on images to
|Casual Easter family portrait
in Jeff's backyard.
come to visit and this
is the hospitality we have to offer: breakfast is microwaved Danish on
paper plates in the cleanest, least cluttered room in the house, the
|Grandpa Art playing catch
with Doug in the cul de sac.
|Easter lunch in Jeff and
|Brad cracks a blown, painted
Easter egg on Keith's head to extract the money within.
|Doug's third grade teacher
Mrs. Castro reads a fairy tale he wrote to the class while Doug does
his best Bill Clinton impression.
|Doug's birthday party under
the Keith's watchful camcorder's gaze.
|While waiting for his next
shot at the batting cages at his birthday party, Doug plays air hockey
without fear of taking a puck to the head.
|The kids who came to Doug's
9th Birthday party. (Note: the young lady is Sam Neher's older sister
who is Brad's age.)
a lot of fun stuff in April. So much, in fact, that there are
five sub pages this month dealing with the pictures and stories from
some of that fun. But you must understand that the entire month
takes place against the back drop of the remodel. Our house is
not our own, it is in habited by men in masks and spray guns that come
at all hours of the day, in the evening and on Saturdays. If we
had fun outside the home this month, it was because nobody wanted to go
dad Art came out to visit us and Aunt Betty the first weekend in April.
He spent a couple nights with us and a couple nights up at Betty's.
While he was with us he was able to watch each boy play a baseball
game, and enjoy first hand the experience of living in a house under
construction. I'm sure the experience helped him appreciate going
to the relative serenity at Betty's house. Although once there,
he did experience first hand some of the frustrations of Betty's
situation. One care giver left before the next arrived, leaving Art in
charge. Betty convinced Art to take her to church. While they
were gone the next caregiver arrived to a locked and empty house.
So she left. When Betty and Art returned from church, they got a snippy
call from the caregiver agency. Would they go pick up the next
caregiver, who no longer had a ride? Art, who wasn't too
comfortable navigating the backroads of a town he's not familiar with,
declined. Eventually a ride was arranged and the caregiver
is some definite irony in the fact that Keith's family, who visit
rarely when compared to Kristi's family, have all showed up in the last
six months in the middle of the remodel.
|Kristi had some
outpatient surgery this month. She's fine. It's only worth
mentioning to further demonstrate the fact that life will continue to
with your usual share of stresses and challenges, oblivious to, and
giving you no
credit for, the stresses and challenges you deliberately choose to take
on. Like remodeling.
|The sport of the month
is of course baseball. Pictures have been farmed out to their own
dedicated page. Dad’s proudest moment: when either of his boys come
up to bat and the opposing manager moves his outfielders back, yelling
for all to hear, “This kid can hit!” (In the Majors, where the
coaches are serious about scouting and most everyone has been around
for 6 years and is a known commodity, they’ll even use Brad’s name.)
|Bradley has let it be
known that he will no longer answer to Bradley and only wishes to be
addressed as Brad. That’s all fine and good, and he’s certainly
within his rights to define his own appellation. But he has not
seen fit grant a grace period, or be particularly gracious with
transgressors. We’ve spent 12 years calling him either, and now
it seems we’re expected to change over night. Mom and Dad don’t
mind calling him Brad, but the manner in which he corrects us seems a
bit harsh. The bright side is that Mom and Dad will now be able
to immediately convey displeasure by using Bradley instead of Brad.
|Bradley -- I mean Brad
-- went to sixth grade camp the week before spring break. Sixth grade
camp is a San Diego program through the schools to take city kids and
put them into a wilderness camp experience that they might never have
had before. Well, Brad is a suburban kid who does car camping and
church summer camping, so the idea of leaving home for a week of cabin
camping was no big deal to him. What was a big deal was where the
camp was: Brad was part of the very first group back to Camp Cuyamaca
as it reopened after the fires of last October. The Camp is in
Cuyamaca State Park, site of earlier
camping trips and so recently devastated by the wildfires.
Brad has his own page of pictures and
descriptions of his 5 day school field trip to the mountains.
were returning to Camp Cuyamaca for 6th grade camp was well covered in
the local media as part of their continuing coverage of the fire and
fire recovery. These stories may still be up on the web: TV, newspaper.
|Not to be out done,
Doug had his own *really cool* field trip this month, too. There are a
couple of traditional field trips in third grade: Museum of Natural
History in Balboa Park (not particularly unique), but then a string of
really cool field trips that the third, fourth and
fifth graders traditionally take every year, year after year. It
starts in third grade
with The Floating Lab. The Floating Lab is taking a boat out onto
San Diego Bay and doing oceanography experiments. Kristi went
with Brad three years ago, and let Keith knew he would really enjoy it
if he went with Doug this year. The
story of Doug's day is here.
|Easter was a little
different this year. Of course it included Easter services at
Church, but instead of meeting the extended San Diego family at a park
for picnic as we had done the last several years, we all went to Jeff
and Chrysanne's house for a barbecue lunch in their back yard.
There wasn't enough room ot fly kites as we normally do, but the food
was hot and the parking and crowds weren't a problem!
|As usual, national Take
Your Child to Work day falls right before Doug's birthday. Last year,
he wasn't quite old enough, so this year was his first, while it was
Brad's second. Intuit had two tracks, one for older kids that
Brad was just old enough for, and one for younger kids. So the
brothers weren't stuck with each other all day long, which was good for
them, good for Dad, and good for Intuit. Intuit did another
fantastic job this year with a fun program for the kids for the day, detailed here.
|Doug had his ninth
birthday on the 23rd. The party took place at an indoor batting
cage facility nearby called the Batter's Box. Everybody got to
try their hand at pitching for speed and accuracy against a radar gun,
and of course take multiple turns inside the batting cages. We
had pizza and cake in their party room (which featured video tapes of
baseball playoff games), and spent lots of quarters in the arcade.
|With all this going on,
it's really no wonder that we looked at the calendar one day only to
discover that the Y Guides event for the month was the Pinewood Derby,
it was only a week away, and we hadn't even begun working on the kit
yet. And with the garage in a shambles with appliances and things
from the house, there was really no place to even work on the
kit. But we did the best we could every evening for a week, and
used a resource for tools even better than Uncle Jeff: our
contractor. The complete
story is here.
|As has been hinted at above, this was a particularly
difficult month to live through
the remodel. They say that the drywalling (last month) is bad and
messy. And it is. But for my money, painting is the
worst. Like dust from drywalling, the paint particals prevade the
entire house, alighting on every surface no matter how far away from
the source. Unlike drywalling, the oil based paint put out fumes
so bad we couldn't return to the house for hours. We also
expanded the painting a little to include areas we had wanted to paint
for years but hadn't gotten around to yet (e.g. stairwell, living
room). So we also got pretty much what we asked for. On the
brighter side, the kitchen started taking shape as the cabinets were
put in and pleased us very much. Outside, stucco was applied and
the second and final concrete pour occured, cementing the walkway on
one side of the
addition and the new patio on the other. As hard as the month
was, the end is
now in sight.
Mentioned on this Page:
|You may have missed
links within the text above.
Brad at Sixth Grade
TV Web Story on Sixth Grade Camp (external)
Newspaper Story on Sixth Grade Camp (external)
Floating Lab Field Trip
The Boys at
Intuit on Take Your Child to Work Day
Doug and Dad
Build a Pinewood Derby
month's remodel progress
|Doug, describing the
lunch he wanted from the Little League snack bar: I want a Neapolitan
Sausage. Parents: Huh? Doug: A polo hot dog! Parents: Huh? Doug:
A polish sausage! Parents: ah ha!
|The family was
discussing acronyms, as well as what names
Kristi’s brother Jeff used to call her when they were
combined the two discussions into one: “I’m going to call Brad
Parents: What! Doug: “Show Off Brad!”
|Doug, mad at his
parents in church, opens his offering envelop up and declares, “I want
my money back!"