The Daily Elf: December 10th

Just another day of hanging out in the basement. Elfis sat on a lamp I got from my grandmother. Woody sat upon the 4 foot sword my parents gave to me. They’ve been very well behaved so far. However, we are now just two weeks from Christmas Eve so I sense some mischief coming. I wonder how big of a mess they’ll make?

Then Bang thought they looked really hungry so he brought them each a bowl full of goldfish. It’s the snack that smiles back, just like the elves. Turns out they were indeed hungry as they ate nearly the whole bowl…


Sunday Share: Week 49

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Can you believe we’re just two weeks away from Christmas Eve? We’re nowhere near done our shopping. Are you? Every year I say I’m going to get it done early. Only once did it happen and that was 3 years ago. I work best under pressure. There’s no pressure like the pressure of the last minute. Or even the last 30 seconds. I’m just enjoying the season. The gifts will be bought in good time. While I enjoy all the gift giving as much as the next 6 (or 10) year old, we all know that’s not what Christmas is all about.

It’s all about the music!
My favorite Christmas song – When My Heart Finds Christmas by Harry Connick Jr.
DW’s new favorite – Hope Was Born This Night by The Sidewalk Prophets
DW’s  old favorite – When A Child Is Born by Boney M
DW’s classic favorite – O Holy Night
Crash’s – Let it Go by Pentatonix
Bang’s – Carol of the Bells by Pentatonix

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

While you’re listening, pick a few good reads from below…

Damn, Girl!
When a gag gift is not just a gag gift…

The Salty Mamas
When your kid “gets” Christmas…

A Momma’s View
Remember when we could pick them up?

Second Wind Leisure
Not just a photo challenge, but a few “cheeky” moments…

Just because you fail doesn’t make you a failure. You will always question if you are doing the right things or doing enough….


Sing loud, sing proud even if you can’t carry a tune with two hands and bucket.

The Daily Elf: December 9th

A conversation happened at bedtime, as they normally do. It was our normal nightly ritual of saying good night. Then I tossed in one more line…

Me: Night night, love you.
Bang: Night night, love you.
Me: Ugga mugga, see ya in the morning
Bang: Ugga mugga, see ya in the morning
Me: Like your face
Bang: Like your face
Me: You’re the best person ever
Bang: You’re the best person ever *normally this would be the last line except I added…
Me: Like your butt.
Bang: *giggles* like your butt even though it’s not chubby. And it’s hairy.

Anyway, our elves found the candy cane with fudge crackle ice cream. I knew it was just a matter of time. That stuff is good. Fortunately, they left some for the boys.

Go Ask Your Father: Straws, Pink Stuff, Christmas Trees, and A Fly In The Truck


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I’m loving the questions this week. Very science oriented. Physics to be exact. There are a couple of science YouTubers I already follow (VSauce and Veritasium). However, thanks to this week’s questions I found Physics Girl. She made a really neat, easy to make, electric “train” using a coil of copper wire, an AA battery and some neodymium magnets. I’ve always been science oriented. I enjoyed physics class in high school, though I wasn’t nearly at the top of my class. I was lucky if I was in the lower middle average kid in class. So to have kids who are as equally interested in science makes me happier than a astrophysicist with a super nova.

1. How does milk come up the straw when I suck on it?

I’ll forego all the sucking jokes, for the moment. Believe it or not, you are not pulling the liquid up the straw when you suck. It is getting pushed up from the bottom. When you suck on a straw you pull the air out of the upper part. This creates a low pressure area. The relatively high pressure (I say it’s relative because the pressure in the bottom of your milk cup changed only in relation to the space inside the straw) in the bottom of your milk cup pushes up. It’s the opposite of blowing into a straw to shoot a piece of corn. If you blow air into it, air pressure build up until the corn flies out and hits another kid in the head and you make a trip to the principal’s office. With a low pressure above the liquid in the straw, the liquid on the bottom rises to fill the space. The longest straw you could theoretically use is 10.3 meters. However, I’m not sure you suck enough to create a perfect vacuum required to use such a big straw. Speaking of vacuums… A straw will not work in outer space because you couldn’t change the air pressure because there is no air pressure. It will work inside a space ship, aka the Space Station.

2. What’s that pink stuff in the humidifier?

It could be my loofah, but it’s not. This stuff grows on the ledges in the tub, on the shower curtain, and in the humidifier. It’s pink. It easily washes off with cleaner. Then it comes right back in a week or less. It’s not mold. It’s an airborne bacteria. Don’t get all freaked out and panic, though. The science world calls it serratia marcescens. The rest of us call it a harmless nuisance. No matter what you use to clean it, it will return as it is airborne. It thrives in damp places (hence the growth in humidifiers and showers). The best you can do is clean to manage, not clean to rid. Make sure you ventilate the bathroom sufficiently during and after your daily scrub. If your like most normal households with young kids, the bathroom door is always open, anyway. No place is sacred.

3. Why do we set up Christmas trees?

Why exactly do we bring the outdoors inside? It’s so Santa knows where to leave all the presents, of course. I can only imagine how confused he might be in a house without a tree. Where do the presents go? According to we have 16th century Germans to thank for the tradition of decorating the tree. Ancient peoples believed the evergreens would ward of witches and evil spirits during the months of little day light. They would decorate their rooms with boughs of holly along with pine and spruce branches. Christian Americans of the 1600’s thought it an odd tradition. Some even went as far as creating laws against it’s observance. Until Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert appeared as a drawing in the Illustrated London News in 1846. Much like today, if it was good enough for the royals, it was good enough for the people. It only took a few hundred years for it catch on.

4. If a fly were flying in the truck and stopped flying would he hit the back window?

I was grinning from ear to ear when Bang, the 6 year old, asked this question as we pulled into the driveway one afternoon. What a question! Imagine holding a baseball while riding down the road (someone else is driving). Toss the baseball up and catch it and to you it appears to have gone straight up and straight down. To the hitchhiker on the side of the highway that ball flew in an arc, a rainbow, a parabola. What about a fly, though? Thanks to YouTube, I discovered an answer. A dude flew a drone in the back of his van while his wife drove. As his wife slowly accelerated the drone stayed with the van. It didn’t drift to the back like I expected it to. However, with all the doors and the hatch open the van drove off and the done stayed put, effectively exiting the van without moving. It turns out that the drone provides sufficient downward force to keep it stationary inside the van when all it’s doors are shut. However, with the doors open, it has nothing to push against so it can’t remain inside. Would a fly, which doesn’t have nearly the same force as a drone, have the same effect? Or if it stopped flying would it smash into the back windshield? Like trying to drink through a 10 meter straw, that would really suck (for the fly).

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The Daily Elf: December 8th

I don’t know about you, but we have an overly creative 6 year old. His imagination runs as wild and free as the tree top monkeys. Lately, he’s been into crafts. His latest obsession is tape. I call him Sir TapesAlot. In Walmart last week I spotted a pack of 4 rolls of Scotch tape and asked “Hey, you want this for Christmas?” His eyes lit up and he very excitedly exclaimed “YES!”.

Guess what he’s getting for Christmas?

Anyway, our walls are decked out and now our kitchen window is, too. He drew and colored a pair of dragons and some “elf seats” to tape to the window for them. I think he did it so he wouldn’t have to go looking for them. It worked…

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Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep55

There’s an age at which we don’t care what other think of us. We are young and innocent and naive. At some point we cross a line, reach a milestone, come to realize that other people have thoughts, too, and some of those thoughts are about us. Then we start to take notice of what we wear, how we look, what we do, what toys we play with. We go from hating jeans to wearing nothing but. We want to be in the “in crowd”. We want to belong. I’m not exactly sure when it happens, but somewhere between the age of 6 and 10. I know this because the 6 year old has no issue, and thinks it quite funny, to wear one boot and one shoe to walk to Nanny’s house. The 10 year old has to fix his hair before he leaves the house. The 6 year old will wear snow pants and a winter coat when it’s cold and snowy. The ten year old is too cool for snow pants. I’m proud of them both, though. No matter how much or little their desire to fit in is, they always try to include everyone in whatever they perceive to be the fad.

1. What do you like dreaming about?

Crash: Playing Minecraft with my classmates
Bang: Playing with my girlfriends in the yard. I have about 6 of them!

2. If you could do anything right now, what would you do?

Crash: Play Minecraft Play on the Switch
Bang: Be cricket and stay up late and hop around and play

3. What does it feel like when I hug you?

Crash: Like you love me
Bang: Pretty warm or pretty cold, but maybe really hot because you are hot sometimes

4. Did you help anyone today?

Crash: Yeah. I helped my friend when she dropped her pencil case and everything went everywhere.
Bang: I helped my friend when he was waiting in the front office. I told him his mom was in the gym.

5. What makes you awesome?

Crash: There’s a girl in my class who likes me. Maybe one or two!
Bang: That I’m an awesome listener. I put my hand up. I don’t call out and I keep my eyes on the teacher and I play safely and I’m nice and kind

6. What animal do wish could you could talk to and it could talk back?

Crash: Dolphins
Bang: I want to talk to a real dog and know what they’re saying

7. If you had to make your own supper, what would you eat?

Crash: Spaghetti. Get the noodles how they’re supposed to be. Then get the hamburger all brown and add the sauce
Bang: I wish I could make macaroni and cheese. I would make Kraft Dinner instead because there’s instructions on the box

The story behind this: For lunch one day I made what Canadians call “Kraft Dinner” which is macaroni and cheese. Bang didn’t want to eat the same thing as his brother and threw his temper tantrum. I asked him, “Want me to make macaroni and cheese for him and Kraft Dinner for you?” He was okay with that…

8. How tall is Santa?

Crash: 6 foot 2
Bang: Thirty feet

9. What are you tired of hearing?

Crash: No, when I don’t want to hear it
Bang: My brother go “mmmmm” (cow sound)

10. What 3 gifts did the wise men bring to Jesus when he was born?

Crash: I think one gave him gold, like treasure. One gave him a basket of berries. And one gave him a bottle of rum.
Bang: A front loader, a digger, and clothes

(Guess what story we’ll be reading next…)

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The Daily Elf: Dec. 7th

If you saw yesterday’s Daily Elf you’ll realize that by today’s posting our elves got the much needed help from our neighbor’s elves, NoMo and Buddy. When your elves are touched you do what you gotta do to help them.

Today, they were on the mend. They didn’t venture too far. They, quite literally, just hung out today. Our stockings are not hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas would soon be there. They’re hung on a bookshelf full of photo albums. Close enough, right?

They still had a bit of mischief in them though. They thought it quite funny to show us a Full Elf Moon…

The Daily Elf: December 6th

What a day the poor elves had. They thought they’d be cute and hang out on the wreath that’s on the front door.

Unfortunately, the wreath hangs on the outside of the door. I suppose in hindsight, we should have used the side door to leave for school.

But we didn’t.

As we were leaving through the Elf Door they let go. Apparently, they weren’t hanging on very tight. The next thing we knew they were laying on the porch in the rain. DW did what I would have done and got their fuzzy butts off the porch and back inside where it’s dry. Unfortunately, the kids who can’t see the mess surrounding them saw DW touch the elves. Anyone who knows the story of the Elf knows they aren’t to be touched or they lose their Christmas magic and can’t get back to the North Pole.

After school we found the elves snuggled up. It was clear they were not feeling good.

Fortunately, our neighbor (the one Bang is going to marry in April) and her siblings have two elves, as well. After school, Bang got busy writing a letter NoMo and Buddy next door. The hope is that they can help Woody and Elfis make it back to Santa this evening. Christmas magic is pretty strong around here, so we’re very hopeful.

The Daily Elf: December 5th

There wasn’t too much trouble today. Elves don’t mind the cold. We have found them in the fridge before. They enjoy drinking the maple syrup. Today it wasn’t syrup.

It was a Coke Cola. The bottle was full when they were found this morning. I’m not entirely sure it was their Coke. It didn’t have their name on it. It was Boss Man’s Coke! I hope they don’t get into too much trouble.

Month in Review: Sept – Nov

My last blog review was way back in August when the weather was still hot, school was still out, and Christmas was nearly a hundred days away.

Then I blinked and it became December. What has happened here since then? I stopped writing on Tuesdays and Saturdays and now just post my recurring things. Sundays are for sharing posts of the blogs I read. Thursdays are for asking my kids questions. Fridays are for answering their questions. Mondays and Wednesdays are like a free for all. Anything is fair game for those two days, but chances are good it’ll be about the antics of two certain boys featured here regularly.

Lets get to the good stuff, already. What have the numbers said about my blog for the last three months?

In August I had 1,056 followers. It was nice crossing that 1,000 milestone. Today, I have 1,144 followers. That’s a gain of 88 followers! Thanks to all 88 of you most recent followers. My most recent followers were Leo – Love Emotion OwnCarlo Rossi, and Moorezart. Thanks for following! Will you be next? Go ahead. I double dog dare you.

The blog had 3,184 views over the three months. That’s also the same number of times I said, “Don’t hit your brother!” That’s an average of 1,061 views/Don’t-hit-your-brothers per month. Not too shabby. It’s not making me my millions yet, but we’re having fun (usually)!

Out of the three months, The Backup Plan had the most views with 71. It’s always good keep your wife happy and it’s easiest when you have multiple plans to choose from. In second place was 10 Reasons My Kids Are A-Holes with 67 because parenting sometimes sucks. Bringing home the bronze medal in 3rd place was The Entitled Millennial with 51.

I had 1,774 visitors over the three months. Coincidentally, the boys make the exact number of messes. Subtract this number from itself to know exactly how many they cleaned up.

There were 961 likes. I like that, but that’s not what keeps this place ticking.

What keeps this place ticking? The 664 times someone wrote a comment. Like always, it’s the discussions, the stories, and the connections that make this place a fun place to come to. Thanks for talking to me. It’s means so much…

The USA, Canada, and The United Kingdom were consistently first, second, and third in the countries who visited most often category. The Netherlands and Australia took turns coming in fourth. Though, the Netherlands was fourth 2 out of the 3 months. Thumbs up to you, Netherlands!

The funnest part is looking up what search terms led to my blog. I have no idea how most of them led to my blog…

  • matthew goldstein editor video
  • ahdad in numbers
  • lazy dad
  • how to pronounce usige ban falls (side note: it’s said Ishka Ban Falls)
  • lowrider low and slow
  • gowildaudio word challenge daddy
  • loaf around at work
  • elephant and pig

To finish off the review I love to give shout outs to “The Six”. The Six are the ones who left the most comments.

6. A Momma’s View (31)
5. Welcome to the Nursery (34)
4. It’s Good To Be Crazy Sometimes (35)
3. Grubbs-n-Critters (52)
2. Dorky Mom Doodles (56)
1. Dewy’s Place (71)

Think you can beat out these regulars to make this best of the best, most of the most, list? Leave me a comment and let the race begin. Thank you to everyone for your stories and quips and quotes. I still find it amazing that you people not only read this gibberish but feel compelled to let me know you read it. You are awesome.

As always, you can also find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.