We celebrated Luke’s eighth birthday “Hazzard County” style! He’s loved the “Dukes” since he was little, just something about those cars flying through the air and crashing!
As is the annual tradition, Mom made an amazing cake to go with the theme:
You can enjoy a video tour of the cake here:
It was an amazing cake!
The Duke boys jumping the canyon over Boss Hog
The Hazzard Police having trouble catching the Duke boys!
Even Herbie made a visit to Hazzard County!
Luke wanted to decorate his own cake, so Mom gave him a cake he could have some fun with, so here is HIS cake:
Luke is proud of his cake!
Don’t you just want to eat this??
For our first game, I gave each of the kids a LEGO car chassis and let them get creative with my LEGO in building a car… then we sent them down a ramp to let them crash! They had so much fun:
Then Luke got TWO monster trucks that were designed to be able to run at the same time (often remote control vehicles signals conflict!) – so I set up a “Monster Truck Rally” and the kids took turns getting to race the monster trucks, it was a ton of fun. Here is a short YouTube video to show how it worked:
Then it was time for the Magic Show:
Of course, kids always love magic – but I decided to try something new that I had never done before – a magical talking General Lee who would wish Luke a “Happy Birthday!”
The Magic Talking General Lee!
So fun to see the kids go crazy with excitement!
Enjoy a video of the Magic Talking General Lee:
We are so proud of our “Luke Duke,” he is such a sweet boy – he is kind, considerate, considers the feelings of others, and has a heart of gratitude. He makes friends easily and wants every day to be an adventure. We can’t wait to see what God does with his life.
Mom and Dad with our Luke Duke from Hazzard!
Luke and his grand parents
By the end of the day, Luke was done with pictures – but what a great day we had celebrating our boy!
A few weeks ago, I took my family to the Monster Truck Rally at the Colorado State Fair, and my little boy LOVED IT! (of course) I enjoyed taking pictures with my zoom lens, and finally got around to making a highlight video… ENJOY:
What IS it about Monster Trucks that makes them so exciting?
Is there a lesson for KIDMIN? I think there is. Do you know the history of Monster Trucks? I’ve learned quite a bit about them as a dad with a boy who is in love with them.
It all began in the mid-1970s, when Bob Chandler, then a St. Louis, MO. construction contractor, owned an F-250 4×4 pickup truck. Chandler used his truck on the job and for off-road family fun on the weekends. But he found ways to break even the toughest of trucks, and that led to the discovery that there was no place in the Midwest to get 4×4 parts and service. Recognizing a potential market, Bob, Marilyn, and Jim Kramer started Midwest Four Wheel Drive & Performance Center.
They still used their 4×4 as a work truck, and partly as a promotional tool for their business. They tried out new parts on the truck, and kept making it bigger and better, always a step (or two) ahead of everyone else. Soon the truck itself became an attraction – especially once he put GIANT WHEELS on it. In 1979, it did its first paid event, a Denver car show. Truck pulls in arenas and stadiums soon followed.
Then, in 1981, Chandler tried something that forever changed the monster truck concept. It fueled an explosion of fan interest and led to a legion of imitators. He decided, just for fun, to see if he could drive BIGFOOT over a couple of junk cars.
The first car crush ever in 1981. A few months later, he duplicated the stunt in a stadium show. The rest is history. In 1983, BIGFOOT began a sponsorship association with Ford Motor Company. In that time, the BIGFOOT fleet has had 16 monster machines and the F-Series pickup has become the world’s best selling vehicle.
Quite simply, MONSTER TRUCKS are just regular trucks – made BIGGER and doing BIGGER things. But people love it. Bob continued to ask, “What will make it more fun?” But he also continued to ask, “What will make it safer?”
Today, drivers are safer than ever with suspension harnesses that keep drivers bouncing in their trucks as they do huge jumps, and their trucks can be remotely turned off by up to three different people outside the truck at the push of a button in case the driver loses control and the truck goes racing toward the stands full of spectators!
What can Kidmin Leaders learn from Monster Trucks?
If you want to draw kids and families to church – ask yourself the same questions Bob did. What needs are there in your community that no one is meeting? Meet them! And you will draw people to your church. Then ask, how can we do church BIGGER and BETTER than ever before? But don’t neglect asking as well, how can we do it safer as well?
When you read about a game or object lesson or skit or other children’s ministry idea – BLOW IT UP! Make it BIGGER AND BETTER. Any idea can be done HUGER!
Whatever you are doing, ask yourself, “What would GIANT TIRES look like in this situation?” Be ahead of the pack and GO FOR IT! You just might stumble onto something that will fill your church with new folks who you can then share the Gospel with. OR, you may just end up with an object lesson or game that is ten times more impactful or memorable.
Turn ordinary ideas into MONSTER IDEAS by blowing them up!
Recently while I was in Canada speaking at a conference my wife posted on facebook that the pressure was on her to be “as fun as daddy” while I was away. Well. She pulled out the stops and took Luke to a Monster Truck Rally! Something even I have never done, and it’s all Luke’s been talking about every ten minutes for days on end! I may have trouble getting back on the “funnest parent pedestal.” Go Mom!
One of the highlights of the Monster Jam was the Mega-Saurus. This mechanical beast that came out breathing fire and literally chewed a car in half! It was almost more than my six year old’s brain could handle!
He came home saying, “Daddy, I wish you had a Mega-Saurus for my toy cars.” So, I answered. “Why, of course I have a Mega-Saurus! Every self-respecting dad has a Mega-Saurus! What kind of father would I be, if I didn’t have a Mega-Saurus in the garage?”
His eyes about popped out of his head! “YOU h-h-h-have a Mega-Saurus?” He stuttered?
“Of course I have a Mega-Saurus. Do you have some cars you would like to cut in half?” (Perhaps I could regain my funnest parent status after all!)
I headed toward the garage with my six year old in tow; he was practically stepping on my heels he was so eager to see my Mega-Saurus! I grabbed my Mega-Saurus, and also the Vice so that we could flatten some cars for his new Monster Trucks to drive and jump over, and headed up to his play room.
Once at this Car Table (Luke has a Car Table instead of a train table) my Mega-Saurus came out from under the table breathing fire and proceeded to chew through two of his older cars. He was beside himself with delight.
We next used the vice to squish six cars (I had to set a limit or he’d have had to flatten ‘em all this week!) so his Monster Trucks could drive over some destroyed cars!
Never once in the entire process did Luke mention that my “Mega-Saurus” was anything less than the real thing. Why? Because I was pretending with him. Of course it was real. His cars are real, the crashes are real, the noises he is making from the engines are real – the dirt he sees flying off the wheels (that isn’t there) is real. Just as real as my “Mega-Saurus.” After all, my Mega-Sauraus did come up from under the table making monstrous noises before it devoured those two poor cars!
When you join your kids in their imaginative play, you enter their world and you create a love bond that is beyond description. They know it is play – but they see that you are joining them, and it is more powerful and effective that a hundred “I love you’s” because it is how they want to be shown love.
I know all too soon Luke will be too old for toy cars… he’ll just want the keys to my car. But by then there will be things I’ll want to share with him, warnings and instructions and I want to have a foundation of Mega-Love. And it starts today with not being too busy to chew some toy cars in half.
What Mega-Saurus can you bring to life? The result will be a some Mega-Love shown to your kid.