Kasen’s First Day of BMX

We had a great time today at the Beltway 8 BMX track! The people at the track were great hosts and led us through the whole process. Some of the riders were very helpful to Kasen and the other little guys while they were on the track as well.

Kasen loved his first experience as a BMX racer. He even fell down once and got up to race the next time – made daddy very proud. As a dad, I’m learning so much about what it means to love – and how much God must love me. I take so much joy in watching my kids. It doesn’t matter too much what they’re doing – I just love watching them learn, and grow, and experience new things. I love watching them succeed and even watching them overcome obstacles when they fail. It’s so much fun watching who they are becoming.

I’m recognizing how great God’s love must be for me in all of this too. If I can love my kids in this way, I figure God’s love must be even better. Maybe it I shouldn’t stress so much about “what” I’m doing and focus more on “who” I’m becoming? Maybe that’s more what God is interested in too?

Anyway, here’s the video: You can see all of it – the good, the bad, the wipeout. . . everything. Miranda pointed out that I say “buddy” an awful lot too.

Jesus: True and Better

Love this video.

True & Better from Peter Artemenko on Vimeo.

“Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we can look at God taking his son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, “Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love from us.”

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.

Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends.

Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk leaving an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.

Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb, innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He’s the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.

The Bible’s really not about you—it’s about him.”

Creativity in Schools

I’m not sure what I think of all of this, but it’s really interesting to me. I’m planning on asking my alternative certification teachers about it. As public school teachers, would they be offended or do they see some of the same things themselves? I know that in my observations, I’ve seen teachers who are very concerned about the well-being of all their students. The “condemning mistakes” idea in the video may be true of the system, but I don’t think I’d say it’s true within the classroom – at least not the ones I’ve seen. Anyway, as a future teacher myself, I’m just wrestling with all these issues for the first time  and hope to hear back from more experienced teachers with their reactions to this video.

Ken Robinson says this in his TED talk. (Click the link or scroll to the bottom to watch the video. It’s about 20min, but it’s really interesting stuff.)

Creativity is as important as literacy and should be treated with the same status.

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. If you’re not prepared to be wrong. . . and by the time they are adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They become frightened to be wrong, and we run our companies like this, by the way, we stigmatize mistakes. And we’re now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. The result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities. Picasso said this: “All children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” I believe this passionately – that “We don’t grow into creativity. We grow out of it.” or rather, we get educated out of it. . . . .

If you were to visit the education system as an alien and say, What’s it for? (Public Education) I think you’d have to conclude that, if you look at the output, you know, Who really succeeds by this? Who does everything they should? Who gets all the brownie points? You know, Who are the winners? I think you’d have to conclude the whole purpose of public education throughout the world is to produce university professors. . . . And I like university professors. I used to be one, but there’s something curious about them. Not all of them, but typically, they live in their heads. They look upon their body as a form of transport for their heads. It’s a way of getting their head to meetings. . .

The whole education system is predicated on the idea of academic ability. And there’s a reason, the whole system was invented. . . Around the world there were no public systems of education really before the 19th century. They all came into being to meet the needs of industrialism. . . You were probably steered benignly away from things at school when you were a kid, things you liked, on the grounds that you’d never get a job doing that. Is that right? Don’t do music. You’re not gonna be a musician. Don’t do art. You’re not gonna be an artist. Benign advise. . . Universities designed the system in their own image. The consequence is that many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not. Because the thing they were good at in school wasn’t valued or was actually stigmatized. And I think we can’t afford to go on that way. . .

We need to radically rethink our view of intelligence. We know three things about intelligence: 1) It’s diverse. We think about the world in all the ways that we experience it. We think visually. We think it sound. We think kinesthetically. We think in abstract terms. We think in movement. 2) Intelligence is dynamic. If you look at the interactions of the human brain, intelligence is wonderfully interactive. The brain isn’t divided into compartments. In fact, creativity . . . more often than not comes about by the interaction of interdisciplinary ways of seeing things. . .3) Intelligence is distinct. . .

Our educational system has mined our minds in the way that we strip mine the earth – for a certain commodity. And for the future, it won’t serve us. We have to rethink the fundamental principals on which we are educating our children.

I have been studying to be a teacher. I want to be a teacher who is able to encourage students in every way – one who is able to recognize different gifts and abilities – even outside the realm of the subject I am hired to teach. I have also learned in my years of church work that sometimes the best education is the one that comes through mistakes. If it’s true that in order to be creative, one has to be willing to make mistakes, then maybe we should be celebrating mistakes from students those who are actually trying. I wonder how I can foster these kinds of attitudes in my classroom?

Here’s the video:

Kesleigh’s First Birthday

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since she was born. I uploaded all the pics to our shutterfly photo site: http://cornphotos.shutterfly.com/5796

Also thought I’d post a couple of videos:

Kesleighs First Birthday from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

Happy Birthday Kesleigh! I can’t believe it’s already been a year.

Here’s one of Kasen too. He came up to Miranda and put the flashlight in her face saying, “Hi Fella Fella.” When she asked him about it, she said that’s what Woody says. I watched Toy Story with him again and looked for the scene that he might have been talking about and got him to reenact it.

Kasen – Hi Little Fella from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

It’s amazing what things they pick up. Makes me think I need to keep a better eye on what he’s watchin’.

Family Update & Videos

Here are some fun things to tell you about:
I got up to go to the bathroom the other day and when I returned, this is what I found. Isn’t she the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

Kesleigh loves Kleenex from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

Kasen has been watchin’ the Olympics this past week and when he heard his cousins were skiing this weekend, he decided to go skiing too. Here’s what resulted:

Kasen Skiing from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

The other BIG News is that Kasen pooped in the potty today for the very first time. We rewarded him with a “Big Sucker” and he chose the Mickey Mouse Sucker. Here’s a pic of his poo poo (long pause) . . . . reward:

For those of you who are still reading and who want to know some of the deeper things going on with us, I thought I’d update you on a few things too:

1.) I have officially become unemployed. Sundays are strange. We have visited a few churches and will continue to do so until we find the place that’s right for us. Neither Miranda nor I has ever chosen a church to be involved in. We’ve always been chosen by the church and welcomed with more than open arms. Now, we’re not staff people. Now, we experience what everybody else in the world experiences when they walk into a church. There’s something kinda fun about it though too. It’s nice to be in a worship service without feeling like you had to be “on” or be weary of the neverending saga of politics which surround church staff people each week.

2.) I am currently in the midst of an alternative certification program for teachers. This week I passed the 4-8th Generalist content exam which makes me eligible to get a teaching job. I’m able to teach anything 4-8th grade. The exam was much more difficult than I had imagined, but I ended up scoring well. 282 out of 300 and the passing grade was only 240. I’m excited about the possibility of teaching. My favorite parts of youth ministry have always been the times with students and this way I’ll be able to be with them every day of the week. I’m also excited about having a schedule similar to my kids as they grow older and having Sundays off so that we can be involved wherever we’d like. We’re prayin’ that I can get a teaching job before the end of this school year – preferably close to home too.

Kesleigh is Walking!!!

She’s just over 10 and a half months old now and she’s ready. She doesn’t like to crawl anymore and seems to want to walk everywhere. The video shows some of her very first steps, but since that time a couple days ago, she’s done a whole lot more. It won’t be long before she’s running with her brother!

Kesleigh Walking from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

Christmas Videos

Here are a few of our Christmas Videos:

Kesleigh Unwrapping Gifts from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

I hardly ever have any videos of Kesleigh so I posted this one first.

Tyler Tackles a Snowman from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

While we were in Tulsa for Christmas my nephews and niece built a great snowman. Tyler destroyed it in one big tackle.

Kasen Bullies his Cousins from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

Kasen’s cousins were very good with him. They played lots of games and entertained him well. In this game, the boys played along really well. Made Kasen feel like such a big boy too.

Ethan’s Snow Angel from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

Tulsa received over 10 inches of snow right before we arrive. Here’s Ethan making a great snow angel.

Ice Sliding from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

My niece and nephews playing on the ice. Glad no one cracked open a head.