September 29, 2014 by Adam in Family

One of my favorite weekend moments happened late on a Sunday, playing the new Mice and Mystics game with Berry, Emma, and Kate.  I'd just gotten the "Cheesemaster" achievement by rolling three cheeses and got a cool ability plus the cheese hat we'd brought up from the play room for such an occasion.  Yelling "Cheesemaster!" in front of a group of girls is somehow deeply rewarding.

The weekend was incredibly productive.  My lengthy project list had things crossed off left and right, several items taken care of by my lovely wife.  We managed to get Emma's tablet SIM card into Sam's phone and hack together a pseudo phone service that works pretty well.  We were going to get him a cheap cell phone otherwise - he was terribly excited to get his phone working as an actual phone.

Saturday morning Emma and I made gluten-free scones in honor of Colette's birthday.  They were quite the buttery hit among everyone.  Later I took everyone but Sam to the library to stock up.  Duncan went to a sleepover later that night, and Honoka went to a birthday party.  We had our usual pizza and Mythbusters that evening.

Sunday morning I got the kids doing homework, cleaned up the patio, and dd some car maintenance.  Berry, Emma, and I played Terraria for a bit.  Kate arrived at eleven.  Sam and I played musical instruments very badly in the basement and communicated via walkie-talkie with Berry doing art projects.  Eventually we had lunch and welcomed back a loopy Duncan who got very little sleep.  There were more chores, a trip to the Verizon store, mice-themed board games, delicious dinner, and winding down the day with Once Upon a Time.

Take Off, Hoser

September 26, 2014 by Adam in Family

I continue to work on getting a copy of my Canadian birth certificate, and eventually my passport.  I called their office and apparently I need a signed letter from an upstanding citizen, along with a letter as to why I can't have a Canadian guarantor.  I think it'll work out.

The week has been relatively uneventful.  The kids seem happy and cheerful.  Joanna and I had sushi and walked around 5th Street Market eating gelato for our hot date.  Sam wants to take a trip to Japan next summer, but wasn't enthusiastic about working to make it happen.  Joanna went to Duncan and Berry's open house at school - I think all is generally well.  We're trying hard to help Honoka with her English homework - interpreting Antigone is pretty tough for her.  Emma really likes middle school.  Sam and I had a long chat and he informed me that he's the happiest he's ever been at this point in his life.  All is well.

We have a few necessary but thankless projects for the weekend - leaky plumbing, a pool to drain, and patio furniture to put away.  Fall is here.  Hopefully we can do some fun things too.  Next weekend is an Indie Game Con and art show - I'd like to go to that, perhaps with kids.

Now it's time to stop typing and enjoy my mocha.


September 23, 2014 by Adam in Adam's Games

A few days ago, I forced the children to play a board game with us.  We picked Flashpoint, the firefighter rescue game.  Things went badly and the house collapsed and not enough people were rescued.

Apparently this made a big enough impression on Berry that she demanded we all play.  I went to fetch Sam from his mom's house, and found the board elaborately set up by Honoka, a cute altar of damage blocks neatly arranged.  All six of us played and somehow managed to save enough people to win.  It was quite satisfying.

It inspired me to order Mice and Mystics, another cooperative game.  At least Berry will play with me.


September 22, 2014 by Adam in Family

It's Monday - the kids are all off at school and I think all is well.  We took care of a lot of things things weekend.  Emma had homework from her two days out last week.  Honoka took her food handler's card test for her catering class.  I took all the kids to the mall to get birthday presents for friends and Sam clothes.  The wailing of children was strong on that last one.  I also woke up Saturday morning to a flat tire and ended up getting them all replaced.  That's never fun.

We all managed some good hang out time too.  Most of the kids managed to get into the pool, with Sam, Emma, and Berry being in there for a long while.  Joanna made her usual tasty dinners and I fed the horde at breakfast.  Sam and I played a little video games, including good ol' Space Engineers.  I forced a bunch of people to play a board game Sunday night - we lost, but I secretly had fun.

Now it's back to the day-to-day grind.  I'm writing code and trying to keep people from making crazy decisions.  Same ol', same ol'.

Talk Like A Pirate Mocha Friday

September 19, 2014 by Adam in Family

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day, much to the amusement of the children.  There's something special about calling the kids scurvy dogs and threatening to keel haul them.  Honoka was amused at our American antics.

It's been a long, hard week.  I was up again last night, putting Berry back to bed.  Fortunately she listened to reason and we chatted about how she was safe and fine and everyone has bad dreams sometimes.  She got back to sleep eventually.

There were two nights of open house events at South and Spencer Butte.  The first was very nostalgic, wandering the halls that I haven't been to for ages.  I ran into an old high school friend at Spencer Butte and we both commiserated at how old everyone was these days.  It sounds like Sam can get college credit for Japanese 2 through Linn-Benton college.  His US History teacher made a comment about how brilliant Sam was.  Sam's health teacher burst into tears, talking about her student who died last weekend.  It was a hard week.

Emma seems on the mend, going back to school today.  We both wore our "Stand Back, I'm going to try SCIENCE!" shirts.  Tomorrow is going to be busy with library trips, a visit to the mall, and likely pizza at the end.  Joanna and I have a much needed date tonight.


September 19, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

I had hoped to post more during our trip but we were scheduled pretty tight. To make up for it I'll give you a nice picture.


September 17, 2014 by Adam in Family

The start of school is always hard.  For some reason, it's seemed more difficult than usual lately.

Honoka is getting over a lingering cold and Berry came home from school yesterday (thanks for watching her, mom).  A classmate of Sam was killed in an accident over the weekend.  He shared a class with him, and he said his friends were sad yesterday, so I think it's in the back of his mind.

Duncan and Berry were up all night.  Joanna was up a couple times and then I went down to put them to sleep around three.  They both seemed to be quiet in their beds when I left, but when I got up this morning they were yelling and playing and claimed to have been up all night.  Duncan declared he was tired before school started.  I think it's going to be a rough day for the two of them.

Sam's schedule is slightly cleaned up, but he only has three classes next term.  We've got to get that sorted out.

On the plus side, Honoka asked to buy a present for a friend's birthday.  I think we'll do a mall trip this Saturday.  Joanna and I have a date night on Friday. 

Life goes on.


September 17, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

Mom and I made it in safe and sound last night. We are meeting Anne Pontius for a quick visit this morning and then will join the family for Anita's wake this afternoon. Sadie comes in this evening so Mom and I will be happy with hugs and baby kisses.

Another Fine Weekend

September 15, 2014 by Adam in Family

It's hard for me to say exactly what happened this weekend.  There were lots of kids and family - people running around, playing together, and having a good time.  Homework was done, as was laundry and some emergency plumbing.  Happy chaos, as usual.

Friday was fun.  We celebrated Honoka's half birthday with pastries and a candle, much to her surprise.  After she went to her first football game.  The rules were confusing and South lost, but I think the experience was still entertaining.

Saturday morning was full of dutch babies for breakfast, followed by a lengthy library run.  Kate came over to play with Emma all afternoon.  I hopped in the pool, as did Duncan and Sam.  The water was cold, but we still had a great time.  The evening wrapped up with pizza and Mythbusters.

Sunday morning I helped the older kids with homework after breakfast.  Berry, Emma, Sam, and I played "guess the song this heavy metal cover is for" game in the basement.  Jamie reported that she fell and broke her right wrist.  She texted me to tell Emma that they were broken bone buddies.  Sam, Emma, and I jumped in the pool again in the afternoon.  Joanna and I moved Duncan's computer into his room, Berry's computer into the hall, and set up Joanna's chromebook on her desk.

That afternoon Honoka worked hard on making a cake for Bob and Jordan, with Berry as the shy but attentive helper.  Joanna went with a "Yumm bowl" dinner, which ended up being an excellent, flexible choice.  It was great seeing everyone.  Jenny reports that dad's office is getting really busy these days. 

Work for Joanna continues to pour in.  She has two freelance offers of work that she's trying to get done now that the kids are in school.  Joanna also joined the YMCA and is trying to figure out clubs for the little kids.

Anita's Death

September 14, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

Sweet Mocha Friday

September 12, 2014 by Adam in Family

My mocha is long-gone, a pleasant memory during the craziness of work.  It's almost gym time, and then meetings this afternoon.  Somewhere in there I hope to get some work done.

Emma survived her two and a half days of math tests.  I think she has another one coming up.  Still no word as to what her math placement will be yet.  Otherwise she seems quite cheerful about school and has made a new friend.

Honoka asked us if she can go to a South Eugene football game tonight with her friend Megan.  It was a happy surprise that she's made a friend - apparently she's in three of her classes.  Hopefully she has a good time at her first American football game.

Duncan and Berry continue to be their usual goofball selves.  Duncan is quite the funny character.  Berry is mischievous and bright.  I think school is going along quite well for the two of them.

Sam's trying to get his schedule fixed still - he has an appointment with a counselor this afternoon.  Hopefully he can get into all his classes and avoid dumb ones.  He's had a steady stream of homework at night, with Honoka occasionally helping with Japanese.

Joanna got an out-of-the-blue job offer, very flexible working for her doctor as a marketing person.  She's trying to figure out how much time she's willing to work there.  Already her schedule is filling up quite a bit.  She's also picking gym - I think the YMCA is winning out.  We'll see after she tries out each place.

As for me, I'm generally cheerful.  My life is full of children and dishes and laundry.  Joanna and I had a fun date night at Falling Sky with a stop at Sweet Life to wrap things up.  This weekend we might take in Star Trek in the park where they put on a play of a Next Generation episode.  I love this town.

I've been going through my old memory box, looking for information about my birth to send to Canada for my birth certificate.  I found all sorts of sweet things mom wrote about me when I was born, and some funny pictures of my dad and I when I was super small.  I'm man enough to admit that I teared up a little.

Happy birthday!

September 12, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy birthday Bob! I hope it's a beautiful, fun and relaxing day.


September 11, 2014 by Adam in Yayoe

Some of these photos are of Ben and Emma on their lovely organic farm. The farm is awesome and so are Ben, Emma and Danica.

Had a wonderful time with Danica, who was a fabulous host and tour guide of Rochester,  a lovely city that is well run and beautiful. There’s so much to see and do. The weather was perfect and sunny. See you on Sunday for the family dinner.


September 11, 2014 by Adam in Family

Honoka is helping Sam with Japanese.  Joanna is putting kids to bed.  We went out on a date night tonight, chatting away without kids.  Joanna is in demand these days, with our doctor wanting to hire her for marketing.  We hit up one of the seemingly endless pubs around town, then walked across the street to Sweet Life for Crème brûlée and peach pie.  I picked up Sam afterward and had a brief visit with Emma.  She's worked hard on this math placement test, finally finishing after three days of working at it.

The week has been relatively uneventful.  I drove up to Vancouver to have a meeting.  I was most excited to see all the people up there now, and shook hands with someone I've worked with for nearly a year now.  We heard about the possible Hepatitis C outbreak - apparently everything is fine.  It's cool that I made the system to organize everything and that the outcome was good.

Berry put on a performance for everyone before dinner.  It involved a song about UFOs and an elaborate light and water-spray show.  It was quite entertaining.

I'm trying hard to get a Canadian passport.  I found my old birth registration thing I've carried around forever.  I think I can get a formal birth certificate and then a passport.  Sam said he wanted to become a Canadian citizen too, which I think I can manage.

Sad news about Anita

September 09, 2014 by Sue in Wielesek

About four or five years ago, Anita had some problems with an "attack" of cancer. I say "attack" because they caught it very quickly, and she responded well to chemo. The chemo was successful,
and it seemed she was cured, or at least as much as anyone is cured with cancer.
When she mentioned last winter that she was taking chemo again, she was very upbeat about it, and implied it was just preventative. Even when John called while we were in Alaska and said she was in the hospital, he said she had just had a bad reaction to the chemo. But Johnnie called me on Saturday and said they had all misjudged the seriousness of the situation, and what they thought was just a bad reaction was really a rapid virulent spread of the cancer. The doctor said that the chemo had stopped working and there's not anything to be done. When I talked to Johnnie, they were in the process of setting up hospice and hoping to get her home from the hospital. The doctor gave her two to four weeks.

I would like to go back to see Anita, but I'm not going to make plans until it's clear that I won't be in the way.

I would be so grateful if any of you could send her a card. It's Anita Milosovic, 17533 Heather Lane, Tinley Park, Illinois, 60477.  She has always been so welcoming to me, and she and John have been really nice to Bob, as well.

Maybe I'll just look at pictures of Simon and the other grandkids.

Back to Work

September 08, 2014 by Adam in Family

It was a lovely, low-key weekend, full of all the usual traditions - library trip Saturday morning, pizza and Mythbusters Saturday night.  It was also the start of the homework season, with both Sam and Honoka having hours of the stuff.  Poor Honoka had a really hard time with her English assignment - hopefully she survives the experience.  We got her ready for her catering class, and she's doing fine as a TA in Japanese.

I managed to injure Berry in a novel and horrible way.  Emma and I were foot wrestling and Berry jumped into the middle with a little too much vigor.  My toe nail cut her throat, which ended up being pretty bad.  Somehow I managed to make things better by looking at her peeled-off skin under the microscope.  I think she'll live.

Emma convinced me to go into the pool on Sunday.  It was freezing cold, but fortunately I've forgotten the depths of my suffering.  Instead I just remember laughing with her as we did goofy things for an hour.  She has her math placement test today that determines whether or not she gets into advanced math.  I'm trying hard to be fine with whatever the outcome ends up being.

Other than that, there was the usual hanging out and playing.  I managed a bit of video gaming when kids were occupied.  Emma walked on the treadmill a bunch.  Duncan had several play dates.  Sam played online with friends and jumped in the pool with Emma for a while.  Emma told riddles at the breakfast table to everyone's great amusement.  Berry and Emma made tattoos.  Joanna and I kept everyone fed and amused.  All is well.

Mocha Friday

September 05, 2014 by Adam in Family

It was a busy morning.  I leaped out of bed and started the morning routine of dishes and packing lunches and making breakfast.  At some point Joanna asked me what the bowl of oatmeal was doing on the counter.  It was mine - I forgot to feed myself.

We're trying hard to sort out everyone's schedules.  We're figuring out if Emma belongs in an advanced class or not (Roosevelt wanted her in it, but Spencer Butte thinks she shouldn't be in it).  Honoka is getting more schedule changes with luck today - we're trying to get her in a slightly easier English class.  She's been falling asleep on the couch reading The Great Gatsby each night, which is both sweet and sad.

The kids generally seems to be enjoying school.  Emma is meeting a bunch of friends from Crest that she hasn't seen in years.  She's in band with Kate, which excites her.  She also met a new friend, which is neat.  Duncan and Berry report all is well.  Sam is Sam, as always.  I worry about Honoka still, and want her to be okay.  She says she ate in the garden at school, likely by herself.  Hopefully she makes friends too.

I'm going to try hard for a normal, low-key weekend.  It's been a challenging week.

ALS Challenge

September 04, 2014 by Seraph in Cortez

The teachers at Robbie's school were given the ALS ice bucket challenge.  Here's a shot of Robbie getting very wet!   

School Madness

September 04, 2014 by Adam in Family

Well, at least Duncan and Berry's schedules are fine.  Everyone else has issues.  Emma isn't in the advanced math class, as Roosevelt told us she should be when they thought she was going to Roosevelt.  Jamie's sorting that out today.  Sam is trying to get into a US History class - he just informed the teacher and sat in on the class yesterday.  Upcoming terms are worse, unfortunately.  Honoka's schedule is a total mess.  Joanna is going in today to help with her.

Still, we're slowly figuring out the school routine.  I've forgotten just how packed the mornings and evenings get on school days.  I leap out of bed, shower, and then start feeding the horde.  Somewhere I manage to start laundry going.  I'll get back into the swing of things eventually.

First Day Of School

September 03, 2014 by Adam in Family

It's the first day of school after a relaxing three day weekend.  Duncan and Berry are good to go.  Emma is walking to middle school by herself this morning.  Sam's schedule is slightly messed up and requires some changes.  Honoka doesn't have a schedule at all.  I think Joanna is leaping into action to fix things, which I greatly appreciate.

It was a nice weekend all around.  Saturday we went to the market where we watched the strange American belly dancing.  I took some of the kids to the library, with Honoka tentatively picking out some anime.  The afternoon wrapped up with pizza and Mythbusters, as is our way.

Sunday morning I took all the kids to the art and natural history museums at the U of O.  The natural history museum was great and the kids really enjoyed it.  The art museum was more of a project, as we marched across campus, found food, and then went in.  Fortunately Joanna saved us by walking over and moving the van to pick us up.

Monday was very low-key.  Sam and Emma went to their mom's house for a family lunch.  Sam and I hung out a bit and played Overgrowth, where he managed to defeat me with his eyes closed.  Honoka learned knitting and has since made half a scarf.  Berry worked on clay projects. 

Tuesday was semi-productive.  Sam and Honoka got registered, Duncan and Berry went to the open house and found their backpack hooks, and I worked away.  The funny story of the day was the badge system that died and they had no backups.  Apparently they needed my help to match the badge numbers with people's names.

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