With Love on Father's Day {Men of God}

On this Father's Day of 2013, I want to highlight the men in my life who have shown me God's love over and over again and I credit for giving me an excellent view of how my Heavenly Father must love me. They have taken the role of spiritual head of the household to heart and have led their families in a way I believe would be pleasing to their Savior. They're not perfect (although they might like to think so! Haha), but they are doing their very best with God's help to be the best examples they can be.

Kevin, Dale, Fred, Kyle & Kirk

Ummmmmmm....well, it would seem that one of the most prominent qualities of the men in my life is silliness! :-) We still aren't sure what was going on in the above picture, we just know that a few New Years party crackers on clearance at Wal-Mart can give you plenty of imagination!


Since I try to be as honest as possible in my blog, I feel I must mention, that back when I was a young girl there was a young man who caused me to distrust any man around me for a very long time. This was extremely unfortunate because I have (aside from that one person) been amazingly blessed with men who love God and have never treated me as anything less than a lady. Unbeknownst to most of these men I'm sure, many years were stolen from my relationship with my Dad, uncles and grandfathers due to this trauma. It was only due to wise counsel from certain women in my life (a very special cousin included) and the grace of God that I was finally able to forgive that person and allow the weight of fear and distrust to be lifted from me. I am so thankful that this realization came sooner rather than later or my life could have turned out very differently. But enough of that for now...I want to celebrate the Dads in my life and in the lives of my children!

Credit to Allyson Baker for this family photo.
Kirk is, of course, the first man I want to celebrate today because he has gifted me with 2 precious boys whom he loves with all his heart and it is evident in how he lives his life. He goes out of his way to make them feel special and loved and would bend over backward to make sure they are happy and feel secure! He works incredibly hard to provide for our family and as tough as the real estate business can be, it still affords him a flexible schedule that allows him to spend time with his family and there is no replacement for that!

Credit to Allyson Baker

mentioned in my Mother's Day post that I always felt I would be the mother of boys. Most of my friends and family have heard me refer to "the boys" many times and this usually includes Kirk! This is not to minimize the role of his leadership in our family, but more a term of endearment as I consider it a privilege to "take care" of not only my sons, but also the man who loves me the way Christ loves the church which he has been commanded to do.

Kirk never misses an opportunity to spend time with his little guys...

Kirk's Birthday at Erie Beach

Carsland at Disneyland in CA

Fishing with his boys!
On a night when Kaiden was away for a friend sleep-over, Kirk made Kaleb feel special by building a tent over our bed and letting him campout with us for the night. Kirk is aware that it doesn't take much to make the boys feel special, but they DO feel special when you make the effort. As you can see, Kaleb didn't feel left out at all!

Sleeping in their makeshift tent
And Kaleb never misses an opportunity to be Daddy's handy helper! Just the other day, he looked up at Kirk and said, with complete seriousness, "Daddy, you're like Bob the Builder!" That would make any Daddy smile. :-)

Helping Daddy with the pool deck steps.
haven't gone into great detail, but if you've been reading my blog then you know that Kirk has undiagnosed symptoms that he lives with on a daily basis. It is an amazing thing, but he has learned to deal with these issues the best he can in order to continue to be the father our boys need. If you asked our boys about their dad, they wouldn't talk about him not feeling well...they would talk about all the things he does with them. He may not always feel like he is, but he is leaving a wonderful legacy for our children and those around him. I can't stress enough what a hard worker he is...no matter how he is feeling, he puts that aside and takes care of us, our home and our rental property. Above all, he thinks of others before himself and THAT is what I hope our boys can see!

Thank you, Kirk, for being the man God intended you to be. You prove every day how much you love, God, your wife and your children. We are truly blessed!

Who's the handsome guy in the above picture you ask? That's my loving dad, Fred who has also been an amazing example of God's love and support. I have always had a special relationship with him (as many fathers and daughters do) and he has been one of my biggest fans my entire life. When I decided to go to the Los Angeles Film Studies Center during my last year of university, my Dad didn't freak out about his only daughter going all the way to California from Florida for a whole semester, he simply said, "Well, let's figure out how to get you there." 

Mom & Dad

My Dad is also one of the most giving people I have ever known. I know my mom would agree that she got one of the rare men in this world who truly take their wedding vows seriously and he treats her with the respect and adoration she deserves. I have always seen him go above and beyond for his family! 

Of course, he also loves being a grandfather to my boys. He's always up for anything and since retiring has been out several times for a visit with his grandsons. I am so grateful they have this time with him...

Kaleb having a sled ride on Papa's back!

Being the "royal reader" for Kaiden's class.

Splashing Papa in the pool is very funny! :-)

It has been wonderful to watch my dad interact with his grandsons. I am so thankful for him and all he does for us. I couldn't imagine life without this amazing man in my life!

Finally I want to give special recognition to the other "dads" with which I have been blessed...

Pappa Groombridge with Kaleb

My father-in-law, Dale has been a wonderful father not only to his own children, but also to all their spouses. I will never forget the first time I met him...it was over Canadian Thanksgiving almost 16 years ago. When he said the prayer for our meal, he thanked God for my family whom he had yet to meet and asked that God would bless them as well in whatever they were doing. This struck me and I was moved that he would think of my family (who weren't even celebrating a holiday at the time in the US!) and realize that they might be missing me being so far away from home. He is a very thoughtful man and I am so thankful that he is the example he is to our boys. Also, in this wonderful family I married into is brother-in-law, Kevin who is a fantastic dad to his 3 children whom we love and will enjoy when they come to visit this summer! Uncle Sean is another one I highlight because even though he doesn't have children of his own, he loves all his nieces and nephews and has fantastic relationships with them (especially Kaleb...watch out when those 2 get together!).

Russell with son, Ryan
My brother, Russell is another one I would like to honor today. His son, Ryan is such a sweet boy and even though Russell and Ryan's mom are no longer together, Russell has continued to make sure that Ryan attends church and spends time with his godly family. I am thankful for this upbringing he is giving him and I know he loves him very much.

To my little brother-in-law, Kyle, I hope you enjoy this day as a dad-to-be! I know Kirk has said something similar to you...there is nothing like looking at your own child and feeling that love. There is nothing else like it in the world! I pray God's blessings on you and Hannah as you begin this stage in your married lives and we look forward to meeting the newest Groombridge baby boy in a few more months!

Of course there are also the dads who have gone on to be with their Savior...

Grandpa Meier with Kaleb

Grandpa Meier went too soon (according to our limited understanding), but he was still able to enjoy many of his grandchildren including both of our boys. He was always full of life and plenty of laughs! He was always ready with a good pun and wasn't satisfied until you were laughing at one of his jokes. I remember on numerous occasions just seeing my Grandma look at him with amazing love in her eyes as he was just simply being himself. He was an amazing Dad to my mom and her sisters and was an amazing example of God's love as well. I mention him along with my other Grandpa Fred as well as Kirk's grandfathers whom I was only able to meet briefly, but have heard stories of their faith in Christ as well. What an amazing legacy they leave behind when they choose to follow God!

So, I hope you are as blessed as I am with the men in your life and that you are able to celebrate with them today! Break out the barbecue and throw some of my Moist & Tasty Hamburgers on there! Or, season up some chicken breasts and grill them up instead of baking them in the oven! Or put the spices on and put them on some skewers with some veggies and grill up some kabobs...YUM!!!

Whatever your plans are on this Dad's day, I hope you just sit back, relax and enjoy some time with your Dad or whomever the father figure in your life happens to be. And thank God for those men who have influenced you and make you feel special. And, men, remember that your children are watching you...they see how you treat their mother and those around you. They will be as big as you one day so be the example that you need to be to raise up loving, strong men of God in this world where the view of true men can be so skewed!

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel as we will be posting some new Summer recipes shortly! And connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. I have really enjoyed discussing my recipes with ideas with many of you and hope to continue to do so!

Treat yourself well!

How do you plan to celebrate with your Father and families today?
We will go to church and probably spend some time with Kirk's dad. Maybe a barbecue if the rain holds off?

How has your father influenced your life and view of men?
Both my father and husband have shown such amazing love. I realize it must be hard for some people to envision a loving God when they may have a poor earthly fatherly example. I pray that those people will be able to see and understand the unconditional love our God wants to pour into their lives through the death of his only son.

Do you have any Father's Day traditions?
Kirk just loves to spend time with his boys so I know that no matter what we do or where we go, he will be thankful!