Tag Archives: Robert

irreplaceable, Daddy

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I can’t let Father’s Day week pass by without giving a shout out to the main man in our home!20140617-111858-40738800.jpg

This Daddy is loving, playful, a hard worker and the spiritual leader he is called to be. And our boys are blessed to have a role model such as him!

I was skimming through quotes for this post and laughed when I read this one by a father (Red Buttons). “Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.” 🙂 The kids love wrestling with Robert and just last night as I was cleaning up the kitchen the guys were wrestling in the living room. Poor Robert gets ganged up on quite easily between Baby Boy who loves to “tickle” by gouging you in the armpits with his sharp little fingertips, Middle Man who is a tenacious little beast who can do chin-ups day or night and Little Man who is strong with all the right moves in the wrestling ring. They all go after Daddy at the same time, no holds barred. So last night, I hear moaning and groaning from the other room and Robert mumbling something about “you just kneed me in the crotch…” Uh, unfortunately the boys don’t have much sympathy for a thing such as that yet, so they didn’t really let up. It’s all part of being a Dad, right??

Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys. (Author Unknown)

Today is my Dad’s birthday. Happy birthday Dad!! I have so much to be thankful for when it comes to having a dad like him. Was he perfect? I don’t know a parent who ever was. But, I have many fond memories of time that my dad spent with me. These times usually were not deep. They were day to day things. Moments built upon moments that add up to years, where he poured into me. I’ve often thought about how the influence of my dad helped me choose the males that I’ve allowed into my life. My plumb line was my dad. Did they line up to what I knew a husband and father should be? He gave me the self-worth to insist on what I deserved, so when I read this quote I thought it was perfect.

“I have never been a material girl. My father always told me never to love anything that cannot love you back.” (Imelda Marcos) My dad never told me this, he showed me this.

My Dad and me at my wedding almost 15 years ago.

My Dad and me at my wedding almost 15 years ago.

To the leading men in my life, thank you for stepping up to the plate when it’s not always easy and when you wonder if anyone even notices. I love you guys!
L

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at a glance

Well, summer is in full swing around here! The kids have only been out of school for two and a half weeks, but we’ve done so much already it seems like much longer.

Before I get ahead of myself I wanted to tell you about a few notable random things from the past couple months that I didn’t get to write about.

Robert had his graduation ceremony for his MBA! Oh, happy day!

So proud of this man!

So proud of this man!

 

Little Man and Middle Man wrapped up their year of cub scouts. They got to do some really cool things. They went camping a few times. Another time Robert, his dad, Little Man and Baby Boy got to go splunking and sleep in a cave. (Middle Man was afraid of bears and bats so he chose not to go. 🙂 He stayed home with yours truly who had no desire to sleep in a cave. Who needs to do all that when she has a perfectly good bed in the comfort of her own home, right? Plus I went caving when I was like 14. The reasons go on and on.) They had a really great time though, and can’t wait to go again next year!

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Pinewood derby. The boys put many hours into working on these cars!

Pinewood derby. The boys and Robert put many hours into working on these cars!

Middle Man and his best friend at the derby.

Middle Man and his best friend at the derby.

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All bundled in his mummy bag

All bundled in his mummy bag

 

The entrance to the cave

The entrance to the cave

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Inside the cave before they had to get on their stomachs and slither through the tiniest of death traps.

Inside the cave before they had to get on their stomachs and slither through the tiniest of death traps.

 

Baby Boy graduated from Kindergarten.

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the family

 

The day after school let out my bff and her daughter from my hometown came for a visit. We always have a really good time when they’re here, and stayed busy doing something fun every day. The kids have developed really close relationships over the years and even asked me if this sweet little girl was their cousin, which I thought was special! Here are a couple pics from their visit.

All dressed up. Aren't we a nice crew?

All dressed up. Aren’t we a nice crew?

All dressed down for a day at the zoo.

All dressed down for a day at the zoo.

Eating pizza in a bus in a restaurant :).

Eating pizza in a bus in a restaurant :).

the kids love eating on the bus

The kids love eating on the bus. It’s become a tradition every time they’re here.

Since school has ended the kids have done VBS, started their summer sports, we’ve gone to a local water park, the zoo, picnicked at a vineyard, gone to the botanical gardens, fixed up and painted the deck, played with friends, entertained around our fire pit, gone for bike rides; and there’s a lot more on the calendar. I’m tired. But, I do love the flexibility that summer brings. We definitely do not get bored in the summer! – Or ever.

the crew hard at work

the guys hard at work

fun in the sun Daddy and Baby Boy

fun in the sun
Daddy and Baby Boy

 

It’s been a while since I posted, now you know why. Also, I never know how much detail you followers out there really want, but I figure something is better than nothing:). I hope your summer is off to a good start and that we can all enjoy the longer days and slow down to savor it.
L

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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my side needs to be heard

BBQ smoker: MIA

Rarely do I (Robert) get to write a blog. Most of the time I’m called upon for proofing or I/T support (which typically includes the uttering of ‘why does it only work when you’re here?’). Lisa blogged the other day about my ride on the struggle bus to get the basketball goal and I feel I need to share it from my vantage point. So the family and I are driving home and pass a house for sale. As we go by, I immediately spy a bbq smoker in the driveway. I quickly stop the van and throw it in reverse, ignoring the calls of ‘what are you doing?’ and ‘this isn’t the way home!’. No, but it’s the way to tasty smoked meats and that’s even better. We pull to the end of their driveway and I gaze at the smoker and admire it; mentally placing it on my deck to see where it would fit best. You have to consider important factors like quick accessibility in rain or shine, ease of use and general sizing requirements. I quickly ascertained that it would fit no problem, but we might not be able to fit all the kids on the deck anymore. There are always trade-offs. I had a brilliant idea, why not call the realtor and tell her that it’s kind of an eyesore and I can help her get rid of this so she can sell the house quicker. It’s a win/win. Lisa doesn’t see the grill at all, but she notices a portable basketball goal and says we should ask if we could take both. Until she had mentioned it, I hadn’t even noticed the hoop. The boys are playing basketball now and it would be great to have, so I can show them some of my skills and beat them solidly in a game of horse. Or anaconda, like I did when I was younger, usually because I enjoyed a slow, painful death since I always missed. I call the realtor and leave her a very professional sounding message. I say ‘Hi, my name is Robert and I’m looking at your house on X Street. Nice house but I noticed it’s got a bbq smoker and basketball goal in the driveway. I’d like to help you out and I think this will be a great deal for both of us. I’d be happy to take them off your hands so it makes the property more visually appealing. Let me know what you think, thanks!’ I’m quite proud of my message, it sounds good and what realtor wouldn’t want to take the word from a random stranger that they need to clean up the clutter at their house? I’m sure she’ll call back with a resounding yes. Well almost, she leaves a confused message asking what is it that I really want. Am I asking her if I can actually have them for free? The home is under contract so she’s got to ask the new owners. They say the smoker stays and the hoop can go, but they aren’t helping to move it. I’ll learn why soon enough. I’m quite disappointed but Lisa’s really excited. I was thinking about teaching my family to eat and how to survive if they can only use a smoker to live off of, and she’s thinking about another way to get the boys out of the house.

After work I decide to go get it. ‘How?’ asks my wife. In the van of course, I say, like it should be the most obvious of choices. ‘What about our neighbor’s truck?’ No, why should we dirty up his nice truck when we can just take seats out of the van? I’m sure it will fit. Yes it will hang out but that’s OK, we are just driving through the neighborhood. Lisa drives over, the boys ride their bikes and I walk. We get to the house and I have to ignore the smoker, staring at me. It is a nice one, not too old either. Maybe I can do like that ancient saying where if you love something set it free and if it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it shows up on my deck, it was meant to be. Things are going good until I try to move it and it doesn’t budge. Ah, that’s right, the base is filled with water to weight it down, no big deal, I’ll drain the water. Except these people were overachievers and filled it with sand. Sand! Who does that? It’s a great idea if you plan on never moving it again or allowing a stranger to help clean up your vacant house. I realize there’s no way it will make it into the van. But what’s this? Tiny wheels on the front of it so you can move it a few feet around the driveway. We tip the post and it rolls, ever so slowly, but it rolls. The boys are riding their bikes all around me like bees circling a hive, and Lisa is just watching me. I’d like to think it’s because of my awesomeness….yeah we’ll just say it is. She asks what I’m doing and again, I feel the most obvious answer is that I’m going to wheel it all the way through the neighborhood back to our house. She laughs. “Are you serious?” Of course I am. The boys need a hoop and this is the only way I know to get it home. How could this not work? She starts to drive off and I follow. I notice the neighbors across the street watching us, wondering why we are taking this goal. I sort of nod, you know the kind of guy nod that means anything from ‘what’s up?’ to ‘yeah I want a milkshake with that’ or even ‘yes I’m taking the basketball goal’. I am slowly trudging down the street, mostly dragging the goal because those tiny wheels don’t do much and with the base filled with sand, it’s really heavy and sluggish. Get to the corner where some guys are checking out their new, really nice, crotch rocket motorcycle. I notice them all stop and stare at me, mouths agape. They watch me round the corner like construction workers watch a pretty girl go by. They are jealous of my portable basketball goal, I can tell. I refuse to look at them and stare straight ahead. Except that I have to look through the frosted backboard and can’t really tell what’s in front of me. As I go, the goal gets heavier and pausing at the stop sign is a bad idea because getting started again isn’t quite that easy now. I trudge through the intersection hoping that drivers will take pity on me and run me over to put me out of my misery.

I remember thinking how it was a lot hotter that afternoon than I thought it was supposed to get. And why didn’t I change out of my work clothes? Half way home. I pause to catch my breath and make sure no one is following me, waiting to take advantage of me in my weak state. The only one I see is my wife, laughing and driving away. I make it to our street a good while later and it’s like the final stretch of a marathon. One where you strap a small fridge to your back and run on the beach. The boys have left me far behind to fend for myself. Lisa returns, at least I think it’s her, through the frosted backboard. Whoever she is, she’s laughing uncontrollably and taking pictures. Why would you take pictures of someone obviously in pain? I can’t even defend myself. We finally make it to the driveway. I mean ‘we’ in the same way that some spouses say ‘we should put in new landscaping’ or ‘we should paint the house’ and look right at the husband. After some effort, we get it up the curb and into our driveway and nestle it in the yard. Right next to where my tiny car has to park so it can fall on my car in a storm. But I’m always thinking ahead. I bought more sand to fill the base with. No wind will knock this thing over and if the wind is that strong, a hoop will be the last of my worries.

The basketball goal now is in its final resting spot, it will never move. The extra sand I added will ensure that. The boys love it and are using it a lot. Funny though, it’s not such an eyesore in my driveway.

How can you not notice the grill?

The bees are swarming

The bees are swarming

Starting the long walk home

the long walk home

Helping?  No, it's picture time instead.

Helping? No, it’s picture time instead.

The basketball goal is holding me up at this point.

The basketball goal is holding me up at this point.

success

success

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the love of this father aka the day Robert almost died

I just took part in and witnessed the funniest, most ridonkulous, thing in a very long time.

It started last week when we noticed a vacant house for sale in our neighborhood. In the driveway sat a smoker grill. Well, Robert has been wanting a smoker grill for a long time. While his eye settled on the smoker grill, my eye went to the basketball goal that was next to it. I’ve wanted to get the boys a hoop for quite a while. As a matter of fact one of the boys just asked me the other day if we can get a hoop. (They just came off basketball season and I’d like to keep their momentum up.) We decided that since the house was vacant with a for sale sign in the yard that maybe the seller would want to get rid of their left behind “junk” and enhance the curb appeal. Robert was going to call the realtor and inquire.

After work today he informed me that the realtor said we could indeed have the basketball hoop, but sadly, not the smoker. Ooh, a blessing! We were getting a free basketball hoop and the boys will be so excited! I asked Robert how we were going to get our new blessing home. Did he think we needed to borrow a pickup truck from our neighbor? No, he thought if he took a couple seats out of our minivan then we could get enough of the hoop in the van for us to drive it home in. I was very skeptical, but what do I know? After we ate dinner we decided to venture a few streets over and see about getting our new basketball hoop home. The boys would ride their bikes while Robert walked with them and I would drive the van over. Laughable, is what it was. There was no way we were getting this monstrosity in the van. The bottom was weighted with sand! We couldn’t lift it an inch. What choice did we have but to utilize the two little wheels it has in the front and for Robert to pull it home? I was laughing so hard. I really did not think he was going to be willing to do this. I snapped some pictures and guffawed some more. This is love. Frugality. Ghetto. Insanity. All of the above. There were three or four men in the corner driveway hanging out. After all, it is a beautiful Friday night and people are just hanging out enjoying the evening. They watched with open mouths as Robert slowly dragged the goal past. Robert refused to even look their direction. I was so embarrassed. In my best effort to cover my face, I put on my oversized sunglasses. It didn’t help enough. I drove slowly, keeping an eye on the boys and watching Robert in the rear view mirror. Hey, if Jesus carried the cross, can’t Robert pull the basketball hoop?? He says he called upon Jesus, but it wasn’t really a religious experience. (As I write this he says “You probably don’t even know this, but you’ve had a smirk on your face this whole time.”) I can’t help it. I’m giddy over this.

not amused, but a willing spirit

not amused, but determined

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my rear view. he he 🙂

…And they’re off. Only .2 mi to go!

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truckin’ on

workhorse

workhorse

he's a hoss

he’s a hoss

So close. Actually getting that up the curb was a real treat.

So close. Actually getting that up the curb was a real treat.

bingo!

bingo!

Happy moment. He lived to tell about it.

Happy moment. And he lived to tell about it.

Do you have a funny story that makes you cringe with embarrassment? Has your spouse ever done anything for the love of his family that you never thought he’d agree to? I’d love to hear about it.

L

 

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congratulations robert

my handsome guys

my handsome guys

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Friday night called for a celebration! We have been counting down the months for this time to come and after two years and four months, we can breathe deep and celebrate. What for? Well, my super hard working husband finished his MBA. I’m so proud of him. We all are! When Robert started the program I remember telling the boys who were 3, 5 and 7, that they would be 5, 7, and 9 when Daddy was done. At the time it seemed far off, but I knew it would go fast, as life goes when you’re so busy. To accomplish this end goal, Robert continued working full time, started a very time consuming adoption process and went to class every Thursday night for four hours, getting home around 11 pm. On top of this he spent many hours studying and doing homework. So yes, a celebration dinner was in order :).

It still seems surreal that he’s done. He doesn’t have to be consumed by schoolwork in the evening anymore. Our seven year old asked where Daddy was last night and I told him he was working late. Our little guy then said “but Daddy has his Masters now!”. He thought that because Robert’s schooling is done, that he didn’t have to work anymore. Oh, how I wish!

So we had a great evening out at the Chop House! We dressed up and surprised Robert with a white chocolate cake from a local bakery. The boys were so excited and we just had a special evening expressing to Robert how proud we are of him. I’m so thankful for Robert’s sacrifice and the role model he is, to make a better future for our family.

MBA 2013

MBA 2013

Someone's a little excited for cake!

Someone’s a little excited for cake!

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Bringing Daddy's balloons home. Still so happy from the fun night :)

Bringing Daddy’s balloons home. Still so happy from the fun night 🙂

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He’s up to somethin’ good

So this is an exciting time for us right now. A new season is approaching. For the past two years Robert has been working on his MBA. He will be done on November 7th. Hallelu-yer! This past week has been unusually cool for August and absolutely beautiful outside. Fall is calling me. It has my number, for sure. Another unusual thing that has happened this past week is that my Hubby has been home for dinner most nights. For the past several months the poor guy has been working late and/or going to study group. He’s got a group project coming due for his current class so that’s about to change, but this past week has been a nice reprieve. One night as we ate on the deck in the gorgeous weather I told him it sure was strange having him home, but I liked it :). We’re counting down the days until he finishes his schooling. I have to say, I’m proud of my really hard working man!

After church this afternoon Little Man and Baby Boy were working on a little crafting project together and I was listening in. As they sat side by side they had the nicest conversation. Baby Boy was inquiring of Little Man what he sang at church. They compared notes and I felt so grateful to hear Baby Boy telling Little Man that he sang “Our God, He’s up to Somethin’ Good”. I caught Baby Boy singing that under his breath from time to time today and it made me smile.

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I went to the store this afternoon and when I returned, this is what I came home to.

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-Our superheroes, healthy and full of joy. Yes, our God, He’s up to somethin’ good!

L

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