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

Archive for the tag “kids”

This is so crazy…

Stop me if you have heard this one before….

Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of year… for holiday traditions, gift giving, family, nostalgic songs, the Spirit of Christmas, plus some warm surprises. I hope you are beginning to get in the Spirit! Last year we were surprised with generosity from some very special angels. This year the surprises started this past weekend.

As I scrolled down my Inbox I saw a comment posted in my About page from a very gifted blogger saying I had been nominated for an award. 🙂 I was thrilled to think there was another that actually enjoys what I am doing here, if the thrill of getting a real-live comment was not enough. I click on the link to find out more finding out it is “Blog Of The Year Award“! Wow! Thank you so much Meiro! That’s amazing!

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

As I scrolled down Mei’s Nomination page I actually scrolled past an award she won prior to her winning the Blog Of The Year Award, the Lovely Blog Award (much deserved again Mei) only to find she had nominated this award for my blog as well. I never got the memo! “This is crazy“, I thought. There must be some mistake.

I was sitting here trying to think what nice words to say back to Mei, blushing the whole time. What an honor! I thought, please, my stuff is not that good. Everyone’s blog I read is better than mine; from creativity to punctuation. For someone that has out grown what other people think this made me feel very humble and appreciative.

I don’t read books or poetry. I hated English. My wife proofread all my essays in school. But people in the past have always encouraged me to write. So this, in a world of expert writers in WordPress, most have which have been Freshly Pressed,


this kinda was like some sort of badge of honor, so to speak, being  nominated from someone with so much more of a special gift than I do. I’m still glowing.

So, if I haven’t lost you, I had to think how I was going to graciously accept these awards. I know a lot of people don’t. But, ‘Badge of Honor’ and all that stuff, plus the fantasy that someday I might actually get paid to write means I would love to accept these awards as well as acknowledge and honor Meiro for her gracious nominations. But how can you do two different awards at once? Hmmm?

Take a look at the award responsibilities:

The Lovely Blog Award:

The Rules are:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you. <http://meirozavian.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/nominated-for-awards/. >
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

and the Blog Of The Year Award:


1.  Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2.  Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen
there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required
and ‘present’ them with their award.

3.  Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award


and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4.  Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award
and share the ‘rules’ with them

5.  You can now also join our Facebook group
click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then
you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6.  As a winner of the award
– please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award
– and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Blog of the Year Award banner 600

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award
and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star.

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs
and even if they have already been given the award by someone else
you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

 For more information check FAQ on The Thought Palette 

Got all that?

So, the following are 7 things about me. I think I also need to nominate at least 15 bloggers too, some of which have been nominated before, hence giving them another star. If you see your blog mentioned please consider yourself nominated for one or more of these awards above…and collect some stars. I would love to nominate ALL the great blogs I follow, as you are all deserving. You really are. But would take all week!

1. I actually have stolen some things. I have been following various blogs for over a year and realized people are on WordPress for various reasons. Some like to write and some like to actually blog, which can be  different a skill. To me, some of the very best bloggers are Leeanne at Ironic Mom and Susie Lindau and her Wild Ride. These ladies are fun and funny and you can’t wait to see what they concoct next. I’ve stolen several ideas from Leeanne. I was going to steal something from Susie very shortly. Thanks ladies!I have stolen so many ideas and reblogs from the Ironic Mom..Shhh, she doesn't need to know!

2. I hate to read. I think I covered this. If it has pictures it will draw me in. There are a few great blogs with some stunning imagery backed with equally illustrative words. These blogs I followed just by finding their home page. Congratulations Esenga’s Voice, Meiro and Southern Sea Muse. You achieved what school, parents and spouses failed to do, creating images in my mind with words.Mei's blog is very captivating...

Mei’s blog is very captivating…

3. My Hobbies include Travel, Finance, Ball Card collections, Writing and Fitness, from weights to running to biking. My age, lack of time and some shoulder deterioration have affected my fitness goals in recent years. When it seems easy to just throw in the towel and accept my mortality, I remember the following two great examples that prove amazing fitness can be still be achieved at my age. Cassie at 43Fitness and Gym Rock Star I really admire and look up to.

4. This blog was started to share the stories of my two amazing daughters. Many of you may not know I have 2 since the oldest is the main character here; the fun talker and attention getter.

exhibitionist . dancing during parade

My youngest may be her opposite yet still a gem; loving, super photogenic, and smart. When she begins speaking clearly watch out!


There was a time we thought we would never have kids. Through series of IVF’s I prayed for years. Reluctantly, I decided to stop praying for one more year. My prayers were never answered. Instead, they were blown away beyond any ideas of what being a Dad could be. I never knew you could love a child this much!

The ‘brand’ of my blog has led to other similar blogs that illustrate their love for their kids. Karen, at Taking On Life With A Smile, Laura at Parenting Creative Kids, Don’t We Look Alike and A Happy Mess are all great blogs from parents that also cherish their kids.

5. I Really Love Christmas! I do love the fall with the cooler air and outdoor activities. Being a beach bum, I love the summer too. I love the winter and its cold air. But I really love Christmas! I’m not satisfied until my house looks like a Christmas Village. I would give gifts to everyone I know if it was possible. I found 2 blogs that actually echo my love for Christmas. They are both by the same person I believe. If you want some Christmas ideas, meanings, imagery, and spirit check out Christ!  Christmas and Christ! X-Mas. They She does a great job and I go back everyday to see whats new. chateau-default

6. This time last year I was unemployed.  I was unemployed for our youngest’s first Christmas. In the spirit of the season, we were visited by two ANGELS. Yes, two different people gave us more resources to spend on our two little girl’s Christmas than we would have spent on them ourselves. We were amazed and touched at their generosity. Yes, they do exist! Plus the girls were blessed with gifts from 4 grandmothers. I wasn’t working but these girls did not miss a thing.

the kids' Christmas

Similarly, in this wonderful Holiday season, tragedy has struck two of my favorite bloggers, Erin and Derek. Knowing things seem to happen in threes, Lets all say a prayer for these two writers as we move forward in this season of love, family and giving.

7. I love to help people. I’m a ‘helper’…to a fault. If there is something I can do to lend a hand I will lend both. Similar to the Angels above, I love to help make people smile. There are so many down things going on that can get you , ah…down. I would rather smile and be contagious.One group I volunteer for, the Lowcountry Orphan Relief. If you look closely that word is 'pencils'.

Christmas card from the Lowcountry Orphan Relief  charity

But I am an amateur compared to one special blogger, Sufey at sufey@SufeySuryananadi. Her whole blog is happy and smiles. There isn’t any one blog with more smiles then hers. Check out her ray of sunshine some rainy day. You’re gonna smile!

No blog I have seen has more smiles, from more places than Sufey

No blog I have seen has more smiles, from more places than Sufey

That’s it my friends! If you made it all the way here to the end, thank you. If any of these blogs match an interest of yours, please check out their blog.

Have a great week and weekend! You do great work! Keep it up…


~Thanks again Ms. Mei!

Monday morning! What can happen next?

Monday morning! Blah!

This morning kicks off another week. More importantly it is the end of the weekend. Hmph! It was a nice weekend too.

So I turned on the computer with my expectations down around the “Monday Morning Blues” level. Then what do my drowsy eyes see but a ‘ping back’ from a blog that is very dear to my heart (Write). The blog was about an organization that is very dear to my heart as well, a charitable group I volunteer for, The Lowcountry Orphan Relief. Wow! What a nice surprise? I was so taken back on various levels.

First, what a great thing Pat from PA does. Her blog, Project 365, is about organizations that she sees trying to make a difference in our world. Her blog is never about her weekend or how she is feeling on a Monday morning. It is about some special company doing benevolent work. Awesome! Please check out her blog, Write On Target,  and say Hello while you are there. I am sure she would appreciate it. What a great thing she does.

Write On Target

In her beautifully written blog today she mentions the Lowcountry Orphan Relief. About a week ago I offered this group to her as a charity I find very noteworthy in my community. I gave her a link to their web site and maybe a contact address and not much more. Pat took this info, did her own research, and came up with this write up. Amazing!

In the professional life I just exited, Monday mornings were about ‘watch your back, stuck in traffic, what more can you do for my company, people taking parking spaces, go, go, go and so on. Caught up in this world of beating last year, I never considered their were nice people out there, going out of their way to make a difference. This blogging stuff has opened so many windows for me! And I keep noticing Angels here on earth, one after another.

If you know me or my family you may have an idea why the Lowcountry Orphan Relief group (LOR) is so dear to my heart. Our kids are such miracles to us in a sense. Our experience has opened my eyes to the amount of kids out there that can’t go it alone, but are forced to. The LOR defends these kids in our little part of the world, clothing, sheltering, sponsoring the poor, abused or forgotten kids, trying to make theirs a world worth living. And sadly, each year the need becomes even greater. So thanks LOR and the other groups out there that look after these kids.

Pat’s research also uncovered another great blog from my home town that also recently featured a post on the LOR in their online publication. This blog I was completely unaware of (like soooo many other things in this world I suppose). It was a great, professional looking blog (I wish my skills were this good!), filled with many aspects of life here in the Lowcountry. If you have a passion for Arts or Fashion, Food & Wine, or other Loves checkCharlie out. Its one of those ‘time-suckers’ where you keep looking around and you just don’t want to leave. ~I still have an open window to it for when I am done here.

Before I move on I just want to say thanks again.  Thanks Pat! Thanks LOR! Thanks Charlie! And, thanks to those others reading this that take parts of their valuable time and try to make the world a little bit better. You so Rock!

Today I was going to talk about (and ask for your suggestions) our ‘grand experiment’. I was going to try to start teaching our kids to read this week. The kids got this great Christmas gift, that was highly recommended, “Your Baby Can Read”.

The challenge is trying to teach two kids, at two different levels, how to read. The greater challenge, I am afraid, is how to maintain these two kid’s attention, while trying to accomplish varying tasks. Dylan is pretty advanced for her age, not only knowing her colors, numbers and letters, but also her phonics pretty good as well. All these things are being in introduced to our youngest for the first time. So we’ll see how this experiment goes.

And then I think, I am not trained to be a teacher. I do not have the skills for this! Then I am forced to realize, thru my job search efforts, that I was a trainer in many of my prior jobs.    If I claim to be a trainer in my professional life I darn well oughta be a trainer in my personal life. A life where my success is far more valuable and far reaching.

Howabout you?

Do you have any ideas, or successes to pass along, in educating your children?

What worked best for you?

Our kids, and ALL kids, deserve to be taught to be the best that they can be!

And to all a good night…

Merry Christmas to you! We hope your holiday was filled with great treasures and memories. I know, depending on families, it can be a peaceful day with some well earned rest or something more like the 4 Christmas and races to get to other places. Either way, I hope yours was tops!

In reflecting back to our celebration I have to say I am going to get all sappy one last time before I return to Mr. Sarcastic in 2012. I am afraid I am losing my rep…

This year we had a unique perspective (to us) on the Christmas season. You see earlier this year our family was reduced to a one income family. It was quite a shock to us but we are going to be OK. But this year we could not really participate in all the trading of gifts however, which has led us to this view.

Every year we have always participated in the gift giving, as most people do. If you are over the age 16 I really believe you look forward to the ‘giving’ and less to the ‘receiving’. And that’s OK. It is the spirit of the season. Its what we all do every year.

We / I always look for the special gifts, the gifts to make others happy, the gag gifts, the gifts you can’t wait for someone to open. It’s the season for giving and it is fun. And we look forward to the opening of gifts and spreading OUR good wishes in hopes they are received with the spirit and love that was intended.

This year we were largely reduced to a spectators in this holiday gift giving unfortunately. It was almost like we could step back and watch the spirit of Christmas from the bleachers. You know what? What an amazing game to watch!

This year we could witness and absorb all the love that others actually put into the Christmas season. We could witness the love, the thought process behind the love, and see how others plan to spread the ‘season of giving’, instead of just getting caught up in our own giving. We could taste it, smell it, and see it. It was quite a show!

We were visited by as many as 6 or 7 real live Angels this year. And our kids had their best Christmas ever. See for yourself….

Well as ‘Best Ever’s go it was only their 4th and 2nd Christmases respectively. But they had fun. And we had fun. But I won’t drill home the details for fear of starting to sound like some TV Christmas special. But I would like to leave you with one thought.

Sometime between now and the new year, block out all your wonderful giving and generosity moments this year and take a few quiet moments to consider what others have done for you. Consider the gifts of time or distance traveled, packages or maintaining endless friendships. Take time to notice that Others Rock!

I want to thank all the Angels in our life for making it special this and every year.

Merry Christmas!

PS: I finished this post in under 30 minutes this morning as both of our girls are upstairs playing with their Aunt Sue. The gifts just keep on coming….

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