Category Archives: Family

This is why i’m a great man….

Too often we don’t acknowledge exactly why we are so blessed.  She’s sitting right next to me.  My wife Brenda is my best friend and the best part of me.  Last Tuesday we celebrated 19 years of marriage.  That means we’ve been together for 23 years because we dated for four years before getting married.  She has been in my life longer than being “not in” my life.  (cute)…  As you can clearly see, I married well.  Now, let me give an ounce of what makes our relationship work…  Here it comes… She loves me and I love her.  She’s willing to pack up our house and kids and move across the country not once…but twice in three years.  It came with many tears but not and ounce of lost love or respect.  On the flip side….she is in New York this week with a Friend from ATL at the US Open.  I love that we have a marriage that wants the best for the other person. The best thing for US this week is for her to go to NY with a friend and have a great time.  I know she’s coming home to me on Wednesday night…

Just one of the reasons I love my wife.

Why do you love your “significant other”?

skilz…that’s skater talk for “drew has skating skills”

skilz…that’s skater talk for “drew has skating skills”

You know you’re getting old when you make statements like that.  This is Drew, my 14 year old son doing his thing on the skateboard.   Right now he averages 10 hours of skating each day?  OK….now how do I get him to “make his bed”?

I think he’s awesome.

Who do you think is awesome?

10 miles on the bike

Today I rode 10 miles on the bike.  Beautiful day…sunny…about 80 deg.  Rode with Brenda & Brooke.  We had an awesome time.  “Special day”.  I feel great.  I always feel better after the ride than right before.

Also, I met with the Ripley’s this morning to chat about them leading a group this fall.  I’m so excited about their group.  They will be great leaders.  I get totally pumped after meeting with leaders like Greg & Lori.  I wish I could do that every day.  On the flip side…I get totally bummed when I hear that someone is leaving or struggling for some reason.  I need to make sure I manage my emotional intake and keep meeting with strong/growing leaders.  I know that at times I need to meet with troubled people…but I want that to be the exception.  While on our bike ride, we ran into Chris & Tracy.  What an awesome couple.  They were on their way to Moses Lake.  I really like them.  Sharp people.  It’s funny how I found myself stopping 2-3 different times to help people with directions.  I don’t even know the trails that well…but when I see people having a question type look on their face…I need to stop and help.  Maybe it’s my southern charm?  Yes…I do care more about connecting than winning.

This bike riding thing is good.  I think I’ll keep doing it.

What did you do today that totally invigorated you?

Fathers Day Tribute….3 fathers…one day

FATHER 1: Today is the day that we celebrate being a father.  To be honest with you…and I was laughing about this today…one of the best things you can do for us on fathers day is just leave us alone.  Feed us and let us watch NASCAR or golf and we’ll be happy.  I know that sounds selfish…I’m just being honest.  This is my son Drew.  Fathers day means a lot to me because I get to reflect on my relationship with my kids.  Specifically Drew.  As an adoptee (me), we experience emotions of “body identity”.  That is trying to identify who we look like.  I’ve gone through my whole life wondering who I look like and who looks like me.  My son, Drew, is the first person I’ve ever met who I can make this connection with (of course my daughter Brooke as well).  When Drew was born he was the first blood relative I’d ever met.  Yea…let that sink in.  I love my kids.  I love their mother even more.  She is truly the best part of our family.  It’s great being a dad every day.  Especially with such a wonderful family.

FATHER 2: Somewhere out there is a guy who would be considered my biological father.  At times I wonder if he ever thinks about what happened to his son 40 years ago?  Does he even know I exist?  Don’t feel sorry for me…I don’t loose any sleep over this one.

FATHER 3:  This is the one who deserves all the honor.  40 years ago he made the choice to bring me into his family and raise me as his son.  I’m sure it wasn’t easy raising 4 kids (I was the youngest) and the money that it cost.  Yet, I never knew that we were ever in need of anything.  He even worked extra hard (as did my mom) to send all four of us to private school.  Never once did he ever give me the reason to think I was anything other than his son.  He has a biological daughter, biological son, and 2 adopted son’s.  We were all loved, provided for, disciplined, and cared for the same.  As fathers go, he wins the prize.  It’s one thing to love the child who is biologically connected to you…that’s easy – but to bring 2 additional kids into the home and love with the same Godly love as he did is another whole level.  Let me introduce you to my father – Sonny Lichty.

Who are you especially proud of today?

Saturday at the park with Brooke

I spent yesterday at the softball field watching my daughter Brooke and her team participate in one of their fast pitch tournaments.  I was literally there from Noon until 10 PM.  Their last game was supposed to start at 8:00 and it started at about 8:30 PM.  I remember at the beginning of the season wondering what the weekend would look like if there was a tournament?  Would it keep us from doing what we wanted to do?  Would we feel like we weren’t able to accomplish anything?  Would it be fun?  Would I like it?  Then, I talked to my aunt Jennifer whose daughter Shelly played fast pitch for many years.  She said, “get ready…it’s expensife, takes a lot of time, and you’re gone every weekend”.  But then she said, “and we loved every minute of it.  It was a lot of fun”.  So, I listened to her and we’ve baby stepped our way into this world.  I mean come on…Brooke is only 12.  Well, I can honestly say, it was fun and I love it.  It wasn’t a waste of my time and I feel like we accomplished a lot.

And when you look at the smile on her face…you know you’re at the right place.  I’m so proud of her.  She has improved so much with her game.  Especially with her hitting.  She is doing a great job hitting the ball and getting on base.  So, I’m hooked.  I’m ready to be the dad that spends the day at the park with his daughter.  Again, she’s one of the best things I’ve got going for myself.

So, what did you do on Saturday?

Apologizing to my 14 year old son

So, last night my 14 year old son & I got in a little argument.  He was supposed to empty the dishwasher and he refused.  I asked him many times and he said he wasn’t going to empty it because the dishes were still dirty.  Did he bother to “re-run” the dishwasher….oh noooo…. so as I inspected the dishes…they were clean…just a few had the baked on caked on that you sometimes get when it’s loaded too much.  So, I insisted that he go ahead and empty it and leave the dirty ones in.  He still refused?  He said, I can’t….they’re dirty….that’s not safe?  Who told him that?  After much discussion….I started to empty them myself as he sat and watched (yea, I know it sounds like I was playing victim….but It wasn’t my intent) and I got about 4 dishes out and noticed that they were ALL dirty.  Yea, we ran it…but they were ALL still dirty.

So as the 14 year old skater boy looked on, I re-arranged the dishes…soaped the washer…and re-ran the machine.  He went to bed.  I felt stupid…but was still frustrated.  I was first frustrated because I was partially wrong…and I was frustrated because he was being so stubborn (he gets that from Brenda…uh huh!).  This afternoon I chatted with Drew about that and started by apologizing for getting upset with him.  He was right.  The dishes were dirty.  Then I asked him if there was a different way he could have handled it.  He didn’t know so I enlightened him.  He could have still obeyed and showed me the dirty dishes rather than being disobedient and defiant.

Bottom line…we were both wrong.  Challenge is…I’m the adult.  I shouldn’t loose my cool over stupid stuff like that.  It’s actually easier to apologize to your 14 year old son than you’d think.

Who’s the hardest person you’ve ever had to apologize to?

What was the best part?….What was the worst part?

Occasionally we fill into the fodder of dinner conversations, “What was the best part of your day?…What was the worst part of your day”?  So, tonight as we dined at “The Blue Flame” the new mongolian grill one block away, we proceeded to engage our teenager and pre-teen.  Here’s how it went:

Brenda…So, Drew…what was the best part of your day?

Drew….”there wasn’t

Brenda….Come on Drew…there had to be something?

Drew…lunch

Brenda…Doesn’t count…..

(To save time & space)….Drew’s best part was silent reading and worst part was the rest of the day (except his hair cut)…..what can I say….he’s 14!

Brooke….ASK ME!!!!  ASK ME!!!!  (12!)

Brenda….OK Brooke, What was your best part of the day?

Brooke….Math

Brenda….Do you want to expand?

Brooke….no

Brenda….OK, and your worst part?

Brooke….That Monday we start “Sex Ed”

Me….WHAT!?

Brenda….Loran!

Me…..ok, Brenda?  Best/worst?

Brenda…hearing that some nurses did really well and having to deal with a difficult parent.

Brenda….And you?

Me….Well, the best part was waking up next to Brenda….going to work…Meeting with David, meeting with Troy & Randy, Lunch with Randy, Meeting with Tim, talking to Kenny, Calling a few leaders on the way home, taking Drew to haircut, buying drinks for tomorrow, working on Brenda’s schedule, going to dinner with family.

Brenda…and worst?

Me…..5:30 AM this morning….Montazuma’s revenge from Mexico last week!  Say no more!

What was the best part of your day?

She picked the songs…

Tonight as I was driving Brooke to fastpitch practice she made a statement to me that made my heart sink.  We were listening to the radio and the song by Billy Ray & Miley Cirus “Ready, Set, Don’t go” came on.  She started singing it and then proceeded to say, “when I get married….this is the song I want to play for our daddy daughter dance….well…..this one or….”I loved her first” by Heartland.  The fact that my 12 year old daughter has already thought through our daddy daughter dance causes both pause and excitement in my heart.  The truth is….I loved her first!

Who can crush you with one statement like that?

My daughter

This is my baby girl Brooke.  She was 6 then and she’s 11 now.  On Thursday she takes another step in her pre-teen journey.  She will be twelve.  I love my litte girl.  I am so proud of the young woman she is becoming.  She cares about everyone.  Even the friend who she was having issues with last week….is sick now and Brooke is very concerned about her.  Brooke loves every living creature.  She especially loves our dog Maggie and our cat Misty.  Brooke is a great student and a friend to everyone.  She is a great softball fastpitch player.  She has especially progressed in her hitting this year.  She gets on base and makes it home almost every time she’s up to bat.  So determined.  The thing that I’m most proud about my litter girl is that she loves Jesus with all her heart.  You can tell by the way she loves others and wants to serve.  I’m a proud daddy.

Who are you proud of today?

Chase Coleman

Meet the Colemans.  This is Ken & Stacy Coleman with their new baby boy Chase.  In the middle is Chase’s biological mother who selflessly assisted in completing Ken & Stacy’s family by allowing them to adopt Chase.  Chase is a beautiful baby.  Ken & Stacy are blessed.  They are great parents to their oldest son (Ty) and will be great parents to Chase.

Let me reflect on the lovely young lady in the middle.  As an adoptee (40 years ago) my mom was likely the same age as the girl in yellow.  She graciously gave me to a family that would be able to provide better care for me than she was going to be able to.  I have to believe that this is whats going through the mind of the girl in yellow.  I so appreciate her love, care, & sacrifice.  It makes me wonder if my biological mother had the same look on her face when she gave me away?  Was she happy that I was going to a better home?  Did she miss me?  Does she miss me today.

I do know that I was raised in a better environment than I might have had she not made that choice.  Adoption is a good thing.  More pregnant ladies should seriously consider this option.  God bless the Colemans.  God bless baby Chase.  God bless the girl in yellow.

 Who are you thankful for today?