From Across the Net – “Dear Fortnite Mom”


Enjoyed the practical advice from a Love Thy Nerd piece titled “Dear Fortnite Mom”:

I also wanted to suggest a way in which Fortnite might become a tool for growth for your son rather than cause strife in your family. Those parents I was talking about earlier? Lots of them use Fortnite as a motivator. If your son wants money for a Fortnite skin, then perhaps he should be willing to do something to earn it. Maybe you already do this, but I figured I’d share my approach.

Read more here

Embrace the Calories


It is easy to find oneself lost in routine. Getting up, getting ready, and spending the day at work. Seeing family at lunch and then through the evening. The Texas summer heat serving to bake the daily routine into a stale, dry loaf.

I’m a creature of routine. I thrive in knowing what is going to happen. But I also think I dislike routines. We are all living paradoxes in some way.

Driving down the same streets everyday, I find myself desiring change. I feel stuck in the things I know, the places I’ve seen. So I’ll switch up my routine, drive down a different street, show my brain something new for the day.

Saw an article on twitter the other day, all I read was the headline:

“Are You Taking Your Family For Granted?”

The familiar, the routine, can cause us all to take things for granted, especially our relationships.

Last night, with my son gone at Vacation Bible School (VBS), my wife and I decided to go to dinner. Earlier in the day, she texted me and asked, “Are we going on a date?”

A date…

What had originally just been a meal out without the kid suddenly became something different.

A date!

Dates are exciting. Dates require thinking about what to wear, where to go, and being intentional in conversation. I found myself a bit out of practice (I can be honest here, right?). But I found out what my wife has been reading (she reads a ton). We dreamed. Tab and Wyatt will be studying California history this next semester. So we talked about where we want to visit when we visit California next. Just being with my wife, reconnecting with her on a date, was amazing. Dates always remind me of why I married Tab (like I need that reminder… but sometimes I do).

Breaking a routine means doing something out of the ordinary. A mid-week date for us was the perfect shake-up. I only wish we had ordered the Confetti Pizookie. When you live you might as well go all the way and embrace the calories.

Grand Adventures Squashed


Last night at bed time:

“What did you do while I was gone?” Said the boy with a hint of accusation embraced by curiosity.

“I played with your toys, ate candy, and had fun.”

His face told me that he didn’t buy that answer.

“Let’s see, I reinstalled the light cover on the light above the kitchen sink. I installed new mini blinds in the kitchen window. And I also had to work on the kitchen sink plumbing because suddenly the sink was leaking all over the floor.”

I’m not sure he liked that response. I kind of squashed the illusion of Tab and I being off on some grand adventure while he is away.

Oh well. At least I got a few things done. Amazing what one can do when their child is away at Vacation Bible School.

Adventure Is Out There – A Visit With The Arkansas Halls


This past Friday, the Texas Halls took a trip to Norfork, Arkansas to see my brother and his family (the Arkansas Halls).

We had a good time:

  • Exploring the Blanchard Springs Caverns. I found it interesting to hear that the man who did the lighting for the caverns normally lit opera houses for a living. I also thought it was interesting that the Cathedral Room is long enough to hold three football fields. If you are ever in the Ozarks, I can’t recommend visiting the Blanchard Springs Caverns enough.
  • Sticking our feet in the White River/Norfork Lake junction. The water was freezing! Felt so good.
  • Eating some BBQ at Holy Smokes in Mountain Home, Arkansas. BBQ isn’t quite what I’m used to in Texas but the sauce was solid. The smoked macaroni and cheese–while good–screams for some bacon.
  • Mowing my brother’s yard on his new riding lawn mower.
  • Hanging out, swimming, talking, and launching fireworks.

I enjoyed getting to catch up with my brother and his family. Was fun to see where they live now and experience a little taste of their new surroundings. We will return… once my brother fixes his go-kart!