Routine Maintenance: How to Keep Your Marriage Like New

Anyone who appreciates cars knows there is a list of maintenance jobs to do to keep it functioning properly. Continually, you need to keep it filled with gas, check the coolant, or check the oil. Regularly, it will need an oil change,  cleaning the battery terminals, or washing the exterior to prevent corrosion. Then there are occasional maintenance items such as greasing any zerk fittings, changing the differential fluid, or readjusting valve clearances.

Marriages are the same way, we cannot just go along and pretend it will just keep running well. There are short term, medium term, and long term things we need to do in order to have a spouse that lasts and is a joy to ride. Whether you purchased a brand new Ferrari, or a ’81 Ford Fiesta that has been hammered on by the entire production crew of Dukes of Hazard, all cars need maintenance, and AWALT (although some need more maintenance than others).
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Filthy Rags

A few months after I got baptized into the LDS church, I had a good Protestant friend of mine invite me to go on this backpacking trip with him and his parents. I thought nothing of it, I hung out at their house many times over the years. My friend and his parents were always doing outdoor adventures. We start off at a meadow early, then climb up this mountain, then scramble along this ridge until we come to the trail to this lake. By the time we get there, it is late in the evening, and we set up camp.

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Dear (Son)……….An Open Letter

Note: This is a letter I recently gave to my son on his 13th birthday. He is a good kid, tall, smart and muscular. He has every reason to be on top of his game but has issues with socializing with other kids his age. He lacks confidence in himself, and it shows through fits and temper tantrums. Public school teachers would classify him as ADHD. But beneath it all, he has a strong desire to do the right thing and be honest.

Unlike that letter I proposed to send to my daughter, this one focuses more on his stage in life and the issues he is dealing with, rather than a broad overview of life. I will probably give him another as he gets into his last years of high school.

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Dear (Daughter)……….an open letter

This is a rough draft of a letter I am planning to give to my daughter on her 12th birthday. She is this cute athletic blonde who is bound to turn some heads in the coming years. She currently has a strong sense of morality, and I want it to stay that way.

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Six Dates You Need To Do Before Buying the Ring

Marriage can be a wonderful thing, I have a good wife who supports me and I feel that I can trust. Not all women are like that however. Modern western society has corrupted so many women (and men) that it becomes very difficult to distinguish the needles from the haystack. Traditional dating activities like “dinner and a movie” or something similar are enjoyable, and are not any harm (other than to your wallet) but they do little in helping you find out what sort of integrity the woman you are dating has. There are some activities you can do to help you see those red flags before you make such a serious commitment. Continue reading “Six Dates You Need To Do Before Buying the Ring”

Camping for Two Weeks Without Killing Your Family

I love camping. I love playing in the mountains, exploring, seeing new country, and doing activities that toughen myself and my children. With six kids, spending time in the outdoors can be a challenge. Whining, filthy little brats tax your patience, and yet spending the quality time is a great way to see them learn and grow.

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Your Kids Are Tougher Than You Think

The year is 1925, my grandfather is only 15. He has two younger brothers, aged 10 and 3. He is living in a mining camp in Idaho with his mother, who is a school teacher, and his father, a veteran of the Spanish-American war of 1898, a miner and alcoholic. That year, his mother contracts tuberculosis and dies. Within a month, his depressed father drinks himself to death, leaving the three boys on their own. My grandfather, now head of the household, drops out of high school and goes to work hand loading boxcars at a railroad yard to support and raise his brothers. By 1930, he marries my grandmother and they start a life of farming (still taking care of his brothers) in which they become successful, running over 2000 acres, despite being in the middle of the Great Depression.

The reason I tell this story is to contrast this with the typical teenager today. Hooked on video games and porn, no work ethic, no real responsibilities. I do not know of any kid that would take on that sort of responsibility today. Continue reading “Your Kids Are Tougher Than You Think”