Wednesday, September 4, 2013


It's football season and two thirds of my household is ready.  This year Amanda has her own fantasy football team.  When I asked her to name it she came up with "The Dominators."  Meanwhile, I will be leading the Bowlers to victory.

One thing that is necessary with kids like Amanda is the need to get them involved in your activities.  If you don't, there is a good chance they aren't going to let you do anything at all.  So she is signed up with the rest of my friends and has already decided we are eating a lot of chips and dip this fall.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First week of school

The first few days of school have been going well.  Amanda got back in the swing of things like she had only taken a couple of weeks off and not three months.  She is so much more relaxed about things now and it makes all the difference in the world.

Like all teenagers though, I'll ask her, "What did you do at school today?"  And her answer will be, "Nothing."

But then a little while latter we'll be sitting down and visiting and she will start telling me everything without a prompt.  Apparently a lot does go on up at her school and in her class.

Her favorite class is history because, as she says, "I like to learn things."  And her least favorite class is math, because, "They make you count everything."

I like the fact that she and I agree on those two classes.  The biggest mistake I ever made was convincing my 8th grade teacher that I could do algebra the next year.  I spent the next  four years of high school and two semesters of college killing my GPA.  And guess what, I have an app for all that now.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Something for Me

It was suggested that I find an activity for myself again.  These past two years I kept myself occupied with writing two books and going to the gym on a very regular basis.  Then I kind of hit a wall.  The books are finished and a new work schedule changed up my free time for the gym.  So the past six months or so I've been in kind of a limbo.

Well yesterday, out of the blue, a new friend of mine asked if I would join his bowling team.  So I decided that sounded like a good idea.  Last night was our first night.  I'm a decent bowler, I have my own ball and shoes but this team I joined is kind of stacked.  My 171 average that I established last night is 30 plus pins lower than the next guy on the team. 

But there is an up side to this.  Even though I don't work out as often as I used too, compared to the regular members of a bowling league I'm in prime condition.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Knuffle Bunny

Amanda is 15 1/2 years old and her favorite books are the Knuffle Bunny books by Mo Willems.  They are short picture books about a girl named Trixie and her favorite toy, Knuffle Bunny.  Each of the three books shows that Trixie is not very responsible with her stuffed rabbit that she can't live without but can't seem to keep up with either.

The best part about these books is that I have them completely memorized.  I turn the pages and recite them Amanda who is enthralled with the story.  As soon as I finish on of the three books Amanda goes to bed.  The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.  This is one of the great improvements we have made the past couple of years. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back on the Bench

Has it really been a year since my last posting?  Well, I suppose it has.

A few things have changed in that time but the bench remains.

I volunteered as a mentor at the high school and that went very well.  The young lady, Jessica, is now off to college at the University of Arkansas in Monticello.  She is an energetic teenager and possesses more raw intelligence than I ever have.  I think she taught me more than I did her.  But we both have a love of games, particularly Words With Friends.

I travelled a lot more this past year.  Trips from Jacksonville, FL to Anaheim, CA and many places in between.  Amanda and Tina have accompanied me on many of them.  We went to Denver in June and I took Amanda to her first baseball game.  It was scorching hot but we enjoyed ourselves.  We also went back to Disney World last September and we're returning again next month. 

As far as Amanda goes, she is growing up in a lot of ways.  She started back to school today, the 8th grade to be exact, and she got out of the truck this morning like she had only been out for the weekend.  Her maturity has progressed but there are still many of the same issues.  She doesn't transition well, she must have routine, she will seldom try new foods, and she doesn't do well on foot if she is in a crowd.  But, on the upside, her sense of humor is more developed, she likes to play Skylanders, All be it not very well.  And she will spend more time entertaining herself than ever before.  That last part is all important because I'm not getting any younger.

I will be more diligent in my postings and do some back tracking because there have been a lot of fun times this past year.