About Me

My photo
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!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Are you surprised

I am sure for those that check my blog periodically may have thought that I was gone forever (even my mother-in-law deleted my blog address). Fear not, I am still here, just seem to be caught up in that crazy thing called life. Actually life is good (and every day is a gift from above), I have been pretty busy though. Being in the military almost everything we do operates in a fiscal year vice calendar year. And unlike regular school we have a heavy influx of students during the summer months. So take the heavy class schedule of teaching, scheduling next years classes (begin in October), balancing the schedule between the instructors needs/requirements and the class schedule and a plethora of other things; I am sure you can see how busy it has been. And to be honest after being on a computer all day to accomplish all the previous (yes even the teaching) I really do not want to be on a computer when I get home from work. For the last couple of months I have been only getting on my computer long enough (one night a week) to set up my players for fantasy football. Yes, at my son's request I set up a fantasy league that includes him, my wife and my father in law. On the down side my ability to pick good players is not as good as the rest of my family's. As a matter of fact, I am 0-5, which it seems like you really have to try to do that bad. To be honest, I just don't get it. My points projection is usually higher than my opponent but come game day....I get whooped...I mean really bad, for I don't lose by a little. Oh no, I lose with style and have a staggering point difference. OK, I am starting to get depressed just thinking about it...let's move on...I have been trying my hand at the ability to make crafts from wood..well okay only one actually...but it took me several tries. My wife saw a votive candle holder made from a branch on the internet. She asked if I would like to try to make one for her. Well I could not turn my bride down...so out came the saw and other tools. The first attempt was infested with a lot of ants, so scratch that one. The second one, as I bored the holes observed there was a white slug/worm thing inside the branch...yep you guessed it...scratch number two. I had all but given up by my faithful companion found a freshly fallen branch in the woods. However a simple saw was not going to do..I had to break out the old chainsaw. Well after several days...I achieved success! I will post a picture of sometime and let me know what you think.
Also we have had some very active wild life lately...well we always have the birds and squirrels, but lately we have had quite a few deer hanging out in our back yard. My wife is loving it and my fellow men and work have been begging to let them help rid me of the deer(hunt). However, I can't give in to that, so I had to say no. Below is a picture of them.Well that is enough for tonight...until next time...may all be well with you and your family.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Part II is a Reality

Glad to see that you came back for Part II (if this is your first time here please refer to the previous post to bring yourself up to speed). So where were we...oh yes..we covered the owl and my son's birthday, let us pick up from there.
Back to Work

As mentioned previously, I was given a good bit of time off work to recuperate from the surgery on my foot. To be totally honest I was getting a little stir crazy towards the end. Don't get me wrong, I love being home with the family whenever possible, but I believe men are to provide for their families and for some psychological reason I feel that if I am at home I am not doing that. I know it sounds weird, it was time I was given by the Marine Corps (via the doctor) to recover so I shouldn't feel bad about it, but on the other hand I feel like I am not doing what I am getting paid to do. So to continue, I went back to work about two weeks ago and it has been pretty busy. Not to mention I think a lot of it was compounded by my absence. Unfortunately summer seems to be when our class schedule is it's heaviest. As always there are a good portion of those students that have personal problems to be resolved, add that to planning next years classes convene/graduation dates, trying to replace instructors who have moved on or getting ready to, meetings, training requirements, and a plethora of other things it can be quite draining. So by the end of the day I am talking to myself and sometimes answering. Which is why I am always thankful for weekends especially when they bring special days like.....
Father's Day
I sincerely hope that all my fellow dad's out there had a awesome Father's Day. As for me, I couldn't have hoped for a better one...My eldest son (who was born on Father's Day in 1996) took his dear old dad out to breakfast. He even picked up the tab. I tell you it doesn't get much better than that. We were able to have a great conversation while enjoying a great breakfast. I shouldn't have to say it but I will...it's not the gifts or the special treatment that we as dad's sometimes get, no sir, it is the ability to spend time with those that are the reason there is a Father's Day ( or Mother's Day) in the first place. Which leads me to another topic that I will save for my next post...in essence I would like to review in detail the importance parents play in the life of their child. Maybe I am way off but it seems that many parents today don't always love their children for who they are. I am sickened by the number of cases that a baby is aborted because prenatal tests showed that the child may be disabled in some way. Like I said though, that is a post for another time since this one is pretty long already.
I will also just briefly mention summer...which here in the Carolinas is not too enjoyable. All week we have been having heat indexes of 105 -110 degrees. Regular temperature is about mid to high 90's. In a nutshell it is really hard to find anything to do when it is so unbearably hot. I am not complaining, Afghanistan was a lot hotter, but my family wasn't there with me and there wasn't a whole lot to do there either. Oh well until next time....before I go though I would like to share the reasons why I get the best title in the world.....DAD!




Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Part II is Possible

You know, when life is busy and you do not post regularly, the danger of typing a post that is too long is a definite possibility. If it appears that I may do that, fear not, I will bring this post to a close and finish the rest in another post. I know, you are probably thinking, "Gee, what a nice guy", but really it is no trouble at all. Also so I do not get all mixed up ( really easy for me to do), I will break it down by topic. So if you are ready, let us continue....
Our Very Own Owl
Alright, we do not really have our own owl but he has been visiting our backyard every night for the last couple of weeks. My wife spotted hi
m on our dog's fence about 10 feet behind our house. Since that night we watch for him and like clockwork he lands on the power lines that butt up against the woods behind our house (about 40-50 feet back). He is really an amazing creature and is rather regal in appearance. At first, I thought he was a Horned Owl, but after getting a really good look at him it appears he is a Barred Owl (boy was I off). After so many frequent visits we thought we should give him a name. I ( in all my originality) thought of Owliver but my son wanted to name him Shakespeare after a different type of Bard. He is really cool to watch, especially when he is on the hunt. Below is a picture of him.Now, let's move on to the next topic, shall we?


owl
A Birthday Boy(correction young man)
My eldest son has recently turned 14 years of age and is becoming quite the fine young man. I do not want to sound like I am bragging but I am so proud of him. As I mentioned in an earlier post, he faced quite a few challenges just coming into the world. To see him today and all I can say is wow. Aside from all the physical challenges he over came, just to see the fine young Man of God he is becoming is just awesome. Even as bad I mess up in the whole dad department at times it is good to see it had no lasting affect. The only really hard thing is to see him (and his brother) grow up so fast. Just think, in a couple of years, he will be in that driving able age. I get gray hairs just thinking about it. I am proud to be his father yet humbled that God would trust me that much to bless me with him. In a nutshell it is just Awesome and boggles my mind! Well that is enough for this post. If you wish you may get caught up on all the rest in the next post. I hope to have you there. Before I go, I would like to share a couple of photos of my son. You know how bad proud parents can be...always whipping out those pictures! Well until next time.....


Photobucket




Thursday, May 27, 2010

Post Operative Boredom

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I would be having surgery on my foot to remove a nerve that was causing me no end of grief (read pain). Tomorrow, will be the two week mark since I had the surgery, and all seems to be going well. The first few days it looked as though someone took a mallet to my foot. Most of the bruising is gone, still some swelling, but I am making progress. The first two weeks it had to be bandaged and I had to wear a big ugly walking boot. Yesterday the stitches were removed and I am able to finally wear a shoe on that foot (albeit laces very loose). Which leads to me where I am now, extremely bored! I was doing better when the foot was wrapped in a bandage and I had to strap on the walking boot. It seemed almost justifiable not being able to do anything. Now though I am can put on a shoe and be more mobile yet not able to really do anything. I can tolerate about an hour of moving around then I need to rest the foot. Meanwhile my wife and children are doing school and I basically just sit in the bedroom trying to occupy myself. It is very frustrating...I can not really do all that much to help out around the house because of my limitations. I am thankful I am given the time to heal, I just wish there was more I could do. My wife though has been a tremendous blessing. She has seen to my needs and done so much to help me out all the while continuing on with everything else. I do enjoy the extra time I have been getting with my family and I am so very thankful. I just struggle with patience when I can not do what I should do. Oh well, all in due time I guess. Well that is all for now...I need to go and....that's right I really have nothing to do. Until next time, may all be well with you and your household.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mom's Special Day


Well today is the official day that we let Mom's know how much we appreciate tall hey do for our children and all they did for us as we were growing up. Actually, even as adults, mothers are still there for their children. As for Mother's Day in our household, it has been a pretty good day ( at least I think it has, I cannot speak for my wife). For Mothers Day, my wife received two different types of bird feeders (it is what she wanted) that claim to be squirrel proof. So far from what we have observed they are holding true to their claim. We have watched the squirrels repeatedly make attempts to get the seed but to no avail. Both have mechanisms that close doors to the seed if too much weight is applied to the perch. Also the way they are designed the squirrels cannot pry them open or hang on them very well. It is actually very amusing to watch their best attempts to get at the feeders. This morning my eldest son took his mom to I-Hop and treated her to breakfast. They had a great time and I am happy they were able to get some good time together. Well not to take away from Mom's special day, I just wanted to wish all mom's out there a great day. Words can never explain all you do. Thanks.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Little Worn Out

Did you ever have those times when you just feel worn out? I am having one of those moments today. I will need to rewind to Wednesday night to where it all started. Just after I finished my last post, we were doing the night time routine thing. Getting the kids in the bath, getting stuff ready for work, etc. My youngest son, who likes to get a little rowdy in the tub (splash water, get in and out, etc), was doing just that when he slipped and caught his ear on the bathroom counter. So we took him to the emergency room to get him stitched up. However with his strong sensory defensiveness, there is no way he was going to let anyone touch his ear, much less put stitches in it. The doctor decided the best course of action (realistically the only) would be to bring him back in the morning, put him under and then stitch the ear up. So we were released about midnight, got home and put the kids to bed. Woke again at 5am and got everybody up and ready to return to the hospital by 6:30 a.m. The procedure went well and my son was discharged about 4 pm. However with him being a sleep most of the day he didn't really sleep that night. My wife took the Thursday night shift so I could go up for work the next morning at 5 am. I took the late night shift last night and got to bed about three this morning. With the stress of the events from Wednesday to Thursday and the lack of sleep, I think today is recuperation day. I am extremely thankful that all is well with my son though. It took him only about a day to get back to his usual feistiness. Well that is enough for now I guess, since my thoughts are not transferring as well as I would like them to. Until next time, may all be well with you and your household.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Miracles and a Need for Prayer

Do you believe in Miracles? I have witnessed a few in my life. The most memorable occurred almost 14 years ago. My wife was pregnant with our first child and had eclampsia really bad. To the point the doctors explained to me that if they didn't deliver my son soon my wife would not make it. They were probably right since my wife started having convulsions during the C-Section. However tests the day prior showed that my son's lungs were not fully developed and his heart was dropping off at times from the stress on my wife's body; he more than likely would not survive. Praise God, on that point they couldn't been more off the mark. As a matter of fact, other than being really small (3 lbs 4 oz) he was perfectly healthy (lungs included). That was Father's Day 1996. A few weeks later after my wife had recovered and my son had gained enough weight to be released, we went home, July 4th to be exact. That my friends, is my definition of a Holy God answering prayer and providing a miracle. I do not know why He does not answer all calls placed to Him; but I do know everything He does has a purpose. I can ask all I want but I know the answer, " My grace is sufficient". Another miracle occurred yesterday, my wife's cousin yesterday fell 30 feet from a silo and landed on his feet. He spent much time in surgery with rods being placed in his back and other things. He will be in a wheel chair for at least six weeks. His surviving the fall in itself is a miracle, the second is that he is not paralyzed at all. The road to recovery will be long and that is where my request for prayer comes in. If you wouldn't mind, offer a prayer up for Kyle, I would greatly appreciate it.
Other than that life is pretty much the same. In two weeks I will be having a little surgical procedure of my own. Being the funky guy that I am, it appears I have a nerve in my foot that wants to tell my brain that my foot is always hurting. So after a couple of different approaches to cure it ( steroid shots and then another type of shot for weeks on end) with out success, the next step is surgery. The bright side is I will get a little time off work ( not really the way I want to take a vacation). Well until next time, never be discouraged by unanswered prayer, for He always answers, it just may not be the answer we were looking for. It just may be, "My grace is sufficient". He has a plan, is in control and loves you. I assure you, I know it's not always easy, but trust in Him. I always find "Praise You in this Storm" by Casting Crowns reassuring and reaffirming. Give it a Try

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Great Night

The concert was great, so many people gathered together, lifting their voices as one to give praise to Him. Caleb and Will (Chapman (Steven Curtis Chapman's sons)) opened, followed by Tenth Avenue North and then it was Casting Crowns. Just a great night that will always have great memories. While we were there, Mark Hall, gave a presentation about the great things World Vision is doing and asked audience members to partake and help a child in need. This has been done by the last few concerts I have gone to but I have always stopped short because we already sponsor a child through compassion international. Last night though it layed heavy on my heart, so I made a quick phone call to the wife and we discussed it. At the end we ended up sponsoring a little girl from Africa. Why do I write this? As Mark brought up last night, it is a great way of not only showing the love of Jesus but it is also another tool that will assist you in raising Godly children. If you think about it, as you correspond with this child, you are showing your son and daughter the importance of reaching out to the orphans, the poor, and the joy of giving a person hope. That they are not alone in their struggles, that there are those that care, and are trying to do something for them. So if you want to learn more you can go to www.worldvision.org or www.compassion.com. To wrap all this up, the concert was great and below you will find some pictures. The first is the Chapman brothers, then 10th Avenue North, and last but not least, The Crowns. Until next time, may the Prince of Peace be your encouragement and strengthen you to accomplish His purpose for your life.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pre Concert Post

Okay, I know it seems like I fell off the face of the earth but that is not possible because the earth is round, not flat. As I mentioned in a earlier post, I really have no excuses nor apologies. When not at work I try to spend time with the family. Yet there are times the work day gets to me and I need a few minutes alone to decompress. At any rate, life at work has been a little hectic but thankfully I have a loving family to come home to and spend weekends with. Lately, with the weather getting nicer, we have started the hobby of geocaching. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it. What is geo-caching you ask? Essentially it is a modern day treasure hunt. Instead of using a map, you need a gps (or a smart phone gps capable). You plug the coordinates in off the geocaching website and you are off. They come at all levels of difficulty and are world wide. Just go to www.geocaching.com to learn more. We have had a lot of fun doing it as it is a great way to spend family time together, with the exception of some form of GPS there is no cost, and it is even educational for both your child and you. I included a picture at the bottom of this post of one of the caches we found (it wasn't easy).
Let me move on to the title of this post though...Pre-concert post. Tomorrow morning my eldest son and I will embark on a three hour road trip to see Casting Crowns. It will be our second Crowns concert so I am sure we will enjoy it. The original reason we decided to go is that they were touring with Kutless ( who I have have wanted to see for along time and yes my son likes them a lot too). However, half way through the tour they switched over to 10th Avenue North, which is good but I was looking forward to Kutless. The important thing is that I am spending time with my son, especially at this stage in his life, I believe it to be an important time. If you think about it, being a Dad (or Mom), is the most important job that can ever be entrusted to you. Your actions (or inactions) have consequences that do not stop at that person. As a Marine I am entrusted with much responsibility (which I do not take lightly) yet it does not come even close to the responsibility and duty that God has entrusted to me in raising my boys into responsible God fearing men. Often we let things often get in our way from doing our job the right way. It may be a hobby, the computer, your job that you get tangible pay from, or a plethora of other things. There are couple of songs that drive this point home: Busy Man (Billy Ray Cyrus) or American Dream (Casting Crowns). If you have the opportunity, listen to them both and you will find them pretty sobering. Well, I should wrap this up, I still need to pack for tomorrow. Until next time remember, work for the things that matter. Here are the geocaching pictures. Do you see the cache? The next picture will reveal it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Yep, It's Monday!

What a way to start a week! It started probably right around the time it became Monday too. I have a bad habit of talking in my sleep and sometimes rather loudly. If my wife talks to me to have me stop, I interject her into my conversation. So long story short I prevented her from getting a good night's rest. To make matters worse, I am not much of a morning person, so I set three alarms (set 15 minutes apart starting at 5 am). Well apparently I let the first one go off for awhile before I heard it. Which I really do feel bad about. Fast forward a couple of hours and now I am at work. With the computers at work, you need your ID card to log in. I am sure you can guess what I left at home...if you guessed my wallet you would be correct. So I went back downstairs, jumped in the car and returned home to fetch my wallet. Unfortunately, those events pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day. On a good note, I was able to get home from work at a pretty decent time... so that is a good thing. Which led my wife sending me to the commissary (military talk for grocery store on base). Which would be alright but it is the 1st of the month, which means it was busy. I was able though to snag one of the last two parking spots remaining. I have to be honest, I did pick up a couple of extra things, but all healthy! For instance I bought some eggs (the Cadbury brand) and some beans (the jelly kind made by Starburst). It is now after 8 pm and my eldest is still finishing his schoolwork (yeah he had a rough day too). However, I still feel very blessed...because no matter what happens through out the day I still have a family and a God who loves me. Even when I screw up (regularly) I am still loved. And to whoever may be reading this...remember no matter what you do...remember you have a God who loves you. I am not saying to live a life that defies Him and think everything is good. What I am saying is, everybody slips and falls from time to time. What matters is if we reach out for His hand to help us up or steady ourselves when we slip. Well that is all for tonight, until next time...may God give you the comfort you need.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Local Winter Jam and other Happenings

Do you know the biggest problem with inconsistent blogging? The ability to actually cover everything that has happened since the last post. It's a good thing that the most important aspect of my blog is about being a dad. Which leads me to my the title of my post. The most amazing thing happened a few weeks ago...it actually snowed in good old south eastern North Carolina. Which we had one snow fall last year and the last one before that was a few years before. Now for those of you wishing for me to be quiet because you live in one of those tundra like areas where you get enough snow for you and I, I ask for a little latitude. For you see, my wife and I both grew up in the frozen land of Wisconsin, so you see we are kind of sentimental to snow. And if you rarely ever get it, when you do it is kind of special. At any rate, my son and I enjoyed a good old snow ball fight and took a walk through the woods to enjoy God's creation blanketed in undisturbed beauty. Below are a couple of pictures from the whole experience.


Father and son resting up after a good snow ball fight.















A picture of undisturbed creation in the snow...reminds me of Narnia under the White Witches rule.














Other happenings are actually "gadget geek" related. For Christmas, my wife got me a digital photo frame and I-Pod dock all in one by Sony for my desk at work. I think it was too much packaged into one item because after two weeks the docking station stopped working and I wound up returning it. I have been on the search for one similar since then, unfortunately I wasn't able to find one. My wife, being the wonderful woman that she is, simplified my problem for me. For Valentine's day she gave me a digital photo frame with a 1 GB internal memory (also by Sony). It works awesome, has some cool features, has an excellent display and even comes with a remote. So all I had to do was find a docking station that appealed to me, which was really simple to do. I settled on the Bose Series II docking station. I will always be amazed by Bose, how they can get incredible sound from such a small product. So at least now when I am locked down behind my desk I can enjoy some great music and look upon to those that matter most in my life. Well that is all for tonight, I need to go read bedtime stories and get to bed myself. Until next time may all be well.

P.S. For the wives that may be reading. Don't worry, I didn't forget my wife on Valentines day, I was able to get her something special for too. She even got it early...how cool is that.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Winter Jam 2010

What a show! As mentioned earlier, my son and I went to the Winter Jam concert in Greensboro and what a Jam it was (definitely worth the 3 ½ hour drive)! We left yesterday morning earlier since bad weather was predicted in the area. We only faced a few flurries and rain most of the way. We arrived after 1, ate lunch, checked into our hotel and took a cab to the coliseum. We had pretty good seats and had an excellent time and if there is one coming to your area I highly recommend you go. For Newsboys fans that are wondering how they sound with Michael Tait as their new front man you need not to worry. In my opinion they sound great and Michael Tait is a natural fit. All the bands did great and I must say that I am impressed with the new to me band Fire Flight. My son thinks there a little heavy but I tend to like the heavier stuff. It was a great night of music, praise, fellowship and memories for my son and me. And although the whole experience has left me wiped out (I think I am getting too old for all this), it was definitely worth it. So my fellow dads take the time to build those memories and give your children the time they deserve…you will be glad you did. On a final note, I placed some pictures from the concert below. Until next time, may you be the dad God meant you to be.

Below is a picture of Newsboys

Below is Third Day:


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blogging Irregularites, A Good Blog, and no Coffee!

Well it has been exactly one month since my last blog…almost seems like a confessional doesn’t it? Don’t worry, I am not apologizing. There are times I feel guilty about not blogging enough or checking my e-mail (just deleted 330) but I take a step back and reassess it all and here is what I came up with. I leave for work about 6:30 a.m. and get home between the times of 4 and 6 p.m. (usually somewhere in the middle). Then my family and I eat dinner, the kids take a bath and then it is off to bed at around 10 p.m. So really the only time available is the weekend. Now the weekends are for the family and to get the chores done. So this presents my dilemma of blogging on a regular schedule. Actually, I think it emphasizes what I try to say in the majority of my posts that we as Dads play a huge role in our families. If we let all the hustle and bustle of life disrupt that, other influences will take their place, which I believe is the largest to the contributor to the failings of the American family today.

Speaking of dad’s, my wife introduced me to a really cool blog from a dad, if you would like to check it out it is: The Male Domain. I also just found out that my blog made an inspirational blog list from AssociateDegree.com. If you would like to see others that made the list check out Inspirational Blogs .

Other happenings in our household have not been too many. We have moved past the holidays and are trucking along in 2010. Tuesday of this week was particularly a rough day... It started off simple enough, I awoke at 5:15 as normal and went to turn on the old coffee maker and then it happened…the coffee maker stopped working. It would turn on and a few seconds later beep then shut-off (as if it completed the brewing cycle) with no coffee brewed. It was a catastrophe of epic proportions…if you are coffee connoisseur (read addict) you can truly understand the depth of despair this would bring. What little did I know that little problem would spiral into a terribly rough day at the office. The day ended on a better note as my family and I after work went an obtained a new caffeine producing device. And next week, my eldest son and I will take a two hour drive so we can attend the Winter Jam Tour 2010. Once again it will be an opportunity for my son and I to build memories and spend time together doing something we both enjoy. If you would like to know more about it or if there is one in your area go to the Winter Jam site! Until next time…may the Lord guide your steps and catch you when you slip.