Saturday, August 31, 2013


Good afternoon, it is Saturday.

This morning Maren and I went out for a garage sale walk.  No great finds, but it's always nice to go for a garage sale walk with Maren.  Now I'm just hanging around doing yard work and waiting for the Sounders and Huskies games.  And taking breaks every now and then to play with my golf clubs.

Last night Preston and I went out for a quick 9 holes of twilight golf.  We teed off at 6:30 pm knowing it was going to get dark around 8:00 pm.  We walked through the gates (off the course) at exactly 8:00 pm, and right as the course staffer was driving up to lock it up.  Perfect!
I had just hit a beautiful driver up the right side of the fairway and stepped back to take a picture of Preston with the sun at our backs.  He hit his 3-wood about 15 yards past me.  Of course, we didn't find this out until we got to the first ball.  Two holes later I hit another good drive, then decided to hit one with my 3-wood just to see if my driver was really doing it's job.  Preston grinned at me and said, "getting out driven back there...that kind of hurt you didn't it dad?"  Yeah, it kind of hurt.  But it's a good hurt.

Go Huskies!  Go Sounders!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day of School!

Good evening, it is Thursday.

Today was a great first day of school!  The kids all came home very happy with their courses, friends, and teachers.  We couldn't be happier.  Of course, the kids all leave for school at different times and they all go to different schools.  So we had to take three different pictures:
Preston always leaves first.  Today he drove Connor and himself to school.  Junior year should be a good one!
Hansen will leave second.  Today he had a late start as 8th graders got to do a rolling start.  He said one of his teachers wondered if he could have found brighter shoes...nope.
Lillie leaves last of the kids.  Lillie actually gave me a bunch of poses for her spot on the step, but I chose this one.
Then I downloaded a cool app for my phone and voila! Here they are side by side.  I know Preston could us a program and combine these photos so there are no gaps or lines and truly look like one picture, but this is cool too.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cat Prison.

Good evening, it is Wednesday.

Well, this is it.  Last night of summer vacation.  We are ready!  Kind of.  In just a few minutes we will be heading to Lillie's school to say hi to her teacher and drop off all of her school supplies!

I got in one last round of golf today with a friend who is the Library para at my school.  While the actual teachers were attending in service classes, we were golfing.  We snapped this picture in the last green to text to a teacher at our school who is also a golfer:
I'm on the right.  Yes, Mr. Lanza and I often get mixed up by the kids at school...the teachers too!  The caption on this picture for our golfing friends, "in service day!"  This is why I may have to stay a para forever.

Preston has been wanting a dresser for his room.  Since he and Hansen share a room, his stuff has kind of been in an alcove with baskets and such.  I picked this up at IKEA...and told Preston he could build it when he was ready for it.
Here Preston is getting ready to build.
Day two, the dresser is just hanging out mostly built.  The kids put this Cat Prison sign on it.  Jojo did bring a dead bird into the house in the morning, so cat prison sounded about right.  Of course he loved this place.
And the finished product.  Nice job Preston!  Built the whole thing with zero help.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Good evening, it is Thursday.

Today Maren had a meeting in Seattle, so the rest of us decided to drive her up there, then play tourist for a while.
We started out in the Seattle Public Library.  I showed the kids just who is the boss at checkers!  From here we walked down to the Seattle Waterfront and ate lunch at Ivar's.  Always a great lunch!
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop.  We looked at mummies and other oddities.  I sure hope Lillie is not wishing to be BIG!
The new Ferris Wheel!  Preston and Lillie went on this amazing ride, while Hansen and I just watched.
This was the way Hansen watched his sibs ride the Ferris Wheel...sitting on a yellow lawn chair and listening to some tunes.
Lillie took this picture of Hansen and I on the deck below.  We are the yellow chairs on the right.
This picture
and this picture were taken at the exact same time.  Lillie and Preston had a great time on this ride.  And they took lots of goofy pictures.  Good for them!
Preston took this cool pic of the Seattle Waterfront.  Wow.
Maren met up with us after her meeting and lunch were over.  We met up just after the ferris wheel.  We all made it it through the throngs of tourists at the Pike Place Market.  Every year we try to go to the Pike Place Market, and for some reason years ago (probably just because I'm cheap) I purchased each kid a bead turtle, or bead dragon, or bead something.  Lillie kept the tradition alive with her bead snake.  Then it was shopping at Westlake and a stop at Starbucks!
Yesterday Preston and I stopped by Big Lots yesterday to pick up a snack or two.  We decided to buy each person in our family a beverage that they would love.  Can you guess whose drink is whose?

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

California Oranges.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

One week from tomorrow and we will be back in school.  I have been waking the kids up earlier and earlier the last few days to hopefully get them back on schedule just a little bit.  I have a feeling it will be hard no matter what.  Since I have not blogged in a bit, I have a bunch of different pictures which I will caption with their own story:
Yesterday Lillie and I drove out to the city of Preston to return Coco Chanel to its real owner.  Lillie has done such a great job caring for Coco this summer.  But this big bunny run is really a better home for a bunny come the cold wet days ahead.  See you later Coco!  Lillie says that summer is officially over now that Coco is back at home:(
Monday we spent the day at the pool celebrating a couple of birthdays.  Carol and Melanie's birthdays are a day apart and a nice day at the pool worked perfectly.  Carol has been wanting a bicycle to go with John's new bike, so we picked her up a little beach cruiser.  Let the cruising begin.  I hear the cruising actually began yesterday!
Preston hanging out with Jack and Avery at the pool.  Jack kept thinking it would be a great idea to see if he could get away with tickling Preston and running away.
On Sunday Maren and I were invited to a Tacoma Rainers baseball game in Cheney Stadium.  They were passing out pink hats for the Milgard Brest center.  Here Maren is hanging out with a statue of Ben Cheney of whom the stadium is named.  Ben Chaney, who is credited with standardizing the size of wall studs at 8x2x4, died the same year Maren was born.
How about a cheesy self pic of Maren and myself?  Pretty in pink...
Can you read the sign in the outfield?  Happy Birthday Larry Nelson!  Yep, we were at the game with a largish group to celebrate Larry's birthday...and there it is on the big screen.
This is Lillie's latest creation.  I gave in and took her shopping for hot glue.  As in unlimited hot glue for the hot glue gun.  This girl is a crafting genius.  She has been systematically creating the furniture and toys for her American Girl Dolls that she finds in the American Girl catalogs.  As you can see this is Grace's homemade scooter made from Preston's Nike Shoe box, packing tape (if you leave tape out, Lillie crafts with it), hot glue, pipe cleaners, and a sharpie.  And of course, her little stuffed dog.
This is a picture of the actual one from the one from the catalog so you can see how a job Lillie did on her scooter.  Nicely done Lillie!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

On Target.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Well, it is not really morning, but try telling that to the kids.  They are finally all up, and Preston is making pancakes for breakfast...or lunch as the clock would lead one to believe.  It is just a rainy day around here and maybe we will end up school shopping or something later on.  Who knows.

But yesterday was a very nice day.  The weather was dry but muggy.  And I got to go both golfing in the morning with Preston and then archery in the evening with Hansen.  Both sports were treating me kindly yesterday, some days are just like that.  I golfed good and I shot good.  I have to beat these kids when I can...and yesterday I could:)
On the hole 12 at Druids Glen (way down hill over a lake that surrounds the front/left of the green) I came closer to an hole in one than I have in years.  From about 160 yards this ball came straight down right in line with the pin, so much you couldn't see the ball.  The mark is several inches directly in front of the cup, and the ball ended up a couple of feet behind.  How did it not go in?  I'll take the easy birdie!  Preston's game came around nicely, and on the back 9 he was playing pretty good golf.  I definitely think he could make it on his high school's golf team if he wanted to try out.
Archery went just as well for this old guy.  My sight just seemed to sit on the target from every distance.  Hansen and I walked one of the marked courses shooting two arrows at each target.  Hansen also shot well, but this picture is of one of my targets from 45 yards.  Yes, both arrows exactly in the center.  I know I'll have plenty of days where my golf ball doesn't fly so straight and my arrows miss the target, so I'm enjoying yesterday.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, August 12, 2013

It's amazing what Canby found when out and about.

Good afternoon, it is Monday.

Another divide and conquer weekend around here.  I spent the last three days in Oregon with Preston and his soccer team.  Lillie had an overnight birthday party, and Hansen hung out at home playing x-box and shooting his bow.  Preston will have one more soccer tournament this summer, then it will be school time.  Lillie is itching to go buy her school supplies and the kids are all starting to think about new clothes.  Here are some photos from the last few days:
When shopping for her friend's birthday gift, Lillie found a MLP water color painting book.  I think one of these masterpieces was even included in the gift.
Lillie has been good at bunny sitting.  She even made a rock design in the gravel while just hanging with the bunny.
Leaving one of the fields after a game in Oregon.  The team played 5 games and ended up winning the consolation match.  They played the number one team from both Oregon and Utah in this event, so not a bad place to finish.
Preston's teammate Christian rode down with us and roomed with us too.  I didn't realize until the ride home that they have reversed numbers on their jerseys.  Preston is number 73, but I know he would go with just 7 if it were available.  Preston has all kinds of mathematical reasons number 73 is prime numbers and such.  But I think they just wanted similar numbers.  One cool goal of the tournament was a corner kick that Preston took that he landed right on Christian's head.  Christian headed it in the upper corner of the goal.
Three of the games were in Canby, Oregon.  Right next to the field was this Vietnam Era Veterans Memorial.  Who knew?  From where I'm standing for this picture, you could simply turn around to see this part of the memorial:
So yeah.  And then if you just walked 10 paces, you were in a Burgerville.  Since I had time to spend waiting for the game(s) to begin, I enjoyed a milkshake too.
Preston has been happy to be home and hanging with friends.  Here they are just an hour ago playing poker in the neighbor's driveway.  Hansen is out in back with is archery stuff.  I hear he split another arrow from hitting it square in the back over the weekend.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


Good evening, it is Wednesday.

I just got back from a great day of golf.  I was invited by a friend to play in a Member/Guest at Meridian Valley Country Club.  This was a smaller version of a very popular event at the club.  The big one spans the whole weekend with all kind of games.  I have not played MVCC in a few years, but it is one of my all time favorite golf courses ever.  It was the home course for my golf team for Green River Community College and is always in immaculate condition.  I didn't bother taking any pictures because I know the whole course like the back of my hand.  Here are a couple of pictures from their latest advertisements:
This is taken from up the fairway on hole number 5.  I'd say the hardest hole on the course.  I hit a great drive and a super iron to about 7 feet above the hole.  I barely touched the 7 foot putt and had a 10 footer back up the hill for par...which I luckily made.
This is hole 14.  We began our round on hole 11, and hole 14 was my first of three birdies for the day.  Of course I had some yuk holes too, shooting a respectable 79.  My partner and I played very well, but finished one stroke out of the money.  But the golf wasn't over for the day.  There was the Horserace.  15 teams.  A high handicap player paired with a low handicap player.  I am currently a 6.4, so for this event I was an 8.  I was paired with a real nice guy who was a 24.  He played great, I played so-so, and we outlasted everyone over some strange holes (like 10 tee to 12 green/ 13 tee to putting green) and won the whole thing!  And yes, you could bet on teams if you wanted to.  And yes, I put $6.00 on my own team.  A very good investment as I ended up winning $107.00!

What a great day of golf.  See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Kid Swap.

Good afternoon, it is Tuesday.

The last couple of days we have done a kid swap with the cousins.  We met at John and Carol's house to help move their big new (to them...actually an antique) buffet/thing.  It was not easy task, but we got it done without any damage to the buffet or ourselves.  Yay!
I'm sure it looks way better today.  By now it probably has the drawers in, and plates and goodies filling the inside too.  It even has lights in the top.
Lillie (right) and cousin Claire getting ready for big adventure.  This is the way I last saw them.  They always look the same, so yeah.  Lillie was heading to Claire's house for the night.  The kid swap will be going back to normal this evening.
In exchange for Lillie, we got Alex.  Here Hansen is showing Alex a little about archery.  Tip number 1...the bow is not a mustache!
Yup, a little shooting.  But let's not think that this is what they did the whole time.  This is more like it:
Yes, the x-box got a workout today.  The only way I could figure to get them off the x-box was to not cook for them.  I did get out supplies for them to make some biscuits and noodles.  Once starving, they actually did a good job cooking some food for themselves.  As I type, they are back at the x-box.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Smooth Jazz.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Normally I love Fridays, but this  Why?  Because July is over!  In July everyday is like a Friday for me.  Now it's August and by the end of the month I will be back to work and the kids back to school.  Better just enjoy August then, huh?

We have been doing fun stuff, and this month will be no different.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves here, I do have plenty of pictures from the last few days:
I should have cropped this photo a bit.  It is hard to see, but this is Darren Motamedy!  Yesterday I took the kids to see Mr. Mo in concert.  Mr. Mo was one of Preston's favorite teachers for sure.  His band teacher for 5th and 6th grade.  Before the concert Preston and I got to visit with him for a bit.  Great visit and great music.  These days Mr. Mo is living in Vegas and visiting up here.  If you google his name you can find his website and his smooth music.  The concert was only an hour long...not long enough for Preston and I, but maybe a tad long for Hansen and Lillie.  You can't tell in the picture, but the crowd was pretty good sized for sure.  And it is a good thing we visited before the concert, the line afterward was long.
Since we were in Auburn, it was off to the Auburn Supermall for lunch.  A nice lunch at Johnny Rockets and strolling around the mall was great.  This specialty toy store had some great toys from my youth.  I think I even owned this game, here Lillie is getting pretty good at making the heavy ball roll uphill.
Here the boys are trying Rock'em Sock'em Robots.  Fun!
And who knew there were so many versions of Monopoly?!?  Crazy.
The other night on the spur of the moment I took Preston and his friend Christian to the Seattle Sounders Reserve Game.  The Reserves are the second string...or like AAA baseball.  We got to see some of the regulars and some awesome soccer for sure.  The Sounders were down 0-2 at half, and rallied to win 3-2 in the second half!  Oh yeah, it was free too!  I like free.
We didn't get our pics with players or coaches, but I took a couple of pics anyway.  Coach Sigi and  young fan.
Forward David Estrada with a young fan.  If Christian and Preston were to get their pictures with anyone, this would have been the guy.
This is just a funny picture.  I took Preston out for a quick trip to the grocery store.  Can you tell which level of the cart is mine?  Which is Preston's?  While he was the one recommending ice-cream and clearance sale doughnuts, the truth is that Preston does eat very well these days, probably better than the rest of us.
And check this out:  My van turns six years old this month.  We are way past when I should have replaced this van if you look at my car buying of the past, but I must be getting old or something because I don't even want a new car.  And thanks to Preston taking the time to clean and vacuum out the inside, it looks almost new again!  Yay.

See you tomorrow.