Monday, June 30, 2008

AM/PM, Thunder storms.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday was a very hot day around these parts. It has been hotter here than where Maren is in California...except we don't have any air conditoning. In the heat of the afternoon, we decided to walk to the AM/PM and buy slurpees. Preston had his friend Alec and Lillie really wanted to invite Adi, but for that long of a walk in the heat, I was not about to bring extra 7 year olds. The AM/PM was great. Air conditioned with working slurpee machines (I did not even think the slurpee machine may not be working until just before we got there then I was just hoping it was working), it was like a vacation destination. I don't know what all the grumpy customers paying $4.39 per gallon of gas on a hot day thought of four kids totally ecstatic to be in an air condition slurpee providing store, but I can say the kids were enjoying life more than most of those adults.

Last night we had quite a thunder storm in the Cascade foothills, not too far from our house. Hansen and Lillie got totally freaked out by the thunder and lightning. Hansen was so upset he could hardly count the seconds between the lightning and the thunder, which never got closer than 6 seconds. Hansen does have his irrational fears...much like big dogs when he was younger. He did a good job of getting Lillie plenty worked up. Preston was having a great time taunting Hans and Lils by saying how we were all going to die and how he was going to stand in the doorway just so he could let the lightning into our house, counting wrong as to convince the littles that the lightning was right on top of us, and basically doing anything possible to make sure Hansen's fears were fully fueled. I had to keep on top of Preston or he would have gone way over over the top (not that he didn't) as the lightning had got him energized...or freaking out his easily freaked out little brother had him going. Anyhow, the only way anyone was going to get any sleep was to have everyone sleep downstairs on the floor. Hansen and Lillie were scared and wanted to sleep with me, and Preston had then convinced that if they slept upstairs the lightning would surely get them. So we did sleep down stairs and we are just now waking up as we did not even get calmed down enough with teeth brushed and sleeping arrangements made and lightning stopped until around midnight.

Today I am taking the kids to Wild Waves Theme Park. We had season passes a few years ago, but it was too tough to watch the kids when Lillie was two and three. We will try again as Lillie is not going to have any problem staying with Hansen, and Preston is old enough where I don't need to keep my eye on him every second. Hansen's friend who told us he was going at 11:00, just knocked on the door at 9:20 to tell us he is leaving. We will not hurry so fast, after breakfast we will be on our way.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lillie's Recital.

Good Morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday was Lillie's dance recital. Stef came over at 10:00 am to take Lillie to the dress rehearsal, then stay for a sack lunch, with the performance at 1:30 pm. Me and the boys showed up at about 12:45 to wait in line for seating. The performance was at the Renton Ikea Theatre which holds about 550 people, and it was full. We ended up with great seats in the third row. Lillie's class was about the 5th class to dance. Her class had the girls enter the stage by skipping in a row, then go to a place on the stage. Lillie was the last to come in, she would turn and take her place in the front. As she was skipping in and turning, she lost her footing and fell flat on her tummy! It was very sad, but Lillie was a trooper and hopped right up and continued on with her routine as if it never happened. Her class was the youngest class to have a somewhat complicated routine with out having any teachers on the stage, they all looked a little nervous as opposed to having fun, but they did a very good job. We ordered a CD of the performance, but will not get the CD for a month. After the show we took the kids and Stef to any restaurant that Lillie wanted for lunch. We actually saw some other girls from the dance performance at the small Renton McDonalds as that was Lillie's choice. The pictures above are of Lillie with her ice-cream cone at McDonalds, and Stef and Lillie before they left for the perfomance.

The McDonalds was very busy and messed up my order just a us an extra cheese burger, not giving us enough drink cups, but charging us an extra dollar or two. I just let it slide as it was no big deal and they were so busy that trying to get the dollar back would have been a hassle not worthy of a dollar, besides I ate half of the extra cheese burger. I also would not let Stef pay us for hers or Corey's tickets to the performance as she helped so much and it was nice to have her with us. Preston did not think my decisions to let McDonalds or Stef off the hook were very good financial decisions and gave me a lecture about "letting money slip through my fingers". I told him that I would rather live a happy relaxed life and not worry about a dollar here or there every second of every day as my money works just fine for me, besides, Maren and I are extremely frugal with our money. I guess he is learning good stuff about money, now I guess I need to focus on his use of tact.

After Stef and Lillie left in the morning, me and Hansen went out on our bicycles to look for garage sales. The neighbor kids were planning a lemonade stand and Preston was hoping to sell snow cones, but he had to come with us to Lillie's recital, so in the morning he was just sulking around...Hansen and I left him at home while we found three garage sales, but nothing to buy.

Hansen had his friend Kole spend the night last night, but Kole's dad said he could only spend the night if lights were out at 11:00 pm as he has a big day planned today. No problem, we probably got to bed earlier with Kole spending the night. It was hot (like 85 + degrees) in the house and Preston had Andrew over until about 10:00 pm playing video games and stuff. It was almost a rush to get the kids ready for bed by 11:00pm. Lillie did not stay up that long, not that she would not have wanted to, she was just too tired.

No plans today, we will see what the day brings.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer photos

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

These days in the 80 and 90 degree range bring out the little pools in the neighborhood. This is the first year that the big kids are too big for the little pools and for the most part they are banned so the littles can have fun without getting landed on by a big kid jumping off lawn furniture into a little pool only to land on a squirmy little.

Taking a photo of the kids is not such an easy thing when they don't want to be bothered. The first photo is of the littles in the neighbor's pool. Lillie is the one with the pink goggles on, Hansen back middle. The second is of Preston with some of the bigger kids playing a made up game kind of like pickle ball, Preston is the one with short hair (have not typed Preston and short hair in the same sentence for a couple of years) and a Mariners shirt on. This picture was taken on count two, the third picture was taken on count in one, two, three, smile! Yup, if you wait to count three, the kids are beating each other up.

Today is Lillie's big dance recital. Stef will be out in a few hours to take Lillie to the dress rehearsal, then me and the boys will show up for the show. Stef is a lifesaver since Maren is out of town. I could not really take Lillie if I wanted to as with these dance recitals there are no boys allowed back stage with all the girls changing and stuff.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, June 27, 2008

P Haircut. Eating bugs. Wii Fit. Chess.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

Thursday was a full day. I have some phone pics to show what the day was like, kind of. The phone does not take the best pictures, but it is so gosh darn convenient that I choose to use it anyhow. Maren did land safe and sound in California, we will see her again Tuesday evening.

Preston got a haircut!!! He looks so good with short hair! It was totally his decision...Maren always complained about his long hair and now feels a little guilty, but rest assured, Preston would never get his hair cut just to please his mom. He looks a lot taller as well. He is about as tall as his mom now, which is amazing.

Yesterday we went to the Library for a program put on by the Bug Chef. There were tons of kids and everyone got to eat a bug if they wanted to. This bug is a cricket. Yum!
Preston eating his cricket. He struggled with it the rest of the day. Water was necessary right away, then at home he was using mouth wash and brushing his teeth. Maybe a little dramatic IMO. Hansen and Lillie were smart enough to stay away from the bugs.
This is Lillie doing a Warrior Pose with the yoga part of Wii Fit. She enjoys her Nintendo time, I don't think it really matters what game she is playing, what counts is that she has the Nintendo and her brothers do not. Choosing a one player game like Wii Fit is a sure way that one of her brothers will not join in the game, then change the game to one of their own.
Hansen and his buddy Kole playing a game of Chess. Unfortunately for them I am their chess teacher...and I suck. But I do know how the pieces move, so that is something. Preston has gotten pretty good for his age and has played some at school.

Today it is supposed to get hot and stay hot for the weekend. Like in the 90's. I am teaching a golf lesson while the littles are in their last day of VBS. Preston will be with me hitting range balls while I teach. The rest of the day is open so we will probably just be hanging out.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ice Cream Truck, M off to ALA

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

With this nice weather, you know who is coming around the neighborhood a lot more these days. You guessed it, the Ice Cream Truck. The littles and all the neighborhood kids under the age of about 8 years old go nutty when an Ice Cream Truck comes around. I mean they loose their minds. They have no money, and for a few minutes, they have no minds. We get a few different versions of the ice cream truck. The one I always buy from is the Ice Cream Motorcycle. He is a local guy with good prices...but he is not who swings by the most. The one that is here the most is a Chevy Astro Van that looks like it has not been maintained for years, prices that are too high, and a driver that does not really even like children. To combat the Ice Cream truck total loss of brains syndrome, we just have to stock our own Popsicles. We can buy like 20 Popsicles for the price of one not so yummy SpongeBob Popsicle head from the ice cream truck. Lillie is the smoothest of the kids with brain loss. She runs to the truck, decides what she wants, then has no money. She actually is able to get others to buy her stuff just because she is so gosh darn cute, but that is not really right. So when I hear the music from far off, I have to go straight into either here is some money mode, or total defense mode...can't just let it go.

Today after VBS we are driving Maren to the airport for her week in Anaheim CA for ALA. She actually has an invite to dinner in some hidden restaurant inside of Disney Land called Club 33? Some fancy member only club that serves alcoholic beverages. She is acting all sad to leave us for a week, but Anaheim with friends for a week, meeting and partying about books in secret clubs inside Disney Land??? Who is she kidding...not me!

Today is a bug show at the local library we may attend. VBS, take Maren to the airport, and Goalie Training for Preston in the evening.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bike ride, Mel and the twins visit.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday while the littles were in VBS, Preston and I took out our bicycles and rode into town...Covington that is, a whole 10 minute bike ride away. We first went to the AM/PM and got the biggest slurpee possible along with a Lotto Ticket. Then it was over to the Post Office to buy stamps, and finally over to Walmart for no real reason. We rode at a leisurely pace, took shortcuts when possible, and did not have to navigate three parking lots. I bet our trip on bicycle took the same as long as it would have in a car due to no parking lots and traffic and stuff. Besides, it was fun. I also figure I had better take Preston out on a few of these rides and show him how traffic behaves and how to lock his bicycle and stuff as he will be doing these trips with his friends soon enough.

After I picked the littles up from VBS, Melanie and the twins (and Katie the dog) came over for a visit. They are home alone this week as Court and Stef are in Florida on Business, and John and Carol have been in Minnesota for a reunion. Tomorrow Maren leaves for California and we will be short handed around here as well. We took our kids and the twins on a walk up the the school for some fun. Hansen, Preston and Preston's friend Andrew and I practiced batting while Lillie played on the bars and swings. Mel's twins took a short nap. There were so many kids up at the the school you would have thought school was in session. Then it was back home and grilled burgers for dinner. The twins are very cute, but Avery does not like the stroller or the car seat. Put her in the car seat or stroller and she cries and cries and cries and just does not stop. Hopefully she grows out of that funk as the stroller and the car were always a safety net for us when the kids were babies and would not calm down.

Today is also VBS, I will take Preston to the driving range during that hour and a half of no littles. Later Preston will have soccer practice and Lillie has her last dance class before the big recital this weekend. Hansen will be on easy street and just hanging out, except for if he wants any friends to come in the house to play, he will need to work on his room first.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Red Robin...yum.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

The nice weather is finally here. Yay.

Yesterday was the first day of VBS for Hansen and Lillie. They both have friends from school in their VBS classes and both seemed to enjoy themselves. Preston has decided he is too old to be in VBS, and he may be right...the class he would be in is good size, but may be mostly 4th graders. I took Preston to the driving range during yesterday VBS, and I may do the same today.

Maren took the second half of the day off yesterday (she is building a very good stash of vacation days and needs to take some time off) and we took the kids to the new Red Robin in Covington for Lunch. Red Robin was great. We have always had good meals and good service at Red Robin. The restaurant we have had such poor service at that we have no plans on ever returning is Applebee's. They actually forgot half of our food order, then blamed us for not pestering them about our order. Anyhow, it is nice to have a new Red Robin in Covington...we could walk there if we were up to a 25 minute walk. The new TV commercial for Red Robin is very catchy, if we talk about dining there, the kids go around saying in perfect pitch, Red Robin...Yummm.

Mel and the twins are scheduled to visit this afternoon. Maybe we will walk up to the school park and they can play baseball with Hansen and play on the big toy with Lillie...oh yea, they are only 3 months old, guess they can watch.

Maren is starting to get ready for her ALA conference in Anaheim California. She will leave on Thursday and returns the following Tuesday. She is getting all kind of great invitations to very cool dinners and such.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dresser gone, H baseball, VBS.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday Maren and I got back to work on the daunting task of remodeling our bedroom. I got back to wall paper removal and we decided to get rid of our huge white Ikea dresser that I had in the bedroom. The big dresser was never very good, and one drawer was broken of late. Since our neighbor was holding a garage sale, the plan was to somehow get it down stairs, outside and put a free sign on it just hoping someone would take it. The thing was so big that we had to slide it on its end, then tip it on its lid, and kind of do the same down the stairs where we had a skate board waiting to roll it outside. Just as I was getting it to the sidewalk a big ford pick-up truck that had just stopped at the garage sale asked me if I was selling the dresser, I just said that they could have it if they wanted it. And just like that we had it loaded in their truck before I ever got it off the skate board. How cool is that. The guy also was hoping I wanted to sell my Coke machine, and made me an offer, but I think I want to hold onto the Coke machine for a few more years.

Yesterday the kids played outside most of the day. Preston and his friends Andrew and Alec were out on the loose on their bicycles. They are old enough now to be able to ride where they want to for the most part. They all have cell phones, so when it is time for Preston to come home I just call him and tell him to come home. Sometimes it is very nice for us parents to give the kids a cell phone.

I took Hansen up to the school park with a baseball bat and a bunch of tennis balls. Hansen has been bugging me to teach him to play baseball. It is too late to get him on a team this summer, so I think I will just take him to the school and teach him baseball skills on my own. This is probably a better introduction to the game for him anyway as we can leave after an hour no problem. Normally with kids (as I teach golf camps) I am teaching them to get rid of their baseball grip and use a golf grip, yesterday was the first time I have ever taught a kid to stop using a golf grip and to use a baseball grip. Hansen did very good with batting (when I could give him a decent pitch to hit) and he throws very well too. If Hansen keeps his interest in base ball, I will sign him up for a team next summer. Now with taekwondo out of the way, he is itching to do new sports. Sounds like baseball and tennis are on the top of his list. We have a few pickle ball rackets and pickle balls that we use out in the culde-sac to hit the ball back and forth. Once Hansen can get control of where he is hitting the pickle ball, then I will probably get him a tennis racket and let him try the full court.

Today is VBS for Hansen and Lillie from 10:00 to Noon. Preston decided to not be part of VBS this year as he thinks he is too old for it. I may force him to go to the driving range and hit some golf balls while VBS is in session, if it was up to him he would spend the time playing Guitar Hero at home alone. Guitar Hero for the Game Boy just came looks very cool, Pres is saving his cash for that game now, it could take a while as he spent all his money buying Rock Band.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

garage sale, Ostergard party at Lake Tapps.

Good Morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday we walked the neighborhood for garage sales around 10:00am and found one garage sale with some good treasures. Hansen got a cool little game boy type of game, Lillie got a pair of Barbie walkie-talkies, and Preston got a microphone to hook into his keyboard. The guy hosting the garage sale was a guy I was kind of friends with in High school. I recognized him and said hi, I don't think he would have recognized me, but he did remember me and we had mutual friends and grew up in the same area. Maren always freaks out when I can remember someone that I have not seen in 20 years, but living in Covington and growing up in Kent, it seems to happen on a regular basis.

Yesterday we had an Ostergard get together to welcome the twins. We got to see a bunch of cousins and relatives we don't usually see. The party was at Lake Tapps Island and even thought the weather was more overcast than sunny and in the low 70s, the kids all found the water to be the place to be. There was a slide into the lake, a couple of boats the kids got to be in charge of, and even a huge party barge that went for a trip around the lake. Lillie and Preston are boat and water lovers, Hansen not so much. The party boat actually had to come back in after a few minutes to drop off Hansen. The adults on the shore (like me, I also am not a friend of boats) thought that maybe Lillie was getting scared, nope, not Lillie...Hansen. Hansen went on his way catching tad poles while the party boat toured the lake. There was excellent food from every kind of salads to burgers and hot dogs to cake and deserts. I ate a ton! After Hansen got his second hot dog, he told Herm (one of John's brothers) that he was not allowed to leave the grill as he may be back! There was also a bean bag game similar to horse shoes called cornhole (which does not sound like a good name for anything really) that was quite fun. Courtney challenged me to a game and she was leading by 3 points until the bitter end, I caught up and tied the game on my last throw, then in an amazing sudden death performance, I won!!! I did not deserve to win, but luck was on my side. Below are pictures of the party, a few are lifted from Mel and Courts camera, you can see more pics at their blog site.

Lillie and Hansen in one of the boats available for fun.
Preston and a few cousins his age hanging out.
Most of the kids at the party posing for the camera.
Slane group at a table for a quick bite to eat.
Lillie getting a ride in yet another boat.
Hansen never turns down a good piece of cake.
Mel and Courtney with the twins Jack and Avery.
See you tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Last day of school, first day of summer all in one.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday was a big day around our house. The Last day of school. Yesterday was a little rough on both the boys. Half of Preston's class, and many of his friends were 6th graders and now are done with elementary school. Some of the kids were very happy, some sad. Preston has done a good job in the last few months of realigning himself with the kids in his own grade level, for awhile all his friends were a grade ahead. Hansen had his last day at GL as next year he is going to go back to CV. There are really only a couple of friends that he will really miss and he is a little worried about that. I still think he will enjoy CV more in most every way, and he will go to the same Jr. high and High school as all the kids he knows now. Hansen went to a party directly after school that was thrown for his classmates by a classmate who lives across the street from GL. Hansen had a nice time. After school was so crazy as all the buses were honking their horns and kids were going every which way and all the teachers were was a mob scene. The weather was perfect, after school the kids played in the neighbors little pool and goofed off. Last night we did a fire pit in our back yard and each of our kids invited a friend to roast marshmallows. I am getting much better about not being in the kid's faces around the fire, they all did just fine without me giving instruction. Summer is here...the kids played outside until about 10:00pm and were bummed out when I made them come in as they still had a couple of friends outside. Bedtime for the next two months is going to be a loosing battle.

Yesterday Lillie had a birthday party to attend for a pre-school friend. The party was at My Gym, which is a cool place with play/gymnastics type of stuff and a couple of energetic college girls leading the kids (about 18 five year olds) through different games and obstacles. Lillie had a great time. I walked across the street to the 7-11 store for a Slurpee and a Lotto ticket. The Slurpee was great, lets hope the Lotto ticket also pans out!

The last thing of note from Yesterday had Preston maybe the most pleased. He beat the hardest song on Guitar Hero 3 on the hardest level. The song is Through The Fire And Flames?, and is totally crazy. The only way any one can pass this song is to 1) be way amazing at video games and have crazy hand-eye coordination, and 2) played and studied the song so much that you have most of it memorized. The song is like 7 minutes long and I could not last 12 seconds.

The above pictures are of the 1) the boys on the way to their last day of school, 2) Hansen with his favorite teacher Mrs. Behrens, and 3) Preston and his Completed Guitar Hero Game.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pic of Maren and Julian

Good morning, it is Friday.

Today is the last day of school, and will be the warmest day of the month as we get close to 80 degrees. One of Hansen's classmates has an after school party that Hansen will attend. Lillie also has a birthday party to attend this evening. The busy road between our neighborhood and the shopping district has been under construction for a long time as it has been being widened, big sidewalks added, and a traffic circle put in along with a new road to even more stores behind the medical center. Lillie and I decided to walk to Walmart (the closest of all the stores, to buy a gift for the party) and check out the new sidewalk (the road if far from finished) then go to the playground at the medical center. It took us 23 minutes to get from our front door to the front door of Walmart. With the stoplights, traffic, looking for a parking spot and walking the entire parking lot, it probably takes just over 10 minutes (give or take 5 minutes depending on time of day and construction) to get from door to door taking the car. I think with the better weather, walking is not a bad option...just can't buy big things like cat litter.

The above picture is of Me and Maren at the Children's Alliance Dinner that some photographer snapped of us. Maren found it on their web site. Since I was Maren's guest, my name tag is not quite correct...if you look closely you can see I was Julian Ostergard for the evening. The Horror! Usually one of us is operating the camera, it is nice to have a picture of us.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Golfed, no activites.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was a golf day for me as John and Carol came out and treated Lillie to lunch and fun. I golfed Elk Run GC and played just fine, I hit my best shots on par 3s, but no hole-in-one today. After golfing I came home and did not leave again...that is very rare, as in I don't think that has happened this year. Yesterday we had no sports or activities so the kids just played outside with friends, then inside with friends, then outside with friends. The weather was nice and it was a nice change of pace. Tonight Hansen has Taekwondo, his last class for the year, and the way he is talking, for his life! Today is also the last full day of school for the school year, tomorrow is a half day and then done!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Last helper day, VV.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was Lillie's last speech class of the school year at GL. Every Tuesday from 10:00 to 10:30 Lillie had speech class and during that time I would always go to Hansen's class Mrs. Behrens' class as during that time they were always working on math and even though I only had a half hour, I was able to walk around and help kids with math problems and such. I also helped every other Thursday in the afternoon when Lillie was in pre-school. Yesterday was my last day to help in Mrs. Behrens' class. Mrs. Behrens had a nice plant and a card for me which was very nice. All the kids said "thank you Mr. Slane, have a nice summer, see you next year!"...then Hansen was like "Hey, does that mean I don't get to see you until next year?" and of course he was cracking up his friends. Mrs Behrens is a wonderfull teacher (Maren says she has the best in class library of any class room she has ever seen) and this was a great school year for Hansen. I really enjoyed helping in her classroom. Thank you Mrs. Behrens.

Lillie and I stopped by Value Village in the afternoon as we were looking for a white/cream sweater to go over summer dresses for Maren. We did find exactly what we were looking old lady and her old lady friend were looking through the sweaters from the opposite side that me and Lillie were looking. She actually had the sweater in her hands and was showing it to her friend saying "oh look, another Ann Taylor sweater, this is nice!", as she put it back on the rack, I asked her if she was going to buy it as it was just what I was looking for, she said "no, it is very nice, and there is a similar sweater in Black over in the Larges", I told her this one was perfect and thanks, she then went on to say how who ever I was buying this sweater for was really going to like it! I think she was happy to have someone else to talk to for a minute. Once Lillie and I left the isle, we could still hear her talking to her friend non stop. Lillie also found a nice pink dress that she is showing off in the cell phone picture above. To be fair I will try to get a photo of the boys and post it one of these days. I have just been spending a ton of time with Lillie and not much with the boys as Lillie has been out of school for the last month and the boys don't get out [of school] until the end of this week.

Today we actually don't have any after school activities at all. This is a week off for Preston's soccer team and a week off for Lillie's dance class.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lillie pics, gymnastics.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday Lillie had her year end Gymnastics Olympiad. I am not really sure why they call it a year end Olympiad other than the kids do the morning class in the evening and do their normal stuff with maybe a little more flair, it is not a competition or anything really different and they still have older kids doing their regular practices all over the place. Lillie had fun and got a certificate at the end of the evening, so it is all good. Afterwards we decided to take the kids out to dinner. The kids could not decide where they may want to eat and neither could the adults, so after a lengthily dissuasion, we almost went home. Finally we ended up at Carl Jr. It was the perfect place, we have always had good experiences at Carl's Jr. On the drive home we saw that the new Red Robin in Covington was open...we had read that it would not open for two more days so we did not even consider there. Maybe we will go there for the last day of school.

The pictures above are all Lillie pics today. One is of Lillie's graduating preschool class. Lillie is in the top row, third from the left. The next is of Lillie with her gymnastics certificate. The third is Lillie on her bicycle trying to ride with out training wheels.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day.

Good Morning, it is Monday.

I did not blog yesterday, but had a nice Father's Day. After spending the morning at Starfire for two soccer games (that resulted in Preston's team getting beat quite soundly both games) Preston and I met up with the rest of the family at John and Carol's house for Dinner and hanging out. I listened to the US Open on my radio as much as possible and watched some of it on TV at J and C's house. Amazing ending...actually it is not over, playoff today! Also at J and C's house were Stef, Mel, Court, and the twins. The twins are getting bigger and cuter all the time. Both Jack and Avery have the ability to go from happy to not happy in an instant...or half of an instant. I called my dad after the open. He called the Basketball game, but I am still rooting for Boston...we are Ray Allen fans here in Seattle.

Friday night Maren and I had a very nice dinner at the 25th Anniversary Dinner for the Children's Alliance in Down Town Seattle. We got to see Governor Christine Gregoire and others talk about the importance of fighting for children's rights. Maren saw several folks she knows from different circles, it was quite a fancy affair.

Stef and Corey watched the kids when we were out. We picked up Preston in the evening as he had his two soccer games in the morning, but Hansen and Lillie got to spend the night at their place. We caught up with Lillie and Hansen at John and Carol's house. They [Hansen and Lillie...and hopefully Stef and Corey] had a great time and came home with plenty of Hertz logo stuff.

Today is an easy day. Nothing on the books other than Lillie's year end gymnastics olympiad this evening. And the weather should be nice today!

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

GL Carnival

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Last night was the school carnival at GL. The weather was perfect and the kids had a great time. The PTA was selling a family of 4 pass to the carnival which included 2 shirts, 4 dinners and 4 admissions. We sent the check with Hansen a few weeks ago and never heard anything. I guess the shirts and stuff came home with the kids a few days ago, but Hansen just thought it came home with Preston, and Preston assumed the stuff came home with Hansen. Anyhow, somewhere along the line our check got lost (It has not been cashed yet, but the PTA does not always cash checks quickly) and we did not have any stuff. Anyhow, we went to the carnival and had a very nice time. Lillie was off like a rocket, she hung out with a couple of dance class friends the first half of the carnival, then hung out with Lily R.R. the second half of the carnival. Hansen was all about the prizes. He hung out on the cake walk and the fishing booth just to collect as many prizes as possible. Preston hung out with a pack of kids from his class and had a super time as well. Preston is now at the age where the phone is starting to ring and there are girls on the other end of the line. He will answer the phone and go away and talk (usually it is his cell phone) then if we ask who was on the phone, his answer is "a classmate".

Tonight Maren and I are going to a fancy dinner/evening thanks to the Foundation for Early Learning. They are a sponsor of Children's Alliance's 25th Anniversary Celebration Gala and invited Maren to bring a significant other...or me, and attend. The kids will spend the evening with Stef and Corey and surly have a great time.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Singing etiquette.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Blueprint on how to start a fight at our house if your name is Lillie? You wait until the Blues Brother's theme song on the Drake and Josh show comes (or really any song on the radio that Preston and Hansen like) on, then you sing it as loud as you can realizing you don't really know the words. Even though Preston begs you to shut your trap, then he demands that you go away, you keep singing away. Then Hansen jumps in and starts to push and punch you until your are no longer singing, but screaming in pain. Then everyone is yelling as no one can hear the song. Finally your dad comes in and busts everyone. Next is the typicla lecture about how you just can't beat up your little sister no matter matter what, followed by a talk about appropriate singing etiquette. What is appropriate singing etiquette you wonder? I say sing if you feel moved to sing, but don't sing just to make your brothers mad. Anyhow, this is how we ended our evening last we spend much of the time in the car, and how we spend far too much time in our lives.

Tonight is the school carnival at Grass Lake. Should be fun and it sounds like the weather should be ok...about 62 and overcast.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Maren is home, Dance, golf, taekwondo.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Well, Maren is finally home after a fun day in the skies. Her plane left New Orleans an hour late which made her hour and a half layover into a 20 minute sprint for the terminal. She made it there only to be told that they could not believe she made it and her seat had just been given away. She was still able to get a seat on the plane, but was now in the isle rather than in her preferred window seat. Well, she was on the plane, only the plane had no pilot. Due to delays of another plane, her pilot was late...then there was an issue with maintenance. The plane (fully loaded and happy to give her seat away because she was running late due to their earlier plane) sat for two hours before leaving. Maren was supposed to be at SeaTac at 9:30, which is not too late in asking her parents to pick her up (she left her car at their house), but arrived more like midnight. Luckily her dad stayed up and picked her up. We saw her around 1:00 this morning.

Yesterday was Lillie's last day of dance class before her big recital. The kids showed off the routine to any parents hanging is very fun. One fun part is where they skip in, do a loop-de-loop into their spots, then shake their booties and pretend to be playing an air Trumpet. Yesterday I signed Lillie up for Disney Princess Camp, a 4 day summer camp for girls her age at Dance Arts. I am sure she will love the camp.

I golfed yesterday as John and Carol came out to hang with Lillie. They were looking a little worn out from their busy grand kid schedule. They both spent all of Monday, spent the night Monday night, then stayed until Tuesday evening at Mels to help with the twins as Court has been in Florida for business. John said it was like Eight hours after they got home from Mel's house and they were at my house, and I figure they will be out to North Bend again this morning after being up very late to pick up Maren from the airport. Good thing they are going on a 10 day vacation in just over a week! My game was pretty good, not quite as sharp since Lillie has finished school for the year. When she was in school, I would go to the practice range once a week while she was in school. No complaining here, just happy to get the chance to golf.

Today is Taekwondo, maybe. Hansen is quiting after this last two weeks are done and getting him to even go is just not worth it. He says he wants to play soccer and tennis and he thinks Taedwondo is just getting to boring. Taekwondo is a pretty structured and ridged environment that was great for him the first year, the second year he was just going for the sparring and the new he is just done. I can fully understand as that was how I felt about Cross Country Running as kid. The first years it was new and I was good at it, then for a while I suffered thru workouts just to do well at the races, and then I was just done...and I have never looked back. I say if your not having fun at your game, it is time to find a new game.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

errands, book report, Maren on the way home.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday after speech class, Lillie and I went out on the town (actually, we ventured all the way to Kent East Hill) and ran errands. First stop Joes Sports to fix Preston's bicycle. His freewheel has been busted and he was using a pedal brake wheel from Hansen's old bicycle. One new freewheel and two fixed bicycles. Then over to Target. Lillie needed a new bicycle helmet as hers was old and cracked, she also needed new training wheels for her bigger bicycle. We found a cute skater type of Polly Pockets helmet (one that came with a Polly Pockets way to sell a helmet to a young girl, give her a doll with purchase) and hopefully once she gets used to this bicycle a little, she will be ready to take off the training wheels. I was looking for slip on shoes for her as well, but we did not find any that fit the bill. I did find an Adidas golf hat in the clearance for cheap for myself. Then over to Ivar's for lunch. Kids eat free with an adult meal. With just one adult and one child, it makes for a great deal and a good lunch.

Last night Hansen worked on his book report for about an hour while Preston played Guitar Hero and Lillie did art work. I am sure Hansen's teacher wants him to do the book report himself, rather than his parent doing it for him, but it is just a shame that he has to race through it so fast. He spent plenty of time reading his book and enjoyed the book, but his answers to the questions are so short and incomplete that I just cringe when reading it. Oh well, I gave him one or two, "you should really try to explain this better" comments, but I think he was on to bigger and better things. I guess a second grade book report with one week left in school for the year should look short and to the point. Tonight he will work on his Diorama.

Maren called last night and said she had a very nice dinner with my Aunt Susanna and Uncle Johnny last night in New Orleans. Today is a travel day for her. She gets into the airport around 9:30 pm, which means while she technically gets home today, we will not see her until around 11:00pm, and the kids won't see her until tomorrow.

Today Preston has a class field trip to the Point Defiance Zoo and I plan on golfing. Luckily for all of us the rain is supposed to stop (it has not stopped yet!) and the day should be a cool but dry day with nicer weather on the books for the next hand full of days.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ice-cream, Hulk, Jesse Jones.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was sure rainy and windy and cold around our house. Last night the wind was blowing very hard and the power was flickering on and off...I thought it was going to be a dark evening. But we never lost power and by bed time the wind calmed down for the most part and we all slept just fine. The back yard is covered in leaves and small branches, but everything seems to be where it should be.

The most exciting thing that happened yesterday was that I stopped by the store and bought ice-cream. You would have thought that the kids had never had ice-cream before in their entire life times the way they were excited for ice-cream...and just chocolate was perfect. We ate ice-cream and watched American Gladiators. Last night was the night featuring the HULK and one of the gladiators was spray painted green and did look rather Hulkish. I think I will go to the library one of these days and see if you can check out the old Hulk TV shows so the kids can see some David Banner getting a little angry...then a lot angry...then turn into Lou Frigno (sp?). The movie previews look like it is all computer animated now rather than on the TV shows where the Hulk was just a huge human.

Last night on the news they have a new segment called Money Saving Mondays with Jesse Jones...da da da. It cracks me up that Jesse Jones is in these money savings and consumer advocate roles as he is the most extremely intense news reporter ever. Anyhow, last night the big way to save money was...da da da...check out movies from the King County Library System. Go Library! We saw more of Jesse Jones calling himself Jesse Jones than the actual Library, but a little extra prime time advertising for the Library was cool.

Today is another basic day. Hansen has taekwondo in the evening, and that is about it.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 09, 2008

soccer, picnic lunch.

Good Morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday I got Hansen back, and gave up Connor. John and Carol got their house back and gave up Hansen and Kole. I am sure everyone of us is mostly happy to be back where we belong. Sounds like Hansen and Kole had a great time at their overnight. They got to see the new Indiana Jones movie and shop at the dollar store. Sounds about perfect. Preston and Connor had a fine time as well. We watched Uncle Buck and the boys mostly played Nintendo and goofed off. The soccer game was a bust. Again the boys did not have their regular coach...I know the assistant does his best, but it is just not quite the same. They got beat 0-5. Carol and John got to see the second half of the game and brought a picnic lunch for all of us after the game. We just walked over the park the kids ate and played...until they could not behave like proper citizens and we had to leave. Lillie got to play with her friend Lily and they had fun as always. Starfire was having some type of international tournament in the stadium and the place was just packed. The place is a soccer Mecca.

In the evening we walked up the school. We ran into Kole and Christian as well as Cierra and Allison. The kids all had friends to hang with and it was a nice way to wind down the weekend.

Three and a half days until Maren is back. Sounds like she is having a good time in N.O.

Today is back to school, gymnastics and soccer.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

M in NO, ketchup, dealing for a Father's day gift.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Maren arrived in New Orleans just fine last night and was in her hotel room by 10:00pm. She is probably conferencing away today.

Yesterday we got Hansen and Kole to John and Carol's house just fine. I had Preston, Connor, and Lillie with me and we were lucky enough to be fed lunch before taking off. The funny lunch story was the ketchup. On the counter near where the hot dogs were being dressed was a bottle of Catalina French Dressing. Both Preston and Kole put that on their hot dogs thinking it was ketchup. About two bits into his hot dog Preston started to complain. Kole make it a few bites as well. Once the ketchup snafu was discovered, the boys got to have new buns and regular ketchup...phew. I was cracking up.

On the way home from the Ostergard's house we stopped by the music store to trade a box of #2 clarinet reeds for a box of #2.5 reeds...I guess Preston's band teacher thinks he is getting a little bit better and could benefit from stronger reeds.

We also went to Joe's Sports to buy Preston new Soccer shoes. His old ones split in the toe and for the last game and few practices, his right foot has been covered in Duct Tape. I thought it looked quite tough, but he needed new boots. We looked at the cool motorized mini bike on sale for like $200.00 after rebate. I told Preston that he should bring his mom to Joe's when she gets back and convince her to buy the mini bike for me for Father's Day. With him on my side, anything is possible...but Noooo. Preston goes into a lecture about how I shopped the Dollar store with the kids for Mom's Mother's Day gifts and that if I thought I would have wanted something expensive for Father's Day, I should have maybe spent a bit more on Mother's Day. What gives??? I though he would be on my side. It turns out the kids are quite loyal to their mom, guess I will need to plan better next year.

Last night went smoothly around here and it will be off to soccer in an hour.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Maren left for her trip, School BBQ.

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

Maren just left for her trip to New Orleans. She says it gets harder to leave on these week long trips every year...but she does have a very nice time when she is there. She just left at 9:00 am our time, and she will not get to her hotel in New Orleans until around 10:30 pm. How is that for a long day of travel? Last night when we [the family] were talking about today, Lillie and Hansen were jumping on Maren saying "don't leave Mom, we want you to stay!" She will get home very late on Wednesday evening. This is actually an extra trip, not really planned, she will be going on her regular trip to Anaheim later this month.

Yesterday was the School BBQ at Grass Lake. Lillie and I bought lunch tickets and joined in the fun. It was raining SO hard the entire time. The most fun to be had [according to Lillie] was to stick you hand in the down pour of water where the gutters were overflowing and the water was falling as if being shot from a Fire Hydrant. Hansen's lunch was first and Hansen enjoyed having me and Lillie hang with him. We ate outside under the overhang [in the cold] as the inside of the gym was over full and the high school band, that was very good mind you, was just too loud for little ears. After eating Lillie followed Hansen and his friends around, and found some of her own friends to hang with. 45 minutes later we got to do it again with Preston and his friends. I think Lillie was never so happy to get back in the dry car when it was finally time to leave. Lillie did do a very good job of embarrassing Preston by giving him a little hug in front of his friends...the HORROR!

Today at Noon we will have Connor over for the weekend. Connor and Preston are on the same soccer team and they have a game tomorrow. Hansen and Kole will be spending the night at John and Carol's house tonight, so basically I am just trading one kid for another. Should work out just fine.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Allowance day.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Is it really supposed to be cold and raining on a Friday in June??? NO! Today is a BBQ at the boy's school that me and Lillie will be attending. Brrr. Maybe we will be eating in the gym?

Yesterday was the 5th and everyone in this family knows that the 5th is allowance day. Hansen started jockeying for shopping time after taekwondo class the other day, he likes Walmart, Target, and Fred Meyers...he can't decide. Preston's favorite store is the dollar store (unless he has tons of $$$ and then GameStop is at the top of the list), and Lillie likes the toy department at Fred Meyers.

Not only did the kids have their regular allowance, but Carol added a few bucks for each of them as well, and for Maren, who also enjoys the dollar store. I dropped Preston and Maren off at the Dollar store, and took the littles over to Fred Meyer. Lillie chose a collection of three Barbie Mariposa dolls that are very cute, and has a few dollars left over for a future shopping trip. Hansen tried and tried to get me to lend him even more money, but he had like $23.00 to spend (or save, or spend part and save part) because everything he wanted was suddenly $26.00. It is amazing with Hansen, if he has only $5.00, everything he want is suddenly $ get the picture. But true to allowance rules, he only had his money...if he wanted more, he could wait until next allowance. Anyhow, he did a fine job in the end. He purchased a Star Wars action figure and a Nerf Type of crossbow. I think he is actually getting tired of Legos as he looked at them first and switched to the Star Wars action figure. I think Hansen is going through a growth spurt of some kind as he is also getting very tired of taekwondo, I think after this month he will choose to be done. I have told him he can take the summer off and start back in the fall if he wants, but I get the feeling he will decide to play soccer and taekwondo will be a thing of the past. He has a purple belt now and it would be like another year plus of twice a week or three times per week classes before he would earn his Black Belt. However is fine with me. Anyhow, enough rambling, Preston purchased like 5 bags of candy at the dollar store and pocketed the rest of his $$$. Maren bought herself and the kids some fun stuff at the dollar store. I spend all my extra money at Chambers Bay the other day. Next allowance day...July 5th, hmm, maybe we will give out allwoance a few days early so the kids can buy their own fireworks?

Today we have the BBQ at the school, then in the evening Maren will be packing like mad for her 5 days in New Orleans.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Volunteer breakfast, Chambers Bay GC...done.

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

The Volunteer Breakfast for the Volunteers at GL was very nice. The kids were happy to come, until they learned that they were just to play in the gym while the parents had breakfast in the Library. Preston and Hansen really wished they could have been part of the breakfast and eat as well. I did feed the boys breakfast just in case, they just wished they could have been included. Lillie on the other hand was delighted to just play in the gym. I had a muffin and some fruit and sat with Mrs. Behrens and some of the other parents that help in her was a very nice

When I got home from the breakfast I was just about to get ready for golfing at Chambers Bay when my golfing buddies showed up about 10 minutes early. In all the getting ready to leave and discussing the day with John and Carol who were taking over on an early release day for the boys, I totally forgot to put in my contact lenses. I just about panicked when just a few minutes from the golf course I realized I was wearing my glasses. I have not golfed in glasses in two years, and I stopped golfing in glasses because it just does not work. So my excuse was out of the way in a hurry! I also did not bring my camera, the picture of me above is with my camera phone next to the now famous lone tree that someone tried to chop down. The other picture is a funny picture I took for the kids of my pretending to puke next to the sign that says that no hurling [of stuff] is the time I saw the sign, my golfing was making me want to puke, so it worked. The next paragraph is about golfing Chambers Bay...for those of you that would rather eat push pins than read about can skip the next paragraph.

Chambers Bay is a great golf course. We showed up around 10:45 for a 11:40 tee time. Paid and got the shuttle down below. The weather cleared up and the wind was not blowing too crazy hard. Hit a few range balls, rolled a few putts and headed over to the first tee. One of the guys I was golfing with hired a caddie, which was nice, even thought he [the caddie] was not very dynamic, it was nice to have the direction. What a great golf course. After leaving the first tee and being surrounded by the sand dunes, it was like being on a vacation. The course felt like I was in the mountains of Arizona, except that it was windy and the Puget Sound was everywhere. I can honestly say that while I would not want to golf Chambers Bay everyday, I would say that (other than the puke slow greens) it may be the best course I have ever golfed anywhere. We played the Navy tees at 7109 yards and I shot an 85. The number of 6’s I got that would have been 4’s anywhere else was a bunch (I am blaming the glasses for some of my miscues, but really I did play not too bad, the course is just a challenge). My most memorable moments were a birdie 3 on hole 7 from the 482 tees, driving the green on hole 12 from 281, and hitting a ball (on purpose) far into the Sound from the 17th tee box while waiting to play. What an amazing course. The Cutter and Buck company was doing a photo shoot with some LPGA girl dressed in blue and red...will have to look for the adds in the mags later.

Today is just taekwondo for Hansen. If the weather is nice this evening I will probably go play pickle ball at a friend's house...but the weather report is not good. I think Lillie and I will trek to Costco for supplies for when Maren is gone in New Orleans this weekend and half of next week.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Volunteer breakfast, Chambers Bay GC.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

I will be waking the kids up early because Grass Lake has a special breakfast for all the folks who volunteer at the school during this school year. I get to have the kids serve me breakfast or something. I am sure it will be a fun morning, the kids are excited that we are going.

This afternoon I am very excited to be golfing at Chambers Bay Golf Course. It is the newest fanciest course in probably the whole country. The US open will be there in several years and I will let you know tomorrow it is worth all the hype in my opinion. I will be golfing with a neighbor and a friend from Elk Run. I had always figured my first round at Chambers Bay would be with our friend Larry Nelson who is in the midst of battling throat cancer and can't play right now. Larry lives right near the course and is and has been more excited than anyone about everything to do with Chambers Bay Golf Course. I will try to hit a good shot or two for Larry today.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

gutters, trampoline.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

This is a rainy morning. Glad I cleaned out the gutters yesterday. All but the very high ones...I don't really do tall ladders. When the gutters are starting to sprout little trees from all the seedlings that fall, you know they need to be cleaned. I found two GI-Joe action figures, one Nerf Dart, and three paper air-planes. I do need to do the higher gutters on a dry day as I can actually see some kind of toy hanging halfway in/out of the gutter. Of course Lillie was confused when I told her to come outside and clean the gutters with me. She calls utters gutters. She was like "we are going to clean a cow' know...these things???" No, gutters, not utters you goof ball.

The littles had a fun evening on the neighbor's trampoline. I usually don't let them on the trampoline because the games on their get kind of rough and if you ever watch AFV, you know trampolines are injury magnets, also the gymnastics folks always preach against home trampolines. Anyhow, Lillie snuck herself up on the trampoline and was having a great time, so I just looked away for awhile. Hansen and Kole had gotten their walkie talkies out and were on a self prescribed spy mission when they spotted one Lillian Slane jumping gleefully on the trampoline. The spies made a beeline to me to tell me the news. So I fixed the situation with a small band aid...I just let Hansen go on the trampoline with Kole after Lillie and Adi were finished. Of course as all great plans go, Preston spied Hansen on the trampoline as he was on his way home from soccer practice and tried to get Hansen busted.

Today I have the refrigerator repair person checking in on our fridge. It seems the ice maker must have a small leak as dripping water is forming lumps of ice in the freezer. We will see what they say. The fridge has been doing fine of late, maybe this is a simple fix.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 02, 2008

A good weekend.

Good Morning, it is Monday.

This weekend was a fun one. Saturday we had our friends Mick and Susan over for a BBQ, only we did not BBQ, rather we had a bunch of good Taco based dishes. Yum. Susan did a good job as lead singer during a 10 minute stint of Rock Band. Mick and Hansen [and I] were working on their chipping and pitching in the back yard. I suspect we will be finding golf balls in the craziest places for the next few weeks...Spif enjoyed making himself a target as often as he could. In the evening we had the fire pit going, it was fun to make smores and hang near the fire. Preston asked all day to have his friend Andrew come over to do the fire pit with us. We said fine, then they did the fire pit for all of five minutes before going back to playing Rock Band.

Sunday brought a super early wake up time as Preston had a Soccer game at 8:30 am. I had the Hansen and Lillie with me as well as Connor who rode to the game with us. The team never really took control of the game and lost 3-0. It was a very physical game with lots of shoving and tripping and stuff. I took Lillie and Hansen to the little lake and the park so they did have fun, other than just rolling down the hill. The two littles were on each others nerves from moment one. Hansen running in front of Lillie and blocking her path, Lillie not letting Hansen on the teeter totter with her, and so on and so on.

In the afternoon we went to the Oman house for a lunch to honor Maggie and Camden's dedication at their church. More good food, and a little sports watching on the TV. Maren's parents left just a few minutes before Mel, Court and the twins showed up. I am guessing they [John and Carol] get plenty of twins time in, but everyone was like, poor John and Carol, they just missed the twins. Lillie and Claire get along amazingly well, they never seem to argue and they have no problem changing into and out of different outfits then showing off their fancy looks to anyone who will look. The boys all got along just fine as well...even Preston seemed to enjoy whatever game they were playing. Seems to me they were designing and flying paper airplanes. The hardest part getting ready to leave was to get Lillie to put her own clothes back on. We would tell her to go change and she would, just not into her own clothes. The kids are very lucky to get to hang with their cousins on such a regular basis. I think this has been three of the last four weekend that at least some of the cousins have been together.

Today is back to a Monday. School, gymnastics, soccer and so on.

See you tomorrow.