All Pro Dad Day

Yesterday morning my three kids and I loaded up the van and took the 3 hour journey to Indianapolis for an event we always look forward to. All Pro Dad, a foundation started by Tony Dungy, is an organization dedicated to coaching Dads to spend time with their children. This was our third time attending a Father Kids Experience and second time in Indianapolis (we went to Cincinnati the first year). This was also the first time our youngest was able to go. The event is broken down into coaching stations where you learn a football drill, and then hear a brief message about family. This event featured Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell and All Pro Dad co-founder Clyde Christensen.

The event is great, but spending an entire day with just me and the kids is what memories are made of. It also gave my wife a day all to herself. If you are not currently plugged into an All Pro Dad, or┬áreceiving┬átheir daily email, I highly recommend them both. I would also like to thank All Pro Dad for the complimentary admission into the event. We’ll cherish it forever!

Has It Really Been That Long?

Amazing how time flies. Thanks to technology, we get to see the progression on film. Enjoy…

The original – “Dance Like No One’s Watching”

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyiHj7A2xIM

“With You”

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_DGQ34rtBs

“Dynamite”

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2euFFfMiuc

Bullies

A few weeks ago “the boy” told me something casually that at the time didn’t really register an alarm. He said that there is a kid in his class that is “gaining weight so he won’t fit into lockers at school”. Did you catch that? He is intentionally gaining weight so that bullies at school cannot put him in a locker. This child fears bullies at school so much that he is taking an extreme measure to insure that he’s not a target.

Are you kidding me?

Maybe I am just naive but I assumed that this has always been a problem. Each school, each class have had “that kid” that was mean, tough and overcompensating for something else in his life by bullying other kids. Movies and TV shows always have a bully. I don’t remember any names from “Saved by the Bell”, but I’m sure there was one on there too. Yet there seems to be a real uptick in the reporting of this being a problem in the schools. So is the just the “flavor of the month”, “slow news” or are we facing a new era of bullying?

I took a straw poll last night with my kids to just see what they had to say. I simply asked “Do you have bullies in your school?”

5 yr old: No…well, we have one….two actually.

She then listed them by name. So what do we as parents do? We recently ordered a copy of P90X and are teaching all three of our children to defend themselves.While I am kidding with that response (we have made no such order), I am curious how to handle this. I’m struggling with the words to tell my kids about bullies. I’m looking for ideas on what to encourage them to do.

I’m curious about your thoughts as well…..

10 Years Old

As of tomorrow morning, an entire decade will have gone by since I became a father for the first time. Our first born and the child affectionately known as “the boy” is 10 years old. I can’t even believe it as I type it. There is so much water under the bridge of the past 10 years. In many ways, we have grown up together over that time period. He’s taught me more about myself then I ever imagined. He’s taught me about the relationship we share with our Heavenly Father. He’s taught me about grace, forgiveness and a crazy love for another human being. It’s been an awesome ride.

Continue reading

Have A Cause?

For several months now I have been weighing the opportunity to run in the Columbus Half Marathon on October 17, 2010. I have gone back and forth and have yet to sign up. My wife and are I are running in the Dayton Air Force Half Marathon on September 18th and she has already signed up to run the full marathon in Columbus. We both feel like our days of running in these events are wrapping up so Columbus will most likely be our last race for awhile. There are two things that came to mind the other day as I continued to debate on running Columbus:

1. Assuming I finish Dayton in 2 weeks, Columbus would be my 13th half marathon. Given that it could be my last and they are 13 miles, it has a nice feel to it finishing on that number.

2. I need a cause or a reason that has nothing to do with me for this race. I am in search of a purpose to run this one so I can glance at my shirt throughout the race and remember…”this isn’t about you”.

So, here’s my offer. If I am to run Columbus, I need a cause or causes to support. I’m willing to run the race if it means running it to support someone, encourage someone, benefit a charity or raise some funds for support (Church, charity, etc…). I’ll pick up the tab on the race, I just need to know the cause(s) I’ll be running for. With the remarkable reach of the web, I thought you all can help me spread the word. If you know of someone or something I can run to support, please leave a comment on this post, or drop me an email.

Together we’ll finish the race!

Step by Step

I started this blog when we were expecting our youngest child over 5 years ago. It has become a blog about our family (among many other things). In many ways, it has been a blog about the relationship between my son (“the boy”) and I. Thus the name “Arms Wide Open” from the Creed song by the same name which was popular when he was born.

With basketball season not too far away, I extended the offer to him a few weeks ago to share the first mile with me on my weekly runs. Surprisingly he accepted right away. Over the course of the past few weeks he has twice completed a 4 mile run on his own choosing. As I said on twitter tonight, the pace isn’t important. The time together, step by step, sharing the journey is. Just as in life, it’s my goal to run alongside (not in front or behind) and see him through to the finish of whatever he does.

While the physical exercise is great for us both, his spiritual training is an area that I am challenged to really do a better job with. My wife has done a tremendous job starting their days with “Jesus Time” and keeping their devotions a priority. But lately I have felt convicted to take a more active role in his spiritual maturity and faith too. As the guy that he often imitates (if I like it or not), I need to lead by example. I need to walk step by step with him as we both grow in our faith.

On Sunday night we will begin a series utilizing the I Am Second resources. Dad’s I would like to challenge you to consider doing the same with your boys. The web site is full of videos from athletes, coaches, artists and stars they know and admire. It is the perfect introduction to the concept of placing Jesus in his rightful order of our lives. I’ll keep you posted on our progress and I hope you do the same.

On the journey….

Let That Pony Run

Tomorrow morning marks the start of another school year and the first time that all three of our children will be in school all day. I’m not going to lie this is one of my least favorite days of the year. Tonight we close out the summer and tomorrow morning begins one year older, one year closer to football parties, boys, girls, acne, first cars, first loves and broken hearts. Sorry…like I said, I’m not a big fan of this night.

I just put my kids to bed and quietly whispered a prayer of protection over each one of them individually. For you “First Timer” parents walking your little ones to school in the next few days, I can really only offer you one piece of advice. It came from Country singer Pam Tillis (no, I don’t know here). She sang this lyric in a song (which had nothing to do with school…or children), but the line captured me. I am reminded of it every year at this time.

You do whatcha gotta do
When you know what you know
You hang on until you can’t hang on
Then you learn to let go
You get what you need sometimes
When it’s all said and done
You do whatcha gotta do
And you let that pony run….

A few years ago my wife and I walked “The Boy” to school and for the first time, we “let that pony run”. That was a tough day. We held the handle bars as long as we could. We taught him all we could teach him and did our best to “train him up”. I’m happy to report that he did just fine. Just fine indeed. We did the same with our middle child a few years later. Tomorrow morning, we will let go of our youngest child in the same way. It’s time to let that pony run. We’ve “held on until we can’t hang on” any longer.

In the morning we will walk all three of our children to school and release them into the world that is their school. I pray for their protection. I pray for their friends and their circle of influence. I pray that each one will be a light in their school and will care for the ones that need it most. I pray they will stand up for those that need a friend and be leaders where opportunities present themselves. I pray they will respect others and see people as Jesus sees them.

And we’ll let those ponies run….