Dear Jack: Our 1st Time Driving Our Jeep to Your Soccer Game

8 and a half years old.

Dear Jack,

Just in time for you to turn 8 and a half years old, and before your spring soccer season came to an end, we were able to drive our Jeep to one of your games.

Our Jeep has the ability for just the front half of the top to come off (as well as the whole thing). Your game was during a 3 day stretch where I just left off the “Freedom Panels” the entire time; even when I left the Jeep in the parking lot at work.

Needless to say, we all enjoyed our drive to your soccer game.

You don’t have a soccer dad. You have a Jeep dad!

And that’s good for you, because you get to be a Jeep son.

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Holly: It’s Fun to Look at the Oriental Trading Company Catalog with Your Brother!

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Holly,

For some reason, we randomly started receiving the Oriental Trading Company catalog every month at our house. I didn’t realize what a treat this would be for you and your brother!

While Mommy and I clean up after dinner, the two of you remain entertained the entire time, as your brother will ask you, “Holly, out of these on this page, which one would you want? You can pick three.”

You always happily go along with the fantasy, as if you truly get to have some of the toys featured in the catalog.

I never knew that magazine could serve as such captivating entertainment!

Love,

Daddy

More Than 1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know How to Cook: Americans Spend More on Eating Out Than Buying Groceries

The art of cooking has fallen by the wayside in the age of convenience. As parents, we’re supposed to be teaching our kids how to take care of themselves once they fly the nest. Unfortunately many of us have lifestyles that are too busy for cooking on a daily basis; so we hit the drive thru on the way home or we order takeout or we go sit in a restaurant- because who wants to do all those dishes anyway?

On the surface this isn’t a completely terrible thing – our kids still have food to eat, and it is totally possible to make healthy choices at a restaurant. It’s a budget-buster – go ahead and tally up how much money you spend on restaurants each month. You’ll be shocked.

The biggest problem here is that we aren’t always taking the time to teach our kids how to cook, and as a result, more than a quarter of American adults don’t know how to cook at all. Everyone needs to know the basics of cooking, even if you aren’t planning to become a television chef – it’s a matter of survival.

Learn more about the apps and tech out there to help you learn to cook – and cook safely – from the infographic below.

This infographic brought to you by KitchenByte

Dear Jack: Your Hair is Turning Brown, Now More Than Ever… But Your Eyes are Still Blue

8 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I always assumed that eventually, you would officially have blonde hair instead of brown…

You’re pretty close these days.

There are definitely still those lighter patches that on their own are still blonde, but I would say even more of your hair is starting to classify as dark brown.

However, I will say that I am actually surprised it’s taken this long for your hair to shift colors.

Even though your hair color is changing, your eyes have remained blue after all these years.

It’s pretty amazing that both you and your sister have blue eyes, though both of your parents have brown eyes.

 

Love,

Daddy

Photo by Mohamad Alaw

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

Dear Jack: Your Surprise Visit to Have Lunch with Your Cousin at Her School

8 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Last week while you were on Spring Break, you got to stay in Alabama with Nonna and Papa; which is also where your two cousins (on my side of the family) live.

As a complete surprise to your cousin Calla, who is also in 2nd grade, you showed up for lunch at her school. I can imagine how happy she was to see you.

Some of her classmates assumed that you were a new student in their class, and tried to take you in as one of their own.

Since you and your cousin don’t have Spring Break the same week, stopping in for a surprise lunch is a good way for the two of you to hang out.

But maybe one day, you’ll both actually have Spring Break at the same time.

Love,

Daddy