Sunday, November 16, 2008

I forgot the NOSE!

Today in Church my Missy-Moo made a craft with a face. It was lovely. While we visited out in the lobby Missy-Moo was dancing around with her paper plate person when a sudden look of horror washed across her face. She started crying as she said, "Daddy, Daddy I forgot her nose! I forgot to draw her nose! (with a sobs erupting). You have to take me back to class so I can draw a nose on her, she can't breathe!" It took all the grace of God in me to keep from bursting into laughter right there on the spot! (I didn't know paper plate people could breathe, but it would only make sense that if they could they would need a nose to do so!)

We found a pen near by and Missy-Moo carefully scrawled a nose onto the middle of her paper plate person. "Ah ah! That's better, and she gave her creation a hug and they returned to finish their dance.

God cares about the little things in all of our lives, even the missing noses on our paper plate people. God is so good to us. Let's remember His kindness to us today, eh.

Sabbatical Dad

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The plan...

Today our friendly facilitator, Louis, from our home schooling board came by to meet with us all.
Louis gave us many insightful ideas and wisdom on how to get the most out of our first full time home schooling year! We are so excited. I am absolutely thrilled we are taking this (against the cultural norm) journey of being the educators of our children. I am now Sabbatical Dad, Principle, Teacher, and guidance counselor. Character development is a big part of home schooling. It's something we are glad to have this focused time with our kids to work on together. Did you know that Harvard and Yale and other Ivy league schools actively seek out homeschool graduates to join their institutions for their advanced programs of study? They are finding that these types of students out of the homeschooling communities show greater leadership, more desire to excel and end up being their top students more often than mainstream students. That really excites me because my kids are bright, very bright. And as much as I have heard that homeschooling will damage them socially, none of them can give any such proof. In fact, of all the home schooled families that Holly and I have met, they have the most behaved, well rounded sense of humor, and advanced abilities to carry on a meaningful conversation from very
young ages. I have not met one homeschool child who did not have excellent manners or a lack of respect for their elders. I think there is something more to be said about the good that homeschooling offers children in their critical developmental years than is reported and widely believed by the masses.

As Giggles teacher I get to take her through history, geography, science, math and social studies!
I am also the principle so any misbehaviour gets corrected on the spot. I don't redirect, I correct.
Giggles is my star student and what she comes up with when exploring her studies is astounding.
I am amazed at results! Giggles is a future nobel prize winner, or national, international leader. She really flies to the top of everything she puts her hand to do! She even won the local colouring contest held by the local news paper. Like I said, Giggles is my star student!

Sabbatical Dad

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today was fun...

Today our house was very messy, though full of bubbling laughter.
We cleaned a room, ate up, and cleaned some more right after.

We prayed for grace, prayed for peace and prayed for one another,
Anne coloured, Brie danced and Father Kissed their Mother.

Our home is where we love to learn, to draw and loudly play,
It's also where we told outrageous silly stories today.

Sometimes our house gets quiet as we take our peaceful naps,
Mostly though we sing and dance and eat peanut-butter wraps.

If the weather proves unhappy, or the sun forgets to shine,
We keep on living in the Joy of Christ our loving King and Vine.

Sabbatical Dad

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Beginning...

I have been a working man my whole life. Since I was 15 years old I have worked out of the house for long hours laboring away to afford the things I needed and wanted. Now I am 31 years old. I am married to my beautiful bride, Grace, and we have two bright daughters who are 6 and 3 years of age. As well as the newest arrival our 7 week old bundle of joy boy. I really do have all that I need, and now, all that I want in life. I adore being a dad and realize my role as a father is vital. Most of all I love the synergy that the members of my precious family create now that we are all together again. We are a fantastic team and we are natural winners!

Since 2002 when the birth of our first daughter changed our lives forever, my heart has always been to stay home more and help raise our daughter and now our other two little ones. Although this desire was deep in my heart I still had to work 60-80 hour weeks to make ends meet, and often times that required me to work long days where I never saw my kids. On several occasions I would be out of town away from my family for two weeks, or more, at a time. I sacrificed so much potential family time for the obligations of working for Corporate Canada and "keeping a decent job." I worked overtime, extra days and went beyond the call of duty for my employers while my family suffered in my absence. I wasn't putting my family first and it was killing me as a husband and a father to see the glaring results. Can you relate? God really brought this to my attention and to the attention of my wife when our eldest daughter started showing growing and worsening behavioural problems. These problems where trickling down to our 3 year old and nothing we tried helped. These behaviours were affecting our whole family and our unity as a husband and wife. We prayed for an answer and a solution. One thing that my wife and I both agreed upon was that to most effectively help our daughters they needed to have more focused time with us. More specifically they needed more focused "daddy time." After our son was born my brother asked me if I was going to take parental leave like he had done twice before. I had never considered that option for myself but something compelled me to look into it. Holly and I were facing an ever worsening problem with our daughters at home that we could not ignore much longer. As parents we prayed and followed the leading of the Lord for myself to take parental leave. Needless to say it was the right choice. My extended family were in complete agreement with us as they have seen our struggles first hand. We cherish that they care about us all so much. My employer accommodated our decision to take this sabbatical, although it came as a shock I'm sure. One thing I had to come to grips with was the fact that anyone with a few skills could do my job as a truck driver, but only I could be what my daughters needed most, their Daddy. God has been so good to us and has faithfully provided what we have needed to make this transition. Biting the bullet, admitting our kids where in crisis, and putting our family first again has taken us from being an un-unified family with challenges to overcome, to being a unified family with those same challenges to overcome. I am so glad that we are the latter!

Sabbatical Dad