Adoption Help In Russia

I don’t know a lot about adoption. In fact,  I know VERY little. I know people that have adopted and I know people that are going through the process now. I have read a little bit about the travesty that is taking place in Russia. If you don’t know whats going on, I strongly suggest you look into it. It is truly ridiculous as to what is going on in Russia. Do a Google search for “New Russian Adoption Law” and let me know what you think….

It is a shame that country politics get in a way of a family’s happiness, and more importantly the well being of a child. Two of the nicest people I know are stuck in the middle of this situation in Russia. Two of the best parents a kid could ask for. Their son and hopefully soon to be adopted child are blessed to have these people as parents. I can not put into words how lucky these kids are.

But Kremlin and Putin are getting in the way. Action needs to be taken.

I am asking for anyone reading this to sign a petition for the President to Diplomatically bring a resolution to the Russian adoption crisis.

I never ask people to do these things. I personally think alot of these type things are fake petitions. But I am here to tell you….THIS IS REAL. VERY REAL.

Please go to the following website, and sign the petition. Change.org 

http://www.change.org/petitions/president-barack-obama-diplomatically-bring-a-resolution-to-the-russian-adoption-crisis

 

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For What its Worth – New Years Resolution – Part 3

Part 3 of this post will highlight some more fun activities that a fellow Dad has shared with some unique twists that might inspire your own household adventures…

 

Hide and Seek – We finished off the weekend with a good old fashioned game of hide and seek before bedtime.  The only slight variation was the seeker gets to hunt with a replica M16 assault rifle with lights and bullet sounds.  I pride myself in the stealth ninja hiding techniques that make the games heart pounding and intense.  My goal is to have him walk by me within a few feet and not realize I’ve blended myself into the room…then jump out and hear his screech of terror turn to belly laughter.  Today I put myself into a trash bag and balled myself up next to an identical trash bag that was sitting in the kitchen all day (the bag of trash was there all day, not me).  I nearly suffocated in that bag but it was worth it to grab him the second time he walked right by me.  Ninja style!

 

Electric Scooter We suited up in our winter coats and gloves and hats and charged up his new shiny Razor Scooter.  I walked behind him (straddling the yellow line on the road to control traffic) and let him open up the throttle and rip up and down the 1/4 mile straightaway near our house.   He would get to the end court and come back to me.  I stood patiently in the road, watching my son turn into a little speck in the distance, then come racing back to me.  His chest puffed out with confidence and he started doing little squat downs like some kind of stand-up jetski  racer or something.  All I did was watch and cheer him on…sometimes feeding him a bogus time letting him know how fast his lap was.  He loved it.

Angry Kid and the eSpark Razor Scooter

Angry Kid and the eSpark Razor Scooter (Photo credit: AngryJulieMonday)

For What its Worth – New Years Resolution – Part 2

Part 2 of this post will highlight the activities we shared with some unique twists that might inspire your own household adventures…

Mario desktop

Mario desktop (Photo credit: aoitenshi)

Mario Brothers – We took turns trying to beat levels on his new Nintendo DS game.  We cozied up on the couch and while we waited  for our turn we would watch the other person navigate the level with ooos and ahhhs with every jump, duck and shell throw.  Nothing beat the exaggerated screams we made when we died unexpectedly with a fall into the lava or bite from a turtle. 

K’nects - We built a huge helicopter, a surfer and a jeep.  I followed the instructions and called out the color or the pieces I needed for each step so he could slide them across the floor to me while meticulously maintaining the sorted inventory.  I kept him interested by asking him questions and talking to him along the way. 3 hours later we transformed a box of thousands of tiny pieces into 3 sturdy models.

Electric Scooter – We suited up in our winter coats and gloves and hats and charged up his new shiny Razor Scooter.  I walked behind him (straddling the yellow line on the road to control traffic) and let him open up the throttle and rip up and down the 1/4 mile straightaway near our house.   He would get to the end court and come back to me.  I stood patiently in the road, watching my son turn into a little speck in the distance, then come racing back to me.  His chest puffed out with confidence and he started doing little squat downs like some kind of stand-up jetski  racer or something.  All I did was watch and cheer him on…sometimes feeding him a bogus time letting him know how fast his lap was.  He loved it.

Part 3 of this post will highlight more activities we shared with that may also inspire your own household adventures…

For What its Worth – New Years Resolution – Part 1

How do you spend time with your child, or children? The following post title and body was emailed to me from a very close friend of mine who is a father of a wonderful energetic boy. I am taking his email post and splitting it up in to several posts. This father has a lot to say with some really great and valid points.

Do not forget to email me with suggestions that you would like to read, or suggestions or comments on previous posts.

So, I present to you, a New Years Resolution – Part 1

It happens from time to time. In between the e-mails and house chores that divert my attention from my son… every once in a while I manage to spend some time with my son giving him my undivided attention. Take a minute and try to think of the last time you dropped everything, and sat on the floor to engage with your kid(s). No TV in the background, no laptop in the foreground, no smart phone in the one hand, no pot on the stove, no homework on the table. When was the last time you sat with a puzzle, a game, a toy, or simply shared a conversation with your child giving them the precious gift of your time?

If you’re like me, you’ll be disappointed with the answer. I don’t do it nearly enough. Don’t get me wrong. I have long considered myself on the upper average of Dad’s who take time for their kids. I consistently do bath time and bedtime rituals more than 50% of the time. I drive him to school every morning and at least half of those mornings the radio is off and I have 8 minutes of conversation with him. I help with homework and take him to soccer practice and basketball practice and always pause my TV to help him when he’s having trouble beating a level on his Nintendo DS. But is that enough?

The last 10 days my son has been off of school for Christmas vacation so he’s been buzzing around the house with big toys, little toys, electronic toys, loud toys, fast toys, expensive toys that he’s been dreaming about for months. I spent my share of the long weekend surfing the Internet and catching up on television while he played at my feet or sat next to me pushing the buttons on his new toys. When my DVR was out of shows and I ran out of Internet to surf, I turned off the TV and shut down the laptop and invited my son to some quality time.

Part 2 of this post will highlight the activities we shared with some unique twists that might inspire your own household adventures.

The Ultimate Man Room

As a man, I think its our calling to have a Man Room. Our Dungeon, our Cave, our Layer… however you want to name it. We should have one… Then you get married, then you have some kids… and your man room gets invaded.

I don’t know if its a skirmish, a battle or a war… but it’s one that all men need to defend.

I am losing.

My man room has the necessities… First, its in my basement, it has a nice big tv, Fios, a recliner, a fridge (in the other room)… and … wait…. Barbies, dolls, little plastic pretend food… etc. Its become a modified Disney Store… (Sigh)

As I am sitting in my Man Room, typing this up… I can not help but think of the best Man Room I ever had the honor or sitting in or hiding in… depends on how you look at it…

My Grand-Dads.

It was his garage. It wasn’t huge but it had EVERYTHING a man would need. It had his work bench, a fridge, a freezer, a Recliner, 13″ Magnavox (I think everyone in my family had one, I know we had at least 4) a furnace that would run you out of the garage because it put out so much heat…and his Plymouth Acclaim (at least thats what I think it was called)…

I remember as a kid, all my Moms side of the family would go to Grandma and Grand-Dads and some close family friends would show up. All the kids running around a small house, carrying on, being kids. Kids would have to eat on the steps, the same steps where we would try to build the biggest card tower using grandmas good playing cards. With all the kids running around…  I can not help but get stressed out just thinking about how our Dads felt… oooh the pandemonium…

It wasn’t until I got older it hit me… soooo thats why all the Dads went into the garage…. to get a way :-) Grand-Dad would have the fridge stocked with beer for my Dad, a Whiskey for my Uncle, VO for Grand-Dad, cigarettes for whom ever needed them, and an ashtray. (the ugly orange in a weird shape, my family members would know what I am talking about)…oh and lets not forget about the intercom… God forbid you had to walk 20ft to ask a question…but it was perfect… (My intercom is my wife opening the basement door and yelling down the question or sending one of the kids down to ask the question)

So as I got older, drinking age I guess, I was able to go and stay in garage and truly enjoy the garage. There was no ceremony to be accepted.  You just hung out. Watch football, or Wheel of Fortune and talked about the town, the changes, or “You remember So n So, Yeah, Well How the hell are they doing??” sort of talk. Those cousins of mine men or women that liked to enjoy their cig or coors, were able to do so too. The women would be in the house talking about women things, and laughing hysterically… Grandma would never ever tell me the jokes… Usually the jokes came from Grandma and my Moms closest friend Kay….

Those are just some random memories that I have of Grand-Dad’s garage.

We moved around a few times, but really wish I lived back there, so I could see my Grandma and Grand-Dad more often… but they both have passed, but are living in the ultimate man room…

Around the holidays, this is what I remember most….Family, Food, Christmas, and…

Grand-Dads Garage….

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?

What is in your toolbox?

A toolbox. A Dads toolbox. I am looking at a toolbox in another way than hardware tools. A toolbox on this site has a different meaning. The meaning of a toolbox on this site is what makes a Dad unique. So on this blog I am going to share with you what is in my toolbox. Sports, my kids, personal finance, music, sales, and my church just to name a few…

So… Whats in your toolbox?