"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Monday, April 24, 2006

Adventures in Ebay

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So the boys' PS2 had been really temperamental lately. The drawer would get stuck both opening and closing, the discs wouldn't read, and the front panel was falling off. It seemed to have just about had it on Friday, so I surprised them by buying the new, slim version when we were at Walmart on Saturday. We were about to toss the old one when I came to my senses just in the nick of a time. A project! Nothing makes Spencer happier than taking apart appliances. And maybe, I told them, if they could get it working again, they could sell it on Ebay and keep the proceeds. TWO pairs of eyes lit up at the prospect. So Sunday night they worked on it, with Dad's help. An hour later - while it was not quite good as new - it was working, and the drawer was sliding in and out with ease. This morning they helped me get it photographed and listed. Their first official auction is on, and they couldn't be more excited. Check it out.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Easter

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We've had our first Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.... and now Easter, in Arizona. The first time is always strange because while some traditions can stay the same, so very much is different. We had a nice Easter; a quiet Easter. We colored eggs with the boys on Saturday, and they woke us up before the crack of dawn Easter morning. Actually, Spencer woke us up, by bursting into our room and shouting. I don't really remember what he said, but it was happy, and it was loud.

After they hunted for eggs, ate some chocolate, and tried out their new Playstation controllers, we got ready for church. I was in the shower when Mike decided to cut Everett's hair. He claims I asked him to, but I maintain that I just made a general comment that it needed to be done soon. He apparently lost his mind for a moment, because when I came down he was cutting his hair with the clippers, with the SHORTEST attachment. All I could see when I came around the corner was Everett's grinning at me while his pale white scalp peeked through the 1/100000 of an inch of hair left on his head. We had a family picture scheduled for next weekend (which is now rescheduled) but I couldn't stay mad long. Mike felt horrible, and it was too funny to be upset about anyway.

We finally headed to church, and for a church with 6000 members, it's really amazing how homey and welcoming it is. The boys' friend wasn't there, so they decided against going to childrens' services. They sat with us during the adult services, and we watched an Easter presentation about the birth, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. We squeaked out a little bit early to make it to our brunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant. The food was outstanding, and the kids enjoyed it until Paxton took a bite of something a little too spicy and complained of his lip burning for the rest of our stay :-(

In the afternoon, we had a video chat with Maba and Pop, then snuggled up on the couch to watch movies.

Happy Easter everyone, from hot & sunny Arizona.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Police station, church, and plastic eggs

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Happy Spring! I read the other day that our 100+ degree days are going to be starting in another month, so in the meantime we are very much enjoying the warm, beautiful outdoors. Saturday, we all went to an open house at the local police station. There was a car show, a SWAT team display, a house set up to fill with smoke to teach kids about fire safety, motorcycles, and lots of little freebies. Paxton and I went a tour of the police station and it was fascinating. We saw just about everything there was to see, from where they finger print and do mug shots, to holding cells and shooting ranges and dispatch rooms.

Monday we got an Easter package from Yaya, and the boys spent all afternoon playing with the goodies inside. Their favorite? Plastic eggs. Those things amaze me. Such a simple concept = hours of enjoyment. They filled them and hid them again and again.

This morning we did something I've been wanting to do for weeks now. A new friend, also a homeschooler, invited us to attend her church with her. They have a Wednesday morning ladies' tea. It was WONDERFUL! The lesson was one I was particularly needing to hear, and I had such an overwhelming sense of being exactly where I needed to be, exactly when I needed to be there. Everett sat through the class with me (and enjoyed sampling all the food) while the older boys had a blast playing in the kids' room. It was the first church that just "clicked" with all of us, and we can't wait to go back.

In other good news, Mike was officially offered a permanent, full-time position today! The boys were so excited when I explained what it meant, that they wanted to throw him a party. So we shopped for a party indeed... complete with balloons, Chicken Little plates, and an icecream cake from Cold Stone.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


A couple of months ago, we took the training wheels off the boys' bikes. For one thing, they finally lived somewhere where they had someplace to practice. They also wanted to ride up and down the rounded curb, which they couldn't really do safely with training wheels.

Paxton decided he needed to learn, and learn NOW. He started at the top of the driveway, and coasted down into the street again and again. He fell, he got up, he fell again. He practiced picking up speed until he was ready to start peddling. His face was red and his legs were scraped. He wobbled and shook and by the end of the day he had it: He was riding like he'd been doing it his whole life.

Spencer scooted with his feet that first day, and for a few days afterwards. Then he started coasting, for longer and longer periods of time. He didn't go too fast, and he didn't put his feet on the pedals. Every day his balance got better and better. We asked if he wanted help learning to pedal and his answer was always the same. "No thank you." A month went by and then two. Some days he got discouraged, but most of the time he was self-assured and confident. He knew he'd do it when he was ready. And he did. Yesterday he started pedaling, just a few rotations at first... then more and more. When the cute girl next door also came out on her bike, he was distracted just enough to forget that he was still learning. He pedaled around the street like a pro, and made a new friend in the process.

Different kids, same result: A feeling of pride and accomplishment in learning to do something they wanted to do... in their own time, in their own way. Last night we went to Cold Stone to celebrate both of them.


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