We had another successful Vacation Bible School week at First Baptist Church of Coldwater. Over 100 kids from infants to middle school age were in attendance each day. Over 60 volunteers put in time, too. It was an excellent week! Check out this video.

Guitar Hero followed by ping-pong followed by hide and seek and now Wii! It was Sara’s birthday today and we had a good time together just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company – pretty much doing whatever she wanted. Sara is all ready for bed and we’re just sitting around in front of the fire place waiting for her 9th birthday to finish up. I love you, Sara. You’re a good kid. Keep smiling! Love, Daddy.

Tasha and I joined Marena and Sara on their Power Of Love trip to Traverse City. We stayed at the wonderful Great Wolf Lodge. The kids had fun at the water park – Tasha and I did, too!

We drove and walked out to Mission Point in the Grand Traverse Bay. Pastor Anderson led an excellent devotional that begins to wrap up the season for the kids. I like these kinds of trips. There is an adventure to traveling 4 hours from home. There were about 35 kids from all different types of backgrounds. Several of the kids wouldn’t leave Coldwater if it wasn’t for trips like this and the peninsula heading out to the bay had some beautiful vistas. Then on Sunday they performed at the Windward Church operating out of the Traverse City Junior High in Traverse City, MI.

I’m glad that Marena and Sara were a part of this program. They got to travel to different churches and they had fun and fellowship with other youth trying to become more mature followers of Christ. Enjoy the pic and this link to the group making it on local news at 11 O’clock (once you are there, choose the play video link).

Mrs. Merkle suggested me as a parent that might be interested in partnering with Max Larsen School and Junior Achievement. Each week for 5 weeks I spend about an hour of preparation for a 45 minute teaching session in Mrs. Merkle’s class. I love it!

The kids are attentive, well-mannered, energetic, and I could go on and on. The hands fly up in the air from the first question I pose to the last. The ‘community’ is the theme for the elementary school grades. Our City is the title of the 3rd grade curriculum. We learn about City Planners, Zones, Construction, Restaurant Operation, the Function Of The Checkbook, etc.

In one of the pictures I’m holding up an actual blueprint of First Baptist Church — ooooohhhhhh…. The kids loved it. I told them to imagine that in 1965 a pair of REAL human eyes looked at the blue print so they, like the students of today, could follow the directions for building a church!

Dear God, I pray for each of these faces! I say a prayer of thanksgiving for wonderful teachers like Mrs. Merkle. I pray for the administrators and others that had the foresight to bring local businesspeople and leaders in to the schools through Junior Achievement.

Now this is a cool program! Check out this website and watch the faces that flash on the screen. The program isn’t free…but the volunteers we have in Coldwater make it clear that taking an extra few “empties” to the store are well worth it!

I’m a running coach year-round at CHS. But I’m a dad, too. I remember running with Marena around an apartment complex when she was 5 years old. Running hasn’t come easy to Marena, but I understand. Now Sara is getting ready to try her ability at Girls On The Run. What a cool idea that Sara has a group of friends to prepare along side her! To be honest, I wish I’d have had that opportunity!

I pray that Sara will catch the bug. The bug that fires her up to do her very best. A bug that brings her satisfaction when she reaches goals she has set for herself. For me, it was breaking a 5:00 minute mile. Then 4:50 and so on. Sara Can….. Marena Can….. The girls CAN do anything. I want my girls to realize they can do whatever they want….if they work for it! This is for you, Sara. I’m proud of you for starting something new that you have no idea how difficult and satisfying it will be! Congrats for taking a chance!

Apparently Sara has been checking out my blog, too. She is keeping watch of the score of the “Marena” posts versus the “Sara” posts. Of course, she knows Marena’s surgery has stolen some of the attention she normally gets (steals). So this post is for you, Sara. I love you, too. :)

Sara and I shared an intimate moment when we climbed Mt. Hollywood. I said all along that I wanted to climb at least one mountain on this trip and when we drove most of the way up Mt. Hollywood on the way to Griffith Observatory, I realized this would be my chance. Tasha and Marena saw some sign about beware of coyotes or something and they got all scared. But Sara and I kept climbing higher. When we got to the top, and I was a little scared about climbing down because of the loose gravel, Sara reached inside her fanny pack and said, “Dad, do you want a drink of my root beer?” It was the absolutely last thing I thought I’d hear her say and I laughed outloud. I’ve never enjoyed root beer more in my entire life.

Mar 152008

I started date night with my oldest daughter, Marena, when she was around 6 years old and now she is 13. I actually kept this going three or four times a year and now I’ve started it up with my youngest daughter, Sara. Sara is almost 8. Marena still talks about some of the dates. Marena really liked dinner at the old Firehouse Restaurant followed by the play at Tibbits, You’re A Good Kid, Charlie Brown.

I want my young ladies to know the way they deserve to be treated. They should EXPECT respect from others, especially boys. I hesitate to say men, I’m not ready for even the thought of that yet. Tonight Sara and I had a nice time at McD’s and then went to a great family movie, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who. Sara stated this is probably one of the last times she’ll be playing at the Playland because she is getting too big. My heart is a little sad….but I had a great time tonight anyway! Thanks, Sara.

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