Sherwood Family
January 2004
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Brad defending in Club Basketball.


Doug plants and prepares for his shot.


Doug (second from right, behind Riley Bigelow) sings with his class at the coffee house.

Some alternate text
All the kids from Torrey Pines Christian Church at camp. Any questions about why Brad likes Youth Group so much?


Doug (walking, extreme right) one of many kids at baseball clinic given by and at high school.


The Bigelows, the Fabijanics, and the Sherwoods vacation in Cabo San Lucas together.


Keith and Kristi pause over the swimming pool at their "all inclusivo" resort.


Kristi, Brad, Doug, Nana, and Keith at the Julian Pie Shop on our tour of San Diego.


Ken, Brad, Doug, and Keith watch the Superbowl with only a thin sheet of plastic and shudders between them and the great outdoors.


Doug, Brad, and Uncle Ken playing basketball on the neighbor's hoop.
Ah, January: an opportunity for a fresh start, resolutions for personal improvement, and a new graphic design for the web pages.
The sport of the month is basketball.  Brad is in his second "session" of club basketball which is more expensive and competitive than recreational basketball.  They have a new coach this season, a twenty year old not far removed from playing guard on the local high school team.  The team is still struggling against the better competition, but they're having fun and the new coach has added a bit of swagger to the attitude.  I still can't get over having to pay to see my son play, however.
Doug is playing in the rec league for his old baseball coach.  His philosophy is always to draft kids from Deer Canyon Elementary so they all know each other, regardless of skill level.  The assistant coach is a dad from Y Indian Guides.  So all in all, Doug is in with a comfortable group of friends.
January may be exclusively basketball, but next month baseball will start, so there were "try outs" this month, and Keith and Doug were there.  Keith did his annual volunteer work at Little League Try Outs day.  By age groups, the kids individually bat, run the bases, field grounders and throw to first, and field fly balls and throw to second.  All while the coaches for a particular age group sit in beach chairs in the outfield and take notes on their clip boards.  Four or five adult volunteers are required to feed pitching machines, bat grounders, catch balls at the bases, and keep order in the dug out.
Brad did not have to try out: as he was drafted on to a Majors team last year as an 11 year old, he is automatically still on that same team (even though they will have a new coach).  It was Doug's first try out experience, however, because they don't make the players audition until they are a mature 9 years old.
Next volunteer opportunity: Little League Field Prep day, where Keith is annually humiliated by his inadequate collection of small rakes and medium shovels, fit only for suburban lawns and not up to the manly task of repairing a baseball diamond after a winter's discontent.
Great Aunt Betty moved out of her Assisted Living apartment, back to her home in San Marcos.  She was no longer independent enough to live there, requiring too much staff attention.  She now has a caregiver living with her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It has been a rough transition back, not the least reason being the revolving door of caregivers that the agency provides.  We're hoping for consistency as Betty moves into this new phase.
Doug sang at a coffee house this month.  Actually, it's not as avant garde as it sounds.  The district's music program consists of a guitar playing troubadour traveling between schools and classes and teaching the kids songs (classics like “This Land is Your Land” and “Sponge Bob Square Pants”).  A couple times during the school year, they play a “concert” at a local strip mall coffee house with a riser stage. Between secular folk music in coffee houses and religious pieces at church, Doug is getting a decent exposure to singing.
A late breaking opportunity came for Brad to go on a church camp in the San Bernadino Mountains (very near where he goes to summer church camp) for the long Martin Luther King Jr weekend.  Late breaking as in the week before hand. In a move totally unaccustomed to the horse-before-the-cart, plan-ahead-Sherwoods, his parents actually acquiesced to his going on such short notice, and we set about faxing applications and packing at the last minute.  He was gone for three days and nights, and of course loved every minute of it.  His Green Bay Packer “beanie” hat appears on various girls’ heads in his pictures from the event, so he seems to be, uh, socializing well.
While Brad was away at Church Camp, Doug went to a half day Baseball Camp put on by the local high school baseball team as a fund raiser.  The high school players ran the kids through 5 skills stations on the varsity field.  Doug had a good time, and he got a T-shirt to boot.  It's funny sometimes to see how he reacts when he is socially unsure of himself.  As the assembled kids broke up into teams and were assigned (very cool) high school ball players as coaches for the day, Doug hung back and wouldn't high five the coach or chant the slogans as asked.  On the other hand, it might have had something to do with the (very uncool) father hanging around with the camera, trying hard to embarrass him.
The day after Brad got back from camp, Nana (Keith's mom) arrived. She came out to stay with the kids while Keith and Kristi went with two other couples on a parents only, no kids vacation.  She got to observe the daily routine Tuesday and Wednesday, then the parents cut out Thursday morning, leaving her and the boys to their own devices for 4 days.  Of course everything went fine, she even got the boys to their basketball practices and games.  She also got the unbargained for excitement of being the adult at home when they poured the concrete for the new foundation.
Yes, Keith and Kristi took a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with the Bigelows and Fabijanics, whom you should recognize from Labor Day Camp Outs past.  This was our second trip to Cabo (the first was in 1991 and hardly counts for Kristi, who was pregnant with Brad at the time) and our first trip any where with other couples while we all abandoned our children.  The putative reason for the trip was that 5 of the 6 of us had or would be celebrating our 40th birthdays in the few months prior or post (Gail is the baby in the group).  More pictures and narrative of the trip are here.
Some big excitement occurred in the week before leaving when Kristi determined that the copy of her birth certificate that she had used to travel back in 1991 wasn't sufficient in these post 9-11 days.  In the hours before our trip, her dad went to the Bloomington, IL, registrar's office to get a new certified copy and sent it to us over night in San Diego.  Let's hear it for parents who don't move from the community in which you were born 40 years ago.
When we returned from Cabo but before Nana left, we spent a day in the car driving around San Diego county surveying the damage from the fires three months ago.  We went on roads and saw pieces of the county we had never seen before (like a big Indian Casino and little two lane roads that you hear about on the traffic report when then blocked at rush hour).  We ended up in Julian, where we did our best to pump a little money in the local economy we guessed was suffering from city tourists not passing through since the vegetation had all burned away.
The day after Nana left, Uncle Ken made a surprise visit.  He tried to give us a week's notice, but we were out of the country!  He had business in Orange County, so he called us a couple of days beforehand, testing the welcome mat we had told him would always be out for him.  He spent 4 days with us, two of which he spent commuting between San Diego and the job site 100 miles of freeway to the north.
The Y Guide event for the month for Keith and Doug was a Sunday afternoon in Balboa park.  They saw an IMAX film ("Australia"), spent time in the truly superior Children's Science Museum, and, at Doug's urging, toured the Botanical Gardens (he apparently learned to appreciate them on a previous school field trip).  They ate ice cream and enjoyed a juggling show. We were the only representatives from our tribe, as the Y had the audacity to schedule a father/son event opposite the NFL playoffs...
One thing that generally happens in January, but did not occur this year, was Brad's belated birthday party.  Yes, his birthday is in late December, but the only way to have a birthday party is after the holidays.

The Remodel:
What did we manage to survive this month during the house remodel?

This month saw the removal by jackhammer of the old patio to make way for the new foundation.  Dancer did not find this a pleasant process, as chiseling the old foundation at the corners of the house to attach the new foundation was not only loud, it sent vibrations through the floor that sent her barking and scratching at baseboards.

Nearly all of the action this month took place outside the confines of the existing house. Keith would return home in the evening to a well kept, organized house and have no idea what racket Kristi had to endure.  The good news is that Dancer and Craig the contractor get along famously, so Kristi could leave the dog and escape the house when she needed to. 

The two major milestones this month were each witnessed by a visiting family member: Keith's mom Jane got to see the concrete pour and Keith's brother Ken got to see the lifting and installation of the 1600 pound steel beam that will support the second floor.

Links Mentioned on this Page:
You may have missed these links within the text above.
Labor Day camp out with Bigelows and Fabijanics (Sept. 2003)
Kristi and Keith's Cabo San Lucas Vacation
This month's remodel progress

Favorite Computer Games:
Brad: Sims Deluxe
Doug: Monopoly Tycoon

They Said It:
Doug, noticing Dad reading a slip cover to a Beatles book in a book store: “Who are they, the Monkees?”  Douglas redeemed himself after this horrific gaff by the deep understanding he showed over the next five minutes as we discussed “real” bands and “fake” bands.  While he considered the Monkees to be a real band (they had a TV show after all), he knew InSync and the Backstreet Boys were fake bands.
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Pictures and text copyright 2004 by Keith Sherwood
He may be contacted at Keith followed by @virtualsherwoods.com