Friday, February 28, 2014

Our labor of love

Greetings friends and family,

I'm. Writing from bed on my iPhone because this is the only spare moments I have these past few days. 

Our conference is today and tomorrow.  If you get a chance to pray for us please do because we need it. What we are about to do is beyond our capability and capacity but that's exactly where God wants us to be: depending on him.  

I miss spending our evenings with the twins but break time is just around the corner.  Starting Monday. 

Anyway, the twins are doing well and enjoying very minute of time with Ouma. I had a fee minutes after dinner to attempt to fix Easton's broken satellite. I brought out the Krazy glue and set off a 10 minute discussion about the kragle in the Lego movie.  We found the piece of resistance!

I take time to complete 1 or 2 steps on Easton's space shuttle each day.  It's moving along slowly but surely.  We are on step 38 out of 178 or so.  It's a long way away from done but we will complete it!

One of the coolest things about teaching money skills at an early age is that Easton and Layla have a sizable savings account ($50?) because of their give-save-spend method of managing their money.  Easton pulled out his savings and was amazed by how much he has saved.  

Thanks for the birthday money!  

If we left it up to the twins with no money teaching they would spend everything they have on silly things like this sponge hat.  

Just kidding. Ouma took the twins to Target and found some silly hats to try on for fun. When we say "no"  to their request to buy something they are very respectful and receptive of our answer. Some kids scream and throw a tantrum. Ours did to, a couple of times when they were younger.  After seeing how that method of response does not result in getting their way they stopped acting out like that.   Now they are a joy to shop with and that makes taking them out even that much more likely to happen.  

Time for rest so we can pull it all together tomorrow!  The three day marathon including the conference, church, and our Sunday night class starts in 8 hours.  And.... GO!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Taking Time

Greetings friends and family,

There is no such thing as "making time".  Humans don't have the ability to do that.  All we can do is "take time" by applying what we are given to whatever we prioritize as most important.  In the midst of the busiest month of our the past decade I'm still taking time to be a Daddy.  The only thing that is suffering as a result of this season is the connection between Kendra and I.  I miss our time together with the two of us just doing nothing together.  Hang on, wife...  only one more week until the conference is over and we can get our priorities back to normal.

There are so many exciting things happening at the Webb house I barely know where to start.  Ouma arrives tomorrow!  I begged her to change the flight to an earlier day and it worked.  The twins have no idea she is arriving early.  They will be surprised to see who picks them up from school.  Layla colored this picture of Jasmine and wrote "I love Oma.  I love you so much."

Easton requested to ice skate with Layla before her group lesson.  It is free for he and I to skate so of course I said "why not?"  It took 30 minutes for him and me to skate around the rink twice.  He scooted along and did well considering I'm not ice skating teacher and this was only his second time on ice skates.  Layla whizzed by several times while playing follow the leader with her friends.  She paused briefly for pictures.

Easton's yellow and pink gloves are ones we found in the bottom of the lost and found hat and glove box at the rink.  Hey, we live in Arizona!  It's not like he needs a pair of gloves for any other reason.

 I bet we'll see Easton on the ice again soon too because he had a great time.  He met a new friend who skated with us for one of the laps.  He is 8 and has been skating for 3 years.  Watching our new friend skate was inspiring for Easton because he saw that it is possible to be a boy and skate well.

After the lesson Layla occasionally gets a sucker from the teacher.  She is so considerate that she asked for a second one for her brother.  One pink and one blue, of course.

Easton and I have been slowly, but surely building his Space Shuttle.  It measures 29" long and 20" wide at the wings.  It's huge!

I am the most blessed person alive.  After realizing our 2000 piece Mega Bloks Space Shuttle was several pieces short I searched the internet for parts.  Have you ever tried to find parts for a set from the year 2002?  Don't.  It's impossible.  However, I found a Good Will store in Wisconsin who was auctioning off a full set of the exact model we need.  The auction had 3 hours left when I found it.  Talk about good timing...  I won the auction for $7.99.  That's a hard-to-find, out-of-stock $260 set for 8 bucks.

The package arrived as expected with something extra: packing peanuts. They took a few out and tossed a couple in the air.  They grabbed a handful, looked at me for approval, and with one nod of my head we made a huge mess of the great room.

They are such great kids.  If I said "no" they would have humbly obeyed, but when I said "yes" we had a fun moment of throwing them in the air and smashing them with our feet.  Nothing a quick run with the vacuum didn't fix.

Layla wanted to play Go Fish when I gave her the choice of doing whatever she wanted to do with her Daddy time.  We sat at the patio table enjoying the perfect weather, great conversation, and a game of cards.  She is just like Kendra when it comes to being competitive.  I love her for who God made her to be, including her competitive nature.

Easton had a fever for the past two days so Sunday morning I took Layla with me to church while Kendra stayed home with Easton.  We stopped by Dunkin Doughnuts for breakfast sandwiches and a doughnut.  We shared one, which she picked out.  a pink heart shaped, boston cream-filled doughnut with sprinkles.  When I cut it in half, Layla said, "hey look!  our hearts go together because you're my Daddy."  Can't argue with that.

See you soon!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy Three Day Weekend

Greetings friends and family,

And now for another edition of adventures with twins, which is written instead of working on 100 other tasks I should be doing.  I recently made the switch from Evernote to NirvanaHQ as my centralized task management software.  NirvanaHQ allows me to follow the GTD (getting things done) methodology in a cloud-based (web site and app) environment.  It's on my iphone, ipad, work laptop, and home desktop.  That means I can add and check-off tasks anytime, anywhere.  It changed my life.  More accurately, it organized my life.   I no longer have occasions where I wake up in cold sweat because I forgot to write down some task I should have done or need to do in the future.  Like most things in life, it only works if you really DO it.  meaning, go all in and dedicate the time necessary to make it work for you.  Some people just try things with a half-hearted attitude, but that doesn't lead to long-lasting success.

Anyway, I had a vacation day from work tacked onto the weekend.  There are literally hundreds of things I could have done with the three day reprieve from work, but I've been waiting for some Daddy time with Easton and Layla.

On Monday we begged the twins to please sleep in. please?  pretty please?  If we leave a snack out will you leave us alone?  Ha!  There is nothing more consistent than Easton's 7:15 AM wake up time.  I should start calling him Big Ben instead of Big Time.

He woke up and Layla woke up because although she would gladly sleep in for hours, it grates on her to think she might miss something Easton is up to.

So we had a late breakfast of Oatmeal followed by devotions.  I usually pull up verses on my phone or read through the devotions book for kids.  Today I pulled out my most prized possession:  Dad's Bible with Mom's notes.  I had to explain to Easton and Layla what the Bible is because their world is so digitized.  They were briefly appalled at the hand-written notes and highlights littering the pages.  I explained the purpose and value of how Mom and Dad used the Bible, which calmed their angst.  We read some verses and discussed what they believe about God.  That's some good breakfast conversation!

confession time:  I took Easton to see the movie "Gravity" in 3D at the theater.  I know...  it's PG-13 and he's only 6.  Even so, after watching it with my friend a few weeks ago I decided to let him see it with a caveat.  He had to close his eyes and cover his ears on command through two undesirable scenes.  There were a few curse words in it, but Easton didn't even catch what they were saying because he's never heard those words before.  He watched the movie intently and loved it.  for the next two days he talked several times about how awesome it was.

The next day Easton begged me to print him some space shuttle coloring pages.  We searched and printed off four of them.  His expression of pure joy was worth the time and effort to search for exactly what he wanted.  He asked for a picture of the space shuttle with the fuel tank and solid rocket boosters sitting on the launch pad with the launch towers.

His high level of excitement for the movie and coloring pages was already at a fever pitch before he knew anything about the special trip I had planned.  On Monday the two of us headed up North an hour to the Challenger Space Center.  I discovered this gem a few months ago, then found a Groupon deal for cheap tickets, then I waited.  It is only open from 10am-4pm so we had to wait for a weekday off from school for Easton and work for me.  That day finally came around on President's Day.  We arrived to the unmarked building.  Easton was anticipating what was inside, but had no idea.

It's a 3-story complex with meteorites, models, pictures, space shuttle paraphernalia, and a mach room of the control center.  Easton was amazed by this mural of the space shuttle made from individual flat-tile 1x1 round Lego pieces.  It was a masterpiece!

He's convinced he wants to be the first person to land on Mars even after seeing Gravity...

There is a huge open space in the facility.  The floor is covered with large foam pieces.  Easton quickly jumped into the sword fighting action with some other random boys playing around.  He would have stayed here for an hour if I let him.

The mural on the wall is a full 3-stories tall.  It displays a timeline that includes everything from dinosaurs to pyramids to the crucifixion of Jesus to modern day.  Then the other wall has what the future of space travel might look like.  It was a dream land for Easton.

The closest thing Easton has come to seeing a real space shuttle is this massive model behind us in this picture.

We also saw a display case with a model of the Hubble Space Telescope.  It is the exact one he has hanging in his room!  Easton's is better constructed than this one, thanks to Oupa and my efforts.

He is so fired up about going back that he begged me yesterday to take him and Layla again soon so he could show her.  The bottom line for my review of the Challenger Space Center is this:  If a kid is interested in space, this place is awesome and well worth the hour drive and $10 per ticket.  However, if a kid is not interested in space and/or younger than six years old, then this museum will be an absolute bore.  I don't know if I'll ever take Layla here because it's just not her bag.  However, Easton is already jazzed about the prospect of meeting a real astronaut and star gazing with the expensive, massive telescopes they bring out once a month.

The morning after this epic day Easton climbed into bed with me to cuddle, as he does every morning.  He gave me a big hug and said, "I like being with you, Dad, and having fun times together."

Lately I've been staying up til midnight every night and running around during the day like a chicken with my head cut off to keep all the plates spinning.  Hearing Easton say that to me makes it all worth-while.  my priorities are unchanging even in the midst of our busy self-imposed schedule.  That's what leads to a life without regrets.

My bike has been sitting untouched in my garage for weeks now.  I knew this busy season would mean putting a hold on "me time".  Even so, I squeaked in an hour ride at South Mountain just to keep the wheels greased and get my heart rate up for some cardio activity.  I picked the record high temperature day where the 88 degree weather was 18 degrees above normal.  No big deal.  just a little extra sweat dripping down my brow as I climb the hills.  better than shoveling snow! This was the one selfish thing I did during the three day weekend.

For another adventure I took the twins to the park with some church friends.  Easton brought his scooter to ride in the skate park.  I was amazed by his no-fear attitude and skills of riding up and down the ramps.

After his second time to the skate park he wants a two-wheel Razor thing because that's what everyone else was riding.  I was happy for him to have a stable three-wheel scooter until he gets the hang of his balance better.  You can tell by the smile on his face he is on his way to developing a new hobby.

Cement isn't very forgiving when it comes to faces and body parts.  Letting Easton ride whatever he has the confidence for is another step of letting go and allowing Easton to take risks.  I should probably be more concerned, but he knows his limits well and I trust him more all the time.

Another risky activity I let him join in was football.  He already plays flag football during the PE class at his school.  He was catching, throwing, and tackling like a champ.  He even engaged in the dog pile where some strange kids and an unknown adult were wrestling to get control of the ball.

Meanwhile, Layla spent the park hour playing kittens on the playground equipment with her friends.  Joya and Kylie are a few years older than her, but I love for her to spend time with kind, friendly, older girls.  They are a good influence on her!

Time to get back to work so I can go to sleep by 1 AM.  Only 10 more days until we are through the finish line!

see you soon.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sports Season Kick-off

Greetings friends and family,

With my birthday coming up, Kendra said there is interest to have a birthday list.  I've decided to open a "Buy Bronson a Birthday BBQ" fund.  What I really want (and need) is a new propane BBQ grill.  Mine is ancient and falling apart.  The lighter is broken, the pan is warped, the temp gauge is broken, and burners are getting rusted.  I got my money out of the cheap grill, but need to get a real nice one since we are committed to eating at home more than ever.

I have more pictures and stories than time allotted to write about it, but we are three weeks away from the end of our "busy season" so there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Our big conference is 12 days away and we have about 25 days worth of work to do to prepare.  wish I were exaggerating, but we are only given 24 hours in a day.  With time taken for work, kids, and taking care of ourselves there are only a few hours left each day.  that's what we are making the most of.  I don't feel guilty for blogging, but I do feel like there is void if I don't get to blog.  so here I am.  Now, on to the real fun...  life with twins.

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" is an old adage.  Easton and I are proof, there is truth to that.  Notice the similarities in our cowlick.  We had a good laugh pointing at each other's hair.  It was like looking in a mirror in some ways.

On Valentine's Day I woke up extra early and gave Kendra the gift of relaxation.  I helped the kids get ready for school, took them out for breakfast, and drove them to school before starting my work day.   She was able to sleep in and leisurely get around with peace and quiet.  

Sometimes the best gifts are significant for what they don't contain more than what they do.  Kendra and I are not big celebrators of holidays on the official date just for the sake of saying we did it on the actual day.  We have no desire to scrounge for a babysitter to go fight the crowds in a restaurant and pay 4 x the normal amount for roses.  so we don't.  we simply choose not to make it a big deal.  
Instead we had a somewhat normal day of work and school and church efforts followed by dinner at home with the 4 Webbs, a few rounds of SkipBo (card game) and an evening of working on speaking notes for the conference.  

the other outing for Valentine's day was a hike, without Mommy.  I gave them a choice of three well-known hikes.  they chose what we call "the peaks", which is a rapid ascent of  altitude where get to eat snacks at the furthest point before running our way back down.  We stopped on the second peak to get a quick picture.  

Every hiker we passed all the way up and down received a "Happy Valentine's Day" greeting from Layla and a "Have a great hike!" from Easton.  Their infectious smiles and conversations made their day for several hikers.  There were several who were stone faced or grumpy who passed by us and were lit up like a gust of happiness that washed over them as we passed.  It is truly something to behold, watching these two spread good cheer like it's coming from a fire hose.

Easton finds humor in the oddest things.  I ran ahead of them (no small feat) and turned to take a picture of them running by.  Easton launched off a rock and stuck his hand out while making a funny noise.  

The three of us stopped to look at Easton's picture and we howled with laughter.  Not just a little "ha".  i mean the three of us were doubled over with cackling laughter.  that was one of those moments we will probably never forget.  The simplest things are fun if the right people are experiencing it together.

Kendra was still recovering from a brief fight with sickness on Saturday morning so I took princess Layla to her soccer game while leaving Big Time at home with Mommy.  This was Layla's second game on the girl's league and my first to attend.  She offered to sit out for the first rotation of teammates.  She sat on my lap and said, "can I take pictures with your camera?"

Sure thing!  why not?  She snapped several pics.  We analyzed each on by allowing her to share what she likes about the picture as well as what I see she did well (lighting, subjects, camera stillness, etc.)

I used my phone camera to take that picture of us.  She has such an eye for beauty it is extraordinary to watch her work.  She got the call from the coach to go play and off she went.  Two minutes later she scored a goal (1 of 2 in the whole game).  This is her "hooray" look after she scored.

During half-time the girls gathered around a little boy's toy box that contain 101 Dalmatian figurines.  The coach lost his will to compete with such cuteness after his attempt to give a pep talk was completely ignored.

After a quick blow of the whistle signaled the second half to begin, Layla was back to it with vigor. She stopped a few shots on her goal and convinced her team to stand squarely in front of the goal, which is totally illegal, but they did it anyway.

She is doing very well in the girls league because it is such a gentle, slow-paced event compared to the rough and tumble games of the boy's league from last year.  She has no problem stealing the ball from opponents and driving it down field with speed.

I was impressed with her strength and toughness because of the improvements even since just last season.

afterwards we stopped by Jamba Juice for a healthy kale-infused smoothie.  She still loves to spend time with just the two of us hanging out talking.  I'm going to keep this way of interacting functioning as long as possible.

we're counting down the days for Ouma's arrival and begging her to come sooner so we can focus on the tasks at hand while not having to worry about where the twins are or whether they are being taken care of.  Can't hurt to ask...

See you soon!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Leaders are Readers

Greetings friends and family,

Tam and David are our good friends and have been for years now.  She made us a crock pot of chicken soup and dropped it off for dinner.  This was a great gesture, but the back story is what makes it truly amazing.  She has a few jobs (real estate, business administrator, house cleaning service, etc.) and she took on the time-consuming task of designing and publishing the workbook for the conference Kendra and I will teach in a few weeks.  I'm grateful, but in a way that my words aren't able to convey.  It's one thing to give a few hours of time when you have an abundance.  True sacrifice is giving many hours to something with no profit when your time is already squeezed.  I just want to express my gratitude and write out how this feels to have great friends who go the extra mile with us and for us.

While many of my family are digging out from snow or praying for rain to ease the drought we are here in Phoenix saying, "Let's go play in the grass!"

I come in the door from work and feel the twin-pact of Uno and Dos running me over to get hugs.  That brief moment is all I need after a long day of work.  I switch hats from manager/employee to king daddy and away we go.  The twins are over their sick days with only an occasional cough or sneeze as a remnant.  Kendra and I are both barely past the "I would cut my nose off so it stops running if I had the strength" phase.  We moved onto the recovery stage where we don't quite feel good enough to exercise, but as long as we are sitting still everything cooperates well.

There are dandelions randomly popping through the grass by the park.  The twins picked every feathery top and blew off the seeds while making wishes.

Layla wouldn't tell me what she wished for, but there are some things it is ok to keep secret from Daddy.  This is one...  I can't think of anything else because we don't have secrets in our house.  We cultivate an atmosphere of openness in all aspects.  For example, during our high-low sharing at dinner time we found out Easton kissed a girl and Layla pulled a girl's tooth out.

These were both presented as a "low", but Kendra and I had to exercise extreme self-control no to laugh through both of their stories.

Layla's friend was showing her loose tooth to some friends.  Layla offered to pull it.  the friend accepted.  Layla reached in her mouth and yanked it out!   No blood or screaming or anything like that.  She was being helpful and Layla's friend received it as such.  However, the playground monitor didn't know about their accord.   They both were reprimanded, but Kendra and I congratulated her while encouraging her to act appropriately next time and avoid pulling teeth on the playground.

Easton is a loving boy.  He gives away hugs and kisses to our family as easily and often as Layla gives away smiles.  He has a girlfriend named Jordan.  He doesn't know what the term girlfriend means.  He just knows she is a girl and is his friend.  end of story.  Apparently they were on the playground during recess and Easton gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  somebody ratted him out and he was reprimanded.  He was slightly shameful when he told us the story, but Kendra and I congratulated him on being such a loving boy while encouraging him to act appropriately next time by obeying school policy of no kissing.

These two are such joys.

Layla is way ahead of her class with regards to reading skills.  Easton is somewhere in the middle, but gaining ground quickly.  When we look at signs as we drive and when I read a book, the twins correct me and know when I'm not fully reading every word.  I get a lot of "what's that word?" questions now and sometimes I don't really want to answer.  Here is Easton reading his book for homework.  His hat is supposed to be George Washington's hat because they learned about presidents day.  Watching a six-year-old read simple sentences isn't superhero worthy.  However, I am certain that leaders are readers.  That means he is taking his first steps towards being a leader.

The birthday week/month is over...  i think.  There was one final gift I wanted to give Layla that I am too cheap to pay retail for.  I finally found a good used one on Craigslist and bought it.  Yes, that is obviously wrapped by Daddy.  Guess what?  Layla didn't care.

She eagerly tore off the wrapping paper and knew exactly what it was before the first layer was gone.

It's a Zuca bag.  You might be thinking, "a WHAT bag?"  I was too before entering the world of ice skating.  This is a steel frame and attached case that is made for ice skate transportation.  Inside the doors of the ice skating rink you'll find kids pulling their stuff around in the same way you would find adults pulling their luggage through an airport terminal.  The pink polka dots and light-up wheels make this one perfect fit.  It only took four weeks of daily searching Craigslist and negotiating for me to get my hands on one.  She was thrilled!

It gave me yet another opportunity to explain what a gift is.  Many people give gifts with conditions.  Meaning, they give something, but it is based on past performance or future expectations.  We despise that at the Casa de Webb.  When you get something as a good consequence for performance that not a gift.  A gift is something we choose to give Easton or Layla because we love them.  period.  I make sure they understand that a gift is my choice to give, but that's where I stop.  True gifts are given without any expectations.

That's the nature and character of God and that's my role as father of the twins:  to imitate God and form their image of Him through my parenting as a father.  If I give gifts only when they deserve it then they will not know grace.  They will only know performance and awards based on merit.  If I give gifts with expectations of what they do with it, then I remove their ability to choose and turn it into conditional giving.  That's not the way God gives so that's not the way we give.  I'm not suggesting we are perfect, but we have a role model that sets the standard for our parenting.  Parenting is much easier when all I have to do is imitate God...  Assuming you know the nature and character of God.

See you soon!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Just Being Six Years Olds

Greetings friends and family,

The birthday celebration is mostly over except for a few decorations strung in the kitchen and a piece of left over cake.  The twins had many serenades from grandparents and friends who sang Happy Birthday to them.  I only captured one on video since Ouma and Oupa are the only ones who Skype with us.

Easton and Layla smiled proudly each time someone called and sang.  Their birthday gifts were plentiful and perfectly tailored.  Thank you to everyone who sent a card or gift!  I bought Layla's ice skates as her main gift from me.  For Easton I found the Mega Bloks Probuilder Space Shuttle (like Legos) on Craigslist. I am a Craigslist fiend lately because I like nice things, but dislike paying retail.  This set was $200 new.  I got it for $10 and some pieces are already pre-assembled (hooray).  We started building it last night, but with 2000 pieces in the box I expect this will be a long project much like the International Space Station model.

The 4 Webbs drove across town to meet with some friends.  On the drive there Easton browsed his library book about Mars.  He's starting to read really well so these adult books are becoming even more interesting than before.

Layla played on the iPad.  Her favorite game is a pet shop owner game.  I'm all for whatever meets her pet needs virtually.  we are not ready for the real deal yet in the Webb house.

While at our friend's house we spent much of the time in their front yard soaking in the sun.  Layla picked some flowers from their plants and gave them to me.  These two are much more thoughtful than I remember being at age 6.

Easton is not much of an outside kind of kid, but he does enjoy swinging the golf clubs.  He's much rather spend time with me playing in legos and star wars in his room.  I bribe him outside by offering to hit golf balls in the green belt.

His swing is coming along nicely.  He is working on keeping both feet on the ground instead of coming out his shoes as he rotates around.  I'm thinking baseball might be a good fit too, but it's not good to get golf and baseball swings confused.

All 4 Webbs are in some state of "sick" now. Some are recovering and some are still snot-nosed and lethargic.  This is a rare situation for all of us to be caught with a bug at the same time.  I hear this is a standard part of acclimating to kindergarten...  times 2.  As with all things, this too shall pass.  Looking forward to health and energy very soon.

See you soon!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The big SIX

Hello friends and family,

It is with mixed emotions I share with you the last picture of Easton and Layla as five-year-olds.

On this morning as they rushed out the door for just another ordinary day of school I was mourning and cheering the last day before their sixth birthday.  The mourning is for the sad reality that my "small children" are now "kids".  The cheering is for the continued growth, maturity, and sprouting personalities that will come from their sixth trip around the sun.  Layla agreed to stop wetting her pullups at night and Easton agreed to stop sucking his thumb.  No one told me I'd be dealing with these issues through their sixth birthday, but I know parenting doesn't come with a manual.

Let me back up a day though.  Wednesday was Layla's group skate lesson.  I've been searching for used figure skates for the past month, but nothing came up on my online or local shop radar.  I mentioned our search to the instructor who took me to a back room filled with gear where I waited outside.  She brought out a pair of almost new skates and sold them to me for $25.  These are about $130 new so I thanked her asked Layla, "Do you want these as your birthday gift?"  She quickly nodded and I said, "Happy Birthday to you!"

Took her a few minutes to get used to the bigger toe pick and precision blade, but after a couple of falls she was skating circles around the instructor.

OK, then jump over over my day of mourning and cheering on Thursday to their big birthday, Friday.  I went to work and they went to school.  My schedule included meetings up to 1:00 so no lunch for this guy.  I went straight to Easton and Layla's school to pick them up and then rushed home to meet Kendra.  She drove out East to fetch Zander and Joya, their two friends.  We will have a big birthday party in a few weeks with a bounce house and a house full of people, but for their actual birthday we gave them some choices.  We said they could choose one friend each and do one activity.  Layla chose Joya as her friend and ice skating as the activity.

Layla smiled her way through her first full private lesson.  The instructor said she is a joy to work with and has real potential.  

Her friend Joya had a great time skating, but she wasn't much better than the only other person on the ice rink, a four-year-old newbie.  After Layla's lesson the three of them skated around while Layla taught them some basics.

Is Layla getting comfortable on the ice?  Absolutely!  She laid down on the ice for a few seconds and just absorbed the atmosphere before realizing she was getting wet.  

Easton chose Zander as his friend and golf as his activity.  The monthly golf lesson happened to fall on Easton's birthday.  I rushed the girls home, then drove the boys straight to First Tee.  Zander played golf a few times in his short life so he wasn't completely new to the idea.  The coach to student ratio was roughly 1 to 3, which is really great considering his teacher to student ratio in Kindergarten is 1 to 24.

The two boys goofed off more than I was used to when Easton was here alone, but I didn't care because they were just here to have fun.    

Things got serious a couple of times when they were concentrating on putting.  They cheered each other on during the hour-long lesson and I had a great time watching then enjoy the perfect weather and fun in learning.

Easton mistakenly believes that whoever hits the ball the furthest wins.  That's great from off the tee box. but he carries that idea over to chipping and putting.  The coach only had to yell "fore" once that day.

After golf ended we packed up the van and drove immediately home where Kendra, the girls, and her parents were waiting for the birthday celebration.  We ate homemade tacos and dove right into the cake and festivities.  Happy birthday to Easton and Layla!  

The kids played in the hot tub while us adults hung out on the back patio wrapped up in blankets.  We don't have very many friends who are close enough to let our hair down and fun enough to enjoy our company.  All four of them get along with all four of us Webbs.  I know, it's not a miracle, but sure makes for pleasant times together when it all lines up.  It's relatively easy for a single person to find a single friend and get along.  However, when you throw two couples into the mix and both couple's kids it doesn't always work out well for everyone.  We are very grateful for the few close families we share life with on a regular basis.  

See you soon!