Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Maren's home, random pics.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Last night while Preston was at soccer practice we picked up Maren from the airport. It was her friend and co-flyer Nancy's birthday so we also picked up a couple of "happy birthday" balloons for her. The plane landed as scheduled and we were waiting just as planned. Maren said he trip was very fast and exhausting, but the classes went off just perfect and it was great to visit with Mr. Jim and Nancy. For some reason I don't have any pictures of Maren or her birthday friend getting in and stuff, but I do have this picture:

Yup, I was just taking a picture of the parking lot number we parked in so I wouldn't have to remember it...and Hansen and Lillie had to be part of the picture.

Yesterday was also a trip to the ortho for Preston. Everything is going perfectly for his teeth and his visit was super smooth. In the parking lot we parked next to this little pick-up truck. Hansen's new favorite:
Hansen also got to drive my RC truck a little yesterday. It goes super fast and is not really a kid's toy, but Hansen always wants to drive it around, and yesterday was his day. This is a posed picture as the truck goes like 35 mph and actually getting a shot with it moving is not possible. Hansen did drive it into the tether ball pole pretty hard a few times, but it survived.
And last random picture. Lillie came running in the house to get a hoodie jacket, when I went outside to see what was up, there were a few girls with their hoodie bonnets on. Of course they called them "cloaks" and were playing some magical game.
Tonight is a school night! I could have gone into work today and yesterday for a couple of classes and effective education cash, but I figure I will be there enough in the next 10 months and decided to just sleep in.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Panda eye cover thingy.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday we had a party to attend in the evening. It was an "end of summer" bash as well as a 25 year anniversary party for Dwight and Laura, friends from church. There were tons of kids hanging out on the big play toy and tons of adults just hanging out. We had a great time, but everyone was sad that Maren couldn't be there as she is in Texas teaching a class. Lucky for us, Maren gets home tonight.

During the day I took the kids to the outlet stores to do some shoe shopping that I had promised Hansen. He did find a great pair of shoes (indoor soccer shoes for school and everyday use) and now that he is home he is very happy with them. Of course he wanted a new pair of soccer cleats as well...so he wasn't totally happy until he got home and realized he is actually a very lucky kid.

Preston enjoyed trying on $200.00 soccer shoes, and really wished I would have turned into a different parent altogether and just bought him the shoes! After all, this friend and that friend have this shoe and it is awesome...Sadly for Preston, he is still the best soccer player, even when wearing very good shoes instead of very, very, very good shoes. The rest of the time Preston would just text me to let me know he was bored.

Lillie put up with quite a bit from the boys, so she got to go to Claire's. She had $6.00 burning a hole in her pocket (even though the week before she was set on saving up for a new American Girl Doll).
Lillie checking out the necklaces.

And showing off the cute panda sleep eye cover thingy she bought. Maren has a sleep eye cover thingy so Lillie figured she had to have one as well. Maren's is plain black, but after seeing Lillie's cute panda one...she may be shopping for a new one as well? Who doesn't want to be a cute panda?

Today Preston has an ortho appointment, then it is soccer practice and hang out until Maren gets home.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Maren's adventure, Katrina Day.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

This morning Maren and I were up super early to take her to the airport. Super early means on the road by 4:45 am. It was actually surprising how many cars were out and about at that time. Currently Maren is in route to Lewisville Texas to teach a workshop on Early Literacy to the library system her friend Jim works for. She will be teaching tomorrow, then flying home tomorrow night. How's that for a quick trip?

We have plenty of plans of our own. And if you ask the boys, they all include sleeping all day. Actually we need to organize and label school supplies, shop for shoes for the boys and basically just kick back and enjoy the last few days until school starts on Wednesday. And if school isn't enough, we will be back into two soccer practices plus a game for each Preston and Hansen each week, along with Piano lessons starting back up for Lillie and Hansen, and Lillie is going to try gymnastics again...not to mention homework and me working again! Phew, bring on the full calendar!

And for those fine folks who reads this blog for their news coverage rather than just any conventional news media, today is the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. On the MSN home page you can read stories of five years after Katrina sandwiched between NFL players to watch, and who might be up for an Emmy. Or you could check out my aunt's picture blog, "angels and people/ life in New Orleans" at http://susannapowers.blogspot.com/

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Birthdays, classlists, and pie!

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday was a good day. First we stopped by the dollar store to buy a few birthday gifts for Preston's friends. His idea of the perfect birthday present to buy for a peer is: one silly card, ten dollars, and two huge packs of candy. I like it, and can afford it. Preston had two parties yesterday and it is possible that both the birthday kids received similar birthday gifts. Today Hansen has a party to attend, I will be curious to see if he follows exactly in his brother's footsteps in birthday buying.

After dropping Preston off, it was over to Grass Lake to check out the projected class lists for the kids. These things are always subject to change, but the schools do their best to get it right the first time. We are very happy with the teachers that both Hansen and Lillie have for this year. Both have teachers that we have had in the past (Hansen has one of Preston's past teachers and Lillie has one of Hansen's past teachers) and we couldn't be happier. It should be a great school year!

So, as we like to do, we headed over to Sheri's and celebrated with food and pie! Sure, pie is food, but it is worthy of a special classification. It was Hansen's turn to choose the pie, so after lots of deliberation, plenty of angst, and getting input from folks outside the family...Hansen chose Cherry Pie. And it is delicious!

I had to take a picture of the artwork across from our table. It is so cool how even the artwork gets into the selling spirit at Sheri's.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lillie's boots.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday we went school shopping for Lillie's school shoes. She bought a pair of boots that light up, and a pair of tennis shoes. But she loves her boots. She put them on in the car on the ride home, and hasn't take them off since.

Here she is hanging out on the couch watching TV...wearing her boots.

Lillie and her boots reminds me of the cartoon Maren has hanging on the kitchen cabinet door along with a few other favorite cartoon. It is from Baby Blues:
Today Preston has two birthday parties to attend, and Hansen and Lillie get to go to their school and find out who their teacher will be for the year. Dang, school must start in less than a week.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gone golfing.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was maybe the last warm sunny day of summer. I was lucky enough to get to go golfing! I played at Elk Run with a few teachers. And pretty darn good golfers too!

This is a picture from behind the 4th green. In the picture is me, Ms. Noddings, and Mr. Rish. Yes they have first names, but hey they are teachers. We also golfed with a math teacher friend of Ms. Noddings named Joe. Yes, I just destroyed the whole last name thing, but that is OK, Joe teaches at a different school. Luckily my golf background paid off and I didn't loose any $$$ to these guys, but it was close.

While I was golfing, John, Carol, Mel, Jack and Avery came out and spend the day at our house with the kids. Sounds like everyone had a great time.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eye day.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Looking back at yesterday, I had a bunch of opportunities to take pictures, but for some reason I didn't. So you're just going to have to read you way today.

First stop was the Eye Doctor. Yup, we see Dr. Ed Kosnoski. I think Ed is a great eye doc...and we have known each other since Jr. High School which is cool. Somehow we all got to be in the testing room together. And we had a very fun time with that. Preston's eyes are still perfect. Lillie's eyes are perfect, but changing fast enough that she may need glasses by age 9. Hansen got a slightly stronger RX for his glasses. The boys especially liked Lillie's answer to "read the smallest line", her answer..."they're all Ts". So then she had to read the next line up, "T, T, T, E, T, T, and T." We did have a laugh fest with these tests. When Hansen was muttering things like, "Uh, UH, Uh, it's a uhhh", I am sorry to report that I started laughing and just had to leave the room because unlike Lillie who isn't going to be wearing glasses this year, Hansen's exam was kind of important to get a good RX.

After a nice BBQ on the deck, it was off to Costco with Hansen to pick out some new glasses. It was kind of painful at times and I almost had to pick his glasses for him, but the eye place was busy and taking 45 minute to try on and critique every frame worked out OK for him. In the end we chose two very nice frames. One by Nike which he thinks will be his soccer glasses, and one by Converse which are just cool looking frames. I was trying to get him to choose one pair by Converse with really wide sides that had cool designs, but he wanted super thin sides. He will be happy with his new glasses when they get here, and that is what really matters.

After ordering the glasses, we [Hansen and I] headed to the food court to buy ice-cream for the whole family and take it home to them. Everyone thought is was cool to get to eat Costco ice-cream while watching Wipe Out on TV.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peace Lillians.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday Lillie got to go to a birthday party for her friend Lily. Of course ever since Lillie got her new school clothes, she has not been able to wear anything else (next year shopping the day before school?) so she wore her fancy new peace symbol shirt. And who else was wearing a fancy new peace symbol shirt when we showed up? Lily! I call them the "Peace Lillians".

Preston had spent the night at a friend's house, then had soccer practice in the evening, so his day (after we picked him up at noon) consisted of sleeping on the couch. So basically it was just me and Hansen hanging out. We ate some chocolate covered almonds, played some ping pong, and shopped for shin guards for his upcoming soccer season. I even found a good sale on my favorite shoes! I guess I am ready to go back to school too...sigh! Here they are, Classic Adidas Sambas:

When Preston saw these shoes, his first words were, "Nice! Size 11.5! Looks like we're sharing these huh?" Nope!

Today it is off to the eye doctor for the kids for a check-up, and a nice weather day all around. I think a BBQ on the new deck will be in the plans for this evening.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A little more from camping.

Good morning, it is Monday.

It is nice to have had two nights of good sleep in my own bed! The way the kids have been sleeping, they must agree as well. But I think they both would have been happy to stay an extra day or two. I think they were ready to come home when we did, but school shopping and the realization that school starts in just over a week has them wishing to make summer just a bit longer. Here are some more pics from camping:
The big rock is a favorite of all kids, not just ours. Of course, you would hope to get there when there wasn't a crowd.
Riding scooters around the big loop was fun too!
Rock collecting was a big part of the trip for the kids. At the beach or at the camp ground.
I actually enjoyed Lake Wenatchee more this time than times past. The weather wasn't crazy hot, mid 80's was perfect. It was too windy for Court to take the boat out, but the boat isn't really my thing so no loss on my part. And my kids are old enough to get along just fine without constant supervision, so taking time to kick back is much easier now. The change in the campsite campers was huge from mid week to weekend. We showed up Thursday, early enough to see the campsite filled with retired folks, huge big money campers/RV's and quiet nights. We stayed through the weekend enough to see many of the retired folk leave and the 20 somethings come in. Saturday night at 1:00 am was a stark reminder that 20 somethings party harder than the retired folks...and I am somewhere in the middle/older side. The campers with too much to drink who were puking and then thinking our tent was theirs was tons of fun at 1:00 am, but I must admit that listening to them was entertaining as well as reassuring. Reassuring that if the bears came (like the signs say), then we had a little buffer. Luckily the kids were able to sleep through all of it.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Big Foot, Lake Wenatchee.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

We are back from camping at Lake Wenatchee. We had a great time! There are plenty of pictures to do the talking, so let's move on:

On the way over to Lake Wenatchee on Thursday, we stopped in Snohomish to watch Preston play in his first game of the Big Foot Tournament. Maren stayed home with Preston for the weekend of soccer. Preston's team won two games, lost one game and didn't move on to the final day. Preston hung out at the soccer fields (tons of folks camp there for this event) and had a great time.

Lillie, Hansen and I continued over the pass to Lake Wenatchee. The weather was great and we had tons of fun:

The group hanging out at the mouth of the river
Hansen and Alex on floaties.
We invited Alex, Claire, and Miles to sleep in our tent. Yes, I had 5 kids and myself in one big tent. We all survived just fine, may not have slept too much, but I got to hear some very interesting stories.
The foursome checking out the campgrounds searching for treasure. The kids enjoyed finding interesting rocks and breaking them to see how they sparkle.
The big rock is always a favorite.
This picture makes it look very big...and it is plenty big. This year a neighbor camper teenager tore her foot up wearing flip flops on the big rock, but she was out and about later so it must have not been too bad. Just a little reminder to be careful even when camping.

The evening fire. Plenty of smores and roasted marshmallows.
Avery playing in the dirt. I think she may have missed a spot! Nope.

At the playground.
It was very windy at the end of the trail. Lillie and Claire were using their towels as parachutes. Here Lillie is flying slowly to the ground. Check out the view of the lake and the mountains. Lake Wenatchee is a beautiful place.
Here the kids are just hanging out having fun. I don't think they even missed not having a TV for a few days.
Miles learned how to ride his bicycle without training wheels this weekend! Jack also enjoyed being pushed around on the bike and the scooters.
Birthday girls! We were celebrating Sue, Carol, and Melanie's birthdays.
And lastly, my new FB profile pic for the day. Relaxing with a Mike's hard lemonade at a warm campsite is not so bad.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lillie's dentist visit.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was Lillie's visit to the dentist. She had a tooth cleaning, x-rays, and a check on her front tooth. I am happy to report that everything is as good as it possibly could be (except for her flossing skills, but isn't that just a universal thing?) and the visit was just fine.

Here is Lillie in mid x-ray. I guess the x-ray apron has a big smile because when they stuff those x-ray things in your mouth and you're trying not to gag, they still want at least one smile in the room.
Not only did the x-ray of her front tooth look perfect, but Lillie is still a certificate holding member of the No Cavity Club! She does have to go in again in three months to check the front tooth...if it looks this good after one year then she will be deemed healed. The lovely necklace she is wearing was her free prize from the dentist. Sadly she lost it at the pool last night and no one has been able to find it. She is perfectly miserable about it. We will check with the pool later, but Preston stayed later than us and he and his friends looked all over. Oh well.

Today the littles and I will be packing for a camping trip. We will be joining the rest of Maren's family at Lake Wenatchee from Thursday - Sunday. Even though the weather is always crazy hot, the water freezing cold, dirt and bees are the landscape, forest fires are nearby, bear signs are everywhere and you even think you can hear them roaming around at night...that is where the family is and we always have a great time. Maren and Preston will be staying home this weekend as Preston has a soccer tournament that he doesn't want to miss.

See you a few days after tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A birthday day.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday Lillie had a birthday party to addend for her friend Katie. Early in the morning we hit the stores to find the perfect birthday gift. Here are a couple of strange toys that Lillie was drawn toward, but were not the winners:

I like this one, it is a Fortune Skull! Ask it a yes or no question and it gives you a creepy answer. I actually have a magic 8 ball app on my phone so I always have a magic 8 ball at my fingertips...you know, for all of life's important decisions!
This is another toy that Lillie was very intrigued by and knew all about it from TV commercials. Yes, it is wigs you buy for your barbie size dolls. You could buy several different wigs in different colors and styles. Kind of cool, but kind of not cool...especially the theme, "Real Girls. Real Life." NOT!

Here is what we went with, from the craft section rather than the toy section. The party was a butterfly theme, so a pink shirt, diamond look butterfly iron on, and silver iron on letters. I let Lillie buy her own shirt and iron on as well. Matcher shirts! Besides, it had been years since I did any iron on stuff and figured Lillie's shirt would be my practice shirt, but they both turned out just fine. We will see how they handle the wash, yikes. Lillie didn't wear hers to the party because we didn't have shirts for all the girls, but she still had a plenty styling look. When I picked up Lillie from the party, Katie was already wearing her new butterfly shirt!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wood chips, pool, choosing a game, and a pie.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Friday evening we (except Preston who went to the movies with friends...but you expected that didn't you?)went to a friend's house to help spread 15 yards of wood chips around the base of an huge new play structure going in their back yard. 15 yards is a lot of wood chips. But it went quickly thanks to a bunch of kids, shovels, wheelbarrows, and adults. The dinner and the company was totally worth the hard work.

Yesterday it was a fun day. We spent the bulk of the day at the pool along with Stef, Mel, Court, John, Carol, Jack and Avery. Lots of swimming, playing, and eating chips.

After the pool I took Hansen to the game store to choose any video game he wanted. His pay for being a good helper on the deck project! Kids these days do have to learn quickly how to make up their minds, just looking at this picture makes me feel bad for what commercialism has done to us...and this is only one part of one wall in the store. Yikes.

For dinner we (except for Preston who went to a young life BBQ with some friends...but you expected that didn't you?) went to Shari's! And we even bought a PIE! Smores Pie, yum.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Showing off the deck, otter-pops, a new hat, and some ping pong.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Now that the deck is done, what am I going to do? Eat otter-pops! These frozen popsicle treats are the favorite around our house...sadly I just put the last of the otter-pops in the freezer, time to buy more! Here is a rare photo of me on this blog...Lillie took my phone and snapped this photo (technology is not going to be an issue for this girl):

Now that the deck is done, I have been showing it off in pictures and in person. I mainly get two reactions depending on who I am showing it off to. One is how cool everything is, and the other is how I could have done such and such different. Talking to Maren last night I realized that one thing that I really like about my father-in-law, John, is that even though he has done plenty of projects like decks, roofs, sheds and such, he never points out how he would have done things differently or where my mistakes are in my projects. I know they are there...I built it and have come to accept a certain level of mistakes and creative fixes on all things I build. Rather he always says how great this is or how great that is and is just impressed that I would even take on such a project. It's nice, thanks John.

In contrast, I showed it to a neighbor and got the total opposite reaction. He went on about how I could have wedged this to make it level with that. How I could have blended this in with that, and how I could still do this and that to fix this and that. After that deflating conversation I realized that I sometimes have a tendency to be kind of nit-picky on things as well, skipping over all the good stuff. Most recently at a friend's tournament where I pointed out that the brackets were set up in such a way that if you wanted to win, you had a better chance if you lost the first game on purpose as to get into the easy bracket. In the heat of wanting to win (hey, I'm a competitor...) I totally missed the point that it was set up that way on purpose to make things play fair for all teams as the process in such a tournament is every bit as important as the results, more so even. Anyhow, I can't erase the past, but I will try harder to be less nit-picky in life...especially with my own family and friends.

Yeah, enough philosophy...After this deck project and a few rounds of pickle ball, I needed a new hat! This hat has been my favorite for a while, it is the one that I won with Preston as my partner at Brenda Davies' birthday golf tournament. Preston won the exact same hat, but he is not exactly a hat kind of kid. Yesterday he gave me his hat to replace my old one. Yay! Here is a photo of the old hat and the new hat:

And a parting photo of a ping ponging neighborhood at about 9:45 pm last night. A funny story about Preston and Sam's (the kid diving after the ball on the far side of the court nearest to Preston) hair. Chase asked them if they even brushed their hair as they both have equally curly hair. At the exact same time they both said, "No, I just shake it out like this (shaking their heads)". It was totally funny as neither of them expected the other to say or do the exact same thing...They had to pause the game for a laugh fest. I guess you had to be there.
See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The deck is done!

Good morning, it is Thursday.

As of 11:20 am yesterday the deck was done! Yup, done. Sure, I still need to waterproof it, but that will be done toward the end of the month. It wasn't just a party starting at 11:20 am...I still had to clean up. I made two trips to the dump, making four trips total, and things are clean enough. Actually not clean enough, but the old decking and stuff is gone.

So, how else to celebrate a new deck than to get yourself a reclining chair and read the paper on the new deck? That is just what Maren was doing last night:

Here are a several other views of the complete deck:







It turned out very nice. I look at it and wonder how I did this basically by myself. I did use Hansen's help at times (in fact he is expecting some type of reward for being willing to help when others weren't so willing) but basically I did the whole thing myself. I do have a Home Depot just a couple of miles away which is nice. But I didn't end up with a single extra uncut piece of wood. How cool is that? My shopping lists were always perfect! It is time to start considering myself a math dude.

I will finish today's blog with a picture of Preston...not the deck, so good for you for making it to the bottom of the page and not clicking back to your home page when you saw the long string of deck pictures! This pic was taken at 10:00pm last night after he got back from two soccer games. He says, "Dad, I'm a little hungry...can I make myself something to eat?" If you notice, "a little something" is 5 waffles, a burrito, a bowl of blueberries, and a couple of glasses of milk. This is just the way that teenagers roll. Hansen and Lillie also had a couple of waffles at 10:00pm and joined Preston for a late night breakfast.
See you tomorrow.