Tuesday, June 14, 2011
There are many reasons Michael is such a good dad, so I have organized them into a top 10 list of words to describe him.
10. Long-suffering- as the father of 2 girls, he has sat(suffered) through Barney and Blue's Clues Live concerts, Disney Princesses on Ice, the Hannah Montana movie, and numerous other girlie movies, songs, doll house building, stuffed animal hugging, etc with grace and very little eye-rolling.
9. Pool Boy- Michael works tirelessly to get the Ballard pool up and running each summer. He spends many hot days scrubbing, cleaning, and checking water samples, as the 3 girls in his life whine and ask, "When is it going to be ready?!?!". He does this for us because he seldom swims in the pool but comes home each day from work smiling to see us enjoying it.
8. Goes the Extra-Mile- Michael goes the extra mile to keep the girls happy. For example, when Hannah was a baby, I rocked her to sleep each night with her Raggedy Ann doll that played a lullaby. One Sunday night at bedtime we realized the doll had been left at church-in Edmonton-30 miles away. I tried unsuccessfully to get Hannah to sleep without her, but she wasn't having it. So at 10:30 on a Sunday night, Michael takes off to get the doll, knowing that Hannah won't go to sleep without it. (She fell asleep 5 minutes before he got home.)
7. Supportive- He encourages the girls to follow their dreams, work hard in school, and to have success in life. As do most parents, we want our kids to have things in life that we didn't, but Michael goes beyond material things and encourages them to have good, wholesome lives, and to appreciate what really matters in life.
6. Fun-loving- Just last night, Micah came home from Vacation Bible School laughing so hard she could barely talk and with a sparkle in her eyes. "Mama! You should've seen Daddy!! He hula-hooped at church!! In front of the whole church!!" (I would have NEVER done that!) And Hannah's friends will never forget the Halloween tractor ride through what Michael called the haunted woods and the random scary stories he made up as he drove them through the dark night. (Insert evil laugh here.)
5. Protective- Anyone that knows Michael is aware of the fierce protectiveness he has for his family. Admittedly, sometimes this could be dialed down a notch, but it is a great quality in a dad. Right or wrong, the girls always know he has their backs, and when I tell them to deal with it, or don't express the empathy I should, they always go to their daddy for someone to be on their side.
4. Provider- Michael works hard to make sure the girls have everything they need and most of what they want. He seldom spends money on himself, and on the rare occasion that he does, he feels guilty about it. Again, I wish he could balance this good trait with a little selfishness, but he'd rather the girls and I have things than himself. Hannah asked him why he didn't play golf anymore. He blew it off and said he didn't have time. I explained to Hannah that he'd rather take the money he would've spent on golfing and spend it on us. Which leads to the next quality....
3. Giving- Michael's generosity doesn't stop at his family. Although he tries to act like he's tight and stingy, he is very generous. he gives to our church, angel trees, benefits, and helps out others in their time of need. He also gives his time, prayers, and compassion toward others, without wanting any credit, just for the sake of giving.
2. Christian husband- One of the best examples fathers can set is to be a Christian husband, and I can say I am so blessed in this area. It is said that girls will marry someone with traits that are similar to their fathers. If that's true I don't have to worry about my girls marrying a dead-beat man who will not treat them like the princesses they are.
1. Christian dad- I am so thankful that my children have a good role model as a father. They see him read the Bible, hear him talk of praying for others, and realize that their dad made a vow to God to raise his family in church. Michael puts God first and his daughters will never have to wonder where he stands on issues. In the crazy world we are living in, it is so reassuring to me that I have a partner and we have God on our side.
Michael is a wonderful father, but like all of us, he is not perfect, and as a family, we have had our ups and downs. We are not a storybook family. At times we are more like a dysfunctional reality show. But I can't think of anyone else I could pick to be a better father to my children or husband to me.
As you celebrate Father's Day, I hope you can spend time with your father and let them know how much they mean to you. If you are like me and your dad has passed on, I pray sweet memories to fill your day.
In closing, when I think about a Father's love- how much my daddy loved me and how much Michael adores his girls, I am astounded to think how much more our heavenly Father loves us. As parents we would gladly lay down our lives for our kids. But God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son. Wow. I hope we can all remember this on those days or moments in time when we feel like no one loves us.
Happy Father's Day,
Sunday, June 5, 2011
I feel like I am one of those lucky people who is fortunate enough to say I picked the right career path. Like all jobs, there are ups and downs to teaching, but I could never see myself doing anything else. Summertime is when I am 100% confident of this choice. I look forward to summer vacation just as much as my students and children do, and on those last few days of school when my class shares their summer plans, I am transported to my backyard and my own wish list of things to do, projects to finish, and places to go. Being out of school gives me time to do things that I so enjoy that get pushed to the side for lesson planning, paper grading, and teacher tasks. It's hard to imagine getting excited about trimming hedges, staining decks, and cleaning out closets. But I am so thankful to have the time, not to mention energy, to accomplish these tasks. During the school year, my job, which blesses me, also consumes me, my weekends, and eats away at family time, which is why I could write a sonnet for summer and how I adore thee.
Pictured above is my backyard getaway, one of my best summer destinations. The newest addition is the swing my sweet husband built for me this spring. This is one of my favorite places on Earth. It is here that we roast marshmallows over the fire pit spring, summer, and fall. This is place where I have my morning coffee and listen with wonder to God's creatures awaking, and at night watch lightening bugs and am serenaded by frogs. Where I hear the laughter of my daughters echo off the hills, the roar of the second hand go cart we restored for them as they zip across the field, the bounce of basketballs. The place where I see my mother cross the yard to bring the girls a treat and come sit a spell, and although he's no longer with us in body, this is the place where I feel my daddy's presence, and can hear the echo of his great laugh. This is the place my friends gather in the summer for pool parties, where the grown ups look forward to it as much as the kids. Like my career choice, I cannot imagine myself living any place else on earth. My retreat is not fancy, but simple, a reflection of me and small town life.
This retreat is also an ideal place for some summer reading, another thing that I feel I have the luxury of doing in the months of June and July. I just finished two wonderful reads I highly recommend. The first one is House Rules by Jodi Picoult. A heart-wrenching tale of a single mother and her two sons, one who has Asberger's and the other who suffers because of the attention that is given to his brother. As with most of her books, have a box of Kleenex nearby. The other book is one of the 2011-2012 Bluegrass Books titled Ratfink, which follows the life of a 5th grader who deals with bullies, being an underachiever, and his grandfather's autism. My daughter's and I are reading Mr. Popper's Penguins and some of the Judy Moody books in preparation of seeing the movie versions in June and July. I want them to see that the book is always better than the movie. So what are you reading? I'd love to hear from you and add your recommendations to my summer reading list.
I will close with the wish that you are happy, peaceful, and content where you are and with the job you have, and hope you have a retreat that you can visit. Here's one of my favorite summer recipes for you to enjoy in that special place.
2 boxes ice-cream sandwiches
12 oz. jar caramel topping
12 oz. jar hot fudge sauce
Small Cool Whip
Optional topping-more nuts,cherries, berries, mini chocolate chips.
Line cake pan with one layer of ice-cream sandwiches. Pour jar of caramel topping over sandwiches and then sprinkle with nuts. (I skip the nuts because my girls don't like them) Add another layer of ice-cream sandwiches. Top with cool whip and sprinkle with toppings of your choice. Freeze for 1-2 hrs. When ready to serve, sit on counter a few minutes to thaw. Warm hot fudge sauce and pour over the top.
WARNING: Yummy, but not bathing suit friendly.
Happy Summer Wishes,