Can’t Believe How Fast They’re Growing

I can’t believe how fast my children are growing.


  • Is now a senior in high school.  Seems like yesterday she was cutting her own hair and playing in the mud.
  • She is taller than I am.
  • Going on dates
  • Has a Job
  • Responsible


  • Getting taller
  • Voice is getting deeper
  • His boyish looks are changing into being manly
  • Drives my truck around the church


  • Putting logical thoughts together
  • Using more and more words
  • His ability to reason, (when he wants to)
  • Independence (I can do it)
  • No lock, latch, nor gate that can hold him.  He could escape Alcatraz!!
  • Shy
  • Loves Octonaughts
  • Can make Jackson so mad
  • Always wants to “drive” my truck


  • Using more and more words
  • She carries on conversations
  • Tells you what she wants
  • Get’s upset when you don’t do it.
  • Always calls out DaaGee when I open the door
  • Loves to take a bath
  • Will show you the finger she has DaaGee wrapped around


  • Independent
  • Talking more but not as much as Sophie
  • Loves his Mimi
  • Shorter than Sophie
  • Looks so much like his daddy at that age.
  • Beginning to sing along with radio.  Favorite song, “Mean” by Taylor Swift
  • Refuses to go to bed until he is ready to drop
Categories: Erica, Family, Graden Cooper, Jackson, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment


This poster says it all…

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Favorite Photos

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Photo’s w/Sophie and Graden

All these photos were taken by our daughter Erica who was there for the entire birth process.  I’m so proud of her as she has become quite the photographer and even under the pressure of babies being born, she still took some great shots.

Categories: Erica, Family, Graden Cooper, Photo of the Day, Sophie Grace, Twins | 1 Comment

My Prayer

Thank you God for two beautiful babies.  Thank you for all their fingers and toes and thank you for their smiles (even though I think it is brought on by gas).  Thank you God for the way Graden opens one eye to make sure Dad is still holding him and thank you for the way Sophie holds onto my finger.   Thank you for the privilege of raising them and loving them.  Jill and I will do our best to be the parents you have called us to be.

Thank you God for a wonderful partner in Jill.  She is strong where I am weak and loves me so much.  She is the best mom in the world and I thank you for bringing her into my life.

Thank you God for the most beautiful step-children in the world.  They are the best big brother and sister that I could have ever hoped for and they love the twins and Noah without reservation.  I thank you for that.  I ask that you bless them in ways that boggles their imagination and also that you bless them with this feeling that I have right now.  The feeling of becoming a parent. (Just not too soon).

Thank you God for Noah.  I thank you for his love, his trust, his innocence, and his love of life. I thank you for the way he wraps his arms around my legs to give me a hug and holds onto my finger when we are walking.  I thank you for the way he curls up in my arms when he is tired and the way he smiles at me when the door to the van slides open and he sees me.

Lord, you have blessed me and my family in so many ways and we give you all the glory.  May we never forget where these blessings come from.  Amen

Categories: Erica, Family, Graden Cooper, Jackson, Jill, John Personal, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

You Bought Jackson A WHAT!

Jill and I had dated for a while before we let Jackson and Erica know that we were dating. We wanted to find out where this relationship was going before we involved the kids. After we let them in on the secret, it was a blast. One time, I had traveled to Childersburg and we went to pick them up from school. It was a Friday and we had to drop them off with their dad.

Immediately after getting in the car, Jackson was parched and started begging for something to drink. I agreed to stop at a local convenience store to get us all something to drink. Jack wanted to go in with me and so I took orders from everyone else and in we go. When we got to the drink cooler, Jack asked what he could have and I said, “Anything you want.” Remember, I was trying to still make an impression and getting the kids on my side was going to be a good thing. My only requirement was he stay away from the beer coolers. (He laughed at that). Then he asked, “Can I get a Jolt?” (This is a good time to say that I didn’t know what Jolt cola is and I didn’t know that he had NOT had his ADHD medicine that day.) I said, “SURE!” He got it, I paid and he dashed out the door screaming at the top of his lungs, “John bought me a Jolt! John bought me a Jolt!” We get into the car and Jill said, “Do you know what you just did?” No. And from the back seat, I heard Erica’s voice say, “Oh God, this is going to make my dad’s eyes bleed.

We were meeting their dad at Academy Sports and we had to wait a little so we went inside. I had to carry Jack on my shoulders to keep him close and from running all over the store.

Many have since accused me of doing that on purpose, but I promise that I did not and it was truly an accident.

Categories: Erica, Family, Jackson, Jill, John Personal | 1 Comment

Jill’s Ultrasound

We went for an ultrasound today and got to see the babies.  They are both about 3 pounds and are doing very well.  We took all the kids, Jill’s mom and dad, and the Godmother for this appointment.  It was an exciting time for all and it looks like we will be having an ultrasound every week from now on.  Please keep Jill and the babies in your prayers that they stay in longer.  They’ve still got some cooking to do and we don’t want them to come before they are ready.  I’ll be posting a photo of Sophie later and some of the video, so stay tuned.

Categories: Erica, Family, Graden Cooper, Jackson, Jill, John Personal, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Leave a comment

Life Without the Remote Control

Yesterday while I was taking a nap, I was awoken by Jill saying, “Get the remote before he…” CRASH …”throws it off the balcony!  After retrieving it and putting it back together only to find out that it didn’t work.  And so now, I am learning to live life without being able to control the TV from my recliner. However, necessity was and is the mother of invention.  So, I now have Erica changing the stations for me and turning the volume up and down.  It’s working out pretty well.

So the moral of this story is if you break your remote control, make sure you have a child who can change the stations for you.

Categories: Erica, John Personal, Leadership | Leave a comment

Where Did We Mess Up?

This afternoon a 14-year-old 9th grader was shot in the head outside of the Biology classroom by a fellow 9th grade student.  Click HERE for NEWS LINK. Preliminary news reports state the shooter just walked up behind him and shot.  I just breaks my heart to think that two teen age lives are now ruined.  What happened?  I ask this question for 5 reasons (Erica, Jackson, Noah, Graden and Sophie).  I have been around school shootings some in my life (my highschool was the site of the first school shooting several years after I had graduated) but since becoming a Dad, I think about it more.  I pray tonight for both sets of parents and what they must be going through.  I realize that no one can understand what they are going through.

As a Chaplain for the Huntsville Police Department, I have been put on call for the first part of the week to be one of the support resources for the students at the school.  This is one of the reasons that I became a chaplain but I’m not looking forward to getting that call.

Please God, be with these families and all those affected by this great tragedy.  Let them feel your presence and know the comfort that only You can bring.

I just heard as I was writing this that the young man has died.

Categories: Erica, Graden Cooper, Jackson, Noah, Police Chaplain, Sophie Grace | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Driving with my Daughter

Today was a special day. I started teaching my daughter how to drive a car. I don’t know that i have ever felt such a feeling of helplessness. No brake, no steering wheel, absolutely no control over my situation except for the fact that I was able to talk to her. As I sit here thinking about the experience, it’s remarkable as to how similar it is to situations that we often find ourselves. No brake, no way to steer, and no control. It is the most helpless feeling in the world.

Yet, we are not totally helpless. We have God who is in control of everything, watching over us, guiding us, and showing us the right way…if only we will listen.

Categories: Erica, Family | Leave a comment

My Dad

Erica got in the car last week and told me and her mom that she must be prettier than last year. Jill asked, “Why do you say that?” Erica responded that she had already had 2 boys ask her out! I said, “What!” Kinda halfway joking but not really. She said, don’t worry I told both of them no. One of them was really cute though. Jill followed through and asked, “What did you tell them?” Here is the answer that I wanted to hear…

She said, “I told them my dad was a preacher and he would kill them and then preach their funeral.”

I don’t know how long that’s going to be the response, but right now, it’s a pretty good one.

Categories: Erica, Family, John Personal | Leave a comment

The Dance

Erica went to her first school dance last night. It was at Grissiom High School and she changed her mind about 6 times before she finally decided to go. She rushed to get ready and then I took her with a stop by the grocery store so that we could get her some money. It was $5.00 to get into the dance and Jill tried to tell me that giving her ten dollars would be plenty, but I was worried that she wouldn’t have enough money and I got her 15.

When we got to the dance, there was so many people and the rain began to come down. She almost changed her mind in the car, but She decided to go. I went in with her and got her through the door. She then saw friends, kissed me on the cheek and she was gone. I got in the car and called her on her cell phone (I bought her a cell yesterday to her surprise and I’ll write more about that later). I asked if she was okay and she said YES! and then she told me she loved me. You would have thought that I was escorting her into a den of terrorist and kidnappers who were chaperoned by child molesters but I was truly worried about her.

She is growing up so fast and I’m not sure I’m ready but its coming anyway.

I called again when I got home to check on her and she did not answer. A few minutes later, she called and said “Did you call me again?” I said yes, I was just checking to see if she had found her friends and with a sarcastic YES! Then in the best way, she said…I love you and then hung up on me.

I went to pick her up at 10:00 and she told me all about it. She was talking so fast that I could barely understand what she was saying. All I knew is that she was safe back in the car and I was relieved.

Categories: Erica, Family, John Personal | Leave a comment

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