Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The girl & I will be heading up to Eugene tonight. We have two full days of registration, orientation, "interest sessions" and who knows what else. I've been through this before with Trevor, but I gotta say, it will be a lot less stressful this time - mainly due to the fact that Diana has her way almost completely paid! Also, I know what to expect this time :)
We hope to get a chance to see what her housing looks like, since it's not on campus, and see how far she'll actually have to walk to get around. I think she'll be very interested in the Study Abroad session :) I believe both Germany & Japan are offered as locations - wheee!
Anyhoo - I'll probably be able to check email, but that's about it. Be back again Friday evening.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mo' Money! Er... not really.

Diana had a scholarship interview last week. She wasn't sure what the scholarship was for, and never got around to asking before it was her turn for her interview (I had asked her to call).

When she finally realized 3/4ths through the interview that the scholarship was for two years at the community college (which would have been fantastic before she got the Ford Scholarship), she didn't want to tell the folks that she couldn't accept their scholarship - instead she opted to just finish off the interview and figure they probably wouldn't award it to her anyway. She didn't want to make them think they had wasted their time.

Well... she got the scholarship. She had gotten a call from the guy, but was at work at the time. She called back, but I don't think he got the message. He called us again, and Diana was at work again that time, so he just went ahead & told me she'd gotten it.

Then I had to ask if he was aware Diana had been accepted at U of O. And was there another applicant that could accept it since Diana had to respectfully decline? He said there was, and congratulated her and wished her luck.

*sigh* All this would have been avoided if she'd just asked in the beginning what the scholarship was for. I'm still proud she would have had her two years of community college paid, but I don't like having her have to turn down something like that. Oh well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Welcome back, Leonie!

Diana was really surprised - when they showed up, she threw herself at Leonie & started to cry :) Good surprise!!

I am SO proud of myself! I kept a really big secret for FOUR months! I'm not very good at secrets, as I wind up being the one that accidentally spoils the surprise party by coming across the 'surprisee' on their way into the surprise (Sorry Lori F.).

In any case, Leonie emailed me back when and said she & her parents were planning to come out to visit us. Martina & Juergen are going to do a bit of sightseeing around Oregon, and Leonie will stay with us - until San Diego! W00t!!
On Saturday we did a little hike to Susan Creek Falls.
We have had some wonderful weather here lately - mid 80's and just lovely. Perfect for a nice hike.

We also surprised Amanda at her job at Abby's Pizza. That was fun.

Trevor spilled the beans to Mary, so we didn't get to see her reaction to the news.

The girls are planning to do some bowling & stuff together, which will be fun for all of them.

Leonie & Diana will also probably meet up with them for fun at the fair.

And anyone who is coming to San Diego will get to meet Leo before her flight on Saturday.

Whooo Hoooo!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Lee!

He's 47 today. This was taken yesterday on our hike to Susan Creek Falls.
Today he is celebrating his birthday by doing things one-on-one with his kids.
Trevor is taking him to see Batman.
Connor will go on a bike ride to Burger King with him.
Diana will go roller skating with her dad (but it will have to wait until he picks up his skates from the shoe shop).
I made some triple-berry jam this morning, and then a fresh blueberry pie. He likes my pies.
We'll have dinner tonight with our guests from Germany.
Happy Birthday Lee!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Closing Ceremonies for Camp Shriver

Lee & I attended the closing ceremonies yesterday for Camp Shriver Special Olympics. Connor got a towel, a snack, and a ticket to to the local baseball team's game on Saturday.

The ceremonies were a little on the long side for him - a lot of thanking everyone, which is obviously necessary, but doesn't mean anything to him.

They had him pass a basketball back & forth with another teammate to demonstrate what he'd learned, but he was already on the upper edge of anxiousness by then, so he started off kind of teary. Once he saw Lee & I in the audience, he brightened up saying, "Hi Mom! Hi Dad!" We're all "Great job, Connor - keep moving!" lol Other folks were saying, "Go Connor! Good job!" I don't know who they were, but it tends to be the same folks associated with special needs kids when you participate with stuff like this.

I think he had a great time with the experience, and we'll certainly sign him up to do it again next year!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Roses

While Carolyn & family were visiting, we took a tour of Harry & David. They also own Jackson & Perkins, which sells mail order roses among other things.

I went around stopping to smell the roses, and at the end of the tour, I thought it would make a nice addition to my garden.

Hopefully I won't kill them too quickly. I did look up how to plant them and did my best to give them the best environment to survive.

These are called "Memorial Day," which I thought was actually a little nod to my dad. He passed away on Canada's Memorial Day weekend, and we went to his memorial on the US Memorial Day weekend. How like my dad to make things as convenient as possible for others & giving us an extra day off of work to have more travel time.

The small plant in the middle is a lavender bush (someday) and the bigger plant on the right is my lilac bush.

This is our dopey dog, Liberty, who loves me to death. Because I feed her.

She's a good dog, but the bone meal I put in the planter to help the roses was very interesting to her. I put some on an old bone from the neighbors so she'd leave the roses alone :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Oh My

Diana has spent all afternoon answering Fan Mail from the show.

She's had over 10,000 hits on her Life After MADE videos. People watching noticed that she was on Deviant Art on the show when she's showing her video, so they went hunting for her, and so she just put her website URL on the MADE comments so she wouldn't have to be googled :) There are a few comments here on my blog already for her ;)

The Anime/Manga community is very excited to see one of their own - and these guys honestly have a real sense of community that spans all boundaries. I got a little taste of that with Riki on the flight home from the San Diego trip. They are saying they were just flipping channels & saw the cat ears & had to watch. Wow.

Lots and lots of positive, nice comments. There are the occasional 'trolls' who are just looking to make trouble (saying they knew her, and she had a boyfriend, etc. Or that it was all scripted). None of that is true, of course. I was worried things might be edited to look different than how they actually happened, but nope - it all goes like things actually went.

It's extremely weird to have her be this popular (online, anyway - she's still sitting at the computer at home). If she had a facebook or myspace, she'd be inundated with friend requests. Our rule on that is that she has to wait until she's 18. However, she's very very excited to have so many people watching her on Deviant Art. That means every time she posts something, they'll get an email to come & take a look :)

We thought it was over now!!! It looks like this is another stage in the whole thing - gak!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Life after MADE

Whew! The episode aired, and we're really happy with it.

I was a little worried that some people wouldn't like how things were edited, but it came off really well. The comments from people watching the show on the link below are very cool as well. I noticed Mary already posted in there too :)

Life after MADE

The whole episode will be available to view later. I'm putting this link over on the right as well with my other links :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

She's been blogged!

(by someone other than her parents!)

Some kid's blog

I'm not sure how he (she?) found out sooner than we did, but on July 10, this kid found out Diana was going to be MADE and posted on his livejournal.


Diana posted a response.

Too funny.

This is it tho - enjoy your "fame" honey :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Diana's article in the paper


RHS student "Made" by MTV

Funny thing - the only other people interviewed for this piece are the teacher that gave Diana the worst experience out of the whole thing, and a student that says he "confronted" but he actually assaulted Jen, the camera gal. Both of these people had to have conversations with the principal at the high school for their poor behavior.

Weird how they are the people the News Review found to talk to?

Diana still comes out looking like she had a great time & it was a good thing - which it was :)

Camp Shriver

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I really like living in a smaller town!
Our daughter gets to benefit from a fantastic scholarship program only available to students coming from cities of 30,000 or less people. The sense of community is very strong here. You meet people you know every time you go shopping. And you only sit in traffic when it's Graffiti night, or the train is taking too long (they are working on a fix for that..)
Another way cool thing is we tend to get opportunities like Camp Shriver. Roseburg was one of the six original sites to host a Special Olympics camp for kids with developmental disabilities three years ago. It started with a $10,000 donation from the Kennedy Foundation (JFK's sister Eunice Shriver started Special Olympics in her backyard long ago). It continues through community support along with the Kennedy Foundation funding. It's at our YMCA, and Connor is LOVING it.
This is his first year (which is fine - he tends to wander, and he's old enough now to better stick with the group). I don't know how long he will continue to be able to attend -- but we'll have him go as long as he can. As you can see by the photo below, he's pretty athletic. He loves the outdoors, and anything he can do that involves running, jumping, climbing, or swimming, that's what he wants to do.
The first day at the camp was really last Friday, when Lee took him to get assessed for the various sports. He had to have a simple health exam done (thanks Sue!!) and they checked his vision and hearing as well - hearing is great, but he'll probably need glasses soon & join the rest of the family :/
Lately he's been growing out of shoes pretty fast. I had just gotten him some Vans-type shoes at the end of the school year, and those were already too small a month later. We'd been having him wear the rubber clogs, because they're loose and comfortable. But those aren't the best thing for playing basketball & kickball. I'd been looking around town with him, but shoe shopping is not a favorite activity. Monday night we took him shopping again - determined to find something. Fred Meyer was having a clearance sale - I seriously have a problem with $50 shoes that my kid will outgrow in 3 months!! I think Connor tried on 6 or 7 sets and practised running in the store before we found this pair. Connor's seen commercials for Sketchers, and that's what we started with, but they didn't fit him right - these are Shaq's, but Connor calls them Sketchers Shaqs. Hey - it works for him :)
He loves his new shoes because they help him run & jump better :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Newspaper Interview

Diana had a 20-minute interview on the phone this morning with our local paper on the "thing." Yay! That means I don't have to try to call everyone we know - w00t!

It will be either in Friday or Sunday's paper. There was a person from MTV on the line at the same time making sure nothing was said that would spoil the show (and affect the contract we'd signed with MTV to not disclose stuff to the media!).

If you're local & get the News-Review, could you save your copy for us? Thanks!!

Oh - this is on the front page of today's paper - I'll need extras of this one too please!!

Camp Shriver athlete Conner Kiester, 10, at left, runs to first base with his partner, Wryland McKnight, also 10, during a game of kickball during Tuesday's Camp Shriver activities at Stewart Park. The Roseburg boys teamed up together to compete.JON AUSTRIA/The News-Review
(Connor is actually on the right, but you knew that...)


Monday, July 14, 2008

Visit with Carolyn, Part II

On Friday, we all met for breakfast at Casey's Diner. After that, Lee took Connor to the YMCA for sign-up stuff for Special Olympics (more on that later). I joined Carolyn & her family on a little trip down to Medford to tour the Harry & David's facility. They have a full tour and store there.

We called early to reserve a spot on the tour and when we arrived, we were a bit early. I'd gotten some other coordinates for another geocache, so I asked the kids if they wanted to try that. Poor little Cole had done long hikes for his first two caches, so he was not thrilled about doing another one until I told him this one was going to be right next to the car.

It would have been a very quick grab & dash, except while we had the cache in hand, a guy came back to his car parked right next to the location to eat his lunch on his break! We had to wait until he was done before we could re-hide the cache! We were pretty sure he was a Muggle, but it's also completely possible that he was the one who hid it in the first place - we'll never know!

Then it was off to the tour of Harry & David's. I don't shop there - the pears cost $5 each, and no matter how delectable they are, it's not gonna happen :P But there was a free treat on the tour, so I got to try a mint melt-away & some almond raspberry cookies which were very tasty.

They were packing the Moose Munch, and I did buy a tub container, because it was on sale by a good bit, and I'll probably never get a chance to try it that inexpensive again. Then they had some rose bush plants on sale outside, so I got a couple of those. I got to use the $5 off coupon from taking the tour, and I was happy about that too.

I think my favorite room was the one where they were enrobing the graham crackers with chocolate. YUM!!

After Harry & David's we drove back to Roseburg and wound up getting Subway & Mickey D's to have a picnic at the Holiday Inn. Then the kids all played in the pool while the adults chatted. We all headed over to our place then to have ice cream and then we had to say good-bye. Carl & Carolyn were going to check out Graffiti Night while we took Diana to her Scholarship weekend thing.

And thanks Donna for keeping an eye on the boys while we were gone!!! :)

Visit with Carolyn

Carolyn & her family came through on their way home from Canada. They arrived late Wednesday night. I worked Thursday morning, but we let Connor stay home with Lee so he could go and enjoy the pool with his cousins
In the afternoon, we went for a hike at Susan Creek Falls. There's a geocache along the way, and we got to do that as well.

Hey Mom! I got a geocache!

Connor loves playing in the water at the falls.

In the evening, we left the kids at the house, and the four adults went to Los Dos Amigos for a nice dinner.

June 20th, at 1:00 Pacific Time

After that, it will be available to see online.

We were thinking of doing a party of some kind here in town, but Diana is not sure she wants to be embarassed in front of everyone she knows... We're trying to see if she'll go for a family gathering in Medford or Shady Cove.

Right now, the website is not showing the title or her name on the episode, but they told us it would be on at 4:00 their time, so that's 1:00 our time.

Diana's premier date Calendar

Oh boy!

On a side note, we went to the Ford dinner weekend thing over last weekend, and Diana was supposed to dress nicely for the event. She had a few things, but nothing really new, so we thought we'd go shopping at the nearby mall, while everything was on sale. Diana still had about $50 on a giftcard she'd gotten from the "thing," so she was able to buy a dress, shoes, and some jewelry to wear - everything on sale -yay! Her coaches probably wouldn't have been really thrilled about the outfit, because it was mainly black with grey & white on it - but hey, there were a lot of girls in black! If we'd found red beads, we would have had her wear her red shoes, but we didn't so she got little black flats instead.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Not Sure Now


This was the best image on "confusion" I could find...

We had heard from some folks involved in the production that the air date for Diana's episode would be July 12th.

When we look at the website, however, there's no mention of a new episode, and if you look up the schedule for July 12th, there's only one episode showing, and it's an older one...

This coming weekend is also the Welcome & Orientation for Ford Scholars in Eugene. We're still working on whether or not both Lee & I can go, or if one of us needs to stay home to keep Connor from melting down. Trevor would be here - it's just that he tends to be the trigger to Connor's meltdowns. If anyone else is around, it reduces the boys' interactions with each other.

Yes, we're still working with Trevor to help him understand Connor, but he's not quite there yet.

So... we're going to keep the Tivo going, and maybe it WILL be Diana's episode, and it's just listed incorrectly. Or maybe it won't be, and hers is still coming up.

We can't say for sure one way or the other. We will get a copy of her episode on DVD, so whatever happens, if we're intending to see you anytime soon, we'll share that with you then! If not, once its up, I'll post the link to her episode on the MTV site, because they are all viewable online once they've aired anyway :)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fourth of July

We don't expect big fireworks shows around here. It's still legal to buy and light fireworks, which most people do. In the past, our neighbor across the street would buy $300 worth, and we'd just watch his (they were lit right in front of our house - why not?).

There was a "big" fireworks show at the fairgrounds that we never attended. We were a little spoiled by Disneyland, plus we didn't see a reason to have to drive & deal with a crowd.

Last year, the people putting on that show decided to stop doing it. They didn't really warn anyone - there just wasn't a fireworks show. People were a bit bummed because a lot of folks would attend the "big" show.

So this year, a little committee created itself to run the big fireworks show. Whoever the guy in charge was, he was good at getting donations. He got $20,000 for the fireworks show. They did it at the main park, rather than the fairgrounds, and there were concerts & all kinds of stuff available to do there.

We didn't go, mostly because that park is right next to the river, and Connor + river + crowd is not a safe idea. Trevor & Diana could have gone, if they'd thought to figure out how to get there & back, but they didn't even think about it. Maybe next year.

Instead, we got pizza for dinner, set off a few fireworks in front of the house, and then went to the three-story parking structure downtown about 15 minutes before the show was about to start.

It was pretty cool. It lasted a good half hour, which was pretty neat. Diana took pictures with her camera, and it was set for every three seconds. She has a lot of time-lapse type photos - about 350, I think. Connor enjoyed being at the top of the parking garage, and it took us all of 3 minutes to drive home after the show was over - no traffic. Just the way I like it :)

Happy Independence Day!

Thanks for being out there for us Renee - even if it *has* to be Hawaii right now :)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Connor & the Lake

Connor loves the water. He doesn't care how cold it is, or how windy (unlike his mom). He just wants to play in the water.
This guy was trying to get out of the water on his surfboard with this big kite-sail thing. In the evening, a lot of folks come out to do this. It's pretty cool.

This guy was having a tough time with it though, although he did eventually kite-sail away.


Tonight was the first TOPS meeting in 3 weeks. I really need the weekly weigh-in to maintain my goal weight. I've mentioned before, without the accountability to the rest of the club, I would have regained back whatever I'd lost, plus (going by past efforts).

In any case, while we were in Canada, I really did try to watch my food intake, and I walked every morning with my mom pretty much. However, there was more eating out than I'm accustomed to doing, and even tho I'd order Caeser salad with salmon, it's still more calories than my typical meals at home. And I probably should have worn weights on my legs and wrists, because I never did break a sweat when I'd walk with my mom. I'm just used to a more strenuous workout.

When we got home, I used my home scale and weighed myself the following morning. I was only up a pound from when we'd left, but I'd already been kind of on the high end when we left. So we'd gotten home on a Friday night, and by Sunday, I'm another pound up on my scale (yikes!).

On Monday we started Summer school, and I decided I had to get my butt in gear and get some workouts in. I don't have trouble with the food part, because I'm used to that already. I increased my biking from 2x a week for an hour at a time (I know, I've been slacking), to 2x a DAY for an hour at a time. I've been biking after I get home around noon, and then again in the evening. Today I did both hours in one shot, because I needed to get the time in before the meeting at 5:30.

I was able to drop 4 pounds in 4 days, at least for weigh in. I was still a pound away from my maximum allowed weight. *whew* I will be up again a little tomorrow, but certainly not the 4 pounds. I will continue to bike the 2 hours a day, because during the summer I can. I really need to get to the low end of my 10-lb leeway, instead of hovering around at the top.

A side benefit is Suella has gone from level 61 to level 64 :) Whoo hoo!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Canadian Geocaching

This bird's nest was right on the path along the Mission Creek. It's a well-used path. I'm not sure how smart this bird is...
"Needles" was the clue for this first cache. Mission Creek Park Of course, there were tons of needles around the area, and a lot of them were in little piles. Catherine found this one. Mikael was bummed - he is so proud of his "eagle eye."

Mission Creek Pond.
This was a microcache that was on a string, attached to this metal tubing. Why there was metal tubing there, we don't know. Aaron is trying to see what Cat found.
Catherine found this one too. I had even looked down the tube to see if anything was there - but as you can see, they used camo tape to make it hard to see the cache. Catherine noticed the string around the top and that's how she found it.
This last cache was on the far side of a spawning channel. The people who had placed it asked that no one cross the channel. We had to walk another 1/2 mile at least to find a place to cross and then go back to the coordinates.
Mission Cr. Take a rest
A few days after Catherine (yet again!) found this cache, it was retired. The next groups after us both got wet crossing the channel :( Hopefully they didn't disturb too much...

Our last trek was to the Kelowna Crags. Cedar Mountain We spent a good hour walking the trails trying to get near the coordinates. The closest we got was just under 200 ft - we were at the base of the crags. 200 feet ahead would be on the TOP of the crags. Oh well. We'll have to try for that one on another day! At least we saw some deer...