Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Discovering Treasure!

When I arrived home from a recent hike to Big Four Mountain, the house was unusually quiet.

It didn't take long for me to notice both kids playing together out in the backyard. They were playing. Together. Nicely. Voluntarily.


Not wanting to disturb whatever forces were responsible for this unusual situation it seemed wise to find the camera. And notify Tanya, lest she might not believe it. Like how she sometimes doubts my stories (such as the one about the insane cat that we had to chase out a 2nd story window to save our own lives back in 1993).

Before making my way upstairs to inform her of this rare spectacle my attention was distracted by the need for a cool glass of water. Then it seemed important to unpack my hiking gear before the dogs adopted it as a new chew toy.

By the time everything was cleaned up the kids were no longer visible in the backyard.

Where did they run off to?

Better go investigate to make sure they aren't building hobo camps out in the meadow again.

While descending the staircase down to the back patio, my ears were met with the excited whoops and exclamations of kids having a great time, very similar to what pirates probably sound like upon discovering a new treasure.

The sounds were coming from just around the corner of the house where the only exciting thing is a hose, thin grass and probably a multitude of spiders.

The sounds and voices get closer when suddenly they come into view as Mikayla and Alexia round the corner of the house. They are pushing an office chair through the grass and wood chips.

It's not our office chair.

It's the office chair that I remembered seeing just across the street upon my arrival at home a short while ago.

The chair had "FREE" written on a piece of paper which was taped to the chair.

The kids were totally excited about their treasure and I was excited for them... but I made them take it back anyway.

Sorry kids. One day you'll probably do the same.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Talent Show - Grade 3

As one who sometimes doesn't like to be in the spotlight of public attention, Alexia announced to us early this week that she had participated in the audition for her school's talent show.

We were speechless. Totally surprised.

Trying to think of a polite way to ask her what her talent was without offending her suddenly became the focus of the moment. If you don't ask it the right way you run the risk of turning this unexpected positive announcement into an emotionally scarring conversation.

We delicately waded those waters to find out she and her friend Makenna were going to exhibit their jumping rope skills for the whole school to see.

Since I wasn't aware that Alexia had an extra-special knack for jumping rope, or that she wanted to jump rope in front of the entire school, it came as a bit of a surprise to me.

Not wanting to be accused of being a swinging pendulum of doom, I will let you dedicated followers watch the scene unfold with your own eyes.

Alexia explained that in the original plan, she and Makenna were going to do a jump rope exhibition with just the two of them, using one rope. Unfortunately, the judges decided that in order to lengthen the duration of the entire talent show (and get the kids to the bus on time) they should consolidate the multiple Grade 3 Jump Rope exhibitors into just one talent show entry. There were more jump ropers to the right, but obviously I was focusing on Alexia and Makenna.

In other news, America's Funniest Videos may have to wait for my entry until next year's talent show.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Break 2010 (AZ)

Finally, what you've all been waiting for... the gals 2010 Spring Break in Arizona pictures!

Since they were so busy having fun, I don't have a lot of stories to share about that week, but there are plenty of pics!

Here is a picture, taken by Alexia, from the plane (obviously).

We aren't sure what geographic area this picture represents, but I think it was taken right about the time I received that text message from Tanya which informed me that she just might start tossing cookies.

Rumor has it that they had a mostly uneventful flight (except for that text message)... although it seems that Tanya was rather surprised when Alexia pulled out a pair of full sized adult scissors from her backpack during mid-flight.

We're not sure how she pulled that off, but no arrests were made.

Based on the order of the pictures in the camera, it looks like they started off dyeing Easter Eggs at Nana & Poppy's with Bette & Ron on the picture perfect outdoor patio.

Sometime during the week they managed to escape from town to enjoy an authentic horse ride out in the Arizona desert.

The trail ride included an authentic deaf Cowboy-Ranch hand with an authentic name: Rusty. Unbelievably, no one actually took a picture of just Rusty, so I'll blow him up for you out of the pic above.

If you know Rusty, be sure to let him know that THE GIRLS HAD A LOT OF FUN!

They rode past real, live, full-size cactus and had a view of the local lake. How often do you get a lake view from a desert? Not often enough I'm guessing.

On a different day, the gang headed out to old town for some ice cream at the world famous Sugar Bowl.

They also managed to connect with Kari, Troy & the boys for some spring swimming and Smores at Nana and Poppy's.

During their spring break they also found time to go visit the zoo.

Then, more swimming.

And socializing.

And picture posing.

Before they knew it, the time had come to return home. Here is another photo from Alexia from an unknown location.

Finally, tanned and tired the girls came back home to our own zoo where we've fallen right back into the groove with doctor appointments, school, homework, gymnastics and, of course, dogs.

We hope you all had a spring break as relaxing and enjoyable as you were expecting.


Friday, April 2, 2010

E's Spring Break: Days 4 thru 7

Day 4
Tues afternoon
Work late.
Head home to let the dogs out.
Back out to get some dinner... decided to make a first visit to Kyoto House on College Way. This was a brand new restaurant last year, but I wasn't able to make it there for dinner during Spring Break 2009... so it's been on my To-Eat list for 12 months.
In summary, the food presentation was fantastic, but the food itself was only fair. The restaurant setting was much more intimate and upscale than I predicted... good for 'date night', if your date isn't allergic to Peanuts.
Kids would probably prefer to go somewhere else... or stay home.

Wednesday morning
Dogs out, off to work and spent the first 3.5 hours of the day on the telephone.

Day 5
Wednesday Night
Worked a little late and then went to visit with our long lost friends Kevin & Beth out near Lake Whatcom. Beth made a world class steak stir fry and it was absolutely fantastic.
It was great to spend time with them again and hopefully we'll connect again in the near future.
Back to reality as I headed home to let the dogs out.

Thursday Morning
Let the dogs out and head back to work for the typical month-end 12 hour day. This is why I'm not in sunny Arizona, swimming, tanning and drinking a margarita. Retirement is only 25 budget cycles away. DOH!

Day 6
Thursday Night
Finally left work. Picked up my annual Thai Dinner... to go... so I could come home to let the dogs play.
Thanks, Michelle, for coming over to let the dogs out that extra time... I appreciate it more than I can explain.
Since the dogs were separated almost all day and late into the night, they were really energetic... late into the night (early into the morning, actually).

Friday Morning
Up too early, let the dogs out, put away the clean dishes, throw in a load of laundry, took the garbage & recycling out and then headed off to work in the midst of a monster wind storm.

Day 7
Friday Night
Home from work, took the dogs out and started my search of the neighborhood for the missing recycle bin (thanks to the ongoing wind storm). The three of us finally located it in a cul-de-sac seven houses down the street. It looks a little worse for the wear after the wind pushed it that far down the pavement. We provided entertainment for the neighbors as they watched me battle the head wind while toting both dogs and the recycle bin behind me.
Since the electricity keeps flashing on and off, I decided to head off to the store in order to get a few necessary groceries, gas up the Nissan for a drive to the airport tomorrow and pick up some dinner.
Worked on Audit Committee stuff for the church and now I'm trying to get this entry posted before the power shuts off again.

Saturday Morning (expectations... I'm not a fortune teller)
Waking up, taking the dogs out and then meeting my new Mount Baker Club buddies for a hike/snowshoe. Hopefully the wind storm concludes before then.
Once that is done I'll head down to pick up the family at Sea Tac... you can only imagine how happy I am to see them. Hopefully I'll have some vacation pics to share in the next few days.