Vacation revisions

January 31, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

We were a little late getting our reservations in. I reserved the house for June 24 through June 30. I hope this will still work. Here are some pictures.

Our house has three bedrooms with double beds and a large room that currently has a double bed and futon.  I can add a blow up bed and even a bunk bed if needed. 

My thought is that Adam's family and some kids can stay in our house with one or two other couples.  The kids can sort themselves into our big room or the room with two bunks and a twin bed.

Upper Floor

January 31, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

Main Floor

January 31, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

Bottom Floor

January 31, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring


Emma Plays the Flute

January 30, 2015 by Adam in Emma

Emma had her first flute concert with her beginning band class.  She was nervous, but did great.

Mocha Friday

January 30, 2015 by Adam in Family

I'm heading into work momentarily, sipping a cup of tea in preparation for an actual mocha.  The week has been going by quickly - my days spent pondering the intricacies of paying doctors.

Wednesday night Honoka played her sax with the band at a basketball game.  Last night Emma played her flute with her orchestra.  We piled everyone into the van, Joanna ran the little kids to exhaustion in the hallways, and then we sat on bleachers and enjoyed the show.  There were some fun highlights, like the chicken dance solo.  Emma was a little nervous going into it, but she was great.

Joanna and I went out to dinner Wednesday night, ending up at Falling Skies for burgers and cider.  Next was Macy's and bra shopping, which ended up being more practical than expected.

Sam and Emma went to their mom's last night.  We get the tonight for a long weekend of the full horde.  I imagine we'll do the usual pizza and Mythbusters.  I'd love to get outside for a hike, though Sam continues to move around on crutches.  Hopefully we'll get more news next week.

Mid-Week Update

January 28, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's the usual craziness at the Miller-Bartlett-Gustina-Sako household.

Sam hasn't had wrestling practice for the last couple nights, so he's been coming up the hill in crutches after school.  His knee is making popping noises, and he's strangely enthusiastic about the possibility of surgery.  We have the MRI next Monday, so we'll see how that goes.  The two of us have been playing a video game as Portugal and Castille in the 15th century, working together to expand our empires.  We also fixed his overheating computer by pulling a ton of dust out of his video card. 

Berry was under the weather yesterday, but I think she's better today.  Duncan told me stories about looking at his hair and tongue under the microscope in school.

Honoka has a few busy days ahead.  We're ordering food from her catering class for tomorrow, and she's playing her saxophone at a basketball game Friday night with the rest of her band class.

Emma has her concert tomorrow.  I'm excited to hear her flute along with all the other kids.

Joanna is doing her usual running around, taking care of things.  This morning she had her "I'm going to go work out at the YMCA" outfit on.  She got a contract job writing a story on generational gardening for a local magazine.  She seemed enthusiastic.  We have a hot date tonight, though we don't have a destination in mind yet.

As for me, I'm knee deep in complicated calculations to pay the doctors during the day, and knee deep in laundry when I come home.  I still enjoy my crazy busy life - wouldn't trade it for anything.

Winding Down the Weekend

January 26, 2015 by Adam in Family

I'm not quite sure where the weekend went.  Friday night Joanna and I went out to dinner, landing and Sizzle Pie and enjoying the company of a gaggle of teenagers as we ate our pizza. 

Monday morning Joanna took the little kids to chess club.  I finally got around to replacing the oven light, did some laundry, and went to the library.  Late morning the children all arrived and we had a long hangout session until pizza and Mythbusters that night.

Sunday was equally low-key.  I played Trine 2 with Emma again, laughing hysterically at our hijinx.  I took the kids outside to plant bulbs and do a little gardening.  Sam and I tried to take over the world in one of our games, only slightly failing.

Sadly we're back to work and school tomorrow.  I do enjoy these quiet weekends.

Take Off Hosers!

January 24, 2015 by Adam in Adam

My Canadian passport arrived today.  Sam and Emma are interested in getting their official Canadian citizenship, so I guess I get to work on that now. 

I should celebrate tonight with the traditional foods of my people, though I'm not sure where I can get vegetarian poutine.

Family Vacation Housing

January 23, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

We've been working on the housing for the family vacation. All the kids except for Simon can stay with Adam and Joanna in our Siletz house. The other adults can stay in either the Worldmark if we can get a room or a vacation rental. We're on the waiting list for the Worldmark. A rental house will cost about $2500 for June 27 through July 3.

The Worldmark is at
We would get a 3 bedroom suite. See the description for the sleeping arrangements.

The vacation rental is at
It has 4 bedrooms with two bunks in one bedroom.

If we want the rental we need to put down a deposit now. Comments?

Mocha Friday

January 23, 2015 by Adam in Family

Joanna informed me that the kids have moved to the listless and catatonic stage of their illness to the annoying and whiney stage.  That's a sign of progress, right?  I stayed at home yesterday to help with things and give Joanna a chance to get a pedicure during the day for her birthday.  All the kids have been sick and missing school, and a sick Emma was dropped off around three yesterday.  Fortunately Honoka has been completely well and going to school.

Joanna's birthday party was the usual mix of fun and crazy, with Duncan's nose bleeding profusely right before our sushi dinner. 

Joanna and I have a hot date tonight.  Should be fun.

Birthday Girl

January 23, 2015 by Adam in Joanna

Joanna celebrated her birthday yesterday.  All the kids were sick except for Honoka.  We weren't even close to singing on key.

More Knee Woes

January 21, 2015 by Adam in Sam

Sam's home sick for the second day today.  He has the sniffles and a headache.  I also took him to a specialist to look at his knee.  The ACL is likely good, but they're worrying about a torn meniscus.  We're going in for an MRI, and then back to the doctor's.  Swell.

Half Birthdays

January 21, 2015 by Adam in Family

Duncan and I shared a half birthday yesterday.  Berry made Duncan a crown and staff.  Honoka made a Minecraft-themed cake.  He was super excited.  The cake was tasty and we both enjoyed our amusing t-shirts Joanna got for us.

Sam came down with a cold over the weekend and has been sniffling in front of his computer all day.  His knee continues to annoy him - we're seeing a specialist tomorrow morning.  Duncan reports that he's feeling pukey this afternoon.  Hopefully they're not both coming down with something.

Joanna continues to help keep the household from falling apart - managing kids, doctor appointments, and resupplying our vast larder with food.  Somewhere in there she manages to work at various tasks, volunteer at the kids' school, and make it to the YMCA to exercise.

Honoka is quiet and helpful.  Emma is funny and effusive.

Life goes on.


January 19, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been a fairly quiet weekend.  Friday was our big pizza and Mythbusters extravaganza, complete with new Mythbusters.  We had Sam and Emma, so it was a full house.  Joanna made delicious calzone and I had a manly portion of cider.

Emma and I played Trine 2 while Berry, Duncan, and Joanna went off to a chess competition.  Duncan and Berry both scored two points, which was an improvement over their first one.  Emma and I had way too much fun playing Trine, especially as my wizard kept dropping boxes on Emma's head.

Eventually Sam woke up and the three of us hung out.  Sam and Emma are really getting along these days, and were excited to hang out in a cabin together without the usual distractions.  It's nice seeing them getting along so well.  Jamie picked them up around one and whisked them away.

The afternoon was pretty low key - I didn't actually accomplish everything on my massive list.  I did some laundry, gluing a broken cup, and re-caulking the upstairs tub which was leaking down in Duncan's room.    I managed to convince everyone to play a highly abbreviated version of Ghost Stories, which I still think has potential to be fun.

This morning I woke up, cooking breakfast quickly and helping Duncan with his Minecraft modding.  I worked on my house project list again, finally repairing the refrigerator light.  Unfortunately now I can see how messy it is.  Mom came over and we chatted for a long while.  It's nice to simply hang out and visit over tea.

The afternoon rolled along.  I finished my Dragon Age game, with mixed feelings about the ending.  I took the little kids to the library, and after that Berry and I built her rocket.  We had a good time firing it off - neither Honoka nor Joanna had done it before.  I thought it a normal part of any upbringing, but apparently I was raised abnormally.

Tomorrow I'm headed back to work.  It's my half birthday (which I'm celebrating with Duncan - a day early for him).  I'm also mostly ready for Joanna's birthday later in the week.  Should be fun.

Sewage Injector Friday

January 16, 2015 by Adam in Family

I had to clean out the sewage injector pump this morning, right as I was leaving for work.  It doesn't take long, but it's messy and unpleasant.  I think I need to set up a recurring maintenance task every couple months to clean it out.  Blah.

Yesterday was the Day of Respect at South Eugene yesterday.  Honoka attended sessions on AIDS and the lyrics of pop music.  Sam watched a movie on impoverished girls being saved by education.  After school Sam kept track of time for a wrestling meet, so I picked him up a little late.  It was a treat to have Emma around, who couldn't stop talking about all the horrible things that happened to the WWII book she's reading for school.

It promises to be a weekend full of house projects.  I'm going to keep working on my lengthy lists and see how much I can accomplish.

Mid-Week Update

January 15, 2015 by Adam in Family

The week has been zipping along, relatively uneventfully.  The biggest crisis at work is that the coffee machine broke, so we've been improvising various ways to make our coffee.  Otherwise the mood is generally positive despite the normal Dilbert-like dysfunctions of any big organization.

Joanna's been working away on her various projects.  She's getting good feedback on her book, and was an Editor's Pick on a writer's web site run by Penguin Books.  My favorite of her latest writing effort was the dental phone apps she did for my dad.  Pirate tooth brushing apps sound awesome!

Sam continues to hobble about on crutches - we have a specialist visit next week.  South has a Day of Respect today, which sounds like he's getting out of school early.  He's really getting into the Metal Gear Solid games, which have over-the-top Japanese action hero storylines.  It's fun to watch over his shoulder.

I've been making Duncan and Berry breakfast and then physically transporting them to the table.  I usually go with the "welcome to Air Poppy, please return your boy to their full upright position" theme.  I'm going to have to lift more weights if I'm going to transport Duncan much longer.

Honoka is her usual quiet, self-maintaining self.  The excitement of her week is that they're doing cake decorating in her catering class.  That's her field of expertise, so she was up late designing and planning it out earlier this week.

I saw Emma for a few moments last night when I picked up Sam.  She's funny and cheerful.  I'm excited to hang out with her more tonight.

Joanna and I had a hot date last night.  We ate at 5th Street and then went to the Onsen hot tub place.  All the time she asked me questions from a science experiment that tried to get two people to fall in love.  It was entertaining, and I learned a few tidbits about her.  Apparently Joanna's chosen superpowers would be flight or invisibility.  She could get up to a lot of mischief with those two.

A Day of Mourning

January 13, 2015 by Adam in Family

Despite not being a football fan, we're all a little bummed about the game last night.  Admittedly I spent most of the time helping kids with homework and playing video games, which was probably a better use of my time.  I decided to wear gray to work today in any case.

The weekend was generally pleasant and lazy.  I had a good time hanging out with the kids, and we didn't do all that much.  I played a rousing game of Star Munchkin with Berry and Emma, which Berry really enjoyed.  I managed a little yardwork as well, trimming bushes in preparation for the inevitable spring. 

We continue to improve our general health.  My lingering cough is trailing off and Sam made it back and forth to school without crutches.  Joanna had an upset stomach last night, but hopefully it goes away quickly.

Honoka was working on a cake for catering until late last night.  Cake making is her specialty, so she was very excited that they were doing that in class today.  Sam was working on a Scarlett Letter essay, bemoaning the density of the language.  Duncan and Berry got into a kerfuffle playing Minecraft last night, so we had to separate them both physically and virtually.

It looks like Berry and Duncan are going to a chess tournament this Saturday, and Sam and Emma are going off with their mom and Meg (and Cody) to a cabin in the woods.  I think it'll end up being house project weekend for me.  Better make a list.

Mocha Friday

January 09, 2015 by Adam in Family

I've finished my weekly allotment of that delicious beverage and watching assorted computers do my bidding.  It's been a quirky week at work.  I think I was a bit firm with a coworker on why their idea to change everything was bad.  Hopefully I'm not too much of a curmudgeon these days.

Emma was over last night, entertaining us with her flute and general charm.  Duncan grabbed me immediately upon my arrival to help debug Java code.  Sam's playing old Playstation games.  Honoka asked me for help with math.  Berry showed off her latest drawings.  As for Joanna, I rubbed her feet while watching Agent Carter. 

Life's generally doing well.  My cough is lingering a little, but continues to slowly improve.  Joanna took Sam into the doctor's to get his knee looked at, as he's still on crutches.  He has an appointment with a specialist later this month - I think it's just going to take a while to heal.  Duncan was sick for a few days earlier this week, but managed to get through school yesterday.  Christmas decorations are down.  Spring will come again one day.

School for (Almost) Everyone

January 06, 2015 by Adam in Family

When I left the house this morning, Duncan was sick and staying home, though he didn't have a fever.  Berry was getting dressed.  Sam and Honoka were still in their rooms.  The start of school after a long vacation is somewhat jarring for everyone. 

Sam's still limping around in crutches.  The plan is to set up another doctor appointment to make sure things are doing okay.  I suspect it's just that these sort of injuries take a long time to heal.

I think Joanna is hoping to get some work done soon and is eagerly awaiting everyone returning to school.  Yesterday the little kids watched endless My Little Pony, in part to keep Duncan still and distracted from feeling lousy.  We'll see what happens today.

Vacation's Over

January 05, 2015 by Adam in Family

My incredibly lazy vacation is finally coming to an end.  I did very little, other than the usual housework.  Some of the Christmas decorations are down.  I did a little yardwork.  Broken computers were repaired.  Hacked web sites were (hopefully) secured.  Otherwise it was five days of hanging out with kids, playing games, and relaxing.  My horrible illness is generally better.  Sam's knee is still hurt, but he can mostly hobble around without crutches.  Duncan came down with something last night - hopefully it's not the flu.

Emma's been reading Russian fairy tales, a gift from Dick to my mom years ago.  They're completely crazy, with wife beating and drinking vodka.  She's mesmerized. 

Sam house sat at his mom's house with Josh, and did some work for my mom.  He also caught up on the first season of Arrow, so we started watching that together.

Duncan's nearly done with his Minecraft online course on mod making.  He'd occasionally grab me to ask questions, which I somehow managed to help with.  It's quite impressive, and he's had a great time making mods for all his friends.

Berry continues to be Berry.  Kate slept over to hang out with Emma, and we played Mice and Mystics Sunday morning.  Both Kate and Berry had a great time defeating rats and bugs, and I helped move everything along.

Joanna is home with the little kids today, as they don't have school.  I think she's looking forward to a quiet day of work soon.  She's been doing end-of-year responsible things, like paying bills and getting organized.

As for me, I'm off to work.  Hopefully I remember how to write code again.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

January 02, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Games

I've been playing the latest Dragon Age game from Bioware.  They're known for epic RPGs, and this is certainly one of them.  There are flaws, sure - lots of "collect x" quests that are a kind of silly.  Where it excels is the scope of the thing - huge, sweeping landscapes to wander around and explore.  There's just so much to do in it that I can't stop playing.

Pewter Skeletons

January 01, 2015 by Adam in Emma

Emma and I made pewter skeletons this morning.  It was fun playing with stuff that I used to do for a living.

Happy New Year

January 01, 2015 by Adam in Family

Happy New Year, everyone.  We had lunch with dad yesterday at PF Chang's, along with Jenny and Jordan.  It was the usual chatty affair, punctuated by stuffing ourselves.

I was feeling much better, running around the house taking care of chores.  Somehow I managed ten thousand steps on my FitBit, though it required some creative jogging before bedtime.

Honoka was swept away by friends to go roller skating.  We thought she'd be out until midnight, but she returned early.  I put on Japanese boy bands in her honor.  After that we drank piƱa coladas and watched the ball drop in Times Square.

Today is a hang out with kids day.  I have board games to play and pewter figures to make from raw metal.  Should be fun.

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