Jackson: Grandaddy is the best. Grandaddy is very strong in the Spirit. Grandaddy is very energetic. He is strong, and he's very nice. He sacrifices for us. He gives us wonderful stuff and gifts. He's very sweet, and he teaches us wonderful history lessons. He makes the history lessons fun. He knows a lot about scripture stories. He watches us wrestle sometimes, and he will do almost anything for us. When I was 5-years old, a kid was picking on me at the playground at the school, and Grandaddy came and said, "Don't mess with my grandson!" It made me feel good that Grandaddy was watching over me. Grandaddy inspires me to be strong in the gospel. I love you Grandaddy!! You are awesome!!
Tyson: Grandaddy watches TV with me. He's a very spiritual man. He teaches me a lot about history. He helps me with my schoolwork when I come to his house. He makes sure I'm always okay. Like if I'm not feeling well, he helps me get into the bed; and if I need something, he'll go and get it. He makes sure that I finish doing a job if I'm doing one. He makes me hotdogs. Sometimes he takes me to his garden; I like going with him because I like to be around him. Grandaddy inspires me to be wise. I love Grandaddy so much.
Jordan: Grandaddy is awesome! I like that he always gives us history lessons. I like that he volunteers to patrol the neighborhood. I like it because he keeps things safe. I like that whenever he visits, he plays games with us. When he visits us, he goes to our wrestling matches. I like that he has a big backyard that we can play sports in. I like that he has a great testimony, and I like that he's the stake executive secretary because he's very strong in the church. Grandaddy inspires me to be a leader in the church. I love Grandaddy!!
Mariah: Grandaddy is awesome! Grandaddy helps us when we need help, and he's really nice with us. And he lets us do things that he doesn't do. Like if we want to go swim somewhere and he doesn't want to, he'll still take us there. Like if we accidentally make a mess, he asks us to just clean it up just a little bit, so it could be a little cleaner. We don't have to do too much work, so we can have more time with him. Grandaddy inspires me to be healthy like him. I love you soooo much.
Juliana: Grandaddy loves Jesus. I like riding on Grandaddy (his shoulders). I give big hugs and kisses. I love Grandaddy.
Jayden: Every time we talk about Grandaddy, Jayden gets a HUGE smile. You should see his excitement when Grandaddy walks in the door.
Abe: I could tell stories about my Dad all day. He is an amazing man and has done many amazing things. He has also done many small and simple things, which have helped shape me. These memories I share will focus on a few of those things.
My Turn: Most of our children commented quite a bit about my father-in-law's ability to give great history lessons. It is amazing how much history he knows! My mother-in-law told me that when they were first dating, she got a book to reference historical facts while they were on the phone so that he would be impressed with her historical knowledge. He fell for it, and he was impressed… but I happen to know he fell in love with her for a lot more reasons than her historical (or lack thereof) expertise. :-)
I am often impressed with Dad's great love for his wife. I have heard him express sincere sadness when she's away on a trip. After so many years of marriage, his yearning for her when she's away always touches my heart.
My father-in-law has also taught my kids some pretty fantastic karate lessons...
As a young child, Abe used to take karate from his dad… he was often reprimanded during class for not paying attention. :-) Dad takes rules very seriously. I'm especially grateful he is that way because he takes the rules/commandments of God just as seriously. Because of that, he has raised a wonderful son who has developed an unshakeable testimony of Jesus Christ and HIS gospel. I'm forever grateful that my children can look to the many men in their lives as true disciples of Christ.
Last year, my father-in-law wrote an entry in my blog about his conversion to Jesus Christ and to HIS gospel. His story is inspiring. Please click on the link below if you would like to read it. What a man! What a life!!
This second link is the original one I posted of a small piece of his conversion story.
There is something special about my father-in-law's sense of duty and service to God… My father-in-law serves in the temple every week. He currently serves as the stake executive secretary, and he serves in the community as a patrol officer. When we lived with my in-laws, we often presented them with activities that seemed more fun or more appealing, but he turned those opportunities down to fulfill his duties. There were times when we knew he wasn't feeling well… but he still got up extra early in the morning to serve God, his community, and the people around him because his word meant so much more than anything else could. As much as we wanted Dad to participate with us in the activities that seemed so much more fun, it means more to us that we have his legacy of a man who honors his word, his duties, and his service to God.
When we moved to Utah, my father-in-law made the long drive with us and helped us unpack. When we moved to Michigan; again, he made the long drive with us. When we moved to Florida, there he was unpacking all of our belongings once again. Then, we moved again here in Florida, he was right there once again right by Abe's side… unpacking our entire house… without complaint.
We have so many wonderful pictures of my father-in-law/Dad with our children. He truly loves his grandchildren. I know that he has great desires for them to feel of his love… to feel of God's love through his love. My father-in-law never knew his own father. He broke the cycle of absent fathers and chose to make better of his life. He was the first to graduate from college from his family, and he has become a great leader and father not only to us but to many church families. Many who grow up in the type of circumstances that he did wouldn't have the drive, the will, the ability, and the faith to achieve and accomplish what he has and continues to accomplish.
My father-in-law is a man to be admired. He is a hero in our home. We love you!!