CornerstoneDad’s Greatest Day Ever

Can a cold winter day feel like a beautiful California day?

Well, when kids experience something great in their lives, they often say, “Today was the greatest day ever!” I think CornerstoneDad’s should say the same thing when they take care of business and do something that they know will impact their kid’s life, even if the child does not know it yet.

Today, my “greatest day ever” or GDE, was spent with my 11 year-old son. Since this week at work is rather slow in the office and I only planned to work part of the day there, I figured it would be a great time to take him with me.

On the way to work, we chatted about the importance of loving your work, so you will never have to “work” a day in your life. I let him know that dad is not there yet and probably will not ever get there at his current job. Yet, I am very fortunate to have the job I have as well as some great managers. But I know my God-given talents are not best utilized at this point and even at his age now, he can begin to take notice of the skills God has equipped him with that will allow him to add value just by being himself.

Did you ever notice even in Hollywood, the kids generally grow up to be an extension of the characteristics that the show writers had in them as a little child?

Do you really think Michael Evans did not at least become a lawyer when he grew up?

Many of us lose the script or just move to a sitcom with poor ratings instead of being what the Master Writer designed us to be in the first place.

"We should have just stayed on Three's Company!"

Time was spent meeting my colleagues and I had him brainstorm ideas for creating his own blog. I felt it was extremely important for him to utilize the quiet time that he never gets to enjoy, as his time and space are always being shared with his other siblings when at home. Before leaving to attend my meeting, we called my dad and they had a moment to catch up on things, something I encourage my son to do often.

Get the old school wisdom while it is here, because one day you, or the wisdom, may be gone.

My manager said that my son would be more than welcome to sit in on the meeting and later my son did join in and sit in the back. During this time he got to see how my company does business with a client who works for a major American company, but he is Japanese. A true demonstration of our global world, diversity in the workplace, and why it is important to be at least be proficient in the “King’s English”.

After our time at work, we headed for the movie theater to check out Tron 3D. There aren’t many action filled PG-movies out there, as thrillers like Transformers and GI Joe are getting closer to R-rated flicks than something you can take your boys (or girls if they like action) to see at the local “overcharge-o-plex” theater. Just like dad, my son looked at his watch and asked, “Why is the movie starting at 2 o’clock when it was supposed to start at 1:30?”

Yea, my thoughts exactly kid.

What was the highlight of my son’s day? Seeing dad with dual-monitors! But 10+ years from now, whether I’m here or not, I think he will benefit seeing dad at work, understanding more of the business world, and of course being the center of attention for much of the day. I remember only a few times visiting my dad at the plant. I also remember going with him to pick up his paycheck a couple of times as well. There is much value of those trips for our children, especially our boys, as they can learn so much just watching dad get up and go to the office, or the factory, or the construction site, or wherever else you go to “keep the lights on”. I am amazed at the number of grown men that cannot keep a job because they cannot get out of the bed to punch the clock. Don’t let your kids be one of those people.

As I told my son, I may not want to go to work, but I go because of the commitment I have to our family and to God. Colossians 3:23-24 says, ”Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

I look forward to more GDE days with all of my children. Dad, plan some with your children or even grandchildren. Take one out at a time if you can. Each child is an individual with separate needs and wants from you. As they get older, the need for individual time increases even more. And if you don’t give it to them, what are you going to do when they get it from somewhere else?

Great days with dad will equal great children and leaders in this society. Never underestimate, or allow other people to underestimate your influence. 2011 is nearly here, so how about making a goal to schedule at least three or four GDE events with your kids? Post your days and ideas here as we would love to hear how things went for you!

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In Today’s Edition of “What Did Boney Say?” – God Can’t Read Minds Can He?

Boney: “Look mom, I drew a picture for Jesus…for his birthday!”

Mom: “That’s nice, what is it?”

..short silent pause…

Boney: “I can’t tell you, God will hear me.”

Psalms 139:2 (NIV): “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”

“Boney” is my 4 year old daughter. As the youngest and certainly the most “interesting” of my quiver when it comes to having a sharp wit,  sometimes I think she truly deserves her own comic strip.

Why Do I Homeschool You Ask? Wait, Why Do You Send Your Kids To School?

 

It is time for me to come out of the closet here at CornerstoneDad. My wife and I homeschool our children. There, I said it. I know, I know, you probably have a ton of questions and they are well meaning. However, some of you do not have true questions, but criticisms about a decision we made for our family.

I do not know why. I would never ask you if your kids attend government schools and then go on to ask more questions in a condescending way. But there is so much on this subject that I will write about in the future. So first, I will kick off my “coming out party” with the greatest article that I have found for the critics.

Enjoy!

Source: http://www.secular-homeschooling.com/001/bitter_homeschooler.html

The Bitter Homeschooler’s Wish List

by Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007

1 Please stop asking us if it’s legal. If it is — and it is — it’s insulting to imply that we’re criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words “socialize” and “socialization” mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you’re talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we’ve got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

4 Don’t assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a “reality” show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You’re probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you’ve ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don’t look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they’re in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we’re doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we’re religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10 We didn’t go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn’t have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don’t need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can’t teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there’s a reason I’m so reluctant to send my child to school.

12 If my kid’s only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he’d learn in school, please understand that you’re calling me an idiot. Don’t act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13 Stop assuming that because the word “home” is right there in “homeschool,” we never leave the house. We’re the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it’s crowded and icky.

14 Stop assuming that because the word “school” is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we’re into the “school” side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don’t have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15 Stop asking, “But what about the Prom?” Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don’t get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I’m one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16 Don’t ask my kid if she wouldn’t rather go to school unless you don’t mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn’t rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

17 Stop saying, “Oh, I could never homeschool!” Even if you think it’s some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you’re horrified. One of these days, I won’t bother disagreeing with you any more.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you’re allowed to ask how we’ll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can’t, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn’t possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child’s teacher as well as her parent. I don’t see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he’s homeschooled. It’s not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she’s homeschooled.

22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won’t get because they don’t go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25 Here’s a thought: If you can’t say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

 

Great work Deborah, I could not have said it better myself!

 

Keith Fitzhugh: Finally an Athlete That Deserves To Be Called “A Man”

Over the last few years, a disturbing trend has been taking place in the American sports lexicon. Larry Johnson is “a man”, Adrian Peterson is “a man”, Albert Pujos is “a man”, and the list continues with each athlete that is hot at time the statement is made. First, no person should just be labelled “a man” because they can carry a football, hit somebody so hard their shoulders clap, or hit a baseball whenever and however they like. All of us should resist having our manhood based on what we do for a living and/or our physical abilities. Second, the trials and tribulations of someone like Larry Johnson prove that “a man” can act more like, “a boy” when it comes to off-field behavior and decision-making. Looks like many fantasy football fans spoke too soon on LJ.

LJ's four arrests and various assault charges against women proves that just because you're a TD machine, doesn't mean your acting like a man.

However, I caught the story of Keith Fitzhugh on ESPN recently, and I felt that this guy is truly “a man”. Keith Fitzhugh had an opportunity to play for the New York Jets this season, but instead chose to stay home, work a “regular job”, and take care of his parents.  The NFL’s minimum salary is $320,000. I assume Fitzhugh would not collect all of that since he would have joined the team so late in the season. Yet, the Jets are almost a sure lock for making the playoffs and each playoff appearance and win would mean more money on top of his salary. It is one thing to turn down a job that would pay you $5,000 more if it did not offer you the security and flexibility you desired. But I never would have imagined someone doing it for probably more than 10 times their current salary and the fame of being a professional athlete. Also, rags-to-riches stories like Kurt Warner’s, are still fresh in our mind. The former grocery store bagger would later win MVP awards, a Super Bowl ring, and make four Pro Bowl appearances.

As a former grocery store worker myself, Kurt's story even inspires me!

May I also add, what does this say about his parents, specifically his disabled father? Can they be more proud of the son they raised and wisdom that goes beyond what most know at 24 years-of-age? Remember, being a CornerstoneDad is about being the anchor of your family. Regardless of age, your life is still a part of who they are, so when you are down, they are down and there to help you. That’s being relevant, that’s being a linchpin in your family, that’s being a patriarch, that’s being a CornerstoneDad. I wonder if Fitzhugh’s dad put work and money above his family? I do not know the answer, but the fact that Fitzhugh chose his father and mother over money and fame leaves a few clues.

 

 

 

 

Source:

Tony Dungee’s All-Pro Dad site: http://www.allprodad.com/

For video of an interview with Keith Fitzhugh, please see: http://allprodad.com/page.php?id=312

FAMILY OVER FOOTBALL

By: Mickey McClean – Worldmag.com

Often when we read about the off-field exploits of professional athletes the focus is on scandalous behavior: drugs, alcohol, violence, infidelity. It was refreshing to read this week about former pro football player Keith Fitzhugh, who gained notoriety for doing something unexpected but commanded of us: honoring his father and mother.

With several players going down with injuries, the New York Jets desperately needed help in their defensive backfield as they looked to make a run at the Super Bowl. They knew Fitzhugh, who had been in their training camp the past two years only to be cut from the squad, so they rang him up with an offer to rejoin the team immediately. Granted, the Jets weren’t throwing tons of money at him or guaranteeing him a permanent spot on their roster; still, what 24-year-old who has dreamed of playing in the NFL wouldn’t jump at a chance to pull on the pads again and possibly play his way into a long-term deal?

But the former Mississippi State standout said no.

“I know the Jets have a great opportunity of making the Super Bowl, and that’s one dream that every child has is to play sports and make it to the Super Bowl or get to the World Series,” Fitzhugh told The Associated Press. “But, there’s a time when you have to think, ‘Hey, you’ve only got one mom and dad.’ They won’t be here forever, and while they’re here, you’ve got to cherish that time.”

After the Jets cut him prior to this season, Fitzhugh decided to head back home, land a steady job, and help take care of his mother and his father, who is unable to work because of a disability. He’s been a conductor for Norfolk Southern Railroad for the past three months.

“I’ve got something now where I know every two weeks I’m getting a paycheck,” said Fitzhugh, who had a brief stint with the Baltimore Ravens last December before re-signing with the Jets in the offseason. “I don’t want to let [Norfolk Southern] down or run from them because I got a shot for a couple of weeks. I just feel that that’s not right at the moment. I’m looking more long-term in life right now than the short-term.”

In talking to the press this week, Jets coach Rex Ryan reacted to Fitzhugh’s surprising decision: “That’s one of the reasons why we wanted that kid. He’s a tough guy. He’s a guy with a lot of character. He’s just a really outstanding young man. The decision that he made was a tough one for him, but I admire his decision.”

As we debate whether our children should look to athletes as role models, maybe we need to consider not only the superstars but those like Fitzhugh who make the tough call to put the quest for fame and fortune aside for something that’s much more lasting.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).