Thursday, August 31, 2017

1st Day of School...for some...

Good evening, it is Thursday.

Today was the first day of school for Lillie and me. Welcome to high school Lillie, freshman year! I only embarrassed her one time at school today.
Nope, Hansen and Preston don't start today, so they were sleeping while this photo of Lillie and I was taken. Only another 179 school days till next summer. I miss summertime already! No worries, next week the weather will be in the 90's, so we won't be able to forget just yet.
While Preston will not be starting school for nearly another month, he did give Lillie her back to school haircut!
Hi Hansen! This is Hansen just after getting his wisdom teeth removed. Cheeks full of gauze and no idea where his face even is thanks to numbing medication. He looks a little loopy, but trust me, he breezed through this surgery. As in, walked to the car no problem and zero strange anything from the anesthesia. Amazing really. A senior in high school this year, Hansen is missing out on his first day of school because of running start.Not really, he simply doesn't start for another 3 weeks! This running start thing suits Hansen just fine. No school for a nearly a month, and no more wisdom teeth?!?

See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Fort Clatsop, Seaside, and Haystack Rock.

Good morning, it is Friday.

In my last post you saw us enjoying the solar eclipse from in the luxurious front yard of our house. Well, right after that, we drove down to Oregon for vacation. So we went to the path of totality a day late and a dollar short. LOL. Really, we wanted to vacation at Seaside Oregon, and going a day earlier would have cost like way more zeros. So we drove against traffic, saved a little money, still enjoyed the eclipse, but rather than getting pitch dark, we had to settle for dusk. It was still awesome. We've gone to Ocean Shores in WA for as long as we can remember and we really like it there. But there was something about Seaside OR that was different. There is no wind there! You get to enjoy all the same beaches, even better ones, all without the wind. Weird. And cool. Maybe it's worth the extra zeros?
On the way down, Maren tricked us into stopping at Fort Clatsop. We were hungry and we had to use the bathroom, Maren said this was the place to be. LOL. Maren loves everything Lewis and Clark, and I think this was the highlight of the trip for her. Being of the Nickelodeon generation (and me being a big kid) the kids didn't really know what to expect. We saw hiking trails, People dressed in era appropriate clothing, a Fort that looked like vacation hut, and some really big trees. Ha.
A statue of Sacajawea. Even the pronunciation of Sacajawea has changed, we've been saying it wrong all this time. Who knew? Maren knew...
This is a replica of Fort Clatsop. They figure it is within feet of where the original fort was located, and is a very good replica. Amazing. It is hard to imagine what it would be like being here in 1805 without the visitors center, the asphalt parking lot, and just woods everywhere.
This guy was awesome. Worth the price of admission alone. He is an 8th grade history teacher in the area, and this is what he does for his summer job. Dress in buckskin and shoot old guns. All while teaching kids and adults about the early 1800's and this amazing fort.
Hey kids! Having fun yet? Yes, the stop at Fort Clatsop was pretty amazing.
Phew, we made it to Seaside! Greetings.
The kids went straight to the water. Those sand filled flip flops are still sitting on the front stairs of our house waiting to be hosed off.
Maren found a little sand dollar. Beachy!
Hanging with the Monkey Puzzle Trees out front of our hotel. We were a few blocks back from the water, but there were stores and such nearby. We even got to have lunch at a Subway/Beach Burrito. Hansen has been telling us of this cool Burrito Subway store since his first trip to Seaside with his cross country team a few years ago. It was very yummy for sure.
What is this strange thing? A pay phone? My germaphobe kids were amazed that I picked up the hand piece and held it to my ear. Yes, there was a dial tone. What's a dial tone?  Is this how Lewis and Clark communicated with President Jefferson? Haha. If you don't think blogging about payphones is fun, you're wrong...
I really wanted to drive down to Cannon Beach and see Haystack Rock. It did not disappoint. In this first picture the tide was just on it's way back in. By the time we left, the water was up to where Maren is standing.
This place is one of the most amazing places I've ever been. Really. The fog and the sky and the rock and the beach. I could have pulled up chairs (behind us, on the sand) and hung out all day long. I think Preston's words were sarcastically; "it's a beach. with a rock"...
Lillie really enjoyed this beach. She could have stayed all day. I'm 100% positive that the photos and videos on her phone are way better than anything you're seeing on my blog.
Time to hit the road. Off to some outlet mall shopping. Tax free in Oregon!
Maren and Lillie hanging out on the stairs to the Seaside beach on our last evening. We were hoping to see a sunset, but the fog and clouds really rolled in. I suppose that is just as amazing.
One last photo from Seaside. This was actually one of the first taken at the beach.

Now it back to school and work for Lillie and me. Hansen will have his wisdom teeth removed tomorrow, so the next few days will be days of recovery and hanging out for him. Preston is heading back up to Bellingham with his roommates to clean and move out of the house they lived in last year, and move into the house they rented for this year. Sounds like summer is over for another year. I will miss you summertime!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse!

Good morning, it is Monday.

This is post number 2 for today. Don't miss the last one on the Terracotta Warriors.

Did you get to see the eclipse today? Amazing. We are not in the path of totality, but we are kind of close. Close enough to tell the world got a little darker. And colder.
There were our viewers. Pizza box, cereal box, and actual glasses.
Preston went with the glasses, while the rest of us went with the pizza box. Both were totally amazing to look through.
Of course, there was the TV too. Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill Nye The Science Guy! The sliver on the TV in this photo is about how it looked for us. Very cool!
They said animals would freak a little. Well, Flareon is always strange. But he did climb the rhodies and try to catch a glimpse as well.
The pizza box is working!
Here is how Carol spent the morning of her birthday! Happy Birthday Carol!
Maren says, "whoa!"

Hope you got to enjoy the eclipse. It was very cool!

See you tomorrow.

The Terracotta Warriors

Good morning, it is Monday! Happy (yesterday) Birthday to Melanie. Happy (today) Birthday to Carol. Yup, she has an eclipse on her birthday. Cool! Happy first day of school Clark and Aurora!

Yes we have our glasses and our pizza boxes made for the eclipse. And it is happening! Now. But the eclipse blog comes later. Today is about an amazing exhibit we saw at the Seattle Science Center.
Walking into the exhibit you are greeted by this warrior. It is worth looking up the history of the Terracotta Warriors. They guard the tomb of the first emperor of China. There are hundreds of these warriors, each different, in lines guarding a mountain, which is the tomb. Amazing! So much bigger (or so it seemed) than even King Tut. And while many of these warriors have been excavated, they clearly are still doing their job. The scientists have decided based on the conditions of the warriors, that modern technology is not good enough to excavate the first emperor's tomb. So the first emperor's tomb is still untouched. The terracotta is too fragile after 2300 years.
The exhibit was quite crowded. The best thing we did was see the IMAX movie that goes along with the Terracotta Warriors before going into the exhibit. We already knew what we were looking at, but that didn't make it any less amazing, I'd say just the opposite.
See how the warrior's hands are formed? They were each holding cross bows and flags when originally lined up. They formed the same formations that the actual warriors of the first emperors would line up in battle. So the scientist are also learning a lot about the warfare of the time.
Yes there were full horses along with the warriors.
Chariots as well.
A warrior and a horse.

The photos behind this warrior show the excavation area of this particular dig.
Yes, they were all painted amazing colors when they were first created. Now the color has fallen off and they look different. Amazing really.
While we were here, there were dignitaries from China and the dig site on site. We got ask questions, our question had to do with holes in the smaller animals. Turns out that on the warriors the holes are on the bottom of the feet and around the head. These holes were there as the warriors are terracotta and they are cooling holes when in the kilns.

I'm sure that the kids have even better photos than I do.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rainiers game, and Happy Birthday Larry.

Good morning, it is Monday.

Facebook is a pretty crazy thing. It sends you notifications and stuff, but it is just a computer and knows not of anything other than exactly what you were shopping online for ten minutes ago. Today's reminder was for Larry's 70th birthday! This is a bitter sweet reminder because Larry passed away a few years ago. But Larry was awesome, and I was very happy to see the reminder. Happy 70th Larry!

Interestingly, when Facebook caught my eye, I was sitting down to do a blog about going to the Tacoma Rainiers baseball game with Judy. We've gone to at least one Rainiers game with Judy since the around the remodel of Cheney Stadium when Judy and Larry first purchased season tickets. The Rainiers aren't always the best minor league baseball team, but it is always a fun time.
A selfie from Saturday's game. You can even find this picture on Twitter as it was being advertised on the big screen to take a selfie and hashtag it #Rselfie. We did that:)
Perfect seats! And then it rained. As in water fell from the sky starting the 7th inning. Since the Rainiers were getting beat and the top half of the 7th inning was taking forever, you could tell the whole crowd just wanted to make it to the 7th inning stretch. We were no different. A little wet, we got to sing, then scadoodle. By the cars and folks streaming out of there, I'm not sure any fans made it to the end of the game! Thanks to the rain and a change of wind, we can see the sky again. The fires in B.C. have been sending smoke down our way so much that the local soccer teams have been canceling practice for the last couple of weeks.
This has got to be one of the very first selfies I ever took (with then brand new iphone4) at a Tacoma Rainiers game with (clockwise from me) Larry, Judy, Mick, Susan, and Maren!

See you tomorrow. Go Rainiers!

Monday, August 07, 2017

Sam and Amy's Wedding.

Good evening, it is Monday.

Today was a good day. We got to see the Omans, the Ostergards, and Mel and the twins at a nice little BBQ at John and Carol's house. We have recovered from the long day that was Sam and Amy's wedding. It was a great day, and you will see many photos in just a moment. That moment is now:
After a two and a half hour drive, we made it to the tiny ferry that delivers like 16 cars an hour to Lummi Island. On the way we picked up Preston from his house in Bellingham. Well, his old house, he and his buddies will be moving into a new house the end of the month.  You can see the tiny ferry at the end of the dock. While a beautiful ferry ride, it is kind of nerve racking the very first time as it is so small. The ride back off the island 8 hours later was done in the pitch dark, and we were the first car in line, which means the only thing between us and going off into the water was a single wheel block. Yikes. Well, that an my squeaky brakes. I did replace the front brakes on the van this morning, so they should squeak no more.
We caravaned from Bellingham with Maren's cousin Annie and family. What is crazy is how small a world this is at times. We were going to the wedding invited by Sam and family. Sammy grew up in our culde-sac, his folks still live here, and he was one of the twenty culde-sac kids that we've know their whole lives. Preston and I met Amy (Sam's fiance) one time, at his college graduation party. But Annie's family has known Amy since she was just a toddler. The Omans knew them back in California and up in Bellingham, they (Kraig and Annie) even rented out the basement apartment from Amy's parents way back in the day. We discovered this connection when Sam and Amy posted the save the date on Facebook and strangely both us and the Omans were invited. The Omans just met Sam at the wedding. Amazing. As the Omans are visiting from North Carolina much of this month, it worked out perfectly for all of us to attend. Because of the tiny amount of cars getting over to the island, we left early in case we had to wait a couple of ferry trips. We only waited for one extra, then we spent some time in a cafe (this is a selfie I took), then taking some family photos you'll see in a bit.
Here are Sam and Amy walking back down the isle as husband and wife. You can't really tell from this photo, but this deck is overlooking the water. An amazing location for sure. Lummi Island is were Amy's family lives now, so many of the wedding party was able to stay the night on the island. Very nice wedding from the start to the end.
Christian and Chase. In the wedding party and the best man respectively. Of course they were culde-sac kids as well. The wedding had a nice dinner buffet, appetizers, an open bar, and of course cake! We stayed long enough to see it all, even dance a little. We were aware of the time as the ferry leaving only left on the hour, and the last ferry was at midnight. Supposedly they would leave nobody stranded who was in line for the midnight ride, but we made it in time for the 11:00 pm crossing. We dropped Preston back at his house, then drove home. Made it home around 1:30 am!
We had a lot of fun hanging out with old neighbors and friends. We should have had the kids take some pics of us and our old neighbors, but didn't think about it. Oh well. Preston's college roommate Connor and his parents were there as well. It is always great to see Mark and Tina, they moved away a year before Preston and Connor graduated from high school, but it is always like no time has passed when we see them. Tina took this photo of Maren and me. I told Maren that I should try to wave like a normal person (finger close together), she said this not weird, rather it is the ultimate Slane wave as all the photos of my mom waving have the exact same hand. I went back and looked at a few photos, Maren is not wrong. Hi Mom, I wave just like you! Who knew?
Our kids and the Oman kids enjoying dinner and festivities. Kraig took the next couple of amazing photos. I always know that my photos on this blog are not the best photos taken of any event we're at by any stretch. But they are the ones I take and they do tell a story, so I'm happy. The following photos are in by possession thanks to the wonders of Apple Airdrop. Thanks for taking such great photos! In case you're wondering, our kids and the Oman kids are almost perfectly spaced out. In descending order: Preston, Alex, Hansen, Claire, Lillian, and Miles. They are all about a year and a half in age from each other. Perfect.

Preston, Claire, and Alex.

Annie took these photos of our family on Lummi Island before the wedding. The last one may be a Christmas card photo? Well, this blog was to be about the great wedding thrown for Sam and Amy, but there are far more photos of us and the Omans. I guess it is my blog! Ha.

Congratulations Sam and Amy.

See you tomorrow.