I'm Not Standing Up For Colin Kaepernick

I’m Not Standing Up For Colin Kaepernick

I think we can all say we have some issues or concerns with the way things are going in our country. What’s supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave is quickly becoming a place where people don’t expect consequences or repercussions for the actions they take with expressing their freedoms. Thus is true with 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.  In a pre-season game several days ago, Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem.  He says that he will not stand again until there is change in our country. While he has every right to express his outrage and irritation at the issues our country is facing, he must expect every other American citizen to react to it without getting butt hurt over it.

What’s it to me?

I honestly don’t care if he stands or sits during the national anthem. What’s it to me? How is it interfering with ME honoring MY country?  If he chooses to disrespect our nation and those who have lost their lives so that he can freely earn millions of dollars playing a game, that’s HIS choice to make.  It doesn’t have any direct impact on how I honor America and choose to respect our armed forces.

There’s a flip side to this situation

Kaepernick plays a professional sport where millions of dollars are paid to him to not only perform at a certain level, but also conduct himself in a way that reflects positive values on himself, his team, the team’s ownership, and the organization as a whole. He is as much a reflection on the organization as he is on himself.  Whatever he says or does, the whole organization has to respond to it. Ownership has to address media questions and go on the defensive. Kids look to him to set an example, and while he should set an example to stand up for what he believes in, he should be careful not to teach being disloyal to our country, and the men and women who fought so hard to give us every freedom we have today.  I’m sure not every one of those soldiers who died for our freedoms liked every single issue, whether good or bad, but were willing to serve our country regardless.  It’s almost as if he’s given up.  Our flag and nation will stand forever, so to protest the anthem and what it stands for, is giving up on our country.

Protest in a different way!

I am not going to stand and applaud him for taking a stand in the manner in which he chose, and I think there are other ways he could protest his dismay. Disrespecting the national anthem and our country is not the way he should be initiating change. Get out into the world.  Reach people face to face.  Work with the oppressed and the fallen in our country. You make $19 million per year!  Start a charity. Give money to good causes that help push change in our country.  Vote for the candidate you most believe can be the president to make the changes that will benefit our country. Don’t just sit around on your ass looking like an ass.  You come across as cocky, disrespectful, defiant, and arrogant (and did I mention an ass?).  Be actively involved in making immediate changes where you can. Sitting down to protest American during the national anthem doesn’t help changes to be made, and he certainly shouldn’t expect changes to happen overnight because of his gesture. Do what the rest of us do.  Take pride in being part of the greatest free nation in the world and initiate change in a positive way, but at the same time peacefully and respectfully protest when changes are needed.  Help others. Help change lives. Help future generations understand how important it is to respect our country, our forefathers, and our service men and women!

Be active and responsible for initiating good change in our country!

So, I will not stand up for your sitting down, Colin Kaepernick. While I applaud you for standing up (or in this case sitting down) for what you believe in, disrespecting our country is not the way to do it.  You aren’t going to attract those who want to change. You are going to attract those who disagree with you and want to take your head off. Choose a different route to express your discontent and outrage!  Find a cause you can believe in off the field and donate your time and energy to helping others see your point of view.  There are millions of other Americans that feel the same way you do, but I don’t think many of them would refuse to honor America and it’s fallen soldiers because of it.  It’s hateful, wrong, un-American, and stubborn.  Be a part of the change, not a part of the problem.

The choices Colin makes are his to own, and only his to own, but he must be prepared to face backlash and repercussions for them on a higher level of scrutiny than someone who is not a celebrity.  I am with him 100% that there needs to be changes in our country. Everyone has the right to be treated equally regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc.  No one deserves to be mistreated because of who they are.

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Dear Strangers, Stop Telling Me: "You Have Your Hands Full!"

Dear Strangers, Stop Telling Me: “You Have Your Hands Full!”

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Win Your Order

Being a parent of 4 kids is fantastic!  I wouldn’t trade this time with them for anything.  I love everything about my family and enjoy every second of it.  One thing that really irritates me is when someone sees me by myself with all 4 kids, or I tell them that I have 4 kids, and they end up saying, “oh, you have your hands full!”

Yes, I have a lot going on and yes my kids take up a lot of my time, but being a dad isn’t about being “busy” or “overwhelmed.” That’s why I want people to stop saying that annoying phrase to me. My kids aren’t bothering me when I’m with them, nor are they making me wish I didn’t have them. When you see them with us at the grocery, or at a practice, game, or church, they aren’t interfering with our lives.  They are making our lives better!

What do I say when strangers say this to me? My response is always, “No, not full. Blessed!”  My kids are blessings from God, not inconveniences. I prayed from the time I was a kid that God would one day make me a daddy, and he blessed me with four beautiful and healthy kids that are so loving and so kind.

I remember I was at Kroger one time with 2 of my kids. I believe I had the baby and my oldest son with me. The kids were being so good and were helping me shop.  Some lady walked up to me and I knew what was going to come out of her mouth (and I was right).  “I said, ma’am, I have two more at home.”  She responded that I must be busy and overwhelmed all the time.  I said, “Nope, I’m spending time with them right now and I’d like to get back to that if you don’t mind.”  My oldest son, of course, heard what she said and asked why I had my hands full.  I had to explain what it meant and to ignore her.

Visiting down south in Georgia it’s even worse. I get the traditional “southern guilt” whenever I go down there. It’s obvious that they think I have too many kids and “bless my heart” for going out into public with them.  I politely smile, whisper the “Hail Mary” under my breath, and keep moving along.

So the next time you see me out and about with 1 or all 4 of my kids, remember that I am spending time with them and enjoying watching them grow up.  God gave me these little bundles of joy, so in return I am being the dad He has called me to be.  Loving and taking care of them is my top priority.

How to Get Your Kids Dressed for Special Occasions (Dos and Don’ts)

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Making Memories Last Forever

 

How to Get Your Kids Dressed for Special Occasions (Dos and Don’ts)

Getting dressed for special occasions is difficult for adults, imagine how it can look for kids, who despise everything formal and uptight (for a good reason too). Still, although not very pleasant, it’s a necessity, and if you do it well, you can end up with a lot of amazing photo memories and a special occasion with no incidents. The difficulty of this challenge and its successful outcome will, of course, depend on the age of the kid and your proficiency in buying kids’ clothes. However, there are some general tips that should help you succeed.

Dos:

Choose Comfortable Clothes

Regardless if you’re going to a black tie wedding or a cousin’s birthday, the clothes you choose for your children shouldn’t restrict their movements too much, or cause any kind of discomfort, because that will only annoy them and soon enough, you’ll see them screaming around and asking for new outfits. So, you should always opt for soft organic cotton, without any wirings, or tight belts. Also make sure you choose the length that enables them to run. They will do it anyway so what’s the point of stopping them – just make them safe.

Ask the Kids about Their Opinion

There are no precise rules about determining at what age should you let the child decide what to wear, but as soon as you feel your kids can understand where are they going and learn some of the basics of the fashion, you should allow them some independence in choosing their outfits.

Rent Formal Clothes

If you are going to some “ultra-fancy” event that doesn’t happen very often, like a wedding for instance, you shouldn’t spend a ton of money on dresses for the girls and tuxedos for boys. After all, they’ll probably wear it only once, and the next time you need something similar, they’ll outgrow it.

How to Get Your Kids Dressed for Special Occasions (Dos and Don’ts)

Opt for Neutral Colors

When the kids outgrow their clothes, especially if they’re formal things worn once, you can easily resell them in some of the consignment stores or online secondhand shops. That’s why it is better to opt for neutral colors which will appeal to other parents and kids. This can be especially useful when it comes to elegant flower girl gowns and equally stylish kids’ tuxedos, since you can get a good price for these pieces even after they were worn.

Don’ts:

Buy All the New Stuff

Just as you can resell the items you’ve bought, you can buy secondhand pieces to save money. It doesn’t even have to be an entire outfit – maybe just a dress, t-shirt or jewelry. Don’t think that buying pre-loved items makes you a bad parent.

Buy Just the Right Size

If you find an outfit that fits your kid perfectly, it is quite possible that in a matter of couple of months, that will no longer be the case. It is always better to size up for one number, so that the clothes are wearable the following year, and maybe even the one after.

How to Get Your Kids Dressed for Special Occasions (Dos and Don’ts)

Use too Many Accessories

Sure, tiaras, watches, necklaces and other things can look really adorable, but in the long run, they’re not very functional, and not even necessary. In most of cases the kids will just take them off (sometimes even before someone gets the chance to capture them with a camera), so they’re really just wasting your money.

Buy Uncomfortable Shoes

Shoes are everything. If they are pinching and hurting your kids’ feet, they will insist on taking them off, or they’ll be anxious throughout the day. So, no matter how nice the pair of glittery flats or leather Oxfords look like, it is best to opt for kids-appropriate anatomic shoes.

Now when you have everything worked-out, you can go have fun and make some memorable family portraits with your charming little ones.


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Zara Lewis is a mom of three kids, a designer, freelance writer and a new contributor to Go Ask Your Daddy.  She is passionate about traveling, hiking, cycling and yoga, and loves to write about things that are a part of her life that inspire her, mostly parenting, relationship and healthy lifestyle topics.  Zara is also a regular contributor to other blogs such as highlifestyle.com.

Finder her on Twitter: @ZaraELewis

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

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Yesterday was a father-son day I’ll never forget.  The Cincinnati Bengals held a practice at a local high school here in the Dayton area, so my oldest son and I spent the afternoon there watching them.

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The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

It was an absolutely perfect day to be outdoors and to watch our favorite NFL team practice!  We had great seats to watch the action and nothing but blue skies and picturesque clouds above us!

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Bengals 2nd string QB (former Alabama QB) AJ McCarron gives us a wave from the field.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Bengals QBs (in orange jerseys) gather to begin their warm-ups at the start of the practice.

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Bengals kicker, Mike Nugent (OSU), warms up at the start of practice.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Bengals cornerback #24 Adam “Pacman” Jones.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Bengals QB #14 Andy Dalton (orange jersey) runs offensive drills.  Pretty cool to hear him calling plays.  It’s rare that you get to hear the QB call plays on TV unless there’s a mic nearby!

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Left to right – #10 Kevin Huber -punter (Cincinnati), #4 Zack Hocker – kicker (Arkansas), #46 Clark Harris – left safety (Rutgers) and #2 Mike Nugent – kicker (OSU).

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The team goes through their warm-up drills during practice. QBs in orange, offense in white, and defense in black.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The view from the fence.  We were gathering with a large crowd awaiting the players to sign autographs.  Unfortunately, their practice ran longer than planned so we ended up leaving early.

We had such a great time!  As a daddy who works full time and has four little ones, it’s hard sometimes to just get one-on-one time with them.  To see my son so happy and excited to see his team means everything to me.  I enjoyed spending the day with him and bonding over the sport and team we love so much.

WHO DEY!!

Gear up for the 2017 NFL Draft with Draft Caps from New Era

My Daughter’s First Time Cheerleading!

What a super-proud moment for my family yesterday!  My daughter took to the football field as a cheerleader for the first time and did an amazing job!  She’s worked so hard and has learned all of the cheers so quickly!

Here are a few pictures from the day! (I have blurred out the faces of the other girls for privacy)

OH, and the football team won 14-0!

My Daughter’s First Time Cheerleading!

My Daughter’s First Time Cheerleading!

My Daughter’s First Time Cheerleading!

5 Daily Routines For A Spotless Home That Will Save You Hours Each Week

5 Daily Routines For A Spotless Home That Will Save You Hours Each Week

There is something about a clean home that brings a sense of fulfillment and relaxation. This can actually fuel someone into accomplishing more in a day. You also return home feeling satisfied and can easily prepare a healthy meal. With clean bedding, you can also enjoy better sleep.

The challenge is in maintaining this state of cleanliness in your home. In fact, not many people enjoy doing house chores. It becomes challenging when you have children who are always all over dirtying and disarranging things around the house. The house tends to get messy faster when kids are around.

Instead of piling everything and cleaning at once every end of the week, you can do better with a daily routine. This not only keeps your home clean but also reduces your weekly cleaning activities significantly. Here are 5 daily routines for a spotless home that will save you hours each week and make your cleaning feel less exhausting.

1. Control paper clutter

At the end of each day, it is important to sort out any newspapers, school work, and utility bills that may have arrived and still hanging somewhere on a table. Go through them to pick the important information then file those which you need to. When you leave paperwork to collect, it becomes hard to organize. The tables will look messy by the second day of the week. You do not want to go through the rest of your week in such an environment.

2. Do a quick cleanup after each meal

5 Daily Routines For A Spotless Home That Will Save You Hours Each Week

The kitchen is one area you want to keep clean. In fact, when your kitchen is in a mess, you feel like the entire house is dirty. You can keep it in order by cleaning as you go. Do not keep dishes of an entire day in the sink just because you want to clean at once. Things may get out of hand. Besides, you end up tired and can actually hate cleaning. Utensils from a single meal are few and easier to deal with.

Also, make sure to wipe the kitchen counters, the appliance you used, and the cooking stove immediately after every cooking session. Be keen to tackle spills immediately as well. Also, conduct a quick sweep of the kitchen floor to get rid of any food crumbs.

Restore the food ingredients and kitchen appliances to their normal positions after use. If you follow these tricks, your kitchen will always look neat and you will have an easier time when you plan to conduct a deep cleaning exercise.

3. Wipe bathroom surfaces after shower

It is easier to deal with water and soap marks when they are fresh. This is true for any spills of toothpaste on the sink as well. For this reason, take a few minutes to wipe down the sink, bathtub, and other surfaces. Also, squeegee the bathroom floor and spray your shower head with a shower cleaner. You can replace any towels that are already dirt during this time. Make sure to open the windows so that fresh air will penetrate.

The above tasks will take a few minutes of your time. In fact, you can accomplish them when your morning coffee is brewing. Most importantly, this will save you the headache of dealing with tough marks as is the case if you leave soap marks to dry and build up for long.

4. Sweep or vacuum places with high traffic

5 Daily Routines For A Spotless Home That Will Save You Hours Each Week

In most homes, this should be the sitting room. Many people hang around here to catch up, watch the television or share a meal. The children tend to play in the living area too. This makes it one room in the house that will become dirty quickly. It is also the face of many homes as visitors are ushered in here before they could go to any other room. You cannot wait till the weekend to spruce up this room.

Begin by collecting items such as kids’ shoes, toys, and clothes. Then, you can quickly wipe the coffee table and restore the flower vase. When vacuuming, make sure to look at the state of the coach, throw pillows and buff them before arranging.

5. Empty the trash

If you want your house to feel clean, it must smell fresh. No matter how much dirt you purge, your house won’t feel clean and refreshing if there is a pungent smell coming from somewhere inside it. The dustbin tends to be a culprit. In this case, consider emptying it each day, preferably, in the morning. Do a quick cleanup and line the can with a clean bag.

Conclusion

5 Daily Routines For A Spotless Home That Will Save You Hours Each Week

At the end of each day, make sure you return everything where it belongs. You can spend a few minutes before going to sleep picking things around the house and placing them where they ought to be. These could be toys, kid’s clothes, shoes, papers, and even your clothes. You can make it faster by engaging your children. Follow the above routine and see the level of cleanliness in your home improve a great deal.


About the Author:

Beverly Jenkins is proud of her staff at The Tidy Maids house cleaning service in Raleigh, NC. She has 24 years of experience in house cleaning, customer service, and business operations. She knows all the tips and tricks and do-it-yourself hacks when it comes to cleaning and her clients’ homes are the best proof for that.