Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ocean Shores.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

How about a summer ending trip to Ocean Shores? Yes!
On the way down we stopped by the outlet malls in Centrallia for some last minute school shopping, then had lunch at the DQ in Aberdeen as we have on trips to the Ocean for many years. All five of us used to fit in one of these little booths just fine, now we take up two.
Once checked in the hotel, it is off on the sandy paths to the ocean.
I'm not the only one stopping for pictures. Hansen is the better photographer by far. He will be starting his second year of photography class when school resumes on Monday.

While Hansen is off taking photos, Preston and Lillie are goofing in the ocean.
The sunset over the ocean is an amazing site for sure. What you can't see from these peaceful pictures is the noise. The relentless wind and the roaring ocean makes for a very loud experience. Our room was pretty nice, but the peacefulness of the quiet after being out on the beach in the evening is so nice. We spent so much time out on the water and getting to the ocean that most the restaurants were closed by the time we wanted to eat dinner. It was off to the grocery store for a plethora of microwavable dinners. Then some serious card games.
The next morning while the kids slept the early morning away, Maren and I took a walk around the town and on the beach. Not so much wind and a beautiful morning. Selfie?
How about a little frisbee on the beach! Sure, then off for souvenirs and lunch before the drive home.
Look out for the shark!
The small hotel next to ours. This picture cracks me up as every single parking spot is empty, but the only car in the whole lot is parked in the only not parking spot as it is the walkway.
Dugan's Pizza! We have ate at Dugan's every single visit over the last 20 years at Ocean Shores. This year Hansen spent some of his school clothes money on their t-shirt.
Bye Ocean Shores, till next year.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Good evening, it is Saturday.

How about a Maren blog post? Sure, I've got two pictures of her from today alone.
This evening was a Sausage & Cider Fest at a local park. It was fun for sure. Vendors were set up around the perimeter and there was a live band too. We tasted some of the best ciders we have ever had, and maybe a few that don't need repeating. We even purchased a few ciders to bring home, the winners of course.
Speaking of winners, where will the tennis ball go? It could go anywhere! Today I took the kids to the jr. high school for some tennis. The courts are worn and tattered, but it is super close and never busy, so it's all good. Maren walked the track while we played, but we got her on the court for set or two. Fore!

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

You do the Math.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Sometimes up for an adventure, the kids and I wound up in Seattle at Lake Union Park the other night for Pythagorize Seattle. The date was 8/17/15, which has something to do with the Pythagorean Theorem. We joined 289 other math geeks and proved the Pythagorean Theorem in real life. And now we're out of my math league.
We chose the blue shirts. Basically there were 15 rows of 15 people in blue on one side of a huge right triangle. And 8 rows of 8 people in green shirts on the the bottom side of the huge right triangle. Then we counted off to make sure we were correct, and finally all moved to the long side of the triangle. And voila! Oh yes, can't forget about the song. They played "Shut Up And Dance With Me" super loud and we were all able to look up the lyrics for the evening on our phones, which were, "Pythagorize With Me". Very clever, and very corny...But fun!
Here the groups are getting lined up. Lake Union Park is very nice. We didn't go into the new Museum of History and Industry, but I'd like to one of these days. From where I'm standing I could look to the right and see the building my dad worked in for many years, which is now a storage company's headquarters. And before that it was the Ford plant making model T vehicles.
At the park there was this cool old piano for anyone to play. Preston was able to sit down and play a little bit. Afterwards a few people told him how great he sounded. A few other people besides myself, Hansen, and Lillie:)
Speaking of sounding great, Preston played clarinet in a Dixieland Band at a local coffee house for an evening concert. They ended their set with a very fun version of When The Saints Go Marching In. Before the concert we had dinner at Judy's house with friends and former co-workers of Maren. Hansen and Lillie got along splendidly with Joely, but somehow there is no photo proof.
In other photo news, Carol helped Lillie fix her sewing machine. This sewing machine is great, but it weighs a freaking ton! It is probably 60 years old or so, but hey, it still works.
And lastly, Hansen is selling off some of his Legos. There is a cool Lego store not far from us that buys and sells new and used Legos. I am completely shocked, these old Lego builds are worth about what Hansen paid for them ten years ago! The look on the eyes of the seven year old kids when Hansen was bringing in these amazing builds was of total awe. I would tell those kid's parents, this will be you in ten years, selling back all these amazing Lego builds... Hansen has also been hired frequently over the summer by Carol and John for landscaping jobs and is saving his money for archery equipment.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cousins, Softball, and Naruto.

Good afternoon, it is Thursday.

A couple of days ago we got to visit with cousins from Indianapolis. Maren's cousin Ethan and his family were in town for a few days.
A few of us were able to visit as well as Mel and her kiddos. As you can see, fun was had by all. Goofballs around!
Preston even got a guitar lesson as Ethan is in a rock band and has played guitar for like ever. Ethan didn't have his guitar on this vacation and was happy to have one to goof with for a few minutes for sure.
How about playing softball? Yes, I have not played an inning of softball since the 1980's. This was my first swing since then. Why is the ball falling to the ground near my ankle even though I swung? A friend's team was short players so I was invited to play. The boys came to watch the game. This may be the only time in their lives I play on a softball team. I could be OK if I played once in a while. I was left field and made a good catch and missed a couple as well. I did get on base and made it around to home. Softball is not that easy!

Hansen recorded this hit. Not too impressive. This could have been a double play ball if I didn't out run the throw to first.
Today we did some school shopping at the outlet mall and we ran into Naruto and Sakura. Preston chased them down to get this photo! They were happy to have a fan.
To end this post, how about some Lillie fingernail art. These have already been replaced, but they sure were cool looking.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tennis anyone?

Good morning, it is Monday.

I am so sore this morning! This weekend was busy, let's just say my little fitbit wrist thingy kept texting me and calling me an overachiever. Funny.
This is a picture from the entrance way of the Boeing Employees Tennis Club. How about tennis on top of a tiny small biplane? Yeah, no. While not an employee, we joined this club for the tennis. Lillie tried a group lesson Saturday, but will probably be sticking with team dad, and the pool club in the summer.
Maren and I attended a social at the club Saturday. It was kind of advertised as games, then dinner, then the ability to be rated as to sign up for leagues and such. Maren came along without any desire to actually play tennis. She kind of got to sit on the bleachers and watch most of the evening, but I'm sure it was somewhat amusing. In this picture I'm back left and Maren is hiding perfectly behind me. There were two other tables full of folks as well.
The games and drills were great, I totally felt like I was in a junior tennis camp for adults. I'm just out of camera range on the left in this picture. While I totally didn't know what to expect, I had a great time. It was fun to play tennis with other adults and I had to totally adjust to having the pros hit the ball so hard. At one point I was volleying with the head pro for a bit and he must have thought I was not too bad, because for the introduction to the next game I was one of the example folks. Then he hit a lob up to me that I was supposed to volley...and I totally whiffed the ball. Doh! I will be curious to see what my club rating will be. I registered for an adult doubles league as well. Lillie may end up taking a winter break from tennis, but I'm excited to be playing.
Hansen and I also spent Saturday and Sunday mornings at an archery tournament. Most the tournaments we play in have set distances and rings to shoot at. This was different. The distances were not marked, and you had the option to not shoot for zero points as apposed to a miss for -10, and a hit for +10. Hansen played smart, only taking shots he was confident in. I decided that I would take every single shot no matter what. So in the end Hansen beat me by about 100 points and I had lost a few arrows to boot. Doh. While a fun format, I think I'll stick with marked distances.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 07, 2015


Good evening, it is Friday.

I have a lot to catch you up on. Monday and Tuesday Preston and I were up at Western Washington University for orientation and registration. And once we got home we had a busy week. Lets get to the pictures.
This was the first week of Summerstart at WWU. Preston got to be with the other high credit freshman, which is great. That gives him the small advantage of being in the first group of freshman to register for classes. All day Monday and half of Tuesday was conference style for parents. I could choose what classes to attend while Preston was off being counselled and orientated. I learned way more than I thought I could learn about stuff I didn't know I needed to know. It was good.
Preston was lucky to run into a high school friend. He and Drew ended up hanging out whenever possible, which was great for both of them as it was a whole new world.
This was my tiny dorm room. Preston didn't have a roommate at first, so he and Drew ended up rooming together. Students and family were kind of separated this whole time. Different schedules and different dorms. I did get to visit with Preston during meal times, but that was about it. At first I was a bit taken back by this major separation, but in the end I think it was great. I guess the college does know what's best.
Neither Preston or I purchased any WWU apparel for ourselves, but I did buy a hoodie for Maren, and t-shirts for Lillie and Hansen. We are excited to part of the WWU family.
This was the view from the front of my dorm building. It is really an amazing campus. Preston wasn't quite as thrilled with his first ever schedule and the hoops he had to go through to get it, but I think it will be a great schedule for his first quarter of college.
Speaking of school, I took Hansen and Lillie out school supply shopping yesterday. Now these to knuckleheads have school supplies. Next week will be looking for shoes and such.
Speaking of class, Hansen has been getting better at driving. He has just a couple more drives left then he will be ready to take his tests. I do put this magnet on the car when he and I are out driving just to get a half an ounce more patience from those around us. It seems to work. Hansen has his own take on what the magnet actually reads.
The other day while Hansen was driving me all around Kent, I noticed that the MacDonalds I worked at way back when I was like Hansen's age is now closed! As is the Kent Payless Drugs I worked at. As are golf courses Elk Run and Sumner Meadows. I hate to say it, but like half the places I've worked in my whole life are now closed. Anyone want to hire me? Doh.
Signing off with maybe the best picture of the day. Preston is in Idaho with a couple of friends for an adventure at a friend's cabin. They were hauling stuff over there and then staying for a day. This morning Preston texted me this picture. First time he cast his line, he caught this huge fish! Awesome.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Tourist Day.

Good evening, it is Saturday.

We are getting used to this 90 degree weather! Maren actually just said that we're surviving just fine, and I'd agree. Of course, I like this weather a lot. I have been putting as much of this weather in my memory banks for in just a few months from now it will be all cold and rain all the time. Ugh. Doom and gloom you ask? Well, July just ended. Drat, we will be going back to school this month, it's all downhill from here...  Almost, we have a month, and the last few days were fun.
Maren took Friday off work so we could take Lillie downtown for some fun. It is Seafair weekend and the Blue Angles were out. I snapped this photo from the courtyard at the Seattle Center.
Maren got some cool pics too! Sweet pic huh? It is amazing how loud these are while looking a long ways away. And so fast. Maren went out to watch the flybys while Lillie and I waited in a long line for lunch.
Maren may have snapped some nice pictures, but hah, I snapped this one in the Grossology exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. Maren is in a giant nose! I'd pick a perfect photo op! Lillie had a great time being grossed out.
There are also dinosaurs on display. Aaaggghhh...better take a selfie.
I can't believe Darth Vader let Lillie hold this Light Saber in this picture. What am I holding?
These angled mirrors are crazy, two Marens and two Lillies. We also went in the butterfly habitat and saw naked mole rats and so much more.
Like shopping. This run of fingernail polish pushed Lillie over the edge. Time to make a case to hold all these bottles of polish she owns.
So last night I took Lillie out to shop for supplies to make our own case. After searching the whole Home Depot, it turned out that the perfect sticks were the gallon sized stirring sticks. We started with superglue, then hot glue, but ended up using tiny nails to hold the frame together.
Then spray paint. I do enjoy spray painting almost anything.
Voila! Lillie got her new nail polish holder in place! and it holds all but three of her polishes.
We'll finish today's blog with the Blue moon. This moon looks incredible to the eye, not so much to the camera. It was a very cool thing having the moon be so amazingly bright and the temperature was still like 80 11:00pm!

See you tomorrow.