Saturday, December 3, 2016

Turkey Weekend

Greetings family!

This is the Thanksgiving edition of the 4 Webbs.  I have some pics from our Thanksgiving day, but unfortunately I didn't wrangle all of us together for a family photo even though we had almost 5 full days together.  

This Thanksgiving was spent with Kendra's mom's best friend's sister's family...  I know that is a long way removed from a personal connection, but we were happy to experience some togetherness with some great people who welcomed us in.  We spent the evening out on the deck overlooking the Puget Sound and figuring out who's who with the cousins and friends.

Easton and Layla miss cousin time with our Sacramento family and Missouri family, but this is making due with what we have and finding community in a whole new way.  The young adult son who lived there had a massive collection of Lego models and video games for the boys.  Consequently, Easton played all evening and wasn't ready to go home.  Layla played with Evelyn as they discovered the joys of Mad Libs.  Still a big hit since my childhood.

Kendra met me at work one day for a lunch date.  This is something so simple and normal to everyone else, but not to me.  This is amazing to me because she is alive for starters.  Even more than that she is healed and well and healthy enough to drive herself in our new van and go for a walk with me around campus as we hold hands.  I pray that i never lose the gratitude and amazement for the miracle of just being with Kendra each day.  I don't care what her hair looks like or if she even has any hair at all.  I'm just extraordinarily thankful for the chance to sit across the table from her and talk about life over lunch.

There are real benefits to having a twin.  For example, when you can't get that little Alf-alfa clump of hair to go down, there is a sister who is more than happy to dump water on your head and mash it down with a brush.

The Webb household made another leap forward in child rearing.  The twins are becoming self-sufficient enough to do their own morning routine.  Easton wakes up at o'dark thirty and waits for 7:00am to roll around before waking Layla.  The two of them get dressed, make their lunch, eat breakfast (including taking vitamins), and take care of Max.  All of this is done with minimal arguing.  What a day to be alive!  I didn't know how long this would take, but apparently the answer is 8 years and 10 months.

I remember thinking, "when will these babies stop burping up globs of gross stuff after every time they eat?  Then, one day it happened.  They stopped spitting up and those crusty re-used rags I draped over my shoulder were put away for good.  I don't even know the exact day that happened, but at some point I thought, "hey they stopped spitting up!" without even knowing it.

The number of times where we have daylight hours and warm enough temps to go for hikes is dwindling as we head into winter.  That's why every chance I get, we load up Max and hit the trail.  The twins stepped into the river, ankle deep, in their waterproof rain boots and walked back and forth a few times.  I wanted to say, "be careful!"  and "don't walk too deep or you'll get water in your boots!"  but I didn't.  We've reached the stage where i get to enjoy watching them choose and succeed or fail.   They have to.  If not, i'll be forever worrying and commanding and protecting them from every little thing.

As we walked through the dog park, the sun broke through the clouds and shined down on us like a spotlight on stage.  I gathered the twins and Max for a photo of what we did.  We closed our eyes, faced the sun, and just soaked in the rays.

Our apartment complex has a clubhouse.  in that clubhouse is a big room where Easton is learning to fly his quad copter.  He wants a drone, but the starter version I bought for him must be mastered first.  As we were playing I noticed a chess set on a table.  He and I sat down and we played through a game of chess for the first time.  He's a smart boy and gets strategy very well.  I tried a couple of years ago to teach chess, but he was uninterested.  However, this time he was the one who asked to play and he's asked a few times since this picture when we can do it again.

This picture caused enormous laughter and giggling for several minutes.  Allow me to introduce the most humorous face swap ever.

When the twins look at the picture they burst out in laughter because it looks almost believable.  I took the pic while we waited in line for the ginger bread village located in a fancy Sheraton in downtown Seattle.  I saw a cub scout acquaintance post a Facebook picture of their visit.  Being the spontaneous dad with no responsibilities other than work, we loaded up the battle wagon and headed for downtown.  We waited in line for about 45 minutes and Kendra said it was worth it.  The Harry Potter themed village was a work of delicious art.  The twins have not seen any of the movies yet so Kendra did lots of explaining as we admired the work.

Taking pictures of kids is difficult because if they are in front of something visually stimulating, it is
nearly impossible to get a natural smile while forcing them to turn around with threats.

We went to the ocean because... we can.  While in downtown Seattle we decided to go to a state park nearby.  Kendra stayed in the van because we didn't get a parking pass at the visitor's center before driving down to the waterfront.  Layla immediately looks for shells.  Easton skips rocks.  just like clockwork I know exactly what the two of them will do as soon as their feet touch the shoreline.

and I just get to help them find shiny shells and smooth rocks.  I'm glad they are so unique.  makes parenting so much more interesting.  I made them get into the picture and said to make a weird face.  Layla came up with that and Easton had no idea what i even meant by it.

We walked by an old lighthouse in Discovery Park.  It was closed and raining so we did a quick peek in the windows and kept on going.  They've seen enough light houses in the past few months to last them another year or two.  The rain was steady and annoying.  This is the most rain Seattle has ever recorded in the month of October and November is the rainiest month of the year on average.  That means we're getting immersed in the local scene in fine fashion.  

Easton is into Pokemon.  Layla is mildly interested, but only because it is something she can play with Easton.  I told him I would buy him a set of Pokemon cards if he completed all memorization and understanding and work to get his first badge in cub scouts.  I was shocked at the motivation and speed at which he became Mr. "I can do anything I put my mind to".  He did it all in one afternoon.  I'm a man of my word so we went to Target before bedtime to fulfill my end of the bargain.  He is really getting excited about cub scouts and Pokemon!  The thing i like most about the trading card game is that he invited me into his world.  I learned the rules with him and play the game almost every day.  Not because I think it's awesome, but because I am interested in him and whatever he is pursuing.  When he says, "come on, Dad!  sit here with me and look through my cards."  I am overjoyed inside because he still wants me to be in his world.  i'm interested in maintaining this level of connection through his whole life and it starts with the little things like this.

See you soon!

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