Kristi’s parents came out for a visit the first
week of February. They hadn’t been out since Christmas 2001,
and since we had visited them on The Great Summer Car Vacation of 2002,
it was definitely time for them to visit us. Ostensibly their
visit was to coincide with Kristi's birthday, but I notice they seem to
time their visits when the weather is significantly warmer in San Diego
than Bloomington, Illinois. Go figure.
Brad continues to play and enjoy his first season of basketball,
and Keith continues to be team score keeper at games. Papa and Grandma
attended one of the games. Brad is getting markedly better as the season
progresses; now after rebounding he doesn't automatically pass, but will
occasionally take the ball up court himself, so he's gaining confidence.
Even before pitchers and catchers reported to
spring training in Arizona, Little League baseball started practicing.
Brad is now in Majors, and playing with boys that are older than him.
It’s totally different for him. There’s no screwing around; they’re
very serious. He wasn’t having much fun at first, but this should
be a really good experience for him. It should get him back to his
baseball roots of several years ago when he lived and breathed baseball.
Keith is coaching Doug again this year, with the same manager as last
year. In fact, they have nearly the same team from last year, with
most of the kids from Deer Canyon Elementary School so they know each other.
After postponing the trip in January because of
the new puppy, we successfully found a day in February to
go to California Adventure
(Disney's newest amusement park): Valentines day. The kids
had it off from school as part of an extended weekend, so Keith took it
off from work and off we went. Our strategy of going to Southern California
"destinations" on winter weekdays worked well, as the lines were minimal
and we got lots of rides in. We also hooked up with Colin, a friend
of Brad's, and his dad, and spent most of the afternoon together. The
boys started off (their usual) very timid, but quickly got more adventurous
than ever before, wanting to go on the roller coasters and thrill rides again
Bradley played his final piano concert.
After taking lessons for 4 years, he is moving on to guitar. Douglas
is taking over his time spot with the piano teacher on Monday afternoons.
After resisting the idea for some time, Doug has now fully embraced the
idea of learning to play. It is a pleasure to see his desire nurtured
by his big brother “showing him how.” We haven’t got Brad into
guitar lessons yet (guitar teachers are a little harder to find, apparently),
but his friend Tony has taught him to play the James Bond theme.
One of the most anticipated rides of the Bike Club each
year is the 5 Cities Ride every February. For a long, flat ride,
we ride around San Diego Bay, passing through 5 cities and 32 miles, including
a ferry ride back from Coronado to downtown San Diego. It's fun as long
as there are interesting things to see, but by mile 25, coming up the relatively
barren Silver Strand towards Coronado with the wind in your face, it's tough.
Bradley actually said he didn't think he could do the Ride Across
California if it was like this. Keith gave him his usual spiel about bike
riding being mental, and Brad completely the ride nicely. But it got
his attention. And he got the message there was hard work ahead.
We had some heavy rains this February, the heaviest in over a year (last
year was a drought and this year was looking worse). The main
impact was learning a whole new set of dog experiences: wet dog, muddy
paws, unhappy to be outside, cleaning up wet poop, etc. Kristi
went a little stir crazy with Dancer spending significantly more time
in doors since she (Dancer) has to be watched constantly.
Because two baseball practices and a basketball game aren’t enough
to fill our Saturdays, we’re also taking Dancer to “puppy kindergarten”
at a local park. For an hour
every Saturday morning Dancer and another dozen puppies of various
breeds and sizes work on their "sits," "downs," and "comes." After
50 minutes of that, the puppies get 10 minutes off leash to socialize
(i.e. smell, chase, and bark) with each other.
The most common concern with the majority of puppies in class is house
training. This is not an issue with Dancer as she has displayed
marvelous self control. Our problem continues to be biting, something
Dancer refuses to do at class to fool the teacher into thinking she's
They read it:
Brad: Where the Ground Meets the Sky,
Robin Hood, Archie Comic Books
They said it:
Doug, preparing a peanut butter sandwich: "The
saying is true: it tastes better if you make it yourself."
Related web sites:
Keith's Pictures of Bike Club rides