Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Chicken?

Good morning, it is Thursday.

What did I not get pictures of so far this week?  Hansen winning the long jump, winning the relay, and placing 3rd in the dash at his track meet.  Maren teaching a ton of classes and putting up with a ton of gimish at work.  Preston getting to guest for his lower level school soccer team, having a ton of fun and scoring a couple of goals.  Lillie going straight from girl scouts to dance class and practicing a very cool recital routine.

But on the other hand, what did I get pictures of so far this week?  Besides Fairies from yesterday's blog and mullets from the day before?  Have a looksy:
 Coming out of Fred Meyer's the other day there was another van just like mine parked a spot away.  Can you guess which van is mine?  Yeah, me neither.  I had visions of being a kid and getting in the wrong green van with my mom.  Actually mine is the one up close and I didn't even try the other van...but I was very tempted to.  After reading this post, I'm thinking my van was not the one up front but the one in back...I don't know.
 Sports day for the littles.  Lillie has her Cougar gear on including eyeliner.  She is putting on a good grumpy face as she is flanked by Husky fans.
 Lillie at the dentist.  She is still a member of the zero cavity club!  See the little boy and the extra tech on the right?  Lillie is such a good patient they asked her if they could use her as a peer model for a new patient who wasn't so sure about the dentist.  The little boy watched in horror then tried to run away from all dental work for the rest of his life.  Ah, maybe seeing Lillie not mind the dentist and such actually helped his chances of being a good patient.  It is nice that Lillie got asked to do that.
 Smokin'!  Every once in a while (more now that I changed the oil) my pickup truck pollutes the whole culdesac upon start up.  This puff of smoke actually got a neighbor to come out and make sure there wasn't a real issue.  Maybe the new oil is thinner and leaks through the old valve seals easier?  Or maybe the recommended full level is actually too much?  Who knows...but I can't start this thing at school or everyone looks at me like I'm gifting their children with a lifetime of asthma.  Once is blows all the smoke out, it runs just fine.
Lillie after school with her friend and her friend's chicken.  Can't make this stuff up folks.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Good morning, it is Wednesday.

The kids get to sleep in for a couple of extra hours this morning as it is a late start day at all the schools in the district.  Preston is now an hour and twenty minutes into extra sleep, so it won't be much longer till the day is starting.

Sunday was Fairy pictures for Lillie, Avery, and Maggie.  The photos were taken at Yuen Lui as part of a special package they have going...special doesn't mean cheap, it just means different.  While the girls were off being fairies, us boys went to the church's silent auction benefiting the youth mission trip and the Lutherhaven trip.  Preston is choosing not to go with the high school kids on the mission trip, but Hansen is going to Lutherhaven with the jr. high kids.

Before you get to see the amazing photos, you have to sit through the auction...but I'll make it fast.  Hansen won a coffee basket that he is having serious buyer's remorse for because he remembered something else he wanted to buy...but he was sure excited at the time!  I picked up haircuts for all three kids and a gift card for golf stuff.  I already purchased a cool Titleist umbrella online.  I seem to get good use from umbrellas during the winter soccer months around here.  We had a very good dinner and the youth raised a bunch of money.  We didn't help as much as we probably should have with set up and stuff, but we did show up and buy, which was more than I thought would be the case with our crazy schedules.  OK, moving on:

Fairy pictures!  I really like these.  And I especially like the blue backgrounds.  When trying to figure out how to spell "fairies" I went to the Yuen Lui site and saw some finished prints.  It will be great to see them, but I think these with blue may be more stunning.  So yay!  What I'm talking about is the prints will be touched up so the blue background becomes a magical forest and in the cage and and stuff there may be little fairies as well.  They will be great for sure, but when the girls purchased the disk the day of the photos, the unfinished ones were what was available.
 Lillie with her wings and a fairy cage?
Just Lillie.  Isn't she a perfect little fairy?  I posted this pic on Maren's Facebook wall and tagged of her friends thought is was her as a kid.  Maren says she will take that complement any day:)
 Maggie looking magical for sure.  Maggie just loves the spotlight.  You should have seen her leading the dances at the 80's prom!
 And on the opposite side of the limelight seeking spectrum is shy Avery.  Avery is reluctantly taking her turn in the spotlight.  Very cute indeed.
All three together.  If you notice, Avery is wearing an old dance recital costume that Lillie performed in. How cool is that?  Cousin Claire would have fit into these pictures just perfectly, but she has a schedule like ours and it did't work out this time.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Business up front, and a party in the back!

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Last night we had a rocking good time at Stef and Annie's 80's Prom themed birthday bash.  To prepare for this occasion we had made a successful trip to Value Village.  Most all our trips to Value Village are successful, but we are not always shopping for the prom!  We had a rocking good time and I would tell you all about it, but really, this is one of those blogs where the pictures will do the talking:
 Maren and I having our picture taken in the boat!  This picture station was very fun.  Doesn't Maren look great?  How do you like my hair?  Yeah baby...all business up front and a party in the back!  I have to thank my neighbor Shawn for letting me use his mullet wig.  It wasn't the only mullet wig to show up at the party, but it may have been the best.
 Preston and Sarai.  There were other teenagers for these two to hang with and they all had a fun time.
 Hansen, Tyler, and Alex.  No dressing up for the tweens...they are too cool for that kind of silliness.
 Derek and Stef being Derek and Stef.  I'm sure this party turned out even better than planned!
 The little girls dancing and having fun.  Lillie is wearing the dress that Maren wore to her freshman prom!  Carol made this dress many moons ago.  Lillie had a great time...until she didn't.  The dress was too long and she couldn't run.  After thousands of attempts to pin it up, she finally just took it off.  At least we got a picture of a happy faced Lillie.
Camden and Miles using the oars as guitars in the picture boat.  Great Party!

Earlier in the day Maren enjoyed a full day of grueling class teaching (enjoyed...hehe), Preston had a soccer event, Hansen had a soccer game, and Lillie was at an overnight.  Special thanks to John, Mel, Jack and Avery for attending Hansen's game, picking up Lillie, and making lunch while I was with Preston.  Without their help we would have been missing kid functions!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Show Time.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday both Hansen and Lillie got to take a school field trip to see Kentlake's play, Beauty And The Beast.  They both had to pack disposable lunches because they got to eat at the high school's lunch area.  Hansen was very glad I found a way to get his lunch to him as he accidentally left it at home.  It was good he ended up with it because another of his friends left their lunch at home so he had some to share.  Lillie had no such issues.  They both enjoyed the play, but if you ask each of them the same questions about the play, they give you totally different answers.
Last night Preston played very well in his high school soccer game.  I stayed home with the littles (and picked Hansen up from his soccer practice) while Maren went to see the soccer game along with John and Carol.  Preston scored a goal and led his team to victory.  He now has twice as many goals as the next closest player on his team!  Not bad for a freshman on a team of seniors.  Maren kept me very well informed thanks to text messages.  It was almost like I was there.  Maren got to meet Preston's girlfriend's dad and younger sister as they also attended the game.  Preston figures it was a good night to have a good game and score a goal.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Professor Bob Sandler Reading Corner

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday I received this flyer from Bernice about Grandpa Sandler's Reading Corner:
The Professor Bob Sandler Reading Corner
Robert “Bob” Sandler was a frequent visitor and a genuine supporter of our library.  He would often stop by with news of a new publication we might be interested in purchasing or to give us a heads-up on an article of his, soon to be published.  Bob, a retired Professor of English at the University of Miami, remained deeply involved in so many intellectual pursuits, teaching and lecturing on an array of subjects – modern, Biblical, and Holocaust literature, history, philosophy, as well as Tanach and Talmud. In April of 2010 Bob was honored as the co- recipient of the Temple Beth Am 2010 Talmud Torah Award, along with his dear friend George Bosin. It was their persistent determination that we provide a forum for current events discussions, especially regarding Israel, that contributed to the creation of our Sunday Series, now known as the Sunday Salon. Bob passed away in December of 2010, but his beloved wife Bernice, family and friends have fashioned the perfect way to honor him and keep his memory alive in our library. A comfy chair, a beautiful reading light, and a quiet nook in which to curl up and read – welcome to the Professor Bob Sandler Reading Corner.

I think Grandpa would be very happy with how this nook has turned out...I know I am.
See you tomorrow

Monday, April 16, 2012

Look who is Four!

Good morning, it is Monday.

Spring break is over, whaaaa.  And so is the sun, yup...we woke up to rain this morning!  We are all getting ready to go to work and school.

Last night the boys had "Wii Night" at church last night.  They both had a great time and the turnout was very good.  There were probably six TVs set up with Wiis or x-boxes.  I know they didn't spend the whole time playing video games...but it is a good hook isn't it?

Earlier in the day I worked on the cars, new oil in the truck and in Maren's car.  And new headlights in the van.  The kids played outside, rode bikes and had a very good last day of break.  I did get to go golfing on Friday.  I played great!  I shot 2 over par and hadn't really played since September.  I played with Larry at Meadow Park.  I don't think I really need a long layoff to play well, but it seemed to work this time.

Look who is 4:
Happy Birthday to Aurora!  By the sounds of things, Aurora had a rocking birthday party without us!

Speaking of rocking birthday parties.  Maren found a good prom dress and I found a totally 80's light blue sport coat and pink tie to wear for Stef and Annie's prom party next weekend.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

MTB biking and more.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

It is 11:30 am and we are just getting rolling.  Well, the boys are still asleep, but what's new?  Lillie, Maren and I all slept in till past 10:00 am.  And looking out the window it is sunny!  So far a great day for Maren's first day of spring break.

Yesterday was a fun day for me.  Hansen and Lillie went with John and Carol to North Bend to visit Jack and Avery, Maren was working, and Preston had soccer stuff.  So I went mountain bike riding a place not far from home, then went to the driving range to whack some golf balls.
The woods where I went biking is owned by Real Life Church.  There are signs up like this one, and other things to let you know that it is owned by a church and such.  And the trails are very fun to ride.
Plenty of folks must come out to these woods to hang and build while others ride and such.  Plenty of little rock sculptures like the little one in the bottom left of this picture around.  There are also cool bridges and such for very accomplished riders.  If you like smooth and fast, this is not your place.  The single track rides are slow and turny.  I really enjoyed them, but they would not be for Hansen for example.

Last night Preston's soccer team had a great game.  He played great as did the team.  The game ended in a nil/nil tie, but against the 3rd ranked 4A team in the state (and their rivals) that is pretty darn good.  The team has been playing very well of late.

Today it is off to Value Village to shop for Prom stuff...Stef and Annie are having a "Prom" birthday party coming up.  And maybe clean the garage too.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Now I have to keep the van FOREVER!

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was the day I decided to bring the van into the shop.  The driver's window stopped working as well as the passenger side door lock on the slider door a month ago.  And of course, I need the window to do simple things like go through a drive-through window at fast food restaurants, or use the bank machine at the local bank.  So without the window working, we have been hungry and broke!  Furthermore, without the slider door working, I can't unlock the door for the kids, so they have been stuck at home wondering if they will ever get to go anywhere in the van again!  Well, it's not all that bad, but I can tell you that for the cost of the repair you would think these parts are saving the world.  Now I have to keep the old van forever and my retirement plans need to be altered as well:)  Just joking, but dang, $550.00 for the window and door locks to work is expensive.  Don't say it, don't say it...I should have just bought a new car!

Actually, Lillie and I had a fun little adventure dropping off the van.  We brought our bicycles and rode home.  Later in the day Preston and I rode back and picked up the van, but I didn't take any pictures of that trip.
Lillie getting ready to leave the car shop on her bicycle.
 Stopping on the way home to check out Jenkins Creek.
Lillie had even more adventures yesterday as I took her and a neighbor to "the brush".  The brush is just woods and trails between a couple of housing developments.  The girls both have high school age brothers who wouldn't take them on this adventure, but too bad for them [the boys] because it was really a kind of fun hike.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter Sunday.

Good morning, it is Monday.

We are officially on Spring Break!  When I say "we", I mean those of us who go to school or work at a school...Maren is at work learning about a new phone system as I type.

Yesterday was Easter Sunday and we had a very nice day.  I have tons of pictures, so I will let them lead the way:
Lillie was us way too early, but very eggcited to see the the Easter Bunny did come to our house!  The Easter Bunny left its usual powder sugar paw prints leading to baskets for each of the kids.  One of the neighbor kids saw the paw prints later and wondered just what kind of "white stuff" the Easter Bunny must have stepped in.
 Off to the 11:00am church service at Zion Lutheran in Kent.  I don't usually use my camera in church, but the sun was shining in the stained glass windows so I thought I would give it a try.
 After church it was off to John and Carol's house for food and fun.  This is Hansen and Preston just chilling out.  The kids got yet another Easter basket full of goodies!  I watched most of the Masters telecast with the occasional break to head to the park in the sunshine and grab some grub.
 In Lillie's basket was her new favorite stuffed bear.  A very cute paisley bear.
At the park we kicked the soccer ball a little, shot the basketball a little, and rolled down the grass hill a bit too.  Jack is a hill rolling king, but Avery figured running down the hill was a bit more effective.  
 On the walk back to John and Carol's house everyone seemed to have an itchy back.  After a bunch of "can you scratch my back?", we decided to make a back scratching train.  Not nearly as elaborate as SpongeBob's 7 mile spanking train...but it works!

Off to exercise, then see what the day brings.  I'm reading a book and the author says that when you are about to not exercise or about to eat garbage food, you should remember to "respect your future self"...I'm trying.  Later Hansen has soccer practice, Preston has a soccer game, and Lillie has dance class.  I also need to find the time to get my van in the shop as the driver's window doesn't work anymore.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Getting ready for Easter.

Good evening, it is Saturday.

When we wake up it will be Easter!  Egg hunts, bunny footprints, gifts, church, hanging with family, eating yummy food, and watching the Masters (at least the end hopefully).  Maren will be doing the Children's Sermon tomorrow morning at church, I'm sure she will be talking about how He has risen.

Tomorrow will be great, but this evening's blog is about today, and today was a great day.  Lillie had a birthday party to attend, the sun was shining, I painted the truck (again...last time?  For the top, yes, the hood...who knows), Preston  hung out with friends making rap songs for band class, Hansen hung out with friends, Maren caught up on some committee reading, I got a new (to me) bicycle, Lillie got a new Easter dress, and we broke out the BBQ for the first time this year.

Yes, there are some pictures:
Lillie with her new Easter dress.  It may be a little on the short side, but she really likes it.  Lillie will wear leggings and call it good.
This morning we decorated hard boiled eggs.  The kids are so artistic!  I did my own too.  I hate to say it, but I may have started a bad trend in egg design...cracks.
 While Lillie was at her birthday party I ran up to Seattle to trade my mountain bike for this mountain bike at a little store that sells recycled bikes and such.  Now I have a bicycle with suspension!  This is an older bike, but it all works soundly.  I can't wait to go trail riding.
I also painted the truck again.  Last time I tried the weather was too cold and there were little starbursts all over the hood and such.  I did my best to match the top and added a clear coat.  it turned out a little darker than I had hoped, but I am done with it.  After seeing how the top went, I utilized plan "B" for the hood:  matte black.  It looks real nice in this picture, a little rougher in real life.  Between the warm weather, the fast drying spray paint, and driving all over the city, I hope the new paint is dry enough to leave it outside tonight.  It may get dewy tonight, but tomorrow is scheduled to be even warmer than today!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Where is my camera?

Good morning, it is Friday!

After today we are on Spring Break!  Yesterday was a nice weather day around these parts.  The kind of day I should have found my camera.  Lillie and her friend Ali were making new dances in the island.  I had to go watch as did the neighbors.  Very cute.

Hansen and his friend were shooting air soft guns in the back yard.  Target practice?  Better than sitting on the x-box all day long.  They also got out their bicycles for a few moments.

Preston got home from soccer early because there was no practice.  Too many sick and injured kids, so they got the day off.  Preston ended up going to the library to study with friends.

Maren was able to relax after a not so relaxing day at work.  And I spend some time on the phone checking the possibility of a Disney Vacation for me and the kids while Maren is at her ALA conference in Anaheim toward the beginning of summer!  Afterward I sanded the hood and the top of the truck a bit more...looking to paint it (again...and better) this spring break.

I will find my camera, I promise.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

This is an interesting week around here as a few of the local school districts are already on Spring Break.  We have this week then we enjoy Spring Break next week.  Hansen's soccer and Lillie's dance go on the schedule of being on break this week, so no soccer or dance.  And yes, we will have soccer and dance while we are on break...but that is fine, after all you can't just play x-box all day can you?

Last night Hansen had a track meet and Preston had a high school soccer game.  Here are a couple of pics:
Haha, this is Lillie!  Not soccer, not track, not motorcycles...Lillie and her cat's cradle whiskers.
Here is track.  Hansen is flying to another 6th grade long jump win.  He won by over a foot last night!  His relay team also placed first and Hansen was 5th in the dash.  Nice meet Hansen!  Of course, besides running and jumping, Hansen has a very fun time goofing of with his friends.    
After Hansen's track meet I drove out to Burien to watch Preston's soccer team beat Mt. Rainier 3-2 in a very exciting game.  Preston (#18) scored the second goal of the game and had a very good game.
 A few pictures from my ride over the weekend.  Sunrise over the desert and hundreds of campers.
 At a check point.  I had two aces on my poker hand, not good enough to win a thing!
I snapped a picture of this old Hodaka enduro motorcycle (I think it is a 1976).  With all the different divisions and age groups you see some vintage bikes.  The ride was hard enough on a modern bike, this fellow (who was wearing vintage riding gear as well) had to have a bit more of a struggle.  But dang he has a cool old bike if you like that kind of thing.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Ironman Poker Run

Good morning, it is Monday.

Saturday was the Desert 100 Ironman Poker Run.  This ride was in Eastern Washington, about a 3 hour drive from Courtney's house...even farther for me.  We didn't camp there like many did, so we left very early in the morning.  As in, I woke up at 2:00am and we rolled out of Court's house at 3:00am.  We showed up at the race site by 6:15 am and were riding by 7:50 am.  This ride was very grueling.  It took us 4 hours to do one 35 mile loop.  And we didn't go out for the second loop as plenty of riders did.
 This picture was taken after a long stretch as it was getting bit warm out.  I'm surprised you can't see all the steam evaporating off my head.  This pic is kind of cool because you can see all the riders coming down the hill behind me.
 This is the same rest as the last picture.  This is Courtney, my riding buddy.  Behind her is a cut off for the "family ride" to the right, and the "Ironman" to the left.  The gully then hill to the left was causing tons of crashes.  We were watching person after person crash and get stuck.  It was way more intimidating in person than in this picture.  We stuck with the Ironman...and didn't crash!  In fact I never did crash once, which was main goal for the day.  It wasn't easy and I came close a ton of times!  That doesn't mean I am not totally sore...I am.
 Court after unloading the bikes and getting ready to ride.
Pulling into the parking area.  I have never seen anything like this.  There were hundreds of motor homes, campers, and tents!  Yes, this string of motor homes and campers when for like a whole mile!  The folks doing the actual Desert 100 race the next day are amazing riders.  Our 35 mile loop was very hard and grueling for us, the winner of the 100 mile race will cover the 100 miles in less time that we ride 35 miles.  Amazing!

See you tomorrow.