Dear Jack: Getting Ready For Your First Soccer Game

4 years, 4 months.

Hello Nick!  We had lots of fun this week outside!  Jack and his friends went on a pirate adventure around the playground. He rowed his boat over to skull rock island, climbed through his way through Vine snake jungle, then snuck up on the sleeping dragon to steal the magical fire rubies! (His face running away from the dragon was priceless!)     Today we had a lot of different activities!  He worked with friends to fold pieces of paper and build a tower. He was extremely proud of himself he built it up so high!     His latest craze, is to write his name with “scary letters” They’re beyond amazing! He has such an artistic talent!     And last but not least (We were busy today weren’t we!) we flew kites!  We took out our parrot kite this morning. He asked to hold the kite and he tried to hold on very tight. Ultimately, the wind was a bit too strong and took the kite across the playground, across the street, and into the corn field! Thankfully Ms. Lara came to the rescue and retrieved our kite!  This afternoon, everyone wanted to make their own kites and flew them outside!     We had an absolute blast!

Dear Jack,

This Monday you had your first soccer practice… and this weekend you will have your very first soccer game! Pretty exciting stuff these days.

We bought you a soccer ball and have been practicing in the driveway. From these pictures your teacher sent me, it looks like you’re getting some good practice there as well.

Dear Jack: Getting Ready For Your First Soccer Game

Here’s what your teacher had to say about what you’ve been doing at school this week:

We had lots of fun this week outside!

Jack and his friends went on a pirate adventure around the playground. He rowed his boat over to Skull Rock Island, climbed through his way through Vine Snake Jungle, then snuck up on the sleeping dragon to steal the magical fire rubies! (His face running away from the dragon was priceless!)

Today we had a lot of different activities!

He worked with friends to fold pieces of paper and build a tower. He was extremely proud of himself he built it up so high!

His latest craze, is to write his name with “scary letters” They’re beyond amazing! He has such an artistic talent!

And last but not least (We were busy today weren’t we!) we flew kites!

We took out our parrot kite this morning. He asked to hold the kite and he tried to hold on very tight. Ultimately, the wind was a bit too strong and took the kite across the playground, across the street, and into the corn field! Thankfully Ms. Lara came to the rescue and retrieved our kite!

This afternoon, everyone wanted to make their own kites and flew them outside!

We had an absolute blast!

When I read this kind of stuff about you, it makes me so proud. I love your creativity. You are a bright young boy and I’m so glad your mine.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Getting Ready For Your First Soccer Game

Dear Jack: Snakey Goes To Church/Proposal To Get A Pet Vulture

4 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: Snakey Goes To Church/Proposal To Get A Pet Vulture

Dear Jack,

I would like to believe that at our church, everyone is welcome. That definitely was the case last Sunday when you brought Snakey to church.

You kept him in a blue bag you had received from having your 4th birthday party at Bricks 4 Kidz. Mommy carried you… and you carried Snakey.

I caught several people cracking smiles as they saw you in the hall with Snakey. It’s just not what most people were expecting at 8:00 AM on Sunday morning.

Dear Jack: Snakey Goes To Church/Proposal To Get A Pet Vulture

Everyone was pleasantly surprised to see your new reptile friend, as snakes typically don’t make an appearance at our church.

What made it great was how proud you were to introduce Snakey to everyone as we made our way through our shopping mall-sized church.

Dear Jack: Snakey Goes To Church/Proposal To Get A Pet Vulture

Of course, Snakey had to stay up on the shelf during the School School lesson, during which you made a craft about a camel passing through the eye of a needle.

As much as you love Snakey, you told Mommy in the car ride home from church that you wouldn’t want a real snake for a pet.

However, you offered up a reasonable alternative…

Dear Jack: Snakey Goes To Church/Proposal To Get A Pet Vulture

“Mommy, I could get a pet vulture. But we would have to let him out of the house during the day so he could fly around to find his own food.”

Ultimately, the only concern with keeping a vulture for a pet is apparently feeding it. But you also stated you wouldn’t want to keep your pet vulture in your room.

This might be a bit problematic if we are to consider getting you a pet vulture.

I think Snakey is a better pet though. You already explained to us that Snakey is a vegetarian snake. That makes him a lot easier to feed and a lot less trouble than a vulture you have to let out every day.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Our Visit To Repticon 2015 in Franklin, TN

4 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: Our Visit To Repticon 2015 in Franklin, TN

Dear Jack,

Thanks to your teacher Ms. Aimee, you have a new found appreciation for reptiles and amphibians. She mentioned that the Repticon (a reptile convention) was coming to the Nashville area, so Mommy bought us tickets on Groupon.

So that’s where we were last Saturday morning. There were obviously all kinds of creepy crawlers to see there. You even got to pet an albino python!

Dear Jack: Our Visit To Repticon 2015 in Franklin, TN

Thanks to all 4 of your class pets at school, you weren’t afraid of any of the animals there… even if maybe you should have been!

But without a doubt, your favorite part of the Repticon was getting to buy your new friend, Snakey.

I had made you a deal earlier in the week that if you agreed to let me cut your hair that I would give you a $5 credit towards a toy at Repticon; as it would have cost nearly $15 for someone else to cut your hair.

Dear Jack: Our Visit To Repticon 2015 in Franklin, TN

You agreed. You matched that credit with $5 that already had and the rest is history.

By now, you have a pretty eclectic collection of stuffed animals. Snakey, the red snake, is definitely on the more bizarre end of the line-up; right up there with your anteater you got for Christmas.

Since last weekend, you have been asking Snakey questions throughout the day, waiting for Mommy to answer you (as Snakey) in a falsetto voice.

Dear Jack: Our Visit To Repticon 2015 in Franklin, TN

Snakey gets to sleep in your bed with you every night and is one of the few animals you have taken to school, back to back days.

I realize that one day you’ll grow out of this stage where your stuffed animals are your favorite toys and your best friends.

But for now, it’s actually a lot of fun for our family to live in the moment together… with Snakey and all his friends.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Our Visit To Repticon 2015 in Franklin, TN

Dear Jack: Our Visit To Repticon 2015 in Franklin, TN

Family Friendly Review of IMAX Island of Lemurs Madagascar

Family Friendly Review of IMAX Island of Lemurs Madagascar

I love being on the Warner Bros. distribution list for upcoming children’s movies, which I suppose I landed on because of my apparently good SEO here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog.

(Other features of as theirs I have covered include The Lego Movie, Dolphin Tale 2, and Sesame Street: The Best of Elmo 3.)

So I jumped like a lemur at the chance to review the Blu-Ray Combo Pack of IMAX Island of Lemurs Madagascar, which includes the Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital version of the movie in Digital HD with UltraViolet. This is the first time I’ve had the chance to review an IMAX feature.

I love IMAX! When I think of IMAX, I always know it’s going to be about something compelling and larger than life.

(Back in 2nd grade, in 1988, I remember my Cub Scout troop saw an IMAX movie about space shuttles. I remember how I began coughing as I truly believed the heavy smoke from the launch was blowing through the screen.)

This wildlife documentary (which is narrated by Morgan Freeman) takes place in the island country of Madagascar, which I didn’t realize until I watched it that it’s the only place in the world where lemurs exist. That is because no lemur has ever survived in captivity off the island of Madagascar.

Family Friendly Review of IMAX Island of Lemurs Madagascar

Actually, my family learned a lot of interesting things about lemurs. For example, it’s the females that are in charge, which is not what Iwould expect for primates.

There are many types of lemurs; the smallest kind being the pygmy mouse lemur, which is the smallest primate in the world. However, up until a couple of hundred years ago, there was a type of lemur the size of a guerilla, but it was hunted to extinction.

I imagine it would be difficult for a person not to be equally entertained and fascinated with this film, as my family certain was.

The Blu-Ray and Digital HD includes a bonus 3D version; as well as Making of Island of Lemurs: Behind the Scenes, The Cutest Lemur, and Go-Kart Racers.

This Blu-Ray Combo Pack of IMAX Island of Lemurs Madagascar will arrive on March 31st, 2015.

I really enjoyed sitting down with my family to watch it. I know my son did as well- it kept him from having to take his Saturday afternoon nap!

A “Religiously Neutral” Easter Toy Drive

A “Religiously Neutral” Easter Toy Drive

This morning, I invite you to laugh with me today regarding the uber politically correctness of the advertisements I recently discovered for a toy drive. (I have purposely censored the name of the organizations involved and their logos.)

The concept is simple, according to the flyers:

“Bring the toy, game, or other item to one of our drop-off locations… Donations will go directly to patients of families at [organization] and used to create Easter baskets for the kids.”

That is the only time in the two flyers which make up the advertisement where it mentions Easter by name, but it is very clear in the phrasing that the idea is to make “Easter baskets”.

On the next page of the advertisements, there are a few specific instructions, including this one:

“All donations must be politically and religiously neutral.”

A “Religiously Neutral” Easter Toy Drive

So it’s a “toy drive” in which people donate toys to make “Easter baskets” from a “religiously neutral” perspective.

Confused? I think I am…

It appears as if the people behind the toy drive are using a tradition from an explicitly religious holiday, acknowledging the word Easter (which refers to resurrection of Jesus Christ, one of the most equally popular and yet debated events in the history of the world) but are asking people to deny any reference of the event.

I get it that most Christian holidays ultimately become commercialized. However, I’m not too worried about it as long as it ultimately leads to conversations about why those days are celebrated in the first place.

But this, this is just laughable because it very awkwardly attempts to be… safe.

Granted, I’m participating in this “religiously neutral” Easter toy drive. I donated a gift for the cause; despite the clumsy phrasing on the flyers.

After all, it’s the Christian thing to do.

Dear Jack: Your New Pet Spider At School

4 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: Your New Pet Spider at School

Dear Jack,

When Mommy and I got married nearly 7 years ago, I quickly learned that one of my roles was to kill the spiders in our home.

Of course, I knew it’s not wise to kill every spider. After all, certain spiders like granddaddy longlegs are there to prey on the other spiders that may actually be harmful to people.

Dear Jack: Your New Pet Spider at School

So I had to teach Mommy that you definitely want to keep a few spiders in the corners of the house; like having a cat in the barn to catch the mice.

Therefore, it is not in my nature to kill a spider simply because it’s a spider. Unless it’s poisonous and/or potentially harmful to people, the worst I’ll do to a spider is move it outside.

Dear Jack: Your New Pet Spider at School

As my son, you are the same way. Your teacher at Rainbow Child Care Center, Ms. Aimee, sent me this note:

“Last week Jack found a very tiny spider. Instead of smashing it (like what a typical child would do) he wanted to save it from being stepped on. I helped him move the spider to a safe place by the fence where it could be free in the grass.

Jack then decided that our new spider friend needed a house! So he searched the playground for items he could use to build the house. He found rocks, mulch, and grass (so he could eat in the comfort of his home).

The next week he made sure to check the spider’s home every day, to see if it came back. We found a spider web today and came to the conclusion that he must have been playing on the play equipment!”

Your teacher also sent me some pictures of you at school from this past week, ranging from “Dr. Seuss Day” to St. Patrick’s Day.

Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve got some pictures of my own to share, so be on the look-out for that…

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your New Pet Spider at School

Dear Jack: Why I Dressed Like This On St. Patrick’s Day

4 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: Why I Dressed Like This On St. Patrick’s Day

Dear Jack,

I think it’s safe to say that St. Patrick’s Day was just as much fun for me as it was for you. You enjoyed your party at school and seeing your teacher dressed up.

As for me, I had a lot to prove…

Dear Jack: Why I Dressed Like This On St. Patrick’s Day

Last year the office manager where I work asked me to wear my vintage green corduroys on St. Patrick’s Day. Half-jokingly, I responded, “Only if you promise to put me on the cover of the monthly company magazine.”

And so it came to pass…

So for the past year, I have been known as the “official leprechaun” of our company, despite my Mexican and Italian heritage.

Dear Jack: Why I Dressed Like This On St. Patrick’s Day

However, a coworker in the corporate office in Kentucky (I am in the Nashville division) publically challenged me to a duel; the winner to be determined by social media.

In other words, he was challenging my title.

So to make things interesting, I made this video:

I challenged him to wear “leprechaun tights”. I suggested that if he were willing to man up by wearing tights, surely the people on social media would declare him the winner over me.

As for my wardrobe, my favorite description I heard from a coworker was that I looked like either “the dictator of Candy Land or a gangster in the land of Oz.”

Dear Jack: Why I Dressed Like This On St. Patrick’s Day

However, my efforts fell flat when compared to my challenger, who to my surprise, indeed wore tights.

Not the kind of tights I expected him to wear, but he definitely wore them. And a wig.

Plucky O'Guinness

So in the end, he won the official title.

But in my mind, I won the psychological aspect of it: I got a grown man to dress up in ladies’ tights and a wig.

Your Daddy is a clever guy… but I think you already knew that.

Love,

Daddy