Monday, December 9, 2013
I got a little bit of a teaser tonight though as I was able to watch the girls teams play. I hadn't been able to watch my daughter's first game last week so I made sure that I went tonight. Her team played pretty well and won by a sizable margin. I love watching my daughter play. I will actually get to see a lot more of her games this year then the past couple of years now that she is in high school.
I hope to do a better job of posting on a regular basis going forward. Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I leave you with a quote from the late Nelson Mandela.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Now anyone that knows me really well knows that I am not a big holiday person. I tend to be a little "bah humbug" no matter what the holiday is. The reason for this is that holidays have just become commercialized days that bring big profits to retailers. Family takes on less and less significance as retailers open earlier each year, to the point now that it seems more are opening on Thanksgiving night than are waiting till Friday morning. I prefer to stay home and do nothing on holidays. On Thanksgiving, I want to sit in front of my tv and watch the Lions (always hoping for a win, but usually disappointed) and eat a bunch of food with my family. Those are the only two things that really matter to me. I don't think Thanksgiving is really that different from any other day. I don't know about you but I am thankful everyday. A day doesn't go by that I am not thankful for something. I don't need to wait till November and then post each day something I am thankful for, and there is nothing wrong with that. Those of you who have done that and are doing that, good for you, I enjoy reading them, but it isn't for me. I want to be sure that I am thankful everyday. I am thankful for the ability to get out of my bed, no matter how painful it is. I am thankful for my wife, who as much as I am a sarcastic jerk to her some days, I could not live without. I am thankful for my kids, who make my life something new everyday. I am thankful for my entire family, without whom I would not be the man I am. I am thankful for my vehicles, my home, my clothes, and my possessions. Most of these things I could survive without if necessary, but they make life a lot easier than if I didn't have them. I am thankful that I live in the United States of America, the freedoms that we have should never be taken for granted. I am thankful for a lot of other things too, but most of all I am thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that he made for me.
We should be thankful everyday. I try to remember to thank the Lord everyday for his blessings, but sometimes I forget, which reminds me I am thankful that God is a forgiving god. What I fail to do is thank those people around me as much as I should, especially my wife and kids. I need to do a better job of showing and telling them my gratitude each day. So I want to challenge all of my readers to be more conscientious over this next year to show and tell your gratitude to others each and everyday. It doesn't have to be anymore than just saying thank you more often. It really isn't anything difficult. Let's not wait till next November to be thankful.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Today, we laid her to rest. The service was wonderful. I was honored to have had a small part in the service. That meant a lot to me. So thank you to all of Catherine's family for that. Thank you also to the family for sharing Catherine with us these past 19 years. She was an amazing example of faith and love. I only wish I could have had more time with her. But it isn't good-bye, for we know that one day all of us that believe and follow Christ will be reunited. So until then Grandma Catherine, see you later. We love you.
The reading that I read at the mass was from Job 19, I wanted to share that with all of my readers tonight. Now this isn't the exact translation that I read, because I don't know what translation that was but the meaning is all the same. The are 2 verses that I really like, verse 25 and 27.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
Then this evening, Nicole, the kids, and I went to a birthday party for Shaun-Thomas and Leo, two of our former foster children. These boys have a real special place in our heart. I believe I mentioned them in my blog last night but too bad you are gonna hear about them again. We had the pleasure of having them live with us for somewhere around 15 months I believe. We always treated them like they were our own flesh and blood, just like all of our foster/adopted kids. But it was really tough to have them leave us. Fortunately, they have a great mom and she has allowed us to remain a part of their lives. We love her and her family and their willingness to include us in the lives of the boys. Their birthdays are 1 day apart and so the family throws a big party for them each year and tonight was the night. When we walked in their faces were beaming, not sure if it was us or just the excitement of the party, but I am going to go with us. Regardless, the hugs I got from those boys tonight were special. They are growing up so fast and are doing so well. I can't wait till December 21st when I get to see them again. Their mom is so awesome that she lets us bring the boys to our house for a couple of days for our family Christmas celebrations. The boys love coming and we love having them. So tonight, Stephanie, I don't know if you read my blog's or not but I want you to know how much Nicole and I appreciate you letting us be a part of Shaun's and Leo's lives. We love all of you! Thank you.
Now these were just a couple of incidents of hugs today, I had more, but I could go on all night. Hugs are a gift from God. Hugs can do so many different things, from comforting and supporting, to loving and encouraging and everything in between. I love hugs from my students, my friends, my loved ones, but most of all I love them from my kids. And I don't care what any of you think or say, my kids give the best hugs!
Thursday, November 14, 2013
On another note, we often go through life doing things that we love and a lot of the time we don't know if we are having an impact or not. So when we get some validation that our hard work is paying dividends it really is rewarding. One of the things that I have always loved about coaching and now teaching, is hearing players or parents say that I have had a positive influence on them or their child. It makes the long hours and hard work and sacrifices that I and my family have made worth it. That may sound a little selfish or egotistical but I think we all like to get that "stamp of approval" from others. I had one such incident tonight. It actually caught me off guard a little. I ran into a parent of one of my students and struck up a conversation with them. As we were talking about how their child was doing in school and how much I enjoyed having her in class the mother of my student says "she loves having you for a teacher." She went on to say that her daughter, in past years hasn't always been excited about going to school but this year she wants to go to school. I have to admit, it made my day. Today was a bit of a rough day at school. A few of my students just didn't want to follow directions and work together in groups and were really making the day a not so pleasant one. We plugged away and got through the day, but it was exhausting. Then, in the parking lot of a gas station, in a small moment of time, my day was redeemed by one mother's story of her child's desire to come to school every day. What a rush that story gave me. It makes me almost wish we had school tomorrow. But, I will take the day off.
I am excited for my day off tomorrow, though I am going to be pretty busy. My day will probably start in my classroom (I can get a lot of work done in an hour or two when I don't have any kids) before heading to Pinckney for a Turkey Bowl wrap-up meeting. I will get a "small dose" of my friends and then I will head back to Lansing/Okemos area to do some shopping for a couple of cool little buds of mine. Then on to their birthday party. Leo and Shaun are two special kids. They were foster kids of ours for almost a year and a half. Their mom has been great about keeping us involved in their lives since they went back home and I am forever grateful to her for it. It is awesome to see how those two boys have grown and matured since they lived with us. It is a true success story of foster care.
So, despite the fact that I feel like crap tonight with this head cold, I am feeling extremely blessed. I have a great job in a good school, with an awesome group of coworkers, and 19 wonderful students. I have an amazing family and the best extended family through all of the foster care connections we have made. I am loving life and it's only 4 days till basketball season! God is good!!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
And, closer to home, high school girls basketball started yesterday and Monday boys season starts. I can't wait for practice to start. I love coaching and I am ready to go. It's going to be a good year!
Monday, November 11, 2013
To all the veterans I want to extend my deepest, heartfelt gratitude to you for the sacrifice's that you have made so that I can continue to live free. I can never express with words how much your sacrifice means to me.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Thank you St. Louis Sports Boosters!
Friday, November 8, 2013
These questions seem to be coming up a bit lately. Some days, I admit, I feel overwhelmed. I get home from school and realize, there is work to be done in the house, in the yard, in the garage, and so on. Then there is the assignment(s) due for my masters class, is there a meeting or class I need to go to, what are the kids doing, do they need to be somewhere...... It just keeps going. Life has a way of bogging us down before we realize what is happening. But where do you cut back, what is gonna give? That is the tough question. Many people ask my wife and I how we do all the things we do. It all comes down to one word:
My wife is the organizational guru in our family. She keeps us all in line as to where we need to go, what needs to be done, and all that stuff rich guys pay personal assistants to do for them. My wife is way underpaid, because I am not one of those rich guys. And I definitely don't make it easy for her. But she still makes things work. I wonder if she thinks I just throw stuff at her to see if she can handle it. That is not the way it is, I just tend to forget what I have told her and what I haven't. (I am getting better though.)
I love my wife and I really don't think I could survive without her. We joke about that a lot but it is weeks like this week that make me realize it is a fact. Heaven forbid anything were to happen to her, my kids and I would probably be in a world of hurt. So honey, if you're reading this, and I am sure you are, I love you and thank you for keeping me in line and headed to where I need to be going.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Today I read, with great joy, that some friends of mine had their adoption finalized. It takes me back to when Nicole and I stood before Judge Arnold in Ithaca and Aggie and Gwen became official, legal members of our family. What a joyful and exciting day. I can imagine how Lori and Jean feel today as they reached that finality in the adoption process. I love the definition of finality that I found when I was checking the spelling. The definition on Google was "the fact or impression of being an irreversible ending." Irreversible, they are officially family. Though they were family from the minute they came into our homes, there is an overwhelming joy that comes over an adoptive parent when it comes to that irreversible ending. I know, I cried a lot that day in the courtroom. I celebrate with you tonight Lori and Jean, congratulations.
There is another feeling that is weighing on me tonight though. It is for the families that are waiting for their adoptions to be finalized. We are there ourselves. We kind of know the timeline for ours, as others do, and that makes it easier. But there are others who have no idea when finality will be reached. For some, they wait, not even knowing when they will see their kids. Government red tape, regulations, and bureaucracy stand in the way. Even though all of these things are preventing the joyous occasion they wait patiently, trusting that God is in control and His plan is unfolding in His time. I pray for them and their children.
Adoption is a wonderful experience and I encourage everyone who knows someone going through adoption or that has recently adopted, lift them up in prayer. Encourage them when you see them, it isn't always easy. And probably most importantly, welcome the newest family members the way you would a biological member of the family, because as far as the adoptive parent is concerned, they are biological.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
"Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation." - Graham GreeneI found this quote and thought it was fitting for this past month or so. That said, I am going to sit tonight out. I am exhausted, and I hear my bed calling my name.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Beaner and Louie are my youngest sisters. When we were younger I gave all 4 of my sisters nicknames. They may not really like them but they are stuck with them, at least for as long as I can remember what they are, Beaner and Louie are twins and I don't get to see much of them together. Beaner, better known as Anna Lee, lives in Illinois and doesn't get home too often. Louie, aka Lois, lives a lot closer, (about 15-20 minutes away) and I see her quite often. Well Anna's work involves a lot of traveling throughout the country and it just so happened that she had to come to Michigan for work this week. So tonight, the two of them, Lois's kids, and my parents all came over for dinner. In the great Koutz tradition it was pizza and chips for dinner. Then a challenging game of Apples to Apples. Challenging due to little ones interrupting, wanting to play, and just making it difficult to hear each other. But that is pretty much the norm when we get together. I love having my family over. It is always a good time. We joke, and kid, and harass each other about anything and everything, but above all there is just an abundance of love when we are all together. I am so blessed to have a great family. So I would never be forgiven if I didn't mention the missing members Festus and Zit. For those of you who don't know, that would be Sarah and Elizabeth. We missed you tonight but look forward to Christmas when we will all be together.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Today was Turkey Bowl 2013! For those of you who don't know the Turkey Bowl is a charity flag football tournament in Pinckney. They raise money and collect canned good to donate meals to needy families. I have helped with this tournament for 3 years. The first year I officiated, last year I did a lot of different things (I was coming off knee surgery and couldn't officiate), and this year I was the football coordinator. I am not sure why they asked me to do it but they did. I must have had sucker written across my head or something. So I had a lot of pressure this year to handle this since I live almost 2 hours from Pinckney and couldn't be at meetings or look at things in person. There were a lot of phone and email conversations the past couple of months and one meeting at a kids playscape place call the Treehouse before this week to try and get things organized and planned. Things were going good until we got the forecast for the week. Rain, rain and more rain was predicted. So, now we needed a plan B. Thanks to the athletic director at Pinckney High School, which won their first ever playoff came last night (Congratulations Pirates!), we were able to use their fabulous stadium and practice field instead of the soccer fields we have usually used. The rain was annoying all day but not terrible. It was cold and windy for the majority of the day too. In spite of the rain, cold, and wind the tournament went great. I think everyone had fun and there were only minor issues throughout the day and only minor injuries. The amazing thing today though was the 65 year old man playing with a bunch of guys that were basically his grand kids ages. He was their QB and he was actually really good. His team ended up finishing second in the adult male division. I give that man props for what he was doing today. He was unbelievable. We had a good turnout and I am very pleased with how things went. I do want to give a shout out to the two ladies who have got me involved in this, Melissa Bolen and Tricia Richardson. These two ladies have done so much with the Turkey Bowl and putting it on every year. They are a great team to work with. Tricia is the head honcho basically. She just does an amazing job running this event!! Thank you Tricia for letting me heave a part in this great event. And then there is Melissa. She is probably my best friend that I am not married to. We have known each other since high school, when we met at a summer camp program at Kentucky Christian College. We discovered we were both from Michigan and became friends and stayed in touch for all of these years. It was her idea for me to come down 2 years ago and help officiate the games. Little did I know that I would be getting roped into a yearly thing when I said okay. Of course, I don't think she did either. I love it though. I look forward now to coming down for the weekend and camping out on Melissa and her husband Ralph's couch, hanging out with them and their 2 sweet girls, and working the Turkey Bowl with a great team of volunteers. So Tricia and Melissa, props to you for your dedication to this awesome event and thank you for your letting me be a part of it and finally I would prefer larger doses, these small ones are just not enough! (inside joke)
Friday, November 1, 2013
"Happy birthday to my favorite son. So proud of who you've become. Just wish it hadn't taken you 40 years to get there."
GO BLUE !!
Thursday, October 31, 2013
This has been a challenge some days and other days it has been easy. Regardless, this challenge has been worth it. I have learned some things about myself. It has been therapeutic, and relaxing at times. The blogging has brought back some memories and created some new ones. As I sit hear tonight, on the eve of my 40th birthday, I reflect back over the past month and the stories, thoughts, reflections, and other things that I have shared with anyone wanting to spend a few moments reading them. This month, though extremely busy has given me a new look on things. The medium of blogging is really an interesting avenue to speak to others. I really don't have much of an idea of who is reading what I am writing. Some people have encouraged me with their compliments and "likes" and I thank you for those. I have a few people who have even messaged me when it has gotten late and they haven't seen the blog yet. It is kind of a thrill to know that other people are wanting to know what I have to say. I really don't think that I have anything all that important to share, but I am willing to share it. And that is the important thing. Willingness. I want to challenge anyone reading this blog to give blogging a try. Maybe you start by just writing and not publishing it to the web or maybe you just dive in and go for it. Whatever your comfortable with but I want you to try it. Do it once a week or maybe even once a month. I was asked this week whether I was going to continue after tonight's post or if I was going to stop once I met the challenge. I don't know if I will blog every night going forward but I know that I will continue to blog. I don't want to stop. It has become a new outlet for me. I will share a little secret with you. What I publish is not always what I originally write. I find it helps to vent in my writing then delete it and write about something else. It helps me to cool down, so to speak.
So I have completed the challenge successfully, so now I need a new goal. I haven't decided on one as of yet, but I have some ideas in the works. I will just have to think them over a bit before deciding. I have a little trip in the plans this weekend so I will have time to think while driving.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
So the goal is really close, so close I can taste it, wait that is just the donuts and cider all of us 2nd grade peeps at CK are going to be indulging in tomorrow morning. I love my fellow 2nd grade teachers. They have this brilliant tradition, not sure how old it is, to have donuts and cider for our treat on Halloween instead of having a bunch of parents volunteer to bring in a bunch of different things. It makes it really easy and stress free. Parents don't have to scramble to worry about a treat when they are trying to get costumes squared away and making sure lunches are packed, backpacks are set, and all those other things parents with 2nd graders worry about. Plus, I love donuts!! Anyway, today and tomorrow and I will have met my goal. A little preview of tomorrow's blog: it will be a reflection on the month.
Today, I want to send a big shout out to all of the parents of my students who came to parent teacher conferences this week. 17 of the 19 students had a parent or parents attend. I even had a grandma come with a mom. All of my conferences were positive and productive. I am blessed to have some really good parents in my class. Like my previous post about the role of parents talked about, the role they play is so important and I feel really good about what we can accomplish together for their children this year.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
Today there was no school for the kids so they stayed at home and gutted the pumpkins they got from Grandpa Joe. They are now all set for carving. Now we just have to try and squeeze that in sometime before Thursday. Might be a late night or two this week. We might have been able to fit it in today except that I had parent-teacher conferences and then had to turn in all the football gear afterwards.
Speaking of parent-teacher conferences my wife went to Aggie's and Logan's and got overall good reports for both. I was glad to hear that. Will find out about Gwen tomorrow or Wednesday. And Nicole hopes to make it to the high school to check on Taylor's grades. I am proud of all my kids and how well they are doing.
My parent-teacher conferences went really well. All those scheduled showed up and the conversations were very positive and productive. It is awesome to see parents take an active interest in the child's education. Which brings me to the subject of tonight's blog, a parent's role in education.
Now I don't profess to be an expert in any way, shape, or form. I am a 2nd year teacher, the son of an educator, and a parent. I don't proclaim to have all the answers and I know that I have a lot to learn about being a great teacher. So what am I saying? I am saying that I care deeply about all of the students in my classroom and because of that I want to talk a bit about the role of the parent in their child's education.
Parents are the key to any successful educational partnership, and that is what it should be, a partnership. A partnership between the teacher, the school, the student, and the parent. All of these players have a role and when one of them isn't fulfilling that role the outcomes won't be as good as they should be. I think parents play the most important role in the partnership though. The parent needs to be encouraging, supportive, firm, stubborn, and loving (among other things) all at the same time. The parent needs to encourage their child to be the best they can be, to try hard, to go to school, to do their work, and so on. The parent needs to support their child whether the grades are good or not so good, in the good times, and the bad, when the child is right and even when the child is wrong. Children need to know that their parents are going to be there for them. Support can be allowing the child to endure the consequences of their actions but being there on the other side. Parents need to be firm and stubborn when the child doesn't want to study or do their homework, or doesn't want to go to school. The parent needs to above all else love their child. Students are going to have times of struggle, times of frustration, that is when they need love the most. When they are hurting they need that hug to let them know it's going to be okay.
I am blessed with some really great parents in my classroom this year. Their desire for what is best for their child rang loud and clear today. I want to thank all of my parents for all that they do for their kids, and especially for allowing me to be a part of their lives and their educational journey. Thank you!
Sunday, October 27, 2013
So then today, to make me feel worse, I discovered that I have ruined a planned surprise party my wife was planning. Evidently she had forgotten that I am headed out of town this coming weekend for a flag football tournament. This has become a yearly trip for me on the first weekend in November but she was thinking that it was the following weekend not this weekend. I feel bad about it, not about the party, because I think I have told her several times in the past I didn't plan to do anything for my 40th, but because I know how she works at planning things and she probably has spent quite a bit of time working on this. So I am sorry sweetheart. Maybe you can save your ideas for when I turn 50.
So there won't be any big doings for my 40th, just a nice breakfast or lunch with the wife and kids before I head out of town and some last minute helping with prepping for Saturdays Turkey Bowl. And that is all fine with me, it is really just another day.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
I want to focus the rest of my blog tonight on some good men in my community. I have had the privilege of learning from some of these guys over the last 3 years and tonight I watched as they led their boys in their final game of their season. Three years ago when I started helping coach Logan's football team I didn't know a whole lot about coaching/teaching football. These guys have started to build a program that encompasses all of the levels of play in the community, from flag on up to varsity. And even though the record was not really a great one, I see a lot of growth and a lot of positive things happening in the St. Louis football program. Aaron, Mike, Phil, Ed, Donnie, and the rest of the coaching staff, thank you for what you have done, are doing, and are going to continue to do for the football program here in St. Louis. Great job this year and I know that we are only going to continue to get better as we move forward.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
One of the things that I look forward to each year (this is actually only the 3rd year) is the first weekend in November. See on that weekend I go to my best friend's house in Pinckney to help her and a group of people put on a charity flag football tournament. It started with me officiating games the first year I helped but then last year I had to change roles due to having had knee surgery last July. Then this year they put me in charge of the football side of things. So tonight I was putting the finishing touches (I think) on the brackets and schedules. It is looking like next Saturday is going to be a good day. We have approximately 25 teams that will be participating in 3 separate divisions (Adult Men, Adult Coed, and High School) throughout the day. The money raised goes to provide Thanksgiving meals to needy families in the Pinckney community. It is a lot of fun and the bonus is I get to hang out with my friend and her family.
Update on the phone situation:
I received the Galaxy S4 that I agreed to today and my wonderful wife took it to MP to get it set up and my contacts and stuff transferred over. I am happy that I now have the phone that I was told I would get originally but I am disappointed in the phone. It is not the G. I am sure I will be fine with it after I use it awhile but I don't like it nearly as well as I did the G when I first got it. I hope that I learn to like it but we will have to wait and see.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
So back to the title of tonight's blog, here is a video of Rich's song "Pictures in the Sky"
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
So the Tigers blow another game and therefore their season. A season full of inconsistencies. Some people will blame the manager, some the star players that didn't perform to their potential or the price of their salary, but you can't put the blame in anyone specific place. It was a lot of things that compounded themselves and everything finally just caught up to them.
It goes back to the last off-season when not enough was done to shore up the back end of the bullpen. Too much hope was put in Rondon being the man, which didn't pan out. There was never a plan B and that was a mistake. That one mistake was the beginning. All season long there were issues with the bullpen. Moving Benoit in to the closer's role did help to calm things but now there was no solid 8th inning guy.
Leyland's managing cost us some games throughout the season. I have always thought that he is a decent manager, I don't really like him, but he is a proven winner. I think though that his weakness is his handling of a pitching staff. He is terrible at it. So he is really dependent on having a good pitching coach and we really don't have a good pitching coach. Which leads me to the hitting coaches. Our hitting has been up and down all year. You expect there to be slumps and hot streaks but I think there was more than the normal this year. The lineup that the Tigers has should be able to withstand those downs but there were too many games where there was simply no offensive production whatsoever.
So what I think needs to happen is to overhaul the coaching staff completely. I would be glad to see a whole new staff by the start of spring training. The next thing that has to be addressed is the bullpen. The closer role has to be decided and then figure out the set up man. After those two positions are set you can fill in the missing pieces with guys that are going to throw strikes. Too many times this year a guy comes in to the game and walks the first batter they faced. A relief pitcher has to throw strikes, plain and simple.
Finally, they need to figure out left field and the lead off spot. Do they go after a left fielder or go with what they have. I think they could stand pat with the position players they have now and save the money to go after the bull pen needs and resigning any position players they need to keep. I am just going to throw out there what I would like to see for next years opening day line-up.
1. Iglesias - SS This kid is going to be special. The only thing he lacks is power and that may come.
2. Hunter - RF The perfect #2 hitter
3. Cabrera - 3B If he gets healthy this off season he is a threat for another MVP season
4. Martinez - DH This guy just hits, he had a slow start after a year off but he showed his true colors in the end
5. Fielder - 1B He has had a rough year on and off the field but he will be back to himself next year
6. Peralta - LF He needs to go play some winter ball and work on his outfield defense but he could be a good serviceable OF and his bat is a proven commodity.
7. Avila or Pena - C I like both of these guys, the key is which one is going to hit, this may be a spot where you play the match ups or it depends on who is pitching.
8. Infante - 2B The DP combo of I & I is going to remind everyone of Trammell and Whitaker
9. Jackson - CF I like having a 2nd leadoff hitter in the 9 hole. He showed this postseason he does better with less pressure, he could become the best #9 hitter in the league.
The next season has really begun already for the Tigers. Dombrowski has his work cut out for him but he has done a good job for the most part in his time in Detroit and I don't expect anything less this year. I just hope he starts with the coaching staff. We will have to wait and see.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Now I joke about the single dad bit, it really isn't that bad. We do things that mom wouldn't let us do and we watch movies that mom doesn't like very well and won't watch with us when she is home, and basically just pretend mom doesn't exist for the weekend. It can be a lot of fun. Of course that means Sunday we have to scramble to get the house back together and picked up a bit before she gets home so we don't get in too much trouble. Might be interesting this weekend though. This is Taylor's first trip for a whole weekend and I typically get a lot of help from her when mom is gone so hopefully we survive. Pray for my kids they might need it.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
"Our children are not ours because they share our genes, or because a piece of paper says they are. They are ours because they are a part of our soul. It was not an accident that they came into our lives. It was God's design that led them home. It was Him who placed them in our soul even before they were born."
I have really been thinking about this a lot lately, with our impending adoption, and my two brother-in-laws and their families impending adoptions. These words describe exactly how I feel about my kids. I don't think of any of my kids any differently based on how they came to be my children. God brought them to me in His way, in His time. I love them all the same, they are my children. My wife and I have been called to be foster parents and we have loved the experience. We have had a lot of ups and downs but the experiences have been very rewarding. We have fostered 14 children since 2007, adopting 2 of those 14 so far, and if all things continue as they should we will be adopting the 2 we have now. This has led to many questions about whether we are done with foster care if the adoption does go through. Though we have never specifically sat down and discussed it to the point of saying yes or no I think in our minds we have. We have said it many times that yes we are done. Our license is good till August of 2014, so we basically have until then to change our mind. I am sure that we will ultimately have that discussion and decide if it is over or not. Personally, because I don't want to speak for Nicole, at this point I am done. We have been blessed with 14 of God's creations spending time in our home, and 4 of those will be with us forever. The other 10 will also be a part of our lives forever. Though we didn't have the best of relationships with some of them we still love them. They all have a special place in our hearts. But I am tired. I am tired of the system and it's hypocrisy. Our system is broke and it needs fixed. This has weighed on my mind for some time now. So I believe that it is time for us to be done with foster care, at least for some time, and just be a family with our 6 beautiful children. I think this will be a welcomed change for all of us.
Speaking of children, my oldest just asked me what I was doing and when I told her she asked why. I told her I am telling my story. I asked her if she had read them. I know she sees them through my Facebook posts. She said no, they are too long. So I told her I was going to have to start writing more about her in my blog posts since she wasn't going to be reading them. So I am going to start by telling all of my readers that she is a pretty good daughter. She does a lot to help out around the house and with the younger kids. I am very proud of the young woman that she is becoming. But, if she is reading this, Taylor, this is a warning, I can and will post things about you if I want. Including, but not limited to moments I am proud of you, mad at you, disappointed in you, happy with you, and especially moments that embarrass you. Love you Munch.
Friday, October 11, 2013
So tonight the kids begged me to have a movie night. Since I really didn't have anywhere I had to be I agreed. We ended up getting Parental Guidance off the On Demand of our cable company. (It was free = Bonus) So while watching it we decided for a little information to have some ice cream. After returning to watching the movie M began to get a bit sleepy so I got him ready for bed and told him to grab his blanket and lay down on the couch with me. Within minutes he was sawing logs and putting my arm to sleep. That is when it happened. It was about the point where you really can't feel your arm because the circulation has been cut off but you still feel it. All of a sudden my arm started to feel wet. Sure enough M was drooling like Pavlov's dog listening to a recording of a bell that is stuck on repeat. Even though it is gross, drool from my little boy is pretty cool. Anyone that has ever heard me tell the stories of how hard it is to get M to go to bed at night will understand this. I love it when he falls asleep in my arms or on my lap. See our case worker has expressed some concern that the kids haven't bonded with us. Nothing could be further from the truth. The bond that M and I have is awesome. I love his hugs and cuddles and tonight watching the movie with him and him falling asleep in my arms was amazing. It reminded me of when Logan was younger and would fall asleep watching ballgames with me. Being a dad is truly one of the greatest things in life!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Our children are not ours because they share our genes, or because a piece of paper says they are. They are ours because they are a part of our soul. It was not an accident that they came into our lives. It was God's design that led them home. It was Him who placed them in our soul even before they were born.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
This trip to the woods is a lot of fun and the kids learn a lot, but one thing that I really like about it, is it reminds me of the nature trails that I used to run around in as a kid back in Vestaburg. As kids a bunch of us used to meet up in the nature trails and do all sorts of stuff. Most of the time it was good, clean innocent fun, but I can think of a few times that our parents wouldn't have approved of some of the things that went on. Don't worry mom and dad it wasn't anything too bad. I won't mention any names, in order to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent. But regardless, it is always nice to recall the great times with great friends.
Well I think I will stop there for tonight. My feet are killing me. Plantar fasciitis and walking around the woods all day are not a good mix. I see another cortisone shot in my very near future.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Tomorrow my class will be headed to our school woods for the day. I am so excited to see how they react to all of the fun activities that we are going to be doing. It is going to be sunny and in the 60s according to Weather Bug so weather should not be a factor.
Random thought - what ever happened to quality television? Don't get me wrong I enjoy several of the shows that are on tv now but why are shows that are rated TV 14 on at 8:30pm? I am not really watching tv tonight but it is on. I primarily watch sports on tv so I don't see a ton of shows but I do have the tv on a lot. I am sitting here tonight working on my blog and in the matter of a few minutes I am appalled at what I am hearing. I remember shows like The Cosby Show and Family Ties. Those shows were funny and family friendly. The other night I turned the channel because what was on was not appropriate for my kids and it was before 9 pm. Why is this? I have a theory.
I believe that our society is headed in a downward spiral to hell. Society is decaying morally. It has become more and more acceptable to use offensive language openly, regardless of those that are in ear shot. I am a firm believer in the freedoms that our forefathers worked hard for but I think we are totally off track from where they intended things to be. The number one problem in this country is that we have lost our focus. Our forefathers had God in the center of what they were trying to accomplish. They wanted religious freedom. They wanted to be able to worship the way they wanted. Now there were some other desires that they had too but the central intent was religious freedom. Everything they did had religious undertones. They understood that this nation would only succeed if they trusted in God. Were they perfect? Absolutely not, none of us are. But I believe that we wouldn't be in the predicament we are in if we had stayed true to the intent of our forefathers. I pray for our country, I pray for our leaders, not as much as I should but I pray. I pray for us to change direction, to refocus on our Creator. "In God We Trust" is the official motto of our country. Reaffirmed by a vote in the House of Representatives 396-9 in 2011 (New York Times, Nov. 1, 2011). So why aren't we living like it?