Smelly Times 9…(+1)

live life…get smelly

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Father or Daddy?

Years ago, when I first became a parent, I used to pride myself in the fact that my children would call me “daddy”. To me, being called “daddy”, meant that I was way more approachable and fun than someone called “father”. It meant that I had become the best part of being a dad or father…a daddy. Fast forward several years, and I now think differently. My view on this changed when I met several families that we are good friends with who just so happen to have “daddys” that are referred to as “father”. Its simply a preference or style.

There was really no point to the above other than sharing my observation in this area. Now to the real point.

As father’s day approaches, I would like to share my biggest inspiration for being a great dad, if I can say so myself ;). Long ago I heard that the man sets the tone of the house. When I first heard this, I strongly disagreed, and I still do. I truly believe that the woman sets the tone of the home. Sure, the dad can loudly voice his opinions (throw a fit really), and they are definitely the protectors of the home. I also believe that God set it up for them to be the main providers, but the wife/mom sets the tone of the home for sure.

For many years, although I did take responsibility and interest in my children, I was extremely selfish in my actions. There were no “guy’s time out” or “long hunting trips”, hell, there weren’t even any “my sports times”, but the house had to be in a certain order or I wasn’t a happy camper. Money also flew out of my hands faster than I could make it, but of course it was to buy fancy tires or toys for me, so it was OK…I thought. And, although it’s not for selfish reasons, the past four years of work have required me to be gone more than I was home. All this to say that I completely set myself up for my wife to not like me (probably didn’t at times) and my children to resent me.

The bad things that could have happened due to my selfishness did not. They did not happen because the tone of our home was set by my wife. She did not control the house, in fact the exact opposite is true. She did not complain to others about me. I would even bet that she never complained much to anyone (except God) about my ignorance. Now for you that are saying “The wife needs to be able to share her frustrations with others.”… I agree, to a point. The fact is is that there are very few women mature enough to not cause more strife within a marriage. My wife did have these mentors, and they did not let her complain. They would encourage her to love me and care for me like I was great…and she did, very well.


During the years that I have traveled, my children have always been extremely happy to see me when I come home. Every time! Imagine being her, a wife that cares for 10 children, runs 2-3 business’s, exercises (she’s hot!), cooks in always (amazing cook), home-schools and runs errands, all with me being gone most of the time. Sounds like a great opportunity for complaining to me. Not her. Also sounds like a great opportunity for the children to not like me or even care if I come home. Not ours.

She is always happy, she dresses sexy for me (she’s more into “comfort”, so she does have to think about it!) and although most people think that having 10 kids means we have sex all the time…it doesn’t…however, we do. All this to say…she has set the tone. All of the wives that complain about not having the perfect husband,  also set the tone. And the tone or feel of those homes absolutely sucks to be around. Poor kids too.

So as we enter Father’s Day, I would like to say thanks to my wife for challenging me to be the best daddy/father that I could be and for encouraging me to be better everyday! Thanks babe!

What is the tone of your home? Do you like it?


Obviously there is a lot unsaid in this writing. I feel that since intelligent people are reading this, that I do not need to address the obvious questions or concerns that will come up when relating this to your personal situation.  🙂




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Excuse me.

The word excuse used in the title of this writing has an “s” in it that should be pronounced the same way you would in the word mouse. I am sure you have heard the saying that “Excuses are well planned lies.”. This phrase was not coined by me, although I would love to take credit for it.

Every morning when I wake up, I have chosen to do a certain amount of decline push ups, 150, to braggingly be exact. Although no other person has challenged me to do this task, I still wrestle with many different excuses that, if listened too, would rob me of the amazing feeling of accomplishment I get once completed. Not to mention the impression it has on my wife and kids…bonus. Excuses, when listened too, automatically shut down any creative thought that can, and most likely will, come to mind when a challenge is presented. You just give up.

It may sound silly and redundant, but if certain brothers would have used the excuse of having arms instead of wings, well, we all know the story. My main point is that I see so many people miss out on great opportunities, simply by allowing an excuse (lie) to rule them. More than likely, I will always be presented with an excuse from my mind that would allow me to sleep a little longer, not sweat, miss the gym, not do my best, be unhealthy and blah, blah, blah. What excuses are you making? Surely I’m not the only one!

Push Up Night



By the way, did any of you try to brush your teeth with your less dominant hand…or am I the only strange one?


I’m back?

In October of 2013 I got over myself and started writing in the form of a blog. Several times a week, I dug deep and found bits and pieces of what I thought was interesting or valuable information, or maybe some wisdom that had been shared with me in the previous years. There were even a few stories that found their way to the screen, after all, having ten children is sure to create a few of those.

Three months into this blog thing, I quit. There is no real reason that I can think of for quitting, in fact there continued to be plenty of stories, and I am sure that a few more bits of wisdom can be found. In fact, a lot has happened in the 2 1/2 years of silence. We now have 4 more children, 5 dogs, a new soap shop and we have moved. Actually, we still only have 10…see, now doesn’t 10 sound small compared to 14? Perspective is a powerful tool!

The overall, ultimate, boss goal for this writing is to bring value in some way to the eyes that read it. Well, your eyes do read it, but I want to bring value to your lives. I imagine that the subject of the first several writings will be something along the lines of health and getting in shape. Not getting back in shape, getting IN shape! Why? Good question. For the last 2 years, our focus has been on our health, which is funny considering we have always been knowledgeable of “good” food, water filters, and the evilness of microwaves. The health I am referring to involves exercise. Yep, sweating and pushing ourselves to the limit and beyond. Cory and I are nearly 40 years old, yet we are in the best shape of our lives and getting better everyday.

Cory Fitness

Cory at the top of the Koko Crater Railway trail near Honolulu, HI last summer.


Subjects like getting in shape can be touchy, after all it does mean we must be out of shape if we need to get in shape…and what is “in shape” anyhow?  I have a funny feeling that my definition might be a little on the weird side, but part of me getting in shape has helped me to not be overly concerned if I please everyone, so that’s ok with me! To me, “in shape” is really a state of mind. Am I daily challenging myself to do something that I could not do before? 

For example: Last year I decided to learn how to brush my teeth with my left hand. Usually the first question is: “Why in the hell would you do that?”. It’s simple really: I couldn’t do it, so I challenged myself TO do it. This was the beginning of a mind change for me, and the overall results so far have been very rewarding, AND, now I can brush my teeth with both hands. Can you?

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What is Nobility?

Answer: “It’s when you are unable to do something, or your not good at it.”  That would be the redneck answer…apparently we have some redneck in our blood.

Now, at first this sounds funny, but it is the answer that several of my children gave during our little family pow wow last night. Nobility is a word that has been lost, and may even sound foriegn to you or your children as you read this. There is hope though! You or your children may not know the definition, but odds are you practice, or have seen a noble act. Generally, nobility refers to a noble class of people such as kings and queens. Obviously, in our country, we don’t use this system, so the idea of a noble class seems weird.

After explaining to my family the true definition of “nobility” and “noble” I asked for some in home examples.  Following are several great responses, however I did encourage them to not “water-down” the words.

“Splitting firewood for the family so that we stay warm in the winter.” … “Getting up at 3 a.m. to make sure the fire is stoked so we do not freeze in our sleep.” … “Daddy driving far to go to work for this season so that we can move into a bigger house.” … “Letting the lady behind you in line go first.” …

During our discussion, we realized that the words leaned more towards the masculine side of things. I think that a great feminine version could be “virtuous”. 

Unfortunately in today’s world, we tend to see a lack of noble acts, even by the weakest definition of the word. When I was trying to explain nobility, I started with an opposite example like the brother sitting around inside playing video games while the sister splits the firewood. After giving this example, I realized that this is not too far from the reality of families we have been around in the past, or stories I have heard parents tell us. Yuck. 

I have no problem with my daughters doing the firewood, or my sons washing the dishes…which they both interchangeably do these tasks…but in general, we have given the overall responsibility of these task to their more noble/virtuous side. There really is a lack of noble acts being done these days, so encourage your boys to be men and let them be Noble.


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We are trying to run a business here…

Well, instead of intellectual pieces of my mind written for you to read, I have chosen to do a little Harmony Acres’ twist on the famous Christmas poem. Hope you enjoy…or at least laugh once or twice. Laughing is good for you.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the town’                                                                   Not one place was stinky, not even our house.                                                                                                   The stockings were hung on the mantle with care,                                                                                               The key word is “were”, cuz now they’re not there.

The children were giggling, all snug in their beds,                                                                                           While laughing at daddy, and scratching their heads.                                                                             What joke should they play, what time should they do it?                                                         Nevermind about that, let’s get back to this.

When out in the fields, there arose such a clatter,                                                                                                 Wait that’s just the deer playing with laughter.                                                                                       Keaton ran to window, and thought  of the fun,                                                                                            He’d have in the morning, getting to hunt with his gun.

Now back to this story, and why no one was stinky,                                                                                         It’s because you used the linky.                                                                                           With Gift Baskets and Lip Balm and oh so much more.                                                                                       To purchase these gifts, will win you the war.

We have Lemongrass Lotion and Grapefruit as well,                                                                                           And of course there’s Sweet Almond, our #1 sell.                                                                                                 So when you open your presents and see these inside,                                                                                     Just know that the giver is very much on your side.

Harmony Acres is growing and making a change,                                                                                                 The way that true natural products are made.                                                                                                     With care and devotion to every product on our site,                                                                                           Any choice that is made, is sure to be right.

As far the children and the joke they’ve devised,                                                                                             Guess you’ll have to stay tuned to see what will arise.                                                                                     While you are waiting, please visit the web,                                                                                                             And order more products while they are on sale!

All products at our webstore are on sale until 11:59 p.m. EST on 12/18/13. All orders under $39 automatically recieve 12% off while all orders over $39 ship for free! Hurry while it last!


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The day the cows came home.

About one year into living in North Carolina, we purchased our first cow. Daisy. Daisy was a beautiful Jersey milk cow. There is a running joke, in cow world, between Jersey farmers and Holstein farmers. Jersey farmers joke that they keep a Holstein in the back in case the well runs dry. More than likely, this is one of those “you had to be there” jokes to really get it. You see, on average, the Jersey will naturally give about 4-5 gallons per day, whereas a Holstein will give closer to 8-10. Both have the same milkfat content overall, but the Holstein has several gallons extra of water. Jeresey’s are the way to go…the bible says so.

I would like to say that we had planned to purchase a milk cow, and that we shopped around until we found a good one, but that would be a lie. Basically, a buddy and I were building a shed for a local fellow, and he got a call from his cow dealer. The news came that two milkers were available for a great price, but a decision had to be made with in a few hours. My buddy only needed one, but the price was too good to pass up on the second, so I financed our first cow. Cory keeps telling me to stop reveiling how stupid I was, and if it were her that made the stupid choices, I would stop.  She was just along for the ride. Wow, I financed a cow…that was stupid. Anyhow, she did turn out to be a great cow, and my older boys learned how to use their goat milking skills on a cow at a young age…priceless skill!

I can’t end until I tell you about the experience we had that evening when the cows were delivered. When my buddy and I pulled up his driveway, the cows were waiting in a little makeshift coral. These girls were nervous, and in desperate need of a milking. When we approaced them with our milk buckets, all hell broke loose, and no fence could hold them in. At one point during the chase, I remember following my cow through (literally…) a barbed wire fence and into the neighbors yard. I am sure they are still telling their friends about the might they went out on their front porch to see what all the noise was, and noticed a skinny guy chasing a freaked out cow in their front yard. “What the heck is going on!” was the question I was asked, and all could say was “Nothing, just chasing my cow. Everything is fine.”

After a few hours of chasing them, we did catch them, and get them milked. All was good…especially the milk!




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Holidays come with much baggage.

It is possible, depending on how you grew up celebrating holidays, that the “baggage” statement could sound negative. Actually, I am not sure why “baggage” has a negative impression. I know for me, that if I ended up in Naples, Italy without my “baggage” I would be bummed out. Baggage in that sense has a very positive meaning. I digress. For our family, holidays used to fall more towards the negative meaning of the word baggage. For about the first 15 years of our marriage and child rearing, we did not celebrate Christmas. Well, we did celebrate for the first few years, but our children were so little, they weren’t even around yet.

It was very easy for us to follow the path that Christmas was evil. Some of you may still think this, and that is fine…for you. I am aware of all of the “pagan background” stories (which could be true.). I am also aware of the scripture that refers to the worship of the evergreen and the decoration of it with gold and purple. For us, it was simply easier to stop celebrating Christmas and use these as excuses to do so, because establishing family traditions seemed too difficult…and we truly believed it was the best avenue for our family to take.

Several times in my life I have heard stories first hand about God talking to someone, whether verbally or through a dream, or maybe just in the “spirit”. He does have his way with each of us, even more so if we allow Him. For me, it is seldom, but when it does happen it falls more on the latter example. During the 3 week period between my neck injury and the symptoms showing up, I really feel that God told my to get a tree for Christmas that year. This was surely strange, but I just knew. We did, and it was a strange time. But the most strange time came when we were trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Phone calls from good friends (who have since apologized and confessed that they were grabbing for anything to make me better…) warning me that my injury was a result of the Christmas tree in my house. Now, to their defense, I was adamantly against the whole Christmas thing, maybe not to the point of misspelling santa into satan, but I did disagree with my kids sitting on some old man’s lap…and still do.

I ramble on…

If you were to visit us during the Christmas holidays now, you will find a live tree, beautifully lit and decorated in our living room…but we won’t be worshiping it. You will also find presents under the tree, but none of them will be from santa…or satan, and they will have all been purchased with cash. It is possible that you could show up on one of the evenings that we will be reading about the birth of Jesus (even though he may have really been born in June.?.).  There will also be burning logs…but no funny stuff in our home…it’s how we keep warm. Now, that being said, if we are aware that you do not observe/celebrate this holiday…much respect, just keep it to you, and we will see you in January. 

Oh, the baggage? It’s great now!