Taming of the Shrew

December 18, 2019 by Adam in Ben

We just got back from Taming of the Shrew, put on at Roosevelt for our entertainment.  While it wasn't as polished as A Midsummer Night's Dream, it was still pretty entertaining.  Ben had a good time and was pretty amusing waving a rubber chicken around (swords weren't allowed).  It was the slapstick comedy version of the play, so it ended with a pie in the face.

First Day of School

September 05, 2019 by Adam in Ben

Ben started their first day of school today.  There was some last minute switching around as they wanted to take a science class first period.  They were also going to walk with a friend to school, but she had to go do announcements early and Ben wasn't quite motivated enough to leap out of bed today.  It's a slightly reduced schedule, which hopefully works out okay.  I think Ben is both nervous and excited - last night was a little rough, but they seemed better this morning.

Ode to Leia

August 08, 2019 by Adam in Ben

Ben learned to play a few chords on the ukulele while up in Portland.  A few days ago they wrote a little song to our cat, which they were very proud of.


June 11, 2019 by Adam in Ben

Ben's been practicing for their role as Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream for the last few months.  I went along to the play, with relatively low expectations for a sixth grade play.  It was actually pretty amazing.  Sure, some kids needed to have lines fed to them, but they really got into it after awhile and the sets and costumes were great.  I think Ben was pretty nervous getting up there, but it turned out really well and I think they want to try out for the local group of Star Trek theater performances.


April 16, 2019 by Adam in Ben

Ben turned twelve. They had a bunch of friends over for a Star Trek themed sleepover. It was a mix of watching the show, playing pretend, and playing board games. I brought croissants down in the morning and they seemed well behaved.

They had a good selection of crafty and dressy presents. I'm glad they liked the uv resin I got them - they were making jewelry all Sunday.

Graduation Ceremony

June 13, 2018 by Adam in Ben

Last night we pulled Benny away from their room, despite protestations that they weren't ready, and headed to Charlemagne for 5th grade graduation ceremonies.  They sang, told poems of each other, and shook the principal's hand.  Later they ate pizza and roamed the playground.  Benny and some friends jumped the fence to run around in the big field nearby, yelling at cars and getting up to minor mischief.  Benny's the last of the kids in elementary school, making it 14 years of elementary kids in the house.  At least everyone gets my slightly inappropriate jokes now.

Benny's also going to get braces, the clear ones that don't clash with the MRIs in the study they're a part of.  I was a little skeptical after Emma's brush with an aggressive and unnecessary ortho treatment plan, but dad gives his thumbs up.

As part of their graduation ceremony, Benny was putting together a collage of old photos and I started to get a little teary eyed.  All my kiddos are getting so big.


May 10, 2018 by Adam in Ben

Joanna took Benny down to the court house yesterday to officially change their name to Ben Yvonne Gustina Bartlett.  The only gotcha was the gender change to "non-binary".  The judge felt the law wasn't clear, though some people in Portland had changed to non-binary - Joanna's working with an advocacy group to help sort things out.  Apparently the DMV will make the gender change and Joanna drove up to Junction City yesterday to made it happen.  There's a whole list of name changes that need to happen, and gender changes where it can happen.

I need to track down everywhere it says "Berry" on this website and make the change.  I think there's one or two left to go.

All-in-all, things have generally been moving along nicely.  Benny's classmates have been supportive of the gender change, giving the gym teacher a hard time when they divide the class up into boys and girls.  I think we'll be celebrating with a cake tonight after dinner.

They Go To Eleven

April 17, 2018 by Adam in Ben

Benny turned eleven.  We saw Ready Player One, they opened lots of presents, and ate pie.

Benny Half Birthday

October 16, 2017 by Adam in Ben

Joanna is always pretty good about throwing together a half birthday bash.  There were goodies for everyone and a series of art supplies for the half birthday kid.

Canoe Island

September 17, 2017 by Adam in Ben

Berry and Joanna have returned from Canoe Island, where all 5th graders of Charlemagne go.  It's one of the few French camps, built back in 1969 on an island off the coast of Washington.  Though Berry had mixed feelings about it, there were moments when Joanna reported they had a great time.  There was fencing, swimming, theater, paddle boarding, canoing through bioluminescent algae, and singing the American, French, and Canadian national anthem twice a day as they raised and lowered the flags.  They slept in tipis and ate French food.  Lots of pictures were taken.

Both Joanna and Berry are worn out and mostly just took it easy today.  It's nice having them back.

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