Playing Hard

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When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.  – Theodore Roosevelt


Just snapped this picture before putting the girl down for her nap. Mommy puts the play area in order every night, and this is what it looks like by 11am, lol.


Any morning that you can play until you crash, is a morning well spent. Made me wonder when the last time I played that hard was…


How about you?


-Gracie’s Daddy


A Day at the Park (Caution – graphic violence)




Well, yesterday was the first really beautiful day of the year. Sunshine, blue skies, and 80 degrees.


We packed up the girl and went to out favorite park. We went to parks last summer, but this was the first time Gracie was big enough to really run free and explore.


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And, boy did she!


You’d think it would be easy to keep a kid hemmed into a three-block by two block park, but Mommy and I spent most of our time herding her away from the street, out of the bark dust, and away from kids who had toys that she wanted, lol.


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She seemed non-plussed by the 20-ft tall Gentle Ben statue, and had no love for the swings, but she got a kick out of running in the grass.


Sadly, not all was popsicles and dandelions.


Her rubber-bottom shoes were not, apparently, well suited from the sudden change from grass to sidewalk, and the resulting crash-dive precipitated our first case of scraped knees (of future thousands, I’m sure.)


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I think Mom and I were more traumatized than the kid, who, after a brief flurry of tears, was up and racing for the street again.


So, as cute at the summer-wear was, next time we’ll be wearing jeans, and as entertaining as the playground (should) be, we’ll bring our own ball…and maybe a harness.


-Gracie’s Daddy





We did not get a nap today,

I’m not quite sure what else to say.


The sink is full, the floor’s a fright,

we ran from dawn, ‘til dark of night.


The laundry’s piled, no work got done,

she threw up twice (once, just for fun!)


My eyes are red, my feet complain,

my cell-phone clogs the toilet drain.


There’s marinara on the walls,

and Legos up and down the halls.


A banana’s stuck in the VCR,

and ketchup spread about the car.


The ceiling fan is on the floor,

your mother called (need I say more?)


The cat is bald, the goldfish dead,

the dog is hidden ‘neath the bed.


For tomorrow I can only pray,

‘cause we did not get a nap today!


-Gracie’s Daddy


Vote for Gracie!

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Hey all,

I just entered this picture in The Cute Kid’s Easter Contest. Please follow this link to place your vote for Gracie!

The prize would make a nice addition to her college fund! LOL

-Gracie’s Daddy

Easter 2009


A few highlights:

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The Father Wept

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The father stood in the middle of the living room, surveying the damage his daughter had done.


The Father stood, looking down on His creation, seeing the damage His children had done.


The father looked at the torn pages of books, the overturned plants, the scattered DVD’s, and was angry. After all the toys he’d given her, and still…


The Father saw the sin, the hatred, the glorifying of their immorality, scattered across the Earth, and was angry. He provided them with every good thing, and still…


How many times had he warned her, how many “no no’s?” How many time-outs? How many times had he rearranged the furniture, reinforced the playpen, and cleaned up the messes?


How many times had He warned them? How many times had He repeated the law, how many prophets had He sent? How many times had be allowed them to be taken into bondage and then freed them when they repented?


The father picked up his daughter from the middle of the mess. She resisted, struggling and crying “No, No, No” as she tried to escape the consequences.


The Father took up His children. They resisted, struggling and crying, “No, No, No” as they tried to escape their consequences.


Anger faded, replaced by sadness and resolve. The father knew what he had to do, but knowing didn’t make it any easier. Would she understand? Would she obey? He didn’t want to do this.


Anger faded, replaced by sadness, His resolve unchanged. The Father knew what he had to do, but knowing didn’t make it any easier. Would they understand? Would they obey? He didn’t want to do this.


The father raised his hand…


The Father raised His hand…


The child wept and looked at him as if to say, “If you loved me, you wouldn’t punish me.” It nearly broke his heart.


The children wept and cried out, “If you loved us, you wouldn’t punish us!” It nearly broke His heart.


Because he loved her, the father brought his hand down, solid but tempered. The pain in his heart, so much greater than the pain on her bottom.


Because He loved them, The Father brought his hand down, solid but tempered. The pain in His heart, so much greater than the pain in their lives.


The father sat in his office, knowing he had done the right thing, but his resolve didn’t lessen the pain in his heart. He loved her so much. Loved to teach her, and play with her, and laugh with her. If that was all there was to it, life would be perfect.


The Father sat on His throne in Heaven. That He was right and just and holy, didn’t lessen the pain in his heart. He loved them so much. Loved to teach them, to share in their joy and laughter. When that was all there was to it, life would be perfect.


But, he knew she would never be truly happy, truly safe, until she learned to obey.


But, He knew they would never be truly happy, truly safe, until they learned to obey.


How many “No no’s,” and time-outs, and swats?


How many prophets, and promises, and punishments?


The father wept.


The Father wept.



Phlash The Wonder Dog



Phlash the Wonder-Dog



Phlash was our Christmas gift to each other the first year of our marriage. A three-month-old ball of fur that fit in my right hand, and the runt that edged-out his litter-mates by snuggling into Vickie’s neck and giving her a kiss the first time she picked him up. (He was always a great schmooze.)




Over the next thirteen years, he moved with us through six homes, four cities, and innumerable camp sites. He had a passionate hatred for geese, and we never figured out why. His love could be bought with a pizza crust or an ear skritch.




He was the puppy that drove us crazy while refusing to be house-trained, who later learned to ring a bell when he needed to go out, our only child during long, dark years of infertility and disappointment. He was Grandpa’s “buddy” who got fed from the table when neither thought we were looking, and finally, he became our daughter’s favorite baby. One of her first words was, “Puppy.”


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She also fed him from the table when they thought we weren’t looking.




He was our “Hoover Hound,” who ate five pounds of raw chicken wings, a two-pound loaf of uncooked bread dough, and an entire bag of mini peanut-butter cups. The candy was the only one that required a trip to the vet, as he didn’t bother to unwrap them first.


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He peed on my feet (twice), and ran head first through our door screen, taking it into the yard with him. He demanded his own camp chair, and got it.


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You ruined our carpets, raided our (and other’s) pantries, invaded our bed, and filled our lives with all of the frustration, worry, love, and laughter that only a member of the family can.


As hard as it was, I’m glad I was there at the end. I’m glad you could feel my hand, and hear my voice. I’m glad I could say, “Good dog!” one last time.


If there is a special place in heaven for pets, I hope that it’s filled with fast-food and slow geese.


Goodbye, “Trouble”…we’ll miss you.


– Dad, Momma, & Gracie.





PS – If you have any special memories, funny or poignant, of Phlash, please share them below!





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