Amelia and I were at the pet store, just looking around.
Amelia: Dad, let's
go look at the guinea
pigs, I love them.
Amelia: I like that one right there, the
brown and white one.
Ryan: You mean
the one with that funny weird bald spot on
Amelia (defensively and in a stern voice): DAD,
YOU HAVE A FUNNY WEIRD BALD SPOT!
Old memory (around 2016)
Amelia and Heather were watching
'Finding Bigfoot' on TV.
Ryan: Amelia, do you want to play or do something
I want to watch this until the end.
Amelia (as the show is ending):
So, when are we ever going to see bigfoot?
Ryan: Amelia, you
never do, you just never do.
I came home from the grocery store with some Oreo cookies
and wanted them to last awhile.
Ryan: Reece, I
just bought these Oreos. If you want some, just let me
Reece (later that day): Dad,
can I open the Oreos and have some?
Ryan: Yes, but
just four cookies.
The next day, when I went to get an Oreo, I
noticed that four were gone from
the top row. My first thought
was that Reece actually listened to me. Then,
under the plastic wrapper, I saw that there
were two more cookies missing.
Ryan: Reece, I said you
could only have four Oreos yesterday and there are
two missing under the wrapper.
February 2022 -
Amelia wasn't feeling well,
left class and went to the school nurse.
So I picked her up.
Amelia: Dad, look at the note my math teacher wrote for my hall pass to go
to the nurse. He spelled nurse
(nurce) wrong. Maybe that's why he is a math teacher.
February 2022 -
Over the past year,
there were a couple of
times that Reece has had a little hair above his
upper lip. Each time, I
offered to buzz it with my electric razor and he
agreed. Tonight, around
dinner time, when we were exchanging valentines
gifts/candies amongst the family, a sunbeam hit his face and I noticed a
decent looking mini-mustache.
Ryan: Hey man, when we're done here do you
want me to zip that off for you?
Reece: Nah, I'm good.
Old Memory -
When the kids
were little, about 4-5, while riding in the car
with mom, the moon disappeared behind a cloud.
Amelia: Mommy, look, the moon is playing
hide and seek with me.
Old Memory -
sports and knowing your last name is on the back of
shirt, Amelia came home one day and dropped this on me.
Dad, did you know all the teachers at day
care have the last name Staff?
- Amelia 12
why don't you play Lacrosse anymore, because you had to wear a skirt?
Amelia: No, it's because girls don't get helmet and pads and can't
check or hit each other like boys can.
Me: Oh, that makes sense.
Amelia: Same with hockey, girls can't check and boys can. THAT IS
SEXISM AT ITS FINEST!
Sometimes while driving my car, like most guys, I will
look at a pretty woman jogging or walking by. If
the kids are with me, I usually look out of the corner of my eye. Then one
day this happened.
Amelia: Dad, I know what you’re doing.
Amelia: You're looking at that woman jogging.
Ryan: Oh, I guess
I was. There’s nothing wrong with it, most guys do
Several times over the next couple of weeks,
Amelia pointed it out when she caught me doing it
again, almost as a joke. Then one day, while I was
parking the car at Target, a funny thing happened.
Amelia: Dad, you’re doing it again.
Ryan: I know.
Amelia: Eww dad, that’s my teacher!
Ryan: Well, your
teacher is very pretty!
"Would you rather" game:
Reece, would you rather have a snake or 30 spiders under your bed?
Ryan: I caught
a lot of snakes and bugs when I was young.
Amelia: Were they poisonous?
Ryan: No, one snake may have been, so I picked it up and threw it because it
was near uncle Alan.
Reece: Would it hurt if it had bitten you?
Ryan: Probably not more than a bee sting, if was a garter snake. You
just need to grab them up on their neck, right behind the head so they cant
turn back and bite you. It would be like be if I had an apple on my
shoulder, I wouldn't be able to bite it ... well unless I moved my shoulder
forward. Anyway, you get the point.
Reece: Yeah I do, snakes don't have shoulders.
Ryan: Uh, no that's not the point.
Reece and I play "Would you rather have a...". For
instance, a sports car or big house. He
knows to come up with things that are hard to pick between.
Reece: Dad, would you rather have the best
most expensive computer in the world or .... (as he thinks it over) ... an
endless bag of Lays potato chips?
Ryan: I guess the computer because you could sell it for a lot of money.
Reece: I'd take the Lays chips, then I could solve world hunger.
other day while in the car.
Reece: Dad, it
would be cool if we had millions of dollars so we could all have our own
house, right next door to each other.
Me: You mean now or when you are grown up?
Me: Then how could I
keep an eye on you guys to make sure you are doing what you are supposed to
and not getting into trouble or hurt?
Reece: You could put cameras all over the
Amelia: THAT WOULD BE INVASIVE!!!
was in the kitchen doing dishes, I hear Reece run up the stairs.
Me: Reece, what are you doing?
Me: Seems awfully suspicious you running up stairs.
Just then a bottle of Gatorade falls out of his pocket
that he had gotten from
Amelia, Reece and I all laugh a bit.
Old Memory -
Kids were about
5 or 6 years old.
played soccer and Reece played t-ball.
Amelia: (after her soccer
game): We lost today, 2
Reece: That's weird, all of our games end in
June 2020 -
from home and was going to be busy for a while. I told the kids to make
their own lunch, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with
chips. Two hours later:
Ryan: So, did you guys make yourselves lunch?
Ryan: OK, then you
need any Taco Bell?
Kids: NO! WE DIDN'T EAT!
Ryan: Well, I am not
going to get you Taco Bell,
but will pick up something (quesadilla from Chipotle).
May 2019 -
We have a
pet dog named Olaf.
make your bed.
Amelia: Olaf messed it up.
Me: (lol) Yeah
right, make it.
I was pulling on Amelia's
toes, cracking her knuckles (she
likes to do this before bedtime).
DAD, I WAS SAVING THOSE FOR LATER!!!
2014 (kids age 5)
- One day we had
fish sticks and peas for dinner. Reece liked them,
but Amelia didn't. Heather called them for dinner
and, as they come down the stairs, Amelia sees there are fish sticks.
FISH STICKS!!!! and drops to her knees in a meltdown.
Amelia: AND PEAS!!!! (starts crying and flops on the floor).
2014 (kids age 5)
- Anytime we served something the kids really liked, such as pizza or
sweets, Amelia would always look at Reece's plate to be sure he didn't have
more than her. So one day when
Heather was making a
batch of cookie dough, I asked
her to make one super large cookie.
I put the big chocolate chip cookie on Reece's
plate and a normal cookie on Amelia's plate.
They came down the stairs for their cookie
and sat down. Amelia looks over at Reece's plate.
Amelia: WHAT THE HECK!!!
Doing homework that was due yesterday with Amelia
... and she is upset.
Amelia: Dad, I already did this 3 times today.
Ryan: The same
Ryan: The same
Ryan: Well why
are you doing it again?
Amelia: I don't know, I think my teacher
just doesn't know and she gave it to me.
Ryan: I can
write at the top "Amelia already did this 3 times" to your teacher...
Amelia: No, Ill just do it again.
Ryan: Well did
you turn any of the ones in you already did 3 times?
Amelia: No. I lost them all.
hmmmm...you lost all 3?
Ryan: And the
truth shall set you free ...
do it again.
about the possibility of leprechauns over
Ryan: Ok each of you give me a yes, no or maybe answer to the
following and if they exist.
(Here is where it gets funny,
when they basically flip-flop)
Ryan: Aliens (visiting
earth/being seen by humans)
Ryan: Monsters of any kind
Me: Any kind of life form
(plant/animal/intelligent) elsewhere in the
This weekend we were at
a hockey tournament for Amelia in Grand Rapids.
After one of the games, Reece and I
went to the restroom.
While standing side by side
at the urinals.
I wonder what the longest pee anyone has
I'm not sure.
I wonder if it was like 5 minutes or
Reece (without hesitation,
which is the funniest part
of this story):
Mine was 1 minute and 37 seconds.
- Today, when the kids got off the school bus,
they were walking with neighbor kids and having a serious discussion
about something. As soon as they walked in the house, they started
scrambling around looking for stuff. Shortly thereafter, Reece was
holding a music recorder. Amelia had a ukulele and a kitchen pot with
What are you guys doing?
Amelia: We are starting a band!
The other day in the car.
my friends said hell isn't a bad word.
it's not, but it depends on how you use
said bloody hell.
that would be a bad use of the word.
they say it with a British accent?
Ryan (lol): It
doesn't matter if there is an accent,
you still shouldn't say bloody hell.
While staying with
Ryan and the kids in November, Grandpa notices Amelia
grinding a brand new pencil to a nub in the
electric pencil sharpener.
Amelia, what are you doing?
I'm making this
pencil so the elf can hold it.
Yes, the Elf on
the Shelf. I
leave him notes with questions and he answers me
November 2018 -
Last night, as I'm
tucking Reece in bed.
hear mice in the pipes at night.
I can hear them in the walls.
has excellent hearing and knows that I do not)
they aren't in the pipes. But
when it gets cold, they could be near the house, in the cracks, just outside
the house, because that's where it's
warm for them.
you ever seen one in the house? I haven't, so
the whole time, I was subconsciously rolling my eyes, thinking he was
just hearing things or that the noises were maybe outside.
That night it snowed about 3 inches, so in the morning I shoveled the
driveway and sidewalk. As I'm shoveling, I came
across tracks outside of Reece's bedroom,
about 24 inches from Reece's
I couldn't believe it,
Reece was right!)
We were at The Pumpkin Patch one Sunday, a family Halloween tradition.
While the kids were playing in the corn, Reece came over a couple
to dump dried corn from his shoes.
Ryan: Hey bud, is that corn annoying when it gets in your shoes?
Ryan: How would you like it if you had to always walk around with it in
Ryan: What would you do if you HAD to always walk around with in it in
I'd buy new shoes.
Last night, at bedtime,
Reece had a loose wiggly tooth. I am usually the tooth puller. It went like
(in bed): Dad, I have a loose tooth. Come
Ok, come to the bathroom, lets take a look.
Never mind, its ok.
Ok, just don't swallow it while you're
(as I'm shutting his door):
No dad wait, lets do it.
Are you sure? We can wait 'til
Yes, I'm sure. i don't want to swallow
Ok, come on in here. Hold your thumb
out to the side and if it starts to hurt allot, point it up.
(Then there was a lot of thumb action, but
mostly just a scared little guy.)
(all the sudden says): Dad that's the
(with a grin, since dad is usually the joker):
(We both laughed for a bit, he got me good.)
Here I go. Dang, lets try again.
No dad, you go it.
Oh, I did?
(The tooth fairy came
the next morning.)
While on vacation in Florida, Grandpa
and Reece went to a bakery to pick up a birthday cake for
Sue. The bakery also served lunch, so they ordered
want to try a bite of this tuna
No, I hate tuna.
hate is a pretty strong word, do you know what it means?
Yeah, it means you don't like it.
a difference between hate and dislike. If I told that you could never play
video games again if you don't eat this sandwich, would you eat it?
Yes, I would.
you don't hate tuna, you just dislike it. How about these nuts?
No, I HATE nuts.
if you couldn't play any more video games?
No, I wouldn't eat them.
they continued to eat and were almost done.)
do you want to try some of this potato salad?
No, I ...
... dislike it very much.
While visiting the kids'
Grandparents in Florida, we were out for a walk on the beach. We saw a
seagull with a fish tail hanging out of its mouth.
Ryan (at 11am):
Wow, that seagull has a mighty big breakfast.
Yeah, or it could be lunch.
Yes it could be.
Before school one morning.
check my homework, you have to sign off on it.
Ryan: (as I start looking it
look it over, just sign it.
What? That doesn't
sound right, here's
one you got wrong.
Dad, I said sign my
homework, not look at it.
No, you said look it
Ugh (and walks away).
... I don't
Amelia loves shoes
(sports, high-tops, bright colors, etc.) and if she is spoiled in any area,
it's this. So two days ago on the way to school.
Ryan: So did anyone at school like your shoes yesterday?
Amelia: Yeah, a bunch of people.
Amelia, why do you like shoes so much anyway?
IT'S CALLED AN
I work from home. Kids
are now on spring break ... so, just a few minutes ago.
Hey guys, I need you to stay downstairs for 10 minutes at
least, no fighting. I have an important call to make. The only way I want
you to interrupt me is if there is a fire. Got it?
Amelia: Dad! We were in the middle of making a YouTube video. Now we have
to start all over! Grrr!
Heather: Maybe the kids should take a Spanish class?
Or another language maybe?
Amelia, if you could take a class learning another language, what
would you take? Give me three choices.
Amelia: Braille, Latin or Hieroglyphics.
Amelia: They sound interesting.
The other day, while
riding in the car.
Dad if you could make any movie real life, what would you pick?
I'm not sure, let me think on that.
Amelia: And don't say Jurassic Park!
Yesterday's quote of the day.
Amelia: Dad, when I grow up and am rich, I'm going to buy a really big safe
about as big as this car, to keep all my stuffed animals in.
While at a McDonalds the
other day, we
were eating and talking about getting ice cream cones afterwards. Since they no longer
have chocolate, the kids decided to first try a free sample of the
vanilla before ordering. As we were trying the samples, I
decided that we had eaten
not get ice
said we could!
Believe it or not,
sometimes dads are wrong.
Amelia: IT'S NOT THAT HARD TO
conversation before school.
you know that no human has ever lived to be 200?
Amelia: No, not
true, Santa is over 1000 years old.
since the kids were 3,
we have made a leprechaun trap
for St. Patrick's Day, with an orange for bait. And every year,
when the traps are checked, the leprechaun has
escaped the trap
and leaves orange peels or rips up the orange and
makes a mess.
So are we making
a leprechaun trap
No, I just want to be
nice to him.
I want the trap to be metal with a metal sliding door that traps him in
there so he can't get out!
Yesterday morning before
Amelia, do you want to wear a sweatshirt today?
Amelia: I would wear my Adidas sweatshirt, but then it would cover my cool
A reminder to watch what I say, lol. Reece brought home a paper he wrote for
school, marked with the teacher's comment, "Nice job Reece!" The paper read
Title: Late for School - I was in the middle of my TV show when my dad came
up the stairs.
"Get your butt in the car".
I said, "Fine,
one sec. Geez
man!". I ran
quickly to the car.
We got to school in time for learning.
A couple of days before Christmas.
wasn't that weird when I was like 2 or 3 and I opened a present and it was
from Santa and he had wrapped my gift in an old diaper box?
was weird alright.
- One morning.
Reece: Dad I want the things
for your eyes for Christmas.
(Reece gets up at the
first crack of light, so I'm thinking this would be great and maybe
with a sleep mask he will sleep
Amelia: You mean
the things people wear when they sleep?
the things you wear and it feels like you are inside a
video game, when you
punch for real, you punch in the game
and when you walk for real, you walk in the game.
This morning Amelia is
getting dressed and decides to wear a black long sleeve shirt with
fluorescent yellow stripes, yellow shorts, knee high fluorescent yellow
socks and red high-top basketball shoes.
Amelia are you sure about that?
(puts her hand up in the stop motion):
Dad, I've got this!
snacking on deli roast beef the other day.
Dad, where does this come from?
Cows, like hamburgers.
That's kind of sad.
Amelia: Sad, but delicious.
Reece gets off the school
bus and comes up to me.
Dad, I know what arithmetic is.
Today I measured a circle.
Yeah, I never want to do that again!
in town, Grandpa took the kids out for
Grandpa: Reece, there are 5 pieces of fruit
left in your bowl, lets say that one is you, one is Amelia, one is me, one
is your mom and one is your dad. What order are you going to eat them in?
(For a few seconds, Reece gives
it a little thought, then eats himself first.)
Reece: Grandpa, which one is you again? (lol)
(So he eats Grandpa
next, then Amelia. Lastly, he looks at mom and dad, sticks a fork in both at the same time and
(Amelia was in first grade)
we have a big
about 4 feet long
and 18 x 18 inches wide/high.
Amelia has been playing with it and in it for a couple weeks. She has turned
it into a spaceship with markers.
Amelia: Mom, I think I could fit two kindergartners in here.
Amelia is in hockey and
Reece is in gymnastics. The other day in the car,
out of the blue.
Amelia: Reece, so you know, eventually you are going to have to wear a
leotard in gymnastics.
(pauses for a bit, then says):
Dad, do I have to eventually wear a leotard?
Yes, but not until you are 8, so you have a couple
of years yet.
(after about 5 seconds of silence): I
don't believe you, you're lying!"
Reece's New Years
resolution is to have fun. Amelia's is to be brave
(lol). So last night when she didn't want to use the spicy toothpaste.
Remember to be brave.
(Needless to say, that didn't go over well. Amelia had a meltdown.)
Reece is walking down the stairs hiding something behind his back.
What ya got there?
(with iPad and notebook in hand): Dad
look at this.
(He shows me a sequence of numbers and letters he has written in his
notebook. I look at the iPad and see that he's
on a page to order a Ninja Minion" for $9.99. He's wanted this for a while.)
What are you going to do?
Is it ok if I buy the Minion? I've
written down your number off that card.
The one you gave me, but I gave it
(He's talking about my expired Costco card.)
Yes, if it works, you can have the Minion.
I sure hope it does.
Each kid brings a snack each day to
school. Amelia's teacher will let her have 2 snacks. Reece's teacher allows
one bag. This morning.
Dad, I want two fruit snacks.
But you are only allowed one.
So put them both in one bag.
The snack packages?
No, open and pour them into one bag.
You are sneaky.
The car ride
conversation to daycare is usually fun, today it went like this.
Dad, when do we stop going to school?
18 more years.
Is that why you aren't in school?
Yep, because I'm all done.
How old will we be?
Dad, I want to be a
Grandpa. When will Amelia and
I be Grandpa and
When you are old, a long time from now, mommy and daddy will probably
be in heaven then.
Amelia: Yeah Reece, we have to be mommies and daddies first.
That's right, your kids will be our grandkids and your kids
be your grandkids.
Amelia: We all see God in heaven, like before we were born, right?
Yep, and people are already there, like
Dad, why is everyone born babies?
Because that's the way it is.
Amelia: Because God made us that way.
Did God make the grass?
Yeah, he made grass, trees, people, animals, etc.
But not flags?
Um, flags? No he didn't make flags.
Or houses or buildings?
No, people made those.
Amelia: Is God white or brown?
I'm not even sure if he's a boy or girl.
I think everyone makes houses.
Ryan: I've never made a house.
Neither have I, but we should. We could make it how we want it.
Ryan: True, we could, but making a house is hard.
(We arrived at daycare. I love these morning
Sometime in 2013
- When Reece was about
5, he had been watching TV and noticed the beeps over the swear words.
He was at the age where he was testing me as to what he can and can't
Reece: Dad, can I say "beep"?
but how do you mean?
Reece: Can I say,
"What the beep" or "Beep
Ryan: No you
Sometime in 2012
An old memory from when kids were in
preschool, about age 4.
Heather: The kids have a makeup day on Friday.
That's ridiculous. They can skip that.
Heather: They cannot Ryan, what are you thinking?!
They are only 4.
That's absurd, they
Heather: What's wrong with you?
Why would they have a day where they
put on makeup, that doesn't even make sense.
Heather: Ryan, it's to make up for the snow
day they missed last week!