Weekend Activity: Kite or Charlie Brown Again - Oh Brother!

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I don't know if it's the sense that we're accomplishing the impossible - flight, the possibility for crashing -(without pain), or what.  All I know is, everyone likes a kite, no matter what their age.

Much like my first love, I'll never forget my first kite.  I was little pup down at my aunt and uncle’s house in Kentucky.   They had a huge triangular kite that was the size of a house.  The kite had brilliant primary colors, triangle wedges and massive wooden cross members. I remember thinking that there was no way it could possibly fly - it just didn't seem possible.  The other thing I remember was the string - it felt like the reigns of a horse.  I mean, come on...what's not to love?

Kite flying, here we come!

Being a fan of the Red Baron and having watched countless episodes of Charlie Brown's "The Great Pumpkin" with the kids, I was leaning toward a war kit, specifically a World War I fighting ace kite that would take flight with the word "CONTACT!" I mean, I needed a really cool kite. Not a Dragon kite. Not a grocery store kite. A really sweet kite with spinners, multiple wings, and a lot of string.  And here it is: New Tech Kites sells a Red Baron kite.  This kite has three wings, a wingspan of 41 inches, a spinning tail, and a propeller. 

In case you're interested in our flight plans:

Update First Weekend:  Rain – no flight.
Update Second Weekend: No rain, No wind – No flight
Update Third weekend:  Wind – FLIGHT (FINALLY!)

Okay, so it's not always a great time to go fly a kite. 

After a few weeks of waiting, we were able to fly the kite. The kite really is cool and maneuvers well. The boys thought it was awesome. It is very well constructed and collapsible, expanding in flight. A lot of wind is needed to get the Red Baron airborne. The product specifications shows 5 to 20 miles per hour winds are required but judging from our handy dandy weather station, 5 mph just wasn't going to cut it.  It took more like 10 to 15 miles of wind to be able to sustain flight well. The Red Baron Kite did come with 100 feet of string. Still, I think it's well worth purchasing 500 feet of string to get this kite high and well into the wind. When the kite is high, it is very stable and easy to fly. Even my two-year-old was able to enjoy flying it!

I've added links to Amazon for the items required to fly this kite successfully.  You might be wondering why I added a Dewalt Cordless Drill. .Have you ever tried to wind up 500 feet of kite string??  Do it a couple of times and you'll have forearms like Arnold Schwarzenegger!  Trick:  Simply insert the dowel rod into the chuck of a cordless drill and you have a multipurpose kite winch.

Fly on!

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Learn How To Fly An RC Plane

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My mother-in-law bought me a Red Baron kite for my birthday last year. She knows I love Charlie Brown’s The Great Pumpkin (who doesn’t, after all?), and that Snoopy’s my favorite Peanuts character. The WWI Flying Ace’s flight scene is a highlight of the fall in our home, as evidenced by this year’s choice of Halloween costume.

Weekend at Home

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The first day of college marks the automatic fall break countdown. Students live for long weekends that provide a significant pause from the noise of university life. For the past few weeks your son or daughter has lived independently.  Family systems differ from these independent routines. Don’t waste limited time fighting over petty misunderstandings with your son or daughter during a long weekend. Read through the following Do’s and Don’ts of weekends at home to keep the peace and provide the perfect college getaway for a maxed out college student.

Toddler Travel

Average: 4.8 (6 votes)

Travel alert! One of the perks of having a child under the age of two is they can fly free of charge on domestic flights. The drawback, of course, is you’re about to be stuck on a plane with a child under the age of two, surrounded by people who were pleading to a higher power as you sauntered down the aisle that you weren’t going to be seated close to them. Much to their chagrin there you are, child in tow. Your job is to keep your child entertained in the 2x2 space commonly referred to as your lap. That’s a daunting enough task when you’re at home, complete with a fridge full of food and a closet full of toys. But there’s no home court advantage 30,000 feet in the air. What’s a parent to do?

Your Kids' Bedrooms -- Cool Themes Are Easier Than You Think!

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Kids' décor? Let's face it. We dads aren't Martha Stewart. We don't have craft parties, we don't sit around watching HGTV (at least so far as our wives know), and we don't know the first thing about color palettes.

But we do want our kids to have cool bedrooms. Why? Their bedrooms are their first "territory", the first flag they plant in the ground of independence. Having that bit of control can be the same feeling of sanctuary that we feel when we soak up that extra hour of sleep on a Sunday morning, or flip on that Chuck Norris movie as a guilty pleasure.

So, when your toddler proudly proclaims that he's a "big kid", here's how you can turn his baby's room into a cool big kid sanctuary -- all without losing your mind!

Camping Gear Top Picks for Backpacking-Updated

Average: 2 (1 vote)

I have been involved in some "hardcore" camping in the last year. No, I haven't trail run the Grand Canyon from rim to rim. Haven't base camped at the foot of K2. No, I have done something far more dicey. Camping with kids my friends, that is where the action is. In my last few articles, I have talked about some of the challenges I faced camping with kids. To be clear, when I say "camping" I'm using it in a specific sense. . . people+tents+wilderness, preferably light on people and heavy on wilderness.Before my "Let's Go RV'ing" friends get up in arms, I think "campers" are a fine thing but a far cry from "camping". I think they bridge a necessary gap between "Holiday Inn Express" and backpacking but it isn't really my cup of tea. So, if you're looking for places to plug in, that's cool. Just not my thing. I'm looking to "unplug". 

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