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Showing posts from March, 2019

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The Gift of Grace

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Katie was out with a friend tonight, and it was nearing bedtime on our end. While the kids were playing, I was trying to be productive by doing laundry and washing the dishes. After the first set of dishes was done, I walked into the girls' room to find this: That's packing foam, split apart like snow. "I'm trying to make a party, Daddy!" she says. Of course she is. It doesn't look like a big mess in that picture, but it spread like a virus. I took this photo to show Katie, partly because it's funny, but partly to make her feel sorry for me while I was home for the kids. Guilt: the secret to every healthy marriage. So I grabbed the easiest thing to clean with: a hand vacuum . It died about one minute in. Then I started to clean with the real vacuum. It was too full and I had to walk outside to clear it. While cleaning up, I wondered if I should have made the girls help; but as many parents will say, it's honestly just easier to do it yourse

Adult Peer Pressure

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My kids used to be enrolled in a part-time preschool at a church I attended when I was a youth. It had a main entrance, but also a back entrance along a gravel road that I was privy to, thanks to my "local" knowledge. So when we started going there, I would take the road to beat traffic...plus, you know, it's cool to know stuff other people don't. But when I kept meeting oncoming cars on my way in, I quickly realized that this gravel was an exit-only path, because it is only wide enough for one vehicle. Not wanting to be the weird one, I soon adjusted my behavior, taking the main entrance on the way in, and the gravel road on the way out. And then whenever another unknowing parent would make my earlier mistake, I would silently scoff in my head: Newbie... First day of school. Also, a sweet cover picture for our future family folk band, right? The whole thing is kind of funny, isn't it? I read years ago that peer pressure is possibly the most powerful moti

Digging Holes

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We were at the beach the other day and the kids were playing in the sand. It was a beautiful day -- the kind California is famous for -- clear blue sky, cool sea breeze, the ocean clean and crisp. I kept an eye on the girls as I watched surfers try and catch the tiny 2-3-foot waves, vying for corners that crumbled before peeling into a crash. Eventually, Waverly walked up to me and asked, "Dad, how do I dig a hole?" I'm not sure why she asked (she knows how to dig a hole), but without thinking, I replied, "Pick one spot and start digging. Stay in one spot though." Suddenly, it hit me that my emphasis on digging in only one spot was more profound than I intended. This ledge provided hours of entertainment. My thought process was this: If my child is working on something, I want her to focus on it and do well; and the way to do that was to pick one thing and give it her all. Starting a dozen holes wouldn't be as good as one or two really good, deep

I Left My Phone at Home

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Today my phone died in the middle of a phone call -- I forgot to plug it in last night. I'm not too married to my phone, but it does go pretty much everywhere with me, as most people can relate to. Well, not too much later, adventure called and I didn't want to let my barely-charged phone to keep me from going to a new park with the girls. And so I decided to... gulp ...leave it at home. There are practical reasons for keeping your phone around of course. What if there is an emergency? What if we break down? What if someone else has an emergency and needs to get a hold of me? But you know, society has managed for far, far longer without cell phones than with, so I figured I'd manage. Driving up the hill to a park that a mom had recommended to me was about as harrowing as a midday adventure gets for our clan (I'm a little sad to write). The views were amazing though, and the park at the top was awesome. It was nestled in the side of a little slope, all on top of a la