CornerstoneDad Says “Happy Father’s Day if…”

happy-fathers-day

 

CornerstoneDads…

  • Happy Father’s Day if you a child
  • Happy Father’s Day if you’re teaching that child in the ways of the Lord
  • Happy Father’s Day if you’re spending time with your child, getting in “Just 15 Minutes”
  • Happy Father’s Day if you have one on the way!
  • Happy Father’s Day if you go to work everyday to make that money to take care of your children and you hate your job
  • Happy Father’s Day if you at least try to make as many games as you can even when you’re tired and just want to relax after a hard day’s work
  • Happy Father’s Day if you’re steadily looking for work to provide for your family and hustling in any legal way to can
  • Happy Father’s Day for those men in the military that hang in there after missing so many years of their children’s lives, but do all they can to still make sure they impact their lives
  • Happy Father’s Day if you can’t remember the last book you read because you’re always spending time with your kids
  • Happy Father’s Day if you have a lock on your bedroom door, because you understand the importance of spending time with your wife as well
  • Happy Father’s Day if you were determined not to let your child grow up without a dad,  despite what went through your head when your “baby’s momma” said, “I’m pregnant.”
  • Happy Father’s Day if you still worked hard despite the fact that child support was going to take a sizable part of your paycheck…and it didn’t take THAT much to raise a child
  • Happy Father’s Day if you traded in your sports/musclecar for a minivan
  • Happy Father’s Day if you fought kids for your kids, when your kids did not know how
Happy Father’s Day to my man James Evans!!! Definitely a guy who taught me how to be a better dad.
  • Happy Father’s Day if don’t know what it’s like to get holiday gifts, because it’s all about the kids
  • Happy Father’s Day if you’ve fought to see your kids in court, whether they wanted to see you or not
  • Happy Father’s Day if you hug your kids and tell them you love them on a regular basis
  • Happy Father’s Day if you are homeless, but still make an effort to stay involved in your kid’s life
  • Happy Father’s Day if the mother of your child aborted the baby you wanted, because it’s her body…but it takes two to make a baby
  • Happy Father’s Day if whatever you’re fixing takes twice as long so you can let your kids help
  • Happy Father’s Day if you know the real meaning of “I need” a larger car or house…it means that no more people can fit, not I just want more space
  • Happy Father’s Day if you’re raising or helping to raise your grandchildren!
  • Happy Father’s Day if you’re going to church today, and the preacher will give a sermon about how “men need to step up!”, while on Mother’s Day he preached, “Mother’s need to be honored…”
  • Happy Father’s Day if you take your kids around your city, state, and even country because a vacation isn’t time spent away from the family, but time spent with the family
  • Happy Father’s Day if you’re homeschooling your kids, because unlike other teachers, you don’t get time off and the pay is even worse
  • Happy Father’s Day if you know that if you die now, there are very few things you could say, “I wish I would’ve done _____ with my kids.”
  • Happy Father’s Day CornerstoneDad’s and Happy Father’s Day to my dad!
To my Old School Dads:
To my New School Dads:
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…just 15 Minutes: “Play Ball!” Style

Finally, a couple of back-to-back warm and rain-free days allowed me and the boys to get out and throw the baseball around. Now we’ve gone out a few times already this year, but now it’s finally beginning to feel like baseball season.

For nearly 10 years, I played in the typical softball league and then I even decided to see if I still “had it” and play hardball. It was good to face real pitching and play with guys who took the game seriously (too seriously sometimes). Then I broke my hand and was forced to spend the next six months in a cast and a sling. I could not play with my kids the entire summer besides running and I officially retired like Barry Sanders. My wife doubted my retirement like Juanita Jordan, but I’m yet to step on the field again. Why, because I now have my own team to play with. A team that needs me more than any other. Not being able to be a Five-Tool Dad (run, throw, catch, hit, and teach), was too much for me and something I never want to experience again.

I am so impressed with the progress my six and twelve-year old sons have made. The elder has played baseball for six years, but the sport seems to be taking on more meaning for him, especially as he reads through a biography on Willie Mays. Recently, he drew me a picture of us playing ball together and labeled the ball park as the Polo Grounds. Now, there aren’t many kids today who even know who Willie Mays is, let alone what the Polo Grounds represent!

My six-year old, aka Big Homie, is showing the quick hands of an infielder and can throw with a little sizzle as well. This is a 180-degree turn from the boy that was scared of the ball just a year ago and threw like Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn. 

That’s one of the greatest parts of being a CornerstoneDad. Being there and assisting our children doing things that let us know they are “growing up”. Sure, mom keeps the teeth, hair from the first cut, and remembers the first step. But dad remembers that first game, keeps that first glove and that first model car.

Right now, I really don’t need “the fellas” to play ball with or other people to do something I enjoy. I can do it with my own boys (and my girls as I was out cruising with my 5 year old daughter the night before) as they can now throw hard and play hard. They are even able to heckle me when I make an error out in the field. Wow, these boys are learning fast. Dad does tend to crank-up his sweet-o-meter quite a bit when the ball comes his way, so the criticism is well deserved I guess.

I’ve also learned that I don’t have to spend all day outside playing with the kids, but if I can continue with starting with just 15 minutes of playing catch, throwing the ball around, or even giving occasional instruction if necessary, the payoff is immediate and appreciated. Just remember CornerstoneDad, 15 minutes is where you start. (See: http://cornerstonedad.com/2010/11/21/just-15-minutes/)

Whenever we leave the park, my 12 year old is always quick to say, “Thank you for taking us dad.” I often respond, “Thank you for going.”

Little does he know, I am the one who is far more appreciative as I have a more finite idea of time than he does.  Sons, I thank you, and will do all I can to remain on the field of play as long as I can with you.

How about you CornerstoneDad? What is the spring activity you remember learning/playing with your dad? Are you still able to play with them today?  What do you enjoy playing with your children this time of year? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Are Cars from the Good Ole Days Better Than Those Today?

Sometimes us CornerstoneDads have a way of making the past sound much more glorious than it actually was. Or is it just that when we are young, we tend to make myths out of the stories our dads told us as a child.

I’m not sure which it was for me, I just know that I have always considered muscle cars to be the baddest beasts on the street. Only recently did I have to concede that cars these days do almost everything better than the cars of yesteryear. Now before you send me hate mail, notice that I ALMOST!

So CornerstoneDads, what do you think? Is there a particular car that you just idolize because your pops had one and that was the first car you remember going fast in? How does it compare to what’s in your driveway today?

Because my dad raised us to hold Mopar muscle in the highest regard, the video below (check out the link) absolutely breaks my heart. Edmunds InsideLine tested the ’69 General Lee against the 2011 Charger R/T.

I am surely not a Mopar Fiat fan today, but I think we all have to admit that the cars of our youth and our parents youth, just can’t hang with the pavement peelers (if you turn off the traction control) out now. No offense to my dad’s ’68 383ci. Plymouth Road Runner and ’74 318ci Dodge Charger. Give me $30, 000 to lay down (must remain debt-free of course), and I’d still choose one of the cars he used to own before I’d even attempt to recapture my youth with a ’88 Ford Mustang LX 5.0L.

Which is your favorite?

http://www.insideline.com/dodge/charger/2011/2011-dodge-charger-rt-vs-the-general-lee.html

 

 

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!

“Thank You Lord for All Our Blessings, but It Is Not Enough. Amen.”

I have a sure-fire love-line you can say to your lady. You know, one of those “sweet-nothing” phrases. “Baby, I am so thankful that I have you, for all you have done for me and what a blessing you are to me. So thankful, that tomorrow I think we should go out and start looking for another wife. Let us get up early, and see what we can find. Love you sweetie.”

Now, unless your wife is featured on Sister Wives, I have a feeling those lines aren’t going to go over very well. Yet, this is basically the attitude of many American’s this time of year. Thanksgiving comes and we are inundated with stories about being thankful for all of the things that we have and the very next story appeals to the consumption side of our personalities by telling us it is “Black Friday” (wait, isn’t it also Black Friday if a bunch of people at work get fired?) and stores open early for us to begin Christmas shopping. Am I the only one noticing this inconsistency? “Be thankful for all you have, but go spend to get more because it is not enough!” To make matters worse, the third story is probably about the threat of a “W” recession and the unemployment numbers (which is at 9% as of October 2010 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .

Financial talk show host Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com) commonly says that getting out of debt changes your family tree. I think those are very true words. First, the Bible says in Proverbs 22:7 that, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Therefore Dad, how can you properly be the cornerstone of your family if you are a slave to a credit card company and/or bank?

Those companies will run your house really well as they will dictate when everyone wakes up with their unsolicited 8 A.M. wake-up calls to becoming an uninvited guest at dinner or with 8:30 P.M. “night-night” bedtime calls. Yes indeed, your kids will view mom and dad in a whole new light as they watch them panic like a roach in light, when that phone rings and you look at the caller-ID and tell them not to answer the phone numerous times each day. Yes, Sweet Daddy move over, there’s a new loan shark in the Evan’s family!

 

The Evans family could always count on old Sweets to give them money when they needed it, for a price they never could afford to repay!

If you are slave to the lender, please show some wisdom this Christmas season. The very people you may be trying to impress would not be too impressed if they knew the amount of debt your household carries. Imagine those people being over at your home when the phone rings and asking, “Your phone is ringing, you aren’t going to answer it?” Then again, would it really matter? Debt and consumption are the fuels to the American economy right? Creditcards.com reports that the average household has nearly four credit cards as of 2008. The average credit card debt for those households is nearly $16,000! Time for a change, and it begins at home by not being a slave to your personal Sweet Daddy Williams.

This is our first Christmas with no credit card and that is what I’m truly thankful for. No payments to linger into 2011 from 2010. This is surely the greatest gift that I will give my children this holiday season.

Next time, we’ll take another look at the benefits of changing your family tree by becoming debt free. You can influence your children’s attitude in a whole new way concerning money. Left on their own, society has no problem teaching them if you will not. The real message this time of year is actually, “Be thankful for what you have been able to accumulate, but keep striving to attain more because you do not want to be without the latest _____.”