Monday, July 30, 2007

Shameless picture post alert!!!

I have nothing to blog about right now, except that I have cute children. And I need to share pics of them. For the whole universe to see. Enjoy the greatness that is my children!
Little MacGyver and DisneyGirl enjoying sugar water at the birthday party extravaganza at Chuck E Cheese.

The World's Sweetest Toddler, after a little too much sugar water...

Cake at Grandma and Papa's house...

This is how they respond to all that sugar coursing through their system. It gets scary!

DisneyGirl and one blessed daddy snuggling in my office...

You must admit, they are adorable...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Birthday time!!!

This has been a busy week in our family. On Wednesday, DisneyGirl turned 4 years old. Then on Thursday the World's Sweetest Toddler turned 2. We had cake with Grandma Jenny on Wednesday. We did Chuck E Cheese on Thursday. Then it was pizza with Grandma and Papa on Friday.

I think Chuck E Cheese is a national outfit, so many of you have probably experienced the sheer parent torture that occurs there. Why do the Mighty Mrs J and I subject ourselves to it? One reason: we'll be grandparents one day, and we are going to insist that every party for our grandkids be held at Chuck E's. Then we'll sit back, watch our kids deal with it, and laugh our behinds off...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

More SAHD thoughts from a happy dad...

The church I grew up in was very traditional in the way it viewed family relationships. Men were the breadwinners. Women stayed home and took care of the babies. It's a great way to run a family. It was the usual way families were put together in America until the 1960's or 1970's. The problem is that in the church where I grew up, and for a lot of Christians still, it's the biblical standard for families. It's the "right" way for families to live.

It drives me insane when Christians take a custom or tradition in society, and make it into a commandment from God. In this case, people who think that this is God's way of putting a family together aren't even reading their Bibles. Here's a few examples that contradict this way of thinking:
  1. The "ideal woman" described in Proverbs 31 is definitely a business woman, as well as a wife and a mother.
  2. Lydia, the convert mentioned in Acts 16, was a merchant. We know she had some sort of family, because she and her whole household were baptized. Yet no word that she gave up her business when she came to faith.
  3. Priscilla in Acts 18. That passage says Paul worked with she and her husband in Corinth. Obviously she was involved in the family business. (She was also involved in ministry to an extant that would make some Christians today uncomfortable.)
  4. The women who followed Jesus around, and actually financially supported His ministry, were women with money. How they got their money isn't clear, but they certainly weren't at home cooking and cleaning.
These are 4 examples I came up with quickly that dispel the idea that God favors families with women who stay home with the kids. That may have been the cherished norm for 1950's America, but not the biblical standard.

Here's what I think God wants families to look like: Husbands and wives who love each other passionately. Husbands and wives who try to model Jesus for their kids and everyone around them. Kids who see that loving someone means making sacrifices to do what's best for them. Kids who are allowed to flourish into the people God intends them to be. Parents and kids who love each other and love God, and that love spills out in the way they treat everyone around them.

I think that's more ideal. But maybe that's just me...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Are stay-at-home dads happy?

Am I happy being a stay-at-home dad? I thought I was. Then I saw that this blog had been linked to in another blog. The topic at that other blog? (Yes, there are other blogs. I know, shocking!) How unhappy the marriage of the blogger is with her stay-at-home husband. It got me thinking about my whole situation.

You probably should know that I tend toward being slightly dramatic. When I see a commercial for some new medication on TV, I always imagine that I have the ailment the medicine is supposed to cure. Even though, as the Mighty Mrs. J has often pointed out, it would be very hard for me to be suffering from the traumatic effects of menopause. So, I started thining that maybe I wasn't happy after all. I wondered, am I really happy?

Answer? Yeah, I really am happy with where I am right now. And not just because I have a writing business I operate from our house. (The blogger woman suggested that the only happy SAHD's are ones who work also.) In fact, I came up with a list of reasons why I'm happy to be a SAHD:
  1. I have a profound impact on my children's lives. Much more than I would if I was at an office 10 or 12 hours a day.
  2. I have a terrific wife who realizes that marriage is a partnership where both of us have to give up things to make the family work. I give up some of my self-identity by not working outside, and she gives up some of her time with our kids.
  3. We get to show our kids that families comes in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. I hope our 3 musketeers grow up to know that they aren't bound by what society says is normal.
  4. I get the challenge of doing kid stuff, and working to run a small business on short amounts of time and money.
  5. We see every day just how good God is to us. He provides in miraculous ways, even when we don't understand how He's doing it.
Will this arrangement last forever? I have no idea. If the writing business takes off like I think it will, then maybe both of us can stay at home full time. That would be ideal.

By the way, if you want to read the blog that prompted this post, here it is. I gotta warn you. If you go there and find something you don't like, don't blame me. I don't vouch for anything there. Or anything here, for that matter.

And just to prove how deliriously happy we are, here's a picture of us. Try
to ignor that I look all doped up (more than usual). This pic just goes to prove the old saying, the couple that takes cheesy pictures together, stays together.

Great truth from a little girl...

We took the kids to San Diego Wild Animal Park yesterday (Thursday). It was great. Inspiring. The kids loved it. Little MacGyver made a wish at the pond. His wish? To live at the Wild Animal Park forever. (That can be worked out, but we'll have to clear it with Child Protective Services first.)

DisneyGirl was really taken with the whole trip. As we were leaving, she hung back. When I went back to help her along, she said something that struck me. She said, "I love this place. This beautiful place is wonderful. This place is beautiful because I love it." It was that last thing that got me. The park was beautiful, but she had made it more beautiful by her love for it.

I think it's true that we can make people and things beautiful by loving them. An when we show love for someone we bring out their beauty. I wonder how differently some people would think and behave if they knew for certain they were loved.

My little DisneyGirl has me thinking that I need to be more ready to show love toward the people around me. I wonder if that will make them more beautiful...

(As you might have guessed the picture wasn't actually taken at the Wild Animal Park. It was taken someplace far more wild and scary: our kitchen. Mostly, i just needed to impress on all of you just how cute my daughter is...)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Dusting off the cobwebs...

Hello, mt internet homies! It's been a while since I've been in this space. It feels good to be back writing. A lot has been going on--I'll get everyone up to speed in a few minutes. Right now, it just feels right to be writing again.

The reason I started this blog was to have a place where I can sort out some of the thoughts I've been having on family, faith, and other stuff. I still want and need to do that. So I'm keeping this blog open for just that reason.

More later...