There is no morning at Homeschool

Even on days when homeschooling makes me want to pull my hair out, there is always a positive…we get up when we want to.  We don’t have to catch a bus or make it somewhere before a bell rings.  There is no rushing in our house in the mornings.

It is a joke with other homeschooling families I know that if the government knew how often we do school in our pajamas, they would add a law that we had to get dressed before we started math class!

The beauty of a relaxed morning is always centered around breakfast.  The kids and I sit down at the table each morning to get things started, and although it seems like some old school cliche, beginning the day by actually talking to each other rather than watching TV or fussing at each other to hurry up helps put us on the same page. One of the kids might go out and get some eggs from the chicken coop or on a cold morning we might break out the oatmeal, but by and large, the kids ask for cereal every day.

The only thing about cereal was that I felt like all they wanted was sugary junk, and as I’m sure you can imagine, when you start teaching right after breakfast you don’t want your kid on some kind of sugar high. I try to ease into the day rather than having little ones bouncing off the walls.

Lately we have been eating a lot of Very Berry Cheerios. Of course we are comfortable with them because they are a brand I grew up on. And the kids love them because the sweetness of the berries makes them think they are getting a real treat.

 

Very Berry Cheerios is a new product from the most trusted name in breakfast.  So do as the Pappy says, and go out and get your own box!

When you do, share your #berrieseverywhere moment on your social media!  Give me a tag so I can see it!

 

 

I have partnered with Life of Dad and Cheerios for this campaign, but my opinions are my own.

Even The Meconium is Awesome

 

 

Three kids later, I look at my face in this picture and I can still feel the wonder of that moment.  Asher had just been born, Mecalah was holding this icky looking little boy, and the emotion that washed over me could never be put into words.  Usually moments that change your life are only obvious in retrospect, but at that instant I knew everything had shifted. I felt a joy that is the closest I have ever gotten to heaven on this earth but walking hand in hand with that joy was the more intense fear I have ever had.

Suddenly I was confronted by the fact that I was not the most important person in my life. I know that should have been obvious, but despite how unselfish you think you are, seeing this tiny human that you have complete responsibility for shows you how often you make decisions based on your own happiness and not someone elses.

And it is fair to be curious about how the human mind could possibly think all of these thoughts and change all these changes in the blink of an eye and the truth is that I have NO IDEA! But it happens.  And I’m not saying that this is how it worked for everyone but this is how it worked for me.  Nothing else in the world mattered in this moment.  My wife was safe.  My baby boy was born. Life was amazing!

And the most shocking things bring you total bliss.  For example, the first time your kid poops it is a super gross greenish black sticky as tar poop called meconium. You can hardly get their little butt clean, but as you put on a new Pamper you are so full of pride.  On one hand I wanted to vomit, sure, but mostly I was just like “Look at my boy! He can poop! This must be the most impressive poop in the history of poops! I am so proud! He is an achiever!”

That sounds ridiculous, but I feel confident I am not the only parent to ever feel that way!

When a man becomes a Father something changes.  The birth of your kid is the day you are reborn as a Daddy.  Your vision is expanded and your purpose in life changes.

 

That video is so amazing, because Pampers manages to sum up so well what it can look like to be a Daddy. And, yes, we should shout HAPPY FATHER’S DAY from the roof tops, but during your celebration, take a moment to look at the little one(s) that made it all possible and tell them #ThanksBaby.

Thank you for changing my life.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for letting me be your Dad.

Join me in Tweeting why you are most thankful for your kids using the hashtag #ThanksBaby.

While you are at it, send @Pampers a big thank you for all of the ways they are supporting Dads of all kinds!

 

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad  and Pampers for this promotion.

Sweeeeet Summer Time

FINALLY! I wait all year for everything to get green and warm and bright. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have seasonal depression, but I am much more at peace when it is warm outside.

Winter is so much work. Keeping the fire burning. The six hours it takes to bundle up in order to go anywhere. Tiny amounts of snow that make everyone who lives around here totally freak out.

Summer, though, is easy! Slip on some flip flops and go. Heck, you don’t even need a shirt half the time around here in the country.

The kids are happier too. All they need is a water hose and life is grand.

Breath it in. Hope it lasts forever.

Memories that burn

We have a new Apple TV since we “cut the cord” and my favorite feature on it is the screen saver. I listen to music and just let it run all day.

We are slowly loading photos from the past on it (I think we have almost 600 on it and we aren’t even to the birth of the third kid haha) but to watch those pictures cycle through is so beautiful and a little painful.

It is amazing how fast our kids grow and how much they change so quickly. Choosing pictures from our files has brought tears to my eyes more than once.

I am revisiting times that were painful despite our smiles and noticing times that were so happy we forgot to take pictures.

In these photos my Grandma is still alive. 

We live other places. We have other friends. Our big kids are babies.

Maybe this has you wondering why I like this slideshow so much. It is because I can’t watch it without being confronted with how dang awesome and blessed my life is. I can’t watch it without admitting the good always outweighs the bad.

Life is painful. And lovely. Amazing. And hard. But so very worth it.

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Lately my family has been in the midst of a revival. 

It is a beautiful time that I really feel is a time of reward from God for walking faithfully with Him while times were tough.

I feel that it is time for this site to reflect those personal changes and the man of Faith that I am.

In the past I haven’t been very outspoken about my relationship with Christ because I didn’t want to deal with the judgement and the criticm that comes with it.

However, today I was directly told by a Brand and a PR company that they were not interested in working with me because my faith was offensive. They didn’t like that scripture appears on my Facebook and Instagram. They openly said they don’t wont to work with someone who follows Jesus Christ.

That is fine with me. If they are so against God then I would prefer not to work with them. I can’t help but wonder, though, if they would have been so open about their reasons of rejecting me if it was because of my gender, skin tone, or orientation.

I am not sad it happened though. Their treatment of me actually has spurred on a complete refocusing of my website.

In the next few weeks I will begin a weekly Bible study posting. I will become more transparent about my prayer life. 

It is an exciting time, in my opinion, and I hope you will stick around for the next incarnation of The Purposeful Pappy.

~ Michael

I really hope you will hop over to http://www.facebook.com/thepurposefulpappy so you will be notified when to join me again after the reboot!

A little mascara doesn’t hurt…

When I was a kid my parents bought me a Cabbage Patch Doll.  He had a super chubby face and he was wearing camouflage clothes. It may sound like a small memory, but he is actually pretty infamous in my house and, of course, I am going to tell you why.

One day I was playing with him and it seemed to me that he had a little problem. His clothes kept him hidden from the enemy but there was nothing to help him hide his face from them as he snuck through the make believe jungle in my mind. So in order for him to be better hidden, I went into my parent’s bathroom and got my mom’s mascara. I used it to camouflage his face. Basically I was saving his life. Or ruining his face. It all depended on your perspective haha.

Long story short, my Mom did not see my little makeup job as something that my little stuffed buddy needed.  She was ticked.  That day my doll went to live in the top of a closet where he remained until I  rediscovered him when I went to move out to go to college!

If I had been a girl, it probably wouldn’t have seemed like I was defacing my toy. I would have just been making her pretty or more presentable for her Prince.

I tell this story not to laugh at my Mom, but to talk about how boys and dolls have always gotten a bad wrap.  Dolls weren’t traditionally seen as something that boys played with, but as time has moved on, we see how important it is to teach our boys to be nurturers.

When Mecalah was pregnant with Harper, one thing we did to prepare Asher for the new baby was to get him a doll.  We worked on him being gentle and how to hold a baby.

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But one thing that I feel like Asher is lacking in the toy department is some kind of doll that he can connect with as a little boy. Something more rough and tumble that can make it through being dragged outside and into his tree fort and through the general carnage that his toys seem to go through.

A few months ago I came across an Instagram for a company called Boy Story that seemed to have something that could do just that.

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(Here is where I need to let you know that I am NOT contracted with them or being compensated in any way to write this.  This is coming from my heart because I feel like what they are trying to get started is awesome and important.)

Boy Story’s Kickstarter is launching tomorrow. They have developed what they are calling Action Dolls.

If you are a regular reader of my site, you know I have never come to you with something like this.  But I really think y’all need the chance to get in on this on the ground level and also get a great deal on these dolls.

Here is what they look like:

And this is one of the myriad of things that make them different:

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They are

bendable

poseable

dirtyable

dragable

and

mangleable.

Basically our sons need these.

If I had not been sold on them at first look, after talking to the sisters that are trying to get this company off the ground I would have been. Katie and Kristen (neither of which I have a prior relationship with) are beyond passionate about this project.  They believe in what they are doing. This Pappy does too.

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Tomorrow at 11am their Kickstarter will go live and I will post a link to it.

I really hope that you will want to get involved with Boy Story in some way. The creators deserve it.

But most of all, our sons deserve it.

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Blast from the Future…

I usually hate “old sayings.” Normally they are just wound up in old ideals and misconceptions and “boys will be boys” fell into that category. Last night, though, when I was watching my son and his two friends play, it looked so similar to what I did as a child, I found myself embracing that old adage. So how about we rewind for a moment.

When Asher found out that Hasbro was being cool enough to send us a few Yo-Kai Watches he was pumped.  He had no problem choosing which three of his buddies he wanted to come over to play with them with him. His main problem was that there were about three weeks (an eternity in 4 year old land) between him inviting his friends over and the day they would be coming.

That was when I first began to see my childhood through his eyes.  My parents let me have a sleep over every year for my birthday and I can remember the days totally oozing by while we all anticipated the big night. My parents got sick of me asking how many days until everyone got to come over and I am sure I was insufferable the day before it took place.  I spent the hours before my friends were going to come over practically climbing the walls.

Asher was exactly like that.  To be honest, he spent most of the hours before his little party in trouble!

As soon as Luke and Peyton got here, I felt like I was once again peering through the looking glass back at myself.  What is the first thing they began to do, of course? Wrestle. And wrestle. And wrestle. It is probably a miracle that they were alive and unbroken once the pizza got here!

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Watching them I was: 1) Envious of the ease of their youth.  Not just the boundless energy that they had, but the ease that they had with one another.  No need for small talk or explanations or niceties, they just simply “were.” 2) A little homesick for all those boys I used to rumble around with.  Even though some are connected to me by the magic of facebook, more have been lost to the shifting of time. But the times we had together were simple and joyful and I saw that in my son’s eyes.

That is when I thought, you know, it is true, boys will be boys. I buy into it.  Fully.  Not as an excuse for any behavior but just as a truth.

After pizza it was time for the main event, to continue the wresting analogy. We popped the Yo-Kai DVD into the player and I let the boys open their watches.

CHAOS REINED!

To condense a hectic insanity filled time period down to a couple of words: They freaking loved this stuff.

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The watches make cool noises. There are a million character disks to put in them.  Some sing little songs, some say funny little phrases, some look like a little man with a (literal) butt head who has a super power of farting.  They rolled on the floor laughing and then began to emulate his power until all the adults in the room were laughing as hard as they were.

In High School, a friend’s mother once asked a group of guys and I when bodily functions wouldn’t be funny anymore.  His father chimed in, martini in hand, and said “It must be after 60!” Again, a piece of my past proved true!

As the Yo-Kai excitement began to die down, the wrestling picked back up.  Except now they have gigantic watches on their hands while they executed their elbow drops and pile drivers!

One by one the boys headed home.  Asher was asleep moments after his head hit the pillow.  I felt so thankful that his life was so simple, and easy, and pure.  So grateful that boys will be boys, no matter if it is 1985 or 2016.

 

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Take a moment to check out this video!

Since that is so cool, I feel positive you want to learn more!

Check out Yo-Kai’s Facebook page HERE!

Or their office website HERE!

And see some free episodes HERE!

Disclaimer: I was provided these toys for review and compensated for this blog and other social media postings.  Despite this, the opinions (and emotions) are all my own and true to life.

My Little Girl

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Man oh man.  I am strong willed and rediculously determined.  I always have been.  My Mom literally had a book called The Strong Willed Child that she often turned to when I was a little boy.

Asher came out of the womb mellow.  Of course he has that never ending four year old energy, but he is not the total tornado that Harper is.  I have heard that middle children are often over looked but I know in our family that won’t be an issue!

I think Harper and I are so close because we have so much in common at our cores.  Yes, she is only two, but if you were in the room with her for one second you would know that she is my mini me.

She has my stink eye. My suspicious nature.  My grumpiness.

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But along with all of those “negatives” she has the ability to absolutely take over the world if that is what she wants to do.  She will never let anything stop her or get in her way.

That is why I encourage her spirit.  She is hard to deal with sometimes, like I am, but I know that her spunk is going to serve her so well when she is a grown up.  I don’t want to control her, I just want to help focus her.

She has me wrapped around her finger.  She is my baby.  My little girl.