Memorial Day

May 31, 2016 by Adam in Family

The weekend is winding down.  I could really get used to three days off of work, especially if they're warm and pleasant and full of generally cheerful children.

Friday night was Emma's birthday night, and we met up with Jamie and the big kids for an Ambrosia feast.  Saturday I picked them up in the morning.  Our big adventure was to the Verizon store where mom got a phone for Emma and transferred Sam over to her account.  Emma was very excited and has got her phone set up just how she wants it.  Later I helped Sam finish setting up his bank account and debit card.  That night Sam went to a party at a friend's house.  It seemed like a day of moving everyone towards adulthood.

Sunday morning Emma and I walked down to Hirons to get a present for Jenny.  Later we tried to go to Oregon Art Supply, but it was strangely closed.  Those artists.  Eventually we went over to Jenny's to hang out, eat food, and watch Age of Ultron.  Jenny talked a little about meeting her cousin through genetic testing and learning more about her biological family.  Crazy what science makes happen sometimes.

Today I managed some assorted housework, some boring and some fun like turning one of the old dresser drawers into a Star Wars themed drawer with Lego drawer pulls.  It made me feel like a little kid.  We went for a walk at Hendrick's Park - the woods seemed magical and I wish I had more time there.  The afternoon was pretty quiet.  Emma's been furiously making artwork with her new pens.  Berry worked on Bob Ross style painting, made clay, and is currently making a diorama.  Duncan returned from his friend's house and showed me some Minecraft mod's.  Joanna is all ready to publish her first book through the publishing company she made.  It's a small project, but cool.

Tomorrow it's back to the grind, and Wednesday I head to Vancouver for the day.  I'll have the memories of these days to sustain me.

Stardew Valley

May 30, 2016 by Adam in Emma

Emma has been playing Stardew Valley.  She's been really enjoying it and using her new Copic markers to good effect to draw her character.

Birthday Dinner

May 28, 2016 by Adam in Emma

We just got back from a nice dinner at Ambrosia for Emma.  Our usual crew was there, along with Jamie and my mom.  The conversation was pleasant and Emma was happy to have everyone around.  She seemed to really like her presents.  I'm hoping that she puts her new Copic markers to good use.

Mocha Friday

May 27, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's never boring in our household.  Birthday girl Emma is sick and home from school today, like she was yesterday.  Berry was claiming to also be ill, but I suspect she was sent off to school as she seems to have selective pre-school symptoms of late.  Joanna continues her physical therapy.  Sam stayed up nearly until midnight working on school work.  Hopefully things calm down a little for summer.

Work continues to be nutty.  We had a few people laid off yesterday, though to be honest there aren't many more positions that can be cut.  I'm strangely having fun finding ways to save money on Microsoft licensing.  Not sure why I'm the only person who seems to be able to do it.

I'm really looking forward to the weekend and hanging out with everyone.  I've got a few boring house projects like recaulking the tub that I need to do, but hopefully we can sneak in some fun things in there too.

Birthday Teen

May 27, 2016 by Adam in Emma

Emma is officially thirteen today, making me the parent of two teenagers.  She's unfortunately sick today and not going to school, though Emma still hopes to make it to her birthday dinner tonight at Ambrosia.

It's been great fun watching her grow up and see her musical and artistic talents bloom.  I love hearing her improvise songs on her ukulele, her quirky humor shining through.

I think life at thirteen is pretty challenging - social issues at school and being hit by the puberty stick can be tricky.  Still, I appreciate her general cheerfulness and sweet demeanor.  I'm looking forward to the next six years of teenagerhood.  At least the dinner table conversations get increasingly amusing.

Happy birthday!

May 27, 2016 by Robbie in Cortez

Happy birthday Jenny & Emma! I foresee giant hugs in your future!

The Chicken Dance

May 26, 2016 by Adam in Family

The last couple days have been generally good, if the usual level of wackiness.  I gave a presentation on all our licensing woes to IT leadership and should have a plan to save hundreds of thousands or maybe a million dollars annually, depending on what they go for.  Ironically today they're going to be laying at least one person off to save money.  Perhaps I can save some future jobs.

I went to Duncan and Berry's talent show last night.  They did the chicken dance, which involved dancing around, throwing a chicken in the air, and tossing pieces of paper with a chicken in a sombrero into the audience.

I Live

May 24, 2016 by Adam in Family

I'm back to functioning again.  My boss told me to take the day off when I suggested I'd try working from home.  I took his advice and immediately slept for two hours, followed by a couple hours of doing the old man shuffle around the house and then a relatively normal afternoon.  I managed to do a little gardening and go get Emma's birthday presents.  By the time the evening came around, I felt pretty normal.  My only challenge was getting back to a regular sleep routine after sleeping so much the last few days.

Sick Weekend

May 23, 2016 by Adam in Family

The weekend was a blur - it seems I was either writhing around in pain or asleep for much of it.  I'm still not feeling super and am working from home today, but at least I'm not completely dysfunctional.

I started feeling iffy Saturday morning, ending up going to lie down for several hours in the morning.  Joanna and Duncan left, and Emma got picked up around ten.  I managed to get out of bed around eleven and I took Sam and Berry to the bank to open an account for Sam, followed by a trip to True Value and Metropol.  When we got home we made lunch, planted in the garden, and made ourselves dinner.  I was in pretty good shape until Sunday morning. 

Unfortunately Sunday I started feeling really horrible, put Sam in charge, and stayed in bed until the afternoon.  Sam really stepped up, making crepes for Berry for breakfast, playing board games, and generally keeping her entertained.  My mom took Berry to a birthday party, which apparently didn't go well.  There was also an issue of Berry's tablet being stepped on and broken.  Late afternoon I returned to life and directed Sam and Emma making enchiladas.  We enjoyed our meal and played a little Quiplash and Drawful until it was time to get Berry into bed.  Eventually Joanna and Duncan returned - they both enjoyed their respective adventures, though I think they were glad to sleep in their own beds last night.

Mocha Friday

May 20, 2016 by Adam in Family

I just finished my delicious beverage and life feels pretty good.  Work is admittedly nutty - our 3rd developer position was axed.  The security job sounds more appealing by the minute.

The news about Jenny's DNA test is very exciting.  I want to organize the results for everyone a bit more, and I'm still waiting for Seraph and family to send their DNA to me to play with.  Who knows what strange mutations lurk in their genetic code?  I'd also like to re-download mom's DNA, as currently her report says she's a man.  I think I mixed them up with Sam's DNA.

The weekend looks to be relatively quiet.  Emma's hanging out with me tonight, then going off to Corvallis Saturday night.  Joanna and Duncan are headed to Portland at the crack of dawn tomorrow.  I'm taking Berry to a Sunday birthday party.  Hopefully in between the running around we can set up a bank account for Sam, do some gardening, and maybe a little crazy science along the way.

I'm starting to think about summer more and more, hoping to get the kids a little more coordinated.  My mom wants to put Sam and Emma to work.  Duncan and Berry are spending a bunch of the summer with their dad.  I'd like to see Emma taking some classes - she seemed interested in a sailing and kayaking one, and my mom threatened to take an art class with her.  She drew this great portrait of me last night.  I love it.

Jenny's Bio Family Connections!

May 19, 2016 by Sue in Wielesek

You kids are all aware that I've badgered most of you into having your DNA tested - some for fun and some to look for any scary medical stuff, like my heart stuff.

Anyhow, the company will let you know if you are related to anyone else who took the DNA test. Jenny's came up with a very close relationship to a woman who'd taken the test and has a family tree on, which I belong to. Jenny works in her Dad's dental office with a good friend Angela, and together with another good friend Jeannie, they took a look at her family (her first name is Destiny, and I'm adding that information is because of the coincidence of Jenny choosing Destin as a name for her first son.)

Jenny sent Destiny a message with her phone number and Destiny called yesterday. Jenny called me after the conversation, just bubbling.  Destiny is in the Navy, stationed in Orlando, and Jenny was planning to take Jordan to Disneyworld for his birthday, and I think they are hoping to meet.

I can't describe how happy and excited Jenny is. It's making water fill up my eyes and dribble. Please send prayers, meditations, good thoughts, or whatever you believe in, that this will be a loving and fulfilling relationship for Jenny and the boys.

Mid-Week Update

May 18, 2016 by Adam in Family

No exciting news.  Work is fine - I continue to do the work that's assigned to me and learn some new technologies while I'm waiting for things to be slowly pulled from our massive backlog. 

This weekend Joanna goes off to a writer's conference, taking Duncan to visit a friend.  Emma is going to Corvallis Saturday night to visit Jamie's mom.  Sam, Berry, and I will hopefully get up to some mischief - probably science related.  I'd also like to do some shopping for Emma's birthday.  The plan is to meet at Ambrosia for dinner on the 27th.  Soon I'll officially have two teenagers in the house.

Rainy Weekend

May 16, 2016 by Adam in Family

It was a pleasant, relatively calm weekend, if a little soggy.  Friday night Joanna and I went out to a new gluten-free restaurant where she excitedly exclaimed she could eat anything.  Joanna ordered fish and chips, as it had been many years since she last had it.  Later we walked over to Roosevelt and bid on a couple old cabinets at their auction.  It was strange walking the halls of my old middle school.  At least I finally got to kiss a girl there.

Saturday we scooped up Emma in the morning and made a run to the library.  I worked on my Raspberry Pi picture frame, finally getting it setup.  It's a little awkward and looking like a monitor, but I like the fact that it regularly refreshes pictures off the Internet.  The evening wrapped up with science and pizza, as is the way of our people.

Sunday we went for a couple walks.  First I took Sam and Emma down towards Roosevelt to return home with Isa.  Later Sam and I took Joanna and Berry through the rainy alleyways.  Duncan returned to us exhausted after a sleepover.  My mom came for dinner.  It was quite nice.

I've also been working on analyzing the DNA of Jenny and her kids.  Jenny's results came in - she's mostly European with about 40% west African.  There was also a possible relative she could reach out to - it's pretty wild that you can do that these days.

Back to work for me.  We'll see what I end up doing today.

Happy Birthday Danica

May 15, 2016 by Lohring in Lohring

Happy 71

Mocha Friday

May 13, 2016 by Adam in Family

I made it to Friday.  The week has been strangely relaxing and generally uneventful.  I've spent much of this week at work making a new programming framework, researching new approaches to things.  We have a huge amount of things to do, but not much is assigned to me, which makes for a pretty low-key week.  Still no word on a potential job change - apparently the job is going to be posted one day and then we'll see what happens.

Wednesday night I watched Joanna, Duncan, and Berry sing at an interfaith thing at the First Christian church.  It was interesting hearing the readings from the Islamic girl about kindness to animals and the Hindu boy on how great mothers are.  There was an Israeli girl with an amazing voice singing about everyone getting along.  Duncan and Berry were very cute singing their Abba song, of course.

Sam went off with my mom to learn about the Antikythera mechanism and have dinner with filmmakers and archeologists.  The DNA data for Jenny, her kids, and myself have all been coming in.  I amused Sam by telling him, "hold on - let me download my DNA."

The weekend looks relatively low-key.  Joanna and I are trying out a new gluten-free place next to Roosevelt and then walking over to visit the Roosevelt Showcase fundraiser.  Emma's still thinking about going there next year, pondering her options.

Cool Kicks

May 13, 2016 by Danica in Danica Miller

This story about some local students and their painted sneakers caught my eye in the local paper last week. Makes me think of all the creative young gals in the family. Nice to have young artists promoting more art in the schools. Looking forward to seeing everyone next month!

Wednesday Update

May 11, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's Wednesday already.  The kids all seem to be doing well.  Sam needs to job shadow someone this summer and is having a hard time picking.  Emma had a great day yesterday where they apparently did nothing at school except hang out and have parties with doughnuts.  Duncan and Berry got new glasses.

My illness over the weekend continued a little, but I feel pretty normal today.  Joanna has a touch of a headache, possibly related.  My mom keeps coming over to steal laundry away and return it clean and neatly pressed.  We all have to have our hobbies, I guess.

The most mysterious thing this week was a note written on the back of a tarot card left in our little free library.  It reads "Fear the lords who are secret among us."  I would have built the library sooner if I'd known it would bring such excitement to our lives.


May 11, 2016 by Adam in Ben

One of Berry's birthday presents was a subscription to to a maker's box.  Every month something arrives for her to build.  Last month it was this quirky drawing robot.  I think she enjoyed it.

Hands Across the Sea, Dammit

May 10, 2016 by Sue in Wielesek

You may remember that last spring  I hosted an archeologist from Pakistan for the Archeology film  festival. I offered to host him again this year; the festival gets going with a banquet on Wednesday night. I hadn't heard anything about an arrival date, and expected him on Tuesday afternoon, leaving me plenty of time to clean up the mounds of dirty dishes, ironing hung about the living room. and dining room table strewn with undone paperwork. Ho! As in ho, ho, ho. At 7:30 this morning I had nearly finished my coffee and the comics when I got a phone call from the Director of the event, sounding a bit non-plussed and telling me Mr. Kakaputo was at the Eugene Airport and had been there since last night. I ignored the mess, except for the dishes, which had begun to mutate into strange shapes. I wrangled them into the dishwashes, took a Vicodan, and lurched forward, into the new day.

Mother's Day Weekend

May 09, 2016 by Adam in Family

Mother's Day has come and gone.  It was generally successful, if a bit exhausting.  I was under the weather for much of it, as was Joanna and mom as well.  Fortunately we all survived.

Friday night we got Sam, as he wanted to hang out with Isa, and I picked up Emma a little late as she wanted to hang out with her mom.  The Trump rally was going on and traffic was a little weird, but we survived.

Saturday morning we went to see Captain America, generally enjoying it.  I started feeling poorly, but managed to get presents wrapped and the little free library ready to be stuck on a post the next day.  Berry had her last game.  Pizza was made for dinner.  We watched a show about robots, which people seemed generally okay with.  I tried to stay up, but went to bed a little after eight and slept for ten hours.

Sunday was the extravaganza.  Berry and Emma helped make breakfast, which was really helpful.  Sam and Emma went off to hang out with their mom for a few hours in the afternoon.  I had a brief moment of quiet which was nice, followed by having coffee and tea and with mom in the afternoon (which was also nice).  That night we had a mostly-not-cooked-by-Joanna dinner, followed by generally collapsing and getting some sleep.


Little Library

May 09, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

One of the things popping up in our neighborhood are the little free libraries.  People walk by, pick up a book and leave a book behind.  The theory is that it's a good way to share physical books and foster your local community.

Joanna asked for one, and after some hemming and hawing on my part, I finally started getting the parts together.  My initial prototype was done in cardboard, which turned out to be smaller than what Joanna wanted.  I increased the height and got to cutting.  Unfortunately my available wood got pretty tight and I had to compromise a little - that's where the multiple pieces in the front came from.

Still, it came together relatively well.  I screwed and glued and sealed it all.  The door itself was the hardest, especially without a good table saw.  I ended up getting lucky and the door opens and closes relatively well.  There are some gaps, though, and I may go back through with some weather stripping to seal it up better.

Last weekend Emma and I poured concrete, with Emma adding a smiley face permanently in the stone.  She also drew the library sign, which turned out pretty well.

Yesterday for Mother's Day I went out with Berry to screw it in.  Unfortunately I immediately stripped the screw and was stuck balancing it, halfway attached and unable to leave.  After some failed attempts at gracefully removing it, Berry fetched a hack saw and we cut through the screw.  Later Sam came out to help and we got it nicely attached.  Berry and Joanna did the honors of putting in books, and now it's good to go.

Happy Mother's Day

May 08, 2016 by Seraph in Cortez

A quick note to say Happy Mother's Day to all the lovely caretakers in the family. I can't wait to see you all this summer!

Mocha Friday

May 06, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's a relatively quiet Friday.  Joanna and the kids are sleeping in, with only Sam and I needing to rush off.  Sam has a half day, followed by his AP European test.  I think he'll do well, though I think he's unsure of his abilities.

Yesterday Berry had her last soccer practice, followed by a "kids versus parents" match.  Joanna had such a good time that she wants to start playing soccer again herself.  It seems like a good sign that she's finally feeling pretty recovered from her accident.

Jenny wants to take Emma to see the new Civil War movie today, though I'd be taking her again tomorrow along with everyone but Duncan.  I've got some last minute Mother's Day things to do, but hopefully I can manage them all.

Work has been relatively uneventful.  The last of the go-live issues are fading.  No news about any possible new job.  I'm slowly training up Jeremy, who is a good guy if still new to all of this.

Looking forward to the weekend.

May the Fourth Be With You

May 04, 2016 by Adam in Family

It's that Star Wars themed holiday once again.  I made BB-8 shaped pancakes for the little kids this morning and Berry is dressing up as Princess Leia.  Berry didn't feel like she was a main character and that she kept getting captured.  I countered with Leia's leading the rebels, flying a spaceship, shooting a blaster, and being strong in the force.  Fortunately this new crop of Star Wars movies has clearly strong women leads.

The week has been relatively uneventful.  No news about the new job.  The big go-live was on Sunday and I've been putting out a few fires as they arise.

Tonight is pretty busy.  Joanna and I have a short date, then we go to Emma's concert at her school, followed by a shindig at the Jazz Station related to onboarding 5th graders at Roosevelt.  Plus Emma has a doctor's appointment.  Hopefully we all survive.  At least the force will be with us.

Easter Weekend

May 02, 2016 by Adam in Family

The weekend was jammed-packed, with Sunday the pinnacle of eating, drinking, and conversation at mom's traditional Russian Orthodox Easter bash.

Friday night Joanna and I went out to Pizza Research Institute for food and jazz music.  I always enjoy a little time without kids to have a conversation.  Saturday morning I picked up Sam and Emma while Joanna took the little kids to a series of soccer games, play dates, and birthday parties.  Emma went to help my mom with Easter.  Sam went to help his mom with planting potatoes.  I put the hinges on the little free library and added shelves, including a secret shelf at the very top.  Emma and I managed to sink the post for the little free library in concrete, complete with a smiley face forever etched into the base.  Eventually everyone returned for pizza.  I took Emma to a sleepover at Kate's.  Joanna headed for a book trivia dinner with some friends.

Sunday was equally busy.  Sam's video card died in his computer, so I had to fiddle around to get him functioning.  I took everyone over at noon to my mom's to help set up for Easter.  After a short break at home to recover my strength I headed into the party, bringing Joanna's delicious cake with me.

Everyone in the world was there.  Sam brought Isa.  Cecilia walked over from her latest family's house on 22nd and Jefferson.  Jamie and her friend Deb arrived and everyone wanted to catch up with her.  Yayoe and John made it.  Jenny and her kids made it.  Bob was there, along with Marsha and Steve.  Mom was happy and we ate, drank, and chatted until dusk.

Happy Easter

May 01, 2016 by Seraph in Cortez

I wasn't planning on doing anything this yeas, then Robbie and Isabell said they missed perogies.....then chocolate potatoe cake.....before you know it we're cooking up Easter!

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