Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Does Your Workspace Say About You?

I'm sitting here thinking I need to update my blog, because it's no fun when people go days or even a week without updating theirs. Bob and Jared are once again in the driveway under the hood of my car, which is in exactly the same place it was last time I blogged about it. If all goes well, I hope to be driving it and turning in my rental car in just a few days. I just got back from the dog park, my usual outing, the Mariners are just about to lose ...again, and I'm looking through my photos for something to post.

In my "barfday" folder, I found these 2 pictures I took of my office (don't ask me why). Until I looked at the photos, I didn't realize how much my office says about me. You will notice that on my desk there are a couple of magnet and puzzle toys that I usually pick up and play with when I am talking to someone. If I'm not playing with toys, there are some heavy ball weights on the file cabinet. On my window sill you will see a wooden fishy puzzle I got in Cozumel. I bring that one out every once in a while. I like having my hands busy.

My bulletin board includes photos of just about anyone who would be reading this blog, my pin collection, lots of All-Star game and Mariners stuff, an American flag and one or 2 work related things. Hanging on my wall behind my monitor there is a picture of dogs that Ady drew for me and at eye level there is a picture of Connor. I don't have one of Corey because parents of second children don't take as many pictures.

Across the office on the other wall I have a bookcase. Instead of books, I have more toys, lots of trinkets that vendors give out, weights, more family photos, my 4 and a half year old laptop I don't want to give back in case the one I use goes bad, a baseball encyclopedia that someone once left on my desk (I never found out who), and some very well known candy baskets which bring in a lot of visitors, especially on Fridays. What you can't see are more framed pictures, including one of Safeco Field and an artist signed poster from the Holland Days festival that we went to in Linden, WA a couple of years ago. Hanging from my window next to my door is fishing wire with rhinestones and mirrors hot glued to it. I get a lot of compliments on that, probably more than anything else I have ever made myself except for things I have sewed. I enjoy my office and you can usually find me either there or in Pam's office

Our offices will be moving to downtown Bellevue by the end of this year and we will get to nice cozy cubicles. It's a beautiful building but it's going to be hard to decide what will come with me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My version of the 8 Things Thread

8 Things I am passionate about

1. The church

2. My husband
3. My kids and their spouses
4. My grandkids and my yet to be born grandkids
5. My dogs (yes, I really like them)
6. Traveling (especially in the Caribbean)
7. Family History
8. Walking

8 Books I Have Read And Enjoyed

I'll pass on this one. I'm not a big eyes are lousy and it takes too much time away from the family. I do like to read the latest version of Uncle John's Bathroom Readers.

8 Words or phrases I say often

1. It will all work out (I say it a lot but it always does)
2. Puppies, come!
3. I love you!
4. What the heck is she thinking?

5. I'll do it
6. The Mariners suck this year
7. Yikes!
8. What were you thinking about for dinner? (I always try to say it first)

8 Things I want to do before I die

1. See Machu Picchu and hike the Inca Trail
2. Throw out the first pitch at a Mariner's game (a strike)
3. Have a lot of grand kids and watch them grow up
4. Have lap band surgery and lose 100 pounds
5. Advance my career (I really like working) and be a big whig
6. Celebrate my husband's 90th birthday with him
7. A lot of volunteer work
8. Travel more

9 Things I have learned this past year (I am adding one to make up for not reading books

1. There are very few people I completely trust
2. It's pretty dang fun hearing a child call you grandma
3. I'm very good at my job
4. Some people are just nasty
5. Teaching Primary is a very important calling
6. Cancer is a disease of love, but it still sucks!
7. I'm very competative (nah, I already knew that)
8. My life isn't necessarily exciting enough to blog very often
9. The VanderHoeven Machine is a powerful thing

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We Surrender!

We looked forward to Saturday for several weeks. Bob was going to do his own thing, mainly work on my still unusable car, and I was going to watch Corey and Connor all day while Jacki and Terence were attendants at their friends wedding. Based on the times I have watched the boys before, I was going to clean the house with Connor's help and Corey was going to entertain himself. Of course I knew they would need some closer attention, like feeding Corey and playing with the boys. How hard could it be?

The day was a lot more work than we expected. Connor had been throwing up and had a fever the day before, but he was better. It turned out he was not feeling as well as we thought. He wanted to eat, but everything he took in came right back out from one end or the other. Corey is a sweetie, but he is not a big fan of bottles and he smiles a lot more when he is being held. I don't think he felt all that well either.

To make a long story (and an even longer day ) short, we went to Target and bought a fun exerciser for Corey. We bought a high chair which worked out great for Connor. Not to mention a few new toys to keep things entertaining. Neither Bob or I had much of a chance to leave the family room all day long and needless to say, the house did not get cleaned (except for the carpet getting cleaned as it was barfed on) like I thought it would.

I don't know if I have lost my touch, if I don't remember what it was like to have little ones around all day, or if it was just because the boys didn't feel well. Either way, my hat is off to you young moms and dads. Although I'm pooped today, it was great to have time to bond with the boys and I look forward to doing it again. Next time while the parents go to dinner or a movie, not a 13 hour

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Life in the Not-so-fast Lane

Is there anything worse than car problems? Anyone who knows my family knows that we don't have car problems, they are simply not allowed. Bob and Jared are both very talented mechanics who are known for helping others when their cars break down. I can always count on getting in my car, turning the key and knowing it will run. I am responsible for having my own oil changed, but the rest is out of my hands.

The other day I drove to work without a care. There was not hint of a problem until I got into the parking garage, came to a complete stop, and put my car in reverse. It stalled and wouldn't start again. I had to have it pushed into a parking spot by some people who were passing by. Later that night Bob and I went back to see if we (ok, he) could figure out the problem. It didn't take long for him to diagnose a problem with the timing belt. The next day I had the car towed home at a cost of $147 (yikes). He was right, it was the timing belt, but I have an "interferance" engine, which means nothing to me except big bucks. I was advised to rent a car for a minimum of a week while he removed the head and has some valve work done. UGH!!

There is a silver lining to every cloud. Jared has his busiest time of the year in July with tournaments and working 7 days a week. Tonight, during a break, he came over to help take the head off of the car. When Jared is around, what is normally very hard work, somehow becomes fun.

Fortunately, I paid for my October vacation today so we're going to have to find the car repair money someplace else. Phew!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Best Independence Day Ever - Seriously!!

It's the morning after the craziest 4th of July I have ever seen and I didn't even have a camera with me. Traditionally, all of the good parties our family has are at Pam and Mike Sirrine's house. This year, it turned out that a lot of the family regulars were out of town so there was a question about whether there would even be a family gathering. Jacki, who never misses an opportunity for fun, pushed the issue and Pam said that regardless of how many were able to attend, there would be a party at her house. Fireworks are legal in Bonney Lake, and the rumor was, that there were a lot of them. So what made this small gathering so much fun? My top 10 reasons:

10. The weather was beautiful. Rain the past couple of days made everything green and there was no real fire danger. Traditionally, summer starts in Seattle on the 5th of July.

9. Watching boys be boys. Guys love to set off fireworks. It's hard wired in their brains. If I'm not mistaking, Terence hasn't had a lot of experience doing this and he set off everything he could get his hands on. The guys even bought some little plastic soldiers and set up 2 armies to have a battle. It was hilarious!

8. Everyone in the neighborhood came out. Every house on the cul-de-sac had chairs set up on the sidewalks and everyone set off fireworks. People were cheering for eachother's displays. My guess is that some of these people don't talk much throughout the year, but somehow it brings people together. Michelle accidentally set a pretty good sized bottle rocket down the street and into a family. She went down to apologize and Mike followed her. Nobody was hurt and they understood, it could happen to anyone. I'm really surprised it didn't.

7. Fourteen of us made it. This probably goes down in VanderHoeven history as one of the smallest parties ever, but Mike, Pam, Christopher, Jacob, Michelle, Opa, Jacki, Terence, Connor, Corey, Brian, Bob , Ady and I were there. We even brought Imola and Minardi (our dogs) and kept them crated in the house. I thought it would be too noisy to leave them home and that they would be scared. I had no idea of the noise in Bonney Lake, but they actually did fine.

6. Opa's harmonica. Dad got a new harmonica and he played some of his favorite tunes, including Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam so Connor could sing along. Good exercise for his lungs and he is actually pretty good.

5. The food - strawberry shortcake with freshly picked Washington strawberries. Pam is known for her amazing food and this time she went to a local strawberry farm and YUM! She doesn't spare the whipped cream either. And while were on the subject,

Aunt Pam's fried chicken. Also a family favorite. It's finger lickin good and in our family, nobody even blinks an eye if you go back for seconds.

4. Talking about how much fun we have had on our vacations together and planning for Cancun in October. We have confirmed our airline tickets and are looking forward to going with as many family members as can make it.

3. Hanging with the grand kids. Connor is a 20 month old toddler these days who is so much fun to be with. He repeats anything you tell him. He knows he is part of a family and is comfortable with all of us. He tries to speak in sentences and although I know I am biased, he is pretty darn cute. Not to mention Corey, who is the easiest going baby around. I love those boys!
2. The drive home. Driving through Bonney Lake, every neighborhood had arial displays and the noise was incredible. Coming down the hill overlooking the valley, the sky was absolutely filled with more fireworks than I have ever seen. It was that way most of the way home. Granted, there were less as we entered King County, and even less as we got toward Bellevue and Redmond. What a bunch of fuddy-duddies!

1. The craziest display of fireworks I have ever seen. We started shooting off fireworks at about 5:30 and when we left at about 10:15, we drove through an obstacle course of fire to get out of the cul-de-sac. The street was absolutely littered with spent fireworks. I would say it was like the 4th of Julys I remember as a kid, but I honestly have never seen anything like it. For most of the years we have lived in Redmond, we have watched the fireworks at Marymoor park off of our back deck. They are great but nothing like the fun of setting them off yourself. Pencil me in for next year Pam, although this time, let someone else help with the food, and we will absolutely be picking up some fireworks ourselves.

P.S. - How could I have forgotten...I think another reason why it was so much fun is that I love the USA and it was awesome having an opportunity to really celebrate our freedom! Oh, and the Mariners even won! Now that's a great day!