Aunt L. Always Has Love

Aunt L. is about love.A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. James Keller

Isn’t love like a candle?  Loving one person doesn’t mean loving someone else less.

Think about it. Did you love your first child less after you had a second child?

My Aunt L. is very ill. She is at the point where her family and friends are more concerned that she is not in pain than the status of her various ailments. Sure, we pray for a miracle but accept reality.

As you can imagine, it is a sad time for the family. However, I don’t want to be maudlin. Instead, I want to think about lessons I can learn from my aunt. While there are many lessons I have learned from my beloved aunt, there is one in particular I want to focus on.

That lesson is love. My Aunt L. is like that candle. She is a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to many. And she loves them all not to mention her siblings and their families. They are all wonderful in her eyes. No not perfect but lovely. So lovely and she loves them.

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Want to Know What is the Perfect Party for a 10-year-Old?

10 year old birthday party.

BR, friends, cake, and pizza – A Party

Have you seen the movie Enough Said? One issue brought up in the movie was parents dealing with children moving away to college.

Last week, BR, our oldest turned 10. He‘s not quite ready for the hallowed ivy of university life. He’s bright, but he’s not Doogie Howser.

Anyway, the movie made me think about the passing of time. My first born is in double digits. At some point, he too will walk out the door. It seems almost unbelievable to me.

I can’t say it seems just like yesterday BR was born. There have been too many laughs, frustrations, and challenges for it to feel like just yesterday. More than anything, the love I feel and the changes in my life since he was born have been nearly indescribable.

I am not going to regale you with some teary eyed list of memories or thoughts about my growing child as he enters a new phase.

It’s this simple: I am a parent. I have a child. My life has changed. My reason for living has changed.

And my son is my blessing.

How did we celebrate the big one oh?

Well, we gave him possibly the greatest birthday of all time. No exaggeration.

Put yourself into the shoes of a 10 year old. Actually, BR wears Crocs, but that’s another story. What does a 10 year old boy love?

Video games!

BR is a video game fanatic (so is SJ, for that matter). He goes on playdates and brings his Kindle. His friends come here and do the same. They will play Minecraft (BR even plays Minecraft with his brother!) for hours and be thrilled (Minecraft Playdate).

Whether it’s Minecraft or Madden, Skylanders or NBA 2K, I’m sure the boys you know in that age group are similarly wired.

So, video games had to be included in the party. CHECK.

Add cake and pizza to satisfy BR’s complex cuisine choices. CHECK AND CHECK.

Let me run down the details for you.

Game Away is a company which bills themselves as a mobile video game theater. That’s right – a 32-foot truck with FIVE widescreen high-def TVs and up to 20 people can play at once was parked was parked in front of our house. Game Away also sends a Game Coach who sets up the game, helps the kids with the games, and oversees the kids to encourage fun.

Video Game Truck

Video Game Truck.
Pic is courtesy of Game Away

My son got to invite up to 20 people to play video games within an awesome, comfortable truck. What 10-year-old would not love that?

Shoot, I was impressed. In fact, all the fathers who either dropped off or picked up their kids were impressed. We all wanted to get on the truck.

It was a blast. BR was over-the-top happy. Trying to get him calmed and to bed was challenging, but it was worth it.

Minecraft Birthday Cake

Minecraft Birthday Cake

Oh yeah, we had pizza and cake after the boys got off the truck.

Mrs. MMK made a Minecraft birthday cake. Of course. Some of the kids said it was the best cake ever. Those kids made Ms. MMK’s day.

More importantly, the whole thing made BR’s day.

Happy birthday buddy. I love you and enjoy seeing you grow and learn each day. I am not ready for you go to college yet.

10 year old on video truck

BR on the Game Away Video Truck


Video games on a truck

Guests enjoying themselves by playing video games in the truck;

Video games on the truck

SJ and other guest focusing on their video games.

A Love Song For His Children

Sometimes things touch us, move us, affect us.

The Nick and Zack Song by my fellow Dad Blogger, Bill, did this for me. Bill and I belong to the same Dad Bloggers Facebook Group. Everyone in our group knows him as the wise and sensitive sage and the best compliment giver.

Anyway, I’ve been reading his blog, I Hope I Win a Toaster, for some time now. I quickly learned that Bill is a loving father and a sensitive soul.

Besides blogging, Bill is a Stay-at-home-Dad, husband, guitar player, trained actor, and reader of books on spirituality.  Bill prides himself on being a “meat whisperer” meaning that he can take any meat and any source of heat and make it good. He swears it’s a gift, God-given and very handy.

Prior to becoming a Stay-at-home-Dad to his twin 9-year old boys, Bill spent nearly thirty five years in the restaurant business. He says it prepared him for life as a Stay-at-home-Dad.  Besides the food prep and safety and all the obvious stuff, he learned about prioritizing and triage.

Check out Bill’s post below for the back story about the song and then make sure to give the Nick and Zack song a listen. I promise it will make you smile. Once again, you can check out his blog here: Bill’s Blog.

When our twin sons were born in the Spring of 2005, I was 44 years old. Six weeks later my wife, a youth minister at the time, went back to work, and I stayed at home to look after the boys. I hadn’t had much experience with newborns – as in, I think I’d held one once. But, I didn’t have much time to learn things.

I think you can guess what happened: I fell in love with them. So, what does a guy raised up in the sixties and seventies do when he is in love? Right, I wrote a song about it. I had penned dozens of love songs up to that point but never for a couple of infants.

Listen, when a guy writes a love song for a girl he is doing it for a reason… I’ll leave it at that. In fact, I wrote a song for my wife asking her to marry me. It worked. I didn’t know the reason I was writing this song. That came much later. One summer my family and I were camping. I was playing a few tunes around a fire, and I asked Nick what he’d like to hear.

“How about that song you wrote for us?”

“Yeah,” Zack chimed in, “I love that song.”

And, we all sang it together

I love this song too, and, it seems to have done what I had hoped – it cherishes them. And, they understand that.

A while back I began to worry that there wasn’t a recording of it, so, I sat down in front of the computer, faced the camera, and sang it for them. I’m glad I did.

Nick and Zack Song

Zero Reaction

I did it. I set a goal. I accomplished a goal. And it felt great.

When I turned my computer off on Tuesday night, I had zero emails in my inbox. Now, I must admit the last stubborn email was turned into a draft so I can easily pop onto it when I want to reference it. By the way, a few people provided helpful suggestions including, Karaboo over at I felt a feeling of exultation. It was a beautiful.

Now, it was nearing 11:00, so I could not shout for joy. For if I shouted and awoke the children, there would be no joy in Mudville. However, I certainly could share my excitement with my wife.

I was sure my wife would be excited. In fact, when she learned of my goal, she smiled widely. So, I went upstairs. I tried to hold back my excitement as I approached our bedroom door.

As I was about to enter, I started thinking. For an organizational fiend like my wife, this news could actually serve as an aphrodisiac. Maybe, she wouldn’t be able to control her enthusiasm. She would have to express her admiration. Whatta man whatta man whatta mighty good man. Whoo ah!

Okay, I am mixing my cultural references, but this was good. Zero in the inbox and a night of love.

This could inspire me to accomplish many more organizational tasks. I could organize the garage, organize the desk. Things always need organizing.

Wait. I stopped myself from entering the bedroom. Let me make sure the kids’ doors are shut. No interruptions – no thank you. Well, the kids were sleeping, and the house was quiet except the television was on in our bedroom. This is good. Feeling confident now.

I slowly opened the door while struggling to hold back my enthusiasm for the goal I was about to share. “Sara.” No answer. “Sara.” Still no answer. Once more. “Sara.”

She turned, startled. “Huh.”

“Were you asleep?” I knew the answer. I hoped she would lie.

“Yes. What is it?”

Here was my opening. “I did it.”


“I got down to zero emails. I did it. Remember we talked about it before.”

“That’s great,” she muttered with less enthusiasm than the nominees say at awards shows when asked how they feel after not getting the award. I’m just happy to be nominated.

“That’s it?” I was crestfallen.

“I’m sleeping.”

“Oh. Okay. Sorry. Good night.”

I sighed, turned around, as my sense of accomplishment faded slightly. I headed to the shower happy this night to still be suffering from morning shower phobia. A nice shower would do me some good.