Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last post of the year.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

This will be my last blog post this year...ha ha.

It is nearly 10:00am, but it feels extremely early this morning as I am the only person up in the family. I think I will just let everyone sleep for a couple of hours more as once they wake up, they will be up for the rest of the year...ha ha. In years past we have though about turning the clocks forward a few hours and watching the New York festivities then just going to bed...but that never worked out. This year the kids will have no problem staying up. I am guessing we will just play the Wii, or watch silly videos or something, then it will be banging pots and pans, drinking apple cider, and dashing around yelling crazy stuff or something.

Have a great New Years, see you tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Zoopa

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night Hansen got to choose any place for dinner he wanted for his fancy birthday dinner. He chose Zoopa near South Center mall. It worked out perfect because on Tuesdays kids 9 and under eat free. Next Tuesday he will be 10 years old and the free kids meal will only be good on Lillie. Lillie thinks the funniest thing ever is when you are inside the restaurant and you read Zoopa backwards, you are eating at Apooz. Potty humor is alive and well at our house! Here is Hansen enjoying round one of his birthday week:
Hansen is not even home as last night he spent the night at Kole's house. Lillie was getting all bent out of shape because Preston has lots of overnights and Hansen has a few, but she does not get any! She got to sleep in Hansen's bed and that was a good enough distraction for her. Yikes.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Maren's haircut.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday was the big day...Maren went to a fancy salon to get her haircut. Lillie hung out with her while I dropped Preston off at a birthday party (He got to go to a Thunderbird's game!) and took Hansen shopping for essentials such as lights for the garage, milk and bananas. When we got back to the salon, this is how we found Maren:

Ten minutes later she came out looking like this (yes, I was totally embarrassing her by taking her picture at the salon):
And at home after taking the younger two kids out to The Rock for dinner. The Rock is a cool pizza place that Hansen and Lillie had earned free kids pizzas for good work at school!
We did not get a before picture, but you know her hair was long and thick. Now it is short and thin. Looks great huh? Maren thinks next time she may even get highlights!

Stay tuned for my next haircut...ha ha, just joking. See you tomorrow.

P.S. I have been getting lots of strange spam comments on older posts, so I have activated the "must approve comments" before they go onto the blog feature. Please keep the comments coming, but if it says it must be "approved" before being published, that is why.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lego Architecture.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

This weekend has seemed like a total bonus vacation. I think I would be about ready to go back to work on Monday...but I may be the only one.

Yesterday Preston and I made a quick trip to the outlet stores to pick up a pair of soccer shoes and a pair of running shoes. Very quick and successful trip. The store had exactly the shoes we were looking for and it did not seem very crowded. Preston then spent much of the afternoon kicking the soccer ball in the back yard (we have a big goal and no grass), coming in every once in a while to eat a frozen burrito and tell about how his new shoes grip the ball so well that he can make it drop, rise, curve and hit the corners of the net with pin point accuracy. That kid can control a soccer ball better than I can control a golf ball!

Hansen spent much of the day building his newest Lego set. Notice the box, 811 pieces, suggested for 18+ age group. He would take the occasional break to fly his little remote control helicopter around the house. Sounds like the perfect day for Hansen. This is the completed Lego below:

The next picture is of Hansen hard at work building. A couple of years ago he and I were sitting in nearly the same spot building a Lego Batmobile, but back then he needed lots of help...now he does not really want anyone hanging out just in case we mess him up.
Maren has been cleaning and Lillie has been hanging out with her when not outside. Our bedroom looks great and organized and if I don't start doing a bit more work around the house soon I will get a reputation for being a bit lazy! If Lillie keeps hovering around, Maren may be ready to go back to work as well.

Off to read the paper, have some coffee, and get ready for church. See you tomorrow.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

I sure hope you had a very nice Christmas as we did!

We spent Christmas Eve at John and Carol's house along with Mel, Court, Stef, Jack and Avery. After a nice day of hanging out, eating well, and opening presents, we headed to the 7:30 pm church service. Preston and a couple of his friends were acolytes for the service. They were kept very busy with their activities which included helping with the candles, communion and more. They did a great job and the Christmas Eve service was one of the best services I have ever attended.

Stef got a Snuggie covered with WSU logos. Lillie loved it and snuggled with Stef hoping she will be a WSU Cougar some day.
Here is Court, Stef, Preston and Hansen getting ready for dinner.
Carol is pictured here serving sweedish meatballs. Double yum. Acutally tripple yum as I had a bunch for dinner tonight as well.
Lillie and Hansen sorted presents at Nana's house. With five kids and plenty of adults, there were presents galore.
Everyone came by our house today which was great. Currrently Maren is just resting on the couch, the kids are snacking and playing with Christmas gifts, I just got back from a run, and we are just having a great day.

Merry Christmas everyone, see you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lefsa and more.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

This is my 700th post! Crazy huh? As you know, today is Christmas Eve and it should be a good one! Yesterday we ventured over to Mel's house to hang with everyone and make lefse for tonight's traditional lefse and meatballs meal. One of the best meals ever. When we arrived Mel and Carol were hard at work already. Preston even got in on the action. If you scroll down to the last picture of this post you can see Preston in action. The pictures did not upload in the order I planned, and I am thinking it is easier for you to scroll down than for me to figure this out. Sorry.

I did not blog yesterday because I slept in too late, vacation is great! Preston was grumpy for most of the early afternoon because I woke him up at noon and I had told the kids the night before that they could sleep in as late as they wanted. How much later than noon do you have to sleep in? Preston for one is frustrated he did not get the chance to find out!

Tuesday was party day at the schools. Lots of candy, lots of coloring, lots of fun. Hansen's class had a gift exchange game where everyone brought a wrapped gift, the kids all sat in a circle and the teacher read a story. Every time she said a certain word, everyone had to pass their gift to one side or the other depending on the story. When the story ended, the gift in your hand was your gift. Hansen then traded with a friend to get this Starbucks Coffee note pad. Anything Starbucks is like gold to Hansen.
Yesterday at Mel's house, Avery woke up a while before Jack, so she got all the attention for quite a while. Getting all the attention from Lillie and Hansen can be both good and bad, but mostly good. Here is Hansen flipping...er, I mean gently carrying Avery around.
Here is the picture of Preston making Lefsa...but you already scrolled down to see this didn't you?
Have a great Christmas Eve. Preston is one of the acolytes at the 7:30 service tonight. He could have signed up for any Sunday, but Christmas Eve services have three acolytes, so he will not be the only acolyte...seems that he did not want to be the only one sitting next to the pastor, so now he will have a couple of friends to get in trouble with.

See you tomorrow, and hopefully you are on the nice list!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last day of school this year.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Today is the last day of school and work before Winter Break! Even Maren is taking vacation days to match our school schedule! None us us have to report to work or school (after today) until Jan. 4th. By then it will be 2010, Hansen will be 10 years old, and Maren and I will have been married for a day over 19 years! On paper this sounds just great, I am guessing that by the time the 4th finally comes around, we will all be ready for some space and getting back to school and work won't sound so bad...at least for half a day?

The surrounding schools are already on break. It is easy to forget that fact when you live smack in the middle of a huge school system, but Preston learned the hard way last night. His soccer team was scheduled to have practice at an Auburn high school, but as the school was closed for break, there was no one to turn on the lights, so the team hung out in the dark for a few, then called it...no soccer for a couple of weeks either. As much as Preston hates to take time off of soccer, it will be good for him to have a break.

Finally, yesterday was the volleyball match between the CV teachers and the all-star teams from the school. The games were very close at times, and not close at other times. The teachers won! There were 5 of us that played, we all dressed in yellow shirts and blue shorts. The classes sat around the court and there was tons of cheering, especially when the ball would fly into the crowd and hit screaming spectators! Ha ha good times.

Tomorrow's blog should come later than usual as I have no plans to set my alarm clock...oh yeah, I just kind of wake up early everyday...maybe I will just pretend to sleep in late.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa visit.

Good evening, it is Sunday.

Blogging Sunday evening is turning into a trend. But since Blogging Sunday morning is usually out of the question and the weekends are always busy so I will take a deep breath and blog.

Friday was a "go" day for Preston. He had a school dance right after school which he left early from in order to get to a soccer friend's birthday party. I picked up Preston and Connor, we headed to GameStop for a couple of gift cards (that is how last second gift cards happen and how all 13 year olds seem to roll) then to the party...a Dodgeball party. Yes, it was great, Dodgeball. The kids had a great time.

Saturday was also a busy day. Preston had his last soccer game of the season. He had a great game and his team won the game. After tomorrow's practice he gets a couple of weeks off before the State Cup in January.

After the game we loaded the kids up and went to see Santa! Preston was not too thrilled and really did not want to participate, but since Maren and I jumped into the picture as well, he just didn't have a choice. Santa actually asked me what I wanted for Christmas after asking everyone else...and I totally choked! Maren has requested a great Christmas and later a nice dinner out with her husband...cough, uh me...and I kind of just agreed! I agreed to a nice dinner, what was I thinking??? I could have had a new motorcycle, a fast car, or a Red Ryder BB gun...but all that came out was, "yup, a nice dinner and a great Christmas would be perfect". Dude, I totally choked. I guess a nice dinner will be nice. Here is a nice picture of the event. I am taking this pic and Preston is off to the side.

This morning the children's choir sang in both services with the adult choir at church. Hansen did his speaking part totally perfect. My camera is not the best, but the pictures came out pretty good. Hansen is the first kid on the right and Lillie is the fourth from the right. Nice job to the whole children's choir.
The last picture is of Hansen and Lillie painting stockings for our kittens Ranger and Joe.
Two more days of school before winter break.
See you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lost and found.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

We just found out that Preston's soccer game just changed time and location at the last minute, so we are kind of scrambling to leave in 30 mins...so a quick post.

Yesterday I was at Grass Lake to be Art Docent in Lillie's first grade class. I took this picture of the supplies I was using to show a progression of the project. After this picture, I totally forgot to take any more pictures, so this is what you get until next week when I visit the school again. Basically we used the two colors of paper to make a landscape, then we used the hummingbird outline that I made to color hummingbirds, then cut out the hummingbirds, glued them to the landscape and used the oil pastels to make everything bright and colorful. They actually turned out very nice. Mrs. Akins even made her own art project so it must not have been too poor of an idea.

When I walked into the main hallway at Grass Lake I was totally startled by the line of lost and found clothes. This picture shows the clothes lined down the entire length of the hall...and very nice clothes! At Cedar Valley there is just a small box of lost and found clothes. I never expected such a difference, but I guess I should not be surprised as the income levels of the students families at the schools may be equally diverse.
Ok, time is up. See you tomorrow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Little hat ornaments.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday at school Mrs. Senger set us up for a very cute craft project that she did for the classes she substituted in the last couple of days. These are the cutest little hat ornaments. You use yarn and cut up rolls of cardboard from paper towels. Lillie made three hats, Hansen made one and a half hats, Preston and myself just made one hat. Maren worked a bit late so she did not partake in the fun (Maren fans can feel sad for her now.........ok, that is enough, I gave her my hat!) This blog was only going to be about these cute little ornament hats, but just as I was going to take the pictures, Hansen and Lillie realized that they each received their favorite magazine in the mail and the only way I was possibly going to get a picture of them with the hats was to include the magazine as well, so Preston and I added the book we are reading right now to our pictures just to be fun:

Lillie with her three hats and her new favorite TinkerBell mag.
Hansen wearing his little hat while holding his newest Jughead comic book...he just loves the Jughead comics...we purchased an issure several months ago from the grocery store check stands, and he liked them so much we bought him a subscription.

Preston is reading the second installment of The Manny Files, his hat is there too.
I am reading Born To Run. It is a cool book about ultra runners and such. Currently I am sort of the opposite of an ultrarunner. But I am turning things around slowly.

Enjoy your Friday. Today I am art docent in Lillie's class, we are going to be drawing hummingbirds and doing a cool little craft on M.J. Heade. At least I hope it is cool, I invented it myself.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Racquetball.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night I played racquetball with a couple of friends down at Kent Commons. I probably had not played racquetball ball in 15 years. These guys play often, but after awhile I hung in just fine. We played cut-throat, a three person game where it is the server against the other two players and everyone keeps their own score. We played three games and I did not even get a point in the first game, I earned four points the second game, and I won the third game. Took me awhile to stop hitting the ball in the wrong places. I had a lot of fun and got a great work out. I hope to play again next week.

Here are a couple of pictures for you:

I just asked Hansen to pose with his coffee and his nutty buddies (a treat that Maren makes every Christmas season) and this is the pose we got! 14 seconds later the coffee and the nutty buddies were gone!
Hansen and Lillie waiting for the bus. Lillie is the one dressed in pink, go figure!
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another post.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

I used up all my recent pictures on my last post, and my humor is still sleeping. Read on if your brave! OK, it is not that bad, but your getting just the facts...man. I don't have a good name for today's blog, and I misspelled eight words...but thanks to spell check, they are all fixed, but you can try to guess which ones they were.

Yesterday Preston got to leave school early for the first time since he started jr. high to go to an orthodontist appointment. He was lucky enough to get more braces added to his teeth and some fancy bottom bands so he did not get to choose his color. He spent the evening checking my poor bite and overlapping teeth suggesting I get braces. I have never thought my teeth bad, but compared to how straight Preston's teeth are getting, yikes.

On the Hansen homework front (Yes, Hansen and his homework are kind of like a war, so a battlefront would be more like it), Hansen had to do nearly all his math over yesterday. He was copying the problems down wrong, then missing them anyhow. His teacher had written them out in this format, 756.3 /7, which is fine, but Hansen was writing 756.3 divided by 17. Anyhow, we got him straightened out, and as soon as he learns his times tables by heart, he will be one awesome mathematician.

Lillie finally broke down and let us help her make her own friendship necklace for her and her friend. You may remember how she was mad at us for not just buying her one at the mall. Well, a little cardboard cut in the right shape and stuff and voila, you have a nice little friendship necklace that she really likes. Her play date fell through, but luckily she was able to play with other friends yesterday. She is a very creative little bean, able to make anything she wants, but who can blame her for wanting the real thing?

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bel Square, Christmas Pagent, Running, and Pictures.

Good evening, it is Sunday.

Blogging Sunday night because I have the time. Currently Maren and Lillie are at Mel's house for "girl's night" with friends and family. Me and the boys are hanging out. The boys are playing new video games that we purchased today at GameStop with a couple of Preston's birthday gift cards. I have football on in the background, but I am not too invested in it.

Earlier was the Church Christmas Pageant. Hansen and Lillie did a great job singing in the Children's choir as well as the parts that were with their Sunday School classes. Preston did a great job playing his clarinet with the other kids his age at the closing. It was nice to have Nana and Grandpa there as well. Great pageant, just perfect for a Sunday school program.

Today we had snow! What better time to start running again? I have always loved running in the snow, and riding my bike in the house gets so boring.

Last night we went up to Bellevue to visit Stef. We had pizza (thanks to a friendly bet that I won due to the Huskies beating the Cougars in the Apple Cup) then went to Bel Square for window shopping and the sidewalk parade. The Lillie story of the mall...sad but true. My policy these days is that if I get change back at a store, and they have a Salvation Army bell ringer out front, I will give the change to a kid and they can put it in the red bucket. When we got to the mall I tried to get Lillie to put a handful of change in the bucket, but she refused, so Preston gladly stepped up. Next Lillie was shopping at Claire's, a little ear ring store where Lillie wanted a $10.00 friendship necklace that we were just not buying at the time. Well, Lillie threw a total fit and on the way out of Claire's she said to me with attitude, "How dare you give all your money away, you should have given it to me so I could buy the necklace!" Yup, we had a little talk about helping others and not being so selfish, she did calm down mostly, and we had a nice time.

Here are a few more pictures:
Ice-cream break. Hansen skipped the ice-cream as he was still full from his Starbucks decaf peppermint latte.
Hansen at the Lego Store, he loves the new "Architecture" series of Legos. The Lego folks are geniuses.
Lillie and Stef at a make-up counter. Lillie really wanted a major makeover like some adults were getting, but Stef volunteered a "mini-makeover". As I type and listen to Lillie yell at Hansen about sharing, it is clear that she thinks the world revolves around her!
Preston was just going through the motions most of the evening, but he really did enjoy the Puma store. Puma really does have cool shoes these days.
This is a cute picture of one of the window displays. It was fun to be at the Bellevue Square, there are tons of beautiful people everywhere spending plenty of money and standing in long lines for expensive coffee and a chance to see the sidewalk parade. Like this reindeer in space, us Covington folk used to shopping at Fred Meyers and Costco, we may have been just a little out of place at Bellevue Square...but I am only speaking for myself here, the lights and atmosphere were just a different league than the local stores.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Piano recital.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Last night was Hansen and Lillie's first ever piano recital! Very exciting, if not a little nerve racking for Hansen and Lillie. Lillie played first, her songs were "Jolly Old St. Nicholas", and "Jingle Bells". Hansen played second, he played "Away In A Manger", and "Good King Wenceslas". There were a couple of other students playing as well, and they all did a great job.

Before the recital John and Carol came out for dinner. Maren made a very yummy lasagna that even Garfield would have been proud to eat in one bite. Lillie, taking charge as usual, made place signs for everyone attending, so we had to sit in our assigned seats or deal with the wrath of Lillie. We gladly sat in our assigned seats!

This picture is of Hansen, Lillie and their piano teacher.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

What a difference a day makes.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday was a good day for Hansen. I think this shirt must have brought him luck:

Or maybe it is the Coffee that his is about to gulp down. That's right, Hansen gulps his coffee. It's is not my idea! OK, back to Hansen. The day before yesterday Hansen nearly missed his bus to school, his homework was overwhelming, and his decisions on things like when to hit his sister were just extremely poor...not his best day. Then came yesterday. Hansen was ready to go to school just fine, he did not have too much homework, and the work he did he did well, he even did the couple extra math problems (really...but only 4 problems) just right showing his work and everything. The day went smoothly and then off to choir practice. The children's choir practiced for a few minutes then went off to practice with the adult choir for the first time ever. Talk about culture shock! The kids were put right in the front, the lady running the show was very good, but no nonsense whatsoever. And she was very quick and too the point (yup, another sentence starting with the word "and", sorry Mrs. Radford...but I think that is the way literature is going, so I am rolling with it.). Anyhow, the kids were all given sheet music (which they may or may not be able to read...one of each in our case) and were each just like a deer in a headlight, they did not know what was about to hit them. After a few minutes the director asked for a volunteer from the kids to say the opening speaking part. No one dared move a muscle, but for some reason Hansen's hand went up. They tried him a few times, then gave him the part...the director was even joking (but the kids could not tell she was joking) about how he had better not be sick or have cold feet because once the bulletin was printed, it was not to be changed. Hansen was very brave and the adults were very impressed with him. A little later it was told that the kids did not need to memorize the parts and could read them, so a few others have parts as well. On the car ride home I asked Hansen what was up with the volunteering and how impressive it was, and he said, "Well, my mind was not made up, but no one was volunteering and in the awkward silence my body just urged my hand up in the air" Yikes.

OK, that is a long blog on Hansen, but he does not get too many of these with being the middle child surrounded by the likes of Preston and Lillie. Good for you Hansen!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

microwave, band, homework, Nana and Grandpa

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was run, run, run. Actually drive, drive, drive. Lets just say it was a busy day, but we did get a ton accomplished. The day started with late start for Preston's school as it was an early release day for the littles. I got off work a little early to be able to make it to the bus stop to pick up Hansen and Lillie, then it was off to Home Depot to buy a new microwave oven for over the range. Our old one died and I just decided to end the frustration by buying a new one. No one really likes the new one because it has a few less features, but it works and looks good...Thanks to Preston doing a great job helping me install it in the short time between when we picked him up from school and took Hansen and Lillie to piano lessons. So, I guess I like it more actually...blaa. After piano lessons we hurried home for a quick dinner and a visit from Nana and Grandpa. Yup, Preston's band concert was last night. We all packed into the van and trekked up to the jr. high school. The concert was very nice. The jr. high band is very good. It is also fun to see all Preston's friends playing in the band and such. Afterwards it was home again and ice-cream time. I did not even mention homework. Groan. Hansen is not the best at managing his time or memorizing his times tables so it took awhile for a bunch of long division problems to get completed all the while Lillie was running around measuring our feet for her homework assignment on the foot-long foot. Preston now can bring his laptop computer home from school, which is not so great to him as it really just means more homework for him too.

OK, yesterday was kind of a crazy day...lets hope today is calmer. Today Maren gets to talk for 30 minutes to Lillie's class about being a Librarian. Lillie's class will love her. No sports or microwave shopping or anything else on the agenda today, so lets hope we get a chance to relax!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ears, advent, eating.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

A few pictures, but first, Hansen had his ear check up yesterday. Sounds like everything is going great. Hansen was extremely nervous to have them remove the gel packs that were in his ear, but he survived. Another week of drops, no water in the ear for a few more weeks, and a hearing check in three months. Phew.

This picture is the mad race after dinner to do the advent calendars. We have plenty, and there are a few that are kid specific. In this picture Hansen is working on his Lego advent calendar and Lillie has moved from the Playmobile to the singing tree advent calendar. Preston has decided it is just fine to stay out of the way this year.

Staying out of the way of the advent calendars just gives him more time in the kitchen. This picture was taken at 9:20pm last night as Preston was eating everything in the house including this box of Bagel Bites after getting home from an evening of soccer practice. Actually he is leaning on the counter just waiting for the toaster oven to hurry...the microwave is still broken.
Last picture...taken at the bus stop in the morning. It was maybe 27 degrees. Brrrr.
See you tomorrow.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Another no picture blog.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday during Sunday School time was a rehearsal for the church Christmas Pageant. All three kids get to be in the show. Hansen and Lillie both sing with their respective classes and with the youth choir and Preston get to play the clarinet with some friends for the closing short song. The actual show is next Sunday. The practice was fun to watch.

After church Maren had her friend Judy visit and Preston had his last indoor soccer game of the season. Hansen and Lillie did a good job of being totally bored with life.

This is a week of shows and late nights. Tonight Maren works very late teaching a class, Hansen has his dr. appointment for his ear, and Preston has soccer practice. Later this week we have Preston's band concert, and Hansen and Lillie's piano recital.

See you tomorrow. I will try to take a picture or two for tomorrow's blog.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Soccer and stuff. Familar title huh?

Good morning, it is Sunday.

We will be leaving to pick up Preston and heading to church in about 15 minutes, but I have time for a quick blog. Preston decided to spend the night with friends at a friend's house knowing full well we would be picking him up at 9:30am. He did not even whine, but he will be tired this morning.

Yesterday Preston had a soccer game at 3:00pm, he had to arrive at the field at 2:00pm, he accidentally told his grandpa that the game started at 2:00pm...so when I dropped Preston off at 2:00pm, I rounded up John and took him to the Scholastic Book Warehouse for a few minutes on the other side of Auburn. The place was huge, and we did not have a ton of time, but I did find the book I was looking for for Hansen. Hansen is quite a reader these days and we can hardly keep him in good books. We found the book and at the check out they were giving away tons of posters, so now we have plenty of posters as well.

We made it back to the soccer game just in time for the game. The result was a 1-1 tie, but Preston played great. The goal was on an a Preston assist, but the goalie made some amazing stops against Preston. At one point John and I were standing behind a few parents from the other team when Preston made some crazy good moves, flew by a few defenders, fought off a couple more, made a super cross shot that did not result in a goal, but the other team was scared big time. The parents for the other team were like, "man, look at that kid run, and his moves, and his ball handling, etc." I cracked up because right on cue John said, "And he is smart too!"

I wish I could tell you about my adventures while shopping for Maren's Christmas gift, but that would give it away. And I have been trying to fix the microwave oven to no avail...groan.

OK, out of time.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Pancake cook-off.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Last night Maren and I went to an Auction for AYSA, the organization that Preston plays soccer for. At the same time there was a party brewing at our house as well. John, Carol, Stef, Mel, Court, Jack and Avery all came over to hang out as Maren and I were leaving. I am guessing the conversation went something like this, "Julian and Maren will be out, PARTY at the Slane's house!" Actually John and Carol came out to hang with the kids and the party just followed them. Sounds like it was breakfast for dinner with a pancake cook-off between Preston and Grandpa. From what I understand, John made an excellent pancake as usual, but Preston tipped the scales by mixing chocolate chips into his pancakes. And since the main voters were kids...lets just say John will surely be coming up with a secret ingredient and a rematch will be in the making.

Back to the auction. It was fun, if not way too crowded with lines that were way too long. But we had fun. Dinner was nice and the auction was fun. Maren "won" a haircut and extras from a local salon. Actually she did get a good deal on this bid. We were out bid on all our other bids. I was assigned bartender duty for awhile which was fun, but I slipped out about halfway through and we went home as it was getting late.

Today we have plenty on the calendar, who knows how much of it will get done.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Math Night.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night we had a very fun and successful Title1/SOAR math night at Cedar Valley. Tons of kids showed up and the place was packed. Maren and Lillie hung out and helped in the SOAR area while I was in charge of checking folks in and directing them to the correct place to go. Hansen and Preston decided to stay at home, which was just fine because they would have had a great time for 27 minutes, then would have wanted to go home. Lillie had a great time helping as well as reconnecting with one of her old friends. In the picture below, Lillie is on the right.

This week has been very cold. This is what my van looks like every morning. Luckily I don't drive to work because the doors are probably frozen shut. Maren's car gets to live in the garage so it is always nice and warm.
See you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Christmas Carol.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday Hansen was lucky enough to get to go on a field trip to the ACT Theater to see A Christmas Carol. He also got to go see Gingerbread Houses that were bigger than him! Hansen loved the play and his favorite Gingerbread House was a Snoopy one that had a TV in it and stuff. Lucky Hansen.

Other than Hansen's fun, the weather has been very cold and we have been kind of just going through the daily routines. Get up, go to school/work, come home, hang out, do homework, and do it again the next day. Sure we have a few things that differentiate one day to the next, like last night was piano lessons and soccer. Even the news is just the same. Tiger Woods, Troop build up, Police getting shot, Party crashers, etc. Here is a picture of Preston reading the news paper: Pretty exciting!


Tonight will be a small change to our routines. Tonight is Title Math/SOAR 50 days of school night at Cedar Valley. Maren will be helping with the SOAR program as she volunteers through the KCLS. I will be helping with Title Math Night as I am a Title employee. Preston will be put to work because he looks all grown up compared to 3rd graders, Hansen and Lillie will get to roam around and enjoy the evening. Should be fun.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Chef Preston.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was a hang out day for the most part. Maren worked late and the rest of us were on our own. Lillie and Hansen had a friend come over and play for awhile after dinner and Preston was just kind of bored. I did let Preston get rid of some of his boredom through cooking. Yup, I let him make pancakes for dinner, then he made brownies for dessert. He needed very little guidance and the rest of us had a decent dinner and dessert! He will be put into the regular dinner cooking lineup if he is not careful.

Tonight Preston has soccer. Hansen and Lillie have piano. One of Hansen's recital songs is really too hard for him, but he continues to put minimal effort into learning it, I will be curious to see what his teacher thinks today, just a couple weeks away from the recital. Hansen always seems just a little behind to me, then he comes out smelling like a rose...his teacher will probably think he is doing great!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

L and H conferences.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was Hansen and Lillie's parent/teacher conferences. They both did very well!

Lillie's teacher praised Lillie for her academic skills and such, but the best praise was about her as a student. She said that "Lillie is always on task and trying her best, in fact with Lillie in her class she knows at least one student will always be on task." Good for Lillie!

Hansen's teacher may never give any student such glowing praise, but his report card was equally impressive. We talked about things like "showing work on math problems", and stuff like that. Considering Hansen's year late start in the Hi Cap program, he has made very good strides in catching up with his peers and learning to stay on track. Good for Hansen!

So very good conferences for the kids...maybe Santa will leave more than just a chunk of coal for them under the tree this year?!? I just wonder, how much cheaper is coal than say I-pods, game-boys and the like? Hmm.

Today Maren works very late and the rest of us will be hanging out.

See you tomorrow.