Category Archives: Parenting

The Biggest UNTOLD Story in our ‘Viral’ Skype Family Videos

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On November 11, 2013 three (3) videos of my family, The Covins, were released for the entire world  and allows everyone all over the planet the ability to have a look into our private lives.

The videos, which can be viewed on Skype TV or YouTube as part of the “Moving Forward” campaign, introduce you to my homeschooling family who has a beautiful, yoga pant wearing wife, helping the entire community mommy, 4 young aspiring actresses, beautiful, doing each others’ hair daughters, who are all led by a social media husband, but turn the cable TV off dad.

The taping took 5 days and the actual footage that was used was a total of 7 minutes long. So of course the videos don’t have time to allow you into all areas of our lives, because the purpose was to show you a very important aspect of our lives during a 5-6 month timeframe that my family was living apart and how Skype helped us to navigate that process.

The distance between my family and myself was over 500 miles.

Sounds crazy and WAS!!

It was the hardest time of my life and yes SKYPE made it totally doable. I am really grateful to SKYPE and the creators for being available, at this time in our lives.

I almost want to cry thinking of the nights that I experienced anxiety attacks for the first time in my life. I felt like I was having a heart attack, but found it was due to the separation.

And God worked it out through a mentor of mine named James Andrews.

James is the Digital Evangelist and Partner at StudioGood and called me to tell me about the Skype casting for a family in transition and I thank him for making that call and Joyce from my church for calling to tell me while I was on a Skype call with Dan Bell Casting already. (That is how you know it was really your family they were looking for or God really stepped in and said it was time)

But the Biggest UNTOLD Story is where and how I was able to live during this time of separation.

When I really think about it, I was homeless.

But God showed me favor in the form of a family that allowed me to stay in the basement of their nice town home in Woodbridge, Virginia.  THIS is the AMAZING part of the story.  The family was not unfamiliar to me but were not blood relatives or anything.  The family consisted of a husband, wife and 2 children (boy and girl both under the age of 10).

The husband and I were roommates before I was married and God spoke to him and his wonderful wife about them allowing a man to invade their privacy for 5-6 months and be around their children.

WHO DOES THAT?

During this time where we needed community to step up, to experience it actually happening is mind-blowing.

I was able to give them the ability to have a regularly scheduled “Thursday Date Night” where the wife was able to discover the husband had a passion for playing pool that she had never known about.

During this time, I also had an amazing weekend where the couple was able to travel out of town, without the children, and I was able to run the children around to activities like bowling and swimming.  This weekend running totally reminded me of time with my girls.

The question I have is….

WHO DOES THIS?

Who actually trusts God enough to follow His word and do something for ‘the least of these’ in these times of…

IT’S ALL ABOUT ME.

I am so grateful.

There are 3 videos and the first one currently has just under 600k views in only 4 days and don’t worry I’m not famous because 400k of those views came from me.

And I cry then entire time.

I cry because I know the UNTOLD story. I know that if that family doesn’t bless mine by allowing me a place to stay and the ability to use a 3rd car….

WE NEVER MEET ON THE VIDEO.

So THANK YOU!

Thank you to the wife for being flexible!

Thank you to their son for talking to me when you didn’t always want to because you are not a talker and I am and sometimes I just need some boy energy! (And thanks for finally getting me to Saturday morning Flag Football)

Thanks to their hug-a-thon sweety, daughter for hugging me so tight that with Skype I thought I was at home hugging my own daughters.  (I have not forgotten you.  Once we get our truck situation straight you will be my 5th daughter)

And thanks to God for speaking to the husband and asking his family to be open to helping mine.

We are forever grateful, because without your family, mine doesn’t grow and elevate during this time.

We LOVE you guys and are forever grateful.

ODC

p.s. Let us know when you want a ‘Thursday Date Night’ or a weekend off…WE GOT YOU!

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Movie Review: I saw a MUST SEE MOVIE and you should too!”

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I was lucky enough to get a pair of screening tickets to a movie BEFORE it hit theaters.  The good thing is it is currently out and now you don’t have to wait.

I mean it is GOOD!

I would say it deals with most the issues in the world today.

Single Mother issues

Sexual Abuse/Molestation

Drug addictions

A Father you never hear mentioned the entire movie.

Young Black Men vs. School Testing scores.

Young Black Men with artistic abilities who do not get a chance to pursue their dreams because no one is listening.

How a Young Black Man can be ignored.

How a Young Black Men get treated differently.

How a Small Young Korean Man is welcomed everywhere.

Why we should teach our children to say, “Yes, SIr and Maam and No Sir and Maam.

And…Life in the City.

I saw how this young man was made to feel some of what I am still getting thrown at me in my 40’s.  Please do not allow this movie opportunity to pass you by.

It is a wonderful movie for Parents, Educators, and All Races and is sure to spark several very valuable SOCIAL CONVERSATIONS.

Go see The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete so we can discuss how you feel about the movie.

ODC

Have you seen the movie?  If so, what are your thoughts?

What does a Husband with 4 daughters do on Saturday?

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Four Ballerinas

People Exercising at a Gymnasium

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Well, if I am smart every single one of my days will start with a morning workout with my wife. She is a HUGE workout person and prefers mornings 3,000% better than any other time of the day. We actually were able to get back to the gym we left 7 years ago where both of us were fitness instructors.

www.resultsthegym.com is hands down the best gym in Washington, DC and the best gym I have ever been an instructor or any part of…..needless to say when I walked in with my champion WIFE we received a heroes welcome.

Me, only because I was with her!

The workouts were of course awesome and pushed us to the max.

We left the gym and had to divide and conquer.(Parenting phrase used by those parents with multiple children)

She took 3 girls with her and I took the big girl with me.(Sounded like a Great Deal to me too)

The 7 year old, who turns 8 next week, and the 9 year old, who turns 10 in November, went to their first week of FREE ice-skating lessons. The 3 year old tagged along with them but I am sure in the coming weeks that will be renegotiated.

The 12 year old and myself went to a morning Jazz class…well not me but she did and then she went to a ballet class with The Washington Ballet Teen 2 group, where she is the youngest person in the class and then landed in an unexpected Masters Class taught by an instructor from the Alvin Ailey company.

This extended an already long dance day an extra 2 hours….

WHAT!!???

Was I supposed to tell her NO?

So, my wife and the 3 met us at dance after their skating classes and we all took off to pick up lunch and bring something back for the big girl and then head home for a 30 minute break before I needed to drop my wife off to get her hair done.

This is when I ask my wife if the nanny is coming by to help me….Knowing we don’t have one.

And I look up and it is only 3pm.

Note to Singles: Get your rest.

ODC

Where in the world is ODC & ODB?

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If you have been wondering where we have been you are not alone.

 Someone said they knew my wife was in town but no one had seen her…Kinda like Jason Bourne!

Don’t worry I have been keeping notes in my journal and Man this blog will be SLAMMED with post from today until the end of the year with UNBELIEVABLE stories from “The Little House on the Block”

I will give you two BIG ones to cut your teeth on, but you have to wait for the blog post to get the specifics.

1. We have relocated from the Atlanta area to The District of Columbia…(Proper)

2. The entire family was cast and shot a commercial/documentary for Skype, which was purchased by Microsoft over the period of a week.  

So you will all get to meet us on a more intimate level very soon.

……And I am telling you.

The last 3 months in our home has been so exciting that all my daughters will actually share their first blog post within the next 2 weeks.

God is AWESOME!!

Stay tuned!!!

ODC

My Lead Daughter Makes Homeschooling History! #42

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My 12 year old has kept me up all night but believe it or not there is good and bad to the story. The bad part is I am loosing sleep and have to do this commute in the morning. The good part is I can not stop thinking about how proud I am that she is celebrating her 12th Birthday by MAKING HISTORY and I can’t stop crying!!!
My daughter has achieved something that only I could dream of doing. She has received a Mega-Memory Master Medal with Classical Conversations Homeschooling Group. In order to earn this prestigous honor a student has to be able to recite the answer to every question from every subject for 3 cycles of the educational curriculum. Translation: 3 years worth of work at one time…OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD!

And the hard part for me is just remembering the subjects. Let’s see if I can do it. OK. Geography, History Timeline, Math, Science, English Grammar and oh noooo…Latin (whew) I think I remembered them all, but I am sure if I did not my wife will be posting to let me know.

So this is why my leading daughter (I like that better than oldest) deserves to receive a super special SHOUT OUT on this May 7th as we celebrate her turning 12 but also doing something that only 1 person in History had done before this year and with her Medal she becomes the 1st Brown Mega-Memory Master Medalist! She also has been an example to her sister, Logan, who successfully completed her 2nd year as a Memory Master and I am sure will be chasing her record next year.

Go Christian or as I now call her: “Jackie Robinson”

Your wonderful mother (who is steering this history making homeschooling ship) are Sooo proud of you for placing a goal in front of you and smashing it!

Happy 12th and Happy 1st!!

ODC

The Huge Family At The Next Table!

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Family Praying Before Dinner

Just sitting in a restaurant and a family walks in with a rack of kids. One screams, “I gotta go to the potty!” and I mean…IT WAS LOUD and another one yells, “Where’s mommy?” I’m looking around and was wondering the same thing. The dad is by himself now because mommy quietly slipped by and pulled just one child off to the restroom. I’m thinking to myself that maybe she forgot a few, but anyway…I need to mind my own business. The dad is now by himself and navigating the 3 kids pretty well.

I’m thinking…WAIT! Only I am capable of such craftiness with a HUGE family!

Well, 4 kids has gotta be a huge family because I have 4 and I hear that all the time when I go places. The only difference is this family has a boy and judging by the layout of the sizes he seems to have made his way into 2nd position. And that would have been a perfect place to stop. You know the routine. You get one boy and one girl and you start screaming, “We are DONE!” “What else is there to do!”

Little did this family know. If they had stopped I may have never noticed them. I mean a family with only 2 kids is so small they would have slipped under my radar.

And here comes the mom…1 child in tow. She has a seat on the end corner of the table. She is a bit distant. Not mean just seems to kinda be in rest mode. Dad is taking all the hits right now. I mean he is getting shouts from the front both sides and the back. It’s kinda beginning to look familiar.

Hmmm. Large Family (check) Engaged Dad (check) Mom looking like she has past the daily torch over to the Dad and then I saw it!

The give away. The pink ribbon. The same pink princess ribbon that my daughters wear on their birthday. But I continued to just stalk them out from the next table. And this dad was really trying to become my competition. Super engaging now…STILL! He was even welcoming to more questions and they were still coming from all around. I thought to myself.

Could it be?

So I thought to myself. SELF. What would Paula & Sarah want me to do?

So I did it!

I walked over and said, “You guys are doing such a great job with your HUGE family.” “You have such great kids.” “I also have 4 children, but they are all girls.” (insert small talk) (Just put that in b/c I really don’t remember this part) Then I POPPED THE QUESTION, but not down on one knee.

“Are your children in school?”

Their Response: “We are actually homeschoolers.” I said, “YES!”

What curriculum do you guys use?

Their Response: “Classical Conversations”

I said, “I KNEW IT” (almost as loud as the kids)

I am so proud of you guys and I got a card from the wife with the entire family listed on it that was really cute. I actually wrote the daughter Lucy’s name on the back to remember and that the wife’s father was a realtor…but then I left the card on the table.

UGH! I can find them though because they are in the Lake Ridge, Virginia Classical Conversations Homeshool community.

I love my CC family and I’m telling you we really do look different. I’m telling you what this community is doing with our families is working.

THANK GOD!

ODC

How do we save our boys??

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Boy Swinging from Tree

Earlier today I attended a church service that involved the baptism of about 17 individuals. The 17 included adults, teenagers and pre-teens. Surprisingly enough there were several men in the group and that alone was unusual, but quite refreshing to see. There were a few young men that caught my eye today and I believe their stories can give us a few tools to possibly help save our young boys.
I was lucky enough to sit directly behind a young man named Clifton who was one of those baptised on this day and noticed he had such a pleasant demeanor and attitude. He was accompanied to the service by what I believed to be his mother and grandmother. I did not verify this personal information but was sure there were no men in his party. Clifton looked to be between 8 & 10 years old.
There was another gentleman who caught my attention and his name was Trebreyon and he was accompanied by his father, mother, 2 aunts and 2 male cousins ages 19 & 16. Though I did not verify the spelling of his name I did verify the members of his family and the ages of the young male family members.
These two young men, Clifton and Trebreyon, are 5-7 years apart but both carry such an innocence about them. I watched Clifton as he was starting to become cold during the service after being dunked in the baptismal pool. He leaned over and whispered to his mother and she allowed him to lay comfortably under her arm. But it is not uncommon for a young boy near 8-10 to still have his innocence and even with his support system not including any men on this day…..I WILL BE PRAYING FOR LITTLE CLIFTON. THAT HE DOESN’T GET CAUGHT HAVING TO BE “THE MAN’ BEFORE TIME BECAUSE OF A LACK OF A MALE PRESENCE.
Mr. Trebreyon, on the other hand, was outside in the lobby after service and had no idea that I was watching him. He was a little bored with the adult conversation that takes place after church services and made his way over to a window. A window that had a lip just above what his outstretched arms could reach. He stood there…looked up…and decided he would not allow the window to conquer him. So he reached up and was able to just get his fingers over the lip and pull himself up. Now this is a teenager around 14 and this church service takes place in a school and it is not going to fall down or anything. So those of you wondering that…take a deep breath. But what I noticed was a teenager who was still holding on to his innocence. When I was that age, I would have been more concerned with girls and what they were doing. In church or not! If we really keep it all the way REAL! So being the father of 4 beautiful young ladies, it was an awesome experience to see that Mr. Trebreyon’s support system is spending the time to cultivate a young man who is concerned more with the business of God and not the streets. His innocence parallel that of Clifton, who was 5 years his junior. I was able to speak to his parents after service and tell them.

JOB WELL DONE! KEEP BEING AN ACTIVE PRESENCE, BECAUSE THEIR INNOCENCE IS BASED ON OUR INVESTMENT OF TIME AND ALL THEY WANT IS OUR TIME!

ODC