What do school kids, supporters, and the homeless have in common?


Earlier this week I attended a training for manning the warming shelters that we are opening in St. Johns this week. With temperatures holding below freezing and snow on the ground as I type this there is a huge need for warm places to sleep for the homeless community in Portland. One of the things that struck me at the training was how similar the language was to other areas of my life. Settling disputes between folks at the shelter was oddly reminiscent of dealing with disagreements on the playground at the boys school. When it came to mediating arguments over stolen gear the same steps were ones I learned when dealing with drunk supporters in the Timbers Army. It seems that where ever i spend my time lately I am working with same mentality. A grade school playground is the same as a rabid supporters section is the same as a homeless shelter working with the chronic homeless.

Now I know that much of these tips for settling disputes are universally true and that common sense and a level head will get you far, i still thought it was funny how a like these seemingly different groups are. On the last game of the season I had to try to help a guy who was pushed by an older woman for not singing for the full 90. He was drunk and unreasonable and wanted her thrown out. It reminded me of the first graders that had taken all they could from an unreasonable kindergartener. In both instances I had to listen to the whole story, without interrupting so they could feel heard and vent a little. I found places to agree and connect before trying to find a middle ground. These were all the tips on the slides of the warming shelter training.

I guess the lesson is that people are people are people right. We all need the same thing when we are frustrated: someone to hear us, someone to help us make it right. I do find it funny painting all three groups with the same brush though. The timbers Army IS just like a school playground most of the time, and disagreements of the shelter are the same ones I hear at recess. We are all just frustrated little kids looking for our own justice.

Instajunction gift ideas from Instagram photos


I have started to amass quite a collection of photos on instagram, some of them even pretty good. I was talking to a friend about this box at my parents house that holds all of these family photographs and how I love going through that box to find old pictures and letters. Holding the photos and shuffling through the stacks always last longer than you intended but is a such a rich experience. We don’t have that anymore with our traveling photo galleries on our phone and digital storages in the cloud. While we can share those great photos much easier I think something is lost in the handling and the story telling that comes from the box. While I am not going to start printing out all of my pictures anytime soon I was glad to get an opportunity to check out some options to have my instagram photos be a little more tangible. Enter the site Instajunction and their collection of products.

Instajunction is a site that allows you to turn your digital instagram photos into things like photo books, calendars, magnets, or Polaroid style cards. I had a calendar made as a gift to Beautiful’s dad for his birthday and it turned out great. The picture above shows Primo checking out the final product. The website was easy to navigate and connect to my pictures. Because I have a lot of photos it took some time to go through and pick the pictures I wanted, but that was a limitation of my indecision not the site. Shipping was quick and the calendar looked great.

When looking for gift ideas check out Instajunction and this weekend you can get 25% off your order with the following Promo Code: FRIEND25EZ

A season finished

nopo, soccer

End of the year soccer party

Soccer has taken up a lot of space in our life lately. Between Timbers games, youth Soccer, and my first foray into an adult league there has been rarely a day that has gone by where soccer wasn’t being played. While I love this new obsession I am also glad to see some aspects coming to an end so that our weekends can be spent in a much more lazy manner instead of darting around town for games.

settling disagreements though penalty kicks

settling disagreements though penalty kicks

I finished my second season as coach for Primo’s team and we had a good year. The kids got better, had fun, and didn’t get hurt. While scores were not officially kept we only lost one game all year. I love being the coach and seeing these kids go from tripping over the ball in warm ups at the beginning of the year to trying to execute complicated spin moves by the end. We had a couple of new players this season but mostly returned the same team from last Fall. They were better players, more comfortable with the ball and with each other and I could see the best of what organized sports brings out in kids. They had self-confidence that they could go from beginner to advanced through repetition and sticking with it. They were aware of their teammates and the feelings of the teams they were playing against and wanted them to have as much fun as they were having.

Diving header

I am taking a course later this month to get my ‘E’ license for youth soccer. I want to be a better coach that is aware of the stages of development for kids at each level. I want to show them that you never stop learning or trying to get better. Mostly I want to be a good coach that these kids remember like I remember my good coaches.

Unlimited Plan Doesn’t Help My Limited Fantasy Football Skills

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

#FamilyMobileSaves, #cbiasIt has been a month with the Galaxy S4 phone on the Walmart Family Mobile plan and while I have loved this phone I have not done so well with my fantasy team. Don’t get me wrong I can keep up with every detail of my Fantasy Football team and watch highlights of other team’s players even when I’m off of my WiFi. The problem has more to do with my terrible team. Steven Jackson has been hurt, Colin Kaepernick is not the steady performer I thought, and the Bears Defense has seen better times. Not even a fancy phone with a cheap wireless plan can turn me into a Fantasy Football stud, but I have so enjoyed keeping up with my own failures.

#FamilyMobileSaves, #cbiasIn my previous post I talked about wanting to know how the data plan would measure up and if the call quality would be as good as my current phone plan and after a month of heavy use I can say that the Walmart Family Mobile Plan measures up. The data speeds have been comparable and the call quality good all at a fraction of what I am paying for my other plan. Now I know the cost of my phone is subsidized in my current phone bill but even taking that into consideration the Family plan is a better bargain. I expected to see a difference in quality to account for the difference in price but that never materialized. Getting to use a beautiful phone like the Galaxy S4 really brought that into contrast because i could see that I could get a great phone on these plans.

#FamilyMobileSaves, #cbias

The boys loved having the phone as well because it meant another device they could play games on. They would test games on the iPhone and Galaxy and decide which one was better. Not a fair fight with the bigger screen and brighter colors on the Galaxy S4 but my oldest son said he didn’t like the LA Galaxy soccer team so he couldn’t fully sign off on the phone. While my fantasy football career was not resurrected by this new phone and Family plan i think our pocketbook will might be. This is just a great deal, much better than I thought it would be, and it is worth checking out yourself. There are great phones available.



Create 2 Destroy Giveaway from Crayola

create 2 destroy


What do you get when you combine the creative tools of molding compound and the imaginations of kids with dinosaurs? So far at our house you get some pretty imaginative play. The folks at Crayola sent along the Dino Destruction Metropolitan Mayhem pack for us to try to make a video. We are entered into a competition with some other bloggers on the Crayola page so check out our video and the others and vote for you favorite. If you don’t want to head over and vote then check the video out below:

If you think you can make a better video you can enter yourself if by picking up your own Create 2 Destroy box and make a 15 minute video of your own. The most popular video gets $1000 gift card and your family on a Crayola box. Head over to Crayola’s Facebook page and upload your video.

I have connected together with some other Dad bloggers to help increase your chances of getting a box of your own. Joining me are Tom from Twins And Then, Chris from DadNCharge, John from Daddy’s In Charge?,  Colby from Days of the Domestic Dad, and Chris from Daddy Doctrines. Check out their pages and use the cool entry form below to enter for your chance at one of 6 prizes.

Good Luck and happy creating!

The Create 2 Destroy Dad Bloggers Giveaway runs from now until November 13th, 2013, at which point Six winners will be selected and notified. As the contest is open to U.S. residents only, after being notified the winners will have 24 hours to verify their U.S. mailing address to confirm their prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: Crayola provided me with the product, information, and a gift card to participate in the Create2Destroy video contest. All opinions are my own.

Chapel Pub Dine Out for Together For Trillium PTSA



Come get some dinner, or a pint, or bet yet both. Money goes to Together For Trillium, the PTSA for Trillium Charter School. We raise money for Teacher and student grants that have included new microscopes, class room supplies, and summer school programs for students. McMenamin’s Chapel Pub has graciously partnered with us to help raise money but we need you to come.

Home, home in the woods

Mt. hood


It was a whole week, by myself, in Arizona. I went there for work but it was mostly an escape from a busy start to the school year. With School, Soccer, Church, and all the rest I have been worn a bit ragged by all the responsibility so getting away for a work trip in Arizona was a great break. I got my own suite with two TVs, two of them. Meals on the company, nights out with friends and family, and a couple of great concerts were just what I needed. As the week came to an end I was ready to jump back in the fray feeling revived, but mostly I was ready to be back with Beautiful and the Boys. Sometimes we need a little time away to recharge and the welcome sight of Mt hood out of the plane window before landing let me know I was back home in the trees.