Growth Mindset, It’s Never Too Late

  1. Carol Dweck’s growth Mindset Theory has changed my life. I know that sounds dramatic, but I was once known as a “glass half-empty” girl. In the face of many medical nightmares over the past few years , my fear could have become crippling. As much as we want our children to live with a growth mindset and believe in themselves, we as adults need to examine our own thinking patterns and be brave enough to face our fears. This theory is for us, too. It is never too late to …

1. try something new.

2. stop comparing ourselves to other people.

3. be genuinely happy when others have success.

4. challenge ourselves.

5. live in the moment.

6. enjoy the process of learning.

7. allow ourselves to make mistakes.

8. learn new strategies from our mistakes.

9. know the satisfaction of hard work.

10. believe that effort matters.

11. develop a “don’t quit” attitude.

12. and face difficult situations with grit and perseverance.

Lori Hockema and I wrote our children’s book, Not Yet, based on this theory. This video is a bit dramatic, too. However, I believe that it is never too late. We might not be there yet, but we’ll get there, you bet!

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My Grown Up Boy with His Little

Some would first notice his long hair. Some would first notice his thin frame and clothes not from a designer rack. What I see is that plaque under one arm that states “matched one whole year” and under the other arm that smiling little boy.

After meeting him and talking a bit, some would see a young man slow to launch still working two jobs, still in college. I see a boy who is figuring out life well, giving back before he has anything to give.

After talking to him for awhile some would see that he does not fit in with the main stream crowd and will probably not earn a six figure income some day, but who am I to Project? This kid has many hidden talents that he has not tapped into yet! What I do know is that I see a young man of compassion and commitment. I see a man building a relationship with a another future young man– a man who took the time when he didn’t have to take the time to get involved. He did it not for any merit for himself, but for another human being through the Big Brothers Program in Bloomington, Indiana.

I am a proud mama right now. To raise a son who has compassion for others — priceless! I love all three of my boys to pieces. First born, I am proud of you!

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Good Good Father

I gave a talk at a women’s retreat this weekend and we sang a song called Good Good Father. It is easy to know that your Father God is good when your Earthly father is nothing but kind and loving. I am thankful for and admire men who are the reflection of the Good Good Father– men who keep their vows and commitments, love their wives and children, pay their child support, keep their visitation dates with their kids……. but most of all who choose to follow the Good Good Father who created us all.

I have no excuse to be anything but kind and loving because of the love poured out to me by the men in my life.
An Uncle
A brother-in-law
A father-in-law
Family friends
And especially my husband and my own good good father.

I was surrounded by so many broken hearts this weekend– broken relationships. We are all broken people. What I learned was that fathers have the power to change the world, not perfect fathers, but fathers who are present in their children’s lives. Fathers who show up.

Mothers are so important. I am one. I know my role is important. It is so much easier for a girl to know she has worth when the father in her life treats her like a precious gem.

Thirty minutes before I gave my talk at this retreat, my precious mom whom I adore handed me a necklace from my father– an act of love that tells me I have worth. I am forever grateful for my earthly Good Good Father.

To all: you have a Good Good Father
He created you and loves you. You just have to believe it.

Psalm 139:13-14
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Thank you for my necklace, Dad! I love you!
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For Kim – How to Keep Your Goldfish Alive

A much anticipated Zionsville Indiana Community yearly event in September is what is known as the Fall Festival. With carnival rides, food venders, local merchant booths, parade, it is a celebration of early fall that for me was always another marker of the passing years with my boys. The rides, the cheap stuffed animal prizes, the elephant ears, were part of the experience, but, oh, to win a goldfish. When I read a Facebook post from a mom asking advice on how to keep a goldfish alive, I remembered Goldy and the many others. You may not want to read the rest of this because if you follow my simple instructions you will be a slave to your fall festival fishy for years. I can kill a plant in minutes, but give me a goldfish and I am cursed or blessed with a “gold thumb.” With all the carnival noises playing in the background I would cringe each time I saw that ping pong ball plop in that little fish bowl and think here we go again as we would leave the fall festival with kettle corn in one hand and and at least one fish being sloshed around in its temporary tiny house – plastic bag.
There were many casualties and toilet bowl funeral flushings over the years. Some just simply don’t survive the hardship of carnival life. Then there was Goldy lovingly adored by my oldest son for about 24 hours after the thrill of the win and painstakingly kept alive for 7 years by me because I cannot kill even a bug. Goldy would probably still be alive today if I hadn’t made the fatal mistake of filling the bowl up almost to the brim once. To my horror Goldy came to a tragic end when I walked in my son’s room to find him not monotonously swimming around in that bowl as usual but partially dried out gasping on the carpeted floor. I scooped him up and quickly rescued him to his watery home where he bravely fought and lived three more days. No tears were shed for Goldy, but my heart ached a little as I watched my middle school aged son run out the door and I alone flushed Goldy to heaven- another marker of time. That is what Goldy and the others were to me- markers of time raising three boys that passed too quickly. Yes, I know the secret to keeping a goldfish alive. My advice- stop reading here and go out and just get a puppy. But if you insist on knowing, here is the secret.

1. Get a plain wide mouthed bowl. No tank with filter. The key is the wide opening at the top.
2. Take an empty gallon milk jug and fill with tap water. Let that water sit with no lid on it for a week. Use that water to replace the old water. The key is to let the tap water sit open for a few days.
3. Change the water about weekly.
4. Remember to feed it.
5. When you go on vacation, there are these dissolving self feeders.
6. That’s it!

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Red Shoes

(This is a continuation of the post from 6/3/17 titled Meet Lorisa.)

They are Lorisa’s favorite– her red high top tennis shoes. You see them somewhere on almost every page of the book. When they are on her feet — always untied.
There is a the back story about red shoes. Lori’s oldest boy played little league baseball like many boys do when they are seven and eight years old, but you will not hear of his name in the MLB because it was soon discovered that his gift was numbers and baseball stats. He is a successful financial consultant today. Oh, but he did have a pair of coveted red baseball shoes that he passed down to my oldest boy two years younger. My oldest wore the flashy red shoes for one year of little league. He soon realized that baseball was not for him the day the coach had to yell out to him in the outfield “take the glove off your head!” Today he volunteers his attention and time to young kids through the Big Brother program who are also at times are being told “to take the glove off your head.”

Next, the red shoes were handed down to my middle child. They were actually a size too big and flopped on his feet the first year he wore them. However, the minute he put them on and a teammate said “cool,” it was like those shoes were magic. He wore them for the next two years until the rubber cleats were completely worn down. You will not find his name in the MLB either. He traded his passion for baseball for a career as a sales analyst. Lori and I share cherished stories of a little boy who looked up to his older brother and older family friend so much and insisted on wearing red shoes a size too big for him. He was even nicknamed “Red Shoes” for a few years.

So as you read the pages of NOT YET and see a cute little girl proudly wearing her high top tennis shoes, you now know the precious memories that Lori and I share of “red shoes.”

Why are Lorisa’s shoes always untied …… because “she’s not quite there yet. She’ll get there. You bet!”

NOT YET….. coming soon!

By:  Lisa Cox & Lori Hockema

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More Than Running Up the Score

 

img_5374.pngWhat can you say about a dad who has shown you such unconditional love all your life? How do you express your gratitude for a man who has pointed you to the way of faith by his leadership of his family? What can you do for a man who gives and gives and gives to his grandchildren, children, community? It’s hard to give him gifts because he is content with a simple pair of khaki pants, blue v-neck sweater, and always the brown leather loafers on his feet– a man of well-groomed, simple tastes.

My dad’s best attribute and funniest to share is his constant giving. He is a giver.

When my middle son was in 2nd Grade, the class went on a field trip to see The Nutcracker. My Tyler was intrigued by nutcrackers and asked for one at Christmas. I could not find a cheap one, so I asked my dad to look for one at a sale. My dad is a avid antique collector. Well, he found one. In fact, in line with how he does things, he found 40. Tyler got 40 nutcrackers for Christmas that year.

When I started co-writing music a few years ago, I asked him to look for a cheap guitar or piano keyboard. I got one. I got two. The girl with little musical sense who really only needs a pen and paper to co-write music, now owns 5 guitars, a mandolin, 2 keyboards, a French horn, a trombone, and an accordion that is bigger than me. I stopped him from buying the clarinet!

I could go on and on with these stories of giving that make me laugh and warm my heart. It’s how he loves us, and he does it well.

My dad grew up poor. I’ve heard the story countless times. “When I went to college, all I had with me was a paper sack on my lap with all I owned.” He had a passion and talent that got him to college. He could shoot the lights out of a basketball. And that is the life I have always known– basketball. From his college’s Hall of Fame and All Century Team to To His induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach, my dad found his way “running up the score.”

However, that’s not my dad. He may be a fierce competitor on the court, but off the court you will see a gentle man walking a little fluff white dog that he adores. His love for animals is a part of his charm.

So, in the only way I know how to express my love for my dad, “Dad, here are your song lyrics. You have taught me that life is ‘more Than Running Up the score!'”

More Than Running Up the Score

V1
Old rusted hoop Nailed to a pole
In a dirt backyard court so long ago
hours rehearsing for that final scene
The last second shot that goes in clean
He battles the neighbors living next door
Bring it shooting hoops 4 on 4
This is how he thought life would be
Always Fighting for victory

V2
Teenage years brought lots of praise
In College his records still stand today
he coached his own high school team for years
Each Friday night the crowd went wild with cheers
the trophies came and the small town fame
Everybody knew his name
But he found victory in a different place
Through the years relied on grace

V3
On Sundays he hears the church bells ring
The hymns of old he loves to sing
Faith is the victory he was searching for
So much more than running up the score

Chorus
what he learned outside that gym floor
Life was so much more
so much score
Than running up the score
so much more
Than running up that score

http://www.hoopshall.com/hall-of-fame/john-milholland/?back=HallofFame

It’s a Boy!

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When I was pregnant with my third, after having two boys, I was deeply sure it was going to be a girl. I don’t know why. I just did. My mother was in another state on vacation when I went into labor. She waited anxiously with a pink outfit in her hand because she had a hunch, too. Unlike what is popular now, we wanted the words “It’s a girl!” to be a surprise to us when we first heard them.

I wasn’t desperate for a girl. In fact, part of raising a girl scared me a little because as a school counselor I have sat with many brooding girls with arms crossed claiming, “She’s not my friend anymore!” The world of girls is complicated.

When the doctor lifted up my baby to see and said, “It’s a boy!” I remember not feeling one ounce of disappointment. I took one look at my third boy and thought, “Oh, it’s you. It’s always been you!” Through this pregnancy, I have always been in love with you.” The pink was put away without the least little disappointment.

Now, I do recall the teasing of the older brothers, when boy number three was older. I can still hear them saying, “Mom, I wish we had a sister. Oh wait, we do!” They would point at their youngest brother, and  another brotherly battle made the house shake once more.

No I have no regrets being the mom of all boys.
However, every once in a while, I will spend time with a girl with whom I will form a bond, and get a hint of what it would be like to have a girl. Mostly, they are the girls of my good friends. There are many — Erin, Grace, Hannah, Lauren, Rachie, and many, many others. It’s funny, instead of feeling regret, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be a part of their lives….. and a little sense of relief that I do not have the girl drama and wedding expense! Just kidding.

I was with a little 5 year old girl that touched my heart in this way again today. Her name is Sophia. Her mom and I talked for a long time at Starbucks while she waited patiently. When we parted, she hugged me and said, “I will love you forever 100 times.” Thank you, Sophia. Only a 5 year old girl knows how to love forever 100 times. Thank you to all of my friends for sharing your very special girls with me.