Friday, July 30, 2010

Coffee, Pickleball.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday I got quite a bit of work done on the deck. I now only have like 5 boards to put down on the top of the deck, the stairs, and the railings. Of course, I totally ran out of wood screws it will be another trip to Home Depot before any more work gets done. I am reconsidering railing benches and copper tubing as railings. Guess I had better get it figured out soon. Even with getting that much work done, I was still able to find the time to feed lunch to six kids, hang out some, and play pickleball in the evening.

A very happy Hansen holding three cases of coffee. I'm thinking we wont be running out of Keurig Coffee Pods anytime soon. It is always a good day when the UPS van stops at our house.
Last night Preston and I were with friends playing pickleball while Hansen and Lillie were at their final night of VBS sports camp. This Picture is of Preston and Jose catching a quick breather. The annual Escandon's Pickleball Tournament is this weekend...and we will be there. Preston is the alternate so he figured he would learn the game. Preston is a fast learner and someone will be very happy to draw him as a partner if he get to play.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shoes, dump.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday I borrowed John's pick-up truck to try to take a couple of loads of old decking to the dump while they brought Hansen and Lillie to play with Jack and Avery. Well, I totally loaded up the truck, waited in a long line at the dump, paid over $30.00 for one trip, and didn't hardly make a dent in the pile of scrap that needs to go. I only had time for one trip, so looks like the old trip to the dump may become a regular thing for awhile.

I picked H and L up from North Bend to take them to the outlet stores and make sure they were home in time for VBS. We did both...but I forgot my wallet at home and we were not able to buy anything. This actually worked OK for me, the kids knew I had absolutely no purchase power and were happy to just look. Normally it would have been a nonstop barrage of, "Dad...check out these shoes, can I buy them?"

I saw Lillie putting my size shoes down on the ground next to her feet in a strange fashion and didn't interfere because it was working for her. A minute later she called me over and told me to look at her feet in the "feet mirror". She had it set up she it totally looked like she was wearing the shoes in the mirror. I took the above pic, worked better in real life, but in the shoe mirror it looks real.
And for those old Mazda truck lovers out there. Here is a picture of John's pick-up truck after a trip to the dump and a good washing. The paint is wearing off from the sun in spots, but it's looking pretty good for a truck he bought it 20 years ago.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ice-cream day.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

After Preston's huge success at making Rice Krispie Treats...he moved on to ice-cream. Yesterday he made ice-cream in three different ways. The first way was a standard/modern ice-cream maker that you put the main canister in the freezer, the second way was with an old fashion ice-cream maker that you put ice around the edges and the inside spins, and the third way I had never heard put the ice-cream ingredients into a zip lock bag, then you put the zip lock bag into a huge zip lock bag full of ice...and shake. He needed his winter gloves for this job:

The ice-cream turned out great! Preston did actually have to ask my opinion of the difference between "mix" and "blend". The recipes he was consulting liked to mix those two words up when it was time to blend in the ingredients.

Last night while the littles were at VBS, Maren and I were invited to a dinner/BBQ/backyard hangout with friends from our church who also have children at sports VBS. It was a lot of fun! And I learned about a 4th way of making ice-cream...the Hamster ball ice-cream maker. Just roll the ball around, you don't even need ski gloves. Going to have to check into one of those.

After Preston and the neighbor kids lost all twelve of our ping pong balls in the garage, they wheeled out the old Tether Ball Pole that I made for them probably five years ago. It is sitting out front right now getting a second chance at life:

And lastly, Preston beat me at Ping Pong last night for the first time this year! He is getting good at Ping Pong, but this may not have been too fair...after all, it was like our 5th game in a row at 10:30 pm and it was quite clear that Preston wasn't going to stop playing till he beat his old man. Be that as it may, my days of beating Preston at Ping Pong may be over. I remember how it try and try and try and try and try and try to beat your dad [at ping pong, golf, motocross, running, doesn't really matter what sport], sure you can beat all the neighbors, but never your dad. But once you do finally beat your dad, you never look back. Doesn't that sound about right old man?

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SRP, Rice Krispie Treats, Sports VBS.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

When putting together the pictures I took yesterday, I realize that yesterday was a busier day than it seemed. I started the day working on the deck only to find out that the whole "measure twice, cut once" trick only works if you remember to measure in the first place. The part of the deck that I thought was exactly 10 feet wide was in fact 10 feet wide at one end...but somehow was 10 feet 3 inches on the other end. Hmm. All the wood didn't fit. Hmm. I came up with a very clever correction that I think looks even better than the way I was going to do it, but it still took the day and a trip to Home Depot to fix. Now I am back on track.

Since I was going out, I took Hansen and Lillie to the Covington Library to collect their finisher prize for the Summer Reading Program. Here they are at the Library showing off their prizes:

After we were home and I was back to working on the deck, Preston decided he wanted to make Rice Krispie Treats. I figured this was a way better adventure than just shopping overpriced soccer shoes online, so he go the go ahead without any supervision. I asked him how he knew how to cook these and he said "EZ", and headed over the to computer. He had found a step by step video on youtube and he would just run to the computer, hit pause...then do the same in the kitchen. He did a great job, cleaned up his mess and made enough treats for the family. Here he is cooking:
...and enjoying his plate of treats on the part of the decking that is done. I said he made enough for the family, doesn't mean we got an equal amount...but we each got two, so who is to argue? Just Lillie and Hansen, "Preston ate the whole plate of Rice Krispie Treats!"
In the evening the littles got to go to the first night of Sports Vacation Bible School at a local church. Didn't know about this last year, but we were given an invite this is huge! And great! The kids loved it. Even Hansen who was having doubts is eager to go again tonight. This is a picture I took when picking up the kids. Lillie is in the lower left with a yellow shirt and purple socks. Hansen is in a lime green shirt somewhere.
Off to work on the deck.
See you tomorrow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nike Cup, Ostergard Family Reunion.

Good morning, it is Monday.

This weekend had several parts. First was the Nike Cup, a high level soccer tournament in Lake Oswego Oregon. Preston and I were on our own for the Nike Cup. At home Maren had a ton of folks hanging out at the Pool and enjoying the weather. We all got back together at the Ostergard Family Reunion in Centralia WA. Here are some photos and more:

Preston during a soccer game. His team got beat soundly this tournament. The winner of Preston's age bracket was a championship team from Oregon...Preston did score the only goal against that team in the tournament. The team was riding high after winning the Cornucopia cup a couple of weeks ago...turns out there are better teams out there!

The team did have a ton of fun off of the soccer field. Here they are hanging out in our room watching a movie and goofing off. There was also a pool that got some good use. At one point all us parents were in one room having a beer and the kids in another. The management came up and told us adults that we needed to be quiet...too many complaints. I guess the kids were behaving better than us?
The Nike Outlet Store. Preston's size 12 foot [in the background] being totally dwarfed by this freakishly huge size 21 basketball shoe!
This was a totally fancy motor home we passed on the way to Centralia. It must be worth way more than our house, and the Harley on the back worth more than my van! I said to Preston, "Hey Preston, check this must be owned by a Rock Star." A few seconds later Preston says, "NO! It is an old guy...and an old lady eating a cookie!"

At the reunion. Preston [right] and a cousin Blake. They really looked alike 7 years ago.

Auntie Donna brought her GPS and some instructions for a few Geo Caches hidden at the park. I got volunteered to lead the kids to find the caches. Several kids just thought that this was the best thing ever. Here they find a cache hidden in some bushes near the lake, looks like a WWII binocular container. It was filled with trinkets and such that the kids got to look at. We signed the log and put everything back in its place.

Lillie and Maren enjoying the reunion.

A picture of Maren's grandma and all 11 of her children.

This was a fun weekend all around. Now it is time to get back to working on the deck.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night I went to Safeway to buy some milk and some money for this weekend. The cashier was something else. She was like 10 years older than I and 50 lbs heavier. The lady in front of me was buying a RedBull energy drink. The cashier went on this whole rant, "A RedBull day huh??? I won't touch that stuff, at my age and my weight and with diabetes I would fear for my life...for my life! That stuff makes your heart go fast, you could could die!" She was some sales girl. But she was nice enough to me, "Have a nice evening Mr. Slone, er...Mr. Slane...hmmm." Nothing like a little doom and gloom from the cashier at Safeway.

Today I am taking Preston to Lake Oswego Oregon for a soccer tournament. He has a game today, a couple games tomorrow, and at least one on Sunday. I plan on just relaxing, watching some soccer, and putting up with goofy teenagers. There seems to be quite a few teams from around here heading down there, so I am sure the kids will have plenty of friends to hang with.

Maren had to work today and the littles didn't want to go watch soccer all day for three days straight, so Nana is on her way out to hang. Sounds like the gang here will have plenty of fun without us!

The deck is coming along fine. I have the decking boards on the front part of the deck, I still have about 2/3rds to go...then the stairs...then the railings...then the wood sealant. By then my useful life will be over! I am pretty beat up already, it is good I am being forced to take a few days off.

This is what I was doing when I was Hansen and Preston's age, I was never much of a soccer player:

See you in a few days.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

still decking.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

I just finished watching the Tour de France for the day. Another exciting stage. With Lance out of the GC picture, I am rooting for Andy Schleck. In a few minutes it will be off to the decking.

Speaking of decking, yesterday was the day to buy all the wood for the decking. Next week will be the railings and the stairs. John and Carol dropped off their pick-up truck for me to use yesterday as well as taking Hansen and Lillie to Mel's house for the day. Sounds like the littles had a great time with their cousins! Preston and the neighborhood kids spent the day ping ponging and x-boxing until it was time for soccer practice.

I got quite a bit done, picked up the wood and nearly finished the framing. I decided on 2x6 cedar for the decking. There are tons of options out there with Trex being a popular choice these days. For now I like the cedar more, maybe in 20+ years I will do something different. Here are a couple of stacks of wood. 13 twelve footers and 42 ten footers...that is a ton of $$$ in wood!

I will work most of today, then tomorrow it will be down to Oregon for a soccer tournament and a break from the deck.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

KSTC day.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday after working on the deck for many hours, I loaded each kid and their choice of a friend, and headed to the KSTC for some swimming and fun. Maren picked up pizza and met us there-yay!

Here is the gang: From left to right, a couple of Lillians, Hansen, Kole, Connor, and Preston.
The KSTC had an away meet yesterday, so the pool was practically empty. I did run into a couple of teacher friends (Mike and Molly) from CV. It was nice to see them and catch up for a few minutes.
The boys playing a hybrid game of volleyball/soccer.
I was a bit slow dropping of Lily and totally missed getting to visit with Chrisy, Eric, and Alex Brown. They drove through the culde-sac to see their old house for a moment on there way to a baseball tounament. They were neighbors when Preston and Alex were very young...I would have like to say "hi", maybe next time.

Today I will be borrowing John's pick up truck with the hope of buying most of the rest of the decking wood and stuff I will need. Maybe a couple of more weeks? Who knows?

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ping pong, deck...what is new?

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Well, I have not taken any pictures in the last couple of days. Yesterday was just a standard hang out summer day. I could have just posted pictures from blogs of the last couple of weeks, but that would have been lame, so I figured I would surf the net for a few minutes and find the pictures I should have taken:

The garage has become Ping Pong tournament central. For a couple of hours yesterday there were 6 or 7 boys from 10 years to 16 years old hanging out. They actually made brackets and had a best 2 of 3 games championship. Preston was able to win yesterday's tournament! But then I got to play winner and keep my title of best ping ponger of the culd-e-sac. Connor is getting quite good as is Preston. Sam likes to change the rules to where you can also bounce the ball off the Coke Machine. He has that move down.
Here is a nice big complete deck complete with lounging. Well, that is not exactly what our deck is like just yet. In fact, it is just a skeleton right now. Today I will be working on the framing, trying to get it ready for the next stage. Last night while Preston was at soccer practice, the rest of us went and had dinner at John and Carol's house. I also picked up some tools required for today's deck frame work. Now I have no excuse!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

GWL plus extra pics.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Friday we went to the Great Wolf Lodge, stayed Friday night and came home Saturday afternoon. The GWL is a cool place. It is a nice hotel, a very cool water park, and it has a very cool Wizard scavenger hunt. Here are a few pics and a video...then more stuff:

The family in front of the grand entrance. The Friday we arrived they had all guests sign release forms because of a TV show filming. Looked like a training video to me...but there was some excitement around it all.

A view from Maren's seat of the giant water slide. Preston and I went on all the big rides. The Tornado was was dark, dropped way down into a half pipe. Some how Preston always ended up going first and being backwards on our shared inner tube thing. Preston would yell, "what is coming up next??", and I would yell back, "We are going to turn, down a GIANT, AAAAAGGGGHHHHHAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!". Not sure this really helped him any.

Preston and Lillie chilling in the hotel room. Lillie has her pink magic wand for the Quest.
The quest was fun. Like a real live Zelda game or something. I got kind of good at it as I was the main hang out with the littles as they navigated the scavenger hunt for hours. They completed the entire booklet...only to realize there was even more. I can't even tell you how many times we ran up and down from the 4th floor to the 1st floor. The video is of Hansen listening to the wizard (on the TV screen in a tree) about one of the next quest clues.

Now for a couple of unrelated pictures:
Hansen and Lillie helping on the deck. Hansen is truly a valuable helper. Lillie likes to hang out and wishes she could do more.

This is an old picture of my mom and my little brother (Eric is one year younger than me, this picture must be from 1972?) in front of the mural my mom painted in our bedroom. This must have been my wall for 5 or 6 years. I do remember looking at the different images my mom painted. I thought painting Lillie's room pink was tough enough...can you even imagine painting this room? Wow!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Phones, Deck.

Good morning, it is Friday.

I will jump right in with pictures:
Our new phones arrived! Hansen and Maren are the most excited for sure. After spending way too long on the phone with Verizon, we now have all our contacts updated and the new phones working just fine. Hansen kept texting all of us goofy things and Maren was busy learning the cool features of the phones.
Yesterday morning was spent clearing out under the deck, clearing away planter boxes and everything the would be in the way of the deck replacement project. I have learned that about half of the frame is ok to keep around, half of the frame, will be replaced. I will also be adding more supports to the mid section of the deck. I am currently thinking wood over trex, but we will see. This project is kind of on the fly...but I am sure it will turn out nicely. Hansen was my number one helper. He worked more than I did on the demolishing of the old deck.

By now the deck has no railings, the footings are all cleared, and about 1/3rd of the decking is removed. The pile of old lumber in the back yard is growing by the minute. I go back and forth about thinking this is a piece of cake project and being totally overwhelmed. I am just taking this project "board by board".

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was kind of a mellow day. A break between projects...the new deck project starts in earnest today. Hansen and Lillie got to hang out in North Bend with Jack, Avery, Nana, and Grandpa. Preston was dead tired most of the day after going to the drive-in movies with a group of friends the night before. But he was ready for soccer practice in the evening. It is a tale of three schedules in our house these days. Preston would prefer to sleep in past noon and stay up till two in the morning. Maren is working and is up by 6:30 every morning. And Me and the littles would be somewhere in the middle. Here are a couple of pictures:

Lillie and Avery just after Avery woke up from her nap.
Hansen sporting his new sun glasses. Actually they are the clip on things that go over his normal glasses, but they do look cool. Hansen's future is so bright...he has to wear shades! I did let Hansen pry the first board off of the old deck. He thought that was cool.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

From Lillie's room to the garage.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Here is it! Lillie's Pretty as a Princess Pink room:
It is so bright that the camera can't even stand it! The desk and the lamp are from my high school woodshop days. Last night Lillie didn't even want to go to sleep, she was just reading by the light of her "new to her" lamp, and enjoying her new pink room.
It took some moving around stuff in the garage to even get to my old desk for Lillie's room. While I was working on the garage (trying to get it back in order- and finding a place for the Barbie doll house), the boys said they would really like it if the ping pong table got set up again. They were bored and there was stuff everywhere, so I gave them the lawn mower and a croquet set instead. They somehow got the lawn mowed, the croquet set up and going, and had tons of fun. I asked them to pose for a picture, well this is as good as it gets.
Once the ping pong table was set up, the game moved to the garage quickly. Some how I was able to the the garage back in order so Maren's car still fits inside!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pretty as a Princess, comment change.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was a chore day around these parts. Lillie didn't want to help me replace the guts in the upstairs toilet as it has been squeaking the last few nights. But she was happy to watch and make lots of "eww" and "yuk" comments. After a trip to pick up Preston and check out phones, it was time to paint Lillie's room. Lillie loved painting! She was actually much more helpful and fun to have around than I ever expected. She helped with the first coat, but got a little bored after dinner for coat number two. Here are a couple of pics of Lillie painting:

She liked the little roller the most. But she did give the brush and the large roller a go.
You have to paint your name on your wall in big pink letters! It has been painted over by now, but that was fun.

Right now Lillie is sleeping on the floor of the boy's room as her room is still a mess. The painting is done, but nothing has been put back. She even wants to trade her Barbie doll house for the desk I made in high school. The color is a bit dark and sharp for me, but I think Lillie is perfectly happy with the new paint.

On a different note, I changed the way comments are done on this blog. Now anyone can post comments and they will go straight onto the comment page. I added the strange words thing where you have to add a strange word like you do on Amber's blog. And as far as moderating comments, any comments on blog posts over 5 days old will be moderated before being posted (most of the strange spam is on old posts) so go ahead an comment away without needing it to be "approved"...and in real time.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kent Cornucopia Cup Champs! Hansen pic.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yup, Preston's team are the Champions of the Kent Cornucopia Cup! They played very hard the whole game and won 2-0. At the awards ceremony the team was given out medals, and a MVP of the tournament was awarded to one player...yup, Preston won that honor! I guess the coach from each team had to vote for the MVP for each game. These votes are accumulated and many times the MVP is not on the team who wins the championship, but this time he was. Preston is in the back right with his MVP trophy and bag.

A proud mom and her MVP.
But it is not all soccer all the time around least for Hansen and Lillie who did a decent job of suffering through a couple of soccer games this last weekend. It is also time for cell phone upgrades! Our new every two renew is eligible tomorrow. Hansen thinks it is today, so when he wakes up all ready to shop at the Verizon store...he will be greatly disappointed. He wants a phone with a QWERTY keyboard and a good camera. I think he can get a QWERTY keyboard, but the good camera part will have to wait (he can always use the camera Nana gave him) as the kids are limited by us parents to a phone without a data plan (yes, unlimited texting is fine, but no internet access on their phones). Of course he and Preston want Droids (uh NO...but Maren and I may get them!) and Lillie is totally bummed out that she has to wait until she is a 4th grader like the boys did. She thinks she is ready for a cell phone now! Yesterday! And she is probably right. Anyhow, big paragraph just to show you one of the 40 pictures Hansen e-mailed himself yesterday to store on the home computer as he gets ready for a new phone:
See you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Soccer, birthday.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

These last couple of days have been very hot around here with temps in the 90's. So why not play soccer? In the last couple days Preston's team has had 4 games. They lost the first game, but turned around and won the next 3. Preston had a couple of his best games ever and helped his team make it into the finals, which will be later today.

Along with Preston's soccer game there was also a birthday party. Check out the banner for Courtney's 40 birthday! Lots of food, lots of hay, a big banner, a big bouncy toy for the kids, and people hanging out in every corner of Mel and Courts house enjoying the party. We met some very nice folks and had a nice time. Maren and I left after a few hours to check out the end of Preston's semi-final game, but Carol was nice enough to offer the littles a ride home so they could stay a couple of hours longer.

Back to soccer. Lillie and Hansen were trying to beat the heat along with many others by hanging out in the shade of the big divider wall at Wilson Play Fields.

The next picture is a fun shot of a goalie charging as Preston drives toward the goal.

Preston next to his coach, getting ready to go back into the game after a quick water break.
This video clip is of a Preston corner kick that almost resulted in a goal...actually it resulted in a second corner kick that did end up a goal. The video was from Saturday's evening game under the lights.

Today is the championship game against a team that has a few of Preston's school friends on it. This should be a fun game.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 09, 2010

KSTC to beat the heat.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday we beat the heat at the KSTC. Hansen brought his friend Kole and the kids had a fun time. Maren met us there after work along with a big Costco Pizza! Yay. After 5 hours of fun, the kids were ready to go home. Days like yesterday make joining the pool seem like one of the best things we have done for summer fun. Of course, the kids wouldn't mind spending the day at Wild Waves...but I mind.

In the pool goofing off.
There is a very nice part of the KSTC around the back that is perfect for lounging, reading, and getting out of the sun. Here the kids enjoy a Popsicle in a sun square. Preston went to the lake with some friends, so he was off doing his own thing.

Today is a soccer day for all of us. Maren is at work today so the littles have no choice but to hang at the games. Preston has one at 11:30 and a second one at 7:30 tonight.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday we didn't get around to painting Lillie's room, looks like that will be a next week project. But I did steam clean the carpets! I do like the look of a perfectly cleaned carpet...but it never lasts. Yesterday was a perfect day for it as 90 degree weather drys things out quickly.

We had a full car of kids heading to the pool yesterday. Preston and friends stayed there for a soccer teammate's birthday party while the rest of us (including an extra Lillian) left early to catch a sneak preview of Despicable Me. Maren had these great tickets complete with my name and everything!
Even though we showed up 45 minutes early in 90 degree weather...this was the line in front of us before it bet around the corner. Sadly they filled up the theatre before we even got in! There were plenty of sad kids as the line was like this behind us too. I am thinking they gave out way too many tickets or something.
Luckily we still had a fun day. This is a picture of Lillians with ice-cream noses.
Today is another scorcher. Temps in the mid 90s. Preston will be spending the day at a lake with friends. The rest of us will head to the pool I am sure.

See you tomorrow.