Sunday, August 31, 2008

M work party, Wild Waves, Lillie's clean room.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Friday evening we went to a little party at Maren's friend Lisa's house. Lisa has the nicest house I have every been in. The house is big and the layout is excellent, many big nice houses have areas that just are not very useful, but Lisa's house has a very friendly layout. Anyhow, the party was fun and Maren got to hang out "off the clock" with some of her work friends. There was a very fun antique ice-cream maker that the kids and I helped with, and enough chicken shishkabobs for the neighborhood! The game room was set up with plenty of cool toys the kids enjoyed and Preston got to showcase his Guitar Hero skills.

Yesterday Preston had a noon soccer game, then a trip to Wild Waves with his friends. Since I was taking Preston (just had to drop him off really) to Wild Waves, I decided to take the littles along as well. Preston came up with this plan with his friends Friday evening, the littles did not know I was taking them to Wild Waves until about 10 minutes before we left. Preston hung out with friends the whole time, we did run into him once so he could tell us that he went on the Timber Hawk, a huge roller coaster. Lillie was the thrill seeker of our group. She talked me and Hansen into going on the Frog Hopper, then she decided to go on the Kanga Bounce all by herself. The set up of the Kanga Bounce was such that only one couple go could go at a time, but singles could get on easily. Lillie just went in the singles line as Hansen and I were not really interested in Kanga Bouncing. The worker had to do some creative measuring to let Lillie on the ride, she was really an inch too short, but the ride is not too violent, so it was all good. Hansen still loves the big slide and the bumper cars. Of course we spent plenty of time in the wave pool as well. It was too cold for me...at maybe about 70 degrees, I hung out on a lounge chair in my sweatshirt. I think it was warmer in the water because when the littles came out of the water, they were freezing needing to either go back into the water or dry off quickly.

While I was at Wild Waves with the kids, Maren was home cleaning and stuff. She could have come along, but she said she was on a roll with her chores and wanted to keep going. When we did get home, Lillie went up to her room to change clothes (Maren had totally cleaned Lillie's room while we were gone) and when Lillie saw her clean room she was running around and yelling for us to come see her room and how it magically got clean while she was gone. Lillie was a very happy girl. She loves to have her room clean, she just does not have patience to keep it clean or clean it herself just yet. Hansen was bummed out that his room did not get magically clean while he was gone. Too bad Hansen, you actually have to clean your room yourself.

Today Preston has two soccer games. Yes, this busy Select Soccer schedule is slowly but surly turning Preston against soccer. Golf is his new sport, and he is only going to finish out the year of soccer because he is obligated to do so. I am sure he will enjoy volleyball and track with his school, but soccer is on the out list. Of course if he was to score 5 goal today and his team was somehow able to win a game or two, this could all change.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Class Lists.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday the class lists were up at both Grass Lake and Cedar Valley. All three kids ended up with great teachers! Should be a great school year.

Yesterday I took the boys to the driving range prior to going to Grass Lake to see Preston's class list. GL also had an open house thing so you could go and say hi to the teachers. Preston got to see a few friends and he had a good time. It helped to be in the class he was hoping for.

After Maren was home from work, we all walked up to Cedar Valley to see the class lists up there as well. We are very happy with Hansen's and Lillie's teachers. Hansen is very pleased with his teacher and I think will enjoy going back to CV. Lillie would be happy with any teacher and any school, as long as she was there! She is so wanting to go to school. She will have a good year.

I have been applying for a few part-time Paraeducator jobs at the local elementary schools. There is one at CV that I would really like, but I am finding that I am overqualified education wise, and underqualified actual work experience wise, and the whole application process is so impersonal (through the service center) that I may be looking outside the school district for a part time job once school starts.

Maren is off work today and we have a party at a Maren work friend's house this evening. Should be fun.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

golf lesson, birthday party, Tony Stewart

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was a smooth day around here. I took the kids to the golf course to practice in the morning as I was teaching a golf lesson. Preston and Hansen wished they had more time [at the golf course], but Lillie would have been happy not even going. For her we had put a couple of pony toys in her golf bag so if she got bored she could sit on the bench behind where I was teaching and play with her ponies. My only interruptions were Hansen needing more golf balls, and Lillie getting bored. My student was getting back into golf after not golfing for 20 years.

After the lesson, we came home to get Lillie ready for Lily's birthday party. Lillie had a great time at the party, she came home covered in stickers from a game of sticker tag and holding (and eating from...she actually shared with Hansen) a big bag of candy that she collected from the pinata. I took the boys out to get a Slurpee during the birthday party just to be nice.

After dinner, Preston had soccer, Lillie was playing outside with the neighbor kids, Maren was watching the Democratic Convention, and Hansen was just hanging out. I was getting house bound so I rode my bicycle to the local Home Depot to return a couple of things I did not need for the flooring project. Because of the back roads and busy Covington traffic, it was much faster to ride my bicycle to the Home Depot (which is probably a mile and a half away) than it would have been to drive. When I showed up there were tons of people everywhere and a line had been created to hold in crowds outside the store. I asked the cashier what was going on and she said that Tony Stewart, the Nascar driver was at the other end of the store signing autographs. Turns out one of our high school age neighbors went through the line twice to get different things autographed. I had no desire to wait in a line with a bunch of crazed Nascar fans to meet Tony Stewart, so I hopped on my bicycle and headed home.

Today is the day that class lists are posted for the kid's schools. Classes will begin on Tuesday.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fred Meyers, soccer.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday we had to go to Fred Meyers to shop for a birthday present. We (I say we because I had Lillie and Hansen with me) turned a 5 minute trip to the toy department into a hour long visit to Fred Meyer. Fred Meyer has if figured out, they have their regular toy department, a few clearance tables, then outside near the nursery they have the biggest clearance section that has toys and housewares and everything. Kids that know of the outside clearance section can stretch a visit to Fred Meyers by a long time, the prices are so good on a few things that usually strict dads don't mind buying a little toy for a buck or two that was once a sought after toy back in the ten dollar range. The problem is that kids don't really know when it is best to stop asking and be happy with what they are getting. They just keep pushing the envelope, and pushing and pushing until a dad can only throw his hands up and say forget everything...not buying a thing. Then it is negotiate back to the dollar thing and everyone is happy. I really know not to bring the kids to stores, I know this. And I actually don't bring the kids to stores just for fun like some folks do, in fact when Lillie did her Kindergarten testing, she did not even recognize the logo for Target or ToysRus. But back to the Fred Meyers visit. If all the toy areas are not enough, they have three, yes three skill crane toys at the entrance/exit. That means you can not get in or out without passing the skill crane. As we were trying to leave and the littles were dreaming about what they would win in the skill crane, the old guy greeter dude for FM came over and was telling them (and me) about how he has never seen anyone win in the 50 cent skill crane, but the quarter skill crane has lots of winners. The poor guy had not talked to anyone for like 50 years or something because he wanted to point out each thing and how it could or could not get snagged by the crane thing. Finally we just had to excuse ourselves and leave, phew.

Yesterday Hansen had his first soccer practice. He had the same coach as he did a few years ago, but did not recognize any of the players. From talking to parents, the kids seem to be from several different elementary schools. Hansen is the tallest and one of the oldest kids on his team, we will see how that translates to playing soccer. On the ouch side of things, a mom was walking back to her car to get a water bottle for her son when she stepped in a hole and broke her ankle...yes, major ouch. She did not want anyone to call 911, so we propped her up with her foot up on a chair, another person had a first aid kit with a cold pack. Her husband showed up a half hour later and picked her up. I would assume a trip to the hospital was in order, but who knows. We will see next week at soccer practice.

I would have ended my blog right here, but I stopped blogging to walk Maren out to her car as she was leaving for work. Right in middle of the garage I stepped in a big pile of either cat puke or cat poop...I can't really tell. I know Ranger was accidentally locked in the garage last night, so it could be either. I can only tell you that I was bare footed and I was gagging when cleaning my foot and the floor. I will be hoping for a few days without yucky stuff to begin soon. Shudder.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Golf, Dahlia named Maren, sink troubles.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Did you miss my blog yesterday? My alarm went off just after 5:00am, and even though this blog is titled Early Morning Blog, 5:00am felt closer to the middle of the night...and this is not a Middle of the Night Blog. In fact today, I fell back to sleep and did not even come downstairs until after Maren left for work...so today it is kind of a Middle of the Morning Blog.

Yesterday I golfed Canterwood C.C. and the golf course won. Actually if it was not for just a couple of holes, and a driver that was letting me down, it would have been a very good round. The results are not posted yet, so I don't know how I did. The course is one of the toughest and I may not have been the only semi causality, so I may still make a few $$$. Steve W. played very well and I suspect he will cash, Trevor and Corey...causalities of Canterwood.

Maren's mom showed up extra early to watch the kids yesterday in order to drop off a big Dahlia plant called Maren. It is a deep orange color and looks very cool. How fancy would it be to have plant with your name when your name is so unique that you can't ever find a bicycle license plate or key chain or anything pre-made with your name? Just ask Maren.

About every two months our in sink disposal and the plumbing under the sink cause a clogged sink. The in-sink-erator is just not as good at chopping as it should be and the elbow under the sink has a kind of small opening. Anyhow, usually when this happens the sink will slowly drain after a few minutes and when I take all the plumbing apart under the sink (which I am quite accustom and only takes a few minutes), wash out the clog, put it back together, and be on my way. Yesterday's clog was a bit more extreme as by the end of the day, the water and yuk had not gone down at all...which meant that I would need to be quite agile under the sink, removing the plumbing and putting a bucket under in just the right place and time to catch all the gross stuff flowing. Well, I just did not think the stuff would shoot so far! I change the oil in the cars and know to move the container off to the side a ways to catch the shooting oil, but I guess age is finally catching up to me and I did not think that the gross stuff (it was like a horrid combination of algae and barf, but was actually just fomenting potato parts and other stuff you would expect an in-sink-erator to grind up and ship away without trouble) would actually shoot so far and so fast. Anyhow, I did not catch the yucks in time and although I was quite nimble, a lot got all over me and the floor. Maren and the kids would not even come in the kitchen in fear of puking, even after repeated cries of "help, I need a bunch of towels!!! Nope, I was on my own. And after everything was all cleaned up and fixed, the kids actually wanted me to fix them ice-cream with chocolate syrup...some nerve huh? Well, the ice-cream was very tasty.

Today Hansen has his first soccer practice of the new season. It will be curious to meet his coach and see who is on his team.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Garage sale, pictures, Adam Sandler

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday we walked the neighborhood for garage sales as the weather was great, and that is what we do. Ended up a banner day. The first garage sale we went to was huge, but we came out with very little, but the second one we went to we ended up spending more $$$ than any garage sale this year. It was just a little garage sale, but everything they had was good stuff. I actually bought a decent mt. bike that just needed a little work, a flat screen computer monitor (not hooked up yet-hope it works), a few puzzles that the kids really wanted, some clothes that are nice, and a huge model airplane that Hansen keeps pestering me to build...all for just over $20.00. We had the jogging stroller with us, Lillie likes to find what she wants, then hurry over to the stroller with her loot to make sure she gets what she wanted.

Below are the pictures that I promised you yesterday. This one below is of Hansen with the chopper bike, and Lillie in her cowboy boots.

Hansen riding the chopper bicycle.
This is a funny picture. We watched Billy Madison by Adam Sandler last night (it had plenty of not appropriate stuff, but I just hoped those scenes ended quickly or went over the little's heads). Anyhow, we paused one of Adam Sandler's mad faces and had Preston go up to the TV and make his mad face side by side. Preston was laughing way too much to make a good angry face and I was laughing too much to snap a picture, but the resemblance is there. My mom's side of the family is named Sandler, so there is a chance we are related to Adam Sandler...who knows.

I won't post tomorrow as I will be up very early for a golf tournament at Canterwood CC.

See you the day after tomorrow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

biking, cowboy boots.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

I am the first one up by a long shot this morning. Preston spent the night at Alec's house, Maren and the littles are snoozing away.

Today we will probably hunt out a few garage sales in the morning, and BBQ in the evening. The weather should be great around here.

Yesterday I took the littles on a bicycle ride in the evening. Hansen has finally become very comfortable riding our home-made chopper. It is such a unique bicycle that we always get comments on it. Hansen won't totally admit it, but he only rides the bicycle because he gets all the looks. Nothing better than having kids say "wow, look at that cool bicycle!". Of course the BMX bicycle is far better for everything cycling, except of course, looking cool. I will get a picture of Hansen riding it today.

Last night we bought Lillie her Tap shoes for her new season of dance class. She is registered for Tap/Hip Hop. She likes the tap shoes, and loves the idea of Hip Hop. What she really likes is the pair of cowboy boots we found for her at VV yesterday. She has had them on non stop. Very cute in her pink shirt, skirt and cowboy boots. I actually protested buying them not thinking she would like them as they are black, but Maren said yes, and as it turned out, the boots are a hit. I will get a picture of her in her boots tomorrow as well.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Couch shopping

Good Morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday was quite a day. First Lillie got to go to Cedar Valley Elementary for a Kindergarten evaluation. She did very well, she got every question about numbers and colors correct, she struggled a little with the lower case letters, but overall, she did good in my opinion. Maren took the day off of work and while me and Lillie were at CV, she took Hansen to Albertsons for some great deals. Around lunch time Mr. Jim came over for a visit. Our original plan was to go hiking at Flaming Geyser park and picnic there, but the rain changed our plans. Instead we had lunch at home, then loaded up the van and went couch shopping (a new set of couches is on the dream list, but not really on the short list, we did not buy a new couch). Mr. Jim did not know what he was getting into...but neither did any of us. First stop...The Old Cannery. None of us had been there, but we had heard good things. Below are some pics. After spending plenty of time at the Old Cannery, we cruised up the freeway to IKEA. Talk about a different shopping experience. We picked up a few little things and had a snack at IKEA, and found some very nice couch options. After leaving IKEA I had to get gas for my van (first time since before leaving to Lake Wenatchee!) and a crazed rush hour driver nearly crashed into the passenger side of the van nearly giving Mr. Jim a heart attach. But we all made it home safe and sound.

The family inside The Old Cannery...traveling from Sumner to Puyallup. Annie and Craig were telling us about the two cities thing, so here we are on the dividing line.
Mr. Jim and Maren hanging out with some guy who has spent far too much time at The Old Cannery.
Lillie and Betty Boop.
The kids enjoying a couch at The Old Cannery. The must have sat on 100 couches yesterday...they really did try every one out! Preston has been enjoying his angry face just a little too much lately.
Maren and Mr. Jim at the snack bar inside IKEA.

I am not sure where today will take us.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Mel and Carol.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday Carol and John came out and took Hansen and Lillie out school shopping while Preston and I went golfing. We played 9 holes at Jade Green and just squeaked in our round between the rain. And it did rain plenty yesterday. The kids did get some very nice school shirts, and Lillie got a very cute backpack. Thanks John and Carol.

Yesterday was also Mel's birthday, and today is Carol's birthday. Happy birthday Mel and Carol! Early yesterday morning me and Lillie made a cake for Carol. Not being the cake making expert, I frosted the cake too soon after it came out of the oven and the frosting kept running off and piling on the bottom. It actually worked out great because the cake looked quite fancy as it looked glazed, and the kids (and Nana) enjoyed scooping the extra frosting off the plate with their fingers. The cake looked very good with the sprinkle thingies that were put on the cake, but when Hansen and Lillie helped blow out the candles (luckily we only put 4 candles on the cake, to represent the second digit in her birthday age) the sprinkle things blew all over the floor. The cake was very good!

Today Lillie has a Kindergarten assessment, and Mr. Jim is coming over to visit. Maren is taking the day off from work and we all slept in this morning.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

eating at other houses, driving range.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday I took the kids to the driving range. We also brought Hansen's buddy Kole. All the kids behaved perfectly and we had a fine time. When we got home from the range Hansen had Kole over for lunch. Kole said he did not care what we were going to eat, he just want eat over with Hansen. No problem. Ham and cheese sandwiches worked out fine. Then the kids were to play outside until Maren got home from work as then we were going to walk up to the community center and vote.

Preston was trying to avoid the whole vote thing so he rode his bike to Alec's house so they would take him in for the afternoon. They did, he ended up staying at Alec's house for dinner, then calling at 7:30 to see if he could spend the night...those two always pull that same scheme, but I took pity on Alec's parents and told Preston to be home at 8:00pm. We were going over to Kole and Ali's house to pick up the littles to take them voting with us, when their mom invited them both to stay and play, and eat dinner with them! Good for me and Maren, we got to walk up to the community center to vote without children...that just does not happen very often. So we voted, then only had us to feed, so it was chips and salsa on the couch while watching the Olympics. Next time we can just walk a little farther to the new Red Robin...should have thought of that last night.

I had each kid pause in their follow through at the golf range to snap a picture. Hansen and Kole just could not stop at the finish...but at least they were not falling down. Kole's t-shirt was funny, it read something like "tV iz gudder than bookz"...his teachers will love that shirt in a couple of weeks.

Preston.
Hansen.
Kole.
Lillie.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Reading Program, homework?, vote.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

In exactly two weeks, school starts for our kids. Between that news and the rain, things have gotten a little glum around here. It does not help that all of our summer vacations are behind us and there is just no fun on the horizon around here (ok, that is a little dramatic, but looking at the kid's faces, that is all you see). For Hansen and Lillie, a little relief came from the King County Library Summer Reading Program. Yesterday they had both completed the required reading time charts and we risked the rain and headed over to the Covington Library to collect their prize.

These Vivitar Binoculars are the prize for the SRP this year. Great prize. They have a little carry case, and they have the King County Library logo on them...and they feel to be good, solid actual binocular. This is the best prize I have seen yet for the SRP, and I figure Preston (who has read more than any of us this summer, but was thinking he was too old for the summer reading stuff) will actually fill out his reading chart just to get a pair. Me and the littles made a little guessing bet, I say Preston will, Lillie says he wont, and Hansen is on the fence about whether or not Pres digs out the reading program stuff just to get a cool pair of binoculars. We will not say anything to Pres about it, but the littles will show off the binoculars every chance they get!

The pictures below are of the kids doing homework. Yup, with two weeks until school starts, I am giving them about 10 minutes of homework each day just so they don't totally forget everything. Lillie designed and colored a tiara thing, that somehow ended up being a purse for mom by the time it was all done.


Preston and Hansen are doing some cool flash card games. Hansen is working on a reading set while Preston is working on a math set. Preston was giving me his mad face. You should have seen it before soccer practice, I think I will let the kid sleep in today!
On a good note, our new ice-cream maker works great and we had some very good home made fudge ice-cream last night.
And don't forget, today is voting day around here. We will all go up to the community center when Maren gets home to vote. Next year all our state's voting will be all mail in ballots, so we will enjoy one of the last times we get to actually go to a polling center to vote.
See you tomorrow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lake Wenatchee

Good morning, it is Monday.

We just got back from camping at Lake Wenatchee. Well almost all of us, we left Preston with Stef and Corey, so he will be back sometime today.

So here is how the weekend went. As you know I had my class reunion on Friday night, had a good time, and got home nice and late, like 1:30 am. We then were woke up at 7:00 am by Lillie who was dressed and ready to go camping at Lake Wenatchee. By the time we were packed and the boys were up and ready to go, it was exactly 10:00am...perfect. Got to Lake Wenatchee at about 1:30 and headed straight to the water. Lillie and Preston spent the afternoon on the boats along with many others. Me, Hansen, and Maren spent the afternoon on the shore along with many others. This year we had three new campers as Jack, Avery, and Maggie were there. They seemed to all do just fine, camping in 100+ degree weather when you are only 6 months old must be strange. Hansen had his cousins Tyler and Alex to hang with. Lillie had her cousins Claire and Kyra. Preston went between the adults and the kids. Camden and Nicholas were there as were all the usual adults. We had great food, fun times around the campfire, fun at the giant rock, good company, and plenty of time at the water. About half of us left Sunday around 1:00pm, the rest will be coming home today. Saturday night there were a few thunderstorms rolling through as well as a few rain showers...just enough to keep Hansen from sleeping much. I don't think he will be ready for a tent with just the kids anytime soon. We got home yesterday around 4:00pm, it was nice to be home. Only one night was a little too short, even for us not so hardy campers. Next year we will make sure to stay an extra night or two.

The craziest thing that happened at Lake Wenatchee, other than the usual rock climbing, water fights, cut feet, deflating air mattresses, and pine cone golfing was that we ran into Maren's good friend Shannon, camping with some of her friends. Yup, one trip to the bathroom for Maren and Lillie and boom, there is Shannon. She was in a tent just two sites from ours. When the kid saw Shannon they were just like, "hi Shannon" and moving on. The kids see all the folks they don't usually see when camping and it did not phase them one bit that Shannon was there as well. Maren and Shannon were geeking out enough for the rest of us.

Today it is nice to be at home (Maren is at work), the weather will stay in the 70's, and it is only two weeks until school starts.

I will have pictures of camping in a few days. I forgot my camera so I took a bunch with Mel's camera and Stef took extra pics as well.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

20 year reunion.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Last night was my 20 year class reunion for Kentridge High school. There seemed to be a very large turn out. We all got stickers with the picture from our senior year annual, so I was wearing a picture of me with tons of hair and no glasses...and everyone said I looked just the same??? I also thought everyone looked about the same, so maybe I do. I hitched a ride to the reunion with Michelle, Matt and Laurie which was great. Maren stayed home with our kids, as did most of the spouses of those attending. The reunion was fun and it was good to see lots of folks, I knew many folks from back in elementary school and jr. high school. We just hung out and talked, had a good buffet, and hung out more. The time flew pretty quick and it was midnight before I realized it. I don't need to do a reunion like this every year, but it was fun and I am glad I attended.

Last night was also Preston's last night of Jr. Golf camp. He said it went very well and the 98 degree weather did not slow him or his group down any. I know that when I got home from the reunion at like 1:00am, the house was still 83 degrees. Maren and the kids must have been baking last evening.

Early in the day we went to a few garage sales...walking distance from our house. One sale we ended up at was an estate sale run by folks who were not related to the family who lived in the house. It was different than any sale I had gone to where anyone could go anywhere in the house and make offers on anything...including the house. Not much in that house was newer than like 30 years old. From our garage sale day, we ended up with a nice ice-cream maker, a few good books, and some toys.

Today should be another hot day!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 15, 2008

hot spell, and golf camp.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday was nice and hot around here, lower 90's. Today is going to break all records and be in the upper 90's, probably about 100 degrees F in Covington. Yup, it will be a hot one for golf camp tonight. I will be missing the fun, but Preston will be going. He signed up to be with a couple of kids his age for the round of golf this evening, and they had Kevin, the Superintendent of our course, sign up as their advisor. This is a good break if it comes true because Kevin has all the codes and keys and will be happy to turn the sprinkler system on for the kids to soak themselves every once in a while. This group with Preston is also a good group for Kevin as they should be able to golf themselves and Kevin should be able to bring his own clubs and play along. When in charge of 7 and 8 year olds on these hot days, there really is not much golfing going on...it is just too hot, Hansen made the right choice for himself to skip golf camp this year. Had he signed up, I just don't think he would have wanted to play on the course, walking, in this heat is not his thing. I won't be surprised if there are several kids who don't show up or only make it a few holes. And if the kids are not worried about the temps, some of the parents will pick up the slack for them and keep them off the course.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

golf camp, ice-cream.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was the first day of golf camp. I taught Preston's class, which was a very good class. Tonight I hope to have a good class as well. Just like all August Golf Camps, it is going to be hot, hot, hot. The driving range is gets the scorching evening sun and at low 90's, it will be baking. The kids still have fun.

Yesterday in the middle of the day I put the trailer on my bicycle and took the kids (the boys were on their own bicycles, Lillie in the trailer) on a bicycle ride into town. We had a Coldstone gift certificate from watching the neighbor's dog and we all got some good ice-cream. Lillie chose a good looking blend of sour apple mixed with marshmallows, I had strawberry mixed with chocolate chips, Hansen had a milkshake of coffee and carmel, and Preston had a milkshake of mint chocolate chip. It was a fun change of pace, and a nice bicycle ride.


Today Hansen has a play date set up with his friend Nicholas, Preston and Lillie just hanging out until golf camp time.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pike Place Market, more Lillie sayings.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

I have lots I could blog about, but I will try to keep it short as I feel that I have added a ton to the blog in the last few days. Today is my 300th post, who knew I would make it past four posts?

Yesterday I had a free day with the kids, one of our few totally empty days. I decided to take them to Pike Place Market and the Seattle Waterfront...against their will...but it was worth it, they had good time. Maren was working, so it was just me and the kids. We started at the Pike Place Market, it was very busy and the weather was perfect. Two pictures did not turn out, maybe a dead spot on my memory card or something, but one was of the big Public Market sign and the other was of Preston pretending to pucker up to kiss a huge dead salmon while the fish guy is holding the fish. Below are a few pics from the Pike Place Market.

Hansen and a very tall Totem Pole. At the end of the Market was a free concert at lunch time. We got to listen to an accomplished Jazz band for a few minutes.
The sun is wrong on this pic, but Preston wanted it to look like he was leaning on the huge Totem pole when in actuality he is thirty yards away.
Hansen in front of what the folks were saying is the very first Starbucks Coffee store. One of the highlights for our Coffee loving Hamster.
Hansen and Lillie checking out treasures in one of the little shops in the market. Yup, that is Elvis lurking behind them in the Rock Star Fortune Teller booth.
Me and Lillie enjoying a beverage at the Red Robin on the Pier at the Seattle Waterfront. Hansen did not like this restaurant very much because it was on a Pier and he did not really feel all that safe. The big cruise boat just next to the building was rocking and rolling when other boats went by. We also went inside the Seattle Aquarium for a little bit to check out the tide pools and stuff.

Now for the Lillie sayings of the day. Last night Maren made Tacos for dinner. This is a good choice for Preston, and one of Hansen's favorite dinner options. Lillie does not care for Tacos and was letting us know. She was saying how she hated this dinner and could she have something else. Maren said something to the effect of how she worked hard to make a good dinner and Lillie should be considerate of others...that is when Lillie hit her fists on the table and said, "Well, I am not buying it!!!" The rest of us started to crack up...we are not so good at listening to the bossy girls.

Lillie's second saying of the day came at bed time. Lillie was in bed with her light off and trying to fall asleep. Preston had the Tetris Cube game in his bed and was trying to solve the puzzle, but he kept dropping the little pieces on the wood floor and making a racket. I was telling Preston to put the game away and get a book if he was not tired, and we hear Lillie yell from her bed, "Does anybody care! I am trying to get my beauty nap here!" Of course that was answered from the boys with a couple of sharp "NO!" answers. Fun times.

Today is the start of a three day heat wave up here, supposed to be in the high 80's or low 90's. Of course these heat waves always correspond with Jr. Golf Camp which is tonight through Friday. I am teaching and Preston is attending. Hansen did not want to attend and Lillie is still too little. Maren is going to be on her own the next few nights as Today and Thursday I have Jr. Camp and Friday is the Reunion.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flashback post---regular post below.

These photos are ones I found in a file called old computer pics. These are from our trip to the ocean in 2004. I thought they were fun, so here you go.


Lillie is still one who can do things herself...here she is asking for no help walking to the beach as a one year old.


These three pictures crack me up because just like this year at the beach, Lillie and Preston got into the sand and totally dirty, while Hansen looked for treasures.

Parks

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was a park day. As in I went to two parks yesterday. At lunch time Preston rode his bike over to Alec's house and I decided to take the littles to the park for lunch. I had Lillie ride in the trailer and Hansen rode his bicycle over to the Jenkins Creek School Park. Hansen was nervous for a while and I could not understand why, until we turned to the school park rather than the Jenkins Creek Park, which is just a bunch of paths that go through the woods to a pond that is closed due to constant vandalism. Hansen was worried that 1. we should not be near the pond, and 2. that there could be animals around. Getting Hansen to sleep at Lake Wenatchee this year is going to be a challenge, he is going through a being scared of wild animals that are or are not around phase. The first two pics are from lunch, the last is from when I took Lillie to a park in Auburn called Brennan Park which has softball fields, a play ground, and a skate board park. Preston was at Soccer practice across the street at a Jr. High School where his team practices on a regular basis, usually he rides with the neighbors, yesterday I drove both boys and Lillie came along.


Lillie on the spider web. She scales these things no problem, then hangs upside down from the high bars, then needs help getting down.
Hansen likes to climb to the top and hang out.
This is a funny picture. How many times in your life do you get to swing next to a dog who is also swinging? Lillie was playing at this park and this other little girl was playing a well, they were making castles and swinging and stuff when this old man came by walking his two little dogs. He was nice, but kind of creepy. He thought his dogs were kids and he thought everyone would want to pet them and he (being an old creepy guy with two little dogs) would just hang out at the kid park and put his dogs on the slide and the swing and stuff that to me was quite odd. Anyhow, Lillie did think it was quite fun to get to swing next to a dog, and the other little girl thought pushing the dog on the swing was the best thing ever. This little park in Auburn was quite a strange and diverse place. Over the hour we were there we hung out with a Russian speaking Dad and kid, a Spanish speaking family, a Chinese speaking family, an African American family with the coolest done up hair, and a creepy old man with a swinging dog. On the one side of the parking lot a couple of 20 something guys looked to be dealing drugs with another car, and at the softball field next to the playground was a co-ed church league softball game where the teams all prayed in a big circle for a few minutes before playing ball. Lillie was just playing at the playground and happy to have different kids to play with every once in a while, I was just wondering what would be next.

See you tomorrow.

PS. How many of you noticed that Lillie had on different outfits for each of the parks? This girl goes through more changes of clothes in one day than I do in a week.

Monday, August 11, 2008

cable troubles.

Good Morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday we finally made it to Church. It was nice, we have not been for several weeks. The attendance has been down some in the summer with so many young families as members. Vacations, sports, sleeping in, you name it. Just one more month and it will be back to Sunday School and Church as a normal.

Yesterday our culde-sac kept the cable technician for Comcast very busy. For the last week (since the start of the Olympics) the whole neighborhood has been experiencing very poor reception for channels 4 and 5 on TVs without digital cable boxes. The TVs with the digital boxes have been fine as have been the neighbors with Hi Def. Just the TVs on analog cable have been bad. It took the tech a long time to figure it out because his little TV on his work truck seemed to get reception. The poor cable guy got bombarded by folks when he turned into our neighborhood. I guess digital and analog signals are pumped through the cable lines until the Feb switch. The one tech thought that every analog TV will need a Digital Box Converter, even with cable...that is different than what the cable hype has been advertising, but not really surprising from the way our TVs have been working of late (we have two tvs on boxes, and one without a box). This whole switch from analog to digital may be rougher on more folks than they think.

Today it is back to soccer practice for Preston, and back to work for Maren. The rest of us are just hanging out.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

garage sale, golfed with the boys.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday was a good garage sale day for us. Lillie got some good cloths, and Hansen was given a cool Lego guy and a skate helmet. The only bummer thing about the garage sales was how when we were at our furthest point from home, at the last garage sale (we went to 4 and were probably about 3/4 mile from home) it started to rain, and not just a little, a lot. Hansen was on his scooter, Lillie in the jogging stroller, and Me and Maren walking. We were pretty wet by the time we got home, about the time the rain stopped for a few minutes.

Yesterday Lillie had a few good lines. I think she was talking to Preston [about what TV show to turn on] and he was just tuning her out, when she told him in him no uncertain terms that sometimes he just had to listen to the bossy girls! The kids all have excellent vocabularies, but Hansen and Lillie come up with these type of doosies all the time.

I took Preston and Hansen out golfing yesterday. Hansen's first time around 9 holes. He did just fine. I just strapped his bag to mine so he could just walk, and I made him pick up his ball and move faster if necessary. It rained on us a few times and neither kid complainded. Hansen was on the lookout for lost Tees and a bit worried about wild animals as he saw some animal poop in the woods just off the golf course. Preston also played well. He has this driver that he likes, but it keeps breaking. I have re glued the head once and it keeps breaking, I guess the shaft is not the right size or something, time to actually buy him a driver. Him being the only Lefty does not help his golf club selection one bit.

Off to wake the fam, see you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Closing Wild Waves.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday was the last day for Lillie at this weeks VBS. She had a very good time with Lily R.R. and the other kids. Peace Lutheran Church in Covington put on a very good VBS. There was even a good lunch for everyone after the classes were done on Friday.

In the evening, Maren went to dinner with her friends Julie, Judy, Jennifer and Susan. Sounds like she had a very nice time. It took her nearly two hours to get home from Issaquah thanks to a repaving project on the Issaquah-Hobart road. She just jumped in the van when she got home and we took her to Costco where she was hooking up with Judy and Susan for a carpool. It actually worked out perfectly as I was planning on taking the kids and Alec to Wild Waves for the evening. The weather had not been great in the morning and I hoped that meant a less crowded Wild Waves. I was correct, the crowd was perfect. Preston and Alec did their own thing in the wave pool and on the rapids ride, I sat on a lounge chair and watched Lillie and Hansen, occasionally going into the wave pool and the hot tubs myself. The weather was not too hot or too cold.

Preston and Alec checking in before taking off on more adventures.
Lillie warming up after going between the wave pool and the hot (not so hot) tubs.
Hansen warming up after the wave pool. He loves the wave pool, he as figured out how to body surf down the waves. By the time we got him out of the pool, his fingers and toes were totally pruned up.
This is the kids on our way out of the theme park. After doing water stuff for a couple of hours, we went and did some rides. Lillie likes the carousel the most, followed by the bumper cars (with me driving). Hansen likes the bumper cars the most followed by the huge sack slide. Alec and Preston like the water rapids ride the most, followed by searching for candy at the arcade and bumper cars. May have been our best visit to Wild Waves yet, we were only there for only 3 hours, but we did what we wanted to do and left before anyone got too tired and cranky. The rides all closed at 8:00pm, but it was 8:15pm by the time we were driving away.

After Wild Waves I took all the kids out to Arby's for dinner. Hansen was totally thinking Arby's. We then watched a little Happy Gilmore to round of a good day.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A pile of VHS movies.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Right now we have about 30+ VHS tapes all over the living room floor. Most are Disney productions, others are classic kid movies. Lillie has been asking for weeks to get the movie box out of the garage, but two things have been keeping it there. 1. I packed the VHS tapes away when we got new carpet and it was great not to have a big box of old movies around. 2. Our VCR has been broken, only the DVD has been working. So last night Maren dug out one box and Lillie thought it was great as she had towers of VHS tapes with movies like Cinderella, Hercules, Tim Noah, and more all around her. I got the other two down and Lillie thought it was the best day of her life...she really did, or so she claimed. She had piles of movies organized in order of watchability and rows of movies on the floor stretching from one side of the living room to the other side. Unfortunately the VCR still did not work, so last night I bought a new one. You can get VCR/DVD players for around $60.00. Who knew. I guess the expensive VCR players, like $200.00 actually can record shows and stuff onto DVR disks and such, be we don't need so fancy. So last night we watched Tim Noah. All the kids enjoyed the show, witch is rare these days that they can all watch a show and not have at least one complainer. Helped that They were all exhausted. Lillie had VBS and then a few hours to hang out at Lily's house. Preston did not get much if any sleep at his sleep over at Alec's house, and Hansen had his friend Nicholas come play for around four hours. Today we will have to weed through the VHS tapes and get at least one box back in the garage or else walking through the living room will be a thing of the past.

Today will be much cooler around here weather wise. Lillie has one last day of VBS and a little concert at the end. The boys don't have any plans. Maren will be out this evening having dinner with her friends so me and the kids will be on our own.

Today is 8-8-08. Enjoy the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Pirates.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday I went golfing while John and Carol hung out with the kids. I had fun golfing and played well, sounds like the kids all had fun as well.

Last night after dinner, we (the whole fam) took Preston over to Alec's house to spend the night, then headed over to the library to pick up a ton of holds and look at kid videos. Who knew that we would show up just a half an hour prior to the Pirate concert by Capt Bogg & Salty!!! We did stick around for the concert and Lillie had a great time. At first she was sitting near some kids that would not get up and dance...but you could tell that Lillie wanted to get up and dance like about half the crowd. She finally just moved over to the side where the dancing folk were and danced her little heart out. Hansen found a book and actually just read throughout the entire performance. Of course he wanted to get an "eat a lime" bumper sticker and get autographs of the performers...who he could not be bothered to watch during the concert. It was a fun concert, glad we got lucky to see it. Who knows how many patrons of the library complained about the loud pirate rock band and all the dancing and "AARGGing" kids at the library...Maren says that whenever the libraries have these fun programs for kids, the complaints from the adults who think Libraries should be super quiet places go through the roof. Let em complain. In an interesting static learned from the police the night before, the under 18 population of Covington is about 38 percent. Lots of kids around these parts.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Night Out.

Good Morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night was our block's Night Out to go along with the country's Night Out. We had just over 30 people for the first part where a police officer, the city manager, and the Mayor came by and answered any questions and gave prizes to children who knew the answers. It was fun and we had a good turn out. After the police officer, the city manager, and the Mayor left, the fire engine came by. We had no idea the fire engine would come by, and the party had pretty much ended. There were only like 15 folks for the fire guys and you could tell they had hoped for more. Anyhow, it was a good night out.

In this photo Lillie and the other kids had gotten so excited when the fire engine pulled up unannounced that Lillie crashed her scooter and cut up her knee pretty badly. Luckily the fire guys had all the supplies necessary to patch her up.
Thumbs up after a nice big band aid.
After VBS I brought Lily R. home to play with Lillie. Here they are on the couch watching Barbie and the Island Princess.
Lily's brother Mason was along as well, he is on the right hanging out with a goofy Hansen and Preston in the background. We got this Tetris cube at the dollar store that kept them occupied for quite a long time...infact it has yet to be solved.

Today I will go golfing. Lillie and maybe Hansen have VBS. The kids are excited to see John and Carol as they will come hang out with them while I go play golf. And we should reach record highs around here with temps in the 90s. It is a chilly 73 in the house right now, I am about to close up all the windows and blinds and hope to keep the cool air in the house for the rest of the day.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More $$$ savings, National Night Out.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday I wrote how I called XM Radio to cancel and they gave me three months free service just to not cancel yesterday. Well, I also called a couple of other providers and here is what came about. I called the Seattle Times with the idea of going from an every day paper down to just Sunday. We have been having $20.00 automatically deducted every month for everyday delivery. The had a special where if you order the Sunday paper, you can get the weekday papers for free for 20 weeks, and it sounds like this type of special may always be in effect if you ask? So now we have the daily paper for $11.50 rather than $20.00. Qwest had specials as well that were not so advertised where by bundling and getting "plus" packages we were able to save money and get more services on the home phone. On the wireless phones we canceled the Internet features for the two phones and saved another $30.00. The cable TV had a special as well that let us keep the On Demand Box and go down to 100 channels for closer $50.00 per month when we had a package that had more channels and features for $85.00. So all in all, after making an hour worth of phone calls, and not loosing too much in our quality of lives, we were able to save close to $95.00 per month or over $1,100.00 per year. While we are not drowning in debt, we are certainly feeling the pinch of everything getting more expensive...so those were easy cost cutting measures and the only reason I even put them out there is because it was so obvious from talking with the representatives from these companies that I am not the only one not wanting to spend extra $$$, and these companies do seem to have fall backs to save their customers some money if asked.

Today Lillie had VBS with Lily and may even get to go to Lily's house and play afterwards. Today is allowance day at our house and Hansen has been asking every day for the last week for an advance (which was always a no) so he could go buy this or that...I am sure we will be shopping at some point today.

Also tonight is the National Night Out Against Crime. We are hosting a Night Out for our culde-sac. Basically at 7:00pm we will have cookies and hang out with all the neighbors. Hopefully we will see some we have not seen in a while and have a nice evening. Also a Covington Council member or a Police Officer of Covington will stop by and talk to the group about safety and answer questions we may have about Covington or anything. Should be fun.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, August 04, 2008

decluttering.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday was a productive day around our house. We cleaned out the downstairs closet, changed the shoes all over the entryway system, and got rid of a ton of extra stuff. We are going to try to keep our shoes in our rooms, and the pair we are wearing can go in the downstairs closet. So far, so good. Maren and I just got tired of tripping all over the kid's shoes in the entry way. I also painted the walls where all the shoe marks were, so now the corner looks clean and white again. We have gotten rid of a ton of stuff with all the remodeling, and the house is far less cluttered. The back of the van and the garage are full of bags to give to the Goodwill. Preston thinks we should hold a garage sale, but every time I do that, I only sell the stuff we want to keep, and we keep the stuff we wanted to sell. I only enjoy shopping garage sales these day.

We have also been getting rid of some extra subscriptions to save on monthly costs and just this morning I called XM radio. Maren and I have XM radio in our cars and it is fun to have, but at $20.00 per month we decided to cancel. I called the folks up and in an effort to keep us they are giving us the next 3 month free, then we can cancel again at the end of October. Obviously they hope we will change our mind and keep our old service from November on, and it may just work. One cancel phone call and save $60.00, not bad. I wonder if Comcast, the Seattle Times, and Qwest will do the same?

Off to wake up Lillie and the boys. Lillie has VBS with her friend Lily this week. Should be a good week for her.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Two days worth of blogging.

Live, from Covington, it's Saturday Night!!!!

Yup, I slept in today until like 9:00am and did not feel like blogging.

Yesterday was a soccer day. Preston's team got creamed by one of the best teams in the region, the Rangers. Then a couple of hours later just barely got beat by a team who also got creamed by the Rangers. Preston's team only had one sub the whole day and about 5 injured kids. In the first part of the second game Preston totally twisted his ankle on the turf and could hardly walk, he got to sit on the bench for about 15 minutes until someone else got injured and he had to go back in. The other team had like 4 subs. I think Synergy would have taken them if they had a couple more healthy bodies. It was just as well since they did win their Thursday game and if they won the second Saturday game they would have just faced the Rangers in the final...and who wants to play them again???

During Thursday's game I took the littles to the park to play. During Friday's second game I took the littles to the arcade to play. After the games we just came home and hung out. Lillie went and played at our neighbor Samantha's house and their big play toy, the boys did something, but I don't remember what by now.

Today Preston went with Alec to a skating birthday party for Alec's little sister Avery and had a great time. The rest of us went up to Stef and Corey's new house. Hansen and Lillie got to play with their cousin's Alex, Claire and Miles and all had a great time. Most of the moving was already done by the time we got up there, all I did was help build the lawn furniture, eat and visit with everyone. We got to see a few babies as well. Mel and Court's babies Jack and Avery were there as well as baby Ollie, who is Corey's cousin Carey's baby. Ollie, Jack and Avery are within a week or two of each other and all are very cute. Ollie has amazingly red hair and the hugest eyes. Maren spent most of the day entertaining a very happy baby Avery.

Before going out to Stef and Corey's house, we did some garage sale in the neighborhood. We got a whole stack of plastic deck chairs, a motorcycle model for Hansen, a couple of nice fuzzy blankets (one Bratz, one Princess) and other little toys for Lillie, and Maren found some good stuff as well. All the loot for less than $10.00. Good garage sale day for us.

Tomorrow Preston is going with Connor to see the new Batman movie, Maren is gleaning in the morning, and I may take the littles to church. Otherwise the day does not really have any plans.

See you Monday. Blogger had trouble saving and posting this, so if the paragraphs have strange gaps, that is why.

Friday, August 01, 2008

soccer, slot cars, walks.

Good morning, it is Friday. Summer is half way over, and by the looks of the rain, fall is in the air. I am sure we will get a few good weeks of summer before it is back to school and stuff.

Preston is already gone for two soccer games today. His team won their game yesterday and who knows what will unfold today. They are playing on turf fields rather than on grass this weekend. I think Preston's game is better suited for turf as the ball just goes faster. Playing in position and getting the the right places are more rewarded as the ball just flies. It is pouring rain this morning, and I am very happy his coach is able to drive him as waking up the littles to hang out at a wet park in the early hours does not sound good at all. We will go to his second game around noon.

The boys have been having fun with an old slot car race track I brought down from the attic. They were able to set it up and race it without any help. This particular track is probably 5 years old or so and has one stretch that goes up and down the wall, a jump, and a loop. The cars go so fast that I can't keep them on the track, but Preston and Hansen are able to keep them on no problem. I think they enjoy seeing who can make their car fly the farthest off the track more than just racing them, no surprise there.

Last night Lillie was bored as the boys were in the back yard chipping golf balls and Maren and I were watching Motocross freestyle jumping on the X-games (those guys are totally crazy) and she spotted Adessa (a neighbor high school girl) walking along the sidewalk around the culde-sac just texting her friends and passing time. Lillie asked if she could walk with her, and Adessa said sure. It was cute to see them walking along. Who knows what they were talking about, probably Lillie was doing all the talking...about her Hannah Montana shoes, or her yellow dress, or her this or her that...Adessa was a trooper, although she probably just kept texting her friends and halfway tuned out the little gabber.

See you tomorrow.