Thursday, February 25, 2010

Top 3 Thursday …

Sometimes, a Blog Carnival catches my eye, so here goes:


What are the Top 3 reasons why you blog?

I’ve only just started blogging.  My reasons for starting are spelled out here.  Here are the reasons I keep doing it:

So … maybe they’re not so grown up yet …

The other day I blogged about how wonderful it was that my boys were growing into young men I was proud of.  All I can guess is that Julian must have read my blog … because last night I swear he regressed … He teamed up with Kaleigh for goodness sake! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shopping with Cub Scouts

So, I'm the WEBELOS den leader, and I tend to run my Cub Scout den more like a Boy Scout patrol.  In case you don't know the difference, the general rule for Boy Scouts is that they do things themselves.  Therefore, I try to let the boys make their own mistakes as we go.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Long live teenage rebellion!

I’ve heard it said that teenagers rebel against everything their parents believe and stand for so that they can grow up into miniature versions of us.  I’ve lived through teenage rebellion from both sides now … and it hurt from either side.  But last night, I truly got a taste of what my boys have grown into.  I have to say, it was worth all the heartache, all the pain, all the arguments.  I feel like I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Building our House

A bit ago, while Chris and I were arguing, Annika said the coolest thing to Bammy:

“Daddy and Mommy built our house for us”

Now, we’re not into construction, although we do many of our own repairs.  And no, we didn’t actually build the house we’re living in.  But it occurs to me, the more I think about it, that this is true.  We are building a home together, and we’re doing it day by day.  Here are some of my thoughts on this analogy proposed by my 6 year old wise woman:

Not Me Monday

In the spirit of MckMama's blog, I'm going to tell you some of the things that didn't happen this weekend ;-)

Friday, February 19, 2010


One of the biggest things I'm looking forward to at the end of my Cub Scout career is having the time to go on outings with my older boys again.  When Julian was a WEBELOS, I started running short on time to split between my older two boys and Cub Scouts.  The Scout Troop was doing fine, so I discussed it with Adam and Jory (who were 12 and 14 at the time) and asked if they’d mind if I started focusing more on Cubs and less on them.  It was one of those tough choices as a parent  where there is no right decision, but one must be made anyway.  I knew I was going to miss many memories.  I knew I was, at least in part, sacrificing their scouting career for Julian’s.  I knew, though, that it was the best choice we could make at the time, and that we’d survive it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

You never forget your first

With fostering, the firsts have a tendancy to hit you fast ... and hard.  I just thought I'd share a few of Topher's with everyone:

Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return

And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. -- Matthew 6:5-6
I think I've been hearing that quote, and been bothered by it, on Ash Wednesday about as long as I can remember. The gospel says to pray in secret, to not make a public spectacle of yourself ... and then we mark our heads with ashes as an outward sign of our devotion ...

Wait ... say what? Back that truck up and run it over me again!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A few minutes with my wife

It doesn't happen very often, but last Saturday it did.  My older boys all took off ... some to visit relatives, some to visit girlfriends, some just to get wrapped up in computer games.  I found sitters to watch all the little ones.  Thus it was possible, for a brief moment or three, for Chris and I to go to dinner.


No kids.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blue and Gold Winner

This weekend our Cub Scout Pack had our annual their Blue and Gold Banquet.  My WEBELOS den represented itself very well during the “business” part of the meeting.  They did their skit on their own, while I stood in the back of the room and watched and cheered.  They earned over half the badges presented at the meeting.  I had 5 boys earn their WEBELOS badge.  All of my boys earned something, most of them earned several things.  It was very successful.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good Customer Service

This is really going to surprise you ... we have a lot of cell phones at our house.  As my son would say, we have "an official crapton" ... My wife and I both have Droids (woot!), and the four older boys all have cells.  We use Verizon's Family Share plan, but that only covers 5 lines (2+4 = 6), so Ethan's phone was on my parent's Family Share plan.  In case you missed it, though, we added a foster kid last week.  And, we're paying more for our landline now than we are per cell phone.  That makes two more lines we needed to add. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Words fail me

Annika decided to make a mask out of a tortilla ...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

DFS ... Welcome to the Fail Boat!

Topher's mom is an addict.  In addition, she's been diagnosed with schizophrenia.  If that wasn't enough, she's got cancer.  Don't get me wrong ... I'm not going to make any excuses for her.  Rather than dealing with her problems she used illegal drugs to cope.  I have big problems with the choices she made and with the danger she put her children in.  I'm just setting the stage.

Friday, February 5, 2010

End of an era

So ... about 18 months ago I borrowed $30,000 from my family and opened an internet LAN gaming center.  I found a partner, invested tons of time, and in a month we were open.  We have 10 high end decent gaming computers (they were high end when we put them together), two XBOX 360's, one Wii, a Pool Table, and a tabletop RPG Table.

About 6 months into the experience, things were getting difficult.  The shop wasn't making a profit.  Since the primary reason I opened it was to help my kids with their resume's, and they couldn't work for free because it wasn't family owned, this was a BIG problem for me.  There were other issues with the partnership, but the whys are largely irrelavant.  I made a buyout offer, and my partner freaked.  He cleared out everything he brought into the shop, from the freezer to the microwave to the TV stands.  Then, when things got worse, he came in and literally tore the wires from the backs of the machines (doing upwards of $1000 worth of damage), pushed over a customer, and more.  We were ousted by the police, and were locked out for 6 weeks while we settled this.  He finally settled with me (for less than my offer, in the end, so ... I was confused), and we re-opened last March.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I love my wife

So, this morning my wife and I fought. No, I don't mean some lame, tame argument over who's turn it was to do the dishes or take out the trash kind of fight. Those are easy. I know better. I'm wrong. No, this was hard. This was an all out, sit in the car in the office garage alternately yelling, crying, screaming, and whispering into the phone for an hour kind of fight. It's not about our shop, which we are pretty sure we're closing, but it is. It's not about money, but it is. It's not about Topher, but it is. It's not about the fact that I'm an incurable slob who has a desk stacked with soda cans from the last week which will probably stack there until I can’t see over them and into the mirror, at which point I’ll throw a fit and throw them all out, but it is. It's one of those fights that only two individuals who love each other so much that they can't imagine life without each other can have, because if you didn't love someone that much you would brush it all off and not care.

Let's just say, it's not been a good day. But the key to my survival lies in that last sentence. “Two people who love each other so much that they can’t imagine life without each other”. So, I thought I’d try today to talk about why it is that I love my wife so much. Not a snarky cute list, but something with a little bit of actual meat behind it. I hope it helps.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why did it have to be "Pops"?

This whole thing with Topher started to get serious a couple weeks back.  I had been the kinda-sorta father figure in his life for some time, but it was starting to look like it was going to turn into more than that.  I explained to him that we had a name problem.

Topher is actually Donald Christopher.  Up until recently, he has always gone by Chris.  He hates the name Donald, as kids have teased him about being Ronald Mc- ever since he was little.  But, as I explained to him, "Chris" around my house was taken.  By my wife.  About the only person more important to me than my kids.  End.  Of.  Story.

Yesterday's Birthday Boy

Finally getting to the promised pic (sorry...only one...snapped during scouts last night)

        aka: goofdad

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

my Bug is 14!

Ethan turns 14 today!  I meant to snap a picture of his sleeping face this morning, but forgot on my way out the door.  So I'll post a picture or two tonight when I get home.

In the meantime, it's time for a montage of memories:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ikea's got nothing on Teenagers, Tools, and Two-by-Fours

I learned from my Grandpa that when you do something yourself, you get more satisfaction out of it than when you just buy it. Well, this weekend we decided to put that to the test by building beds. It all started when the decision was made for Topher to move in with us (which also happened this weekend...look for more about that later). That left us a bed short. Add to that the fact that my bed had mostly fallen apart, and we had our weekend projects cut out for us.