Monday, September 8, 2014

The Great Phoenix Flood

Greetings friends and family,

I've been in a bit of a blog funk lately with no explanation for lack of interest.  It isn't a lack of time because I believe what I preach when I say "you make time for what's important".  The only culprit I can think of is how I added P90X3 to my daily routine.  My typical schedule is:

work until 5
play with the twins 5-6
dinner 6-6:30
bedtime routine 6:30-7
P90X3 7-7:30
Then I do all the stuff I've been putting off all day that needs to be done from about 7:30-8
Kendra and I spend time together 8-9
By 9:00 Kendra is ready for bed and the desktop computer in our bedroom needs to power down so Kendra can go to sleep without the droning hum noise.

During my "free time" at work I do church and ministry stuff like phone calls, emails, and planning. That doesn't leave much time for blogging even though the thoughts of writing and sharing come up regularly.  The other missing component is the pictures.  I have a few I take now and then, but the twins are at the age now where things move so fast that I rarely have a camera ready to click when those moments happen.

Easton shoots milk out of his nose from laughing, Layla sings a spontaneous song about My Little Pony characters, or I get dog-piled as I come in the door from work.  Those little things that I find interesting or descriptive of life with twin come and go so quickly they are hard to capture.

When they were babies and didn't move I had all the shutter time in the world to snap some pictures.  Even when they became mobile it was still easy to make a funny noise and get them to freeze.  This is one of my favorite old pics from when they were one year olds.

As I'm thinking through the reasons why i'm not prioritizing the blog posts, there is also the "value" conversation in my head that sounds something like this:  "I don't have the '5 ways to be a great parent' list or the '7 ways to teach your kids to obey' article".  Many blogs are just Dear Abbey newspaper articles written by average moms who don't have 1/100th of the character or wisdom of Abigail Van Buren.

I guess I consider this to be a niche market blog for friends and family who are interested in my family's lives enough to keep up with what we are doing.  For example, I added a post to facebook about seeing the movie with Easton and Zander, but what I didn't put in there is how Zander taught Easton how to fart with his armpit.

I know...  not exactly a monumental milestone.  Even so, I laughed right along with them and let the boys be boys, even in a public movie theater.  There were only about 10 people in the whole theater and it was before the previews even started.  I'm loosing up a bit in my old age.  I shrug my shoulders a lot more lately when Easton and Layla do something questionable or less than proper, even in public.  I want to teach them self-control and that only comes when they are able to experience the way sowing and reaping works.  If they sow seeds, then they must reap.  The other stuff about being proper and caring what society thinks is secondary to me.  I don't want to attempt to control their behavior just to make myself feel better about the way they are acting.  I don't control them.   I can't.  that's a tough thing for a parent to admit, but because I learned and accepted this early on I get a sense of freedom that other parents may never experience.

What do I control?  that's the wrong question.  What am I, as a parent, responsible for?  Now we're talking.  I see my role as teacher and giver of good and bad consequences.  God is not fair, but he is just.  I am not fair, but I am just.  It's an easy concept to get if you know where to look.

Anyway, I found this other picture of Easton jumping from the high dive and wanted to share his bravery.  Next stop?  sky diving...  or space walking. which ever comes first.

Our weather just got crazy.  normally weather in Phoenix is the most boring topic, but we had a dust storm and a broken record of the most rain to ever fall in one day in our town.  The dust storm had zero rain, but it brought dirt and wind that sandblasted our neighborhood.  This was a cool and ominous view from our backyard.

The rain and thunder and lightening started at 2:00AM and lasted about 4 hours.  Easton and Layla slept right through it.  I was amazed no one crawled into bed with us.  We normally get 7 inches per year of precipitation, but in these 8 hours we got 5 inches.  The pool was less than an inch from overflowing!

Kendra and I worked together to dig trenches to fix drainage problems.  We were both soaked to the bone.  Three neighborhood boys were floating on their air mattresses in the greenbelt!  That's how insanely deep the water was behind our house.  Not sure how Kendra felt about our teamwork experience, but I had a lot of fun with the two of us doing yard work in the rain together.  Hopefully the water damage in the garage is insignificant.

I gave Layla and Easton a few bites of ice cream one evening between dinner and bath.  They started licking the bowl and made a real mess of themselves.  If you define maturity as 'knowing when to be silly', which I do, then there are times when it's ok to just laugh and be silly.  They never do this during dinner time and certainly not when we are out with company, but I'm happy they feel comfortable enough with me as their dad to do silly things like get chocolate sauce all over their face.

There are some parents who still use the "command and control" style of parenting, but more and more I'm moving towards the freedom mindset.  I want Easton and Layla to know I'm not in control of them.  They are.  They are responsible for their lives and their choices.  Was being silly and laughing worth having the extra effort of having to wash off the chocolate in bathtub?  Apparently so.

See you soon.

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