Saturday, September 26, 2009

[day 269... sep 26]

The annual Little School Heritage Festival is always a great event, with a wide variety of food and terrific entertainment from students, teachers, and parents who perform in a "variety show."

This year's highlight (in my opinion!) was all the teachers (those who came, at least) performing "In the Kitchen," a popular song at Friday singalongs. The teachers dressed up with all kinds of kitchen items on their heads and hanging from their instruments, and (just as the song says) banged on pots and pans at the appropriate place. It was hilarious!

Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of the kitchen singers because I was taking a video. But this is Niall, sitting with some parents from Alice's class, enjoying the show as one of his classmates plays the violin on stage. (My friend Samantha and her family are sitting at the table in front of Niall.)

[day 268... sep 25]

We had a morale event today at a fancy bowling place in Bellevue for our newly-re'orged and streamlined CPub + International group. Unfortunately, I'm still recovering from a horrible cold so I didn't participate in the bowling, though I did try a "Mojito" drink - yum!

The bowling place, Lucky Strike, is in Lincoln Square, just across from the Bellevue Square Mall. The lobby features a gorgeous hanging glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, an amazing local glass artist, and a two-story waterfall. Very pretty.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

[day 267... sep 24]

There's a big construction project in progress at one of the two main intersections at the bottom of Hollywood Hill. They're putting in three roundabouts: one big one, to replace the traffic light, and two smaller ones to help side traffic at the baseball field (that's the nearly-completed one you can see in this photo) and and the soon-to-be-exit for a "village" development (that seems to be on hold for now because of the economy nosedive).

It's intriguing to watch the roundabouts take shape. Not the usual roadwork we see, which typically involves adding a lane, repaving, or other more mundane work. I'm really curious how the main roundabout is going to work, with all the commute traffic heading to Redmond in the morning and back to Woodinville in the evening. I hope it improves the flow of cars through the intersection because there are typically big backups. I'm sure that's the plan. But we'll see!

[day 266... sep 23]

This photo is from the first week of school, but I liked the image of Niall and his friends in the Woods Building Courtyard, peering through the window of their classroom to see if teacher Alice was ready for them to come in yet. Still full of the vim and eagerness of those first few days of the school year, glad to see and be with friends, curious what class will be about that day, anxious to go inside.

They're probably actually reading the "morning message" that Alice had just finished writing on the chalkboard (that you can see through the window), getting a jump on what their day will be about.

[day 265... sep 22]

Autumn has just arrived, and even though the nights are still reasonably warm (at least it seems to me), the leaves are starting to fall.

We used to have a row of Big Leaf Maple trees to the south of our house, on the Wheats' side of the fence, so this time of year would mean tons of leaves barraging our yard. But the Wheats had them taken down a few years ago, and now there's just one small-ish maple in the far corner, so we get very few leaves. I kind of miss having big piles of leaves for the kids to enjoy, though this way we don't need to rake (or feel guilty about not raking, more like!) and I imagine the lawn is happier.

[day 264... sep 21]

For some reason, we've seen very few hot air balloons this summer. Usually we see several most warm, balmy evenings and they fly quite close overhead. Sometimes we see them in the early mornings too.

But this balloon is only the second one I can remember seeing all summer. Truly odd. I don't know if the exceptionally hot, dry weather affected their ability to fly the balloons here, or if they've moved their operations elsewhere, or if something else has changed. I miss seeing them soar by on their way down the beautiful valley, and hearing the telltale thump-whoosh of the heaters warming up the air for the balloons. I hope they're back next summer.

[day 263... sep 20]

Following my new weekend plan of "a day at home, a day out in the world," we drove to Seattle today, planning to visit the Pacific Science Center and maybe catch an IMAX movie. But much to our disappointment, the Science Center is closed for the whole week. Bummer. :-(

Undeterred, we switched gears and headed back to the freeway and down past Boeing Field to the Museum of Flight - another favorite spot we haven't been to for a long time. I wasn't feeling terribly well unfortunately (fighting a cold). But the boys enjoyed checking out the showcased space flight exhibit, and then on to favorites like the Flight Zone kids area, the control tower, and the fighter jets on the main floor that you can sit in and pretend to pilot.

Here Niall and Cory are "flying" a plane in the Flight Zone by pushing pedals on the floor to adjust the flaps and tail. They also tried out the hang glider - Niall did it several times and came really close to the target, much to his delight.