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

What a Weekend

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.  Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:9-11

I’m a self-professed work-a-holic.  I enjoy my work and when I enjoy something, I put everything into it.  I would work 12-14 hours/day and 7 days a week if I’m not careful.  After all, the work that I do is important.  It’s Kingdom work, right?  However, I must remember that it’s not all up to me to do.

I believe this is why it’s been said that 90% of the work and financial giving to a church is done by 20% of the people.  I know people who work, work, work and before anyone realizes it, they are burned out.  We put people who are on fire for God on every committee, every team, baking all the cakes, and working the nursery.  Let’s ask ________ to do that.  He/she never says no.  It doesn’t take long until they are not on fire but burned out.

We all need a break and contrary to what we may think, it’s not going to fall apart without us.  If it does, we built it upon ourselves and not God.  We must practice following in the footsteps of Jesus who “got away from the crowds to pray.”  We need that time and without it we become useless. So, I encourage you to take some time for just you and God.  Slow down and take a breath.  You’ll be more productive and excited about your ministry.

Here are some pictures from my long weekend with my family:

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Categories: Church, Family, Graden Cooper, Jackson, John Personal, Noah, Sophie Grace | 1 Comment

Favorite Photos

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Categories: Erica, Family, Graden Cooper, Jackson, Jill, John Personal, Noah | Leave a 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

Jackson’s Quote of the Day

This morning as I was taking Jack-man to school there were uniformed patrolmen walking around the campus and teachers lining the sidewalks.  When we got to the entrance of the school, the principal and two male teachers were outside welcoming all the students.  I looked at Jackson and said, “Look, all the teachers are outside making sure everyone is safe.”  He never missed a beat and said, “Yeah, all the teachers are outside and all the students are inside!” The wisdom of a 12-year-old.  I had to laugh but he was right.

Praying for all the students and teachers.

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We’re Lost, Aren’t We

I love to go hiking in Civil War Battlefields and my son Jackson has developed an interest in Civil War history and so this is a great activity for us to do together.  Several years ago, we traveled to Shiloh TN to hike this battlefield.  It was in the early fall and a beautiful day. We were using the Boy Scout map and looking for clues and somehow we got off the trail.  After a few minutes walking through the woods, I heard from behind me this little voice say, “We’re lost, aren’t we?”

It was a great Father-Son moment.  I turned around, knelt down in front of him and said, “Jack, men don’t get lost.  We may get off the trail and misplaced but NEVER LOST.”  I stood up, looked at the map again and heard from behind the same little voice say, “We’re Lost!”

What a blessing they have been in my life.  I’m so privileged to be a part of their lives.

Categories: Family, Jackson | Tags: | 1 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

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

Trip to Shiloh

Jackson and I took our first Father Son trip this weekend. We went to Shiloh TN to hike some of the battlefield. As soon as he got out of school on Friday, we loaded the car and headed out. We got to Shiloh and found the campground adn then headed back into Savannah to eat at KFC. We then went to Wal-Mart to buy some supplies. We then headed back to set up the tent and build a fire. It had been raining for several days and so the fire didn’t catch very well, but it was enough to roast a few marshmellows. We then hit the tent for a e ggod night sleep. I was surprised at how well he did.

We woke up about 8:00 and went to a place called two sisters and had omlettes. They were not the best but certainl not the worst I’d ever had. After that we hit the trail. We watched the movie on Shiloh and began working on the questions that I had pulled off the internet. I think he know has an interest in the Civil War, but most of all I think I have a very cool hiking/camping/exploring partner.

I found out this weekend that Jackson likes to get off the beaten path and explore. On the way home, we explored Davie Crockett State Park and ended up in the home town of Fred Thompson where they were having a political rally. We had a great time together. I can’t wait to do a whole lot more of that kind of stuff.

Categories: Family, Jackson, John Personal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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