2011 Holiday Gift Guide – Toys For Preschoolers

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Advice, Gift Guides, Holidays, Tre | Posted on 29-11-2011

Now that Black Friday is behind us, let’s take a look at some gift ideas that are sure to win over the hearts of your loved ones. Our 3rd annual Holiday Gift Guide Week will feature separate guides for preschoolers, elementary schoolers and gadgets (courtesy of  The Gallant).  The gift guides will feature some items that the boys already own, as well as items that we plan to purchase for them this Christmas.  The items are in no special order, they are all gifts that I find interesting and think the kids will enjoy playing with.  Please feel free to add items to the list in the comment section, or if you already own a particular item, share your experience with it.  I hope you enjoy, talk to you soon.

Being Thankful Takes Practice

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Advice, Family, Holidays, Opportunities | Posted on 24-11-2011

Growing up I didn’t really understand or value the true meaning of Thanksgiving. To me, it was all about the over abundance of good food & a few extra days off from school, that’s all that really mattered. Sure I had a ton of things to be grateful for: I live in a household with both of my parents, we lived in the better part of the bad side of town (if that makes any sense), and I had a Mom that dedicated every inch of her being to making sure that I had a better life than she did. You see back then, I know all of those things, I guess I just felt that I was entitled to them and didn’t count them as blessings.

Winter Wonderland

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Activities, Family, Fefe, Relocating, Tre, Ty | Posted on 21-11-2011

Suited & Booted!

Suited & Booted!

Well, here we after, still standing after a brutal (brutal meaning mild) snowstorm (snowstorm meaning snowfall). We survived, we made it thru and embraced the snow as if it were a long lost family member that we’ve only seen photos and videos of. When I say we, I should say they, Fefe and the kids. I’m no stranger to the snow and cold, growing up in Buffalo and all, but these guys are born and raised North Carolinians, so making it through the first snow fall deserves a round of applause. Even though we made it through, it wasn’t without a few casualties; so we’ll learn from our mistakes and continue on next time with a higher resolve.

We Out In Albertville Homie

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Family, Relocating | Posted on 17-11-2011

Can I ask you guys to do me a favor? Please humor me and go back and read the title of this post again, but this time read it in your best West Coast Gangbanger voice. You see, that’s how I pronounce my city’s name on a regular basis because there is nothing cool or threatening about a town called Albertville. So in order to make up for the lack of toughness that the name Albertville evokes, I put a west coast gangbanger twist on it. Hey, it helps me sleep at night, don’t judge me.

As Evil As They Come

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Play Stories, Tre, Ty | Posted on 16-11-2011

Apparently, Evilness & Fashion Sense Don't Go Hand In Hand

Apparently, Evilness & Fashion Sense Don't Go Hand In Hand

Have you ever met someone who was just down right mean? When I say mean, I’m talking about borderline evil! I have met such a person, I have looked them in their eyes and lowered my head in shame due to their behavior. It isn’t easy to stare down the face of evil and walk away unscathed, but somebody has to do it, someone has to stand up for the little people, and yesterday, that someone was Ty.

Wrasslegate 2011

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Activities, Ty | Posted on 16-11-2011

Now This Is Real WRASSSLLLIIINNN

Now This Is Real WRASSSLLLIIINNN

Yesterday was Ty’s first day of wrestling practice and it totally hilarious. The off field antics were more entertaining than what was happening on the field. Wait a minute,  is it called a field in wrestling? I think “mat” is the proper term. Well anyway, Ty got some time in on the mat and I don’t think it was at all what he was expecting.  He thought he was going to be walking out of there feeling like John Cena, but in actuality he more closely resembled Jane Fonda when it was all said and done.

Beyblades Metal Fusion Battle Top – Toy Review

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Ty, Ty’s Tuesday Toy Review | Posted on 15-11-2011

Ty’s Tuesday Toy Review 11-15-11
Beyblades Metal Fusion Battle Top

Name:Beyblade Metal Fusion Super Vortex Battle Set

Manufacturer: Haboro

Price: Varies ($6.99-29.99

Length of Ownership: 9 months

Rating: 3 stars

Toy Review: What can be said about Beyblades other than: KIDS FREAKING LOVE THESE THINGS! We all have our vices, and for Ty, his is Beyblades. It’s as if Pokemon have come back reincarnated or something because Ty truly thinks that he has to catch em all. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the review shall we?

I personally think Beyblades are pretty cool (I actually own one), the thing that stands out the most to me is the fact that they pack a ton of action into such a small product and still find a way to keep the toy pretty inexpensive ($7-10). A standard Beyblade pack comes with a Beyblade top which consists of 5 interchangeable pieces, a launcher, a ripcord, and an assembly tool. In addition, each Beyblade comes with a series of stickers that help customize the toy. For the most part, these stickers are completely useless as they are too small to actually be effectively placed on the toy, but hey “A for effort” right?

So now that you know what a Beyblade is, you may be wondering what in the world are you supposed to do with them. Well that’s simple, they battle each other. Each person assembles their Beyblade, places it on its launcher and then LET IT RIP (Beyblade speak). The tops basically spin around and “attack” each other until one top stops spinning. The last Beyblade spinning is declared the winner, easy as that. This is basically taking the old spinning top routine from our childhood and revamping it for our children’s enjoyment. Beyblades try to spice things up a bit by adding battle strengths (attack, defense, etc) to each top, and claiming that by mixing and matching the various components that construct the Beyblade, the user can create a top for every type of battle. I’ve found this to be a complete exaggeration and it’s part of the reason that these toys don’t score as high as others we’ve reviewed.

Ty tries his hardest to develop the best combination of attack, stamina, and defense to become the best Beyblader in the world, but at the end of the day, it merely comes down to how hard you pull your ripcord. The harder you pull the more spin you get, end of story. So there is no magical formula to being the best, in my opinion, there’s no need to even try and collect them all. Because although each piece is listed as having strengths and weaknesses, they all pretty much function the same.

With that being said, Ty seems to believe there is merit to all of the different Beyblades and he does truly enjoy them. The switching of components allows for a deeper level of involvement than we had as kids. Even if it is superficial at best, it does add complexity to the toys which is welcomed in this day and age.

This toy is Ty tested and Daddy Tolerated! It’s worth taking a look at.

Lowe’s Build & Grow Is A Winner

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Activities, Advice, Family, Opportunities, Tre, Ty | Posted on 15-11-2011

A Sample Of Ty's Many Build & Grow Projects

A Sample Of Ty's Many Build & Grow Projects

I typically don’t get too excited about specific companies or products, unless it’s Apple, or PS3, or Right Guard deodorant. Okay, so maybe I do get obsessed excited about a few things here or there, but today’s company/product is different, it’s different because it’s totally awesome! Hmmmm, maybe I’ve said that before as well, um, okay, let’s just go with this one: it’s different because I said so! Too strong? Ah, I got it, it’s different because it’s totally FREE!!! Whew, now that that’s out of the way, now I can focus on more important things like explaining why the Lowe’s Build And Grow clinic is so awesome.

Age Ain’t Nothin But A Number

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Advice, Tre, Ty | Posted on 09-11-2011

When I was a kid, I REFUSED to grow up; point, blank, period.  When my parents told me that I wouldn’t be a child forever, I would pout and fuss until they (usually my Mom) caved and told me that I could be a kid for as long as I wanted to.  I took the “I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R Us Kid” motto to heart, and felt that Geoffrey the Giraffe would take it as a personal insult if I had broken my promise.  I mean, it was bad folks, I played with my X-men action figures well into the second half of my 8th grade school year.  You remember the 40yr Old Virgin?  Yeah that could have been me in a hearbeat.  Luckily though, someone sprinkled some fairy dust on me and I went from super nerd to ultra cool kid overnight.  Okay, maybe “fairy” dust wasn’t the best descriptor to use there.  The point is, I grew up real quick and swapped Toys R Us for Gap and other trendy clothing stores of that era.  Now that I’m a parent, I’m realizing that my childhood transformation likely won’t  be replicated by my own kids.  They have completely different outlooks on being a kid and neither of them resemble how I viewed it at their age.

The Day That THEY Don’t Tell You About

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Posted by Keith | Posted in Grandparents, Holidays | Posted on 09-11-2011

Me & My Momma

Me & My Momma

Listen up people, I’m about to let you in on the United States best kept secret, matter of fact, screw that, this is probably the best kept secret of the entire world!!! All of the various world organization leaders have had this knowledge for quite some time and decided to withhold it from you, for fear that you would not be able to process and accept the magnitude that this secure holds.  But you know what? I am here and i am not afraid, I’m am standing up to my oppressors and telling them that I will not stand for it any longer, I know the truth and so should my peers!  So if they won’t tell you, I most certainly will.  Today is a world wide holiday that has been suppressed by the powers that be for many years.  This day, November 9th, should be sang out from the mountain tops as a joyous occasions, yet it passes by each year with only a mention of it being the day that the first issue of Rolling Stone Magazine was published (1962).  Well I say NO MORE, I am breaking the boundaries and letting the people know of the significance that this day holds!!! Follow me people, learn the truth, which has been hidden from you for so many years!