Saturday, December 6, 2014

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.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

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 cruising very well, I should turn on the headlights and look out for the unexpected. That deer was the unexpected. But maybe yours is the quick financial crisis, or your washing machine stopped working in the middle of the week, or your son is diagnosed with a disease.  Please don't get me wrong, life is supposed to be enjoyed. Yet, life does have the unexpected. And as parents I just want us to be prepared for anything. Even for when a deer hits us in the middle of 495.

Hit me back if you can relate. I am N0S.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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 thought. Aha! (Imagine a cute, tiny gold chime bell going off.  Do you hear it?)

I sat beside him and read the next page of his book, Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis using inflections and emotions. As we turned the page, I said, 'It's your turn."
Together reading Bud, Not Buddy
from his summer reading list.

OM stinkin' G! He sat up and read with enthusiasm and flair.  I heard inflections, tone control, pacing, and even laughter.  Could this be my son? Could this be the answer I've been needing?  Will this be the hook to get him reading with a desire and craving that is needed? I think so!  In fact, I even got into the chapter.  Reading the pages and watching them come alive, imagining you are there with the characters experiencing the same emotions they are...can be exhilarating.

Or at least that's what I want it to be for my little reader.  This is going to take some effort, some physical energy, and even a little sacrifice.  It just might mean turning off House of Cards for a while (I know, I know).  I can honestly say this:  he appreciated the bond shared as we read together.  Even if your children are older and don't need you to read to them, there's still the opportunity to participate in their literature.  Go to the library together and check out the same book.  Your conversations will appear more mature and relevant to events of today.

I'm NOS.  I need some water and lip balm from all this reading.

Question:  What would be the obstacles of reading to/ with your child?  Let's chat.