Another Lovely Weekend

June 30, 2014 by Adam in Family

It was hard coming to work today.  Kids were lounging about and the day promised to be sunny and warm.  Joanna sent pictures of the kids reading on the couch, or hanging out at a park.  Wish I were there.

It was a nice weekend, relaxing and pleasant.  Saturday morning we dropped Joanna off at Saturday Market and I took the three younger kids to the library.  Emma was whisked away by Jamie to go to a baseball game.  I took Duncan and Berry downtown to pick up Joanna and watch impromptu dancers.  We ate bagels and returned home with our library book loot.

Sam and I played assorted video games, as the Steam Summer Sale continued.  We now have far too many games to play.  There was a lot of playing outside and enjoying the weather in there too, followed by pizza and Cosmos.

Sunday morning I took Emma to practice bike riding.  She did really well, basically going all on her own.  It ended with a minor spill, which was mostly okay.  We fixed up the bike a bit more and hopefully it'll be better next time.

Sam wanted some money for video games, so he power washed the patio.  He did a great job, something I'd been wanting to get to for months.

The rest of the day was wonderfully low-key.  Sam and I played Pandemic and barely failed at saving the world from a horrible disease outbreak.  I read Greek mythology to Emma. 

All is well.

Mocha Friday

June 27, 2014 by Adam in Family

I've been somewhat negligent posting this week.  Sam and Emma went to their mom's house Monday afternoon, returning last night to hang out, visiting with their mom today, and then back tonight after work.  Joanna has been hanging out, posting updates on  I'd sadly work away while hearing tales of bike rides and magic shows.  I'm glad they're all having a good time, though.

It's been the Steam Summer Sale, so I've been loading up on cheap games, occasionally playing some of them with Sam.  His grades finally arrived.  I gave him a hard time that he only got two As, paused a moment and then added that he had three A+s.  Sam's been hanging out with his friends online pretty regularly, though he took a break to watch the old Star Trek t.v. show with me.  I think he was flabbergasted at Captain Kirk and his crazy 60's sensibilities.

Emma has been reading fan fiction, drawing, and occasionally doing the treadmill.  When the little kids are around, they'll often play Pokemon things together, or I'll find them all watching it on Netflix at their computers.  Last night we hung out on the swings and giggled, which was fun.

Duncan has been his usual cheerful self.  Joanna went out Tuesday night and Duncan built an elaborate obstacle course in the basement. 

Berry is her usual passionate self, either extremely stubborn and expressive of her displeasure, or sweet and caring.  She's an amazing reader and curious about the world. 

I'm thankful for all the critters, as well as Joanna.  I missed her last night as she took the little kids camping.  No cell service, so I haven't heard a peep.  I look forward to a full house tonight.

One last picture

June 23, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

Here's a last sweet photo of Simon before I head back to NM!

She's Crafty!

June 22, 2014 by Adam in Joanna

Joanna is an exceptionally crafty woman.  For Christmas I got her a spinning wheel, some raw roving, and dye.  Today was the Black Sheep gathering at the fairgrounds, so we left her there and I took the kids to the library.  Upon her return, she began dying the wool, pouring strange liquids on roving, then encasing them in plastic wrap and steaming them.  They turned out surprisingly well and are currently drying on our patio.  I imagine she'll start spinning it into yarn relatively soon.  Who knows what they'll eventually become.

Home Again

June 21, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

I got in safe and sound, but then had a bout of either Airplane Throat or a delayed version of the Plague which visited Adam's household. Feeling much better now. Sooo hard to leave Simon. Joanna, I know how you felt about having only a fleeting few days with your nephew last summer. Yayoe, lunch seems like a lovely idea. Late this coming week? 

So Apparently It's My Anniversary

June 21, 2014 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I both completely blew it, thinking our anniversary was tomorrow.  The solstice is today, which is when we got married, but we set up a date night thinking it was the 21st.  Ah well, after two years of constant bliss, it all just blends together.

I've loved having the last couple days off work.  Yesterday we mostly stayed around the house.  Emma and I cleaned her room, including the strange things under the bed.  Sam and I played some video games.  Duncan managed a bunch of play time with Flynn across the street.  Joanna and Berry went shopping.  Sam, Emma, and I went to the park, giving out balloons to the horde of children at the play and spray.  With a bit of Emma's help, I managed to disassemble, clean, fix, and reassemble the dishwasher, which was driving me crazy with dirty dishes.

Today I got up early again, doing laundry, dishes, and baking three dutch babies for breakfast.  Sam picked the lock of the fire safe.  Emma and the little kids played and watched Pokemon, though not the actual card game.  Eventually I convinced everyone they had to play Space Alert, my birthday present board game.  Explaining the rules took way too long, to the point where Berry took elaborate notes.  Eventually we played, and it was a complete comedy of errors.  Sam was the captain, yelling at everyone and freaking out.  Enemy ships attacked from all directions.  Somehow after planning out all our actions, we barely kept from exploding before escaping to hyperspace.  And that was just the simulation round.

After taking Emma to play at Kate's house, we got ready to go on a rafting trip.  There was a brief kerfuffle to find Duncan's glasses, but we headed over and dropped Joanna and Duncan in the creek.  I put a heavy backpack on Sam, testing to see if we could hike into the wilderness later this summer.  He did great, everyone had a great time, Berry ran along with us.  The finale was Sam sliding down an exciting waterfall like thing, then I jogged back to the minivan to pick everyone up.

Soon we'll have pizza and Cosmos.  Can't wait.

Sam's Awesome

June 20, 2014 by Adam in Sam

This morning I told Sam he was totally bad-ass, and was immediately reprimanded by Emma who informed me children were present.  Joanna had lost the keys to the fire safe, so we stuck it in front of Sam and pleaded with him.  In a couple minutes he'd whipped out his lock pick set, opened it up, and informed us it was the easiest lock he'd ever picked.

The day before we managed to get a boomerang stuck in a tree at the park.  I acted as a ladder, Sam stepped on my leg, shoulder, and then scrambled up the tree.  A few shakes later and he'd gotten it down.  He had to climb another tree and take a selfie to celebrate.

He's also gotten straight A's this year and is generally funny and pleasant.  I wish he'd get off his computer a bit more, but I think I was exactly the same way at his age.

So sweet!

June 20, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

I'm really excited to get back to Robbie and Isabell next week, but I think I'm now addicted to cute babies!


June 19, 2014 by Adam in Family

I have the next two days off work, excited to join the kids for some lounging about.  Never quite able to relax fully, I woke up at six and worked on laundry, dishes, gardening, and generally cleaning up before the first kid got out of bed.  I'm going to soon start on breakfast - crepes I think.

The weather is beautiful this morning.  I'm hoping to start getting ready for my camping trip with Sam.  I'd like to load him up with a backpack and see if he can hike a few miles carrying fifty pounds or so.  I'd also like to get Joanna and Duncan in the raft sometime, the only two people who have so far avoided it.  I also have a board game I'm itching to play.

Space Engineers

June 19, 2014 by Adam in Adam's Games

Sam and I have been playing Space Engineers occasionally.  Calling it Minecraft in space is simplistic, but generally describes it.  Last night we were creating little rocket cars to race around a track, run into each other, and generally cause trouble.  Later we built big ships and slowly maneuvered around each other until the automated turrets blew off all the armor and disabled the engines.  Good times.

Another Lovely Weekend

June 17, 2014 by Adam in Family

Another lovely weekend has come and gone.  Sunday morning Joanna and Duncan went off to church, leaving Berry and I to have some rare hang out time.  We played Castle Panic and then she read Garfield to me as I gardened.

Eventually everyone returned, including Sam and Emma from their Bend trip.  They told stories of the Sister's rodeo, including the clowns and the one girl who had a horse fall on her.  I was feeling a little under the weather, and lay down for a while.

We had a little Father's Day celebration, with sweet cards from the kids and all sorts of goodies.  There were some practical ones, such as a hand vacuum and pencil sharpener, and a cool Space Alert game that I can't wait to play with everyone later this week.  The evening wrapped up with pizza and Cosmos.  It was lovely.

Happy Father's Day!

June 15, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

I hope you all have a beautiful Sunday!

Quiet Saturday

June 15, 2014 by Adam in Family

I had a lovely full night of sleep.  The whole day seemed bright and wonderful after a week of sleep deprivation.  I'm glad my cough is finally fading.

Joanna and I went out to a marketing association thingie, driving out in the countryside to eat and chat with folks that Joanna knows.  It was beautiful out, and a pleasant way to spend the evening.

This morning started with a rare bout of sleeping in.  I finally made dutch babies, bacon, sausages, and a mocha.  With Sam and Emma in Bend for the day, it was surprisingly quiet.  Emma said good morning to me via her new tablet, which was nice.  We went outside where the kids helped me clean the minivan.  Joanna modified one of the bikes for easier riding.  Eventually we ate a bite and headed to the library and Saturday Market, returning with books and fresh veggies.  Berry really wanted to have a henna tattoo, so I broke out some semi-permanent hair dye and painted her hands and toes.  She really enjoyed it, and it was strangely entertaining for me.

We've been puttering around this afternoon.  I watered the garden.  Joanna dyed her hair.  Flynn came over to play with Duncan.  Berry played with iron filings and magnets.  Life's good.

Good ole United

June 14, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

Why oh why do I ever fly United. Instead  of getting home tonight at midnight, I'll be home tomorrow at 10:30 p.m.. All's well here.

Sleepy Mocha Friday

June 13, 2014 by Adam in Family

I continue to be sleep deprived - four days of coughing off and on. I'm apparently not alone - several of my coworkers have the annoying cough.  I keep thinking I'm at the end of the thing, and then I have another night of taking cough suppressants and waiting for exhaustion to take me.  Hopefully tonight is the first full night of sleep.

It's great hearing about Simon and how he's slowly transforming into a real human.  I wish I was out there with everyone.

Sam and Emma are off to Bend this afternoon, returning Sunday for father's day.  They were hanging out with me before breakfast, a little more chatty than usual - as if they already missed me.  Tomorrow I had great plans for projects, but perhaps I'll just catch up on sleep.

Joanna gave a presentation about job risk at Victoria Miller's work.  I think she secretly had a good time, and they gave her some wine as thanks.  Duncan got to wear pajamas to school yesterday.  Sam will likely get straight A's once again, which I'm quite proud of. 

Life's a Bit Calmer

June 12, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

Since Simon got home, things are settling into a routine. Simon eats, pees,poops, and sleeps, pretty much in that order. Notice that I didn't put crying on that list, though that certainly occurs, but mostly just when he has a burp. Most of the time he's just a sweet little ball. Sadie takes to motherhood as though she were born to it.
Having told you how good Simon is, I guess I should add that there was an hour interlude after that first paragraph in which a very sleepy Sadie tried to catch up on lost sleep and Seraph and I entertained Simon, who was in fine spirits and tried out his bink, along with engaging in his new favorite hobby, looking at the curtains.
On the issue of Binks - I really do think they're fine in the first few months, when the sucking instinct is so ingrained with the sense of survival. Cultural trivia - back in Appalachia, when I was a kid, they'd soak a cloth in sugar water and give it to babies to suck - called it a Sugar Tit.
The Home Health Nurse came by on Monday and pronounced him healthy, and at his first pediatrician appointment was on Tuesday, he'd gained 3 ounces in a day.  I think if he keeps up at that rate he'll weigh 60 pounds when he's a year old.
This has been every grandmother's dream, not just having a new baby, but getting to spend real time with Seraph and Sadie. I wish you all could be here to enjoy this time. Love to all, Mom

Mid-Week Update

June 11, 2014 by Adam in Family

The week is stumbling along.  Monday morning Emma claimed illness, so we stayed home together.  She read and I worked, occasionally stopping to cough dramatically.  I've had a hard time sleeping the last couple nights and resorted to cough syrup, which I hate.

I stopped by dad's new office Tuesday.  It was really cool seeing him back in the place I remember him while growing up.  If only they were playing the Rumors album and having water fights with the hand pieces.  I had my teeth cleaned by a nice hygienist.  There were still a few setup bugs to work out, but they praised my awesome teeth, so all was forgiven.  My only recommendation is to stick a poster on the ceiling, as I spent the half hour staring at bare bulbs and ceiling tiles.

Busy Days

June 11, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

I have no idea how I'm actually going to leave this beautiful little boy in three days. He is so sweet;
though it may seem so since it's 11 years since there was a teeny tiny person around the fam. Yesterday the Home Health Nurse came by, and today Simon had his first pediatrician appointment.
He gained three ounces between the two weigh-ins, which seemed generally satisfactory to everyone. Sadie and Greg were pretty darn amazing in the delivery room. Simon was born natural birth, with no drugs, and Sadie and Greg were so prepared that they just powered  right through.

The hospital was very good, and they checked out around noon on Sunday. And the only problem is that suddenly I can barely keep my eyes open. I'll post more tomorrow.

Life is But A Dream

June 09, 2014 by Adam in Family

We heard that Simon made it home and begun the eat/sleep/poop cycle.  Hopefully you'll all get some sleep in there.

The day started with Emma and I chatting while the house slept, then moving on to dutch babies, bacon, sausages, eggs, toast, and assorted fruit.  Joanna and the little kids went off to church and I somehow convinced Sam and Emma to go rafting.  While I got everything ready, Emma made Sam play assorted girl makeup games on the web.  He was both amused and terrified.

We eventually made it to the Science Factor where we put in.  I had a bike ready in case they took off, but it was completely unnecessary.  It took them ten minutes before they figured out how to go upstream, then they moved at a slow pace.  Eventually they got over a small spillway and the current slowed considerably.  I think they enjoyed that stretch of the creek, eventually turning back when they got tired. 

We collapsed at home, showered, ate a late lunch, and was singularly lazy for the rest of the afternoon.  Sam and I played some co-op computer games.  Emma traded Pokemon cards with Flynn and Duncan.  Berry and the littler kids played a bunch of Mario Kart.  We ate toad in the hole and the evening wrapped up.

Back to work tomorrow so I can get a little rest.

Maker Faire Weekend

June 08, 2014 by Adam in Family

Okay, the weekend is only half over, but it continues to be exciting.  Simon's appearance was the coolest event by far, but we managed a few entertaining bits on our side of the continent.

I scooped up Emma Friday night for an evening of stir fry and hanging out.  Connor spent the night, so he and Duncan played a bunch of Minecraft and watched some shows in the basement.  Fortunately everyone went to bed at a reasonable hour, leaving Joanna and I to watch the new season of Orange is the New Black.

In the morning I fed waffles, bacon, and sausage to everyone.  I took Duncan and Emma to the library while Berry and Joanna went to a birthday party.  Emma's latest obsession is Greek mythology and the Rick Riordan books.  After lunch, Flynn from across the street came over to play.  Eventually we gathered up the troops and went to the Science Factory where they were having an annual Maker Faire.

The kids had a great time, and the South Eugene High School robotics team tried to recruit Sam and I (despite his absence).  Duncan, Berry, and I made duct tape wallets.  Berry disassembled a computer, something she's an old hat at.  Berry and Joanna made some weaving project.  We saw cabbage being catapulted into the countryside.  It was quite entertaining.

We returned home to find Sam already there, playing online with friends.  Pizza and Mythbusters were ingested and watched.  The evening wound down with Sam, Joanna, and I watching the pilot to Eureka.  I think it'll make it into our normal rotation.

It's Sunday morning and I'm up with the girls.  I'd like to get kids running around outside, though I still have lingering sniffles.  Emma has expressed interesting in a board game with Sam.  I have an X-Men movie to watch.  We'll see how it goes.

More eye candy!

June 07, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

A little closer.


June 07, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

Aren't they grand!

Hi Simon!

June 06, 2014 by Adam in Sadie & Greg

Sadie and Greg gave birth to Simon Miller Caswell at 11:31 a.m.  He's 8 lbs, 1oz.  Everyone is happy, healthy, and tired.

Pre-Baby Mocha Friday

June 06, 2014 by Adam in Family

We're all rooting away for dear Sadie this Friday.  Joanna continues her knitting project.  Emma declares, "Come out cute baby so I can see cute baby pictures!"  I'm just thinking of dear little Sadie when she was little, and now she's poppin' out offspring.  Time flies.

Life's doing pretty well.  Joanna and I are still in the final grips of an annoying cold.  Work is generally good, and I really like the new guy.  I'm enjoying the work when I'm able to do it.  I spent too long yesterday trying to market how awesome we were to leadership.  I suppose it's a necessary evil so we can have enough people to do our jobs.

Summer is right around the corner, and today is a no school day for everyone but Sam.  Joanna is taking the opportunity to sleep in.

As for the weekend, there's a Maker Fair tomorrow, and Emma and I will wear our "Stand Back!  I'm going to try science!" t-shirts.  I'm sure pizza and science are in there too.  I bought a container of iron filings and we had a good time playing with that last night.

Poor Sadie

June 05, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

Though Sadie scorns pity, it's hard not to feel bad for her. Simon is really a pretty big bump by now, though no one is worried or talking about inducing the baby's birth. He is just going to show up when he shows up. In the meantime, Greg is doing an amazing job of organizing the details of the hospital logistics, as well as organizing their moving plans. Sadie  had an appointment at the hospital this morning and Seraph and I walked down to Harvard Square. We all met for lunch, and hanging out. Jenny, thanks for calling. We promise to keep everyone posted.

No baby at this house!

June 03, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

Seraph and Sadie are chatting about rehabbing old house and Greg is home from school and working outside.  The weather is spectacular and the neighborhood is nice. But Simon is nowhere to be seen. Sadie has another OB-Gyn appointment tomorrow, but I think that the baby is illusory. I think it will be like one of those tabloid stories like, WOMAN GIVES BIRTH TO 49 POUND GROWTH. Please think positive thoughts!

Emma's Second Birthday

June 03, 2014 by Adam in Emma

Emma had a second birthday party on Saturday.  This one was with her school friends.  They were mostly well behaved, strangely enjoying the shed and backyard quite a bit.  After cake and presents all but two left.  Kate and Hallie hung out for pizza and Mythbusters and then spent the night.  I only had to remind them to quiet down twice, which is a sure sign of well behaved children.

Balloon Launches, Birthdays and Lingering Colds

June 02, 2014 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I continue to sniffle and cough our way through the day.  My only consolation is that I'll allow myself a mocha this morning, for medicinal purposes.

The weekend was somewhat exciting.  Friday night Joanna and I went out for sushi downtown, chatting and eating our way through the pleasant almost-summer evening.  Saturday we took Duncan and Berry to the balloon launch of their science project, and then they roped me into playing tag until I was exhausted.  I dropped off a sick Joanna at home and then took the little kids to the library to load up on goodies.

Emma arrived after lunch and we got ready for the grand birthday event.  Joanna made cheesecake, the five eleven year old girls arrived, and they ran around doing assorted weird things until all but Hallie and Kate left at five.  Sam arrived and I got pizza for pizza and Mythbusters.  The girls mostly went to bed at a reasonable hour.  I played a little Space Engineers with Sam but otherwise cleaned, did laundry, and kept things from falling apart.

Sunday morning was a hearty crepe, bacon, hash brown, egg, and mocha breakfast for all.  Emma played with her friends until they left around ten.  The day was pretty low-key otherwise.  Duncan, Berry, and I all played Castle Panic and won.  I helped the girls do painting projects in the garage.  Sam and I played Space Engineers.  Three loads of laundry were successfully processed.  Yayoe, Jenny, and Jordan came over for dinner.

Summer is right around the corner.  I think the kids only have two weeks and a little left to go.

Where's that baby?

June 02, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

Well, it can't be too many more days, as it"s 6:40 a.m. and Sadie is mopping the kitchen floor. Actually, the real challenge at this household is that June 25th is the day they move to the new house, baby and all. Adam, wasn't one of your postings when Emma was born about Sam's commentary on her birth, "Pushing the baby out"? I think Sadie's ready for "pushing the baby out." As an after thought, I should add that Greg is a very nice guy.

Old Time Sailing

June 01, 2014 by Lohring in Lohring

I've nearly finished sorting through the old family pictures. Some day I'll pick another topic, but I only looked for sailing pictures. Here are a few of my only father-in-law (your grandfather, Bill Steane) and his boats.  Notice some very young aunts, Meg and Betsy in 1968.

Lohring, what was .... ?

June 01, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

the period of time called before the sailboat races started, when we jockeyed for the best starting position but the starting gun hadn't gone off yet?
Sadie and Greg are in that "run-up" phase. Everything is done. Bags are packed and there's an air of happy expectancy in the house. It's clear and sunny but not too hot.
I've enjoyed a couple of nice long walks; Friday evening we all walked down to the Square for dinner. It was cool and misty, and the square was crammed with college kids, cheerfully celebrating the tail end of the school year. Imagine First Friday Art Walk, with ten times the people squeezed into the same area.
Last night we went to a small gathering of folks celebrating the household joining of one of Sadie's friends from Brandeis and her girlfriend (also a Math teacher.)
Simon was pretty bouncy on Friday, but a little quieter yesterday and today. I'll keep you posted. Love, Mom/Sue

To Boston, to Boston!

June 01, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

I head out to Boston early tomorrow morning! If anyone needs to reach me I'll have a cell 505-423-0241.

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