Monday, 17 June 2013

In Honor of Dads - Part II - My Man!

ME with MY KID'S DAD!!

I married this guy in 1995.  He is my lover and best friend.  He is my shelter and rock.  He is the one who will always make my heart sing.  He is an incredible father to our three kids.

Today this post is dedicated to Lance.  I think the world (our children especially) needs to know that there are still fathers out there who honor their wedding vows, put their families first, care for the needs of others, and are willing to submit to their Heavenly Father's authority and correction the best that they can.

A quick apology to Lance might be in order since he isn't crazy about being the center of attention when it comes to personal things.  He DOES, however, enjoy drawing a great deal of attention to the crazy, outrageously creative and large-scale ideas he comes up with.  I have to say, Lance is one of the most creative people I have ever met.  He is full of ideas...most of us can't keep up.  And though his plans usually entail a teeny, tiny bit of work on my part, I admit that this is still one of my favorite things about him.  

LANCE SPECIALIZES IN UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS and my kids LOVE it.  This dad ROCKS!!  See for yourself.  

Whether he is.....
sculpting 6'5" tall snow men with the kids

setting up for "dinner on ice" with friends,

crafting a halloween costume,
building an enormous back yard ice rink 

or an ice bar for a New Year's Eve party...

maybe he's making a giant football logo and
stapling it to our roof, 

constructing a fort that fills a room,

cutting blocks for another igloo (we found our 2 grown neighbors huddled inside the last one, watching a movie with our kids)

or even designing a life sized movie screen in the yard...

But Lance doesn't only concern himself with the huge, crazy things.  He is also a man that pours a great deal of energy into the small things of life that matter most.  

He models care, compassion and respect  to his children in the way he treats others. He has the most generous heart and and my kids catch glimpses of it all the time.  I say glimpses, not because the occasions are rare, but because Lance finds ways to constantly give and give that no one else ever sees.  What a gift for my children in a world that values appearance and public applause, maybe even more than having a character of substance and integrity.

Lance is fun...and he is funny!!

He is unique....

He knows how to play...

He knows how to make work like play

And he loves to build things......

Last summer Lance built a pizza over in our back yard so that we could "have the whole neighbourhood over for pizza parties."  

It was a stinking huge project and I was about ready to curse it by the time we were almost finished.  The reason I tell this story is because it is SO Lance.  Big idea, huge creativity and hard work, and it shows the person he is....especially the small detail he incorporated on the back wall of the oven.  
It's just like Lance to make a place to honor God in what he does. I know he would argue that he doesn't do this very well...but I live with the guy and I see it all the time.  Yet another quality about Lance that makes him so amazing.

And finally, Lance really knows how to love (not just his cars -- which I really should take more pictures of.)  I mean LOVE -- fierce, dedicated, protect his family at any cost --- kind of love!! 

And this Father's Day, Lance, we want you to know that we see all the ways you care for, provide, and gives of yourself for us.  We know that you give 100% and sometimes feels like you have nothing left to give.  We understand that sometimes you feel worn out and run down.  It's okay.  We want to say THANK YOU ----FOR EVERYTHING!  We know that you are not perfect and we don't expect you to be because you always accept and forgive us our imperfections.  In fact, we think you are amazing exactly the way you are BECAUSE YOU'RE THE BEST.


Melody and your Kids.

Friday, 14 June 2013

In Honor of Dads - Part I

My Dad passed away in July of 2009.  I still miss a million things about him.  He was a man that loved his family and dedicated his life to loving his Heavenly Father too.  I am truly honoured to have had a man like this for my dad.

My Father’s Hands
These hands belong to the first man I ever loved.   They represent to me all that is kindness, compassion and strength.  My whole life I’ve been fascinated to watch them start motors, build steps, paint cars, tie skates, fix toasters, pull chokes, bait fishing lines, saddle horses, play guitar, grout tiles, pick saskatoons…I’ve seen them covered in grease and lustre sheen, full of metal slivers, nicked and cut, scraped and chapped.  I’ve also seen them laid tenderly upon the sick, folded faithfully in prayer, reaching out in love, boosting strangers’ cars, upholding the weak, wiping tears, reaching for candies, clapping in praise, snuggling my little ones… I’ve felt them squeeze mine (unknowingly tighter & tighter) during prayers, and hugging me thousands of times.  And so, I will hold these hands forever in my heart and say thanks for the Dad who used them to love. 
 February 2007

My dad had a fabulous twinkle in his eye.  It was one of my favourite things about him.  I see snippits of that twinkle in my son Colt and it always makes me smile.

My dad knew how to love my boys -- to spoil them and hug them and make them feel like they were the center of his universe.

Of course...he also knew how to love my girl.  They were really quite the pair.  I don't know of anyone else who could have convinced my dad to watch "Barbie" movies for hours on end.  She knew every secret passage way into my Dad's heart and she travelled them all, skipping and singing and being "his girl"  the whole way.

My Dad also adored my husband.  They had a cherished father-son (in-law) relationship that Lance and I still enjoy remembering.  It's a wonderful thing to know your dad loves your man - and somewhat miraculous given how protective fathers are of their daughters.  These two spent countless hours together working in dad's garage on Lance's old cars.....something that made both of them proud and happy as school boys.  

I really love this picture of my brother and my Dad in the back yard taken only days before he passed away.  Dad was only home on a day pass from the hospice.  Though he was very weak by this time and couldn't stand for long, he still managed to get under the hood of the motorhome with Garth and figure out what was wrong.  I think just working together with his son was his idea of a perfect afternoon.

Dad's garage fascinated me my whole life.  I giggled to find this note from me as a teenager stapled on the inside of one of cupboard doors.  Every single inch of that garage was filled with items or tools he'd collected or saved to use somewhere, some time.  He knew right where to go to find it all too. 

The garage was where he did much of his thinking and praying and problem solving.  It was the place he worked, fixing up cars -- inside and out -- to make extra money for our family or to give away to someone who needed it.  

My dad was faithful to my mom, loving and respecting  her for over 60 years.  This was another beautiful gift my father gave to me.  

 There are thousands of pictures and memories and how can one tiny blog begin to touch my love for my dad.  I guess I better start sooner next time.  

I love you Dad and always will.  


(p.s. for some unexplainable reason, the text and images in this post are all weird and glitchy but I'm tired of trying to fix.  Just want this posted in time for Father's, what ev! --- i'm learning to say that more!)

word and images ©copyright Melody Armstrong 2013