Disconnect and plug-in

Does that even make sense?  Stay with me and you’ll understand.  How often do I find myself looking atmy  phone between the hours 5pm and bedtime.  More than I want to admit.  So how do we change that habit.  Well, it will take a conscious effort and a plan.  Here is my plan…   

 When I walk in the door, Im going to plug in my phone in my bedroom.  Typically this is the area in the house I spend the least amount of time after I get home.  So what is the benefit of this Disconnect from my phone?  Well to piggy back again on a prevoious blog, preparing for time with my family, is one thing we all fail to do.  At work, we plan to be successful, we schedule meetings, send deliberate emails about specific events or projects.  Same thing at home.  Plan to spend at least 10 minutes with each child before bed and ask open ended questions.  It will be awkward at first, but over time it will become normal.  There was a time in my life that I would take one day each month and one of my daughters and I would go and do something fun where we could talk.  I used the day of their birth to mark these days.  This is someting I read about on Tony Dungys allprodad site.  So for example, my oldest daughter was bon on the 10th of Oct.  So on the 10th of every month, we would go get ice cream, or starburcks.  Nothing elaborate, but meaningful.  But, because I havent made that a priority, that has fallen by the wayside.  My challenge to myself is to bring that habit back.  If your kids are old enough to be home alone, you can add your wife to the mix.  But regardless of how you schedule, make it something you plan.  Put it on the calendar.  Send a calander reminder to you kids.  Discounecting from our phone / tablet will help us plugin with our family.  

Try it for a week and leave me a comment on the impact it has on your family.

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How to Shift your Perspective

This ties into the patience blog.  Do I ever walk in the door after work with an attitude that matches the crappy day I’ve had?  YES!  Probably more often than I would like to admit.  
Clothes on the floor- Be thankful we have clothes to wear

Dishes on the counter and in the sink- Be thankful we have food to eat.

House is a mess-  Be thankful My wife and I can work, and we have a roof over our heads and we are safe at night.

Kids are running wild- Be thankful I have 3 beautiful daughters with seperate personalities and energy to run and play.

My wife doesnt understand- I Should be thinking…How can I take care of her first, so you have more energy and time.

Perspective is really just how we look at things.  We’ve all heard this:

  

Remember, The things you complain about, someone is praying for those things to come into their life.

So, how do we change it.  

1. Use the drive home to de-compress.  Listen to a positive podcast like The Art of Manliness, Order of Man, or the Good Dad Project.  

2. Listen to some music that will help you sifft out of that stress zone.

3. Walk in the door with a happy, smiling, positive attitude.  Give highfives, fistbumps, hugs and kisses.  Try this, if you your kids are still small, grab one of them, throw them over your shoulder and spin them around.  They will laugh, and you cant help but smile.

4. Bring flowers to your wife for no reason.  Yes, giving is better than receiving and doing nice things for others makes us feel better too.
Understand that I write these words because it is my challange to myself.  These are things that I need to work on.  I know about being a dad with responsibility, kids, a wife, a job and I know that I try to do my best, but I often fail.  The good news is :

I dont have to strive for perfection, but I do have to strive for Improvement.

  

DIY Patience

So if your like me, you love DIY projects.  We research, plan and prepare as we design and build .  But do we do that when it comes to being a good dad and having patience. I would say that paitence is one of the biggest things all men sturggle with.  I am 100% responsible for how I react.  It is a choice.  How do I make a better choice?  

So here are a few points to consider:

-Talking with or talking to:  Do I talk with or talk to my kids.  probably more to vs with.

-Plan for patience- We plan our work schedule but do I have a plan for when things get chaotic at my house?

-Plan to walk in the door not thinking about the stress of the day.

-No instruction manual for being a dad.  Unfortunately, there is no instruction manual on being a dad.  So how do we grow and imporve?  Find a group of guys that you can bond with and talk about these issues.  

-gooddadproject.com

– Allprodad.com

-Every response we give impacts our kids and marriage.

  
How do we get it?  Consider the 3 P’s for patience.

1. Prayer

2. Practice

3. Planning

Man vs. Male and @artofmanliness

Call it what you want, Hunter Gather vs. Grocery Getter, but as the world changes there is always a desire to rekindle the manliness within.  As a #threedaughterdad, my world is often filled with all things girls.  I love it and wouldnt trade it for anything in the world, but sometimes you just want to sleep in a tent and wake up in the woods, or go fishing, hunting, Kayaking etc. Not saying that these are strictly “manly” activities, but it is something for me that is relaxing.  Recently I have been listening to some of the podcast from @artofmanliness and @orderofman and have found that there is an inate desire within men to step beyond being a male and really feel like a man.  So what does that mean:
-Do we have to have a beard and hunt? (I do both), but this is not the criteria.  Its more about finding things that make you use the instinct you have within you to help you build the confidence, and develop an attitude to live a life that feel fulfilled.
Ive recently read a series of books by Gary Paulsen about the “adventure” taken by one kid/man and it really makes me yearn to spend time outdoors.  In the woods, on the water…. but outdoors.  So as I start to blog about this idea of Manhood, I must say that I am not the prefect man.  But I do try to be a good Christian, husband father, provider, friend, Church memnber and hunter-gatherer.  

As we explore this idea of Hunther-gatherer, I think it is important to look at the definition of Hunter-Gatherer.  

Hunter-Gatherer:

A hunter-gatherer or forager society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals.

So as our society becomes more technologially based, we seem to be so far from Hunter-Gatherer societies.  But,  in our own way we do still hunt and gather.  If you are like me and have a desire to fulfill the manly heritage of those before you, a good place to start:

 The Art of Manliness.  Available on Amazon

Also, check out the Art of Manliness Blog
 

Hatchet

 
If you haven’t read any Gary Paulsen books, your missing some adventurous reading. I just completed the 5 book series starting with Hatchet.  I read them on the Kindle app on my ipad, but also know that the local lobrary has them.  I was so intriqued with this because not only does it paint a beautiful picture of nature, but also because it is a great resource for learning about survival.  It is a quick read and the series contains 5 books.  Here is the complete list of books in the series:

Hatchet

The River

Brians Winter

Brians Return

Brians Hunt 

Hunter Gatherer or Hunter

I have just started reading The One-Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards @behaviorgap and found a few statements early on in the book that are intriquing.  Part of being a man is providing for your family.  But as you look at the title of this blog and the facts stated in Carls book, it could be that most of us are just Hunters.  I look at the term Gatherer and think of that as savings.  I think we all strike out everyday with our best weapons attached to our belt (smartphone, keys, and EDC items) with the intent of bringing something home.  I think most of us are successfull at bringing it home, but when we get it back to the cave, there is none left to Gather or save.  

Irrational decisions and bad calls about money aren’t “failures”; they’re just what happens when emotional creatures have to make decisions about the future with limited information. (The One-Page Financial Plan)

I recently heard a Carl Richards podcast interview on @artofmaliness and he discussed the current way we try to plan for retirement.  We meet with a financial planner and fill out pages and pages of questions.  These questions or guesses really have nothing to do with what our plan is.  One of the questions on the financial plan questionaire is “year of death?”.  REALLY, we are supposed to guess our mortality.  He set out to simplify this process because he was part of the financial planning world and realized that people didnt have time to truly understand the financial planning world.  Not that we arent smart enough, but we just dont have time to research it because, well, LIFE.  

Second Statement that drives home the need to add some more Hunting area to my daily routine:

When all households are included—not just households with retirement accounts—the median retirement account balance is $3,000 for all working-age households and $12,000 for near-retirement households.

WOW!  What do I mean by adding hunting area?  Well its the difference between being a producer and a consumer.  We have to produce more.  How do we do that?  We dont have time?  We do have time.  There is an old statment that says “The Calander and the check book never lie.”  Where or what do you spend your time.  Are there some things you could eliminate or scale back on that would give you more time to “Hunt” elsewhere?  

I’m just a one chapter in and it already has me thinking what can I do different.  On the same podcast interview Richards said, “if i was going to design a bad investor, it would be a human”.  As you start to evaluate, dont be hard on yourself.  Look at everything objectively,  know that you will make mistakes and dont beat yourself up over things that havent gone right.  If it doesnt work, do something different. Just do something. 

Click here to download a sample on the kindle app.  

   

Silly boys, Marshmallow Shooters are for girls! (& dads)

So my middle daughter of the threedaughterdad crew and I spent some time creating some diy stuff over the weekend. I made a 1/2 blowgun recently (perfect size for mini marshmallows) and she wanted her own. So after a quick trip to the hardware store and about 5 dollars in pvc we had what we needed to get started.  

Supply list:

-2′ piece if 1/2″ pvc

-T connector

-End cap

 
Next, cut 4″ off the 2′ section

  
Then cut the remaining 20″ piece in half. 

  
Lay all the pieces out. 

  
Put together with a gentle tap. We used a rubber mallet. 

  

After all the pieces are assembled, you end up with this

  
She used some duct tape from some of her previous crafts (nothing like pink and camo color scheme) and wrapped it up to look like this…

   Here is a video of the marshmallow shooter in action (with slow motion for maximum effect).  

 Nothing like a family marshmallow war to bring out the kid in all of us. 

How is it possible that I do more “homework” now than when I was in school?

With the school year ending, I look back at the year and think about how having a daughter in high school and one in middle school, and ask, how is it possible that I do way more homework than I ever did while I was in school. Maybe because I push my kids to apply themselves more than I did or maybe it’s because education has changed. Either way I thought after college I was done with homework. Guess not…..And with my third daughter being 4, it looks like I have a lot of homework left. 

Finding time for…. time!

As I said in my body beast review, as a Threedaughterdad, I have to be selfish with my time at 5:30 am. If I want to find time to workout, this is when I have to do it. Along with that, is finding time for another important part of being a good husband and dad. Spending time in Gods word. For me, this is a challange. But I know the importance of it.  Just like being physically fit, I need to be spiritually fit.  Just like having the right equipment for working out, I have with me at all times the “right equipment” to spend time becoming spiritually fit. My iPhone…  I use the YouVersion Bible app. What makes it so easy is that it has tons of versions of the bible.  Personally I like the New Living Translation (NLT) because it is a modern translation. The Message version is a good one as well for the same reason. The other key for me is the daily devotional or reading plans. There are so many topics to choose from and I can set up daily reminders or email delivery of my chosen topic. I just started “7 Keys to a Great Family” today.   Why is making time for a daily Devo so hard?  I guess it is a choice. We tend to put our priorities in the wrong order all the time. But the fact is, where we place our focus, our lives follow. 

Threedaughterdad