Monday, April 13, 2009
He and Maddie got up around 8:30am and quickly ran downstairs to see two Easter Baskets waiting for them. Then they hunted around the house for eggs the Easter Bunny hid - plastic ones rather than real ones, we didn't want the dogs running off to some dark corner of the house leaving them for us to discover when they started to smell. They were very excited and had a great time.
Later we got in the car and headed down to Corvallis for Easter with my Aunt Joan, my Mom's sister. It's always a great time there with lots of excellent food - they always have a fantastic ham! Maddie slept on the way down and Riley watched his new movie the Easter Bunny brought - "Bolt!" We got there just as food was being served and filled our tummies. Then it was time for the Easter Egg hunt. It was raining a little and this year they decided to hide them under their covered porch in the backyard so the kids wouldn't get wet. That was nice. TONS of little kids this year who were all wide-eyed with excitement as they found eggs. Riley and Maddie again had great fun finding a bunch.
Then we went back in, visited with relatives, and finally left for home. On the way back Riley fell asleep - and stayed asleep for several hours at home. Maddie decided she needed to almost ALL of the chocolate she got in her basket from Grammie. She was fine for quite awhile, then all of a sudden it was like someone switched on her hyperdrive mode and she was bouncing all over the place! I've never believed that "sugar-high" theory too much because I've just never seen or experienced it the way some others describe. But this time I became a believer. haha Riley was having a hard time finding a comfortable way to sleep and Maddie kept trying to wake him up. Marci climbed in the back to help Riley be more comfortable, and occupy Maddie. Then we hit very slow traffic, actually coming to a stop a few times. Grrr! In all, we lost 12 minutes, which really wasn't that bad. And there was enough rain coming down combined with the spray from the cars on the road that it was rather hard to see, so driving slow with LOTS of cars on the road was actually kinda OK.
Made it home, Riley still slept, Marci finished her school paper, and with that this class, and Maddie and I played with the rats. Riley woke up, Marci finished, we all chatted and had fun for awhile, then went to bed. It was a really nice Easter this year with even Riley still believing in the Easter Bunny. :)
Saturday, April 11, 2009
It was fun trying to find the stuff with the other parent last weekend and we all got hooked. We joined the website, downloaded some places close to us and have had fun looking for them. So far we've found three. Two of them were big enough to hold stuff and had a piece of paper in them for you to write your name and date of when you found it. One was just a piece of paper. The others had a pen with them, this one didn't. Now we know we need to carry 1) a pen, 2) something to put in there in case it's one of those type.
Our car GPS is cool, but not really made for walking. Now that we're hooked on this, we're looking forward to the warm weather and doing it all over Portland! And we're starting to look at some good GPS's for walking. Gotta have the right toys, er, tools. ;)
What's really fun is this is something all of us can get into, even Maddie!
Monday, April 06, 2009
Our weekend shopping which featured a stop at Cold Stone - both kids got cotton candy ice cream. LOL! Riley helped mow the lawn while we pulled weeds and cleaned up. We have a push mower which I use when I'm not in a hurry because it saves on gas and gives me a little more exercise. Riley loves to use it and did a great job, though got tired about half way through - it's tough to push it.
Sunday the weather was even better. Riley had a birthday party to go to in the afternoon. He wanted one of us to stay there with him, but we talked him into just letting us drop him off. He's at that age now where we can do that, and we would have been bored staying there. He had a GREAT time and didn't miss us at all! COOL!
While he was gone, we did more yard work, pulling more weeds, spraying weed killer on some, fertilzing, etc. It was sooooo nice to be able to wear shorts again! I turned on the sprinklers and made sure they were all pointing in the right directions.
When Riley got back, he and Maddie took turns driving his electric Jeep. He almost doesn't fit anymore! And after a few times of needing some help, Maddie was doing really well! She really liked that, and having Riley drive her around. Riley got bored with that and started racing Marci on their Razors. From about 9am until we went to bed at 8:30pm, we had the windows in the house open. Ahhhhhh.....
Today (Monday) it's supposed to be about 72 (it's 65 at 11:20am). I was tempted to call in sick and stay home to have some fun. But Maddie's at her preschool and Riley is at school. So I probably would have stayed inside playing Guitar Hero World Tour all day. haha
We got a lot of stuff done but also had a blast doing stuff as a family. It was really a great weekend!
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday morning we were all still not feeling great but got busy. We spent a lot of time in the garage, then in Riley's room, then Maddie's room, then the backyard, tossing things we no longer needed/used/broken. It was a long hard day of not feeling well, but feeling very good about the work we did. Went to dinner, then home to watch Iron Man on Blue-Ray which I got for my bday. Great movie! That was fun, but it kept us up very late, got to bed around midnight - including the kids.
Sunday was a very slow morning, but finally around lunch time we got going again. Finished the garage (well, still some organizing to do and a few boxes to go through but it's MUCH better now). Saturday Marci got four bales of straw to spread over the backyard. Thanks to the dogs and the rain, there wasn't much grass left and it was just a big mud pit. Finished cleaning the backyard and Marci and Riley spread the straw all around. They did a great job and it looks fantastic! Major plus is now the dogs won't be coming in super muddy!
Got to bed at our usual time, which was nice. It was hard to get up this morning and both kids are home sick. Marci called me at 11:30am and Riley was still sleeping! Poor kids!
It was a very busy weekend with lots of hard work which was extra tough thanks to not feeling well. But we feel great that we were able to get so much done.
Friday, March 27, 2009
It was a great day. I got a lot done at work, then went to dinner at Outback with my family, parents and brother. Had a good steak and a nice free ice cream desert! Got some cool stuff, lots of DVD's and a neat new iPod Shuffle. It's amazingly slim and sounds great! Riley got me a very cool radio controlled car. We had fun playing with it and his cars in the street the other day.
I bought a lottery ticket on my birthday, but didn't win anything. :( All in all, it was a really nice birthday. Thanks everyone!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Riley did better than me on many of the holes. I'd watch him hit it and couldn't believe how well he did. Then I'd grab the putter the correct way, line it up, stand correctly, all those proper golf things, and not hit the ball anywhere as good as he did. LOL! It was a great way to spend the afternoon.
Then we walked up to Finneggans Toy Store, looked around, agreed we needed to bring Maddie & Marci here, then went home to some great homemade pizza. After, we played a fun game on the Playstation 3.
All together, a wonderful day and lots of fun.
Marci and Maddie went shopping and had fun of their own. It's wonderful to do stuff as a family, but also nice to do stuff one-on-one now and then.
Monday, February 16, 2009
We had a great time! Some trucks just seemed to be going through the motions, others really put on a good show. This year instead of the dirt bikes, they had two robot transformer cars, one good, one evil. They did battle by shooting each other. We were glad we had our Bose noise canceling headphones on, those canon shots were LOUD! I took some photos, though it was VERY dark. I set my camera to ISO mode and let it figure out what to do. The good news is I got some photos. The bad news is many are at 3200 which is horribly grainy. BUT, as I've come to realize over the years, I'd rather have a photo like that than no memory of the event at all. AND I got lucky - I got a photo of the evil robot getting a hole blown in it, lots of sparks flying all over. I'll upload it later (need to sharpen it up a bit).
We also got the Pit Pass which means we got to see the cars up close. That was fun, Riley likes that part. It was just the right amount of time because as it got long and Riley was getting bored, it ended. And what an ending. Grave Digger was last, did a few things, then was going to do a big jump and ended up crashing his car on its' side. It was great!
I downloaded my photos and saw I took 706!! That's because I changed the setting to sports mode and continuous, so as a truck took off over the cars and went high in the air, I took anywhere from 5-15 photos. That worked great! I was able to get some very cool photos. But of course with that many photos, it means it's going to take me some time to edit them and decide which ones I want to upload. I don't think I'll send all of them to Flickr. ;) When I do get them uploaded, I'll be sure to blog about it.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Not doing well was partly my fault. It has been a LONG time since I built one of these and forgot a lot of things, like adding weights to get the car as close to 5 ounces as possible. We weighed in at 2.5! Fortunately, someone there had some weights, a drill and a hot glue gun. We got it back to 4.75 ounces. Still too light, but MUCH better than it could have been. This year I've been remembering all of these scout things I did and forgot about. Next year he'll do better with his car. :)
The Chocolate Festival
We've got to this the past two years and had a great time. This year it was AWFUL!! It looked like they raised the admission, there was only about half as much as there was last year, a lot of the places didn't have many samples, several of the vendors were quite rude, and there were a lot of non-chocolate booths, like soap and pit powder. Yes, someone at a Chocolate Festival was selling power to put on your armpits to make them smell better and not sweat. Um, what does THAT have to do with Chocolate???
Anyhow, it was really bad, we were majorly disappointed and probably won't go back next year. At least we had a great time at Red Robin's for dinner after. :)
Monday, January 19, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
I totally forgot to get any pictures or video because Saturday morning I came down with something and totally wasn't thinking straight. D'OH! The weather is supposed to be somewhat nice so we'll go out and play again, and this time I'll get some photos and video. :)
Thursday, January 08, 2009
This past Fall was very warm, much more so than normal. It was like global warming had decided to settle over us. Then in December temps went down to where they normally are and more! Around December 14th, it decided to snow.
Ok, no big deal, we often get a bit of snow that time of year. Except this time it didn't stop. And to make things worse, the temps stayed below 30 for several weeks! At home I saw our outside thermometer drop to 12! It was the most and longest snow I've seen since my family moved up here in 1976. You can't see it very well in this photo, but we got probably a total of a foot of snow. It was very dry. A few very windy days blew it around a lot and gave us spots that had very little snow and drifts up to three feet deep!
This is when I really love my job. What I do doesn't require me to be in the office. If I have questions, I can email users - or now that we have our new VOIP (Voice Over IP - internet phone) at work, I can run the software on my work laptop and when my phone at work rings, it rings on my laptop. Just like I'm in the office. Very cool! The only hard part about working from home is trying to get the kids to let me work. I have to work for a little bit, play with them for a little bit, work, play, etc. But fortunately things were slow and I could easily take time off to play with them.
We went out in the snow a lot. Every morning they'd get up and say, "Can we go out and play in the snow now?" For Christmas 2007 Riley got a little sledding board that he was able to use this year. They both loved sledding down the driveway, sometimes making it all the way across the street. Marci and I tried sledding a few times, it certainly was fun! I took a TON of photos that you can see by clicking on any of the photos.
We live within a mile of a little strip mall and grocery store. That was really great because we could walk there instead of needing to drive. When there was a break, Marci went out with the car and did a little shopping. She got another sledding board that was big enough for both of them. That came in handy when we walked up to the store. Both of us pulled the kids on these. It was a little tough at times, but much faster than trying to walk with them, especially Maddie who's little legs just doing go that fast yet.
I also took a bunch of video that I put together into one long 9 minute video. I'm glad my camera can take such good video. Our little camcorder can take better video but this way I don't have to carry both with me.
Thanks to the snow, this was the first time we didn't go anywhere for Christmas. Usually we go to Salem Christmas Eve to be with Marci's family, get up Christmas morning to do a quick Christmas with our family, then over to Rich's parents for Christmas with his family. We couldn't get anywhere so this year it was just us at our house. That was actually pretty nice. No rushing to get here or there, just a nice relaxed time at home.
Finally things cleared up enough by the weekend and we were able to go to Salem Saturday and Rich's parents Sunday. We had a fantastic time at both places. It looked like the snow was going to be gone, the roads were clear, everything was melting. Then it snowed some more, melted, snowed, melted, just kept doing that. The snow also caused a delay in getting together with Rich's Dad to celebrate his 70th birthday - Dec. 19th. We finally got together Sunday Jan 4th and had a nice dinner at Stanfords to celebrate.
But as we were leaving, Old Man Winter had to remind us he's still around by snowing on us one last time. It snowed hard and got bad to drive quick. I'm more of a wimp driving in this than Marci is, so after I got off the main roads, I switched with Marci and she drove the rest of the way home. We got about 1.5 inches, then by midnight it was 40 and everything was melting. By morning it was all gone, everyone was able to go to work and school.
It was a fun and wild way to end 2008! Now we're all back in the swing of things, back to normal sleeping schedules, being tired at work, etc. Lots of fun things coming up in 2009 that I'll be sharing here. On Jan. 31st, Riley has his Cub Scout Pinewood Derby car races! He's really excited to build his car. Also that weekend is the Chocolate Festival, so be ready for lots of photos of cars and messy faces!
We hope all of you had a great 2008 and 2009 is starting off great for you!
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Called Marci to come help and with both of us working on it, we were able to get it out. Whew! But while we were working on it, we were both in that mild parent panic because it looked like he had rubbed his eye hard enough to embed the piece of rock in it and we weren't able to get it out. I kept reminding myself - and Marci - to stay calm and don't freak him out. At one point I thought we would have to call 911 to get some help. But then Marci was able to get it with a moist q-tip.
Then Riley was fine, his eye didn't bother him at all the rest of the night. Sucks to learn a lesson the hard way, but now he knows to wear protective eye gear the next time he wants to do something like that. ;)
Thursday, October 09, 2008
The "Cow" train is a tractor pulling a bunch of plastic containers fitted with seats and painted to look like cows. We all rode it and had a GREAT time!
This looks even better in "high quality" mode. You have to go to YouTube to view that. Put your mouse over the little up arrow at the bottom right which will display a little menu option. Click the menu option which shows you an embed link and url link. Now click on the video. That will open it in YouTube's website. Under the lower right corner of the video is a link called "watch in higher quality". Click that and it will look much better. :)
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Turns out Roxy had caught the bird outside then brought it upstairs to play with. Poor bird! It's a very pretty blackbird and looks like Roxy may have damaged its wing but we couldn't tell just how bad. Marci called our vet and a few other places. Only one would try to help the wild bird back to health, the Audubon Society. However, they close at 5pm and we called at 4:55pm. So we got a spare bird cage and put the bird in it with some water and food, then covered the cage to help calm it. I checked on the bird this morning and it seemed to be fine, looked good, was moving around ok. Marci is going to take it to the Audubon Society today.
THEN, if that bird wasn't enough fun. Maddie burnt her hand on the stove!
Marci had just finished cooking, turned the stove off, and we've told Maddie TONS of times not to touch the burners. She's in her defiant stage now not doing what we ask and decided to see if it was hot. Instead of just touching it, she pressed here hand on it!
Screams, Marci trying to comfort her, putting her hand under the water, Riley freaking out, me trying to help hold Maddie, utter chaos for about five minutes. We got the neosporin and put it on her hand. That helped a lot - partly because it's the pain relieving formula. We also gave her some children's tylenol. Then we put more neosporin on her hand, found some good wrapping stuff and wrapped it up. I'm sure it'll be sore today and look worse than it is. Fortunately it wasn't THAT bad, no 3rd degree type stuff, and kids heal fast. Soon she was wanting to play and talking like her normal self. She went to sleep real easy too.
So quite the night for us! Oh, and Riley was really nice trying to help Maddie laugh and get her mind on something else. At first he didn't know what to say and I kinda got after him because I didn't want him to say the wrong things and make her cry more. But he figured out what to do and say and really helped her a lot. I also talked to him and explained why I was a little short and asked him to leave Maddie alone - and apologized because he was helping. Next time I'm going to give him a chance first, then if what he's trying to do isn't working I'll ask him to stop.
Never a dull moment at our house! haha
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
They told me he had fallen and banged his head pretty good. He wasn't that responsive so they called 911 and the paramedics were there. They checked him out and he's sitting up, talking to them doing fine. They also had Marci on the phone. Interestingly, the person talking to her gave her a story that wasn't as nice sounding. That person told her Riley had an accident, the paramedics are there and he's ok at the moment.
At the moment?! What does that mean?? That person had Marci all freaked out. I wish she would have been talking to the person who called me.
Fortunately, they transferred my call to a paramedic who told me everything was. He then asked if I wanted to take Riley home, to his doctor, have them take him to his doctor, or just leave him in school. I figured if they are asking if I want to leave him in school then he must be ok. I asked if he had any recommendation based on what he saw and then I accidentally hung up on myself while trying to put on my car seat belt. D'OH!
I waited for them to call back, they didn't, so I finally called them. By now Marci was at school and everything was fine. Marci called my parents as she was driving up to school because she was freaking out because the school person didn't say anything and made it sound really bad. My Mom called me and I told her I had talked to the paramedic and everything was ok.
Got to the school, found Marci with Riley in the car ready to go home. Her heart was still racing which I can understand. I carried him in from the car and sat with him for a bit. I shared some of my silly things I did as a kid, knocking the wind out of myself and coming to with everyone looking down on me, skinning my arm trying to jump my bike over a way too big ramp, etc. He got a laugh out of that. We sat there for a bit then I had to move the remaining furniture for the new carpet.
He and I sat in the other room reading books, watching tv, playing games, etc. He was doing fine and I couldn't even see the bump on his head anymore. Oh, forgot to say. Sounds like he tried to jump over a basketball, stepped on it instead and did a face-plant. I'm surprised there wasn't any bleeding or anything worse. Just a scrap on his elbow. So the rest of the day he was his usual normal self. We wouldn't let him run too much because we didn't want him to fall again. But he was fine, didn't show any problems or anything.
At night he said he didn't want to go to school because he wasn't feeling good enough. I asked him if he really didn't want to go because he felt silly for what happened and didn't want the other kids to laugh at him. He hesitated, then said yes. Both Marci and I reassured him that wouldn't happen. Marci told him that his teacher called, said she sat the class down, asked what happened, and that everyone was hoping he was ok. Heck, we had the Principle and Vice Principle call too! After some talking, he agreed he really did want to go to school, he just felt silly for what happened.
So it was quite the day for him - and us, especially Marci! But he's fine, no problems. Whew!
One more thing. Maddie was soooooo cute! She tried to give Riley stuff to make him feel better, brought over a blanket in case he wanted it, turned on a light for us, etc. Then she because jealous. She walked into something on purpose, didn't really hurt herself, but grabbed her head and said, "Ow! I hurt my head. Can you please hold me?" LOL! It was funny! After a few hours when Riley was feeling fine, they were back to playing together as usual.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Marci placed her order and when she tried to pay the guy behind the counter said, "No, your order is on me. That was very cool of you to help those girls out, you just don't see that anymore. Thank you!"
WOW! Amazing! She certainly didn't do that to get free hot chocolates. It's nice to see someone still understanding what customer service is about. Wow!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The other morning Marci came into the kitchen to discover the mouse. On the floor. No longer mobile. No longer among the living. And there was Roxy looking up at her, smiling happily as she began playing again with her new toy.
No more mouse in the house. Good girl, Roxy!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
"I hope that's just a fireplace...".
Mile #3 and the smell was really strong. I looked around and saw a small fire burning close to the Jr. High.
"Well, that doesn't look right."
I walked over cautiously. It looked like a bonfire and I didn't want to bother people who were there and might suddenly come running at me or something. No one was there and what was burning looked like a garment bag hanging on the chain-link fence. There was some shrubbery ("Ni!" sorry, bad movie reference tangent) that was also starting to burn.
Grrr! Stopped my run, went home, got my cell phone and ran back to call 911. When I got there I noticed a dump truck there.
Me: "Hi! Did you call the Fire Department?"
Him: "I just called it into my boss. Looks like it's dying down, so we didn't think we needed to call."
Me: "Um, I think we should. I ran by hear earlier and it looks and smells like there's some plastic in there. That won't die down easily. And the shrubs are starting to burn. I think it would be best to call the Fire Department - better safe than sorry."
Him: "OK, I'll call my boss back and tell him to call the Fire Department."
Me: "Thanks. I'm not trying to be rude, but I can just see this thing getting out of hand and the little fire quickly growing to a giant fire, burning these big oaks and threatening the houses. Like I said, better safe than sorry. Thanks again!"
As I walked away I heard him telling his boss to call the Fire Department. I was worried they wouldn't do it. When I got home I fed the birds, did a few other things, then went upstairs and looked out a window. It had been about 15 minutes since I left him and by now I should see the Fire Department there.
Yep, there was the engine putting out the fire. Whew!
When I first saw the fire, I was upset because it ruined my run. Plus I didn't want to hang around until the Fire Department got there, and maybe even after because I had stuff I needed to do! But then I reminded myself that I need to do the right thing and that's to call it in. If I were late to work they would completely understand. I could see how easy it is for people to just ignore and not want to get involved. That was weird. It sounds like I debated it for a long time, but really it was only about 5 seconds.
When I was leaving for work there was more weirdness. I passed a police car. Eh, no big deal, they often roll with a fire. I pulled onto the main street and noticed another fire engine and police cars around a small housing development next to the school. Wow! Another small fire! I passed yet another police car after that. Looks like someone was messing around, might have a little arson going on.
From what I saw, nothing was damaged. The fire's were set away from buildings and everything. I'm not sure WHAT was burned, I'll have to check the local news websites.
Weird morning, but glad I was ready to do the right thing.