Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Rae

I've neglected posting here for a couple months but I'm going to try to catch up. Some posts may be posted well after their post date.

Rae's birthday was in December. It was the night of her school Christmas program and also it was a night I was supposed to have parenting time with them. Since we wouldn't get home until right before bedtime, we worked out a compromise so that I would take them for a snack and then they would go back home and go to bed at their mother's.

I had a gift for Rae, a Furreal Friend. It's a battery operated stuffed dog that reacts in different ways when you play with him. Except that it didn't come with a battery.

After going to Burger King for a snack and to open her gift, we had to stop at the local Walgreen's, buy some batteries, and beg to use a screwdriver. I wanted to make sure her new toy was working before she went back to her mom's.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Our Good Deed For The Day

After church I planned to drive my kids back out to their mom's. Stepdaughter "Hazel" was having some friends over for tea.

Well when we got to church we saw it was "food delivery" Sunday. Every year around the holidays our church collects food for the poor. They then box it up and people from the church volunteer to deliver it. Each box is clearly marked who it is for, how many adults and how many kids, and comes with a Mapquest map.

Since I had built in some extra time before I had to have the kids back to their mom's, I volunteered us to take 3 of the boxes of food. There were over 80 boxes in all, as we attend a pretty large church.

First grader "Rae" has been known to be embarrassingly blunt so we had a little discussion on the way about what kind of remarks or questions not to ask people in front of them so as not to hurt their feelings.

After the first delivery the kids remarked "they didn't look poor" but at the 2nd delivery there was a toddler running around in just a diaper and a horribly dirty fish tank. And the woman at the 3rd delivery said that she was now "living in her landlady's basement."

The kids enjoyed helping carry the food. Besides the big box, there was a bag of apples for each family and also a bag with some frozen meat (chicken and beef) for each family. Hopefully it will be a lesson in helping others and also in being thankful for what we have.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Working With Dad

The local drama club always comes to the pizzeria where I work every year after putting on their play. Usually we are unprepared and the order-takers and cooks are overwhelmed. Since I have a stepdaughter in the play this year, I was aware of the schedule and volunteered to show up and help out for an hour or so.

Since this was a night that I had my kids, and since they had helped buss the tables after a soccer team party a few weeks ago, I let them come along and help.

"Levi" helped set up chairs for the large group. "Bess" and "Rae" helped serve drinks, refilling soda pitchers and passing out cups, lids, and straws. All 3 kids helped fold pizza boxes while the drama kids were eating. The girls also helped driver (and part-time waitress) Kristie to take down the salad bar.

And they all 3 helped buss the tables after the drama group left, dumping pop into our "big red bucket", paper and food waste in the trash, and dishes to be washed into the dish tubs.

Kristie made over $50 in tips on the group, and she was nice enough to share $2 each with my 3 kids.

I've found that when kids know what they are doing and have tasks they are capable of accomplishing, they actually like to pitch in and work. This is especially true when they see others around them working also.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Partent-Teacher School Conferences

I think it's important to be involved in my kids education. Besides reviewing their work on the nights that they are with me, another thing I always do is to attend their school conferences.

Conferences were scheduled for last night for first grader "Rae" and fourth grader "Bess". Both girls are doing great in school and this was more of a way for me to meet their teachers and help them to understand more about the girls than a time to express any concerns.

Rae is reading very well, much better than last year, and her teacher says that her ability in math is outstanding. She does have to work on staying on task and not daydreaming.

Bess is also doing great. She is concerned that her time away from class for her ABLE or advanced classes is causing her to fall behind in social studies and science. Her teacher believes she is doing fine in these subjects but agreed to give her a little extra attention in these subjects when she returns from her advanced classes.

"Levi" didn't have conferences as he is at a different school. He did try out for a travelling basketball team on Monday and Tuesday and he was not selected, so he was a little bothered by that.

Because of the tryouts, I didn't get the kids on my usual Tuesday night. Because of the conferences, if I would have brought them to our house last night we wouldn't have gotten home until almost 9 PM, just in time to go to bed and get up early the next day for the ride back to their mom's. So I decided it was in their best interest to just spend some time with be before conferences and then head back to their mom's for the night.

I picked them up at 5:30, we had dinner at Bob Evans, and then I took them back to their mom's before my first conference at 6:45.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Saturday With Dad

Since my son stayed with his mom an extra night last weekend (for a birthday party), and since I allowed their mom to pick up all 3 a couple hours early last Sunday, I was able to pick them up for a few hours today, even though it wasn't my weekend.

I picked them up at 10:30 AM and we had an indoor soccer game at noon. Our first stop was at WalMart, to pick up some Propel water bottles. On the way in, some local Cub Scouts gave us a flier. They were collecting for a food drive and wanted us to pick up an extra item. I let the kids each pick out something to give for the food drive.

On to the soccer game, where we lost 11-7. "Levi" played goalkeeper for the first half and then scored 3 goals in the 2nd half. "Bess" also played well.

After that we went to lunch at a neighboring franchise from where I work. The kids enjoy eating there, so it was a pretty good lunch.

After that, I let them have some of the candy they got last week trick-or-treating, before I drove them back to their mother's.

It was a nice day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tough Choices

Unfortunately, my kids are being faced with more and more tough choices lately. And I don't know what to do about it.

My night to pick up the kids is Tuesday. A couple weeks ago "Levi" arranged to switch the night to Thursday because we had a soccer game that night. After we had already planned the change, his sisters decided to join Girl Scouts and of course the first meeting was that Thursday night.

So the girls were forced to choose between spending time with me and our family, including their baby brother "Gabe", or attending their activity. They chose Girl Scouts, which is fine.

Now this weekend Levi is invited to a birthday party. I can't drive him all the way back to the party and then pick him up and drive him all the way back. I offered to him that if he wanted to attend, his mom would have to transport him or else he could just stay with his mom the entire weekend. He chose to stay so that he could attend the party.

He will miss an indoor soccer game, and a 1-mile fun run that he has run the past 2 years.

Also coming up in the next few weeks are a Saturday morning art class the girls asked about, and tryouts (and eventually practices and games) for a travelling basketball team that Luke would like to join.

When we first divorced, their mother lived 10 minutes away in the adjoining school district, and it was no big deal to take them back and forth to activities in either area. But since she moved a little over a year ago, transportation has become a significant issue. It's a 1 1/2 hour round trip. With our busy schedules and the price of gas, I just can't be driving back and forth every day. Twice a week (Tuesday & Friday nights) is enough!

As the kids become involved in more and more activities, there will be more and more times when they have to choose. And I'm sure as they get older they will more often choose their friends over their family. And it breaks my heart.

But it is my intention to encourage them to be involved in the activities that they enjoy, as much as possible, and not to make them feel pressured or pulled in one direction.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


"Levi" called me at 4PM on Friday, all in a panic because one of his molars was loose. He wasn't sure if he was supposed to lose them or not. I told him if it was loose, it was probably because he needed to lose it.

Anyhow by 5:30 when I picked them up, "Bess" had a loose molar too. She sat in the back seat and worked it and before we had completed the 45 minute drive from their mom's to my house, she had pulled it out.

Levi then went to work and got his out in the car also, but Bess was first (even though she's a year younger).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Concert With Dad

The highlight of this weekend was taking my 10 year old son "Levi" and stepson "Nolan" to their first rock concert. We went to see Sum 41, a concert previewed here in Scene Magazine.

We left home around 5 and rode the RTA downtown and then had dinner at the Tower City Food Court where Levi had his favorite, teriyaki chicken. Nolan had a ham and cheese from Arby's.

We then walked 4 blocks to the House Of Blues. We made a quick walk through and ended up in the balcony where they have just 6 rows of seats. We got the last set of 3 together, about 4 rows back in the right corner. They were very good seats, as long as the fat chick 2 rows up wasn't standing up taking pictures.

The opening act was Monty Are I. They were pretty loud and, since I wasn't familiar with any of their songs, it was difficult to hear the lyrics. Plus there was 4 bands worth of equipment on an already crowded stage. They were a high energy group and definitely had fun, and got the crowd started during their 30-minute set.

Next on the card was Amber Pacific. Their 30 minutes of music played a little clearer. They also announced that their new album, Truth In Sincerity, would be on sale for just $5! We picked this up on the way out, and we've just started to listen to it a few times. Two girls behind us from Detroit, Michigan came back from the break with Amber Pacific shirts.

I got the boys each a Red Bull in between Amber Pacific and the next band . . .

Yellowcard came out last before the headliner and played for about 50 minutes. They played a song called Keeper and I joked to Levi that they definitely must have played soccer growing up. With the gear gone from the first 2 bands, the guys from Yellowcard actually had room to move around on stage. Alot of people were definitely into the band and were singing along to the songs.

Finally it was time for the band we came to see, Sum 41. They played for almost an hour and a half, doing their most popular older songs, and about half the songs from the new Underclass Hero disk.

Lead singer Deryck Whibley entertained in between songs, introducing bass player Cone, drummer Steve-O 32, and new touring guitarist BrownTom, who replaced original band member Dave Brownsound.

Deryck took a few pages from Green Day's Billie Jo, picking 3 fans from the pit to sit side-stage during the show, and then later challenging a random crowd member to play a better guitar solo than him.

After a 75 minute set, they came out for a 2-song encore, playing crowd favorite "Fat Lip" and then ended the show with Deryck on the drums and Steve-O singing "Pain For Pleasure."

The boys and I had a great time, and of course, they wore their t-shirts the next day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Weeknight With Dad

I had my kids overnight on Tuesday. This was our first weeknight since school started 2 weeks ago. School started on a Tuesday and then the next week was Labor Day. Since both of those weeks were 4-day weeks, I agreed to have the kids on Sunday night (not a school night) as my overnight.

So I left work at 4 PM for the 1 1/2 hour commute to my kids' mom's home. I got there right at 5:30, and my cell phone rang. Their mom was calling to say she was just leaving work to get the kids. It's a long confusing story but apparently they were supposed to be home with a sitter but the storm door was locked so they couldn't get in. They finally arrived about 5:45.

I quickly got the kids and their backpacks into the car and we were on our way. We had soccer practice at 6:30 and we were a little late. Also, on our way, their mom called to tell me that Rae had left her blue folder in the backseat of her mom's car, it wasn't in her backpack.

So then after soccer, we went home and I heated them up some dinner while Levi & Bess did their homework and all of them got showers. We had macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, chicken tenders, & garlic toast. And some delicious chocolate pie for dessert. Rae told me she didn't have any homework and her mother had her folder so I didn't check her backpack. Mistake!

It was nearing 10 PM when I got them all tucked into bed.

I got up at 6AM and got myself around and dressed. I got the girls up at 6:30 and Levi at 6:45. Their mother had said for them to be ready at 7:15 AM. They all got up, got dressed, and had breakfast. Rae then went to put her lunch in her backpack and showed me her red folder, which had some math homework in it. Oops!

The homework involved cutting and pasting numbers so of course we didn't have time to get it done. Their mom arrived around 7:30 to pick them up. I explained the situation but she must not have understood because she left and then came back to tell me that she would be sure to tell the teacher it was my fault that Rae didn't finish her homework.

I had already planned to email the teacher to explain the confusion and to let her know that I would make sure to check Rae's backpack in the future, regardless of what Rae or her mother told me.

Baby brother Gabe did wake up just before they left, and they were all 3 happy to see him, as they hadn't seen him in over a week.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weekend Without Dad (Oops!)

Our new shared parenting plan calls for me to have the kids on the weekends corresponding to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Friday of each month. I misread or misremembered and for whatever reason, thought I would have the kids on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd weekends.

Since they weren't expecting me, nobody was home at their mom's when I got there. After a couple tries, I got her on her cell phone and she (correctly) let me know it was her weekend. I disputed her at the time.

I did get to talk to each kid on the phone, wish them a good weekend, and let them know I love them. Then I made a small purchase (to prove I was in town that night). I drove home and re-checked the paperwork to discover that I was wrong.

Saturday after our soccer games, I called and left a message, saying that their mom was right and I was wrong, and letting the kids know how their soccer games had gone. Sunday night I called again after another game and talked to the kids.

It's kind of a bummer. "Levi" had never missed a soccer game in the 9 seasons he has been playing. Also, it was picture day for the soccer teams and we had planned to let each kid pick out something special, like a t-shirt or bobble-head, since this may be their final season of playing soccer in my community.

I'll see them on Tuesday. It's been a long time (over a week). I miss them.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Weekends Again, Even Moreso

Well I have been neglecting this blog on purpose. We were back in court over the custody issue and I didn't want to post anything here that might be somehow used against me.

But that is settled now. My parenting time has been changed from 2 school nights plus every other weekend. My new time is 1 school night plus 3 weekends each month. Also we will alternate weeks during the summer.

Summer has been busy but school is starting up again so hopefully my posts here will become more regular.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Levi Finishes 2nd In County Spelling Bee Due To Manure

My son Levi represented his school today in the county spelling bee. He did a great job, finishing in 2nd place overall out of 26 4th graders. Levi correctly spelled well over a dozen words, including "examples", "probably", and "graffiti" before misspelling "manure." He spelled it "manuer."

This is humorous as Levi comes from a dairy farming heritage, his grandfather worked a large dairy farm which 2 of his uncles still run.

Levi also comes from a great spelling heritage, with several uncles, aunts, and his father having participated in this same county spelling bee. One of the first, uncle Dick, missed the word "license." Levi's grandmother has made it her duty to make sure that whenever another of her kids or grandkids enter a spell-down, they know how to spell "license" if nothing else.

Likewise I made sure he would not miss the first word I ever missed in the county spelling bee, "buried." I clearly remember several other students missing it by starting with "ba" or "be" or even using a "y", but I misspelled it with 2 r's, "burried."

Levi's accomplishment today was much better than my best showing, I don't recall ever even making the top 10.

Many of the most challenging words today were compound words where the kids had to decide if it was a single word, 2 words, or a hyphenated word: "slam-dunked", "air conditioning", "flagpole", "eyesore", and "old-fashioned" were among the tricky words. The hardest word I heard was "Peace Corps" but Levi said he would have gotten that one correct.

Great job Levi!

Family Life

We got included in this weeks Family Life Carnival over at More4Kids. There are some great posts over there, be sure to read a few.

Interestingly, we went to Michael's Crafts again this weekend and it was a free day sponsored by Crayola!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Carnival Of Frugality

For some money-saving tips, check out the latest edition of the Carnival Of Frugality.

Especially don't miss the Entertainment & Hobbies section.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

She's Crafty

We did something today that is one of my favorite things to do with my kids. We went to Kids Club at Michael's Crafts.

Our Michael's has this every Saturday and for just $2 each, the kids get to make a fun craft project. Since today was St. Patrick's Day, the craft was to make a green shamrock pin.

They bent a green pipe-cleaner into a J for the stem and glued it to the back of a small wooden heart. Then 3 more wooden hearts were put together to shape a clover and glued to the base heart.

They then got to paint their clovers and coat them with glitter. Finally they glued a small pin to the back.

I really think this is a great program. It doesn't cost much, some weeks are even free! They do a variety of projects, and there is no mess at home to clean up. My kids and I have been doing this for at least 4 years, and they really enjoy it, especially Bess.

It's difficult now since we are involved with soccer and basketball and have games almost every Saturday, but whenever we can we try to fit craft day into our schedule. Now that I am remarried, I often have as many as 5 kids with me from ages 6-9, and they usually all enjoy the craft project.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pizza Blog Hosts Contest

My other blog, Pizza Delivery Stories, is hosting a free basketball contest for the ESPN Tournament Challenge. Check it out!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rec Olympics

I took the kids back to their Mom's community today so that they could participate in the "Rec Olympics."

Stepson Nolan came along and participated also.

The kids all did really great! Rae was in with a big group of boys and girls age 6 and they only had 3 events: Obstacle Course, Long Jump, and 60 meter run. Rae had fun and earned a participation ribbon.

Levi and Nolan were in a group of about 15 boys ages 9-10. They are both 9. There was a kid named Seth that won 4 of their 5 events. The only person to beat him at all was Nolan who took 1st in the swimming event. Levi placed 3rd in swimming and 2nd in the Long Jump. Nolan also finished 3rd in the obstacle course. I don't think any other boy in their group earned more than 1 ribbon.

They also participated in the 60 meter run and a basketball shooting competition, but the rims were lowered to 8 feet and both boys are used to shooting at regulation 10 foot rims so the lower height messed them up.

Bess was really the star of the day, finishing 1st in 3 events among girls 7-8. Bess won the swimming race, the obstacle course, and she must have beaten all the other girls by about 2 feet in the long jump.

It was a nice day, inexpensive (only $7 per kid and they got a t-shirt). It cost even less for me as their mother signed them up! The kids got some exercise and we all had fun!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Vote For Me!

Local Girl at An Island Life is having a photo contest. Please check it out and vote for me, WeekendsWithDad, if you are so inclined.


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Not Just Weekends

First off, thanks to TheHype for including us in this week's Carnival Of The NBA!

The title of this blog is somewhat misleading. I do spend most weekends with my 3 kids but I also have them during the week. Our shared parenting plan calls for me to have the kids every other weekend plus 2 midweek (school night) overnights during the week.

Our schedule right now, set in part by my ex-wife's work schedule, is for me to have the kids one week on Tuesday night, and Friday night to Monday morning (4 overnights). The next week the kids are with me from Thursday night until Saturday afternoon.

The good thing about this schedule is that the kids are with me most of the day on every Saturday, when they are off school and I am off work. This allows me to coach their sports teams, namely soccer and basketball.

I do have a part time job as a pizza delivery driver, and one negative to this current schedule is that I always have the kids on Friday night. This is the busiest (and most profitable) night to deliver pizza, but I try to work most of my shifts while they are with their mom.

This is a Thursday - Saturday week so I am looking forward to seeing my kids tomorrow night!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Inspiration (Photo Contest)

An Island Life is having a photo contest entitled "What Inspires You?" This is my entry.

This picture of my daughter Rae was taken by me in July 2002 at the Columbus Zoo. You can see the wonder, amazement, and joy on Rae's face as she reaches out towards the penguin. My kids inspire me to work (to support them), to spend time with them, to coach them, and basically to do all that I can to help them learn and grow. Seeing a look like this on their faces makes it all worth it.

Two In A Row

We got included in another carnival. This one is the Carnival Of Ohio Bloggers hosted by Sadie's Take on Delaware Ohio. Thanks!

Monday, March 5, 2007


Thanks so much to Mike at Be A Good Dad for including my 100th Day post in the Carnival of Family Life!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Awana Grand Prix (Pinewood Derby)

This morning I took my kids to their Awana Grand Prix at their mom's church. We had to get up and be on the road by 8am.

I participated in 2 pinewood derbys as a cub scout but my cars were both slow and boring. I have no woodworking skills (or tools) so I really am not very helpful in this. Their mom had their brother Jim (her son from her 1st marriage) help them. So when they arrived on Friday night, their cars were put together and painted.

When we arrived, the man who checked us in advised Levi and Bess to add some weight to their cars. He offered some washers and screws and both kids wanted to so we added some weight to the top of Bess's car. Levi's car was too thin for the screw to go in all the way so we added his weight to the back.

We were ready to go!

Before the races there was a short presentation from Jeremy Grimm, a bicycle racer from Team GodSpeed. He quickly covered several topics including his relationship with God, the importance of eating right and exercising, his relationship with his family, and bicycle racing.

Now Rae's age group was up first. Rae's car had no extra weight but won it's first race. She lost her next race but it was double elimination so she was still alive. She won another before losing again to finish at 2-2 and earn a participation ribbon.

Levi's car was up next and the trouble began. His car was triangle shaped and painted yellow with black spots, it looked like a piece of cheese. The added weight in the back brought the front wheels up and his car jumped the track and crossed sideways in front of the car beside him. This happened twice and the judges gave the race to his opponent.

The old-timer who had suggested we add the weight quickly found us and suggested we race his car backwards so that the wheels stay down. We tried this for the 2nd race but now aerodynamics were against us and Levi's car lost a close race.

Meanwhile Bess raced unopposed in her first race and moved on, but lost in her next 2 races.

They gave 3 trophies in each division for speed and 3 more for design. But many of the top cars for speed also won for design, even though they were just very thin, with well-placed weights, and a shiny paint job. Rae's car had red, white & blue stripes. Bess's car had flames shooting up the sides. But Levi's cheese car was pretty creative. Still he was not judged in the top 3 in the design category.

Each child was awarded a ribbon for participation.

It was a fun morning, and then we had to hurry home for Gabe's 1st birthday party!

Thursday, March 1, 2007


A quick thank you to Dr. Homeslice for including me in this weeks Carnival of Education! Much appreciated!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Artist For A Day

Two weeks ago, when Levi and I went to the Cavs game, their mother took the girls to Artist For A Day. This is a place where you can make your own piece of pottery, paint it, and then they bake and glaze it for you. You have to pick up your crafts a few days later after they have been finished.

Well since their mother now lives 45 minutes in the opposite direction, she asked me if I would be able to pick up their crafts. I said that I would and planned to stop on Saturday on our way to Levi's soccer game.

I figured I would walk in, show my id, and pick up the stuff. But just in case, as we were driving, I asked Levi if he knew what the girls had made. He said they each made "a box" of some sort.

Well, I went in, and much to my surprise, there is no real claim system. The finished pottery is not organized by name or by date. You have to know what you are looking for, and I certainly did not.

I called Bess on the cell phone and asked her what she made. Bess said that she had made a pink heart box and Rae had made a horse box that was painted like a rainbow. I saw a few hearts but none of them had Bess's name on the bottom.

Next I asked how big they were, if they were the size of my hand, Bess's hand, or baby Gabe's hand. Bess quickly said they were as big as my hand. That helped and I found both crafts pretty quickly.

Both girls did a great job!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


We got alot of snow last week. So much that most of the schools were closed from Tuesday through Thursday. My kids were with their mother during that time.

When they arrived on Friday we had a busy weekend with basketball, dodgeball, soccer, church, and 2 birthday parties. The kids were off on Monday for Presidents Day so I decided to use a vacation day and take the family sledding.

Our town has a very nice sled hill which is also very popular. We went on Monday morning to try to get there before it got too crowded. There were already 20 or 30 other people there.

The hill had plenty of snow and there had been so many sledders using it that there were many grooves, paths, and dips carved into the snow. The most surprising thing was to see Rae (6) riding down the hill on a plastic snowboard and making it more than half way down before falling!

Everybody had fun and best of all it was free!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cavs 99, Lakers 90

My son Levi and I had a great day on Sunday. We had found out on Tuesday that we had won free Cavs tickets from Eric Snow and his Full Court Fathers program.

We both dressed in our wine and gold on Sunday and were up early and ready to go. After church we rode the RTA downtown. We had lunch (teriyaki chicken) at the food court in Tower City, and walked over to The Q.

About 2 hours before the game, we met Julani Ghana of Pro Sports Community Consultants. Julani was our host for the day. He works with Eric Snow and other pro athletes on community relations type projects, in this case, the Full Court Fathers program.

During the early warm-ups, we sat on the very edge of the court and watched the Cavs shoot. Initially, Sasha Pavlovic and Daniel Gibson were shooting. Later on they were joined by Shannon Brown, David Wesley, and Donyell Marshall.

We had brought a few basketball cards to get autographs. We were also given a gift book with a Cavs T-shirt, Cap, Autograph Book, Pen, Pencil, and Key Chain. Gibson and Brown, both rookies, each approached us as they were done shooting and signed autographs. Our host Julani noticed that Marshall was getting ready to leave the court so he took Levi over and got an autograph from him also.

Eric Snow came out and posed for pictures, chatted a little, and signed autographs. What a thrill for Levi and I.

About 15 minutes before the game started they moved us into some temporary seats off the court while the players came out for their layup lines. Shortly after that they moved us back onto the court, but to a different spot, to watch the players finish their warm-ups.

After that, we were taken to our seats, very nice corner seats about 20 rows up. We watched the game, which ended up being a great game. Lebron was off a little but Sasha Pavlovic had a great game. Z scored a bunch and Eric Snow played well while he was in, including a steal and basket that seemed to come at a critical point in the game when the Lakers were gaining momentum. Kobe scored 36 and seemed to hardly miss a shot. The final score was Cavs 99, Lakers 90.

What a great day and I have to say thanks again to the Cavs, Julani Ghana, and especially Eric Snow!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Free Cavs Tickets!

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Eric Snow has a program called Full Court Fathers where you can fill out an application about your relationship with your child. Throughout the year they pick a few and give them free tickets to a game, plus a chance to go on the court before the game for pictures, autographs, etc.

Last night just got the news via email that my son Levi I got selected to go to this Sunday's game against the Lakers! We are both very excited.

It was a day he would have been with his mom so I had to ask her first. But when I called, he got on the phone and, before he had any idea about the game, told me he got some new basketball cards. He got Lebron and Wade, but his favorite was a card of Kobe on the West All-Star team.

Obviously his mom agreed to let Levi stay an extra night with me and attend the game.

This is really great for us because, as in most divorced households, money is tight. We went to a game earlier in the year against the Atlanta Hawks. We had fun but the seats were pretty high up, and it still cost $80 for 4 tickets. These free tickets will allow us to go down on the court before the game for pictures and autographs with the players.

This will be a day neither of us will forget for a long time! Thanks to the Cavs and Eric Snow for this opportunity.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

100th Day School Projects

Helping my kids with their schoolwork is a great way for me to stay involved with their lives. Helping with nightly homework may be tedious and unmemorable, but working with them on a school project is usually a positive experience for each of us and creates more of a lasting memory. How many of you remember your science fair projects from elementary or junior high school? I do!

A trend recently has been for kids to do projects for school that celebrate their 100th day of school. This is happening in the early years, usually kindergarten or first grade. With a little creativity, this has been something fun that my kids and I have done together.

When Bess did her 100th day project a few years ago, she wanted to bake cookies. So together we mixed up several batches of chocolate chip cookies. Bess helped me mix the dough, place the dough on the pan, and even helped to transfer the baked cookies off the cookie tray to cool. This project took a couple hours and was definitely a fun time.

Last weekend, I found out that Rae had a project due for her 100th day of kindergarten. I asked her what she wanted to do and she wanted to do cookies (like her sister). Well we without any warning we didn't quite have the time or the ingredients to make that many cookies, so I suggested Jello Beans. Rae was quick to agree.

Each tray holds about 80 so we had to make 2 trays (red and yellow) and we had some left over for our family. Rae helped me stir the jello, she helped me pour it into the mold, and she counted out 100 beans when we were done.

When I first got divorced, I wasn't much of a cook. I'm still not, but I have learned how to prepare a few things that the kids really enjoy. Jello is pretty easy to make and is always a hit with the kids. Especially using any one of the numerous molds available.

What others do will depend on the age and interests of their children, but for us this was much more fun than counting 100 pennies, 100 buttons, or 100 cheerios.

Getting involved with school projects is a great way for me to bond with my kids and let them know that I care about them, and also that their schoolwork is important. I highly recommend it!

Monday, January 29, 2007


Hello. The subject of this blog is me (Kevin) and my 3 kids (Levi, Bess, & Rae) from my first marriage.

We've been separated / divorced since 2001 when Levi was 4, Bess was 3, and Rae was an infant. Now, 5 1/2 years later, Levi is almost 10, Bess will be 9, and Rae just turned 6. I am remarried and we have a new blended family, but that is a blog of its own.

This writing will describe our experiences and what I have learned, and hopefully will make it easier for some of you to improve the limited time you spend with your kids in the unfortunate case of divorce.

Obviously I have 5 + years of experiences, as well as ongoing experiences, but I will try to mix the current with the past in a way that is not too difficult to follow.