Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break - Day 2 of 2 - by Brad

Since Spencer was still not feeling well Monday morning, he slept in until 9:00. I took Elliott and Wesley down to partake in the hotel's continental breakfast. I think many other families had the same Spring break idea as we had... to find the cheapest hotel with an indoor pool. Breakfast was incredibly crowded. We stood in line to make waffles and then snuck a couple yogurts and spoons out to our room so Lindsey and Spencer would have something to eat.

Instead of going to the zoo in the rain and wind, we ended up at the Seattle Aquarium. To show that it really does pay off to be polite... after Lindsey and the boys entered the Aquarium doors, I kept holding the door open for an older gentleman, his adult daughter, and his grand kids. He seemed a little surprised, and when we got in the building he asked if we were members of the Aquarium. We said, "No" and then he asked if we would like his extra adult pass (a $17 value). He then looked at Elliott and said, "That's what can happen when you hold the door for others." Anyway, the boys loved seeing all the different fish... even though it was very crowded. The only disappointment was that they had no sharks at this aquarium.

After the fish zoo, we headed to my sister's house in Redmond and the boys played with their cousins for a couple hours. Because of the horrible weather forecast for the mountain passes (and our lack of traction tires) we left Redmond earlier than we wanted. It turned out to be a good idea because when we went over the pass at 5:00, it was just bare and wet. When we got home at 6:30, I checked the pass cameras and it was completely white with snow and slush. We just squeezed by.

Spencer seemed to have his energy back and was substantially over his sickness by the time we left the Aquarium. Also, because of the lighting at the aquarium, pictures need to be photoshopped a little before they are posted. Hopefully pictures will follow.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Break - Day 1 of 2 - by Brad

After church we packed up the van and headed to Seattle for our single-night Spring break extravaganza. About the time we were half-way to Seattle, we realized that we forgot to pack Wesley and Spencer's swimming shorts. This realization prompted us to stop at the North Bend outlets since a major role in our hotel selection was the requirement of an indoor pool. It was here, pulling into the parking lot of the outlet mall, that Elliott's Dramamine failed him. Luckily we had a plastic toy-box that when emptied, doubles as a barf bucket. We found a parking space away from other people and cleaned up.

We arrived the hotel around 4:30, got settled, and found a nearby restaurant. We settled on the Outback Steakhouse. Lindsey had some chicken and rice stuff, the boys had cheese burgers and chicken tenders, and I had some pork tenderloins... but I should have had the BBQ ribs. We circled all the way around Queen Anne hill, making a pit stop in Ballard to pick up snacks for the evening.

When we got back to the hotel, we watched a little Discovery Channel and then went swimming. Well, Elliott and I went swimming. Spencer, Wesley, and Lindsey just sat around the side of the pool. Over an hour in the water and it was time to go back to our room. Watched more Discovery Channel. I think Spencer now has a fever to go along with his congestedness. Everyone is asleep except me, so I should post this and go to bed too. Hopefully I will have a post with pictures tomorrow. I would have taken a picture of the boys laying on their hotel beds watching the Discovery Channel, but two out of the three had their hands in their pajama pants.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hugs, Pens, Rocks, Forecasted Rain - by Brad

Spencer is at one of the cutest ages right now. Yesterday morning I left for work before he woke up and Lindsey sent me the following email...

The only damper on our morning seems to be that Spencer doesn't feel well. He has a croupy cough and a raspy voice. He seems to still be happy, just a little droopy. He slept until after 8. When he woke up he headed down the hall saying "Daddy, where are you... Dad... I wanna give you a hug... Dad?" It was pretty cute. He settled for a hug from me.

Last weekend, Spencer grabbed a few writing utensils and some paper, stuffed it into his shirt pocket and pretended to be grandpa for a while. Since his shirt has a pocket, he thinks it is a "work shirt".

Throwing rocks is by far the best activity when we head to any body of water. When we went to the river with the Bunches last weekend. Elliott has been practicing skipping rocks. He is starting to get pretty good. Thanks to the glorious photographic timing of his father, you can see the rock mid-skip (you may have to enlarge the photo)...

Wesley throwing a large rock...

Spencer "fishing" with a broken stick...

Elliott on a slide...

Wesley on a slide...

Spring break starts this weekend. Since I am going to have a busy week at work, our Spring break vacationing will consist of staying at a hotel overnight tomorrow. Looking for a cheap hotel in Seattle with an indoor pool is a challenge. Maybe we didn't find a "cheap" hotel, but at least it isn't TOO expensive. We plan to meet up with my sister Carol and her kids at the Zoo on Monday. However, it appears that Monday is slated for 4 inches of rain and high winds. We might have to settle for Seattle Science Center (since that is indoors). The drive home could get interesting as the snow level is supposed to drop to about 2500 feet and the passes might get nasty. Of course our snow tires have been removed for Spring. I assume there will be pictures of our adventure. Hopefully is isn't overly adventurous.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bunch Weekend - by Brad

Mike and Becky brought their kids up for a few days this weekend. Our boys had a lot of fun playing with Jack and getting to meet Kaitlyn...

As always, we stayed up too late every night. Activities included, shooting, disc golf, jogging, going to the park, and playing cards. There was also a lot of guitar playing and goofing around...

And here are a couple more of Jack and Kaitlyn...

Thanks Bunches!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday - by Brad

Woke up at 6:25. Showered. Ironed a shirt and pants. Dressed. Made myself a buttered english muffin. Off to church at 7:35 for music practice. Picked up Greg (our bass player) on the way. Practiced from 8:00 until 9:15. First service started at 9:30. Second service started at 11:00. Since Lindsey had a lot of family around this weekend, she and the boys went to her parents house during church so the boys could play with their cousins more. After church, I headed home to change and then to meet up with Lindsey's family for lunch. Now, I'm not complaining, just observing, but I got stuck behind an old couple driving 20 mph on a 30 mph for about 2 miles. It took all my strength not to get frustrated, but I was successful.

During the afternoon I watched some golf and fell asleep for a few minutes. A mid-day nap makes feel groggy the rest of the day, so I regretted that nap. We went home around 4:00, bathed the kids, went to Lowes to pick up a couple things, and I stopped by work to pick up a vehicle. I am headed to a conference in Ocean Shores Monday and I think my laptop died. All of a sudden it won't start up anymore. A couple lights flash, but I don't hear the hard drive spinning. So I'm not taking it to my conference. Hopefully it will be fixed by the time I get back.

We had our Sunday evening tradition of breakfast for dinner. Ham and egg on english muffins. The boys watched a movie while we ate dinner. I packed for my conference and picked out songs for church next week. Put the boys to bed and spent a little time with Lindsey before going to bed at 10:30.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday - by Brad

Woke up at 7:15. Got to sleep in today. Showered and dressed. Spencer brought a bunch of pillows and blankets into our bedroom and was jumping off our bed onto the pile he made. Pretty soon all three boys were going nuts. Lindsey didn't have a chance at sleeping in past 8:00 this Saturday. I made pancakes for the boys. Saturday morning pancakes has become a ritual the past few months.

I had to be at my parents' church at 9:00 to guide them through auditing their financial records. We found no large-scale fraud (we didn't find any small-scale fraud either). Wrapped up and headed home at 12:15. I'll give you one guess at what I had for lunch. Here's a hint... leftover... that's right... lasagna. Apparently, Lindsey made enough lasagna Tuesday to feed an army. I finally finished it off today, so I will have to figure out something else to eat tomorrow.

We headed to Lindsey's parents' house for the afternoon and evening. Most of her family has been in town the last couple days so we visited with them all afternoon. We had many different types of pizza for dinner. The kids painted rocks and played outside a lot. I set my watch forward an hour at 7:35. When there is a time change, I like to change my watch early in the day so I am mentally prepared.

We came home at 8:00, or was it 9:00, and put the kids to bed. Watched The Office online with Lindsey. Going to bed at 9:40 or 10:40, whatever you want to call it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday - by Brad

Woke up at 6:00. Read Psalm 109-112. Showered and dressed for work. Once again, each boy chose the same thing for breakfast as yesterday. I even overheard Lindsey asking Elliott what he wanted her to pack in his lunch. He responded, "The same as yesterday."

Off to work. Struggled all morning with the most difficult of all the financial statements I work on. All the numbers roll up into this financial statement. The difficult part is making sure it balances with all the other statements.

Went out to lunch with a friend. To Lemolo's Cafe. I had a pulled pork sandwich. Delicious, but expensive. Good conversation. Back to work.

Finally unlocked the key to the financial statement that frustrated me all morning. The most difficult piece is done. Now it should be smooth sailing from here on out with the financial statements.

When I got home, the boys were no where to be found. The mother of the girl Lindsey watched earlier this week was watching our boys for the evening so Lindsey and I could have a date. We went shopping for a little while. I bought a jacket. Then we went to dinner at a El Porton... it's a Mexican restaurant in case you couldn't figure that out. We had to wait a while to be seated, but the food and company were good. Lindsey had a side taco and side of rice. I had the carne asada.

Picked the boys up, drove home, and put them to bed. Lindsey and I opened up some Reese's Pieces and Skittles and watched the movie Public Enemy. I think she picked it because it has Johnny Depp. It was way too long and she fell asleep. Carried Lindsey to bed. 11:48.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday - by Brad

Woke up at 6:00. Read Psalm 106-108. Showered and dressed for work. Black shirt, khaki slacks, brown tie, brown belt, brown shoes. I will admit that I feel a little stylistically edgy mixing black and brown... but Lindsey says I am okay as long as my belt and shoes match, right? Breakfast was exactly the same as yesterday. Apparently the kids are creatures of habit also. Head to work at 7:45.

More work on the financial statements. For the one or two people in the world who like looking at financial statements, here is an example of what I single-handedly prepare each spring (warning, it's a 150 page PDF).

Home for lunch at noon. Lasagna... third day in a row, 'cause that's how I roll. Grazing. Chat with Lindsey, Wesley, and Spencer.

Back to work. More financial statement excitement. Back home.

A typical Thursday evening consists of the rushing home from work and rushing through dinner. Followed by...

Dropping Spencer off at Grandpa's house
  Picking up cousin Ella
    Picking up friend Ellie
      Taking kids to AWANA
        Music practice at our church
      Picking up kids from AWANA
    Dropping off Ellie
  Dropping off Ella
Picking up Spencer from Grandpa's house

But this is not what I did tonight. For Lindsey's mom's birthday, we (I mean Lindsey) hosted 13 adults and 3 kids for a party. While dinner was on the BBQ, Spencer was playing in the back yard and decided to whip "it" out and pee on the back patio. A short conversation ensued about the proper time to use the great outdoors as your bathroom. Then grandpa and I had a pretty good chuckle because it's just funny.

I had to eat my dinner quickly... BBQ chicken and pork ribs... and then rush off to the monthly elder/deacon meeting at church leaving the party behind. The meeting was finished at 10:30 and on the way home I had to sit in traffic for 15 minutes as the bridge was restricted to one lane for construction. When I got home, Lindsey was still cleaning up and Spencer was still awake in his bed.

Going to bed at 11:12.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday - by Brad

Talk about another strangely spelled time unit. Wed-nes-day. Who says that? Why not spell it Whensday? This is why I am an accountant, not an Englishy person.

Woke up at 6:00. Read Psalm 104-105. Showered and dressed for work. Some of the brands that help out in this process are Head & Shoulders, Irish Spring, Speed Stick, Colgate, and Remington. Mixed it up this morning with a buttered English muffin to go along with the half glass of chocolate milk. Warmed up some pumpkin bread for Spencer, a bagel for Elliott, and poured some cereal for Wesley.

Off to work for a morning full of MS Excel spreadsheets. I received a break in the monotony when I received an email from Lindsey. She went running this morning pushing Spencer in the stroller and then emailed me saying:

So when we got back from the run, Spencer said, "Phew, my feet are sore from our running....and I'm stinky from that running. How do you love them apples?" :-)

Lunch at noon. Stopped for gas on the drive home. Similar food items for lunch as the day before. Spencer had a difficult time composing himself. Played Monopoly Deal with a tired Lindsey (this time I won both rounds). Back to work.

More Excel spreadsheets and balancing asset and depreciation values for the financial statements.

Home for a quick dinner before our home group. Left over lasagna and corn bread. Lindsey and I scrambled to clean up the house and re-arrange the furniture upstairs since our new home group study requires a television for the short video series. People started showing up at our house around 6:30. I gave the boys a pep-talk about behavior... didn't really matter. I missed half of the discussion because Spencer was trashing his room and yelling. He spent the remainder of the evening alone on my bed with much whimpering to follow. Nonetheless, good fellowship was had and some tasty banana nut cake was consumed. One problem is that people bring dessert to our house the group eats half, and then they leave the rest with us. Anyone want to relive us of our excess cake?

Boys to bed at 9:00 again tonight. Lindsey and I relaxed to watch the latest episode of LOST. I am quickly tiring of this last season. It seems that there is a lot going on, but nothing is resolving. I'm ready for the series finale. They better tie the hundred loose ends together.

Blogging and going to bed at 10:12. Is my rambling getting longer? Sorry about that.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Tuesday - by Brad

To continue my one-week series on my average day, here's Tuesday...

Woke up at 6:00. Read the preface and first chapter of "Crazy Love" for our home group study tomorrow. Showered & dressed for work. Ate one slice of toast and peanut butter and a half glass of chocolate milk... yes, the same as yesterday - I am a creature of habit (some may call that a lack of creativity or laziness... they might be correct). Toasted and buttered a bagel for Elliott, poured a bowl of cereal for Wesley. Spencer slept in while Lindsey woke up early to run five miles. Off to work. Needed my sunglasses on this beautiful sunny cold morning. Had to give the radio in my truck a mild punch on the volume button to get it to work.

Meeting at 8:00 to present the financial status of my employer. No great news, but no bad news either. I omitted the first "R" when pronouncing the name of the prior month, but I did not misspell it on any official documents. Another meeting at 11:30 to discuss the financial abilities of a certain department that specializes in criminal incarcerations. [The descriptive vagueness is my attempt to keep the separation of work and blog]

Home for lunch at noon. Lindsey was watching a friend's daughter for the afternoon. I had a Swiss, salami, and turkey bagel sandwich. Then some chips and salsa. Then a homemade granola bar. Then a plum. And I stole a sip of Lindsey's root beer while she was on the phone. Back to work. For Jim... I worked on our compiling our 2009 annual financial statements - this is a several week process. Most of my time during this afternoon was spent on the statement of cash flows for the proprietary funds. (governmental accounting is a strange beast - how much detail do you really want?)

Went home from work a few minutes early to help Lindsey get ready to have some company over for dinner. Lindsey made lasagna, salad and bread. I think we used our "official" dining room for about the fifth time in as many years that we have lived here. We had a nice time with the Greg, Cathy, Ryan, Nancy, Aayla, and Ameira.

We tossed the kids in bed at 9:00 - a late night for them, and relaxed to watch last Tuesday's episode of LOST online. Off to bed at 10:18.

Side note: This series is focusing on the daily processes I am personally witnessing. Lindsey probably has a hundred other things she does that I don't see and therefore are not being recorded. She can blog her own weekly journal if she feels led.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Monday - by Brad

Woke up at 6:00. Read Psalms 101-103. Showered & dressed for work. Ate one slice of toast and peanut butter and a half glass of chocolate milk. Went out to the van to get my jacket and noticed the dome light had been left on overnight. I tried to start the van to make sure it would work for Lindsey to take Elliott to school. It barely had enough juice to start the engine, so I drove it around for 10 minutes to recharge the battery. Success. Off to work. I'll spare the boring accountanty details, but while working on a February financial report, the word "February" really bothered me. Who really says both R's in that word? Why haven't the English language gurus changes the spelling already? Aaargh! I might take it upon myself to start spelling it "Feb-U-ary" in protest.

Drove home for lunch at noon. Lindsey had made some turkey, pepperoni and mozzarella flat bread thing... delicious. Lindsey and I played two hands of Monopoly Deal as we ate (she won both hands) while Wesley and Spencer played together quite nicely. Drove back to work... more accountanty details omitted.

Fajitas! Dinner was ready when I got home from work. Although they weren't smoking like at a Mexican restaurant, Lindsey was on top of her game today (not that I am saying she belongs in the kitchen). Elliott had a friend over after school and he stayed for dinner. Lindsey's brother stopped by and chatted for a while. Lindsey took Elliott's friend home. Wesley and Spencer took baths, Spencer and I played a little board game, I played guitar and picked out songs for church this Sunday, the boys had some dessert and then got ready for bed. We had our second night of our family devotions. Lindsey thought we should start doing family devotions, and it certainly was a good idea. Tonight was about God creating the animals and how his creation points to a creator.

Relaxed with Lindsey watching TV. Going to bed at 10:11.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Earthworms - by Brad

Evolution has failed our local earthworms. Every time it rains, the earthworms pour out of the dirt and flood the sidewalks. More often than not, due to the climate here in Wenatchee, the rain quickly turns to bright sunshine and the humidity subsides. This spells certain death for the earthworms who require damp conditions. As the worm starts to dry out, one end of its body sticks to the sidewalk while the rest of its body tries to stretch itself anywhere but in the sunlight. At least the birds benefit from their stupidity. When I witnessed this yesterday morning while walking into work, I felt an urge (a very small urge) to rescue each one of these earthworms and throw them back onto the grass. However, that is not the image (of insanity) I am going for.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Kids & Guns - by Brad

I purchased a new gun a couple weeks ago, a Glock 19. Of course when I brought it home, the boys wanted to see it. Don't worry, the gun was not loaded, and there are no new holes in our kitchen...

Then we took the boys shooting. Our friend Ellie has a nice pink 22. She is quite the sharp-shooter.

Elliott and Wesley both got to shoot the little rifle. I thought about changing the color of the gun in photoshop, but this will go on record to show them that the first gun they ever shot was pink.

They also got a chance to shoot the 22 revolver.

Elliott and Wesley both tried shooting the Glock once, but I had to squeeze their hands so tight that it wasn't any fun for them.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Sunday Night - by Brad

I think our whole family was a little tired last night after a full weekend. So the kids put their pajamas on early and we all relaxed for a while.

Spencer just wanted to curl up on the couch and watch the Backyardigans on the iPod.

Elliott wanted to play a card game...

And Wesley still wanted to be silly... while he ate banana bread and played cards...

This appears to be a strange variant of indian poker...