Science Weekend

July 30, 2012 by Adam in Family

I had a lovely, quiet weekend with Sam and Emma.  Joanna left crazy early Saturday morning.  I got up with her at 3:45 a.m., made her tea and oatmeal, took out her bags, and then stumbled back to sleep.

Sam slept in, so Emma and I got in a lot of science in the morning.  We took the tarnish off my earring with salt water and tin foil, looked at the mushrooms growing in the coffee grounds, and built an electronic circuit.  Eventually Sam arose just as we headed to the library, stocking up on assorted books for everyone.

Eventually we returned home for lunch.  The kids wanted to play "secret assassin", which devolved into sword fights with foam swords.  On the plus side, both kids seem interested in learning fencing at this point.  Perhaps I can start taking them.  Dinner was pizza and Mythbusters, as is the way of our people. 

In between adventures I watered lawns, did laundry, and helped Emma clean her room.  She went for a "magical" theme, which is currently pretty sparse.  Still, it looks good without the clutter.

Sunday was equally quiet.  Emma and I went out to the pet store to get fish tank cleaning supplies and poked around the bookstore.  We played outside on the swings and set things on fire.  There were more foam sword fights in the basement.  Sam and I played GTA IV, doing crazy things like seeing how far we could launch cars into the air.  Emma excitedly made a little D&D module for me, and she DM'ed a game that involved me getting brussel sprouts for a dragon.  I love my little nerdlings.

Dinner was a tasty affair of beans from our garden, apple sauce, corn, and veggie meat-like-products that Sam declared pretty tasty.  After we got Emma to bed, there was laundry, watching Tabletop, and a little more gaming.  It was a good weekend.

Joanna, Berry, and Duncan are on their way home.  Last I heard, they were flying back from Chicago in a plane that had My Little Pony on the television.  I think it'll be a good flight.

Mocha Friday

July 27, 2012 by Adam in Family

I feel so much better today.  It's as if rainbows and puppy dogs frolicked all around me.  The mocha helped too.

Busy day at work, trying to catch up with everything and keep the world from collapsing.  It feels good to be invaluable, though.

It's been great to see the kids the last few days.  Emma and I worked on her Solar Kit that we brought back from Ashland.  She definately has the Miller focus at times, and is surprisingly good at working with her hands.  I should teach her more electronics.

Sam continues to enjoy his new computer.  I'm working on getting him more focused on self-maintenance.  Joanna asked him to bring in groceries when I was sick.  He also made his own peanut butter and honey sandwich, asking little details like "how much honey do I put on?"  Next step - yardwork.

Joanna leaves crazy early in the morning tomorrow to fetch Berry and Duncan.  I'll miss her.

Deathly Ill Today

July 27, 2012 by Adam in Family

I ended up with food poisoning today and spent the day moaning in bed or throwing up.  My work folks were concerned about my wellbeing when they tried to get to my Internet site and it went somewhere weird.

Fortunately I'm (mostly) alive and well now.

Back to Work

July 25, 2012 by Adam in Family

We're heading into work momentarily, after a lovely honeymoon in Ashland.  I periodically checked e-mail so as not to be overwhelmed, and people were generally understanding of my absence.

The honeymoon was great.  We spent our days luxuriously reading, shopping, going out to eat, watching shows, and the like.  I amazingly read two books.  We finished a 1,000 piece puzzle, somewhat obsessively.  Assorted presents were purchased for kids.  We saw a musical based on 1950s music.  We visited with an old friend of Joanna's.  I had such a good time that I want to do it again next year.

Last night we drove into town, unloaded the van, dressed up for a work event in Cottage Grove, and then stopped by my mom's to give her a birthday present.  We stumbled home, exhausted.

I'm excited to see Sam and Emma today.  I'm coming home a little early to take Emma to a checkup.  In a few more days, Joanna will go fetch Duncan and Berry and life will return to normal.

Here's our exciting video.

Happy Birthday Mom!!!!!

July 23, 2012 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy birthday to the bestest Mom ever!!  We love you lots and hope you have a fabulous day!


July 21, 2012 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I are on our honeymoon, enjoying each other's wit and charm.  We just finished breakfast in our incrediby cute apartment.  She's doing puzzles, and I'm putting my book down for a few moments.

Yesterday morning was spent getting ready and hanging out with kids.  Emma played Fable 3 after breakfast.  It turns out that some of the memory was bad in Sam's computer, so I took out the broken SIMM.  Next the new power supply caused surges, so I put the old one back.  It's working for now.  The morning wraped up with "secret assassin" in the basement with Sam and Emma, which is their new favorite game.

After the kids went to Jamie's, we hit the road and worked our way down to Roseburg for lunch.  We puttered about longer than expected, finding the one hippie bookstore/juice bar in town.  There were some spellbooks I thought about getting for Emma, but Joanna wisely warned that Emma might use them on us.  We continued our drive to Ashland, reading Colette's diaries to keep us greatly entertained.

We found our apartment, which was part of an old house divided into fourths.  It's a perfect fit for the two of us, and very cute.  I'm now a fan of VRBO, which hooked me up with this place.

After arriving we picked up food at the nearby Safeway, fixed up dinner, and wandered out to a pub to listen to music.  Everyone was exceedingly friendly - I got compliments on my new Pac Man shirt and multiple people said hello.  We stopped by the co-op and picked up some great natural foods, then finally wandered home for a quiet evening. Joanna started her 1,000 piece puzzle and I'm halfway through a book.  Reading is such a luxurious treat for me.

I think we'll walk downtown in a wee bit.  There's a music store Joanna wants to explore.  I've heard rumors of a comic book store for grownups.  We're meeting a friend of Joanna's for lunch.  Should be fun.

Birthday Boy

July 20, 2012 by Adam in Family

I'm officially 43 now.  When we went to the library yesterday, Emma asked "Do they have books on crotchety old men?"  Swell.

Wednesday night we met up with Joanna's marketing group - the Emerald Valley Marketing Association I think it's called.  We got a behind-the-scenes tour of PK Park, which was actually fairly interesting.  I managed to find something vaguely vegetarian for dinner, and we watched half the game.  Joanna mostly wanted to hang out with Sluggo, for which I was fiercely jealous of.

I picked up Emma yesterday morning, taking the day off for my birthday.  She excitedly gave me her present, a book called "Goodnight iPad" which was a spoof on Goodnight Moon.  She hadn't had breakfast, and I'd only had oatmeal, so we ended up getting pancakes at the Glenwood.  We returned home and puttered around in the garden, setting up sprinklers.  Sam arrived, and Emma and I made a trip to the library.  I loaded up on books, as I think I'll actually have time to read something.

The afternoon was spent chasing chickens, getting ready for my party, playing video games, pillow fighting in the basement, playing catch on swings, and generally hanging out.  My mom bought a coin collection that Emma ended up getting paid to categorize and appraise, which she did quite diligently.  Emma really got into Sim City 4, hopefully learning a little about city planning in the process.

Dad, mom, Bob, and Jenny all came for my shindig.  The presents were great.  The food was wonderful.  We huddled under the patio umbrella for a brief summer thunderstorm.

Now it's the crack of dawn and we're soon off on more adventures.

Happy Birthday Adam!!

July 19, 2012 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy birthday Adam!  I hope that you have some fun with the family today!  Lots of love from the NM branch.

Country Fair Weekend

July 16, 2012 by Adam in Family

I had a great weekend with the kids, and Emma, Joanna, and I went out to the Fair to have wonderful adventures. 

Friday night had Joanna and Sam going off somewhere to take over the world.  Emma kept me company, which was nice as I hadn't seen her for awhile.  She was pretty wonky after staying up late with Kate the night before.  Jessica said she slept for a couple hours that day.

Saturday was hot and I felt unenthusiastic about doing much work.  We accomplished a few things, and wrapped up the day with our traditional pizza and Mythbusters.

Sunday morning Emma and I went out to water the garden, discovering woodpeckers communicating by drilling on our metal chimney cover.  They were all around the neighborhood, chatting away.  I whipped up buttermilk pancakes, which were absolutely delicious.  Late morning we hopped on a downtown bus and headed out to the Country Fair.

The Fair is always like visiting an exotic country, with strange architecture, people, and food.  Joanna and I had a code word (which was "codeword"), any time a half naked person wandered by.  Emma thought the whole thing was quite amusing and mostly focused on the food and cool stuff at the shops.  We ran into a variety of people, explored, and eventually wandered home.  Emma slept on the bus ride back, exhausted.

Sam slept until one in the afternoon, and I tried to hang out with him as much as I could.  We played Arma II, played catch on the swings outside, and all went to the basement to play a game we made up called "Secret Assassin."

The game is basically about lying, probability, and swordfighting.  We'd pass around Lego blocks and the person who had a white one was an assassin and the blue ones were guards.  In a typically game, the assassin would try to convince the others that they were a guard, and launch a surprise attack on the others.  We'd mix it up with different numbers of blocks, some people not looking at their blocks, and sticking the block to their forehead with tape.  It was fun, exhausting, and educational.  I learned that Emma is a very good liar, while Sam couldn't lie.  I'm not bad when I need to be.

Now we're back at work.  The kids are getting picked up a little later than normal, as evidently Jamie's schedule has changed.  They'll all return for my birthday on Thursday, and then Joanna and I are off to our honeymoon.

Still Employed Mocha Friday

July 13, 2012 by Adam in Family

The work craziness continues, but I'm increasingly assured that I'll have a job for the foreseeable future.  Unfortunately I'm not sure the same is true for some of my coworkers, and I'm hoping they find a place to land on their feet.

Sam's back, and loving his new computer.  Wednesday night I did a ton of housework while assembling it and installing Windows.  I love that rush of satisfaction when it turns on the first time.  Last night we started transferring everything over, which continues today.  Last night he played a game for the first time, pushed the graphics settings to the max, and kept exclaiming "I love it!"  I want to get his laptop's cooling problems sorted out and set up a synch process so he can take it to his mom's house.

Emma's over at Kate's house, having slept their last night.  She should be home soon, and I'm excited to see her.  I've got that fidgety feeling after they've been awhile for awhile.

Joanna bought herself a uke last night, a pretty purple thing that she's been enjoying immensely. 

Tomorrow we see a special preview of Ice Age 4.  Sunday is the country fair.

Time to go to the gym.

Mid-Week Update

July 11, 2012 by Adam in Family

I've had two and a half job offers and suggestions the last few days.  The level of work nuttiness has increased to eleven.  I'm pretty sure I can ride it out, though everyone seems to be polishing off their Linked In profile.

The house is very quiet without any kids.  Joanna and I have been taking the opportunity to tidy and organize in peace.  Yesterday the new refrigerator arrived, and this morning I heard "I love you refrigerator" coming from the kitchen.  Sam's new computer is coming in pieces, and I did a little rearranging in preparation.  I suspect I'll assemble the thing tonight.  Maybe next week I'll tackle the tub grouting project.

Interesting times.

Farewell Weekend

July 10, 2012 by Adam in Family

I'll probably keep this short, as work is busy this morning. 

The weekend was bittersweet.  We played with water balloons outside on Saturday and had a great time.  Rocket cars were assembled from Legos and fireworks.  Joanna packed up the kids and got them ready to go.  We had a final pizza and Mythbusters, played Terraria, and even Sam spent some quality time with Berry and Duncan.  Kevin stopped by to tuck the kids into bed, which they both appreciated.

In the morning we got up early and stuffed crepes into the kiddos.  Kevin arrived and the transition went mostly okay.  Duncan cried for awhile, not wanting to leave.  I think he settled down once he was on his way.

The rest of the day was pretty quiet.  We all played games, tidied, and worked on projects.  I got around to weeding in the garden, sealing up some cracks in the concrete, and putting my old computer into a new case that fit the massive cpu cooler I bought.  The kids and I got some good play time together.  We ate outside, hung out, and tried to cheer up Joanna.

Monday morning I took Sam to the dentist.  Jessica and Emma did projects, played games, and went out on an adventure.  That night Joanna and I bought the rest of our wedding presents from Target, which were discounted due to them being on the registry.

Work is pretty crazy.  We just got an announcement of layoffs, potentially including half our team.  I don't worry about my own position, as I'm absolutely needed by all.  I fear our team may not survive the reorg, and people may end up leaving out of the uncertainty.  Nothing is happening short-term, though by the end of the year it'll theoretically happen.  We'll see.

Broken Refrigerator Friday

July 06, 2012 by Adam in Family

So the refrigerator died this morning.  Joanna was brilliiant under pressure, moving all the food to our downstairs fridge while I tried to troubleshoot the problem.  After everything had been moved, I came to the realization that it probably makes sense to buy a new one.  Poor Joanna got quite the workout.  I think we'll end up going shopping for a new fridge at lunch today.

The kids arrived last night and we had a generally pleasant evening.  Emma and I went outside to set off a few fireworks, though I still have a ton remaining.

I'm already starting to miss Berry and Duncan.  They'll be here tomorrow, and then head to Rochester Sunday morning.  I think they're feeling a little anxious.  I hope they have a good time on their adventure.

It's likely a quiet day tomorrow, packing up the kids and taking care of fridge issues.

Fourth of July

July 05, 2012 by Adam in Family

It was a quirky Fourth of July.  Sam and Emma were at their mom's, though I saw them briefly when Emma came to collect her Kindle.  Duncan and I played Terraria while Joanna slept, emerging to whip up a big batch of crepes.  We worked on projects until it was time to gather supplies.  Duncan and I went to the hardware store, where he talked non-stop.  We picked up a ton of fireworks, where they had set up a bouncy house to entertain the hordes of children.

I made a fancy little shelf for the netbook above the treadmill.  The kids will no longer have to reapply the tape to hold it in place.  I also fixed a fan in my computer that kept falling off and banging on things.  Sam's getting a new computer, and I bought the parts.  It'll end up being fancier than mine.  We also puttered in the garden, let the chickens out, and generally took it easy.

After dinner we lit up sparklers and such.  Sadly we were interrupted when we found out Duncan had left the bathroom faucet on and flooded the basement.  Again.  Sigh.


July 03, 2012 by Seraph in Cortez

Isabell has been fighting strep throat since we've returned from OR.  I think the worst of the fever and sleepless nights is over, but she's still feeling cruddy.  

Robbie headed out to camp training this morning.  He'll return on Thursday for a few days, and will hopefully know if the camp willstay open.  The forest service has closed the area where the camp is due to extream fire dangers.  If the rain season kicks in this week things may be back to normal.

I've started training for my weekend job at Vivac winery, and should officially start mid-month.  

We were able to visit Hanni in her new apartment yesterday for brunch.  She's all unpacked and starting to look relaxed again.  Later this week Alex and Anne will be out for a visit.  Always a great excuse to get the house cleaned up! 

Chicken Monday

July 03, 2012 by Adam in Family

I was woken up at 4:30 this morning by the chickens, who were freaking out. I wandered down and gave them food, as they were empty. Fifteen minutes later they started up again. It turned into Guantanimo in the back yard, and every time they made a horrible noise, I hosed them down. After ten or so times, they finally quieted down. I ended up not able to get back to sleep, and had a mocha this morning to stay semi-functional.

Duncan opened some more presents on Sunday. In particular, he liked the Portal turret stuffie that Sam got him. It has motion detection built-in, which thrilled the kids to no end.

Sam, Emma, Duncan, and I went down to the park where we played with track balls and giant frisbee discs. Sam and I did a bunch of programming through the day, fixing and breaking things like mad men. Sunday we had family dinner and chatted with everyone.

Sam and Emma are off for a few days. Hopefully I can catch up with sleep and work on some house projects.

Busy Kids, busy us

July 01, 2012 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, the day after everyone left, taking a page from Granny's  book, to keep myself from missing everyone,  I washed sheets, all thoughtfully stripped, and tackled the piles of miscellaneous stuff which had managed to accumulate.

Sadie, bless her heart, went through all her papers, art from third grade, math books from first grade, etc, etc, and winnowed out stuff she did not want to be permanently attached to for the rest of her life. I have a couple of 20% off coupons for it UPS and the books packed in one box to go media mail, so I'll ship it off in the next week or so. I promise I don't have any terrible disease, but I can feel my knees getting a bit arthritic, and if Bob and I move to the little house, we will need to downsize.

Destin came over to help me on Thursday, and we really got a lot of work done. He filled up the window washer on the Honda and Anna's car, lubricated the locks, door joints, etc, and helped me clean out the shed. We dug out the old floor computer to sell or take to the recycle place. I'm going to try to sell my copy machine, which will last for another 20 years but isn't compatible with my new computer.

Adam and I talked a bit more about a trip to France next summer. They would also like to see Hawaii, which feels like a great family trip.

I want to thank those of you who anonomously (okay, I know it's not spelled correctly, but at least I still remember the difference between its and it's.) left me good coffee. I have these mysterious bags of Stumptown and Peets.

I am thinking today about Sadie and Greg moving, and wondering how hot it is there. I'm not sure, but I think Robbie is off to camp for orientation today.

Anyhow, love and hugs to all, from yer old Mom


Birthdays and Water Balloons

July 01, 2012 by Adam in Family

Since Duncan will turn seven while in Rochester, we threw an early party for him yesterday.  It was a madhouse, but relatively well managed one.  The Calvin and Hobbes themed event was amusing for all:

ent.  It was glorious fun.

As for the other events in the weekend, I was woken by chickens at five in the morning.  Evidently they were out of water.  Emma is using all her Christmas and birthday money to buy a Kindle, which arrives Tuesday.  She's quite excited.

I think all the kids but Sam are going to church this morning.  We've been programming off and on, and I think we'll end up doing some of that during the brief quiet.  We have family dinner tonight.  Other than that, I look forward to hanging out with my family and lovely wife.

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