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Case Family 2011 Summary
My Life in the Last Six Months
New Luminae Web Site
1/11/11
Procrastination Is My Middle Name
Barley-Black Bean Salad
New House & Painting
I Just Had My 5th Birthday
Website Design & Music Composition
Stuff Happening Recently
My Pet Nimbus
Leaving Mormonism
 
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Welcome to the unique and vibrant world of PlanetCase. Read our latest PlanetNews and study the wondrous variety of environments and species throughout our globe. Come for the Planet, stay for the Case.

 

PlanetNews

By Cindy Case on 12/25/2011 2:22 PM

Hello friends, family and Facebook Stalkers!

Our thanks to everyone for a really excellent year. As many of you know, the last couple years have been complex as we have gone through several life changes. And while we know that not everyone understands our choices, we are glad that we have been able to achieve a solid mutual respect and have nourished stronger relationships.

We are very happy to be out of the Mormon church. We are glad to have shed religion as a whole and have experienced a personal family renaissance as we have studied and embraced science to a deep and rewarding level.

2011 was our second year with the kids in public school and they continue to adjust and thrive in that learning environment.

Miri (8th Grade) likes Art and Science in school and has many friends. She continues to draw both in traditional methods and digitally. She has been taking some riding lessons and has recently learned English style to compliment her current Western style. She also takes piano and has been learning "Broon's Bane" and "Trees" by Rush, and "Somedays" by Regina Spektor.

Raven (5th Grade) is very invloved in Music and Art. She likes to draw and create animations on paper and on screen. She has been involved in the school choir and recently sang at the National Christmas tree at the White House in Washington DC. This summer Raven learned to swim and loves the water. Raven also takes piano and is nearing completion of John Thompson I.

Damon (1st Grade) is doing great going to school full time this year. He has been doing well at reading and loves playing with his friends. Damon is a very active kid and loves to run, jump, yell, and wildly play. This summer he learned to swim and loves playing in the water. Damon started piano for the first time this year and is in John Thompson Little Fingers.

All the kids have really gotten into several Anime TV shows such as Naruto, The Last Exile, and The Last Airbender.

Aaron continues to work for Melbourne IT, running the User Experience and Interface team for their Digital Brand Services website suite. Aaron also works diligently with his company, Luminae Interactive and has recently done work for a non-profit video documentary website, and for a company that does automated and unmanned air traffic services for the FAA and the US Armed Forces.

Cindy has completed painting the house interior and it looks simply stunning. She is also in the process of renewing her teaching certification in Virginia and plans to work for Loudoun County schools with an emphasis in Special Education.

Happy New Year, everyone. Have a great 2012!

Peace,

Aaron, Cindy, Miri, Raven, Damon

Movies We Loved in 2011

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2
  • Super 8
  • Source Code
  • The Help
  • The Change-Up
  • Contagion
  • True Grit
  • Red
  • Paranormal Activity 3
  • 127 Hours
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Love & Other Drugs

Movies We Hated in 2011

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Indidious
  • The Adjustment Bureau
  • The Help (Aaron only)
  • Something Borrowed
  • Thor
  • Sex & the City 2

TV Shows We Loved in 2011

  • Dexter
  • True Blood
  • Homeland
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • American Horror Story
  • Modern Family
  • Weeds
  • The Big C
  • Revenge
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • Archer
  • Rome
  • The Borgias
  • Nurse Jackie
  • Shameless
  • Spartacus
  • Mad Men

TV Shows We Hated in 2011

  • Pan Am
  • The Office
  • Harry's Law
  • Parks & Recreation

Books We Loved in 2011

  • The Greatest Show on Earth, Richard Dawkins
  • The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins
  • In Sacred Lonliness, Todd Compton
  • Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
  • Night Shift, Short Stories by Stephen King
  • The Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins
 
By Miri Case on 2/6/2011 5:06 PM

This year has been really busy! Raven, Damon, and I started going to public school, and it’s been great. We’ve made a lot of friends, and we all have nice teachers. The way my school works is the eight classes I take are spread out over two days – an “A” day and a “B” day, with 1 ½ hour periods. I’m glad I don’t have to have eight classes in one day! :P

In December, I went to Norfolk, VA with Mom and Raven to see The Lion King Broadway Musical. It was AWESOME!!! The Lion King is one of my favorite Disney movies, and it was great seeing it acted out onstage. The acting, effects, and music were amazing. I have the music on my phone and I listen to it all the time! I brought back a cool charm bracelet as a souvenir.

 For Christmas, we went to Utah to visit our extended family. There was a LOT of snow. We stayed at Dad’s parents’ house for a few days. They have a 1000-piece puzzle that I spent like three days working on, and it STILL wasn’t finished when we left. We went to Idaho for a family reunion with Mom’s family, and I got to see my cousins again for the first time in years.

A few weeks ago, I had my midterm exams in school. They had a different schedule than normal, and it made that week really hectic. I’m glad it’s over! Also, since it’s a new semester, I started my second semester class. In the first semester I had FACS (Family And Consumer Science), but now I have Tech Ed. I’ve only been to it twice, so I can’t really say if I like it or not. The teacher’s pretty nice, though.

That’s all the big stuff that’s happened recently (if you call the last six months recently. :P) So bye!

P.S. Here’s a sample of some art I’ve done recently. Just cuz.



It's done in Corel Painter 11 (which I got for my b-day.) It’s characters from the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series. I just finished the last book. It’s one of my new favorite series! So, in the pic, they are flying in a storm during their weather-interpretation “chaw”.

(P.P.S. “Chaws” are what the owls call classes. Their teacher, Ezylryb, calls his chaw the “best of the best of the chaws”. He's not very modest.)

By Aaron Case on 1/13/2011 10:51 AM
I finally completed and launched the new version of the Luminae Web Site. I wanted the design to be clean and classic, high contrast, easy to read. Getting the aesthetics just right was a key part of the redesign. From a user-interface perspective, I integrated a new simplified and sleek submenuing navigation which allows users to get to the write-up and portfolio sections for each of Luminae's core offerings.

http://www.luminae.com

Under the hood, the site is running on DotNetNuke which is an open source tech that has built-in architecture, security, key functions and component libraries. This makes it relatively easy to manage and adjust the site as necessary without having to dive into the code.


Home Page



Interior Portfolio Page
By Cindy Case on 1/11/2011 10:06 PM
Today is 1/11/11 (what a cool date) and it is my 1st post of the new year! I am very optimistic about this new year. I am already making some changes and getting my life more organized. It feels great. My new best friend is FlyLady. She is awesome.

Gratitude: Today I am grateful for my Invisible Clock II. I is my little alarm clock that I can program to beep 12 different times each day to remind me when I need to leave the house to take the kids to school, when to pick them up, when start dinner, when the kids need to go to bed, etc... I keep it on the side of my fridge and I can hear it beep just about anywhere in the house. It is fabulous. It really helps keep me on track throughout the day.
By Cindy Case on 10/31/2010 11:01 AM
I am a procrastinator. I have been one for as long as I can remember. I don't like being one, but it is a hard habit to break AND I keep procrastinating actually doing anything to change it. Maybe tomorrow.....

So, I have a lot to share since we started this blog almost 3 months ago. Back then we were finishing the summer, and getting ready to put the kids in public school for the first time. We had a lot going on, and I really wanted to blog about it, but I put it off. Then school started and we got even more busy. Now, every time I think about blogging, I feel like I need to catch up first. Then, I procrastinate blogging anything because it seems like too much to catch up on first.


So for now, I will sum up the last 3 months as best I can:


August
:
We spent much of this month getting ready for school to start. We spent quite a bit of time shopping for new clothes, and buying all the required school materials. It was not fun trying to track down all of the very specific school supplies that each teacher requested. I went to the store several times to get all the necessary items. Then after all that, it turned out that some of the items really weren't necessary, and also some of the teachers gave out new lists the first week of school, that had additional items. So back to the store, or back online, I went. I think next year I will wait until after school starts to buy all the necessary items. They didn't use them the first week anyway, and it would probably be less of a headache for me.

Also, I spent part of August painting. I finished painting my office and the living room. They are both now a dark tan with bright white trim. They used to be all cream.


September:

The first weekend of September, I took Miri to Busch Gardens amusement park in Williamansburg, VA for an end of summer get-away. We did it in one day: 3 1/2 hour drive first thing in the morning, play all day at the park, then 3 1/2 hour drive home late at night. It was a fun bonding time. Now that we have smart phones, we were able to keep ourselves entertained while standing in long lines. The weather was perfect, so it was a great day to be there.

School started the day after labor day. Miri is in 7th grade, Raven is in 4th, and Damon is in Kindergarten. The kids adjusted to public school so well. They were nervous, but jumped right in and made new friends, learned the layout of their schools quickly, and got into the routine of getting up early and doing homework each night, etc. I am so proud of them. I was nervous that the adjustment to public school was going to really hard on them. But they are strong kids and doing so well.


Painting: I don't think I actually painted anything in the house in September. My focus was on the start up of school and that took all my energy.


October:
Much of October has been filled with home improvement projects as well as more unpacking and putting boxes away from our move in the Spring. (Remember, I am a procrastinator, plus we have had tons of home projects we've been working on since we moved in.) Also, I put lots of uneeded stuff on Freecycle, and now we can park both cars in the garage. Hooray!

Mid October Miri turned 13! We now have a teenager. It was a good birthday. Miri's birthday was midweek, so we took her and a friend to get gourmet cupcakes after school. Then we went out to dinner as a family to celebrate her birthday. Then we came home for cake and ice cream and presents. It ended up being a very long day and we all got to bed late, but it was a lot of fun. Maybe next year we will celebrate on the weekend.


Last weekend Aaron's parents, Gordon and Kathy, came to visit. It was great to see them and hang out together. We also had another little family birthday party to celebrate Miri's birthday, as well as Kathy's birthday (her birthday is today). Happy Birthday Kathy!


Painting: So I did a little bit of painting this month. I painted part of our entryway and I painted our 1/2 bath on the main level. Now I have 8 1/2 rooms left to go. Slowly but surely it will get done.


So today is Halloween. Damon is being a Transformer - Optimus Prime, Raven is a vampire, and Miri is a ninja. Damon has been counting down to today, he is so excited. We carved our pumpkins two nights ago. Raven carved a mini one at school, a classic face, then she carved another mini one at home, a ghost. Miri carved an owl into her pumpkin. I helped Damon carve a ghost face, then he taped a picture of a pumpkin with a ghost face on the back that he had drawn, and then colored all over his pumpkin with markers, then punched little holes in it to spell his name, and also added little colored pegs that glow when the pumpkin is lit up. He really had a lot of fun with his pumpkin. Aaron carved Aang from Avatar: the Last Airbender into his pumpkin. They all look great. I still have not carved mine (procrastination).


So that sums up the last three months. Maybe one day I will even get around to posting pictures of us doing the above mentioned activities. It is just too much for this procrastinator to do today. Maybe tomorrow....


Gratitude:
I just want to add one more thing for today. I am going to start blogging about things I am grateful for - to remind me of all the good things in life, even if they are really small.

Today I am grateful for hummus. Specifically roasted pine nut hummus from Costco. I was eating it for lunch when I started this blog post. I have just recently started to eat hummus. I love it with veggies or crackers. Mmmm......hummus.



By Cindy Case on 10/11/2010 8:27 PM
I got this great recipe from EatingWell.com. I love it. It is easy, healthy, and really fresh tasting. It also has 11 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, and 331 calories per serving. Try it.

1 cup barley, cooked according to package directions

1 cup black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup corn (thawed if frozen)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoons lime juice
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


Directions: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix. Serve chilled.

Serves: 4. Total time: 45 min (unless you use the instant barley, then prep time is about 15 minutes.)
By Cindy Case on 8/5/2010 8:10 AM

A few months ago we moved into a new house. We love our new home; it is big, bright, and has a giant yard. We live out in the sticks, so we see a lot of fun wildlife in our yard, like deer, foxes, groundhogs, and rabbits. The kids love it!


Our new home


When we bought our house, we started several projects right away. So far we have put in new tile floors, carpet, blinds, and a few other things. All the walls and trim were cream, and we wanted to have more color in the house. So I took on the task of painting the entire interior of the house. Our main color palette is dark tan, chocolate brown, and roasted red pepper, with bright white for all the trim, doors, and ceilings. To date I have painted most of the ceilings, 3 bathrooms, the family room and half of my office. I only have 11 rooms left...ha...ONLY 11 is no small task. Painting is a lot of work, but I do love how it transforms a room and sets the mood. I love sitting in a freshly painted room. It is so clean and beautiful and it makes all that effort worth it.


Our family room


Our family room has tan walls, and then one accent wall we painted chocolate. We really like the two-tone look in that room. I will post more pictures of the other rooms as I complete them. I can't wait to finish this project so that we can fully unpack and organize the house and enjoy our beautiful walls. Farewell, I need to get back to painting!

 

By Damon Case on 8/4/2010 8:37 PM

Me, Miri, Raven at my Party.


We had cake, and everyone else had ice cream, but I didn't have ice cream. I got some pet fish, and some of them died, but we got more. And they died again. Two of them died. Or was that three that died? It was not three that died. 


My fish tank. You can see the Red Platy and the underwater frog.


For presents, I got a BluRay player, a cowboy rifle, pistol & holster, and bow & arrow, some books, a Buzz Lightyear dart laser gun, and an Erector set. It was a good birthday. I had McDonald's french fries.
 
Also, for my birthday, I went to a Star Wars concert with my family, and there are Star Wars Mighty Beans that we should get. I liked the lasers, but not the part where they did two more songs at the end. I also went to see The Last Airbender, and Zuko looked weird. He was supposed to have black hair and a red scar, but he had black hair and just a normal scar. I liked it, but it did not look like the TV show. It was not dumb.
By Aaron Case on 8/3/2010 8:00 PM
Greetings!

Welcome to the new PlanetCase site. About a week ago, Cindy asked me to put together a blog site for the family. What had also been kicking around in this skull of mine for several months was to redesign and refresh our entire family of sites: PlanetCase.com, MiriCase.com and Luminae.com. I wanted to update the look and feel, the content, and the technology. In the case of PlanetCase, the site had not been refreshed since 2007; I have been a serious slacker. So I have redesigned the sites and am working on deploying them over the next couple weeks.


The Upcoming Luminae.com Design




The Upcoming MiriCase.com Site



I am also working on a new site, UnityVerse.com which is an online magazine dedicated to finding unity and common ground on difficult topics through sincere and respectful dialog. This site is still a couple months away, but I am quite excited about it.


Sneak Preview of the Upcoming UnityVerse.com Site.


When not site designing or working on the new house, I have spent some time in the studio composing. I am working on a piano and guitar arrangement of "By My Side" originally by Stephen Schwartz. The picture the song paints is one of walking side-by-side, hand-in-hand with someone along a difficult and lonely road. Given the journey that Cindy and the kids and I have been on over the last several months, the concept really resonates with me. I am also working on a piano arrangement of "All the Love in the World" originally by Trent Reznor. It tells the story of a unique creature marching along in a sea of carbon copies.

I am hopeful that our family blogging can help us be better connected with friends and family.

Peace.

Aaron
By Miri Case on 8/3/2010 6:35 PM
I'm going to be going into public school for the first time this year, and I'm kind of nervous about it. But they did just shuffle the school boundaries, and everyone will be new to my school, so I won't be the only one getting lost. :P Also a girl on my street will be going to the same school, so that will help too.

I also just got a new smart phone. It's a 4G HTC EVO Android phone. It's really cool!! I can check my email, surf the web, play games, listen to music... a lot of stuff. I even use it as an alarm clock.

Btw, here's a picture I drew recently on Corel Painter 4: