Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving, Downtown, and Motorcycles too!

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

We had a great Thanksgiving break! I will just jump into the weekend for you. Thursday we headed to the Ostergard's house along with Mel, Court, Jack, Avery, Stef, Derek, Ben and Abby. It was just the right sized crowd and we had tons of yummy food. It is funny because yesterday in the staff room I was listening to bickering and complaining about Thanksgiving this and Thanksgiving that, but I really enjoy the holiday and I think the rest of the family does too. We do our Thankful leaves and have a yummy feast. Sure, I don't have much to do with anything but carving, eating, and entertaining, but it works for me:)

This year after dinner and when everyone was leaving the Ostergard's house, our family headed into downtown Seattle to spend the night in a hotel. We were in the Roosevelt on the 11th floor on a corner. It was perfect. The room was nice and for the most part we were all happy and having fun. In the morning we woke up and went to the Macy's Holiday Parade. It didn't disappoint!

Here is my crowd (except for the guy on the left who was smiling for the picture too) getting ready for the parade. The police didn't like our feet on the street, so I was risking it just to take the photo!
Lots of marching bands, mini-floats, Christmas stuff, parade everything, and even Santa!
This princess got her very own snow globe!
After the parade we wandered around Seattle and ended up at the huge Gingerbread houses. The lighting in here was weird for my camera...but never fear, even thought I didn't do crazy Black Friday shopping in the middle of the night, I did make it into Costco later in the day for a new camera and a new computer! I'm still figuring it all out, but I was able to transfer all my pictures and documents and everything without too much trouble!
The kids in front of a Christmas tree in the Weston along with the amazing gingerbread houses.
This is one of many huge houses...it was like Five feet wide! It was quite a long line, but well worth it.
Saturday I headed out and couple of hours east with Courtney to try out her new motorcycles! I had not ridden motorcycles for probably 25 years! She has two late model Honda CRX 250s. They are plenty fast for me, and totally fun to ride!
This picture is taken near Vantage. We were like 3000 feet high and there was a dusting of snow around. The windmills all over the valley are very cool. There was tons of great riding trails that we kind of had to share with pheasant hunters:) We steered clear of the hunters! It was great to be back on a motorcycle. Can't wait to go riding again.
I rode the bike on the left. If you bigify this pic, you can see all the windmills in the background. We parked 1500 feet lower than these pictures, so it wasn't snowy everywhere. In this world of desertish hills, it was good we had a GPS that could "breadcrumb" our ride, or we may still be out there somewhere!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving too!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Last Friday was my first Art Docent day of the new school year in Lillie's class. We did a fun project where we drew a corner of a room. When talking about perspective and parallel lines one of the boys actually said something like, "Aww man...you mean there is math in art?!?" The perfect line to prove he may have actually learned something.
Yesterday I went in a designed and hung all the artwork for the hall wall. A different parent made the name tags which was great.

And the whole wall, it does look pretty cool all put together. I didn't have too defined instruction when it came to detailing the rooms, and that bothered me for a while, but now I agree that they all look great.

Hansen's art docent make little collages of their favorite sports teams. Yes, Hansen is a Husky!

Preston and Hansen have decided that Kohl's is their new favorite short to shop. It has good prices, lots of sales, tons of cool fashions...and massage chairs!

And Hansen's favorite place to eat? Taco Time. He even wears his "eat fresh" shirt when he goes there just to add some flavor.

Today is a half day for Preston as it is conference time. Hansen has an eye appointment as seeing the smart board at school has become tough once again. All his amazing growing seems to also affected his vision. He has needed a new Rx every 6 months for the past year and a half, I am sure things will steady as this growth spurt slows down.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Upgrade time?

Good morning, it is Monday.

Here I have let a few days pass since my last post. Have we been busy? Yes. Are there things to blog about? Sure thing. So what gives?!? My computer has been a bit of a bugger these past few weeks, worse the last few days. Sure it has been slow, but I have worked on all that stuff too. Of late it forgets that there is a mouse, a printer, and the word and excel programs are all messed up too. Preston has lost a couple of assignments and not been able to print things out as well. I have been avoiding the computer big time, right now I'm just hoping to get this blog out smoothly. In truth, this computer is like five years old and in computer age, that is quite old. So, time to be replaced. Come to think of it, my cars are getting old too...and so am I! Yikes.

Luckily there are amazing deals to be had after Thanksgiving! No I will not shop at midnight, or even 5:00am, in fact it makes me kind of mad that employees even have to work these shifts...but the stores are competing aren't they? Sometime over the weekend I will probably pick up a new computer and then I will be able to solve all the problems of the world! Or at least get back to uploading pictures and blogging. I have not even started my Christmas letter yet this year because I am worried it will just be lost too. I do have some ideas in my head...SpongeBob?

OK, I'm off. Today we have work, school, volleyball practice and drama club before school, then a volleyball match, dance class and drivers ed after school. I'm already looking foward to Monday Night Football for a little winding down.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Today is a video day. I don't usually post videos, but I have two that you may enjoy.

The first video is a one minute video of Hansen serving a few serves in his first volleyball game. You can hear all the cheering...elementary volleyball!

The second video is a funny puppet show that Preston had to do for a homework project. Lillie kind of takes over and steals the show...Preston did get a 4 out of 4 on the project. And yes, he did show it to his whole English class on the smart board.


See you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Say it isn't so!

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday Preston got his drivers permit. Yup, it is now perfectly legal for Preston to be driving. The DMV was crazy busy, but it all worked out. I did throw Preston the keys once we got into the neighborhood. He really doesn't have much practice yet, so it was all kind of fun/scary! When I instructed him to put on his blinker to merge into traffic, the windshield got washed!

Here he is, first time behind the wheel on an actual road. After this drive, Preston had three soccer games! Yup, one outdoor game in the freezing wind, then two indoor games. His first two game were with his normal team, but as we were leaving from Starfire, he ran into a few Seniors from his high school who invited him to play on their indoor team. Preston looked kind of small and scared at first, but once he realized that his speed and skills really are competitive with anyone, he was able to make a big impact with a couple of nice assists and a few good shots on goal. It was fun to watch.

This weekend was also a good one for Hansen. Friday he spent the whole day with a big group of friends at a birthday party. They went swimming, made t-shirts and goofed the day away. Then yesterday he spent the day with a friend at their house. Hansen is starting to get out in the world and has a ton more confidence that he once did. He will probably always be on the shy side, but we can honestly say he has grown a ton in the last several months, both in size and in maturity.

And not to be left out, Maren and Lillie had a very quite few days at home. Kind of, Lillie did sleep over at a friend's house on Thursday night and Maren went to lunch with a friend on Friday, but yesterday was a very quite day for the girls at home. Maren was feeling kind of sick and they pretty much hung out on the couch watching movies all day.

And for me, I was basicly the guy driving everyone everywhere. Off to wake up kids, kind of a busy day today as well.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Happy Veterans Day to all Veterans! How am I spending the day? Well, I will show you how I spent the morning:

That's right, a cup of hot cocoa in my stars and stripes mug, and the Seattle Times. Not to mention a day off of work:)

And right at this exact moment...It is 11:11am on 11/11/11! Make a wish! Preston, Connor, Hansen, and myself are all geeking out at this very moment! Ok, now it is 11:12am...back to reality.

Yesterday Lillie did perform in a Veterans Day Assembly at her school that her drama club put on. Maren, John and Carol also attended. I would have liked to be there, but I heard it was great!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was Hansen's first volleyball game of the season. For being a very shy guy, Hansen did very well to get out there in front of the crowd and show some mad skills! His team got beat, but it wasn't really all that fair. You see, the other team didn't have enough players, so they had a couple of girls playing. And these few girls totally kicked volleyball butt! You say, ha ha...but around here girls play select volleyball and it leads to jr. high and high school volleyball and the boys never play again after 6th grade.

Hansen is in the upper left of this picture. Lillie was one of the few not so excited to be there. I let her play with my camera because she was SO bored and she wanted to look at all my old pictures. Somehow this picture showed up as the last one taken:
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Driving HOME.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night our whole family along with John and Carol went to a local church to serve homeless men through a program called HOME that our church is sponsoring this month. We were there for an hour, packed lunches and served dinner for close to 30 men. We got a ton done in just an hour! This is the second year we have done this and are glad to be able to serve. The team leaders did take a picture of us, but I didn't get any pics with my camera.

Yesterday was also Preston's first day of driver's education! Preston found driver's ed to be a huge waste of two hours. Well, two hours three days a week for a month...just the price you pay to be able to drive, so not really a waste.

The place Preston will learn how to drive...hope they teach him well!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

This past weekend was a divide and conquer weekend. Preston's soccer team had a huge road trip weekend and I was the driver of two other dads and three players. Yup, nearly 12 hours in the van in just two days! First game in Wenatchee, spend the night in Spokane, second game in Spokane, then drive home to get a couple of Steelers fans home in time for Sunday Night Football. That is many many hours with the van's cruise control set on 70 mph.

The kids getting ready to leave home and fighting for seat position.

Dusty's in Wenatchee. Yum! The greasy burger was super yummy. I really liked the town of Wenatchee. The bare mountains look very cool and the whole town seemed very nice.

After a loss and a tie and 10 hours in the car, the boys are still getting along splendidly at the last rest stop of the journey. Of course, the soccer was why we were all there, but the team does get along great regardless of the soccer. At the hotel the dads were in one room watching the Huskies get beat by Oregon and other football games while the kids were making a total mess of our room. By the next morning all the socks were accounted for and the room left in decent shape.

So while we were gone, Maren had the littles for the weekend too. Sounds like they had fun, got to go out to dinner and goof off plenty too.

Hansen's first volleyball tournament is tomorrow. Here he is sporting the new team shirt. This is the first Grass Lake shirt I have ever seen that is not green!

Last night while Lillie was at dance class, I went to the driving range to hit a small bucket. Now that we set the clocks back, it gets dark very early. By 5:30 it was totally dark. I must admit that hitting the golf ball into the darkness with just a light or two shining on it is pretty cool. I will be ready for summer again very soon.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Seattle Auto Show!

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Last night Hansen and I went to the Seattle Auto Show! I haven't gone in a few years, but it was fun to be back. Hansen had a great time. Hansen is really into wheeled things these days. The cars and the electric bicycles/scooters had him dreaming all evening. Not to mention the sweepstakes that required e-mail addresses...I am a bit worried about what my inbox will look like soon. Of course, since we have actually been going back and forth about getting Maren a new car, Hansen felt he was on a mission.

No, not a religious mission, but driving this Fiat around the world to fancy cathedrals was fun. It is amazing what can be done with a green screen. I really like these new Fiat 500s. I would own one in a heartbeat, but I don't think they are really Maren's style. But their slogan was great, "Bigger isn't better, it is just harder to park."

No, Hansen didn't like this car, nor would his mom, but I did! Preston would have really liked it too! Let's see, a car like this or our house? Hmmm. Sell the house!

Actually, Hansen is extremely practical and good at math. He was doing quick comparisons to cost and gas mileage. He really thinks we need to buy Maren this 2012 Kia Rio. Best bang for the buck if you only read the window sticker. Hansen thought I was totally wasting my time checking out the VW cars and the Acuras. Humph. I tried to tell him that half the gas mileage and twice the price may not be so bad if the car is freaking awesome! Nope, not for Hansen...or Maren. Fine, I'm going golf club shopping by myself!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Real Ronald!

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night was McTeacher's Night at the local McDonald's to support our school. It was crazy busy and I am sure we raised plenty of money for the school enrichment programs. Yay! My job was to bus and clean tables. I liked this job the best because that meant I got to be out with the people and the kids just saying "hi" and goofing off. The truth is it was so busy that every table was filled up for the whole time with the occasional turn-over that I quickly cleaned if I even noticed. Other teachers were ordering, delivering, selling coupons and cookies, working the drive-through, and just helping wherever there was a place to help. My shift was the first hour and a half, which was actually enough for me. The whole thing lasted for three hours.

This is me with a couple of teachers as the evening was just beginning and pictures were being taken. Yes, there is a finger over the lens of this picture, so really there are four people in this picture.

Maren brought Hansen and Lillie in for dinner! Maren got to say "hi" to friends as did the kids. Hansen wasn't too thrilled to be hanging in such a crowd...Ronald's appearance behind him didn't even get him excited!

So I tried to drag him over to say "hi". Not really, but I think Hansen was happy to have me go roam somewhere else.
Besides, Ronald did come visit the table they were sharing with friends.

Preston wasn't at McTeacher night because he was at the Seattle Sounders game. They are out of the playoffs for the year. Last night they won the game 2-0, but were down 0-3 going into last night's aggregate game. They had a chance to tie the game in the closing minutes, but it never worked out. Great season by the Sounders. The rest of us watched the game on the TV after coming home from McTeacher's night as Preston was there getting totally wet and freezing in person! Sounds like he had a great time.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Trick Or Treat!

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Today will be a dragging day for everyone in this house! Yup, last night was Halloween! Preston did tons of homework right as he got home from school so he could go off to a Halloween party with his friends! Of course he dressed up as a...soccer player! He and his friend did some trick or treating, but it sounds like the hander outers of candy thought they were just too old...and they are. But I say if you want to go trick or treating, go for it!

Lillie and I getting ready to go out and about. First we went to the really cool houses on our block, then we got in the van and went over to a friend's house to trick or treat with them.

Lillie and her friend getting ready for some candy!

Hansen was going to stay home and pass out candy with Maren, but the moment his friends came by to trick or treat our house, he quickly found a white doctor shirt and a grim reaper mask. It was very cold, but shorts and two t-shirts did him just fine. He bolted out the door and didn't return until a few hours later with the largest haul of candy I have ever seen! Hansen is the guy on the right in this pic. Scary lot of kids huh?

Once again the pirate ship was out at the end of our culd-e-sack. Here Lillie is getting candy lowered down to her...better than walking the plank. Aarg!

After school I picked up this jack-o-lantern pizza at Papa Murphy's. This is it before cooking, Yum! Of course, when Lillie saw it she tossed the olive eyes and I had to scramble to chomp them. Maren had also made apple cider in the crock pot to warm us up after the cold evening. As I am typing this, I just realized I have absolutely no idea what happened on Monday Night Football, I may have to check after posting.
The night ending way too late with the kids sorting and trading their hauls of candy. I suspect Hansen's stash lasts him all the way till Christmas. Maren said this may have been one of the busiest years for trick or treaters at our house as well.

See you tomorrow.