Noah

Noah Turns 6 Today

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Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 2,190 day’s since he was born but I remember that day so vividly.  I remember going with him and the nurse to get his shots and then she gave me the honor of helping with his first bath.  I’ll never forget him holding my finger and looking at me as if to say, “Why are you letting her do this stuff to me?”  On that day, I experienced love in a way that I had never experienced and responsibility like I had never had.  I love you son and it’s my honor that Jesus chose me to be your dad and you to be my son.  I love you and happy birthday.

Categories: Noah | 1 Comment

Can’t Believe How Fast They’re Growing

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

Erica

  • 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

Jackson

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

Noah

  • 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

Sophie

  • 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

Graden

  • 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

A Present for Jesus

Tonight, Noah(3 years old) and I got to talking about Santa Claus and the present he might be bringing.  He was sharing with me this long list of what he wanted and asking just exactly how Santa is going to make it down our chimney.  I asked him, “Son, what else is Christmas about?”  He surprised me by saying it’s Jesus‘ birthday!  I can’t help but to say that I (as a preacher dad) was quite proud.  He began to tell me where Jesus was born and I told him about a manger and the shepherds visit.

I then asked him, “If it’s Jesus’ birthday, what should we get him for Christmas?”  Out of nowhere, he said, “Let’s get him a COW!”  Uhhhhh Okay.  Then my mind got to working.  “Why would Jesus need a cow?”  He answered, “I don’t know.”  I shared with him one of the ways to give Jesus a present was to help someone who was in need of food, shelter, money, etc…  We then began looking at Heifer International.  They have a great video made for children about how someone can be helped by animals.  See the video by clicking HERE  Noah chose to buy a flock of chicks that will grow to be chickens and produce up to 400 eggs/year/chick!!  It was a great experience for him and it was a great bonding time.

I believe it’s up to us as parents to teach our children the blessing of giving.  It’s a responsibility too many parents have failed at teaching.

Categories: Faith Journey, Family, Noah | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

15 Things I Love About Being a Dad

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It’s 2:15 in the morning and I am posting a blog because Graden (18 months) refuses to go to sleep.  Lay him down and he screams so loud that I am convinced he is trying to wake up the other 5 people who live in this house.  So, I’m sitting here watching Barney, thinking about a cup of coffee (and would I be able to sleep once G dozes off), and thinking about how much I love being a Dad.  Let me share with you some reasons why:

  1. The screaming of Dada, Daddy, and ajodinelnse (That’s what G says) from my kids when I walk through the door after a long day of work.
  2. The way they hold onto you when they are sick.
  3. The belly laugh when you are tickling them.
  4. Their favorite place to sleep is on top of you.
  5. The privilege of teaching them the things they will need to know in life.
  6. Bath Time
  7. Nap Time
  8. Their little dances when a good song comes on.
  9. Sitting in my lap drinking their bottle.
  10. Falling asleep on my chest
  11. Hearing, “I love you”
  12. Holding my hand as we go on adventures
  13. Watching them bond together
  14. Seeing them worried about their sibling when their sick
  15. The joy on their face when they learn something new.
Categories: Family, Graden Cooper, John Personal, Lessons I've Learned as a Dad, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Last Night (Don’t Read if You’re Squimish)

About 4:00 AM this morning, I was sound asleep in my warm cozy bed.  Noah had wiggled his way over to me and we were snuggled together just like one might imagine in a nursery rhyme.  It was so sweet until I started to hear this horrible noise coming from him.   He was gagging and at first, I thought he was choking on something and so I sat straight up in bed and put him in my lap.  I was set to do the Heimlich and had my finger ready to sweep his mouth when he let it go.  I caught a handful and we rushed to the bathroom where he continued to throw up in the toilet. Jill asked, do you need some help as to which I replied, “No, I’ve got it.”

When we got cleaned up and back into bed, I said to Jill, “Wow, one more step accomplished in being a Dad. I just caught vomit in my hand and I didn’t throw up!”  I said this with a source of pride welling up inside of me.  I could have only done that for someone whom I love as much as my own child and I really can’t come up for anyone else.

Then I thought of our Heavenly Father.  I thought about all the nasty, vile, hurtful, stuff that we as humanity do and how God keeps on loving us.  Never backing away but offering us grace, love and hope.  Even going so far as to send His Son to die, taking our punishment so that we might have life.  What a great and wonderful gift.

Categories: Faith Journey, Family, John Personal, Lessons I've Learned as a Dad, Noah | 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

Something Special Happened

Every Sunday at The Bridge we received Holy Communion. As pastor, I always stand
off to the side while others serve and greet/pray with people as they come
through the line. One Sunday morning, Erica came through the line holding Noah
and he pinched his piece of bread, dipped it into the cup and then ate it.
All by himself!! I was overcome with emotion and almost busted into tears
right there. It was incredibly moving for me.

After he got through, he came over and wiped the great juice off his hands
onto my shirt. Still a good day.

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Favorite Photos

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

Noah’s First Day at School

I’m not sure who cried more, me or him…

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Categories: Noah | 1 Comment

Photos

Jill had a photo session last night .  Here is what we came up with:

Categories: Family, Graden Cooper, Noah, Twins | Leave a comment

I Love You, Dada

This past weekend, Jill and I took the children to my in-law’s new home in Wetumpka.  They have just finished repairs on the pool and so we swam all weekend.  It was a great time and Noah loves the water.  He spent the whole day jumping off the diving board and swimming around.

Late in the afternoon, we were playing around and I said, I love you, Noah.  He turned and for the first time (un-prompted) said, “I love you, Dada.”  My heart just melted and I said to him, “Okay, let’s go buy you that car!” He just smiled and went, “Nooo Dada”!  Great moment.

Categories: Family, Noah | Leave a comment

Like Father, Like Son

Today, I have been searching for something to blog about and had been coming up empty-handed.  Nothing inspired me to start tapping away at the keyboard until dinner tonight. This evening, Jill and I only had the 3 small kids.  Erica and Jackson had gone out to eat with their dad and so Jill and I decided to go out to eat for our anniversary.

It was a great time and all the babies were in a good mood.  It was a wonderful evening.  At one point while I was eating a chip, I got a tickle in my throat and turned my head to cough, when I noticed that Noah had turned his head and was coughing just like his daddy.  It really touched my heart and made me realize how much he watches everything I do and mimics it.

Aren’t we the same way?  Don’t we mimic those who play a role in our lives?  It may be a friend, teacher, preacher, parent, cousin or anyone else for that matter but we truly do become like those we spend time with.  That’s one of the reasons that I am always telling my kids that they will become like the people they hang out with.

Also, the responsibility we have to be role models.  We don’t have to be a famous athlete or a pop-star to be someone’s role model.  I will guarantee that someone is looking at you (whether you realize it or not) and wanting to be like you.  It’s a huge responsibility.

The last question that comes to my mind is what if we truly imitated Christ?  The one who loves us like no one else ever will.  What would our family lives be like if we loved our spouse and children as much as we love ourselves?  What would our work environment be like if we treated everyone with the love and respect that we desire for ourselves?  I know this is very difficult for us to do, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can accomplish this type of love.  We as United Methodist call this Sanctification or becoming like Christ.  As we grow in our spiritual journey, one of the changes we will begin to demonstrate is this type of love.

Categories: Common Everyday Stuff, Faith Journey, John Personal, Noah | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Chair

Me and Noah enjoying "The Chair"

When I moved to Latham I didn’t realize that there would be a piece of furniture that would have such a dramatic affect on my life and become such a piece that I bought it from the church when I was appointed to another church.  The chair is not that special in what looks like or how it’s made.  It’s a Laz-e-boy recliner which is light brown with dark brown.   accents.  However, this chair has been a place of relaxation, prayer, thinking, and contemplation.

The chair was a place that I would relax upon coming home from seminary and study for the test of the week.  It was the place I would sit during long phone conversations with Jill as we were courting.  It was the place where i would sit and pray for my mom after her car accident.

When Noah came home for the first time, it served a very special place in the household as it was the chair that I would hold him and rock him to sleep.  It still is used for that purpose.

Tonight was a special moment in the life of the chair as I rocked both the twins in the chair tonight.  It is a great feeling of rocking them to sleep and memories continue to be built that contain the chair.  It’s funny how attached to a simple piece of furniture I have become, yet I guess it’s not as much the piece itself but the memories that it holds and have been built around it.

Categories: Graden Cooper, John Personal, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | 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

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

Hospital Run

This afternoon as I was watching qualifying for Daytona, Jill entered the room and said, “I’ve just gotten off the phone with the doctor and he wants me to go to the hospital.”  After that, a mad dash to get dressed, call my 2:00 appointment to make other arrangements and then get a babysitter.  Then I put the driving skills that I had learned watching Daytona qualifying into use as I drove to the hospital.

It truly is amazing how fast you can get a room when you have someone who is pregnant with twins.  No waiting!!  They hooked her up to so many wires and monitors.  It was amazing.  After much checking it was determined to give her a shot to stop the contractions and then send her home.  I was glad because I was not ready to meet Graden and Sophie today.  Let’s wait a couple of weeks.

Categories: Family, Graden Cooper, 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

Guy’s Night Out

What a Friday evening it has been.  Jill and the big kids left for Behold this afternoon leaving me and Noah to fend for ourselves.  I think we have done pretty good.  I picked him up from school early and we went to get a haircut.  I do believe that $20.00 is a bit much to pair for a 2 year old but he does get to sit in a chair that is an airplane.

Wondering what to do for dinner and really not wanting to mess up the clean kitchen, Noah and I decided to go to Wendy’s.  He ate almost all his chicken nuggets and fries.  We sat at the table and talked.  I’m not really sure what we talked about but it was a good conversation.  After dinner, we headed to Target and picked up some things that we needed and a couple that we really didn’t need.

We then came home and played with the toys before our bath time.  Bath time was an adventure that would have made Survivor Man proud.  Noah loves to splash and so there was as much water on the floor as in the tub.  (Don’t worry Jill, I cleaned it up).  Then we played with the boat before learning a new trick which consisted of laying on his stomach and sliding back and forth in the tub.

We’ve now got our jammer’s on, drinking a baba and watching some Mickey Mouse.  It’s about that time and what a great night it has been.  Many more like this in the future.

Getting the Ear's Lowered

Categories: Family, Noah | 1 Comment

A letter to Noah

Dear Noah,

The more you grow, the more we see different traits from us. I know it
probably doesn’t work like this but I wanted to give you some ideas of what
traits would do you well…

I hope you get your mom’s compassion and your dad’s passion.
I hope you get your mom’s beauty and your dad’s soft heart.
I Hope you get your mom’s free spirit and your dad’s organization.
I hope you get your mom’s tender heart and your dad’s strong sense of
belief.
I hope you get your mom’s love and your dad’s luck in choosing a beautiful
lady to be his wife.

I love you,
Dad


Categories: Family, Letter's to Noah, Noah, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dada Weswe

The other night as I was trying to get Noah to sleep, he kept raising his
head and looking at me. I would say in my low daddy tone, “Noah, put your
head down.” and he would put it down. This went on about 5 times and I
finally said, “Noah Wesley!” He looked at me and said, “Dada Weswe.” I had
to go over and pick him up. He got rocked to sleep that night.


Categories: Family, Noah, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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