March 24, 2014 Journal Entry: Prayer Time

Most “bed times” consist of Amy marching Will into his room, brushing his teeth, reading him a story, etc. and then they both call for me to come into his room for prayer time.

Tonight went a little different.

I walked into his room where Will is lying in his crib: “Hey buddy! What’s up?”

Will: “Yes.”

I looked at Amy: “We’ll get there…. OK, it’s prayer time! Who’s going to say the Our Father, you or mommy?”

Will: “Will.”

Me: “OK!”

Amy starts it and Will says it with her.

Will: “Our Father, whoartinhebbin, hallowed be dye n…”

Will starts snoring.

March 20, 2014 Journal Entry – "It's SPOOOOOKY!"

Most nights when Will goes to sleep, I leave his room to finish work in my office next door, or retreat to my mancave in the basement for some much needed downtime. Often times, Amy will fall asleep in Will’s room while reading him a story or because she’s just too tired to get out of the room (she actually has a sleeping disorder called “narcolepsy” which doesn’t help).

Last night, Amy and I left his room and I went into the office and she went to sleep for the night. But most nights, she keeps Will’s baby video monitor by her side so she can be up and at his aid in a heartbeat. This time, she forgot it though.

Shortly after we all went our separate ways, so to speak, I hear Will in his room repeatedly saying “It’s spooky!”

We’d just got done re-watching Frozen not long before bedtime, and he’s genuinely frightened of the snow beast in the movie. Oddly enough, he likes it and is terrified of it at the same time. (He even stomped around the room and pretended to BE it).

After several instances of “It’s SPOOOO-KEEE!”, I went in his room and asked him what was wrong. He repeated that it was spooky, so I rubbed his back and asked what was spooky. I asked if it was the snow monster and he said yes, but then said something about a big bug.

No idea.

Maybe he had a nightmare, maybe it’s just his imagination, but I have no idea what big bug could be vexing the poor little guy. So I assured him we’re here to keep him safe and that he can go back to sleep.

I closed the door to his room and I hear him repeat that it’s spooky, so I opened his door and looked at him and he smiled.

OK, I guess he’s just having fun with me. I repeated that little exercise (opening the door to him saying it was spooky again) a couple times and then said “Goodnight” and closed the door.

I returned to my desk and then heard him talking to himself. This time, it quickly escalated into soft sobs and whimpering and calling for “Mommy”.

I popped up off my chair and opened the door and he sat up clutching his blankets to his mouth and sort of rocking back and forth a little bit. I asked him what was wrong and he wouldn’t speak.

So I did what any clueless parent might do… I asked if he’d like me to read him a story.

He quickly said “Yes” and laid back down, so I went over to his book shelf and rummaged through the collection. “No… nah… nope…” None of them sounded interesting… to me.

Then I found a Garfield book. Eureka! Something I was given to by a college friend who knew I was a big Garfield buff.

“Garfield to the Rescue!”

Garfield to the Rescue

A hero story? Perfect! So I start reading this thing to him… and it turns out to be about this guy called “The Petman” who kidnaps pets and cages them up in a warehouse… and he has a big menacing Doberman dog to guard the place.

What the heck did I pick? I ended up trying to read it with a lightness in my voice that the story didn’t offer, and changed words like “menacing” and “Doberman” to “ugly” and “dog”. Will didn’t react to it at all, actually, so I assumed the story still went over surprisingly well.

After it was over, I offered to read one more story, and grabbed the far lighter “Goodnight, Duckling.” He sat up to look at the board book pages and excitedly followed along with the simplistic (and so simple it was almost insulting) book that he seemed to have (easily) memorized. After it was over (which was in about 5 seconds), I assured him that we were here in the house to keep him safe and I’d be next door in the office if he needed me.

Goodnight, My Duckling

He then laid back down and soon fell asleep. While I feel bad for the little guy for having a rough night (after what was a rough day), it was heartwarming to get to share these moments with him.

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

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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)

NATIONAL MEMORIAL FOR THE PRE-BORN AND THEIR MOTHERS AND FATHERS TO TAKE PLACE JAN. 22

NATIONAL MEMORIAL FOR THE PRE-BORN AND THEIR MOTHERS AND FATHERS TO TAKE PLACE JAN. 22

Premier Prayer Event Marks Tragic Commemoration of Roe vs. Wade

national pre-born

(Nashville, Tenn.) Jan. 14, 2014–The 20th Annual National Memorial for the Pre-Born and Their Mothers and Fathers will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Washington, D.C. With representatives from numerous Christian denominations and pro-life groups, this is the premier prayer event marking the tragic commemoration of Roe vs. Wade,which legalized abortion.

 

Every year, the National Memorial for the Preborn and Their Mothers and Fathers occurs in Washington, D.C., on the morning of the March for Life, Jan. 22. Gathering thousands of believers inside the historic Constitution Hall, prayer, song and powerful preaching are a hallmark of the service. This year, national director of Priests for Life, Rev. Frank Pavone will deliver the sermon. Leading prayers onstage will be the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Rob Schenck, president of Faith & Action, and dozens of other men and women of God.

 

A statement issued by the National Prayer Service asserts, “We want to fill Constitution Hall with thousands of believers, and show the nation, and the media, that pro-life people are not going away, no matter how long the battle or how powerful the enemy! The prayers and message of this service will certainly convey that, and you won’t want to miss out on the inspiration. We are hoping for a good representation of people to show our love for the unborn and our commitment to ecumenism.

 

The National Memorial for the Pre-Born and Their Mothers and Fathers is sponsored by The National Pro-Life Religious Council, The National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill, Faith and Action, Priests for Life, and Gospel of Life Ministries.

 

The prayer service will take place from 8:30-10:30 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2014 at DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D Street NW (18th and D St.), Washington, D.C. This event is free, no tickets are required and large groups are welcome.

 

For more information, visit: www.NationalPrayerService.com.

October 14, 2013 Entry: Will The Wannabe Concert Photographer?

Tonight the three of us attended a Plumb concert in York, PA at a place called Church of the Open Door. We’ve taken Will to a few shows in his short life, even since before he’d been born (but apparently when the fetus could already start hearing), but it’s been a few months now since we last took him to a concert.

He recently turned 3 years old. If my memory serves me right, the last show we took him to was in March of this year and he really seemed to have a lot of fun, getting into the rock music by dancing near the stage.

This time, Will seemed very fascinated with my photography. See, I love taking concert photos and I like to use them for reviews on Jesusfreakhideout.com, but tonight’s more chilled out vibe kept people in the audience sitting down through most of the show, so it was difficult to be inconspicuous if I wanted to take photos. This then requires me to do a lot of kneeling or squatting to stay out of people’s way. (They paid for those seats and that view of the band after all, right?)

Tonight, Will started to follow me wherever I went. This meant that when I snuck up front and knelt off to the side in front of the front row, Will followed me… and followed my lead as well. He ended up dumping himself at my feet and sat right down, feet straightened out across the floor in front of me, with his eyes fixed on the band on stage, and then back at the large magical lens I wieled in my hands. He seemed super excited to be up there with me.

Soon he was trying to see inside of the lens to find out how it exactly worked, but I had to continue doing what I was doing. Will’s presence seemed to go unnoticed by Plumb herself, but I noticed that the drummer seemed to find it a little amusing, as did some of those in attendance around me. I was a little self-conscious about the attention I was attracting by having my little partner-in-crime in tow, but it didn’t seem to annoy anyone so I tried to get what I needed and pull him back from the frontlines.

The later instances didn’t go quite as well.

Will proceeded to follow me like a puppy around the venue. At one point, I asked him to stay with Amy and I went up to get some shots from the other side of the stage and then came back past the seats a to where I left them. Will was a basket case. He looked at me with tears streaming down his face with a hand outstretched in my direction muttering either “Daddy Wait for me!” or “Daddy come back!” (or both?) It was heartbreaking, and the look of helplessness on Amy’s face made it worse. She wanted to keep him out of the way too, but didn’t know what to do. And how do you tell a 3 year old that what you’re doing is allowed and needing to be kept inconspicuous and the toddler isn’t allowed to come along?

Later, I sneaked away from Will and Amy to do some more shooting and it seemed to work nicely. However, when the music stopped between songs, I recognized a familiar voice crying out “Daddy! Daddy!!!” Yikes. It was indeed Will.

If I had to be completely honest, I’d say that as much as I absolutely love taking photos at shows (and I do), it can sometimes get lonely. I think, if you’re doing it right, you’re up there needing to do your job and you need to worry about staying out of people’s line of sight as much as possible. You’re meant to be invisible and to get what you need and do it without becoming a hassle. In other words, you’re better off not being remembered for ever being there than being remembered for being “that guy with his camera who got in the way” or worse yet, “…had to be told to move/sit down/leave/stop doing that,” etc. So, depending on how much the job can separate you from a fellow concert-going partner, or if you end up attending a show alone, you’re going to be spending some serious time alone around people who don’t particularly want you there.

As much as I’ve been waiting 9 years to see Plumb again and as much as I loved her seeing her live again, my favorite moment of the night was my son sitting at my feet as I performed my photographic duties.

And I wish I had a picture of that.

PENGUIN GROUP TO RELEASE CHILDREN’S NATIVITY BOOK OCTOBER 17, 2013

PENGUIN GROUP TO RELEASE HOLIDAY CHILDREN’S BOOK, THE CHRISTMAS CAT OCTOBER 17, 2013

 

Critically Acclaimed Author Maryann Macdonald draws inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci in latest offering

 

 

“Fresh and touching…a Christmas story to share and savor all the year long.”

— Richard Peck, Newbery award winner.

 christmas cat

SOURCE: Rogers & Cowan

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Aug. 27, 2013) – Critically acclaimed author Maryann Macdonald announces the release of her highly anticipated holiday children’s book, The Christmas Cat (Penguin Group). Available nationwide on October 17, 2013, The Christmas Cat is a beautifully written read-aloud depiction of the Nativity story told in a new way and unique way with glowing illustrations by Amy Bates.

 

The inspiration for Macdonald’s soon-to-be published book came from Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of, La Madonna del Gatto, the Madonna of the cat (circa. 1480-1481). In the drawings, Mary is lovingly holding the baby Jesus who is embracing a cat. After seeing the drawing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Macdonald wondered, “Was it possible that Jesus might have had a pet cat?”  Then she learned of a legend about a cat living in the stable who purred Jesus to sleep the night he was born, and began to imagine the long, loving relationship the two might have had.

 

In support of The Christmas Cat, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will offer the title in their onsite bookstore, and is currently considering The Christmas Cat for their 2014 Christmas catalog. The book will also be featured in Bookspan’s book club.

 

The Christmas Cat, with Amy June Bates’ luminous illustrations, will awaken children to the beauty of the Nativity story in a new way,” says Macdonald. “My hope is that this book brings children, who love animals, closer to the childhood of Jesus, who loves us all.”

 

Macdonald has written more than 25 books for children, including the historical novel Odette’s Secrets.  Based on a true story, this “gentle introduction to the Holocaust” tells of a Jewish child who survives WWII by hiding in plain sight with the help of Christian friends.  The book has received much critical praise and became an Amazon children’s/teen bestseller during the summer of 2013.

 

For more information about The Christmas Cat, visit http://www.maryannmacdonald.com/the-christmas-cat/.

 

The Christmas Cat

Age Range: 3-5 years

Price: $16.99 (USD)

Hardcover: 32 pages

Release date: October 17, 2013

Language: English

ISBN 13: 978-0803734982

 

 

About Maryann Macdonald

Maryann Macdonald grew up near Detroit with seven brothers and sisters.  She lived for many years in Europe, but has now settled in New York City.   One day, while exploring the Metropolitan Museum there, she discovered the Leonardo da Vinci drawing that inspired her to write The Christmas Cat.  She has written many books for children. For more information, visit www.maryannmacdonald.com.

 

 

 

About Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of the internationally renowned Penguin Group, one of the largest English-language trade book publishers in the world. Formed in 1996 as a result of the merger between Penguin Books USA and The Putnam Berkley Group, Penguin Group (USA), under the stewardship of Chief Executive Officer, David Shanks, and President, Susan Petersen Kennedy, is a leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publisher. For more information, visit www.penguin.com.

 

About Amy June Bates
Amy June Bates grew up in Utah and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in illustration. She has illustrated over forty books for children and has been honored by the Society of Illustrators for her work. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children. For more information, visit www.amybates.com.

New Book Tackles Bullying and Other Difficult Issues for Teens

“Combining informative information with scriptural principles, Shannon Perry offers parents practical, yet timeless advice on how to raise teens and tweens
in an ever-evolving culture.” 

– Josh D. McDowell, author/speaker

New book tackles bullying and other difficult issues
for teens

SOURCE: Adams Group

Nashville, TN − In her new book, The Overlooked Generation:  Parenting Teens and Tweens in a Complicated Culture (Carpenter’s Son Publishing/STL), author, speaker, radio and TV host Shannon Perry tackles the tougher issues of raising teens and tweens.  With her background as a public school teacher and counselor, a Master’s degree in Education and Counseling and as a Certified Instructor for Crisis Counseling and Parenting Classes, Perry draws on nearly 20 years of experience working with teenagers and their parents.  The book covers topics such as dating, social media, eating disorders, drug use, as well as bullying, a subject that is especially important to Perry. Included in the book’s appendices is an interview with a mother whose daughter, Tara, committed suicide after being bullied. Perry’s personal relationship with Tara and her family made this a difficult, but necessary, addition to the book.

“I wanted to include Tara’s story in this book because bullying is becoming a serious epidemic,” says Perry, who created an anti-bullying program for one of the largest public school systems in the U.S.  “I was bullied as a child and I understand, first-hand, the impact it can have on a child’s self-esteem.  But bullying has been expanded to a whole new level with the use of social media, and parents need to know how to combat it before it gets out of hand.  They also need to know how to deal with the school systems so that bullies are dealt with swiftly and permanently.”

Endorsed by world-renowned author Josh McDowell, The Overlooked Generation stems from Perry’s teaching segments in her mother/daughter conference entitled “In Her Shoes.”  The book is heavily researched and includes up-to-date statistics as well as real-life stories from Perry’s counseling experiences, along with practical tips for parents on virtually every subject.  Perry also included a chapter on tough questions that she receives frequently from parents who attend her conferences. Perry chose the word “overlooked” after discovering there was a recurring theme with most teen problems.

“One of the things I hear most often from teens is that they feel ignored or overlooked,” says Perry.  “It is why so many of them do things like sexting or dabbling in drugs – they want to be noticed by their peers and accepted on some level. Unfortunately, they often try to get the attention they crave using negative behavior that often destroys their lives.  As parents, we need to understand our role in guiding this current generation of kids that is so impinged by cultural pressures.”

Although some of the topics are complex, Perry felt they needed addressing.  “I didn’t shy away from questions about homosexuality or pregnancy prior to marriage, because these are issues that are affecting kids even in Christian homes.  I believe the Bible is relevant on every subject that we face in life, and I pray that parents will find guidance in this book that will, ultimately, drive them to their knees in search of God’s perfect wisdom on whatever they are facing.”

To coincide with the book, Perry is releasing a new music video of a song she co-wrote with Lifeway’s Songwriter of the Year, Paul Marino.  The music video for the song, “Overlooked,” is produced and directed by Telly Award-winning director Jeffrey Kubach whose resume’ includes the hit television shows “Survivor” and “Burn Notice” along with a Best Pop Music Video nomination from Gospel Music Channel.

Perry hosts a bi-weekly television show called “Grace in High Heels” which currently broadcasts into over 32 million homes via the NRB Network.  Shannon also hosts a talk radio show on Salem Communication’s KKHT Radio in Houston, Texas.  Shannon’s first book entitled Grace in High Heels: Real-life reflections of Humor, Hope and Healing was based on one of Shannon’s most popular women’s conferences, “If The Shoe Fits. As a recording artist, Perry has performed at Carnegie Hall, with the Houston Symphony, and sang for over 70,000 fans at a NFL football game.  Perry is a contributing writer for Believe.com as well as Crosswalk.com, one of the most visited Christian sites on the web with over 24 million page views per month.  She has contributed articles to magazines and ezines such as Charisma, Christian Voice, Christian Women of Today, among others. For more information, visit www.ShannonPerry.com.

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Tricia Brock Talks About New Album, Parenting, and Miscarriages

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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!

Top 10 Reasons to Take Your Family on a Summer Road Trip

Top 10 Reasons to Take Your Family on a Summer Road Trip

Brad Mathias, author of the new parenting-themed book Road Trip to Redemption (Tyndale Momentum), has created a list of ten reasons why a road trip can improve not only your summer but your family.

SOURCE: Nashville PR

(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) – It’s no secret that families today are struggling. Daily pulled in a dozen different directions by jobs, schooling, and extracurricular activities, parents and kids often feel disconnected from each other, and the distance can produce devastating effects.

If you’re feeling this tension in your life, follow this top 10 list of reasons to take your family on a road trip this summer:

1) It’s time to unplug!
Leave the office behind. Power down your computer, and turn off that smartphone. Give this time to your spouse and kids, and allow old-fashioned conversations to occur.

2) Go somewhere you’ve never been!
We live in the greatest country in the world. Go explore, and don’t be afraid to pull off the road on a whim. It’s time for an adventure.

3) Face your fears, and try a new activity together!
New experiences can change past ones and help build trust and respect. Go horseback riding, river rafting, rock climbing, zip lining, etc.

4) Discover new cultures and savor new flavors!
Try regional foods and sample local culture. You just might find something new to enjoy.

5) Go outside!
Introduce your kids—and possibly yourself—to outdoor life. Go fishing or hiking, and camp out under the stars. The night sky might look a little different than it does in the city!

6) No schedules allowed!
This is a vacation! It’s time to leave calendars and deadlines behind. Don’t be afraid to venture off course and enjoy some freedom. Show your kids how to be spontaneous!

7) Let your kids make decisions!
This is their vacation too! Let them make some choices along the way. That horrible dining experience or weird roadside attraction just might give you an opportunity to laugh together.

8) Change your perspective!
Walk above the clouds on a mountaintop, or swim under a waterfall. Reconnect with your family while sharing incredible experiences.

9) Fall in love with your spouse all over again!
Book a separate hotel room from your kids for at least one night. Allow yourself some time to reconnect as a couple.

10) Life is short!
Your kids won’t be kids forever. Use this time to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Brad Mathias, author of the new book, Road Trip to Redemption (Tyndale Momentum, June 2013), thought everything in his family was fine, until he and his wife discovered a devastating secret. So they piled their family into the car and embarked on a wild, crazy, seven-thousand-mile, what-are-we-thinking trip across the country. As they drove, they realized how far apart they’d drifted, found unexpected blessings along the way—and journeyed together from pain and loss to recovery and redemption.

Road Trip to Redemption is available now wherever books are sold. For more information, visit tyndalemomentum.com.