5 Boys (Men) = Very Blessed Me
Last year (2013) I put together a Father's Day Video for Rick. I loved hearing what my boys loved about their dad. I am very blessed to have an amazing husband and 4 boys that love me, protect me, want me to be with them, support me and the list goes on. I thought I would share this video to show what a lucky girl I am. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Several years ago I learned some pretty valuable lessons from owning a business. One of the things that I learned through one of the toughest things I thought I could go through was there is always an answer and to never claim defeat. Basically the sun will come out another day - in fact it could come out within a few minutes if I just hang on. There is always an answer, I just might not see it right then, and more than likely it is something better. That the Lord has a much greater plan than I have or can see.
We have faced some tough things over the years, but with the lessons I learned years ago I have been able to find the good and stay pretty optimistic.
A few weeks ago it seemed like there was one thing after another that was beating me down. Each thing by itself was small, but together I just couldn't take it anymore. I was frustrated that I was allowing others to waste my time. I was even more frustrated that there were individuals who didn't respect those that were helping me with there time. It just felt like every where I turned there were problems, complaints, lack of support and wasted time.
With all of the different things I do and positions I hold there are several different areas of my life that I have to ask people to sacrifice their time to help make a difference. I take that very serious. I never want to waste their time or my time. The things I am a part of and the things I ask others to be a part of I want to make a difference and be things that are for the good of others and the students at the schools I volunteer at.
I let it all get to me. I accepted defeat. I honestly couldn't bring myself to deal with anything that had to do with these areas of my life. I figured I would take a break from these things in the one area of my life and it would get better. Then as the days wore on I found myself feeling defeated in my home. I was having anxiety to make phone calls or even cope with the daily things. It's now been a couple of weeks and I found myself pretty much giving up on daily things all week. I found that more things were falling apart and the things that I half heartedly did came out half way - not very successful. I wasted time and found depression setting in. I have found myself feeling like I can't make a difference. I started thinking things like: "I will just let others make a difference. Maybe I should quit everything - time for a different direction." I haven't really been as connected with my children as I normally am. I have gone to bed earlier (which isn't a bad thing) and felt sadness - loss.
Yesterday I kindof hit rock bottom. I found myself seeing all of the negative and not seeing much positive. I felt withdrawn and didn't feel well. I found that nothing was really good in my life. Things that I had been able to easily deal with before I couldn't even think about.
I got up this morning and decided it was time to get back on the horse. I started the day out being much more productive. Then my Visiting Teacher came over and we visited. When I scheduled with her I had said the visit couldn't be long. I didn't tell her this, but I wasn't feeling up to a visit. We ended up visiting for an easy hour and it was so good.
Then she shared the visiting teaching message. I don't remember all of the quotes or the scripture she shared, but what she shared in summarizing the message was: We all get hungry. When we get hungry we eat. If we don't eat then we get weaker and can get sick, because our body needs nourishment. It is the same for our spirit. Our spirits get hungry and they need to be fed. I believe that is done by scripture study, prayers, attending church, friendships, not easily being offended, having goals and visions and dreams, allowing our visiting teachers to come over and being a happy people. The Lord wants us to be happy. He wants what is best for us.
Defeat is not what is best for us. I haven't been happy and I love being happy, seeing the good and helping others. It's amazing to me how things from a few weeks ago festered in my life to where I let it effect everything in my life. I didn't realize it when I let it start. When I was mad and giving up on things I didn't realize a couple of weeks down the road my life would be so unhappy and I would be disconnected from so many other things.
There are challenges. There are times we are "beat up". We might have ideas that others think are crazy or don't support. We might appear strong so everyone feels like you can take the heat for everything. That a few mean words won't hurt you because you are so strong. There will be times that someone will not do what they said they would and it can effect the outcome of what you are trying to do. There will be times that our efforts are wasted and time is spent that didn't need to spent on things. There will be disappointments. Things that cause us to be sad.
At some point or another these things will happen in our lives. We have to decide if we accept defeat or we battle back for the better. Do we keep on going and trying to succeed until we see success? That is what will truly bring happiness.
One of my favorite video clips from when I was a teenager was Karate Kid at the end when he is beat up, mocked and in a way could be easily defeated, but he battled back. Here is that clip:
In looking up defeat on You Tube I also found this video clip and I liked it and thought I would share it. It has some powerful examples of failure, defeat and success.
Be The One. . .To Be Inclusive
This is my 5th Year being involved at the Junior High. This year I am the PTSA President at the Junior High and about a year ago I had this vision and didn't want it to die. In fact, I felt it was so important that I was willing to quit doing everything else I was doing to bring this vision to fruition. I wanted to help students see that they all have value. I wanted them to strengthen others. Basically give them positive things to enjoy during their teenage years. I didn't want an anti-bullying program that focused on things that were negative.
As I was brainstorming ideas and feeling that something would come together this video came out:
I fell in love with this video and the power of words. Over the summer I talked to friends at the baseball field and asked what they felt their children needed. Then the suggestion was made to go with a logo of "Be the One." From there the ideas grew. I decided to go with different monthly themes to go with Be the One. September was to Be the One to Make a Difference and October is Be the One to Be Inclusive.
I was quickly realizing that I didn't have time to make things happen the way I wanted them to go, but I was so grateful that a friend of mine caught the vision and took it even further than I envisioned.
She is now doing activities each Wednesday during e-time that focus on that monthly theme. We just started, but it is catching on and the students are enjoying it.
Today my son came home and told me that during e-time he saw some awesome video clips. He was so excited to show me one of the videos and my boys have played it over and over again. My 4th grader wanted me to share it with his teacher so she could show her class.
This is what I wanted to have happen. I wanted students to catch the vision and share it and spread it to their friends. I truly don't know how many students will be changed with the program, but if we can have an impact on one student we have succeeded.
Here is the video he is so excited about:
I can't thank those that have grabbed my vision and helped it come to fruition enough. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such great people who support my sometimes "crazy" visions. We can be much more successful when we include others in our lives to help make a difference.
I hope that that all of us can take the challenge to BE THE ONE!!! Be the one to make a difference in someone's life each and every day. It can be as simple as a smile or holding a door open for someone or making a call to a friend or family member, etc. Encourage your children to each Be the One each day.
This blogging thing hasn't been very easy for me. I am not really good at putting myself out there. I can post the surface things, happy things about my kids, but it is really hard to let people into who I really am and the things I truly feel.
As I have been blogging I have felt that I should share a little more about me. If I was a betting woman I would place a lot of money that my friends and those that I serve with in different capacities would say they perceive me as a very confident person. In fact, I have had many ask me how I have it all together. I am known to smile a lot and strive to be positive and happy.
I am happy and enjoy what I do, but I am definitely not confident. I have to push through my fears daily to get out and be among people.
There are several reasons for this, but today as I was listening to the radio and the Colbie Caillet song "TRY" came on the radio. I couldn't help but feel emotional. This song gets me every time.
My kids can attest to this, but I don't leave my bedroom without showering and being ready for the day. I feel very self conscious about having my make up and hair done for anyone or anything. This habit started about 30 years ago.
Back when I was around 12 years old there was a neighbor boy that hung out around my family a lot. We all hung out together. My brother brought home a note one day from him that let me know that I was ugly, that I stunk and that I shouldn't leave my room until I had my makeup on and hair done. That was really hard for me to take. Those words have stuck with me.
When I was 12 I started doing this because of the note and I wanted to be accepted, but now it is just a habit. My habit doesn't have to do with not feeling loved or that I have to do this, but it is something that helps me feel more confident each day.
I can guarantee that this neighbor boy doesn't remember writing this note. He probably wrote it as a joke or something really quick with no thought, but it has stuck with me. In fact, I still occasionally see this neighbor boy who is now a dad and has children of his own. We are friends and I have no problems with him at all. I don't hold it against him.
I share this because whether we are adults raising a family, hit the empty nester years, teenagers or children we need to always think about how we treat people. We don't know what others are going through and how something that seems so small to us could be so big to them. We have the opportunity to make a positive difference in everyone's life that we come in contact with. Not only should we not say something negative, we should take the opportunity to give a compliment, let people know we love and appreciate them or give them words of encouragement.
We all have faults and weaknesses and we all have strengths and talents. Take the opportunity to help others build on those strengths and talents. It will make a difference in our lives and theirs. It's much better to have positive words have a lasting impact than negative.
LOVE this video. Probably one of my favorites, as it has had a great impact on my life.
There is only one thing about October / November that I struggle with - Politics. With all of the political posts, debates, commercials, etc. it seems like people feel that there is something to gain by being mean, negative and on the attack. I am sure you all know what I am talking about. This year seems to really have some "hot" issues that people are really being vocal about.
The other day I was watching a debate on TV. I can't remember who it was, because the candidates are not on the ballot in my area, but I found it very interesting. They were asked the hard questions and they both answered the questions with passion and evidence of their knowledge. There were some questions that they agreed on and they were not afraid to acknowledge that. When they didn't agree on a topic they didn't attack each other, but answered the question with what they believed. At the end of the debate they thanked each other and I truly believe they meant it.
Most of the time I would say that at the end of a debate they say thank you, but don't mean it. Why would I say that? Because in most debates they are attacking each other. They are out to prove why the other person is wrong and they are right. Honestly, most of the debate is spent on proving the other person wrong than getting across what their platform is. By the end of the debate I don't know anymore than I knew at the beginning of it, besides they don't have respect for people.
About a year and a half ago I went to a district meeting where the room was packed with people. Standing room, packed against the wall, was all that was available. There were lots of people there that opposed what was being talked about. I didn't mind that they opposed the subject, but I did mind how all of these adults acted. They didn't wait for the presenter to finish their sentence or their presentation with a promise to stay and answer questions until every question was answered. Instead, they stood and yelled, called names, cheered each other on and honestly I thought a riot was about to start. I only stayed for about half of the meeting, because it was really upsetting to me that these adults felt that this behavior was alright. I honestly don't think anything was accomplished in this meeting for either side.
This year we have many tight races, the common core issue at hand and in Pleasant Grove we have the bond. With all of these things around me I am seeing lots of posts attacking people. Not the issues at hand, but people. Instead of only the facts and each side presenting what they stand for they are digging up dirt, throwing people under the bus and becoming very argumentative.
I am very educated on the issues at hand. I have sat in plenty of meetings and done my own research. I do listen and read both sides, but as soon as a side attacks or makes things negative and bashing I quit reading. Are these the people I want to represent me long term? Do I believe they really have the peoples interest at hand or just their own agenda? If they handle the debates, facebook and commercials in this manner under heat, trying to get elected, how will they be once elected? It's kindof that whole "honeymoon" stage. We should be seeing the best in people before election.
Plus, those that use scare tactics, why? Why do we want to create fear in people? I don't believe anything good comes from fear. Why do we want to create a divide in a community? Why do we intentionally put things out there that will hurt and have a lasting impact on a community past the vote? Why create a divide? That doesn't benefit anyone.
So, for me "JUST THE FACTS PLEASE." Let's work together and strive to make a positive difference.
For those that know me, I am never vocal on politics in a public manner. It has taken a lot for me to write this post, because I want everyone to play nice and don't want to be a part of the negativity that comes with politics. I will ask questions, do the research and even speak with people in a small setting, but I won't engage in the negative bashing on Facebook, in any kind of setting. I believe that in politics points can be made and facts laid out for me in a neutral - positive setting to make an educated decision. I am happy to answer questions as I understand them and I make sure I vote so that my voice is heard. My vote does count and it's important for others to recognize that too.
Years ago we had gotten down to the last few days of Summer. Both Rick and I had worked all Summer and I was getting ready to start a school year as PTA President and had spent a lot of time gearing up for that. My kids had been with babysitters quite a bit the first couple of weeks of August. My oldest was around 6 - 7 years old and a couple more that were younger. We had spent a lot of time at home and hadn't gone out and done much as a family. When I was home I was on the phone or focused on other things. I was thinking about all of the other people who had taken these great vacations, done lots of Utah activities and were talking about their FANTASTIC summer. I felt panicked that my children would have terrible memories of their summer. I thought about the first few days of school when they are asked to tell about a highlight from their summer and they would have nothing. I tried to cram in as much as I could in those few days with little money. After a couple of days my boys told me they just wanted to hang out at home. They didn't want to go anywhere. They just wanted to spend time at home and time with me.
My oldest is now 17 and I still think about the lesson I learned that day. My boys didn't need to go, go, go and be places, but they just needed quality time WITH me. They didn't need the big vacations or for me to spend a lot of money to make great memories.
On Wednesday evening we were at Flag Football games and while visiting with parent's I found many talking about their vacations over Fall Break. It seemed like everyone had something "great" planned. We had hoped to take a vacation over Fall Break, but things didn't work out. I found myself feeling more and more guilty that we didn't find a way to do something "great." I started feeling like I needed to come up with something quick that would be GREAT! Where could we go, what could we do, what would make this weekend the most memorable? How could I come up with some extra money to do these things? Could Rick get some time off to make this happen? Is that the best use of our time? I went to bed on Wednesday night feeling worried about Fall Break.
Then Thursday morning at 3:30 a.m. came around and it was time for my 2 oldest to go to the Temple. Then the call comes at 6:30 a.m. asking if they could hang out with different friends. Rick heads to work and the boys ask if they can go eat lunch with their dad at work. It's a HIGHLIGHT every holiday break. We get $10 of Little Caesar's Pizza and go to the cafeteria area where they have a Ping Pong Table and a fountain drink machine where the boys can get a drink. After Ping Pong Tournaments they get a treat from the cupboard and the lunchtime is over. You would think the boys struck gold doing this. Their dad plays ping pong with them. My oldest wanted to still hang out with friends and came home at 10:00 p.m. after a GREAT day!
The rest of us went to the PG Girls Soccer State Tournament Game after lunch with dad. Had fun cheering them on, which my niece is the team. They loved being outside, being with family, having dad with us and cheering on PG.
After the game we decided to stop by the Curiosity Museum (have a family pass) with a couple of cousins and let them play until it closed - we had 1 1/2 hours. The day came to an end and it was GREAT!!!
Today the boys wanted to play with friends and get their rooms cleaned. We were trying to figure out something "GREAT" and realized the boys don't need the big things, but "TIME" with those they care about and love. Whether it is friends or family it's all about "TIME". That's what actually makes the memories.
Sometimes we get so busy putting our children in things, helping them build their talents, hoping to make great memories and thinking that they need to do all of these things because they only pass this way one time or we are running out of time to make these "GREAT" memories that we forget it is in the simple things that memories can be made. Just like adults, kids want down time. They want time to just be home and read a book, play on the computer, play a board game, spend time with their siblings or just take a nap. These things are good - and can even be GREAT!!!
When I think about my childhood I don't really remember all of the places we went or all of the programs my parent's spent money on putting me in because that seemed important at that time, but I remember the things we did together. I remember the feelings I had, the time I spent with my siblings or just sitting up late at night playing Dr. Mario with my mom and talking about my day. I remember the time working at my dad's office, because of the time we had together. I don't necessarily remember the day to day work, but the time we talked, had lunch together or just his phone calls into the office when he was out on a job.
I believe my parent's got it right: they taught us to work hard (didn't like the hard work at the time) and celebrate after the hard work with homemade ice cream or homemade rootbeer. We played board games together and went outside for a walk around the neighborhood or a fun kickball game.
Don't get me wrong, they took us on tons of vacations. Hawaii, Disneyland, Bear Lake, etc. They just didn't make that their total focus to help us enjoy the day to day life or school breaks.
It's important for all of us to remember the "GREAT" things in life can be simple things and it's more about the TIME.
This song "Blessings" by Laura Story is a song that has truly connected with my life. As I look back over the last few years of my life and think of the greatest lessons I have learned have come from the hardest times (unemployment, Brayden's head injury - Primary Children's Hospital, my dad's cardiac arrest, my health - surgery, etc). I am so grateful that through those hard times I have the power of prayer, scriptures, priesthood blessings, fasting, partaking of the sacrament each week, attending the temple, General Conference and family and friends. It's through these things that I find answers to my prayers to help me get to the next step and know that the Lord is very aware of me and my family. He wants the best for all of us and I know that through each of these challenges greater things have come and I am stronger for going through them. I love the gospel and know that there is great peace and happiness to be found in this life.
What is your Motivation?
Every day we have choices to make and with each of those choices comes a certain level of motivation. We have to decide when and how motivated we are to get out of bed when the alarm goes off or if we hit the snooze button for a little more rest. Our children can go to school with a high level of motivation to learn and enjoy the day or leave dragging their feet not happy that they have to go to school.
Depending on the level of motivation we have with each decision = the level of success we will have.
Dragging feet to school = probably not learning all we can
Going to work excited for a new day = more work accomplished at a higher level and turns into a promotion, pay raise or even just security in a job
Getting out of bed looking forward to the day = seeing the good as the day goes on and probably more accomplished
These are just a few quick examples, but the biggest trick is figuring out what our motivation is. . .why do we do what we do? Do we enjoy what we are doing? Are we doing what we are doing for gain only? Are we doing it because we want to make a difference? Win or lose, are we motivated to be better and learn?
Our youngest, 9 years old, is intense. He is very passionate about everything he chooses to do. He loves math so he sits and makes up math problems and had times tables memorized by first grade. He LOVES reading and makes time each day to read. As he reads you can tell the emotion of the book by his sounds, actions and excitement in his face. He loves learning to play the piano so he practices a lot. He likes to go back to piano progressing further than what the teacher has asked of him.
One of his GREATEST passions is SPORTS. Whatever sport he is playing at the time, he goes outside and works at being better every single day. He expects himself to put forward his very best. He surrounds himself with people that have the same passion. Therefore, he finds himself winning a lot. A loss is extremely devastating to him. It is very unacceptable to him, because he does what he loves and is motivated to do better.
Over the years our boys have wanted to try out a Super League Baseball season, but we have not been sure this is what we wanted to do. Because of Tanner's motivation we gave in and decided to give it a try this Fall. Rick decided he would coach, because we weren't sure what the season would bring. Rick contacted the other coaches in the city league and got names of other boys that would enjoy doing a Fall Competitive League. He also got a few names off of the Fall League site and invited them to be on the team.
We now had a team of 12 boys that didn't all know each other, a coach that had never coached in this league, keeping costs down so going with a known team name instead of making up a team name (which no else in the league had done) and their first games cancelled due to rain. The next game was a tournament against teams that had played together for years with matching bags, helmets, etc. You get the idea. . .a Sandlot idea.
Needless to say, the tournament didn't turn out well for our team. It was pretty much a comedy of errors and the boys losing confidence that they could beat a team. It was a tough 4 games.
The next week the team won one of their games, but that is all that they have won all season. We had another tournament in Logan and it was similar to the first tournament, but our boys were making progress. The boys still hadn't gelled together like the other teams. Rick took advantage of the time in Logan and invited the boys and families to join together for dinner, a game of parents vs kids and then swimming at the pool. In the morning the families had breakfast together at 6:30 a.m. before heading to the field at 7:30 a.m.
The boys continued to show improvement, but two weeks ago at the end of the game the boys were totally discouraged, their actions on the field showed they had given up and the coaches sat on the bench and didn't know how to motivate them anymore. I got a text from Rick saying, "I give up. They just don't care. I can't help that."
At the end of the game the coaches weren't even sure if they were going to gather the boys and talk to them. It seemed like all hope was lost.
It was time to regroup. There were 6 games left and the boys have the talent to win, they just needed to find their motivation. The next week there were practices, but the Friday before games Rick decided to have a party with the team. It wasn't a party to celebrate the losses, but to revive their motivation. To figure out what motivates them and figure out why they all want to play and love about the game.
The whole team came and they started with dinner - pizza and celebrating one of their teammates birthday. There were two separate tables for them to sit at, but they all wanted to sit together so we slid the tables together. Then they went to playing with water balloons. Not the way you would envision. The boys lined up and Rick would throw "fly water balloons" and they had to catch them or get wet. Then he would throw a straight shot balloon from 1st to 3rd and the boys would need to catch them. They loved it! They were having fun, but learning baseball skills.
Then they went into a room with a big screen and watched a few different aspects of baseball. They watched Professional Baseball highlights. They loved it and were cheering loudly and commenting on how cool the plays were. Then Rick showed them bloopers. They were saying things like, "I can't believe they missed it" or "Why did they throw the ball to that base" or "We haven't made that mistake." Then Rick showed "You Make the Call." He would show a play and the boys had to say what the call should be. They had so much fun with all of the clips.
After all of those clips Rick had a heart to heart with the boys. He asked them what the difference was between the bloopers and the highlights. Why did some of the plays get caught and why did some miss the balls. The boys were answering things like, "They were paying attention" "They were fast" "They thought ahead" "They did their very best". There is a boy that hasn't been sure he wanted to be playing and even when asked whether he wanted to be at school or at the baseball field he would say he would rather be at school. He quietly raised his hand and waited for Rick to call on him. Rick called on him and he said, "They were having fun." He had smiled the whole evening and had a great time with the team.
We left that evening thinking the boys were feeling motivated to go out and win. We were excited for the next day to see how this motivational evening carried over into the games. Unfortunately, the rain came and the games were cancelled so we didn't get to see the effects of the party immediately.
Early this morning the boys had a double header. They all showed up with smiles on their faces and ready to play. They hit the ball better, they got the outs and had fewer errors. The feeling was positive and fun. They didn't win either game, but they scored points, hit the ball better, had fewer errors and had a great time.
They have found their motivation. Their "why" they play baseball. We might not always "win" with the things that we love and put our efforts towards, but if we know our "why" to be motivated we will have a desire to keep improving, learning, finding answers and solutions and keep pressing forward until we do "win."
It will mean so much more to us and our motivation will build momentum. We will find that the things we are successful at are things that are "fun."
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