Hello From Istanbul

July 31, 2015 by Adam in Wielesek

This came in via email from mom, but I wanted to post it here:

Hi, everybody,

We had a good day today, It's still hot, but we can find our way around better, and have finally figured out that walking around between 2 and 5 in the afternoon is a terrible idea. We got up early and walked to Topkapi Palace. The building itself is beautiful, and the jewels and weaponry amazing.

Tonight, the night of the Blue Moon, we took an evening cruise through the straits of Bosphorus, and watched the moon rise. But the heat during the day is pretty exhausting.

I saw the emergency fire restrictions, Hope you all well. We'll write more tomorrow.

Mocha Friday

July 31, 2015 by Adam in Family

The last few days have been pretty quiet, full of watering the plants in 100+ degree weather and catching up on house work.  Last night Emma came over and reveled in being our temporary only child.  I hopped in the pool with her and enjoyed the bathtub temperature water.  After a delicious curry meal Joanna made we watched Mean Girls and I got her off to bed.

It's the day before the big go-live at work, so everyone is a little tense, a weird mix between quiet and odd help desk calls.   Hopefully the weekend is quiet.

Duncan and Berry Head To New York

July 29, 2015 by Adam in Family

Duncan and Berry are off to New York today, heading out the door momentarily.  I gave them hugs and farewells before I left for work.  They were both pretty wonky and on edge yesterday, with Joanna going a little crazy from the bickering.  They were super excited to see Kevin, who stopped by last night.  This is all very typical of transitions in the past.  They usually settle down in a few days after they get to Rochester.

Joanna's doing a church service tonight, leaving me in a quiet house alone.  I figure I'll do some laundry and water the gardens as it's going to be a hundred degrees today.  It might be nice to have a little time to myself, though I miss all my wayward children.


July 29, 2015 by Adam in Sam

I Skyped with Sam and my mom in Istanbul last night.  They were all adjusting to the time change, despite some calls coming into my mom's phone the night before.  They had a full day in Amsterdam, visiting a couple museums and seeing some of the more famous paintings.  For their first day in Istanbul they spent it at the Mall of Istanbul, which has cyclopes and apparently a cartoon explaining the roller coaster in the middle.

It was nice to see them and chat away, reassuring my parental worry.  Sam's learned the Turkish word for SALE so far.  They were up and drinking coffee as I got ready for bed.  The air is warm and humid, though it'll be hotter in Eugene today.

Today they head into the old city, staying somewhere that hopefully has WiFi.  After a few days of seeing the sights, I think the plan is to fly over to a coastal city, making the jump from Europe to Asia.  I hope they have a great time.

Is Istanbul ready for us

July 28, 2015 by Sue in Wielesek

Here we are in Istanbul
Home of strong coffee and tea
We are ready for Istanbul
Is Istanbul ready for me

We had a no-glitch trip to Amsterdam, but while changing money in the Amsterdam airport a drunk guy tripped. He fell, hit his head, and peed his pants. We took a train into Amsterdam, where it was pouring rain. Intrigued by the canal system, and the beautiful old houses, we booked a hop-on hop-off canal ride. The ride took us past some of the 2500 houseboats which line the canal system. We hopped off at the Rijksmuseum where we saw artwork from 1100 to 2000 including Vermeer, Rembrant, and Van Gough. We also saw modern art, of which Sam was critical. On the boat ride back to the train station I was falling over asleep.  We caught the plane to Istanbul, and when we arrived, we learned that the hotel shuttle was no longer running(I'm convinced hotel shuttles don't really exist.) However, we made the trip thanks to a taxi. The hotel is lovely. We've had a good night's sleep, and a good breakfast.
Sam alternates between being hysterically funny and maddening. He has edited this post heavily, and it has taken approximately two hours and twenty-five minutes to write it. Additionally, he has explained his freshman and sophomore year grammar course to me in brief but firm tones.
Love you all,
As dictated to and edited by Mister Snarky Butt.

And They're Off

July 27, 2015 by Adam in Family

Mom and Sam are on the way to Amsterdam at the moment, arriving in Istanbul in some complicated amount of hours with all the time changes.  They have a full day in Amsterdam - hopefully they take lots of pictures.

The weekend has generally been good.  Sam watched me play Metal Gear Solid Friday night, taking absolutely forever to get past the first fight.  I got Emma in the morning while getting ready for Duncan's birthday party at the park.  Hordes of children ran about.  I broke out the drone.  Everyone had a good time.  I returned home, hauling all the birthday stuff, and helped Sam pack for the trip.  The day wrapped up with pizza and Mythbusters.

We did have the bat return again last night, swooping around the living room in circles until it grew tired and hung from the ceiling.  Eventually it figured out how to escape through the double doors.  Berry was excited to finally see it.

Today I got everyone up early and out the door, picking up my mom on the way to the Portland airport.  Sam entertained me with tales of his made-up zombie driving movie, called Dead Driver.  There was a trilogy with a prequel - I don't remember much, but it made the drive go quickly.

After dropping them off and bidding them a safe voyage, I took Emma and Berry to OMSI.  The Ripley's Believe It Or Not exhibit was pretty good, and I was strangely enthralled with the shrunken heads.  We ate at the cafeteria, which had been transformed into a trendy place with tasty local food, and returned to science exhibits.  The drive back was long and traffic was bad, but we finally made it home.

We're crashing out and taking it easy for the rest of the day.  I think Emma is on the treadmill, watching Wil Wheaton DMing some gaming session with attractive funny poeple.  Berry and Joanna are playing Carcasonne.  Duncan is doing Minecraft legos.  I'm cleaning up and getting ready for work tomorrow.

Birthday #2

July 27, 2015 by Adam in Duncan

Duncan had a good time at his birthday party with his friends.  We headed down to Washington Park and I brought the drone for some aerial shots.  Joanna made a YouTube themed cake at Duncan's request, which was both tasty and hip.

I Am Batman

July 24, 2015 by Adam in Family

My mocha is slowly percolating away in my belly on this last work day of the week.  Things are quieting down somewhat in the week before the big Epic go-live.  I'm enjoying working on some of my back burner projects.

An interest in getting Emma and Summer together turned into a bunch of the old Web Services team coming over for dinner.  Summer and Debbie came from out of town, along with Glen, Dave, and his wife Lorraine.  It was a fun get together and we chatted until late that night.

Later on while Sam, Joanna, and I were watching 30 Rock, a bat emerged into the living room, apparently having snuck in while chatting with my coworkers and leaving the patio door open.  It flew around in circles, but brave Sam drove it out.  Joanna hid under a blanket and I filmed the whole thing.

We have a busy weekend ahead.  Duncan has a couple friends coming for a sleepover and then is throwing a birthday party at cheese park tomorrow morning.  Sunday I'm taking mom and Sam to the Portland airport so they can go off to Istanbul.  I'm also bringing the girls so we can visit OMSI while we're there.

My life is a constant adventure.

Danica Visits Greenfield

July 23, 2015 by Danica in Danica Miller

I spent a lovely weekend with Sadie, Greg and Simon last Fri.-Sun. It was wonderful to see them all and finally meet Simon. After seeing the photos from the family gathering I was feeling very left out, so decided not to wait any longer to get to Greenfield. We had good food, good conversations and fun at the Greenfield Street Fair. Sadie caught me up on everyone's news. Simon was wonderful of course - the perfect baby! He indulged my need for cuddles and pointed out everything important so I didn't miss a thing. On top of that he impressed us all by taking several *long* walks! (6 feet at least) I have to say he's the first baby I've ever seen walking on his knees as well as his feet! I'm looking forward to seeing Joanna in Rochester at the end of the summer, and maybe Duncan and Berry too. I guess I'll have to be content to see everyone else at another time. Here are a few photos from Greenfield. NB: Simon was fascinated with my camera - Sooooo many buttons! He took several great photos! (two included - one of me, one of his mom). Love to all --

Birthday Boy

July 21, 2015 by Adam in Adam

Here's a slightly belated video from my birthday celebrations.  The cake Joanna threw together was incredible.

10 Years Old

July 21, 2015 by Adam in Duncan

Duncan is ten - it's official.

We put together a little birthday celebration for Duncan yesterday, one in the morning with Emma and then later that evening with my mom around.  He got a good haul of books, Mad Libs, pool toys, and online classes in graphics development.  He was very excited about the latter - he's very much a computer boy.

Happy Birthday Me

July 19, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's my birthday, which has so far been celebrated by packing up from our Crater Lake trip and driving back to town.  I still have things to unload and clean, but I've taken a shower and things are somewhat organized.

The Crater Lake trip continued to be an adventure.  Saturday morning we tried to visit the nearby Agency Lake, to no avail, so we returned to our rental to wake up Sam and head to the park.  We stopped by several great views on the way to the boat ramp, then hiked down the long and steep path.  Poor Emma twisted her ankle as soon as we set off, but stoically limped down. 

The bottom was cool and the lake was pleasant.  Quite a few people were swimming, despite the chilly water.  We hopped on the boat tour around Crater Lake, which ended up being rather pleasant.  The ranger was chatty and funny, Emma got off her hurt ankle, and the little kids each had a chance to ride in front.  The lake was actually quite interesting, and I'm glad we took the trip rather than getting dropped off on Wizard Island.

The hike back up was exhausting, and the nearest restaurant was busy until nine.  Fortunately they made us a couple pizzas to go, Joanna fetched drinks from the nearby store, and we fed our exhausted bodies with seemingly delicious pizza. 

This morning we packed up, cleaned up, and headed out of town, stopping by a little wetlands preserve on the way out.  The drive was mostly uneventful, with a stop for lunch at a quirky restaurant up in the mountains.

Joanna is preparing presents and cake for the birthday boy (that's me!).

Crater Lake

July 18, 2015 by Adam in Family

We made it. Joanna is whipping up bread pudding and the kids found a treasure trove of vhs tapes in the place we're staying. The drive was long but not too bad. Crater Lake is amazing to see. We spotted as soon as we saw it and hiked around, later going to the lodge. Now we're taking it easy.

Mocha Friday

July 17, 2015 by Adam in Family

Emma helped make me a mocha this morning.  I made a hearty breakfast for all and we're about to hit the road to Crater Lake.

It's been a pleasant week.  Joanna and I went out Wednesday night, going for a short walk from the cider place down to the river and back.  Sam and Emma arrived last night.  Emma and I hung out together, chatting away, and then Sam watched as I started the next Metal Gear Solid game on his PS3.

Hopefully the next few days will be a fun adventure.

First Drone Flight

July 15, 2015 by Adam in Joanna

We went down to the park for a potluck with the other families of kids doing track.  I brought the drone and Joanna gave it a try.

Fun-Filled Weekend

July 13, 2015 by Adam in Family

It was a great weekend, and I played until I was exhausted.

Friday after work I picked up Emma and we got together for a typical tasty dinner that Joanna put together.  The evening wound down with 30 Rock on Netflix and laughter.

Saturday morning I whipped up french toast from Metropol french bread, then took Duncan and Emma for a quick library run.  Emma went off for the afternoon to Hailee's birthday party.  I hung out with Sam, playing through seemingly impossible fights in Metal Gear Solid 2.  I finally had to show him how impossible it was, and of course that was the one time I beat the boss fight.  The day wrapped up with pizza and Mythbusters and the usual bedtime routine.

Sunday was non-stop excitement.  I took Berry and Emma to the park to fly drones and read books.  After our return, I took a spare treadmill to Jamie's so Emma could get some exercise in while she was there.  Once Sam was up, we met up with Joanna and Duncan and I took all the kids to Humble Bagel and Hendrick's Park.  We played hide-and-seek tag, hiked 2 miles, and returned home exhausted.  I finished Metal Gear Solid under Sam's watchful eyes, hopped in the pool with Emma and Duncan, and played some game with Berry called "sexy potato", which was basically catch with better marketing.

As for today, Joanna is taking the smaller kids to see the Minion movie, and later Sam and Emma return to Jamie's.  This week I want to get everything ready for our Crater Lake trip.  Joanna and I are trying to line up a date night this week.

The rest of the summer seems impossibly busy.  The little kids go to Rochester and Sam goes to Istanbul in a couple weeks.  Emma was secretly excited to briefly be an only child.  In a month or so I'm hiking in the Sister's wilderness with Sam and Emma.  The two bigger kids have a road trip with their mom late in the summer, and Joanna and I are planning a getaway in there too.  Then we get a French student intern and school starts up again.

A quick but sincere thanks

July 12, 2015 by Sue in Wielesek

Thank you all for putting so much time and energy into making the FamVac fun. First of all, thank you to Anna and Lohring for getting the whole process underway. The house you found was great. We couldn't have asked for a better place as an auxiliary to your house. I suspect that both of you put in lots of time and energy which no one realized. Joanna, thank you for all your hard work in planning, arranging, and rearranging food and sleeping arrangements. It really helped to have someone get things down on paper and keep us moving in a straight line. Adam, you are one of those wonderful folks who does so much by just being unruffled all the time. Sometime you will become hysterically furious and the earth will open and swallow us all. 'Till then, keep doing what you're doing! Jenny, thanks for making such a conscientious effort to juggle your family obligations and still spend time at the Coast. It was really fun to have Dez, even for a short time, and I know Sam always has a good time with Da Boys. Yayoe and John, thank you so much for making the effort to come over; it is always fun to have you around, and I think Yayoe should get the Plumber of the Year Award.

And a special thank you to Seraph, Robbie, Isa, Sadie, Greg, and Simon for the huge effort you all made to get here from your homes far away. Your Dad and I remember the struggle to haul kids and stuff long distances, and for you, Sadie and Greg, the effort of working around jobs obligations, and for Seraph, going to school at the same time you're "on vacation".  We Left Coast hold-outs really miss you all. And Simon - so huggable!

Sadie, Simon and I skyped this morning, and he has definitely started to talk - says "Hi" clearly (and waves), and loves playing Peek-a-Boo. So you all can be proud of your Linguistic Education Team

Anyhow, I had a wonderful time, and I'm looking forward to finding a good place for next summer. Yayoe, we'll try out the plumbing first.
So much love to all, Mom/Sue


July 12, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Projects

One of my Father's Day presents was a low-cost drone with a little camera.  It's actually quite a bit of fun to fly around and I've gotten to the point where I don't crash instantly.  The range of the remote is decent, but I find that after I reach a certain height the drone gets confused and falls.  Still, you can get some good aerial footage and it's fun to chase the kids around.

Mocha Friday

July 10, 2015 by Adam in Family

I'm sipping my mocha at work, looking forward to coming home and hanging out with everyone.

It's been a fairly quiet few days.  Sam and Emma came over last night and I had a good time hanging out with them.  Emma and I sat on swings and chatted about music and life.  Joanna went to a low-key bachelorette party.  Sam and I played frisbee in the basement, then he made fun of me while I played Metal Gear Solid.  I read bedtime stories of Archie using silly voices.  Good times all around.

Mid Week Update

July 08, 2015 by Adam in Family

Honoka made it safe and sound to Japan.  She's having to get used to low countertops and trying to find a place for all the stuff she accumulated in America.

I stopped by to visit the kids Monday night and say hello, returning with Emma for the night.  We sat in the hammock and chatted away, swapping stories from our various adventures.  It was nice.

Joanna and I had date night with the kids yesterday, going downtown to Off the Waffle.  We played goofy games and generally enjoyed ourselves, despite the occasional playful insanity from the children.

Duncan and Berry have been enjoying their camps this week.  Today they're off to Wildlife Safari.  Joanna is working on drumming up business for herself during the summer lull.  I'm bug fixing Provider Compensation, making sure the doctors get paid right.

Never a dull moment.

I Am Batman

July 07, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Games

I've been playing the latest batman game, Arkham Knight.  There were some serious performance issues, to the point where they stopped selling the PC version after a couple days.  Fortunately it plays fine for me on my super-speedy computer.  It's actually quite fun, like the previous games, and I'm busy flying, fighting, and puzzle solving my way around the city.

I had a slightly amusing situation last night where I ran into a guy at the police station, glowing green like the Riddler's henchmen.  Though the GUI didn't say anything, I used my Interrogate move and ended up throwing him into jail.  I guess it's not easy being green.

Back to Work

July 06, 2015 by Adam in Family

It's Monday again.  I got kids up and fed at their usual early time, as they're off to camp this morning.  I've got three go-lives waiting for me, none of them particularly big - I just didn't want to do anything on a Friday afternoon.

Sunday was luxuriously lazy and productive.  I power washed the front porch and got it shiny clean.  Emma's bedroom was picked up.  All the plants were watered.  The kids puttered about, making weird plastic bead things and rubber band bracelets, along with the usual Minecraft animations and strange contraptions.

Sam and Emma returned from their trip to Seattle.  I think we'd normally have them Thursday, though I'm hoping I can stop by to say hello sometime.

Fourth of July

July 05, 2015 by Adam in Family

We had a pretty good Fourth of July, a nice mix of productive and relaxing.  The night before Joanna and I had our date night, going to see our neighbor Jim and his band play bluegrass at the library.  I was especially impressed with their rendition of Parting Glass.

Sam and Emma are still in Seattle with Jamie and Meg.  Yesterday they traveled to Whitby island and saw the fort there.  I think they're having a generally good time, returning in a few days after getting Meg settled in her new house.

I made a hearty breakfast for the fourth, dutch babies with lots of fresh fruit.  Eventually I took Duncan and Berry to the park to visit the Play and Spray and fly drones.  Duncan took some shaky but good video.  The kids had a good time learning to fly, and a little boy followed us around in awe.

I managed some good house projects, getting a computer setup in the guest house and setting up a wireless router so it has connection.  The yards were mowed and watered.  I pruned a little.  Loads of laundry were done.  Joanna made blueberry jam.

Duncan's friend Sam came over for a couple hours.  Joanna made the required grilled meal which we ate outside in the manageable heat.  The kids wanted to set off fireworks, so we wandered down a few blocks past the no-firework zone.  I think they had a good time, though Joanna seemed skeptical about it all.  I asked if her country was still holding a grudge.

Hot Mocha Friday

July 03, 2015 by Adam in Family

I think Joanna is trying to ease the various farewells with food - she made an amazing custard to go over the blueberry pie that was amazing.  Honoka is slowly making her way home.  We keep finding little things of hers that she didn't take back - a pink laundry basket and the Adventure Time mug she used for her toothbrush.  This weekend I'll take a look at our little guest cottage and try to get it ready for our next visitor.  Late August our French intern should arrive, for at least three months, but I'm not sure of the details.

We're braving the heat wave.  The pool is a balmy 80 degrees while the outside temperature hit 100.  This weekend I'm going to try to do the necessary yardwork early and then stay indoors except for pool time.  I should keep working on the kids' Canadian citizenship papers in case it gets too much.

I'm off to work shortly.  Hopefully it'll be quiet with most people taking the day off.

Dorothy's Days at Mary Lyon School

July 02, 2015 by Danica in Danica Miller

I'm still sorry that I wasn't able to join all of you for the fun week at the coast. ;-(  While you were there, I was in Philadelphia at a wedding. On my way back to Rochester I stopped at Swarthmore College to look at the Mary Lyon School archives in the Friends Historical Library there. For those of you interested in family history – here's a link to the web page I just posted that includes notes and some photos of materials I found, including photos of Dorothy from the two years she attended the school - 1925-1927. Can you find her in this class photo from the 1927 yearbook?

More Farewells

July 02, 2015 by Adam in Family

Honoka left for the airport this morning.  Duncan and Berry woke up early with Joanna and I.  Honoka gave us all cards and a beautiful picture frame full of photos and a big "Thank You" in the middle.  We all cried and hugged and waved as Joanna drove her off.

Last night John and Yayoe came by to say farewell to Honoka, and later Seraph, Robbie, Isa, and my mom came by for dinner.  Joanna made her usual wonderful meal, along with this amazing blueberry pie.  I think we've reached the point where I can't ever leave her because my family likes her too darn much.

Joanna let me know she's got a writing gig with the Register Guard.  I guess that means we'll have to get the paper again.

As for me, I survived my first day back at work and all the doctors managed to get paid.  Hopefully today's insanity will be minimal.

Back Home, With Goodbyes

July 01, 2015 by Adam in Family

We made it back home and our house was still intact, despite Civic Stadium burning down the day before.  It's quiet today - Sam and Emma went to their mom's house and will be away for a week to Seattle to move Meg.  Honoka has a final sleepover tonight, and is leaving the day after tomorrow.  We said farewell to everyone at the beach house this morning, so I'm kicking around the house feeling a little wistful.  Tomorrow I return to work, which is hopefully not too overwhelming.

The trip itself was generally pretty good.  We did many beach things, from running in the waves to exploring tide pools.  The most fun was just seeing everyone, playing board games with Greg, nibbling on baby Simon, and chatting away with everyone.  Hopefully it'll sustain me until the next family trip.

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