Vaguely Productive Weekend

March 30, 2015 by Adam in Family

Both our teenagers are sick this morning.  Hopefully they keep it to themselves, but I'm bracing for everyone to be sick.  Honoka spent Sunday throwing up and laying on the couch, which is never a good sign.  Sam texted me, saying he was super sick.  I asked Joanna to check up on them later this morning.  Poor kids.

Friday night was spent collecting all the children.  I picked up Sam and Emma and we hung out together.  Duncan and Berry came back that night as well, and Joanna fetched Honoka from the airport. 

Saturday morning Duncan and Berry left with their dad, though Emma and I ran into them later at the library.  We returned home with a pile of books and eventually woke up Sam.  We went shopping at Target and walked around the river nearby.  The weather has been so nice lately.  Eventually we returned home to pizza and Mythbusters.

Sunday was pretty low-key.  I managed to play a little of my new nostalgic video game and Sam hooked me up with the first Metal Gear Solid game, watching intently at my various mistakes.  Emma, Sam, and I, along with occasionally Joanna and Berry, played a weird game involving assassins, guards, citizens, and thieves.  Basically we all got random roles, though it usually devolved into stabbing everyone else with foam swords and laughing hysterically.

I did manage to clean up the garage somewhat and take a bunch of stuff to St. Vincent de Paul's.  I saw this cool hanging bike organizer online and successfully made it myself.  It's now possible to walk into the garage and move around.  Next step is to clean out the dissolving particle board cabinet and put everything where it's supposed to belong.

Quiet Mocha Friday

March 27, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been pretty quiet the last few days.  Wednesday night we got a tired Duncan overnight - I installed some mods for him and sent him to bed.  Last night Joanna and I had a quiet dinner together and walked around the block.  The weather has been so beautiful - it feels like spring is here in force.  On the downside, my allergies have started and I ended up mowing the lawn last night.  Everything is growing so quickly now.

Our horde of children arrive tonight.  I'm picking up Sam, Emma, and her friend Ella after work.  After dinner we get Honoka.  Eventually we'll get Duncan and Berry.  I look forward to our happy chaos.

Back from Portland

March 26, 2015 by Adam in Family

We had two luxurious days away from work, home, and children.  It was quite pleasant - it turns out Joanna and I really like each other when we're by ourselves.  We got Duncan and Berry off and then hit the road to Portland.  We hit the gluten free bakery for sustenance and then drove over to McMenamins at Edgefield to check in. 

The place was funky but fun, with far too many bars and pubs scattered around the grounds.  We ended up soaking in the spa pool and then catching a dinner and a movie at the Power Station pub.  It was Jupiter Rising, which was flashy and dumb - Joanna kept peppering me with logical flaws afterward.  I just pointed out how pretty it was.

The next morning we had breakfast, went for a hike, and shopped at an outlet mall and Ikea.  We didn't find quite what we wanted, but our marriage survived and we came home with a few home improvement projects to add to the list.  The rest of the evening was uneventful - we got a tired Duncan at the end of the day, laundry was done, I played some video games, and we wrapped up the evening with Call the Midwife.

Tonight should be equally quiet, with Berry overnight instead.  Friday marks the return of everyone including Honoka.  Should be the usual happy chaos.

Beach Trip

March 24, 2015 by Adam in Family

We had a great trip to the beach.  I was a little nervous with seven people in tow, but the kids were good natured and we all somehow fit in the minivan with all our clothes.  We left Friday after work, stopped in Corvallis at Nearly Normal's Gonzo Cuisine, and made our way to dad's house to crash for the night.

Saturday was beautiful, defying the weather report.  Dad showed up for breakfast, we woke Sam up early, and then we went to Lincoln City to hang out at the beach.  The kids roamed around and played in the sand.  Honoka was impressed by the horde of harbor seals camped out across the water.  Eventually we returned home for lunch and then headed out for an afternoon hike at Cascade Head.  It was gorgeous dense rainforest, if a bit steep.  Joanna turned back with the kids and Sam and I ran up the mountain until we got to a good stopping point.  I was a little worried about Sam's knee, but it seemed in good shape.

Eventually we wrapped up the evening with pizza and Mythbusters.  Ana came with tasty food for Joanna and I.  Eventually we bid Ana and my dad farewell and we wound down for the night.

Sunday we tried to get to the tide pools in Newport at Heceta Head light house, but we missed them and it was pouring rain.  Sam and Joanna walked to the light house, which we couldn't get into, but the little kids and I drove up the road, walked briefly through the torrent, saw the view, and turned back.  We then hung out at the interpretive center and dried off, which was actually kinda fun.  We drove back and hung out for the rest of the day - I was exhausted from the drive and unpacking.

Today Joanna took Honoka to the airport where she went to visit her host family in Canada.  Joanna worked and Sam went to work for my mom.  I took the rest of the crew to the library and we played around in the afternoon.  Eventually Jamie came for Emma and Kevin and his mom came for Duncan and Berry.  For a brief moment, all the children were off.  We made mushroom soup and bottled cider.

The little kids are back and Joanna and I are off for a couple days on an adventure.  Life is never dull.

Mocha Friday

March 20, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's a low-key Friday.  Since I'm off work for the next five days, I'm trying hard not to move anything to live.  Those always end up being a little more relaxing as moving things to production is always a little nail-biting.

It's the usual madhouse at home with all the kids running around.  I arrived last night to find Sam sticking Berry in the "foof" and pretending she was a giant taco.  Emma was drawing her latest crazy cartoon character (Oil Baron Whale?).   Berry has been complaining of jaw pain - I'm not quite sure how serious it is, as it seems to pop up at convenient times.

Duncan had a guilty conscience a couple days ago and confessed to assorted sins (including forging times on his computer chart).  I was actually fairly impressed that he fessed up, and he apologized to his friends that he was pranking on his Minecraft server.  We have implemented hopefully appropriate punishments.

Joanna's had a busy week.  She went hiking with the Obsidian club as part of an article.  Wednesday night we had a date consisting of Mexican food and a Wordcrafters speaker.  She also took care of a bunch of minivan repairs - it's nice to have a window that rolls both down and up consistently.

We're off to the coast this weekend, somehow stuffing seven people in the car for over two hours.  It'll probably be cold and wet, but such is the way of Oregon weather in the spring.

Knee Updates

March 19, 2015 by Adam in Sam

I took Sam into Slocum this morning where he was generally given a clean bill of health.  It sounds like his knee continues to be sore in some situations.  The doctor was a little worried about the knee cap slipping again, but thought that continued exercise was a good idea.  I suspect carefully pushing himself for the next six months or so will take care of most of the issues.

He did drop his team sports class for this term and expressed an interest in running.  Maybe I can convince him to go jogging with me on occasion.

Mid-Week Update

March 18, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been a busy week, zipping along.

The high school kids started their new term on Monday.  Sam dropped his PE class due to his knee issues.  He has an appointment with Slocum this Thursday - hopefully he can be more active in the fall. 

Last night we went to Honoka's band concert.  She was hiding in the back corner, but seemed to do okay.

I'm adjusting to Sam having his computer in his room - I tend to not see him as much, but occasionally her emerges to hang out.  Monday night we watched Table Top and practiced our kung fu rag-cutting skills.

Tonight Joanna and I are off on a hot date night.  Busy, busy.

Long Rainy Weekend

March 16, 2015 by Adam in Family

It was a pleasant, long weekend, full of kids and assorted activities.  Our warm winter turned wet in the week before spring.

Sam setup his PS3 in his room and then played his new PS3 game, but popped out fairly regularly to hang out with the rest of us.  We managed some board game action, and lots of bouncing the exercise ball around in the basement - Sam and the little kids managed to do weird things with bubble wrap for a long time as well.

Joanna brewed up a new batch of cider and kept relatively busy.  Emma expanded her online language classes to Swedish.  I wore myself out taking the girls bike riding - eventually I collapsed and had to go home to play video games.

There was a library trip, art projects, and Honoka recovering from her birthday sleepover.  Today is a new term, and I suspect Sam will have quite a bit more homework with math starting up.  He's got to figure out his PE class as well since his knee isn't quite up for team sports.

Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance

March 14, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Games

Sam talked me into buying Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance.  It's a fairly standard fighting game, with an over-the-top story.  At the moment, I'm trying to retrieve the brains of children being turned into cyborg soldiers.  Every time they say "brains", I want to rub my hands together and cackle.

I felt completely incompetent playing at the beginning, but Sam gave me pointers and it's become pretty fun.  Weirdly, a key gameplay element is cutting your enemies in half and ripping out their cyborg spines for energy.  I've gotten rather good at it.

Happy Pi Day

March 14, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been a lovely weekend so far.  I had Friday off and the weather was nice.  Joanna had a headache and worked, so I hauled Emma, Duncan, and Berry off to the reservoir at the top of the hill to practice bike riding.  Emma was nervous, but picked it up where she left off a year ago.  Soon enough she was zipping around without too much trouble.  Berry and Duncan kept the training wheels on despite my protests, but still had a good time.  Eventually Joanna joined us and we returned home for lunch.

After lunch Sam and I moved his computer downstairs after having it in the living room for the last five years.  He actually had permission to move it into his room some time ago, but only got around to it now.  I'll miss hanging out with him, playing computer games together, but threatened to come visit regularly.  Rearranging everything was fairly exhausting, but I think everything is set up and working.  He also got his used PS3 shipped last night - he'll be sure to set it up when he returns from Jamie's house.

Sam coached me as I played Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance - I was completely incompetent until he gave me a few pointers.  Honoka's friends started to arrive and Joanna took them to the movie.  The rest of us retreated to the basement to play weird games involving giant inflatable balls and punching.  Everyone had a great time.

Sam and Emma went to dinner with Jamie.  Joanna returned, ate, and went to get the girls.  Eventually Emma returned and we hung out, reading Adventure Time and watching The Bravest Warriors.  The evening wrapped up with a little Call the Midwife on the newly arranged living room entertainment setup, which worked pretty well.

This morning we made circular breakfast items (even the bacon) and ate at precisely 9:26:53 to commemorate Pi day.  It was fun.

Honoka's Birthday

March 14, 2015 by Adam in Family


had her birthday this Thursday.  Her friends threw her a surprise birthday party Friday at the park, and last night she took a couple friends out to the movie and they slept over last night.  I think she had a really good time.


March 11, 2015 by Adam in Family

Sam and Honoka have been taking finals the last couple days.  With Sam being gone for a week of illness, he's been feeling a little overwhelmed by it all.  Jamie and I both gave him the "you have to make up the work" speech - hopefully it sunk in.  In any case, he's confident of A's and B's in his classes.  I think Honoka will be equally fine, based on the amount of studying she's been doing and the detail she put into her "Jenny the Giraffe" children's book.

The week has been fairly uneventful.  Sam handed over his hard earned cash and told me to buy him a used PS3.  There are some old games he plans on playing.  Duncan is playing Minecraft as usual, asking me to install mods - hopefully this will prevent issues with malware that he's had lately.

I'm taking Friday off to hang out with the kids, who are all out of school.  Honoka has her birthday this Thursday.  Joanna and I are going out on a hot date tonight.  Good times.

Slowly Getting Better

March 09, 2015 by Adam in Family

All the kids went to school today, a first in a long while.  Both Sam and Emma seemed to improve over the weekend, though they still weren't leaping about.  I'll be glad to see the last of the winter illnesses.

Friday night was a fun outing.  We took Duncan, Berry, and the new sitter downtown for an event.  Joanna is an ongoing writer for Lane Monthly, and they were celebrating their first edition with free ice cream.  The little kids liked their time on the town, returning with a balloon dog and sword from a street performer.  We returned home and then Joanna and I went out to Off the Waffle to wrap up a pleasant date night.  Honoka came over later with two friends, who all slept in the basement and vanished in the morning.

Saturday morning I picked up Sam and Emma and then ran Emma to the library to get her school book.  I worry both kids are behind from being sick for a week, especially with finals this week for Sam.  They assure me it's taken care of, but I guess we'll see.  The day was relatively uneventful - I got a lot of laundry done, played Magicka with Sam and Emma, and picked up pizza for our usual Mythbusters.  Joanna's apparently writing a monthly gardening column, so she was out taking pictures of blooming fruit trees and getting the beds ready to plant.

Sunday was daylight savings, so dinners and bedtimes all seemed a little off.  Emma hit the treadmill a little and Sam played a bunch of his latest Metal Gear Solid game.  Duncan went off to church with Joanna.  I set up Berry to disassemble a broken Wii drive, which was both entertaining and maddening for her.  More children arrived, Honoka went out with friends to work on school projects, and Sam and Emma went to the Wizard of Oz with their mom.  As for me, my big accomplishment was to finally get rid of the old dishwasher that was cluttering our driveway.  Time to make things pretty for springtime.

Mocha Friday

March 06, 2015 by Adam in Family

Sam and Emma continue to be sick.  Emma came over last night, and has spent the whole time complaining of stomach pain and nausea.  She really wanted to go to school to pick up homework, and was last seen this morning doing her online vocabulary studies.

It's been a generally uneventful week.  I've been working away at Provider Compensation non-stop at work.  Joanna went to a writer's meet last night.  Sam and I watched a couple movies, as that was all he was up for.  Tonight Joanna and I are going out, though we might be taking the little kids due to lack of a sitter.

Hopefully everyone will feel better by Monday.

Happy Birthday, Dad

March 06, 2015 by Adam in Lohring

Happy birthday, dad. 

Thanks for entertaining me over the years with talk of science, computers, and board games.  You've helped turned me into the manly nerd I am today.

Disease-Filled Weekend

March 03, 2015 by Adam in Family

Friday night I was so wiped out that I was incapable of going on my hot date with Joanna.  Brenna took the little kids to Mardi Gras while I languished, eventually coming downstairs for dinner.  Joanna made soup and cookies.  I managed to eat some toast, we watched the finale of Agent Carter, and my appetite returned as I nibbled on cookies.  Eventually I got to bed, though I didn't sleep particularly well.

As the weekend progressed, Sam and Emma returned to us on Saturday.  Sam spent the weekend moping around, but Emma was fine until Sunday night.  I managed a fairly quick recovery, though I'm still not quite perfect.

Saturday morning Joanna and I dropped off the little kids at chess club, went to the library, and picked up Honoka from a sleepover, Emma from her mom's house, and Duncan and Berry from chess.  That afternoon Emma and I put out the hammock, took apart the broken Wii, and generally played around.  Eventually I got Sam and we wrapped up the evening with our usual pizza and Mythbusters.

Sunday was fairly quiet.  Emma and I played and finished Trine 2.  She invited a friend over, and Emma and Ella played non-stop.  Duncan had a friend over too, and Flynn repeatedly stopped by to hang out with everyone.

Sam and I played Europa Universalis 4 while we recovered.  It was a fun distraction, though not particularly practical.  I carefully avoided cleaning the sewage injection pump for obvious reasons.

Joanna also celebrated national peanut butter lover's day by inundating Sam with peanut butter infused products.  For breakfast it was peanut butter pancakes with peanut M&Ms.  For dinner it was peanut butter and peanut sauce.  Dessert was peanut butter cheesecake.  It was absolutely delicious.

The evening wrapped up with Sam, Emma, and I playing Augustus, which is a Roman-themed strategic bingo of sorts.  Sam barely won.

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