Heavenly Host Lutheran School

Cookeville High School

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 My four boys are always a challenge, but are also always {at least nearly so} a joy.  Thankfully, we are all healthy and free of serious diseases.  Our family has been blessed with health to the point where none of us are limited in any way physically in achieving all that we are able to achieve through God’s grace.  All my children are healthy, and I believe free from any serious psychological problem that can be so common as boys approach adolescence.

Stephen is my oldest and he is turning out to be a really neat kid.  He is very interested in animals to the point where he is almost obsessed.  This interest does not just extend to the conventional furry animals such as cats, dogs and hamsters – although he has taken care of these animals to the extent of his ability before.  But he is also interested in insects, snakes, worms, tadpoles, and all manner of invertebrate life as well.  I think this is really great and I am trying to encourage his interest in biology to the fullest extent possible.  I was a biology major in college, although I don't believe I had the innate thrill of working with animals as does Stephen.  Most recently, he has intimated he would like to be a veterinarian which I would certainly promote, but I would like to see him work in a vet’s office first to be sure he really means what he says.  I know that too many people chose their life’s profession with a false, somewhat glorified idea of what that profession is all about.  Certainly, that was my case when I became a physician.  I had not idea of the tedious, extraordinarily long hours and the mind-boggling boredom and difficulty of the work.  I am sure Stephen also has an idealized view of what it means to be a vet – but I would him to go for it if he chooses.

Matthew is my next oldest.  He is in fourth grade and really hasn’t at all decided what he wants to do with his life.  I know he enjoys drawing and reading, so he will probably be a good student at whatever he decides to pursue.  He is one of the best students in his class, and the teacher seems to be very proud of his progress so far.  Matthew has one significant problem, however, and that is his older brother Stephen.  The two of them are very different in many ways, and they tend to get into fights and arguments all too often – although at other times they will be the best of friends.  Hopefully as they get older they will learn how to manage their disagreements by means other than fighting and loud verbal thrashings.

Mark is the next in the line of children.  He is seven years old, and he has a very definite personality.  I think he is probably the happiest of my children so far – he usually has a smile on his face and seems to interact really well with both adults and children his own age.  I suppose he has had much practice having to deal with his older brothers – and his younger one as well.  I really enjoy Mark – he is really a gift from God.

 Our youngest boy is Sean.  Yes, Sean – it is Gaelic for John (so all the names are Biblical).  Sean is now about 5 years old and really beginning to exert his own little personality.  Up until very recently, he was a malleable little boy who would do whatever you told him.  He is now four years old and is enrolled at a kindergarten program at Cumberland Early Scholars Academy.  It is interesting to watch the children go through some of these very predictable stages as they get older.  One of the nice things about being experienced parents is the security in knowing what to expect, and not to be too alarmed when things don’t work out like you might have expected.  Sean is a very predictable little boy right now, liking balls, toys, and especially being outside the house with his mother.  He, like all the other boys, is really a mother’s child at this age – but that will change.

 It is really an awesome responsibility as a father to try to mold these four boys in the direction they must go if they are to have a chance in today’s world.  I know there are many traps out there for them, and that probably at least one of my boys will probably fall into at least one of them.  I know it is primarily my responsibility to teach them the way they should go, and t try to mold them into a man who would be pleasing to God, and who will be able to enjoy some measure of success in this world.  That is a very tall order indeed.  The problem is that there are no ways to turn the clock back after they are grown up to have another try at it – you only get one chance, and you have to do it all without any prior practice.  However, I think fathers these days are much more in tune with their responsibilities as fathers and are taking on this responsibility head on.  There are several wonderful organizations out there to help the Christian father become successful with his children (and his family in general), such as Promise Keepers.

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Sean is the youngest; he is in Second Grade at Heavenly Host Lutheran School. He likes the guitar.
Mark is in fifth grade at Heavenly Host Lutheran Church.  He likes the violin Pokemon, Digimon, and Nintendo.
Matthew goes to eighth grade at Heavenly Host Lutheran School.  He likes television, Nintendo, drums and baseball.
Stephen is the oldest; he is starting at Cookeville High School, and likes Karate, computers and soccer.