Sensory Bins

Caden with his sensory fidgetSensory items are very familiar to our family. As the parent of a special needs child with developmental delays, we get creative in terms of finding objects our Caden can use to fidget with. One of my fellow Babywise Friendly Blogger friends has posted some great tips for creating sensory bins for home. Bethany from The Graceful Mom has collected resources from other Babywise friendly moms in forums and shared them in a blog post today titled Babwise Week: Sensory Bins. Bethany reminds us that sensory items are great for all children in their developmental process. She uses then in her regular routine with her preschooler.

Just this week I was at the hospital for an extended day of appointments related to Caden’s surgery, actually scheduled for today. My smart phone battery was drained and I didn’t have my charger or my wife’s iPod touch for Caden to watch movies or play games. Instead I got creative by given Caden an oversize pink paper clip and a condiment cup from the cafeteria. He is shown in this picture playing with these items as he browses books in the pediatric Cardiology waiting room at the Children’s Hospital at he Medical University fo SC.


Do You Teach and Require Obedience?

I am amazed at the number of parents who seem to be allergic to the word obedience. And parents are even more adverse to the term first-time obedience…unti they experience or witness it in action. Then they want to know all about how to get it in their family.

Maureen over at Childwise Chat has served up a great summary post on the subject today. She asks us parents, “Is obedience an option?” Then she leads us through a review of some of the common mistakes parents make that create roadblocks to obedience. She shares some of her observations of the barriers taught by the Ezzos in Growing Kids God’s Way and in On Becoming Childwise: Parenting Your Child from 3-7 Years authored by Gary Ezzo and Dr. Robert Bucknam. Some of the issues shared by Maureen are threatening, repeating, bribing, and negotiating with yoru kids and much more.

Don’t worry if Maureen’s blog post leaves you hungry for more on the subject of obedience. She has authored an ebook on the subject endorsed by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo titled Live in Harmony With First-Time Obedience: How to Use Love, Authority and Consistency to Teach Your Child to Obey the First Time, Every Time

The More Kids the Easier

A fellow Babywise Friend blogger has provided a great perspective on the difference between having many children verse one child. Valerie Plawman over at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom shares her encouragement as a mother of multiple children. She passes no judgement on parents who choose to have an only child, but instead offeres a unique and uplifting view of life as a mom of four children. She says:

“Seven years ago, I counted down the hours until my husband got home. Today, when he walks in the door I am shocked that the day is almost over. My children keep things interesting.”

What a joy that must give to her husband. Life as a stay-home mom of multipel children can and should be viewed as a benefit rather than a burden.


Happy Birthday Caden

Caden and his brothers on his birthday

Caden celebrated his 8th birthday in the hospital today. Caden has been hospitalized at the Medical University of SC for a week due to pneumonia. You can read all of the details of Caden’s condition on Caden’s Page.

Caden Puzzle Ball

Caden did have some fun today thanks to his brothers and some special gestures from hospital staff. This picture above is of Caden playing with his new Perplexus puzzle ball. Our friends the Bledsoe’s gave one of these to Josiah on his birthday and Caden has struggled with the complexity of that one so Sherry got a smaller easier one for Caden.

Caden in a turkey hat Dr. Birthday Clown

The left picture is of Caden with his turkey hat playing with his rescue helicopter delivered courtesy of the MUSC staff and Child Life group.  Our good friend Dr. Rusty Turner served as the unofficial party Dr. Clown. The picture on the right is of Dr. Clown Turner. He got a few smiles out of Caden and had the rest of us laughing. Below is a look behind the glasses and nose. He shared his clown secrets with us.

Dr Clown Secrets

Ups and Downs of Hospitalization

Caden was hospitalized with pneumonia a few days ago. I have been posting updates on Caden’s Page and on my personal Facebook page. At this point I do not expect to get a podcast episode recorded this week as planned. Please keep our little boy and our family in your prayers.

Schools Cancel Halloween Parties

An Illinois school district is taking fire from parents and media because the district is canceling Halloween celebrations. They cite their reasons as being related to inequalities between children who can’t afford to buy a costume and potential religious and cultural belief conflicts. Parents are up in arms because the school district has mad this decision with no parental input.

You might be surprised to know that I am not in favor of canceling Halloween celebrations even though I have plenty of opinions on Halloween. I am not going to get into my opinions on whether to do Halloween or not. You can listen a podcast episode on that subject or read my opinions and debate that topic in other blog posts about Halloween.

I am not surprised by this school district canceling Halloween celebrations because I expect this from a public school system. However I do not like it one bit. This decision strikes at the heart of a much larger issue. The courts have repeatedly upheld the position that parents forfeit their rights to make decisions regarding education when they drop their kids off at the front door of the school. While Meyer-Pierce has stood the test of time since the 1920’s in support of parent rights, there has been a familiar tone coming out of court decisions in recent decades that state that parent’s rights “do not extend beyond the threshold of the school door” (PDF). This line of thinking can be summed up by basically saying that once you add your child to a larger community the appointent leaders of that community have the right to make and enforce rules that contribute to the community at large and are not required by law to take into account every single parent’s opinion. It’s not practical to please all parents so they are forced to do their best and you are stuck decisions based on whatever values and priorities the administration members happen to possess.

The school systems are going to do what they deem best for the group. Like it or not many schools will continue to remove activities that point out inequalities and unfairness in the name of the greater good. Look at an article from a couple of years ago published in Sports Illustrated touting the defunding of football because only one sex can play the game. This is all a slow fade aimed at feeding the beast of political correctness that haunts our culture. Don’t be surprised to see Christmas parties struck from the list of approved activities in the near future. My opposition to banning Halloween parties is not because I fear Christmas parties will be next. I am actually surprised Christmas parties didn’t go first. What I am opposed to is a select few government bureaucrats making decisions that should be individual and personal. If you don’t want to “do Halloween” because your family has religious beliefs against it then keep your kids home from school on October 31st.

Do you agree with this school district’s decision?

Happy 10th Birthday Riley

Happy Birthday Riley

Riley makes my job as a dad fulfilling, exciting, entertaining, and sometimes challenging (in a good way). He is an awesome boy who loves God, his family, and his friends. In his first ten years he has become an avid reader, a student of the Bible, music and Latin, and a NASCAR super-fan.

Riley makes my job fulfilling by standing strong in his faith in God and by being an engaged and committed member of our family. He creates excitement and entertainment with his creativity and sense of humor. Birthday Door BalloonsRiley creates challenges for me as a dad by calling me out (with respect) on my sins, testing his boundaries, and asks the hard questions that boys his age are expected to ask.

My dear wife Sherry gave me an idea on how to add a little fun into Riley’s birthday morning. The picture here says it all. I have tapped a piece of plastic to the door jam of his room and filled the space between the plastic and the door with about 40 balloons. When he opens the door he will have balloons falling all around him.

Riley will spend a good portion of his day at the homeschool coop that our three oldest boys participate in. He will have a little party on Saturday to celebrate the day with some family and friends. His big birthday present this year was to go to a live NASCAR race. All of my boys are NASCAR fans and I have decided that I will try to take each boy to his first NASCAR race at age 10.

With a little help from Grandpa we also outfitted Riley with a new loft bed. He helped me assemble the bed and it was a great time of bonding with him as we spent a couple of hours working together.

Loft Bed Assembly


Apple iOS 6 Upgrade Security Features

Daddy Life Podcast Episode 31 - Apple iOS6 - Identity Theft - Lying to your kidsCredit card and Debit card theft

Norfolk Naval Base McDonald’s Cashier Admits to Stealing Credit Card Data

DeLand Florida Chili’s Resurant server skims $24,000 from debit and credit cards.

iPhone 5 and iOS6

Tablet Crunch – Tim Cook Apology for Apple iOS 6 Maps

Find My iPhone

“It happens. You misplace your iPhone or your iPad or your iPod touch. Luckily, iOS 6 and iCloud now offer Lost Mode, making it even easier to use Find My iPhone to locate and protect a missing device.7 Immediately lock your missing iPhone with a four-digit passcode and send it a message displaying a contact number. That way a good Samaritan can call you from your Lock screen without accessing the rest of the information on your iPhone. And while in Lost Mode, your device will keep track of where it’s been and report back to you anytime you check in with the Find My iPhone app.” Source:

Kindle Store Search Risks

Searching for popular children’s books in the Amazon Kindle Store reveals inappropriate material for kids.

Hiding status updates on Facebook

If I no longer comment on your Facebook status updates then it may be because I have chose to hide your junk. In this episode I explain how.

Lying to your kids

Ad Council encourages lying to your children in this YouTube video in support of 1st Lady Michele Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign

50 Shades of Lying on The Graceful Mom Blog

Other Links Mentioned:

Home School Support Network

Daddy Life Episode 8


Subscribe to this podcast via iTunes or RSS: Podcast Daddy Life Podcast RSS Feed

Does your husband have a free night?

Post by Bethany from The Graceful Mom blog

Date NightSomething my husband and I have done for a few years is give each other a “free night” every week. It is a night where the other spouse gets to have a night off and use the time however he or she chooses away from home. I say “away from home” because it does not seem to work well, at least for us, to block off time at home. It just works better to get out of the house, and that is part of the gift. Some weeks we both use our “free night” and some weeks my husband uses two while I use none. It all works out in the end but it has been a very fun way to bless the other person.

Even thought it might not seem like it at first, we believe it really ties in to the Ezzo/Babywise philosophy of have a parent-directed philosophy. Our children see us prioritizing the other parent’s need for some downtime, and it also gives the parent at home a fun tonight to do something a little special with our children. For instance, my husband almost always uses his night to play ultimate frisbee. Thursday nights have now become popcorn and movie night for me with the kids. They love it, I get some extra cuddle, and my husband comes home so energized. Honestly, one of the things I like the most is seeing how happy and refreshed my husband is after coming back home. I used to get so anxious about single-parenting nights…now I really, truly look forward to them. Either my husband is out exercising his heart out or I usually try to meet up with some girlfriends for dessert.

I truly believe that offering each other some downtime has been a key part of how successful our marriage has been. We do also make spending quality time together a high priority, but I have learned the value of giving my husband that special time to himself. Ironically, it makes our marriage better too. We plan these nights in advance, and it has actually been a lot of fun seeing what the other person decides to do.

I know it is hard finding one more night to set aside but I promise it is well worth it. So if you have noticed your husband or wife looking a little peaked and worn out…offer them a free night…their choice…their blessing!

Google Power Searching Course Cheat Sheet

I am participating in an online course offered by Google titled Power Searching with Google. I am learning some new search techniques and getting refreshed on some that I had forgotten about. I do consider myself an advance search engine user and have always been fascinated by Goole’s Advances Search features.

Today I stumbled across the answers to every activity and assessment for this course including the Post-Class Assessment. Okay, I did not access any answers for future assessments, but did look at past actives and assessments to see if the answers were all there and they were. I took screen captures of my browser to include my laptop’s date/time and the URLs shown in Chrome. Google can certainly track my activity to prove that I did not access answers for any future activities or assessments, but the rest of you will just have to trust me when I say I am not cheating.

I will reveal what I found and how I found it in my Podcast next week…after the course Post-Class Assessment has ended. 😉

In the mantime I have challenged my classmates to see if anyone else (not part of the Google team) find what I found before mid-night Pacific-time on the 10th? (i.e., the deadline for completing the Post-Class Assessment)
Happy Searching!!!