Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No Allowance Here

Howdy friends and family,

The presidential elections are in full swing and not a single crap was given in the Casa de Webb.  The one thing I will say politically is that we will never, ever, ever give allowance.  That entitlement mentality is responsible for some percentage of the 40 million welfare recipients.  Here's an idea:  You work, you get paid.  You don't work, you don't get paid.  Novel, right?  My mom's saying is, "No worky, no Eat-ee".  I've been working since age 14 and have had a job ever since.  There are many ways for Easton and Layla to earn money around here, but turning Oxygen into CO2 is not one of them.  I planned to wait until they turned 5 years old before starting in with chores, but they are really helpful around the house even at age 4 1/2.  I will teach Easton and Layla to be WORKERS, just like our families taught us.  OK, give me a minute to get off my soap box...

Kendra is putting in extra credit time by preparing the twins for their school lessons.  Starting this year off right with the letter "A" and Genesis 1:1.  Not sure how they will get to Revelations by the end of the school year, but I hear the teachers are amazing.

This is called customized teaching because Kendra understands the learning styles of each one and tailors the lesson for them.  With a student-teacher ratio of 2 to 1, it's easy to see how they are advancing so well.

I thought felt boards went extinct after my Sunday School classes as a child.  Apparently they are still useful and cool.  An iPad would be more technologically advanced, but there is something valuable about the tactile feel and creativity of tools like a felt board.

The quantity and frequency of their appetites is getting really erratic lately.  Easton will skip dinner almost entirely and then eat a huge snack before bedtime.  We went out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.  After a good portion of food Easton exclaimed how full he was.  then the waitress brought a chocolate cheesecake slice.  I had to scoop double-time just to get my share because Easton was shoveling huge spoon-fulls into his mouth.  I said, "i thought you were full?"  He just laughed and shrugged his shoulders.  

The summer heat and sunlight diminishing more each day means we have night swimming opportunities!  Layla thought it was a great idea until the sun went down completely.  The pool light isn't working.  She decided on her own accord that it was too scary even though I assured her there is no reason to be afraid.  

Next week we start Financial Peace University!  We are enrolled in the 9-week course and have high-hopes of getting our finances in order.  We are not in dire straits and thank God Kendra is not a big spender or high maintenance.  We are ready to get the allocated spending plan in place and start the college fund.  I'm hoping for academic and/or sport scholarships, but planning ahead without depending on that is critical to success.

See you soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Howdy friends and family,

School is in full swing both at the pre-k school house AND at home.  Kendra and I are engrossed in a consorted effort to find every opportunity to teach.  I'm excited about this because Easton and Layla are developing a love of learning very early.  Easton was quite for a while on Sunday afternoon so i went to see what he was up to.  I walked into his room and found him playing happily with a piece of paper.  

He tore up a piece of paper, placed it on top of his air purifier, and intently studied the behavior of the paper as it floated above the vent.  

I was amazed by his desire to figure this out and his engineering capacity to tear off pieces of the paper down to a size where it would float without intervention.  He was interested in finding the optimal size and weight of paper to hover.  Layla came in to see what we were doing.  She found a full sheet of paper and said, "let ME try, pleeeease?"  after seeing her piece of paper was too heavy she turned the fan speed up one notch and it blasted the paper up into the air.  and so goes her personality and intelligence.  I love how unique they are and how each is intelligent in his/her own way.

The other lesson I had the opportunity to teach is one of my own passions:  money.  I don't LOVE money because that is the root of all evil.  However, I'm very interested in it and enjoy understanding how money works.  Kendra instituted a new twist to our "fuzzy jar" concept.  The twins have a new options to trade in 10 fuzzies for a dollar.  That way they can save and buy whatever toy they like.  Essentially, we are equating the value of a fuzzy to a dime.  This is a cheaper option than me buying a $15 toy each time they fill the fuzzy jar.  I dumped some change on the table and we did some basic money counting with pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.  Here it is, their first official dollar earned!

I know they don't "get it" right now, but it's never too early to start having the conversations.  I can tell Easton is interested because when we go to the store he finds something he wants and then asks, "How many dollars is this, Dad?"  I can't wait to take the money out of his piggy bank and let him go buy his own items from the store.

One of the most important concepts in money (and time and effort) is called Opportunity Cost.  Wisdom doesn't always come with age.  sometimes age just shows up alone!  I'm determined to have this concept cemented into their decision making process before they head out into the world.  So much to learn... so little time.  :)

See you soon!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bring on the Questions

Greetings friends and family,

Easton and Layla are eager learners excited for the school year.  The night before school as we tuck them into bed I say, "tomorrow is school!" while raising my eye brows, hands, and inflection of my voice.  Layla says, "You mean after THIS day?  Hooray!".  Here's her expression of excitement for the first (official) day of school.

They both brag almost daily about how tall they are getting and how much they are growing.  After each meal it's common for them to stand up and describe how much taller they are after eating Kendra's delicious chicken pasta.  My response is always positive and upbeat about their growth, but inside I'm a bit sad they are growing so fast.  They are both awesome in their own way and I'm excited to see where they go in life.

When I consider what is the biggest challenge with Easton and Layla that is easy to describe.

Layla still has accidental "leaks" almost daily.   We think she doesn't want to stop playing or fears missing out on something if she has to go to the bathroom so she doesn't do it.  We can't seem to get the right motivation in place to get her to go to the potty consistently through the whole day.  Either she is very stubborn in this area or there is something physiologically wrong.  

Easton struggles with whining.  When something doesn't go his way he resorts to whining "noooooooo!"  He is very soft spoken even though we encourage him to talk and give him plenty of direct attention so he feels heard.  We've tried a myriad of positive and negative reinforcement, but can't seem to get any breakthroughs.  We expect him to obey when asked to do something.  We expect him to express how he feels and talk through it.  Since we only have Layla to compare against it is difficult to know if this is just a phase or if he is establishing bad habits.  He may be right in line with other boys his age for all we know...

He is a smart one though.  Each night we continue the tradition of bath, books, bed, song... and questions.  Not sure why he waits until I'm seconds away from leaving his room to ask me deep questions, but here are some of the more amazing ones:

What would happen if a dinosaur didn't have a tail?
Where do bees sleep?
What does the moon smell like?
What would happen if the space shuttle ran out of fuel?
Why do queen ants have wings, but the others don't?

If I know the answer I do my best to explain, but some of these brain-stumpers require extra help.  Seriously?  who thinks about how the moon smells? Occasionally I take out my phone and Google the questions so we can discuss the answers.  Now, when I stumble to answer a question he says, "ask your phone, Dad!"  Kids these days...

See you soon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

48th Anniversary

Greetings friends and family,

On this day 48 years ago my parents became one in marriage.

I honor them for their continued commitment to each other and living out a love-filled marriage for me to emulate.  The foundation they built 11 years before I was even born has stood the test of time.  I don't consider either of their parents to have displayed a functional marriage.  The real miracle is not in the years they've been together, but how much success in life they achieved without having role models to draw from.  They relied on mentors and the Bible.  At least, that's my impression of how they learned how to "do" marriage.

The way they treated each other in the confines of our house is exactly the same way they treated each other in public.  I was never confused by the dichotomy so many kids have to deal with when their parents act differently depending on their surroundings.  I remember countless times Dad introduced Mom as "my bride".  We didn't have consistency in the physical structure most people call a "house" because we moved roughly once per year for my entire life.  Even so, my understanding of marriage and family was built on something much more solid than brick and wood.  They embodied the phrase "bloom where you're planted".  It didn't matter what house or city we were in.  What mattered was that I always rested easy knowing my Mom and Dad loved each other and will always be together.

It's difficult for me to relate to people with divorced parents (more than half the country), but I'm grateful for my inability to empathize.

See you soon!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome, roommate!

Hi friends and family,

The Casa de Webb is a fortress of protection against the ills of the world.  I won't keep Easton and Layla out of harms way forever, but I am singularly responsible for their well-being, safety, and developing their foundation of what they consider "normal".  Yes, Kendra is the king-pin and home maker, but as the father of the house there aren't many things higher on my priority and responsibility list than protecting Easton and Layla.

Do your kids act like barbarians and hellish terrors?  Don't bring them to our house.  Do you curse and lack control of your words?  Not in our house.  Do you smoke?  Feel free to go outside around the corner of the house away from the Easton and Layla's eyes and nose because I don't want them seeing that as normal or condoned.  Kendra and I are extremely accepting of others no matter what they do or believe or choose even if we disagree.  However, the boundary of displaying those things is our front door.  Perfection is not required to gain entrance, but our standards and expectations are brutally high...  because we care.

As you can tell we are overly cautious when it comes to allowing visitors in our house.  Even more so, the thought of having anyone else LIVE with us never even crossed our minds...  until now.  Morgan is a friend of ours who decided it's time to get out her parents house and prepare for living on her own.  Over the past couple of years she has always been welcomed in our house.  Kendra and I talked it over for a few days and decided it was a great for many reasons.  She moved in over the weekend and we are having fun adjusting to the new dynamic.  She fits right in, as you can see.

I came home from work yesterday and picked up Easton so we could run errands together.  I took advantage of this "teachable opportunity".  I want to instill in him the values of giving and being a gentlemen.  As we walked up to the grocery store I knew he would ask to look at the toys and buy one.  He asked right on cue.  I said, "No, son, today we will sacrifice getting anything for ourselves and instead give flowers to Morgan."  Then, true to Easton's character, he asked, "why?"  "Well, I'm glad you asked!" I said.  "We give because it is how we show we are gentlemen and know how to sacrifice.  We give FLOWERS because all women like flowers.  It makes them feel special."  I let him he pick out the flowers, carry them to the register, and pay for them.  On the way home Easton looked, smelled, and touched them.  He said, "Dad, I bet Morgan will WUV the fwowers."  She did.

One of the coolest things about having Morgan with us for a few months is how closely it parallels my own life.  I moved into this exact same house 15 years ago with a similar arrangement with my Aunt Mary and Uncle Dave.  I'm excited we get to bless Morgan in the same way it was done for me.

Swimming is almost a daily ritual.  They look forward to after dinner swim time so much.  Easton's shark suit and Layla's color-coordinated ensemble makes for the perfect play time in the pool.

Shark chases princess mermaid
Daddy saves princess mermaid
Daddy chases shark.

This role playing is just preparing me for Layla's boyfriends in high school.  Beware of daddy even if you're a shark!  God have mercy on your soul if you chase my princess mermaid...  

Easton and Layla requested dress-up play time as Puss in Boots and Kitty Soft Paws.  See the red feather in Easton's hat, sword, and boots?  That's all Easton needs to bring out his Antonio Banderas character.   

I ran across this parenting method and will talk with Kendra about whether we should add it to our arsenal.  We are running low on effective bullets and this might be just what the doctor ordered for Easton's over-active attention getting behavior.

PLANNED IGNORING: works well with babies/toddlers, and can be used with older kids, as well. If a baby/toddler is hitting you, show NO reaction and simply get up and walk away. They want ur attention, first & foremost, so loss of attention will decrease the misbehavior. Remember to praise, praise, praise for good behaviors with lots of hugs and attention. Same situation with a brother squirting his sister, and annoying her. Show no reaction to his behavior, but instead show attention to the sister and other kids in the pool. Gather the either kids for a fun game, race, etc. the chikd misbehaving will likely stop, because he wants to join in and receive your attention too. Remember to assess why, and do not give attention for negative behaviors, but only for positive behaviors.

Today was the twins' first official day of school.  Last week was just the orientation part, but it's all just technicalities.  Some people take pictures (which I did), but I wanted to go a step further and just capture the moment on camera so I can do this each year from now until they graduate college.  You might be wondering why they are making silly faces.  It's because they want to review the movie afterwards and see their silly face.  They are so entertaining.  

See you soon!

Friday, August 17, 2012

First Day of Pre-K

Greetings friends and family,

The Resolution is hung by our front door now and it's one of the first items to grace the walls of our living room.  We've lived here for 9 months now and have yet to hang our pictures and art on the walls.  Not sure what we are waiting for...  Maybe a rainy day?  We might get our shot at that tomorrow.

Easton and Layla share well with almost everything.  I had yet another opportunity to keep them truckin' down the sharing path.  We only have one indoor soccer ball.  We've played catch with other objects and balls, but for some reason the light hadn't flipped on.  They frantically said, "mine" to each other several times so I took the ball.  "Easton go there.  Layla go there." as i pointed to ends of the hallway.  I explained the concept of playing catch and they both looked at each other with a squinty eye as if to say, "are you REALLY going to kick it back to me if I kick it to you?"  Layla gave it a try.

Easton reciprocated.

Then they spent the next 30 minutes having a blast kicking it back and forth.  Kendra jumped in with her fancy soccer skills to explain the basics of trapping and technique.  You'd be surprised what a 4-year-old can comprehend.

Ah, the first day of school!  They returned to the same school from last year so the campus was already familiar.  Kendra and I joined the twins for orientation and play time.  They were not timid at all.  They acted more like seniors on a high school campus; waving to classmates, leading the way to their class, and discussing the games they will play today.

The official class time was over but even as we headed out to the car they asked to run around in the adjacent field with their friend, Titus.  Mr. Rogers nailed when he said, "Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood."  I'm excited for Easton and Layla to experience another fun-filled year of learning at home and school.

They will be well prepared for Kindergarten next year, for sure.

See you soon!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bowlers and Dancers

Hello Friends and family,

The 4 Webbs joined our friends for an all-out Birthday party.  Our friend, Kristina, turned 25.  Kendra made us Team Kristina T-shirts with Lord of the Rings characters on our backs since she is a big fan.

A bunch of us surprised her at the bowling alley where we took over a couple of lanes.  One bumper bowling and one normal.  Of course, I used the bumper bowling lane along with Easton and Layla.  During their first bowling experience the ball barely made it down to the end of the lane.  One time the manager had to fetch a ball because it ran out of steam half-way down the lane.  Not this trip!  Their strength was greatly improved and no manager assistance was needed.

Both of them use the two handed "fling it down the lane" approach.  They'll grow enough for fingers to fit in the holes some day, but for now this works just fine.

Everyone came over to our house for pizza and desserts.  Kendra made cupcakes with a ring on each one and a cake for Kristina's candles.  This was the longest and weirdest happy birthday song I've ever heard.  So many goofy friends with musical talents.  The twins sure enjoyed it too.  Wait... One cupcake is missing! Easton?  He really likes his mamma's homemade treats.

Layla performed a dance for all of us and involved the birthday girl too!  I only caught the last part of Layla's dance after she was already worn out, but as you can see she feeds off the excitement of a crowd.

Kristina's dad met Easton and Layla for the first time this night.  His impression of them was exactly what I desire for them.  He said they have such a great sense of freedom and security and confidence.  My job as a father is far from over, but responses like that help me realize we are on the right track.

See you soon!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

More Videos, Please

Greetings friends and family,

I had the pleasure of Skype calling my best friend in France.  We talked for over an hour.  He and my cousin Bud are the only two guys I can talk for that long at a time.  I planned to visit him in France during my sabbatical next year, but since he's repatriating (moving home) by the end of this year I won't be able to go see him there.  However, on the positive side, he'll be a short plane ride away and we've already agreed he and his family will come visit us in Phoenix next year.

During our phone call he had some constructive criticism of this blog.  I value that feedback very much.  He said it is easy to see Layla's personality in the stories and pictures because she is so expressive, but it's tough to get a real grasp on Easton's personality.  "More videos", he suggested.  So, here are a few from this year where Easton gets some air time.

Sorry about the poor quality, but this was taken by the Fisher Price indestructible kid's camera.

Here is a video of our drive out to the camp site for the father-son camping trip.  He's very considerate and a deep thinker.

He wants to go see Aunt Mary so he can experience a tornado.  I bet Storm Chasers will be one of his favorite shows when he gets older.

I had a fun evening watching all of the past year's worth of videos searching for Easton highlights. I'm grateful for the privilege Kendra and I have to be a part of Easton and Layla's life like this.  Watching them grow and learn is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.

See you soon!

Happy 10th Anniversary, Wife!

Hello Kendra,

My blog is filled with four and half years of openness to the world about our family.  The target audience is almost always friends and family who care about us and want to journey with us through life.  Today this is just for you.

You know this, but just to put it down officially I want to answer the question, "When did I know you were the one for me?".  You knew I was a dating other girls when we met.  You said I can either date you exclusively or else you would not see me anymore.  For the first time I had to consider what would life be like without you?  Even though we met only a few weeks earlier I imagined the wonderful life we could have together.  I imagined waking up to you every morning and the happiness you bring to me through the day. I imagined building a family and a solid foundation based on our similar beliefs and hopes and dreams.  I also knew if i let you go that you'd always be "the one that got away" and I'd never find another woman as perfect for me as you are.

I'm amazed at your persistence in patiently waiting outside my emotional cave where I hid.  One of us had to believe our marriage would be better.  One of us had to visualize it as healthy before it actually was truth.   You had faith, believing before seeing.

You are my best friend, my lover, my adventurer, and my beauty.  Thank you for ten extraordinary years.  I enjoyed our evening together although I know it was not what you expected.  The Melting Pot was delicious and laughing our way through dinner was a great way to celebrate.

After dinner we drove to Fountain Hills where Judi and Roger live.  Their willingness to mentor you over the past few years is the main reason we reached our tenth anniversary.  You opened my gift, which was a framed certificate of the resolution from Courageous, the movie.  Judi and Roger both signed as witnesses while I read aloud the promises of my commitment:


I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.
I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.
I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.
I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.
I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.
I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.
I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.
I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.
I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

These are strong words and I take them very seriously.  I look forward to the next few decades when I will have the opportunity to prove myself as your Super Hero and treat you as my princess.

I love you,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

and... I'm spent.

Hello friends and family,

I'm blogging live from my own couch in my own home with my stinky feet on my own carpet in my underwear.  Ah, the forgotten joys of home after living seven weeks with my in-laws.  First, let me wrap up our last-hoorah vacation days at Redondo Beach.  With eight people in the Rosa house there was never a dull moment.  We did normal daily life things together, which was my hope since we arrived.  I didn't want to do all the tourist stuff.  I just wanted the 4 Webbs to enjoy their company and be a part of their lives.  We stopped by a park for a bit to get some sun and activity for the kids.  The park had small bonsai looking trees, which were perfectly sized for the twins and Layla Ruth to climb.

As they climbed up and down and all over I stood close by to give them my attention, but didn't interfere too much.  After the Big Fall incident when Easton was a baby, it is difficult for me to trust him up high, but I'm working on it.  this was a good confidence builder for both of us.

Jason and I treated ourselves to a guy's night out.  chips and salsa at the beach side eatery followed by burgers of epic proportions at Umami (they stamp each bun with their logo) and gelato good enough for Jason to approve.  We walked  out on the pier and watched the life guard Olympics as they swam around buoys in the dark ocean.  

We re-packed the Pilot and Thule cargo box using every cubic inch of space to haul our crew and gear back home.  Only one challenge on the ride home:  A shredded truck tire tread flew up from under the car in front of us and slammed into the hood of our Pilot.  It bounced off up over the roof and from there I have no idea where it went.  The hood and grille were both damaged so we are down to one car while the Pilot get's repaired in the shop.  That just added $500 to the cost of our trip.  That's OK, I didn't have anything special to spend my bonus on anyway...

I love how the story of our lives unfolds bit by bit.  Or in this case, byte by byte.  Remember the pictures of Nate and Easton dancing to xbox Kinect?  remember the picture of Landon and Easton's Jedi training on the xbox Kinect?  Well, now we got our own!  Easton and Layla's faces of joy are as genuine as they get.

The best part of this is the cost.  Ouma and Oupa gave us the brand new xbox that was given to them by Oupa's sister.  I found a new-in-box Kinect sensor on Craigslist for less than half price.  Add $20 for a game and viola!  we are dancing and grooving to our own new gaming system.  I'm excited for them to experience the dance game and the Disneyland game where they get to interact in the virtual world of the theme park.

We are finally home and ecstatic to be in our own bed as we get back to normal.  I'll have to wait for the next blog post to describe the tactics we used to successfully live with my in-laws for seven weeks.  We didn't just "survive", we thrived and grew.  I wouldn't trade that experience for gold...  unless gold becomes worth $3,500 per ounce  then I'll have to think about it.  Just kidding!

See you soon.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Taking on the Waves

Yo, what's up friends and family?  We are West Coast beach bums for a few days and loving it.  We miss everyone back in the heat of Sacramento, but are enjoying the last bastion of nice weather in the Southern half of the US:  Los Angeles.  Perfect temps day and night.  We'll take it and hold on tight to the last bit of outdoor activities until after summer is over in Phoenix.  As soon as we settled into the Rosa residence we drove down their street, which dead-ends into Redondo beach.  Hooray!

No swimming suites, but we just wanted to chase some waves and smell the fresh ocean air.

Easton was caught off guard and knocked over by the wave.  Oh well, vacation is about relaxing and going with the flow.  No disciplinary action needed.  Lessons are better caught than taught.  He caught this one right in the shorts.  We did have to strip him down to his undies in the beach parking lot for the ride home though.

Kendra's finger is pointing at a sand crab, which Layla dug down in the sand to retrieve.  She was really proud of herself and giggled as it crawled down her arm and fell off into the sand.  Quite a different attitude than the other women in her blood line...

The Rosa's palatial living quarters were plenty big to accommodate 4+4 of us.  Even their table was perfectly sized.  Sharing a few meals together was a highlight of the trip for me.  April and Kendra served up a great dinner and breakfast.  I could get used to this kind of treatment...

The hand-made ice cream shop is within walking distance of the Rosa's house.  Talk about dangerous.  The three amigos (Easton, Layla, and Layla) wanted Blue Bunny confections instead of the amazing flavors of hand-made ice cream.  It's hard to compete with Sponge Bob no matter how good it tastes.

Landon took on the big-brother role like a champ.  I was very impressed with his patience and interest in showing Easton a thing or two.  Mancala, Legos, and  ipod touch games were all new skills Easton gained.

The other was how to play Star Wars with Kinect on the XBox.  Landon even brought out his own collection of light sabers to feel more realistic.  Jedi training is now in session.

Our beach day was outstanding.  We were all out standing in the waves.  This year Easton and Layla (and even Layla Ruth) were brave enough to boogie board with me.  Easton earned another bravery badge by walking straight into the waves with no fear.

He hopped on my back and we waited patiently for an excellent wave.

I gave my sun glasses to Kendra so that's why they are on my face in the picture above, but not in the surf riding picture below.  Easton held on well and giggled the entire way as we washed up on the beach.

He liked it, but only wanted one round of boogie boarding.  After that it was Jason's turn to brave the waves with me.  There were some serious big boy waves further out.

The three amigos spent most of their time making sand angels and attempting to get sand in every crevice known to man.

Mission accomplished.  She'll be picking sand out of her hair for the next week, but it is absolutely worth it.

Layla came around eventually and agreed to catch a wave on Daddy's back.  She hung on for dear life.  As we waded out into the ocean she said, "Daddy, are there sharks in the water?"  I stopped our march out toward the waves and said, "Yes, but they are small ones and Daddy will keep you safe."  She paused for a moment and said, "OK, Daddy.  Let's do it!"

Her death grip on my shoulders was fierce and her laugh as the wave pushed us up on the beach was one of those moments I'll never forget.  She cheered as though she'd conquered the summit of Mt. Everest and I cheered right along with her.

There was one set back during our beach day...  I lost my wedding ring.  My original right was too tight so I often took it off in the heat.  I tied it into the strings of my shorts one day when I went for a run and it fell out along the way somewhere.  Then I bought one off Craigslist for $30 to replace it.  The ring was too big and too thick, but i thought I could have it re-sized.  I thought wrong.  When the temperature is cold it is too loose on my finger.  When I stood up to get Layla off my back, the cold water was just enough cold and just enough slippery for my ring to fall off into the outgoing wave.  Bye-bye ring.  What better way to celebrate our 10 year anniversary than by losing my ring?  (not)

After 7 weeks out of the state it is time to return home and get reacquainted with our life in Phoenix.

See you soon!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Down South

Hello friends and family,

Our summer time fun in Sacramento is up so it's time to head back home.  Kendra made the most of her last few days by joining in play dates with her Mommy group.  She stayed over night at Megan's again with Layla  who already misses Isabella.  They took time for one last dance in a style befitting four-year-old princesses.  

Kendra and I went roller blading for a date night and wound up at her old elementary school.  She reminisced about her childhood friend, Cori, who skated up and down the hills we tackled.  As we were gliding through the school grounds a girl came by walking her dog.  In an unbelievable twist of fait it was Cori!  She is staying with her mom for a few weeks before heading back to the Bay Area and just happened to be going for a walk with her dog.

They met a few nights later for dinner and invited another school friend, Valerie.  Such a small world...

We were finally able to connect with my long-time friend, Craig, and his family for an evening.  Craig's son, Nate, showed Easton a Wii dance game.  At first Easton was vocal about not wanting to do it.  Then after seeing Nate having so much fun Easton loosened up and joined in.

Some of those dance moves were really cool and I'm interested to get a dance game like that for the 4 Webbs to join in.  We'll see...

That night we arrived home to an unusually warm house.  uh-oh...  The air conditioner broke!  Ouma is at the beach on the central coast with her sisters.  Oupa is in Colorado touring the country with his parents.  We were on the fence trying to decide when to leave Sacramento and this made our choice very simple.  We packed up the Pilot in record time and left the heat wave like the Millennium Falcon escaping the exploding Death Star.

Onward South towards the brisk, chilly beach in Los Angeles!  The 7 hour drive was smooth and executed as planned.  Kendra knows California like the back of her hand.  Normally we drive at night, stopping only for gas every 3-4 hours.  Not quite the same when Easton and Layla and their bladders are awake.  We stopped about every hour for a pee break...  and gas... and food...  I thought we would never get there!  Layla asked "are we there yet?" no less than 30 times.  Easton was content the entire trip to have a movie on and his blanket handy for cuddling.  

Layla gave me several great expressions to work with during our impromptu photo shoot.  They are both very good travelers.  Her surprised look is Oscar-worthy.

Our arrival at the Rosa's pad in Redondo Beach kicked off a round of hugging and welcoming like I've never seen before.  The two princesses picked up right where they left off...  playing dress up.

Landon is Easton's new hero because of his willingness to take on the big brother role.  Landon't extensive Lego collection helps too.  Each item Landon spent hours working on is methodically ending up in a pile on the floor in front of the display shelves.  We have a lot of work to do!