Thursday, July 30, 2009

Foss', Nintendo store, staying cool.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

So what would you like to do on the hottest day ever in the PNW? It was probably closer to 110 degrees than 100 degrees at our house yesterday and I posed that question to Hansen and Lillie. Preston was at the lake with Conner and his family and we were going to wait until later to hit the pool. We did go to the pool with Maren for an hour while Preston was at soccer practice. Back to the original question...Hansen knew exactly what he wanted to do, go to Foss' Grocery Store. A friend of his told him it is the best place for candy!?! So that is what we did. This picture is of Lillie and Hansen outside of Foss' in 100 degree weather.
And inside Foss' eating an ice-cream bar. It was still hot.
The day before we went back up to the Nintendo store in Redmond to bring back our Wii for a second time. Our replacement Wii kept freezing and not working correctly, so we got a new one under warranty. Hansen and Lillie enjoyed the Nintendo store, Preston stayed home this time. The next two pictures are of Lillie and Hansen gaming in the Nintendo store.

After the Nintendo store, we took Connor to the pool for the evening. After a couple of hours in the pool, we headed over to McDonald's. The kids had never been so happy to eat in their lives. Here is Lillie and Hansen actually enjoying each other for a moment.
Preston and Connor goofing off at McDonald's. After McDonald's, we went back to the pool for a couple of hours. Lillie found a friend her age and they had a ton of fun while Preston and Connor did crazy jumps off the diving board. Hansen just enjoys being in the water and swimming around.
Today we will be back at the pool again. I actually got the house down to 79 degrees for a few minutes with all the windows open and the fans on full. It is back up to 81 so I am closing it up for the day. The temp are only going to be around 99 degrees today! We're cooling off.
See you tomorrow or the day after.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mud Mountain Dam, Pool, Maren reading.

Good evening, it is Monday night.

I was going to wait until morning to blog, but we have Kole and Connor over for a sleepover, so I am just hanging out on the computer for a few minutes.

Today we had a very busy day. We went to Mud Mountain Dam with the neighbors. Kind of an annual trip when the weather get very hot. Mud Mountain Dam Park is always a bit cooler than down here, and it is a place that the youngest kids and the oldest kids enjoy. Preston had soccer practice in the early evening, then it was off the the pool for a quick cooling off. Here are some pictures from the day. Some may be out of order, but it is my blog and I don't really feel like moving them around right now! Some days I am very fussy, not today.

I painted Lillie's finger and toe nails in a pattern, pink-black. Two coats on the pink, she was very pleased. She had been asking for a day or two to have me help her with her nails.

Lillie in the car on the way to the swimming pool, loving her new goggles.
Lillie, Hansen, and Preston in the pool at 8:30 pm. The sun was going down, but it was still hot.
The kiddie pool at Mud Mountain Dam. This place was very busy at times.
The big kids cooling off in the kiddie pool, then off for more football or Frisbee.
I took Hansen, Lillie and Kole on the short hike to the lookout point. I like this picture as the sign reads, "Dangerous area, do not go beyond this point." Hansen was a bit nervous, but we kept going...on the path to the lookout area. If Hansen was not freaked enough, we also crossed paths with a snake on the walk back up the path.
Lillie checking out the dam from the lookout point. It is an amazing sight.
Maren does not like to be left out of the fun stuff and her friends are going to think she misses all the great things in life. Well, she opted out of the pool for a little peace and quite...and she needed to catch up on her reading for one of her committees. This is how we found Maren when we got back from the pool. Reading in peace and quiet is really Maren's favorite.
See you in a couple of days.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Camping, KSTC.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

We have had a whirlwind few days, but good days. We spent a couple of days at Orondo WA at Mark and Susan's cabin on the Columbia river in eastern Washington. Most of the rest of the family camped just down the road at Lincoln Rock State Park. Lillie and Hansen left on Tuesday with John, Carol, Stef, Mel, Jack and Avery. Maren, Preston and I stayed back a couple of days as we went to the Sounder's game and Preston had braces put on. We headed out Thursday morning. Our plan was to stay until Saturday morning, but we ended up coming home late Friday night after dinner and hanging out. Preston and Maren even watched a very competitive soccer game where the players were totally dressed in professional gear at the campsite (we have no idea who they were). Lillie had had enough of the whole sleeping at the campsite (or anywhere but her bed) thing just was not working for her, so we drove home late Friday night. But while we were there we enjoyed some great weather, a very nice pool, and Mel and Court had the boat and gave boat rides to anyone wanting to go skiing or tubing.

I did not take too many pictures as we spent lots of time at the pool and my phone was put away as to not get wet...but I did get this nice picture of Maren and Susan on the deck of Susan's cabin. Susan and Maren enjoyed a walk in the evening while Mark and I hung out with a few of the kids watching a video of Groundhog Day. Saturday I helped Mark hang a microwave oven above the oven. Hopfully he snugs those top screws up just a bit and it stays in place for a long time (Mark and I had both done this before in our own homes, so it went very smoothly...after a good long trip to buy the right parts).

For the last few years we have mulled around the idea of joining the Kent Swim and Tennis Club. They have a very nice facility with a big pool, tennis courts, BBQ areas, play toy, and volleyball area. They also do swim and tennis teams in the spring and early summer. Maren grew up at a local pool hanging out and really likes the feel of the KSTC. The club is an equity club so you have to buy from a member who is selling and the whole thing has kind of kept us away in the past. Yesterday we decided it was actually time, I made a few phone calls, figured out some finances and we joined the KSTC. Last night we were swimming and playing tennis for a couple of hours. Just in time, the weather will be in the mid to high 90's all this week and into next...and do we have air conditioning? Nope, that may be next on the list.

See you soon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Seattle Sounders game, Preston's braces.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Tuesday evening I took Preston and Connor to the Seattle Sounder's U.S. Open Cup semi-final match against the Houston Dynamo. We had great seats, in fact we were able to grab seats in the very front row. The game was very exciting. We had never been to a professional soccer game, and did we ever choose a good one. Sounders tied the game in the 89th minute, then took the lead and won in overtime. I really did not expect so much speed and violence from a soccer game, but it was there. Other than the first time I ever saw Motocross racing in the King Dome, this may have been my most favorite professional sporting event I have ever attended! Here is a picture of Preston and Connor at the game...Preston has shadow from the flag the crazy fans behind us were waving across his nose.

We got home from the soccer match very late, and then had to wake up very early for Preston's appointment with braces. Poor kid will be dealing with a sore mouth today. They figure he will have his braces for somewhere between 24 and 30 months, which is good as we will be paying for them for 24 months. Many of his friends already wear braces, so he knows all about them.
Finally braces on, mouth totally stretched out. Orange and Blue bands...same colors as his soccer team. He will be back to the orthodontist in 7 weeks and he can get different color bands if he wants at that time.
See you in a few days.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

KSTC, a day off, summer stuff.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Maren just finished up a nice relaxing three day weekend. We stayed busy at times, and just did nothing at times. We were invited to the Kent Swim and Tennis Club for a BBQ the other day. The moment Maren walked through the front door, guided to the locker rooms (boys and girls) and then out to the pool, she loved the place...reminded her of going to the neighborhood pool everyday as a kid. Maybe someday we will join the KSTC, I know Maren would like that.

Yesterday Maren and Preston took a trip to Costco and Fred Meyers while I took Hansen and Lillie to Piano Lessons. I used to have a deal with Preston that for every goal he scored [in a soccer game] he would earn a dollar candy...well, now with braces being installed on Preston's teeth tomorrow, we have gone away from hard candy and moved to ice-cream. Preston is OK with ice-cream...as is everyone in this ice-cream loving family.

These pictures are kind of just some typical things the kids do in the summer. Here is Lillie enjoying a slip and slide.

Here is Lillie eating an Otter pop. We do enjoy Otter pops at this house.
Preston was nice enough to buy his brother and sister a tub of cotton candy.
Last night I took Preston and Hansen to Starfire to watch Preston's old soccer coach (Matt) play in a soccer game. He was on a team playing in the All Nation's Cup. His team (Japan) got beat in a semi-final match by a team from Mexico. Tonight I am bringing Preston and Connor to see the Seattle Sounders play in the U.S. Open Cup.
Enjoy the warm days of summer, I will see you in a couple of days.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mom's new car...and more.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Today we have a break from soccer. Preston's team did not advance to the playoffs yesterday. While we always wish for his team to do it's best, it is kind of nice to have a break. After the game Preston and his friends hung out on his friend's boat at Lake Tapps and had a great time.

Yesterday I got an e-mail from my mom that she bought a new car! Yup, my folks only had one car for the last year, but have decided that it was time to go back to two cars. Here is my mom in front of her 2010 Ford Mustang! Yup, I am kind of jealous...nice car mom!

Here is a Maren sighting...she will feel silly that this picture made the blog, but Lillie won't. Maren and Lillie cleaned Lillie's room, then played dress ups. Here they are parading around the house to show us the fancy outfits.
BBQ at our house last night. Hansen decided to go for a double burger. No problem.
This was from Friday at the soccer tournament. Hansen thought it would look great if he was holding up Mt. Rainier. Mt. Rainier looks amazing on clear hot days. My camera does not do it justice.
Friday night was fireworks night for Covington Days. We have made it to the fireworks show for many years in a row. Just like every year, one of our neighbors got there first and saved us a spot in the front on a blanket. We do have great neighbors. Lillie made it in the front row just until the first explosion, then she was on Maren's and my lap.
Right now I am flipping the channel between the Tour de France and the Open Championship. I would like to see Tom Watson or Lee Westwood with the Open, and Lance leading or within a few seconds of the lead at the end of the day.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wild Waves with Stef.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday was a big trip to Wild Waves with Auntie Stef. She was able to take the day off of work to hang with thousands of folks in Federal Way. Actually the park was not nearly as crowded as I thought it would be for a mid day 80+ degree day. Here Stef is with the kids when we first arrived.
Hansen decided that he would ride on every crazy ride there was. The Wild Thing was first and sure to his word, Hansen was on it. My camera is just not good enough to actually get a picture of them on the ride screaming...well, Preston and Stef screaming, Hansen just looking ill. The three also went on the Timber Hawk and the Disco Flashback. Hansen would look like he was hanging on for dear life and trying not to blow chunks everywhere, but then he would get off and say how great the ride was. This picture is getting off the Wild Thing and Lillie greeting the riders.
Lillie and I did not go ride free, we just stuck to the carousel, the frog hopper, and the dry slide.
The ride Hansen enjoyed the most was the Timber Falls (or something like that) where your on a boat and you go down a steep part into the water, everyone on the ride gets totally wet and those standing on the walkway get even wetter. Stef and Preston kind of got Hansen a little when they were all going to stand in the "get totally wet" spot, but at the last second Stef and Preston moved a few feet and Hansen got drenched. Hansen could have spent the whole day going on just this ride, then watching the splash.

After the rides Stef treated us to lunch. After Lunch it was over to the water park half. The water park was far more crowded than the rides half. Preston and Stef wandered over to a few big slides while Hansen stuck to the wave pool with me and Lillie. Actually the water seemed very cold to me, while the hot tub seemed not hot, but the right temp for a pool. Lillie and I hung out in the hot tub and watched Hansen surfing the waves. We got home just after Maren. Good day.

Today is going to be like 90 degrees in the afternoon and Preston has two soccer games! We will be hanging out in Puyallup for the King of the Hill Tournament for much of the day.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Soos Creek Park and much more.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was a busy day and I did get plenty of pictures. The only thing I totally forgot to take pictures of was Preston at his orthodontist appointment. I was so busy asking questions about braces as I know nothing about the process never having braces that I totally forgot to take any pictures of anything. I will try to remember to use my camera next Wednesday when Preston actually gets his braces on.

Yesterday we went to the Soos Creek Park to meet up with old friends and family. Marnee is in town from her home in Germany to visit family and friends. We were friends way back in my track and cross country days of high school. Michelle and her were buddies as well. All the kids are the same age and had a fun time playing at the park and exploring in the woods. In this picture is me, Marnee, and Michelle. Marnee's husband Markus was also with us and we talked golf, tennis, and knee injuries...getting old? Not yet!

Here is a picture of all the kids. They all played very well together and had a great time. Noah found a snake with in the first few minutes of showing up which was very fun (for him, Hansen stayed way away), and the Lillians are convinced they saw a deer and a bear on the other side of the fence.
In the evening we headed over to the Shepherd's house to hang out and pick berries. Jim and I usually go biking at this time, but we decided to pick berries. I can tell you that none of us Slanes are very good berry pickers...we eat too many and the bowls stay rather empty! Maren thought we may bring a few more berries home than we did.

We hung out at Jim's little pond for a while searching for frogs and skipping rocks. Hansen was very good at finding these little frogs. Lillie could spot them, but no so good at catching them.
Lillie really loved the tire swing. You can't tell from this picture that the rope that holds this tire is like 25 feet long and you can really swing a long ways on this swing.
And when we got home, Preston had just made it home from soccer practice and had made homemade ice cream sandwiches. Yum.
Today it is off to Wild Waves with Auntie Stef. Stef will be worn out after riding on all the scary rides with the boys and hanging out in the wave pool with Lillie.
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Maren's home, Preston's cooking?

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday we picked Maren up from the airport. Instead of riding the escalator up and down a bunch of times while we waited for the plane to unload, we sat in the lower level (under the hanging airplanes) and read tourist brochures. Sure I have lived here most of my whole life, but I actually learned a few things about Auburn and Renton and other tourist traps by glancing at a few brochures. When it was time to head up the escalator to find Maren, Lillie looked up and said, "there is mom!". I said "no", can't be...but it was. Her plane unloaded quickly and Maren and Judy were looking down trying to get our attention. Maren said while she was trying to wave at us, all the folks around us were waving back at her. Funny. Maren is glad to be home, and we are happy to have her home as well.

The kids also got to go over to the Rudolph's house to hang out with friends. These kids all get along very well. The Lillians have always played very well together and Mason is right in between Hansen and Preston and can hang with either just fine. While the kids were there I took Maren's car into Les Schwab for some work on the wheels. When I was doing the 90,000 mile work on the car, I could not get a lug nut to come loose. Turns out they needed to break the lug stud off and replace it. While working they were able to tighten a loose steering rod, the car really drives nice as of last night.

Last night Lillie had gymnastics class. She is trying out a few gymnastics classes as she is thinking of switching from Dance to Gymnastics. Last night we were down in Auburn for an hour and a half class. When we got home Maren had let Preston loose in the kitchen and he had made cookies for his homemade ice cream sandwiches. Yup, Preston has found that OnDemand has all these cooks teaching you how to cook fun things like homemade this and that. He has decided that if soccer does not work out, he will just be a cook. Soccer and cooking??? How can this be my kid?

Today will be a busy day, Maren is back at work, Preston has a visit at the orthodontist (a year and a half a go they wanted to wait and see him again, today is that day), we have a play date at a park to hang out with a few friends (one who is in town who lives in Germany!), soccer practice, and I think that is enough.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Great tournament for Synergy. Maren got to see Styx live in concert.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Well, the best soccer tournament Preston's team ever had is now history. His team (Synergy BU 13) won the semi-final match after an amazing finish. A tie game (thanks to a crazy cool header goal that Preston made and a great corner kick his team converted) headed to over time. After overtime the game was still tied. So on to Penalty Kicks. Preston was put in as goalie for the PKs. First he got to take a shot, which he made. Then he went into goal and made three amazing stops. So into the final.

The final game was very close but after a very hard fought game Synergy lost 2-3. What a great tournament. John and Stef were able to make it to the final game and they witnessed a very hard fought game. Preston did score a goal after taking a hard shot to the gut, but in the end second place was quite an accomplishment for this team that never even made it into a semi-final game last tournament season. This team did get a few good players in the off season as well as just growing as a team.

After the game it was off to the awards. We showed up a little late because I did not know of two short cuts to get through Auburn and around traffic, but Preston still got his medal and here is a team photo of the team. Presto is back row 4th from the right (5th from the right if you count the coach).

They then got to do a "silly" photo. It took all of 2 seconds to go from the first picture to the second picture.
Nana and Grandpa surprised Preston with an Eto'o jersey. Eto'o is one of Preston's favorite players on his favorite team, Barcelona.

After the game and awards, it was home for a very good dinner thanks to John and Carol. Lillie had a great time using Auntie Stef as a play toy.

In Maren news, she says her conference is going well and he committees are doing a good job meeting their goals for this conference, the rest is top secret and I am on a "need to know basis", and I don't "need to know". Maren did send me this picture...she and her friend Judy were just walking through Chicago last night after dinner and stumbled upon a free live Styx concert in a park. She called me on the cell phone so I could listen to "Come Sail Away" live and in concert. The sound over the phone was about a revealing as the below pic, but it sounds like Maren is having a great time in Chicago.
See you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Free slurpees and other adventures.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday was free slurpee day at 7-11 stores everywhere. For those who don't know, 7-11 seems to always give away slurpees on the date, 7-11. We hit a store with Conner on the way home from yesterday's soccer game. Lillie and I got the small free size, but the boys insisted on bigger sizes.

This picture was sent to my by Maren. She is in Chicago for an ALA conference. Who knew the dangers those Librarians have to be on the lookout for.
Preston got to go boating with friends after his game. I took Lillie and Hansen up to the school for some fun. Lillie is a scary swing rider these days. She gets the swing like higher than the bar, and turns around and...well, freaks out parents and little kids.
We broke out the old chopper bike yesterday. Hansen is now the kid who fits it the best. He likes the way his new chrome helmet goes with the chopper. Look out Wild Hogs.
Preston is already off to play in his Semi-final game. I am on the way to wake up the littles so we can go watch.
See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Soccer days, Hansen's haircut.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

We are heading into day 2 of this all soccer weekend. The Kent Cornucopia Cup, a big soccer tournament that is always the same weekend of Kent Cornucopia Days. Yesterday Preston's team won their first game and lost their second game. Preston is one of the team captains and also a main scorer. He has had two amazing goals, great assists, and two goals due to excellent corner kicks. Game 2 in the afternoon they were dressed in white with orange socks.

Game one in the morning, they were dressed all in blue.
Hansen got tired of his hair in his eyes, so it was off to Sports Clips for him. He would never consider letting me give him a buzz cut, but he has no issues with real hair cutters doing it for him. When he came around the corner at Sports Clips I nearly did not recognize him because his hair was so short and he was not wearing his glasses. I don't know what this pose is about, but you can see the haircut.
Today Preston has two soccer games as well. I hope the littles learn how to hang out at a soccer game by the end of today. Yesterday was a lot of whining and complaining by Lillie and Hansen. Usually they don't attend these games but with Maren in Chicago, they are along for the ride.
See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Maren off to ALA. Wild Waves.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday I took the kids on a quick trip to Wild Waves to pick up our season passes and have a little fun. We were not staying too long because we wanted to get home and take Maren out to dinner as she left this morning (yup, she is on the way to the airport as I type) to attend the ALA conference in Chicago. She is the chairperson of the Margaret A. Edwards award committee and has been reading books furiously to get ready for this week.

Here are our season passes. We have one for Maren as well, but she still needs to get her picture taken and pick up her hard copy.
First stop, The Wild Thing. Preston enjoys this roller coaster. I think he went on it four times yesterday. Preston is somewhere in this picture.
The kids on the Kanga Bounce. A freaky little ride. Preston said that his conversation with Lillie during the ride was like this, infact Preston wrote this in a word document last night so I could just cut and paste it this morning:

Lillie: This ride is fun!
Ride starts
Lillie: Well, and a little scary
Kangaroos start bouncing up and down, fast
Lillie: I HATE THIS RIDE!!!
We get to the slow part
Lillie: Okay, now I like i-
Speeds up
Lillie: I HATE IT AGAIN!!
More of the same until ride stopsLillie: Okay… now I like it.
After the Kanga Bounce Preston was heading over the the Timberhawk. The biggest and fastest wooden roller coaster this side of somewhere. Out of nowhere Hansen decides he wants to ride the Timberhawk. So, go for it Hansen. Said he had a great time. Preston did ride this two times yesterday.
On the way back to the water part of the park, the kids stopped to point at their favorite rides at Wild Waves. Lillie really enjoys the big hill slide that you sit on the burlap bags and soar down the slide. Yesterday was great because the weather started off quite cold and the park was really on the empty side. Lillie and Hansen did spend 45 minutes in the wave pool, and finding a lounge chair to hang out was next to impossible. You have got to get to the park pretty early if you want a lounge chair.
We took Maren out to Red Robin for a good luck dinner. Lillie likes to smile all cute while sneaking bunny fingers to anyone around her.
The boys even got into a picture as well.
Today is a busy day. Preston has two soccer games.
See you tomorrow.