Mocha Friday

May 31, 2013 by Adam in Family

It's another Mocha Friday, that delicious mixture of inspiration, focus, and chocolate.  As usual, it's been a weird week.  As I told Sadie a few days ago "It's all life and death from this point on."  I still have to make decisions on which t-shirt to wear on casual Friday, but I've got the biggies too.

For the most part, life is good.  Summer is around the corner, with the kids counting down the days until school is out.  I'm not feeling particularly well prepared for the big Europe trip, but I have faith that it'll come together.  I've yet to figure out our budget with Joanna not working - it's practically impossible with so many unknowns.  She has a phone interview at the U of O today, and she might get that job.  If not, she'll probably start freelancing again and it will likely take a while for her business to grow.

I've been having fun with the kids.  Duncan always wants help installing a new Minecraft mod.  Berry and I do our various acrobatic tricks when she declares she's bored.  I've been giving Emma pointers as she plays Fable 3.  Last night Sam and I worked on his poetry anthology until ten o'clock at night.  Whew.

Joanna has been really busy this week and sadly all our babysitters are busy.  No date night this week, though it'll be nice to just have some time to hang out with her.  Mom - if you read this today and have an hour or so to play with kids, it would be great if we could just go for a walk for a little while.

Looking forward to the weekend.  I predict Mythbusters, pizza, and D&D in my future.

Final Choir Concert

May 30, 2013 by Adam in Sam

I went to Sam's last choir concert last night.  He was the tallest of all the kids there, well over 6' 2" in his dress shoes.  It was interesting watching him joke with friends and sing with some enthusiasm, quite the contrast to the relatively shy sixth grader. 

I think I managed to go to every one of his concerts over the years.  The sixth graders in last night's presentation sang the same songs Sam did three years before.

They Keep Growing Up

May 29, 2013 by Adam in Sam

Sam is now 6' 1" and perhaps halfway to 6' 2".  It's strange walking alongside this massive young man who I once carried around in one hand.

He's in his last days at Roosevelt, crazy busy with final projects.  Tonight I'm taking him to his final choir concert and helping him with his poetry assignment.  I think he's starting to really look forward to summer.

Last night we walked down to South Eugene High School for the 9th grader introductions.  The school seemed massive to Sam, and to be honest it appeared pretty big to me as well.  Somehow we crammed the cafeteria full of new students and their families, many of whom were familiar to me.  The nostalgia was intense as I pointed out the murals in the hallways, which were new and which had been there over 25 years ago.

I'm proud of Sam.  He's grown into an interesting, funny person that I love hanging out with.

Extended Families

May 29, 2013 by Sue in Wielesek

Hi, all, is mushy and sentimental for all sorts of reasons. One is that I just took a Vicodan, another is that I had a lovely cheery breakfast with Adam - that and dinner with Jenny on her birthday a few days ago just perked me right up. Finally, I looked as some old movies I had put on disc.

Anyhow, I want to do a bit of a report on Yayoe's surgery. I stopped to see her yesterday. It was a big concern to learn that the recupereration part did not go well. One of the meds, apparently a pretty standard one, nonetheless made Yayoe really really sick. It was so bad that she finally told the doc she couldn't take it any more. She says she's doing better, but her new hip seems to be reluctant to join the family. Sadie, give it a better name.

 John was there, as was a friend, someone she knew in Hawaii. Yayoe and I fumbled around just a bit, as we always do, explaining how we're related. (Note: I adopt the Russian method. Everyone older is either Aunt or Uncle, and everyone about my age is a cousin.) I refer to Margie, Anita, Yayoe, Anna, Hanni, and Sheryl (Bob's sister in Seattle) as my sisters-in-law.
Anyhow, Yayoe and I were chatting and I suddenly thought, "I like this woman sooo much. How could the Fates have sent such a good person in my kids' lives?" I often feel as though Lohring and I did you kids wrong by moving you so far away from those great Pennsylvania Dutch farmers who would have been available to you as extended family, and then am reassured by the extended family which you have here in Eugene.

Second First Anniversary

May 27, 2013 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Today is the second anniversary of our civil marriage. We ate a huge, beautiful meal at Hope & Olive last night, drank too much, and walked home in our fancy clothes. This morning, Greg made dutch babies and brandied fruit. 

After a long winter, we're looking forward to the return of our farm share, summer weddings and one long weekend on the San Juan islands in August. Greg is student teaching until late June, but gets to bike across Iowa in July!

Birthdays! Birthdays!

May 27, 2013 by Seraph in Cortez

happy birthday Jennifer and Emma! There are huge hugs flying all the way from NM to you.

Lovely Beach Trip

May 27, 2013 by Adam in Family

We had a fun beach trip, getting better weather than expected and spending some good time with my dad.  Saturday morning we had a leisurely breakfast of crepes, pancakes, eggs, and bacon, along with my usual mocha.  Next was packing up the car, plugging the children into shows, and heading to the coast.  It was a pretty drive, and Joanna and I chatted about future possibilities along the way.  My dad was waiting for us at his house and he showed us the tour of the new back balcony and rain-filled fire pit.

Joanna whipped up crab and salmon for everyone (except me), and I took the kids to the beach.  Sam flew a kite and named it Jeremy.  Emma found a tiny dead crab she took everywhere.  Duncan and Berry dug a massive series of rivers in the sand.  Eventually we returned to eat and get kids to bed.  Emma and I read her new Avatar book that Sam got her.  It's pretty cool, a massive tome with good artwork.  The evening wrapped up with Sam, Joanna, and I watching old Star Trek TNG and heading to bed ourselves.

Sunday was game day, with my dad coming for breakfast.  We then broke out all these old games, like Twixt and Win, Place, and Show.  Anna came over for lunch and conversation.  In an odd twist, Jamie called, asking for a ride home.  We met up at a Newport Starbucks and dropped her off on the corner of 18th and Jefferson.  It was a little quirky, but she helped entertain kids on the way home.

Tomorrow is Emma's birthday.  The plan is to stick a candle in a lemon poppy seed scone for breakfast.  Later in the day Jamie will pick her up to celebrate Emma's birthday for the fourth and final time.

Mocha Friday

May 24, 2013 by Adam in Family

It's been a weird week.

Joanna and I have been going through the normal, healthy steps around her impending departure from PeaceHealth.  She's been especially cheerful today.  The thought of having some time off this summer is appealing.  Her coworkers have been giving her lots of support.  The are likely plenty of opportunities for consulting in the future.  We'll see how it all turns out.

The kids have had a generally good week.  Sam decided to set his alarm in the morning at wake up at 6:30 before taking a shower.  Years of nagging have finally paid off.  He's also been exercising in the evenings - he had especially positive things to say about the Silver Linings Playbook.

Berry went as a witch to school this morning, as W was the letter for sharing this week.  Emma was super excited yesterday, especially about her upcoming birthday.  Duncan was his usual funny self.

Looking forward to the beach trip tomorrow.

Change is the Only Constant

May 21, 2013 by Adam in Family

Joanna got word that she's being let go this morning.  The alternative is that she move to Vancouver with a demotion, which didn't excite her.  I'm not thinking particularly happy thoughts about our leadership at the moment.

I had a good long run at lunch, which wore me out enough for me to think straight.  Things will change, though I'm not sure how.  Hopefully Joanna gets a fairly pleasant and relaxing summer.  There are job opportunities, freelancing, and school options.  We haven't really sat down to ponder them all in great detail yet.

I think we'll be okay financially, at least in the short run.  We've got some savings, and Joanna could take over some child care duties.  Longer term has questions, but we're fortunately bright and capable people.

Easter Sunday was pleasant and fun.  We stuffed ourselves with strange and exotic food.  Berry and Duncan entertained themselves throwing dirt clods in the back yard.  Sam supervised.  Emma tiredly drew, still tuckered out from her sleepover.

Last night Joanna and I had a pleasant stroll over the hill to eat at the Glenwood.  The neighborhood is beautiful this time of the year.

(Nearly) Ten Years Old

May 19, 2013 by Adam in Emma

Emma had a birthday party with her friends today.  Jade, Kate, and Daniel all arrived this afternoon to hang out, eat good food, and have an adventure.  Joanna outdid herself with a delicious lemon cake and treasure hunt.  A horde of kids ran up and down the stairs, then in circles around the house, only to finally find their treasure.  They had a great time.

Sam and I picked up PF Changs, as requested.  Emma taught Jade how to use chopsticks.  Daniel got picked up just as Mythbusters was winding down.  The girls are now very slowly going to bed, all three sleeping bags next to each other.  Hopefully they actually go to sleep before we do.

I'm really appreciating this age of Emma.  She's sweet and helpful, and quite loveable by everyone around her.  It's cool how she's become an avid reader.  Last night we hung out on the couch as she showed me her favorite Avatar episodes.

Mocha Friday

May 17, 2013 by Adam in Family

The week keeps zipping along.  I had a pleasant mocha this morning, now long gone.  Work is interesting and somewhat less frantic than usual.  I'm actually getting around to cleaning up some old stuff this morning.

The kids are all doing well.  Duncan had a bloody nose this morning, which we all handled like troopers.  Berry went around giving everyone tattoos with eyeliner.  Emma got sick last night, but hopefully will perk up for tomorrow's birthday party and sleepover.  Sam has been thinking about high school more and more, signing up for classes.  I convinced him that he should try honors English, which his teacher recommended him for.

Joanna and I didn't manage to have a hot date this week.  She had a work event on Wednesday, and our babysitter canceled last night.  We were forced to play with children.  Berry taught kindergarten classes to Joanna.  Duncan played with the Razor Hydra in the Tuscany Demo, while Sam played with them in Portal 2.

I think we're all slowly getting ready for summer.  It should be more relaxed in some ways, and more frantic in others.  We haven't yet nailed down the trip entirely.  There are some small things we need to sort out with the kids' schedules, but it's generally coming together.  I'm hoping to have some quality hang out time, a weekend for Joanna and I to celebrate our anniversary, and of course a fun Europe trip.

Emma's birthday party with friends is tomorrow, with two kids sleeping over.  Sunday is Easter at my mom's.  Life's never boring.

Mother's Day

May 13, 2013 by Adam in Family

It was quite the Mother's Day, full of work and hugs and playtime.  I woke up at 5 a.m., getting in a little play time before the first kid was up.  Pretty soon I was helping them pick roses while working on crepes and sausage for breakfast, and getting out Joanna's gifts for the ready.  She appreciated all the pottery I took the kids to make last weekend.  We now have plenty of serving bowls, lovingly bespeckled with hearts.

Emma wanted her room cleaned suddenly, followed by Berry wanting the same.  Both rooms ended up looking quite nice, though the effort was considerable.  Joanna and Duncan went off to church, leaving me to clean up breakfast and prepare for lunch.  I took the kids to my mom's to give her my very special mug I made.  Sam now towers over my mom, made more obvious by the hug.  I had to pry Berry away from the toys, as she was having a great time there.

Emma's been really wanting to play D&D, so I managed to throw together a game for her and Sam.  It was pretty time consuming, but fun and they both enjoyed it.  Duncan and Berry wanted in on the action, so I'm going to try one for them next Saturday if I can somehow fit it in.

The afternoon wrapped up with yardwork and a trip to Tasty Thai for dinner.  Sam's on the treadmill.  Time to get Emma in the bath.  Busy, busy.

Happy Mother's Day!

May 12, 2013 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Mother's Day everyone!  We miss and love you all!

Shiny hip

May 10, 2013 by Yayoe in Yayoe

Hi family. It's a done. My My new hip has joined my other hip in keeping me up right and supported. I'm feeling very well and looking forward to starting PT tomorrow. Thanks for your support and caring. If all goes well I'll be home on Sunday afternoon.

Beautiful Mocha Friday

May 10, 2013 by Adam in Family

It's such a gorgeous day, reminding me once again why Eugene is such a great place to live.  The week has been generally good, with only a few more weeks before the start of summer.  Joanna took the day off work to go to the kids' jog-a-thon, and will be going to see the Dali Lama later this afternoon.  Tonight we only have Duncan and his friend Ash, far less than the usual crew.

Sam got his midterm grades, all A's and B's.  He also excitedly showed me his packet for South Eugene High School.  This weekend we'll go through and pick his classes.  As expected, he's interested in the computer electives.  Less expected, he wants to take Japanese as his foreign language choice.

Coming home from work yesterday was pretty amusing.  Sam and Duncan were on the computer.  Berry was trying to get everyone to play Mastermind with her.  Emma was working hard on some math related website, doing complicated things for fun.  Sam's been using his tablet to draw world maps, using geology as the basis for mountains and rivers and such.  I caught him trying to figure out if the plate tectonics lined up in some logical way.

I'm strangely excited for mother's day.  I have the perfect gift for mom, which she'll be required to love and cherish always.  I think I've lined up the appropriate gifts for Joanna, and got Emma to make something for her mom.

Otherwise, the weekend promises to be fairly laid back and pleasant.  I'm hoping to spend some quality time in the hammock.

Emma Reads

May 10, 2013 by Adam in Emma

Emma has become an avid reader in the last year.  If she wakes up early in the morning, she'll read until it's time to wake up.  When she takes a bath, she'll always bring a book.  I can't count how many times I've read the Adventure Time graphic novels to her before bedtime.

Rochester News

May 06, 2013 by Lohring in Lohring

Dorothy couldn't be awakened on her birthday, so Ben, Emma, and I went out to dinner after I visited their farm. The next morning, though, she was wide awake and sitting up when I got there. We opened the cards and presents, ate some chocolate, and looked at pictures both in an album I made and on my phone.

We ate lunch at the home then went to visit Ben and Emma's farm.

Below are pictures of both Dorothy and the farm. I was expecting some old, run down place, but the house and buildings are very new. They have a pond and 5 acres of good land. This year they are only planting part of one field.  The hill behind the house is rumored to have walnut trees growing on it. 

I'm flying out tomorrow morning, so I'll see everyone soon.

Dorothy's 95th

May 05, 2013 by Lohring in Lohring

I'm in Rochester for my mom's 95th birthday. I'll try to arrange a call of some kind tomorrow evening. Below are some pictures from when she was your age and younger.  A certain small boy is included, sometimes with his sister.

May the Forth Be With You

May 05, 2013 by Adam in Family

It's been a beautiful day today, feeling more like summer than spring.  We broke out the slip-and-slide, as well as the kiddie pool.  Everyone but Sam ended up playing in the water.

The week has been a little more exciting than usual.  I ended up getting pretty sick on Friday, and Emma had stomach aches too.  Sam had the day off of school, so the three of us hung out.  We played Elder Signs, defeating the forces of evil together once again.  Sam and I played some Arma before I took them over to Jamie's house.

I ended up going grocery shopping, fixing the front door latch, and cleaning up.  Every time I ran around my stomach grumbled, so I spent some time laying in the hammock.  I also got my Woot! toy, a Razer Hydra controller that accurately tracks your hand movements.  I can't really describe it, but I had the kids giggling and waving their virtual hands around on the computer.

Joanna and I went out on a hot date, eating at Sweet Basil and walking around downtown on the First Friday Art Walk.  It's amazing how built up it seems these days, with all sorts of interesting restaurants and shops.  We ended up listening to live music and did a bit of dancing, much to the amusement of my coworker who stopped by.

Today was a mix of relaxing and productive.  I rearranged the shed interior, using space more efficiently.  I'm a sucker for tiny living spaces, and Emma declared that's where she's going to live when she's going to college.  Joanna and Berry went to get manicures and pedicures, leaving Emma, Duncan, and I to play on the slip-and-slide.  My mom stopped by to visit and declare she had abdicated her League duties, to her great relief.  Duncan headed off to a sleepover.  Sam arrived about an hour ago in preparation for tonight's pizza and Mythbusters, with the actual premiere of Mythbusters.  It's going to be awesome.

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