Monday, May 30, 2011

Wood Badge

As Annie mentioned, I attended a Wood Badge course May 23rd - May 27th at the Mutual Dell location up American Fork Canyon. The course was amazing and I truly did have a lot of fun. Getting me there was a bit of a challenge. It's difficult to use a week of your paid leave to attend Wood Badge when you could spend it with your family instead. Especially when others at work are wanting their time off as well. However, I managed to get the time off because I really felt I should attend this specific week of Wood Badge.

My local priesthood leaders were the ones who were encouraging me to attend. I wasn't sure about attending. I kept finding reasons to put it off, but I eventually gave in to their requests even though I wasn't even sure what Wood Badge was. I thought, "If I just go, then they will quit bugging me about it." Upon arriving, I realized I wasn't the only one who wasn't super excited about going. There were others who required even more "encouragement" to attend (i.e. "arm twisting" if you will). However, looking back, participating in Wood Badge was well worth any sacrifice to get there, and all who attended were glad they did. We all wished we weren't so stubborn in our efforts not to attend. We would have missed out an a life-changing experience. You just have to attend to know what I mean. I strongly recommend Wood Badge to those given the blessed opportunity to attend.

Wood Badge is a leadership training course for adult leaders involved in any aspect of scouting (cub scouts all the way through the venturing program). Your course curriculum includes training to be utilized in a variety of situations. The following is a list of some of the subject material: listening to learn, understanding (values, missions, and vision), leveraging diversity, team development, communicating, project planning, using EDGE methods, leading change, problem solving & decision making, manging conflict, coaching & mentoring, self assessment, and leaving a legacy. The training applies to scouting, your personal & family life, and potentially your work setting as well. It's not all just instruction by lectures. You have several different activities and games. You learn to think better and work together in a group. it really is a lot of fun.

However, Wood Badge is much more than just leadership training. If wood badge was only the "classroom" training, there would be nothing special about it. The Spirit is what makes Wood Badge special. There is a spirit at Wood Badge that doesn't exist in any other setting. No matter which location your Wood Badge course is at, the spirit of the Lord is there. I believe the spirit is strong at Wood Badge because the training is intended to help leaders know how to help young men be the best they can be. Those who have attended Wood Badge know what I mean. It's difficult to explain in words, so it's just better for you to attend Wood Badge to gain your own testimony of it.

I loved Wood Badge because it gives you (as the "scout" or "patrol member") a first-hand understanding of how the ideal scouting experience should be for each young man. You see how all the different roles work together for the whole program to function. You even fill out some of those roles yourself. No matter how good, bad, or non-existent your own scouting experience was as a boy; you know what scouts should be when you complete a Wood Badge course.
You meet new friends in your assigned patrol and you learn things from them you wouldn't learn in any other setting. I know my patrol assignment was inspired, and my patrol members helped to make my Wood Badge experience fun and memorable. My patrol members were great examples to me and I saw characteristics in them that I want to acquire for myself. It's amazing how you can go from complete strangers to dear friends in 5 days time.

During Wood Badge, the attendee creates a "ticket" which is a set of goals to be completed by 18 months time. There are 5 categories to focus on for areas of improvement in your life: Personal, Family, Scouting Unit, Community, and a Diversity goal. You set the goal and the requirements for completion. Your Wood Badge experience is complete when you've completed your "ticket" and have therefore, "earned your beads". You are awarded a necklace with wood beads which are replicas of something given to Baden-Powell (long story). You are also given a new neckerchief and a "woggle". You learn to tie a woggle on your first day of the course. Ask someone who's been to wood badge what a woggle is.

People ask, "So what did you learn?" That's a loaded question. I wish not to go into all the individual different leadership techniques that were taught. That's too much for a blog post and not necessarily what Wood Badge is all about. Wood Badge is about "The One". The One boy who needs to be brought into the fold. The One who needs to be taken under the wing of the troop/patrol and scoutmaster. The One who needs to be found before other evil influences find him and make the boy less than he is destined to be.

So what did I learn? Suffice it to say that now I have real direction on what I should be focusing on in my role as a Varsity Coach in the scouting program. I know what I should do to most effectively carry out my calling as a leader of young men. Before I thought it was all about making sure the boys got their Eagle scout. However, I found it interesting that Wood Badge teaches that the goal of scouting is for every scout to be at least a First Class rank. I know the Eagle rank is important; but now I have a firm testimony that each individual boy is worth more than any rank. A troop of 8 less-than-eagle (first class) scouts who are ALL active in scouts and church attendance (progressing in their faith & testimony of Christ and his gospel) is better than a group of 8 boys of whom 20% are eagles but maybe another 20% are "not accounted for" and are "lost" by the wayside. The complete success of some boys should not come at the price of zero success of others.

I feel as if to say that scouting is meant more as a tool to keep young men on the straight and narrow path. The location on the path (tenderfoot or Eagle) is not as important as that fact that they are at least on that straight and narrow path and heading in the right direction. Scouting builds a boy's confidence and teaches boys to be men. Having your boys acquire Eagle status is a fine thing; however, having all young men "present & accounted for" is going to be my new focus from here on out. I have a stronger testimony that the, "worth of souls is great in the sight of God." I have a greater understanding of what our young men are up against. I have increased faith that the Lord will magnify any efforts made to bring young men back from the brink of disaster. My prayer is that all who have the opportunity to attend Wood Badge will do so willingly and will look forward to it with excitement. I had a great time and will be made a better man for attending the course and "working" my ticket.

I want to express my love and appreciation to my wife. I love her so much! I know it wasn't easy having me away for a week. I know that I'm an extremely lucky man, and I would be nothing without her. Annie is a remarkable woman and an outstanding mother! I'm so glad we're together and have 3 young boys of our own. I'm glad I had this Wood Badge experience now and not when it may be to late to apply the training to my own boys. I love my family so much and I missed them dearly while I was away.

I know God lives. I know Jesus is the Christ. The gospel is true. The Lord has provided us with covenants so that we my rise to our potential to be as He is. It is my prayer that we may serve faithfully in our callings such that we will be worthy of blessings promised through our covenants. The Lord does not require us to be perfect, but he does require that we be willing. I am willing to serve the Lord by helping these young men be the best they can be.

-Morgan Hadlock-

Another Picture-less Post

I've been bad at taking pictures lately, which is sad because a lot of fun stuff has happened and my boys are growing up so fast!

This past week Morgan went to WoodBadge. He left early Monday morning and came home Saturday afternoon. He wasn't allowed to have cell phones up there so I didn't even get a chance to talk to him the whole time. It was pretty lonely and missed him a lot, but he had a really great experience that he will blog about since this is our family journal too.

The first couple days went pretty well. We went over and played with friends and had a few distractions to keep us busy. Then on Wednesday afternoon my mom flew in to town, so we got to pick her up at the airport. My boys love the airport! Probably because they associate that with Grandma coming to town. :)

On Thursday morning I got to take Logan to the library all by himself. He was so good and it really made me love him so much more. I haven't ever really had the chance to do much with Logan one on one, usually the other kids are with us too, but it was so fun to just get a chance to talk to him and look at books and be together. I need more dates with my kids like that. Even if it was only for a little while. It made me realize how much he really has grown up. He is such a good big brother, even if he is quite the tease. And he's really fun to have a conversation with, especially when he's in control of the conversation and gets really excited about things. He's so animated when he talks.

On Thursday afternoon my sister in law Raquel and her kids came over to stay the night. Those kids just love each other. They did really well too, we had a few little tiffs, but nothing major. And for the most part they went to bed pretty good...except Damon, but I'll get to that later. So in the evenings we played games and watched movies. It was really nice to have a little girl time while the boys were sleeping.

The weather was pretty decent on Friday so we got to do a little playing outside. With enough people we were able to teach the kids Red Rover, and Duck Duck Goose, and London Bridges. It was a blast and the kids had a lot of fun.

On Saturday we mostly cleaned and got the house ready for my hubby. My mom took the kids for a walk so I was able to get the house cleaned without any interruptions, and there wasn't a ton to do since she helped me get a lot of it done the night before. We had a little picnic outside since the kitchen was clean and the weather was nice.

Morgan got home a little after I took my mom to the airport so he had a chance to shower and get cleaned up before the kids wanted his undivided attention. They were so happy to see him, so was I.

Some of the things Morgan missed out on this week:
-We got our hose line repaired, they had to come fix a pipe that froze.
-Our final inspection was completed on the house and of course it passed with no problems.
-Our Oklahoma renters up and moved without any notice...:(
-I finally cured Damon of his nighttime terrorizing of Logan :)

On this last note, it took and outside perspective from my mom to help me figure out the solution. The last couple weeks Damon has had a hard time going to bed, whether he takes a nap during the day or not. He doesn't mind going to bed, but once they are in bed he'll get out and turn on the light and bite and hit and fight with Logan (I'm sure Logan is partly responsible for some of this, but at least he stays in bed). I was getting really upset by this and probably blinded by my frustration, especially when he would get in the closet and pull all the clothes out of the drawers and off the hangers...that's always been a huge pet peeve of mine.

I tried everything, singing to him to calm him down, more stories, more music, a night light, ear flicking, and spanking, until I was just at a very frustrating loss. Then my mom suggested just putting him in another room and immediately I thought no way, they are always going to be sharing a room so they need just figure it out, but then I realized that Damon probably wouldn't like being away from Logan and it would actually be a consequence that he could understand.

So, I went to Lowe's to get another door knob that we could turn so we could lock him in, really not as bad as it sounds, if I don't, they just keep slamming the door and coming out. Anyway, got the door and duh, I got some closet locks too so he couldn't get into either closet at night. We cleared out a spare room of everything except a blanket and I told him that if he got out of bed and turned the light on and started fighting that he would have to go in the back room all by himself. I put them to bed and waited....5 minutes....10 minutes... nothing....and I was actually a little disappointed because I wanted to try this out, but then the light came on and the fighting began....YES! So, I scooped him up, grabbed his pillow and took him gently to the back room (I could do this gently now that I wasn't so mad about it all). And of course his crying was music to my ears. It went on for a good 10-15 minutes before he stopped. I went back in to give him another shot in his room and he quietly walked back to his room, climbed in bed and I didn't hear another peep. It's been two nights since then and he has gone to bed great!

I've always taken great consolation that my kids go to bed so well and so our little problem was getting really distressing to me, but now that we have remedied the situation life is good! Now I just need to figure out another solution to them climbing in bed at 5:00am. We usually don't mind on Saturdays and Sundays, but during the week is not cool. We'll have to work on that this week.

Lastly the Tragon update: his teeth finally cut through, but only after a couple blows to the face. :( His top two front teeth were being really stubborn and painful and then one morning he and Damon were playing peek a boo in the cupboard and Tragon went forward a little too much just as Damon was kicking his way out and it clocked Tragon in the mouth and cut his gum, it bled a little, but then we noticed that the impact had cut the gum and since then the tooth has really sprouted. A couple days later he was playing on a pillow, he likes to roll them over and climb over and he was too close to a wall and went to fast and hit his mouth again on the cut his other front gum and now that tooth is coming out just fine too. Poor kid, but at least it was just a moment of pain and gone instead of the constant pain he's been in for the last few weeks. He's also crawling really fast now, he can go up the stairs, and he pulls himself up on his feet whenever and wherever he can.

May has just blown by so fast and I hope that things will slow down just a little bit, but I'm not counting on it. Until next time...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


No pictures this post, I keep forgetting the camera everywhere we go. Last weekend Morgan took Logan and Damon to the Fathers and Sons Ward Campout. It was kind of nice to have some Mommy-Tragon time for an evening. I had them all packed and ready to go when Morgan got home and we got them loaded up and they headed out. Of course, I forgot to pack the camera...and a flashlight. I got a call just as it was getting dark and realized I had forgotten that essential item, but at least I was prepared for an emergency and in the emergency car kit we keep a flashlight, so it all worked out.

Damon only threw a fit for about an hour and half. They both fell asleep on the drive up the canyon and Damon is almost never happy when he wakes up like that, add the fact that he's still a momma's boy through and through and it was kind of rough getting things set up. After a while though he warmed up and Morgan said they had fun.

On Saturday morning I had to run the Bountiful Basket site, so I just brought Tragon with me. He did really good for the first hour or so, bu the last little while he was getting hungry and fussy, but we made it and it all worked out.

Morgan had another soccer game last Saturday night at 10:40pm, so we just supported him in our dreams. :) They got walloped again and just stopped keeping score after they were about 10 points behind.

On Sunday Morgan spoke in sacrament meeting so we weren't able to go to a cousin's farewell, but we did go up and visit with family at the open house afterwards. It was really nice to see all the Hadlocks, it's actually been a really long time since we've seen most of them. After that we went to Morgan's parents house for a little while. It was his dad's birthday and he needed to take some measurements for a project he's working on for them.

Logan is getting better and better at the baseball and he's having a really good time. It's been fun to watch him interact with other kids he didn't know before and to see how he does with the structure of things, so far he's been a champ.

Until next time...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Itty Bitty Baseball

Today Logan started his Itty Bitty Baseball program. It's 3 days a week for 2 weeks and an hour a day where they get to go and do little baseball drills. It was so fun. We got there and Logan was being really shy, so I stayed by him while they were doing the stretching and after a few minutes he warmed up to things and I asked him if I could go sit down and he said, "it's okay mom, I'm okay, I'm not going to be shy to anyone" I was so proud!

I also ran into a friend that I hadn't seen for probably 5-6 years. We had been living in the same ward just after we had both gotten married and both moved out about the same time. I found out we both ended up in the Midwest, they were in Nebraska and we were in Oklahoma for a while and then we both ended up in Lehi of all places. It was fun to get re-acquainted and we have kids about the same ages.

On the way home from the baseball, Logan got some treats and he was so excited to eat them while we watched a movie and said, "Mom, I got two treats from baseball, I'm going to share one with Damon while we watch, The Little Engine that Could" again, I couldn't have been more proud. :)

Happy Mother's Day

This is a long entry, but there are lots of pictures. :) This past week has been jam-packed with fun, great weather, laughter, traveling, and in the end exhaustion that was well worth the effort.We started the week with Family Home Evening outside. The sun has finally been shining and we try to be outside as much as possible. We had our refreshment (Oreos if you couldn't tell) outside knowing we would make a big mess. We still struggle with Family Night. Sometimes we'll actually get a little lesson in, but most of the time it's just being together. We try to get in a song and a prayer, but sometimes even that seems to test the patience of our boys. We'll keep at it though, I know that someday it will pay off and be worth it. By the way, Tragon loves Oreos.
You can hardly tell that Logan even at one. He still likes to be clean, but will get dirty if it looks like fun, he's such a boy. After we had our snack we let Logan use the camera while Morgan and I played some soccer and kicked around. He started an indoor league and is having a blast.
This is a Logan picture. I'm not sure why I like it, but I do. Maybe it's because it's actually warm enough to be outside barefoot.
He got a pretty good one of Damon too. Damon loves to be outside and follow Logan around, he had no problem being the subject of photography, maybe that's how we'll even out the pictures between the kids, let Logan have the camera for a while. :)
Morgan and I are playing soccer in the background while Logan takes pictures.
Tragon is still such a good baby. He has been teething lately though and been miserable, hopefully his 3 teeth will break through soon.
We were taking a little break from soccer while Logan snapped some shots.
Again, I don't know why I like this one and kept it, I just think it's cute. This is a self portrait of Logan's feet.
My handsome, most wonderful, one in a million husband and best daddy in the whole world.
We were all getting ready for bed, but Logan wouldn't relinquish the camera.
He definitely has his own style of photography. Just imagine these throughout the entire basement and that's basically what it looks like down there ALL the time.
Logan loves his "Cat in the Hat" books, anything Dr. Seuss he loves. He can sound out quite a few words now too, so it's more fun to have him help read the stories.
This is usually how I feel just after we have tucked the kids into bed at night. They sure wear me out during the day, but I wouldn't have it any other way. We have truly been blessed with some awesome boys. I hope that I can keep up with them and teach them all they need to learn from me.
One of our favorite meals and usually our Monday night meal is Chili and Cornbread. Tragon is old enough he can eat it with us too and he loves it once you get him going. Very messy, but at least he'll feed himself and I can actually eat dinner the same time as the family...after I get the boys' drinks....and get my drink....and pick up Tragon's cup again....and get Logan some more milk.....and Damon another bowl of chili....and another piece of cornbread.
For the most part Logan is a happy boy and polite most of the time, but he sure has his stinker moments.
Damon is really testing us right now in patience and well, mostly just patience. He has to copy everything Logan does even if I just told Logan to stop doing it. He throws a mean tantrum and can scream like a banshee which has become a habit the past couple weeks. I know he'll grow out of it, but in the meantime any patience you can loan to me would be much appreciated.
So, on to the adventures. As you can see Tragon is in the piggyback hiking carrier because we got to go on a vacation. Morgan took the 4-6 off work and we decided to head down to St. George and make a pit stop in Zion National Park. This weekend was also our 7th Anniversary and Morgan proposed at the top of Angel's Landing, so this place is pretty special to us and we've come back for several anniversaries. The boys loved it!
They absolutely loved the shuttle buses that take you through the park. Logan won't let us forget that we rode the 15 bus on the way to our hike and the 68 bus on our way back to the van to go to Grandma's house. :) They were pretty good about the harnesses too. Before I had kids, I thought those harness back packs were so inhumane, now that I have kids, they are the most brilliant invention ever!
Here's me with my boys. The Zion pictures are a little fuzzy because I forgot the camera so we had to use my phone and it's not the best quality since there is a little delay on it, and little kids don't sit very still.
When we parked by a picnic table to eat we were immediately surrounded by caterpillars. I'm not sure what the trees are really called, but I call them caterpillar trees. We used to have one at my house growing up and I thought it was the coolest thing that the caterpillars grew from the trees (at least that's what I thought back then) and would just rain down on you. The ground was pretty gross from all the squished caterpillars, but the boys loved them. We didn't end up sitting at that picnic table though, because literally the caterpillars were falling from the sky and you'd find two or three on your head if you stood in one place too long.
After the shuttle ride we got off at the Zion Lodge to get our traditional keepsake, this time I wanted a t-shirt and ended up with a 3-pack. Woohoo. Morgan got a long-sleeved t-shirt as well and the boys got some awesome hats.
Tragon just got to be carried the whole time. He was really happy as long as the pack was moving and he was able to take a couple naps up there. I think he just enjoyed being outside when it wasn't cold and windy.
We decided to hike the Emerald Pool trail. We thought we could make it all the way to the upper pools....and we did! The boys were troopers. They didn't really like walking on the paved trail, but as soon as it turned into rocks and stairs to climb, they loved it. We did end up carrying them about 30-35% of the time, which is not bad for how hot and far we went. We got a lot of support and smiles on the hike up. I think Morgan commented that he's never had so many people be so nice and smile so often. I guess that's what kids can do for you.
Here's our family at the Upper Emerald Pool. Being up here with my family was the best anniversary and Mother's Day present ever. The kids did great, the weather was great, a little hot, but so nice. I love my family so much and I feel so blessed to have them in my life. Morgan is the best husband and father and I'm grateful that 7 years ago I said yes. Our 3 boys add so much fun and excitement to our lives and I'm glad we were able to share some of this beauty with them. All throughout the hike we tried to remind the boys that Heavenly Father created all this for us and they were pretty excited in the end to point to a leaf ask, did Heavenly Father create that too? They are smart boys and I know that someday they will be able to have a testimony of their own of the truths that I know and believe. In the meantime, I'm happy to share.

That's the end of the pictures, but the not the end of the adventure. After making it back down the hike we were just barely able to catch the shuttle back to the van. I think all the boys fell asleep within about 5 minutes and slept the whole way to St. George. The boys were really excited to be at Grandma's house and to play with her cars and trains.

For our Mother's Day gift to my mom, her kids decided to give her a new room. She has been so patience and gracious to let my dad work on the house next door and to come up here for a couple weekends to help us with our basement. She has just as many projects in her own home that I'm sure she wants to get done. One we have all been aware of was her room. She wanted to put down a hardwood/laminate floor since they don't have a dog anymore and do some new paint and curtains.

Thursday we did the bulk of the painting and I have to say, it looked pretty awesome and most importantly my mom loves it. The painting took a lot longer than we thought and pretty much consumed that whole day. On Friday we did the final touch up on the paint and installed the floor and trim. It was a little challenging for me this trip because I really wanted to help with the room, but I also had my kids to look after that were not being super independent this trip and were teasing each other quite a bit. In the end I wasn't really able to give full attention to either project and ended up always in the middle and feeling a little scattered. I'm really glad that my brother and his girlfriend were there too to help out on both sides. I learned from it though, I need to either be in one place or the other because trying to be in both places was just stressful and not effective. We did get the project done and the end result really was awesome. I hope my mom knows just how much her kids love her and how wonderful she is and how much she taught us growing up and how much she still teaches us every day. We love you mom!

On Saturday we headed up to Cedar to watch my niece not play in her soccer game :) She did play for about a minute or too, it looked like fun, but she was being shy. After that we headed to my brother's house to have a little lunch BBQ before we went home. It was really windy, but it was fun to see their house.

We made it home safe and sound and finally got things un-packed and settled in. The boys slept the whole way home so we knew they would be up late. Morgan had a soccer game to go to, so me and boys watched some TV together and it was actually really nice to just sit and relax. On Sunday, Morgan made breakfast and didn't have any meetings. I think the boys were still a little wired from the trip and were being really obnoxious and I was still quite low on patience and energy. We made it to church and the boys were awful. Logan kept crying that Damon ripped his paper and Damon kept shouting "Echo" at the tops of his lungs and Tragon was still fussy from teething and a crazy allergic rash that broke out all over his body, from what I don't know, but the rash is basically gone now. Anyway, sacrament meeting was not very peaceful and I missed our friend's baby blessing because I was out in the hall with the boys. In singing time in nursery we had kid's crying in both classes basically the whole time I was there and in Relief Society, I ended up outside with Tragon the whole time. The entire relief society was there enjoying the lesson except me. It was not your ideal Mother's Day, and then Morgan had to stop at the clerk's office on the way out and that took way too long and my boys were all going crazy, I thought I was going to go crazy too, or break down, or something.

We finally made it home, I fed Tragon and put him down for a nap and went to my room and laid down. I thought I would just rest for a while, but I actually fell asleep for 2 1/2 glorious hours. I usually never take naps, but I knew I needed one. Morgan got Damon down for his nap, and then he and Logan read stories together and both fell asleep too! It was perfect. I think we all needed that nap more than we knew from our busy week. After that nap I felt much better and so did the boys. :) Morgan made spaghetti for dinner and cleaned the kitchen while I gave the kids a bath. Then we all watched Mulan together...except Tragon, he was already in bed. It was the perfect end to a hectic day. Those few good moments did make me appreciate being a mom and lucky I am to be a mom and I hope that I can remember those good moments when I going through the bad because in the end it really is all worth it.