This Blog will be out of service until 07-03-07.

I'll be up helpin' Ed roof his house, drink his booze, and smoke his cigars.

Thanks for stopping by.


It came... and then it went

The 2007 Academy of the Holy Angles class of 1987 twenty year high school reunion.
It came… and then it went.

Overall (to be completely honest) I felt disappointed and let down. Do not get me wrong - The committee did a good job organizing the reunion. Although it would not have been my first choice (more on that later), the venue Kieran's Irish Pub was pleasant, with a positive and upbeat atmosphere. The committee members were all very enthusiastic and welcoming.

What I felt disappointed and let down in was... well... myself.

You see - my lifestyle (not having a lot of "disposable" income, having many young children, working a stressful job that requires me to work odd hours, and having "too much" to do with not enough time to do it in) provides very little opportunity for going out. If (by chance) there is some free time in my schedule, and that time just happens to line up with my wife's schedule, our first choice for what to do inevitably (and by our choice) involves "family" time. A night out, just the wife and I (without the kids) doing "adult activities" -

Yeah, yeah, yeah - Save your "comments" - By "adult activities" I mean...

1. Eating somewhere that does not involve an evil red-headed corporate McClown asking me if I want "fries with that" or if I would like my meal "supersized".


2. An evening of activities that does not involve a swing set, slide, or sandbox.
- is something that happens once or twice a year. Needless to say, when these opportunities present themselves (like the reunion) I REALLY look forward to them!

"REALLY looking forward to the reunion" may have been the first proverbial nail in the disappointment coffin. You see - it is one thing to "anticipate" an event for a few days - maybe even a week. In the case of the reunion, it was something that (at least in the back of my mind) I was looking forward to for nearly a year and easily was on the forefront of my mind for a couple of months. I had an opportunity to "build it up" so much in my mind that the reunion had no chance of meeting my expectations.

Helping to drive that nail was the fact that my prior reunion experiences were all very positive.

My graduating class had between 175-180 students. When I left high school, I prided myself on being able to say I knew (and got along) with everyone in our class. Of these 180 some students, the "core" group I spent time with consisted of about 20 (give or take) people that I would consider true friends (I will call them "Tier 1"), another 20 (give or take) that were friends / acquaintances that I would spend time with (I will call them "Tier 2"), and the remainder 120 (give or take) were people I knew from casual contact, but had little to do with on a day to day basis (Yup. "Tier 3").

When the time came that my five year reunion rolled around (It was held at a Chi-Chi's in St. Paul (?)), I had felt like I was on more of an extended spring break than having been separated for five years. I was still able to put names to everyone's face, and enjoyed several conversations with former classmates from all "Tiers".

At my ten year reunion (held at the Buck Hill Ski Chalet) I had still retained about ninety-five percent of the name / face ratio. I had a great time, and spent a large portion of the evening visiting with someone I had barley known in high school. It was a pleasant surprise, and (of all the reunions I have been to) this one had the largest number of classmates that I wanted to see actually present. This reunion stands out in my mind as the best of all the reunions I have been to.

As the fifteen year reunion rolled around (held at a bar in St. Paul - I do not recall the name) I was staring to feel the effects of "moving on". I was still able to identify all my friends, most of my acquaintances, and even some of the names that went along with a funny story or a lasting memory that occurred. Sadly though, there were some that I just could not place. These are people that (back in high school) I had very little contact with - but knew of them. There was still a significant turnout of my “core” group of friends.

Somewhere between the fifteen and the twenty - something happened. You see, to be honest, last week at my twenty year reunion I had trouble naming all but a few of the attendees. I think I have now fully disconnected from my high school years and (with a few exceptions) the space in my memory that used to store those "names and faces" has (unfortunately) been used for other useless drivel.

I do have a theory, but honestly my "theory" may be more of an "excuse" or "justification" than a bonafide "theory", yet I feel it has some merit. On one wall of the pub was a slide show of miscellaneous photos from our yearbook(s), and other photos (from personal collections) submitted to the reunion committee. While talking to one of my friends about how we were both having a hard time remember names, we turned to the slide show, and I was still able to name a significant portion of the students in the photos. Yet as I turned and looked around the room, I had a hard time being able to name those same attendees.

Theory: The recognition of the students from the sideshow vs. the lack of recognition of the same students standing in the bar next to me (20 years later) has something to do with the changes that we all have been through over the past twenty years. (I can tell you there is a little bit "extra" of me than there was twenty years ago). In other words, I recognize "John Doe" in the photographs because the "John Doe" of my memory looks just like the "John Doe" in the photograph - but the "John Doe" standing at the other end of the bar looks just similar enough that I get that "Man does he look familiar" spark, but just different enough to give that uncertainty or inability to connect with the name. I guess it is safe to say (just as my dad always tells me) "Justification is the key to mental health".

Sadly, I can name more of the "regular" criminals, and what they have been up to in the past year (at least in the jurisdiction that I am employed) than I can name the people I went to high school with. What does that say for my psyche?

My biggest disappointment of the evening came when I found myself having a VERY DIFFICULT time just going up and saying hello to people I would have had no problem visiting with at any of the prior 3 reunions. I actually told one person that I would have paid extra to be able to have a hiding spot and watch the reunion from a "peep hole". (An embarrassing truth.)

One of the consequences of being "me" is having very little opportunity for "social interaction" in my life. I work with the same thirteen people - albeit a pretty good group of people to work with - but it is the same thirteen people (with little change over the past twelve years).

Work related “people contact" comes over a telephone. I deal with EVERYTHING over a telephone. I have witnessed life begin, I have witnessed life end, and I have witnessed many of the good and bad things that happen in between the beginning and the end of life - but always over the telephone. (Actually the more I think about it, a significant portion of what I hear has very little to do with the "good" and for the most part centers around the "bad" things that happen in peoples lives - but that is a "theory" for another time.)

At home, I live a pretty isolated existence. My large family takes up much of my time. I watch as a group of my neighbors get together (semi-regularly) and drink beers on a deck, or sit around a backyard recreational fire as I sit inside and attempt to fold the "Mount McKinley" of clothing that prevents access to our family room, or clean up the "Titanic sized debris field" in our house that comes from a day of children's playing, or because I am just too damn tired (from only getting four or five hours of sleep in the past three nights) that I am falling asleep while washing the dishes.

I am sure these families have their own responsibilities (and I mean in no way to diminish those responsibilities), but I am convinced that they do not have the number of responsibilities that come with a family as large as ours - how else could they find the time to partake in these fun activities?

Side note: For what its worth, we are one of the oldest couples in our neighborhood, and are in a "different place" than most of my neighbors. If memory serves me there are between five and fifteen years difference between my wife and I and almost all our neighbors. As the neighbors are getting older, I watch their lives change too. Since the last of the four "main" couples that regularly got together had a baby last year, I do not think I have seen them "sit around the fire" yet once this year.

Although they are much younger than us, we do get along very well with our next door neighbors who have three children that are almost the same ages as ours (our families have staggered aged kids). I think we relate better with them than any other of our neighbors, and we have our own “family” rec fires and BBQ's on the patio- so don't worry, I am not a complete sociopath! (Hey, Jeremy - Thanks for being a great neighbor, and patient with our busy family!)
On the occasion that we get invited and it actually works out that we can attend one of these get togethers with the larger group of the neighbors (I can think of two times in 7 years) I do enjoy spending time with them! I live in a great neighborhood with lots of wonderful people, but I find myself feeling "apprehensive" when around people I do not know well. I fear that my ability to be "social" has been noticeably impaired, and my internal "suspicion" radar has become "over modulated" by my job and by my slightly "isolated" existence. My trust in (and therefore desire to be around) people (other than myself, and a select few others) has been altered. I can make small talk with new people, but it is so hard it physically “tires” me out.

I think I may be dealing with a slight case of Social Anxiety.

If any of my classmates at the reunion find themselves reading this post, please forgive what appeared to be my "lack of interest" in saying hello to you. That is not the case. I truly wanted to catch up with everyone there, but (for whatever reason) I found it very difficult. Honestly, I do keep in touch with a number of alumni friends via email. (Embarrassingly) I find email such an (ineffective, yet) easy way to maintain a friendship at a "comfortable distance". If (as stated above) you are one of the class of 1987 alums, and you are reading this (and I have not yet frightened you off, or caused to you call the police and report me as a possible accomplice to Ted "The Unabomber" Kaczynski) PLEASE (a.) Forgive me and (b.) use the "contact me" link on the left side of the blog and drop me a line! I'd love to hear from, and catch up with you.

Now, with my own demons, self loathing, and personal disappointment out of the way, I can move on with a disappointment of the evening that I cannot find an internal fault, nor can I fault the committee for. This is an instance where I must “accept that I am not able to control other's avoidance of me”. (Step 2 of my “Social Anxiety Anonymous” 12 step program)

I was disappointed to “not see” twenty or more people that I REALLY wanted to catch up with at the reunion. These are people that I would have talked too (despite any of my “issues”). Among the people that I REALLY wanted to see – perhaps three of them (plus spouses) showed up. The lack of turnout from my “core group” of friends really brought me down.

With one execption.

The presence of one “out of the ordinary” friend who saved the whole reunion for me. If it was not for her attendance, the whole event would have been a total disappointment. When I first arrived, I saw all those “familiar faces” that I could not name. I slinked my way to a quiet little area, and just started surveying the crowd. I first noticed her husband, and then it was not long before the inevitable (and eagerly anticipated) “big warm hug” came from my long time friend “Many Things Do Not Fly”. I could (and may some day) post about our unique friendship, but let it suffice to say (for now) that her feisty, energetic, lively, animated, high-spirited, (gasp for air), go-getting, bouncy, and sparkling personality (I could go on more, but I think you are getting the picture here) made the reunion an enjoyable event. I enjoyed spending time with “Many Things Do Not Fly” and her husband. As I told her a few days ago in an email – there is something about Mr. “Many Things Do Not Fly” that can always bring a smile and a chuckle out of me! He is intelligent, witty, and seems to recognize my “social anxiety issues”. (Personally, I suspect he may deal with similar “issues”, which is why I find sitting back and spending time with him an “always enjoyable” experience.) I would like to get together with them a little more often than the "once or twice every five years" schedule that we are on now!

Well, now after exposing some faults, sharing some embarrassments, and purging some feelings – I’ll close with a couple of opinions / future suggestions. (CAUTION: These are NOT criticisms. The reunion committee did a great job, and should be commended for all their hard work. I hope that if any of them are reading this post, that they do not in any way feel this is a complaint against their hard work. It is VERY appreciated!)

1. Kieran’s was a nice venue… but… The music was a bit loud. It made visiting (which is what everyone was there for) difficult at times. Ambient background 80’s music is fun, but not as loud as it was.

2. I don’t know if it was the layout, or just human nature, but everyone clogged into the front third of the room, directly in front of the bar, the check in table, and the entry/exit. It was impossible to even try and make my way around the crowd while maintaining a bit of “personal space”, while the back two-thirds of the room was virtually empty.

3. I would have liked to seen a less “spur of the moment” photo opportunity. “Many Things Do Not Fly” had left not 5 minutes prior to an announcement that they wanted to take a group photo. I had heard nothing about a group photo earlier. Not having her in the photo was a shame.

4. At our five year reunion, the committee collected information about the attendees. Things like address, spouse, children, employer, and highlights since school, etc. They organized it into a booklet and everyone was given a copy. (You could opt out if you wished) It was interesting, and it felt like I got to catch up with people I did not get a chance to do so with in person. It also provided an opportunity for those who could not attend the reunion to partake in a small way. (I still have my copy)

The obvious question that I know you are asking (if you stuck with this posting so far without having hung yourself in bordem) is “Will I be attending my twenty-five year reunion?"

Ya-know… I think you are going to have to stick around, and tune in five years from now to find out!

Good things come to those who wait.

I have started a post about the reunion. It has become very "introspective" and (for you voyeurs out there) will give you some insight into the flaws of my life.

Be patient.. I want to get it right - after all "Good things come to those who wait".

Catching Up #3

In the "How good do you "think" you know me" thread, I asked if anyone wanted to answer the following question. "Since AHA I've_______________________________________."

My final answer was...

Since AHA, I have (happily and voluntarily) settled into a life of mediocrity, struggling to stay afloat while I undertake the responsibility of trying to nurture a family of five wonderful children (and a loving spouse) into happy and well adjusted members of society, all while striving to preserve a fragment of what is left of my own personality.

In doing so, I have desperately attempted to blend into society through an ordinary placid life of suburban living who's only motivating element is the relentless defense of one's Civil Liberties against a tyrannical __________ ____________ that wields an ever-present dominion over my small slice of suburban bliss.

In a futile attempt to cope with these stresses, I find myself in a frequent and ongoing dispute with a "second voice" that I hear in my head. It is that second voice that (if it were to be heard) threatens to unravel the protective cocoon that envelopes my life in a thin veil of normalcy that I so desperately (yet happily and voluntarily) struggle to maintain.

Don't reply with a "That's what I was going to say" line.... I dont believe you.. (grin)

Catching Up #2

Also In "The Final Option" thread I talked about Ben's Culinary Arts Final, and how I would talk more about that later...

This is (was) Ben's Senior year. He as been deciding what to do with his life, and one of the options he has come up with is "Culinary Arts" (AKA Chef, Cook, Burger Flipper, or "Automatic Fry Machine Attendant").

For one of his final classes this year he took "Culinary Arts". At the class final test, they opened a restaurant, and the students were required to plan, prepare, and serve a three course "restaurant quality" meal in 40 minutes. Parents were asked to come to class to rate, review, and grade the meal.

The restaurant was set up in two shifts, and the class was split into two groups. The first shift of students cooked while the second set assisted the "chefs", hosted, bussed tables, served, and cleaned. Then, the next day the kids reversed their rolls.

On Ben's day to cook, I was the lucky (available) parent to partake.

Honestly, I was amazed at what Ben put together. It was delicious, and was the quality you would expect at a nice restaurant! The only problem was eating this meal at 8:30 am...

I was able to take the leftovers home, and the rest of the family had some for dinner.

The best part of this was there was still enough left over after everyone ate that I was able to take the last bit for lunch the next day. I'll tell you what, his selection was even better served cold the next day!!

The menu consisted of:

(Waiting to hear back from Ben. )
(He has the full description written down)
(I could say Tomato Salad, Pasta, and Fruit desert - but it would not do it justice.)

Catching Up #1

I have no real "new" posts...

I have been "catching up" at home getting a few things done, and so in the spirit of "catching up" I have a couple of things to "catch up" with here on the blog.

Item #1 - In "The Third Option" post, I talked a bit about the Jordan Skate Park. Since there was not much on the website about it, I thought I would get a few pics of what it looked like. Better yet, I got some pics with (two of the three) boys at the park.

I can only fit about two-thirds of the park in the picture at any one time (unless I a so far away you cannot see any of the details of the park). There is a third ramp and landing on the far right side of park (not in the picture). The Jordan Skate park (although not huge in "skate park" standards) is pretty darn nice for our small town!

Yes, that is a Jordan Police Officer on "Routine Patrol" at the park. (1st of the 3 pics) Very nice to see! Maybe I am biased (because of my job, and where I live) but the JPD are a great group of officers!

Today (if the rain holds out) Ben and Jonathan want to go back again.

Fathers Day 2007

Last year, in honor of Father's day, I located a couple of poems written by Edgar Albert Guest.
Guest was a poet who wrote predominantly from the late 1910's to the 1940's.  He wrote in an early American style (that I enjoy reading), and often wrote about fatherhood, children, families, and the like.
Last year I posted two of his poems...
This year I am also going to share with you a couple of other of Edgar Guest's Fatherly poems. 
So, for all the New fathers and soon to be new fathers, the soon to be a fathers again, and the existing fathers, Have a wonderful Father's Day!
To a Little Girl
Edgar Albert Guest

Oh, little girl with eyes of brown
And smiles that fairly light the town,
I wonder if you really know
Just why it is we love you so,
And why--with all the little girls
With shining eyes and tangled curls
That throng and dance this big world through--
Our hearts have room for only you.

Since other little girls are gay
And laugh and sing and romp in play,
And all are beautiful to see,
Why should you mean so much to me?
And why should Mother, day and night,
Make you her source of all delight,
And always find in your caress
Her greatest sum of happiness?

Oh, there's a reason good for this,
You laughing little bright-eyed miss!
In all this town, with all its girls
With shining eyes and sun-kissed curls,
If we should search it through and through
We'd find not one so fair as you;
And none, however fair of face,
Within our hearts could take your place.

For, one glad day not long ago,
God sent you down to us below,
And said that you were ours to keep,
To guard awake and watch asleep;
And ever since the day you came
No other child has seemed the same;
No other smiles are quite so fair
As those which happily you wear.

We seem to live from day to day
To hear the things you have to say;
And just because God gave us you,
We prize the little things you do.
Though God has filled this world with flowers,
We like you best because you're ours--
In you our greatest joys we know,
And that is why we love you so.

A Father's Wish
Edgar Albert Guest

What do I want my boy to be?
Oft is the question asked of me,
And oft I ask it of myself--
What corner, niche or post or shelf
In the great hall of life would I
Select for him to occupy?
Statesman or writer, poet, sage
Or toiler for a weekly wage,
Artist or artisan? Oh, what
Is to become his future lot?
For him I do not dare to plan;
I only hope he'll be a man.

I leave it free for him to choose
The tools of life which he shall use,
Brush, pen or chisel, lathe or wrench,
The desk of commerce or the bench,
And pray that when he makes his choice
In each day's task he shall rejoice.
I know somewhere there is a need
For him to labor and succeed;
Somewhere, if he be clean and true,
Loyal and honest through and through,
He shall be fit for any clan,
And so I hope he'll be a man.

I would not build my hope or ask
That he shall do some certain task,
Or bend his will to suit my own;
He shall select his post alone.
Life needs a thousand kinds of men,
Toilers and masters of the pen,
Doctors, mechanics, sturdy hands
To do the work which it commands,
And wheresoe'er he's pleased to go,
Honor and triumph he may know.
Therefore I must do all I can
To teach my boy to be a man.

Stranded: Day 2

On my last journal entry, I kept referring to the little beings as "they" and "them". Since I am unable to successfully identify these little beings - I will henceforth refer to them as the "littleuns"...

Today (while on routine patrol of the "perimeter") I was able to momentarily detain one of the littleuns. It was during this period of detention that I was able to make some general observations. While she is as "cute as a bug in rug", I did noticed some unidentifiable markings on her arms and legs. These markings appear to be a form of rudimentary "tribal tattoos".

Looking closely at these "markings", I am quite sure they were "self administered" and done so hastily. I am also confident that this littleun did not have permission from whomever looks after her to have them put on, and (from the looks of the quality of the ink used) will be less than "semi-permanent". I imagine these markings will not be visible for more than a day or two.

After documenting the markings via photograph, I released this littleun back into the wild.


Stranded: Day 1

I have awoken to find myself in a strange land. A land where I seem to find myself alone, yet strangely there are other beings present. These “beings” are much smaller than I, and “their ways” are not always civilized. I fear I am significantly outnumbered. I have counted a total of four, and sometimes five of the “regulars”, yet (at various times and places throughout the day) it seems that their numbers are bolstered with other “recruits” and I have counted as many as seven at one time. I find “their ways” strange and bizarre, yet I am oddly attracted to monitor “their” activities. It would almost seem that without some intervention on my part, these “beings” would end up killing themselves at some point, much like the children in William Golding’s novel “The Lord of the Flies”.

I do my best to remain hidden from “them“. For the sake of my own sanity I spend much of my day feebly attempting to monitor “their” activity without much interference. Alas - these “beings” are cunning and skillful. “They” have successfully thwarted any and all of my attempts to conceal myself. “They” will find me no matter where I hide.

As an example, yesterday I attempted to hide behind a noisy machine that seemed to trim the local vegetation. You would think that the noise alone would frighten “them” off, or at the very least discourage “them” from contact, (as I could not hear anything), yet “they” each found a way to approach me (separately - one at a time - about 3 minutes apart - and one of them even brought one of the “recruits” with him) making some indications to me that "they" were hungry. I shooed “them” off in an attempt to forage for “their own" food.

Some time later I was able to uncover the location of “their” feast. I was able to identify the location of the “feeding frenzy” by the telltale sings of a ransacked clearing, and significant debris left behind in an area I like to call “The Kitchen”. I think in the future, I will have to do better at providing “pre-established” feeding times, and maybe even having some food prepared for them. Clean up took much effort and time on my part.

After cleaning up the “feeding frenzy” I came upon some sort of “message” that three of “them” seem to have created. The message they were sending was “prepare for battle”. I am not sure if “they” are anticipating some sort of invasion, or if this was intended as a warning message for me to stay away, but the message was clear. This was all about some sort of battle preparation.

I quickly documented this finding (by photographs - displayed above), and fled the scene for my own safety. Whilst in hiding I started hearing the telltale sounds of a “significant battle”. I realized then that “they” had intended to battle amongst "themselves". There were the obvious sounds of flying objects, the shouts of victory, and the tears (literally) of defeat. After the battle had ended, I returned to the scene expecting to find the remnants of a messy battle, but I was shocked to discover that “they” had cleaned the “battlefield” after having finished the skirmish! I was very pleased to see this, as these little “creatures” are notorious for leaving messes after everything they do, and everywhere they go!

I don’t know how long I will be stranded in this strange land. I fear this could last as long as three months before I am rescued. I have sent for help, but the “S.S. School” is months out, and I have no way of getting any help sooner. I will attempt to leave behind this journal, in the event that these “beings” end up taking over. It is my desire that in the event that I “never return” someone will learn something from my experiences.

Until next time (if there will be a next time)…

FOF Observation #2

(In our house we use rubbermaid containers quite a lot to keep "groupings" of toys together. We have a play-doh container that keeps all the play-doh, forms, cutouts, and other play-doh related items... Including some recently obtained kids moddling clay)

When the kids ask if they can play with Play-doh out on the deck, be sure to make sure there is not any kids molding clay in the same container.

While play-doh dries out in the sun (into a hardned little clump that can be difficult to remove from a deck surface) - clay "melts". Clay melts into the consisitancy of chewed bubble gum or taffy that has been sitting in the sun for a good chunk of the day. It is oily, yet sticky, and softens into a gooey pliable mass that (when stepped on, or a clean up is attempted) will only smear, and stretch, and pull - like warm bubble gum or taffy.

If this happens, you will have to wait until the cool of the next morning (when the deck is also shaded) before attempting to remove the mess.

Graduation 2007 - #1 of 5

My lack of presence here on the Blog is a direct result of the "oldest of five's" recent Graduation from High School, and the subsequent Celebration(s).

It is amazing how fast time flies by. It seemed like only yesterday that this photo (one of, if not my very favorite photos) of Ben was taken.

It will not be long before their "senior photos" are taken...

Then, only a few short months later, and these are the photos...

Ben has had to overcome huge obstacles to get to this place, and has been through more that a kid should have to go through to get here too. He still has a long road to plow ahead of him, but if he has made it this far, I am confident he can make it the rest of the way.

Ben - Way to go!! I am so proud of how far you have come to get to where you are now. I know it has not been easy. It has not been easy on any of us, but the fact that you did make it - says a lot about what you are capable of!


Not all video games....

No, not all video games are a bad influence on children...

Zachary has been hounding me for a video game for our home computer for about a year now.

At our house we have a standard that the Computer is for "Applications" and "Educational Games", and our Xbox (NOT a 360) is for "Video Games".

Yesterday, while shopping at Target with Ben (the oldest of the 5) for some new iPod headphones, I saw the game Zachary has been asking for - bundled with another - on clearance for $4.98. That was too good a deal to pass up.

Now, I know the general rule has been "video games on the Xbox" and "educational games on the PC" so... Tell me what YOU think...

Did I maintain the "standard" or did I break down violate the video game rule??

(The other game is John Deere's "American Builder Deluxe" - I'll post a screensnot later (after I get it installed)

You see, we live in a area that is still primarily considered "rural". Zachary's best friend from school is the son of a dairy farmer, and Zachary LOVES being invited, and going to the farm! He comes home smelling like cow pasture or a chicken coop, with mud - manure - and hay/grass from head to toe, tired as hell, and sporting a HUGE GRIN on his face. Almost always (upon his return) we are given the standard "warning" that we may want to wash his clothing and shoes right away! I really feel good about Zachary's attitude towards the farm, and what he sees and learns (directly and indirectly) while at the farm!

Another oddity is that Zachary is frequently telling me how he wishes he could have his friend's chores (getting up at 5am to help feed and water the livestock, and other miscellaneous farm chores.) instead of his own (which are considerably less work...). One of the first things he tells us after "sleeping over" at his friends house is that he "got to" get up early and help his friend out with his "farm chores".

Funny thing is (I have discovered after talking to this young man's mother) Zachary's friend wishes he could have Zachary's chores instead... Now, I am not naive enough to think that it would last forever. As the old saying goes "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence". I am confident that Zachary would get tired of doing the farm chores after a while too...

But... Who knows... Maybe my boy will grow up to be a farmer.

That would not be at all bad in this "Father-of-Five's" eyes!

FOF Observation #1

Ok folks - I am starting an ongoing thread. The "FOF Observations". I will share with you my readers, short little "one line" observations that I have made (or will be making) on being the father of a large family. You will be able to access each of the posts in a cohesive list by clicking on the "The FOF Observations" link in the "Perpetual Posts" group on the left side of the screen.

So, without further ado, may I present to you my inaugural FOF Observation....

- - - - - - - -

Today it sunk in (as I was cleaning the bathroom) that having a family of seven (with 4 "younger" children) that we go through almost (if not more that one on some days) an entire roll of toilet paper each day.

It does not help that one of my children is "toilet paper challenged" (and uses much more than necessary to "get 'er done") and another likes to peel off a square or two and "shred" it into little pieces as she "passes the time". (I'll try to get a good pic of the "aftermath" of one of the "shredding" sessions. It looks like a hamster was using the toilet!)

I was enlightened to this fact when I picked up two empty cardboard TP rolls that the kids left on the floor, and then noticed two more in the bathroom trash while throwing the first two away...

What is it About Girls

UPDATED 06-02-07

OK, yup, I am a male, and according to Dr. John Gray, I may never truly be able to understand them. (Did anyone notice the lack of that book on my Reading List?)

Today is another Daddy/Daughter day with Melissa. I write these posts during her Curious George and Clifford hour.

While I was here blogging, and Melissa was enjoying her TV time, she spilled a little bit of water on her dress. She started crying, and called me upstairs, where I discovered the offending spill.

Now, as most of you know (and some of you may not), I pride myself on the "hobo" look. If I had the same spill on my pants, not only would I leave it there and go about my day, but depending on the audience, I may even try to make a "peed my pants" joke.. Heck, as far as I am concerned, the pants (or dress) just got a "partial wash".

But, no. Not with Melissa. Nope, she had to make a complete change of clothes. All of 'em. Dress, tee-shirt, and undies... Sheesh... Now, this would not be a big deal was it not for the fact that she is regularly changing clothes because she wants to wear something different. Last "Daddy/Daughter" day she changed clothing THREE times. (And she did not even spill anything - these were just for the helluvit).

God please help me... She is only three years old and already "fashionably indecisive" - What am I going to do when she is a teenager?

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Update 06-02-07. Melissa DID change into a third outfit later in the evening, and then into her PJ's as Rebecca had her "Best friend" sleep over last night... Rebecca, her friend, and Melissa all slept out in the living room in sleeping bags. That makes a total of four clothing changes in one day... I am thinking of starting a Hobo Class for Girls!

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