Emma Birthday #3

May 31, 2015 by Adam in Emma

Emma had a big group of friends over this morning.  They mostly hung out in the basement, playing Rock Band.  Berry and I worked on a treasure hunt earlier - the grand finale was the cake itself.

Now Emma's having a sleepover at a friend's house.  She's apparently crazy popular.

Emma Birthday #2

May 30, 2015 by Adam in Emma

At the moment, we have a basement full of pre-teen girls.  Last night we had a smaller number that helped celebrate her birthday.  Hopefully they got a little sleep last night.

Mocha Friday

May 29, 2015 by Adam in Family

I've yet to make it to work, but a mocha awaits my arrival.

It's been a generally good week, if busy.  Sam and I went to see the new Mad Max movie on Wednesday and found it to be the best in the series.  I think we both want to play flamethrowing guitars now.  Joanna took Duncan and Berry to a talent show at their school, where they did a magic trick for their school.

Last night Emma arrived and my mom came over for a family birthday celebration.  Emma enjoyed her books and goodies, but especially got into the Wacom tablet.  She's been using it to practice her Photoshop drawing skills, and making some pretty awesome art.

Tonight a small horde of pre-teen girls descend on the house for a sleepover, and tomorrow a bigger horde arrives for Emma's birthday.  Good times.

Happy days!

May 29, 2015 by Seraph in Cortez

It was a good day for the Cortez family.  

Today was Isabell's last day of middle school.  Next year she's off to high school! Robbie and I still have work tomorrow, and we'll probably be around the school next week because Robbie is moving rooms. 
I also got offered a new position at the school! In NM you can apply for an internship license once you've taken your initial set of exams, are enrolled in a certification program and already have your bachelors degree. So, with this provisional license in hand I will be the new special ed teacher for the upper grades (5th & 6th, maybe 4th depending on the case load).  
We're all excited to see everyone in a few weeks!  I think 1 large cake will be required to celebrate all the birthdays going on.

Emma's 12

May 27, 2015 by Adam in Emma

Emma turns 12 today.  I called her on Google Hangouts and Berry, Duncan, and I sung her happy birthday.  Tomorrow she opens her family presents and we eat some cake.  Friday she has some friends stay the night.  Saturday mid-morning a bunch of girls descend on the house for cake, treasure hunts, and running about.

Happy Birthday Jenny

May 26, 2015 by Lohring in Lohring

It's the start of the family birthday season.  Happy birthday Jenny

Memorial Day Weekend

May 26, 2015 by Adam in Family

It was a pleasant, low-key weekend, full of hanging out, frisbee in the park, and board games.

Friday night Joanna and I went out to a little brewery, enjoying our crepes and cider.  Afterward we listened to some music and wandered home to our reduced horde of children.  Honoka was out at a catering event, dressing like an alien with her "catering Olympics" team.  I hear she won 2nd place for her dessert.

We released the science project frogs Saturday afternoon.  Emma went to Kate's for a birthday sleepover.  Sam returned home.  We both kept playing Witcher 3 and comparing how we played different quests.

The next couple days were generally relaxing.  Emma and I played a bunch of Munchkin.  I took the kids out to the park.  Duncan and Berry helped at a car wash.  Joanna went shopping, despite her gimpy ankle.  I mowed the lawn and did endless laundry.

Life's okay.

Archeology Film Festival

May 23, 2015 by Sue in Wielesek

Last weekend was the Archeology Film Festival, followed by a conference on Archeology and the Media. I was a host to one of the presenters, a young (38) man from Pakistan. It was really interesting, and I couldn't help but appreciate, after a lunch with him and another film maker, from Iran, the freedom we have. His wife will be submitting her thesis to Cambridge University, and I agreed to proofread it for her. There must be a grammar and style handbook for Britain which is the equivalent of the one put out by the Modern Language Association. I'm looking forward to proofreading Joanna's memoir, and maybe she can take a look at Sarwat's thesis. Oh, how international we are. But I got to see a film of Pakistan, and it looks like an amazingly beautiful place.  Civilization started there in 7,000 BC. Then we went to the Museum of Natural History on campus and  saw the sandals from the "sandal factory" in Paisley Cave from 15,000 years ago. The guys in Pakistand had a better PR team!

Mocha Friday

May 22, 2015 by Adam in Family

My mocha is gone and I'm settling into the work day.  It's been fairly uneventful this week.  Joanna's ankle continues to heal.  Sam and Honoka have been a little sniffly, but nothing too bad.  Emma's toenail fell off, the long-term consequence of her toe injury from a few weeks back.

Sam and I have both been obsessively playing The Witcher.  Joanna sent off an essay to The Sun and has been getting her book ready for publishers. She sent a couple more stories to Lane Monthly and wrangled a raise.  I've really enjoyed some of her recent biographical articles - this one in particular.

Berry and Emma were fighting over who was cooking what at breakfast this morning, a conflict I can get behind.  Hopefully they'll do the same over laundry and cleaning up after dinner.  Duncan was having some computer woes, but maybe it got resolved.  The life of an aspiring YouTuber is full of technical challenges.

Honoka is off on a catering trip for the next couple days.  Emma has a sleepover with Kate on Saturday.  I'm off next Monday, so hopefully we can all get some good hang out time over the weekend, maybe enjoy some sunshine for a while.  I need to do a library run tomorrow, and we've promised to release the frogs from Berry's science experiment.  The fun never stops.

Wednesday Update

May 20, 2015 by Adam in Family

All is well.

I got a new hard drive at work, so I've been cracking open my computer and moving parts around.  It's a little weird, as I'm never sure what I'm allowed to do, but I knew how to do it and it all worked out fine.

Joanna's ankle continues to heal.  The crutches are long gone.  She's managed to limp around and do all the typical things, just slower than normal.

Duncan and Berry continue to go to track a couple nights a week.  I think they enjoy it still.

Sam's grades are slowly improving as he makes up work assignments.  We're back to two A's and a B for the things I can see grades for.

Joanna is slowly working on the various summer plans.  We have our Crater Lake trip booked, which should be an adventure.  My plan for the beach trip with everyone is to load up my mom's car with board games, clothes, and beach supplies.  I'll take people over in the minivan.  Can't wait to see everyone.

Witcher 3

May 20, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Games

Both Sam and I picked up Witcher 3 on the release date.  So far, it's a pretty great game, with murky morality and interesting story lines.  I've been riding my trusty horse around, getting into trouble. 

Sam is far past me, of course.  He'll ask what quest I'm on, and we speak in vague terms so as not to spoil the other.

Exciting Weekend

May 18, 2015 by Adam in Family

The weekend started with a bang, in this case Joanna twisting her ankle while playing with Duncan.  She managed to drive the kids home, then I arrived early to take her to urgent care.  It was the usual weird experience where no one could say how much anything costs, or even if they were definitively in network or not.  My mom swooped in to care and feed for the children, who enjoyed their outing to Tasty Thai.  Eventually Joanna and I made it home.  Sam went to see the latest Avengers movie with his friends and I stayed up late until he returned.

I was a little wonky Saturday morning due to fatigue and running around filling in for Joanna.  I played Castle Panic with Berry first thing, and then Superfight with Emma.  I took kids to chess and Emma and I went to the library.  Somewhere in there I got a haircut.  Sam went to work for my mom.  Pizza was purchased.  Honoka got ready for the prom and I took her and her friend to the Ford Alumni Center.  Honoka told stories of a little toddler one of the Prom Patrol people had taken with her, so I think Honoka mostly played with babies.   It made for another late night for me, though - Sam entertained me with more Metal Gear Solid and throwing things at me in the basement.

Sunday morning was pretty relaxing.  Kids were fed.  All but Duncan and Honoka went to see the Avengers movie.  Homework was done.  Emma and I puttered around outside.  Joanna slowly began limping around instead of using crutches.  I played more with Sam.  Everyone is getting excited for summer.

Life is never boring.

Flights Booked

May 18, 2015 by Seraph in Cortez

We booked our flight to Oregon last night!  We will fly in late on 6/15 (Monday) and stay over in Portland before heading to Eugene on 6/16.  We fly back to New Mexico on 7/2 (in the evening). 
We have a wedding to go to on 6/21, and we're starting to put together plans to see some old friends in the days leading up to the beach trip. We'll keep you all updated as plans develop!

Mocha Friday

May 15, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's been a fun last few days, going on dates and hanging out with kids.  Joanna and I went to a simple sushi place, followed up by a Fred Meyer run to purchase Pokemon cards for an upcoming friend's birthday.  Joanna entertained me with stories of interviewing chainsaw artists.  Apparently bears and eagles are the most popular.

The kids have continued to entertain.  We had food from Honoka's catering program last night - the soup was really good.  Emma was working on a mandala and trying to write about her perfect Utopian society (I suggested a billion helpful robots with my brain uploaded into them).  Duncan continues to be all about Minecraft.  Berry helps me cook breakfast if she wakes up early enough.  Sam had me play more Metal Gear Solid while we worked on Biology last night.  All is well.

We're starting to nail down summer plans for the curious:
  • I'm taking Memorial Day off (May 25th)
  • June 23rd - 30th we're going to the beach for the big family reunion.
  • July 17th - 19th the plan is to go to Crater Lake.
  • August 8th & 9th I'd like to take the kids camping in the Sister's wilderness.
  • Probably between August 24th and 26th Joanna and I will try to get away for a few days.

I think tonight we're going to attempt to go to the Avengers movie.  The rest of the weekend is pretty low-key - library, chess club, and hopefully getting outside.  Should be fun.


May 13, 2015 by Adam in Family

The week is moving along, and it's date night tonight, which is always nice.

Sam got some C's on his midterm grades, and sure enough it's due to missed assignments when he was sick last month.  He's started to take care of things, though I need to make sure he talks to his teachers to get things accomplished.

Berry was back at school today after being sick a couple days.  Thanks to mom and Bob for keeping an eye on her yesterday.  Duncan dutifully went off to track by himself, which he seems to enjoy.

As for me, my evenings have been pretty quiet.  I've had a couple fun nights of hanging out with Sam and playing Metal Gear Solid.  I think he enjoys making fun of my lack of skills.

Mothers Day

May 11, 2015 by Sue in Wielesek

In spite of a cheery dinner with Jenny, Jeanie, and the boys, and equally cheery phone calls with Sadie, Adam surely won the Perfect Kid award this year. The hot water pressure in the kitchen sink has been diminishing over the last year or so. Finally I asked Sam to take a look at it, and so when Adam, Sam, Duncan and Emma came over bearing a lovely bouquet of fat roses, Adam said they'd  work on it. Then followed two hours of grunting, snarky comments by Sam interspersed with his commands to his Dad, "Let me do it", the destruction of yards of duct tape, and the use of the power washer. Finally the obstruction in the pipe was blown clean to Hell, and the guys staggered home. 

Happy Mother's Day

May 11, 2015 by Adam in Family

Happy Mother's Day to everyone, including all the related mother support staff.  I think we mostly hit up all the mothers and grandmothers in the immediate chain of command, though we still have a few gifts to send out.  

Friday night was pretty quiet.  I picked up Emma around bedtime and we all arose Saturday morning to dutch babies and bacon.  Emma and I went to the library and made our peace with the library mafia.  We may still have a few books out, but I think my balance is zero.  There were a few good books we returned with.  Meanwhile, Duncan and Berry went off to chess and then after to their track meet.  They had a good time and brought home some ribbons, which Berry in particular was quite proud of.  As the day rolled on, I picked up Sam and we had the usual pizza and science.

Sunday was the Mother's Day extravaganza.  I arranged for cards to be made and flowers bouquets to be assembled.  Crepes, strawberries, and whip cream were served and the hand-painted pottery was handed over. 
 I think Joanna had a good time and went off to church with Duncan while the rest of us puttered around.  I mowed the lawn and took out the compost, but otherwise enjoyed the weather and lazy morning.  After lunch I took Sam, Emma, and Duncan to my mom's to deliver flowers and a card.  While we were there, we ended up doing a bunch of plumbing - fixing one thing and breaking another.  Fortunately it's practice for me, as we have the same clogged tube issue in one of our faucets.

Yayoe took Berry shopping for her birthday.  She returned home with a stuffed seal that she carries everywhere with her.  Apparently Berry was very well behaved with Yayoe.  

We attempted to take Joanna to dinner at Off the Waffle, but it was annoyingly closed.  Instead we headed to Sizzle Pie, which was pretty good after a fairly long wait.  At least we got to see the entertaining people wander around downtown.

Now it's back to work, where I can hopefully relax a little.

Mocha Friday

May 08, 2015 by Adam in Family

My mocha is slowly running dry.  I needed to take a break from my annual self-assessments as tooting my own horn was being a little much.  Supposedly performance isn't tied to pay increases for yet another year, so this all seems a little pointless.

It's been a generally positive last few days.  The kids are all finally well again, with Berry making it to track and enjoying herself, despite complaints on the way there.  Emma is still having issues with her toe, but I think she'll keep the nail and it hurts less.  Joanna got some work done, ordering books for her client and getting writing projects wrapped up.

This weekend we need to settle more accounts with the Library mafia.  My $77 in overdue fines last weekend was just the beginning.  We have some books we can't find and more fines.  We'll see what the total damage will be.

I need to start getting things ready for Emma's birthday.  The general plan is a Friday night sleepover on the 29th and a birthday shindig the next day around 10 or 11.

I'm also hoping to finalize my time off for the summer as best I can.  

Back to work!

Emma's Concert

May 07, 2015 by Adam in Emma

Joanna and I cut our date night short and went to see Emma's concert at her school.  If you look at the edge of the piano, you can see her blond head in the sea of children.

The Sickness Continues

May 05, 2015 by Adam in Family

Emma's illness apparently passed its way to Joanna, Berry, and I.  We're all a little under the weather, though I managed to make it to work and mostly function after a mocha and Advil combination.  Though the emails that had piled up were initially overwhelming, I managed to make a serious dent in all my work and I think things are mostly under control again.

The three day weekend was quite pleasant.  Saturday morning Emma magically appeared and we went to the library where I paid a $77 late fee (note to self, don't let a couple dozen books accumulate four days of $.50 fees).  It was also free comic day, so we went to Emerald City Comics where we experienced relatively well managed chaos.  Emma bought a new Magic deck, which she played against her brother later that day.  We had hoped to make it to Yayoe's concert, but my cold hit me hard and we decided to take it easy.  Sam eventually appeared too and we did our usual Mythbusters substitute watching with pizza.

Sunday had BJ, Marty, and Jason come over after breakfast and Emma and I played D&D with them all day long.  It was quite fun and nostalgic, and Jason is always amusing.  Emma had a good time hanging out with the grownups.  Joanna brought us all oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, as I have the best wife ever.

That night we went over to my mom's for Easter dinner.  The whole crew was there and we chatted and ate the evening away.  Upon our return I tucked Emma and her gimpy toe to bed.  I went downstairs where Sam has me going through the next Metal Gear Solid game.  It's a terrible burden for me, of course.

Honoka is helping with dinner tonight.  I'm starving, so I best go make sure things are on track.

Grand Theft Auto

May 03, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Games

The latest Grand Theft Auto game came out for PC recently.  It has the highest Metacritic score of any PC game at the moment, and I understand why.  The virtual world is full of interesting places and things to do - I've played golf, gone hunting, ridden a Ferris wheel, bought property, played the stock market, and so much more.  Then there's the actual storyline, which is pretty good, despite the fact that all the main characters are pretty bad people.

Occasionally I lose myself, driving on the rainy roads listening to the radio, content to just take in the ambiance of the faux-California streets.

Of course, then there's the fun in doing incredibly ridiculous things.  I decided to find some jumps and give it a try.  I don't think this is one of the 50 official jumps in the game, but that didn't stop me trying to make one of those cool jump videos.

Mocha Friday

May 02, 2015 by Adam in Family

Well, I took the day off today.  My boss told me to, right before leaving work yesterday.  I have a ton of things to do, but it seemed fairly sensible.  After waking up early, fretting about work, I managed to get back to sleep for a little and hung out with Berry and Emma.  After that was Dutch Babies for breakfast, feeding Honoka on her way off to school. 

The morning was pretty low-key.  Duncan, Berry, and Joanna went off to their t.v. interview, which you can watch here.  Emma and I did art and watched an old X-Men movie.  She hurt her toe pretty badly on Thursday, missing school for the day.  It involves moving a chair and squishing her little toe, which was both embarrassing and painful.  Around noon I fed Emma and her mom picked her up after that.

This afternoon has been fairly low-key.  I mowed the lawn and cleaned up the garage.  Laundry was folded.  Dishes were done.  I managed to play more Grand Theft Auto, which continues to amuse and entertain.

Tonight Joanna and I are going to a celebration thingie at her church.  Tomorrow morning I get Emma.  It's free comic day, plus I've got to get to the library to return a bunch of overdue books.  Busy, busy.

Coming soon to a TV/screen near you!

May 01, 2015 by Joanna in Joanna

Duncan and Berry are participating in Eugene Lemonade Day on Sunday (it's part of a thing by Columbia Bank and Corban University) and, as part of promoting it, will be on KEZI news Friday, May 1 at 11:45 am.

If you're in Eugene - watch it on TV! If not, you can watch it on their livestream: http://www.kezi.com/livestream

If someone could record it for us, that would be super. Hopefully we don't all embarrass ourselves horribly.

Oh, and come by on Sunday afternoon -- and any day after school that it's sunny -- and get your lemonade.

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