Dear Holly: When Daddy’s in Charge, It’s Low Expectations But Also Low Conflict

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Holly,

Yesterday morning, Mommy left to go on a fun trip with Grandma in Texas until the weekend. That’s means Daddy’s in charge… of everything! For better or worse.

Now that the first whole “Day of Daddy” is over, I have come to this realization:

You and your brother have lower expectations when I am in charge- but there is also noticeably less conflict.

In fact, there is zero conflict.

There was not one argument, squabble, or display of negative emotions yesterday with either of  you. It was easy to get you both ready for school, to get dinner prepared and served, and get you both bathed and to bed.

Granted, there’s a reason for that:

It’s because my version of doing everything is the Jeep Wrangler version; just the basics, just the essentials, just the most efficient.

My way is not better. In fact, I’m positive it’s worse than if Mommy were here.

All the details are missing, in other words.

But hey… I can hold down the fort.

Lower expectations, lower conflict.

Love,

Daddy

 

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Dear Jack: Creeping Critters are Easy to Find in Alabama

8 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

One of your favorite things to do when you stay at Nonna and Papa’s house in Alabama is to go outside and find wildlife.

I’ve noticed it never takes much effort nor time for you to come back from the yard with a collection of bugs and/or lizards.

Granted, some of the bugs end up becoming the dinner of the lizards.

So for a 2 grade boy spending his Spring Break in the mountains of Alabama, what better way to spend hours of daylight then to go out explore nature… and then to bring that nature back with you!

Love,

Daddy

This is the 1st Year Millennials Will Start Having Their 20th High School Class Reunions: Starting with the Class of 1999, in 2019

There are some people who just don’t care anything about going to their high school reunions.

They are the ones who will say, “I spent a dozen years with those people and I didn’t like them then, so what makes you think I would want to go hang out with them now? If I was really that curious what they are up to, I would just look them up on Facebook!”

Clearly, I am not one of those people. No, instead, just call me Mr. High School Class Reunion!

For me, going to my high school class reunions is like repeating the final scene of the final episode of Lost… every 5 years of my life.

What is really special about my own upcoming 20th High School Reunion this July is that we just happen to be the first official Millennial class to experience this.

Most sources agree that Millennials were born between 1981 and 1997. I was born on April 20th, 1981; so I will be turning 38 in a few weeks.

If the Millennial generation were siblings, then those of us who graduated high school in 1999 would be the firstborn children.

This is history in the making.

Back in 1988, when I turned 7, I had a very memorable birthday party. My dad had just cut down a tree in our backyard, so the main entertainment was being able to climb the fallen tree. And coincidentally, I just happened to be wearing a “Class of ’99” t-shirt on my birthday.

Fortunately, my mom did a great job of taking several pictures to capture the magic of that day.

Gary Schrader, Russell McElhaney, Will Stephens, Shane Burt (along with his sister and mom), Tabatha Thomas, Haley Rogers and her sister Ashley, and my own sister Dana were all there that day; whether they remember it now or not… and whether they have ever seen these pictures before either!

I am confident that my upcoming 20th High School Class Reunion will be a highlight of 2019.

Yes, just call me Mr. High School Class Reunion.

It’s that big of a deal to me!

Understanding the Psychology of Space: Having a Functional Home

After a long day at school or at work, there’s nothing better than walking through our home’s front door, kicking our shoes off, and finally winding down. But what if our home isn’t exactly the oasis of comfort we’d like it to be?

Addressing the dysfunctional aspects of the home isn’t always easy and actually getting started on the updates themselves can be even harder. The inevitable destruction that comes along with renovation isn’t comfortable and, in the short run, may not seem worth it – but leaving a project half finished due to poor planning is even worse.

Save yourself the headache down the line by being as honest and realistic as possible during the planning phase and consider your own time restrictions and skill level. While many homeowners plan on doing at least some of the work themselves, consulting with professionals will help reel in scope, manage priorities, and get the job done right the first time.

For most families, a functional home is a happy home. Here’s how to keep renovation projects on track, within budget, and build a space that works for your family, not against it.

Tips on Taking Control of Your Energy Bill: Unplugging Devices When Not in Use

Almost one out of three households in the United States struggle to pay their energy bills and as electricity costs are predicted to continue increasing on through 2020, this pressure could get even worse.

Generally, most of what we use electricity for is on necessities. Over 60% of energy consumption goes to powering appliances like refrigerators, keeping the heat and air conditioning on, and interior lighting. The other 40% goes to non-essential and luxury items like game consoles and TVs. Yet, one in ten households are kept at unsafe temperatures just to save money and one in five will go without other basic necessities as well, effectively overlooking simple ways to save. Turning down the thermostat is a good way to scale back high bills, but it certainly isn’t the only option.

From resealing doors and windows to switching to LED light bulbs, even small changes can add up to big savings on electricity. Ready to wrangle your family’s energy usage? See this infographic for more.

The Best DNA Tests to Know Your Ancestors 

Do you want to give something original? Do you need to surprise some one and you do not know how? We want to help you by giving you an idea that you might not have thought about: giving a DNA test.

That said, it may not seem interesting, but the truth is that one of the tests below will allow you to know the person to whom you give it – or yourself – a lot of information about your family that you may not have known such as DNA testing for ethnicity.

Indeed, these DNA tests determine your ethnic origins, so you can know where your ancestors come from. There are other tests that, on the other hand, offer genetic information about health, while others are focused on the study of nutrigenetics, your sports ability or your skin.

There are, therefore, many reasons why a DNA test can be a brilliant idea, either to do it yourself or give it to a friend.

Before deciding which one to bet on, take a look at the informative sections that we include to discover what a test of this type consists of and what methodologies are used.

DNA test and how does it work?

Currently, there are only about twenty companies around the world that are dedicated to tracing your DNA to discover the origin of your ancestors, although we may not see much more in the future due to the growing popularity of this business.

A DNA test will allow you to discover the origin of your ancestors and your kinship with other users who have also decided to perform the same DNA test. In fact, the more people who have made the test, the more accurate the results will be.

Now, if you are wondering how you can get a DNA test to know your origins, the answer is very simple: once you choose the company with which you want to carry out the process, you will only have to request the delivery of the DNA extraction kit to the address of your choice.

Normally DNA kits come with one or several tubes that you will have to either fill with saliva, spit after spit, or pass a cotton ball through your mouth to impregnate it with saliva and then insert it into the tube.

The following will be sent by mail to the address indicated. You should know that some companies do not include shipping costs in their purchase price, so you will have to take this detail into account if your priority at the time of choosing is the price of the service.

The process usually takes weeks or even months in some cases, so be patient and do not expect to receive your results too soon. The results are always received by email.

Types of DNA testing methodology

When we did the different DNA tests and had the results on our hands we were quite surprised because, although some companies did offer similar results (which are not identical), others gave us quite different results.

Each DNA company uses its own methods. These methods vary based on three main points: the geographical regions, the way to identify the variation and the size of the database available to the company.

The researcher says that the differences in these three key points can lead to very different results in DNA tests.

Another aspect to be taken into account is the fact that some companies use country names in the results they give to the client to illustrate the different origins of the DNA test.

However, it must be understood that these country names should be understood as regions of origin and not as the country itself.

In the case of DNA tests that also report on possible diseases and health conditions, it should be known that these tests are also affected by the different identification methods used by each company. That is, they could also reflect different results depending on the three key points we mentioned earlier.

Dear Holly: A Spring Break of Your Own… from Preschool

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Holly,

Now that your brother’s Spring Break is over, it’s time for one of your own. I drove Nonna back to our house when I picked her up last weekend from Alabama.

Mommy has been out of town this week for a business trip, so to help things run smoother, Nonna is here to help! That means you get a week-long break from your preschool, with Nonna as your teacher at our house.

I’m so happy that you get to spend a solid week with Nonna one-on-one, just like she got to do with your brother last week.

You are enjoying every minute of it!

Love,

Daddy