Sunday, September 29, 2013

It's Saturday Night!

Good evening, it is Saturday Night!

Actually, I'm watching Saturday Night Live right now.  Cool huh?  So what has happened that is exciting you ask?  I did go to Rite Aid the other night and they are remodeling the whole store!  First time since it became Rite Aid after being Payless Drugs.  I have a soft spot for the old Payless because I used to work there.  In fact, here is a picture of me working at Payless when I was about Preston's age:
Working the camera section.  Man, I thought I had it made in the shade!  But back to the remodeling of Rite Aid...It was like the whole store was on Clearance Sale:
I did fine some things for all the family.  It is fun to be able to bring home little gifts that everyone will enjoy.  Let's see, Maren got a new lunch box.  Lillie got a pair of flip flops.  The boys a binder and graph paper.  Nothing crazy, but all useful...and cheap!

Last night Preston and I went and played 9 holes of golf (after school) in the rain with a couple of friends of his.  Afterwards it was Fry Day.  This family does like Fry Day Fridays.  The cheese sticks are so good!  And the corn-dogs turn out great too.  I'm feeling full just thinking about it.

Now for a quick truck update.  Last week I put a new radiator in and at first thought everything was great.  But now the free flowing coolant has exposed a bigger problem.  It is now free flowing through what I'm guessing is a blown head gasket and into the oil.  The truck is smoking like never before and the oil is like chocolate milk.  Dang!  The truck can't be driven in this condition, so today I started taking apart the motor.  Currently I am a bit stuck on all the crazy emissions stuff from 24 years ago.  My dilemma is this, the truck needs to pass emissions one more tine before it is old enough to not worry about it.  But to do this job without driving myself totally nuts, I need to take off the old emissions stuff (some with a saw) which is probably not doing anything effective anyhow.  Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will be able to say that I've got a streamlined motor that is working perfectly.  For now Preston is back to sharing the van with me as we are down to two cars.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's Finally Here!

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

It finally arrived!  Lillie has been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for this to arrive:
And it's here! A new phone case!  And it's a bear!  And it matches her screen saver!  And it is all just too much!  And I've used "and" way too much in this post.  And I don't care.  But i do think the new phone case is very cute.  I mean, it even has ears, right?

What else is new?  How about a new radiator in the pick-up truck?  Yup.  New radiator, hoses, thermostat, and fluid.  No more overheating for Old Blue Door.  I (and many others before me) underestimate the importance of a good radiator.  At first I just flushed it out, but overheating still happened, although less.  I was about to replace the water pump, but got derailed as it is driven from the timing belt and whoever replaced the timing belt last (that would be me) may have over-tightened the bolts on the fan motor and taking things apart was not going so smooth.  So after reading a bunch of stuff on the internet and talking to a neighbor about it all, I simply replaced a radiator, and I must say it is one of the easiest repairs I've ever done on a car.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Fair Time.

Good morning, it is Monday.

And a soggy Monday.  Fall (Autumn) arrived yesterday and just like clockwork, the weather has changed as well.  But, but, but...not butt:)  Before I complain about crummy weather, let's wish my little sister Amber a very happy birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMBER!

Saturday Lillie and I went to the fair with cousins and friends!  Lillie has very high expectations for the fair, and I'm sad to report, they were not completely met this year.  But hey, that's the fair.  In a perfect world she would have had me win her a Lemur stuffed animal, ride on lots of rides, pet kittens and cows, and have a relaxing day just having fun.  But the fair was so busy you couldn't walk side by side with your friends.  The kids did get to go on plenty of rides, but ran out of time for games and animals.  Next year, I don't know, maybe we will actually have to go on a weekday or something.  But hey!  We went and spent at the fair.  I like that, the fair's motto should be, "We went and we spent!"  I had a fine time:)
My van was filled to compacity!  Over full if you want to know the truth, but it only had to drive like this for three blocks:)
It's ride time!
How about this?  A loaf of curly fries and a refillable soda?  They were very yummy!  Even had an elephant ear.  The soda never got refilled because the line was like 30 minutes long.  Yikes.

Overall, I say it was a win.  Till next year.  In case you wondered, where are the boys and Maren?  Maren got to have lunch with some good friends she doesn't get to see too often.  Hansen was at a sleepover youth group retreat, and Preston was in Oregon with his band playing the halftime show for a college football team.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ritz Crackers!

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday Preston had a very nice birthday day.  He came home from school with a bunch of birthday gifts from his friends.  His choice of birthday dinner was the Claim Jumper near South Center Mall.  Good food, long waits:)  Then is was a quick trip to Costco for a birthday cake, tuxedo chocolate mousse.  Preston was happy with his birthday gift this year, gaming stuff for his PS3.  Good timing for game release dates (GTA-V and FIFA 14) and his birthday!
This is his loot from school.  Skittles boxes, cards, a car, money, a box of Ritz crackers, and even a homemade birthday cake!  Preston has great friends indeed.
At the Claim Jumper.  Yup, he even got his own little birthday cake.
To close the evening, Lillie had an open house at her school.  Lillie and I got to hear her principal speak, then go to her classroom for the open house.  Her teacher was also Hansen and Preston's teachers.  Preston had Mrs. Ramsey for fourth grade.  Last night Mrs. Ramsey made Preston this Student of the Week Birthday Card.  I can tell you that Preston really like it.
This is a picture of Lillie's desk for open house.  She had a family history project where she wrote a newspaper article and brought in her favorite pictures and things.  Pretty good collection here (and much more in the photo box she brought).  Nice work Lillie.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Good morning, it is Thursday!

This is the first picture of Preston at age 17, taken just this morning.  Maren and I did sing "Happy Birthday" to him, but we spared him the spankings and the pinch:)  He should have a fun day today at school and tonight at a school football game.  In between school functions will be a birthday present or two, and a dinner of his choice.

Last night I got to go to Preston's high school for open house.  I walked his schedule and met his teachers.  From what I can tell he has a fine schedule with excellent teachers and plenty of friends in his classes.  Yay!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

An Old Caterpillar.

Good evening, it is Tuesday.

Look what I found on my desk at work today:
Yup, it's a caterpillar.  But not just any caterpillar, one from a log time ago.  A long time Cedar Valley teacher, turned most popular substitute teacher, is also the mom of one of my high school classmates and fellow cross country teammates.  She left this for me to see on my desk.  I'll give ti back next time I see her.  From here you can't really tell what's up with it, but take a closer look at the bottom of the feet and you see:
Lots of names.  These are the names of many of the kids on my high school cross country team.  To be honest, my brain doesn't remember this little guy from 1984.  I posted this on FB and learned that we made this guy in Spokane during the state cross country meet.  The meet was run on a golf course, possibly the first time I ever even stepped foot on a golf course, first I remember anyhow.  Yup, I definitely wrote my name myself on the upper right foot back in the mid 1980s.  Cool.

I wasn't going to blog at this time as I should be riding on my exercise bike, but I'm a bit exhausted from working on the pick-up truck.  It is suffering an overheating problem.  I replaced a cracked radiator hose, but the problem still exists.  From what I can glean online, the radiator or heater core is probably clogged keeping the fluids from times!  Back to blogging. Lillie asked me to print the next two pictures for a school assignment of hers, I'll post them too, just in case she needs them at school.
This is Joe.  Lillie calls him Jojo.  But his real name is Joe.  I know, I helped name the little guy a year before Lillie was even born.
And this is Ranger.  Yes, they are cute cats and Lillie really loves them.  We have been fighting (and recently winning) a flea issue with these guys, so yay for the winning part.  One of our cats (Ranger) is very in he like to think outside the box.  The litter box.  Yuk.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Almost 17!

Good morning, it is Monday.

Saturday was Preston's first birthday party of the season.  That's right, Preston will be 17 in just a few days!  John made a very yummy lemon cheese cake, covered with lemon head candy.  Yum!  We played a fun game of Apples to Apples, and had fun just hanging out.
Here Preston is with his birthday cake!  17 years old, wow!
Stef and Lillie join the birthday boy for some card playing fun.
This is what the weather looked like for last night's Seattle Seahawk's game.  Except the for all the thunder and lightning.  Crazy weather for sure.  Preston was at the church with his youth group friends watching the game on the huge screen.  Great weekend of sports for Preston's birthday weekend.  His soccer team won in smooth fashion, Preston had a very good game himself...all three goals in the 3-0 win were with his help.  The first he got taken down in the box which led to a PK.  The second he made a very cool assist.  And the third was an amazing free kick from 50 yards that was perfect.  The Seattle sounders, the Seahawks, and the Huskies also won this weekend.

One other cool thing for Preston is how much he got to golf with his friends this weekend.  He golfed right after school on Friday with three other friends, then on Saturday before his party he and a buddy played 9 holes as well.  How cool is that?  Of course, the rain didn't roll in until Sunday evening.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Selfie?

Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night I got to go to Hansen's school for open house night.  I like they way this school does things.  The parents followed the kid's schedules, walking to the rooms and meeting the teachers.  Of course I saw the same parents that I have seen since grade school, and many of the same teacher that Preston had.  Hansen is very lucky to have the teachers he has and the friends he has, should be a great year!  As great of a year as an 8th grader can have that is:)
Lillie and I took this picture just this morning.  She was trying to find a picture of me for a school project, so we just took one.  There is a better one of just me, but Lillie makes this picture much better.
O.K. Lillie, here is one of just me.  Yes, whenever the kids need a picture of anything family related for a school project...they just go to the blog.
A computer in the kitchen? Yes!  Preston has found a website that you enter an ingredient, and it gives you lots of ideas of what to cook.  He has been making some pretty yummy stuff of late.
Check out these Batman character chess pieces.  Our neighbor Sam (he is now in college) made these over the summer.  He molded them, painted them, and yesterday was putting a clear coat on them.  Amazing!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nerd Day?

Good morning, it is Thursday.

The weather has been so nice for the beginning of fall, tons of kids are riding their bicycles to school.
When I show up to school, 20 minutes after school has begun, there are tons of bikes!  And all kinds of bikes.  I can guarantee that the rider of this little motorcycle looking bike has some very patient friends/family, because with backpack and school supplies, it is probably a ton easier and maybe even faster just to walk.  Yes, my bike is the big one in the middle of the bunch.  On rainy days that I choose to ride, my bike may be the only one.

This is they way Lillie dressed for school today:
She and a few friends have implemented Thursday Nerd Day.  Hansen laughed, of course, and said that every day is nerd day:)  Is this not the cutest little nerd you have ever seen?

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall Soccer Begins.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Sunday was the beginning of the fall soccer season for Preston's soccer team.  The summer season saw five tournaments, four of them requiring a hotel stay.  The first game of the fall season was just down the road, as will this Sunday's game.  It looks like the fall season may be a bit easier at times for the team than the summer, they won their first game 7-0!  Preston had two very cool goals in this victory.
Here Preston is working his way down the field with the ball.
Even getting a breather on the bench is fun when your team is winning!

This is just a funny cartoon I found.  Of course we use smart boards and technology at all grade levels these days:
See you tomorrow.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

13th Annual Marta Connell Golf Tournament.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Yesterday was the Marta Connell golf tournament.  This was the 13th tournament.  I have been in charge of scoring every year, this year went very well.  If I'm not mistaken, this golf tournament has raised over $60,000.00 for Primary Pulmonary Hypertension over the years.  For those of you who don't know, Marta was Maren's cousin, who died of this disease just short of her 40th birthday 13 years ago.
There are always lots of helpers and prizes.  Just a great tournament.
This was my motley crew.  From L to R.  Derek and his grandpa Dave, my partner Steve (who really runs the whole tournament and is married to Marta's sister) and myself.  Steve and I nearly played great.  At one point we were 4 under par, but then missed a few opportunities and settled for 4th place.  Nearly everyone turns all their winnings back in to the charity fund, but bragging rights is bragging rights.  We won the first couple of years with some amazing shots...
Derek reminded me of a young Jack Nicholas.  This kid has a great swing.  He looks like the pictures of Jack Nicholas from his Golf My Way book I read as a kid.  It was fun having Derek hit his 1-iron past my driver all day...ur, not so fun:)  Derek and Dave got to golf St. Andrews over the summer.  They even brought me back a St. Andrews guide book and Divot repair tool!  How cool is that?  Let me tell you...VERY COOL!
Check out this crazy cart!  Didn't drive in it, but there were some around.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Ah, the long weekend was great.  We partied, golfed, archered, slept in, shopped Value Village, and even watched a few movies.  Back the to Future, Rocky, and Breakfast Club.  Not bad huh? Here are a few pics:
Yesterday was a birthday party for Auntie Sue and Carol.  Sue is Carol's way older sister, by like a whole less than a year.  I think they are the same age for a week every year.  We got to visit with cousins we haven't seen this year as well as ones we get to hang out with more regularly.  Fun!
Preston and a few of his friends went golfing by themselves.  No adults...well, they are close enough.  It was Connor's first time ever golfing, reports are that by the middle of the round he started doing pretty darn good.
Check out Lillie's sewing!  At Value Village she found a pattern and sheet that she liked for her doll.  Once home she was measuring, cutting, using her sewing machine, and voila!  A new dress.

See you tomorrow.