Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

last week in review

23 April, 2017

Friday, April 14th:

MrCuddles declared this “the best day ever. I had two parties, one in class, one in reading group. I had an Easter Egg hunt (afterschool). Three recesses. I watched a movie (“Into the Woods”). And I went home. Eight things!!!”

MsSqueaky & MrGrunty walked home after school. By themselves without any adult supervision. Are you proud of the parents for being so brave. When asked if he wanted to, MrG’s face just lit up like Christmas.

Saturday, April 15th:

MrG had a football game, so we rudely forced MrC and MsS to go. While there, during the practice, they entertained themselves by playing on a huge empty soccer field, jumping in the long jump pit, climbing over a steeple-chase-hurdle, going to top of the stands and kicking their shoes down.

Easter Sunday:

Church. And then the childrens were very helpful in getting the house prepared for company to come over. I thought the dinner went well. I did some prep the night before. I tried to go with a Mediterranean theme… yeah, I know, that’s a big area… Moroccan spices on the beef, Greek spices on the chicken, hummus, tatziki,  fruits, vegetables, … it was a relaxing dinner and evening with our friend Meighs.

Monday, April 17th

We did some chores, some reading, some gardening… and then grabbed a couple friends and headed south. Played & watched a tree get cut down at Seward Park. Had baklava. Went to GasWorks. Then Fremont & The Troll. Told them about Stalin, and asked “would it be fair if Messi & McDonald’s worker got the same pay?”  No!!!!  “But if McDonalds worker messes up, somebody could get sick. If Messi messes up, then it’s just a game.”  But anybody can cook a burger, and nobody can play like Messi.  Had gelato. Home to watch “MaryPoppins”  (or maybe “Willy Wonka”).

Tuesday, April 18th

Chores, reading, …then to Volunteer Park. First stop, the botanical conservatory. I liked it. The childrens got bored pretty quick. So I told MrC “find ten different flowers”, and MsS, “find ten different leaf shapes”. And MrG was looking at cactus, and I told him to look for Fibanacci numbers on the rows of spines. That kept them busy for a few minutes. Climbed the water tower, then got bored. I told them to look around. Then I sneaked down, they didn’t notice for a few minutes, but I’m proud they used teamwork, didn’t freak out, MsS & MrC took one flight of stairs, MrG the other, they kept calling out to each other checking on each other. MrG was not amused and scolded me. Then we wandered down to Broadway for lunch, a quick drop by an appartment building, “Look, mommy & papa used to live there.” (They didn’t care.)  Treats.  Home for watching “Willy Wonka”.

Wed – they went to Mariners game with MyBetterHalf, I had to work.

Thursday – they went downtown wtih MyBetterHalf.

Thursday night: MyBetterHalf went off to bookclub, me and the childrens had a fight over doing chores. After a bit, MrC told me, “chores are kinda fun”. After it was over, MsS told me, “my teacher tells me when you get upset to take a moment to breath deep.” Then we played a map game. Then they wanted to put on a show for me, they wanted to sing “Sweet Home Alabama” but kept laughing to much to get past the second word. I pulled up the video, and then showed them a bunch of vids of songs I like.  They picked some too, MsS “Fight Song”, MrG “24k Magic”, and MrCuddles, Journey’s “Separate Ways”

Friday, they went for a hike at Snoqualmie Falls.

Saturday – we forced them, they protested the whole time getting ready, but eventually we got to the March For Science. They seemed alright with it. We were chilled by rain, but powered by donuts. My favorite sign: “All the good signs [Ar].”

 

 

 

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13 April, 2017

the evening of Wednesday, April 5th

  • MrCuddles demonstrated his kung-fu and broke a board with a kick for me
  • MrGrunty and I played catch while talking about if Mr Westbrook would get the tripple-double record for the season  (he did!!!)
  • MsSqueaky and I went shopping for her very own pocket knife. The BoyScouts issue all third graders a knife, GirlScouts…knives aren’t priority. Took her to sporting goods store. The big and scary looking / military style / hunting style she didn’t want. She ended up with a small SwissArmy knife. The guy at the store was very kind, “take your time, not every knife is for every person, get one that is right for you.”

the evening of Thursday, April 6th… me and the childrens spent a bit of time drawing together at the dinner table.

the morning of Tuesday, April 11th

  •  MsSqueaky first words in the morning “Papa are you feeling better? Is your headache gone?”  (Previous night I fell asleep way early with a bad headache.)
  • MrGrunty was first one awake, and was reading. He seems to have found a good book, and is doing more reading without us asking him to. Then when he saw me, his first words were “can I give Sophie a treat?”  Awww…he’s getting more familiar and liking our pets more.  Why I remember, when he was a toddler, and Sophie was AFRAID of kids (MsS would grab for her) Sophie-kitty and MrG surprised each other in the hallway, and had a little stand off, neither sure how to react. Sophie then got brave and advanced. MrG fell on his butt. Sophie sauntered past, sashaying her big fluffy tail.
  • MrCuddles was asking what college he would need to go to to be a “fire fighter, police officer and construction worker.”  I encouraged him to start with an EMT training.

Morning of Wednesday, April 12th, on ride to school MrG asked who was going to be in the family book club. We all said “yes” and he was happy that we would participate. I pointed out that we had already read a book as a family, “Ivan” and “HarryPotter” the fourth graders said.  “And ‘Goodnight Moon’, I added. They laughed.

<sadness warning>

Wednesday evening, fears from a ominous & vague post on TheFacebook confirmed, an ex-co-worker had committed suicide. We worked together in the kitchen for a few years, he was surly, and loyal to his friends, loved to shock people with his jokes, loved the SuperSonics and heavy metal. I hope and pray, that after “Guido” insulted St. Peter for an hour, then told St. Peter a bunch of offensive jokes for an hour, that Guido was allowed into heaven, so he could finally play with his daughter who was born asleep less than a year ago. I still don’t know what to say. We weren’t close, even back when we worked together. I’m more sad than I would have thought. Sometimes demons win and humans lose. Sometimes it’s not fair. And it’s scary, I have had a pretty good life, how would I react to depression, death of a child, war, debilitating disease, death of a loved one… I dunno.  Sometimes people do stupid things. Rest in peace, Guido.

 

catching up with 2016 – Halloween

18 March, 2017

Oh yeah…the past year.

A few days before Halloween, MrCuddles had his last game of the season. The field was horrible, there were holes in the field, most of the grass was torn up, mud everywhere, an inch of standing water on most of the field, conditions so bad the players couldn’t pass, dribble, or shoot. Awesome! Field conditions took away every advantage the other team had. And by random chance, somehow (also with the help of Andre defensively kicking a ball out of bounds) we managed to either have a tie game or even a win. First time this season. It had been rough for our better players and/or players that cared, because our team was terrible. (One poor kid, he had five shots on goal one game, and missed everyone of them by a few inches.)  MrCuddles…he participated in all practices (I was assistant coach), he participated in games (sometimes he was WAY off-sides, he said it was so he would be ready to shoot a goal), he had a couple decent dribble drives up the field, a couple decent shots on goal. I think it was successful for him. I mostly had fun as assistant coach.

The past Fall 2016 Soccer for MrGrunty & MsSqueaky… a lot of mud. One game, I feared MsS got emotionally broke, because her goalie was barking out orders to her, and she took it personally, and refused to go back in saying “it’s too muddy.” Another game, on a turf field, (which was against a coach who was trying to micromanage individual players, like playing Nintendo, during the game, “Courtney two yards left! Susy ahead three yards then turn right!), MsS was beast goalie of the game, only got scored on once, she had a couple easy stops, but once she had to be brave and put her face down in the zone where players were kicking. MrG…working better with teammates, got a couple of assists, got some goals, using his left foot. But what I liked about his season, he is really excited and joyful when a teammate gets a goal, but when he gets a goal, he’s more laid back and business like.  The WORST part for me… picture this, you arrive to the field early Sunday morning, soon, all the team is there, you look around, proud, well organized, some grandparents are there too, people happy for early game, easier parking, plans for later in the day. Did I mention one of the grandparents was in a wheelchair? And the weather was alright too. Wait a minute. There are six fields, and we are the only team here. What? Check schedule that I printed, yes… quick (actually slow) internet, phone call to opposing coach, who said, “oh yeah, weird stuff has been happening with the schedule, the game is this afternoon.” That is embarrassing.

Halloween 2016. The childrens had the day off, and I was lucky enuff to spend it with them. (Seems the teachers take a Monday off every month for paperwork, training, catching up, meetings, planning. OK by me.)  We headed North, to a corn maze. The place was, VERY muddy. But we basically had the place to ourselves. MsS lost a boot, she sank so deep. I just threw away my old shoes when I got back home. We had the place to ourselves. The childrens wandered off around the kids corn maze, which I got lost in. There was a rope maze, so you could see everything, but had to follow the maze. MrC finished first. MsS got super mad at finishing last. We picked out some pumpkins. For trick-or-treating that night MsS was a warrior, MrC was a soccer player, MrG …well, I tried to turn him into a mummy, but he ended up looking like a kid covered in rags and he didn’t like it. They went out with a bunch of their friends. (I went to work that night, because, sometimes, you gotta go back to work.)

 

Great Wolf Lodge

1 March, 2017

recently, to celebrate MrCuddles birthday, we went to the GreatWolfLodge.

It is crazy. But in a mostly good way. The childrens (and their friends, we had in our group, six parents, eight elementary kids, one infant) had so much fun. And were very tired at the end.

My favorite part, first night, MrC wanted to hang out in our hotel room. Because that’s not something you get to do every day, amirite? But his friends wanted to play in the water park. So he and I played in the hotel room. We had a pillow fight. We climbed on the furniture. I hope I taught him the valuable lesson to look up, when entering a room – I dropped a pillow on his head, and then hit him with another pillow.

He “forced” me to go on a water ride with him and his BFF-Emma.

I was amazed, with all the kids literally running around the hotel, and up and down the stairs, how quiet the rooms were.

 

Affirming Life Sermon

9 February, 2017

…recently, my BFF-CC gave a sermon on Jesus turning water into wine.

She sent me a draft, and of course I gave my opinions, because I’m an argumentative brat.

Anywho…wonderful things from her sermon that I hadn’t thought of:

  • I should be more like Mary… “do this” and then walk away, let them protest, but totally expect to have the task done.
  • I liked the servants fighting over who has to take the wash water to the wine steward to taste, the way she presented it, (did they draw straws? send the new guy?) was humorous.
  •  The little things matter. She wrote: “Christ is right there inside the small, unimportant, easy to miss affirmation of life.” Letting some poor schmuck have a nice wedding. That matters. (Not sure I even thought of that before. Jesus likes quality wine.) Yeah, Jesus wanted somebody to have a nice party. How cool is that? Take a break, celebrate with friends and family. Take a moment to enjoy the normal parts of a normal life. The wedding at Cana is about helping someone have a nice wedding. Saving someone from embarrassment.

 

 

catching up with 2016 – part 1

10 January, 2017

So… the day before Halloween, I had my childrens & MyBetterHalf help me out with a cunning plan. You see, the childrens had Hallowen off from school, and I was gonna stay home with them. But, I didn’t want people to miss me at work.

So, we purchased a foam head, we painted it. We got some of my clothes and stuffed them with blankets and pillows. And we set a dummy at my desk. (used sunglasses, so didn’t have to worry about unrealistic eyes)

The final touch, the attention to detail that really makes a prank go well, I set up my screensaver to go through a folder of screen shots of my work (careful not to display any personal info).

The first person in the office said it looked creepy, the dummy sitting there in the dark office, staring at the computer screen.

Other folks said, “you seemed more productive yesterday than usual.”

weekend

12 September, 2016

The girls left us boys alone this weekend…so its time for shenanigans stories.

I’m the assistant coach for MrCuddles soccer team. (Because he asked, and then pointed out that I had coached MsS and MrG two seasons each…sigh, kids with their memories and sense of fair.)  We showed up to our practice and… hundreds of people were there for another scheduled event. So, we had less space, and I was more stressed about being in the way, and the boys, were boys, and kicking the balls all over, and not really listening, and the head coach got to hear me mumble swear words under my breath.

Back home, dinner and a movie!  They watched “Zootopia” again. I like the movie, it’s well crafted.

Saturday… MrCuddles first soccer game of the season. And, I’m happy to say our team did alright. Nobody got cleats in the face, because that’s what our boys do, handstands…just because, usually when people are close to them, or during a scrimmage. We did get plenty of handballs called against us. Srsly, I tell them in practice, do not touch the ball with your hands, the soccer ball is radioactive. MrCuddles, he was sorta engaged, and actually a couple of times was paying attention and playing. (Huge improvement over two years ago when he just refused.)  He even got the ball on a breakaway, and dribbled down towards the goal, solo, and took a shot.

Saturday afternoon, we did a few chores, then went to see “Kubo and the two strings”. I enjoy listening to MrC and MrG play with each other, usually they don’t, usually it’s MrC and MsS. MrC’s BFF came over, and all three played.

“Kubo and the two strings”. Great movie. It’s beautiful. Well told story. Good music. Go see it. I hope to see it again soon.

Note: MrG has been helping out at MrC practices. We have him ref-ing the scrimmages. He helps with drills. He asked during a drill, “should we run from the other side, so they get practice shooting with their left foot?” YES, absolutely, so glad you thought of that.  I think he’s gauging his defense on the players by their skill level. Because we, like every team have a large variety.

Church…it’s funny, because MrG didn’t want to go, as usual because “I don’t have any friends are there”. AND, I’m told by her mother, that MsS BFF didn’t want to go because MsS wouldn’t be there. And yet, two hours after worship was over, all the kids were still happily playing together. Yeah, we were there two hours after, because I was chatting with other parents…good to know my kids are normal. Good to know of what challenges are on the way.

MrG had his first games of the season…three short games. He always seems to look for the pass. He has good footskills. It was a nice day for soccer, and the parents, most of who we have known for a couple years, are a good bunch to hangout with. I guess we start keeping score now, (although the kids have been keeping score since we taught them how to count). First game we did well, second game was even, third game we didn’t do so well. But all three were close-ish. So that’s good.

Oh yeah…MyBetterHalf and MsS…they went to a GirlScout leader-daughter camp. Slept in a chilly open air cabin, and were back home Sunday afternoon. MsS was tired.

 

 

previously in sermons

24 August, 2016

OK, I still want the job of “Previously on Lost…” That show…I tell you what…it was fun for awhile, and then…well as Q once said, “All good thing must come to an end Jean-Luc Picard.”

Previously at Church my friend sermonized. The text, the parable of the sower. Now, back when I was a small child, I wondered, what kind of soil was I? Because I didn’t see myself giving back twenty or thirty fold. In fact, if I was honest, I was like the rocky soil, because sure I had enthusiasm at sermon time, or at youth rally time…but, Monday, the cares of the world would choke out care for God. Yup. Guilt. Nope, not Catholic. (Side note, I do want to be Catholic, kinda… srsly, belonging to a 2000 year old institution? But, well, not that I really agree with all they say…and, yes, I’m still a little bitter aboot the Fourth Crusade.)

This past Sunday, MrG was asking about church logistics, where do they get their money, what is the pastors job, what do they spend the money on?

 

Fool for corn

21 August, 2016

MsS and MyBetterHalf went to Mainers.

So, spoke with friends at Church about “the perfect thing to say at funerals” and evidently they don’t teach that in seminary. Sigh.

Got home. Corn is ready at our favorite U-pick veggies farm…did the math, and if everything went perfect, me and the boys could make it there and back just in time to set up for MrC soccer party. Because, ya know, traffic was easy yesterday. MrG wanted to go. I really wanted to go. MrC didn’t but said “OK, but only pick four!”

We arrived and the boys had fun, we quickly filled two bags with corn. They did most the work, I just basked in the glory of maize.
They also grabbed some cucumbers as I wheeled the wheel barrow.

On drive home, I was giddy. And I taught the boys something they quickly caught on to, and enjoyed, change lyrics so the pop songs are aboot corn.

Rush home, rush through store, rush clean (the boys were pretty helpful, MrC more, MrG complained “this is why I don’t like to have people over”.

Traffic and all other timing issues worked according to plan. Which does not teach me to “plan for the worst”.

BBQ… And of course only the people I know from MrC team showed up. Oh well.

music matters

8 August, 2016

so… recently I told the childrens, of a game that me, MyBetterHalf & Pablo would play on the long drive to Spokane. We all loved music. But different music. Everyone had the option to say “skip” to any song, but they could not skip again until the other two people had used a skip. So, a mediocre song, you might stick with, because what if the next one was worse.

Tonight, after biking at the park, the childrens quickly used up their skips. I was the only one who had a skip. And the song on the radio was Def Leppard’s “Bringing on the Heartache”. They were not happy that I didn’t skip the song. They were not amused that I sang along with the guitar solo and chorus. Loudly.

Hopefully they learned a lesson.

BTW… Def Leppard, my first “real” concert back in 1987 in the Tacoma Dome.