Mad Gaming Spring Break

I don't usually do Spring Break with the boys. We prefer to take our Spring Break on occasional Mondays over the course of several months. This time, due to a very nasty, pernicious, and extremely constant earache (mine), the boys lucked into almost a whole week of no school. It was probably the best Birthday Week ever. Playing stratego on an improvised board I ruled for them, and with pieces Marty made and printed for them.
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Roland’s 6th Birthday

Happy 6th Birthday to Roland! Affectionately known as "Roland-Poland", "Rollie-Polly", "Rol-Paul", "Raul-Raul", "Rolindo", "Rolls Royce" - the list goes on. He said it was his best birthday ever. So far, he clarified. There's always room to improve. Marty's cool drawing... The boys are really into Stratego, so Rollie wanted Stratego pieces for his cake. For those of you who are appalled at our uniform choice - it's not a Union Officer uniform, it's a US Calvary Officer Uniform, and was in service 80 years before the Civil War and after it during the Western Expansion.…
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Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day is like an extra tiny Christmas for my kids. Super tiny. It's my parents' fault. They used to give us candy, socks, and underwear, something that got increasingly more embarrassing, the older we got. We got Uno for the boys this year, and we've played it every single day since. Granted, it's been ridiculously cold, wretchedly rainy, and even a bit snowy, but my long-held liking for Uno is standing me in good stead. For dinner we opted for dress-your-own-personal-pizzas, an activity that has increased in enjoyment now that they are a bit…
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Reacting vs. teaching

My parents spent a lot of effort trying to make sure their kids didn't act like brats. I always assumed that meant that we behaved civilly to people and didn't throw temper tantrums. Very often. It seemed a very sensible arrangement, and a necessary survival technique for large families. Now that we have children of our own, I'm beginning to see how everything fits together and how those common sense ideas made a huge difference in my life, and hopefully in the lives of my children. My parents used different terms, but boiled down, they tried to…
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3 fun articles

There are some basic things all people believe in common. You can cheat on your wife, but except for a certain sort of individual (who we will ignore, ha ha), it's commonly accepted that behavior like that is unacceptable. Right? Basic stuff. On that order, have you ever been completely blindsided when someone contradicts a basic truth, causing you to doubt your understanding of the world, and even your own sanity? After all, how can they even think what they're thinking, unless it's possible that they are right? I recently had that shifting tectonic plate…
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January

Marty has laughed at me for years for needing the fan on to sleep. FYI, my whole family is the same way. We need gale force winds to help us sleep. Something about Texas breezes, or the old fashioned fans my parents have at their house. Whatever the case, our fan stopped working, I griped, Marty grinned, and we did without. We both had the most bizarre dreams. One of mine included a weird scenario with a single public restroom stall in the middle of someone's living room as an extra room (or holding cell,…
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New workbench

A picture of the new work bench Marty got. For me? I guess.... anyway, I've taken it. Yes, I already got leather debris in there. It was inevitable. And, obviously, I'll have to make a bunch of little cases like the black one. But I was heading in that direction already. I'm thinking this might work out better for me than the gerstner tool chest. The gerstner would be nice, but it takes up table space, rather than generating more space. So to speak.
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P.S. about marriage and relationships

I found the coolest article. It says everything I was trying to say, except backed up with real scientific observation. And good writing. As opposed to mine. "Contempt, they have found, is the number one factor that tears couples apart. People who are focused on criticizing their partners miss a whopping 50 percent of positive things their partners are doing and they see negativity when it’s not there." (I think this includes affectionate contempt. It's still contempt.) http://www.businessinsider.com/lasting-relationships-rely-on-2-traits-2014-11 Read it! It also makes a lot of sense for other types of relationships, too. Sisters, brothers,…
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Nine Years and Counting

This is a little late for our anniversary, but yeah.. I'm just now getting around to it.   You know how you start doing something by accident, and then realize suddenly that what you're doing without thinking about it is actually very important? We realized we had accidentally stumbled on a super-obvious habit that we consciously formed together; a habit that has helped us be happy together, perhaps more than anything else. Naturally, we have to give first credit to our upbringing. We wouldn't be anywhere without the examples of both sets of our parents.…
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The New Year

I have only one serious resolution for this year. I say serious because I'm not sure how successful I will be. Any other kind of resolution isn't really a resolution, because a New Year's resolution would mean nothing if you were actually serious about it, right? The whole idea draws us because we know we're unlikely to succeed for more than six months, and it's a triumph to get even that far. Says my cynical self. So why talk about doing school with the boys, or leatherworking goals, or cleaning the house? Nah. I only…
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