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As you know, our family has made a habit of going on a lot of picnics, and I keep track of them. A few years back, we celebrated the 100th Picnic in one year with four other families.

Well, after fifteen years of doing this we were at 983…988…991 and I saw that we were getting close to 1K. So I asked if people wanted to celebrate our 1000th picnic with us. 10 Families said yes. We did it in our back yard and there was much joy.

We thank God.


Here’s some “Crucial JamFam ‘1000 Picnics’ Information”:
Unique Picnic Spots: 349
Rivers We Picnicked By: 36
Unique Spots on the Mississippi: 37
Lakes We Picnicked by: 106
Unique Spots on Superior: 35
Spots We Picnicked at Only Once: 194
States Picnicked In: 12


When we started keeping track in 2001, we had three kids and the oldest was three years old. We’ve been blessed.



(i.e. demolition)

We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen, and not being a family with vast resources of wealth at our disposal, we are doing as much as we have the skill to do on our own.

This weekend’s goal: Prepare the floor for the new wood flooring – this mean using tools to pry up the old particle board. Not really that easy.

So Saturday morning at 9:00, I set to it, with the five foot long crow bar our flooring guy had loaned to us.

Barrett was helping me by putting our little crow bar under the board so I could position the big crow bar under there farther.

After some time, I got warm and went to change cooler clothing and when I got back, this is what I saw:

In the off chance that these pictures aren’t completely discriptatory,

(1) Barrett was working the big crowbar,
(2) Anna was assisting with the little crowbar,
(3) Adelyn and Erik were pounding the nails down on the pieces that Barrett and Anna had already pulled up.

They worked together in this way for a significant portion of the flooring. All I had to do was bring the flooring outside to the junk pile.

And they did this without me asking them to.

I was grateful.

I got home from a Sunday event (with Daniel and church 6th graders) this afternoon and Debbie had left for her own Sunday event (with Adelyn and church 3rd graders) and she hadn’t had time to make the lasagna that we needed for this evening. She left this on the counter for me.

. . . and I thought to myself – it can’t be that easy.

But it turns out it was.

I (with my kids help and only a third of a year of Home Ec junior high training) was able to do this with Debbie not even in the home*. I recommend this for any dad. You need only the ingredients!

* Let me just add a bit more detail:  spray the pan first and put tin foil over it when you put it in – 350 degrees for 1.5 hours.

. . go on a picnic yesterday.

I was not planning it but my kids wanted to. I am not a Dad who is often going to turn down that request.

When we got home I checked and discovered that this is our earliest indoor Minnesota picnic.

It turned out to be quite fun and the kids got to stretch their legs a bit.

What’s that? You say you want proof? Well, . . . .






You’ll just have to take my word for it.


Dads, be aware – the Spiritual State of a family can be determined by their Christmas card letter. Simply determine what portion of the letter is of a spiritual nature (“We hope you take some time to reflect on . . . . “.) compared to the rest of the letter.

I recommend doing a total word count and a spiritual word count (including Bible Verses) and taking a percentage.

Bonus points for a smooth transition between “New about our Year” and the theological truths.

The Jamison Family, with a 6% Spiritual Content and a fairly awkward segue, has some room for growth in this area.

A Combo!

Debbie came outside on Saturday to where I working and said “I have a blog idea for you.”

Those are always good.

So here goes:

Dads, let’s say you’re celebrating your daughter Anna’s birthday and let us further suggest that you’ve made a cake for the celebration. Also you have a nearly two year old son.

Don’t let him alone with the cake. The following is an illustration of what might happen.

Well,  it happened!

We enjoyed our 100th picnic at Island Lake Park with 4 other families (with 20 kids).

Want to see proof?

Some trivia:

Number of Locations :77
Number of Families Picnicked with:  13 – not including today, more or less, depending on how you count it.
Number of New Picnic Spots: 26
Picnic Spot most visited this year: Long Lake Park in New Brighton – 12 times

Yes, we’ll probably still go on more picnics whenever the weather is nice and we have some free time.

Sunday evening, we were all outside having fun on the trampoline (kids) and relaxing (parents) and Daniel had the idea of playing kick ball. He got out the bases and we split everyone into teams. I was pitcher. Foster was third base coach. Debbie was our spectator.

We had a good time and the kids all played along. At one point Adelyn, ready to kick at homeplate, expressed a nervousness about not doing well. And Debbie said, “Well, it’s just our family. Be thankful that it’s not a whole class of sixth grade boys.”

I’m thinking it’s possible that she speaks from personal experience.

Saturday I took all of the kids on an hour and a half 6 stop errand run (so that Debbie could have some time alone doing whatever she wanted) and our last stop was at a park parking lot, where I asked the kids to tell me some words that they associated with their Mom.

That evening then I went over to Wordle and created this:

And then I printed it out and framed it. It’s all true.

I recommend this for your next present opportunity.

I wish I could say it was my idea, but it is in fact an idea borrowed from the Fathers Day gift that Debbie game me 11 months ago.

Real dialogue heard in our kitchen just after supper on Sunday:

Dad: You know, while some might call me a ‘hero’ for making supper for all of us I think that’s going a little far. I mean sure, it was a helpful act that made life nicer for my entire family and was not self serving at all, but I think it stops short of being heroic.

Son 1 (11):  What is he saying?

Son 2 (12):  I have no idea.



Hey, if Jessica can do it, so can I.

Menu for the evening: Popcorn*, Apples, Peanuts and Leftover Pizza.

Debbie was on the couch, sick.

And no, I didn’t make quotation marks with my fingers when I said ‘Hero’, but I wish now that I had.

* What do you want from me? We had tacos for lunch and French toast for breakfast, both of which I had at least a minor role of getting on the table.

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