Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fore For Four

Happy Independence Day friends and family,

Easton and Layla ended up with a stack of about 100 coupon tickets from someone's unsuccessful raffle attempt.  We made it home with all the tickets in tact, but once one of them ripped off Easton tore every last one apart and placed them in a neat stack.  He loves order...  I mistakenly gave them the idea of playing hide and seek.  I counted to 100 while the twins hid tickets all over Ouma and Oupa's house.  Layla said, "OK daddy.  You find them!"  Uhhh...  then it hit me.  Their memory is good, but not THAT good.  We gave it our best shot and found about half of them.

Even though Easton is a big fan of order, he's still a kid and I'm happy he gets a kick out of having the stack dumped on them like confetti. Several days later we are still finding tickets stuck in every unimaginable location.  the gift that keeps on giving!

The cool mornings are perfect for park play time.  I let them choose which park so we ended up at the CatTail soccer park.  Without a word from me, they looked past the park and into the wetlands area.  The memory from last year's quickly led to a request for me to wade into the marsh and retrieve two cattails.  

Here is last year's introduction to cattails:

Oh, what a difference one year makes in the lives of preschoolers.  They figured out how to weaponize them!  

The cattail sword fighting lasted longer than i expected. Once one of them broke, however, the fun of shredding the stick was greater than the desire to sword fight.  You would expect kids at a park to play on the playground, but Easton and Layla were more interested in poking sticks in a hole next to the sidewalk.

They imagined all kinds of creepy spiders and slithering creatures who live there.  As long as they don't put a hand in the hole I say "go for it!"  Then a few other kids from the adjoining soccer field came over to say hello.  The twins trotted off with them and I walked slowly behind to make sure they stayed out of trouble.

One of the older boys claimed he knew which sprinkler valve hole had frogs in it.  They all gathered around as he pulled the cover off.  all of them, including the older kids, screamed jumped back with fingers pointing at the slimy frogs.  The older boys dared each other to put a hand in the hole.  Meanwhile, guess who walked over to the hole, fished around, and pulled out tiny frog...  My girl.

The kids gasped in disbelief as Layla opened her tiny hands and reassured the creeped-out kids that "he's a nice froggy".  Talk about a proud dad!

Easton was second most brave of the group because he let Layla place the scared frog in his hands for a few brief moments until the frog hopped back in the grass.

The fuzzy jars are still fairly effective although Easton and Layla are gaming the system a little more each day. They do some things overtly and loudly for the sole purpose of catching our attention to earn a fuzzy.  Giving compliments and words of encouragement is one of the commonly abused practices, but I'm just happy they know it is important to have more than just manners, but to speak words of encouragement to others.  Job well done!

I've been waiting for over a year to get the twins golf clubs.  Oupa is a golf coach and I have two willing students who are eager to learn.  I finally found a kid's set on sale, but I can't even describe how difficult it is to find clubs for a four-year-old.  Although this set will only be useful for about two years I can get most of my money back by selling them on Craigslist when the time is right.  As you can see by their smiley faces they were jazzed about getting Easton and Layla sized clubs.

Easton is picking up the basics very well.  He putted on the local golf course practice green for about 3 hours.  Whatever he is interested in doing, he does it with great focus!  I'm so happy to see he has that ability.  I don't have expectations for him to win a Master's tournament, but if Easton and Layla can get the basics this early then they can improve at their own pace through life.  Looks like a great start with his well-positioned stance!

Uncle Casey joined us for swimming and putting practice.  Easton's putter looks like a toy in his hands.  Watching him sink putts was humorous and impressive.  

One goal I had for the twins this 4th of July was to sit under a huge, loud fireworks display.  They were up until 10:30 PM, walked a half mile to the concert/display, fought the crowds of cowboys, and waited patiently for 3 hours while the band played and we waited for darkness.  Even through all that they had happy hearts.  They also had a Merlino's freeze (frozen lemonade), which helped cool them down and pass the time.

Another nice bonus was a free beach ball as we entered.  We bounced this around continuously and even kicked it in the adjacent field to get some soccer practice in.

Once the sun went down I put the camera away.  As much as I REALLY wanted to have a picture of them with fireworks bursting overhead,  I didn't want to force them to look at the camera while I get a shot.  Easton sat on my lap and Layla on Kendra's.  We Oooooh'd and Awwwwe'd as we talked about the colors and sizzling sounds.  Kendra and I held hands over the side of the old school lawn chairs.  Trying to capture those moments in a picture would do a dis-service to how wonderful they are so you'll just have to trust me on this one.  :)

See you soon!

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