Being One of Those Parents

Last weekend we attended a basketball tournament for “The Boy”. The gym was filled with courts, games, teams and parents. I had the chance to observe one team that was hand selected from the finest 6th graders in a certain city. One player in particular really caught my attention. He was taller than most his age, skilled, gifted, could handle the ball, play inside and shoot the “3” at a high percentage. What stuck out to me most was his humility, character and good sportsmanship. He helped other players up after a hard foul. Encouraged his other teammates and even gave a guy that blocked his shot a pat on the back. Quality kid.

Continue reading “Being One of Those Parents”

Guide Them Home

On New Years Day, “the boy” and I ran in an annual 5K. This was my third year to run this race and his first. I run 4 to 5 times a week, he never runs. I’m also 30 years older than he is with a lot more miles. While his pace is about 3 minutes slower than mine per mile, it’s all about the journey. It’s about the time together. I don’t care where we finish, I’m just glad we did it. So is he. As we finished the race, a man standing at the finish line said “Way … Continue reading Guide Them Home

In 2011 Lead Me

So often when I listen to music, I don’t “HEAR” it. While I was taking down the Christmas tree and reflecting on life, marriage, children and what the coming year might have for all of the above, I HEARD this song. The lyrics found a place in my thoughts and challenged me to LEAD my beautiful family. I wondered if I have lead them in the past and how often I fall short of that goal. Dads, Husbands….let’s lead them in 2011. Continue reading In 2011 Lead Me

Urban Sledding

Like most of the country, we got hit with our first blast of real winter weather today. It actually provided a great opportunity to stay indoors and relax for a day. The kids waited somewhat patiently, but we couldn’t hold them off forever. They just had to get outside. So we cleared the driveway and discovered a new pastime. We like to call it “Urban Sledding”. After playing “Traffic Cop” I got a chance to get in the act too. We didn’t forget about getting our littlest one that push she needed either. Continue reading Urban Sledding

Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler

On Thursday morning we looked out the window as the rain came down. I never in my wildest dreams thought we would get this 4 mile run in. The weatherman said there was 100% chance of rain. Temperatures were supposed to be in the 40’s. Yet when our friends arrived to ride to the race with us, they said it wasn’t all that cold outside. We also noted that the rain was a mild mist. So off we went….. This year was even more special because my wife and I were joined by our 10 year old son and our … Continue reading Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler

You’re Beautiful

Yesterday I sat my 7 year old daughter on my lap and together we listened to this song. As the chorus rang out, I whispered the words into her ear. I wanted her to know that she is “Beautiful. She is sacred. She is treasured. She is His”. Why you ask? Children with involved Fathers are more confident, better able to deal with frustration, better able to gain independence and their own identity, more likely to mature into compassionate adults, more likely to have a high self esteem, more sociable, more secure as infants, less likely to show signs of … Continue reading You’re Beautiful

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 … Continue reading All Pro Dad Day

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 … Continue reading Bullies

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 “10 Years Old”

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 … Continue reading Have A Cause?

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 … Continue reading Step by Step

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 … Continue reading Let That Pony Run

Proud Papa!

Yesterday morning two of our three children took part in a kids triathlon sponsored by our local municipal pool. This was the second attempt at the event as last weeks scheduled date was rained out. I am so proud of my kids for accepting the challenge and being very excited about doing so. They both did great. Due to the layout of the course, it was difficult to get to all of the spots for pictures, but here are a few I captured. Continue reading Proud Papa!

Son, there is only one King

Son, sit down here for a minute or two. Let’s talk about what happened last night and what that really means in the big picture of your life. Son….there is only one “King”. You and I both love sports Son. Maybe it’s my fault. Since the time you were born, I have programmed you to follow athletes, teams and sports. I wrapped you in the colors of the Tar Heels and Cavaliers in your bassinet. I clothed you in team colors and we’ve spent many hours breaking down our teams rise and fall. We’ve hung the posters on your walls … Continue reading Son, there is only one King

Dad…I'm Watching You

10 Ways To Be An All Pro Dad

Love Your Wife
True love is not a feeling. It is a decision. It’s an act of the will to be patient, kind, humble, hopeful, giving, faithful and trusting. When you commit to loving your wife this way, your feelings for her, and hers for you, will follow. Actively loving your wife will radically strengthen your marriage and will also be incredibly beneficial to your children. The number one source of security for kids is to know that their dad loves their mother and is steadfastly committed to her well-being.

Spend Time With Your Kids
How you spend your time reflects what’s important to you. If you value your kids, you’ll want to be with them. You don’t need to wait for the perfect time, when you can take a vacation or an afternoon off from work. Instead, grab those small pockets of time as they present themselves throughout the day. Call your kids on your cell phone between appointments just to say “hi.” Send them an e-mail from work. Read to them at bedtime. Carve out a few minutes to help them with their homework. Go to breakfast and drop them off at school. Grab every moment you can get with your children.

Be a Role Model
It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of a father modeling the type of behavior he desires to see in his children. Role models don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk of an honorable man. A great place to start is consistency. Do you keep your word? Do you stand up for what is right, even when it costs you? Are you trustworthy? Are you loyal in your relationships? Be what you want your children to be!

Continue reading “Dad…I'm Watching You”

Dad…I’m Watching You

10 Ways To Be An All Pro Dad

Love Your Wife
True love is not a feeling. It is a decision. It’s an act of the will to be patient, kind, humble, hopeful, giving, faithful and trusting. When you commit to loving your wife this way, your feelings for her, and hers for you, will follow. Actively loving your wife will radically strengthen your marriage and will also be incredibly beneficial to your children. The number one source of security for kids is to know that their dad loves their mother and is steadfastly committed to her well-being.

Spend Time With Your Kids
How you spend your time reflects what’s important to you. If you value your kids, you’ll want to be with them. You don’t need to wait for the perfect time, when you can take a vacation or an afternoon off from work. Instead, grab those small pockets of time as they present themselves throughout the day. Call your kids on your cell phone between appointments just to say “hi.” Send them an e-mail from work. Read to them at bedtime. Carve out a few minutes to help them with their homework. Go to breakfast and drop them off at school. Grab every moment you can get with your children.

Be a Role Model
It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of a father modeling the type of behavior he desires to see in his children. Role models don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk of an honorable man. A great place to start is consistency. Do you keep your word? Do you stand up for what is right, even when it costs you? Are you trustworthy? Are you loyal in your relationships? Be what you want your children to be!

Continue reading “Dad…I’m Watching You”

Me and my big mouth

As Father’s Day approaches, I got a lesson in humility and a reminder that little ears are never too far away. Without going into a lot of details, let me just put it this way – if you need a disclaimer that says “what Mommy and I say here stays here”, then it is probably something that just shouldn’t be said. The problem is that as I have gotten older, I have become more opinionated. Maybe I was opinionated before, but now I am more vocal in stating my opinion. While it may be good to be “real” or “honest”, … Continue reading Me and my big mouth

Fathers Day? RedEnvelope’s Got You Covered!

With Father’s Day right around the corner, you might be looking for something for that special Dad in your life or family. You might also be looking for ideas that are non-iPad priced for the family to get YOU for Father’s Day. If either of the previous statements are true, then RedEnvelope.com has you covered. I’ve got a new addition in my office/man cave to prove it! Thanks to the guys at RedEnvelope, I had the opportunity to receive a free, wicked cool, personalized sign to let people know that they had officially entered my man cave. The ordering was … Continue reading Fathers Day? RedEnvelope’s Got You Covered!

Pomp and Circumstance

As odd as this may sound, this blog and my youngest child will always have an interesting connection. You see, I started this crazy thing over 5 years ago to keep family and friends informed about the upcoming birth of our child. So as she has grown, I like to hope that this silly blog has too. I’m not sure the writing is any better (matter of fact, I think I have regressed), but we have sure evolved. Today…”we” graduated. Our baby (the child…not the blog) walked across the stage and moved from pre-schooler to Kindergardener. I can’t believe I … Continue reading Pomp and Circumstance

Pomp and Circumstance

As odd as this may sound, this blog and my youngest child will always have an interesting connection. You see, I started this crazy thing over 5 years ago to keep family and friends informed about the upcoming birth of our child. So as she has grown, I like to hope that this silly blog has too. I’m not sure the writing is any better (matter of fact, I think I have regressed), but we have sure evolved. Today…”we” graduated. Our baby (the child…not the blog) walked across the stage and moved from pre-schooler to Kindergardener. I can’t believe I … Continue reading Pomp and Circumstance

A Lesson In Grace

Sippy Cup Overload
Image by lynda@dwc via Flickr

Last night I received a lesson and hopefully taught one as well. It was the bedtime hour and I was putting the kiddo’s to bed. My youngest daughter requested some juice in a sippy cup to place beside her bed. She got used to doing this during a recent battle with the flu so I didn’t mind agreeing to said request. My middle child heard the request and decided she would like a little bedside refreshment as well. One problem…she has been known to sleep right on through her “potty alarm”….if you know what I mean.

Knowing that she would have this “issue” and trying to avoid a further problem, I kindly explained that she probably shouldn’t as it might lead to her wetting the bed. Since I am a softie when it comes to my girls, the hour was late and I didn’t have it in me to argue…you guessed it, she got a sippy cup too. Everyone went to bed without a hitch and I enjoyed the next 2 hours of catching up on some work in my home office. That’s when it happened.

Small footsteps

Sleepy child walking in my office

Quivering lower bottom lip

Embarrassment on her little face

A tear forming in her eye

Decision time for daddy…..

Continue reading “A Lesson In Grace”

Cake For Breakfast

As I posted earlier this week, we had a birthday in our home for our littlest child on Wednesday. Since the event coincided with our House Church we purchased a large sheet cake to celebrate the event. One of Gods greatest gifts is birthday cake. Specifically the four corner pieces. Nothing makes me happier than a corner piece of birthday cake. Especially for breakfast. Wash it down with a Diet Coke and you really know how to kick off the day! This morning as I cut a piece of cake (so the children wouldn’t see) , this classic clip from … Continue reading Cake For Breakfast

Fatherhood Friday

The guys over at Dad-Blogs.com do a very cool thing every Friday to coordinate posts from some of the many Dads that blog out there. This is my first entry on a Fatherhood Friday but hopefully something I will be able to do each week. I’m up to my ears in conference calls today so this post will be short and sweet…..literally. Basically it was a conversation that took place with our youngest child a few weeks ago. Those that know our youngest daughter know that she is a bit of  a card. She keeps us in stitches and is … Continue reading Fatherhood Friday

If The Boy Was President…

“The Boy” sent me a Power Point presentation that he put together this morning. Yes, you read that correctly. My 9 year old actually put together an entire Power Point. That amazes me because I work with grown adults that don’t know how to use that program. I did not assist him or help with this at all. It came straight from his mind. It was too good to not pass along this morning. Hope it makes you all laugh like it did for me: “If I Were President” by “The Boy” – I would make cotton candy for breakfast. … Continue reading If The Boy Was President…

Where I'll Be on Saturday

On Saturday morning, my good friend Brian and I are headed back to Indianapolis. In what is becoming an annual tradition, we are taking our 2 oldest children to the All Pro Dad Colts Father and Kids Experience. Last year we took them to the same event but visited the home of the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a great time of connection, affirmation and fun with our little ones. On several occasions over the past year, my son and oldest daughter have both asked when the next All Pro Dad days is. Being that Brian is a diehard Colts fan … Continue reading Where I'll Be on Saturday

Where I’ll Be on Saturday

On Saturday morning, my good friend Brian and I are headed back to Indianapolis. In what is becoming an annual tradition, we are taking our 2 oldest children to the All Pro Dad Colts Father and Kids Experience. Last year we took them to the same event but visited the home of the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a great time of connection, affirmation and fun with our little ones. On several occasions over the past year, my son and oldest daughter have both asked when the next All Pro Dad days is. Being that Brian is a diehard Colts fan … Continue reading Where I’ll Be on Saturday

Badge of Honor

I saw this commercial the other night and was cracking up. I’ve got 2 little girls and it was oh so close to home. If I’m going to stand in the backyard and play catch with “the boy” or spend hours developing his wicked post game, it’s only fair that I be an equal opportunity father. If it means grabbing the pom-poms and belting out a cheer, then so be it. I’ll wear that moment like a badge of honor! I’m telling you right now, I can do a mean “Hoedown Throwdown” (it’s a dance in case you were not … Continue reading Badge of Honor

A Class By Himself

A few weeks ago, I was flipping channels in time to see Michael Jordan’s induction speech for the Basketball Hall of Fame. You all know me enough by now to now that I bleed Carolina Blue. I defend the colors. I am obsessed with it’s history. But I will be the first to say this….Michael, you were a jerk. “The boy” and I often watch old clips of “His Airness” so he can see the amazing gifts and abilities of the greatest player to ever play. I’m thankful that “the boy” wasn’t watching the night I stumbled across MJ’s speech. … Continue reading A Class By Himself

Ugh….

For reasons I am still trying to figure out, my hand clicked “review” on a book called “She Still Calls Me Daddy” by Robert Wolgemuth. My friends at Thomas Nelson were kind enough to send that one to me to review. I don’t know if I’m ready to do that. What I have read of the book so far is wonderful. It really has nothing to do with the book, or it’s author. I am just not sure I am ready to think about my little girls leaving home…..EVER! Maybe I should have read “She Calls Me Daddy” by the … Continue reading Ugh….

And They're Off…

So it begins, another year of school. Last night all three of our children were so excited about the start of a brand new year of education. They must have gotten that gene from my wife because I know I never got all that excited about another year of “hittin’ the books”. The walk to school this morning was funny though. All the little ones with their new backpacks, shoes and outfits for the first day. Moms and Dad’s lined the outside entrance with cameras in hand. One family (complete with Grandma and Grandpa) were literally videotaping their child as … Continue reading And They're Off…

And They’re Off…

So it begins, another year of school. Last night all three of our children were so excited about the start of a brand new year of education. They must have gotten that gene from my wife because I know I never got all that excited about another year of “hittin’ the books”. The walk to school this morning was funny though. All the little ones with their new backpacks, shoes and outfits for the first day. Moms and Dad’s lined the outside entrance with cameras in hand. One family (complete with Grandma and Grandpa) were literally videotaping their child as … Continue reading And They’re Off…

The Apple and The Tree

This clip convicted me today. Maybe convicted isn’t the right word. Whatever the word, I was reminded that three small children in our home are just starting out in the world of dreaming. Each day they are molding and shaping the targets that they will push and live to pursue. In a week or two they will begin school again where their dreams, futures and the possibilities will grow. As their Dad, my words can push wind into their sails or drop an anchor on their dream journey. I see it the most right now in “the boy”. That apple … Continue reading The Apple and The Tree

Every Dads Dream

Duke-NCarolina-Basket_WebIt is no secret that I am a fan of two things…The Tar Heels and one Mr. Tyler Hansbrough. Last night I was checking out a site that I frequent called MrTarHeel.com. I stumbled across this letter that was written by Gene Hansbrough (Tyler’s Dad) and submitted to Tar Heel Monthly. It’s too good to not share. Regardless of if you like the Tar Heels, Tyler Hansbrough or NCAA Hoops, it’s worth a read.

As I read it I reflected on the pride of this Dad. It comes screaming out of the pages as you read. Isn’t that what we all want for our kids? I’m not talking about winning Player of the Year, or NCAA championships (although that would totally ROCK!). I am more referring to knowing that they achieved their dreams. Sorry for the length, but I felt like it was worth re-posting. Here’s his letter (the bold emphasis are mine).

Would you call him a failure? He was a little kid and he couldn’t quite raise the ball to the basket. He put the ball way down by his hip and pushed with everything he had. But the ball just wouldn’t get over the rim. Still, he stayed there all alone, flinging the ball upward again and again. He never did make one that day but he stayed there a long, long time.


Continue reading “Every Dads Dream”

Title Town

One thing I will never do is apologize for being a proud father. For the second straight summer “the boy” has been on a championship little league team. Last year the city league Marlins won the title with a bottom of the 6th rally that will forever go down in our memory. They went from needing 2 runs to not be “mercy ruled” to just needing 3 outs in the top of the 7th to secure the title! It was a great game and memory. When the winter rolled around we were approached about playing in an independent travel league … Continue reading Title Town

Hey Dad….

The other night we were watching the Cavs and Pistons game on TV and my 8 year old son hit me with one of “those questions” I was not prepared to answer. The questions were simple, the answers were not. Q: Hey Dad…is Lebron James a Christian? A: I don’t know Q: Hey Dad…is Tyler Hansbrough a Christian? A: Of course..he went to North Carolina A: Son, I don’t know. My guess is that because we don’t know, they might not be. Athletes that are Christian usually let everyone know. I’m not saying they are or are not, I just … Continue reading Hey Dad….

A Lesson in Grace

Last night I received a lesson and hopefully taught one as well. It was the bedtime hour and I was putting the kiddo’s to bed. My youngest daughter requested some juice in a sippy cup to place beside her bed. She got used to doing this during a recent battle with the flu so I didn’t mind agreeing to said request. My middle child heard the request and decided she would like a little bedside refreshment as well. One problem…she has been known to sleep right on through her “potty alarm”….if you know what I mean. Knowing that she would … Continue reading A Lesson in Grace

To Train Up A Child

There I was, enjoying “the day after” the big win against Duke today and then this picture popped up. Now I can’t stop looking at it. It gripped me the moment I saw it. The more I look at it, the more I see. This is not a story about my obsession with the Tar Heels. It’s not a story about how fond we are of Tyler Hansbrough. Rather it is a story about that often quoted verse from Proverbs 22:6 that most parents can quote “Train up a child in the way they should go and when he is … Continue reading To Train Up A Child