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Life’s Short Lessons: Best. Christmas. Ever.

Feeding the Homeless

Life’s Short Lessons:  Best. Christmas. Ever.

Feeding the Homeless

Several years ago, the sudden turn of the economy pulled the rug out from under us financially. Some of our greatest hardships and greatest blessings came from what happened next.

Scott closed up his concrete construction company of three decades, we put our home up for sale and he took an out-of-state job in Wyoming managing a flood and fire disaster company. The plan was that when our home sold, the family would join him in Wyoming. Scott was only home on the weekends and we made the very most of the short couple of days he was home with the family. Money was slim pickings; one-by-one we sold our animals and any belongings that we thought would help make ends meet.

Daily we counted our blessings of the many things

that money cannot buy…. Family!

When our home did not sell, another a job opportunity presented itself that would bring Scott back to home seven days a week. Yeah!  It was a time of celebration.

However, Christmas was fast approaching, and Scott and I knew we did not have the funds to buy Christmas gifts. We thought about what we could do for our family that would make it a memorable and special Christmas without store-bought gifts.

Realizing Christmas that year fell on a Sunday, and knowing the Eagle Ranch Ministries fed the homeless in downtown Salt Lake City every Sunday, it knew what we needed to do.  Our family, including our married children and spouses, woke up at 5am, not to see if Santa left a surprise under the tree, but to bundle up and go into the city to prepare the food for the homeless. We were not alone. About thirty others showed up, ready to serve. After five hours of sorting, cutting, peeling, dicing and cooking, the meal was finally ready.

As lunch time neared, the line began to form. Within a short amount of time, the line stretched to a hundred and fifty plus homeless, many with young children. They were so grateful for the warm meal and showed their appreciation with smiles of gratitude and a “Merry Christmas.”

It was our family that was most grateful – grateful for the opportunity to serve others who were down on their luck; it certainly put things in perspective. We had a house to go home to – they did not. We had a refrigerator and a pantry full of food – they did not. Never again were we to feel sorry for not having money to purchase gifts.

 That day we received the best gift ever –

the gift that only love and service can bring.

It was a Christmas our family will always cherish and remember. And now we also seek to do things every Christmas that bring that kind of meaning.

Grab a copy of our Book – My Husband Wears the Short Shorts in THIS Family!   Available in paperback and kindle. 

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Speaking? A Book? What? Me? Us? Oh My!

Going viral was unexpected  – what happened next was even more surprising!

My daughter Kelsey, put this video together to recap what I am talking about….

I think you will agree that she is very talented. I’d like to say she takes after me, but NO, all that techie stuff goes right over my head. She made this video for her dad and I to use  speaking gigs. What speaking gigs? I know, WE are as surprised as you are. Let me back up a bit and explain what’s been happening.

While in the midst of going viral and doing interview after interview, New York Times Best Selling Author and good friend, M. Bridget Cook, called asking if she could interview me, my husband Scott, and my daughter Myley to help ME write a “short” book about the short shorts story, along with other life’s lessons we have learned in raising seven children. Wow! We have been busy writing – writing and more writing as quickly as possible to get this book done and up on Amazon.   The title?  It’s the perfect title; My Husband Wears The Short Shorts In THIS Family –  Parenting with Humor, Courage and a whole lot of LOVE.

Not only did my friend Bridget reaching out to us, but motivational speaker/author Chad Hymas called offering his advice.  If you don’t know Chad, I encourage you to get to know him. He’s been an incredible inspiration to me for a long time and it’s no surprise h is listed in the Wall Street Journal as one of the ten most inspirational men in the world. Chad is a member of the Speakers Roundtable and the youngest to be inducted into the National Speakers Hall of Fame. I had been fortunate to work for Chad as an assistant to special projects. . Our telephone conversation that day went something like this,

“Becky, is Scott home?

“No, he is out of town until Saturday evening.”

“Okay, I will call back on Sunday. I want to talk to the both of you about becoming a speaker and sharing your message with the world.” He added, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

What Chad said next caught my attention,
“I am not essentially firing you, but I am firing you. And then I want to become your speaking coach. You will need to work really hard. Instead of putting 40 hours into me, I want you to put 40 hours a week into becoming a speaker. Can you do that?”

The following Sunday when Scott and I spoke to Chad we were overcome with feelings of both doubt and excitement.

“Can we really do this? YES, we CAN!”

We couldn’t ask for a better mentor or coach than Chad, it doesn’t get any better.

 

The crazy thing is that over the past 30 years of being married, I have asked Scott a number of times; “If you could BE anything and DO anything what would it be?” I would quickly add, “Besides being a professional hunting guide.”

Scott’s answer was always the same, “I would be a speaker! I would like to speak to teens and parents everywhere.”

I would pipe in, “What would you speak on? What would your platform be?” He’d s “I don’t know.”

Then I’d say in a skeptical kind of way, “Scott it’s not like church where they assign you a topic ….you have to have a platform.”

Well Scotty ….Guess what? Now you have a platform! It came unexpectedly, it’s a good one and the world apparently is wanting to hear it.

About three years ago, Scott started writing a book about his life lessons, a book to pass down to his children, but now I’m thinking it may go to a much broader audience. What do you think?

Before remembering the book that Scott has been writing, I bought the URL “Life’s Short Lessons” to build out a website to house all our “stuff”. It will be humorous, fun, inspiring and enlightening. To be LAUNCHED very very SoOn!

We didn’t plan for any of this to happen, we couldn’t have scripted it any better if we wanted. The opportunity to share what we love just opened up to us on it’s own. We are grateful, a bit nervous and over joyed for this new chapter.

Thanks for your support.
bEcky mAck 🙂

 

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Dad Short Shorts Gone Viral

Little did I know that when Scott put on those tiny short shorts that our lives were about to be turned upside down ….

When I first encouraged my husband, Scott, to write his story, “The Real Story Behind The Short Shorts” He laughed and said, “Who’s going to read your blog? Four people?” Well sweetie, hate to break it to you, but slightly more than 4 people read it! 🙂

I was certain that there were a lot of people as shocked as I was when I initially saw him sporting those shorts that would want to hear what the dad behind the “nice legs” had to say about his little night-out-on-the-town ….and the WHY? It was 11:30 pm when I hit the “Publish” button, tweeted the link, posted on Facebook and then went to bed. The rest is history …..

Only a few days later we were hearing it was top news in the DailyMail UK, I wasn’t sure what that meant. Then I get a call from the DailyMail NY asking permission to use the picture with a link to my blog.

I appreciate that so many outlets have emailed or called to ask permission to post the picture and tell the story. The ones that have not asked permission seem to be the ones that twist the story to their own agenda, but I totally get that there is opposition in all things …so why would I expect any different?

Scott’s very first interview was with a local news station KSL Browser 5.0. It was the same day that the local Deseret News ran an article. I thought “Okay it’s staying local…that’s good!” I watched the analytics on my blog go up ad up. I said,

“Myley, this could actually go viral. It’s taken on a life of it’s own, and there is not much we can do about it now. Are you okay with this?” Her answer, “Yea, why wouldn’t I be? I’m fine. It’s dad that should be embarrassed.”

After that the days seem to blend together. The phone ringing became the norm; “Hello this is CNN, The TODAY SHOW, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, INSIDE EDITION, FOX News, FOX AND FRIENDS, FOX 13, HLN Showbiz Tonight, HALLMARK, The HUFFINGTON POST, RACHEL RAY, ELLEN, STEVE HARVEY, not to mention all the radio and TV shows who did not call, but talked about it anyway; The View, Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon the list goes on and on. We tried to accommodate all who called requesting an interview, but because some wanted exclusivity not all requests were able to be met.

On Thursday September 12th, three film crews came to our home to interview Scott and Myley; INSIDE EDITION, GOOD MORNING AMERICA and The TODAY SHOW. GMA also put me under the spotlight to ask a few questions. It was 10:30pm when the last crew left our home. They were aired the following day on Friday the 13th, later that night friends began texting that Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon had shown the picture and talked about Scott sporting his daisy duke shorts to teach a valuable lesson to his daughter in their monologue. Seriously? This whole thing is craZy. Still trying to wrap my brain around it.

What made this funny, out-of-the-box idea, which was meant only to teach a valuable lesson about modesty to our daughter, go viral? I’m guessing initially it was the funny picture of the dad with the nice legs wearing a Best.Dad.Ever t-shirt. THEN it became the story behind the picture, a story of a dad who loves and cares about his daughter enough to make a fool of himself in hopes to teach her the value of modesty in a fun, creative sort of way.

Chelle Golland PhD said on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, “What this father did was an excellent way to get this message across. It was creative, it was funny, it engaged the family, it engaged the teenager.”

Most of the comments and messages received have been very positive. Only a handful of readers have been negative. Several have asked “How does Myley feel about all this?”

On National TV, Myley said “I mostly learned the lesson of how much my dad loves me.”

Myley is at the end of her teen years, she is 19. I’m a mom and most likely when she is my age 50, I will still be her mother who gives her parenting advice as my 82 year old mother still does to me. Myley has completed a year of college and is now working to save money to continue her schooling next fall. She is a lovely young lady with a giant heart who’s goal is to be a social worker to serve and make a difference in this world.

Has she changed her wardrobe? Not drastically. Myley said “It got the point across. Yes!”

We know all the hype about the picture will die down, but the message behind the short-shorts we hope will carry on for years to come.


The moral of this story: Modest IS Hottest!

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The REAL Story Behind The Short-Shorts!

This is the REAL story behind the short-shorts! By Scott Mackintosh.

I did something spontaneous a week ago today. I am shocked how fast things can spread via social media. And even more surprised how fast the story has changed in just ONE week. Within 24 hours of my wife and children posting THIS photo ….we were being told it had gone viral. My kids were using terms an old dad like me is not familiar with, such as; 70,000 notes on tumblr, favorited on twitter, re-tweated, shared etc… Friends were reporting they were seeing it posted on Buzzfeed, Redneck sites and other random sites, most have the story twisted (because of how my daughter worded it on her own tumblr blog). Thus the story ……

This is the REAL story behind the short-shorts!

I know the world has varying degrees of what is modest and what is not when it comes to clothing. In our family we have pretty definite modesty guidelines; No midriffs or low-cut shirts, no short-shorts, short skirts and we even go as far as saying no sleeveless shirts unless playing sports or on the beach. Having raised four daughters and three sons, I’m a bit protective. Some may call me old fashion, but I call it “A Dad who loves his daughters” (and sons too) I know some of you may be rolling your eyes and that’s okay, my daughter does it all the time.

I’m a firm believer that the way we dress sends messages about us, and it influences the way we and others act. (okay okay – I’m the first to admit I look like a redneck and I may say “crick” instead of “creek”) But that’s beside the point. My teenage daughter day after day continues to wear clothing that I, as her father, feel is inappropriate and immodest. Her mother and I feel the same about the importance of dressing modest. With that said, let’s move onto the night of the happening …….

In an effort to try to spend time with just the family we reserve our Monday evenings for just that. On this particular Monday, we decided to go out to eat (something we had not done in a very long time) and made plans for after dinner to use our pass-of-all passes to go miniature golfing at Trafalga, a nearby “fun center”. I heard my wife ask our daughter if she would please change into some longer shorts before leaving. She said “NO!” Instead of turning her response and disrespectful attitude into a major battle, I decided to make a “small” statement on how her short-shorts maybe aren’t as “cute” as she thinks!

I ran into my bedroom as the family was loading into the car. I grabbed some scissors and cut some old worn out pants into a set of short-shorts with the ends of the pockets hanging out the bottom. There was only about an inch of material below the crotch of the shorts. To add frosting to the cake, I looked down and noticed a shirt that my older daughter had given me for Father’s Day. At the time I thought, “Where the heck would I ever wear this?” Wow! I just found the perfect moment! I was a bit worried about going through with this, but felt that it was “OKAY” to make this statement in the privacy of our own home. I was certain that when my daughter saw me, that would be as far as it would have to go to make the point.

As I walked out to the truck I could see my daughter and my son in the back seat with their heads down focused on their phones…needless to say they didn’t even notice. I stood by the open driver’s side door for a minute and even spoke to them, but their faces stayed focused on their phones, they didn’t even glance up. They had no clue of how I was dressed. I then walked about 50 feet in front of the truck to meet my wife as she was walking back from feeding our animals. Why was my wife feeding the animals when our kids that should be doing it? It was her plan to give me time to walk around to let my daughter notice me, and we would THEN both go into the house to change and be on our way.  THAT was what we THOUGHT was going to happen!

My wife said, “What did they think?” I told her that they hadn’t even noticed, but I was certain they had by now. As I returned to the car, it was evident that their faces were still glued to their phones and had no idea of the spectacle that stood before them. Well, I had a decision to make. This little plotted scheme did not get noticed, therefore my thinking that this would end at home, quickly changed to… “I guess we’re taking it to the road now.”

As we were driving and nearly to the Hibachi House restaurant, I heard a camera sound. I looked to see what had just happened at the same time that my wife was being addressed by my children saying; “Why are you taking a picture of Dad?” Immediately my son said “Oh my gosh, look at dad!” My daughter then gave her disgusted look and said, “Why are you dressed like that?” followed by “Oh well, I don’t care.”

As we entered the restaurant we were greeted by many funny looking stares from a slightly small crowd. “Wow, at least it is a small group that I am making a fool of myself in front of” I thought. Then realized we knew two of the people. They laughed and said they couldn’t wait to tell our son-in-law what they had just seen. I gave a quick explanation. They laughed. My son, daughter and wife took a couple of pictures and posted them to social media. We ate dinner and it wasn’t a big deal.

My daughter didn’t seem to care however like I had hoped she would, so the question to myself was, “Do I let it fail or take it to the next level?” Take it to the next level of course!

“OK, let’s go miniature golfing” I said. The family laughed that I might just go through with that we had planned to do before dressing like a spectacle.

As we arrived to the small amusement park, we were met with many stares and pointing fingers as I walked through the lobby and to the miniature golf area. I tried to keep up with my daughter who had expressed that it didn’t bother her, but was not about to let me stay very close to her as we walked through the crowded room. Once we got our clubs and were waiting in line for our turn to start, a couple of girls were “acting” like one was taking a picture of the other when in fact they were lining themselves up for a “Kodak Moment” …of Me! My daughter then being bold said, “If you want a picture of him, just ask, I am sure he won’t mind.” They were embarrassed and continued to act like that wasn’t what they were doing.

Amongst all of the pointing and strange looks, we had a wonderful night of miniature golf and then headed for Artic Circle for milk shakes. As I pulled into a stall, my daughter said, “Uh, no! We are NOT going in!” I said “Sure we are, let’s go!” “No!” She said, “Let’s go through the drive up.” We went in, but she stayed in the car. She had had enough and did not want to go through any further embarrassment.

There was no “Dad I get it” or “Dad you’re the best…. thanks for that awesome lesson.”  I don’t think my object lesson of “modest is hottest” made the statement I had intended, but no matter if social media gets the story mixed up and out of sorts, my daughter will always know that her dad loves her and cares about her enough to make a fool out of himself to make a point.

UPDATE 9/5/13: KSL News picked up the story and interviewed Scott LIVE on Browser 5.0. Click here to watch the news segment.

And HERE to see other places this story has appeared – Going Viral!

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