Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Band Festival

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night was a big band festival at Kentlake High School.  There were 6th grade band members from all the feeder schools, the 8th grade band from Cedar Heights Jr. High, and the Wind Ensemble from Kentlake High School.  At first we thought Preston and Hansen would both be playing, which would have been super cool, but nope...Preston is in band, but not the Wind Ensemble.
 Here is a glimpse of Hansen playing the flute.  My camera is on zoom!
And no zoom, the whole gym is full of musicians.

Afterwards is was looking for Hansen's music book that was accidentally picked up by another student after the show, and off for ice-cream at McDonald's.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Boys.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

On a week that will include a few birthday parties for Lillie, the boys deserve a little face time.  Preston's schedule is about a hectic as it has been an a long time.  This week he is trying out for his high school's soccer team.  Then over the weekend will be tryouts for his select team.  So, lots of wind sprints, 4v4's, and other tryout stuff.  He said yesterday was tough, but fun.  As a 9th grader he was the fastest of all the kids (grades 9-12) and was put in the varsity 4v4's, so he is hoping to be one of only a couple of freshmen playing for varsity this year.  He is also going to a new team for select, which should be a good change.
It's not just soccer that Preston does well at...Yesterday he brought home his Student of the Quarter in 9th grade science certificate and huge candy bar.  Way to go Preston!
Hansen has registered for soccer this spring too.  It will be track and soccer for Hansen very soon.  But he is still living the x-box lifestyle for now.  This picture of Hansen and his cousin Alex was taken over the weekend at Claire's party.  No, none of the boys got their face painted...myself included.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Face Paint, Chilly Hilly, and Oscars!

Good morning, it is Monday.

We have had quite a weekend.  It started with cousin Claire's 11th birthday.  There were tons of tween girls running around, but the hit was the face painter.  Check out these pics:
 Cousin Maggie on the left with an amazing butterfly face, and Lillie with her cool artistic eye.
 Lillie with Auntie Stef.  Stef had a WSU cougar logo on her cheek.
This picture is amazing because...Annie is a total WSU Cougar.  But the artist is totally tricking her and painting a U of W logo on her cheek.  She was totally surprised, but was a good sport to the end.

Yesterday I rode in the 40th annual Chilly Hilly bike ride.  I was along with around 4000 other riders for the (there were other times to catch the ferry too) ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, a 33 mile ride around the island, and a ferry ride back.  It was grueling, but great.  It only snowed for a short while and the rest of the time was clear, cool, and perfect.
 Hundreds of riders catching the 7:55 am ferry ride.
 Yup, that's me.
 The ferry decks were just littered with bicycles for the ride over.
 On the road.  My friend Barry is on the left and his son Adam is on the right.  We all made it no problem...well, it wasn't easy.
The ferry ride back to Seattle was great.  Sun was out and the view was beautiful.  I took this picture a bit far out because there is a strange water line.  The water is blue and chopy, then turns green and smooth.  Anyhow, great ride.  I am sure I will do this one again.

And lastly, last night was Oscar night.  I don't have any pictures of Maren, but picture this:  Maren on the couch with her i-pad.  Fire in the fireplace.  Oscars on TV.  Hansen playing video games.  Lillie and Preston at friend's houses.  And me floating around.  Maren would just laugh for no reason and Hansen and I would be like, "what?".  Maren would then say something like, "this tweet, Hugo was such a good movie...someone should make a book out of it!"  Of course most of the good movies were all based on books and did anyone thank the author?  Maren loved reading her twitter feeds and watching the show.  I think it was her favorite TV day of the year.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Good morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday after school we were all just hanging around doing nothing.  Maren found this event going on down at the ShoWare Center, so we decided to check it out.  We meaning Maren, Lillie and myself.  Preston, Hansen and Connor stayed home and goofed off for hours.

 This is the flyer.
 Lillie at the Valley Medical Booth with an actual plaster cast put on her finger.  When we got home she actually had the boys going that she had fallen down and we ended up at the hospital casting her finger.
 My favorite booth.  Redline bicycles!  There were a couple of trick riders showing off some cool moves.
We ended up finding a seat in the stands.  It was so crowded you couldn't even move it seemed.  Lillie enjoyed this dancing group's performance.
 One dollar soda and hotdogs!  We had eaten so we passed on the hotdogs, but Lillie was in need of a soda!  Some folks were thowing these play balls into the stands, Lillie is holding on to a blue volleyball she was given.
At a booth using brain waves to move things.  Lillie is trying to focus...trying to focus.  It's hard!

We had a fun time, I probably saw a dozen of folks I know as I always seem to do at these events.  I think the boys think they had a good time, so it all worked out.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Canada and the SB&F Awards.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Maren, Hansen, Lillie and I are home from a trip to Canada for a the Science Book and Film (SB&F) Awards sponsored by Subaru (awesome cars) and held at the American Advancement for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Conference which took place this year in Vancouver B.C. Canada.  Preston is home from a soccer tournament in Portland Oregon.  While I don't have any pictures of Preston's soccer tournament (he traveled with his coach and the team...I went to Canada) I have plenty of Canada.  So lets get started!

Getting ready to cross the American/Canadian border.  The line wasn't too long this way, it would be much longer coming home.  We had to turn off our data roaming on our phones as to not be charged huge fees by needless internet surfing in Canada.  
Money!  Hansen was very excited to change our money to Canadian money.  Canadian money is beautiful, and worth about the same, if not more than American money these days.  Hansen still has his Canadian money because he decided the money itself was a better souvenir than anything he could have spent it on.
Now inside the conference center.  One of the many huge signs welcoming all to the AAAS Annual Meeting.  There were other signs that were easier to photograph, but this huge globe and the windows made for a very cool view of the soaking wet city.
And it did rain pretty much the whole time we were there.  This picture was taken on the way to breakfast with the authors!  Maren's invite to breakfast with the award winning authors was extended to myself and the kids.  Lillie had a lost bag incident which soured her mood for a little while, but the amazing buffet of yumminiess helped to pull her out of her funk.  I really like these breakfasts, you really can get a feel for who these authors are as humans.  I always (third year for me, first year for the kids!) leave these breakfasts in awe of the work that goes into each of these books.
The authors each had an hour long reading/meeting session at the main conference center that Maren helped out with.  Saturday was day one of Family Science Days as well.  I took the kids around to most all the booths and we learned tons of stuff.  Well, I did...Hansen seems pretty up to speed on his science knowledge!  There were also speakers every half an hour, but we spent our time with the hands on stuff.
 This may have been Lillie's favorite stand.  Actually run by folks from the U of W, this was a booth on yeast as an accelerant.  Folks could try adding baking soda and such, but he yeast would make foam come flying out of the cups...and I guess it looks like elephant toothpaste.
 Hansen enjoying creating and using solar energy to energize fuel cells.
 Sea Turtles and other sea life!  There was even a tank with live eels in it.  Hansen was going to show the eels his eel skin wallet, but then figured that wouldn't be very nice.  On a similar amusing note, Lillie brought her little suffed chicken that she won from a school drawing.  A couple times Lillie had chicken for dinner or lunch and had to come back and we all had to agree to not mention eating chicken in front of her stuffed chicken...yikes.
 Creating energy from water.  This little water powered generator would easily charge a cell phone and turn on an i-pod with very little water.  Bring out cell phones, i-pads, and create energy, and Hansen is all ears!
 Bugs!  Lillie really liked the "Rent-Free Roommates" title given to bugs such as spiders, bees and such.
 Even letting kids hold owls and birds that not exactly living.
 I liked this booth.  On the screen you can see me taking a picture of the thermal image of Hansen and myself created by an infrared camera.  Our glasses don't produce heat and my hat and shoulders are still damp from the rain.  I never realized they use infrared technology on telescopes to get far better images of planets far far away.
 More science fun.
 Lillie using toothpicks, licorice, and marshmallows to create a double helix.
And my last picture of Family Science stuff is this robot camera for photographing the underwater world.  There were just tons and tons of cool things!
Maren is the chairperson of the SB&F award for Young Adult Science Books.  The winner this year was Thor Hanson for his book Feathers.  Here he is reading excerpts from his book and answering questions not far from all the science displays from above.
Thor Hanson and Maren posing in front of the cool poster of the cover of Thor's book.
 And the actual awards ceremony.  From left to right was Vicky Cobb, Lifetime Achievement Award.  Joan Dunning, Picture Book award for Seabird in the Forest.  Joan was the first person to ever win this award who both authored and illustrated the book.  I enjoyed getting to talk to Joan during the author's breakfast.  Maria Sosa, editor of SB&F, doing a great job as MC.  Thor Hanson, Young Adult Science Book for Feathers.  And Sandra Markle, Middle Grade Science Book, for The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs.  This year the authors all gave great speeches and Maria did a great job talking about the process of the awards and such.  I thought it was a great ceremony.
 Hansen and Lillie didn't really go for the amazing appetizers and snacks at the awards buffet.  But they didn't mind hanging in the corner playing Angry Birds on my phone for a bit while us oldies chit chatted.
 Check this picture out.  It is the Olympic Cauldron from the Winter Olympic Games from 2010.
A little shopping in the mall.  Lillie loves her new beret and matching gloves. 
One last Starbucks before hitting the road home.
 Hansen too!
The kids really enjoyed the hotel.  We were in the Westin Bay Shore with a great view out the back.  From this view you could see float planes taking off and landing as well as runners and walkers on the boardwalk.  The pool, hot tub and exercise room were great.  Hansen went 6K on an elliptical while Lillie went in between the pool and hot tub.  Maren and I went in between the hot tub, pool, and exercise all the adults there, we kind of tried to avoid the young couple making out and taking things a bit too far both nights in a row in the pool and hot tub area.
Driving home yesterday, good bye Canada!  This last shot is of the Peace Arch.

Preston's team lost game one and won game two.  They didn't advance to the finals, but had a good tournament.  Preston scored a couple of goals and assisted in a couple more.  Now the select soccer season is over for a bit and high school soccer will be starting soon.  Hansen is also going to play soccer this spring.  Lillie has dance tonight, but we are enjoying the day off thanks to President's Day.  Back to going and going and going.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday I had student/teacher conferences with Hansen and Lillie's teachers.  Actually I think the conferences are now called goal setting conferences, but really not much different other than trying to get the children actively involved with their learning.  The littles are both doing excellent!  Amazing mathematicians, writers, readers, and students!  Yay.

In between conferences I took down the old artwork (art docent duty) from Mrs. Morrow's wall, then after conferences I hung up the new art.  This project was based on numbers by Jasper Johns.  I thought about having the students all do their age, mostly 8 which would have been cool and more accurately portrayed Johns' work with numbers, but Lillie recommended we do the first letter of their names.  I thought that was an excellent idea, so that is just what we did:
Lillie wishes she hadn't put the extra L on her work, but I like it.

The littles both earned $5.00 coupons for books from the book fair for exceeding reading goals.  Lillie quickly used her coupon buying a 2012 Guinness Book of World Records.  Hansen chose not to buy a book citing that he has a librarian mom who gets him all the books he is interested in before they come for sale, thus he has read everything he would have considered buying.  Instead he just wants the money:)

See you tomorrow.

P.S.  Happy Birthday to my Aunt Susanna!  I hear it is a big, yeah:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Green Tongue.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Hope you had a nice Valentine's Day!  While kind of mellow around here, I would say it was a success.
 Maren picked up Papa Murphy's heart shaped pizzas for dinner.  Yum!
 Lillie enjoying a Fun Dip candy package that was given to her by one of her classmates for Valentine's Day.  She and Hansen came home with tons of candy.
I only took this picture because when Preston was walking home from the bus, it was hailing so hard that  the back deck and the sidewalks turned white for a few moments.  Once Preston was in the house the house the sun came back out.  At first glance you may think, oh poor high school kids walking home in the crazy hail...but nope, they all walked home very slowly and just goofed off.

Today will be a run around day as Maren works late, I have student/teacher conferences for both Hansen and Lillian, and Preston has a captain's practice after school for soccer.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Preston with the Bear his girlfriend will be given today at school, the flowers are in the sweet!  Last night shopping for Valentine's Day stuff was too funny with the store full of high school and college guys buying last minute goodies for their girlfriends.  I even picked up a little stuffed bear, stuffed monkey, and a stuffed husky dog for Maren, Lillie and Hansen respectively.

I have missed a few days of blogging, but that doesn't mean we have been under a rock.  Far from it.  Before I go on I need to wish my parents a happy anniversary, thinking it is now 43 years!  Yup, it was a few days ago and I missed it.  Congrats mom and dad!

This last week has been a week of ups and downs.  I learned that my grandma Bernice was in a car accident and got banged up very badly.  Our prayers are with you Bernice for a speedy recovery.  Maren has been sick for a couple of weeks.  After three trips to the doctor, one to the hospital for scans, and tons of drugs it looks like she is going to be fine.  phew, but no fun.  And in a championship soccer game last weekend for Preston's soccer team one of his teammates took a very hard fall and was knocked out for like 5 minutes then carted away on a stretcher and taken to the local hospital.  Preston ended up making one of his most amazing goals ever to win that game in the last couple of minutes, then went to the hospital to visit his buddy...who is going to be just fine.  So lots of ups and downs.

Here are a few pictures I found on my camera:
 Lillie messing with one of the cats.  Poor cat!
 The pie we picked up at Shari's the other day.  Double Yum!
And Hansen and Maren enjoying breakfast for dinner at Shari's.  Triple Yum!

Enjoy your Valentine's Day!  Lillie and Hansen will have parties in their times!

See you tomorrow.