Mardi Gras, Snow, and Play

February 28, 2012 by Adam in Family

I wanted to post a video of the weekend's activities.  I had forgotten about our brief blizzard, which blanketed the yard with a lovely layer of white.  It vanished as quickly as it came.

The girls were especially cute over the weekend.


February 28, 2012 by Seraph in Cortez

Yesterday Isa and I went to visit Chester at the vet.  She's appears better, but not well enough to come home yet.  The vet said the next 24-48 hours will be important - whether or not she's really getting better or not.

After dinner Isabell had a spill on her roller blades (in the house).  She bumped her knee badly, but Robbie (like any good father) reminded her that she wasn't allowed to be too hurt because we'd have to shoot her or Chester.  We can't afford to have them both injured! 

Other than the little bumps, life continues along.  I subed at Dixon yesterday for the 5/6 grade class, and today I'm heading down to Santa Fe to run errands. 

Sick Kid Monday

February 28, 2012 by Adam in Family

Sam and Emma were both home sick today.  Emma was borderline, having been sick all weekend.  Sam was clearly pretty wiped out, and slept for 13 hours.  Both are on the mend, with Sam resting in bed and listening to Ready Player One.  Emma listened to Dragon's Breath and made little paper houses and people in her bedroom.  Joanna very sweetly came by to visit for lunch, which I greatly appreciated.

The weekend was generally pleasant.  We had all kids on Friday, and went out to Charlemagne for the carnival.  Emma was pretty draggy by then, so we sat in the car after hitting up the snack table.  Duncan and Berry thoroughly enjoyed the games, returning with all manner of prizes.  We tucked everyone to bed, and the three of us watched Portlandia and Arrested Development.

Saturday was fairly low-key.  We had a hearty breakfast.  The girls painted. Joanna took Duncan and Berry to a post-Valentine's Day party.  Emma and I finished her Australian stuffed animal (some sort of ant eater thingie).  Sam finished his school book and picked his This I Believe topic, learning through mistakes.  Much laundry and house work was done.  I played a little Borderlands with Sam, Matt, and Josh.  The day wrapped up with pizza and Mythbusters.

Sam started getting a little wonky on Sunday, likely due to impending illnesses.  He got frustrated with his moldy cheese science experiment, descending to his room to rest for awhile.  Emma had some great moments with Berry and Duncan.  After watching old family videos, she got Duncan playing Pretty Pretty Princess.  Joanna worked diligently on the front planting box, while I planted carrots, peas, and radishes in the raised beds.  With the snow and hail, I'm thankful I put up the cloches.

All-in-all, it was a pleasant weekend, if a little tiring at times.  Joanna has a class tonight at church.  I have a tub to caulk, Sam's homework to coordinate, but otherwise am planning a boy's night, likely with zombie-filled shows.

Mardi Gras Mocha Friday

February 24, 2012 by Adam in Family

My mocha has vanished, caffeine cheerfully bubbling away in my veins.

We've had reminders of Mardi Gras throughout the week.  On Fat Tuesday, we stuffed ourselves with crepes.  Berry has been making harlequin masks at school.  Tonight we're going to the Mardi Gras carnivale at Duncan's school. I suspect tonight will be a bit of a madhouse, but hopefully we'll survive and perhaps enjoy ourselves a little.

It's a full house this weekend, with Sam staying with us.  We don't have any grand plans.  Duncan has a post-Valentine's Day party on Saturday.  I have assorted house projects.  Sam and Emma have a bit of homework.  Still, I think we'll have a generally low-key weekend, which tend to be my favorite kinds.

The Cheese

February 24, 2012 by Adam in Sam

Sam's done a pretty good job catching up with all of his school work.  He often seems to get a little behind due to illness, and at midterms there are surprises that mean everyone has to scramble to catch up.  Unfortunately Sam can get somewhat despondent along the way.

Fortunately we're all caught up, and working away at the end of the term projects.  For his biology class he's studying decomposition based on my recommendation.  We've made a poster of cheese, each treated differently, and are taking nightly pictures of their decomposition.  The one in water is turning to mush, the salted one is strangely pulling water out of the cheese, the control cheese looks slightly dry, and the one in dirt is sprouting mold all over the place.

Sam also hates writing about personal things, and he unfortunately has an assignment where he's required to do so.  The examples in class involved things like overcoming anorexia, dyslexia, or the death of a family member.  Sam was complaining that nothing terrible happens to him.  I suggested making up a story about a dyslexic sister who died of anorexia, but he wasn't buying it.

Love in the Verizon Store

February 23, 2012 by Adam in Family

A random customer in the Verizon store came up to me last night and said that Joanna and I were a very cute couple.  I took it as a good sign.

We both got new phones last night, a slightly delayed bi-annual Valentine's Day tradition.  We went with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which has great specs, as well as being "pretty" according to Joanna.  The one failing seems to be lousy battery life, but Verizon has a sale on a slightly bigger battery, so those are on the way.  We're still both figuring out how all the new features work.  The voice chat was pretty cool.  The latest version of the Android operating system is pretty slick.  All-in-all, I'm happy with my purchase.

Counting blessings

February 23, 2012 by Seraph in Cortez

I suppose I should be counting my blessings and not my bank account balance.  We took Chester into the vet yesterday, where they thought she may have Parvo.  After shelling out several hundred dollars to get her on IV's and have her tested, Isabell and I headed home. 

Happily we got a call from thevet in the evening and the test for Parvo came back negative.  They think she may have eaten something toxic and then became really dehydrated from vomiting too much.  It won't be cheep, but she'll get better. 

Then... shortly after that happiness the buzzer on our septic tank went off.  Sigh.  The guys are coming out to pump it today.  Good thing we all get paid on Friday!  Septic tanks are one of the difficult parts of rural living.  Because we live on a very small (.25 acre) lot, we have to have a specialized, and very small, tank.  They installed in in June, so it looks like every 6-7 months we'll need to have it pumped.  I guess the upside is that our property taxes are only a few hundred dollars a year (yippy for sales tax)!


February 22, 2012 by Seraph in Cortez

We had an amazingly relaxing weekend.  The house got cleaned up, furniture rearranged, and a lot of movies were watched.  At school (for Robbie and Isabell) this week is really low-key.  Yesterday there was a school wide field trip to the family fun center in Taos.  The kids got to go swimming and ice skating, and everyone had pizza for lunch.  They have regular classes today and tomorrow, and then their last ski trip is on Friday.  Even with all of this going on, the teachers were panicing yesterday as they realized that there were only 9 instructional days until testing starts (it will last for about 3 weeks).

Today Isabell is home sick.  We've all been trading colds around, and even the puppy (Chester) is sick.  I'll take her into the vet this afternoon.  Sadly, while I can feed my kid Tylanol and cold meds, the dog will cost a lot more :(

Thank You, Mr. President

February 21, 2012 by Adam in Family

We had a wonderful three day weekend thanks to Presidents' Day.  Sam and Emma went to the coast with Jamie until Sunday afternoon, so it was surprisingly quiet.

On Friday, Joanna and I went out to eat sushi and look at new phones.  We didn't quite pick one, but I think tomorrow night we'll be formalizing the arrangement.  My current phone is painfully slow at times, so I'm eager to get one that's moderately functional again.

Saturday morning I stuffed B&D with crepes as usual, and Joanna and I ate gluten free dutch babies.  It's so tasty and easy - I'm craving it already for next weekend.  I left late morning and went off to Jerry's for supplies, as I had a long to do list.  Over the next few days I managed to replace the cutting board, put up cloches in the garden beds, recaulk the tub, and probably a few other things I forgot about.

We headed to Springfield to watch Berry and Duncan's dance routine.  Berry was a little nervous, but they both did quite well.  We didn't have a clue as to what their dance routine was, so it was neat to finally get to see it.  Jessica showed up as well to show her support, which I thought was cool. 

led up characters and dragged me down to the basement.  Our game went really well, and continued to the next day.  I love how the two of them work together and cheer their successes.  It was a lovely sibling moment.

The day wrapped up with pizza and Mythbusters, and the next morning was crepes all around.  Joanna worked from home, and Jessica watched D&B in the afternoon, taking them to minature golf and ice cream.  Sam, Emma, and I essentially played all day, with a short break to chase chickens and rumpus in the basement.

All is well.

Way Too Much Coffee Friday

February 17, 2012 by Adam in Family

It was great having both kids home last night.  Everyone was pleasant and funny around the dinner table.  Both Sam and Emma really wanted me when I arrived home, and I bounced between the two of them, helping them out with their various tasks.  Joanna graciously helped Emma with her school project, which involved making a stuffed animal - some sort of ant eating marsupial whose name I forget.

I had breakfast with my mom this morning, which was pleasant as always.  The Glenwood supplied me with an endless bounty of coffee.

Joanna and I are going out tonight, likely somewhere for dinner and then off to look at cell phones.  Good times.

The Vomitorium

February 16, 2012 by Adam in Adam

I think I got food poisoning last night.  I started getting a headache after dinner, which got worse even with painkillers.  I woke up around midnight in excruciating pain, ate some cereal and more painkillers, and tried to get back to sleep.  That didn't work and I ended up writhing around in Emma's bed for most of the night.  Somewhere around three I started throwing up, which was strangely helpful.  I finally got to sleep close to five, and was woken up by Joanna as she was about to leave for work.

The moral of the story is to not eat those indian spicy food packets from the ethnic section of the store.  I think I'm going to stick to actual food that I prepare with my own hands using fresh ingredients.  Fortunately I was the only person who had any last night.

I'm feeling much better at the moment, working away from home and waiting for pain killers to kick in.  What was an amazing amount of pain is now just a slightly annoying ache.  I'm going to start getting ready for work and then head in.  Maybe I'll skip the gym and go for a walk during lunch, depending on how I feel.

Post-Valentine's Day

February 15, 2012 by Adam in Family

It was a pleasant Valentine's Day, beginning with presents at the breakfast table.  Joanna unwrapped her gravy boat, which was deeply symbolic of my love for her.  She gave me a funny look and discovered the box with earrings inside.  The kids got their cards and goodies as well.

Jamie and I met for a long while at a coffee house that morning, talking about the kids and child support calculations.  I think we have things sorted out.

I felt vaguely guilty getting into work so late, and left a little early to pick up goodies at Sweet Life.  Sam showed off all his candy wrappers.  He was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who gave him candy throughout the day.  Mostly the night was full of homework, as Sam is completely swamped with a major project coming up.  I called Emma and wished her a happy Valentine's Day.  I'm excited to see her tomorrow.

LA Noire

February 13, 2012 by Adam in Adam's Games

I've been enjoying LA Noire, playing a detective in 1940s Los Angeles.  The gameplay consists of finding clues, talking to suspects, and occasionally running/driving/shooting my way to a conclusion.  The stories are quite interesting, and I particularly enjoy the immersion into the time period.  Occasionally I find myself wandering around town in my car, or stepping out to look at a store front. 

There's not all that much to do, other than the major cases or minor street crimes that sprout up around town.  Still, I'm enjoying that sense of belonging and the emotional stories that draw me in.

Egg Drops

February 13, 2012 by Adam in Family

Friday night was crazy fun.  First was the crazy part, taking Berry and Duncan to the carnival at Emma's school.  The madness level was high and I'm thankful we made it out with our lives.  Afterward Joanna and I went out to Cosmic Pizza to chat and pretend we were a young, hip couple.  It was fun.

It was a fairly pleasant, low-key weekend.  Emma came home late on Saturday, and we had a good time puttering about.  We ended up going through my old memory box, finding all sorts of strange treasures.  I came across the old "Sorry about the egg problem" note that Seraph send me when she was a little kid, so I had to take a picture and send that to her.  Emma found an old piece of art that's now in her room.  I organized a bit and cleaned out some space so that we could use the downstairs kitchen area as more of a pantry.

Sam arrived on Sunday and we had a fairly busy day.  I made pigs in a blanket, which was generally appreciated.  We then arranged an egg drop off the balcony.  Tensions were high, but I think the majority enjoyed themselves. 

Science Girl

February 13, 2012 by Adam in Emma

Emma has been having fun with science as of late.  Last weekend her fish died, and we stuck it in the freezer as she wanted to dissect it.  I'm not quite sure how much hard science was done, but I think Emma found it quite interesting.


In the final semester

February 10, 2012 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Greg has 11 more weeks of his undergraduate math career. He's applied to teaching fellowships at UMass Amherst and Math for America in Boston, but may also explore other options. Either way, we'll be moving this summer to somewhere with sidewalks, which is exciting.

Work is great, and I'm getting work work on a variety of projects that stretch my liberal arts and public policy backgrounds. I also get to write articles for True Impact's blog and manage our Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media accounts - a good way to learn the field. 

Since the giant, crippling snow storm of Halloween, it has snowed once, so the New England landscape has a barren post-apocalyptic creepiness. I'm definitely looking forward to spring, our June visit to Eugene, and our August scotch tour of Scotland. 

Our meat CSA has finally finished, leaving us with a freezer of pork and beef. Any chuck steak/pork ribs/sausage/ground beef recipes are welcome!

Tuckered Out Mocha Friday

February 10, 2012 by Adam in Family

I'm beat.

Fortunately my mocha lies before me, slowly being sipped away.  It was pretty crazy yesterday, where I hit the ground running and never really stopped.  On the plus side, both kids got all the homework done and Sam is well on his way to getting caught up again.  Joanna has been sick for much of this week, though Emma and I are mostly recovered.

Tonight we have a carnival at Emma's school, and then Joanna and I are going somewhere for dinner.  Tomorrow Duncan has his chess tournament.  Emma arrives around noon.  I'm going to try really hard to take it easy.

Hanging in There

February 08, 2012 by Adam in Family

Sickness is coming through our house once again.

Emma was sick Monday and Tuesday.  I started feeling achy yesterday, and have been mixing Mochas and Advil throughout the day.  This morning Berry was super cranky, and Joanna is currently staying home with her (though she feels lousy too).

Joanna was off on a work trip from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., so I juggled everyone myself without too much trouble.  My mom came to help, which was great.

Hopefully everyone will perk up by the weekend.

Rearranging the Weekend Away

February 07, 2012 by Adam in Family

I have no idea what happened to us Saturday morning.  Sure, I could blame the mocha or the bright sun streaming through the windows.  Whatever the cause, Joanna and I went on a massive spring cleaning of sorts, getting rid of unneeded things and rearranging as we went.

Sam's cluttered desk is now bare.  Our shelves have been cleaned out of weird knick-nacks.  We moved Emma's computer desk by the window and moved Joanna's never-used desk downstairs.  Everything looks quite neat and tidy.  To finish the job, Emma and I worked together to clean up her room.  Her endtable mess has been neatly filed.  The weird bag of things has been gone through and put away.  Such blissful organization.

The weekend wasn't all about rearranging.  Berry and Duncan ran around, their usual wacky selves.  Duncan is quite proud of his ability to feed himself.  I causually showed him how to get goldfish crackers for himself, and now we find them vanishing at an alarming rate.  Berry ran across Emma's old vampire teeth and decided to wear them for much of the morning.


Joanna worked on taxes all Sunday morning, finishing before I did.  Sam arrived for buttermilk pancakes, which were completely devoured.  Emma and I took apart the air swimmer and made a boat of sorts.  The tail flapped and propelled it through the kiddie pool.  I got Sam outside as well and the two of them did crazy stunts on the swings.

We played and ate and chatted the day away.  Mythbusters and pizzas were enjoyed.  The weekend wound down.

I worked from home today, as Emma was feeling under the weather.  I was mostly productive, checking up on her periodically as she listened to books on tape in bed.

Mocha Friday

February 03, 2012 by Adam in Family

Work continues to be busy after my big go-live earlier this week.  I'm hoping my mocha-fortified brain can tackle the last of the issues and achieve application Nirvana.

Joanna is staying home with Berry today.  She was sick yesterday and slept for fifteen hours.  This morning she was in bed playing with glue and sequins.  And maybe some mystical portal to the nether world.  Hard to tell.

Emma was complaining about eye issues before school, but I think she's okay.  Sam seems recovered from starting up his workouts at school again.  It no longer hurts to laugh.

I asked everyone what they wanted to do this weekend.  Emma wants to clean the fish tank.  Joanna wants to do taxes.  Sam wants to work on our game.  Duncan is all about watching Sonic videos and playing video games.  I have a few house projects, and would love to read a little, but otherwise a quiet weekend sounds wonderful.

Winding Down the Week

February 02, 2012 by Adam in Family

Thursday already.  Strange how that happened.

It's generally been a good week.  Our insurance companies ended up paying more than we expected due to the lost jewelry.  I think we impressed them with our criminal catching ways and recovery of all the laptops.  Taxes for me also look pretty good so far.  My life has been in such transition that I never know if I'll owe anything or not.  The end result is that I feel much better about buying wedding rings, paying for a wedding, and trying to arrange a honeymoon of some kind. 

Joanna and I went out last night for sushi and did some wedding planning while we waited.  I think our guest list is manageable, and hopefully we can get invitations out soon.

Sam's been working away at homework.  He's decided he's not fond of Spanish, and his health class is making all his muscles sore.  He is improving, however, and noted that he could now do three push-ups instead of none.  He's strangely enjoying biology too, accidentally learning something about cell biology by reading the textbook in an otherwise unexciting class.  He also picked up Ender's Game, one of my favorites that I've been trying to get him to read for years.  Sam thought it was pretty great, and he only just started it.

I think Berry might be a little sick these days.  We've had some changing of the sheets in the middle of the night, grumpiness at school, and a sore throat this morning.  Fortunatley everyone else seems okay.

Today is an Emma day and I'm excited to see her tonight.

Making Movies

February 02, 2012 by Adam in Emma

Last weekend, Emma ran around, conscripting everyone to make movies for and with her.  There were a variety of commercials and a documentary, followed by a wedding.  After you get through my goofy parts at the beginning, it gets much better.  There's even a bit with the gerbil.

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