Top five things about the camping trip we just enjoyed:
1. Family time – of course! In addition to a hike and that trip to Weston Pass, we especially enjoyed an evening of charades. By firelight. With goofy kids.
2. Scenery – beautiful surroundings, and we went over to Weston Pass, which offers stunning views. Follow the link and you’ll see the aerial shot of the little lake we enjoyed looking over.
3. Food – we ate too much, but that is always the case when we are outside. Why is that?
4. Isolation – only one other party in the camp ground! We manage to avoid the crushing crowds by going camping after school starts (for most families) and before Labor Day weekend.
5. The Platte River – which runs slowly through the area, meandering and allowing the kids to safely play for hours.
We’ve camped for many years, and it is a family tradition we’ll continue for years. The only downside this year: Our oldest is already at college. We missed his presence!
Question for you: What do you especially enjoy about family getaways?
I’ve spent the past few days caring for our kids while my wife had some much-needed quiet. Her mountain getaway left me to look after the activities, food and the general well-being of our crew. Overall, I’d say we did pretty well.
However, that I underestimated the energy required to run errands, shuttle kids to the orthodontist, keep them all fed and maintain some semblance of order…all the while getting bills paid and such.I’m pretty tired after only three days of this! In some ways I can’t wait to go back to the office. Ah, no rush.
My hat is off to Dena for all she does – and she somehow makes it look pretty easy (its not!). I’m glad she’s back home!
Today I read an article about a dad who knows how hard it is to stay at home with the kids. he does it full-time.
David LeFevre knows it can be difficult being a parent. He has a three-year-old son and a four-month-old son and this year took on full-time parenting so that his wife could work. He said being a parent was harder than going to work, but very rewarding. “There’s no respite, there’s always something going on,” he said.
The guy seems to have a good perspective on being a stay-at-home father.
I didn’t know such a policy existed. Seems a bit of a stretch to me, and I side with the Dad in this one.
Steven and Mary Beth Chapman have not despaired since their daughter’s tragic death. In this deeply moving conversation, Dr. Dobson and Steven talk about the journey of grief and our ultimate hope in Christ. Anyone who has lost a loved one will appreciate the tenderness of a hurting heart and the eternal promises of comfort – even when understanding eludes us.
Listen into the broadcast here.
Spent time in Denver with our four youngest. No, we didn’t attend any political events, even though the city is quite a beehive of activity with certain dignitaries and politicians convening.
Instead, we had a fun educational field trip. Here’s a shot of the skyline, taken from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Cool place, and a mighty nice view of the Rockies. I’ve some great kids!
Today’s Wall Street Journal opinion section has a very interesting look at government mandated preschool. Money quote:
“Advocates and supporters of universal preschool often use existing research for purely political purposes,” says James Heckman, a University of Chicago Noble laureate in economics whose work…preschool activists routinely cite. “But the solid evidence for the effectiveness of early interventions is limited to those conducted on disadvantaged populations.”
You may need to subscribe to read the article it in its entirety. Otherwise, check out this op-ed piece by Lisa Snell with similar evidence and concerns about government funded education.
I’m convinced we’re trying too hard with education. Longer school hours and earlier starts don’t seem to be providing any real benefit. In our own school district, kindergarten is now an all-day affair. Of our six kids, I don’t believe any of them would have thrived in that kind of situation. I’m glad that we’re been given the option to delay kindergarten, though — Colorado doesn’t mandate that children begin schooling until age seven. At least there’s a little common sense being practiced!
I’m not slamming teachers here, just the approach that seems to assume “more is better” – or worse, distorts the facts about preschool effectiveness.
Top Five Fuller Household “Back-To-School” routines include:
- Clean up the schoolroom. Ruthlessly fill up several garbage bags with papers, forgotten art projects, dried out markers, leftover glue sticks and pencil stubs!
- Pull out the curriculum – from the crawl space, where it spent summer vacation.
- Buy or borrow any needed new curriculum. hey, why buy if a friend will let us borrow?
- Stock up on the supplies — and get a lot of extra pencils, mini-notepads, pencil pouches and such, as we love to stuff shoeboxes with such goodies (and more, of course) for Operation Christmas Child.
- Wait…until after Labor Day to really start up with studies. Ah, the beauty of home schooling!
There is one more thing that we do every year: send Mom away for a few days so she can put the finishing touches on the game plan for the coming year, She spends a lot of that quiet time in prayer and meditation.
And you? What routines are you and your family going through now that school is here – or just around the corner?
We’ve struck a nerve. Knew we would with this topic! Comments we received today about the series with Pastor Tommy Nelson about depression:
- Said she wanted Dr. Dobson and Tommy Nelson to know she very much appreciates today’s broadcast on depression. She said all the broadcasts are good, but this one was excellent.
- Thank you! The program was very valuable.
- Thankful for the broadcast today…she has suffered with depression. She has not been supported by your family and it makes it feel even worse. The program has been very supportive and helpful.
- I can’t tell you what this broadcast meant to me. I have struggled with depression and anxiety and it has pulled me out of ministry on more than one occassion. Recently, I hit rock bottom and found help and I’m working on balancing life with young children at home and learning to let go of perfectionism. But I want to say thank you to Pastor Tommy Nelson for so vividly describing what it is like for someone in depression.
We really track your input, and thank you for the comments we’re receiving about the programming. Keep talking to us!
You’ve been so supportive of Steven and Mary Beth Chapman and their family in the days since they lost their beautiful Maria. You’ve offered prayers for them, you’ve sent notes, you’ve contributed to their orphan care initiatives. And you’ve seen the Chapmans on national television and in magazines.
What you’ve not heard, though, is a decidedly spiritual conversation with them about their loss and the ways God has intervened in their lives. Dr. Dobson will be talking with Steven later this week. I hope you’ll be listening. And help spread the word, if you will? Thanks.
Tommy Nelson seemed to have it all: a deeply spiritual walk with God, a successful pastorate at a large and growing church, a wonderful wife and some beautiful grandchildren. His speaking and writings had helped thousands better understand the Scripture. His winsome personality naturally attracted followers.
And yet…there was a side to Tommy Nelson’s personal life that few could imagine. Despite his outwardly successful life, Pastor Nelson struggled inwardly with depression. Not just an occasional “blue” day, but full-blown, paralyzing depression.
I’ve enjoyed hearing Tommy Nelson’s messages as they’ve been broadcast several times on the Focus on the Family. And it was an especially gratifying experience to have this good man in the studio. He courageously stepped up to share his difficulties, going where few willingly go. Because of what transpired in that time together, I know God will use this conversation to help people for years to come.
Hearing Pastor Nelson share so transparently about his journey through depression, I thought of the thousands in our audience who have dealt with – or are in the midst of – a crisis of faith and confidence. Here at Focus, we know there are plenty of folks who try to face down that darkness on a daily basis, looking for hope and the strength to carry on with the day’s responsibilities — we hear from many of them. We know there are people who need to see a little light today, enough to help carry them through the challenges they are facing.