I Love Seeing My Kids Succeed

My oldest daughter started at a new dance studio today, and I got to take her to her first class.  She went with her mom last week to check it out and see if she wanted to switch, but today was her first class.

As she stood outside waiting for class to start I could tell she was a little nervous because she didn’t know any of the girls, and they had already been practicing their dance for a little while.

But being the brave little trooper that she is, she headed in and went to work.  About fifteen minutes into the class I could hear the teacher say, “This is Olivia’s first class and she is already doing it better than most of you.”

It made my daddy heart swell to hear something so positive about my daughter.  She really is a very good dancer, and I am glad it is something she enjoys so much. 

I asked her afterwards if she liked her new class and you could just tell beyond the words that she is so much happier.  She also told me it felt good to have the teacher say that about her.

It is so great watching your kids succeed at something they really enjoy.


Every Boy (and girl) Should Have a Dog

We went and got a dog today.  We had talked about it off and on, but we didn’t really expect it to happen today.  

I grew up with no animals in my house because my oldest brother was allergic to everything, but since I moved in with a friend that had three dogs, two cats, a couple of horses, and a bunny, I have really enjoyed having animals.  They add such a beautiful dynamic to a family that I love.

My kids are also old enough now to do more of the caretaking of a dog than they used to be.  It was so fun today watching them get so emotional about the dogs we looked at.  My oldest actually started crying at one point because she felt so bad for the dogs with no home.

If nothing else I can be grateful that she has learned to love and respect animals.  I am excited for the coming months of getting to know our new dog, though I hope she gets over the sleep farting really quick.

Turning Off Electronics

I really hate how much time my kids spend on their electronics.  I wouldn’t care so much if they were learning or starting a multi-million dollar business, but they are just watching stupid YouTube videos.

So tonight I told my kids no electronics. They could read books or play games or anything other than electronics.  They did ask for music which I was okay with, and other than that they didn’t even complain. A very pleasant surprise.

What ensued was a little rumbunctiousness followed by the three oldest sitting in the playroom reading stories together. Ty even came and sat with me for awhile just relaxing and dancing to the music that was playing.

This may not be an every night occurrence, but I will take it for now.  Technology is wonderful in so many ways, but it is so stinking important to make sure we all get away from it sometimes.

I’m So Proud of My Daughter

Every couple of weeks they have an activity at church for the girls age 8-11.  This week they were supposed to sew pillow cases but they changed at the last minute to clean the building instead.

Even though I know my daughter was disappointed they wouldn’t get go do their project, she was still excited to go and help.  I’m sure it is as much about spending time with her friends as anything, but she really can be a great helped when she wants to be.

It made me proud that she kept such a positive attitude tonight because I know some of the other girls did not.  It is important for us to give service throughout our life so I am glad she has learned about it early. 

A Warm House to Sleep in

Every winter as it starts to get cold, I remember how blessed I am to have a house to live in and stay warm.  While I started to write this with the thought of literal warmth on my mind, I am more grateful for the figurative warmth I have here.

I have four amazing kids that love me and fill me with their love everyday.  They are excited to see me when we see each other after work and school.  They make me smile with their creative imaginations.  They humble me with the simple desires of their hearts expressed in prayers each night.

I am even more abundantly blessed with the warmth if a wife who works so hard to take care of our family.  I have been the breadwinner for our family for the past 7 years  (we have been married for 10), but she is the glue that keeps us all together.  She keeps us clean and organized and fed.  That is not to say she does all of the cleaning and the cooking but I can honestly say that without her we would not be as healthy or as well kept.

I know I am not alone in this warmth I have at home, but I do feel that I am in an increasingly smaller number of people that is so blessed.  There is so much anger and hate in the world, even amongst people who should love and care for each other.  I may not be able to change that around the world, but I can do my part to recognize it in my life and do my best to spread that warmth to those around me.

We all have the ability to do that in our lives, but are we really doing everything we can to spread that warmth?

Little Festival Games are so Much Fun

Our church had their fall festival yesterday and it was a lot of fun watching the kids run around playing games.  It was nothing fancy and they got candy whether they actually won or not, but they had fun.

I think my favorite was watching my little one try and eat a mini donut off a string.  Her mouth is so small she had to take like ten bites to finish it.  Then my younger son went to do it and he just ripped it off the string, looked at it, had no idea what it was, and handed it back to the lady.

Kids are just so straight forward and honest and it’s great.  They also are extremely easily entertained until we tell them that they need something more fancy.  It is always a great reminder how easy it is to make them happy.

Brotherly Love is One of the Best Kinds

I was super lucky to spend the weekend with all six of my siblings.  I love my sister’s dearly and have a very special connection with each of them, but there is just something special about the love I have for my brothers.

I’m not really sure what it is even.  When we were younger I was the littlest and youngest so I often got left out or picked on a little more, or at least I felt like I was.  I’m not complaining, that was just the nature of the beast.

But as I got older and my brothers each left the house I realized how important they were to me.  I like to think that I am a combination of all of them and their redeeming attributes, and probably some of the less stellar ones as well.

They taught me the value of working with your hands and creating things.  They helped me value a gentle word and the ability to be a peacemaker.  They showed me how to be brave and talk to people and make friends (something I still struggle with to be honest).  

They also taught me how to love unconditionally.  I have personally witnessed my brothers stepping up to take care of someone in the family, even at significant cost to themselves, because they needed help.  They had no ulterior motive or end game, they simply rose to the occasion and provided the help that was needed.

I don’t talk to, or see, my brothers as much as I would like.  Only one of them is likely to even see this since the other two don’t use Facebook much or at all, but I am so grateful for the brothers that I was blessed with.

That is why it made me so happy this morning to see the picture below.

Recently Ty has really loved being read to.  He brings over book after book and just wants to listen.  He actually doesn’t care what the book is as evidenced by the handwriting practice book he brought me the other day.

Easton struggled quite a bit with reading at first but has really learned quickly over the last few no the and is now reading above his grade level, and I am super proud of him.

To see Easton sitting with his brother this morning brought great joy to my heart.  I know it is a simple thing, but it is moments like this that will help build a bond to last a lifetime.  I can only hope that they will be as awesome of brothers to each other as mine were to me.