Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Always a great family holiday.  Everyone got to sleep late today.  I was feeling a bit under the weather.  Demi is coming off a cold.  I decided to skip the annually early AM alumni Bloody Mary mixer.  I also decided on skipping the game.  I know.  Crazy right?  But I needed the rest.  I would have slept until noon, if I hadn't forced myself out of bed.  Caz too.
     Demi made her famous stuffing.  Coco was the sous chef.  He did a really great job.  I made 4 loaves of banana bread on the side.  I did not want to get in the way of the major cooking.  It all worked well.  We were a well oiled machine.
     I spent some time with Coco.  We played Madden 25.  Nothing like a little football on Thanksgiving.  I will need to play some COD with Caz.  That's Call of Duty for those not in the know.  So no, we are not playing something fish related.
     Looking forward to going over to my brother's later.  This is what the boys will remember.  Getting together with extended family and making memories.  They will play with their cousins.  They will eat until they can't move.  It will shape their holidays in the future.  I hope for the better.
     Hope you all have a great holiday.  And to those in our military, thank you.  Hope you get home to your families soon, safe & sound.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Father Bill's Table

The family volunteered at Father Bill's table.  It was a soup kitchen, run out of a small church in Brockton.  Demi and I had been talking about how the kids need to ramp up the volunteering and doing charity work.  Demi had taken the boys to this last year.  So we loaded up the boys, plus 3 of Caz's friends to go give back.
     It was a great experience.  The folks from the church in Duxbury that was organizing the effort this week, was very appreciative of having some non-church folk.  The boys really did a great job.  They were well mannered, well behaved, and well motivated.  They worked hard.
     The folks we were serving came in all ages, sizes, and races.  Duxbury doesn't have much in the way of diversity.  This was really important for the boys to see.  Of course, it was heart breaking to see small children there.  But the boys needed to see that too.
     Demi and I are very proud of all of them.  And it's not a one and done.  The boys know that too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Health Class

See if you can follow the logical progression:
     We sat down for family dinner time.  I asked my normal questions of the boys.  "How was your day?"  "What did you do in school today?"  Coco proceeds to tell us how they had a project in class.  It was all about the benefits of science.  Lab partners were teamed up.  One of his football teammates decided to name their team "Friends with Benefits."  Demi almost spit out her food.  I almost choked I was laughing so hard.  Demi asked Coco if he knew what the phrase meant.  As Coco declared that, in fact, he did not, Caz was sinking into his chair and trying to hide an ear to ear grin behind a napkin.
     After commenting on Caz's poker face, Demi asked him, "don't you start sex ed soon?"
     Caz wanted to crawl into a bag.  He wanted to be anywhere but in the vicinity to have to answer that question.
     "Yeah, right before Christmas break"
     "Merry Christmas", I responded.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Salute to Service

November is now Movember.  But it also the start of the NFL's Salute to Service to honor the service men and women of the US Armed Services.  I really like that campaign.  It's long over due.
     I saw an older gentleman at the gym this morning.  He wore a t-shirt dedicated to Pearl Harbor.  It got me thinking.  Do most Americans still give a thought to Pearl Harbor Day?  I was born the day after, so I always have it in mind this time of year.  But for the generations born after, what does Pearl Harbor Day mean?  We have our 9/11.  We promised to Always Remember.  But will we?  What will generations to come think about 9/11?
     There are some really cool tributes going on.  The Cardinals are all wearing a #40 sticker on their helmets.  The ASU marching band formed a lot of military shapes before moving to a PT42.  The Bruins had a great honor guard present the colors, with a young service woman singing the national anthem.  They recognized service men and women all game long.  They had personnel stationed overseas send in pictures via Twitter, then posted them on the Jumbotron.  I hope these campaigns help keep the importance of these people and what they do, at the forefront of people's consciousness.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Report Cards

This year is the first for no hard copy report cards.  Long in the past are the days where students bring a piece of paper home for the parents to sign.  It's all on-line.  That is a good news, bad news scenario.  Sure, its green and environment friendly.  Sure, it's immediate access.  But the school portal stinks.  It is set up very poorly.  The ascetics aside (which are horrible), it's just not user friendly.  It times out a lot.  The screen and click flow are horrid.  I know we spent a bundle on it.  We got ripped off.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thor: Dark World

I will give it 4 Chinnies overall.
     The whole family attended this one and walked away smiling.  I would highly recommend spending the extra $ to see this in 3D and on the RPX screen.  This was a great action flick for that.  Great special effects.  Good plot.  Marvel wins again.
     Demi was enthralled with Thor.  A smart Natalie Portman was there for yours truly.  The kids got to see things blow up.  Something for everyone.
     No spoilers but there were some good cameos too.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Start of the Offseason

And so it begins.  Today marked the end of the football season.  We played our arch nemesis, Hanover.  Again.  Two times in one season.  Yes.  We lost.  Again.  But the boys played tough.  We kept it close.  It was a hard hitting, physical game.  This was not a game for the meek.  Coco was tough.  He played though a bad cold.  He was stuffy and miserable.  But he played through it.  I was proud of him.
     I was proud of all of them.  All my boys played well.  It was a long and trying season.  We faced a lot of challenges as a team.  Most of them were not on the gridiron, either.  Sure, more wins would have been nice.  For them.  For the kids, they are now old enough to start using wins as a measure of success.  I still use more in my definition of success.  The boys got better, all season long.  And they had fun.  They formed a team.  I call that a success.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Family Time

Today was a great family day.  I got up early to get some yard work done.  Sure, I could have slept in.  But I wanted to have it all.  I wanted to get my yard work done and spend time with the family.  Caz had a state XC meet in Wrentham.  I had been probing him for the last two days, trying to figure out if he wanted Mom and Dad going to his meets and cheering for him in the stands.  It took me a while to crack is guard.  He put up a good layer of indifference.  But I finally got through and could tell that he appreciated the support.
     So Demi and I loaded Gizmo into the car and made the trek to Wrentham.  Sure, it took longer to drive there than it did for him to run the course.  But it was worth it.  He put in a really great effort.  It was also nice to see him with his team.  They are a good bunch of kids.  Seeing them interact is priceless.
     When I got home, I cooked up some dinner for later, during the game.  Coco was in the den, so I could watch college football with him and cook at the same time.  He had been home sick the past few days.  He must have watched 12 hours of college football today, all told.  As soon as I walked through the door, I got a full recap on the games I had missed.  He was really into it.  I think I have created a monster....Good for me....