Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Raising young men....with a little literary license!

I am a mama to boys....4 boys! My oldest is 24 and lives on his own but we see him every week. The rest are still young enough to live at home. I need all the help I can get! Some days I LONG for a tea party and a room done in pink with white hope now lies in grand-babies :) (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!)

Last week Josiah turned 14. I am stunned. It seems like yesterday....

Josiah needed much attention after birth....the roof of his mouth is as deep as the Grand Canyon and his gag reflex at birth started at the tip of his tongue. Needless to say this made nursing almost impossible and extremely painful! Many months were spent working with a lactation consultant, pumping, finger feeding and training Josiah. I am thankful that it was successful. It seems like yesterday!

Josiah was such a delightful little one - he loved hats - he wore anything he could find on his head....cute little hats that matched his clothes, deflated balls, boxes...ANYTHING! He liked to fall asleep in my arms stroking my cheek. Melt my heart! It seems like yesterday!

I look at him today, almost as tall as me, and wonder what happened. I am sure you mama's understand this phenomenon! Josiah loves God, serves Him and has a HUGE heart for others. He has a lot of passions in his life; family, farming, working with wood, working with his hands....and.....John Wayne movies, especially the really old ones!

Josiah admires many (NOT ALL!) of the characters that John Wayne plays - they were courageous, chivalrous, strong, men of their word, honorable, honest! This year John Wayne movies are available in stores very inexpensively - I think it is because Mr. Wayne would have been 100 this year. So, of course for his birthday, Josiah asked for some movies. Although we don't have TV, cable or satellite, we do watch movies filtered through a Clearplay dvd player. (See my link in the sidebar to watch a demo of this neat player!)

Birthdays are big deals in our home. It is a day to honor one of our family. Cakes have also become a big deal. Each year, as I pray for the birthday boy, I feel that God gives me inspiration for the cake. I just know what to do...I can almost see the picture of it in my mind....and I am NOT a really creative person so this has to be GOD! I have made some doosies! (Note to readers: this does not in any way imply that I am GOOD at decorating cakes.....)

This year needed to be a western party. Western attire was required. Here are my cowboys!


Lunch was homemade pizza and a special treat of Sobes or sweet tea.

The birthday boy...minus the hat...we were, after all, at the table!


The older cowpoke....armed to the teeth!


And my doodlebug really strong cowboy!


I made a cowboy cake....with a twist. Here is the cake before the special topping.


Then I added something.....I created a letter to Josiah from John Wayne consisting of non-movie quotes from Mr. Wayne. These quote were picked because they speak to things that are pertinent in Josiah's life at this time. Also, please note....this is not to say that I don't address these things from the Word....we do! I was trying to add some encouragement wrapped up as fun! :)

I then searched the Internet and found a copy of Mr. Wayne's signature to add at the bottom of the page. The Older Cowpoke "aged the page" and then it was attached to the cake with a gift for Josiah - a HUGE knife...what more could any young man ask for?

Here is the note:
Howdy Friend,

Just wanted to say Happy Birthday Josiah! There are some things I want you to know as you become a young man....

Although I played tough men in the movies, in real life "I am a demonstrative man, a babypicker-upper, a hugger and a kisser - that's my nature".

Josiah, when your life gets hard remember this...."When the road looks rough ahead, remember God and the word Hope. Hang onto both and tough it out."

When you feel scared Josiah, remember...."Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway!"

And lastly never forget...."when you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it!"

God Bless You Buddy!

Warm regards,

John Wayne

And the final effect!


I am so pleased at how much this pleased Josiah! Dinner was more traditional cowboy fare...pulled pork bar-b-q on homemade hamburger rolls (Thanks Marlene!), corn on the cob, salad from the garden and baked potatoes! We ended the evening watching some of the John Wayne movies Josiah received for his birthday....we had to hurry because our media fast started at midnight!

We managed to squeak two in :)

Saddle up boys!


  1. Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway!

    I think I hear an echo.

    You're not the only one quoting that John Wayne quote today.

    Jim Rawles at the also thought that worthy of being today's quote of the day.

  2. What a special day you created for such a special guy! Cheri, you have the handsomest "posse" of boys! :) Please wish your young "pilgrim" many happy returns of the day! We enjoy John Wayne movies at our house, too. One of our favorites is The Cowboys. Does he have that one?

  3. Happy Belated Birthday, Siah!

    You've totally intrigued us with your media tell.

  4. Hi Emily,
    Josiah says thanks (right after he turned bright red when I confessed what I had written!) I don't think we have ever seen The it a good one?

  5. Hi Jon,
    So glad you are back - have missed reading your blog! Hope the butchering day went well...I know how much work it is :)

  6. Hi Julie,
    We are fasting, for 21 days, media entertainment - no movies, entertaining cd's, Ipod,radio,computer games (no, not even chess!) etc.

    What we CAN do is:

    Listen to the Word on Cd, hymns or worship music ONLY!
    Check email, website and blog. No other computer use...
    Play board games
    Spend time together....


    We aren't even a week into it and already I love it - we will make this a regular thing for various amounts of time through the year!

    PS...I still need to know what other bar of soap you'd like.....since you won the contest!

  7. What a neat cake! Roy Rogers is King at our house!

  8. The knife was just what the cake needed. Perfect! The meal sounded yummy, too!!

  9. Cheri,

    I am so IMPRESSED!! You are VERY creative on a daily basis, but I must say this took the cake. Great job. I think God just gave you something so very special for Siah this year because of all the struggles that you all have had to face this past year. The letter from "John Wayne" was so awesome. I know it was a very special day for him as well as you.
    Just remember, "The steps of a good man(woman) are ordered of God", and my friend,you are doing a fantastic job. Keep it up!!

    love to all,

  10. BTW, my boys are begging for a knife in their birthday cakes, too, now.

    Julie York is right...your creativity did "take the cake"...and it was a good pun, too.

    About the soap...are you suggesting that I really pick a favorite? Can't do it. But maybe I should try some Patchouli for my big girls.

    Both my Mom and Mother-in-law got Peppermint Ice and Remy's Rosemary & Mint for Mother's Day. We got the same response from both of them...they wanted to eat the soaps because they smelled so good!

    I'm glad their healthy, though, because our Doodle DID lick the Peppermint Ice. She made a yucky face, but we never did convince her it wasn't chocolate.

  11. Happy Birthday Josiah!!! I hope it was a great one. Cheri the cake was adorable, neat idea including the letter and knife. John Wayne is a favorite here also.


  12. Lynn,
    They love Roy Rogers also!

  13. Hi Paula,
    I think Siah agrees with you about the knife!

    Hi Julie Y,
    Thanks for the encouragement - I agree - it was definitely God for Siah's sake :)

    Hi Julie A,
    I'll have to tell my oldest boy - he is still grumbling about wanting to taste the Chocolate Ice :)

    Hi Patrice!


  14. TNfarmgirl,
    I happened upon your post about your son's Josiah's birthday cake and details, and I would bet that John Wayne would approve of your (his) letter to Josiah for his birthday back in June 2007.

    I cetrainly did not personally know John Wayne in person, but am reading a book entitled John Wayne, The Man Behind The Myth, in which Mr. Wayne states something to the effect that he loved children, and that he wants them to understand that he genuinely is the person he portrayed in many of his on-screen movie roles. (I'll have to refer to the book for his exact words, so please don't quote me as providing his actual words.)

    I also loved John Wayne, and looked up to (and still do) him especially during a time when I was being raised by my Mother (now deceased) after she and my Dad broke up.
    Some of the courage I attempted to draw on during those exciting and turulent adolescent years, was what John Wayne's characters exhibited in his movies. To this day, I can't turn off a John Wayne move when I happen upon one while changing channels.

    I believe that Maureen O'Hara called John Wayne the only "real man" with whom she worked and befriended. Once again, you'll need to check on wht Ms. O'Hara actually said as I don't remember her exact words.

    Finally, I was also able to reunite with my estranged Father after my MOm passed away and before he also did, and I'm beginning to realize how tough a job parents must have raising children. You have my utmost respect.

    Anyway, I'm beginning to ramble, so I'll close.

    God bless you and your family.


    Mike Donoghue

  15. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the thoughtful note...I had Josiah read it this morning. I'm happy to hear you were able to reunite with your Dad. Parenting is the hardest job in the the best of circumstances....


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