Monday, August 31, 2009

No school, Maggie.

Good morning, it is Monday.

The teachers are on strike so today is not our first day of school as scheduled. We are all ready...some new clothes, shoes, and supplies...now we just wait for the district and the teachers to agree on a few issues. Since Paraeducators are considered "nonessential", I don't start working until school starts for the kids. Lucky for us! There are plenty of families around wondering what to do with kids and work schedules as the plan was school.

Yesterday Steve, Amy, Camden and Maggie brought Hansen home from his overnight at his cousin Alex's house. Maggie was just cruising around and exploring everything. Lillie tired to hold her still for just a second to get a picture, but all we could get on film (there is an out of date saying...I should say "micro SD card") was Maggie's "hey, let me go!" look. Maggie is wearing a hand-me-down outfit that was one of Lillie's favorites at 18 months, same denim skirt overalls and same pink shirt...still in perfect condition. How cool is that! From the back, going full speed for the chairs and the art table, she could have been an 18month old Lillie.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Golfing, Summer Reading, Soccer shopping.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday morning I went golfing for the first time in many months. Larry and I went to Auburn Golf Course. Auburn Golf Course was a boggy old run down golf course with a totally old and small clubhouse when I was a kid, but it was cheap and the first golf course I ever played 18 holes on and I always enjoyed it. 25 years later Auburn Golf Course has a totally new beautiful clubhouse, many of the holes have been improved and the course is excellent in my opinion. Still the same enough that I have tons of great memories, but updated to where I would love golfing there every week no question. This picture is of me posing after my shot on the 16th par 3. We walked the course, I carried my clubs on one shoulder and my umbrella on the other shoulder...just like when I was a kid.
You know summer is over when the kids are turning in all their summer reading paperwork for their finisher prizes at the local Library. Hansen and Lillie were awarded very cool KCLS Reader 68 piece art kits for all their hard work. Way to go Hansen and Lillie!
Preston finally got to shop at his favorite soccer store as we had dinner at John and Carol's house Friday evening. It is a little shop in Burien that he discovered during the 4th of July. Spanish is the main language spoken and everything soccer is of good quality. Here is Preston with his new Barcelona hoodie sweatshirt (Messi's number 19 in the middle) and his Adidas Samba shoes designed in Mexico's team colors. Very cool for a total soccer junkie.
See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wild Waves for Lily's birthday.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday we went to Wild Waves to celebrate the birthday of Lillie's friend Lily. We had Lily's two older brothers, Lillie's two older brothers, me and Michelle (Lily's mom, who I have been friends with since Kentridge days). The weather was perfect and the park was as crowded as I have ever seen it. The day started with the Lillians playing in the water park side and the boys heading to do the rides. After a while the kids branched off into a few groups, with us parents following the Lillians and running errands. It all worked out perfectly as Preston and Garrett took off and did the water park separately from Hansen and Mason, who did great on their own as well. I hung out with the Lillians in the wave pool and Michelle took them on a few water slides. I must say the wave pool was so crowded that it was like a crazy mosh pit in the water with huge waves and a sea of kids...yup, Lillie loved it!

For lunch Michelle went over to Costco and picked up a couple of large pizzas. The kids and I met her in the parking lot for lunch...I think we ate all but one slice. Garrett was the winner with 5 slices! After lunch and the Birthday song for the birthday girl, it was back into the park for more fun. Garrett and Preston stayed on the water end, while the rest of us went over to the rides. I filled our refillable souvenir cup like 4 times the kids were so thirsty. The Lillians enjoyed the teacups while the Hansen and Mason took Michelle on bigger rides. We all went on the Klondike Gold Rush...I hate that ride, it looks all innocent and fun but it is extremely violent on an adults neck and body.

By the time we left, we were running 20 minutes late. Mason, Hansen and Garrett all had soccer practice and I think they all may have been 10 minutes late...I know Mason was running late and Hansen ended up 10 minutes late as well.

After Hansen's soccer practice and dinner, we (Maren got to come with us for this trip!) headed out to the school to check the class lists. Hansen had the class we expected him to be in, but Lillie was not even on a class list. I will call when the office opens this morning to make sure she gets put in the right class.

See you tomorrow.

P.S. I did not have my camera or phone with me as valuable electronics have no place in Wild Waves when you know you will be getting wet. We would have had a ton of great pictures, but instead you have to use your imagination!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Strike, pool.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

I was scheduled to attend a class at the school with many of the teachers as we prepare for the new school year...but as of last evening, the teachers are on strike. They voted to strike by an 86% margin. I am not in the same union being a paraeducator, but I don't need to be crossing their picket lines either. School is scheduled to start on Monday, but with such a large gap between the union and the district, I just don't see how we will be starting on time. I hope calmer minds prevail as the leaders of each of the groups seem to be set. With any luck we will still start school on time...but I am guessing we may have an extra week of vacation this year.

Yesterday I took the littles to the pool for a few hours in the middle of the day. Lots of jumping off the diving board and having fun. When I would cannonball off the diving board, I would get lots of kids wet...except for my clever ones who said they would always just go under water just before I landed to keep from being hit by the big splash. Here they are above water:

And under water.
In the evening, while Preston was at soccer, we headed over for a quick Costco shopping trip. Yes, there is a such thing as a quick Costco trip...just not a cheap trip to Costco. We also enjoyed a little ice-cream before shopping.
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

P orientation, H soccer, L showing off.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was 7th grade orientation at Cedar Heights Middle School. Preston received his class schedule, toured the building, and saw plenty of friends there. His schedule looks good and he has plenty of friends in his classes, of course he has plenty of friends not in any of his classes as well. This school has an upstairs and a down stairs which is cool, but made for finding classes a little tricky. Here is a pic of Preston in the gym. He is now a Cedar Heights Timberwolf. School is set to start on Monday...but a teacher strike is looming.

Another first was Hansen's first soccer practice of the season. He is playing for Kent Parks rather than Covington this season hoping for a bigger playing field and a little more competition. He is not quite ready to do select soccer like Preston because he likes baseball too much...probably select baseball will be his game in a few more years.
This is Lillie showing off [at Hansen's soccer practice] how she can climb to the top of the monkey bars, then sit there on one bar without holding on. She pretty much just flys around a playground these days.
This is a funny picture. I was trying to "rotate" a photo on my phone and discovered that I could add funny stuff while editing. I had read about this when I first got the phone, but never thought anything of it. This is Hansen sucked into a TV show, wondering why I am bothering him.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stefanie and Shannon's visit.

Good morning, it is Monday...and can you believe it, this is my 600th blog entry!

Yesterday we had a couple of Maren's ex-co-workers, who are still our friends come and visit for the day. Stefanie G. (no, not Maren's sister, but same spelling...cool huh?) and Shannon S. After hanging out for a while we were trying to figure out what to do with the day...and we chose Wild Waves. We stayed on the rides side the whole time, actually a little too long. That second trip on the Tea Cups with Stefanie and Lillie really made me wobbly. I still feel like if I lie down on the floor the room will be spinning. In fact I have had to type a few words over this blog because I keep leaning to the right and my fingers are slipping off home row and my typing od ;pplomh lomf pg ;olr yjod@. Yea, that is just wrong. Here is the crew hanging out in front of the Wild Thing. Always the first ride we go to. Me and Lillie just watched the rest of the bunch.

Here is a picture of Lillie and Stefanie on the teacups. I was sitting across from them getting spun out of my mind. Lillie chickened out of the kiddie roller coaster, but loves this ride...go figure. She is spinning the ride as fast as she can and belly laughing the whole time.
Once we got home we fired up the BBQ for some good burgers and Stefanie made a yummy ice-cream cookie dessert for us. A very good day...
See you tomorrow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lake Wenatchee.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Last night we got home from camping at Lake Wenatchee. Most of us that is. I took the kids and Maren stayed home. We had originally thought we had a soccer tournament [for Preston] and with everything we were not going to go on this trip. The soccer tournament was moved, so I decided to take the kids for a few days to hang with their cousins and everyone. Maren stayed home, worked Thursday and Friday, had a nice lunch with a friend, and hopefully had a nice relaxing time with the house to herself. We are now home, and her peace is interrupted!

Camping was fun. The first night was a bit rough in the tent with the kids as Lillie did not sleep well and Hansen was a bit freaked about the loud wind and trees creaking all around us. Second night was better, probably because they were so worn out. Daytimes were great. Lots of playing at the campsite and in the water. A very nice time. I offered to drive Alex and Claire to Wenatchee in the van...part of the caravan to the campsite. A stop off at McDonald's in North Bend got us off on the right foot.
Birthday girls. From Left to right, Melanie (Maren's sis), Carol (Maren's mom), and Sue (Maren's Auntie)
Preston decided he was too old for this kid picture.
Claire and Lillie roasting marshmallows.
Preston on the big rock.
Lillie and Clare can conquer the big rock too!
Alex and Hansen, followed closely by Miles, sporting their style.
This is me! Taking over the morning cooking.
Bees were the big critter worry this trip, several campers will be leaving with multiple bee stings. Kraig and Annie came up with this clever bee trap...and it worked!
Lillie and Claire building a minnow pond at the water's edge.

Alex and Hansen playing on a big log.
See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Diving, drawing, soccer.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

We spent much of the day at the pool yesterday. Well, some of us. Lillie had her friend Lily, Hansen had his friend Nick, and I had my friend Jim (Nick's dad). The pool was as busy as I have seen it as people were trying to beat the 90 degree weather. The kids spent their time in the pool while Jim and I played some tennis and hit the pool as well. Preston decided to stay home and relax and Maren was at work. The first picture is of Hansen thinking about diving...usually turns into kind of a belly flop...or a cannonball.
Yesterday was the first day Lillie ever jumped off the diving board. After the first time, she was hooked. Her and Lily spent the day jumping off the diving board. Except for the times when they would join me in the shallow end to have me throw them into the water.
These next two pictures are from California Adventure. They were from the Animation Academy class. This time through we were learning to draw Daisy Duck. This is what me and the littles would do while Maren and Preston were doing the big rides! Maren did get to do a drawing with the littles while Preston and I did Tower of Terror. I should have chosen the art!

Lastly, here is a bad pic of Preston at soccer practice. My camera does not do much action, but this is at least proof. Preston is on the left with the light blue jersey. I was standing next to the goal, a split second after I took this picture Preston got a pass, turned and blistered the ball in the back of the net.
See you in a few days...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lightsabers for Jack and Avery.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday morning we brought Mel and Court's luggage back to them (they let us use it for our Disneyland vacation). We showed up as Jack and Avery were waking up from their naps. After playing for awhile, it was time to leave...then we remembered, we brought Lightsabers for Jack and Avery. At Disneyland there was a "Jedi Training Academy" that we watched a couple of times where kids are brought up on stage to learn how to use a Lightsaber...then Darth Vader and other bad guys come out and everyone gets to battle. Hansen has plenty of jokes thanks to the lead Jedi who told silly jokes for the audience as he trained the little kids. In this picture Jack and Avery show how NOT to hold a Lightsaber...

In the afternoon we tried to head to the pool. Lillie was bringing her friend Lily. The pool was closed due to a water polo match (I will check the website before just going out in the future) so the Lillians had fun playing at our house. We will be heading to the pool today to try again.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Australia visitors, neon, Lego people.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was back to a pretty normal day around here. Preston spent all day out with friends goofing off and riding his bike up the stores to buy candy and a Jamba juice. Afterwards he had soccer practice. I hear practice was pretty brutal as his team had a new trainer who put them through the paces. Hansen had his friend Nick come over for a few hours and they had a good time playing soccer in the back yard, building Lego's and playing Nintendo. Lillie played with neighbor kids and hung out watching TV. Maren had to work a very long day and we did not see her until late in the evening.

Our neighbors have some visitors from New South Whales, Sydney Australia. They have a few kids around the ages of our kids. Hansen played basketball and football with the youngest (who is 12) and showed off his chopper bike and stuff. Phillip was cracking me up with his accent and fun attitude. He said he was a bmx rider but when it came to riding the chopper bike, he was "not game for it". We told them all about the rides at Disneyland and California Adventure as they are headed that way in a couple of days. I think the kids will be up for the Tower of Terror, but the parents are out.

This picture is of the shoes one of the neighborhood jr. high school girls was proudly wearing around. We started seeing some bright neon shirts and stuff in Disneyland, but I did not expect to see it so fast when we got home. Look out, bright neon is back. This picture was taken at dusk and does not really show how loud the colors are.
Here are a couple of fun pictures we took in the parking lot of Legoland. Legoland is sponsored by Volvo and this was a scene where the Volvo was parked, and a Lego family is going into the park. In the first picture me and Hansen were mimicking the Lego dad and kid. Can you tell which are the real Julian and Hansen?

Apparently the rest of the family could not tell us apart either. Here Preston, Maren, and Lillie are trying to get us to hurry up...only they are not getting anywhere because they chose the Lego guys instead.
See you tomorrow.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Disneyland.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Sorry if you missed my blog over the last week...we went to Disneyland!!! This was the first time this family has ever been on a plane, or even been on a vacation for more than two days! We had a great vacation, took lots of pictures and had tons of fun. Here are just a few pictures of the "happiest place on earth":

This is the big Mickey Mouse greeting us in front of the Hotel.
Maren and Lillie standing on one of the best hotel entrances anywhere in the world.
Lille had her hair done at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. She loved being one of the princess.
We did go to a couple of character meals. Here are the kids with Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.
Lillie was scared of many of the rides...but one of the rides she loved was the teacups. Lillie loved the white wedding ears the best...they were sold out everywhere and her and Maren just happened to find the last hat.
Kids being eaten by Goofy in the lobby of a neighboring hotel.
Lillie hanging out with Tinkerbell.
We also went to Legoland. Legoland was great. Lillie loved it as did the boys.
A very nice dinner near Legoland with Maren's relatives. It was sure great of everyone to meet us at such short notice.
Goofy ears for a couple of goofy people.
Who loves Tinkerbell more? This was the pool at our hotel, we spent plenty of time there.
Me and Preston on the Tower of Terror! Yes, I thought I might die...Preston will be happy to tell you about my screaming if you ask him.
Hansen shopping with Darth Vader looming. Yes, Hansen loved all the shopping. Every ride exits you into a store.
We had a great vacation, but it is nice to be home!
See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Jim Henson, Barcelona FC

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday we spent the morning at the KSTC with friends. The Rudolph's were there as well Kole and Blake...and that was about all the people at the pool all together. It was empty! The Lillians spent most of the time in the pool. It was kind of a cold day, but the water was warm...maybe warmer than the air! The rest of us went back and forth between the pool and tennis. After the pool, we came home, picked up Maren and headed into Seattle. The first Thursday of each month is free day at the Seattle museums. We met the Rudolph's in the longest line ever! We were off to see the EMP (Experience Music Project), and mainly the Science Fiction Museum that has a great exhibit of Jim Henson and the Muppets. The line moved OK and was very loud (due to the concert in the EMP that the line went through) at times, but it was totally worth it! What a great exhibit! Original drawings by Jim Henson of his characters and just everything from Kermit to The Dark Crystal. Very cool! Here is a picture of the Original Kermit...I was told after I took this picture that no pictures were allowed...but I did not use a flash so no one got too mad!

The rest of the Science Fiction Museum was very cool as well. Star Trek, Star Wars, flying saucers, and everything else Science Fiction. Two hours in the most crowed environment was not nearly enough time to see the museum...but the price was right and we had a great time!

The night before Preston go to go see Seattle Sounders take on world champion Barcelona FC at Qwest Field thanks to Josh's family. I think Josh must have had the best birthday ever...at least Preston had the best Josh's birthday ever! Barcelona was amazing (I watched at home) and Preston had a great time...yes, he wore his Barcelona jersey and was surrounded by a sea of Sounder's green!
See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

McCafe day!

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

For the last month Hansen has been asking me to take him to McDonald's on Monday because the promotion around here is that Monday is McCafe day. Free small McCafe drinks to anyone who wants one. Nearly a month has gone by and just have not been to McDonald's. Yesterday Preston was at a friend's house, so after Hansen's and Lillian's piano lesson, I took them to McDonald's for a free McCafe and some ice-cream (Hansen wanted hot apple pies, Lillie and I had an ice-cream sundae) for a treat. This picture has Hansen looking kind of glum...probably because I am making him pause and take a picture. Really, this free drink has been a month in the making and I am sure he is so happy inside that he just has no energy left to even make his mouth curve upwards in a smile! Actually knowing Hansen, he may actually be kind of frustrated at the moment this picture was taken because he is realizing that his #$%& Dad has made him miss the last several weeks of free McCafe's and he now knows what he has been missing. The kid loves his coffee.

I sent the photo of Hansen and his free McCafe to Maren while she was at work via picture message. She was very jealous...so jealous that she offered to go to the pool with me and the kids in the evening with the idea that we could stop on the way home and buy her a McCafe! It worked! The promotion, the trip to the pool, and the McCafe for Maren.
See you tomorrow.