Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese’s After An SUV Crashed Through It Today

Today, right as I was leaving for my lunch break, a coworker informed me that a car had just driven through the front wall of the Chuck E. Cheese a few blocks away from our office in Cool Springs; the business borough of Franklin, TN- about 20 miles south of Nashville.

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese After The Car Crashed Through It Today

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese After The Car Crashed Through It Today

As a blogger, I make a point to carry my camera with me wherever I go. By the time I got to the seen just a few minutes later, the vehicle had already been removed from the building.

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese After The Car Crashed Through It Today

News crew was wrapping up some stock footage for the story. In fact, the cameraman handed me his phone with the story pulled up:

Grandmother crashes SUV into Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese’s

To my surprise no one asked me to leave as I took pictures of the aftermath and wreckage of the Chuck E. Cheese building.

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese After The Car Crashed Through It Today

As you can see, that’s a pretty big hole.

I don’t understand how the vehicle gained enough speed to run over the curb, drive through the hedges, then crush right through the brick wall and windows.

Photos Of The Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese After The Car Crashed Through It Today

It was right there in the parking lot, and that part of it was very small.

Fortunately, the driver only had minor injuries.

Grandmother crashes SUV into Cool Springs Chuck E. Cheese’s

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego Themed 4th Birthday Party

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

4 years old.

Dear Jack,

It is true, you are now a 4 year-old! And I can absolutely without a doubt tell you that you had an awesome 4th birthday and birthday party.

Knowing the relevance of Legos, given the fact you will spend hours at a time building Optimus Prime and Dinobots, we booked your party months ago at a place called Bricks 4 Kidz.

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

That was the best decision for your party. Not only did you and your friends have a great time playing with Legos, but the parents felt at ease, yet still involved, with all the action.

There were also optional peripheral activities going on for any of your friends who wanted to mix things up; like making a cool spiral design on a paper plate using a Lego-operated device.

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

This made the first birthday party you’ve had outside of our home; I quickly realized how stress-free it truly is when you don’t have to worry about anything.

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

Your birthday party was on autopilot; it flowed so well.

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

The only thing we were really responsible for was bringing the food, which, you know me… that’s a big deal.

I made sure that in addition to your party having a Lego theme, that it also had a “no artificial anything” theme as well.

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

These days, you really have to go out of your way to find “birthday food” that doesn’t have garbage ingredients in it, like artificial food dyes, animal bi-products, or mysterious chemicals.

Of course, for me, your vegan dad, I knew just where to look…

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

I reached out to Annie’s and GoGo Squeez and they helped donate the majority of the snacks for your party. They are just as passionate as I am about spreading the word about the importance of eating real food.

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

Obviously, your friends loved our Annie’s crackers & cookies and Go Go Squeez pouch buffet!

And that was in addition to your vegan birthday cake that I special ordered from Whole Foods. You said you wanted it to be chocolate with blue icing, so that’s exactly what you got.

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

It was so good…

No eggs, no dairy, no artificial dyes or flavors… no problem! We liked it so much that Mommy and I (jokingly?) talked about ordering another cake from Whole Foods to celebrate when we move into our new house in January.

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

So not only was there plenty of fun to be had at your 4th birthday party, but I was able to feel confident that I was serving you and your friends the best “birthday food” out there: Annie’s, Go Go Squeez, and Whole Foods vegan birthday cake.

Of course, there is that whole part about you opening the presents, but more on that in the next letter…

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your “No Artificial Anything” Lego-Themed 4th Birthday Party

Dear Jack: Our Blue House Is Being Painted/Our Last Week In Our Townhome

4 years.

Dear Jack: Our Blue House Is Being Painted/Our Last Week In Our Townhome

Dear Jack,

This past weekend, immediately following your 4th birthday party on Saturday, we led my side of the family in a caravan (your Nonna and Papa, along with Aunt Dana, Uncle Andrew, and cousin Calla) to see the progress on our new house we’re building.

As we drove near our cul-de-sac, Mommy yelled with excitement, “It’s blue!”

We had learned last week that the siding is actually made out of wood, and that it would be painted eventually. Well, the painting has definitely began.

2014 Scion FR-S back seat

Mommy was also very happy to see that our marble countertops are in; as well as the kitchen’s bar.

I was particularly happy to see that our garage doors are now in, along with automatic garage door openers; considering as long as Mommy and I have been married and lived in our townhome (over 6 years), we’ve never had a garage for our cars.

Dear Jack: Our Blue House Is Being Painted/Our Last Week In Our Townhome

Each time we visit our new house, I become even more satisfied with our decision to buy it, and therefore, to move out of our townhome.

Which, speaking of…

2014 Scion FR-S back seat

This apparently is our last week to live in our townhome! Mommy and I bought it brand-new in 2008, when we got married, but now it’s time to move out and move on.

Last night as I was saying goodnight to you, at your sleeping bag on top of a foam mat, I explained to you, “Jack, this is our last week to sleep and live in this house, because we’re going to be moving into the new one in January, in a couple months.”

2014 Scion FR-S back seat

At this point, other than mats to sleep on, in addition to enough food and clothing to by this week, our house is empty.

Papa helped Mommy and I move the rest of it to the storage facility over the weekend. Mommy had to secretly pack up two of your favorite stuffed animals in a box: Puppa the puppy and Cheaty the cheetah.

I had the opportunity to see if I could fit in the backseat of the 2014 Scion FR-S that I was reviewing for your birthday week. (I could.)

2014 Scion FR-S back seat

This coming weekend we’ll move our few remaining items in our personal vehicles to our friends’ house where we will be staying until January when our new house is ready.

Exciting times…

Love,

Daddy

2014 Scion FR-S back seat

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter To His Son On His 4th Birthday

4 years old!

Dear Jack,

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter To His Son On His 4th Birthday

Two years ago, on your 2nd birthday, I started a tradition of writing you a letter on each of your birthdays; which started me writing to letters every week.

A year I wrote to you on your 3rd birthday, right as you were making that unofficial transition out of “toddlerhood.”

And now a year later, here you are, a year into boyhood. There is no doubt you definitely a real boy; not a toddler, not a baby.

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter To His Son On His 4th Birthday

Those funny “onion head” pictures on packages saying that toys are not suitable for ages 0-3 are a thing of the past.

You can now easily handle smart parts without it being a problem; as demonstrated in your amazing Lego creations.

This evolution of my son is present in the wallet cards I get from your school each time they have picture day.

I see a chubby blonde-haired baby who turned into a brown-haired boy.

These are the new “good ole days.”

I can honestly say I’m just as happy as you are to see you open your presents. These are the days of Legos, Transformers, Ninja Turtles, and Captain America. (Sounds a lot like my own childhood!)

Gone are the days of changing dirty diapers and cleaning bottles. Gone are the days of you stuttering and speaking in pigeon-English.

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter To His Son On His 4th Birthday

The fact that we’re building this new house (and hopefully moving in it in January) only compliments your coming of age to boyhood, as well as our family’s coming of age to a family with a real boy.

I am so excited to teach you to learn how to ride a bicycle in the cul-de-sac we will live in. And can’t for the day we get to “go camping” in our backyard; even though I convinced you’ll ask to go back inside after about an hour.

Things are good and about to get even better.

Happy 4th Birthday, Son. I love you with all that I have.

Love,

Daddy

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas: Family Friendly Review

Last week I had the privilege of not only being on a conference call with Kirk Cameron in regards to his upcoming movie, Saving Christmas, but I also was able to see the movie in advance this past weekend.

So today, I would like to share my thoughts on Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmasarriving in theatres November 14th.

Yes, it is a movie, but in particular, I would call it more of a “documentary spliced into a Christmas special hosted by Kirk Cameron alongside his actual family and friends, which takes place at his actual brother-in-law’s house.”

kirk-camerons-saving-christmas

It is extremely professionally shot. I didn’t realize this until it began, but it is produced by my Alma Mater, Liberty University, where I earned my BA in English.

The first adjective that comes to mind after Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas is “captivating.”

This movie is 100% interesting. I learned that the actual Santa Claus (who was from modern-day Turkey) was a famous Christian bishop who passionately defended the deity of Christ and who was also known for anonymously giving to the poor.

I learned that the Christmas tree is a symbol of the Tree of Life, which became off limits after Adam and Eve tasted the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, as explained in Genesis 3:24:

“So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”

In essence, having a Christmas tree in your home is celebrating the future heavenly Earth, as explained in the Bible, where followers of Christ will live and eat from the fruit of the Tree of Life, as explained in Revelation 22:1-2…

1Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

The ornaments of the Christmas tree symbolize the fruit on that tree.

After watching Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, I realized just how explicitly Christian that Christmas really is.

While obviously this Christian holiday has been (successfully?) commercialized, it is also an opportunity to introduce symbols and concepts of Christianity to those are who not familiar with who Jesus actually is.

Seeing Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas has reminded me (or maybe even taught me) that Christmas isn’t simply a celebration of the birth of Jesus. It’s equally a celebration of His life and resurrection as well.

kirkc20121005_8386CMmain

Kirk Cameron has been recently establishing himself as a filmmaker who specializes in creative documentaries that tackle Christian-themed topics most people think about but don’t actually explore for themselves. I believe he’s got a talent for teaching challenging elements of Christianity to the general population, not just those who are already Christians.

And he is able to do it in a refreshing, welcoming, non-intimidating sort of way.

I just recently learned that Unstoppable and Monumental, his other recent films, are now available on Netflix if you’d like to get an idea of his style.

It has been an honor to, in essence, work on the promotion of Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas.

I predict he will continue making many more intriguing documentary style movies throughout his career and hopefully I can be involved in promoting them.

Oh yeah… and there’s a giveaway:

Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas giveaway

And one lucky reader will win some Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas stocking stuffers!

Just be the first person to post on the Facebook wall for Family Friendly Daddy Blog (not a private message), asking me, “Did I just win Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas stocking stuffers?”

That includes a signed Saving Christmas movie poster (by Kirk Cameron), the soundtrack to the film, and a car air freshener (they smell like Christmas trees .

If you’re the first person to do so, I will respond by saying yes… After that, I will follow up by getting your address to give to the publisher so they can send you your won copy!

Update: We have a winner! The giveaway is complete.

Did I just win Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas stocking stuffers?

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

And hopefully one day, Kirk Cameron will grant my recent Twitter wish and make a movie on Intelligent Design!

Any plans of making an Intelligent Design movie? I’d say you’re the man for the job!

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Past Weekend

3 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Weekend

As I just mentioned in my previous letter, The Cabinets Are Now Installed In Our House, Nonna and Papa drove up this weekend to help us with our move into a nearby storage facility.

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Weekend

For the past several months, each Sunday after church as we’ve dropped off the recycling, we’ve also been dropping off bags of clothes and home goods to Goodwill.

And for the past several weeks, Mommy has been selling many of our home furnishings online. People bought our TV and stand, our coffee table, and this past weekend, our couch.

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Weekend

We figured with most of our home furnishings being around 7 years old, and for the fact we’ve already been stashing cash away for our new home’s furnishings, that we’d be better off just selling off some of our larger items instead of fooling around with having to move them.

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Weekend

So in theory, we will be able to buy a new couch, coffee table, TV and stand as we move in to our new house; which is somewhere around January 29th.

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Weekend

As would be expected from a nearly 4 year-old little boy (you’ll turn 4 this Sunday), you were extremely eager to help us with the move! All while wearing your Batman pajamas, of course…

I actually was pretty impressed with how quickly you could run with pillows and boxes and toys that were as big as you. You also were very handy with the broom. “I am brooming this right now,” you explained.

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Weekend

You loved running up and down the ramp on the moving truck. You were legitimately helping us move, Jack!

It was a work-filled weekend for sure, but as for now, most of our stuff is now in a 10 x 10 storage facility; including our box springs for our beds.

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Weekend

I think Mommy and I are pretty convinced we never plan to move out of the new house we’re building.

Meanwhile, you built an 18 wheeler out of Legos. As you explained, the drivers sit on top!

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Weekend

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Weekend

We celebrated the conclusion of the weekend’s hard work with some vegan burgers at Burger Republic; where you were a bit loopy, thanks to the wonderful combination of your beloved tater tots and the privilege of not having to take any naps this weekend while Nonna and Papa were in town!

Dear Jack: We Moved Most Of Our Stuff Into 10 x 10 Storage Unit This Weekend

Dear Jack: The Cabinets Are Now Installed In Our House

3 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack: The Cabinets Are Now Installed In Our House

Dear Jack,

This weekend was very special. Your Nonna and Papa (my parents) drove up to see our new house we are building in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

On the way to the site, you made sure you had some Annie’s snacks, as well as GoGo Squeez, both of which are contributing to your “No Artificial Anything” 4th birthday party this weekend. (Mommy and I let you sample some from the stashes that were mailed to us.)

Dear Jack: The Cabinets Are Now Installed In Our House

We also were moving most of our stuff into storage this weekend as well, but more on that in the next letter…

As for the new surprises in our house this week, we saw that our cabinets have been installed; both in the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s a pretty big deal to see them. Mommy and I are very pleased with our choice; black with these cool “scoopy” handles.

Dear Jack: The Cabinets Are Now Installed In Our House

It was a decision we made very quickly, along with the carpet, outside color of our house, which type of hardwood floor, etc. So it’s good to know we made a good rash decision a couple months ago.

I stood in front of where the sink and dishwasher will go to get a feel for what it will be like to do the dishes in our new kitchen.

Dear Jack: The Cabinets Are Now Installed In Our House

Mommy and I were also pleasantly surprised with the banister on our staircase. I feel that it is more elaborate than the one featured in the model home.

Another cool surprise was the storage space in the attic. I actually forgot about that!

Dear Jack: The Cabinets Are Now Installed In Our House

We finally figured out what crop is being grown behind our house: soy beans.

Should I thank Monsanto for that? Oh well, it’s a pretty view at least.

Dear Jack: The Cabinets Are Now Installed In Our House

Obviously, the construction is really coming along; we’re actually ahead of schedule. Our closing date is January 29th. However, our agent explained that typically the house is typically move-in ready 45 days after the dry wall is installed.

If that’s the case, in theory our house should definitely be finished before January 29th, since the dry wall was already in a week ago.

Of course, I am keeping my expectations low- to be a realistic optimist. We’ll see what happens on that…

Dear Jack: The Cabinets Are Now Installed In Our House

We finished the morning with lunch at Whole Foods, where you were able to (very easily) talk Nonna and Papa into buying you a new stuffed animal; a penguin who you instantly named “Pingy.”

Dear Jack: The Cabinets Are Now Installed In Our House

To be continued…