Browse Category: Kids Are Hilarious

Caption Friday: Action Shot!

Every once in a while, I’ll do a “Caption Friday” where I beg ask the reader to caption an interesting/funny picture. Hope you enjoy!

Action shot!

This picture was taken in a couple weeks ago of our middle girl, Olivia. We had some old neighbors, who moved away across town, give us an inflatable pool. It’s massive. It’s so big that we were able to use a recently purchased outdoor slide in-tandem and let the kiddos “make their way” into the water. Let’s just say they were fans.

Caption away.

Ready, set, GO!

Caption Friday: Olivia the Gnome

Every once in a while, I’ll do a “Caption Friday” where I beg ask the reader to caption an interesting/funny picture. Hope you enjoy!

Olivia at 19 months.

This picture was taken in December 2010 of our middle girl, Olivia. Jen and I had the foresight to purchase one of the girls’ Christmas gifts the week after Halloween – a box full of random costumes and accessories for a “dress up chest”. Needless to say, I HAD to have the garden gnome costume.

Caption away.

Ready, set, GO!

Jesus or Cheez-Its?

It was a simple three word sentence that had Jen and I bubbling with joy.

“I want Jesus!”

We were eating dinner at the time, finishing up, and all of a sudden our 2 year-old, Olivia, said it a couple times.

We looked at each other with pride. Confirmation! We are doing something right!

Our 2 year-old daughter is calling for her Savior.

In all sincerity, we were honored that, out of the blue, she would be calling for Jesus.

We replied, “Say it again, sweetie!” and “Who do you want?”

Then it hit us.

She had us rolling in laughter.

She wasn’t having a salvation experience but rather calling for the cheesy baked cracker that we all know and love.

You got that right. She was saying, “I want Cheez-Its!”

For the next five minutes, we were dying. We couldn’t stop chuckling. After all, who doesn’t like a Cheez-It?!

Olivia was unintentional in what she said. We took it one way, but she meant it a totally different way.

Sometimes I fool myself into thinking I am wholeheartedly giving God my best. I say one thing, but in my heart it means something else.

“Sure, of course I’ll commit to reading my Bible every day this month!” becomes a chore that falls to the wayside after two weeks.

“I’ll be praying for you!” becomes a one-time thought about a prayer that never actually happens.

“Count me in for helping you move this weekend!” becomes quid pro quo for ‘what can you now do for me?’



My intentions don’t often match up with the greater significance of serving the Kingdom and bringing God glory.

I want to remember that God deserves my best–my “first fruits”. He also wants my heart to match up with what my words are saying.


How can you give God “your best” today?
Cheez-Its or Cheetos?


The Secret Word Game

Today I’ve been given the privilege to guest-post over at Some Wise Guy. Some Wise Guy is a blog on life and leadership for dangerous dads and manly men, and KC has a solid thing going on over over there. Check out his blog, subscribe to it, and follow him on Twitter for endless inspiration.

Today, I’m sharing a little bit about a game that the Valencia girls enjoy playing — Here is an excerpt:

My kids love playing The Secret Word game. This is usually how it goes…

Me: “Hey Sophia, do you want to know the secret word?”

Sophia: “Yes!!”

Full of giddiness and delight, she immediately sprints over to me. I whisper a secret word (usually something funny like “toot”, “bunners”, or “pee-pee”). I then say, “Okay, go tell Mommy the secret word.”

She’ll hop on over to Mommy, quietly whisper the word, and giggle. My wife will chuckle at the silliness of the word. And we’ll all laugh together. Then she’ll repeat the same game with my wife giving her a word and her skipping over to my ear to whisper it to me.

continue reading here.

A Letter to a Young Dustin Valencia

Thanks to some inspiration from new friends Ben and Kevin, I decided to participate in writing a letter to my younger self. In this case, this letter goes out to to my senior year, high school self. Enjoy!

The infamous beans picture.

Dear Dustin,

You are a senior in high school right now, which means two things: you thought Gladiator was the best movie of all time (not a bad thing) and you thought at one point Tom Green was funny (bad thing). To help you decipher what you’re about to experience next in life, here are a few tips that I thought you may find beneficial:

  • For the love of pete, please stop wearing white undershirts underneath every article of clothing. No one thinks its cool.
  • Embrace your inner ska-head. It was something that set you apart.
  • Try not to fall asleep so much in your high school classes. You’ll soon learn about the great beauty of mid-day naps in college.
  • Be more decisive. Form opinions. People pleasing is tiring.
  • Be careful trying to run down your parent’s basement stairs as fast as you can. That is, unless you want to fall on your face and have a right foot the size of a watermelon for a month.
  • Cherish your time at Cornerstone music festival that summer. You’ll make lasting memories and hear lots of good music. Plus, you’ll take a wicked sweet “beans picture”.
  • People (read: family) will make fun of you for spending most weekends at friends houses doing “LAN Parties“. Embrace these times. You’ll make lasting friends and learn a ton about computers (which will make sense later in life).
  • Don’t limit yourself to what others may expect of you. Step out of that box. You are unique and God wants to use you in ways you wouldn’t think possible.
  • Don’t stop playing ultimate frisbee. You’ll look like a tool when your dorm mates in college ask you to play a game and you stink at “tossin’ the B”.
  • Tell your mom and dad thank you (often) for your graduation gift. You’ll wear that guitar out over the next year. It’ll will usher you into experiencing worship in a new and fresh way.

If you had to write out a note to your younger self, what would you include?

Put Some Kid Glasses On!

Stylin' and profilin'.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” (Luke 18:16)

Jesus wanted the disciples to notice that the children saw things through a different lens–a lens without hindrances. He wanted to emphasize the importance of removing anything that impeded wholehearted obedience.

That reminds me that sometimes I need to have the perspective of a child.

I see us running late to an appointment. They see us enjoying the moment.

I see bad directions from the GPS. They see an opportunity to adventure.

I see an afternoon of ‘nothing to do’. They see time spent together as a family.

In what ways do you need to see things differently?

Hello, My Name is……

So many people, so many names...

We have loads of names that we call our children. Straight out of the gates we called them by their given name, then added in a couple nicknames, mixed with a few playful-funny names. Just to add to the choas, there is also the reality that the different “people groups” in their lives, refer to them by different names! C’mon, admit it—you do the same for your children! Be sure to share them below. In the meantime, here’s the rundown on some of the ‘handles’ we’ve verbalized over the years…


  • Sophia: Her given name, we tend to personally call her this most of the time.
  • Soph: Gaining traction as her most-used nickname.
  • Sophie: Natural nickname. A lot of friends and family call her this.
  • Head: No lie, she had a big head when she was born. Just like her daddy! (FYI: Pronounced like Mike Myers’ dad in So I Married An Axe Murderer.)
  • Tofy (toe-fee): Silly one that we used when she was a newborn.
  • Até (ah-tay): Tagalog for ‘sister’. This is what Olivia calls Soph right now.


  • Olivia: Her given name, and one we use for her majority of the time.
  • Ibia (ih-bee-ah): Think this was how Sophia pronounced her name when she was first born, and it stuck!
  • Ibs (like ‘cribs’, without the ‘cr’): A few people call her this. Cute. Not to be confused with I.B.S. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
  • Ebby (eh-bee): Flows easy. We’ve used this one a lot!
  • Chonky (chawn-kee): Kind of an immediate family thing. Not so much now, but she definitely was a chunky baby!

We laugh about some of these names from time to time. The thing is, despite the names that are given to us as children, by our families, friends, teachers, coaches, etc., at the end of the day, they fail to even scratch the surface of who we really are. The truth is, God’s names for us are inconceivably more meaningful, creative, and lasting, than anything we could have ever imagined on our own. He names us: cherished (Ex 19:5), redeemed (1 John 4:10), beloved (Rom 8:38-39), chosen (Eph 1:11-12), protected (Prov 18:10), and righteous (2 Cor 5:21). Regardless of our past or future, our Father will always call us by name (Isaiah 43:1). How cool is that?! The God of the universe personally and thoroughly knows you by name!

Today, God has reminded me of these names… and I’m grateful:

  • Child (John 1:12): God is BIG, yet He chooses to know me intimately.
  • New Creation (2 Cor 5:17): My old nature is gone, I don’t have to dwell on past mistakes.
  • Sealed (Eph 1:13): No matter the circumstance, the bond between myself and God cannot not be broken.

What nicknames do you have for your children? What name does God call you that you need to be reminded about today?

Photo credit: mollybucketx