Growing Boys into Men

Daddy Life Podcast Episode 27 LogoHazardous Journeys Society

Vision Forum – Discipleship and Education for Christian Families

Jonathan Park Radio Adventure Series – Great adventures to educate children on the facts about creation and evolution.

In this episode I quote from:

“No Adam and Eve means no need for a savior. It also means that the Bible cannot be trusted as a source of unambiguous, literal truth. It is completely unreliable, because it all begins with a myth, and builds on that as a basis. No Fall of Man means no need for atonement and no need for a redeemer. You know it.”

Christians are the only real free thinkers in the evolution/creation debate. Evolutionist have not interest in teaching their kids opposing theories. We as Christian parents are not afraid to teach our kids the unproven evolutionary theories. We know what is at stake. Christians have a eternity with their children to loose if they miss teaching their kids to defend their faith. Building a strong defense requires some degree of understanding about the enemy.

Things for Dad’s to do with boys:

Biking – All my boys like biking even if it is riding in the little pull-along trailer/cart that attaches to my bicycle.

Gardening – This is an awesome place to learn about growing food and how God works in our lives. What is planted in our hearts is what grows up and comes out though our words, actions, and attitudes.

Building – Build a raise flow bed for your home garden. Build a toy or a pice of furniture. It does not matter, just spend time teaching your boys how to use tools safely.

Fixing – Fix those broken toys before you simply trash them t buy new ones. You may think you have more time than money, but no amount of money can replace the time spent with your kids.

Hunting – Many dads and moms start to take their kids hunting at a young age.

Fishing – Every young boy can catch a fish before they are even five years old.

Cooking/Grilling – Teaching your kids how to cook that fish.

Playing Games – I recommend things like chess, Risk, or Monopoly. These games provide a much better environment.


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Classic Conversation

Busytown Airport
A conversation sparked between Sherry (Mommy) and Caden while they were looking at Richard Scarry’s A Day at the Airport.

Mommy: When you are bigger Daddy will teach you how to fly airplanes.

[Caden goes off to play for a few minutes and then returns to Mommy.]

Caden: I’m bigger now!!!



Podcast Review of Monumental and the Easter Bunny

Daddy Life Podcast Episode 26I am here to help you Dads to be the parents that God intended for your to be.

Yes folks, Things are changing. Regular listeners may have heard from intro that I am changing things up a little. I am refining the focus of the Daddy Life podcast. Feedback continues to prove that dads are hungry for more encouragement on the parenting front. I almost exclusively get feedback from the non-technical content so that is where I am going to focus attention. There are plenty of dads out there covering the things that entertain. I am here to equip and challenge you to rise above the level of mediocrity in your marriage and in your parenting.

I will add tech tips in as subjects questions are raised. As in recent episode, I will only include a tech time in occasionally moving forward.

So what am I talking about this week:

This week I am going to provide you with an audio version of my review of Kirk Cameron’s new documentary titled Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure. Only you will get more in the audio because I can bring Kirk into from the trailers and let him tell you about the movie in his own words.

Before we get into that I want to talk about Easter. If you are new to the show you will know that I am very big on relationships. In particular I am big on telling the truth to your kids concerning things like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. And you guessed it, I am in favor of keeping it real and true concerning the Easter Bunny. We do Easter baskets and egg hunts, but we tell our kids the truth about where the candy eggs and chocolate bunny’s come from. There is no magical bunny. Really! Seriously!

Also mentioned in this episode are some points from David Platt’s book titled Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.

Monumental is Highly recommended! DEMAND THE MOVIE

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Babywise Tips for Working Parents

It’s Babywise Blog Network Week! All week, we’ll be featuring blog posts from other Babywise-friendly blogs. The schedule is as follows:

· Monday: Valerie Plowman, Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
· Tuesday: Maureen Monfore, Childwise Chat
· Wednesday: Hank Osborne, Daddy Life
· Thursday: Rachel Rowell, My Baby Sleep Guide
· Friday: Bethany Lynch, The Graceful Mom

Help us promote solidarity within the Babywise/Ezzo community by subscribing to these blogs.


by Bethany Lynch from The Graceful Mom

Dancing with mom

Photo Credit van city 197

I read Babywise while pregnant with my first child. It just jived with our natural parenting philosophy and gave us structure for how to start. I think that is what I love most about Babywise…the ”start as you mean to go on” mentality. We parent very similarly to this day as we did over 4 years ago. We do not change our tactics after they sleep through the night, or walk, or start preschool.

What I was unprepared for was losing much of the structure when I returned to work. I was heartbroken at the thought of daycare changing everything I had worked on the previous 3 months. It took a lot of trial and error and a few tears to figure out how to keep our parenting goals and philosophies when we were not always physically there.

While our goals may not match everyone’s goals, I think there are quite a few things that are applicable to many working moms and dads. Here are my favorite aspects of babywise that make a huge difference in our satisfaction and ability to be very involved while we are at work:

  • Find a mutual caregiver. If daycare is not working, find something else. If your family member refuses to work with you, consider daycare. For us, a nanny was the best solution. We still evaluate it every 6 months or so. Being happy with our caregiver was probably one of the biggest factors in my peace and happiness while away at work.
  • Use a log just like daycare even if your mom or best friend is watching your children. Sometimes just knowing if they ate or slept is extremely helpful. Down the road, you can use it to look for structure, potty training, time outs, funny stories.
  • Don’t be afraid of structure when you are home. For awhile, I thought that I needed to be fun and carefree on my days off or the weekends. My kids really do like predictability, and they need to know the rules and reasons are still the same.
  • Don’t be afraid of flexibility. Yes, I know I just mentioned structure. I also tend to be overbearing or overstructured as a working mom at times. Recently I decided to start waking my son up 40 min early when my work schedule changed. It was much more important to cuddle with him and start his day early than to deal with the attitude from missing me.
  • Take your children on dates. I think this is important if you stay at home or work outside the home, but I think it is crucial for working parents to provide that extra special attention. I have even taken personal days specifically for taking a child on a special date. My kids need one-on-one time on a regular basis. We often run errands with one child, and not for ease but for special time. Make sure that dates are dates, and not errands, though.
  • Aim to stay on the same page as your spouse, especially with obedience and discipline. My husband backs me up 100% as a mother and validates almost all of my parenting decisions. We regularly take time to discuss discipline strategy, sleep needs, education, childcare. While this tip is not unique to being a working mom, I am absolutely certain that I would not be the mother that I am without the support of my husband.
  • Find unique ways to implement structured activities like room time and couch time. We still make a point for our children to observe us in conversation without interruption each evening. It may be while we fix supper, while we sit in the backyard, or while the kids finish eating those last 3 bites. Roomtime comes and goes. I wish I could do it every day but it depends on our nanny and how often I have errands on my days off. As they get older, it gets easier, and I try to do it even for 15-30 most days. Some of my favorite moments have been listening to them play together nicely and use their imagination by themselves.
  • Give your children (and yourself) the gift of sleep. I work with so many parents that feel guilty about missed time and let their kids stay up late every single night. We have certainly made exceptions but consistently teaching our children to sleep well has been one of the best things we did. Bedtime is usually without exception. We also started sleep training from birth. Our kids slept through the night around 4 months of age, for the most part, and I could not imagine working full-time more than a couple of weeks without a full night’s sleep.
  • Don’t over-commit your family time. As a working mom, I feel like I need to have the same attention to detail and opportunities as moms that work in the home. Soccer, classroom volunteer, playgroups. Sometimes it just isn’t possible, and the most important thing is that our family gets enough time together even if that means cutting out other obligations.
  • Don’t wish for what isn’t. I love the structure and parent-directed emphasis of Babywise. I love the results of sleep training. I hate that I am not here all day to implement my dream routine. I hate that I feel like I have to compromise with caregivers. I hate that I often wonder “what if.” The best tip I could ever give another working mom (or dad) is to value what you have. Value what you can do, the values you can instill, the time you can structure…and those sweet grubby hands.

Bethany Lynch is a full-time mother of two young children, a son and daughter. She also works as a full-time NICU pharmacist. Frustrated with the lack of resources for Christian working moms, she decided to start her own inspirational blog. She is very passionate about encouraging other mothers balancing work and family.

Raising Teen Girls – Interview

This podcast episode contains an interview with a man’s man who is raising a house full of girls. Stacy Ratliff is an independent video consultant, producer, and editor with over 25 years of experience. He has produced a ton of content in the hunting/fishing/shooting categories over the past two decades. Stacy wrote and produced the ESPN Ultimate NASCAR 100 Defining Moments, The Bassmaster Yearbook, Driven to Hunt and much more that has aired on ESPN, the Outdoor Channel, and the Sportsman Channel. He has done camera work on the National Finals Rodeo, music videos, commercials, and industrial films. You can see some of Stacy’s video work on his Vimeo page.

Stacy is they guy who took Dale Earnhardt Jr on his first hunt. Stacy worked with the three time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart on a show title Driven to Hunt. in that episode they were working with some kids through the Make A Wish Foundation. Stacy has also worked with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt as well as Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Kevin Harvik, Martin Truex and many more.

Stacy has been married to Anne for 21 years. They have three teen girls ages 14, 16, and 18. They are key couple leaders in the Growing Families International parenting ministry.

Stacy has recently moved into the role of being an independent video consultant, producer, and editor. I am sure he would greatly appreciate any work you can send in his direction. You can connect with Stacy on LinkedIn.

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Pinewood Derby Winners

Pinewood Derby WinnnersEvery one of the Osborne boys old enough to participate brought home a trophy this year. Two of my boys are in Cub Scout 458 that meets at Crowfield Baptist Church in Goose Creek, SC. Each year, like many Cub Scout packs, they have a Pinewood Derby race. This year we entered three of our boys Riley, Caden, and Josiah (JJ). Josiah entered in the sibling category since he is not old enough to be a Cub Scout yet.

They did a time trial and then the races were set up so that the cars of similar speed would compete against each other. I knew when I saw all three of my boys in the same race that they were all very closely matched. However when they raced I noticed that the cars finished 1, 2, 3 (youngest to oldest). There were only two other cars in the race with them since they were racing five lanes at a time. Each car got a chance to run each lane so out of fifty cars entered that created a need for 250 races. so that every care got a chance to run on every lane. Caden with his 3rd place overall trophyThen the prizes were awarded based on the best times for each car regardless of the lane they got that time from..sort of. Since all of my boys ran in the same race (obviously a fast heat), I got to see that JJ’s car finished ahead of his brothers in all five races. So it is impossible that Caden’s car recorded a time faster than JJ. However when the trophies were awarded Caden was given a overall trophy and JJ only won 1st place in his category (siblings). Riley was awarded 1st place in in the Bear Den category. I think the leaders decided to only award overall trophies to scouts since they are the official members of the pack.

Either way, my boys did not care. I was just glad that to see that they were happy for each others’ accomplishments.

Riley actually scored a sponsorship from  I taught him, as best I could, how to negotiate for sponsor money on his car. I offered him $20 to be on the Daddy Life on a derby carhood but he insisted on putting a McDonald’s logo replica on the hood even though McDonald’s was not paying him to advertise for them. I paid Riley $10 to be on the hood. His grandpa also negotiated a spot on the back fo the car for his bible study for grieving family members called “Jesus Cares”.

Below are some more pictures of the boys’ cars and trophies. This was a fun adventure but a lot of work for Daddy. 😉 Hopefully Riley will be able to build his own car without assistance next year since we may be entering four cars if Levi is ready to be added into the mix.

Riley, car, and trophies.JJ and his trophy loot

HOEI-Daddy Life Racing Team Cars

In the paint booth the week before the raceI hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as we enjoyed racing today.




Tent Camping with Kids

A little camper asleep on daddy's shouldersA few weeks ago I took Riley, Caden, and JJ camping. Well I started out on Friday night with Riley and Caden. They are the two Cub Scouts in the family. By Saturday afternoon Caden had experienced enough of the outdoors for one weekend and wanted to go home. Keep in mind that the camping trip took place exactly four weeks after Caden had back surgery and this kids is on oxygen at night. So we have to give him extra credit for sleeping in a tent even one night with temperatures in the low 40s.

Sherry had come out on Saturday with Josiah (JJ) and Levi so they could see Caden and Riley race in the Rain Gutter Regatta and receive some awards. Riley ended up winning the Raingutter Regatta against all scouts of all ages in all dens in the entire pack. He went undefeated for the weekend. We thought it was the boat design (with help form your truely) until Riley traded boats with another boy and beat him with his own boat. As you can see in the picture of Caden below it is a fairly low tech race so Riley must just have figured something out that no one else could. It is not like he was coached on how to best blow through the straw. The sails barely got hot glued on his an Caden’s boats just minutes before leaving the house on that Friday afternoon. So if you are here looking for the secret design of a Cub Scout Rain Gutter Regatta boat, it does not exist. The speed on Raingutter Regatta is all in the technique in my opinion and you kid either gets it or they don’t.

Josiah was itching to stay the night on Saturday after the boat races even though he nearly fell asleep on my shoulders.  The boys were all exhausted and Caden wanted to go home. Caden had begun to run a fever and was showing signs of needing oxygen earlier in the evening than normal.  Sherry and I swapped out Caden and JJ for the night Caden went home with mom and Levi to sleep in his own bed. As a result three out of four boys got to tent camp with daddy in one weekend.

Caden Racing in the Cub Scout Pack 458 Rain Gutter RegattaWhat I learned about camping with little boys Riley (9), Caden (7), and JJ (4) is that flexibility is absolutely necessary, required, and is a non-negotiable.

I had to bring along some O2 tanks, a suction machine, and a feeding pump for Caden, but we do that everywhere we go anyway as a result of his medical special needs. That’s part of our family identity right along with tent camping with daddy. We don’t make a big fuss about it and no one else does either.

The thing is that you don’t want to ruin these experiences like tent camping for these little guys. You want them to have fun. You want to create memories and build lasting relationships. That was exactly the result we got. All of them are chomping at the bit to go camping again. Mission accomplished!

What have been some of your experiences tent camping with little kids?

BB Guns, Sling Shots, and a Red Mustang

Caden and Daddy on the Archery Range

Photo taken by Riley Osborne

The weekend was so much fun. I enjoyed it almost as much as the boys. Riley and Caden learned how to shoot good old fashion Daisy BB guns, bow and arrows, and sling shots (wrist rockets) loaded with dog food. Our local Boy Scout district group puts on a an event called the Cub Scout Tiger Safari each year in the fall. This event allows new Cub Scouts Caden to experience some really cool activities that they would otherwise have to wait until next summer when offered at the day and resident camps. Things like BB Gun and Archery can only be offered at district and regional level events for safety reasons.

The belt loops and pins that the kids earn are the big prize. Belt loops are awards for elective sports and academic activities that have specific criteria in order to earn. Since the BB guns are only offered a couple of times per year at district or regional events it is an extra special treat for a Cub Scout to earn the BB gun and Archery belt loops. Going into this weekend Riley had earned nearly a dozen belt loops already for chess, computers, foreign language, fishing, swimming, flag football, and more. He was allowed to attend this Tiger specific event as a participating sibling.

The Tiger Safari was held at Camp Moultrie just North of Moncks Corner, SC. This is a Boy Scouts of America camping area located on the shore of Lake Moultrie right next to the Navy recreation center called Short Stay. It is about a 45 minute drive from our house in Goose Creek, SC.

Josiah and Levi in the Toy Red MustangOnce we arrive back home we spent a good portion of the afternoon playing outside. Josiah took Levi for a ride int he little red convertible muscle car. The boys love to run this miniature version of a Ford Mustang around in circles in the cul de sacin front of our house. It was  an action packed day that left a smile on every child’s face.




Here are more pictures from our day:

Riley with the sling shot.

Sling Shot

Caden on the BB Gun Range.

Caden shooting a Daisy BB Gun at Cub Scout CampCaden getting ready to fire a wrist rocket.

Caden getting ready to fire a wrist rocket

Riley shooting a BB gun.

Riley with the Daisy BB Gun

Podcast Episode 12 – GKGW Fathers Mandate 1 – Cultivate a Sense of Family Idenity

Part 1 of an 8 part series on how I implement the Fathers Mandate from chapter 4 of the Growing Kids God’s Way (GKGW) parenting series by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. This episode provides a short click from GKGW session four where Mr. Ezzo introduces the first mandate.

CNN Opinion article Why Men are in Trouble by William J Bennett
“Today, 18-to- 34-year-old men spend more time playing video games a day than 12-to- 17-year-old boys.” via Shawn Wood

Courageous Movie opened Friday September 30th. This awesome movie is a great challenge for dayd, Courageous came in number one in the box office for new releases last weekend.

Parenting and Relationships

The Father’s Mandate – How I cultivate a sense of family identity.

  • Special family activities Gingerbread train
  • Other cooking activities like 4 year old biscuits
  • Let them help you with tasks around the house even if it slows you down
  • Create memories with special activities and trips (NC apple picking, family camping, fishing, geocaching)
  • Be the spiritual leader by praying and leading devotionals with the family – As kids get older let them lead portions of the devotional time
  • Take your child shopping or on errands
  • Be proud of your family – as Mr Ezzo said be the cheer leader (We are the Osbornes and we…) Rise above the level of mediocrity!
  • Holidays (we work very hard to tell our kids the truth. We do not lie about Santa, the tooth fairy, or the Easter bunny.) Read about how Halloween is different in our family.

Tech Time

Facebook Share “feature”

My friend, we will call him John, shares a photo on his wall. He shared it via the “share” button from his friend Sue who shared it from her “Wall Photos” album. I am only friends with John and I am not friends with Sue on Facebook. BUT, now that my friend John has shared a photo from Sue, I can not click on that photo and then cycle through all of the Wall photos that Sue has ever shared….and get this…I can even comment on those photos. Sue does not know me and I do not know Sue but here I am leaving comments on Sue’s wall.

The reverse is true. Based on the default settings in Facebook…Once you share a photo it can be shared by any one of your friends and their friends can then share it and so on and so forth. And all of the friends of all of the people who have shared the photo now have access to view and write comments on ALL of the photos in the album that contains the one photo that your friend shared.


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Technology Safety is more about Behavior than the Technology!

Halloween is Optional

Stop before you go blowing a bunch of money on Halloween candy or costumes. Halloween can be skipped with absolutely no ill affects. As a matter of fact, as parents, you can use this holiday as a teaching opportunity and build on your family identity in the process.

But everyone else is doing it. We have always done it this way. Yes, there is an overwhelming urge even as adults to do things just because other people are doing it or because these things are just things that we have always done.  We don’t want to be the weird one in the bunch. We don’t want to have people make fun of us. We just want to have a little fun. These are all very common response when I ask why people participate in halloween activities. The truth is that not everyone is doing it and you should not feel guilty if you choose not to do Halloween.

Halloween provides an excellent opportunity for parents to build on family identity. If you are not certain why you participate in Halloween activities other than “just to have fun” or “because it is what we have always done” then you might consider letting the October 31st pass by in your house as if it were any other day of the year. We have done this for several years now and have seen no negative affects.

Why pick on Halloween? Why use this holiday as teachable moment or as a way to set your family apart from other families? For our family it is a personal conviction that stems from our faith in God. I first wrote about this five years ago and received some very positive feedback and encouragment from readers of my personal blog The Land of Ozz. Here is an excerpt from that original blog post titled Halloween – Should Christians Participate?:

A few days ago I was involved in a conversation where someone said that “everyone needs a spooky computer background for Halloween.” I simply said, “I don’t do Halloween”. The response of another person was, “to each his own” in a gruff and grumpy sort of way. The amount of truth from that comment is staggering even though it was delivered to me with a very disapproving tone. For the purposes of this article I will define this phrase “to each his own” as a person’s right to choose.

I have already made the choice for my family based on prayer, research, and discussions with my best friend (my wife). We no longer buy or make costumes, attend festivals, go trick or treating, and we do not give out candy. We just plain avoid the whole thing all together. It has actually been a pretty simple deal once we committed to the decision.

Not all Christians share our convictions on this subject. As a matter of fact I would guess that a majority of Christians disagree with our response to Halloween. As you can see above I have wrote in much more detail about what line of thinking originally brought us to a decision to stop participating in Halloween. I encourage you to read more of my thoughts on the subject if you are looking for encouragement to stop participating in Halloween. Not everyone is participating and you should not feel obligated to do so with your family. And this is not just a narrow minded Christian view point either. Many people of other faiths understand the roots of this holiday and choose not to participate. Here are a few other blog posts from years past on this subject:

Halloween and Christian Families
Halloween II – Why Christians Should not Celebrate

As parents we can be different and should be different. We should strive to be the best parents that we can be and not settle for “at least as good as Fill in the Blank“. Doing thing like everyone else will result in raising kids just like everyone else.

What will you do to help your family stand out as unique? How will you rise above mediocrity as a family? Are you considering a change to your response to Halloween?