Saturday, February 20, 2016

First Driver and First Car

As parents of teens, it seems like Commuter Husband and I are in a constant cycle of decision making and talking. However, the old adage "actions speak louder than words" is sometimes the simplest course of action ...

First Driver and First Car
Commuter Husband and I spent a considerable amount of time determining what was best for Oldest Son and our family as he turns sixteen and can drive. Here are our guiding principles for Oldest Son:
  • Complete all requirements of online drivers ed before age sixteen - DONE
  • Take drivers test at age 16 and contribute the the family chauffeur service immediately - SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 23
Then we had to decide how to provide Oldest Son's with his first car so here is what we did:
  • Considered passing along our Prius but decided we were uncomfortable with safety level and high milage. We wanted a vehicle that will get him through high school and college.
  • Reviewed list of safest used cars for teens and looked under small SUVs
  • Picked the safest ones in our price range (target 12K) and without fancy options
  • Found exactly two used car choices meeting our criteria and we decided the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES (base level) would be the one Oldest Son would prefer
  • Bought a 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES with less than 10,000 miles! We had to go a little over budget but not much and we have 3 years of factory warranty left. Commuter Husband did a great job finding this deal!
We surprised Oldest Son as part of our annual Valentines Day celebration.
Hershey Kisses leading to Valentines Day gifts and a clue taking Oldest Son to the driveway.
  • Oldest Son said excitedly with huge smile "It's not a Prius!" (We had led him to believe he was getting the hand-me-down car.)
  • Youngest Son said with astonishment and a smirk "Hey your car does not look dumb!"
Happy and Shocked!
Trying it out!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Traveling with One Teen to Phoenix

Oldest Son and Youngest Son are out of school for a long holiday weekend. Oldest Son is in Florida participating in a debate tournament. Oldest Son "gone for debate" has become a common occurrence. Thus, Commuter Husband and I expect to be out and about with our Youngest Son more often over the next few years. This gradual movement from four to three signals the beginning of our boys creating their own independent lives separate from their parents. This long weekend we ventured to Phoenix, AZ with Youngest Son.

Friday Morning Arrival = Family
A 6am flight out of DFW got us to my Uncle's (my mother's brother) house in time for coffee in Phoenix. Commuter Husband, Youngest Son and I visited with Uncle and Uncle's Wife. Uncle had a double lung transplant one year ago when we were here visiting during Ranger's Spring Training. It is miraculous to see how great he is doing and living life fully again ...
Youngest Son learning how to chip golf balls from Uncle (his Great Uncle) in the backyard. 
Friday Evening = Sports
Commuter Husband went to Arizona State University way back when for his college freshman year. Friday evening we returned to his alma mater to attend the ASU versus USC basketball game. The college game was both fun and entertaining ...
The Band and Cheer Girls and Fans at attention for the Star Spangled Banner. 
And the spectacle of fire as the Sun Devil Basketball players are announced!
Seats on 3rd row rock! 
And the Sun Devils are victorious over the 23rd ranked USC!!
Saturday Morning = Nature
We awoke Saturday morning to coffee and yummy breakfast. Afterwards, Commuter Husband, Youngest Son and I headed to Thunderbird Conservation Park for a hike.
Youngest son scarfed down the pecan waffles made by Uncle and the eggs and bacon (real not turkey) made by Commuter Husband.
Youngest Son reaches the top of our 1.5 mile hike.
The View.
Saturday Afternoon = Culture
Who can say they have been to the 26th Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Contest? The Heard Museum of American Indian Art & History was the host to this uniquely American experience.
We arrived to see the last few teen dancers.
Watching from a shaded hillside. The sound of the drums and chants heard clearly. 
This adult dancer from British Columbia was fantastic!
Youngest Son and Commuter Husband looking at Allan Houser's (Haozous) (Chiricahua Apache 1914-1994) bronze, Unconquered II.

Nora Naranjo-Morse (Tewa, born 1953) bronze, Khwee-seng (Woman-man)
Father - Son
Saturday Night = Food and Games
We wrapped up a full day with grilled steaks and 42 ...
Fillet, Baked Potato and Salad - so good - outside on a beautiful Phoenix evening.
Uncle and Youngest Son beat Commuter Husband and me - ugh.

Friday, February 5, 2016

A World Imperfect

I really need to sign up for a poetry class. And escape to a beach with no news feed.

A world broken
War and refugees 
Poverty and disease
Rape and murder
Men and domination
Never ending
Lessons learned, not really

A world confused
Wealth and power
Land and borders
Religion and G-d
Sex and force
Never ending
History repeating, over and over

A world intolerant
Women and skin
Special and different
Poor and uneducated
Beliefs and cultures
Never ending
Closed minds, always a battle

A world political
Lies and deceit
Corruption and money
Deals and alliances
Selfish and self-absorbed
Never ending
False leaders, getting worse and worse

A world of children
Abandoned and orphaned
Pressured and stressed
Abused and forgotten
Sold and subjected
Never ending
Empty promises, the cycle repeating
Our Children (Youngest Son & Nephew). Simple Beauty. (@ DMA)