Big Bolts Safe Giveaway – Septmber is National Preparedness Month

Are you prepared for a disaster? Most would say no. What would you do if your house burned down? What if there was a massive flood like in New Orleans? What if your city was bombed with biological warfare and you could not leave your home? What would you do? How would you survive?

That is what National Preparedness Month is all about…being prepared to survive a disaster!

Do we have a plan? No not really. 🙂 We have a stash of canned food and some other non perishable items, but they wouldn’t last long. Maybe a week if we rationed them out.

Some people go to extremes and have bunkers in their backyard with many years worth of food and equipment to grow their food underground, but that is a bit much for most people.

First you need to prepare the essentials:

  • Food – Non perishable items such as canned foods
  • Water – Have a few gallons of water tucked away
  • Warmth – blankets, hats/coats/gloves, and extra clothing

Next you should prepare the things that will help you survive once your needs are met:

  • Flashlight w/ extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medication
  • Personal Hygiene items
  • Extra cash
  • Baby supplies – Diapers/wipes/formula
  • Can opener
  • Multi-purpose tool w/ knife
  • Matches
  • Duct Tape
  • Scissors

Are you prepared?

Sentry Safe is working hard to make sure your important belongings are kept safe in the result of a disaster. They have many varieties of safes for many different situations. They sent me two safes to review and give away on DadThing to help promote Disaster Preparedness Month. We will give away one on 8/27 and then another in October.

This months give away is the Sentry Safe Big Bolts Safe…

This safe is meant to keep your stuff secure from fire (can withstand 1700 degrees for 1 hour), water, and prying fingers. It has a combination lock and the door is securely held shut by four massive bolts.

Inside there are adjustable shelves and the door has key hooks and a few pockets for your smaller valuables.

This thing is a tank! The walls are close to 3 inches thick. I thought about seeing what it would take to break into this thing and when I opened the box I realized I do not have the equipment or fire power it would take to crack this thing open! This safe is built tough and it makes me feel good knowing that my most valuable possessions are safely tucked away inside and will survive a disaster if one arises.

So, thanks to Sentry Safe I am on my way to becoming more prepared. At least my valuables will be safe!

The Give Away!

The give away is an easy one. Simply leave a comment down below and list something that you have (or would put) in your Disaster Preparedness Kit that I did not mention above.

I will keep the give away open through August 31st and announce a winner on September 1st. The winner will be drawn at random from a pool of other participants.

So what are you waiting for? Leave your comment below to enter to win a Sentry Safe Big Bolts Safe valued at almost $300!

Disclaimer: Sentry Safe sent me this safe for free to review and give away on However the opinions expressed here are my own.

Can 20 Minutes Make That Much Difference?

I’m not one to usually volunteer.  My life is so busy with work, family, and then the photography business, that I barely have time to do anything.  But a friend of mine posted on FaceBook that they needed men to help with the camp.  I’m not sure what came over me, but I said I would help.   So I am volunteering in the evenings this week at a kids camp for abused and neglected foster children.

I had to go through a few training sessions to prepare me for what I was getting myself into.  These kids, age 7-11,  have been neglected and abused…physically, mentally, and sexually.  I will be honest…I was a bit nervous to go there tonight.

My kids are fairly well behaved.  I do not have experience with kids who do not listen, who act out just because they want to, and who are on medication to keep them stable.

I arrived in the evening just after dinner and then we all headed outside to play some basketball…

I noticed this one little boy who was trying to play with the other kids and they wouldn’t let him.  He has something wrong with his back/shoulder.  A bulge of some kind.  Not sure what it is, I didn’t ask.  Eventually he worked his way over to another hoop and was playing by himself.  So I went over and played with him.  He was an awesome little guy and we had a blast.  For having something wrong with his shooting arm he was nailing baskets left and right.  He made way more than I did. 🙂

I few minutes later another little boy came along.  His name was James.  He asked if he could play, and I said yes.  The other groups wouldn’t let him play either.  He was so excited that he was being accepted into our little game of Make It-Take It!

At the end of the night after all of the kids had their showers James came running up to me, jumped up,  put his arms around my legs, and gave me a big hug.  He looked up at me, still squeezing my legs and said, “Thank you so very much for playing basketball with me!  Can we do it again tomorrow?”

And then I realized that that simple game of Make It-Take It was more than just a simple game of basketball for James. It was the feeling of acceptance.  The feeling of self worth…because someone cared enough to catch his air-balls, praise him for the ones he made, run after the missed shots, and actually give him the ball back.  I’d almost bet that has never happened before…

Makes me happy to think that a regular ole’ guy like me, spending 20 minutes with James on a basketball court, made his day!  But sad to think that is all it took…

A Day In The Sun!

Well, things have been nuts around here to say the least!  Work keeps me busy during the day.  The family keeps me busy at night.  On the weekends I have been working on my new photography business.  And has taken a backseat.  🙁

However, I hope to change that…

Today we broke free from the norm and decided to take a ride in the wagon down to the local school to play on the playground!  Good time had by all.  I took a few pics to share.  For those of you that have not seen Ace and Valerie for a while…they have grown up a bit.  🙂

Ace On The Move! The kid only holds still when he is sleeping...

Valerie having fun!

Ace Scoping Out The Playground!

Valerie scaring me to death on the 10 ft high playground equipment! 🙂

Ace still on the move!

Valerie enjoying the green grass in the back yard!

RedBox Wii Games Review

I was approached by to do a review on RedBox.  For those of you who do not know what RedBox is…it is a small kiosk located outside of many retail stores where you can rent movies…and now Wii and XBox 360 games.  smiley360 gave me 5 free promo codes to rent some Wii games.

It’s actually pretty simple.  You browse the selection on the screen, pick your movies/games, and proceed to checkout where you swipe your credit card.  Movies are $1 per day and games are $2 per day.  Not a bad deal at all!

We went to a local RedBox to rent a Wii game.  The first RedBox kiosk we stopped at only had three Wii games available…and they were all checked out.  XBox 360 had more of a selection, but we do not have an XBox.

So, we went to a second location.  This RedBox had 5 or 6 Wii games available.  The first one on the list was Wipeout 2.  Ace is addicted to that show.  We DVR it and he will watch it at least 50 times before the new one comes out the next week.

We rented Wipeout 1 a while back and it was too complicated.  Even I had a hard time playing it.  But we took Wipeout 2 over to Grandma’s house where Ace and his cousin Olivia could give it a go.  They both picked up on the controls rather quickly and played it for a few hours before the Wii remote batteries died.  🙂  Otherwise I think they would still be playing.

We all played the Wipeout 2 game and everyone got a kick out of it!  It was so much like the TV show with it’s replays of your wipe outs and even has John Anderson, John Henson, and Jill Wagner as hosts with their funny commentary!

We were going to use all five free promo codes, but since it was my first rental I could only rent one game at a time.  Also the selection was limited (I’m hoping because it is such a new thing to rent Wii games).  So I will have to continue to check back and rent the four other games and post reviews here as well. also sent me a free game called Go Vacation.  This game is amazing!  We have played it for hours and only touched the surface of the things you can do.

The whole point of the game is that you are on vacation and can roam around the resorts on your own and do the different activities that you find.  The box for the game says there are over 100 different mini games you can play.

Ace just liked hopping on the four wheelers and jet skis and cruising around the island.  We left the game at Grandma’s house one night and the next day Olivia played it for like four hours!!  We took it back home and she was quite upset that she could not continue to play…so, I think her Dad will end up buying it for her.  🙂

All in all we had a great time.  We got the family together, made homemade pizzas, and played the Wii into the weeee hours of the night.  Much longer than the kids lasted.  I’m pretty sure the adults enjoyed it as much (if not more) than the kids.  🙂

Note: provided me with a free sample game to play as well as five free promo codes to rent games from any RedBox location.  I was not paid to do this review and the opinions expressed are my own.

First Bath Together Ends In Justified Screams

Ace and Valerie In The Tub

Since Valerie has been born her and Ace have always had separate baths.   They like to play in the bath tub, so it takes almost an hour to give them both baths, get on the PJs, and get them to bed.

So, I figured I would try and save some time by letting them bathe together.  Even though they are boy and girl, I figured that they are young enough that it would not matter.  There I go figuring again…

So, I wash Valerie first and then move on to Ace.  I’m washing his hair when he lets out a blood curdling scream… “Oooowwwwww!”

“What the hell did I do?”, I think to myself…  Did I scratch him?  Does he have soap in his eyes?

And then I look at Valerie…  She has a handful of Ace’s junk and I am pretty sure she was trying to rip it off!

Ace’s screaming was justified…  🙂