Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Settling in Seattle

Greetings family,

Today is just another Monday.  There were months in 2015 when I dreamed of a plain old Monday where I go to work and Kendra stays home and the kids go to school.  I won't suggest we are back to the same ole' same ole', but there is so much peacefulness in getting back to basics and back to simplicity.  Kendra is experiencing some pain still in her back and hips, but it's nothing compared to what she went through last year.  Layla and Easton are not liking school because their classmates are not being kind to them, but i'm glad for them to be on the other side of the "new kid" equation and understand how they can respond to new kids once they get established next year.  My job is roughly twice as time consuming as my last job and i'm in over my head technically, but i'm grateful for every meeting and decision and success. 

My 12 year old car with 110,000 miles ( the one I brag about how awesome it is) cost me $3,500 in repairs in the past week.  sure beats having a car payment, but I'm really starting to question the financial smarts of keeping it another 5 years while we pay off the van.  This is the kind of stuff that my dad/husband brain thinks about in my idle time.  Hoping for a smooth winter with no car problems...

Kendra's hair is in that in-between stage where it's not short enough to just wash and go, but it's not long enough to put in a pony tail.  So Layla brushes her hair and keeps her from cutting it off when she gets frustrated about it.

When Ouma cleans, she uses the special gloves.  When Layla cleans, which is a new thing around our house, she also uses the same gloves.  She said, "wow, it's not so disgusting to touch yucky food with these on".

Layla is back on the ice.  She has a new coach, new rink, and new routines.  Now it's time to get her some new skates too since she grew out of her old ones.  I am thankful for a flexible work schedule here similar to what i had at my old job where i can be an active part of the kid's world in the afternoons.

See that white stuff on the mountains?  yeah, so...  we're gonna get some snow.  but if we don't then we'll be going up to it this winter.

Easton needed the cub scout gear in order to jump in with the program.  we went to the boy scout Mecca in Seattle where they have every badge and book and piece of gear you could think of.  He'll be ready to join in at the first of the year when the holidays are over.

I told him to look scared for this next picture of the bigfoot holding him in a headlock, but he doesn't even have a scared look that I know of.  He's a little too serious sometimes for a third grader, but whatever he puts his mind to, he can accomplish so i'm expecting him to jump in with both feet as a scout.

The other big news for the Webbs is that our house loan is approved, appraised, completed, and almost closed.  we close officially on December 7th and move in on the 16th!  We are all tired of living out of a suitcase and ready to really settle into our new life in Seattle

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Family Time Webb Style

Greetings family,

We went for a family hike on Veterans day after I finished my work.  The twins had the day off from school, but this year veterans day was not a holiday at my company.  We wandered out into the woods on the clearly marked, well groomed trails with Max.  There was a particular place where we were surrounded by trees and moss and leaves.  Kendra said it looked like a set from Lord of the Rings.  I had to zoom in to get our family, but the original pic shows the grandeur of the trees a little better. 

Easton and Layla finally experienced what it is like to take a drink from a clean, rushing stream.  we've been around water all of their lives, but this is a whole new experience. 

I caught this candid picture of Easton as he came running towards kendra with a daisy he picked along side of the trail.  He was so proud to give her flowers and she was grateful enough to slide it behind her ear and wear it proudly through the rest of our hike.

At one point this week he asked me to leave his room because he didn't want to be around me.  that situation didn't go so well for him, but tonight as we hung out at the hobby shop for a boys night out he said, "dad even when i said I didn't want to be around you the other night, i didn't mean that at all.  i love to spend time with you."  I will continue to see him as that loving boy who desires to be his father even when his words and responses don't match that.

The other big news, or insignificant detail (depends on who is reading this)...  kendra has a new car!  Our new battle wagon is a brand new 2016 Honda Odyssey. After being a one-car family for the last few months it was refreshing to have my own set of wheels now to get to works.  I happily cruise around in my 13 year old car and I'm super excited for Kendra to have a new ride that will keep her and the twins in business for the next 9 years.

and in other news...  This is the new Webb residence!  We are downsizing from our home in Phoenix, but this place will work out fine.  It is a good compromise for Kendra and I both.  Kendra went to view the house, we made an offer, and it was accepted on the first day on the market...  without me ever seeing it.  I trust her that much.  When we did our walk through of it with the real estate guy I was able to see inside and start to imagine the 4 Webbs living in it.

We have been waiting impatiently for the appraisal on our house to complete because that was the final piece to the puzzle for us to be highly confident in the closing process.  The house appraised for exactly what we paid (surprise surprise?) and now we just sit and twiddle our thumbs waiting for the closing date, which is exactly the day we will be kicked out of our corporate housing.  This is planning for the best and trusting things will work out in the end.  Kendra is spending every waking moment planning the remodel work she is hoping we can afford.

This post is just a collection of random pics so I'll jump from buying a house to hanging out with Chewbacca, Kendra bought the mask that makes chewbacca noises when the person wearing it opens their mouth.  Easton gave it a try because his pajamas are already a perfect match for the costume.  We all had a good laugh with him as we played star wars characters.

Alaysha is becoming a part of our family more all the time.  She goes out with Kendra for girl's movie night and hangs out with the twins sometimes when Kendra and I would like to be out running errands or going on a date together.  She goes to visit churches with us on Sundays and helps around the house as a part of our great team.

I'm extra happy to have Ouma with us and for our 3 bedroom corporate housing apartment that accommodates everyone.  We had a solid week of Ouma time where she was able to spend quality time with Kendra while the kids were in school.

After the rainiest October ever for Seattle, we are happy to be seeing more sunshine in November.  That leads to more park days with the twins.

This next picture is one of my favorite of the year.  Seeing the twins interacting with the fall weather is a welcomed new experience.  The leaves are almost all off the trees and the wind blows a little more often.  The sun goes down earlier now that we are shackled by daylight saving time, but that's just a part of life in the NorthWest.

We have no friends, but we have each other and that's good enough for me.  Kendra isn't doing as well with the loneliness and I'm concerned about her health, but this is one of the many situations where I am not in control and have no control of the outcome.  I accept that, but it doesn't make it any easier for this husband to watch his wife struggle with the massive changes in our lives.

She knows how to keep it together around the kids though, which is good for their stability.  We have moments of family togetherness where things feel so right for me.  Kendra was reading some science fiction kid's book on a lazy afternoon one day.  The four of us cuddled together as we get comfortable in our low-key simple season of life

Easton and Layla are growing so fast that it seems like changes are daily.  They get longer and leaner and stronger.  Easton puts his hands up to mine every few days just like he has for years.  we do this often and he tells me how big his hands are getting.  He's got a long way to go, but this is one of our regular routines that I find endearing.  he still holds my hand in public.  I don't know how much longer that will last, but for now we are both still comfortable with it.

This is taken in front of our current residence in Redmond.  Between our downtown corporate housing lifestyle in Bellevue and our home purchase in suburban Bothell, we are gratefully comfy in our three bedroom apartment in Redmond.  The kids ride the bus to school every day.  That's a huge change from us driving them 20 minutes one way every morning and afternoon.  kendra is loving the bus ride schedule...

Layla and Easton are both good readers.  Layla is most interested in big books about fairy tales.  She burst into our room this week and announced she finished the Emily Windsnap book.  sorry it is sideways.  i'm too lazy to go fix the orientation because Blogger sucks and doesn't have good tools for managing photos.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Different Zoo

Hello family,
The 4 Webbs are adjusting daily to the new surroundings and it's not without a little stress and stretching.  Max has a fungus in his ears and a rash on his body that itches like crazy.  Kendra took him to the vet and bought some medicine so hopefully his minor glitch will be solved with some drops in his ears and a change of dog food. 
The twins are adjusting to their third school in three months.  Phoenix, the school of Kendra, and now Redmond.  It's a crash course in being uncomfortable, but as a parent i'm responsible to prepare them for grown up life, so there you go. 
There is a hiking trail in a state park just 5 minutes from our apartment complex.  The climate is a stark contrast to our desert hikes and we are fully experiencing the difference.  moss grows on everything except our feet because we keep moving!   

I took the twins for a visit to the Woodlawn zoo on Saturday because the weather was unseasonably perfect and we needed some exercise.  If you've seen one zoo then you've seen them all, but this experience was awesome because all of the animals were close up and active.  

I was taking pictures of the twins and a lady walked by.  She said, "do you want to be in the picture?"  Well, yes I do!  we're just riding a bronze hippo.

Layla climbed on a lion statue to rest and admire the colorful trees. 

Easton is also known as "how about me" so he hoped up on another statue and smiled with cheese. 

Easton's favorite exhibit was no contest:  the great grey owl!  There were two majestic ones sitting and watching as the people wondered by.  Easton was mesmerized by them and describing all the details he knows about owls.

Layla's favorite exhibit was the otter.  This one was going back and forth doing laps in the pond like an Olympic swimmer. 

I'm happy about having the time to spend with the kids so much lately.  With no friends, no ministry, no house, no hobbies...  I have all the time in the world.  I know it is a short stage in the game of life and in our transition phase.  They'll be into their own sports and hobbies soon enough.  I'll be in my own work and ministry path.  but for now we are having family time every single evening and all weekend long. 

See you soon!