Category Archives: raising boys

talking, listening & short shorts…

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I talk a lot.  Sometimes I actually get tired of talking.  I’ve gotten better over the years, and have learned what conviction is, although sometimes it’s a little too late.  That’s the problem with us folks of many words.  The more you speak the more opportunity you have to say things that you probably shouldn’t have.

I think the gift of talking, comes with the gift of listening.  The first can be self-serving and empty with out the second.  Believe it our not, even God pointed that out in His Word… (Pro 10:1912:1813:3 & James 1:19Matt 12:26-37 (ouch).  If you can listen, you can speak life or death, and even be quiet when necessary.  You can help people, or hurt them.  I can testify to this, from years of experience!  That’s why I think the two gifts go together.  God usually doesn’t give us something that we won’t have to work out, besides salvation.

A couple of months ago, at one of my son’s baseball games, I accidentally sat with the opposing teams parents.  The lady sitting next to me was pretty sweet, and we chatted all though the double header.  READ MORE


Youth Sports…

The Little League World Series has just ended and Fall baseball has begun here in the south.  Having 3 boys and an x-sports reporter husband, we know ALL about sports around here, and we participate in a few… but baseball is numero uno.

I will tell you that we have had our kids in recreational sports, travel leagues, and on school teams.  My husband has been a team manager, assistant coach, and spectator.  I have even subjected myself to the role of team mom, and, inadvertently learned how to keep a score book, which has resulted in a crippling dent to my sideline sociability.  We all have run score boards, sold BBQ tickets, candy and coupons, and we all have done our time sweating to death in a concession booth.

Recreational sports programs are a unique, cult like experience.  You have your super stars, and your not so super stars.  The jersey number is sacred, and you know who’s there by the decals on the windows of the mini vans and SUV’s in the parking lot.. There’s plenty of nepotism and partiality.  Every good ballpark has their share of screamers and cussers, as well as angry parents, and the down right, just plain bad, parents.  Over the years, we have been pretty blessed with some awesome families on our teams… for the most part.  I can tell you that many “player drafts” take the parents behavior and support into full consideration.  No one wants the “banned” or trouble parent, even if their kid is a pretty good player.

The other day, our team was delayed for our field time, because a player in the game before ours lost his temper over a tough call.  The player tried to hurt the umpire, then, once ejected from the game, and the park, his father hit him in the head which resulted in the boy returning the favor, but with his cleats – thus, the authorities were called.  Really?   We have seen players purposely trip, hit and push other players, to only be rewarded by their coach.  Once, we even witnessed 2 coaches that were on the same team, get into a full blown fist fight in the dugout… in front of about 22 ten year olds and their families.  I could write an entire blog just listing the awful behavior we have witnessed in the name of youth sports…

With all of that being said, having your children play recreational sports can be a very fun and rewarding experience.  Seriously.  Your kids can learn to be a team player and a friend. If your coach is good,  the players will understand the actual game that they are playing.  They may also realize that working hard can be fun, and they can hopefully learn to win with humbleness, and lose with dignity. Unfortunately though, the trend of prideful, out of control parents, kids, and coaches, is becoming more and more common.  That is not fun or rewarding …for anyone.

I think that athletes are prejudicially exalted these days – even the kids from the Little League World Series have Fan Pages! Really?  We were not created to be that elevated for a skill we may have, because it takes a lot more than skill to fulfill the responsibility of having Fans… it takes character. (don’t even get me started on the Pro Sports) 🙂

There are hundred’s of thousands of kids playing baseball all over the world today.  Less than 1% will actually make it to the big leagues.  With that in mind, lets put all of this into perspective… They are kids.  The shaping of their character is far more important than how far they can hit a ball with a bat.  Teach them to play, and give it their best, but let’s put sportsmanship first and skill second.  Remember, it’s just a GAME that begins when the umpire yells, “PLAY ball!” Really.


Yep… I’m a home-school mom… Part 1

I haven’t always been.  My oldest son went through public school, and then he even went to a boarding school… My second son went through public school until the 7th grade…then we home-schooled through 12th.  My daughter was in public through 5th, then home, then back to public for 9th through 12th…and then our youngest… he has been in public, private and home…  I have been room-mom, PTA officer, substitute teacher and tutor.  I’ve home-schooled with the help of a couple **home-school “schools” and I’ve created a curriculum all by myself… I like to think I am well rounded in the area of educational options.

I used to think that home-schoolers were “weird”.  At the least, they were crazy!  I always thought I would end up in prison for beating my children if I ever even tried it… I was one of those moms that counted down summer vacation and never, ever thought to challenge a teacher, a specialist or a curriculum…

My second child had always struggled in school.  He had all of the extra help the public schools could provide.  He even spent every summer in summer school.  By 6th grade he had figured out how to divert the attention from his lack of understanding by becoming the class clown.  He was popular with the kids, but no so much with the teachers.  He technically failed 6th grade, but, against our wishes, was placed in 7th grade.  Things got worse.  After 1st semester progress reports, I knew we had to do something drastic.  After extensive independent testing, we found out that after all of his education, our son was on a 4th grade level…but in the 7th grade.  How did this happen?  We had to do something, and quick.

We found out that he has Dyslexia.  His reading skills were minimal, and he had mastered the art of diversion.  We got him a tutor that specialized in dyslexia, and the Wilson Program, and then we enrolled him in a home-school “school” that focused on the children’s hearts and their spirits.  With the specialized focus, and lots of one on one teaching, he was on grade level in just over a year.

We opted to continue  home schooling through his high school years.  We enrolled him in The American School, which is an established correspondence school.  We were able to continue using the dyslexia tutor and exercises, as well as one on one lessons and group activities.  He received his diploma with a 3.4 GPA in just under 4 years.  It was not always easy, but when your routine changes, everything changes, including attitudes.

So, my motivation for home-schooling, began out of desperation to help my son, who had slipped though the cracks of the public school system.  They did their best, and it just wasn’t good enough, and that’s OK.  It’s not their responsibility anyway.  It’s mine.  Parents know their kids better than anyone, or at least, they should.  It’s the parents job to be the advocate for their kids, to make sure they are getting the services they need, even if that means to be in a different environment all together.  It might not be easy, but it will be worth it.  Really.

So, that is how I started… it’s not really why I still do it though….

stay tuned for part 2…

** A home-school “school” is a program that offers classroom teaching, with pre-packaged curriculum.  Most of these schools offer classes once a week in a block schedule.  The assignments are completed at home, with the help of the parents, then turned back in to the class teacher the following week.


Boys…

My home was bubbling over with testosterone this past weekend.  It normally has high levels, with my husband, 20 year old, and 13 year old, but I usually have my daughter around to even the atmosphere a bit.  This weekend though, my daughter was gone, and my eldest son was in town for a visit.  It was 4 to 1…

For those of you with boys, I’m sure you can smile in the familiarity of what the day was like.  But for everyone else, I will give you a top ten of how you know when you have 4 “man-children” in the house…

10.You hear random rowdy booms and bangs…then silence.

9. A full gallon of milk will dissipate within 10 hours.

8. The aroma of sweat will linger…

7. The aroma of cologne will linger. (this is not better…just different)

6. The reverberation and fragrance of bodily functions will be frequent… followed by laughter and hitting.

5. There will be many challenges and competitions…ping pong, foosballl, golf, darts, spit, bodily functions (yes, this gets a double mention)… just about anything.

4. WRESTLING, WRESTLING, WRESTLING.

3.The television will continually find it’s way to ESPN, no matter how many times you try to switch to TLC…

2. You will prepare an abundance of food, and you won’t have leftovers…

1. You will bask in the blessing of the “mom hugs” from your young men, that are now bigger than you, and you will love every minute of it.

Do you have a house of boys?  What’s your favorite part?