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How to do a hiking trip with kids I love to hike. I love taking in beautiful trails and exploring what nature has to offer. But having kids can change your game plan when you want to go hiking. Here is how I prepare for a hiking trip with kids. Have a kids hiking trip gear checklist Having a checklist for the gear you will need will vary greatly depending on how long the hike is and what type of nature you will encounter.  Will you be hiking in the spring/fall or the summer? Will you be hiking a half-mile or 3 miles? Will there be a place to swim in the middle of your hike? All of these factors play into what you need to have and the length of your checklist. Plan ahead at minimum a few days so if you need to run by the store or…

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 What you can expect when your child gets married My wife and I have been married for over 20 years. We got married at a young age and we had little time to prepare for it. We really didn’t expect our parents to be too involved as we didn’t have a lot of money and we really didn’t want people spending a lot of money on us. Recently my middle son got married. And my oldest is planning to get married this fall. After my middle son’s wedding, I realized there were a lot of things that happened that I wasn’t really expecting. The month leading up to the wedding was hectic and the wedding day had its hiccups. But I think overall it was a great day. And we had lots of fun and good pictures to remember the day. Here are some things you can expect when your…

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Words your dad may never tell you Dads can be like statues. Quiet, towering, stubborn, and not much to talk to. I realize not all dads are like that but the stigma is that dads are these cold-hearted working machines. I always remember my dad as a very reserved person. He wasn’t quiet. Because once you got him talking he would talk to you for hours and you might wish he would shut up. I find I am the same way. I have seen it put this way about my personality. I’m a watcher and a listener. I will watch you and listen to you very closely. Then I will determine based on your words and actions whether I want to engage with you or not. Typically if I like what I see then you may not get me to shut up. But if I hold back and don’t talk…

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How to be a better dad – the road trip We were an hour into a 5-hour trip. My son had decided to take a nap since we had to leave at 6 in the morning on a Saturday. He woke up and asked how long had he been asleep. Then the conversation took an awesome turn. Son: “I wish we could get there faster” Me: “Well unfortunately we have to drive and there are limits to how fast we can go” Son: “Maybe we could fly” Me: “No there aren’t really any airports close by that would work. We might be able to charter a flight but that would be expensive” This lead to a 10-minute conversation of me trying to explain what “charter” means. Son: “Dad when I grow up I am going to invent a better way to travel” Me: “Oh well what are some of your…

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Things that are shocking for our kids when they become adults Becoming an adult. Leaving the nest. Moving out on your own. It is never an easy transition. Going from having most or all of your needs met by your parents to taking care of yourself and providing for yourself. I have two boys that are getting married this year. One has been on his own and graduated from college for a while now, the other just turned 18 and will take the jump straight from being under mom and dad’s care to being an adult. I try to prepare my kids for being adults. I feel like I fail on so many levels because of the phone calls I get on how do you do these simple tasks. They seem like simple tasks to me because I have done them over and over. The more I think about it…

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What I love about working remotely Like a lot of people when the pandemic hit in 2020 we were forced to leave the office and work remotely from our homes. This wasn’t my first time working remotely. Before I moved to Kentucky I worked remotely until my kids could finish up their school year and we could secure a new house. Now that things seem to possibly be winding down two things are happening. Some companies are forcing their employees back into the office. And some are realizing that working remotely is going well and allowing them to stay remote, even if on a part-time basis. The first time I worked remotely there were some things that frustrated me. One was the lack of decent high-speed internet at the house during that time. Also, there really wasn’t a space I could go and be away from my family when I…

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Being prepared for camping in the rain When I think of my ideal camping trip it usually doesn’t involve rain. I think of sunny skies and warm (but not hot) weather during the day and cool crisp nights. When the weather cooperates it makes my camping experience so much more enjoyable. But when it rains it makes me just not want to camp at all. Sometimes you plan your camping trip weeks in advance and you have no control over the weather during the time you are going to camp. How do you deal with the rain? Recently we camped out with the scouts and it rained on us for about 12 hours straight. The day felt like it was never going to end (at the least the rain didn’t feel like it would end). A lot of people that were camping with us ended up with water in their…

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11 incredible items that have made parenting so much easier for me Throughout the years of being a parent, I find items at the store that just make my life so much easier. When I find these things I wonder “Where was this when my older boys were younger?”. Sometimes the answer is they either were not invented yet or maybe I just wasn’t in the right spot at the right time to find them.  But all of these things if I had to start over again would be some of the first things I would go out and buy. Glow in the dark pacifiers I found one of the greatest things that saved my sanity multiple nights was having a glow-in-the-dark pacifier. I had my doubts that they would last long enough through the night to be effective. But when it is 3 in the morning and you have…

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I asked thousands of dads for parenting advice, here is what they said: You can read books or you can read internet articles but the best parenting advice comes from those that are in it every day. Parenting can be demanding and exhausting so why do we try to do it on our own? I am a member of several dad groups and I asked the question: “What is the best parenting advice?”. Several of the dads had some good solid advice that overlapped and I would like to share some of the best advice I saw across the responses I received. Be there and be the example This is something I always try to do with my kids. I make an extra effort to be there for them and be the example. Sometimes I might be a bad example and get scolded by my wife. But I try my…

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Our Top 5 Vacation Spots Every summer we go on a few vacations. We try to pick new places but the kids always want to return to some of their favorite vacation spots. Our family looks for the following qualities in a vacation spot: Something unique about the location A zoo or aquarium is usually a requirement Outdoor activities Indoor activities to beat the heat of summer Theme park with roller coasters is a plus Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin Dells located in Wisconsin is located not too far from Chicago and has been dubbed the indoor water park capital of the world. And let’s just say there is no shortage of indoor water park resorts in this town. Most likely because of its northern location and cooler months the indoor water parks are a bit of a necessity. But our family doesn’t go for the indoor water parks alone. The Wisconsin…

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