Twelve Years

November 30, 2010 by Adam in Sam

Sam turned twelve last week.  Joanna and I were flabbergasted to realize that in ten more years he'd be graduating from college.  Sam certainly seems old these days.  He stays up later than the younger kids, is treated with a fair amount of adult respect.  His homework has expanded immensely this year, and he'll often work from after dinner until past eight on homework.

He continues to settle into school, playing chess nearly every day and getting a new best friend named Jordan.  He loves his video games, and has purchased a fair number with his birthday money.  This morning I tried to talk to him while he started up Metro 2033 and was loudly shushed.  I sheepishly looked at Joanna and we burst into laughter.  Sam explained that it was hard to understand the Russian accents.

I like the boy he is, and proud of the man he's becoming.

Getting My Elf On

November 29, 2010 by Adam in Family

Sunday morning we woke up leisurely, once again without children.  I had promised Joanna a compost sifter, so I wandered down to the basement and quickly put one together.  Soon our mound of decomposing vegetable matter will turn into sweet smelling soil to heap on our raised beds.

Joanna worked away as I puttered and cleaned.  Soon it was time for a quick library trip, and then off to the hospital to begin our volunteer time as an elf.  The outfits were fun, especially the ears.  Soon I was helping Santa, giving out candy and smiling at little kids.  Even though it was surprisingly long, it was hard not to smile at all the kids.  Santa himself was a trooper, barely standing for four hours straight.

At the end of my shift, I dropped off Joanna and picked up the kids.  As promised, I went food shopping in my full elf outfit.  It was fun ordering pizza for Santa.  The evening was a low-key pizza and Mythbusters.  Sam, Joanna, and I watched Chuck after Emma got to bed.  Life is slowly returning to normal.

Duncan and Berry return Tuesday night.  Next weekend sounds like our annual Christmas tree hunt.  I really look forward to Christmas and taking some time off work.


Thanksgiving, Birthdays, Portland, and Back Again

November 28, 2010 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I are alone in the house, a nearly unheard of state to things.  We're back from Portland, happy and tired.  Joanna whipped up a tasty soup and cut up some gluten-free bread from a bakery we found.  Now she's working away while I post and ponder refinishing furniture.

Thanksgiving was great fun.  Sam and Emma were around and we had a great, lazy day of games, shows, and a walk through back alleyways.  Joanna cooked up pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, and I helped her make zombie brownies for Sam's birthday.  As we moved towards the evening, we went to my mom's house and stuffed ourselves on delicious food.  Hanni made some great sticky buns for Sam, which he kept eating throughout the next few days and took to Jamie's to continue.

Friday morning, Sam's actual birthday, we gave him the previously mentioned brownies, along with far too many presents.  He strangely enjoyed the Bender robot from Futurama, which came with a bottle of beer and cigar.  He and Emma would wind it up and gleefully watch it stagger about.  I also got him The Last Night On Earth, a zombie game which we immediately played.  Emma dropped out midway, and a reluctant Joanna took her place.  Soon she was cheerfully dispatching zombies with her shotgun and good dice rolls, and the heroes saved the day.  My dad came over to hang out and fix computers, and helped set up the zombie game.  I have fond memories of boardgames with little cardboard cutouts as a kid.

I took the kids to Jamie's and we got ready for our Portland trip.  The drive was quick and we checked into the hotel deLuxe early in the evening.  Dinner was at Pastini Pastaria, which had gluten-free spaghetti.  Next was off to Sealed for Freshness, a hysterical play about Tupperware parties of the 60's.  We were very lazy and slept in until past eight in the morning, eventually working our way to Mother's Bistro for breakfast.  I had the tofu scramble, and Joanna had salmon hash, both very tasty.

We returned to check out of the hotel, briefly stopping to webcam with Berry and Duncan.  Next was window shopping and visiting the Nordstrom's Rack where I patiently held coats and watched Joanna try things on.  We then wandered into Border's, which was having a going out of business sale, and got some great deals on Christmas presents.

On the way out of town, we stopped by a gluten-free bakery for goodies and coffee.  The drive home was somewhat dreary and long.  I pondered Christmas presents and projects.  I'm going to try and refinish an old end table of Joanna's tonight.  Tomorrow she and I are dressing like elves and volunteering at the hospital.  I've promised the kids I'll try to pick them up tomorrow in our full elven attire, complete with ear extensions.  Should be fun.

A Nice Thanksgiving!

November 27, 2010 by Sue in Wielesek

Everyone local was here but Berry and Duncan, and a good time was had by all. After Jenny's wet start, she nonetheless came early to help. Destin was a prince, and made short work of several household projects. In fact, both Sam and Destin were quite helpful in the kitchen, too. We talked a bit about Sadie and Greg's engagement party. I wonder if it would be fun to have the family specialties for food - Grandma Jones' cinnamon rolls, Grandma Black's bread, Bob's grilled salmon, etc. Maybe Hanni would make kuchen or one of her baked treats and freeze it - poor Hanni, you can't get out of baking just because you're going to be a thousand miles away. I think I'll hire an event planner.


November 25, 2010 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Birthday Sam!!! (Your birth still makes this the most memorable holiday!)

Snow Day

November 24, 2010 by Adam in Family

It snowed yesterday, school was canceled and I worked from home all day. It was surprisingly productive, with the number of interruptions being quite minimal. Sam was sick on Monday, and cheerfully enjoyed a second day of leisure.

I took Sam to play with Emma in the snow at lunch, which had mostly melted at that point. We got wet and cold, and generally enjoyed ourselves. Joanna went into work for a few hours after the roads were clear.

It's very strange not having the little kids about. Our evenings are a little aimless, filled with episodes of Chuck and catching up on miscellaneous tasks. The flea eradication project continues. I set up a dish full of soapy water, with a light above it. They've both caught a number of fleas, but the amount is dwindling.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, as well as my anniversary with Joanna. I think we'll mostly hang out with the kids during the day, but I have a little prezzie for her. Our main celebration is the grand Portland outing, which should be quite entertaining. Thanksgiving dinner is scheduled with my mom, and Sam requested cinnimon rolls for his birthday dessert. We'll do another little celebration on his actual birthday tomorrow too.

As for today, I'm getting things done and doing a bit of online shopping. I love getting goodies for kids, as I know I get to play with them too.

There And Back Again

November 22, 2010 by Adam in Family

Joanna flew across the country and back again, safely getting Berry and Duncan to their dad's in Rochester. She was pretty worn out this morning, having driven until eleven last night. We still managed to get to work on time.

It was a quiet weekend with just Sam and Emma. We had a lot of fun, generally staying indoors out of the rain and cold. We played Cosmic Encounter, video games, building things in the basement, and made soup and cookies. Sam was at Jamie's Friday night, so we bid farewell to Joanna, Berry, and Duncan Saturday morning and went to the library. Emma checked out books on fashion design, then we went home and waited for Sam to arrive. Sam and I finished our Trine game, which was challenging but fun. It was a pizza and Mythbusters night, after that.

Sunday I made an omelet for breakfast, worked on homework, played a bit, and ran around in the basement. I got all the laundry done and cleaned up quite a bit. The basement in particular got well scrubbed. The kids are still getting flea bites, so it's time to lay more traps tonight.

Rumor has it we'll get snow tonight. That typically means school gets canceled, so I might work from home tomorrow morning. It also means it's time to break out the heat lamp for the chickens. Only one of the three is producing eggs these days.

I'm excited for the short week, Sam's birthday, and heading to Portland with Joanna this weekend. Should be fun.

36 mitered corners

November 21, 2010 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Yesterday, I took on the challenge of learning to miter fabric corners by sewing new napkins, dish towels, and a tablecloth. Lesson learned: sewing is actually an excercise in precision ironing. I'm pretty happy with the results, and Greg is totally into soft floral patters. Bonus for me.

On another note, Greg's computer is on its last legs. Its fan makes a sound of the exact tone and quality of the opening to Lou Reed's version of This Magic Moment from the Lost Highway soundtrack (honestly. It's an unsettling similarity). Bad news. I think we'll all be giving him Apple gift cards for Christmas to defray the cost of a new machine. 

Mocha Friday

November 19, 2010 by Adam in Family

It's a delicious mocha Friday, piping hot and delicious. I have far too much work, but it's interesting and the caffeine makes me smarter than I really am.

It's been pretty low-key at the house this week, as Joanna was sick and out of work for a couple days. I took Berry and Duncan to school and generally kept things semi-organized. Fortunately she's on the mend and at work today, getting ready for her flight tomorrow.

Last night I left work early so Joanna and I could try on elf costumes. I was talked into volunteering the day after Thanksgiving, working at the hospital as part of a Santa thing. I think I'll be lifting children onto Santa's lap. I'm getting bells on my shoes and pointy ears too. Emma came with us and loved the costume store, trying on dresses and admiring the wigs. It was a long drive to Cottage Grove, but fun.

Emma scored a perfect 15 out of 15 on her spelling test. Sam got his final assignment from when he was sick at the beginning of the year. Last night he was working on his final draft of his immigrant's journal, written on paper aged with tea stains. I think he enjoys the creativity of the assignments in Cultural Connections. He also reported another time getting a fellow chess player in checkmate, so it's nice to see him building confidence all around.

I also went food shopping last night. Joanna and I were going to volunteer Wednesday, but instead retreated to the shed and watched Doctor Who as she was feeling so bad. Last night we were going to go dancing, but I instead sent her upstairs to nap. This pushed out my typical food shopping until last night. Emma came along, and was exceedingly cheerful, while I helped Sam over the phone with his homework. I ended up getting a pomegranate, white tea, and yogurt due to Emma's prompting. I completely forgot a couple snack items for Joanna's flight. Life seems to involve a lot of juggling and work, but it's meaningful and satisfying.

We've been taking extreme measures to kill off the fleas in the play room. I dumped a mixture of borax and diatomaceous earth all around. Sam's soapy water filled flea trap caught ten fleas so far, and I'll put my powder in his room tonight. I think that should take care of them nicely.

Sam's off at his mom's again tonight, and we'll have a low-key evening of packing tonight. Joanna leaves after breakfast tomorrow, Emma and I will likely go to the library, and pick up Sam after that. I predict a lazy weekend full of Mythbusters, homework, and house projects. Hopefully we can do a family hike too, perhaps visiting the Mount Pisgah Play in the Rain event.

Tea and munchins

November 19, 2010 by Sue in Wielesek

I had a delightful visit with Colette, Duncan and Berry on Tuesday afternoon. The children were worried that Hobbes would forget them, so came over for a bit. It was the usual madhouse, with worker guys all around, but the kids shone through. Colette and I did an impromteau (that can't be spelled right) version of Little Bunny Foo-foo; Colette makes a smashing Good Fairy!

The rest of the week has been devoted to League of Women Voters events: my Membership committee, the Board meeting, and the monthly luncheon.

The Mud Mountain has moved from the front yard to the back, and the walls in front are in. I've given up cleaning the mud from the floors. I plan to end my days in Wellingtons rather than house slippers.

Bob, bless his heart, worked all this very cold afternoon putting in faucet covers and anti-freeze.

Busy Week!

November 18, 2010 by Seraph in Cortez

The week has kept us all on our toes! 

Isa came home early on Monday with a stomach and headache, and then stayed home on Tuesday.  She was much recovered by Wednesday.  Monday night she was feeling good enough for us all to go see Mega Mind, which was fun.

Yesterday, Robbie had his advisor come and observe his classroom.  Overall they told him what we already knew.  He's a pretty awesome teacher.

I've been getting the computers in the store, cafe, and ski shop all set up for opening day.  I've spent huge amounts of time in the cave where the server lives, updating records.  We have a new manager in the cafe, so I had to clear all the old info, and re-enter the new menu into the POS system.  Additionally, the managers - who have never really learned to set up anything in the 2 yr old POS system - are out of town today, so I'm running over to do some sales training this morning. 

Somewhere in there I've finished up the kitchen remodel (the new light fixture goes in this morning).  I'll post before and after pics when I get the chance.  Also, I think there's a holiday next week : ) and Alex will be out to visit.  Should be a fun time, and our snow's great, so Robbie and Isa should get some runs in!

Mid-Week Update

November 18, 2010 by Adam in Family

It's hard to believe that the week is half over already. Joanna and I have been sick, her more than I. She stayed home today after I took her from work early yesterday.

The flea infestation is slowly being taken care of. We put out a bowl of soapy water, hung a light over it, and caught a couple. Last night I picked up some Borax and diatomaceous earth to spread around on the carpets. Everything got vacuumed yesterday too. With luck, treatment, and no cat, it'll all get taken care of.

Sam's science grade went from a no-pass to a B, after he talked to the teacher and got a bunch of his work graded properly. We have some questions for his health class to turn in and then I think he'll be completely caught up. He's doing a journal on immigration that's pretty cool, role-playing a Russian carpenter.

If Joanna and I are up for it, I think we're going to Food for Lane County tonight to repackage food to give out. Should be fun. Tomorrow is dancing, I think, and Saturday morning Joanna, Berry, and Duncan leave for Rochester. Joanna's gone for the weekend, but we won't see B&D until after Thanksgiving.

Robots, Board Games, and Play

November 15, 2010 by Adam in Family

I'm back at work after four days of hanging out with the kids.  It was lovely and lazy and extremely self-indulgent.

Sam was at Jamie's Friday night, and our babysitter was busy, so Joanna and I hung out with the younger kids and watched the Sherlock Holmes movie.  Saturday Sam arrived in the morning, and I took the younger kids to the library by myself.  We had a good time, and I'm getting the hang of managing three kids at once.  We returned with a hefty supply of books.

In the afternoon we took the younger kids to the Autumn Fair at the Little French School.  We shopped briefly and all moved to the craft room to work on projects.  Emma made an archer doll with my assistance.  She also had three of her old teachers recognize her, which was cool.

I managed to sneak in assorted play time, specifically with a game called Trine.  It's a physics-based fantasy game.  My favorite character was the wizard, and spent a lot of time dropping summoned boxes on people's heads.  Sam and I ended up laughing a lot, which was the main point.

The evening was low-key and Sam, Joanna, and I ended up watching Chuck as is the way of our people.

Sunday Joanna and I went to church on Sunday and heard Bishop Spong speak, a mixture of stand up comedy and how he didn't particularly like religious people.  The afternoon Joanna took Duncan on a play date.  Sam, Emma, and I played a great game of Magic.  Emma and I played a vampire board game.  I broke out the robot, which Sam immediately grabbed and begun to program.  Soon the whir of servos filled the kitchen, followed by a robotic "Whoops" whenever it ran into things.

Life is good.


Final Race Post (I promise)

November 13, 2010 by Lohring in Lohring

Well, two months later I finally quit taking naproxin and am recovered.  A very short video that summarizes our experience is at  The first 19 seconds are when everything was going well, and the rest was after Mike got hurt.  At the end Eric is climbing out on the deck to secure a gas cap, and we are trying to figure out why the GPS stopped working.  The first 19 seconds look so gracefull I almost want to go back.  (STOP ME!)

Tea-Filled Friday

November 12, 2010 by Adam in Family

I'm on my second day off of work, which has been quite lazy and relaxing.  I've been hanging out with kids, playing games, and generally being self-indulgent.  It's been wonderful.

Swing dancing was great on Wednesday.  They had a live band and the place was packed.  I felt a little inadequate among all the amazing dancers, but Joanna's pretty easy to dance with and ignore everyone else.

Yesterday Joanna was off of work and we generally hung out at home.  I took Sam to the dentist, where they took out one of his baby teeth that was causing issues. It was somewhat uncomfortable, and he basically sat around taking ibuprophen for the rest of the day.  Lots of The Office was watched.

Emma arrived in the afternoon and joined the lounging about.  We went to the store together to load up on pizza for pizza and Mythbusters.  Kids were sent to bed.  Chuck was watched.  Life's good.

Today Joanna had to go off to work, and Berry and Duncan to school.  Sam, Emma, and I played a great game of Magic, where Emma completely slaughtered us.  I just picked up Duncan from the Little French School.  Emma enjoyed playing on her old playground briefly.  Now Emma and Duncan are drawing while I sip tea.

I am still alive and kicking...barely!

November 12, 2010 by Robbie in Cortez

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been drowning in a flood of final school projects and work. I have a huge portfolio due at the beginning of December. Luckily, I had most of the work done for it, but I had a lot of other smaller projects that I have to finish. During my lunch break I have been typing up these papers and stressing out. I have realized that I don't multitask well and stress out quickly. On top of this project, I started another class and hoping it would be easy without any projects. No such luck! I have a webquest project due with a partner who is meticulous about every little detail. I just want to finish the project, but she wants to make sure every little detail is flushed out. AUGH! I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel though. Finally, the last stressful item on my agenda is that I have to take competency and reading endorsement test on Saturday the 13th. The competency test is for graduation and the reading endorsement test is for work. Once these projects are finished in early December, I will have finished the program.

Work is going well, and I do enjoy the students. I work with students that are just below benchmark, from 1st-6th grade. I will work there for a year, and next year I have been accepted in a Masters of Education for Special Needs program. Through a special grant, they will pay for my schooling, place me in an independent school district and pay me $30,000 a year.

I have also been dealing with buying a new car. I have been looking at the new Ford Fiesta, but have had no luck with the Taos dealer. I am now in contact with a dealer in Albuquerque who seems to interested in working with me.

Once December comes around, I can finally relax for a little while!

Marking the 11th hour of the 11th day of the ...

November 11, 2010 by Seraph in Cortez

Marking the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  While I strongly believe we should honor all vets, I wish we'd honor them better by ending wars.  Try spending 1 day NOT hating something or someone - even those that really piss you off.  One part of a better world is allowing everyone to have a different opinion, and being ok with that.

The Walking Dead

November 10, 2010 by Adam in Family

We've been sick on and off the last few days. Joanna was out Monday night, laying down upon arriving home and waking up briefly around ten. Berry and Duncan cheerfully let me feed them and get them in bed, leaving Sam and I to watch another episode of The Walking Dead. As before, it's awesome and creepy.

Sam was home sick yesterday, with mom picking him up from school. I fetched him and kept an eye on him at home. While downstairs reading, he managed to pull out his loose molar. Tomorrow he's getting two more pulled, so the Tooth Fairy will be shelling out quite a bit of cash.

Berry has the sniffles, and wasn't feeling very well last night, and was coughing a bit. Duncan's been fine, and Joanna reports that his parent-teacher conferences went well this morning, as expected.

I continue to actually read a book, which is loads of fun. I'm not quite sure why I stopped reading, other than the absolute lack of time.

Sam and Emma both reported bug bites, and Sam found some fleas jumping about. I bought some spray stuff, vacuumed his carpet, and started washing all his clothes. With Hobbes gone, it seems they've decided to feast on juicy humans.

Joanna and I hope to go swing dancing tonight, a live band. I've also got some conferences with Sam's teachers tonight. Busy, busy.

Generic Heading

November 10, 2010 by Seraph in Cortez


Gettin' there

November 09, 2010 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, there's certainly still lots of things to do outside, but most of the stuff which requires supervision is done. I'm glad, since I managed to get a cold, and I'm sitting here in bed surrounded by little mountains of soggy tissue. I'm trying to reach you by phone, Seraph, to wish you a happy birthday. I'm not sure Jenny has had a chance to talk to anyone but Adam and Lohring, but Jordan twisted his leg, and has to stay home, in bed, for a week. He's also supposed to have an MRI. Jenny said she would keep me updated, and I'll try to be better about posting. It was so nice to see everyone on Sunday. Adam and Joanna, that was an inspired idea.

Lazy Weekends

November 08, 2010 by Adam in Family

Well, the weekend was lazy for me. Joanna ended up going to two different birthday events, while I generally took it easy. Joanna was also recovering from her cold, and napped a lot on Saturday, but was mostly improved by Saturday.

Friday evening I left work a little early, paid off the contractor that supposedly worked on the basement leak, cashed the insurance check, went shopping for Sunday dinner, got Tasty Thai food, and picked up Emma. Sam went to Jamie's for the night, arriving in the morning after breakfast. I made a triple batch of crepes, which is about how many we go through in a week.

My mom's helper guy, Richard, came over at ten. We got the light up in the basement, and the storm window back on the french doors. It felt really good to get that all accomplished. Afterward, we made a family expedition to the library, returning with endless books, even one for me that I've actually been reading.

Sam and I played Titan Quest when Joanna took Berry and Duncan to the first birthday party. It was amazingly fun, adventuring across the Greek landscape fighting mythological beasts. Emma even played a little. Sam and Emma got a ton of homework done. Emma in particular went through quite a bit of reading, math, and handwriting practice. The evening had us watching Mythbusters and eating pizza. I'd gotten Joanna a gluten-free crust, and it turned out nicely. After everyone got to sleep, Sam, Joanna, and I watched another Chuck episode.

Sunday morning I made gluten-free chocolate-chip scones. I managed to break a plate after breakfast and cut up my fingers a fair amount. We had another lazy morning, with Joanna working on assorted computer projects for work. Collette scooped up Berry, Joanna took Duncan to the wave pool where they had a great time, and I took Emma to Morgan's house. Sam and I played more of our game, making me feel very self-indulgent.

The evening was full of cooking and family, barely fitting everyone around our two tables. The food was excellent, as well as the company.

Wedding Project Two

November 07, 2010 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

I'm working on signage for the Walden Bean Farm. Here are my first painted signs, all of which have black chalkboard paint in the middle. That's a beet, a banner, and a growler of beer.

Wedding Project One

November 07, 2010 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

After a month adjusting to work, I'm starting to pull together wedding projects. Here are a few mock-ups of centerpieces. 

Doc Marten Mocha Friday

November 05, 2010 by Adam in Family

I think my broken toe is finally healed, at least to the point where I can wear my Doc Marten's on Friday as I used to. I bonked my pinkie toe on a chair yesterday, and the pain wasn't excruciating, so that's a plus.

Sam's really enjoying Cultural Connections, where he's roleplaying a Russian immigrant. His character was rolled up like an RPG, and he's a strapping young lad with no money, excellent health, and an elementary school education. He was up writing stories about his journey to America last night.

Emma arrived yesterday, and was happy and charming as usual. Joanna was sick and lost her voice, staying home yesterday. I arrived to find everyone but Sam in the backyard, getting the garden ready for the winter. I'm not quite sure what she plans on doing with the green tomatoes, but I hope it's tasty.

After dinner last night, we played Duncan's favorite game of telephone, each person whispering in the next person's ear. Everyone seems to get into it, and occasionally the phrase gets garbled into something especially funny. Last night was more fun than usual as Joanna could only whisper.

There was some big school news yesterday, where they plan on closing Crest Drive where Emma goes to school. It's all quite annoying, but I'm hopeful Jamie and I can figure out a good school for her next year if it all comes to pass.

As for the weekend, we have the big family dinner on Sunday. I'd like to accomplish some chores, though the usual reality is that I can never get everything done. Sam's spending the night at Jamie's and home tomorrow morning. Play time with the kids sounds great. I'm not sure if I can pull off a date with Joanna tonight, as our usual sitter is busy. Maybe I'll call my mom and see if she can feed three kids tonight.

There was a funny moment this morning when Jamie arrived and started assisting Duncan and Berry to get their shoes on and out the door. I'm glad we're all able to get along as well as we do. Emma has no school, so she and Jamie get to hang out today. I'm taking two days off next week, so it'll soon be my turn to watch kids on their days off school.


November 03, 2010 by Adam in Family

I went to Emma's parent-teacher conference yesterday. Her teacher had glowing words for her enthusiasm, kindness, and overall helpfulness. The two areas that Emma needed help in were handwriting and coin recognition. There's always something, I suppose. It was good to see her doing so well with reading comprehension and math. Plus it was fun to just see her for a little, as I don't get to again until Thursday.

Sam reported that he played chess as usual during lunch yesterday, and got checkmate within five moves against a moderately good player. That was neat to hear, not only that he's doing well, but that he's making friends and fitting in. His homework is increasingly caught up, and school isn't quite as overwhelming as it once seemed.

The holidays are coming up and plans are getting finalized for Thanksgiving, Sam's birthday, school furlough days, and winter break. Jamie and I had a productive chat yesterday and I think it's mostly sorted out. Joanna and I are trying to figure out a Portland trip.

Last night I went food shopping and helped Sam with homework over the phone as usual. The plan is to go swing dancing tonight. Life continues onward.


November 01, 2010 by Adam in Family

Halloween has come and gone, our neighborhood awash with hordes of children.  Emma wore four different costumes between Friday and Sunday - a kitty, a vampire or two, and someone wearing a nice dress and makeup.  Berry had two - Taylor Swift and a princess.  Duncan stuck with a lady bug.  Sam opted not to dress up this year, and cheerfully ate all the candy the smaller kids didn't want.  He feasted well last night and this morning.

In terms of the rest of the weekend, it mostly involved puttering about.  Saturday morning I took the smaller kids to the library while Joanna got a hair cut.  She was pretty wiped out, so she had a bit of quiet time while I finished painting the basement.  Everything but the main light is up at this point, so it feels good to finally get that accomplished.

The afternoon was full of birthdays and Halloween parties.  I took Emma to Kate's party, which had ten or so class mates.  Tom and Julie had done up their house in an elaborate fashion, and Emma enjoyed playing with the various skulls and fortune telling props in the basement.  As for me, I talked to a guy dressed as the Cat in the Hat who ran Emma's Coyote Kids program last year.

It was a low-key night, with Joanna and I watching Doctor Who since Sam wasn't around.  Emma had trouble sleeping, but finally crashed around nine.  There were chores in the morning, laundry and cleaning.  I was admittedly a bit grumpy, but perked up later in the day.  Everyone put on costumes for church, and we returned home to Sam at his computer.

We had a deliberately lazy afternoon, with everyone playing inside and out.  Halloween was fun, seeing everyone's costumes and watching Berry use her cuteness to haul in the candy. Emma had trouble sleeping again, so four of us watched Chuck and went to bed.

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