Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my father's birthday and for once, the whole family was together to celebrate it! We went camping last night (pics to follow soon) and then arrived home today, cleaned up, got a babysitter and went out to Red Lobster to celebrate. Hooray!

The food was delicious and it was so nice to have everyone together. In our family we have a tradition where on a person's birthday everyone present says something they love or appreciate about that person. During dessert we went around the table and spoke about the things we appreciated about dad. I didn't realize it but our waitress was cleaning the tables behind us. After a while she came over to our table and said, "you guys are choking me up over here! Those are such sweet things you guys are saying." It was pretty funny.

Dad is really a wonderful man. I loved the things our family said about him. To paraphrase:

1. BJ: Dad is very level-headed. You can talk to him about anything and he will give you his honest, unbiased opinion. And the advice he gives is always excellent. He is also a brilliant person but is very humble-- a rare trait in someone so smart.

2. Me: I have many fond memories of Dad playing with us as children. I loved it when he came home from work and played with us. Now I see that same love from my children. They simply adore "Papa" and love it when he is around. He plays with them in interesting and creative ways and they can sense his love and genuine interest in them.

3. David: He is very unselfish and patient. He gives of his time readily and never seems inconvenienced by anyone's need for help.

4. Becky: He is patient and gentle. He never yelled and was a kind and gentle father. Many people have issues with their father's but Dad has always been so kind that all his children love and respect him.

5. Angie: Dad always seems genuinely interested in the details of our lives. He asks specific questions about our projects and events. Also, the first time Angie was visiting our house, Dad said the evening prayer and said we were very grateful she was there. This meant a lot to her.

6. Daniel: Dad continues to develop himself and pursue his interests. He works through Calculus and Advanced Physics textbooks on his own to continue to learn and develop. He is also very encouraging to all of the kids. He says often that he thinks we are doing well in life and making good choices.

7. Mom: Mom said she is so grateful for dad. It took her 10 years of marriage to find anything at all wrong with him. :) She also expressed gratitude for the tender and patient way he looked after her during her recovery from surgery.

We all love and respect you so much, Dad. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


We have been working on McKay's attitude lately. He struggles with controlling his frustration and ends up saying (or shouting) more than he ought to. It has been a bit of a parenting challenge lately.

For example, a few days ago I was making popcorn for BJ to deliver to some offices around town. McKay tasted some of it but didn't like the taste. I tried to reason with him but he was mad about it, crying that it didn't taste right, saying he "wasn't going to be friends with any of his grown up friends anymore", and even beginning to shout at me to "fix" the popcorn. I tried to be calm and reason with him but after enough of his fussing I couldn't take it anymore.

As he was storming into the next room I said, "McKay, just knock it off." He turned on his heel, spun around, and pointing his finger at me shouted, "No Mom, YOU knock it off!" My jaw literally fell open. I was livid but my mom, also standing in the kitchen, was doubled over with laughter. She said through her giggles, "He sounds just like you at that age". Great.

Note: I was, admittedly, a very feisty child. I got in trouble often for shouting at my parents and ended up with pepper on my tongue multiple times. In my defense, I was a pretty easy teenager and haven't given my parents a lot of trouble since those early days, so I'm really hoping the same will apply to McKay.


After his outburst I stormed after him and he got a spray of vinegar in his mouth, which he hates. He actually asks to be spanked rather than have the vinegar spray. Later in the day he got a second spray for similar behavior. After he had been put in his room and had calmed down I went in and spoke to him. I said, "McKay, you had to have two vinegar sprays today. Why did you have to have two sprays?" He hung his head down and said very mournfully, "Because I was very, very sassy."