My Kids

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I don’t know if I brag enough about my kids. I think they are there for me and it is such a normal thing for me to have amazing kids. But I think I should be sharing that more with the world. I think this is especially true since most of my close family and friends live so far away. With that being said it is hard to really to fully express everything without being here and seeing them — there are so many things that Logan does on a daily basis that just make me smile and brighten up my day.

Logan is such an interesting person. He knows what he wants and he goes for it and there is nothing you can do to stand in his way. Being 3 and a half he is far beyond most of his peers cognitively and physically. I volunteer at the local YMCA by teaching swim lessons for 4 and 5 years old. Most of the time when you are with him you can understand what he is saying. He knows how to spell his name (both saying it and he is getting the penmanship down as well) Today we were working on addition — who knows he might know his times tables by Kindergarten!?!?!?!
But as amazing as he is with some of these things he can turn around and drive us to the point of no return. He knows what buttons to push with us and he at times seems to refuse to listen. But even if I am so mad at him and he does something good, I have to push that frustration down and say “good job Logan” I don’t know if this is true or not but I think when we are able to move into a bigger living arrangement things will get better. We saw improvement in his behaving from Ambler to Souderton (where we are now) because we have more room for him to run around. I tried the other day to take him outside to play but we have a parking lot filled with cars and glass and the like and our backyard his hilly and rocky and there is not much room to play back there either.
I thought potty training was going to be a nightmare with Logan, but he really just decided one day to use the toilet and he has been doing pretty good since then. He has his moments when he “forgets” to use the potty. But we take those in stride and still support him in his venture to grow up.
Overall I can’t imagine my life without Logan — he is a wonder and he brings such joy into my life everyday.

Addyson– the newest member of our family is one of a kind. If I had to describe her in one word it would be smiles. She lightens up every time I walk in the room. I don’t remember Logan or another baby smiling as much as she does. I think it is great and I try and convince myself that doesn’t mean she is going to be a big flirt when she gets older.
I really think she is starting to know her name. When I call it out now she looks over in my direction. She is very alert; she likes to follow objects around when she focuses on them there is nothing you can do to get her off of it.
I think that she is coming pretty dependent on us. I don’t know if that is a bad thing at this point or not. She cries alot when we are not holding her, I guess we have gotten use to Logan playing with his toys or doing other things with out our assistance we have lost the need for constant attention. She only gets up one time a night now, my routine is to get her, feed her, change her diaper (if she needs it) and then I fall asleep most nights holding her in my arms. I eventually wake up and I put her in her crib, but we sleep in the living room for a good hour or two.
I love sitting with her and holding her and just look at her explore the world. She discovers new things everyday and there is nothing like watching her interact with Logan. The two of them just love each other and it is awesome to see that. Especially since I know in two or three years they will be annoying the crap out of one another on a daily basis.

The other day Logan decided to play hide and seek with Addyson and he would duck under her swing and then pop up and Addyson would just smile and laugh over and over again. They did it for about a half an hour and it was such a joy.

Those are my kids in a nutshell. Like I said, this is just general stuff, I could go on for hours about the things they do everyday. I will try and be more conscious about sharing that from time to time.

Speaking of Children I need to attend to one now……

Important Dates?

There are so many benchmark dates in our lives. There is first our birthday, every year we begin to celebrate (and then dread) that magical date every year. THen we have graduation dates, from Kindergarden, up to college and then perhaps graduate school. I know I was born June 21, 1978, I graduated high school in 1996 — I graduated college in 2003 and I will recieve my Masters of Divinity in 2008. Another important date for me (For many reasons) would be when I was a Counselor in training at Camp Calumet in 1994.

But today there is another date in my life that is important, it is my wedding anniversary. Sure it might not totally feel special today becuase we are unable to go out and celebrate. But 3 years ago today I woke up with the realization that I was going to be married. I was surrounded by friends and family excited for Katie and myself about our special day. I was such a happy day in my life and one that I will never forget.

Then there are dates that are important for companies and products, for many people it was June 29,2007 for the release of the iphone, others it was July 21, 2007 for the release of the new Harry Potter book and still others are looking forward to this friday July 27, 2007 for the Simpons movie release.

Dates are important and the older you become the more dates come into your life, there are dates of family and friends that you need to know and eventually your own children!!

But as each date comes and goes it gives you a time for reflection and apprichation. I know that I have loved being in the relationship that I am in and both Katie and I have been blessed — and two wonderful, lovely and precious children have come from it.

What Dates are important to you and why? I would love to hear stories!!!

Zoo

The best way I can explain the last week is that it has been a zoo. First and foremost there has been this whole Circus around Michael Vick being indicted on charges that he backed a vicious dog-fighting ring at a home he owned in Virginia. The charges allege that the operation, which the feds say began in 2001, often left dogs dead in the ring or killed later by hanging or electrocution.
If convicted Vick could be paying a heavy fine as well as doing some jail time. It is a huge step back for the NFL. We are hearing of all the terrible things NFL players are doing. It is crazy how guys who have so much money are making such terrible decisions. I don’t know if they are so bored that they have to go out and cause trouble, or if they just don’t care. PETA was outside of the NFL offices on Friday protesting because Vick has not been suspended as of yet. I honestly don’t know if they are going to do anything or not before he season starts. The best suggestion I have heard is to suspend him from playing with pay. To give him a chance to clear things up (or get convicted) and then get back to business. I doubt that will happen– but at this point who knows?
Life continues to be a zoo with Logan and Addyson. They surprise me everyday, with the things they say and do. Addyson is starting to roll over and I would say within the next two months she will be crawling. She has been a fast learner and I think that is common with #2 children. She seems so aware and alert. Tonight when I was holding her to fall asleep (and playing Madden 2007) she had one of her hands on my hand and the other was grabbing onto my shirt. She had a pretty tight grip. I don’t know if it is an unconscious thing for her at this point to want to cling to Katie or I but that’s what she was doing. It is a great feeling (and scary sometimes) for something so small and precious like that to have complete and total trust in me. For someone who cares and loves me so much. Like the other day when Logan told me that I was his best friend. I don’t know if he fully understood what he was saying but it was a really cool thing.
My dad was in the hospital, my sister-in-law might be pretty sick and my brother started a new job so all those things make life the more of a zoo. Please keep them all in your prayers as they need it right now.
Why this metaphor is on my mind right now is because we went to the zoo today. We went to Elmwood Zoo in Norristown. It was a nice small zoo and Logan really enjoyed it. He is getting to the point where he really soaks things in and appreciates it more. It makes our little excursions that more fun.
I hope things get figured our and calmed down more next week. One can handle only so much in a certain amount of time.

Kids and Church

The debate about Kids in church continues throughout seminary campus across the United States.  I am sure that individuals talk about it and there have even been committees formed to decide what we do about kids in church.  In a recent class we had a discussion over this very topic.  We had different opinions about it.  There was one person who said that the church’s ushers should be trained that if a child is making a disturbance they would be kindly escorted out.  While others think that a child should be welcomed no matter what in a worship setting.

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It is amazing for me to see how my own child acts in church.  I love Logan with all my heart and soul but I think he is really becoming a “pastor’s Kid” I think he is adjusting to that role better than I am adjusting with the fact that soon I will be a pastor.  He is very comfortable in church (for better or worse).  The thing that I have to deal with and decide (well actually more Katie than me) — is Logan’s behavior distracting the worship experience of the individuals around us.  I am sure that we are more sensitive than anyone else about his behavior, however that does not excuse it.  Now we can go into issues about Logan and other things we have to deal with him, but that might be for another time.  For the current time, I am thinking about children in general.

The best set up for children is at my home church Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Rutland, Vermont.  There is a children’s play area in the back.  When we have worshiped there, a few kids have used it and you hear noises every now and again but nothing terribly distracting and we were able to worship.  Is that better than a nursery?  I would think so, but is that the best answer? Are there other things that we can do for kids?  Over the years we have created and seen, worship bags for kids, and we have seen Sunday school during a worship service.  Which would be the best route to take?

What really struck home for me was a conversation with Logan.  Last weekend we had Addyson baptized in Vermont (you can see pictures of the occasion on my facebook page) and the next day when we went to get my brothers son baptized Logan asked where we were going and we said to get Evan baptized and Logan asked “with water?”   I was shocked that he actually got something out of the service.  It was amazing to me and it made me so happy.  I know that when he is in worship, he is soaking more up than we realize.  He can be an active participant in worship, but the trick with him and with all children is to know how we are going to enable our children to worship while we are spiritually fed as well.