This weekend we went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. We go a couple times a year. We all get a kick out of the hands-on science stuff. I did not take a ton of pictures because I did during the trip there last summer. This time I figured I would just enjoy the action and not worry about photos, but here are a couple I did take.
(Kelton in the back in black - Vicki next to him in black - Kaylen in purple - don't know other girl in photo.)
Is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of work that must go into planning a child's birthday party? Kaylen is turning 7 on February 10th - and we shopped this weekend for decorations and finalized the theme, decorations, guest list...etc. It was a lot just to figure out where to have it - the kids' house with Casey, our Portland house (temporary, so our furniture for guests is sparse), a restaurant, or - the ultimate winner - the community room in the complex where my mom lives. There is the decor to figure out - which is everywhere, until you are actually shopping for the theme of choice - which is Barbie this year. It took trips to two different Walmarts and a Target to get what we have so far - which is most everything except the last minute food and balloons. Of course, we have to remember stuff from the house too, since it it going to be in a party room - so must bring the knife, an ice cream scoop, paper towels in case of spills, tape for putting up pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and a step stool for hanging up the longed-after-and-finally-agreed-upon pinata.
We have things to make the kids happy - but what about the adults - who will be bored to tears? I figure I will supply some wine and a veggie tray, there's a pool table, and then they are on their own! If they get bored, they will end up being sent over to my mom's apartment where they will be put to work packing boxes because she will be moving to a different apartment in the same complex the next weekend! So family members - beware - and look entertained!
Isn't it amazing how technology has truly changed our lives? That seems like such an obvious and overused statement that it is practically cliche, but cliches become such for a reason. Looking around our house this weekend, you likely would have seen an adult doing work on a full-size computer, another checking email on a smartphone, and both kids with iPads propped on their lap playing games. This wasn't the entire scene, or an all day scene, but typical nonetheless. (We actually spent most of the day Saturday at OMSI - our local hands-on science museum.)
This morning a friend was telling me that his boyfriend is a composer and I asked what he composed on - expecting he would say a piano or guitar. He actually composes on a computer program that simulates many instruments. How handy to be able to grab the laptops, head to the coffee shop, park, school, or a friend's house, and have everything you need right there - no bulky instruments required!
Vicki and I have discovered that the iPads have changed the way we do so much - especially her! Her whole life is almost paperless now. She has found checkbook programs for us to share, dayplanners and timekeepers for work, notetaking programs that replace both a notepad and paper, and Word-like word processing apps. Need a receipt for tax purposes? Open the approprate app - snap a photo - and presto! - saved for tax time. In a computer smaller than some of my tablets of paper at work, I now have productivity apps, games, Facebook, Gmail, news, magazines and more - plus - being a Apple product, I don't worry about the kids downloading viruses when they are searching for games. The iPad truly is remarkable - and the netbook before that, and the laptop before that, and the desktop computer before that......
Vicki comes home tonight, after 2 VERY long weeks away, packing up, donating and storing her Virginia possessions, settling the house sale, and dealing with the last-minute ex drama. I suppose for such a huge life transition, drama was to be expected. Besides her ex causing drama, Vicki nearly threw out her back, so had to stay down for a few days, she caught a 12-hour bug, and just had so much stuff to deal with, she barely slept for those two weeks. It was hard not being able to be with her to help, but I suppose the transition was something she needed to do on her own, and having me there with her ex would not have worked out well at all.
I feel fortunate that we have the whole weekend ahead to catch up, both with each other, and on sleep. We have no real plans and no place we have to be. I sense a weekend of Kindle reading, iPad play, surfing the net for everything from camera lessons to youtube downloaders and naps! Maybe we'll get ambitious and go see a movie. We'd both like to see "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." Neither of us read the book, though, and I just heard from a friend that the movie is confusing. Of course, this same friend did not like "Inception," so I am thinking we have different taste in movies.
Anyway, I am certainly looking forward to this weekend!
Here is a video from Kaylen's Cheer Clinic group - all first-graders. This was the parent's showcase after they'd spent 3+ hours learning and practicing. On Tuesday night, they will perform at half-time for the Mountain View Boys' Varsity Basketball Game. Go Thunder!
Here's a couple still shots, in case the video does not play:
Happy New Year Everyone! May 2012 be more amazing than we can even dream!
Vicki, the kids and I had a fun New Year's Eve. Kaylen and I played Barbies while Vicki and Kelton built a Star Wars model he'd gotten for Christmas. We all played some Lego games collected over the past year. We baked cookies, watched TV, and finally rang in the New Year with horns, poppers, screams and party hats. The kids were begging to be allowed to stay up until 5:00.....they had both crashed by 1:15. :)
The next morning was not as much fun - at all. I got the text from Casey that something was very wrong with Jordan, our 14-year-old dalmatian. His front legs were no longer supporting him, he was falling, and was in pain. He'd had ongoing problems with his back legs, and had always relied on serious "upper body" strength to pull himself up onto beds, the couch, and the floor. He's had other health problems, but never seemed to be in much, if any, pain, so this was the sign we'd been waiting for in his very long, and good life. It was sad to see him go, but we could not let him suffer. He left this world on January 1st, 2012. He was so loved and is already missed by us all. The kids made posters to help express their grief and preserve his memory. This would be a great place to post them.....but I didn't take a picture of them. I guess I should.
Now, in a 180 degree turn, we have great news:
Vicki sold her house in Virginia - and it closes next Friday! We've been waiting since Friday to see what the house inspection would turn up, and just an hour or so ago we got the good news....enough was found to drop the price a bit more, but not enough to end the deal for anyone! This is a huge relief for both of us....one more step forward into our life together, as she ends what were still huge obligations in Virginia.
So, reminds me of the "Facts of Life" theme song...."You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life, the facts of life...."