Tuesday, December 13, 2011

duct tape has many uses

We went to Carson's Parent - Teacher Conference about a month ago.  When we sat down with his Teacher, Mrs. Douglass, she begins by telling us how great Carson is and how friendly he is.  She said that he gets along with everyone and is amazed at how friendly he is.  "I mean really, everyone like this kid!"  But of course this is followed with the dreaded "HOWEVER".  "However.... he never ever ever ever stops talking.  I mean never ever ever ever ever ever ever stops talking.  Even when I am talking."  (OK.  We get the point lady!)  She looked at Carson and said "Would it help if we moved you to a different seat Carson?"  Jokingly, I said "maybe you should move him next to a girl so he won't talk so much!"  Mrs. Douglass smirked and said "Oh yeah right - that  won't help!  He'll probably talk more!"  LOL  So she moved him to the very front of the class in an effort to keep his attention longer and limit his little motor mouth from running all day long.  I figured it was working as I haven't received any notes home or anything.

Fast forward to today.  I was in Carson's classroom volunteering as I do every other Monday afternoon.  I was saying goodbye to Carson and his teacher out in the hall way (I wasn't allowed in the classroom because the kids were making Christmas gifts for their parents.) and his teacher says "Carson is such a joy!  Oh, and if you could send him with some duct tape tomorrow that would be great!"  Thinking she was serious, I replied with "Of course, how much do you need?"  Again, she laughs and says "Just enough to fit over his mouth!"  I laugh too and tell her that if she finds some that works, to let me know!  :)

It's so funny how different the boys are.  I know I've said this before, but really.  Just the other day I asked Hunter's preschool teacher, Miss Gina, how he was doing.  She said "Oh is doing so great.  He is certainly a great kid.  I have no problems with him.  In fact, it would be great if he talked more in class."  Well... I know someone who can teach him.

We had a quick review with our nanny today to see how things are going, address any issues, etc.  Of course the only struggles she has are with Carson and how he "likes to push the limits."  (She actually does a really good job of not letting him push those limits and sticks to consequences.)  So then Brad asks; "What about Hunter?  Do you have any challenges with him?"  "NOPE!  He is great!"  she says.  "Nothing.  No issue at all?"  "No, he just goes along with whatever.  He does what I ask.  He doesn't push me.  He's great."  Brad and I look at each other and without even saying anything, I just know what he is thinking (because it's what I'm thinking too); Carson is your child, Alicia!  And sadly it's SO true.  Carson is soo much like me... tightly wound, loud, emotional, impatient, confident, stubborn.  And Hunter is ALL Brad; laid back, easy going, quiet, patient, very selfless.

So I come to this same recurring parenting challenge/question... how do I help Carson channel these characteristics to be strengths and not weaknesses?!  It's a great thing to be passionate and willing to show emotion, but how do you make sure this doesn't manifest in being an emotional drama king (as he often is.)  It's incredibly beneficial to have confidence... but not to be cocky.  It's a strength to be proactive and be a "do-er."  How do we channel this away from being impatient and acting with out thought?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holdaway house rules

while watching the Cowboys vs Giants game;
Carson: "Hunter, we can't cheer for the Cowboys."
Hunter: "I know. It's a rule in this house. You can't cheer for BYU either"
Carson: "If we do... I bet mom will kick us out of the house."

Well, at least they know where I stand.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas in London

Carson is doing a "Christmas around the world" project at school.  Each student is to learn about Christmas in a different culture.  They encouraged the students to ask someone they know who is from or lived in a different country.  Carson's "Nana" (brad's mom) is from England so Carson asked her what Christmas is like in London.  The three things he learned were;
1. They call Santa "Father Christmas", not Santa.
2. They made their own Christmas ornaments
3. It is very cold at Christmas time and snows a LOT.

The other part of the project was to "dress" a paper doll to show what a kid may be wearing at Christmas time in London.  Nana told him that he would most likely be wearing grey or black shorts.  Black or grey shoes.  Long black socks, and a blazer.  So Carson and I went to my scrapbooking stuff and he picked out different patterned paper to dress his doll.  I drew a blazer and cut it out, traced the pattern for shorts and he did the rest... this is the final product:

Nana will now go to his class next week and teach the kids about Christmas traditions in England.  Carson has been counting down the days.  He is so excited to show off his Nana.

a lesson learned

November 28, 2011

I had one of those rare moments today where you feel that maybe... just maybe your kids are getting it.  Two moments actually.  
Carson had his friend, Logan over and they were playing upstairs in the loft.  Logan is 12 years old and in all honestly, I don't love Carson playing with him.  Not because Logan isn't a good kid, he's actually a sweetheart.  I just don't like the age span.  I feel like with Carson in 2nd grade and Logan in 6th grade, it's inevitable that Logan is going to talk about things or want to do things that are too mature or inappropriate for Carson.  I don't know, maybe I am just being too protective.  I do allow him to play with Logan, I just limit it.  Anyway... back to today.  As Carson and Logan are walking down the stairs, I hear the tail end of their conversation and it's something like this;
"yeah... dude.  I just had to cancel it because of how much it cost.  I use to talk to my friends all the time on my cell phone but now it's cancelled."  Um... Carson does NOT nor has he EVER had a cell phone of his own.  We've made it quite clear that we won't even entertain the thought of him having a cell phone until Junior High and only then will we entertain the idea.  Brad and I look at each other like "did he just say what I thought he said?!" At first we just kind of laughed it off.  But then I started thinking about it and it's these exact situations that concern me with him playing with someone who is this much older.  This comment could only have come from the motive of wanting to impress Logan.  It's not too unlikely that at 12yo, Logan and or his friends may very well have cell phones.  So... I decided to address it.  I called Carson in to the other room, away from everyone.  When I asked him about his statement you could immediately see his mind going to work... what do I say?  Do I lie?  What's my excuse?  So, just as immediately, I said, "Carson... we heard what you said sweetie.  Please just tell me the truth.  Why would you tell him you had a cell phone?"  He took a big gulp and said I don't know.  I asked him if he was trying to impress him and he, with great hesitance, said yes.  Of course I went on to explain how important it is to be honest and if you have to lie to impress your friends then there is something wrong.  "If you really want to impress him, go in there and admit to Logan that you lied and apologize for it."  I thought for sure he was going to argue this (I mean really, there's not a single one of us that likes to admit when we're wrong... especially that you lied.)  To my surprise, he simply said ok... walked in there and said "Dude, I lied about the cell phone.  I never had a cell phone!"  Also to my surprise, Logan answered with "I know.  It's cool."  I was so thankful for Logan's response.  It helped drive home for Carson that in spite of how hard it is to admit to when you've done wrong, it will always be better in the long run.  I was really proud of Carson for taking that "like a man" :) and doing what was right.  

Just hours later, Carson was arguing about something (I don't even remember what started the argument.)  It escalated to the point that he was sent to his room for the night an hour before bedtime.  He was WAY out of line and yelled and argued and hit my arm.  
After much crying and what sounded like throwing things around in his room, he yelled out to me and asked that I come in his room for a second.  I was prepared for him to beg me to let him come out.  Instead, he said with true sadness on his face, "Mom, I'm really sorry.  I should never ever hit you and I acted inappropriately.  I know you are just disciplining me and you do really love me."  Um... come again!?  Who are you and what did you do with my son?  WOW.  Once again I was able to use this to drive home how when you take control over your emotions and admit when you have done wrong, it always ends up a better situation than if you continue to do wrong.  I told him how much that meant to me and how proud I was that he was willing to apologize and realize his actions were unacceptable.  

Parenting is so incredibly hard.  Sometimes... most of the time... I feel like I am talking to a brick wall.  It's moments like these that help us grow as parents so we can continue to believe in the tough love and discipline we offer our kids.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Carson's marathon birthday

The night before his birthday, we went to the local Aquatic center with some friends.  It was great!  the kids got to swim, eat pizza and cupcakes!!

Birthday Boy

the whirl pool

The leaning tower of cupcakes

Did I get it all?!

After 4 mini cupcakes, Hunter was COVERED in chocolate

Little miss Rylee and Hunter

Cheese face!

The morning of his birthday, he opened presents from Mom and Dad.

new books

For Carson's birthday dinner, he chose the Bonsai.  

Carson's artwork on our picture at Bonsai...

I said Marathon birthday didn't I?  The day after his birthday, we got together with my family to celebrate the big 8!  Unfortunately I didn't take a single picture that night.  How did that happen?!

A couple weeks after his birthday, we went to Nana's house for the family celebration
This definitely needs to be documented.... Brad always talks about the fact that his mom never allowed guns in the house when he was little.  It's always been known that even toy guns are simply not allowed in Nana's house.  Well... guess who got him this gigantic 2 foot long Nerf dart-gun?  Yep!  Nana!!  She somehow didn't realize it was a gun.  ha ha ha.  She made in known that this will be the first and last gun she ever buys.  lol

Grandma and Grandpa Holdaway gave Carson cash in his card and he was obviously quite excited about it!

"3rd person" can offer some good perspective... who knew!?

As an integral part of the non-profit organization; Operation 61, I have been charged with the (seemingly) daunting task of writing a bio.  Daunting?  It's just a couple of simple paragraphs.  Yeah well, if there is one thing I hate, it's talking about myself and my accomplishments.  Don't get me wrong, i enjoy a good conversation about what I am involved in and subsequently, what I am good at.  However, to simply boast about myself and my strengths or talents just somehow feels awkward and uncomfortable.  I was asked to do this bio months ago and I procrastinated and procrastinated.  Now, with 2012 planning and refocusing upon us, it became an assignment rather than simply a request.  UGH... no getting out of it this time.  Given Brad's involvement in Op61, he was given the same assignment.  Why is it that I find it so easy and actually very exciting to help him write and revise his, but I continue to put my own off?
It's now midnight the day before the bio is due and I'm finally sitting down to write it.  In preparation for this, I asked my Manager at work 3 things;
-What is my biggest strength at PEI?
-What is my biggest strength on an individual level?
-What is one area you would like to see me improve on?
Here is his response;

Oh this is easy!
Alicia’s biggest strength at PEI is her belief and attitude. Her optimism is inspirational and she lifts up those around her with her belief and energy!
On an individual level, her determination sets her apart. There is no such thing as a task she cannot tackle, she always finishes what she starts, and regardless of the difficulty of the task, she will complete it.
I would say that an area of weakness would be in her drive to accomplish her goals, she sometimes pushes herself too hard and might need to slow down and sharpen the saw before she runs herself into the ground.

I figured if I heard it from an outside perspective it would be easier to write about my strengths.  Though very humbled by his response, I still felt at a loss.  How do I say these things about myself?
Matt has been a good "devil's advocate" in my life more than once.  A few months ago, as I was struggling to produce revenue at work, he cared enough to sit me down and say all but "What the hell!"  He was willing to tell me what I needed to hear, instead of what I wanted to hear.  And I was so thankful he did.  After nearly 3 weeks of abnormally low numbers, I pulled my head out and turned it around in a matter of days... getting back to my usual numbers.  Here in this email, he has once again reminded me of something I need to continuously work on... sharpening the saw.  I tend to focus on my weaknesses to a degree that I am blind to my strengths.  I have a very hard time being happy with the little victories along the way because I am too stuck on the end result and the fact I'm not there yet.  Success is a journey, not a destination right?  Yes, but easier said than done.  I don't want to run myself into the ground and miss the fun along the way!

Coincidentally, I received the following email from a colleague at work today;

Like always…thanks for the great set!  Next appointment I get from you I’ll just ask for their credit card because you T them up enough that I’m sure they will just give it to me.  Thank you.  In all seriousness you are highly skilled sister.  I remember when I first came back to PEI after being out of the game for awhile (keep in mind I THOUGHT I was pretty good before)…I heard you over the cubicle and I was like who the heck is that?  They sound dang good and I sound like crap compared to that!  I learned a lot from listening to you and I appreciate all you do!

Kyle Enzler

Funny thing is, Kyle is actually someone I really admire and consider him extremely good at what we do.  This was a really great compliment coming from him!  I've been in this role for 6 years now and have excelled.  I'm in a commission only position and thankfully been able to make a great living at it.  When I take a step back and look at the big picture, I can see, appreciate, and actually say out loud that I am indeed good at what I do.  I guess I just get wrapped up in the competition of it all and so often feel like I just am not doing good enough.

Recently I had the opportunity (with out knowing it), to help a friend shed some light on something that was holding her back in life and in the process, she (with out knowing it), helped me see how I struggle with the same thing.  Funny how God works.

Lesson learned?  Appreciate the little victories along the journey and don't beat yourself up over mistakes.  

Back to the Bio...
How do you find your "role" in an organization?  How do you determine the best use of your talents and strengths for a greater purpose?  Again, something I have struggled to define.  As I sat down to type out the rough draft of this bio, a weird thing happened.  Professional Bios are typically written in the 3rd person.

Well, here's the final product;

Alicia Holdaway worked in Retail management from 2000 – 2006.  In 2005 she took over a struggling Buckle Retail location as Store Manager and increased the store’s negative trending revenues to a positive growth in a matter of months.  

Seeking a change, she moved into sales in 2006.  Since this time, she has worked as an Inside Sales Executive for The Professional Education Institute.   Her primary role is guiding prospective students from around the world through a sales process in order to ultimately enroll them in professional coaching programs.  As one of the top 3 sales associates in her role, Alicia has proved to have great sales aptitude and effective communication skills. 

Alicia has a God-given desire to help others, primarily by empowering them to see their true potential through honest feedback, advice and problem solving.  She is able to address obstacles head on and work diligently to find solutions.  Alicia strongly believes there is a war to be won against modern day slavery and through Operation 61, hopes to use her strengths and talents to fight this horrible crime.  

I'm excited about 2012 and a new focus in my personal growth;
I have made a commitment to myself to view life as a journey and not some destination I'm headed for.  I commit to celebrate the small victories along the way.  I commit to appreciate the lessons learned as a result of making mistakes.  I commit to take the accomplishment of any goal in baby steps instead of getting frustrated that I am not at the end of the "journey" yet.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Carson's Thanksgiving List from School

I'm Thankful for...

My Friends:
-Ethan Stone

Nice things others have done:
-Help me
-Play with me at recess

Animals and pets:
-my fish

People to Love:
-My mom
-My brother
-My dad
-My teacher

Food and Treats:
-Ice cream

My Favorite Color:

My Favorite Song:
-Moves like Jagger

Weekend Fun:
-Playing with my friends

Trips I've enjoyed:
-Going to Moab

Books, toys and games:
-My video game Halo Reach

The Best Things about Home:
-My Family

TV and Movies:

-Playing on the playground

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

The boys both had Halloween parties at school today.  Auntie Christa was so sweet and went to Carson's costume parade.  Hunter couldn't wear his costume to school because it had a scary mask so he was Batman for school and a ware wolf for trick-or-treating.

It seems as though the winter viruses decide to show up on Halloween each year.  2 years ago, the boys both had swine flu on Halloween, last year Brad was sick, this year Carson had Bronchitis and croup all last week and now Brad is home with Bronchitis.  GRRR.  In spite of the illnesses though, we still had a fun night.

Thankfully Jami Holdaway is the queen of Halloween and always has awesome parties!  The boys and I went to Scott and Jami's tonight while Brad was home resting.  Hailee, the boys' nanny came too and went trick-or-treating with us.  The boys absolutely love her!  Jami had every cute Halloween appetizer you can imagine and the cousins all went trick-or-treating together!

Wish Brad could have been with us, all in all though... a successful Halloween night.   Of course the kids have more candy than I would like them to have (yes, I'm the party pooper), so I will sneak some to work with me tomorrow and ration the rest out over the next month or so :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I guess I'm "that mom"

Blue Ninjas 

It's official... I'm that mom.  Carson had his 2nd to last game of the fall season today.  We played the "Green Dragons."  Last time we played this team, they slaughtered us.  They won 21-1.  YIKES.  Carson has been sick all week with bronchitis and croup so when he got out on the field today, he just didn't look like himself!  He had very low energy!  Another kid on the team was home sick, so we had no subs today.  "Here goes nothin'!"

The Green Dragons dominated the first half of the game.  We basically played defense the whole time, didn't get many chances to score.  However, the boys did play pretty good defense and kept them to only 5 goals.  

They had their snacks and water at half time, a pep talk from coach, a little cheering from me... and they were ready to go!  Out of nowhere, it seemed as though this little team of 6-8 year olds had fight and determination in them that you rarely see at this age.  They held the other team to only 2 goals and they scored 3 goals themselves, with many other very close ones! 

Carson got hit right in the face with a hard kicked ball; knocked him right on his butt.  He got right back up and kept going.  He was playing defense a lot of this game and fought hard every time he was near the ball.  He was being aggressive and playing with a lot of hustle!  He decided to pick out "#2", the best player on the other team and defend him.  Carson was not going to let this kid score on them again... and he didn't!  Joe, one of the kids on our team, usually sits back and doesn't seem too interested in the game... not today!  He had a look of absolute determination in his eyes and played really hard... Benjamin was scoring, Jaden was running hard and Kaeden was playing awesome defense, cutting people off left and right... We were making a come back!!

At one point, I yelled on the field "Carson!  That's exactly what I want to see!  Nice job!"  Jenny turned to me and said "Ok coach!" :)  Later on, Jaden was on a break away to the goal and before I knew it, I was standing out of my seat screaming.  Carson looked at me from the field and said "Really mom?  Do you have to stand up?!"  ha ha ha.  I always get in to his games, but today was different.  Today's game took fight, determination, heart, a no-quit attitude and belief!  Even though we lost, I found myself being amazed by and so proud of those 5 boys.  There was no feeling of defeat, there was only a sense of "We did it!"  
Anyone who knows me, knows that I HATE losing.  Yes, even when it comes to my son's soccer games.  Losing is not fun.  You play to win.  You never play 'not to lose'.  Even with no "W" today, I couldn't have been more proud of Carson and his teammates for their performance.  I think I'll use today's game as an opportunity to teach Carson about heart and determination and how those things are more important than any physical skill.

Job well done Blue Ninjas!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You can't learn to ride a bike at a seminar

July 30th... Hunter vs 2-wheeler... HUNTER WINS

Brad took Hunter's training wheels off today and taught Hunter how to ride a bike.  It only took a couple falls and Brad holding on to the back of the bike a few times before Hunter was off on his own!  I'm constantly amazed at how fast these boys pick up on things.  They are definitely both athletes at heart!
This was the first attempt.  Hunter had to learn real quick that he couldn't look behind him otherwise he would crash :)

This next video is my favorite video.  Since he didn't get hurt, this was really funny :)

Hunter now thinks he is a pro BMX rider and does tricks all over the place.  He does wheelies, stands up on his seat, goes "no hands" and jumps the curbs. 
 Brad thinks we should get them both into BMX riding.  There is a BMX race track close so I think we will let them both try it out and see if they like it.

Parenting with a Purpose

Pastor James did a sermon today titled "Parenting on Purpose."  The message was to convey the WHY of parenting.  I've never thought of it that way.  WHY do we do what we do as parents?  The focus seems to have always been on WHAT we do as parents, not WHY we do what we do.  Just as with anything in life, if you put the focus on the WHY, the what shall follow.  I was really impacted by this message today.  I felt very convicted, enlightened and in a way, empowered.  As a teenager and young adult, James played a significant role in my life.  I have always looked to James as an example of parenting.  This message has set me in motion to really seek God in my parenting and I know there are many things I need to change in my approach... putting the focus on the WHY.
I want to document the outline, my notes and my thoughts from this message as a reminder for me when I get off track and one day it may help the boys as they become parents.

Parenting on Purpose!

1. To SHOW them God.
Eph. 6:1-4
1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right.  2. "Honor [esteem and value as precious] your father and mother" - which is the first commandment with a promise- 3. "so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."
4. Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment]; instead, rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
-We are God's image bearers.  We are to be the "image of God" to our children.  They're watching!  Be an example!  God has challenged us to be the light to the world - start with your children!

2. To be the DOORKEEPER of the home.
Gen. 1:27-28
27. So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.  28. And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.
-We are God's guardians.  When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them dominion over every living thing.  They were the doorkeepers to the Garden of Eden.  They allowed satan in and we are feeling the affects of that 6,000 years later.  YOU are the doorkeepers of your home.  You are in control of what and who comes in your house.  GUARD IT!  Don't worry about being politically correct with your children!  Forget about this "they need privacy" crap.  Of course, you respect them.  However, it is important you teach them, SHOW them, that the best life lived is a life of transparency!  Teach them how important it is to live in the LIGHT.  YOU decide who their friends are.  If there are people in their lives that threaten their relationship with the Lord, or taking them down the wrong track... do something about it.  Do you have family members that aren't good for your children to be around?  Be careful what influence you allow them to have in your children's lives!  (This one hit home for me.)  If you are making decisions as a parent based on what you think is politically correct, then you are missing the WHY of parenting!  It's more important to me that they have the right influences in their lives than it is to be "polite" to a friend or family member that are a bad influence on them.

3. To LEAD the way.
Prov. 22:6
6. Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.
-We are God's trailblazers.  If we are to train up a child in the way that he should go, then we have to know what the way is, right?!  As parents, we have to lead by example.  "Lecture isn't the way to teach them, example is how to show them." - This is so true.  I can't count how many times I have told the boys to do something until I am blue in the face and they still don't do it.  I just tell tell tell tell.  This doesn't work with kids.  Yes, we need to give them instruction.  However, with that instruction needs to be living example.  Eph. 6:4 from above says that we should take our children by the hand and guide them, not provoke them.  This really convicted me because I know very well that my biggest flaw as a parent is how much I yell at my kids.  I get so frustrated that they aren't doing as I want or ask, that instead of taking them by the hand and explaining and disciplining in love, I hand down consequences out of anger.  It is so important that we discipline in love, not anger.  If you spank your children out of anger, then they only learn "don't piss off mom and dad".  They aren't connecting the consequence with their actions.  If you calm down and come back to the situation and spank them out of love and directed to the action, they connect the two together.

The way they should go is the way God intended them to go, not the way you want them to go so you can live vicariously through them.  Don't try to form them into a round peg and force them into a square hole.  God has made us all unique.  Allow them to be the individual God created them to be.  Foster their creativity and individuality.  Speak to their potential!

4. To PREPARE them for the future.

-God allows us to fail in life and we learn from it!!  Don't put your children in a bubble from the real world.  You are doing them a dis-service and in no way preparing them for the future.  Kids need to know consequences!  Don't walk around protecting your children from the necessary consequences of their actions. And don't feel like you have to discipline your kids a certain way just to "look good" in front of others.  God was/is the PERFECT parent and his kids still rebelled :)
-Teach them how to respect authority.  A quote comes to mind; "You treat him like a gentlemen.  Not because he is, but because you are!" -Ed Sabol
Just because there are imperfections in authority, doesn't mean you get to forget that God said, "Honor Authority"!!!!!  You should never allow your kids to bad-mouth their teachers.  If there is something that needs to be addressed with the teacher, do so, but make sure your kids know they are NOT allowed to bad mouth or disrespect their teacher/authority figure.
-We are God's Partner.  God is our partner in this!  Phew.  Take refuge in the Lord.  You are not alone in this! Parenting is an enormous challenge.  But it comes with GREAT reward!!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Back to school 2011

Since we moved this summer, both boys are starting at new schools this fall.  Hunter is going to Sunshine Square Preschool for pre-kindergarten and Carson is starting 2nd grade at Elk Meadows Elementary.

Hunter started preschool 2 weeks before Carson's school year began.  This was really tough for Hunter because he knew Carson was going back home and got to play, while Hunter was at school.  The first 2 weeks Hunter cried when I dropped him off.  As soon as Carson started his school year, Hunter no longer cried when I dropped him off.  His teacher is Miss Gina and she is so cute with them!  He is learning a lot already.  He is SO inquisitive.  He asks so many questions, always wants you to give him math problems to solve.... really the kid is never quiet :)  He wants to know why thinks work the way they do, why things are the way they are.  

Just as I suspected, Carson made lots of friends the first day of school.  Everyday he says "school was AWESOME today!"  His teacher is Mrs. Douglass.  I've only met her once so far but she seems super nice.  The Principle of the school has decided to implement Steven Covey's "7 habits" into the curriculum this year.  During the summer, all the teachers were required to read the book and each grade level has their own way of implementing the "7 habits" into their learning everyday.  The other day I was having a conversation with Carson and he made the comment "hey, that's beginning with the end in mind!"  Yesterday he was arguing with me, trying to talk me into something I had already said no about.  I said "stop negotiating with me" - he very quickly replied with "Hey, I'm just trying to find a win-win!" LOVE IT. 

For reference sake, here are the 7 habits;

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'll start here...

It's hard to know where to start with this whole "blogging" mania.  I have decided this is probably the best way for me to "document" this thing we call life.   I remember very little of my childhood so I would love to have a way for the boys to look back as adults and laugh, cry and discover memories from their childhood.  
The feeling of "life is zipping by" has been nagging me lately.  I can't believe Hunter is 4 1/2, Carson is just 2 weeks away from his 8th birthday and Brad and I will be celebrating 8 years of marriage next month... that means we've known each other for 10 years now.  On one hand, it seems as though SO much has happened and SO much time has passed in the last 10 years since my life changed forever and I met Brad... yet on the other hand, it feels like just yesterday. 

I am so incredibly blessed to have Brad as my partner for life in this craziness.  He keeps me grounded, lightens me up when I get too serious, and makes me excited about our future.
The boys have each developed such different personalities.  Though similar in many ways, they are night and day different in others.  

Carson is my mini-me!  The apple sure doesn't fall far from the tree!  Typically if he is doing something that just completely irritates me, it's something straight from my own personality!  I think God does this on purpose :)
Carson has such a tender heart.  He is an incredible big brother to Hunter!  He is confident (often times cocky :), athletic, competitive, active (gets bored very easily... has to be kept entertained constantly), loves being with other people, makes friends with everyone, sensitive, a bit of a drama king, needs love and affirmations, caring, adorable, passionate, a master negotiator (yes, already at 8yo), a pro-soccer player in the making, loves Jesus, loves dance music, HATES pink, LOVES blue, he is 110% boy, wants to be the center of attention, has such a heart for people, doesn't like to snuggle with me... not a touchy-feely person, impatient (just like mom), extremely smart, an amazing reader (always above grade level), likes science and anything sports... not too interested in the other subjects, a great motivator, a leader!  
Carson is CARSON and I am so incredibly thankful the Lord made him who he is.  Carson makes me want to be a better person.  I admire the depth of his love for people.

Hunter is Brad's mini-me!  Seriously, sometimes I look at Hunter and feel like God is giving me a glimpse of what Brad was like as a child.  He is SOOO much like his dad!  Although he is Brad's little mini-me, he is definitely a momma's boy!  I can get Hunter to sit and snuggle with me forever.  He loves having his back tickled at bed-time.  If he has been lying in bed for awhile and not going to sleep, all I have to do is go tickle his back for a minute and he falls right to sleep.  Hunter is a thinker!  He will sit and build legos, match up cards, make patterns, line up matchbox cars, etc for hours.  He is shy and pretty reserved.  Hunter is quite the little dancer - he loves to "shake his booty."  He is sweet, loving, tender, tough, thick-skinned, daring, no fear, will try almost anything, athletic, quick, stubborn, loves red (just like dad), hates shoes, loves flip-flops, hates pants, loves shorts, can't play a sport w/o sticking his tongue out (again... just like dad), so smart, LOVES being with Carson, is incredible on his bike (scares mom a lot), very patient, calm, happy, bubbly, a lover for sure!
Hunter is HUNTER and the Lord made him for a great purpose.  He fills my heart with more joy and love than you can imagine.
It's awe-striking sometimes to watch these boys grow and mature and become like clay in God's hands as he molds them to be the men of God he has created them to be.  It's a little weird to think that I have an (almost) 8 year old and a 4 year old.  Where has time gone?  I have so many flaws as a mom, kids bring out the best and the worst in you :)  I strive to be a loving, involved, disciplined, God-fearing, supportive, caring mom for these boys.  
I love these 3 "boys" that God has given to me more than life itself.  God is so good, he has given me the ability to love in a way I never thought possible.