Adam Yauch, a Primitive Campsite and the Playlist I Share With My Daughter

There’s this place I like to take my family. A place my buddies and I always go. It’s south of town, over a hill and through forest, smack dab on the shore of one of the most beautiful finger lakes you’ve ever seen. When I take them, my step-daughter and I are always the vanguard sent before the rest of the crew. The ones who procure our site.

The place means a lot to me. Not just the campsite, but the entire lake. I’ve hiked its surrounding mountains, swung on its rope swings and floated its every last cove, some of them by canoe and with the permission of a low-hanging moon.

Read more over at BabbleVoices by clicking HERE.

The sickness of December, the magic of the holiday and my life’s most profound new goal

By the time Christmas Eve rolled around this year, my family and I had already endured a long, hard December. Usually it’s the rampant commercialism of the season combined with the stress that accompanies the dwindling number of light-depleted days that remain in the year that rob me of the joy the holiday is supposed to bring. But this year, it was endless congestion, course coughs and constant fevers that left me feeling blue.

The succession of illnesses that’s run rampant through my family began in October. And since that time there’s not been so much as a single day when at least one of the seven of us hasn’t been legitimately sick. But December’s first few weeks have been the worst stretch yet.

Read more over at Babble by clicking HERE.

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The go-to gadget of the Osborne family

So at the beginning of the last school year, my oldest was required to get an iPad to negotiate her class curriculum. We were required to pay for it. She was 10. This, obviously, is a post in and of itself. And, in fact, I’ve written one about it for TLC a while back.

In it, I ultimately concluded that since it’s a private school, they can do what they want. If we didn’t like it, we didn’t have to continue to send her there. But we love the school, and there’s quite a case to be made for what a wonderful teaching instrument the iPad is, so all in all, it (obviously) wasn’t a hill for us to die on. Even so, I had reservations. I felt she was too young.

I’m not sure I’ve come off that stance entirely. In my opinion, ten is awfully young to have an iPad. But I will say this. I sure have been pleased with how the school is having her use it. My oldest truly does the majority of her classwork on it and it’s a very high-tech, clean, interactive and efficient way to learn. All in all, I have rave reviews.

Well, except for one thing. See, now that Alli has an iPad guess who else wants one? The triplets. So guess what Caroline got them for Christmas last year?

NO. Are you kidding me? Buying three iPads for three (then) four-year-olds? Gimme a break.

Nope. Instead she picked up…[Read more at Babble by clicking HERE]

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The Christmas Tree Debacle of 2005 [Video]

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? I’m pretty sure this is my favorite JCO / CFO video that we’ve made. And that’s about all I’m gonna say about it other than this: the reason it means so much to me is that there’s a little bit of everything in it.

By now, y’all know to take these with a grain of salt, right? Same applies with this, too. But don’t let that fool you into thinking there’s no real story here. Because there is.

And this story, my friends, is all about the holidays.

To watch, please head over to Babble by clicking HERE.

By the way, someone got on me b/c i never linked the Laundry Folding one on this site. I thought I had, but I’m too lazy to check, so if you never saw the video about C and me folding laundry? It’s a funny one. It’s viewable by clicking HERE.

The Woman Who Never Gets Sick

Even the super bug that’s been circulating about our household didn’t get her.

The Osbornes have found the gift that keeps on giving this fine holiday season. Our baby, it seems, was the original recipient and though he’s just one, he made certain to pass it on to each and every one of us. (Well, except for Caroline, but more on that in a bit.) He’s gifted some of us directly, other indirectly. Either way, though, kindness beyond his years, don’t you think?

I’ve gotten the gift. Three times, in fact. Possibly four. And each of my children has gotten the gift multiple times, too. Of course, the “gift” of which I speak is the gift of illness.

How thoughtful.

Read more over at BabbleVoices by clicking HERE.

Survival Guide to Meltdown Free Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping with a bunch of little kids in tow is simply not fun. It’s certainly one of the things about the holiday season that I’m not looking forward to. Which is why I wrote a post for Citi bank over at Babble the other day the detailed my tips of meltdown free shopping.

Which is kind of funny. Because on the one hand, I’m certainly no expert when it comes to shopping. But when it comes to meltdowns? I an aficionado. If you’d like to read this post, which was sponsored by Citi, I hope you’ll head over to Babble by clicking THIS LINK.

How to Watch Football During the Holidays

We had a great Thanksgiving this past weekend. Really hope you and your family did, too.

One of the things I really like to do on such a weekend is watch a ton of football, but, sadly, life seems to get in the way of such simple (and idle) endeavors these days. Still, a man can dream, right? Which is kinda what I do in this recent video that Caroline and I made. It’s called How to Watch Football During the Holidays and it’s about me coming up with creative ways to send the kids to their room all so I can get the peace and quiet needed to enjoy a little pigskin.

One problem: my clever wife, who turns the table on me and comes up with her own creative punishment for me. To check it out, click HERE.

7 Places that will Boost your Confidence

You know what I’m thankful for? Unexpected confidence boosters. Not that I’m lacking confidence. All things considered, I think I’m doing just fine. Still, I have five kids. And that means I spend way more energy on others than I do on myself. And, accordingly, I can sometimes feel…I dunno…rundown. Old. Unhip. Uncool. Worn down.

But then, outta nowhere, through the course of my normal life, I’ll stumble upon a place that makes me realize that I’m none of those things. You know, comparatively speaking. Which makes me feel awfully good.

As such, I thought maybe you could use one of these unexpected confidence boosters. If so, here’s a few places you may wanna keep in mind.

Read more over at Babble by clicking HERE.

Learning to give back during the holidays: the empirical edition

Two years ago now, I took my oldest and one of her friends camping to this mountain lake I love. It’s a rugged area, the campsites all primitive, steeped in nature. Steeped in beauty. We stayed for three nights. As you can imagine, there’s a lot to bring on such a trip. So much, in fact, that I didn’t have room to take any wood.

“What are we gonna do?” she asked.

“I know a place — don’t worry.” And I did. Just before the road that twists and turns to our campsite, there’s a 180-degree, right-hand turn you can make that takes you away from the water and straight up what is essentially the side of a mountain. After a quarter mile or so, the road dips down and offers a gravel drive on the left — one that cuts through a valley of sorts.

It’s here you’ll find a collection of dilapidated trailers, a few broken down cars resting upon cinderblock pillars, a mangy-looking dog or two and this:

To continue reading, click HERE.

Kirstie Alley: Marital Guru or Relentless Book Hawker?

So, hey, confession alert: I’m not the biggest fan of Kirstie Alley. Never have been. I’ve always pegged her as one of those people who would say or do anything to stay relevant. The phrase attention whore comes to mind.

Anyway, she’s got this horrible new book out and in promoting it, she’s somehow managed to slink to a new low — even for her. She’s now admitted to having emotional affairs during her marriage with men like John Travolta and Patrick Swayze, causing many to debate whether an emotional affair is as bad as a physical one.

But I’m not interested in any such debate. Because I can’t get past the part where she’s demeaned a dead man’s marriage. To read, head on over to Babble by clicking HERE.


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