Tag Archives: family

Turn Off the Internet

Are your kids browsing the internet when they should be going to sleep?
Are they struggling to get their chores done because of the distractions of electronics?
In 2014, most everyone, including kids have their own personal device that can access the internet through Wi-Fi.
It could be a phone, iPod touch, tablet, laptop, desktop PC, XBox, and now even TVs.
This easy internet access makes it increasingly more difficult to control how much time the kids spend on it.
Television is no longer our only concern.

The solution that we have come up with for our home is very simple; we just turn the internet off.
How do you turn the internet off?
Simply pull out the cord that powers the Internet modem and wallah…no internet!
Every week night, at about 9:30, we pull the plug on the internet, say a prayer together and get to bed.

We’ll even pull the plug in the morning or in the middle of the day, if necessary.
If we find the kids staring at a screen instead of doing their homework or chores you can get their attention real fast by simply pulling the plug on the internet.
If they want it back… they will get done whatever it is that they need to do.
Try it one day! It’s kind of a rush to know that you have power over the mighty Internet! (At least, in your home)

Now, there still may be times when simply pulling the plug may not be enough, especially if your kids have their own internet enabled phone. In this case, you can have them turn their phone in to you.

You can limit the use of the internet with anti-virus software as well, but we still find it to be easier to just pull the plug.

If you have other ideas for controlling the internet in your home I would love to hear from you.
Let me know how it goes, if you try pulling the plug.

Advertisements

Parenting in 2014

This year I plan to focus my writing for this blog on parenting.

God has blessed Becky and I with 3 boys. At this moment 2 of them are teenagers and one of them will be there soon.
Collin is 15, Connor is 13, (soon to be 14) and Colton is 10.
Our kids are not prefect and Becky and I are no where near perfect parents, but to this point we believe that we have done as good of a job as we knew how at raising great kids.
Now, as they are getting older, our focus is not going to be so much on raising great kids, but raising kids to be great adults.

In the next post I hope to provide some credibility by sharing with you our story in raising our kids to this point.
Going forward I’ll be sharing both our successes and failures in parenting, with the goal of providing some value that you can take and use or learn from.

Parenting can be very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging as well, especially with teenagers.
We have been given an enormous responsibility. Our kids are the future and they will make an impact on society as adults, positively or negatively. We have the power to make this world a better place to live and it all starts with how good of a job that we do as parents.

My kids are waking up right now or need to be woke up and I need to turn my attention to them for a while, but I can’t wait to start by writing our story to share it with you.
If you have kids or even grandkids please enter your email address in the “Follow Me” link to the right.
Doing so will ensure that any future articles that I write will be delivered directly to you.
I want to learn from you as well and the best way to do that is to make this interactive in the comments section of each post.
Together we can help each other in the challenging role of parenting.

Have a very Happy New Year!


The Christmas Story

20131224-092637.jpg

Amongst all the hustle and bustle of this time of year, we must remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Take some time to sit down with your family and read them the Christmas story.
(I apologize ahead of time if you find any spelling errors. I typed all this manually so that I could soak it all in one word at a time)

Luke 1: 26-38
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, The Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in they womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
For with God nothing is impossible.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of The Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Matthew 1:18-25
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of The Lord appeared unto him in a dream , saying, Joseph thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and though shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of The Lord by the prophet, saying,
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanual, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of The Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
And knew her not til she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Luke 2:1-21
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said on to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Matthew 2:1-12
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
And they said unto him, in Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of these shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, til it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Here are some other scriptures pertaining to the birth of Jesus…

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore The Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that they world through him might be saved.

Have a very merry Christmas!


Why We Cut the Cable

20131204-063601.jpg

This week we made a conscience decision to discontinue our cable TV service.
It was an easy decision for Becky and I, but difficult for the kids to absorb.
In this article I will share why we cut the cable and later will share how we were able to adapt and survive. 🙂

Why?
First of all, our cable provider, Charter, decided to go all digital and require setup boxes for each TV in the house.
$6 per month per box! When you have several TVs in the house that adds up. On top of that they increased our cable bill 20% without any heads up or warning at all.

We are budget minded people and do not watch enough TV to justify paying that kind of money for it.
There has always been a no TV rule in our house Monday through Thursdays because of school and with youth activities on Fridays the TV is not used most of the week anyhow. So I made the call and on Monday they came and cut the cable.
Our Charter bill will drop from $185/month to $69.99 per month for just phone and internet. That is over $100 per month in savings!!

Second of all, I actually look forward to seeing how we will adapt.
It feels good in a sense to be one of the weird, abnormal guys without TV service.
Maybe we’ll spend more time outside, playing music or reading.
I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

The most difficult part about cutting the cable will be losing ESPN and Disney. My boys and I enjoy watching college football together on Saturdays and my youngest’ favorite shows are on Disney. We also enjoy the Duck Dynasty series.
When I first broke the news to the kids, it was not taken easily, especially knowing that there are Bowl games coming up and most of them are on ESPN, but sometimes tough decisions have to be made for the better of the household.

I already have some ideas on how to adapt and still be able to catch some sports and Disney shows, but I’ll save that for a future article.

How about you? Do you have cable?
If so, have you ever considered cutting it in order to save money?
I would love to hear from your experiences.


The Importance of Raising Great Adults

Andy Andrews says, “We’re not trying to raise great kids. We’re trying to raise kids who become great adults.”

Our role as parents is larger than most might think.
The future of our country and this world will be shaped by how we are raising our kids today.
Kids are going to be kids for only 25% of their lives. The other 75% they will be adults functioning with whatever core values and fundamentals they have learned from their parents.

We have our kids under our control, like a boat tied to a dock. As they grow older we give them a little bit more slack in the rope at a time until eventually we have to untie the rope and set them free? All of our hard work and time spent with them then gets put to test out in the real world. Will they float or sink? Will they drift aimlessly in the open waters or will they be like a speed boat aimed in a certain direction and gunning it as fast as they can? (Hopefully in the right direction)

In order to raise great adults that are going to be able to sail in the open waters and impact this world positively we must teach our kids to have faith and trust in God, to love your family, to have a great attitude, how to face and conquer problems, how to react when things to go their way, how to deal with conflict, respect for others, work ethic, serving others and the community, to never stop learning, good morals, integrity, how to be a problem solver instead of a problem creator, how to think positively and so much more.

God has blessed my wife and I with 3 boys. I love them and cherish every moment that I can get with them.
But I realize that they will not be kids forever and that their most important and influential days are ahead of them.
They really are great kids, but my goal is that they will become great adults.

How about you? Have you ever thought about it that way?
Please share what you think by commenting below.
If you would like to be sure to receive future posts from me, enter your email address in the “Follow” link to the right.
Thank you and God bless.


Are You Others-Centered or Self-Centered?

20130715-063648.jpg

Most of us are likely familiar with the term “self-centered”, but how many of you have heard of the term “others-centered”.

I learned of this term by reading the late Zig Ziglar’s, “Born to Win” book.
Before then I can honestly say that I have never heard the term before and it really struck a chord in my life.

What are we here on this earth for?
Is it all about us or is it all about others?

Take a look at the bullseye picture above and let’s assume that is your world.
If you placed a picture of someone in the center, who would you see?

Would you see a picture of yourself or would you see a picture of your family, your wife, your kids, your friends.

Everything that we do should be centered around others.

Pray for others
Love others
Serve others
Cook for others
Give to others

One of Zig Ziglar’s most popular sayings was this…
“If you help enough others get what they want, then you will eventually get what you want”

When you become Others-Centered instead of Self-Centered your life changes for ever.

Try it today and every day and see how you can be a blessing to others.


What Can Be Learned From a Child’s Poem About Family

20130708-055525.jpg

My youngest son wrote this poem in school.
As I write this I am attempting to look at it through the eyes of someone else rather than my own.
If I were his teacher, reading through this poem, this is what I would have learned about his family.

Dad cooks breakfast and mom cooks dinner.
Mom and Dad are working together, sharing the duties of the family.

This family takes road trips together.
This means taking time out from the hustle and bustle of every day life to get away and spend time together.

Mom is very kind and tenderhearted.
She is there to help when they fall down and get wounded physically as well as emotionally.

No family is perfect.
There will be fighting between siblings and even disagreements between the kids and parents, but this is normal and even needed in order to learn and grow.

This family has routines, such as eating pizza on Friday’s.
This gives the kids something to expect and look forward to each week.

This family uses sports as a way of interacting with each other and spending time together.

This family believes in prayer and going to church and they do it consistently; prayer every night and church every Wednesday and Sunday.

Challenge: See if you can get your child to sit down and write their own poem about “Where I am From” and see what they reveal about your family. A child speaks from the heart and can be very honest in their words. I pray that you will be touched by what they say as much as I was.


“Where I’m From” – A poem about family, by my youngest son

This poem touched my heart in more ways than one and I just had to share it.

In my next post I”ll share what I’ve learned from my son and how his poem can be used as a guideline for a happy and loving family.

20130706-083937.jpg

I am from a family that my dad cooks pancakes.
I am from cars driving from the road at sunset.
I am from mom’s kindness and dad’s good pancakes.
I am from my brother’s meanness and fighting a lot.
I am from Greenville, SC.
We travel through some states.
I’m from a family that eat’s pizza on Fridays.
I’m from a family that plays sports like basketball and watching football.
I’m from a family that goes to 2 different schools, elementary and middle school.
I am from a place that my dad cooks every morning and my mom cooks at night.
I am from a family that my mom and dad prays with me every night.
I am from a family that goes to church every Sunday and Wednesday night.

Don’t miss the next post. Click on the “Follow” button on the right and enter your email address.


Why I Love My Boys

20130615-195955.jpg

This Father’s Day I am very thankful for the three boys that God has bless me with.

I do not have any daughters. I have heard how wonderful and special they are to a father, but as for me, I am perfectly content with my boys for several reasons.

  • Our last name can be carried on for another generation and with three boys there is a great chance that at least one of them will have sons, so the name will likely continue for even longer.
  • We are able to pass down clothes. (It’s hard to pass on girls clothes to a boy and vice versa)
  • Us guys can walk around the house in our underwear, if we so choose, and not have to worry about girls. (My wife is a woman, not a girl, and their mother, so she doesn’t matter)
  • Boys can share a room or bed if needed.
  • Boys don’t need 50 pair of shoes, purses and make up.
  • Boys are simple; easy to shop for and easy to get dressed.
  • Boys are less dramatic than girls.
  • Boys can get ready to go somewhere in 10 minutes.

Please don’t take me wrong. If God would have blessed me with girls I would be writing about why I love my girls, but he didn’t and I do love my boys!

Please feel free to comment and share your reasons for why you like your boys or girls.

 

If you would like to receive future posts please enter your email address in the follow link on the right.


%d bloggers like this: