Celebrating Christmas with the Conquest of Sweden

December 25, 2018 by Adam in Family

Sam's been guiding Emma through the conquest of Sweden in Crusader Kings 2.  I think they've been having a really good time, as after opening presents they went downstairs for more conquest.  Emma's leader is an old man, but his bloodline is strong and his dynasty is assured.

As for the rest of Christmas, it began with a call from Emma at 6:30 in the morning.  Apparently she, Duncan, and Benny had been waiting for me to appear like I have every year in the past.  When I didn't awake, Emma texted and then phoned me.  I stumbled downstairs for the opening of stockings.

The gifts were opened, with Emma playing Santa and delivering things to people.  Sam ended up with a bunch of cash, Joanna got a new spinning wheel, I got clothes and a PS4 for myself, Duncan got games, Benny and Emma got books and art supplies.  Now we're cleaning things up and getting ready for a day of leisure.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Christmas Eve

December 25, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's Christmas Eve, a very relaxing Monday after a very relaxing weekend.  The last minute Christmas tasks are mostly completed - I wrapped all the presents and baked a couple pumpkin pies, one vegan and one normal.  Sam and Emma have been off a fair amount and I hung out with Joanna yesterday, going food shopping and decorating the Christmas tree.  Duncan and Benny have been reveling in computer games, occasionally switching it up to play a little virtual reality.

I'm pleasantly excited for tomorrow, mostly to see everyone's reaction to their gifts. I don't think there's anything really awesome, but hopefully they enjoy hanging out with everyone.

Back to Greece

December 25, 2018 by Adam in Adam's Games

I picked up Moss and Assassin's Creed Odyssey during the latest Steam sale.  Moss is a very cute VR platformer where you control a little mouse that jumps around pretty environments.  I've mostly been playing Odyssey, though.  I'm a mercenary in ancient Greece, occasionally running into events or people from my history classes.  It doesn't have the same awesome pirate factor as Black Flag, but it's still good and the environment is quite pretty.

Test Day

December 21, 2018 by Adam in Family

I wasn't able to get my morning mocha, as I was rushing out the door to get to our big certification test.  It's being presented at the moment - my team is doing a great job and all is doing well.  We still have another hour or so, but it's all looking good so far.

It's been a somewhat busy week before Christmas.  I had a good dinner with dad, coffee with mom, and got the kids through their various routines.  We had a bad storm, one of which led to a flooded basement at my mom's house.  Sam ran over to take care of it, fortunately. We had a drain spout spraying water as it poured off the roof, and a back stairwell drain clogged with leaves, but fortunately wasn't washed away.

The one amusing experiment I performed on the kids was feeding Duncan an increasing amount of french toast every morning.  I started with three big pieces on Monday, moved to four, then five (though each piece getting smaller).  I joked that I'd stop increasing by one each day and start doubling - sure enough he ate ten (very tiny) pieces of french toast on Thursday.  He was a little slow at the end but finished it all.  I think his goal is to get to six feet tall by the end of the year - he's currently a quarter inch shy.

Hopefully the test goes well and I take next week off.  I've got a handful of Christmas prep tasks, but otherwise feel pretty good about things.  We get all the kids this year, so that'll be a treat.


December 17, 2018 by Adam in Jenny

Jenny and Jordan were in Annie this year, Jenny playing the mean orphanage owner and Jordan the wealthy adopter of children.  They were great.

Christmas is Coming

December 17, 2018 by Adam in Family

The weekend is wrapping up, quiet after a frenzy of activity all weekend.  Sam and Emma were both around quite a bit, so we played a bunch of Peggle, Bookworm Adventures, and generally hung out.

Friday night we all gathered around to play Jackbox games - the one with rap battling robots and the game where we draw and pitch inventions.

Saturday Emma and I picked up mom and went to see Jenny and Jordan in the Annie musical.  We've seen Jordan most years now - he keeps improving and played the key role of Mr. Warbucks.  Jenny was Miss Hannigan, absolutely fabulous in the role of the bossy orphanage owner.  She sang and danced and, in my opinion, stole the show.  Dez and his girlfriend showed up too, so it was a fun get together.

Saturday night was pizza and Adam Ruins Everything.  Sam slept through dinner, which was strange for him, but I woke him up and we watched the key parts again.

Today we had our usual big breakfast, followed by a project to patch the ceiling.  It started by hanging plastic to keep the dust contained, followed by Sam and I sanding the ceiling.  I had to stop and get better sandpaper at one point.  It was grueling work, dust got everywhere, and my eyes were dusty too despite all the safety gear attached to my face.  Eventually I declared it good enough, took down everything, and spent an hour cleaning dust from everything.  I spent a little time with Emma before she went to dinner with Jamie at Angie's house.

The big news of the day was that Jamie and Meg plan to get married next August.  I wished them the best - I've always really liked Meg.  Hopefully it all goes well.

Mocha Friday

December 14, 2018 by Adam in Family

It's another Friday, my mocha slowly disappearing beside me as I run through various tests as part of a dry-run before our big work test next week.  Testing starts next Friday at 6:30 a.m. - hopefully I'll be semi-functional by then.  We had some rough bits this moment where our tests weren't passing, but I figured out the issue and got things working again.  If all goes well, I'll take a bunch of time off around Christmas.

I'm slowly getting ready for the holidays, getting presents and decorations put up.  The tree is still barely decorated, and I think Joanna wants to replace the hypno-lights we currently have.  We also have a hole in the plaster above the dining room table from the roof leaking.  Sam nicely offered to fix it with me.

The kids are generally doing okay.  Duncan has a project where we need to record him pointing out the water, gas, and electrical shut offs for the house - it's good reminders for everyone.  Sam's thinking about applying for an electrician's apprentice.  Emma's surviving her endless tests and quizzes.  This morning at breakfast she decided we should prepare for a possible "Freaky Friday" situation in case we switch bodies.  She then proceeded to tell me where her classes were and how to recognize her friends at lunch by their lunch box decorations.

Christmas is Coming

December 10, 2018 by Adam in Family

We're slowly getting ready for Christmas.  We have a tree, though it's not decorated yet.  I wrapped presents over the weekend, though I have a few more I'd like to get.  We gathered all the kids for a quick family photo, which is always quirky and interesting.

The weekend was generally good.  Saturday morning I picked up Emma after breakfast and she drove us home from her mom's house.  Later we went to the Beanery, drank coffee, and played Magic the Gathering.  As the day wound down, I got to chat with each kid a little.  Benny played a bunch of VR.  Sam and Skye played Kingdomino and 5 Minute Dungeon with me for a few hours. Duncan showed me his latest video.

Sunday was a little more busy.  The leak in Duncan's ceiling returned.  I ripped out the drooping part of the ceiling over the dining room table, getting it ready for patching.  I helped Emma study for her test.  There was lots of laundry to fold and dishes to wash.

The kids' grades came in, all pretty good.  Emma got all A's.  Ben had their usual good grades, with lots of nice notes.  Duncan's grades seem to be improving - I think he really likes science and did well in that class.

Street Tacos

December 06, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm back home, very sleepy after a delayed flight.  I climbed into bed around 1 a.m.

The trip was generally pretty good.  I got to hang out with my old work friends Maggie and Cory, who have since moved to other companies.  We made good progress on my project - managing to get both magic file types to pass the automated tests.  We might actually pull this crazy thing off.  We also did assorted team building exercises, including a cooking competition at a local culinary school where we competed to make street tacos.  I thought our team's vegetarian option was great, but sadly we came in last.  I also enjoyed just hanging out with my team mates - it turns out one is going vegan and another loves board games.  The weather was cold and snow was everywhere.  It's nice to be home.

The kids are all doing okay.  Benny burned off half an eyebrow working on a science kit - something about electricial sparks.  Fortunately the kit had safety glasses, and the next day in science they gave a short speech to their class about the importance of safety goggles.

Emma started new classes, fortunately still having three with her friend Tevi.  She's still withholding judgement about which ones she likes, though she seems excited about her Child Development class.  I think she's volunteering at some preschools and is excited to hang out with babies.

Joanna did a fine job holding down the fort while I was away.  The leak in the roof has been repaired - now I just need to fix the cosmetic issues in the living room.  Kids were fed.  Tea was made.  Life moves on.

Off and Away

December 03, 2018 by Adam in Family

I'm packing up and heading to the airport shortly for a visit to Salt Lake City.  I hear it's cold, so I need to remember to pack a hat.

The weekend was good.  Emma and I hung out a bunch, getting her ready for school and stringing up Christmas lights outside.  We ended up playing a bunch of Peggle, and my old Peggle skills returned.  I kept surprising Emma with my ability to bounce balls around and make near-impossible shots.

Kevin hung out with Duncan and Benny.  Duncan had a good time.  Benny had a harder time with the visit, unfortunately and ended up back home a couple times.  Tonight Kevin's coming over for dinner, which hopefully is easier for Ben.

Sam hung out with friends most of the time, though he ate with us occasionally and played Duck Game and a board game with whoever was about.  Joanna got some gardening in.  I managed to get the advent calendars up in time, if just barely.

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