You Are Welcome, Moms!

OK, Moms, listen up. 

How would you like to get Dad and the tribe out of the house tomorrow in a way that INCLUDES fresh air and sunshine and DOES NOT include video games or television?  You’ll be able to take a nap, read a book (hopefully, Warnings, here’s another great review at Amazon), plant a garden, or just have a few minutes to yourself. Sounds good, right?

So, all you have to do is get Dad over to the computer, have him click on the link below, and you’re all set. Happy Mother’s Day!

Dad, click on the movie link below. It is very short and it’ll set the mood for the rest of this post. This was inspired by a article in today’s Wall Street Journal:

Kinda gets your blood going, doesn’t it?

According to the article, things trains and railroads are having a revival. Your kids love Thomas the Tank Engine, right?  OK, since it is now fashionable to go watch trains, take the kids tomorrow!

Go find an active train line (if you don’t know where one is near your home, just call your local model railroading hobby shop, they’ll be happy to guide you), gather up your girls 3 to 9 and boys 3 to 11 (younger, the horns and bells might alarm them; older and this is a dorky idea, Dad), turn off the Blackberry, and go have fun.  Caution: Everyone stay off the tracks and a safe distance away.

On some heavily used lines, you can expect a train about every 30 – 40 minutes (more on Fridays and Saturdays, usually). In between, you walk hand in hand with your kids and pick daisies, look at clouds, whatever. Then, take them to Dairy Queen for a mid-afternoon cone (don’t tell Mom, you’ll spoil their dinner!) and they’ll be asleep in the back seat on your way home with a smile on their faces.

You, and they, might get hooked and have a new father-son and/or father-daughter activity. Regardless, you’ll have a great time doing something different tomorrow.

So, take the kids. And, thanks for being a great Dad for spending quality time with your children!

UPDATE Sunday Morning:  Parade magazine today has another story about train watching with kids!

Congratulations, Mom and Dad!

Hope you don’t mind if I take a moment to talk about a major milestone in our family. Saturday night, my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Still newlyweds after 60 years, Virginia and Dick Smith

My parents and their children.

From left, Susan, Barbara, Mom, Dad, Phil, my Uncle Everett, brother Mark (foreground) and me.

I’m pleased to report they are in good health and enjoyed everyone’s good wishes. It was a very special evening.

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Happy Birthday, Mom

We don’t usually recognize routine birthdays and family occasions on this blog, but I want to make an exception to wish my Mom a happy birthday. I won’t tell you how old she is except to mention she was born in 1930.

We had a surprise family party — all 30 of us — for her Saturday. She has been a wonderful wife to my Dad and mother to five children, all of whom have grown up happy, productive adults who each have their own long-term marriages. Quite a gift to the world.
So, happy birthday, Mom! And, heres to many more!!
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The Best Commencement Address Ever

Get out the gloat meter: The proud father is thrilled to post photos of his son giving the student commencement address at the University of Kansas. Richard graduated with his MBA and is now working with Sabre Holdings in Dallas.

Below we are pictured with Bill Fuerst, the Dean of the School of Business at KU.

Photos by the University of Kansas

Congratulations, Richard!

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Congratulations, Phil!

Phil Smith at the award ceremony with Edsel Ford

I am blessed to be part of an incredible family.  The latest chapter is the honor just conveyed on my brother, Phil, by Ford Motor Company for public service. Phil was one of just four in the U.S. to receive this award. I’ll let Ford explain,

Phil Smith, Executive Vice-President of Dick Smith Ford, has been chosen to receive the Ford ‘Salute to Dealers’ award based on his honorable volunteer and fund-raising efforts.
Smith is passionate about helping people who are less fortunate both locally and overseas. Here in Kansas City, he volunteers every week at the St. James Food Kitchen. For the last 6 years he has served as director of operations for the Wednesday night servings. Throughout his time, he has cared for and served more than 40,000 poor and homeless people.
Every Sunday afternoon and Monday evening Smith can be found in Kansas City’s Jackson County Jail, counseling inmates as a chaplain’s assistant.
Smith has also been leading trips to Guatemala to assist in humanitarian aid two to three times per year for the last decade. What started as a one time mission trip, turned into a philanthropic passion and international relationship. During a trip in 2005, in addition to hardships from great community needs, he learned that the men and women had to also walk 10 to 20 miles and wait in line for hours to receive dental care. If they could walk that far, Smith decided he could too.
In 2006, Smith created the Labor of Love Walk where each year, he walks 100 miles over the course of three days to raise money for Guatemalans. Over $150,000 has been raised which has provided for needs ranging from construction needs, to four water purification systems, and even an orphanage for physically and mentally challenged orphans.
These fundraising and volunteer efforts have not gone unnoticed which is why Ford is recognizing Smith with ‘Salute to Dealers’ award. Smith serves as a role model to his co-workers, family and friends and is proof that one person can truly make a world of difference.
From left, my brother Mark; his wife, Robin; Alan Mulally, Chairman, Ford Motor Company; Phil

 Congratulations, Phil!

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