Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, picture.

Happy Halloween!

A most anticipated holiday for many a kid. Parties and craziness at school, bags of candy at home. How could it get any sweeter? I don't go to my regular classes on Friday for planning, and as I left one second grade class yesterday, the class said bye to me, I said bye, and have a good party tomorrow. The teacher told me later that it took her a few minutes to get the kids back to reality after the mention of the "P"-word. I guess I still have to learn what I can and can't say in a classroom?

I don't know if the kids will change their costumes from what they had at the waterfront, and it looks like it may rain, but there will be tons of fun, sorting of candy, trading of candy, and eating of candy.

A couple of weeks ago we had family pictures at Mel and Court's house. Mel has posted some of the photos on her blog. We will be getting our own disk one of these days, but I lifted this one from Mel's website. It was actually the last picture taken. We were crossing the street back to the cars and the photographer had us get in order. There are of course plenty of great photos of our family and everyone, this one turned out fun:

From L to R: John (holding Jack), Carol, Preston, Stef, Maren, Julian (holding Avery), Hansen, Courtney, Melanie, and leading the way is Lillie.

Have a fun Halloween.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Carving pumpkins

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night was pumpkin carving night. We bought two medium sized pumpkins and let the arguing begin. What to carve, who to carve, when to carve, buy or sell, m&m's or skittles. Lillie and Maren chose a fun cat that I thought I could carve, and Hansen chose a wolf that he thought he could carve. Preston opted for soccer practice. Lillie and Hansen were a very good audience of grossness when I was emptying the guts of the pumpkin. Then we used a template, then drew on the design, then carved away. I helped Hansen with the drawing, but he did all the carving of his pumpkin. The pictures were too bright with the flash, too dark without.

Hansen carving out his wolf pumpkin.

Lillie giving kissie faces to her cat pumpkin.

Hansen posing with his wolf pumpkin. Lillie's feet off to the left...no, we can't just get a normal picture in this house.

Both pumpkins on display. Tomorrow night they will have candles in them and they should look very cool.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hansen's soccer banquet

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night was Hansen's soccer banquet. The coach had very nice things to say about each kid on the team and everyone had a very nice banquet. Hansen really enjoyed playing soccer this season and I am sure he will want to play again in both the spring and the fall. The picture below is taken at Godfather's pizza. Hansen received a medal and a certificate. If you notice the gumball machines in the background. I figure between these, the other set, and the arcade, Godfather's may do just fine on those machines alone. I have never seen so many kids begging for "just one more dollar" as all the kids, mine included that were at the banquet...at least not since the last banquet. Way to go Hansen on your good soccer season.


Tonight should be a calm night around the house. Since Preston has started Volleyball on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, he will not be attending Wednesday late night soccer practice. That means that once he is done with his homework he will probably be out on his skateboard trying to prefect a toe flip or a kick flip or some other cool trick. His next purchase will probably be a portable grind bar that he can keep next to the house. Hansen and Preston were out in the garage (until just late enough to get on my nerves last night) doing skateboard tricks.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pics and stuff

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Below are some pictures from this weekend. Not a single picture of Hansen without his "Jason" mask on. Hansen was Return of Jason, Lillie was an Ice-Princess, and Preston was Napoleon Dynamite. There are more pictures from the weekend on Mel and Court's website, there is a link on the lower left of my blog that I have titled (I think incorrectly?, the blogsite is titled Jack and Avery) Ostergard-Cunniff Family .

Hansen, Lillie and Preston in the Seattle Aquarium.
Lillie checking out the starfish.

Preston and Lillie and a big wooden pose thing.


Lillie throwing leaves in the back yard.



Lillie loving her big pile of leaves. The boys were to busy playing Nintendo to be bothered.
Today is another busy day. Maren works until like 9:00pm at night. Hansen has his Soccer Banquet. Preston has his first Volleyball practice.
See you tomorrow.




Monday, October 27, 2008

We did everything on Friday's list and more.

Good morning, it is Monday.

I did not wake up early this morning, hitting the sleep mode on my alarm clock 4 times. So I am keeping this blog entry short and sweet.

We did do everything on our weekend list and more. We also fit in:

-Preston found a ride to his Boo Bash.
-Maren and Lillie checked out the new Costco on opening day.
-Hansen got in his trip to Fred Meyers. And for the first time ever in his life, he voluntarily saved some of his money so he could have a certain amount next week.
-Lillie got to help me rake leaves, and jump in leaves, then fill up big plastic pumpkin bags with leaves.
-Preston went to Nollies, bought a new deck for his skateboard, and we put it together.
-I took the boys to the driving range.
-Lillie got to play at Ali's house for an hour.
-Maren got a little time to herself...and she did chores.

So it was maybe the busiest weekend we have had in many moons. I will try to write about the fun at Fright Fest, the Waterfront, Preston and Hansen's soccer games, Camden's birthday party, the CV carnival, and the Halloween Party another time as I am out of time. I was so sick on Friday and Saturday, that I was an Advil Zombie, but I was feeling mostly better on Sunday. The kids are having a hard time waking, so I am out of here.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Our schedule.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Check out our crazy schedule for this weekend:

Today
-All three kids have school as usual, Preston's class has a field trip to plant rose bushes.
-Maren teaches a class for a conference in Tacoma, she will not be home until around 7:00pm.
-CV has its Carnival tonight.
-GL has a Boo Bash tonight, same time as the carnival.
-A classmate of Lillie has invited her to a Halloween party, same time as the carnival.
What will we do? We will (not Maren, she will be working) go to CV's carnival, then check out the Halloween party. The Boo Bash is out.

Saturday
-Camden has a birthday party at the Bouncy Place. Maren and Lillie will attend.
-Hansen has his last soccer game.
-Preston has a soccer game.
-We postponed Lillie's sleepover so we could go to Fright Night at Wild Waves. Lillie did not want to miss Fright Night, but I will probably have to carry her the whole night and tell her the spooky things are not real...at least I hope they are not! We will all go to Preston's soccer game, then go out for a quick dinner, then over to Fright Night...hopefully we will not loose our dinner! Preston and Maren will be on a roller coaster adventure.

Sunday
-Trick or Treat at the Waterfront. Yup, our annual trip to the Seattle Waterfront for trick or treating and checking out the Aquarium. It is a very fun day, but exhausting none the less.

Hmm, actually after writing it all out, this weekend does not seem too busy. Oh, but we will be trying to fit in chores during free moments, Preston will begging to go to the golf course, Hansen will be begging to go to Fred Meyers with more crazy begging for advances on his allowance, Ali will knock on our door 316 times to see if Lillie can play...Ali will get a NO! answer by a snippy Lillie 314 times, and as the weekend winds down, Lillie will be so exhausted that she will sleep the entire ride home in the car on Sunday even though she has not taken a single nap since she was 9 months old.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Popcorn day, Grandparent's day.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Today is Popcorn day at Cedar Valley. I have already been told like 100 times by Lillie that I need to buy a popcorn ticket for her and Hansen. The tickets cost a quarter, They are small and yellow in color. Lillie likes to hold the ticket in the air, skip around and sing "I have a golden ticket." Any Charlie and Chocolate Factory book/movie lovers know the ticket she is referring to. Hansen does not really like popcorn, but he has to buy it anyhow. I usually get to eat half of his popcorn on the walk home from school.

Yesterday was Hansen's Grandparent Day. John came to CV be with Hansen and they had a nice time. John had nothing but praise for Hansen's teacher, and Hansen agrees. Today is the last Grandparent's day at CV. I have been helping with running to get kids and having folks go to the correct place and such. I think Grandparent's week has gone over nicely.

Tonight is Hansen's choir class, the rest of us are off the hook (except for Hansen's driver).

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hansen's last soccer practice, a lesson on credit.

Good morning it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was Hansen's last soccer practice of the season. He was very excited because he won a Sharks and Minnows marathon game and got a pack of M&M's for reward. The weather was very nice and we invited Allison to come along to play on the playground with Lillie. Preston also came and played soccer in a pick-up game that always happens with a few of the kids from an older team practicing after Hansen's practice. The second team is trying to get Preston to play in an indoor league with them. We will see.

Last night the news was on and Hansen was watching a snip about the credit crisis. He turned to me and said. "See the news dad? This is exactly why you should be giving us advances on our allowance whenever we ask...to teach us about credit." I just rolled my eyes and said, "no Hansen, that is exactly why I don't give you advances on your allowance and make sure you know how to only spend the money you have." I told him once he could master the "only spend the money he has" concept for a bunch of years, then I might do the whole advance thing once in a while. Very clever Hansen. He is just dying to get to Fred Meyers and make his three dollars stretch to about twenty dollars in hope for new Yugioh Cards and GI Joe guys.

Today is Grandparent's day for Hansen, Lillie has ballet class, and Preston has soccer practice.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grandparent's day, library.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was grandparent's day in Lillie's class. Carol came out and got to hang with Lillie for the last hour of the school day. They got their picture taken in the library and went to PE. Sounds like it was a fun time for both. I did not go into my two afternoon classes as to help guide the grandparents to the waiting zone as 6th graders fetched the kids who had special folks waiting. Hansen's grandparent day is on Wednesday, John will be coming out that day.

Yesterday on the walk to school we got to test out our new umbrellas. I bought umbrellas for me, Hansen, and Lillie a couple of weeks ago and keep them in my messenger bag just in case of rain on the to or from school. It was just pouring by the time we got half way to school. I think it was the most fun walking to school the kids have had yet. Kole met us at the end of the culde-sack running full speed with his dad's huge golf umbrella. His sister got a nice dry ride in the car to school. Good for Kole to rather walk in the rain with Hansen.

Last night I took Hansen and Lillie to the Covington Library. I ran into a couple of folks who also work at CV, the kids ran into kids who also attend CV. We checked out books on how things work, skateboarding, and ballet. Maren asked me what I checked out for myself, and I did not even look for myself. Guess I should check a book out for myself to read one of these days. Lately I have been reading bicycle and golf magazines and playing my Nintendo Game Boy.

Tonight is Hansen's last soccer practice. He has this practice, a game this weekend, then a banquet next week and he will be done with soccer for the season. He is looking forward to trying baseball in the spring, then soccer again in the fall. Hansen and Preston are both reading skateboarding books these days and Preston is able to do some cool tricks, so it may be off to the skateboard park for them before too long.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Soccer, auction, pictures.

Good morning, it is Monday.

What a weekend. Saturday both the boys had soccer games. Preston made a goal in his game as his team won 2-1. Preston had a second goal questionably called back for being off sides. Hansen's team lost 3-2, but they played a very good game against a very good team. Hansen was his usual amazing defender.

Saturday evening was also the AYSA auction dinner. I went with Mark (Preston's coach) as neither of our wives were going. The folks organizing the auction were totally out of control. The computer program that they paid big bucks for was not working, they did not get there early enough to set up the items and did not have the forms ready. The auction got off to a start about two hours late. Total incompetence! No technology would have done much better. I am sure that AYSA lost a bunch of potential money thanks to a poorly executed auction (the economy is not helping either). Anyhow, still had a fine time and I may have won something that is in hiding for a holiday in a couple of months. I got swooped on a couple of other things, but that was just fine.

Yesterday we loaded up the family in our nicest sweaters and headed over to Mel and Court's house for family pictures. First family pictures with us, the Ostergards, Mel and Court and twins, and Stef in about five years. We had a photographer come out to North Bend and take some pic in Mel and Court's back yard, then more on the side of the road leaving their neighborhood just on the far side of the road, over the ditch next to an old fence. The only time I have ever had pictures take of me by a professional photographer not in a studio was back when I was a model for the brochure of the Elk Run Golf Course, and a fanny ice pack thing 13 or 14 years ago. I am sure yesterday's photos will turn out quite nice. When we were taking pictures next to the road in the ditch, there were quite a few cars driving by checking out the scene. One SUV just honked its horn and freaked us all out, another stopped to see if we needed help, but most just slowed down a little and checked us out.

This week is Grandparents/special person week at Cedar Valley. Today Lillie's class has it's special day and Carol is going to come out for the fun.

Tonight Preston has soccer practice scheduled from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. I have not decided if I will make up an excuse for him not to go, or if I will let him attend. In my opinion, it is totally ridiculous for 6th graders to be practicing so late (two times per week). But according to the coach, I am really the only parent to express negative feedback on the subject, so I guess I will just bite my lip and decide on my own if Preston will be attending regularly or not.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One month on the job.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday Maren said to me, "Well, you have been working at CV for exactly a month, how is it going?" My first answer was something like, "Really? Exactly a month? How do you ever remember these things?" She just shrugs as if she just knows everything...me and the kids kind of think that maybe she does! In fact, Preston only asks his mom for homework help these days. I guess he knows when to use caps and periods, he spells better than I do, he knows all his times tables, and he seems to think I can't be a help when trying to figure out crazy logic problems like: Show how to make four different people arrive at the same time while using four different modes of transportation which all go at different rates and there are crazy rules as to who can use what and long they can wait at certain places and goofy stuff like that. Well, he may be right on that one, but at least I am still the one to come to on all stuff artisitic and sporty. Good thing I can still help Hansen and Lilllie on their homework, for now.

This is a bit of a tangent, but a funny story about Preston, Maren, Me, and being brainy or something. The other night a parent of a girl in Preston's class (who we have known since kindergarten) called me to ask if she could use me as an emergency contact with the school. Of course she could, and we will use her as well, but when Preston started asking why she called and wanted to talk to me, I decided to tease him just a bit. I told him that she was calling to make sure the wedding was still on. Preston was like "huh?" I told him that when he and his friend were born, us parents got together and had them betrothed. They were to be married directly after high school. Preston looked at me and Maren for a second, then he said to Maren, "Is that how you ended up married to him?"...as if it was not arranged, Maren would never have given me the time of day! Ouch, Preston kind of burned me. Good for him.

Back to the original question. Yes I do enjoy my job after a month. I have figured out when I really put in extra work, and when I don't. I am learning how to control a class room and not have it [the class] control me. I enjoy having kids figure something out, and enjoy that they figured it out. I like it enough to where I am already thinking about taking the required classes to get my teaching certification. I have heard that since I already have a BA degree, and am working as a paraeducator, I may not have to take too crazy many classes and may be able to substitute my work for student teaching. I will look into that further in the future, but for now, my hours and my job are perfect.

Today both boys have soccer games, Preston is getting ready for his now.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2008

choir, homework.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night was Hansen's choir practice. The ages of the group are 1st grade to 6th grade. Of course there are no 6th graders as no 12 year old would put up with singing along with a bunch of 6 to 10 year olds. Lillie came along and really wanted to join, she is taller then a few of the first graders and anyone who knows Lillie knows she would do an absolutely great job. But unfortunately the folks doing the choir do not know Lillie and said that they needed to have a cut off somewhere, so if you are in Kindergarten, you can not join. Lillie had to sit with me and watch. She did entertain herself just fine drawing pictures and writing words and stuff, but every once in a while she would ask if she could go up a sing with the kids now? Hansen had a nice time in choir, and he is just fine with Lillie not being old enough to mess with his choir time.

Last night was a rough night on Hansen in the homework department. He had an assignment where you had to read a paragraph on Marco Polo, then answer six questions, then write down the sentences. He had no trouble reading the paragraph or answering the six questions, as he is very strong at reading and comprehension. What got to him was the whole writing the sentences. Unfortunately for Hansen, I wanted him to write the sentences so another human could actually read them. And if that wasn't bad enough, I wanted capitals at the beginning and periods at the end of every sentence. Furthermore, countries and names had to be capitalized. You would think Hansen was thrown into homework purgatory. I don't think Hansen will ever struggle with 6x8=? like I did, but his had writing is so sloppy at times that it can only bring down people's perception of how smart he is. He is getting better with his handwriting and his teachers are giving him good recognition for trying harder, he just has a little farther to go to reach the top of the writing mountain.

Have a nice Friday, see you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

ballet, meatloaf, debate

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday worked out about perfectly. The kids had an early release day and John and Carol were waiting for them on the playground. It is amazing how energized an entire school can be knowing they are getting out of school two hours early. I have never seen so many happy kids. John and Carol took the kids out to their choice of treats...and the kids choose AM/PM to buy Slurpees. Yup, the whole trip took less than a half an hour and all three kids had a huge Slurpee. Carol made meatloaf for us as well. YUM.

Lillie had her first day back at Ballet. She really enjoyed her class. She loves her teachers and she had a few students that she recognized, it was a good switch. After ballet, we raced home to eat meatloaf and watch the Presidential Debate. I don't see how any pundit can say that Obama did not perform better. He is just so much more eloquent than McCain. Maybe if you just listened on the radio and never saw the unnaturalness in McCain's demeanor, things could have been more even. I don't know, I suppose this debate did not do a ton for either candidate...I should hope you know who you are voting for by now.

Last night Preston had soccer in the freezing pouring rain. When he got home he was totally drenched and freezing. He learned that his soccer warm-ups are just not water proof.

Tonight Hansen has choir practice, the rest of us are fancy free for the evening.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Early release day.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday Maren pointed out that it was the one year anniversary for my blog. I still enjoy blogging, and will just keep on going...one day at a time. Maren found a website that can convert websites to books. We are playing around with the site and I am thinking about making a book of the first year. It is not cheap, but it should be a very cool thing to have around the house.

Today is a early release day at school. The kids are released two hours before school normally gets out. My schedule is interesting as on days where there is no school for the kids, I am not required to work, but on early release days, I am supposed to stay for my regular shift. The good thing is we then have time to meet and/or catch up on work. And I have a little catching up to do. Today John and Carol are going to come out and pick the kids up from school, then stick around to visit with Maren once she gets home from work a few hours later. Last night Lillie was so excited to tell us about early release day. She seems to think it is some National Holiday or something. I mean, get out of school early and be picked up by Nana and Grandpa, sounds like a Holiday to me.

Tonight is Lillie's first ballet class of the year. I hope she enjoys it as much as she thinks she will, the Dance studio actually started a new class as Lillie and a few other kids wanted to do ballet/jazz rather than Hiphop/tap.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Haircuts, dentist.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Last night both Lillie and Hansen got haircuts. I tried to make appointments at Hair Masters, but they said they were too busy. So we went to Great Clips. We had practically no wait, and the maybe the best haircuts that Lillie and Hansen have ever had. They even got lollipops afterwards. Very glad we went to Great Clips. There was a kid at Great Clips with his dad and older brother who kept looking at me. I figured he must be in one of the classes I help in, but I don't know all the kids yet, mainly the ones I spend the most time with. Sure enough he came up and asked if I worked at CV and stuff. I just told him that I liked his teacher and had fun working at CV. I always thought I was recognized a ton of people just from working at the golf course and growing up in the area, now there is a whole new group of people for me to know in the neighborhood.

Maren is sitting in the dentist chair as I type. She got up super early to go to the dentist. It has been a while, and she does not really find the dentist office to be a mini paradise. It is a good thing she programed her car for auto pilot straight to the dentist's office, because if she was actually driving the car, she would turn away on some side street and just keep driving. I can picture the phone call, "Uh, I got lost on my way to the dentist, and the big sign I just drove under reads Welcome to Canada."

See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nice weekend.

Good morning, it is Monday.

We had a very nice weekend around here. Saturday evening Preston and a few other kids from GL and a couple of other schools had a Jazz concert with their teacher. Below are the four from GL. From the left are Nick, Preston, Ali, and Ashley. I think. Preston can correct me later. The room was dark and my camera is not so good. I took video, that I could post later, but it is dark as well. The kids did a great job, as did their teacher. All of us five were there along with John and Carol. We met a few really neat people and had a very nice evening.


Yesterday was my brother Eric's birthday. I have not seen him much lately, but on Saturday I went over to his house while Preston was playing a soccer game. Eric was not there, so I left a birthday card on his door. Last night Eric called me to wish himself a happy birthday. Unfortunately I did not get to the phone in time to actually talk to him, but he left a nice message on my machine.

Hansen played a very good soccer game himself this weekend. He is truly a defender...and a darn good defender. Neither of the boy's teams won their games, but the games were close.

Yesterday while I taught a couple of golf lessons, I let Preston go golfing. He started his round alone as the tee was empty, then caught up with a couple of older guys who were happy to have him join them. Sounds like he handles himself just fine on the golf course.

Back to school and work today. Maren works late, the rest of us just normal. I have to hurry along and wake everyone up and stuff. See you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

nice birthday, back to busy.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

I had a very nice birthday yesterday. Thanks for the nice birthday wishes. My birthday was pretty mellow. I did not have to work nor did the kids have school. We pretty much just stayed home and did nothing all day. For dinner we ordered in very good Chinese food for me and Maren, and McDonald's for the littles. Preston went out to dinner with his friend Josh after they went golfing. This was the first time he has ever been able to go golfing without me being there, so I did not make any fuss about him missing my birthday dinner. I got a couple of nice phone calls from parents and friends, good birthday for a non kid.

Today is back to busy. Hansen and Preston have soccer games mid day. Tonight Preston is in a special concert for his music teacher Mr. Motamedy. I am not sure it is for his teacher, or rather with his teacher. His music teacher is a very accomplished musician and I think the kids are like his backup? We will see tonight. Only a few kids were chosen to be in this concert, so it is a real honor for Preston. Lillie would usually have dance class today, but we switched her class back to a Wednesday class so she could be in Ballet/Jazz again. As much as she liked Hiphop/Tap, she really missed ballet/jazz. Today John and Carol are coming out to help watch the littles and visit after Hansen's soccer game when I leave for Preston's game (Maren is working this morning, but she will be home short after lunch?). Then they will be attending Preston's concert with us. Should be a good day.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me!

Here is a clip of the Beatles singing Happy Birthday to me (or someone):




Hope you enjoy my Birthday, I sure will.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

saving Simba.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday while Hansen, Lillie and a few other kids were playing in the island, Simba (a brand new kitten owned by our neighbors) got stuck high up in one of the trees. We called Preston to the rescue. Below pics are of Preston saving Simba. Lets hope this does not become a regular thing.

You can see Simba up near Preston's head.
Now Preston has Simba. It was a little dicey for a moment when Simba did not want to let go of the branch.

Today I have a mandatory orientation with the School District. Maren has the day off because I originally was going to be golfing in a tournament before I got the new job and there was a mandatory orientation on this day. It is good that Maren has the day off because the orientation goes later than school does, so she will be able to pick up the kids. Then this evening Maren is going to a "Meet the authors of romance novels party" with a few of her friends. Should be fun for her.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Why I did not blog yesterday...

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Some of my loyal readers will be wondering why I did not blog yesterday. It is not strange for me to miss a weekend day every weekend, but to skip a Tuesday is not very normal. Well, I just did not feel like blogging because yesterday was slated to be a very crummy day, one to just get through at our house. For the last few months it had become quite obvious that it was time for our old cat Spiff to be moving on to the great beyond. Maren and I adopted him (and Doc, who we have not had for about 7 years) back when Maren was still in College, just after I graduated. Monday I made the appointment at the local pet hospital to bring him in, and yesterday I did just that. The animal hospital was very nice and did a very good job. The kids knew this day was on the horizon, but Lillie especially took it very hard. Spiff was a great cat for over 16 years. Joe and Ranger, our other cats, are still trying to figure out what happened to old goat Spiff. So there you go, crummy day. Spiff will be missed around here.

Another worry over the weekend was that we started hearing a running water sound in the pipes in the walls near the center of the house where the washer/dryer are and up to the upstairs bathroom. I searched high and low for a leak and could not find anything, the the noise was unavoidable. Lillie thought that there were crickets in the walls. I called my friend Horace, who is a plumber and he agreed to come by yesterday afternoon and take a look around. At first he could not hear the sound, then he could hear it upstairs, then we went in the crawl space to look for leaking water, and the sound was louder, but no water. Finally while searching for the sound we ended up near the back wall of the house. And guess what? The water faucet in the back yard was turned on just enough to where there really was no water running out of the hose, but the pipes were vibrating. My guess is that a child used the hose over the weekend and did not have the strength to turn the water all the way off. Just a half a turn and no more crickets in the walls. I was a little embarrassed to have Horace crawling around the crawl space just to find the outside faucet was on, but I sure and glad it was not a leak. Another learning experience!

Today we are back to a regular schedule, with the exception of Preston's soccer which has been moved to 7.30 to 9.00 pm due to getting a lighted field to practice on. I am not very happy with two per week practices for 6th graders being so late on school nights, and I may be asking the coach to let me know which practice is more important and limiting Preston to one per week. Preston wants to go to both, but it is just too late and disruptive for him and the rest of the family to have him out at soccer until 9.30 pm and then winding down after the littles should be in bed. Hmph.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 06, 2008

soccer, laughing, allowance.

Good morning, it is Monday.

We had a pretty fun weekend around here. Well, everyone except Preston, he stayed home sick on Friday and was still sick most of the weekend. He even missed his soccer game Saturday morning, but the nice thing was that we all got to sleep in. Hansen did not miss his soccer game Saturday at 11:30. He was ready to go, even after spending the night on Friday at his friend Kole's house. Hansen's game was right smack in the middle of the worst weekend weather. He had totally pouring rain and wind so hard I had to put my umbrella away! Hansen's team got beat by a very good team, but Hansen played defender so well that the score would have been much much worse than it was if he was not on his game. Lillie enjoyed her dance class, but she has been asking to switch back to ballet/jazz from the hip hop/tap class she is in. We will see if that is available.

Yesterday Lillie was in a laughing mood. At lunch I was attempting enjoy some coffee and Lillie decided to try it. Every time she would go to take a sip, she would start laughing uncontrollably. She said it was because I was just looking at her?!? Well, after her unsuccessfully drinking her coffee, (it is now her coffee as her laughing coffee spit and backwash into my coffee, it does not take long before I just give her the coffee) she decides that the only way she can actually drink her coffee is if I just put my head down. It was very fun, I would just peek at her and coffee would be flying. I guess you just had to be there.

Lillie's mood changed a little in the afternoon when was playing with her new Polly Pocket toys. In the evening she was wishing she had gotten the Polly Pocket Mermaid set rather than the Polly Pocket kitty set. Yup, yesterday was allowance day and we (me and the kids) spent way too much time at Fred Meyer's while Maren got to have a nice visit with her friend Judy. Hansen spent all his allowance and dog sitting money (Hansen has had a job for the last few weeks letting the neighbor dog out after school) on Lego Batman for his Nintendo DS, and a pack of Yugioh playing cards. Preston pocketed his money, now he has more money than his parents!

Overall, good weekend. Lets hope the kids wake up healthy!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Choir practice.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night Hansen did got to both his soccer practice and the church choir. At the kids choir practice there were two other boys and probably six girls. They sang a few songs and learned a new song. I had the song stuck in my head called "Give Me Oil In My Lamp", the only problem is I don't know the words, but it works out because Lillie thinks it is the funniest thing in the whole world when you sing songs and make up totally ridiculous words that are obviously not the correct words...so Lillie and I had a fun night making up crazy words for that song while the boys watched Total Drama Island or something. Hansen's choir leader is named Ms. Hanson. At one point a few minutes into the practice, the leader asked Hansen what his name was and Hansen said "Hansen", she just looked so surprised and said "Hansen! what a great name, I will never forget your name again my whole life!" Hansen thought that was great. He had told the leader that he was trying out Choir and did not know if he would want to do it or not, and after practice the teacher asked if the class had fun, everyone said "Yes", then she said, "enough fun that Hansen might come back?", Hans nodded his head yes, so I guess he is now officially a choir member.

I did not get to watch the whole VP debate due to Choir practice, but I can tell you I am very tired of the term "Maverick". The worst car Maren and I ever had (if only for a couple of weeks) was an old Ford Maverick. Maybe there is a connection?

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I will never clean our shower again!

Good morning, it is Thursday.

I will never clean our shower again! If you ask Maren, the few times I have cleaned the shower really don't even count, so let me rephrase. Maren will never clean our shower again! This morning I installed a little automatic shower cleaner that hangs from the shower head and after showering, you press the button, get out of the shower and have it closed within 15 seconds (or you get a deep mildew cleaning rather than the shower) and the little cleaner goes to work. By weeks end, we will have a very clean shower! I tried it this morning and it is kind of cool. It sounds like a little James Bond thing. You press the button and get out. Then the thing beeps continuously for 15 seconds, then the little motor sprays the shower with cleaner. We will see if it actually changes our lives! The one are that it did change our lives is in our storage of everything in the shower. This thing only works if the spray actually hits the shower, so all the extra stuff must go. Maren and I now have our own personal little shower caddies. They are rather cute, and Maren says it reminds her of College Dorm days when you would have to take all your shower stuff in a little caddie to the showers dedicated to all the occupants of the entire floor. If I think about it, I will let you know if the shower is actually sparkling clean after 7-10 days like the TV commercial promises.

Today is back to school and work. Tonight is children's choir at the church. Hansen said he wants to join the choir this year so we will see if he actually wants to go when the time comes.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

McDonald's

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night we went to McDonald's for the first time in like a month, and their ice-cream machine was broken! Hansen and Lillie ordered Happy Meals, the rest of us had cheeseburgers. Maren found a 2 for 1 iced coffee coupon that she and Hansen gladly used. Once Preston was done with his food, he decided it was time to torment his sister just a little and sneak her fries. She let out a very sharp and very loud "NO!", and whacked his hand. Preston decided that was somehow fun, so he did it again, to the same result. The funny thing was that an a few elderly folks a few tables away were watching the excitement, and smiled at the kids. Preston smiled and waved back, then very slowly slid down in his seat and out of sight. Nothing like a little public humiliation.

Today is picture day at the schools. It will be curious to see if the kids are looking as sharp at picture time as they will be when they leave the house in the morning. I think I even get my picture taken today, yikes.

See you tomorrow.