Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jousting.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

VBS is going great.  I'm in charge of a group of about 15 kids ranging in age from Preschool to 5th grade.  I'm also in charge of a few excellent teenagers (including Hansen) who are doing a great job helping.  Lillie is in my group and she is doing a great job going between helper and participant.
In the recreation room, we ran into Preston who is also a volunteer.  In this photo he is guiding a blindfolded Lillie with noodle jousting.  Hansen is in the background looking on.

Lillie is doing a great job pet sitting for Coco Chanel.  She has found that Coco prefers to hang out in the area behind her cage.  Of course, this takes concentration on Lillie's part as Coco can't just totally run free in our yard.
Coco just relaxing under the tree house, but not in her cage or the petting zoo.

How about the news of the last couple of days?  Voting rights voted down.  DOMA voted down.  Texas Senate filibuster.  Social media is an amazing thing...even if I occasionally get frustrated with people glued to their news feeds;)

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Petting Zoo?

Good morning, it is Monday.

This weekend could be called soccer, the bunny, and the missing sight.  As in Preston played in his first tournament with his new team.  Coco Chanel has been getting settled.  And the sight for Hansen's new bow has yet to arrive.
I have traveled up to 60 acres playfeilds in Redmond yesterday and the day before for Preston's games.  Maren and Lillie came along on Saturday and the timing was perfect so we dropped Preston off at the field then got to visit with Maren's long time friend Shauna for a half an hour.  Then back to the game.  The beautiful weather of Saturday is gone.  Preston is up to the fields for a game this morning with a teammate in the pouring rain.  This tournament has found the team in a little over their heads playing a year up in a strong division.  I think the kids are still having fun.
This is Coco's petting zoo picture.  Everyone is happy to hang with Coco.
But walking a bunny?  Whateves.  Hansen has been having fun with Coco too.  As soon as the sight comes for his new bow, we will be spending some time at the archery range getting it all tuned and stuff.
The first night Coco spent the night indoors.  But we have found a much better place for her outside.  Under the tree-house she is nice and dry in her bigger cage.  This morning she is still perfectly dry and happy as the rest of the world is soaking wet.

Off to VBS.  Hansen and I are leaders of a group, and Lillie will be having fun as a kid in our group.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, June 21, 2013

With Ears So Funny.

Good morning, it is Friday.

It sure doesn't feel like a Friday to me.  My first full day of summer vacation feels a lot like a Tuesday.  I don't know why...I know it's strange, but there you have it.  Maybe it's the rain?  This morning I got up at my usual time and went running.  For the second day in a row.  In my quirky Slane way, I've avoided running because golf and running don't mesh well for my left knee.  With Hansen's new love of archery (wait till you see the lasts picture of today's post) I can see my golf time going down and my archery time going up.  Which is fine, I'm enjoying my archery time with Hansen.  But running and archery are about to take a huge back seat in today's blog because:
Yesterday after Maren got home from work, we took Lillie up to Maren's friend Teresa's house to pick up her summer (or beyond) buddy.  Meet Coco Chanel.  This is a sassy one year old bunny.  OK, I made the sassy part up, she is kind of a chunky mellow bunny if you ask me.
Lillie is enjoying Coco a lot.  Maybe too much.  Nah, just the right amount.
Hansen is even surprising fond of Coco.  Last night we purchased a new leash and harness.  Hansen and Lillie are already arguing about who gets to walk the bunny.  I guess walking a bunny is very exotic.  Who knew?  Here I've been thinking walking a bunny would just be weird.
Teresa lent us two cages.  An indoor cage and an outdoor cage.  Coco has been an outdoor bunny her whole life, but last night she was an indoor bunny.  The cats don't mind her and she fits nicely under the art table, so who knows, she may be an outdoor bunny again soon, or maybe an under the art table bunny.
The last picture.  The one I warned you about earlier.  Hansen's new bow.  It arrived in the mail yesterday.  Purchased off ebay, this bow is several years old, but in excellent condition.  While Hansen is a big kid, this bow was set up for someone even bigger, so we have some adjusting and setting up to do before Hansen uses it.  The seller said this bow was replaced by a newer bow at his house, it will certainly get a second life here at ours.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Hair!

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Yesterday was the last day of school for the '12-'13 school year!  School was fun, it was all field day and celebrations.  Signing yearbooks and cleaning out desks.  Hardly a day of school, more a closing of another year.
The school I work at celebrates reading on the last day.  The student in each grade who read the most minutes gets to silly string a teacher on the last day of school.  I volunteered for this honor!  Here the 3rd grade reading champ tries her best to give me a new head of ch-ch-ch-chia hair.  You can't see the whole student body to the left of the picture cheering her on.
Connor and Preston held their traditional year end bonfire.  Yes, this is probably the 4th year they have been doing this.  I remember the first year I wasn't too trilled, but now I'm thinking it is pretty darn cool.  All their hard work for the year...up in smoke!

I do have to work today for a bit...then tonight.  Drum roll...  ...  ...We are picking up a new pet for  Lillie to cherish over the summer.  You will have to tune it tomorrow to see the pics.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Fine Father's Day.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday we had a fine Father's Day.  The weather was fine and so was the company.  I received very nice cards from each of the kids, a dinner GC, and some cash too.  Of course, my golf round at Chambers Bay last week was my big gift.  I always enjoy getting to say hi to my dad on the phone as well.  For most of the day we hung out at the pool for a little BBQ fun.  I did my usual scare Jack half to death trick.  This time by jumping in the pool, snagging him from his grandma, and tossing him like a lightweight sack of potatoes over my head with a splash.  Ugh.  I have to remember that while he is quite rascally, he is kind of a sensitive little bean.  Avery seems to be my bigger fan these days...I call her Strawberry.  Lillie is getting too big for sack of potatoes games, and Hansen...yeah, no way.
We snagged our usual spot at the pool, way in the back where the weather is a bit cooler.  Preston and I left for a bit to go to Christian's graduation party.  I let Preston stay and when I got back...yup, Jack was just waiting to say "bye" to Preston.  Jack didn't seemed too bummed out as we texted Preston instead.
Hansen invited Gabi to join us.  This group spent plenty of time giggling about who knows what.
John with is new bicycle.  This Town and Country Cruiser will make bike rides a breeze.  Maybe not a breeze, but not a pain in the bum either.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dads and Grads.

Good morning, it is Sunday.

Happy Father's Day!  I think the Maren and the kids were planning some kind of something, but I'm up first!  Actually, right now is pretty good.  Everyone is still sleeping and I can be right about anything I want, and choose whatever.  Guess I'll blog.

Yesterday I walked over to a car show being put on at the Church down the street.  Lots of cool cars for sure.  On this beautiful day I couldn't get a single member of my family to come with me to this show.  Video games, computers, and e-readers were the bigger draw.  Tsk.
This is one of the several rows of cars.  I think the entrants just parked wherever they wanted.  On the right of this picture you can see a very cool old Porche and next to it a MGB.  Not to mention the big huge looking cars on the left.
Every couple of years the Kiwanis action off a cool car.  I purchased a $10.00 ticket.  Maybe come  the end of October I will be driving this cool Mustang.
Yes this is a cool Camaro, but if you look closely you can see a guy just sleeping away in his lawn chair under the shade of his old car.  Funny.  These shows have cars for all ages.  I'm sure folks a generation older [than I] would be taking pictures of the cars behind this one wondering why this was  even in the show.  Preston's age kids would probably be wondering where the electric and hybrid cars are in this show.

Last night was graduation night for all four Kent high schools.  Preston played in the band for his school.  I was able to get a ticket from our neighbor so after driving Preston and a couple of his friends, I stayed and enjoyed the graduation ceremonies.
The band played as folks entered, and when the graduates walked in.  This is impossible to really see, but it is Preston playing his clarinet on the big screen.
After all the speeches, awards, and names were read...the class of 2013 was graduated.  I tried to take a picture of all the hats and confetti being thrown.
The graduates walked out through a flanking of their teachers as well as the band playing.

Today we plan on hanging out at the pool with the Ostergards.  Yesterday [before the auto show] I searched Craigslist, then drove out to Des Moines to pick up John's father's day gift from Carol and our gang.  Pictures still to come.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

In the Spotlight.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night I got to see Lillie in Unlucky Cinderella.  The big twist in this production is that Cinderella has big feet!  This was a delightfully humorous rendition of a classic Disney Production (does that sound like a true critic or what?)  Lillie was an evil stepsister, and she played her part with flair and precision.  Wow Lillie!
In this scene Lillie is telling poor Cinderella to go do her chores!  And falling down and being clumsy in the process.
Pictures afterwards.  Lillie is still in the spotlight on the right.  This is a stage full fun.  These kids had a wonderful time with this production.  Today they perform it for their school.

0 days until the carnival!  This is the sign up at Lillie's school as the countdown is upon us.  Tonight I will be volunteering as Lillie and friends are having a grand time.  Hansen will be there too with many of his old friends.  The GL carnival is always fun.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Band, Drama, and Banquets, Oh My!

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night was a night that we have been trying to figure out for some time.  Why?  Well, Lillie had her first night of her drama production of Unlucky Cinderella.  Hansen has his season ending track banquet.  Preston had his year end Spring Band Concert.  And I had a Church Council meeting.  I'd say we made it in style, especially the kids!
I took Hansen to his Track Banquet.  He was awarded participation and perfect attendance awards as well as a ribbon for his hurdle relay team's performance in the conference meet.  There was tons of food and friends.  Even an excellent slide show of the athletes.  Glad I was there.
 Maren took Lillie to her performance.  Whenever Maren is off on her own for a performance or such, I always request a picture for the blog.  She always protests saying she is not the best photographer, but she always does a fine job.  This picture may be blurry, but you can sure tell that Lillie and friends had a great time.  Lillie played the bride last night and did a super job by all accounts.  Tonight she plays a stepsister.  I get to go to tonight's performance.  John and Carol will be there as well.
Preston was able to drive himself to his band concert.  John and Carol also went to enjoy the evening.  I showed up after Hansen's track banquet, just in time to see Preston's band (the last to play) getting ready.  Perfect timing!  Yesterday Preston said he had the toughest math test of his life.  Luckily his U of W math class will be graded on a curve, and Preston is pretty good at math.  Today he has a district science test if I'm not mistaken.  And in case you wondered, I skipped the church meeting.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Medals!

Good morning, it is Monday.

This weekend I took Hansen to a grueling archery tournament.  This two day tournament was called a field day and we shot so many arrows.  Saturday we showed up for a 9:00am shotgun start, and didn't leave till after 5:00pm.  Sunday we showed up for a 9:00am shotgun start, and were home by 5:00pm.  Lots of shooting.  Lots of fun!  Hansen said, to quote a comic book collector on The Simpsons, "life well spent!"  This tournament attracted some of the best archers in the country!  And us:)
The first day we were paired up with Hansen's school friend and her dad.  She is the national champion in her age group and shot well enough to break a state record in Saturday's shoot.  Her dad is spotting Hansen's arrow in this picture.  He was awesome as well.  It was great to be paired with them (we owe them a big thanks for letting us shoot with them) and Hansen and I both learned a ton.
 This is Hansen and I shooting together on the second day.  I was in a different class than the rest as I am using a "traditional" bow.  Turns out my horrid shooting wasn't all bad as traditional shooters just don't have the accuracy...yes, it was:)
We had some very interesting stances and such.  Here Hansen has one foot on a stump.
The second day we were repaired.  We shot with these two.  Both amazing archers as well.  Both are just a year or two older than Preston, and yes, we have another national champion on the right.  I can't really express how amazingly accurate the great archers are.  Yes, they have amazing equipment that eclipses the value of my pick up truck.  And yes, Hansen now has a huge amount of equipment envy.  And again yes, less than one day after his first medal he is already posturing to acquire new equipment.  But truth is, these archers would be good with any equipment.  Whoa, almost slipped into lecture mode here:)  Back to yesterday.  Hansen and I never shot from over 50 yards.  Hansen due to his age, me due to my bow class.  Others were shooting from yardages up to 80 yards...and hitting "x's".
This may be my best target, and it was from pretty close range.  Experienced (nationally ranked) archers on the top and bottom right.  Hansen's target on the top left.  And my target on the bottom left.  Most targets I was searching around on the ground for at least one of my arrows.
While there were a few of the best archers in the country at this tournament, the depth of every division wasn't very deep.  Hansen and I both won medals!  I understand Hansen's medal, he shot very well, and improved the second day by quite a large number (we spent an hour tuning his bow sights after the first day).  But me?  There were 4 in my division and I'm guessing the two folks I beat just didn't turn in their scorecards?  I was horrible.  But perseverance pays off and I have no qualms about my score.  It is like golf in that way, you write you score, you turn it in, and it is exactly what it is.  I also won a Pheasant call in a blind raffle!  I will save it for a white elephant gift or something.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Beast Mode

Good morning, it is Friday.

Hansen did very well in his final track meet.  I know he would have liked to do a little better as he started the year so hot, but he should be pleased.  Hansen injured his hip in the second week, and it just never got all the way better.  If I read correctly, Hansen was the 3rd fastest 7th grader in 100m, and the 4th best 7th grader in the long jump...in the whole Kent-Tahoma the league.  Hansen also anchored the shuttle relay race in the finals.  His team got beat handily, But Hansen was a beast on the hurdles.  I called it Beast Mode.  The hurdles he didn't go over, he went through:)
Hansen is in the outside lane (inside from this view) and the rest of the teams are just out of the picture.  The fun part of this meet is how much the other kids support their schools.  A couple of other schools had some amazing athletes for sure.  But Hansen's team was very young, next year just may be a great season for them.

Last night was Lillie's school's Science Fair.  Tons of Science Fair projects!
 All the kids at the bus stop had their projects in tow.
Lillie thought of and did the project all by herself.  Being the third kid, Lillie has seen her share of science projects.  And so have Maren and I.  I firmly believe that as long as you show that you can follow the scientific procedures, it just doesn't matter what you do.  Lillie did get to enjoy some extra soda for this experiment, so yay for her:)

This morning as we were getting ready for school, Lillie came accross her Student Of The Month letter!  Yay for Lillie! Student of the month for the month of May!  Congrats Lillie...enjoy your pizza party with the principal!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Cape Fear

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was a day of days.  I used an EDL day to take the day off of work and meet Larry at Chambers Bay for a round of golf.  We seem to play Chambers Bay once per year whether we need to or not.  Everyone who is an avid golfer needs to.  The US Open will be here in just two years...and I know the course.  How cool is that?  Very cool, in case you wondered.
Larry and I in front of the Rolex clock.  We were scheduled to tee off at 10:30, but the place was empty...so we got to play earlier.  It was awesome (and kind of sad) that on the most beautiful day of the year (so far) that the course was empty.  We practically had the course to ourselves!  Summer rates kicked in this month, so there was some sticker shock.  But for us, it was worth every extra penny to have an empty course.  We took our time when we wanted to, and hurried along when we wanted to.  Perfect.  If I was the manager of this course, I'd be rethinking how to attract golfers, but I'm not.
 These two photos show how Chambers Bay really looks.  Cool names for each hole.  And lots of sand.  I think I was in more bunkers yesterday than in the last year combined!  Not joking.  I made a great sand save on one hole and a marshal actually came up and told me how nice the save was and how he very rarely ever sees a sand save on that hole.  It was a nice shot and putt for sure:)
 This is Larry trudging along hole number 8.  This is a high point with the rest of the course between us and the water.  There are just zero crummy views here.  We played the back 9 first, so this was our 17th hole. At first glance I was a bit disappointed to be playing the course reversed, but half way through the round I realized how much I liked it.  Sure, we didn't finish on the crazy 15-18 holes, but we still played them, and before we were totally wiped out.  And we got to finish on hole 9, one of my favorite par 3 holes I've played.  Let's see, finish on hole 18 (which I hate because it is just too hard to even be considered golf) or on hole 9 (which I love), playing in reverse is super!
 Larry took this picture of me on hole number 15, Lone Fir.  This hole is great.  And it is the sand save hole I mentioned earlier.  I hit my ball right over the flag into the back bunker.  The pin was back and I was really trying for a hole-in-one:)

After a beer with Larry, it was off to Hansen's preliminary track meet.  As in day one of the Conference meet.  All the prelims were yesterday, the finals and the field events are today.  Hansen ran a very good 100 dash, and was the only 7th grader in his heat (the rest 8th graders).  He will not be in the 100 final, finishing 13th in the entire league!  Awesome job!  He will be in the shuttle hurdles, the 4x100 relay, and the long jump today.  Cedar Heights has a great group of seventh graders this year.  It will be fun to watch them be successful at everything they try in the future.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Hello June!

Good morning, it is June!

Last month of school and a little sunshine headed our way.  I love June!

May was also a fun month.  One thing I played around with all of May was a goatee.  Yup, I tried to grow one at the beginning of the month, but it was too itchy, so after a week and a half, I shaved it off.  Halfway through May I tried again, but this time with more TLC.  But after a couple of weeks, too itchy again!  So this morning I shaved it off.  I have a smooth and happy chin for the beginning of June.
This is what my goatee looked like.  Everyone seemed to like it just fine...everyone but me.  Besides, just like when you buy a new car (it's been too long!), you notice similar cars everywhere.  So was it that I noticed that everyone seems to have a goatee these days.  Not one to just follow the fashion of the day, I'm happy it is gone.  The kids probably wont even notice I shaved it off until they read this blog post.

See you tomorrow.