Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Well today was an interesting experience to say the least...I had planned a date day with the boys consisting of our favorite pizza place and Night at the Museum 3 but it didn't exactly go as planned!  Our pizza place was closed so we ended up listening to this man (who I now know was out of his mind) to eat at this "amazing" cafe...little did we know it was the farthest thing from amazing. It was a Peru-vian style restaurant.  We should have left when we couldn't even read the menu.  Bradyn's stir fry noodles were like eating slimy gummy worms, mine came covered in a mysterious mustard-cream-curry sauce and was too spicy to eat even though they didn't mention that on the menu, but the best was Ashley's fish tacos.  She took a big bite and the fish was ice cold...that's right ladies and gentleman they don't cook their fish they cure it in lime juice.  Needless to say..we will not be returning to that "amazing" place anytime soon.

Since none of us hardly ate our food....we decided a pit stop at one of our favorite places was necessary....cupcakes from The Cup! Yumm!

After a night of laying on the couch with severe stomach cramps...we never made it to our movie!  But oh well that just means I get another date with these 2 handsome men :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

iPhone Contract

So I found these phone contracts about technology usage for your teens from other parents...Bradyn is only 9 but he already has an iPod and I feel the phone stage will be approaching sooner than I am ready.  I added, combined and deleted to make it fit our family.  I know one day I will be able to find this here and put this to use.

Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone. I love you madly & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come. You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift. But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations. Please read through the following contract. I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well-rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it. Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership.
The following rules apply to iPhones and iPods and anything else that starts with an “i”.  It also includes anything technological that takes you out of interaction in this world and sucks you into some other place where your body is here but your mind elsewhere.  Note:  These are not requests.  These are mandates.  Failure to agree or comply with any and all of these rules will result in immediate confiscation of said iPhone and termination of your lease.  No questions asked.  Your membership in the Facebooking-texting-YouTubing-googling-tweeting-snapchatting-instagramming-nauseating-I-am-the king-of-my-own-private-island-so-don’t-mess-with-me-club is hereby revoked.  You can reapply in a week for a minor infraction.  30 days for a major infraction.  90 for a real zinger.  And before you ask, “No, saving your pennies and buying your own iPhone does not circumnavigate or nullify these rules.”  Further, the degree of the infraction and resulting punishment is entirely dependent upon my subjective feeling at the moment.  Don’t like it?  Tough.  Welcome to earth.
1. Ownership is not a right.  It’s a privilege.  And if you want to argue this, and state how you paid for a portion of it with your hard-earned Christmas money, hand it in.  Hence, you may NOT do what you want, when you want, however you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, with this thing.  Just to make sure there’s no confusion -- you are NOT king of your own private island, so if in doubt, ask.  And I don’t care what your friends do or are doing or how hard this is on your social life or how it handicaps your cool-factor and resulting ability to be accepted by the other island dwellers.  I navigated high school and then college AND dated and married your mom without ever sending or receiving the first text.  After twenty years of marriage, we’re good.  You will be too.  One last note regarding your friends, before you offer the, “But dad, all my friends...”  Again, I don’t care and I don’t give a flying rip what they are doing.    They’re not mine and I’m not responsible for them.  God gave me you. Not them.  If what you are about to say is true, their parents are either out to lunch, nuts, or na├»ve.  You’re lucky I’m not one of them.  It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you.  Aren’t I the greatest? Just to be clear, I own it.  You are borrowing it.  If you don’t like this fact, tough.
2. I will always know the password. Always.  And yes you can change it a million times and then you can also tell me what it is a million times.
3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”. Not ever.
4. Never say or view anything which you wouldn’t say or view out loud in my presence.  Hear that?  ‘Out loud in my presence.’  So think before you let your fingers do the talking and your apple does the walking.  Note: This is especially crucial when texting girls: never say anything in this device that you wouldn't also say out loud in the presence of that girl’s mother AND father.
5. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 10pm every school night & every weekend night at 11:00pm.  It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am. Exceptions granted upon request.  Failure to do so will result in immediate forfeiture and confiscation for at least a week.  “I forgot” will get you no sympathy.  No texting between the hours of 10pm and when you wake up -- which is logical because it’ll be hanging out with me and not in your hand.  If you can’t remember to do this, then set a nightly alarm to remind you.  I will not.  If I see you handling the phone passed 10:05pm, you lose it for the following day.    If you need it to serve as an alarm, you may ask to do so but know this -- the temptation to use it while it sits idly on your bedside will prove difficult -- as your history has shown.  With that in mind, you might do well to buy yourself a $2 alarm clock from Wal-Mart and save yourself the temptation, aggravation, and resulting confiscation.  Consider yourself forewarned
6. Think before you call.  If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.
7. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.
8. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay out of the crossfire.  Don’t mislead or insinuate.  Don’t gossip.  You CAN encourage, build up, edify, ask honest questions, joke appropriately, small talk, etc.  Everything you type in here is public -- swimming in the air around our heads.  I don’t care if you think it’s private.  It’s not.  Given that it is my God-given right to read everything you say, you may not erase anything.  If I discover that you do, you lose the phone…is it really worth that? Your choice.
9. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person. With our mouths, we can curse and tear down or we can bless and build up.  Hence, words matter.  Never do the former.  Always the latter.  And, remember that bit about sticks and stones and how words can never hurt? That’s a lie.  They can hurt and they can hurt bad.  On the other hand, in one of the most miraculous transactions to occur on the earth, they can bring healing to a deep wound.  With your mouth, you are either a walking, talking spinner of damnation, or a triage nurse roaming a smoking and scorched battlefield called earth.  If you curse and tear down, you’ll lose more than the phone and it won’t be me who takes it from you.  If you bless, build up, love, forgive, and bring laughter, well then...you’ll gain more than my trust and it won’t be me who gives it to you.
10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person – preferably me or your mother.
11. The best and most useful button on here is the one that turns it off.  Use it.  Frequently.  Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.  Check out of that world and into this one.  Trust me, you’ll live.  What’s more, the other humans on the planet will thank you because you’ll start acting more like one of us rather than a robot with spastic thumbs and a nervous tick.
12. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. Don’t laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear – including a bad reputation.  Before you ever send a picture, ask yourself if you would send that picture to your mother, father and both sets of grandparents. If not, yep that’s right, you guessed it, don’t send it.  Turn on your internal filter, and use better judgment
13. Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity.
14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO – fear of missing out.
15. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
16. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.
17. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.  That being said…all music on this thing is subject to my approval.  And if you are going to spend money on it, ask permission before you do so.  I can and will delete at will.  If it sounds violent, spits profanities, contains the ‘explicit’ label or talks in any way I deem inappropriate about drugs, alcohol, or girls and their bodies or what the artist/musician/singer were, have, are going to, or wish they were going to do to them, it’s gone.  Our bodies are a temple.  And when God declared this, he didn’t stutter.  Note --> Girl’s bodies = temple of God.  He made it for his pleasure.  Not yours.  When it’s your time to experience that, He, her father, and she will give it to you. Until then, we’re not defiling it.
18. Same rules apply to movies.  Note: Cool movies must be watched with me.  Cool lines will be remembered and quoted frequently between us in a fashion which will sound like incoherent babblings to the uninformed.  Your mother will not understand this but don’t look down your nose.  She brought you into this world (I saw it) and she can take you out.  She multi-tasks on a level you and I cannot comprehend.   So, cut her some slack.
I realize there is a voice inside you right now saying, “Dad, do you have to make such a big deal of this?  None of my friends’ parents do this.  I mean, seriously.  It’s just a...”  Here’s the deal, you’re not a weekend hobby or a passing fancy.  Not something I tend to in my spare time.  You are magnificent.  Without measure.  Not for sale.  And...you are standing at the threshold of manhood.  With that in mind...I’m your biggest fan, and I want you to make it through the doorway -- intact.  I’m also your dad.  God made me that.  (It’s one of my greatest honors.)  Therefore, I will not sell my parental rights at the altar of pop culture, or at the altar of what everyone else is doing, or the altar of indifference -- which is the curse of this age.  Trust me, you’re cool without trying and I’m anything but indifferent when it comes to you.  This phone doesn’t increase your coolness.  In truth, having your face constantly buried in it can make you look petty and insecure.  Neither of which apply to you.  This is the subject of a larger conversation (one we’ve been having since you were old enough to listen) so in the infamous words of Inigo Montoya, let me sum up -- The world is going to try and steal you from me/us and, if we let it, it will use (among other things) the phone to do so.  It’s also going to use alcohol, sex, drugs, fame, power, porn...the instruments are many and the battle constant.  You were born into a world at war and are being hounded by a very real enemy who is bent on ripping your head off.  Maybe I’ll expand on this in another story, but, fear not, you have a King who’s stronger than your enemy.  What’s more, he’s sent you thousands of texts all sitting in your inbox.  String them all together and it’s the greatest love story ever told -- one in which you play a starring role.  Anyway, in it you’ll find everything you need to know about you, Him, and the battle plan.  Look around a bit and you’ll find there’s an app for that.
The purpose for all these Don’t Do’s is NOT so that I can control your life and hold you under my thumb.  I’m fighting for your freedom.  Not your imprisonment.  Trust me, we’d love to trust you with this thing.  So, before you get puffy, remember, the Don’t Do’s allow the Get To’s.   Realize that and this will sting less.  It’s like football -- the game is played in that green space between the sidelines.  And once you agree to abide by the rules and stop arguing with the guys in the striped shirts, you get to play all out and use the gifts you've been given.  Which are many.  You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.  It is my hope that you can agree to these terms. Most of the rules listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life. You are growing up in a fast and ever changing world. It is exciting and enticing. Keep it simple every chance you get. Trust your powerful mind and giant heart above any machine. I love you. I hope you enjoy your awesome new iPhone. Merry Christmas!
I love you,


Monday, January 12, 2015


1. No matter what, always put God first. Always.
2. Be kind to everyone.
3. Stand for what's right, even if you stand alone.
4. The kitchen? Not just for girls. Learn to use a stove.
5. It is NEVER acceptable to break up with a girl over the phone.
6. Understand how to use basic tools.
7. When you ask a girl, “Is something wrong?” and she says, “No.” She’s lying.
8. The job of a stay-at-home mom is equally as hard as yours.
9. Table manners. Use them.
10. You will never know a stronger pull than that of your friends trying to get you to participate in their wrong doing. Resisting makes you a man. Succumbing makes you a coward.
11. NEVER use your fists to solve ANY dispute. One wrong punch could take a life and it could be yours.
12. Shower daily, keep your nails trimmed and use deodorant.
13. Real girls do not look like Victoria’s Secret models.
14. If a girl tries to change you she doesn't really love you no matter how much you want her to.
15. In everything you do, push yourself to do and be your best.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Here's to a New Year!

My first blog post...wow!  The day has come where I have became a blogger.  Who woulda thought :)  Why...you might ask?  Well it is a great way to show a piece of our life with our family and friends and of course strangers all over the internet but thats not why.  My why is simply bcuz I want to be able to look back and remember.  To be able to laugh or cry at this documentary of our life.  So here goes...to 2015!!!  I wonder whats in store for us.