Monday, December 31, 2012

Closing 2012 with a birthday party!

Good morning, it is Monday!

And not just some old boring it sucks to be Monday Monday.  Today is the last day of 2012!  Other than a nap or two later today, I will not sleep again until next year.

Yesterday we celebrated Hansen's 13th birthday!  Yes, in just a few days we will have two teenagers using this house as their home base.  And Lillie is just not that far behind them.  Oy Vey!

We had a very nice celebration with cousins.  Cousin Alex is still here as I type!  I'm not even sure exactly how that happened...oh yeah, I approved it.
 Here are some cousins hanging out for some birthday fun.  Not too many pictures of the girls here as they were all smart enough to disappear into Lillie's room.
 Opening presents.  Cash is king for the teenage world...
 Hansen overdoing his "pose" for the camera.  Happy birthday kiddo!

I'm sure I will wish Hansen a happy birthday again in a few days.  But for now I'm signing out.

See you next year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Golfing, Pool, and Flip Flops!

Good evening, it is Friday.

For the last couple of days we have been in vacation mode.  For me that can mean a little bit of stir crazy.  Yup, I got to get out for just a bit.  Maren doesn't get so stir crazy, in fact, she could hang at home and read for quite a bunch of days before needing to get out.  But it works OK for me because I do like golfing.  I also like games.  Santa brought Hansen a little pool table and the kids and I had a pretty awesome pool tournament.  Yup, I did win!  If I hadn't, the tournament wouldn't have been quite so awesome.  Lillie can drive away the stir crazies by doing her crafts, you will see her latest project in a minute, but first here are some pics:
 Yup, that's me.  Preston and I played 9 holes at Elk Run.  I may have had one the best 9 holes I've ever had.  Shot two under par without even getting close to a bogey.  My two birdies were putts of less than three feet!
 Look over Preston's left shoulder in this picture.  Yup, that is a deer just hanging out watching us golf.
Preston did hit some very good shots, I'd say a few of his shots were better than many golfers will ever hit in their lifetimes.  But he's not beating his old man in golf just yet.
 Check out this awesome pool table.  Here Hansen is putting a bit of concentration into this shot.
Lillie really likes the pool table as well.  
 And this is Lillie's style of golf.  I try to take her to the golf course and it is always a "no", but Barbie Princess Golf on the Wii is a winner!
Now check out these flip flops.  Yes, they are made from duct tape!  I'm very impressed.

Off to watch the conclusion of a Hallmark Christmas movie.  There is only about 15 minutes left and lots of bad will turn to good in just that amount of time.  Is there football on TV???

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

King Tut in Seattle!

Good evening, it is still Wednesday evening.

Today we took the family to a much anticipated event.  We went to see the King Tut exhibit at the Seattle Center.  I'm not sure the kids were as excited to see it as I was...well, I'm sure they were not as excited to see it as I was.  I tried to get them in the spirit by playing this video over and over and over again...yes, Steve Martin's King Tut:
And if this isn't good enough, how about this:
Yeah, Kayne West checking out King Tut!

The kids really did enjoy the day.  We also viewed the IMAX movie on Mummies, Secrets of the Pharaohs.  I felt like I learned a lot from watching the movie.  One thing that really stood out to me was the whole perspective of showing off the mummies.  As a kid, reading about tomb robbers and the curse of King Tut, I was always a bit freaked out to go view such an exhibit.  But the film implied that one reason the pharaoh's had for making the mummies was so that they would not ever be forgotten, and so they could have their bodies in the afterlife.  Now I don't know about the whole afterlife thing, but by viewing and showing the mummies (actually a replica of a mummy and lots of artifacts, even a box for mummy cat) it is safe to say that the pharaoh's names are still being talked about today, nearly 5,000 years later.  We purchased a book, but I didn't take a single picture...but you can't blame me, they told me I had to spit out my gum and turn my phone all the way off.

See you tomorrow.

Merry Christmas!

Good evening, it is Wednesday,

I hope you had a nice Christmas yesterday!  We sure did, and a great Christmas Eve too.

Christmas Eve we headed over to the Ostergard's house to join John, Carol, Stef, Mel, Court, Jack and Avery for a great dinner and nice evening.  In fact I just finished off the left over meatballs right before settling down for this blog post.  We had a great time opening presents, then it was off to church for the 7:30pm Christmas Eve Candlelight service.  I really enjoy the Christmas Eve service, and this year Hansen was one of the Acolytes.  Then it was home for some sleeping before  Santa came to visit our house!  We actually got to sleep in until about 8:30am when Lillie woke up. Preston reports that Hansen kept waking up every hour from about 5:30am on, but it was Lillie's waking up that got us all down stairs.  And Santa didn't disappoint!  We then drove over a snowy Tiger Mountain to spend Christmas Day in North Bend with the same cast from the night before.  And when it was time to go I actually got a hug from Avery!  It takes her a little while to warm up to hanging with me close up...I think she just likes to watch the Uncle JuJu show from afar:)  Jack, on the other hand, bounds right up to me these days...yeah, like Tigger.  Now for a few pictures:
 The kids on the stairs at John and Carol's house...silly face!
 Avery and her matcher doll are the center of attention for this picture!
 Let the presents begin.
Uh...Hi Maren:)
Hansen getting ready for some serious acoylting.  I was tempted to snap a picture of the candlelight service, but I just lived it instead.

See you tomorrow...or in about 20 minutes.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa! And we're still here!

Good morning, it is Saturday.

And we are still here!  The ending of the Mayan Calender didn't mean the end of the world!

Turned out it was this:
Not this:
Yay!  Now we can move on the stuff we always do around this time of the year...like visit with Santa!  We love visiting Santa, then laughing about how it wasn't really Santa, he reeked of Meat, and Cheese!  Just joking, we did visit the real Santa and he was great!
Before sitting with the big guy himself, the kids got to talk to him and stuff.  Santa is a great guy!
Here is a nice pic I took with my phone.  We ordered a picture as well, but it won't get here till after the holidays.  I think this turned out just fine.
After visiting Santa we went to lunch at Johnny Rockets.  If you look closely, Santa is taking a coffee break in the background.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Pageant!

Good evening, it is Sunday evening.

This is the third post of the evening.  I just felt I wanted to separate these posts as the mood of each post is a bit different.  This post is about Christmas pageants!  My school had a very nice Holiday sing-along on Thursday.  Sure, schools don't do Christmas, but I'm OK with that.  After all, we enjoy lighting the Hanukkah Menorah that my Grandpa and Bernice gave us many years ago.  The blessings are meaningful and knowing the history is important.  But I don't want to get "preachy", so lets get to a few pictures:
Check out all the Santa hats!  The kids were great and it is great to have fun with music at school!  Well done kiddos!

And at church (We belong to a Lutheran Church) today was our church Christmas Pageant.  Of course our church should celebrate Christmas!  Lillie had a special reading and did a great job!
This is Lillie in front of the whole congregation reading away in a perfect voice!  Nicely done!
The whole group is up front singing "Go Tell It On The Mountain".  The song was great!  Well, the parts the kids could remember.  It was awesome how the verses were extra quit, but then they would get to the part they knew and it was like: GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN, OVER THE HILLS AND EVERYWHERE, GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN!!!  Then mumble mumble.  It was great.  You can't see the kids clearly in this picture, but I think our church is great and a view of the building is great too.

See you tomorrow.

Preston is Rocky!

Good evening, it is Sunday.

You have to check out this video!  Preston's school band class has made a Rocky video to compete in a contest for a KZOK.  Preston got to be Rocky.  All the music is of course played by his band.  Way to go KL Band!



Enjoy!  And see you tomorrow.

Facebook Post.

Good evening, it is Sunday evening.

I have not posted in a few days.  The news of our world has just been too tragic.  The school massacre in Newtown Conn. has been on my mind and on the minds of many.  Before I go on I just have to say how awesome President Obama's speech was this evening during Sunday Night Football.  I can't even fathom what Mitt Romney would have said under such circumstances...shudder.  For those of you who don't use Facebook, you can be sure it has been lit up the last few days.  I posted my feeling there, and will copy it here:

I work at an elementary school and have school age children. I'm stunned, saddened, and maybe even a bit freaked out by today's tragedy. My prayers are with those impacted. But I'm also mad. I keep reading that "now is not the time" and "this is not political". BS! Now is the time and it is all about politics. Hand guns and automatic guns do kill people, they need to be outlawed...now! I a
lso keep reading that if all parents would simply hug their children and let them know that they are loved...the killings would stop. Also BS! Mental illness is a bigger problem than that. Programs for mentally ill need to be funded...fully! I hope this country has reached a tipping point. The NRA had better figure out a way to lead this charge to meaningful gun control or run the risk of becoming irrelevant. And mental illness should not be swept under the rug and given such a stigma. Come on folks, as the slogan for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says: We are better than this.

So far I have had many "likes" and some very good conversation.   I am not alone on feeling this way and I think change is a coming.  I was going to post all the comments as well but decided not to as out of respect for those willing to post, as Facebook is a little bit more protected than this blog.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Girl's Day?

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Tomorrow is 12/12/12.  A pretty cool day if you ask me.  Mainly because it will probably be the last time in any of our lifetimes that we will see a day on the calendar with three same numbers.  Yes, I did buy a lotto ticket!

Over the weekend Maren and Lillie went on a girls day of fun with a bunch of girls.  Yuk.  Girl germs.  But the girls all seemed to have fun shopping, hanging out, riding the train, and doing whatever girls do on a girl's day.  I have a few pictures to share only because I copied them from Facebook.
 Most of the group hanging out on the Light Rail on the way to Downtown Seattle.
 Lillie and cousins in the makeup store.
 This is not a picture from girl's day.  This is Maren and I sitting on Santa's lap way back in 1991.  My staff has a bulletin board where we are supposed to put a picture of ourselves with Santa.  Most of our Santa pics are just of the kids, so this is what they get.  Yeah, yeah, yeah...I hear it all the time...Maren looks just the same, but look at my hair!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

A Toilet Mug!

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Friday evening was a staff Christmas party thrown by our new Principal.  It was a ton of fun!  There was a very large turnout and everyone was asked to bring a $5.00 gift for a white elephant gift exchange.  There was a great variety of gifts.  Check out the one I won:
 Yup, a toilet bowl coffee mug!  Bring on the crappuccion!  Actually I think if it wasn't for this toilet mug, this is a very nice picture of Maren and myself!  Isn't Maren a good sport to put up with this type of thing for all these years?  Yup.  And it is not like I actually unwrapped the toilet mug...when my number was called out I actually seeked it out as a coworker had unwrapped it just before my number was called.
 This is a pic of the whole group.  Actually it is only part of the group as there must of been 50 folks there.
Maren won herself a very nice little owl.  This cute little fella may just be Christmas gift for a little one, so if you see this again someday (like for your son or daughter) feel very lucky.  I mean very lucky!
I'm not sure this is a fair trade, but you got to flow with the flushes.  My coveted glass University of Washington mug broke (you can kid of see the crack in the picture) the same night I brought home the toilet bowl mug.  The one guy you can see in the picture a couple shots above is my friend Mike.  He is a Cougar fan to the core...someone I had to give money to (and my dollar will soon be posted in his classroom I'm sure) after the crazy loss by the Huskies in the Apple Cup.  I was thinking he may take the mug away from me at the party, but he didn't...he would be happy to know that the moment the toilet mug came in the house the Husky Mug cracked.  I'm now on the lookout for a new Husky mug!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, December 07, 2012

ELF the Musical.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night Maren and I took the kids to the 5th Ave. Theater to see ELF the musical.  It was great as to be expected.
 Seeing the Christmas musical at the 5th Ave has kind of become a tradition for us.  Right down to eating at Taco Time in Fairwood on the way.  Lillie will enjoy this picture because she is now calling herself the best soda guesser in the world.  I didn't really like the first combo of pop Maren got and the kids tried to guess what it was (this soda maker has like 150 combos) and then I got some and bet that no one could possible guess.  Lillie guessed, " hmmm... vanilla...coke...zero"  I didn't even know she would know there was a Coke Zero.  And somehow she was exactly right!  Then she guesses Hansen's too, albeit a bit less dramatically.
 The kids in front of a Christmas tree in Seattle.  I just realized I uploaded the pic with the freaky eyes.  I think all the kids voted for this photo anyhow.  The one without the freaky eyes was kind of too dark.
 And here we are!  The 5th Avenue for ELF.  It really was a great production, and just enough different than the movie.  Excellent.
Lillie really liked this picture.  The huge chandelier hanging from the main ceiling of the theater   It is like a dragon is going to eat the chandelier.

We had a great time and hopefully there is another great Christmas Musical next year.  In case you're wondering we saw White Christmas and A Christmas Story there in years past.  Last year was Cinderella.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Swish.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Another busy weekend in the books.  Preston had three soccer games which all resulted in victories!  In fact, with their last win their team won the entire league!  Nice job PacNW!  But it wasn't all soccer all the time, we also had a birthday party, church, overnights and even some hanging out.  Let's see...Lillie had an overnight at Nana's with the other little girls then got to see The Nutcracker.  Preston had an overnight with his soccer buddies.  Hansen went to a Christmas Party at his girlfriend's church.  We attended a birthday party for cousin Alex.  And Maren pretty much missed it all because she was sick:(  But she is better enough to have gone to work today, so yay!  Here are just a few pics from the weekend:
 At Alex's birthday party.
Soccer game number two was an indoor game.  Preston is on the right getting ready to play.
 Hansen had to come along to the soccer game as we picked him up from his party on the way.  Check out Hansen's basketball form!  And yes, Preston's indoor games are like at 8:00 at night.
Yesterday at church Lillie was teaching Hansen how to braid...by using the fancy bookmarks in the pew Bibles!

See you tomorrow.