Lazy Thanksgiving Weekend

November 30, 2015 by Adam in Family

We had four days off, mostly spent hanging out with kids and occasionally going outside for a walk.  Sam had a birthday thing at home on Friday, nibbling on brain-shaped cheesecake that Joanna made for him.  Emma was a little under the weather, but otherwise we were in pretty good spirits.

Isa came over to hang out with Sam on Saturday, from after breakfast until after dinner.  I really like her - she's funny, bright, nerdy, and Sam is completely smitten.  She didn't run screaming from our family, so that's a good sign.

We played 7 Wonders, a fun little civilization-like board game, and Drawful, which is played with tablets while everyone watches my computer screen.  The latter was lots of fun, and Duncan was especially enthusiastic about playing.  

Eventually we got around to the practical things.  Sam worked on final projects, including studying for his math final.  His retake score came in and he's back to a high B.  Emma worked on a project, and Duncan and Berry had miscellaneous homework at the end of the day yesterday.

My mom came over for dinner and I showed off a tablet in case she wants to get one.  Eventually we all collapsed in bed.

Today is a little frantic with getting ready for Christmas.  The little kids and Cecilia are leaving to visit family, so we'll do a mini-Christmas in a couple weeks.  Berry is also sick today, which makes life a little challenging for Joanna.  Hopefully we can find a little Christmas cheer in the next week or two.


November 28, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's late on a Friday after we finally finished cleaning up after dinner.  It was simple - eggs and potatoes and veggies - after stuffing ourselves at Thanksgiving.  The best part was going around the table thinking of a word we'd say in some language or another.  We gave up after we got to Swahili.

Thanksgiving was generally good.  We got Sam and Emma early in the day and all headed to Wayne Morris park to hang out.  There was soccer, football with Duncan and Berry's friends, hot chocolate, and walking through the woods.  Berry's favorite part was burning things in the fire pit.  I guess we all commune with nature in different ways.

Joanna cooked up a storm and we headed to my mom's for Thanksgiving.  I stuffed myself and had pleasant conversations throughout the night.  Eventually we returned home, our minivan laden with leftovers. 

Today has been pretty low-key.  The kids did a little homework.  We threw a little birthday party for Sam.  There was lots of puttering around, playing games, and chatting.

Tomorrow Sam's friend Isa is coming over to hang out.  This is the first time I've met her, so that'll be nice.  He's been texting her fairly furiously throughout the day.


November 28, 2015 by Adam in Sam

Sam is officially 17.  He's been surprisingly cheerful as of late and occasionally providing wise advice to his siblings.  Sam keeps getting better with age it seems.

Joanna found a brain mold and made peanut butter cheesecake for him.  It was appreciated.


November 26, 2015 by Seraph in Cortez

Happy Thanksgiving and happy birthday Sam!

National Espresso Day

November 23, 2015 by Adam in Family

Happy National Espresso Day!  I'm having my second mocha of the day and made a mocha for everyone in the house.  The kids were quite enthusiastic.

It was a good, quiet weekend.  Friday night my mom watched the kids while Joanna and I went out for dinner.  We're a little closer to coming up with a plan for the holiday - California somewhere I think.  

Saturday morning was spent puttering about - I took Duncan on a fun little library excursion to pick up some French comic books.  I also paid off some fines and apparently have checked out 8,750 items since I first got my card as a kid.  Thanks, library!

Eventually Sam and Emma arrived and the afternoon was spent puttering about.  Joanna went off to sing and play the ukulele.  The rest of us watched Jurassic World and tried to estimate the lifespan of certain characters.  I think it was a little scary for Duncan, who left towards the beginning - I had to assure him that mostly it was bad dinosaurs being eaten by good dinosaurs.  

Sunday started with a hearty breakfast.  I took Emma and Berry to get my haircut with a Metropol stop as a reward.  Later Duncan and Berry went to Flynn's for a birthday party.  Sam and I walked to his friend Isa's house, turned around and headed back (she was apparently busy).  Later he walked over to Humble Bagel to chat with her.  Berry dropped a battery down the sink, so Sam and I fished it out - he seems to strangely enjoy plumbing.  My mom came over for dinner and I enjoyed the latest batch of Joanna's cider.  Sam and I studied more math - he did well on his latest test.  I'm hoping he'll work his way back to a B after this retake.

Looking forward to the short work week and long Thanksgiving vacation.

Gold And Sulfur

November 22, 2015 by Adam in Emma

Emma has been learning about the elements and did this nice watercolor of Gold and Sulfur.  She's done 24 others, each with their own personality that reflects the properties of the particular element.

Mocha Friday

November 20, 2015 by Adam in Family

The week has been slowly moving along, with small bumps along the way.  Berry is sick again this morning, dooming poor Joanna to another day at home.  Hopefully she finds a clever way to get food into our house as we're on our last gallon of milk.

We had a full house last night.  Emma was drawing caricatures of elements and minerals, almost twenty anime style girls with styles that represented the qualities of the mineral.  I suggested she polish it up and make a book about it - they were great.  Duncan completed his elaborate Minecraft animation - it was really well done, with sound effects, music, camera work, and various special effects.  Sam and I worked on math and I remarked on someone called Isa who drew all over his hands.  I attempted to assure Cecilia that feeling lost in your twenties was pretty normal.  She has a couple visits with librarians that hopefully will be interesting.  Berry's been reading in her room quite a bit, still not feeling great.  Joanna continues her usual awesome activities, spinning yarn, brewing cider, and keeping us well fed.

My lovely wife and I head out to dinner tonight where we'll hopefully manage to make some vacation plans.  Jenny suggested I take off the 23rd to hang out with dad.  I've done so - maybe we can watch Star Wars or something and get some quality hang out time together.  I'm also taking some assorted time off and the whole week between Christmas and New Year's.  It'll be nice to have a little break.

Driving Through The Week

November 19, 2015 by Adam in Family

I headed up to Vancouver again yesterday, leaving the house before sunrise and coming home after sunset.  Hopefully this is the last one for a while.  It was vaguely useful, I suppose, though I had a headache that likely signals the start of the cold that's been going around.  I'm medicating with cafe mocha and Advil, which has me perky and pain-free.

I continue to fret about most everyone.  Joanna's had a cold for a few days.  Berry's been cranky and is staying home sick today too.  Sam and I studied math for two hours last night, hoping to perk up his grades.  Cecilia continues to be uncertain of her life goals and doesn't seem to be enjoying her internship.  Duncan is struggling a little with his French.  Emma . . . well, Emma's generally cheerful and doing well in school, so I suppose there's that.

Still, we're all alive and generally fumbling forward in life.  They do all entertain me in various ways.  Last night Joanna was planning to build her next business venture based on handmade dice.  Dad - we may need to pick your brain on manufacturing techniques.

I left Sam a couple chocolate covered espresso beans when I left work today, along with a note wishing him luck on his test.

Brief Stop in Normalville, PA

November 19, 2015 by Danica in Danica Miller

A couple of weeks ago when I traveled through PA on my way to visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and Kentuck Nob, I couldn't resist a stop in Normalville. We really were hoping for one of those fancy, big signs announcing the small town, but had to make do with this instead. The PA countryside is truly beautiful! Loved visiting the Wright houses, and of course took lots of photos.

Tuckered out

November 17, 2015 by Sue in Wielesek

For the last couple of weeks, I've skittered around among the raindrops trying to get all the fall gardening finished before it really starts to pour. The hard work has been a mixed blessing.In some ways I feel good, getting back some muscles. On the other hand, I'm sometimes so tired at night that I just sort of melt into a blob and watch old X Files. Looking forward to having everyone for Thanksgiving!

Cosplay and Chess

November 16, 2015 by Adam in Family

The weekend is over, odd and quirky as usual.  We had everyone for all three nights, so it was a full house.  Saturday morning Joanna took Duncan and Berry off to a chess tournament.  The kids didn't do as well as they'd like, but I think they had an okay time.  Emma helped me replace the basement heater, and later the storm door.  Sam had a really lousy math score, so we spent a long time going over a retake review sheet.  Eventually we took a break to play Space Engineers.

I was getting stir crazy late afternoon, so I hauled Sam and Emma down to the river for a walk.  They had a surprisingly good time, wandering around at dusk and climbing around under the bridge.  Joanna took Berry for more bike riding - she's still working on it, but she's got the basics down.  The evening wrapped up with pizza and science, as always.

Sunday morning was pretty low-key.  Other than the usual house chores, I managed a bit of Fallout playing.  Sam and Emma didn't want to go to the Eugene Comic Con, so we ended up taking Duncan, Berry, and Cecilia.  It was surprisingly fun, though Joanna was feeling pretty sniffly.  The little kids drew for a long while.  I had a good time wandering the booths, people watching, and making snarky comments about American culture to Cecilia.  I picked up a few Christmas presents, took a few pictures of cool cosplayers, and we headed home.  The day wrapped up with more math studying, a little Binding of Isaac with Emma.  

We had a small catastrophe with the basement flooding.  Once again the sewage injection pump became clogged.  Sam volunteered to help and soon he was scooping out weird stuff and getting things working again.  I was very proud of him.

Fallout and Planets

November 15, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Games

Fallout 4 arrived last week.  I took the day off to celebrate.  While it's a very familiar experience, it's been compelling.  There are some new pieces that work really well, though they took some getting used to.  Building settlements is new - making farms and running power lines around.  Apparently you can make some elaborate machines with a bit of work. 

It's full of rewarding set pieces - emerging from the Vault to hear The Wanderer broadcast over the radio, getting your PIPBoy 3000, and battling a Deathclaw in power armor.  Good times.

Sam and I have been also playing Space Engineers lately, as they just added planets to the game.  I spent twenty minutes yesterday trying to find his crashed lander in my still operating one, then we set up an arctic base and began drilling for ore.  Eventually we built a little buggy, which Sam immediately flipped after putting a couple wheels on backwards.  We rigged up a piston system to tilt it up and then a thruster to flip it completely over.  He had a great time.

Mocha Friday

November 13, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been a nutty week, remarkably busy and sprinkled with illness.

Monday I went up to Vancouver for an all-day meeting, returning late and worn out.  Tuesday was my "Play Fallout 4" day, where I returned to the wasteland and had a great time, occasionally helping with the kids.  Wednesday was off work as well, taking care of things as best I could with a sick Joanna.  Sadly our date night was cancelled.  Thursday had the full crew and I spent the day trying to dig myself out of the pile of work.  Today Emma's home sick and Joanna is mostly on the mend.

I'm going to spend today trying to get slightly less crazy at work.  I've got another Vancouver trip next week.  This weekend I need to help Sam study for a math test retake.  There's a heater to install.  Theoretically ComicCon is going on, though we'll see if we can manage to go.

I did have fun with the kids on their day off on Wednesday.  Nearly everyone made little clay things.  Berry and Emma made cute elves to hide in the garden.  Sam made a disemboweled elf with a monster eating it.  Ah, children.

Happy Birthday Seraph

November 11, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

I can't believe it's been 39 years. You're allowed to stay this age forever.

Mocha Friday

November 06, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been a crazy work day, starting with crises and continuing from one to the next.  I'm ready to go home and collapse, but I've got a late afternoon go-live.  Plus next Monday I'm going to Vancouver for the day, returning late and hopefully not too grumpy.  At least I'm taking Tuesday and Wednesday off, hopefully enjoying some quality time playing Fallout 4.

It's been the usual busy home life as well.  Wednesday night Joanna and I listened to music at the Ciderworks and chatted about possible vacation destinations over winter break.  Thursday night I helped Sam with homework, chatted with Emma, and made pancakes and sausages while Joanna took Berry to her soccer game party.  Poor Berry hurt her pinkie finger yesterday at the end of school - we don't think it's broken, but it seems uncomfortable.

This weekend Joanna has a full schedule of haircuts and birthday parties.  I need to go to the library tomorrow morning.  I'd love to get outside or visit the art museum or something.  We'll see how much excitement I can manage.

Mid Week Update

November 04, 2015 by Adam in Family

The week is moving along.  My days are spent working away at the usual craziness that is my job.  At night I go home to help Sam with homework.  Last night it was long division with complex polynomials and the philosophers of the French Renaissance.  Then we chatted about politics until it was time for our evening show.  

I took Sam to the dentist this morning and chatted with Jenny about life and next year's family reunion.  Joanna has been moving kids to and from school, doing her quirky hotel job, and sneaking in a little time here and there for personal writing.  

Joanna and I are headed out for a hot date tonight.  Life moves on.

Rainy Halloween

November 02, 2015 by Adam in Family

It was a pretty quiet Halloween weekend.  Friday night Joanna and I went out to Ambrosia for a fancy dinner where I ate way too much.  I still had my suit and tie from my Halloween costume, so at least I was fancy.

Saturday morning Joanna took Berry to her last soccer game.  They won and ended up in 3rd place in their league.  Cecilia continued her binge Downton Abbey watching.  I did a little laundry, but generally was lazy and getting over my cold.  Eventually everyone returned and Sam and Emma appeared.  We prepared for Halloween.  I watched Sam play his new Binding of Issac game.  

Eventually I braved the horde of zombies and cowboys at 5th street to pick up pizza.  Our usual science show was cut short by trick-or-treaters and the desire for Berry to get out the door to collect candy.  I walked with Duncan and Berry for a little, and then returned home to sit by the door reading and handing out candy.  It was pretty light with the rainy weather.  Eventually they returned with tons of candy for the winter.  Unwanted candy was given to the Candy Wizard, who passes along the candy to the homeless in exchange for cash.  Duncan went off to a friend's house for the night.

Emma and Berry were up at the crack of dawn due to the time change, so we played Castle Panic until seven o'clock.  I made dutch babies for everyone in the morning and cleaned up most of the Halloween detritus.  The really gross pumpkins went into the compost, but the weird synthetic webs are still up.  The rest of the day was spent inside being lazy again.  Sam and I made cookies.  Kids played video games.  Berry and Joanna watched a U of O women's soccer game and returned with a signed shirt.  Sam made up a weird sport involving exercise balls.  Joanna made a delicious dinner and served home brewed cider.

Life's good.

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