Post-Christmas Farewells

December 29, 2013 by Adam in Family

I bid farewell to Sadie yesterday morning.  Joanna made a tasty breakfast and went off to church.  The rest of the crew played board games and chatted all morning until it was time to send her off to her next appointment.  The rest of the day was relatively uneventful.  Sam and I played Spelunky and died in interesting ways.  Emma and I broke out the Mythbusters science kit, and later made a concrete stepping stone, placing glass in interesting patterns.  Later that night we took Sam and Emma to their mom's and went out for dinner, which was so late they didn't make us pay for it.

It was great seeing everyone for Christmas.  Emma and Isa constantly wanted to hang out.  The crazy, wonderful 19-people at the dinner table Christmas dinner was incredible and Joanna made an amazing spread.  We gorged on leftovers for days.  Sam was quite social, cheerfully chatting away with various relatives.  The only missing were Duncan and Berry, which we fortunately had a long video chat with a couple days later.

I ended up with a ton of clothes, which I was quite happy about.  Joanna secretly knitted me a hat, which kept me warm on a long hike a couple days ago.  I got Joanna a spinning wheel, and she's been maniacally making yarn ever since.  Emma loaded up on art supplies for one of her gifts, and Sam was showered with money for the Steam game sale.

I'm off to work today, though I'm taking New Year's Day off and the following Monday.  Joanna leaves for the east coast in a few days.  Normal life returns soon after.

Back from Portlandia

December 24, 2013 by Adam in Family

We rolled into town a couple hours ago, tired but happy.  It was a fun adventure to our weirder city to the north.  Joanna was busy in the morning at church while I cleaned the refrigerator and did Christmasy things.  After lunch we hit the road and checked into Lucia for the night (I'll skip the part where I got the reservations completely wrong).

We headed off on our adventure, stopping by the Pioneer Square tree and finding our way to Andina's for Peruvian food.  We ate delicious, good-looking food, and I ordered a Sexy Lady upon the advice of a gym friend.  It was quite overwhelming and made me cry, as all sexy ladies should.  There was a brief required visit to Powell's Books.  We returned to our hotel to watch The Sound Of Music, which I somehow missed in all my years.

In the morning Sam and I texted each other briefly, Joanna and I puttered about, and we headed for breakfast at the Bijoux Cafe.  We were informed that our coffee was organic and grown on an all-women's cooperative, "even before Portlandia," according to our waitress.  The pancakes and coffee were perfect.

We stopped by the Nordstrom Rack to buy far too many knickers for Joanna, went to the yarn store for a certain sized needle, and returned to check out and collect our car.  We took some time for the gluten-free bakery, stocking up on goodies, and drove south to Albany to watch Catching Fire (that's when the complicated intersection of driving time and movie starts intersected).

Joanna and I staggered home, she cooked up some tasty dinner, and thus ended our eating and shopping adventure to Portland.  I wrapped some presents, Joanna knitted, and we finished up an episode of Call the Midwife.  Time for bed.

We're on our way!

December 23, 2013 by Seraph in Cortez

See you all in a few hours!

The Christians and the Pagans

December 22, 2013 by Adam in Joanna

Joanna sung at the solstice celebration at church last night.  It was lovely and well received.

A Brief Moment of Silence

December 21, 2013 by Adam in Adam

I rarely post in my own section of the blog because honestly, it's never just me.  Kids, Joanna, or my extended crazy family swirl about in the happy chaos that is my life. 

At the moment I'm alone in the house.  Sam and Emma went to their mom's on Friday.  We sent Duncan and Berry off to the airport with Kevin at 3 a.m.  Joanna left for her Christmas performance at church.  It's quiet and peaceful in the house, one of those rare moments that never happens for long.

Today was crazy productive.  I managed to:

  • Dry and fold laundry (without a clothes dryer)
  • Put up more Christmas decorations (Joanna was missing the banners on the ceiling).
  • Rake the yard
  • Dump kitchen scraps into the compost pile
  • Sweep up the broken flower pot
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Fix the table leg
  • Replace the broken kitchen light switch
  • Build and sand a small desk for the treadmill

At this point I think I'm going to take a breather then get ready for the evening show.  Cleaning the refrigerator can wait.


December 21, 2013 by Adam in Emma

Emma's teacher took some pictures and video over the last six months, some of which Emma appears in.

Pre-Christmas Mocha Friday

December 20, 2013 by Adam in Family

I'm at home and haven't made myself a mocha.  Emma is opting out of a Skate World trip, so I'm taking her to school at noon.  Duncan and Berry are off to school in PJs, an end-of-the-year treat.  They leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow with their dad, who stopped by last night to read bedtime stories.  Sam and Emma are off with Jamie until next Tuesday.  Sam's got a bit of a sore throat, but dutifully headed off to school.  I think everyone is a little wacky about the upcoming changes.

I'm going to make myself a mocha, eat my chocolate covered espresso beans, and dial in to work.  I have a huge list of house projects to keep me busy for the next few days, and then my lovely family descends upon us.  Can't wait to see you all.

Straight A's

December 20, 2013 by Adam in Sam

Sam got straight A's for his first term of high school.  He also only missed two days, mostly the result of powering through times when he felt lousy.  The only days he missed were the two before Thanksgiving when he was deathly ill.  We all raised a glass (of milk) to him at the dinner table and shouted "hip, hip, hooray!"

The Plan

December 18, 2013 by Adam in Family

I sent this out as an email, but I'm posting it here as well in hopes of getting everyone.  I suspect I missed some people, so please pass it along . . .

Okay all.  As usual, getting everyone coordinated for the holidays is like herding cats.  Here's everything I know about the plan for the next week or so.

Friday the 20th
Sam and Emma go with their mom

Saturday the 21st

Duncan and Berry fly to Rochester

Sunday the 22nd
Joanna and Adam go to Portland

Monday the 23rd
Sadie and Greg arrive in Eugene
Lohring and Ana arrive at noon
Adam and Joanna return from Portland
Seraph, Isa, Robbie arrive around 7 p.m.

Tuesday the 24th - Christmas Eve
Sam and Emma arrive mid-morning.
Lohring and Ana leave at 3 p.m.

Wednesday the 25th - Christmas Day
Joanna is planning Christmas dinner for all comers
Jamie takes Sam and Emma to lunch (or something)

Thursday the 26th - Boxing Day
Baby shower at Jenny's

Friday the 27th
Seraph and Robbie leave early.

We'll have three bedrooms to put people up (including the lovely shed).  Not
sure who's staying with us - just let us know.  We have a couple
vehicles for moving people about.  I'm not working the whole week.

The one day everyone will be here is Tuesday for lunch.  Perhaps we can
throw together something for a gift exchange with Lohring and Ana,
family picture, and chatting.  I'm going to try to get in touch with
Jenny.  My thought is that she can host people on Monday (since I'm not
coming in until later), and then people can congregate at our house
Tuesday at noon.

I'm not working the whole week and
can probably take some time off the following week.  I'll have Sam and
Emma for much of the time starting Tuesday.

Sound okay?  Please get in touch if people know where they'll be sleeping,
things they want to do, and so on.  I'm shooting for happy chaos, which
is as good as it gets with our family.

First Christmas

December 16, 2013 by Adam in Family

The weekend is wrapping up.  We successfully made it through our first Christmas, ten days early due to Duncan and Berry going to their dad's house next weekend.  Duncan and Berry awoke at the crack of dawn, and we staggered downstairs to drink tea and get ready for the opening of presents.  I woke up Sam and my mom arrived.  Everyone excitedly opened presents as we sipped tea.

I got a custom Minecraft t-shirt with pictures of our family server, built up over the many years.  Berry ended up with a stuffy Star Trek enterprise, which I thought was so cool.  Sam got a joystick which he excitedly used to play flight simulators all day.  Joanna got a Doctor Who throw blanket.  Duncan got an electric fish bowl (with robot fish).  Emma got a Marcelline figure from Adventure Time.  It was all most excellent.

Joanna left around lunch to a church event.  Emma played Just Dance 2014 for a long while.  There was reading and Minecraft.  I played a bit of Black Flag.  We all came together for a rousing game of Dixit with the new cards.  It was an excellent day.

Saturday was good as well, moving backwards in time a little.  Emma and I spent a bunch of time together, and all the little kids and I went to the library.  After lunch Emma went to multiple stores for Christmas shopping mayhem.  The day wrapped up with pizza and Bang Goes the Theory, as usual.

Tomorrow is work and school, but it's fortunately short and followed by a week off school.  Life's good.

Slushy Mocha Friday

December 13, 2013 by Adam in Family

It's a school day!

The children aren't nearly as excited as the parents for some reason, but they all dutifully got ready on this combined Monday/Friday and in Sam's case, the first day of the Winter term.  It's all quite exciting.

I'm going to see if the car will start after so many days of inactivity.  I suspect it's fine, and the roads look a little slushy, but I don't think I'll need chains.  Returning to normal sounds quite nice.

I've been working from home the last two days, and occasionally hanging out with kids.  I got a massive icicle for Sam, which he made me take a picture of.  There were plenty of video games in the evening.  I picked up Emma from her mom's house, and delivered Jamie to work yesterday.  The weather has made us all quite accommodating.

We're doing our family Christmas this Sunday afternoon as Duncan and Berry go to their dad's the next Saturday.  We've got presents to wrap and things to get ready for, but I think we're generally on target.  I can't wait to see all my siblings when they arrive in about a week.

Snowed In

December 11, 2013 by Adam in Family

We continue to be surrounded by snow and ice.  It was terribly pretty the first few days.  With no school and being stuck at home with children, Joanna and I are getting a little stir crazy.  The kids seem happy, playing video games, reading, and making the occasional outing into the snow.  Joanna turned into a Christmas Machine (her words), creating all sorts of presents and paraphernalia for the holiday season.  Our first Christmas is in four days, as Berry and Duncan are heading to their dad's house for a few weeks.  As for me, I'm working from home and occasionally getting pulled away by kids to play a video game or two. 

I think we've mostly adjusted to the snow.  We've got hot water and figured out how to flip the breaker back when the power shuts off.  There's one circuit that has computers, heaters, and the basement treadmill.  I was running yesterday and was unceremoniously jerked to a stop in the dark.  You get used to it.

Joanna took Berry and Duncan off to the park yesterday, sliding over a little jump and having a good time.  Emma's getting dropped off today, so maybe I can take everyone on this last day of snow.  Sam hit the treadmill hard yesterday, two stints of 40 minutes or so.  I think he's enjoying his anime show.

I suspect tomorrow is back to normal, as it looks mostly above freezing.  We'll have two days of school, a weekend, another week of school, and then no school until next year.

Never a dull moment.

Generic Heading

December 10, 2013 by Yayoe in Yayoe

No Hot Water

December 08, 2013 by Adam in Family

I think I've got the Christmas spirit up to my eyeballs.  Yesterday both Joanna and I got to the point where the snow became less charming and more of an obstacle.  At the moment our hot water is off because the cold water pipe that goes to the outside gas water heater has frozen.  I've got a heater and warming pad set up, but no luck yet.

Saturday morning I hooked up the chains on the minivan and we set out to fetch Emma from her mom's house.  The hills were a little exciting, but we made it okay, if twice as long as usual.  After we got the girl, we picked up a Christmas tree at a nearby lot.  It was weird, after so many trees from the farm, to get one that was perfectly conical and had neatly trimmed, dense branches. 

We made it home, and Sam arrived soon after.  He and Jamie walked the 40 minutes across town.  We decorated the tree and puttered about.  Towards evening, I grabbed Sam and Emma and we drove to get our weekly pizza.  It was an adventure, but all went well.

This morning I stuffed everyone with crepes, pancakes, and bacon.  Joanna and Duncan headed to church.  Berry and Emma are playing in the basement.  Sam wants me to play video games.

The hot water is still off.

So Many Games

December 08, 2013 by Adam in Adam's Games

I made it through the Steam Thanksgiving game sale only slightly unscathed.  I've yet to play The Wolf Among Us, the new Civilization expansion, and Spelunky.  What I have been playing is Assassin's Creed: Black Flag and Starbound.

Black Flag is a great pirate game, where I play as a scoundrel captain sailing the Caribbean.  I keep improving my main ship and I have a fleet of captured ships I keep sending off on trade missions.  The main storyline is decent, but I'm having the most fun capturing other ships, harpooning sea life, and diving undersea wrecks.  I'm admittedly somewhat guilty with the whaling, though I entertained everyone with my Captain Ahab impersonation when I found and caught the elusive white whale.

The other game that we've all been playing is Starbound.  It's a lot like Terraria, mining and exploring and such.  The main twist is that you're in a galaxy with tons of planets.  You fly a space ship around and explore strange places both on the surface and underground.  It's still a beta, but an entertaining one.  I'm the sole human in the family - Sam's a bird man, Emma's a plant person, and I think Duncan is some kind of robot.

I'm busy playing away as I wait for the pipes to defrost so we can get hot water again.

Snowy Mocha Friday

December 06, 2013 by Adam in Family

I'm currently chewing on chocolate covered espresso beans, given to me in the form of an advent calendar by my lovely wife.  It's more like a rationing system, as I overdid it last year and couldn't stop eating them once I opened the bag.  The consequences were significant.

It's been snowing crazy all morning.  I woke up early and excitedly checked the outdoors, and then we were woken by Berry who wanted to go outside immediately.  To top it off, St. Nick arrived in the night, putting presents in front of everyone's doors.  It's an exciting day.

We went outside and started assembling Fort Kickass, our snow defenses against the Millers across the street.  It's a semi-annual occasion.  They added Flynn to their list of able-bodied warriors, while I recruited Berry and Duncan.  It promises to be a glorious year.

I'm kinda sorta working today, though we'll see how much I manage.  Joanna is walking to the U of O to do a volunteer mentoring thing.  My mom was going to babysit while I worked, but she has a bad cold and I don't want her moving around in the snow.  I think I'll soon have to feed and entertain a horde of children, at least until Jamie gets Sam and Emma sometime today.  Then I'll have a slightly smaller horde.

We've got date night today.  I've suggested to Joanna that we walk down to Willamette Street for dinner.  We'll see what adventures await us.

More babies!

December 05, 2013 by Sue in Wielesek

More happy news in the family. Meggie's oldest daughter Callie is pregnant, and is going to have a boy. The baby is due April 15 or thereabouts. She and her husband Will live in DC, and she has a job similar to Sadie's - that is, she gets to work from home, preferably in her jammies, I hope.  You know that all three of Meggie and Dick's kids, and three of my four kids have birthdays which fall within a two month period. What can I say, Seraph?  It was probably a cold winter...

Second Thanksgiving

December 02, 2013 by Adam in Family

We had a lovely, pleasant three day weekend.  Friday morning I scooped up Sam and Emma where we did as little as possible for the next few days.  That night we celebrated Emma's half birthday, with Joanna making her a lemon poppy seed cake and she got an Adventure Time book.  There was also pizza and actual Mythbusters after a long delay due to Sam's sore throat.

Saturday I took the younger kids to the library, where they were all well behaved as usual.  Berry ended up with a huge haul, including a book on the excretory system.  Awesome.  Emma suggested that Sam and I play sleeping bag gladiators that afternoon, which ended up exhausting us all.  Eventually we staggered over the hill to my mom's for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was the usual chatty tasty affair, with the salt/sugar mixup being the only small fiasco.

Sunday was pretty low-key.  Joanna and Duncan went to church.  The rest of us went off to the woods at Hendrick's park to hike and play hide-and-seek.  After a short stop at Humble Bagel we returned home.  Somewhere in there we made and painted clay dragons, the girls drew a bunch, and I played a tremendous amount of my pirate game.  The sea shanties keep drawing me back.

Everyone is ready for work and school this morning, parked temporarily in front of computers until we leap out the door and into the unknown once again.

What's My Name Again?

December 02, 2013 by Adam in Wielesek

Betsy was looking through her mom's diary and came across this entry.

Happy birthday Robbie!

December 01, 2013 by Seraph in Cortez

I took Robbie and Isabell to Ojo Caliente for a nice dinner and late night soak.  I have no idea how we made it home, as every bone was on relax mode!  Today we've had a nice little birthday breakfast and presents before I head out to work. Poor Isa has been sick, so she went back to bed after the presents.  

The holiday weekend is wrapping up...sigh...can we please have 3 weeks of snow days before winter break?

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