First Downs and Second Thoughts

September 22, 2008

I am very sure that the game of football was not a mother’s idea. For years, we work overtime to keep our sons out of harm’s way and to teach them not to hit other kids. Then, all of a sudden, they are issued a helmet and a set of pads, and cautions and rules of civility are hiked out the window. Cody started playing tackle football this fall, and I learned that mothers don’t have a vote in this decision.


At first, I thought I was the only one having a hard time following the play and keeping track of the ball. But every other mom I talked with admitted the same difficulty. I finally figured out the problem. First of all, most women do not have the “on couch” training that their husbands have received. Also, when the game ball is hiked, a mother’s eyes do not naturally follow the oval pigskin. Her eyes are glued to her son and remain on him until she is sure that the crunch of pads and crash of helmets did not include a bone or tendon of his. It is only when a mother’s son unravels himself from the tackle and stands up to walk away without limping, that she is interested in the success of the play.


As a rule, moms may not be enthusiastic about their sons playing football, but they do end up being their most devoted fan. This fall on any given Saturday, you will find me in the bleachers keeping a close eye on #83, Cody Kimmel, Defensive End. You might want to ask someone else what the score is.


Here’s to first downs and second thoughts,

Love, Darcy


(Written in 1999)


Courage in the Face of a Storm

September 19, 2008


Courage in the storm


This week Hurricane Ike hit with full force and left devastation in it’s wake. Yet amidst this tragedy, we have also seen what people are made of in the face of such a storm.  Rescuers pulled hundreds of people out of flooded homes and cars, neighbors came together to take care of each other, and federal, state and local governments have joined forces to clean up after the mess. But what makes these people do this? I believe it’s courage.

Because in most cases, it’s not that our children don’t know the right thing to do in a given situation; it’s whether they have the guts to do it when everything about the scenario encourages them to turn tail and run.  Let’s face it, when all hell breaks loose, it’s courage that rules the outcome. But oftentimes fear get’s in the way. Fear is the primary enemy that challenges our emotional stability; and most often, it’s the fear of loss.  We’re afraid of losing the moment, so we forfeit the priority; we’re afraid of losing the opportunity, so we forfeit the responsibility; we’re afraid of losing the recognition, so we forfeit the humility.  Fear never lies far below the surface of our emotions.

Yet our children watch from the wings, they study us as we improvise our way through the daily challenges.  They hear our advice and our lectures, but what impacts them greatest are our responses to whatever scares the joy out of us. As our understudies, they must someday take center stage and play their own parts.  I wonder what they will have learned from us?

The good news is this; courage is yours and mine for the taking.  God has not reserved courage for the high and mighty, but for the rank and file.  If we never rise above “average” in our ability to parent our children, and yet display courage—then look out future, ‘cause there’s going to be some powerful kids coming along behind us! You are the perfect candidate to make the difference in your child’s life.

In the wake of such events as this week, we have seen the courage of people as they pick up the pieces of their lives. Now it’s up to us as parents to pass this priceless gift on to our children. Let them see us live a life of courage and they will be prepared to face the future head on.

under construction…

September 10, 2008

One might think from the above photo that a tornado recently hit our offices – fear not – our office is just under renovation.  Although we may be working in a bit messier conditions, we’re all up and running as if none of the construction were happening around us.  We’re all eager for the completion of this lengthy progress and will be sure to post pictures of the final product.

Until then, for all of you Family Matters supporters, please pray for this transition time.  Pray for Gods protection, unlimited favor and patience for each team member as we work through this season.

God has blessed us in such incredible ways and we want to always stop and thank Him for this great blessing of an office to do His ministry out of.  Make sure to look for updates in the next few weeks.

a simple thank-you

September 8, 2008

It broke my heart this week as I read the articles about suicide being up among our military – those deployed and those at home. Regardless of what you think about war and this one in particular, war and the conflicts caused by evil in this world are hard on families. Personally, I have never had to say good bye to a loved one serving our country knowing that there is a chance that might be my last goodbye. But as a wife and a mom, I can only imagine how hard it is. As we see from our current Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, the trepidation of releasing a child to serve their country affects even families like John McCain, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.


This summer in our many travels, we saw a lot of soldiers in the airports. Sometimes there were just 2 or 3 making their way across the country to an unknown situation. Often there were dozens of men and women in uniform, on their cell phones, standing in line for something to eat, waiting just like the rest of us, but what was waiting for them is probably nothing that they would have chosen for this time in their life.


And in the midst of their travel, occasionally a civilian would catch their eye and smile or give them a thumbs up or even venture a “thanks for serving.” Those simple gestures of gratitude interrupted their serious reverie and brought a smile to their face. I wish I had expressed my gratitude more often and had the courage to let them know I was praying for them.


Speaking of praying for our soldiers, I do it often but not often enough. Not only do we need to pray for those who have enlisted and wear a uniform, but we need to pray often for:


·        Their families – moms, dads, grandparents, wives, husbands, children, siblings, fiancés

·        Those in command – our political leaders, our military leaders and those in charge internationally

·        Those who care for the military and their families and make decisions for their ongoing well being.



There are many opportunities – faith based and otherwise- to come alongside a soldier and their family. The regular contact, availability and encouragement goes a long way to help those who are struggling—some, even to the point of wanting to take their own lives. 


What a great ministry in which to involve your kids. In the book, Raising Kids for True Greatness, Tim talks about the importance of raising our kids for something greater than themselves by teaching them to have a passionate love for Jesus Christ that shows itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others. Right now some of the “others” who need our love and gratitude are those who cared enough for us to sign up for a life that takes them down some very hard paths. What better way to teach your kids true greatness than to let them serve the truly great.


This past week, our daughter Shiloh, who is in her final semester of nursing school at Arizona State University, examined a 92 year old man’s heart. After determining that his ticker was in good shape for an almost centurion, she found out that he had fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Unlike many her age, she was very knowledgeable of this horrendous battle. After inquiring whether or not this gentleman knew her grandfather Kimmel, who also fought in that pivotal battle, she did what I hope all of us remember to do the next time we have the opportunity, she said “thank you for serving our country”. It made his day. 


August 20, 2008

I love it when people drop in on us at our home. Unfortunately, it is one of our cultural practices that is fading into oblivion. When our doorbell rings unexpectedly, I usually assume that it is a delivery from Fed X or UPS. But when I open the door and see a familiar, smiling face I am thrilled and feel honored.

Thanks for dropping in on our FamilyMatters blog. We are honored. I wish I could offer you a cup of coffee and a warm chocolate chip cookie (two of my favorite treats to share). Obviously, you care about your family and so do we. Families are made up of people and people are the only earthly endeavor we can take to heaven with us.

Sit back and enjoy adding to your knowledge of how to bring the best out of those you love the most. We’ll share with you things we have learned along the way of 36 years of marriage and 28 years of parenting and most recently grandparenting. We are glad you stopped by because your family matters to us.

Darcy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. butter

1 c. brown sugar

½ c. white sugar

1 T. vanilla (I like the flavor of Mexican vanilla)

2 eggs

1 t. salt

1 t. baking soda

3 cups of flour

12 oz. of real chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli chips when I can get them)

Cream room temperature butter with sugars. Add vanilla and beaten eggs. Blend salt and baking soda with flour and add to wet ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips and stir just enough to mix. Drop by teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. If they last long enough, lift them onto a cooling rack and enjoy with a friend if you have one near by. Otherwise, they’re all yours!