Monday, February 29, 2016

Sea Urchins.

Good evening, it is Monday.

It wasn't so long ago that it was presidents week break for us schoolies. Hansen went to Leavenworth with friend's church group for a few days and had a mostly fun time. He found the bookstore in Leavenworth a little slice of heaven. Hansen came home with a tea infuser and leaves that he purchased. Maren picked him up an electric teapot. Now he is set!
Once Hansen was back from Leavenworth, we did a little Seattle touristy stuff. Lillie loves the Aquarium. And the Otters. And the Seals. Hansen likes being creative with photography. Outside of the Seattle Aquarium I snapped this picture of Hansen taking creative reflection photos.
Inside the aquarium. Eww, you can actually touch a sea urchin. I used to take Preston and Hansen here a lot when they were just little beans. No, touching sea urchins was never really a fan favorite.
I got a text from my friend who works in the Library at my old school CV. He was helping in a classroom and was talking to a student who wouldn't stop reading this book even when he was supposed to be listening to the teacher. When the student was closing the book he saw writing in the book. This book was signed to Preston by the author Jeff Kinney! Yes, years ago we donated a bunch of these books to the library, but the signed book must have gotten in the mix by accident. This book is back in our possession and I'd say Preston appreciates this more today than he did as a much younger kiddo.
How about a state archery tournament. Hansen and I (this picture is of us. I'm on the left and Hansen on the right. We were lucky enough to get to shoot together each day) participated in an indoor tournament over the weekend. Two days. Over 130 arrows! Hansen would have liked to shoot a little better, but I think he still set the state record in his division. I shot about the best that I felt I could, setting personal bests along the way. My division is were the best of the best hang out, so I'm happy with the middle of the pack.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Award winning weekend, and a crazy day of travel.

Good morning, it is Thursday.

Maren is home safe and sound from her trip to Washington D.C. last weekend for the AAAS Subaru Science Book and Film Awards. She did have a crazy travel day on Monday, but the days before that she had a wonderful awards weekend.
Friday was mainly a free day for Maren so she walked over to the Washington D.C. Zoo. Her goal was to see the pandas. And see the pandas she did. Including the littlest baby panda. Did you see the viral video from a week ago where the panda was frolicking in the snow? Maren saw that panda too.
Award winning authors! With Valentine Day necklaces. Getting awarded for excellence on Valentines Day sounds pretty cool to me.
There were even TV crews filming parts of the weekend. Here is another award winning author being filmed while signing her award winning books.
Is that Maren in line to get an award winning book signed by an author she helped choose to win an award? And maybe even getting a spot on T.V.? Yup!
What is this? It is hard to see, but Maren was given an award herself:) Yay! If I'm correct, Maren has been the chairperson for the children's book committee for the last seven years. This is the tenth year of this award, a nice award for the hard work Maren puts into this committee for sure.

Once the weekend was over, it was time to come home. Winter weather in Washington D.C. didn't help things at all for any of the travelers. Maren was on a direct flight from Reagan to Seattle, so I was to pick her up at 11:00am our time. But Maren's plane didn't exactly fly from Reagan to Seattle, instead it had a fire in the cockpit and had to make an emergency landing on the snow covered tarmac at neighboring Dulles airport where there were fire crews were waiting for them.
Here the fire crews are checking out the plane on the tarmac for fire. Luckily the fire was contained and the passengers got to embark in usual fashion. The crew made this landing with air masks on and smoke in the cockpit. They were taken to the hospital according to the news articles. They clearly did a heroic job getting this plane safely down, and were fortunate Dulles airport was close by.
Maren sent me this picture after she got off the plane. Planes weren't landing at Dulles and they were not really prepared for this. Luckily Maren had nice people on the plane and in the 3 hour line to get put on another flight. A military guy sitting next to her talked her through it as the plane lost power and turned toward Dulles. She then had one of the Subaru employees she recognized from the weekend to hang with as they had to then get in a taxi and return to Reagan airport to fly out of the exact same gate as they left from the first time.
This is the line of passengers waiting to be rebooked. During most of this I was texting with Maren, and while she was in this three hour line, I was able to call Alaska and get her on a flight out that evening. Rather than having a plane for these 150 plus folks, they all got put on other flights and such. She even met Seattle news celebrity Don Porter in this line. Twenty hours later Maren finally made it home safe and sound! From the employees who were called in to help, to the passengers on the plane that Maren spend a crazy day with, there was lots of kindness being spread around. And I'm positive Maren was also a calming person for those around her. Yay for home, huh Mar?

See you tomorrow.

P.S. Click HERE to see the Good Moring America story on Maren's flight.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Today's paragraphs may just end with a :)

Good afternoon, it is Monday:)

I could say that I have not blogged in awhile. True. I could divide this blog into several little blogs. Yup. But I'm not doing either of those things. Just getting on with blogging:)
Hi mom and dad! Happy 47th wedding anniversary! Dad picked up glasses almost just like mine. A classic look for sure. I don't know where this picture was taken, and there is a dog with a monkey name peeking from the bottom of the photo. Finley is a great dog name, but I can't help to think of the monkey that Billy Crystal played in Oz Great And Powerful. A movie I really enjoyed. And a monkey that looks like my parent's dog:)
Lillie spent much of last week working on her Jonas Salk special report for her history class. Yes, this is the biggest tri-fold board I have ever seen:)
Turned out great! My dad was telling us how he was a Polio Pioneer. His entire second grade class. And it seems to have worked:)
This came in the mail! Congratulations Preston for making The President's List in your first quarter of college! One thing Preston learned in his first quarter of college is to never ever ever again sign up for an 8:30 am class when you really don't need to. Hah! Winter quarter for Preston takes place much later in the day. Real life learning:)
Before haircut. Plastic bag for a haircut cape thingy. Calling a plastic bag a haircut cape thingy is one sure way to instill confidence [in your customer] of your hair cutting abilities and use of the trimmer thingy:)
Hmm. Yeah, I guess you did a good job dad! This was the very first time since Hansen has hit double digits in age that he let me cut his hair. He watched me cut Preston's hair last time Preston was home and figured that if I could do a good job on Preston's hair, I could probably do a good job on his hair too. In the end, we were all happy with the results:)
Lillie purchased her very own Kitchen Aid hand blender. She loves the color. She loves the results. She will surly keep her new blender in her bedroom along with her other treasures:)
Macaroons at their finest! They really did turn out great! We watched a kids cooking competition on the cooking channel where kids had to make these, then stack them. It was a disaster on TV. Lillie rocked at it. Challenge accomplished:)
While Maren is on her way home from Washington D.C. for the AAAS Science book and film awards, Hansen is on his way out of town. He is joining a large group of friends for a midwinter retreat to Leavenworth. I'm sure he will have a great time! He put his bag on his clothes to keep the cats off. But it didn't work, Joe can find any little speck of clothing to rest on. I think he should have packed Joe up and taken him along. But no, we've still got the little puker here at home:)

See you tomorrow:)

Friday, February 05, 2016

Student of the Quarter!

Good evening, it is Friday.

Yesterday Hansen was celebrated as one of the KL Students of the Quarter. Maren, John, and I got to attend the awards ceremony.
The main commons area will showcase the the Students of the Quarter until the next time this celebration comes around. I see your picture Hansen!
This really is my favorite assembly to attend. The principle reads nice things about each student. As you can see there are great snacks afterwards too.
Hansen sitting with a couple of friends who also were Students of the Quarter.
Hansen's turn to have his certificate read by the Principal. Congratulations Hansen!
This is what was written on the back of the certificate. Up to now you may wonder what subject Hansen was nominated in. Art! Yes, Hansen was nominated for Student of the Quarter by his Photography teacher. A very nice complement indeed! I'm sure Hansen recognized that the opening slide of the presentation wasn't actually sideways (like I initially thought) rather it looks to be on a brick wall or something and it is sideways due to artistic creativity. Cool.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


Good evening, it is Tuesday.

Lillie and I just got back from a trip to Michaels Craft Store. As the weekdays are pretty busy these days, this was our one chance to go hang out and shop for supplies for a History project Lillie is doing on Jonas Salk. We picked up craft paper, fancy scissors, glue, a straight edge, and a balsa wood air plane. The balsa wood air plane was for me. I so loved these as a kid. Yes, it is build and flying already.
I chose the red version of this little glider. I remember as a kid I could go to the local store and they would have these simple gliders, fancier ones that were biplanes, and even fancier ones with rubber band powered propellers. The best times were when you had a biplane or two, as well as a rubber band powered one and would combine them to make biplanes or triplanes powered by a rubber bands. But this glider is perfectly fun for me.
 Oh my! 1969 Camaro Z28. At $24.99 I don't need on that bad, but as a kid I made as many of these models as I possibly could. I also liked the motorcycle models. One time as a kid (probably around 8 years old) Eric and were spending the night at Grandma Bobby's house. She took us to a local little store and offered to buy us each something. There was a model car just like this one that she thought I should buy. But I begged and pleaded (what a crummy kid!) for her to spend a couple more dollars to buy the dirtbike motorcycle model that was a little above my level. She finally gave in and I got the motorcycle. That evening, I just couldn't get the handlebars/front shocks to stay right and I was so frustrated. She was right, I should have gotten the car. Every time I see one of these models I fondly remember my Grandma Bobby:)
This picture is for Maren! Who knew you could buy ginormous margarita glasses at Michaels? Not me!

See you tomorrow.