Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Thanksgiving Weekend.

Good morning, it is Saturday.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We did, we had a very nice Thanksgiving. It started at John and Carol's house, traveled through Seattle, and is now at our house with the Christmas tree in the window looking at the white world as we are covered in snow. Pics:
During last minute food preparations, a crowd gathered. This is our non-selfie selfie.
The minute before the previous photo was just Jack and I carving the turkey. Jack absolutely loves all those slimy bits that are not destined to be on the Thanksgiving platter. Of course, this picture is completely misleading. This is all I did. All this wonderful food did not appear here on its own, thanks to everyone who brought and prepared this great meal!
John and Melanie mashing the potatoes.
I'm just as confused as you are, Rachel. Don't is a cousins thing.
Hansen getting to check out an actual nice camera.
After dinner and halfway through the Seahawks game, we headed downtown for an overnight in Seattle. Checking out the amazing gingerbread houses at the Sheraton's Gingerbread Lane.
 Woah! That is one amazing candy star. And the kids sure are tall too!
Hah! Here's a cute bunch of cookies.
Parade time! Our room didn't look over the parade exactly, but while standing in the rain we noticed that the exercise room of the hotel we were staying in did. So we went in and enjoyed the parade from a dry vantage point.
The rain didn't slow down all the bands. This is the Seattle Sounders band.
It was great to have Jack, Avery, Mel, John, and Carol venture downtown in the rain to hang out with us. Yup, they got to get out of the rain for a few minutes too.
Santa, I see him!
Lunch at The Cheesecake Factory! May be the fanciest lunch we have all year. The kids all decided on a flavor of cheesecake to share after lunch. Hansen may have ended up wearing just a bit of this Lemon Meringue Pie. We even saw some friends while hanging out downtown, which is always fun.
 Yesterday evening I took Preston out to Value Village for a few. He ran into some U of W friends there but didn't find any treasures to buy. I always enjoy looking at the books if I have time. Shakespeare's insults are always fun (but the kids would rather use a phone app than actually read such a book) and I like looking at old books and reading any inscriptions. The top book was an old Mark Twain book.
This morning we woke up to the snow falling! Probably a couple of inches have come down.
Who would write this on my van? Oh yeah, Me! Tonight is the Apple Cup. Go Huskies!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Good evening, it is Wednesday evening.

In just a few minutes we will watch the two hour SNL Thanksgiving Special. Sure, I've seen it every single year, but really, has better TV ever been produced? Nope. So how do you follow such a statement you ask? With a school picture:
My school picture. Yes, we have to take pictures every single year for the yearbooks. The pictures Amber posts of her kiddo's school pictures are sure cuter. But hey, this is as good as it back off.
How cool is this cat? Yes, Preston has joined a zero hour jazz band at his school. He will probably be playing the keyboard a lot in this band, but the sax is a good look for sure.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'll take a book.

Good evening, it is Tuesday.

I just got home after a few hours at the boy's school as it was conference night. The teachers all hang out in the gym and you visit who you want to. I was able to say "hi" to each of their teachers. I am thankful that out kiddos do so well in school. In fact Preston is hanging out filling out college applications as I type.
It is thankful leaves time again. I hope the author of this leaf doesn't mind me sharing.
With the Apple Cup (the football game where University of Washington plays Washington State University) Saturday, Lillie's school did a school spirit day to dress as your team. Go Huskies! Go Lillie!
A true Husky fan! Right down to the shoelaces. Lillie said something about dressing as a WSU Cougar next year, but all I heard was, "blah blah blah blah...Go Huskies!"
This is a picture of our app of the day. QuizUp. Short 10 question quizzes you can play against friends, family, or anyone. You can choose almost any topic and subtopic. This picture is of Preston and Lillie playing "online slang". Yeah, GMAB! 

See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Got any Marshmallows?

Good morning, it is Monday.

Hooray for having a computer again! Yes, after last post the computer just wouldn't even turn on. Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, I brought it into a local computer repair store. They were able to "clone" my hard drive onto a new hard drive so I was very lucky. No data lost and a working computer. And for much less than I would have paid for a new computer. Lillie for one has been doing the happy dance. She been suffering without a computer in the house. But even without a computer, the days do somehow roll on.
Lillie's Girl Scout troop made marshmallow shooters at their last meeting. These are pretty fun for sure, the only trouble is that somehow the marshmallows all just disappear! Hmm.

Now to start working on that Christmas letter...

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Doughnut or Donut?

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

It has been awhile since my last post. I've not forgotten, instead I've been fighting with my computer. This is what has been going on:
Luckily Hansen helped me get the computer actually working again, but it may be time for a new one. Groan.
But on the bright side, I found my new favorite doughnut! A peanut butter an jelly filled doughnut. It just appeared in the staff room in a generic brown box flanked by a bunch of regular doughnuts. After 30 years the apple fritter may be pushed back to second place:)
Last night was the banquet for Hansen's cross country team. This is such a nice group of kids, they all support each other and enjoy the sport. Of course running is an individual sport so the team there to support, win or loose. This picture is of the freshman class of runners. The team will loose a large number of seniors, many Preston's friends. Preston enjoyed the banquet and hung out with his friends too. There were a few great pictures of Hansen in the slide show as with the whole team.
HOME team was run by the high schoolers the other day. Preston always gets a couple of nights of helping a year with our family night and with the youth groups. These panoramas are very cool.
Action shots are cool too. Preston is being Neo fast, as in the Matrix. I really don't know if Preston was fast enough to save whatever it is he is saving. Probably. I'm sure.
Hansen checking out a frozen part of the lake at the archery club. Yes, it has been cold!
I even let Hansen drive around the lot on the way out. You always have to drive the lot on the way out to see if you're the last one there. If so you have to lock both gates. He has the 10 and 2 thing down. Hansen will be a fine driver for sure.
I got back in the racquetball court the other day. I played with Jim and his son Nick. The Kent Commons courts seem unchanged since I was in school racquetballing with my dad and his friends. Luckily I still have some skills and showed these two a little something about how to win at racquetball.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rip Roaring Wind.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Today is a day off from school and work at our house. Thank you crazy wind storm! Reports were that the wind was going to be bad, but I don't think anyone thought that all the local school districts would be closed do to widespread power outages and trees down. I have not ventured out, but I hear that the city of Covington is without power (except for pockets like our neighborhood) and a tree may be down on the clubhouse. And of course, last night lows were in the mid 20s.
Here is a picture of our Seattle Sounders flag all ripped to shreds. For some reason I didn't think to take it down. Now I will be asking Santa for a new Sounders flag! While I left this out, it wasn't like we were not prepared:
Yesterday Lillie and I ventured down under the house for our yearly check. We put back some insulation that had fallen down and made sure everything was looking good. I may do a little more insulating in future, but I'd say we are good for temperatures down in the high teens and low twentys. Lillie was a good helper. She carried the flashlight and the tools. And her smartphone. While I was fixing some insulation under the living room she was playing fashion games...

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Happy Veterans Day! Thanks for your service veterans. Here are a few pictures of veterans in our family:
Robert Sandler (my grandpa)
John Ostergard (Maren's dad)
William Fryer (Maren's grandpa)
Chuck Wadey (Amber's husband)
Eric Slane (my brother)

Last night our family served at H.O.M.E. through our church. This is our fifth year. In years past we have helped serve the food. This year the food was cooked by Carol! Stef made the dessert! It really is amazing, the gentleman who said the prayer was one of the homeless men there, he prayed for the people who have less than him. Believe it or not I didn't take a single picture. But here is the post from the first time we helped several years ago:

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night our family volunteered at the H.O.M.E. Project through our church, but at a different church. This is a program that is designed to feed and help homeless men. Our job was to serve dinner, prepare lunch for the next day, then clean up. I was about an hour gig. We had talked about it last year, but never actually did it...this year we signed up. Preston was a bit bummed at first because it meant skipping soccer, but once we got working and helping, we were all glad to be there. Hansen, Lillie and Maren stuffed cookies and deserts while Preston and I made sandwiches. Afterwards we were the buffet line serving a great dinner. I cut and served turkey, Lillie and Maren served mashed potatoes and stuffing, Hansen served desserts, and Preston was the drink guy. There were probably 25 guys being served. We left feeling like we had done some good in the world, and while we don't always feel like we have very much, we actually have tons to be thankful for. Here are a couple of pics:

I didn't take but a couple of pictures as we were working the whole time and I had slimy gloves on the whole time as I was cutting and serving turkey.
This is Hansen working away!

Preston will be volunteering with his youth group on Friday...he will not only be the expert, he will be cooking brownies!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Who's the Turkey?

Good morning, it is Monday.

Today the kids and I have the day off from school. Tomorrow too. It is a long Veterans Day weekend. Thank you veterans!
 Lillie had a part in her school's Veterans Day Assembly. Here she is reciting part of a poem. She and her Girl Scout troop also got to walk in with the flag. John was in attendance along with lots of other veterans. The boy's school also had a Veterans Day assembly that Preston and the band got to play in.

Now that Halloween is over, we are full steam onto Christmas. There are Christmas movies on TV around the clock and the Christmas commercials are full tilt. But what about Thanksgiving? Well, Lillie did find this quiz online:
Which Thanksgiving food are you? Maybe this will be the theme for my Christmas letter? Doubt it, but quiz was fun. Sort of. You see, Lillie saw it on the news as she was procrastinating on bedtime Thursday evening. I wouldn't let her take it that night, so Friday morning she dashed down for quiz time. And the rest is all down hill. Lillie is Brussel Sprouts! Then I took the quiz, I'm Mashed Potatoes! Later on we learned that Hansen was also brussel sprouts and Maren and Preston are also mashed potatoes. How does one become the turkey? Now if I had a choice, I'd be the pumpkin pie.
Connor throwing his golfing disc.
Lillie letting her disc fly. You can see it just feet in front of her as it curves right and back to earth.
Preston with a mighty throw. These three pics are from frolfing with Preston, Connor, and Lillie. Yes, Connor and Preston let Lillie and I tag along. It will never happen again I'm sure. As in never. I did buy these kids slurpees afterwards, so maybe it wasn't the worst ever. Yes it was. Well, we ended the round early because we lost too many discs and we were all just done. I lost two in two consecutive throws! And that was after one of my discs came into contact with Connor's face giving him a bloody lip. Groan. Lillie and I will have to go back to basket weaving...or Christmas movie watching.
Can you see the chameleon in this picture? I took Lillie to the pet store while the boys shopped at Ross. The guy at the pet store took one of these little guys out of the cage for Lillie to see. They are about as long as your little finger. And their eyes are so cool! The pet store is like another zoo. Ask Lillie about the ferret who bit a lady in the face...

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

A vote for candy!

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Now that I've got most of the candy out of my system, it is time to blog again.  Actually we don't have nearly as much candy floating around the house this year as in years past.  For a couple of reasons.  Mainly Preston and Hansen.  They did not go trick or treating.  Well, Preston took Lillie trick or treating, but didn't fill a bag of candy himself.  And Hansen was out at a party with friends.  There is actually one more reason we don't have too much candy...I gave a ton of it away to the kids trick or treating at our house.  We really didn't have too many kids visit (maybe 50 or so) but I was giving out handfuls.  My favorite line of the night was shrieked by a young Elsa or similar, "MOM, HE GAVE ME A WHOLE HANDFUL OF CANDY!!!!"  Of course the next line was Maren saying, "Maybe I should be giving out the candy?  You're going to run out!"  But we didn't, so it's all good.
 Maren and I getting ready to hand out candy!  Next year we really should just have Hansen take our picture, but hey, this selfie thing is too much fun.
Yeah, I pretty much had to refill this dish of candy after every group.
Armed with glow sticks and glow wristbands.  Like they needed them, NOT.  Preston's Naruto headband would have scared off all the ghosts and ghouls for sure.
How's this for scary? I had two flat tires in as many days last week.  I did get to know the inside of Les Schwab's tire store.  But since these tires were purchased there, the flat repairs were free.  Yay.  I do kind of like this cute little red spare tire.
Lillie entertaining a neighbor cat with her shoelaces on the walk home from school the other day. And maybe a good answer for question I asked half a block earlier, "Do you want to stop and tie your shoe?" There were a couple other cats interested in this activity, but they stayed out of camera shot.
Scary good.  These potato chips were in the staff room the other day.  I'd buy some, but the bag would only last one sitting.  This is the type of thing you see around here that never existed before Trader Joes.
Today is also the last day to vote.  We have an all mail in voting system in our area, but many of you probably have to go to the polls still?  Preston got to vote for the first time this election! The first time I ever got to vote was way back when Ronald Reagan was first running for president.  My political views have changed since then for sure.  We tried to help Preston with the issues (well Maren did, I wasn't doing such a good job and had to send in back up) and he voted however he chose to.  I truly think that this next generation of voters will be good for the world.

See you tomorrow.