Hey! Wanna hear me speak?

by John McNichol on February 21, 2017

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

Thanks, all!


New times! Great times!

by John McNichol on February 11, 2017


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 wonderful school, and…
well, updates:
1) We had several of the Consecrated women from the local Legion of Christ house over to our place for dinner a few weeks back. What are Consecrated? Some of the most amazing ladies you will likely meet. :)  Seriously, the house rang with laughter, as they ate our barbecue’d food (it IS Texas, after all!), Snuffer’s-style fries, baked veggies and other good stuff…plus a nigh-apocalyptic game of Apples To Apples afterwards…”What, Dad? They’re awesome! One of them went to Mount Doom in New Zeland, and another one knows how to play Call of Duty, and this other one won at Apples-toApples…with Clairebear as her partner!”
Good ole’ Christopherd…. ;) Jeanna said later it was the best time she’d had since she came here, and my kids informed me that we WILL be inviting them again. Okay, okay…. :)

2) We have a trampoline! Found an amazing deal online, to good to pass up. Still haven’t touched the fund earmarked for the remodeling of the house yet, so we could get this bit. A lot of work, but good bonding time in the sun with the boys, esp. Dano, who made himself indispensable.

3) (Dang, it’s a lovely evening. Three couples around me, to set of cuddles, and another w/ the girl playing her ukulele and the guy singing along. A group of goofy teens not being obnoxious, but walking by enjoying the night and each other with laughter. Warms my heart. Okay, back to the blogpost) I’m back in school! Loving being on the other side of the desk, and getting to read (and in some cases re-read) Melville and Hawthorne. Love it, Love it.

4) Found some wonderful new friends! My daughter answered an ad for a babysitting job, and we found yet another couple who could have been transplanted out of the ultra-creative Norhtewest…except they are devout Byzantine Catholics! Wonderful folks, had us over for brunch with about 20 other people, and when I was looking for someone to help me find a store where I could find a McNichol family crest….the good folks at the ICON network pointed me right to our new friends! Amazing! Yay!

5) Well, the benches aren’t as comfy as the Barnes & Noble chairs here at Southlake, so I’ll end it for now. Please pray for my family, that God continues to lead and guide us.

Thank you Lord, for the good job, safe house and wonderful people you’ve helped us meet since we’ve come here.


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

by John McNichol on January 16, 2017


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. Jenna’s been a trouper, but sometimes she’s had a tougher time adjusting to our new life out here. When they invited us again to a potluck at their parish, the teens groused a bit, but the little ones loved it, and…well, after we’d been there a while, I asked Jeanna if she was ready to go.
“No,” she said. “I wanna see my friends first!”

Friends! :D
So, we have friends. Most important: JEANNA feels she has friends. She had them before, people were good to her and I, but it took her a bit until she really felt confident enough about them to believe folks wanted to hang out with her, just for her, not just out of obligation or pity. See, hon? People TRULY like ya here! :D
And now she felt comfortable enough to say she wanted to stay LONGER. Yay!

At this writing, she’s visiting her family over on the west coast. Thank you, CheapOair! Making plane fare  affordable for folks like us! Whoo hoo!

Yahoo! Hooray! Friends threw her a party….and then her family threw her another party the next night!

Jeanna's Galls threw her a party! She's popular girl, eh?

Jeanna’s Galls threw her a party! She’s popular girl, eh?


…so, I’ve had be Mr. Mom the last few days. Hasn’t been bad, really. I’ve been cooking more than before; mostly breakfasts, but I made Georgian chicken for the first time the other night. Kids have been happy, and times that would’ve had us snapping at each other at other times passed with mellow-ness…mostly. :)

Also: Took the kids to the Dallas March for Life on Saturday! Saw a lot of folks dressed in different native American outfits, & found out many folks who were of Mexican descent were doing a repurposed Aztec dance, one that *had* been used to honor Aztec gods, but were repurposed for use to honor Christ and the blessed Mother when she converted the Indians as Our Lady of Guadalupe. Since OLoG is wearing the clothes of a pregnant woman, she is often honored at the March for life.

And honored she was! I am seldom prouder to be a Catholic than when I see what a STRONG Catholic presence is seen at every March for Life, from Washington to Texas, the Catholic presence is unmistakable and undeniable. I know there are both Christians and protestants that are pro-life, but the Church has stood strong against this horrible evil for as long as it’s existed, and especially for the past 40+ years since the infamous Roe Vs. Wade decision was handed down, starting at the Dallas courthouse where our march ended.

Enjoy the pics! I’ve kept some out since (surprise!) there was a good-sized bunch of student from The Highlands School there, and I don’t use pics with my students in them without permission. :)

Here’s a few! Enjoy!
dmfl aztec dancers

dmfl aztec dancers 3

dmfl aztec dnaces 2

dmfl before the march

dmfl james and claire

Clairebear and Jamsey and one of my colleagues from THS. Hooray!

dmfl march during

dmfl march is over

Heh! Chris couldn't make it since he had a B-Ball game. He won, & he scored!

Heh! Chris couldn’t make it since he had a B-Ball game. He won, & he scored!





At the Zoo…and…puppies?

by John McNichol on December 30, 2016

Fri Dec 30/2016

Hey, all!

Trying to find activities for a visiting college student and the rest of the family can be a challenging experience.
“Well, KatieKat, you chose the Library the other day, what else would you like to do?”
“Hmmm….the zoo?”
Sounds good. :)
Jeanna and I got up, made a nice breakfast for everyone, Susie had a friend over, and we all hit the Dallas Zoo. Yay for 1/2 price season! KatieKat, being used to the colder temps of Montana for college, was insistent that we NOT go on one of the 80 degree days we’ve been having down here in TX. Fortunately, the day was 59 degrees and thus met the approval of cooler-acclimatized college students, semi-jaded high school students and hyperactive little kids alike. :)
Also agreed to take two cars since everybody was getting squished in the Honda Odyssey….KatieKat distinguished herself by being a good navigator for Jeanna through the sometime challenging streets of downtown Dallas, and we made it!

Elephants! My 'ancient' camera was in good form today! :D

Elephants! My ‘ancient’ camera was in good form today! :D

Mandrill! Came right up to us! Did you know their posteriors are rainbow colored, too?

Mandrill! Came right up to us! Did you know their posteriors are rainbow colored, too?


Jamesy and Clairbear closing around at the children’s zoo…that poor little brass lamb! ;)


Christopherd and Clairbear in an underground bubble at one of the exhibits ! :D

…Jeanna, ever the resourceful one, had us made out lunches so that we wouldn’t have to buy the $10 hamburgers they typically sell at these places. :) So, we had good time.

Afterwards, a Looooooong drive up to Plano to drop off Susie’s sweet galpal, and then another lounge drive home….then another loooooooooooong drive out there (seeing a pattern yet?) to look at- puppies!


KatieKat and Christopherd checking out the adorable merch! ;)

Yep! We were looking at puppies at a house…a lady helps the hUmane Society get them bought and adopted. It was an hour drive, and the kinds WANTED ONE. I could tell Jeanna was reluctant, and kept wavering. Fights, tears, cheers, jeers. We had nothing for the dog at home except a blanket to sleep in…needed to buy lotsa stuff…but it was SO CUTE!

“Hon, take a walk around the block. If you want the dog x (a 9-week old golden retriever runt), we’ll get it. If you don’t, it a night and see.”

Kids mad, but even the adoption lady could tell Jeanna wasn’t sure and counseled her to wait. Assauged the upset afterwards with a late dinner at McD’s (Jeanna said maybe that was the reason folks were cranky- no dinner yet?)

Got home. Some kids mad & in rooms the rest of the night. Some kids quick recovery and playing video games 2 min after getting home. We’re fine…I hope.

It seems lately that we do a family outing that goes good until near the end then it goes to arguments and tears, but oh-well. We”ll try again. I hope we give KatieKat good memories of her family for when she goes back to the frozen north…maybe a family hike/walk tomorrow?

Dear God, help us to have a good time together, and see our family time as a source of renewal and strength. Amen.


Christmas! Post Christmas! And other Stuff!

by John McNichol December 28, 2016

12/28/2016 Hey, all! Merry Christmas! Oldest and KatieKat flew out here for Christmas, and we had a good time.  Short? Yeah, but there’s often too much at these things to either do them justice or put them in the proper context. Oldest flew back on the 26th, KAtieKAt is here for about 2 more weeks. […]

Read the full article →

Date Night, and Merry Christmas!

by John McNichol December 19, 2016

December 19/2016 Hey, all! Lot happening the last little while: 1) Eaxms. My students finished them a few days ago, and I am still wading through finishing them (hope this is the day!) while doing the life-thing right before Christmas. While I was at work on Friday & the kids were done, I looked around […]

Read the full article →

Happy Birthday…Happy Advent, too!

by John McNichol December 13, 2016

12/13/16 Hey, all! lot in the last few weeks: 1) Jeanna’s birthday was a few days back! Great time- we managed to get everything on her list, and had a lovely little celebration for her in the dining room! Thanks to some of the good folks at the Irving Catholic Online Network (ICON for short), […]

Read the full article →

Happy Thanksgiving!

by John McNichol November 24, 2016

Nov 24th 2016 Hey, all! Well, the elections have come and gone, and SHE”S NOT THE PRESIDENT! We had a great party at our new lace last Saturday, inviting several of our old friends from College at Franciscan University who settled with their families in the Dallas area. Among them Daniel Barker, USAF and author […]

Read the full article →

Date nights and Train Travels!

by John McNichol November 12, 2016

11/11/16 Hey, all! I’ll post political stuff about the new president later. Tonight: I’ve been trying to find new stuff for us to do here, and fortunately Dallas doesn’t disappoint! A wrong turn on the way home got me at a local DART (the train into town) station, and that set me thinking… A little […]

Read the full article →

Happy Halloween!

by John McNichol November 3, 2016

11/3/16 Hey, all! We had our first Halloween in the Li’l ole’ state of Texas! Jamesy was a convict Christopherd was a martial arts guy. Calirebear was Ilsa from the movie Frozen I was…Vault Boy! From a popular video game series called Fallout. I was even able to get a working replica of the Pip […]

Read the full article →