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
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
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
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