Summer’s Here!

by John McNichol on June 23, 2017



Hey, all!! Summer’s here! <—–still my favorite version of this song, from my high-school years. South Americaaaaaaa! :)

So, what’s been happening:

Dan off to Work!

Dano in my classroom, on his way to work as an inventory-guy for RIGS

-Dano got a job!

Yes, in a world where a) 40 hour/week summer jobs are hard to find for teens, and b)some teens now see the summer job as a violation of their God-given right to boredom and angst during the summer months, Dano impressed me. I got him a job at a factory that likes to hire kids fro his school, but while the money was good, it was 35 miles away . The solution? He got on Craig’s list and found another jb just 4 miles away…in ten minutes. Dang, boy! Great work, and the uniform’s not even dorky! Great!

…I went for grades 4-6 to Saint Thomas Aquinas school in Toronto, Canada. There, a girl had won the prize for best Science Fair project in all of Canada for asking “Why do Beets Turn the Water Red?”
My son Chris took that idea and ran with it for his Science Fair at The Highlands School! :D
Chris at the Science Fair!

…well, it didn’t go national (Canada’s a much smaller country, eh?), but he DID get a 93%, and did all the work himself [parents know what I mean...too many projects are the result of parent work, not the kids'... :) ]. Way to go, Chris!

Chris and Jamsey also got to go to Camp El-Har, the summer camp for boys run by the Legion of Christ. The boys went out of their comfort zone to sell Raffle Tickets to raise money for their experience, and they went out of their comfort zone & did well. Their reward? A week of Paintball, horseback riding and a host of other amazing events and enjoyments, along with Mass and adoration. Chris loved it so much he wants to go back as a counselor next year- we’ll see what happens. :)

Last week, the family hit the lake!
The upside to having a large family is you meet other large families. And those large families know where all the cool stuff can be found for free. :)
Case in point: Joe Pool lake, free to residents of Grand Prairie:


Jeanna & Claire with the Cyrs and Gaglianos at Joe Pool Lake

Jeanna & Claire with the Cyrs and Gaglianos at Joe Pool Lake

Great day! We met with our friends, the Cyrs and the Gaglianos for BBQ lunch and hitting the water after Mass last Sunday. Who cares about 90 degree weather when the water’s nice and just a short walk away? :D Jeanna had a great time, & it was nice to see. She misses her family, and the good news is she’s here with them now for a visit on the West Coast. Su will go there next in a couple of weeks, and me and the rest of the boys in the last third of July.
Dear God, thank you for today, thank you for my family and the good friends and experiences we’ve had the chance to have. Keep guiding us, please, and bring me, my wife, and all my children to love you, your Son, your Holy Spirit,, your mother and all the saints, our siblings in Heaven, whose prayers i ask for here & now,

PS: Nothing says Texas to me like a mariachi band in full dress at the lake in 90 degree weather, 20 feet from your own picnic table:

...Nothing says "Lone Star State like a Mariachi band at the lake in 90 degree weather.

…Nothing says “Lone Star State like a Mariachi band at the lake in 90 degree weather.


Hey! Summer is here!

by John McNichol on June 12, 2017


Hey, all!

Big couple of days.
Had a surprise visit from my sister-in-law from the West Coast. A lovely, lovely time. Nailed down when Jeanna, kids and I will be visiting the coast; we had initially planned for the whole family to go out at the same time, but a) some family issues b) Dano has a job c) Christopherd has summer league b-ball d) I have a course in Triviium as the next step towards my PhD, e) Christopherd and Jamesy are going to summer camp with the Legion priests & about 500 other boys…

Yeah ,summer’s pretty busy

Made it through first year of teaching at THS, though! Whoo hoo! Great year. Still miss St John’s in a number of ways, but I know I’m meant to be here for a whole bunch of reasons….

I found Dano a job at a factory, but it was a pretty far drive, and…he found one himself! Whoa! Hard to find those things back in our neighborhoods (one of my other children out there has put in 20 apps for a summer gig, interviewed,  straight A’s and all that. Still nada. )…so he went online, made a phone call, and PRESTO, he had a job just four miles from home.

Went to a wonderful concert last night! Orleans, the band best known for the 70′s pop song ‘Dance with melee….I want to be your partner, can’t you seeeeee…..” , Good conversation with our friends, the C–s, and the best Long-Island Iced Tea (frozen) I’ve had for a long time- since I drove down her nearly a year ago, in fact!

RIP, Adam West. You were a mainstay of my childhood. God’s speed to you.

Today, winning with the C–s and the G———–s at Joe Pool lake. Kids had a blast, and then we finished the day with mass at a beautiful parish, St. Thomas Aquinas, In Dallas. Took Susie to her gal-pal’s for a sleepover, then a late dinner at our favorite Dallas pizza place, I-Fratellis.

Pictures to follow! Looking forward to seeing old friends soon. :)
Dear God, thank you for my family. Heal old wounds, bring your Children under Our Lady’s mantle of protection. Amen.

(Pictures to follow- I’ve driven a LOT today, and I’m tired. :) )


Oh, yeah! Prom! And his Grad speech!

by John McNichol on May 22, 2017

Hey, all!
Oh, yeah! My son Danny went to prom & graduates from high school this Friday!
Dan and anna telepak prom 2017-2

…Dano asked a lovely young lady from his class to be his date, with a small bouquet of flowers and a sign saying “I saved the best for last!”

Y’see, a week before prom, Dad (me) sez to Dano:
“Umm…hey, Dan? Were you thinking of going to prom?”

Dano : “Uhhh…I dunno.”
Dad: “Ummm…it’s in a week, Dan. Were you thinking of asking anyone?”
Dano: “Uhhhh…I dunno.”
In a rare burst of inspiration, I gave him 2 checks, each one enough to buy a prom ticket. “Buy one for your self, maybe one for a friend, or tear ‘em both up! Your call, bud.”
…ok…he bought one for himself. Then, Friday, day before prom, I came out of the School theater, and saw Dano, standing outside the art room, holding aflowers and a sign.
….and how he got both touched my heart.
See, Dan was the new guy this year. He transferred for Senior year, and he had a lot asked of him here.
But you know what? The kids rallied around him.
The boys in his class though he needed more flowers, so they ran around the school classroom to classroom, getting flowers for his bouquet. Two other students took time in art class to help make the nicest, cutest little sign you ever did see.
And Dano asked one of the prettiest gals in the school, and she said yes. Every Dad is happy at news like that.
But what made maven happier was the way his class shifted into gear, helping his ‘asking’ to be the best it could be.
How did I react when I saw Dan with his stuff?
“Dan?!?” (sinks in….) “You’re asking someone? Who, son?”
Dano: “(whispers) Dad, go away!
Me: “But who’re you…”
Dano: “DAD, GO AWAY!”

Me: Okay, okay….
….I walked the other way, letting Dan have his moment.
Unfortunately, he’d hoped to do this quietly, but I’d had a class of hyperactive teenage girls behind me, and when they saw Dano….
“SOMEONE”S GETING ASKED!!!” They shrieked, as I walked away, chuckling. :)

dan and anna and anna-catharine and lorenzo ths prom 2017

Prom buddies!- Danny,Anna, And friends. :)

ths seniors prom 2017

Some of The Highlands School Seniors! What an amazing bunch of kids!

Well, it was a good night.
Dano is just finishing up-  He was exempted from all his exams for high grades, so now he’s just getting a few loose ends tied up before his grad this Saturday.
Here’s his grad speech. Yes, I shed a few tears. 
Thank you God, for a good year. Please continue to bless my family as you’ve done since we moved out here,


Ok: Soccer, Treefort, Titus, Prom, Summer!

by John McNichol on May 22, 2017

Hey, all!
Here’s what’s been happening:


James, at the statue of….someone….at the FC Dallas Stadium. :)

1) Soccer! Thanks to one of several amazing websites, I was able to get resold tickets to the FC Dallas Soccer game for less than a quarter what it would have cost to by them retail! James chose soccer for his big event (I took Dan to Hockey, Chris to the Mavericks (B-Ball). JEanna went to Stomp, and Susanna is looking at concerts)
Good news: Dallas Won!

FC Dallas- great game!
After that, the boys decided to spend the Easter break clowning around and building…a tree fort! A visit to Home Depot for a little wood, and Chris went to it with a will and passion, and with a little (small amount) of help from me, made a very level tree fort in the big tree in our back yard! Future engineer? We’ll see….
IMG_0756IMG_0769…now, they use it to jump off from onto the Trampoline! Yep, they get their mom a little scared….until they go ther to take the plunge, too! :D

Next, I got to see my favorite comedian: Christopher Titus, when he came to Dallas! Not only did I manage to get front-row center seats (again, thank you, resale sites! Dallas loves ya!), but he met up with every single fan who came to the show afterwards….including me! Whoo hoo!


Got my online ticket!

Got my online ticket!

Outside the Majestic

Outside the Majestic

The Majestic Theater in Downtown Dallas. The pic doesn't do it justice!

The Majestic Theater in Downtown Dallas. The pic doesn’t do it justice!

Lineup to see Titus afterwards. Long, but worth it! :D

Lineup to see Titus afterwards. Long, but worth it! :D

Got to meet him! Got two fist bumps! He was tired, but good to every fan. Great guy, Titus! :D

Got to meet him! Got two fist bumps! He was tired, but good to every fan. Great guy, Titus! :D

CHRIS WAS A WINNER! He led his Middle School B-Ball team at the Highlands to its first Division Victory in the team’s history! We had a great time seeing him play. He’s worked SO hard to get good at b-ball, and his grades too. He was in danger of falling through the cracks at one point when he was in middle school, but now he stays after school to get his best possible grades, and may hit the honor roll for the first time ! Great job, Chris!!!

Jeanna, watch Chris the champ!

Jeanna, watch Chris the champ!




…Gonna write more later. For now, look at how they’ve grown!

Are you eating your wheatie, James? :D

Are you eating your wheatie, James? :D



Okay, now more:

by John McNichol April 6, 2017

Thursday, 4/6/2017 Hey, all. Okay, let me write-up that ‘more’ I promised a while back: On March 17th: Big St . Patrick’s Day! 1) Made Potato pancakes with a fried egg and chives on top, ranch+dill dipping sauce for brunch! Spent the early afternoon going bowling (reduced rate! Whoo hoo!). Next day, on the 18th, […]

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St Pat’s, and Crazy Dogs….

by John McNichol April 2, 2017

4/2/2017 Hey, All! St Patrick’s day is a fave in my home. For breakfast on the Saturday after, I made Potato Pancakes with eggs over-hard yolk, and sourcream on the side. Turned out well! Even the fussiest eaters ate when I told them it was a giant french fry. We had Irish Rovers music playing […]

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It’s Lent!

by John McNichol March 5, 2017

      Lent…..   …yeah, it’s like that. I’m restricting my food intake. Seeing I just can’t get over the weight-loss hump of a certain point, plus teaching Dante’s Inferno to my amazing students and seeing what Dante had in store for the Gluttons in the 3rd circle of Hell….well, yeah. I’m going to […]

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Hey! Wanna hear me speak?

by John McNichol February 21, 2017

…..I’m with CMG Booking. Check me out as a Catholic speaker! Thanks, all! JDM

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New times! Great times!

by John McNichol February 11, 2017

2/11/17 Hey, all! Well, mid February, and I can be outside at a lit fountain at a lovely outdoor mall in Dallas (“Southlake”), 77 degrees with a full moon, a clear starry sky and a soft breeze blowing through my hair. I have a wonderful job, my wife is healthy, my kids go to a […]

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Happy New Year! And Travel and parties, and….

by John McNichol January 16, 2017

1/16/17 Hey, all! Jeanna and I had a wonderful new years! Some new friends of ours, the H——-s, invited us over spontaneously for a NYE visit, along with some other folks from their parish, Mater Dei in Irving, TX. Jeanna had a wonderful time, especially! It was great to see her chatting with the ladies. […]

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