Sunday, June 16, 2013

BYU Studies Our Family & Hubby Gets An A+++ In Fatherhood From BYU Analysis.

I got a letter from Kal'el's school asking for volunteers for a research study BYU was doing on families. 

It was a paid research project so basically we got paid to have students follow us around and study our family for 8 weeks. It was kinda like having our own part time reality show.

There were a ton of families who volunteered, but because of our unique family situation they sent us an acceptance letter the next day.

We were instructed to go about our normal routine, fill out surveys, and have a meeting once a week with a group of students.

The students were particularity impressed with Nate and Kal'el's relationship, especially given the circumstance of Nate being a new stepfather and Kal'el having a disability.

Nate is Kal'el's best friend, hero, and greatest advocate -- above and beyond -- Nate got involved with the Autism Council of Utah and set up several training programs for children and youth with disabilities like Kal'el's. Nate also wanted to learn more about better caring for Kal'el's special needs and so he attended training courses on Occupational Therapy and Sensory Disorders.

Nate also set up a karate therapy class for children and youth with Autism, sensory disorders, ADD, ADHD, Down syndrome, and other disabilities. As far as we know he is the only martial art instructor in the state with this kind of training and is the only instructor the Autism Council of Utah endorses. This all came about after Nate meet and fell in love with Kal'el.

There are many everyday things Nate does for Kal'el such as instilling a respect for himself and others, particularly women, and teaching Kal'el life lessons such as choices and consequences.

Nate and Kal'el chatting by the fire.

Nate is patient and even tempered. One day Kal'el went out into the garage and was playing around on Nate's motorcycleInstead of getting upset that Kal'el was messing around, Nate said, "Do you want to go for a ride?"
Nate turned on the motorcycle so Kal'el could feel the powerful engine and see all the dials move. Nate took him on "a ride" They were going so slow, Nate's feet hardly left the ground, but Kal'el had perma-grin and still talks about how Daddy took him on a motorcycle ride.

              Nate serves God and his country and works VERY hard to provide for his family's needs.

Kal'el and Nate taking care of a mole problem in the backyard. I love how Kal'el is on guard with a stick.

Kal'el getting Daddy's praise for a job well done in karate.

Focus, control, confidence!

When Kal'el was sick with the flu, Nate brought by a "Sick Kit" on his way to work. As you can see it included, marshmallows, goldfish, Caprisun, lots of extra diapers (this was before Kal'el was potty trained) and diaper rash cream.

As a worthy man who holds the priesthood Nate is always ready to give a Father's Blessing in times like this.

I love the way Kal'el is looking at Nate in this picture.

When Kal'el has nightmares, Nate will sit next to him in bed and sing. Nate has an AMAZING singing voice that is so warm and comforting. He has even sang me to sleep many times as well. His beautiful, masculine, yet gentle voice is one of his super powers.

Nate loves to dress Kal'el up in "mini me" outfits.

We guard our family time:

Family Prayer and Scripture study (Daily)
Couple's Devotional (Daily)
"Mommy Time" for 45 min where Kal'el has mommy to himself to sit and talk, play games, etc. (Daily)

Have a Couple's Date (Weekly)
Have a Family Date (Weekly)
Work on a Family Project (Weekly)
Have Family Home Evening (Weekly)
Go to Church (Weekly)

We both volunteer at Kal'el's school (Monthly)
Go to temple as a couple (Monthly)

Honeymoon (Yearly)
Family Vacation (Yearly)

Nate teaches the importance of honoring your religious convictions and respecting that of others.

Kal'el and I were taking Nate into work one day. Out of the blue, from the back seat, Kal'el said, 
"Daddy, you're my super hero."

Not all super heroes where capes. 
Nathan wears a variety of super hero clothes such as: work boots, running shoes, his karate uniform, suit and tie, and his military uniform.

Here Nate and Kal'el are watching a foreign cartoon. Nate is a great example of love and appreciation for all mankind and our unique cultures, religion, races, etc.

Nate is a superior example of leadership and diplomacy. Just last week, on military training, Corporal Boyd led a group of soldiers into a scenario of negotiations in a hostile region. I can't give all the details of exactly what he did and what he was negotiating, but he won high praise from the "high ups" in the military.

Nathan teaches Kal'el about courage, especially the courage to try again. Its okay to have bad days, but remember to always get back up, even when things are hard.

Nathan has a beautifully carved, wooden, Celtic box on our dresser full of medals and pins he has earned through heroic service. He has saved many lives, not only while serving in Iraq after 9/11 and other military missions, or after natural disasters, but every situation he has been in that called for a hero. He has had to performed emergency CPR on several occasions, has administered first aid relief countless times, and has more than once grabbed Kal'el's hand and pulled him close 'just in the nick of time.'

 Once, when Nate was sixteen, a car flipped over and was upside down in a canal. Nate broke the seat belt off a girl trapped in the car under the water and pushed her through the window to safety. (I'll have to tell more of these stories in detail later.)

 Nate teaching Kal'el to skip rocks. Notice their cute matching shirts.

Work together, eat together, play together, laugh together, celebrate even small things together!

Kal'el and Nate's first dance together at our wedding.

Nate not only asked my father if he could marry me, to which my father said "YES! YES! YES!" but Nate also wanted to make sure it was okay with Kal'el. 
Kal'el was so excited that Nate was going to be his daddy that he jumped around the room, clapped his hands, and laughed so much that happy tears squeezed out of his eyes as he yelled, "YES! YES! YES!"

"No man achieves the supernal exalting status of worthy fatherhood except as a gift from his wife." 
Boyd K. Packer

The Gift of Fatherhood was my gift to Nate when I married him and Nate treasures this gift with all his heart.

Nate and Kal'el posing in front of the dungeon. 

"The Lord has directed, Bring up your children in light and truth. To me, there is no more important human effort. Being a father or a mother is not only a great challenge; it is a divine calling."
 President David O. McKay 

Kal'el always wants to have matching haircuts with Daddy. Here is their "Army Guy" haircuts.

 Working on Grandpa's farm.

Nate teaches Kal'el to work hard and not make excuses for anything (even a disability.) Serving others is the best way to cure depression. As Gordon B. Hinckley's father taught, "Forget yourself and go to work."

"I urge you, as fathers and as priesthood leaders, to focus more attention on teaching, guiding, and shepherding these young men, especially by example." Joseph B. Wirthlin

Nate teaches Kal'el the role of a man.
Not just any man, but a man who respects his wife as a true equal and feminine partner.

Honor, respect, and care for woman. 

This will be more important when Kal'el gets older. He looks to Nate as a role model for manhood and the relationship he has with me. This is what Kal'el will emulate in his duty, honor, and respect for women and eventually his own wife.

“You should express regularly to your wife and children your reverence and respect for her. Indeed, one of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” Howard W. Hunter

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