Saturday, July 12, 2014

Southern Living: Lessons From a Decade Ago Part 1

It's taken a decade, but I've finally made it back to the south! With our family's recent move from Ohio to Virginia, we're experiencing life deep-fried again, and I'm remembering some lessons from my Southern past that can enrich a Westerner, Easterner, or Southerner alike.

1. Hills
The South is chock full of 'em.  Which makes everything more exciting: biking, jogging, walking.  I have a love-hate relationship with hills.  Going up I hate 'em.  Coming down I love 'em.  On the uphills I try to remember some good advice my friend and running buddy, Jenni (Holmes) Hirschi in Tennessee would tell me.  When you're going up a hill, just look down at the ground and keep moving.  Don't fix your eyes on top of the hill..  Just keep looking down and keep moving, and you'll make it.  Then you can enjoy the view from the top.  Jenni even had some little song we'd sing on the way up a hill, but since it's been ten years, I can't remember it now.

Scott and Eric putting the just-look-down-and-keep-going in to action. 
Guess you can get so caught up in that, you don't realize your pants are falling down!

The South ain't the only thing full of hills.  Life is too.  In church lingo you might hear them called trials, tribulations, challenges.  In practical terms I might call it the moment my baby is crying to be held, my 3 year-old is streaking poop across the floor as he tries to potty himself, and my oldest two are fighting over ninja toys.  That's the moment that I'm biking uphill and it ain't easy.  But do I throw down the bike and scream at the hill "How can you be so inconsiderate! I'm just trying to bike here, and you're making it so difficult!"  Hopefully not.  And hopefully I don't throw down the baby and scream at the kids, "How can you be so inconsiderate! I'm trying to mother here, and you're making it so difficult!"

Because it isn't until you've made it up the hill, that you get the splendid view from the top.
View from the top of a 2 mile uphill hike

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Man Toy Project Ideas

I just came across a great website called  The site is run by three Dads, who have created 61 (and counting) do-at-home Man Toy projects.  Things like mini crossbows, binder clip catapults, golf ball tops, paper airplane launchers.  You get the idea.  Best of all, these projects are made from inexpensive things you probably have around the house already!

The most basic projects - SimpleSonic projects - are free.  To get plans for the others, you need a paid subscription ($3.99 for a single project of $24.99 for a year of use), but at the very least, you can get some great ideas from some very creative Dads!

(These pictures are taken directly from - check them out for a whole lot more!)

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