|Click on any of the
images below for a larger picture. Go ahead: you've already
loaded the larger image when you loaded this page.
Everyone is holding
something special to them.
The front yard becomes a lit
wiffle ball stadium.
Brad's summer basketball
The boys' 2005 First Day of
School pictures. Note Doug in his red and white Safety Patrol
Brad takes the role of an
Elder for the serving of Communion.
Water balloon toss at the
Doug grimaces but catches it
Doug tries to dunk his
father in the dunk tank. Does this picture look
|Where were we? Oh, yes:
Minnesota, on family vacation. Ken and Minoosh successfully married, we
bid adieu to the gathered Sherwood relatives and lit out for Illinois
and the Rafferty relatives. We visited the Field Of Dreams in Iowa before making it
to Bloomington, where we spent the next week before returning home to
San Diego on August 6th. Read all about it on the summer vacation page.
|Back in San Diego, Kristi did
her usual excellent
job of squeezing every last drop out of summer, getting the kids to the
beach several times and taking them to a pool party at the Bigelows in
the two and a half weeks between returning from Illinois and going back
to school. Brad had his own version of sucking the marrow of
summer, stretching neighborhood wiffle ball games late into the
evening by setting up an elaborate system of extension cords and
lights, garnered from parents’ garages up and down the street.
Doug is catching bicycle fever, wanting to ride his bike everyone in
preparation for Bike Club this fall, which in turn is in preparation
for the Ride Across California next spring. And Doug is reading
up a storm, having raced through
the entire Harry Potter series, he voraciously consumes any books,
especially series. It must be said that both boys have neglected
their instruments, however, since returning from vacation.
|Brad went to Magic Mountain
with the church youth group as a last hurrah on the weekend before
school started. Six Flags Magic Mountain, located on the far side
of Los Angeles, is known for its thrill rides, roller coasters and
hence its teenage crowds. On trips to carnivals and amusement
parks, Doug has clearly established himself as the braver of the two
boys when it comes to thrill rides, a fact that he likes to throw at
brother when he has the chance. (Little brothers are always
searching for some way to beat older brothers.) Doug has been asking
for a family trip to Magic Mountain for some time, and the fact that
Brad is now the first in the family to go really irks him. The
trip was an overnighter, going up Saturday morning, spending all day at
the park, crashing in a nearby motel, then returning to church first
thing Sunday morning (thus cleverly passing through LA during two
weekend mornings). The church would pick up the cost of the park
and motel if you had earned enough participation points in the youth
program, which of course Brad had. We got a call from Brad to let
us know they arrived. Brad had last seen Magic
years ago, and only then passing at 80 MPH. Now he was
outside, waiting to get in, and examining the offerings. He said
there were 3, maybe 4 rides he would actually go on. He ended up having
a blast (of course), and by the end of the day there were only 3 or 4
rides he wouldn’t go on. Doug may be losing his grip on family
thrill ride king.
|A shift, subtler than
trouncing Keith in the 5K, has occurred in the athletic pecking order
of the household: when Keith and Brad go out to play catch in the
street, it is now Brad and not Dad who takes the downhill
position. The downhill position is the position of the better
player: the down street player must be stronger as he has to throw up
hill, and he must be better defensively since any ball that gets by him
runs downhill to the corner. And finally, that ultimate demonstration
golf, also betrayed Keith. If only Keith could
have had that piece of steak for breakfast that he
he would have beaten
his younger opponent.
|Back to school means
school shopping, and Kristi has refined the tradition to an annual
event. While one, both, or neither boy may participate in the school
supply shopping trip, each gets a dedicated day with Mom for clothes
shopping. As parents, we are always surprised at how much more each boy
shines (and behaves) on their own rather than with each other. As
payment for a day of trying on clothes, each boy gets to choose where
Mom will take him to lunch. And this year the tables turned slightly
with Brad buying Kristi a coffee as she began to sag in the afternoon.
|Between 5 weeks off
school year, plus various partial days and professional growth days,
summers are now officially just 2 months long in our school district.
The first day of school was August 25th. This was also about the
hottest day of summer so far. Every time Kristi scheduled a beach
day, the overcast refused to burn off until noon or one o’clock.
But the first day that school is back in session, it is cloudless from
sunrise. And Doug had to practically get up with the sun to make it to
school early for Safety Patrol. Just his luck draw the first day
|Both boys returned from
first day excited and talking. Brad’s home room teacher is a
Lincoln fan, and started the first day with a history lesson on
Lincoln. Brad had to correct the teacher when he misspoke one or
four times. Brad explained that he had just been to the Lincoln
museum in Springfield earlier this month. Brad was most
enthralled with Lincoln and Kennedy assassination comparisons, a series
of remarkable coincidences of the kind that the Internet was
to promulgate and disseminate. Doug was very excited to get Mr.
Bueker who Brad had for fifth grade and who Brad regards as the best
teacher to have ever walked the face of a school yard. We topped
off the first day of school with a nightcap at Dairy Queen, our first
of the summer.
|The start of school also
means Kristi starts the School Directory. August she collects
data Kristi gave up doing
the PTA District Directory after just one year, concentrating on just
Verde Middle School directory. She really didn't enjoy doing the
district directory: she didn't see the point in its existence, and no
parent ever came up and raved to her that they keep their district
directory in their glove compartment for easy reference, or that the
district directory is the most important piece of information they
received from school all year. Parents have said that about her
school directories. So August is the start of the three month
long process of gathering the information from parents and school,
collating and creating, and finally producing and distributing.
She says she'll do the middle school directory two more years, and then
be there for the next owner to consult in Doug's final year in middle
Doug's last year in middle school, only three years away. Sounds
|The summer rec basketball league came to
an end. Brad did really well and resolved to try out for the
competitive 8th grade basketball team. As when he tried out two
years ago, his parents were proud of his effort and courage, regardless
of the outcome. That the high school coach, who ran the tryouts,
remembered him from summer basketball camp (and constantly called him
by name) didn't hurt. We were delighted, if financially wary,
when he made the team.
|Forgive me, but there
church related items that need to be recorded, both occurring on the
last Sunday of August. It was church picnic day, so the two
services were combined into one, and the picnic followed. Because
there was a single combined service the minister decided to change some
things up, since people would already be resigned to having changes to
service. One of his ideas was to have age and youth serve
communion instead of the usual Elders. Brad was asked to
represent Youth, and gave a prayer before serving communion to the
The second item to relate was that after a several year hiatus, the
dunking booth was back at the church picnic. The
last time there was a dunking booth, Keith was asked to be one of
the dunkees since he was a Sunday School teacher, and surely the kids
would line up to dunk him. This time he was asked to be a dunkee
since he was the previous Chair of the Board, and surely the
congregation would line up to dunk him.
The social dynamics of the dunking booth have remained constant.
Adults don't "do" the dunking booth because it is monopolized by
kids. And kids don't care what their relationship is to the adult
getting dunked; they're just happy to wield the power over the adult,
any adult. All that Keith knows about dunking booths he learned
from TV. So while he's on the chair, he's harassing, insulting,
and generally being rude to the thrower. All fine and good in
Hollywood, but it does seem out of place to be rudely mocking a 7 year
old girl at a church picnic. Perhaps Keith won't be asked to
participate next year....
They read it
Kite Runner, Hosseini.
Doug: Harry Potter 1,
2, 3, 4, Rowling. (Having completed the last two in the
saga (5 and 6) in the last two months, he decided to go back and
re-read the entire series, since they had been read to him, rather than
him reading them.)
They said it
Is that green chili salsa still good?
does not care for green chili): Still good? It was bad from the
day it was made.
Brad: I was a little embarrassed at
registration today. A teacher was waving at me, so I waved back.
But it turns out she was waving us over into her line.
Doug: She wasn’t waving at you,
Brad, she was waving with you.
You could have clicked it
Links above you may have missed:
All of this month's pictures
All of this months pictures may be
viewed at virtualsherwoods.shutterfly.com.
and condemnations may be forwarded
to VirtualSherwoods.com, preceded by 'Keith@'.
and pictures copyright 2005 by Keith Sherwood. All rights,
writes, and rites reserved.