Career Crazy Ideas Deep Thoughts Family

Fighting the Battle Between Responsibility and Passions

I am not really sure where I am going to go with this, but I am hoping that putting my thoughts on (digital) paper will bring some clarity.

It is likely not a surprise to anyone that military life can be somewhat chaotic and uncertain.  That is sort of the nature of the beast, and something that I understood well before joining.  Even with all of the uncertainty there are still certain times when I get to be a part of the decision making process, like it or not.

The short version of this story is that I am a navigator on the C-130H that is being replaced by the C-130J which has no navigator.  In case you can’t do the math, that means I have to find a new job.  The real problem, as I see it, is that I have a few options and none of them stands head and shoulders above the rest.

I will spare you the specifics of my different options as it is not entirely relevant to my troubled line of thinking.  What is relevant is that my choices can largely be grouped into two categories: responsible rational choices, and choices that get me excited about the future.  The best answer would obviously be something that was a good mix of both, but if it was that simple I wouldn’t be grinding my mind over this.

So how does somebody find that good balance between responsibility and passion?

I was hoping that somehow an answer would appear after typing that, but no such luck.  I did stumble across this video today though which clearly leans towards one side of the debate:

I have seen multiple videos and stories like this recently and maybe that is my answer, but I simply can’t ignore the responsibility side of my life.  Then again, maybe that is just the doubt that the video talked about.

Feel free to share some insights with me.

Crazy Ideas Daddy Blog

Surprising Your Children – The Reveal

This year my wife and I decided to surprise our children with a trampoline. We were lucky that are friends wanted to get rid of there trampoline and so we just had to go and get it. Since we decided to make it a surprise, we had to get it and store it across the street at our friends house until Christmas.

In order to make it happen, one afternoon while 2 of the Crash Kids were at school we had Crash Kid #1 watch Crash Kid #4. Crash Kid #4 asked us where we were going and the Crash Wife said, “We’re going to do some service at our friend’s house.” Well, it worked.

As you read in my last post, we were in New York for 2 weeks for Christmas. So, we had some other friends put the trampoline back together while we were away so it would be there and ready as a nice surprise for the kids.

I’ll tell you. It was a nice surprise. The kids saw it through the window and got so excited.

Today Crash Kid #1 asked us how we were able to surprise them. We told him that we’d gone to get the trampoline when we said we were going to do some service at our friend’s house (Technically we were serving our children, so it wasn’t even a lie!).

When Crash Kid #1 heard about this he responded, “I thought it looked suspicious. You don’t go and do service in the middle of the day on Tuesday. It’s not like it was Saturday.”

He then added, “I was OK though, because I got a snack while you were gone. I got me a Snickers and I was happy that you left.”

I guess we need to have lessons on service and snacking.

Crazy Ideas Daddy Blog Holiday Stories

Showing Up at Restaurants Dressed Up As Their Mascot

As I mentioned in my last post about our restaurant Halloween costumes, we had some good fun this year dressing up as various restaurant mascots (not sure if that’s the right term, but you get the point). The Crash Wife decided to take it one step further and on Halloween she took each of the kids to their related restaurant to order some food (I was off playing in an ultimate frisbee tournament).

I guess the reaction was great when they walk in. She even took pictures of each of our kids behind the counter at the restaurants (assuming the counter wasn’t taller than the child). I guess Jack in the Box wins the award for the best reaction. They were over the moon that “Jack” showed up at their restaurant and decided to comp the whole meal. Well done!

Although, the funniest part my wife told me is that they came out after and asked if they could take a picture with Jack. My wife’s thinking about going back in there with “Jack” every month 😉 Enjoy some of the pictures from the excursion:

Crash Kid #1 – Jack from Jack in the Box

Crash Kid #2 – Wendy from Wendy’s

Crash Kid #3 – JD Pickle from Jason’s Deli

Crash Kid #4 – Fireman from Firehouse Subs

Side Note: There’s no Chick-Fil-A in Las Vegas yet, so Crash Mom couldn’t wear her outfit.

Crazy Ideas Daddy Blog Family Food Holiday Stories

Our Restaurant Halloween Costumes

Last night we had a trunk or treat at church and so we got a chance to take a picture of all of us in our Halloween costumes. This year the kids thought it would be fun to do a restaurant theme. I think the idea started with Crash Kid #1 saying he wanted to be Jack for Halloween. It just ballooned from there and here’s the result:

Crash Dad – Creepy King from Burger King
Crash Mom – Cow from Chick-Fil-A
Crash Kid #1 – Jack from Jack in the Box
Crash Kid #2 – Wendy from Wendy’s
Crash Kid #3 – JD Pickle from Jason’s Deli
Crash Kid #4 – Fireman from Firehouse Subs

No, we didn’t all dress up as restaurant mascots as a ploy to get these restaurants to sponsor Crash Dad. Although, we definitely eat at all of these places, but probably eat at Jason’s Deli the most.

P.S. I love that my kids are all barefoot and that my daughter snuck her doll into the picture.

Crazy Ideas Family Mormon

America Ninja Warrior Meets the Scriptures

Today as we were driving home from the waterpark, my wife and I were talking about what we should do for Family Home Evening (FHE). For those not familiar with FHE, every Monday we get together as a family and have a lesson, read scriptures, sing songs, have activities and dessert. It’s not always pretty, but my kids love it. That’s why I can say that every Monday we get together. Ok, we’re not perfect even with our kids wanting to do it. Travel and other things get in the way, but long story short we think there’s value in holding regular FHE and we do so regularly.

As we’re driving back, we were making sure we had something planned for FHE. Otherwise, we’d have a car full of upset children. As we’re thinking about what to do, my daughter says “America Ninja Warrior’s on tonight. We have to watch it.” Seriously, how cool is my daughter?

I thought it was a great idea and the perfect activity for FHE. My wife didn’t look at me in utter disgust, so the FHE activity was planned: America Ninja Warrior. As we drove home, I told the kids that we could watch America Ninja Warrior for FHE, but that first we had to have a lesson.

Right then and there I started proposing which prophets from the scriptures were America Ninja Warriors. I might have stretched Samuel the Lamanite’s “climb” up the wall a little bit to meet the criteria, but scaling a wall and arrows not being able to hit you felt pretty America Nina Warrior like to me.

Nephi certainly felt like an America Ninja Warrior since he was large in stature. I suggested possibly Abinadi and Ammon, but Crash Kid #1 suggested that they were just fighting and not actually ninja warriors. He was right. He also didn’t like Daniel and the Lions Den since it wasn’t like Daniel had to wrestle the lions or something. I asked him what he thought about Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego. They were thrown in the fire and survived. That felt pretty America Ninja Warrior like to me.

Finally, I saved Captain Moroni to finish them off. He climbed up on tower after tower with the Title of Liberty in his hands and held it up for everyone to see. He probably used the stairs or a ladder to get up the tower as opposed to a warped wall, but he’s still a Ninja Warrior in my book.

Not the most traditional lesson, but the kids seemed to enjoy it.

America Ninja Warrior Side Note: The weatherman looked good tonight. I think there are probably 10-20 people that could go all the way this year. It will be interesting to see which ones get hung up on something tricky and don’t make it to the final rounds.

P.S. If you’re not a mormon and don’t know some of these stories, you can request a free Book of Mormon and you can read the stories as well.

Crazy Ideas Daddy Blog

I Might Need to Start Yoga

I have to admit. I’ve always kind of made fun of Yoga. I wasn’t against other people doing it. I’m all about freedom of choice and if you want to do Yoga, go for it. I think Colin Cowherd, a radio personality on ESPN Radio, summed it up best: “Only in America could we turn stretching into an entire industry.
Child Yoga Pose Airplane
Now that I’ve offended all those that really love Yoga, I think there might be something to Yoga. The older I get, the more aches and pains I have in my body. As most of you know, I’m still very active, but that just adds to the aches and pains. I still love to lay out for a disc when I’m playing ultimate frisbee. I love to lay out to dig a volleyball. The older I get, the harder it is to recover from the abuse I’m putting on my body.

No wonder stretching Yoga is so popular. Seriously though. The older I get, the more I think that Yoga could be a really great thing for me. I don’t need to do anything crazy. I just think my body would really love doing Yoga.
Child Yoga Pose 1
Now I just have to bring myself to find a studio or somewhere that I can learn to do it. We just signed up for a new health insurance plan that provides us access to the health and wellness services that Turntable Health offers. I just checked their schedule and it looks like they offer a Gentle Yoga class with Chidimma Ozor (Seriously, our health insurance is covering Yoga). Can you imagine a better name for a yoga instructor?

Looks like I’ll be finding a Yoga mat and giving it a try. We’ll see what Chidimma can do for me. You can be sure I’ll report back on the experience.

Crazy Ideas Holiday Stories

The Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas Greeting Choice

I decided to mix things up this year (I’ve been known to do that) for the holidays. I’ve never been fond of sending a Christmas Card (Holiday card if you prefer) or an email with a link to some Christmas Card to my work colleagues, partners, customers, etc. I understand the intent is very good and thoughtful, but the execution just really seems to be lacking. Something doesn’t feel great about getting the same Christmas Card from someone or some company that you know is being sent to all of their customers, partners, etc.

Let me be clear about this. I don’t have a problem getting them, but I’m not sure it really makes much of a difference. I like to do things that make a real difference. I should also clarify that a Christmas picture and letter from friends is quite a bit different than business Christmas Cards. Those are often fun to see when you haven’t seen your friend’s family in a while or heard any updates. However, a generic Christmas card from someone you work with doesn’t light my tree up at Christmas time (figuratively speaking of course).

In the past, since I’ve felt this way, I’ve mostly just decided to do nothing for the holidays. That always felt wrong to me also since there are a large number of people that I work with that I care about deeply and really wanted to show appreciation for what they’ve done for me and my company throughout the year. With that in mind, I think I found a solution. We’ll see if it works or not.

Sorry. I can’t tell you what it is until I do it. I want it to be a surprise for the people that get them and I believe some of them read this blog. If it goes well, I’ll be sure to share what I did with you all. Who am I kidding? If it goes terribly, I’ll share it with you also.

All of that is prelude to the challenge I faced when reaching out to all these people. In many of the cases, I was torn on whether I should use Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas or both. I finally just decided that I’d use one or both or whatever I felt like at the moment. Then, I came across this gem on Facebook which helped me realize I made the right decision:

Merry Christmas Message

If someone wants to get angry with me when I’m trying to do something nice for them, so be it. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the people I work with will understand this principle really well. We’ll find out. Either way, I’m excited to see the results.

Plus….Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!