Monday, June 29, 2015

Our Mountain!

Good evening, it is Monday.

This long weekend stretched our little family out farther than ever before. Maren is in San Francisco for ALA conference. Hansen and I were in Darrington for an the State Field Archery Tournament, and Preston and Lillie stayed home. By themselves. Hansen and I are home now and Maren gets in tomorrow.
Maren! This photo was taken on Thursday at a little party her department threw for her. Why? Maren has been a librarian with KCLS for 20 years now! 20 Years...you're halfway there! There being 10 years into retirement:)
Speaking of Maren, she is in San Francisco for ALA. With the ruling by the SCOTUS on Friday, this pride parade may be the biggest ever. Maren said it started at 9:00am and at 5:00pm it was still going! Friday was quite a day for the President. He started with a speech at the White House on the SCOTUS ruling, then he flew to Charleston for an impassioned eulogy. I watched them both on TV before heading to Darrington with Hansen for some archery.
Of course, while I'm getting ready to drive my eight year old minivan two hours north in 95 degree temp, Maren sent me this pic of her in front of one of the snazzy Subarus dressed up for convention.
Yes it was nearly 100 degrees for this archery tournament. And this little tent was Hansen's and my home for two nights. There were a few of these little tents around, but behind me [as I snap this photo] was basically a motor home city. It did cool down to the upper 60's at night and the tent was great!
 Hansen and a hundred other archers warming up Saturday morning. Saturday was a grueling day. We traversed an entire mountain side while shooting 28 field targets (4 arrows each target) and 14 animal targets (one arrow per target). We started at 9:00am and my group didn't get off the mountain till after 6:00pm. Grueling day for sure.
A fellow shooter in Hansen's group took this picture of him. Very cool.
Hansen getting his award. He is the Washington State Field Archery Champion in the young adult bowhunter freestyle division. Way to go Hansen! I felt I shot pretty good, but middle of the pack in the Adult freestyle division was about the best I could do.
Preston and Lillie stayed home. Other than being a great brother to Lillie, taking her out to the movies, and to Value Village and such, he has been shopping for a keyboard to bring to college in the fall. He still has a couple of months to find a keyboard and a computer. No worries.
Preston also sent this text to Maren. Now, usually if Maren is sending me text messages about text messages she is getting from the kids while they are home and she is in San Francisco, I might get a bit concerned. But this one is awesome! Every time the weather is clear and beautiful and we're driving around the traffic circle near KL (not necessarily very often), Maren says, "Look, there's our mountain!" It is a pretty amazing view of Mount Rainier. And, well, I guess it is not lost on Lillie!

Here are a few extra pictures from the last few days:
Lillie at tennis practice. She has been getting up early every day for tennis at the pool. She has joined the tennis team and is really enjoying it.
Today Hansen took his first real drive on actual roads. I went to a parent meeting for his drivers ed class and they passed out this magnetic bumper stickers. Once he is road worthy, I may put it away, but it sure is fun to waive that "student driver" sticker around. And it looks good on my van don't you think?
Lillie and I playing Hedbandz. It is a game where you put a card on your forehead and ask the other player questions to figure out the word. Now I'd never cheat at any type of game ever, but hey Lillie, how about a selfie? Am I, um...Harry Potter?

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Driving, Dance, and Frolf. Oh My.

Good evening, it is Saturday.

Yesterday Hansen and I took a bit of a road trip. We didn't go very far, but we did need his passport and/or birth certificate. Living close to Canada you may think a visit to Vancouver was in order? Nope. It was a trip to the DMV.
Hansen is now a proud owner of drivers permit. Legal to drive. In fact he wanted to drive home. Whoa, lets slow down just a second. Hansen has drivers education starting on Tuesday. Maybe after a week or two of class he can start driving me around. I'm sure Hansen will be an excellent driver.

Today we got to go to one of the best shows of the year. Lillie's year end dance recital. There were tons of dances to watch. I liked Lillie's dance the best for sure! There were super cute hip hop routines, solo routines, ballet routines and more.
Lillie's team photo. A few of her dancemates were not in this photo, but they were in the performance.
Here they are on stage.
Lillie even had a solo part in her dance.
Flowers and cousins after the show.
Lillie made these nails for the dance performance. Actually she may have changed them. I can't keep up with her amazing nail designs.
Preston even ran into one of his best childhood friends at the recital. Andrew graduated last year. These two could solve the rubix cube like nobody. As in better than anyone.
And this motley group of guys is the officially unofficial frolf club enjoying their year end official banquet. Preston was voted MVP! Now that the majority of these guys are graduated, it is now an old person frolf club, and I was even invited to join once in a while. There goes the average age! And average score. Doh.

I hope everyone enjoys Fathers Day tomorrow! I'm sure I will. Cant wait to hang out and watch some of the U.S. Open!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The U.S. Open is Here!

Good evening, it is Thursday.

Today was a very interesting day. I learned a couple of weeks ago that due to budget cuts the job I've enjoyed for the last seven years has been cut. I opted to throw my name in an unfilled pool where paraeducators go by seniority to choose from unfilled jobs. With seven years I have decent seniority, so I was hopeful. I left the pool (which was kind of like the NFL draft) with an ELL job at the high school Preston just graduated from, Hansen goes to, and Lillie will be going to. I'm a bit nervous to go from elementary to high school, but I'm very excited as well. And as of today, I get to be excited for the whole summer. That's right, school's out for summer!

I'm also very excited about the U.S. Open being played here at Chambers Bay! Yesterday I was able to take Preston, Connor, and Nick to a practice round. The greens may be a bit rough, but the course is just an amazing place, and the USGA has made this a world class event.
Judy secured the four passes that we used. Thank you Judy!
The first golfer we saw was Rory. You can tell its Rory from a mile away. And at times we felt we were a mile away as this course is absolutely huge.
Here Preston is looking over the entirety of the whole course. Absolutely beautiful day and amazing course.
The stands were a great place to watch on this course. Smile guys. Yes, these three are going to be college roommates in the fall. I truly enjoyed hanging with these three.
This is the merchandise tent! The USGA does nothing small. This "tent" was like Nordstrom or something. And the prices were about the same.
$109.00 for a sweatshirt? I call that getting swindled and pimped, I call that getting tricked by a business. Yes, I did get my U.S. Open jacket from the Thrift Shop! The boys didn't even want me buy them a $5.50 hot dog! But I did anyway. Yum!
We never did get to see Tiger. But we did see my favorite golfer of today...Jordan!
Yup, that's Jordan Spieth teeing off on hole 14. I think Jordan will win this week. While I really enjoyed being at the Open and seeing how amazing a show the USGA puts on, I'm really excited to watch this tournament on HDTV this weekend.
This is Ricky Fowler teeing off on hole 14 today as I watched on TV. The next comparison is my favorite:
This is me playing Chambers Bay two years ago. This is hole 15.
And this is Jordan Spieth playing hole 15 today. I could have been a contender! Well, no. I hope you enjoy watching this tournament. We have lots going on, so Maren has set the DVR for me. Yay.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Another Graduation?

Good evening, it is Tuesday.

This afternoon was a graduation of sorts. Lillie graduated from elementary school. Today marked the last of her elementary career, and the half way mark of her public education. Actually I guess it was called moving up day. I'm not sure what makes me feel older, having a high school graduate or no longer having any children in elementary school. Hmm.
Before the ceremony was the All School Picnic. Maren and I were able to attend.
There were plenty of Lillie photos in the slide show! On the right are Lillie and Emma in their My Little Pony sweatshirts. There were slides from the moving on 6th graders from all years of their elementary years.
The sixth graders got to do a parade around their entire school that ended in the gym (full of us parents) just in time for the festivities.
Lillie was awarded the Presidential Academic Award for excellence in learning and earning excellent grades!
Her school has four 6th grade classes. This is the bulk of her class getting their completion awards.

Yesterday Lillie (as well as all the 6th graders from other schools) got to spend the day at the middle school. Tour the building and even eat lunch there. I'd say if anyone was ever ready for elementary school to end and middle school to begin, it is Lillie...she could probably just skip middle school all together and head right to high school!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Graduation Weekend!

Good morning, it is Monday.

Preston's graduation weekend kept us all very busy. It also kept my camera very busy. So without further ado, lets get this show on the road.
Friday was Preston's first day of no school. Well, kind of. He had graduation rehearsal at the school then a senior brunch at a local golf course. Afterwards I took Preston, his friend Johnathan, and Johnathan's dad out golfing. We had a great time golfing for sure. After golf, I picked my parents up at the airport. They came up all the way from Florida to be here for Preston's graduation.
Saturday at 12:30 was graduation. We showed up at a perfect time. Just minutes after this selfie of  half of our gang, all the seats behind us and throughout the Show Ware Center were full.
We all had this program to read. This is a very impressive class of young adults. I've only thought the very best of the class of 2015 since Preston's first days of school.
There's Preston's name. Wow, lots of awards! Preston really has had an amazingly successful high school career.
How about a little bragging? Well, OK. These are some of the awards sitting at his spot at the table along with his honor cords. This is a pile of the most recent, but going back throughout his school career there have been dozens of honors for both academic and athletic accomplishments. Not to mention awards such as most inspirational which show what a great citizen he truly is.
Preston was in the front row of his graduating class of 325 kids. There were a few students that gave very nice speeches as did a teacher. This was a very well done graduation.
Here Preston walking down the stairs after receiving his diploma holder. YAHOO! Yes, we did all yell and cheer.
After the ceremony Preston had pictures taken with all of us outside with the mobs of other grads. The kid picture.
Aunties Mel and Stef.
Grandparents Robert and Ellen.
Grandparents John and Carol.
Siblings Lillie and Hansen.
Life long friend Connor. After this picture Preston went on his way to go to grad party after grad party. The rest of us all went to the KSTC to enjoy the pool, the tennis courts, pizza, and a beautiful day.
Sunday was our party for Preston and Connor. Connor's parents invited us to hold this joint graduation a year ago when they moved out of the culde-sac. Before the move we always planned to have a big joint party in the culde-sac. Their new house is so nice, and it was an absolutely perfect place to hold the joint party. The adults all had fun, the littles all had fun, an most importantly, the graduates all had fun.
Preston and Connor made a slide show with pictures of themselves throughout the years. They did a wonderful job on the slide show, they said that their goal was to make their mom's cry...I think they accomplished that goal. Here is an old scrap book page from one of Tina's scrapbooks.
Here they are at the party. Yes, they will be roommates (along with another friend Nick) in college this fall at Western Washington University.
We had plenty of food for everyone. In fact, I just had a little left over for a snack a few minutes ago.


It was great to see so many of Preston and Connor's friends take the time to come to the grad party. Really, this party was for all of them. Congrats class of 2015!
How about a few more pics? This is me with my parents. Yes, we really did have a great visit. They are already home in Florida after flying all night.
Come join in the picture Maren!
I always seem to get a picture of the sisters. Stef, Maren, and Melanie.
The twins were just a blur the whole party. Connor has cousins the same age and they were going every which way with water sprayers and swimsuits. This is about the best photo I got of the kids.
Here is Hansen and Kole getting in some ping pong.
Lillie and Stef hanging out.
Maren, John, Carol, and our neighbor Lak.

This really was a great weekend. Nothing could have gone better in my opinion. Thanks again to Mark and Tina for letting us use their house for this party. It was perfect! I can't believe we will be doing this all again for Hansen in three years, then Lillie three years later.

See you tomorrow.