February 2002

Wrong clothes for snow last month, now wrong clothes for the beach.
Brad on construction equipment outside new high school
Brad works the Student Council booth at the Sock Hop
Golden Palamino in Indian Guide regalia
Stinky old van
Everyone is happy with new Camry
Doug and Brad work the church fishing booth

February contained some milestones: Kristi's birthday, Keith's 8 year anniversary at Intuit, and the passing of George Kinney, Great Aunt Betty's husband.  George was a wonderful man who our whole family really enjoyed knowing the last 8 years.  He and the boys got along famously, helped by their mutual love of baseball and the Padres. His memorial service was the first funeral that the boys have ever attended.  They did a good job during the service, and their usual great job socially at the reception afterward.  Bradley stood with Betty after the service in the receiving line.
Doug and Brad checked the action at the beach one Sunday morning.  We attended first service at church, and Mom had to do something (work in the nursery?) during second service.  While I enjoy hearing an excellent sermon twice, it was judged too much to bear for the boys, so I took them to nearby La Jolla Shores for an hour while we waited to retrieve Mom. Taking boys to the beach in nice clothes and asking them to stay out of the water is only slightly less impossible than sitting through church service twice.  
Our little corner of our little corner of San Diego (a bedroom community called Rancho Peñ asquitos) is surrounded on three sides by open space.  To the East is Black Mountain, a preserve.  To the North and West was previously undeveloped chaparral.  Keith tries to hike and bike, with the boys and alone, in these open spaces as often as possible.  The effort has become more urgent the last couple of years as the chaparral is quickly going under the grader for new homes starting at half a million dollars. While the corresponding appreciation in value on our little hovel is not inconsiderable (or unappreciated), we are definitely loosing a quality of life feature here.  The kids may well disagree, as there are all sorts of swell construction equipment to climb on.  Here Bradley takes time from a bike ride to investigate the new high school being built that he will probably attend.  
The Deer Canyon Elementary School Sock Hop was again held in February this year.  Unfortunately, this year's edition didn't have quite the magic of last year's.  Maybe it was the different decorations, or the different DJ.  But it probably was that Bradley wasn't being chased by girls this year.  His disinterest in girls this year seems to have been requited.  Bradley was more interested in hanging out with his friends and working the student council bake sale booth.  Douglas was most interested in see if he could wear holes in his socks once he took his shoes off.
The Indian Guide event for February was rock climbing in the indoor rock climbing gym.  There are no pictures of Douglas from this event because he never made it further than 3 feet off the ground.  This was the third time we've been to the indoor cliff gym, and neither boy has the slightest clue (dare I say inclination?) of how to scramble up a wall using hand and foot holds while roped in.  It had been a year since Doug last went, so I was willing to go to see if he had made any progress.  He hadn't, but I had.  I didn't stress out and get (quite as) frustrated by his inability to do what a bunch of other kids his age could do.  And when he was done trying, and began getting bored and frustrated, I was willing to pack it in early.  It's ironic how many of these events designed to foster father-son bonding inadvertently set up stressful dynamics between said father and son (see spray painting the pinewood derby car last month).
After spending $500 on the van to get it ready for the January Los Alamos trip, then spending another $500 on it since then on various and sundry, Keith had to admit that the van was no longer cheaper to repair than a new car payment. And after all that money, the brakes still shrieked and the shift from first to second still was abrupt.  The transmission was, in fact, the only remaining well known '95 Windstar malady that we hadn't yet fallen victim to, and it gave every indication that it might fail sooner rather than later.  We (well, Keith at least) had hoped the van would hold out for the big summer vacation (since it would have been better to add 3000 miles onto an odometer with 104,000 miles, not 4000), but in the end we had to get rid of the van before the transmission went.
So having cleverly missed the great 0% financing sales of the past several months, we bought a new Toyota Camry at the end of February.  Kristi decided she had out grown the mini-van, soccer mom image and was ready for a sedan. This is no small feat, for we are now in a tiny minority in suburbia:  most every family on our street, and indeed every family we can think of at school or church, has either a mini van or SUV.
The other change after many years was Keith's area of employment.  He is still at Intuit, but after 5 years working on electronic filing of tax returns, he has moved to another department, which cannot be so succinctly described.  The group maintains a web site and database where Intuit partners go to update their logos and URLs, which are in turn presented to Intuit customers.  For example, if you are Fidelity or Vanguard, you come to our site to specify where TurboTax should download 1099s into customers tax returns.  Also, if your bank or credit union offers a TurboTax for the Web link on their site, they visit our site to set it up. In best Wall Street jargon, it is "B2B," or business to business.  For those of you into computer jargon, I will be programming in Java and Java Server Pages.  
There is always something going on at church that involves the Sherwoods.  Every Wednesday night is Soul Food, a program that Kristi coordinates providing dinner and the boys practice for the Spring musical.  Keith serves on the Long Range Planning Committee and is the Sunday School teacher for the 5th graders (getting an initial year under his belt before he has to handle Bradley in class).  In February the church held a Mission Fair, and the boys helped run the fishing booth.  In the picture to the left, Brad is taking the money (one of his favorite activities) and Doug is fishing.  Soon they will trade off.  I think they may have eventually let others fish, too.  

They Said It:
Doug, looking at Daddy's arm and then at his own, "Do I have any man-hairs?"
Brad, looking for a little respect: "Mom, I'm not a kid any more.  I'm a preteen."
Doug, asking for desert: "Can I have the thing that is similar to soup but it's candy?" (quickly determined to be pudding)

Doug, putting away his dishes from dinner into the dishwasher: "Did you have to do Brad's dishes?" Keith, in a rather disgusted tone, "Yes." Doug: "He's a real forgetting machine about that."
They Read It:
Brad: books 3 & 4 in Seventh Tower Series
Brad: Where the Red Fern Grows
Keith: The Return of the King

Text and Pictures Copyright © 2002 Keith Sherwood - All Rights Reserved