Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas.

Good morning, it is Friday (I knew it was the 26th, but the day of the week...I had to look it up!).

We had a very nice Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I hope you did too! We spent Christmas Eve at John and Carol's house with the usual gang. If moving plans go as planned, this may have been the last Christmas in old Burien house (John and Carol have lived there for 45+ years). After dinner and presents, Courtney asked us to go around the room and each person tell a memory of the old Burien house. We told lots of great memories ranging from breakfast for dinner to crazy hair. And there are many more that were not told. But in the end, I don't think we were talking about a house at all, but rather a family.
Here is a pano of the gang at dinner time. A few people kind of got panoed, but it's a fun picture non the less.
 All aboard the Polar Express. John has his train track set up upstairs. We even had the whistle going and steam billowing out of the engine.
Avery counting the presents! Hurry up and eat folks, the clock's a ticking!
 Lillie and Avery hanging out.
Preston and Jack getting ready for dinner.
Hansen and Jack with their electronics. After dinner and presents and stories and goofing off it was time for everyone to head out in different directions. Our five as well as John and Carol attended the 7:30pm candlelight church service at our church. Hansen and Lillie were the acolytes. Yes, they had plenty of candles to light! After a beautiful church service it was home to wait for Santa.

Who woke up first this year? Me. Followed by Maren. Then at 10:00 Lillie woke up her brothers and they all came down to see what Santa brought! Santa did alright this year! We had a relaxed Christmas day at home. Hansen hung out on his xbox trying to update stuff along with the rest of the world (something about hackers and xboxlive) Lillie hung out painting nails and styling doll hair. Preston and I went out for a quick disc golf adventure. I also got to talk to my parents and sister on the phone.
Check out Lillie's fingernail art! Amazing.
We were not the only ones out for a quick round of disc golf. This may be a posed picture. Preston is actually just a blur when actually throwing his tee shot.
Does Maren know how to kick back or what? A book, some wine, and a fire. Merry Christmas!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Good morning, it is Sunday.

We are only a day and a half into vacation and routines are starting to change. Rather than doing homework, the kids that are here (for the past couple of days Preston has been staying at and volunteering at with his high school youth group friends. He will be home today) are getting artsy.  Hansen with his archery, and Lillie with pencil and paper. Yes, bow setups can be artsy. Hansen and I have been doing some trading of equipment and I think the setting up an accurate bow takes lots of creativity. Weight distributions, nock heights and servings, colors, and more. Maren and Lillie are tired of hearing it! Lol. So let me show you some of Lillie's amazing doodles:

Art runs in Lillie's veins. I have such a hard time with eyes and facial features. Way to go Lillie.
How about some snow flakes! Yes, we did just watch the movie Elf.
Here is a picture of Jonathan and Preston after their last band concert. Jonathan's dad took this after the concert. These two are amazing artists as well.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Good evening, it is Thursday.

With winter break just around the corner, the schools have been busy cramming in as much as they can. I've been crazy busy at school getting in last minute assessments. The boys have been studying for end of semester tests. And both Lillie and Preston has their winter band concerts today.
Lillie is second from the left in this picture. She played great! Thanks to an end of school day band concert time, not only was I able to attend, but Preston and Hansen showed up too! They drove straight from school to support their little sister. It had to be fun for the boys to see their elementary school in this way, not to mention to hear just how simple and fun a first year band performance can be.
This is the first panoramic photo I've ever taken with my new phone. It turned out great! This was the second packed concert in a row. The 5th grade band/orchestra went first, then the 6th grade band/orchestra played.

Once home from the concert, it was a mad dash to make Rosettes. Lillie and I got everything going. We had a good start with the Rosettes when John and Carol showed up to help. Carol showed us some good tricks for moving the batter to the oil without having it fall off the hot iron. These cookies are stubborn for sure.
Here Lillie is moving the super hot iron to the batter, then back to the hot oil. I made a few Rosettes to show her, then made plenty of hoopla about how dangerous hot oil really is...then set her off on her own. She did a great job!
Rosettes! There was no way that Lillie and I were going to make 60 Rosettes (how many Lillie is asked to bring to school) so Carol came to rescue by bringing over her Spritz Cookie Press. Lillie and Nana made bunch of spritz cookies to fill out the bunch.
Spritz cookies in Christmas Tree form. Yum! Before these cookies were even done cooking Preston was off to his school wearing a Tuxedo for his band concert.
The senior band at KL is amazing! To listen to Lillie's first year band then go see this band on the same day was quite an experience. These kids grow so much as musicians. Even Lillie was blown away just to think that some day she will be so accomplished. Preston even had his own cheering section. After tomorrow, two week of vacation!

See you tomorrow.

       e Rosettes

I Know Him!

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night we made our yearly trek to see The Number One Elf. The Main Man. Santa Claus! As usual the line at Kent Station is very long to see this very popular Santa. Maren decided that she would like to stand in line while I took the kids out to dinner at Johnny Rockets. We had a great dinner, and when we were finished, Maren was the next one up in line! Maren said that the ladies in line around here were also saving spots for their families who were not present. Thanks Mar!
I snapped this picture of the kids talking and laughing with Santa after our family picture was taken. Santa asked each of the kids about school and had a real conversation with them. Very nice. And a nice change for Santa too. The little girl in front of us was so hysterical that we could hear her screaming from outside Santa's workshop! Been there, done that...

See you Tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was the first night of Chanukah. Happy Chanukah to all my Jewish family and friends. I still have the menora that my Grandpa Sandler and Bernice (Zaidy and Bobbie) sent up several years ago as well as his typed blessings to read.
I'm glad we are able to celebrate our Jewish roots even as we raise our children in the Christian faith. There certainly was a time this may have been harder than it is now. C.S. Lewis has plenty of quotes. One that I like is this,"The gap between those who worship different Gods is not so wide as the gap between those worship and those who don't."
From Maren's Norwegian and Swedish heritage comes a Christmas cookie called Rosettes. The picture is of a Rosettes iron that Carol gave Maren. Lillie and I will be making Rosettes on Thursday for a project Lillie has at school. Lillie has written the recipe, a report, an will be bringing in some that we actually cook. After reading all about them, and how to cook them, I'm still at the stage of hoping we actually have the talent to make some worthy of bringing into school! I'm sure we will have pictures to come.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Christmas Pageant.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday our church held it's Youth Christmas Pageant. Lots of hard work and plenty of talented kids. Our kids included. It was absolutely one of the best Pageants I've seen.
The pageant started with the high school band. They were great. Yup, that's Preston playing his clarinet on the left.
Cute songs with little kids. Plenty of parents wanting to get pictures. Just cute overload. When Lillie was younger she was Mary and got to carry the baby Jesus. Preston was once a reluctant Shepherd, too scared to even be on the stage. Hansen was a Shepherd as well. That doesn't seem that long ago,..  too cute.
Lillie did a great job as a reader. She has a wonderful reader's voice and is always smooth as can be.
Preston and his friend Nick gave the sermon. As in, they wrote the sermon and delivered the sermon. Amazing really. The message was super and they did a great job speaking in front of a packed audience. Afterward plenty of folks came up to me to say what a great job he did. Nice.
Hansen didn't really want to speak in front of the whole church, so he volunteered to be a communion assistant. Hansen did a great job as well. Instead of speaking to the whole church at one time, he got to speak to each individual member as they came through the communion line.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Good evening, it is Saturday.

This was my second weekend in a row running in a road race. Only today was a very full field. Like well over a thousand runners. I was number 1104 in the 5K. And the 10K looked full too. I was very happy with my run. Like the tortoise. My time today for 5K was just a few minutes faster than my best 10K times as a kid. Yes, the next pics will be from the race, but if you make it to the end of today's blog, you may see something different.
Getting ready for the race. This Christmas tree guy was awesome. I'm the Santa guy on the left.
After the race with Jim and Nick. Last week I predicted that Nick would beat his dad today and forever more. Nope. I am no Nostradamus. Jim had another great race and finished 27th overall. I finished 427th overall. Yeah, he beat me by 400 people and just over 10 minutes.
Yup, the Christmas tree did finish the race.
These are a couple of my co-workers that also ran. Actually Delinda walked the 5K and Joy ran the 10K. I also ran into tons of other friends at the race. 
Hey John, I ran into Mr. Lawrence. He says "Hi!" He beat me in today's race. I snuck this selfie while we were cheering on other finishers.
 Here you go. A photo that's not from the race. Right as I was getting home from the race, Maren and Lillie were heading out to Girls Day in South Seattle. Maren sent me this picture of the whole group. Pretty big crowd if I do say so myself. 

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Good evening, it is Wednesday.

There's a new doughnut store in town. Legendary Doughnuts. They say the doughnuts there are amazing. I say they're expensive. Hansen and a friend of his from photography class were just roaming around Covington finishing their film rolls, but rather than ending up at the Library (as planned) for a ride home, they somehow ended up at Legendary Doughnuts. Hmm...
So I treated everyone to a doughnut. I may not ever go there again, but it was a fun excursion.
After having a doughnut for dinner, I headed to the school to watch Preston guest with the orchestra. This was the orchestra's winter concert and they asked Preston and a couple of other band members to guest with them for one song. They played an amazing rendition of Silent Night. I must say it takes a lot of talent to play a clarinet as smoothly as a stringed instrument. Very fun.
This evening while Maren was working late, Lillie and I decorated a gingerbread house. The boys were not too interested in helping us decorate, but I'm sure they will be around when it comes time to eat it:)
Lillie and I are not too much for coloring in the lines. And we kind of like our initials. Go figure.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 07, 2014


Good evening, it is Sunday.

This weekend I stepped off the treadmill and ran in an actual road race. The Covington Days 4K Reindeer Dash. Yes, 4 kilometers felt like a long ways...don't judge me:) And I am soooo sore. My calves are just fine, but my hamstrings and quads are just dead.
 This is the cute t-shirt I got for completing the race. I'm not one to buy a shirt from the races I run, but this one was free!
How do you like the antlers? The guys on the right side of this pic are Nick (one of Hansen's friends) and his dad Jim (on of my friends). They ran the race too. Jim ran a great race...he kind of pulled a fast one on his kid. He said he would run with the leaders for just a bit, then drop back and take it easy. Welp, he never slowed down and by the time Nick figured this out, he couldn't catch him. My guess is this is the last time Nick ever lets his dad beat him in a run.
In the goody bag from the race I received these strange 3-D glasses. I looked through them and couldn't figure anything out with them. So I just put them back in the bag. Maren was looking through the cache and figured them out! Here Avery is checking them out while she visited for a few minutes today. Avery was here as Hansen and Lillie spent the night at John and Carol's house along with Jack and Avery. Fun times were had!
Look at our tree! This photo was taken through the lens of the 3-D glasses. They make each little light look like a perfect little Santa Claus! How freaking cool is that? Very cool!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


Good evening, it is Tuesday.

Every few days for the last few weeks Preston has been contemplating having me cut his hair. Yeah, I know, right! Actually the last time he got his hair cut one side was a bit longer than the other, so I fixed it for him. I think I gained his trust at that time. Tonight was the night, Preston actually wanted me to give him a haircut.

Of course, I've been cutting my own hair since I was Preston's age. In fact the clippers I still use today are a set I purchased from Payless Drugs when I worked there as an 18 year old. Enough rambling, pics:
Before, looking long for sure. But cool no doubt.
Oh my. What is all this?!?
All cleaned up and looking good. Who is this guy? I'm sure with a little brushing and possibly a little gel it will look even more styled. But I'd say we did a pretty darn good job. And saved a little money too!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, December 01, 2014

A Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Yesterday our family met up the the extendeds for some Christmas theater. A trip to the 5th Ave to see A Christmas Story. We saw the same performance four years ago, but it has changed some as it has toured the country. I really loved this show. They added a bit of sentimentality to the standard story and the cast was just amazing.
 It's Maren! The line was crazy long.
The kid side of things. Jack did actually have a seat with his ticket purchase, but he didn't sit in it once. He used Preston's lap for the first half and Hansen's lap for the second half of the show.
The tree is up! Of course half the lights didn't light up. Hansen to the rescue uh oh! Hansen twisted and replaced bulbs and voila...the lights work.
Go Huskies ornament! Yes, the Huskies won the Apple Cup over the weekend.
Decorating the tree. While watching the last Seattle Sounder's game of the season. Maren is a Seattle Sounder at heart. She always wears her t-shirt on game day. 

Welp, back to school and work today. Actually today is a bit different. Preston started a zero hour class this morning. Jazz Band! Hansen and friends (who enjoyed getting rides to school) get to ride the bus for the first time of the year today. Hoping it treats them well.

See you tomorrow.