Tis' The Season

The summer has gone and as the green fades away we usher in the fall season with all of its colors and holiday warmth. The fall season is one of my personal favorites when I look back to when I was a child. Autumn is a wonderful time to be able to spend quality time with our children and create lasting memories that they will be able to cherish and share with their children. There is something special being able to take your children Trick or Treating and Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends. This is a time of the year that tradition and celebration has shaped and molded a lot of our own memories as well as those of our children. From sharing in picking out costumes and candy to football and turkey this for me has been a wonderful time of the year with family and friends. We have the opportunity to create and build lasting family traditions that will be past on to our children's children. How will you choose to take on this responsibility as DAD this holiday season? What traditions will you choose to create and enjoy with your children? What will you teach them this fall and pass on to that which is unseen? Pick out costumes, decorate some faces and take them on a walk to knock on a few doors. Trust me dads the experience and the time spent with your children will be worth more than all the gold in the world.

Shawn J.


New Intern

Hello, my name is Shawn Jennrich. I am your new intern here at The FatherHood Network. I would first like to thank Jamie Otero for all of his work and effort put into this website. My hope is to provide you with as much possible information as I can with as many resources availible to you the seeker and the FatherHood Network. I would like to thank Kyle H. as well as MNTC Rochester for the opportunity to be apart of this board and it's team. I am a supporter of their purpose and believe in the mission and goals of The FatherHood Network.

Shawn Jennrich



Heather F.

Hello RAFN viewers. Today I have Heather with me. She is 23 years old and an Admissions Rep. at a Treatment facility.

So Heather tell us a little about growing up?

"I am the youngest of three.  One brother, and one sister. My parents have been married for almost 30 years. I am from Rochester. I had a good childhood, my mom was the homemaker. She was the one that connected with us. My dad was the fun one, got us involved in sports, he was competitive. I was raised in a Christian family and we were involved in church. There wasn't much arguing between my parents. My dad was the head of the household."

What was  your favorite memory of your dad growing up?

"He had to go on a lot of business trips and would rotate which kid he brought with him. When I was old enough I got to go to Boston, MA with him. It was like the first time that I got alone time with my dad, it was more like a friend basis and got to tour around Boston. I have lots of good memories about the trip. We went boogie boarding in the ocean, and he lost his glasses. He cant see at all with out them. Since I was 15 and had my permit I had to drive us home. Driving in Boston is crazy. We didn't know our way around and he couldn't see. There was a lot of yelling. It ended up taking a LONG time to get home because we got lost a lot."

What are some things that you learned from your dad?

"I would say that my dad has always been my #1 fan and has taught me how to be confident and how to be brave. He has taught me that I have a voice and I am valued. I am very stubborn, and my dad is very stubborn also. He taught me to let things roll off my back and to let things go, because life is short. He has been the person in my life that I can always run to."

What do you think being a father means?

"A father is someone that is there to protect you. Someone that can teach you how special you are in this world. Someone that is going to help you get back on your feet when you fall. Teaches you right from wrong. I think being a father is a really important role in a child's life because you always want to grow up and be like your dad. A father teaches you forgiveness and grace. A father is someone that is going to make mistakes, and going to be vulnerable and apologize to you. As a woman a father is someone that teaches you what characteristics you should look for in a husband."

Well thank you for joining us today Heather. Dale, thank you for raising such a wonderful person. Have a great day.

-Jaime O.



Being a stepdad........

We speak about fathers quite a bit here at RAFN, but many of us have blended families. I have a blended family. Many of us try hard to plan for the future, but things happen. Marriages fall apart, people die. Between "once upon a time" and "happily ever after" is life. I got married on 08/20/2011. I am currently going through a divorce, but have been separated for almost 3 years. My (soon to be) ex-wife Kim, and I share a beautiful, funny little girl named Emma. She is 4 and spends a majority of her time with her mother. Cassi is my girlfriend now, and after the divorce with Kim we plan on getting married. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Jumping right into another marriage. People put a lot of planning into a wedding but no one ever plans for a divorce. Also I have heard that no good marriages end in divorce. My ex and I are pretty civil, but that wasn't always the case. Its been a few years and we have both moved on. Cassi and I have known each other since we were in high school. We went to prom together, and we remained friends after high school. In our early twenties there was always that attraction, but either I would be with someone or she would be dating someone, so the timing was never right. Life happens, she met someone and had twin boys- Mayson & Braydon, age 7. Their biological father passed away while Cassi was pregnant. I told Cassi when we were in our early twenties that if we were 30 and single that we should get married. Well that's exactly what happened. Its funny how if Cassi and I had gotten together back in our early twenties we would not have the children we have now. I would have done something dumb and broken her heart and would have lost her forever. I was a bit out of control back then. SO... I wanted a family and the boys needed a father. We put our broken pieces together and......Viola! Even though they are not my biological children I love those boys. Throw in Emma and forget about it, they are quite a handful. I make it a point to not take the place of their father, but be there when they need me. I taught them how to fix their hair and how they should respect girls and women. There is not one ounce of handy-man in me but when Cassi needs me to put together a bed frame or a dresser I show the boys as best I can how to put things together. They may not always stay together though. I don't introduce them as my step-sons. They are simply, my sons. Just as Emma is my daughter. Life is like water, you try to take control of it and squeeze it in your hands and it will slip away. I have learned that I have very little control over what happens in life. I try and guide it the way I would HOPE it would go.


Jaime O.

To see me and my kids visit our Real Life with Real Fathers page. Scroll down and find Jaime O. from Apple Valley.    

Chris T.

Greetings everyone,

I hope all is well. When I see tension and turmoil in the world I like to look at the positive. What better way to get our minds off of today than to look at the future, and I know we have all heard that children are our future. I don't think that many of us give children enough credit, they are a lot smarter than we think. Many kids today are light years ahead of how we were as children. When I was a child all I needed were a couple of friends and a wooded area where we could (very poorly) build a fort. There was no such thing as cyber-bullying, and no one had cell phones. Your mom knew all your friends by name, unlike today when it seems that many young people have hundreds of "friends" online.

Today I sat down with Chris T. from Rochester. Chris has two teenage daughters. We asked them a few questions about their father. For privacy I wont use their real names so lets call them Lora and Olive.

What is your favorite memory of your father?

Lora: "When we would drive to Beaver Lake in Arkansas and spend the day swimming and fishing."

Olive: "When we went to the Daddy/Daughter dance together."

What have you learned from your father?

Lora: "To not do drugs and to always have a positive attitude."

Olive: "To always be honest and to always face my problems. How to fish, drive a boat, how to grill, take a fish off the hook, and so much more."

Describe your father in a sentence or two.

Lora: "My dad can make any situation fun. He always looks at the bright side of things."

Olive: "Caring, hardworking, funny, smart..... for the most part, and a dad."

Is there anything you ladies might want to add?

Olive: "I love my dad very much."

Well thank you all for joining me and answering a few questions. Chris you have raised two amazing young ladies. We may not always think the world makes sense, but it really warms my heart to know that family is one value we will never lose. Signing off, this is Jaime Otero.

Spencer Z.

Good day everyone,

I hope that many of you are enjoying a snow day, either home from school or took the day off from work to be with your loved ones! Today I have a very pleasant young man named Spencer with me. He's 20 and from the Medford, MN area but now currently resides in Rochester. He doesn't have any children, but from what I hear he has a wonderful father.

Tell us about growing up, what's your dad like?

"When I was a little kid my dad would come home from work, he's a math teacher. My mom would have dinner prepared for us three, my dad would talk with us about how his day went. He would be there for me as somebody who I could play with or answer questions about things a young man might wonder. Before I would go to bed my dad would sit by me and read me stories out of the bible and we would talk about it for a while before we would pray and he would tuck me into bed. This is how my life was growing up."

How comfortable are you with asking your dad questions about any of your concerns?

"Anytime I need to talk to my dad he is always available to me and willing to answer any questions I have about anything. If he is busy, he answers what he can and takes time later in the day to finish talking with me."

Spencer, in one sentence how would you describe your dad?

"My father is the most positive role model I have, I can talk to him about anything, he is always there for me to fall back on in my times of need."

Well once again thank you Spencer, and thank you to Keith for raising such a wonderfully bearded young man. Keep on rocking Mr. Z.

Joseph A.

Hello HOPE readers!

Today I asked a friend of mine to share his experience with the loss of his father and being a father himself. Joseph A. is 28 and from Austin, MN

Okay Joe, How did losing your father effect your childhood?

"My father passed away when I was 4, the day before my 5th birthday. He passed away from brain cancer. I didn't have a father growing up and I watched everyone else have their father at their sport events and it hurt me. The only father figures I ever really had were my moms boyfriends and they were abusive. They were abusive to both my mother and I."

You have three young sons yourself, what would you want them to know about their grandfather?

"That he was very loving, he loved me so he would have loved them. He would be very proud to be a grandpa."

How are you bettering yourself for your sons?

"By completing a year long Christ centered drug treatment program, so they see a godly figure in their life and staying sober so they can have a good role model."

Thank you Joe and Randy may you rest in peace.

Kyle S.

Today my guest is Kyle S. Thanks for joining us Kyle, lets begin.

Losing your father at such a young age, can you describe how this effected you growing up?

"My daddy was a financial provider, and rock of our family. You know, I always wondered what it would be like to know what it meant to be a man. To have some to help me learn and grow through different stages of my childhood. I felt abandoned and neglected since my mother was an addict, and I never had any male role models to pick me up when I fell down. So I constantly looked for attention through drugs and alcohol, and wanted to be accepted so bad that I got involved in gang activity. Love was something that was never given to me, so I felt cut off from the world and people in it. I isolated in a fantasy state of mind, to be able to cope with life. Eventually my thoughts and beliefs led me to incarceration, because I always chased a fatherly pride that I never had. It wasn't until God came into my life that I felt like I finally had a father and that my earthly father was in a better place. I miss him daily, and know now that what I am doing will help me prepare to have a family and be the father I never had."

Since you're not a father yet, how big would you want your family to be?

"I would like my family to be as big of a family as it could be, that I am still able to provide for their every need by not neglecting my wife and kids. I want to be able to take them step by step in the process of manhood, and show them by action what it means to be a father"

What if you have a little girl, what advice about boys would you tell her?

"I'd advise her to wait and choose carefully and to guard her heart. To have the freedom she wants to choose her relationships with full knowledge and wisdom of the choices she is making"

Well thank you very much Kyle, Dennis may you rest in peace. I think your father would be very proud of you Kyle.  

Tony P.

Hello everyone,

Thank you for all the visits and traffic we have been having to RAFN. Today I am sitting down with Tony P.

What was it like being raised by a single mom?

"It was difficult for all of us. Definitely for my mom because she had to raise a set of triplets all by herself. My mom worked all the time or she was visiting my brother who was in a mental institution. I felt neglected by both my parents."

Tony now that you have a little girl, what do you want to do differently?

"I want to be there for my daughter, I'm not going to let anyone stop me. I will do all I can to see my daughter. Fortunately since my daughter has been born I have been sober. She has never had to witness my immaturity and addiction. I have never met my child. The mother of my child doesn't want anything to do with me despite me getting help for my addiction. She doesn't care about the help I get or not. One of the worst things that I have ever gone through, But I trust in God and know that I will be in her life."



01/09/17- Happy New Year!


Jimmy B. is my guest today.

How did losing your father at a young age, affect your development?

"Well I had no male influence to show me how to become a mature man. I had no discipline or guidance in any aspect of my life after my dad passed. I lost my sense of identity and ended up in a state of depression, which led me to a life of addiction because I did not learn how to cope with life issues."

What was your relationship with your father while he was still here?

"My dad had full custody of me. He was very involved in my school activities, and got me involved in sports, fishing and hunting. Over all it was very good and loving relationship. He did show me affection all the time, he would tell me he loved me and cared about me. He pretty much taught me about gun safety and I shot my first goose at the age of 11, he taught me how to ski, I was out in Colorado skiing Black Diamonds at the age of 11. He taught me almost everything I know about fishing. He also showed me what it was like to be a godly man and he had faith in our savior Jesus Christ and it planted seed in my life at an early age which now looking back I see now that those seeds are finally beginning to produce good fruit from that."

"I never seen my dad disrespect women, in that he was going through a divorce when he died, I never really witnessed any physical abuse or anything like that."