September 23, 2018: Happy Autumnal Equinox

Sunday and the Autumnal Equinox came early this morning.  It is officially fall.

I did a bit of work today.  I was in and out of the office much of the day.

Kat came over this evening.  We’ve not seen her in weeks.  I worked most of the evening.  Dominica and Paul put together our traditional cheese trays for when she’d come over.  The food was great, and Liesl joined us, she is starting to really like our cheese trays.

This evening I was doing some research on where we could stream different shows and I discovered that after all of these years, Growing Pains is now available on Amazon Prime!

Growing Pains was my second favourite show of my childhood, after Who’s the Boss.  It started in late 1985, when I was just nine years old, exactly Liesl’s age.  Sadly, Who’s the Boss is not available anywhere to stream currently, which is terrible as I really wish that I could watch it with the kids.  But I am so excited that Growing Pains is available.

Liesl agreed to join me in the living room to watch it together tonight.  I am so excited.  We watched three episodes of Growing Pains together and she likes it!  I can’t wait till we can watch the whole series.

Dominica watched with us, too, although she was doing Legos a bit of the time.

Luciana decided that tonight was her big reading not.  She had me set her up with the CloudLibrary app on her iPhone from the Carrollton Library so that she could find and read books on her own.

We got her set up and she loves it.  We borrowed four beginner books for her and she read all four.  So we returned them and got four more, and she read all of those, too!  She loves to read and really wants to read harder stuff, but is struggling to find a good balance of things at the library.

Liesl was late getting to bed tonight and it was three minutes before midnight when she went to do her DuoLingo for the day, and her phone was dead.  She ended up losing a twelve day streak and was incredibly upset.  She cried for at least half an hour because she had been working so hard on that.

I read the girls a chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and it was off to bed.

We had a major personal tragedy for one of our workers tonight and so I have to be up early tomorrow morning.  Not a lot of sleep for me tonight.

September 22, 2018: Last Day of Summer

Saturday and the last day of summer.  Our week has been all rain, hasn’t felt like summer for days.  Next week will be warm again, but this has been nice.

I was very, very sad to learn today that Telltale Games, one of the best video game studios out there of the last decade, that makes a lot of our favourite game series, just up and went out of business without warning leaving a load of really exciting things unfinished, which is heart breaking.  Like The Walking Dead series that was just two episodes away from completion (and a lot of people had already paid for) will not be finished now.  And the Stranger Things game that had been announced, won’t be happening.  And The Wolf Among Us 2 that we had hoped for, was cancelled.  Rumor is that Minecraft: Story Mode 2 will be completed thanks to Netflix’ contractual obligations, at least.

Liesl played Roblox much of the afternoon.  She just hunkered down in the living room and played most of the evening.  Luciana played with her maybe half of the time.  They still really love that game, even when their cousins are not playing online with them.

Dominica and Paul went to shoot pool and play darts this evening pretty late.  So Liesl and I played, and completed, the first episode of King’s Question (2015), which was a lot of fun.  Good story, great graphics, and very fun.  Liesl really enjoyed it.  Now we just need a sale so that we can get the later episodes for it.

Great game, I can’t wait to play more.  I really hope that the Odd Gentlemen turn out some more titles like this.

September 21, 2018: Legoland

It is Friday and everyone had to be up early this morning.  Me for work, of course, and everyone else because it is homeschool day at Legoland Grapevine and they are all going.  They have a reservation at eleven that Dominica got last night, so they have to be up and moving pretty early in the day (for the Millers.)

The girls did a good job of getting up and getting ready, especially Liesl who is the more social and more ready to run out the door to go see friends and do activities of the two.

Once fully awake, they were both pretty excited to get to go to Legoland and excited that Isabella might be there, too.

They got on the road at ten thirty.  I heard stories all day of how much fun they were having.  They did loads of rides, and they built all kinds of stuff.  It took a few hours but they were able to meet up with Isabella and Juan, too.  And Isabella’s friend came along as well.  So they had a great time playing together.

They got to do a lot of stuff.  Including seeing the big as life Lego Star Wars displays.

The go carts were a big hit.  Perfect sized for our girls.

And they enjoyed a bunch of the rides.  But all of the rides were tough for Dominica and Paul to take them on.  All three of us get sick so easily from anything like that, our poor girls have no one to ride anything with them.

Overall it was a very successful homeschool outing.  The girls did loads of rides, checked out all kinds of exhibits, got to try out lots of building activities and just had a fun day.

After getting home, Dominica finished building her Lego Hogwarts Castle and Paul built Hagrid’s hut.  We now have a giant, finished Lego model in the living room.

Liesl and Luciana both had new Lego things from the Lego Store.  Liesl seems most excited about their new Lego lunch boxes, which they will probably just use as boxes.  Luciana got some special large scale Harry Potter Lego figurines that she spent hours assembling in secret so that she could surprise me with them.  She got Harry and Hedwig!

I got to watch a little Deep Space Nine on my own tonight, before dinner.

Dinner tonight was cheese plates, Dominica’s favourite meal.  We got in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager while we ate.

The girls and I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 tonight, finally, completing our movie marathon that we started last week.  Luciana only stayed for part of it.  Liesl and I snuggled for the entire thing.

We read more of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets before bed.

Some heavy rains came tonight and for hours we had flood warnings going off like crazy.  It was super annoying and we had to all disable the alert messages on our phones. They cry wolf so often with these pointless warnings, we will never believe them if something real was to happen.  Better to not have it waking us up.

September 20, 2018: Pool Time with Friends

Thursday. I slept till a quarter after eight this morning.  I accidentally let the phone die during the night, so thankfully no one was looking for me before I plugged it in!

Liesl got up and watched Liberty’s Kids for a bit this morning.  She is getting into the show.

Today’s main project is completing the build of the Windows 2016 Server, installing SQL Server 2017, doing a 2014 to 2017 migration, investigating some telecom failover issues, and more.  A busy day with a lot of communications, meetings, technical work, and more.  But, I have to say, it went overall pretty decently.

Lunch was some leftover sushi.  I like sushi quite a bit, but day old sushi leaves a lot to be desired.

This afternoon the girls had a play date at Isabella’s to go swimming.  And Dominica gets to go and meet Isabella’s mom today.  We had to start getting the girls ready at two thirty to be able to get there by three thirty.

We left the house at a quarter after three.  It is only ten minutes away in Addison.  The sun was out and it was warm when we left.  We got to the pool and the girls played with Isabella and Juan for about three hours.  They had so much fun.  They are all like old friends.  Dominica and I hung out the whole time with their mom, as well.  It was good as they have not had a chance to meet yet.

When we left we learned that tomorrow is the last day of Homeschool Week at Legoland DFW in Grapevine.  So Dominica might try to take Liesl and Luciana to that.  It’s a STEM activity center with lots of educational stuff and activities.  There is no way that I can go, even though I’d probably have a lot of fun.  This week hasn’t been too crazy, but it has been busy and I cannot be stepping away from my desk again as I was away so much on Tuesday morning and a little this afternoon.  I just need to be head down and working tomorrow.

Once home it was setan pot roast for dinner, which was excellent.  Liesl devoured so much of it with cooked carrots and boiled potatoes.  We watched an episode of Star Trek: Voyager with dinner.  Luciana was good with the carrots and potatos but the setan roast was not to her liking.

We told the girls around nine that they had to get to bed super early tonight so that they will get enough sleep before getting up “early” tomorrow to be able to go to Legoland for the day.  Paul said that he would go, he likes Legos a lot.  So I will have a quiet house most of the day.

I’m on a two day DuoLingo streak now.  I’ve been working very hard at it and I can really tell an improvement.  Over 230 Spanish crowns achieved now!

Got the kids to bed early.  Ready The Chamber of Secrets, then to bed myself.  No time for my own reading tonight.  The girls are excited about tomorrow.  Hopefully they can get up in the morning, and manage to coordinate meeting up with Isabella and Juan while there.

September 19, 2018: Grocery Restocking

I got up quite early this morning, just after six.  There was a lot to do and I wanted to be well prepared for the day.  Paul was awake when I got up, but was not feeling well and he went back to bed and slept most of the morning.  I was productive and prepped well for the day and got several projects moving along before my early morning meeting at nine.

Dominica and Paul did a huge shopping run today.  First to Cosco where they got a truck load of groceries (the house is totally depleted after two weeks without a grocery run other than the little one that the girls and I did over the weekend) and they found an air fryer on sale.  I have wanted an air fryer for a while and this one looks to be really nice.

Then they went out to WinCo and did another full grocery run there.  There is plenty of food in the house, now!  It’s not just stocked, it’s full.

Dominica brought home sushi for lunch, which was tasty.  Liesl really enjoyed hers.  Luciana had a little, but I got most of hers.

I had to do a lot of Hyper-V 2016 management today in a system that was not working correctly and had no GUI, which is a great way to be forced to figure out ways to use PowerShell for absolutely everything.  Even the simplest tasks to typically handle via a remote workstation had to be done from local PowerShell which was actually a challenge, but made it all kind of fun.

My day was really just a rather long one.  I had to work continuously until seven thirty.  So very little to say about my day.  Sitting in my office, on the phone for probably four hours in total!

Dinner tonight was the amazing maple glazed salmon, with green beans, and potato wedges from the new air fryer.  I tried one.  Potato wedges are not that much of a thing for me even at the best of times.  These were still from the learning stages of using the new fryer so not enough to entice me, really.

While having dinner we made it through an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.  Then Dominica wanted Sonic ice cream and they made a run to pick some up for everyone while I squeezed in another half an hour of work.  Then it was ice cream (I broke down and had some, Sonic does such a great job) and we watched a second episode during which I cooked the girls their second dinner of mac and cheese.

Paul and Dominica are feeling the shame of me having been dieting for the last two months on my own and supposedly they will be starting diets next week, as well.  I will believe it when I see it.

After the mac and cheese was finished, Luciana wanted me to read her the sixth chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while she took a shower in the new shower.

Liesl spent the entire evening playing Roblox in the living room, so we saw very little of her.

The plan is that the girls will be getting together with Isabella tomorrow, but I do not know any details about that, yet.

Tried to get the girls into bed at a reasonable time tonight so that we could relax and do our reading and our DuoLingo.  Liesl has been working really hard at maintaining her DuoLingo streak.  It’s a good incentive for her.  We only have her set up to need to acquire ten points per day to keep it going; that is the lowest number.  Mine is at the highest, which is fifty, but I am striving for at least three hundred as a daily minimum goal if I can help it.

I had to build one Windows 2016 Server and one Deepin 15.7 server before calling it a night.  Always “one last task” to squeeze in before bed.