Back Home

March 28, 2014 by Adam in Family

We've returned home - a long drive back, punctuated by short stops for food and espresso.  Duncan and Berry return late tonight, and Sam and Emma tomorrow.  For the moment the house is quiet and strangely tidy.

The last few days have been pretty entertaining.  We drove with the little kids to Portland, stopping at a park to meet up with Kevin and Rachel to pass them over.  We all went to Seattle, in different vehicles and heading to different places.  Joanna and I checked into the Bacon Mansion and got ready for a dinner with my coworker Summer and her husband Chris at Cafe Flora.  Dinner was great and the two of them were highly entertaining.  We closed the place down, finally leaving as they cleaned up around us.  Joanna and I watched weird t.v. shows until collapsing for the night.

The next day was our grand Seattle adventure, starting at Pike Place Market to watch the fish tossing and pet the brass pig.  My favorite part was wandering into a comic book store, complete with life sized cutouts of nerd heroes and assorted board games.  There was a long walk over to the Space Needle and museums.  After a quick Greek lunch we ended up at the EMP, where they had cool science fiction props from my childhood, great Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana exhibits, and a section on fantasy movies, books, and games.  I was also partial to the giant musical fountain which kept freaking out Joanna with a giant boom.  Eventually we walked home, relaxed, went out for sushi, and retired for the night.

This morning we went out for a big breakfast at some place that had burlesque shows, which seemed to be par for the course in Seattle.  After that we wandered to the conservatory at Volunteer Park and warmed ourselves in the tropical sections.  I loved the smell of the place, and their fascinating collection of carnivorous plants.  Eventually we checked out, drove out of Seattle, ate pizza in Olympia, and then made the rest of the journey home.

Coming home

March 27, 2014 by Adam in Family

We're on our way home, slowly heading down the freeway. Seattle was great, and seeing Summer and her husband was fun. More later.

Lost Another One

March 24, 2014 by Adam in Ben

Berry lost another tooth.  Everyone was huddled around her Sunday morning, trying to get it out.  Later she and Emma were chatting and it popped out all by itself.  Now she has two gaps in her smile, which is super cute.

Back to Monday

March 24, 2014 by Adam in Family

We had a lovely weekend, sunny and warm in the afternoons.  I broke out the shorts and t-shirts, which made me happy.  Friday night we ate pizza and watched Cosmos, which all the kids seemed to enjoy.  I remember the original with Carl Sagan fondly.

I took the kids to the library in the morning after a hearty breakfast of dutch babies, sausages, crepes, bacon, and espresso.  Since we were playing D&D later that day, I helped the kids whip up characters.  Sam got excited and decided to come along at the last minute.  We walked up the hill to Peter's house where I met Marty and Jason.  There was a really long delay due to technical difficulties, but soon we got down to business and slayed the undead horde quite cheerfully.  Eventually Emma got really tired, so Jason declared the zombies hugged each other and we all left the ancient temple.

Apparently the event had quite the impact on Emma, as she drew everyone's characters, told the story to Berry, and then had Berry do an impromptu D&D session based on the adventure.  Later Berry made miniatures out of cardboard for herself.  Such cute little nerdlings.

Joanna went to church and then Avery's birthday party.  I did house maintenance, fixing the mower and taking care of the lawn.  Emma sang to me the entire time, which was nice.  Sam and I got in some crazy Far Cry 3 coop time, which was difficult and occasionally comical.  As the day wrapped up, I worked on my old tablet, getting it ready for Sam and Emma's beach trip.

Crepe Mocha Friday

March 21, 2014 by Adam in Family

Emma made crepes this morning while I did dishes and got my lunch ready.  It's a no-school day, an early start to spring break.  Sadly I'm the only one who has to go to work and be a real person.  I'm going to do my best to sneak out early if at all possible.

The week has been generally good.  Duncan's book battlin' team got 2nd place at his school.  We were all quite impressed with the effort he put into things.  Emma has a wiggly tooth.  I haven't written a tooth fairy note in a long while, so I'm already composing my ironic missive.  Sam ran out of time on one of his finals, which may bring his grade down a little.  I think he's shooting for straight A's again.  Berry is Berry, making us laugh at her hysterical instructions on how we could become better people.

Joanna and I managed to get out Wednesday night, my mom watching kids for the evening.  We chatted about our upcoming Seattle trip, life, the kids, and her slowly forming memoirs.

I'm excited about the weekend with the kids.  We should have plenty of hang out time.  I want to work more on the weird magic 8 ball project.  Hopefully we can putter in the garden some more.  It was officially the start of spring yesterday and I'm excited to see green things leap from the dirt.

. . . And All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt

March 18, 2014 by Adam in Duncan

Actually the t-shirts were awesome.  Duncan's team thought it up, Emma drew it, the team colored them, and Joanna turned them into t-shirts.  Monday morning Duncan and his fellow book battlers boarded a bus to Lebanon.  They answered questions about their books, ate weird food out of vending machines, and nearly went to the next level of competition.  Apparently they won 2/3rds of their battles, which wasn't quite enough.

It was a great experience, Duncan expanded his reading repertoire, and they got cool shirts at the end.

I Forgot About Monday

March 18, 2014 by Adam in Family

The weekend was super.  I read a thick science fiction book, a luxury I can rarely afford.  I dutifully installed Windows 7 on the family computer and ordered a bit more memory.  I cut open a Magic 8 Ball in preparation for a weird project.  The usual traditions occurred.  I played on my computer.  Life is good.

Sam jumped into my car when I went to get Emma, complaining about Internet speed at his mom's house.  She and I exchanged some knowing looks about teenagers and I brought him home with me.  He did go to the library with Emma, Berry, and I, only slightly complaining about his lack of reading time.  The girls loaded up on books and seemed happy.

We had a lot of puttering around time.  Emma had a bit of a cold and took it easy.  I took Sam and Emma to the park where we played with track balls and timed ourselves doing assorted playground feats.  Instead of Mythbusters there was Cosmos, which was nostalgic for me.  The special effects improved over the last three decades.

The week so far is okay.  Duncan went to Lebanon for his book battle.  Berry got her sleep study results - no sleep apnea.  People went to the dentist.  I took Berry to school today, complete with the wacky hat she made.  Sam's had a lot of homework as finals approach.

Mocha Friday

March 14, 2014 by Adam in Family

Oh, Friday.  Why must you wait a week to return to me?  My mocha is gone and complicated technology awaits my attention.  This is but a brief missive.

Emma's got a bit of a cold.  At breakfast this morning, I told her there was a surprise under her waffle.  When she discovered the Acetaminophen hiding there, she let out an excited hooray.

Sam and I had a somewhat heated conversation about moving his computer to his room.  I think we're going to try a test after spring break.  Mostly I'm sad that he won't be around as much to randomly chat with.  I'm not looking forward to that stage of teenage development, as necessary as it seems to be.

Joanna and I are going out tonight.  I think the plan is to go to a tattoo parlor, where Joanna wants one of her tattoos "touched up".  I think I get to hold her hand and hope she doesn't crush the life out of it.

Looking forward to the weekend and hanging out with kids.

To Battle!

March 13, 2014 by Adam in Duncan

Duncan has been doing Battle of the Books at his school this week.  He's an avid reader, often burning through several books each week.  In years past, he's enjoyed Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, and Pokemon.  Lately he's gotten into chapter books, and this latest challenge has really motivated him to expand his horizons.

Apparently Duncan's team is now in second place in the school.  I think that means he goes to the state competition.  Joanna has promised t-shirts for the team, and Emma might be doing the art for it.  It's pokemon/reptile/reading themed, so her artistic skills will certainly be challenged.

We're all very proud of him.

What? Thursday?

March 13, 2014 by Adam in Family

So there was a weekend apparently - a good one, if I remember things correctly.  I hung out with kids, playing games and hanging out.  Sam had a bunch of homework, which has continued nightly as the end of the term approaches.  I built a keyboard tray for a treadmill desk for Joanna.  Sam helped me move it upstairs, with cursing and bleeding on my part.  It's nice to have a strapping young lad.  The weekend wrapped up with family dinner, which was quite nice.

The week has been fairly uneventful.  Duncan has been doing quite well with his school's Battle of the Books.  At the moment he's in the top 8 teams.  If he gets to the top 4, Joanna will end up taking him to the state championships.  Sam's homework has been incessant, often waking up to do reading for his Honors English class, going to school, and then working on homework until late.  He's really looking forward to the end of his math class in a week, and the switch to science next term.

Spring break plans are firming up.  I think the plan is to spend a day or two in Seattle.  Hopefully we can meet up with my coworker Summer and her husband.  I think we'll do the standard touristy things as well.  Should be an adventure.

Mocha Friday

March 07, 2014 by Adam in Family

I somehow made it to Friday, navigating through another crazy busy week.  Work is pretty non-stop, home is endless laundry, dishes, and helping with homework, and we have the upcoming spring break to sort out.  I think we can make it to Seattle.

The week had a few quirky stories.  Some random people at work handed me a box of Voodoo Doughnuts, which the kids greatly enjoyed.  Joanna made a huge spread of Japanese food last night, complete with weird Asian snacks.  Emma is cutting her hair short today, so we'll see how that goes.  Berry had her sleep study.  Sam wore his new clothes.

I'm really looking forward to my mocha at work, and later having some down time this weekend.  My head is a little achy and some of my coworkers are out sick.  Crossing my fingers . . .


March 06, 2014 by Adam in Sadie & Greg

Sleep Study

March 05, 2014 by Adam in Ben

Berry went off to her sleep study last night, Joanna dutifully sleeping in a recliner.  It went well, apparently - Berry was super excited to go.  Removing some of the sensors was a little painful, but she got a bubble making thingie as a prize, which she cheerfully tried out upon returning home.

Hopefully we'll be able to figure out if she really has sleep apnea and whether or not her tonsils need to go.

The Weekend, Like All Good Things, Comes to an End

March 03, 2014 by Adam in Family

It was a lousy Friday at work, full of stressed out people and flared tempers.  As usual, I was asked to call in to save the day.  As usual, I managed to do it and everyone calmed down.

Immediately after work, I had a quick bowl of cereal and we took Berry and Duncan to their school's Mardi Gras.  It was the usual insanity - I followed Duncan around, handing him tickets and holding on to his prizes.  Eventually we reconnected with the girls, fed them some pizza, and headed home.

Joanna and I snuck away to Cosmic for pizza and stand up comedy.  It was a perfect end to a stressful day - a pint of espresso stout, a lovely woman beside me, and a host of people retelling horror stories from dating.

In the morning I stuffed everyone with dutch babies, and took Berry and Emma to the library.  There was another perfect moment when they nibbled on their bagels, glued to their books, and I sipped espresso and watched them.  We headed home, met up with Joanna and Duncan, and had lunch.  Berry and I played the "clean the basement game", and had a fabulous time.  Later Emma and I cleaned her room and listened to music.  I picked up Sam, got pizza, and the evening ended with Mythbusters.  Absolutely perfect.

Sunday was equally awesome.  We had crepes and a mocha for me, and then Sam, Emma, and I went on a "Sam makeover" shopping spree.  I got him jeans that actually fit, a bunch of button-down shirts, and a belt.  Later we hit up Nordstrom's Rack and found some great deals on two jackets and leather boots.  One jacket in particular is vastly cool - he debated whether or not he was worthy, but eventually we forced him into wearing it.  It was quite the stunning moment - he looked like someone out of a movie.

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