Monday, May 28, 2012

Walk a cat?

Good morning, it is Monday.

We all have the day off from school and work in observation of Memorial Day!  Today we are resting...for now anyhow.

I haven't blogged for a few days, so I do have some pictures to share:
Friday was Art Docent day in Lillie's class.  This will be the last art day of the year...and maybe the last art day of my art docent carrier!  Thanks to the wonderful news that Lillie qualified for the highly capable program (that makes 3...the boys also went through the highly capable program), she will now be in a class where parents will be fighting to be the art docent:)  And I don't plan on joining in on that fight.  We made aluminum foil sculptures.  Actually we used pipe cleaners to form the sculptures, then aluminum foil to wrap the pipe cleaner skeletons.  They turned out very well:
These are just some of the statues.  A couple of kids had enough time to make two statues.  You can see Lillie's in the front, her person is walking a cat on a leash...or is the cat is walking the person?
Directly after school I took the littles to join Maren at Judy and Larry's house for dinner.  Larry made us an amazing shredded beef hamburger type meal with all the fixings.  It was great!  They live next to a large ravine that we had to explore.  The kids counted 99 steep scary stairs down to this sign:
Lillie's look says it all,"What is wrong with my brother Hansen?  Can't he read?"
This weekend also brought over 130 soccer teams to the PacNW Memorial Cup, a large tournament hosted by Preston's club, PacNW and held at the Starfire complex.  I did volunteer from 6:30 to 10:30 on Saturday morning checking in teams and playing minor troubleshooter.  I also watched most of Preston's game.  Preston had a great tournament as did his team.  They were in the highest level bracket along with the u-17 boys.  Twice they had to face the WPFC Black team which is last years state champions.  This team has 6 boys leaving to the Sounders Academy in a month and are a very impressive team.  The first game they tied at 2, then in the semifinals we got beat 2-1.  Preston scored 3 amazing goals over the weekend and has fit in very nicely with this new team. 
 Preston with a few new teammates having lunch between games.
After spending tons of time at the soccer fields it was a nice break to take Lillie to the pool a couple of times.  Yesterday evening we picked up her friend Maddie and a pizza and practically had the whole place to ourselves.  In this picture Lillie and Maddie are the only ones in the whole pool!  Preston stayed to watch his old team play, and Hansen decided to ride his bike to McDonald's with friends rather than hang with us at the pool.

Maren is under the weather a bit, but may rally to make the Memorial Day 50% sale at Value Village.  We will see where today takes us.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Soccer Dazzle.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was a fun soccer day for Preston even though he didn't even touch a soccer ball.  And yes, I even have a couple of pictures to help with the stories.
 This first picture is of Preston at The Iron Grill in Covington.  A friend of his told him that his picture was on the reader board so we went to check it out.  Sure enough, many of the local sports pics were there...and the owner made Preston sign the picture.  It was a Rock Star moment for Preston:)
Last night was the banquet for the school soccer teams.  All three teams (Varsity, JV, and C) were recognized.  Our neighbor Connor won Most Inspirational on the C Team.  Preston received his school letter and a special recognition for SPSL Honorable Mention.  His team (Varsity only) was given a special award from the WIAA for having a team GPA of higher than 3.2.  Nice going fellas!  The coach gave Preston some high praise as well, saying that Preston was the fastest and most coachable player he has ever coached, and hoped to have Preston around for a few more years but wouldn't be surprised if the an Academy team snatches him up before he gets that chance.  Thanks coach.

Hansen and Lillie came to the banquet very reluctantly, but they did have no trouble enjoying cookies and such.  I think they enjoyed seeing Preston get his awards.  It is crazy how different the C team of mostly 9th grader looked compared to the 12 seniors on the Varsity team.  The difference was from goofy kids to men.  Preston and the other Freshman on the Varsity team (Brian) are somewhere in the middle I would say.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spellchecker doesn't like the word pictureless.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

This week is flying by, I have an art program to plan for Friday that I have not given enough thought to just yet.  Yikes.

Yesterday evening led us in different directions again.  We have officially entered our "busy" time with the age of our kids and their activities.  It is funny because the other day we were talking to a neighbor and with slightly older kids and she was saying how this is just the "busy" time.  No doubt she is right, good to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  The funny thing is, while we may very well be an overbooked family, each kid is not overbooked.  Preston should get his drive's license in like 4 months...that will help:)

Yesterday evening Preston went to his school's trade show.  I took him and attended for an hour as well.  It was very well done.  Products and services from custom homes to bicycle shops to food chains were all represented.  I picked up fliers and some little knick knacks too.  Preston saw plenty of friends and had a good time.  Maren really wanted to go to this event, but she couldn't because Lillie had dance pictures.  Lillie was looking excellent (of course) for her dance photos, and she gets to do it all again on Thursday for her other class.  And not to be left out, just after dropping Preston back at home I took Hansen to his soccer team's meeting.  We will soon find out if Lillie made the competition dance team and we know about Hansen and Preston's soccer.  Yup busy, I don't remember if I even had dinner last night?

I wish I had pictures from the trade show and from Lillie's pictures, but nope.  I didn't take any at the trade show as not to totally embarrass Preston and myself.  I just enjoyed being there.  Maren did send me a very cute photo message of Lillie in her outfit, but the rest of you will have to wait until the pictures come out or you can attend the recital and see both outfits and performances.  Hansen's team meeting was pictureless as well...paperworkless, nope.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Good morning, it is Monday.

Saturday at 5:30 am Preston went with 90 other of his school friends to Victoria Canada to enjoy Victoria Days as his band is going to be in the big Victoria Days Parade!  I have texted him a few times and it sounds like he is having a great time!  He will get home tonight.  His band all have grey sweat sweats with "Italian Stallion" on the front and "ROCKY" on the back as all the songs they are playing are ones like "Eye of the Tiger".  I would have enjoyed seeing this parade, but I am sure glad not to be one of the ones in charge of 90 teenagers in a foreign country.

Yesterday after church it was off to the driving range with Hansen, then bed building for Lillie.
 This is her new loft bed.  She is super high in the air, we will see how much she enjoys it.  Her room is so small that the open space under the bed will be taken up very soon by the big pile if stuff just to the right of the photo.
 And the bed before building.  It took longer than I thought it would to build.  But no problem.  I picked it up used for free, and it seems to be in great shape.  I am keeping her old bed for a while as I'm not so sure how this one will go over.
 This is my new raspberry area in the side yard.  It has been a disaster for most of our time, but a new plan and some heavy duty weeding.  One more yard project, check!  I will be getting a few truck loads of dirt and bark before too long, then BBQ and Fire Pit season will be in full swing.
 This is just a cute pic of Lillie and Maren at iHop Friday night.  Maren is starting to gain #1 parent status back again.  The pendulum swings back and forth, but for now Lillie wants Mom to drive her to dance, and mom to do this and mom to do that.  It is all good by me.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Good morning, it is Friday!

This week has been my week to take care of the staff room at work.  I have kept the supply of chips and salsa going strong all week.  Today I will switch things around with some chocolate!

The last few days I have spent a bit of time gardening in the yard.  Well, actually getting rid of years worth of weeds.  I don't know about you, but yard work is one of those things that the more you do, the more you realize you need to do.  Closing your eyes to parts of the yard is much easier then trying to maintain it all.  I have actually enjoyed my time in the dirt...which is a first.  Usually I would much rather go golfing or bike riding or teeth flossing, just about anything over yard work.  I guess I have been driving the kids all over so much that staying home is kind of nice.  Or I'm getting old?

Yesterday I washed the cars.  While washing the pick-up truck I kept seeing wasps flying into the door well.  After checking it out farther, I found this:
A wasp nest being formed inside my truck!  Wacky huh?

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Get your gardening on!

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was another beautiful weather day in our neighborhood.  We got a lot of yard work done before the soccer practice trips began.  Preston had his first day of practice with his new team and Hansen's season is still going.  Hansen is happy because like five of his current teammates are also going to his new team with him.
 This is Preston doing homework in the sun on a reclining chair with sunglasses!  Too cool for school!  Wait just a he sleeping?
 Maren getting her gardening on.  Not one for dealing with weeds, hanging baskets are a perfect fit.  Our yard is getting in pretty good shape for the shape it is in.
And my new lawn mower.  Yup, I went back to a gas mower.  The reel mower just doesn't cut it.  Haha, but really, our yard is too big for a reel style mower.  This basic push mower did a nice job for its first time out.  Of course, this month is the month in the PNW that anyone can grow a nice lawn just by doing nothing.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

We had a very busy weekend, capped off by a very nice trip to the pool for Mother's Day.
 Saturday morning took us to opening day of the pool!  And Hansen's Jr. Olympics track meet.  While Maren, John, and Carol were at the track meet, I took Lille to the opening day pancake feed at the pool.  We missed part of the track meet, but they missed bacon.
 Hansen won the long jump, and his relay team finished third.  Great track meet Hansen!  This picture is of his relay team getting their third place ribbons.
 Hansen and track coach Mr. Lawrence.  Mr. Lawrence is also Hansen's 6th grade teacher.  Mr. Lawrence also worked with John "back in the day" as they say.  Hansen has been very lucky to have him as his teacher this year.  Preston had him as a track coach, but not as a classroom teacher.

After the track meet Maren and gang took Hansen to his soccer game.  I drove an hour south to watch Preston play in Kentlake's playoff game.  Both teams lost 1-2.  Sounds like both games were excellent games, but the results were not on our side this time.  In the world of Hansen soccer, he also completed tryouts for a Maple Valley Rapids select team and has accepted a spot on the team.  We now have two boys in select or premier soccer and Lillie tries out for the performance dance team this weekend.  If you have any question where all our money and time you know.  Yes, I'm even talking about all the money and time that we don't have.
Preston getting ready for the opening kick off.  This team had a dozen seniors that will be graduating in a month.  Next years team will look very different, but I'm thinking it has the potential to be quite good.    
Sunday after church we all headed to the pool for perfect weather, bbq burgers, perfect weather and plenty of fun.  While I didn't get pictures of all the moms, I did get this amazing photo!  Yup, taken from the pages of SpongeBob's 7-mile spanking machine, this is our spanking machine.  Jack and Avery are the only ones brave enough to make the trip.  Actually this was just a game of soccer that somehow evolved.  What is the opposite of evolved?

Yes, Maren had breakfast in bed made by and surrounded by her kiddos.  I even have pictures, but none of them past inspection and will just live on a memory card rather than on the web.  

Hope the rest of you moms who read this blog had a great Mother's Day too!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Good morning, it is Thursday.

This week is crazy busy.  So much so that our family members hardly recognize each other anymore.  Last night Hansen had a local Hershey's track meet that Maren and Lillie attended.  Hansen finished 1st in the long jump and 1st in the 100 yard dash!  Preston was on the other end of of the county at his first high school soccer playoff game.  They lost, but it was a seeding match and looking at the brackets, loosing may be a blessing in disguise.  We all got back together around 8:30pm.  The next few days are just the same with Lillie's dance, Preston's soccer practice, and Hansen's soccer tryouts.  This schedule is not Maren's preferred way to live, and after typing this short blurb, it does seem kind of crazy.  It will slow down a bit in the short term, then in a few years it will drop off completely and we will probably miss it.  But for the now, it is a challenge.

I have a couple of pictures from this weekend to share:
 We had a very nice time at John's family 75th birthday party.  We had some very nice conversation, great food, and the kids got to hang with their cousins.  What could be better?  In this picture John is telling us how fast time quickly you go from being the youngest person in the room to the oldest person in the room.  You can see Hansen thinking to himself, "yeah right, I'll be 75 someday?  You're joking!" grandpa is saying, "Yeah right, I'm 75?  You're joking!".  Good party!
Later I took Preston to Soccer West.  He picked up some new cleats, and is dreaming of jerseys.  Each of these jerseys cost how much?  Yup, $75.00.  I do make sure he has very good shoes and stuff that will help with the performance of the his sport...but seventy-five bucks for a shirt?  Nope.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Does math make you itch?

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday Hansen spend the day at the Math Olympics.  Did that make him a Mathlete?  Not if you ask Lillie...he would have had to come home with a medal to gain that title...ouch.  The math club members had a great time at their math competition, then got to celebrate the season with a picnic at a little lake in Federal Way.  From there it was straight to his cousin's house for an overnight.  Hansen is living large and in charge these days:)
 While this picnic was for Hansen's math club, Lillie snagged the most camera time from my little camera.   Maybe it is because I couldn't find Hansen as he was off having tons of fun with his peeps.  Even thought it was freezing, Lillie would have gone in for a swim...except for this sign.  Swimmer's itch...yuk.
 Hansen with a couple of friends and Lillie sneaking into the picture.
Lillie on the dock.  There were plenty of fishermen out fishing.  This picture was Lillie's idea...there are Lily-pads in the background.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Preston in print.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

Yesterday while I was in reading class with a small group of 1st graders, a coworker came up to me with a newspaper in her hand.  I hadn't bothered to read the paper that morning and didn't know what she was grinning about.  Turns out she was showing me this picture in the Covington/Maple Valley Reporter:
Yup, Preston's picture is in the paper.  Pretty cool huh?  I guess there is even an article about him and the other freshman on the varsity team in their school paper, but he hasn't bothered to bring that home just yet.  He did say that they got his quotes wrong...yikes.

Last night was his team's last regular season game.  They played great!  The game ended with a nil-nil tie and they were playing the league champions.  Playoffs start on Wednesday.

Busy weekend here with overnights, sports, homework, birthdays and more!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

My Old Weight Machine!

Good morning, it is Thursday.

For the last month or so Preston has been interested in getting a weight bench or joining a gym.  At first I kind of dismissed it, but lately I started shopping around.  I used to have a weight system that my dad and I put together back when we first purchased the house 17 years ago.  A few years back I gave that system to our cousin Kraig and fam.  Kraig hasn't really been using it for the last year, so now have that machine back and the boys are quite happy.
 Yes, Preston will be the main user, or so I thought.  It was Hansen who jumped on the machine the moment it was set up.
Hansen's "before" picture...haha.  Both boys are buffer then I am these days.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A birthday, bike month, and some doodles.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was the first day of MSP testing at our school.  Since I was a proctor for a small group, I didn't have a very busy day.  Of course I can proctor a test like a champ, but without using electronics, I had some time to kill.  And since yesterday was also the first day of Bike Month, I decided to wheels...kind of like I have been doing since I was a kid:
 My road bike.  A GT Rapid Transit.  This is the bike I ride to work each day.  It was parked outside at school while I doodled...but I didn't need to post a picture of it all alone in the bike rack like I did on Facebook.  I have kind of given my newer road bike to Hansen.
 My mountain bike.  A GT idrive.  Both my bikes are over 10 years old GT bikes, but it works because my truck is:
 An old Mazda.  And I'm old.  And this old Mazda was given to me by a guy who is super old...John Ostergard (how was that for a segue?).  Yup, today is Maren's dad's birthday.

Happy Birthday John!

Unrelated but interesting news.  I took this picture of the board in the staff room:
Two of the football players who were picked up by the Cleveland Browns last week have relatives I work with.  I work with Joe's mom and Matt's aunt.  Crazy huh?

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Penny The Pine.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Looking at the pictures I have for today's blog I am wondering what happened to the boys last weekend.  I only have pictures of Lillie.  Hmm.  Friday night Preston goofed off and then had Conner spent the night.  He and Connor enjoy playing "scooter soccer"...yup, soccer on scooters.  Hansen wasn't home either because he went straight from school to an overnight with a friend as well.  In the morning both boys had soccer games.  Hansen scored a goal as their team won, Preston's team lost.  No pics.  After their games it was off to North Bend for a birthday party for one of Maren's aunts.  She is 70!  Lots of cousins and folks there.  The cousins were ones we usually don't get to see, and they are a bit older.  It was great to see them all.  I should have taken a picture of Lillie and Maddie.  Maddie is a teenager who looks just like Lillie will in a few years.  Everyone has always thought her older brother looks like Preston, but not quite so much anymore.  It was fun to catch up with everyone.

What pictures do I have?  Let's take a look:
 I taught art in Lillie's class on Friday.  We did a project using pointillism.  You know the project doesn't suck when the teacher takes the time to do it as well.  Lillie's teacher is sitting across from her in this photo.
 Check out this little tree.  Lillie brought it home from school.  It's name is Penny The Pine.  We planted it off to the side of the back yard in a weedy area (we have a few options that are off to the side that may be weedy).  I'm thinking Lillie expects to see Penny grow up to be a huge tree some day.  We shall see.
And shoe surgery.  Lillie's right heel as been hurting from all the fancy shoes she wears, so she has been only wearing her old worn out boots.  I took these flats and a pair of sneakers and did a bit of a repair.  Cut the top of the heel off and took the pressure off her foot.  As long as she doesn't run too fast, it is all good.

Last night Hansen won the long jump in his last regular season track meet of his elementary career.  If I'm not mistaken he just went undefeated for three straight years of track and field.  He doesn't have the speed to win the dash, but the kid can sure jump.

Today is the start of the MSP at my school and the little's school.  These tests are big deals, good luck kids!  When studying for these tests, my favorite technique for coming up with the correct answer is...THE POWER GUESS!  Just cracks me up.

See you tomorrow.