Monday, December 31, 2012

Snow and Vision

Greetings friends and family,

Christmas is over, but that hasn't stopped the twins from saying good-bye to everyone with a, "Merry Christmas!"  People still respond politely, but we had to have a talk with them today with the new bit of guidance so they say Happy New Year.  They embraced the Christmas spirit whole heartedly and it shows in their enthusiasm to keep it going even after the day has past.

Kendra and I are reaching some decisions for 2013 as we work through our common and separate goals for the year.  I had to start back at square one to answer the question, "Who am I?" before I could even begin to develop a vision for work, family, or ministry.  Here's what I came up with...  This is the prioritized list of who I am according to the roles I have.  If something of lower priority conflicts with something higher, then the higher one wins.  Period.

I am:

1. A follower of Christ
2. Husband
3. Father
4. American
5. Employee
6. Friend
7. Outdoor enthusiast

I'm not providing advice for how you prioritize your roles and characters in life, but this is me.  If my employer asks me to do something that is contrary to my belief as an American, then I'll find a new job.  If my country enforces something that is contrary to my belief as a follower of Christ, then I'll suffer the consequences of staying true to my relationship with God.  If I have to choose between Layla and Kendra, Kendra will prevail.

I've never seen another father with such a defined order and list of what's important to them so I had no template to work from.  It's a work in progress and I'm coachable, but you have to put some stakes in the ground sometime so it may as well be now.

The other nagging question I need to answer is:  What values do I (we) want to pass on to the twins?  I know they will see our lives as examples and get some clues, but as they come of age to understand deeper concepts I will be very clear on what matters most and what we value as a family.  A couple of baseline ideas are:

1. We are blessed to be a blessing to others
2. We lead by example and through serving
3. We do not have a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.
4. Control your thoughts

there are many things in life which are out of our control, but each of us absolutely must take every thought captive or else our thoughts will control us.  These are just some fundamental pillars of what I'm working on.

Anyway, back to the daily life...  I'm still on vacation from work and this long reprieve from the office is incredibly refreshing.  I'm spending the days with the kids playing, alone time with Kendra, shopping, conversing with family, and many other highlights that I don't normally get in such a great quantity in a single day.  Little things like overseeing snack time is a real treat for me since I'm usually not around for it.  The twins are big fans of crackers with cream cheese and crackers with peanut butter.  They very specifically ask for three cream cheese and two peanut butter.  I respond with my common answer of "Why not?" and give them the exact order.

Ouma and Oupa took the twins for a special treat to tour the Jelly Belly factory.   The long ride there was enough to put Easton into a contemplative trance staring out the window.  Ouma commented on how mature he looks with his legs crossed, chin resting on his hand, and thoughtfully observing the world around him.

Put a Jelly Belly hat on them and they turn into jelly bean lovers.  pictures are not allowed inside during the tour, but Ouma stealthily took one so I could see what it was like in there.  The factory equipment wasn't running, but the educational aspect alone was worth the trip.

The 4 Webbs took an adventure trip to the snow in Tahoe.  We met our friends up there and spent a couple of hours tobogganing.  Easton and Layla were well outfitted for the nine degree weather and Isabella was a good friend for the twins.

We ate snow right off the side of the mountain, slid down the speedy slopes on our tube, and leisurely rode the tow rope up to the top for all eight runs.  that's all we had time for...

Megan and Kendra are making the most of our trip to Sacramento by hanging out as often as possible.  Megan and her family joined us for the snow adventure, which turned out to be a good experience.  The two snow bunnies were good mommies who kept the kids (and husbands) in order.

Easton learned how to make a snow ball for the first time and we had a memorable day together.

The toboggan was only designed for one adult and one child, but I have twins so we just took a picture like this while we waited in line for our turn down the hill.

By the end of the two hour window Easton was cold and done.  He was adamant about riding down all by himself like a big boy, but by the time he waited in line and finally rode the toboggan down he was so tired and done with the day.  He just laid there the whole way down.  

We left the twins in their head-to-toe pajamas the entire day.  The spiderman and Hello Kitty hats were gifts for Christmas and worked like a charm to keep their melons warm.  They both dozed off about 5 minutes before we arrived home, which is typical.

Layla had a special evening after the snow.  She and Kendra stayed the night at Megan's house for a sleep over.  Layla and Isabella are close of friends just like Kendra and Megan.  Two peas on a pod.  The evening was filled with riding Isa's scooter around the house, watching Tinkerbell, and going through princess wardrobe changes like it was a fashion show.  Pretty typical night for both of them, but together it was especially fun.

Easton asked me today if we can go home now.  I asked him why and he said, "I miss our house.  I miss my bed.  and Hootie the Owl misses me."  We'll be home soon enough, but when we get there I know he's going to say, "I miss Ouma and Oupa".  Such is life.

See you soon!

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