Posts Tagged ‘ single ’

The 3rd year of the Renaissance Festival in Tampa

Life sure has been busy; I’ve been away from things for quite a while.  Going to night school, being a single father, and working fulltime take their toll.  I was fortunate enough to be able to take kind of a working vacation recently so I do feel a bit recharged; however, I am ready to be done with my school courses.  Last weekend I took my children to the Renaissance Festival here once again (this is our 3rd year in a row).  We had a blast.  My son found himself (now that he is finally a teenager) ogling the girls, and my daughter and I had fun playing with all the medieval toys and puzzles.  We spent almost seven hours there eating, playing, and watching all the amazing shows.

 

The Knights were awesome, they had full contact jousting, breaking their lances on each other and smashing their swords into their opponent’s full plate mail.  We watched as their Clydesdales around the arena also dressed in full plate armor.  I was selected by the King and Queen to pose in the “Men in Kilts” calendar, so if I end up making the cut I will post the link to purchase them on my blog here.  Overall it was an amazing experience.  I love how I am building multi-year traditions with my children; I feel that this will be a cherished memory by both me and my kiddos.

 

Just some pics I have been taking…

New Videos of Baby Ducks and the Turtle

My kids and I caught some awesome footage of baby ducks and we saved a turtle, come check out the videos we filmed:

Life is adventure, and fear…

Days blend to weeks and weeks to years.  We often find ourselves feeling spent and done with.  I feel that way lately, stressed about school, about work, and about the finalizing of my divorce.  Not to mention bills and such.  Then I look at life, look at those around me, the strangers I see pass me by.  They too are living life.  This stressful world we live in is wonderful, difficult, and absurd all at the same time.

The things that happen to us, part of me believes that there is a reason for everything, but the other side of that coin is that there must be some level of chaos, of unpredictability.  I get lost in it all, but I also think that is the point of life as well.  People talk of thriving, of never having a care in the world.  I am content right now to keep my head afloat, and in a few weeks or months I will be sailing again on the choppy and wonderfully unpredictable sea of life.

One last thing… something my father once told me.  There are always choices.  You can do anything you want to.  You just need to do it.  People travel the world on less money than I have, they build wonders and write of their adventures.  There are very few real excuses to be made.  Me?  I will take life one day at a time, but with my eye on my goals.  I never want to lose sight of my dreams entirely.  So next time the waves cover my head, I will remember that the surface is above me, all I need to do is swim back up to it.  Sometimes easier said than done, but that is indeed life.

My children

This weekend we saw dragon boats, we made art and we ate delicious food.  My children are what keeps me going.  I miss them so much when they are with their mother but at the same time I know that she misses them just as much when they are with me.  My daughter is every bit as daring as I ever was, hell, she climbed a lamp-post when I had my back turned for a minute.  My son is sarcastic and intelligent as I remember being as a young pre-teen.  He can keep up with you in a discussion and his wit can often get him into a little trouble 😉
These are my children.  I love them, they are every bit a part of me as is my own arm.  I am proud of them and grateful to God for allowing someone such as myself to be able to have such wonderful children in my life.  I am a proud father, a man who wants to be the best he can be so that his children can one day grow up and remember me as a positive influence in their lives.  I love them.

Key West, FL Motorcycle Trip April 2010

So I took a trip with 2 of my co-workers to Key West.  It was 806 miles round trip and it was amazing.  I saw so many wonderful things and had a blast riding through such awe inspiring terrain.  Here are some photos of my trip, I hope you can get a taste of what I saw.  Oh and all was good until the last 20 miles when the rain hit me 😦  It was pretty bad, but lucky for me it was at the very end of my trip.

Sick Children

Have you ever worried about your sick child? I’m sure you have.   My son has been throwing up all morning long.  He is finally able to keep some fluids down and I feel like I have won a battle.  Any parent knows this fight I speak of.  But it isn’t until you are again in the middle of it that you really remember how bad it can be.  The worry, the fretting, the constant looking up of symptoms until you are sure that you have whatever ills your child under control.

I wish all of you a happy easter and I hope my son is feeling better for Sunday.

From Saturday at the Air Fest

I probably shouldn’t have gone considering how I feel now that it is Sunday night, but here are the pics:

USF Orientation

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So I’m sitting here at USF (University of South Florida) for transfer student orientation.  I’m one of those military guys who has a bunch of college credit but no actual degree.  I’ve gone to 3 different schools… I figured it was time to settle down and just complete my BA.  In what you ask?  Yeah, I’ll tell ya when I know.  I have a bunch of language credits (I’m fluent in Arabic), a bunch of Psychology credits and that’s about it.  It is my first time in a brick and mortar institution, most of my time in high education has been spent doing online classes or in military college institutions (like the defense language institute).

So what am I feeling you ask?  Not overwhelmed but out-of-place may be more accurate.  I see so many young boys and girls here, freshmen or sophomores who are in their late teens or early twenties.  At least with the online classes I didn’t feel so old because they were impersonal and anonymous.   We shall see how I do.  I think that I can fit in here and it will be exciting to expand my horizons and options but for now I’ll be happy to sit here with my headphones on by my lonesome self rather than to mingle with those who I can no longer identify with (I am a 3 tour combat veteran, a single father of 2 and a full-time job).  Perhaps in time those connections will form.

Nevadog on Being a Single Father

What does being a father mean to me? I have spent my life as a professional soldier in the United States Military and continue to serve my country in other capacities since leaving, and for me, all my military accomplishments, all the honor and the glory I have seen in battle, in my 2 years deployed to Iraq, all my efforts.  They all pale in comparison to being a good father.  I strongly believe that even alone as a single male I am capable of raising my children to be healthy and to understand what a healthy relationship entails.

I strive to set goals for us as individuals but also as a family unit, goals like our fishing trips, the 5k we ran as a family team, visiting their great-grandfather (my grandpa), I set these goals and help accomplish them so that in time my children will have lasting memories of what a good and healthy childhood is.  In my time with them I push them farther than they realize they can accomplish, I do this by listing to NPR in the mornings, explaining to them what is going on in the world news and then asking them questions.  I am often astounded when they ask me more questions back.  They are INTERESTED when I give them data, when I give them problems to solve and when I create challenges for them to complete.  They are amazed when they create stuff, both in the kitchen and in the woods.  They love it when I tell my stories and make fiction for them to be immersed in.  Telling stories is such a rich and rewarding part of my days with my children, both for them and for me.

Not everything they do is without fault.  I have to play the bad guy at times too.  Allowing them to have consequences for their actions (both good and bad) and watch as they suffer through those consequences.  For instance, I have found that my son (who is 12) has such a better time reflecting on his actions when I ask him to write me a paper on respecting his family, or on treating his sister better (or whatever it happened to be) because it causes him to reflect and actually write from his heart rather than give his cop-out answers like, “I wasn’t paying attention,” or “I didn’t mean to”.  For my daughter letting her know (she is 8 ) that I am ashamed or hurt by her makes her realize just what she did was wrong.  Both of my children are very mature and very different emotionally in how they act and how they react and I love both of them for their individuality.

I write this not to brag, not to boast, simply to show that anyone (even a broken and at times lonely and sad army vet) can be a good and wonderful father.  You just need to pay attention and to show love.