Sherwood Family
February 2004

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Noting like a plume ride in cold water on a cool, cloudy day in February.

Getting more of that packaged California experience on the boardwalk at California Adventure.

Even while on the bench, Brad is into the game.

This is the 12 year old league?  That guy Brad (middle white) is guarding is over a head taller than him.

Doug clogs the lane on the inbounds pass.

The Sherwoods visit Aunt Betty, now back in her own home with 24 hour a day care.

Doug has his first ever piano recital on undoubtedly the finest piano he's played yet.

Doug sings in the Children's choir in a vest, while...

...Brad sings in the Youth Choir in robes.

Kristi and Gail set up the Bookfair.

Kristi had her fortieth birthday on Feb. 5th.  We had both a family dinner out and a subsequent romantic dinner for 2.  (But the real celebration was going to Cabo last month.) She received gift certificates from all her men for the likes of Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn.  While Keith’s mommy educated him early on that kitchen items were inappropriate birthday gifts from husbands and sons, this year was an agreeable exception to the rule as Kristi is looking forward to redecorating her remodeled kitchen.
February always has that pesky week off.  Our School District takes a week off for President's Day, so the pressure is on Keith to take time off so the family can do something together.  Unfortunately, it's during a busy time at Keith's work.  So some compromise is struck.  This year, it was the same one as last year: Keith takes one day off, and we go to a Southern Californian amusement park (California Adventure).  Rather than produce yet another page of pics like last year, I decided to do a retrospective of theme parks the family has gone to through the years.
Keith had his ten year anniversary at Intuit this Valentines Day.  He celebrated by changing jobs within Tax Engineering as part of a department-wide reorganization. His job for the last couple of years has been working on a not easily explained web service.  His new job involves supporting 6 disparate not easily explained web services.  The group charter is to kill the services off or transfer them out of the current division as they no longer are part of the division's focus.  In other words, the group's goal is to put themselves out of a job be getting rid of the web services to other divisions.  Sort of an interesting position to be in....
For his ten year anniversary gift from Intuit, Keith chose a Trek 4900 mountain bike, and sized it for Kristi.  She needs a bike if she is going to Ride Across California next year with Doug.  Unfortunately for both her and Keith, when the bike arrived and he began assembling it for Kristi, Keith became very envious of just how much better Kristi's new bike was than his old clunker.
From the sports desk:  Baseball spring training has started for both boys.  Brad is one of three returning players from last year's Majors team; everyone else will be new (and most will be 11, like he was last year).  The coach is looking to him to be a leader.  Brad says this will be his last year of baseball; his true love is basketball now.  Doug is in the Rookie league, a transitional league for 9 year olds between the developmental league and Minors.  This will be his first year with kids pitching and umpires rather than coaches calling the outs.
And for the first time since 1997 (Brad’s second year) Keith isn’t coaching (excepting 2001 when Keith ruptured his Achilles tendon).  Keith doesn’t care to coach when they start keeping score and standings; he prefers the “purer” joy of just getting the boys better than when they started.  Also, the games are umpired now, and he hates it when the coaches work the umpires (often no older than Brad).
Basketball continues for Doug.  The third graders play on 8 foot high baskets.  Unfortunately, they practice on 10 foot high baskets, so the stronger kids end up launching the ball over the backboard on game days.  Doug’s team plays what has to be the most complicated offense in the league with  5 different plays, each one containing two screens, one for the passer and one for the receiver/shooter.  With repetition and practice, the boys have picked it up.  With that offense (and a couple of good ball handlers) they’ve been very successful this season.  Doug is always good for a basket or two, a rebound, and a steal.
Brad completed his second and final season of competitive basketball.  Although they went 1-9, they won their opening tournament game, so they went out on a high note.  Brad was dejected a little in January when his playing time was limited, but really loves it now.  He would like to play the spring season, but even he has to admit that baseball, umpiring, and basketball would be too much.
Yes, Brad is finally old enough to start umpiring games.  Brad and Keith have both been looking forward to this age for years: Keith so he would never have to listen to Brad complain about the umpires in his games, and Brad so he could show how much better a job he could do of it than all the umpires who made bad calls against him through the years.  Brad went through ump training this month and will start umping in the field for games of younger kids, and may move behind the plate by the end of the season.
Things really settled down with Great Aunt Betty this month.  The revolving door of caregivers finally stopped on Linda, a fantastic, caring woman in her late 50’s with her own car (very rare in this line of work).  Betty did have one fall in the bathroom that resulted in sore but not broken ribs, but no trips to the emergency room and no seizures.  Susan and I are sleeping a little better.
Despite a lingering cold, Kristi was in her usual high gear this month.  In addition to managing the dog, the boys, and the remodel, Wednesday night’s church program started up again, so she’s back to planning for and feeding 40 people every Wednesday night.  And she and Gail are spending a lot of time together planning and preparing for the Deer Canyon Elementary Book Fair in early March.  They make a great team because Gail does the creative/crafty (e.g. decorations) and Kristi does the process/design (e.g. layout of displays).  And they’re both highly organized.
So by the time it got to be Sunday February 29th, they had enough volunteers, decorations, and books for set up to go smoothly, even if overly long.  It just keeps getting bigger every year, and every year the bar goes higher for books sold, money raised, and appealing decorations.
Music ought to have nearly as many column inches in this narrative as sports does, given the amount of time the boys spend doing each.
Both boys are in choir at church: Brad in the Youth Choir and Doug in the Choristers (Children's Choir).  Part of their Wednesday night program they attend each week is choir practice. They are starting to practice now for the big annual musical in May.  Each of their respective choirs is trotted out to sing before the congregation once every month or two.
Doug continues piano lessons, and had his first piano recital this month.  Brad continues playing trumpet in seventh grade band, and continues to be a part of the after school (honors) 7th grade band.

The Remodel:
Nietzche was probably remodeling when he observed, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger"

The remodel continues, and Kristi continues to manage it.  Sometime early this month Kristi gave up trying to keep the downstairs clean.  Mud, dirt, and dog hair she's used to, but add in construction dust and debris, and you're no longer talking about cleaning to make things presentable, you're talking about cleaning just enough to make things livable.

Kristi’s finalized kitchen cabinet designs and appliances (new refrigerator and stove; keep old microwave and dishwasher).  And she gives the workers hot cocoa in the morning if she makes some for the boys.  We started the month with “just a concrete slab;” we finished the month with the wooden frame of the new addition up.  The final milestone of the month was delivery and installation of the addition windows and city inspection. This will allow us (like we’re doing any of the construction work) to wall and insulate the addition and begin to take down the interior walls. 

Living in a house under construction has been, um, interesting. The house has been really cold this month.  The back of the house has been just plastic in places.  This has been problematic as February is the rainy season in San Deigo, and we got rain this month.  Sure enough, the rain found its way in at the top of the plastic wall, ran down the interior of the windows, and soaked into the carpet.  The wet carpet, which was slated for later replacement anyway, was removed earlier than expected, and we lived with a bare concrete slab for a floor this month in the family room.

Links Mentioned on this Page:
You may have missed these links within the text above.
Last month's Cabo San Lucas trip
Last year's California Adventure trip
Theme parks visited by the Sherwoods through the years
This month's remodel progress

Favorite Computer Games:
Brad: Roller Coaster Tycoon
Doug: Roller Coaster Tycoon

They Said It:
Doug: (after his first baseball practice in an older league where certain equipment is required for the first time) “All I want to do is go home, shower, and lie on the couch without my cup on.”
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Pictures and text copyright 2004 by Keith Sherwood
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