Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Travel Funny

Every once in a while I remember that this blog still exists.  I have at times re-posted some of the older stories and funnies, but haven't posted anything new in a while.  My girls have, of course, given me plenty to write about over the last year.  From things I never thought I would never hear my girls say, to things I never thought I would say to my girls, it has been eventful in the Scifres household.

A few weeks ago I traveled to Austin for a week for training.  When packing my suitcase I discovered Riley packed something for me.  In the center of my empty suitcase stood a minion.  Yes, a "Despicable Me" minion.  I was told he was going to Austin with me, so my "traveling buddy" became my co-pilot for the trip.  I decided that since no one else was going I needed to document my traveling buddy's adventure for Riley to see.  Photos are included.

Day 1
So we are on our way.  Can't you see the excitement in his face that he is along for the ride?  No he is not in shock because of my driving, as we were stopped at the time.  He started off the trip by questioning my travel route and my forgetting to get him something to drink.  Of course, that was done on purpose because I didn't want to keep stopping for bathroom breaks.

We stopped for a stretch, some coffee, and a quick game of hide and seek.  He's not very good, though.  And he was hoping for some of my coffee.

Day 2

So before I go on, I should note that I was in a fingerprint comparison class the entire week.  My traveling buddy decided to get curious and see what I was doing.  He was captivated, apparently, by fingerprint classifications and comparisons.  I came back to the room after dinner to find him searching the internet for info.

Day 3

I got my first prints to compare from class.  Since he was intrigued by what he had already learned, I suppose he decided to give it a look to see if he could apply what he learned.  Actually, he was just getting in the way.

Day 4

My trusted traveling companion and fellow fingerprint enthusiast decided he could not take anymore without coffee.  Staring through a magnifier is tiring and he apparently thought some piping hot hotel caffeine would help him out.  That one cup was enough to keep him up all night watching television.  I woke up at about 4am to him watching an infomercial for some type of kitchen gadget and trying to use my credit card to buy one.  Good thing I woke up.

Day 5
So by this time I'm getting frustrated by his constant meddling and the attempted abuse of my credit card.  As you can see he is pleading his case, and I just wasn't trying to hear it.  I was trying to get ready for a test and compare more fingerprints while he wanted me to make him more coffee.  You should have seen it, he was being vicious and yelling something about taking him to Starbucks.  It was horrible.  To see the little yellow man actually was scary for a second or two.

Day 6

We were headed home and he figured I needed help finding the way home.  I guess I didn't choose the correct route and he was pointing that out as I finished getting gas.  You can see the look of shock in his eyes when I told him to stop bossing me around, and to get back in the cup holder for the ride home.  It was a long week.

I sent pictures home every day for Riley to see.  Partially, I sent them home as proof that he was along with me, but mainly so Riley could have some fun with it, too.  When I talked to her on the phone she asked about the minion and happily talked about what he was doing.  Sometimes the things we do to make our children happy seems goofy, and ridiculous to some, but is worth it to hear the joy in their voices and see the excitement in their faces when they realize what is happening.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another music story...

Last summer I posted about the difference in my taste in music as compared to that of my children.  They liked the Camp Rock stuff, and I, well...did not.  Since that time Riley Grace has started to develop her taste in music which I have attempted to influence.  I have tried to introduce "daddy's music" to her but hold on for the big has yet to work.

So since this summer Riley had been singing along with Hannah and Cooper.  Well, she tried to and usually only sang every third or fourth word.  More recently she has gotten a little better and I can at least now I can understand what she said.

When one thinks of toddler songs, things like "Happy Birthday," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and such come to mind.  One song I would not think of is "Call Me Maybe."  Yes, Riley has been aping Cooper and learned that song.  Usually they are performing a dance or cheer routine to go along with the song and bouncing or jumping around the living room.

Tonight Riley was sitting on the floor playing with her over-sized building blocks all by her lonesome.  She was singing something and after a few minutes I clued in to what she was singing.  I thought it sounded familiar and then it hit me...that's right, "Call Me Maybe."  She was only getting one in five words correct, but it was obvious what she was singing.  It was disturbing to me though that I actually know the words to the song and could recognize Riley's incorrectly worded rendition of the pop music nightmare was in fact that song.  But, then again I should not be surprised given the fact I reside in a house loaded with females who love boy bands, Disney music, and pop music nightmares.

Riley Grace was my last hope.  So far she has resisted the indoctrination and has already started to show signs of rebellion.  Riley is following in the footsteps of her sisters and rejecting daddy's musical choices and accepting the Disney pop music machine.  Sad, really.  I am apparently failing in my fatherly duties.  Well, at least Riley has yet to start singing any of that backstreet-kids-who-are-in-sync garbage.  Sorry, all boy bands are alike right?  There may be hope after all..? 

Monday, November 12, 2012

More of those blah blah blah lesson things for my girls...

This whole blog thing has sort of fallen off for me this year.  I feel bad because I sort of hijacked it from my wife with the intent of maintaining it and writing on a regular basis.  She does the decor, and I write.  Well, except this year.  I only have eight posts I think.  Unacceptable friends.

So, I really need to get back on the horse so to speak and get to writing.  I was looking back and realized that it has been a while since I posted any lessons for my girls.  Here are five more:

36.  Coffee does not slow down your growth.  Girls, you know what I do for a living.  Daddy is an investigator, which means I do two things well (according to the general public).  First, I eat doughnuts and second, I drink coffee.  The doughnut thing is only partially true and the coffee thing is true, as even Riley Grace knows.  Look at me.  I am 6'4" and I weigh 240 pounds.  I started drinking coffee at 16 years old.  Coffee didn't slow down my growth.  Of course it is possible that the rumor is true and had I not been drinking coffee all of these years, I would be about 6'10" wearing a size 18 shoe. 

37.  The holidays go in this order:  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and THEN Christmas.  Generally, most of the country and a majority of retailers start decorating for Christmas before Halloween.  Generally, I don't enjoy hearing "Jingle Bells" the same night I see children scouring the neighborhood dressed like their favorite character begging for candy.  Don't decorate too early.
38.  Birthdays come every year and we continue to get older whether we like it or not.  In a few hours I turn 38 years old, again, whether I want to or not.  I have new gray hairs and wrinkles I didn't have last year which you all seem to enjoy pointing out.  I could blame you, my loving children, for the rapid aging process.  Your mother says I am old.  Tomorrow I will not only be old, but also older.  Oh, and enjoy the birthday parties now because when you get to be my age you won't want them.  Due to your old age the sound of people yelling "Happy Birthday" will be too loud and you will be in bed at about 7pm anyway. 

39.  I want you all to succeed at something, but it does not have to be cheerleading.  Yes, it is occasionally cute when Riley cheers for the "Ne-necks."  For those who don't understand, that is Riley-speak for Roughnecks.  And yes Cooper, you are good at those cheer jump things you do.  Yes, practicing is a good thing.  However, every minute of every hour of every afternoon hearing "Go...go Roughnecks, let's go Roughnecks," is quite over the top.  Jumping around screaming about the Roughnecks is not the only thing you are good at.  Succeed at math or science.  Succeed at volleyball or swimming.  Or, at least succeed at something that I could help you do.  I cannot dance, sing, or cheer.  Sorry.
40.  As you get older get along with your sisters.  I don't just mean get along, I mean you all need to at least act like you like each other.  Getting along will do several things.  First, getting along with each other will make life easier on all of you since you won't be fighting, arguing, and yelling.  Second, it will make life easier on your old man and mother since you won't be fighting, arguing, or yelling.  If you love us, you will all get along.

I love each of you.  Hannah, Cooper, and Riley Grace...please pay attention and help me age well.  Besides, if you help me age well it will be less likely that I will have move in with you all when I am in my eighties and crazy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cooper says the darndest things...

Riley Grace is not the only person in this house that has a knack for saying funny things.  Cooper is actually leading all vote getters with 1,827 funny one-liners.  Well, it is something like that anyway. 

Cooper's witty one-liner was so good it was necessary for me to stop what I was doing and immediately write it down for posterity.  It was so good I needed to mark the date.  So here is a quick Cooper funny.

On June 14,2012, we were in the living room.  Cooper and Ashley were on the couch, and Riley was there, too.  I sat on the floor near the couch.  All was well.  Then it was like Cooper smacked me in face with her bold and completely serious statement that she pulled from left field.  Cooper looked at me and said, and I quote, "I want a baby brother even though my mom's factory is closed."

There was such shock that it took me several minutes to pick my jaw up from the floor.  All I could do was sit there and blink.  It got so quiet inside that I am sure I heard only crickets in the background.  All I could do was mutter something like "You already have a baby sister."  Of course, several questions came to mind once I was able to process a thought.

First, where on earth did Cooper come up with that?  Second, who said anything about another child in this house?  I was simply left confused, yet amused at the situation.  Is the thought of a son appealing?  Sure.  Is it likely that I, having three daughters, would actually have a son?  No.  The odds are against it friends.  And as it turned out, Ashley and Cooper talked about a baby brother earlier.

"My mom's factory is closed."  That is definitely one of the darndest things I have heard in a while.  One more for Cooper.  Well played.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Riley Grace and the Rangers

So here I sit at 11:07 pm because I cannot sleep.  I have an "Interview and Interrogation" class starting tomorrow and I should be asleep, but, here I sit.  Yes, it is work related, and no, it is not to get new techniques to use on my children to find out what one of them did to the other or who ate the last Pop-Tart.  Although, there may be something in there worth trying I suppose.

Anyway, when I cannot sleep I write stories about my adventures in being a father to three girls and my attempts to maintain some sanity in the estrogen-filled, testosterone killing house.  If you have read any of the other stories, you know why I say "testosterone killing."  My only male companions are Major and the fish whose name I cannot remember.  But he is male, so he is my friend.

As Riley Grace gets older her vocabulary expands.  It expands exponentially every day, I might add.  Sometimes there are words that are so unintelligible I am left agape, and other times she repeats what I tell her to say just so I can get a laugh and a confused look from her mother.

Now, to the point.  Our house is full of Texas Rangers fans.  At one time Cooper was in love with David Murphy.  Hannah is an Ian Kinsler fan and proudly wore her "Kinsler" shirt to a game recently in San Francisco against the Giants.  Riley Grace has yet to chose a favorite, although I think she pays more attention when Nelson Cruz is at bat.

So, during a game recently Riley Grace learned a new word.  No, not a profanity.  Following a Nelson Cruz moonshot homerun she heard me yell, "Boomstick!"  Any Rangers fans know what that means.  I think she saw my happiness as she looked at me, at the television, and back at me.  She looked puzzled, ever so momentarily, as she was obviously working out in her two year old brain how to formulate the word and to reconcile what she had just observed.  Then, without prompting by her proud father, she enthusiastically blurts out in her best toddler-speak, "BOOMSTICK!"  Okay, so maybe it wasn't that exactly, but it was close enough. 

To make her father even more proud, she is trying to display the "claw" and "antler" when appropriate.  She happily mimicked me when I showed the antlers last night after Andrus advanced two bases after a botched throw to first.  I know, insane.  I looked over and she had learned to put her hands up, and thumbs against her head to make two antlers.  Greatness. 

She actually does enjoy watching baseball with me.  As I sat in the floor leaning up against the couch, she toddled over and climbed onto my lap to watch the game while gnawing on her pacifier right in my ear.  I could overlook that minor annoyance because she was too cute when she looked me in the eye and said, "Cuddle me."   

So just when I think they are trying my last iota of patience, yanking on my last nerve, or making yet another hair on my head gray, one of them comes to "Daddy rescue" and brings a tear to my eye.  It is truly emotional when Riley Grace lets out a "Boomstick" while cuddling with me.  I just hope she doesn't pick up a no-no word and proudly announce it to a room full of people while her shocked, and mortified, mother and father stand by in embarrassment.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Something else I thought I wouldn't say...

I have all daughters.  For that simple reason I thought there were things I would never have to say.  By contrast if I had all boys, the list of things I would never say would be very short indeed.  Growing up the oldest of four kids, including three boys, there were an infinite number of things I heard my parents say that were ridiculous.  In hindsight those statements were totally necessary due to the things we did.  Here is a short funny that I use as a further illustration of those things that we say and in hindsight are rather, well, interesting.

The other evening Cooper and Riley were playing on the living room floor.  Cooper was laying on the floor and Riley was climbing around her, over her, and on her.  It looked like a one-sided wrestling match.  Hurricane Riley was slowly but surely wearing down Super Cooper and "SC" was putting up no fight at all.

Then, in an attempt to apparently put an end to the match, Riley pulled a move on her that Cooper and I didn't expect.  Riley used her pointer finger and shoved it into Cooper's nose.  After the few seconds it took me to recover from watching my baby daughter lay a vicious nostril plugger on Cooper, I found myself saying, "Don't pick your sister's nose."

There I was...astounded by what I saw, and further shocked by what I said.  Having all girls I never expected to have to tell one of them not to PICK HER SISTER'S NOSE.  How ridiculous.

But, so goes our life.  The girls at times act like boys.  They burp, fart, and pick noses.  Wish us luck.

Thursday, May 3, 2012 don't want turkey?

Every morning  for nearly the last year our days start the same.  Before sunrise one of our children wakes up and decides no one should be forced to sleep until the sun comes up.  So Riley figures since she is up we need to be up, too.   Who needs an alarm when Riley makes sure we never sleep in? 

Sometimes Riley will want to lay back down for several minutes and cuddle with whichever parent did not get her from the crib.  Other times, she becomes vocal that she is starving and in need of sustenance in a hurry since she hasn't eaten in about ten hours and apparently withering away into nothingness.  Riley does not simply say "eat."  Instead, Riley unleashes a loud "MEAT" in the hope that I will spring from my comfortable sleeping spot to retrieve food due not only to her starvation,  but also due to the fact she thinks the household revolves around her.  Actually, I guess it sort of does.

At first I thought that she just could not say "eat."  No, she can say it.  I realized that she is such a genius, she is shortening several words and saving herself a fraction of a millisecond by combining "Me eat."  Wow, how cool.

As I say, the child knows when she is hungry and is not shy about letting us know.  It is obvious when she starts to throw a fit by stomping on the floor, jumping up and down in a circle, and flailing and throwing her arms in the air while yelling, "MEAT, MEAT, MEAT, MEAT..."  The first time she did that I strolled to the refrigerator and rolled up a slice of turkey.  How silly of me.  Of course that did not work and only made matters worse.  

Anyway, the points I make before I go to bed are these:  Riley hates sleep and feels we should too.  And, when Riley is yelling "MEAT," she does want food but is not asking for a burger.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Your purse has what?

Ask a man what he is afraid of and, if he is like me, he will reply that what is most fearsome, intimidating, and outright terrorizing is the contents of a woman's purse.  I don't dare go into my wife's purse...for any reason.  Then there is the contents of Cooper's purse.  Let me explain.

Cooper is very proud of her brown leather purse.  An example?  Every time Cooper takes a sack of garbage to the dumpster she slings her fashion accessory over her shoulder and struts out the door.  If you ask her she is dressed and accessorized, and ready to go on a date as opposed to taking the stinky trash to the can.

Last night I got a look at what was so important to take outside with her every time she walks out of the house.  The contents were less intimidating, and more hilarious.  To Cooper, I love you.  But I must share.

Inside the purse were the apparent necessities.  First, there was a "Jumbo Word Search" book.  Cooper is my step-daughter but she is as much like me as all of my girls.  This book is proof.  She must keep the book just in case she gets bored while standing next to the dumpster after throwing away the garbage.

Also in the purse is a pen that she stole from Ashley.  Cooper sees herself as a rock star.  At first one would assume that the pen is for the book.  Not so my friends.  I am certain the pen is to be used to sign autographs for any one of her fans who may recognize her as a 7 year old Taylor Swift.  Or maybe someone might recognize her from her PSA I posted last fall about Halloween and monster safety.

I found a strawberry banana fruit bar in there, too.  Apparently the walk from the front door to the dumpster is so long that she requires a snack for the trip.  I would have picked something different, but hey, at least she has something for emergencies.

There were two ticket stubs in there from some event she went to at the Science Spectrum, I think.  Why keep those?  I have no idea.

Lastly, and the most humorous thing, there was a pink hair extension.  Yes, I said hair extension.  Being a man I have no clue why she would need that except that she wanted to loo her best while, yes, taking out the garbage.  I guess this is because you never know when the next model scout will turn the corner here in Levelland looking for a fashionable 7 year old to model a new line of Gymboree clothing.

I guess I learned one thing.  Even at a young age, a woman must keep stuff in her purse to keep her ready for about anything.  Cooper my dear, you are well on your way.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Evidence of the crime

What we have here friends is the scene of the offense.  The place is the kitchen.  The what is cereal.  The evidence is obvious.  If you don't see it, look closer near the bag. 

Someone viciously and maliciously desecrated our kitchen floor by knowingly and intentionally entering a bag of cereal without consent and making said mess by dumping the remnant onto the floor.  Or, another way to say it is that one of my children threw our knock-off Cheerios onto the floor while sneaking food.

First of all, I know I didn't do it.  Secondly, neither did Major.  Hey, I got to make sure the only two males in this house stick together.  Besides, his alibi was easy.  He was outside eating.

When I walked into the kitchen the first thing I see at the scene is the bag.  Fact:  Riley Grace has been carrying that bag around for four days smashing handfuls of cereal in the mornings.  So, immediately I have my suspect.

As I look closely I see another obvious clue...the "patch."  To the non-parentals, that is baby slang for the pacifier.  So being a trained investigator I deduce Riley has decided dinner was not satisfying enough for her and she sneaked into the kitchen and hurriedly got into the cereal to supplement her dinner while leaving a mess, and evidence of her offense, in her wake.

So I immediately confront my suspect about my scene.  Riley and I are standing in the kitchen and I ask her what happened.  She stares at the mess.  I had my hands on my hips and simply stared at everything.  I ask her what the mess was.  Riley looked up at me and simply pointed at the cereal while shrugging her shoulders.  All I could do was stand there as dumbfounded as she appeared to be.  I took her behavior as a non-verbal admission of her offense.  Her punishment you ask?  None.  I could see she was genuinely sorry for her behavior.  Yes, I am a sucker.  I laughed at her and sent her toddling back into the living room while I cleaned up her mess.

Even though she got off without punishment, there are lessons to be learned here.  First, daddy is an investigator.  I catch crooks for a living.  So that means I will find out what happened eventually.  Secondly, let me assist you in lessening the chance of getting caught.  Never, I mean never, leave your patch behind.  It is a dead giveaway that you were present when whatever happened, happened.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Things I thought I would never hear myself say...

Well, back at it again.  Hopefully I can keep from having months between writings.

So there I was minding my own business driving along I-35 somewhere in Kansas or Oklahoma.  Truthfully, I drove so much this weekend I have no idea where we were.  We were headed home from Mike and Stacie's house after a short weekend trip.  I say short because we spend a lot of time driving there and back, which only left a little time to spend with everyone.  That time included a birthday party, shooting pool, and a lot of coffee. 

Anyway, there I was.  Riley is seated behind me strapped into her NASCAR-like car seat say, and I quote, "Eewwwwwwwww, shewwwwweeeeeeeee."  I look in the mirror and to my surprise I see Riley holding her stuffed monkey upside-down.  Riley had her nose buried on the monkey's butt.  Here comes the line..."Riley, don't smell the monkey's butt."

I know, it sounded odd to me, too.  After I said it I stopped for a second, thought, and realized that yes, I actually did say those words.  Had folks asked me ten years ago if I would ever say, or if would even think about saying something so completely ridiculous, I would have laughed in their face as I patted them on the head and sent them away.  But there it was, completely unexpected.  My wife stopped and stared at me with a look of complete confusion.  She was a loss for words for a split second as she stared at me in all of my ridiculousness.

So where did all of this come from?  Riley has a new-found fascination with her nose.  Actually, the fascination is with her sense of smell.  She has over and over again heard me say, "Eewwwwwwwww, shewwwwweeeeeeeee," as I change her doo-doo diapers.  So I guess it is my fault that she now wants to smell everything and tell me that it is "sheweeeeeeeeeeeeee."  The "Scentsy" plug-in in the bathroom..."shewwwwweeeeeeeee."  The clothes I had just taken out of the dryer...similar.  The odorless plastic plants on the table in the dining room...the same.   

I, being an experienced father, knew that she would become giddy upon smelling her stinky and dirty feet.  Again, that is my fault since I used to smell her feet after taking her shoes off as an infant.  Of course then, there was no smell at all.  Now I don't think I could take it without shedding tears.  I anticipated her telling me that she tooted and it smelled.  And hey lets face it, she is right.  I awaited her telling me that something I the kitchen smelled terrible.  But I never expected to see her SMELLING THE MONKEY BUTT and proclaiming its foulness while we traveled along the interstate.  Even more, never had I thought about uttering that phrase.

My wife told me I should keep a list of those sayings.  Now I wish I would have listened.  So as they come up I will have to compile a list as I have the lessons for my daughters that I continue to build upon.  Maybe I can put them in my book.  What I know is they get older my girls will do things that will force me to say things the average father would not ever have to say.   

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Old Songs...The Statler who?

It's funny.  Recently I have been stuck on an old song on my iPod.  I really can't tell you why, but I just enjoy the song.  Maybe it is because it triggers memories of my childhood.  When I was a kid my family listened to country music and I remember The Statler Brothers, The Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers, and others on the radio.  I also remember not really liking it back then. 

As I say it is funny.  It's funny mainly because I have been stuck listening to "Oh Baby Mine" on my iPod since downloading if a last week.  Why? No idea why I downloaded it.  I mean the song was released in about 1982 I think.  When it was released I was eight years old and had more important things to do like play baseball and avoid getting cooties from some infected girl in homeroom.  But I realized something.  I actually like it now.  The music, not cooties.

I was looking around on the web and came across a video of the Statlers' final concert and heard the song "I'll Go To My Grave Loving You."  That song was released, if memory serves, when I was not even a year old.  But, I remember hearing it on the radio stations years...and years, ago.  It still is a great song and as I listened to it I thought of my wife.  Is it sort of cornball?  Yes.  But hey, I have never been Don Juan or anything.  I'm just a guy who loves his wife and currently expresses it by sending her a link to a song that was released before she was born in a style of music she probably never listened to.  Take a look...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas 2011...a preview

It will be an interesting Christmas this year.  The last time Hannah was home for Christmas was in 2009, and this year will be the first with all of my girls.  We will have a full house this year and I am so happy and thankful for it.  I think we will attempt the "Christmas Light Adventure" again this year, so please pray for us all that we make it without yelling, crying, or vomiting.  We may need to take multiple cars this year and communicate with walkie-talkies, unless of course we want to rent a twelve passenger van to fit both families.  If we do...Hannah, you sit up front.  If you don't know what I mean, look up that blog from last year.  It is an interesting read.

Anyway, Hannah flies in on Christmas Eve.  Cooper is staying here also.  Riley will be old enough this year to actively participate on Christmas morning.  This should be fun, I think.  We never go overboard on Christmas, nor do we don't break the bank trying to provide things for our children.  We do get them something, of course, but we don't spend hours in lines and hours assembling toys.  Our children are provided for, and they also understand the true meaning of the Christmas holiday.  They know what is most important, but they also have their wish lists.  Here are some examples.

Cooper I think had the most varied list.  She will be seven in two months, so that means she is getting into the "girly" stuff.  Her most obvious example came from a letter she wrote to Santa and asked for long fingernails.  The child wants fake fingernails form Christmas?  To be more specific, she wants 99 of them, because I guess an even 100 is just silly or too much to ask for.  She also wanted balloons.  She listed every color she wanted so there would be no guessing.

I think some of that came from the Taylor Swift concert.  She also wanted a guitar and microphone on a stand.  Presumably, it is so she can strum the guitar and sing into the microphone without having to hold it just like Taylor Swift.  Of course she will find it difficult to play a guitar, or do most things without causing injury, with long fake press-on fingernails.  But hey, every kid needs to learn that lesson on their own right?  If she tried to pick her nose and accidentally poked herself in the eye because she forgot about the extra inch and a half of plastic pink and green nail on the end of her finger...well, I guess she would only do that one time right?

Then there is Hannah.  She will be ten in a few days.  I can't believe my baby, my first born, will be ten years old.  Time flies.  Anyway, she is now into the "electronics phase" of childhood.  No it is not one of the developmental phases Jung or Erikson discussed, but it is one that every parent knows exists.  Hannah has stated she wanted an iPod, a Nintendo DSi XL, iPad, computer, and so on.  The child knows about technology, the internet, wi-fi connectivity, and other such things.  I don't think Santa, or daddy, can afford all of that.  Maybe one of those things will surface this year.

Riley Grace will still be easy to shop for.  A box is still the greatest toy ever as long a she can sit inside of it.  And if she does Cooper will always be counted on to push the box, with Riley inside, around the room on the wood floors.  Anything Mickey Mouse will be a hit.  She likes to "read" her sisters' books, as well as throw them around the living room.  Yes, it should be fun this year.

Truthfully, I enjoy seeing my kids' faces on Christmas morning when they walk, or run, into the living room to see what is under the tree.  I remember being young like that.  There was the mystery of Santa and how a fat man carrying a huge bag got into my house, that did not have a chimney, without being noticed.  Then, how did all of the reindeer land on my roof and I didn't even hear them?  I mean seriously, there were nine of them pulling a sleigh around that the fat man and his bag of toys was in.  That should have made one loud thud.  There were the piles of stuff that were mine, and theirs.  The arguments over what toy belonged to which child were always comical.  This year I get to experience that from a parent's perspective.  I will have coffee in hand, bed head (now that I let my hair grow longer that a flat top), and a camera to capture the fun, love, sharing, fighting, yelling, and pandemonium that is Christmas morning in the Scifres household.   

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And the list of lessons goes on...

Here are several more pieces of advice my children can take, or leave.  Hopefully they will pay attention to these before I lose my mind and forget what I intended to tell them.  They may appear to be random, but each one is important so pay attention girls.

31.  Listen to your mother, too.  There are days that I appear to be in charge but lets face it, mommy is in control.  Those days I appear to be in charge are the days she lets me be in charge.  So listen to mommy, or else.  At least that is what she told me to write.  

32.  Don't wear blue eye shadow. I can find several photographs that can properly illustrate this point very well.  I am not a professional stylist, but this one is seemingly a no-brainer.  Don't paint on that blue clown makeup all over your eyelids unless you want to look like exactly that...a clown.  Here is a hint for all three of you.  Guys don't really like that.  I'm just sayin'.  If you prefer, I can find a picture from the "Drew Carey Show" of the character Mimi.  Google it and then tell me I was right.  Thank you, and you are welcome. 

33.  Lock your car and take out your crap.  This one seems simple enough, right?  It would shock you how many times I tell people that if they want to prevent their cars from being broken into they should remove their personal items such as purses, phones, iPods, money, check books, and, and, and...

What is easier than that?  Let me see...lock the doors.  How many car burglaries have I worked where there was no forced entry?  I have lost count.  Lock the doors, and take you crap.  Your father is dead right on this one.  If you remove temptation from these criminals, you lessen the chance of being a victim.  Don't give them anything to steal, and don't make it so easy for them.   

34.  Here is another driving tip...that turn signal, use it.  It is an amazingly simple act that can save you time, injury, and money.  First of all, time.  If you use your signal indicator when turning, you will not meet police officers like me who will stop you, talk to you, check you for warrants, write a warning, then let you go.  Yes I am polite and friendly, but individuals that would do that simple thing would make it to wherever they are going without being delayed by me for them not following the law.  Next, there is injury.  If you use the signal indicator which tells other motorists that you intend to slow down, and turn, you reduce the chance they will run their cars into yours causing you injury.  Lastly, money.  Refer to the second reason and this one will make sense, too.  No crash means no repairs, no insurance issues, and no money out of pocket.  That means you can buy something like shoes, makeup, jewelry, clothes, or Starbucks.  Better yet, save it for college so you can all move out of this house before I die.   

35.  When you consume all of something, throw away the container.  You haven't learned this one yet, so let me tell you again.  Cooper, juice box packages do not go under your bed.  Riley, I would just settle for yours getting around the trash can somewhere.  Hannah, yours do not go under the couch or between the cushions.

Oh, and bringing them to the kitchen is simply not good enough.  That goes for other consumables n a package, too.  If you, say, eat the last animal cracker, throw away the box.  Don't start a collection of empty boxes, milk jugs, or juice boxes on the kitchen counter.  It will only upset your mother and make me crazy.  I don't like a dirty kitchen.  Your mother does not like clutter.  Not throwing away your containers causes both.  She will get you.  Remember what I said in number 31?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Days of Thanks...

I am two weeks behind on doing this so I am gonna catch up on all of them today.  Some are more serious, some humorous, but I am thankful for all.

1.  My Savior:  As an imperfect man I am thankful for the perfect One who is my Savior, and who has forgiven me for everything I have ever done or will ever do.  Thank you, Jesus.
2.  My wife:  Ashley has put up with my imperfections, and faults, and still loves me daily.  She is without a doubt the most important person in my life and I am in love with her every day.  I don't want to imagine my live without her.

3.  My children:  Hannah is my first born.  Cooper is my comedienne.  Riley Grace is my baby.  They are independent and each of them has their own personality.  They make me laugh, and I know one day will make me cry, but I love each day I have with them.

4.  My family:  We are a large clan, and some say we all look alike.  My sister, brothers, spouses, nieces, and nephews, and parents are all a big part of my life and each of them has taught me something  through or lives.

5.  My friends:  I am thankful for them all.  I don't have a lot, but each are important to me.  I have a small group of friends that I can count on when needed.  I am thankful for them more than they know.

6.  My career:  Most of us have jobs, and some of us have jobs we love.  I can't imagine doing anything else.  I work with a great group of officers and love where I am.  Catching crooks is a great thing.
7.  Starbucks:  I said this one last year, and I say it again...Starbucks is like a drug dealer.  They peddle the no-foam vanilla latte knowing  how addictive it is and knowing I can't afford to support my habit, but they don't care about the cost because they know I will be back.  Damn you Starbucks.  I'll take a venti white chocolate peppermint mocha.
8.  Sports:  I loved playing a variety of sports growing up.  I love to watch them now.  Texas Rangers baseball, San Diego Charger, New Orleans Saints, and Arkansas Razorback football, and come college basketball give me something to yell at, cheer for, and nearly have a heart attack over. 
9.  Legos:  I loved Legos as a kid.  Let's face it, I still do.  My wife bought me some police Legos a couple of months ago.  Of course, I promptly assembled them and then put them back in the box., then put them up.  Sometimes I still enjoy acting like a kid, even if it only for a few minutes.  Oh, and I put the Legos together in record time.  I still got mad skills.

10.  Bill Cosby:  I still love to watch the "Cosby Show."  I have the DVDs for the first three seasons.  My favorite stand-up comedy routine is still "Bill Cosby:  HImself."  When I hijacked this blog thing from my wife I used several of his pearls of wisdom as starter quotes.  I love his discussion about the issues related to drinking too much.  As I learned in my younger days, every bit of it is true.  The outside of the toilet bowl is nice and cool when sitting on the floor and hugging it to hold yourself up.
11.  Shutterbugs:  Since my wife had a nice camera, or a phone with a camera, she is there to capture  all of the funny things my children do.  Some of those photos have been the subject of my writings.  Case in point...the planking funny from yesterday.  Give it a look.

12.  My brother Jonathan:  Yes, I already talked about the family.  But, Jonathan and I do the same job and work the same shift.  I can call him to compare notes.  I can call him and vent about something that happened on duty.  I can also call him to get a funny story.  Jonathan is one of the funniest people I know.

13.  Birthdays:  Although it is true I am getting older, I appreciate that I have had 37 of them.  I realized that I have reached the age where my birthdays are only a big deal to my children.  They enjoy my birthday because they get cake.  I enjoy it because I get, well, cake.  This year's cake has been my favorite so far:  a Phineas and Ferb cake.  Only I, as a grown man, would love getting a cartoon cake for a birthday.  Next year...I'm thinking maybe Muppets.
14.  My sister Jackie:  Her birthday was on the 14th, we look alike, and she is only two years younger than me.  That means that now I am not the only one of my siblings that has hit 35.  Ha, ha...   

15.  iPods:  I can pick what I want to listen to, when I want to listen to it.  I am no longer a slave to the FM stations and their programing choices, nor am I subject to their music playlists.  Now I can listen to my music choices and skip over the occasional Disney princess pop music that my daughters have on my iPod.

16.  Thankful my wife had a similar taste in movies.  Well, not completely, but we both like "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil."  We like it so much I am sitting at Starbucks downloading it from iTunes.  Yes, I have coffee.  I ordered her one, too.

17.  Quality time with my girls:  The last three nights I have been able to eat dinner with them, get Riley bathed and ready for bed, and enjoy time with my wife.  Thankful for the time I had, although I wish Hannah was here, too.

18.  Dads:  Of course, fathers are wonderful things.  I am grateful for my own father, as well as Larry, my father-in-law.  Both have taught me a little something by their examples, whether they know it or not, of what it is to be a man.   Both of them had birthdays this week.  Happy birthday, and I love them both.

19.  Daughters:  Every man wants to have a son and I was no different when I first became a father.  But I have to tell you that there is something about raising daughters that is special.  You know, there are the "dress up daddy" days, the fashion shows, and the one time they wanted to paint my fingernails.  They are funny, creative, smart, and loving.  They like to wrestle, play ball, watch "COPS," and curl up and sit next to daddy.  Am I missing out on something by not having a son?  Not at all.  My daughters are special to me and I would not trade them for anything.  Of course, I say that now while there are no boys coming up to the door to take one of them on a date.

20.  The little things:  I am thankful for the little things in life.  There are the hugs from my kids, the smiles from my wife, and the handshakes from those I meet on the job.  I like the times where my dog lays at my feet while I drink a cup of coffee on the back porch and work on a crossword puzzle.  I enjoy the sound of laughter from my children as they play. Each are seemingly small occurrences that, due to their frequency, can sometimes seem routine, unimportant, or even meaningless.  I am fortunate enough to get to experience them all, as well as similar incidents of kindness and affection.  Thank you.

21.  My $19 coffee pot:  When the expensive coffee maker we had died recently (yes I was sad), I had to get an adequate replacement.  So, Cooper and I went to eh obvious first place one would think of when selecting a kitchen appliance:  Wal-Mart.  I looked over the coffee makers, over and over again.  Ashley was not there but she could probably tell you, if you asked her, how I shop.  I look at something over and over again, then over again.  Then I eventually make a decision while she stares at the ceiling wondering why she brought me along in the first place. 

Anyway, I went back and forth between the expensive appliances and the cheap ones.  I kept going back to the Black and Decker.  It was simple, would get the job done, and best of all it was $19.  My wife should be thankful I got the black one.  I nearly bought the white one that would simply clash with our kitchen decor.

Well, I don't care if it is a cheap piece of plastic, the coffee tastes the same as from the old high-dollar job.  And given the time constraints, it had to work.  Now I can enjoy my daily coffee again and enjoy the fact that after a week I already got my money's worth.

22.  For a friend:  As I sit here and type this a good and faithful wife, mother, and a friend to many is suffering from leukemia.  To be more specific, she is dying.  She is a young professional who I met in a few ways.  She is an attorney I routinely worked with, as well as a family member of my best friend.  She is a friend to my wife, and our children have spent time playing together at family events.  She is truly an inspiring person.  We continue to offer prayers for her, and her family during this time.  We offer prayers for peace and comfort.

23.  My fellow sheepdogs:  No matter where you work, the size of the agency, or whether you are an officer, deputy, or trooper...thank you.  Our profession is not like any other.  Our job is not as easy as some since the rules of the game change seemingly daily.  Stay vigilant, and come home safe another day...

24.  Common Sense:  This is something most everyone has but not everyone utilizes.  I am thankful that I have common sense.  For example, I know not to try to retort with a wise crack when my wife says something, or asks me something, when she is in a bad mood.  That will only start an argument.  See, common sense exists in my noggin.  Not everyone is so fortunate.  To the 5'9" tall, 150 pound drunk guy who looked at the 6'3" tall, 260 pound, sober police officer, and believed you could take him in a fight...that's not using good common sense.  To the drunk college kid that decided to drive home after that party, and got Cooper used to say, "BAD CHOICE."  And lastly, to the college kid who thought it would be funny to run from the police when they showed up to the party, just to see if you could get away...I'm guessing it is not that funny now, huh?  Yes, I am thankful for common sense.

25.  Naps:  As a child I didn't like taking a nap.  Most other children are that way, including my own.  Now however, I want to take naps if I can.  As I get older I guess maybe I need one now and again.  Pretty soon I will be wearing my eye glasses down onto my nose, walking around wearing pants that are too short because I pulled them over my stomach (and of course white socks and black shoes), and complaining about all of the noise.  But that is okay, because I will be well rested.

26.  Peace:  No, not world peace.  I mean the peace only found in Christ.  I went to a funeral for a friend and I took comfort in the fact she is at peace following a long and hard fight with cancer and leukemia.  Is it sad that she is no longer on this earth?  Yes.  Am I happy she is at peace, full of joy, and pain-free?  Absolutely.

27.  The fact my wife is not like those who went nuts on Friday:  Yes friends, I love the fact my wife does not want to camp out overnight to be first in line to buy some plastic electronic thing my children will only play with for a month before breaking it, losing it, or using it as a paperweight.  I am thankful my wife is not one that would resort to using pepper spray on someone because they cut in line or grabbed something from the shelf that she wanted to buy.  No, she is not like those people.  She does, however, know it is not the things we buy that are important, but the One that we celebrate during this time of year that is important.

28.  My wife:  Yes, this one was near the top of the list, but she is worth repeating.  We get frustrated with each other, we argue, and heck, we fight.  But when the dust settles and the fight is over, we still love each other.  There will be disagreements, and will be fights.  But no matter what happens everything will be okay.

29.  Change:  No, I don't mean pocket change.  Every once in a while changes come along.  Some changes are good, some not so much.  But either way I am thankful for the changes coming in our lives.

30.  Life:  Sometimes it is short, and sometimes hard.  At times it is good, and others it is well, not.  But no matter what the circumstances I am thankful for my life.  I am thankful for the life on this earth, and the eternal life that awaits.  There are many things I am thankful for including the above mentioned twenty-nine.  Most of all, I guess am just simply thankful for my life and all that is in it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A "planking" funny...

A quick one before I hit the sack.

I remember seeing the whole "planking" thing on the internet.  I saw pictures of grown people laying on their faces in the weirdest places for no apparent reason at all except for a photo op.  I thought to myself how odd, yet funny it all was.  However, I did not ever expect to see any of my children do it.  An example with photograph follows.

I was at work last night and received a text message from my loving bride.  I was typing away on a report and heard the message tone on my phone.  I stopped to check it, opened the message, and saw this:

Yes friends, Riley Grace learned how to go planking yesterday.  And of course she picked out the best attire for the rare photographic opportunity.  I love the green shirt, the spotted shorts, and especially the sparkling purple shoes.  No, I did not dress my child, although if you ask my wife it is something I would likely dress her in because I have a limited fashion sense.  In my defense I was not even in the same city when this photo was taken.  Riley picked her own socks and shoes for the event.  The rest is mommy's fault.

Anyway, after picking myself up off of the floor and getting back the chair I WAS sitting in before I fell out from laughing so hard when I saw the picture, I had to ask myself how she knew what planking was.  I mean, will I see her "Tebowing" tomorrow?  When I walk into her classroom to pick her up will she be down on one knee with a balled up fist on her forehead as she stares at the ground in front of her while trying to emulate the Broncos quarterback?  Let us hope not.  If she does, I will take photos.   

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Riley the Moocher

We have a mooch in the house now.  Each child has a job so to speak.  Hannah is phasing out of being "The Informer."  Cooper is beginning to fill that role nicely, as her favorite words are "Mommy, Riley did (enter the crime here)."  Riley is "The Moocher." 

Anyway, no food is safe from her and no one is able to eat a meal without interruption.  Little grubby hands reach for your plate while you hear the constant "mmmmmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmm,mmmmmmmmmmmmmm."  Every meal is the same.  I have an example.

Each and every morning Cooper makes her breakfast, and then she makes something for Riley.  It is normally something she can toss in the toaster or microwave.  Whether it is a waffle, or a soggy frozen pancake, Cooper makes them both something to eat while Ashley gets dressed for work.  Riley eats her food and then sees what Cooper is eating.  No matter what it is, and even if they are eating the same thing, Riley must have it.  She will drop her own breakfast that her sister lovingly made her and immediately run with her arms extended and fingers wiggling to grab Cooper's food.

All one hears from the bedroom is "Riley eat your own food," or "Riley that's mine."  "Mommy."  Cooper whines and cries for assistance to fight off her baby sister's attack on her groceries.  It is useless and her resistance is futile.  But at least they haven't gone to blows over a soggy, cold toaster waffle.  That would just be silly.

Cooper is not the only subject of the attack.  Mommy and daddy cannot eat without grabby hands.  Yesterday morning I took the girls to school.  Ashley was already gone to work and I finished getting everyone dressed and ready to go.  Cooper had already made Riley's breakfast and I made Cooper's.  Both had already eaten.  Actually, Cooper nibbled on her food while Riley repeatedly tried to take it.  This is of course after already eating all of her own breakfast. 

I took a peek to see if it was safe for me to enter the kitchen.  I was starving and wanted to eat something quick.  I remembered there was a sole banana left on the counter so I made a break for it.  I think Riley smelled the banana from across the house because I heard running footsteps headed my direction.  As the footsteps get closer I hear "nana, nana, nana, nana, nana..."  She knew what I had. 

With the attack on my breakfast imminent, I quickly, and feverishly began to eat the banana hoping to keep it all for myself.  That sounds bad, but my daughters don't miss any meals.  They are healthy.  Anyway, Riley rounds the refrigerator and sees what I am eating so I stuff the remaining third of the banana into my mouth and using sign language I tell her it is all gone.  She looked heartbroken that her loving daddy did not want to share.  Knowing she had already eaten, I felt okay about it and even chuckled a bit.

Riley is at the age apparently that everything should be hers.  She has yet to begin taking things by force, but that time is near.  In the meantime I suppose Cooper will have to go on fighting her off so she can eat, or start hiding to eat her breakfast in peace.  The moocher will always be near by. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cooper's Public Service Announcement

A short Cooper funny:

Today I stumbled onto some videos on the computer.  Apparently Cooper has recently been directing herself in a few music videos and some sort of talk show.  Cooper has also made her own PSA.  I found one that is short enough to post where Cooper drops some knowledge about Halloween on us.  Since I am one of those fathers that enjoys sharing good information, here is an important public service announcement.  Watch, learn, enjoy.  Here you go.

I know Halloween was over a week ago but this video was too funny not to share.  I mean, don't I have a responsibility to help educate other parents about monsters?  And, there is that whole "embarrass my child" thing.  Hey, it is funny and she will laugh about it later.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A book?

I am sitting here at 3:41 am, on the couch, in a quiet house.  Well, almost quiet because the dryer is tumbling around some clothes.  Anyway, I am tired and have no idea what to write about this morning.  Maybe I should write about wanting to write a book.

I have been telling myself for years that I wanted to write a book.  I know, it will most decidedly not ever be published.  My writing is not as polished as those professional bloggers and authors.  But, I write what I want and hope it is as funny to everyone else as it is to me.  I have been tossing around ideas for what to do.  I figured I could put together my stories in a compilation and try to come up with a clever name.  I would attempt to come up with one know but I have been up for 22 hours and I can't think that quickly.  So if you have any let me know. 

My wife tells me I don't have time to take on such a project.  I know she is right.  However, I don't intend to get it all done by Friday or anything.  I only have about 60 stories so far.  Most of them cold fit into a book, but I still need more.  Then there is one big point:  who says someone wants to read all my ramblings anyway?  I mean, I'm not a pro at this writing thing.  I'm just a daddy. 

Well, the main goals for me are to document the lighter side of fatherhood, show that surviving girls can be done, document these memories before I am too old to remember them, and create something to remind them of their childhoods and embarrass them as they get older.  If I happen to get them into a book form, even if it is just for the family, that would be okay.

So I sit here thinking about this and in my sleep-deprived brain it sounds like a great idea.  After I get some sleep I may reconsider.  But then again I may come up with the next great Oprah Book Club title, right?   

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lessons for girls should pay attention

In my line of work I see all types of drivers.  There are the paranoid drivers, non-attentive drivers, speeders, and texters, among others.  Weather, traffic conditions, and the presence of a marked patrol unit can all affect how a person drives.  Here are some driving lessons for my girls.  No, they cannot drive yet.  Yes, they will one day.  Now is as good a time as any to give some words of wisdom.

26.  If you are driving down the road and see a police car, do not slam on the brakes.  All that will do is make the officer pay more attention to you.  If you aren't breaking any traffic laws don't worry about it.  Now, if you are driving too fast while talking on the cell phone, applying makeup, eating lunch, and giving the officer the deserve to get stopped.  And, don't call me for help.  Take your ticket and say thank you.

27.  If you are driving down the road and see the red and blue lights in your mirror because an officer is trying to get you to stop...STOP IMMEDIATELY!  If you don't, there will be other officers along shortly and they won't be happy to see you.  You all know what I do for a living.  You all know what Uncle Jon Jon does, too.  By the time you are old enough to drive a car you will have already heard about the pursuits we have had with people who refuse to do that one simple thing.  Let me say it again...STOP IMMEDIATELY.  Again, don't call me for help until you get to jail.  Then, I will consider posting your bail.
28.  The driver's seat is not the place to apply makeup.  Let me rephrase that.  The driver's seat of a moving vehicle is not the place to apply cosmetic products.  Also, that little mirror on the visor over your head is not exactly equipped to allow you to adequately see what you are doing.  Who knows, you may exit the car looking like Bozo the Clown.  Sorry, he was famous when I was young and I watched his television show.  If you want to know what he looks like, Google it.  Anyway, the fact the car is in motion should be enough of a deterrent to prevent you from doing that.  If not, the thought of crashing the car should be.  That, and getting to where you are going looking like a clown.

29.  Don't eat and drive.  Put down the taco and drive the car.  Enough said.

30.  Forget the phone.  If you are driving and the phone rings, do not answer it.  If you are cruising and get a text message, do not answer it.  If you must accept a call from some boy, all you need do is pull the car over and deal with it.  Breaking this rule will result in the loss of the phone.  Actually, it could result in you riding a bicycle wherever you go.

Keep these in mind when you turn the key in the ignition.  Also, keep this riding a bicycle everywhere after I take away your keys.  And please, do not embarrass your father who loves you by getting arrested.  It just isn't polite. 


Saturday, November 5, 2011


As Riley gets older her vocabulary continues to expand seemingly exponentially each day.  Something that was baby babble yesterday becomes a clearly spoken word today.  I love that she is learning new things.  The sound of Riley saying "Daddy" is wonderful and I don't tire of hearing it.  Of course, she doesn't string the words together like, "daddydaddydaddydaddydaddydaddy," and so on.  No, she wants something and calls me.  She doesn't chant it or scream.  It sounds great every time. 

But there is one word that crawls all over me when it is spoken by children to their parents.  She has learned it and speaks it clearly and directly.  Parents say it together..."NO."  That's right, she has learned to not only speak the word "NO," but knows when to use it.  It matters not to her who she says it to, but she seems to enjoy saying it.  And, Riley is an equal opportunity refuser.  She tells me, her mother, and Cooper.  Of course, she yells at Cooper usually because she does not like something Cooper said or did.  Anyway I have an example.  Away we go.

Last evening before getting ready for work I intended to give Riley her bath and get her into her jammies.  It is usually something I do on my nights off, but I had a little extra time before I had to get ready for work.  So, she got an early bath.  Riley was sitting on Ashley's lap in the living room when the following verbal exchange took place between us:

Daddy:  Riley, want to take a bath?
Riley:  NO.
Daddy:  Riley, bath time.
Riley:  NO.
Daddy:  Riley Grace...
Riley:  NO.
Daddy: Riley, go to the bathroom
Riley:   NO.
Daddy:  Riley Grace, go to the bathroom.
Riley:  (shrugs shoulders) Ok.

And so went my night.  Were it not so funny I would have gotten upset.  There was my cute little darling sitting on mommy's lap and sternly refusing to comply with her father's demand that she take a bath.  She finally got into the tub and bath time went as normal.  Then she had to get out of the tub.  Normally she doesn't put up a big fight.  But tonight, armed with her new word, we repeated a similar exchange when I instructed her to get out of the tub.  I told her it was time to get out and she refused.  I let the water down the drain and she stood her ground.  She started to get cold after the water ran out and she finally acquiesced.

It is nice that I can easily overcome her repeated use of that word.  With her size, I can simply pick her up when I tell her to come to where I am and she responds in the negative.  For those keeping score, that is Daddy 2, Riley 0.  I know the victories will be short-lived, but let me bask in them for one night.

Friday, November 4, 2011

That's my girl...

I have another Cooper funny that was relayed to me from Ashley.

The other day Ashley and Cooper were driving into Lubbock from Wolfforth on 82nd Street.  Right at the city limit going into Lubbock there was a vehicle crash with several Lubbock PD officers and a Lubbock County deputy.  Cooper looks at the crashed cars, the officers, and informs Ashley that I should have been there.  After being asked why Cooper continued to explain and informed her mother that, are you ready for this, there were drugs in the tires.

Okay, several things here.  First, Cooper is still a professional at throwing out random statements like that.  Second, Cooper has been in the car with me when I talked about certain cars I saw traveling along the highway that I though would be good mule cars for moving dope.  I think she was actually paying attention to a conversation that I was not even having with her.  That is proof that she can hear and is capable of paying attention, and that her hearing issue is simply selective hearing.

Also, apparently Cooper has seen several episodes of "Border Wars" because she specifically said there were drugs in the tires.  Thanks to a couple of hours of reality television and her listening to a few conversations about smugglers, I am happy to announce Cooper is now a dope hauling expert and is available for a consultation for a nominal fee.  So if you require advice on possible hiding places smugglers use to transport and distribute controlled substances, and would like to catch and arrest said smugglers, give her a call.  Yes folks, I am so proud.  Wait while I wipe away the tear.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I remember 9/11 like everyone else that was watching it unfold on television.  I remember the images of people jumping to their deaths, those of the towers falling, and of people running for safety.  I also remember watching police, fire, and emergency medical personnel doing everything they could do to help.

Professional writers and bloggers alike will be typing feverishly about memories and such.  All I have to say is this:  To the firefighters, EMS personnel, as well as my fellow LEO's...thank you.  Sure we call each other names like pig, blue canary, bucket boy, and hose head.  But I know that we have respect for each other for the roles we play in keeping our communities safe.  We may never have to respond to an incident like 9/11, but we have our own tragedies to deal with daily.

Thank you, be vigilant, and go home safe tonight...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

More lessons for those children of mine...

So I have been thinking about more advice, and/or lessons for my girls.  I have been thinking back to my own childhood and about the lessons I learned the hard way.  Actually, some I watched others learn through some pain and injury while I laughed.  So here we go...  

21.  When riding a bicycle always look forward.  This one seems like a no brainer, right?  I watched as a little boy I knew rammed into a sign while riding his bicycle and trying to look cool.  There he was riding his bike laughing at me as I drove my car down the street.  He was paying attention to me instead of the large pole and street sign in front of him.  Three, two, one...and contact.  Over the handle bars to the ground he went.  He popped up and I got a laugh.  Ask Uncle Mike to explain the rest.

22.  Here is one from me.  When climbing trees, don't go too high because the smaller branches won't support the weight.  I was an avid tree climber back in the day and on one occasion I attempted to conquer the wrong tree.  After reaching near the top I suddenly found myself dropping, bouncing, falling, scratching, crying, gasping, and finally landing on the ground with a thud.  I popped up while my friends got a laugh.

23.  When riding on the back of a motorcycle do not smile.  Actually, don't even open your mouth.  Keep your mouth closed, unless of course you would like to dine on the delicacies that are mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, or some other bug or insect.  No they do not taste good.  If you see someone that just got off of a motorcycle and you see what looks like a raisin on his teeth let me warn you, its a dead bug.  Gross.
24.  Always check to see if the sliding glass door is OPEN before attempting to run outside.  Luckily for you all we do not have such a door on this house.  When I was about 8 years old I was at a friend's house for a birthday party.  They had a sliding glass door.  I was inside and wanted to hurriedly go outside.  Without looking I darted at a full sprint from the dining room towards the backyard when I met the clear, freshly cleaned glass door face first.  Ouch.  Yes there was physical pain, but the embarrassment was far worse.  I popped up and yes, people got a laugh.

25.  And finally, when you are my age (36 years old) do not...and I repeat DO NOT run in a house wearing only socks when the floors are wood.  Only disaster awaits.  I ran from the kitchen towards the bedroom to answer a phone call.  I rounded the couch and slid for about half of a second before my feet and body went different directions.  My feet left me behind and then I fell on my behind...hard.  You know, getting up after a fall like that is not as easy to do as it was when I was younger.  I didn't pop up from that one and I missed the phone call.  The only good part was that there was no one there to get a laugh.

Listen to my words oh children of mine.  I can spare you pain and embarrassment if you simply learn from my mistakes...and the one from Uncle Mike because that one was funny.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The impatient backseat driver

I think Ashley and I are beginning to rub off on our children.  They are turning into backseat drivers, and angry ones at that.  A quick funny today.

Daddy day care begins again today because school is back in session after the holiday weekend.  Part of my duties is to retrieve children from their educational institutions and deliver them home safely and start homework and the like.  Cooper asked today if we could go to Sonic to get something to drink.  I normally say no because I pick her up in the middle of their "Happy Hour" and every Frenship ISD soccer mom is there jockeying for a parking spot.

Today I relented and off we went to brave the madness.  On arrival I saw it wasn't too bad and as I was driving into the parking lot I saw a vacant bay.  Just as I approached one of the aforementioned soccer moms, without paying attention, backs out of the bay.  Okay, normally not a big deal except she backed out and just stopped.  Here is where my backseat driver speaks up.

Apparently she was crazy thirsty and was extremely parched.  That, or she was just being the typical impatient 6 year old.  Either way, Cooper notices the large mommy mobile stopped in the traffic lane and yells, Hellooooooo, move it!"  She was almost hostile.  Our influence is apparently starting to show up.

It took me several seconds to put it all together because I was still a little groggy from having recently woke up.  I saw the gas guzzler stopped in front of me and I heard Cooper talking.  Then it hit me and I busted out laughing.  Then the humor passed when I realized she had beat me to what I normally say under the same circumstances.  Oh boy.

Yes, I am an impatient driver.  I see someone driving stupidly and I comment.  I see someone stopped at a green light I respond with "Hellooooooo, it's green!"  I guess she comes by it honestly.   

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My daughters hate my attire

I am not sure what it is about the way I dress that makes my children sick.  I mean literally sick.  It could be that they are making an obvious critique of me attire by way of regurgitation and demand I change.  I know that children do get sick for a variety of reasons.  Who knew my wardrobe would be one of them.  

Riley, although learning to speak, cannot simply come right out and say, "Daddy, I hate your clothes."  No, that would be too easy.  She has to make an announcement in other ways.  She is almost 18 months old now and opinionated.  When she was younger she did not simply "spit up" on me.  No, that would have been expected.

While enjoying dinner with friends at Cracker Barrel one fine evening Riley opted to choose that as the time to tell me she hated my shirt.  And pants.  Riley had recently finished some yogurt and a bottle.  Great combination as I later learned.  I was holding her up, facing me, when I saw a look on her face I recognized.  Her eyes sort of fixed on me and she looked confused.  I had seen her sisters exhibit a similar look in the past and I distinctly remembered what happened after I saw the look on previous occasions.   

There I was staring at my child and before I could react, up came the...well...everything.  The poor family seated behind us had their meal ruined by the sight of me being drenched in baby puke.  The remainder of the restaurant got an amusing show.  Riley laughed.  I wanted to run out screaming like a little girl in embarrassment.  My clothing was drenched and smelly and I had nothing else to wear.  Oh boy. 

Luckily for me, Chris and Liz are prepared for everything.  I got a pair of utilities and a t-shirt to change into and all was well, except for the mess I had to clean up on the floor of the restaurant.  Luckily we were seated right where everyone could see.

Once again Riley let me know she did not appreciate what I was dressed in.  And of all things, I was wearing a Chargers jersey with her uncle's number on it.  Sorry Uncle Mike, she just wasn't feeling it after the loss on Thursday.  Anyway, she was playing and sitting in my lap when I saw the look again.  Then, she did it again.  All I could do was sit there on the couch and just hold her up until mommy came to the rescue.

No one ever told me that my children would be so brutally honest.  So for my daughters I have a request...please don't puke on me again.  I am sorry I am not as stylish as you all are.  I will try to do better.  Maybe mommy should pick out my clothes?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Retaking the house...from our children

Here we are again.  Do you hear it?  No?  That is good.  It is called quiet.  That is something that we don't normally have around here because the children run the house during the summer months and overfill it with noise.  But now is the time for Ashley and I to regain control of our humble abode.  It is time to take back our house with the assistance of a little thing called SCHOOL.

Yes, Ashley and I are please to report that our children have been sent off to become smarter than we are.  Well, smarter than me anyway.  They are gone all day interacting with others, learning new things, playing hard, and completely destroying someone else's property for a change.

We have assessed the damage here at home and I am happy to say the house is still standing.  They tried to take it out from the ground up.  We have scrubbed yogurt off of the door, crayons off of the walls, and cookie dough off of the table.  They bounced off of walls, jumped onto and off of couches, and even built forts in the living room in an attempt to declare it their territory.  But they are no match for us now and we have the upper hand.  After a long day at school they return to do homework and seem to be too tired to create a large mess.  Bedtime is no longer a battle.  I love it.

So for the other parents, enjoy the quiet as I do while I sleep during the day (since I work all night).  May your homes stay cleaner than they did all summer.  And for the all seriousness, God bless you for the job you do.  Because it takes a special person to be locked away with those little people all day and maintain your sanity.  May they be studious and attentive instead of destructive and unruly.

FYI - for a glimpse at how Cooper led a classroom insurrection last year, check out the "Hit and run and some anarchy" blog post from last fall.  Enjoy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Where did the summer go?

Today my first born leaves again.  It seems as though Hannah just got here and today flies back to California.  Her summer with us seemed to go so fast.  We didn't get to do some of the things the girls wanted to do, but it's okay.  There will be other times.  I sat here, having woke up at 0430 hours, trying to think of something humorous to write about and I've got nothing.  Surely there is a funny story to recount, but I can't think of one right now.

I love my girls and know they will all eventually be growing up and moving on eventually.  I just hope we can make the most of all of our time together.  It's easy to get frustrated with the day to day stuff.  The arguing, the whining, and the messes.  But there is so much more to enjoy that far outweighs those things.  I just hope my girls know how much I love them all.

Well, I know Hannah will be back in a few months for the Christmas break.  Time will continue to march on and I will only get older (insert old man jokes here).  I will be back to write about my funny adventures in fatherhood another day.  And, the Chargers will win the Super Bowl this season.  Well, that one is not a certainty but we are optimistic.   

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Attack Daddy"

Those are the words I hear right before it happens.  I hear them in my sleep at times after suffering a vicious sneak attack by my precious little ones.  Don't let their cute little faces fool you...they are ruthless.  Ruthless, I said.

Recently my girls have found it humorous to dog pile me while I lay on the floor.  Why lay on the floor you ask?  Because I thought I could.  I thought I was safe.  I thought there was no way my daughters would think to gang up on me and engage me in a fight.  I was wrong.  Observe, friends.

Here is what we see.  In the first photo Hannah saw me laying on the floor.  She rallies her fellow troops by yelling throughout the house, loud enough to call even the neighbor's kids..."ATTACK DADDY."  Children run from everywhere, including as we see, Riley.  It was like the call of the wild or something.  Hannah's strategy was simple.  She planned to take out my legs so I could not get up and run.  She lays across my legs to weigh them down and allow Riley to leap onto my head and kick me about the face.  Cooper was not sure yet what to do, so she helped Hannah.

In the second piece of photographic evidence we see Hannah and Cooper now laying over my legs and Riley laying on my shoulder and chest to go for the pin.  Had there been a referee I would have been counted out.

Lastly, in the third photo, we see Hannah and Cooper still working over my legs and knees, while Riley repositioned herself toward my feet.  It appears her short attention span got the best of her as she seemed to have forgotten what she was supposed to do, and instead mimicked her sisters.  I saw an opening and attempted to get up, but I was powerless having suffered a beating at the hands of my little angels.

Riley was the cruelest, as she repeatedly kicked me in the face and head and showed her meanness by laughing at me.  Actually, they all did.  And were was my loving bride during the melee?  On the couch laughing and snapping pictures.  I will remember that when they suddenly yell, "Attack Mommy!!!"  You too will be on your own.  And they are ruthless mommy, ruthless I said.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Forgive us our theivery...

I had a completely different topic all picked out and ready to go this morning.  Then, last night, Ashley called me with a story that I could not pass up.  Her quote last night:  "Punishing your children is never fun, but sometimes it is SO funny!!!"  Indeed it is.  Read on friends, read on...

So there I was trying to decide what to eat for dinner last night.  That is a chore in Levelland since there are certain places I dare not go into in uniform.  Anyway, I receive a phone call from Ashley informing me that my two older children were in trouble.  I expected they had been fighting with each other and one of them tried to lock the other out of the house.  No.  Actually, it was quite the opposite.  Hannah and Cooper had conspired to commit a most heinous crime.  Yes, they stole mommy's purse.  The good news is that they at least did not attempt to steal money, but instead to retrieve an iPhone.

Ashley said that Hannah and Cooper, who were on the verge of watching that Beiber kid's movie, decided to plan for their "sister sleepover" by covertly taking the iPhone to play games on while they are supposed to be sleeping.  How did that work out for them you ask?  Not too good friends.  Ashley got wise to their act of thievery and stopped them in their tracks.  After mommy law took affect and they were found guilty of their crime, the punishment phase had to begin.  She called daddy.

So, Ashley gives me the low down and tells me to talk to them.  She puts me on speaker phone where I, acting as judge, listen to their pitiful story and determine their punishment.  Of course, I had to converse with mommy and after coming to a consensus, we sentence them to no movie and early bedtime.  I send them to brush their teeth and on to bed.  Ha ha...mommy and daddy 2, 21.  We are winning.

About an hour later I get a message to call home.  I talk to Ashley and am told of the recent "fodder" at the homestead.  Here is where everything turns funny.  Truthfully, had I been home I don't think I could have stayed upset.

Ashley told me that after I talked to them on the phone and while they were brushing their teeth, Hannah and Cooper were crying.  After she sent them to bed, Hannah emerges first from the bedroom.  She is apparently still crying a bit and tells Ashley, "I have a pain in my stomach."  Ashley asked her what was wrong.  Hannah, speaking between sobs, replied, "It's guilt."

This child is obviously aware of the guilty feeling in her stomach!  What?  Ashley said she and Hannah discussed feelings of guilt, why people feel guilty, and quite likely went into Jung's and Erikson's views of it all and how they compare and contrast.  Then, Cooper enters the scene.  She is upset as well but offers a solution to the problem at hand...a prayer for forgiveness.

Cooper informs Ashley that she wants to pray for forgiveness, and she and Hannah drop to their knees in front of her.  Ashley told me that Cooper begins to confess to her crime and asks God to forgive them.  Then she continues on, rambling about something that eventually, was unrelated to the issue.  Cooper turns to Hannah and tells her that it is her turn to pray.  Hannah retorts that she has nothing to say and they begin to argue about praying...while THEY WERE PRAYING!  I don't know how she held it together because, I would have been laughing by that point.  So, she praises them for their attitudes about the whole thing and a teachable moment was had, and capitalized on.  Ashley sent them to bed, but we are not done.

Ashley hears conversation coming from the bedroom.  She sneaked over and listened in on the discussion.  Cooper told Hannah that God would likely not forgive her because she did not pray about it.  Then shortly after that she thinks about it, backs up on her original statement and tells Hannah, "I think because I said 'WE,' you might be covered."  Greatness.

This is one of those moments as a parent I know I missed out on and wished I had not.  As I think about it I know that yes, kids will be kids.  They will make bad choices and misbehave.  they will try to steal mommy's phone and lock their siblings out of the house.  Also, they know when they do wrong and have the capability to actually feel bad about it.  And the fact that, even as funny as it was, one of them wanted to pray about it shows we are teaching them good lessons and they remember.  It is good to know that we are not failing as parents and completely messing up our children.  Well, we are not messing them up TOO badly anyway.    

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fort Scifres

A quick one this morning. 

Occasionally my daughters believe themselves to be architects.  They, from time to time, construct playhouses and things of that sort using only what is immediately available to them in the living room, dining room, and hallway.  I would be interested to see what they erect using my tools from the garage.  If they had access to a hammer, nails, and a few 2x4s, I would come home to a skyscraper in the back yard.  Anyone who watches "Phineas and Ferb" knows what I mean.

Recently I get a text message with this photograph of what Ashley called, "Fort Scifres."
It is not the greatest photo because it was taken with a cell phone camera, but you get the idea.  Hannah and Cooper used the dining room chairs as walls/support beams, and covered their structure with the blankets from a basket in the hallway.  Cooper wanted a light, so she took the lamp from her room.  I am told there was also food hidden away for a midnight snack, you know, in case one of them got the munchies in the wee hours of the morning.

I got the message in the evening hours, around their normal bed time.  I thought it was nice and forgot about it.  I thought it would not be there when I got home, because I just KNEW Ashley would have them deconstruct that monstrosity that took up every inch of space between the couch and entertainment center.

So I tiredly arrive at my abode after work and expected to walk in and find everything as normal.  No.  I walk in to Fort Scifres inside the house.  I smile, laugh a little, and walk into the bedroom.  I was so amused, and at the same time tired, that I missed one large detail.  While walking back and forth from the kitchen to my bedroom I totally was oblivious to the fact that my sweet children were ASLEEP ON THE WOOD FLOOR of their fort.  Yes, technically there was a rug between the floor and them, but hey, they were still sleeping on the floor. 

When I finally realized it, I thought to myself that I was glad they were young because if that were me my back would be killing me.  And, I would look completely ridiculous sleeping under the pink blankets, between my dining room chairs, on the floor, and with my feet hanging out the end.  That would have been a photo op my wife would have taken full advantage of and plastered all over Facebook.

Oh, and the snacks they had hidden...still there in the morning.  They apparently had to be thrown away because they should have been refrigerated or something.  I just know that they were not edible anymore.

The daddy part of me is proud of them for their construction prowess and ingenuity, coupled with the fact they did not fight each other to the death given the proximity between them for eight hours.  The kid in me was totally jealous because I want to build a fort, too.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Daddy Song

Apparently Riley is learning to sing.  I believe her sister's musical talents are beginning to rub off on her.  Ashley even called Riley "Our little 401k," after watching her perform her rendition of the "Daddy Song" for me using the flashlight from my duty belt.

On Tuesday evening we were busy.  I hadn't eaten yet, even though I made a sad attempt before being called away from my sustenance to assist with a large scale fight.  A lot of people went to jail, it was hot, and I was starving.  The night was not starting off as planned.

Then I got a text message with a video attached.  Watch for yourself the grace with which Riley strums her guitar and note her perfect pitch while singing her song about her daddy.

Okay, so not so perfect pitch, but not bad though.  I saw that and had to laugh.  I forgot for a few moments that I was hot, sweaty, and starving.  I forgot about the fights, the yelling, and cursing.  I smiled as my baby girl belted out a song for me.

Then on Wednesday while I was getting ready for work Riley was sitting on the bed with Ashley, and my duty belt.  Riley enjoys all of the stuff on it and crawled over there and immediately went for my flashlight.  The thing is metal and about 8 inches long.  If she dropped it on her head it would likely knock her out cold.  But, she grabs the light and begins to perform an a cappella version of the "Daddy Song."  No guitar, just Riley and her...flashlight.  Funny stuff folks.  Then, Ashley called her our little 401k.  My reply..."No, she is our retirement in Hawaii."

Hey, like I said, by the time she moves out and gets married she will owe me nearly half a million for raising her.  I could settle for a little place near the beach where we got married instead of cash.  Kapalua Bay is nice, well, year round.  See you on Maui folks.

So if the video won't play, here is the link.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Faces of Mischief

I have said since it since she was born.  Riley is tricking Ashley and I.  She is currently deceiving us by being cute, and funny.  Yes, Hannah and Cooper were, and are, cute and funny.  But Riley is different.  There is something in her face that tells me that we are in for some trouble with her.  And, so are her sisters.  Let me tell you with some photos.  Behind the cuteness is some mischief.
 Here Riley is deep in thought about what to do.  She is contemplating how best to get away with some sort of prank, all while having her sisters take the blame for it.  Cute...yes.  Mischievous...indeed.
In the second photograph we see Riley having already completed her deed and is now looking for somewhere to discard the evidence.  She knows she has to locate it somewhere that we can find it, and also someplace  close enough to her sisters to implicate them, without them knowing.
In the third photograph we have Riley, having already carried out her deed, delighting in the fact her sisters are in trouble and getting blamed for whatever it is that she has planned out and executed perfectly.  Just look at the brow and the smile...she is good.
Riley's unsuspecting sisters have at this point replied to our accusations with, "It wasn't us, it was Riley!"  Riley looks at us as if to ask, "Who, me?"  Then, she angrily looks at her falsely accused sisters as if to ask them, "How can you blame me, I can barely walk?"
And in the last photograph we see Riley rejoicing in having completely suckered her father while engaging  me in a game of "come and chase me, daddy" as she takes off running.   She has gotten away with it and she is happy.  I am clueless. 

I tell you friends, Riley is already a master.  This is a child who is learning from her sisters, who were pretty good themselves at creating havoc and getting away with it.  Cooper could have stolen and eaten a bag of Cheetos, had orange powdered cheese on her face and hands, and deny taking them after being caught.  She would be so convincing you almost had to believe her.  Why?  She could fabricate a ludicrous story as to how she came to be covered in Cheeto dust because the Cheeto truck overturned near the house and she helped pick them all up.  And as ridiculous as the story would sound, it would also be plausible.  But as I have said before, Cooper has a tell when she is lying.  She will follow her lie with this:  "I'm serious."

The sky could be blue and Cooper could say, "The sky is a reddish orange color today."  Just by looking at her face, and without looking overhead, I would believe her until she followed the assertion with, "I'm serious."  I detect liars for a living and I have to say, these little people are good.

Riley is learning from the professionals.  She is mastering her craft as we speak.  She is likely already thinking of her next deed to get her sisters into trouble.  And when she has come up with her idea, we will see this:
It is sort of her "ah ha" face.  As in, "ohhhhhhh, I got a good one."  Trouble I tell you...we are in T R O U B L E.