Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

This really is what it looks like at my house.  I can walk into the door and if I’m lucky I might get a “hi dad” from one of the kids.  As soon as Kelly walks into the door…it is a full-fledged interrogation!  Question after question!  Every once in a while in an act of compassion I will say to my kids, “You know, I am your dad, you can ask me too!”  To which they respond, “Where’s mom?”  For Mother’s Day I sat all three kids down and said today is Mother’s Day – DO NOT ASK YOUR MOTHER A SINGLE QUESTION!

Isaac the Fifteen Year Old

Posted: July 29, 2011 in Family

Isaac working at LSC's RECESS

Today is Isaac’s 15th birthday!!!  What a difference a year makes!!  I think in this one year Isaac has gone through more dramatic changes I’ve seen yet (thank you puberty…if that doesn’t embarrass him I don’t now what will).  My little boy is gone.  As I look at him now I can see the man he is becoming.  And I’m very proud (insert Braveheart quote… [*heavy Scottish accent*] “I’ve lived long enough to see the man you’ve become.  I’m a happy man.  My heart is free.”)  He is way taller than me.  Not that that is a difficult feat given my own height, but he isn’t just barely taller – he is getting way taller.  His voice is deeper.  His shoe size is a 12.  And I’m now getting his hand me downs.  He has found a passion in music and is quite talented at it.  We gave him piano lessons for a few years as a kid, otherwise, he has invested hours in the basement learning how to play the drums, guitar, and bass all on his own.  He is mature in his thinking and has a heart for Jesus and His church (he is probably going to be a Pastor…but…you know…no pressure or anything).  Isaac…I love you.  I’m proud of you.  May God bless you with another year of health, joy, and peace!

Take a look my friends!  This mouth is going to cost me $11,000!!!  Yep.  My baby girl went today to get braces.  I’ve never seen a kid so excited for braces in my life (she has no idea what is coming).  We took her to Harrington Orthodontist (because it rhymes with Barrington) this morning.  She has three stages.  First, she is missing a permanent tooth, so the first stage is braces that space out her teeth so they can insert a fake tooth (she got that from Kelly’s hillbilly side of the family).  The second stage is typical braces that straightens out her crooked teeth (again…Kelly wore head gear when she was a teenager…pics to come soon).  And the third stage (which can’t happen until she an adult) is a permanent tooth.

Stage 1:  $3500

Stage 2:  $3500

Stage 3:  $4000

Total:  $11,000

I bet after I spend all this money she gets a college scholarship playing hockey and all of this was for nothing!!


Baby Girl Turns 9

Posted: November 30, 2010 in Family

My Baby Girl turns nine today *sniff* *sniff*.  It was just yesterday that she was born (strange how that works).  Her plan is to remain unmarried and live forever with her daddy (she is unaware of this plan).

To celebrate my one and only little girl – here are some things you should know about her:

  • She would eat pepperoni pizza for ever meal if you let her.
  • She would also drink sprite all day if you let her (except at McDonald’s…she prefers orange drink)
  • She loves to sing.
  • She has the longest tongue you’ve ever seen (cross between Gene Simmons and a giraffe).
  • She loves to sing.  That is what she does in her room when she goes to “play.”
  • When she grows up she wants to either be a singer or work at a beauty salon.
  • Her favorite thing is roller skating.
  • The volume of her mouth is always set to 10…seriously…10!  “Baby girl, I’m a foot away from you, you don’t need to yell.”
  • She wakes up happy.
  • She wants a Snuggie and she isn’t embarrassed to admit it.  (come on WNDU…we want to win a free Snuggie!)
  • If she wants something, she won’t stop asking for it.
  • She is perhaps the most social child I’ve ever seen.
  • She loves drama club.  She is drama.
  • She has Bieber fever (I’m still looking for the antibiotic).
  • She loves Target.
  • She can’t wait to get braces on her teeth (strange I know).
  • She’s a great cuddler.

Happy Birthday Cinnamon Sugar (my pet name I gave her at birth…her hair was a strawberry blonde that reminded me of cinnamon sugar)!  I love you.

The Family Meeting

Posted: September 1, 2010 in Family

We needed a family meeting last night.  Lots of changes going on.  Kelly started substitute teaching yesterday.  She got a call at 6:30 a.m.  We had discussed her substitute teaching, but what we didn’t discuss was how in the world we were going to get three kids to school, etc. as she does it.  So, yesterday morning was complete chaos.  Caleb took the longest shower of life and took up all the hot water.  Breakfasts, lunches, getting dressed, normal drama of kids fighting, etc.

So, we sat down last night to discuss new routines and family patterns.  Alex, my 8 year old, loves family meetings.  It is a little weird how much she likes them.

So, I start laying it out:

  1. No more going out to eat.  August was ridiculous (I did the bills last night).  I’m not sure who said it, but there is some saying about when we say, “Time to eat” everyone heads to the van.  That is true.  And my kids don’t want McDonalds or Burger King – they want Outback & Olive Garden (I don’t know who taught them that).
  2. Five people can’t shower in the morning.  Caleb can’t take a 25 minute shower.  Tried to decide who is getting up when, who was showering, and in which bathroom.
  3. Discussed breakfast and who was responsible for what.
  4. Chore charts.
  5. Bedtime routines.

And there was a lot more!  I waxed eloquently about how things were going to start going down.

And then Alex, my eight year old, raised her hand and said, “We have these meetings and you say all these things and then three days later it is back to the way it was.  Is this going to be like one of those?

Alex is now grounded.

I Have a 14 Year Old

Posted: July 29, 2010 in Family

Today is my firstborn son’s birthday!!  He is 14 years old.  He has bigger feet than me.  He is taller than me.  He has more hair than me.  He is better looking than me.  And yet…I still let him live and continue to love him. 🙂  Happy Birthday Isaac.  I love you and I’m VERY proud of you.  You are our joy and laughter.

Facts about Isaac:

  • He hates gum (especially mint).  Like he freaks out if anyone chews it in front of him.
  • He gets along well with his little brother and sister.
  • He is good with our new puppy.
  • He has an excellent shot in basketball. (He did not get this from his father)
  • He a 12-year cancer survivor.
  • He never procrastinates, except when it comes to mowing the yard.
  • He loves video games…and reading reviews of video games on the computer.
  • He doesn’t drink soft drinks…ever.
  • He is an excellent drummer.
  • He is talented at filming and producing videos.
  • He can memorize something faster than anyone I’ve ever seen.
  • He has a high level of compassion for people who are hurting.
  • He likes the Cubs and Notre Dame…just as I taught him.
  • He drops and spills more things than anyone I’ve ever seen!!! 🙂
  • He likes strawberry pop-tarts.
  • He has a little OCD (probably from his father).  He won’t sit on a movie theater seat that appears “stained.”
  • He broke his finger once.  We didn’t believe it was broken.  Turns out…it was.  Then it was too late to do anything about it.  Sorry kid.
  • His favorite restaurant is Olive Garden.
  • He isn’t a picky eater.
  • His middle name is Samuel (how cool is that?)
  • He is a HUGE Beatles fan.  He knows all their songs and a ton of trivia about the band.

My Son is a Cancer Survivor

Posted: April 15, 2010 in Family

Today is April 15th. For everyone else, this is tax deadline day.  For us, it is the day 12 years ago that we learned my now (almost) 14 year old son had cancer.  We had just come home from church and I was putting on his pajamas and tickling his belly and…there it was…a mass that clearly didn’t belong (hot flash over my entire body).

We went to the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and within hours (thanks to a friend who ushered us past protocols and into immediate attention) learned he had Wilm’s Tumor, a form of kidney cancer.  Single worst moment of our lives.  Isaac wasn’t even two yet.

Two days later we were at Riley’s children’s hospital (I love that place by the way) where they removed his right kidney, and a few days after that he began a four month regime of chemotherapy.

What is crazy is that Isaac only found out about his history with cancer two weeks ago!!!  Really it was quite by accident.  Kelly and I were worried about how he would take it.  We wanted to tell him earlier, but no time seemed right.  We entered 2010 with the goal of telling him at some point.  And then, while I wasn’t even present, he found out as Kelly filled out paper work for a doctor’s appointment for him (you know…the kind where they ask you about your medical history).

I think he thought it was kind of cool.  And I think he wanted to tell everyone, except, almost everyone in his world already knew (yes…we all kept it a secret).  But, his younger brother and sister didn’t know.  So, he got to tell Caleb and Alex.

Twelve years ago today is the day.  And I date everything on it.  There is a pre-cancer life and post-cancer life.  But this I know, it is a day now that I can celebrate that God reached down from heaven and rescued my son.

He is a strong kid.  He is a cancer-suvivor.  I love you Isaac.

Some of My Heroes

Posted: March 30, 2010 in Family, Living Stones Church

I want to recommend a blog read to you.  It is Melissa Holstein’s blog.  It is called, “Yes, They Are All Mine.”  Her and Ed have seven kids!!  They face more in one day with grace, humor, honesty, and resolve, than most people do in an entire year (or longer).  From Autism, houses burning down (while they were buying their Pastor a Hallmark card…seriously 🙂 ), lead poisoning, etc. they have walked through a ton.  They have been at Living Stones Church for almost two years now.  I know their story and what they have overcome in just the two years I’ve known them.  I just need to say they are heroes to me.  I love them.   In fact, if any of them were to go to jail, they could call on me for bail money – anytime. 🙂   Melissa is a great writer too.  If you or anyone in your circle of relationships is dealing with a child with autism – send them to Melissa’s blog.  Her humor and honesty will inspire you.  You can read her blog here.

It Could Be Worse

Posted: March 30, 2010 in Family

Sometimes when you are living in a terrible reality, you can’t imagine it being worse.

I have seen this often when it comes to those growing up without a father.  Those who have had to walk this path will often contend with pain and woundedness on a massive scale.  And in the pain, it is hard to imagine it could be worse.

But it can.

Growing up without a father is not the worst thing that can happen.  There is something even worse.  And that is growing up with a father that is physically and/or sexually abusive.

Mothers…don’t let the reality of your own pain growing up without a father cloud your judgment when it comes to the fact that it CAN be worse.  You must act in defense of your children!  Remaining in the situation so your children don’t live your experience of an absentee father is not the more benevolent course.  Absentee is to be preferred over abusive.