Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

October 31, 2011

October 2011 – Family Update

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 3:42 am

October Highlights:

My Dad’s Birthday

The social season is upon us. In addition to the festivities associated with the holidays, we also have plenty of other events that bring the family together – my dad’s birthday (in October), our anniversary (in November) and two very important birthdays in December (mom and Cathy). We kicked off the action in October with a nice birthday celebration for my dad. This time, my mom took me aside and asked if I would mind taking over BBQing responsibilities from my dad so that he could relax and socialize with the guests more. I told mom that I was fine with that, but that she should talk to dad about it because he loves to have his alone time by the grill and isn’t as much into socializing as she is. In the end, mom won out and I did the grilling, which I didn’t mind since it meant I could prepare several cuts of meat the way I like it — medium rare. My dad has never liked the look of medium rare meat which means that when he cooks it’s all well done. My sister is the same way. Since it was his birthday, I did char a few well done pieces for him and my sister.

The BBQ gave us a all a chance to catch up on the latest happenings — Sebastian getting ready to try out for the high school basketball team, Luke preparing for his first piano recital, and Lilah strategizing on how to get her dad to buy her an iPhone (more on that below). It was also good opportunity to get pictures of my dad, who, despite his age, can still reveal the little boy inside with a face like this.

Adventure Guides Pumpkin Carving

This year, it’s my turn to be the leader of our Adventure Guides (AG) circle. As the circle leader, you are responsible for attending council meetings and passing on any important news to your circle such as information on fundraisers, special camp sign ups and other activities we do throughout the year. The other major responsibility is scheduling the monthly group meetings and outings with the kids in our circle (our group has 6 dads and 7 boys, although). It’s not as big as it sounds, but Luke loves that I’m the leader of the group now.

It seems that any time I take on some leadership position, whether it be leader of our AG group or coaching a sport, Luke gets all excited about it (in his own quiet way). He doesn’t come out and tell me he feels this way though. Instead, I hear his approval in the tone he takes when he’s telling his friends about how his dad is “coaching the basketball team this weekend.” He’ll also tell me about leadership roles he is taking part of in school. For example, the other day he told me that the kids in his classroom are sometimes divided into groups and tasked with completing a variety of activities and presentations related to science. He then added (quite proudly) that he is often chosen as the the leader for his group.

It’s cool to see Luke take on this attitude. In fact, his enthusiasm rubs off on me and I find myself doing things I may not have done otherwise. Sure I may not always have the time to take on more, but if I’m selective I can do some extra things — like being the leader of our circle — and the things I do are definitely seen and noticed by Luke.

The kids had a blast at the pumpkin carving. The boys love pulling the guts out of the pumpkin and making faces as they pull out the innards and display them to all their friends. I am by no means an expert at this pumpkin carving business as my mom was the one who always carved the pumpkin when I was growing up. Later, when I married Cat, she took on the role of pumpkin carver. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I carved my first pumpkin. Our AG pumpkin carving was only the second time I’ve carved a pumpkin. But with some help from Luke, we managed to do okay. My lack of expertise did manifest itself however, when it came to carving out the mouth. Luke decided he wanted to do something fancy so we drew two lips and some teeth, but instead of cutting out the teeth (so that you could see the hollowed out outline of the teeth), I cut out the lips so we ended up with a two-lipped pumpkin. The good news is that Luke didn’t seem to notice and thought our approach gave it some extra flare.


The kids had a great time on Halloween as always. For weeks, it looked like Luke would not be joining his sister and Tory trick or treating. Luke is not fond of scary stuff. He won’t even go to the Halloween store with Cathy and Lilah because he does not like getting freaked out. This year, he had decided that he would be staying home with me to help pass out candy. But when Halloween night came, Luke suddenly had a change of heart. He joined the girls after all. He didn’t go to all the houses they went to and definitely did not go to the haunted house up our street, but he got more than his fair share of candy. On the other hand, Lilah and Tory were game for everything. They even went into the “haunted house,” a house up our street that decided to amp up the scary and invite everyone in the neighborhood by putting up garage-sale like signs around the block that read “Haunted House – $1” and pointed the way to the venue. I did not go in the house but I heard the screams all night from the kids who were chased down the street by a scary guy with a fake but very realistic sounding chainsaw.

Lilah on Her Quest to Get an iPhone

For months, Lilah has been asking us to get her cell phone. The request comes in various forms, but the two most common are:

“When can I get a cell phone?”


“Can we go to the Verizon store?”

Then there are the arguments about why she needs a phone: everybody else has one, what if there is an emergency? it will give her something to do when she’s on the “long” bus ride home (it’s only 10 minutes), etc. We have stalled and been non-committal on the subject but now the request has mutated into not just wanting a cell phone. No, now she wants an iPhone. She wants one so much she developed a PowerPoint presentation on why the iPhone would be a better choice — shorter learning curve since (her friend Tory already has one and has showed her how to use it), all the incredible apps, emergencies, simple and complex calculator for doing math and science, etc. This approach was basically the same one I saw the other day in a commercial where a kid gives his parents a presentation on why he should have a dog. I don’t think Lilah saw that commercial but you never know. After watching the presentation, she again asked, “So can I have an iPhone?” Nobody can ever say Lilah doesn’t ask for the sale. She is quite persistent. I told Lilah that I would think about it. She seemed a bit exasperated by my response. In fact, she said “What? You mean I wasted my afternoon working on that presentation for nothing?” I told her that’s not what I said, but she still walked away in a huff.

I haven’t told Lilah this, but Cathy and I are contemplating getting her a phone of some kind. We just haven’t decided what it will be yet. I think what we will do is present her with some options. After all, despite her drama and occasional stubbornness, Lilah is a really good and smart kid, and Cathy and I would like to reward her for her efforts. But what we don’t want is to be dictated to by an 11 year-old, albeit a very mature one. Anyway, we’ll figure something out something soon.

More next month…

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