Archive for the 'parenthood' Category

01
Jul
12

A few hours of normal at Chick-Fil-A

Friday was our daughter’s 6th birthday. We had planned to have her birthday party at our house, but due to a major storm in our area, we lost

This is our neighbor’s tree. Many more trees in our area look like this.

electricity that evening, along with the majority of our entire county. As best we could tell, most of our surrounding area was without power, as well.

We woke on Saturday morning, still with no power. As usual, I was checking Twitter to get any updates that I could on my phone and saw that someone posted that parts of a nearby town had power.

As my wife and I were trying to figure out what to do about our daughter’s party, and how to make the best of the situation, I remembered the tweet I had seen earlier in the day, and I had an idea…

Special evening for us!

Just one week earlier, my daughter and I attended the Daddy Daughter Date night event held by Chick-Fil-A. We attended the event at the Chick-Fil-A at Market at East Broad in Columbus, OH. The team did a great job that night serving up great food and a great experience, just for the two of us. They had a young man providing some great background music with a guitar and took a picture of us that they later emailed to me that same night. We got to meet Karen Bolumen, Operator of this location and some of her team. One of the team members, Darcie, was one of the servers that night and did a great job making sure we had everything we needed.

As we were trying to decide what to do about our daughter’s party, I realized that this Chick-Fil-A was pretty close to the town that I read had power. Did they? I went back to the email that contained the picture of my daughter and me from the Daddy Daughter Date night, replied to it and asked if the restaurant had power. Karen replied back just a short while later, that they did! A few quick emails and one phone call and we moved her party to Chick-Fil-A.

When we arrived, they had an area set aside for us. As always, the team was very welcoming and hospitable. They even let us put our cupcake cake (the original ice cream cake didn’t survive the power outage) in their cooler until we were ready for it. With every request and refilled drink, we were always met with a “my pleasure” and a smile, in response. They even let my wife and I charge our cell phones, which was much needed. All of our friends and family that attended the party were very impressed with the team’s service.

In addition, guess who just happened to be there that day: Darcie. Remember her? She was one of the servers from our Daddy Daughter Date night. She remembered me and my daughter from the event. While we were there, she brought Reagan a cookies and cream milkshake and a set of red, white, and blue balloons and wished her a happy birthday numerous times.

What could have been a very disappointing day for our daughter, the Chick-Fil-A at Market at East Broad team made very special. Thank you to Karen, Darcie and the entire team at the location for making our daughter’s birthday very memorable.

Thanks for the balloons, Darcie! They fit well with the American Girl themed party.

Happy birthday girl blowing out the candles!

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23
Apr
12

Monday motivation: Do it to it. Or is it Duit Tuit?

I remember as a young child someone gave me a small round, plastic object. On one side, it had the letters TUIT printed on it. On the reverse side was a message much like the one in the picture. I was the fortunate recipient of a round tuit! (cheesy, I know) Since someone was so thoughtful as to bestow this round tuit to me, I could now complete the tasks that I always said I would do “when I got a round tuit (to it)”. How lucky am I?

Obviously, this was a play on words. The circular object was no more magical than anything else, but it was more of a made up license to start the things you always said you would, but for some reason, didn’t. You now had no excuses because you had received the round tuit.

Here’s my Monday challenge to you: what is that thing you’ve been putting off? You know what it is. Just in case you’re having a case of the Mondays, let me throw a few reminders out there:

  • you’ll start to work out
  • you’ll make that phone call
  • write that letter
  • reach out to that person
  • start to save money
  • plan for retirement
  • spend more time with your kids
  • become more positive
  • work on that presentation
  • reconnect with a family member you haven’t seen in years
  • call your high school buddy
The list goes on and on, but only you know what you’ve been waiting to do until you get a round tuit.

So, on this Monday morning, I’m passing along this round tuit to you virtually. Now you have no more excuses. You don’t have to figure it all out today, but you need to set the wheels of action into place to make that thing happen. In other words: do it to it!

Enjoy your week!

05
Mar
12

Monday (poetic) motivation

I’m not a great reader of poetry, but the first time I read this poem, I was hooked. The poem is “If” by Rudyard Kipling. He penned the masterpiece in 1910. it has been called an “exhortation to self-control and stoicism”. Enjoy!

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


19
Feb
12

Proud Parent Moment: Kids vs. Asparagus

I think I may have mentioned my affinity for the show Man v. Food previously on this blog. The show is about Adam Richman, a man who travels the country in search of the world’s greatest food challenges. We’ve watched Adam devour humongous burgers, eat amazingly hot food (the kind that brings tears to your eyes BEFORE you eat it), and take on some other serious food challenges. I’m impressed with his skills.

So, you’re probably wondering, “how is this going to turn out as a good parenting moment”. Oh, how you doubt my skills. 🙂

As part of our dinner this evening, my wife made asparagus. By a show of hands, how many of you LIKE asparagus (sans tons of ooey gooey cheese sauce). Ah, I see that hand in the back corner! Good for you. 🙂

My wife and I began to eat and the kids weren’t really buying the asparagus. Our son started to eat his stalk and wasn’t thrilled. Same with our daughter. I knew we had to do something. My wife had worked hard to saute the asparagus just right. The mixture of garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil was perfect. What to do???

If I know one thing about our kids, they’re always motivated by a challenge, especially our oldest. So, I grabbed the bowl of asparagus, grabbed a stalk and challenged our son. The first one to eat the entire stalk would win the challenge. Ironically, the asparagus that wasn’t so good a few minutes ago, was magically gone in a flash. Round one: Grant!

His younger sister, not to be outdone, had to challenge daddy next! Round two: Reagan!

Next up, Mommy! Round three goes to Mommy!

Grant wanted a second shot at dad (and he won): Round four: Grant

I even did a few of the rounds “double barrel” eating two stalks at a time.

Now, did the taste of the asparagus change? Nope. But, the fact that we made it into a game and it was A) competitive and B) they were winning, made all the difference.

After a few challenges, the entire pound of asparagus my wife cooked was gone. Honestly, if I was a 7 or 5 year old and my parents told me I had to eat asparagus, I’d have gone to bed hungry. The kids had fun eating their veggies for the night. They won the challenges, but we all won because of the healthy benefits of the asparagus.

What are some tricks or challenges that you’ve issued your kids? What were some games or challenges that you’re parents did with you that made something seem like fun. Leave a comment below.

11
Feb
12

Parenting idea: The Tattling Cup

General question: how many of you have kids?

How many of you have more than one child?

Does one or more of your children like to tell on their sibling(s)?

The answer, for us, to all three of these questions is: Yes!

Our kids are great! We love each of them dearly and enjoy watching their individual personalities come out and grow. For some reason, our son has a penchant for for tattling on his younger sister. “MOM! DAD!” You’ve heard it. You’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Moving on.

Last night, my wife and I were  having a discussion on how to nip this in the bud. I made an offhanded suggestion that we could make a “tattling cup”, based loosely upon the principles of the ever so popular “cuss jar”. Some of you may have even used the cuss jar before. Anyway, here’s the premise:

  • We start each day with 10 coins (could be pennies, dimes, nickels, etc.). The denomination doesn’t really matter.
  • Our son gets all 10 coins to start the day. He can even put them in his pocket, if he chooses.
  • Each time he tattles on his sister (or either my wife or I), one coin goes in the Tattling Cup.
  • At the end of the day, whatever money is in the cup goes to our daughter.
  • Whatever money is left in our son’s pocket, he gets to keep.

Our son is actually excited about this little experiment, as is our daughter (obviously).

Have you ever tried something like this with your kids? If so, leave a comment below.

Enjoy your Saturday with family!

30
Jan
12

Monday Motivation: Who’s got it better than us? Noooobody!

The San Francisco 49ers had a great year. No, they’re not playing in the Super Bowl next weekend, but a lot of the players took part in the Pro Bowl yesterday in Hawaii. The Niners have been my favorite team since I was a kid. They’ve won 5 Super Bowl trophies in the past, but hadn’t had a winning record since 2002, until this year. That’s 8 seasons of sub-.500 football. This team, who was just 6-10 last year, went 13-3 this season, and earned a first round bye in the playoffs. Primarily, the team consisted of the same players as last year, except for a few well placed additions in the defensive secondary. So, what was the difference. Attitude. Namely, the attitude of the new head coach.

Jim Harbaugh is a former NFL quarterback and came to the 49ers after a successful run at Stanford University. When Harbaugh came on board, he brought with him years of both playing  and coaching experience. But the thing that payed off most for the team actually came from his dad. An attitude of gratitude, thankfulness, and focusing on what you’ve got, as opposed to what you don’t have.

If you followed the 49ers at all this year, you have probably seen some of the players wear these shirts. If you can’t read the shirt, the message is simple. The front asks the question: “Who’s got it better than us?” The back answers that question, “NOBODY!” This motivational Q & A served as the 49ers team chant before and after practices and games.

As I was researching where this came from, I found that it actually came from Jim Harbaugh’s dad, Jack. Here’s the story from an SFGate blog post:

“We were talking on the phone the other day and he said, ‘You know, it’s amazing. I can recall (saying) that in Crestline back in the early 1950s.’ We lived in the same neighborhood and we had a group of about 10 or 15 guys that would wake up every morning in the summer when the sun came up and go out and play. And at lunch time you’d run over to someone’s house and a mom would make you some peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and then it was back on the playground. Then it was dinner time. And after dinner time, back out and you’d play a little kick-the-can because you couldn’t see the ball any more, but you’d put the can under a street light and could play until 8:30, 9 0’clock in the summer time. Mike says, ‘You know what? I can recall that. We’d be walking out to play. Or we’d be going home at night and we’d look at each other say, ‘Who’s got it better than us? Noooo-body.’ And that was a great life.”

Jack Harbaugh later passed the appreciate-what-you-have motto on to his children, who didn’t grow up with many material possessions.”

The motto is all about focusing on what you have, not on what you don’t have.

It’s about focusing on what could be, not on what isn’t.

It’s about being so content with what you’ve got, that you feel sorry for the rest of the world.

It’s pride and belief in yourself and those around you.

Oprah Winfrey has been quoted as saying, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” While I don’t agree with everything that she says, I do agree with her on this point.

As you start out your week, in work and in personal life, make it a point to focus on the things that you do have. Count your blessings.

Finally, here’s Coach Harbaugh in action after an early season comeback win against the Philadelphia Eagles. You’ll see the team answer the question at the end of the clip.

Enjoy your Monday!

28
Jan
12

First Science Fair a SUCCESS!

I promised photos of today’s science fair experience on Facebook and Twitter, so here you go! I’ll admit, I did not anticipate the rush of parental pride and slight nervous rush I got from watching Grant today. It was either that or all of the chocolate from binge day. 🙂 I’m not sure.

If you want to see how we got to this point, click here.

Our young scientist with his display.

Covering his hypothesis with the judges.

'I held the box out like this, and dropped it from my bedroom window!"

Answering questions from the judges.

The judges huddle and make their marks!

Papaw stopped by to see the young scientist!

That's one happy camper! Final result-2nd place!

This will be hanging in his room soon without a doubt.




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