Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

One of the most enjoyable TV shows I've watched in years was on the History Channel just the other day. Evil Live! I know right! Travis Pastrana (started as motocross racer, went to x-games, then to car racing, and really just an amazing rider who I've followed for years) Recreated three of Evil Kenevil's most famous jumps. Pastrana had Indian make him modernized motorcycles that had the same suspension and specs as the bikes Kenevil used, he also used similar leathers and even the same heeled boots.
This is Travis about to go off to the first jump over cars. The second one was over buses, and the third over the fountain in Vegas! Spoiler alert: Travis successfully completed all three jumps without incident.
They showed this wind up motorcycle on the TV as well. I had one of these! It was a favorite toy for sure!

While Travis takes on all this jumping, I'm going in the opposite direction.  I'm like three months out from my big crash and burn on the jumps and am feeling very good again. I even purchased a new bicycle!
Mountain bike technology has changed a ton in the 12 years since my current bike was built. I now have a Specialized Pitch Sport. I call it my governor. As in the governor in a golf cart that keeps it from going fast. I purposely purchased a more entry level bike that will be fine for riding on the trails, but truly is not quality enough to be taking the big jumps I was taking a few month ago. Differences from my old bike? Gears. I was riding a single speed. 27.5 in tires. My old bike was 26 in wheels, now mtb bikes are 27.5 or even 29 in wheels. And very different geometry. Thanks to gears I was able to ride up all the hills I used to walk up, and the considerably longer wheel base and geometry is very solid going down, but the components are not for jumping. Great.

All the technical stuff I just typed, it is all procrastination. I started graduate school yesterday and have a ton of homework to do today. I enjoyed my classes and am hopeful I enjoy the whole graduate school experience over the next 15 months. The only thing I don't love in today's schooling? All the collaboration. Several times yesterday we had to get into small groups and stuff. Blah, I'd rather do it myself, but I guess that is all part of the learning. Time to get to work!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Happy 4th of July!

Good morning, it is Friday.

Hope everyone had a happy 4th of July! It was a low key evening for the most part around here. Well, I mean in our culd-e-sac. The city of Covington was one the very few cities allowing fireworks. Which means everywhere we could see there were huge booms and brilliant explosions all night long.
We started with a BBQ at John and Carol's house. It was a small group this year as both Stef, Mel, and their fams had different plans. So it was just our four and John and Carol. No worries, we did just fine. Plenty of fireworks left over from last year and all the neighbor's fireworks as well.
Two doors down was a fire pit with s'mores and adult beverages.
Here's our gang.
Next door neighbors Brett and Maxie.
A look at the aftermath. Another fun 4th!
Yesterday Maren, Lillie, and I took a little day trip to Gilman Village in Issaquah. We had a fun time looking at little stores in the Village and on Main Street as well. Lillie picked up the trombone music for Wicked at the music store. We will be seeing that musical when it comes to town. The other piece of music is one she is practicing for the parade season.
The clock store even had a resident cat. So many cool things in this store!
I even changed my watch face to the famous cat clock face. The eyes go back and forth, it is kind of mesmerizing.

I've been glued to the World Cup matches. So yeah, this blog is happening between matches. And I beleive the Tour de France begins tomorrow? I will double check. Not that it matter too much, today is like the last day of my summer vacation. I start graduate school on Monday!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 25, 2018


Good evening, it is Monday.

Summer is here! Well, we did have a rain-out for Lillie's first day of summer tennis practice this morning, but really, it's summer time. Last Thursday Lillie and I had our last days of the school year, so it's been time to relax. I've got a couple weeks to relax and gear up for a very busy 15 months as I'm all registered and good to go for graduate school. Speaking of the well educated, Maren is off in New Orleans at the ALA conference. She has been staying very busy with a mix of work (she has given a couple of presentations) and fun (publisher dinners, breakfasts, and more), and tomorrow she gets to visit with my Aunt Susanna! Hi Aunt Susanna.
Maren's first day there she got to sit in the VIP section to see Michelle Obama. Yes, I wrote that correctly, Maren got to see Michelle Obama! Do you remember how excited people would get when Oprah would give them a new car? That was Maren getting to see Michelle Obama. Maren sent me this photo, taken with her iphone 5 no less!

While Maren has been off at conference and hanging out with Michelle Obama, I've been having a fine time at home. Yesterday it was 7 weeks since my bike crash, and I'm starting to get back out and try sports again. I hit a half bucket of golf balls on Friday. I had no strength or speed, but I hit well enough (without pain) that I think I will try golf league on Wednesday. And I went biking for the first time yesterday as well. Being back on the bike was so great. My fitness is quite lost after 7 weeks, but I zigged and zagged and made it 5 miles no problem. The last photo is the Hound Dog weeder I borrowed from our neighbor. It was so much fun (seriously) I went out and purchased something similar today. I've snapped up quite a few weeds already! Since I don't try to keep the grass green in the heart of the summer, weeds do cling on to the last drips of water. 
Yes, even thought Maren is out of town for nearly a week, the cats do expect their treats. The treats show up a few hours later than they'd like, but they're good.
Here is a throwback photo for you. I found this when looking for photos for my last blog. This was Hansen's first day of Kindergarten. No, Lille was not starting school, yes she NEEDED a backpack if the boys were getting them. Today I took Hansen and Lillie out to Red Robin for lunch with a Father's Day gift card I received. While no longer the littles, they're still super great kids!
How long have I been driving my van? Well, this photo was taken like two days after we got it while camping at Lake Wenatchee. I brought the van into get its tires rotated on Friday, but instead drove it out with its third set of new tires. It was time, and now with new tires it will be around for a while longer.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Grads and Dads.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

This weekend we celebrated Hansen's two graduations, and Father's Day. Hansen graduated from GRC on Friday night, then KL high school on Saturday morning. Between about 1000 graduates from GRC and 350 from KL, we've listened to a lot of names being read! Ha. Congratulations Hansen! Only 22 kids from KL were able to accomplish graduating with both their diploma and their A.A. degree. Well done!
Selfie of the crew at the GRC graduation
The Showare Center was completely full for GRC. We did a quick seat count and are guessing about 1000 graduates. Congrats to all the graduates!
Hansen had plenty of friends at the GRC graduation. This photo was taken while they were in line waiting to go into the stadium. It was like 11:00pm when we got home Friday evening.
Back at the Showare Stadium at 8:00 am on Saturday morning. While there were not nearly as many people at the KL graduation, the energy and the excitement was maybe even greater. The band played as well! You can see the in the back right of the photo.
There are tons of photos being shared over google drive and other photo sharing sites. A friend took this photo of Hansen being handed his diploma holder.
Afterwards there were mobs of fun photos being taken. Here is just a glimpse of what is out there in the world! The kids had so much fun, it really is great to see all these kids that we've known since grade school celebrating their graduation. Now for some family photos at the graduation:

Afterwards John and Carol took us all out to lunch at Las Margaritas. Jack took this selfie!
After lunch it was over to the Ostergard's house for more celebrating, Father's Day as well. Chris turned out to be the Jenga master.
Avery has been waiting for months till school was out for her to have Lillie dye her hair. Yesterday was the day.
Turned out great! Smiles were all around!
Not to be left out, Jack had his bangs dyed.
Congratulations Hansen and all of the class of 2018! Now for a relaxing summer before heading up to WWU in the fall!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2018

First and Last.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Starting tonight the graduation festivities begin. Hansen has graduation ceremonies both tonight and tomorrow morning. Tonight from Green River College where he is graduating with his AA degree, and tomorrow morning from Kentlake High School where he is graduating with is diploma.

Hansen's first day of preschool, and his last day of high school. You can tell it's the same kid for sure. He still likes his red t-shirts and brown jackets:)

Green River College had a celebration for all the Running Start students who will be graduating from high school with their A.A. degrees. There were about 200 students in total coming from several school districts who accomplishing this achievement. Kudos to Hansen and all the students who were able to do so, they had to pretty much plan out each class at GRC from the start, having every class match the guidelines for both high school and college. The kids had a fun time with this photo booth! Let's just say, you can make some very inappropriate signs from very innocent signs. Who knew? Just another talent kids growing up in the information age are blessed with. No, I'm not posing anything NSFW.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 07, 2018


Good evening, it is Thursday.

This has been a week of super evenings at the high school. We attended the year end band concert as well as the senior awards ceremony.

After an evening of great music ranging from Phantom of the Opera to The Lion King, the band changed into their parade outfits. They're performing in the Portland Rose Parade this weekend playing music from Super Smash Bros. Lillie is in the top photo on the right side of the stage. Lots of great outfits and fun music!

Last night was senior awards night. It was fun to see all the seniors who showed up for awards night. Hansen got an award for earning his college AA degree along with is high school diploma. Nicely done Hansen! Here are a few friends from way back in grade school!
I've finally done it. I've gone and joined a band. The teachers at my school have a little band that will perform at the year end assembly. There are a handful of actual musicians, and a few not so much. I started with the Triangle, but settled on the Kazoo! The song we're working on is Iron Man, how hard can this be?
We'll end with a regular sight here these days. Lillie's trombone becomes Mary's resting place while Lillie practices. Crazy cat.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Prom Cats.

Good afternoon, it is Sunday.

Friday evening was Hansen's senior prom for his high school. He and his date met up with a bunch of friends and took a Limo to dinner and the dance.  The dance was held at the Tacoma Glass Museum. What a cool place for prom!  Then a few of the guys who have been buddies since kindergarten had their own after party at a friend's house. Sounds like a great evening.

We didn't follow the kids to the the house with the limo, or to Tacoma for photos, but we did get these pics of Hansen and Tashana as they exchanged their boutonniere/corsage at our house. I know there are lots of great photos in the world of the whole group and more, I'm sure we will get to see those soon. The pics we took are very nice though aren't they.
Last night Maren and I took Hansen and Lillie to the 5th Ave. to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The lead who played Quasimodo is a deaf person and they were signing the whole performance. One of the gargoyles would come to life, follow Quasimodo, and sing his parts. It really was amazing. Dinner was at the Cheesecake Factory. Hansen figures this may be the best dining weekend of his life, so far.
This morning was senior Sunday at church. While not the largest senior class our church has seen over the years, this is a group that has been together for a very long time. The quilters presented each senior with a personalized quilt to take with them.

Nick and Hansen have been good friends since Kindergarten, and still are today. Nick chose music for his quilt's theme. Hansen's theme: Cats! The quilters did an amazing job.

We will have more very busy weekends with the end of the school year, and graduations. Welcome to June!

See you tomorrow.