I didn't have time to come up with a new color scheme. See
how busy May was? Or is that a June indicator?
Grandpa Rafferty judged the month of May interesting
enough to come out for a quick visit. In just 5 short days he
got 2 baseball games by each boy, School Open House, and the Church
Musical. We let him spend a couple hours with his other grandchildren
(Quinn and Kelsy), too.
The boys have been practicing every
Wednesday night this spring for the spring church musical.
This month they added some dress rehearsals on Saturdays before presenting
to the congregation in both services on May 18. The play is “
Rescue in the Night
,” the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. Last year Brad had
the lead as Noah; this year the Youth (grades 6-12) joined the Children in
the cast, resulting in Brad getting a bit part and a significant increase
in the quality of the presentation.
Because it fell on the same weekend as the Musical, Doug and Keith
couldn’t go with Indian Guides to Camp Marston this year. A pity,
because it was one of our favorite events last year. In fact,
we’re missing the June campout, too.
A week after 87 year old Great Aunt Betty
(Keith’s father’s aunt) drove down from San Marcos to see the boys
in the church musical, she had a stroke in her home. Every day since
Memorial Day either Kristi or Keith has driven up to Oceanside where
she is hospitalized to visit. While she is recovering, it is slow.
She has her faculties and her wit. While she doesn’t have paralysis,
she does have “left side neglect.” It will be a long while, if
ever, that she is able to live alone again. Susan Middleton, her
step daughter, has been a true hero and angel during this difficult time.
School is wrapping up. The amount of
activity around school projects and presentations is accelerating accordingly.
Brad had two band concerts, one with just the jazz band (playing
the world's slowest rendition of "Another Bites the Dust") and another
with the full 5th Grade band. Due to budget cuts, there won't be
5th grade band next year. While the earnest performance was not so
spectacular that everyone whipped out their checkbooks, it was sad to think
that might be the last hurrah of 5th grade band in California.
There was an Open House at school, and both boys' rooms were open
and displaying much of their work throughout the year. In the picture
on the left, Doug is showing Grandpa the class project, "Three Things
I want to Do in my Life." Right after "1) Become a baseball player
or umpire" is "2) I want to live in Illinois and be a crop farmer."
greatest field trip, the
last annual highlight of 5th grade, is the over
night field trip on board the Star of India, a 140 year
old, 278 foot long tall ship in San Diego harbor. Brad's class
was broken into 5 "crews" of 6 or 7 kids, and for a month before the
field trip did team building activities like run a mile together. Brad
was made "mate," or leader, of his crew. As leader, his job was to
cajole everyone into completing any assigned task.
The last team building activity before the field trip was an after school
hike up Mt. Woodson, a 7.2 mile round trip with 2300 feet of elevation gain
(and loss) that will test any crew. Keith has always wanted to climb
this Mountain, visible from all over San Diego, and was jealous of Brad.
Fate intervened, however, and Mr. Bueker, Brad's teacher, invited Keith
along as an additional adult hiker. Apparently Keith impressed him
sufficiently by completing the Ride Across California. Mr. Bueker (late
50's) certainly impressed Keith by hiking this trail with kids 5 times in
The Star of India field trip is “living
history”: it's a total immersion experience. Four professionals
play the Captain, the First Mate, the Second Mate, and the Cook while
the kids “play” the part of an inexperienced crew mustered and trained
en route. Every crew of 6 kids had a title and accompanying job
responsibilities: line handlers, boatswains, riggers, deckhands, and
galley crew. For 16 hours you are sailing in 1874 from England to
New Zealand, all the while tied up at San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Keith and Brad both had very high expectations of the trip, and
it exceeded them all
Keith also got something unique out of this field trip.
For the first time ever, he was invited specifically for his camera-wielding
skills. Finally, recognition! If that wasn’t enough,
to be given the job of “photographer” meant he weren’t assigned to
a “crew” of kids. While other adults had to stay with their
assigned group, Keith was able to flit from group to group and take
pictures of any thing interesting happening. And a lot was happening
as he shot over 250 pictures. Since there were many more stations
to visit and learn (and do) than crews, each crew missed one or two
stations. But not floater Keith!
Baseball season, like school, seems to pick
up the pace in May as the end of the season in June approaches. Both
boys continue to play; Dad continues to coach Doug. To help
5th graders get used to the idea of Middle School next year, they each
get assigned a 6th grade pen pal. Brad got his teammate from
baseball, one of the two ace pitchers. If you liked last month's
animation of Brad playing baseball, you'll love this month's of
Doug and his pitchback
Kristi was supposed to be done volunteering
for major school projects for the year, but then along came fifth
grade promotion. The core fifth grade parents plan the ceremony
as the fifth graders “graduate” from elementary school. Brad
is a fifth grader, and Kristi is a core parent, so she is now involved
in planning the event. In a tip of the hat to her Directory skills,
she’s doing the program.
Keith and Kristi had their first opportunity
to appear in the Society Pages, attending a charity auction held at
the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. Alas, they did not appear in any
of the major Dailies or Monthlies. Therefore the only real notable event
turned out to be that Brad and Doug stayed by themselves. We couldn't
get a babysitter on a weeknight, so we asked the boys to be responsible
and old enough to put themselves to bed, which they did. We may be
out of the babysitter hiring business!
On a more somber note, Doug's bike was stolen out of our
garage. We think we can pinpoint the time someone walked into our open
garage and took the bike within 15 minutes. I don't know what's worse:
loosing the bike, or feeling that the neighborhood isn't safe any more to
leave the garage door open. Just when Doug was beginning to show interest
in riding, too....
The musical was of course not the only Church related activity
this month. The minister takes over Keith's Fifth Grade Sunday School
class between Easter and Pentecost for the Pastor's Class, preparing 5th
graders for Baptism. Brad took it last year as a 4th grader before
he was Baptized. His favorite part is the Lock-In, when the class and
the minister spend the night in the Chapel. Brad swears there's nothing
as pretty as the stained glass at midnight.
May concludes with Memorial Day. Traditionally
in the Sherwood family we get burnt out in May, and end up doing nothing
over the three day weekend except recovering from exhaustion. It
helps that no outside activities (e.g. baseball, church, school) are
scheduled for this weekend since The-Scheduler-Powers-That-Be assume
we already filled up our three day weekends ourselves.
We fool them by scheduling nothing, and just relaxing.
Well, not entirely. We did go for a picnic to the Bigelows,
and Doug did go camping one night with the Ayers in their brand new Fifth
Wheel. But really, mostly we did nothing.
Dancer has picked up the trick of passive resistance. If you
are trying to get her to go outside (or any place else she doesn't
desire) she collapses on her side and forces you to pick her up to
move her. Since she is now 50 pounds this strategy is very effective
in thwarting whatever human's goals were.
The boys have officially taken over poop patrol duty in the back
yard. They work together as a team and doo a good job.
Even with a clean yard underfoot, however, they have pretty much
abandoned the back yard to Dancer. The good news is I don't
have the boys wearing whiffle ball base running paths into my back
yard grass any more. The bad news is that the wear and tear induced
by the boys is nothing compared to what a digging, running, curious
puppy/dog will do to a yard.
We lost the doggy crate we were borrowing and had to come up with
a plan B. We figured she didn't need to be crated indoors any
more, we just needed some place to contain her outside if we wanted to be
outside but unhindered by her (e.g. eating dinner, mowing the lawn, etc.).
So we got a 6'x6' kennel, which Bob Rafferty built while he was here.
Dancer wasn't fond of the crate, and she's not particularly fond of
the kennel, going so far as to rip asunder the assembly instructions when
she had a chance.
They Said It:
Window shopping, walking past a baby boutique: Kristi, “If I
had had girls, that’s how I would have dressed you.” Brad:
“Good thing we weren’t girls.”
Doug, lamenting the fact that Mom and Dad won’t let
him take Communion, “I like Nana’s church better because they let anybody
drink the wine.”
Brad, wistfully recalling both the Church Lock-In and
Church Camp in Loch Leven: "All my favorite things start with 'lock'."
Related web sites:
Rescue in the Night Photo Album
Star of India Field Trip Photo Album
Star of India/Maritime Museum