CONGRATULATIONS!

I am an uncle again!

After a difficult pregnancy, my brother in law, and sister-in-law delivered last night!

He was born 4lbs 2oz - two months early, and ALL (Baby, Mother & Father) are doing well!

Congratulations Brian & Jessica!! We can't wait to meet him!!!

Baseball Day!

Today was our home town's "Baseball Day".

Baseball day is a day our town celebrates... Baseball... Baseball in Jordan!

During Baseball Day (actually two days - Saturday and Sunday) all the Jordan Teams get to play, and enjoy the jewel of Baseball in Jordan...  First to play (tonight) was the 7th-8th grade teams - which #2 of 5 is a member of.

Since Jordan has one of the more famous "Town Ball" fields in Minnesota... During Baseball Day, ALL the Jordan teams get to play in the Jordan "Town Ball" field - Affectionately known as the "Mini-Met".  It was named the "Mini-Met" - after the "Metropolitan Stadium" or "Met" - which was the "full sized" home to the Minnesota Twins for many years.  

For those of you intrested in finding out more about the Mini-Met, click through the following links..  LINK #1 is a 18 photo slide show that has a lot of specific details, and some GREAT photos of the Mini-Met.  LINK #2 is to the city's Park and Recreation page for the Mini-Met.

For these kids, playing a game at the Mini-Met is the equivalent to playing in the Major League!

We have two 7th-8th grade teams, and they played against each-other.  Jordan One vs. Jordan Two.  Tonight's score...  5 to 3 in favor of Jordan Two!  (That's #2 of 5's team!WAY TO GO GUYS!!! It was a great game! 

Instead of telling you all about it, let me share some photos!  (Made smaller for "real-estate" purposes... Click them for larger versions!)

mini-met-1

 

The view of the field from the bleachers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mini-met-5

 

Yup, that's our Church's steeple off in the background

(closer view of the steeple)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mini-met-2

 

Here is a view of the empty bleachers

(before folks started arriving)

 

 

 

 

 

 mini-met-3

 

Warming up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

mini-met-4

 

#2 of 5 - Leading off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mini-met-6

 

#2 of 5 - Right fielding...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am Back!

Back from the land of darkness and despair.  Did it help to vent?  Maybe... Maybe not...  The situation did not change (nor will it ever, I fear) - but with a little time, some venting, and talking it over with my children in a calm manner - I think I have made it though the worst of the storm.

Yesterday, my very good friend, and fellow Blogger Lisa from Many Things Do Not Fly and her husband hosted a little get together at their house.

A mutual friend from High School (someone I have gotten back in touch with through facebook) is in town from San Diego, so Lisa put the word out on facebook to many of our high school friends to help celebrate, and enjoy the evening.

For the past "I do not even remember how many" years, I have found that getting together with groups of people have caused me a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety, but for the first time in "I do not even remember how many" years, I was able to attend a social gathering WITHOUT (or SIGNIFICANTLY less) feelings of stress and anxiety.

I had such a good time that (because I forgot my watch at home this day) I completely lost track of time, and was at the party two hours longer that I intended... Usually I am watching the clock like a hawk - waiting for the first possible opportunity to be able to (politely) leave.

It did not help that Lisa had a clock on her wall that (seemingly) was perpetually stuck at six o'clock - or perhaps set two hours slow... Lisa??  The analog clock in the kitchen... hanging up - on your left as you face the back door...  What's up with that...  Did you do that to trick me??

I truly had a good time!  It was a refreshing change of pace for me (both the reduced anxiety, and the break in my daily routine to meet up with some old friends) - and may be part of what is having me feel better today!

Venting today.

Not here though. 
 
No, the venting I need to do is being done elsewhere.  In an "anonymous" fashion, and in an "anonymous" forum.  It's a place were I vent - to keep the pressure from building up to a dangerous level.  I have too much pressure as it is, and I do not need to deal with this right now.
Forgive me... My heart and soul are a place that is too dark and too disturbing for FOF today...
Thank you to my kind, understanding, patient, and accepting friends and family... It has nothing to do with any of you, and it is your support that helps me get through events like these... 

Happy Father's Day!

First and foremost...

A huge "Happy Father's Day" goes out to my Dad... We are different in so many ways, that it's surprising to see how many ways we are truly alike. It's the ways that we are "alike" that really matter... The important ones! I have grown to be a happy well adjusted man and father, and for that, I humbly thank you Dad.. Thank you for the inspiration, and being a roll model for what a good father is all about... It is more comforting to me then you will ever realize - just knowing how much it means to me that you are always there for me when I need it (and sometimes when I don't need it). Thank you Dad, for everything!!

I would also like to take a moment to wish my Father In Law a Happy Father's Day also!! You have done a great job raising your family, and should feel very proud of what you have accomplished. You raised your oldest daughter (my wife, and the "Mother of Five") into a WONDERFUL woman. You accepted me into your family, and have become as much a part of my family as anyone could. I have learned much from you over the years, and I look to you for additional inspiration for what I want to be as both a husband and a father. I can not thank you enough.

And, last but not least... All the other Dad's out there... They are too numerous to list...

I do not get to spend as much time with him as I used to, or as I'd like to, but I have had SO MUCH FUN watching "Best Bud Ed" grow as man into the nurturing father he is.

In the past three years, I have had an opportunity to meet (virtually) several really wonderful guys out there... Some further along in their fathering, some in the same place I am, and a few that are just starting off on this long and winding journey called "fatherhood". You may or may not realize it, but I look to each of you for inspiration... When things are getting me down, it's so nice to be able to turn to someone I consider FRIEND, and although not next door, or down the block, or even in the neighboring city or state - knowing there is a place I can turn for a laugh, a validation of something I am feeling, or even a story about a similar situation on a screen available to me any time I want or need it - is therapeutic, and rejuvenating, and almost always good for a laugh or two... Thanks to you as well.. Be it in Georgia, or Texas - Canada, Idaho or Minnesota... Some things are commonly shared among those of us who enjoy being fathers, and that's what makes it fun.

As I have done in the past, in honor of Father's Day - I'll be posting a poem by an "old school" poet named Edgar Albert Guest. I enjoy reading his works... They are simplistic, and take me back to different time...

Daddies
By Edgar Albert Guest

I would rather be the daddy
Of a romping, roguish crew,
Of a bright-eyed chubby laddie
And a little girl or two,

Than the monarch of a nation,
In his high and lofty seat,
Taking empty adoration
From the subjects at his feet.

I would rather own their kisses,
As at night to me they run,
Than to be the king who misses
All the simpler forms of fun.

When his dreary day is ending
He is dismally alone,
But when my sun is descending
There are joys for me to own.

He may ride to horns and drumming;
I must walk a quiet street,
But when once they see me coming,
Then on joyous, flying feet

They come racing to me madly
And I catch them with a swing,
And I say it proudly, gladly,
That I'm happier than a king.

You may talk of lofty places;
You may boast of pomp and power;
Men may turn their eager faces
To the glory of an hour,

But give me the humble station
With its joys that long survive,
For the daddies of the nation
Are the happiest men alive.


Dad-Bloggers

The Internet is full of mom-bloggers...

My introduction to blogging was through mom blogs..  The Internet is FULL of them!   They Most are really good, and while I enjoy reading opinions and viewpoints from "the other side of the track", I do enjoy finding other Dad's out there (especially ones with similar views on being a Dad, and the world in general). 

There are a couple of groups for dad blogs like Discovering Dad, and Dad-Blogs - check 'em out if you have a chance!

A while back, I stumbled across a blog titled OMG I'm a Daddy.  I was immediately intrigued... Another dad blogger (which almost always makes for a good read)!  I wonderd what this one is all about. 

OMG I'm a Daddy (at the time) was chronicling the life of Eric and his newlywed wife, who conceived a "honeymoon baby"...  Being "old hat" at this fatherhood game, I was immediately hooked (on my first visit) keeping up with the excitement and anticipation for their first child.  I followed Eric and his wife through their pregnancy, the birth of their son, and now as they progresses through the first year...  It really sort of helped "bring me back" to the early years of being a father, and (for us old timers) that's a GOOD thing!  Sometimes it's refreshing to be reminded about what that first year was really like!

Recently, Eric announced some good news!  Eric was accepted as the "New Dads Examiner" (a columnist) over at the Atlanta version of Examiner.com

So in honor of his first father's day, and as a way to thank him for "bringing me back to where it all started", I want to give a little "shout out" of congratulations to Eric of OMG I'm a Daddy, and now Examiner.com.

If you have not, go check Eric's blog and column out...  It will be an enjoyable visit!

Not wanting to neglect some of the other great dad's out there, be sure to check out my Blogroll, and my links to some great Minnesota Dad Blogs!

I would expect this from Rabbits!

"I would expect this from Rabbits!" or "Advanced Lessons in Math; Courtesy the Father of Five"

Rabbits are known for their knack to multiply.  You know, like how one rabbit, and another rabbit can quickly become three (or more)?  Somehow, something similar happened in our house last week that has me wondering if we may have rabbits running around our home.

Nope.... Blog title still staying "The Life of a Father of FIVE"  - So "that's" not it..

If you have followed Father of Five for the past couple of months, you would know that our "two cat household" quickly became a "one cat household" when the events surrounding Garfield the Cat's untimely passing took place. 

2 - 1 = 1

After the loss of Garfield, we were often asked if we were planning on getting another cat.  The day after Garfield was killed, we decided to  hold off on any decision for a while...  We wanted to let #2 of 5 "heal" a bit, and then see how he felt about a "replacement" cat.  From the first talk of a replacement cat (and prior to a decision being made), #2 of 5 made it perfectly clear that even if we did get another cat, he did not want to EVER name another cat Garfield.  He wanted to keep that name special in his mind for the Garfield that we just lost.  That seemed like a request we could honor.

So, the decision was made.  We would get another kitty.  Arrangements were made with the family that we had gotten Garfield and Mimi from and it just so happened that Garfield and Mimi's mother recently had another litter, and the kittens were "ready" for a new home.

The Mother of Five and the kids all visited the farm to take a peek at the kittens, and later that night I heard all about it.  There were several cats that looked just like Garfield, and one very adorable little white kitten.  The white kitten was "spoken for" - and that was alright, because #2 of 5 was more interested in another orange cat. 

The night before we were to pick up our new kitten, #3 of 5 was invited to spend the night on the farm.  (Their son and our son are in a group of close friends, and were having a "end of the school year" sleep-over).  When I dropped #3 of 5 off, and spoke to the mother there, she told me to be sure to tell the Mother of Five and #2 of 5 that the person who spoke for the little white kitten had changed her mind, and that (if we were interested) we could have the white kitten instead.

I passed this info off to the Mother of Five - and we talked to #2 of 5 about the white cat being available, but he was still wanting another orange cat. 

As we drove to pick up #3 of 5 and the new kitten from the farm, I turned to the Mother of Five and said... "One...  One cat".  She looked at me confused, and asked why I even said that.  "I'm just sayin'... That's all...  One cat..."   She replied with an acknowledgment that we were coming home with one... orange... cat...

I'm willing to bet that most of my readers are bright enough to see where this is going...

We met #3 of 5's friend's mother who took our whole clan out to the barn that the cats were in where we were met by a gaggle of kittens.  We started looking at the three orange kitties... One was a spot on exact match for Garfield.  Surprising (or, maybe not so surprising) this kitten was not the one that #2 of 5 was most interested in.  We tracked down to one that he WAS interested in... That cat is slightly more orange, with shorter fur than Garfield had.

This is about the time that #3 of 5 came around the corner with the white kitten.  She was curled up in his arms, and before one word was spoken by ANYONE, I knew that...

(2-1) + (1+1) = one more cat than I envisioned, or that we started out with...

Then came the puppy dog eyes, and "look at how adorable she is", and the "what's one more cat", and the...  Well, I could go on and on, but I am certain by now you get the picture...  So, (with my head bowed down in defeat) we left the farm with our own kid, the (planned) new kitten, and one additional "oops" or unplanned kitten...

Sigh....

The next  step was naming them.  Since Garfield was (theoretically) #2 of 5's cat, we let him name one.  He had a name already picked out, so that was done before it eve started. 

Then, we needed to come up with a name (other than "oops") for the unplanned white kitten....  It seemed everyone had their own idea on what to name the extra kitty...    After #2 of 5 chose a name for the orange kitten, we noticed that we had a "theme" going.  So trying to keep within the parameters of the "theme" we found choosing the name for the third kitty was a bit harder (wanting to keep the theme going).

Mimi

 

 

In addition to Mimi...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moe

 

 

We now have Moe...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miley

 

 

And Miley...

 

The "multiplication" is usually accomplished by the.... um... shall we say "traditional method" with rabbits. 

Since these critters are NOT rabbits, I'm not even sure how this happened...

(rolling my eyes)

A Midsummer Night's Dream

groundling This weekend #4 of 5 made her theatric debut in her roll as one of the "groundlings" in a Prairie Fire Children's Theater production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
 
Prairie Fire Children's Theater is a traveling theater company that sets up shop in local communities, and spends a week rehearing a preselected live performance with youth of the community, and then at the culmination of the week, the kids put on two performances (one in the afternoon, and one in the evening).  The shows are attended mostly by siblings, parents and grandparents, but it is open to the public. 
 
I have never seen, heard, or read Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream previously - so, despite my having to be up at 1am, I made the decision to delay my bedtime by three hours to attend the show.  (Having my daughter in the play "may have" had a little to do with that decision...
 
I worked late on Friday afternoon, and when I finally arrived home, I was met by the Mother of Five, #4 and #5 of 5 (#2 and #3 of 5 are away at Boy Scout Camp) in our entryway and was told we were going out for dinner before the show.  We went to Brewers Bar & Grill (one of only a couple of restaurant in our small town), and noticed at least one other family with performer(s) in the evening's show doing the same thing... (Dinner before the live performance).
 
It was a lot of fun watching the kids perform the show, which was directed by two members of PFCT (who also each played a part in the production as well).  For only having had four days to rehearse, I think everyone did an AMAZING job!  A couple of singing and dancing numbers were incorporated into the production as well - making the short rehearsal all that much more impressive! 
 
Great Job #4 of 5!
 
 

The Deed is Done.



Eleven months of dealing with #1 of 5, and his "transportationally challenged" lifestyle, and another 3-4 days dealing with buying a car, shopping for insurance (and the arguing and gnashing of teeth that went along with that), getting the title transferred, updating the tabs, and finally settling with and purchasing auto insurance - This afternoon, #1 of 5 got into HIS car, purchased with HIS money, titled in HIS name, with HIS insurance, and pulled away with a bigger smile on his face than I have seen in a long time...

He was genuinely proud of what he accomplished "on his own" (ahem... cough-cough).

I sincerly hope he has learned his lesson, has turned over the new leaf that he says he has, and will "do the right thing"...

So, if any of you that are reading this are police officers (I know some of you are....), and you recognize this car with this kid in it... Make sure he is behaving... I told him you were looking out for him!!

Good luck kiddo... I hope this works out for the best!



It's Been Eleven Months.

06-07-09_1253Just shy of one year ago, then prodigal and wayward son #1 of 5, hammered the final nail in the coffin of his driving for quite a while...

Read more about that HERE.

Since then he has been a member of the "pedestrian squad".

Eleven months later #1 of 5 finally cleaned up his act enough that he is ALLOWED to drive again, and just may have learned a lesson or two.

Officially, he has rejoined the world of driving after purchasing his second car this afternoon. My dad (#1 of 5's grandfather) noticed the car parked in the lot of his local grocery store. Knowing that #1 of 5 was needing a new mode of transportation, he called The Mother of Five, who in turn called #1 of 5 to let him know. #1 of 5 then called the guy selling the car, and set up an appointment for this morning.

I don't know if this little prayer will work or not, but it's sure worth a try. It sure can't hurt....

Dear Saint Christopher, Patron Saint of Transportation, please keep your eye out for #1 of 5, and help him make better decisions with this car than he did with his first one.

Details: 1998 Ford Contour, 4cyl, 5 speed, 177k miles. The car is in AMAZING shape for it's age and milage... If he can keep from trying to be the next Mario Andretti, or (heaven forbid) the next Nick Hogan - this car could last for a while..

So now you know what I did today... On the menu for tomorrow - Shopping for high risk auto insurance.

06-07-09_125506-07-09_1256

Another Elementary School Graduate

 

IMG_1311 Yup.  Our little school (St. John the Baptist)is a K-6, and #3 of 5's last day of 6th grade is today, so in preparation for this event, last night was the school's Graduation Mass.  It's a way  the school celebrates the culmination of the 6+ years these group of kids who grew up together. 

After mass (or sort of at the end of mass) the staff from the school put on a slide show (which are really not slide shows anymore...  They are laptops hooked to computer projectors) - but it was a slide show of photos from "Littlest Angels", "Wee Angels", and K-6 (Littlest and Wee Angels are the two years of pre-school). 

There were many "Awwwwww's" and giggles heard while the photos of the kids were at their youngest, and about half way through the show, I turned to the Mother of Five and commented how it appeared they were growing up in front of our eyes (via the slide show).

When it was over, there was a bit of a tear in her eyes, as she turned to me and said how fast they were all growing up (and NOT just in the slide show)...

Bitter sweet.

It's so fun to see how these kids have grown into who they are from where they came from.  Again... It's been (for the most part) the same group of fourteen kids together since they were three or four years old...  Today (the last day of school) will be the last time that this group (of 14) are together as the cohesive group that they are.  Next year the group of 14 will meld into the group of 125+ that make up the 7th grade of Jordan Middle School.

IMG_1293After mass, the school (aided by this year's 5th grade students and parents) hosted a farewell gathering in Lewis Hall (the Lunchroom) - where the walls, tables, windows - heck anything that they could - was decorated with artwork, poetry, stories, homework, photos, etc from throughout this groups years at St. John's...  It was a fun frolic through memory lane!

I have said it before, and I'll say it again... The staff at St. John's are among THE BEST!  They are the heart and soul of the school and all that make it such a wonderful place.  It all starts with the venue, but that in itself is not enough.  They are the fuel that keeps the fires burning! 

I have never met a more caring, nurturing, and involved group of teachers.  Teachers who truly CARE about our kids, their education, their welfare and well being, and their spiritual growth..

If you have stumbled across this post because you were doing an internet search of St. John the Baptist school, and want to know more - PLEASE use the contact me link on the sidebar.  I'd be more than happy to talk to you about any questions you may have...  But be prepared....  as of now, I have put two kids through St. John's (Littlest, Wee, K-6) and still have two more in...  and I have NOTHING but good things to say about this school...  (Well, the only think I would change is adding a 7th and 8th grade!)

#3 of 5, I am so proud of you!  It's on to Junior High School, and the much bigger world of Jordan Middle School for you...

And on that note.... Stay tuned for more on a very related subject.....

A Fire in the Neighborhood

To all my "Dial up" readers, please accept my apologies for how long this post will take to load.  It is a photo essay of the fire that destroyed a home in our neighborhood yesterday.

First and foremost - my condolences go out to the family that lost their home, and may or may not have lost their dog.  (The dog was pulled from the house by firefighters, and rescue attempts were made to revive the dog.  My understanding is that they got the dog breathing again, and rushed it off to an emergency veterinarian.)

- - - - - - -

I have been working two back to back extra long extended shifts, and was on a break when I called home to talk to the "Mother of Five".  While I was talking to her, I could suddenly hear the kids making a ruckus...  Then, there was a "pregnant pause"

(No, I am NOT going to be the Father of Six, so don't ask... It's just a saying (wink)).

As the "pregnant pause" tapered off, I heard my wife gasp, and in a escalated emotional voice she all but shouted into the phone that one of our neighbor's house was on fire.  I tried to get her to explain to me which house it was, but as the conversation continued, the more excited she became...  as she described the scene to me over the phone, a couple of phrases from my "dispatcher vocabulary" popped into my head...

"Fully Involved" and "Surround and Drown"

As a fire dispatcher, those two words mean one thing...  They mean, strap in because the ride is going to get a little more intense...  

Being true to my blogging nature - and since I was not there, I asked my wife to grab the camera, and get some pictures (assuming she would have done so from the deck of our house - where she was standing while we were on the phone).  The very first picture was taken from our deck.

She then crossed between the two houses and got in close for some really great action shots!  And she took many more than I thought she would have... Her photos turned out AMAZING, and I have heard many complements after posting them on facebook.  We even got one comment that said they were better than our local newspaper's coverage...  I'll let you be the judge...  (Although they did get a couple of interesting "side" or "action" shots!)

LINK TO NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

LINK TO NEWSPAPER ARTICLE PHOTOS

AMAZING job done by the Jordan Police and Jordan Fire Department.  Truly local heroes who put their lives on the line to both serve and protect our community.  My kudos go out to all of them.

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