Mike May is a good friend. We became close when I taught a Sunday School class for young married couples. Mike teased with Ron by calling the house and asking, "Can Ron come out and play?" They talked about cars and went to tractor pulls. I remember sitting at supper one night and talking about God and Mike's journey in his faith. It was an emotional and touching time.
When I talked about heroes I included Mike. It takes more than strong character and strong will to give up your career for your children. Mike's wife Christina had an incredible opportunity with her job. As the sweet faces of his children looked on, Mike had to make a decision about his career. If he continued his two boys would have to go to daycare. Mike and Christina faced the same decision that millions across this country face every day. Mike grabbed his children, gave them a hug and made the decision to be a full-time Dad. He is the ultimate Mr. Mom.
When we moved Ken to Illinois, we stopped to visit with Mike. He's doing a wonderful job and we are so proud of him. He still loves cars. He still enjoys tractor pulls. As we prepared to go into the backyard, he hugged his son and found his coat while Ron talked about some big motor thingy. (Can you tell I'm not motor savvy?) He pushed the swing and laughed with Ron about the newest trend in business. Mike is all man and yet he is also all Mom. His love for his children and his care of them is remarkable. He is giving them a wonderful gift. He is giving his boys a chance to stay at home, be well cared for and learn from his example to be strong men.
Mike sent me a comment for "Does Christmas make you sad?" by e-mail because his blogger wasn't working at the time. Here's what he said:
"Christmas does make me sad, not because I lost someone close or I have bad memories of Christmas. Christmas for me is about tradition, family and friends. Gifts are secondary and unimportant. I am filled with joy from watching the gleeful screams of excitement when I take the boys outside and show them the lights I have put on the house. The look of awe and wonder when I drag the Christmas tree that is far too large into the house, and the roars of laughter when I have to drag it back outside and cut off several inches just so it will sort of fit. I am sad that Christmas has become so commercial. I am sad that others do not take the time to experience simple memories with their families. Only imperfect humans can twist the first real holiday of joy and love into the mess that it has become.
Christmas makes me think of my friends. One friend in particular, my friend, Ron. I remember Ron telling with great anguish, about the loss of Wayne, his father. So, every Christmas morning I remember Ron and say a prayer for him, and think of Wayne Jansen the man I never met, but wish I had. That is my gift to Ron every year - to think of him and pray for him. I pray that his tears for his father will be tears of joy knowing that he will see him again. I pray that the love of Jesus and the love of his family will sustain him."
Ron and I both thank you Mike and send our Christmas greetings and wishes to you and your lovely family. Mike is also entered in the cook book contest. Here's his entry.
I found this cake recipe when we lived in Baltimore. As with most major cities, there is a small part of downtown Baltimore called "little Italy". It has some of the best Italian cuisine I have ever tasted, aside from my wife's Italian cooking that is. Christina is Italian, so I was looking for something that I could make that she had never had before. Here is a great Italian recipe.
I made for Christina's birthday almost 4 years ago. She absolutely loved it and she now requests that I make it for her birthday every year. It is called "Italian Love Cake"
Italian "Love" Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix (any brand)
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 c sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 container cool whip
1 c milk
1 box instant chocolate pudding
Follow box directions and make cake.
Pour into your 8x11 pan and set aside.
Mix ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla.
Mix well and pour evenly over cake batter.
Bake for 55-60 minutes.
In mixing bowl add instant pudding and milk, mix until pudding, fold in your cool whip and mix until completely mixed together.
Refrigerate until your cake is cooled then add your icing.
Wow Mike! You take care of the house, the children and you cook for your wife. How great is that!
Find a hero in your life today and tell them how much you love them. Merry Christmas to all our family heroes, our servicemen, our community service leaders (police, fire, doctors) - God Bless you all!
God loves you,