Dear Jack: Your Hamster’s New Aquarium

9 years.

Dear Jack,

It turns out, cages sold for hamsters aren’t truly intended for the type of hamster you have. A teddy bear hamster, or Syrian Hamster, is much happier in an aquarium; as opposed to a cage.

So last week, on a random school night, I took you to the pet store to help me pick out a 20 gallon aquarium for Alpha.

Not only is he clearly much happier in the open space, but it is undeniable that you are much more excited to have a pet hamster now!

You are actively involved and excited each evening when we get him out to play.

Plus, it is much easier to clean his home that he predictably pees in the same corner now! Out with the cage, in with the aquarium.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Making Blankets and Diapers from Kleenex

3 years, 7 months.

Dear Holly,

With Christmas coming up in just a few weeks, I have a feeling you’re going to be all about the baby dolls.

This past weekend when we returned from our Thanksgiving trip to Alabama, Mommy and I noticed you quietly entertaining yourself on the far side of the living room.

You discretely discovered a travel pack of Kleenex from one of the suitcases and decided that a few of the tissues would make the perfect sized blanket for one of your small baby dolls.

Then you determined that it was time to change the baby’s diapers, so you made her a new diaper with a few more of the tissues.

I know you are going to love any new baby dolls you get this year for Christmas!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Reptile-Themed 9th Birthday Party

9 years.

Dear Jack,

This year for your birthday party, I feel like it’s safe to say that both Mommy and I were feeling a bit ambitious, as we hosted ten of your 9 year-old friends at our home. Notably, there were all boys.

You were very involved in the planning process, though. The theme: Reptiles.

It was your idea to start out by having all your friends paint a wooden snake at our kitchen table.

Next up on the agenda was to play “Pin the Tongue on the Cobra”… of course!

Then, I took you and your friends out on a scavenger hunt hike around the walking trail in our neighborhood:

Jack’s 9th Birthday Scavenger Hunt Hike

As a group, the following items must be discovered and tasks must be completed.

If not, no one gets pizza or cake- and Jack can’t open his presents- he has to give the presents back.

-Corn cob

-American flag

-Poisonous berries

-7 dog poop signs

-P on door

-Owl on door

-4 painted metal signs of flowers- blue, red, green, yellow

-Predators’ flag

-3 signs of a man with a floating head

-Everyone throws a black walnut into the woods from the top of the stairs

-Everyone runs backwards across a wooden bridge

-Everyone sits on a bench at the same time

-Everyone yells “Happy Birthday Jack!” on the same side of a tunnel, while he’s on the other side

(I helped you all out by pointing to the big letter “P” on our neighbors’ door, as that’s the letter that their last name begins with.)

It was perfect timing- because by the time we all returned to our house, the pizza had just been delivered.

I can not remember the last time I had Domino’s pizza, but I was thoroughly impressed!

And of course, the finale of the party was letting you all have a massive swordfight with inflatable snakes out in the cul-de-sac.

Your birthday party went so well that I suppose we could get away with hosting it at our house again next year!

Love,

Daddy

Types of Home Windows You Must Know About 

When constructing a home, windows are a significant thought. An unusual atmosphere requests specific regard for window determination. Truth be told, construction regulation requires all new development to have sway windows introduced when working inside one mile of the coast.

All windows let in light and most give ventilation, yet while choosing windows, property holders have a wide range of sorts of windows to choose from.

A few windows are simpler to open, others offer perfect wind stream, still, others are perfect for taking in beautiful perspectives. Various windows additionally have various hopes to coordinate distinctive building styles or stylistic theme. These windows require window Panes to complete their look. Here are a couple of various kinds of windows and what makes them unique.

Double-Hung windows

These types of windows can open from either the top or bottom, yet they stay inside the edge without projecting in or out. Double-hung windows are the most well-known style of windows accessible today for two basic reasons: they offer preferable ventilation over single-hung windows and are simpler to clean. Be that as it may, they are more inclined to spilling than single-hung windows in light of the fact that the band just opens one way.

Single-Hung windows

Like a double-hung window, a solitary hung window is a tall aluminum window with two separate outlines; in any case, dissimilar to double-hung windows, just the base window opens. Single-hung and double-hung windows are the most widely recognized window types. They are a famous effect window decision in light of the fact that their aluminum outlines won’t twist in the tropical atmosphere.

They have an exemplary enhancing glance and fit in well with most stylistic layout styles. Single-hung windows are a well-known decision in home redesigns in light of the fact that they will, in general, be increasingly reasonable. In any case, they generally offer less open region than casement or slider windows and can be increasingly inclined to air spillage.

Cottage Window

The Cottage sort of window is a variety of the double-hung window where the upper reserve is shorter than the lower one. Besides the littler upper reserve, the highlights and qualities of the bungalow window are fundamentally the same as the previously mentioned double-hung window. It is additionally regularly called the “front window type”.

Transom Windows

This thin window can be either working or stationary and is frequently mounted over a window or entryway to let in progressively light. They are customarily fan-molded and regularly carefully enhancing. Nonetheless, in present-day design, ventilating transoms are frequently rectangular.

Picture Windows

Picture windows also called stationary or fixed windows, picture windows are best in regions where ventilation isn’t required on the grounds that they don’t open. Fixed windows are perfect in the focal point of enormous dividers since they give adequate lighting and expansive perspectives. Picture windows are less inclined to air spillage since they don’t open, however, they are regularly less vitality productive because of their size.

Dear Jack: Your New Pet Teddy Bear Hamster Named Alpha

9 years old.

Dear Jack,

Well, it happened. We did it.

Mommy and I let you get our family’s first ever pet.

You decided on a Teddy Bear Hamster who you named Alpha.

With this being our first week into it, as the nice helpful lady at Petco explained, it’s going to take several days for your hamster to get accustomed to our family.

So each day after school, as a family, we have been letting him out of his cage and so he can get used to us petting his back.

Hopefully soon, we’ll be at the point where you can easily pick him up and hold him.

I think this is a good thing for you!

Love,

Daddy

 

Dear Holly: You Joined the Parking Lot Sword Fight at Your Brother’s Birthday Party

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

Last weekend for the end of your brother’s birthday, we let him along with ten other 9 year-olds run around the cul-de-sac with inflatable snake-shaped swords.

It reminded me of the gang fight in the 1983 movie The Outsiders– just a never-ending, chaotic feud of violence.

Granted, it helped in our case that the only weapons were inflatable.

You were just in luck, because there happened to be one extra snake sword.

Without any prodding, you gladly joined the mass sword fight.

The funny thing is, none of the boys realized you were fighting them.

But the whole time, you were laughing mischievously as if you were secretly winning the fight!

Love,

Daddy

 

How to Make Funeral Arrangements at the Last Minute

Did your loved one unexpectedly pass away? Your next step is to plan a funeral on short notice. Discover how to make funeral arrangements quickly.

How often do you think about dying? Even if you don’t obsess about your own death, you might think about what might happen if someone you love dies.

What would you do if a family member, partner, or close friend died unexpectedly and you had the job of planning their funeral?

Unless you’ve made a career of it, or you’ve planned the funerals for other loved ones, you have no idea how to make funeral arrangements. You’re not alone, and shouldn’t be at a time like this.

We want to take a minute and help you prepare for this difficult event. Read this post, print it out or save it in your archives. You’ll have a step-by-step plan at your fingertips.

Work with a Checklist

In a perfect world, you’d have time to talk with your loved one ahead of time. If you’re dealing with an unexpected death, you won’t have the luxury of knowing what they wanted for their final goodbye.

Making a funeral checklist as soon as possible after the death will make the rest of the planning process go smoothly.

The checklist should come before you set the funeral budget. Get together with other immediate family members and ask for input. Funerals have a way of bringing even the most disconnected families together and you should take care to not leave anyone out.

Make an extra effort to include people who’ve committed to helping you pay for the funeral expenses. A funeral checklist should include the following details:

  • Funeral Venue
  • Size
  • Viewing
  • Funeral Officiant
  • Reception

These are the basics, but you and your family should feel free to modify the checklist to serve your unique needs.

Put Together the Funeral Budget

What a relief if your loved one put money aside for their funeral expenses! Sometimes that isn’t possible, and you’ll end up covering the costs. If that’s the case with your situation, it’s up to you and your family to determine how much you can spend.

Planning a funeral and doing it with a budget in mind, doesn’t have to divide the family.

Emotions usually run high when a family faces the death of a person they love. Each person deals with the loss in their own way. Sometimes that includes going overboard with extravagant funeral details.

Putting together a budget and sticking with it can help make the entire funeral planning process easier for everyone.

The Money Talk

In 2019, the average funeral cost is between $7,000 and $9,000. Buying the casket is often your highest expense. If you’ve decided on cremation, you may spend anywhere from $2000-$4000.

Paying for a funeral is difficult enough if you’re on your own and don’t have the money. If you have siblings or other family members who want to have a say in things, it’s even harder.

While you certainly can’t force anyone to contribute, you should present the budget and the funeral checklist so that everyone who needs to be involved gains an understanding of how much money you’ll need.

It’s easiest if each person can pay an equal amount towards the costs. Maybe you have family members who can’t afford to pay as much as the others. Whatever you do, don’t make them feel uncomfortable—encourage them to contribute what they can (if anything) financially.

You’ll have plenty of tasks you can divide up among the group. Allow people to share in that aspect of the funeral so that they feel like they’re contributing something even if it’s not money.

Is There a Life Insurance Policy?

Another blessing many people forget about when a loved one dies suddenly is a life insurance policy.

It’s great if you’re the beneficiary of a policy because it’s possible you can use the money for funeral expenses. Contact the insurance company for instructions about filing a claim. Keep in mind that you may need to cover the funeral initially while waiting for the claim processing.

Don’t rule out seeking help with funeral expenses from a church or other community group where your loved one had ties. Also, if they were a veteran, check with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for information on filing a claim.

Taking Care of the Body

No one wants to think about transporting a loved one’s body, but it’s a necessary part of the planning process.

Nursing homes and hospitals take care of moving the body to a funeral home. If the person dies at home or away from a healthcare facility, a coroner typically comes and officially pronounces the death.

Depending on your location, your state may require an autopsy. You’ll pay to transport the body to a morgue for the autopsy, and then to the funeral home.

Another part of taking care of your loved one’s remains deals with paperwork such as the Death Registration, Death Certificate, Burial Permit. Usually, you can get information on these forms from the Department of Health, also called the Department of Statistics in some counties.

Planning the Funeral Service

Now you can plan the funeral or memorial service for your loved one.

The traditional funeral service consists of 3 parts:

  • Visitation
  • Service
  • Burial

If you decide on a traditional funeral, you can hold the visitation and service at a funeral home. You can also hold the service at a place of worship. If you prefer a unique funeral service, consider any of the following locations:

  • A hotel
  • A boat
  • At home

People also hold funeral services in parks or natural areas. If your loved one enjoyed the ocean, consider a seaside service.

A viewing isn’t necessary, but do plan a service or memorial where people can come and say goodbye.

Now You Know How to Make Funeral Arrangements

Even though it’s not something any of us want to dwell on, it’s helpful to have a plan for the day a loved one dies.

Making a funeral checklist, putting together a budget, taking care of the business side of death, and finally planning the service is all part of knowing how to make funeral arrangements.

After reading this, hopefully, you feel more prepared for that day when it comes.

If you found this post helpful, continue reading through our archives. You’ll find articles on everything family. Thanks for reading!