Monday, October 31, 2011

Much Better?

Good morning, it is Monday.

And a spooky Monday it is! Happy Halloween everyone! I don't have Halloween pictures yet because tonight will be Trick or Treating...I will get the camera out to be sure.

Hansen and Preston got new lightweight jackets over the weekend. Of course, this is as heavy a jacket either will ever wear this year. The temps at the bus stop have been around 39 degrees and just a sweatshirt and shorts seems to work just fine for these kids!

This white with blue and gray stripes fuzzy lined sweatshirt/jacket is Hansen's most favorite jacket he has ever owned!

This thermos belongs to Preston's second grade teacher. Mrs. Radford has been using this thermos for like 30 years! The handle has been broken off for years so the other day I fixed it...kind of. I looked for a matcher handle at the thrift store for a long time, but a drawer handle will do for now. So, yes, it is ugly, but it works better than no handle...maybe.

Have fun trick or treating tonight. I will!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Good morning, it is Friday!

How about game 6 of the World Series??? Too cool! Texas was one pitch away from winning the whole series two different times and couldn't win the game. If you didn't watch the game, you just don't know! Baseball has a way of building drama and key moments way more than other sports...maybe that there is no clock and the end can be swept away many different times. Still not my favorite, but got to give it props. Way to go Cardinals! I don't see how tonight's game can be more exciting, but anything is possible.

In case you have not noticed, it is Halloween season everywhere. Yesterday Lillie and her dance class were invited to wear a costume to dance class. Of course, it had to be something you could dance in, so nothing too crazy. Lillie and her friend were greeted by a cool dancing skeleton at dance class:
Lillie was Super Girl yesterday, who knows what she will be come Monday.

This is a very random picture. Hansen saw this in a bicycle magazine and brought it over to show me. He says it is me...and some bicycle dude. Yea sure, but I think it is funny.

And because sports does not totally run out house, I had to watch the 8th inning of the World Series on the tiny small kitchen TV because Lillie and Maren wanted to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" I guess it is a classic, you've got to watch it at least once every season. Here is a happy and dancing Snoopy...that is until the music changes, dun dun done.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night was "library night" as Lillie likes to call it. There were no story times scheduled and the library was relatively quiet. Plenty of high school age kids using computers and stuff. I found a couple of books and a few magazines that can only be read in the library and Lillie did the same. So we found a table an just read away for a bit before heading home. I can never really gauge how library nights will go, sometimes Lillie wants to stay for a long time, and other times she is ready to go very quickly.

Hansen does not like to go to the library with us, but he reads more than any of the kids to be sure. He has been staying up reading so late that it is actually starting to bug his brother. I have had clip on 40 watt lamps for the boy's beds for a long time so they could read, but I think that system will have to go as it keeps Preston up and keeps Hansen from realizing that it is actually the middle of the night. Today we may go shopping for a little book light for Hansen, either that or just a little flashlight.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Goal setting Baseball.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday I had goal setting conferences with both Hansen's teacher and Lillian's teacher. These two kids are very good students and perform very well on the big ticket items. In order to make goals for themselves, they have to get down the the small details. They both have a couple of good goals (no silly, not soccer goals) to work on in reading, mathematics and writing, but really as long as they keep on keeping on they will and are very good students. Setting goals and conferencing with the teachers is generally not fun for kids, but they get out of school 3 hours early every day this week just for 20 minutes of conference horribleness, well worth it. Now on to less important

I must admit, I have been very much enjoying this World Series in baseball. I am not a huge baseball follower during the season and I think that there are just too many games and I just can't pay attention that long. But the end of this season and the whole post season has been very exciting. I can't say I'm really voting for one team over the other, I don't really have an allegiance to either team and I like parts of both teams, so I guess I will be hoping for a Cardinals win to bring the series to a game seven.

I don't think the kids follow baseball at all, but last night Preston had Connor over and they were playing Nintendo baseball on the Wii. It is a very exciting game to watch with fire coming from the baseball and super steals and all kind of crazy things. I took this picture as a pitch was about to be thrown, I guess you have to see the action for yourself. Even Hansen and Lillie were watching the action...the real action, when the kids would throw down the remotes and bring the brawl into the living room.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Good morning, it is Monday.

This weekend was Preston's homecoming dance. Yeah, you don't really care about who drove where or any particulars like that, you just want to see some pictures. So here you go:

Preston and Alex looking great.

Picture time at a friend's house.

Preston went with a large group of friends who all go together for pictures before the dance. This was the young group, the Freshman...The Seniors where cruising in an equally big group, but were just leaving when we all showed up.

And a turn to the left. I was taking pictures from the side of the room...but I was not alone, quite a paparazzi of parents!
While Preston was out at the dance and stuff, the rest of us picked up some pumpkins and did some carving. I only gutted the pumpkins, the rest was done completely by Lillie and Hansen. Lillie's pumpkin on the left (a cat in a boot) and Hansen's on the right (a ware wolf).

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was "Wacky Hair Day" at the little's school. Lillie loves these day! She put two little braids in front, then we spray painted her hair blue. It was very cool, and kind of wacky. I think it looked even more blue when she got home if that is possible. Lillie would like us to dye her hair blue for reals! Hansen refuses to participate in these wacky days, but maybe he brushed his hair a little more not wacky if that is possible?

Last night I took Preston down to pick u his Tux. It does look pretty sharp. They had to alter the jacket sleeves just a bit, so it was good he tried it on. While he was out with me and at soccer, he accidentally left his school stuff at Connor's house. Connor's older brother took that time to "turtle" his backpack:

Yup, turtling a backpack is where you turn the backpack inside out then lock everything back inside. The straps and the pockets are inside and mean turtlers actually zip-tie the zipper inside so you can't open it at all. Chase wasn't quite that mean! Preston is trying to do his homework, but is locked out of his backpack.

And lastly, here is my new bike with all its accessories. Now it has new grips, fenders, a rear rack, and one pannier bag on the left side. Way too fancy for my one mile commute, but way better than walking.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Tires.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Today is a late start for all three kids! Two hour late start for them means a late start for me too! Lillie will be not late starting as much as others as she has Drama class...but she likes it so it is all good. No, it is not a late start for Maren, which makes normal start feel like an early start.

Last night I took Lillie to the library so she could check out books and I could pay my fines! Yes, Maren is a librarian, but I still have my own library card to worry about. And by the looks of my smallish fines, I don't worry quite enough about it. We got there just in time for family story time. Designed for little kids in their jammies, Lillie and I decided to sit in the back and check it out. It was pretty fun, back where we were was were the one year olds wander around because they don't want to sit still for 30 mins. The older kids (2 and 3 year olds) were sitting up front. I did take all three kids to all these story times when they were little, so it was fun to just enjoy the commotion. Lillie also thought it was fun, but she didn't need to wait in line for a hand stamp at the end.

So why a picture of a tire? Maren's car has had some upgrades in the last few days. All new tires last night and a new battery on Saturday. Yep, Maren was stranded on Saturday, then a blowout in Mercer Island left her waiting for a super speedy AAA guy. In the last year we have certainly gotten our money worth from our AAA membership!

Last time I put new tires on Maren's car was in 2004. They were 80,000 mile tires that went farther than that. I did get good tires for the car yesterday even though I wanted to save as much $$$ as possible. The cheap tires have all the same installation costs and no coupons, so for $100 more you get four very good 70,000 tires as apposed to four inexpensive tires.

If my crystal ball had been working, I would have traded the Hyundai in for a new car last month! Now the conversation is actually on the table. Maren is thinking it may actually be time for a new car for her. So I have been shopping a little for something more modern. So stand by, maybe Maren will get a new car soon, or maybe new tires and a new battery keep the old Hyundai in good accord for a few more years.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Noodley Hotdogs.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Last night I tried a fancy dinner surprise for the kids that Maren had found somewhere in on the web. Now before you start thinking too is the presentation and the preparation that is fancy, the food itself is just blah. So, after borrowing spaghetti noodles from a neighbor, cutting up several hot dogs, and sticking a few noodles through the hot dogs, I decided to call the whole surprise element off and let the littles come help with the preparation. It is a good thing I had their help, or I would still be in the preparation stage and dinner would have been tonight instead of last night.

When Preston and Hansen were little I would make a spaghetti/ hot dog dish where the the spaghetti was normal on a plate, but he hot dog was carved up like an octopus. Maybe it is time to move on from hot dogs and noodles...nah.

See you tomorrow.

PS. Somehow my spell check found 16 misspelled words this post, it is amazing how many times and different ways I can misspell spaghetti!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Date at the American Girl Bistro.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday Lillie and I ventured over an hour to the north to go on a Daddy/Daughter date at the American Girl store in Alderwood mall. We had purchased this online and they really did it up for us. Of course we were not alone, one of Lillie's American Girl Dolls came along as a chaperon. They served us a full meal at the Bistro, took our picture, had a flower for Lillie, and even had a box of questions for us to ask each other. Of course we would do some shopping as well!
Here is the box of questions. You could buy these boxes if you wanted...of course Lillie was the funniest person she knows! And we both like gloves more than mittens.

A metal box of curly appetizer ever! Dinner was good too. And the ice-cream Sundays were amazing.

Leaving the store a couple of hours later. Shopping bags, new jammies for her American Girl doll and flowers...nope, I didn't get to carry anything.

This is our framed picture that they took for us on our date.

This was a very fun adventure...but let me just say, I am glad we live over an hour away from this American Girl destination or Lillie would want to do this every single weekend!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Little Falcon.

Good morning, it is Friday.

The kids and I have the day off of school due to a teacher workshop day. Yes, the house is very quiet right now as Maren is at work and the kids are all sleeping.

Last night was the first Kentlake football game that the whole family has ever attended. Sometimes I take Preston and Connor, but Maren and the littles stay home. Last night Lillie got to be part of the Kentlake Flames dance team! She had a camp last weekend and performed in the halftime show last night. She had a great time dancing, but could have gone home after her dance as she didn't care too much about the game. Nana and Grandpa came to the game toting hot chocolate! The KL football team is doing great this season, I think they are now 7-0 and one of the best teams around!

Lillie getting ready to go to the game...all ready for some cheering!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WA State Book Awards.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night Maren and I attended A Celebration of the Washington State Book Awards at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle. Maren has been one of the judges for this award for a few years and you know how it is, without the judges reading tons of books, there would be no award! These awards were just for authors who live in Washington State.

Here is Maren with a schedule of events, hanging in front of one of the walls of the Richard Hugo House. Post-it note art was all over the walls. I even tried my hand at some post-it note art in the "try it yourself" section.

This is Maren watching the proceedings. There were authors everywhere. Maren got to be introduced to the crowd and afterwards we mingled and got a few autographs on the winning books.

Preston was a good sport and skipped his soccer practice to hang with the littles. I'm thinking the three pizzas we brought home (that were devoured by the time we got back) and a nap on the couch probably sounded pretty ok.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lottery tickets!

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Today is my younger brother Eric's birthday! Happy Birthday Eric!

One of the things I purchased for myself for my birthday was three scratch lottery tickets. But I couldn't stop buying and buying because the odds of winning are just so good. So by yesterday I had purchased nearly 50 tickets:

No, I am just joking...I only bought three! The picture is from the Internet, someone does like to play scratch tickets out there...but it is not me. I let each kid scratch one, two were winners! I have to go collect my $37 in winning! Woohoo. When in front of the scratch ticket kiosk, two different old ladies came up to me and started asking me if I had a system and how lucky I was with scratch tickets. I told them both that I only buy these one time a year, on my birthday! Neither of them even realized it must be my birthday because they were trying to get an edge on buying their own tickets!

Yesterday everyone was asking how my birthday was. I can honestly say it was a very nice birthday! I have decided that no matter how old you are, birthdays are great. It is the day after that is the ugh. I mean, the day after you are just a year older and your birthday is in the past.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oh Yeah, it's my birthday!

Good morning, it is my birthday! Happy Birthday to Me, la la la la la laaaa.

Yesterday we started the birthday festivities, today we will end them. We had a very nice dinner at The Golden Peacock. One of my favorite restaurants with tons of folks all there for my birthday! If I remember, my fortune cookie read something like, "you deserve a relaxing week". do I add the suffix...on the toilet?...or in bed? Hmm, just can't choose! I do have a ton of leftover food from last night, so I get to eat super yummy all day!
Mel took this pic at our house after dinner. Maren had a very yummy cake for us. Avery helped blow out the candles, but I think I still got most of them.

I have not opened any of my cards yet. I will be saving those for tonight, but the kids did go in and buy me a fancy new T-shirt. This is the front.

And this is the back. I'm so proud...weeping. Disturbing huh?

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Bomb!

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday was a every which way kind of day with Lillie's dance camp, Preston's tux fitting then soccer game, then the big fund raiser auction for Preston's soccer organization. Lillie did a great job at dance camp. She now has a cool new Falcons shirt and pom poms. She will be performing in the halftime show at Thursday evening's KL foot ball game! Sorry, no pics as I was off renting Preston's tux.

Fancy shoes, pink tie and vest, and a classic black tux. Lots of options and lots of money. Look out!
While Hansen didn't have places to go, he wasn't without projects. Yup, he made biscotti! They turned out great. Think I am off to have some right now.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 07, 2011

My New Bike!

Good morning, it is Friday.

Wednesday evening Hansen and I ventured out to Des Moines to pick up a bicycle I bought from and add on Craigslist. Yup, it is my birthday present to myself! After giving my commuter bike to Hansen, I kind of wanted a new bike for riding to work. This bike is cool because it has a chain guard! And and internal gear shifting rear hub along with a disk brake on the rear wheel. Perfect technology for a short, easy commute. If you're wondering, the bike is a GT Rapid Transit and was only built in like 1997. It was pretty expensive back then, now used and a bit beat up but in excellent working order,I picked it up for $95.00. Way better than a Target bike for twice its price! I ordered some cheap fenders which will be here tomorrow and then the bike will be complete. Maren still has the pink GT hybrid bike I bought for her back in college, so now we have matcher bikes. Happy Birthday to me!

Here is my bike at work yesterday. Usually it is not alone on the bike rack, but yes, rain may have been a factor.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A Great Sale.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

The rain has set in around here of late, so I bought new windshield wipers for the pick-up and for my van. Costco had a good sale, and Maren's car had new ones put on not long ago. All I can say is wow! New windshield wipers make life much nicer. And a hanging SpongeBob from your rear view mirror doesn't hurt either.

The Costco sale was buy a wiper, get a wiper free. I had actually gone in to buy a new set for my pick-up and Maren's car as a back up pair, but it turns out the limit for the sale was one. The funny thing is that the cashier was trying to explain this to me so I would put away one of the sets...I think. All I remember is her saying somthing about the wiper sale and me just nodding my head saying, "'s a great sale!" Don't blame me...she had cool glasses and was cute! Anyhow, after a quick ice-cream sunday for Hansen and I, I realized the bill seemed too high and hit the customer service desk on the way out. The fellow who took the extra two wipers in return just laughed and pointed to the huge pile of wiper blades from customers making the same exact mistake.

This is a picture Hansen took a few weeks ago with his cell phone. He doesn't know Steve Jobs from anyone, but he thought my texting posture was the same as the Jobs silhouette. It is amazing what Steve Jobs created. Maren's first computer ever (back in 1990) was an Apple Classic. It was less powerful than Hansen's cell phone and cost more than you would pay today for a basic computer. But it was cool. Maren really likes her Apple products...the headline of this issue was correct wasn't it?

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The giant swing!

Good afternoon, it is Wednesday.

Last weekend I spent 24 hours straight with 20 middle schoolers for a church retreat. It was very fun for everyone there. Lots of friendship games and stuff like that. The giant swing was very intimidating. A few of the kids went all the way to the 50 feet max before being dropped and swinging between the trees! Hansen went about 30 feet...still way to crazy for me!

Hansen getting ready to drop. Can you say nervous?

Kentlake had it's homecoming weekend! I went to the game with Preston and Connor...kind of. The moment the van was turned off, I never saw either of them again. I did see plenty of old KR folks from my days, and KL did beat Tahoma, so good!

Preston did not go to the Homecoming dance as his girlfriend attends a different high school. We will be taking him for his Tuxedo fitting this weekend and KW homecoming will be in a couple of weeks. I'm sure he will have a great time.

See you tomorrow.