About Me

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So Who am I?...I am the husband of one terrific wife and the father of two boys, both of whom have autism. I have been in the Marines for over 15 years and in that time ( and in my own growing up) I have seen, done and experienced a great multitude of things. Which is why I call myself Diverse Dad. My user name is a mix of a Toby Mac song and a reflection on a lot of different life experiences that have helped me grow and help others through similar situations. I can be pretty hyper sometimes and my wife often accuses me of being ADD. Other than that I see myself as a pretty normal dad who is trying to raise children with Godly Christian character in a world that seems to scream otherwise. By blogging I hope to offer words of encouragement to my fellow dads specifically and all people in general. Secondly by going through the pages of others, I hope to gain knowledge and ideas that can help my family and I. So feel free to comment good, bad or otherwise and share your thoughts...God Bless and I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's That Time of the Year....Christmas

Yes! It is that time of the year again for that wonderful holi-day Christmas. I know I hyphenated holiday, for you see, it really is a Holy day. The day we celebrate the birth of the One who has saved us from being eternally separated from Him. I know commercialism often takes over but we really need to remember the Reason for the Season. I know it is my favorite holiday, not only for the BIG reason but also for the little ones. I am always distracted and off focus during this time of the year and in a bad way. Several years ago I was on Recruiting Duty in Illinois and every December I never was able to enlist anyone into the Marine Corps. I did just fine in January and prior to, I just could do nothing in December. I am still the same today…I mean I am in a great mood and full of energy I just lack focus. Well, let us move on…. This weekend was the grand decorating weekend preparing for the season. I helped my oldest son put up the Christmas tree in his bedroom, put up the village, strung a new set of lights on a bough for my wife and put up the outside decorations, which was a challenge. As you may recall, we moved back in July and all the decorations were set up for the other house. All the boughs and lights were measured out exactly for the roofline of our old house. So that had to be thought out all over again and a lot of deliberating of exactly what I wanted to do (icicle lights or LED lights with boughs and bows, I went with the latter). After they fell off the roof three times, I believe I got a solid solution to ensure they stay in place. I guess I will find out in due time. After that was done I climbed the tree next to the house and strung it with color lights (probably not enough) and put a bough and lights on the bench swing. To wrap everything up, I set up the inflatable snow globe (Charlie Brown and Snoopy with a tree in case you were wondering) and tucked all the cords out of sight. Call me retentive but I hate to see exposed extension cords so I do my best to hide them. Well that is enough for tonight…until next time, may the Lord of Peace be with you and your loved ones. Below are a couple of snap-shots of my wife's creativity. Pretty good isn't she?

A picture of the book case all decorated, those lanterns work for all seasons

A advent calender my wife made for our youngest son...Pretty cool isn't it? No, she didn't make extras.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Words of Wisdom?

Yes, I am back once again with words of wisdom and good fortune to all…okay…maybe not. It did sound rather profound and enlightening did it not? As mentioned in an earlier post, I would like to take this opportunity to give a brief update of the last couple of months since I was on a period of absence. This is kind of funny, because other than some headaches at work, all I can really remember is some good old fashioned family time. There were two that were really great and both surrounded the notion of obtaining pumpkins from a place called Mike’s Farm. My family and I do not celebrate Halloween, but we do enjoy what has become our annual trip to the farm, get on the hayride and pick out our pumpkins. At any rate, the first outing did not go so well. They had the largest crowd I have ever witnessed and my youngest son does not do crowds. So it was going to be Mom and Tyler to the rescue and get our pumpkins. Unfortunately, there were different lines for the restaurant, the hayride, the gift shop and the ticket sales for the hayride. Even worse the lines had no clear definition and one could easily wind up in the wrong line….which my wife did. She and Tyler waited in line for quite some time before it was noticed. They gave up on the pumpkin idea for the day, so they thought they would give the gift shop a try but that line too was impenetrable. So we opted to look at the different farm animals and call it a day and we would try again another day. My wife having awesome insight, realized Tyler and I have not had some good dad and son time. So the following Saturday I took Tyler to breakfast at I-Hop and following that we headed back to the farm to get our pumpkins…and the mission was a success, not to mention I was able to get some homemade fudge as a bonus. The best part was just being able to have some good one on one time with my son. Which I think is important, family time as a whole is a necessity, but I feel it is equally important to build solid bonds with each member individually. Well that’s a wrap before this goes on for too long. In closing, let me say, if we are spending time and developing our children, who (or what) is. Until next time…..

Today’s Quote: Family happiness is homemade.

The crowd at Mike's Farm the first go-around

Round 2, Can you see the difference?

As you can see, the second trip was a lot less busy. As a matter of fact we were the second family in line for the hay ride. Which is what the next picture is of, the hayride itself, following that is Tyler "driving" a tractor.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Marines!

Greetings! See I told you I would be back soon. Well today is a special day, for it is the 234th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. If any of my readers have the distinction of being a Marine (or a former Marine), to you I wish a Happy Birthday. If any of you know someone who is a Marine or a member of our fellow services, I humbly ask that on this upcoming Veteran’s day, that you please take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices great and small that these fellow Americans have made so that our loved ones may enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy today. If you do know one, please take a moment to offer an encouraging word. Believe it or not, it is greatly appreciated. I would like to share, that although the military life is a personal choice, it is comforting to be appreciated and to know our sacrifices and those of our families are not in vain. I know firsthand how difficult it is to be away from your loved ones for months on end without the assurance that the day you said good bye was not a forever good bye and it just may have been the last time you see them. Then there is the struggle while we are gone for our loved ones to carry on with life like normal. The hardest part is trying to reintegrate back into their lives. For the last few months of the deployment they have gotten into a good groove and we try to pick up where we left off. Believe me, it makes for a little friction, which no offense to anyone, when you have special needs children, it can be compounded greatly. The worse scenario (and too often true) is to be the family member seeing your loved one’s unit returning but your loved one is not one of them. I am not trying to sound depressing; I was just trying to give insight to what is felt by real live human beings and what our experience is. I have been in the military for 18 years and I assure you, it never gets easier. Now, let us move on….actually I will save the rest for a later post. Until next time….

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's Been a While, I Know

Surprise! Yes, I am still alive and kicking. Once again I do not have a really good reason for being away for so long. Work has been pretty hectic but that is really not a good reason. Although as result of the craziness at work, I must admit, my moods have been on a bumpy road. I won’t go into details but let’s just say they are times when I wonder what I was thinking! As I mentioned in an earlier post though, I have no one to blame but myself. I am thinking though it will start improving in the next few weeks as I will have more opportunities to do more actual teaching and less administrative duties. I have always preferred working rather than shuffling papers and going to meetings. I guess I should of remembered that a couple of months ago. Other than that and my foot, my life is pretty blessed. As a matter of fact today it has been one year since I returned from Afghanistan. As for my foot it isn’t that big of deal, it appears I have a pinched nerve in my foot and if the current treatments do not work it will require surgery (that does not really appeal to me). With me being a Marine though it is kind of important (required actually) that I not only be able to walk to do my duties but as you may know Marines like to run too. That is really hard to do with a bum foot. Well this is a short post, I will be back later (not 2 months either) with more updates.

Today’s Quote: When we worry, we believe more in our problems than in God’s promises.