Archive for March, 2013

best part of today

30 March, 2013

MyBetterHalf always asks the childrens at dinner time, “What was your favorite part of today?”

For me, it was after I had made them their lunch: jelly & banana sandwiches, baby carrots, peanut-butter banana bites  & chocolate milk, when I went back inside to get my lunch, they came inside, quietly, solemnly, and then started smiling and singing:

“Thank you papa…for making a yummy lunch”


week beginning

19 March, 2013

Sunday…I was teaching Bible class. And when I walked into the room, I surprised to see a coconut and a watermelon. The coconut was kind of an on going joke with my class. I promised to bring one…finally did…it had been sitting on my counter for a couple of months. And when we cracked it open, it was moldy. Two weeks ago, I bought one right before class… and it was moldy. The watermelon, YouthMinister’s oldest daughter wanted that…she brought both of them to class. Class went well, we talked about parades, and about the improptu parade Jesus had when he entered Jerusalem before Good Friday. Then we chopped up the watermelon, (maybe I was a bit too faithful in my 3rd graders with a knife…I freaked out the 5th grader.) And we took our snacks and song to parade to the pre-school / kindergarten classroom. Then we went out to find that, yes, this coconut was also moldy. When is coconut season?

Sunday…after worship, a last gathering & potluck discussing the “Sabbath in the Suburbs” book. I haven’t read the book. I usually show late for discussion. But I try to sit at new table, and chat with people I don’t know.

When we got home, MyBetterHalf was feeling icky. So, I took the childrens, and we went off to the park. We went to one with a track, because I told MsSqueaky & MrGrunty I wanted to see how fast their shoes were. I did a couple of 100 yard dashes with them, and then me & MrG ran a 400. Near the end of the run, I told him the Story About The Bear on the Track that my Jr High track coach told us.

When you are running, watch out for the Bear-on-the-Track. The bear lives around the 350 meter mark, at the top of the last turn. And if you aren’t careful, the bear will sneak up on you, and jump on your back, and you’ll have to carry that bear all the way to the end of the race. You gotta run even faster than you’ve been running to get away from the bear. I remember MrBoyd yellin’ “Watch out for that bear!”  or “That bear’s gonna getcha!!”  He even tacked up a “Welcome to Bear Country” sign.  MrG loved the story, and even tried to run faster when I warned him of the bear. At the end, I told him, “Listen, you hear that?  (bear voice) ‘I’ll get you next time Grunty! And then you’ll have to carry me to the end!’.”

After a bit, it started to drizzle and we were getting cold. So we got back in the car, and headed south…to a new park, the Latona Elementary school. There, MsS ignored us as she alternated between riding her bike on the big asphalt field, and practicing monkey bars. I spent my seconds alternating between kicking soccer ball with MrG and catching MrCuddles at bottom of the slide. A younger girl was following MsS, she ignored the girl. A bigger kid asked MrG if he wanted to play tag, he ignored him. Later, MsS said, “Hey guys, let’s play ‘Ship’.” She was the captain, MrG was the pilot (at the steering wheel), MrC was the skipper (who was taking things back and forth from the lookout deck to the pilot’s wheel below. Then MsS said we got to an island and we all got off the boat. We realized we didn’t have any food, so they went fishing on a big rope contraption, tossing their catch to me, laughing when I didn’t have anymore pockets and had to store the fish in my mouth. Then, MrG tripped and fell, and demanded we go home.

Instead we went to Gasworks Park. I heard many “Oh wow!” from them as they saw the giant pipes. And more amazement as we watched sea-planes land. We walked around, exploring. MrG got everyone to pick flowers, “to give to Mommy so she will feel better.” They got on a concrete block and put on a little show for me, singing a made up song, dancing, singing and dancing “Gungnam Style”. Then it was my turn to be on the stage, I started “My Bonny” and pretending to hold a mic, would have them in the crowd sing along. They returned to the stage and sang, “Papa* we love you.”  We walked to the top of the hill to get a better view of the park, downtown and the lake.

*I later discovered they were singing “Pipe Pipe”.

On the way home, they were singing songs, and MsE was teaching new call-and-response songs to them that she was making up.

We eventually took MrCuddles to his school, then off to Costco for tire exchange. It would take a while, so we hopped on a bus towards downtown. Downtown, we went to the Seattle Aquarium. They had a few “oh wows” from the Wall of Fish at the entry. We got to see the octopus move around, and since only a few visitors…my children always got a good view of the octopus. They could even follow it as it moved across the tank. They liked the big “O” of jellyfish. Only MsS touched one thing in the touch-tank. I think MrG liked the aquarium more, MsS was always the first to want to go to the next tank. Then for donuts at Pike Place market. Then, at bus stop, I saw a double-decker express bus to Lynnwood…and as an act of faith that it would work out, we got on. We got to go to the top, and we were super lucky and got to sit in the front. “It’s like a plane” MrG exclaimed.

Monday night, the three children were using good team work on a project of their own volition. They were making paper Easter Eggs for the parents to find. The twins were cutting them out, and MrCuddles was hiding them. And me & MyBetterHalf were confined to the kitchen so we couldn’t see. When we did get to look for them, the childrens would follow us, “there’s one more in there!” excitedly telling us.

Seattle Sonics return?

17 March, 2013

So…allegedly the board of governors for the NBA will be meeting to discuss if the Chris Hansen’s group can purchase the and move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle.

In Seattle’s favor… they’ve made a larger offer for the Kings team, and Seattle is a bigger market.

Why I think it won’t happen…
because Seattle hates David Stern, and I’m sure the feeling is mutual
to protect future billionaires…my understanding is Hansen group came forth with a very nice offer to the city, better than most billionares who want a city to build an arena, …Seattle City Council said “not good enough”…  and the Hansen group improved the offer. That kind a precident, of cities saying “no”, really looses the owners group power.

Why I don’t want it to happen.
Kings fans are way more loyal to their team. They pack the stands, they cheer loud. Seattle fans are bit fair weather (see current Mariners attendance ratings.) Maybe it’s because there is nothing else to do in Cow-town (…sorry, I got that from Shaq, when the Lakers -v- Kings were some of the best playoff basketball of the 90s.)
I don’t want to be emotionally attached to a team. It is easy for me to watch and enjoy, without the emotional committment. Yeah, sure, I could just not root for the Seattle NBA…but…well… and… my childrens will want to go to games (pricey!) and they will root for the home team. I’m just not strong enough to say “no”.


16 March, 2013

MrGrunty went off shopping, and then to a b-day party at BouncePlanet early this morning.

Me, MsSqueaky & MrCuddles went off to buy MsS new shoes (which was pretty quick & easy) and then to have a hot chocolate in Wedgewood. We had a bit of time to play at playground, MsS wanted to try out how fast her new shoes were. Then back home to eat lunch, clean up, and then her friend Ava showed up to play and help decorate cookies.

This evening, we went to a church of some more of their friends, and there was an Easter carnival theme. My childrens were too shy…but say they had fun after we left. There was a magic show, and the final act got MrG scared, it looked like a volunteer was going to lose an arm, I told him it would be OK, and put my arm around him. Earlier, he turned to me after a trick, totally surprised, “How did he do that?”   MrCuddles liked the trick where the magician kept pulling a roll of paper out of his mouth.

Last night, we went to Youth PlayGroup thing at our church.

Yup…we’re gonna be tired.

Foxes and farmer

6 March, 2013

Monday night, MsSqueaky showed me a card of a fox on her door, and told me how she likes foxes. Before I knew it, she and I were crawling on the ground pretending to be foxes. MrCuddles quickly joined us. And me, aka “Grandpa-Fox” joined “Mommy Fox” and “Baby Fox” for going looking for food. I got a small ball, we have many around our home, “Baby fox, an egg, foxes like to eat eggs! Let’s go to our home.” And then we crawled through the living room, I kept whispering to them, “Quiet, we can’t let the farmer hear us.” And all the way downstairs to parents’ room, and made our den on the parents’ bed. Soon, MrGrunty came bounding down the stairs, wanting to play with us.

Then, we heard a STOMP-STOMP on the steps. The childrens were giggling, and I was whispering “BE QUIET the farmer is coming”. And MyBetterHalf, in a very serious, very stern, as-deep-as-she-can-go voice, said, “Silly foxes! Stealing my eggs! Give me my eggs back foxes!” we scurried away, found some stuffed toys (look like monster/muppet-bowlingpins) that were now chickens that we would steal. We would sneak back to the bed, pretend to eat the food, “Nom-nom-nom” and sing, “We love ___” until the farmer showed up. Then we would hide and deny everything. Eventually, Grandpa-fox got trapped, (under a laundry basket) by the farmer, and so foxes had to rescue me.  The game was finally over, when the childrens were playing the part of super-heroes (“here to save the day” MsS says as MrG poses.) and GrandmaFox and GrandpaFox were put in jail.

This game is a HUGE hit, and they want to play it every night.


3 March, 2013

MyBetterHalf left us, so she could go hang with her sister’s family this morning.

Eventually, got everyone to Church…late. I don’t know why I picked the door I did for entrance, but as soon as we entered, we saw PastorSandy leading everyone in prayer. I tried to keep them quiet, but the childrens stomped up the stairs to the balcony. MrCuddles didn’t want to stay in class, so he sat next to me during the sermon and quietly colored. After worship, there was a bit of lunch, the childrens played whilst adults sat for a book club discussing “Sabbath in the Suburbs”. I made a point of not sitting with the folks I normally sit with…aren’t I brave. I sat with a bunch of grandmothers, who told me to cherish the time I have with my childrens. (They are also glad that I’ve changed a few diapers in my time.)

After, we went to St Edwards State Park. I had them promise me we would all stay together. And basically we did. Or at least we were quick to spot each other. Their favorite part, playing “Chase the dragon” which is like tag, only the chaser has to roar. A first grader wanted to play, and as luck would have it, I worked with her parents back at HFS in the 90s. Small world.


Rachel Dratch

1 March, 2013

I recently read Rachel Dratch’s “Girl Walks into a Bar”. Whilst reading I was thinking that like poetry there is a beauty in the economy of humor.

It was enjoyable. My favorite parts:

“Yes, and…” the secret to comedy, (and possibly life) you take what you are given and add to it.

On Tina Fey, “…she and I have different styles: I am a classic Pisces, prone to sensitivity and emotions, and she is German.”

I can relate…

“All moms secretly think they are doing something wrong and there’s something that slipped through the cracks, so I guess when some women think they are doing something right, they want to shout it at you from the highest mountain.”

(Fear holding an infant,… You have to read the instructions or “…she’s dead. Side note: I never read the instructions.”   …also, no matter you can find some expert to justify your parent style)

Great final chapter, for a story that ain’t over yet!