A few weeks ago, I posted this video to my Facebook page. After telling me the story, a co-worker had forwarded the video to me. I already knew what was going to happen, and this was a laugh-out-loud, tears-in-my-eyes kind of funny.

And I don’t laugh at much.

This Aquinas College professor has a cell phone policy: if your phone rings in class, answer it on speakerphone.

One Facebook friend commented, before sharing the video on her own feed:

Best April Fools EVER!!!!!

I sure thought it was. But was it?

Teen pregnancy and single-parent households are a serious concern. For single parents (moms and dads),

If you graduate from high school, work full time, and postpone marriage and childbearing until after the age of 21, your chances of being in poverty are only 2 percent. If you don’t do all of those three things, your chances of poverty rise to 77 percent.

- The Brookings Institution

The Commonwealth of Virginia has 262,188 single-parent households, and nearly 20% are single dads.

How can we help?

First off, thank this Aquinas College professor for providing a good laugh and for raising up conversations we need to have.

Second, if you know a single parent or a pregnant teen, support them. Adopt them as an extended part of your family. A sick child means time off from work, sometimes not getting paid.

Single parenting means work during the day and parenting at home in the evening, if not working a second job to make ends meet. Support networks mean evenings out with friends, even if the kids are there, too.

Single parenting means only one income, usually quite low, to cover housing, food and other necessities. According to the USDA, 40% of single-mom households are food insecure (they don’t know where their next meal will come from).

Sometimes, it takes a village. Let’s be the village.

Yeah, Bubba!

Aaron —  April 17, 2014 — 1 Comment

I’ve changed my attitude toward life the past two years. I became a dad. I see myself as a role model for my son now — not as a golfer, but as the man I am. I want to be a role model for him.

SportsCenter Conversation

The Masters is a great Sunday afternoon experience with our family. I never liked golf until my wife got me to watch Phil win a few years ago. My 2 year old clearly got into it this year, and I’m glad she has a golfer like Bubba to cheer for.

bubba watsonBubba is just a different kind of celebrity. Who celebrates The Masters with dinner at Waffle House and posts a picture to prove it?

Bubba clearly has his priorities straight, too. This is the guy who didn’t play a few big tournaments after winning The Masters the first time, and has already bowed out of at least one tournament this year.

 “Golf was the farthest thing from my mind [in 2012],” Watson recalled. “So I took off some tournaments. Trying to be a good husband, a good dad at that moment was the most important thing.”

Rocky Mount Telegram

This kind of role model is right and good. Dads, learn from Bubba and spend more time with your kids.

Put work aside every now and then, no matter what your job is.

No matter how important your job makes you feel.

Your kid only has one dad, so live it up. Enjoy the time, and strive to be their role model.

In the words of my 2 year old, “Yeah, Bubba!”

Where’s Alice?

Aaron —  February 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

Brady BunchAh, The Brady Bunch. The lovable, large, made up family. Everything looked good, right?

Here’s the story of a lovely lady
Who was bringing up three very lovely girls…

Here’s the story, of a man named Brady,
Who was busy with three boys of his own…

…Yet they were all alone.

Till the one day when the lady met this fellow
And they knew it was much more than a hunch,
That this group would somehow form a family.

The only thing missing from the show’s theme song is Mr. Brady’s beloved live-in housekeeper, Alice.

How did this blended family stay so strong? Some will say it was Alice. Cooking meals, caring for the kids while Mr. and Mrs. Brady were away. She told jokes and played games with the family, and she went on vacation with them, too.

But one day, after Mr. and Mrs. Brady got married, Alice thought she wasn’t needed anymore. She made up a story to slip away:

Not every blended family is so fortunate to have Alice. Putting two people into the same family is tough; add kids to the mix and things can get a little tricky.

How can your blended family stay strong without having Alice around?

A couple recently said, “We want to set an example for the kids going forward, to not go through what we went through.” After 7 years, they want their blended family to be a strong witness to the kids of how marriage can be.

You can be strong, too. Here are three ways to strengthen your blended marriage:

  1. Pregame: as soon as you start thinking about getting married again, sign up for a marriage seminar. The more you know, the earlier you start, the better the foundation will be for your new marriage.
  2. The Coach: 40% of married couples with children in the US are step couples. Find another couple you trust to mentor you and help you through the hurdles as they come.
  3. Victory Lap: The “honeymoon” stage won’t last very long, so it’s even more important to keep investing in your marriage. Find a way to keep “dating” — time together every day, a weekly date night.

See, you don’t really need Alice!

Do you know a blended family? Help them #StrengthenMarriage and send them an encouraging message. It might mean more than you know!