Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Band Festival.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Last night was yet another school function. A band concert. Not just any band concert, the one time a year where all the area 6th grade bands play along with the 8th grade band and the senior band. It really is a fun way to see how far band has come since 6th grade. And for the band teachers to try to recruit some kids to band in jr high and high school when electives are quite scarce. This was maybe the one and only band concert that Preston and Lillie will both be taking part in. Lillie in the youngest band, Preston in the oldest band. Very cool.
A pano shot of the whole gym. The 6th graders take up the lion share of the gym with the jr high and the sr high bands on the edges. Preston's band had not even entered the room when the 6th graders were warming up.
There's Lillie! Right in the middle of this picture.
After the concert. We were on the way to get some milk shakes! As fun as this concert was, Lillie's new braces were not adding to the enjoyment.

I'm generally against putting video in my blogs. Why? They don't show up in my printed blog books. And I'm not a huge fan of youtube. But I will add three videos to go with the videos of yesterday. One of the 6th grade band, One of the 12th grade band, and one of a special performance Preston and friends played. 

This is the 6th grade band. Sounding good for a giant 6th grade band that has never played together before.

Preston and a few friends playing the Cantina Band song from Star Wars.

This last video is of the final performance of the night (like all the blog videos, if you open them all the way up, you get to the HD version which shows more). The sr. band is very good indeed. These kids have come a long way since they were Lillie's age. I wonder if Lillie will stick with music as long...I think she may if she can get past the next couple of years with braces. I'm thinking a switch to the violin would be good?

It is Thursday. So time to throw back. Actually Lillie and I were looking through old pictures as she has to choose a baby picture for her yearbook.
This is the Picture Lillie chose. How cute is this? She was just over a year and a half old.
This is a cute one too. Hansen and Lillie driving through the grocery store. Yikes, Hansen will be getting his drivers permit this summer!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mr. Kentlake

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Last night I attended an event that I've never attended before. Mr. Kentlake. A goof off rendition of a beauty pageant for the boys. The auditorium was absolutely packed with kids. I think there were only nine adults, the parents of the nine contestants. Preston has spent quite a bit of time getting ready for this program as well as did all the other contestants. And it was a fabulous show! Like in all auditoriums, my phone does a crummy job of being a camera or a video camera, but I tried:
Preston was the first guy introduced to the stage.
Then an opening dance by the contestants.
The swimwear competition. They did this in threes. Yes, Preston is wearing his Spongebob suit.
Spirit wear. Preston is the band kid in the middle!
You cant forget about the judges. Four teachers gave their time and did a very fun job at judging.

Next was the lip sync competition. Here is Preston's performance. It was really great! And yes, in the end, this is what he won for. There has got to be a better video out in the world of this, but you can tell it was fun for sure.

Then it was the pick up line competition. Another great performance and a guest appearance by Ali.

 Of course there is always a talent portion. Who knew Preston was magic? Too funny.
Then the awards. Preston won best lip sync! Fantastic.

The final dance. This was actually the same dance as the opening number, just done again for the audience's privilege. Fun night! And a big shout out to all the kids who participated, takes a lot of guts to do this in front of the whole student body.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Vote for Braces?

Good afternoon, it is Tuesday.

Lillie and I took the day off of school and work. Why? Braces! Today Lillie got braces, an expander, and even more stuff. The goodie bag is sure cool too. This braces thing will have different looks over the next few years, but when it is all said and done Lillie's teeth will look like a million bucks!
Here is Lillie's before. The last picture take of Lillie before braces.
And an after. You can't see all the cool stuff in this picture. Lillie is really enjoying her Jamba Juice. Thank you Razzle Berry! And Advil.
I bought Lillie this cute little braces bracelet. It is hard to see here, but it is made out of braces stuff and the money raised is to help fund dental work to those who can't afford it.
I'm not sure why this picture of Range is on my phone.  Lillie?
Oh yes. Oscar night. Lillie and Maren do like a reason to dress up and have snacks. Birdman? Really?
Vote for Preston! Tomorrow I may tell you what this is all about. Hmm.
Check it out. Preston's first letter back from a college. Western with distinction. He is waiting for a few other letters as well. Way to go Preston!
Not to be left out, Hansen and I spent much of the Oscar day at the archery range. You can see him here shooting my bow as he was walking a course with his photography stuff. Yes, his camera case back pack is on his back. He did switch out his camera for a bow a little later.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday we went to the Pacific Science Center to see the Pompeii exhibit. Maren has wanted to see this since it was mentioned it would be here, and yesterday was the day. First we saw an IMAX movie on Greece and archaeology. Then it was off to the exhibits. The exhibit was very well done. It started with cultural items and beautiful artwork of the people of Pompeii. Probably 4/5 of the exhibit was just this. Then we went through a 3 minute movie of what they think the volcano and earthquake was like. Then the people found in molds. Amazing.
Arriving at Seattle Center. Couldn't ask for a nicer day. Preston didn't come with us. Instead he went golfing with friends then to his school's boys basketball playoff game. KL won by 5 points!
We purchased tickets in advance. In the intro to the movie it mentioned that we could use the price of the tickets toward a yearly subscription. Well, now we are members, over half the fee was covered by our tickets.
Inside the first exhibit. It is amazing they found such delicate items from Pompeii. The movie says that it was so completely wiped out that people actually forgot where the city originally was.
Archaeologists can piece back together pictures as well.
One thing about ancient Greece and such cities is the amazing detail in everything. So different than what we buy from IKEA. Of course there were many rooms to see. Even ones where kids were strongly recommended to proceed with parental caution due the content of the artwork. Then to the eruption, earthquake, and devastation. 
We were then in the room with the found casts of people. The ash and lava was so fast and with such heat that it formed around people, then as the bodies decomposed, actual mold were created. Amazing really. Amazing like wow, and amazing like dang. There we adults and children. I didn't see any animals here, but Maren showed me a picture of a dog from Pompeii. And just like that we were in the gift shop.
All types of things for sale at the gift shop. Some of the books and such were very cool. Just how ridiculous are gift shops? Well, I was not thinking Pompeii Christmas Ornaments were on my list after going through the exhibits.
Now this is super weird. Before we were allowed into the exhibits they were taking green screen photos of families. The told us to pretend to be running crazy like, then they gave us an id card to look up at home. Somehow we did make it out alive! Alive indeed, we decide to go look at lighter things at the Science Center.
Like butterflies. Here Maren is surrounded by butterflies in the butterfly house.
And naked mole rats. The naked mole rats themselves are not nearly as cool as the huge sign! Come on mole rats, put on some clothes! Ha!
One last trip to the fountain on the way home. Fun day for sure. Hansen and Lillie had their cameras with them as well. They have all kinds of wonderful photos that are completely different than the ones I took. Both Hansen and Lillie are very artistic with their photo taking for sure.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I see what you did there.

Good morning, it is Tuesday.

Yesterday Maren's flight arrived without any issues at all. What's amazing about this is that Maren's friends who were flying to the east coast all had their flights canceled due to snow. This happened last month too. Sometimes there are perks to living out here on the other side of the country. Once Maren was home, it was off to the eye doc for Hansen.
E,C,P,L, uh...Q? Actually Hansen's eyes didn't practically change at all. This is great. Up to now they have been changing quite a bit, it is good to see them leveling off. We still ordered him some new glasses.
Once home I ripped the rotors off the van to bring them in to be resurfaced. The rotors were feeling warped. I dropped the rotors off to be turned then went disc golfing with Preston and Malcolm.
Malcolm had an errant throw go in the slow part of the River. While scoping out the situation, the boys spied a second disc in the river just a little bit over.
Yup, Malcolm was able to recover that disc too! After the frolf, I was able to pick up the turned rotors and get them installed in time to take Lillie to dance class. Phew!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy Time.

Good morning, it is Monday.

We are on vacation! So, at 10:00am I'm the only one up. I've had my coffee, walked on the treadmill, and now it is blog time. Later I will pick up Maren from the airport and take Hansen to see the eye doc. And believe it or not, it is sunny!

Saturday was a day of logistics that turned out perfectly. Hansen and I went to an archery tournament, Carol came out and hung out with Lillie and Preston. Actually Carol had the logistics, she also dropped Lillie off at Girl Scouts, then picked her up, as well as planning a few sewing projects for both Preston and Lillie. Thanks Carol!
Here is a photo of Hansen from Saturday's tournament. Hansen shot very well.
We shot with Chris and Sydney. They both shot great as well. Chris tied for the a shoot off for the entire tournament! It was very cool. One shot from 50 yards. Closest wins. Chris didn't win this time, but that does not diminish how well he shot.
Check out my trophy! I won first place in my division. I actually shot very well too. At the end of the day I actually tied Hansen. There are so many things wrong with this trophy. It's perfect!
Quilting. This is one of the sewing projects going on. Lillie is making a quilt with Carol's help. Preston is planning an awesome Jedi costume to be worn at the parade in Victoria later in the year.
Once home, I took the kids out to Cold Stone for Valentine's Day. Maren had left us with some coupons and Lillie took that as a sign that we MUST go there! We also stopped by Papa Murphys for a heart shaped pizza.

See you tomorrow.

P.S. If you want to see a cool blog post, check this out, my sister just ran her first half marathon:

Friday, February 13, 2015


Good evening, it is Saturday.

This morning I dropped Maren off a the airport. She is on her way to somewhere sunny. For a Science Book award party. Some place that starts with "San" is all I know. Actually, she has already arrived safe and sound. And she sent this picture:
Later Maren was actually reading poolside. The next couple of days for her will be full of helping the award ceremonies, meeting authors, having fun, and probably more book reading at the pool. Of course she is missing Valentine's Day. Well, missing it with us. Hanging at the pool in this weather might be a perfect day. But no fear, Maren did leave us all with Valentine's Day goodies. Cards and candy for the kids, and a movie for me. I've wanted The Giver on BlueRay, in fact we just finished watching it. Maren also bought us this cool contraption:
An electric egg cooker! Yes, how cool is this? Hard boiled eggs in 5 minutes. I tried it out today and took pictures to share the excitement with a poolside Maren.
Loading the cooker with eggs. You have to puncture the top with the fancy poker thing. It is crazy that the egg can handle this. Also add water.
It gets all steamy. Hansen said it was an incubator. Well, kind of just the opposite.
Hard boiled eggs! The yoke was just a bit soft, but it was super tasty. The instructions are funny, basicly an overview with the instructions to learn on your own. Different amounts of water and eggs and everything can make a difference.
Golf discs! One of these is Preston's free disc. The local disc store gives students a free disc if you have a certain level of grades awesomeness. And yes, Preston achieved top levels of good grade awesomeness.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Good morning, it is Wednesday.

Yesterday was a full day for Lillie and I. We had her parent/teacher conference, followed by an ortho appointment, followed by a dentist appointment. She did great! Her school work is impressive, her teeth are looking good, and now the down payment on her braces has been paid! She is a rare breed of high cap kid, super well rounded, both a great student and a super human. Yay!
These were the two books Lillie was deciding on from the book sale. And which did she choose? Sea Otters! Because they are, "so cute!"
Lillie's class always has a great art wall. Being a past art docent myself, it is always great to see the hallways filled with art.
Speaking of art, Hansen has a couple of photos on display in the main entrance hallway of his high school. He has one of a boat, and the one of his in this shot is of Avery petting a dog on a ferry boat. Do you see it? The girl in the picture on the right is looking right at it.
The reason I was at the high school last night was because Preston's Jazz Band had it's mid-winter concert. Preston had a solo with his saxophone (he is standing in the center of this pic).
As well as a being featured on the piano! Great job Preston. One of the highlights of this show was his friend Kyle's solo on the guitar at the end. Amazing! Kyle's mom and Maren have been friends since elementary school.
Preston has made this ginormous SpongeBob! In a couple of weeks you will get to find out just why he would be making such a costume. Besides, of course, that it is just plain fun.

See you tomorrow.