Category Archives: Family

What Gives You Comfort?

What do you do when you are stressed out or frightened?   You turn to something that gives you comfort.   A favorite Bible verse, a parent, a friend; they can all give you comfort in a time of need.

So what gives you comfort if you are a kid at the eye doctor who has to get dilating drops that sting your eyes?   If you are like my youngest this morning you bring your stuffed animal, Snowflake.

She’d had the drops several times before.  She was dreading it and knew she’d need comfort.   She wasn’t embarrassed about that.   She recognized the situation and planned ahead.

I like how young kids aren’t afraid of what others think.  They don’t care.   If the roles were reversed my older daughter may have wished she had her stuffed monkey along but would have never brought him.

I’m not sure at what age or why we begin sacrificing our own comfort over what others think.   I  do know this.   When there are times in our life when we are in need I think we should all be more childlike.

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My Daughter’s Rules For Using Facebook


Facebook is a pretty useful and fun service.   It’s allowed me to keep in touch with family and friends.   I’m glad it wasn’t around when I was in middle and high school though.   Those years were awkward enough without the pressures and headaches that can come with being active with social media.   Facebook is about to give me a new kind of headache.

Several of my oldest daughter’s friends are on Facebook.  Some have been using the site for more than a year.   I know this because my wife and I are online friends with a few of them.  My daughter knows this and has asked many times to have her own account.  We always said no.

That changed today.  Facebook isn’t going away and I don’t want her to get behind with technology so today we created an account for her.

Before doing so we sat down and had a discussion about her rules and expectations.

Here are this parent’s top 10 rules for his daughter to use Facebook.

1.  I have the right to close/suspend your account for any reason.

2.  Together we will discuss the importance of having a strong password and create one.  You will not change your password without telling me.   You change it & I change the wifi password (also see #1).

3.  Together we’ll discuss the privacy settings and set them accordingly.

4.  You will only share with your friends and not friends of friends.   You can’t be sure how selective they are when approving friend requests.

5.  You will friend your Mom & I and not hide posts from us.

6.  You will be polite in all your online interactions.   If you wouldn’t say it in Church you shouldn’t post it online.

7.  You will not play FB games.

8.  If you don’t know what a link is or it looks suspicious don’t click it.

9.  All pictures you wish to post must be approved by your Mom & I.

10.   Use the “Grandma Test” when deciding what to post.   If you wouldn’t share it with Grandma don’t share it online.  Remember, once you share something you have no control over what happens to it.

So what do you think?  Too strict?  Not strict enough?  Did I miss a few rules you have for your kids?   I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Christmas Ornament Memories


If your house is anything like ours you have a lot of Christmas ornaments.  More ornaments than you have real estate on your tree.  It’s because of this that when decorating each ornament is scrutinized to be deemed “treeworthy” before being placed. In reflecting on our tree this year I realized that all the ornaments that made the cut have a memory attached to them.


This is an ornament a dear friend and co-worker brought me back from her trip to Hawaii. She lost her battle with cancer several years ago but I think of her often.  Especially at Christmas time when I see this ornament.


This is an ornament one of my Aunts gave me to commemorate the biggest I ever caught.  It was about a 24″ walleye I got on our annual extended family camping trip that year.


This apple shaped ornament depicting the New York skyline (Pre 9/11) is a favorite of my wife.  She used to travel to New York frequently for work and picked this up on her last trip there.


This is a very special ornament.  It belonged to my wife’s Grandparents and spent probably a half decade on their tree before finding it’s way to our house.


My youngest has quite the Nutcracker ornament collection.  They’re special to her and she’ll always remember her Grandma getting her a different one each year.


Every year we create new memories by getting each of our girls a new ornament.  It’s a tradition started by my parents.  It’s fun to see what they pick.  This is the ornament my oldest chose this year.

It’s true.  Christmas ornaments equal memories.  So take some time to reflect on your Christmas tree and enjoy the memories.  Are there some special ornaments and memories hanging on your tree?  I’d love to hear about them!  Merry Christmas.

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