Mocha Friday

July 30, 2010 by Adam in Family

I just finished the last of my mocha, that delicious elixir perking me up for a day of coding fun.  I get to see Sam and Emma tonight, after a week away.  Joanna's been dreaming of being pregnant in high school, which she decided was a symptom of Glee withdrawl.  Hopefully we can remedy that tonight.

The unpacking and settling in continue.  I bartered with Todd across the street to help move couches in exchange for grape jam.  The kitchen feels fairly well put together, and last night I assembled the guest bed in the shed.  Joanna's cat Hobbs is making friends with the neighbors.  Collette is still staying with us through tonight, but her apartment should be ready to sleep in tonight.

The basement and garage are still filled with boxes, but we continue to slowly move things to where they're supposed to be.  Joanna and I simulaneously came to the conclusion that we have to have a minivan soon, so we're busy looking at Odysseys and Siennas all over the place.  There's simply no other way to transport four kids from place to place.

Life's a little chaotic, but good as well.  The house will soon be full of activity and kids and excitement relatively soon.


Ana's Birthday

July 28, 2010 by Lohring in Lohring

I had a fun weekend at Ana's.  Her birthday was Saturday and quite a few of her relatives that live here came to celebrate her 60 years.  I wanted lots of witnesses since my present was an engagement ring.  She said yes after some persuading.  I think she was surprised. Her niece's husband sang "Crazy" for us.  He doesn't do Patsy Cline for just anyone.  LOL

Our offer on a coast house was also accepted.  It's localed on Siletz bay and is new, built in 2007.  We got a very good deal.  You all need to visit after we get settled.  It has three upstairs bedrooms with a huge room for the kids.

Vacations and More Moving

July 27, 2010 by Adam in Family

All the moving is done now.

At least, that's the theory. Tonight we're making a final drive down to Creswell to pack up the cleaning supplies and clean anything that remains dirty. Hopefully it won't take too long, but so far my estimates have been sorely optimistic.

Joanna and I had a lovely time at Eagle Rock Lodge. We drove along one road near where Sam and I went hiking early this year. Once we found the lodge and toured the grounds, I immediately recognized the big Eagle Rock that Sam and I rafted past just a couple weeks ago. Our room was bedecked with fishing decor, strangely charming. We fell asleep in the hammock by the river, waking to the sound of screaming teenagers as they rafted past.

The next day we drove over to Sahalie Falls and enjoyed the scenery, before sadly returning to Eugene to pick up the U-Haul. From that point on, it was lots of loading and unloading, without the help of two strapping young lads to help out like last time. Sometime around eight o'clock I unloaded the last box, swept the truck, and Joanna drove it back. The garage and play room is a maze of boxes, calling out to be unpacked and put away. Joanna's mom is staying another night or two as her apartment isn't quite ready for her. The plan is to get the common areas in order before digging into the piles of boxes stored below.

Still, it feels great to have it finally done. Life feels like it's moving on.

Five Days without Children

July 25, 2010 by Adam in Family

I picked up Sam and Emma yesterday morning and we had a pleasant, low-key day of hanging about the house and getting used to the changes.  Emma thinks Hobbes is pretty awesome, and spent much of the time petting her and hanging out.  Of course, being a cat, it does make it hard to join in the fun with my allergies.  I managed to sneak down for fifteen minute stretches to visit.

Joanna had to work for most of the afternoon, so the kids and I hung out until four o'clock.  We visited Jenny and her boys for a birthday BBQ.  The kids and I swam, hot tubbed, and jumped on the trampoline.  After having a good time, we returned home to get Emma to bed, and Sam and I stayed up late fighting zombies together on the computer.

This morning was our traditional crepes and whip cream breakfast (along with sausages, gluten-free pancakes, and hot chocolate).  Hopefully that'll fortify everyone for the week ahead.  Jamie left, taking the kids.  Collette and Joanna returned to Creswell for last-minute necessities.  I made a big salad using greens from the garden.  Now I'm just waiting for Joanna to return before we sneak away for an evening together.

Tomorrow we're renting another U-Haul to pick up the rest of the things at Creswell.  Hopefully it won't take too long.  The rest of the week will be unpacking and organizing, with my kids returning Friday.  I like how the house is slowly coming together.  After the Death Swing broke, we were down to two swings.  My playground equipment package arrived and I replaced it with a real swing yesterday.

I think I'll enjoy my brief time in a quiet house, perhaps mend a pillow or nibble on fruit.



July 24, 2010 by Adam in Family

I'm exhausted, nearly twelve hours of hauling Joanna, Duncan, Berry, and Collette's things from their Creswell house to Collette's new apartment and my house.  Collette is folding laundry and keeping an eye on Hobbes.  Joanna is upstairs soaking.  I should probably eat food and consider sleeping, but I'm in a bit of a daze.

The morning started wonderfully, waking up with no children in the house and no where we needed to be at the crack of dawn.  We langorously arose and met up with my mom at the Glenwood for her birthday.  There was a little present and we coaxed our waiter to light a single candle we put in her oatmeal.  Songs were sung.  Wishes were made.

Next was getting the U-Haul and getting Richard and Miguel to help move.  They were amazing and it would have simply been impossible to move without them.  Next followed the usual packing, moving, taping, swearing, and eventually getting everything to their appropriate places.  Obstacles were overcome.  Scrapes were had.  Bodies were exhausted.

I managed a little Skype with Emma, who seems to miss me terribly.  I look forward to seeing her tomorrow morning bright and early.  It's going to be really weird not seeing them until the following Friday.  From a practical standpoint, we have lots of work unpacking left.  Still, I miss them already.

Time to ponder going to bed and maybe eating an apple or two or ten.  I'm exhausted.



July 22, 2010 by Adam in Family

It's been a busy week for me, so much so that I've forgotten to post for awhile.

Joanna saw her kids off to Rochester, where they've been occasionally webcamming.  It's strange not having Berry and Duncan about, with certainly less giggling in the household.  Joanna's essentially moved in at this point, though her funiture and such remains in Creswell until tomorrow.  I'm celebrating mom's birthday by taking her out to breakfast, followed by hours of moving heavy things around.

We had a moment of panic when Collette's first apartment fell through, but fortunately another magically appeared just a few blocks away from my mom's house.  It'll be nice having everyone so close, and should make hauling kids about much easier.

Sam and Emma seem in good spirits, enjoying hanging out with Josh Monday and Wednesday of this week.  Part of the time they worked for my mom, with Sam paying off his debt he used to buy me a birthday present.  The Death Swing broke, so I bought a real one, along with some climbing holds to attach to the shed to make a climbing wall.  Emma continues loving the chickens and eating snap peas from the garden.  My mobile phone awesomeness paid off when I got a two-for-one deal at Ben and Jerry's with my Foursquare prowess.

Last night and tonight we'll be packing more boxes in Creswell, with a small break for a counseling session tonight.  I think we're going to sneak away some time this weekend to celebrate being child-free for the first time in ages.  After that, it's a week of unpacking when Jamie takes the kids to Bend for the week.

Marshall and McKenna's big project

July 22, 2010 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

My project list is on hold while I pack and move this week and next, but I wanted to share a complete house remodel from my dear friends Marshall and McKenna. I'm totally floored by their work, much of which they did themselves!

Their year-long journey is captured with beautiful pictures here:


July 20, 2010 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy belated birthday to Adam!!  Happy early birthday to Mom!!

I can't believe it's been almost a month since our last posting.  Yes, we did get rain.  It comes most afternoons between 3 and 5pm, rains off and on for an hour or so and then stops.  Very nice!

I've been busy with work, and Robbie has been busy with school and job hunting (yes, hunting is more appropriate then searching).  We're starting to get excited for Isa's return in August, even though everything else feels in limbo.

Swings and Chickens

July 19, 2010 by Adam in Adam's Projects

In between birthday festivities, we managed to coordinate a few house projects. The first was the arrival of the chickens. Joanna and I covered the bottom of the chicken tractor with a metal fence to keep out raccoons and the like. Saturday Joanna rounded them up and brought them over, much to Emma's delight. Emma loves watching them and feeding them. This morning when Josh arrived to watch the kids, she immediately brought him over to show off the chickens. The chickens evidently had a pretty good move, as Emma found one egg from both of them yesterday. She fried one up and gobbled it up eagerly. I also managed to turn the all-wood Death Swing into a Padded Death Swing, affixing pipe insulation with pretty brass furniture nails. Sam and I did some Mythbuster-like tests where we swung it into each other without causing significant injury or discomfort.

Birthday Boy

July 19, 2010 by Adam in Family

It's my birthday today, and had a lovely weekend full of food, family, and chasing children. Joanna made a gluten-free version of my favorite potato cake, which turned out delicious. Chickens arrived, much to Emma's amusement. Saturday I scooped up the kids from Jamie's house and the kids immediately made me open their birthday presents. Sam had bought me a Starbuck's gift certificate and Emma wrote out various coupons to do the dishes or play with her. Joanna and her kids arrived at noon, along with chickens. We played and baked cake and got ready for the evening potluck. The kids watched Princess and the Frog via Netflix, which is looking to be a pretty cool service for $9 per month. Eventually my family began wandering in and we ate and chatted and played some more. Eventually everyone got to sleep and Joanna, Sam, and I watched Glee. Sunday was our usual hearty breakfast, followed by Joanna, Duncan, and Berry going off to church. Emma wanted to hang out with my mom, so Sam and I got some rare time together to go for a bike ride. He was tentative at first, but eventually got pretty comfortable. We went to Roosevelt to get used to the ride, stopped by Starbucks to cash in his birthday present, and returned books to the library. Once everyone returned, there was another round of eating and playing. I bid farewell to Berry and Duncan, as they left for Rochester this morning to spend time with thier dad. The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy, working on chores and going on a trip to the park with the kids to frisbee and eat sour cherries. It promises to be an exciting week. Joanna and her mom are spending the next few days packing, and Friday we move. I'm having a birthday breakfast with my mom, followed by renting a van and moving things around. This Sunday Sam and Emma are off to Bend for a week, so it's going to be strangely quiet for awhile. Life's good.

Sweet Mocha Friday

July 16, 2010 by Adam in Family

It's a pleasant Mocha Friday, made all the sweeter by my barrista upgrading my beverage after  hearing about my upcoming birthday.

I don't have any exciting news from the last couple days.  I picked up some fencing from True Value to stick to the bottom of the chicken tractor after work, and then had dinner at Joanna's house.  We watched an episode of the $100 home makeover show that had one of her friends in it.  I think I managed to sleep over nine hours last night, which was truly remarkable.

This weekend should be fun, with birthdays and moving chickens.

Rafting the McKenzie

July 15, 2010 by Adam in Family

I had a pretty amazing day yesterday. It was Isa's last day, so I stuffed the kids full of crepes, whip cream, and sausages. I sent them all outside to play, doing a bit of clean up work in the garden while they skateboarded and swung. After packing for the trip, my mom treated the kids at Metropol and I got a haircut. Finally we drove past Vida, met up with our guides, and took a shuttle to Finn Rock to start our rafting adventure. My dad, Destin, Jordan, Isa, Sam, Emma, and myself all went along. Emma and I were in one raft with some others, while the rest of the crew took the second raft. Emma was pretty tired, having got up at four in the morning (she shared a bed with Isa, which evidently didn't go well). Fortunately the cold water and rapids perked her up and she was smiling and jumping in the water. The other raft was only visible a few times, when we got close enough for squirt gun fights. They seemed to be having a good time, though. Our guides had a constant banter going, as one of them was the daughter of the woman who owned the rafting company. Eventually we returned home wet, tired, and happy. I got the kids off to Jamie's in time for Josh's birthday party. I went for dinner at Joanna's, and then off to swing dancing. I still feel like a novice compared to most people there, but we had a great time moving about to old sultry tunes. Two more days of work and then it's my birthday weekend. Lots of changes with Berry and Duncan visiting their dad, Joanna's brother and nephew heading home, and Joanna beginning the moving in process. The plan is to move Joanna and her mom on the 23rd, and if anyone wants to come along to provide moral support, they're much appreciated.

Summertime Fun

July 13, 2010 by Adam in Family

It's been an exciting three-day weekend.  I had the kids on Friday, so Joanna and I spent our date night making Duncan's birthday cake.  It turned out really well, and since it was in the shape of Dora, it was a huge hit.  There was Glee watching later, much to Sam, Joanna, and my amusement.

Saturday morning the kids and I hung about, with Emma joining me for a library run.  Joanna and crew joined us for lunch.  I helped entertain everyone while Joanna took a short nap.  Emma started talking with an English accent around Christopher again.  As three o'clock rolled around, a horde of small children descended on us.  It was madness, but the birthday boy had a good time.  After everyone left, we played with water balloons and had a good time.

Sunday Joanna and her kids went to the country fair.  I had planned on going, but Emma backed out, and I regretfully decided to stay.  The rest of the morning I moped about and did chores.  The house ended up spotless, though I still wish I'd gone.  Eventually they returned, packed up, and headed home.

Isabell has been a wonderful house guest, and Emma has loved having her around.  We got into a huge water balloon fight with the neighbors and everyone got soaked.  Today the girls tried on clothes, made music videos, and used the backyard swing.

I took Sam to the doctor for his physical today.  He's completely massive.  Later we got him new pants and he wears a size sixteen.  We visited Joanna and work before heading to Splash for exhausting wave fun.  It turns out Emma really likes the water slide.  Eventually we went home for chores, play, and relaxation.

Project Four: Wedding Table Cards

July 11, 2010 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

One of my college friends asked me to make her table place cards for her wedding next weekend. I think they look a bit like vegetable seed packets.

These are the fronts and backs, all individually stamped. Whew!

Project Three: Peach Melba, Pear Ginger, and Rhubarb Jam

July 11, 2010 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

In order to justify packing and moving all of my canning supplies, I decided to fill my jars with jam. I now have peach, pear, and rhubarb jam to carrying me (and most likely a few neighbors) through the winter. Rain came yesteday, calming last week's heat wave. I've been watching my downstair neighbor's animal kingdom, which includes a toy poodle, boa constrictor, fifty gallon fish tank, half dozen hamsters, white feeder mice, and a dozen finches. I'm just glad they didn't liquify from the heat while in my care.

Sweet Mocha Friday

July 09, 2010 by Adam in Family

I've downed the last of my delicious Friday mocha and am now munching on peas from our garden, picked fresh last night. It's amazing just how good they taste in comparison to buying peas from the store, shipped from countries unknown. It's nice having vegetables year-round, but nothing beats local produce.

Wednesday night Joanna and I went out to song circle, singing in the forest with a group of now-familiar aging folk song enthusiasts. There were several Beatles songs in honor of Ringo Starr's 70th birthday. Thursday was my errand day. I went grocery shopping after work, coming home to give all my plants a good soak after a couple days in the 90s. The blueberries are getting tasty, and I have enough greens to make salad for weeks. I had a nice long webcam with Sam, where we chatted about him finishing his Mass Effect game, and he recommended online videos. Poor Emma had a headache and was under the weather.

I'm picking up the kids tonight from Dave's house, as Jamie's going to the beach again. I've promised Sam an episode of Glee, which he's excited for, not to mention starting Mass Effect 2. Tomorrow is Duncan's birthday, so it's a cake making date night for Joanna and I. On Sunday we're off to the country fair to watch naked people in body paint dance about. Good times.

If A Tree Falls On An Office Building, and No One's Around

July 07, 2010 by Adam in Family

Jamie got a note from John, letting her know that a tree fell on the office. It doesn't look too bad from the picture, but maybe you should call when you get back into town.

Oh, and you're still good watching the kids tomorrow afternoon, mom? No rest for the weary. :) Welcome back.


July 07, 2010 by Adam in Sam

I managed to convince Sam to go to one camp this summer, a four-day archery camp. It seems they do a lot of other things besides shooting bows, but he seems to come home each day relatively cheerful, telling stories about assorted misadventures.

Yesterday he told us about the scrape on his knee, which he got playing "hamster ball." Evidently they take a big plastic ball, zip a kid up inside it, and fill it up with air using a leaf blower. He said it was loud, uncomfortable, and he had a great time moving it around an obstacle course.

This morning I gave Josh instructions that he had to put sunscreen all over, as it's going to be 95 degrees today. Last night Sam asked what happens if you sunburn your bones. Hopefully it won't come to that.

Epic Heat, Epic Shopping

July 07, 2010 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Yesterday, for mom and Isabell's final day in Boston, we mapped out and explored every kid's clothing store between Back Bay and Downtown Crossing, from couture to H&M. Despite the hundred degree weather (no exaggeration! Our lieutenant governor is still in the hospital recovering from heat stroke), both of them held up for six hours of relentless shopping. Isabell valiantly tried on every item I pulled off the shelves and brought home her first beloved pair of skinny jeans. Mom also picked up a couple hundred items for other grandchildren. We all managed to stay nice to each other and reasonably hydrated. It was a vacation miracle. 

Yet More Teeth

July 06, 2010 by Adam in Emma

Emma's been playing with her dangly front tooth for weeks now, as it barely held on by a thread. This morning she woke up, gave me a hug, and realized it was no longer in her mouth. We searched around and found it on the floor. Time for the tooth fairy to break out the wallet tonight.

4th of July Weekend

July 06, 2010 by Adam in Family

The weekend was a blur of people, food, and explosions, three days long and so full that I'm not quite sure where to start.

Assorted house projects were completed.  The rope ladder went up, a nice addition to the two swings.  There's a pretty dragonfly knocker on the shed now.  I mulched part of the front garden.  Peas and lettuce were picked.

Joanna and her family came over several times for food and hanging out.  Emma started talking with an English accent towards the end.  There was pizza and Mythbusters, lunches, and assorted hanging out.  Emma fed peas to Berry in the chicken tractor.  My dad visited for a long while on Saturday, which was nice.  It had been a long while since I'd seen him, so it felt good to get back in touch.

Sunday involved cooking hamburgers on the grill and setting off fireworks that night.  Emma stayed up until nearly ten, well past her normal bedtime.  This was the first year the fireworks seemed pretty exciting to her.  Sam opted out of watching fireworks from the balcony.  We looked out the window at people setting off big fireworks at Washington Park, but otherwise stayed inside.

On Monday, Sam went to his first archery class and generally seemed to enjoy it.  He ended up with a bit of a sunburn, so this morning the sunscreen was liberally applied.  He gets to actually shoot arrows this morning, which hopefully will make it even more exciting.

The next few weeks are getting increasingly challenging to plan.  There are birthdays, events, moves, visits, and all manner of things to schedule.  Seeing Isa again this Sunday will be nice.  Jamie asked if she could take the kids to the beach this weekend, which I'm still mulling over.  It's a little last minute and it means missing out on some planned things.  Hopefully I can talk to them tonight.

So, life feels busy and full.  It's exciting, and occasionally overwhelming.  In some ways it'll be nice to have things settle down a bit next month.

Mocha Friday

July 02, 2010 by Adam in Family

It's been another pleasant summer week, and a nice Mocha Friday in particular. Wednesday Joanna and I drove up to pick up her brother and nephew. Christopher is an interesting guy, diving in the Galapagos last week, and talking about buying a house in France. Arthur is exceptionally cute, with a proper English accent as well as being fluent in French. Thursday I took off so that Jamie could work and I watched the kids. I exchanged the raft that burst last week and upgraded to the Fish Hunter model. We had a great time paddling around behind Autzen Stadium and discovering nature. Sam found a mud bird's nest under a bridge that was pretty cool. We had a somewhat lazy evening. I tried to get the kids to help build a rope ladder, but the distractions pulled people away. Emma watered the garden, at least. I showed Sam Sim Earth, which you can download off the Internet. We had a great time terraforming Mars, and I think he managed to wipe out a civilization or two. The kids were picked up by Jamie this morning, bright and cheerful. I handed over the first of my very large spousal support and child support checks. We're not entirely settled, but there was something strangely satisfying with getting on with things. Hopefully we can get the rest sorted out and get on with the business of raising kids. Joanna and I are going to try and listen to some music tonight, and tomorrow we're going to shoot for a mass expedition to Saturday market. I'm not sure how the rest of the weekend will pan out. All I know is that Saturday night is pizza and Mythbusters and Emma wants to raft again. We'll see how it goes.

Boston Town

July 01, 2010 by Sue in Wielesek

A lovely smiling Sadie picked us up from the airport after a trip which came off without a hitch. Bob took us to the airport at about 4:30, miraculously finding an open donut shop on the way.

He was a wonderful trip companion on our tour with Isa. He manages to be both playful and gentle in his directiveness with Isa, and she in turn was just a lovely travel companion. She and Sadie are going off on a walk before we all go to see Eclipse. Oh, and Seraph, we stopped for an ice cream at the Biggest Small Cone Place" I've ever seen. Next time I'm getting the "Tot" size.

This little town is a wonderful small New England town, and the house Sadie and Greg have their apartment in is a beautiful old old house. In fact, the room I'm sitting in has the old wide boards as flooring.

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