Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Twins!

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

The weather has turned to summer for the next couple of days.  Don't laugh, sometimes summer just last a couple of days around here so anytime we get a nice stretch, we are happy.  Maren picked up a few pairs of shorts for Lillie and the boys have found their shorts too.  It may get to 80 degrees today!  And yesterday I even worked in the yard before going to Preston's soccer game.

Preston's team played very well last night taking a 1-1 tie from a team that beat them easily last time around.  Their one goal was thanks to an amazing assist/cross from Preston.
This week at Preston's school is spirit week.  I don't think Preston really gets too into these things, but yesterday was twin day.  He and his buddy Hosanna are perfect twins!
 This is something that came in the mail.  Ostergard's Motorcycle Service.  The level of sophistication that junk mail has climbed to is amazing.  No, Maren will not be opening a motorcycle shop anytime soon...or am I missing something?

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

And a Win!

Good morning, it is Sunday.

The last couple of days have been a blur around here with different activities, but right this second it is very quiet and peaceful for sure.  Maren is still snoozing, Preston is at an overnight retreat with his high school youth group, Hansen is at a friend's house for a birthday slumber party, and Lillie is camping with her Girl Scout troop.  Quiet house.  Last night Maren and I checked out a new pizzeria in Maple Valley.

Friday evening after dropping Lillie off for her Girl Scouts trip, I drove John and Jack to Preston's soccer game.  Maren, Carol, Hansen, and Avery stayed home to relax.  Preston's soccer team won (2-0) the game in wonderful fashion!  Preston scored the first goal with a free kick from about 20 yards.  Their coach was red carded out of the game for arguing with the referees and such.  Mini fights were breaking out all over the pitch.  And some parents were yelling a bit more than necessary too.  These rival games can be action packed for sure!  Great win Kentlake.
Things were a little bit mellower at home as the kids wound down with a movie.

Yesterday I took Hansen to the Skookum Archers 2014 Spring Safari Tournament.  It was a lot of shooting over very hilly terrain.  A good warm up for nationals next weekend.  We were paired up with a kid in Hansen's age group and kid in the next older age group.  I was the only adult in our group.  Hansen easily won his division, and I took third in my division.
I didn't get many pictures, but I did use my new binoculars a lot.  They were great!  I could easily sight everyone's arrows from any distance.  Very cool.  Shooting is the kid in the next older division from Hansen.  He and Hansen had a good duel.  Hansen would be leading, then he would take the lead, and back and forth.  In the end Hansen beat him by nearly 50 points.
Our score cards.  Hansen may tell you he could have scored higher, and he is right.  He shot very well and his few slips were minor.  Of course he beat me by 107 points and everyone else in his age group by about the same.  I think only the professionals and top amateurs outscored Hansen.  I think the highest score recorded at the tournament was a 911.   His 850 is great, and my 743 was only 10 points away from second place.  To give you an idea of how many shots we took and how the event worked, there were 42 target (two rows of 21 on the scorecard) of varying distances from 10 feet to 101 yards.  Each target has a dot, a second ring, and an animal.  A dot is worth 11 points, the next ring (usually an inch or two bigger) is worth 10 points, and the animal is worth 8 points.  Two arrows at each target and max points per target is 22 points.  If you hit every target perfectly all day long, the maximum points you could earn is 924 points.  For the advanced archers, one slip up of dialing in the wrong distance, a misfire, or even just a brain slip can be the difference in winning or loosing.  There are different divisions for both age and equipment too.  Hansen is in the top equipment category which means nearly anything you can buy to make yourself more accurate is allowed.  The bows in that class usually have movable sights, exchangeable peeps, long stabilizers, and long axle to axle distance...not to mention fancy colors.  I shoot in a different class which only allows a short stabilizer and the sight must be fixed with a maximum 5 pins...usually a smaller camouflaged colored hunting bow.  Just checking out all the different bows and such at these events is fun.
Hansen and his first place trophy!
And an embarrassing selfie I took of the two of us.  Really dad?  Not cool.  Not cool.

See you tomorrow.




Friday, April 25, 2014

Focus!

Good morning, it is Friday.

In less than a week I will be taking Hansen to Redding California for a National Archery Tournament.  His equipment is all ready and so is he.  There were just a few pieces of equipment that we don't own that we really should for this sport.  The inexpensive one is a little tiny chair rather than just a quiver to hold arrows/tools/snack and provide a place to sit.  Mine should arrive today.  The other is a pair of Binoculars.  Since taking up this sport, I've learned a lot about a lot of thing, binoculars being one of them.  While I've thought the equipment is generally expensive, I didn't even look at binoculars for just this reason.  You can hear folks all over the range talking about their $2000.00 binoculars.  That seems a bit steep for my wallet, so I started to do some research.  A pair at 10% of that cost should be fine for what I will use them for, which is sighting targets and spotting where the arrow is on the target from 30 to 100 yards.  Then just as I was about to purchase a decent pair, Maren found a great "lightning deal" at amazon, and I clicked the "buy" button.
Now I have a nice pair of 8X42 binoculars.  These should be just great for what we use them for.  Reading all the reviews, while binoculars are popular for hunting and archery, the biggest usage for this type/style/quality of binocular is bird watching.  Who knew?  I tried it out, and yes, the bird feeder is crystal clear...

While shopping, I couldn't pass up in this case for my phone:
SpongeBob SquarePants!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Good evening, it is Sunday.

Happy Easter!  What a great Sunday.  As I type this we are winding down fast.  Preston and I were up before 6:00am as his Mission group was serving breakfast at 7:30am for the church.  I hung out and enjoyed the 6:30am service.  After breakfast we came home for a quick nap.  Then it was back to church for the 11:00am service as Hansen was an acolyte.  Then to John and Carol's for Easter dinner and a birthday party for Stefanie!
Uncle Grandpa wishes you a Happy Easter...Good Morning!  Yes, this is the kid's favorite new cartoon.  Lillie and Preston's for sure.
How about an Easter Selfie?  This picture turned out great!  Well, almost great.  In real life Carol is just next to Melanie on the right...
Lighting candles for some Happy Birthday singing for Stefanie!
Look who visited our house last night!  The Easter Bunny.  And the Easter Bunny left his signature powder sugar paw tracks leading up to the kid's baskets.  Sorry, no pictures being posted of kids tasting the delicious paw prints...
Maren enjoying her first soda in 40 days!  Yup, Maren gave up all sodas for Lent.  Suffering is a big word, but I can attest that Maren really missed her Diet Pepsi.
Last night it was dying eggs!  That's right.  Glitter and egg dye and you name it.  Fun was had.
And Connor too!  The kids decided that it was so much fun having Connor over to dye eggs last year that he must come to dye eggs again this year.  And he did.  Yay!
One last picture from Saturday.  Yup, we had a bunch of bags of misc stuff to donate to Value Village as well as a 30% off coupon to spend.  We all found some great finds.  No I didn't buy this hat, but for a mere $2.99 (less with coupon) someone will enjoy this snazzy hat.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Art Walk!

Good morning, it is Friday.

Last night was the Art Walk at Lillie's school.  But nobody in our family (besides myself) wanted to go.  Lillie didn't even want to go because none of her friends were going.  So I went by myself, independently.
Of course this was a fundraiser as well as a display of art.  These two pieces of art by Lillie were for sale.  This [selling of my child's art] used to really bother me back when Preston was this age, but now I'm OK with the idea.  I gladly purchased these pieces, unaccompanied.
The back of each piece had Lillie's name on them and such.  But no, I didn't buy any other child's artwork.  Lillie was happy to have these art pieces once I got home, from my solo adventure.  OK, enough jokes about going by myself, there is a great scene in the Muppet Movie where Amy Adams is at a diner singing about her "Me Party" where she uses a lots of different words for going out on her own.  Really, I was glad I went, without supervision.
The class had a nice canvas with each of the student's hand prints and their names.  This was part of the silent auction.  I did bid on this...a few times.  But as the evening went on, I saw that one of Lillie's friend's mom was also bidding and I knew I wasn't winning.  I joked with her a little about the bidding war, but really it is great how much the school raised.  She also owns the watering can I helped Lillie's class make back when the girls were first graders.  While at the Art Walk, I did volunteer to help at an art table were we made gators that walked up strings.
This is the actual painting that the postcard sized print I purchased is modeled from.  It is on the wall of the library hallway inside the school.
Here is a party of more than one.  This picture was from last Sunday.  Carol and Stef got to present their Corner of Love missionary work (along with the others who went) to the church congregation.  Afterwards we all went to Ihop for breakfast!  As you can see, I'm sitting across from Avery.  Avery knows the tricks to Tic-Tac-Toe, and if I let her go first, she won!  She is also pretty good at thumb wars.  But nobody could beat Lillie at the plain face staring contests...

See you tomorrow.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Snazzy.

Good evening, it is Monday.

The weather has been excellent these last couple of days.  As in 65 degrees and sunny.  Unless you really want to get in the pool, this may be the best weather on our planet!  Well, maybe 8 degrees warmer.  Anyhow, yesterday evening I decided to walk to AM/PM and pick up a slurpee drink.  Today I did it again, only this time I had company as Maren and Lillie joined.  Preston picked up a slurpee on his way home from soccer, and I saved some of mine for Hansen as track and field just started for him today.
How about a little reading in the sunshine!  I did some yard work over the weekend, the trouble is that once you do any yard work, it becomes clear how much more you need to do.
On the way to AM/PM we pass this snazzy little lending library.  Here my cute walking partners are posing with the library for me.  Anyone can borrow a book or bring a book.  This library is in front of a church and yes, most the books have some religiousness to them.  I'm thinking there may be a few books around here that could just add a little variety to this little library.  Hmm...
Ahh.  Too much good stuff!  A slurpee (OK, this is not 7-11, this is actually an ICEE)
I'm finding Ranger/Lillie selfies on my phone again.  I guess I will have to talk to the cat about using my phone.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bullseye!

Good morning, it is Sunday.

The last couple of days have been wonderful weather wise.  And we're squeaking in the last of our spring break.  Lillie has had two overnight birthday parties in a row!  Preston has finally gotten to sleep in a couple of days in a row and just hang out.  And Hansen has been able to get to the archery range a couple of times.  I've shot my bow so many times the last couple of days that I'm sore.  Friday after dropping Lillie off for her second overnight Maren and I were actually able to go out for dinner, just us.  Today may be a hang out around home day...and watch the Masters!
Hansen getting a bullseye from 45 yards away.  He and I had a friendly competition yesterday and I started out strong but by the end Hansen didn't even need to shoot the last couple of targets to beat me.  No worries, I'll be back...

P.S.  While I like the term bullseye, Hansen would prefer I simply use the term "dot".  As in, "hit the dot."  Or even "the X"  Bullseye is a term for darts.  I still like golf terms the best.  What hole is this anyway?  Er, target...

See you tomorrow.

Friday, April 11, 2014

WWU Tour.

Good morning, it is Friday.

Yesterday was our second college visit this spring break.  And maybe our last for a while.  We went to Western Washington University (WWU).  WWU has about 15,000 students.  So now Preston has seen small at PLU with 3,000 students.  Medium at WWU at 15,000 students.  And very big at UW at around 45,000 students.  I'd think that at this point, just knowing the size of the campus as well as the virtual tours offered online these days, it would be pretty easy to imagine what a different campus may be like...at least a starting point.

We picked John up from the Swedish Club in downtown Seattle as he was doing his volunteer work.  Of course we got a small tour and got to meet John's friends/co-volunteers.
 This tour was very different than the one at PLU.  There were so many folks signed up for this tour that they divided into two groups.  Ours may have had 25 folks and the other group 20.  Mostly juniors in high school along with parents.  As we started the tour John didn't really recognize anything.  Lots of changes in 50 years.  These buildings may have been play fields back in the day.
This is beautiful campus.  Lots of artwork with multiple functions.  When leaving there was a class or study group meeting on these stairs to nowhere.
Now its starting to look familiar to John as we got back to the older buildings.  This is red square.  WWU felt much more like a college to me than the small PLU.  Lots of things offered, kids out supporting their causes, and plenty more just out hanging with friends and such.
Back at Old Main things really got familiar.  Each graduating class puts together a time capsule to be opened 100 years later.  John is standing in front of his class's time capsule.  His student ID card is in the capsule under the 1963 plaque.  How cool is that?
At the end of the nearly two hour tour we wound up at the Viking Union building.  John purchased a t-shirt for both he and Preston.
And a picture with me:)  I went on the uphill side, but I'm still shorter than Preston.  This was a very nice day and a very nice tour.  I'd say that WWU is at the top of Preston's list right now, but there will be plenty of things to consider from sports, to finances, to degrees offered, and even friends attending.  Who knows where Preston will end up, but WWU would be a fine choice for sure.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Plumbing and More.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Today is the first day of the 73rd Masters.  My favorite golf tournament to watch without a doubt.  I even went to the driving range yesterday just to get in the swing of things.
I woke up kind of early today just to watch the non golf tournament.  "Live From" the Masters is the golf channel just talking about the tournament without actually showing any golf.  Yes, watching golf on TV can get even more boring than simply watching golf on TV:)  I choose Adam Scott to repeat as masters champion this week.

What else did I do yesterday?
This is Maren's parking spot in our garage.  I had to completely clear the wall away from shelving and such as to replace the burst pipe.
I decided to replace it without using a blow torch.  I bought 10 feet of PVC pipe (which was the perfect length) and a couple of these shark connectors that just use pressure.  I must say it worked out very slick.  With only a minimal amount of cussing and a $23.00 trip to the Home Depot, the pipe is working just fine.  By the end of the day Maren's parking spot was back to normal and her car was even washed!  I did take a break in the middle of the day to take Lillie to meet up with her cousins for a Grandma and Grandpa visit.  And I got to go to lunch with just Maren!  She treated me to a fancy Issaquah restaurant...well, not that fancy, it was Chipotle.  Yum!

Last night Preston's Kentlake soccer team played against Kentwood.  KW's team is very good.  It was a good game that was pretty even in the beginning, but after 80 minutes KW just wore KL down.  It was a fun game for me to watch because I actually know more of the parents of the KW team from both Preston's club teams as well as school...as in my high school days.

Another busy day in front of us today.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

PLU Tour.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday I took Preston to Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) for an official college visit.  PLU has been a college of high interest for Preston as they do have a good soccer team that a friend played for as well as a great reputation for academics.
The sign from the front of PLU.
One thing about PLU is they are good with personal skills and such.  This was the TV in the room we went to for our tour.  We were on tour along with three other students.  The senior student who gave us the tour did an excellent job and the campus is a beautiful place for sure.
I took this picture to show how small this campus is from my view.  This is the biggest lecture hall on the campus.  Wow!  It may be smaller than any classroom I ever had a class in while at the University of Washington.  PLU has about 3000 students while the U of W (main campus) has more like 45,000.  Big difference.  I think Preston's high school has around 1500 students.  We learned a lot about scholarships, transfer credits, student life, and such.  I'd say that Preston liked PLU.  This visit didn't make PLU a slam dunk, nor did it cross it off the list, more like a place to start with the ranking.  We have other college visits scheduled and he had an official tour of the U of W last year.

Lillie suffered through the tour with us.  Suffered is a strong word, but she wasn't so excited once the slow walk around campus with mostly listening started.  Her and Preston were troopers, and we went out for a nice lunch afterwards.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Bainbridge Island.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday was our first official day of Spring Break.  And we did actual "spring break" type of things!  Maren was working and Hansen had a better offer than hanging with the rest of us (he went to the movies with a couple of friends).  Preston decided to hang with Lillie and I even thought he had to wake up early for soccer practice and then had a game in the evening.  So, what did we do?  Check it out:
We drove down to the Seattle waterfront to do a little tourist stuff.  We decided to take a ferry ride.  Here we are leaving Seattle.  We parked in Seattle and walked on the ferry.
Lillie was running all over the boat as she says she doesn't ever remember being on a ferry boat.  You can see her at the end of the boat taking pictures and such.
Preston took this one of Lillie and myself.  Lillie couldn't look at the camera because it was too bright!  It is true that we haven't seen the sunshine like yesterday for maybe six months!
Taking more pictures leaving Seattle.
Now to the front of the ferry.  Arriving at Bainbridge Island.
We made it.  I had done a little research so our goal was to find one of the small pizza shops for lunch.
Walking around in downtown Bainbride.
We noticed these frog statues around the city.  Lillie is getting a lick on the cheek!
After pizza we found a small grocery store and picked up some ice-cream.  There is another frog.
Back in Seattle.  The ferry ride back was a bit more relaxed.  Preston actually slept for much of the ride back and Lillie rested.  Of course as we got closer to Seattle we had to go out and see the views.
Lillie is always full of ideas of what to do next.  We kind of needed to get back on the road to beat rush hour traffic as Preston had a soccer game in the evening, but Lillie loves the aquarium more than most other places on the planet, so I told her that I would renew our family pass if she could make this visit super snappy.  And she did.  I think we were in and out in like 20 minutes.  Something you would never do paying for a one day pass.  The picture before this one was her main goal...pictures of the Otters!
Once home I mowed the lawn, cleaned the super high up window (which requires the super tall ladder that I hate) and was preparing to wash the cars when this showed it's ugly face.  Broken water pipe in the garage.  It was very cold this winter, but I thought I was prepared.  This little stretch of pipe is in an unfinished wall and turned off, but there was enough water left in the line to pop the pike.  Later it will be fixing pipes for me.  After another nice spring break day.

See you tomorrow.