Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Birthday finally over

Howdy family,

I'm finally wrapping up the birthday pics and stories because this feels like a never ending story.  The twins will stretch out the festivities as long as they are getting presents, celebration time, or cupcakes.  Eating out with the 4 Webbs is always an adventure.  Kendra and the twins were making a similar face and I had a good laugh as I caught their simultaneous expressions.  I had them recreate the look so I could capture it in a picture.

Kendra and Layla look more alike every day.

Alaysha was on the birthday bandwagon express and joined in with gift giving.  She is very thoughtful and fits in so well as a big sister.  Layla received a heart shaped vanity mirror because there are zero mirrors on the second floor of our abode.  She gave Easton the ultimate guide to pokemon characters.  Now he's a walking pokemon encyclopedia who knows what turns into something else and all of their stats.

We vistited Doyle and Christy one evening because they are the only friends we have here in Seattle who have known us longer than a couple of months.  They prepared a great home-cooked meal for us, including a perfect birthday moment with singing to them and blowing out candles on cupcakes.

There is something very comforting about being around someone who knows you and has a history.  We appreciate them very much and hope they will also give Ouma and Oupa one more reason to come visit more often.

When I wrote the previous post i didn't have all of the pics yet from my daddy day with Easton.  This is the official space needle picture we took before getting on the elevator.  I like the other one better where Easton is on my back, but this one looks a little more enticing because there is a sunset.

We are still discovering local parks on the brief breaks in the weather.  I told them we are going to a new place so be prepared for it to be great or terrible.  Turned out to be very age appropriate and enjoyable.  Plenty of structures to climb on and other kids to run around with.  you can't have adventures without adventuring!

During one of our many outings to Target, we found a lego batman scavenger hunt was being conducted by the store.  We walked around to find all of the Batman pictures hung up in various locations.  Their prize was a tiny lego penguin and a poster that we threw away the day after we earned them because they didn't really care that much about the swag.

The biggest accomplishment of the month of February was getting to the very last unopened box from our move.  I am happy to announce that every single box has at least been opened and inspected.  Not all boxes are unpacked, but I'm happy to take one victory at a time.  We are still hanging pictures and painting, but there are some days where we don't do any home improvement task at all.  That means we are getting closer to being done with the move.

See you soon!

Friday, February 17, 2017

One-on-one birthday party

howdy fam,

The great birthday, which really was a week or a month, is finally ending and our nine year old twins are taking full advantage of our celebration atmosphere.  The weekend before their birthday was too cold and rainy so we planned a big day on the Saturday after.  I don't even know when this picture was taken, but it shows their normal mode of transportation any time our car ride takes longer than 20 minutes.  The wireless headsets and movie screen are very valuable.  They keep their coats on all the time and Max is a good middle-seat rider with us.

I took Easton for a one-on-one daddy birthday trip.  I told him we could go anywhere he wants and do whatever he wants, within reason.  He chose the Space Needle tour and the Museum of Fight.  The space needle was a big hit.  Easton was hyped up from the moment we arrived until we walked out of the gift store at the bottom.  The views were amazing.  We walked 360 degrees around the top while talking about every major landmark and odd thing we saw.  He did a report about it during our home school days in Bellevue.  The facts and details he knew about the space needle before we even went up was impressive.

Then we went to the museum where we wandered through thousands of square feet of indoor and outdoor displays.  fighter jets, old planes, and the best one was the Boeing 787 dreamliner.  We finally had the chance to walk through one and see the cockpit.

We ended our day with a trip to Target where he picked out some pokemon trading cards to add to his collection.  He has a couple of friends at school, but since he's still really new we didn't want to waste time and money on a party with a bunch of kids he may or may not be friends with in the next few years.

When i picked him up from school one day i discovered he was secretly trading pokemon cards with another kid.  apparently they are outlawed on campus so as soon as school hours were over he was wheelin' and dealin'.  This is by far his most passionate pursuit to date and i'm glad he is excited about something that requires him to use his memory, read, follow along in a big story, and interact with other kids.

Layla and Kendra had a mommy/daughter date while Easton and i were out on the town.  Layla had her first spa day including a manicure and shopping.  i'm not sure if Kendra took any pictures of her day-long birthday outting, but here's a picture of Layla and I from the birthday storm.  the pond didn't freeze this time, but it turned our neighborhood into a winter wonderland.  The other night at bedtime, after i said, "i love you!" she said, "Dad, you always say I love you a million times a day."  I said, "that's perfect.  exactly what I hope you will experience as my daughter."

See you soon!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Life in the PNW

Greetings family,

I'll have to go through this post one picture at a time because there are weeks and months worth of life.  One of the most important developments is how Kendra's CT scan came back negative and she is clean as a whistle.   No cancer, so let's get on with the more important things like family and settling into our new Washington world.  There's a lot going on in this picture.  Layla dessed up for the "decades" day at her school.  Easton did not participate because he could care less about those kinds of special occasions at school.  She dessed as the 80's girl and pulled it off smashingly.  The mud closet behind her is Kendra's special project.  This is just a mid-progress shot as you can see painters tape.

The 4 Webbs took an afternoon hike.  it's a rare occasion for all of us to go adventuring together because usually there is one parent working on house stuff and one parent out adventuring.  We took a half-mile hike down to lake washington through a green forest trail.

At the end of the trail is a shoreline and scenery that is spectacular in a peaceful, wintery sort of way.

There is a hollowed-out tree where Easton and Layla played for a while.  Easton invited me in and I had to crouch down to fit.  The inside opened up about 8 feet high into the middle of this massive tree.

Layla is always telling Max what to do and where to go because she is a natural leader.  Max willingly does what he's told.  This was a funny picture where he charged towards me when I opened my baggie of snacks.

Kendra pointed out how the trees have little buds sprouting out.  It was a prophetic moment where she was intensely tuned into new life happening, much like what's going on in her body.  Aliveness!

This is her official "cancer-free" picture since we found out her CT scan shows no signs of it anywhere.  We were both extremely relieved to say the least.  I sense Kendra is starting to dream again about her future and purposes of her life beyond just being a wife and mom.  I am way more excited about the future than she is, but hearing her talk about what God has in store for her and us is music to my ears.

Seattle froze.  I mean the whole city.  The twins and I walked down to the tiny pond in our neighborhood to find it frozen.  We skated and broke ice for hours on end.  Layla found this basket that froze in the middle of the pond.

They stayed still just long enough for me to snap a selfie and then they were off again attempting to break the ice finding ways to play soccer with the ice chunks.

Max didn't like his cold paws on the ice, but he stayed with us the whole time as we explored.  The twins had never been on a frozen anything other than an ice skating rink.  The experience was one they will never for get because it was super fun and an extreme departure from what they knew in Phoenix life.

Layla made friends at the ice skating rink, as we would expect.  The two of them were waiting around for the zamboni driver to finish his job.  Layla received some light-up gloves where the fingers flash a variety of neon colors.  She confidently glided onto the ice and completed her hour-long skate session while boldly flashing her lit hands around.  Figure skating created this odd dual nature in her where she gladly catches the attention of the whole rink while out on the ice, but in our own house or car she is bashful sometimes. 

But there are other moments when these two hams will be silly with me.  Their rooms are right against each other in our new house.  They go into each other's rooms often and have a secret slot on the front of each door where they each have a special key, which is just a safeway club card.  Imaginations are super important!

Alaysha went with the 4 Webbs on a family bike ride.  We tested out the ride to school and made it in seven minutes on our bikes.  During the spring, the twins will eventually ride their bikes to school together.  That'll be a big milestone for us all.  Anyway, Alaysha joins in with the kids on many levels including reading books, playing hide-and-seek, and swinging with them.  We are blessed to have her around!

Kendra's friend list is still really short since we are still getting settled.  Alaysha is great to have around for girl time with Kendra when I am just not able to fulfill all of her needs for connection and conversation.  The twins gave us a tour of their school and we ended up on the playground where a map of the US is painted.  These two danced around from state to state.

I love leading my family in many ways.  on bike rides, moving to a new state, and doing life together one day at a time.  this is one of my favorite pics from the last few weeks because it captures our whole crew in one action shot.

Easton informed us about an optional "science night" at their school.  Layla reluctantly agreed to go. we showed up to find the place was packed solid with most of their friends from class, their parents, and a gym full of interactive science experiments.  One exhibition was a tarantula petting table.  that's a real tarantula on Easton's hand.  as you can see by the smile on his face, he was amazed by the experience.  There are no pictures of Layla because she was off playing with her friends and avoiding the tarantula table.

During our family hike down to lake Washington Kendra took this picture of Easton and I walking out on the fallen tree together.  It's more artistic than my normal pics because Kendra is better than me at capturing these type of moments. 

One of the few advantages of moving into a house is the fun that boxes provide.  The twins made their own box caves up in the loft.  even though their rooms are a few steps away, there is something extra fun about playing in a box.  ask any cat...

I told Easton to read this book called capitalism for kids.  He told me he already understands punctuation.  I giggled to myself many times after that response because the book is not about capital letters.  it's about the economy and the way our country works.  I told him I would pay him 5 bucks if he read it.  Not only did he read it, but he wrote a two page report about the book and read it out loud to me.  thus proving, capitalism works...  even for a nine year old. 

See you soon!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Nine year olds, already

Hey fam,

Easton and Layla are nine years old today! Kendra and I are in some state of disbelief or shock because it feels like only a few years ago they were babies in our arms.  This morning they piled into our bed asking if today was another snow day.  We said "yes" and they cheered.  They've never had a snow day because we lived in Phoenix.  Now they have two in a row because it snowed 5-6 inches across Seattle.  I'll use this as our official birthdy picture because it's a rare photo of the 4 Webbs all together.

Our friend's son, Gabe, had a one night layover in Seattle as he heads off to Korea to complete his last year of service in the military.  He went with us on our family walk and was kind enough to take a pic for us.  Yesterday they played outside almost the entire day.  We had snowball fights and snow ice cream, and sledding down the neighborhood hill on a neighbor's sled.  Kendra shopped around for a sled, but there were zero in the entire city so we had to wait around to borrow one.  We are very resourceful!

Alaysha had a fun time with the kids as we did all sorts of childish things on our day off together.

Our closest neighbor Tshinga hung around us most of the day and I convinced the kids to jump for a picture.  They spent around six hours outside playing in the snow and that's a record for the amount of time spent outside for them.

I'm looking forward to late spring when we can send them down the street for an extended period of time to play with neighbor kids.

I have a longer post in draft mode waiting for me to finish the writing, but I wanted to at least post a brief one for the birthday.  Their birthday was spent hanging out at home on their second snow day off from school!  They played XBOX kinect, painted some pottery at the local shop, and ate cake.  Easton is extremely passionate about all things Pokemon and dinosaurs.  Layla is a dabbler in style, fashion, baking, and art.  Every year their passions shift and we are gladly following along with them as they expand their horizons.

Their birthday celelbrations will be on Saturday the 11th.  Kendra will take Layla for a girl's spa day and I will take Easton for a downtown adventure to a museum and the space needle.  I'm expecting an epic birthday bash without a single friend or official party.

I can't believe we have nine year olds living in our house, but by the time i finally get comfortable with the idea, they will be ten.  I'm going to sleep now and when i wake up they'll be 18.

see you soon!