Monday, February 28, 2011


Good morning, it is Monday.

Last night was Oscar night at our house. Seems like Oscar night started way earlier than at night, so really it was more like Oscar day. Maren didn't have to work and she didn't have anywhere to go so she had a grand time. I took a picture or two of her soaking up the Oscars/Red Carpet, but got snarky remarks about not needing her life always portrayed on my blog?!? Haha. Well, I will spare her the picture, but I will tell you that Oscar night was like Superbowl night but even see, Maren would be watching the TV, then Laughing for no reason. Then she would read us the tweet that someone just tweeted about what was happening in the Oscars. Yup, i-pad in hand is the best way to watch such a show. Not only did she have the show on the big screen, but she also had snarky commentary from the rest of the world on her i-pad. Cool huh?

The picture you see here is just my feet watching the Oscars. Maren was to my left and the kids were upstairs or downstairs or just standing around begging us to let them change the channel.

Today starts a week of constant rain and wind with temps in the mid 30's. WooHoo...PNW weather really bleeps!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

1000th post.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

This is my 1000th post! And I don't even have a picture to post. I guess that is fitting because for the first part of my blogging I was never even going to post pictures. I was going to post one of my early blogs for today's blog, but realized that without pictures, it was boring too! So I did a google search for "1000", and the first thing to pop up was this Suzuki 1000:

I wouldn't mind owing this very cool bike...O.K., back to my regular blog:

In true party mode, Lillie spent the night at cousin Clarie's house [for Clarie's 10th birthday party] and is not home. But we do have Clarie's brother Alex over and he and Hansen are having a blast. Preston is spending the night at his soccer buddy's house. I didn't make it to his indoor playoff game last night, but through a few excited text messages I learned that Preston scored the tying goal with seconds left in the game, then they won in extra time. They now have a game for the championship. They were ranked 4th and playing the 1st place team, quite an upset!

Well, have a great day. Today we will get all the kids back to their correct houses after church and Preston gets to go to Sky High, a place in Bellevue that is all sorts of crazy trampolines to have fun on. I'm kind of jealous. Maren is looking toward to the red carpet shows tonight...she has dibs on the big TV.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spinning my wheels

Good morning, it is Friday.

My thermometer reads 18 degrees and there is snow everywhere except on the school is on regular schedule. As much as I wish I could let the kids sleep a bit longer (like for a 2 hour delay), I am happy to be back to school. I really don't need to do much to be happy, but I do like to get out for just a little. Snow days are usually spent at home. But I did get out my bicycle for a ride:
Here is my indoor bike spot, on rollers next to the back door.
And my snowy view as I pedaled along yesterday.
Lillie even took my picture with my phone. Then she took lots of pictures with my phone because in that instant that I taught her to use my camera, she instantly became an expert!
I don't really know what these Barbies are doing, but it was one of the pictures I found on my phone.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snow Day!

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday we had some very cool snow storms followed by sunbursts. I drove over and picked up the littles from school to save them an extra hour of bus time! I was a little worried if it blizzard again like it had, that the bus might be a very very long ride for them. This is a picture of our neighborhood yesterday at 4:00pm:

You can't really see how cool it was to have the sun shine bright minutes after the blizzard was cool.
This is looking out our front door this morning. No snow for our school district. The kids are all still sleeping, no reason to wake them up today! I was scheduled to have our neighbor Kayla (a senior at KL high school) job shadow me today for her senior project. It was also a scheduled art docent day in Lillie's class. Today we were to do Picasso...I was planning on our class drawing a bull. Looks like we will be doing some rescheduling. Maren is also staying home from work today. Right now we are watching the news and all the cars sliding down the hills in the Kent/Auburn area.

I smell coffee, we have Honey Nut Cheerios (I love Honey Nut Cheerios, and we have not had them for years) for breakfast, and I hear Lillie singing about the snow upstairs.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

J and C anniversary, SB & F awards, and Washington D.C.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Today I have a very long blog! I will tell you all about our trip to Washington D.C. But before we even go to Washington D.C., I have to mention Maren's parents. Today is their 42nd wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary John and Carol! Hopefully you are resting and enjoying your day. Also, thanks for watching our kids the last few days. While Maren and I were in D.C. enjoying ourselves, John and Carol were taking excellent care of our kids, driving them all over the place and treating them so well that they hardly even missed us. This picture is a couple of years old now, but they look just the same today:

Now, off to Washington D.C.

We had a great time in Washington D.C. The first day and a half were focused on the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books Awards. The next day and a half were focused on checking out Washington D.C. I took over eighty pictures over the last few days, but I think 16 will be plenty for today's blog. I could really do two blogs, one about the award and the next about sight seeing, but I'm on a roll, so you get one long post.

This is the huge AAAS Annual Meeting sign that greeted as we took the escalators in the D.C. Convention Center each day. If you turned around you would see the hundreds of teenage volleyball players downstairs heading to their tournament also held in the convention center. I guess there were over 500 teams and over 70 courts set up downstairs. Crazy.

This was the meet and greet breakfast. We were in the gazebo of the fancy dining room of the Hyatt in downtown D.C. Good breakfast, nice people, great start to our time in D.C.

Maren and I didn't go to the Podcast that the authors did, but we did go to the book signings in the conference center. This year the authors got to sign books in the Subaru area which was right on the way to the family science area. The turn out was great and authors had lots of fun. The two on the right in this picture are none other than Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, the author and illustrator of all The Magic School Bus books. The Magic School Bus books have been favorites of kids and adults for like 25 years! They won an award for one of their most recent books called The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge. They were great to meet!

This is Sean Connolly, he won an award for his book called The Book Of Potentially Catastrophic Science. 50 Experiments for Daring Young Scientists. Sean was great to meet, he was on the tail end of quite an extensive book tour as he lives in England. He had tons of great stories and was great to meet. He signed a book to Hansen that says, "Have a Blast!"...yes, Hansen will be blowing up things left and right if we give him that chance.

This is Ellen Harasimowicz (Left, photographer) and Loree Griffin Burns (Right, author), they won an award for their book The Hive Detectives, Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe. Loree also wrote a cool book that we own called Tracking Trash. Loree and Maren had a great time talking about non-fiction books, kids and stuff. They signed their book to Lillie, "bee-lieve" and "spread the buzz!" Ellen's husband was also around and was nice to talk to as well.

This book is really the reason we were at the conference in the first place. Maren was the chair of the committee that chose The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Sadly, Rebecca was not at the awards ceremony, but she did send in a very nice acceptance speech about her high school science teacher that Heather read when it was time for her award to be presented.

This is a picture of Heather starting the award ceremony. The authors were up front under a big copy of their books. It was very nice with nice snacks an a bar! My camera didn't handle the lighting too well, but Terry Young was taking great pictures and I saw Ellen's husband had a big cool camera, so I'm sure there are some great pictures out there.

The authors with their nice awards.

This is Terry Young and Heather, they kind of ran the show. Everything went great from what I could tell, even better than last year if that is even possible!

And lastly, the Subaru! Subaru was great! Check out this Forrester, it has a hood with all the books that won the award right on the hood. On the side was big Subaru Loves Science stickers and they were passing out stickers and t-shirts. Way to go Subaru...I wish I was in the market for a new car, Subaru would be on the top of my list!

OK, now onto the sights of Washington D.C...are you still with me? Here we go:

Maren in front of the White House. There were many tourists around, the buzz around Washington D.C. is very fun to be around.

The wind was so strong when we were visiting. The National Christmas Tree even blew down! Here is Maren looking for the National Christmas Tree...oh yeah, it blew down...snap! I even have a picture of the Washington Monument without any flags. The place was so drab without any flags, dead grass and relatively few people. I can totally see how different it would look in the warm summer with flags out, vendors everywhere, and kids running around.

This picture was taken while I was standing in front of Abe Lincoln, looking across to the Washington Monument. The reflection lake is empty due to renovation. Standing right in this spot was very fun for me. I think right here is when it hit me that I was really in Washington D.C. I just soaked it up, Abe Lincoln behind me, the Washington Monument in front of me, the Vietnam Memorial to the left, WWII monument to the right, the Capital and the White House in the distance along with everything else...very cool!

Maren being my model in front of Abe Lincoln. Our hotel was very close to the Ford Theatre. We got to see the Constitution and other documents in the archives, many cool art pieces and dinosaurs and such in the museums. There really is just too much to mention. We even took the Old Town Trolley and toured all around including seeing National Cathedral, Embassy row, and a trip to Arlington National Cemetery where we walked and saw John F. Kennedy's grave.

We looked up my Grandpa at the WWII monument. Here is a picture of his page as submitted by Bernice.

To end this blog, here is the only picture with me in it! At the WWII monument we were joking with a couple who were posing in front of Kansas and giving it the thumbs down. They were nice enough to take our picture in front of the Washington pillar...see, I was there!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The other Washington.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night we were running around getting things done and Hansen decided to let me take him to get his hair cut! It is just a still looks quite long, but it is not as shaggy as it was before, so I think it looks nice. I tried to take a picture for the blog, but he said, "It's bad enough getting a haircut, now you want to take a picture? Nope!" So I didn't push it and you don't have a picture.

Today Maren and I are flying to Washington D.C. Maren is being flown out and given a hotel room for this year's Science Book and Film Awards. I'm just tagging along, my main job is to smile and look pretty...something I am very good at! We went to the same event last year in San Diego. Of course, San Diego was a nice short flight to some very warm weather. D.C. should be nice too. I have never been there so I am excited to check it out! We will be back on Monday. Carol is coming out to our house to take care of the kids while we are gone, and I can tell you that they [the kids] are very happy about this change. They will get a full dose of the kids and their schedules, I hope they still like them come Monday afternoon:)

See you when we get back.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shredder and Taxes...not in the same sentence?

Good morning, it is Thursday.

The other day I started our taxes and Maren brought home a shredder! WooHoo! Both are actually kind of exciting...and they go hand in hand. You see, we have never had a shredder nor have we ever done our taxes! Just joking, we always do our taxes, and the older I get it seems that I was just doing last year's taxes the other day! The results are usually about the same...I do all these deductions, save all our receipts, answer all of TaxCut's questions, then at the end I have $300.00 less deductions than the standard deduction for our bracket and just take the standard deduction. Every year I say I will just take the standard right off the bat and save lots of time and energy, but then I go through the steps and I do it again to the same exact result. Maybe next year, but I doubt it. We will get a nice little refund which is always great. We used to get huge refunds, but when I took my job at the school I decided to have very little with holdings, so my monthly checks are a little bigger, but our refund is smaller.

The kids get a huge kick out of the shredder...especially the warning about how there have been over 50 reported cases of fingers being shredded by littles who stick their hands in the opening! We will try to stay away from that peril. The shredder fits perfectly next to my desk and is sure to be a help in my desk clutter rather than just another "thing" in the house...right? Lets hope. Here is a picture:

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Who's your Valentine?

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

The littles had very nice Valentine's Day parties at there school yesterday. The first thing they did when they got home was to dump out their boxes of Valentines and check out their loot!
Lillie with her pile of Valentine's Day stuff. She has a ton of candy...I will do my best to help her eat it.
Hansen with his "uni-brow" Valentine's Day even won a class award for being the "weirdest" collection box...he said the person who won "most practical" just brought in a zip-lock bag. I actually ate three of Hansen's Jr. Mints...after being accused of stealing four of them, I fessed up to sneaking two. Yikes, the kid counts his candy...not that I can blame him in this house.
Here is Preston hanging out with his Valentine. Her name is Alex.
And finally, my Valentine! Her name is Maren.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Good morning, it is Monday.

Happy Valentine's Day! Lillie and Hansen will have their school parities today and should come home with tons of great Valentine's Day things. My school did their parties last Friday so it should be kind of a regular day at CV. No parties at Preston's school, but he is not lacking in the Valentine department. And Maren has to work all day and teach a class this evening. She did get a cute little stuffed bear.

Yesterday I took Lillie to a birthday party at Auburn skate. Yup, rollerskating. The place was packed, but we got there just early enough that this picture doesn't really show it:

I also rented some skates so I could tear it up too! Most of my skating was very slow with Lillie...pushing her a little, picking her up off the ground, and just hanging out. But I did get a few laps of going fast and turning with stepping over like the speed skaters do it...if only there was a camera!

The evening was spent watching the red carpet for the Grammys. Lillie was totally captivated by Lady Gaga and her egg...I guess it was a good show? We turned it off at 9:00pm so the kids could get some sleep, but I am sure we will be watching the rest later as the kids want to see Eminem do his thing. Because we were on tape delay, Maren knew exactly what was happening thanks to twitter.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hot Chocolate

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Preston is leaving for his 3rd soccer game of the weekend in just a few moments. He had two games last night. Today Maren is teaching Sunday School and doing the children's sermon. Lillie has a birthday party at a rollerskating rink today...we are going, going, going. Tonight Maren hopes to get a chance to watch the Grammys in peace and semi-quiet.

But we got to slow down just a little last night Maren made some very fancy hot chocolate with super huge marshmallows:

Yum! I also have a picture I took of Lillie after she had decided that she needed to get inside the mug to get every yummy last smudge of chocolate. Yes, she was covered in chocolate, and even though she wanted that picture on the blog, I am sparing the world...

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy 42nd Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Today is my parents 42nd wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary mom and dad!

This is one of the few pictures of them taken at their wedding reception. They don't have any pictures of the actual wedding which took place at Fairchild Gardens. But to see what Farichild Gardens looks like today with my parents doing a photo recreation for my mom's blog, just follow this link: of course if you are going to take the time to click on the link, you may want to also click on the title link and see all the rest of their posts...and to see what they look like today, afterall, this picture is like 42 years old!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was a trip to the dentist for Preston and me. I left work an hour and a half early and picked up Preston, then over to Fairwood to dentist land. This was the first time ever that Preston's appointment lasted longer than mine. Yay for me! It is probably because Preston has braces and he also got sealants on three molars that have popped through. The good news is that neither of us have any cavities to report and our teeth are looking great! I gave my hygienist and the dentist a good laugh because I was expressing that I felt that my sonicare toothbrush doesn't seem to do a good job...I guess it is a boy want to grind the grime off our teeth rather than just let the toothbrush do the cleaning. Apparently it is doing great, in fact my gums looked better than last time? But I say it just doesn't push hard enough...they just said to keep using it and stay away from any brushes I might use to clean my golf clubs.

I took a nice picture of Preston getting his sealants in which meant two hygienists working on his teeth. But when I showed it to Maren she practically jumped back and said, "AAACK!!!". So I didn't post it. I think the pic is fine and maybe Maren is just a bit paranoid of the dentist:) Yup.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

KL Band Festival

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Last night was the Kentlake Area Band Festival. Basically all the elementary schools that feed into Kentlake had their bands all playing as one big group. Then the jr. high band (Preston's band) played, and finally the high school band played. It was very good! Once the elementary kids played, they all turned their chairs around and had front row seats for the big kids. The theme of the evening was Sci-Fi. Preston's band played music from Pirates of the Carribean and the high school played a medley of Sci-Fi songs, including one fun part from Phantom Menace and two kids came out with light sabers and robes and put on quite a little fighting show.

Preston is in the front row of the kids in the back right. All the elementary kids are turned around watching. I saw many folks we know from all the years of school, sports, and kids while hanging out in the night!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Super something.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday was Superday. Super football game, super commercials, super lunch, super halftime show, super snacks, super TV. OK, that is overdoing it all just a bit...but hey, that is what the Fox network wants us to believe, so it must be true! Super lunch? Yup, KFC's Superbowl meal deal, super yum!

The night before last I spent some time re-doing the whole TV configuration. The TV was on an extended stand and the actual TV was about a foot from the wall. I mounted it to the wall with a stand beneath just for the stuff and it is SO much nicer. The wires are showing, so I may eventually hide them in the wall, or not. This picture is my view of the TV for much of the game. The kids came down for the halftime show and for the commercials, so they got quite a show! I liked the VW/Darth Vader commercial...very funny. There were tons of good commercials weren't there? I have the last round of the Phoenix Open recorded so I will be watching that sometime as well.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 05, 2011


Good morning, it is Saturday.

Here is an amazing picture of Squidward as seen from our new TV:

It is all set up and I'm watching golf on HD! How cool is that? I still need to hide the speaker wires, hang the back speakers, and move the little book shelf to the left of the TV, but the placement and the components are working out nicely. Come over and check it out!

Today Preston has two soccer games. Lillie has two birthday parties. And Hansen has the whole day to do nothing but nothing!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Look at [Julian].

Good morning, it is Friday.

Well, still no pictures of a totally set up TV system. We are watching and enjoying, but in a big mess! Today will be the day to consolidate everything and do some cleaning up. Maybe a picture tomorrow.

But never fear, I won't leave you with nothing. This is a big flash card in a set I use along with other reading program stuff to teach kindergartner students to read. Yikes, I never actually realized until just now that I am actually teaching real live kids to actually read. Scary huh? Well, you have the kids learn the sounds, then read the word, then ask questions that go along with a book or whatever. I got a big kick out of this card because if you read the sentence after the word "he", the question is "Look at [Julian]. What is he doing? (He is [reading]). Of course you can substitute the name and action...but why would you want to?

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Good morning, it is Wednesday.

I haven't blogged for a few days, welcome back to me!

Lets start with the kid's ever growing and moving feet. Around the new year all the kids in every school are needing new shoes. Seems like your new school shoes from September really only last that long. Well, here is a pic:

Lillie had worn holes in her shoes and boots, so now she has new. Hansen the same, and Preston the same. The only new pair that didn't make this picture were Preston's orange converse shoes that were on his feet! The two fancy pairs of soccer cleats were a gift to the boys from John and Carol, Thanks! Lets see...Preston is now a size 11 to 11.5 and I think his feet have stopped growing for awhile. Hansen is a solid size 9 but I am a bit worried he may shoot right on through to bigger sizes. And Lillie between 2 and 3. Time to hit the kids with a freeze ray, they just keep growing.
This is our old TV. Notice the rounded glass front? Disregard the clutter. When thinking about watching the Superbowl for another year on this old TV, we have decided to join the thousands of others getting a good deal this week and upgrade our TV system. This is the first time in over 20 years that Maren and I have actually spent good money on a TV. The one we bought over 20 years ago is still was bought with a gift card from a wedding gift! The others have been hand-me-downs.

We will be entering a world of big and modern. In fact, I can only show you a picture of Hansen helping with the TV stand because buying and installing a modern TV system is not easy! We had Court with us for an hour last night after I had worked on it practically all day. And today we will have the Comcast person as well. By Sunday, we will watching in style! I'm guessing if you were on the moon you would be able to see and hear the new system:) I may show you a picture when it is all done and the messes are cleaned up.

See you tomorrow.