self-made mocha is long gone.  Joanna and I are going to a coffee shop to listen to music, so I may end up getting lucky again.  We'll see.

It's day two of no school and no work.  Joanna had her "hot needles in the back" procedure, and is recovering nicely.  Her fog seems to have lifted, after almost twelve hours of sleep yesterday between the night and naps.  She ran errands, worked, and is sewing up a variety of kid outfits.

Sam, Josh, and I played far too much Left 4 Dead 2 yesterday, battling zombies and giggling all the way.  Sam is also working hard on catching up with his homework.  After missing a week and a half of school, he has quite a way to catch up.

Jamie picked up Sam this morning after breakfast.  I took Emma to the eye doctors, where she picked out glasses.  I walked Berry and Duncan over to Collette's and Emma took me for a haircut and Metropol goodies.  Emma and I worked on homework, ate lunch, and went down to the park to ride bikes.  Upon our return, I worked on laundry, cleaned up the basement, taped drywall, and generally worked too much.

We have assorted events this weekend.  Tomorrow we'll likely go to the library, and I have a 5K run on Sunday.  Maybe I can even relax a bit along the way.

I'm Awesome

October 09, 2010 by Adam in Emma

I had quite a bit of time to hang out with Emma today, which was loads of fun.  After the homework and assorted house projects, I took her down to the park to work on her cycling.  Somehow, it all came together today and she was riding around all by herself.  She's awesome.

New Glasses

October 08, 2010 by Adam in Emma

Emma's been complaining of poor vision, and after an at-home eye test, I decided it was time to take her in.  My longtime eyedoctor, Dr. Arbow, was friendly and good.  Emma was an excellent patient.

It turns out she's a little farsighted, which makes reading up-close difficult.  The recommendation was for reading glasses, which she eagerly tried on and will pick up early next week.  With luck, she won't need glasses as an adult, though.  Evidently farsightedness is very common at her age.


Jog-A-Thons and Back Procedures

October 07, 2010 by Adam in Family

I didn't really work today, though I found myself at work more than once.  Sam was also on the mend, semi-cheerfully heading off to school.  I dropped off Joanna, did a bit of work, and drove over to Emma's jog-a-thon.  She was having a great time, and was her usual cute, impish self.  She's excited to come over tomorrow for four days of no work and school, as am I.

Next was a stop at the battery store to replace the battery for the Sentra which died in the Oregon Community Credit Union drive-through.  I headed over to pick up Joanna and took her to her back procedure place, where she was getting her lower back nerves zapped with RF.

I rubbed her feet as she got her IV hooked up and waited.  Off she was wheeled, returning 30 minutes later, stoned out of her mind.  Evidently whatever sedation they gave her was pretty significant.  Eating the cheese stick they gave her seemed to take forever.  I eventually got her into the car and off to home, where I doted on her throughout the day.

Sam came home and we worked on getting his schoolwork organized.  I was a little miffed that his science homework didn't make it home.  Hopefully we can get that next week.  He still has a long list of odds and ends, but at the end of the afternoon, I felt far more together.

We got kiddos to bed and watched Glee.  Tomorrow is the dentist for Sam and Friday is the eye doctor for Emma.  Otherwise I want to hang out and take it easy.

Happy Birthday, Greg

October 05, 2010 by Sue in Wielesek

and happy first day of work, Sadie. Many hugs.

Walking through the Woods

October 04, 2010 by Adam in Family

It was another whirlwind weekend, as it often is when everyone is about. Sam stayed home on Friday, still sick, but was fortunately much improved on Saturday. He played with his friend Chase, and then switched to John upon arriving home. The two of them had a good time until John's departure Sunday morning.

Joanna and I snuck away for a little bit Friday night, walking over to Metropol to get a bit of fresh air and goodies for the morning. Joanna's been playing with her GoFit gadget, which records her steps, activity, and so on. It's highly entertaining to the scientist in me.

Saturday afternoon Emma's friend Morgan also showed up, and the two girls had a great time playing Sims 3 and filming movies. I entertained Berry and Duncan while Joanna shopped, repeatedly dropping them on the Foof in the basement.

Sunday came with a huge batch of crepes and whip cream. Emma, Berry, and Duncan watched a new Barbie movie while Sam and John hung out. I did a bit of work on the drywall, which hopefully will get finished by some contractors by next weekend. I'll do the painting, and can hopefully call it good without going completely broke. The kitchen sink works great, at least.

Everyone but Sam went to church, returning for lunch, playing a bit, and then going for a walk on Ridgeline Trail. We found an odd little shelter made out of sticks, which fascinated everyone. Emma loved picking blackberries, and Berry and Duncan loved to eat them.

That night, there was a huge dinner for my family. It was great seeing everyone, celebrating Hanni and Collette's birthdays, and eating good food. After endless dishes, cleaning, and getting Emma to bed, Joanna, Sam and I collapsed on the couch to watch Chuck. It's those simple pleasures that I live for.

Emma may need glasses. I've got an eye appointment for her coming up later this week. My car battery died. We got a new chicken. Life goes on.

Nice to See Everyone

October 04, 2010 by Sue in Wielesek

Thanks to Adam and Joanna for the lovely dinner. It was good to see everyone, tho we missed Yayoe and John, as Yayoe is trying to avoid all potential germ situations, as her hip replacement is comming up this week. Please send good thoughts her way. We had a late celebration of Colette's birthday, and an early celebration of Hanni's.

I've been a negligent grandma for the last month. I've had worker guys pretty much non-stop since Labor Day, and I'm glad that the back yard is about ready for the excavator to show up. The basement is coming along, too.

Taylor Swift Friday

October 01, 2010 by Adam in Family

I can always tell when Emma's back home again. Berry ends up dressed up and covered in makeup. The two of them start singing songs and chatting. Taylor Swift is pretty huge in the house, and there was a lot of singing over the last couple days. Sam continues to be sick, was out yesterday and again today. I'm trying hard to get him caught up with homework. We've been doing his reading every night, and answering questions. There was a break for Glee on Tuesday, and yesterday he watched the final episode of The Colony. I hope he's not worrying about school, and it's just the virus everyone else has had. Transitioning from Summer can be rough for everyone. Joanna's finally feeling better after a week of coughing and sneezing. I really hope this weekend marks the end of all the sicknesses. We have lots of playdates lined up, as well as the Sunday night dinner. Should be fun and busy. Strange rumors continue to rumble around at work. We had a bleak team meeting where it seemed more likely that everyone's jobs would move to Vancouver. I'm not leaving my kids, so it would mean I'd need to find new work. Still, internal communication is horrible and no one really knows anything. It could be that nothing happens, and even if it does, it's not for years. I tossed and turned last night, then awoke hopeful. I've reinvented myself before, and can do so again. My mocha was wonderful this morning. Joanna and I are going to have a quick date of sorts together tonight, walking down to a coffee shop and chatting, then returning home. I look forward to the weekend and hanging out with kids. Family is very reassuring.

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