Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 357 - Dec 27th

Here's an unusual picture. Jill and Maranda were behind me at a light and when I looked in the rear view mirror, Alexander's reflection was superimposed on top. So I snapped this quick photo.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day 356 - Dec 26th

If you said to yourself - What is that melancholic scene? Then you'd capture my mood today. I'm usually a bit pensive after Christmas for some reason. But this year, with my mom so ill in the hospital and me unable to visit her, I feel quite off. I feel like my focus is on the tiny and I'm missing the broader strokes of life right now.

So what is this picture? I mulched over our garden with leaves - lots and lots of leaves. When it's frozen and the sun hits it, these little clouds of insects appear over them. I don't have any idea what they are - they are too fast and flit away at any approach. But I managed to capture a few with my zoom lens. So three or four tiny dots are [semi] in-focus.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 355 - Dec 25th

Merry Christmas!

The first picture is of Peter chatting away with Alexander's new remote control dinosaur. Peter nicknamed him "Dragon". They later found out that a Star Wars figure in the mouth was hilarious as it chewed and roared.

And what Christmas picture would be complete without kids in pajamas opening up gifts from Santa? Santa was generous with an electronic drum set here. On the couch you can see one of Maranda's favorites - Photoshop Elements. She was really excited about that one!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 354 - Dec 24th

Oh, happiness and joy! Our neighbors, Michelle and her mom Toni, brought over some of their baking awesomeness. Oh, glory! I don't maintain my round shape by eating salads, you know. Michelle and Toni - you guys are wonderful!!

Day 353 - Dec 23rd

Maranda and Lydia are learning Paint.Net and are doing a fine job at it. Next will come full Photoshop training. I took this picture of her working on one of her pictures because it looks like a mirror almost.

Day 352 - Dec 22nd

This may be the first photograph by Sophia I've shown. Many of hers tend to be of odd things - she'll push the button and assume it immediately took the photograph so she'll move and we'll end up of some blurry picture of the wall or the floor as she walked away. But this is what I look like (and Peter) from her height.

Kids spend all day looking up our nostrils. Fortunately, I keep fairly well groomed :)

Day 351 - Dec 21st

An iPhone pic of one of the best new tools out there - have any of you used this Makita? It's AWESOME. It's not cheap, that's for sure. Home Depot had a great setup where you could try this and other tools. The new Milwaukee is also nice. But I've always been partial to Makita's. And this one is powerful! The new battery design is much lighter than my Ryobi. Sweet. I don't own it, but I think about it :)

Day 350 - Dec 20th

An iPhone picture of the storage boxes at Fred Meyer. Beginning the day after Christmas, it's a huge deal for storage. We sell TONS of it. We have three entire trailers filled with it just waiting for those first few weeks of January.

Day 349 - Dec 19th

I got behind!

Here are the stockings hung by the fireplace.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 348 - Dec 18th

Baking bread for gifts. The kitchen smells delicious.

Day 347 - Dec 17th

Alexander practicing at church. He's singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing at the Christmas Eve service.
Earlier, he found a large block of ice.

Day 346 - Dec 16th

Happy Birthday Lydia! The picture is slightly out of focus - sorry about that! Lydia got to choose her favorite foods, so she got cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip waffles and bacon for breakfast and then for lunch homemade pizza.

Day 345 - Dec 15th

Taken at 11:30 at night - Lydia asleep in her last moments as an 11 year old.

Day 344 - Dec 14th

I got a little behind in uploading my pictures. These two are in our front lawn. I like these guys :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 343 - Dec 13th

Finished the decals in the kids bathroom today. Here's the overall picture.

Here's a couple of closeups.

Day 342 - Dec 12th

Maranda at her horse lesson.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 341 - Dec 11th

After work tonight, I applied the first batch of decals in the bathroom. I purchased these off of from LeenTheGraphicsQueen's site. I have to do a minor touchup behind the door tomorrow morning then can apply the rest.

Day 340 - Dec 10th

Tonight, we took Maranda to the Gift Horse Saddlery in Woodinville, WA. For her birthday we got her a riding helmet :) We also had her sized for the breeches and shoes, but couldn't quite afford to get all of it at once. She's happy with her new helmet!

And then Peter wanted to try on my glasses and it was too cute.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 339 - Dec 9th

We left a fishbowl on the porch. The expansion of the ice didn't treat it too well...

Day 338 - Dec 8th

It's been cold here. I know, not as cold as other places, but cold for us! Low teens at night, not getting above freezing during the day where we live. Fortunately, it's supposed to warm up to the mid 30's soon. This picture was taken from our back porch of the valley below. The fog bank at the top of the picture was there three days - it was just too cold for it to lift.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 337 - Dec 7th

Happy Birthday, Maranda! Here's a picture of our oldest daughter (14 years old!) opening some of her gifts.

And Happy Birthday to her cousin, Molly, as well!

Day 336 - Dec 6th

iPhone pictures of the second job.

Towards the end of Saturday's shift, I decided to snap some photo's of a very busy day! These pallets are about half the toy freight brought in for the freight crew to work. An entire trailer full. We sell a lot of toys!

These are the stacks of pallets from Saturday nights freight. So this represents what was put out on the floor between close of business Saturday and 8pm on Sunday.

When we are outside working Christmas trees, there is a light breeze and it's 22 degrees, you have to do something to keep moving. Sweeping up pine needles gives you some motion between loading trees. It was COLD.

We sold a LOT of Christmas lights on Sunday. This is what one side of the aisle looked like at the end of the day. We literally could not even get into the aisle throughout most of the day. Whenever we had returns to put back on the shelf, we just put them in a shopping cart and parked them near the aisle. Then people picked through those. It's good! Sales were brisk and that's always good news.

Snuggies. Make fun of them if you wish but they are big sellers! I looked it up and in the last 14 days (which included Black Friday), we sold 397 at our little store. I think we originally received 8 full pallets or so. And this is all that's left.
Zhu Zhu hamsters! People go crazy over these. The hype has driven up the prices on eBay. We got in a little over 200 on Saturday night. This was the last one left. We limit people to 6 per person but a lot of people just came back for more. I truly hope at least some of them sold were for their kids and not someone to make a quick buck.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 335 - Dec 5th

Frozen spiderweb above a Christmas decoration.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 334 - Dec 4th

Alexander asked if they could make a gingerbread house. So they did. Then they ate it.

Day 333 - Dec 3rd

Picture taken at the doc's office - eyeball looking-at equipment! Saw a LOT of this during the week. Fortunately, Jill's eye's are finally doing better. Instead of daily appointments, we are at weekly appointments. Yay!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 332 - Dec 2nd

Last night was a pretty cold night. No snow, but ice/frost around. Always love watching the sun slowly warm up the yard. You can even see the shadow of the rhododendron bushes.

Day 331 - Dec 1st

One nice thing about Fred Meyer this time of year is out in the Christmas Tree area are free cookies and apple cider. I'm a total, total sucker for free cookies.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 330 - Nov 30th

This iPhone photo was taken from the 10th floor of the building in downtown Seattle where Jill's eye doctor is located. Jill has a serious eye infection and unfortunately, it coincided with the four day holiday. So we had to wait until today to go. He's treating it very aggressively and she has to have daily follow up appointments with him until he's confident her eye is not in any long term danger.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 329 - Nov 29th

I realized I've never posted a picture of my entire camera put together. So here it is. The blurriness at the top is because I didn't realize the mirror was dirty :)

What I have here is:
-Pentax K10D
-Pentax 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Auto Focus Lens (lens hood off - broken, replacement on way)
-52mm UV filter
-Pentax D-BG2 vertical grip with spare D-Li50 battery (that's the bottom piece)
-CB Junior Kit from
-Pentax AF-540FGZ off camera flash
-Flash TTL cable with connectors

Not shown are my zoom lens, my remote flash trigger and the cable remote.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 328 - Nov 18th

Trimmed the tree today. Kids LOVE that! It's always enjoyable getting out the ornaments and decorating the tree. In fact, when I came downstairs this morning, Sophia was actually lying under the tree with a pillow and blanket! We got out the Christmas books and the Christmas CD's/DVD's and all in all an enjoyable time.

Today another event happened - Jill and her family had an "end of life" call to discuss her parents wishes for their end of life. It was a good conversation, sometimes difficult, but necessary and good. It's not something anyone wants to happen, but it is something that happens to all of us and knowing Bill and Judy's wishes on a variety of topics and what arrangements have been already made and what still needs to be made is a good, good thing. I applaud their family for tackling that.

Day 327 - Nov 27th

Went up into the attic and got down the Christmas decorations tonight. Lydia organized them in the living room. We went ahead and put up the tree - a new one we got last year that's replacing the one we bought 13 years ago. We got that one from Eagle Hardware when they were shutting down - I'd say we got our $35 worth! The new one was a bit more expensive with the LED's on it, but it's nice quality and big. We used to go for real trees, but chose to go artificial for various reasons.

Day 326 - Nov 26th

Thanksgiving! We had Thanksgiving at our house then visited my sister Laura, her husband Karl, Karl's sister Laura and her husband Scott. We went there for desert and fellowship. We had a great time, but my sister's dog, Henry, got kind of worn out from having five younglings bouncing around his house.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 325 - Nov 25th

Painted rocks by Maranda.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 324 - Nov 24th

First, the evidence. In front of mom's sink in the master bedroom, cut hair. Where did this come from?!? Hmmmm....we only have ONE child with long blond hair...who decided to cut her own bangs. Mom was NOT amused.
I should add - the "white stuff" behind Sophia? The grocery bags. Jill was out shopping when the self-haircut was inflicted.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 323 - Nov 23rd

These birds reside currently in our herb garden where the Thai Basil was. In the background is curry. Which we haven't really figured out what to do with. One of my regrets of working two jobs is I rarely get a chance to really cook. I would love to have that option again. Someday, perhaps, I will.

Day 322 - Nov 22nd

Sunday did not turn out as a very good day for me. And I did not get any worthwhile photographs. Best I just forget this particular day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 321 - Nov 21st

Jill and I went on a nice date tonight to Benjarong Thai Restaurant. It was really delicious! It was really nice having an entire day off. That was my first day off since Labor Day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 320 - Nov 20th

Lydia raked some leaves today in the back yard. And our fence needs cleaning.

Day 319 - Nov 19th

One of the rules at Fred Meyer is that when you shrink wrap things to go back to the warehouse - especially empty blue totes - you put them on WOOD boards not plastic. Why? Because plastic totes on plastic boards tend to slide, even if you think you did a really good job.

Someone in the apparel department ignored this rule.

So when I tried to forklift up the pallet last night while getting ready for the delivery truck, this happened. Fortunately, I could feel the load shifting and I pivoted the forklift a little. Because in the other direction were pallets of lightbulbs. And I broke nothing :) Nothing crushed, nothing broken. This picture was taken after I had cleaned half of it up.

Day 318 - Nov 18th

This picture is to remind me that I've been too busy to do any yardwork in a while. The garden, the yard, it all needs some TLC. So I'm hoping that this Saturday, my first full day off since the beginning of September, that I can get our there and do some work!