Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was Lillie's last track meet of the season.  And who knows, maybe the last track meet of her life.  While Lillie enjoyed hanging out with her team, goofing off with her friends, and having fun in the track meet setting...it was the running that really bummed her out.  And the fact that she didn't get to do the long jump.  She says that she is happy track is over, and will not make her mind up about next season until then.  Sounds fair to me.
This was Lillie's last open 75 yard dash.  She is in the middle of the shot with the gray pants.  It won't surprise me if she runs next year.  And it won't surprise me if she doesn't.  I think she is right in the middle of a big growth spurt.  The tooth fairy would agree with that too as it seem that she is loosing a tooth every single week.  Next season she could be 5 inches taller and a running/jumping machine!  Or a book worm.

As of yesterday Lillie has a new haircut too:
This is the before shot.
And here is the after shot.  Short hair!  She wanted it even shorter, but the stylist talked her into this cut.  She is very pleased.  Hopefully I will have a before and after shot of the boys one of these days...I think Lillie has the shortest hair of the three kids now.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Good evening, it is Sunday.

The last few weeks through the next few weeks is the main testing window for the kid's schools.  MSP, MBA, RBA, DIBELS, and who knows what other tests acronyms there are.  Is it testing overkill?  Who knows.  With all these test, this would be a great way fill in the bubbles:
YOLO!  Yup, YOLO stands for You Only Live Once and is kind of a slang/sarcastic term for "who cares!  consequences be damned."  Fitting for totally flunking a test that may hold the key to one's future...nice!  I don't think any of our kids will be filling out their bubble sheets like this, but I know there are plenty of kids out there feeling way overwhelmed by testing overkill.

On to musicals!  Elementary musicals that is.  Lillie is dressing as a Jazz musician from the 1950's. Yup, Lillie will be Sarah Vaughan.  While not exactly twins, I think Lillie does right by Jazz musicians from that era:
Bring on the busyness of the end of the school year!  And the sunshine.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Good morning, it is Thursday.

Spring is here!  At least for a few days.  The weather was nearly 70 degrees yesterday.  When Preston got home from soccer practice he said that he had never been so hot in his entire life!  Well, according to the news, it really is only like 200 days.  But yeah, like 200 days since we have seen it so warm.  Yahoo!  I think I could live in 70 degree Seattle weather everyday.
That's right, reading on the deck weather for Maren!  The deck needs a wash, but it is all good.  
I took advantage of the good weather and BBQ'd some burgers and hotdogs for dinner.  And even an oil change for Maren's car.  

Here's to another day of nice weather.  They say the rain will be back this weekend.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Four-Week Math Test?

Good morning, it is Monday.

We had a nice time with family yesterday at John and Carol's house for Stef's birthday.  The large group of cousins made for great fun.  And the large amount of pizza was awesome too.

On an unrelated topic, I enjoyed this comic strip from Sunday's paper:
I'm ready to take in a Baseball game in warm weather to be sure!  But maybe not the Nutcracker...  This would have worked:
Saturday was the Supercross at the C-link.  I didn't go, but Courtney did.  She got to meet Chad Reed and took some awesome photos.  I can remember watching Bob Hannah in the King Dome like it was a week ago.  He was so fast!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Crappy Paint is my middle name.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

I kind of want to go on and on about things in the news of late.  About Boston.  About how small the world is.  How Maren has a friend who's daughter lost a leg, and [the daughter's] husband was seriously injured in the Boston bombings.  About how amazing some of the stories are.  Other topics too.  How our congress can't/refuses to pass background checks for guns.  Background checks wouldn't even be nearly enough, it is a pathetic little amount of what should be done.  And they still don't.  Yet the same congress makes it impossible for many of its citizens to vote or marry.  AARG!  On to a couple of pictures:
 Here is a picture of my newly (newly sounds funny, but better than freshly?) painted bicycle.  If you knew my bike before, it was basically a homage to Lance Armstrong, all black and yellow with LiveSTRONG stickers all over it.  I kind of did a good job here, and I kind of didn't.  I did take it all apart, sand down the frame, put primer on it, then completely over sprayed the white.  There are some runs and cracks in the paint and I should have redone it, but crappy paint is my middle name, so there you go.  I like it.
 And our freshly (freshly sounds funny, but better than newly?) painted house.  The yellow is an antique yellow.  We also had the vertical white trim done, and the trim around the door.  The painter we hired, we hired because he was doing 3 other houses in our culdesac, and gave us all a great price.  The guy may be the best painter in the world, but he put his schedule over the house's and rain hit after day two.  He had to repaint the chimney and the gutters, and there will probably still be a little paint flaking come summer time.  So yeah, we paid for a cheap paint job, and we got a cheap paint job.  It is still way better than I could have done.
 Finally, away from politics and things.  Back to our people.  Maren had to work all day yesterday, Hansen was out with his youth group, and Preston was off with his friends   So I took Lillie out to the local mall for some fun.  She wanted a pair of glasses with an attached mustache.  This is not the pair she chose.  She now has a pink pair with a pink mustache.  I will have to take a series of pictures of her...she says, "glasses low, it's a beard...glasses regular, a mustache...glasses high, a uni-brow!"   
Preston after one of his high school soccer games.  Preston is on the right with his good friend Nick on the left.  These two used to play on the same club team, and have been great friends for years.  It is kind of a small circle of high level soccerballers, and one of the coolest things about high school soccer is getting to see your old friends who now go to different schools.  Preston's team will not make the playoffs this season, but I'd venture to say that he has enjoyed this season more than last year.  It's all about friends.

I don't have a picture to share of Hansen today.  Middle school track started for him last week.  I'm looking forward to his first track meet.  Middle school track meets may be my favorite age of track meet to watch.  Not crazy long, not crazy competitive, but still a real track meet.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston. And skating.

Good evening, it is Tuesday.

What a weekend of highs and lows!  Saturday we had a very fun skating party for Annie and Stef's birthdays!  Sunday I sat in front of the TV and watched one of the most exciting Masters tournaments (or any golf tournament) as I have seen in the past few years.  Adam Scott won in dramatic fashion and I couldn't be happier for him and for golf.  Then Monday came and I read in disbelief the horror of the bombs at the Boston Marathon.  Social media and the news outlets have been Boston nonstop.  As well they should be.  A mini-write up that I appreciate is by a comedian Patton Oswald:

Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

Patton Oswalt

The stories coming out are not getting any better.  Except for all the helpers.  Without all the helpers, it would be far worse for sure.  I've read on Facebook and in blogs that family and friends we do have in the Boston area are all O.K.  Our prayers are with Boston and those who were in harms way.

Now some pictures from Saturday's skating party:
 Stef and Annie at their birthday parties.  You won't catch me dressing like this, but good for them! Happy 8th birthday!  LOL.  Actually, I did have on awesome tan rental skates too...
 Lillie brought her own roller blades.  She is in the pink shirt cruising in her age race!  Way to Go Lillie!  Preston and I got out and raced too.  I was pretty darn fast if I do say so myself.
 Lillie and Hansen skating away.
And a blur of Preston cruising the hardwood.  You see all types at skating rinks these days.  From the cool cats who dance and jive to every song, to those in too much spandex spinning and twirling.  We hadn't been to the skating rink for a long time, may have to visit a bit more frequently.

See you tomorrow.    

Friday, April 12, 2013

An Ocean Breeze.

Good evening, it is Friday evening.

This evening brings the end of Spring Break!  It is fitting that it is raining...aarg.  I took the kids to Ocean Shores Thursday, we stayed one night, then came back today.  Maren had to work, so she got to stay home...and have the place to herself!  It is good that I was gone with the kids because the guy who is painting our house decided that it was dry enough to start painting.  I would have been freaking out, so it is good that I was gone.  I'd say that everything he painted Thursday is just fine.  But it started to rain today and there may be some issues with what he painted today...like some gutters dripping paint and such.  Ugh!  I'm hopeful that once things dry out he will be back to finish and the house and it will look great.  The yellow is a bit different, maybe a bit muted.  It will look just fine I'm sure.  Back to our mini vacation.  Here are some pictures:
 The sun was shining on Thursday so we started on the beach.  Lillie and Preston took off for the water while Hansen and I hung back just a bit.
 I have always done a donut or two at the beach [on the way out of town] when the area was empty.  It was totally deserted, so I may or may not have let Preston give it a try.  After posting this picture of the van next to some donut marks on FB, a friend mentioned how this is illegal and the ocean police are really cracking down...calling this reckless driving!  No one wants a reckless driving ticket! 
 Check it out...a picture of me!  Preston is hanging out in the background.
 Lillie wasn't really prepared for how cold it really is on the beach.  The wind chill has got to make it feel like 40 degrees!  Preston says running in the ocean is great, once you loose all feeling in your feet and legs due to the freezing cold weather.  This morning there were lots of folks out clam digging.  Preston and Hansen even had friends [who are also siblings] that were there for the clams.  We decided to sleep through the clamming excitement.  Not that I don't love a good clam bake. 
 I didn't buy this sign from a tourist store...but I like the message.
 Dugan's pizza!  We Slanes do love our pizza.  I think we have had dinner at Dugan's every time we have ever been at Ocean Shores.
 And we can't forget the gift shop.  The gift shop?  Nearly all the shops are gift shops.  But there is one next to the two dollar store that we have been too a few times.  Preston and Lillie picked up cute little turtles and Hansen got a rock.  But not just any rock.  A Sand Rose.
The Days Inn.  Yup, this is where we stayed.  It was just fine.  Small room, small pool, small breakfast.  Everything anyone would need.  And the price was right.  Of course, other than a little angsting about the house paint, it is great to be home!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

City Folks?

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was the first time we tried out the archery club as members.  That's right, we joined the club (it was not too expensive) for the remainder of the year.  Hansen talked Lillie into coming to try her hand at archery.
 This is the flat range at the archery facility.  The rest is a course that weaves through the woods.  In this picture Hansen is out of arrows for the moment and turning to watch a few folks at the other end of the range that had amazingly cool bows and were accurately hitting targets much farther down the range than those we were aiming at.  Of course, Hansen is way better than Lillie or myself.
Lillie looking like an experienced archer.  Archery seems to have become more popular these days to be sure.  I'm not sure what the experienced Hunters really think of "city folks" like us, but it is all good.

This morning I have spent the morning watching golf on TV.  Not even watching golf...just watching interviews of golfers at The Masters.  That's right, it is Masters week.  My favorite week of the whole year to have a nice TV.  I won't get to watch much of the tournament itself, but that's OK...I'm sure there is an app for that.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, April 08, 2013

The MLP Games.

Good morning, it is Monday.

It looks kind of like a bomb went off in the living room this morning.  It must be spring break!  For some of us.  Maren is working this week.  The kids stayed up who knows how late last night, they were just having fun, so it is all good.  By the looks of this place they were going to camp downstairs but decided at the 11th hour (that is just a saying, probably more like the 1:30 a.m. hour) to head up their own beds.  Smart cookies indeed.

For the last couple of days Lillie has been combining different types of artwork into one.  That one being My Little Ponies.  She has made each of her family members as MLPs as well as favorite characters from books she has been reading.  I like this one:
 Do you know this one?  Yep, Effie Trinket is from The Hunger Games.  Yeah, wacky huh?  I especially like Lillie's clip board.  I think it was a must get from the thrift shop a few month back.

Off to enjoy the morning, exercise, coffee, golf replays on TV, and maybe even a haircut...all before the first kid even thinks about waking up.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, April 06, 2013


Good morning, it is Saturday.

Spring break has officially begun!  The boys are still hours away from waking up and Lillie is at an overnight with a friend.  I'm having coffee and cinnamon toast while Maren is relaxing too.  Not a bad start to spring break!  My next chore is to find a place for the kids and I to go on Thursday/ Friday.  We had all these great plans with Maren's cousins for going to Ocean Shores with them for spring break...but their spring break was last week.  Darn!

To kick off Spring Break, Preston's soccer team had a night game...in the pouring rain.  Not so spring like.
 John and Carol came out to cheer on Preston and the team!  This was one of the dryer moments...not dry at all.  They left at half time as did most of the spectators.  The game turned out to be a great game.  KL beat KM 3-2.
 You just can't see the rain very much with a camera phone, but it was coming down.  Here Preston is returning to the field after retrieving a ball for a throw in.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


Good evening, it is Wednesday.

The days are counting down to Spring Break!  All day I have thought it was Thursday, but nope...tomorrow is Thursday.  Guess I get two Thursdays this week.  Better than two Mondays!

The end of the week is the end of the quarter for the kids.  Preston has been studying while Lillie and Hansen kind of pretend they are studying.  Getting Lillie to practice her spelling is like pulling teeth!  After wearing out her mom, she came to me for help.  Then I got an idea...and awful idea.  I (not the Grinch) got a wonderful, awful idea...spelling and rollerblading at the same:
I walked around the island asking her spelling words and she spelled them (or should I say misspelled them) while rollering around.  It seems to be that Preston and Maren are amazing spellers, while Hansen, Lillie and myself...not so much.  Some days on these blogs I am so far off that the spellchecker can't even help me, I then go straight to Maren or Preston.

Check out this pink and red flower growing on a tree in our front yard.  Yay for spring:
Maren told me what kind of flower this is, but I totally forgot.  (a few minutes pass)  I just checked again with Maren, she says it is a Camellia.  Of course Hansen just overheard this discussion and said, "wait, wait, wait, wait...are you telling me a chameleon is a kind of flower?"  Nope.  Sometimes I do feel bad for Maren being surrounded by so many Slanes:)

See you tomorrow.

Monday, April 01, 2013

I Spy Three Differences.

Good morning, it is Monday.

I have a little game for you this morning.  Can you spot the three differences between the following two photos of Lillie on Easter Day?  And yes, they are "after" pictures from last post where we showed the "before" pictures of Lillie's dress, flip flops, and duct tape.
Now for picture number two:
Can you see them?  O.K.  I will give you the answers:
1.  The two flowers on the right have been switched.
2.  Scarf on different shoulder.
3.  Different color duct tape purse.

There are no differences...same picture silly.  Happy April Fools Day!!!

Now that the fun is out of the way, here are some more Easter photos:
Dying Easter Eggs.  We had Connor come join the fun.
 Who ever thought of putting glitter in your egg dye?  The plastic table cloth was the best investment ever!
 This is what the kids got to come downstairs to on Easter morning.  And there were eggs hiding all over the place.  There was only one problem...the kids just kept sleeping and sleeping and sleeping.  I finally had to go wake them up so they could come down before going to the 11:00 church service.  Not quite the same as it was 7 years ago, but still fun.
 At John and Carol's house for Easter Dinner.  Carol had left a jacket hanging in the garden a week or so ago and some crafty birds quickly made a nest in the arm.  Since the birds have moved on, Avery is showing off the nest.
Lillie trying to hold Jack and Avery still for just a second for a picture.  Actually, it was all set to be a picture of just Lillie and Avery all posing for the picture when Jack came bouncing into the shot...literally, bouncing, like an Easter bunny, on chocolate:)

Hope you had a nice Easter!  Enjoy April Fools Day too...just not too much.

See you tomorrow.