Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hansen's ear surgery successful

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

Hansen's ear surgery went just fine. They took the T-tube out, and patched the hole over with a disposable patch. The Doctor said as he was looking at the other ear under the high powered microscope getting ready to rough up and patch the hole from past tubes, he noticed the hole had fixed itself...but the skin that has healed the over the hole is more clear and hard to see under the regular ear light. So only work on one ear. Hansen had no trouble dealing with anesthesia and was doing just fine hours after the surgery. He did not have any troubles at the hospital either. He was pretty loopy with the meds to zonk him out prior to the anesthesia. He kept thinking he should be able to get up and walk around and I had to make sure he did not. He will be back to school as normal today. And in the summer, he should be swimming without earplugs.

Preston enjoyed his soccer practice, I expect he will enjoy his new soccer team. Lillie's dance class brought the parents into the class at the end of class to show off their latest routine. It was very cute.

Today Maren works a regular shift, Lillie has gymnastics (make up for Monday's snow day) and preschool, and Hansen has Taekwondo. I am scheduled to help for a little bit in Hansen's school class today.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Maren teaching, Hansen tubes, Preston soccer

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was a fine, non-eventful day for us non-workers. Those who teach classes on the occasional evening, found the day to be a little different. Maren taught a class for the Bellevue School District at their District Headquarters. She said that no one was there to introduce her, show her where to go, guide her in anyway, and what is even weirder, after her presentation (which was attended just fine), everyone left and she was the last person at the Bellevue School District Headquarters. How weird is that. I don't know if there are alarm systems or anything, but I don't think Maren should have been left in charge of that stuff. Very weird. Probably the doors automatically lock an such, but still, when a presenter is teaching a class, a contact person(s) should be there from start to finish...that is just how it should be.

Today Hansen has his ear surgery. Permanent ear tube being taken out in right ear, permanent hole left from ear tube being fixed in the left ear. This is only like a 15 minute procedure, but Hansen and I will be at the hospital for half the day. Thankfully John and Carol will be coming over to help with Preston and Lillie as there is no school. The ear tubes were the best thing ever for Hansen, the poor kid could not talk before he got his tubes (because he could not hear), while this is kind of a pain, the tubes were great and we would not change a thing.

Tonight Preston has soccer practice. He as been invited to be on a select team (City of Auburn) coached by his buddy Connor's dad, Mark. Actual try outs are in a couple of weeks, this is kind of warm up practice, Preston should have no trouble with tryouts as he is quite good at soccer. This is great for Preston. We all think Mark is a great coach, and Preston gets to hang with Connor. And when we are busy with other kids and stuff, Preston can easily get rides to practices and such. The team came around at perfect timing for Preston as he was just quiting gymnastics. We have avoided Select Soccer in the past due to time commitments and cost, but this is a great timing, great situation, and we will give it a try.

Lillie has Dance class tonight. Hansen will just recover. Last time he was under anesthesia (even for just 15 minutes) he kind of thought he was a kitty cat for part of the remainder of the day. That sounds crazy and funny to type, but it is true. Preston remembers...and may have been egging him on. Who knows. We just hope this whole thing is quick and easy for Hansen.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

No Snow!

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

I am off to a late start on my blog this morning because there was NO SNOW! Two degrees warmer than the weather folk were guessing and all the precipitation came down in the form of rain. Talk about a world of bummed out kids. Preston had to get up especially early for math club, the others have normal days. Maren is even out the door to a presentation, then she has another class to teach in the evening.

Yesterday when I was complaining that the Kent School District is not too good about school delays and such, I was not the only one. It was on the news that so many people complained about KSD being so lame in the school delay system.

Today we find out what time Hansen has his ear surgery. Tomorrow Hansen will have the permanent tube taken out of his right ear drum, and the hole in his left ear drum worked on so it will heal closed. Ear tubes were the best thing ever for Hansen when he was young, but now it seems, since he has grown and had no ear problems of late, they can only lead to hearing loss, so it is time to take them out.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow, Lillie's second haircut.




Good Morning, it is Monday.

The world out the window is white! A couple of inches of snow fell overnight. The Kent School District has not made its mind yet on school delays, as of this time they say they are on buses on snow routes. The surrounding school districts range from 2 hours late to closed. The Kent School District is always slow and lame when it comes to making decisions about road safety.

Yesterday Lillie got a haircut. Her second of her life. She dressed up fancy and went to Monkey Dooz which is famous for Princess parties and adding some pizazz to a little girl haircut. And it is only a couple of dollars more than a Great Clips. After getting a inch or so taken off, Lillie got three twists and sparkle spray in her hair. Lillie then danced the night away putting on dancing shows and stuff for our entertainment.

Enjoy your snow day. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Power outages and stuff.

Good Morning, it is Sunday.

There is a little more than a trace of snow on the roads and under the trace is ice, so we are staying put this morning. This model of some snow on freezing roads is supposed to be the norm for the next few days.

The power keeps going out in our neighborhood. Probably 7 or 8 times over the last three days. Usually lasts [without power] for about an hour or so each time. When the power goes out in the night, Lillie freaks out. I may have to shop for a battery powered nightlight so this does not happen in her room. Having to calm her down and sleep in her room for a while is no way to get a good night sleep. Luckily the power to the neighborhood behind us stays on and if I open her blinds, the street light shines in her room. We are certainly relying on power these days. Whenever the power goes out, our neighbor's generator kicks in and the loud motor is just a reminder that we have no power, but our neighbor does. Preston's 6th grade friends just got back from a week of school camp. They seemed to have a great time. Some of his friends were kind of worried about going to camp without the use of cell phones, Nintendo, TVs, you name it.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

100th blog post, yesterday was a good day, power outages.

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

Today is my 100th post on this blog. I should win a prize! If you have read all 100 posts to date, you should win a prize! Hey Maren, what are the prizes? No answer. Sorry.

Yesterday turned out to be a fine day. Hansen slept until about 10:00 am after his triple bout with barf in the night. Preston was just fine and had a good day at school. Lillie was just fine and had a good day at preschool. Hansen was feeling 100% better by the time we took Lillie to school. I took him to Barnes & Noble to spend his gift card. Do you think he bought a book? No way. He found a Rubik's Snake just like Preston's Rubik's Snake...I guess Preston does not let Hansen touch his Rubik stuff. Now Hansen has his own. We also stopped for a quick trip to Costco. Made it out under budget, that is rare.

Last night the power went out three times. Lillie really does not like the power to go out. She does not enjoy a dark world one single bit. So, she was in our bed two times, and I was in her bed one time. Being up and out of bed multiple times in the night is not really the best way to get a good night sleep, but at least I was not cleaning puke, or supervising the cleaning of puke. Lillie could not understand why at 8:00am I did not really want to wake up.

Today was supposed to be Hansen's belt test today but his teacher, Master Kim, is so sick that the tests are postponed until next week. I guess Hansen has to be a green belt one more week.

Maren had a nice time at her boss's retirement party. She got home around 10:00pm. Long day for everyone. This morning is seems that everyone is feeling good and just hanging out.

Today we are just waiting for the forecasted Snow. There should be a few inches on the ground by the time you read this tomorrow. But what do the Seattle forecasters know?

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 25, 2008

more pukes, Lillie looses 2nd tooth, Maren's boss retiring.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

I am up a little earlier than normal thanks to another kid with the pukes. This time it is Hansen. I did not even bother trying to clean it up myself. Tonight, that was Maren's job. I just supervised Hansen with cleaning his face and hands...a chore in itself. Maren was totally stuck with the worst job. Preston (who sleeps on the top bunk) is now sleeping in my bed. Since it is already 4:30 am, I will just let him stay there and I will watch the golf channel after finishing my blog. With my crummy sleep habits, there is no point in trying to get back to sleep when the alarm will just go off at 6:00 am. Hopefully Hansen is done being sick for the night and will sleep for a long time. I will not be waking him up as he will not be going to school today. Update from an hour later...round 2 for Hansen...this time much better, used his puke bowl and showed a little control. Good for him. Maren and Preston did not have to wake up, good I never went back to sleep.

Yesterday Lillie lost her second tooth. It was the lower front left this time. I could have easily tugged it out for her a day ago, but she was not into that type of tooth extraction this time. This time she waited until the tooth was so loose that if I held her upside down and shook her just a little, the tooth would have given up all will to stay attached to the gum, and just fallen out on its own. She pulled it out herself after breakfast and was very happy. The tooth fairy almost forgot to visit in the night, but with all the Hansen puke racket, the tooth fairy's memory was jogged just enough to remember to visit...and luckily the tooth fairy only bought one lottery ticket this week and still had a spare one dollar bill in his wallet.

Tonight Maren has a retirement party for her boss to attend. Maren's boss is retiring a year early to move across the country to be closer to her daughter who just had her first baby a couple of months ago. She is quiting a very good paying job with peers who like her to move to a different state and provide free child care for daughter. Wow. While Maren is very happy for her current boss (and has enjoyed working for her)... it looks like the last boss Maren had at her old job may be first in line for the vacant job and could be Maren's boss once again. Since this blog could possibly be read by anyone, it would not be good to really say much more...Maren has many options for other jobs in the library world if history chooses to repeats itself.

Today Lillie has Preschool, Hansen is scheduled for Taekwondo Sparring (I doubt that will be happening) and Maren will be home late due to her party.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

good day, Maren belated birthday.

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was a good day around here. Carol came out to watch Lillie while I played golf. It was so cold that the course was just frozen tundra. Like one big cart path. The first 9 holes were crazy as 3-irons could go 300 yards. I hit a couple of shots that went about 70 yards farther than planned and into the group in front of us...one guy was getting quite mad, but they were slow and without etiquette (does not make hitting into them correct, but the ice was not controllable)...we finally insisted on playing through them on hole 14. I think we were finished by the time they got to the 16 the hole. I played well considering the conditions, had fun anyway.

Carol and Lillie shopped for Maren. Maren got a belated birthday. No problem there, the more birthday party's the better. Carol also brought Maren her favorite dinner of all time. Chicken Devan? Lots of Chicken, cheese, and broccoli. After the adults ate the good food, we took the kids to McDonald's. Lillie and I went from there to dance class. The rest stayed for a bit longer, then came home. Preston showed off his guitar skills, Hansen his piano skills.

Hansen and Kole both have these Nerf Laser Tag sets. For a good 40 minutes after school, there were a bunch of kids having Nerf warfare in the culdesac. Mostly fun.

Today is Preschool for Lillie, Taekwondo for Hansen.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Looking for a better day.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Looking for a better day today. Yesterday Preston did not go to school because he felt sick. He seemed a ton better the second half of yesterday, so I suspect he will be off to school today. Lillie also was doing well last night. Hansen has never felt sick at all. We sat around and watched American Idol last night. I tried to convince the kids that when I went down to Florida to visit my parents, I had actually gone to Chicago to audition for American Idol and they would be seeing me in costume singing horribly. They did not buy it...the audition part, they know I am a horrible singer.

It has been in the lower 20's at night around here, today it may get up to around 38 degrees. The good news is that the sun is out. This evening is when the rain is supposed to return, they just don't know if it will be snow or not...depends on how cold it is when the clouds roll in. I will be golfing today. I suspect there will a number of golfers out today since it will be sunny and for forecast for the next while is wet.

Tonight is Lillie's dance class. She says she still loves dance, just hates the bar. I guess they uses the bar to stretch and stuff. Lillie says that she tells the teacher that the bar is killing her! The dance folks have it figured out...offer up a very fancy, somewhat expensive recital outfit and a chance to dance in front of a few hundred people in the recital and the kids like Lillie can overlook the temporary pain of the bar.

Preston is going to quit gymnastics. It is too bad in a way, and just great in a way. The only way for him to continue at his current place with his current teacher and be with kids his own age is to go into the team type setting. He does not want to do the team as it it three + days per week, nor does he enjoy doing gymnastics with short 8 year olds. I think he has learned what he set out to learn and is ready to be done. He is enjoying playing the guitar and stuff much more these days. Track in late March and Soccer after that will keep him going just fine.

Hansen will test for his Blue belt on Saturday. He is an excited camper.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Puke stuff. Boy's room finished.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

Phew, we survived the three day weekend. Yesterday Maren was sick for most of the day. She did help out around dinner time which was nice. Looks like she is on the mend today and is off to work as scheduled.

Last night Lillie had a coughing fit or something and ended up puking all over herself and her bed. Total Eww! For one of the first times ever, I was able to clean her up, clean up her bed and room, get her back to bed, and launder everything without waking up Maren or the boys. And the kicker is...I did not puke in the process! Yeah! Lillie was a good little trooper, I think she was feeling 100% better after puking and getting cleaned up. And she was just happy to be getting cleaned up. I got to her quickly, last time she could not get out of her bedroom because her hands were so covered in puke, she could not turn the doorknob to her room, how sad is that? (I did remember to clean the door knob) Hot dogs for dinner and chocolate cake for desert. Yum. Sorry about that. Usually when there is puke in a kids room, the first thing I do is call Maren. Then I take the crying kid into the bathroom to clean them up and calm them down until Maren is done cleaning the room. I try to avoid puke...at all cost. When Maren goes for her conferences and is gone for a week, one of my main hopes is that the kids don't puke, because I figure it would really be gross in a week by the time she got home. I don't like cat puke either. The worst was probably back when we had Abe, the dog, and he would get car sick. He would puke, eat it up, puke again, eat it up, puke again, and eat it up and so on until we got to our destination. Depending on where he was on this cycle, I could just drive around the block so I would not have to clean up as much. Totally gross. Especially in rental cars.

Yesterday I finished painting the boys room. Now to get rid of a ton of stuff. It does not really look any different, just cleaner. The bunk beds made for a ton of fun at bed time last night. Usually when the boys are having a ton of fun at bed time, the result is a whole lot of trouble...as in they had to get in a whole lot of trouble before actually going to sleep. I think the boys need two separate dungeons, I mean bedrooms, so they can leave each other alone and settle down at night. Too bad for us.

Today is back to normal. See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK Day, boy's room

Good Morning, it is Monday.

Martin Luther King Day. No school for the kids, no work for Maren. Bitter cold outside. Luckily we have plenty of projects to keep us going.

I started in on the boy's room yesterday. Painted half the walls, will paint most of the rest today (just white, with green left over from the laundry room in the alcove). Put their beds back together as a bunk bed. Put up a shelving thing for Hansen's Legos. And am working on sifting through the unused stuff. My eventual goal is to also get rid of the carpet in the upstairs bedrooms and replace with a pergo style flooring. Carpet in kid's rooms just does not seems so good to me...too many permanent puke stains (sorry I had to type that, but it is true). The only carpet in the house will be the living room, stairs, and upstairs hallway. And that carpet needs to be replaced.

See you tomorrow

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Parties and a little shopping.

Good Morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday worked out pretty much as planned. Maren and Lillie had a very nice time at Mel's baby shower. The snow was falling on Maren's drive home and she white knuckled the first half of the drive home until she got lower than the show. Hansen had a great time at Laser Tag and enjoyed Kole's birthday party. After Hansen came home from the party, Preston went to Andrew's house for an overnight. Preston was equipped with two guitars (one guitar hero, one electric) and a sleeping bag. Hansen and I shopped for some paint and a shelving solution to his Lego's. I bought one gallon of white paint which may or may not complete their room (I can always buy more) and we found a cool little 5-shelve book case thing for his room...we will put the current bookcase on Preston's side. Hansen spent the rest of his money on a couple sets of Nerf Laser Tag sets. They were half price so he could afford two. They are pretty cool, Nerf gun with Nerf bullets, vests that the bullets velcro to and cool safety goggles of the Oakley variety. I was just glad it was not more Legos! He has enough Legos for the entire city of Covington.

Preston and I shopped for a keyboard for him while Hansen was at his party. Preston wants a good quality key board that he can play rhythms and other background sounds while he is playing songs. He did not have quite enough cash for the ones he wanted, so he is saving up for another month or two. Preston and a few friends are trying to start a band. They may have something together for the talent show. Who knows, but it sounds like a fun idea to me.

We took Maren to dinner at Applebees for her Birthday dinner. It was very nice. Preston did not come with us as he was at Andrew's house, but that was fine. If we had insisted he come, he would have, but he probably would have been grump the whole time, and we had a fine dinner with just the littles.

Today is Church, Football, and maybe painting the boy's room.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Birthdays!!!, Baby Shower, guitar/i-pod.

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

Happy Birthday Maren!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is also Melanie's baby shower. How do you plural that for twins? Babies shower? Babies showers? Who knows, but I bet there will be two of everything. Maren and Lillie are scheduled to go. Maren is a little worried about driving in possible North Bend snow. She may try to talk me into driving her, we will see...with the boy's plans, I am not sure it is possible.

Hansen is going to Kole's birthday party at the Laser Tag place. I am sure he will have a great time. Preston was at the Laser Tag place once, I guess it is very fun.

Preston is planing on going to Andrew's house to play guitar. Preston plays piano and clarinet well, Andrew plays drums well. They both have their own guitars and have decided they want to learn to play. Neither of them are able to take guitar lessons just now, but they are both smart kids with instructional books on the guitar...I think they can figure it out. Preston will also bother me to no end until I set up an account so he can buy songs for his i-pod (I gave him my old i-pod, which was Maren's old i-pod. Hansen got Preston's old mp3 player and I got back Hansen's old mp3 player which was mine a couple of years ago...it will go to Lillie some day. So technology in our family usually has Maren #1, Preston #2, Hansen #3, Lillie and Julian #4&5...unless I really care, then I can be # 2 for awhile. Follow that?). So far it is just loaded with songs we have on CD and such...it was my i-pod afterall. He does not mind U2, The Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, but I think he wants his own music on there as well.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 18, 2008

helped in Hansen's class, a couple of birthdays tomorrow.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday I helped in Hansen's class room. There was a substitute teacher. I usually will skip my helping days when there is a sub, but I showed up yesterday as there is usually a list of things to do like laminate and cut out stuff. A couple of boys from the class (not Hansen mind you) decided to go to the bathroom together and make a ruckus. I got to go in and fix the situation. I guess it was good I showed up. Poor sub, 20 good kids, and a few not so good to mess things up for her. I think I don't want to be a substitute teacher. A full time teacher, yes, a sub, not so much.

Lillie and I went to the dollar store during Hansen's Taekwondo to buy Maren birthday stuff (Preston is old enough to stay at home for short periods by himself...and he would never pass on a chance to do so). Lillie wants Maren to have a princess party. I am sure Maren will not mind. For those who don't know, tomorrow is Maren's birthday. Tomorrow is also my mom's birthday. I have never in my whole life not lived with someone who has a birthday on January 19th. I hope I don't forget about birthdays this year. Better tie a string on my finger. Hmm, what is that string on my finger for? Oh yea, better tie another string on my other finger to remind me of what the first string is for. That was fun, just like Ernie. I don't really need to to that, but I do go out in the garage on a regular basis, get there and wonder why I just walked into the garage. I then look around, walk back into the house, then remember why I went out there in the first place...you guessed it, probably to get something, but what? Are there any birthdays to remember tomorrow? What are those strings on my finger for? Hmm.

Today Lillie has a friend coming over for a play date at 10:00. Then she has preschool. Tonight is Hansen's Taekwondo sparring class. Finally the chance to beat people up without getting in trouble. You know, like the trouble you get in for beating up your little sister.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ice golf, recital preview.


Good Morning, it is Thursday.


Yesterday started cold, and stayed that way. I went golfing and met up with a couple of folks I know and had a fun round of golf. The temp probably got up to around 40 degrees and there was still ice where there may have been puddles. This picture is of the 5th green at Elk Run. I took it on my phone. I could not see the ice from the fairway, but my ball did take a very big hop and skidded over the green. I would say about 3 or 4 greens were very hard, the rest were surprisingly playable.


Lillie's dance class let the parents in for the last minute of class to preview the first part of the recital routine. Just the part where the girls come in and take their places. Lillie gets to be in the very front! She says it is because she has performed in the most recitals. It was very cute.


Today Maren works late...like until 8:00. Hansen has Taekwondo, Lillie has Preschool, and I am scheduled to help in Hansen's classroom for a couple of hours.


See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hansen testing, no cable, kid sports.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Hansen is doing testing this week at school. The tests are the one that all second graders in the Kent School District take to help with their placement the following year and such. This is the test that Preston aced and ended up in the Highly Capable Program. It would be great if Hansen tested well and made it into the program as it is such a good program, but if not, no problem...maybe better for him as he hates homework so much. Actually he just hates spelling homework. Anyhow, I was asking him how the testing was going and he said it was going well and it was very easy. The only thing is that the teacher has him (maybe the whole class, maybe just him because of his nature) scared to erase an incorrect answer in fear the computer will not be able to read the test sheet because of an erasure mark. Hansen said that there were at least two answers he knows were wrong, but he did not change them to the correct answer because of the whole erasure marks thing. How is that for intimidating? Hopefully I convinced him to go ahead an put the correct answer down in the future and just erase the best you can. Hansen is too good at following rules at school and in other situations...that are not home and the rules are not mine...he can't follow my rules to save his life. Even in Sparring class I had to explain to him that when he is practicing with others and it is his turn to be the punching bag, he can move a little as not to get hit too hard...and if his partner is going to hit hard, he should certainly do the same back. When it is time to fight in sparring class he gets it and does very well, he just was getting beat up a little during practice drills because he thought he was supposed to just take it as the teacher demonstrated. But his partner (red belt, awesome at sparring) moved to protect himself. I think Hansen will be better at that next time, and at correcting test answers as well.

Last night was American Idol. The cable was out. The cable was out. Maren was freaking out from about 4:00 pm on as the cable had been out for some time. I found some rabbit ears and got one TV to get a crummy picture, but it did work. We huddled around a poor picture to watch American Idol. It seemed very funny to me, both the show and our situation. The first few episodes are the best IMO. One of the neighbors came over to see if I had any rabbit ears they could borrow so they could watch American Idol as well. I was using my only set. What will happen in the not so distant future when they no longer send tv signals through the air? When the cable is out, there will just be no option. I am not so sure the new way will be for the best. I guess the govt. is trying to free up air space for use in case of emergencies.

Today is Preston's gymnastics and Lillie's dance class. Preston was invited to be on the gymnastics's club team. Kind of like select soccer or little league baseball. The club practices three times per week for two hours per practice, travels within the state for meets, and costs a lot more money. Preston has turned down select soccer in the past because he wanted to also do gymnastics and golf and just have time to goof off. The result will be the same with gymnastics, it is nice that they offered the club to him, but that is just too much. Too much time, too much travel, too much money, and too much commitment for a eleven year old to give up other sports. I really wish this was not the trend in Junior sports these days. Eleven years old is just not old enough to give up other sports for just one. It is not like all these kids become big bucks professional stars...it just turns them off of a sport they like because it is just too much. I think Preston will actually try select soccer this fall, but mainly just because that is the only way to get a good coach and a good team, and he would only do it if he was on his friend Connor's team. I guess Hansen's taekwondo is about the same thing, he generally goes two times per week, three times per week with sparring. Taekwondo is not cheap by any means, but they do not travel all over the place on the weekends. Lillie is talking about quiting gymnastics and trying soccer again. If only there were team snacks after gymnastics. She said she would consider quiting dance, but she just loves the recitals and the recital costumes too much. I think Lillie will be a good little golfer when I let her.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Maren is home.

Maren got home around 11:30pm. She had been up since 5:00am Eastern Time, so she got home and fell into bed. Preston was still up when she got home, so Maren gave him a new book she had gotten for him. A signed copy of the second edition of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I is a very funny book. Preston enjoyed the first book as did all his friends.

Maren is very excited about how the ALA conference went. She can't say anything about anything...she will only tell people that her secret double agent number is not 007. She thought the books across all the awards were very good this year and was honored to be part of the process. She was on the Sibert Committee, here is a link to the winners: http://www.ala.org/ala/pressreleases2008/january2008/announce08.htm

Lillie and Maren are catching up on the weekend, the boys are already at school. Today Lillie has speech and Preschool. Hansen has Taekwondo and homework. Preston had Math Club this morning, but he is free this afternoon.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Boy's overnight, Mel's house

Good Morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday we went to Mel and Court's house to pick up the boys from their overnight with Stef. Hansen did very well for himself. He said he got Eight Lego/Bionicle things. He spent his $50.00 along with a bunch of Stef's money. Stef said they were in the store for just under an hour...the first time, they had to go back due to missing parts. Hansen was also able to buy himself a Mocha with his Starbuck's gift card. Preston was able to buy himself a Jamba Juice with his gift card. The boys had a great time.

Mel's house was a work party to get ready for the babies. I helped set up a hot water dispenser and tried to fix a glitch with the garage door opener. John helped with the garage stuff, but we did not fix anything, but we do know it is a spring thing and a specialist needs to be called. Corey stopped by to pick up some heavy furniture, and every one else spent time painting the nursery. After the food, when the painting was getting going, I took the kids home. I am sure the nursery looks good by now. Lillie helped paint, the boys played PS2.

Maren is flying this afternoon/evening. Her plane gets in at 9:30 pm and she should be home around 11:30pm, so the kids will not see her today. I think we can make one more day. It has actually been a fine time for us. The kids are getting old enough that they are just not too hard to take care of. We would much rather have Maren around, I am just saying that a few years ago, it was much more work when she was gone.

Today Hansen has piano lessons and Lillie has gymnastics. We will see how her foot is doing then decide on gymnastics.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Maggie's house, L hurt foot

Good Morning, it is Sunday.

It is a nice quiet morning around here this morning. The boys are at Stef's, Maren is still in Philadelphia, and it is just me and Lillie. Stef sent me a picture on the phone of the boys at her place...just as I had guessed, there was Hansen building Legos and Preston playing guitar hero. I will be picking them up around 11:30, I am sure they will not be ready to come home.

Last night Lillie and I planned to go shoe shopping after the Seahawks game, then to see baby Maggie and her fam. We found shoes for each of the boys, a pair of boots for Maren, and of course a pair of shoes for Lillie. I was happily surprised with the good finds at Payless Shoe Source. The Air Walk shoes and the Champion shoes are nice shoes for not a huge price.

At Maggie's house we showed up to a practical party. There were a lot of folks around. I watched the Pats game. Everyone in the room was rooting for the Jags to win, but by the end of the third quarter it was clear that that was not going to be the conclusion. I like the Pats just fine...so long as they beat Green Bay in the Super Bowl, you know, after Green Bay hammered the Seahawks. I was holding Maggie for 10 minutes. She was very alert for a 6 day old. While I was holding her she did not need to eat or poop, she was happy just looking around. I did not hold her last time because Maren took my turn and hogged Maggie. I figured since she was in Philadelphia, she could not take my turn, but she called my cell phone and had to give Maggie away. She was happy she could mess up my turn with Maggie even from across the country!

Lillie and Camden were playing jump down the stairs games and such. Lillie tried some type of spin jump and hurt her foot. She was limping around after the initial major pain was over. I figured she would be better this morning, but she is still hurting. She can move it just fine, it does not look too swollen, but the bottom of her heel hurts when she stands on it. She must have sprained it. It seems to me that if anything was broken it would be swollen and bruised, so we will give it a few days to heal on its own. But I think we will skip Sunday School today and let her just relax on the couch.

I put my full name, Julian Slane, in the title of this blog to see if that will pop up when I Google my name. If you Google me, not much comes up, just a few running races and some golf stuff. Maybe this will bring up my blog...it is a test. Maren has pages and pages and pages of her work come up if you Google her. I may come back later and edit the title to take my name off...I just took my name off the title, 12/27/08...will see if this is always on google, or if it disappears.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hansen aces spelling test, boys overnight

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

The only reason I woke up by 8:30 this morning is because Lillie woke up at 8:00 and needed someone to bother. I could have slept until after 9:00...maybe. The boys are still sleeping.

Lillie just asked about the party. She is going to her friend Samantha's birthday party today at 1:30. I told her after lunch, she is both happy the party is today, and bummed out that she has to wait another five hours.

Yesterday Hansen brought home his spelling test. 100%. First time ever his has gotten all his spelling words correct. He had made a deal with Maren that if he could get 100% on his spelling test, she would give him one dollar. Well, Maren is not in town, so I find myself paying off her debts. Congrats to Hansen. Preston is not sure what to think of being excited for Hansen getting 100% on his spelling test for once...after all, I think Preston never even missed a spelling word in the second grade.

We watched the Simpson Movie again for the 15th time. Hansen invited Kole who was watching it for the second time. The only problem with watching the movie so many times is that Lillie is now starting to recite lines that are not so good to hear from her little mouth. At least her favorite part to recite is just the very beginning part where Bart's squeaky voice opens the Da da da daaaa, da da da daaaa. That is kind of cute.

Today Stef is picking up the boys to take them to Bellevue Square, then an overnight at her place. This is Hansen birthday gift from her. A stop at the Lego Store is the main attraction and may take over an hour. Hansen has never been to the Lego Store, just the Lego Isle. The Lego Store would test my patience, a test I would probably fail. I am sure they will have a great time. Hansen asked to invite Preston, and everyone agreed. So Preston is also off on the excellent adventure. I think he will spend the evening playing guitar hero while Hansen builds Legos. Tomorrow morning I will bring Lillie to Sunday School, then we will go pick up the boys.

Me and Lillie will be fast and fancy free. We may go shopping after her birthday party and the Seahawks game. I have come to the realization that Preston has only like one pair of pants that fit him (he has gotten too tall...he has been wearing sweats lately) and neither of the boys have a decent pair of shoes. I thought Preston did, but he showed me how the sole is not actually attached to the shoe and the water just flows in. Hansen has two pairs that fit, but they are falling apart quickly. These kids have such big feet! Hansen is in size 4.5, and Preston is in a mens 8.5. Preston's feet are now bigger than his moms! Lillie has everything she needs, but clothes shopping is her middle name.

Go Seahawks!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Blue Friday, referigator repair, surviving.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

Sounds like Maren had a good couple of flights and is now in Philly. By the time I woke up this morning (7:15...Preston got up first today) I am sure she had already been in meetings for hours.

We survived the first day no problem. The kitchen was a huge mess by the end of the day. I stayed up and cleaned it (still not that clean, but all the dishes are done and there is a clean area) during the Leno show.

Today is another Blue Friday around here. Supposed to show support for the Seahawks. It is great fun to have the Seahawks play well, but Blue Friday every Friday gets kind of old. With Seahawk Jerseys costing like $50-80 each, I think Blue Friday also becomes Lets Show Off How Much Extra Money You Have Friday. The kids do have a jersey or two we have bought from garage sales, but some folks really go all out. There are plenty of cars driving around with the 12th man flag and stuff. I suppose that is a little bit of a rant, but I will be cheering on the Seahawks to beat the Packers this weekend.

The refrigerator repair person is scheduled to install the new control box on the fridge today. It is the same one that has been replaced in the past. I hope I get a decent repair person this time who knows about the next step in the process of getting a refrigerator (maybe a different one) that works on its own.

Today is Hansen's first sparring class of this session. He is looking forward to that. After sparring, I may have to take the kids to Target to let them spend some of their money. I have kept them from the stores all week because of school and stuff, but I guess today is Friday.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Maren has left for her trip, Hansen's homework.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

It is so rainy this morning and last night, it is amazing I got in a round of golf without getting wet yesterday. I played just fine, and had a fun time. Since around 8 pm last night, it has been hard rain non stop.

Maren is on the road to Philadelphia as of 6 am this morning. She will be home late Monday night. That makes for five long days at our house...we will see what type of trouble we can get into while she is gone. We made a last minute run to the store last night to buy her some noise canceling head phones for the airplane. They are amazingly cheap for such cool technology. I sure would have liked to have some of those on my flights to Florida and back a couple of months ago.

Today Hansen has an appointment with the ear doc to see about taking out his ear tube. He has has a permanent one in for the last few years which has been great, but it may be time for it to come out. Hansen also has taekwondo.

Last night I had Hansen with me at Lillie's gymnastics class. He had some homework to do before he was allowed to play his game boy. Spelling and sentence writing...talk about torture for an eight year old. His sentence for the spelling word "hate" was: I hate homework! The care and legibility of his homework, as well as the treatment of the paper during his homework rage is sure to impress his teacher.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pictures...daily blog below

Today you get an extra blog...a picture blog. The daily blog is the entry blow. The first picture is from last night. Lillie and Maren are holding baby Maggie, Hansen is looking on. The second picture is also from last night, Preston holding baby Maggie. And the third picture is from a few days ago. The crown Hansen's teacher made for his birthday.


Visited Baby Maggie

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night we visited baby Maggie. Amy and Maggie went home from the hospital in the morning, and we visited in the evening. Maggie is a very cute, and very little. She is about six and a half pounds? She has perfect little features. She was dressed in a pink hat, pink onesie, and a pink blanket. So cute! When we showed up she was just sleeping in her dad's arm. Lillie and Maren got to hold her first. Preston surprised me by wanting to hold her next. Then Hansen had a turn. After Hansen had his turn, Maren snapped Maggie back up and monopolized her for the next 20 minutes. Maren took my turn, and did not feel bad about that for a second. I took lots of pictures. Maggie was a perfectly agreeable baby the whole time. Fussed for just a second here and there, but never was even bothered by the kids flying around her...and they were literally flying, doing all kinds of gymnastics moves and jumping down stairs and such. Camden was delighted to have a kid entourage to goof off with.

This morning the furnace repairman is scheduled to show up. The furnace did not work correctly for a few days in a row, then I made an appointment to get it fixed, now it is working again. I am not canceling the appointment, or it will surely not work. It can have a check up if nothing else.

Maren is frantically preparing for her trip. I think these big committees can add years to one's life. Good thing Maren is just a kid. She leaves tomorrow morning and is headed to Philadelphia, which for the last week or so has been considerably warmer than we are here.

Today we have me going golfing, Preston in gymnastics, and Lillie at dance class. Hansen has a ton of homework he needs to catch up on. We let him slide a little the last couple of days, so today is catch up day. He has homework packets that are due at the end of the weeks. Preston does not really have that type of thing, rather he finishes unfinished work, and does big projects.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

missed bus, piano lesson.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday Maren came home an hour early, not to come home early, but because she had an evening meeting not to far from home, so she came home for a few minutes to even out the meeting time. It was nice she was home, because I got a call from Preston that he, Hansen and their friend Alec missed the bus. Preston told me that they had a substitute teacher that let them out a minute late, then they had to walk all the way around the school to get Hansen, then the bus was the first one to leave when it usually is one of the more middle buses. All this adds up to missing the bus. Well, the boys did just as they should, they went to the office to call me to pick them up. Sounds like they got an ear full from the principal, who then called the substitute teacher and gave her an ear full as well. When I got to the school, the boys were coming over to the car along with their friend Mason and his mom, Michelle who is an old High school friend of mine. Well, it turns out that Michelle was the substitute teacher that let Preston out late, and in turn got an ear full from the teacher. She said that she just had them after the bell rung for one minute to tell them that they were the best class she has ever sub'd for. Sounds like the minute they were late, and the minute the bus left early, and the slow speed the boys walk, all just added up to a missed bus.

Preston and Alec kind of thought it was a fun little adventure. Hansen was worried that he would miss his first ever piano lesson. Well, the car goes so much faster than the bus (as it does not stop every two minutes) that we were home just 5 minutes later than the boys would normally get home. Hansen was fine for his lesson, which he enjoyed. I brought Hansen over to his 5:00 lesson. His teacher is our neighbor, and she is an excellent piano teacher. His lesson started a few minutes late, and she then brought him home ten minutes early and said he had done a great job and they ended early. On the surface that sounds great. Glad he is doing well, great he is learning piano, but I can say that if I was giving a kid a 30 minute golf lesson, started late, then ended ten minutes early...and charged the price for a 30 minute lesson, it would not go over well. I guess I will see if this is a trend before saying anything. Even if they are done 10 minutes early, you would think they would just go over the same stuff, or talk about the weather or play a card game or he could just watch her play for 10 minutes to get a feel for the piano, but to go home so early seems not so good to me.

Today is another very busy day with math club, speech class, Taekwondo, and Maren working a couple hours late due to meetings up north. We hope to see baby Maggie soon.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 07, 2008

cold, H-last party, Amy's has her baby.

Good Morning, it is Monday.

And a cold morning. There is plenty of snow on the ground, luckily for the kids and Maren it is not on the roads, but everything else is white...and our furnace for some reason just will not work. Looks like a call to the Sears folk AGAIN. Fire logs in the fire place and the gas fire place have gotten the house up to 62 degrees...toasty!

Yesterday was Hansen's last birthday party. He had a great time. The only person missing was Stef, because she was hanging out with Cousin Amy in the hospital. Amy finally had her baby last night. A little girl named Maggie. A big congrats to the whole family. We will hopefully get to meet Maggie in a day or two. Lillie will be going nutty. She said she just can't wait to be a big sister...we quickly corrected her...a cousin! Lillie just hopes that Hansen treats Maggie like a little cousin, not a little sister. Because in Lillie's opinion, Maggie does not need to be pushed around and annoyed by a big brother. Too bad for Maggie, I am confident her big brother Camden (5 years old) will have no problem pushing and annoying her for the next 10 years or so.

Today is Hansen's first ever piano lesson. He is very excited to learn to play the piano. Lillie has gymnastics, and Preston has a Guitar Hero day!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hansen's final party.

Good Morning, it is Sunday.

There is snow on the ground, but it is not sticking on the roads. Looks like that will be the weather trend for a few days.

Yesterday was the calm day between parties. Today is Hansen's final birthday party. Today's party is just family. Maren made a very cool birthday cake that is the shape of a LEGO block. Should be yummy. It will be interesting how many show up for the party because Maren's cousin Amy has been in the hospital since Friday evening trying to have a baby. She has not had her baby yet, but they have not sent her home either. We will just go along as planned unless plans change.

The Seahawk game seemed a lot closer than the score indicated. At least they won. Kudos to Jacksonville for not quitting. I did not see much of that game, but they came back from way behind to win.

Today it will be Sunday School, Church, Lunch, Hansen's birthday party.

See you tomorrow.

PS. I spelled every word correctly in today's blog...that is a first!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Hansen's Chuck E Cheese party.

Good afternoon, it is Saturday.

Well, finally getting going. The computer did not work this morning, so I reset it a few times like the computer guy did, and an hour later, finally got it going. The refrigerator is not working perfectly still, and this morning the furnace was not working either...I had to reset it as well. Sometimes it feels like we live in a Bermuda Triangle of sorts when it comes to our appliances.

Last night was a very fun time for the kids. I took them and Hansen's friend Kole to Chuck E Cheese for dinner and fun. Each kid got 25 tokens, refillable pop, and a large Pizza to split. Lillie was off like a dart. She started by climbing in the big toys, then went on to using her tokens for rides and such. Hansen and Kole were going every witch way trying for tickets to trade in for prizes. Preston happened to hit a jackpot on a ticket game and won 250 tickets. It was like Vegas or something. It took a couple of minutes for the machine to spit out 250 tickets. I just sat at the table and tried to avoid the madness.

Afterwards we came home, had some cake and ice cream, opened the gift from Kole, then settled down and watched the Simpson Movie. The Simpson Movie had not gotten old yet. Kole had never seen the movie and said it was the funniest movie he has ever seen.

Hansen, Kole, and Preston finally went to sleep around 1:00am. Hansen is sitting building a bionicle set he got for his birthday.

In a short time we will watch the Seahawks hopefully beat the Redskins to advance in the playoffs.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Hansen's birthday-uncle Corey visits, computers back.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

I am using my old computer!!! Yesterday the computer guy (Kevin) who works on Ostergard computers stopped by and reset my computer. I should have been able to do the same thing myself, have done it on old computers, but I was worried about loosing photos and stuff this time. Money well spent, my computer is back up.

Hansen had a great birthday party. He even got a surprise guest that made his little birthday day party extra fun. Uncle Corey stopped bye. Corey was originally going to come visit on Saturday, but he is going to the Seahawk play off game, so last night worked just fine. We were just happy to have him stop by. Lillie told me ahead of time that I would be chopped liver while Corey was over, but after he left she would like me again. That was pretty accurate. I had to take Corey with me to pick up pizza just to give him a break from Lillie hanging from his neck. Corey brought the boys the coolest gift, (I may have to inherit one of them) along with a cool Nerf gun for Hansen's birthday, he brought actual construction hats, made with the Seahawks Logo. Who knew construction workers could have NFL logo head wear. And Lillie got a pink Seahawks ball cap. Hansen's first party was a success. Oh yes, Maren and I had a very nice anniversary as well (in small letters, as it was a side note to Hansen's birthday party).

Today is Hansen's class field trip to the Seattle Children's Theatre to see the play The Never Ending Story. I think he will really enjoy it. Then tonight he has Kole spending the night and we are going to Chuckie Cheese for his Birthday. He chose to have just one friend go with him to Chuckie Cheese, then spend the night, as opposed to a bigger friend party with no one spending the night. Then if that is not enough, Sunday is his big family birthday party. I guess you only turn eight once.

This morning is very windy and very rainy. Not crazy cold yet, they say it may snow tomorrow? Maybe they are just hyping everything up for the Seahawks game.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hansen's 8th birthday, Maren and Julian 17 year anniversary.

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

Today is Hansen's 8th Birthday. Today is also Maren and Julian's 17 year wedding anniversary. Tonight we will celebrate Hansen's birthday! I have a feeling that Hansen will wake up the same exact kid he was yesterday...but maybe, just maybe, he will be able to brush his teeth and pick out his clothes by himself. We all have our dreams. Today is also the first day back to school for the kids. Hansen will bring Hostess Cupcakes to share with his class. I think because of the cupcake thing, he is actually happy to be going back to school. His choice of dinner for his birthday is Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Pizza from Pizza Hut. I will pick that up for him during Taekwondo.

Maren has said that on year 20 she wants a party. Not just a little party in the house where you hang up a streamer, but a big party where you rent a banquet room and invite everyone you know to party. We have a few years to plan that. If anyone has any great ideas over the next couple of years, I am open to suggestions.

Yesterday Lillie had dance class and Preston had gymnastics. They both were very happy to be back to their classes. Yesterday I golfed 9 holes at Elk Run. The Seattle Times wrote a big article about the land swap that will close down Elk Run in a year or two. Other than the owner, I have probably spent more time at that course than anyone else. It will be sad to see it close down, but there should be enough courses around here to absorb the golfers. I am not sure where I will golf my weekly games when Elk Run closes. I don't really like the harder courses, and the easier ones are too easy. I will figure something out. There may still be some fight by the homeowners about the course turning into condos, but is sounds like the King County big wigs have made up their minds. I played 9 holes, played OK.

Today the computer guy is coming out to our house to see about fixing my computer. I have started to get used to the laptop, but I hit weird buttons at weird times. Maybe that is not such a change, but I will be happy to have my desk top computer working again.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

not much

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Up early because Maren is back to work today. I think she is happy to be going back to work. If only work was from like noon to 3:00pm.

It is so rainy today and last night...the forecast says even more rain this week. Yuck. It has been three weeks since I have golfed, so today when the Ostergards come out, I am going golfing regardless of the rain.

Today is the last day of vacation for the kids. This evening Lillie has dance class, and Preston has gymnastics, so we should be able to get back into routine without too much trouble.

Last night we (me and the boys) watched Spiderman 3. I thought it was a good movie. I think I liked Spiderman 2 a little more? I don't know, the parts were Parker had his evil suit on and thought he was cool, were just too awkward.

Well, not much to blog about today, see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday. Happy 2008!

Lillie just could not stay awake past 10:30. We did watch the NY new years at 8:00 so she got to see some excitement. I wanted to see that kid (in Vegas) jump his motorcycle 320 feet. I don't think you can really see how crazy that is on the TV...and it looked pretty crazy on TV. The boys had no trouble staying up. The just played Nintendo and goofed off. At midnight, we had some sparkling cider, made some noise, and went outside and did some sparklers. The boys ran around the culdesac with their sparklers yelling Happy New years. We were the only ones out in our whole culdesac. The other streets in the neighborhood saved some very good fireworks and it looked like the 4th of July all over again for ten minutes or so. The Space Needle did not go off right...that was kind of funny watching the newscasters make up stories as we watched a Space Needle without fireworks for a few minutes.

The boys have not come down stairs yet...I just yelled for them and they are kind of awake. They were mad that I wanted lights off at 1:00 am. They seemed to think they should just party for the entire night. Back to school in a few days, that will sober them right up.

Here is one for you. One of Hansen's best friends who is 9 or 10 years old has an x-box 360 and is allowed to play Halo 3 as much as he wants as well as other war games that are rated M. Yet he can not watch the Simpson Movie because of the fowl language. Maren says that some folks see war games as a very black and white, good vs. bad type of thing, so in their opinion, they are not so bad. But movies with fowl language (and the Simpson Movie has some) are just not acceptable. Seems not on plane to me, some of the games like Halo 3 have you kill violently and then you like see death in the people's eyes you killed, and that is fun? Not fun for me to play, but I do know that many folk love those games. I just go by the ratings. M ratings, not for 10 year olds. A few bad words in the Simpson Movie, it is not like the kids don't know them all anyway. That is my parenting rant for the day.

Hope you had a nice time ringing in the new year. See you tomorrow.