Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Visit From Aunt Maggie! (and uncle clark too...)

We had a very special surprise today, when Cindy's aunt and uncle* from Wisconsin (motto: Behold The Power Of Cheese!) made an impromptu visit to Western Washington. We had to drive down to Chehalis to see them, but it was a great visit! For me, it was the first time meeting them, and they were every bit as wonderful as Cindy has told me over the years. Maggie met me with open arms, saying "I've been loving you from a long ways away!" to which I replied that I'd been loving her right back... Clark* used to sing in the "Gospel Way Quartet", and there was a bit of a reunion going on at a friend's church down in Chehalis. So they flew in today, practiced this afternoon, had dinner with us (thanks, Clark* - the 32oz T-Bone and chocolate cream pie were phenomenal!), then the show tomorrow, and an early Monday flight back... We miss them already, and it's only been a little over an hour since we parted.

Who knows, maybe in a few years we'll buy a little dairy farm out in their neck of the woods and be neighbors! (hey, it could happen!)

Have a safe journey home guys, we love you!!

* Clark left Wisconsin without packing any underwear. Although he denied rumours regarding Huggies Pull-Ups, he seemed to crinkle when he walked...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

aahhh... life is back to normal

Well Tyler is home from the hospital and feeling his old self again. What a week!
our family enjoyed a normal Saturday today with Kaylee's soccer game, (they lost 4 - 0... we were just happy Kaylee doesn't have any permanent scars - the other team was very aggressive. I actually gave "crazy soccer Mom" advice: "hit her with your elbow Kaylee, fight for that ball!!")Mike mowed the lawn and we had fun watching our chickens scratch for bugs in the lawn.

In the aftermath of the week, I find myself with a cold that is really kicking me when I'm down... But seeing as I spend 6 hours a day with 12 kids at back to school time, it's pretty standard for September. At least it waited until the weekend to hit!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Why Yes, Those Eyes ARE Open!

Houston, we have healing!! Tyler is feeling WAY better, the swelling is almost completely gone, and unless he had a big fever spike or something similar overnight, he should be released from the Hospital today!!

All of us are so thankful for all the prayers and support. We're hoping we never have to go through anything like this again, but if we do, it's great to know we have such great support from friends and family!


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tyler - back to gaming

Just talked with Tyler's Mom. He is feeling good this morning and had already asked her to hook up the video games by 9:30. He slept thru the night- thanks to the Benadryl. He is still reacting to the new medication but is looking better today so they must be working! They are going to put in a permanent IV today ( goes up thru his arm and into the chest), and we are expecting the results back from the culture they took from his eye and sinuses yesterday and Monday.

His spirits keep rising and he continues to beat us all at every video game we play. I was reminded a few times yesterday, just exactly who the "patient" is. No parent complaining allowed, he just is not interested in hearing how uncomfortable our chairs are! funny boy.

Any way thanks for the prayers and if anyone is in the Seattle area he would love some company -

Now THAT'S Sweet!

Last night I took Ellysa and Kaylee up to see Tyler. Kaylee in particular, was practically jumping out of her skin to go see him. (She's the primary worrier in the family, and really needed to see that he was okay.)

Unfortunately, about an hour before we left for the hospital, Tyler started having an allergic reaction to the new antibiotic, and the doctors counter-attacked with a healthy dose of Benadryl, which proceeded to knock Tyler out cold.

He was able to mumble in our general direction, and Kaylee was happy to be able to give him a hug. She's also looking forward to skipping school on Thursday and spending the day playing with him, assuming that he's not on Benadryl anymore...

No real news this morning, just a very sweet picture.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tyler, Day 2

So there are some nasty bacteria out there... Or, in Tyler's case, there are some nasty bacteria IN there. After 24 hours of intravenous antibacterial treatment, he had pretty close to zero change. The daytime doctor was much more alarmed than last night's doctor was, likely because of the time that had passed. He called in an infectious disease specialist, who suspects that it's a highly resistant strain known as MRSA. Since the test for MRSA takes two days for enough culture to grow to be identified, they began treating for it today. He still has the same Ampicillin drip as he had yesterday, but it's now being joined by a more advanced, more aggressive bacteria killer.

In the past few hours since that change was made, Cindy said that he can open his eye a bit more than he could last night, which is definitely a step in the right direction. However, with this turn of events he won't be coming home tomorrow. The earliest release date will be Friday, and of course, that depends on how Tyler responds to the treatment.

I'm heading up to the hospital again tonight, so I'll have any new news later tonight. Thanks for the continued prayer, we're really humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support.

Talk to ya soon....


Monday, September 18, 2006

Tyler Update 2

Nope, he's not winking... Tyler's right eye is swollen completely shut. We got to spend a few hours with him, which was great. That also meant we got to meet with the doctor and nurse in charge of his care, and they both gave a great impression.
As far as his condition, they skipped X-Rays and went right to a CAT Scan. It revealed the problem, a sinus infection that crossed through the thin bone that seperates the nose sinus part from the eye sinus part, and just started pussing it up around and behind his eyeball. Thanks we're sure, to all of your prayers, there is NOT a large puss deposit behind the eyeball, pressing on the optic nerve. If that were the case, they would have to operate to drain it off.
He's on an IV antibiotic, and Mr. Dr. said that sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. Obviously, we're hoping, praying and believing for it to skip worse, and go straight to better. But it's a slow process, they're keeping him at least until Wednesday. It's very strange to have him up there, seemingly fine other than a swollen eye and a fever... It's kinda surreal how it's all going down.
So the plan for Tuesday is that Cindy is going to go up and relieve Tyler's mom so she can go home, take a shower, get clean clothes, etc... She'll spend most of the day up there with him, and then in the evening we'll take Andy and the girls up to have dinner and visit.
Thanks for your prayers, we would like to ask that you keep us in your prayers a little longer, going for the quick recovery here.
From all of us, God bless, and thanks!
-mike 'n' cindy

Tyler Update

I called Swedish and spoke with Tyler's nurse. She said he's having X-Rays taken, lots of blood work, and that they've started an I.V. for antibiotics. She couldn't, or wouldn't, or didn't say much else, but it sounds like they're treating it as a serious problem. Cindy and I are planning on going up there tonight, as this not knowing anything stuff is even less fun than standing in a hospital room.

Please Pray for Tyler

Unfortunately, Tyler's not feeling like an All-Star today. Cindy and I went and saw his Soccer game on Saturday, and it was clear that he wasn't feeling well. He was very lethargic and quiet, which anybody who knows Tyler will tell you, is NOT normal. He was also complaining that his eye hurt.

I talked to his mom yesterday, and she said that he was on Motrin, feeling somewhat better, but that his eye was kinda swollen.

Today I got a call from her, and he's not doing well at all. His eyes are swollen shut, he's got a fever, and doesn't want to move at all. After a long visit with Tyler's doctor, he was referred to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Apparantly, the pediatrician couldn't conclusively diagnose whatever's going on with him, and rather than risk a mis-diagnosis, she wanted the team at Swedish to take over.

Unfortunately, that's the last I heard, because of the whole "No Cell Phones In The Hospital" thing. Ty's mom promised that she'd call with updates as soon as she hears anything, and I'll post updates here as they come in.

Right now, all we can do is pray for healing, and for the doctors caring for him to have great wisdom and knowledge to help that healing along.

Thanks for your prayers and support!

-mike 'n' cindy

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sock In Croc, or No Crocs on Socks?

The question has been posed, Is it okay to wear socks with Crocks?

Both Femme Fashionistas who have answered that question say YES! Or at the very least, "Why Not?"

But obviously, a real answer is needed. So in the spirit of helping out humanity, Cindy and I hit Nordstrom today to get enough Crocs to perform a scientific study. The results?

As you can see in the above picture, Crocs are very versatile! Both the classic, summer-friendly Cayman style, and the new Islander at the top of the picture are perfectly acceptable with or without socks.

It has been our sheer (shopping) pleasure to provide this service to all mankind. Arm yourself with this knowledge, and Do What Feels Right!*

* This means you, Rob!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Happy Birthday, Kaylee! Have a Win!

Not only her age, but her score in Racquetball... She celebrated turning 10 by (among other things) beating me at my own game! The only handicap I gave her is that she was allowed two bounces before hitting the ball, as opposed to the one bounce I get. And with that handicap, we are very well matched!
Of course, she was so confident after her victory that she wanted to try a single-bounce game, so I got a chance to remind her that "finally being 10" is also "only being 10"... =)
Love you, Kaylee! You're awesome, and I'm afraid of your R-Ball skillz when you get a little older!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kaylee turns 10!

ten years ago today my beautiful kaylee was born. we celebrated her first double digit birthday by having brunch at the space needle, just us girls. we had a blast, ate way too much food, took advantage of the "orbitor" (the space needles exclusive dessert made up of Ice Cream, sparklers and dry ice that causes fog to rise and cover the entire table). we took rides on the carousel horses and Ferris wheel and we were entertained by the ballonist who by the end of our visit had spoiled kaylee with a hat, two arm flower bracelets and a monkey. the view was incredible, as you can see in the picture, a clear fall day. a day i hope she will remember and cherish always. i know i will!

Brace Yourself For The MetalMouth!!

Andy finally took the next bold step in Orthodontia, and got his braces on today! He considers them his "Back to School" present (??) and at this point his only wish is that the expander had come out... In six weeks, that request will be granted. Til then, he's bracing and expanding simultaneously.

It might just be the advil talking, but he's even saying it doesn't hurt too bad... We'll see how it is in the morning, when his mouth fully realizes what's been done to it. Best ortho-quote so far? When asked how he felt about getting braces, he replied, "Well, it's gonna make it a lot easier to get a girlfriend someday!"
Yeah. Go Andy Go. We Love ya!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

wii will rock you - this Thanksgiving!

wii! I've been waiting for over a year for this. Nintendo Finally Announced the date and price for the wii! Even better, it was a webmaster at the Seattle PI who spilled the beans about 12 hours before the news was supposed to break.

Bottom line: The wii will drop November 19 for $250. That's exactly half the price of the low-end playstation 3. And I'm a complete believer that the wii is more than twice the console that the ps3 is going to be. There was really good press in the News Tribune for it yesterday, and nearly everyone who's come into contact with this marvelous device has had equally glowing things to say.

So... $250 is the very top end of the price range that all the wii watchers have been hearing about. I would have preferred $200 even. With the virtual console, they'll make their money back very easily anyway. (allows you to download the last 20 years of nintendo, sega and turbo-grafx games!) The article states that it will ship with "wii Sports", which includes baseball, golf and tennis. However, it also supposedly only comes with one controller, which will likely push the out-of-the-store total up over 300 just for something that even two people can compete on.

Hopefully at tomorrow's Nintendo Press Conference in New York, they'll announce that the P-I got it all wrong, and sell it for $199. Hopefully. I'm not holding my breath though...

I Really DO Do Other Things!!

Rob, Amy And The Bunnies

So there's a contest going on at a friend's blog right now.. First one they've had since I ment them! And so far I'm doing pretty good at it... Good enough that I'm feeling somewhat guilty about it - and I haven't even cheated!!

It works like this: Rob posts a question/clue every night at 9pm, as well as a random splattering of clues throughout the day. I'd just like to say that I DO NOT spend all day refreshing their blog waiting for the clue.. I stop by maybe three times - once in the morning, once again late afternoon, and then I try to stop by around 9 to get the main clue of the day. Problem is, my random times seem to coincide - almost uncomfortably - with Rob's posting times. It's not enough to make me stop yet, but I don't want people to form a posse to take me out or anything.. Maybe tomorrow I'll only check in twice.

But PLEASE, Rob! NO MORE MUSIC TRIVIA QUESTIONS!!! I just can't resist them!!


p.s. Traci saw me playing racquetball tonight, which is PROOF that I'm not just lurking around the web haunting friends' blogs... =)


Sunday, September 10, 2006


Twice before, I've held Devo concert tickets in my hands, and twice before, the show was cancelled, leaving a gaping hole in my musical existence. To add insult to injury, one of the times a show was cancelled, they rescheduled a few months later, at a 21+ venue, but I was only 18 or 19 at the time. Never had I longed for a Fake I.D. other than that time...

So, having established that I'm a long time Devo fan, and had yet to see them in concert, you can imagine my excitement - even giddyness - at music rehearsal for church a few weeks ago, when Randy (our bass player) showed me his Devo tickets for their September 9th show in Seattle... He said he was going with Matt (our wicked-awesome lead guitarist), and it was general admission standing room only seating, and that if I wanted to get a ticket, I'd be welcomed to join them. Needless to say, I happily paid the seemingly ridiculous ticket price, including the roughly $18 ticketmaster service charges, and anxiously awaited showtime.

It's been 33 years since the first-ever Devo performance, and the guys have to be well into their 50s. Weight has been gained, hair has grayed and receeded, and the band is on its third drummer. But W-O-W do they still put on an AMAZING SHOW!!!

We were probably about 20-25 feet from the stage, and saw all the gory details of aging before our eyes. And yet, in their portly (and in the case of Bob Casale - aka Bob 2 - downright FAT) condition, they rocked. Hard. Mark Mothersbaugh ran around the stage, even using Pom Poms to accent the rhythms of the songs... He threw out 10 or so Energy Domes (the "flower pot hats") into the crowd - one landed a few feet behind us, and nearly induced a brawl/riot. All in all, the crowd remained peaceful, and the show was one of, if not THE most impressive concerts I've ever seen. The three of us agreed that the next time (pray for a next time!) they come to town, we're going again.

The surprise of the night was the opening act, The Punk Group. When we saw the sign at the Paramount, pictured above, we thought they were specifying that the Devo we were seeing was "Devo, The Punk Group". We were all VERY disgusted that someone would call Devo a punk group, and were relieved to find that it was actually the opening act. They were a very pleasant surprise! Totally punk!! Not punk as in burning down buildings and screaming for anarchy, but punk as in low budget, do-it-yourself, simple rock'n'roll. Two guys on stage, one on guitar, one on bass... Both playing entry-level Squire instruments... The guitar had the two high strings removed... They played to programmed drum and keyboard backing tracks, and were absolutely brilliant!! With simple lyrics like "Fat Girls On Bicycles, Trying To Lose Some Weight" and completely singable melodies, they won us over! By the time we went back out to buy their CD, it was sold out. Luckily we found 'em on the web...

Bottom line, Amazing Show. There is SO much more to Devo than "Whip It", which is sadly what most people think of. If you ever get the chance, I can't recommend it strongly enough! Oh, and if your kids look at you like you're crazy for loving Devo, the band has set up Devo 2.0 to hook in the young'uns.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Soccer Season is ON!

Kaylee had her first soccer game of the year today! The girls played hard, and as far as we can tell, they came away with a 5-5 tie. Some might say we lost, but I'd tell them they don't count very well... We're looking forward to a great season of the Fircrest Lightning striking all opponents down!!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Snake Eats Ewe, Can't Slither On Home...

So other than the obvious "Ewwwwwwww" that this picture inspires, I continue to be amazed by what big snakes are able to eat... We all remember the snake vs. aligator showdown last year, and I've gotten other pics of a snake eating a kangaroo...
This one helped itself to a pregnant ewe - that's "Female Sheep" for you non-zoologists - and after eating it, was so weighed down and/or overstuffed, that it couldn't move, which made it easy for the local firefighters to capture it. Not sure what they did with it after catching it though... Also not sure if the given weight of 198.5 pounds includes the pregnant ewe or not. This all took place in Kampung Jabor, Malaysia.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Move Over, Apple!

Big Ol' Monitor!
Sorry Apple, your announcment today of a 24" LCD has been trumped by HP, and their 30" monstrosity! Home Theatre, meet the Home Computer!
HP 30 Inch LCD (via Gizmodo)

As Sand Through The Hourglass...


I know I just posted about how great the kids' first day of school was, but that was THEIR day.

MY day was a bit different...

5:53am - Alarm Goes Off

6:00ish-am - I'm up and in the shower. Ahhhhh... Nice....

6:20am - Ironing clothes for the new job. I'm ironing. And re-ironing. I really hate ironing. It's never-ending. Everything's smooth, and then - d'oh! MORE WRINKLES!! Okay, maybe that pair of pants just didn't want to be worn today. I'll go for the black ones. Yeah, they're cooperating better.

6:35am - Dressed! Brushing teeth... Viva La Sonicaire!!

6:40am - Mike is dressed, pressed, brushed, flossed, and looking & feeling great! (the crowd goes wild)

6:42am - Upstairs, packing the lunch. GOT to get back on the ol' weight loss program... So a Slim Fast, a Lean Pocket, a Banana and a Pluot. (my favorite fruit!) Best part: Really quick 'n' easy packing!!

7:02am - Ellysa and I are in the truck, heading for school!

7:08am - Why are we going so slow? It's like we're not moving at all... Well, I guess we're moving maybe one car-length per minute...

7:15am - Really. I thought we'd be at school by now. It starts at 7:30, and I need to get her there early enough to go get her colour-coordinated schedule from the lunchroom!!

7:27am - OK. We're here. Tomorrow I WILL find an alternate route. Now I'm gonna be crunched to get to work on time!!

7:58am - Suffice it to say, the drive from school to work was not smooth as butta. But at least I'm not late on day 2 of the job.

Worked straight through lunch, so much to do right now! 5:00 snuck up on me, but I was glad to see it. Got home and made dinner for the family, played Racquetball with Kaylee (she got 12 points on a 21 point game!) and came back home so she could do her homework.

Which brings me to now. 9:27pm. Tired. Very tired. Heading over to to see if the contest clue is posted... Then it's off to bed!

School: Day One, In The Books!

Well, they did it! Kaylee & Ellysa had their first day of 4th & 8th grades, respectively...

Kaylee was no question, we knew she'd do great. After all, she's been with the same group of kids since Kindergarten, and has a teacher that Ellysa had a few years ago. Needless to say, she loved it and can't wait to go back tomorrow. She even willingly did her homework! *gasp*

Ellysa was a bit more of a question... After two increasingly rough years at Hunt (our "official" middle school) we transferred her to Curtis Jr. High in the U.P. School District. I was confident that she'd find several long-lost friends, or at least acquaintances there from elementary school, but she wasn't so sure.. neither was Cindy... (she just admitted that she cried as I drove off with her baby...) But her report upon being picked up was that it was AWESOME! She had a list of people she'd forgotten about that she's getting to know again... Very big relief for me - having been so confident that it would go that way, I was a little nervous for a negative aftermath - but no problem!!

Tyler actually started on Tuesday - Kent schools just HAVE to be different, apparantly. I called him last night to see how it went, and his instant response was that it was great! This was very good - he'd had the same teacher for both 1st and 2nd grade, so 3rd was his first new teacher in a while... But he said she's really nice... I asked if she was a mean witch with warts on her nose who eats kids, and he said "No. Dad. If that was the case, I would have noticed it at orientation and asked to be transferred." Good to see that he's largely immune to the unrelenting sarcasm of his parents.

Andy's still got a week to go before he starts at Internet Academy. He's feeling a bit displaced as everyone else was going off to school, and is really really REALLY looking forward to his school starting. (and in completely unrelated news, Cindy is also really, really, REALLY looking forward to Andy's school starting back up...) :)

So the first day is a wrap, it's all smooth sailing from here... Next Stop: Christmas Vacation!! (yeah right... like kids can go that long without a day off???)


Friday, September 01, 2006

What Happen!

Yep, too much time on my hands has led to a drastic change to! It's all good, really! You can still check your email by using the link on the right - and since that was the only reason to hit the site until today, that should take care of everything!

So before (or after - your call!) you check your email, get all the up-to-date info on what we're all up to... Have Fun!!



Labor Day weekend is here at last! Sad in that Summer is coming to an end, but as parents, we can't help but be downright giddy about school starting back up!!

I know that Cindy is even more excited, because for her, Summer equals full-day daycare, and by the middle of August, it gets harder and harder to keep finding joy in a housefull of other people's kids... But she's made it through like a champion and now the finish line is so close she can taste it!

Shocking as it is, we start this school year with Andy & Ellysa going into 8th grade, Kaylee in 4th, and Tyler starting 3rd. They're all excited, and I'm sure there will be lots to tell about as September unfolds. Stay Tuned!!


Last Day On The Labor Clock!!

I've been off all week, but have been technically "on call"... The phone's been very quiet, only ringing once, for an issue that I knew would need my attention. So all in all, for the last week on the payroll, it's felt a lot like vacation - in fact, it's felt exactly like vacation, only better! Better, because this time I know I won't be returning next week to a pile of catch-up work. And really, that's always been the downside of taking a week off.

Now, I just need to prepare for the new job at CC Edwards Construction Company - I have very little idea of what I'm stepping into, but it's a very exciting prospect to go back to being the "catch all" IT guy. Tuesday @ 8am promises to be the start of something big!!