Monday, July 21, 2014

Are you raising a man? If so, act like it.

My mind has been spinning lately as I've been reading a new book, "Wild at Heart" by John Eldredge. I've wanted to talk about this book so often, but haven't found too many people willing to read it or discuss it. I'm learning so much about boys and men and it excites me that God has given me four men within my home to nurture and love. That being said, I am looking at life and others with a new set of lenses. Many of the men I see and the families I see are inspiring me on my journey of raising men, but there are also those who are very UNinspiring.

On facebook this morning I noticed a picture of an old youth group member that was taken at a scene of an accident last night. He had witnessed an accident involving a car with a woman driver and the car ended up bursting into flames. What do you think he did in that moment?

Do you think he drove on past and prayed, "Dear God help the police arrive soon!"

Do you think he got out of his car and stood as far back as was physically safe and encouraged the other brave men who were helping the lady?

Do you think he pulled over and sat frozen in fear within the safe confines of his own vehicle and wished he could do something?

Or do you think he ran as fast as he could to her car, smashed her window open, cut her out of her seatbelt with his POCKET KNIFE, and pulled her to safety?

Which of these things do you think he did?

I have another question for you before I tell you the correct answer. . . which of these reactions do you hope your son will have if he is ever faced with this exact event?

Let that sink in and be honest with yourself. What do you hope your son will do when he is 30 years old and witnesses a woman burning alive inside her car?

I would hope that you would want your son to jump out of his car and risk his life for the sake of someone else's. If you don't feel that way, then you should probably stop reading this blog post and go and stroke your son's hair, snuggle him in a fuzzy blanket, and move on with your life. If you do agree and you do hope your son would act like a hero in that situation then my question for you is, "What are you doing RIGHT NOW to prepare him for acts of bravery and manhood?"

Parents today are emasculating their boys right and left. Don't fight. Don't yell. Don't run. Don't climb. Don't pretend with guns. Don't pretend to kill. Don't be adventurous. Don't DO ANYTHING. Just sit here, be calm, and grow up and oh by the way, never become a hero.

I'm sure there were many other people who were frozen in fear at the scene of this wreck. I'm sure some drove past thinking, "Oh that's horrible. Glad that's not our car." I'm sure some men went home that night and asked themselves within their hearts, "Why didn't I do anything to help? Why couldn't I be as brave as that other guy?" Maybe even some guys couldn't have helped because they were never allowed to smash windows and play with pocket knives when they were a kid so they lacked the actual skill in helping.

After reading "Wild at Heart" I am convinced that becoming brave takes practice. Little boys practice while slaying dragons, shooting critters, punching their dad and brothers, falling off their bikes, climbing tall mountains, dangling from trees, etc. John Eldredge says, "When boys play at war they are rehearsing their part in a much bigger drama. One day we just might need that boy to defend us." Many, many people strip their boys of these opportunities because they fear what will happen if they allow them to take risks.

"Oh he might fall and cry!"
"Oh he might break an arm!"
"Oh he might hurt himself!"

We spend our lives avoiding all elements of risk.

Well, I got news for you. Your little boy,
who you hope will one day be the hero in a situation like this,
who you hope will defend his home from an intruder,
who you hope will take a stand for what's right,
will never do it if you don't let him practice.

So let me encourage you today to let your boy be a boy and if you have a boy who you have trained to run from adventure and take the easy way out, I urge you to push him to take risks. No man wants to be the guy who can't act when he needs to. No wife wants the husband that's a coward. Mommies may want their children to be safe and calm and gentle, but I assure you that your son will resent you for that one day.

Let them fall. Let them fail. Let them hurt and bleed and cry. Hug them and encourage them and tell them they are fierce and brave and BIG. And most importantly don't let them be cowards.

Oh and by the way, my friend from church, he was the hero. He saved the woman's life. He didn't flee from danger. He ran to it! I could not be more proud of my old friend. He is a hero and I hope that if my boys are ever faced with a situation like that that they will not run in fear.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Weekly Randoms

I've got tons of photos that I've wanted to put on the blog, so here it goes:
Free Chicken Day at Chick-Fil-A
 Big boy playing at the mall
 One of the many reasons I love my husband!
 My boy wrangler! Terrance is useful when it comes to wrangling rowdy boys!
 Can you tell Adam likes the cars at the mall? I think we've been three times in the past week or so.
 James has been making my bed each morning as an act of love for me. Love how he lined up the pillows and organized his weapons.
 Little fish
 G-Dad with his grandkids
 Terrance pulling an Air Jordan off Mimi and Randad's trampoline and into the pool. So fun!
 Playing in the rain
 James walking to a friend's house all by himself. :( sniff sniff!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Splish Splash Adam is Cute in the Bath!

You can excite the socks off this guy if you will just put him in the bath. In return, you can scare the socks off me by putting him in the bath. Can you say busy and naughty?!

Adam's Learning

Adam's learning has been happening since day one of his little life, but I've begun being a little more intentional here lately. I actually make a plan at the beginning of the week, set goals, and check off what got done. It helps keep me focused and in all honesty it helps me actually work with him. Being #3 can sometimes mean momma forgets to be intentional with you.
I've started working with him on his animals and animal sounds. We've been reading lots of animal books, pointing out animals we see on our walks and out in public, and today we played intentionally with our plastic animals. We walked them around, made noises like them, talked about their features, and of course, licked their faces ;)

 Since this little lump still isn't crawling, I also lined them up and encouraged him to come and get them.
 Of course the farther he scooted backwards the closer I had to move the animals. Ha!
 In the end we settled for reaching for them and again, licking their faces.
 I've also decided to focus heavily on one song/poem with him every week. He adores "You are my sunshine" and so we started with that.
 He painted it and then I added the song lyrics and we hung it by his changing table. This will help me remember to sing it to him each time I change his diaper.
It may sound pathetic that I have to be intentional, but if I'm not intentional then days go by and we don't learn new things. Me and planning make a very good team. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Big Truck Day

Our city library hosted a day where the kids could come out and learn more about our city workers. All the different departments had their trucks out there that the kids could climb in and even some of them did little shows for the kids. They also had road signs out and street lights out so you could see how big they were. It's crazy how big those things are! They certainly don't look that big on the road.

 The water department did a show for the kids and it was so cool to watch this man operate this huge machine while doing such delicate tasks.

Adam Randy Srader-9 mos

We have really enjoyed 9 month old Adam. He's so easy, sweet, and fun. His introverted self is so irresistible. I just love him so much!

 Pulling off Mammy's earrings.

I love how my mom is seeing my expression and copying it! Ha!
 His new cheezy grin!

His new giraffe from Mammy. This boy is ready to go!

Mimi, Randad and THE UNCLES!!!

We have visitors this week and are loving every second of it. The boys are in uncle heaven and throw in the fact that uncles travel with Mimi and Randad and you have the perfect start to our week. James and JoJo have always had a unique bond and Terrance is blessed to have an uncle that is almost exactly the same age as him. Both boys have had endless playing!

 Mimi and Adam have enjoyed each other and certainly enjoyed their time at the park.
 It always amazes me that Jesse was one of the first babies I ever had contact with and Terrance was being born soon after he arrived. Who knew?

Randad is always kind enough to do house jobs for us when he's here and this project just makes my little stay at home momma heart so happy. We finally have a glass door. Now I can leave the big heavy door open all day and not feel like I'm in a cave! And soon-to-be toddler Adam can smear his little sweaty sticky hands all over it when he stands to stare at the neighborhood. I can't wait!
 Playing Sorry. When I saw Joseph and Jeremy both laying like this with their same body shape (not size, Joseph is huge!) and same hair swirl in the back I just couldn't help but snap a brother shot.
So happy to have family here. We love them so much!!