Happy Anniversary, Suzi!

Yesterday, Suzi and I were summoned home for lunch and instructed to arrive together.

As we entered the kitchen, we discovered our kids waiting with an anniversary surprise. They had prepared a meal for all of us to enjoy together. There was a gift basket on the counter. And they had selected some of their favorite family pictures, printed them, and placed them in a picture room divider we had bought but not yet filled. And Lionel Ritchie played softly in the background. Awesome!

Thanks so much, Ashley, Heather, Melissa, and Jamison! Happy anniversary, Suzi!

Week in Review — WW25’10

Day by Day

Sunday. What an awesome day! We had an open house for Melissa and a couple of her classmates to celebrate their graduations. Among the three families, we had lots of food and lots of guests. I counted about 75 people in our backyard at one time, with more scattered throughout the house, coming and going.

As the open house was ending (or maybe I was just tired), Dane, Tyler, and Jamison had an impromptu jam session on electric guitar, drums, and electric bass. Hearing Dane play my guitar is both inspiring and disheartening at the same time. It is nice to hear how nice my guitar can sound in the right hands. I’ll need to practice a lot more before those hands are mine. Thanks to the absence and/or tolerance of our neighbors, no officer knocked on our door to shut us down.

Later in the evening after most of our guests had left, we gathered around Suzi’s new firepit and made s’mores. All the fun of camping with none of the mess. :-)

Jamison and His Teachers

Monday. Jamison’s 6th-grade promotion was Monday afternoon. One last opportunity to take a picture of Jamison with his teachers.

That evening, Jamison and I went to guitar group to prepare for church — and have a bunch of fun.

Tuesday. Suzi and Melissa left for Melissa’s senior class trip to Sun River. I wish I could have gone. This is the class I went to Mexico with and once to Wi-Ne-Ma — a great bunch of kids. Turns out that many of the adult sponsors were the same as the Mexico trip, too.

Wednesday. Jamison’s 6th-grade class had an end-of-the-year pool party. I dropped by to say “hi!”

Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, my group taught a couple of sessions at the server Technical Bootcamp Series about our tools.

Much later that evening, our team went out to see “The A-Team.” I love it when a plan comes together.

Thursday. More training with the team. It’s great fun to see our friends from Taiwan and PRC. Celia always comes prepared with gifts. I’m looking forward to trying brown sugar sweet potato candy.

Friday. Friday was another great day. Together with my admin, we were able to accomplish something that on Tuesday had looked impossible.

Suzi and Melissa got home from Melissa’s senior class trip. We went to Darla’s house for hot dogs and s’mores.

Saturday. Church and family. Jamison and I played for praise sing with guitar group. I played Ashley’s acoustic guitar unplugged and in the back. I’m not sure anyone even heard me, probably a blessing. ;-)

Saturday night offered one more chance to use the fire pit — and we took it.

Books

I didn’t really read this week, so I won’t claim to be currently reading anything. I discovered the following book while wandering through the science section of Barnes & Noble:

The following three books were recommended by the Manager Connections Newsletter at work. I ordered all of them.

My books page provides more information on the books I’ve read or discovered this year.

Blogs and Other RSS Feeds

I started reading the following blogs:

  • Simple Justice. “A New York Criminal Defense Blog.” A tip of the hat to Ron Coleman for this discovery.
  • Daniel Payne Photography. “As Vice President for the Portland Metropolitan Photographer’s Association, I’m involved with continual education in my craft. I used my first 35mm film camera in 1980, shot my first wedding in 1982 and turned pro in 2001.”
  • The Points of Light Blog. “Points of Light Institute is organized to innovate, incubate and activate new ideas that help people act upon their power to make a difference. Read and respond to our reflections on 21st-century volunteerism here.”

As always, my blogroll lists the blogs I read.

One more awesome week for the record books. ;-)

So, how was your week? Let me know in the comments.

Book and Blog: Gluten-Free Girl

On the way home from guitar group last night, I stopped at Starbucks and Barnes & Noble. Very little compares to the relaxation of wandering through a bookstore with a hot drink in hand. I’ve been told that I need to visit the library more and book stores less, but I wasn’t particularly planning on buying much tonight. I wandered through the magazines, computers, technology, and science. I meandered down the center aisle to see the displays of new books. That’s when I discovered Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back…And How You Can Too, by Shauna James Ahern.

Gluten-free living is of interest in the Logan household because Suzi was diagnosed with celiac disease in the last year or two. We’d had an earlier brush with it years ago when a doctor told us one of our daughters probably had it. Fortunately, he was wrong — the culprit was too much apple juice.

The book looked interesting but remained on the shelf so I could do more research. Fortunately, Ms. Ahern has a blog, also called “Gluten-Free Girl.” I’m checking out her writing, recipes, and book tour schedule. She’ll be coming through Portland, Ore. in just a few weeks. Might be worth getting an autographed copy then.

I don’t know if you have celiac. According to the statistics a lot of people who do don’t know either. Either way, you might find Ms. Ahern’s blog and book worth a read.

Wouldn’t want to get stuck with a needle — again

This evening, I went to drop off a car at the hospital where Suzi works so I wouldn’t have to wait up and get her after work. As we were standing in the ER waiting area, a man walked by with a couple of friends saying, “They’re going to hurt me. They’re going to stick me with needles.”

I could feel his pain and started to defend his fear to my kids. After all, I hate needles. Just about then, Ashley pointed out, “Uh, Dad? He has a tattoo right where they’d stick him.”

Homeschooling Adventures

My wife and I are homeschooling our 7-year-old son, Jamison. Okay, my wife is homeschooling him. I get to come along on field trips to OMSI and the zoo. Jamison loves math and computers, but isn’t too fond of writing. He’ll do his math in his head to avoid having to write the answers down.

Today he learned a new trick. He scanned his workbook page into the computer, loaded Microsoft Publisher, and typed in the answers on the scanned image. It looks perfect, but sure didn’t do anything to help his handwriting. Maybe one of these days, writing will be a lost art.

While I typed this, Jamison put a deflated balloon into a pop bottle, blew some air in it, and is now attempting to yank the semi-inflated balloon out of the bottle. What will he think of next?!

Merry Christmas

The day is nearly a over, and what a day it has been. My alarm went off at 6:00 a.m., reminding me that stockings still needed to be hung with care over the fireplace. Grabbing all four, I headed downstairs and carefully stepped over my four offspring sleeping (closer to truth: faking sleep) in front of the Christmas tree. I learned with the first stocking that the mantel hangers were not heavy enough to suspend a stocking without falling to the hearth. Not wanting to be caught, I propped the overstuffed stockings on a padded chair by the tree and headed back upstairs for another half hour of needed sleep. Already, the sounds of happy discovery were floating up the stairs. After stockings, each opened one present: books to read in the afternoon.

We made ready and left for early church. As we neared our destination, we recognized a familiar blue, 15-passenger van parked on the edge of the road with steam billowing out from under its hood. Another friend had pulled in behind to offer help. We offered transportation and learned that ten people can fit in a Honda Odyssey, if only for a short distance.

Church was uneventful, which was good because Ashley was the pianist. As scheduled, I attempted to teach the early-teen class, and succeeded for most of the hour. With about 15 minutes to go, it was clear I had lost their interest, so we ended by singing Christmas carols. Maybe not the best way to end when the topic is proper stewardship of time, but then again, maybe it was…

Our supply of Russian tea cakes, fudge, and rice crispy treats is dwindling. The puzzle started last night is completed, along with another started and finished this afternoon. We watched the old, black-and-white version of Miracle of 34th Street, judging it to be better than the more recent, colorful version.

Suzi had to work evening shift so we went in to have supper with her. Nothing looked particularly good (plus, as we had been eating Russian tea cakes, fudge, and rice crispy treats all afternoon, we weren’t that hungry), so we had pumpkin pie with whipped cream and called it good.

Christmas will take three days this year, with the few presents Christmas eve, the stockings and present on Christmas day, and the rest to be opened tomorrow when Suzi will be home.

Christmas is a good time of year. Even with the commercialization, we can remember Jesus’ birth as the true reason to celebrate. Our gifts to each other are symbols of the gift Jesus gave to us. I hope the true Spirit of Christmas is in your heart.

Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve!

Everyone is home and the Christmas music is playing. Suzi and I finished the last of our shopping this afternoon and most of the day’s purchases are already wrapped and under the tree. The rest are arrayed on our bed, surrounded by boxes and wrapping paper.

Suzi and the girls made goodies this afternoon. Jamison makes sure the candles are always burning. We have more fudge, Russian tea cakes, and rice crispy treats than we should attempt to eat (but we will).

Suzi’s parents are coming over for supper and a quiet evening. The food is simmering on the stove and the house smells nice. We have a 500-piece puzzle picked out.

All of us will open one present tonight and then the kids will sleep under the tree.

I love Christmas!