Writing by Scott on Monday, 22 of December , 2014 at 10:06 am
First Day of School 2014
December 21, 2014
The shortest day of the year and the longest night. How perfect that it is finally the moment that I have a minute to write. Mostly because this year has been the busiest, most wonderful ever! I also had the most amazing afternoon with my friend Nancy seeing a show on Capitol Hill only to come home to watch the Seahawks win easily over the Arizona Cardinals, now dubbed the “angry birds” in our household. Short day but a great one indeed.
2014 started off as best it could. We left Seattle on December 26th to drive down to Lake Tahoe. It’s a place so dear to me and it was the first time Scott got to see it. It wasn’t as snowy as it should be. Skiing at 9000 ft. on man-made snow was totally weird but the lake always lying below is majestic and beautiful as ever. What made it even more special is to have my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin (Ron, Jill & Claire) join us for a long weekend. It was a great way to start off the year!
To suggest that 2014 has flown by is such a cliché but Lord is it true! One indication of that, our Christmas card has a major typo! Turns out Lindsay is actually 17, not 16. Ooops. How did that happen? She is a senior at Ballard High School. She is a great student and is enjoying her post as Student Body President. She is also involved in SLAM (Students Lives Always Matter) a suicide prevention club, LINK CREW (welcome committee) and she continues to enjoy her involvement in Unified Sports and acting as a TA in the Special Ed department. This has been a great year for Linz and she has submitted her application for early acceptance and University of San Francisco. Graduation is June 12th and we are super excited that Lindsay will deliver the commencement speech to her class.
Jackson is just awesome! His soccer team just finished their last game yesterday (thank God). They made it all the way to the finals and they just ran out of time! Their second place win was well deserved. The Knocknoodles are a heck of a team and Jackson has really enjoyed playing defense for them. His latest passion is Parkour. Specifically Free Running, which is a fabulous combo of gymnastics, climbing, and running in an urban environment. It is super cool and we will hopefully have some videos posted on the website for you to enjoy. He’s equally passionate about snowboarding and thank goodness, the forecast looks like he will get some boarding in over the holidays. He continues to be a great student at Hamilton Middle School and looks forward to playing Lacrosse in the spring. He also continues his involvement in Scouts. He earned his second class rand and has committed to doing a 50-mile hike this sumer, which will count toward his Eagle Scout rank.
We are so proud of both the kids. They are healthy and happy people with a fabulous sense of humor! We are lucky parents for sure.
Scott’s still at Hacker Group and he loves it. He continues to enjoy that he is a huge part of the digital growth in the company. It is so fortunate that his expertise has made him such a valuable individual to companies moving to a digital marketing strategy. Scott also just finished his first quarter of teacher for the University of Washington’s Continuing Education program as an instructor for Digital Marketing Analytics. He had 31 students signed up for the course, which just ended last week, and he absolutely loved it. It was a very rich experience for him.
As for me, I’m actually working on a pretty regular basis as of this fall. I’ve never had weekly clients before and they came to me when their regular person left the country for a year. The 3 of them could not be more different and each one of them has changed my life in the most wonderful way. I could have never imagined in a million years how much I would enjoy them and how much they would mean to me. It’s a big change, as I haven’t worked every day in 17 years! But I do like it. A lot. I’ve learned more about my self and I think it’s actually been good for the family. I get a LOT more help now! I’m super happy.
We continue to spend loads of time in Mazama, our heaven on earth and we leave on the 23rd (in two days!) to spend our Christmas holiday and New Years there (in a rented house). Our little cabin will be sitting empty this winter as it’s getting a kitchen make over thanks to some failing plumbing that has actually been an issue for a while. It was decided this Labor Day that we needed to deal with the plumbing issues. We are super excited about the project and will look forward to being at the cabin again later this spring.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an extremely Happy New Year.
Writing by Scott on Friday, 24 of January , 2014 at 1:26 pm
I just wanted to let you know of a super cool think that happened this morning. No one was invited because it was at 7:00 a.m!
Well, her hard work has paid off. Lindsay was awarded this morning for Student of the quarter. BHS staff members are chosen throughout the school year to choose a student who they want to recognize for their efforts. Whether is be academic, leadership, hard work, tenacity, a great attitude, what ever! It was a lovely ceremony with incredible diversity and an extremely wide range of accomplishment. We were so impressed with the students who were recognized. Especially the two from Italy recognized by a notoriously “weird” chemistry teacher!
Lindsay was recognized for her work with SLAM (Student Lives Always Matter) Club. What her advisor shared was that with Lindsay’s leadership the group has grown. They have successfully done outreach seminars at McClure Middle School on Queen Anne. With Lindsay’s leadership they are set to add Salmon Bay Middle School to their tour. The advisor also shared that since Lindsay has taken over, they have seen an increase in the number of students who come to the student health center to get help with their depression, anxiety, and feelings of despair. We couldn’t be prouder of this acknowledgment for her dedication and hard work. I just wanted to share this really cool news. Also, she will be a TA in special ed next semester and is playing unified sports with basket ball and soccer this spring (under the Special Olympics umbrella). Seems she is finding her place in this world.
Below are the photos, make sure to scroll down. The young woman is the counselor from the teen health center, the mentor to SLAM club & the staff member who nominated Linz. Enjoy!
Writing by Scott on Wednesday, 1 of January , 2014 at 3:37 pm
2013 is the first winter that we haven’t gone to our cabin in Mazama. We were lucky enough to get a week at our timeshare in Genoa, NV – just outside of Lake Tahoe – for the week after Christmas so away we went to visit with Ron, Jill and Claire Lindsay, get some skiing in and celebrate the New Years at the oldest Thirst Parlour in Nevada.
Sadly, the snow was pretty weak so we only ski’d one day at Heavenly. There is a ton of terrain there so we can definitely see how great it would be WITH snow. We did spend a day at Pyramid Lake, spent a day in town at South Shore Tahoe, enjoyed some great food and company, lots of time in the David Walley’s Hot Springs/Sauna and enjoyed the sunny, fabulous weather.
We ended up coming back two days early – one day from leaving a day early and one day from driving all 14 hours in one day instead of breaking it into two days. We had a great meal at McMiniman’s on the Vancouver side of the Columbia. It was a long day, but worth the drive.
Below are some pics from the trip. We’ll continue to add images to this slideshow as they come in from different cameras and phones.
Writing by Scott on Monday, 16 of December , 2013 at 2:57 pm
Seasons Greetings! I hope that our letter finds you well this year and that you are enjoying the magic of the season!
Good news to share all around with us. Each of us has experienced some big firsts this year and a few fun changes. The kids continue to do well and we are all looking forward to our holiday break from school and a much-needed family vacation, which is a first since buying the cabin!
Lindsay is in her junior year at Ballard High School. When they say that the junior year is the hardest, that is indeed true. She is taking AP (advanced placement) and honors courses, which are challenging but good. She has amazing teachers and she is doing a great job keeping her grades up. In 2013 she had her first boyfriend, did her first college tour and as of today got her first drivers license! Lindsay is president of SLAM (students lives always matter) Club at school and is also the communications director for the ASB. She organized the homecoming assembly for the school this year and hit it out of the park! I was able to attend the assembly and it was awesome. She participated on the BHS Swim team and is playing Unified Basketball and Unified Soccer. Unified sports are a program at Ballard that has teams of kids with emotional and physical disabilities partnered with kids who do not in conjunction with the Special Olympics. She LOVES playing unified sports and is having a ball
Jackson is growing like crazy. Since this summer his shoe size has grown 2 ½ sizes! He is still so lovely and we really enjoy his dry sense of humor. He started a new school this year and is going to Hamilton International Middle School for the first time as a 6th grader. He played La Cross last spring for the first time and has decided to let baseball go. He also went to beach camp for the first time this summer where he learned to “drop down” on a skateboard ramp and do flips of a trapeze that sent him hurtling into the frigid Puget Sound Water! He takes the city bus now to school all by himself for the first time and he has even done a little babysitting! Jackson is still playing soccer. His team the Knocknoodles are currently undefeated in the semi playoffs. He is very excited about snowboarding this year and is signed up to take the ski bus from his middle school in January (also a first!).
Scott continues to do very well professionally. He left Optify 9 months ago (just in time as they closed shop in Sept.!) and went to work for Hacker Group. It is the first time that Scott is working for an agency and he is really enjoying the creative energy of that environment. He works with some very smart, amazing individuals and he loves the challenge and the big changes. For the first time he is sending Jackson to boy scouts without dad as boy scouts is totally boy driven. Kind of sad but cool too. He had to drive with his daughter for the first time and is glad to have survived it. He built a beautiful “napping house” in our garden this summer for the first time and it turned out perfect! We celebrated our 20th-wedding anniversary in July and are very proud and happy about that.
I am working for the first time in a very long time. My business is still small but I have plenty to do and I’m enjoying making money again. For the first time I feel inspired to grow my business this year to add more of an event planning aspect as I seem to keep getting calls for that. I picked up another wedding for this summer, which I’m very excited about. I booked two Christmas parties this year (one up from last year!) and I like it! For the first time I actually think I can buy myself the couch of my dreams. Yes, I dream about couches and other home furnishings. For the first time in a very long time I got back up on a horse! Having been a horse girl as a youngster I have really missed that part of myself. I went to Bull hill Ranch this year with a girl friend for a week and rode horses and wrangled cattle and it was FABULOUS! I can’t wait to go back.
For the first time in 15 years we will not be spending New Years in Mazama. Instead, we are leaving on December 26th for a ski trip to Lake Tahoe. It will be Scott’s first time there and the first time the kids and he will ski there. This is where I learned to ski and where I used to visit my dad as a kid. We are all so excited to get in that van of ours and take it on the road! My Uncle Ron and Aunt Jill are meeting us there with my cousin Claire.
I hope 2014 brings you many firsts and that you enjoy yourselves and your loved ones.
Michelle, Scott, Lindsay, Jackson, Lucy (lab), Cooper (Havanese)
Writing by Scott on Tuesday, 8 of October , 2013 at 3:46 pm
So, this is the second year in a row the Rainy Pass to Hart’s Pass hike was selected and abandoned at the last minute. Last year was due to my knee blowing out over a Labor Day hike and this year was due to a significant amount of snow in higher elevations (including over 9 inches at Hart’s Pass). We weren’t interested in sleeping in snow so a series of other hikes were researched at the last minute which introduced uncertainty and caused our party to dwindle from a party of 7 (almost 8) to a trio of stout men: Jeff Thompson, Pat Boyer and Me.
For those who missed the hike, it was an all-time great walk in the woods! We covered ~31 miles in four days, caught fish, built massive camp fires, bonded over time honored beverages and experienced one of the most beautiful places in Washington State (the Pasayten Wilderness) on four glorious weather days (cold but crystal clear). The golden larches were popping at tree line, the three passes we traveled over offered amazing views of a whole series of peaks, bear tracks in the snow kept us on-guard, fat pheasants/grouse/ptarmigens stared at us from trees and rocks plus we got a little lost on our way, but it ended up working out JUST FINE thankyouverymuch.
Here’s how it went down.
Jeff picked up Patrick from the airport Weds evening and high tailed it to the Mazama cabin and were welcomed by a large camp fire and a planned power outage at Midnight. Thursday morning was a large breakfast of breakfast tacos made with local bacon and then a load out to the trail head (~1 hour from the cabin). We were surprised by the snow at the trail head as we were only at 4,300 feet. Off we went on our way and almost immediately, missed our trail cut off to Hidden Lakes via Eight Mile Pass. Between the snow, cut back type trail and lack of focus while clomping up a snow covered trail. We realized our mis-direction when three ultra-light hikers caught up to us and asked why we changed hikes – oops! The good news was that we were on a major trail although it was on the North side of Billy Goat peak which meant 4 miles of hiking through beautiful snow in a gorgeous valley. We righted ourselves and kept going, but that added about 4 miles to day 1 that we didn’t expect. So, we camped at Drake Creek at a horse camp – lots of room, big fire, next to a stream, good food (brats, salmon fettuccine, red wine) and a cold night’s sleep.
The next day we kicked into gear for ~9 miles over Lucky Pass, through Diamond Creek, all the way to Cougar Lake where we experienced another wide open camp site. We saw two college guys on the trail, but they kept going to Hidden Lakes so we had Cougar Lake to ourselves. After nine miles with full packs we had no desire to keep going to Hidden Lakes – great future hike! Fishing ensued where Pat caught first and biggest with an Eastern Brook Trout while Jeff hauled in a Rainbow. Scott was skunked, but had fun trying. That night was grilled fish, freeze dried veggies and chili mac.
On Saturday, we slept in, did some more fishing and let camp around noon. Nice and easy. We hiked back to Drake Creek and found a father-daughter team at our site. Jeff/Pat explored and found a COOLER site down the creek that was a bit more wilderness-y with a proper fire ring and the ritual repeated. Bourbon supplies were running low, but we had enough to keep warm and enjoyed another quality camp fire and a well earned night sleep.
Sunday morning was an early pack out and crossing Eight Mile Pass. We exited around noon and had time to hit Three Finger Jacks to watch the last 4 minutes of the Seahawks game (damn!) and get a few beers. We then cleaned up at the cabin before Pat and Jeff took off for the airport.
All in all an adventure trip filled with exploration, incredible scenery, friendship and sore feet. I look forward to next year’s hike. Jeff, where are we going?
Writing by Scott on Monday, 7 of October , 2013 at 10:20 pm
It is with a sweet farewell that we say goodbye to Pack 144 Cub Scouts and move into Troop 186 Boy Scouts. The five years with Pack 144 has been a blessing for Jackson and I to spend quality time together every Wednesday Night and at least four weekends a year at Blake Island, Mount Baker, Millersylvania State Park and Camp Shelton. I’m proud to say that we attended every outing in our five years with the pack.
Not to mention the great friends Jackson and I have made in the pack and our Den. I’m also proud that we graduated every cub in den 7 that started with us plus a few we picked up through out the years. Den 7 rules!
So, here is a fantastic video from our last year that kicks off 2013-14 cub scout year. Enjoy!
Writing by Scott on Wednesday, 19 of December , 2012 at 12:49 pm
Happy Holidays to our Friends and Family,
Wow, has it really been a year since we lasted posted something on this blog? Yikes.
The Fassers are all doing well. We have had a really fun year as a family. The kids are growing up so fast and they are both such great people.
Jackson is 10 now. He started snowboarding last winter, making the switch from skis back in January. He’s got a new board this winter and is ready to get up to the mountains. The snow has been falling steadily now and we will be getting lots of skiing in over the Christmas break. Jackson played basketball last winter, baseball in the spring, rock climbing throughout the year and soccer this summer and fall. Jackson joined a new soccer team this fall called the Knocknoodles and just last weekend the Knocknoodles won the championships for their age division. This was extremely exciting.
Jackson and Scott continue to be active in Cub Scouts. This is Jackson’s last year as a Cub Scout and he plans to move on to Boy Scouts this spring.
Lindsay is 15 now. She loves being a student at Ballard High School. She is very active in student government acting as sophomore vice president. She is secretary of SLAM (student’s lives always matter) club, which is a student suicide prevention group. Lindsay joined the National Honors Society this fall and she participated on swim team for the second year. She just joined the BHS inclusion basketball team and uses grow taller ebook to get even more taller than she is, which is a league that integrates students with special needs and they participate in the Special Olympics. Last spring Linz played fast pitch softball for the first time and she absolutely loved it. Her greatest wish right now is to get signed up for driver’s ed. so she can get her permit and start driving!
Scott continues to be a fabulous husband and father! He works very hard to provide for our family, which the kids & I appreciate so much. Scott is the den dad this year for Jackson’s Cub Scout troop and he is coaching Jackson’s basketball team this winter. He had meniscus surgery this fall and recovered beautifully. He was quite productive at the cabin putting in new flooring in the guest bedroom and updating the bathroom. He also did an amazing restoration on our 1946 Monarch stove (at the cabin). The thing actually works now and it is so nice to be able to cook over there (used to take about 40 minutes to boil water!).
I’m still enjoying being a stay home mom. I am starting to work a little outside the home. I started a small business last spring doing home organizing and clutter consulting. I also planned a holiday party for Ocean Beauty Seafood and planned a lovely wedding in June. I love who the kids are growing into. Our family didn’t travel this last year out of state but we spent a ton of time at the cabin and we enjoy that time so much. We are heading over on December 27th and staying through the 5th of January.
We wish all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas. We hope that the New Year brings you health, wellness, and peace.
Michelle, Scott, Lindsay, Jackson, Cooper & Lucy
Writing by Michelle on Thursday, 22 of December , 2011 at 6:38 pm
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy New Year!
I hope this letter finds you all well and in good health. We are so grateful to have our friends and family and to celebrate another great year on this earth!
2011 started like so many years before with a celebration with our friends in the North Cascades at the cabin. Our dear friends the Dennis’ and the Krystads came over to celebrate the New Year. We enjoyed the snow and the beautiful mountains. Mazama, truly is heaven on earth.
In February Jackson turned 9! I still can’t believe it. He and I took a trip to Santa Cruz during mid winter break to visit my family that month. He had fun playing the big kid to his younger cousins, a role usually played by his big sister. Jackson played basketball last winter followed by baseball in the spring. This year baseball really changed as the boys were learning to pitch to each other. To add to the challenge was record braking cold temperatures and rain fall in the North West. This made the games nothing short of miserable for both the players and their parents. It also meant that most of the practices were rained out. The highlight of the season was our last game. The sun finally came out, as did the fans and the hot dogs! While hanging out in the outfield with the other parents my boy hit a grand slam homerun! A real one! As he rounded home his whole team came out to congratulate him and were just jumping up and down around him screaming! It was so fun to watch! After that game our unseasonably cold spring turned to a fairly decent summer.
This last summer Jackson had a blast participating in sleep away camp at Camp Sealth, lots of trips to Mazama with friends, Challenger Soccer camp and Rock Climbing Camp with Vertical World. The summer went by way too fast as it always does and Jackson started the 4th grade this fall at West Woodland in Mr. Langley’s class.
Fourth grade, fall soccer, and rock climbing has kept Jackson busy! He is super excited for Christmas, hoping for an iPod Nano from Santa. Good luck kid.
Lindsay’s year was especially exciting as it was her last year at Seattle Girls School. We took a trip to the cabin with her 3 best friends in January, our 3rd year to do so. She played her last year of basketball with her North Seattle rec league. In February she went to Costa Rica with her 8th grade Spanish class for a week. The girls all stayed with host families and spent their time practicing their Spanish, volunteering in a local elementary school, learning to cook the local food, and enjoying the sight seeing.
This spring Lindsay graduated from Seattle Girls School. We were so proud of her to be one of two students chosen to deliver on of the commencement speeches (can be seen on this website).
This summer Lindsay started training with the Ballard High School swim team, also attended sleep away camp at Camp Sealth and enjoyed rock-climbing camp as well.
This fall high school FINALLY started. Our little freshman was extremely excited to become part of the BHS community. We are really happy with how Lindsay has transitioned from her small all girls’ school of 125 to a co-ed population of 1,600! Piece of cake for this girl! Linz swam on the swim team and has joined SLAM club (Students Lives Always Matter) which is an anti biased group that educates students on suicide prevention and how to help a friend that might be suicidal.
Both kids continue to do well in school and are just happy, lovely kids. Scott and I feel so blessed. Dogs are great too if anyone really cares.
Scott is still with Optify and has really been enjoying his interface with the customers and being a support to the new employees that just seem to keep coming as the company grows! He still has a few projects on the side so that he can continue to flex his creative muscles and help small businesses in our community.
This summer with the help of our good friend Giles, Scott built two zip lines at the cabin! They are totally cool. So cool that Jackson even crashed on one of them, split his shin open, and got his first stitches over Labor Day weekend. Guess that was going to happen sooner or later.
Scott and Jackson continue to be very active in Cub Scout pack 144. Scott has volunteered as “outings chair” this year and is currently planning the Mt. Baker Snow Camping Trip. He also coached Jackson’s baseball team last spring. This guy is such a great dad!
All three of my people did a climb in August while at the cabin with a local guide. They did a climb called “fun rock”. It’s actually part of a group of faces that one can climb at Mazama Rock, almost directly across the road from our place. It was strange for me to see the kids scamper up the face of such an enormous rock! It was scary to me but also really cool to see just how strong and capable they are as climbers. It was awesome.
I’m doing great. I feel like the luckiest woman alive. The kids are getting big and I feel like it’s my time to try a little something new. I was hired to do a Christmas Party this year as the event planner. I’m working on a wedding for this June and I may be working on an event in September for the Little People Community here is the Pacific Northwest. Fingers crossed that that happens!
The event-planning piece just happened because, well, I can just do it. The really big news is I’ve started a little home business! I am now a clutter consultant and home organizer. I’ve actually been doing this for years for my self and for girl friends that get over whelmed by their spaces and their…stuff. So, I figured, “why not?” I’ve loved how flexible the hours have been and how deeply satisfying it is for me to come into a chaotic space and make it calm. Hence, the name of my business is called Chaos2Calm. (Girl friend Kristie came up with the name). We will get the website up this winter and I’m putting the finishing touches on my business identity.
I hope you all enjoy this holiday season. We love visitors so please come and visit. Take care of your selves and each other.
We love you all so very much.
Writing by Scott on Friday, 18 of November , 2011 at 5:09 pm
This is flat out crazy. The 72 year old neighbor who lives up the hill from us – behind our house – and over one drove through his garage, through a hedge and through a fence to drop down and crashed into Mary and Spruce’s deck – on Spruce’s birthday! The driver emerged shaken up and un-hurt, but what a mess! Oh, he just got his license two weeks ago…
Writing by Scott on Monday, 12 of September , 2011 at 10:55 pm
We spent a great Labor Day weekend at the La Tierra Environmental Learning Center in Leavenworth Washington. Our neighbors Mary and Spruce got hitched and we spent a lifetime getting to know their friends and parents and celebrating the nuptials. Highlights include morning meditation and yoga in the Yurt, late nights around the fire, listening to Jeff playing the Ukelali and Nolan playing the guitar, the fabulous wedding ceremony, great food, yard games and fantastic conversations.
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