Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year

Good Morning, it is Friday.

Feb 29th. Don't see that every year.

One more tomorrow and Lillie and Claire have their Princess Birthday Bash. I don't know about Claire, but Lillie has been anxiously waiting for tomorrow to be today. Maren is picking up the cake today. We have balloons on order that will be ready for pick up tomorrow. Pizza will be ordered. There will be plenty of presents. This will be a quite a bash.

I was wrong yesterday about the kids all being well. Preston was the sick one. He missed school and was not feeling well. I hope he wakes up feeling better.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

working fridge, Lillie good day with gramps, good golf round.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday morning, I heard the fridge make a noise that it had never make before, kind of a humming vibrating noise and my first thought was "what is it now?" So I checked it out and it seems to be defrosting itself for the first time ever. I think the last visit by the tech were they decided that everything was replace, and the only thing it could be was the heater element may have actually worked. Yeah, we finally have a working refrigerator!

Yesterday John came out to hang with Lillie while I went golfing. Lillie was feeling much better and her and her gramps had a fun day. Sounds like they walked up to the sand park and played on the swings and stuff. Lillie does love swings. She is still mad at me for taking down our tiny swing set and putting in a fire pit. She never really knew the hazards of swinging on a swing set where the legs came off the ground and the whole thing was rusting out. Nans stayed home as she was feeling sick, but did send some of the yummy frozen mac and cheese for Lillie. The frozen mac and cheese is a big yum for the kids, we just have the box kind at our house.

yesterday I played a very good round of golf. I think it was only the second round of golf in my memory that I had no slips. Zero bogies. Because of suspect putting, I only carded one bird, so 17 pars, 1 bird, and a smooth 70. I was thinking about a round with no slips on the last couple of holes and had to make a couple of breaking 3 footers that didn't have to go in, that was very satisfying. I still lost the back and the total to Mike who is a 9 hcp to whom I gave 6 strokes. Luckily I had enough KPs to collect a buck. I have not decided if I am just giving him too many strokes, or he just seems to play well against me. Probably both. My guess is if I only gave him 5 strokes, I would beat him silly...knowing you have that extra stroke down the stretch is a big mental boost. Maybe I will suggest 3 full strokes and 3 half strokes next time.

This morning Hansen has his first ear check up since his ear tube was removed a month ago. He has had no problems from what we can tell, hopefully everything is healing fine. The way Lillie was feeling last night, I expect her to be good for school today. Things may be back to normal for the day.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Do any boys work? Costco, coffee, gum.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday Lillie was not feeling great, so I kept her out of school. Last time I sent Lillie to school when she was not feeling great, I had to go back early and pick her up. No one needs that again. Lillie was not feeling too crummy either, so we went up to visit Maren at work and go to Costco to order her and Claire's birthday cake.

When we drove up to Maren's work, the Library Service Center, we had to drive around for an extra second looking for a parking spot. There were a few women heading into the service center. Lillie actually asked me "Dad, do any boys actually work, or do only girls work?" Ouch! I told her that most families have the boys work and ours is kind of unique that I don't work more than mom. That I only work when she is in school so I can take care of her and her brothers. Maren seemed to think this was funny, not sure what I think about it yet. Guess I need to take her somewhere other than the school, the Library, and dance class.

At Costco we ordered a princess cake, bought plenty of things that were not on our shopping list, thought we did a good job of buying what we need, and a little of what we want. At dinner when Hansen found out we were at Costco, he asked "Did you buy more Coffee beans?" Maren and I both looked at each other and said "OH NO!!!...Jinx, 1,2,3,4,5,6...stop!" Can you believe it, we forgot coffee beans. Luckily the cake needs to be picked up on Friday, and our coffee supply should last for a few more days. We will just have to tie a string around our finger.

While doing the laundry last night, we found that some bubble gum made its way into the dryer and got all over Maren's favorite blanket and in the dryer. Yuck. Maren did a google search and found ways to remove bubble gum from blankets. After a long while of working with butter knives, ice and fabric softener, the blanket was saved. Kind of like the rice for wet electronics. Isn't the Internet amazing?

Here is to hoping the kids wake up healthy. See you tomorrow.

PS. I just did the spell check. It actually said there were no misspellings found. It must be broken again.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

slow day.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was a slow day at our house. Lillie stayed home from gymnastics and speech class. Last night she slept well, so I am guessing she will be good for preschool today. The boys are feeling just fine and after school continued to play outside until 7:00 pm when we called them in.

Daylight savings time is just around the corner...that will be great.

Tonight Hansen has Taekwondo. He did not go last Thursday or Friday because the weather was nice, all the kids were on vacation and playing outside, and we decided to give him a choice. I was a little surprised he chose not to go, but he was in vacation mode.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 25, 2008

back to school.

Good Morning, it is Monday.

The kids are back to school. It was not even too much work to get the boys up and bathed. I think they were both ready to go back to school. The girls were here this morning, and that helped get them going. The girls are sisters that go to Grass Lake and come over in the mornings three times per week for an hour as their mom goes to work. Today they played guitar hero and drew on the white board for the hour they were here.

Lillie did not sleep well last night. When Lillie does not sleep well, neither do Maren or I. We will be dragging around today. I look like the dads at the end of Lillie's new favorite book, Knuffle Bunny. It is a good book, and the way they did the pictures is very cool.

Short post, see you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lillie and Ali, saying "no', Oscars.

Good afternoon, it is Sunday. Sunday post are usually around this time...after church.

Yesterday was a good day. Lillie got to go to Ali's 3rd birthday party. Sounds like she had a great time. When it was time to leave, Ali's parents asked if Lillie could stay later to watch Alice in Wonderland. Lillie and Ali had this whole scheme worked out to have Lillie spend the night at Ali's house. When Ali's parents said no, they changed plans to have Ali spend the night at our house. Ali came over and made herself at home. I had to take Lillie and Ali back to Ali's house as a sleep over of kids under 5 is just not happening. Ali got home and said that "Julian said NO!"...I then heard Ali's sister Adi yell, "Julian always says NO!" I probably say no to Ali more than to other people, but I don't always say no! Last night the boys were mad at me for not letting them sleep down stairs. They were getting on me for always saying "no", so I just told them that if they would ask questions that had "yes" answers, I would answer "yes", and that it is their own fault for always asking "no" questions. Yeah, whatever...they did not buy it.

Maren and Lillie are counting the minutes until 3:00 pm when the Oscars start. It always used to be that Maren would work on Oscar Sunday. Now that she does not work on Sundays, I don't think she will ever miss another Oscars.

Back to school tomorrow. We had a fine vacation in Covington.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

extra post-daily post below

These are a few pictures of our visit with Amy, Camden, and Maggie. They were all taken with my phone, and may not be the best quality, but they are worth sharing. The first is of the 4 kids outside in the sun eating eating ice cream. The second is of Lillie holding baby Maggie with Camden looking on. And the last is of baby Maggie screaming after Lillie put her down, and before I picked her up. This was the only screaming I saw baby Maggie do the whole time, so it is not really fair to have taken the picture. Maggie really did enjoy our visit...unless you read something different in her blog?

Visited Amy, Camden, and Maggie...took Camden out to lunch.

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday around lunch time the kids and I visited Amy, Camden, and baby Maggie. Maggie won't always be called baby Maggie, but since she is still just a baby, baby Maggie is good. We hung out at Amy's house for a while and the kids played on the deck and took turns holding baby Maggie. Baby Maggie is doing great. She is like 10lbs and looking great.

After we hung out there [at Amy's house] for awhile, I offered to take Camden with us to lunch. So I had my three and Camden and we went to McDonald's for lunch. Hung out there and played with the Spiderwick happy meal toys, then we walked over to Baskin and Robins and each kid got an ice-cream cone. After that we walked over and looked at Camden's Karate studio, then finally over the Big Lots to shop for ping pong balls and cat litter. All the kids behaved especially well, and fun was had by all. These strange Happy Meal toys were a troll type thing from Spiderwick Chronicles that you would hold about a foot in front of your face, hold a looking glass in front of your eye, then shine the troll light into your eye. For the first while, every time the kids would shine the Troll light into their eyes, I would be like "hey, don't shine these lights into your eyes...what are you thinking!" Then Hansen showed me the instructions, and they were doing it just was actually cool, with the looking glass, you could see trolls jump out of nowhere. After all the eating and shopping, we brought Camden home, said hi to baby Maggie, and then home for an afternoon of ping pong and playing outside.

Today will be a not much day. I think the garage sales may have started with the nice weather (45 degrees and sunny) so we may go on a walk and look for garage sales.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Lillie's big secret, Ping pong.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday was a nice day. The weather was nice, and the kids all had fun. Lillie got to have lunch at Ally's house. Hansen ended up spending the night at Kole's house. Preston was taken back a little that Hansen was spending the night at a friends but he had to follow house rules. Well, Maren has to work this morning, so it is what it is. Preston did enjoy Lillie wanting to sleep in the bottom bunk since Hansen was not there. She told him that she had important questions to ask him and important secrets to share with him. So way after bed time when we finally got them into bed, I listened for just a second to see what Lillie's first big secret was. Lillie said to Preston..."Preston, Preston, my first secret is that...Hansen and Dad are both Turd nippers!" Then of course Preston and Lillie were laughing so hard that it would be awhile before either would be sleeping. The quick skinny on the term turd nipper, is that the kids think anything with the word turd is very funny. So much so that they have been in trouble on a number of occasions for using the word turd in many different ways, and at many different times that are very inappropriate. Finally Hansen would just draw pictures and pass them to Preston and Lillie until they were all laughing as well (I have saved a few for embarrassing Hansen in the years to come)...the drawing of Turd nipper is of a person standing like a chicken eating feed off the ground, only the feed the person is eating is not chicken feed. Sorry to burden you with these ideas, just be glad you are not the one sitting in between Lillie and Hansen at the dinner table!

Today we are going to try to visit Amy, Camden and baby Maggie. The plan is to then take Camden out to lunch and give Amy a break. Preston will want to go to the dollar store to buy more ping pong balls. I have actually seen a couple get lost forever and I can attest that the back of the Coke Machine (yes, for those who do not know, I have a full size bright red Coke machine from the mid 1980s in the garage. It is set so it sells cans of soda for 5 cents) kind of sucks the ping pong balls right up. Because of cramped quarters, I need to move the ping pong table to get in the Coke machine...and the ping pong table is not that easy to move because it just isn't. Preston is hands down the best ping pong player in the neighborhood. None of the junior high kids stand a chance. The only person Preston has no chance of beating is...wait for it...ME! Probably by the end of the summer, i will have no chance at beating Preston. When that time comes around, I will just start playing Hansen. It is always good to have a back up plan.

See you tomorrow.

PS. Spellcheck is back...doing the happy dance!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spiderwick, golfing.

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday John and Carol took the kids to see The Spiderwick Chronicles. The boys said the movie was great. Lillie said the movie was good, but got kind of boring. The show times that I fowarded to John were (unknown to me) for weekend and holidays. So the crew got to the movie about an hour too early. Coldstone ice-cream came to the rescue and I guess it worked out better than could have been planned. Usually on Wednesdays John and Carol only have Lillie, it is nice that the boys got to hang with them this week thanks to vacation.

I went golfing with a few friends. The weather was great and I played well. I ended up pushing my matches for the day money wise. It is hard to do too much in match play with 17 pars and one bogey. Especially if you have to give a few strokes per side to your competition.

Today may be busy and may not be...we will see where the day takes us.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ping Pong, Movie, golf clubs, Trailer.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday I spent most of the day working in the garage. I cleaned and rearanged a ton of stuff so I could put up the Ping Pong table. As soon as the table was set up, there were 10 kids out of nowhere waiting to play. I finally had to leave, take a deep breath, and just let them go. Most of the time they don't play Ping Pong...they play "Ping THE Pong", I guess it is from the Drake and Josh show or something. Anyhow, when the word "the" is thrown in, all the rules are apparently thrown out. They seemed to be having a great time, at least untill they have to come to me begging for more ping pong balls. How do you loose 5 ping pong balls and distroy the netting all in one afternoon? Apparently you are very carefull because if they had their way, we would be out like 20 ping pong balls and would be on our second table. I found the netting parts under the table and have a few more ping pong balls...that should last them a few more days. I figure they will either improve enough to stop loosing balls, or just get bored of Ping Pong. I have had the ping pong table for a couple of years. It is kind of old and a little beat up, but I got it for free, so who is to complain. It has a unique leg system that allows it to be taken apart and stored flat. I has been put away and the kids just recently started asking for it to be set up again.

Today John and Carol are going to take the kids to see a movie while I go golfing. The movie is the Spiderwick Chronicles. Preston and Hansen know all about it and may have read the book? Lillie really wants to go just because. The previews say it may be a little scary for the 5 and 6 year olds, but Lillie insists she will close her eyes during the scary parts. I figure Nana will help her out in that department. I am sure they will have great time.

I have been watching some clasic Wilson Staff golf clubs (from when I was a kid)on e-bay. There are folks out there with mid 1980's Wilson Staff irons that have never been hit, or have been refinished to brand new specs. These clubs look like they will not be too expensive, then in the last hour...BOOM, the bids go crazy and people pay big bucks for these old clubs. I am not willing to pay big bucks, and I really don't have a shortage of clubs...but if I found the right deal...

Also, the trailer I would buy to build a tear drop trailer is on sale at Fred Meyer. I have a week to decide if I really want to build it or not. After going over the plans breifly with my friend Mick, I have changed them a little so that I could make the trailer top removable. That is a good idea because then I could use the utility trailer for other stuff. The tear drop top would have little legs that could hook into the slots that would hold the wooden sides of the trailer in trailer form. I really just need like a six car garage. One spot for Maren's car, one spot for my car, one spot for the bicycles and overstock, one spot for my golf clubs and excersize stuff, one spot for the ping pong table, and one spot for building stuff. Instead we have a two car garrage with one spot for Maren's car, and the other spot for everything else. It is a good thing Maren has a very small car. If she had a mid size car, I don't think it would fit in the garage.

Maren has to work about an hour late tonight due to a meeting. Lillie has dance class. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Costco run, driving range, fridge.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

The kids are on break, Maren is working today. 6:00 am was too early to wake up. I went downstairs at 6:30 am to say hi to Maren. I tried to go back to sleep at 7:00 when she left, but it did not work, Lillie was up at like 7:30. The boys are still sleeping, I will probably let them sleep until like 9:30 if they don't wake up first.

Yesterday we did a family Costco run. Since we had already had left over Pizza Hut pizza for lunch, there was no reason to buy pizza. Instead Maren did the shopping and the rest of us had ice-cream (we did save a little bit for Maren). Costco was very busy. At the food court we were very lucky to find a place to sit. We were sitting next to a family of four that just finished shopping and now were having lunch. The kids were tired and cranky as were the parents. I tell you, having one parent shop while the rest have ice-cream is the way to go! I would say we left in better spirits than when we arrived.

In the evening I took Preston and Lillie to the driving range for a few minutes. Hansen was playing with friends and scheduled to have a piano lesson (which was then cancled). I don't know what happened, but Preston has become a very good golfer. His swing is perfect...long, smooth, perfect balance and very solid finish. He was just ripping shots one after another. I need to find him some clubs soon. I may have to go to a local club builder because he needs a left handed, 1 inch short length club, with a stiff shaft. You don't just find those specs at the store. Anyhow, Preston really supprised himself with how well he could hit the ball, but he says soccer is his game. Lillie had fun, but she prefered to watch Preston just hit balls...and she made a point to let everyone know that she was watching Preston hit balls, not me! Whatever.

Today the refridgerator repair man is due back to install some new parts. Just think, we could possibly have both a working furnace and a working refridgerator at the same time...that would be so out of the ordinary. I don't want to jinx anything, so knock, knock on wood and I am done talking about it.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nice day.

Good Morning, it is Monday.

Everyone us up except for Maren. I just started the coffee, so she may be down soon, or not for another hour. The only reason the boys are up at such an early time, 9 am, is because Preston had Connor spend the night. The boys slept downstairs and eventually it got light and Lillie and I came down stairs and stuff. Now they are playing nintendo.

Yesterday was a nice day. The weather was not overly warm, but it was very sunny. The kids played the entire day outside. We even took a family walk up to the school park. Maren and I walked, Lillie rode in the jogger stroller as she was tired from all the playing, and the boys rode their bikes. It wont be too much longer before our family walks also stop at all garage sales. For dinner we ordered Pizza. Yes, Pizza Hut stuffed crust Pizza. The best. I think Preston had 4 or 5 pieces. Today will probably be a repeat of yesterday, except we may need to run to Costco later. I don't think Lillie has Gymnastics (I will check in a minute) and Hansen does have Piano lessons.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Furnace stuff, chickens.

Good early afternoon, it is Sunday.

I did not feel like blogging this morning, it was too flipping cold. 60 degrees. Yup, after $650 of work done to the furnace, it did not turn on this morning. It is on a service plan, so the $650 did not all come out of our pocket, but still...what gives. Just now I checked it out myself. I took apart the automatic pilot lighter thing and bent it a little, then put it all back together, and guess is working. Lets hope it stays good for another bunch of years. My hopes are not great, I figure it will not work tomorrow, but my fingers are crossed. It seemed to me that the system was not registering that the pilot light was on? I am tempted to take out entire tax refund, our economic stimulus $$$, and the rest of our savings and buy a really fancy heating/air conditioning system for our house. This morning I was just thinking about moving.

Yesterday we went to dinner at Mick and Susan's house on their farm. They have chickens. Now Maren, Preston, Hansen and Lillie are trying to convince me to build a chicken coop in our back yard. I don't think that will work! Hansen had a great time at Mick and Susan's house with the chickens and stuff, but he could not sleep last night because of some of the circle of life stuff we saw. On the back of the property when we were exploring we found the remains of a dead chicken only hours old and a fresh skull of a dog or coyote that did not make it either. It was kind of freaky. Glad we don't have those type of animals hunting in our back yard. Maybe if we get chickens?

Today is a nice sunny day...I am guessing we will just hang out at home and the kids will play outside or something.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Vacation has started.

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday was the last day of school for the kids for the next week. They all have next week off. Hansen and Lillie woke up at normal times, but Preston and Maren are still snoozing away. I think they each think they are teenagers when it comes to sleeping in. If the sun is still on the way up, and you have no reason to wake up, then it is too early to wake up. Actually I suspect I will see them both around 9:30 am, but not a minute before. Monday morining they will both sleep in until after 10:00am. Hansen and Lillie were up by 7:30 am, which seems like a ton earilier.

Yesterday on the way to taking Lillie to school we stopped at Value Village to look for treasures. We found some good stuff. After taking Lillie to school, Maren and I were able to get in lunch at a Teriyki resturaunt and some shopping at Fred Meyer.

After Taekwondo one of Hansen's friends asked us if we were going anywhere for vacation. We are not...we will just enjoy not doing anything. Hansen's friend was leaving 4 hours after Taekwondo to take red eye flights (with 3 kids) to Orlando for the week. My friend Doug is going on a cruise this week. I guess we are vacationing in Covington!

Today is a busy day...just a slow start. The furnace repair man will be here in a few hours to replace some parts on the furnace. We are going to a farm for dinner. Mick and Susan have 5 acres or so and have chickens and stuff. Lillie really gets a kick out of the chickens.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Extra picture post

These are all from my camera phone from the last week or so. My daily post is down below. The top picture is of Lillie in the parking lot of preschool with just part of her Valentines day stuff. The second is of Preston. He is begging for something with his big Slane eyes and being checked out by Spiff. I don't remember what he was begging for, probably an electronic keyboard or something. The third is Hansen decked out in his Nurf tag outfit.

So much Valentine stuff.

Good morning, it is Friday.

The kids got so much stuff for Valentines Day, it is currently all over the house, on the floors, the tables, the windows, everywhere. I had to take two trips to the car from Lillie's preschool just to carry all her hearts, cakes, candys, and other great Valentines Day stuff. Hansen also had a mail box full of cards and candy. Preston's class had a Pizza party for lunch. Passing out Valentines was optional. Preston had a bunch in his bag, but forgot to give them out? The Pizza party looked fun. After dropping Lillie off at school, I drove to the boys' school to help in Hansen's class. I got to the school just in time to help clean up after Preston's pizza party. The class ate a ton of Pizza and drank a ton of pop. How is that for school lunch? Sounds good to me. Next I went to Hansen's class. I enjoy helping in Hansen's class because I ususally get to help kids with reading or math. Sometimes I do photo copying and stuff, but there is always stuff to do that seems to actually help. I was worried that I would be doing a Valentines day party, but I got to do my usual helper stuff, then I left just before the party started. Phew. Having to pick up Lillie from school can be a good excuse sometimes. Next year all three kids will be in the same school, one year of ease, after next year I will have kids in two or three different schools for the rest of the schooling days.

Maren has taken today off, and has Monday off due to holiday. The first four day weekend she has had in a long time. She is still sleeping, I don't even have an ETA for her to wake up and come down stairs. The coffee was made a couple of hours ago, the boys are off to school, and Lillie is watching an episode of Sponge Bob.

Today is going to be a good weather day.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

Happy Valentines Day!

The kids will wake up to tons of Valentines Day stuff at their places on the Dining room table. They will have parties at their schools, and sugar running through their systems. Have a great Valentines Day!

Yesterday we waited and waited for the furnace repair man. John and Carol usually come out on Wednesdays and hang out with Lillie while I go golfing. John and Carol were here, but the furnace guy was not. He finally showed up, unhooked a tube, rehooked it, and everthing started working. Dude! After further examination, it was not really working perfectly, so we have some parts on order and he will be back on Saturday to install them. It is very nice to have a warm house again!

After the furnace guy left, I was able to sneak in a very quick 9 holes by myself. I did not play very well, and I lost my favorite golf ball on a really bad shot. Luckily I have more Wilson Zip golf balls on the way. If you have not tried the Wilson Zip, you should try it, it is a very good ball.

I usually help in Hansen's class on every other Thursday. Today is that day...I just realized I may get stuck in a Valentines Party. I usually help kids with math and reading.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

last cold day, washed the car and brought the rain, hope to go golfing.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

This morining it is 62 degrees in our house. The gas fireplace will get the dining room warm in a while, but can you say brrrr. The repair man is scheduled for this morining. Our furnace has some issue with the valve wanting to stay closed. Apparently this valve has been used my many companys and has had many problems. Fun. Last night I put a fire log in the fire place. The log would not light, so I put paper under it to light it. Then I was moving things around and the log broke apart and fire was just flying off of it. It sounded like a jet engine as fire wooshed up the chiminey. I took a wet towel and put the fire out for my own peace of mind. No smoke or anything got in the house. Just a little panic on my part. I was talking to my neighbor when taking out the garbage, he said I should have just let it burn...would have cleaned out the chiminey. No thanks.

Yesterday the weather was very nice in the morning. I washed my car while Lillie played outside with bubbles and visited with Jada, the neighbor toddler. To those who noticed it rained quite a lot yesterday afternoon and evening, sorry. I guess I should have not washed my car. The last several times I have washed my car on a seemingly nice day, the rain has showed up just hours afterwards. My car was a nice blue color for a while, it still looks a ton better than yesterday.

Today I am hoping to go golfing. It should be the nicest day of the year so far. It may be close to 50 degrees and maybe a little sun? Could we be so lucky? The refrigerator repair man always shows up late, but the furnace repair guys usually show up on the early side, I hope that trend stays true. I was telling Maren that with all our appliance problems and all her job problems, we should just sell this dump and move away. That is not going to happen. More likely I will just continue to buy the service agreememts on the furnace and the refrigerator and just deal with them not working 5% of the time.

Time to wake up the kids. Today should be a calm day, Lillie has dance class this afternoon and that is all. The kids will be working on Valentines Day card this evening for their class parties, and with any luck, the house will be warm again.

See you tomorrow.

PS. If you have a blogger account, is the spell check working for you? Mine is still not working in case you could not figure that out by reading my blog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

short entry.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

Another cold morning. Inside the house that is. The furnace repair folks will be here tomorrow morning to fix that problem. Outside it looks like a nice day. It is in the 40's rather than the 30's and it looks like we may even hit 50's by the end of the week. I have not washed my car in months, I think today or tomorrow may be the day. I think the car will be a nice blue once the layers of dirt are gone.

This morning Preston was out the door early for Math Club. Today Lillie has preschool, and this evening Hansen has Taekwondo.

That was a short entry, see you tomorrow.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Seattle Aquarium, furnace.

Good Morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday we went to the Seattle Aquarium, then ate lunch at the Red Robin on the Seattle waterfront. We had a very nice time, we met Maren's co-worker Mr. Jim and a friend of his with her 4 year old daughter (we were with them at the Aquarium, but not lunch). Yesterday was origionally going to be a sledding day. We switched from sledding to aquarium mid week as the mountian passes have been getting so much snow that they have been closed for much of the last week. When they do open they are chains required and such. We just did not need to mess with the drive. I am sure the sledding would have been awesome. The kids had a great time at the Aquarium, they got along great, and all enjoyed the experience. Preston enjoyed touching the feeding the Sea Anemones, Hansen really enjoyed watching the Puffin birds as they played and pooped in the water. Lillie probably enjoyed watching her brothers the most, but she also enjoyed watching the otters. After lunch at Red Robin Maren, Hansen and Lillie got to stop at Starbucks as Preston and I visited the candy store.

The furnace is not working again. I just got off the phone with the repair center...a service tech will be out Wednesday morning. It is cold this morning, but we do have our gas fire place to warm up the dining room. 63 degrees does feel quite a bit colder than 70 degrees, brrr.

Today is back to a busy Monday. Boys have school, Lillie has gymnastics, Maren will work a split shift as she has a meeting not too far from home this evening.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Walmart excitment, The Pacifier.

Good Morning, it is Sunday.

What happend yesterday. Washington's caucus system gave the win to Obama. From what I can tell from friends, co-workers and newsprint, the older folks like Hillary, the younger folks like Obama. The line seems to be some where around late 30's early 40's. I still am not happy with the way the Dems only count the caucus and not the primary. Enough on is what it is, for now.

Hansen had a $10.00 gift card for Walmart burning a hole in his pocket so after Preston's soccer practice we braved Walmart. I have never seen it so busy. We parked 2 spots from the end of the parking lot and when we were leaving there were people waiting for my spot. Hansen found a Bionicle, Lillie found a bubble princes thing (can't take her and not let her get anything since Hansen is buying) and Preston bought some candy. The line to the check out took us 23 minutes. In line in front of us was a nice older couple and a very pregnant mom with her 8 year old. The line was not good for the pregnant mom and she was getting very hot and uncomfortable having to sit down and thinking she was going into labor. We got her one of those motorized carts for disabled folks, she put all her stuff in the basket and sat down for awhile. Once she cooled off and calmed down, she was fine. Phew, she said she really did not want to name her baby Walmart. It was close, I had my cell phone ready. Amber and Mel, when you decide it is time for your babies to be born and you are looking for a way to speed things along, just go to a Walmart on a weekend and wait in a 25 minute line with 100 other impatient, cursing Walmart regulars...that will push you right over the edge. Remind me to never go to a Walmart on a weekend again.

We watched The Pacifier with Vin Diesel last night. That is my new favorite movie. Better than the Simpsons. If you have not seen it, rent it, it is least if was for me and the kids, I don't really know what Maren thought. Preston almost has the Panda Dance memorized. I think I may have to get a red bumper sticker for my blue mini-van that says "world's greatest MOTHER" just so I can be like Vin Diesel.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Caucus system, fridge/furnace.

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

Maren is off to work 15 minutes earlier than if it was a week day. She is teaching a class at some big conference where there are a dozen other classes being offered as well. Maren has been collecting plenty of comp time. When the kids are home for President's week, I suspect we will see much more of her.

Our furnace is not working this morning. For some reason there seems to be a gas line that gets clogged or something. I will go play with it in a bit, right now it is 64 degrees. Yesterday the refridgerator repair man may have figured the fix. After rechecking everything he called the support folks for the repair people. He tested the heater element (which has been tested every time) in a different way, with more amps. Found that it was showing it worked at low amps, but not at high amps? I guess it never has gotten hot enough, and the computer that controls the fridge turns the defrost off after 30 minutes figuring it is done. I am actually thinking this will be the fix. I think I hear Hevenly music playing in the background while the sun shines on the fridge. Oh yeah, there have only been six days with sun since mid October, and today is not going to be the seventh.

Today is Democratic Caucus day for Washington State. Neither Maren or I can attend because she is working today and I have the little kids and sports stuff. I would bring Preston, but I can't bring Hansen or Lillie, they are just too young. The Dem leaders have decided that the caucus system will decide the deligates and the primary on Tuesday does not mean anything. The Republicans had gone just the opposite. They only are counting the Tuesday Primary I think. Anyhow, I don't say much political stuff on my blog just because, but there is just no way that the caucus attendees are an accurate cross section of folks. Too many older folks (I call myself older in this example) have to work or have other duties (like kid sports) with family and such and can't attend a 1:00 caucus on Saturday. That means that the folks who can attend are generally younger and of a different mind. Our caucus system will most likely choose Obama easily, but if the popular vote were to be used, I suspect Hillary would be the choice. I could support a 50/50 usage of the caucus and the primary, but 100% on the caucus throwing the primary results in the garbage does not seem very responsible to me. I have only written two letters to the editor in my life (the last was to oppose a tunnel at the Seattle waterfront) and I wrote one the other day about the caucus. It is short and sweet, and is in today's Seattle Times. Here is a link to today's editorials:

Update: the furnace is working just needed to be yelled at a little.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Wilson Zip golf balls, Preston's haircut, Peg Kehret signed books for the boys.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

A few weeks ago I was at Jade Green Golf Course and the owner Jim had visited with the Wilson Sales rep. Jim gave me a 2 ball sleeve of the new Wilson Zip golf ball to try. For the last few years I have played the Titleist ProV1, but I have felt that the newer models of the ProV1 have been too hard, and I have never liked the x model. So I tried the Wilson Zip and really like the ball. It seems to fly just the same as the ProV1, but feels even softer. Anyhow, I called the sales rep for Wilson and he is going to send me a couple dozen Wilson Zip golf balls for free. So just like that, I am using Wilson Zip golf balls this season. I signed up for about 6 pro-am golf tournaments, the first one should be in about a month? There still may be snow on the ground, but we will be golfing.

Yesterday Preston got a haircut. A HAIRCUT! His hair had not been cut for like forever and it was so long and shaggy. Truthfully it is still long, and will be shaggy again soon, but it is so much nicer than the day before yesterday. I brought Preston to Hairmasters while Hansen was in Taekwondo. They got him right in, did a good job and we were back to Taekwondo 15 minutes early.

Today is the rescheduled refridgerator repair date. I will not even put this in the title of today's blog because my fingers are crossed that the guy will show up, and even more importantly, some progress can be made.

The boys were very excited yesterday. A local author named Peg Kehret came to Grass Lake to speak to the school. We let the boys each buy a book that she signed to each of them. How cool is that? If you ask Maren or Hansen, it is about as cool as cool gets. If you ask Preston it is cool enough for an little grunt while passing by...even less if you ask him to turn off Guitar Hero in order to ask him the question. Peg Kehret (sounds like carrot, not kayret) has many books the kids enjoy. Good for the school to invite authors to get the students excited about reading.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Preston soccer, cold day.

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday ended up being a very cold, very windy, kind of rainy, crummy day. I read on the komo website that there have only been 6 sunny days in the Seattle area since mid October. And those days were all in the low 30's. How is that for crappy weather? Yes crappy, you are correct! I golfed 9 holes before deciding that being outside was just no fun. I played well considering the conditions and such.

Yesterday Preston got a call from his Soccer coach. He was officially invited to be on the Soccer team he was trying out for. There was not really any doubt, but now it is official. He still has one more tryout practice to attend, but he is on the team. Congradulations Preston.

Today Hansen has Taekwondo, Lillie has gymnastics and preschool, Preston has the day off from after school activities.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Allowance schedules, other stuff.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Another cold, rainy, windy gross day around here. The golf courses will be open, so I am going golfing today. Last week the courses were closed, and Hansen had his ear tube surgery on my golf day, so I have not golfed for two weeks. Arg...I can hardly be expected to remember how to golf with those type of intervals. Luckily for me golf is kind of like riding a bike.

Amber asked about allowance schedules for our kids. Here is a brief history. Years ago we had weekly allowance for the kids, they would get as much per week as they are old, they would then have to save 10% and donate 10%. It was a good system when they were younger. Preston and Hansen both had the chance to give money to good charities and such. The problem is now that they are 11, 8, and nearly 5, that would be like $100 per month in allowances handed out weekly and quite frankly, we can't afford that with me not working. So, we put a cap on allowances at $5.00 per week per kid, but let them spend all of the money. Spending their money became a whole different problem. I do not enjoy hour long visits to the Fred Meyer toy department...and it is even worse when the kids only have $5.00 and everything costs $9.99. So after a while I started giving the kids allowance on the same days as Maren and I get our allowances. The 5th and the 20th. Two time per month. But they got $10.00. This was better because they could buy better stuff, and I spent less time per month in toy isles. And to help Hansen out (at his own request...he knows he can't save up to $20.00, so we save for him) we have gone to a once a month allowance. The boys are each getting like $20.00 per month and Lillie is at like $10.00 per month. Preston usually saves his money, he wants a good quality electric keyboard. Hansen sucks every penny out of his allowance and I usually have to pay his tax and lend him a buck or two just to end the toy store trauma. Anyhow, if you saw their rooms, you would realize that the kids want for nothing. They do exceptionally well on Christmas and Birthdays thanks to extended family. Our next move is to lower their base allowance to $10.00 per month and let them earn up to $20 or $25 per month based on how well they do their chores. We have not done that yet, and we have not really assigned chores to them either. I think they get more than some of their friends and less than others. We buy all their clothes, supplies, food and stuff...but I don't buy them any toys or video games anymore, that is totally their allowance and gifts. Preston does have a cell phone and an old i-pod, so he is keeping up with his peers just fine. When the kids start to care about their clothes and shoes, we will be in trouble...that is when I will need to get a job, which will happen when Lillie is in school full days in two years. Or if they are old enough, they may be able to get their own job.

Today, I will golf when John and Carol come over to hang with Lillie. This evening Preston has soccer tryouts and Lillie has dance class.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hansen's good day.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was a good day for Hansen. He was named Student of the Month at his elementary school. His name was announced over the loud speaker, his picture taken, and he was given a gift certificate to a smoothie store. Preston said he heard that Hansen got Student of the month, but he did/does not actually care. How is that for brotherly support? Yeah, none. Hansen also got 100% on his spelling test for the second time this year. Yup, Maren had to pay Hansen a dollar for that spelling test. It was easy for her, she just took the dollar she won on her Superbowl bet with me to pay Hansen. Today is allowance day for the kids. Since we had to buy milk yesterday, I gave the kids their allowance a day advance. I think Hansen's favorite sentence is: "Can I have an advance on my allowance?". Well, he got one, just one day, but it was still great for him. Spent every penny in about 15 minutes. Hansen bought some Mega Blocks dragon egg things. Lillie bought a Princess phone in the likes of Fancy Nancy. Preston took the cash with a grunt. Oh yea, tonight Hansen gets his Blue Belt in Taekwondo. It is good Hansen is having a couple of good days. In a couple of weeks when there is no allowance on the horrizon, his smoothie certificate is gone, he has been a Blue Belt for awhile, and Preston decides to start spending his money, things will not be so chipper for Hansen...I will start hearing his favorite sentence every twenty minutes.

Today is Taekwondo for Hansen. Preston has Math Club. Preston had a very successfull Soccer tryout yesterday, he will be on the team for sure. Good for Preston. Might even get a two syllable grunt from the kid if you talk to him. Lillie has preschool. Maren has work.

See you tomorrow.

PS. Still no spell check!?! I could barf.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Great sports weekend.

Good Morning, it is Monday.

Well, NY wins the Super Bowl in a very close game, Tiger comes from 4 back to win as Ernie chokes in Dubai, and Phil puts himself in a spot to win, then gets beat in a playoff. Good sports day. Could not have written it any better. Of course the comercials are worth watching during the Super Bowl, there were plenty of good ones. I will have to go to myspace and watch some of them again.

The kids played more Nintendo than normal as they could not just change the channel on the TV. I don't usually sit infront of the TV all day, but yesterday was good. I actually did get outside to change the bird feeder and take the guards off of the vents. I made some insulator squares to put over the house vents when it gets around 20 degrees at night, a little extra help so the pipes don't freeze. Anyhow, I don't think it will get lower than 28 degrees for a long time, so I took them off. I was manuvering under the deck and totally clocked my head on a wooden beam. Ouch. Good thing I was wearing a hat, but us bald guys show big scratchy dents in our heads well.

Today Preston has his first tryouts for the Auburn Select Soccer team. Hansen has a Piano Lesson, Lillie has gymnastics and a make up speech class. Maren works late, we will not see her until 10:00 pm or so.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Belt test, Lillie home, Super Bowl

It is Sunday...about12:30.

Yesterday Hansen did a great job at his belt test for his blue belt. He was very confident in his forms and did everything just perfectly. I volunteered to hold one of the boards for the red belt tests. It is kind of fun to hold the boards while they get broken. Hansen did a snap kick to break his board no problem.

The house was so quiet without Lillie around. Lillie was at Nana's house with Claire. Claire ended up being sick, but they still ended up having a good time...the kids that is, I don't know about Nana. Lillie got home yesterday evening and the house got loud once again.

Today I will watch the Phoenix open until the superbowl, now that we are home from Church. I have been a Pats fan all year, but I would seceretly like to see NewYork win. I don't know what is up with me today. I would like to see Phil Mickelson win the golf and New York win the Super Bowl. I may change my mind later as I am not really a Phil fan, and I have always liked the Pats. Maren has gotten us great treats for the Super Bowl.

See you Tomorrow.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

refrigerator stuff, Hansen's sparring class.

Good morning, it is Saturday.
Yesterday I waited at home for the Sears repair man to show up from 8am to noon. At 12:15 I had to finally leave to take Lillie to Preschool, then off to Jade Green to teach a golf lesson. Of course, at 12:45 the repair man called and said he was on his way. I told him that I had waited during the alloted time and he could either come at 3:30, or reschedule. Well, we will try again next Friday. I defrosted the freezer with Maren's hair dryer and it will work fine for the next week.

Last night Hansen had Sparring class. Hansen is like a bulldog in Sparring. Anyhow, one of his opponents kicked him just right and he went over backwards so hard! Just snapped back on his back and the back of his head. Then the kid (bigger red belt) stepped on Hansen's face trying not to fall down. The kids have a ton of padding, soft helmets and stuff. Hansen said he felt it on his back hard, and saw the kids foot in his face, but otherwise was not hurt. Master Kim who was teaching the class was to Hansen in an instant, as it looked bad, but Hansen just got right back up and wanted to start fighting again. Hansen made sure that the instructor knew that his eyes were just watering from being stepped on, and he was not crying. Master Kim told me after class that Hansen has a very strong mind. I do know that! Hansen was supprisingly tough, I think most of the class would have been done for the evening, if not their life if they took such a hit. Belt test today, Hansen will be a blue belt.

Lillie was so excited to have her overnight with Claire and Nana. We have not heard a word from anyone since she left yesterday at 4:00pm. I am sure she is having a great time. We will hear all about the fun later.

See you tomorrow.

PS. for some reason the spell checker is not working since yesterday's post. I am not going to worry too much about the poor spelling, but I do miss the spell checker.

Friday, February 01, 2008

refrigerator repair, Lillie on the way for overnight

Good Morning, it is Friday.

This morning the "senior" refrigerator repair person is scheduled to come to our house and check out our still not defrosting fridge. Maybe they can get us going in a better direction in regards to solving the problem of the fridge. The dishwasher started not working again. I remembered what the dishwasher guy did, so I did the same thing. The screen was clogged with sticky stuff or something, I have no idea what it could be, but it is working fine again.

We finally got all our tax stuff in the mail yesterday, now I can do our taxes. We still get enough back in a tax refund that doing the taxes is not so bad.

After Lillie gets home from preschool, her cousin Claire [driven by her dad Kraig] is coming over to pick up Lillie and take her [and Claire] for an overnight at Carol's house. Should be a great time. I am not sure what is on the agenda, but I can guarintee it has nothing to do with going to the skateboard park. My guess is lots of make-up, lots of princess dresses, lots of hair doodads, lots of running around, lots of giggling, lots of candy, and maybe a little bit of sleep.

See you tomorrow.