Thursday, July 31, 2008

dump, golf, play time.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was a trip to the dump. $26.00 bucks to get rid of a van full of garbage. After a little bit of organizing, Maren's car was able to park in the garage once again. Mornings like this morning are why Maren likes to park in the garage, I went out to get the paper and my van is totally covered in dew. Try to drive and the windows just fog up and stuff. Parked in the garage and you don't even mess with the dew issues.

After the trip to the dump I took Preston out for 9 holes at Jade Green. His overall score was not better than last time, but his potential was much better. On hole one, a short, narrow par 4, I hit a 3 wood right down the middle, and Preston hit his driver and out drove me by a few feet. I hit a PW to about 20 feet, Preston hits his 9-iron to about 20 feet. I just miss my birdie putt, and tap in for a par, Preston hits his first putt 4 feet short, second putt 5 feet by, third putt one inch to the right, and makes a 6. So I beat him by 2 strokes when from tee to green he was just as good. The rest of the day was like this except he hit a few shots out of bounds as well. So I beat him by 20 strokes for 9 holes. As soon as he learns how to get the ball to go in the hole, I will start to be in trouble, but I should be good for a few more years. Preston has watched Happy Gilmore a few times, and the one time he actually made a 15 foot putt, he was like "Happy learned how to putt!!!" If you have not seen the movie, check it out from the library, it is a classic.

Hansen ,Lillie and Carol had Camden, Maggie and Auntie Sue over for a play date (Sue is Carol's sister). I came home for lunch after the dump and before the golf and Sue had brought over some yummy pizza and stuff for the kids. She has her Black Lab, her 5 year old grandson Camden, and 7 month old granddaughter Maggie. The most mellow of the bunch is Maggie who is rolling everywhere and doing everything. She handled those three like a champ, quite impressive. I think my three [kids] are a challenge, but they all are walking and eating on their own, and all speaking English. She has baby talk and dog talk to deal with along with a little English. I had set one of our old porta play pens up up in our room for Maggie to nap in, but I guess Maggie had different plans. Sound like it was a good visit.

Today is back to Soccer tournaments. Preston has a game at 4:15 at Starfire. He will ride with the coach down to the game, but I think me and the littles will show up for the game. He then has two games tomorrow, and maybe a game on Saturday as well.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

To the dump.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

The rain finally did come yesterday. It rained most the night and is raining now. They say it should stop raining today and just be overcast for a few days. The grass and the plants will be happy.

Today I am finally going to the dump after taking the carpet out of our room. Last night I took the second and third row of seats out of the van and loaded it to the gills with garbage. The van is so full of garbage it is amazing. I was able to get rid of about two thirds of the pile of stuff in the garage. The rest of the stuff is stuff that we weeded through when doing the rooms that needs to be taken to a Goodwill drop off site or something. It is possible that in a few days Maren will be able to park her car in the garage once again. Even with all the piles away and stuff it is still a tight squeeze as we have three kids who all have scooters, bicycles, skateboards, and tons of other stuff that fills the side of the garage that I once parked in.

Yesterday Lillie took her first shower. And she enjoyed it! This could make bath time a ton quicker and easier, perfect timing with school just a month away. She was covered in dirt from the island and I was making her take a bath when in her rather abrasive way she demanded to take a shower rather than a bath. I said fine, and in the shower she went. I think she enjoyed the hotel swimming pool shower...who knew!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fairwood Pro-Am.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

I did not post yesterday because I woke up early for a Pro-Am at Fairwood CC. I did not find my swing until the last several holes and struggled mightily most of the day (could be due to all the flooring I have been doing, and golfing I have not been doing?). Corey and Steve played quite well while me and Trevor were horrible. I enjoy playing Fairwood as much if not more than any course anywhere, but I guess the record would show that I don't play the course very well in all honesty. The most fun moment for me was on the par 3 hole number 16. Playing about 175 yards I hit a cut 5-iron to a right pin and scooted my ball past the hole, it then turned back with the slope and missed the hole by less than an inch to end up about 15 inches below the hole. Steve then stepped up and hit a high hooking 6-iron that caught the right fringe, slowed, took the slope and ended up about 8 inches just above the hole. The slope in that part of the green is so steep that my ball had to be just trickling straight down over the edge of the hole, and how Steve's ball even stopped short of the hole is a mystery. I really can't believe that one of those shots, or both of them for that matter, did not go in for a hole-in-one. It has been over 20 years since I have had a hole-in-one!!!

The weather is supposed to be crummy today, and it is starting off rather overcast and cold, but it does not really look like the rain that was predicted. I don't know just what we will do today. Last night Preston spent the night at Connor's house so we will not see him for awhile.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The grass hill.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday I took a break from the tile flooring in the bathroom to take the littles up to the school park (Preston was at Alec's house). The school park was not too crowded and we had a fun time. Lillie now has no problem on the swings all by herself, pumping her feet and everything. I pitched tennis balls to Hansen so he could practice his baseball swing. It was too late to sign Hansen up for a baseball team when he decided he wanted to play, so we just practice some on our own and it works. His batting is getting better. Preston has also showed an interest in baseball and I suspect next summer we will have two if not three baseball players in the family.

This is a picture of Lillie on the grass hill sliding down on a card board box. In this picture she had just successfully made it down the bulk of the hill, slowed to a stop, and did a little camera pose. Last night she was trying to count the number of cuts on her arms, legs and feet and she just has too many to count. Her worst cut was new last night as she totally wiped out running full speed in Ice Cream Truck mania.

This picture of Hansen looks like he is a famous person shielding his face from the paparazzi. This is not really the case. In this picture Hansen has just totally ejected from the cardboard boxes he was sliding down the hill on and is rolling/flipping at high speed toward the camera man! I went down a few times on a box, but I could never make it down the hill as a much speedier Hamster would always catch me, then wipe me out.

I am not sure what today will bring.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fireworks for Covington Days.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Last night was the Covington Days fireworks show. I think this is probably the 4th year in a row we have attended. We let Preston and Hansen bring a friend, so we had Connor and Kole with us. Lillie decided she would invite Ali without our permission, but bringing a 3 year old to a late night fireworks show that we were walking about a mile to get to and from is just not happening. When we were leaving, little Ali was crying that she wanted to come. I told her that she is just three, and if she was allowed to go, her parents would have to be taking her. The fireworks show was good and there was an singing group called Matsiko singing and dancing before the show, it was fun. This morning is the parade and the booths are open the whole weekend with singing and dancing shows. I don't think we will make the parade (too early), but we will hit the booths later.

This is the only picture of our remodel I have taken so far. The toilet from our bathroom is sitting in the middle of the bedroom. The sign is kind of a joke, but I have gotten a few "why cant we use this toilet?" questions from the kids. Once the flooring is done in the bathroom and the parts put back, the home remodel will be done.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Carl Jrs computer rant

Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night we went to Carl's Jr. for dinner after a quick (or not so quick according to the kids) to the new Home Depot in Covington. We were looking at flooring options for the master bathroom (we have settled on vinyl tile that is groutable). Anyhow, after HD, we parked in between Carl's Jr. and Safeway so Maren could go to Safeway while the rest of us dined. The cashier at CJrs. was an elderly lady who just could not figure out the coupon we had. Basically it was buy a burger, get a free small drink and fries. The littles both got kid meals, Preston and I got bigger burgers using a coupon. When all was said and done, we still had to pay an extra couple of dollars because she could not figure the coupon...I finally had to just give up and take the loss. On top of that, they gave Hansen the wrong burger. They did give him the right burger and let us keep the old burger, which worked out because then Maren had a burger when she showed up after shopping and I just did not feel bad about the mix up because they did over charge me about the cost of the burger. Anyhow, I can't really boycott stores with poor customer service these days because that is all you get it seems. I do feel bad for these cashiers, the overly complicated computer systems they use do not make their life easier. Our cashier would have had no problem using an old school cash register, ringing up a burger, throwing the coupon in the till and giving us a free drink and fries. It was the fighting with the computer that messed the whole thing up. That is my rant for the day...computers that are too complicated for the people hired to use them. Anyhow, on the flip side, you should ask Maren about the deal she got at Safeway. The store is practically paying customers with coupon savvy to take Windex and Kleenex out of their store for them.

Today Preston is getting his second Chicken Pox vaccine, he needs it to enter the 6th grade in a month. Tonight is also the opening day of Covington days and this evening will be the big fireworks show. We go every year, and this year is no exception. The parade is tomorrow morning, but we usually don't make it because we are still sleeping...maybe the Torchlight parade in Seattle??? Hansen get to play with a school friend and I may take Lillie to the dump with all the carpet and debris from our bedroom remodel.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Island.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was a chore day and a hang out at home day. Not too many kids were around in the early part of the day, so it was just the littles and Devin all morning. Hansen and Devin tried hard to get rid of Lillie time and time again, but she did a good job of sticking around. Finally they decided to just build forts for their GI Joes guys. Lillie built forts for her Polly Pockets girls. The playground of the day was the island in the middle of the culde-sac. The island has been a playground forever. Every couple of years when the rental house is looking for new renters, or a new family moves in the area, the newbies decide to clean up the island. It will stay nice for awhile, but it quickly becomes the playground for the 20+ friends of the kids on the street. The island is the base for many different games, it is a place to dig for treasure, and yesterday it was the home of a new bunch of forts. Maybe some day it will be more boring than it is today, but that will be a long time from now.

Lillie posing tough in front of her rock fort.
Hansen building a section of his fort.
Devin, Hansen, and Lillie pose behind the fort neighborhood.

I don't know what we will do today. The weather is supposed to be nicer, so I may get the kids out for something other than the neighborhood. We will see where the day takes us.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ocean Shores

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

We had a very nice vacation at Ocean Shores. We stayed in a Holiday Inn Express right on the beach. We chose this hotel because it was cheaper and had a pool. It turned out to be very nice. The pool and hot tub area were quite nice and the room was a nice size. We made it to the ocean and the pool each day. Preston and I went golfing on Monday. We only played 9 holes as the wind was blowing crazy hard (it was like the British Open where the ball was moving on the green when trying to putt), and 9 holes was enough. Preston is getting better every time he golfs. The big fights of the trip were about who would sleep with Nana. Hansen won the first night and Lillie won the second night. We ate pizza at Dugans as always. Shopped at little shops, Hansen and Lillie got little pewter statues, Hansen a dragon, Lillie a swan with a princess fairy. The hotel had a nice breakfast every morning. I enjoyed the biscuits and gravy. It was so cold on the beach that we decided to drive on the beach in the evening rather than walk on the beach. I did some swerving and made a couple of doughnuts in the sand with the mini van. Preston and Lillie would chant: doughnut...doughnut...doughnut. Hansen would scream No, No, No. Carol must think our family is even nuttier than she did before. The van does not make the best doughnuts in the sand, but it was fun anyhow.

Preston and Lillie building sand castles. These ones were build so the tide would come in and fill the moats and stuff. It actually worked for a moment before the water washes them away.
Lillie starting a sand castle. It was SO cold out on the beach. Probably like 50 degrees and huge wind. Lillie and Preston were acting like it was 80 degrees and sunny. Don't ask me how.
Maren checking out the tide pools. Hansen spent his time checking out tide pools and searching for sand dollars and such as well.
You can almost read my name in the sand....I made it with my feet, it was huge...probably could see it from space! Or not.
Hansen in the pool. The kids loved the indoor pool. It was a fun place with no wind.

We got home early enough in the day yesterday that I was able to finish the closet and all the wood flooring. No more wood flooring-Yay! I only have to do the master bathroom and I will be done with the whole project. We have not decided what kind of flooring we will put in, I may check out the new Home Depot later this week and figure it out.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

soccer, to the ocean.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Preston was out the door at 6:30 this morning for the first of possibly two soccer games today at the King of the Hill soccer tournament in Puyallup. I would go back to bed with the rest of the family, but instead I am going to flip between golf and cycling on the TV. It is very nice for us that Preston's coach live two doors down and can give him rides on days like today. If they win the morning game, they may have an afternoon game, if they loose the morning game, they will come home. After the second game (if there is one) we will be going to Ocean Shores for a few days on vacation. The kids are totally excited to go as we have been going to Ocean Shores every summer for the last several years. This year Preston and I are bringing our golf clubs and going to golf at the Ocean Shores golf course tomorrow. We are staying at a different hotel than we usual as we booked late and saved $$$, so we hope it is a winner. Our neighbor is house/cat sitting for us, we will be home on Tuesday afternoon. I will be away from the computer for a few days (the horror!) so I will not be blogging until Wednesday, on which I hope to have something to write about...but hopefully nothing too exciting.

See you Wednesday.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Soccer, flip flops, Hulk.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday Preston's team won their first game of this weekend's tournament. The team won 5-0, and Preston scored a goal. They have another game today at 11:00. If they win today's game, or loose by less than another team, then they play in the semi finals Sun morning, with the finals Sunday at Noon.

While Hansen was at VBS and Preston was at soccer, Lillie and I went out and purchased her new flip flops. Actually what happened was that on the way home from dropping Preston and Connor off for the soccer game, we stopped by the Joe's Tent sale to look around. There were plenty of shoes but they were too expensive to buy for Lillie. I agreed to take her to Payless where she found a pair of glittery gold flip flops for $4.00. During the day she must have gone through 15 different outfits that all went well with the flip flops. First she was cold so it was jeans and a long sleeve shirt with gold accents to match the flip flops. Then it was a tan skirt and a fancy brown shirt. Then it was...I don't know, I don't know...something else. Her hair is up, her hair is down. You name it, she just appears with a new outfit standing in some pose and I am supposed to know that she changed this or that and why.

Hansen finished up VBS yesterday. Hansen had his buddy Kole spend the night last night. This overnight has been planned for a week. The kids are not too bad, but I don't really enjoy the whole having friends over thing. We watched a few episodes from the original series of the Incredible Hulk. The original Hulk cracks me up. In one episode we watched they (Hulk and two others) came across a bear in a swamp. I don't know how many brown bears really live in swamps, but the funny part was when the Hulk picked up and threw the bear, it looked amazingly like a big stuffed animal just being hurled through the air. The special effects from shows of yesterday are just not what we are used to seeing these days. It is fun to watch these old shows, I figure we will get through a few more episodes over the next few days.

I don't know if we will work on the closet today or just hang out and stuff. We will see where the day takes us.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday ended up being a busy feeling day. After Hansen got back from VBS, I took the kids out to run a couple of errands. First stop was the golf course, I let the kids hit some range balls while I picked up my pay for last weeks jr. camp. I also got a cool new t-shirt! There was a nice Kentridge Basketball (new) t-shirt that was an extra from when the basketball camp was out at the course or something. I guess I was the first person to see the t-shirt and say, "hey, I went to Kentridge...20 years ago!" I got the keep the shirt. Most the other folks at the course were Kentwood kids or are Kentlake kids. Good for me!

After the golf course it was to the gleaners (no new stuff to pick up), then to the Library. At the Library Lillie looked at books and videos. She checked out a 12 days of Kindergarten book and two videos. The boys hung out at the two vending machines the whole time! Preston found a nickle, but really now, can you believe it. They just dreamed about the candy they would buy for like 15 minutes without ever looking at a single book or anything. Those are a couple of kids who must have their mom bring them home books from the library all the time! After the Library it was a quick (not actually quick or fact it was horrible with kids begging, knocking over stuff from the shelves, more begging, and just horrid behavior) trip to Fred Meyer to pick up a few things. When the security alarm started blaring as we were leaving the store, the clerk just waved us in don't come back in the store please, if you stole something, keep it, just keep walking out of the store! Actually the alarm was going off, but it was because the clerk was too lame to desensitize the security strip on the bicycle helmet we purchased for Hansen.

One last thing, here is a sure way to get Lillie to scream while in the car. When a song you like comes on the radio, dance you hands over your head while driving...Lillie will see you hands not on the steering wheel and scream stuff like "AAAAHHHHH you are supposed to be DDDRRRIIIVVVIIINNNGGG!!!!, YYYOOOUUURRRR HHHAAANNNDDDSSS!!!!!". This can be quite fun as well, especially when Preston chimes in, "hey Lillie, look at Dad's hands, there not on the steering wheel...oohh nnoo were going to crash!!!". Then she just shrieks. Fun times.

Today is the last day of VBS, and the first day of another soccer tournament.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

fire pit, bedroom about done.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night may have been our last fire pit for awhile. Today a burning ban goes into effect for King County. I think we could still do our back yard fire pit even with the burn ban as the fire would be contained in a small area with a hose near by, but I don't know that we would or not. Maren was telling the kids about why there are burning bans and how the grass and trees are all getting very dry and it seemed the kids were taking in the information, but not a second later (after the marshmallows were gone) both Hans and Pres were trying to heat their roasting sticks to red hot so they could pull them out and burn stuff with them...not that sinking a red hot roasting stick into a piece of wood while it burns is not cool.

Our bedroom re-model is now about done. The actual bedroom is done, the ceiling and walls painted and the floors are finished. It went from an old tan carpet and yucky green/white striped wallpaper (left over from original owners) all around, and graying ceilings to light wood laminate flooring, no wall paper-cumin (kind of a dark orange) painted walls, and a bright ceiling. The room does look a little like an IKEA catalog, which is a nice change. Last night was the first time in a while that the furniture and bookcases and stuff was all where it should be. I still need to do the closet and the bathroom, but those won't be so bad as we can actually empty them and do the work in a few days. Once we finish those, then a big trip to the dump to get rid of the old carpet and stuff, then Maren can park her car in the garage again.

Today Hansen has VBS with Kole, this evening the VBS is holding a performance and having snacks and refreshments and stuff.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More floor.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was a fine day around here. Hansen went to VBS with Kole in the morning. In the afternoon I let the kids have friends over in the hopes to get some work done on the flooring in our room. Lillie had Lily over for a few hours and they had tons of fun from bike riding (yes, Lillie is now an expert bicycle rider after just learning a few days ago), riding scooters, playing Polly Pockets, doing artwork, and playing Nintendo. Hansen had Kole over and Preston had Connor over. I did get as much work done as possible. We have now shifted everything in the room up to the front wall, the bed is on its side and everything is crammed on the new floor so I can now finish the other side of the room. The actual room should be done by the end of today, the closet and the bathroom will be separate projects. The pictures above are taken with my phone and are of Hansen building stuff with scraps from the flooring, I think one is a weapon and the other is a golf club.

Today Hansen has VBS, and Preston has soccer.
See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was golf tournament day for me, Corey, Trevor, and Steve B. We have played as a team in local Pro-Ams over the last year, we will play in about 5 events per year. Usually one of us will do well, but rarely do we all pull together and play well at the same time. Yesterday it happened. All four of us played pretty good...well, we all had our moments and shots we would like back, but for the most part our team did quite well. While we did not win the whole thing, all of our names are on the results sheet, which is really quite amazing considering that 1) I am the pro, and don't play as quite as competitively as many of the pros in these events, and 2) we choose our team based on who we enjoy golfing with, rather than who has the best handicap and stuff like many teams do...not that we don't have a good team and expect to do well every time we tee it up, but we also try to have fun out there as well. Here is a link to the results page:

Carol came out very early and hung out with the kids on a nice day and sounds like everyone had a good day.

Today is back to working on the flooring in the upstairs.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lillie rides a bike.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Actually it is Sunday night, but I am posting tonight because I am waking up early to play in a golf tournament Monday and will not take the time to blog. So here you go, Monday morning blog even a few hours early.

The big news...Lillie learns to ride a bicycle with no training wheels. And all on her own. I helped her a couple of times, but she would not let me help her because as she said "You always let go!", she is correct, I always do let go, then she rides for a sec, then freaks out, then goes and rides her scooter. Today we had Shannon visit along with her mom. Shannon's mom was the one who gave us all the ideas about remodeling our house a year ago, and this year she came to see how much we had actually done. I think she was quite happy with the results, I know we are very happy with the way our house is painted and floored and stuff. We enjoyed their visit and enjoyed showing off the work on our house. Well, Lillie decided to show Shannon her scooter skills, and Shannon agreed that she should be able to ride a bicycle without training wheels. I helped Lillie once, let go of her and she rode just fine as she screamed in horror that I let go again! (sometimes parenting can be so fun!) A couple of minutes she decided to try again on her own, so I got out my video camera and taped the progress. A few minutes after the tape was filmed, she was riding along as if she had been riding for years. If you make it to the end of the two minute clip, you get to see her little happy dance.

Enjoy the video, today I am golfing in a tournament, Maren is working, Preston is spending the night at Alec's house, Hansen will be going to VBS with Kole, and Lillie will be hanging out with Nana. Busy day.

See you tomorrow.

Soccer tournament, day 2 - video.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Soccer tournament day number two is over. Preston's team had two games again. They got beat soundly the first game, then won the second game quite convincingly. Preston got a goal the second game as well. Winning the last game was a nice way to end the tournament. Next weekend the team has another tournament. Below is a short video of Preston on the soccer field. In this clip Preston is wearing all blue, he is the tallish kid with a #7 on his back. I did not get his goal on video, but this is proof that he does play soccer.

Before the second game, Preston had to be there an hour prior to all the games!?! That was my main beef this tournament. The team had to be there one hour early for a 50 minute game, four different times! The two teams that beat us soundly got to the games 30 minutes prior, goofed off, warmed up just a little, then beat the tar out of our boys. The whole hour thing may make sense for college kids and adults, but 6th graders?...anyhow, before the second game I took Maren, Hansen, and Lillie to the park/ river we went to the day before. It was a mad house. There must have been 500 people there. Different groups, mainly Latino, had BBQs and volleyball games and kids on bikes and kids in the river and people everywhere! It was very cool to see the park so well used, and we had fun for 45 minutes before going back to the soccer game. What a difference a day makes, the day before there were like 20 people at the whole park.

I have been working on the flooring of our room now that it is all painted. Today the book cases will go back on the new floor as we clear out more room to install more flooring. Since we just cant reasonably clear out the whole room for a couple of days and do the floor and paint, we have been just moving stuff around to give the room necessary.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Soccer tournament, river

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday and today are being ruled by Preston's soccer tournament. He has to be at his games about an hour early, then the games are about an hour in length. Yesterday in the first game, the team got a sound beating, a 7-0 loss. The second game was against another tough team, but they held in there. Preston scored the team's only goal and they pulled off a 1-1 tie. Believe me, this tie felt like a win! I think the games today should have good results as the bracket is not exactly even all the way through. Preston is one of his team's co-captains for this tournament, and yesterday he was voted the MVP thanks to his goal. He was a pretty happy kid in the evening. The early part of the day, kind of grumpy.

Near the soccer fields (a few miles away) are parks on the river and the Auburn Golf Course. The games are at the Auburn Pea Patch for those of you who have played soccer in this are over the last say 30 years. It does not look any different than it did when I was a kid. The picture below is of Lillie and Hansen in the river before the early game, there is also a park behind me that the kids played at. The rivers are still high around here, and the kids could only go into the water up to their knees. About 20 yard further in, the river is moving very quickly and folks getting caught up in the river currents are just not getting is of up most importance in the rivers these days. Even this little beach alcove on a middle of the day at 80 degrees was practically empty. We may check it out today, it may be much busier since it is a Saturday.

I will get a picture or two of soccer stuff for tomorrow's post.
See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Band-aids, old school gaming.

Good morning, it is Friday!

We go through so many band-aids in this house! Skateboards, scooters, running in flip-flops, standing on buckets, walking on curbs, you name it, goofing off in a concrete covered world brings lots of band-aids. Here is Lillie sporting three band-aids from her slipping off an upside down 5 gallon bucket while trying to jump on Connor (could not make that one up). The boys generally use band-aids to cover blood. Lillie uses band-aids to cover potential in the scratches could start to bleed!

Thanks to the big project of painting and new floors in our room, some things need to be moved. I brought the TV out of our room (Maren and I are planning on making the TV out of our room a forever change...first day, no problem) and set it up on the garage floor (very temporary move) with my very old Original Nintendo set. I have tons of games and stuff that I have just never gotten rid of, they must be about 20 years old. The kids set up buckets to sit on (or jump off if you are Lillie) and really enjoyed Rad Racer, and other ancient video games. I can still get through the first two levels of Rad Racer, but my attention span for video games is so short these days, I just get bored. It is fun to see how far the games have come in the last 20 years, but in all actuality, these old games are in many ways just as fun as the new ones...besides, it seems to me that the newest games like Guitar Hero are really just throw back games were the graphics are simple and you hit the notes when you are told.

Today Preston has two soccer games. His team is playing in the Kent Cornucopia Cup. They will also have two games tomorrow. I am done with my Jr. Golf camp for the week. The jr. camp has plenty of folks to help with the kids playing this evening, so I am going to be watching soccer instead. I must admit that this year at golf camp, we had all good kids. Of the 40 kids that I helped over the last couple of days, I did not have a single out of line or rude kid in the bunch.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Camps.

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

Lillie has been enjoying her Princess Dance Camp. Today is the last day of camp and the group is going to be holding a little performance toward the end of class today. Should be fun.

Yesterday was the first day of Golf Camp at Jade Greens. None of my kids were there, but I did teach plenty of kids golf yesterday. We probably have about 55 kids at camp. The first part of the camp I taught boys ages 12 and up, toward the end of camp I taught the girls. Both of my groups were actually interested in learning golf! The only group I don't always enjoy are the 9 and under boys...they can be a dangerous group of kids who run fast and swing hard without much thought. Boys that age think golf clubs are better swords, running full speed is the only way to travel, and looking for frogs beats golf any day. Since I did not have them yesterday, I will have them today! Many of the kids I recognize from the last couple of years, and/or from the kid's school. Next year I may let Lillie come to golf camp, she will be on the young side, but there are some young girls who are doing just fine. Hansen loves to hit range balls and play and practice golf, he just thinks golf camp is a bore (maybe because I don't let him use his golf club as a sword, don't let him run at the course, and only let him hunt for frogs after he is done practicing if I still want to practice some more). Preston would have come to camp and is a little disappointed not to be there, but his soccer team comes first this year. They have their first tournament this weekend...I may try to get out of golf camp on Friday so I can see his first two games. Not like he has not got in some golfing this year. He just wishes we lived on a course so he could just walk over and play every day.

I am just about finished with the painting of our room. The color is looking very nice. Cumin is a dark, rich Orange. It looks very nice with the new ceiling paint. I need to go around the edges again this morning, then on to the floor. One more week and it may all be done. Maren has been picking up some extra chores around home, but it is nice to get these projects going and done.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Hancock, frog.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night Preston went to the movies with Alec to see Hancock. Preston says it was good, Will Smith was awesome, and there was some not so good language. Overall, two thumbs up! Sorry, but that is all the information I could get out of Preston.

I took Hansen and Preston to the driving range while Lillie was in dance camp. They both hit the ball pretty well, but the highlight was that Hansen caught a frog down at the lower putting green. He was trying to figure out how to keep it, but he had to let it go before getting back in the car.

Later today I am teaching Jr. Golf camp at Jade Greens GC, and Preston has soccer practice.

Short post today, got to get back to painting!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Dance Camp, Wild Waves, Lego

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Day one of Lillie's Princess Dance Camp went splendidly. She had a few of her old dance class friends in class as well as our neighbor Ali. Her class will put on a little performance on Thursday after class for a few minutes to show off a short routine. Most of the kids were dressed for ballet class, including Lillie, with a leotard, tights, skirt, and ballet shoes. A few of the girls had on dress up princess dresses. I will be curious to see how Lillie decides to dress today.

Preston had a good time at Wild Waves with his friends. They left at 10:00am, one of his friend's mom drove about 6 kids to the theme park and hung out while they all did their thing. Preston missed soccer practice (at 5:30pm) as he got home around 6:00pm. I don't imagine his coach is too thrilled about that, but I don't mind, this may have been his only chance to get to Wild Waves with this group of school kids. Soccer is all the time.

Hansen had his Brickmaster arrive in the mail yesterday. Brickmaster is a Lego magazine subscription that has a small Lego toy with it. The toy he got yesterday was a small Indiana Jones character and a Jeep for Indiana to drive. Indiana Jones is Hansen's thing these days. He plays his Indiana Jones video game and watched Indiana Jones movies when ever he gets the chance.

Today we have Lillie's dance camp in the morning as our only thing on the schedule. Yesterday I premiered the walls in our room, today I will work on painting the ceiling. Tomorrow I may get to painting the walls the actual color, but then again I may not because I am teaching a jr. golf camp from Wed to Fri.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wall paper, allowance.

Good morning, it is Monday.

The weekend is over, but the nice weather is on its way back. Yesterday I finally finished removing all the wall paper from our bedroom and I will probably primer the walls today. Then in a few days paint the walls in the color of choice, I think we have decided on new white ceilings, and an orange/brown color called Cumin for the main room, and probably a fresh white coat for the bathroom and closet. After all the paint, then it will be onto the flooring. The laminate flooring is just waiting in boxes in the garage. Maybe this project will actually be finished by the end of summer, but then again, maybe not.

This weekend was also allowance weekend for the kids. Preston was saving his money for a trip to Wild Waves with a group of friends today, so he was not interested in going shopping. Hansen has been begging to go to Target as they have a beginners guitar, a great selection of Legos, and a good stock of Nintendo games. Lillie was over at Ali's eating lunch when I took Hansen to Target. On the drive to Target I got a call from home, figuring it was Maren asking me to pick something up, I answered the phone (just now I realized I was illegally talking on the cell phone while driving, as of last week that illegal to do unless you have a "hand's free device") and instead of Maren on the other end, it was Lillie crying her brains out that she wanted to come shopping and I should have come and gotten her even though she was eating lunch at a friends house. The only way to calm her down was to promise her I would take her out to spend her allowance later, it seemed to work. At Target Hansen spent like an hour deciding what to spend his money on. He carried around the Star Wars guys for a while, then the Lego set for awhile, then finally he settled on using some extra money from next allowance and buying the Lego Indiana Jones Nintendo game for the Game Boy. It was a good decision and he has played the game quite a bit already. Back to Lillie, I did come home then take her out to Walmart to spend her allowance. Her trip was similar to Hansen's trip, only after putting back a Barbie Movie and some Polly Pockets toys, she ended up buying herself a pair of Hannah Montana Shoes and a cute little shirt. Yup, spending her money on clothes, not toys...not a choice me or the boys have ever made in our lives, must be a girl thing. She wore the shoes and the shirt all weekend long and thinks they are the best shoes ever. These two hour long trip to the stores is why 1) we only do allowance once per month, and 2) I have the patience to let them shop for an hour.

Today Preston is off to Wild Waves with a group of friends, Lillie has the first day of her week long Princess Dance Camp, and Hansen has the day off from any commitments.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A fun 4th.

Hansen and Lillie showing off our box of fireworks.
Stef, Lillie, Maren, John and Carol huddle up for fireworks in the rain.
Preston and Corey light fireworks.
Preston and his friend Alec at the parade.
Lillie dressed in Red, White and Blue for the parade.
Hansen at the parade.
Stef and Corey at the parade.
Maren and Julian at the parade.

Good morning, it is Saturday.
Phew, what a 4th of July! Everything was about as planned, with extras. The Burien parade was very good this year. We had seats next to a construction area (they are remodeling downtown Burien, it will be very cool) and the kid's only competition (on our side of the road) for candy was each other. They fought just fine together, so it worked out just right. After a very nice parade, we came home and had BBQ burgers, corn on the cob, chips, fruit and anything else you could want. After dinner we started lighting the little stuff, smoke bombs and snakes. After a while it was time for Triple Chocolate Mess and Ice-cream. We moved all the chairs out front, got all ready to light the bigger stuff, and it started to rain! The rain only lasted 10 minutes, and was a good thing because everything got wet and fire chances went way down. After we were doing our thing for a bit, the neighbors got home and started lighting bigger stuff. Then a few minutes later a couple of minivans filled with a bunch of teenagers drove up and took out box after box of huge fireworks, Maren though these vans looked like clown cars as people and boxes of fireworks just poured out of them. These teens were our neighbor's church friends who live in Auburn, but fireworks such as the ones they had are illegal in Auburn, so they came to our neighbor's house to blow up the world. It was amazing, in no time flat we went from just our gang of 9 plus a neighbor gang of 3 to a mob of about 30 with kids running everywhere. They blew off tons of stuff, had a couple of mistakes where big stuff blew up at their ankles and stuff, but when it was about 11:30 pm, they all cleaned up the neighbor's area, and were gone as quickly as they arrived. The neighborhoods behind us and and a couple over to the sides were doing their usual huge fireworks well past midnight. Lillie finally got to sleep around 11:30 amids the crashing noises all around, the boys were out with friends until about midnight.

Today I don't think we have any set plans just yet.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 04, 2008

July 4th plans, kids play dates.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

The Forth of July is finally here. The nice weather may have gone away, but we will proceed with our plans as normal. Every year for the last 10 years we have been doing the same thing. We will go to the Parade in Burien, then come home and BBQ, then light off a ton of Fireworks. Maren always makes a dish called Triple Chocolate Mess which is a cake that is baked over the day in the crock pot, for the past week Hansen has been reminding Maren of this dish. This year Stef and Corey and John and Carol will also be joining us. (Mel and Court and the twins are getting on an airplane to Montana this morning...the twins on a plane, that could be a Samuel L. Jackson movie.) Who knows what neighbors will be home and join in as well. Many of the families have different plans and we sometimes have the culde-sac to ourselves or sometimes there are several other groups doing fireworks. Usually a block over on three different sides from us there are huge firework displays that we enjoy. Word on the street says that Corey is driving to the reservations to buy some really cool fireworks that will make our lot look like child's play.

Yesterday Hansen got to have a play date at the school with one of his best buddies from school, Anessa. They rode their bikes around, hit the swings, and built sand castles on the sand field. Anessa and Hansen have been best buddies since Kindergarten and they get along splendidly. There were a ton of pros for Hansen coming back to Cedar Valley with Lillie this school year, and only a few cons...his friendship with Anessa was a big con for Hansen, but they have stayed in touch and will go to the same Jr. High and High Schools in a few years. Lillie got to go over to Lily's house and Preston tagged along to play with her brothers. Maren took the day off of her real job, only to work her fingers to the bone cleaning our house. I did not really think it was too messy, but it sure looks better today. I guess that tells you how [not] good a house cleaner I am while she is gone on work trips.

Enjoy the 4th, see you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Golfing with Preston.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night, all night, and even right now, we are experiencing crazy thunder and lightning storms. The news folk say it is because Oklahoma just got the Seattle Sonics, so we got their weather. We loose on that deal.

Yesterday I took of from golfing with my regular Wednesday group to take Preston and his friend Christian golfing at Jade Greens. Preston was a little nervous because Christian golfs a ton more and is a couple of years older. As it turned out, Preston actually shot 10 strokes better than his struggling friend and had several very good shots over the nine holes. I shot a 34, Preston shot a 57, and Christian posted a 67. The boys had a few lost golf balls each that really elevated their scores, along with some flubbed chips and putts, but I insisted they keep score properly so they can actually see their improvement over time. Preston nearly got a hole in one on the 135 yard 7th hole and beat me on the hole. I had a fun time with the boys who did not complain much about carrying their clubs in the 80 degree weather. I am not sure I will be abandoning my regular group for these rookies just yet, but maybe someday. Below is a short video of Preston and my golf swings recorded yesterday.

Today Hansen has plans to play with his friend Anessa this afternoon. We will also buy our fireworks later today and just hang out...Maren took the day off and has a 4 day weekend. I think her plans for us include a ton of house cleaning. Yuk!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

WW for rides, Maren is home.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was a full day. Preston stayed at Alec's house the night before so we did not have him with us for the first part of the day. I took the littles back to Wild Waves so we could do rides. As it turned out, Hansen is a couple of inches too tall for all the kid rides, and Lillie and Hansen are too scared for all the big rides, so we did not do too much riding. Lillie found a little girl her age and went on a few rides with her, and Hansen went on a small roller coaster by himself while we watched him. Hansen's favorite ride was bumper cars, he could drive himself and I could have Lillie in my car. Hansen other favorite was the slide on the bag slide. He is an expert. I got Lillie down it once, but she was scared. Lillie could spend the entire day at the carousel, she would just switch from horse to horse (as if they each have a different personality) and keep riding all day. I can only handle like two turns on the carousel at a time, so it may take her the whole summer to try each horse out. The sun was finally out when we were getting ready to leave so they got to go in the water for forty five minutes before we had to take off.

After Wild Waves, we called Preston home and got ready to pick Maren up from the airport. We got to the airport early enough to park the car and wait at the exit spot for her terminal. Hansen and Lillie had a great time at the airport waiting for Mar (Preston's sense of adventure is nil if forced to be with his family) and it was funny because Maren did not expect us to be waiting in the airport and was walking right by us when the littles jumped her. We also got to say hi to a couple of Maren's Librarian friends. Maren had a bunch of goodies for the kids and we grabbed some Pizza on the drive home for a tasty dinner...not to mention left overs for tonight's dinner.

The deal of the day was that we had a neighbor who is a mechanic at a local car dealership replaced the timing belt and the accessory belts on Maren's car last night for a good deal. Saved us the whole hassle of making an appointment, getting and leaving the car at the dealership, and a little money as well. The belts were due to be replaced awhile ago, it was good they were replaced now, now her car will just keep on going.

Today Maren is off to work and John is coming out to hang with Lillie and Hansen while I take Preston and his buddy Christian golfing. This is going to be the first time Preston goes out golfing with a friend. We will see how he does. If Preston and Christian seem like a good golfing duo, they will be able to just be dropped off at the course for golfing by themselves in the future.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Wild Waves, Guitar Hero

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

It is finally back to nice a cool around here. It is 75 degrees in the house and overcast outside. It is slated to get up in the low 80's with sun, just about perfect.

Yesterday I took the kids to Wild Waves for a few hours. We met up with a friend of Hansens and the two of them had lots of fun. Lillie and Preston also enjoyed themselves. We spent the bulk of our time at the wave pool and the Pirate's head water slide area for littler kids. Preston did not go on any big water slides as he did not want to go by himself. Some day when he meets a friend he can check them out. I took Lillie over to the ride side of the park for a couple of rides and she wanted to go on more and more rides. Lillie may grow up to be a ride fan like her mom. Maren is on her way home from California today, but last night she was able go get a free pass into Disney Land and spent the evening going from one very scary ride to the next. She said she went on California Screaming two times, most of the other scary rides only once. The said the freakiest ride was Tower of Terror. It is good she got to do the rides, because there is no one in this family who would go on those rides with her. Me and the boys are freaked out by such rides. Anyhow, about 3 hours at the water park was perfect. We bought the kids summer passes so just going for a few hours works great. There is enough to do to spend the day, but none of us really needs to spend that much time there at any one time. In the future I will pack a lunch in the cooler in the car, we can do the water park for a couple of hours, go eat, re-enter for a few rides, and head home...that will be about a 5 hour day. Food and candy are way over priced, there are plenty of folks lunching at the car.

Last night Preston spent the night at his friend Alec's house. Alec and Preston get along great, both have annoying little siblings, and can goof off with the best of them. This is a you tube video they made of Preston beating Guitar Hero on the hardest song on the hardest level while being totally pestered by Alec's little brother. It is a totally ridiculous thing to watch (and hear), and if you have a spare 8 minutes that you really don't need back in your life, watch it, there are a few shots of Preston during and at the end, most of the video is the game and stuff:

See you tomorrow.