Sunday, January 31, 2010


Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday was a birthday day for Maren, and a Birthday day for her friend Judy. They both had their actual birthdays while at ALA, so their friends and families parties were yesterday. Here are some photos with an explanation or two:

Maren getting ready to blow out candles with an ever helpful Hansen holding up the Happy Birthday his teeth?
Maren and Preston. Preston kicked his soccer ball around with Jack and hung out with plenty of folks, but he got his picture taken with his mom.
Lillie and Claire. Dressed up in one of many different outfits from Nana's closet. These two had no trouble disappearing and just having a great time.
Hansen and Alex. These guys are actually linking their gameboys, so they are actually actively playing together...can't you tell? They had a great time bouncing all over as well.
Maren and Judy. The birthday girls. We left the kids at Nana and Grandpa's house for an overnight and headed over to Judy's house for a big birthday bash. We saw plenty of friends and had a fun time.

Next it is off to church where we will meet up with Nana, Grandpa, and our kids. This afternoon both Preston and Hansen have birthday parties to attend with their friends. And Lillie has two invites for parties for next weekend, she just has to choose!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cousin Emily.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Here is picture of Maren and my cousin Emily taken at the ALA conferences in Boston a week or so ago. I have not actually seen Emily in person for many years, but Maren was able to get an actual visit with Emily in person! No, Emily is not elusive or anything like that (I don't think), but we live on opposite coasts of the United States which makes running into each other at the grocery store nearly impossible. Thanks to Maren's friend Judy for sending the picture.

Now for a goofy picture. Here is Lillie playing with her pet mouse. I don't think the cats would chase it like she had hoped. After all, it is not a mouse that a cat would really understand.
See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday turned out to be a fine day. Preston got to his ortho appointment (he has gray bands on his braces as they did not give him a choice this time) and had a good soccer practice. His team scrimmaged the girls team from the same select organization, but a year older. It is interesting because the girls usually get taller and stronger quicker than the boys, so there is a year or so around age 12 and 13 that the girls soccer teams are better than the boys. Preston's team is now growing and getting past that spot...and quite pleased that they beat the girl's team regularly these days. Preston's teammates still tease him about a play a year ago against the girls team where he checked a girl, knocked her to the ground, but instead of taking the ball to the goal...he stopped, helped the girl up, and apologized for knocking her to the ground. I don't think he is so polite these days.

Lillie and Hansen also had good days, doing well at their piano lessons and having a fun time at home. The KSD had a technology fair last night, but as we have been so busy the last couple of nights, and Maren and I wanted to watch the President's speech so we stayed home. Yes, I do like Obama, thought his speech was very good, and I hope he can pass his programs and get the country back on a good track for us and the world, but these speeches just turn into a sad display for the world of how divided this country is and how pathetic some of our leaders are when Democrats and Republicans purposely mock each other and such. Anyhow, that is enough politics for my blog...just keep voting.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Art and flowers.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night was the Art Walk at Grass Lake Elementary school. The art docents were given a quick introduction then it was off to see the art. There was a fun little scavenger hunt where a little green gator was stapled to a kid's work of art (20 in all) and when you filled out your page, you got a cool pencil. Lillie's class (who I docent for) had 4 walls of art on display! There are a couple of pics below, but first you get a picture of Lillie and some flowers. The roses are fake, but they last a long time and look good imo. The Forsythias grow in the back yard and remind me of coconut frosting on a large slice of cake. I like this picture...and for Maren fans out there, you can spot her lurking in the background.

Here is one of Hansen's pieces of artwork. It is a T-rex made out of wire. The kids were given no instruction other than to make something that using your imagination made from the wire. Hansen's T-rex was very cool, it really stood out in comparison to other wire thingies made by classmates.
This is one of Lillian's pieces of art. The sponge tree project turned out very well. The artist gene has definitely landed on the Slane kids!

Tonight we have piano lessons for the littles, soccer and an orthodontist appointment for Preston.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Box of books.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday's mail brought a huge box of books. Free books that all of us will enjoy reading! Where did this come from you might ask? Well, when Maren was in Boston for the ALA conferences, vendors would give her tons of "uncorrected proof" books to read. We now have a new supply of books that all of us will enjoy. Maren says it is cheaper and easier to just mail the box of books home than it is to pay for an extra bag and tote it to and from the airport.
Tonight is the first ever Art Walk at Grass Lake Elementary. Being one of the art docents, I will probably be hanging out near the 1st grader's art wall(s), answering questions from kids running around the school trying to fill out an art scavenger hunt form with the hopes of winning a fabulous prize.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The weekend.

Good morning, it is Monday.

You might be wondering what we did this weekend? A lot and a little. Friday we all went out to the movies. Saw Planet 51. It's cute. I don't know if we will go see a movie this weekend, looks like we have seen most of the kid friendly movies at the $3.00 theatre.

Saturday Lillian was scheduled to go to a birthday party/sleepover at a friend's house, unfortunately she has had this juicy cough and she had to stay home. She was totally bummed out for awhile, but she ended up having a fine day at home.

Hansen did not have any plans other than just to play outside some, play inside some, and do next to nothing the entire weekend...not a bad weekend either.

Saturday also brought Preston's soccer game. Tough loss for the team. They had many great shots on goal, but the cross bar kept deflecting the ball the wrong way! So they are out of the State Cup and getting ready for the spring league. Their game was at Lower Woodland Park Fields so after I dropped the kids off (three players and a coach all carpooled with me) for warm-ups, I walked around Green Lake. Crazy crowded Green Lake was! Tons of walkers, runners, bikers, skaters, and even a few in the water.

Yesterday after Church, was hang out and watch Football. I would have like to see the Jets win their game, but they probably did as good as they could. I am happy the Saints won their game against the crazy a game was that? I am a Brett Farve fan, I wish he had not thrown that interception at the end of regulation...he could have just ran out of bounds, given his kicker a 50 yard chance to win, the game would have gone into overtime and the results would have been the same anyhow.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cheese please.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night I made baked potatoes for dinner (love the microwave) and Hansen really wanted to be the cheese grater. No problem, he grated the exact right amount of cheese for the first round. Hansen was the only one looking for a round two, so I had him grate more cheese (this is where he would replace the word "grate" with "cut", and he and Lillian would fall on the ground laughing). By the time I realized how much he was grating, he had grated too much. I said something like, "Hansen, we don't need that much cheese, it is just you buddy!" His reply was, "But, I like cheese." So, I took the whole cheese grater of cheese and just dumped it on his lone potato...I think that was the biggest smile he has made in a week!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mom is home!

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night at nearly 10:00pm Maren got home from Boston. She had a very successful trip, and as the Chair of the Edward's award her committee gave the award to a non-fiction writer for the first time ever in the history of the award. Jim Murphy is the latest and only non-fiction writer to win the Margaret Edwards award to date. Cool...but you will have to get specifics from Maren, that is all I know, and I might even be wrong. Maren did say it was kind of cool to have the travel day for her birthday because with the time change her birthday lasted 27 hours instead of the normal 24 hour day. We also called my Mom to wish her a happy birthday. Sounds like her birthday was good as well, she was about to dig into cake once she got off the phone with us.

The kids were very excited to have their mom back home. I took them to the airport even though they will be tired today. We showed up a few minutes early and had a hot chocolate as we waited at the gate.

Here are the kids with their mom as she exited her gate:

Can you tell that the boys had just gotten haircuts? Hansen's is easy to see, but Preston's not so much...I think there were equal amounts of hair on the ground for each boy...but Hansen certainly has a shorter style. Lillian was very happy to have her mom back.
These pictures are from Monday. The weather was very nice and Lillian, along with a couple of the neighbor girls, did some fancy side walk chalk. The art stretches out equally as far the other way.
See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Birthday girls.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Maren and Mom!

Yup, Maren and my mom share the same birthday. I hope you both have a great birthday!
Happy Birthday to Maren!
Happy birthday to mom!

Yesterday Maren got to have coffee with my cousin Emily. Emily lives in Boston and I have not seen her in many years. Sounds like they had a very nice visit, and Maren's friend Judy swung by to be the photographer, so a photo will be around in a week or so.

For Maren's birthday she gets to spend the day on two different coasts, and in the air inbetween, cool huh? Yup, she flys home from Boston today after what sounds like a very good conference.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A full weekend.

Good morning, it is Monday.

We have the day off due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Preston will probably sleep in till noon, Hansen should be up any time, and Lillian and I have been up for a while now.

We have kept very busy this weekend. I will try not to bore you with too many details.

I spent much of the day on Saturday shifting things in the garage so I could get to a broken pipe, on that cracked during the cold spell. I was able to borrow a blow torch and with about $8.00 in parts, able to repair the broken pipe. That was fun...I also fixed a neighbor's broken pipes as well. The garages in our neighborhood are unfinished and the pipes have a shut off valve, so it was no problem...there was just too much water in the pipe for a week of 10 degrees weather. Here is Lillian playing with a bubble blower while I work in the garage.

Hansen and I spent some time building a paper/balsa air plane that Hansen flew around for a while, getting it stuck in tall trees and finally it lost it's rudder and needs repair.

Preston had a great weekend, he was not home! Friday and Saturday he spend with a couple of friends, overnight, then monster jam. Sunday he spent the day at a kind of Church Retreat. About 9 kids his age hung out after church, made lunch, goofed off, then made cookies and headed over to a local retirement home. They brought the cookies and had a great time hanging with seniors. Preston was telling about one guy who wore cool hats and told fun math jokes.

After picking Preston up from his retreat, I took all the kids to Starbucks so Hansen could make a dent in his Starbucks gift card. Lillie, Preston and I had no trouble ordering hot chocolate, but Hansen took forever trying to figure out what to order. I don't have enough patience in my life to do this too many more times. Hansen even had to let another customer go in front of him. The reason for the picture of the coffee cup is to tell of Lillian's joke: Lillie said to me, "Do you know who I love less than Mom?", I said "who?", and she pointed at the cup with a big grin. Ouch.

Last night I took the kids to a movie theatre. We saw Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. There is a $3.00 theatre not too far away, $3.00 movies all the time, sure the titles are a few months old, but it was fun to be at a theatre.

Maren has called from Boston a few times, it sounds like her ALA Conference is going great. Their committee chose a great author to win it's award and the big presentations and such have gone very well. I think she gets to meet my cousin Emily today for a coffee or something.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wii Boxing.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Last night Preston spent the night at a friend's house so it was just me, Hansen, and Lillie hanging out. We basically just watched Journey To The Center Of The Earth and played the Wii. We had pizza for dinner, drank a little pop, and had some ice-cream as well. Living it up...kind of.
Here is a picture of Hansen vs. Julian in Wii boxing. Hansen loves Wii boxing because he wins every time. And he gets to punch and torment people and it is not really real. I can smoke him in bowling, baseball, golf, and that is about it. Lillie is good at baseball and bowling, but not so much at golf or boxing.

Later today I may try to fix the copper pipe that broke in the garage during the cold snap. I have borrowed a blow torch and just need to buy a few sleeves for where the breaks were. Who knows, I may just hire a plumber to do it right, but I will try first...does not seem too hard.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Good morning, it is Friday.

Maren made it to Boston just fine yesterday, and as the time difference is three hours ahead of our time, while I am just waking up and the kids are still snoozing, I am sure Maren has been working away for some time now.

We have a three day weekend this week for M.L.K. day. Today was his actual birthday, but we will get Monday off from school. Yesterday Lillie came home wearing this crown:

It is a very cute crown, with a good message. If you look at the way she signed her name, you will see it reads Lillian S. O. This is because Lillie has decided that she now wants people to call her Lillian rather than Lillie, and that her last, last name should be Ostergard, like her mom's. I forget, is this girl turning 19 in a couple of months, or just 7? Yikes.
This is a picture I took for no reason. I was just sitting in the parking lot waiting for Preston to get out of school as I do every day, in the rain as it does every day. Last night at 7:42 pm he asked if we could go get him a haircut right then...uh, no. But today is a real possibility, unless he has changed his mind by tonight.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Good morning, it is Thursday.

Maren left about an hour ago to Boston. She is totally nervous, and a little excited. She is the Chairperson for a big committee called the Margaret A Edwards Award. You can read more about it at this link:
Maren will probably be doing tons of work, be totally stressed out, see tons of fun people, and get to go to lots of fun parties hosted by many different groups regarding books and libraries. City of Boston, look out...the Librarians are coming!

As for the rest of us, well, Lillie has been very sad, Hansen has been goofy sad, Preston can go with the flow, and I better get some work done around the house or it just won't get done. Dang. Like right now...lunches to pack and kids to get going.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Maren's first birthday party of the season.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night we took Maren out to Red Robin for her birthday. No, yesterday was not her birthday, but we have no chance to take her out until well after her birthday. She will actually be in Boston for ALA on her birthday and days such as Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are full of soccer, choir, and piano. So Maren just gets a longer birthday season this year...sounds like a happy problem. Here is a picture of Maren and her goofy daughter.

Tonight we are back to piano practice and soccer.
See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday I promised some pictures, so here you go. Yesterday after school Preston dropped his backpack and other school stuff right in the walkway, leaped over them, and headed to the kitchen to raid our poor refrigerator. After I wiped off my shoes, zig zagged around his stuff, and made it into the kitchen, this is what I found. Preston pouring cake icing straight into his mouth. I guess I can't complain too much because it is his icing, but we kind of thought he would use it for decorating cakes or something now that he thinks he is the mini cake boss.

In the spirit of "bottoms up", but much more respectably, are Hansen and Lillie showing off their new water bottles. They are allowed to have water bottles at their desks at school, but the cheap plastic ones get chewed up and gross very fast...and they leak. So we purchased them some nice ones that were on sale at Costco. Lillie liked her purple water bottle so much that she did not even put it in her back pack...she just carried it all the way to school while getting thirsty just to drink. Of course this story sounds all innocent, except for after each sip of water, Lillie yells, "Drank!" just like Fergie does in the Black Eyed Peas new song, "I Have A Feeling, Tonight's Going To Be A Good Night". Uh, Yeah.
Just to balance your vision of Lillie doing a perfect imitation of Fergie yelling "Drank!", here she is with a couple of her dolls. She made up their hair and her own hair to be matchers. Very cute.
See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another short post.

Good morning, it is Monday.

A rainy Monday I might add. We sure got lucky this weekend. It was sunny and not too cold for both of Preston's soccer games and it was not until late last night that it started to rain. The forecast is for rain for the foreseeable future, but some folks think that rain may be mixed with snow as the week continues.

Preston's team lost their first game, and won their second. Their next game is in two weeks and that game will decide if they go further into the tournament.

Lillie had a great time at Chuck E Cheese for her friend's party. Maren said the place was jam packed, but that did not slow Lillie down one bit. She thinks she wants her party there in two months...yikes.

Hansen and I had a nice visit with my friend Mike, then wandered down to watch Preston's soccer game.

Now for the treats! Lillie got to visit Cold Stone with Nana and Grandpa after church yesterday, yum. I took the boys out for Slurpees after soccer, also yum.

I will try to take a picture or two sometime this week and think of something interesting to write about. I think surfing on Facebook is giving my blog writer's block!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

going, going, going.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Here is a quick synopsis of this weekend: Wake the kids who decided to sleep downstairs, chores, Mel and twins visit, soccer game, see Grandpa, take Preston to a friend's house, watch movies, more chores, waste time on the computer, sleep, Sunday School, more soccer for some, stay at church with Nana and Grandpa for others, visit friends, watch soccer, Lillie at a friends birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, and the rest is up in the air...who knows when we will all be home and stuff tonight. But then Maren will have to pack for Chicago, I will go running, and the kids will beg for ice-cream with cookies. I don't think we will watch Bolt again, maybe Journey to the Center of the Earth...that is a cool movie.

I had a few funny occurrences to blog about, but I forgot to write them down...the only thing I see in front of me is the sticky note that Hansen stealthily put on Preston's back, then ran for his life around the house until Preston caught him a few minutes later, then he was just screaming for his life...ok, they were laughing. The note reads, "Preston Farts Death!!!" This stuff is all fun and games until someone gets hurt...then it is hilarious!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 08, 2010

It is Friday!

Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night we picked up Maren's shirts from West Coast Awards, and yes, they turned out very nice. Then it was to GameStop and Walmart to spend the rest of Hansen's birthday money. Money just burns in Hansen's pocket. It is funny because he can save and save his Starbuck's cards and he hates to use them because then it means no more Starbuck's coffee, but money just slips through his fingers. I even tried to explain that cash was kind of like a Starbuck's card that you could use for anything! That cash was worth saving...but I am just talking to myself because the money in his pocket was already spent in his mind. Of course, he did get a very cool DS game based on the movie Avatar as well as a GI Joe and a Lego. So, well spent birthday money.

Have a good Friday, see you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Back to piano.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday Hansen and Lillie had their first piano lesson after the long break. Lillie had played plenty over the break and was happy to have a lesson. Hansen, on the other hand, had only looked at the piano in disgust over the break and was not too excited about his lesson. Lillie knew her notes and had improved on all her songs, even memorizing some songs just for fun. Hansen put all his piano stuff in a corner of his mind that looks like the trash can icon on the bottom of your computer screen. Not too surprisingly, these tactics paid off well for Lillie, but not so much for Hansen. Their teacher got out the white out and whited out the finger count notes in Hansen's book so he actually needs to learn his notes, and now they have to pass a number of flash cards during their lesson. Looks like Hansen will learn to play the piano one way or another. But it is not forever. Next school year (they currently have band and orchestra for 5th and 6th graders) if he chooses to play band or orchestra, then he can quit piano if he wants. To be honest, I am kind of surprised how much Lillie enjoys playing the piano, and just as surprised that Hansen does not...I guess he is just happy to play the radio and sing, which really is not so bad.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Will wake for cake.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Today was much harder to wake up than it was on Monday! If yesterday was any indication, that is the case with the whole family. Yesterday Preston got home from school, worked on his homework, and took a nap on the couch. Yup, his first nap in many years. We tried to wake him up by telling him that he could go to bed upstairs, we changed the channel off of soccer to Sponge Bob Square Pants, but the only thing to wake him up was cake. Yup, something like this,"hey Pres, wake up if you want some cake." The kid was ready to go. Crazy. We did have a little left over Hansen birthday cake and then off to bed. Worked out just fine.

Today is suppose to be the first of a few dry days in a row up here. Hansen and Lillie have piano lessons today and Preston has soccer practice.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Maren and I had a very nice 19th anniversary. We did not do anything special other than celebrate Hansen's birthday, but it was a nice day. Maren got some flowers, and I am sure we will go out for dinner some day. Thanks for all the nice cards and comments.

Yesterday was back to the grind of school, work, and rain. Arg. Last night it was back to homework and soccer. I don't think any of the kids minded homework and I know Preston was very happy to get back to soccer.

Last night we ventured down to West Coast Awards to buy some shirts for Maren's Library award committee. Maren wanted to buy shirts for her committee to wear on award presentation day, so if you see a committee wearing hot pink, that is Maren's group. We choose West Coast Awards because Amber and Chuck worked for them for a long time, but these days West Coast Awards is making it hard to be a customer. They were closed all of winter break and now they are only open until 6:00pm. We got there at 5:50pm and Maren was able to get her order in. They did not check her thumb drive to see if the logo was good or take very good notes either, but their work has always been top notch, so we are assuming the shirts will come out very nice. The workers downstairs all said they had only worked there for like three years and did not know Amber or Chuck, I asked if Brett or the old timers were still there, and while the workers said they had already left for the day, I am pretty sure Brett's red Camaro was parked in the back and they were probably upstairs watching Monday Night Football and hanging out. I will try to catch them when we pick up the shirts.

My camera phone lets us goof around with pictures, here are a couple of fun ones:

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy 19th anniversary to M and J, 10th birthday H.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Happy 19th anniversary to Maren and myself!

Happy 10th birthday to Hansen!

Yup, Hansen was born on our 9th anniversary...and he never lets us forget which of those events is more important and how lucky we are to have him born on our anniversary. We thought about ditching him on his birthday to go out to dinner for our anniversary, but so far, his parties win out. Maybe next year, our 20th, will outshine his party...maybe.

Here is a picture of a picture that is hanging on our wall of Maren and me shortly after we got married, in the same outfits we were married in.
Now, 19 years later, Maren looks just the same!
A solo picture of Hansen at his birthday party yesterday. We had a very nice party. Hansen shared his party with Maggie who turned two years old! Hansen enjoys sharing his party and figures the bigger the better. Maggie seems to also like sharing the birthday party! We will see how she feels about sharing a party with much older Hansen when she is turning 15?
Here is a picture of the birthday kids. Hansen 10 years, and Maggie 2 years.

Last night we went out to see the movie Avatar for Hansen's birthday. Lillie was not too happy to be left home with Maren, but she would have not liked the movie at her young age. Very cool movie.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Happy New Years to all of you!!! I hope all your wishes for 2010 come true!

We celebrated at home, family style. We did a lot of nothing waiting for midnight. Maren read a book in front of the fire, Preston kicked his soccer ball around, Hansen and Lillie watched AFV and got in each other's space, and I kind of roamed around. When midnight came around we toasted, watched fireworks on TV, and went outside to play with Sparklers and watch the neighborhood blow off fireworks and bang pots and pans. There may even have been a New Year's baby sighting flying around the house, but you would have to ask Hansen or Lillie about that.

Here we are "clinking" our cider!
A New Year's kiss caught on camera.
The kids getting ready to ring in the New Year!

There you have it...have a great 2010.

See you tomorrow.