Cork Board Wall Project

Since my kids are really into drawing, and because we still had a wall undecorated in our bonus room, I decided it would be fun to put up a big cork board wall.

We purchased the cork board at a hobby store, and cut it to fit the space.  The biggest challenge was figuring out the best way to affix the pieces to the wall.  Rather than using an adhesive, I opted for using a pneumatic brad gun.  Around six brads in each section seemed to hold it well, and if we ever need to take it down, we’ll be able to do that without having major damage to the wall.

Installation was quick, and it gives the kids a large area where they can display their work.

Riding Bikes

There are some days when parenting is difficult.  There are times when it’s exhausting, grueling work.  But there are other days, like today, when being a parent is a total joy.

This evening, we worked on the kids’ bike riding skills, and we had a great time laughing together.

First up, is my son. Tonight, he learned how to pedal.

There’s only one bad thing about having an older sister:  inheriting her tricycle.  Fortunately, he’s a tough guy, and he still looks cool, even with a pink bike.

Next is my daughter. Even though they were only riding in the driveway, she begged me to let her wear her helmet.  She was so excited about it, that the first few times she fell, she purposefully let her head hit the concrete, just to get the full effect.  (She though this was so great, that she would giggle afterwards on the way back up.)

Oh, and she was also wearing rain boots.

While her little brother rode her old bike, she rode his red bike that’s still to big for him. (Don’t ask me how this happened.)  The cool thing about the red bike is that it doesn’t have any pedals or training wheels, and it’s designed to teach steering and balance, and tonight she started to get it all figured out.

Here’s a video of everything in action (complete with a little bit of bad attitude from my son and positive self-talk from my daughter).

Days like today remind me just how much I love being a dad.

Nine Ways to Wreck Your Kids

It seems that our nation has this one figured out pretty well already, but just in case you’ve missed it, here are nine ways to ruin your kids:

  1. Always expect the worst from your kids.  You’ll eventually find out you’re right.
  2. Give them everything they want.  If you’re consistent with this, you’ll trick your children into thinking that the stuff of this world can buy their happiness.
  3. Don’t discipline your kids.  I’m not just talking about spanking here; I’m talking about time out, grounding, and all other forms of discipline.
  4. Be very cautious about praising your children.  You don’t want them to become proud or feel special about themselves.  Slowly erode their confidence.
  5. Show your kids through your words and actions that they are an inconvenience to your life.  Dwell on the ways that your life would be different – even better – without them.
  6. Use guilt and shame to motivate your children to do what you want them to do.
  7. If you have more than one child, let the kids treat each other with rudeness and disrespect.
  8. Place the responsibility of socializing your kids on either a) the school system, or b) television.  Don’t consider this a personal responsibility.
  9. Place the responsibility of their spiritual development on either a) the church, or b) let them figure this out on their own.  If you’re going to wreck your kids, it’s critical that you not take responsibility here.

Just in case you missed the related posts:

Parenting, Everclear, & Sunflowers

I have to admit that I am a hardcore fan of alternative rock music.  1994 was a pivotal year for me as I began to fall in love with the gritty sound of bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, and a slew of others.  The energy and passion was contagious, and even though I still love much of the musical style, I regretfully let my mind be filled with a lot of stuff that wasn’t good for my soul.  I still listen to alternative rock, but I’ve added quite a few bands of a different nature, like David Crowder Band, Switchfoot, & Skillet.  I’ve also eliminated some bands and many songs from my music library.

Well, last night, as I was mowing the lawn, I came across a song that I’ve heard a hundred times before – Sunflowers, by Everclear.  This time as I listened, I actually picked up on the flow of the lyrics.

I know where you go when you want to fall
Why do you want to be broken?
I know where you go when you want to fall
Yes your friends they tell me everything
Yes I know where you go
Yes I know what you do
Yes I know the awful things you say and who you say them to

I had always assumed these lyrics were referring to a wife or girlfriend, but today I clearly heard the important lines of the song:

Your mom she said that you are just like me
I can see it in your eyes
I can see your shaky hands
Yes I think you think i’m stupid
You don’t think I understand
Yes I see you and I see myself when I was a younger man
When you were a child
You were happy and free
You were my reason to live
I would die when you smiled at me
I can still see you
I remember you painting
Sunflowers in your room

These are not the words of a bitter lover or disillusioned spouse.  These are the words of a brokenhearted father.

God, please help me to raise my children to follow after you.  I pray that they would escape some of the pitfalls I fell into emotionally during my teenage years, and I beg you to please raise them up to be leaders in your Kingdom work here on this earth.  Please mold me into the dad and husband you want me to be, and help me treasure each day with my children.

PS – If you randomly found this blog post, and you’re not a part of a church community, I’d love to have you join me this weekend at our Internet Campus.  It’s an online interactive broadcast each Sunday, and for the next few weeks, we’re specifically talking about issues facing families today.