The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Christmas in the rearview mirror

WARNING: The following post contains explicit family pictures and videos, some of which may not be appropriate for non-family members or other non-parent followers. Non-parental guidance is suggested.

We all have been busy here in 3D the past 10 days. But the family has gone home. The decorations are down and put away. The tree is by the curb. Which brings us to that special time, the customary Christmas summary.

Our Christmas holiday was a special one this year. My wife and I  both agreed it was a great memory: like taking a step out of time, and the hustle and bustle, for some pure joy, fun and relaxation. So I wanted to offer a picture post summarizing some of the joys that made our Christmas special for us.

Christmas this year started the weekend after Thanksgiving when we decked the halls and dressed the tree…


By the following week we were practically ready to welcome Santa.

Christmas 2012 005The joy of the Holiday actually started the week before Christmas. I had a vacation from work that week. So we decided to make an impromptu trip to the zoo one day to see how the animals were going to celebrate Christmas.

IMAG0416We had a great time, as you may have seen, visiting the animals from around the world…


By the end of the week, with Christmas only a few days away, the girls were getting pretty excited.


Who does she get this need for attention from we frequently wonder?


Mom says it isn’t much of a mystery.

The Friday, Saturday and even Monday before Christmas the girls received very generous and thoughtful boxes, if not crates, from their two very extra special grandmothers and families.The girls and I are very fortunate to have you in our lives. Really!

Also, the weekend before Christmas my family checked in to our Bed and Breakfast; the REAL Santas. The kids didn’t seem to mind too much.


Christmas eve the girls each had a wee small part in our church’s youth Christmas message. Its OK girls, Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t have any speaking lines in his first movies and he did OK for himself.

After church we came home, had some snacks, then sent the kids to bed. We told them Santa may visit here later that night. He may even leave them some presents. And that good little girls and boys would be asleep when he arrives…


Christmas morning started calm enough. The girls actually stayed in bed until 7:00am.

That really was NOT me playing with a Winks Club doll!

But then Grandma and Grandpa woke up and the excess began!


Dylan just got wiped out opening so many presents that morning from Santa, Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents.


The girls got some GREAT clothes, especially dresses this year.



Plus a very special ‘pretend’ dress…


She just told me she looks all grown up in that picture. OMG! Slow down Dylan, slow down!

Two days after Christmas the girls got to wear some of their fantastic new outfits for my parent’s 53 anniversary dinner. They enjoy looking pretty!

Later that week we crammed everyone in a car and made it to our local Festival Of Lights displays at a county park…


The girls ‘ooo’ed and awe’ed’ even though it was a bit chilly…


So we got out of the car and stood by the fire and warmed some marshmallows..


OK they might have had a hard time reaching their stick over the coals. But after a few s’mores and some marshmallows the girls were all sugar primed and ready to have some fun.


So, all in all, the girls had a memorable time it seems. They were all smiles and never looked cuter…

DSC_0346        DSC_0418

The kids and Santas were all smiles and definitely not disappointed this year!

That is until today…when we had to finally put our tree by the curb.

Everyone here in 3D hopes you had a memorable Christmas too. We extend our best wishes for your best new year yet!

And now, for something completely different:

May I present the Angler Fish; the mysterious creature that lives at the depths of the sea.  Misunderstood?

Ladies, how many of you have found males just like the Male Angler Fish?

So lighten up. You really don’t  need that Kashmir shawl that you didn’t get.

The Holidays are almost over. Its almost 2013…

Happy New Year Everyone!

Over the river and through the woods (of Africa)


Just hear those sleigh bells jingle and ring, ting, tingle at night.

Such was the case last night. We heard bells in the distance, similar to planes flying overhead. They slowly grew louder until a “thud” hit our roof. We then heard the sounds of hooves and bells among the clatter. Startled, I through open the door to see what was the matter.

The kids noticed the fireplace a cloud of sot coming from it. The mantle rattled and shook. Then down dropped St. Nick. About 10 seconds is all it took.

He smiled and laughed, knowing he got us by surprise. Then he looked at my girls to see if they wanted a ride. They looked at each other and then smiled at me. I thought, “What the heck. Where could this lead?”

Mr. Claus said it was some training for his sleigh and reindeer. “We’re covering the globe but there’s nothing to fear. I want to see the shape of my team. If they are ready for the big trip Christmas eve. Plus, I’ll check on all the animals tonight to make sure they are warm  and being treated just right. Dylan and Skylar you can come a long this year. I need the weight of both you plus some cookies packed in the rear. ”

So off they flew, then flew out of sight. I wondered at last, if I can get some sleep tonight.

North America:

First Santa took my girls through the mid west and then to our Rocky  Mountains. He found some brown bears playing in the Christmas Spirit. Then, he let my girls ride some trail horses around some mountainous paths.


They launched off the mountains and headed southwest to Australia. The girls told me about some baby Koala bears and Kangaroos that they found.


The King of Misfit Toys

The King of Misfit Toys

Next they took off for the plains of Africa. They found the lion watching over his kingdom. Next they saw some monkeys singing Christmas carols. And then some elephants cuddling up for a snack.

I swear that was not my child reaching into the lion’s cage!


He let the kids get out and play while he fed his reindeer team. Then they stopped for a moment to feed some of  Santa’s giraffes. When the  herd got their fill then off they flew!

North Pole:


My girls told me they LOVED the North Pole. It was not so isolated and bitter cold  as they thought but exciting and busy as elves; like a big company getting ready to roll out their next cell phone-mini computer thingies.


Once there, they got out of Santa’s sleigh and were guided around by some elves. They were shown how the toys were made, got to make their own Gingerbread House, that got to play on some of the elves favorite rides like their carousel and tiny train between villages.

What a great day for them! They BELIEVE. Oh yes, they BELIEVE! You could  tell by their smiles in the vid. When the fun-filled day was over Santa packed these two girls back in his sleigh and brought them back home. They slept all the way!


Thanks Riverbanks Zoo for wonderful experiences from around the world

Here is a link to get some of their sought after compost,  Zoo Poo, effortlessly produced by some of Riverbanks Zoo & Garden’s most famous animals: elephants, giraffes and even zebras! The Zoo Poo is no joke!We watched the elephants make some.
It’s heavy doodie.

DISCLAIMER: No poet was used, tested, or consulted for this story and apologies to Clement C Moore

26 Acts Of Kindness

I was watching TV late last night when NBC  told us about news of one of their own, Ann Curry. Ms. Curry decided to do something about the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Conn.


I don’t want to rehash this too much as I am sure we have all dealt with this sad day enough privately. That day created feelings in me of “enough is enough” and “if this isn’t enough to make sweeping policy changes what would it take”, along with prayers for the victims and their family and friends.

I too have gotten caught up in the Christmas wave of to-do lists, good feelings, and preparations. I have not written those letters I intended to write.

TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World - Red Carpet

And then I saw this story on Anne Curry’s impulsive tweet:

“Imagine if we all committed 20 acts of kindness to honor the lost children of Newtown..(or 26 acts, including the heroic teachers.) I’m in. A growing number on Twitter are in. #20Acts #26Acts What do you think FB friends? If yes, share!”

As I found out last night, Anne’s thoughtful tweet has grown viral, turning into a world wide phenomena.

The idea is simple (courtesy of NPR):

‘Do “26 acts of kindness” — one for each of the 20 children and six adults killed last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Since NBC News’ Ann Curry tweeted that idea earlier this week, it’s taken off. Thousands have tweeted back to her about things they’ve done.

— Donating trees.

— Delivering meals.

— Anonymously leaving money for a co-worker who’s struggling.

— Helping a stranger who’s short on cash in the check-out line.

— Donating frequent flier miles to Make A Wish.

You get the idea.’

There’s a 26 Acts of Kindness page on Facebook. It’ has more than 31,500 “likes. That number equates to nearly a million Acts of Kindness.

Tens of thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook have seized the idea and are launching acts of kindness, big and small all over America. The acts are spreading overseas, including one tweeted from Borneo and even Afghanistan.

Social groups, companies, neighborhoods and individuals are all delivering their own unique message of kindness and respect via some 26 Acts of Kindness. Here is a page illustrating some creative ways of Kindness.

With the Spirit in the air of Christmas, I’m in too. I’m up to two so far today. Twenty-four more to go. Its never too late…


Pop Quiz & Christmas Lists

Last year, after all the hype and build up for our oldest’s fourth Christmas, I decided to interrogate quiz her on what she retained from our near month-long festivities.

The results were amusing and yet still disappointing. She usually is so perceptive and has a great memory.

Where did I fail at pointing out the true meaning of Christmas to her?

This was her take on Christmas last year in our Christmas Chwiz…


1) Why do we celebrate Christmas?

A= “I don’t know”  …Daddy (disappointed sigh)

2) What is your favorite thing about Christmas?

A= Disney Princess Castle

3) What will you miss the most about Christmas?

A= “Hmmmm? Aunt Sue! (After some heavy coaching from Aunt Sue)

4) Where did all your presents come from?

A = without hesitation, “Santa!”

5) What was your favorite present?

A = Princess Castle!”

6) What did your little sister like the most about Christmas?

A = “Winnie the pooh and the pink one” (Piglet)

7) What was your favorite thing you ate this year?

A =  “Macaroni and Cheese!”    ~ so much for those truck loads of Christmas cookies we consumed

8) How long should we celebrate Christmas?

A = “Until Friday.” (Aunt Sue and Uncle John went home on Friday)

9) How much did we spend this year to celebrate Christmas?

A = “Hmmm….a little” ( this was her hardest one to answer)

10) What will you look forward to next year for Christmas?

A = “Playing outside.”

I had to do a better job! (Sigh)


So this 4 year old is reading now and continues to impress us with her mental acuity. Could this be the year I celebrate? Did she listen this Christmas season?

Take a look below.  ****GRANDMOTHER ALERT**** there are Christmas lists given here!

(deep sigh) I thought since I do my best thinking in the shower, giving the girls a quiz during bath time would give them the best opportunity to ace the quiz.  (sigh) Well…we still have 5 more days to get the meaning across.

Now, how am I gonna wrap a pumpkin?

Skylar in court 009

Post Navigation