Why Being a Dad in America is so Great
The following conversation took place between my 10-year old daughter and 4-year old son. Apparently they were bathing together and well, this is what happened...

Her: "Close your legs! I don't want to see your penis!"

Him: "Why? I can see yours!"

Her: "No, you can't because I don't have one!"

Him: "That's 'cause God cut-ted off yours!" (notice the two-syllable emphasis on the past-tense of the verb 'cut'. It's not always what he says but how he says it that makes me wet my pants laughing.)

Her: "No, He didn't!"

Him: "Yes, He did! All the books even said that God cut-ted off your peanuts!" (Yes, peanuts)

Her: "No, they don't, and no, He didn't!"

Him: "...Well, I can still see your peanuts... because they are cut-ted off."

Really though, what do you do here? Do you let the conversation take its natural course and see where it goes or do you step in and stop the bickering? In this case my wife was incapacitated by laughter and was unable to do anything but crawl to the phone and text me.

#thingskidssay #mykidjustsaid +funny things my kids say 

Well, it wasn't ALL bad I suppose. I did notice that we over-packed, which is pretty par for us. This only added to the weight of pulling a 4,000-pound trailer with six people in a +Ford Expedition. Our mpg went down to 7.1 for a trip of less than 300 miles. We started with a full tank of gas and had to stop a little over half-way there to fill-up and arrive with just over a quarter-tank! Once at +Stone Mountain Park we parked the trailer at our site and immediately began Camp Glamp Setup.

We hooked up the electric and water while I ran lights and rugs. This trailer was a Palomino with dual pop-outs and all the amenities. After throwing out all the chairs and pop-up over the "dinner table" it was time to play.

Overall a good time was had by all but here's what we learned:
  • We took lots of tips from the numerous +Glamping Out sites on the internet.
  • We wrote down food plans which we stuck to for the most part (we only missed one meal).
  • We over-accessorized our site and made it comfortable for living, hence the trailer.
  • We pre-planned as many of our activities as possible, i.e. purchased tickets online and "Googled" coupons before we went.
  • We stressed about everything BEFORE we went camping so that it was easier to enjoy the site rather than stress about tickets, food, activities once we arrived.
  • Finally, we let the kids be kids. 
Some notable mentions we learned were:
  • The Ford Expedition is an excellent vehicle however, not enough to pull almost 5,000 lbs AND passengers much further than we did AND be cost effective.
    • The truck pulled fine up and down hills and kept up with traffic but for a vehicle with already "poor" mpg, (14 mpg avergage) this much weight just made the overall costs of camping equal to a luxury hotel. The trailer was $80/day, partial hook-up site was $38/day, two tanks of gas to get there was $90/tank...
  • When camping/glamping/or otherwise accessorizing, decide whether you plan on being at the site or off somewhere else the entire day.
    • It was honestly pointless to bring anything more than beds and a grill since we were off-site 90% of every day we were there. While we WERE there, the internet research helped out a lot. One thing that WASN'T noted on any sites was the invaluable resource of 550-cord or paracord. It's an amazing resource for any situation.
The kids had fun, no one got hurt, and we'll be doing it again next year.

#ford, #expedition, #fordexpedition, #smhg, #stonemountaingames, #ridetheducks, #glamping, #camping, #familycamping, #campingwithkids, #paracord, #550cord

It's been an increasing pain in my a$$ lately to come to screeching halts in the midst of my 70 MPH cruise down the highway. What could be the cause? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Cars bottleneck at the clean up of a fender-tap that happened hours ago but everyone has to look! Knock it off!

What about watching television? Can't I watch something after 3PM and not scramble for the remote because I don't care to explain the Victoria's Secret ad to my youngest daughter? Why must I constantly live in fear of what my come on when I take a bathroom break from watching something on ABCFamily even?

It has come to my conclusion that unless I "hop on the bandwagon" of agreeing with mainstream media and allow them to control what I put in my kids' brains then I will have to walk from here. That's a reference to me getting off the bandwagon.

What do you want to see? What are you looking for?!?!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the hell out of watching +AMC - The Walking Dead and even playing my +Sony PS3 games with the violence left on "extreme" but ONLY after the kids have gone to bed and not WITH them. Unfortunately, I'm the parent, the adult in this scenario. I wish I didn't have to wake up and go to work sometimes, I wish I wasn't responsible for paying the bills, but I'm not a child. "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." (1 Cor 13:11)

Don't worry about trying to get a good look at the car accident your passing; you won't want to see what you might see anyway. Pre-screen the images that you're about to let your kids dump into their brains; you'll be responsible for them later, especially when the drama they see played out on television effects their behavior later.

Grow up folks, drive straight and true on the path that is laid out before you. Don't look left or right and lead your families from the front! Fatherhood is no small task and it isn't to be taken lightly. Men, it is time...

#manhood, #traffic, #television, #remote, #ABCFamily, #AMC, #TWD, #TheWalkingDead, #VictoriasSecret, #fatherhood, #focus
I know it's not Fire Prevention Awareness month but my kids needed a reminder so on to YouTube I went. Share this video with your kids and show them what can happen in just over a minute. The example I used went something like this...

"What if you kids are upstairs in the bathtub and start jumping around and splashing everywhere? Mom is downstairs making dinner and has to walk up stairs 'right quick' to stop you from doing something unsafe. It would take about 30 seconds just to go up and down the stairs leaving only a minute to correct you. Now, we both know that mom would be talking for more than a minute but look what happened in 1:30 already! By the time mom got back downstairs to finish dinner the kitchen would already be on fire and smoke would start billowing upstairs!"

Think about it, how often do you have to stop what you're doing to apply correction somewhere? It only takes a minute for something to get out of control.
In this video a small spark ignites a lone couch in this living room. I shared with my children the condition of the fire by the time we might have noticed it and explained to them the importance of a good evacuation plan. We reviewed what WE would do in this scenario and I reinforced the importance of being in your bedrooms after you're told to go to bed. Often times our 4-year old will get out of his bed and go to his sisters' room to play, followed by his 8-year old brother. The problem is that the 4-year old likes to hide under the bed when he hears a parent coming. I explained that "...if mommy and daddy had to split up and rush in to grab the four of [them] that daddy might not make it out because I'm searching for someone that was hiding under the bed!" That got the point across and for the past two nights we've had no problems with children getting out of bed.

The fact of the matter is that every morning we see on the news about a local family that DIDN'T make it out. Too often times we take for granted the front door and think that we'll be able to make it out. Sit down with your family and discuss evacuation plans and share these brief videos. If nothing else, maybe your kids will stay in bed!

#firesafety, #fireprevention, #childsafety, #stayinbed
Nick Offerman is one of my favorite TV comedy actors. He is also an outspoken "Man of Moustache" and can be seen in various endorsements such as: +Movember: The site dedicated to men's health and the promotion thereof.

This actually started in Australia by some guys trying to raise awareness for men's prostate health. Yikes! The boys! Well, it's true. Over the past year it just "caught on" like most other things with moustaches do. Here in the Good Ol' U. S. of A. there are several things that you can get involved in to help raise funds just like breast cancer awareness, but much cooler.

Moustaches have a long history, read up on it; it'll do your brain good!

On the note of doing some good, I ran across this video from the guys at GiveBackFilms that was pretty interesting. It's not for us to judge but I'm sure you could make some assumptions on what these people would do with $100. It was shocking and refreshing to see the first guy, in the midst of his sorrow, say 'thank you' and then praise God for it. It reminded me of Job and his suffering, and how he continued to trust in God, even in the midst (Job 13:15).

Finally, technology is used for good! This video blew my mind, too. I've known some people that had photographic memories but damn! This dude takes the cake. 'Welcome home' Saroo!

#NickOfferman #Nick #Moustache #Movember #ProstateCancer #Homeless #GiveBackFilms #Google #GoogleMaps #India #ComeHome #Homecoming
Buffalo Wild Wings on Urbanspoon So we went to +Buffalo Wild Wings in #Valdosta for the #BAMAvsUK game +Alabama Crimson Tide. It was good to visit with some old friends and enjoy another +SEC Football Hub win and see the third string get stretched out. Anyway... This place is rapidly losing it's appeal as a "date" place. Not enough wait-staffers+too many drunks=not a good time.

Our waiter, Alex, did good but he got bombed with a load of tables and some group of teenagers came in (infamous for tipping well) and we fell to the back-burner. When we DID have his attention we ordered a few pints of +Guinness GB for the fourth quarter. Some girl named Kelly was behind the bar and thought she was pouring a friggin' +Coors Light because we had to send them back twice!

Be it known, barkeeps, that #Guinness isn't some pour-and-ignore drink. It's an art! That was really just the icing on the cake. We had ordered appetizers all night which worked out better than we had thought. My buddies ordered wings and didn't eat half of them because they were dry, and/or just plain gross.

This place gets a big "AVOID" from us. #AlabamaCrimsonTide will get the "W", B-Dubs won't.
Not completely sure of how to title this post I left the options up to you. We are now officially less +Stone Mountain Park camping experience! The trailer's packed... over-packed, and well, now that I think of it we may have over-over-packed.
than a week away from our

I took a tip from a couple of different sites but since I'm a #checklist kind of guy I found myself going back to YourOwnHomeStore quite regularly. She has printable/editable checklists that I like. Beyond that, I used my own judgement. For example; OVER-PACKING+CAMPING=#GLAMPING. That's a mathematical equation. After assembling a #checklist you need reviews. Besides, who's to say what works for one person works for another? For this I always use #blogs. Blogs are social media for people with brains. It's the instant and personal feedback I look for! I found MyRealReview to be the most concise.

Lodging? We're tent people for now. When we get closer to retirement we're going to buy a school bus and convert it into a #schoolie. If you don't know how awesome that is, check out +Schoolies.com. So... being tent folks I submit this review. We've got a +Coleman tent that has seen the end of almost a decade of use. She's a reliable product, like most other things #Coleman puts out. For this trip we'll be using a new +Ozark Trail Tents that we picked up from Wal-Mart. It's the XL Vacation 3-Room Lodge and it's less than $150! +Amazon.com has some reviews on it as well. At this point I CAN tell you that it's been setup in the backyard for the past week while the kids camped in it while I was away. No bugs, rips, or tears... so far, and excellent water repellant.

That's about it for now! There are tons of sites to explore but I encourage you to get personal opinions before spending your hard earned money and winding up in the woods without the right equipment.
So there's this new thing called "glamping" and let me tell you, it's interesting. Apparently it's 'camping' but more GLAMorous, hence "GLAM-PING". Check this site out, it's like a vacation rental only... camping. Anyway, as the Highland Games season approaches that means the Phillips family goes camp..., er, glamping. We'll start the season out at +Stone Mountain Park for the +Stone Mountain Highland Games. #StoneMountainGames

The thing to remember is that it will take time to learn "how". There's the usual campground setup but this isn't the usual. Of course setting up the tent is first but then your bedding, kitchen, accessories, etc. go out. We have a lovely set of lights we picked up from +Target for $5 each as opposed to the $15 each they were originally. I think the key to decking out your site will be the ability to find things on sale. There are tons of sites about people with trailers who buy things at full price and yes, they look amazing, but, what's the fun in that?! We've got outdoor carpet, fuzzy carpet for inside the tent between the king-size inflatable beds, a full-size kitchen, and reclining fold-out chairs. This will be our first glamping trip so stay tuned for pictures.

If you're wondering, it IS hard to be tough and glamp but, I am bigger than most people that would mock me to my face and since it makes the kids happy... I'm good with it.
Chili's Grill & Bar on UrbanspoonThis Chili's in #Jacksonville, FL is an absolute MUST if you're traveling #I95 north or south! Our waitress, Alexis, was professional, accomodating, and more than worth her wieght in gold!

Again, we're a large family to begin with, rolling six-'men'-deep, so getting a table is always a wait; not here. We walked in with a guest and sat right down. The table's have a new "entertainment" system called +Ziosk that has an interactive menu as well as an appropriate selection of apps that kept the kids entertained while they waited for their fresh food.

Our waitress came by often enough to keep our drinks full but not so often that she hovered or bothered us, you know the type. I'm surprised this place has such a "low" +Urbanspoon rating but this place is the bee's knees.
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