Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Honest Truth.

Good morning, it is Wednesday.

The kids and I are home from school today as it is the end of the first semester. Exactly halfway through the school year. The last couple of days were finals days for the kids, and tomorrow starts a new semester. For the most part the kids have the same schedules, mine will change quite a bit. I will be loosing a computer class as well as a history to be gaining more ELL support. Should be a fine change.

One of Lillie's finals included a book report due. She choose The Honest Truth. A book set near us about a sick kid who runs away to climb Mr. Rainier. I listed to some of the book on CD as we drove to the ocean over the summer. I can't really critique the book either way, other than to say it must be pretty good or Lillie wouldn't have chosen it for her report.
Here is a picture of the book, but the real reason I even mention this is to highlight some of Lillie's artwork:

These are Lillie's watercolor portraits from the story. The map on the TV. The broken watch. And Mark's dog. These were done with an inexpensive pack of watercolor paints on computer paper. Yup, Lillie can paint more than just nails.
Here is the latest 1000 piece puzzle on the coffee table. I don't know if it will get finished or not. The top tray contains only grass pieces, and the side tray is just tree pieces. I've decided to start with the car and work my way out rather than the standard border first and work you way in.
A picture of my at my anchor point. I'm trying to better my anchor point to maybe better my archery. Archery is not too hard to get efficient, but very hard to go beyond efficient to very good. One has to be too perfect all the time. I'm probably more suited for golf and tennis in my mindset, but working on the archery equipment is pretty fun. I now do all the work on my equipment set ups from replacing strings to cutting and gluing arrows. Hansen is starting to do all his setups too, but he trusts me to work on his equipment, which is no small feat. It's a good hobby.
This is my favorite internet meme of maybe all time! I can't say I'm a Walking Dead fan, but I love a good dad joke! And that's the honest truth:)

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Just Ducky.

Good evening, it is Sunday.

I'm sorry to say that Maren's birthday week is drawing to a close. She had a couple of birthday parties, got to eat out at Red Robin, and received some wonderful gifts. Yesterday was her family birthday party where Maren's mom made her favorite dinner. Chicken Divan. Broccoli and all. Maren loved it! And thankfully Carol also made Nana Mac for the rest of us:) Broccoli, fun to type, not so fun eat:)
In celebrating the end of her Audio Awards gig, we brought over boxes and boxes of audio books to give to family members interested. Yes, the seven or so large boxes in the background are full of audio books! And yes, Maren listened to the bulk of them. Here Maren and Stef are going through a couple of the boxes. I do have a similar picture that Maren made a duck face at the camera. But I saved her duck face for the next picture:
Only two candles? Thankfully they make nifty number candles so we didn't have to set the cake a blaze. Also, just to be safe and block out the candle numbers, I wrote, "candles go here!" over the candles with this computer's nifty editing feature. No matter how old Maren gets, she will always be younger than me. Doh.
What's a birthday party without presents?
I think this warm fuzzy lined blanket has been attached to Maren since she opened it. Happy Birthday Maren:)

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sharing is Caring.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Happy Happy Birthday Birthday to my Maren and to my Mom! Yes, they share a birthday day! Don't tell anyone, but this coincidence does make it very easy to remember a couple of important birthday dates:)
Here is a picture of the birthday girl with Hansen. I thought this picture is fitting because this is the kiddo that Maren also shares her anniversary with. If you don't recall, Hansen was born on our wedding anniversary!
Here is the other birthday girl. That's my mom hanging with my dad and their new dog Finley.
I never did get to share this picture. This is Maren getting to visit with my cousin Emily on her trip to Boston last week.

Enjoy your birthday days mom and Maren!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Good morning, it is Monday.

Friday Maren and I took off of work, pulled the littles out of school and drove in a caravan with Maren's family down to Wilsonville Oregon for a memorial service for Maren's uncle John. His memorial service and following reception was a mix of his family who saw relatively little of him over the last 15 years, and a group of folks from Wilsonville who have know him only for the last 15 years. It is interesting how people have different seasons in their lives, and I'd say over the course of this weekend we learned that John was a true blessing to the A.A. and the literature communities in Wilsonville.
We stayed the night in Wilsonville and were able to hang out with cousins on Saturday morning before driving back home.
As many funerals are, they are chances to catch up with people you don't get to see all the time. Hansen and Lillie (as well as the adults) got to hang out with cousins from North Carolina and Indianapolis. There were many other kids/cousins who didn't make this picture, it was great to see them all together having fun with each other.
Here is a picture of a picture of one of the pictures on the picture table. This is the cousins of Maren's generation. The kids were perfectly aged together as are our kids now (see previous picture). From L-R: Stef, Amy, Annie, Melanie, Maren, and Ethan.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

No Parking!

Good evening, it is Thursday.

Guess what came in the mail today?
My 2015 blog book! I must have not blogged quite as much as years past because this book was only about 220 pages where the last few have been upwards of 270 pages. Hmm. Well, I guess the proof is in the pages. I'm just not blogging as much. I think maybe it is due to the kids getting older? And if so, that is great! Don't we want our kids to grow up into great citizens and move on? Yes. Also, I try not to just blog the same thing over and over. Here is something new from me on my blog: A big rant.

I am usually not overly negative. I usually don't let little things bother me too much. While I can argue viewpoints with the best of them, I don't go looking for actual fights. But our new neighbors are pushing me to the edge! And it is all about something as petty as parking our cars in front of our own houses. Most of us who have been in this culdesac for like 20 plus years all have kids and multiple cars. We always park extra cars in front of the sidewalk, but never block anyone's driveway. Besides, cars move around so much, that a parked car is only there for a short time anyhow. Well, our new neighbor (let's call him Ken) with only one SUV, a huge driveway, and a garage he parks in, is insistent that he can't get into his driveway or garage if any car is within 5 feet of the edge of his drive. For the last couple of months he has been leaving notes on the window of any car parking in front of his house. I've been the recipient of a few of these notes:
They started off pretty tame. But still, who does this?
Then they got wrapped with saran wrap so we could clearly get them. Mind you, my car is in no way blocking even an inch of his driveway.
Ah, lets print them up! And cover them in saran wrap. That will do it. My neighbors have even asked me what is up with all the notes as they get them too. Poor guy. I actually feel bad for him, I mean, what leads one to be such a rude person to you neighbors?
And yes, he parks his car in the exact spot we are "not allowed" to whenever he wants. This (black suv) is his only car, so he parks it like this just so no one else can park their car there. Strangely he has never put a rude note on his own car for parking in front of his house.
And tonight's note. It reads, "Last time this close. Next time I call the City. -K".  Hmm. I think this is a threat!

And there's my rant. I have not decided how to proceed on this. When I talk to him in person I just get enraged, so I'm avoiding doing that. I don't really want a ticket, and realistically if he calls the police, that could happen. Maybe I will beat him to the punch and file a harassment charge against him. But that is petty too. Maybe I should write a note and put it on his car (when he parks it there) warning him of the horrible neighbor who is threatening to call the police. While enjoyable, that would be a dork thing to do. So I guess the answer is nothing. A big nothing. And of course, feel bad for the guy. It takes a lot of energy to be so mad all the time. And that's my rant. Thanks:)

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Chocolate Bowls?

Good evening, it is Sunday.

Guess who is an officially licensed driver in the state of Washington? Yup, Hansen! Look out world, look out for a blue minivan. Hah. And yes, if having a kid in college isn't pricey enough (no worries Preston, you are worth it!), we now have two teenage boys on the insurance policy. Maybe even more exciting for Hansen (in the short term) is that the bow he worked all summer saving up for, then special ordered over two months ago, has finally arrived!
Thursday we picked it up. Hansen paid for it with his savings and couldn't be happier. This is a Hoyt Defiant 34. It is awesome.
The bow is set up and shooting like a dream. Today we cut down arrows and did some other fine tuning. I think Hansen will enjoy this bow for a long time to come. And if not, I will:) Wait, I'm currently enjoying his last new bow. Hah.

Changing the subject, Maren is in Boston for a work conference! The committee she is currently on has been by far the most time consuming one she has ever been on. Audio books! Yup, you can only listen as fast as the narrator reads. And you can only get in a groove if you family leaves you alone. So, for a person who reads faster than even Lillie can talk, and has a family who always pesters her, this has been a challenging year (she had to listen to audio books 3-5 hours per day for most of the last year to fulfill her committee obligations). Tomorrow the winners are announced, then she is free from listening other than just for fun on the drive to work.
Maren and Judy got to take a few minutes out of their packed schedules and visit Fenway Park! Awesome!
Even a little ice-cream in a Boston Red Sox hat! I could just...I don't know, do something crazy! Like buy Hansen is driver's license I guess? It is so cool that she sent me these pics!

So, what do the littles and I do while Maren is out of town? Certainly not clean the house! How about make bigger messes? YES.
Here Lillie is melting chocolate to make chocolate bowls for holding ice-cream. Yum!
She blew up balloons, melted chocolate, then painted the balloons with the chocolate. They are in the fridge right now waiting for tomorrow when she will pop the balloons and hopefully be left with perfect little edible chocolate bowls. Very fun. Thanks also to John and Carol for inviting us over and feeding us great dinner tonight. Alright, it's a school night.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 04, 2016

25 and 16

Good morning, it is Monday.

I've got just a few moments to blog because we are not in school just yet. Two hour delay for ice and snow. But the rain is here so back to normal soon. Yesterday was:

Happy 16th birthday Hansen!
Happy 25th wedding anniversary Maren!

Hansen's main party was on Saturday as yesterday afternoon he spent his time at a friend's house with a few friends for his birthday, and I drove Preston and his college roommates back to WWU.

Here is the crew hanging out at Hansen's party.
Jack and Avery watching Hansen open their gift to him. It was the best kind a 16 year old could wish for: Box inside a box inside a box inside a box filled with money!
Lillie made Hansen's birthday cake! She spent much of Friday working on it. Fondant made from scratch and lemon cake insides. Yes, it is an archery target.
Here are the celebrators. Smile at the camera. Smile at each other. Really Julian? Hey, it's cute.
Now for a 25 year old picture. Adorbs. Who say's adorbs? smh.
For the last picture: Preston and Connor back at college. This was trip two, and as Nick didn't make it back out for trip two, so no picture of him this time.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 02, 2016


Good morning, it is Saturday.

Happy New Years! So what if my blog is a day late? Hah. We did have a fun time ringing in 2016. We did the usual, watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin from the comfort of our living room. But the problem there is east coast time vs. west coast time. So three new years later, it was our time to shine.
We started New Years Eve with a nice visit from the Omans. They head back to North Carolina tomorrow.
Then it was sit around and wait. I think I'm the only one in this family that doesn't do sit and wait very well. I went out the to garage and found a new puzzle to work on. I thought I'd be able to finish it last year, but no, I'm now entering my second year working on this puzzle!
Happy New Years!
More Happy New Years!
And even a little 26 degree fireworks! Celebrating 2016 with a bang. Today we celebrate Hansen's birthday. Tomorrow I will drive Preston and his roommates back to college. The next day it is back to school and work. Here's to a great 2016!

See you tomorrow.