Thank You

 

Every day you work hard to provide for our family but that’s not what makes you amazing.

You get down on the floor to wrestle, change the princess dresses, play hockey in the drive and run around the playground but that’s not what makes you a terrific father.

You help me demonstrate every single day what a loving, healthy marriage looks like, that fun and love, apologies and respect are all part of the daily give and take but that’s not the thing that makes you such a titan among dads.

What makes you the example I thank the Lord daily for is the bible verses in your email, it’s the passion for understanding God’s will, it’s the desire to do what he calls even when it’s not what you “want”.

Our children are so blessed to have you, science can show the impact of a father on almost every area of a person’s life from self esteem to education and earning potential but it can not quantify the impact a Christ following father has on eternity. The seeds you are sowing in our family will sow seeds in their families and so on through the generations. I am thankful for the quanitifable impact you have on our kids but more so for the things that can’t be seen, those are the true treasures.

 

Advertisements

Not all Fathers are dads, Not all Dads are Fathers

Some fathers aren’t dads. They are men who biologically help create life but their contribution to your upbringing is inconsistent or nonexistent.

Some dads aren’t fathers they may come to you by marriage, adoption or happenstance but they are the men who are there teaching, guiding and helping you grow.

Some dads have children you can’t see hidden in wombs or heaven or missing and lost. Dads are always dads even when they can’t hold their children.

I am thankful that my husband is both. He is the father of our children but so much more than that he is their daddy. He is the one they drop everything to run and tackle when he comes home from work. The one they want to hold them when they are scared. He would work five jobs to feed them, take a bullet to save them and embarrass himself to make them smile.

Everyday he is painting a picture, however imperfect because of our humanity, of our Heavenly Father’s love for them. He is showing them that he will always be there for them, love them and try to help them so how much more do those things ring true for God?

I am so thankful for him and all the other Dads out there.

Happy “Father’s” Day! 

18882_671310258030_5384804442156927972_n

Spirit Airlines: A Mom’s Review

If you are traveling with small kids and an equally small budget you’ve probably considered the budget airlines (Frontier, Spirit, etc.) and possibly you have been scared off by the overwhelming number of negative reviews.

I almost was.

But then I looked at my bank account and said oh well, it’s Spirit or nothing.

To prepare myself I started reading the negative reviews on various sites, so I would know what I was in for. As I was reading I noticed a common theme… 90% of the negative reviews were the CUSTOMER’s fault. See I had already read Spirit’s website pretty thoroughly and knew their rules (and that’s just to consider booking with them) and so when I saw people complain about the “hidden” or “surprise” charges I thought…umm no I just saw that in big letters on their site. They don’t lie to you, they are really up front that you are basically paying for the gas to fly the plane and a seat to sit on, anything else you need is on you…or them for a fee.

I felt a little better as I found very few complaints that weren’t preventable on the customer’s part except for delays and let’s be honest delays happen on all airlines. I booked earlier in the day to try and minimize the chance of them but other than that it was out of my control.

My honest review was that Spirit was pretty good and I will definitely fly them again!

I measured my personal item, paid for one checked bag WHEN I bought my ticket, weighed it before the airport and confirmed my carseats and strollers were free. I booked so far in advance, in person at the airport that I was assigned seats together for free. I pre printed our boarding passes and checked in online to avoid fees and of course packed water bottles (empty through security and filled at a fountain) and snacks so I didn’t need to buy them.

I had zero dollars in hidden fees, both flights were EARLY not late, the staff were all very polite and I was pleasantly surprised that unlike many bigger airlines they had changing tables in the onboard bathrooms :).

My gate checked stroller was treated very gently (I could see them unloading from my window!) and my belongs all returned in the same condition I checked them.

I don’t know what more I could ask from an airline, especially one i’m paying so much less than the others for.

If you fly Spirit you MUST do your homework, read and follow their rules but if you do there is no reason you can’t have a nice flight!

[For tips on traveling with children read here.}

1

“It Couldn’t Happen to Me.”

“I’m a good parent.”

“I always check.”

“I’d never forget.”

“I wouldn’t…”

These things are easy to say. We don’t want to envision a scenario where we could be responsible for our child’s death so we try to reason with reality.

But the reality is you could, you might, and it only takes one time. You could forget your child in a car. It could happen to you. I know there are cases when horrible scum of humans have intentionally left children but normally it is just an accident. A terrible, life wrecking, soul destroying accident.

I am terrified of something like that, it makes me check my car constantly.

But that is not enough.

I have started using the left shoe method (read about it here) and I have to say that it is so simple but so important.

I know it is intended mainly for dads or moms who are out of routine and want to make sure nothing could happen but it should be intended for every parent with a young child in the car.  I want devices that will help prevent these tragic deaths just like everyone else but this is important now and there is a solution available now.

Every time you get in the car with your baby place your left shoe in the back with them. It will help ensure you never have to experience the pain and loss and guilt that so many good parents in our country have.

When I arrived at the mall to meet a girlfriend for shopping I had not planned to take my daughter but she was fussing and I didn’t want poor dad to have a rough evening so in the car she went. I put my shoe back there knowing that the feeling of playing my own music (no 3 year old in the backseat!) and heading somewhere to shop for myself for fun was so out of routine that it would put me out of “mommy” mode and it alleviated the fear I could get there and walk off in a rush forgetting the sleeping angel in my seat.

If we all stop pretending it could never happen to us and instead take steps to prevent it maybe it never would have to happen again.

This year alone there have already been 16 deaths in the U.S., 7 would have certainly been prevented using this method.

neverleftcampaignlr

 

Where Have All the Good Dads Gone?

Society has a tendency to portray dads as unintelligent, expendable goofballs who make a nice addition to a family but really aren’t necessary. But what does the Bible say and is it attainable?

I am by no means qualified to discern the primary responsibilities of a father from scripture so I am using going to share a list from Pastor Scott Harris of Grace Bible Church in NY, you can read the full context here. For my purposes I am pasting the list, I feel that provides a nice overview of the basics of a biblical father.

Now here is where it gets tricky. Is this attainable? I myself grew up in a home of multiple divorces from each parent so my relationships, not only with my father, but with my stepfathers also, were sporadic at best and they did not fulfill many if any of these items. Luckily I have a another personal guinea pig, my husband. So I am going to analyze his fulfillment of each one.

1. Provide for his family (Mt. 7:9-11 Tim 5:8)

I am now a stay at home mom, nuf said. He is willing and able to work enough that our family can exist with me home caring for our children. Even before this he has always worked and provided, not just our needs but most of our wants as well. When the bottom fell out of our economy and he was laid off for a year (before we had kids) he actively sought new work the entire time.

2. Instruct his children (Prov. 1:8)

My husband teaches our son everyday in direct and indirect ways. Directly, like when my son gets 3 year old frustrated and decides to speak angrily to me I know I will hear my husband step in lovingly  “Joel that’s not how we talk to Mama, you need to….” or indirectly, like showing him how to respond to people in need (running back across the parking lot to open the door for a man with a walker even though we didn’t see him until we were almost at our car because that’s the right thing to do and convenience should not be considered).

3. Exhort, encourage and implore children (1 Thess 2:11)

My son’s biggest fan may be Mommy but his biggest cheerleader is Dad. My husband is always there to encourage Jidge whether things get hard or he’s already excelling.

4. Punish unruly children (Dt. 21:18-21) & 6. Discipline his children (Heb 12:7)   *I am combining his two because they seem pretty similar to me. *

I am with our children more so I handle the day to day punishment (and honestly at this point in their lives our little ones still don’t need alot since the oldest has a usually teachable spirit and the youngest is an infant). But when the situation warrants or when I am not being given proper respect by a boundary testing preschooler I can count 100% on my husband backing me up, stepping in, whatever is needed.

5. Raise the children in the discipline and nurture of the Lord without provoking them or exasperating them causing them to lose heart (Eph. 6:4;Col. 3:21)

Without ever raising his voice or losing his cool he encourages and nurtures a curious, strong willed preschooler, enduring the neverending questions about God and life, laughing at the jokes that don’t yet make sense and gently guiding him away from paths and choices that would bring harm.

7. Love his wife (Eph 5:25,28,33)

I admittedly make this difficult at times I am certain and yet he unfailingly loves and me and reminds me with his actions of my worth as a redeemed member of the body of Christ. (Plus he makes me feel pretty 🙂 )

 

So I declare that despite the weighty list of responsibilities placed on a father I am seeing it lived out daily and biblical fatherhood is attainable and realistic. I am so thankful to have a husband who relies on the power of our heavenly Father to be a husband father.

 

Comment with why your husband or father  is one of the “good ones”.

 

Happy Father’s Day my dear 🙂

dada

Unfit Parent Award

My kid hasn’t bathed in a week [This is not hyperbole, we only bathe him about once a weekish in winter and every couple days in summer.]

This made me laugh because I saw the topic discussed by a blogger for a parenting magazine who only bathes his kids every couple days and it got some ridiculously over the top attackers in the comments section on facebook who did everything from call it disgusting to likening to child abuse.

So I am awarding myself an unfit parent award.

Why because my kid hasn’t bathed in like 4 or 5 days and I’m most likely not bathing him tonight, since I don’t plan to change this despite it being appalling to many american parents I figure i’ll just own it.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

While i’m at it here are a myriad of other parenting choices i’ve seen people spew hate about on social media that I personally have made:

He owns zero electronic devices (he is 3 so this should go without saying but it doesn’t anymore), moreover he has never touched a tablet and doesn’t play  video or computer games.He nursed until just after 2 and coslept until 3.  He memorizes Bible verses and prays. He is expected to apologize to me when he argues or talks back.  He only gets one gift from us for Christmas and one for his birthday. He knows about Santa and the Easter bunny but he knows they are just for fun, not real. He still won’t get birthday parties for a few years and when he does they will be small.He eats hummus, pad thai, salad, and dried fruit but also loves a burger and fries or a cookie. Juice is a special treat and he has no idea soda exists.

I expect him to be kind and respectful even when he doesn’t “feel” like it, apologize until he’s sincere and generally just recognize his position in life right now means he is not in control but also know his parents adore him and will totally take watch his favorite documentary seven times and make a weekly visit to the zoo because he’s super interested in animals.

What choices have you been made to feel unamerican, unfit, or just uncomfortable for making?