A Very Delightful COVID Thanksgiving

If you had asked me a year ago if I wanted to spend all of Thanksgiving week locked down at home with the kids, not seeing any family or friends all week, I would have said, “Uh… no thanks.”. But things have changed, and the girls and I had a pretty amazing pandemic Thanksgiving to ourselves.

It was so good, in fact, that I forgot to take any pictures of the kids, so this is going to be a text-mostly post. 😉

For nine days, we all chilled and barely left the house. The kids got lots of rest and down time. I worked most of the days, and the girls settled into a relaxed groove alternating between relaxing and hanging out. 🤷🏻‍♂️

At the end of the week, I asked the girls if they ever got bored. “Yesss!” they both said in unison. “But it was good!”

A few highlights:

  • Molly set up a pillow fort in her room and settled in to read Fever 1793.
  • We had some seriously crazy games of Uno.
  • We watched Jojo Rabbit, an astonishingly beautiful, sad, and funny movie about a Nazi youth. 🤷🏻‍♂️ I assured the girls it was heartwarming and really anti-Nazi. 👍
  • We played some Among Us and had some good laughs.
  • I took a walk with Claire during which we exclusively discussed nuclear power and radiation poisoning. 🤷🏻‍♂️
  • The girls discovered the joys of my PC and worked out a peaceful PC-sharing system. I did not have to get involved. ✌️
  • Claire and I joked a lot about the “most definitely” Roblox guy on Twitch. 😆

And we cooked a lot.

We made our favorite “Very-aki” chicken from memory. Molly tested me on that. We made what Claire described as a “modern Mexican Thanksgiving meal”. And between the apple crumble dessert and making Claire’s apple birthday cake, we peeled, cored, and shredded 6 pounds of apples. 😮

Best Thanksgiving ever!

Note the “most definitely” that Claire added to the wall chalkboard. 😆

Honor Society

Claire was recently admitted into the National Junior Honor Society.  She worked hard and got her grades up to make this happen!

Congrats, Claire!

Ze, Susie, and Claire accepting their honor society membership.

Dads’ Spring Break

My friend Joel had his girls for spring break this year, and so did it.  We decided to take our girls on a road trip and, thanks to AirBnB, ended a 14-bed ranch near Fredericksburg.  We invited Claire’s best friend Susie along for good measure.  So it was two dads and five girls, although I often referred to us as seven girls. 🤷🏻‍♂️


  • Late nights (like 10 pm!) in the hot tub
  • Fire pit and s’mores
  • Hearty meals for seven, with ingredients bought from WalMart – spaghetti and meatballs, pancakes, cinnamon rolls
  • A ride on the “mule” to see the neighbor’s baby goats
  • Enchanted Rock.  Molly and Maddie were the first up to the top!  They won on pure enthusiasm, which the other girls lacked.
  • The Pacific War Museum.  I tried to squeeze in some short lectures on how crazy that war was and how cool Nimitz was, with only limited to moderate success.
  • A fudge store that Maddie was constantly dying to go to.  I got a chocolate-covered pickle, because what the hell?
  • The girls’ definite favorite, Earthbound Trading Co, a New Age / hippie store.  We came back at least three times.  Claire ended up with a Himalayan salt lamp, a Ganesh, some ying/yang balls, and some polished stones totaling about $72. I admit I got three stones myself; those things were so dang smooth!
  • Luckenbach, TX.  This may have been a little too “country” for Claire, who wanted to get out of there for fear of being shot.  From looking around, I think we were in greater danger of getting run over by a bicyclist.  Or maybe cat allergies.



Asthetic Music

Claire has recently discovered what she calls “aesthetic music”.  I love that term!  This is music that sounds cool and you can just chill to, as far as I can tell.  Apparently, most of the time the genre of music involves a light electronic sound plus ukulele.

I’m  not sure if aesthetic music is officially an official “thing” or just a term that Claire came up with.  Claire says that her friend Olivia is into aesthetic music as well.

Here are some examples:

“Ultimately” by khan dreams

“But My Hair” by Mounika (featuring Cavetown)

Sleepover Days

These are prime days for sleepovers.  Almost every weekend, Claire has a a sleepover.  She sleeps at Susies’.  She sleeps at Emma’s.  She has Susie or Emma over to her mom’s.  She has Susie or Emma over to my house.  Sometimes Claire has two sleepovers in a row and manages to stay awake and be in a reasonable mood on the third day.

At this point, Claire has probably had dozens — even hundreds? — of sleepovers.  They are so easy and routine that I just go to sleep and let them have fun and get themselves to sleep when they’re ready.

At the moment, Claire’s sleepovers involve a few basic ingredients:

  • A friend (or two) – mostly Susie or Emma
  • Molly – thank you, Claire, for being sweet enough to include Molly in your sleepovers!
  • ROBLOX – everyone whips out their laptops or iPads and plays the same game online while sitting next to each other on the couch, coordinating and joking.
  • The Office – always on in the background, and never gets old!

We’ve gotten a little tired of pizza.  Tonight I made spaghetti carbonara, and other times we’ve had, uh, spaghetti, or ramen.  I’m saying anything but pizza right now!

Anyways, these are the glory days of sleepovers, and I love it.  These kids make it so easy!


Christmas 2018

We got to Houston for a couple of days this Christmas.  My mom and I coordinated everyone between Austin and Houston, but we came up one stocking short, so we improvised and used a gift bag for Noni’s “stocking”.  Molly wanted to make sure Santa Claus was clear on this, so she wrote him a super sweet note:

Dear, Santa.

The gift bag is for Noni.  We only had three stockings.

Btw: the cookies are stale, you do not have to eat them!

Have a merry Christmas.

From, Molly


Some pics from Christmas Eve dinner, which we got on the table hot and delicious  despite being coordinated across me, None, and Noni’s helper, Patience.


We also saw an amazing and slightly scary performance of A Christmas Carol at the Alley Theater.