Never Say No: 7 IDEAS FOR PARENTS (Leaders of Kids)

Mark & Jan Foreman - Never Say No cover art

Never Say No

7 IDEAS FOR PARENTS (Leaders of Kids)

BY MARK AND JAN FOREMAN, parents of Jon and Tim Foreman and authors of new book Never say No: Raising Big Picture Kids

 MarkandJanForeman2-byJenniPalmer

At a local cafe with a half dozen young leaders, Mark Foreman was recently asked, “Give us one nugget of parenting advice before you go.” “Okay,” he responded, “Try out this one: Never say no.” The room erupted with laughter, as the dad looking for help reacted, “You are kidding right? That’s all I ever say–and my son needs one thousand more no’s.”

 

“No I’m not kidding,” Mark quietly responded. “Never say no to all the dreams and creative ideas your children have. Never say no to the realization you can become different than your mom or dad. Especially never say no to their requests to join them, like playing dress up with your little girl or going surfing with your teenager when the weather’s cold and windy. If you say no too often they’ll stop asking.”

 

A week later that concerned dad tracked Mark down to say he had taken that advice and his home life had dramatically turned around. He said, “My son is suddenly easy to get along with just because I started saying yes to some things he wanted to do together. I’m not kidding,” he said with a big grin, “the change is dramatic.” As he walked away, he turned and pointed to Mark saying, “It’s hard, but never say no!”

 

No is a commanding word. It can be a denial, rejection, an expression of fear or an unintended statement of worth. But a thousand no’s can be dwarfed by the power of one yes. No is a brake while yes is an accelerator pedal. We say yes to the stuff and people we value. Here are 7 ways parents can say yes to their kids.

 

1)         Yes to a Greater Story: Help kids see past themselves, connecting them to God’s big picture of redemption. Beyond the obvious but small goals of safety, health, happiness, even success, we are raising children with this surpassing privilege: to reflect God’s loving face to others.

 

2)         Yes to being an Example: Children are hard-wired to copy us; this is both good news and bad. The power of our lives is the most immediate way to shape our kids. Raising children includes raising ourselves to become who we want to be.

 

3)         Say Yes to Time: Children spell love T-I-M-E. It’s the currency of all relationships. Large deposits left early in lives will reap generous rewards later. It reverses Harry Chapin’s song, Cat’s In the Cradle.

 

4)         Say Yes to Delight: Children see themselves through their parent’s eyes, discovering their worth by reading our faces. Beyond loving our kids, it’s equally vital to really like them, enjoying who they uniquely are. Children who bask in these smiles of appreciation will pay it forward to genuinely enjoying others and being comfortable in their own skin.

 

5)         Say Yes to Mess: All children are Michelangelo’s looking for a canvas. They come equipped with curiosity and innovation as part of the image of God package. This creativity grows best when we stretch their imaginations in a batteries-not-included environment, allowing them to explore and experiment.

 

6)         Say Yes to Being Naturally Supernatural: Help kids find God in ordinary moments. The Shema in Deut. 6:4-8 tells parents to look for God-clues throughout the day. We can communicate more theology in a family dance party or telling stories around a campfire than sitting stiffly for an hour.

 

7)         Say Yes to Letting Go: Maturity happens in baby steps: from crawling to walking, training wheels to two wheels, dating to marriage. Three ingredients that work together are essential for this process: increased freedom, risk, and responsibility. As we lean into this gradual increase of our kids’ freedom and (gasp) risk, we will hopefully see a corresponding growth in their response-ability. It’s helpful to remember our destination: raising kids who say yes to God’s extraordinary plans for their lives.

 

Every parent, child and family is a fascinating original, experiencing God’s fingerprints in unique ways. So one final yes is to grace. As we imperfectly guide young humans to find their place in God’s epic, we all need buckets of God’s unearned love. Raising children is the most humbling and exhilarating privilege on earth. Here’s to saying yes!

 

# # #

Mark & Jan Foreman - Never Say No cover art

"VeggieTales: Veggies in Space – The Fennel Frontier" Review

VeggiesInSpaceMain-Feature-Image

VeggieTales: Veggies in Space - The Fennel Frontier

VeggieTales: Veggies in Space – The Fennel Frontier

Running Time: 45 minutes
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2014 (Amazon.com)

VeggieTales: Veggies in Space - The Fennel Frontier
Plot Summary
A Lesson in The Power of Sharing! Join Captain Cuke (Larry the Cucumber) and his loyal first officer, Mr. Spork (Bob the Tomato), as they embark on an out of this world adventure to bravely travel where no Veggie has ever been. The entire USS Applepies crew takes on Luntar the Looter, a power stealing space pirate, but they’re in for a big surprise when they find out what’s motivating him!
(from VeggieTales.com)

Film Review
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: I’m a sucker for a really good spoof. Spoofing popular stories and franchises isn’t something foreign for the VeggieTales team. Even since the first episodes of the series, Star Trek was spoofed when Bob and Larry enlisted Junior’s help to save the U.S.S. Applepies in an attempt to teach him a lesson in friendship. The vessel’s faitful crew finally makes a return to teach a lesson in sharing, something parents of any young child will be chomping at the bit to present to their children.

As a father of a 3-year-old little boy myself, sharing is a concept and theme I have yet to fully get through to him. He’s starting to make some progress, thankfully, but he still is quick to declare “mine!” when I just want to look at or touch a toy of his. We encourage him to “share” his belongings (and food) like we share with him, but he is still often reluctant. Veggies In Space: The Fennel Frontier finds the U.S.S. Applepies to be completely foreign to the idea of sharing, and the selfish crewmembers eventually get a pretty hard lesson in what it means to share with each other.


The story makes rapid-fire jokes and references to famous and popular sci-fi pop culture that parents will mostly catch and appreciate. Movies and franchises like Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Apollo 13, Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy, E.T., Back To The Future and even 2001: A Space Odyssey are all given direct nods or have lines borrowed from throughout Veggies In Space. It’s clever, funny, and deliciously shameless. The wooden bridge cutting through the Captain’s bridge on the Applepies and a floating audio-recording log acting as the Captain’s Log are just a few of the witty and silly spoofs that litter this episode. It’s always entertaining and fun and it helps keep things light as the lesson in sharing develops.

One of the funniest moments, and surprising given the release dateof this in conjunction with a film so recent, is the opening shot of the episode being a direct goof on the Academy Award-winning 2013 film, Gravity. From the lonesome, lost shot of Larry “floating in space” (against a wall of glow-in-the-dark stars), to the sound suddenly cutting out just like that film’s score frequently utilized — it’s just wonderfully executed. And it sets the tone for what’s about to unfold beautifully.


The episode is also pretty action-packed for a VeggieTales episode — with giant, Veggie-manned (can you say “manned” when involving vegetables?) robot suits (think Avatar) briefly fighting to fiery popcorn meteor showers and some space-tacular explosions, it’s one of the more action filled episodes in the Veggie catalog. However, it’s never directly perilously violent, so I wouldn’t worry too much for the little ones. It’s probably just a little more action-packed than the recent Incredible Vegetables episode.

Fun, silly, fast-paced and witty, Veggies In Space is everything a parent and child could ask for in a VeggieTales episode. It’s an original tale driven by great and easily recognizable references–both in dialog and visual form. Everything from the rolling pin nacels of the Applepies to a well-placed use of “It’s a Trap!” and “Houston, we have a problem” is darn good fun and entertainment with a message for all ages to cling to.
John DiBiase, (reviewed: 3/8/14)

Tricia Brock Talks About New Album, Parenting, and Miscarriages

TriciaMain-Feature-Image

triciabrock2013title

Former Superchick vocalist Tricia Brock has been very busy since the band retired from the road. When she hasn’t been writing and recording for her new solo album, Radiate, she’s been busy adjusting to her new life as a mother. Jesusfreakhideout.com’s Roger Gelwicks recently addressed the musical side of Tricia’s solo career, while John DiBiase talked to the young mother about raising little Ava.

We’ve included part of the JFH interview below as well as exclusive questions regarding her experiences with a miscarriage before having little Ava.

This interview took place on: 7/29/13. 

  • JFH (Roger Gelwicks): Songs like “Good to Be a Girl” and “Mirror Mirror” remind me of past Superchick songs like “One Girl Revolution” and “Barlow Girls.” What prompted going back to these sorts of themes for Radiate?

Tricia:
I think the 15 year old, tall and way too skinny, zits-on-my-face Tricia is still in there. I just feel the way we view ourselves shapes us so much and it affects us way beyond our teen years. We are being shaped and changed throughout our entire lives, so I think we can always use these reminders. I now have a little girl, Ava, and I think some of these songs like “Daughter of the King” came out because of how I see her, want to love her and show her how to really love herself. They are songs I would want her to hear when she’s 12 and when things are getting tough to be a girl.

  • JFH (Roger): Which song from this new record do you connect with the most personally?

Tricia:
I would say my song called “What I Know.” It’s a song about the places in life where maybe things aren’t turning out the way we want. We might not have the answers we’re seeking, but we know His ways are higher. That He is good. He never lets us go. So we choose to hold to what we know and not just what we feel or see in circumstances around us. Some days, we don’t even have the words to pray to ask for His help. The words of this song feel so real and raw. I know that every person who hears it will say, “Yep, I’ve had those days.” Laying there worrying about our tomorrows because the weight of our unanswered questions are so heavy, sleep just escapes us. It is a beautiful song about real, honest faith moments when we choose to believe what we know and not what we feel. I’m leaning on that truth more and more as a woman and a wife and a mom.

 

  • JFH (John DiBiase): How has parenthood affected the way you make music/ write songs?

Tricia:
Well, most of our session writings have included Ava playing in the room, so it affects us quite a bit!! Parenthood changes you so much. The minute it happens and then gradually for the rest of our lives, I think. So, I guess it’s changing me all the time and the way I see the world, the way I love, the way I forgive and understand discipline and so many things, so of course my writing is affected. I think I have some songs on this record that might not have been written if I hadn’t become a mom… and a mom of a girl – phew! Where are the manuals to take home when you have babies?! =)

 

  • JFH (John): Do you have any advice for young parents?

Tricia:
Breathe. Sleep every chance you get. Leave the dishes for later. Let people help — especially family. They want to help and sometimes new moms have a hard time letting go. (Raising my hand.)

 

  • JFH (John): I know you and your husband suffered a miscarriage before the birth of your beautiful little baby girl. What do you feel God may have taught you through that experience? (My wife and I had a miscarriage before our son Will was born on October 1st, 2010 – so we can relate…)

Tricia:
Yes, it was our first pregnancy and that made it so scary. When we went in to hear the baby’s heartbeat at eight weeks, they saw that the baby wasn’t growing at the right rate and something was wrong. That was still a couple weeks before we knew we lost the baby, and then even a couple more weeks until I had to have surgery because I never miscarried.

It was so hard for me emotionally accepting it. Then, dealing with fears about the next baby and wondering if I could go through that again.

I think I learned to accept some things without all the answers. And God definitely provided healing for me through worship. We were traveling that year leading worship and those songs on my record The Road became a lot of healing for me. Especially the song “The Altar.” I look back now, and since having Ava…God makes sense of things. He brings us through things for a reason and He walks through it with us. Somehow when you look back you can see His hand and His purposes, and it can make sense without having every one of our ‘Why’ questions answered.

 

  • JFH (John): A lot of people don’t talk about miscarriages. What would you like to say to anyone struggling with a loss like that?

Tricia:
I noticed that and I felt like it was something I was supposed to share. Communicating can be really healing for me, but I know it is very personal and some couples need it to be their thing to deal with and not share.

I think that men need to understand as hard as it can be for you, that your wife needs a lot of love and support. Women – [you need to] know that it isn’t your fault, and going down that road is so hard on you. I had days out of nowhere that it would hit me again and it was sometimes hard for my husband to understand, thinking we had moved on, but I needed his patience and love more than ever.

It’s one of the hard things we can never understand about life and about God. So, Nick and I chose to think that there was a reason that baby isn’t with us and is in Heaven. We choose to trust that there are reasons we don’t always understand and try to leave it there.

 

  • JFH (John): Care to share a funny parents story about parenting Ava? 🙂

Tricia:
This story is the first of many that popped into my head! So, Ava was just a few months old when my sister [Melissa] got married. My sister owns a flower shop called Rosebuds East in Nashville and she had one of the most beautiful DIY weddings I’ve ever seen!

The wedding was in their beautiful backyard, which they designed. She made all the bouquets and made Ava a little headband (Ava doesn’t have much hair yet, so we use accessories to keep her looking like a girl). So, I saw Ava’s headband and put it on her before we did family pictures…and it wasn’t until later in the day that Melissa told me that I had put the garter on Ava’s head, not her headband. We laughed so hard, but the funniest part is, it looked so cute that we had her wear it all night and Melissa didn’t even throw it out. Oh, babies change everything!!

 

Tricia Brock’s new solo album Radiate is available August 13, 2013 wherever music is sold!

Big Idea Presents the VeggieTales Live! Happy Birthday Bob & Larry Tour Beginning March 1!

VeggieTalesBirthdayMain-Feature-Image

YOU’RE INVITED TO A VEGGIETALES® BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!

 

BIG IDEA ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS

THE VEGGIETALES LIVE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB & LARRY TOUR

PREMIERING IN OVER 35 CITIES MARCH 1 THROUGH APRIL 28, 2013

 

A One-Of-A-Kind Celebration For 20 Years Of Silliness, Stories and Songs

VeggieTales Birthday

SOURCE: Hoganson Media

FRANKLIN, TN (February 4, 2013) — Big Idea Entertainment, a leading studio and producer of children’s and family programming, characters and brands, announced today the official tour dates for their brand-new VeggieTales Live! Happy Birthday Bob & Larry tour. The show will run in over 35 major markets nationwide this spring including Nashville, TN, Kansas City, MO, Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, Tallahassee, FL, Fort Myers, FL and more, in addition to a seven-day tour run in Canada. For the current tour itinerary, ticket information and group sales, please visit veggietales.com/live or iTickets.com.

 

It’s a very Veggie birthday, and you are invited! Join Bob and Larry and the entire VeggieTales® crew as they put on the biggest birthday party ever celebrating VeggieTales’ 20 years of stories, songs and fun. The show is filled with silly song favorites and memorable entertainment for the whole family! You won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind celebration! The tour will feature fan-favorite songs like “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything,” “His Cheeseburger,” “I Love My Lips,” “Song of the Cebu,” “The Hairbrush Song,” “Monkey” and “God is Bigger than the Boogie-Man.”

 

“This super special VeggieTales production is a must-see show for children and their entire family,” said Leslie Ferrell, General Manager of Big Idea Entertainment. “Bob, Larry and the VeggieTales crew will be there to help us celebrate 20 years of hilarious stories, silly songs and lessons to live by. You’re invited to come be a part of all of fun with us!”

 

World Vision® has partnered with Big Idea Entertainment as a sponsor for the VeggieTales Live! Happy Birthday Bob & Larry tour. Through World Vision’s child sponsorship efforts, countless lives have changed for children and their whole communities by providing access to necessities like clean water, health care, education and much more.

 

About Big Idea Entertainment 

Big Idea Entertainment is celebrating 20 years as a leading studio and producer of children’s and family programming, characters and brands. Big Idea’s best-selling series VeggieTales® is a one of the most recognized brands in the US with moms of pre-schoolers*.  Since 1993, VeggieTales® has sold 60+ million videos, 13 million books and more than 7 million CDs.  VeggieTales® and Big Idea’s property, 3-2-1 Penguins!®,enjoyed four seasons as top-rated series on NBC Saturday mornings, Telemundo and ION TV.  The studio’s two theatrical releases, Lionsgate’s Jonah-A VeggieTales Movie® (2002), and Universal Pictures’ The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything®-A VeggieTales Movie® (2008), are distinguished among the most successful faith-based films of all time. Big Idea also maintains an extensive presence in publishing, licensing and live entertainment arenas. For more information on Big Idea, visit: www.VeggieTales.com.

*Spring 2012 Q-Score

# # #