Location: Oregon, United States

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

My folks were able to come out here and join us for the week before Christmas. This time, they actually got to see some of the sights in the area, although Mt. Hood was still rather elusive. (Their first visit, they worked with me on the house nearly the entire time. We had to drag them to the Japanese Garden and a few other places.) We ate at a fantastic restaurant my dad had found called the Wildwood, in addition to several darned good meals at home. We also went to the Art Museum downtown, rode the MAX, took a drive through the countryside to see the llamas, visited a swanky shopping area called Bridgeport, and hung out together. All around, a very nice time and a great way to transition into Christmas away from family and friends.

Another highlight is the arrival of the WEBCAM. "The cousins", i.e. Jill and Tim's kids, have been missing us terribly, so for Christmas they sent us a webcam. This way, we can see and hear one another on a regular basis, like a telephone with a monitor. (Okay, do you remember how futuristic video phones seemed only a short time ago? I distinctly remember thinking there was no way this was possible, and if it was possible, it would only be for the very rich. Amazing.) We have been in regular contact with the cousins since the arrival of the webcam, although our microphone feature is not working, so they cannot hear us. (I've spent a good 6 hours trying to figure out the problem and plan to call customer service now that the kids are back in school. Is that like getting coal in your stocking? Hmm, maybe I'd better check to make sure those guys aren't mad at me about something...) But, even with the glitch, it has been super cool.

The kids would also want you to know that they pooled all their Christmas gift money together and got a Wii (the latest gaming system by Nintendo). One of Paul's co-worker's, Howard, gave us a tip that a local department store where he works might be getting some in. So Paul casually dropped by on his way to work on the designated morning and snagged one. Now we are forever indebted to Howard and possibly forever hooked up to Wii. It is pretty darn fun, even for us parental unit types. Except the fishing sequence on Zelda - way too realistic. Lots of waiting and waiting and waiting. I came downstairs at one point to check on the kids and William was flopped backward on the couch with the controller in his hand. I said, "What are you doing?" "I'm fishing." "Why are you laying down?" "Because the fish aren't biting." "How long have you been trying?" "I don't know!" But he was obviously bored stiff and had been there for some time. Hmm, this scene is vaguely familiar... Oh! That's it! There's Paul sitting in the back of the boat poking the end of his pole into the gas bubbles for hours on end, bored stiff, as my dad and I sat in silence plying the waters - waiting and waiting and waiting...

We had a quiet New Year's Eve here - or what passes for quiet in this household, anyway. Then New Year's Day, we went to the Science Museum to see an exhibit about the science behind Star Wars. Decent exhibit, but I can't wait to see the rest of the museum! I planned to make "Hoppin' John", or black-eyed peas and rice, for dinner - a Southern tradition for good luck on the New Year. So when we got home from the science museum, I went to the store to get the black-eyed peas. But they were ALL GONE!!! The canned ones, the dried ones - ALL of them! Now, this would never happen in Minneapolis. There must be a whole lot more Southern transplants out here than I ever dreamed! But never fear, our luck is in tact, because I went to another store and found some there (on the top shelf, out of reach, so I had to get help to get some down.)


Blogger ~kelemira of gondor said...

thats so cool that y'all got a Wii. Say hi to every one for me! Merry Christmas and Happy new year!
bethany (the coolest one (: )

10:12 AM  

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