Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Saturday, February 19, 2011



Eleven years ago, today, I was lucky enough to marry an incredible woman. Eleven years and three kids later, I love living every day with my wife.

Happy anniversary Sweetheart, I love going through life with you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Knowledge of Children

The Kids decided to watch Fantasia this evening. Though skipping through most of the introductions of the pieces, they watched most of the segments.  There are a some interesting things that I heard them discuss.

Our son had a problem with the introduction to the "The Rite of Spring" piece.  Even though the movie came out in 1940, he was arguing with the TV about the comment:
And then... well, we don't exactly know what happened. Some scientists think that great droughts and earthquakes turned the whole world into a gigantic dustbowl. In any case, the dinosaurs were wiped out

He was telling his sisters that it was an asteroid.

Then the kids were having a discussion about the differences between magma and lava, and naming the types of single cell organisms and dinosaurs.

At their age, I don't know if I would have had those discussions.  As a parent, I wonder what opportunities they will have, when they grow up.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kids and the Holidays

When you become an adult, sometimes you get a little jaded with the Christmas holidays.  Dealing with traffic, shopping, family drama.  It wasn't always like this for me, when I was a kid, I got very excited about the holidays.  I would count the number of days until Christmas morning and go to sleep early, feeling that this would cause Christmas to come earlier. In the days before Christmas, I would play with Matchbox cars under the presents, and leave them there for Christmas morning.

Now that we have kids, the magic of the holidays has come back for me. Seeing the kids so excited about Christmas makes all of the craziness of the holidays worth it.  We went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down a Christmas tree for the first time. Our daughter sing Christmas songs in the back seat of the car.  Our son likes to rearrange the ornaments on the tree, over and over again.

Is is really nice to see the kids so excited about Christmas.  I have been lucky enough to be able to take the last two weeks of the year off, and I am enjoying the time with the kids.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


A few weeks ago we got a Kinect for our Xbox 360.  The Kinect sensor allows you to use your body as a controller for games. The implementation that Microsoft makes it very easy to get into the games.

We used to have a Wii, and the kids, especially the younger ones, had a hard time using the Wiimote, especially when absolute movement is needed.  The kids really enjoy the Kinect.  They haven't had any problem playing the games.  They really like playing Kinect Adventures and Kintectimals.  Our 6-year-old daughter has a lot of fun playing Dance Central.

I would recommend Kinect for any family with kids, especially if you already have an Xbox in the house.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fatherhood and Expectations

Father's Day was this past weekend and I had a great time. Nothing really happened as planned, but I still had a good time.

We planned to take the kids to Toy Story 3 as a special treat for the kids. (Of course it was only for the kids, and I haven't been really excited about it since I heard that the movie was coming out last year. :-) ). We bought 5 tickets for the 3D version online so we would be sure that we could get in.

Because of nap time, and how long it took us to get out of the house, we didn't get there until 10 minutes before show time. The only seats that were still available were in the first two rows. The trailers were playing while we walked in, and they were a little loud. One of our daughters is sensitive to loud sounds, and she was very scared.  With the combination of the seating and the noise, we decided to leave the theater.

We then went to go for dinner, but every restaurant had about an hour wait. (We should have made reservations.) The kids were pretty restless, and wanted to go home or back to the movie.

We decided to go to a nice park instead. The kids had a good time. The older kids ran and chased each other, while I played with the youngest on the little kid playground.

When I was a new father, I would have wanted to have a "perfect" Father's Day, watching a movie and having a nice dinner. I may have been disappointed or upset that things didn't work out as planned. Honestly, I enjoyed the time that spent with them that day. We had a lot of fun at the park, and I am very lucky that I could spend it with my amazing wife. I can't imagine a better Father's Day.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I mentioned RoboGames last year.  RoboGames will be at the San Mateo County Fairgound next weekend.  I think that the kids would have a blast here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Extremely Old with You

My wife and I have been married 10 years, this year.  I am looking forward to growing extremely old with her.

(Extremely Old with You is a great song by Paul and Storm.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Get Game Smart

Microsoft, the Entertainment Software Association and others have partnered to create Get Game Smart. This website help education parents and children about the tools that are available to allow kids to be safe while playing video games.

I really like their focus on education about Parental Control settings, ESRB ratings, and finding family friendly games. In addition, this site has tips on how parents can talk to kids about cyber-bullying, and helping kids and parents creating balance with kids screen time.

I hope sites like this one will help prevent the FUD with video games, like stories like I mentioned before.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dressing kids: Dads vs Moms

This post has a pretty funny, but pretty true, graphic describing how dads and moms dress kids

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A few months ago one of our family members had their computer taken. This computer had her financial information, and other important information like usernames and passwords. She eventually got the computer back. About a week later, there was $1100 of charges to her PayPal account.

While I was visiting, I set her up with a LifeLock subscription. I also signed my wife and I, and our kids up for a sibscription.   I want to make sure that no one using any of our identies.  LifeLock does a few things for you

  • Sets up fraud alerts with the credit reporting agencies, and every 90 days.

  • Requests that subscribers names are removed from pre-approved credit offers

  • Requests that credit reports are sent every year.

  • Helps to contact banks if your wallet is lost or stolen

  • Helps to detect identity theft.

  • Will hire lawyers if you are ever a victim of identity theft

Most of those things you can do yourself.  I figure that paying LifeLock to do it for you, reduces the the things that I need to keep track of.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Activity Calendar

In this post, I mentioned that I created a calendar where I could put activities around the bay area for families. I have put it on this page to make it easier to find.

If you know of any activities that would be good for families, please feel free to leave a comment.

Jazz Baby

For our daughter's birthday, she was given a great book, Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler.  Our kids love this book.  The kids like rhythm and rhyme in the book.  The illustrations are great in the book.  Our daughter likes to look at the people in the illustrations, and recognize similarities with people in our family.

Also, our son loves to read the book to our daughters too.  I would recommend this book.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Classic Movies

Every once in a while, we have  family movie night.  The kids can stay up a little bit later an watch a movie.   I have been scheduling various children and family movies to be recorded on our DVR.  Our kids have really enjoyed some of the classic movies.  They have really enjoyed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins, and Black Stallion.

Friday, May 8, 2009


combat_sparks01-2005-bealeRoboGames is coming to San Francisco in June.  A few years ago, I went and had a blast.  Maybe this year I will take our son.  I think that he would love it.

[via GeekDad]

[picture by Scott Beale]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Y! Lil' Kidz Tunes

Our kids like to listen to Kids Place Live on XM Radio, while we are in the car.  At home we have purchased some kids music that we play in their rooms.  The kids have started to get tired of the music that we have (and so have we.)  We play Pandora on our Squeezeboxes, but unfortunately Pandora doesn't have children's music.

I was browsing the radio stations that we have on our Sqeezebox, and I found Y! Lil' Kidz Tunes.  This is one of Yahoo's children's radio stations.  The kids like it, I like it because I don't have to listen to the same songs over and over again.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


We are thinking about getting our kids a computer to replace the, now, non-functional iBook that they used to use.  Qimo looks interesting for our kids.  Qimo is a Linux distribution that has been customized for kids 3 and older.  The launcher has been customized to have larger icons, and comes preinstalled with games for kids.

You can run Qimo from the CD, so I will probably check it out before installing it.  One thing that I hope to be able to find is a modified browser where I can specify the sites where they can go, and it will ask for a password if attempting to navigate anywhere else.

Friday, January 2, 2009

RV Vacation

We rented an RV for vacation this year, and we had a great time.  We were going to vist family for the holidays, and we wanted to have a less hectic drive down there.  Normally we would have all piled in the minivan, and driven down in one sitting.  We would have either driven down udring the day, but the kids would get pretty restless, and we would have to deal with that.  Or we would leave when it gets dark, and the kids would sleep the whole way down.  The only problem is that when we got there, the kids would be up, while we would be tired.

We thought that we would rent an RV, and take our time on the trip.  On the way to the Palm Springs area, we spent a night in Big Sur, a couple in Pismo Beach, and a night in Pomono.  This was wonderful, as we were able to play in a river in Big Sur and play on the beach in Pismo Beach with the kids. 

In addition to those stops, we were able to stop at various places along the way.  We stopped in Solvang, which is looks like a Danish village.  Outside of Solvang is a Ostrich farm called Ostrich Land.  Also we stopped at the Dinosaurs in Cabazon, which is was shown in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch

When I was a kid I heard, and saw on tv shows and in movies, where people would go on summer vacations where the kids would go fishing and swimming, spending time with their parents. I never really went on those type of vacations when I was a kid, and didn't think that they really existed.

For the past three years, we have gone to the Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch.  This dude ranch is right outside of Quincy CA.  We have had a blast every single time that we have gone.  The kids love it, even though they are too young to ride out on the trails.  They go fishing, catch frogs, go swimming.  There are wagon rides to cookouts.  One night a week, the kids are able to race the frogs that they caught.  There is a game room with various games, that our son loves to play.  For the kids over 6 years old, they can ride their horses on the trails.

For everyone, in addition to the riding, there is a softball and volleyball games against the staff .  There is also a card night, a karaoke night, a guest rodeo, and a bunch of other activities.

For us, the best part about going is that we can go and have fun with our kids, and not have to worry about making food or cleaning up the room.  And we know that when we are on our rides, that the kids are safe and having fun.

We would recommend the Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch to everyone.