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My Boys are the Bomb!

I feel like I need to boast on my boys. It's nothing that I have done: it is all to the glory of God. But man, I'm extremely proud of them. My oldest son recently took his faith to another level and was baptized.  Again, I know it's nothing I've done, but it's to the glory of God. 
And then I watched my youngest son serve at his school function. He found joy in helping others. He has always had a very compassionate heart.  Again, I don't think there's anything that I haven't done, but to the glory of God. 
They are maturing. They are growing up and growing up fast. They're starting to show that they have their own mind and conscience. I'm proud of them. What I need to make sure that I do is tell them how proud I am of them. And not just one time, but many times.
Just some thoughts. I am N0S.

When Life (or a Deer) Hits You Hard

It was a beautiful day. We just left a friend's house celebrating their son's  high school graduation.We are in our Toyota Highlander heading home for the evening on 495. Cruising around 55 miles an hour, with no worries and no cares. Out of the blue, a huge deer runs in the middle of the highway and runs smack dab on the right side of the car. I did not see it until it was right there. It hit us so hard, we lost control of the car. We killed the deer instantly; I watched it slide on its side from the middle lane all the way over to the median.  I swerved to the left and I swerved to the right trying to regain control. At this moment God gave my wife a sense of calm and she told me, "Relax". We gained control and pulled over to the side of the road. The entire front right side was jacked up! The car was undrivable. 
What's the point?
I don't know if there is ever a moment in our life, especially in parenting, that I should get comfortable. In fact if life is cr…

Uggghhhh--Read a book?!? This time with a Solution.

It was almost this time last year I wrote about how my boys would rather go outside, or play on the Wii, or sweep instead of reading a book.  Please, don't get me wrong.  They are highly intelligent kids who do very well in school.  They just believe (as probably do many other kids) that the summer is a time to chill. 

Well, the books are back.  Due to higher grade levels, their books are becoming more complex in ideals, focusing on the author's purpose, allegories, and a whole bunch of other facets of literature that I don't need to get into now.

Each day, I've challenged my boys to read.  They have to...and they don't want to.  It can be a challenge in the house. Well, I had this challenge yet again today.  My son had to read aloud to me.  He read in the most dismal voice imaginable, inducing thoughts of wanting to consume raw red onions and chase them with garlic cloves and prune juice.

Then, brilliance came to mind.

'Dijon, why not read with him?', I th…

Determination and Seagulls

Determination is a very powerful mind tool. It drives a person to do more than he even expects to do. Although the outcome may be positive or negative, the success is in knowing there was an attempt.

Let's take my son for example. Everything about him is personally motivated. He's on a motor that is consistently turning, brewing up new ideas and concepts.  And he wants to see ALL of them happen.  He wanted to start his own business. Guess what he did? Start his own business.  He constantly asked me to allow him to cook breakfast and dinner.   Guess what he does now (sometimes)?  He cooks for not just himself, but sometimes the entire family.  Today, he wanted to go to the beach, even though it rained and rained and rained. Yet, you would never guess what he had the opportunity to do.  Yes he did.

Not everyone is like this. In fact, there are more people who have to be encouraged, pushed, and even kicked to be at this level...all the time!  Most of us are not wired this way.

Can I Say Something? Allowing Your Kids to Speak Freely (Sort of...)

We've always wanted our home to be a place where our children can come to us with any and everything that's on their heart.  Well,  something must be going right.

My son came to us today and said some things that were on his heart.  He mentioned that he felt I come down too hard on him when it comes to work ethic.  He also spoke of other things, such as how he compares to other students in his class and even race.  Although I wish we didn't have to have the conversation, I thought it was very insightful and productive.  

We talked it through using Biblical principles, personal experiences, and expertise.  When all was said and done, my wife and I appreciated him so much for opening up and letting us know how he was feeling.  He's actually pretty good at doing that.  I could learn some lessons from him.

I must remember that allowing them to talk and not shutting them down is so important.  It builds their esteem.  It allows them to feel appreciated and in some ways, import…

Dinner Time

The dinner table is probably the most interesting place in our home.  Its definitely where the most action takes place.  It's where we get to know our boys and where they get to know us.  It's the hub of the home.

Yet, this 'hub' is vibrant when everyone is there.  I cannot explain if I tried.  There are nights when there are just two of us.  Most of the time there are at least three of us together.  We talk about issues and enjoy each other's company.  Yet, when we're all there, it is all the way LIVE!!!!!

The dinner table is so fun and full of life.  It's like everyone is internally excited to see each other.  There's laughter, joking, and some eating.  I want to make sure that continues. 

I saw an article from the website WebMD entitled 'Family Dinners Are Important' by Jeanie Lerche Davis stating 10 benefits of eating together.  

Everyone eats healthier meals.Kids are less likely to become overweight or obese.Kids more likely to stay away from …

To Curse or Not To Curse- That is the Question

I was taking out the trash this evening.  I went through the backyard, pulled out our disgustingly smelly garbage can and wheeled it to the front. Mosquitos were lighting me up because the air was so humid.  I walked back into the house and found my son very upset.  After asking why, he explained that there were kids in his camp class who would curse around him and at times, at him.  

My bear claws are starting to protude.

He explained that most students cursed in the camp; there was only a handful that he knew that wouldn't.  He is one that doesn't like profanity and just about anything that is unhealthy for the body or soul.  I can respect that.  I unfortunately had to explain that he should be alarmed and aware when he hears this type of language, but he shouldn't be freaked out.  I told him that I used to curse when younger (although I could never string together the right curse words-I always sounded crazy). 

We hear profanity everywhere:  in music, television, the radio…

If at First You Don't Succeed- Lessons from the Pinewood Derby Pt.2

Last year in March I wrote a post about the Pinewood Derby. It was a time of lessons, dejection, and tears. It was a life lesson, one to be remembered. But now it's 2014, and times, cars, and mind sets have changed. And for the better. The Pinewood Derby teaches perseverance. It teaches you how to make changes from your mistakes. It also teaches you that you must get up when you fall down. My son took a car, revised it, changed up a little bit of the shape and weights, added a fresh coat of paint and entered into the 2014 Pinewood Derby contest. As you can see, there was a lot more success. 
Here's my reoccurring lesson: a loss is  SOOOO much different from a defeat. And it's soooo overrated! I can get up from a loss. The Miami Heat can bounce back from a loss. The Soviet hockey team can regroup from their loss to the Americans (they lost at the Sochi Olympics-- Go USA!). A defeat is a mindset. And my son was not defeated. I'm very proud of them. As well as that #7 car.…

Get Money

Today was another proud moment for me.  I watched my boys (from the warmth of my house) get out in the cold and snow and ask neighbors to shovel their walkways for a little profit.  It was fantastic.  They looked so cold. They didn't get as much as they were hoping for, but they got something.  I was so happy for them.The Bible does say that all hard work brings a profit.

It made me think back of when my dad would make me get up early on Saturday mornings and cut our grass.  There was one morning when the dread of cutting pollen-filled grass, which activated my allergies and never ending sneezing, changed.  He took me to my neighbor's house and told me to knock on the door.  The neighbor (let's call him Mr. Brown) answered the door, dressed in some argyle socks, a t-shirt, brown slippers, and shorts smoking on a pipe.  I asked if I could cut his grass in which he said yes.  My dad coached me to knock on his door once I finished.  Mr. Brown pulled out a $20 bill and gave it …