Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hike and Bike

Greetings friends and family,

Thanks for the feedback on the videos.  Here's a clip of Layla quoting her verse of the day.  Then she throws in a random shout out to Ouma because she is coming to visit in 6 days!

Easton is able, but not willing to go on video saying his rendition of the verse.  Trust me, he gets it and believes it, but he's just less comfortable than Layla in front of the camera.

Our city is stirring after 5 months of hibernation beneath a blanket of heat (not snow).  Normal animals and cities sleep during the cold, dark winter, but not in Phoenix!  As the rest of the country breaks out sweaters and warms their hands on pumpkin spice lattes we get outside and get active.

I'm not sure how many peaks exist along the main path we hike, but we climbed to the 3rd peak this past week.  I started hiking with them when they were 3 years old.  Since then we've tackled several trails.  As their balance improves along with their ability to walk like big kids we continue to hike further each time.

I took this fun picture of our hiking shoes as we talked about the scene and our city.

This is a panoramic view of the view from our third peak experience.  I take them up here often because I want them to view life with the same perspective as we view the city which is: from above, not below.  I don't know many kids who are born in the ghettos where all they have are big buildings around them and they never leave their block their entire life.

Easton and Layla live a charmed life compared to that, I know.  But in addition to our many travels and adventures to other cities and states, I want them to view our city with a tops-down approach.  Not so they can look down their noses at those less fortunate.  Quite the contrary.  I want them to see how much opportunity exists to achieve greatness and help others along the way.  One measure of assessing my role as their father is this:  How much did they allow God to work through them to touch the lives of others.  These two are positioned for greatness if ever two people were.  It's their choice when it comes down to it, but from what I see in their kind, loving hearts so far they are already starting to fulfill.

I still feel needed as we climb over the difficult sections.  They boldly ask for me to help them down or up the steep cliff, reach out their hand, and wait for me to meet them with my outstretched hand.  I'm not God. I'm not even A god.  I'm not their God.  However, I am shaping their view of their Heavenly Father based on how well I fulfill my role as their Earthly father.  I want them to feel just as bold and comfortable asking their Heavenly Father for help.

What kept them going from one peak to the next was not bribery, but I agreed to let them have two skittle each at the next peak.  This proved to be fairly motivational.  Layla encouraged each and every hiker we passed with a well-timed comment such as "You're a great hiker!" and "Way to go, you're almost to the top!" and "Your puppy is adorable".  

The hiking wasn't what I consider to be strenuous exercise or challenging, but they are my priority even over my own hobbies.  I finally took the opportunity to ride my bike again.  Each day I pass it going in and out of our bedroom where it stands against the wall.  It's like looking at an F1 race car sitting in the garage just begging to be driven.  I went for a leisurely ride with my friend, Judson up South Mountain.  My lungs and legs were burning equally, which means I'm a little out of shape.  No better time to get going in the right direction than today though!

I might go for a night ride this coming week with my friend who has an extra bike light.  Seeing beady eyes glare back at me from the desert sounds a little spooky, but I'm always up for a new adventure.

See you soon!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Three Days of Missing Them

Greetings friends and family,

The 4 Webbs are healthy, happy, and ready for the weekend.  The concept of "weekend" didn't mean much to the twins before kindergarten except church.  Now when I say the weekend is coming they get a excited.  I think it's time to break out the Blues Brothers song, "Taking Care of Business" for our breakfast tune.

The devotional during breakfast is starting to feel like a normal part of our morning routine.  I've had a tough time finding an age appropriate devotional though.  Every one so far is much too deep and covers topics such as parenting and dealing with financial struggles.  They could care less about that stuff and I'd like to keep it that way for the sake of their childhood innocence.  Also, I dislike having to boot up the Galaxy Tab and load the Kindle app and find a devotional that they will "get".  So I went through Amazon and bought two used books based on user reviews:

Five-Minute Devotions for Children: Celebrating God's World as a Family 


Leading Little Ones to God: A Child's Book of Bible Teachings 

I'll give a report out after a few weeks.  We were invited to our friend's house for dinner and a swim. Well, I swam with the kids as they performed like Sea World dolphins for Kendra and the family we visited.

Inside we busted out the board games, including twister, which they hadn't played before.  Layla is more flexible than I thought.  maybe she is built for gymnastics?  We still need to get her into ice skating for a trial lesson to see if that's her "bag".

Easton had a good time calling out the yoga poses he was doing.  Not sure how many 5 year olds know a good yoga pose when they see it, but ours do!

At church Easton and Layla are little socialite butterflies giving out hugs and smiles to our church family.  There's a guy named Mike who was assigned to our church to work off community service hours.  He likes being around the church people so much that he stayed on as a facilities guy.  he's a raw, new Christian and a real hoot to be around.  He has that newness of life glow and none of the religious spirit about him.  Anyway, after church he went out to his car and brought back a full bag of M&M candies for each of the twins.

Giving leads to giving and smiles lead to smiles.  That's the way life works and the twins are blessed because they get this principle as much as a kindergartner mind is able.

After church we went to Betty's house where they cooked a Puerto Rican meal.  Their daughter has a kid's guitar that caught Easton's eye.  He picked it up and strummed a few times.

I had him stand in front of me with my arms wrapped around him.  I used my left hand to press the strings down into chord formations and he strummed a few times.  He stopped with stunned silence as if he just won the lottery.  He smiled and said, "do that again, Daddy!"  for several minutes we played some songs and he walked away believing he is a rock star now.  Oh, the faith and hope of a child...

I spent three days in Sacramento for work  on the flight there and home I read through the book, "Man's search for meaning".

What an intense book.  It's not a difficult read, but I had the hardest time comprehending the physical conditions and mental anguish that accompanied living in a concentration camp.  The biggest tragedy is that there are people around the world right now living through the same nightmarish hell he endured.  He didn't have a single tangible thing to his name and ate a small piece of bread each day.  Part of me feels grateful for the blessed life I'm living and part of me feels almost embarrassed about the lavish lifestyle I (and we as Americans) have when compared to how the rest of the world lives. The book moved me, but I'm not sure to what or in which direction.  I'll be thinking about this one for a while.

When I was hanging out with Ouma she showed me some pictures she captured on her phone during Logan's wedding.  I found these gems and want to brag one more time on how hot my wife is and was during that dressed-up event.

I didn't get many pictures of the twins walking down the aisle so this was a treasure to find as well.  They talked proudly about being the ring bearer and flower girl to all of their church friends and classmates.

Kendra and I haven't had alone time in the past few weeks and Phil Wickham was in town for a concert.  The combination of our desire to spend time together and our enjoyment of his music led us to spend the $18 for two tickets and take the long drive downtown for the special event.  I'm glad we went.  He is so awesome to watch live.  Just a guy and his guitar... and a few hundred college students.

We've seen him live several times, but this was by far the closest we been.  The venue was small and we had great seats.  Well, we didn't have seats because it was standing room only throughout the concert area.  i guess you could say we had great "stands".  Our backs were sore from standing for 2 hours, but we had so much fun singing along to his Jesus karaoke that it didn't matter.

I couldn't help but think how I'm old enough to have a kid in college!  So bizarre and old-feeling to know that if I had a kid at age 20 that he/she could be in the crowd of college students.  for a few minutes I stumbled back through my memories thinking, "what have I accomplished in the 20 years since I graduated high school?"  Then I proudly held my arms around Kendra knowing the relationship we have been building for the past 13 years is about the best thing I can point to.  

Life moves at the speed of relationships.  Mine is moving plenty fast.

See you soon!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Goal 1 and Goal 2

Greetings friends and family,

Someday the fact that I'm blogging while hurtling through space at 500 mph in my company's corporate jet won't be a big deal, but right now it feels a little futuristic.  20 years ago I couldn't imagine taking a picture with my phone and sending it to another phone across the country.  Now i'm able to take a picture with my phone, send it to my family, and post it to the internet without wires while flying in an airplane.  Just think what life will be like 20 years from now.  That's the world Easton and Layla will grow up in.  I can't explain how wireless cellular networking works to Easton yet because I don't understand it well enough, but I gladly use it just the same.

Speaking of questions from kids, during my bedtime conversations Easton and Layla routinely wait for me to walk away before saying, "what would happen if we didn't have..." and then throw in some random thing.   This is their feeble ploy to keep me in their room just a little longer.  Easton asks this question about gravity, smoke detectors, and flashlights.  usually I take this time to get them to dream of impossible things or as a problem solving exercise to get their creative juices flowing.  However, the other night Layla said, "What would happen if we didn't have...  love."  So many answers came to mind, but I quickly categorized the possibilities and zeroed in the best one.

I said, "God loves you more than Daddy ever could.  do you know how that's possible?  Because God doesn't just show love or do love, He IS love.  God existed before the Earth did and he is real now and he will be here long after the Earth is gone.  There will be times where people act in a way that doesn't show love, but You don't have to ever consider what life would be like without love because God is our source and He will be in your heart for the rest of your life."

When I walked out the door with my standard departure of, "I love you, my beautiful princess" she responded with, "I know, Dad."  Her confident response is one of the ways I assess how well i'm doing as a father.  She'll always need the three A's (attention, affection, affirmation), but sometimes it's difficult as a father to know if I'm meeting those needs.  As I walked down the hall after Layla's response I did a little happy dance with a big smile because I get enormous satisfaction from knowing her love bank is full enough to believe she is loved.

Saturday mornings are full of soccer for the next...  13 years or so.  This Saturday was special because they each scored a goal during their soccer game.  As a 38 year old guy there aren't many "firsts" for me on any given day or week.  However, the twins frequently experience first (whatever) often. For example, first airplane trip, first day of school, first bike ride with Dad, etc.  This day of their first goal scored was one of those experiences I'll never forget.  Seeing their joyful reaction to success, team work, and pride of doing their best was priceless.

I found out Layla is the only girl in whole league!  Kendra and I still believe it was a good decision to do this instead of putting her in the girls league.  Anyway, she was in fine form during the pre-game practice.

The rested in the shade before starting because it was already hot and sweaty.

Kendra is technically the assistant coach, but the head coach turned over this game to Kendra because he had to take care of his other two kids on the sidelines while his son played on our team.  Kendra did a great job of representing the green shirt and whistle, which are the symbols of authority on the soccer fields.

Easton and Layla didn't practice much since last game, but I could see improvements in their game.

Layla sat on the sidelines while Easton played.  I overheard her say, "Do you guys know what leadership is?" then she proceeded to explain it to them.

After the game we reviewed the pictures at home.  As I scrolled through them I zoomed in on a random picture and said, "Layla, did you stick your tongue out at that boy?"  she frowned and said, "yes... but he pushed me!  We had a brief teaching about sportsmanship as I held in my giggles.

The boys are already chasing Layla and I'm sure they will from now until the day she's married.  This is the appropriate way I like to see boys chasing her for now though...

i would not like to be across the line from this determined little fireball of a soccer player.  Here's her look of determination after a goal was scored against our team.

Kendra gave a good half-time pep talk for the team.  We broke up the game into quarters to allow for substitutions and an additional break so that's why i call it halftime.

I didn't capture video of Layla scoring her goal, but this is immediately afterwards.  How about that for expressing elation!  Her goal came at the last few seconds of the game.  As soon as the whistle blew she ran over to me.  I gave her a big hug and she started to cry.  She said, "I'm crying because I'm so happy about scoring a goal!"  I held her close and shed some tears of my own as I told her how proud I am of her achievement.  One of the many moments I'll never forget.

Easton and Layla each scored a goal, but no one else on our team did.  the final score of 2-3 implies a loss, but you'd never know it by watching the twins after the game was over.  They happily congratulated the other team with good sportsmanship.

Easton scored his goal on a break-away where there was no one between him and the goal. He dribbled like a champ and kicked it straight into the net.  It took a few seconds of everyone else cheering for him to realize what he just accomplished, but once he "got it" he was jumping and screaming as if he won the lottery.  it happened so fast I didn't even get a picture much less a video of the epic event.  His confidence grew two sizes this day.

You'd never know the game added a loss to our team's record by the smiles and congratulations shared by everyone on the team and within our family.  This is the way sports are supposed to be played at the kindergarten level.

After the game we have healthy snacks and lots of water to re-hydrate.  The muffled comments recounting the game's highlights are a result of mouth-fulls of food and excited players.

Later that day we went out to share a celebratory ice cream.  their mouths were so full of chocolate peanut butter it was hard to smile, but trust me they were still on a goal-scoring joy-ride. As Easton and Layla look back on their accomplishments (however small they were) I want them to have memories and pictures of how we, as parents, affirmed them through their victories.  there is so much more involved than just simply "being" in attendance.  In the same way that showing up to work doesn't make me a manager, showing up to their soccer game doesn't make me a Dad.  It's the active participation, involvement, and encouragement that makes me a manager and a Dad.  There are no points for attendance.  I don't have all the answers to life, but based on my experience this is what makes the difference.

On Friday night Kendra and I went on a double date with our friends Chad and Andrea.  We quickly get back to enjoying the simple things in life when we are kid-less.  As we slowly walked along the sidewalk towards the restaurant holding hands we pointed out how much we enjoy each other in these simple moments.

As much as I love Easton and Layla, I love Kendra more and I enjoy spending time with her more as we grow closer together.  I won tickets to see a private (company sponsored) acoustic concert with Brian Vander Ark, former lead singer of a group called The Verve Pipe.  I didnt know what to expect, but it turned out to be a great concert.  He sang a few kids songs, which were funny, as well as moving ones such as Daddy's Girl, which is about a father giving his daughter away in marriage.  Totally not ready for that one, but it was a great song.

I'm amazed by how fulfilling and fun it is to be with the twins and how joyous it is to be with just Kendra without the kids.  Sounds like a paradox, but it's not.  Our life is very blessed and I'm grateful for the opportunity to live such a fulfilling life on both ends of the spectrum.

See you soon!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pastor Webb?

Greetings friends and family,

I'm happy to announce I accepted the position as Executive Pastor of our church.  I'm keeping my day job, so no need to worry about how we'll make the mortgage payment.  Instead of filling the eight roles I currently hold at church, pastor asked me to transition everything to other people except for two.  People started calling me "Pastor Webb" and I have to keep from giggling when that happens.  I've spent my life hearing my Dad called Pastor Webb.  I respect his position as lead pastor so it feels a little strange to be referred to with the same title.  I wouldn't say I feel unworthy, but after seeing Dad's accomplishments over the first 21 years of my life it feels a bit undeserving.  Big shoes, but I'll do my best to grow into them.

I never wanted a career as a Senior Pastor like my Dad and he never pushed me to be one.  I think he even steered me away from full time ministry.  That hasn't changed, but the church world has.  The role of Executive Pastor is relatively new in the past few years.  Basically, my focus is on systems, management, and implementing the Senior Pastor's vision.  According to this website here is an idea of the job requirements:

The position requires a minimum of 10 to 15 years of experience as a senior leader in a corporate business environment. Possession of a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Technology, or other related field is required. Master’s work in Biblical studies is a plus. The successful individual must have a proven track record of effective leadership, judgment, and above reproach character.

Check, check, yes.... yes... check.  that describes me about as accurately as my resume except I don't have a Master's in Biblical studies.  Mine is in business administration, which works out well because our church staff has no lack of Bible knowledge and education.   It's as if my whole life has been stepping stones leading up to this position.  I'm already working on improving the financial processes and metrics as the first directive.

The thought of being in full-time ministry is borderline scary because I've not been involved in it at that level before.  Luckily, that may or may not ever happen so there's no need to concern myself with thinking that far in advance.  i'm just being open to the possibility since that is a very real one at some point in the future.

Pastor Webb....  hehe.  And you know what this means for Kendra?  she's a Pastor's wife.  For years I've been known as "Kendra's husband" because most of my efforts have been behind the curtain away from the social church scene where Kendra thrives.  Now we each have our own visible roles and responsibilities.  I like it...

How did this Executive Pastor thing come about?  I didn't have to ask myself this question because the answer was given at the time the position was offered.  We had a high-powered pastor from Texas spend 3 days assessing our church.  His purpose was to find how our church can become more effective and accelerate growth.  His findings resulted in one single answer:  Hire Bronson as your Executive Pastor so that the Senior Pastor can focus on his calling.  I know this because at the end of his 3-day assessment, Kendra and I met him out for coffee where he offered me the position.

The other question I didn't have to ask was, "why me?"  My Pastor explained how my personality type, education, experience, and background makes me the likely candidate.  He also explained how my dedication to do whatever is asked of me with a servants heart is what sealed the deal.  I've spent 6 years saying, "yes" to opportunity he's ever offered.  I've never said no even once.  He kept giving me more responsibility, more authority, and greater challenges, which I gladly accepted. I don't know where this new adventure will take us, but I'm super excited about what I'm doing!

People have asked how I will find time for both my full time career and the XP role.  I wish I could say, "Did you know the average American spends 34 hours per week watching TV?  Well, I spend 0.  That means I have 34 hours more than the average American to do something productive that has eternal value."  However, some people would feel like my response is a condemnation of their own wasted time so I won't say that.  Our church is in the middle of two building programs (both campuses).  That means much of my time is spent in meetings with the banks and the city departments and architects.  Money can't buy this kind of experience and exposure and chance to work side-by-side with a Senior Pastor. That is why I'm so excited about operating in this capacity.  

I know my first ministry is Kendra, my second ministry is the twins, and my third ministry is Executive Pastor.  If I ever get that out of order I have no problem putting the brakes on and correcting my priorities.  We are taking gradual steps in the right direction while being faithful over what we have and the opportunities we are given along this journey of life.  

God will provide for our needs.  The more we give away, the more God trusts us with.  it's that simple.  He doesn't call those who are equipped.  He equips those who are called.  

see you soon!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Videos Galore

Greetings friends and family,

As requested...  videos!  I often take videos, but don't normally post them because after I watch them on my computer I think, "that was cute/cool/humorous but I doubt anybody else would care about it."  I realize videos are a better way to share the interesting aspects, but I rarely feel like I adequately captured the moment well.  Anyway, Aunt Mary and Ouma seem to be in favor of more videos so here you go!

At the skating rink Easton's classmates were there also because it was a school-wide invitation that led us here.  I watched as he interacted with his friends, both girls and boys.  Seeing that he would rather hang out and talk to his friends than me was a real shock to me.  Not because I think I'm so cool, but because for the past 5 years he's always preferred hanging out with me than anybody else.  No so much anymore!  I knew this day would come, but it still set me back to see the independence on full display.

Same with Layla.  She excitedly found her friends and she was off to the races.

This next video is from the wedding trip to SLO.  As we fed snails to the ocean anemone  with their funny tentacles.  I miss the ocean already.

Here's a short clip of Layla explaining the most basic finance lesson.  People who get this are blessed.  people who don't are foolish.  It's so simple even a 5 year old understands the order and priority of what to do with money.

and one final clip of Easton and Layla's soccer game.  You can see the bunch ball concept in action.  watching them live was highly entertaining because of the lack of organization and skill.  It shows they have a long way to go, but everybody starts somewhere!

There you have it.  a bunch of videos with a few comments.  I'll mix these in the rest of my posts more often if you like it.

See you soon!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Everyone Starts Somewhere

Greetings friends and family,

 Happy Monday!  The 4 Webbs are through the three-day weekend and off to a fresh start.  Last week Layla said, "Dad, I'm bored at school.  We're just learning letters and stuff I already know."  I assured her the special (gifted) classes she starts soon will challenge her and teach new things.  She has a hard time understanding how the rest of the kindergartners aren't as smart as her even though I prepared her since before school started by encouraging her to have grace and patience for other kids.

Layla made the big shift in reading this past week.  I've been reading to her since the first week she developed ears in Mommy's belly (around week 12 of baby development).  9 out of 10 days for over 6 years I read to her.  This past week she read to me.  Her first book?  Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.  Go figure...  She does a lot from memory instead of reading each word, but she knows how to read every single word including palm tree.

Easton is not interested in reading to me because the books he likes are high school level Earth science books.  He asked me to explain why the water "goes away" (recedes) just before a tsunami.  Luckily, his Extreme Weather book has a detailed explanation.  By the way, tsunami is one of his many sight words he recognizes, but can't spell yet.

The weather briefly cooled down for a couple of days like it does every year.  It's as if mother nature teases us with some relief and then turns up the heater extra hot again while she laughs.  We've been through this enough to know we should take full advantage of it.  Make hay while the sun shines.  We aired up the lifeless tires on everyone's bike and took a long ride through our neighborhood.  Safety first!

I'm working to get their bikes swapped out for big boy and big girl bikes, which have 16 inch wheels and no training wheels.  By swapped out I mean sell the old ones on Craigslist and buy used ones from Craigslist.  Shouldn't cost more than a few dollars to "upgrade" if I can find the right deals.  We'll see...  cooler weather is just around the corner.

Saturday was Easton and Layla's first soccer game!  Layla is the only girl in the league, but she holds her own and doesn't mind at all.  Each team has 5-6 kids with 4 on the field at a time.  There is no goalie and the net is really small.  Before the game we had a short practice to show how to throw the ball in.  Coach Kendra had the team fired up and ready for game time.

Easton is a stickler for following the rules and his form of playing soccer has his personality on full display.

Layla's hair in a braid helped her blend in well with the boys, but the real reason for her hair being up is because the game time was obscenely hot and sunny so she needed to stay cool.  She is sporty and strong, for sure.

Layla is #4 and Easton is #5.  They played well together on the field and also separate as each one sat out a quarter to cool off and let everyone rotate in.

The other team obliterated us.  I think the final score was 7-0, but I lost count after Layla stopped caring.  She was distraught each time the other team scored so we had several teachable moments to get her to understand it's not about the other team or what they do.  It's about us and what we do.  Easton could care less about the score.  He was having a blast chasing the ball around the getting roughed up with the other boys.

Layla was right in the mix getting position, kicking the ball, and learning the rules of the game.  Look at that girl go!

The team consistently played "bunch ball" where every player stands within 5 feet of the ball and both teams follow the ball around.  No one was getting open.  No one passed. No communication.  Just a big cloud of dust pushing the ball around.  It was humorous and entertaining.

The 30 minute-long game was a good start to the kids athletic career.  They realize it's harder than it looks and practice is a requirement for them to improve.  Neither one was discouraged enough to quit.  We wouldn't let them anyway, but their attitude coming off the field was happy as always.  We'll be back to practice tomorrow and back to the field next Saturday for game 2!

See you soon.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Soccer Mom for Real

Greetings friends and family,

Allow me to redefine the term "soccer mom".  There is a huge negative connotation associated with the term and it is usually used as derogatory label.  As with most things, the 4 Webbs are not normal when it comes to how we live and parent.  We have no desire to be normal because we were made for more than that.  

A little background:  Kendra played soccer since she was in elementary school.  She was and is good.  really good.  Two years ago she underwent arthroscopic knee surgery because she was in such pain and immobility.  The surgery was a success in that they removed some arthritis (not sure how they do that).  Her recovery has been slow, but a few months ago she realized her full range of motion is back and the pain is still gone.  She's been doing Zumba and aerobics and other fitness activities, but playing competitive soccer is still not in the cards.    

A few months ago we asked Easton and Layla if they want to play soccer.  They both individually agreed so we signed them up for a local league.  The coach is injured so Kendra agreed to be the assistant coach.  Yesterday was the first practice.  Kendra coordinated and coached the whole thing with minimal input from the head coach.  He was perfectly happy to let Kendra develop the rookies.  Kendra was in her element where her passion and talent was on full display.  

Easton and Layla had a blast.  We were relieved to watch them enjoy the new activity and environment.

Apparently I've been volunteered as the team photographer.  We all have our role in life, right?  As the twins were waiting on the sidelines they saw me taking pictures.  I didn't even have to say "smile!" or "say cheese!"  They just gave me their best pose and waited for my encouraging words.

Layla missed the ball as she threw it in the air, but she has great strength and flexibility.

Easton didn't get discouraged.  that was a my concern.  Occasionally he loses heart and gives up if he isn't as quick or the best at whatever activity he's doing.  On the soccer field he fit right in and accepted whatever place he was at the end of each drill and how well he did or didn't do with the skill being developed.  He has a desire to do his best, but isn't so competitive that he is first place at all costs.  I consider these to be good traits.

There were plenty of celebrations and congratulations from the parents and coaches for doing even the simplest of tasks.  The five member team all responded well to the cheers.  Easton has always been good at receiving accolades.  I shouted, "Way to go Easton!  I'm proud of your dribbling skills!"  He was proud too.

Speaking of being proud.  I enjoyed watching Kendra as much as watching the twins.  She was beaming with pride as the twins performed the drills.  This is how I describe a soccer mom.

Coach Kendra earned respect from the team, coach, and parents with her cheerful attitude.  I wasn't sure how well the twins would transition from Mom being the boss at home to coach Kendra on the field.  I'm impressed with their physical capability and receiving instruction from Kendra.

I have high hopes for the twins as soccer players, but if they lose the passion after the season is over we'll move on to something else.

See you soon!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Superhero Super Time

Greetings friends and family,

and "poof!"  Just like that Nana is back home in good ole' Springfield.  We made good use of her time with us.  The productivity was low and relationship building was high just as I'd hoped.  I took a vacation day on Friday so my weekend was extra long.  We had the chance to experience every combination where Nana and I were together, Nana and Kendra, Nana and the twins, Nana and the 4 Webbs.  

This big open space above is where I'd normally share some heart-felt thoughts, challenges, struggles, and victories.  However out of respect and honor of the Webb lineage and heritage I'll only present in this post the perfect, happy, and positive stuff so there is no hint of a cloud in the sky.  only sunshine!  sunshine everywhere!

Speaking of clouds, the weather in Phoenix was anything but typical for September.  We stood outside a few times looking at the horizon as storm clouds rolled into the valley.  No haboob or wall of dust, but we experienced a few drenching storms and showers.  The twins and I swam in the rain with thunder rumbling off in the distance.  Nana intelligently watched from the patio.  I never claimed to be smartest, but I am data driven and scientific.  The odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 750,000.  I'll take those odds when the upside is creating an adventurous, fun memory that will last a lifetime.  

Nana joined us the next day for our swim when the sun came out.  She taught the twins some water aerobic moves from her twice-weekly class.  I'm proud of her for doing water aerobics so consistently and for so many years.  She correlates the activity and regularity with how well Fibromyalgia is minimized for her.

When the twins were heading to bed on the last evening of Nana's visit, Layla gave her a favorite bracelet as a gift.   Nana recommended giving it to Daphne because she would love it.  Layla's eyes lit up and she agreed that was a good idea.  Layla has such a giving heart.  I was proud of her living out the concept of sacrificial giving.  I hope Daphne likes it too.

Sunday morning came too quickly when I had to say goodbye to Nana at the airport.  Not knowing when we will spend time together again is difficult.  Thanksgiving and Christmas this year will be spent at home in AZ because we are traveled-out.  Next year will mark Nana and Papa's 50th wedding anniversary.  That will be exciting, but still a long way off.

Sunday was a crazy day, but good one.  The early wake up to take Nana to the airport was followed by early church then Daddy time at home.  The twins went with our friends for a play date.  There are maybe 5 families total we trust to take care of the twins.  John and Sarah are one of them.  Their kids are a good influence and similar in age.

After the twins left, Kendra and I stood there in silence as if we'd entered the twilight zone.

Were we home?  Yes.
Was it completely silent? Yes.
Was it daylight?  yes.

We regularly experience two of these three, but not all three at the same time.  It was weird.  We used the time wisely to prepare for our teaching our first class session at church.  We also caught up on several other outstanding "to do list" items.

After the twins returned home from their play date, life resumed with Spider-man and Spider-woman gleefully coloring puppies together.  Their artistic abilities are already noticeably better since they started kindergarten.

These superheros are more than happy to strike a pose.  Anything for crime fighting.  They regularly request I send pictures to Ouma and Nana.  They don't really understand that I post all those here on the blog for the world to see, including Ouma and Nana.  Twin powers!

Easton's report card hasn't made it back home yet from when we signed and sent it to the teacher, but Layla's did.  P is the best grade possible, A is next best and N means "needs work".  Layla's scores reflect her extraordinary intelligence and maturity.  I'm the proudest father of a kindergartner that ever lived because she's on her way to success in school to go along with her success in life.

Easton's report card wasn't quite as stellar, but we are not concerned by the areas he was deficient.  It's difficult to force a five-year-old to care.  He's good at what he's passionate about and not so good at areas that aren't interesting.  The teacher isn't worried and neither are we.  His desire to achieve academically will come around sooner rather than later.

See you soon!