Tag Archives: Halloween

Fun with Fatherhood

I had a great weekend with my kids.

It wasn’t anything ‘special’ in the sense that it didn’t involve grandiose plans or major events. We weren’t on vacation, we didn’t really have anywhere to be…but it was a lot of fun.

Simple weekends like this one remind me of how blessed I am to be a Dad and how much of a privilege it is to get to raise children.

We started off Friday evening with an exciting three-pronged shopping/errand run to the video store, the hardware store, and the grocery store. Not exactly riveting on the surface, but finding joy in the seemingly mundane routines of life is always nice.

I hadn’t been to a video store in a long time. I forgot how much fun it is to just browse around and see what’s there. I let the kids make one selection each, and I found a movie of my own. My oldest son picked Puss in Boots and my youngest son went with a video game.

We stopped at a playground near the grocery store and I chased them around for a while, before realizing 1) that I am out of shape and was out of breath and 2) that it was getting cold and dark outside.

The rest of the evening consisted of pizza and a movie. Logan was asleep within the first five minutes of it but my oldest son and I watched the whole thing. I enjoyed it. I think he did too.

Saturday started with a visit to a neighborhood garage sale. The boys walked away with a board game, a book, and two Halloween drink cups…with the total expenditure being less than three dollars. Can’t beat that. They like going to garage sales. The buying power for them is incredible at those things! 🙂

Swim lessons were next. After that, we headed to the library. An hour or so there led to us walking out with nine (mostly kids) books in our (see: my) arms. They raided the shelves!

From there it was off to our favorite spot in Peoria, thirty-thirty Coffee Co. We toasted to a good weekend together and took a look at our books for a bit. I think the boys feel sophisticated or something when they’re in there. Whatever it is, they always ask if we can go. I love the place anyway, so it’s a frequent stop for us.

The afternoon took us to a nearby park where we played an impromptu game of baseball using a grill as home plate, a picnic table as first base, and two trees as second and third bases. The boys beat me, courtesy of a big rally in the final inning. (I tried to help them out by making myself swing left-handed and only getting one out per inning.) Good times, and the dimensions of the ‘field’ were perfect! We’ll be back for sure.

I made them a healthier dinner that evening, which they devoured. (Swimming and playing baseball will burn a few calories.) Grilled chicken, vegetables, grapes, and whole wheat pasta.

The boys made forts to sleep in and after a second showing of Puss in Boots, which Logan again failed to come close to making it through, it was time to call it a night.

We got up early Sunday morning and went to the first service at church. It’s always hit or miss on making it to the 9 a.m. service, but we managed to pull it off this time. It was a great message this week and the kids enjoyed their youth service as well.

I treated the boys to lunch at a restaurant and we spent the rest of the afternoon at home relaxing and having fun.

Oh, I almost forgot our attempt to make brownies which failed miserably! The part in the middle as shown in the photo was the only part that was salvageable. I’m surprised the smoke alarm didn’t go off. Ah well. They didn’t seem to mind.

I’ll take them to school this morning and then the rest of the week will begin. It’s always bittersweet to see them go. As any parent can testify, it’s sad seeing them wave goodbye. But, it’s also wonderful to be able to see them off in the morning.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a father. I’m far from perfect at it but I really enjoy this part of my life. It’s not always glamorous and it can be hard work being a parent, but it’s so gratifying to be able to share in the lives of my children and to be able to watch them grow up.

Big smile here 🙂

Have a great day everyone.

Another Halloween is in the books…

…and the candy industry is alive and well! Seriously, if anyone knows the amount of candy given out nationwide on Halloween I’d like to know what that is. Man, the dentists have to love November checkups. Talk about hitting the jackpot.

It really is amazing to me how much candy kids get (and then subsequently eat) every year for Halloween. I remember getting home and then immediately dumping out the entire night’s contents on the living room floor with my sister when I was a kid. Of course then there was the obligatory ‘Mine are better’ taunting that would ensue. Plus, some wheeling and dealing between us to secure what we felt was the very best candy that the neighborhood had to offer that night. We hit it hard. We ate a lot of candy. Really I’m just glad to still have teeth after all of that.

Which brings me to the present day and my children. They scored big time this week. First, my youngest son brought home bags (yes that was the plural form of ‘bag’) of candy from school. Then they pulled in the out of town loot from Grandma & Grandpa, who were kind enough to spend some time with us here this weekend. Then they went for Round 3 at the outdoor mall, where the store employees stood at their respective doorways handing out even more of the sweet stuff. Finally the main event tonight where they picked up the actual Trick or Treat haul – for good measure really, at that point. But it was candy, so therefore it was by nature, good.

Here’s a look at the goofballs, doing their thing this afternoon:

I had the opportunity to do something really cool this evening. I mentioned it a few days ago. Riverside Community Church hosted its annual ‘Fear Factors’ event at Dream Center Peoria. Picture an entire gymnasium filled with games, face painting, balloons…just a smörgåsbord of fun stuff for kids. Oh, and candy too. The goal was to collect 1,000 pounds of it to pass out to all of the kids attending the event. Half a ton! Anyway I got to run one of the games…and I had to smile when I found out my assignment 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, I cannot stand flying. Least favorite thing it the world to do. Only fitting that my game was ‘Plane-o-Phobia’ 😉 Had a blast with it – fear of flying and irony aside. Seeing kids smile has to be right up there on the list of things that are great in life. Last year approximately 1,000 kids came through. It’s safe to say that happened again. Amazing. So very cool. I can’t express how awesome it is to see kids happy. After having my two, I’ve never looked at the world the same way. Kids rock. So cool to have been able to be a part of tonight’s event. God is good!

Halloween Fun!

Here’s where I’ll be Halloween night:

http://www.riversidepeoria.com/calendar/details.asp?ID=22775

Peoria people: Come on out to the Dream Center with your kids and enjoy a fun-filled evening with games, TONS of candy, and a positive message for your family afterwards 🙂 Should be a great time.