Category Archives: Celtic Fun

Where you can find our favorite celtic adventures, stories and information.

Winners and Losers; Character building

There are so many things that I am thinking about, yet for some reason putting them on paper (computer) seems to be an issue.  Not sure why, other than I think I am overwhelmed with thought.

Perhaps it’s because our family is going through transition, or perhaps it’s because we once again have been traveling to much, or maybe, just maybe it’s because I find myself trying to explain to my children how to deal with inconsistencies and unfairness in a fallen world.  Our lifestyle has us spending a great amount of time with so many who are not what we would call “ideal” role models.  My mind swirls in thought on how to parent in a way that glorifies the Lord.  Teaching them not to spite, not to be rude, to be the light.  In then end, I’m finding these are lessons I too can glean insight.

Let me explain.  We just returned from a weekend out of town where the kids competed in the North American Championship.  We’ve attended this event for 4 years now, and with great excitement our daughter once again placed, receiving a second place for the fourth year in a row in Amateur for all of North America.  Clearly, this is an accomplishment worth being excited about and not something to frown over.

The difficulties come in when, as a parent, you watch your child stressed over such an upcoming event that she isn’t sleeping, she’s practicing for months, spending hours with both of her instructors and confident that this is the year she will take first.  With great hopes of moving up to compete next year in the Gold.  After her competition, she was given a thumbs up by one of the judges, while many more, including the president of the event told her it was a gold medal winning performance.  All day we had to hear that “she swept away the other competitors.”  Yet, in the end, it was a fourth second place.  Disappointment…yes!  Tears…yes!  Bewilderment…yes!  Were we alone in our disbelief…NO!

In times like these, we sit back and wonder, is it worth it?  Okay, I shouldn’t use the word “we”… I wonder if it’s worth it.  I’ve spent the last 5 days considering my words to my daughter and how to continue to reassure her that her natural talent and her ability to pull off a win were there.  After all, she did meet with all three of the judges the next day and together the four of them discussed how she could better her performance next year and she was able to learn what they were looking for.  She also learned that she basically tied for first and they “split hairs” to choose a winner.

Through this I have been pondering the lessons we teach our children when they are in competitive sports or competitive situations.  As well as how we as parents respond to any injustice or defeat our children are forced to accept.

There are winners, and there are losers.  This doesn’t mean that the loser is insignificant.  It just means that at that performance, the winner had a great day and they did well.  We should be happy for them, cheer them on and just try harder next time.  Who knows, next time you may be the winner and it would be nice to have others happy for you.

Life isn’t always fair.  Learning to live in a society where there are favorites is something we all have to live with.  Learning as a child that contentment in a life serving the Lord is more important and will help you to gain perspective, strength, confidence and endurance to get through ANYTHING in this world.

How you feel you played is what counts.  If putting your best foot forward was what you gave in a performance, then you have done your job well.  Especially when you are being affirmed by others that you are their inspiration and that they enjoy watching you perform.  That should be worth more than the blue.  

Spite and bitterness are nothing more than the devils path to destruction.

Hebrews 12:15  (ESV)  15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

Is it hard to not look at the obvious evidence that there is some bias at times?  Of course it’s hard.  However, no one said that life was going to be easy and if we are going to participate in activities that many of the “lost” are participating in, then we have to remember that we cannot expect moral uprightness.

Accept the things we cannot change. 

God’s plan is not our plan and His timing is not our timing.  Teaching patience to our children can be and is so difficult.  After all, we too struggle with patience.  It’s good to teach our children that prayer for the willingness to wait upon the Lord is important.  

Success is not measured in numbers or colors.  Blue, Red, White, Gold, Silver, Bronze…1st, 2nd, 3rd… How should we measure success?

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  Winston Churchill

“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”  George S. Patton

Winter Storm 2015 KS
Winter Storm 2015 KS

In our book, she’s a winner.  Her perseverance shows success and character.  Her ability to perform in such a way is far more than her own mother could take on.  And, she is excited that even though she thought there were age limits, she is able to move up to compete in the gold next year… even though she took second.  The judges told her that it was her choice and that if she chose to stay in Amateur then she would likely take the gold but if she wanted to move up to Professional, she may not place and she will have to pay her dues (in being at that level of course.  After all, in their book, she’s just an amateur).  Her response… “I want to move up to compete for the gold next year.  I want the challenge, and I want the competition as well as the experience.”   I call that success!

Do I wonder if I’m doing okay with my “motherly” advice to my children?  Of course!  Am I always on target with my response to their heartache?  No!  Do I pray for the wisdom and the the courage to overcome, for them as well as myself?  Absolutely!  Am I encouraged in leading them when I see them persevere and continue on even through persecution, in justice, heartache and criticism?  Most definitely!  Do I still have work to do on my own reaction?  The fact I am even writing about it shows that YES…I find this is also character building for myself!  With the help of the Lord, we will all persevere and next year, I’m hoping she places in the top 5 in the professional… Or… Takes Gold altogether!  ha ha


A Cooler, A Cutting Board, A Bowl and A Crockpot… Not a Crackpot!

In the two weeks we were traveling we only ate out one time.  What?  How is that possible?

Well, let me tell you how.  A cooler, a crock pot, large bowl, cutting board, some serving utensils and some prep.

Breakfasts:  Hard boiled eggs, GF cereal with raw milk, GF bagels with organic cream cheese or almond butter, home made GF muffins and pre-made home made GF waffles.  I made the waffles and muffins before we left and froze them.  We would put the waffles wrapped in foil into the crock pot over night on warm and by morning we had warm waffles to enjoy with some sliced strawberries and maple syrup.  We also had kefir or yogurt with some strawberries and bananas.

Lunches:  GF organic Turkey sandwiches made as we wanted them.  Sliced GF organic grass fed beef sausages with GF Rice Free Lentil crackers and raw cheese.  Costco also has a wonderful organic GF chicken salad in single serving cups that were delicious.  We also ate leftovers from our dinners the previous night and pre cut veggies with organic hummus.

Dinners:  Prepped before leaving was the marinated chicken I cooked, cut up into cubes and froze.  This was also useful in the cooler acting as another ice pack.   The kids and I were able to wash some lettuce with some paper towel, I cut up tomatoes and we tossed the thawed chicken into the bowl with the lettuce and tomatoes adding in an organic Caeser salad dressing with a little cheese and we had a chicken Caeser Salad.

I also cooked up chicken breasts and shredded them mixing them with a habanero pineapple sauce and some barbecue sauce.  Both were organic without high fructose corn syrup.  I then froze it and when thawed, cooked it in the crock pot serving it on GF buns as pulled chicken sandwiches.  Serve with a few homemade sweet and sour pickles, cut up veggies and gluten free organic chips.

One night we made taco salads.  I had precooked and frozen some ground beef and used it also as an ice pack for the cooler when we first left.  We again washed some lettuce, tomatoes and put all in the metal mixing bowl with fermented salsa, raw cheese, organic avocado, and the organic dressing.   The leftovers we ate for lunch the next day.

We took some precooked chicken brats that were frozen and I put them in the crock pot with some cut up peppers and onions in the afternoon one day in CA and we had dinner ready when we were done with our day.

On the way home, we made a stop at Costco and Whole Foods.  We chose some pre-made salads and chicken dishes that we could put in the cooler.

Snacks:  We had apples, bananas, dried fruits, cut up veggies with organic hummus cups, and of course I allowed the kids some GF chips of various kinds.   Believe it or not, I actually found pretzels that were GF and rice free.  Woo hoo, I actually enjoyed a few pretzels.

Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive when it comes to food as long as you have a few hours of prep, the resources and the want to eat nutritious meals.  I cannot remember the last time we were in a fast food drive through.  Other than coffee it has to have been at least 12 years.  We travel quite often and we rarely eat out when we do.

When we did eat out in CA, it was the first day, in San Francisco at Fisherman’s Wharf.  Of course, who could pass up such a wonderful Ahi Tuna.  🙂




First of 2014 and Last As A Youth

The first Highland Games of the year… The last Highland Games of our sons youth!

He began competing on bagpipes exactly 10 years next weekend, and this week he will turn 18. In those 10 years he has worked hard to become a grade 1 piper (next step is professional). This is his first year as a grade 1 soloist and after yesterday it looks as though he’s on his way to great things.

All the years of traveling around, the hours of practicing, the hours of driving, sitting and waiting at his lessons has now affirmed we made the right decisions in helping him achieve his dream.

Before our birthdays my mom used to (and still does) remind us that we would never be that age again and that we had only another hour to be such and such an age. For some reason I thought of that and reminded my son yesterday that this was his last games as a youth. Thinking I was being silly, it didn’t really mean anything to him until he won piper of the day. It was fun seeing his expression when he thought of the fact he finished his career as a piping youth with an achievement he’d only hoped one day to accomplish. (Too bad he had left the games and was not personally handed the award… We received several texts from friends telling him.).  Oh well…. There is always next weekend, and about 5 more this year!!  Yes, it is possible to do this more than once.  🙂

cropped award picture

Our daughter also pulled off a great first games showing by taking two firsts.

I’d say it’s a good start to another year!  🙂