Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Part 2

If you're keeping track, Christmas Part 1 hasn't been posted yet. We took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge in September as their Christmas gift from us. I am woefully derelict in my postings so that might happen next week year.

Bethany and crew up and went to Texas for Christmas this year, so we had an early celebration. Annie and her three littles are here for a couple of months while Daddy is deployed, so life has been busy and crazy and I have no time to do anything, let alone think of a menu for yet another family dinner, so I made an executive decision to take them all out to Jac's Deli.
Jac's is a favourite with this crowd, because they cater to the gluten-free, the dairy-free, and the just-plain-picky eaters amongst us. The girls behind the counter did a terrific job taking care of all our needs and the bill was much less than I anticipated. Win for Jac's! 
I foresee a possible tradition in the making.

There were sixteen of us (ten of them children) and Jac's is a small establishment, so I called ahead and gave them our orders so that we wouldn't have to wait forever or overwhelm them with orders when we got there. We commandeered their back room and the kids had a blast hanging out together and playing games that are kept in the drawers of the tool chest seen above. 
Jac's used to be a garage, and the theme pops up all around. Bethany swears she remembers waiting in this room as a child for our car to get fixed, but my memory is sadly lacking.

Natalie and Jenny are best buds.

Miss M was sick and not very happy, although she did perk up a bit at the ice cream.

My girls. Aren't they lovely?
Well, one of them is, anyway.

After dinner and much shenanigans, we went to the Portland LDS Temple Visitor's Center and listened to a storyteller/singer tell some stories of Christmas. It wasn't a big success as the littles were antsy and didn't want to sit still (strike 1), but we made it through and then went for a walk to the reflecting pool, where the nativity statues I was expecting to see in the pool we noticeably absent.
Strike two.
The kids rampaged around the pool until it became embarrassing and then we went home.

We had a short recital of Christmas piano pieces while the kids misbehaved and Nana became grumpy, so Annie kindly offered to read the nativity and then we opened pyjamas form Nana and Papa and a few other presents.
And everyone became suddenly angelic.

And at the end of the evening I noticed something very strange under my tree.

I know, most people have railways or kittens or stockings under their trees, right?
I have a Daniel, 'cause I'm lucky like that.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hip Hip Hooray...for Venn Diagrams

I've been pondering Venn diagrams lately.
I love the visual representation of set theory, and it has stuck with me ever since first learning of it in elementary mathematics. Mr. John Venn made them popular in a paper he wrote in 1880, but the concept has been around for much longer. Mr. Venn humbly referred to them as "Eulerian circles", which are a looser form of set diagrams and were invented by a Swiss mathematician a hundred years earlier. 
Now you know more than I knew five minutes ago.

I doodled around a bit tonight. Here are some of the Venn diagrams of my life.

This one is a homage to my dad. He always told me that if I learned to play the piano I would be popular, and, in a way, he was right. I have enjoyed many unique experiences and met some wonderful people through my ability to play the piano proficiently. And I have earned something of a living for thirty years teaching the skill to other people.
So, yay Dad!
That's me in the intersection. Kind of. Depending on your definition of "popular."

This is not me.
This is the opposite of me.
But I do know some people who fall into this intersection.

But this is also me.
Probably with a loose screw.

This is Bethany.
She may be the only person in the world who is represented by this diagram.

This is also me.

Or maybe this would be a better visual, with one being a subset of the other.
Because only people who watch Dr Who have any reason to be scared of weeping angels. 

This is our friend David. 
We went dancing together on Friday night and learned the horseshoe.
Are you jealous?
I think more men should dance with their wives and then more wives would be happy.
Dancing makes me happy.

This is Jeff.
He also dances with his wife.

And this is happening tomorrow.

Don't worry, it's only for a couple of months till Daddy gets home.
Life, it's a-changin'.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The fire is so delightful

By golly, we've been having some weather lately. For a couple of weeks, it was so wet that various fungi have been popping up in regions hitherto uninhabited by such wonders. Little fragile brown toadstools, big white and brown ones, and all kinds of in-between. I kept threatening to take photos, but never did.
Then this week has been frigid temperatures and gusty winds, followed by some freezing rain yesterday. This morning dawned bright and clear, so I took my camera as Barb and I walked our usual route and captured a few bits of beauty.
The sun was still low in the sky and glinting off the ice on the grassy field. 

Things were warming up fast and the icicles were melting, but we found some things that had only just been hit by the sun.

I love that this rose bush has hips, a flower, and icicles, all at the same time.

Here's something you don't see every day: icicles on palm trees.

This tree was covered in berries that were in turn covered in ice. I didn't notice the reflection of the berries on the leaf until I looked at the photo on my computer.

I think this might be my favourite: black-eyed Susan seed pods, covered in ice so that they looked like glass spheres. I think I can see my reflection in the pods on the left.

And tonight I am really enjoying the lovely fire that Jeff built when he got home from work.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Life's a beach

London came to visit for the last two weeks of September.
Oh yes. She brought her mom and dad with her.
The day after they arrived, we all went to the beach. 
Papa enjoyed entertaining two of his three favourite baby girls. And they seem to enjoy him, for some reason.

These girls love to spend time with each other, from the thirteen-year-old down to the one-year-olds.

Aunty Jenny and London are mutual fans.

And the boys are always thrilled to spend time with their Uncle Charlie.
I think there was an apparitional Natalie hanging around as well.

A raccoon decided to pay us a visit and we all had fun watching him from the back decks. He was not at all cautious and rather large.
Personally, I find raccoons to be rather scary.

It was a beautiful afternoon so we all traipsed down to the beach.
Sam and London chased seagulls.

The older kids chased waves. That's about all you can do in the chilly Oregon surf.

London and Madelyn played together in the sand for the longest time. We all dote on these wee girls, they are so stinking cute. And the two of them together are cute to the nth degree.

Thomy got buried in the sand somehow.

I love pictures of cousins having fun together. 
It is one of my main goals in life.

When everyone was as wet and sandy as possible, we went back to the house and ate dinner.

After dinner, we stood on the balcony...

...and watched this.

And then the men and older kids went home. The poor souls had to go to work and school the next day. The moms and the little kids stayed overnight and went shopping at the outlet mall the next day, because we're all about that.