Graduation Ceremony

June 13, 2018 by Adam in Benny

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 Benny

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 Benny

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 Benny

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 Benny

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.


June 01, 2017 by Adam in Benny

Berry lost two more teeth, one last night and one this morning.  She was able to eat breakfast this morning, so I think the rest are still fine.  It's funny watching little Berry growing up, not so little any more.


April 17, 2017 by Adam in Benny

Berry turned ten.

 It made for a long day of various birthday events, from laser tag at Putter's to a family dinner where she ate Tasty Thai and opened huge volumes of presents.  Her dad got her a life-sized dog, which occupies a sizeable portion of her room.

It's hard to believe how long it's been since I met Berry at two.  She's much more of a real person, generally sweet and kind.  We all love her.


Rube Goldberg Device

October 27, 2016 by Adam in Benny

Berry is in the Talented and Gifted program at school, which generally doesn't mean all that much.  Mostly her teacher gives her extra work or some harder problems to work on.  Occasionally, though, she gets something interesting to work on.  She wrote an essay on Rube Goldberg and built a machine in the basement to demonstrate her understanding.

I think this was try #3, which wasn't as successful as try #1, but it showed a lot of heart.

Half Birthday Girl

October 14, 2016 by Adam in Benny

Berry celebrated her half birthday yesterday, though it's technically today.  She got a rainbow bike helmet and bike gloves, both of which she wore all day today, even when we went to the store.

She's really matured this last half year, becoming far more polite and sweet.  Occasionally Berry gets a little sad or overly frustrated with things, but I very much appreciate how far she's come since the screaming and flailing around days.  It's hard being the littlest one in the family.

I'm also impressed at her intellectual pursuits, from science to obsessive reading.  I'm glad I'm her poppy.


May 11, 2016 by Adam in Benny

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.

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