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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Kicking off the season

We started the seasonal celebration Saturday with a visit to Snow Globe Santa.  He is amazing.  As the kids pointed out, you can tell he's the real deal, unlike the Santa at the NYC Macy's who was clearly just a guy getting paid to talk to kids.  Same Santa we've seen almost every year, and same magic we love.

Then Saturday night, we headed to Cameron Run for Lights 'n Ice.  They had capacity on the ice limited to 25/hour, so there were really never more than about 15 people skating at once.  Evelyn skated for the FULL HOUR and loved every minute of it.  She's eager to go for more, and wants Ian to teach her how to skate backwards.


Arts Morning

Evelyn arranged the beautiful flowers from Steve and Tricia and then got to work on her Santa portrait.


Winter Wonderland

The tree is up and the yard is decorated.  Santa's elves made a quick trip to Michael's for some last-minute items and then set up a stuffie winter wonderland upstairs.


Thankful Turkeys

We started the day with a Turkey Trot of our own in our old neighborhood and up to school, then made pies and potatoes and turkey for a feast fit for an army of four.


Thanks Chef

Max has been taking off in the kitchen.  We did a cooking class online and learned to make a bechamel as the base for an amazing mac and cheese.  He planned dinner for us with guacamole, peanut butter cookies, and a deep dish cheese pizza that was fantastic.  And then he used his bechamel-making skills to do the creamed onions and stuffing for Thanksgiving.  Lucky us!


Tuesday, November 24, 2020


Evelyn, Sadia, and Piper had a great time playing school this afternoon.


Monday, November 23, 2020

Short Order Chef

Max made 3 different omelet recipes to satisfy his 3 customers, plus an Ultimate Max Omelet for himself.  Meanwhile, as all good diner customers do, Evelyn read the paper.


Pandemic Book Club

Dad hosted Virtual Book Club, and we enjoyed dinner and a movie... at home.


Bikes and Snacks

Evelyn and I rode up to Chinquapin.  We raced, picnic'd, and worked on some pretty amazing bike choreography.


Friday, November 20, 2020

Story Time


Written by the bestselling author himself, Max Bryan

It was a warm February day at Walt Disney world. My family and I were sitting at the outdoor café.

 “Hey, look at that mountain!” My dad said. It was a massive roller coaster that looked like a mountain. “I wonder what it’s called,'' my dad said. “I googled it and it says Expedition Everest” my mom answered.

“Let’s ride it!” I said with enthusiasm. So far today I had not seen many big roller coasters but this one looked AWESOME.

 But when we got closer I noticed several things I hadn’t before. All of the sudden one of the drops looked a lot steeper, and the roller coaster looked even more massive than it had from farther away.

I thought “Actually, I don’t know if we should ride this.” By now I was very nervous. I started feeling drops of sweat on my head.

 Then I remembered something that my friend Ben had said all to me when I was in kindergarten. “Expedition Everest is definitely the scariest ride at Disney world.” he had said.

 Generally roller coasters were not too scary, but this was the scariest roller coaster I had ever seen. Even scarier than twisted timbers at kings' dominion.

 I noticed my dad was gone and I asked my mom “where did dad go?”. She said “Dad went to get tickets for that roller coaster because you said you wanted to ride it.”

 “Oh no! I thought. When my dad got back I told him how nervous I was.

 “Well I already bought the tickets so you will have to come.” he said.

 Then we joined the already long line for the ride. Finally it was our turn. “Next!” The lady operating the ride called. We got onto the roller coaster in a seat near the front. We got buckled in our seats and waited for the ride to start. My feet shifted around nervously below my seat.

“You can’t get off now!” my dad says, stating the obvious.

 A few seconds later I heard a loud thud and then the ride started moving up the rickety rails slowly until it was so high up that I dared not look down.

 I decided to look down and see how high up we were. I instantly regretted looking down. We were at least 350 feet in the air and I have learned from experience that whenever a roller coaster goes up it always goes down, which meant we’d be plummeting at least 200 feet. Also, I didn’t like imagining what would happen to me if the track broke and I fell. I looked up at the gradually approaching mountain.

 We were approaching the top of the mountain and I could feel the butterflies in my stomach. We got to the top and then I was shocked to see that the track had been broken.

 “Oh no this isn't happening!” I said with a hint of terror in my voice. Then I noticed that the track looked like it had been bent as a part of the ride. “Phew!” I thought. No sooner had I thought this than the ride shot backward down the side of the mountain at the steepest incline I had ever seen on a roller coaster. To top it off, we were riding backwards with our little roller coaster carts facing the other way, so we couldn’t even see where we were going, which is why I found myself screaming uncontrollably.

Gravity was yanking my body down into the seat and wind whipped against my face as the roller coaster sped down toward the ground. Then, at the last second it shot back upward and into the mountain.

Then, the ride stopped and I heard a growling noise. “There is a freaking wolf on the roller coaster!” I thought. Then I saw this massive shape. It looked a lot like a yeti. Then I realized “ Yetis aren’t real so that must be a part of the ride!”. As soon as I realized that the ride jolted forward right in between the yetis legs and down the other side of the ride.

 Then it curved and I could see the whole animal kingdom below me. “I don’t want to get off!” I said, replying to what my dad said earlier. The view was amazing. I could even see people that were almost as small as ants. This was one of the best rides I had ever been on!

 Just as I was getting used to the roller coaster and having fun it turned sharply and then shot downward. Then, it turned sharply and jerked to a halt at the end of the ride. As I stepped out I thought “That wasn’t so bad!” with relief. It was actually pretty fun. In fact, the worst part was actually the anticipation and not the ride.

 My dad must have seen me smile because he said “I told you it wouldn’t be so bad.” “Um, no you didn’t” I replied. But he had a point. Once I stopped worrying I actually started enjoying myself. If there was one thing I learned that day it was sometimes you just have to get it over with.











Thursday, November 19, 2020


We said goodbye to sweet Sally this week.  I am so glad Steve and Tricia took such good care of her for so many years.  Her paws smelled like Cheetos, and her clicky nails on the wood floor are one of all of the Bryans's favorite sounds.  We hope Sally and Stuart have a wonderful, treat filled reunion smelling all the things and chasing all the squirrels and butterflies!


Watch Your Step

Some day, my office will feel so empty.  Today is not that day.