Dude Time

DAY 04 -- I recently came across this old picture of Anna riding Sandy at Meijer. Even now, when we were shopping the other day, she and Mason wanted to take Sandy for a run. While Sandy hasn't changed much, Anna sure has!

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The hardware I needed to hang my recently purchased skateboard deck arrived today. No Mister Rogers collection is complete without one of these, right?!

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During the overnight storm that passed through last week, a pretty sizable limb came down from the top of one of the large oaks in my backyard -- missing the house by about a foot. While I've cleared away much of the brush and small branches, I still need to get a new chain for my chainsaw and take care of the rest. In the meantime, it's providing a new playground for the kids.

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The girls are off to their dance recital rehearsal which provided Mason and me with some quality dude time. Video games, NERF guns, and a frozen pizza on the grill (don't knock it til you try it). The pizza even came to the house by special delivery straight from the car to the front door.


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This is ridiculous.

Foosball and Rainouts

DAY 03 -- Before heading to work for my final (contractual) office day for the year, I needed to take Charlotte for a check-in with her orthodontist who has two offices -- one here in Mahomet (about two minutes from home) and one in Champaign (about fifteen minutes from home). The girls are typically scheduled in Mahomet but today's appointment happened to be in Champaign. Off we went for the 8:55 appointment, arriving exactly two minutes early to find the door locked and lights out.

Oh. It's Anna who has the appointment in Champaign. In August.

Charlotte's was in Mahomet.

Calling the orthodontist's office to fill them in on my mistake, we drove back to Mahomet while obeying all traffic laws and speed limits.


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I finished up my final day in my office for the year and after lunch with the kiddos, I started my summer break off in perfect fashion: laying on the couch pretending I was going to read without falling asleep. Quickly though, I went unconscious for an unplanned but much-needed power nap.


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Mason's baseball team has had some terrible luck with weather this spring. Really, I think they have cancelled more games because of weather than they have actually played.

But not tonight! No, sir!

Uniform on. Cleats on. Water bottle filled. Glove in hand. We loaded up the car and headed for the baseball fields.

And then the sky opened up.


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I've always wanted a foosball table. Not one of those cheapo deals you can get from Target but a real-deal foosball table. Last weekend, the kids and I took a trip to our favorite junk store where we came across an old-school table -- coin-operated, built solid, regulation size.

Price tag? Thirty bucks!

But this thing was filthy! I'm not talking dusty, I mean years of dirt and muck caked on a majority of every surface. Clearly this thing had been stored for quite some time in someone's shed or garage or barn or somewhere the elements were certainly not kept out.

But thirty bucks!

After debating for a bit, we loaded this thing up and the next thing I knew, this table and its accessories were in my garage. Step one in what I figured would be a fun summer project.


Or a fun Saturday project. The afternoon was spent dismantling the entire table, scrubbing every piece, wiping down every surface, and replacing every piece of visible hardware.


Before I knew it, I had my foosball table.

The kids love playing -- although, as I should have expected, they didn't make it through one entire game before Charlotte stormed upstairs because "Anna was cheating."

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I can see now why people how aren't Knicks fans have come to really dislike Spike Lee. The NBA Finals began tonight. And I already want to punch Drake in the face.

[Photo: Vaughn Ridley (Getty)]

A Flower With Tentacles and a Snout

DAY 02 -- I recognize the fact that some of you may be experiencing the Summer of Tim for the first time. I do this every summer as a way to reflect after the break on accomplishments, experiences, and fun from days that can quickly get away from me if I let them. Rather than waste away two months with nothing to show for it, this is how I am accountable to myself by making sure I'm not just sitting on my butt watching the Cubs all summer.

So, as I said last year...Follow. Like. Share. Comment. Retweet. Ignore. Whatever.

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I saw this on a bulletin board at work today. Not sure where it came from, but it's awesome.

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Most district employees wrapped up the school year today with a celebration of retirees and some time in their classrooms. I've got one more day to fulfill part of my extended contract before I start the new year in August by reporting nine days early.

Our superintendent shared a video with us this morning that I'm guessing many of you have seen already. It's justifiably started making its way around the internet after being shared somewhere in the neighborhood of a bajillion times. If you've not seen this, seriously, stop what you're doing and spend the next few minutes putting some good in your heart. If you've seen it already, watch it again.

Charlotte has been showing an interest over the past few months in working with students at her school with special needs. She and a few of her friends have occasionally given up their recess to spend time with these new friends. She and I watched this video together tonight and the look on her face made it clear to me that she's found something in her that is drawing her towards this extraordinary population.

That makes my heart smile.

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The kids and I headed to the Hen House (or the Chicken House, as they call it) for a bite to eat but were disappointed to discover that their card machine was down and I rarely carry cash. We had to settle for the next closest thing with a quick trip to Denny's. I've not eaten at Denny's in years and it is certainly no Hen House, but I've yet to meet a plate of biscuits and gravy with hot sauce that my stomach couldn't handle.


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As part of her birthday gift last month, I gave Charlotte a game called Whatchamadrawit -- it's essentially Pictionary with ridiculous things to draw. We finally cracked it open tonight and it certainly did not disappoint.

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Before heading to bed, Mason and Anna ran laps between the living room and kitchen with Dutch doing his best to keep up. Considering the franchise has yet to expand to the Fall, Winter, and Spring of Tim, you may not know I got a dog in November. Remember the guys in Cobra Kai in the original Karate Kid movie? Remember the one who was just a little crazy -- a bit higher on the jackass scale than his pals? That was Dutch ... my dog's namesake.

Anyway, with the chase in full swing and my phone in hand, I had to do it.

You know I had to.

Skate or Die, Neighbors

DAY 01 -- Students in my district, including my own kids, finished up the school year today which means I am officially one day closer to saying goodbye to my office for the summer. I can't say I'll miss this daily view at all over the coming weeks.

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The kids wrapped the day with their annual Bus 16 water gun fight. I had every intention of staying dry while the kids soaked each other but, of course, it only took about 30 seconds before Anna blasted me in the back with her Super Soaker.

Unfortunately, this year's water gun battle royale was cut short by an approaching storm.

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Not only did the school year end for students today, my guys group wrapped up this evening, too. We, a group of seven men from Quest Church, have spent about two hours together one night a week since early last fall. Being a part of this group of men has been a huge blessing to me throughout this school year.

[Photo: Jeremiah Cox]

Through both serious conversations and relentless jokes, it's so great to support and be supported by this group which has provided weekly challenges to one another as we strive to be better men. I'm already looking forward to this group picking back up in the fall.

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I bought a skateboard -- no wheels, just the deck.

Of course, I did.

If you don't know my Mister Rogers story, you will by the end of the summer.

Skate or die, neighbors.

SOT2K19: The Triumphant Return

Last year, the fifth annual Summer of Tim was cut short -- a victim of my own apathy. I just wasn't feeling it. Probably for the best though as just a few days after I shut things down, my summer took an unexpected turn which would have led to an indefinite end to my daily writing anyway.

But here we are once again! The sun is shining, the leaves have filled the trees, and my office door is about to officially close for two months!

It's a new summer...and a new Summer of Tim! Welcome back!

First, if you would, allow me to speak in slightly vague terms for a minute in order to touch on the elephant in the room.

As some of you may know, last summer's "unexpected turn" has brought me to a brand new season in life. I won't go into the details here but, if you haven't already, you'll likely be able to form your own conclusions throughout the coming weeks. If you want the scoop, I'd be glad to fill you in over a cup of coffee sometime. For those of you in the know (and those of you who will surely become informed), I'd appreciate you not sharing your thoughts on the matter through comments here or on social media. I've got nothing to hide, but I just feel that airing those opinions publicly would be inappropriate.

With that out of the way...here we go! It's here! A new summer, a new season of life, and a new opportunity to enjoy every moment of my break from work.

The Summer of Tim has made its triumphant return! Join me as I make the most of the next sixty-five days of exercising a truly free spirit!