A mostly photographic blog of our crazy world


Are Your Child’s Wings Shriveled?

Butterfly Story . . . our struggles make us stronger!

“A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!”

–Author Unknown


Whether the above story is true or not I believe as a parent we can do too much for a child,and it can do so much more harm than we will ever understand. No I’m not saying we shouldn’t do anything for them! but I am saying when my 2-year-old starts to throw a fit because his Lego’s don’t go together the way he wants them to, we will calmly tell him to stop, calm down, now try another way and more often than not he figures it out. Sometimes you have to explain that they were not made to work that way, and some he really needs help, so we help him.

If he decides that despite repeated warnings that hot Cheetos will not be something he will like, then when he gets a hold of one on his 100th attempt we will stand by with a glass of milk and let him try one (guess what daddy needs a whole soda to eat those things, he doesn’t even need a drink and he loves them still to this day lesson learned for mommy and daddy well daddy anyways mommy knew he would like it). Now NO we will not let him touch the hot stove to learn a lesson, but since he has not experienced it he doesn’t understand that daddy or mommy really mean that’s hot so he will keep trying and sadly one day might slip past our guard. I’m not heartless if we think something really hurt him, or he thinks something really hurt him, we will pick him up, hug him and kiss it better. We don’t teach him that he can’t cry but we also encourage him to laugh when he takes an ugly spill, it is just so much easier to have a laughing outlet in our lives.

Does all this mean we have perfect children and we are the perfect parents? Far from it! I just called my mom a couple of days ago for advise because out of my 5 children he is the only one that has had a really hard time with sharing and also with hitting his younger sister. I had given up and ran out of ideas, luckily I have a mother with a Master’s of science in counseling to fall back on when I get desperate, and I do mean desperate (just kidding mom love you, oh ya, and how does that make you feel?). She gave me some good starting points now I will have a discussion with my wife and we will decide what we want to proceed with!

Did you catch all of the we’s in this post, some dads piss me off, moms a stay at home mom she deals with that (not that either of us are stay at home parents but you get the point). NO, NO NO, parents that are not on the same side  may not necessarily fail but you are once again not doing any favors for your children and you are missing out on some great quality time!

My kid is not light years ahead of other kids, it’s not like he has no fear, he has began to learn to respect certain things like heights, but it doesn’t stop him from attempting them, just that he is a little cautious when he does, better for mommy and daddies hearts  that way anyways.

I think as a society we have began to take everything away from our kids I remember seeing a recall for a bouncer we had, it has a sun that you can pull on and when you let go it bounces all around, it was recalled because if your kid was close to it, it might bounce back and hit them in the head! Oh no my kid got a fat lip, if so I have given him a hug and kiss, teach him to go back and play again and not give up. Guess what that toy has gone through 2 children and while neither of them actually caught themselves with it (that I know of probably should ave asked mom to be sure) both of them enjoyed that part of the toy a lot and learned a little cause and effect in the process! If one of them would have been hit they would have learned a lot about cause and effect. Is that so bad? We spend so much time making sure they don’t get hurt that we create a time bomb for every little injury that happens!

Wow my prime example seems to be Zander but hey that’s what 2 year old’s are all about, learning boundaries and cause and effect. The other night we were all at the table and Zander decides to goof off, he knows he is not allowed to stand in a chair (not completely because he could get hurt but because he is taught manners as well) and he takes a good fall. Mom and dad cringe that one had to hurt, but from under the table comes a giggle and up pops a beaming, smiling boy! I know a lot of kids that would have let this ruin their day and some of them were 16 at the time! Now he did get a quick word about that being why we don’t stand in the chair but I think the cause and effect taught him more than we ever could! Not that he has fully learned that lesson yet!

We need to let go a little, still protect, there are unacceptable behaviors and things that are to high of a risk, but don’t be afraid to let them spread their wings and bruise them a few times to learn what is okay and what isn’t. I believe in teaching them it is okay to wipe away a tear and then try again. In other words its okay to cry when it hurts but don’t give up and its okay to be frustrated but take a deep breath and try again! It’s definitely okay to ask daddy for a little help but I’m not going to do it for you, instead I will just step you through the process, in fact in the end probably just be more the morale support you needed to convince yourself you could do it!

I love my kids with all my heart when I see them hurt it hurts me just as bad, but I think by working their way through the problem they will be capable of so much more the next time!


Family photo fun! This also can be very challenging with young ones!


What do your kids mean to you

I had a discussion with a nurse I recently started working with  a couple nights ago and and we both have children with a wide age gap. We were talking about what kids mean to us and how much more we appreciate parenthood with our younger children. Now before you slaughter me let me explain! I have few regrets in life if any, my only true regret I can think of now  is that I didn’t understand at a young age what I truly had in my children. Don’t get me wrong I loved them with all my heart and soul and would not trade anything about them but being a young father I did not in any way appreciate fully what I had! I had not seen enough or done enough to fully understand what that means. Their mother and I are no longer together and I still get them at least once a week but I can never make up all that lost time when they are away from my house.

I am remarried now and we have two more children whom I love just as much but I feel bad someday’s like they get more than their older brother and sisters, but I realize that its not that I love them more (not by any means) I just have learned to appreciate what time I have with them, if anything I feel it has encouraged me to find more activities and reasons for my older children to join us on. I hope they never feel like they got cheated! I love all five of them equally and I have learned to cherish that time with the older ones as well, I just understand now what it means to be a father and a parent.

The point is, don’t take one minute for granted, always show that love to the best of your potential. Take advantage of every moment together. Do something that shows them what they mean to you!

Here are my 5 beautiful children.












Some Family Fun (Oct 2012 Family shoot)

My Crazy unexpected life

Okay to get myself set off on this adventure…

My wife (a tremendous writer with an absolutely excellent way with words) has been softly pushing me to do a blog for a while, while myself (most definitely not a writer or having a way with words) has been answering back with a resounding no way I can’t do that! Woman must be crazy, well then I realized people blog with pictures, so being that I love photography I decided that this is something that I might be able to do after all. So here goes, I will start by trying to explain myself and a little of where my family and I are in this crazy whirlwind of life.


My name is Josh and I am very happily married to the wonderful woman in this picture Angel, you should really check her blog out at http://pm11887.wordpress.com/ it is good for some great laughs, some awesome photos, and some excellent writing (okay enough of a shameless plug for her). I have three fabulous older children from a previous marriage, that are hands down the kindest and most respectful kids in the world. (Grand claim but you have no idea)


This is, from left to right, Walker, Madison, Allason. I really am a very lucky father to have three kids that come from a broken home and yet are so well behaved. This photo, from my wedding to Angel whom they lovingly refer to as morther (long weird story, but not unlike many of our stories with them). I am even more blessed with how they respect and treat their morther and show it, and even more so that she returns a love that is worthy of her own children. She expects no less from them than she does her own children, but shows them the same love and respect she would her own, which is amazing in a step parent.

Angel and I met at MCD’s and went on a few dates and ended up falling head over heels in love with each other. We were married last Aug. on one of the happiest days of my life (in case you can’t tell from my writing I am smitten with her)


Who wouldn’t be look at that hottie 🙂 A little before that we had two wonderful children together who make a perfect match with their older siblings.


This is Zander and Kyrie (left to right) they look up to and adore their older brothers and sisters dearly, and once again even better, the older siblings show nothing but admiration and love for their younger brother and sister. (Have I mentioned how blessed I am)

So a little about me, soon after Angel and I met I decided I did not want to do fast food anymore and took us off on a true test of our relationship. I went back to school to become a respiratory therapist (RT) which led to a crazy 2 years where we learned what living on love really meant (a little more on that below). Zander was born soon after I started school and Kyrie was born the week after I graduated. I was hired  and became a full time RT for Trinity health and Rehab of Holly about a year ago and lasted until last night when I stepped down to an “as needed” position. I start next week full time for Southwest Advanced Care Hospital as an ICU and floor RT which just means I get to work with more critically ill patients. I am looking forward to this new adventure as I feel it will stretch my knowledge more. I am also currently enrolled back in school for my bachelors in advanced RT care, I just like to punish myself what can I say! Before this I did fast food for 14 years as a manager of MCD’s and Arctic Circle, then before that I was a project manager for the Micron account doing cubicle construction. Ya it took a while to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up but I love where I ended up and wouldn’t trade it for anything, I absolutely love patient care and for the first time in my life I have no interest in a management position.

Now for my second love. I love the outdoors almost as much as I love my wife and kids, I spend every free moment possible hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing. I love hunting the most be it with my camera (which due to funds and no long zoom lenses I have not got to do much of yet but will soon)  or with my bow. I have been very successful as a hunter and owe that to a loving father  who spent a lot of time teaching me as a young man just how to get close and personal with wildlife. This has always been my connection point with my dad, I could write 100 blogs just writing down stories from the field with him and family all of which are tremendous memories, many bloopers, some defeat and failure that I can still say with a smile, and many other success stories. I hope to install many of these memories with my children and I know my older children already have a few they like to tell.


This is dad holding baby Kyrie at my graduation ceremony. The second pic is of me with my first archery elk, I’m not sure who was more proud me or dad.

As for learning how to take care of my family so well I owe that to a loving mother who has always supported me whole heatedly in everything I do, without her especially, but also my entire extended family we would have never made it through my schooling again I am so blessed. I can’t count the times that I was done financially and mom came through to keep us with our heads above water for one more pay period. I feel I do pretty well at taking great care of my wife and showing I love her every day and I think I owe this to my mom teaching me how a person should show respect and act and what it means to love someone and to back them.While I am far from perfect in this department I feel I do pretty well.

DSCN2537 IMG_4426

This is mom, or Nana to the kids, with Kyrie soon after her birth, and again helping me get ready on my wedding day.

I also love to sing with my wife this is actually something she brought out in me from our very first time hanging out together. I was afraid to ever do this in public but she has encouraged it to the point that it went well beyond karaoke. I sang a proposal song to her, I sang at our wedding surrounded by close friends and family, I sing regularly in church, and at home. I owe this all to her encouraging and pushing me from my comfort zone. She is another person in my life that when I decide to do something like be an idiot and go back to school, she backs me fully and supports me through, when I’m down she gives me the shove I need to keep going.

An older love that I am finally accomplishing is photography I finally purchased an older used SLR camera that came with a newer version of Photoshop last year and I have started to teach myself (with the help of the internet) the ins and outs. I feel like I have done okay. I will post a few of my favorites below:


Angel with Kyrie


Angel eyes


Walker, Maddy, Ally








Natalie (family friend)


Mckayla (family friend)


Liv (family friend)

This in a nutshell is my crazy life and I would not trade a day of it for anything!