a Dad’s performance review

This is taken from the Culture Translator email newsletter from axis.org

How Am I Doing?
It’s one of the scariest questions we can ask. Asking ourselves how we’re doing requires vulnerability, honesty, and the willingness to admit failure or that we’re not ok. Asking others how we’re doing means willingly opening ourselves to criticism, which can be painful. So asking our children how we’re doing as parents? Yikes! Yet it’s the only way we can measure our progress or make meaningful improvements. You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken! Sure, your children may want you to make changes that you know aren’t actually good for them, but they also may surprise you with their insight, desires, and dreams. In that vein, pastor and blogger Todd Wagner surveys his kids every six months or year so they have a safe and easy way to provide feedback about how he’s doing as a father. The following are 11 questions he uses as a starting point.

1. What have been some of the best times you’ve had with your dad/mom this past year?
2. If you had to give me some advice on how to be a better dad/mom, what would it be? Why?
3. If you and I could sit down and talk about anything, what would it be?
4. What are some of the things that are making you anxious, fearful, or discouraged right now so I can pray for you?
5. What’s something you would like to do with me?
6. How can I help you grow in your love for God and in your ability to serve and live faithfully for Him?
7. What has been the best thing I’ve done (or that we’ve done together as a family) this last year that has helped you most in your understanding of God and His love for you?
8. What would you say has been the biggest area of growth for you in the last year?
9. What have you learned about God/Christ/faith this last year that has blessed you?
10. If you could grow in any area in the next 12 months, where would you want it to be?
11. What do you think your dad/mom is most passionate about?

Let us know how it goes for you or if you have any great questions you’ve used in the past. We’d love to hear your stories! Todd was also part of our Parenting Teens Summit, and it’s not too late to watch his helpful interview. See “Last Chance” below for more details.

Caity’s Mad Movie

Tallie tells me about Caity getting really worked up in the car one day. Her face is all red and she’s not a happy camper. She yells out, ” i’m so angry I’m going to go home and watch a really angry movie with people hitting each other.”

Tallie loves Provolone

Last week I was making something for lunch and taking a small piece of some provolone that was left over from Kendra’s birthday. Tallie pipes up for a piece of provolone as well…”I love provolone”. I tell her the last time i had a whole piece it gave me gas and she better watch it. She smiles and says, “that’s ok, it’s worth it.” I asked if she was sure and she was totally down with it.

Later that same day we’re driving in the van and Caleb let’s out a yell of disgust blaming Tallie for letting loose on some really stinky gas bombs in the back seat. He’s thoroughly unimpressed and Tallie’s trying to say she can’t help it and it’s not that bad….then admits that it’s kind of bad. I say to everyone, “it’s ok, I warned Tallie about this earlier and she said it would be worth it…so it’s ok.”

Now we ask Tallie when she asks for something to eat, “would you like some provolone with that?”

Caty’s not a monster

Caty is playing in the living room, she finds a tiny moth indoors and decides to catch it. holding it by the wing she talks to it and wants to make friends with this new creature. Letting it go she notices it isn’t flying so well and catches it again to help it go outside. I explain to her that by holding it’s wing she’s actually wrecking it…because she’s so big and scary to the little moth even if she’s trying to be nice she’s too strong for such a delicate little moth. she takes it outside on the deck to let it go “free.” Next thing I hear as I’m making lunch for them is her hopping around after the moth saying “I’m not actually a monster, I promise I’m not.”

aaah…some gaps are just too big to cross in the order of things…no matter how much we wish it wasn’t so.

Silly Song – Kalimantan Man

I met a funny man from Kalimantan

he swam across the desert, then he melted into sand

I asked him did it hurt a lot, he said “I’m feeling fine,

but I’d be thinking better if I hadn’t lost my mind”



Oooooh, the cool wind blows

and where it’s blowin no one knows

but it sure keeps us on our toes

that’s how it goes, that’s how it goes


I went to see a king who got eaten by a frog

I sang a song beside him on his favorite hollow log

he tried to sing along with me but something in his throat

sang out even louder, it turned out to be a…GOAT



I knew a big man who built big trucks

with sprockets in his pockets and twenty seven bucks

he drove into the jungle for to catch himself a croc

but the only thing he caught there was a case of chicken pox



My friend chef Pierre has hardly any hair

he blows his nose in hoses at the center of the fair

he looks so very cute in his polka dotted suit

strolling through the city with his purple spotted newt

funny Caity

funny things Caity says:

7/21/13 After a late night for Tallie’s birthday with Caity staying up ’til 11:30…next night after dinner, FHV show I’m trying to brush their teeth in their room and Caity is avoiding me saying, it’s not night time yet. “yes it is” I say. “No it’s not…we already did sleeping.” somehow she’s conviced that they just went to bed quite recently and I must be mistaken.

Last night walking home from the pool she looks up in the sky and says, “is that an airplane?” I tell her yes it is. She says “it has a little red button” meaning the “little” flashing red light she sees.

Snippets from kids

Caity’s making a card for Ajeya and drawing lot’s of girls. “What you drawin,” I ask. “I’m drawing girls.” Why you like to draw girls? “Because they’re beautiful.” “Don’t you want to draw beautiful boys too?”
“Boys aren’t beautiful!”
“Why not?”
“Cuz they don’t have eyelashes”

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:SE 13th Pl,Canby,United States

Lynn prays for Tallie and Caleb

It was a real treat to have Lynn Strietzel stop in for lunch on Monday. We had Caleb and Tallie join in while she was telling some stories about healing God has done as well as how God gave her some keys to describe the kingdom story to some Chinese who were invited to a house party to explore what westerners do to celebrate Halloween. She explained the story of the 1st Adam, receiving keys to rule the world, losing them to Satan through deception, and receiving them back through Jesus Christ (the second Adam)

then she invited them to come stand in front of her and she wanted to give them a gift through prayer. she asked them which story they each like best that she had told. Caleb liked the story about the keys and Tallie liked the story about sick people getting better. Lynn said that she was going to ask God to give those gifts to each of them and all they needed to do was be willing to step out in some simple way…pray for Spider on the phone for his ear and tell it to get better, and share the story about the keys with someone else in the next week or so. They agreed. It was very sweet of her to engage with them and warms my heart to see how responsive they are to invitation. They were a little perplexed after about what this all means and whether they were comfortable sorting out how to follow through but we’ll encourage them to keep it simple but take a step to trust God.