Friday, April 24, 2009

Shot in the Spine

Recently I was involved in a health fair talking to kids about the spine and nervous system. The school was situated in a depressed part of town. With high crime and poverty these great kids a completely different life-experience than my kids.

They asked great questions about the bones and posture but there was one question that came up several times. "What happens if you get shot in this part of the spine?"

Shot in the Spine? These kids were concerned about being shot in the back. I have done health fairs like this in a bunch of different venues but never had I been asked the "shot in the spine" question over and over.

Then I realized the blessings my children have. They don't have to be concerned about being shot or stabbed. Their biggest problem is being forced to do chores, wanting to know what's for dinner, not getting a second piece of gum, you know the usual.

This helps me to keep it real. When I think being a parent is tough, it's always good to be thankful for the big things, like the basic safety of my kids.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Great Balancing Act

There is the story that my wife and I have read to the kids for a while now, it's called "Caps for Sale" and its about this guy who walks around with a bunch of hats on his head, offering them for sale at "50 cents a cap".

The dude walks and walks and doesn't make a stinking sale. He finds a tree to sit under and rest. While he sleeps monkeys take all his hats. He enters a negotiation with them and eventually gets them back.

This guy is trying to make a buck to support himself. He's got monkeys taking his stuff and he's balancing a bunch of hats on his head...hey that's me!

I wear a lot of hats: Husband, Fathers, Christian, Friend, Son, Brother, Doctor, Employer, Scout Helper, Bible Study Leader, Triathlete. Some I choose to wear others I must wear. However you slice it it's as great balancing act. Sometimes it's difficult to keep the hats straight on your head.

So I go to the words of Paul who wrote in the new testament: "You know that many runners enter a race, and only one of them wins the prize. So run to win! Athletes work hard to win a crown that cannot last, but we do it for a crown that will last forever. I don't run without a goal." [1 Corinthians 9:24-26 CEV]

Paul says to train hard like athletes for the things that last forever. Looking at all my hats I ask myself, which ones have "forever" impact. These are the ones I cant drop or let the monkeys mess with them. The other ones, the ones that don't have forever impact, I could set down.

The hard part is keeping that in mind when the monkeys come.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our Swing Set - RIP


A swing set is a wonderful thing for a young and growing family. I remember when we got our first swing set. It came as part of a house we purchased a few years ago. We ended up moving and took our swing set with us.

I remember spending days taking it apart piece by piece and reassembling it in our new home. The kids would play for hours on their beloved swing set.

Then one day the swing set was vandalized. The rope holding the horse and the rope ladder was brutally slashed. Why would someone (or something) do such a thing? We will never know. All we can do is pray that it never happens again.

Moving time came again meaning it was time to dismantle and transport the swing set to our next home.

After getting the trucks unloaded we drug the swing set to the backyard where it would be carefully reassembled. Unfortunately that day would never come.

It was a crisp morning when the gruesome discovery was made. The swing set had been vandalized yet again. This time each rung of the ladder was broken in half, the floor on the "tree house" was completely dismantled. The top beam was broken in two and the tower was drug down the hill and abused beyond recognition. (Note: The swing set was not on our property when this happened. When we replace the swing set it will be safe and secure in our yard).

The kids lost a trusted friend that day. We had the remains taken away to that great swing set resting place in the sky.

It's great to see organizing a spring give-a-way of an exceptional swing set from Kids Creations. I'm looking forward to sharing the joy with the lucky winner of the swing set. It will be a great addition to the family, one where memories will be made and joy will reign.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Crunchy Quesadillas of Sorrow

[Sobbing Six Year Old sitting on her bed]

"It's not fair, daddy! [sob, sob, tears] Why did mommy have to make the quesadilla crunchy!"

Being a father means a lot of things. Last night it meant helping pinkerbelle through the trauma of the crunchy cheese quesadillas (they are usually are microwaved and floppy). Here is a little background information.

We were "enjoying" a loud game of monopoly while pinkerbelle discovers she cant breath through her stuffy nose. The only thing that will help is a breath-rite stripe. She doesn't get the nose strip and starts crying, causing her nose to become more stuffy and the ball start rolling. After a few minutes it's apparent that this isn't going to end well so I send her to her room.

My wife brings her her dinner and leaves it with her as the sob-fest continues. Then she discovers the usually soft cheese quesadilla is CRUNCHY! Her wails and screams rock the house, the boys burst out laughing which she probably hears making it worse.

I go upstairs and brush her teeth as the stream of tears mixed with the toothpaste, I'm sure a nice salty-minty flavor. Hooked her up with a nose strip and put her to bed. After singing a few songs she stopped crying and within seconds she was asleep.

Just another day on the front lines of fatherhood.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Bunny EXPOSED!

In 2006 my daughter and son made the discovery that the Easter Bunny tracks I make every year are fake. The night before Easter, I take some flour and a couple cotton balls and make some bunny tracks. In the beginning they thought they were real, now they know better.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Warning: Webkinz Are Taking Over the World!

A few years ago our family entered a new world. It's a world where stuffed animals live and play called Webkinz World. I'm sure you have heard the name...but listen to me don't know the half of it.

It all starts with a simple purchase of an overpriced stuffed animal. Lets say you are walking down the isle at you local retailer, minding your own business and all of the sudden your 5 year old falls deeply in love with a little blue rhinoceros. The tag on the ear says you can adopt this little animal and bring it to life online. You fall for it and buy the little stuffie.

This begins your journey into the vast world of slick marketing, fun, games and relationship building between virtual stuffed animals and your child.

At the adoption center Ms. Birdy welcomes the kids to their new virtual world. A few years ago I registered the day after Christmas, big mistake. The server shut down causing a glitch in in our account, the kids wept bitterly for days.

Every day they would check to see if their virtual friend was alive and every morning (from Christmas into the New Year) their little hearts were ripped out and crushed as if Ms. Birdy was telling them every day, "Your webkinz are dead"!

So, after a little counseling, the next step is visiting the Webkinz front page where you will find "Kinzville Times"

Notice the up-sell to "Deluxe Memberships". I'm not bashing Webkinz I just wish I invented it. It's the ultimate business. Get kids addicted, get them to need more stuff for their little online buddies and get them coming back every day to do jobs and play games.

They get millions of visitors a months and my three kids are in that number. My kids have a good time playing with other friends from school online. Webkinz aren't taking over the world, but they have taken over our house...let's hope there isn't a breakout of spikieitis.

Happy Easter...Watch my daughter discover that the Easter Bunny is Fake!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Pizza Movie Night

When my little girl was born about 6 years ago we started a tradition, Pizza Movie night. Every Friday we drag out a thin mattress, throw down a sheet, get some pizza and put on a movie. We make pizza from scratch or we order, depends on the mood and energy level.

This is not a unique tradition but it's one we enjoy. Sometime I lay down with the three kids and take a 60 minute nap. It all depends on the movie (i.e. Beverly hills Chihuahua) Tonight our movie selection is Bedtime Stories, I hear it's good, we'll see.

The great things about our family traditions, is that once they are established they stick. It's very hard to get them unstuck. Bageling is a prime example. I did a Google blog search to find some other families who share this tradition.
I'm sure most of you do this too. If not, get to it. Start these cool tradition early and your kids will always remember doing ________. (Fill in the blank).

On another note: This week we all worked on this great post called Spikieitis - a dreaded disease of stuffed animals. We found the cure...

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