Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another Getaway

 John and I just spent this past weekend AWAY from our schedules, church callings, cell phones and computers, appointments, kids, work, etc. . . We enjoyed 48 hours (Thursday evening through Saturday evening) focusing on each other.  We enjoyed hiking Camelback Mountain, watching a movie, shopping, going on walks, swimming, eating out, relaxing, and just being together.

Here's our view from the top.  Beautiful, except for the nasty "brown cloud" that settled around the Phoenix area.  This picture doesn't do it justice.

One of the things we enjoy doing on our getaways is to discuss "Start, Stop, Continue".  John learned this concept in a Scout Training.  As parents, then again as husband and wife, we talk about one thing that we should start doing, one thing we need to stop doing, and one thing we should continue doing in order to strengthen our family and our marriage.  We share positive criticism, we try to be open and humble in accepting criticism, and we always end up having some great discussions that are uplifting and motivating.

As we pulled up to the house, we both agreed that we didn't want to go inside. We wanted to go back and enjoy more time together, alone. Having uninterrupted time with John is so refreshing, like a breath of fresh air for me.

We're best friends--we laugh together, we enjoy playing games and talking about things.  We understand each other.  Being around him uplifts me and motivates me to be better in all my responsibilities. 

Those responsibilities were calling , and we needed to get back to our family.  Back to the grind of daily living.  Until next time. . .

I am a lucky lady to have him by my side. 

Update on Mason

He didn't win the student council election for Vice President.  His response was, "I knew all the popular kids would win."  But he seemed cool with that, not too flustered.  He admires the girl who won his position. 

I remember loosing my 6th grade student council election as well, for secretary.  It was a big fat bummer, and I felt pretty lousy for a few days afterwards. 

But life goes on, we learn and grow, we forget, and we move on too.  I somehow survived that loss, and I think because of it, I was able to be a little more empathetic towards Mason.

I told him that he was my most favorite, most popular 6th grader in the whole world and that he'd have my vote for sure. 

We've talked to our kids about being a good winner, a bad winner, a good looser, and a bad looser.  Mason's character is definitely shining through as a bad looser.  We're proud of him, even though he's not one of the "popular" kids around school. He's good, he's kind, and he tries to always choose the right.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mason-student council elections

Mason is a good boy.  He's kind, very thoughtful, and really easy-going.   He's not one to draw attention to himself, and usually seems content to sit in the shadows, to listen and not talk, to quietly observe instead of being center of attention. 

Mason also has an older brother, just shy of 15 months older, who is a strong leader, very creative, very bright/smart/inquisitive, loves to share details, loves to talk, talk, talk. . .

So all of Mason's growing-up years, he has been in Taylor's shadow.  I'm not sure if he (or Taylor, for that matter) would agree.  But as parents, John and I have both been a little concerned.  We want Mason to feel comfortable with his own group of friends instead of just tagging along with Taylor's friends.  We want Mason to lead out with his own strengths instead of always watching his older brother do the same.  We want Mason to feel comfortable in his own skin, to enjoy who he is and to feel confident with his abilities.  This has been our focus this past year.

Before school started, we visited with each of the children and helped them set personal goals.  We talked about their weaknesses, their strengths, their accomplishments, and their dreams.  It was a great experience.
In our visit with Mason, he admitted that he wasn't comfortable bringing home his own friends in his own grade; he was more comfortable just hanging out with his brother.  He admitted that meeting new people was hard for him.  He recognized this as a weakness and set a few goals to overcome these uncomfortable feelings, one of which was to run for student council.

And he did it!  He gave his 2-minute speech today in front of all the 3-6th graders.  He ran for Vice president against 8 other students.  We don't know the results yet, but regardless of the outcome, John and I are so proud of him to just have the courage to do it.

 I love that Mason's Sunday pants are a tad too short. . . and what I love even more is that Mason is completely oblivious about it.  Growing like a weed.

We practiced with him about looking out at the audience, talking slowly and loudly and clearly, using hand motions to engage the audience, emphasizing certain words that have deep meaning. . . He did a great job and felt good about his efforts.

Mason wanted to be on the jr. high X-country team this year.  Taylor wanted to be on the jr. high football team.  My first thought was this: in order to simplify our lives and cut down on the number of extra activities, just have the boys decide on one sport to play together.  Either football or x-country.  They can do it together, and we only have one game to attend each week.

But that thought didn't last long.  Mason needs to be doing his own things, involved in his own interests.  And I love that he is LOVING x-country.  Maybe because running has always been one of my favorite hobbies.  It's fun for me to watch him develop his own talents and interests.  And he's pretty fast too!

So with Taylor doing football and Mason doing x-country, that means 6 separate practices each week and 2 football games and 1 race each week. Our schedules are a little fuller, but my boys are developing into their own individuals.

At the same hand, I love that they still have each other.  They still share the same room and stay up late talking about boy stuff, "girl" stuff, and school stuff.  They are each others best friends, and I wouldn't have it any other way.