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Back in time, back to school

Thursday, August 22, 2013

“She is four years and 364 days old and she is spinning away from me like a leaf on the breeze.” I wrote that nine years ago on the day we signed our daughter up for kindergarten. I found it today, on the eve of her freshman orientation. She is now 14 years and 118 […]

Pretty perfect camping

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I am happy to report that my “send a watermelon to camp” program is coming along nicely. We have come to the realization we are just too lazy to eat healthy while camping. If fruit is sliced, diced, chopped and bagged we will eat it right up. If not, well, we carry so much food […]

Being fair to the fair

Thursday, August 8, 2013

For years we have happily ignored our county fair as something one enjoys hearing about from other people while blissfully avoiding the cost and stress for themselves. It’s like international travel. I want to thrill to your stories of working a mission in South Africa precisely so I don’t have to go to any trouble […]

It’s good to be king, or is it?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

So you want to be King? It helps immeasurably to be born into the Royal Family so you can mark that off your “to do” list Royal Baby. Well done! Fame. Now, you probably don’t realize it yet because you’re an infant and, as such, permitted to sleep on the job, but most people aren’t […]

How was the West won without bottled water?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Since the onslaught of 40 days of rain, the term “French drain” has been whispered in my ear. Let me assure you, it is not as sexy as it sounds.

Don’t rock the boat

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Last week I wrote of how graciously Mr. Wonderful took it when I accidentally bumped our (read: his) custom boat trailer off a post. I am proud to say how nice he was about the whole thing. He didn’t get upset or call me careless or dumb (both of which would apply). He knew I […]

First World Problems of the scratch and dent variety

Friday, July 12, 2013

We have recently been beset by a plague of First World Problems. First World Problems are defined as issues that arise from living in an industrialized nation that pale in comparison to the real troubles of the inhabitants of less industrialized cultures. (Example: If you are living in a mud hut on a war torn […]

Driving lessons

Thursday, July 4, 2013

“If I’m gonna hit a traffic jam, well it better be a tractor man … ” — Rodney Atkins I would like to apologize to all the capable Pittsburgh drivers because I am not one of you. I am a menace when I enter the city limits. There really should be a “rural driver” sign […]

Outdoorsy versus indoorsy

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Once again we packed up Boywonder and sent him off to camp for the week. By “we” I mean “he,” of course. I haven’t packed his bags since the memorable year I filled his knapsack with snack bars and he asked, derisively, if I was planning to have him dragged off into the woods by […]

Ghosts of Gettysburg

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Every year we take a vacation, my best friend and I and our collective four kids. In more than a decade of annual road trips we have always preferred museums and meaningful historical sites to amusement parks. Dragging the children through Thomas Edison’s birthplace, the faded ruins of Midwestern castles, or Henry Ford’s collective of […]

Dads and heavy lifting

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I theorize that the primary reason young men work out to build up muscles is that, on some primal, subconscious level, they know they will be fathers in the (very far) future and they are going to need their strength. This is primarily because fathers of a certain age seem to live to carry everything […]

The price of progress

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I front like I’m thrifty but let’s be frank here: I spend money like it’s plucked out of thin air. I will nickel and dime home furnishings and clothing, then turn around and warehouse club us right into the poorhouse. “Look, it’s a jumbo barrel of quinoa (never mind we hate it) for ‘only’ $44!” […]

Missing things

Thursday, May 30, 2013

You’re gonna miss this, You’re gonna want this back, You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast. — Trace Adkins This week I, the woman who embodies the phrase, “if it’s not in the scrapbook, it did not happen” missed a very important middle school awards program. GirlWonder was awarded for being on […]

Parenting performance review

Thursday, May 23, 2013

In the coming weeks, numerous graduates will stroll, stomp, or perhaps cartwheel across the stage (things are getting so fancy now) to accept their diploma. Still others will sign with various institutions for academics or athletics. In most cases, they will give a speech, be it on stage or a patch of grass in their […]

Winners, losers and eighth place

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blue for first, red for second, third is white, fourth is yellow and fifth is green. By the time they blow past the primary colors and into the decorator shades of award ribbons, it’s fair to say you probably didn’t exactly excel at whatever it is that you’ve done. Burgundy may, in fact, be the […]

My kids are dating? Game on

Thursday, May 9, 2013

There’s a thin line between insanity and coping with your daughter dating. Our son is 16 and has begun to date a sweet and lovely young lady that we all like very much. With that, I’ve already said too much. Our daughter is 14 and slated to begin high school in the fall. We have […]

These weighty issues

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I am currently having an argument with my thighs. They didn’t use to irritate me, but lately, they’ve been on my last nerve. I recently came to the conclusion that, contrary to my popular belief, everyone I know had not stealthily outfitted their cameras with a wide-angle and extra chin lens just for me. Nor […]

A practical addiction

Thursday, April 25, 2013

For nearly a century, East Liverpool dominated the United States pottery industry … During its peak production years (1865-1910), East Liverpool’s potteries produced and sold the majority of America’s crockery … — The Pottery Capital of America, Ohio Historical Society I live within an easy driving distance of the Pottery Capital of America. Like most […]

The secret to my success

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I never tied my mother’s sheer curtains under my chin and paraded down the stairs playing “bride.” I didn’t plan Barbie’s wedding to Ken. I was too busy rearranging the furniture in Barbie’s Dream House to fish Ken out from the nest of dust bunnies he’d been exiled to under the bed. I never once […]

Helicopter parents who hover, smother

Friday, April 12, 2013

When they are toddlers, we stand within eye and earshot pretty much all of the time. We walk around with our arms outstretched and our hearts on our sleeves. We cushion bumps and catch their falls. Protecting our children from harm is job one.  As our children age, it can be tough to know when […]

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