Friday, November 29, 2013

It's beginning to feel a lot like...last year?

Good evening, it is Friday.

What a great couple of days!  This year was just like last year.  I was just looking at last year's blog post and laughing that it was just like this year's post will be.  Maren wondered why I was laughing at the computer so I told her that I could just use last year's post instead of making a new one (just a few small differences), she says that there is nothing wrong with being predictable:)  Nope, nothing wrong with that at all.  We started at John and Carol's house for Thanksgiving.  Then up to Seattle for an overnight at the Roosevelt Hotel.  A little shopping.  Watched the parade.  Lunch.  Home.  Christmas Tree up.  And tonight, sleeping under the tree.  Rather than having you search for last year's blog, let's see this year's pictures:
Playing games before Thanksgiving dinner.  This game may be as old as Nana!  I think she had it when she was a little kid.
The boys kicking the soccer ball on the stairs before dinner.
Is it dinner time yet?  Nope?  Guess I'll just jump on Preston:)
An after dinner walk to the park.  Hansen taught Jack and Avery a stick throwing game!
Maren and Melanie in their tunics.  Yeah, I'm laughing as I type tunic.  It's my blog, I can find words funny if I want to.  Of course these two look snappy in their tunics, but in the words of the Will Ferrell movie, Land Of The Lost, never trust a dude in a tunic...
More games.  Apples to Apples.  Maren was, is, and always will be the best Apples to Apples player.  Hansen teamed up with Jack and they did great.  I only won one card, "temperamental", whatever, it's just a game!
Lillie, John, Carol, and Avery.  Avery teamed up with Mel.  Avery was the cutest player ever.  When someone would read her card, she would excitedly whisper (just a bit too loudly) to Mel, "that's our card!"
We left John and Carol's house and headed up to Seattle.  We have learned a few tricks over the years, so checking out the awesome Ginger Bread houses on Thanksgiving night was relaxing an crazy long line free.
These are amazing.  I feel like there were a few less this year, but the ones they had were bigger.
The view from our room.  Last year we were much closer, but it worked out fine as the weather was great and we met up with John, Carol, Mel, Jack, Avery and Stef for the parade.  Maren went out to save spots on the road an hour early...and it is a good thing, the place was BUSY.  We were crammed in with tons of others.
Before the crowds.
Maren, Mel, and Stef got street seating.
And the Parade begins.  The Sound Wave band!
And a princess in a Snow Globe.
Yes, we even saw Santa.  The big guy.  The head honcho.  The connection.
Then we went shopping again.  Jack makes a good Darth Maul.
The littlest of the littles (not Hansen) got these cool magic wands.
The kids in front of the hotel Christmas tree.
Lunch at The Daily Grill.  I had a Chicken pot pie, and everyone else had equally yummy plates.  The Apple Cup started as we were finishing up lunch.  We made it home in time to see the second half!
Winner winner left over chicken pot pie for dinner!  Huskies beat the Cougars.  Hahahaha.  Go Huskies!
After the Apple Cup, it was time to put up the Tree.  Once up, Hansen helped get the lights working.  Then the ornaments went up.  Tonight, per tradition, it is sleeping under the tree.  I haven't decided if I will be part of that tonight or not.  The kids get along so well, they will have a great time telling goofy stories most of the night long.  I may want to sleep:)

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Chanukah!

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Happy Chanukah!  Pretty rare to have these two holidays on the same day.  This is the first time since 1888 that they are on the same day, and they say it won't happen again for thousands of years.  So enjoy!  I hope this information is correct, I mean, it must be...I read it on the internet:)
Lille crafted a Thanksgiving outfit for one of her dolls!  This doll is just standing on the landing of the staircase.  Strangely, Lillie asked me for an old pair of old black socks that she could use for crafting.  I did find her a pair, not I'm wondering...
Our thankful leaves.  We made thankful leaves for each of the people in our family.  Some are very nice.  We generally try to be nice towards each other, but rarely do we put kind thoughts down on paper.  Yes, we left what was a creepy Halloween tree on the wall, took off some of the scary, and let it be a thankful tree.  Multitasking.  It's all good.
This is our menorah all ready to light.  Last night we read the blessings and lit the candles.  We received this menorah many years ago from my grandpa.  Next to it is The Story Of Chanukah typed by my grandpa.  He used to send my this story every year with a new back page that would let us know when the first candle was to be lit.  The year he sent this copy, Chanukah began on December 4th.  I'm glad I saved this one.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday after church Hansen and Lillie got to go with John and Carol to visit cousins.  Right now there are some out of town cousins visiting, and local cousins getting ready to become out of town cousins.  But they are all here for Thanksgiving, so yay.
Yes, Lillie and the girls are all having too much fun.  This was actually the only picture of these girls where they were not all blurry from moving around...even though they were trying to sit still.
More cousins.  Hansen and the boys just chillin out.  After Preston's soccer game he and I got to hang out for a while too.  It was nice to see everyone for sure.
Look who showed up to see Preston's soccer game.  Yup, Mick and Susan.  They got to see some good soccer and sit in the sunshine.  We won't mention that it was like 38 degrees:)

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Charming? Me?

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Preston's soccer season with his Rapids team is winding down.  They are one point out of first place, but even with a couple of games to go, they may be stuck there.  The team in third is done with all their games, and the team in first is playing teams they should beat.  It has been a good season for sure.  Of course there will be State Cups and such, he will be playing through February...about when high school soccer starts.

Today's game will be in the cold, but not in the rain.  Last week was both.
At halftime, getting some tips from the coach.  This picture is taken from close range, under my umbrella.  It looks blurry, only because of all the rain.  But even in cold and rainy conditions, the boy's cleats are bright and shiny.  I'd say the boys teams generally wear more decorative shoes than the girl's team do.  The girl's teams (in many cases) try to have all the players match, while the boys don't like to wear the same shoes as another player on the team.
We drove one of Preston's teammates to the last game, and on the way home we stopped for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the world, Panda Express.  We tried to get the right fortune cookies before opening them, shuffling them around just a bit.  Preston went first, Happiness is around the next corner, wealth down the street.  This one's great IMO, the boys joke that it is backwards.  Then Christian, You are never selfish with your advice or your help...another super fortune, the boys joke about giving poor advice:)  Then mine, an admirer finds you charming.  And they both want to trade me fortunes.  Ha!  I guess charming is good.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Good morning, it is Friday.

Yay for Friday.  Next week is a short week with some good eats.  It's been cold around these parts.  Depending which weather app I use on my phone, it is either 25 degrees, or 31 degrees.  Both cold, so take your choice.  Preston is scraping ice off the van's windows as I type.

Lillie has figured out that if she snags my phone, she can snap all the pictures she wants without using the password.  I'm not sure why the phone does this, allows pictures when the rest of the phone is locked.  But I'm constantly finding goofy pictures of Lillie making funny faces, as well as cats.  While the pics are funny, to save future Lillie from embarrassment I will only post a couple of cat pictures:

Oh yeah.  And this is me saving the neighbor's Kitten, Nala, from the roof of the house.  Of course, she climbed up on the roof the next day too...and figured out how to get down herself.
This hat has been great for my walk to work.  Ove's ear flap hat keeps the ears warm!  Looks a bit goofy, but so do I:)

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Last night our family, John, Carol and Stef helped with the H.O.M.E. project.  We have been volunteering for a night for the last few years or so.  We show up early, make lunches, then serve dinner to homeless men, then clean up afterwards.  This month our church is running this project at a neighboring church.
Preston setting up a lunch table.  The homeless men come to the church (about 25 approved men), pack a lunch for the next day, get dinner for the night, have a portable shower, then a place to sleep.
Nana and Lillie setting up the desserts.
Hansen just goofing off.  This night went so smoothly.  The week team leaders are the Hastings, and they just told the kids what needed to be done, and they did it!
Here is our family in the kitchen.  One of the better family pictures we have from this year.  Hansen is not so sure about this picture because he is shrinking down a few inches at the request of the photographer.  Really he is as tall as I am...or taller.
Now throw John, Carol, and Stef into the mix.  It was a late night, but a good night.  We did swing by for some ice-cream on the drive home.  Yum.
This picture of Preston playing the piano is not from the H.O.M.E. project.  But it is recent.  Preston decided to start playing the piano again.  I think the piano is happy to be used, and it still sounds great. Preston is still very good at this piano playing thing.  Right now his favorite song to play is Clocks, by Coldplay.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rubbing Elbows

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Check out who we got to hang out with last night:

That's right, Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr., Eddie Murphy, Brooke Shields, Tiger Woods and many more.  Taking the time to check out the photos posted on the entry way to Benihana's is well worth it.  Of course, they did take our picture too:
This is our group.  Birthday dinner for both Preston and myself.  This dinner had been in the works for a while.  Regardless of timing, we know how to hang out in style.
Stef brought gifts, she has been crafting!
The chef did some fancy tricks with his tools.
Then cooked us an awesome dinner!
I tried my panoramic app.  I need to slow down next time.  But it is a fun pic of the atmosphere.  Which is what Benihana's is all about...and the excellent food.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Awesome Things.

Good evening, it is Monday.

I titled this post, "Awesome things", because I just have a ton of awesome pictures to show you. Ten awesome pictures to be exact.  The first few are of veterans as today is Veterans Day.  Enjoy:
This is my Grandpa Sandler in the year 1945.  This picture was taken in Germany while he was in the Army.
This is a picture of Maren's Grandpa and Grandma.  He was in the Coast Guard.  As a little kid, Maren always had funny names for folks, truisms for sure.  There was Ronnie, and More Ronnie (More Ronnie was Ronnie's twin sister).  Grandma Mike (a grandma nicknamed named after John's youngest brother).  And this grandma was called Other Grandma.
Today Hansen and I visited a friend of mine.  I met Frank when I was the Golf Professional at Highlands Golf Course back in 1996.  Frank is retired Navy.  Hansen brought over his archery stuff to show Frank the modern world of archery.  We set up a target in the back yard and did some shooting.  Frank gave Hansen these four very old recurve bows as he used to be an archer as well. Very cool, Hansen can't wait to try one or two of them out.  It was a nice visit.  Frank's wife, one of the nicest humans you could meet, has been battling health issues of late.  We hope she gets better soon.
Check out this find.  Today we started the day at Value Village's 50% off sale.  This jacket fits me perfectly!  It is a logo jacket/windbreaker for the U.S. Open coming to Chambers Bay in 2015.  It is brand new!  The $75.00 price tag still on it.  And I bought it for just $5.00.  I remember seeing these jackets last time I golfed Chambers Bay with Larry and thinking to myself, "I really like these jackets, but I just can't spend $75.00 for one."  Wow!  We all found great things for great prices.
Peaches!  John and Carol brought us back a case of canned peaches from a fruit run to Oregon.  We do love our peaches.  And our goofing off.  While eating these peaches, we listened to a song called Peaches by a band called Presidents Of The United States Of America.  Actually the lead singer is now singing children's songs and Maren used to work with one of the band member's moms!
Check out Preston's new soccer cleats.  He broke them in during his game on Sunday.  He had a super game!  Two goals and two assist, not to mention key roles in other great plays as well.
Leaves and helicopters.  I raked and raked and raked and totally filled up the yard debris container with fallen leaves.  I may not be a kid anymore, but I still think these helicopter seeds are the coolest things ever.  I'm drying a few out right now so I can throw them off the back deck.  Run and pick them up.  And throw them off the deck again!
This is our thermostat.  It is set to warm the house in the morning and in the evening while letting the temp drop during the night and the day.  I installed it a few years ago.  When we are home we can hit the "home today" button and it will just go to the highest temp for the whole day.  The other day we got home from an errand and I said to Maren, "should I hit the Home Today button?"  And walked over and hit the button.  Lillie was amazed.  While she has heard us say this for years, she never really thought there was an actual button.  She said, "What?  There is actually a Home Today Button?  I always just thought that was a metaphor!"  A metaphor...I love that kid.
How do you like Maren's new Seattle Sounders sticker?  Yeah, cool.  The Sounders season is over, but they are still our second favorite team.  Second only to Preston's soccer team.
How about a pic of me doing chores.  U of W Hoodie on and earbuds in.  Annoying everyone who tries to talk to me because maybe the music is too loud:)  What?  Huh?  Never mind?  O.K.

See you tomorrow.