Archive for ‘Kids’

September 7, 2012

Camping With A 7 Year Old

by pastortimfowler

 

Our Cub Scout troop from our church is taking a weekend camping trip to the beach this weekend. Because my son has to work, I, Papa, will be taking the 7-year-old boy. I have the tent loaded up, sleeping bags, flash lights, munchies, laptop, and wireless card, all necessities for this trip, ready to go. I will be picking him up as soon as he gets home from school and driving 3 and a half hours to the campground.
Because I have to be back for church Sunday morning, we will only be staying the night and most of the day tomorrow. The others will be staying through to Sunday. On the agenda is a beach clean up. cook out, and some fishing. We will have a good bit of free time Saturday, so there is no telling what else we may do. I am trying to decide if I want to take the bikes and or the dog.
Those who know me know that me and kids are a weird mix. I love them and enjoy watching them when they are with others. So now I get to hang out with a bunch of them and get to spend the night in a tent with my own 7-year-old boy. I WILL HAVE FUN!
I am looking forward to fishing and taking the boy to the beach. If I take the dog, I look forward to trying to get her in the water. This is the little white dog and she is not a big fan of swimming, but loves to wade. I look forward to cooking breakfast in the morning. There is nothing like bacon and eggs cooked outside after a night in the tent. I am going to work hard and show the boy how to serve with a smile. I am looking forward to seeing how many strange pictures I can take and post on Facebook.
Last month I did a blog on how God was testing me and how for some reason I was being blessed with being around a bunch of Kids. Well, God is still blessing me. I have got to figure out what I am doing right. Perhaps it is time for a week of rebellion? Just kidding. I am learning patience and I am being given some time to make memories. After the death of my dog this month, God has shown me just how precious time with someone or something you love really is. So I am going to make the most of this. I am going to remember that when I was a kid, I didn’t have a granddad that spent time with me. I am going to make some memories.
So please pray for my patience and pray that I stay focused on the blessing at hand. Pray that I remember to laugh before I scream and only scream if I am having that much fun. Pray that the 3 and a half hour ride down there and back goes quickly. Pray that it doesn’t rain, but if it does, the wi-fi works. Pray that this time next year the 7-year-old boy remembers how much fun we had and wants to do it again.

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August 24, 2012

Back To School

by pastortimfowler

Back to School 2

 

As I was taking our international student to school today I noticed that all the other kids were back to school this week. He goes to a private school that started over a week before public school did. The traffic was heavier and slower thanks to the buses on the road. I was starting to think about letting Freddy ride a bicycle so that I could avoid that morning madness. The way my wife is feeding him, he could use the exercise.
Going back to school always made me sick. I got sick more during the school year than any other time. I never got the kind of sick that made me run a fever, usually it was a stomach ache. Most of the time it was only an 8 hour bug that really seemed to start easing off within an hour of the bus going by my house. My guess is that I was allergic to something at school; probably having to do with those old books.
My mom never posted pictures on Facebook of me going back to school. She didn’t cry and get all emotional either. Well, I did see her laughing hysterically a few times as I looked out the bus window. I don’t remember any parents, “back in the day” posting kids going to school on Facebook. Parents just sent their kids off on the bus or that dreaded 3 mile, uphill walk in knee-deep snow, and then they would all meet to celebrate with moonshine, fresh from the still.
When my kids were young and going to school, we never had to worry about sending them back to school. They never got out of school through the summer. But on the rare occasion that one of them passed a grade and got a break from school, we did not post their pictures on Facebook. To be honest, we did not take many pictures of our kids at all. We figured that because they had to live with us anyway, why create any evidence that could be held against us when they moved out.
Facebook is a great thing. I use it to post my blogs, stalk, I mean, keep up with a few close friends, and find material for my blogs, like thousands of pictures of kids going back to school. I do not believe that Facebook was created for back to school pictures posted by parents. It was created by a college student. College students don’t post anything that parents are proud of, why should parents do otherwise? Facebook should be limited to pictures of those report cards, or, pictures of that letter from the truant officer and/or notice of suspensions that will drive many of you to drinking again. But then again, my parents didn’t post those things about me on Facebook either.
So, rejoice that the little ones are going back to school. Go ahead and post those cute little pictures, we know what is coming later. Those little angels who look so cute now, will be those fallen angels with colored hair, stuff sticking through their nose, and pre-drawn tattoos as they wait to turn 18 and really embarrass you.
I want to leave you with a Bible verse to go with all of this. Philippians 4:4 Always be joyful in the Lord! I’ll say it again: Be joyful!

May 31, 2012

Welcome To This World, Coraline!

by pastortimfowler

baby feet close up!

I went to see my friend and his wife and their new baby last night. It was their first child and they were thrilled. I love seeing first time parents with their new babies, especially the dad. In this case, the baby was delivered via “C-section, so mom was still under the influence of the pain meds. They had both seen the baby in the delivery room, but she had not yet been brought from the nursery into their room yet. The nurse had been in checking on mom and said that they were going to bring the baby in a few minutes. At that time it was only me and the parents in the room. Some of the immediate family were on their way and showed up right before they brought the baby in, but I got to hang out with them by myself for a few minutes.
I don’t know mom that well. I have met her a few times but never had the privilege of hanging out and getting to know her. I play cards with dad once a month and have done so for over two years. Because I don’t know her that well I won’t make fun of mom and some of the things I observed as she enjoyed the pain meds. But that is one of the fun things about visiting a mom who just delivered via cesarean. They think that they are acting normal, but they are not.
Dad was trying real hard to act normal, but you can’t after your first child is born. You would think that they shared the pain meds with dad sometimes by the way they act. Of course I never acted goofy when my kids were born because, well, have you met my kids? This guy was doing pretty good though. He showed me pictures from right after the birth. Very few babies are cute then, to outsiders, but to dad they are gorgeous. Cesarean babies do look better than those born the other way. Those babies look like cone head aliens, to outsiders, but normal to parents. This was a cute baby. I watched the pride swell with each picture he showed me. It is a special moment.
For a few minutes the conversation went from the tough delivery to our next card game and then back to how beautiful the baby is and finally the family came in. I don’t like to hog time from family in any situation that involves a hospital. So I decided to wait until they brought the baby in and get a look at her in person and then head out so the family could have their time. Suddenly the door opened and the nurse came wheeling in the bed with this gift from God in it. They picked her up and handed her to mom and then I got to see that moment that is worth a million moments. It is the one where dad stands next to his wife who is holding their new-born child and he tries with all he has to smile, but tears just start flowing down his face as pride and joy and reality overwhelm him.
With that memory firmly etched in my mind I went over and hugged him and told mom that everything was awesome and bid farewell to the family I had just met. I knew that I had just seen the greatest life changing event a man can go through, other than knowing God. I believe that it is hard to look at this event in life and not consider that something this awesome just doesn’t happen without the God of love that I believe in. It never gets old and never ceases to amaze me how a grown man can be turned into a speechless and weeping ball of emotions all because of a little baby. I always thank God for that experience and hope that He never stops blessing me with the chance to see His gifts of children being brought into this world.
Congratulations Dru and Wendy! Welcome to this world Coraline. (Yes, I spelled that right)

April 17, 2012

Children Deserve Better

by pastortimfowler

Parents today have a hard time raising children. They can’t do what they want to do without fear of government intervention. Schools can’t do what they need to do because of fears of lawsuits and lose of funding, and that only leaves grandparents as the source of hope, and we can’t keep the kids long enough to straighten them out.
I heard on the news today about a 6-year-old girl who was handcuffed by the police because she was pitching a fit at school. She was throwing things in the office and turning over bookcases. When I did that as a kid, no one called the police. The principal grabbed me and busted my butt with a paddle and then called my dad who took me home and busted my butt with a belt. Six year olds don’t need the police called on them, they need what I got if they act out like that.
As I watched the news story about this event, of course they had an expert come on and make excuses for the kid. She said the girl probably had ADHD or PBDO, or some pshyco-babble disorder that needed to be understood and the schools needed to be better equipped to handle this. So we need psychologists and a police station in the elementary school? I think that if we better equip principles with wooden paddles we could solve a couple of problems. First, six-year olds would think twice about showing off like that because, and I speak with experience, paddles hurt, and kids would start wearing their pants up around their waist to provide a little protection from when they misbehaved.
When I heard that the police were called to handle this problem, I immediately thought that it would have been a good day to be a bank robber in that town. While our police force was handling the important job of raising children, bank robbers could be doing their thing with less of a chance of getting caught. I can only imagine when that police officer was growing up he was thinking about becoming a cop so that he could protect the world against six-year-old girls in elementary school. I would love to know when they would schedule that training at the police academy. Do they put it before or after what to do if a bank robber pulls a gun on you?
Children do not need to be abused. But they also don’t need to be handcuffed. Most of them do not need a psychologist either, unless this is repeated over and over again. They may just need a paddle across butt and the promise of another one if they do it again. Too many parents are trying to be anything but a parent to their children and too many schools are trying too hard not to be a place where kids get their little feelings hurt. Adults have a responsibility to teach children that there are authority figures in the world that deserve our respect. Children need to know that bad behavior has serious consequences from mom and dad or the principal. They need to know that they do have to mind and they do have to follow rules. If they don’t learn it as a six-year-old, they won’t learn it as an adult. It is kids who don’t learn this early in life that end up needing to be in handcuffs as adults. But they do not need to be handcuffed as a six-year-old who is just pitching a temper tantrum.
Our children deserve better.

August 16, 2011

Back To School

by pastortimfowler

Summers are just not long enough for kids and those who love spending time with their kids. But it has come to that time where we send them off in their new clothes with their new books to learn new things. It is an exciting time and can be quite nerve-racking. Our little rug rats are growing up!
I remember when I was in elementary school. We use to have to walk to school in knee-deep snow and then walk home when the snow was even deeper. It was uphill both ways too. But while I was at school I knew that the teachers and principals were people who had the same basic values that my parents did. Basically they demanded respect, effort, and adhering to specific values. Those values were biblical and no one ever complained about it because biblical values are what our laws are based on and they promote hard work along with compassion.
My 1st grade teacher use to read us a Bible story every morning. I remember hearing about David and Goliath and Joshua shouting down the walls of Jericho and how God created the world that we know it. Later in the 3rd grade I had a teacher who use to teach us music and often we used hymns to help us learn to read notes. By the time I got to middle school, things were changing. Not much more than the curriculum was taught, but we still had that core value base that was in place.
I always knew that there was going to be consistency in what I was getting at school and what I was getting at home. My dad always said that if I got a whipping at school that I could expect one when I got home. Sounds tough, but it was true. Now we have parents suing schools for disciplining kids and then complaining when the kids don’t learn anything. And the last thing that your kids will hear in school these days is that God created the universe, much less the story of David and Goliath. Instead they are taught new stories about families with 2 mommies or 2 daddies and when they get to middle school they are taught how to use condoms and where to go if you need an abortion.
Still I hear the complaints from parents that their kids don’t want to come to church and don’t want to know God. They tell me that they don’t know how to overcome all the “science that disproves the Bible”. I hear about kids having sex at younger ages and doing drugs and drinking in their teens. Parents are frazzled.
Last night in a Bible study this subject of why kids have no respect for the things of the Bible came up. So I asked the 15 men present, how many of you read a Bible story to your children every day? How ’bout once a week?. The answer was, none of them. My next question was this; Then why would you expect the schools to do it? Followed by this one: Do your kids think God is real and important to Daddy?
You see we pitch a fit when our school takes God out of them, but the truth is, God is not in our own houses either. We only visit His house on Sunday. We complain about schools not allowing prayers but we never pray with our kids at home. We proudly wear our “Put God back in Schools” bumper stickers, but maybe we need to put Him back in our homes first.
Here is God’s idea to help our kids:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
4 Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God.
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 Take to heart these words that I give you today.
7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up.
8 {Write them down, and} tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder.
9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
If we teach our children about God like this at home, we will have less worries about them wherever they go. But maybe, just maybe, then the kids will be the ones to take God back to school.

August 10, 2011

Explanation And Apology

by pastortimfowler

I realized after posting yesterday that I may have been a bit brash and maybe offended some with a few of my statements. Let me issue an explanation and an apology. First, the explanation.
I had just been reading an online article about how people use the internet to lure children into child pornography. I think that there is nothing lower on this earth than someone who would do such a thing to a child. I often sit and think about things after I read them in order to process them, but yesterday I jumped straight into my blog. Can you say oops? So if I offended some by the whole idea of killing such a pervert, I am sorry. I would hope that my Christianity would allow me to trust God for such vengeance.
Emotions are a very powerful thing. They cause us to act and react before thinking. They can cause us to challenge everything we have ever been taught and they can freeze us in our tracks. That is why it is so important to not make major decisions in a highly emotional state. Even blogging while emotional can be dangerous.
My wife was so sweet to see the pride in what I wrote and did not mention the whole gun thing. I am not sure if she is that kind or agreed with me that much. Scary huh? There is nothing more dangerous than a momma defending her young.
I have been more emotional the last few days, more than usual. I am very proud of my new grandson and equally as proud of all my grandkids. I guess the emotions come from this being the latest and the fact that it is my “baby” who now has a child. Give it time and the new one will be just as loud and irritating as the rest. That is where Mimi spoiling them comes into play.
This will be my last blog for now about my grandkids. They may be loud and obnoxious but I love them. I would do anything to protect them and I will do my best to teach them the right ways to handle life’s little problems. I am crazy proud of them all and always amazed at God’s handy work when I see a new-born baby.

August 9, 2011

Granny Has A Gun

by pastortimfowler

What an eye-opening experience I had yesterday. I am not sure how close together it happened, but my wife had it too. We both realized, not out of ignorance, but rather out of amazement, that as of now, all of our children have children of their own. I am not sure why it was so mind-blowing but it was. We have been very blessed with the fact that we have great children of our own and now each one of them have given us a grandchild. I never dreamed that one day I would be looking at having three children and each of them with children. WOW!.
Proverbs 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of grandparents, and parents are the glory of their children. How true this is. Even though I have been a grandparent for about 7 years now, this never gets old. But seeing the youngest of your own children having his first is pretty cool.
I often get worried about what kind of world they will grow up in. I worried the same about my kids, but they had an awesome dad. My two sons can only hope to be as awesome a dad as I am, and my daughter was never going to find someone good enough for her or to father my grandkids. But that is what my father in law said about me and he was wrong. Some how I think they will all exceed my expectations though.
But we do live in a world that is much more unstable and much less friendly to children. With the invention of the internet, child predators are coming out in groves and it means that parents must be on their toes more. Our kids are really good parents, but I still worry. I guess it would only be fair that I should let every child predator know that I am a Christian. This means that I am forgiven of every sin that I ever have or ever will commit. Although this does not give me a license to sin, it does give me the peace of knowing that if I snap and kill some pervert who would ever even attempt to hurt my grandkids, that I would still go to heaven. And in case someone might be thinking that I don’t have it in me to do such a thing, I should also tell you that I received my marksmanship medal after achieving a perfect score while I was in the military and I still practice regularly. Not only do I have a hand gun, but I carry it, loaded. What would be even worse is if my wife got a hold of you. She too is an expert shot, but she is much meaner than I am when it comes to our grandchildren.
Sorry for chasing that rabbit, but it felt good.
God has blessed me with so much and I don’t know why, other than He is just an awesome God who loves us more than we can understand. Every time I see a newborn baby I marvel at His ability to create life and then to think that He entrusts me to have a part in raising that life. It is a tall order, but I love stepping into the responsibility. I think I am going to pray that everyone gets to experience having grandkids.
So quickly let me tell you a few things that were incredible yesterday when Bryson was born.
Watching my son agonized over his wife in labor.
Watching my son walk into the room holding his newborn son.
Watching my daughter in law weep tears of joy as she held him.
Watching my wife glow with pride and love as she held Bryson and then as she held our son.
Watching Bryson look at me as I held him. He smiled bigger then than any other time that day.
Seeing Bryson wear his Gamecock ‘boggin’ as he was smiling at me.
Watching all the responses from so many of you as you sent your congratulations.
Thanks for the support and prayers. Thank God for His love and blessing.

August 2, 2011

Where Do Babies Come From

by pastortimfowler

The other day I received a note from one of the mom’s at our church who was telling me that her child was asking that scary question of where do babies come from. Most parents face that question and fear that they will say the wrong thing that will scare their child away from ever having children and therefore the world’s population will gradually decrease until there are no people left on earth. Right?
I have heard some really weird answers to that question. The one I dislike the most is the stork. Storks are not baby carriers. They do not have the neck muscles that would be needed for such a task. Even if they did, their skinny legs would snap upon landing and if that happened around a pond or river, like where you see most storks, then the baby is likely to float off and be raised by a family of wolves or snapping turtles.

My parents told me that I was found under a cabbage leaf. I thought that this was a good explanation until I was old enough to actually smell cabbage cooking and see where it came from. If you have never smelled cabbage cooking, then you can’t understand this. It stinks! No baby would ever be found near something that has the capability of stinking so much while it is being cooked. The other problem with this is that cabbage is grown in open gardens in dirt. This leaves the possibility of the baby being carried away by deer or rabbits and then growing up thinking it is okay to jump in front of moving cars, or to be sucked into the ground by worms.
Most parents who are shooting for the honesty thing tell their children that babies come from mommy’s belly. That is not true because that is only where the baby stays until it is time to be born, meaning it had to have been put there somehow. Kids are not that stupid and will eventually ask about this.
Many kids are told that the doctor put the baby there to grow and will take it out when it is ready. I would never let my wife go back to the doctor that put a baby in her belly because I know the truth. Secondly, not all babies come out of the belly directly. It is only in recent modern medical history that this could be true. The caesarean birth is not the original way for babies to get out and thus we are stretching the truth a bit if that is all we tell the children.
That leaves telling the children about sex as an option. Then we have to decide if it is worth the anxiety this causes us. Most kids don’t really care about the mechanics of sex, but for some reason we think that we need to get way more graphic than we should, causing anxiety, and resulting in us saying something like, “the stork brings them”.
Christians default to God as the one who puts babies in bellies. This would be fine if we are talking about Mary, the mother of Jesus, but most of us did not marry, Mary. The Bible does say that all children are a gift from God, but He allows us to have a bit of fun to make those gifts. So what now? What are we going to tell those pesky little kids who ask those tough questions?
Much is dependent on how old they are when they ask. If they were below the age of 12, I told my kids to go ask their mother. If they were over they age of 12, I told them that this was so important that it would require us to spend two or three hours a day together talking for a few months, at least. That sent them running to play video games and me never having to talk to them again about anything serious.
Seriously, unless you want your child learning from his or her older, “smart” friend, the best thing that you can do is tell them the truth and keep it age appropriate. Most kids who grow up to be adults figure out where babies come from, but sadly they go through much unnecessary experimenting to find out. The Bible is full of examples of people having sex in order to create a baby. That might be a great place to start, reading the Bible. Whoda thunk it?
Do not be afraid to answer the question, where do babies come from?

June 30, 2011

What More Can They Want?

by pastortimfowler

Five years ago today I did a wedding for a couple of young people who were weird and wacky. They had dreams of making it big in the music industry and living happily ever after. They went to school, moved around, and chased a dream. Dreams come true.
My youngest son and his wife celebrate 5 years of marriage today. I know that this does not qualify as happily ever after but it sure is a start. Few couples that I know have been willing to make the sacrifices and work as hard to make their dreams come true as these two. Paying their own way through school, taking jobs that seemed quite a stretch to achieve their goals and never giving up on seeking what they were looking for.
Today they serve in the music ministry in one of the largest and most dynamic churches in South Carolina, maybe even the USA. The music industry can be a brutal place to make a living and certainly to live out a Christian life. Staying true to your roots and to yourself and to each other can be extremely difficult, but so far so good. I have watched them take risks that many warned against taking and watch the rewards of those risks pay off now. As a pastor and a dad I can’t be more proud of where they serve and how they serve and what they have done so far.
Not only do they celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary, but this year they will also celebrate the birth of their first child, a boy. Although this will be our 7th grandchild, it is not less thrilling! Anytime that God blesses one of your children with a child it is incredible. Children are a blessing from God and grandchildren are the crown of the grandparents! We can’t wait to hold him in our arms and tell him of our love for him and our pride for his parents and our thankfulness to God for him.
It would be nice to be able to send them away for week as they celebrate their anniversary or to lavish them with other expensive gifts, but unfortunately that can’t happen right now. We feel as though we are the ones who have gotten the gifts with the way they live their lives and have blessed us with a grandson. But what I can do and will never stop doing is praying for their marriage, their children, and their ministry. I will always have great pride in them being my family and great humility in knowing that they are all a gift from God. And now, I have included them in a 2nd blog…what more can they want?

June 24, 2011

What Will We Eat For Lunch?

by pastortimfowler

My youngest son and his wife are on their way to see us and have a baby shower tomorrow. She is due to have our 7th grandchild, a boy, in August. They live in Florence which is about 2 hrs from here, 1hr 5minutes if my favorite wife is driving. Because of our work schedules it has been really tough getting to see them, so this will be awesome.
It is hard to believe that our youngest is getting ready to have a child. They have been married for several years and between school and jobs have traveled most of their married life. Now he seems to have landed his dream job and settled down and they are ready to have 10-15 children and start a small farm. I can’t wait to have some fresh bacon and eggs picked right off the vine!
I know that many of you are still in awe that I am a grandfather. Actually, now that I read that word “grandfather” I don’t like the sound of it and prefer the term “those kid’s dad’s dad”. You may not be aware of this but my wife is older than I am. I was a child when we met and I was actually sold to her off a Russian bride/groom website. It was my 12th birthday when we got married and although I was scared, she wanted children right away and that explains the reason that I already have grandkids.
It was funny how in the early years she use to call me her “fine breedin’ stock” and how she use to giggle as I blushed…but that is another blog for another time.
I have lived a blessed life until now. No, I don’t expect it to change, but I am sure of my past. I have a great wife, who practically raised me too, great kids, who are all beautiful like their dad, and yes, even grandkids. I know that God has given me favor, because I prayed that each of my children would have a child just like them and so far, so good. I can’t wait to see how this one is going to turn out. He will probably be musically inclined, have great taste in women, love to fish, and like to tell on his siblings when they have the next 10 or so. He will love to play games with his dad and practically worship the ground that he walks on. Because this son was our “good child” it will be hard to name too many annoying things that the grandson should do.
No matter what he is like, I am super stoked about seeing him for the first time. No, I don’t consider that thing that looked like mom had swallowed a jelly bean, a real picture. I’m talking the little smiling, slobbering, face after he comes out of hiding. I am sure that he will continue the trend of great looking Fowler men who dazzle the world with their smile and woo the women, no matter how much older they are.
I live a blessed life. I am not sure what I did to deserve it, but I’ll take it. God’s grace is so awesome!
I just got a text and they are close. I wonder what we will eat for lunch?