Dads and Holiday Shopping

Other than Christmas itself, there is one day of the year I look forward to the most. I consider it a holiday, its the day my Dad and I go Christmas shopping for my Mom, my Wife, and my little ones. Most of the time my wife has already taken on and finished the huge burden of christmas shopping for everyone. (She always hits it out of the park!) Its at this time I buy something goofy for my two girls… Like a remote control sports car… like they needed it I know, but it was cool, it was fast and come to find out, it loses it cool factor with little girls in about a day.

My Dad and I shop like Jake and Elwood, the Blues Brothers,  (Like we are on a mission from God)The shopping trips in the past have been more along the lines of shopping sprints. The faster we get the shopping done, the faster we can go grab a beer or two. We use to hurry up and shop then find the local dive restaurant that serves the greasiest burgers.  We go at it like two football coaches. or maybe he is the coach and I am the Quarterback… We have our plans worked out before we get to the Mall. “Kid, where you need to go?” (Yup my Dad still calls me Kid and I love it) JcPenneys… ok, what department. Ok… I need to go to Sears… etc.

Once we get to the restaurant, He gets is tall Draft, I get my bottle of Coors, and we always check on each other. “You doing alright? Work ok”, How are you and Mom. I feel totally open to ask him anything. I really like that. I hope my girls will take me out one day so we can shop for their Mom and they can pick my brain about whatever they see fit.


How do you Christmas shop? Do you go with your Dad? Do you take your kids? Or do you Just shop for your wife at AMAZON?

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The Thanksgiving Sunday Evening Ache

I knew it was coming, and its now here. Time quickly went by today, and now its hitting me hard. I have to go back to work tomorrow, just like millions of others. I dread the alarm going off in the morning. A big problem I have is that I still haven’t fully slept off all the Tryptophan from Grandma’s Turkey. I will be struggling all day tomorrow…

So here we are, another installment of the Sunday Evening Ache…. I have had this song in the back of my mind since I started Sunday Evening Ache, and I kept telling myself… “man, where else have I heard this song??”

What song you may ask… Working for the Weekend by Loverboy

Here is the classic 80′s MTV video….

Then the lightbulb came on…. I REMEMBER!!!!  I know where I heard this song before….

Have a happy Monday… uuggghhh

Personal Finance Dad

I am proud to say I am in a different place than I was this time last year. Last year I just started a new job, working less hours, I had two car payments, a mortgage, and a little credit card debit. Around this time, my Sister In law gave me book to read… Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. This book is amazing… I can not tell you enough, this book is amazing.

If you have debit, little or a lot, even if you don’t have any debt… You need to read this book. It will tell you how to get out of debit and more importantly how you should be saving your money… It will give you tips on how you can achieve a savings goal of a 3-6 month emergency savings, make sure you have 401k, college savings etc… Another perk I was not expecting… Dave ties money and faith together very nicely.

So a year later, we have no debt (except for my mortgage), we refinanced, we have no car payments, and we do not need a credit card… Debt Free… It is a wonderful feeling…

Give it a try…. Tell me what you think!

Black Friday??? REALLY???

Black Friday… Love it or Hate it?… I am starting to hate it. Looks like we should start calling it Black Thursday. Its sad. On a day where we are to be giving thanks, people are mapping out there strategies for this evenings best deals. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, family, and football. Not sure when or how we lost it but seems like this year and last year stores began opening on Thursday. Sears is open at 8pm on Thanksgiving… I dont like it.

How about you? Love it or Hate it?


Why go out, when you can just go to AMAZON?

Parent Teacher Conferences

So, my daughter is a first grader. She is a very bright little girl. She received her report card and she got straight A’s! I am so proud of her. Her mother and I still wanted to meet with her teacher.

My things have changed… First, I was NEVER a straight A student. When my parents wanted to go meet with my teacher, I was panic mode every day until they met with her/him. When I told my daughter that I was going to meet with her teacher, I asked her, is there anything you want to tell me? (I know she’s a good student, I just liked egging in on a little.) Her response to me was… Nope, and went back to watching Barbie. I on the other hand, wouldn’t have any fingernails left within the first hour of being asked the question… I wasn’t a bad student, I was an A-B with a occasional C student. (Dont ask me about my Senior year of College)

Why does she do so well in school. I will pat my wife on the back and give her a high five. My wife is really bright, and smart, and a Teacher. She has the patience with homework, and knows the proper ways to teach little ones… I on the other hand don’t. I will get frustrated after the 10th time of going over “Little Bill lost 2 balls, he had 5, how many does he have left?”

I truly believe another reason she does so well in school is because we are also active at her school. Either volunteering at book fairs, parking lot attendent (see my blog on Watch D.O.G.S) or attending social gatherings at her school. Being active and knowing the teachers at her school is very important to a child’s success.

How do you participate in your child’s education?

Here we go again. The Sunday Ache

There are a lot of people that have this coming week off for the Thanksgiving Holiday, and to those who do… I am very jealous. VERY! As I sit hear with my kids, watching a movie, I can’t help but feel that darn ache again. If you read my previous posts, I get a pretty wicked Sunday Evening Stomach Ache.

I keep telling myself, don’t worry, its a short week, but knowing it’s a short week, will make Monday-Wednesday DRAG ON for a week just themselves. Last Sunday Evening Ache blog we talked about REM’s Finest Worksong as a great song to help get over those Sunday Aches.

I found another song that really sums up my hatred of Monday Mornings… “Monday Monday” by the Mamas and the Papas. Have a listen…

Mamas and The Papas

Monday Monday

Just like the Sunday Stomach Aches, I believe this could be a recurring theme for Sunday Evening Blogs.

What songs help you get through your hatred of Mondays?

Coming to a Patch near YOU!

A Toolbox For Dad is coming to a Patch near you. ATFD will be in different Patches in Bowie, Columbia, Savage, Aberdeen, Takoma Park, Annapolis and several more. This blog is even in South Carolina Patches. Trying to do whatever it takes to help get the name out there.

Check back this weekend for some blogs on Personal Finance, and Kids in Sports!

The Patch

To get my local community news, I have been going to a great website “The Crofton Patch” I thought it would be a good idea to find a way to get the word out about So I went to the Crofton Patch and asked for help. Tim, the editor of the Crofton Patch, invited me to blog on their site introducing my website.

Little did I know, There is several Patches… SEVERAL! Several of our communities are apart of an online “Patch”. Odenton-Severn, Annapolis, Rockville, there is a long list of Maryland towns/cities that have a PATCH. So check them out. Start with Crofton Patch or Odenton Patch and see where you end up…

Find your Patch

There are several Patches all over the country. Find yours!

Here is a little more about them, taken straight from their site…

What is a Patch?

Simply put, Patch is an innovative way to find out about, and participate in, what’s going on near you.

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I know its football season, and I love football, but while I was channel surfing I came across a commercial for the First Tee. The First Tee is an organization that is PGA endorsed and is for kids 5 and up. I know teenagers that have done this, and I signed my oldest Daughter up this past Spring. She had a blast. They teach all the necessary life skills through golf. The pricing is very reasonable. The child will receive a t-shirt and a golf hat. Next time I sign my oldest up, I want to ask to volunteer. I truly believe in what they are doing, and if the kids can gain some valuable golf lessons and life lessons… you can’t go wrong.

Positive youth development through the game of golf.

The First Tee.

It all started with my daughter going with me to the driving range. She did really well. I was quite surprised how fast she picked it up. So I wanted to take her skills to the next level and I signed her up. She had a blast. She asks me all the time when we can go back to the driving range.

Look and see where your closest First Tee location is… 

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