Friday, March 30, 2012

Wayno and Potty Training

Shalom ya'll,

This past week my Mom's brother, Wayne, came through town for a 3-day visit with us.  He's been known as "Wayno" for decades and that is how I remember him as a child.  I've only spent time around him a handful of times over the course of my life.  Even so, I was more than happy and willing to welcome him into our house.  Kendra and I spent his entire trip in conversation.  Easton and Layla were understanding of our need for "adult conversation" so it wasn't too difficult juggling parental responsibilities with hosting interest.  He has a background in photography and journalism from back in the dark ages.  Well, maybe not the dark ages, but back when an afternoon in "dark room" was the equivalent of 3 minutes on my computer with Photoshop.

Well, well, well...   look who made it into a picture interacting with the twins!  me.

I'm always the one taking the pictures so it was a pleasant surprise to have Wayne in the house with an interest in taking pictures.

He reviewed my blog and gave me specific examples of how I can take better pictures.  It's ON now!  I have a new challenge of taking better pictures so let's see how it goes.  Instead of taking 10 pictures in hopes of getting one usable image I'll be more intentional to get the main three aspects of a picture rights:

Is the "main thing" the main thing in the picture?
Is the lighting right?
Is the background neutral or adding value?

If the answer is yes to all three questions then an image has a better chance of turning out well.  We'll see.  Don't judge anything yet since all these pictures are pre-Wayne...  And some of them are from my crappy iPhone or Point-N-Suck pocket camera.  Like this one:

Easton sent me out the door to work one day with a request to hang his masterpieces in my office.  Of course I'm more than happy to brighten up my drab cube wall with his colorful drawings.  The Stealth Fighter isn't all that stealth with multi-colored rainbow flare, but there is no reason to call that out to him.

Sunday afternoon Kendra said, "Let's have a few people over for dinner."  After a few phone calls and time at the grill we had 12 people sharing a meal and conversing.  Layla wanted to dance for some of the crowd so we put on some music and turned her loose.  Her special moves are towards the end of the short clip.

Potty Training for Easton is COMPLETE!
Phase 1 is pee in the potty
Phase 2 is poop in the potty
Phase 3 is self-wiping
Phase 4 is holding it all night

One morning Easton pointed out how his diaper was dry.  We gave him permission to get out of bed if he needed to go to the potty.  He misunderstood and came in my room at 2:00 AM one morning asking me what to do because he had his diaper on, but needed to go pee.  I zombie-walked my way to his bathroom and took his diaper off.  The next night he agreed to wear his big-boy underwear to bed and woke up the next morning with a dry bed.  Yeehaw!

His accomplishment earned him the final fuzzy needed to fill his jar and he excitedly accepted his good consequence.

Here's the video clip of the smallish ceremony to commemorate the accomplishment:

Layla and I held hands while we walked to the mailbox today.  I give her the highly coveted role of mailbox opener to entice her to go with me, which usually works.  We passed a Calla Lily on our way back into the house and I captured the moment of my lovely flower observing and smelling the Calla Lily flower.  She is sweetness defined.

Layla sat on my lap as we looked through some old photo albums.  She easily convinces me to do this from time to time because I love to talk about our adventures together.  I grabbed the Flip Video camera and listened to her explain how much she misses her Ouma.

Little does she know that Ouma and Oupa are flying in TONIGHT for a week stay and will be waiting for her tomorrow morning when she awakes.  I enjoy surprises and I can't wait for her and Easton to see them in the morning.

See you soon!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Greetings friends and family,

Spring is here and the lemon tree branches are dragging the ground because they are so full of lemons.  Lucky for us, we have a couple of lemon pickers named Easton and Layla.  Layla has her princess dress, princess gloves, and pink Crocs.  This is her garden-wear attire just for such an occasion!

Easton didn't want little gloves.  He wanted to wear the big-boy gloves like daddy.  I asked the usual question, "Why not?" and obliged his desire.  Sure, the fingers were way too long and they look huge on his little hands, but he was still able to pick lemons and complete the task at hand.  He's a hard worker, for sure.

Our house continues to be a hang-out spot for the young adults from church.  Kendra and I are having a great time getting re-introduced to what life was like back then.  Hearing their stories of no responsibilities, tons of time, and budding relationships brings back memories.  Not that I would ever want to trade my current situation for that, but it's still fun seeing life through their eyes.

Layla performed for the whole crowd and had us clapping and cheering her on.  I think the one silver shoe idea might catch on like Michael Jackson's glove!  Her favorite dance song is, "I like to move it" and she really does move with quick feet!

 For bedtime I told them I would read one book (and only one) for each of them.  They scoured house looking for the one special book for me to send them off to sleepy land.  Layla chose The Little Mermaid and Easton chose Everything Sharks.  To each their own!  I'm not here to judge, I'm here to help them find their passions in life.

The ole' verse, "bring up a child in the way he should go..." has a whole new meaning now that I understand the original intent.  The word "go" means "bent" or "slant".  That means I need to raise Easton and Layla to in the way HE and SHE are bent or slanted.  It's not my job to bend them.  My job is to help them find what that bend is and guide them how to follow their passion...  even if it's sharks.

I wrote down Easton's questions over the course of a couple of days to show you the kind of intellectual thinker he is:

What if we had oranges instead of hands?  
How do planes fly?
What would happen if the space shuttle didn't have rocket boosters?
What do tarantulas sound like?
What does love mean?
Why does hot air rise over cold air?
What causes a volcano to erupt?

That's some deep stuff for a 4-year-old to comprehend or even care to know.  His questions are causing me to really articulate these answers in a simple manner.  Not as easy as it sounds, but the challenge is accepted!

See you soon.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Greetings fellow explorers,

I just deleted an entire paragraph of "we are SO busy" because I'm sure everyone feels that way.  Enough said.

Reaching agreement is one of the new concepts I'm teaching the twins.  With the three of us in the car I say, "where do you two want to go for lunch?" or some decision that needs to be made.  Then I tell them, "If you AGREE then we will go or do, but if you don't reach agreement then we won't go or do anything.  Easton suggested NYPD pizza and Layla suggested sushi.  Layla is all about compromise as long as that means the other person is compromising.  Even so, she is learning well and went along with my recommendation that they agree on pizza for lunch today and then we'll go to sushi next time.  Reaching agreement is an art and I want them to know the power of agreement as soon as they are able to comprehend it.

Another concept is being a man of my word.  The meaning of that finally sunk in after 2 years of saying it.  Earlier this week I mentioned we would go for a hike on Saturday.  Well, Saturday came around and Layla said, "We are going for a hike, right Dad?"  I said, "Hmmm...  I'm not sure if we'll do that or not."  She responded, "But Dad, you are a man of your word and that means you do what you say you will do".  Bingo!  Hooray!  They finally get it!

Easton asked to take the binoculars and Layla asked to take their camera.  In my head I think, "the answer should always be yes to their request unless there is a valid reason to say no".  The shortened response to them is:  Why not?  So off we went trekking up South Mountain to the top of the first peak.

The warm spring day provided the almost perfect backdrop for the twins to broaden their horizons.  We talked about the mountain ranges way off in the distance and which direction Ouma and Oupa and Nana and Papa live.  I like to give them perspective on how big the city and world and universe are so they will set their sights high.

I'm proud of the twins for hiking up and down the mountain with no scrapes or blood.  That's a big success and first for us.  They remember Oupa saying, "Slow down" to them when he hiked with us before.  That's the good advice they repeated the whole way down and it worked!

Easton really cherishes our boy's time.  We're getting in the daily habit of at least 20 minutes with just the two of us playing whatever he wants to play.  That seems to be much more valuable to him than the once-per-week afternoon of boy's time. One evening I recommended he drive the Jeep and I threw in the added bonus of remote control helicopter flight time.  Usually he prefers to just play in his room with planes, trains, and automobiles, but he was open to my recommendation, luckily.

We powered up the Jeep and brought the helicopter along since the wind was still.  Any amount of wind would push the light-weight copter into the neighbor's pool so I'm extra careful to check for the absence of wind before agreeing to flight time with Big Time.

He manages the left-right-forward-back control stick and I manage the throttle-altitude control stick.  He's getting the hang of flying quickly!  I may get to give him a chance for full control by next year.  Easton is giving me fulfillment in a way I never expected...  He is more excited to see me and play with me than any person on the face of the Earth.  As soon as I walk in the door he gives me big hugs and tells me about his day.  Since I spend so much time with him he doesn't ask, "When are you going to be home?" or "When will you have time to play with me?" or even the basic question of "Will you play with me?"  He just says, "Let's play!" and off we go.  I'm so blessed to have the quantity of time each day to just be with him doing whatever he's passionate about that day.

That's the kind of love money can't buy.  I don't take it for granted even one day, but instead I get to embrace him and play with toys I haven't played with in 25 years.  All boy's ask the question, "Do I have what it takes?"  I find new ways to affirm that every single day with a resounding "Yes!" because as I learn what his needs are I am able to meet them.  Parenting is not always wonderful, but I'm enjoying the journey even more than I hoped.

See you soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fuzzy Jar

Hello friends and family,

We are always looking for ways to improve our parenting approach because there is no such thing as a bad student; only a bad teacher...  Or so says Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid.  

In our quest to focus on positive reinforcement we started with a "star board" on the fridge where each kid had their own categories of good behaviors such as eating their food without being told, putting toys away, and brushing their teeth.   We, the parents, would use a marker to make a small star next to the associated good behavior.  We kept telling them once they filled up all the stars in the all categories they would get some unknown reward as a good consequence.  

They understood, but I could tell they felt detached from the process because all they saw was the added star in some nebulous category.  It just wasn't connecting.  Then I saw another parent's idea and decided to give it a try.  

I took Easton and Layla to the store and we chose the plastic (not glass) clear (so they could see inside) container with an easy lid (so they could open/close it themselves).  Let me tell you, searching for those jewels was like finding a needle in the haystack.  Turns out Hobby Lobby has everything including the containers which met ALL of my criteria.  

Anyway, after we found the container I let them pick out stickers to decorate and personalize their "fuzzy jar".  Then I bought the multi-colored, super-sized pack of pom-poms with a variety of sizes.  We took home the supplies and they decorated their own fuzzy jar complete with their own names.     

When they make good choices they get good consequences!  We pick out the size of the pom-pom to fit the success (small, medium, large) and they get to choose the color.  Also, they each have a specific toy they have physically touched, which they will get when the fuzzy jar is full.  They know the good choices expected and the good consequences they will receive.  This way they are involved in the whole process.  After our first 10 days it seems to be working well.  I hear many more "Yes, Mom!" responses and quick obedience in action since we started.  Only time will tell, but it's worth a try!

We teach them "Slow obedience is NO obedience".  :)

Our house has many visitors throughout the week and we are enjoying the connection with new friends.  During the day Easton and Layla ask, "Who is coming over for dinner?" and if I reply with "Nobody" they ask, "why not?"  They are as welcoming as Kendra is.  Easton finally figuring out how to eat a taco with two hands although he hasn't got the head-tilt quite right yet.  I never realized eating tacos was an art until I tried to teach the twins how to do it.

Anyway, Morgan jumped into the picture and photo-bombed his shining moment.  We all laughed and I didn't mind at all.  I'm glad friends are feeling comfortable enough to do crazy stuff like this.    

We are wrestling with what to do next year for preschool.  It costs a bunch for three days per week so we may just do two half days.  Kendra is still undecided on the decision of what to do with their kindergarten year...  She will home-school them or send them to public school or maybe even private Christian school.  Three options that are all valid.  Luckily Kendra has a year or so to figure it out!

See you soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ready For Take Off

Greetings friends and family,

Easton and Layla have a much higher tolerance for cold water temperatures.  After an unusually warm afternoon of washing our friend's car they convinced me to let them dip their feet in the hot tub.  I didn't heat the water at all so their first reaction when they eased down on the step was pure shock.  However, after a few minutes splashing around on the top step they took another step down and played for 30 minutes in the frigid water.

Their teeth weren't chattering or blue so I agreed to let them stay and play as long as they could stand it.  Summer is just around the corner!

Today Easton and I had "boy's time" together for an afternoon of one-on-one time with just the two of us.  He's been looking forward to this for days now because I took Layla earlier this week for a Daddy Date.  I bought her a Hair Salon Barbie kit so Easton expected a toy out of our day together as well.

He's been talking about planes for the past few days and lined up all of his toy planes in a nice, neat row on his bedroom rug.  I surprised him by driving to the local city airport for a spontaneous adventure.  He was extremely overjoyed when we pulled up to the airport and he just thought we were going to watch a few planes take off.  We went to the Hangar Cafe for lunch, which is on the tarmac itself.  Planes were taxiing by and we watched several take off and land as we ate.

Then I weaseled us into one of the hangars and met a few of the local pilots.  I asked Easton which one of the 8 planes he wants to fly.  He said, "This one!" as he pointed to a blue bi-plane

Then I got the nod from one of the guys in the hangar to let him sit in a plane I could see the horizon of his mind expanding when I said, "you can fly one of these if you want.  you can do anything!"  He said, "can I have my own?"  My response was, "you can own a whole airport with planes if you want.

We got started right away when we arrived home.  We turned a cardboard box into an airport, complete with a hand-painted runway, parking spaces, and a hangar (inside the box).  It gave me a chance to give a  lesson in math as we numbered the spaces from 0 to 10.

I converse with my friends who have babies and think back to those days with Easton and Layla.  My desire is to have these images and stories so ingrained in my memory that I never forget the fulfillment  these days hold as a parent.

For example, there is absolutely nothing odd about princess fairy Layla standing in the driveway cuddling her stuffed dog, Nelly.    

One of my top ten jobs as her father is to call out her femininity.  This picture speaks to me as a reassuring reflection of how well I'm doing in this area.  She is lovely, confident, affectionate, and secure in who she is.  I only have 14 more years to pour into her life in a meaningful way and that sounds the "carpe diem" alarm in my heart just thinking about it.

Over the past four years I've taken about 22,000 pictures and posted over 750 blog entries.  I guess you'd call that a hobby.  For me it's more than entertainment.  It is my voice! It's not always coherent or popular or perfect, but I'm learning what it means to have a voice so your patience is appreciated.  Not that I'll ever "arrive", but at least I can be open and honest about life.  For the first time since the blog was created I thought seriously about ending it with a final post of defeat because of what I've felt over the past week, but decided to keep going.

Part of what keeps me writing is knowing others enjoy this.  Another part of me doesn't care if anyone ever visits here.  My life is an open book and I choose to express my perspective through this venue.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  I will not hide.  I will not be secretive.  I will not be fake.  I will not lie and pretend I'm perfect because that is where evil wins.  The biggest failures of my life occurred because I thought no one would find out and no one cared even if they did.  I refuse to go back there to that place of hidden darkness because I know where that road leads.

Having these two amazing kids who provide an immeasurable supply of good material for blogging certainly helps.  Some people use Facebook as a way to express themselves, but the character limit constraints don't provide enough space to really share thoughts or stories.  That's why I've kept this going so long and so strong...  in case you're wondering.

See you soon!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chalk Talk

Greetings friends and family,

Spring break used to be a wonderful, relaxing week of freedom from school.  Then, when I jumped into the work force spring break faded away into memories where I used to think, "If I were in school now this would be a week off!"  Now things changed again...

For the first time in many years I care about spring break again.  This week Easton and Layla didn't go to school because of it, but I wish they did.  I know how much Kendra looks forward to those few hours each week where the house is quiet and she can accomplish things uninterrupted.  Also, occasionally I get to work from home because only on these days when they are at school is it quiet enough for me to join phone conferences without their voices echoing through the house.

Oh well...  just taking the good with the bad and making the most of it.  I had a few extra hours of Daddy play time because I came home for lunch to play.  We are playing outside as much as possible because the hot summer will be filled with months and months of indoor only play time (with regular swimming).  The basketball court makes a great canvas for chalk drawing.

or should I say...  chalk banging.   For some reason Easton and Layla enjoy smashing the end of the chalk into the cement and making little piles of the debris.  To each his (or her) own.  I caught a short video clip of a conversation with random comments.  They are both doing great with conversing and enunciation.  Layla declared the day "messy day" and Easton looks off in the distance as he is deep in thought about what states he likes.

We just found out today My Uncle Wayne will be here for a visit in two weeks.  Also, we will have two mystery guests stop by for a week as well.  Our house is becoming exactly what we hoped;  a welcoming place for visitors, friends, and family.  

I told Layla about Uncle Wayne's expected visit and she excitedly said, "Uncle Wayne?  Oh, I LOVE Uncle Wayne!"  by the way she's never met him and never seen his picture and never talked about him.  Even so, she knows family is family and she's ready and willing to love for that reason alone.  

See you soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Digging Holes, Planting Poles

Greetings friends and family,

Parenting is like working for the phone company.  Some days you dig holes, some you plant poles, some you string wire, but then you make connection and it's all worthwhile.    These are the days when all the previous work shines through.  

Four year olds have much more entertainment value than the younger years.  Not only are they capable of putting on a show, they are also willing and excited to do so.  We've entered the age of imagination, acting, and performing... finally.  Having guests in our house presents an opportunity for the twins to wear costumes and receive accolades from the audience.  Layla danced her heart out while pretending to be princess Ariel. 

I've been saving Easton's dinosaur costume for just such a special occasion.  His eyes lit up when he pulled it from the bag.  He did a few laps around the room and clarified he is a T-Rex...  not to be confused with some other dinosaur.

The big tail on the back is what really makes the costume extra awesome.  Too bad I lost the dino head -shaped helmet to complete the outfit.

Layla found one of my stocking caps and requested to wear it so she would match Morgan's style.  When it comes to earrings, nose rings, and makeup I won't bend, but hats are great!  She interacts with the older girls very well.  I'm happy to see she has maturity to go along with her energized personality.

I wish kids came with on and off switches.  Specifically, I would toggle the following switches:

Shame:  OFF
Guilt:  OFF
Forgiveness:  ON
Grace:  ON

Doesn't seem like to much to ask though, does it?  One of the many virtues of the Webb household is forgiveness.  Saying, "I'm sorry" is not acceptable.  Anyone can say, "I'm sorry".  it doesn't mean anything to the person saying it or the person receiving it.  "Please forgive me for ___ ".  Now, that has value.

Daily there are situations where Easton and Layla (and Kendra and I) do things where forgiveness is required and freely given.  intention means nothing!  If Layla trips and shoves Easton into a chair then her intentions are not what's important.  Yes, accidents happen, but the bump on Easton's forehead hurts regardless of her intentions.  This is how we do it word-for-word:

I stand them face to face and place my hands on them (gently) as they repeat after me:

Layla:  Please forgive me for pushing you into the chair
Easton:  I forgive you
Layla:  I will not push you into the chair again.
Then they hug.

This is the model I actively enforce because it teaches them to consider the other person and to give/receive forgiveness.  Before any bad consequences are dispensed (time out, toy in the trash, removal of privilege, etc.) we do this exercise.  The consistency and repetitive nature of this process are starting to make an imprint.  I know this because when I corral them and start the sentence each one plays their part in the conversation without much interaction.  Now we're getting somewhere...  after years of leading by example and discussing forgiveness and walking through the steps it is finally starting to sink in.

See you soon!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Only the happy positive stuff

Howdy friends and family,

Mom spoiled us with sweet tea and love while Dad showered our house with the gift of Lowes and handy work.  The vacation time was well spent, but boarder line too productive since we set the bar really high on the daily accomplishments around the house.  

The twins and I took Nana to the Dinosaur museum, but I neglected to call and find out if the museum was open.  We showed up at the locked doors and were sorely disappointed.  Luckily Easton and Layla are fairly flexible so we explained the predicament without any fits or screaming as a result.  We took the alternate activity of playing at the park, which was equally exhausting for Mom.  She's a real trooper when it comes to meeting the high energy of the twins.

At home I wanted to get a picture of Layla's cute outfit.  She said, "wait, I want to sit on the couch!"  She climbed up and posed like a model.  She looks so natural and her smile IS natural even when she is posing.

We did a lot of cooking and eating at home during their visit.  OK, let me rephrase that.  Kendra and Mom did a lot of cooking and I did a lot of eating at home.  Our efforts to plan ahead and prepare for meals really paid off.  We splurged on Wednesday and ate at Rustler's Rooste as a Last Supper before Mom and Dad headed home.

Easton and Layla are well above the minimum height to go down the slide!.

The trouble is that they are still recovering from the sickness, which means any exertion results in instant coughing.  They took several trips up the steps and down the slide.  When we attempted to get a picture with Nana and Papa, Layla couldn't stop coughing long enough to smile.  

The 4 Webbs quickly became accustomed to Nana and Papa being around.  Just when we started to take their presence for granted it was time to send them back to Missouri.  Sad to see them go, but blessed to have them in our house for a week!

I've chosen to remove the rest of this post because apparently my blog is only supposed to contain the good, happy, positive, fluffy, aspect of parenting twins and isn't a forum for me to share anything else about life that may be less than perfect.  

Are you happy now? so be it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Nana and Papa and NASCAR

Greetings friends and family,

The 4 Webbs are living it up in grandparent land.  With only one week between Kendra's parents and my parents visiting we are on a roll.  My dad has been a NASCAR fan for decades, but never took the opportunity to see a race live.  The timing just happened to work out for their visit to overlap with the Subway Fresh Fit 500 race about 40 minutes from my house.  The two of us made a full day of the event and our efforts to make it happen paid off.  Phoenix International Raceway is enormous with 78,000 seats in the grandstands.  

Being a part of something that huge with so many people focused on the same event was exciting to say the least.  Our seats were outstanding because we were just past the finish line up high enough to see the entire track.  The only way it could have been better is if we were had some shade instead of relying on our hats and sun screen to keep the AZ sun from beating down on us.

The race roared to a start and I caught this picture of the first lap around the back stretch.

This is looking down from our seats as Jeff Gordon flew by.  The cars go so fast that it's tough to see which car it is.  They look like a blur and sound like a swarm of bees amplified by 1,000 times in a megaphone up to your ear.  

The sights and sounds and smells are incredibly more engaging than on TV and we didn't have to sit through Viagra commercials every four minutes.  I convinced the guy behind us to take a picture and this gives a good perspective of how close we were to the action on the track.  I'm fairly certain this is my favorite picture of the week.

Nana and I headed to the Museum of Natural History for a show-n-tell extraordinaire hosted by Easton and Layla.  Unfortunately the museum is CLOSED on Mondays and I neglected to call and confirm the place was open.  The twins were very flexible and didn't have a tantrum when we were turned away at the doors.  We opted for the second place idea:  going to the mall and the park.  First stop was the Disney store where princess and Cars 2 gear abounds.  The twins had a blast touching every piece of merchandise in the store.    

Nana and I took a break on the  bench at the lizard park while Easton and Layla made new friends...  Many new friends. They've taken a new interest in swings and Nana helped with the basics because she's been through that stage at least three times with Joanie's crew.  Spending time together is the most important part no matter what Nana does with us.  The twins understand that and love on her the whole time they are here.

You might be asking, "what happened to Easton's hair?"  Kendra decided to give him a buzz cut and she used the really, really short guard by accident.  He's cool with it though.  Easton said, "we have the same hair cut now, Dad!"

Nana made his day by buying him a new Lego set from the official Lego store.  He was excited to show it to Kendra and I'm sure he'll get many hours of use over the next several years.

Papa and I took the twins out after dinner for our on-going search to see Hootie the owl again.  Last night as Kendra and I drifted off to sleep we heard the owl calling out from the tree next to our backyard.  No such luck tonight with the twins, but we had fun hunting!

Our adventures are stringing together nicely with Nana and Papa here.  I'm on vacation this week and I gotta say this has been one of the best Monday's in a long time.

See you soon!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Howdy friends and family,

I don't mind the occasional sick kid or two, but why...  oh WHY?  does it have to be when my Mom and Dad are in town?  Easton and Layla are two of the healthiest kids I've ever been around.  We all know that one family who's kids are constantly sick.  That's not us.  Even so, we are working through the sickies with the help of the pediatrician.  Layla has a cough from somewhere in the depths of her belly button.  Easton's temperature was up to 101.5, which is usually a happy radio station in the greater Phoenix area.  For Easton that number is a one-way ticket to the doctor.  

I can't remember what Kendra said about the doctor's report.  All i know is that it's not pneumonia and treatable with antibiotics.  hooray for some good news.  

Even though there are cycles of fits and crying about unknown reasons they are doing very well under the circumstances.  Requesting Layla to stay inside the house with no dancing or running is like holding your thumb in a bottle of soda and shaking vigorously.  She can hardly contain herself.  Yes, the sit-and-spin is considered a low-key activity.

Disney's Cars 2 movie is still at the top of Easton's list of awesome things about life.  While eating sushi he commented about the Wasabi and how much he really wants to taste pistachio ice cream.  thanks a lot, Mater.  We went to the local grocery store and I bought a small container of the green ice cream just so he could find out how it tastes.  

The rocking chairs have been useful for a few years now and they still fit very well in them.  I couldn't resist taking a picture of them in their normal around-the-house clothes.  Layla in princess gear and Easton with Lightning McQueen.

The two of them took advantage of a rare opportunity to ransack our bed.  We've never allowed them to sleep with us or play on our bed, but since they weren't feeling well I gave them the chance to rest a few minutes and cuddle with us.

My Mom offered to make me a meal of whatever I wanted for my birthday so I took her up on the offer.  It's rare for me to have that kind of chance to have her cook a homemade meal for me of exactly what I request.  I remember growing up we ate what Mom fixed.  period.  She was not a short-order cook and didn't run a full buffet or present us with a menu each night.  Dinner was excellent just as I expected.

Kendra fixed me a chocolate cream pie with homemade whipped cream (not pictured here because I buried my chocolate pie in it after the picture).   Being serenaded to the happy birthday song from the twins and Kendra and my parents was the highlight of the night.  The pie was delicious too.  Easton said he was not hungry when the green beans were in front of him, but as soon as a slice of pie was cut he suddenly regained his appetite.  Can't believe we fell for that one...

Dad installed new florescent lighting in my garage and that birthday present will be the gift that keeps on giving for the next many years. the gift of light is much appreciated especially for Kendra who will be working on her make-shift furniture workshop.

See you soon!