Saturday, June 30, 2007

Oregon Institute of Technology

First off - I added the link on the right for Diana's Host Mom :) There are new photos already of Leonie waiting at the train station, Diana arriving, shopping & dinner. Wheee!

Back on topic - On Thursday & Friday, Trevor & I went to Klamath Falls to visit the OIT campus. He registered for classes, got his dorm assignment and we sat thru a bunch of Q&A sessions, as well as the financial stuff and general info about OIT. We also drove around K. Falls a bit to check it out. We didn't figure out where the Taco Bells were until after we got back to the room & looked it up.

The campus has various architectural styles. The College Union was where we spent most of our time. It has the food court (with a Subway), as well as the main cafeteria, a bistro and plenty of seating. It also houses the Bookstore, Post Office, the main auditorium, various other meeting rooms/classrooms and the Outdoor Club stuff. The Dean of Students has her office there as well. It's a cool, techy looking building.

The library/Center for Learning was designed by the same guy who built my high school, apparently. I'd have to look it up, but I felt like I'd turned a corner and walked into Ocean View H.S. It was almost creepy! Big ol' cement blocks suspended invisibly with wood accents. Not my favorite style, but okay. My HS was built in 1976. I was in the first graduating class.

The altitude in K. Falls was noticeable when we climbed stairs. It's high desert (elev. 4340), and in Winter it will be VERY cold. As I'm not a big fan of Winter driving, we will most likely have Trevor take the train to Eugene, and then we'll get him from there. The I-5 is almost always open, and if we have some fluke storm that closes us down, we have some friends there that he could bunk with until we could get him.

It was a 3-hour drive to get there - same length of time as going to Portland. Lots of open country, mountains, views of snow-capped peaks, and then Klamath Lake.

I think he's going to like it there. :)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Check it out!

Diana's host-mom has started a blog too. She set it up in time for when Diana is there - isn't that cool?

If you'd like to check in and see things from the Germany side, take a look! Diana's Host Mom's Blog

Today she put up pictures of their house. I love the windows that tilt that way. I wish I had some on my house!

Oh - it's written in German, of course!

Thanks Martina!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Email from Diana!!!

She comes across a little excited.. I'm glad her feet are doing okay. We were told to make sure they had good shoes because you can't do much if you can't walk!

I'm actually at OIT in the library, and I wasn't able to do a happy dance when I saw we finally got an email. Trevor is taking his placement test at the moment, so I'm messing around in the library. I'm thinking of getting him a nice vest & jacket from the bookstore - he turns 18 tomorrow, and it would make a nice present.

Yay Diana! (P.S. She is perfectly capable of using capital letters - this is just how they all write nowadays. I blame texting on the cells).

HI MOM!!!!! i am using an internet booth! it is just like a phone booth, but better! i luv you!! i am gonna call too, really soon! so u may get an answering machine message from me! my legs are sore :P tylenol is great. i have made some friends... the ubahn is soooo crowded! i luv u! tell everyone i said hi! love ,Diana!

ROAD Event at OIT

Trevor & I are driving to Klamath Falls today to get him ready to attend OIT in the Fall. We'll stay in the dorms (whee!) and it starts at 12:30 with Check In.

They'll break everyone into groups, and then the groups go thru different sessions like Testing, Advising Appointments, Financial Aid. Then there's time for dinner (Taco Bell - w00t!)

In the evening, there's a Student & Family Dessert Social and then a Student Success Session (?) Tomorrow things get going at 8:00 am with Info & Question/Answer Sessions. Then we do the actual online registration, online billing and the wrap-up.

Then there's a BBQ lunch until 1:30, and then we're done! The bookstore, Financial Aid office and all that stuff will be open and available while we're there.

That just seems like so much more than when I went & stood in line for hours at Cal State Fullerton...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

WoW stuff

I flipped the image because I liked the view better this way.
Here's Robert's, Shoo's & my WoW characters "resting" in the Inn in the undead Undercity Inn. Nice beds, huh?
If you park your avatar in one of the main cities or in an Inn, you earn a bonus for your experience. The experience bar will be blue when you're earning double experience. It's purple for regular. I play almost solely in the blue. I will change over to a different character if I catch up to the purple.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


These are Bing cherries. Very sweet and tasty.

I went out this morning and it took me about 1/2 hour to get 9 pounds. They were $1/pound (vs. $2.99/lb in the store).

Connor's not a big fan of these for some reason, but Trevor loves them.

If the family manages to get through the 9 pounds in a couple of days, I'll go out again next week and get more. I like to freeze these for later, because they are nice to eat frozen.

The other popular cherries here are the Rainier cherries. Those are more tart, and they also call them "pie" cherries. If I want to do some canning, it would be the Rainiers I'd get.

No news yet from Diana, but I got an email from Leonie's mom, and they are all excited about Diana arriving at their place on Saturday. I think she's in Munich right now -- hopefully taking lots of pictures!

Monday, June 25, 2007

She's in Cologne...

... climbing the 509 steps to the top of one of the towers! I guess it's a good way to exercise your legs after a 12-hour flight :)

They landed in Frankfurt around 8:30 am (German time) and have already ridden 4 different trains, and a boat. They've eaten a German lunch, and they'll still ride two more trains to get to where they are spending the night.

I sure hope Diana had a chance to sleep on the plane!

Any photos I'm showing here are just copied from the web. I haven't heard from Diana herself yet - probably not until the end of the week unless there's internet access somewhere along the trip before they meet up with their host families on Saturday.

If you're interested: facts about the Cologne Cathedral

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Off She Goes!!!

Whoops! After I fill out this luggage tag, I should probably sign my passport!!

We got up early this morning and headed up to Portland to drop Diana off at the airport.

She was a little nervous and teary when we said good-bye, but everything seemed to run smoothly. We watched her go thru the security checks & all. It looked like everything passed with her stuff.

This is her 2nd flight in as many days. Yesterday, all three kids got to go on a "Young Eagles" flight. Trevor & Diana had done it before, but not Connor. Up until he saw other kids getting out of the plane, he insisted he did NOT want to fly! Once he saw the kids with the big smiles disembarking, he asked if he could touch the plane. Lee said yes, and then Connor asked, "Get in the plane?" So Diana took his hand, and off he went! Yay!

Thank you Dr. Durst for the flight!

Here are the GAPP kids - ready to go! Everyone was on time, and everyone got thru security. We waved white hankies as they went off to their gate.

As I'm typing, they've been in the air for 4 hours. Diana should be bored by now. Or maybe they started the movie...

Hey- I just noticed Lee & Connor on the left of the photo - heh.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bon Voyage!

You can't be friends with people for the last six years, and not have some kind of party when some of the group are going to be gone a while. Diana leaves for Germany tomorrow - Renee will be leaving for Boot Camp pretty soon (not sure of the date yet).

So they started off swimming at the Community College pool (note the George Washington 'do).

Then Amanda joined us to go out to Red Robin for some burgers & dessert (we polished off TWO desserts!!). Renee hadn't been there before, so that was fun.

To work off all that dessert, we went bowling, using the free game tickets they'd gotten at Talent Show. Renee managed to beat out Diana, even in a mini-skirt.

Of course, Diana bowls granny-style, so that's not a huge feat (sorry Diana!).

Then it was back to our house for a couple of movies & a sleepover. Renee & Amanda left earlier this morning, and Mary helped Diana to do the dishes before we dropped her off to work at the Art Fair today.

As I write this, Diana & Trevor are flying overhead viewing our town from above with the "Young Eagles" program. We set it up for Connor, but Lee just called & told me Connor wasn't up for it. We'll try again next time!

Next post: Diana leaves for Germany!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Series Finale

Tonight is the final episode of Stargate SG-1.

The show has been running for 10 years. It was never on a network channel, so a lot of people missed it.

This was a great show. The premise was that there were tons of Stargates all around our galaxy, that were put into place by a race of Ancient people. Humans are their descendents.

The show took off from the movie, which starred James Spader and Kurt Russel. Ex-McGyver, Richard Dean Anderson took Kurt Russel's role, and Michael Shanks took James Spader's. The movie was a lot more drama & action. The series had a LOT of comedy in it. That's what made it so endearing to me.

The photo below shows the current cast, since Richard Dean Anderson retired to be able to spend more time with his family. Looks like he does a cameo for the finale however.

I think Michael Shanks gets some kind of award for being "dead" and then coming back to life more than anyone else on TV Daniel Jackson on Wikipedia. For a while there, he was out of the series, because his character had (like the Ancients) ascended to a higher plane of existence. But he came back (yay!). Daniel was my favorite character.

Apparently Amanda Tapping (with the series from beginning to end) will continue in the spin off Stargate-Atlantis, which is starting its 4th year next season, I think.

I'm going to miss this one, however. This was one of those shows the whole family would watch together with popcorn. Since SG-Atlantis was right after SG-1, we'd kind of have a little double-feature going.

A little trivia - Christopher Judge (Teal'c) with the golden seal thing on his forehead was also on the show for all 10 years. Before that, he played football for Diana's future college - University of Oregon :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Too Small

Strawberries are too small this year. I'm not going to spend time hunched over the little plants to beef up the freezer for jam. I will concentrate on cherries & blueberries instead.

They tasted great tho. Connor & Trevor came along to help, but Connor (while he actually picked some very nice berries) was more interested in getting his croc clogs stuck in the mud and yelling, "Help me! I'm stuck!"

Trevor still hasn't found a job, so he accompanies me on these other "work" type things. It counts as time, and while he's not the best berry picker, it was at least 1/2 a bucket that I didn't have to pick! Cherries will be easier for him - he's taller than I am!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sister City Shobu BBQ

Here's Troop 371.

Front left side is Renee. She graduated early last Sunday with Trevor's class. She is waiting to hear back about starting boot camp for the Navy.

This was today at the Rod & Gun Club, where we went to help with a Barbeque for our sister city, Shobu, Japan. This is an exchange thing that spun off from the middle-school student exchange. It continues the Sister City relationship we have with Shobu. This exchange is open to teens & adults - it's also with couples (spouses, friends, parent & older child).

Our job today was to prepare the tomatoes, onions and lettuce for the hamburgers (we did that at my house), and then to help with setting up the picnic area and maintaining the buffet line. After everyone had eaten, it was our turn with whatever was left over. This year they also had a community college band come to sing "American" song from a bunch of genres - jazz, show tunes, R&B, etc. That was fun.

We had another troop with us, also four girls, and we were given a donation of $100 ($50/troop) for coming to help. We also got any leftover food items, from the extra ketchup to tubs of potato salad. The watermelon wasn't great, so while there was bunch left, we didn't keep it.

Not all the girls could stay till the clean up, but Diana & I did, along with two girls and a co-leader from the other troop. Last time, we'd left after the food was cleaned up, but we stuck around this time to hear the little speeches from the Japanese people and their hosts. There was a translator to help everyone understand each other's language, so this took a little time. Diana & Stephanie were especially interested in listening to Japanese. It's not taught at their High School, but Diana is the president of the Japanese club, while Stephanie has been a member since she started High School. Both girls would nod and say things to each other to see if the other one had caught something. It was cute.

At the end, Diana & I were talking to the guy who had invited us (for the 2nd year now) to come and help with the food. When he found out how interested Diana is in Japan, he said he'd give us specifics about their next trip (October 2008?) in case she wanted to come along! Diana is thrilled! When we got home, I told Lee about it and he'd like to go too! It's only a 10-day trip, so that would be pretty dang cool for them to do together. We're okay with Diana missing school for it!

They gave us too many tomatoes & onions to prep tho. I need to figure out what to make with pre-sliced tomato & onion. Salsa?

This is what we're really like - pretty much all of the time. We're gonna miss Renee next year.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer Time!

Today begins summer vacation for our family. Trevor's already had a week off since he graduated, so we'll be putting him to work now. Until he finds a "real job" he'll be doing yard work for us. Hopefully he'll be more motivated to get a job since we aren't going to pay him anything - maybe an occasional ice cream or something.

I was going to have him go to the community college, but the class he was going to take is being offered at a satellite campus, right next to my school. This is where the people go who couldn't manage High School when it was free. Some come in drunk or high, and it's not really the atmosphere I was thinking to have Trevor experience. So, we cancelled that idea. He can work instead.

Diana is leaving for Germany on Sunday. She will be going through her room & cleaning up, as well as packing for the trip. She needs to carry everything for the first week, as they'll be traveling all over before they meet up with their host families. She still needs to buy a few things, but it's coming together. We also need to get her the traveler's checks and the pre-loaded ATM card. Her teachers have copies of all the passports & birth certificates, in case anyone loses their papers.

Connor is just enjoying "School's out!" The weather right now is actually pretty overcast & cool, so he's not bugging me about swimming yet. Once it gets warmer, I'll get the little pool out for the backyard. I don't know if I'll do the college pool thing again this summer. We will start summer school again in July. He'll be at the same school where I work, but in a regular education class. If Trevor isn't working by then, he can assist in Connor's room (not paid). We are there from 8:00 to noon, 4 days a week.

I'm thinking I'll use the early part of the morning for the next couple of weeks to pick fruit to freeze. I can make jam if I have time now, or just freeze the fruit until later. Strawberries are on right now. I think cherries are too. Blueberries should be coming up pretty soon as well. I have a ton of yard work to do as well. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you great dads out there!

When my parents came to visit for Trevor's graduation, we all went to dinner at our new Red Robin at Trevor's request.

Lee & I took the opportunity to grab the check when it came to treat my folks to dinner for Father's Day.

My dad was pleasantly surprised :) That's always fun.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Grandparent shots

Pop Kiester got the first & third shots.

The kids had to walk toward the middle, shake hands & get the diploma, and then walk back down the center aisle. They had to stop at the photographer for the professional photo (which I really should look at) and then continue to their seats. The middle shot is from Opa's camera.
Thanks Papi & Pop!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Graduation

They had 401 in the graduating class. 12 of those were Juniors graduating early (one of those being my own scout, Renee - go Renee!)

We had Omi & Opa, Grandma & Grandpa, Aunt Donna & Uncle Jim, and Lee & myself at the ceremony. It was cool, but we didn't get rained on!

Afterwards at the house, we had Aunt Karen & daughter Collyn, Cousin Marla with her hubby Braymer & their little ones, Rita & James. Aunt Myrna & Uncle Doug with Daniel were not able to come, since they were on a plane to Italy at the time. We also had Froggy (Joe) and his wife, Mary come to visit from Eugene, and Trevor's IEP case Manager who worked with him for the last three years - Ms. Case.

There was pizza, chips & dip, soda & iced tea. We had a nice sheet cake, and I totally forgot to make the coffee (whoops!).

After everyone left, Trevor, Connor & I went to Omi & Opa's hotel to visit a little more, since they were leaving in the morning for Canada. We stayed until about 9:00, when we drove Trevor over to the High School again for his Grad Night. He called for a ride home at 3:30 am. He had a blast!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Trevor Graduates!

Today is Trevor's High School Graduation. Weather is a little iffy, we may have some rain sprinkles on us, but we only have 4 tickets in case of rain. So, we don't mind a little dampness - and at least we won't roast!

So far, my folks have come in from Canada, Lee's folks & sister Donna & Hubby are planning to join us, and Lee's niece, Marla hopes to come to the ceremony as well. We have other people planning to come to the little party afterward too. I'll post more on that when we see who makes it!

This week we got a letter from Trevor's Drafting teacher. He is thrilled Trevor is going on to attend Oregon Institute of Technology, and he is going to award Trevor with Honors in Computer Animation at the ceremony today. He has also told us he hopes to come to Trevor's graduation from OIT when that happens. The guy just really gets a kick out of Trevor.

Trevor's also been handing around his yearbook this last week at school. A lot of kids there have known each other since elementary school, so they start off with "These past 13 years with you..." hee. A lot of guys wrote in there, "Kiest! You're the man!" Trevor's been known for his humor & wit, even if he's not the most coordinated guy. Everyone liked him on their team for academics! The kid knows his stuff!

We are very proud of Trevor and are looking forward to seeing what he creates in the big, wide world. As his Jr. High science teacher said: "I'm expecting great things from Trevor. He's gonna surprise us all!"

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Field Trip

I took a personal day yesterday to accompany Connor on his class field trip. We visited Wildlife Images in Merlin, which is like a zoo with native animals that are not able to be released back into the wild. These animals either were injured and not able to recover enough to take care of themselves, or they were imprinted too much by humans. This was more true of the bigger animals, like the bears and a cougar. The birds (eagles, owls & hawks) were generally unable to fly anymore. There was also a badger (Mr. Stubbs) who had been kept by a human when he was a baby and then got too wild to keep (there's a reason you're not supposed to mess with wild animals!).

After Wildlife Images, we had a picnic at a park and then the kids got to play there. Connor's classmates were not previously exposed to a merry-go-round before. This was a smaller one than I grew up with, and only allowed about 5 kids on at once. Connor already knew how to make it spin and how to stop it. I had to tell his classmates though. Later on, some older kids were spinning the younger ones, and they yelled to stop, but the big kids kept spinning. Connor stuck his foot out to drag & slow down, and clipped one of the big kids (who promptly stopped pushing the spin). Hee.

Then the big part of the trip: The Hellgate Jet Boats. We had 3 classes of 3rd graders, with parents & teachers, etc. The trip is about 2 hours. Besides racing down the Rogue River, they also dunk the front of the boat down to throw water over the passengers, or they spin the boats to create a hole for the other jet boat (they go in pairs) to dip in and spray the passengers. We sat near the back, and got reasonably wet. The people next to the right side near us got totally drenched! Luckily, we had a beautiful day, and everyone dried off before we got off the boats again. My jeans were only a little damp by the time we were back to the dock.

Connor had a blast. He's been talking about the zoo, the picnic, the part and the Hellgate :) Good stuff. If you're ever able to take that trip, do so. It's quite an experience!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ducks win the Stanley Cup!!

I'll have to catch the highlights on SportsCenter tonight, but it was a 6-2 win in Game 5. The Ducks won the series 4 games to 1 for the Ottawa Senators.
I would have loved to see this game. I meant to set up the Tivo if it was available, but I forgot!
Oh well - I'm proud of the Ducks! W00t!