Top 3 Weirdest Insects

Everyone thinks bugs are gross and to some extent it’s true. I mean, come on, who wants to find a spider or bed bug in their bed? So, the reason for this blog post is not for you to get even more creeped out about bugs. It’s for you to understand that bugs may be ugly (definitely some on this list, I mean they have a face only its mother can love), but they help our environment. They help keep other bugs off crops and keep bugs like cockroaches and earwigs out of your kitchen. So bugs should both be respected or in some cases, stepped on and squished if it’s like a scorpion or a spider. I hope you understand and enjoy this blog post.

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3: Devil’s Flower Mantis

The devil’s flower mantis is one of the biggest mantises in the world. The reason it looks like it has an evil smile is to scare off or to distract a predator. It can see 180 degrees and has long antennae. It uses its antennae to detect chemicals, movement, and odors. When it sees prey coming, it will grab it with its legs then start to eat it. It usually eats flies, moths, butterflies, and beetles.

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2: Brazilian Treehopper

So first of all, you are probably wondering what in the world is that thing on its head. Well, to be honest nobody really knows what it is for. Some scientist believe it’s for if the bug meets a predator, it will be hard for them to eat it. Others believe that the balls on it’s head sense vibrations.

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1: Giant Weta

The giant weta is one of the biggest insects in the world. Its name actually means “god of ugly things”. They can be up to 4 inches and can weigh up to 2.5 oz. Even though it looks like it has the legs of a cricket, it actually can’t jump due to its weight. One of the weirdest things about this bug is that it has ears on its knees, they are right below the knee-joint. This insect is close to extinction thanks to humans who went to New Zealand and brought predators (like cat and rats) along with them. I hope you guys learned something and found this blog post interesting.

I hope you guys learned something and found this blog post interesting. Some people may have been disgusted by some of these bugs and I apologize if it made you want to throw up.

-BigHomie

College Girl

Hi everyone, I haven’t posted a blog post in awhile, and in this blog post I’ll explain why. Things have been busy since I posted my last blog post, My Views on Starting CollegeI have now put my plan into action and went through with what I said in my last post. I did so well during the summer that I decided to do another semester.

At my college there are two summer semesters, I took two classes in the first semester and one in the second. To start my college experience I took Sociology 101 and Pre-algebra in the first semester, then I took Introductory Algebra in the second semester. I passed all of these classes with an A grade. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to enter college with no experience in school. Since I started in the summer, when there aren’t many students on campus, I didn’t have a classroom full of people. All my summer classes were what they call ITV classes, which are basically Skype calls where your professor and most of your other classmates are on a screen. This made it much easier to give I presentation in my sociology class. It was also easier than I thought to talk to people. At first, I was nervous to meet people on a daily basis, and I stressed over the little things like can you switch seats on the second day of class or is there an assigned seating code I don’t know about? But there was nothing to worry about, I was just freaking out about being with other people.

I also got to see all the people that left the class in the beginning or middle of the semester. There was one guy in my sociology class that was supposed to give a presentation on the second day of class, he ended up not showing up ever again. Then I just watched all the other students drop like flies. Seeing them leave gave me the courage to keep going when I wanted to cry because I procrastinated on an essay. I also made some companions in math class, which is honestly part of the reason I wanted to start college.

I am now in the Fall semester and I feel like I can do more. So I decided to do a full college load of 14 credits, and continue doing high school at home. Because of this, I made sure to download a lot of inspirational quotes for this semester on my phone. The classes I’m taking in the Fall semester are Interpersonal Communication, Intermediate Algebra, Anatomy and Physiology, and Survey of Jazz/Pop Music. My hope is to get at least two A’s and two B’s.

So this is my update post, I will try to keep people posted on what is going on, but I have a feeling that I will be really busy for the next few months!

-Lexi (a.k.a College Girl)

 

 

My Views on Starting College

At the start of this year, I had a goal of getting into an Early College program so I can graduate high school early and have a head start on college. I didn’t have many options when looking for such a program in Arizona, especially since we live in a city that is like an island. I narrowed it down to two programs, the Move On When Ready program and a local community college’s First Step program.

The Move On When Ready program focuses on you graduating from high school when you’re ready. After your sophomore year in high school, you can take a test to see if you can graduate from high school. If you pass, you receive the Grand Canyon Diploma that says you have met the requirement for high school. The First Step program is where a high school student can take classes for the summer semester, and still attend high school. In the end, I decided I would do the First Step program. Mostly because going to school always seemed like a fantasy, rather than a reality. I really wanted to get the school experience and find out what my friends say I miss not going to school.

So I started to gather as much information that I could about the program, then I told my parents and they were fine with the idea. The process of getting started wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be overall. I filled out the First Step form, then went to the campus to take my placement test. The placement test was what I was worried about mostly. Even though you cannot fail the placement test, I thought I might get a low enough score that I would not be able to join. I cannot speak of what was on the test, but I did do well. I then met with an advisor and he told me all about college and what classes I should take. So now I’m taking three classes for the summer to start my college adventure in late May.

The Pharaoh during the time of Moses

Most people, including me, have wondered who the pharaoh of Exodus was, but the book does not mention the Pharaoh whose heart was always hardened. Throughout this post, I want to give more insight on this subject.

In the book of Exodus, God sends Moses to free the Israelites from enslavement in Egypt, and the Israelites had to endure 40 years of wandering in the wilderness before they could enter the Promised Land. First, when was the book of Exodus written? Some people think that the book of Exodus was written in 1446 B.C, while others believe that it was written around the year 1260 BC.

The reason that some people believe that the book of Exodus was written in 1260 B.C, is because they argue that in Exodus 1:11 Israel was working on a city called Rameses, and this points to the Exodus occurring during the reign of Rameses II. This could be true because Rameses II built a temple that was carved out of a hill. He became king of Egypt in 1394 BC and ruled for 66 years. He built the city of Pi-Rameses in the swamplands of the Delta. This city became the new capital of Egypt. In Kush, he built two rock cut temples of Abu Simbel. During his reign he had a problem with the Hittites, this state threatened Egypt’s Asian interests. So a battle took place in 1389 BC in Syria. He could possibly be one of the pharaohs that existed at the time of Moses, but the only evidence I found was the city he built.

There is evidence that Thutmose III (1485-1431) was ruling during the time of Moses because his mummy is the only one to predict plagues that spread through the Egyptian and Hittite empires. Plus his first born son, Amenemhet, died before he could take over for his father. Some people think Amenemhet died because of the tenth plague. So his second son, Amenhotep II, took over the throne. It is also said that his stepmother Hatshepsut was the one that found Moses in the river and that Thutmose II, her husband, was the Pharaoh when Moses fled to Midian for killing an Egyptian.

There is no way of knowing for sure of who was ruling during that time because of limited information, plus we do not know for sure whether the dates for Pharaohs are correct. But I hope this helped you get a better understanding of what pharaohs were around during the time of Moses.

What is so wrong with American slavery when the Hebrews had slaves too?

By Big Homie, age: 12

So, first off, what exactly was American slavery? American slavery was the slavery of Africans and their main oppressors were the Europeans who took them by ship (as you can see by this map) from Africa to the United States and Europe.

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What is so wrong with American slavery when the Hebrews had slaves too? Well from what the bible tells us, we can only presume that the Hebrews had slaves because in the bible God told Moses laws about slaves. In Exodus 21:1-6 God says to Moses: “Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever”.

Now let’s compare American slavery and Hebrew slavery. In Exodus 21:2 God says to Moses: 2 “When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free…” Well in America when you are a slave, you are a slave either until you die or the master lets you free but even then, you might have go back if someone catches you. In Exodus 21:3-6 God says to Moses: 3 “If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone. 5” But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever”. In American slavery, the slaves could marry, but the whole family had to stay slaves.

So, what is wrong with American slavery when the Hebrews had slaves too? What is wrong with American slavery is that the African slaves were treated so bad that were lynched and beaten until they were either almost dead or dead. While the Hebrew slaves were treated nicely had much better clothes, much better living arraignments, and much better lives than slaves in America, which is way American slavery was worse than Hebrew slavery.

The Difference Between American Slavery and African Slavery

In 1538 AD the city of Gao had a population of 100,000 people. According to Leo Africanus, a Moorish visitor, the city was unwalled. Its houses were ugly but some such as the royal buildings and others were impressive. The inhabitants were mostly wealthy merchants who always traveled here and there to trade gold and wares. In the market cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins are sold. There was also a place where a busy slave market flourished.

-When We Ruled by Robin Walker

After reading this and other stories about slaves being sold in Africa, I wondered what the difference was between American Slavery and African Slavery. Why are so many people upset about American slavery when Africa also had slaves? But slavery in Africa was not the same as Slavery in America.

The European form of slavery was called chattel slavery. A chattel slave is treated as property, has no rights, and is a slave for life. Slavery in Africa was a different form of slavery. African slaves usually became slaves to pay off a debt or pay for a crime they have committed. On the website www.discoveringbristol.org.uk, Ottobah Cuguano, a former slave, said that slaves were,”well fed… and treated well”. Olaudah Equiano, another former slave who wrote an account of his life, said that slaves might even own slaves themselves.

Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano

In large states, some slaves worked in government administration and could become a royal official with wide-ranging powers. Other slaves in Africa worked within their master’s house as domestic servants, agriculture laborers, or went to work in the gold mines of West Africa. As outsiders coming to Africa grew such as Europeans and Arabs, the demand for slaves grew too.

When Europeans came to Africa they only wanted to import African’s to America to work their land. Unlike Africans, who treated their slaves like they were part of the family. When Europeans came and took slaves to America, they treated them like animals. The European slaves were wiped, hung, and beaten. European slaves that were women were raped and the slaves had horrible living conditions. As you can see, slaves in Africa could hold important positions in government and were treated much better than the way the Europeans treated their slaves.

-Lexi

The Top 10 Richest Countries in the World

This is a list of the top 10 richest countries in the world by GDP per capita.

10 – Saudi Arabia – $51,924 GDP per capita

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Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy. The country also possesses 18% of the world’s petroleum reserves and ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum.

 

9 – The United States – $54,630 GDP per capita

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While having the world’s largest economy and the third highest population with 325,735,473, it is surprising that the country can maintain a per capita GDP of $54,630. The reasons why are because of their automotive industry and their technological sector.

 

8 – Switzerland – $57,235 GDP per capita

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The reason that Switzerland is eighth on the list is because of the Swiss banking and financial institutions. Some of the wealthiest people and companies in the world own Swiss bank accounts. Switzerland’s most well-known cities (Zurich and Geneva) is ranked among the top ten highest living standard cities in the world and Swiss is also ranked first in best country.

 

7 – Norway – $64,856 GDP per capita

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With an economy driven by fishing and major oil and petroleum exploration, Norway is seventh on this list. Norway is also the eighth largest exporter of crude oil, 9th largest exporter of refined oil, and 3rd largest exporter of natural gas in the world.

 

6 – The United Arab Emirates – $67,674 GDP per capita

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With a population of about 9.4 million people and land area of about 32,278 sq. miles (which means it can easily fit inside New York State, which is 54,556 sq. miles). A third of the economy comes from oil revenues, while the other two-thirds are from the service sector and telecommunications.

 

5 – Brunei – $71,185 GDP per capita

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Located in Southeast Asia, Brunei is a small country with a wealthy economy. It is supported by exports of crude oil and natural gas. They also have a population of 434,448 people.

 

4 – Kuwait – $73,246 GDP per capita

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Kuwait is a small country. There population as of 2016 is 4.2 million, but only 1.3 million are Kuwaitis the other 2.9 million are expatriates. The highest-valued currency in the world is the Kuwaiti dinar. Kuwait also as 10% of the world’s oil reserves and the petroleum accounts for nearly half of the GDP and 95% of government income.

 

3 – Singapore – $82,763 GDP per capita

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Singapore is a tiny city-state with a population of 5,784,538. The reason Singapore is third on this list is because of it financial services sector and a chemical export industry. Singapore also has the second busiest port in the world, exporting $414 billion of goods in 2011 alone.

 

2 – Luxembourg – $97,662 GDP per capita

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Luxembourg is a small country in western Europe with a strong economy, held up by its financial sector, fiscal policies, and industrial and steel sector. Banking in Luxembourg is the largest sector of its economy with an asset base of over $1.24 trillion.

 

1 – Qatar – $140,649 GDP per capita

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Qatar is a small country located western Asia with a small population of 2,338,085. Qatar has an oil exploration industry where the petroleum industry accounts for 70% of its government revenue, 60% of its GDP and 85% of its export earnings. Because of the country’s wealth and economy, it has been chosen to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first Arab nation to do so.

I hope you liked this list. Some of you may have been surprised by this list and in the next post will be about how the countries got this way.

-BigHomie  age 12

 

The Top 5 Poorest Countries in the World

In 2016, all five of the world’s poorest countries are in Africa. These countries are mostly ruled by authoritarian regimes, and corruption is widespread. These countries are compared by their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, which is one of the primary indicators used to figure out the health of a country’s economy. In this article, GDP is measured in International Dollars.

  1. Central African Republic (CAR)

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This country became independent from France in 1960 and has had a democratically elected president since then. The current president of CAR is Faustin-Archange Touadéra, who has been president since March 30, 2016. The Central African Republic has a GDP per capita of $639.

2. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

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Although the DRC contains a large amount of natural resources, it is still the second poorest country in the world. Right now the country is experiencing severe political unrest. President Joseph Kabila has been in office since the death of his father in 2001. The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s GDP per capita is $753.

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3. Burundi

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Burundi is a small country that has been dealing with civil war, and Hutu-Tutsi ethnic conflict. The president of Burundi is Pierre Nkurunziza who won a third term last year. Burundi’s GDP per capita is $951.

4. Liberia

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Africa’s oldest republic is focusing their attention on next year’s presidential election, until then President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will remain in office. Since their civil war in 2003, the country has had peace and stability. Despite the recent stability, its economy is struggling to find its feet after the ebola crisis. Liberia’s GDP per capita is $934

5. Niger

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80% of Niger is covered by the Sahara desert and is a rapidly growing population. The main drivers of their economy are gold and uranium, so the economy is at risk because of price shocks as well as droughts and floods. The president of Niger is Mahamadou Issoufou who has been president since April 2011. Niger’s GDP per capita is $1,069.

It seems that Africa is still struggling with poverty. Two of the countries, Niger, and the Central African Republic have persistent droughts. Reading this does not mean there aren’t any wealthy parts of Africa like Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt. But we need to know what is wrong with Africa as much as we know what is great about the United States. In my next post, I will explain how these countries became the way they are today.

-Lexi

Eternity – A Poem By Reggie Reg

Doing some Spring Cleaning, I ran across something Reggie Reg wrote for me (i.e. class) back when he was around ten years old.

I have always been so proud of his biblical understanding on so many issues and the maturity he has in Christ. Now, as year 18 approaches, he must answer this question in a whole new way himself.

That said, I just had to share…

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TeachThemRight About Holidays, and Seven Lessons from My Father-In-Law You Can Use To Build A Wiser Family

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Today it has been one year since my father-in-law (FIL) made his transition to eternity. My wife wanted to spend the day at the city zoo because that was one of the places he would meet her and the kids during the day for outings. I took the day off of work, gave the kids the day off of school (reason, 32,499 to homeschool), and dedicated this as a memorial day for his life, especially because it has been a year after his passing.

Make Your Own Family Holidays and Memorial Days

Monday, my main hustle gave us the day off to honor President’s Day. I decided to work and take today off instead. First, History.com describes Presidents day as, “Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers.” Personally, I’ve never been a fan of celebrating someone who would have me working on the plantation as a slave if they were alive today, and my family does not celebrate many of this nation’s holidays because they really are not for us. It is said that Mr. Washington “owned” over 300 “slaves” at the time of his death. After he died, I’m sure he had a good reason before the Creator of Man how he could own something that he did not create, and whether or not he treated them justly as human beings.  Therefore, we ignored this day (notice that as with most “holidays” as well,  honoring the person isn’t the primary reason, but monetary gain to the nation), and decided to give a day to someone who really meant something in our lives.

I would like to encourage all of the Furious Fathers to consider doing the same. First, consider some significant days in your life or the anniversary dates of impactful moments and people in your life. Maybe it’s the birth/death of your parents or friends that are no longer with us. Maybe it’s the anniversary of a significant family event or for some men, just taking their kid’s birthdays off would be a great start. Whatever you can find, I encourage you to give it a try. This is a great time for the family to come together in the evening for a meal, and reflect on why the day is special, handing down memories and lessons from the one honored or from an event, all with the intention of helping shape your family’s present and future.

Seven Lessons from My Father-In-Law

On that note, allow me to share with you seven lessons that I learned from my father-in-law, as I reflected on our relationship today.

  • If the Good Lord woke you up, it’s a good day – In the final years of his life, as I think he began to see that he did not have the energy and ability to do what he once did, I would ask my FIL how he was doing and his response was always, “The Good Lord woke me up this morning, so that makes it a good day.” How we love to “wake up on the wrong side of the bed” or immediately allow ourselves to get swept up in the cares of a day and thinking life is so miserable, never just being thankful that if our eyes opened, the day is good. That certainly doesn’t mean that we smile with joy when bad things happen or life does not seem to be waiting like a towel when we get out the morning shower to not dry us off, but add more water, the last thing we need. That just means that if you have the mental ability to know that it is another day (and not all people have this ability), it is off to a good start. This is truly a glass-half-full mindset. My FIL had an apartment in one of the more swanky cities in the area, known for being liberal, having a small downtown to party in, and trendy restaurants, but he lived on the 11th floor and could see above the city’s tree line and would not move from that location. He had his view to see the sun come up in the east, and the ability to go sit on the corner and people watch, and he had seen that town change so much in all the years he lived and worked in the same area. He found contentment in the “little” things we often take for granted, the real treasures that make each day a good day.

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  • You are never too old to change – When my FIL first heard about this so-called Black guy dating his daughter, he put down an edict that still has ramifications to this day. He said I was not allowed to come over to his house. I guess he felt superior as a hard-working so-called White man that the thought of his daughter being interested in someone Black after having her born and raised away from Black people, and the fact that this guy was working a dead-end job and already had a child, didn’t help as well. Needless-to-say, the latter two I’d have a problem with if my daughters were dating someone in the demographic. But over the years, I guess as he saw I was still in his daughter’s life after many years and was not afraid of him in any way, he seemed to change. Now this change wasn’t (at least outwardly) the usual go-along-to-get-along because my FIL never seemed much like that, but one that seemed genuine after his ideology was challenged and what seemed like some introspection on his part. Obviously, the fact that I am blogging about him right now says much, and after a few meetings, we quickly become quite close. I think he respected me and knew I respected him, even if we disagree with each other’s position on a topic, more we also discovered that we had so much in common and, as most father’s learned, his daughter may have married a man just like him despite being completely opposite in skin color. In the last decade of his life, my FIL and I grew pretty close, and at family events, we talked constantly. When he stopped attending those, I pretty much did as well! Our relationship was then built outside his immediate family, and sometimes he would call and we would talk for minutes (cause y’all know ole dudes don’t stay on the phone for hours) and when he came the kid’s games and over for holidays, we would talk more than he would talk to my wife…even about race! Perhaps it was having grandchildren. Perhaps it was God. I’m not sure what is was, but this guy seemed to do a complete 180 and it has taught me that some leopards do change their spots, even at an old age.
  • Attend Every Game – One reason our relationship strengthened so much was because of the amount of time we spent together. This was not a planned meet-up, but because he always wanted to be at my kids’ ball games to support them. He was at the baseball games and basketball games, even the dance recitals which no man wants to sit through! I can’t recall a time he left early or arrived late, he was just always there. During that time, I heard many stories, and I loved the sports stories the most, as he was alive to see Willie Mays (and my FIL was a serious baseball fan) and Ted Williams. When he said Ted Williams was his favorite player, but Willie Mays was the best player to play the game, that statement had weight to me. When he criticized today’s players and spoke of problems in the game, I knew it was with the knowledge that would match any ESPN analyst with Google right at their fingertips to do research. He would often tell me that he knew the starting line-up of the 1957 Detroit Tigers, but not what he did last week. A feeling I now know very well, as I can name the starting line-up of the 1983 California Angels but struggle to nearly everything else in my life as well. When he attended, he just wanted them to know he was there and he never criticized their game, just that they were playing hard. After every game, regardless of the outcome, they came over for their high-five and “good game!” I don’t think they will realize the effort it takes to have that kind of attendance record until they have to make the effort to go watch their kids and grandkids play, no matter you feel or “meaningless” the game.

 

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Here’s the 1957 Detroit Tigers Opening Day Line-up! Source: Baseball-reference.com

 

 

  • Always Be Teaching and Learning – Whether it be a game, family gathering or phone conversation, my FIL was always learning something and teaching. Looking back, like many men of his generation that did not complete his high school education, he never made it to high school. So I think he made it a priority to always be learning something new to cover up any lack of knowledge people might perceive that he had when speaking to him. He seemed to know quite a bit about nearly anything and if he knew I was into a particular topic, we would see each other the next time and he had some info for me. He was always teaching some lesson or sharing how some event from the past will visit us again in the future. But he could be in this position because he was always learning. For his birthday, he loved to get a gift certificate to the bookstore. He gave me boxes and boxes of books that he picked up from the Salvation Army for $1.00 or less, and the topics consisted of sports, philosophy, religion, reference material and on and on. He seemed so proud that we were homeschooling the children and even more proud of what we were teaching them and the people they were becoming. No one on either side of my family was as much of a champion for my kid’s education than he was, and he was so optimistic at their future because they were out of the system.
  • “Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later” – Dave Ramsey said it, but my FIL truly lived it. If you would have met my FIL and heard of his shopping habits, you’d think he was an elder man that was barely getting by. Quite the contrary. Where did he shop? The Salvation Army or any second-hand store that had deals. He’d bring bags over all the time with nothing but the free stuff he received from the drugstore with coupons. Some items had expired, some we still have, and some we gave away, but he viewed it as, “Hey, it’s free, so I figured someone could use it.” He drove around so long in a plain white rental-car-looking Ford Focus. He put approximately 2,000 miles a year on the odometer. Now, it wasn’t that he didn’t like or couldn’t afford a more flashy car, as he always wanted to have an Audi R8 and lamented often how he had to get rid of that ’67 Camaro with a stick because my wife’s baby seat was on the floor next to my MIL and he couldn’t drive it without hitting her seat. But he kept saying, “I cannot see paying that much money for a car I’d never drive. I can take the bus if I really need to go downtown, and the car I have takes me anywhere else I need to go just fine.” He loved to chat about the press cars I’d bring home and would give me car mags he bought from the store with good articles. But if it did not make fiscal AND practical sense, there was no purpose in him parting with his cash. So he kept that flip-phone till the end.
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    The last testosterone producing ride my FIL Owned…that had to go because of my wife!

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    When my FIL talked about the R8, you could hear the excitement
  • Being alone for a man is not something to fear but embrace – My in-laws divorced shortly after my FIL retired. Many men I know at my age cannot stand to be alone, let alone a man that had been married for three decades. But he seemed to take pride in being a bachelor, with his “pad”, frugal life, and discovering new dishes that he could make and eat in his crock pot. Sometimes as men, I think that we avoid and fear of being alone after many years of marriage, so we jump right back into another relationship for more security. However, I think he was an excellent example of how to be content with one’s own thoughts, failures, and dreams. Dr. Robert Glover of No More Mr. Nice Guy says that we as men need to know that no matter what, we will be okay and we can handle it. It is a lesson I’m still learning.
  • We all have to die someday – In a few weeks, it will also be one year marking the time my FIL and I were to meet again. I saw him in January of 2016 when visiting the old neighborhood and I honestly thought that due to the short notice, he would not meet with me. My FIL took each day as it came, so if he wasn’t in the mood to chat and chill, it’s a no go. Surprise visits were even worse, as he has always been an early to bed and early to rise guy. But turned out, not only did my short notice not matter, he really wanted to see me. It was like he knew it was the last time we would see each other. When kicked it in his place for quite a while and even though I knew the doctor’s opinion was that his months may be numbered, his spirit and zest said otherwise. When I asked him how he was doing, he said that, “You know, this is tough, but hey, we all have to die someday.” I then asked about his relationship with God and he said he was at peace with his Maker, knew where he was going and was ready to go. During his battle with cancer, knowing that we had to die someday seemed to make him appreciate just one more day so much more. He said, “That Good Lord has given me a lot of years and a great life, great kids, great grandkids, a job I enjoyed, you know, what do I have to complain about?” I left his place saying that I would be back in March when I had to return to speak at an event. He said to definitely come back by and see him, but I didn’t know if he would make that meeting myself. I left his presence with tears in my eyes and basically saying to him how much I appreciated all of the things you get to read about right now. As a man who admitted to making many mistakes in his life, and some that he paid the price for till the end, I wanted him to know that our finish after a horrendous start is something I will never forget and truly shows God’s grace to the two of us. Ever humbly accepted and agreed, and encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing, because it’s my kids show that it is working. But I told him that he played a huge part of that as well, and it was one of the few times the old guy got speechless. I think we both parted ways unsure if that meeting, just less than two months away, would ever take place. I left having nothing unsaid to him, as who knows, I could have died instead. He at least seemed to be relieved at our honest exchange. All hearts were clear because we all have to die someday.

I don’t know.

Now I wonder, what DO I have to complain about?

That’s why we honor my FIL today and it’s good to think about the wisdom he passed down to me.

Other meaningless holidays come and go, but tomorrow, I’ll wake up thinking, “Thank you Good Lord for waking me up, and giving me a good day.”