Friday, October 11, 2019


Good morning, it is Friday!

Today is my very first in-service day as an actual teacher. As in the kids don't have school, but I do. I will roll in a little later, learn how to do all the things revolving around parent teacher conferences, then do those things. I will admit that I'm getting much better with technology these days. OneNote, SmartBoards, Spaces, Curriculum centers, you name it, I have to be able to do it. Doesn't mean I spell any better, you should have seen how many little red lines Microsoft sent my way just this last paragraph!

Guess who is 50? This guy! I thank my aunts and parents and family and friends for the nice birthday cards!
I woke up to like 50 of these things littered all over the house. And at school when writing the date on the board I made the year 1969! I mean, I fixed it, but yeah. Lillie made me a very cool poster board with a few fun photos for my birthday, and Maren set me up with some great shirts and even a Hydro Flask! Maren and I will visit the boys over the weekend, then I may even have another party. Yay! For these little gold things I have the hashtag #feelingold. I like how it actually reads, "feelin' gold"
I was talking to my parents on the phone last night as I was getting ready to attend Lillie's Jazz Concert. I had not opened my card yet. My mom said, "Go open your card!" So I did. And in it was a $50.00 bill! My memory flew back to when I was a (much! LOL) younger person and I watched my dad put a $50.00 bill in a birthday card for one of my Aunts. I remember thinking so vividly how extravagant that was. And how I don't even know how I could ever get to the age of 50 to be on the receiving end of such a gift. Wow! Well, here I am. Old. With even older parents and aunts:) Great gift, thanks. My sister did something similar, she gave me a $50.00 gift card to Starbucks!

Since my last blog post, there was another birthday. Preston! Happy belated birthday Preston! I know right, how rude not to make a separate blog post for Preston's birthday. Nah, we're sharing a birthday blog post. Even better.
Preston and Aleena drove down and spent a weekend here for his birthday. The kids all hung out and enjoyed their time together. It does make me happy to see all the kids still enjoying each other's company even as adults.
And here is proof! Say Cheese...

One last photo:
Check this out, we switched the dining room and family room back to the way the house was when we purchased it. Maren wanted to be able to sit in front of a fire, and we have a gas fireplace here that wasn't really getting used. The chairs came from John and Carol. They were in my 5th grade class library for a while, but I have a handful of students that this became a problem for. And I really wanted the extra room as I have a pretty full class. Besides, it was easier for me to remove the chairs than to try to manage them. I'm still learning how to do all this classroom management stuff. We love them in our family room:) Yup, sliding into our 50s will be a piece of cake (Maren is just practicing, she has a year to go). Ice-cream cake.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A Wedding, The Fair, and a New Bike

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yeah, I thought once I graduated from my Masters program I'd have more time to blog! NOT. This teaching thing is kicking my butt. But I'll give it a quick try.

Maren and Carol went to an old friend's wedding in Sturgeon Bay in Wisconsin! They had a great time catching up with old friends who really are like family.
Maren got to drive the rental car all over the place. The weather looks great, well better than the rain we've had.
This is the wedding party? I don't have many pictures, but I know they are out there, I've seen them on other's phones! It was a nice wedding and Maren and Carol were very happy to be there! Congratulations Jessica and Troy!

How about the Fair? You can do it at a trot, you can do it at a gallop...take it away mom! It's now the Washington State Fair, so the whole Puyallup part of the name is gone.
Lillie and I went on the only nice weekend day foretasted in the last couple of weeks. We joined the rest of the state. If you've been to the fair and seen the huge parking lot, welp, I got the very last spot!
I did win Lillie an Unicorn!
We purchased some ride tickets and looked for rides with lines that were less than three miles long.
This biker has clearly been waiting in line for a long time. I do enjoy these scary/not scary rides:)
But Lillie wants to go on these rides. So like the third grade kid who joined us on this ride, I just closed my eyes and prayed the whole ride. Somehow I'm still alive!
Look closely at this picture. This was Lillie's very first solo drive as a licensed driver! Woohoo! A dark ride to school. I know right, and her dad out in the dark taking photos! The kid car is now hers to drive.
Check out my new bike! I traded away my old fully suspended bike for this rigid one. This is an all steel bike from Europe. It is made by an outfit called Stooge Cycles who makes the coolest bikes ever (google them). I've only got one ride on it so far, and it's great!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Too Much!

Good evening, it is Tuesday.

I've been going into work for training, and to get my classroom set up. Monday is open house, the first day of school is a week from tomorrow! My room is looking pretty good. I don't have an amazing library like some teachers, but I'm catching up. I do have some nice furniture, a couple of cool work stations, and John and Carol gave me a couple of comfy chairs as well. I've got work to do to better learn the technology and stuff, but it is all falling into place.
The sign outside my door!
The first book I myself purchased for my classroom. I was at Goodwill looking for some books and other stuff and I found this. Maybe the best $0.99 I've spent. I have not seen any of the movies, but I do enjoy this book. Maybe a student or two will read it? Maybe not, but it will be hanging out in my library for a long time.
This was in my change. Two 1976 coins! I may have a sister born this year. I texted this photo to her and her response,"those are some OLD COINS!" haha. That they are.
What is this? Over the weekend I borrowed John's truck so Hansen and I could deliver this amazing couch that Mel saved for Hansen to his apartment. Preston and Aleena met us there and it was moving time. This couch wouldn't fit in the front door. Actually we couldn't get it to the front door thanks to the stairwell. So it was to the back slider. Nope. It simply wouldn't fit! So off to lunch to reassess the situation. We had a nice lunch, and a few texts later we decided it was time to give the couch away. Mel didn't want it back in her garage. So off to the Goodwill in Bellingham. Nope. They wouldn't take it. Value Village down the road. Nope. They wouldn't take it. Both places were nice enough to recommend the dump. Really?
Yup. The final resting place for this couch. What a day. We drove over 2 hours each way in John's truck just to take the couch to the dump! Doh. To be fair, I got to have a nice lunch with a few of my favorite people on the planet, so worth the trip for sure. I was just laughing when we were paying the fee for the dump. The Bellingham dump is pretty nice actually. It really is a great story. As we were waiting for Preston to help us move this couch Hansen was telling me how cool this couch is, not only is it leather and amazingly comfortable, but it looks so cool, like fresh brown leather. I was like, "huh? it's just an old green couch." Poor colorblind folk thought it was such a cool brown color. I think after learning it was actually green, the sting of having to take it to the dump rather than in his college apartment was not quite so great. Mel, thanks for saving it for us, sorry this was how the story ended!

I have one other great story to share. But it is kind of long. OK. You can stop reading if you want, but this is my favorite story of the week. It was my nephew Clark's birthday a week or so ago. Like usual I found him some cool things on Amazon and had them delivered to him. One of the things was a Spider-Man web sling toy. Well, on the first shot it broke! So Amber helped me return it. Once Amazon refunded me, I asked Clark what he would want to replace it. I could pick something (I do pick awesome things), or he could pick. His decision: I could choose three choices for him, and he would then choose - and BayBlades were OK. So clearly BayBlades would win the day. I sent photos from Amazon via Amber's text for him to choose from. My first choice for him: BayBlade arena. It was a hit, but he wanted to see choice two. I chose another Spider-Man web slinger thing. BayBlades were still winning. At this point I knew I could choose anything on Amazon's website and it would still be the BayBlades. I decided to goof off with him just a little. My third choice for him, My Little Pony party pack. He was so offended! Haha. What, him want My Little Pony?!? Shame on me! So I purchased the BayBlades and happy is in the land. Amber says he still can't believe I chose My Little Pony for him. Like really? Some day he will realize how hilarious I am for these shenanigans. Or maybe hilarious is not exactly the right word.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Graduation!!! And More.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

I see that I have not blogged in over month! Yikes. I've been busy working on a Capstone Paper, Capstone Product, Capstone Presentation, and the EdTPA exam submission. These have been huge writing endeavors. And not just writing endeavors, academic writing endeavors. While I love writing, I like to write in reflection mode, or blog mode, academic writing and me don't get along at all. Sure, some of you may think I'm just being dramatic, well, tell that to the people who grade academic writing. APA format, whatever! But time moves on and those things as of yesterday are pretty much behind me! So this will be a snapshot of the last month post:
Yesterday was Capstone Presentations and Graduation! I was a bit nervous and looked at my notes a lot when presenting my Capstone, but after 15 minutes it was over. One and done. Then off to graduation. This has been a very busy year. Everyone says next year (which starts very soon) will be even harder! I will be teaching 5th grade at a local elementary school. I believe it!
Besides a Master of Arts in Teaching, I also have an ELL endorsement. This has really been a wonderful program. The staff at Antioch University Seattle are amazing, and they brought the classes to us at the Kent School District.
Wait, the whole family! Preston even drove down from Bellingham on a work night to be here. Thanks! I had a nice large group of people at graduation. I even wore Grandpa Sandler's watch, he would have been most proud.
It's not just been humans around our house this summer. We (Lillie mainly) fostered four kittens for a couple weeks as they were a little sick and a little small to be adopted. The first week we had these four cute little dudes who we got to know and learn about their feeding habits and everything. The second week we had four monsters! Monsters I tell you! haha. They grew fast at our house and were ready to be adopted out at an adoption event a week earlier than we had originally thought. Fostering kittens was quite an experience.
Looks like a little bat has landed on my shoulder.
Baseball. Maren and I went to see the Tacoma Rainiers. We saw a bunch of long balls for sure. I think this new baseball may just fly farther off the bat than the old one. Hmm...
Lillie and I took out of town family to the zoo in Tacoma. It had been eight years since the Bs visited. We had a fun time and I can tell you that Tacoma is doing great things to its waterfront.
A big family selfie!
Summertime is parade season. Lillie marched in two parades this summer. This was part of the crew who marched in the Renton Riverdays Parade. One of the highlights (or lowlights really) was the horse who pooped literally right in front of us (and up wind). The pooper scooper didn't do such a great job and there were "oohs and aahs" as parade marchers missed stepping in the poop by mere millimeters over and over again. Yes, this did deserve a its own paragraph:)
Even a little time for hiking. Lillie and I went on a four mile hike in the area that I regularly ride mountain bikes. After hiking we checked out the Black Diamond Bakery and antique shops.

Next things on the schedule: School shopping for Lillie. Hansen moving back up to Bellingham. Starting a new teaching job. I may even go check out my classroom today.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, July 08, 2019

What's Up?

Good evening, it is Monday,

This is post 2 of 2. I you didn't see my post on Stef and Chris's wedding, scroll down. Now. It is better than this post. Really. But what else has been happening around here you ask?
I finished my year of going to classes and student teaching and stuff. But I'm not done yet, I've still got a capstone project due in several weeks. Not going to lie, I'm kind of struggling with it. Anyhow, this book is so cute. You'll have to ask to see the pages individually. The kids wrote/drew what a good teacher should do, and what a teacher should never do. The themes revolved around liking/respecting the kids and not yelling. Do I yell?
OK, here is one page. Never say no to a bathroom emergency! I wouldn't ever! LOL.
I took Lillie to the local pet store to see a person who has a very popular Instagram page on being a foster pet parent. Lillie signed up for her and Maren to go to an orientation class. Lillie and Maren want to foster older cats who need a break from the shelter for a few days.
 It is kind of hard to see, but there is a person way up in the tree cutting it down. The new neighbors took down a few trees between the houses. I think it is great! Joe planted these trees years ago. I and his sons hoped he would want to take them down. Long story short, they're down. And  there is light i the side yard again.
Maren, Lillie, Hansen, and I went to see Wicked at the Paramount. None of us had ever seen it, which is amazing really. Actually what was amazing was the show! And Lillie's selfie. Usually Lillie would have absolutely nothing to do with my theater selfie, but the two of us parted ways with Maren and Hansen an hour before the show for differing dinner options, so she obliged.
The Forth of July has even come and gone. This summer is about to end! I'm already getting anxious. I don't want summer to end. I'm not ready to go back to school. Next year will be a huge change for me. I've not signed any contract yet as my certification is not done, but I'm slated to teach a 5th grade class next year! In this photo Hansen is getting some very creative photos of ground snakes.
Jack and Avery lighting off smoke bombs. We didn't have too many fireworks of our own, in fact this was probably the first year since I've had kids that I have not purchased fireworks! No worries, the neighborhood did not disappoint. There were even drones flying among the huge fireworks. I bet there are some cool pictures taken from the drones of fireworks with the neighborhood as the background.

Welp, that's all for now. See you in a few tomorrows.

A Wedding in the Sun!

Good evening, it is Monday.

Just over a week into summer vacation and we've already had a whole summer worth of fun! Well, I hope it's not over, but there has some serious celebrating. Stef and Chris got married in Mexico! I know right. Congratulations Stef and Chris! Cabo San Lucas was the destination. Because of timing and such, not all of us made it down to celebrate, but Maren, Hansen, and Lillie were there. I got to see a bunch of great photos as Maren was sending them to me daily. Here are a few that I have to share, I'm sure that there are tons and tons of great photos out there on all the other cameras of the world.
One of the first photos I received. We still had two more days of school left when these three left for Mexico. Hansen was finished for the year, but Lillie may have missed the last two days of school. I think it was well worth it!
The whole crew had the waiter take a photo of the group. He took a selfie. Too funny.
The view from Maren and the kid's room.
You can so tell how warm and nice it was down there.
Hansen and grandpa cooling off a little. Cheers!
Lillie doing Stef's make-up with Avery looking on.
Stef and Chris now married. This is a pretty cool picture. Timeless really.
The whole wedding party. Congratulations!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Happy Father's Day and More.

Good evening, it is Monday.

Here's to a Happy Father's Day! I had a nice day. I enjoyed watching the US Open and talking to my dad on the phone. I also enjoyed a nice family lunch at John and Carol's house to celebrate. My kids made me a wonderful picture frame highlighting a not so flattering quote/photo I may have said about one of our large cats. Hmm. The frame is not quite blog worthy as I need to protect my dignity, but you can see it hanging proudly at my house.

Today was my last day of college class for spring quarter. I've now officially completed all of the classes required to earn a teacher's certificate. I will finish off the program over the summer to complete my Masters degree. Yay. Hansen is also done with his first year of college at WWU! He is now home until the end of July when he moves back up to Bellingham for year two.

How about a few photos?
A Father's Day selfie. This was the whole gang hanging out at John and Carol's house.
John and his daughters on Father's Day.
Lillie will be Stef's makeup artist for Stef and Chris's upcoming wedding. Lillie knows her way around makeup, Stef was very happy with how the practice run turned out.
Lillie was awarded the Outstanding Musician for the year in her school's Symphonic Band! Way to go Lillie! In case you didn't know, Lillie plays the trombone in the Jazz Band, the Symphonic Band, and the Pep Band.
I'll end this blog with a photo Maren on her throne of books. I guess her and her team had like 9 pallets of books to unload the other day. How do you relax for a moment? Make a book throne.

Since you read all the way to the bottom of this page, I will treat you with a little trivia. It was 30 years ago on this date that I met Maren! I was invited by my friend Scott to party at his house in celebration of Maren and her friend's high school graduation. And the rest is history!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Mama Mia!

Good evening, it is Thursday.

Two weekends of KL's drama production of Mama Mia is in the books! The show was great, the staging was great, and the kids in the production had tons of fun. They put in so much time along with a few parent volunteers who helped create an amazing play!
There were two poster designs hung up all over the city. I put a couple up at my school as the school I work at is a feeder school to the high school. These posters turned out great.
An actual Playbill! Yes Lillie's name was in there. She was fly tech.
The little photo booth out front of the PAC was fun. Hansen came home for the sing-along performance.
For the sing-along they passed out lyrics! You can kind of see the set over the lyrics. Truly amazing, they built a two story set! Yup, the tech crew built this thing. For the final song the tech kids came out and sang as well. Lillie was hanging out on the balcony on the right. She had the choreography down as well as any actor!
Hansen got Lillie into the photo booth after the show. Lillie is all harnessed up as the fly team is up and down to the rafters of the PAC many time per show! Amazing really.
What, even VIPs? Na, not for Mama Mia, this is the hallway leading to my school's staff room for teacher appreciation week.
All the staffers even had their own stars:)
Mama Mia? How about Happy Mother's Day! Hope all the moms had a nice Mother's Day!

See you tomorrow.