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19 November, 2017

Last weekend, MrG and I went off to one of the few remaining Bible Books Stores round these parts to get him his own, engraved with his name, Bible. He picked the version, picked the format. I like that he didn’t want one of the trendy “Bible For Teens/Sports/Army/___…”. He also didn’t want a study Bible. He did want to make sure it had all the words.

Then we went as a family to Thai food, as a “thank you” from the parents of the U9 boys soccer team I “coached” this season. We had three appetizers, MyBetterHalf had pad thai, I had pumpkin curry, – it was alright, not as good as Mitch’s, back at the dorm. That guy could cook, when he wanted to. The childrens had fried rice.

Yesterday, MrC helped me make sure all the bolts on the dinning room table & chairs were tight.  Then, MsS and I tried to fix a metal tape measure, it was stuck, we took it apart, we discovered when loosened, the tape will SPROING out quickly, be both laughed a lot, then we discovered the inner counter spring will do the same! More laughter. We didn’t fix it, but it was fun. MsS and I had dinner together, we talked about what people do after high school, (she still wants to be a vet), then we snuggled under blankets on the sofa and read books. MrC was at BFF-Emma’s, and MrG & MyBetterHalf were at Husky football.

Tonight, the whole family played Apples To Apples… which was not the way to calm them down, because they were being loud and silly.



WWI podcasts

9 October, 2017

I’m listening to a bunch of different WW1 podcasts on my commute time.

So I really shouldn’t complain, because nothing in my life is remotely as horrible as life in a WW1 trench.



8 October, 2017

MrC & MrG had soccer games, at different times, even.

MrG went to a b-day party (they played soccer) and then to Husky football with his mommy. So…what to do… I called up MsS-BFF and MrC-BFF, they were available, so I took them bowling. Then they asked for a sleepover, sure, why not.  (The childrens were helpful at getting chores done right after soccer, so I was in a good mood!)  They played, I joined them for a game of Apples-to-Apples.

Mostly things went well at bedtime, …except, MrC woke with a bloody nose. Twice.

I taught Bible class to elementary kids (and a few younger). About manna.

Went back to Bob’s Pumpkin patch…did the big corn maze. And I decided, I’m just gonna follow MrG. After a bit a few other did too, from our group. One mom said, “I’m counting on you to get us out of here.” And he did. With a little smile on his face.

Mexican food for dinner.

Then a soccer club board meeting.


5 October, 2017

I got home, MyBetterHalf was getting oil change for the kidmobile, so I gathered up the childrens to help me make dinner. MrG, ignored me, and got himself a bowl of cereal. Me, MsS, MrC made scrambled eggs, toast and ham. I made them do most all of it, and I’m happy to say, very little egg landed on the floor. MrG still grumpy, because still hungry, and went off to sulk, and after we finished eating, he returned, expecting me to cook, but I made him make scramble eggs for himself.

Later me & MrG talked about Stradivarius violins. He even told me, “my viola isn’t that bad.” Which is good, because he’s had a couple meltdowns about us renting a viola for him that has a few scratches on it. I tell him he needs to grow as a musician, and grow longer arms, and we will get him a better one.

This morning…MsS is again on patrol this year.  🙂

This morning, and recently, MrC has been getting ready pretty quickly, and has backpack on five minutes before we need to go.


first lesson

4 October, 2017

One of my favorite sounds is the orchestra warming up. I got close, hearing around 40 beginning fifth grade violist playing in a room.

MrG is playing viola.
MsS is playing clarinet.

The school district brought together all the fifth graders (at our school, they try for 100% participation in band/orchestra!!), and had first lessons, one teacher with a few HS students for helpers.

There are about 40 violists. (Funny enough, four of them are on MrG’s soccer team!)

catching up – Memorial Day weekend

3 October, 2017

Sunday – friends visited, we fed them burgers and hotdogs. I and another dad escorted them to TwinPonds, where most of them played soccer, but MsS and her friends went off to hangout by a stream, and get their shoes (or cast!) all muddy.

Monday – Memorial Day

We went to a Memorial Day service at a local cemetery. The weather was beautiful. The childrens didn’t really want to be there, I tried to tell them “it’s a little like church, and will be about an hour”. That didn’t improve their moods.

Back during Gulf War … for awhile I watched PBS, every night, and they would have a “roll call of the fallen”, and a few moments of silence for each service person who died in active duty, their rank and age. I don’t know which made me more sad. The eighteen year old kids who were killed in combat. Or the 34 year olds, wondering if they were leaving behind little children. At the Memorial Day service I saw a woman with alone with two young children, and I wondered if her husband died protecting America.

Please take this time to listen to Kate Tempest’s “War Music at Tongue Fu”

Well, listen if you feel like crying.

After we, and MrG’s BoyScout Den, visited Paul Allen’s museum of WW2 planes up in Everett. Fascinating and interesting machines, which is cool, that were built to kill people, which I kept thinking about. There was a room dedicated to the question of “Why War?” Which was great. Back when I was a kid, it was simple, we fight the bad guys, because we are the good guys. In only eight years our BoyScouts will be old enough to enlist.

Me and MrG play a bit of Madden, we’re in the same league and my team is, on paper at least, about 10 stronger than his. We finally matched up against each other in a league tournament. For some reason, I threw two interceptions. He tried to capitalize, but only could get two field goals. His last chance, he played careful, and got a third field goal and was so very happy, loudly laughing and dancing around his room.

MrCuddles and I had a nice afternoon while the rest of the family was at the park. He said he was getting tired, and wanted to go lay down in parents bed, I took a book down there. After a few minutes, he ran off to get five books so he could read too.

catching up with – 2017 Spring sports

2 October, 2017

Nicely for parents… only one weeknight basketball practice. No practices for Spring Soccer, games on Sundays. Flag football has an hour of practice, right before the game on Saturdays.

MrC – basketball

He is excited about playing, dribbles around the house, plays pass with me or his siblings, practices shots on the deck.

Game #1 and #2…a double header on Sunday morning. – MrC was starting the first game. He is definitely on the low side for skill among his team, and is also the shortest. But he was looking around, trying to stick with the guy he was guarding, but sometimes would just flock to the ball. (YMCA at this age has wrist bands, and you have to guard the opponent with the matching wristband.) His big play, he grabbed a rebound, started dribbling down the court, lost it and tripped. And then he walked off the court, away from his team. I went and chatted with him, gave him time to cool down, we watched the game for a few minutes from the window, I coaxed him over to his bench. And he didn’t play the rest of the game. Second game, he didn’t go out. Until the end, the coach tells me, “I just quit asking him, and told him to go out there.”  And MrC did alright. Running around, trying to pay attention and trying to guard his guy. It must be tough out there, nine bodies in motion, a quick moving ball that is often flying through the air, people bumping into you.  (There was another kid out there about his level, that poor kid happened to get the ball, on accident it seems, and he was just petrified, didn’t know what to do, and another kid stole it from him. To bad those two didn’t get matched up.)

Game #3 – May 6th. He’s improved so much in past week. He is getting better at sticking with the person he’s assigned on defence, and was just getting in their way. I told him “great defence, just make it difficult for the other person”. The coach had him throwing the ball in, kept him involved. Once he was even assigned to dribble up the ball.  (At this level you can’t play defence until the other team dribbles up past half court.)  Someone tried to pass to him, but it was a long pass, which the thrower wasn’t strong enough for, and MrC isn’t good enough to catch a long / strong pass, and defender just got in the way.

Game #4 – May 13th. MrC grabbed a rebound. And is getting better trying to stick with the guy he has to defend. He was allowed to play point one time, and bring the ball up the court. He seems to be having fun.

Game May 21st – Due to a scheduling mistake, he and his squad of second graders ended up playing a squad of kindergartners. The Coach quickly benched his best players and put the ones needing practice on the court. He kept rotating, making sure that everyone on the team made a basket. MrC made the most of it, he hustled and got a steal, got a couple rebounds, and, even got two baskets. A confidence booster game for him. (Which he needed.)

There was another game, where MrC had to guard a classmate who is bigger, stronger, and way better. MrC got in his way, and I think made it a little more difficult for Caleb to get his shot.


MrG – flag football –

Pre-season Practice – they ran some drills. He said after, “I like the team, they cheer for everybody”.  He specifically requested, and was assigned, to be on the same team as his BFF-Alex.

Game 1 – he missed, in Portland watching the TrailBlazers with his mommy.

Game 2 – During practice he came to me, very upset, the flag belt didn’t fit and was falling off his hips, “they are laughing at me” and he had jammed finger on a catch. Wanted to quit, “I want to go home now.” I fixed his flags, I told him “Mommy wants to watch you play. I want to watch you play.” I coaxed him over near his coach, I walked away. Game time, he seemed alright, first half MrG was on defense. The other team was in the red zone, bad pass…MrG was there, grabbed it and ran it back for a touchdown. He also had a couple of “tackles”. I enjoyed watching him pass-rush. Second half, he was on offence, …not so good. There was a play he got a hand-off and was “tackled” for a loss. His BFF-Alex also got a pick-six that game. After, MrG told me, “I liked it more than I thought I would….I learned the plays at practice. Did you see my pick-six? I scored the first points of the game!”  My thoughts on the game…well, I thought it would be safer, because flags, but I saw a big kid and a little kid (both on the other team) collide at full speed straight into each other. Coaches carried little kid off the field. Sigh.

Game – after was very upset that no one was throwing to him when he was a receiver. The coach after talked with me, curious what she could do, (She’s cool.) She says she offers him quarterback and running back, those postions get more more touches but he didn’t want to do those. Me & MrG.we chatted… I told him he needs to stay involved, to show that you are ready, (“uh…maybe you could wave your hand when open like they do in Madden”).

Game (April 29) – the coach put him at quarter back, he had a couple decent throws, moved down the field, but couldn’t get into the endzone. Was good he got a chance to see how quick a QB has to decide.

Game (May 6th) – MrG is getting more involved, getting more touches. He had a reception for a nice long run. He had a touchdown reception, I was near the end zone and nervous for him, because it was a long pass, but he got under it, caught it, and ran it in. He had a two-point conversion reception. There was a throw he missed. There was a time he was open, and came up to me complaining “I was open”. I told him to get back to the huddle. I think alot of it is about trust, do I know my teammate, then I will throw to them.

Game (May 13th) – MrG had a good game, two touchdown receptions. First was kinda funny, went straight to the defender, but bounced into MrG’s hands. The second one… was nervous, he was wide open, and I remember he’s related to me, and long pass coming at him, I shouldn’t get nervous, unlike me he can catch. But his team lost by 20.

Game May 20th – last game of the season. It was too easy, and I felt they should have been allowed to have an extra player on the field, just to keep it interesting. MrG was QB, until he threw a TD, then they let someone else be QB.

MrG – soccer

Game 1 – He got winded, needed to cough a lot he told me at half time, a bit upset. I told him “I think you are just out of soccer shape. Soccer players run more than any other sport.” His team played alright, it was my favorite score MrG reminded me (3-2). He had a couple shots on goal, and couple of good passes to teammates, but the ball didn’t go into the net for him.

Game 2 – yup… our boys are out of shape

Game 3 – we had a repeat of November…cold rain. Players shivering. I tried to put on a good face, by standing out in it.

Game – April 30th – I got drafted to be ref. That was horrible. Sometimes, I forget how fast MrG can move. He got an assist to Matthew. He was very happy about that. After the game, MrG scolded me in the car “the ball wasn’t out of bounds when you called it, I was, the ball wasn’t, it’s not like basketball.” Yup, ref-ing sucks.

No game on May 7th.

Game May 14th – he had the usual nice passes, and fancy footwork.

Game May 21st – I was happy, MrG, who stayed up really late the night before, and really needs his sleep, I was expecting a melt down, but, when a kid shoved MrG to the ground (wasn’t called) MrG quickly got back up and played on.

MsS – soccer

Game 1 – she had a shot on goal, didn’t drop. She fought for the ball a couple times. She told me she doesn’t want to be a mid-fielder. I told her “mid-field is best, because you get to play more, offense and defense.”

__ Memories of November game. She was not wanting to be there, it was cold, she wasn’t dressed properly, (yup, she ignored her parents), …but when teammates arrived, she ran over and was happy and started playing with them to warm up.

April 30th – we got there late, so she couldn’t start, and I didn’t get to see her because had to travel to MrG’s game in South Seattle. She was assigned to be goalie for the second half, and was freaking out about it. I tried to calm her down, reminding her of last season when she was the best goalie in a game.  She tells me after that it was alright, she did keeper, and “we won, score was 4 – 0.”

Game May 7th – MsS had a few touches, but then after her rotation freaked out about losing her bracelet, which I found, (her friends made it for her, so, yeah, it’s important). Then refused to go in because foot hurting. Eventually she let me check it out. Looked fine, I told her, “this happens to professional athletes all the time. A part of their body gets tweaked, feels weird, but not really hurt, and they have to move it around for a couple minutes to get back to normal. And then they go back into the game.”

Game May 21st – MsS was being very aggressive at defense and very assertive on offense.


….uh…and I think that sums up Spring Sports 2017 from our clan.



25 September, 2017

One of my former Bible class students told me a wonderful story today. She recently sat her parents down, and told them, “Please do not interrupt me while I am practicing.”

I must remember to apply that lesson as a parent.

BTW… MsS got a clarinet and MrG got a viola on Saturday. At their school, which is awesome for this, they really encourage, really want,  all fifth graders to participate in band or orchestra. On top of all third graders learn to play recorder and all fourth graders learn to play ukulele. And I’m told all sixth graders learn guitar. This is so great, and I wish I had that as a kid. I did happen upon orchestra in fourth grade, and stuck with it through 12th grade. But I really like the attitude of all kids are musicians.


The Joy Luck Club

18 September, 2017

I read Amy Tan‘s The Joy Luck Club over vacation.

I enjoyed it.

Her first novel, huh? Wow. Not a bad way to start a career. <understatement>

song of the now

17 July, 2017

…and second place is Maroon 5’s “Don’t wanna know“, and I liked it before I even saw the video, with sad lyrics, melancholic melody, but a beat you can dance to. Recently saw on theFaceBook a “post a gif that matches your mood”…and that song was in my head. I looked for a gif for the song, and discovered hilarious giant costumed characters running around. Yup. Matched my mood.

But, winner of GBAtT’s Song-of-the-Now award goes to Imagine Dragons “Believer“. I dunno why I like it so, but lyrics like “third things third” and “last things last” sure help. (I just saw the vid, it’s not my cup of tea.)