Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Doughnuts for Eyes?

Good morning, it is Monday.

While Lillie and Maren were out of town, us boys did have our fun.  Preston had his friend Connor spend the night and Hansen had an x-box live marathon with his friends.  Here are just a couple of pictures:
Preston and Connor got out the doughnut maker.  After figuring it out, I must admit that they made some very good mini doughnuts!  I'm sure you can see what I'm talking about:)   
And I replaced the crushed door on my pick up truck.  This door from the wrecking yard was totally bare bones.  I had to transfer over the window and all the working parts.  It was fun and I'm happy with it.  Thinking of removing all the trim from the truck and getting all new paint.

Maren got back after a great conference.  She had a wonderful time.  The book that won it all was BOMB, The Race to Build and Steal the World's First Atomic Weapon.  Or something like that.  It won for three different categories!  The Newbery winner was a book about Ivan the gorilla  who lived not too far from us.  Fitting that he won that award here in Seattle.  It will be the next book I read.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What Green Screen?

Good morning, it is Sunday.

This is just another busy weekend.  Preston overnight with youth group for ping pong tournament and two soccer games.  Lillie leaving to spend a day and a half at Great Wolf Lodge with a friend for a birthday party.  Annual Church Meeting.  Hansen hanging out and lunching with John and Carol.  And Maren out of town!

That's right, Maren is out of town.  She is off in the city of...wait for it...wait for it...Seattle!  She left mid day on Friday and we will see her again some time on Monday.  It is ALA time in Seattle which means that there are more Librarians roaming the streets than tourists.  Of course this is a combination of hard work and lots of fun for young Maren.  Yesterday for example she left her hotel room at 7:00am and didn't step foot in it again till 10:00pm at night thanks for meetings and stuff.  But she did eat crab cakes for dinner at some fancy party.  I made baked potatoes and we watched Liar Liar with Jim Carrey.  Maren wins!
Friday evening it was fun in the Space Needle for Maren and her friend Judy.  This goofy picture was taken in front of a huge green screen at the base of the Space Needle.

Good luck Librarians!  See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

96 Colors of HAPPY!

Good evening, it is Thursday.

This is the last week of the semester for the kids at school.  Between finals and final reports, this has been a challenging week for the kiddos.  Preston has been spending time studying and preparing (along with soccer practices) while Hansen is working on book reports.  Hansen is an excellent writer, but he has big time writer's block at this moment.  And the deadline is not helping his productivity much.  Luckily he has his mom around to be the voice of reason.  If it was up to me, he would just do without his phone, his x-box, his snacks, and even his biting humor until finished.  Grr.  Instead Maren is patiently helping him navigate his way through this assignment.  Phew!

I did take Lillie with me shopping this evening as we were out of bread, bananas, and milk.  I really had fun shopping with Lillie, she was a joy to be with as usual.  I did spend a few extra dollars, but who can say no to her enthusiasm and smile?
A pack of 96 crayons!  Or 96 colors of HAPPY!  I was kind of surprised that this is what she would have been asking for in all of Fred Meyers.  Art makes us all happy doesn't it?  Good for Lillie.  The best $5.29 I have spent this week!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Today our family has the day off from our regular jobs thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Today is also President Obama's second inauguration day.  I don't know how many times the inauguration takes place on MLK jr. day, but I think in this case, with this president, it is very cool.

I attended the MLK jr. assembly at Lillie's school.  Her drama club did a skit where Lillie and the crew did a great job.  I'm sure the boy's schools had assemblies too, as did my school.
Lillie is in the top left of this picture of the drama club getting ready to present their MLK jr. skit.
The whole school celebrating.  Keeping MLK jr.'s dream alive!  GL has an amazing group of singers and students.
This picture was taken just this morning...of my TV.  President Obama's second second inauguration.  The whole country is celebrating!  Well, a bit more than half anyhow.  Good for our country!

We also shopped some great deals yesterday at Value Village thanks to their MLK jr. half off clothing sale.  Preston and I decided to add up what we thought the realistic retail prices (if purchased new) of our purchases would be.  For a few big bags of very good stuff, we spent $140.00.  Estimated retail price was a whopping $1200.00.  How's that for savings!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happy Birthday to Maren and Mom!

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday was a birthday day across the country!  Yup, Maren's birthday and my mom's birthday...on the same exact day!  From the sounds of things, I'd say both Maren and my mom had a great birthday.  And the kids may have had just as good of a time.  All three of my kids got to spend the night at Nana's house while I took Maren out for some birthday shopping and dinner at the Golden Peacock.  The olders along with Abby and Alex (yes, Hansen is moving from one of the littles to one of the olders) got to go to GameWorks with Auntie Stef, while the Lillie and her cousin Claire stayed at Nana's house for who knows what fun.  And across the country Aurora got to make my mom's birthday cake, and by the looks of one of the photos I saw of her licking her plate clean, it must have been some good cake!
Carol made Maren a very cute birthday cake thing out of cupcakes!  Here is Maren blowing out her candles with Preston looking on!  
And even a bunch of presents!  It has been a long time since Maren actually had a real birthday party on her birthday.  I think it was a good day for Maren!

And here is my mom blowing out her candles with Aurora (the cake maker) blowing out her candles.  I'm not sure mom or Maren will be so pleased that the blowing out of the candles is the picture I chose for the blog...but come on, blowing out the candles is the best part!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 18, 2013

LiveSTRONG and Lance.

Good evening, it is Friday.

Just like many folks in the world, I just finished watching part 2 of Lance Armstrong's confessional on Oprah.  And just like many folks in the world, I'm not impressed.  For just a little fun before I totally rip into Lance...here is a McKayla's not impressed meme:
This picture is of Lance after all his doping and drugging came to light...he tweeted this just to show the world he still thought he was still the best.  Someone on the internet added a McKayla meme...:)
This is me at the LiveSTRONG Challenge Seattle when I rode my first ever century (100 miles) bike ride on Father's Day 2009.  Amber and Aurora came up and it was a great visit and a great day.  I also rode the ride again the next year but went for the 45 mile ride instead.  At this time I was so proud to raise money and wear yellow for Lance and LiveSTRONG.  I even purchased my bicycle just because it matched the black and yellow colors!  I asked Amber to send me artwork of the LiveSTRONG logo and I nearly got a tattoo on my calf to symbolize my 40th birthday, the accomplishment of my ride, and the great work LiveSTRONG does...and Lance.

But Lance was not the hero he portrayed.  In fact he was just the opposite.  A psychopath who lied for years and years to the world.  And even worse, destroyed the people who told the truth.  Lots of people.  I can't tell you disgusted I am by Lance.  Every sanction they can think of would not be enough punishment in my opinion.  But the public is not so harsh, and it wouldn't surprise me if he is running the Boston Marathon on his 50th birthday in nine years as he told Oprah he hoped to do.

Why so harsh you ask?  I think legacy matters.  Kids today need to know that if you cheat your sport just to win, you will ultimately loose.  Cheaters in all sports are feeling the burn these days, and Lance is not only the latest, but the worst.  The difference in the public eye seems to be his cancer foundation LiveSTRONG.  There is no denying that LiveSTRONG is a very good thing in our world.  The foundation has helped countless people fight a fight for their lives and do it with courage and fearlessness that they got from watching Lance ride.  But Lance was a lie.  Harsh.  So now I have mixed emotions about LiveSTRONG.  Partly because it does good, partly because my sister works for them, and mostly because I know the folks left at the foundation really do care about what they do and I can only guess that Lance has become a thorn in their side too.  But LiveSTRONG is Lance's legacy, and like I said earlier, legacy matters.  I won't go as far as to say I hope LiveSTRONG fails, because I don't.  Sometimes great things come from bad situations.  I would recommend that they change their colors and find a new spokesperson, but in reality they may not need to.  If they wait out the storm, the public may forgive Lance and he may again lead his foundation to greatness.  Maybe not...but maybe.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Art Lillie!

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday I picked Lillie up from school as I also had to pick up Preston (Wednesdays Preston provides tutoring after school for math).  We had a few minutes so Lillie brought me into the school to show me the artwork she has done with this year's art docents:
 The new art docents must be doing a great job.  And Lillie is quite an artist!
This piece is inspired by one of her favorite books, "Out Of My Mind".

Great art Lillie and great job docents.  Lillie was nice enough to say that she thinks I would do a better job than the new art docents...but she is just being nice to her old dad.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Adidas!

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Last night we had to make an emergency run to Value Village (not that it isn't a favorite store) to look for a French looking beret for Lillie's drama production on Wednesday.  I will show you her get up later...this post is about what I found:
 Poppin' tags at the trift shop.  Macklemore's thrift shop song has made thrift shopping a bit more glamorous  but whatever.  Should this be my FB status picture?
I did find these Adidas Sambas.  I love these shoes.  I have two totally worn out pairs and a pair of Samba golf shoes.  These are in brand new condition and only $9.99.

Right now I could link you to Macklemore's Thrift Shop song.  But I have a different song in my brain this morning:

Yup...My Adidas by Run DMC.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Seahawks on the Radio.

Good morning, it is Monday.

What a weekend we had!  I seem to start plenty of Monday blog posts this way, but this time it was true.  From church meetings to overnights to soccer to Seattle Seahawks.  Wow.

Yesterday I was on the road most all the day.  Preston's team had a State Cup match in Bellingham at 3:00pm, so we had to hit the road at 11:30am.  Of course the Seahawks game against the Falcons started at 10:00am.  When I left with Preston the team was down 20-0 and things were grim.  Costco was empty as we filled up with gas.  Is Costco ever empty on a Sunday at 11:30?  No.  By the time we had picked up the other two riders and were north of Seattle the Seahawks were back in the game.  As we were nearing Marysville we took the lead with just 30 seconds to go.  The boys in the van were rockin!  It was very fun listening to the radio, giving thumbs up to all the other cars around and such.  30 seconds later we had lost the game. Dang!  Great season Seattle Seahawks!

Preston's soccer team didn't disappoint.  They won their game 2-0 with a couple of amazing goals by Preston.  Preston also scored 6 amazing goals in his indoor game Saturday evening.  This may be the most impressive weekend of soccer I have ever seen Preston play.  The two teams (indoor and outdoor) they played were very good teams, it wasn't like Preston was playing against a lessor talent...he was just on point.

By the time we got home from our drive yesterday the Golden Globes were just about over.  Maren loves to watch these award shows with her ipad on her lap.  Yup, it is clear that following the world of twitter as these shows unfold is a ton of fun for Maren and many many folks around the world.

Lillie got to have an overnight and Hansen played plenty of x-box.  Good times for all.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Cat Poop is Listening?

Good evening, it is Thursday.

Yes, school and work has been keeping us very busy, but check out what I received in the mail the other day:
 Yup, it is the latest edition of my blog book.  Maren has printed off a book from Julian's Early Morning Blog each year.  This year was no different.  Lillie loves to look through the old blog posts...it has turned out to be a great scrap book.

Now on to school.  One class I enjoy teaching is math intervention, I get to teach 5th and 6th grade algebra.  I teach stuff like PEMDAS and order of operations.  Must also remember to go from left to right.  But when Preston was swamped with homework the other day I offered to help him out by doing a math problem or two for him.  Yeah right!  As if!  Whatever!  I can't help the kid.  He showed me the easy problems he had for his Pre-Calc U of W class.  They are the easy ones because most are word problems that are a page long with lots of questions.
 Here are just a few of the problems he had to simplify.  Preston actually showed me a few tricks with exponents and such that helped, but not much.  And the crazy thing...Preston loves this stuff and thinks he may want to be a math major when he gets to college!

Check out these socks I won!  Yes, I won these socks in a raffle drawing at a Body Works class that Maren, Lillie, Hansen, and I have started to take.  It will be held weekly for eight weeks and will help us learn about healthy choices for food and exercise.  So yay!  Well, yay for Maren, Lillie and I...Hansen is not too thrilled to be going, but overall he did have fun. 
 I could have picked out some other prize like a spatula or something, but Maren whispered (kind of loudly) for me to pick the socks...socks it is.

Now for some fun!  Or not fun as the case may be.  This is a screen shot of a text message thread between Preston and I:
Yes, I did clean it up before Maren got home, I mean, who do you think I am?  Well, actually if it wasn't so freaking gross and right where we needed to walk...  I do happen to think Preston is one of the funniest kids ever, I mean, like the cat poop would really be listening to us?  Bahahah.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 07, 2013

What's in that trophy?

Good morning, it is Monday.

This weekend was one of two different stories.  My side of the weekend consisted of lots of sports.  Preston had a soccer tournament and an indoor soccer game.  He also played in the band at his high school's basketball game.  And you can't forget the Seattle Seahawks.  Hansen spent the weekend doing homework.  Maren and Lillie kind of just hung out, not a bad weekend at all.
 Whenever I load more than a couple pictures at one time I always wonder what order they will appear in.  Sure, there are folks that may know that stuff, but I like surprises.  This picture is from the first high school basketball game I've attended since I was in high school.  KL and KW.  KW won easily, but it was fun to be there.  Preston played in the band so I decided to stay and watch rather than just drop him off.  Some of Preston's friends are pretty good basketball players to be sure.   
 But soccer ruled the weekend.  And good soccer it was.  Preston's team won the Winter Classic tournament.  Over the weekend Preston played great and really helped his team win.  His indoor team also won easily.  Here Preston and his friend Brian goof off with the trophy.  I also had fun tweeting Preston's final game.  I usually just text Maren the results, but I like this twitter thing.  I will probably tweet his game regularly as 1.  Maren usually doesn't go near her phone when at home, but she always has her twitter.  And 2.  Others (like Stef did this weekend) followed the games in real time.  If you ever want to follow my twitter, I am @JulianNMI
 This is a fun picture of the team with their trophy.  You have to zoom in on Preston in on the top right.  Thumbs up!  Yup, just another cheesy picture when your team plays well.  It looks kind of empty behind this picture, but behind the camera was a mob.  Teams were getting their medals and the tournament was in full swing.  Of course, the Seattle Seahawks were beating the Washington Redskins at the same time.  We got to watch Preston's team then made it home in time to watch the 4th quarter of the Seahawks.  Perfect!
And lastly, a sad picture of my pick-up truck.  A neighbor backed into the driver's door by accident.  It will get fixed over time, but I'm thinking we will leave insurance out of the mix.  The hunt for a new door at junk yards may have already started.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Happy Birthday/Anniversary Day.

Good morning, it is Friday.

I'm so glad it is Friday.  Yesterday was the first day back to school after break and everyone was so tired!  And this morning everyone (at least the ones of us who are up early) are even more tired.

Last night we did manage to go out to dinner at Red Robin to celebrate 22 years of anniversaries and 13 years of birthdays.  As usual, the food was yum.  Afterwards it was home for homework, cake and soccer.
 Here Hansen is flying the smart phone app controlled remote control helicopter he got for a birthday gift.  It is very cool if I should say so myself.
 Hansen again, goofily enjoying his root beer float.
Lillie smelling a rose she plucked out of the vase of flowers Maren received for an anniversary gift.

Yesterday I posted this picture of Maren and Hansen on Facebook and mentioned it was our shared anniversary and birthday day.  It was fun to see the likes and comments.  Next up, Maren's and my  mom's birthday.  Hmm...I think Maren shares all of her special days with others.  I hope that just makes those days more special:)
Today is "wear blue" day for the Seahawks!  I do hope to watch the Seahawks play, but I'm thinking I may just be following them on twitter as Preston has a soccer tournament this weekend.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

It's 2013!

Good evening, it is Wednesday.

Tomorrow morning when we wake up Hansen will be enjoying his 13th birthday and Maren and I will be enjoying our 22nd anniversary!  And wake up we will, because as of tonight winter vacation is officially over.  Maren had to go back to work today, and the rest of us go back tomorrow.  But before tomorrow was today.  And before today was yesterday.  And yesterday was the first day of 2013...so how did we ring in the new year?  At home, safe and sound.  For the most part.  If you call watching The Twilight Zone marathon safe and sound that is.
 As the new years got closer and closer (we won't mention anything about fiscal cliffs) we broke out the sparkling cider.
 How about some sparklers on a freezing night as the year changes over to 2013!

O.K.  We are not that boring.  Well, maybe we are.  However you see it, it's all good.  And now it is 2013!  And yes, I do like starting sentences with the word "and", so sue me, and find someone to sue me with.  Haha.  I also like ending sentences with, "with".  Enough fun.
On new years day I took Preston out for some golf in the cold weather.  And today I took Hansen and Lillie for a walk in the cold to AM/PM for nothing less than a Slurpee!  Yup, we had great winter vacation.

See you tomorrow.