Episode VII: Andy Bell

Welcome back, everyone!

This is an extra large episode, and Andy was a more than accommodating guest, bringing a breadth of experience in his relatively short time as a parent. I first met Andy when he and his family moved in across the street from us. After a little over year later, they were on to new adventures in other neighborhoods, and chance or luck found us working for the same company. A conversation here and there, and the result is the episode you’re about to watch!

Follow Andy through a childhood with sometimes separated parents, the highs and lows of being a foster parent, and starting his own journey with his own children. He provides some awesome practical tips, and you might learn the origins of The Dadabase!

As always, thanks for supporting our cause. We’ve got some great episodes coming, and it all starts with this one!


His two boys: 1:00

The dangers that come with sharing a sense of humor: 1:30

Preschool Graduation: 3:25

Interactions between the kids: 4:20

Challenges in having a 5 and 2 year old: 6:40

How to connect and spend time: 10:22

Introducing a new baby to older siblings/Preparing for a new baby: 13:10

Agreements on sleep patterns: 17:35

Time off after the baby is born: 21:10

Surprise the kids at Disneyland / the value of good bosses: 23:00

Delayed Cheers : 25:00

Andy’s Upbringing : 26:50

Addictions: 33:32

Be there even if you aren’t needed: 35:45

Traits to be passed along: 40:15

Are you a better father than your dad: 49:00

How did you learn to be a dad? Resources? 53:40

Being a father figure before being a dad- foster parenting: 1:00:00

Neighbors! : 1:04:45

Being the sole voice of “No!” : 1:11:25

Aftermath and the difficulty of separating from foster kids: 1:16:45

How foster kids prepare for your own: 1:19:50

PRACTICAL TIP – Using a countdown 1:22:09

PRACTICAL TIP – Competition/Racing as a motivator 1:22:28

“The Talk”: 1:24:22

Advice for being a foster parent: 1:27:50

Wedding Traditions and blending families: 1:30:12

RapidFire Questions: 1:37:22

Where did The Dadabase come from? : 1:43:20

What do other dads need to know: 2:03:10

Handling work/life balance: 2:04:14

Message to the kids at home: 2:06:40

Favorite Dad Joke: 2:09:06

Episode VI: Restory VanRoy-Amundson . Happy (Belated) Father’s Day!

This one.

This is the little girl that launched me into fatherhood, and where it all began.

I have no regrets about her, but wish I could have given her so much more. You learn that as a parent it’s all about give and take. Most of the time it feels like you’re giving to them, and not getting much in return… but when you do get back, it’s overwhelming.

She’s taught me so much about myself and what it means to be a father. We made mistakes together along the way, and she shaped me to be the dad I am today. I love my little girl. Only, not so little now, and we talk about that journey from being a teen dad to now, including stops like going through divorce, and dating again, and some painful and bittersweet moments. She asks some hard and tough questions throughout, and we don’t leave anything behind.

This episode was supposed to go up last week, and I wasn’t able to edit it in time. So I figured, I’ll upload it during the week! Well, twice the upload dropped out, so we’ll have to settle for getting the episode up a week later. Despite that, I hope you enjoy our observance of Dad’s day.

1:08 What we are drinking
1:40 Her experiences with dad
3:10 Growing Pains (Show me that smile again….)
4:44 Favorite memories (http://www.espn.com/mlb/recap?gameId=220610109)
7:11 What is it like to be my dad?
9:17 Being a teen dad
12:11 Challenges in raising her
17:23 Raising children of a different faith
24:45 Raising children with depression
28:00 Hopes for the future
29:40 Fears of her growing up
30:33 How has being a dad changed your life?
32:32 Regrets on anything you missed out on?
33:13 Perks of having an adult daughter
36:42 Concerns about melding families
41:57 Describe your parenting approach
46:55 What are you most proud of me for?
51:25 conflicting loyalty for step parents
58:48 Dad is dating again
1:05:29 Advice for dating parents
1:07:00 Her favorite part our our relationship
1:17:00 Memories of us
1:20:00 Hardest thing to watch her go through
1:31:00 What traits does your boyfriend share with your father (and a tap dancing dog under the table)


Episode V: Mark Petersen

Happy father’s day to you and yours out there!

This was not the episode I wanted to post today. I have another one that was intended for today that I wasn’t able to have edited in time, but regardless, it IS new content.

Today, we have Mark Petersen (my father-in-law for full disclosure), and his insights on what happens when an adoption doesn’t work, what it was like growing up in WI, raising a daughter, and now as a grandfather. He’s reached the mountaintop that so many of us are aiming for.

In the meantime, I hope to have the intended episode up by next weekend. Thanks for tuning in!

1:58 – Love note to his daughter
4:35 – Ways of spending time
9:32 – How did having a daughter change you?
11:50 – Approach to parenting?
15:00 – Adoption and the trials when it doesn’t work
17:00 – Memories of growing up as a pastor’s son in WI
24:24 – Traits passed on
40:26 Changes over time for fatherhood
47:53 – Rapidfire questions
57:16 – advice for other dads

The Dadabase : Episode III – Mike Gardiner and “The Talk”

I didn’t truly anticipate the conversation going into how and when’s of having “the talk” with your kids, especially with your daughters, but that’s the magic of these conversations. It’s sometimes hard to know where they’ll end up and what we’ll cover. Such is the nature of Mike conversations as well, so they’re a good match.

I am fortunate to be able to call Mike one of my closest and best friends, and the fact that he invested so much time into watching the prior episodes, did his homework, and really brought earnestness and sincerity just goes to show how authentic our time for this episode is.

Thank you again, to Mike, for bearing his soul for an honest conversation.


The State of the Dadabase

Recently in our home, we’ve had some upheaval.  My lovely wife was laid off of her job of a dozen years or so, it was announced that my position is being eliminated, and it left me without the resources I was used to having to edit videos or make posts. Some very kind individuals provided me with their laptops so that I could continue on with this passion project.  My ever-grateful thanks to Kathy Petersen, Brendan McCracken, and Mike Gardiner, who offered help even though it wasn’t ultimately needed.

So that led to some soul-searching. I had been given some money last year, and after some careful conversations with some supporters, I’ve invested in a new laptop to continue my hopes to give back to the world. It’s exactly that…. an investment in the future.

Since my last post, I’ve been able to post 2 videos, and have another filming session this week. Going forward, I hope to get back on track, and hopefully grow even further. Thank you to my supporters for bearing with me, and we’ll see what the future holds.


The Dadabase: Bonus episode! – Derek, Part II

When Derek and I filmed the first episode, we ran out of time and memory on my recording device. We both found that we still had a lot to get off of our chest and unpack. So it was little surprise when a couple weeks later, Derek told me…”We NEED to do another episode”. And so here it is. We don’t hold back on any of it, and have a real talk about the role of fathers in their children’s lives. We talk about the fight single parents and especially single moms face without a father in the picture. We bandy about multiple ideas and topics, and dig real deep into Derek’s life without his dad, and who were the people who at least tried to fill a small part of that gap, and helped make him who he is today. And you hear straight from Derek the advice he has to other fathers out there willing to listen. If you enjoyed our first episode, you’ll certainly love this one. Grab a drink and join us for another round!

The Dadabase: Episode II – Aaron

Our second episode contains a sit down with Aaron, who recently made the decision that, amongst other things, his commute was too long to justify the time away from home and family. This captures his penultimate day with his old employer, where we discuss the importance of a work life balance, the importance of husband/wife nacho balance, and father/son blame for flatulence. Aaron captures many of the traits of what it means to be a successful modern-day father. He gives great thought about what it means to support his children not only through his financial and material support (food, clothing, shelter, etc.), but also the emotional support in today’s society. His hopes for his child are driven by what his child wants, and not by his own presumptions or prejudices.

Watch for the GAS-tronomic tips on ideal nachos and the best way to drink beer from a boot; stay for the discussion of what we look forward to passing along to our children.

This episode’s question for our audience: What is your favorite song that involves fathers?

Upcoming episodes are just around the corner! We have a bonus episode with part 2 of our conversation with Derek, and Episode III should be available before Mid January!