Thursday, October 16, 2008

Papa's Pumpkins!

Really, I promise.  I do try to post more.  Hopefully once I get my iPhone, that will help.  

This past weekend we went down to Brown County to visit family and pick some pumpkins along the way.  It was much needed family time.  Of course I just happened to have my camera so I snagged a few shots.  My little pumpkins are so cute!  AJ and his shirt are the feature for this post.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's been a while!

I know. I know. It's been a while since my last post. If you've spoken to us over the last few weeks, then you know what's been going on. We're trying to get settled and bring peace back into our lives.

I came across these shots of Libby I took when we went on a "Photo Date" the end of June. Rebecca picked out this hat and it was perfect. This six year old looks beautiful, yet shows attitude at the same time. The good looks are obviously from me and we all know where she got the attitude from! (Okay, so it's switched around.)

Anyway, here are some of the shots of my little girl. She survived her first week of first grade already! Man, I'm getting old!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Learning to Fall

The other week Charlie and I converted his sister's Dora bike into a man's bike...John Deere!  I must admit I'm pretty impressed with the paint job and how a few stickers off an old toy can be given new life.  

Well, Charlie was anxious to ride so he jumped on the next day and took off down the sidewalk.  I was impressed to see him riding up and down as if he had done it for years...until...he hit the edge of the grass and fell over.  I got him to get back on pretty easily, but he continued to fall a few times and became more hesitant.  Then I realized something...I taught him to get on and ride, but never took the time to teach him to fall.

In life, we need to learn how to fall.  It's often when we fall that we are able to get back up and soar to new heights.  I take this opportunity with my children to tell them how we're going to fall a lot in life and it's important that we know how to get back up and try again.  

Finally, after holding the bike in the grass and tipping him over till he learned to put his foot down and catch himself as he was falling, whenever Charlie falls now he calls out with a big smile "Papa, I put my foot out!"  Now he knows how to fall.  

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day

How could I not post about Father's Day on my Papa Blog?  I'd like to say that it was a special day, and it was; however, every day is like Father's Day for me at my household.  My beautiful wife always takes care of me and sacrifices so much for our family.  The kids always greet me with singing a song called "Papa's Are Special".  

Father's Day is something that I'm only able to celebrate because of the ones that have made it all possible.  Thank you Rebecca, Libby, Charlie, and AJ for giving me the honor of being called a Papa. 

Happy Father's Day to you all and to my fathers in Heaven, my dad and my Lord Jesus.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

American Idol's Jason Castro Has NOTHING On Us!

So by now, you've probably all seen and heard Jason Castro play the Ukulele on American Idol.  Not too shabby, but wait a few years till Libby is the winner of American Idol Season 27 and she thanks all the little people (ie. ME) for their support.  Last week we finished up a brief month of Ukulele lessons downtown Noblesville at 
The Wild.  It was great papa/daughter date time together.  We even got to keep the Ukes!  Supposedly we learned how to play a few songs?  My goal this year is to learn a Jack Johnson song from beginning to end.  It's gonna be awhile. =)

The Next Jackson 5!
Look out Donny & Marie!

So, I slam it down like this...right?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Faith, Family, & Football

There are three things in my life that are a huge part of who I am: Faith, Family, & Football. Sometimes I don't always prioritize them in the order they should be. I recently made a difficult decision that shows I try to practice what I preach. Over the past few months, Charlie has been waking up and immediately asking Momma "Where's Papa at?" She gives the usual response of "Charlie, where's Papa?" And he responds back "At work with the kids."

During the day, I call home to catch up on their day and see how things are going. Libby is usually at school, AJ is usually being held for the 6th hour straight, and Charlie gets on the phone and asks "Papa, when are you going to be home?" This boy is starving for me! I feel such great love from my kids!

My typical work day in the fall would consist of teaching, then coaching football, coming home when it's dark out for a brief visit with my wife and kids before bed, and working on some photography business. Because I have some students multiple periods throughout their day, I spend more time with someone else's kids than I do my own! Something was wrong with that!

Following my priorities, I'm obeying my faith in what I believe God wants me to do as I spend more time with my family by resigning from coaching football for a few years. Instead of investing that time with someone else's kids, I'm going to go home and play catch with my own!

What priorities are you trying to keep straight in your life?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cute Cheeks!

I was gone all day shooting a wedding and haven't seen my kids more than 5 minutes. I came home to download the pictures and opened up my program to this picture of AJ, cute cheeks and all!
AJ has been such a blessing in our lives. He brings such joy with his smiles and laughter. No kid smiles as much as him! He's catching on quickly that Papa is a photographer. He's got the smile down and is used to me holding this thing up to my face. My kids are pretty photogenic, so I like to take advantage of it!

Here's another picture that's a little more rated "G".

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

John Deere Date

My wife claims that every morning when Charlie wakes up he asks the same two questions: "Where's Papa?" and "Can I eat breakfast?"

Yesterday, he was pleasantly surprised to see that I was home when he woke up. I had the day off so and told him I was going to be home with him ALL DAY. His response...clapping and dancing! I am so loved!

So, we decided we needed to go on a play date. (My wife is great about making sure I get some date time with all my kids every month.) Charlie's favorite place...well, I think pictures explain it pretty well on it's own. He's a big fan of the John Deere store. Anytime we play "I Spy", no matter where we're at, he always spies "something green where Papa and Charlie go on a date." This boy is so darn cute!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Power of Webkinz

Okay, so when I started this running thing with Libby, I never expected this.  After our 1 mile run the other day that I posted about, I told her that some day when she is able to complete the full 2 miles (probably after a few months of training) around the local school block non-stop she would be able to play Webkinz on the computer for an extra 20 minutes each time.  

Let me remind you of something... Libby just turned six at the beginning of this month.  There is no way a six year old could run TWO WHOLE MILES without stopping!  Boy did I underestimate the power of Webkinz!!!

LIBBY RAN JUST OVER TWO MILES NON-STOP!  This is only the third time she has gone out for a run ever.  I admit, I think my daughter is amazing.  However, I totally underestimated her!  As Drago would say in Rocky Something Or Another... she "is not human".  

So where do we credit her athletic ability for such a young age?  My wife!  Not due to her own athletic ability, but due to her dedication to our family eating and drinking healthy.  Now, if we can just get me to break my food addictions.

What motivates you to live a healthy-"er" lifestyle?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

McGuckin Family of WINNERS!

Every parent has a trick or two up their sleeves to get their child to move a little faster.  With three kids, loading up into the family van can often take a while.  With three different ages and three different styles of car seats, some are quicker than others.  Libby uses a normal seatbelt, AJ gets placed in his seat pretty easily, but Charlie has to climb to the back and strap into a three strap seat.  To get things moving, we like to race to see who can get their belt on first.  

The majority of the time, I happen to come in last.  One of the first few times this happened, I called out that I lost and a little voice from the far back row corrected me.  Charlie stated "Papa, you didn't lose.  You were the "last winner"!  A huge smile came across my face.  I love his way of looking at it better!  Instead of there only always being just one winner and a bunch of losers, everyone can be a winner!  

This is just a slight example of his compassion for others.  What if we all thought like a child; wouldn't life be a little better in some ways?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Little Motivation in a BIG Way!

So, when we were in Florida I decided I would go for a little jog along the beach and Libby said she wanted to go with.  I figured, no harm there; I'll just set a good example for her.  We decided that when she got tired, she would turn around and walk back to Mama who was walking behind us with the boys.  As soon as I agreed, she took off down the beach.  I chuckled at her cute spunk and knew it wouldn't last long....THAT WAS A MISTAKE!

A mile later, she finished 30 yds ahead of me with a big smile on her face.  Yes, I did say a mile later!  Now, one could be surprised that I'm that out of shape; however, let's not go that route.  Libby RAN 1 full mile, non stop, without me being able to catch her!  For the record, at one time I was about 10 yds away and I called out "Great Job" to her.  When she looked over her shoulder and saw I was closing in, she sprinted ahead frolicking in the sand as I huffed and puffed to try to catch up.  

Needless to say, she took a lot a pride in this accomplishment and reminds me of it multiple times a day.  These shoes are the ones we just took off after running another mile here at home.  Looks like I have a new training partner!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This is AJ!

A firey spirit who is going to change the world, Aiden John --aka A.J.-- strongly desires to chase down the world (his older siblings) as it (they) passes by him.  Eager to catch up to his big brother and big sister as they run by him, he has been trying to walk since he was seven months.  Because of this, he has invented a crawl that is a unique maneuver allowing him to gallop like a horse, giving him the speed to hold his own against his siblings. 

With the exception of his mother, he loves to be entertained by his siblings, especially his big brother.  The admiration in his eyes when he watches him is a reflection of the love he receives, both affectionately and through physical tackles.

He can’t wait to explore the world and see what else it has to offer! 

Monday, April 14, 2008

This is Charlie!

A compassionate young boy, Charlie is three years old and has a heart of gold!  He is very in tune to others' feelings and verbally expresses his loves in life.  

I am fortunate to be his papa cause he makes me feel like a king!  He always wants to do whatever I'm doing, go wherever I'm going, and say whatever I say.  He is a good reminder of how the choices I make in my life for myself can have a direct impact on young eyes watching from a distance.  The way he admires me reminds me of how I should be in my relationship with God.  Having a son is a different blessing than a daughter.  Both are miraculous and I'm fortunate to be blessed with them both.   

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This is Libby!

A "new" six year old as of today, she is an extremely inquisitive young lady with a passion for life.  A typical girl who loves dressing up, playing with Barbies and friends, and reading, she is atypical in the way that she carries on mature conversations, shows a deep compassion for others, and asks relevant questions that leaves one pondering her young wisdom.

Being a realistic father, there are many challenges of raising such a strong child.  Although these times may cause frustration, I often see how these will be a strength for her as a woman in this world.  It excites me to think about the impact she will make on others' lives and to see what God has in store for her.  

This morning, she and I woke up early and went for a walk along the Gulf shore in Ft. Myers.  As we reflected on this past year and all that she has accomplished, it amazes me to see the growth that happens so quickly.  Just in the past year she has learned to do the following: read, write, swim, and ride a bike.  All these things she will use for a lifetime, were learned within a year.  God continues to amaze me through this beautiful creation that calls me Papa! 

Why "Papa"

My family and friends often ask why I go by "Papa".  It's simple, I like to be different!  

I'm not like most dads and I take pride in that.  I'm not saying that I'm better at all, I'm just different.  As a teacher and photographer, I am blessed to have more opportunities in my daily schedule to invest in my children.  Ever since I was young, I've always looked forward to the day that I would be a father.  Fortunate enough to have a father of my own who loved me and sacrificed for me, I've had a strong base for what a father should be like.  Now that God has blessed me with such an important role, it is my pleasure to do whatever I can to create young lives that will grow to make a change in the world-- a difference that will introduce Christ into the lives of others.  While I'm at it, might as well make it fun! 

A Fitting Beginning

For a while now I've considered creating a blog to post thoughts, stories, images, and blessings I have about being a father.  Today, April 10th, 2008, is my oldest child's (Libby) sixth birthday. As I celebrate her birthday, I celebrate the birthing of a new blog!