Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Diplomatic Side Of Life

Before I begin, I would like to send a very special thank you to Kathy for inviting me to do a guest blog. Thank you, Kathy!

No matter where we’re posted in the world, I’m always asked, by both men and women, what I do for a living. And for the past five years now, I’ve always given the same answer.

“I’m the Director of Adolescent Development.”

Now that sounds really impressive, doesn’t it? I think so.
Most career orientated men will then ask, “What company are you working for?”

“Home Inc.,” I say. You can see the wheels turning and turning in their minds; trying desperately to figure it out.

“O, okay, where’s that located?” “Is it local or international?”

Then I let them in on a little secret.

“I’m not actually working for any company in particular,” I say. “I’m a fulltime, Stay-At-Home-Father.” “My wife supports our family—she’s a diplomat.”

“O, you like it?” “Absolutely,” I tell them.

“Really?” they ask with amazement.

Women, on the other hand, don’t fall for the trap so easily. They usually respond with, “What’s that?”
“I’m a DAD,” I say. “D A D is the shortened abbreviation for Director of Adolescent Development.” “And yes, I work for a company called, Home Inc.—it’s our family home.”

Living overseas, as the spouse of a foreign diplomat has been one big adventure after another for our family. Our journey began in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, moving on to Los Angeles, California one year later, then to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. After Canada, we moved back to Berlin, Germany—that’s where Christopher entered the picture. From there, we transferred to Luxembourg and now, we’re living in London, England.

I’ve taken on the responsibilities of looking after the house and raising our son, while my wife pursues her career. Looking after a five year old boy, and at the same time, taking care of household duties, keeps me busy. There are times when, I’m completely exhausted by the end of the day. But I really enjoy what I’m doing. I consider myself to be a fully domesticated male,or house trained as I sometimes like to say.

Being able to stay home and raise our son has given me a unique opportunity to see and experience parts of my child’s life that I normally wouldn’t, if I were working fulltime. For example, taking our son to and from school, making sure school assignments are completed on time (occasionally I leave one or two for my wife—those that I find a little annoying) and ensuring Christopher attends all his afterschool club, as just a few of the daily activities. Having the opportunity to go on field trips/outings with his class is another wonderful opportunity. And there are many more opportunities which, if not for my wife’s job, I would simply miss being a part of.

Our next overseas posting will be Kuwait. And for the past several months, I’ve had to fill out school registration forms. In addition to forms, each school requires additional documentation, for example, copies of passports, birth certificates and everything else under the sun. If you’ve ever had to transfer to another school, whether in the US or abroad, it is a tedious and time consuming process. Then, everything needs to be emailed to each school. Christopher’s teacher notified me Friday morning that, the school had emailed his progress report to the two schools we’re considering sending him to in Kuwait. That’s great news! Let’s hope for a positive answer, in the coming months.

Being part of the diplomatic community has its ups and downs. A positive spin on all of this is, having the chance to live in a foreign country. It is both exciting and nerve racking. For one, moving to a country which has a completely different lifestyle than your own, presents its own unique set of challenges. In Kuwait, for example, the work week is Sunday through Thursday, with Friday and Saturday serving as the weekend. While Kuwait is fairly modern and westernized, it’s still a different country, with its own set of rules, customs and unique way of life. Generally, it takes us @ six months or so before we feel semi-comfortable with our surroundings.

I’m occasionally asked if I enjoy living this kind of lifestyle. Well, yes and no. Yes because, we have the chance to see and experience a world that most people could only dream about, let alone experience. Our son will experience this too, and we believe this will make him a better, more rounded individual later on in life. He’ll certainly be more appreciative and understanding of the world and its diverse population. But on the flip side of things, we don’t have fixed roots, unlike most people. Our home is where we’re currently living. And while we can openly admit that, yes, we really do have friends in every corner of the world; nearly all of them are long distance friendships. And it’s hard sometimes, maintaining those friendships, because we move so frequently. Thank goodness for email and Facebook!

I thought it would be a neat idea to start a blog, documenting our son’s progress through school, so that family and friends would have some idea of what we’re doing. Sadly, I won’t be able to recall everything about Christopher’s school years. Hopefully this blog,, will serve as a vivid reminder of Christopher’s school years when, our minds are a bit rusty after all those years of moving.
Friday, April 1, 2011

Texting and Driving is For Fools

This April Fools' Day, The Mommies Network would like national community support in making it an official “Only Fools Text and Drive Day”. By launching a video where children tell parents how they feel about texting and driving, and passing it along through our 25,000+ members nationwide, we intend to do just that. To pass along the message that “Texting and Driving is For Fools”, the video encourages everyone to drive with their headlights on TODAY - April 1, 2011.

Watch the video, use your headlights today, and DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE!!!

This is such an important message to pass along to your friends. I know I am guilty at times of making a quick text while I am in the car. I am making a pledge today to quit my bad habit. It comes clearer each day how much my daughter copies my behavior. Texting while driving is not a behavior I want my daughter to do.

It is estimated that cell phone distracted drivers are four times more likely to be in a car wreck. According to a Harvard University study, cell phones cause over 200 deaths and half a million injuries each year. Lets put a stop to this and make that number zero for next year. I know I want my family and friends by my side for many years to come. So today I am putting down my cellphone while I drive and passing this message along to everyone I love. I ask all of you to do the same. Don't be a Fool on April Fool's Day!
Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not Your Grandma's Wallet

Looking for a fun way to get your kids into recycling? Look no further, here is a fun craft that will show your kids that you can recycle anything into something new.

  • Half gallon milk or juice carton with plastic cap, rinsed
  • Scissors
  • Paper towels
  • Tape
  • Wallet Template
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife (optional)
  • Butter knife

  1. Carton Wallet - Step 1 Cut open the carton so it lies flat, as shown; put aside the cap for now. Dry the inside with the paper towels. Tape the template on top of the carton so that the top circle lines up with the spout. Mark the outline of the template with a ballpoint pen. Using firm pressure, trace the lower circle and the dotted lines of the template so that they transfer to the carton. (This will score the lines for easier folding.) A ruler will help you mark the straight lines. Cut out the shape from the carton.

  2. Carton Wallet - Step 2 Use scissors to cut out the lower circle as marked. (Tip: To make cutting out the circle easier, first make an X with a craft knife.) Use a ruler and a butter knife to further score the fold lines.

  3. Carton Wallet - Step 3 Following the fold lines you marked, create an accordion fold on each side of the wallet.

  4. Carton Wallet - Step 4 Tightly squeeze the accordion folds. Fold the top flap down, pushing the spout through the hole. Screw on the cap to keep the flap in place.

    I found this craft and many more fun activities on FamilyFun. This is an amazing site full of family activities and much more. I have been doing a lot of crafts lately from this site with my daughter Virginia. The best thing is that many of the crafts are very cheap to create. You don't have to go spend a fortune. As soon as I finish my orange juice, I am so making me a orange juice wallet.

Monday, March 28, 2011

When Momma Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

Happy Monday Ladies :)

I am so excited to get back to our Home Management guide this week in what is my "Prayer and Bible Study" section.

Do you ever have those days where you just need some inspiration? Not really feeling it kinda days??? The kinda day that makes you say "When momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" Well, have I got the solution for you! This is where this next section comes into play! I use the Prayer and Bible Study section to get my day started! It's a combonation of things to get our CEO in the "Gratitude Attitude" what I like to call it!

So in this section I have things like:

A prayer list - A running list of prayers for people that I know, come into contact with, or I read about anywhere else :)

A "mini" bible study - This is just a "googled" item. A lot of days I don't get a calling of scripture, but I still want to read something, so I turn to this when I don't know where else to look. It's always quick, easy, and seems to be just what I need!

Gratitude list - Write down what you are thankful for! See it daily! Let it get you in a good mood to realize what all IS good in your life. You're breathin' while your reading this (I hope) ain't ya'! There's a start! See how it changes your mood! But, where this comes into play while you're doing this list this will help generate things for you to pray about! Put these on your prayer list :)

Anything that pretains to your religion to make you have the "Attitude Gratitude" instead of the "Not really feelin' it Attitude", goes in this section. What ever lifts your spirits, and puts a smile on your face :) Pictures, poems, scripture, etc.

I hope just by reading this post today, you're in the "Attitude Gratitude", and you'll tune in next week for......DUN DUN DUN....SCHEDULES!!!!

♥ Brittany ♥


Grab Our Button

Follow Us

Blog Archive

TMN BlogRoll