Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lillie's Preschool Graduation.

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

Last night was Lillie's graduation from Preschool. The folks at Sunshine Mountain did a great job. The room was covered in the kid's artwork and the chairs in the front of the room were arranged in a semi-circle with each kids name on a chair. The kids were introduced one by one and sat in their chairs. Then there were a bunch of very cute (and very loud) songs sung by the kids, some with fancy props like dog ears or fancy sunglasses. After a bunch of great songs, the kids were then brought up one by one, given a Sunshine Mt. certificate, while the teacher told the audience what the child wanted to be when they grew up (the teachers must have asked the children in advance just for the ceremony). Lillie said she wanted to be a Firefighter when she grows up...last night she did say that she may change her mind. One little boy had announced that he wanted to be a butterfly. It was a great event. I did video the ceremony and maybe I will put some of it on the blog one of these days.

Before the graduation, John and Carol brought us all out to dinner. We went to Carl's Jr. and it was very nice, thanks John and Carol.

During the day I golfed at Fairwood CC. The course was in great shape and I had a few stretches of very good golfing. I always enjoy golfing Fairwood as the course is always in good shape and that is where I played High School golf and worked at one of my first jobs when I would pick up range balls and clean member's golf clubs and such.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, May 30, 2008

bicycle training, Rock Band, annoying evenings.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday Lillie and I worked for awhile on her learning to ride a bicycle without training wheels. She is so ready to learn to ride, and she has great balance, and she can ride the bike...she is just scared. I don't know how much farther we will get in the next few days as she has kind of lost confidence in me to hold on to her while she is riding. I tend to let go of her and let her just ride...and she rides just fine until she realizes no one is holding on to her, then she freaks out and lets out bone chilling shrieks. We will keep working on it little by little. I got her to go 4 runs down the gentle back yard slope with out me holding on (her just pushing herself and trying to pick up her feet a little) by offering her a root beer flavored Popsicle. I am sure by the middle of summer she will be cruising around on two wheels.

Yesterday we finally go Rock Band. It had all the parts. The old one was obviously opened somewhere along the line and the game and drumstick (which are sitting right on top in a little indentation) were taken. Who knows if it was at the company or in transit, but looking at the new box an its packing, it is clear some foul play may have happened. Anyhow, we have the game and I had it set up when the kids got home from school. Last night Preston was on the guitar, I was doing drums, and Maren was singing...it was fun. Hansen is also very good at the singing and getting good on the guitar. Lillie loves to sing, but since she can't read, she just holds the mic and sings whatever she feels like singing. Rock Band is a very fun game. If only the game parts were not so big. There is really no putting the thing away.

This paragraph is about how loud and annoying our house is in the evenings. OK, so we call all the kids in at 8:00pm if they are not in already. Last night Hansen was still out at 8:00pm playing with Kole, and the others came in 15 minutes earlier. We try to watch an agreeable kid show from 8:00 to 8:30 (we are talking school nights) then brush teeth, have time to read, then go to bed. Well, we can never agree on an agreeable kid show, so Preston goes to the kitchen to watch on the little TV. Just to be extra annoying, Preston gets out his clarinet and practices it loudly and sometimes off key during the commercials on his show...do you think that lines up with the show in the living room...no. Hansen begs and whines for more food. You see, he did not eat his dinner (he hardly ever does) and then is starving at bed time. Some times if he actually did eat some of his dinner, I will give him bread roll or let him get his own slice of bread, and a glass of milk. Other times if he did not eat any dinner (usually I will let him know that if he does not try the food we are having, then he will get no food in the evening) then he can have a glass of milk with his vitamin and just be starving to death until he is eligible for breakfast in the morning. Ok, so Preston is watching his own show (some bad teen show like Zoe 101 or something) and playing the clarinet, Hansen is begging for food and not being pleasant about it...where is Lillie you ask? She is usually being good with one exception...she like to invade Hansen "spot" on the couch just to make him mad...and it always works. All she has to do is let the hem of her dress up dress touch his spot and he goes nutty, so she is constantly putting a foot in his spot or her finger or her dress or something. She is able to get her jabs in just fine. Then we finally settle down, get Preston to stop playing the clarinet, turn of the TVs, get ready to read a book or two when somehow Lillie and Hansen are always able to get the party started all over again with a perfectly aimed fart or two. And that is where the story ends, you can figure the fart warfare on your own...it is hard to get the littles to bed when they are rolling on the ground laughing.

Tonight is Lillie's Preschool Graduation party at school. It should be very fun, I need to charge the video camera.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kindergarten round up, Hansen's class play.

Hansen and Anessa.
Hansen and the other Wisemen.
Just Hansen.
Good Morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was Kindergarten Roundup for Lillie. Lillie was so excited to go that we ended up there 15 minutes early. I tried to get her to walk slowly and stuff, but not happening. We sat next to her friend Allison. They took the kids and let them do fun projects that also helped the teachers assess how they were in their learning. Games like put your red Fruit Loop in the matching colored triangle. Lillie said she got all the questions correct. She also got to draw a self portrait of herself. When it was time to take it home, it turned out that the teachers kept her original and gave her back a photo copy. Lillie was so freaked out because the photo copy was in black and white. She kept saying "why did they take the color out of my picture?" She did not really understand, and the nice yellow hair she drew did not come through in the photo copy. The round up took a very long time as when talking to the parents everything any educator said to the group had to then be translated into Spanish. I would guess that 1/3rd of the parents in the group benefited from the translating. Maren had been telling me that the number of Spanish speaking families in the are was so high, I just never believed her. The interpreter seemed like she was doing more than just interpreting, at one point the health teacher stopped the interpreter to tell her that she had not talked about what the interpreter was saying just yet...I think the Spanish speakers may have gotten a more in depth information. Go figure. I think this summer I may try to teach the kids some Spanish so they can understand the kids around them a little better.

Last night was Hansen's First/ Second grade musical. The performance was called Three Of A Kind. There were performances from the Three Pigs, Hansen was one of the Three Wisemen, everything was in threes. The background was very cool and all the sun rays and leaves on the trees were actually the number 3's. Hansen did a very good job with his lines as he did have a few solo lines and other lines with his three Wisemen. Lillie and I showed up ten minutes late due to Lillie's dance class, but we did get to see plenty of great stuff. Maren says we missed Hansen's best part, but we did see some good stuff as well. I don't know if Cedar Valley will offer as many great things as Grass Lake does, but as the counselor said when I was talking to her after the round-up, different schools have different strengths. I posted a picture of Hansen above with the three wise men and with his friend Anessa.

Today is a slower day. Only Taekwondo on the books.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

gymnastics, kindergarten round up.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday during Lillie's speech class I helped out in Hansen's class. It is always math time (when I show up during speech) and Mrs. Behrens always seems to be happy to have me drop in, even though it is only for a short time. The kids were doing fractions and writing numbers in the thousands. I usually hang with a couple of kids (not always the same ones) who are struggling that week or missed a day or something.

Lillie got to go to a make up gymnastics class yesterday. One of her best friends from Preschool was in that class...the teacher got to deal with a couple of very happy energetic 5 year old girls. Lillie will get to be in the make up class again next week, but then just back to her normal schedule. Gymnastics only have a few weeks left for this year. She will take the summer off, and I don't know about next year.

Today is a much anticipated day for Lillie as well. Today is her Kindergarten Round-up. She will get to meet other kids going into Kindergarten as well as the teachers. She will be at the school for about an hour and a half. Should be fun. I am sure Lillie will be sad when school does not start tomorrow, but in three months. The weather is supposed to be nice today (70 and overcast) so I am sure we will walk to school.

This evening will be a very busy one around here. Lillie has dance class, Preston has soccer practice, and Hansen has his class play. Should be a fun, yet busy evening.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

a relaxing day.

Good morning, it is Tuesday...but it feels like a Monday.

Yesterday was a relaxing day around our house. The morning brought Maren to the Value Village for 50% day. She found plenty of great bargains, Lillie was a happy camper. Since the weather was nice Preston and I biked around the neighborhood to look for garage sales, but no good finds were in store for us. Hansen had Kole over for lunch and as the weather was nice, most of the day was spent outside for the kids. Maren did a ton of weeding in our room as our walls/ceilings/flooring project tries to get off the ground again...luckily all the house is done, except our room. In the afternoon Preston had soccer practice and I took the littles up to the sand park and the school park to play. I fired up the fire pit in the evening and the kids each had a friend come over to roast marshmallows. After a couple of marshmallows it was just stirring the fire, which is just as fun for the kids...especially when I leave them alone (I left them and watched from the kitchen window). We had a very nice day.

I took Maren's car out last night to put gas in it for her, over $4- per gallon, ouch. They say in a couple of months it will be up to $5-. We have not really changed our lifestyle with gas so expensive as we don't really do any unnecessary driving and our cars are about as thrifty as you find for their categories. We just groan a little louder and try to save $$$ in other parts of our lives. I figure that is the way it will be for most folks.

Today is back to normal for a school day. Boys have school, Lillie has gymnastics, Hansen will have Taekwondo.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, May 26, 2008

a couple of nice BBQs

Craig Vaulting the box
Sean vaulting the box and almost killing the camera man.
Preston vaulting the box and catching a football at the same time.
Caleb vaulting the box and catching a football.
Lille trying to vault the box

Good Morning, it is Monday.

Sorry I missed yesterday...seems to be a trend, not blogging on Sunday.

Saturday we had Maren's old Literacy*AmeriCorps co-worker Stefanie (Stefanie, yes I spelled her name correctly...just like Maren's sister spells her name, is following Maren's footsteps through Library School with the same internship at Seattle Public and the same Scholarship through the Edmond's Friends group--nice going Stefanie) and her boyfriend Dan over for a BBQ. I cleaned out the old Weber and it was working like new. Besides the regular burgers and hot dogs, Stefanie made some very yummy ice cream sandwiches out of home made cookies and home made ice-cream. Dan was a lot of fun and he enjoyed riding our Chopper bike, playing catch with the baseball, and watching Preston show off on Guitar Hero. For the first BBQ at our house for the season, we had a very nice time.

Yesterday we had BBQ # 2. This was Tyler's 8th birthday party and a big BBQ at the Goodspeed's house. Mark used this occasion to buy a BBQ right from the pages of Tim Taylor's Home improvement. This thing is BIG and CHROME. The kids enjoyed the grill for the food, but what they really enjoyed was the new Fire Pit. The new fire pit was very cool and made excellent smores. And what was even more fun than the new Grill and the Fire Pit was the ... the ... box the new Grill came in. Yup. Preston started the game by vaulting the box, then we moved the box into the middle of the yard and all the little kids who were only as tall as the box got in line to vault the box...only they would not really clear it, but wipe out into or onto it. Before anyone would go all the little kids would chant the name of the vaulter. For example "Lillie, Lillie , Lillie"...then she would run full speed and try to vault the box, only to high center on the box, then tip onto the ground. Below are some pictures taken with my cell phone (yes, it is back to working after the golfing incident, phew) of some of the box jumpers. You can't plan a game like box jumping, it just happens. Also played was Bocce Ball and Air Hockey. Tyler got a ton of cool gifts and I am sure he had a great birthday Party.
See you tomorrow.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Rock Band return, Last day Carnival.



Good Morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday could have gone two ways, sad and frustrating, or happy and fun. Glad report that yesterday was much more happy and fun. The morning started off with an e-mail and phone call to get the Rock Band game sorted out. We had purchased Rock Band through Newegg and they were totally on the ball. Their usual response through e-mail only would have been the standard we ship back the product, then they check it in, then send us a new one. That would have been a 2 to 3 week process. They had a very good customer service person that was able to send out the new Rock Band as soon as I had a Tracking Number from UPS that showed the product was now with UPS. So I packed the Rock Band as good as I could (which was not very good as we had assembled some parts and destroyed most of the packing stuff looking for the missing disc and drumsticks) and printed off the wrong labels and headed over to the Covington Office Depot with the UPS store inside. The UPS guys told me that I had the wrong label, but I was able to use their computer to access my e-mail and print out the correct label. During this time Lillie was able to use their coloring books and markers to draw. Between Newegg and UPS at Office Depot, my ordeal went very smoothly. We should have the new Rock Band on Tuesday or Wednesday...way better than two or three weeks.

Next was off to Lillie's last day of Preschool. The class had their carnival day which I had volunteered to help. My job was to be in charge of the "free play" area where the kids went when done with another actual craft. I had bowling, bean bags, golfing, blocks, frog hop, and a Lego table. The bowling and the bean bags were by far the most popular. Golf and blocks were way down the line, and the blocks and legos went untouched for the most part. Other activities were built a wind sock, fished for goodies, got tattoos, made cupcakes, and made a bottle head filled with different types of sand and stuff. Above is a picture of Lillie and a couple of friends on her last day. Lillie will have a little graduation and performance in a week.

Last night Preston went to Connor's house to spent the night, we had Kole over for movie night (we watched Eragon) and had Pizza Hut pizza and American Idol Ice-cream to celebrate Lillie's last day of preschool.

The sun is out this morning and we will be having a friend of Marens from work over for a BBQ this evening.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Last day of Preschool, no Rock Band.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

Today is Lillie's last day of Friday preschool. Yesterday was her last Tuesday/Thursday class and today's class has a different mix of kids as the Friday class was an option to the Tue/Thur and the Mon/Wed kids. I am helping at the little year end carnival. Should be fun. We have had six years of preschool at three different schools, we have done the co-op (Preston for 2 years, Hansen for 1) preschools and the non co-op preschools (Lillie both years), we even did a preschool at the elementary school (Hansen's second year). Each preschool was perfect for the child at the time, and we have ended our Preschool era on a very good note. Maren may be a little sad for a few minutes not to have any kids in preschool ever again, but like the ending of Evan Almighty, I think tonight it will be time to do "the dance".

Yesterday Preston went from the height of excitement to the bottom of despair (another movie reference...when the Turkey was smelling so good only to be taken by the Bumpus hounds) as his long awaited Rock Band game showed up...only to be missing the software gaming disc and the drumsticks. Yup, we have the drums, guitar, mic and we can't use them as we have no game disc. Today will be spent calling companies trying to get this straightened out. Sadly for Preston karma may have gotten him just a little...his unbearable sense of entitlement of late took a small hit, and now he has to be patient as it will probably be a week before everything is straightened out...the only downfall of saving $$$ by buying online rather than just spending an extra $40.00 at a local store. Don't get me wrong, no one is happy that his game did not ship, but the rest of us are just a little more patient than young Preston these days. We normally buy all our gaming stuff at the local GameStop as we did with the Wii Fit, but their prices for Rock Band were just too steep, many places had good discounts when shopping for the PS2 system rather than one of the newer systems.

Here is "the dance" from the ending of Evan Almighty:


See you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wii Fit, Rain, Recital Dress.



Good Morning, it is Thursday.

We did pick up Wii Fit yesterday. Thanks to a lay over in Portland, Preston's Rock band does not get here until today (Preston will be sprinting home from the bus stop after school). We did have fun with Wii Fit. We set up profiles for each of us. The game uses a generic BMI test, and according to the BMI I am overweight and everyone else in the family is normal (the rest of the family do think I am weird and they are normal, but I don't usually get the overweight thing). But then with the agility test and such that calculate your "wii fit age", my age is 6 years younger than my actual age, while everyone else has wii fit ages that are over their actual age. I guess it is kind of a scam as I have very good balance and figured out how to do the test, while the others had some trouble with the weight shift thing...except in soccer mode where Preston was amazingly well over twice as good as the rest of us. Anyhow, it is very cool. The Wii is hands down the most amazing and versatile gaming system available IMO.

Yesterday I went golfing. I did not think it would rain much as there was supposed to be some showers and some sun. Well, I can tell you the the front 9 was fine, then it got dark. A Squall hit us on hole 11 and 12 that was SO hard you could not see. Then it disappeared so we did not quit. 10 minutes later you could feel the wind change directions and the squall came right back over us. Me and another golfer had enough and walked off the course...I don't know if I have ever walked off the course before thanks to rain, but I should have left the first time as my cell phone got wet in a puddled pocket and now does not work. Ouch. It is drying out in a bag of rice and I hope it will work again in a couple of days...otherwise Maren will probably get a fancy new phone and I will be stuck with a pink phone (please work, please work, please work...it is still not working).

Last night Lillie had her dance class pictures. The class was very cute. Little girls in fancy costumes were bouncing off the walls. Lillie saw all her classmates of course, but also a few neighbors who are in different classes she got to see as well. She had a great time. At home afterwards she gave us some poses. The pictures above are at home, with her recital dress and head gear on...she had already taken off her fancy gloves and shoes.

Today is Lillie's last day of Tue/Thur preschool ever in her entire life. Tomorrow will be her last Friday Class (the Friday class is optional and has a different mix of kids and is treated like a separate class in many ways)

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wii Fit, Rock Band.



Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Today is a very anticipated day around our house. We have scrimped and saved for this day for a long time. Preston has spent many an hour begging for today, showing us pictures and bargains, and refusing to buy anything else just so he would have enough money to buy. Maren has been practicing her Yoga skills in anticipation for today. These games are not exactly the same thing, but both in the same world of very cool video games. Yes, today is the day Wii Fit comes out and we have a pre-order on the books from months ago. Also, as it turns out, today is the day that UPS should deliver Preston's Rock Band for his PS2. I am not sure what it says about us that the most valuable and anticipated things in our entire house are video games...hmm.

This evening this family will be virtual rocking, while Maren is yogaing or hula hooping or having some kind of virtual fun. We may have to actually stop in time to see the finals of American Idol. Maren is voting for David Cook, Preston is voting for David Archuleta. I am voting for Paula to say more totally stupid stuff and for Seacrest to get fired.

So, will our family look like the rocking family in the picture above, or the peaceful vision of Yoga? My guess is that if I stand in between the living room and the art room, I can turn and see one on one side of me and another on the other. Maybe in a few days I will have pictures of our actual family and not just what the advertisers think our family should look like.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

pic of Hansen skating, pic of our house.



Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

Not to much crazy to report on from yesterday. We had a good day. Lillie enjoyed her gymnastics class, Preston enjoyed his soccer practice. It was a nice day and Lillie and I walked up to the sand park for a couple of hours after gymnastics class.

Yesterday was an overcast day, it started raining last night and has not let up yet. I snapped a picture of the huge rhododendron bushes out in front of our house, along with a picture of Hansen on his roller skates.

Today is the beginning of the last week of preschool for Lillie. Taekwondo for Hansen.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Soccer game, smoothies and hot dogs, family walk

Good Morning, it is Monday.

Ah, Monday. This has been a very nice weekend, but I am happy to see the weather get back to cooler. Today should be in the 60s and we will not have much sun.

Yesterday Preston had a soccer game in the morning at Starfire. I had all three kids as the littles enjoy the park at Starfire and Maren had gleaning. At Starfire we ran into the Rudolphs. Dad was asst coaching on the field next to ours for their oldest son and the next younger son Mason and their daughter Lily are about Hansen and Lillie's age so it was nice to see them. I took all four kids to the park to play during the warm up and first half of the soccer games. All four got along splendidly and it made for a nicer morning to have them around. Preston's team played very well. They lost 5 to 3, but they got the first goal and had the best team in the league (who they lost 9 to 0 in the first game) a bit frustrated. Preston played forward the first half of the game and goalie the second half. Preston is equally good at each position. His height makes him almost better at goalie as our regular goalie is a foot shorter than Preston and the opposing team started to just chip the ball over his head. That never happened again once Preston was in goal. And the nice thing was that the regular goalie went up to forward and scored our 3rd goal.

After the game we offered to take Connor home with us to stop for smoothies and lunch. So it was me and the 4 kids (my three and Connor) and we had 4 coupons for smoothies left. Preston, Connor and Lillie got Lemon Lime Sublime and Hansen ordered a Mocha flavored smoothie. From the smoothie store to Fry's electronics. Fry's had $0.50 hot dogs and pop for their anniversary sale. The signs said max 3 orders per customer and the workers are just not the sharpest tools in the shed. I ordered 4 orders for 5 customers and he cashier was telling me how I was ordering too many and she would let me slide by this time. The kids were laughing at her lack of brains as we were able to order like 15 hot dogs if we wanted. She was also talking smack with the other workers who could not pronounce Issaquah and just sounded like total morons. Those Fry's workers were the perfect examples of why one should stay in school. The smoothies pretty much filled up the kids so a hot dog per kid was just fine.

When we got home the house was totally clean as Maren worked her fingers to the bone cleaning away. We also did a ton of yard work this weekend and the place is shaping up quite nicely. Unfortunately it only takes a few minutes of the kids indoors to spill milk on the new carpet (that was Preston) and mess things up again. But the place was clean, trust me.

Hansen was begging all evening to go on a family walk because he wanted to wear his roller skates. He brought out the heavy artillery when saying how I really needed to be doing family walks thanks to my belly. Anyhow, Maren was laughing and we did go walking. Hansen is not really quite up to roller skating on walks standard just yet. The wheel on the skates don't do much actual rolling, he sits down over curbs and scoots on his bum. The funniest thing was that he actually thought he should be able to just roll down the big hill not realizing that his total lack of roller skating talent would been his undoing. The second half of the walk he got to ride on the front wheel part of the jogger stroller that Lillie was enjoying. Maren's favorite part of the walk (not actually her favorite part...more of horror on a couple of levels) was when Hansen tried to get off the stroller, his skates flew out from under him and he landed smack on the tire. He yelled, "Owwww oww ow, I just smashed my nuts!" By the time we got back to the culdesac Hansen was back to skating, Lillie was ready to walk, and Preston was the baby in the stroller.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Birthday parties, soccer.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

As you may have noticed, I did not post yesterday...I did not feel like waking up and I chose sleep over blogging. This morning Hansen woke up super early and I was just up.

So what has happened so far this weekend? Friday Lillie had preschool while I taught a golf lesson. In the evening Lillie had a birthday party for a girl in her preschool class at a place called The Bouncy Place. The Bouncy Place was very fun with 4 huge inflatable jumping/climbing systems. The kids jumped for like an hour, then had cake and presents. Lillie had a fun time and left totally exhausted. While Lillie was at the Bouncy Place, the boys and Maren were at home. The boys had plenty of friends to play with and the weather was like 85 degrees.

Yesterday Preston had a jamboree at an Enumclaw Elementary school. The weather was closer to 90 degrees. We all went to the jamboree and Lillie got to play with a friend from preschool who has an older brother on Preston's soccer team as well as hang out and play with Kayla and Jada. Jada was very cute yesterday and chose Hansen as her favorite. Jada who is not yet two years old was hugging Hansen and feed him crackers and stuff. She would not sit on any ones lap but Hansen's. Hansen was very patient with Jada...a side of him we don't always see around our house. Enumclaw was very beautiful being so close to Mt. Rainier and having wonderful houses on huge spreads of land. The problem was the smell. OMG, the stench of Cows and cow farms was inescapable. The folks who live out there must not be able to smell it any longer. Maren is always nice enough to point out (from her science background) that if you can smell something that that something has its particles in your nose...so we had Cow Poop in our noses...ugh.

In the afternoon we had a very nice time in Puyallup at cousin Mile's 3rd birthday party. Yup, from Enumclaw to Puyallup, not everyone uses those two names in the same sentence very often, let alone hangs out in both places in the same day! Miles is a very charming 3 year old who looks a ton like Hansen did at that age. Hansen and Lillie had a great time cruising with their same age cousins while Preston played guitar hero and monopolized the couch. I had kind of missed the memo on how Miles loves Thomas the Train and all the characters from the Cars movie. I had chose a little Incredible Hulk guy for him...an instant favorite for his older brother, Hansen and Camden. Go figure...it does not take too long to get out of touch with the two to four crowd.

Today Preston has another soccer game, but in the afternoon/evening we don't have any plans, we will probably break out the BBQ for the first time of the year and just hang out at home. Today is going to be in the mid 70's rather than the mid 90's which is great. Yesterday broke all kinds of weather records in our area for being so hot so fast. Today will be more like it.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pickle ball, hiccup cure, pool.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday was great weather. Nice and warm, maybe 80 degrees. Today is going to get down right hot. Over 90 degrees here in Covington. I believe it because it is already sunny...it did not look like this until around 11:00 am yesterday.

Last night I played Pickle Ball with some friends from church. The host family lives in a culdesac near Soos Creek elementary close to where I grew up. Their culdesac is a ton like ours with plenty of kids and nice neighbors. Rather than having an island in their culdesac, they painted in a pickle ball court. I played a ton of pickle ball when I went to Green River CC and was actually the intramural pickle ball champion for the second year I was in college (1990). Once I moved up to the U of W, I never played pickle ball again...until last night. I played well, but there were a couple of guys there that were very good. It was fun to play again and it may be a regular Thursday evening thing.

A funny thing happened last night. When Preston was going to bed he had a horrible case of hiccups. Every 40 seconds he would hiccup so loudly that it was funny. He was a few minutes into his hiccup run he was reading in his bed and I snuck up to Hansen's bed and jumped up grabbing Preston and yelling. Scared Preston half out of his mind. He was like "WHAT THE HECK!!!", but a minute later once he calmed down...the hiccups were gone. Preston and Hansen were geeking out that they just thought it was a myth that if you scare someone that the hiccups go away. Maybe it is, but it worked perfectly last night. Preston was just waiting for a hiccup, but one never came. That was fun. Maren thought it may have been a little mean to scare him like that, but it worked, and Preston is still amazed this morning that it worked.

We will have our little wading pool set up again today. The kids use it for violence rather than swimming these days. They try to throw each other into the pool, or try to splash each other and stuff. Gone are the days of happily hanging in the little pool, but they still seem to enjoy themselves...just in a much more violent way. I think Lillie would like to hang in the pool still, we will just have it set up so she can have some pool time before the boys get home from school.

Enjoy the heat wave. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

golfed, grandparents, family night.

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday I had a good day golfing. Won a few dollars from my friends and hit a few good shots here and there. The kids had early release and had a very nice time with John and Carol after school. Arbys and the dollar store were on the schedule for them. Preston pulled off a big no no by inviting one of his friends (Andrew, he is a very nice kid and is no problem, but that is not the point) and putting John and Carol on the spot. I heard that Carol ended up not going to Arbys or the dollar store with the crew because they only have seats for 5 in their car and Preston's friend took one...tsk, tsk. The kids are usually perfectly in line and we have not had to set too many rules for them when they are with John and Carol, but Preston put them on the spot, got his way, and now new rules will be in effect for what you can and can't get away with when with your grandparents.

Maren got to spend a few minutes with Mel and the twins in the middle of the day. She got to hang with Melanie and babies and had a nice time.

In the evening Preston had soccer practice while the rest of us went to Cedar Valley for a family night getting ready for school night designed for preschoolers and kindergartners. First there was pizza, then Maren read the kids a story, then a craft and tons of stuff. There were tons of people and Lillie is very excited to go to school next year.

Today is supposed to get to about 80 degrees, tomorrow about 90 degrees...hard to believe.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

dentist, haircuts, band concert.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

My dentist visit was the best visit ever. I went in to get two fillings replaced. My dentist asked about how sensitive my teeth have been lately and I told him that they have been fine of late. He decided that my fillings did not need to be replaced, rather a few sharp edges that have been clamping into the fillings when I bite down should be filed down just a bit to give them some clearance...and that was it. A 10 minute visit with no drilling. Yahoo.

While Hansen was in Taekwondo we took Preston and Lillie over to Hairmasters for a haircut. I think Preston's hair is still a little too long, but I think Lillie's hair is very nice. Maren on the other hand thinks Preston's hair is very nice, and Lilllie's hair is too short. Lillie wanted her hair even shorter. I told the stylist shoulder length, Lillie said ear length...luckily the stylist listened to me. I think Maren would have liked Lillie to get the kind of haircut that does not actually cut ones hair. Preston's hair is short enough to see his face again, but he still has wings over his ears.

Last night was also Preston's year end band concert. All the groups did a very nice job. Lillie fell asleep, and Hansen was going toward the same goal until the 6th grade orchestra played Star Wars and perked him up just a little. Preston has played the clarinet this year in 5th grade band and I think next year he will move up to the saxophone. I videoed one of Preston's grades songs, maybe I will upload it to my blog if anyone is interested. Preston thought it was funny just to give us a blank stare when the teacher said the kids should give their parent's a hand. He thought that was just so funny...until I told him that when his teacher asked parents to put chairs away and to remember the teachers are the ones grading our children, I figured I would not put away a single chair and just let them give him a B. Nah, I put a way a few chairs anyhow.

Today the rain is scheduled to turn into a heat wave for the weekend. We may see 80 degree weather around our house. Currently it is about mid 40's and raining...hard to believe the upcoming forecast, but I am hoping for the best. Today I am going golfing with my usual group at Elk Run. I have not touched a club for a week and half...hope I can figure this golf thing out. The boys have early release and are happy to be getting home in time to see John and Carol, who will be here with Lillie while I take off and golf.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Maren's day off, Soccer practice.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

We had a very nice day yesterday. Maren took the day off work as she worked on Saturday so while the boys were at school, the three remaining of us (Maren, Julian, and Lillie) went out to lunch at Ivar's and did some shopping at Value Village. Ivar's was great. We were actually on our way to Burger King after Lillie's gymnastics class and the reader board read free kids meal with an adult meal...so a quick turn later and I was eating a fish basket while Maren and Lillie had Chicken. Yum. Beats Burger King every day! Next was onto Value Village. Yesterday was 99 cents orange tags. Even better than 50 % off day. We found some good shorts (it is supposed to be 85 degrees this weekend!!!) and plenty of other bargains. We dropped about $30.00 for well over $400.00 worth (if buying new at retail) of stuff. It has taken me a few years to get into the whole Value Village thing, but now I can search for orange tags with the best of them.

In the evening I took Preston and Connor to soccer practice in Auburn. Practice is at Cascade Middle School in Auburn. It is right next to a very nice (and huge) park surrounded by a lot of nice duplexes. I walked around the neighborhood and watched the Jr. High kids do amazing tricks on bicycles at the skateboard park. Some of these kids were getting like six feet of air, it was fun to watch for a few minutes. I could not believe how affordable the duplexes are. The nicest ones, which were quite nice (two stories with two bedrooms and a garage) were selling (there were a couple for sale across from the park) for only $219,000...the single floor units a few blocks from the park had to be more like $180,000. These duplexes cracked me up because some were very obviously low income, but others has BMW cars in the parking lots with speed boats in the garage. We are not ever moving, but it surprising how affordable these duplexes were, and in such a seemly nice little area.

Today is a crazy busy day and in the middle of it all, I will be at the dentist getting a couple of 20 year old fillings replaced...FUN!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's day.

Maren with her kids having breakfast in bed.


Maren with all her mother's day goodies.


Good morning, it is Monday.


Maren and the local moms had very nice mother's days. Maren got breakfast in bed, and a whole table of goodies when she got downstairs. Maren and the littles went to Annie's house for a grand mother's day lunch with all the cousins, including out of town visitors Ethan, Karen and their kids Caleb and Ester. I took Preston to his soccer game, then we joined the festivities already in progress. Preston had a good game, he played goalie the whole game and did great. The kids had a very nice time at Annie's house...as did Maren. She got to hold plenty of babies and hang with her cousins.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day.





Good Morning, it is Sunday.


Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers...But mainly to my mother Mom, my wife Maren, my Grandma Bernice, my Grandma Toby, my mother-in-law Carol, new moms Amber, Amy, Mel and Court, and all the other mom's related to me and Maren! All Maren wanted for Mother's Day was to sleep in really really late. So far, so good. Of course we will have lots of fancy stuff for her when she finally decides to wake up. Well, maybe not so fancy, but good stuff. Well, maybe not even good stuff, but stuff. Lillie made her some very nice crafts at school, and I took the kids to the dollar store to pick out tons of stuff for her. Preston has spent the last few days lobbing to have us buy her Rock Band for his PS2 for her for Mother's Day. Right. I can only imagine that there is plenty of other things Maren would want for $185.00 than Rock Band.


Happy Mother's Day.


See you tomorrow.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Extra, extra post.

Did not want to leave the other kids out...the last post was heavy weighted to Preston. Here is Hansen in a Taekwondo Sparring match:


video

I don't have a great one of Lillie just yet, but here is a very cute little kiss she blew walking into her Christmas Pageant (I miss spelled Pageant on the movie clip...not changing it now, maybe later) a few months ago:

video

Ok, That was fun. See you tomorrow.

Extra Post...movie of Long Jump.

Good Afternoon, it is still Saturday.

This is an extra post to celebrate Preston's great performance at the Jr. Olympics today. Preston won the 5th grade boys long jump, finished 5th in the 5th grade 75 yard dash, and his relay team won the 4 x 75 yard relay with Preston at anchor. Preston earned 11 points for Grass Lake which finished 3rd of 12 schools. Preston alone scored more points than two of the twelve schools competing. Way to go Preston and Grass Lake Elementary.

I made a short movie of Preston competing in the Long Jump. Enjoy.


video

The next video is a short video of Preston's winning relay team. Preston was the anchor. You can see in this video how many fans were in attendance. The entire home side of French Field was full. Very fun.


video

See you tomorrow.

Dinner at Ostergards.

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

Maren is up and getting ready to go off and teach a class on Early Literacy.

I will be waking up the kids in fifteen minutes to get ready to go to Preston's track meet.

Second night in a row of no one being sick (knock on wood).

Last night we had dinner at the Ostergard's house and got to meet Courtney's cousin Crystal. All the bragging that Court does about Crystal seems to be right on target.

Corey was also at dinner which meant that Lillie lost her mind. Lillie is nutty for Corey and spent the evening jumping on him an stuff.

Time to get ready to go to track. I will try to take a few pictures. Maren has been saying that I need more pictures on my blog...

See you tomorrow.

Friday, May 09, 2008

so far healthy, Hansen's airplane.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

And a good morning it is. I did not have to get out of bed last night to clean any puke. Lillie had me scared at around midnight, but it was just a bad dream. I will take bad dream over puke any day of the week.

Hansen and I spend some of yesterday (since he was not in school) making a little kit airplane. It was made from balsa wood, and paper. We have had them in the art supply closet for years and never made them because they require gluing and the instructions made it sound just too detailed for a short sitting. Well, we had the time yesterday and I figured instead of fancy quick drying clear glue, we would just use a glue stick. It worked perfectly. I had Hansen read the instructions and get everything ready while I did some chores, then we built the plane. It turned out very cool. Hansen was going to never fly it because he did not want it to break, but I told him that we could always build another, and the best part of these planes is flying them. He finally decided that flying the plane was the idea (It flies by using a rubber band launcher) and on its fifth or sixth flight it flew way high, between our house and Andrea's house and it was never seen again. We looked for quite a while and never found the plane. We can't tell if it is in our yard, Andrea's yard, over the fence in the back, or stuck in a tree. I think a mouse took the plane and is now on a grand adventure. Later we built a second one and Hansen and Kole had plenty of fun with it.

My fingers are crossed that all the kids wake up healthy.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Canceling the day, subsituting key words in books.

Good Morning, it is Thursday.

Last night Hansen was up puking again! Hansen is the world's worst puker. That kid looses all control of himself. I really thought he was better, he was fine all day yesterday and went a whole day without even acting sick. Just to be on the safe side, I covered his bed and pillow with towels, covered the floor with towels, and put two puke bowls near him for easy access. Once he started puking, he could not be bothered by grabbing a puke bowl, nor could he stay put but rather sat up and puked all over the non covered place. When I came in I expected to see him puking in his bowl or at least on his towel...But No! All the planning for nothing. I only document this so Hansen believes me that he was the worst puker ever when he is older and does not believe me. The next topic has the word Turd in it...sorry in advance. If you are already feeling queasy from this paragraph, you may want to take a break and come back later.

Ok, you were warned. This is a much more fun topic. Substituting a key word in a perfectly good book that completely changes the book. Well, we do do this (we means me and the kids, I don't know that my Librarian wife would ever, ever approve of this message) every now and then and it makes young children laugh and roll on the floor, so I say it is all good. Here is an example from just last night. We were reading Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy last night as a bed time story. We decided that every time the word "Puppy" or "Dog" came along, we would substitute it with the word "Turd" [you already know about kids and words like Turd and Turd nugget from previous postings]. Now I am not saying that Puppies or dogs are turds, it is just for the story. Here are a few examples. The story usually reads (as the family is looking for a family dog in books), ""What about one of these dogs?" I shake my head. Too big. Too brown. Too plain." Yup, you guessed it, when the word "dog" is changed to the word "Turd", the kids go nutty. Even a simple sentence toward the end of the book after they have found a dog, "Frenchy is the perfect dog for us."...change "dog" to "turd" and kids prone to fall on the floor laughing. Fun times, fun times.

Today was going to be a very busy day. I was going to be on a parent panel for the orientation of incoming Hi Cap kids and parents to answer questions and brag about Preston and the Hi Cap program. Well, with Hansen being sick I had to cancel. I am sure the show will go on just fine without me...and after the previous two paragraphs, they probably don't actually want me at all.

Here is a link to page of another mom's blog who was at the Math Olympiad and took a couple of very nice pictures that have Preston in them. Her son Nick is also a Black Belt in Hansen's Taekwondo class. There are some pretty amazing kids in the Covington area, if other cities have kids like Covington does, the world will be in good hands forty years down the road. http://bitmob.blogspot.com/2008/05/cowboy-boots-and-square-roots.html

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Golf results, Orthodontist, H-puke-fest, Slurpees.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

I got the results on Monday's golf tournament. One of my ams, Jay, won his division and our team finished 6th. That means that Jay wins just over $200.00 and the rest of us get just over $50.00. Congrats Jay, and good for the rest of us as well. We were a heavy bunch, but Jay did a good job of carrying us around the golf course.

I picked up the kids early from school yesterday because Preston had an appointment at an orthodontist to see if he would need braces as recommended by our dentist. I had it planned so I would take Lillie to pre-school, then go get the boys from school as they would not be returning, then after the appointment, it would be off to pick up Lillie from school, then home. The plan worked out just right as far as timing went, but there was one little shocker. While in the foyer area between lobbies at the orthodontist office Hansen decided to get sick. Yup, puked all over the place. Then did not stop, just continued to puke all over the place. I brought Preston down the hall and checked him in while Hansen hung out with his puke for a minute. I had to borrow a few dry towels and a few wet towels and a bag. While Preston was doing his appointment, I was cleaning puke in the foyer area. Great Fun! Some of the office workers felt bad for me and Hansen, others just thought we were carrying the plague and scurried away. After cleaning Hansen up, and the floor, we went in and finished Preston's appointment. The supposed hour and a half appointment took all of 23 minutes and the results were that the dr. thought Preston should wait a year then be re-evaluated. I guess he still has a few baby teeth to fall out and things could change for the better or the worse as the new teeth come in...so that is great, we can wait. We did get rushed thought thanks to a Puke fest, so it was all good...we are that office's new favorite new clients!

After leaving the dr. office, Hansen was feeling much better and we had a few extra minutes so I stopped at 7-11 and got the kids a Slurpee. Who knew that they have Guitar Hero Slurpees at 7-11 stores. I did not spend the extra $3.00 and get the cool collector's cup, but I did not stop Preston from getting a big size of the Guitar Hero Full Throttle either. For the next few hours he was just bouncing off the walls...I did not even think that that flavor was the super high caffeine energy drink. So if your tired and want to be the envy of all pre-teen boys, go to 7-11, buy an expensive Guitar Hero collector's cup and fill it with Guitar Hero Full Throttle Slurpee. Caffeine...Yeah baby!

Golf is off for the day as Hansen will be home from school today. No need to have John and Carol come out and get sick since they go visit the twins on a regular basis. The twins came around at the exact right time as John and Carol have come out to our house to watch our kids on a weekly basis (some years it was more like two or three times per week depending on activities and such) for over eleven years. In just a few months all three of our kids will be in school full days and it will be the end of a daycare by Nana and Grandpa era. Trust me, each kid would trade a day of school for a chance to be spoiled by Nana and Grandpa any day...maybe every once in a while. Anyhow, good for Jack and Avery, and Nana and Grandpa too.

Tonight Preston is going to participate in a Hershey's Track Meet. Lillie has dance class. We will be taking it easy today with a getting better Hamster. Hansen was last sick at about 3:00 am this morning, lets hope that is the last time for him.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Golf, soccer.

Good Morning, it is Tuesday.

I did not get the chance to post yesterday because I woke up early to play in a golf tournament at Rainer Golf and Country Club. The weather was great, as it has been for the last couple of days. Kids all over the Puget Sound area are sporting rosy cheeks and noses from all the sun. My team did pretty good. We will find out later today if we made any $$$. I was going along great until a lost ball (thought I hit it perfectly) and a few crazy tough up and downs. Rainer is one of my favorite all time golf courses, but more local knowledge is required to really play well.

Maren had a crazy day yesterday that ended up at Cedar Valley for a getting ready for school meeting in the evening. Next Wednesday she will take Lillie along for the fun. Lillie is ready for school.

Sunday was a hectic morning as Maren volunteered and I took the kids first to Sunday School then to Starfire for Preston's soccer game. Preston scored the second of two goals his team had, which ended up being good enough for a 2-1 victory for Synergy! During the game me and the littles hung out at the parks at Starfire which was or still is Warren Magnuson Park in Tukwila. Parts of the park look the way they did when I was a kid. After the game we took Connor home with us and treated him and Preston to a Emerald Valley Smoothie, then all the kids to a lunch out at McDonalds.

Today is another very busy day around here. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Math Olympiad.

Good Morning, it is Sunday.

You are probably waiting to hear how Preston did in the Math Olympiad. I am a little embarrassed to tell you as I have bragged enough about him of late for his track skills and such, but out of the approximately 100 kids from different schools, Preston and his three other teammates (teams of four for this competition) won the whole thing! Yup, they came home with the gold medal. Sounds like the entire trip went just perfectly for Preston. Thanks to the coaches, drivers, teammates, and chaperones for providing a great and safe time for all the math Olympiad kids.

Last night we took Preston out to one of his favorite restaurants to celebrate. Billy McHalles in Renton. Dinner was very filling and very yummy. Hansen thinks the Peanut Butter pie we bought him for dessert is just about the best food on the planet. Lillie also loves to watch the train go around overhead. It was a very nice family dinner outing.

Today Preston has a soccer game. Maren has her volunteer gleaning. I will take the kids to Sunday School, then we will skip the main service and head down to Starfire for soccer mania. I will have Hansen and Lillie with me, so I hope it does not rain.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Lillie golf, Preston's off to Easter Wa., Jack and Avery's addoption party.

Good Morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday was a very busy day...but a good day. It started right after the kids were off to school and Preston called from the bus to ask me to bring his clarinet to school for him because he forgot it was music day. I told him no problem and me and Lillie got ready for the day. I told Lillie that we needed to bring Preston his clarinet and we might stop by Jade Green as it is not too far away so I could get a few new grips for my golf clubs. Lillie totally shocked me by saying that yes she wanted to go to the golf course for a few minutes only if she could hit some range balls! I think she was just excited to carry her own golf bag, ever since Preston went to a regular length bag, Hansen got Preston's old bag, and Lillie got Hansen's old bag...which meant she actually has a golf bag. Lillie enjoyed carrying her bag (but she is a little overly worried that her clubs will just fall out while she is walking) and hitting a few range balls. I did not hit any, but hung out with her. She hit probably 15 balls, then wanted to putt. She really enjoys hitting 2 inch putts into the hole. The one foot putts are not a sure thing for her yet, so she just gets very close to the hole, makes her 2 inch putt, then dances around celebrating while say "Lillie, great putt, but lets not do spins on the putting green." Anyhow, after ten minutes we were back on the road home to get ready for preschool. I also had finish packing for Preston's trip to Eastern Washington for the Math Olympiad...which he left for directly after school. Sadly, as it turned out, Preston was stressing about his clarinet because the office staff forgot to have Preston get his clarinet. He called home a couple of times (never tried my cell phone?) and with just a couple of minutes prior to music class called the office and they were like, Yup, it [the clarinet] is right here, come pick it up. This is not the first time the office staff has forgot to tell my kids that I have delivered them something, but I can't just walk thought the building and deliver the stuff because they don't want that...can be rather frustrating.

Fast forward thought Lillie going to preschool, me going back to the golf course to teach a lesson, picking up Lillie, then back to the school to pick up Hansen and see Preston off. Preston was very excited to get on the road (Tonight around 5:00 pm when they get home we will see how the trip went), then we were on the road back home to pick up Maren and head over to the Ostergard's house for an adoption party for Jack and Avery (Earlier in the day they were at the Court House and now everything is legal). It was a very fun time. Lillie had her cousin Clare to play with, Hansen had his cousin Alex to play with. Cousin Miles tried to play with every one in the room at different times. Jack and Avery are looking very good these days. They are getting bigger and happier. Jack was trying to smile quite a bit, but all he can do is point his upper lip and be happy. He was having fun having Lillie tickle his tummy. There was tons of great food as well.

This morning Maren is teaching a class while me and the littles are hanging out. Later we may try to brave Costco, unless Maren decides to go by herself on the way home from working.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Dad's night at Preschool.

Good Morning, it is Friday.

Happy Birthday John.

Yesterday was BUSY. I think I put as many miles on my car as Maren put on hers. With gas prices where they are, I should try not to do that quite as much.

I had a good time helping in Hansen's class room. My main job was to help a struggling student go from a rough draft to a final draft on a small paper about Vultures. I tell you, hanging out with struggling 2nd graders make me feel like a pretty decent speller!

Last night was Dad's Night at Sunshine Mt. Preschool. I went with Lillie and we made a very nice _______ _______to put a _______ in as a present for mom on Mother's day. Yup, dad's night is really about moms. Lillie did the entire project no problem without much help or guidance from me...which is exactly how she wanted it. Some tables were just the opposite with the dad doing all the work without much help or guidance from their preschooler. I also got to sit in a teeny tiny chair at a teeny tiny table and eat an Oreo with a small glass of milk. Afterward I got to hang out with some dads while the real fun happened. The kids got to go play on the play ground. It was very fun, and Sunshine Mt. is a wonderful preschool.

Today Preston will leave directly from school with his math buddies and chaperone to Eastern Washington for the Math Olympiad. Last night he spent his time charging his phone, i-pod, and game boy for the drive over. He should have a great time and he is very pleased that I am not a chaperone/ driver for this event.

Today is Jack and Avery's adoption and adoption party. We will be partying tonight.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Change of schools, girls win.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday we completely changed our plans for Lillie and Hansen for next year. I had previously filled out the paperwork to have them both go to Grass Lake next year, but we kept seeing "signs" that maybe they should go to our boundary school Cedar Valley and just let Preston keep going at GL. This last time I decided to just listen to my gut...so at the 11th hour, I canceled the paperwork to have Lillie go to GL and filled out paperwork to get Hansen back to CV. I think next year will be a good year for the littles at CV.

With the last lines of my blog yesterday I may have jinxed Preston's soccer team. Yup, the girls beat them. Preston was goal keeper for the first half and kept the game even at 0-0. The second half saw the girls score two goals and the boys score 0. The boys may need to practice a little bit more! Preston was saying how the girls team is one of the best girls u-12 teams in the area and they won some fancy cup tournament last year so it was not too surprising they played so well.

Yesterday Lillie had a great day with John and Carol, I had a good time golfing. No crazy stretch of birdies for me, but the weather was great and I played just fine.

Today is Dad's night at Lillie's Preschool. I think we spend the evening making crafts for Mother's day. Should be fun. Lillie has decided to let me take her, at first she wanted to take Grandpa because "he is cuter" then me. But I think I wore her down, and now I think I will be allowed to go. Hansen has Taekwondo. Preston has the evening off.

See you tomorrow.