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.