Thank you.

 Thank you.

Two simple words that people need to hear more often.  I’m closing out this week by saying thank you to everyone that has been reading my new blog postings.  I’m still working on discovering what I like to post, how this website works, and what people enjoy reading.  The biggest challenge I’m facing  already is what I should post everyday.   Perhaps the next two words I should be saying is “I’m sorry” for filling up your newsfeed with my daily musings.  Mostly, this blog is a way for me to write more and develop a habit of writing daily.  So thank you for your understanding.

  
Saying thank you can be difficult.  Especially when you are trying hard to do something on your own, but are too stubborn to ask for help.  Or sometimes we take it for granted that our family or friends have done something nice for us.

“Thank you” has a strong meaning.  It means that you appreciate what someone else has done for you.  In my home, we try and instill this behavior all the time.    Remembering to say “thank you” is the best way to show respect and it tells people, “Hey, what you did was awesome and I appreciate it.”

Thank you again everyone for being awesome and allowing me into your lives.  You guys rock.

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Saturday Nights

Any time I have a free Saturday night, I find myself doing the same thing:  I spend my evening watching movies or tv with my family.  It means the world to me.

I was going to share a story about my past Saturday nights, but instead, I’m just going to get back to my family time.

 

Family Movie Night

 
I hope everyone else has found their piece of weekend happiness.

Is work really work if you enjoy it?

I’ll be the first to admit that I like my job.  I mean the one that pays me.  I have numerous other roles in this life that I work at.  But the one I get paid to do, I enjoy.

My number one job is being a father and a husband.  I take great pride in that job and will always work hard to be the best I can be in this role.

My second job is being a “Convention Carny” for my wife.  Or as she calls me: A Table Tart.  I love this job as well because I meet fellow geeks and celebraties all while hanging out in nerd heaven.

The job that pays me to do all of this is working for the railroad.  (Insert childish song here…) I enjoy my job and the people I work with.  I get to play “train set” with real trains.  Don’t get me wrong.  The job has its challenges at times.  I’ll be the first to admit that I also complain about having to go to work, or that it’s going to be busy, or that it’s the weekend, or just to complain in general.  It’s what people do.  

Once at work, I have a great time.  The job is really cool to talk about with non-railroaders.  Even as a railroader talking to other railroaders, we talk about the railroad.  It’s in our blood.  It paves the way for our future.  It supports the activities and vacations for our families.

I enjoy my job.

January 13,2013 Lex

We adopted a new member of our family back in 2013.  He was about four years old and fit in almost immediately with our family.  I knew he was the right pet for us because he was farting constantly in the three hour car ride back to our place.  The evil that came from his butt may be the reason my son came up with the name Lex Luthor for him.

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Lex Luthor

A little over three years later and our fur-baby (oh gawd I said that) is a big part of our family.  He follows us from room to room throughout the house.  He’s there for family movie night, or dinners, and even answering the front door.  People love to see him, we even have a friend who loves taking care of him while we go away.  He’s a calm and lovable dog.  I only have one complaint.  He sheds.

Shedding

There’s a small animal being made right before my eyes.

Now, I know almost all dogs shed.  It’s just a fact of life when you have an animal in the home.  But the amount of fur that comes off our lovely dog on any given day, is enough to make a second pet.  (Imagine if you will, Gizmo from the 80’s film Gremlins after he gets wet.  I am happy that Lex doesn’t often get wet. That makes it nearly impossible to get rid of dog hair.)  I can deal with the fur gathering under the sofa and around the corners of the floor.  I have come to terms that I need to carry a lint brush for my shirts 24/7.  His hairs just float around and land everywhere.  I’m glad that we don’t have a forced air furnace heating our home: there’d be a per-pet-ual cloud of dog hair tumbleweeds.

But even after my complaining, we love our dog.  He is every part of this family as any one of us.  Adopting a rescue dog has been one of the greatest joys that we shared as a family.  He has enriched our lives, given us exercise, and has been there for each of us as we needed company.  Go out and save an older dog.  Puppies are cute as well, but the older an animal gets, the less likely they are to find a home.

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Family isn’t always blood related.

Since rescuing our dog, I have met some really neat people who also love their rescue animals.  One of the neatest people I met was Anne Wheaton.  She is always out there doing good for animal rescues in Pasadena California, check it out here: Pasadena Humane Society.  We adopted Lex Luthor from a small place in Merritt, BC called Angel’s Animal Rescue.  There are plenty of animal rescues out there, one may have your future family member there.

What makes my kids wonderful?

I almost hate to do this as my second post, but I have some parental bragging to do.

I’m not here to talk about grades, or trophies, or accomplishments, but rather something that has surprised even myself.  My two youngest children have put themselves into a volunteer group at their school on their own accord.

Personally, I have a tough time letting go of my hard earned money.  I also find it difficult to want to give up my time for various causes.  So, at the start of the school year when our children came to us and said they wanted to join a volunteer group at their new school, it surprised me.  But being supportive parents, we told them to go ahead and we would make it work into our already busy schedule.

The volunteering the kids do at the school is for “Pa-Moja”- basically helping the neediest children in Kenya get the chance for an education. Here’s a quick link from our school’s website from a few years ago: LFAS Pa-Moja The school has been working on this project for many years now, and it seems to be quite successful.  I am all about education.  I think it is extremely important in today’s society.  Remember when I said that I find it difficult to give up my time to volunteer?  The school PAC and volunteering at the school is my one exception and has been for over nine years now since my first child entered school.

The reason I bring this up today is because of my daughter.  Over the past few weeks, the teacher running the volunteering has asked the students to create something of their own that they can then sell to others.  The proceeds would all go to the Pa-Moja Club and benefit other children.  Yesterday afternoon, my daughter still didn’t have any viable ideas and needed it for today.  After some discussion with my wife and I, she came up with making origami.

I love to make origami.  I used to do it all the time.  For my wedding fifteen years ago, I made origami napkin rings for our guests in our wedding colors.  I have books and papers throughout the house on how to make origami art.  I was happy to give her paper and show her how to make something.  I asked her when she would be selling their art- February- what do you think of in February?  Hearts.  It was an easy project to get her into her first taste of how to make origami art.

So much love to share

So much love to share

Before dinner yesterday, the two of us sat down, and I taught her how to make an origami heart.  Soon, we had made about a half dozen or so, and that’s when my other two children joined us.  So, I taught them how to make hearts.  What my daughter had done, unsuspectingly, was got others to volunteer their time and efforts.  And it was fun!  Over dinner, their was an air of excitement as my middle daughter gushed about Pa-Moja and how she was going to bring the origami to the school and teach others how to make a heart just in case they didn’t have a craft of their own.

As a parent, I’m always proud of my children.  But last night, something else happened.  I could sense the passion and excitement that volunteering had brought to my children.  My parenting style has always been to instruct my children to be respectful and kind to others.  Compassion, caring, and a willingness to help- that’s behavior that you can’t teach.  My children have impressed me and they have become pretty awesome human beings.  Being proud is an understatement.

Come here to see all my mistakes.

Now that I have your attention, welcome to my first ever Blog.

I have been wanting to write since I was back in high school. It started as short stories about squirrels getting killed (and other such morbid topics).  This caused my English teacher to have a meeting with my parents since he was worried about my mental well being.  Then, after I graduated, I would go for coffee and write my thoughts down on napkins.  A few years later, when worked at a movie theater, I’d jot down stories, songs, and poems to pass the time between watching films.

Back in 2005, I even attended my first “Surrey International Writers’ Conference” where I met some amazing people with amazing talents. Not to drop names or anything… but Krista Wallace, Jonathan Lyster, Natasha Hoar, Colleen Condit, James Strocel, and Joe Kelly are a few people I am proud to say are friends I made from this experience.  I bought up all the books, attended all the lectures about how to get started, even went back for two more years afterwards.

Finding excuses to not write is easy. I’ve been doing it for years. I could tell you any number of reasons, but none of them are good. So, here we go with another attempt to get back out there with my writing.

About a month or so ago, a close friend of mine began truly writing again. He had published opinion pieces in the past, but now has vowed to share more, and quite frankly has lived up to it. I am going to take some inspiration from him and try my hand at writing a blog.  If you want to read some amusing posts about parenthood, WWE, movies, or life in general- head over to Matt Harding’s blog:  https://themattharding.wordpress.com/ 

I am coming to terms with my biggest fear: not achieving perfection in my writing.  I like to think I have a thick skin, so I would appreciate true criticisms and advice.  The most difficult thing a person can do is bare their soul- only to get knocked down and stay down, rather than try again.  So, here we go.  I’m ready to start pushing my limits and expose my inner thoughts to my friends and strangers.

Now here’s a picture of me from last year just to fill in some space:

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Self Assured?

Thanks for reading my quick introduction.  Until next time, when I try and write something more worthy of your time.