Why Being a Dad in America is so Great
I've never really sat and "marathoned" movies before, not even +Star Wars but for some #awesome reason my kids wanted to watch +Back to the Future on one of the movie channels as I was flipping through. What was on after it? Back to the Future 2! Yup, true story! But wait... what's on after that? Nope, it was... JUST KIDDING! It was totally Back to the Future 3!

All three, non-stop, thrill a minute, time-travelin', manure-dumping (that's a double 'ha ha' for that one) good times in a row. I couldn't believe it, I was geeking out. I think we actually had some quality time in front of the #television.

On that note, I was recently given some feedback regarding our "quality time" as parents. We need to 'show more affection' to our kids. I puzzled on the comment which was followed by 'we're always disciplining them but we need to hug them more, kiss them more.' None of which I am opposed to by any means but I think that sometimes as parents we get wrapped up in making sure our kids don't turn out to be douche-bags, or at least we should be, so we focus more on 'correction' than we do 'praising' some crappy finger painting drawn in feces on the wall. Trust me, in 2 or 3 months, that'll be hilarious but "in the moment" I totally understand wanting to slam them into a shoe box.

#Hug, #kiss, show affection, got it. My wife is a good wife and even better mother and we're good parents! That's what my father-in-law said before he passed away at least. A "Back to the Future Marathon" was good distraction for my kids while he was in the hospital having heart surgery. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough of a distraction to avoid the searing pain of hearing that he wasn't coming back from the hospital.

Life is fragile, children are precious. Hug, kiss, show affection... got it.
The other day I purchased a +Wilson Sporting Goods Co./ HQ / +Wilson Sporting Goods Night Flight football. It's a glow in the dark paneled football that I thought would be GREAT for our upcoming camping trip. We purchased it at +Academy Sports + Outdoors and I plan on returning it shortly. I'll let you know how that went later. Anyway, this football...

Apparently it doesn't hold up to being fumbled very well. After only a few passes my daughter missed a catch and it skipped off the driveway. It took a quarter-inch chunk out of the skin leaving the bladder exposed! WTF?!!

Avoid this football at all costs! I was certain #Wilson made higher quality products but perhaps only for #tennis enthusiasts at #Wal-Mart.
There was this video of a kid being bullied, probably middle school, and it got my attention because the bully's mom was suing th school. This is "old" news but take a look.
I say kudos, big kid! However, take a look at the video interview of the bully.
Well, some folks never learn. I don't know what it takes to raise good kids but... wait a sec. Maybe it takes parenting?! Nah, that sounds hard.
Here's a little food for thought though... I was picked on, not like this, but made fun of for the way I dressed and looked when I was younger. Completely understandable (sarcasm) since I was over 6 feet tall before high school and weighed less than 160 pounds up to the day I joined the Air Force.

Now I'm 230 pounds and a national highland athlete competing to go to Scotland this year. No one argues with me, nobody looks at me like I don't deserve the hot-chick on my arm, and no one says anything within earshot about the way I dress.
Boom! The HEAT!
Our local +PBS station #WEDU in Tampa put out this documentary about #Human #Trafficking. +Tampa, Florida is the third-highest ranked state in the nation for this crime. That's why I say... "Keep your children close and your Smith and Wesson closer"!

There are a few things that my wife and I do to ensure my family's safety:

1. Never let them play outside alone.
     - It only takes a second for a child to wander off or get snatched up at a park. You may have a nice neighborhood but traffickers don't care.

2. Don't ignore your children's emotions.
     - The top 10 reasons that kids run away includes verbal abuse. Think you're having a bad day now? Wait until your son or daughter isn't there in the morning after you've slept it off!

3. "Trust but Verify"
     - I say this all the time at work when I've got a dozen guys swearing up and down "yeah, I did it! The job's done right!" Good thing I check because the job is usually done half-@$$ and needs re-done. What does that have to do with your kids? When I was old enough to drive myself to a campout at a friend's house I had to call within a certain timeframe and typically check in every hour or so after that. If your kid wants to play at Billy's house bad enough then they'll want to check in every 30 minutes or so bad enough.

4. Monitor them
     - I'm not saying go full-blown #NSA on them but you have every right as a parent to use all the tools at your disposal to keep your family safe. My favorite one is the your cell phone's GPS tracking capabilities. You don't need to watch them every step of the way but what's wrong with pulling it up after your daughter has been out on a date for three hours already? Snooping is a different story and a topic for another day.

5. Defend, Protect, Repeat
     - I carry a registered concealed weapon. Not for myself, I can hit hard enough, but when I need to really reach out and touch someone there's always a #Taurus firearm nearby. Teach your children to respond appropriately as well. Yelling "NOT MY (MOM or DAD)!!" over and over usually gets people's attention. Unfortunately, in this +What Would You Do? video people didn't pay much attention. See #1.

I was raised in some of the finest orchestra pits across the country. If you know what that is then you're 'in the know'. If you don't know what an orchestra pit is, then this will be fun... for me. Anyway, I regularly listened to my mother's #TimeLife classical record collection and saw many a musical from the front row. +Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I is one of my favorites second only to +MGM Movies Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Anywhoo... out of the blue, purely random, my oldest son looks at my wife as we're lying on the floor chatting and says "Your head will not be higher than mine!" Maybe you'll need to watch the movie to appreciate it but I can appreciate that the extent of my son being a smart-ass is relegated to quoting classic movie lines. I'm okay with that.
     We've been moonlighting at the #in-laws since Wednesday because my father-in-law had a heart attack. He's scheduled for a triple-bypass Tuesday so in the mean time my wife and her mom have been rotating hospital stays until his surgery. To add to the stress, my wife's grandmother also passed 3-weeks ago and that whole "grief process" I was talking about in my last post hasn't fully transpired. Yes, prayers are appreciated but here's the reason for this post...
     In an effort to relieve the ever-building stress and the children's bewilderment as to why we've been here for four days and their grandfather hasn't I attempted to take the children to the pool at the #ValdostaYMCA. We are members at our own amazing +Campo YMCA and couldn't wait to see the one here in #Valdosta. According to local critics, ages 4-10, under 5 feet tall, and related to me, it is hailed as the "#Acropolis of our time". Little did I know that even as members of the #YMCA we would still be charged $2.50 per person to attend. Just real quick that's $15 to splash in the pool for maybe an hour. But wait! There's more! If you didn't know, it was Saturday and the +Georgia Bulldogs were playing which meant that, and I quote, "they had a lot of lifeguards that were scheduled but didn't come in today so they couldn't open the kiddie pool area."
     Let me sum this up for you REEEEEAAL good. Everyone's stressed out, it's gorgeous weather outside, I promised my kids I'd take them to the pool even though it's only open on Saturday and Sunday from 1-6, and when I finally DO make it there the kiddie pool area that was supposed to be staffed with lifeguards WASN'T because??? Well, after the girl got off of her personal phone call long enough to see what I was hovering around her counter for I explained in great detail my predicament and plan. After her 'lifeguards didn't feel like working' excuse (my paraphrase) I said I'd be glad to call them at home; she thought I was joking. She was nice enough to recommend +Wild Adventures Theme Park. Then again, maybe if she had noticed the face I made at the thought of paying $15 for the #YMCA perhaps she shouldn't have recommended a $30 per person theme park. Just a thought...

     After packing my family back into the truck to drive 45 minutes back to the place whence we came my four year old melted down. I'm mean even his tears had tears. I got tired, I decided to post this for all to see. You see, when you take a "sick day" or don't "feel" like going in to work it affects others. It affects the world around you when you don't do your part and uphold your end of the bargain. In this specific instance the lifeguards that didn't care to show up probably did it (and I say this with 99% assurance considering where I'm at on South Georgia) so that they could watch the +Georgia Bulldogs game. If they were +Alabama Crimson Tide fans then you could be guaranteed a "win" at least, especially if you're playing +Colorado State University #CSUvsBama
This, of course, sends me over the edge and short of holding a lifeguard under water until

     There are a few people in life that you don't want to call-in sick; your doctor, the ambulance driver, the fire department, police, and anyone that has any affect on your general happiness. Tell me I'm wrong... There are even fewer people who's children you'd want to disappoint. I am one of them.
     My daughter picked out some color-change +Crocs not too long ago so of course everyone else had to get a pair. Everyone except for me. Fortunately they love them. However, I don't like to spend more on fancy flip-flops than I would on shoes and they fail to perform. This is what they're supposed to look like: BEFORE being exposed to sunlight and AFTER sunlight.
     Shortly after my daughter got her fancy color-changing #crocs they began to fade. No more color-change, no more joy. They don't change color, they don't do anything! That only took about three days, too!

That makes dad angry! ME SMAAASH!!

Everyone elses shoes turned out great! They last longer than they're feet do anyway. Not that their feet deteriorate and fall-off, they outgrow them.
     It's up to you, parents, #Crocs or shoes. My vote is for shoes but the kids love the #Croc. As a word of caution, "go with what you know." Stick to the simple things, avoid the flashy junk, and always smile when your daughter bats her eye-lashes at you and begs for the "fancy princess shoes". Then tell her, 'no'. It's for her own good!
     While the wife is out I am watching the children which means I get to teach them, too. Well, topics specifically off-limits are +Teaching the Civil War and anything #CivilWar related, +the war of 1812 and all topics thereon, leaving me math, science, and remnants of +HISTORY. Well, math practically teaches itself since it really hasn't changed in thousands of years. Science though... well well well.

     For science I decided to incorporate it with my eldest boy's +Boy Scouts of America #Nova Awards. It's a new program for Scouts of all ages that emphasizes STEM subjects by making them practical and fun. The first section is "Science Everywhere" and the first task is to "watch an episode of a show about anything related to science and make a list of at least two questions or ideas from what you watched." More information can be found here at their main page.

     Well, what show could we watch? We could watch +Wipeout but that's not very "scientific". What could we watch that would spark imagination, AND generate some good questions?

WHO'S AWESOME NOW?!!! Welcome to the University of Dad, get ready to graduate Magna Cum Laude!
     Without making this a Post-Doctorate dissertation I wanted to share this. Within the past month my wife's grandmother passed away after battling #Emphysema. Just this week her father had a stroke which will require a triple-bypass. The doctor said, "You're perfectly healthy, except for your heart." The irony was more than I could bare and since laughing was inappropriate at the time I went with my family's "this will be funnier in 15 minutes" rule.
     As adults we are better prepared to process grief. This, of course, is a blanket statement and "processing" an event such as losing a toe to a lawnmower certainly doesn't compare to losing a loved one/parent/child, etc. Keeping that in perspective though, the cognitive process of adults IS better suited to dealing with emotional distress. This may be news for some people but... there IS a grieving process no matter how "bad ass" you think you are and there is no timeline to go through it. You can be "agnostic" about it but it's real and it exists. Compounding traumatic events at any phase only complicates the process and therefore requires even more in depth care when dealing with it. For example, my wife may be at a more advanced stage of grief-processing in relation to losing her grandmother but compounding the process with the hospitalization and subsequent surgery of her father will certainly intensify her emotions and possibly complicate the process. If you follow me so far then I'm shifting gears to the application in children. If you're still lost, re-read the above section and try to remember that "two objects may not occupy the same space at the same time" principle (#PaulisExclusionPrinciple). It goes with everything, not just mass.
     Children consider many things when computing new emotions. 'Does this hurt?', 'Why is mommy/daddy crying?', 'Where is (blank)?' Using the same above example I can share with you that the passing of my wife's grandmother DOES have an effect on the great-grandchildren. My youngest daughter, nicknamed "best-girlfriend" by her great-grandmother, was saddened by her passing but doesn't know how to process the information for many reasons; the reality of her not coming around at Christmas, her understanding of death as finite/permanent, and ultimately the reality of death. Now, here we are at the in-laws house while my wife oversees the care of her dad at the hospital since her mom has to return to work. The kids are having fun, playing with toys, taking a break in the cooler-than-Florida South Georgia weather and remain practically oblivious to the severity of undergoing a #triple-bypass.
     This isn't their fault and really why put a false "fear" in them by telling them the intense details. What we, as parents, need to be aware of is the stark reality that whatever the outcome may be we will need to help our children process it as well as dealing with it appropriately ourselves. Sure, some things happen which cause us to cry so intensely that we drool or can't stand up... that's certainly expected given certain situations. However, if we do this in front of our children and never address the emotions we are processing then our children will absolutely shut off this part of their developmental process.
     I have two stories to share with you on this subject: the first involves our neighbors shortly after we moved in, the second with a boy we met in the neighborhood. We moved-in to the neighborhood shortly after Christmas so not seeing anyone at the large house next to us for the first few weeks was nothing abnormal. However, as January began to turn into February I started to wonder if anyone lived there and honestly if it was for sale, it's a nice house! I met the guy across the street and after bringing it up he let me know that the mother had "recently been diagnosed with seizures and when she was getting out of the shower she managed to slip, hit her head on the sink, and break her neck." Her son found her, dead. The father and son showed up a few days later and the widow's son, Rudy, came over to play with our kids. I took the opportunity to meet the dad and introduce myself. Rudy was a nice kid, always appropriate, and used manners but didn't seem to be too "upset." In fact, he told my kids that his mom died, voluntarily during a water gun match, and that his aunt and uncle had gotten him the water gun he was currently soaking us with. I asked him, as casually as I could make it, how he felt about that. He said "people die" and ran off spraying people as he was before. I figured that in his absence both the father and Rudy had gotten counseling since he seemed to be dealing with it as well as any child could. Not more than two months later I notice the Aunt and Uncle at the house again. The kids had gone next door to have a water gun fight and they answered the door. This was curious to me so I went over to chat since water guns turned into a basketball game. Guess what?! Dad got killed in a motorcycle accident! I had to walk away. We've seen Rudy about three times since then and I can tell you that he did NOT get effective counseling after his mother's death because the few times I saw him after his father's death he was emotionally detached, uncommonly shy, and had begun to demonstrate physical characteristics of his inability to process emotions like not making eye-contact and running off after five minutes or so to "check on his aunt". Rudy has moved out and now lives with his Aunt and Uncle while the grandparents settle the estate.
     My next story is about an 8 year old that we now take with us to the +Campo YMCA, +Cub Scouts, and just about anywhere else we go. His story goes like this.... He stopped by shortly after I had met the neighbor across the street and started playing with our kids. Typical "rides his bike around the neighborhood until his parents get home" kinda kid. Well, he wanted to come in and play #legos one day but I wanted to make sure his parents knew where he was so I walked down to meet his dad. Come to find out that his parents were in the process of a divorce but according to Ethan, the boy, "his mom was moving closer to her job". That's a whole different topic though. After meeting the dad we exchanged numbers and Ethan has been coming over almost daily since then. Last month his dad passed away after being diagnosed with terminal #mesothelioma and another form of cancer that I can't remember. For about a month he underwent treatment and finally got admitted to +Moffitt Cancer Center before being released to respite care. He came home on a Monday and passed away Tuesday. Unfortunately, Ethan still has yet to begin the grieving process but has demonstrated physical traits like clinging, open discussion, and modeling. He hasn't spent the night since his dad passed because he doesn't like to be far from his mother. He talks about his dad being dead but nothing beyond that simple statement; like he's not aware that his dad's not coming home someday. Finally, he began pointing out cars. His dad liked cars, all things cars I guess. His modeling though is almost "rain-man'ish" since he doesn't know anything about the cars, much less the make or model. He's just pointing them out and saying he likes this or that.
     Ethan's mom had already met someone since they had been separated for over a year before his dad's death and now the "step-dad" is able to fly down from New York and begin to integrate himself, so we can forget the grieving process and go right into changes, right?! This is why psychologists get paid so much. They have to sift through our screwed up lives to get to the bottom of at least ONE problem before they can begin working on it and in the meantime find a dozen reasons why someone should be flogged, repeatedly!
     I will end this post with this. We have pointed out my messed-up neighbors and identified the multiple reasons that parents should be aware of their children's emotions. The next post we'll look at ways to begin the grieving process and how we can be better aware of our children and help them develop healthy responses. Stay tuned!
I suppose that #Folgers Coffee would be disappointed to know that #Maxwell is in the coffee! The story goes that my wife, +Christeena Phillips, had woken up, made a cup of coffee, turned around to do something for one of the other three terrorists running around and heard a distinct "Mmmm, that's good, mommy." A quick survey of the area revealed that the substance in question was a well caffeinated beverage... he's four, and he didn't nap that day.

The moral of the story is:
     Don't let "the best part of waking up" be Maxwell in your cup. He's quick!
I'll be honest, this has nothing to do with fatherhood/parenthood/or a hood in general but I thought this was pretty stinkin' cool! It's done with a +GoPro so it doesn't weigh too much but then again, these raptors can carry a few pounds before they get tired.
You may have read a few posts ago that my youngest daughter lost another tooth. Well, the fairy exchange went well, complete with a personalized letter for the #toothfairy however, this guy wins...

I enjoy home projects but this makes me look like a chump. Well done, good sir! I am chopped liver.
     I won't bore you with the +9/11 Memorial stories I'm sure you've heard all-day. But, as 12 years come and go it's been 17 for me. Seventeen years in the #AirForce serving around the world. This is why I'm on this blog.

     Seventeen years ago my mother dropped me off in +Atlanta Georgia with a hug and a promise not to cry. She made it all the way back home before she let it rip. Way to go +Bonnie Baxter! Since then it's been a globe hopping whirl-wind, adventure, learning experience, and mentoring opportunity. My first assignment was on the +Lockheed Martin #C-5Galaxy,the largest aircraft in the free-world.

After a few years on that I took a much needed break with the +Air Force Special Operations Command and #CombatControl teams. Just before "9/11" I  was stationed at Yokota Air Base, #Japan, where my #FutureBride eventually caught up with me and worked in the Medical Field. I worked on the KC-10, KC-135, C-17, C-130, and the now retired C-141 cargo aircraft. Shortly after meeting my wife,+Christeena Phillips, who saved me from myself, I told her that I was going to marry her... She didn't believe me.

     Here we are almost 11 years later with four kids that have been toted around the country to various duty stations. I was inspired to write today's post because for the past week I've been in a "Management Class" learning how to dispatch personnel and coordinate maintenance on various types of aircraft. You might say 'cool', I say #DeathByPowerPoint. Aside from the usual #TDY and 6-month deployment this week has had me up at 0500, in class until 1630, at the gym until almost 1800, and drive another 45 minutes home to eat and tuck the children in bed by 2000. Practically a deployment in itself! And this is an easy day.

     Before you think too hard about it follow me through this exercise... When you get home tomorrow, see if there is any dirt, grease, or oil smeared into your clothing. Next, check if you have any bullet holes in you or you're missing any appendages in general. Finally, think really hard and try to look into the future and see if you're going to be sent anywhere away from home tomorrow or if you might get a phone call around 0200 telling you to go somewhere. If you're lucky and it's a "normal" day all you'll have to worry about is getting home while the sun is still up with enough time to say 'hello' to your children before bedtime.
     Sure there are hundreds of jobs with crappy hours, but you can walk away from them and in most cases your pay won't get docked and you most likely won't be demoted for not doing something. Trust me, you'd rather be fired. Yes, there are 'benefits' to my job such as "free" medical; oh, I pay for that, too! Oh, the free education and #TuitionAssistance for college... nope, they've un-funded that once last year and have "modified" it this year. I've got great pay though, right? Yes, I do get paid, in US Dollars. After 17 years though with a college degree psychology and working on a Master's Degree how much do you think I should get? Is $50K a year enough? If you think so then you're in the same boat as me, broke.

     I'm happy to be here, proud to serve, and can't wait to do it all again tomorrow and for the next 17 years because if I don't, then who will? I have an amazing family that supports me even when I'm not home and a pretty awesomely-cool wife who tolerates my retardation. I also have some fairly outstanding young men (and a few women) that I work with who see the 'big picture' and show up every day to work long hours and get the mission done at all costs.

We don't do this for the pay, the perks, the job freedom, the travel, or for you. We do it for the "next" 9/11. It's our duty and we stand ready.

Our 7 year old lost her tooth... that's a bad word to use. She didn't lose it, she flicked it forward and noticed there was blood in her mouth. Anyway, after she got home she tried to keep the tooth under her pillow because "the boys would've gotten it" to which I reassured her that this wouldn't happen. So, in the process of putting it on her nightstand she had managed to leave a note along with it. Ain't imagination grand?!
This morning she came down like she had solved the world's problems.
"The tooth fairy is a girl!" she stated with one hand on her hip, the other hand jingling a bag of quarters. "AAAannd, she left me two bucks!"
"How do you know she's a girl?" I ask trying not to reveal my true identity.
"Look at her writing!" Like I'M the idiot!
Well, I'm disappointed my "disguised" writing looks like a girl but I'm relieved that I wasn't caught. I almost giggled myself to death as she pointed out the letter that was now filled out with a smell-good #Tinkerbell marker. 

I've been through this no less than four times!

I can't say I disagree with this...

     Today something interesting happened... a woman prayed for her attacker as he broke into her apartment to rape her, gun in-hand. She would've been the fourth victim in his "spree". The story, as told by our local +FOX 13 News - MyFoxTampaBay.com can be found by clicking here.

     I was at our +Campo YMCA when I saw the story on one of the TVs and thought to myself, 'how great is our God'! And 'what would I have done in a situation when nothing I could do would get me out of it?' In this case and many others, #prayer really IS the answer! When things are going our way we're really good at saying 'thanks, God, for the blessings' but how can we be sure that we will be ready for the tests and trials that come our way?

     In the military we train for all kinds of scenarios, in all kinds of conditions, with all kinds of outcomes so that when the time comes our reactions are purely muscle memory. But what about our spirits? Is our soul really ready to answer the trials that will come our way? Will we be able to pray for our attackers as they come towards us, weapon in hand, intending to harm us?

     A few days earlier I had seen on +ABC News that no charges were going to be filed against a Texas father who beat to death his daughter's molester (click the link to see the full story). The short version is a ranch-hand had taken a man's 5-year old daughter, dad heard his daughter's cries, found them together, and the dad commenced to beating the man until he got tired... essentially.

     So, all that doom and gloom and suddenly I'm having an amazing day! All four of my children are safe at home with me, in good health, fed, and going to sleep in a clean bed. Yes, I AM grateful for today and I pray that I'll still be able to praise Him on a bad day. People often wonder "why does God let such bad things happen"? It's not an easy answer but I believe part of it is like this; if you go to the gym for months on end and keep using the same weight then you won't get stronger; there's no growth. But, when you use one weight for a few weeks and your muscles are conditioned for it to the point that they no longer experience fatigue then it's time to step it up... add a few pounds. Now it's hard again, the pushing and grunting and sweating and cussing. A few weeks of that and you're stronger.
     Now, imagine you've been going to church for a long time, memorized all the hymns and several Bible verses; Maybe you even lead a Sunday school class. Then something happens that tests your faith. This could be anything from a pay-day-pinch to traumatic family experience. What now? Do you 'add a few pounds' and push, grunt, sweat, cry through that, too? Or do you quit and blame God for letting it happen to you? I'm not an "expert" but let's call a BS in psychology an 'insight' and a Masters in #ChristianCounseling a "pretty good idea". It's certainly worth it to have the answers before you get to the test.
When I tell people I was a +Homeschooled Kid they think I'm mentally handicapped. Like, 'I stuck my arm in a combine' or something and the 35 year old standing before them regularly drools on himself. Well, I can assure you that I am far from drooling on myself... unintentionally. I typically follow that statement up with, "But I DID get to go to a 'real' school for a few years though!" Most people give me a few IQ points until they realize that it was a private school, +Calvary Christian School to be exact. There go the points I just got...
The reality of it is that homeschool kids actually do a lot better than their public school  counterparts. As you can see by the oversized and thorough graphic below, the majority of us are great contributors to society, the arts, our government, and all around "swell folks". One thing I learned about public school from my eldest daughter; We will never send our children somewhere and rely on others to educate, protect, or provide for them. We had recently moved to a new town and decided to enroll our first child in public school. The usual "big day" pictures and what not. This went great for a few weeks and then we noticed the behavioral changes. Notes from teachers about her being distracted, blah, blah, blah. Then, one day out of the blue, she tells us about the boy next to her that's been 'bothering her'. "Go on" I say as I put on my best 'I promise I won't be mad' face. She then proceeds to tell us about the little boy who's been bothering her and just the other day had poked her under her dress with a pencil. Well, that'll get just about anyone shot, especially when it involves my children. Many phone calls later and one visit to the office we find out that this boy has a history of "disruptions" but it was justified because "he's raised by his grandmother". I forgot to give a shit right about then.
Ever since then, and three children later, our kids have never seen the inside of a school. I know there are a lot of people who will give some feedback here about "not all parents can live on one income" or "that's an isolated incident" or some other reason that works for them. That's fine; it works for them. Just remember that next time you drop your kids off at a bus stop (now is not the time to look up the guy in Texas that beat a man to death with his bare hands after catching him with his daughter and the state's not pressing murder charges) or the numerous weapons infractions on campus this school year alone. In fact, you would certainly not want to bring up that "awesome" field trip your kid's about to take to the zoo with 30 of his other scholarly friends OR compare it to the opportunity that I am able to offer my children by taking them on a month long trip from #Florida to #Maine for +MaineLobsterFestival Rockland, Maine and stopping at every major battlefield on the way.
How's THAT for +American History?! Yes, I hope there are comments because I've got some replies. Just do yourself a favor before you condone mocking a homeschooled kid or are weary of attempting it yourself; you ARE smarter than a fifth grader!Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up
Source: TopMastersInEducation.com
     One of the problems plaguing couples with children is the lack of free-time outside of the bedroom. Typically a babysitter can cost more than an outing on the town, especially with four kids, which is why my wife and I resort to sitting in book stores for hours on end reading magazines. Hear me out! At first, I, too, thought the estrogen contained within such walls combined with the excessive body odor from hippies drinking overpriced coffee at 10 O'clock at night all seemed a bit much, but.... I found silence. I found magazines I haven't read in years. I found quiet time to hear myself think and I'll be honest, I've got some good ideas in there!
     Moral of the story here is take your wife out. Drive through somewhere and smuggle food into a theater. Hell, go to a book store because for some reason, they stay open pretty late.

     Over labor day weekend my wife and I had the pleasure of dining with some old co-workers... yes, a date. A date with another couple and two non-couples. Know what, it was just dinner with six adults, no high-chairs. Anyway... I had heard of this magical place that served a burger that can't be eaten. In fact, it was dared that I could not eat it! Why don't people just ask me to do something stupid and get it over with? Well, what you see here is burger. Three slabs of meat topped with onion straws, three cheeses, 8 pieces of bacon, the usual toppings of lettuce and vegetables, held together with two grilled cheese sandwiches for buns. That's a dinner knife holding it up. This was no small feat! It took much toil and work.
     About halfway through it I could only fake a smile without regretting it. But it got to a point where my man-hood was beginning to come into question. I knew I shouldn't have pre-gamed it with the fried mushrooms or the plate of loaded fries but they looked so good! Enter the meat-sweats. Any MAN knows what I'm talking about. The air conditioner could be set on 60 but sweat is beading from the forehead, being pushed forth from the skin, as protein, cholesterol, and manliness forces its way into the veins. Really what's happening is the body is beginning to reject itself. Get ready to die.

I started to eat with my front teeth like a poor, helpless deer... I think they turned up the heat in there because I started sweating profusely! Unfortunately I didn't make it. I left a patty and a half while everyone laughed. To be honest they're all jerks anyway! Who wants to hang out with them?! I took my wife and I left... with everyone else.

We went to a movie, stayed up past 10pm, drank soda after 5, it was off the hook! After we got back home my wife's mother gave us the what-for! Then some gas money, it was pretty sweet!
I just wanted to share that simple moment of my life and show you how a burger and some fries can go a long way on a date night. My wife enjoyed herself watching me make a boob out of myself. (I really want to 'hash-tag' the word 'boob' right now) Take some time and get to re-know your wife. Her favorite color might now be green anymore?!
So that's it... 12 hours of nonstop #collegefootball. It all started, rather innocently, with 2 teams that served as background noise rather than interested content at noon. I followed that up with +Alabama Crimson Tide's  #BamavsVT and finally ended with +Clemson Tigers's victory over #UGA. Hell, I could watch +LSU Football vs +TCU Athletics if I wanted to see a horror flick but my eyes will not stay open!
So where were the kids in all this? Perhaps decked out in the latest game-gear? Running around chanting like mad-men "Roll Tide!"? No, they were watching #Planes... We've waited all this time for #kickoff and where do they go? To watch movies with the in-laws.
They are now grounded from life until the +Texas A&M University game on 13 September. #SaveTheDate! Live it, love it, don't go watch movies when it's family time!
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