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New Challenges

It is nice to live in a neighborhood with lots of kids. Every warm day the kids want to run outside and play. The only downside to this is that most of the kids around us are a few years older than ours. Much of the time the neighbor kids are very gracious and kind, including Jacob and Izzy in the things they are doing. But, understandably, there are times when the big kids just want to be left alone. So our newest parenting challenge is learning when to step in, when to bring the kids inside, and figuring out how much about relationships to let them learn on their own. We are also having to talk to them now about checking in with us and letting us know where they are going and what they are going to be doing, and who they are going to be doing it with.

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Categories: Family, Parenting

Just one of those days…

April 5, 2008 1 comment

Today didn’t start very well. Woke up at quarter to seven with my daughter in my face wanting to crawl into bed and bug me. Minutes later the baby’s crying in his crib, coming into our bed and rubbing my back and pulling at my ears for ten minutes. I leave to use the bathroom, hop into my daughter’s now vacated bed and before I even hit the pillow Andrew has the TV blaring in my bedroom. That wakes up my older boy prematurely and he leaves the room to join the TV arguments in my room. Foolishly I thought I might get a quick snooze with everyone gone, but in no time all the kids are yelling and crying and stomping around. Bring the two younger ones downstairs and its whining for food and juice. By 8 all the kids are downstairs moping around because they can’t go outside. Twenty minutes later they are outside, 2 minutes later the daughter and baby are back inside, and outside, and inside, and outside. I’m on the deck and screaming flows through the open windows of the house in between every sentence I try to read. In the last hour I have pitched baseballs, played catch, gone hunting, organized the toys on the deck, taken a wagon away from my daughter, stopped the baby from dumping out sand from the neighbors sandbox, vacuumed the kitchen, washed a load of laundry, disciplined numerous times for attitudinal issues, and somehow drank almost three cups of coffee. Now my wireless network is down!

Can anyone relate?

Categories: Family, Life, Parenting

A Gentle Rebuke in Love

Psalm 141: 5 Let a righteous [woman] strike me—it is a kindness; let [her] rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.

Proverbs 13:1 A wise [husband] hears his [wife’s] instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

This past week Stephanie has been teaching everyday and I’ve been home with the kids. Last night Stephanie let me know it was obvious the kids were getting way too much screen time (TV, computer) and she asked me to cut it back in the future. It was a gentle rebuke and a proper one.

Thanks babe.

Categories: Marriage, Parenting

Happy Birthday Dad

I had Stephanie take this picture of my hands a few weeks ago after I had finished changing out some headlights in our vehicles. The picture is proof that I actually do, on the rare occasion, get my hands filthy dirty. More than that, however, this picture represents a memory central to my time as a child.

My dad is, and always has been, a semi-truck driver. For as long as I can remember he has owned and serviced his own trucks. Growing up we lived on a 5 acre hobby farm that provided the space for a large heated garage where my dad would spend time most days greasing, wrenching, changing oil, and loving on his ‘babies’ that brought in the funds for all my siblings and my exploits. And at the end of all those hard, dirty days, my dad would come into our house and scrub his black hands clean in the laundry room tub.

From time to time I would help him out in the shop, holding something or handing him tools. Some days my time in the shop was stressful, but more often than not it was just good time with Dad, watching him and learning to be a man. And when mom called to tell us dinner was ready it would be my turn to rub Mojo on my hands and do some sink scrubbing myself.

None of my brothers or I took up the tools of my father’s trade; we all choose the sports path instead and ended up fairly inept at fixing much of anything. I sometimes wonder if that bothers my dad. If it does he has never shown it. In fact, my dad has supported and encouraged us no matter what roads we have traveled. I am quite sure that we had more fun and more opportunities as kids than most, and it was because my dad worked hard and gave all he had for us.

Yeah, I had Stephanie take this picture as joking proof that I changed some dumb headlights, but more so, I had her take it because for one brief moment, my hands were my dad’s hands.

I love you dad and I hope that I can give my kids everything that you gave me.

Categories: Men, Parenting

Parents Have No Constitutional Right to Homeschool

I am rarely the type of person to get worked up over government’s repeated attempt to marginalize Christians. However, as a parent of three kids getting to school age, this is a big deal. California courts have ruled that parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their kids. In other words, the government knows what is best for kids, not parents.

Like a bolt from the blue, a California appeals court has ruled that the state’s parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their own children. In a flash, a child welfare case that no one had noticed has become a flash point of controversy in the nation. Will homeschooling be ruled illegal in California?

Here is how The San Francisco Chronicle introduced the story:

Why am I not surprised this comes out of California? You can read more here…

Categories: Faith, Parenting

Protecting Your Kids from Porn

February 2, 2008 1 comment

Ben Arment has an absolutely MUST READ post for parents of young kids. I can resonate with everything written (because I’ve been there myself) and I know that I will be talking with Stephanie and following the parenting idea listed near the end of the post.

Take 1 minute and read it.

Categories: Parenting, Sex

Andrew Whisperer

January 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Friday night Stephanie and I enjoyed watching the show Dog Whisperer. The show is about a man who goes into peoples’ homes and helps them learn how to manage their dogs. Some of the cases we saw were pretty incredible. One of the most amazing transformations was a pit bull who obsessively chased and killed whatever small animals had the poor fortunate of crossing his path. By the end of the show the Dog Whisperer was able to get the pit bull to lay on its side while a rabbit was placed on the dog’s head. Amazing.

Coincidently, Friday night Stephanie and I began the journey of breaking Andrew from his habit of sleeping next to us. Most nights he goes down in his crib and then joins us in our bed at some point during the night when he wakes up. However, when Andrew woke up Friday I decided to try and make him stay in his crib. Forty-five minutes of crying later he was at Stephanie’s side. Then on Saturday Andrew decided he didn’t want to go to bed when Stephanie laid him down at 8:30. Three hours later Andrew and I were laying side by side on the floor in his room. Yes, you read that right – 3 hours! Andrew is as strong willed as his sister Izzy who also had a three hour bout in her crib as a baby.

I wonder if the Dog Whisperer could help us?

Categories: Parenting