Month: January 2012

Daddy-Daughter Date Night #2

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Getting our Jitterbug on!

I love my girls.  I am a blessed Daddy.

One of the very cool things that our church does once a year is a themed Daddy-Daughter Date Night for girls in kindergarten through 5th Grade.

Em and I have gone for the last three years.  We’ve been to a 50’s dance, western night, and a blizzard beach blowout!

Last night marks our fourth time to go – and we were back to poodle skirts (for Em – not me) and bowling shirts.

Ava wanted to go too, but I told her that she will get to go next year when she’s older.  Between her being so happy-go-lucky and not having any concept of how long a year is, she said, “Ok Daddy” and gave me a hug.

Em and I headed out to the church and had a great time!  We spent time just soaking in the atmosphere, dining, making new friends, laughing, dancing, and being a little crazy.

One of my favorite parts of the night is when we write letters to each other and then read them.

Of course, mine usually center around how wonderful of a young lady she is growing up to be and that her Daddy will always love her.

Hers is usually sweet and simple, but this year she added a little twist.  This year, she said, “I love you, but I want to have more Daddy-Daughter Date nights…just the two of us….and not just at church.”  Basically, my 9-year old just told me she wanted more one on one time.   I was stunned.  I tried to rationalize all of the individual time we spend together – shopping, running to and fro, at sports, etc.  But she said she wanted special dedicated time…a date.  Still surprised…I got the message.

As Emily does so well, she introduced some levity and laughter at that moment by saying, “I’ve wanted to tell you this before, but I didn’t know how to write.”

So, without skipping a beat, we set a recurring monthly Daddy-Daughter Date Night where we will do something special together….just the two of us.

It’s interesting… out of all of the lessons that I try to teach my children, here was my daughter teaching me a lesson.

The point was well taken.  In our rush to live life, our kids want something simple.  Our time.

For all you Dad’s out there, I encourage you to do the same.  Part of the beauty of attending the date night at church is that there is a lesson that comes with it.  Tonight’s lesson:  “How you treat  your daughters will become the ‘standard of treatment’ that they will expect from their future boyfriends and husband.

So, raise that bar high.

I love my girls.  Did I mention that?  And I look forward to many Daddy-Daughter Date Nights to come with both of them.

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Ava’s Awesome Antics #6

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With her best Ryan Seacrest impersonation:

“This …IS…..American Midol”

-Ava, 4

Believing in the Martins

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I believe in lots of people.

I believe in their hopes and dreams.

I pray for their success and prosperity.

But today, I want to highlight one special couple.

Matt and Christie Martin.

Matt and Christie are an awesome husband/wife team that have embarked on an incredible journey to adopt a child.

I really think a lot of these two.  They are talented, loving, and caring and will make excellent parents.  One of the main reasons I am so sure of their success is because they are grounded firmly in their faith in Jesus Christ.

The Martin’s are chronicling their journey on Matt’s blog, which you can check out at

Raising a child takes a village and adopting a child takes much more.  It’s an expensive endeavor – in the neighborhood of $30-$40K.  So, along with their pursuit of adopting a child, they have started a fundraising effort.  With their Christmas card, Matt and Christie cleverly sent magnets and stickers encouraging others to be part of their journey – whether through prayer or finances.  Read their post “Leaping from the Lion’s Head” to learn more.  They’ve also set up a donation link at the top of their blog.

With economic times being what they are – not many of us have a bunch of extra money laying around – but little by little we can contribute to things that matter.  And I think this is something that matters.  We attached our magnet and sticker to a gallon can – and we’ve started putting our spare change in it.  Every little bit helps.

Which is why – if you feel so inclined – I encourage you to follow the Martin’s on their blog, donate to their adoption, but most importantly – pray for God’s will in their life.  We will.

The Broad Brush and The Narrow Brush

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Another weekend of cleaning and prep for selling our home!

April did a great job all week knocking things off of the ‘to do’ list while I was in San Francisco.  Unfortunately, we are getting down to the tedious tasks like spackling, painting, and cleaning windows.  Which really is not fun for anyone…

It’s funny…  As we go through this process, we finish a task and then ask ourselves, “Why didn’t we do that sooner?”   This was definitely the case when we repainted our front door and front door trim this weekend.  One – it looks way better!  and Two – it looks way better!  Again, why didn’t we do this sooner?

While painting, I thought of one of those little life lessons that would be good for my kids.

I call it The Broad Brush and the Narrow Brush.

Your Mom (April) and I make a good team.  Why?  Because we compliment each other.

Today, as we were tackling the front door task, we each took a role.  I grabbed the broad brush.  She grabbed the narrow brush.

This isn’t because I have some complex and had to have the bigger brush.  It’s because I am good at painting broad strokes.  I know how to paint with the grain.

And I can cover a lot of ground pretty quickly.  I also know that I am not as detailed and careful when it comes to the edges, corners, and narrow spots.

Mom (April) on the other hand is good at what I am not.  And she grabbed the narrow brush.  She worked the detail tediously and is good at the finer work.

In the end….we did pretty good work…together.

The moral of the story is this: You can accomplish great things if  1) you know your own strengths and weaknesses; 2) play to your strengths; and 3) partner with others to offset your weaknesses.

Grow well kids!  As for now…’s back to work.

Ava’s Awesome Antics #5

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Look!  It’s Peter Potter!

-Ava responding to seeing a picture on the wall at Red Robin.  Apparently Harry has a brother!

Ancient Artifacts

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While going through our purging process for our Crazy 2012 Adventure, I came across some ancient artifacts.

I took them in the house and showed them to Emily.

I held up a VHS tape and said, “Do you know what this is?”  She looked at it inquisitively, but shook her head and said, “I have NO idea.”

I said, “This is how we used to watch movies before DVDs.”

I then held up a cassette tape and said, “Do you know what this is?”  She looked even more confused and said, “I REALLY have NO idea.”

I said, “This is how we used to listen to music before CDs.”

Emily then responded, “Wow.  You really ARE old.”

Imagine what would have happened if I would have pulled out an 8-track, vinyl record, Betamax or 16mm movie.

Like a Kid in a Candy Store!

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Our new storage unit has two roll up doors; one at either end.  Interestingly – someone else’s lock was on one end.

When I told the manager, he asked, “Would you like to cut the lock off?”

That question is like asking a kid, “Would you like some free ice cream?”

Of course I wanted to cut the lock off.  So he passed me this giant set of bolt cutters.

I must have had a huge grin on my face as I threw the bolt cutters over my shoulder and headed out the door, because the old guy just cackled at me.  Yes, cackled.

I loaded the bolt cutters into the suburban and headed off to cut me  a lock!

When I got there, it was like a magical moment.  The perpetrator’s lock hung there helplessly, glimmering in the sunlight.

I grabbed the tool out of my ride, which reminded me of the days of grabbing a tool off of the firetruck before heading in to a fire.

I descended upon the lock and cut it like a hot knife through butter.   The lock fell to the ground.

And all of the sudden my brief moment of joy slipped away as I realized that it was over.

I quickly looked around to see if there was anything else that I could cut.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that some of those other locks looked awfully tempting.

But then I looked back at the decapitated lock on the ground and felt the satisfaction of a job well done.

I returned the cutters to the manager and he simply said, “That was quick.”

Yes.  Yes it was quick.  Too quick.  Next time, I’ll take a little more time…