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The world of Robotics (A Mothers Heat Part VI)

My son has been involved in the robotics program at Davidson High School for four years. It has been an interesting experience. First off I never knew that it was such an interesting competition. They create a company, market a robot that is designed to perform specific tasks; they design, create and build the robot.

Now, this year of course was special because it was the last year. You see my husband and I have helped in different ways throughout the past four years. Honestly I have considered these wonderful kids my children. We even joke about how during robotics I have around forty plus children.  This year there were a total of eight seniors on the team, for these eight they all wanted to end with a bang. In the four years that we have been involved with robotics these eight have experienced placing in the top three at both the local and regional level, but never a first place at both.

This year my husband and I had decided that we were going to be at both competitions to support our son and the team.

The Local Competition:

The team was so excited. They did such a wonderful and swept the competitions with an overall First place and first place in “Spirit and sportsmanship” which I might add they have never won. Now, spirit and sportsmanship was an award that my son really wanted the team to win and he was so very excited. As for me, I was so very proud of each of them.

After, the local win the team had just a few weeks to get ready for the regional level. Our team would work hard to prepare. After winning first place at the local level they wanted to do the same thing at the regional level.  So they prepare for Auburn.

The Regional Competition:

We traveled to Auburn University. The team set up the display and prepared. The competition was stiff and at the end of the day none of us were sure where our team would place. As the awards were called out we won several but it seemed as no one team was scoring in across the board in the different categories. So, it came down to the top award, the overall award. They called out the third place, then second place and our name was not called. Our team thought they did not place. Then the announcer called out Davidson High School as the “First place” winner. My kids did it for the first time for these wonderful seniors they brought home the first place trophy from local and regional robotics competition. They were so very excited.

I loved seeing my son’s face after four years the team ended on top. It was great.

As a mother there were times during these past four years that issues came up and to be honest I wanted to just jump in and fix the problem or issue. Now, mind you when it came to issues of design or math there was nothing I could do. As mother’s we all want to protect, defend and do something when there is an issue, truth is as difficult as it is we must allow our children to experience the difficult. Over these past four years I have had to allow him to experience defeat, and even experience failure not because I wanted to but because it would help him to grow. On the upside because both my husband and I were involved we were able to see him grow and experience victory. He and his other teammates experienced what teamwork, and hardwork can accomplish.

 

My Best Gift Ever (A Mother’s Heart Part VII)

His first week home

Eighteen years ago today God blessed me and my husband with one of the best gift ever, my son.

I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. I was in labor off and on all day long. We ended up going to the hospital around 4 pm on February 11, 1994.  For what seem to me as a long time it was just me and Ron. Ron had been calling my mom who had gone to see the movie “Schindler’s list”. Therefore she got there around midnight but she did not miss much because my labor at that time was moving very slow. As you may have guessed it did pick up.

My son was born at 6:26 am on the morning of February 12, 1994. I recall the physician saying something and then I asked what she said. She then told me that there was a loose knot in his umbilical cord. For a moment I was concerned then she said don’t worry it was loose and he is fine. My husband then leaned down and began telling me how much he loved me then said “you did it baby you gave me a son”. I have always found that line so very funny considering that he was the one who decided the sex of our son. It was right after that my mom was standing at the door of the delivery room crying. She later told me that the song “You are so beautiful” was playing on the radio. It was truly one of the happiest days of my life.

Two days later on Valentine’s Day Ron and I brought home this beautiful baby boy 6lbs 12in and 191/2 inches long. I told Ron this is the best Valentine’s Day present that I will ever receive.  Now you know why I call him my heart, it is because it was the Valentine’s Day heart that I received in February 1994.

 

Today as I write this I look at my son and see a young man where my baby use to be and wonder where did the time go. I can hardly believe that it has been 18 years since God brought this wonderful young man into my life. I am truly blessed and honored to be his mother.

Son, you have and always will be my heart. I love you more than I ever thought I could love. I am so very proud of you. You are a wonderful young man with so much love and potential. I look forward to continuing to watch you grow. I am so glad that God gave me you. Love Mom

Mothers,

Treasure your babes they grow up so fast. Love your babes God entrusted them to your care and that is a true gift from God.

 

Football Senior Night (A Mother’s Heart Part VI)

Now, my son is on the football team but not in the way you might think. Stefan is on the film crew. He has served on the film crew for 2 ½ years. So Stefan comes home and asked his dad and myself if we would like to escort him out onto the field senior night. You can probably guess the answer was yes. I was so excited, we were not sure if they were going to consider the film crew for senior night. In the past the film crew has not been included but Stefan has become close to the football team and the coaches. Funny thing is the D line otherwise known as the defensive line adopted Stefan as member.

That night……………

We got to the field around 5:30pm and we were escorted to the area where all the other parents were standing. We gathered with the parents of some of Stefan’s friends and of course starting talking about how none of could believe the kids were seniors.

As I stood there waiting I took a moment and just watched my son as he laughed with his friends. Two of them who have been friends since they were in the 3rd grade were joking and playing around. For a moment they were little boys playing. Then I realized they were young men getting ready to start a new chapter of their lives.

That night I also prayed, Lord let me be like Mary after the birth of Jesus when she treasured up all those things and pondered them in her heart. I wanted to remember every moment and treasure them all.

They lined us up; the film crew was right behind the football players, then the mascots and cheerleaders. I found it amusing that Stefan, and two of his best friends were right together.

We need to pause a moment…..

In the ninth grade Stefan took a computer class (he ended up taking 2 classes) and his teacher was also the defensive line coach. It was this coach who introduced Stefan to filming. He also became a mentor and friend to my son. In fact every time I see him he tells me what a wonderful young man I have raised. He is one of those teachers that I am so thankful that has been in my son’s life.

Now back to our game night……….

When it was time for the ceremony to begin the other team members cleared the field with the coaches. The ceremony began and each seniors name was announced and they would say who was escorting them onto the field. The football team has a tradition after they walk through the color guard; each player shakes the head coaches hand then runs through the rest of the team. It is a way for the rest of the team to show there respect for the seniors, it is something the team has done for years.

As we walked down the field and the announcer called my son’s name, tears welled up in my eyes. I was and still am a proud mom of my young man. There we were the three of us dad on one side, my son in the middle, and me on the other side. In those moments I thought about when he was little how he would walk between us and my husband and I would hold his hands and swing him. I thought about his first day of school all those years ago. Our picture was then taken and we walked through the color guard. The principle was at the end he shook Stefan’s hand put a medallion around his neck and told us how proud he was of Stefan. At this point we thought that was the end.

The head coach then came up to Stefan told him what a great job he has done filming the football team. He then pointed over to the football team that were still lined up and said go ahead son run through your team they are waiting for you.  I wish you could have seen the look on my son’s face. You see in years past only the football team runs through the team this year the coaches and team wanted to include Stefan. He was ecstatic. As my son ran over to his team, I saw out of the corner of my eye, the coach (the one who has both mentored and been a friend) was moving from the side lines. He had been on the side lines to watch his boys walk and be honored. Now he was trying to get to Stefan. When he did he reached out and gave him a pat on the back. In that one moment I saw how much he cares for my son. It was amazing. Stefan ran through his team, as I watched I heard the team cheering him on and even calling him “shaggy”, one of the nick names the team calls him.

This night was everything I thought it would be and more. I was both exciting to me and difficult. It was an ending and yet a beginning. That is one thing I have been learning this year, his senior year. There have been many and will be many last times but there are also many firsts. While this was the last game for the seniors, it was also one of the first times the seniors were recognized.

Mothers remember to ponder each of those memories and treasure them in your heart.

Homecoming Dance…… A Mother’s Heart Part V

Before I really get into this event I need to give you some back ground information. Stefan is not one who goes to dances in fact he went to the homecoming dance his freshman year and the past two years decided not to go. My husband and I talked with him over the summer and told him that we really wanted him to go to both homecoming and prom his senior year. Our thought behind this request was him experiencing everything possible his senior year.

So here we go………..

It was a month out and we were all sitting around talking, Stefan had just found out the date for homecoming. Being the mother that I am, I asked him who he was going to ask to homecoming since he was not dating anyone at the time. He said that he had not decided who to ask but he wants to go with someone just as friends. Ron and I thought that was a good idea, considering we know most of his friends.

The girl is chosen……….

Stefan decided to a friend of his who is a junior, they have been on the Robotics team together for 3 years and they are friends. So one Saturday she shows me, Stefan and Ron her dress it is a beautiful blue.

Shopping with Dad………..

The boys (meaning the husband and son) went shopping to buy a new suit and tie for the dance. When they got home and showed me I have to admit tears welled up in my eyes.

So the day of the dance……..

Now, I have to admit the day of the dance was a very interesting day. Stefan went to robotics that morning. He came home decided to take a nap and at 3pm he says “Mom I want to get her a flower for her wrist.” Ok, so please tell me that I am not the only mother whose child waits till the last minute. Well, since we had to go pick up the truck (Stefan was going to use the truck that night) from Ron’s work we decided to see about finding a flower. We get about 2 ½ miles and the car started smoking, we added water but it just was working. We finally made it to get the truck, and then it was off to find the flower. 3 stores later we finally found it. Thank you Lord.

Time to get ready………

I did get to laugh. You see Ron my husband had to work that night so he could not help Stefan with his tie. How do you learn how to tie a tie when your dad can’t show you, easy you find it on you tube and watch over and over and over till you finally get it right. I have to admit I wish that I had a picture to show you it was so funny watching my 6’5 son leaning over trying to tie that tie. Now, when Stefan walked out all dressed up my first thought was where is the little boy in the man that is standing in front of me. He looked so grown up.

Time to leave……….

I walked my son out to the truck and took one final picture; he climbed in and went to pick up his date. When I turned to go back up the stairs I began to cry. Tears just streamed down my face. All I could think about was how much my little boy had grown up. When he went to the dance as a freshman I drove him this time he drove himself.

Moms treasure each moment with your babes because one day they are dancing with you and the next they are dancing with someone else.

Here is a picture of Stefan and his date…. (She gave me permission to post the picture.)

Are they not so very cute.

Oh by the way here is what happens when you get students together and some of them like engineering.

They build with whatever they can find or recycle.

Senior Year Day One

A Mothers Heart Part IV

I still remember Stefan’s first day of school when he started kindergarten. We were living in the small town of Graceville, Florida. Ron was attending The Baptist College of Florida. I was working in the nearby city.

The week before school started there was an open house and we got to meet his teacher Mrs. Odom. We had heard wonderful things about her and we were very excited.

The following week the day came, it was the first day of school. We got up that morning fixed Stefan breakfast helped him get ready and then out the door. The first day we had decided that both Ron and I would take him to school. I was so excited for my little man.

We walked him into the class; Mrs. Odom had all of their seats labeled with their names. He found his seat gave me a hug and a kiss. He looked at me and said mommy I will be very good today. I hugged him back kissed his cheek and left my baby.

I cried all the way to work.

12 Years later………..

August 15, 2011, I woke up to find my son getting ready for school. You know how they look dragging around not wanting to be up that early, that was not the case this morning. Stefan was excited he was awake and alert; this was the first day of his senior year. This year he would be ending a huge chapter in his life so that he could start something new.

I decided that I would go ahead and fix his lunch for him. He has been making his lunch himself for years, but this morning I wanted to do that for him. He thanked me and gave me hug and of course I melted.

He got his backpack, lunch and change of clothes bag and headed towards the door. He then turned and said by mom I love you. It was at that moment my heart ached. I realized that I would not be taking him to school, he was taking himself. Last year he did not have a vehicle and therefore I took him to school, I did not realize that was last time I would take him the day of school. You see I have taken this little boy too school the first day every year.  I suddenly realized there would be no more first days of school. My eyes then filled with tears. Next year he would be college and that was different.

That afternoon Stefan came home and as usually I asked him to tell me about his day. He shared with me about his friends; he told me all about his classes and who all was in his classes. There was such an excitement in his voice. He was ready for the year.

Tip for moms: Treasure every moment with your child, because one day you will turn around and they will be grown.

A Picture is worth a thousand words

A Mothers Heart: Part 3

There first picture after they are born.

First baby step

First Birthday

First day of school

First school picture

There are many times in the life of our children that we as parents have camera in hand ready to capture those wonderful moments.

I had one of those moments this summer. It was mid-July and the photographer that does the year book pictures for Stefan’s high school. It was time for senior yearbook pictures to be done. I made his appointment, he went down and within 15 minutes he was done.

Weeks went by and then…….

Ron came home from work and brought the mail in and you guessed it the proofs. I was so excited and could not wait to open and see my son in his tux.

I opened the envelope pulled out the pictures and that is when the tears welled up in my eyes. I turned to my husband and put my head to his chest. It was at that point that I knew this was the first of many tears that I would shed throughout the year.

Stefan was great he came over to me hugged me and held me in his arms while tears streamed down my face.

Later that night both my husband and son did get a laugh at the fact that I got so emotional concerning over pictures.

Moms, take those pictures of all those firsts, treasure your babes and take in every moment. Time goes quickly.

Note: I wish I could share the pictures but because we only have proofs right now I can’t put them up.

The Wrap Up

Before I can truly begin telling you about my journey through this senior year I have to give you a wrap up of Stefan’s junior year.

Last year ended with a bang. Stefan was excited he was heading into summer and then his senior year in high school.

Here’s what happened:

  1. Coach D. asked him to continue filming the football team, but with a change this year he will be leading the film crew.

Now, Stefan has been filming for 2 years so as you can imagine he was excited about leading the crew.

  1. It was decided that Stefan would sign up for the trip to France.

This will not be his first trip to France; he went his spring break of his sophomore year. That trip was an adventure (I will do a post on that trip it involved volcanoes.).

  1. Stefan turned in his application for robotics (the school has a team that designs and builds a robot that competes in a competition. More on this subject to come.). He found out a week later that he made the team for the fourth year. There are only two on the team that have been on the team since they were freshmen.       
  2. Tests were taken, and the grades were entered.  Drum roll please- ALL A’s and B’s.

Summertime

  • Our family took a trip to Townsend, TN which was so very amazing. Stefan went up early with his grandparents and was able to spend some real quality time with them. Ron and I, my brother and nephews joined them later that week. On our way home we stopped and ate at a dinner in Chattanooga, TN that had the most amazing desserts. In fact we talk about those desserts to this day. We talked, and laughed all the way home, it was great. 
  • Stefan was asked to work at the EYE camp which stands for Engaging Youth in Engineering. This was the Stefan’s second year to volunteer in this camp. Stefan is taking engineering courses in school, and he has decided that Mechanical engineer. Therefore it is so wonderful as a mother to see him already giving back to younger students in the area that he is going into.
  • Concerts: My husband and son were able to attend some amazing concerts. Music has always been huge in my life. My mom raised me to appreciate all types of music from different genres and that is how I have raised Stefan. We had the opportunity to go see Heart and Def Leppard, and Styx. It was so awesome introducing my son to music I loved and enjoyed. He loved seeing Def Leppard’s one arm drummer and the songs. Then there is Styx, several of those songs are now some of his favorites. I have to admit I loved the concerts sharing them with him was great.

So there you have it the wrap up from the junior year and the summer.  Now we will get started on the senior.