Greetings friends and family,
This is the weekend review edition, one day late. I'll summarize Sunday because that's the easiest and I have no pictures.
8:00 am - teach church membership class
10:00 am - attend church service
12:00 pm - provide lunch for and facilitate mentoring group
3:30 pm - prepare for Freedom Ministries
5:00 pm - teach the 8th and final Freedom class for this session
8:30 pm - basketball
10:00 pm - bed
Can't get much fuller than that unless I decided to forego meals and bio breaks. I knew Sunday would be booked so I spent Friday and Saturday with the other three Webbs.
Friday night was Daddy-Layla time. We ran a few errands and then shared a sushi dinner on the outdoor patio. She wore her princess dress, makeup, and all the accessories she could wear and carry in her purse. The smiles from other patrons and comments by people walking by were well received.
She asked if she could pick out my shirt and I gladly agreed. She chose the only purple shirt in my closet because it matched her dress. Afterwards, we took our time watching the fish swim in the aquarium. The only disappointment here was that there was no Nemo to go along with the Dori fish we saw.
Some day she'll ask to do something different than wander through the Disney store, but not today. We made a bee line for the happiest store on Earth. They have a big mirror that plays video clips of the princess who's apparel is waved around the mirror. She waved Cinderella's wand and that's who's story clip plays on the mirror.
I always notice a huge shift in her attitude before and after our Daddy-Layla time. She is super sweet by nature, but doesn't hide her feelings well when her love bank becomes overdrawn. I do my best to never let the balance of her love bank get that low in the first place. She's starting to learn I really mean it when I offer to do anything she wants and go anywhere she wants (within reason).
I'm taking every opportunity to be interested in the little things where she lets me into her world. When I came home from work the first thing she did was offer to show me everything in her purse. I sat down excitedly and expressed amazement about every shiny rock and quarter and bracelet she revealed.
An activity we did together at home was what I'll call "poverty prevention". Studies show the common difference between people who live in poverty and those who don't is... (drum roll) ... a calendar. That's right. Poor people don't know or care what day it is and don't have a plan for the days/weeks/months ahead. that's why they are broke.
I printed off November and December templates from the ole' internet. Then we marked key dates coming up such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the day Ouma and Oupa arrive. The three of us decorated the border, crossed off the days already past, and hung them on the fridge. Each morning Easton gets to cross the day off since he is always the first one up. Mr. sunshine...
The biggest adventure we shared together was a hike and picnic lunch. Kendra opted to stay home and clean because it is 10 times easier to clean the house when the Tasmanian devil duo is not there to make messes faster than they can be cleaned up.
When we get in the car we make plans.
First, we'll get to the mountain.
Then we'll climb to the third peak.
Then we'll eat lunch.
Then we'll hike back down to the car.
We even discuss who will lead each peak and the order of the other two. Not for fairness reasons, but to set expectations. I am teaching them to plan because it is a great tool in life to understand as early as possible. make a plan, give it your all, and finish the task. No matter what career or field of work they go into that will be a key advantage if I continue to show and tell them how to plan.
At the top of the third peak they were starving (or so they claimed). We ate the entire contents of my backpack and they were still hungry. That was a good motivator to focus them on getting back down to the car.
I offered to take them for a hike on the flat trails, but they begged me to take them up. Exactly as I had hoped. I want them to see the city and think from above, not below. There are some sad stories of kids in the inner city who only see the world from the streets looking up at the tall buildings. Easton and Layla have an advantage by viewing Phoenix, the largest metropolitan area in the country by square miles, from up high. I've never heard of a king taking his son to the darkest, lowest point of a jungle and saying, "This is your kingdom to take dominion over". It just doesn't have the same effect.
The clouds above were unusually fluffy, which makes this next picture look like a green screen, fake background. The sky really is this blue and the clouds this fluffy.
It takes twice as long to go down as it does to go up because their motivation for getting to the top is lunch and they are too winded to be funny on the way up. They joke and sing silly made up songs all the way down. Here's a short video clip of us wandering down the mountain.
For unknown reasons they stand with a foot on either side of the trail and say "puffy pants".
I have no idea where that came from or why they think it's funny, but their joyfulness about the simple things in life like this is exactly what an old, boring guy like me needs in his life.
Kendra and I spent many, many hours together over the past few days, but most of it was ministry related as teammates or co-workers. The short breaks at night where we cuddle and watch TV before crashing is about as much of a date night as we've had lately. Luckily, Thanksgiving week is coming and we'll be taking full advantage of the holiday days off.
See you soon!